FIrst Date: Well, at least I didn’t do *that*.

Where were we?  Ah yes. I was meeting Johnny Rotten for the Very! First! Time! My Munchkin had fallen off the bed, I was overcome with a fit of I-am-a-terrible-mother-and-person, I cried my eyes out, he knocked on the door, and the hot mess that was me was revealed like the worst episode of Extreme Makeover ever.

He hugged me, told me it was great to meet me, and then–AND THEN!– offered to hold the baby so that I could wipe my face off and put real pants on.

Before I get massive internet screaming about how I was a horrible mom who let her kid fall off the bed and then let a stranger– an Internet Person– hold her darling child, let me just say that he has two kids. I knew that he knew that babies have to be held the right side up, even though there is no little label with an arrow to tell him so. I was in the house, only a few feet away. The door wouldn’t be closed, except to put pants on (which, dudes? I am totally good at that. If I were a superhero, I’d probably be FastGarmentPuttingOnGirl or something) and my sister and her boyfriend were about eight seconds away, as they were coming to eyeball the new guy babysit.

It went smashingly well. I got out of the bathroom to find that Munchkin was cooing at Johnny Rotten and Johnny Rotten was cooing right back at Munchkin. D’awwww.  You know when you meet someone and they’re really good at everything, and it kind of makes you feel bad and like you can’t be friends with them because you have your own blooper reel from every single day and you coast from one embarrassment to another? Yeah. That.

Folks, I really liked him.  I mean, really liked him. Reallyreallyreally liked him. I chalked it up as a ‘sucks to be me’ situation, because it wasn’t a date-date, it was hanging out. A relationship wouldn’t have worked anyway, because we were not only from different countries which kind of makes dating a little tough, but we both had just ended long term relationships and rebound relationships never work, right? Right. Still, doing something on a Saturday night is better than doing nothing on a Saturday night, and if the person I’m doing things with is cute and smells good, all the better.

He easily dealt with The Sister’s interrogation polite conversation and small talk, and we headed out for dinner. All good. I wasn’t trainwrecky, and he loosened up a little. We were getting along great, and even if this didn’t work out into anything meaningful– which it wouldn’t, of course!– we both had fun. We were having such a good time, in fact, that we decided to spend some more time together and went out for a drink at the local pub.

Maybe he was finally getting comfortable around me, or maybe it was just the wine with dinner, but he had gone from ‘loosening up’ to a little flirty. I had figured that he was not into me like that, but I guess he was just shy and really polite. He seemed to like me. Like, like-like me. Yes, like THAT. I was stoked, and I figured that he’d make his move any second.

Two things happened at that very moment.

One: my jacket dropped from my chair onto the floor.

Two: he made the move he had been contemplating all evening.

I bent down to get my jacket, and he tried to execute some kind of suave contortion to put his arm around my shoulders. Had he swept his arm up around the back like a normal person, and not an Internet Person, everything would have gone according to plan and I wouldn’t be telling you this, because it would be boring.

Happily for the sake of stories told to strangers, he did not. He swept his arm up in front of me, like he was going to put it over my head, and then have it land on my shoulders. At that exact moment, i bent forward to grab my jacket. We collided.  Smooth.

For the second time that day, my mascara was ruined because of tears, but these weren’t anything emotional. It seems to be a pretty normal body response to being elbowed full force in the  face, you know? It wasn’t a little tap. My eyes watered. I tasted blood. I could feel my lip puffing up. I swore.

For him, the phrase ‘died a thousand deaths’ didn’t even begin to cover it. He apologized. He asked if I was okay.  He apologized more.

Johnny Rotten was so very, very upset by this. I started to laugh. Of course, most people don’t laugh right after they get hit in the teeth, and he mistook it for sobbing, which I found even funnier. He was ready to accept that this had been a complete failure, and started gathering my things so that he could take me home.  Once I caught my breath, I convinced him that I really didn’t hate him. I knew it was an accident, I wasn’t badly hurt, and I wanted to continue the evening.

It was more than that though, for me. Yes, I absolutely did want to continue the evening, but you know what? Him bashing me in the teeth took all the pressure off. Yeah, maybe I did end up answering the door in pj pants, with a yelling infant and a leaking face…. but at least I didn’t turn tentative affection into outright battery.

The pressure was off. We were now even-steven, and I knew I wanted to see him again.

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There are people in need out there. Its my duty to help.

I checked my stats this morning, and I learned that I am already helping people!

Someone searched for ‘cold wax stuck’, as you can see. They found my illuminating and more-terrifying-than-a-bird-in-a-clown-suit post about the perils of cold wax. I’m guessing that because of me, they were either able to unstick scissors or a guinea pig–or a guinea pig wielding scissors– from their hoo-hah, which pretty much puts me right on course for some kind of humanitarian award in the field of hoo-hah saving.

As an aside here, and this is kind of important, ‘hoo-hah’s are not the same as ‘hooah’s. When Johnny Rotten was in the army, they said ‘hooAH’ a lot. It’s kind of just a grunt of ‘yes I heard you and yes we’re totally going to do whatever it is you’re asking Go Team Army!” kind of noise. Of course, ‘hoo-HAH’ is slang for vagina.  I can’t tell you how many times I nearly busted up laughing at Very Important Events because to my ear, it sounded like whole herds of soldiers were enthusiastically yelling the equivalent to “coochiesnorcher!” during inspirational times of whatever meeting they were attending. Yes, I am well aware of how immature I am. Yes, I totally think it should happen anyway. I’m an soon-to be awardwinning expert in this field, remember?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are not chicken.

Madame X is one of those people who took me under her wing when Johnny Rotten deployed. I firmly believe that everyone should have a friend like that, especially if one lives far from wherever ‘home’ is and one has found herself completely alone in her brave new world.

The Portrait of Madame X.

Seriously, y’all.  She is  a hell of a person and one of the nicest folks I’ve met. She also tended to put me in situations that were, to put it in the kindest possible way, “learning experiences”. Whether that is included in being a hell of a person or is the exception to that statement is up to you to decide.

This is the tale of one of those learning experiences.

Madame X and I were on our way to a party out in the country. She was actually invited, and I was her plus-one, not that anyone had actually allowed for plus-ones. I had been raised to be a polite person– though I often fail at that, as anyone know knows me in real life can attest– and I was a bit concerned about showing up without an invitation. Whatever, she assured me that it was fine.

When I say this was out in the country, I mean it was way, way waaaaaaaaaaaay out there. We drove towards nowhere, and about 20 minutes past when I thought we would have reached the end of the earth, we finally arrived.

No, we were not ‘there yet”. I may have repeatedly been told to stop asking.

Madame X introduced me around. Everyone was very nice, especially when they heard that my husband was overseas. If there’s one thing I have learned about Oklahomans, they take supporting their troops very, very seriously. I felt awesome. The kids were playing, I was chatting to strangers, and someone– probably Madame X, come to think of it– had put an ice cold beer in my hand. I was definitely the ‘new person’, an outsider, and the subject of much curiosity, but everything was going smashingly well.

If you like me and want no misfortune for me, perhaps you’d better stop reading here. You can close out this story, secure in the knowledge that I did not make an ass of myself and everything was good, if a little boring.  If, however, you like me but like schadenfreude just a little bit more, keep reading.
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Still here? Sadist. Okay, on we go.

So everything was going smashingly well, as I was saying.  Madame X had realized that I was doing A-OK without her having to run interference, and she was off talking to her friends. I heard my name called from over by the food prep area, and went over to see what was going on.

I could feel everyone’s eyes on me. I’m not sure if I imagined it or not, but it seemed a hush came over the partygoers.  I looked around, but could see nothing that would cause this.  The very large man in overalls that had called me over was grinning at me, and suddenly, I had a very, very bad feeling that I was about to have yet another ‘learning experience’.

He asked if I knew what calf fries were. I most certainly did: deep fried bovine testicles. Bull-balls, if you will. They are sliced thinly, then dredged-or-something, then battered-or-breaded-or-something, then fried. They don’t just fry the whole thing, because that would be ridiculous, you know? Madame X had told me about them on the way there, and had made a point of telling me that I absolutely was under no obligation to try them if I didn’t want to.

It looked like that “no obligation” thing was about to change.  The large grinning man asked if I wanted one, and without waiting for a reply, pulled a piece of bovine testicle out of his overalls pocket and handed it to me.

I looked over at Madame X, who had the most horrified look I’ve ever seen on her face. I don’t think she’s a praying type, but I think she was praying really hard right then. Had she been closer, I’m sure she would told the guy to knock it off, but she was far enough away that all she could do was watch. I had to deal with this all by my lonesome, with a very curious audience just waiting to see what this city girl would do. It was like I had showed up at an Old West themed dinner theater production, and I was the surprise star.

I realized, as I looked at the castration byproduct that was still warm from large-man body heat and a bit linty from his pocket, that the fried-‘nad was cooling. As unappetizing as I felt it was while hot, cold would be much, much worse.

For illustrative purposes only. This is probably not the previous owner of the deep fried huevos de toro.

There is only one possible solution to a situation like this. It wasn’t a  snack, it was a test. It was a game of chicken, with something that tasted like chicken but totally was not chicken.  I had no choices. I had to eat the calf testicle or be shunned as a stick-in-the-ass city person who is too good for calf testicles. Worse, Madame X would be shunned too just for knowing me, and both of us would be subject to “Bless her heart, but…” behind our backs. I popped it in my mouth, chewed twice, swallowed and thanked OverallMan.

I made the right choice. The audience seemed satisfied and went back to their drinks and small talk, though a few of the ladies looked a little disappointed that there were no histronics.

Madame X was impressed, and honestly, I think thats when we went from friendly acquaintances to actual friends. Maybe that should be the test of any friendship: would your potential friend eat a linty chunk of bullball from a strangers pocket, just to make sure you aren’t shunned by your peers for knowing her? I’m proud of myself, because yes, I am that kind of friend.

I would probably do it for you too, because in all honesty, calf fries are actually kind of tasty. Next time, I might even try them without the lint.

These are things that keep me up at night.

For my entire adult life, I have struggled with insomnia. Its not really that big of a deal, and mostly, I deal with it without too much fuss or trouble.

A few years ago though, I had a particularly rough time with insomnia, and finally made an appointment with my doctor to see if we could get it sorted out.

He seemed pretty concerned about me. After all, Johnny Rotten had just come back from deployment, we were having some behavioral issues with the kids, and so on. It was nothing huge, but a ton of little things can mess with your life as easily as one big thing can.

He asked me if I had had problems the previous night, and I admitted that I had. He asked if I would like to tell him what was on my mind. This was all Very Serious Business, folks. Very serious indeed. I didn’t really know what to tell him. The issues that kept me up at night were not actually issues, and I told him so.

Have you ever been to a doctor for some kind of issue, and you know you’re not depressed or anxious but you know you’re showing signs of stress and anxiety for absolutely no reason at all, then you have to figure out how to to explain it in a way that makes sense and/or does not make you look like a complete moron?  Thats what was happening at this exact moment. I took a deep breath and paused, not because I was ready to tell my deepest darkest secrets, but because I was trying to figure out how to not look like a moron.

I told him that the previous night, I spent quite a bit of time wondering about why things were the way they were. I was vague.

“Can you tell me one of the thoughts that kept you up last night?”, he pressed a little further, gently, with a box of tissues at the ready in case I broke down.

Fine. I came out with it. I told him that I spent that time wondering why toothpaste and oral care products are usually only available in mint flavor. I mean, yeah, you sometimes find them in cinnamon flavor, but they are overwhelmingly mint. If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we figure out that not everyone likes mint? I bet a lot of people would be interested in raspberry or lemon or almond flavor. For goodness sakes, they make bubblegum flavor for kids and beef gravy flavor for dogs– why are we adults stuck with mint? This all seems very unfair. It’s like four out of five dentists want mint-haters to get gingivitis.

He looked at me and blinked. And blinked again. I don’t think that’s what he was expecting to hear, but it was the truth. I absolutely did spend way too much time thinking about that. Note: given the subject, any time spent thinking about that is way too much time.

The doctor sort of shrugged and looked defeated. He suggested taking an over the counter sleep aid once in awhile for my rough nights. He also suggested that I see a therapist.

Looking back, that was kind of dumb. I didn’t need therapy. I just needed to talk to a dentist. That would’ve put this matter, and me, to rest.

Everyone but my dog wishes you a happy halloween.

That title? It says it all.

Everyone’s dog has some kind of weirdness. I used to, until tonight, think it was everyone’s but mine. I now stand corrected.
My husband (who isn’t named yet on this blog. Isn’t that weird? Let’s invent a good name for him, folks!) and I took the munchkin out for trick or treating tonight. Nothing weird about that. We came home, she dropped her candy off, then she decided to wrangle her long suffering, overly-patient older brother into taking her out some more. Nothing weird about that either.  Husband (jeez, this lack of nickname is really pissing me off now) and I went to the minimart to pick up a Bud with clam for me. Nothing weird there either, if you are gracious enough to ignore the fact that I quite enjoy my hoppy, malty beverages with a healthy dose of bivalve juice.

We got home. Usually, there’s a dog-stampede to the door whenever anyone opens it, because PEOPLE. This time, however, there was nothing. Not a one of the three came to greet us at all. That…. was weird.

Immediately my mind went to the worst place it possibly could on short notice: clearly, they had been brutally beaten by robbers, while protecting our home, and I needed to find them and pet them and let them know how much I adored them for their selflessness and courage.

I walked into the bedroom, yelling for the beasts who had obviously become incapacitated in Saving. My. Life. Y’all don’t even understand. I was in the house for 15 seconds, and I was already sure that the reason they werent showing up was because they were too busy being heroes.

No. No, they are not heroes.  They all helped themselves to candy and were busy ripping open the packages on the bedroom floor. The lady-dogs were bad enough, having grabbed fun sized packs of Skittles, but BoyDog really took the cake–or the candy– on this one. The munchkin had gotten one of the all coveted king-sized M&M packages while trick or treating. ONE. If you grew up halloweening, you know what I mean when I say that getting the full sized treats is rare, so the King Sized packs? Like finding the holy grail on a purple velvet cushion on the back of a three legged unicorn that’s stomping through a field of honest bipartisan effort, high on ecstasy and life.

That King Sized pack was what the dog was eating. Of ALL the treats he could have chosen, that was the one he had stolen, ripped open and was happily munching on while deluding me into thinking that he saved my life.  I thought he was saving me from bandits, but it appears he was busy being a bandit himself. BoyDog was then called BastardDog. And maybe, just maybe, a few other choice things as I tried to assess whether he was going to kill himself with the amount of chocolate he ate (he isn’t) and whether I’m going to need to get the steam cleaner to remove the chocolate-candy shell-drool ganache from the carpet (I do).

MandMs

Exhibit A: Clearly the dog executed a surgical strike on this bag.

So. I told BastardDog that he was in fact, a BastardDog. And I told him that this kind of behavior was unacceptable. And I told him that he should be very sorry about what he’s done, because MY GOD, that was a king sized bag of M&M’s, acquired while trick or treating, and clearly he did not appreciate the rarity of this situation.

He refused to meet my eyes. He slumped over and it became pretty clear to me that what I had told him had really sunk in. He was truly sorry… until he dashed off to fetch himself a bag of Skittles to munch on while I was talking. Jeez, BastardDog.

Munchkin came home a few minutes after I had endured this horrible treachery. She had a fun time with her brother. She was looking forward to taking her costume off finally. She was….. wait, where was the king sized bag of M&Ms?

I should have known better than to assume that she wouldn’t notice. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. There was nothing I could do but tell her that unless she wanted to share the spit of a creature that licks his own rear end, they were gone. I explained the situation, hoping that she’d be at least concerned for his well being. Im not ashamed to say I pushed the “but chocolate is toxic to dogs!” thing, just as a sympathy ploy.

What’d she do?

I’ll give you a minute. What would a reasonable 11 year old girl do, when confronted with the news that her dog had just eaten her prized trick-or-treatin’ treasure?

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Did you guess “she flipped him off?” No? Then you lose, because that is exactly what happened.

Long story short? My dog stole my daughters halloween bounty, because he’s a dick. She decided to flip him off, because obviously, as a dog, he will completely understand that. God, honestly? I think he looked at her and licked her hand.  This is my life, folks. And this is why I both write and drink. Happy Halloween!

Oh, PS? I think Im going to call husband “Johnny Rotten”. So there.