Wednesday, September 08, 2010

How Not to Start Your Day

1. Try on all of your jeans hoping one pair will fit and not squeeze you out of the top of them. What? Did they all shrink over the summer? This is why I like summer clothes better. Aside from the bikini, they’re actually more forgiving. Jeans are evil.

2. Eat a slice of banana bread. With chocolate chips. Hell, why not? You’re already feeling like a giant fat-ass.

3. Eat said slice of banana bread while driving. Think that you’re sufficiently stopped in the line of cars waiting to go through the roundabout, but find out you’re not when you bump the car in front of you.

4. Make sure it’s a Porsche that you hit.

Yes, this was my morning. Yes, I hit a car. Bumped it, really. Bumped it enough to see it move, but it was just a tap. Even Mr. Porsche Driver wasn’t sure that I hit him. I had hoped he wouldn’t notice, then saw him start to pull over. Oh, shit, he did notice! No, he kept driving, he didn’t notice. Shit, he’s pulling over again! In the roundabout. No, I’m not stopping in the roundabout. Let’s find a parking lot for our little rendezvous.

I pull over in a parking lot where we won’t have an audience. He has a small girl-child in the front seat. Great. I hit a kid. Wait a minute, small children aren’t supposed to ride in the front seat! Isn’t he breaking some kind of child safety law? I know, Porsches don’t have backseats, but still. Surely that makes him more of a criminal than me with my little tap to his bumper.

He gets out. “It had to be the Porsche!” Yes, I noticed that you’re driving a Porsche. Yes, it is far superior to my Honda Civic, circa 2000, circa turn-of-the-century. Thanks for stating the obvious. He asks if I hit him. Um, is this a trick question?? He says he thought he popped the clutch. A quick moral dilemma argument goes on in my head but I tell the truth. After all, I want my Karma to come back to me in the form of lottery winnings, not cancer in my face.

He examines his bumper. Not a scratch, not a ding, nothing. He examines my front bumper. With the huge scratch from the bike that hit me earlier this year. And all of the dead bugs. And the chipped paint. How white trash do I feel in this moment? Damn, I knew I should have washed my car this weekend.

I apologize. He smiles, says, “See ya. Thanks for stopping.” No exchange of information, no further humiliation.

Although, if he had been cute and didn’t have a small child in his front seat (thereby endangering her life), I would have given him my number. You know, just in case.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

On Her Way

My daughter starts high school today. My bugabooga. My lovebug. My munchiekins. My baby girl, who laughed so easily, walked so late, and spent more naps with me in the rocking chair than in her crib. My little girl, whose first word after “Mama” was “shoe.” Who, at the age of six had had more boyfriends than I have had, still, at age 40. Yeah, see where I’m going with this? It’s scary. She’s grown up too fast.

The last couple of weeks I have spent most days wanting to strangle her. She gets her anxiety from her father, worrying about whether the milk has gone bad or if chicken nuggets will poison her. I was really tempted by the end of last week to start crushing up my Lexapro into her meals without her knowing. “What if I don’t have any friends in my classes?” “What if I can’t find my class?” “My binders and folders have to match and be cute.” “I don’t want to get bullied.” And the new one yesterday – “I don’t want to get shot.” Endless worry on her part, frayed nerves on mine.

Last week we got her schedule and, of course, had to immediately get it changed since they’d somehow missed assigning her to biology. This only set her off about how stupid the school was and how she didn’t want to go. It didn’t help that her counselor mispronounced her name as “Divine”, which embarrassed her as much as it delighted me and I have vowed to call her that from now on. She hates me for it. By that night, she did a complete one-eighty and was ready to start school. Last night she went from dreading this morning to being completely prepared and calm. She even remarked how quickly her moods are changing. Yeah, I’ve got my own neuroses to deal with, I can’t keep up with hers too.

This morning she set her alarm for 5:30. And got up. On her own. Before me. By the time I got out of the shower, her bed was already made. She was smiling, not sulking, her usual morning demeanor. Color me impressed with a shade of surprised. Until I learned that she ate a hot dog bun for breakfast. Yep. At 14, my child is incapable of making a halfway decent breakfast for herself. She still needs me after all. Me and my chocolate chip pancakes.

I hugged her at least three times before she left to catch the bus. Hugged her until she rolled her eyes, squirmed just a bit and said, “Mom, I’m going to be late.” I watched her walk away, closed the door and cried.

I hope she forgives me for the “I love you” note that I snuck into her lunch.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Boobs, Booze and Dancing Shoes

These are the ingredients to a successful birthday party. Specifically a 40th birthday party. Especially the booze part. Except cute shoes are also necessary. And the boobs? Well, they’re just always with me. Also, I was told they were fondled at some point during the soiree.

Recently, I turned 40. I didn’t know what to expect, I thought I would wake up feeling wise and no longer worried about things like the roll that is my stomach or how my butt looks in my jeans. The night before, I felt like I was supposed to perform some kind of ritual to prepare myself for my impending adulthood, before becoming a Woman of a Certain Age. I was excited about it; it felt like the start of a new adventure, a new chapter, turning over a new leaf and every other cliché that exists. Instead, after hearing from my daughter about what a complete failure I am as a parent and balancing my checkbook only to find that I still have no money, I was just depressed. 40, single and broke. So much for being a Grown Up.

The next day, on my actual birthday, I breakfasted at Chow with my bestie, AKA The Wife. Eggs Benny and a Bloody Mary – what better way to start the day? This yumminess was followed by pedicures, fro yo, a trip to the farmer’s market, a visit with a peacock, shrimp, chocolate cake and martinis with cute little umbrellas. It was the perfect way to spend the day, with the Big Party to follow on the weekend.

As for the actual party, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my 40th. My wonderful friends provided their home for the festivities, a co-worker friend offered to DJ (all 80’s music, of course!) and The Wife got the most perfect cake ever in the entire world – leopard print with a pink ribbon. Chocolate. With a raspberry filling.

The night before I made all of the food, so on party day I just had to show up in my cute outfit, complete with matching pedicure, and greet my guests with cocktail in hand. The “bar” was quickly filled with rum, vodka, champagne, margaritas and wine. The food table held four types of lasagna, two kinds of homemade garlic bread, a Carla salad and various other snacky goodies. The rest of the night is a happy blur of feasting, dancing, drinking, laughing and finding out what people think they know about me (no, my favorite book isn’t the Bible, I didn’t major in business, booze or boys, my favorite drink is not milk and The Sound of Music was an excellent guess and I really should have given a point for that one).

There are tons of details but relaying them here just isn’t the same experience so I will just leave it at this – I have the best friends in the world and there aren’t words for what this night meant to me. I felt joy and love and absolute soul-satisfaction.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of that night, who showed up to be a part of my life.
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