Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

This One Time, At Starbucks September 26, 2014

Friday, September 26th, 2014

"This one time, at Starbucks" photo of cup.

When I was a TV news reporter and I needed a “man-on-the-street” interview, Starbucks was my go-to place. Not only could I get my latte fix, I could almost always find an Average Joe, enjoying some joe with an opinion on the national story/city council vote/election result I was covering. Weird things happen to me at Starbucks. I’m not sure if that shows I spend entirely too much time there, or if Starbucks is just a good sampling of the public, thus resulting in better odds of weirdness.

I’ll confess, I had a strange request of the barista. You see, I was helping with a playgroup outside of the Starbucks in the common area of the shopping center. It’s an outdoor shopping/dining location in our city with a grassy area for children where my workout group frequently hosts playgroups. This week’s theme was bubbles. As one of the hosts I went to the dollar store and got some bubbles. I got my daughter this bubble gun thing from Target on clearance for the playgroup. She was SO excited. As toys are, it was packaged so that no human adult could open it without performing surgery to the packaging. Of course, the bubbles were blowing and I had no scissors. The three-year-old was getting anxious. I told her to hang tight with the other moms.

children at the bubble playgroup

I ducked into the Starbucks where they practically know my order. I asked if I could borrow some scissors to open the package. The barista had no scissors, but did have a box cutter to open all the pre-packaged goodies we enjoy. I thanked her and started cutting the thick plastic straps choking this cheap toy.

That’s when I heard, “Careful!” from a voice behind me. I was confused. Surely no stranger was scolding me!? I glanced over to see a man in his fifties waiting for his drink. His tone was patronizing, like I was his 10-year-old daughter and I needed to be aware of the dangers of Exacto-knife usage before my Girl Scout camp-out. I ignored him and kept cutting.

He tried again to get my attention and be clever, only it was pretty demeaning. He said, “Whoa! A woman with a knife! Look out!” He went on to chuckle at his own joke and look around to see if anyone else agreed. When I still paid him no mind he said, trying to be funny, “I’m just gonna get out of the way so I don’t get hurt.” I didn’t look up and said, “You’re fine.” He got his drink and walked out of the store, looking at me like I was the stankest bitch on the planet for not yukking it up at his brilliance.

Sir, did you think that you were the funniest, most clever man in Starbucks that day? Did you just have to hear your own voice and weigh in on what I was doing?  Did you want me to giggle at your condescending comments like a sweet little woman? I bet you never would have never spoken a word if it were my husband opening the toy or any man using a knife. You are not my dad. I’m a grown woman who knows how to open a package with a box cutter. Sure, It was kind of weird that I was doing it in Starbucks,  but understandable with the crowd outside and certainly not worth commenting on.

I got the toy open and the kids had a great time. This little encounter really wasn’t a huge deal and had little impact on my life except for writing this blog post. Maybe he was just trying to be funny. It didn’t really hurt my feelings, it just annoyed me. I could have done without, the “Oh, you’re a typical bitch.” look that he shot me. Maybe I’m making too much of it. Really, I feel sorry for him that patronizing women is a way that he gets a laugh. What do you think?


How I Broke My Foot- July 21, 2014

Monday, July 21st, 2014

foot breaking pic

It was warm when we got to the pool Friday. The sun was shining on the faces of my smiling, sunscreened babes. All the stuff we have to carry suddenly felt light when we walked through the gates. I saw it! They finished construction on the swim-up bar in the center of our neighborhood pool! Finally! I couldn’t wait to wade up there for a cocktail. Some other moms waved at me, drinks in hand while their kids splashed happily nearby. They had extra lifeguards patrolling both the shallow and deep ends since alcohol was now on the pool menu. Pool management had instituted the new “Baby Cabana” complete with certified babysitters in a shaded nursery by the pool for my baby. I knew I had stepped into the paradise I’d always dreamed of.

I was sipping. My 3-year-old was splashing. My baby was napping in the cabana. It was perfect. That’s when it happened.

I saw the fin first. It was bobbing and sliding between children on rafts. I thought it was another toy. It got closer before swirling at my feet as I sat perched on the underwater bar stool. I looked at one of the other moms, “Wait! Is the pool now saltwater?” She confirmed that it was. I saw another one, and one more by the deep end. “They let sharks in the pool?!” The bartender/lifeguard said, “What?! Those are only for swim team practices. You know, to make the kids swim faster. They aren’t supposed to be out!”

The whistle blew. “SHARKS!” I heard screaming. There was splashing. Kids and moms were scrambling as they desperately tried to escape the water. Cocktails flew as mothers grabbed tots. I saw a shark pop a child’s inflatable arm swimmy things. I looked for my daughter in desperation. I saw her flailing and crying just feet from me. That’s when one shark burst through the water gnashing its jaws. It’s teeth were just inches from my first born’s precious face. My motherly instinct kicked in, I grabbed the shark by its fin and jerked it backwards into the water. I scooped her up and jumped out of the pool.

What happened next, happened so fast it felt like a dream. As I comforted my little girl poolside, I saw another shark swirling. I knew from watching “Shark Week” that spinning behavior meant the shark was about to attack. It was right next to the Baby Cabana. I saw my son snoozing in the shaded cradles provided for the babies. I knew it was going to leap out of the water.

Still clutching my daughter I jumped. I scooped up my baby with my other arm and grabbed a pool float to block the beast’s mighty jaws. The toy exploded. My children cried. The shark fell back in the pool. It swirled again. I knew what that meant.

It exploded out of the water with even more force heading right for me and my precious little ones. The mother instinct went to a whole new level. It was a Molly Weasley-style protective reflex. I screamed, “NOT MY BABIES YOU BITCH!” I jumped and did a roundhouse kick through the air, smashing the side of the shark and knocking it back in the water. The impact of my fierce kick snapped the bone in my foot. I held my children tight as the shark swam away in defeat. We cried and kissed each other, grateful to be alive. The other mothers and children cheered my bravery.

broken foot

Okay, so not a bit of that is true, but it’s way better than the real story. I had to come up with something better than what really happened.

I was loading the car Friday morning to go work out. I missed the last step and my foot twisted just the right way, breaking my fifth metatarsal. Yes, I was wearing tennis shoes. I’m now  in a boot. I have leftover prescription Ibuprofen from the hospital after labor and delivery. I take that and ice it. I’ll see the orthopedic doctor later this week.

I’ve never broken a bone before. I always imagined a better story than what really happened, so that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. “I broke my foot in a pool side bar brawl while protecting my children from a shark attack. If you think my foot is bad, you should see the shark!”

Disclaimer: Our pool is not saltwater, has no swim up bar and no Baby Cabana. A girl can dream. The sharks are a rumor. 


To My Neighbor Lighting Fireworks After July 4th

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

fireworks 2 edited

To my neighbor lighting fireworks after July 4th:

Hello fellow American! I hope you had a happy Independence Day. Are you feeling rested after all your revelry this weekend? I’m not. Thanks for asking. I imagine you enjoyed sleeping in Saturday and Sunday mornings. Don’t mistake this letter for my jealousy, I want you to get the rest you need. You may need it.

First, let me say I appreciate your enthusiasm for our freedom, truly. I would never infringe on your right to blow off your own hand. I love the USA and our love for explosives. Explosives on the 4th. You see, I love a good fireworks show on the 4th of July. A quick history lesson for you, that is the day that we as a nation collectively decided we would use pyrotechnics to commemorate our founding fathers’ declaring our independence.

I understand I have young children and my celebrating has to go on early in the day. We’re part of the decorate-your-tricycle-eat-half-a-hot dog-get-home-before-naps crowd. Fireworks are out for us, but I did brace myself and my little family for some unwelcome booms on the holiday. The local community fireworks display caused a few tears Friday night, but we explained “It’s just for tonight on the 4th, sweetie!” My three-year-old understood and fell asleep after the show ended around 9:30pm. That’s the great thing about professional shows, they give us the oohs and ahhs we all need and it’s over with.

You can imagine my discontent when I heard your cracks and booms on the night of the 5th around 11:00pm. We were upstairs consoling our little one who had her hands over her ears laying in the bed, confused as to why you would frighten her with such noises in our peaceful bit of suburbia when the holiday was over.

I myself was trying to figure out what would compel you to put on your own little show a night later. Unlike our fellow Americans in western states, we don’t typically have to worry about dry weather and we’ve had lots of rain. Both professional fireworks displays in our city went on as planned under clear July 4th night skies. Praise Lady Liberty! So, the weather couldn’t have been the reason you were a day late.

Oh! I know, maybe you’re a dollar short!? Did you get your firecrackers half-priced on the 5th at the tent out in front of the grocery store? Good thinking! Between my child’s sobs I was trying to figure out if I was hearing a Roman Candle, a bottle rocket or a Flying Chinese Finger Severer. I’m sure those black cat-purple-airbomb-sparkler-whateverthehells at  60% off put on a great show for your drunk-ass friends at 1:00 am. Oh, and by 1:00am, it was July 6th. The 6th! So, it was the day after the day after Independence Day. It was over, you chump, OVER!

So, I’m sure you’re thinking, “What are you going to do about it? You’re a lame stay-at-home mommy blogger.” Yes, neighbor. I have my lame moments. I own one or more tankinis and have the theme songs to Disney Junior shows memorized. But, know this, if I ever figure out who you are, my revenge will come when you least expect it. It will come in a few years with a knock at your door bright and early one Saturday morning. My kids will wake you up to sell you something you don’t need as a fundraiser for their swim team or whatever. We will ring your bell first and loudest. I will stop you on the sidewalk on Halloween and get you to take a picture of my family. I’ll pretend to be unhappy with the outcome of the photo and have you take more of us in different poses, taking up your time and being insufferable. I’ll ask you to carry coolers at the neighborhood block party, be unhappy with their location and ask you to move them again. I will do it smiling and nice. You won’t know that it’s my revenge for your explosives. It will all be subtle and spread out over time.

Yeah, all this sounds terrible, and it is. But, I make no apology because I will remember the faces of my startled babies and my whining dog on that hot night in July. I’ll do it for all Americans who understand that fireworks on the 4th are sacred.


Your Neighbor

P.S. Your friends don’t want to see your stupid fireworks on New Year’s Eve. It’s cold. They want to go back inside. Take a hint.


Almost Hit, Absolutely Ran- October 13, 2013

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Friday when I was leaving work I was ready to go home and make spaghetti. It was just a night for a big pot of spaghetti. We were going to eat and relax, finally. It was a cool and dreary day that ended a chaotic work week.

I picked up Charlotte from school and we went to Target so she could pick out a birthday present for her friend. I got some hamburger for the sauce. We had noodles at home. Charlotte picked out a Disney Cars book that spouted off sayings of the characters. We loaded up our bags and headed home, hungry for spaghetti. I didn’t let her take the cellophane off of her friend’s book so she just pushed the buttons.

I was listening to her activate the voices of Owen Wilson and Larry The Cable Guy over and over when we got near the local high school. There was a huge line of traffic in the other lane waiting to get to the high school football game. I thought, “Ugh! Remind me not to drive this way on Friday nights.”

When people say it happens fast, that’s an understatement. All I saw was a dark-colored sedan pull out from a side street when they got a break in the traffic. A black bullet of glass and metal that somehow, didn’t hit us. I dodged the bullet by swerving into the grass  on the right hand side of the road. The car ran parallel beside me for a second or two, just long enough to see that he forced me into the side of a fence. My side mirror and fender helped rip the rails of the fence off its posts. It was the side of the car where my sweet baby was reading her book about cars a lot nicer than this one.

He didn’t stop. He saw what he did and drove away. He gunned it after I dodged his first bullet. He left me eight months pregnant on the side of the road with my toddler and broken car. Class act.

I pulled the car to a stop, turned on the hazards and turned to check on her. I said, “Are you okay?” She nodded, looking confused. I asked again, “Are you okay?” My brave girl didn’t cry. She nodded and said, “Yes Mama.”  I told her to keep looking at her book and locked the doors.

I called 911 while walking around my Jeep. A nice eyewitness came running across the street. 911 routed me to State Highway Patrol because for some reason they couldn’t decide whether I was in the city or the county even though I was a block from the city’s largest high school. I told her no one was hurt and I didn’t need an ambulance. I called Greyson. The representative from the homeowners association stopped to survey his fence and give me his information.

photo (54)

The part that pissed me off the most is that it took almost 1/2 an hour for either SHP or the police to get there. Greyson had to call 911 twice more after he pulled up. He and I talked and unwrapped the cellophane on the book. We didn’t think Harrison or Beth Anne would care at that point if the book was slightly used. She was being so good. When Greyson was on the phone with the operator he asked me for her, “Do you need an ambulance?” I said,”Well, if that’s what it takes to get someone out here!” Just then both SHP and the police pulled up only to have a ridiculous conversation as to whom would take over my case. Seriously. I just asked for one of them to please take care of it. It was light when it happened and it was dark by the time law enforcement got to me. Enough said.

I’m blessed enough to work with awesome people, one who lives nearby. I heard my name being yelled across the street and Michelle ran towards me. She grabbed me and hugged me while explained all that happened.

The trooper told me about how he had seen someone run off the road, into a fence, and the fence had impaled them. I thanked him for the reminder that neither me, nor my child was impaled. He then told me it that without a license plate number that it was unlikely that anything would happen to this guy. I started to wonder if the cop would have been as honest. Geez, dude.

After filing the report, Greyson and I collected the remains of my fender and mirror. We held each other on the side of the road for just a second, the hazard lights illuminated his face a moment at a time.  I was so glad he was there. I told him I loved him.

The Jeep was drivable so we took our tired and hungry tot home. She still hadn’t made a peep. She was wonderful and brave. I was so proud. I made spaghetti. There was no way in hell I wasn’t going to eat some damn spaghetti. As I wiped sauce off her face I prayed, thanking God it wasn’t blood. Morbid, I know. I don’t care. It was the best spaghetti I’ve ever eaten.


My Summer Jam

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

So apparently I’ve been living under a rock while I’ve been rockin’ out. All summer I’ve been turning up Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and dancing in the car. It’s a similar scene to this spring when Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” came out and people stared at me at stoplights. I have no shame.

So, I’ve been singing “I know you want it…hey, hey, hey!” It’s catchy. It’s fun. Plus, we’re all sick of that Macklemore song. I turn up “Blurred Lines” and holler back to the car seat, “Listen, sweetie! It’s that song!” My toddler happily bobs her head to the tune.

Then I read all this whining, “That song is about rape! It discriminates against women! It promotes sexual violence! Wah! Blah..blah..blah”

Huh!?  Can’t we just have a fun summer anthem to rock out to?! Is that too much to ask?! Remember “Call Me Maybe” last year? Remember?!  I know it’s not innocent enough for the US Olympic Swim Team to make a cute viral video of, but let us have a catchy song without controversy. It’s the summer, let’s keep it light. That’s why I’m in denial that Robin Thicke might be a perv.