Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Why I’m Like This Part Five-Niner


I started out a post this morning about how I missed having BFF’s and I got about halfway through and realized how WHINY it sounded. So I scrapped it. Sometimes, I think, things are better left unsaid. Or, at least, they’re better left unblogged, until such point that I can not sound like a sniveling whiny assbag.

Which will occur at a quarter past never o’clock.

Instead, I thought that I would share with you, Pranksters, a second glorious snapshot into the formative years of Your Aunt Becky. Back in the day before I was Aunt Becky.

And mostly, I should add, it should give you a good inkling as to why I am the way I am. Or, at the very least, it should give you a nice chuckle.

For those of you who don’t know, my parents were hippies. Nerdly hippies, but hippies nonetheless. My older brother and I weren’t allowed to have guns of any sort and I wasn’t allowed to play with Barbies (there was something about “skewed body image in there). I imagine that he wasn’t allowed to play with Barbies either, but I never asked and I sorely doubt he’d have wanted to anyway.

Well, I loved princesses and makeup and dresses and diamonds and pink and sparkles.

My brother, well. Yeah.

So this is what happens when you ban things like that:

Hippies are kinda bullshit

(I’m pretty sure they made me take off the tiara for the picture)

Kids in Barfights

And then there was the time I was in a bar fight.

Or actually, I just insisted on dressing up my cat in baby clothes. That’s what you get when you dress up things with claws in baby clothes. (Hey, I never claimed to be smart.)

But let’s just go ahead and say it was “a bar brawl.” It sounds better that way.

I Was A Catholic School Girl

So, this one time I was a Catholic School Girl. No really, I was.

And I have the ten-yard “fuck you stare to prove it.”

Look, I still have it:

Nursing School Portrait Death Stare

That Hairy-Eyeball Death Stare has prevented SCADS of unwanted advice from well-meaning strangers over the years. Seriously, Pranksters (especially those of you with new babies) I suggest you develop one.


I’m pretty sure this is the second-best-picture on the planet.

See, I don’t know if I told you this story ever (I probably did because it’s awesome) but one time, when I was like twenty-three, my mother gifted my sister-in-law MATCHING sweatshirts that had cartoon cats on them. Cartoon cats lounging on stacks of books. It said, “Cats. Books. Life is good” or something like that.

Now, my sister-in-law and I aren’t like old cat people who wear cat sweatshirts. She buys $900 underwear and shops at Anthropologie and other boutique-y stores. Got love for cats, but neither of us wear shirts with, uh, cats on them. Or any such cartoon animals. So we got them and were like.





It was bizarre.

I hadn’t realized UNTIL TODAY that the Cats, Books, Life Is Good shirt wasn’t the FIRST time I’d been horrified by a Cuddly Animal Sweatshirt. Oh no. I must have been five in that picture. The look on my face says it all.

When I was born, my dad, brother and grandfather got into photography. And when I say to you, Pranksters, that someone in my family “got into something,” you might think, “oh, they probably bought a Polaroid camera and took some snapshots,” but you would be WRONG. There would be whole alters erected to your WRONGNESS.

Because the Sherricks, they do not get INTO things in a small way (see also: my orchids)(see also: No, they get OBSESSED with them. Hobbies? We don’t need no stinkin’ HOBBIES.

I grew up with an actual working college-appropriate darkroom in my basement. We have every kind of camera lens, camera, tripod, camera bag, photo paper, film type, chemical, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

I’ve had a camera shoved into my face since the moment I emerged from the womb with “a face only a mother could love” my entire life documented endlessly for posterity. I cannot tell you how many pictures I’ve had taken. I could give Britney Spears a run for her money.

Which is why I look incredibly sullen in many of them.

Like, for example, this:

Bag o Jellybeans Halloween Costume

Because that? A BAG of JELLYBEANS HALLOWEEN COSTUME? That’s freaking awesome.

But the best picture I came across today was this.

Golf Time, Assholes

Who the hell are those people (I can hear you through the computer, Pranksters)?

Aunt Becky Family Portrait

And THAT, Pranksters, is why I’m like this. Part eleventy-five.

It Puts The Guest Post Up Or It Gets The Hose Again – Holiday Rules Edition + Taco Bell


I have a guest post up for you today because I’m still reeling from how in love with all of you I am. You were all so sweet to me yesterday with my post about Amelia’s birthday. Thank you. I needed that. I really did mean it when I said if you were local, I’d be honored to have you (I’m in St. Charles, which is a suburb of Chicago).

Oh, yeah. I rewrote the ending last night if you’re not seeing where I invited you. I’m still inviting you. I’m also asking you this: how long does one have to plan a party if she still would like guests to show up? Like, when should I aim for, knowing her birthday is the 28th of January? Also: do people send paper invites any longer?

Wanted to tell you that have all of the emails you’ve ever sent me about Amelia in a folder that I’m saving to show her some day. I’ll have to print out all of the lovely comments, too, because Pranksters, she deserves to know how amazing her Internet Aunts and Uncles are.


Taco Bell is totally copying me:

Taco Bell is Totally Copying Me

Whatever, Taco Bell. We got the Band Back Together .

I may or may not be in love with Claire. Okay, I so am. She’s hilarious and she’s awesome and she’s witty and if you cut her, I think she bleeds platinum. Total win.

I’m thrilled to have her guest post on my blog today because she’s freaking hilarious. Also, I’m guessing that my blog will probably turn to platinum now that I’ve published her Holiday Rules.

You can follow Claire on her Twitter here and her blog, Claire DeLuncay, here.

THE RULES (Holiday 2010 Edition)

OK, so here’s the thing:

Every year, I try to be a little less curmudgeonly. This vow is usually sworn at Christmastime, when, despite all the relentless marketing propaganda and crass consumerist bullshit, the idea of a being so desperate to save a bunch of idiots from themselves that he sent his only kid to be their punching bag somehow continues to resonate inside my tiny charcoal heart. That said, events of the past year (as well as my the fact that I was graciously invited by Aunt Becky to be a guest poster) have driven me to create one of my occasional “Rules” posts. For those of you who are unfamiliar, I have, as befits an underemployed and struggling author with little to no influence outside a smallish circle of very tolerant and compassionate weirdos, decreed at various times rules designed to minimize my irritation while, y’know, fixing the world ‘n’ stuff. This is one of those times. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I present “The Twelve Rules of Christmas.”


01) When on line in front of me at a fast food establishment (drive through or inside), acting as though you have never, ever, EVER been to any sort of restaurant or engaged in any type of human interaction is now illegal. Pulling up to the drive through in the howling snow and starting a conversation with “Now, let’s see, what do y’all have here?” as though you are in the exotic climes of some distant Caribbean isle, perusing a menu in the charming local dialect, instead of looking at pictures of tacos so dated that one features a young Celia Cruz, is EXTREMELY illegal.

02) The ban on all Snuggies™, Slankets™, and their sloth-breeding kin continues. Anyone attempting to gift me with such an item shall be summarily sentenced to wear ONLY a Snuggie throughout the course of an Ohio winter, said Snuggie having been hand-crafted out of skunk fur and the tub leavings of Robin Williams.

03) All wrapping paper, even the extra-fancy kind, shall now be sold in standardized rolls, and available in quantities of subtler delineation, eliminating the need for one (ok, me) to choose between “enough to wrap the entire city of Toronto” or “enough to wrap several molecules of Buckminsterfullerite.” In addition, attempts to engage other shoppers in a little wrapping paper swordplay shall be met with enthusiastic glee, rather than nervous calls to security. Bunch of damned party poopers.

04) Given the current economic climate, I have reversed my earlier decree and hereby declare fruitcake to be not only legal, but welcome. However, said fruitcake is not to be consumed (unless one has a death wish or the sort of appetite that permits the consumption of, say, an old boot), but rather stockpiled and used as building materials for low-income housing. Much like their less-durable cousins of mud and adobe, these noble fruitcake bricks will provide solid, enduring shelter from the elements while warding away pests (except for, again, the sort of person who thinks it’s okay to eat fruitcake, and they probably have pica. NOT THAT I DON’T APPRECIATE THE FRUITCAKE EVERY YEAR, AUNT CATHY!).

05) And speaking of aunts, it is hereby declared that all children shall be made to understand that the same “weird” aunt who gives you crazy things like “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Iliad” or My First Particle Accelerator™ as gifts when you are a child, rather than Captain Crappy’s Junketron Blaster of Commercial Flackery™ or Barbie’s Magical Dream House of Rigidly Unforgiving Gender Stereotypes™, will become YOUR FAVORITE AUNT when you are older, because as it turns out, genetic drift means you’re probably more like her than your parents, and therefore will be able to find solace and camaraderie in your shared cranky intellectualism. I think we’ve all seen “Daria,” people.

06) In this season of peace and love, freaking out over, or trying to make political hay out of, the following words is now extremely illegal: “Merry Christmas;” “Happy Holidays;” “Christmakwaanzukkah;” “Io Saturnalia.” (That last one may be solely for our time-traveling friends of the Seventeenth Legion of the Roman Imperium. Sorry about the wormhole, boys, I’m trying to fix it as fast as I can! In the meantime, please feel free to invade Gaul. They’re used to it.)

07) All persons applying to shovel walks and driveways shall henceforth be cherry-cheeked, wool-ensconced cherubs with earflap hats and a gleam in their eye, rather than grown dudes with a three-day stubble and the personal hygiene of a particularly indiscriminate hyena. Persons matching the latter description shall be summarily bathed, shaved, and set to work building fruitcake houses for the poor. Persons matching the former description shall be rewarded with hot cocoa and a shiny silver dollar (“silver dollar,” in this context, should be read as “Twenty bucks? To shovel my walkway? You extortionist bastard!”).

08) All drivers will practice their winter driving all year long by coating their tires in butter every three weeks and turning up the A/C full blast. This will prevent both the seasonal amnesia of winter (“What? It’s cold and snowy in November? AGAIN?”) and the driving behavior it engenders (“Bob, look out! There’s mysterious frozen water falling from the Heavens! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”). This rule also applies to shopping patterns, so that otherwise normal people will not, upon hearing that snow flurries are in the forecast, rush to their local market and buy up all the milk, soup and shovels as though they only just now remembered they’d been asked to go on a ski trip with the Donners.

09) Those fake fireplaces that do so well on the iPad and the YouTube and whatnot will now produce actual, extremely merry, crackling heat. I don’t want to hear excuses, Science – you can grow an ear on the back of a fucking mouse, you can make fill my living room with cheery warmth.

10) Persons participating in “Secret Santa” who fill out their info card with terms like “cool stuff,” “whatever,” or “Anything Disney! (followed by seventeen exclamation points and a crudely-rendered Mickey Mouse head)” will receive coal. And by “coal,” I of course mean “NOTHING.” Any person drawing such a card from the communal pool with be given the option of either drawing another name or slashing the owner’s tires.

11) All children’s Christmas programs will now have A) a maximum length of one hour; B) attractive cigarette/snack girls dressed as “Sexy Mrs. Claus;” and C) an open bar. I’m looking at you, Saint Michael’s Academy for Wayward Youth.

12) For a variety of reasons, this time of year is decidedly unmerry for a lot of people; the mentally ill, the homeless, the forgotten, the embittered (which, now that I think about it, describes a fair number of family Christmases. But I digress.). Therefore, all persons on this dinky blue rock are hereby required to pause at some point, seek out someone less fortunate (trust me, even if your name is Bob and you’re working as a buoy, there’s someone out there less fortunate than you, bub) and just take that moment to acknowledge their existence and value as a human being. I don’t care if it’s a hot bowl of soup, a hug and a smile, or some sort of weird, borderline-illegal act in the back of Fast Louie’s Massage Parlor. The point is that you do it. Because Christmas comes only once a year (insert your own “Fast Louie’s Massage Parlor” joke here), but being a decent human being is a full time gig.

OK, that’s it for now, I suppose. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Kwaanza, Joyous Solstice, Gleeful Non-Denominational Mandatory Holiday Gathering, et hoc genus omne. Now let’s get out there and build some motherfucking fruitcake houses. FOR THE CHILDREN.

Merry Christmas, You’re STILL An Asshole!


So my pharmacist kinda hates me.

I really don’t know what I did, what with my exceptionally sparkling personality and rapier wit but I just can’t seem to get the woman to like me. Which is unfortunate since I have fifty-gajillion prescriptions to pick up each week.

But because I have an issue with people not liking me for no reason whatsoever, it actually bothers me. Let’s rehash, for those of you just tuning in.

Take One.

Back story: my daughter had just been born with a previously undiagnosed neural tube defect called an encephalocele, which mean that part of her brain hanging out of her head. There were three weeks in between the diagnosis and the neurosurgery that would fix this. Those three weeks were hell. I was on some anti-anxiety medication for the first and only time in my life (I’m not actually very anxious). This was me trying to call in a refill.

Me (voice shaking): “Hi, uh, this is Becky Sherrick Harks, and I need a refill on my Ativan. Er, the genetic stuff. Whatever it’s called.”

Her: “No.”

Me: “Whhhat?”

Her: “You can’t have it.”

Me: (bursts into tears) “I need it.”

Her: “Your insurance won’t authorize it.”

Me (crying): “What?”

Her: “It’s the way the doctor wrote the prescription. You can’t have it.”

Me (misunderstanding and crying): “I can pay out of pocket. Whatever I need to do. I can’t do this.”

Her: “No. See your doctor wrote the prescription to say “three times a day.” And at that rate, you can’t have a refill until Wednesday. Three days from now. (satisfied) You. Can’t. Have. It.”

Me: “Oooh.”

Her (smugly): “See? You can’t have it.”

Me (openly weeping): “I really need it.”

Her: “Call your doctor then.”

(hangs up)

Now, the first time I wrote about this, I think I called it “The Reason Women Drive Their Babies Off Bridges,” because there was a saga with my asshole OB, too. The whole situation was a mess. I was deeply in the throes of PPD and could have used an advocate. The pharmacist was doing her job, I get it (my dad is a pharmacist, too), but being a huge bitch wasn’t part of it.

I’ll never forgive that coldness.

Take Two

The next time I dealt with it was a couple of months later, when I started to get chronic daily, soul-sucking migraines. It’s a long sorted story, but essentially, I started off taking Vicodin and tapering up my Topamax dosage until I didn’t need the Vicodin any longer, because, well, of course. But for awhile, I had to take Vicodin every day to function. I don’t anymore. Thank Baby Jesus.

Me: “Last name is Harks.”

Her: (glares)

Me: (stares)

Her: (glares)

Me: (stares)

Her: (glares)

Me: (stares)

Her: (glares)

Her: “Fine.”

(um, was I going to be all, “since you glared at me and clearly disapprove, I’m just going to go ahead and say, “fuck it,” and go away?” I think not)

She finally hands me the Vicodin and Topamax prescriptions while giving me the hairy eyeball. I stare back, meeting her glare, pay and leave.

Rinse, repeat, ad motherfucking NAUSEUM.

It got to the point where The Daver wouldn’t pick up any prescription that involved narcotics because he got tired of her glaring at him.

I’ve never been happier to not need narcotics before.

(oh, and right before my surgery – thanks to my neck and shoulder issues that required some pain pills the month before – she convinced my surgeon that I was a drug seeker, so he told me to take Tylenol. Yeah. Thanks. Bitch. Because really, that’s not your fucking business.)

Take Three.

Over the weekend, The Daver coughed so hard that he dislocated his shoulder. While I found this to be a little hilarious because I’m the person who broke a door carrying a Diet Coke, I also found this worrisome. He’d been coughing for a couple weeks and clearly this was a problem.

At midnight, after he started wheezing and having a hard time breathing, he went to Urgent Care. Bronchitis. Got steroids, antibiotics and a breathing treatment.

Sadly, The Daver hasn’t gotten better, so off he trundled to the doctor yesterday, who gave him another course of antibiotics and more steroids. I was underwhelmed because Daver on steroids = HULK SMASH DAVER. But whatever.

Us, picking up his prescriptions:

Him: “I have two prescriptions for Harks.”

Her: “I canceled them. They were duplicates.”

Him: “What?!?”

Her: “Yeah, they were exactly the same as the last thing you got.”

Him: “No, they weren’t. They’re from a DIFFERENT doctor on a DIFFERENT date.”

Her: “I canceled them.”

Him: “I need those prescriptions.”

Her (smugly): “Well, I called your doctor and he agreed to cancel them. They were duplicates*.”

(sidebar, that’s what she did when my surgeon called in some pain pills for me. She called him and had him cancel them because I already had pain pills for my shoulders, rather than hold the prescription for me to be filled at a later date.)

Him: “But…um…huh? I needed those prescriptions.”

Her (smugly): “Well, you can’t have them. Call your doctor if you have any problems.”

*that’s a lie.

Of course, I called the doctor and got the prescriptions reinstated at another pharmacy because, obviously, but holy ballsack.

I get that she wants to be all assertive and make sure that The System isn’t being abused, but I don’t think that The Daver’s about to sell his antibiotics on the black market. I mean, I guess he could be running an undercover-drug ring, but I somehow doubt it. He lacks the Drug Dealer Gene.

There’s always hope for Amelia, though. Hopefully, Playmobil makes a Drug Dealer Advent Calendar next year for her.

The Devil Is In The (Metallic) Details


A couple of nervous breakdowns later, and after I realized that the July Birthday Curse would likely strike again, I figured I needed to come up with a Plan B for my birthday.

(for those of you unfamiliar with the July Birthday Curse, I imagine that it’s very similar to the Middle of December Birthday Curse, in that it SOUNDS like it’s a lovely time to be born, until you realize that no one is actually around to celebrate it with you, ever because something else is always going on. Or maybe it’s just me and no one likes me. Which is entirely possible.

Plus, you never get to bring cuppity-cakes to school, which is kind of like torture when you’re a kid and those things MATTER, yo.)

Vegas is going to wait until Fall or Winter because I’ll be dipped in pigshit before I roll over and accept that my birthday doesn’t need to be celebrated with a BIG ASS PARTY with my friends and glitz and glamor or maybe just Vegas (hint, hint, you’re all invited, Pranksters).

So Plan B was to go shopping, which sounds about as thrilling as dry toast, I know, but it was very necessary. Like half of The Internet, I’m going to that big thing in NYC in a couple of weeks, and thanks to a couple of children and a disappearing then slooooooowly reappearing waistline, I’m stuck in the limbo of What The Fuck Size Am I, Anyway? hell.

But I am a vain bitch, and even though this is a WRITING conference, which means that I should show up in what I when I write, which is no pants, I figure that public decency laws dictate I try and find something to swaddle my dimply butt. And rather than just shrug my shoulders, estimate, and order online, which is what I’d normally do when I’m too damn busy to drag the crotch parasites to the mall, I knew I’d have to face the fully dressed masses and try on clothes.

Nothing better to celebrate my 30th year than to face a little public humiliation, right?

So, after already tapping out H&M, where I’d decided what I’ve always thought about H&M: there are some semi-cute things in the piles of hideousness, I returned to Mecca. The Homeland. The Place Where Everyone Pretends To Know My Name To Separate Me From My AMEX.


And first, upon entering, I see what is sure to be full of the win!

Their Free People line, which is highly adorable, funky, and sequined. I make a beeline for it, and just as I pick up something like this…

I glance to the price tag. For something that I was planning to use SPECIFICALLY for the conference, because I do not intend to be this fat for much longer, I certainly am not about to spend $140.

Plus, and even more discouraging, there’s absolutely no room for el boobs. My children, who have also left me with some wicked grey hair, have also given me a considerable rack. This shirt runs to a Medium, and is designed for a waif.

My feelings are immediately crushed and I nearly cried into the shirt until the hovering salesperson snatched it from my hand.

So, Free People, you are dead to Your Aunt Becky (and sweet JESUS it hurts me to write that).

Figuring I’d probably have a better time in the Women’s Department, I headed upstairs, marveling at how much shopping at Nordies made me feel home again and how fucking HAPPY I was to be out of MATERNITY clothes. No more elastic-waisted pants for me, I cried to myself as I rode the escalator upstairs! No more clothes designed by tent-makers!


I nearly leapt off the escalator as I reached the Floor Of Women’s Stuff and looked around happily. Certainly, HERE I’d find some of the clothes I could wear!

As I made my way jubilantly around the loop, I kept looking for the section that would scream, “It’s Aunt Becky, Bitch!” as I passed the row of formal dresses (oh hail no), the row of plus sizes, and the row of yachting clothes (um, I’m on a motherfucking boat?). There were business clothes, pant suits, and Ralph Lauren as far as my eye could see.

Finally, I stopped at the William Rast (Justin Timberlake’s clothing line) display and stared, open mouth in horror.

Where the fuck were all the clothes I would buy?

Sensing my plight, a twig of a girl popped over to me and asked if she could help me and before I could stop myself I blurted out, “Where the hell are all the non-butt-ugly clothes?”

She didn’t laugh, she stared at me, confused.

I backtracked, because she clearly didn’t understand. “I mean, NONE of these look like ANYTHING I’d want to wear. I need SOMETHING to wear.”

She laughed uncomfortably as she led me to what she called the more “youthful” section. Apparently “youthful” is all in context, because I couldn’t see someone under 65 wearing anything she showed me.

It was all wooden embellishments:

Or metal studs:

I was aghast.

I got out of maternity clothes and got back into normal clothes so I could look like a wanna-be biker or a pseudehippie? My PARENTS were real hippies, and I’ll swear, Pranksters, hippies don’t spend $80 on a tank top.

Dejectedly, mumbling about the “good old days” I made my way over to Anthropologie and bought some hair clips to comfort myself.

Here’s hoping the 80’s fashion resurgence passes soon. And those damn kids get off my lawn. I have some Murder She Wrote to watch.

That Stupid Butterfly Can Bite Me.


Dear The Makers of a Prescription Sleep Aid That Rhymes with “Plunesta,”

First, your ad campaign with the stupid glowing butterfly has always pissed me off. Now, I’m no butterfly hater, in fact, I kind of find them whimsical and adorable, but night after ever-loving night, as I sat up, unable to sleep, that stupid commercial would taunt me. Must be NICE, I’d say, as I rubbed my aching eyeballs, MUST BE NICE TO SLEEP.

I’ve been a member of The Unable To Sleep For Shit Club for, oh, what, I don’t know, 4 years now? Before this, I would simply LAUGH at those people who claimed that “they couldn’t sleep.” As someone who considered sleeping as a full-contact sport, I couldn’t imagine just not being able to sleep. It was obviously my moral superiority as a perfect human being that allowed me to sleep while others tossed and turned.

(interestingly, this is the very thing that turns me off of other parents when discussing anything related to 1) kids eating or B) kids sleeping) (because, obviously)

Then I found out that I had hypothyroidism, and learned that maybe requiring 14 hours of sleep a night was kind of not a good thing. It was then when Your Aunt Becky met Synthroid for the first time. It was also when Aunt Becky got knocked up, a time when most expectant mothers sleep as much as humanly possible. Why, when I’d gotten pregnant with Ben, I’d wake up with rug burns on my face where I’d simply passed out while trying–in vain–to tie my shoes.

But pregnant with Alex, I first met The Beast, Insomnia. Nothing I could do made a damn bit of difference: I drank (and promptly vomited up) warm milk, I avoided chamomile tea because it was all herbly and I wasn’t sure it was pregnancy safe and besides that, it tasted like stewed grass clippings to me. I cut out caffeine. I developed a bedtime ritual and followed by it religiously.

And still. And yet. And how. I could fall asleep and never really get into that deep sleep. It. Was. Torture. I went into having a *ahem* difficult newborn already functioning on 9 months of sleep deprivation. At 6 months postpartum, when I was Really Starting To Lose My Shit and think about suicide as a viable alternative to dealing with Alex, I called my OB and sobbed, begging for something, anything to help me sleep.

Because, you see, drug people, Alex got up so often over night, I was too anxious to fall asleep in between or even on those rare nights that he did sleep for more than an hour at a stretch. And I was cracking the fuck up.

My OB threw his hands in the air and told me that he just didn’t care. (also, makers of the drug that rhymes with Plunesta, I am a poet and I don’t know it!) There was nothing he could, or would, do while I was nursing.

Finally, I was introduced to my first boyfriend: Mr. Unisom. Our love affair was long and torrid and held me gently through many a sleepless night. I was finally–FINALLY–able to reach that unattainable deep sleep. Pure. Bliss.

But after my daughter was born, I had even more sleep problems, makers of the drug that rhymes with “plunesta,” and the only cure? MORE COWBELL. Prescription Sleep Aids!

And my tentative love affair with that bitch Ambien was cut drastically short when I realized that it did not actually help me sleep (nor did it give me any of the cool urges like gambling in my sleep or throwing in loads of laundry, which might have actually helped me battle Mount Laundry). So I requested your new wonder-drug, “Plunesta.”

Now shhh…drug people, don’t tell my father, who is a pharmacist, but I mixed “Plunesta” with my old standby: Mr. Unisom and all was right with the world again. Until, of course, my headaches began again in earnest.

The one upside to pregnancy for me is while the rest of me feels like I’m dying inside, my headaches, something I have struggled with for years, go away. It’s divine, especially if you’re carefully able to extract the inability to breathe, the swelling, and the sharing-your-body-cavity-with-another-person part.

But our love was not to be, “Plunesta!” While I was able to overlook the mouth-tasting-like-ass side effect as well as the I-crave-sugar-while-sleeping phenomenon, and my memory loss, my doctor, the swine! had the audacity to chide me not-so-gently about mixing meds! And suggested that perhaps THAT may have been the cause for my ever-worsening headaches!

(also on the chopping block are my OCP’s. See you later, sex life! Hel-lo vasectomy!)

Like the desperate sheep that I am, I abandoned you, “Plunesta;” discarded like yesterday’s dirty diapers. Tossed into oncoming traffic, I sent you and your (apparently) scary side effects packing.

But you, YOU “Plunesta” were not about to take rejection lightly! O! No! I bit, and you bit back HARDER and with sharper, more withdrawaly teeth.

Because last night, after my interlude with Mr. Unisom, I lay in bed, alone, sweating and unable to sleep, my muscles aching and my body throbbing like a rotted tooth.

And today, I feel as though I’ve been encased in one of those dratted jello molds that I loathe, suspended in red goo like some particularly fleshy marshmallow. My body aches, my joints complain when I move, and while I can’t be certain, I think that somebody may have scooped out the grey matter in my brain and replaced it with chocolate pudding.

(shut UP)

Oh yes. After years of not being dependent on anything other than Guns and f’ing Roses and Diet Coke, Your Aunt Becky is going through withdrawal. It is, in a word, unpleasant.

Being the upstanding soul that I am, I then googled “Lunesta withdrawal” and was shocked to learn that besides looking like a decrepit old lady (as the picture clearly showed), I could expect any number of these symptoms to pop up (this was, of course, from some website whom I probably wouldn’t trust. But wait, it’s on The Internet, so it’s true!):

abdominal pains, aching, agoraphobia, anxiety, blurred vision, body vibrations, changes in perception, diarrhea, distended abdomen, feeling of unreality, flu-like symptoms, flatulence, food cravings, hair loss, heart palpitations, heavy limbs, increased allergies, increased sense of smell, insomnia, lethargy, loss of balance, metallic taste, muscle spasms, nightmares, panic attacks, paranoia, persistent & unpleasant memories, severe headaches, shaking, short term memory loss, sore mouth and tongue, sound & light sensitivity, speech difficulties, sweating, suicidal thoughts, tinnitus, unusually sensitive, fear.

While I wouldn’t necessarily mind the feelings of unreality, which sounds an awful lot like getting stoned (praying without the sudden urges for Taco Bell) nor would I mind that “changes in perception.” In fact, I might then decide to get the band back together and get a bus and travel across the States with Aunt Becky’s Band of Merry Pranksters.

That sounds kind of like a break from the norm.

But no.

So, makers of the drug that rhymes with “plunesta” I would like to thank you for your time as my semi-boyfriend, and alternately list you on Don’t Date Him Girl. Or, I will, I suppose, if I don’t wind up a puddle of goo on the floor, shaking, contemplating suicide, and farting.

Right, I know, like that would be different than any OTHER day. Touche, drug company people, touche, indeed.

Now, former lover of mine, I’m off to lay on the couch and rub my aching joints and try not to look directly into the sunlight, lest I burst into flames like a large piece of parchment. Also, can I please have my grey matter back? I do kind of need it.

(shut UP)

It’s not me, it’s you. And me. Okay, it’s both of us.


Aunt Becky.

I Might Have Been Less Surprised If It Were A Midget Britney Spears Impersonator


The absolute last person I expected to see on my front door stoop was the lady that we bought our house from in 2006. She hadn’t exactly been overly kind or pleasant during our interactions at closing, but after having a party during our condo closing, I think I kind of hit the Apex of Awesome right there. So I tried not to judge.

I also tried not to judge as I sat with a putty knife and an econo-sized vat of Goo-Gone trying to chip off the pieces of 3, 3! different kinds of flowered wallpaper in our teeny first floor bathroom. I’ll admit that maybe I cursed her a whole lot after I realized that they’d applied wallpaper DIRECTLY to the drywall.


This was the bathroom I painstakingly remodeled for my 27th birthday. It looks NOTHING like this anymore.

*pats self on back vigorously*

Maybe I wasn’t overly pleased by her choices of I-Want-To-Kill-Someone Green as colors in at least 3 rooms of the house.

But I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I am certifiably colorblind* and perhaps I am the one who is wrong. Maybe the color is positively lovely, radiating goodness and light instead of making me want to ram my head through the wall. Or just any head, really. I’m not picky.

My dad was in the ICU post heart attack, I remember that day right before Christmas, and Alex was having his typical trouble sleeping. I’d finally gotten him down for his 2.5 minute afternoon nap and the sound of the doorbell made me nearly shatter my teeth as I ground them down.

I’d needed that 2.5 minutes, thankyouverymuch, and no door-to-door salesperson selling coupon books was going to make me happy about giving it up. The days leading up to this were hell and I had had absolutely zero opportunity to even begin to absorb the fact that one of the clots they’d found after the heart attack would have killed him instantly had it dislodged.

So, opening to door to find that the lady whose house I had bought years before–the house that I now owned–standing there was not exactly what I expected. A fleet of cross-dressing purple goats would have been less shocking. She was just one of those eminently forgettable people and, well, after I’d finished cursing her taste in wallpaper, I’d forgotten her entirely.

She walked in, the second I opened the door, no pomp, no hello’s, no circum-fucking-stance, she just pushed past me and walked in. I was too shocked and too Midwestern to respond with an, “I’m sorry, but pop off, lady.”

While I did recognize that she once owned this house, as I had seen the paperwork as I signed my life away, she hadn’t owned it in over 2 years by that point. Mouth agape, hanging in the breeze like a particularly human shaped trout, I just gawked at her. Daver was off somewhere else in the house (my guess would be either looking at horse porn or working, but it’s simply a guess) leaving me to deal with her.

“Did you get any mail delivered here for me?” She asked.

Still shocked, I replied, “I send all of your mail back, return to sender. It’s been 2 years. I don’t get much for you any more.”

Then she took a step backwards in my hallway and looked me up and down suspiciously. I’m sure that she saw the large bags under my eyes, the don’t-fuck-with-me turn of the mouth, and my shaking hands. It didn’t seem to dawn on her that maybe this wasn’t the best time to come over. Or if it did, she didn’t care.

“Are you suuuure you didn’t get anything delivered her? A friend was supposed to send me some money.” She continued sizing me up.

“I’ll check with Dave, but I’m the one who gets and sorts the mail. Anything that was yours would have been sent back.”

Dave had returned from Equus Lovers -r- Us after hearing the commotion, and I asked him if he’d seen any mail for her.

He hadn’t.

Again, she tested me like I was going to change my answer or something, and again, I told her no, absolutely not. It was obvious that she was beginning to suspect that I’d stolen whatever money had been in said envelope.

While I have been accused of being rude or tasteless, I am not a thief** and I never have been. Not, I should add, that someone who SHOULD have had her mail forwarded 2 years prior can really complain if she doesn’t get her mail…but still.

She stood there in my kitchen, uninvited and quite frankly unwelcome casting her suspicious eyes slowly back and forth between The Daver and I.

“Are you SUUUUUREEE you didn’t take the money?” She was starting to sound like a cross between my mother and an overzealous police detective.

Finally, I snapped, “NO!” I nearly shouted this, frustrated beyond belief and pushed to the end of my rope. The moment that Alex woke up, we had to go visit my father in the ICU and bring him the mini-Christmas tree I’d made for his room. No matter what the issue, using the phrase “visit my father in the ICU” never got easier to swallow.

And this bitch had the audacity to COME INTO MY HOUSE and accuse us of stealing money from an envelope mistakenly sent “from a friend” to my address of 2 years.

I don’t know if she was finally satisfied by my answer or realized that she’d really pissed me off, but she turned around and was off as abruptly as she came.

I’d have thrown the last scraps of her ugly wallpaper after her, but just then Alex started to scream. Looked like I wasn’t going to be getting any break after all. I gritted my teeth and marched up the stairs to collect my son.

Off to the ICU we went. Detailed sketches of elaborate poo flinging mechanisms I could use on her new house danced in my head as we listened to “The Little Drummer Boy” for the forty-fifth time that week.

*not being cute. Truthful. You may start feeling bad for my children….NOW.

**Okay, so I stole YOUR heart. And some hair picks once. When I was like 14.


Gentle Reader, please, have you had anything you’ve been falsely accused of? Or anything as freaking weird as this bitch?

The Only Thing Better Than A Ninja Is TWO Ninjas.


It appears as though I am in the market for a new highchair, since Alex’s has been summarily destroyed by Captain Destructo himself (also destroyed is his crib).


I guess all that I can say about this crap-tastrophie of a weekend is this: hey, at least we’ve developed our Ninja-Like method of removing toxic wastes.

I managed to not only record a video of my daughter eating real! food! but edit it (or beg and plead with The Daver to do so for me) AND post it to Facebook* and now I am feeling all sorts of accomplished.


*We can be BFF! On FB!

You Know What This Week Needs?


More passive-aggressive behavior!

Between a certain *ahem* subset of my family not taking NO for an answer around the holidays and showing up uninvited to crying into my toast this morning because my mother–who is mad at me–let my milk rot (long, long story).

I’m in dire need of some hilarious (and not so hilarious) passive-aggressive stories. Seriously, y’all. Maybe I’ll even send something to the most hilarious and passive-aggressive story of them all. Will a contest entice you to entertain me?

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me: Third Trimester Edition


*Defying all laws of time and space, the last month of pregnancy is significantly longer than the previous 8.

*All of the issues (nausea, sleepiness, vomiting, utter bat-shit craziness) that plagued you during trimester 1 will rear their ugly head yet again. Only it’s less charming this time.

*(especially if it’s your first baby) You’ll imagine each and every twinge to be the Start Of Labor and probably end up in L/D more times than you’d think only to be told that you’re not even contracting.

*After you have this baby, you’ll agree that nothing feels like labor except for…well, labor.

*Ending up in L/D and being sent home will make you feel more embarrassed than you’d imagine would be a logical reaction.

*Speaking of “logical,” you’re not. And you haven’t been for a long time. You won’t know how nuts you are until after the wee one comes and you realize that you no longer have any urge to clean the toliet with a toothbrush.

*Leaking pee will become a new and disgusting way of life. And you’ll occasionally think it’s your bag of waters breaking. It’s probably not. But, take it from me, get that fucker checked out.

*If you’re like me, the hospital bag you pack will go largely untouched, so don’t freak out. They’ll usually give you free ickle bottles of shampoo and the lot. Use these and then THROW THEM AWAY. Sure, you’re in L/D or Mother/Baby, but it’s still a hospital. And hospitals = germies.

*You will finally tire of talking about this baby because all that you can think about is how ready you are for this to be over.

*The fears of labor will quickly be replaced by the fears of never having this damn baby.

*Having wee feet kicking your internal organs and trying desperately to seperate your ribs from your spinal cord is just as charming (and painful) as you imagine it will be.

*Did I mention how off the rocker you are? Because you TOTALLY are.

*Once you hit 37 weeks, people will check in on you daily with one annoying question: have you had that baby yet? You may very well want to smack them.

*People will start snickering when you walk into a room. Presumably because you now look like Grimace. Or a Weeble.

*You will start to moan and groan every time you have to change positions. And you will be acutely aware of how dumb you sound and how feeble you now are.

*Try as best as you can to rest and revel in the attention people are paying to you right now. Because once that baby gets here, swollen and stitched up vagina and all, no one will give a flying crap about you. Just the baby.

*Your breasts are going to develop a mind (and body!) of their own. They will be equally as painful now as they were back in old trimester 1.

What am I missing, party people?

The ‘N’ Word


Before I met The Daver, I loved the holidays. When I say loved, I mean LOVED, the kind of love that implies that I would be happiest in my life if I could stay home, make babies with Christmas, hump the leg of Easter every night, and make sweet (yet spooky!) love to Halloween. It was a time of year that I revered: from the sparkling lights to the tacky blow-up house decorations, I loved it all. In my mind, they could have played Christmas music 24 by 7 by 365 and I would have said nothing aside from “CRANK THAT PUPPY TO 11!”

And while I use my chance meeting of The Daver as a marker for When Good Holidays Go Bad, it’s not really his fault (somewhere, perhaps on a train, he is sitting in shock, mouth agape that I would NOT blame him for something). But with the addition of The Daver meant a whole extra set of people with a whole extra set of restrictions as to when and where holidays could be celebrated.

That coupled with the aging of Ben in addition to the extra set of restrictions that celebrating with Nat’s family implied, meant that the holidays had gone from being something that I just showed up with gifts and cookies for into a carefully orchestrated several weeks in which every spare nanosecond was accounted for.

Our holiday schedule went something like this: drive three hours into Wisconsin for breakfast at precisely 9 AM at specific diner where we all had to eat pancakes and sausage (it IS Wisconsin, arguably the sausage capitol of the world. Or something.), sit for exactly and hour and fifteen minutes with 2 bathroom breaks. Then loop through the upper peninsula of Michigan to climb the warthog infested mountain of snow in order to secure the holy grail of rare beer for XX family member. Stop for gas and bathroom break on way to Arizona to drop of package for other family member who’d forgotten to mail it. At 11 PM, on the way home, finally have lunch at an oasis McDonald’s.

We came back from that first holiday, The Holiday Of The Ghost Of Our Future, and I wept openly for several hours while Dave chewed his nails and paced the floors. We were both just tapped out and exhausted, and as for Ben, he was so overwrought and inconsolable that this ickle expenditure undid about 3 months worth of previous therapy.

And after a lengthy, exhausted discussion we came to two realizations:

1) We did it to ourselves when we stopped saying The ‘N’ Word when asked to participate in holiday this or that.

2) We would not do this again to ourselves or our family. Rather than saying “Yes” to the question of if we COULD do something, we’d decide it based upon the idea that we SHOULD.

So, in an effort to cut ourselves neatly out of any possible inheritance, we stopped agreeing to do everything we were asked to do for the holidays. COULD we do something? Probably. But SHOULD we? Not at all.

The Daver and I have put on our thinking caps and tried just about every combination of Possible Holiday Merriment that would allow us even the slightest hint of joy during a time of year that is supposedly all about joy, and each and every year, we break down and weep openly (okay, this is a SLIGHT exaggeration). It’s just not possible to Do It All and still enjoy the holidays that I once treasured.

And the kicker of the whole thing is this: we run ragged to appease everyone for a good reason. They all just want to see us and spend time with us. ALL AT ONCE. While this is completely admirable (I mean who wouldn’t want to spend time with us? WE’RE FULL OF AWESOME.), it’s also completely unfair this particular year.

So I put my foot down and used the dreaded ‘N’ word yet again. Rather than celebrate Christmas 5 different times (for poor Ben this would now be 7 times, and not a soul is divorced here), I said no.

The kicker for the whole situation is this: while I know that this is The Right Thing To Do For My Family, I still feel guilty about not being able to do it all. I gave myself a pass on all of the normal holiday shit that I love to do (read: cookies and cards and fancy wrapping paper) and am not doing because I’m barely functioning anymore. And yet, using the ‘N’ word this time, is making me feel just terrible.

Like I’ve used the “I have my period” card twice in a month to get out of swimming class.

I guess I don’t get it. Why does doing the right thing for my family make me feel so bad?

How do you guys manage the holidays with all of the assorted obligations–and guilt, let’s not forget guilt–that come as naturally with it as Bing Crosby? Is it something that you just suck up and deal with (thereby making you unhappy) for the sake of pleasing other people? Or have you used the ‘N’ word and decided that the holidays being about family means YOU too?

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