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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My single life fantasy

Yesterday a friend mine pointed out a single friend of his on Facebook.  He mentioned that she is quirky and funny and is single by choice.  Afterwards, I found myself delving into a self gratifying fantasy about what it would be like to be single.  I felt kind of guilty about this... for about three seconds and then I got lost in it.

This sounds so appealing to me because I was a habitual long term dater.  My first boyfriend was at the age of 7. His name was Noah and I liked him because his name was so similar to mine.   If only it were that easy, following Noah was Adam, Connor, Brian, Billy, Bruce, Adam II, Matt, John, Matt II Tom, Mike, a few other people, Adam III Greg, Greg II, Jon, Matt III, Mike II, Chad, Scott, (that who shall not be named), Oliver, Alex, David, Chad II, and finally Don at the age of 22.
They all string together with the longest stretch being about 3 months.  Apparently I liked guys with the same name too.  It wasn't that I was afraid of being alone,  I just really liked boys. And I have been very honest in sharing that I get along better with guys, even to this day. I'm thankful that my husband understands this. It took awhile, but he has had front row seats to a few of my train wreck of female relationships.  He prefers that I avoid the drama.  He was literally in the middle of a cat fight between my roommate and me about a couch cover and it scarred him for life.  Maybe that is why God never gave me a daughter.

Anyway, I honestly never thought of what it would like to be completely single until today.

Bowchicabowmom.comIf I were single I would probably still work out at 5 a.m. but would get up earlier because I would have to pick out my outfit to look cute and possibly do my hair.   I don't do that now, my poor friends who see me every day looking exactly what I looked like sleeping 20 minutes prior, except upright.

I would live in a cute apartment that would stay clean all the time because nobody would be there to mess it up except me.  Which would free up an enormous amount of time because I spend half of my free time now cleaning and picking up legos and socks.  Which means I could read a book... or two or three! Concluding, that being single would make me smarter. 

I would take a shower without an audience, unless I wanted one. I could look in the mirror, and see my belly button looking normal and where it is suppose to be in my torso. I won't even fantasize about what my single self's boobs would look like.  I would wear cute clothes to work that didn't have kleenex in the pockets. And I would wear matching bra and underwear sets.  My underwear drawer is in the state of emergency, so many holes, I don't know which are leg ones anymore. And speaking of work, I would leave 5 minutes before I had to be there and arrive on time.  I would drive a two-seater.

I would watch the OWN channel whenever I wanted and Dateline on repeat.  I would stock my refrigerator with only healthy food and not all the other crap the other people like to eat which tempts me into eating it and then feeling guilty about it.

I would go to happy hour.  I would see a movie. I would go out.  It wouldn't matter where, just out.  I would use a basket while shopping instead of a cart.  I would carry a small purse without 100 year old fruit snacks stuck to the bottom.

Now this is where my fantasy gets a little sensetive so if you are my husband and are reading this, please skip this part.
I would date.  I haven't "dated" since 2000 and I'm sure in the age of social media, things have changed.  But I would go on dates with anyone and everything.  Men, women, black, white, red, purple and orange, rich, poor, old and young(ish) .  Dating doesn't have to be romantic, it can just be fun, getting out of your comfort zone to see what other people find interesting and exploring places you would have never dreamed to go to.

I would sleep.  Honestly, I think that is what this entire fantasy boils down to.  I'm tired.  I haven't had a real nights sleep since I was 25.  As a non-single person I find my self less worried about missing out  (FOMO) and more worried about not getting enough sleep (FOMS). When I wake up I try and calculate how many hours I actually slept and the results are never satisfactory.  Then I stress about the fact that I haven't slept a solid 7 hours and think about it all day and blame this to be the reason I make mistakes, have wrinkles and eat muffins.

My fantasy started to turn South when I realized that my single self wanted kids and I was now entering the age of "advanced maternity".  And how in the world was I going to find someone to procreate with before my fertile years were past me?  And would someone think all my weirdness was cute or annoying?  And living in the Midwest are there any men who are not married around here?

I started to have an anxiety attack and decided that the single life may be good for some, but not for me.  I like to be taken care of. To have someone reach the top shelf or protect me from murders who break into our house. Or actually, a pot rack falling from the ceiling that I thought was a murderer coming to kill me. At least Don reacted quickly to the threatening sauce pan as I froze in terror.

And truthfully, would I really know how to sleep with out a knee in my rib cage or a butt in my face? Probably not.  My brain was telling me to mentally abort this fantasy.  Fantasizing isn't bad, it doesn't hurt anyone and it can really make you appreciate what you have.  Even if it's sticky, dirty little hand perfectly fit inside of yours like a nesting doll.  Exactly where it should be just like me.

Monday, March 24, 2014

An Ode to the Beastie Boy's Mom

We recently purchased a new car and subsequently entered into the 21st century of automobiles. This new car has Bluetooth which means I can listen to my playlist from my phone! I'm sure that is nothing new, but I have been in a minivan bubble the past decade.   No more mixed tapes for me.  OK, our van wasn't that old, and it did have a cd player that had a pirate CD stuck in it since 2006.

This morning I decided to expose the boys to one of my favorite groups, the Beastie Boys.  As we started to listen I realized I hadn't listened to them in awhile... like since I have been a mother. I never realized how mom-bashing these guys were.  "Your mom busted in and says what's that noise, oh, mom is just jealous it's the Beasty boys". Or "you ask your mom please, but she still says NO!" or
"your mom took away your best porno mag." Well, good for her. 
How could they have been so cruel as to publicly criticize their mother who by all accounts was protecting them from popping their ear drums, keeping them in school and taking away their porno mags which depicted women in an unrealistic and degrading light? And to think I agreed with them back in the day. She sounds like a great mom to me.

Before my beastie boys could sing along I changed my mind.  As I started to flip through my play list I realized that they shouldn't be listening to any of it.  Rump shaker,  Shoop, Gin and juice.   Why was my playlist so full of meaningless music and why could I sing every single word of it?

My son's birthday is tomorrow and one of the things he likes is T-shirts with funny graphics.  He has one that has a TV talking to a remote control saying "You're so controlling!"  So he asked for some new shirts. I'm too late to order any online so I decided to go to Spencer's.   I haven't been in a Spencer's since I was a teen but if I remembered, they had funny stuff.
I walked in and immediately had to adjust my eyes because it was so dark.  As my eyes are adjusting I almost run into the girl who is working there who must also like to dress like rainbow bright, but not bright, more like rainbow dark, or rainbow goth, although it's not goth anymore it's emo.

I make my way to the T-shirts and once I read them I had to hold my jaw up from hitting the floor.  How can you even enter this store under the age of 18?  In fact, if you are under 18 stop reading this, actually you shouldn't be reading this anyway, you should be in school.

I cringe as I type this, but here are some of the tame t-shirts.

I'm not a gynecologist but I will take a look.
This isn't a beer belly its a gas tank for my sex machine.
You give me a "heart" on

These are actually the mild ones. The rest are very graphic and the rest have a pot reference.   If this is what the youth of our country is willing to wear in public then we are in some serious trouble.

When I was in high school my family took a trip to Florida for Spring Break. My brother took a friend and I took a friend.  While shopping, I got a Grateful dead t-shirt with Jerry bears copulating in various positions.  Several things are wrong with this. First is,  that I  even considered myself a dead head at 14. Second is that I thought I could wear this somewhere when I  couldn't even buy it myself and made my friend buy it because I was too embarrassed.
My brother discovered my t-shirt and threatened me for the next 5 years that he would tell our parents.  All he would have to say is "T-Shirt" and it would shut me up. Guilt finally got the best of me and I ended up burying it in the trash.

As I made my way to the back of Spencer's it looks more like a Pleasure land museum.  Seriously, objects that I didn't even know existed.  What happened to funny toy cats doing flips? Or monkey's playing a drum?  That was the Spencer's I remember. I made a quick exit and added Spencer's to the list of places I need to keep the boys away from right under the Lion's Den.  (If you have ever driven to Florida from Indiana you know what I am talking about).

My birthday is coming up very soon. I will be 37.  I cannot believe it is possible. I remember my 21st birthday like it was yesterday. That is a lie. I don't remember my 21st birthday at all.  I remember my 20th birthday like it was yesterday and now I'm entering my late 30's.

Is this why I have become the mother the Beastie Boys were singing about?  I always thought I would be unlike my mom,  the cool mom.  The mom that all the boys friends think is awesome.  I have already blown this when my son had a sleep over and I asked them all to get their jammies on.   He was just about to do it until he saw the expression on his friends faces.   Not only do I have a generational gap but I also have a gender gap. When I was a little girl we couldn't wait to get our jammies on at a slumber party. Nowadays young boys wear their stinky clothes to bed and God forbid you call anything but a sleep over.

What ever happened to the coolness of a pajama jammy jam. Kid N Play did it and it was cool.

I'll stop now because I am only dating myself. But what I do know, is that I want nothing more to be the uncool mom.  I want to be the most lame parent on the block if it means keeping my sons from wearing T-shirt's that have subliminal meanings behind the text that read  "I'm an idiot" and "my mom must be an idiot too for letting me step out of the house wearing this stupid T-shirt".

Parenting is not for the weak-hearted.  I have 2 more years until my son is a teenager, I should be able to get my heart in shape before then. Rather than singing along with the Beastie Boys I will follow the lead of their mom.  She seemed to know what she was doing and for the record, I highly doubt she was jealous that you were the Beastie Boys. She probably busted in to put away your clean underwear she had just folded.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Movie Theater Incident

As a wife and mother I have become accustom to repeating myself. As a wife and mother I have become accustom to repeating myself.

Ironically one of my major flaws that I have struggled with since I was an infant is patience.  My close friends and family know this all too well. When I want something, I want it immediately.  I thought that was a struggle, but little did I know that wanting someone else to do something, and do it immediately would require patience of a Buddhist monk.

This past weekend my oldest had his first (and possibly his last) sleep over with six 11 and 12 year old boys).  While Don was taking the herd bowling I decided to take out an additional mortgage and take the three younger ones to a movie at the non-dollar theater.  Before doing so, I made a stop at Wal-Mart.  I should end the blog post right now, because that was a mistake....it is ALWAYS a mistake.

A little back-story: For years, I have told the boys that if they don't sit properly and keep their hands to themselves in the car, a police officer will pull us over and give us a ticket because he wants them to be safe.  Fate would have it, that whenever I have had to say this, a police officer will be in eye shot.  It's great. It makes me feel powerful and all-knowing.

Before walking into Wal-Mart I instructed all of them, especially Oscar to stick with me, Jack added that if he didn't, the police would come and give him a ticket and stick it on his forehead. (I guess that is what they do). Luck would have it, at that very moment an off duty police car passed us in the parking lot and by God his two boys were sitting  in the back seat.  I was hitting the jackpot.   The boys were shocked. Mommy was actually right.  Little kids can get arrested.

This is a horrible lie. But it works. Well, I thought it did.

As soon as we walk into Wal-Mart my kids become the stereotypical faces of wal-mart kids. The place makes them crazy. Oscar flopped down on the floor in front of a motorized cart. Jack started begging for bubblegum and Fin was holding an enormous Mountain Dew with puppy dog eyes.  Pair this with my impatience and you are set for one successful trip to Wal-Mart.   We gathered our movie candy, stood in line for all eternity and returned to our van.

The entire way to the theater I explained why I would hold their candy and give it to them once we were seated.  I explained that we were sneaking it in because the movie candy price was four times what we paid for at Wal-Mart. I repeating it.  What Oscar heard was "blah blah candy blah" twice.   I had also brought some soda from the party at home, along with ziplock bags of popcorn.   The boys watched as I tried to camouflage my goods in order to sneak them into the theater.  I gave them a pep talk before getting out of the van.  Do not say a word. I will give you the candy when we are in our seats.  Ready set? You Bet!

I'm sure the ticket guy finds it odd that I have an enormous purse but choose to hold my wallet, but I try not to sweat it. It's all for the kids.  While I'm handing the ticket man our tickets, Oscar who had delayed speech until he was 3 decided to proclaim that I had popcorn in my coat, soda in my pockets and candy in my purse.  I looked down in shock and at that moment Jack was doing a stage voice volume level SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! and Fin was hitting Oscar in the shoulder.  The man looked down at me and slowly ripped my ticket stubs.  Giving me a look that clearly said "I'm watching you lady" and he let me through.  I have never been so nervous in my life. Well, OK, I have been. My fear of cops is not unfounded, but I will leave that to another blog post sometime. 

Despite leaving to take my 3-year-old charismatic orator to the bathroom a dozen times, the movie was a hit.

When we got to the car I asked what their favorite part of the movie was, Fin said  it was when Mr. Peabody danced, Oscar said when Sherman said poop and Jack said when I snuck in all the candy to the theater.  Damn it.

I was hoping he would have forgotten about that.  Kids learn by example.  Is it so hard for me to just say no? Although it may seem like a little white lie, this morning it was shoved down my throat when I caught one of them in a lie.

Learning that one of my sons had lied about taking something from his brother immediately sends my mind to the State Penitentiary and speaking through the glass as I see my 18 year old son in an orange jump suit with ear lobe gauges the size of soup cans and tear drop tattoos on his face.

I decide that today we were going to be a little late.  I sit them all down on the couch and wanted to scream "DO NOT FOLLOW WHAT I DO, JUST DO WHAT I SAY!" but I can't.

I explain that lying is wrong, whether it is to a ticket guy in the theater or to a brother or to yourself.

They all understood.. I think. I don't know? Again, I may need to repeat myself or better yet, show them that when you have done something wrong it is better to just admit it, ask for forgiveness and move on.

As we were sitting at the corner stop light I saw the police car we see every day.  I glanced in my review mirror and all were sitting properly in their seat belts, hands to themselves. I figured I can let that little lie simmer for a couple more years.  A little fear of the law may help them in college...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What Difference Does it Make?

I was sitting on my couch the other day, staring at the wall.  For lent we have added another screen free day in our home.  That is a total of 3 days where we turn off all screens.  This is intended for the boys, but we go along with it.  I mostly go along with it, except when I sneak into the bathroom where my phone is hidden so I can lock the door and check social media and peruse any other pointless hobbies I have or decide to take up.
After an hour or so I went back to my spot on the couch  and continue my deep contemplation about life.  I really cannot give justice to the chaos that surrounds me.  It involves high levels of noise, swords, tattling and nudity, and that is just Don.
In my bathroom solace I had just read about a woman who has gone all over the world teaching the importance of sustainable living. She was at least 5...ok 10 years younger than me.  She is making a huge difference in the world.   And she documents it all on Facebook and Twitter...and Instagram so the proof will outlive her.
Ask any graduate and they will say their goal in life is to make a difference. Nobody really has a clue at how they are going to achieve this, but most everyone would agree that they hope to leave some kind of mark.  I had those same dreams too.
Besides writing, I have a job.  By all accounts, a great job, I should be thankful for. I enjoy it. Is is making a difference? Nope.  I do my work, I come home, do laundry, make lunches, clean, clean some more and go to bed. Only to repeat the exact same thing the next day and the day after that.  Then one day I wake up and  find myself staring at a wall and wondering how I arrived at this point. And what ever happened to making a difference?
At that point my oldest came in and sat next to me because he is avoiding the dishes.  "What are you doing?" He asked. "I'm staring at the wall".  He didn't ask why or even seem bothered by my lack of purpose. Dishes sounded more entertaining so he left and went to the kitchen.
 Parker is my oldest and his birthday is coming up soon.  He loves to hear the story of his birth. Like a worn out recording,  I tell him the same story.
At 3:00 a.m. on March 25, 2003 you came into this world and in that exact moment, I became a mom.  At 2: 59 a.m. I didn't have a clue and thought I knew love, but when I saw you, I knew I wasn't even close.  In an instant I could see you not as a baby, but as a boy, then a teen, growing into a man. It's hard to explain, but I didn't just see you, I saw the whole world.

He never asks what I mean by that, he just accepts it.  And I'm glad because when I said it, I didn't even know what I meant.  When I look into any of my son's eyes I see everything.  All that has happened in history that lead to their existence,  I can see God and I see infinite possibilities.

What difference am I going to make in the world?  My difference will be made through my children.
 I won't see my name in lights, I won't receive the Nobel Peace Prize, I won't be the first United States female president, and I won't find a cure for Cancer. My contribution will live, not on social media, but live on through out time. And some day when my son meets his first child, he will finally understand what I meant when I said I could see the world.