All posts by lisarpetty

About lisarpetty

I'm a blogger and the author of Misfit Academy. You can find my book on www.amazon.com. I am a work from home mom and hermit, and I like to talk about cats. Is there a home or a meeting for people like me.

U2, You Two?

So, I was the “responsible adult” who accompanied my husband to his colonoscopy on Monday.  Unfortunately, my husband’s appointment was at 2 in the afternoon.  This was tough for him because he could only “eat” clear liquids for two days.  It was tough for me because I am not an afternoon person.  If I lived a life of riches and leisure, I would nap every day at 2:00. That is when my brain naturally just SLOWS down.

When my husband’s procedure was completed, I met him in the consultation room to talk to the doctor.  The doctor explained the results and that we would hear from him when the “pathology comes back.”  So, we shook hands and began our walk to the door.  As we were walking, the doctor was walking behind us and asked us what I thought was a really strange question.

“Did you two make another album?”

Um.  My afternoon brain was confused by this question.  I answered, “Oh, you don’t want to hear us sing.”

My husband immediately agreed with me, stating we could not sing at all.  Now, he was recently shot up with a big dose of Fentanyl.  I had no such excuse.

The doctor then pointed to my husband’s U2 sweatshirt, the same one he had been wearing ALL DAY.  I looked at him with my need a nap eyes, and said, “OH! You didn’t mean us! I thought you had us confused with another couple.”

Honestly, I’m surprised they didn’t give me a sobriety test right there.  I certainly was a confused “responsible adult.”

On our drive home, my husband and I agreed that we are way more a Captain and Tennille singing couple than a Sonny and Cher type.

Confusing Matt Lauer News

I turn on the Today show at 7 every morning.  I do this right after spoon feeding my old Maltese and making coffee.  It has been a part of my morning routine for over 12 years, ever since I began working from home.  When I turned on the TV today, the first thing I saw was Matt Lauer’s picture with the word “fired” under it. There were other words, but “fired” was the one that caught my eye. I smiled.  This had to be a joke.  I checked my calendar to see if maybe I had finally hibernated through the cold, gray winter and it was now April 1.

Nope. I knew it was real when Savannah and Hoda reported the news with held back tears in their eyes. I stared in shock.

Some friends of mine said they were not shocked at all. I was.  How did I miss Matt’s creep factor? As a card-carrying member of the sexual abuse survivors club, I pride myself on being able to spot sickos.  I usually notice these things. It’s in their eyes.  For example, Charley Rose has “I sit on park benches with my fly open” eyes. It was just obvious to me.  I never saw that in Matt Lauer.

I posted on my personal Facebook page about it, asking, “Did he have an affair or was he grabbing boobs and butts?”  One of my friends replied that it shouldn’t matter what he did because it was inappropriate either way.  True. Both are inappropriate activities for the workplace, but in my ever so humble opinion, a consensual affair is a divorceable offense, not a fireable one.  My father was fired from a TV station in the 70’s for having an affair with a co-worker.  It’s not the 70’s anymore.  On the other hand, if Matt was groping co-workers, it is good that he was fired.  If he was offering some sort of gain for having sex with him, then it is great that he is gone.  If he was telling dirty jokes, viewing pornography or doing anything else to create a hostile and uncomfortable work environment, then good riddance.  I just hope that NBC actually investigated this claim before just letting him go.

No matter the reason, I will miss seeing Matt Lauer every morning. I loved his interviews.  I always said that if I did something wrong and Matt Lauer wanted to interview me, I would go into hiding.  That man did not accept any BS responses from people.  I about fell off my chair laughing with glee when he interviewed Vice President Pence about the violent protest in Charlottesville and how there were “good people on both sides.”

Now, people may interview Matt in the same way he interviewed others.  They will put him on the spot, make him uncomfortable, try to trip him up.  I will be watching when this happens. I want to see what Matt has to say.

What do you think about Matt Lauer? Are you a Lauer lover like I was, or are you on team saw this coming a mile away?  Let me hear from you in the comments.

 

 

The Prayer Team Talk

Since I work from home, I eat lunch with my son almost every day. Yesterday, we were sitting at the kitchen table having sandwiches and chips when I decided to ask him about something I heard recently that had me confused.

Me: Hey, have you ever heard of a prayer team?

Son: Prayer TEAM?

Me: Yep. She said team.

Son: No.

Me: I have a lot of questions about a prayer team.

Son: Like?

Me: What kind of jerseys do they wear?  Do they have cheerleaders? Are there referees?

Son: [shaking his head no]

Me: Is there a championship where prayer teams battle it out for God’s response? Does the winning team get a trophy? Do they pour Gatorade over the prayer coach’s head? There would have to be a coach, right?

Son: No, mom. You’ve got it all wrong.

Me: No coach?

Son: No. A prayer team is not an athletic team.

Me: OK

Son:  You know how your husband always refers to his coworkers as his team?  A prayer team works in an office.

[He gets up and points to an imaginary PowerPoint presentation on the wall.]

Son: [using his best corporate manager voice] TEAM!  As you can see, our prayers are down 30% this quarter.  Now, I want everyone on their knees the rest of the week.  We need to get these numbers up.

I laughed and took a sip of my Diet Coke.

Son: [sitting down at the table] Then, I’d probably get sued for sexual harassment for telling my coworkers to get on their knees.

I’m still recovering from shooting Diet Coke out of my nose.

Liquor Store Adventures: The Return of Mama

If you missed my original post about Mama, please read this first.  Then come back and read this.

We did it again. My adult son and I went to the liquor store in our local grocery store.  It just made sense to do so as we had to go to Kohl’s and pick up lunch at Panera. It was just so damn convenient.

But it was also scary.  As we got out of the car, we both crossed our fingers that Mama would not be working. We just wanted one awkward free visit.

Before we walked into the liquor portion of the store, we looked both ways as though we were crossing a busy street and trying to avoid getting hit by a semi.  No Mama.  There were just two guys stocking wine right outside the doorway.  Big sigh of relief.

I grabbed a bottle of regular Tito’s vodka, the big one, and a small Absolute vodka that was wrapped in blue and silver flip sequins. It was just pretty.  Then, I told my son to grab a bottle of good scotch for my husband.  Well, I drink it, too, so I guess it’s for both of us.

When we were done shopping, we both walked slowly to the cash register, while looking around for Mama.  Our heads were spinning like something out of the Exorcist, just to be sure we weren’t going to suddenly have her in our face saying, “Mama doesn’t judge.” or any of her other catchphrases.

The coast was clear.  The man at the register started to ring us up.  That’s when Mama walked behind the counter.  I held my breath and avoided eye contact as though she were a homicidal male lion.  I thought to myself, “Will she recognize me? Does she know I blogged about her? Will she start talking to me? Do I know enough Spanish to pretend I don’t know English? What if Mama knows Spanish?”

Even though I was in a panic on the inside, I managed to remain calm while I swiped my credit card and signed.  While I was signing, I heard the guy behind the counter ask Mama, “What happened to that Ketal One I told you to stock?” Mama didn’t know what he was talking about. He didn’t call her Mama, oddly enough.

On our way out of the store, I whispered to my son, “We just dodged a bullet.”

He replied, “I know. I felt my butthole tighten when she walked in.  She seemed normal today. Also, I think I know what happened to that Ketal One.”

Mama probably stashed the Ketal One for later, even though she is a Jack girl.

To make a long story short, my son and I should just drive out of our way to go to the real liquor store.

 

Christmas Nazis and Thanksgiving Purists

Your average Christmas Nazi
Your average Christmas Nazi

It’s that time of year when the Christmas Nazis and the Thanksgiving Purists have a pissing contest with the rest of the world. Don’t pretend you don’t know them. They’re not opposing gangs in a Kirk Cameron film about how the liberal media grinds up Christmas trees to make Satanic Bibles. No, they are far more irritating than Kirk. You probably know a few Christmas Nazis or Thanksgiving Purists. They may be your friends or family. You might even be such a person. Hell, you could even fit into both groups.

Despite these scary folks, and the fact that I need to bundle up in 19 layers of wool just to get the mail (and that’s just email), I still love this time of year. I hate the weather with a white hot sparkly passion, though. As a native Floridian who is trapped in the Midwest, I shiver from October through May. Still, even with the ice, snow, and endless clouds, I still love the holidays.

Christmas Nazi Propaganda
Christmas Nazi Propaganda

 

The fact that I refer to them as “the holidays” might irritate some people, and those people are Christmas Nazis. They believe that current liberal politics and evil atheists are responsible for “Happy Holidays.” Really, Bing Crosby is more responsible for this all inclusive greeting than President Obama.  Christmas Nazis say things like, “This is MURICA!  We can’t say Happy Holidays because we are a Christian country!” They think they are defending Christmas, or keeping it pure, or some other such bullshit. In reality, they are simply showing that they don’t know how to read a calendar.

I love ALL of the holidays.
I love ALL of the holidays.

Most of us understand that Christmas is not the only holiday within the four-week period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  There’s also Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Saturnalia. Those are just the holidays that are typically celebrated in the U.S. So, saying, “Happy Holidays” is not about excluding Christians, it’s about including everyone. Also, for me, it’s about talking less. As a work from home introvert, I’d rather just cover everything with two words than list all of the holidays with their appropriate happy or merry. I’m pretty sure Santa, Jesus, and Saturn would approve of simply being nice to everyone.

Truth: I watched this movie way before Thanksgiving.
Truth: I watched this movie way before Thanksgiving.

Some Christmas Nazis are also Thanksgiving Purists. You know, the people who get their panties in a bunch when Christmas items are displayed before the appropriate day. They might as well say, “Thou mustn’t put up thine Christmas tree before Thanksgiving.” Some Thanksgiving Purists get quite enraged about seeing Christmas decorations before turkey day. They post about this major crime on social media sites, some people blog about it, and others talk about it on TV. Some of them actually tell others when they are allowed to put up Christmas trees, lights, and other holiday decorations. It’s like they have some sort of Asshole’s Guide to the Holidays book, along with a color-coded calendar that they refer to. I would like to send people who are upset by seeing Christmas decorations in November on an all expense paid trip to a cave in the Middle East. This way they can get away from the offensive early Christmas decorations and learn about real problems.

Let me hear from you in the comment section. Are you a Christmas Nazi or a Thanksgiving Purist, or are you just someone who enjoys pretty lights and a decorated indoor tree when it’s cold and gray outside?

Mama Knows Booze and Superheroes

Either the universe is trying to tell me something, or Ashton Kutcher is following me around with his Punk’D crew. Whenever I walk into a grocery store, some sort of awkward BS ensues. Perhaps I am not supposed to go grocery shopping.  Maybe I’m supposed to send my husband or my son out for everything and just stay on my couch throne with my cat and watch Shameless all the live long day.  NAH! If I did that I wouldn’t have such fabulous stories to share.

So, today my son and I were out running errands, which included buying taco fixings and liquor.  Because it is Friday, ya know. So, since we prefer one-stop shopping, we went to the only grocery store in our hood that also sells liquor.  We do not normally shop at this store, and today I was reminded why.

We walked through the produce section, stopping to pick up lettuce, and then all the way to the back of the store, where the official liquor section is. As soon as we were about to enter the liquor section, we were greeted by a tall (I think she was tall, but I’m five foot nothing so everyone is tall to me) blonde woman wearing a store name tag. She looked me up and down and then looked over at my son.  I thought she was going to tell me that he could not come in with me because he is not 21.  He is at the unfortunate age of 20 and a half.  Some stores won’t even allow underage people through the door.  So, I was waiting for her to ID him.  Instead, she greeted us warmly.

“How are you?” She said in a booming voice.

I said fine and asked how she was.

She said fine and kept standing at the entrance to the liquor section, staring at me.  She would not move. She told me she was reorganizing the liquor.  She kept standing there.

I said, “Oh. OK. Well, I will be quick. I know exactly what I need.”

“Mama doesn’t judge,” she said.

I laughed a little because I thought she was joking and because I laugh in uncomfortable situations. I took a step forward and she still didn’t move.  Finally, I squeezed between her and a box of riesling and headed for the vodka, leaving my son to figure out how to get past her with our cart.  I guess she stepped out of the way because my son got in.  Since, I was focused on the vodka and not my man-child, as all good mothers would be, I did not see her actually move.

I grabbed a bottle of vanilla Absolut and put it in our cart. I told my son to just stay there rather than try to maneuver the cart around the small liquor section. Mama walked from the vodka aisle over to the scotch section, two rows over.

I told her, “I need three bottles then I will be out of your way.”

She said, “Oh mama doesn’t judge!” She spoke like she was straight out of a Tyler Perry movie. Plus, I was starting to feel like she was judging, but I didn’t really care.

Then, she continued talking to my son and me, all the while referring to herself as Mama. I hadn’t heard anyone who is not a puppet on Sesame Street do this so consistently since Bob Dole ran for president. By the way, did you know that people who refer to themselves in the third person are called illeists?  It actually has a name! And here I was just calling them assholes, but I digress. Let’s get back to Mama.

As she continued on her Mama monologue, my first thought was, “Did she mix up her day and night allergy meds?” The pollen count has been high.

Then I thought, “No. She’s been sampling the goods.” This led me to one of the best ideas I have ever had, “Maybe I should get a job at a liquor store!”

I grabbed the Fireball from the end cap by the vodka, and then I headed to the scotch section, which was where Mama was stocking.  I just wanted to get out of there quickly, so I grabbed the scotch that she was currently putting on the shelf, as there was a bunch of it stacked on a cart in front of the entire scotch section.  It was a HUGE bottle of 12-year-old Glenlivet.  So, NOT cheap.

“Mama is a Jack Daniel’s girl!” she announced, as I grabbed the scotch.  Somehow, this was not surprising. I couldn’t quite picture Mama savoring some Glenlivet by the fire. I was willing to bet that Mama had put Jack in her coffee before coming to work. Maybe she had some sort of Jack Daniels pump that continuously monitored her blood alcohol level and pumped Jack in her system to keep her at Mama level.

I brought the scotch to the counter and grabbed the Fireball and vodka from the cart. I just wanted to pay and get out of Mamaland.  As I was putting the bottles on the counter, I noticed a package of Stoli mini bottles in different flavors. I put it on the counter and said, “I always like to try new flavors.”

“Mama doesn’t judge.  Oh no. No judgment from Mama,” she said.  Then she repeated, “Mama is a Jack Daniel’s girl.”

At this point, I literally looked around for a camera crew.  This had to be some sort of prank.  Nope.  It was just me, my son, and Mama.

Mama rang up each item and stopped a couple of times to double check that she had scanned everything.  This was when I thought, “Maybe she is on Vicodin or something. She’s really friendly and a little slow.  Maybe that’s it.”

Well, since I don’t own or manage the store, I didn’t stop to figure it out.  I put my liquor in the cart and scurried out with my son to get the rest of our taco fixings.  When we got out of earshot, I just said, “Okiedokie” to my son, to which he replied, “That was more painful than ordering at Panera.”  He was right about that.  Our last visit to Panera was painful, but he wasn’t with me at Kroger on loud superhero day. Now THAT was worse.

A couple of months ago, I went to Kroger super early in the morning.  Since I was up anyway, and since my hair looked like it was straight out of the Play-Doh Barber Shop, I decided to go to Kroger at 8:00 am so I could AVOID people. No such luck.
Apparently, my Kroger is the main district Kroger or whatever because there is always some strange crap going down there. This particular day was like a nightmare for introverted people with bad hair.

There I was, looking for the American cheese that the cat and the Maltese both like. The cat doesn’t eat cat treats or any other kind of cheese, and the Maltese is on heart pills that must be smooshed in cheese so she will take them. So, it was important to get the right kind. I had not gotten to Starbucks yet, so I was REALLY concentrating on the cheese. That’s when the loud music and some doofus talking like a game show host came over the speaker. At 8:15 in the damn morning. Did I mention I had no coffee and homeless chic hair?

Then, I saw the superheroes. Nope. I was not hallucinating and I had not had any of Mama’s Jack Daniel’s. There were people running around in superhero costumes. In the damn grocery store at 8:16! I ran my hand through my hair and looked down. I grabbed my pets’ cheese and a few more items and attempted to get to the cash registers.

Holy crazy crowd of geeks, Batman! The front of the store was blocked. I said a meek, “Excuse me” and tried to inch past Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and some woman who was obviously from corporate. I know this because she gave me her “I had my Starbucks! Bless your heart with that hair” smile.

She said, “HI!” as I passed her.

I said, “Why is this happening?”

She told me they were having a “bag off” for cash and prizes. The woman next to her said that she was competing. I patted her on the shoulder and told her, “I hope you have some liquor.”

I paid for my stuff, visited the in-store Starbucks and got the hell out of there. I have never gone back without being caffeinated.

Maybe I should just stop shopping.  I think between Amazon and Jet, I should be able to get everything I need.  I can just supplement my diet with Chinese delivery and pizza, to make up for the lack of refrigerated or frozen food.  It’s just not worth the awkwardness to go to an actual store.

Emotional Knee-Jerk Partisan Politics

A lot of people place themselves in little political or religious boxes.  They don’t research to find the facts of a situation.  They simply take a strong stand based on the ideologies they have learned throughout their lives.  It’s like an entire world of Cuban mothers-in-law and Italian fathers.  My way is right! Believe me; I know from experience.

I became a Democrat in fourth grade.  That is when President Reagan wanted to make ketchup count as a vegetable in the school lunch program. As a kid who relied on reduced priced lunches, I was floored.  I couldn’t understand how a grown up could care so little about kids.  Then my family told me that all Republicans were like that.  They wanted to spend money on war but not on poor people like us.  So, I thought that all Republicans were horrible, cold people.  I put myself in the Democrat box.

And I’m still not a Republican. I’ve been an official, voting, card-carrying Democrat since 1992.  I’ve only voted for one Republican and that’s because I knew her personally. Lately though, I feel like I don’t fit in the liberal box 100% with certain issues.  Here are a few examples.

 

Tearing Down Statues

We could burn down every Confederate flag, statue, grave yard, Dukes of Hazzard General Lee car and it still wouldn’t take away the cold fact that slavery existed in this country. I get that the REMINDERS will be taken away, but the actual acts are there forever. Instead of spending time and money on tearing down the artifacts of this horrible time in our country, why don’t we take the money we would spend on removing statues and donate it to the NAACP, the National Urban League, the United Negro College Fund, or a number of other organizations that specifically help African Americans. It still wouldn’t make up for slavery or the inequalities that African Americans still deal with, nothing will, but it would be more helpful than simply taking down mementos.

 

Taking a knee during the National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick began this trend in 2016 and now other athletes are doing the same. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of patriotism as I see it as the root of a lot of hatred for people of other cultures.  It gives people that whole my country and my culture are better feeling. So, I don’t care who stands, sits, kneels, or does cartwheels during the national anthem.  My only question is what is this actually doing? For real.  I know it is “raising awareness for how African Americans are treated”, but is it helping? Can anyone point me to a time when a police officer or other gun-toting individual was about to shoot an African American and said, “You know what? I was going to kill you, but since all these athletic fellers is protesting, I just aint gonna do it.”  Yes. That is how racists talk in my mind.

 

Protests after Inauguration

A bunch of really brave women protested after the inauguration in January.  They are far braver than I am because I would not have protested outside in Florida in January, much less Washington D.C. or other places, even with a nice, warm, knitted kitty-cat hat.  So, kudos to those women.  Again, though, I have to ask, what did this actually do?  Yes, it enabled people to join together and feel empowered and hug it out because we have a toddleresque tyrant as president, but what actually changed? It’s not like Trump saw all of the protests and said, “Melania, pack my rhinoceros skin luggage that the boys had made for me.  I’m not going to do this president thing.  I’m firing myself.  The people have spoken.”

 

Dress Code Hoopla

I’ve been in many arguments with my fellow Liberals over this one. In July, there was a big to-do over the Speaker’s Lobby dress code.  A reporter was not allowed to enter while wearing a sleeveless dress.  My liberal friends went to Facebook and Twitter with flames coming out of their ears.  How dare Paul Ryan and his buddies tell us we can’t wear sleeveless dresses?  [insert dragon roar of your choice here]  Well, if you READ the history of this dress code you would notice a couple of things.  1. Paul Ryan did not create it. (Yes, I think he looks like Eddie Muenster, too, and I really don’t like him, but totally not his fault) and 2. It is HARSHER on the men than the women. Men have to wear a full suit and tie.  With a jacket.  I’d rather wear a dress with sleeves, which I would rather do anyway as I am one of five women in the world who doesn’t equate showing every ounce of skin with “fashion”.

A lot of people also get upset about school dress codes because they are different for boys and girls.  The reason why there are different rules for girls is that boys don’t show up in booty shorts. I’m pretty sure the school would send a boy home if he were wearing a micro mini skirt.  If you want to blame someone, blame the fashion industry for making labia bearing shorts for girls and NORMAL shorts for boys.

I’m quite sure that some of my readers will not be a fan of this blog. That’s OK. For some reason, these are divisive issues, as are most issues now. In my ever so humble opinion, the only way to bring our country back together, or as together as it can get, is to jump out of our partisan boxes.  Let’s talk to each other as human beings rather than enemies.   Let’s get to know each other as people, not political candidates. Do a little more logical research rather than emotional thinking.  Above all, everyone needs to vote for the candidate that represents them best.

 

 

Middle Aged Crossfit Failure

 

My husband is a big Groupon fan. The man loves to save money. He is always buying some sort of package deal.  A couple of weeks ago he bought a Groupon for 10 “Functional Fitness” classes at our local Crossfit gym. If you are not familiar with Crossfit, it is a meathead weight lifting and gymnastics combo for the truly insane. That is the official definition.  Anyway, these classes were supposed to be for beginners. So, I went along with the husband.  After all, we know a couple of people who LOVE Crossfit.  Here is how it worked out for me.

Day One – I breeze through my first ever Crossfit class at 44 years old. Well, I didn’t BREEZE through it exactly.  I got a touch out of breath during the burpees, and those butterfly leg, arms all the way up sit ups were no picnic. My couch pouch kept getting in the way. But I did it. I did the whole half hour class. Thirty solid minutes of sweating. I didn’t cheat with the lunges, either, even when the instructor was not looking.

As soon as I got home, I took a shower to get the gym floor dirt off of me. Did I mention the burpees? I pretty much ate the floor during those. So, I also did three loads of laundry to get the gym off of my clothes, carrying the full basket up and down the stairs with minimal tenderness in my thighs. I thought I was a warrior.

Day Two – I notice something different as soon as I get out of bed. I am walking like a brand new porn star who just filmed a gang bang flick using no lube. Walking is tough, but sitting on the toilet is impossible. I put both hands on the toilet seat and gingerly lower myself to a seated position while crossing my eyes and saying “Holy mother of fuck!”

Getting up from the toilet requires a firm hold of the door knob. I vow to myself that I will not leave the house until this pain goes away. I DO NOT want to have to touch the toilet or doorknob in a public bathroom, and with my IBS it would be a necessity at some point. I work from home so it’s doable to just not leave the house for a bit. Plus, it should only take a day or so for this soreness to go away, right? I am not a complete couch potato. I exercise a few times a week. I shouldn’t be sore for that long.

I try two Motrin with breakfast. Nothing. So, I use that “Deep Blue” essential oil I bought back when I was a sucker. I toss it in the trash as I actually feel WORSE after applying it.  Fucking snake oil.

By the end of the day, I am so tired of being in pain that I go into the bathroom and take a Tylenol #3 leftover from a dental procedure last year. I might as well have taken a Sweet Tart.  It’s like a placebo. I follow it up with vodka at dinner. Still no pain relief. I stop myself at two drinks because I don’t want to be that woman who dies from mixing a pain pill and vodka while trying to walk normally again.

crossfitDay Three – Before I get out of bed, I think that my pain should probably be better now. This is proven incorrect as soon as I move. It’s been a couple of days, right? Really?! Really?! I almost fall while getting out of bed. Walking is still challenging, and I still have to go up and down stairs while clinging to the rail and using all of my arm strength to stabilize my useless quads. Now, just to add to the fun, my lower abs and whatever those muscles are on the side of your boobs have started to hurt like a fothermucker, too.

I hobble around the house, cursing Groupon, my husband, Crossfit, and especially myself every time I have to go upstairs, which is too often. It seems like it hurts worse today than yesterday. This is just cruel. Who are these people who do Crossfit regularly? I pour myself a big glass of wine right at 5:00. It does nothing.

Day Four – My right leg is slightly better, but my left still bites me when I move. I take a hot bath, so hot that I sweat, and put Biofreeze on my thighs as soon as I get out. This makes me feel 20% better for like 30 minutes. Go me.

I finally give in and do a Google search for “horrible never-ending pain after Crossfit.” My results tell me to drink more water and “stretch it out.” Because water cures everything, right? I give the one finger salute to the computer screen and start gulping water. The only thing this does is make me have to pee even more often than I do already. So, this means I have to get on and off the toilet more often. Have I mentioned how much I hate the world right now?

Day Five – I’m finally able to sit on the toilet this morning without frantically gripping the seat and lowering myself like an 80 year-old nursing home patient. I call that a win.  It is still hell to walk down the drive way to retrieve the recycling bins, but I get it done. I got down the stairs without doing the sideways crab walk and clinging to the rail with both hands. I only had to cling with one hand. I got more than 1,000 steps in on my Fitbit. My “FUCK!” count is way down. It’s a miracle. I finally feel like I may live.

So, I paid $45 for ten classes and only used one. My husband keeps saying he is going to do another class even though he was in the same amount of pain I was in. I will never go back. I would rather say goodbye to the remainder of my $45 than pay thousands of dollars for surgery and rehabilitation after being carried out of Crossfit on a stretcher.

What about you? Are you a Crossfitter, a couch potato, or somewhere in the middle? Let me hear from you in the comment section.

This was originally published on  Knot So Subtle.

 

A Tale of Two Fathers

Now, don’t go getting too excited. This is not a story about how I was raised by a nice gay couple. Nope. I was born way back in the 70’s. Two men were not allowed to get married and adopt a baby. This was REALLY frowned upon back in the polyester and disco era. The only two men who could openly live together back then were Burt and Ernie, and they had separate beds even if they were in a one-bedroom apartment. Nope. This is a story of the two fatherly type men in my life – my never around biological father and my fantastic stepfather.

This is where I get my sarcasm and my pre-diabetes.

Like everyone else on the planet, I have a biological father. I mean, duh, we all need TWO parents in order to become a person, right? But I use the word “parent” very lightly when it comes to my father. Really, “sperm donor who cheated on my mom and left for good when she was 7 months pregnant” is more accurate. Yep. My mom finally had enough of her husband’s Mad Men level philandering and kicked his ass out when she was full of pregnancy hormones. He left, taking both cars with him. Asshole.

I saw my father about five or ten times in my life. When I was first born he told everyone that I “looked Asian” and that I couldn’t possibly be his kid because my mom was a big ole cheater.   Not true. Then, as I grew older, I began to look EXACTLY like my paternal grandmother, his mama. So, he could no longer deny that I was his. He did, however, continue to deny to pay child support, but I digress.

fathers
I don’t have any pictures of me WITH my father, but he did take this picture of me at the park, hanging with a duck.

The few times that I did talk to my dad as a kid, I liked him. My mom always told me what a crappy husband he was, and I knew that he rarely visited me, but I still liked him when I did see him. We seemed to share a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. He was intelligent, musical, and a little mystical at times. He read my Tarot cards and told me stories about the ghosts that haunted his house. I found him fascinating and like all kids of divorce, I used to wish that my parents would be back together. It never happened.

The last time I talked to my father was horrible. I was 14 and my mother had just married my stepfather. I was excited because my stepfather was going to adopt me and then I would have the same last name as him and my mom. We were going to be like a “normal” family. Growing up as the lone custodial child of a single mom (my brother lived with my father), I was always chasing “normal.” So, I was THRILLED that my stepfather was going to adopt me.   I told my father the good news over the phone one night. He got angry and said, “Well then you’re not my daughter anymore.” He hung up. I never talked to him again. He died the next year, at age 49, of a heart attack in a Denny’s parking lot. I was 15.

At first, it hurt to lose my father, even though I barely knew him. All of the future “should have beens” came rushing through my mind. He should have been there to see me graduate from high school, and college, too. He should have been there to walk me down the aisle when I got married, both times. He should have taken me on vacations to spend time with his parents and his sister and her kids. To this day, I really don’t know his entire side of the family. I thought we had years ahead of us to work through our fucked up father daughter relationship. We didn’t. To this day, I will not let someone leave or hang up the phone if they are angry with me.

I got out of the “my father died” funk when I realized he really wasn’t ever a father to me. Now, my stepfather, on the other hand, was a father to me. Not only did he teach me how to cook, clean, and not be an asshole, the man taught me that he had my back, right from the beginning.

fathers
This is where I get my ability to make lasagna and clean a kitchen floor on my hands and knees.

Before my mom even married my stepdad, he was there for me. Since he was 19 years older than my mom and already retired, he took me to the orthodontist and other appointments when mom was working. So, during these drives in his 1977 HUGE green Lincoln Town Car, we had some good talks. One time, I told him about a boy at school who was picking on me. This boy was calling me “pig lips.” I never really thought much about my lips one way or another, but once this jackwagon pointed out that my lips took up half my face, I spent most of the time trying to pucker inward and hide the majority of my huge lips. My stepdad set me straight.

One day, he sat me down on the couch and put a pile of fashion magazines on the coffee table. He flipped through them and said, “Look at all of these gills (he was from Boston and didn’t pronounce his R’s). They get shots in their lips to make them fullah,” he informed me.

“Well, they’re stupid!” I said with all of the seriousness an embarrassed 13-year-old girl can muster.

He didn’t stop; he kept flipping through the magazines, pointing out the “gills” with full mouths, and telling me I had what women paid plastic surgeons to get. It took me years to believe him. Now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m glad for my pig lips because they look a lot less pruny than skinny lips.

One of the best things my stepdad ever did was teach me how to drink. He had a very liberal policy on alcohol. He figured if you don’t make it a “big no no” then kids wouldn’t want it so much. I think he’s right about that. My stepdad bought me my first drink at one of those private clubs in Boston (I don’t remember if it was the Elks, the Eagles, or what, but you know what I mean). I was 15 and he had just picked me up from the airport. I had flown up to meet him in Boston, where he was visiting family. My mom was going to fly up in a few days. On the way home from the airport, he had to stop by this lodge of sorts and talk to a friend. My guess is it had something to do with betting on something as the man’s only vice was gambling. So, we sat down at the bar to wait for his friend and my stepdad asked me what I wanted to drink.

“A screwdriver,” I said, being sarcastic and not really knowing what the hell a screwdriver was.

He ordered it for me, and the bartender actually gave it to me. I drank it. Now, this was not the first time I ever drank alcohol. It was the 80’s and there were these things called wine coolers that high school kids could somehow get from stores who sold to teens. I’ve got lots of stories about wine coolers, but that is for another blog.

After that, my dad let me have drinks here and there. On New Year’s Day when I was 17, I came home from a sleepover with my friends. I told my parents about how one of my friends had drunk too much and barfed. I had not had any alcohol at all, so I held her hair. My dad immediately went into a lecture on “how to drink.” Here are his rules:

  • Stay away from the “dahk” stuff. (Dark stuff — Whiskey, dark rum, etc)
  • Stay away from the sweet stuff. (No froo froo drinks)
  • Don’t Mix. (That one is pretty self-explanatory. Stick with the same drink.)
  • Pace “yahself. Just keep a little buzz.” (Don’t over do it.)
  • Have some “watah.” (Stay hydrated.)

The man was right. I got all the way through college and young adulthood without barfing from drinking. I was 31 the first time I puked from alcohol, and that was the first of only three times. The three times that I have gotten sick from booze have been because I broke one or more of the drinking rules.

My stepdad was not only a great father to me, but he was an amazing grandfather during the short time that he was in my son’s life. After my son was born, I went back to school to get my Master’s degree. My mom and my stepdad babysat my son. They took him everywhere with them, to the mall, to the grocery store, everywhere. My stepdad even let my son “help” him build a trellis. Unfortunately, my son’s time with my stepdad was too short. He died when my son was 3.

Father’s Day is always kind of tough for me because I don’t really have a father anymore. I do have lots of wonderful men in my life who are fathers. First of all, there’s my husband, who, like my stepdad, took on the role of stepfather to my son. Then, there’s my son’s biological father who has maintained a good relationship with our son even though we live several states away. He also always paid child support, unlike my father. Last but not least, there is my father-in-law, who is a kind, warm, and friendly man. He would have to be; he raised my wonderful husband.

 So, we’ve talked about me enough. What are you up to on this sappy Hallmark card holiday weekend? Leave me a comment. I love hearing from you.

Middle Age: The Verbal Charades and Bad Hair Years

According to a few random Google search results, I have found out that 45 is the official beginning of middle age.  This means my son has been INCORRECT in calling me a middle-aged woman for the past ten years.  I was still considered a YOUNG adult until now.  Now I am 45 and ½.  So, I’m in the infancy of old age, but I can tell that I am definitely middle aged based on my shrinking vocabulary and shriveling hair.

It used to be that I could flat iron my hair and look good for three days.  Now, I fall asleep on it for 30 minutes and wake up looking like a Founding Father.  You know, I get that stringy “I’ve been forming a new nation and I have no time to run the boar’s bristle thing through my hair” style.  Because that’s what the founding fathers would’ve called a brush when they were middle aged.

Sometimes, my hair looks so bad that I just want to put it in a ponytail, but even that won’t work.  I get these little hairs that bow out on both sides of my neck.  I end up looking like a more haggard Ben Franklin. Not only has my hair gone all Ben Franklin on me, but I can’t form real verbal sentences.

It seems like the day I turned 45, I forgot a bunch of everyday words.  So, I substitute phrases with “thing” in them.

Closet Thing = Pantry

Foot Thing = Ottoman

I can just imagine what would happen if I were on Jeopardy.  I would know SO MANY of the answers; I just would not be able to actually say them.  Cue the music.

THIS IS JEOPARDY!!

Fast forward through canned audience applause and Alex introducing the contestants.

Lisa: Movie Stars for $400, Alex.

Alex: This actor is known for his role in Taxi Driver.

Lisa: OH! I know him.  Fuh – Um, sorry! Wait! He’s that Italian guy with the mole.  And he’s in all of the mafia movies with that other Italian guy.  Crap! Um! He was in that one movie with that one dark-haired guy who recently had prostate cancer.  You know, the one who has the funny comedy team parents.  He played that guy’s father-in-law. And he had a cat.

Alex: Yes. Who is Robert De Niro is correct!

Young contestant: But she never said, “Robert De Niro!”

Alex: Shut up, kid.  You’ll be middle-aged one day!  She said, “Robert De Niro.”

So, that’s middle age for me, so far.  There are other shitty things, like aches in joints I didn’t know I had.  (Young people, I’m talking about the joints that connect bones, not the kind that is legal in Colorado.)  There are a lot of good things about middle age, too.  One is that I don’t really give two shits if my hair looks like Ben Franklin’s.  I notice it, but I don’t get upset about it.  Well, not TOO upset.

What about you? Are you middle aged?  Do you have that I could sign the Declaration of Independence hair?  Can you still speak in full sentences without some version of “you know! That thing in the kitchen that cuts the food?”  Leave me a comment and let me know I’m not alone.