Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting (With A Dishwasher)

I put on some profile thing somewhere or another (probably under my “job skills” on LinkedIn)(no, I can’t believe that I bothered with a LinkedIn profile either – the only way I’ll land a job is if I change my name) that I “can use the microwave.”

Generally, that’s true.

Okay, if I’m being honest, sometimes the things I microwave turn into a hard lump of ash, but I figure nitrates are good for you (don’t you go disproving this one, Pranksters).

I’ve spent years trying to work coffee maker and while I haven’t quite mastered it, I feel confident that someday, SOMEDAY, my grown-ass self will be able to brew coffee, too. Until then, I will live with cold coffee or chunky coffee.

ANYWAY.

My history with kitchen appliances is not stellar. Actually, my history is not stellar. I once broke a toe making a sandwich. I also broke a door carrying a diet Coke, but that’s neither here nor there.

Tom Jones wrote “She’s a Lady” about me. He was being sarcastic.

The dishwasher, however, I like to think of as my BFF. Not because it’s particularly good at cleaning my dishes (it’s not), but because I’m holding onto a vain hope that I will one day be able to teach it to sing Christmas carols.

(again, don’t ruin this for me, Pranksters)

The dishes SOMETIMES come out clean, especially if I’ve washed them ahead of time, but I’m trying to gently talk my dishwasher into working a little bit more efficiently. The best part of the dishwasher – bar none – is I get to line up the dishes in a certain way, which satisfies my OCD in the same way owning 8475 things of handsoap does. If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I will TOTALLY have clean hands. And a well-organized dishwasher.

Jazz hands!

Saturday night found me not sunbathing with hot french models on a luxury yacht, but sitting at my computer writing a resource page about puberty, brainstorming other words for “erection,” for Band Back Together (we have nearly 500 resource pages)(Thanks for that nursing degree, Mom!) But if you tell anyone I write resource pages and NOT hang with hot French models, I will cut you.

There I was, happily ensconced in some research. I’d just loaded the dishwasher, finally done making an Oreo Cake for Mother’s Day, the kids snuggled up in their wee beds*, The Daver off playing some nerdy card game that involved copious amounts of scotch (I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t strip poker) while the Guy On My Couch ran to the store to get stuff to make us some fondue.

As I was sitting there, giggling about boners, I began to smell…something. Initially I wrote it off. My neighbors are always throwing wild parties that involve margarita balls, bonfires and cooking shit on their grill, so I’ve learned to tune out most of the weird smells that float through my window. Besides, my cats shit on a schedule, which ensures that most of what fills my nostrils is the scent of their bung.

I’m considering sewing up their bungholes, but that’s neither here nor there.

As I continued giggling about the term “woody,” I noted that the smell – sorta like burnt plastic – was getting stronger. I assumed that it was merely the margarita ball on fire or something similar. There are always teenagers milling about and while I, as an adult, would consider that to be alcohol abuse, teens are less protective of their margarita balls.

Still giggling about the word, “boner,” I got off my ample ass and wandered into the kitchen to find my iPad and make sure my Tiny Tower was well-stocked. When I turned the corner, I saw that the kitchen was, in fact, filling up with a thick acrid smoke.

Fuck.

The electrical wiring in my house made it clear that SOMEONE in the Daley administration was paid off. Pranksters, if you don’t hear from me awhile and learn that a St. Charles, IL family was burned to death while they slept, please tell the Fire Marshall that it was not, in fact arson, but was, in fact, a feature of my abject laziness and inability to fork out zillions of dollars in order to rewire a house. Also mention that I busted both ankles using a pickaxe, just to drive the point home that I should never, ever, be involved in anything to do with “electricity,” “power tools,” “kitchen appliances,” and once burned by bed with a heating pad.

My first thought was that I’d probably left a candle burning directly next to a pile of papers, something I’ve done before and will do again. When that didn’t seem to be the case, I looked at the light fixture in the kitchen, which is so fug that it may lead to blindness if stared at too long. I remembered that it had blown a fuse the week before when I’d had the audacity to turn it on.

The light was not smoking. Phew. That’d have been awkward to explain. “Yes, Mr. Fireman, my kitchen light picked up a nasty smoking habit – Marlboro Reds.”

I didn’t have either of the dudes home to help me, so I ran around a bit, yelling, “BITCH, GIT ME CHICKEN,” before I saw it.

The dishwasher.

The very same dishwasher that cannot sing “Silent Night” OR “Jingle Bells,” (but can do a passing version of “Good King Wenceslas”). The same dishwasher I’ve been lovingly crooning to. The same dishwasher I spend hours upon hours filling, then refilling, then refilling again until it’s perfect.

(Yes there IS a wrong way to load a dishwasher)

It was…smoking.

Not a Marlboro Red or even one of those hippie American Spirit cigarettes. But like real, acrid smoke.

Fuck me sideways.

I opened the thing, which was still cycling, and was nearly bowled over by the acrid stench of burning plastic and steam.

What.

The.

Fuck.

I pulled out the trays and saw it.

My ancient pizza cutter. The one that’s so rusty and decrepit that we’re probably all dying from lead paint poisoning or scurvy. Or dysentery. Or something exotic. The pizza cutter I should’ve replaced nine years ago.

It was there, nicely snuggled in beside the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher, the plastic handle melting every-fucking-where.

I pulled it out, not actually considering that if the plastic was melting, it was probably fucking hot. So I scorched the tips of my fingers with melted plastic that remains so firmly attached to the tips of my fingers I may actually coat my whole hands in plastic so I can FINALLY start on my long-held resolution of “become bionic woman.”

(the Not Becoming Lil Wayne resolution is going well, by the by, although The Twitter keeps informing me I should “follow him”)

As I was trying (in vain) to remove melty plastic from the bottom of the dishwasher, The Guy On My Couch came home. When he saw me squatting on the floor, covered in bits of melty plastic, he couldn’t help himself – he laughed himself to tears. I growled at him.

The Guy On My Couch: “What…(gigglesnort) happened?”

Aunt Becky (through gritted teeth): “I. don’t. want. to. talk. about. it.”

The Guy On My Couch: “Bwahahahahahahaha!”

Aunt Becky (stands up, swiftly kicks him in the shins): “I hate you.”

Kitchen Appliances: 1

Aunt Becky: 0

I’m still hoping that the dishwasher will master “Silent Night” before December. That is, if it’s not broken. I don’t want to retrain ANOTHER dishwasher to sing Christmas carols, and the coffee maker simply sneers at me.

*throwing things around their bedroom laughing like maniacs

————–

How was your weekend, Pranksters? Did you break any appliances?

Mother’s Day: We Are None Of Us Alone

This weekend, at Band Back Together, we’re hosting a carnival of posts about Mother’s Day. Before you run away gagging, hear me out: these are the kinds of Mother’s Day posts I wish I’d read years ago. Knowing that I was not alone in my struggles was a pivotal point in my life.

Today, we celebrate the tables forever missing one.

Today we celebrate the mothers we’ve lost and the mothers we’ve found.

We’re celebrating the mothers we wish we’d had while acknowledging the mothers we did have.

This year I’m proud to celebrate a carnival of Mother’s Day posts from perspectives that aren’t always storybook. Perspectives like mine. Perspectives like Jana’s. Perspectives like yours.

Today, no matter where you are in your life, whether you’re missing your own mom, happily celebrating with family, stuck at a table forever missing one, wishing desperately that you were a mother, or wishing desperately that you had a mother, know these two things: you are loved and, more importantly, we are none of us alone.

What Was Broken Is Now Healed

“What’s wrong, Mama?” he asks as he climbs onto my lap, a spindly bundle of arms and legs that always manage to sucker-punch an internal organ.

“Oh, I’m just sad,” I tell him, running my fingers through his long dark hair, knowing there are some things that cannot be explained to a five-year-old.

“Did someone hurt your feelings?” he asks, as he stares intently at my face, his wide brown eyes boring holes into the back of my skull.

“No, baby, no one hurt my feelings,” I reply, the truth.

“Did a bad guy come?” he asks, quite seriously as his eyes attempt to puzzle out my expressions.

“No, baby, there are no bad guys here,” I laugh a bit, the tears still pooling in my eyes.

His sister wanders in to notice us on the couch together, and, seeing an opportunity in which she should be occupying the space on my lap, climbs up with a grace I didn’t know could come from my genetics.

“You have a boo-boo, Mama?” she asks, her long lashes open and shut as she, too, studies my face with a stunning intensity.

“Sort of,” I tell her as I kiss her, then her brother, on the forehead. “Sort of.”

“Can I kiss it and make it better?” he asks, looking for any open wounds to put his mouth on.

Before I can respond, she climbs down and runs off. She returns holding a box of Hello Kitty Bandaids.

“Here, Mama,” she says, “I got you a Bandaid – a HELLO KITTY Bandaid – for your boo-boo,” proudly she hands me a single bandaid from her precious collection.

“Thanks, Mimi-Girl,” I say, the tears, once again, falling from my eyes, this time, however, from the incredible sweetness of my children. “A Hello Kitty Bandaid will fix it.”

I allow them both to cover me with Bandaids – every mole, every bump, every scrape now carefully protected from the outside world.

“‘Dere, Mama,” she says proudly. “You’re all better.” She scampers off to find her Lego guys to play with.

My son, however, stays sitting upon my lap, twirling a piece of my hair absentmindedly as he thinks.

“Some boo-boos,” he finally says, “they can’t be fixed with a Bandaid.” He speaks with a wisdom far beyond his years.

“You’re right, my boy,” I say, the tears dotting his hair. “Some boo-boos are in secret spots. Hidden spots.”

“Where you can’t see them, right, Mama?” he asks, without really expecting an answer.

“Yep,” I say. “Some boo-boos are on the heart.”

He looks at me thoughtfully before scampering off to a drawer, where I can hear him rummaging around, looking for something. I turn back to my game of Tiny Tower in the vain hope that my broken heart will soon feel whole again.

He whirls back into the room, a mess of elbows and knees, and clamors back onto my lap, where he elbows me in the sternum, leaving me momentarily breathless.

“Here,” he thrusts a piece of paper into my hands happily. “It’s for you.” He then hugs me so tightly I feel like I might burst and watch as he climbs down off the couch and off to find his sister.

I look down at the paper, curious as to what he would have given me.

Painstakingly, he’d sketched a heart in the center of the page and signed his name in a loopy, scrawling way that only a five-year old can. The tears begin again, but this time, they are happy tears.

He rushes back into the room, his sister and their Lego people in hand.

“See, Mimi? I fixed Mama’s heart.”

And I marvel at them, as they dogpile on top of me, at how I ever got to be so lucky.

Aunt Becky’s OCD Guide To De-Cluttering

Hey Auntie B!

How ya’ doing dollface? Since I gather you are as OCD as me, I wondered what you do to de-clutter the house when the sheer amount of shit you have makes it look filthy? (Of course, I already know the throw-away-one-thing-for-a-year thing, but hubster out-voted me on doing that.)

Hey, did you get that monkey butler yet? If so, I SO want him to deal with my shit! Can I borrow him?

Thanks for the advice! I’ll let you get back to cussing out your whore pants!

Love always,

Buried under a mountain of shit (not literally)

Hi Prankster!

If you were to visit my home – especially today – you’d say to yourself, “Now THERE is someone who needs to watch Hoarders more often,” and you’d be right. Except there are no more episodes on Netflix which means that I switched to a show called “Obsessed” where (in different episodes) someone was:

a) afraid of an El Camino, yelling, “Oh FUCK! An El Camino” whenever he sees one. This has caused The Guy On My Couch, The Daver and I to randomly scream “El Camino” while the other two cower in “terror.”

b) afraid of eating her own poo*. THIS has lead to The Guy On My Couch, The Daver and I to randomly step out of the bathroom and say, “WHEW, thank GOD I didn’t eat it. It was a close call, though.”

Mental illness, who says it can’t be entertaining?

(not me, and I’ve got a doozy of a case of PTSD)

This is how I clean my house:

Step One: Cut A Hole In The Box

Step One: Look around the house angrily and wonder how three children plus three grownups can amass so much crap.

Step Two: Watch a video about snails.

Step Three: Grab 2 garbage bags and begin to either throw away or donate the shit on the floor and/or anywhere else it’s not supposed to be.

Step Four: Wait for someone to notice.

Step Five: Keep waiting.

Step Six: Continue waiting.

Step Seven: *hum the Jeopardy song*

Step Eight: Watch a video about dancing frogs and/or hamsters (time depending)

Step Nine: Realize no one, in fact, cares about the shit I’m dumping, so begin a massive purging of the home, until I have at least two garbage bags full of stuff to donate.

Step Ten: Allow sufficient bags to accumulate in the garage until Daver drives them over to Goodwill, where they remark, “HOLY FUCK” as he unloads the bags.

And when I’m trying to decide whether or not I should keep an item, I go through these Choose Your Own Adventure Style Questions:

Is it useful? If yes, go on to Question 2.

Is it useful to ME? If yes, go on to Question 3.

Is it REALLY useful?  If yes, go on to Question 4.

You’re not crafty. If still yes, go on to Quest 5.

Place item in DONATE bag.

Or this:

What IS this? If you know the answer, go on to Question 2.

Will they notice if I dump it? If yes, place passive-aggressively on pillow. If no, go on to Question 3.

Do I care if they notice it? If no, go on to Question 4. If yes, place passive aggressively on toilet seat.

Place item at BOTTOM of DONATE bag, then feign ignorance and/or discuss the whereabouts of robot monkey butler Mr. Pinchey until person whose item is now gone is so annoyed that he stalks off, ready to leave the toilet seat up in retaliation.

Plus, I try to get rid of ONE thing each day. It doesn’t always work when short people bring home rocks and sticks that they claim to love, adore, and cherish…until Max and Ruby is on. Then I wander off singing “Max and Poopy” under my breath, while I figure out a way in which I can murder a cartoon bunny rabbit for being so. fucking. annoying.

Also, Prankster, I’m planning to get a Roomba and label him (with my label maker!) Mr. Pinchey. It’s not as awesome as my imaginary camel named Mr. Stompy and it’s not as cool as a REAL monkey butler, but Daver tells me that PETA will throw fake dead fetuses** at my door if I get, then train, a monkey to be my butler. EVEN IF, I was sad to note, I bought him a wee tux.

Damn PETA, holding me back from living mah life.

*Coprophobia, I think.

**probably.

Fork YOU

I’ve been on a fondue kick.

I do this pretty often – I’ll eat one thing for like six months straight until the sight of it makes me vomit. What, ME (with) food issues?

Lately, rather than spaghetti and meatballs, it’s been fondue. I’ve been on fondue like it’s my job.

I was feeling kinda mopey on Saturday, what with a week full of sick kids who decided that staying home to torture me while whining and coating my home in a nice glistening pile of germs – rather than going to school and infecting all of their classmates – was the way to handle it. By Saturday, I had a 101 degree fever, a cough that would make a TB sanatorium proud, and a case of the Mondays.

The only answer?

(not more cowbell)

(also not more vodka, but only barely)

FONDUE.

I bribed The Guy on the Couch to go to fondue with me, and when I say “bribed,” I mean that it went like this:

The Guy on my Couch (mowing lawn and singing loudly off-key)

Aunt Becky: (standing on driveway waving frantically)

The Guy On My Couch: “Shit are you okay?”

Aunt Becky: “Yeah, why?”

The Guy On My Couch: “You looked like you were having a seizure.”

Aunt Becky: “Nope, just hungry. HEY, Fondue Reso in an hour and a half. BE READY.”

The Guy On My Couch: “You sure you’re not seizing?”

Aunt Becky (mysteriously) “Can one EVER be sure of such a thing?”

———

Upstairs, trying to find something to wear. Have forgotten that I’ve thrown all my clothes down to be a) washed or 2) given to Goodwill. Have no clean pants that I can find and do not feel like wearing a dress as the fondue restaurant tends to be cold.

Ah-HA I say to myself as I pick up a pair of jeans – this is PERFECT!

I slip into the jeans and change out of my Shut Your Whore Mouth shirt and into something slightly more dressy. Contemplate making dressy Shut Your Whore Mouth shirts as I slap on some makeup and perfume before heading downstairs.

The Daver: “You look nice.”

Aunt Becky: “Thanks!”

The Guy On My Couch: “Ouch, Daver. You didn’t tell me that *I* looked nice.”

The Daver: *laughs*

(a few minutes pass so I pick up my crabby daughter and whirl her around until she’s laughing so hard she can barely breathe)

The Daver: “Are you…”

Aunt Becky: “…?”

The Daver: “Are you wearing MATERNITY pants?”

Aunt Becky: “Thems be mah EATIN’ pants.”

The Daver and The Guy On My Couch begin to laugh uproariously. Unsure of why the grown-ups are laughing, all three children join in.

———-

An hour and a half later we’re sitting down on what we’d both forgotten was “date night,” so the restaurant is packed. Our server shuffles by us at least ten times before finally making his way to our table, by which time I am ready to gnaw off his arm. Uncooked, even.

A Server Named Dennis: “So sorry about the wait. It’s been crazy.”

Aunt Becky: “I heard that table behind us (an 8-top of a particularly annoying family) hound you for decaf. It’s all good.”

(sidebar: decaf coffee and hot tea are the banes of every server’s existence)

A Server Named Dennis: (laughs) “What can I get for you?”

The Guy On My Couch: “We’re weird.”

Aunt Becky: “You can say THAT again.”

The Guy On My Couch: “We’re weird. We don’t want meat. We just want cheese, then chocolate.”

A Server Named Dennis: “So it’s like a Festival of Cheese? Cool.”

The Guy On My Couch: “BRING ON THE CHEESE. Okay, we’ll start with the Swiss.”

A Server Named Dennis: “For two or…”

The Guy On My Couch (decisively): “For four.”

A Server Named Dennis: (laughs): “We shall begin the parade of cheese.”

The Guy On My Couch: “WINNING.”

Aunt Becky (on iPad) : “Fucking Tiny Tower – I need a fucking new elevator.”

Both stare at me.

Aunt Becky (mysteriously turns on her Slack-Jawed Yokel voice): “I got mah eatin’ pants on, y’all.”

Both stare at me.

Aunt Becky: “I done hurted mah elbey-bone.”

The Guy On My Couch: “Go back to Tiny Tower.”

Aunt Becky: “YOU GOT IT.”

Three cheese later, we get to the chocolate. The battle of the forks ensues.

Aunt Becky: “MAH MARSHMALLOW, BACK OFF FUCKSTICK!”

The Guy On My Couch: “You don’t get ALL the marshmallows, Miss Greedy-Pants.”

Aunt Becky (narrows eyes): “I can take you.”

The Guy On My Couch: “This IS a business dinner, yes?”

Aunt Becky: “Yes.”

The Guy On My Couch: “You probably shouldn’t kill off one of your board members. I’m guessing that’ll reflect badly on our non-profit status.”

Aunt Becky: “…”

The Guy On My Couch (smugly): “Pass the marshmallows.”

Aunt Becky (narrows eyes): “You’re fired.”

The Guy On My Couch: “You can’t fire me, Miss President. You’re a non-voting member.”

Aunt Becky: (begrudgingly passes a marshmallow)

The Guy On My Couch: (pops it into his mouth)

Aunt Becky: “I licked that while you weren’t looking.”

The Guy On My Couch: “I hate you.”

Aunt Becky: “Don’t FUCK with my marshmallows.”

————–

How was YOUR weekend, Pranksters?

And How Was The Play, Mrs. Lincoln?

I have a problem with windows.

Now you’re probably thinking:

a) AB is being neurotic about inanimate objects again

2) Another weird phobia? I thought the MAYO was bad enough.

But you’d be wrong.

When we bought our condo in Oak (no) Park (ing) (that’d be HiLARious if you knew what I was talking about), we were warned that our condo needed “new windows.” Now, after being told that the bedroom our son was sleeping in had high levels of lead paint, and the porch out back was being replaced as a part of a “special assessment” fee of 5 grand per unit, and that the walls of the living room were painted a color and texture best described as “cat pee on plasterboard,” learning that we needed new windows seemed almost…easy to rectify.

The windows were all, “how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” After the rest of the shitstorm, getting new windows was about as likely as being able to get central air, learn to fly, and be able to murder people with my mind.

And we moved before it turned into any problem. Considering our third floor walkup was directly under the gigantic (ancient) radiator, we spent our only winter there walking around in shorts and tank-tops, all windows open. We played “summer condo.”

We moved to our new house in um *counts on fingers* *recounts* *counts again* A LOT OF YEARS AGO. Or, back in 2006. When we did, we reveled in the lead-paint free walls. Sure, they were painted colors of green that made me want to lob things at small adorable animals, but they HAD NO LEAD PAINT. Also? Central air? After living with 4 window units that blew hot air into the already-hellishly hot condo, I nearly humped the real estate agent after learning we could get a house with CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR.

Yeah, sure it had ugly white carpeting, that appeared to beg my children to want to upend grape juice and vomit on it, and yeah, okay, the backyard had fake flowers planted in it, and okay, the color of yellow our siding is tends to require sunglasses to look at it, but CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR.

We bought our house in February, the inspector didn’t even note that a) the bathroom upstairs doesn’t work or 2) the windows were falling apart.

Whatever, I shrugged, imagining my Midwestern Summers spent lounging about the house in a parka and hat. CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Once spring hit, and I decided to open up the house, I realized that our windows? They could’ve been imported from the condo we’d just moved from. The condo that was built in like 1901. The windows appeared to have fallen off the back of some truck at some point during the Lincoln Administration.

Half the screens were ripped. The half that weren’t had storm windows that were rusted so tightly that I broke three fingers trying to pry them open. Most of the windows let in more air closed than they did while opened. Windows were constantly slamming shut, mere moments after they’d been opened.

The icing on the proverbial cake came when I opened the windows in my bedroom this spring, ready to air that motherfucker out. I have those light-blocking shades and the window in question, well, I didn’t open it often.

When I finally managed to draw the shade, I saw it.

Mold.

Motherfucking mold on this motherfucking window.

I bleached the fucker as quickly as you could say, “dumbass” and began wondering if this, in fact, was the reason I’d been sick since 1980.

Figuring it was time to draw a cross-breeze, after much work, that involved both sweating, breaking fingernails, and trying to navigate those stupid fucking cords, I began to draw back the blind from that window. Thank the Good Lord of Butter that I was somewhat slow on the uptake.

Because that window? The window on the FRONT of my house?

Got a nice crack in it. While other people might feel mortified that their neighbors would see that they’d improperly cared for their windows, I feel it adds a certain…something to my house. Like a creepy homeless tribe vibe.

But the mold? That’s problematic.

So I had The Daver Feldco, which is a window place out here. It’s probably a nation-wide chain, but I’m too lazy to Google it. The window guy came out on Saturday.

Window Guy: “Blah blah blah, here’s a quote if you do it today. Here’s another quote. Here’s another one.”

Aunt Becky (to herself): “I hate companies that pull that “if you sign today,” bullshit.”

As he was wrapping up, he asked The Daver if he wanted to sign today. We’d gotten a quote from a local guy and the quote from Feldco, well, it was substantially higher. Knowing Daver can’t say no to anything or anyone (see also: my Kirby vacuum), I piped in:

Aunt Becky: “We’re still looking around at other quotes.”

Window Guy: (rolls eyes)

The Daver: “Can I have a copy of the quote?”

Window Guy: “WHY? You already said you’re going with another place.”

The Daver: “…”

Aunt Becky (now annoyed): “I *said* I was gathering other quotes.”

Window Guy: “FINE. I’ll mail you a copy.”

Aunt Becky: (rolls eyes) thinks, “you just lost yourself a sale, fuckwad.”

Three days later, the local guy shows up and gives us a quote on replacing windows. He didn’t offer any special deals or bargains, he was no-nonsense. Also: probably part of the mob. But I didn’t care.

We signed the papers THAT DAY and by next Saturday? We should have new windows.

I haven’t reached such heights of orgasmic potential since I threw my serving apron on the floor and stomped off.

Oh wait. That was Jennifer Aniston in Office Space.

Same fucking difference.

I may have a window party. You’re all invited – IF you promise to admire the new grass growing on my lawn. (no, that’s not a euphemism for “admire my vagina.”).

I’m totally NOT inviting the douche from Feldco.

Objects In Mirror May Be Older Than They Appear

Being a grown-up is bullshit.

1) Replacing the windows in your house brings you to higher orgasmic heights than your last, well, orgasm.

2) You become very interested in the state of the new grass growing in your front yard. So much so that you will use any excuse to make people go and look at it. People. Like the mailman. Or a random jogger.

3) You own a designated Puke Bucket.

6) You refer to the hardware store as the happiest place on earth.

11) Bra-less, your breasts appear to be two oranges in tube socks. This alarms you less than it should.

23) You don’t drink to get sloppy, you drink because you “like the taste.”

47) Between the Teacher’s Institute Days, the celebration of Columbus’s Taint, International Ballpoint Pen Day, and obscurely PC-named weeks off, you’re not entirely sure your child actually attends school. Ever.

106) Once you get the kids to bed, your racy thoughts turn to ugly pajamas and television. When your spouse turns to you with “that look” in his eye, your only real response is a resonating sigh.

235) Tax refunds are no longer spent on a Hot Wing Tour of the US, but used to replace a door. A door, I should add, that while not entirely functional, is not broken.

551) You become irate at those stupid fucking teenagers driving up and down the street at Mach 8. So much so that you have a collection of golf-balls ready to lob at their cars.

1301) Your major selling point when purchasing a new mobile phone is no longer, “What games can it run,” but rather “Does it have a calendar? What about silent setting for meetings, Oh and does it synch with my linked-in?”

3159) Your idea of a “good time” involves reading a book about famous mathematicians.

7741) When you’re out past 9 PM, you’re all, “HOLY SHIT it’s LATE.”

19320) You begin to buy plants based upon the time of year that they bloom rather than, “does the name sound like an STD?”

What are some other signs you’re getting old, Pranksters?

(I’ve been up half the night playing Barf in Buckets, so my brain is a little fried)

Not Just Stupid, But Annoying Too!

I have food issues.

I like to think of them as sort of cute lil quirks, you know, the sort of thing that makes me endearing rather than annoying, but having lived with a foodie (The Guy On My Couch) and a pseudo-foodie (The Daver), I’ve come to realize that my food issues are more on the oh-my-God-you-are-so-weird spectrum. But hey, at least I have kicky hair.

See, while I happen to love fruit, I can’t look at canned fruit. In fact, the smell of canned fruit makes me heave histrionically. Actually, most things in cans repulse me. I’d rather go hungry than eat canned food. Which means when the Zombie Apocalypse happens, I’m gonna die. Immediately. Well, if I’m not raptured.

Hey, it’s possible.

(so is John C Mayer being un-douchey, the sun rising in the west and squirtable cheese in a can.)(…WAIT A MINUTE)

Anyway. Food issues.

They include a distrust of cream based salad dressing (especially thousand island, which appears to be the direct creation of Satan’s bunghole) and other creamy things in a can. Especially mayonnaise. The very thought of mayonnaise may ruin my appetite for mere moments at a time!

Mayonnaise is just so…so…WRONG.

A couple of months ago, The Guy On My Couch agreed to make me spinach and artichoke dip without the artichokes because who the hell likes those? (apparently most people who are not me). As I was off scouring the sale-rack for half-price Pop Rocks, The Guy On My Couch sneakily purchased a tub ‘o’ Mayo. I didn’t see it until we were in the car because he was being all stealth-like about it – he knew I’d overrule him and put back the mayo.

One morning, before he had a real job, I asked him to make the dip for breakfast.

Aunt Becky: “Hey, can you make the spinach dip now?”

The Guy On My Couch: “Sure.”

Aunt Becky: “You can’t put mayo in it.”

The Guy On My Couch: “Just…don’t come into the kitchen.”

Aunt Becky: “Why?”

The Guy On My Couch (shuffles feet around): “There’s a zombie in there.”

Aunt Becky (runs for the mustard): “Oh my GOD, REALLY? BATTEN DOWN THE MOTHERFUCKING HATCHES!”

The Guy On My Couch: “Um….yeah!”

Aunt Becky: “You’re going to put mayo in the dip, aren’t you?”

The Guy On My Couch: “LOOKIT THE SQUIRREL OUTSIDE. ISN’T HE HILARIOUS?”

Aunt Becky: (glares) “Nice try.”

The Guy On My Couch (preens): “THANKS!”

Aunt Becky: “On second thought, let’s go get donuts.”

Now that tub of white goo that looks mysteriously like spooge has sat in my lazy Susan for months, unopened. I’m sure as shit not going to open it up and grab out a nice big spoonful and if someone were to do it in my presence, I’d probably sit there making barfy noises until they opted to go into the other room. I’d, of course, follow them and continue heaving.

(my six word memoir? “Not just stupid, but annoying too!”)

The problem is this:

Aunt Becky wanders into the kitchen and, upon gazing lovingly at the box of Equal, notices a white tub of goo:

“OMFG, I CANNOT BELIEVE WE HAVE MARSHMALLOW FLUFF AND NO ONE TOLD ME!”

*Grabs can and spoon*

“FUCK, it’s MAYO. DAMMIT.”

Rinse, repeat, every two or three days. God BLESS you Topamax for wiping my short-term memory. So glad I can still recall every phone number I’ve ever had but cannot manage to remember where I left my pants or how to update my blog.

I’m aware that the “smart thing” to do would be to dump the mayo once and for all, but no one has EVER accused me of being smart unless they were being particularly sarcastic, which, who could blame them?

Now if you don’t mind, I have a tub of Marshmallow Fluff waiting for me….

….oh right. Never mind.

So what’s going on with YOU, Pranksters? What’s YOUR six word memoir?

No, Actually I Don’t Think That’s What You Meant

Interviewing for jobs is bullshit.

I mean, you’re standing there, nervous as shit, and apologizing to the silk plant to your right for bumping into it because you know the secretary is secretly taking notes on you and OH EM GE is that a camera above you or have you been watching too much reality television?

On my last job interview, well before I’d gotten pregnant with Alex, I was doing the rounds and applying for all sorts of jobs I didn’t really want. I figured the interviews were “good experience,” plus, I got to wear a suit. I like suits.

I’d applied for a job working for a major US health insurance company. I’d be doing some claims processing, going over the necessity for certain treatments, and, I later learned, (ALLEGEDLY) taught to work the system in order to ensure that the members got what they needed when they needed it.

It was the only job I’d been applying for that managed to pique my interest. The rest of the interviews went like this:

Aunt Becky: “Hi, I’m…”

Person Interviewing: (interrupts): “Do you have a pulse?”

Aunt Becky: *blinks*

Person Interviewing: “I mean, OBVIOUSLY you have a pulse, you’re here, right? (nervous laugh)

Aunt Becky: *blinks*

Person Interviewing: “Can you start on the Ortho floor this afternoon? We’ve got a ratio of 8 patients to one nurse and no nursing techs. You’ll be working an 18. SOUND GOOD?”

Aunt Becky: *blinks*

Person Interviewing: “Here’s your uniform.”

Aunt Becky *backs away slowly*

Person Interviewing: “You can wear jeans! JUST GO TO THE ORTHO FLOOR PLEASE! J-CO* IS COMING!”

That’s the way my interviews had gone. And as much as I’d loved to have worked an 18 on a floor without techs with 8 whole patients who weren’t quite ambulatory, I had enough respect for my back to turn it down.

So my job at the insurance company, well, it was what I’d wanted. Mostly. I didn’t want to work weekends or holidays. Working an 18 would leave me injecting myself with normal saline just to stay awake. I love people. I don’t love sick people. Shitty career path, huh?

Anyway.

First stop on my interview train was to a computer where I had to type shit. I think they wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to type, “I HAVE A BOMB MOTHERFUCKERS” or something. Last I checked, everyone our age types at like 8097 words per minute. Side effect of the computer generation.

Once the computer, which was made in approximately 1902, green words and all, booted me off, I waited for my round of interviews. I checked the room for cameras, but didn’t see any. Delusions of paranoia much?

Eventually a spry looking lady came to get me. She introduced herself as the person I’d be working for, which made me breathe a sigh of relief – she seemed both sane and high energy. Great combo.

She led me to a small meeting room and began chit-chatting with me while we waited for the other person to show. Apparently, at Super Huge Insurance Company, two managers did the interviewing. I immediately suspected a good-cop/bad-cop routine.

The second manager sauntered in, and I immediately read her as a bitch. Between the way she walked, the way she sneered when my manager spoke, and the haughty smile she gave as she tossed her bleached-blond hair back, I could tell that, had she been my table and I her server, she’d have run me around every time I got near her, only to stiff me and complain to my manager in order to get some free coupons.

My heart sunk. I thought about all those ortho people I’d have to lug around and shuddered instinctively.

Before we began, my manager assured me that the questions were unique – there were no “wrong” answers. We went back and forth between the standard interview questions, “how would you handle XYZ?” “Where are your pants?” “How would you describe yourself in three words or less?”

Bitchy blonde lady asked me one, “What happened the last time your boss made a decision for you to carry out – but it was something you didn’t want to do?”

I wracked my brain. Generally when my bosses told me to do something I didn’t want to do, I deliberately disobeyed. No wrong answers. No wrong answers. So I can keep talking and it won’t be WRONG. I love this game!

They stared at me. I began to sweat – I couldn’t tell the about the beers I’d snuck in the back coolers or the times that I didn’t charge my friends for keg beer. I couldn’t tell them about sprinkling a ton of red pepper flakes into the dipping sauce of a particularly rude table. Um. THINK, Becky, THINK. Or BULLSHIT, Becky, BULLSHIT.

“Well, there was this one time (okay, that sounds good, like you know what your saying. Good work, mental high five!), that my manager Peter, he, um, (BECKY, STOP SAYING UM. IT’LL CLUE THEM IN THAT YOU’RE FULL OF BULLSHIT) well, he asked if anyone was stealing blocks of cheese. He kinda looked like a detective, ready to catch the cheese thief, but that’s mostly because he looked like he’d stepped out of the set of a 1920’s movie (STOP ADDING DETAILS, MORON). When he asked me if I knew who’d been stealing cheese, I said ‘I didn’t know’ even though I MAYBE knew. (God, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever said.)”

I looked at the two of them, ashamed, knowing I’d blown that. But NO WRONG ANSWERS! PHEW.

The blond one glared at me, rolled her eyes and spoke, “You’re wrong.”

My mouth dropped open as my face turned electric red. Not being much of a blusher, it made it that. much. worse.

She continued, “I don’t think that’s what you meant.”

Okay, now I was just confused. Rather than respond, I simply stared at her. My manager got all flustered and quickly ushered me out the front door where I realized, once and for all, that I was not being filmed. My reality-show dreams had been dashed.

And there was no way in fuck that I’d gotten that job.

That afternoon I got the offer letter.

I started the following week.

*J-CO isn’t to be confused with J-LO. J-CO is actually the Joint Commission, accredits and certifies health care organizations. They’re also pedantic and annoying as shit when they come for inspections (as, I hate to admit, they should be).