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Sometimes You Have to Take a Detour

  • February 10, 2009

In the spring of 1988, I dropped out of the University of Iowa and moved home to Des Moines to take a job at my dad’s motorcycle dealership selling extended warranties and insurance.

In addition to providing me with an all expenses paid, albeit temporarily incomplete, college education, and now a job, my dad also drove to Coralville, moved everything out of my apartment into a big truck, and drove it home. He had also moved Trish in and out of various apartments and I rode shotgun with him once. The two of us transported everything Trish owned to California, unpacked it, and headed back east stopping only in Vegas because my dad wanted to show me the lights and buy me a shrimp cocktail.

After my dad moved my things back into my high school bedroom, I began my new job at the motorcycle dealership. I was unapologetically boy crazy so working in an environment that was, by its very design meant to appeal primarily to the opposite sex seemed like a smart move in my opinion.

Since I lived at home, every penny I earned was spent at the mall. In my twenty-one year old world the only worries I had were whether Target would continue to sell the hairspray I’d discovered (Stiff Stuff, perfect for my late eighties mile – high hair) and if my brown leather skirt was in fact too short to allow me to sit on a bar stool without flashing everyone my hooha.

I wasn’t responsible for paying any property taxes and I’m not sure I could have explained their function in relation to the free roof over my head. I’m certain I was not registered to vote and wouldn’t have been able to name a single branch of the United States Government.

I spent the time I was not working baking myself brown in a tanning bed and smoking Benson and Hedges Deluxe Ultra Light 100’s.

One afternoon when I was working at the dealership the sales manager sold several Honda scooters to three customers, two men and one woman, who came in together. They paid just under ten-thousand dollars in wilted twenty-dollar bills. I spent a half hour sitting on the floor counting and re-counting the bills which were wrinkly and smelled like dirt and sweat. I also completed all the sale paperwork. I remember the woman had the longest fake fingernails I’d ever seen and they were painted red. Her name was Mary and I wanted to ask her how she buttoned her shirt with nails that long but I didn’t.

A couple years later I took the skills my dad had taught me and, with his blessing, started working at a car dealership.

One day a man in a dark suit came in and asked the receptionist to page me to the sales floor.

When I arrived he handed me a subpoena to appear in federal court in the case of the state versus “the three scooter-buying drug dealers.” Even though I hadn’t actually been the one to sell the scooters, my name was on all the paperwork which is how I ended up in federal court as a witness for the prosecution.

I didn’t think they meant court like placing my hand on a bible and swearing to “tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God.” But that’s exactly what it means when you are subpoenaed to federal court.

If I had been paying the slightest bit of attention to anything I would have presented myself better and not shown up in a short blue miniskirt, white tights, and navy blue pumps. The minor witness for the prosecution looked like a hooker.

I was called to the stand, which was located directly in front of the defendants, in this case unrepentant drug dealers who were allowed to glare at and terrify the twenty-three year old hooker/witness that had been forced to testify against them.

I swore to tell the truth and I did. The prosecuting attorney wanted me to state that it was unusual for the defendants to have paid in cash. I told him farmers did it all the time when they came in to buy ATV’s. He wanted me to agree that paying just under ten-thousand dollars in cash, thus exempting us from having to fill out a special form, was suspect. I simply stated that that was what the total ended up being for the three scooters.

My time on the stand was done after that. I’m not sure what they thought an inconsequential witness like me could add to the case. I had listened to enough testimony before I was finally called to the stand to realize that whatever I said would have no influence on the outcome of the trial.

I never feared retribution of any kind. This was due in part to my immature and undeveloped cognitive thought processes and the fact that the drug dealers were going to prison for a while. After my day in court I simply returned to my simple life of hair spray, limited responsibility, and boys.

Eventually I started having a recurring dream that I was still attending the University of Iowa but I’m late for all of my final exams and I haven’t completed any of the semester’s assignments for a single class. I’m so far behind there’s no way I will ever catch up.

It’s that feeling that sent me back to school in the fall of 1992, shortly before I met Dave. I went to night school at Grandview College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.

Sometimes I still have that dream and I regret dropping out of college more than anything I‘ve ever done in my life. I wish my dad had thrown a fit instead of a lifeline.

But when I hear about a marriage breaking up or an irresponsible mid-life crisis being attributed to oats that weren’t sown I sometimes feel a little better.

These boots are made for walkin’

  • February 6, 2009

Here is your mission should you choose to accept it:

You have 24 hours to find a pair of size six snow boots for a nine and a half year old boy.

Good luck. You are going to need it.

Probably you should just blow off this mission and go to a bar. It’s impossible.

Had I known I would need to buy Matthew new boots I could have started looking for them months ago when they were still available. I didn’t discover the need for new boots until four days ago when I picked up a pair of wet socks by the front door.

“Matthew why are your socks all wet?” I asked.

“Because my boots have holes in the bottom.”

“Both of them?”

“Yeah.”

“Why didn’t you say anything to me?”

“I don’t know.”

How odd because Matthew usually tells me every single thing that’s bothering him in regards to his personal comfort. Anything being wet usually sends him over the edge. He can’t stand tags of any kind and will complain if his clothes don’t feel right. Actually, he’ll start jumping around and screaming until I get the scissors and cut out the tag. Lauren doesn’t care if her underwear is on backward and could probably wear a shirt made entirely OUT of tags. She’s easygoing that way.

I know teenaged boys are not the most communicative specimens on the planet but Matthew is only nine and a half and I thought he’d be at least thirteen before we reached the communication breakdown years.

Since I love to shop, I thought replacing the boots would not be a problem. I’d simply go to Target and buy another pair. I’d probably get a huge discount on them and pay next to nothing. I’d buy them one size bigger and he could wear them again next winter.

I was clearly deluded and I have no grasp of how the retail inventory system works. Only Punxsutawney Phil and I are admitting its still winter. Target thinks its sandal and swimsuit season. Where does all the winter stuff go? Is there a giant secret winter warehouse somewhere that they store it in or does it all get shipped to Australia?

Next, I frantically searched the Internet and Land’s End is on my shit list. Their website is nothing but a big bait and switch. It appears that they have the boots but when I get ready to place them in my shopping cart, the only color they actually have is magenta and the only size available is four. Ditto LL Bean.com, zappos.com, and any other web site that claims to still have boots in stock.

I got out the phone book and started calling all the local shoe stores. The high school employees laughed at me.

I asked my neighbor Lisa for help. She didn’t know where I could get boots but she told me the next day at the bus stop that she’d had a dream that there were boys snow boots in Oelwein, IA.

Trish had a roommate in college named Janis whose boyfriend lived in Oelwein. Janis somehow convinced Trish and me to go home with her one weekend to stay at her much older, farmer boyfriend’s house for some sort of party.

I was so traumatized by the 48 hours I spent in Oelwein that I’m never going back, not even if the town’s welcome wagon lady hands me a cosmopolitan and a Dooney and Bourke handbag upon my arrival. Not even if every boys size six snow boot in the world is being stored there in a giant warehouse. Not even if you can grab as many pairs as you want. For free.

And if you’re reading this blog post and you live in Oelwein, I’m sorry (but get the fuck out right now before the pod people convince you to stay there for the rest of your life).

I couldn’t find boots anywhere. I admitted defeat and the thought of Matthew having to go to school with cardboard and duct tape holding his boots together was more than I could endure. I considered home schooling him for the next six weeks.

And then, I remembered something. I ran to the front closet and dug out my navy blue Sporto winter boots. They weren’t magenta. They were warm and the soles were perfectly intact. Matthew’s feet are only a little smaller than mine so they’d probably fit OK.

“Matthew, come here. Look what I found in the closet.”

He tried them on. “I don’t like them mom. I love them!”

“Do they fit?”

“Yeah!”

Matthew needed new boots and mama worked it out. Sure, I sent my son to school in his mother’s boots. Sure, some dick headed older kid could pull the old “your mama wears Sporto boots” and it would be true. And I have no idea the psychological damage I might have done by sending him to school in said boots. Someday Matthew might by lying on a shrink’s couch saying, “my mom made me wear her boots, man. She totally tricked me and I wore those boots for two years because I didn’t know it was weird.”



I don’t care. His socks are dry and his feet are warm and that’s all I care about.

Mission impossible, my ass.

The Real Housewives

  • February 5, 2009

I know I said I was not going to watch those attention whores out in Orange County anymore but I lied. Maybe I need some kind of twelve-step program or support group to wean myself off this producer manipulated and highly edited reality piece of crap. Every time I watch it, I feel myself getting dumber and yet I can’t stop.

When I saw that the little red light for the DVR was on and I figured out what it was recording I was all “hey Dave, Real Housewives is on. Wanna watch?”

And since Dave secretly likes watching the Real Housewives and probably wanted me to stop talking so he could have some peace and quiet he said “sure.”

This week’s episode of the Real Housewives had so many things I can make fun of I don’t even know where to start.

The show began with Tamra and her mom going out for dinner for the first time since her mom’s face-lift. She obviously went the whole extreme makeover route because her trailer park hairstyle had been replaced by a tasteful shorter ‘do and her makeup looked nice. I thought she looked great and the plastic surgeon did a good job.

Tamra asked her mom what she wanted to drink and her mom replied that her new look needed a new drink. Otherwise, she’d just have a beer. Tamra replied, “We took the beer out of you, remember?”

How fun! Tamra and Simon are both working on their own little Eliza Doolittle projects. Tamra’s husband Simon is going to class Tamra up (he started by making her go to etiquette class a few episodes ago because she doesn’t know how to hold her fork) and Tamra is going to class her mom up with a new face, hair, and alcoholic beverage. I can’t wait to see how they both turn out.

Tamra decided that her mom needed to start online dating so she signed her up. She suggested her mom’s user name could be ‘mom of the hottest housewife in Orange County’. OK, whatever Tamra. I hate to break it to you but Gretchen is way hotter than you are.

Tamra was helping her mom build a profile and when she got to the part where you have to choose your turn ons, something rang a distinct bell.

Tamra mentioned erotica, skinny-dipping, flirting, and candlelight. Hey! Those are Trish’s ideal match turn ons (except erotica, she FINALLY took that off after I threatened to do it myself). Tamra’s mom didn’t want erotica either but she was fine with the other three.

And by the way, last season Tamra went to her own plastic surgeon to get the size of her breasts reduced but I think that was a big fat lie because they are still huge, obnoxious, and distracting.

Tamra is not a big girl but her boobs make her look top heavy and cheap. I know I’ve mentioned getting my own boob job someday but just to clarify, it’s not because I want them to be bigger. I just want them returned to their original pre-pregnancy location.

The housewives took a girl’s only road trip to Vegas. The producers at Bravo aren’t dummies and they know a good opportunity to exploit drunken housewives when they see one.

They played blackjack and several housewives had a little trouble with math. Lynne didn’t even realize that getting twenty-one was a good thing. She also didn’t know if her home had air conditioning.

I can understand not knowing your cholesterol level or maybe your current homeowner’s insurance deductible. Maybe you aren’t sure if your car has four or six or eight cylinders. But not knowing whether you have air conditioning at home means that you are completely and certifiably stupid.

I had a mental image of Lynne coming home from a workout or playing tennis. As she opens the door she crosses her fingers and thinks to herself “I wonder if the MAGIC that controls the internal temperature of my home has cooled it down while I was gone. I’m awfully sweaty and the icy MAGIC feels so good when it’s hot outside.”

The other housewives (none of them members of Mensa) were totally giving Lynne a hard time about how stupid she is. And Lynne IS so stupid that she couldn’t even comprehend that they were making fun of her. I think she might have taken a few bong hits up in her room because she seemed even spacier than normal. She did finally say there was a big machine in the house and sometimes she heard it turn on so maybe that was the air conditioner.

The housewives went out for dinner and drinks and Vicki got really territorial about dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives. Everyone but Gretchen already knew that was Vicki’s signature drink, DUH! But when Gretchen exclaimed that it was HER favorite drink and she had no idea Vicki liked them too Vicki got all pissed off and Gretchen was accused of being a copycat. Vicki, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery so cool your jets.

I don’t know why a grown woman would care if someone ordered the same drink. Besides, she’s going to drink too many dirty martinis and fall down later anyway. On last week’s episode (yes, I watched that one too) Vicki accepted an award in front of a big group of people and when she turned to walk away she missed a step and fell flat on her ass.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I think people falling down is hilarious and I laugh so hard I pee whenever anyone (including myself) wipes out. Tom thinks it’s funny too, which is why I’m saving a place for him next to me in hell.

When they were hanging out at the pool, Gretchen told everyone she’d rather be absolutely ridiculous rather than absolutely boring. She said that was actually her motto. I think she made her point spectacularly and Vicki finally had to tell her to go sit down and stop blowing the “hottie’ whistle she picked up somewhere.

Jeana mentioned that she and Lynne were past the hottie whistle stage and that was totally news to Lynne. News that did not go over well.

The housewives finally stopped wreaking havoc on the state of Nevada and got back in their limo and went home.

Next week, Tamra tries to work through her abandonment issues with her dad. Jeana goes on her first date since separating from Matt. And I need my head examined for knowing so much about this show. *****The Real Housewives of New York premieres February 17th!!!!!!!!!

I can see clearly now

  • February 4, 2009

Two years ago this month I had LASIK eye surgery at the Wolfe Clinic. It was a life changing procedure and I cannot believe I waited so long to have it done. However, I do live in fear that some day in the future I’ll wake up and be blind like Ned Flanders in that Simpson‘s episode.

My eyesight truly sucked. I started wearing glasses in third grade and switched to contacts in eighth. I could not drive a car or see across the room without my glasses or contacts. I had been thinking about LASIK surgery for a long time but my eye doctor did not think I was a viable candidate. Then all of a sudden she said I was so I think they just decide willy- nilly whether or not it will work for you.

My dad had recently bankrolled the solution to some sort of debacle Trish had gotten herself into and in a desperate attempt to regain parity between the amount spent on each of his grown adult children, he insisted on paying for me to have LASIK eye surgery even though Dave and I had already arranged to cover the cost through our flexible spending account. I accepted his generous offer. I think there is a good chance Trish will do something in the future that might result in my dad paying for a tummy tuck.

On the day of the surgery Dave dropped me off at The Wolfe Clinic. I was part of a group of ten and we were all there to have the surgery. They gave us a short presentation about what to expect and said they would be calling us up individually to give us a dose of valium. Some of the people in the group were nervous and had a lot of questions about the procedure and whether or not it would hurt.

I mostly had questions about the valium.

I wondered if we would need more after the initial dose wore off and inquired as to whether there would be some valium in the postoperative packet they told us we would receive when the procedure was complete. I had read Valley of the Dolls and did not want to miss my golden opportunity to mix alcohol with pills that were legitimately prescribed for me by a doctor. If having your corneas sliced end to end is not a good enough reason to anesthetize yourself with cabernet and valium I don’t know what is. The woman that answered my question told me no and probably also thought I had a drug problem.

I had the distinction of having the largest astigmatism of anyone being operated on in our group (which should have automatically made me eligible for additional valium but whatever).

They called my name first which was fine because I wanted to get it over with. I’d just signed all kinds of documents stating about fifty different ways I could come out of this whole thing blind and I wanted to know sooner rather than later if I’d need to learn Braille.

The procedure starts with numbing drops and then a big suction cup thingy is attached to your eyeball. Everything goes black after that and you need to remain calm and daydream or something while the Wolfe Clinic doctors and nurses do the hard stuff like calibrate the laser beams and make sure there aren’t any technical difficulties. This is the part of the procedure where they make the big flaps in your cornea.

Then you walk from that chair next door to another chair where they use laser light pulses to re-shape the corneas. It’s not a big deal at all as long as you do what the doctor tells you to and don’t have a big freak out or anything, especially when you smell the laser burning off some of your corneal tissue.

When my doctor was done with the procedure he spent a lot of time telling me how well I had done and how calm I’d been. He mentioned how quiet I was and that I followed his instructions very well. All the while he was smiling at me and patting me on the back. He seemed genuinely appreciative.

I’m very perceptive and figured out he was really telling me that most of the male patients he’d performed the LASIK procedure on were big wussies and had probably requested that the procedure be halted while they got themselves under control.

The nurse took me to another room to lie down for a while and I was shocked to find I could read the clock on the wall, even with two plastic eye shields taped over my eyes.

After about fifteen minutes they told me I could leave. I was given a giant pair of those black terminator goggles that old people are always wearing. They’re not quite so funny when you’re the one wearing them.

My numbing eye drops had started to wear off. I sat on a bench in the entryway of the Wolfe Clinic and somehow managed to open my eyes long enough to hit the speed dial for Dave on my cell phone.

When he and Lauren arrived five minutes later the stinging was so bad Dave had to lead me to the car because I couldn’t open my eyes. I was not thrilled with their decision to go through the drive thru at Wendy’s. I wanted to get home and crawl into bed with all the shades drawn.

I had been instructed to try to sleep for two to three hours because resting my eyes and keeping them closed was the best thing for them.

When I woke up and came downstairs I flipped up my plastic eye shields and used the tape to stick them to my forehead so I could take my new eyesight for a test run.

It was awesome. I watched TV that night and could see the clock on the bookcase clear across the room. My vision continually improved over the next forty-eight hours and at my post-operative eye exam a week later my vision was 20/20 in each eye.

I still have perfect eyesight. The Wolfe Clinic is dynamite with a laser beam and I’d recommend their doctors to anyone who is contemplating LASIK eye surgery. But just so you know, they are quite stingy with the valium.

I Heart Phil

  • February 3, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil is totally my homeboy. The world’s most famous groundhog saw his shadow yesterday thus predicting six more weeks of winter.

Yay for me, boo for you! I love winter. I do not have a problem with things like ground blizzards, ice storms, and major winter events that might dump 10 inches of snow on my house.

I once drove to the store in the middle of a blizzard to buy supplies (alcohol and a movie). It did not even bother me that I had to drive the car with my head hanging out the window like a dog in order to see the road. It was my own personal REO Speedwagon moment because I was so ridin’ the storm out.

One night when I was in my twenties, the weatherman on the news was warning everyone to stay inside and not leave their homes due to dangerously frigid wind chill temperatures. Lisa and I thought it would be a better idea to go to Plaza Pub, drink ourselves silly, and dance on our chairs.

We then thought it would be an even BETTER idea to go over to Kent’s house after the bar closed to join a bunch of people partying in the hot tub.

Then it seemed like an even BETTER idea to challenge each other to run around the perimeter of the house in our bare feet to see who could make it back to the hot tub first.

I had so much ice built up on the soles of my feet that I accidentally overshot the hot tub and skidded into some trees at the end of the property. Someone managed to grab the neck of my t-shirt and pull me back before I hurt myself.

The death flu I came down with thirty-six hours later is not my favorite part of this story.

In the summertime, if the weatherman predicts a dangerously high heat index I have no problem not leaving my air conditioned house for the next twenty four hours and will pay Matthew or Lauren to bring in the paper and mail for me so I don’t have to go outside.

We could use some snow right now. A lot of it melted last weekend, which exposed a big layer of what Chloe has been doing in the front yard all winter. Either we need snow to cover it back up or someone needs to get out there with a pooper-scooper because we are going to look pretty ghetto if this continues.

Sometimes I wonder if I have the opposite of Seasonal Affective Disorder because instead of getting sad when the days get shorter, I get happier. My favorite month is October because that means that winter is not far away and I like the anticipation of colder weather, the holidays, and snow. I also like cloudy days and spring is my least favorite season so perhaps I am not right in the head.

I am kind of excited for this summer though. Dave and I are looking forward to spending time with Tom and Amy at their lake house. In addition, we cannot wait to get out on our patio so we can start annoying Neal and Sandy as soon as possible.

Until then I will continue monitoring the weather channel for impending winter storms. We have a good chance of at least one blizzard in March.

Dave really wants to buy a hot tub some day. Phil and I are totally on board with that.

I don’t know what happened to my paragraphs

  • February 2, 2009

I am having a few technical difficulties with The Psychic Party post and nothing is in paragraph format toward the end. I’m pretty sure it’s my fault and I keep getting a message from Blogger.com that saving and publishing may fail. I’m getting off this blog now before it explodes and I lose all my posts.

The Psychic Party

  • February 1, 2009

First things first. Our digital camera sucks. Or the shutterbug who took most of the pictures at Saturday night’s psychic party drank a lot. Either way, I have only a handful of pictures that aren’t blurry. If you’re one of my Facebook friends you can see more snapshots from the party on my profile page (sort of).

You probably can’t read my shirt in these crappy photos but it says “wines constantly” on the front. My BFF Amy, who is standing next to me is wearing a shirt that says “group therapy.” We didn’t want anyone to think we weren’t serious about our wine drinking. Brooke and Julie are making a Tracey sandwich in the middle photo. They’re my girlfriends who live next door and across the street, respectively. They stayed really late and I actually informed them I was going to bed at 1:00 AM instead of pulling a slink and sleep like I did a couple weeks ago when I disappeared and put myself to bed without telling anyone.

Dixie started the party by telling us about her psychic abilities and how she came to realize she she could see things other people couldn’t (not ‘I see dead people’ a la the sixth sense but stuff that would probably happen to you someday).

Dixie prepared to do the first reading. If you’ve never been to a psychic party with Dixie before it’s a little unsettling to watch her “pull in” as she calls it. It takes her a minute or two and she closes her eyes and sometimes rubs her temples. It needs to be very quiet so she can concentrate and usually no one makes a sound. Note to Trish: your humming of the Twilight Zone theme song was ill timed and not appreciated.

Everyone was sitting in a circle and we took turns asking Dixie a question and giving her the name of one person. After Dixie was done answering the question and telling you about the person whose name you had given her you could go upstairs and have a 5-10 minute private reading with her son Patrick.

Shelly brought her friend Julie who asked how old her soul was. I thought that was a good question and found it interesting that Dixie took Julie backward to the cavemen days and also told us Julie had lived in Egypt. Dixie is a big believer in reincarnation and told us that many of the choices we make in our lives are the result of things that happened when we walked the earth in another body.

Dixie told Kristi, Tammy, and my neighbor Julie about some health issues that might affect them or one of their relatives. Tammy is going to book a mammogram sooner rather than later and Julie is going to follow up with Dixie once she has the name of the doctors her mom is thinking of consulting. Kristi will continue to be optimistic about her husband’s good health.

Jen cried. At my last psychic party it was Sherry who needed the Kleenex. Jen asked an interesting question about what animal she most closely identified with. The answer was wolf and Dixie shared with Jen some information about wolves being pack animals and how that related to Jen and her position in the pack. I didn’t understand the significance but Jen obviously did and I felt bad that it made her cry. She insisted she was fine and I got the impression the crying was an emotional release of some kind.

Julie asked whether or not she would have another child. According to Dixie there will be two more babies. Brooke asked about her brother and wanted to know what was in store for him regarding love, family, and relationships. Dixie was able to accurately guess his profession but gave a vague answer about his future. Charlee asked about her cousin Chloe and I loved the fact that Dixie correctly identified her as a dancer.
I asked about my writing. I wanted to know if there was a certain genre I should focus on or a particular direction I should try to go in. Dixie told me I had a bit of talent and should take a class or a writer’s workshop. She told me it was time to start sending some things out so that I could receive a professional critique of my work. She told me I would be rejected a lot but not to give up because I had a good chance of being published someday if I worked really hard. As far as the preferred genre, all she said was to write about what I know which is common advice for anyone who wants to be a writer.
Overall I think everyone was happy with their reading from Dixie and felt she was pretty accurate. Dixie usually manages to tell you a couple things that are really dead on even if the rest of the reading is somewhat general.
The group consensus was that Patrick was full of crap. I don’t know what was going on with him but my bullshit meter was off the charts when he was doing my reading. Dixie had mentioned that all psychics should be able to see the same things so I asked him about my writing and while he generally agreed with Dixie I got the distinct impression he was telling me what he thought I wanted to hear. I asked him what other career he could see in my future and he told me I was going to be a photographer. That couldn’t be farther from the truth because not only do I hate taking pictures, I really suck at it. I think he just made that part up because he was getting tired.
I probably won’t have another psychic party for a very long time. It’s fun to do once in a while but it takes several hours to complete all the readings and Patrick got really backed up with his so it made things kind of hectic. It also needs to be fairly quiet and when there’s 14 people and lots of wine being consumed things have a tendency to get pretty loud. I am amazed Dixie put up with us so good naturedly. Then again, maybe she knew exactly what she was in for.

Weigh in, highlights, and psychics

  • January 31, 2009

I weighed in at Weight Watchers yesterday and was happy to find that even after exceeding my allotted points for the week, I still lost .8 pounds.

I didn’t think that was too bad considering I allowed myself to have dinner from Macaroni Grill on my birthday and I ate pasta and bread.

I actually wanted P.F. Chang’s for dinner but Matthew was so hopeful that I would choose Macaroni Grill, which is his favorite restaurant ever, that I didn’t want to disappoint him.

When I got to Weight Watchers there was a big line for both the scales and the bathroom. If the ladies there knew the laxative effect my Augmentin antibiotic was having on me they would be very jealous. I felt light as a feather.

When I was standing in line a woman in front of me started telling me how nervous she was about weighing in and how she was wearing shorts under her sweats so she could take them off and then she told me she really wanted to take off her bra too. When she finally got on the scale she was down to a t-shirt, shorts, and bare feet.

I noticed the woman before her stepped on the scale in bare feet too. And I thought to myself that if I’m still going to WW when sandal season gets here I’m bringing socks.

I shouldn’t be grossed out by this considering I am always dunking my feet in Top Nail’s polluted pedicure water but at least they pretend to clean out their foot baths between customers. There is no cleaning of the scale at WW.

After weigh in I went to get my hair done because Trish told me, in a brutally honest moment, that my hair was too dark and she didn’t like it one bit.

It didn’t occur to me until I was sitting in the chair at the salon with about 100 foils covering my head that I had taken hair color advice from my sister, who had talked dad into bringing home a box of Clairol Nice ‘n Easy from the grocery store when we were fifteen and has been bleached blonde ever since.

It took Joann almost three hours and no fewer than four different mixtures of hair dye (and something called toner) to undue what I had done with thirty minutes and a box of Garnier Nutrisse that I bought at Walgreen’s for $6.99. Now my hair is light brown with lots of highlights. I love my new hair color and will gladly sell my kidney on EBay to afford the maintenance.

Tonight is my psychic party. I’ll be posting pictures and blogging about it tomorrow. I’m not sure what question I’m asking Dixie tonight. Maybe I’ll find out who wins the Super Bowl a little early.

The Dating Game, the Sequel

  • January 30, 2009

Trish thinks dating all the men she’s met on match.com is like another full time job. She also thinks she’s wasting her time because she hasn’t been on a date with anyone she’s interested in going out with again.

Trish had a few good dates with a guy who showed promise. He called her at work at 11:00 AM one day to say hi and see what she was up to. He was also halfway through a bottle of wine. Trish and I thought that was pretty much a deal-breaker. We like our wine but there’s really no reason to drink a bottle of it by yourself on a weekday morning.

Trish said wine-guy also had really bad grammar which is a pet peeve of both of ours. If you can’t keep your saw/seen and your doesn’t/don’t straight there’s going to be a compatibility problem with us.

Grammar is in my top five requirements for a suitable mate along with good teeth, kindness, must weigh more/be taller than me, and have the ability to buy me designer handbags.

Trish went out with a couple more men that didn’t seem to be a good match, one of whom she agreed to meet at Buffalo Wild Wings.

“You didn’t actually order wings did you?” I asked.
“They were boneless,” Trish said. “And I’m not interested in him anyway.”

Trish sent me an e-mail yesterday and attached her recent new matches. I think Trish needs to tighten her criteria because I don’t know how a guy who goes by the handle lik2licursplspot got through. Trish, run! Run far away! And is no one monitoring shit like this over at Match.com headquarters? This is a suitable user name? Really? Seriously?

Here’s what he wrote about himself and what he’s looking for: “I am very honest, respectful, straightup, open minded care about a persons feelings good or bad, I am looking for a female who is open minded, honest, not a drama qween, and dosent play head games. She should like to party a little and enjoy sexual activity.” (I didn’t edit, correct any of the words he spelled wrong, or fix his horrible punctuation).

He also says he’s a daily smoker that likes meat and potatoes and never exercises. He likes being by the water, walking in the woods, and reading informational material (probably he means porn). His picture scared the crap out of me. Think of an ugly Ted Bundy with a beard and crazy eyes.

Trish, this is what happens when a nice girl like you has erotica listed as a turn on for your ideal match (surprise! He does too). I told you to take it off your profile and you didn’t listen and now you’re being pursued by a sexual deviant with an agenda. I did notice, Trish, that you replaced your daily smoking status with trying to quit. Good for you.

I know you’re not really liking Match.com and the whole dating thing right now and I don’t blame you. Dating is hard. I had to endure my share of bad dates before I managed to snare Dave.

Remember Todd who said he was a fireman and I was so jazzed because he said he drove a cool Mazda? And then I found out that Todd wasn’t even his real name and he drove a big piece of shit boat car and lived in a shack with his grandma and had a best friend that went everywhere with him that looked like Buckwheat?

I dated a whole bunch of dorks before I hooked up with Dave so try not to get discouraged Trish. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. But nobody said anything about licking.

I get by with a little help from my friends

  • January 29, 2009

I went to the doctor yesterday. Since we also needed cocoa puffs and toilet paper I decided to play medical roulette by going to the urgent care clinic conveniently located inside my neighborhood grocery store.

I wasn’t really that sick. I’ve been working out and generally going about my business but the cold I got a couple weeks ago never really went away and I was pretty sure it had turned into a sinus infection.

At the grocery store doctor you don’t actually see an M.D., you see a nurse practitioner. I don’t care who it is as long as they cough up the antibiotics. Once I’ve decided to go to urgent care I’m not leaving without a prescription even if I have to invent extra symptoms and give an academy award winning performance to get it. I’m sure the antibiotic resistance I’m building will someday get me killed.

The nurse practitioner took my temperature and blood pressure. She was impressed with my blood pressure reading and told me how good it was. I swear I had to bite my lip to keep from telling her just how super healthy I usually am. I wanted to tell her all about my low cholesterol and triglyceride levels and how my life insurance company loves me so much it gave me the super preferred rating. I could feel it building, tourettes like, but I managed to gain control and keep my mouth shut because I knew there were probably other, sicker patients waiting and I needed to make sure I didn’t take more than my fair share of time with the not-quite-a-doctor.

We could have saved a lot of time if she’d treated my verbal diarrhea first and then diagnosed my sinus infection and sent me on my way. But she was afflicted too. I think it must get boring in the urgent care office back in the corner of the grocery store because she would not stop talking to me. We spent 10 minutes just talking about The Biggest Loser. I totally held my own in the conversation which is weird because I don’t even watch that show. We also covered wine, Weight Watchers, book clubs, and we swapped a couple recipes.

I must be a catalyst of sorts because I’m always having long conversations with women I just met. If you walked by us you’d think we went to college together or maybe our kids were in the same classroom in school.

I made a new friend at Nobbies Party Store on Monday when I stopped to buy supplies for my psychic party.

I walked in and before I could even grab a cart my new friend (who turned out to be the head of marketing) asked if she could help me find anything and I told her I was looking for stuff for my psychic party and we started talking and didn’t stop for 25 minutes. She made some suggestions and showed me where everything was so I didn’t have to find it by myself. It was like having a personal shopper. Her name is Kristen and I’m supposed to call her on Monday and let her know how the party went.

Back at urgent care, my new friend Liz wrote me a prescription for Augmentin after she checked me out and determined I actually did have a pretty bad sinus infection. I swallowed a pill as soon as I got home so I should be feeling fine for my psychic party on Saturday.

Liz warned me that the Augmentin might be hard on my stomach (I know she meant it might give me the non-verbal kind of diarrhea). I’m not worried. And next time I’m sick, I plan on stopping by for a chat with a friend.

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