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Survival of the Fattest


The Daver works one of those jobs where he’s ALWAYS working. I don’t mean that in the flip sort of oh-my-God-I-have-to-work-until-6-PM-AGAIN kind of way; I mean it in the very real you-better-never-get-attached-to-the-idea-of-a-spouse way. It took quite an adjustment for me, who had been used to the idea that a job came with occasional overtime, but overall, after you clocked out, you were done.

Not so for The Daver’s job. At any moment in time, and I do mean ANY moment, work can send an email and he will have to drop whatever he’s doing and go fight some nerdy fire. Most often this occurs when I am having a meltdown or the kids are driving me insane (perhaps the two are related?) or at the MOST inconvenient time possible. I had to physically pry Dave’s Blackberry from his hand while our babies were born.

I used to be infuriated by this. How DARE they take him from me when I am having A Moment? How could they POSSIBLY know when the worst possible time to require the eyes of ONLY Dave was? Anger gave way to a quiet resignation several years ago and I now merely roll my eyes when work takes up one of my weekend days–the only time I am able to get shit done–and move the hell on with my life.

But the prospect of losing the hour of help each day that I have another human being who is capable of taking care of one of the children left me cold and in dire need of a meaty hug. I often can only get through the day knowing that by 7 or 8, I will have another set of hands to take over for me, should I have to do something as inconsiderate as taking a poo.

I know, how DARE I have to move my bowels?

In a stunning fit of brilliance, Daver asked my sister-in-law to come stay with us while he was away. This meant that now, rather than having to wait until late evening or weekends to Get Stuff Done, it’s now possible for me to go and plant the hydrangea that I couldn’t resist purchasing even though I had no real spot to put it.

(hello run on sentence! How I’ve missed you!)

It’s entirely safe to say that I have gotten more done in the past few days than I have in months. Years, maybe. I’d tell you what I’ve done, but you might die of boredom, so I will merely leave you with this cautionary tale.

The people whom we’d bought our house from three and a half years ago weren’t what I would call House People. They finished my basement and replaced all the doors, but didn’t see fit to trim the 3 lilacs in front or try and tame the Rose Bush of Doom in my back yard. This was made worse by the people whom they had bought the house from who were House People. Specifically, they were Landscaping People.

Bought, I’m sure when the bushes and trees were tiny, every single inch of the front of my house is neatly landscaped with variations of trees and bushes. Aside from a couple of the squat evergreen type-y bushes, I like it all.

Problem is that landscaping like that requires upkeep greater than simply watching as it overtakes the yard. So I inherited quite a mess when I moved in. The rose bush I eventually tamed could likely have been in the Guinness Book of World Records for Least Beautiful Rose On The Planet.

The whole house had taken on a look of being owned by some creepy recluse who was happy to have all of the windows covered by overgrown shrubbery.

Lest the people who drive past think that I am that creepy recluse (shut up), I’ve made a weekly effort to trim that fucker the fuck down. And I’m not sure that you’d notice, but the 12 or 13 bags of lawn refuse would say differently.

On Saturday before Dave left, he gave me the afternoon off so that I could take care of some business in the yard. Including taming this bush-tree thing that was beginning to resemble a koosh ball on speed.

But because I am short, it’s no easy feat. It requires that I essentially get the whole tree into a bear hug and pull down branches to trim several feet of length off so that it stops scraping against the house. As I was in the middle of doing this, I realized that with every lop of my choppers, I was being coated in a fine dust of…something. After I’d done most of it, I realized that the dust-stuff was causing my chest to erupt in a delicious constellation of hives.

And because I am not only stupid but a masochist too, I finished the damn job before I went inside to survey the damage. I lubed up my burning, itchy skin with some topical cream or another (thankfully, I was NOT allergic to that, although this would have made the story funnier) and tried to think non-itchy thoughts.

About 20 minutes later, we had to go across the street to a birthday party for Alex’s friend Zach. Praying that 20 minutes was enough time for me to look less diseased, I prepared for the best and eventually, thanks to the anti-itch cream, forgot about my delicate oozing chest situation.

It wasn’t until we showed up at the party and I began to receive decidedly cold looks as parents shooed their children away from mine did I realize that perhaps something was wrong with me. After I had Daver check for bats in my belfry (none present, sir), I was stumped. Then, sheepishly, Dave pointed out gently that maybe my weeping, red, crusty chest might have something to do with the looks I was getting.

He was right and we left immediately. To prove that I never learn my lesson, upon surveying that I had missed a patch on the bush of crusty, itchy doom, I grabbed my loppers and hugged that bush right up, further intensifying both my sheer stupidity and my histamines.

I’d say something like “you live, you learn” but obviously I do not.


What can you not ever manage to learn, Internet?

42 Comments to

“Survival of the Fattest”

  1. On June 3rd, 2009 at 6:18 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Honestly? You know I love you, but my eyes glazed over at the word “landscaping”.

  2. On June 3rd, 2009 at 6:28 pm Westcoast Weirdo Says:

    The Art of Happiness. *SIGH*

  3. On June 3rd, 2009 at 5:36 pm Jenn Says:

    Erm… pretty much everything. But wow, that totally sucks. I hope you’re less itchy now!

  4. On June 3rd, 2009 at 5:37 pm Jenn Says:

    You know what else? Crazy shit ALWAYS happens to you. Because that up there? That would never happen to anyone else. Let alone the same person who got stung by a jelly fish. Or you know, all that other weird shit that has happened to you.

  5. On June 3rd, 2009 at 5:44 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    I can never learn that I should not be allowed to cook anything that doesn’t come in a box with step-by-step instructions. I burn water. I fail. I can plate like a mother, but ask me to make a meal? I screw it up and I screw it up BAD!!

  6. On June 3rd, 2009 at 6:03 pm DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom Says:

    I am not a big learner in general. Learning takes focus, synapses firing, lack of apathy. I majored in apathy and graduated at the top of my class.

  7. On June 3rd, 2009 at 6:20 pm amy Says:

    That 2 glasses of wine should always be my limit. But 3 or 4 is so much more fun!

  8. On June 3rd, 2009 at 6:26 pm fidget Says:

    Im pretty sure i would have tied a rope around that tree and yanked it out with my minivan if it rashed me up like that. I’m not known for my level-headedness in the face of a weepy rash

  9. On June 3rd, 2009 at 7:03 pm Mimi Says:

    That my children + Barnes & Noble = BAD IDEA.

    Just reading about your rash makes me itchy.

  10. On June 3rd, 2009 at 7:22 pm a Says:

    I cannot learn that I should never carry more than one or possibly two things in my hand at one time when I plan to walk on our hardwood floors. There are so many chips and dents from stuff I’ve dropped that my husband has threatened me with linoleum in all future kitchens. Personally, I think the only thing I won’t break is carpet, but I will certainly stain that. Maybe outdoor kitchens?

  11. On June 3rd, 2009 at 8:43 pm The Notorious BEX Says:

    You mean the title, Thomas? I dunno. Survival of the fittest? I survived this week without The Daver and without being admitted to the mental hospital. Although some might argue that I should pack up and head there anyway.

  12. On June 3rd, 2009 at 7:46 pm kate Says:

    that no new emails have arrived in the last seven seconds and i do not have to check. again.

  13. On June 3rd, 2009 at 9:04 pm Kristina Says:

    That “forgetting” that I drank 2 sodas, ate one cinnamon roll and some cookie dough doesn’t mean that it all won’t automatically CLING TO MY ASS.

  14. On June 3rd, 2009 at 9:08 pm heather Says:

    Shellfish, and I will beat that dead, err, horse until I am thoroughly satisfied that people near and far know of my cautionary tale. Hey, Becks, you show me your rash and I’ll show you mine ;). Bet mine’s bigger.

  15. On June 3rd, 2009 at 8:26 pm Sara Says:

    I have yet to learn that asking for help of any kind is NOT admitting weakness, but admitting that I do not have 9 arms and 12 feet, nor 48 hours in ONE day.

    I hope your rash is less weepy and better by now!

  16. On June 3rd, 2009 at 8:30 pm Thomas Says:

    What does this post have to do with the post subject? Or am I just “blonde” and don’t get it?

  17. On June 3rd, 2009 at 8:54 pm Holli Says:

    My husband has still not learned that waking me up at 5 am is not going to get him laid. He tries it all the time and all it gets him his an elbow in the ribs and a wife too pissed to fall back asleep. It’s been 14 years buddy- take a hint!

  18. On June 3rd, 2009 at 8:59 pm Lisa Says:

    I keep forgetting – when it takes me 40 minutes to unload the dishwasher one handed with a baby on my hip, etc…, or when I cancel my mammogram for the fourth time because someone is always getting a tummy bug or cold on that day – that when my babies leave the nest the STUFF I CAN FINALLY GET DONE will just seem like yucky chores, and not worth all the angst I put myself through now.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    Take that, big pile of laundry! I am officially taking the day off tomorrow!

    What’s that laundry? You don’t care but will be even bigger on Friday?

    Aunt Becky, can you come over tomorrow so I can get some stuff done?

  19. On June 3rd, 2009 at 9:19 pm Emily R Says:

    my husband has a job like that. we never get an actual vacation. it’s time to find a new job.

  20. On June 3rd, 2009 at 9:47 pm Thomas Says:

    Ahh Notorious Bex….. is says FATTEST not FITTEST!! LOL 🙂

  21. On June 3rd, 2009 at 9:48 pm Thomas Says:

    err.. that should have read “it says”

    Fittest makes a lot more sense than Fattest.

  22. On June 4th, 2009 at 2:31 am Mwa Says:

    I seem to not learn not to go on the computer “for just five minutes”, or have “just one glass of wine”, or to expect great things from people who have not delivered in the past. I am learning slowly, but not on the internet front.

  23. On June 4th, 2009 at 5:51 am charmedgirl Says:

    ok so…number two in a series on you getting blotchy oozing red welts? what are you trying to tell us, auntie b??!?

    my mother, that fucking mental case, used to say that she would eat a whole bag of orange slices (the jelly ones covered in sugar) or whatever candy because she FORGOT she was on a diet. and chocolate gives her migranes…but…oooops! she forgets that too…

  24. On June 4th, 2009 at 4:55 am ewe_are_here Says:

    You’ve just made me realize my time to “not have to do my share around the garden” is soon coming to an end (due to my desire to save my bending for the more important stuff right now). One of the only ‘perks’ of pregnancy, I suspect.


  25. On June 4th, 2009 at 6:18 am Ms. Moon Says:

    I forget everything every day but I have to say that your gardening style reminds me painfully of my own.

  26. On June 4th, 2009 at 7:16 am Dot Says:

    I used to have a job like Daver’s. Once I was called just as I walked into a try-on room with four items of clothng. Another time, dinner burned. And those 1 a.m. calls, such a joy. Even knowing that it’s required by some jobs, it’s hard not to feel resentful when you have three tiny children and no relief or escape. I’m glad Daver got you some help, and wish you could have some help for a few hours every day. (((Hugs)))

  27. On June 4th, 2009 at 8:25 am Badass Geek Says:

    Quantum physics.

  28. On June 4th, 2009 at 8:24 am Kendra Says:

    Honestly? I cannot seem to learn that ignoring problems does not actually make them go away. I once had over $400 in parking tickets to attest to that. When you don’t pay them and fees get added, a couple of tickets can get really expensive. And I just realized I’m behind on the training required to maintain my license; instead of calling my licensor and dealing with it, I pretended it didn’t exist for a few weeks, until I absolutely had to deal with it. Somehow, in my deepest heart, I am still 15.

    I’m glad you got some help. My husband is “home” after 5 PM but tends to disappear for a couple of hours to “unwind.” (yes, the quotes are my way of contianing my frustration) So I know about being desperate for some time to just get things done. Hope the time with Dave away isn’t too bad!

  29. On June 4th, 2009 at 9:24 am Survival of the Fattest < It’s all about the trends Says:

    […] so for The Daver’s job. At any moment in time, and I do mean ANY moment, work can send an email click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : […]

  30. On June 4th, 2009 at 8:28 am Suzy Says:

    Oh, the trials and tribulations of keeping your bush trimmed!!!

  31. On June 4th, 2009 at 8:37 am Stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    DH has a job with hours like Davers. It’s so bad that he is just now, almost but not quite finished building the retaining wall he started in 2007. He likes doing home improvements. He likes building things. The boys need bunkbeds. DH will build them! It’ll be cheaper, it’ll be custom, it’ll be exactly what we want. It’ll be 2015 before he gets started. I bought bunkbeds, the kids legs were hanging out of the toddler beds. 5 years after promising me built in cabinetry in the bedroom, I have one small cupboard so far.
    He really & truly believes he will do these things and I agree, over & over, when I know darn well in the end it would be better to buy the item or hire someone to fix the wall. I just have hope that this time it will be different. This time he will have some time to do it. Never happens

  32. On June 4th, 2009 at 9:35 am Nicole Says:

    Stumbled upon your blog, and I’m SO glad I did.

    I can totally relate to the job/hubby situation. My husband leaves at about 5:30 a.m. and doesn’t return until around 9 p.m. Nothing ever really gets done around here because the weekends are spent running errands and attempting to do fun family things.

    I’m glad you’ve had some time to get some stuff done.

  33. On June 4th, 2009 at 10:53 am Kristine Says:

    Apparently I’ll never learn the right time to jump ship.

  34. On June 4th, 2009 at 10:54 am Meghan Says:

    Hmmm, I think that I should probably forget to rely on my hubby to actuall remember to put something away in the spot where he got it from the first time. Relying on the fact that he doesn’t remember where he got it from the second before, as he has a very short memory. That and why should I only have one galss of wine when the bottle looks so sad with that small bit left in the bottom of it…it only is a leetle bit more…right???

  35. On June 4th, 2009 at 10:56 am choosy Says:

    hmmm. I fall victim to the house project spell.
    Once I starts. I can’ Doesn’t matter what it is.
    This means that walls often get their second coat of paint before the first one dries and stuff may be a little less than perfect but –
    At least I finish.

    The man I love strives for perfection. So projects sit and sit and sit and sit and sit and sit and sit…well you get the idea.

  36. On June 4th, 2009 at 12:41 pm Coco Says:

    I just never seem to learn not to procrastinate. I’m sure I’ll get right on that tomorrow.

    My husband will never learn that no matter how hard he wants me to be a dynamic extrovert who loves meeting new people, I am and always will be a Crazy Cat Lady in Training who just wants the shrubbery to cover the windows while I never leave the house.

  37. On June 4th, 2009 at 1:12 pm baseballmom Says:

    Jaysus. You do always have weird shit happen to you! We also inherited the yard of someone who did all of this beautiful landscaping and made a cute, quaint English garden here, then got too old to take care of it. When we moved in, half of the yard was taken up by forsythia gone wild, and another quarter was a gigantic holly tree. The holly tree from hell is still here-it’s just a stump, but keeps sending up hopeful shoots. I also hear ya on the lack of help thing…coach has two jobs, and coaches both boys’ baseball teams. Yesterday I told him that he was going to talk to both boys about helping me out a little instead of being such ASSHOLES!!! Glad you got some help now 🙂

  38. On June 4th, 2009 at 2:25 pm Elaine at Lipstickdaily Says:

    Hey we totally have that house! That was once immaculately landscaped and is now a jungle! I had a similar experience last week, but with poison ivy. Which does not get better in pool water I discovered. And also that time when I was bending the branches over to prune them . . . forgetting that every action has an opposite and 10x greater reaction . . . and the unpruned ends snapped up into my face . . . oops! Glad you have some help . . . makes all the difference1

  39. On June 4th, 2009 at 2:47 pm Hope Says:

    Dave’s sister sounds like a better husband than Dave!

  40. On June 5th, 2009 at 6:00 am mumma boo Says:

    I will never learn that peanut butter and chocolate give me heartburn and send my gallbladder into epileptic fits. Curing PMS cravings trumps digestive upset in my world, apparently.

  41. On June 5th, 2009 at 1:57 pm lady lemon Says:

    Hmm. No drinking on week nights. That is one lesson that just will NOT stayed learned.

  42. On July 3rd, 2009 at 4:01 am Make Money Online » Blog Archive » Survival of the Fattest Says:

    […] Including taming this bush-tree thing that was beginning to resemble a koosh ball on speed. But because I am short, it’s no easy feat. It requires that I essentially get the whole tree into a bear hug and pull down branches to trim …More […]

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