Ugh 47th birthday. Really?

Happy birthday to me. I might as well enjoy it. I mean it’s not like I have a choice or anything. And I try to have a young mind and a light heart and I try to love as deep as I can and forgive whenever possible. These are the things that I’ve tried to learn in the past 47 years:

1. Never act your age. Except in a job interview.

2. You’re never too old to wear red lipstick.

3. You’re still cool even though you have children.

4. It doesn’t matter if you have a grey hair, that’s what hair dye is for.

5. When you have teenagers you will always be wrong. No, always. No, I mean it, always.

6. The morning that you wake up, look in the mirror and find that you’re really quite happy with what you see and that you’re really quite proud of who you are is the night that you go to sleep a very happy person.

7. I can still wear strappy sandals with a heel as long as I don’t eat any food with salt in it for the two weeks prior to the time that I’m going to wear the shoes.

8. It’s inevitable that the older you get, the weirder your big toe is going to look.

9. I’m no longer embarrassed to buy tampons from the 16-year-old check out guy at the Rite Aid.

10. I’m 47 years old. I’m me. I’m not going to change. And I’m still three whole years away from 50. So there!

Dig A Hole For Me!

Did you ever have one of those moments when you just want to dig a hole, jump in it and hope the earth swallows you up?  I was unlucky enough to have one of those moments when my daughter met my new boss a few years ago.  First some back peddling so you understand what I’m dealing with here…

My daughter Tori was born in 1997.  She was a gorgeous baby with lots of black hair, beautiful blue eyes, 10 fingers, 10 toes and everything where it was supposed to be. My husband and I felt blessed to have such a beautiful little girl.  We had a 3 year old boy already and with this new addition, our family felt complete.

Our stay in the hospital was uneventful as was our trip home and even the first week was easy going and pleasant.  Our problems didn’t start until Tori’s first doctors appointment a week later.  It is common practice to measure baby parts.  Head, belly, legs, arms… anything that has a length gets measured.  At this appointment the doctor told us that he felt that Tori’s head was bigger than normal and they would be running some tests.  At the risk of scaring us even more, and because we weren’t leaving without some kind of explanation, he hesitantly gave us some ideas of what could be causing her head to be so large.  Water on the brain, autism, brain damage, retardation, etc. were all mentioned.  I sat sobbing in the chair holding my sweet baby as my husband asked the same question over and over again, “Why are you saying this?  Her head doesn’t look too big!”

The doctor measured my husbands head and mine, both of which were above average in circumference.  He then asked us to phone as many people in the family as we could think of and ask them to measure their heads (around the top of the head at the forehead) to get an average length and call him with the results.  In the meantime, he would set up the necessary tests for our precious baby girl.

We called everyone we could think of.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… anyone who had a head got a phone call.  By the end of the night, as weird as this may seem, we were hysterical laughing at the fact that not only did we have this mental picture of everyone in Bucks County measuring their heads, but that we now knew the circumference head measurement of every single person in our family.  Turns out, on average, our family members all have oversized heads… by an average of 1 – 1.5 inches.  Some of them now have to take medications for help in dealing with the shame.

Three weeks go by.  In this time, our sweet girl gets an MRI, a cat scan, blood work and a few specialist visits with doctors whose names I cannot pronounce.  I cry myself to sleep at night worrying and my husband cannot sleep at all.  Finally, the day comes that we find out that she is perfectly normal and it was all just a “scare”.  Shit… you’re telling me.

As Tori grew, we found that she loved to hear stories about herself as a baby.  her first word story, her first trip to the park story and her first time eating spaghetti story. Her favorite of all time was the big head story.  By the time she was 4, she knew the whole story but would always ask to hear it again.

When Tori was 5 years old, my husband and I had secured two positions as Realtors in a large real estate firm. My boss was a young guy, very professional and thankfully understanding enough to let me bring Tori into the office with me when her sitter wasn’t available.

I’ll never forget the first time I brought her to the office.  Tori was always a well behaved child so I was never worried about her causing a ruckus or getting into trouble.  A coloring book and crayons always did the trick to beat boredom for her.  To make sure my boss knew who she “belonged” to, I felt that I should introduce him to her the first chance I got.

Still new to the firm and desperately wanting to make a good impression, I dressed Tori in a beautiful little sun dress and white sandals.  I put her hair up into two perfect ponytails complete with ribbons and sparkly barrettes.  The people in my office couldn’t have been more welcoming to her and offered her food, candy, drinks and a dip into the toy treasure chest that was kept in one of the conference rooms to busy bored children during settlements.

I told Tori I wanted her to meet my boss Dave, so I took her by the hand, led her down the hall and knocked on his office door.  He yelled to come in and as I opened the door, he rose to come around his desk to greet the little lady standing next to me.  As I made the introductions, Tori reached out her hand to shake his and said…

“Hello Dave, I was born with an unusually large head.”

Where is that hole anyway?

So here we are… Tori is 15, an honor student with a 4.0 GPA and is your typical teenager.  She is beautiful, witty and one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met.  She is our “big headed” baby… and she is perfect.

This is Tori on her 8th grade move up day with her big brother Tyler.  The sash that she is wearing denotes her membership in the Junior Honor Society.  I guess she needed a big head to hold all of those brains.  🙂

Water Dog??

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I couldn’t wait for summer so I could play with Bentley in the water.  He was a winter baby and grew up playing in the snow and enjoying walks in the cold weather.  He’s 8 months old now and that it’s getting warmer and he has been enjoying super fun romps in the hose and I thought “Hey!  Pool time!  So my husband and I went to the store and got him a small pool and a sprinkler. Our other golden Dusty loved his pool and would lounge in it like a sun bather when it was really hot out.

As a water dog, Bentley’s body is designed for swimming. Long, lustrous blonde locks that absorb the water, a solid undercoat to keep his skin dry, large web-toed feet to act as paddles in the water and strong hips and legs to help him move swiftly to catch his prey.

So I’m all excited to have a nice warm day to hook up the sprinkler and fill the pool.  I drag the pool to the yard and start the hose.  I clear a space for the sprinkler and plug the hose into it after filling the pool.  The backyard looked like a god-damned water park!  I am ready for some fun!

So what does my water dog do?  

Nothing.  He put one toe into the pool and didn’t go in it again.  He was terrified of the sprinkler too unless I held it like I do when I squirt him with the hose.  I spent over a half and hour trying to convince him to get in the pool with no luck and just so you know, sprinklers are not meant to be hand-held if you want to try to stay dry at the same time.

I guess I’ll keep working on it.

Go figure.

 

 

The Glimmer Twins!!

My husband plays sax with these guys… The are awesome!

For more info, visit theglimmertwins.net

A Spouse-less Saturday…

When you’re married, your weekends are pretty much the same every week.  You’re both usually home so you do things together.  Sometimes you do things together but separately.  For instance, my husbands idea of relaxation is totally different from mine so we do it separately but at the same time. Ya dig? He loves to practice his saxophone to relax.  I love to watch Lifetime or blog. He throws up when he watches Lifetime.  I ask him to go practice his saxophone.  It’s all relevant.  But today he’s  away at a gig all day and it’s weird that he’s not home.

So, I’m sitting here watching some hick get hysterical  about her loser, alcoholic, shrimp fishing hick boyfriend on “16 and Pregnant” and picking my toes and I just got done eating ALL of the leftovers from last nights dinner (sorry babe).  I’ve cleaned the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom and only 27 minutes have passed since I started.  It’s weird to not have him around.  It’s quiet.  I miss him.

What?  There’s a movie on Lifetime? I’m outtie!

(Miss you baby… I love you! XOXO)

The Big Brown Box.Getting Your Period in the 70’s…

My uterus is my enemy.  I didn’t know that when I was little.  I found out one night when I was 11 that life as I knew it was over.

We were little girls of the 1970’s.  It was a time of innocence and the end of the era that believed that no one knew of a woman’s most discreet secrets. We were the last of the innocent.  The last of the flowery pad packages with angels and butterflies on them.  I very rarely see butterflies anytime and I’m not in the mood to celebrate nature when I have my period so these photos never made sense to me.

I was born in 1968.  I’m young enough to never have had to actually wear a “sanitary belt” but old enough to remember Modess kits that the school nurse gave out in 7th grade after we watched that flower and bee movie.  What they didn’t think about when they handed out these super huge sample boxes of pads wrapped in brown paper, was the bus ride home that we had to endure while the boys teased the shit out of us for bleeding every month.  What I didn’t understand was how they knew what was in the boxes?  Who told them?  How did they know before me?

We didn’t know at the time that on that same day, the boys had also viewed a movie about their changing bodies which  also included a snippet about what we (the girls) were going to be experiencing.  We however, were not clued in on anything that the boys would be experiencing.  If they did, at least I would have had some ammunition to use when they tormented me on the bus about my beautiful brown box.  I could have said, “Yeah? Well, I might bleed but at least I won’t have to hold a book in front of my zipper when I go to the blackboard!”  But it was 1979 and although women’s lib was going strong, I wouldn’t know what a guy went through for many years.  Once again the boys had the advantage.

You could also tell the girls on that fateful bus ride home whose mothers hadn’t gotten around to giving them “the talk” yet because they all looked the same. Huge eyes and quivering bottom lips.

Truth be told, I couldn’t wait to get home to rip open the package to see what was in it!  I ran home from the bus stop, slammed through the door and bounded up the steps.  The teasing from the boys on the bus were a distant memory as I threw my schoolbag on the floor and opened the box.  There before me were several smaller boxes of sanitary napkins (napkins?) some that needed a belt and some newly designed pads that didn’t because they had adhesive attached to the back of them.

There was also a booklet on talking to your daughter about menstruation. I was the kind of kid that never got in trouble or did things they were not supposed to do and I’m pretty sure I was supposed to give this book directly to my mother but I didn’t.  I hid it in my night table drawer under my 8-track of Shawn Cassidy and read it that night under the covers with a flashlight.  See?  I didn’t even get my period yet and I’m already turning to the dark side.

The most terrifying thing in the box was a sanitary belt and even more terrifying was the instruction booklet that showed you how to use it.

Now because I had the newer kind of pads in the box, I never had to actually use the belt but I must admit I tried it on.  I should have read the instruction book first because it said you were supposed to put it on first before your underwear.  Who knew?

My mother spoke to me about my period and what to expect (thank god it was before brown box day).  She never told me about a freaking belt and she never told me that my period was going to hurt.  She said in later years that she didn’t want to scare me. I was actually very scared the day I got it because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I was sure I was dying.  My back was on fire and my stomach felt like it had turned inside out.  As a mother now, I can understand her way of thinking however, when I told my daughter about it many years later, I told her that it may or may not hurt.  That it can be very uncomfortable and it might even be painful.  Everyone is different so you just never know.

Mine was downright debilitating.  Fever, cramps that ran down my legs, pain in my stomach and back and the bleeding?  OMG!! We won’t get into that just out of respect for having to face my peeps again but it was bad.  I missed at least one day of school a month and as I got older, one to two days of work.  The doctors told me that after I had children, it might calm down a bit so I hurried up and had my son to see if that might help but it didn’t (haha, just kidding!).  When I did have children, it was even worse so there went that theory out the window.  My entire life was affected by my period and everything had to be scheduled around it.  Vacations were either wonderful or a complete disaster.  You get the idea.

I can usually tell when a woman is “suffering” from her period.  She has a hard time smiling, she walks slightly hunched over, it’s always a bad hair day and she usually has flats on.  I just want to make her a cup of tea.

There was also a booklet in the box telling you about hygiene and how important it is to keep clean during your period.  The picture they put in to the booklet was a profile drawing of a young teen girl sitting in a bathtub. She is super feminine with beautiful long eyelashes and a dainty little nose. Her toes are pointed towards the end of the tub and there are little flowers and birds (or maybe they were butterflies?) flying all around her head.  Her hair is pulled back in a beautiful bun with just the right amount of wispy hairs falling down around her face and her hair had flowing ribbons and I thought… Wow… I never take baths like that.  Is that what it was to take a bath when you have your period?  I was entranced by that picture.  I couldn’t wait to get my period.

As it turns out I was the last of my friends to get it, even at age 11. I was very upset about that.  I kept picturing them all taking that wonderful bath with the flowing ribbons and birds and here I was taking yet another shower.

All this anticipation led up to the big day.  I started to “not feel good” and I haven’t felt good since.  I dug into my brown box but it just wasn’t the fun I thought it would be.  That said…

I have to say that having my period was not what I expected.  I’ve never, ever once taken a bath when I had my period, I’ve never had a bird or a butterfly in the bathroom, I wasn’t happy and cheerful like the girls in the booklet and I never looked like this…

I was so embarrassed my my period.  I didn’t want anyone to know about it. I took my own trash out of the bathroom and hid it at the very bottom of the trash can in the garage.  I hid my pads at the very back of the sink cabinet and I didn’t talk about it to anyone except my mother.  My mother thought my moodiness was cute.  So when her bridge club ladies would come over and I was miserable, she would whisper to them, “She’s having her period” and blink her eyelashes in my direction.  They would all nod in understanding and then look at me with empathy.  I would look back at them seething in disgust at my mother’s lack of discretion where my personal matters were concerned.

I am glad girls these days don’t have to go through what I went through.  Nowadays, with Facebook, Twitter and cable TV, kids are growing up much faster.  No more big brown boxes either.  The girls now get just two pads wrapped discreetly and small enough to hide in even the smallest Vera Bradley bag.  They still aren’t cluing the girls in on the boys changing bodies though.  I guess some things never change.

Now at 43, I don’t give a shit who knows.  If I’m miserable… you’re gonna be miserable.  Unless you’re very nice to me.  My husband is the most understanding person when it comes to this.  He has seen me suffer from month to month, enjoy those period-free months when I was pregnant, give birth, and then suffer again.  He brings me tea and asks me if I need anything.  He lets me hold the clicker and watch lifetime. He’ll give me a kiss on my head and tell me he loves me and run to the store to get me chocolate and through all of this, I have only one regret…

If I knew that I would have gotten such good treatment, I would have shared my period with everyone years ago!

Public Cell Phone Use

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I just got back from getting my nails done.  When I first went into the salon, it was nice, serene and the people seemed pleasant all holding their private conversations.  I was led to my seat which happened to be next to a teenager who was talking quietly on her phone…

UNTIL…

She screams at the top of her lungs, “OMG!  Why the hell did you just call me that?” and hangs up her phone.  Two seconds later, she gets two text messages and her phone starts to ring.  She picks up the phone, presses the answer button and screams into the phone, “STOP CALLING ME!” Then hangs up on the caller. This is all going on as she is having her nails painted so finally the nail tech gets done and sends her to the dryers which were right behind where we were sitting. 

***RING*** “I swear to god!  Why do these people keep calling me?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I turned around and told her that was what the power button was for… she laughed like I was kidding.

***RING*** “I frigging hate these people!!!!!”

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This is how the next conversation went…

***RING***

“I don’t ever want to talk to you again!”

 “I hate you!”

“No, you’re a complete asshole!”

“I don’t have time!!!!!”

“Because I’m busy with this whole stupid graduation thing!”

“The 15th”

“Yeah I got a new dress.”

“The party is the next day”

“I don’t want to.”

“Well, maybe.”

“OK cool, I’ll be over in 15 minutes.”

This is what I wanted to do…

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Through the whole thing… no one but me said anything to this girl.  Unreal!!