Perpetually Peeved


The Ancient Art of the Encyclopedia

Have you ever wondered what people did before Google?  Rough morning today.  Forgot my phone.  Oh!  The horror!  How will I ever survive without the ability to Google (at the red lights) the answers to the all the random questions Smalls has?  Think I’m being a baby?  Take this test… how many of these questions do you know the answers to – WITHOUT looking them up?

What is the difference between a porcupine and a hedgehog?

Ew.

Do bees poop?

He's been contemplating it for years now...

Why do viking hats have horns on them?

Only the blue ones.

Do hedgehogs have tails?

Maybe this guy would know.

Do airplanes have batteries?

Why is the sky blue?

Why do girls have to wear high heels to work?

Do we come from dinosaurs?

 

Why won’t God make you give me a puppy?

Hmm…. so, that’s what encyclopedias are for.



Jr. Peeves

Everyone knows Smalls has a little body and a big personality.  So, what pisses off a 4 year old?  You’d be surprised.

Say what you mean, already!

Smalls’ pre-K class is gathered around for circle time and they start off the activities by playing the alphabet song on the CD player.

Smalls: (sticking fingers in her ears) I am so over this song.

Teacher:  Smalls, what’s the matter?  Why are you sticking your fingers in your ears?

Smalls:  Because, Ms. Teacher, I just don’t get it!

Teacher:  What do you mean “you don’t get it,” Smalls?

Smalls:  Well, I just don’t get it.  Is LMNOP one letter?

Teacher:  No, it’s 5 letters.  (writing on board)  See…  L… M… N… O… P.  Five letters.

Smalls:  Then why do they say it LMNOP, like it’s one letter?

Teacher:  Because it goes with the music of the song.

Smalls: (sticking fingers back in her ears)  Well, that’s just silly.  If it’s five letters, they should have made the music fit five letters!

 

Image from lmnop magazine

 

Never underestimate a four-year-old.

Smalls and my sister-in-law are were walking to the ice cream shop in town the other night.

BabySister: Smalls, you have to hold my hand.

Smalls:  Why, Aunt BabySister?

BabySister:  Because, you know, there are cars on the road and there are strangers…

Smalls:  If I see a stranger, I know what to do.

BabySister:  You do?  What’s your plan?

Smalls:  Well, I would run away as fast I can and I would climb a tree and I would hang upside down like a sloth and then they wouldn’t even know what to do!

BabySister:  Hmm… good plan.

 

photo courtesy of brazilianfauna.com

 

Don’t try to label me.

Driving home from work on our nightly commute together, I usually ask Smalls about her day…

Peeved:  So, what did you do today?

Smalls:  We learned about animal doctors.

Peeved:  Oh, that’s fun.  Would you like to be an animal doctor when you grow up?

Smalls:  No, when I grow up, I’m going to be Smalls.

Peeved:  No, I mean, what do you want to do as your job when you get older, Smalls?

Smalls:  Job?  I don’t want to WORK!

Peeved:  Well, most people have to work.  If you have to work, what would you want to do.

Smalls:  I want to be a colorer and a painter… NOT an “artist”!

Peeved:  Well, good.  Because being an artist isn’t a job anyway.

 

photo of a Pollack from ibiblio.org

 

Are you there God?  It’s me, Smalls.

Smalls:  Mommy…  God makes everything, right?

Peeved:  Yes, honey, God made everything in the world.

Smalls:  Then, why did God make me a human?

Peeved:  Because, you were a gift to mommy and daddy and we are humans.

Smalls:  But, I really wanted to be a cheetah!  I didn’t ask to be a human!

Peeved:  Well, I’m sorry honey.  That’s how God made you.

(silence for about 3 minutes…)

Smalls:   Mommy… God is in heaven, right?

Peeved:  Right.

Smalls:  And when you say prayers, they go up to heaven, right?

Peeved:  Yes.

Smalls:  And God is supposed to hear your prayers and answer them, right?

Peeved:  Yes.

Smalls:  (tearing up and whining) Well, then, how come every night I pray that I will wake up as a cheetah and every morning I’m still a stinky human!??

Peeved: Um… (stifling laughter)

kids courtesy of Peeved, cheetah courtesy of... God?



Hey Elves – You’re Fired!

I’ve been trying to wrap up all my Christmas shopping by the end of this week.  I plan on spending the time off I have doing fun things around town with the kids, not last-minute running around in crowds.  I HATE crowds.  LOATHE crowds, actually.  I also can’t stand shopping unless it involves margaritas or shoes for me.  So, I’ve been doing a lot of lunch-hour power shopping and stopping in to a single store between picking up the kids and heading home.  The other day, I needed to run into Macy’s for three very specific things:  handbags for Smalls’ teachers.  I knew exactly what I wanted.  I was a woman with a coupon and a mission.

Peeved:  Okay, girls, Mommy has to run into Macy’s real quick and pick up some presents for Smalls’ teachers.

Smalls:  Are we getting them Zhu Zhu Pets?

Peeved:  No, Smalls, I think they’d like purses better.

Smalls:  Oh.  Can we stick a Zhu Zhu Pet in the purse?

Peeved:  No.  Let’s just get them purses and then you can make a nice card for them.

Biggie:  Where are we going?

Peeved:  Macy’s.

Biggie:  Oh, cool.  I totally need skinny jeans.  Macy’s has the best skinny jeans.

Peeved:  We are not shopping for skinny jeans.  We are going to get out of the car, go directly to the purses, select three purses, pay for them and leave.  Understood?

Biggie:  But the skinny jeans are right next to the door closest to the purses. I could just…

Peeved:  Here’s the deal.  Ready?  I just need to grab these things real quick.  You all need to behave because Santa is watching and if you don’t behave you’ll get coal in your stocking.  Smalls, you’re in the stroller.  Biggie, you’re pushing the stroller.  You both stay right next to me and offer your opinions if and only when asked.  I need you to be my elves tonight.  We are not shopping for ourselves, we are shopping for gifts for others.  Got it?  Elves.  Helpers.

Biggie:  Fine!

Smalls:  Fine!

I love elfyourself.com - check it out. :)

*****

A condensed version of the events that took place inside Macy’s on December 13th at approximately 7:03 p.m.:  touch, touch, touch, drop, yell, whine, whine, whine, yell, disappear, reappear, yell, skootch, skootch, skootch the stroller, heart attack – where the hell did Smalls go?, yell, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, yell, stroller derby, near fatal collision with purse rack, yell, don’t touch your sister-stand right there and don’t move-Smalls get your feet off of the stroller wheels, purchase of the closest three purses, step routine, step routine, step routine, yell, time out in the corner, whine, whine, whine, yell, touch, touch, touch…

****

[In the car on the way home]

Peeved:  I don’t want to hear a word – A WORD! – from either one of you.  Biggie, that was embarrassing and disrespectful.  You are twelve years old and I had to put you in time out in the corner of Macy’s.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  How hard is it to stick your hands in your pockets and behave yourself for five freaking minutes?  I asked you to help me.  You did exactly the opposite.  You think it’s okay to misbehave now because I’ve already done my shopping for you?  Well, you have another thing coming.  Santa doesn’t bring trampolines to kids that don’t behave.  Get my drift?  You need to learn to listen.  I told you not to touch anything and I don’t think there was one item in that store that you didn’t leave a fingerprint on.

Smalls:  Yeah, and she…

Peeved:  I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Gallery!

Smalls:  Yeah, well I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Butter Jelly Gallery!

Peeved:  Oh no you don’t.  I’m mad at you too.  You were not wearing your listening ears.  Mommy told you to sit in the stroller and what did you do?  You skootched halfway across the store.  I look away for one second and you’re over in Petites walking around with the stroller hanging off your butt.  When we get home, it’s dinner and bed for you.  No show tonight.  Biggie, it’s homework and bed for you, too.  Give me  any lip and I’ll take away your electronics for a week.

****

Peeved:  Here, eat your dinner.

Smalls:  That’s not dinner.  That’s cereal.  I want dinner.

Peeved:  Well, we don’t have anything in the house.  And, after the way you acted in the store, I’m certainly not going food shopping with you.

Smalls:  I want dinner. [lip quiver]  Cereal is not dinner.  [start of cry]  You need to have something with bread for dinner.  [full on crying, now]

Peeved:  Fine!  I’ll go make something out of nothing.

*****

[in the kitchen]

Smalls:  [sobbing in the other room - then... silence]

Peeved:  Smalls…  what are you doing?

Smalls: [in the most pathetic four-year-old voice you can imagine]  Looking at a picture of you [stifled sob] …  when you were happy.

Peeved:  What?

Smalls:  You’re with daddy… [stifled sob]... and …  you’re smiling [full on crying again]

*****

Dear Future Therapist of Biggie & Smalls,

It is all exaggerations and half-truths, I swear.

Sincerely,

Peeved



Rainy Days and Tuesdays Always Get Me Peeved

It’s raining here.  It has been all day.

It’s Tuesday, too.  It has been all day.  Tuesdays are like the 20th birthday of the workweek.  Not quite humpday – so what’s the point?

Rain means that everyone drives like a douchebag hopped up on coffee and diet pills.  Guess what?  Everyone is going to be late.  Now stop honking, stop trying to cut me off and, for the love of puppies, stop riding your brakes.

We don’t need to revisit my umbrella issues, do we?  Umbrellas are to me what picture books are to Stevie Wonder.  Absolutely useless.  Smalls’ daycare doesn’t have covered parking.  What’s worse than driving home in rainy rush hour traffic?  Driving home in rainy rush hour traffic with wet pants slapping around on your ankles, a full bladder and a lightening strike that sends all the traffic lights in a 5 mile radius out of commission.  Oh, and a four-year-old singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the top of her lungs.  Over, and over, and over again.

Remember that great scene with Kathy Bates’ character in Fried Green Tomatoes?  You know the one where she just guns it into the snotty girl’s car?  Hmm, if only.

This is me today. (photo from some random site that just happened to have a pic of grumpy bear - http://www.datavis.com)



If you were my mother, you’d already know what this post is about

Psychics.  If you are one, you’ll know I’m about to say – you can skip to the comments and chew me out.

If you ever watched Montel Williams, you’ll know most psychics are a bunch of BS.  They get little bits and pieces of information and spin them to suckers who ooh and ahh about their talents.  OHMYGODHESTOTALLYPSYCHIC!  Save it.  I don’t believe in psychics, I don’t believe in ghosts and I don’t believe in horoscopes.  (I am extremely superstitious, however, so I just knocked wood.)

photo from funnyaussiesigns.com

Friday night found me and the girls hanging out at my sister, AJenda’s house.  We were sitting around her dining room table having dinner with her husband (who,much to her disappointment, is not Bon Jovi) and my mother.  Mom has always had the most interesting friends.  From the rockstar’s hairdresser wife to the down-and-out dog breeding mother of six, to the guy in line next to her at the supermarket.  She sure knows how to pick ‘em.  Recently, she has started hanging out with the self-proclaimed “gays” – a gentlemen couple that lives in her townhouse complex.  One of “the gays” is a psychic.  A very powerful psychic.  My mother is his medium/channel/what-have-you.  I wish I were making this up.

A redacted version of the conversation (because my mother threatened to take a wooden spoon to me if one word of this “makes it on that damn blog of yours”):

Ma:  So, OneOfTheGays, he’s a very strong psychic.  Very strong.  I told you this.  You aren’t even going to believe this.

Peeved:  Oh God.  Pass the wine, please.

NotBonJovi:  Here, Peeved.  You may want to keep that near you.

Ma:  Yeah, oh yeah.  This is creepy.  You aren’t going to believe this.  So, he had a vision.

Peeved:  Blarbedy, blarbedy.

Ma:  I am serious!  He had a vision and I know it’s for real.

AJenda: How do you know it’s for real?

Ma:  Well, the vision took place here, in this house.  And…

Peeved:  Dun! Dun! Dun!

Ma:  Knock it off!  I’m serious Peeved!  Just because you don’t believe in this shit doesn’t mean it’s not true!

AJenda:  Yeah, let her finish, Peeved. (kick under the table, refill of wine glass)  How do you know it’s real, Ma?

Ma:  Because.  He knew when you walked in the house the stairway was right in front of the door to the left and that it has beige carpet.

Peeved:  Dun! Dun! Dun!  Every house with two stories in suburbia has beige carpet on the stairs and most are right when you walk in the door.  It was a lucky guess.

Ma:  Oh yeah?  Well, how did he know it was on the left?  And, how did he know she had stairs?

NotBonJovi:  C’mon, Ma.  Really?  I don’t believe in all that.  Lucky guesses.

Peeved:  Yeah, or the picture you have of AJenda’s kids on the stairs that’s sitting on your mantle.

Ma:  I don’t have a picture of the kids on the stairs…

AJenda:  Yes, you do, mom.

Ma:  Well, regardless.  There’s more…  OneofTheGays, he’s not the only one who’s psychic.  Your mom’s no slouch, you know.

Peeved:  NotBonJovi, grab that wine from AJenda, I’m going to need it.

*****

Mom's Christmas Gift (get yours at amazon.com)

Later that evening, I was somehow manipulated into putting the lights on AJenda’s Christmas tree.  (One day, I will figure out how she managed to harness the power of manipulation and wield it like Wonder Woman with a lasso.)  Plug the lights in.  Untangle the lights.  Pull the tree out from the wall.  Start to wrap the lights around the tree by walking around it in circles.  AJenda is “supervising” and Ma is sitting back and keeping track of all the spots she’ll have to go back in and fix later.

AJenda:  It looks great, Peeved!  Doesn’t it look great, Ma?

Ma:  Well, I don’t know, there’s a little empty spot right there…

Peeved:  We can adjust it once I’m done.

Ma:  Oh, AJenda, go and take that candelabra off the wall there.  Peeved is going to hit her head on it.

Peeved:  It’s fine, Ajenda, don’t get up.  I’ve been around the tree five times already.

AJenda:  She’s fine, Ma.

Peeved:  (hitting head on candelabra)  OUCH!  Son-of-a!

Ma:  See.  I told you I’m psychic.

 

It must run in the family. I had this sudden vision of a headache the next day. Although, whether from the wine or the run-in with the candelabra, I'll never know. (photo: indietravelpodcast.com)

 



When good intentions go bad

I think whether parenthood is something planned or not, that most people go into it with good intentions.  When people find out they are going to become parents they secretly think they are going to be the best parent ever. 

Our parents?  They knew nothing.  I mean, they let us run around until the streetlights turned on.  We would drive hours on the interstates with no seat belts and at least one sibling lying across the hump on the floor of the car.  Baby teething?  Slip him some whiskey.  Teenager backtalking?  Feed her some soap.  Broke your arm?  Quit crying or I’ll break the other one. 

Yeah, I think most people’s’ visceral reaction to finding out they are going to have a child is, “I’m going to do it so much better than my parents did.”

So, what the heck happens?

photo from belch.com

Not too long ago, I was at the zoo with Biggie and Smalls.  A lot of people had those cute little monkey leash backpacks for their children.  Which, I will be honest, I’m not a huge fan of.  I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I just always held my kid’s hand or strapped them in the stroller.  That wasn’t my problem, though.  I understand why people have them.  It’s a scary thing to bring a non-verbal, squirmy toddler out to a crowded place where they could disappear in a heartbeat.  I get it.  I still watch my 12-year-old go to the top of the driveway to get the mail.  The thing that made me literally bite my tongue was the sight of a mother dragging her toddler behind her.  Pulling away like she was towing a wagon or something.  Um, lady, you dropped something.  Oh wait, that’s YOUR KID!  Cripies!  I’m thinking she didn’t see a little pink plus sign on a stick and think, “I’m going to be the best mom ever.  When little Timmy gets tired at the zoo, I won’t rent him a stroller, I’ll use my super-mommy strength to drag his ass from cage to cage.”

Hmm... I wonder why Timmy can't focus in school.

I was getting Smalls into the car at her daycare one day and was having a conversation with a woman who had a young son (about 4 years old or so).  She was complaining about how he just wouldn’t sit still and he wouldn’t stop talking and he can’t pay attention to anything for more than a few seconds.  As she’s saying this, she is loading him into a carseat positioned directly in front of a 10 inch DVD screen which she promptly turns on (with her remote start button).  “It’s just so difficult,” she shouts over the cries of the Wiggles, “is it possible for a four-year old to be diagnosed with ADD?”  No, darling, it isn’t any more possible than diagnosing his mother with a bad case of stupidity.

Clean up on Aisle 9!

See that angelic four-year-old holding on fiercely to a freshly Clorox-Wipe’d shopping cart, minding her own business, humming a song for her mommy?  Okay, now see that hooligan child lying on the ground kicking over the end cap display with her feet and mopping the dirty linoleum with her hair?  Okay, now see that lady halfway across the store, seemingly by herself minding her own business and shopping?  Isn’t she doing a great job of ignoring the toneless WA HA WA HA WA HA fake ambulance sound emitting from the mophead?  She’s not even looking around like I was to see where in the world the little critter’s mother was.  Hmmm…  she must be shopping for mirrors. 

And the nominees for Mother of the Year are…



The Upside to Teenage Vampire Offspring

Biggie and I volunteered at the PTA pumpkin sale on Sunday.  To attract customers to the sale, she dressed up as a vampire and danced around the roadside with a sign.

Biggie:  So, wouldn’t it be cool to have a vampire as your kid?

Peeved:  No.

Biggie:  Why not?

Peeved:  Because then you could torture me for eternity.

Biggie:  No.  I could only torture you for the rest of your life.  You’d still be mortal.

*****

The other upsides to having teenage vampire offspring?

  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting hurt.
  • You wouldn’t have to pester them to make their bed (they don’t even need beds).
  • You wouldn’t have to feed them (and if you did, they could order the kid’s meal for eternity).
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting sunburned.
  • You wouldn’t have to drive them everywhere (they could just run everywhere real fast).
  • They don’t stand in front of the mirror for hours looking at themselves and dancing (ha – they have no reflections).
  • You wouldn’t have to pay for orthodontia – so what if that canine sticks up a little bit?
  • They can’t have pets.
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting pregnant. (My husband’s personal favorite.)
  • The threat level of a wooden spoon would suddenly skyrocket.

Come to think of it, Biggie would rather be a zombie...



Biggie, Smalls & a Smart-Ass

BIGGIE

One only needs to look back a few posts to know how I feel about eyebrows.  So, the other day when I noticed something funky going on with Biggie’s eyebrows, I had to get to the bottom of things.

Peeved: Biggie – what the heck happened to your eyebrow?

Biggie: Nothing.  What are you talking about?

Peeved: That – right there.  That eyebrow did not always start almost at the middle of your pupil.  And, the other eyebrow doesn’t match.  What did you do to your eyebrow?

Biggie: Nothing, mom.  Geesh! [eyeroll, foot stomp]

Peeved: [grabbing Biggie by the chin for closer inspection]  OH MY GOD!  You shaved your eyebrows!?

Biggie: No.

Peeved: Well, somebody did.

Biggie: Well, I was in the shower and I was shaving my armpit and I got soap in my eye and when I went to wipe it off I accidentally shaved off part of my eyebrow.

Peeved: You ACCIDENTALLY shaved off part of your eyebrow?

Biggie: Yes!  I had soap in my eye!

Peeved: Well, you are not allowed to shave anymore.

Biggie: What?!  Gosh, mom!  You’re the worst! [eyeroll, foot stomp]

Peeved: Obviously, you can’t be trusted to keep razor blades from accidentally coming near your eyeball.  No more shaving unless you tell me the truth.

Biggie: I am telling the truth!  Don’t call me a liar!

Peeved: Well, what happened to the other eyebrow?

Biggie: Well, I had to try and even them out a little bit.  Am I going to be punished?

Peeved: No.  I think living with those crazy eyebrows will be punishment enough for shaving them.  However, you will be punished for lying.

Biggie: I’m not lying!!!  It was an accident!!

Funny, when I was younger my stepmother always used to say, “Do you think I was born yesterday?” and I would wait until she walked away and whisper, “No, the day before.”  She also said I’d get back everything I ever gave her.  Who’s laughing now?

Who knew shaving your armpits could lead to Lasik so easily?

 

SMALLS

There are many sacrifices we make as we become parents:  the ability to run around the house naked, curse loudly, sit down for an extended period of time, sleep in, and go to the bathroom alone are just a few.  It’s Saturday morning, Mr. Peeved has been sick for the last few days and I have the beginning of a nasty respiratory virus.  All I want to do is sleep in.  Alas, 8:20 brings this conversation to my ears:

Biggie: [in the bathroom]  Get out!

Smalls: I have to go!

Biggie: Well, I’m going.  You can’t go.  Get out!

Smalls: Biggie! I have to go!

Biggie: Smalls!  I’m going to the bathroom.  I need privacy.  Get out!

Smalls: I don’t have to get out.

Biggie: Yes, you do.  You can’t just come in the bathroom when someone is using it.  I need privacy!  Get out!

Smalls: I am giving you privacy.

Biggie: No, you’re not.  You’re still in here.  Get out of the bathroom!

Smalls: Biggie, privacy is when you don’t look at someone when they’re going to the bathroom.

Yes, Smalls, when you have a 4-year-old in the house, that’s exactly what privacy is.

 

A Smart-Ass

My father always tells me I’m a smart-ass.  I always tell him I’d rather be a smart-ass than a dumb-ass.  My nephew, he doesn’t fall far from the Aunt Emma tree.  At the age of three, this kid could tell you the difference between a bucket and a pail.  By the time he was four, he knew what sarcasm was and had perfected his deadpan delivery.  Here’s a text I received from my sister on Friday:



Cleaning house

It’s not that I don’t like cleaning.  It’s that I loathe it.  I have texture issues that prevent me from wanting to touch anything that has been sitting in the sink longer than 30 seconds.  I’m deathly allergic to dust.  I have a not-so-mild case of ADD mixed with OCD.  So, I will start cleaning the living room and three hours later, my DVDs will be arranged categorically and alphabetically and the rest of the house will still look like a bomb went off.

oooh.... colors... organization...

Every night when I see the first star in the sky, I close my eyes tight and whisper, “star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight…  I wish for… a cleaning lady.” 

Well, Princess Tiana, I’m not.

I’m left winded and disappointed every time.

With no fairy godmothers showing up to my parties, my adventures in housekeeping leave me pleading to my husband to let someone else come over and do the work.  My husband is the type that works more than full-time and still wanted to build the backyard playset for the children from scratch.  You can guess what his response was.

Phooey.

Then, there is the issue of budget.  Nowadays, everyone is on a budget.  Cutting back, getting out of debt, preparing for the future…  In order to justify the expense of a cleaning lady, I would need to to some serious cutting back in other areas.  Hmm…  TV/Cable?  No way.  Glee just had it’s premiere tonight.  And, Survivor: Nicaragua is pretty rockin’ so far.  Cell phone?  Dream on.  That iphone is my woobie.  I literally sleep with it in my hand.  Don’t even mention the word that starts with “sh” and ends with “oes.”  So, what would I give up in order to get a cleaning lady?

Oh yeah, you can hear it now... "Don't stop believing..."

1.  THE DVD COLLECTION:  Let’s start there.  Because, really, how many times can my husband make me watch Gladiator and Braveheart? Unless it’s Grease or Dirty Dancing, it’s not worth watching over and over.  And, those two are on TBS at least twice a month.  So, we’re good.

2.  MY FIRST BORN CHILD:  What?  You spend just thirty minutes in a mall with her and then we’ll talk.  Besides, she’s the one making most of the messes.

3.  MY PINKY TOES:  What are they good for anyway?  It’s not like the big toes that we need for balance.  Sure, they wouldn’t fetch as much as a kidney, but a family like mine will drive you to drink.  I’m going to need all the internal organs I can get later in life.

4.  TEETH:  I have 20 baby teeth and two adult molars I could hock.  Baby teeth fetch a pretty penny these days.  Come to think of it, Smalls will be losing hers soon anyway… we could make that 40. And, I have to assume that molars are worth something.  Why else would the dentist give them to you after he yanks them out of your mouth?

Here's an idea... maybe a nice strand of baby teeth could fetch a buck or two.

5.  SOCKS.  I have at least 10 socks.  They could be re-knitted into a sweater or something.  So what if none of them match?  I’m sure I’ll find the mates as soon as I get rid of them.

6.  FOOD.  Tons of it.  All stuffed in my kitchen cabinets.  I have no use for it.  I can replace it all with Ramen Noodles and Birdseye Steamers because, really, that’s all I know how to cook.

No?  Okay!  Fine!  I’ll sell the kidney.  If I need one when I’m old, well, that’s what kids are for, right?



Forces of Nature

Contrary to popular belief, I do not actually enjoy shopping.  Every once in a while, I can appreciate some retail therapy, but there has to be a “perfect storm” of conditions in order for this to happen.  

photo from weather.about.com

  1.  I have to be alone.  Absolutely alone.  With nowhere to be at any specific time.  And, very poor cell phone reception.
  2. I cannot be shopping for anything in particular.  I am known for creating items that do not exist and then getting peeved when I can’t find them in the stores.
  3. I have to be shopping for myself.
  4. Budget?  What budget?
  5. It has to be on a “skinny” day.  You know, those magical days when the scale says you lost 2 pounds in your sleep.
  6. My hair has to look good.
  7. I have to get an amazing deal on at least one item.
  8. 7  out of 10 items I try on have to fit.
  9. I must have a frothy, chocolatey, caffeinated beverage.  And, even some biscotti to dip in it.
  10. I have to purchase at least one pair of shoes.

Rarely, very rarely, does this “perfect storm” occur.  The closest I get is DSW shoe warehouse on my lunch hour and that’s only because I’m a DSW rewards member (hello coupons!), my feet don’t Benedict Arnold me like my waistline does, and there’s a fudge shoppe right next door.  

shoeblog.com

 This weekend, I needed to get fall clothes for Smalls.  Not that it is getting any cooler down here in the South (97 degrees last night at 6pm), but there were some good sales going on and I had some free time.  My sister had a 30% off coupon at Kohl’s and convinced me to meet up with her to go shopping for the kids.  Hmm…  Me, my two kids, her, her daughter…  maybe I should just skip it… but, it’s 30% off… and, I could always spend the money I saved on some shoes…  okay, what the heck! 

Now, up until this point, I have always refered to my sister as AJenda on this blog.  However, for this post, I feel the need to reveal her true identity.  The real nickname behind the nickname.  In my family, I am referred to as “Emma Dilemma,” “Dilemma,” or “that bitch.”  My sister has always been referred to as “Hurricane Jen.”  She comes on strong, with little or no warning.  When you think it’s over, she’s really only half-way done.  When she actually is done, you’re standing around looking at the disaster area.  She’s also a lot of fun when you’re drinking and the damage is happening to someone else.  Stores do not stand a chance against the Hurricane.  When she is shopping, she is trying on everything in the store.  I have been in dressing rooms with her where they literally are shutting the lights off and locking us in and she’s breaking out the keychain flashlight and trying to see how the last two pairs of jeans look.  

Why can't all hurricanes be like this? PS - I'm so tracking down the stemless glass. Love it.

Me, I’m more of a tsunami shopper.  I’m in and I’m out.  Quick, like that.  I take what I want and I drag it back out with me.  No lolly-gagging, no agonizing over decisions.  I want it, I buy it.  I don’t want it, I don’t put it in the cart.  You can see how it’s probably not a good idea for my sister and I to go shopping together.  I’m usually hanging up the clothes after she has tried them on and whining, “can we go now?” 

I figured this time though, we were shopping for the kids, it couldn’t be that bad.  And, it wouldn’t have been.  

***** 

Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]:  Headed to Kohl’s right now.  Where are you?  Brace yourself, hurricane Granny is hot on our trail. 

Peeved: [blissfully unaware of text message]  Smalls, do you like this shirt? 

Smalls:  No, too stripey. 

Peeved:  How about this shirt? 

Smalls:  No, too spotty. 

Peeved:  Well, you need to pick some shirts. 

Smalls:  Well, I don’t like any of these. 

Peeved:  How about this one? 

Smalls:  Nope. 

Peeved:  This one? 

Smalls:  Nope.  Look, mommy!  Hamster pajamas! 

Peeved:  You don’t need pajamas. 

Smalls:  Hamster pajamas!! 

Peeved:  I’ll only get you the hamster pajamas if you start picking some shirts you like. 

Smalls:  Okay. 

Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]:  We’re here… can’t find you… did you seek shelter from the storm? 

Peeved:  [putting hamster pajamas in cart, still blissfully unaware of text messages] Okay, how about this shirt? 

Smalls:  Yep.  [You guessed it, Smalls is a Lightening Storm shopper.] 

Except, noisier.

Peeved:  This one? 

Smalls:  Too flowery. 

Peeved:  Oh, how cute!  Look at his one. 

Smalls:  Nope. 

Peeved:  Smalls, we made a deal.  No hamster pajamas if you don’t pick some shirts. 

Smalls:  I did pick a shirt.  That one. 

Peeved:  Well, you need more than one shirt. 

Smalls:  So, get the same shirt in different colors, then.  Aunt Hurricane!! 

Peeved:  Oh, thank goodness.  Can you please suggest shirts to her?  I can’t get her to say yes to anything I pick. 

Hurricane:  Sure, hey – did you get my… 

Smalls:  Granny!!! 

Peeved:  Wha? 

Hurricane: … texts?  I tried to warn you. 

***** 

What’s the mother of all storms, people?  You guessed it.  Tornado Granny.  Tornado Granny is like a hurricane in that she comes on quick without any warning, except the destruction isn’t left spread all over the place, it’s been completely lifted away and relocated.  Granny hits the clearance racks like tornados target trailer parks.  Everything starts in the cart, but inevitably is put back before she gets to the checkout lane.  It’s like a weird form of tactile window shopping.  Also like a tornado, Granny disappears just as fast as she appears. 

***** 

[literally 3 hours into the shopping trip] 

Peeved:  You got everything? 

Hurricane:  Yep, I’m good to go. 

Peeved:  Sweet, let’s get out of here. 

Hurricane:  Yeah, the game starts soon and I’m starving. 

Peeved:  I feel like I swallowed a ShamWow! and my feet are about to fall off. 

Hurricane:  I hear ya.  Where’s mom? 

Peeved:  I don’t know.  I thought you knew? 

Hurricane:  Oh shit, we lost her.  Call her. 

Biggie:  She probably bailed again. 

Mini-Hurricane:  Yeah, she’s been known to do that! 

Peeved:  [calling Tornado on her cell phone] Ma, where are you? 

Tornado:  You know that completely hidden fitting room that you never would have looked for me in?  I’m hiding out in there.  Don’t tell your sister, she’ll make me put back all my clearance clothes

Peeved:  Found her.  Come on, guys. 

***** 

As predicted, Hurricane tried to talk Tornado out of her white-trash finery, carrying in clothes by the armful.  Guess who was left putting them all back on the hangers and saying, “Can we go now?!”  The children were taking turns pretending they were sad puppies up for adoption, hiding inside the rack of track pants, and having their mom paged over the PA system. 

Two very long hours later, we did finally get out of there.  Not before Biggie had an avalanche inspired melt-down because I wouldn’t by her 3-inch hot pink patent leather and zebra striped heels, though.  Gosh, I’m the worst mom ever.  Didn’t you know? 

I finally crawled into the storm shelter of my couch, called the Red Cross for a beer IV and tried to avoid any further disasters.  The only Perfect Storm I would be getting would be ordered through Netflix and starring George Clooney.  Mmm…. George Clooney.  That’d make everything better. 




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