Simple and Old, Just Like My Car

Earlier in the month, we loaded up my car and drove to the Midwest to see my parents.  I love my car. It is 10 years old and it is paid for and I can eat all the French fries I want in my car. And I know what all the buttons do. My car, it is not complicated. It is old and simple,  much like myself.

AD has a newer fancy car that I do not care for.  Besides the fact that it is some sort of inner sanctum where no French fry shall pass, it has all kinds of buttons and dials and thingys on it that do stuff that frighten me. Screens pop up and people talk to me, people I do not know and cannot see.  And I can never figure out how to get any of the buttons to do what they are supposed to do.  It is a hateful car.

One time I had to drive this car to a gathering at someone’s house, after dark. And as soon as I get in the car, I sense the car thinking, “Oh. It’s you. I suppose you will be wanting some fries.”

After I got to my destination and parked, I could not get the headlights to turn off. Or the door to lock. Every time I would take three steps away from the car, it would unlock itself just to be spiteful.  So I couldn’t go into the house.  I just stood outside the house locking and unlocking the car and turning the lights off and on and off and on and waving to the normal people going in.

Another time I had to take Sean and his little friend to school in this car and I could not unlock the back doors. I pushed every button I could find, but those doors would not open.  You know, I already have a reputation at this school as “that” mom, the one who can’t operate a calendar.  Now I’m “that”mom who can’t figure out how to unlock the car door.

The people in the car pool line behind me were getting a little antsy, so finally I crawled into the backseat, unstrapped the children and then had them crawl into the front seat and out the door. Just like at the circus.

Shortly thereafter, my brother sent me the link to Blonde Star. Very funny John.

Goody Bags

I was chatting up some other moms on Twitter yesterday and it turns out that some of us — and not just crusty old me as I previously thought — do not like the whole culture of the goody bag that is prevalent among the preschool crowd these days.

Yes, we are bitter. We did not get goody bags when we were growing up, so why should these little twerps?

At Sean’s school, he gets a goody bag for every child’s birthday, every holiday, every minor occasion. At the end of the school year, he got an “end of the school year” goody bag and by bag I mean a giant brown grocery bag.

Each mom was asked to contribute a “summer fun” item (x13 kids) which made for a giant bag of plastic goody goodness that thrilled and delighted the little children for all of 20 minutes.

I don’t approve of all this goody bagging, but I go along because I don’t want to be “that” mom or Sean to be “that” kid with “that” mom. Although at one time I wanted to be That Girl.

Anyway.

As I trolled up and down the aisles of the dollar store looking for a suitable goody bag contribution, just to amuse myself  I composed a mental list of inappropriate goody bag items:  disposable lighter, Sterno, gift card to the liquor barn, pocket knife, small bottle of capers, car air-freshner cards, can of WD-40…

Ended up going with brightly colored bug boxes with the tiny butterfly nets and tweezers. Got the pocket knife for myself.

Now I know that some of you are going to say that you would just say no and not go along, but you don’t know what I’m up against.  The other moms are a lot younger than me. They are the original goody bag generation.

Mourning The Mourning Dove

As quickly as she came into my life, she was gone.

Yesterday morning, I checked on my sweet little dove.  She was sitting quietly in her nest in the Carolina jasmine, just the same as ever.

Although she did not seem thrilled to see me, she did not glare at me either.  I suspect that is only because the dove lacks the ability to glare or cast disparaging looks. With no eyebrows, the dove is stuck with an all purpose blank expression, a lot like Jessica Simpson.  Otherwise, upon the sight of me, she probably would would have narrowed her eyes and curled her lips. If she had lips.  Another problem.  It’s also probably good that doves can’t make gestures. The symbol of peace indeed.

So early this afternoon, I went outside to get the mail and I couldn’t stop myself from toddling up the driveway to check on her again.  I was surprised to find that her nest was empty! Very surprised. No dove, no eggs, no feathers. Nothing. No Tom, not even a note.

I assumed that when the eggs hatched that she would hang around until she saw her young out of the nest and then she would fly off into the sunset, but not before perching on my kitchen window ledge, tapping on the glass with her delicate slender beak and then casting me a knowing and grateful look for all I had done for her.  I would dab a tear from my eye with a dish towel and wave her off. “Go on you crazy bird,” I would say, “Get out of here! Go see the world!” And then she would spread her wings to fly, but pause one last time, wink her round black eye at me and then be off.  I would rush to the window and wave as she melted into the sky and became a dot in the distance.

Or something like that.

When I told Sean that the dove was gone, he said he thought it was my fault, that she had left because I had disturbed her.

Perhaps so.  I was a terrible landlord, I know that – nosy and overly interested. I was Mrs. Roper, not in a caftan, but in a frighteningly sad pink chenille robe.

For more than a week she had put up with cold rain, hail and high winds.  But it was me dropping in on her and asking all kinds of personal questions that sent her over the edge. She just couldn’t take another day.  Perhaps  it all became too much and she threw herself in front of a cat. We will never know.

And now (dramatic pause, dropping chin to chest) I must mourn my mourning dove.

No, really. I’ll be fine. (sniff sniff) Carry on.

~The end~

Does My Neck Look A Little Pink To You?

Yesterday, I was multitasking, which is always a dangerous proposition for a blonde type person like me.

I was sitting on the sofa doing some computer work while taking turns with Sean shooting a Nerf gun at some targets he had set up in the window across the room.

“Mom!” he said, demanding my attention. “Mom, it’s your turn!”

He offers me the gun and the spongy bullets, but I’ve got my hands full of laptop.

“Reload the gun for your mama, will you please,” I said.

If you’ve ever uttered those words to your five-year-old…you might just be a redneck.

The Resume

I like words and toying with words and the arrangement of words.  So the other day, a friend of mine who knows I like words, asked me to help him polish his resume.

I always find resume writing to be a challenge because there is a fine line between detailing the many fabulous things you can do and how astonishing well you can do them and how the world has benefited from your existence — and coming off like a desperate, yet pompous delusional braggart.

I guess that is to say that on paper, humility is hard to pull off.

I started thinking about my own resume. I haven’t worked for anyone other than myself since 1987. If I had to write my own resume today,  what would I put on it?

I am a super duper butt wiper.

I have been actively engaged in end user maintenance for five years.

I go to the grocery store every day.

As logistics manager, I oversee materials procurement and distribution.

I color with markers. A lot.

I am responsible for creative design.

Today I called the phone company about weird charges on the phone bill.

I lead a strategic technology management engagement with one of the largest cell phone service providers.

I call the GE guy when the washer breaks.

I oversee physical plant management to ensure uninterrupted client service.

I hand out gummy bears.

I manage the employee incentive program.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter.

I consult with other organizations on various management issues.

I have a blog.

I founded a publishing and communications empire.

I’m a mom.

I oversee human resources, including disciplinary action, budget, special requests, scheduling, maintenance and logistics.

I’m a mom. I can do anything. And if not, I can improvise.

Better Than Coupons: How To Save Money In Target

Everyone is tightening up their budgets these days and I am no exception. However I have a unique system for avoiding spending which I’m willing to share with you as a service to humanity.

When I go into Target, but I really don’t want to spend any money, I get a cart. There are no guarantees in life, except for this:  If I push a wonky germy cart all over the store I will find nothing. Nothing. And then I will abandon the cart somewhere in housewares and then leave the store having not spent one dime (except for the regular coffee with room for cream and the petit vanilla scone at the in-store Starbucks – which is sustenance people, not spending per se.  And for the record per se means “true in circumstance” which means somewhat not true.)

However.

If I don’t get a cart, I will find everything I’ve ever been looking for, for 75% off.  So if you are in Target and you see someone making her way towards the registers with her arms overflowing and attempting to carry stuff on her head and you are wondering why she just doesn’t get a cart – that’s me working out the details on my new economic theory.

Now you may be thinking, why not just stay home, why not just not go to Target.  Haven’t quite worked out that part either.