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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flashback

What is it about Air Supply that can reignite the spent flame of pre-teen love? Hearing Lionel Ritchie belt out the chorus of "Truly" elicits an automated response of "Why doesn't anyone understand me?" which I loudly verbalize to no one in particular while driving the minivan.  To this day, I hold firm to the belief that my acid-washed Esprit jean mini-skirt was not too short and looked amazing with high-top Reeboks and a neon net shirt. Why couldn't my parents just trust my judgement? 

Decked in white high-heeled pumps that made me look so much older than my fifteen years, I stealthily walked into the eighties with an attitude and hair that could impale eagles.  In fact, I was armed with enough Alberto VO5 treatments to defrizz an army of Sun-In users a mile wide.  I reeked with a confidence that I had not felt before I knew it all.  Unfortunately, my parents did not share my understanding that high fashion involved white lip gloss, geometrically shaped neon earrings, and a tan that could rival anything George Hamilton might try to pull off. In fact, a major dillema I constantly experienced was deciding if I should go to the tanning bed before or after a six-hour UV bath at the beach. 

I was never without a full can of spray to completely restrict hair movement.  Further, I never faltered in my dream of marrying Rick Springfield or Simon LeBon.  With my perfectly coiffed Ogilvie home perm and jelly shoes in every imaginable color, who could resist me? My two-sided, magnified make-up mirror with lights that could blind a camel  reassured me that I was, indeed, like totally hot.  Symbolic of this transition was the packing away of my Shawn Cassidy tee. I was, after all, practically a woman in 1985 and that meant making a more mature fashion statement.

I embraced my Members Only jacket with a fervor unmatched by the bell-bottoms and silk jackets of yore.  Throw in parachute pants and Izod polos rolled up at the collar to enhance the rhinestone-clad Gloria Vanderbilts, and you would see a girl that was going places.  My "Seventeen" magazine assured me that a future as a Barbizon model was well within my grasp and I could feel it. 

But, those years were not without their lows.  The question of hair color on my newly earned drivers' license proved difficult, as there was a significant tone difference from root to tip. Black, frosted, or, yellow?  Eye color? Hmmm, do you mean with or without the purple contacts?  Height? Well, it depends on how much hairspray I used that morning. It varied daily with wind speed and humidity.  Another thorn in the proverbial side of my eighties ego were the girls from a much larger high school who preyed on our surfer boys like wolves in heat.  Sporting convertibles, updos, and gold chains the width of copperheads, they craftily pranced their way into the hearts of the boys who legitimately belonged to my friends and I. The spouting of empty claims of "true love always" forced me to up my game and invest in additional hair products. Calvin Klein soon replaced Gloria Vanderbilt and "Love's Baby Soft" perfume took an immediate backseat to "Obsession."  This was war and I realized that I'd need every banana clip and add-a-bead charm in my arsenal to reign triumphant. Although my life was totally over on several occasions and I was lulled to sleep many a night by reassurances quietly whispered by Peter Cetera, the ending is a happy one.  I got the guy.  Or actually, he got me. Lucky man.  But, I do have a pair of Jordache jeans hidden in the back of my closet just in case.

Meat, Vacuum Cleaners, and Other High Pressure Sales

If I had to create a list entitled, "Jobs That Must Really Suck," door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales would make the top five.  Perhaps it's the lure of a free sample of off-brand detergent, but the Kirby guy always finds a way through the front door. A promise of fifteen minutes of your valuable time becomes an hour and your internal pledge of not making any purchase without consulting the significant other starts to crumble as you view all of the little mites playing tag on the Folger's coffee filter.  There's a forced acknowlegement that you've lost any chance of receiving that prestigious "Mom of the Year" award as your cleaning habits take center stage under the once-friendly glare of the Kirby guy.  Thrown into fits of guilt for single handedly causing the asthmatic conditions of your little cutie and all of her friends, you kindly offer your new white-gloved cleaning partner some iced tea. Promising you'll straighten up and put Donna Reed to shame with your new cleaning regimen, sweat pools at your temples as you realize that this sweet little salesperson is probably the son of a DSS worker. A prayer that the bedroom mattress is off-limits is never heard as vacuum guy pushes into personal territory.  With a whip of his elongated hose, he pushes aside your bras and nightie and starts the hunt for the ultimate prey---bed bugs. Although it relieves you to learn that you have only a "mild" infestation, the evidence on the coffee filter convinces you that you have to buy THIS vacuum cleaner NOW. No other will do. By god, you have a family to protect no matter what the cost.

When you see the price quote, you immediately wonder if just buying an extra house that the family is only allowed to sleep in might be the cheaper route. Heck, you might have to sell a kid or an internal organ to pull off this purchase. But, alas, your panic quickly resolves as vacuum guy assures you that the price quote is "negotiable." In fact, his supervisor can work out a plan that will cut so deeply into his commission that he will actually lose money on the deal. Oh, the sacrifice, but helping this filthy family is just the right thing to do. He hates your dust mites as much as you do and cares about the ashtmatic conditions of this household. Mother guilt kicks in for the upteenth time that day, and you fall to your knees whilst begging to be the proud owner of this miracle machine. "$2,000.00 you say? Payment plan with a low-interest feature? Well, sign me up and call it a day."

Basking in the glory of a mite free home is overwhelming as you watch Kirby guy pack it up and high tail it to the next mini-vanned home on the street. Passing one another, ice cream truck guy gives a knowing wink to your friend with all the attachments and mouths "Suckas."

And, what about all the door-to-door meat salespeople? That's just simply unnatural. It's a good thing southern moms see through such ridiculous sales ploys, because these meat vendors mean business. "No thanks," for example, might be interpreted as "Man, that one-third centimeter slab of graying meat is toying dangerously with my senses. I want to grab it right out of you semi-refrigerated modified Igloo cooler and eat it raw right here on the front porch."

One word of advice to the protein peddlers out there. Project a catchy tune, paint a few rainbows and unicorns on the side of the truck, throw in a free sample of hardwood smoke bacon, and you might have yourself a deal!

Hey Little Girl, Ya' Want Some Candy?

That familiar, nostalgic jingle that signals the ice cream truck has sent kids running for money for decades and has resulted in maddening searches by harried mothers for loose change under the couch cushions. Attempting to "beat the bell" while being the kid to snag the last Nutty Buddy was the epitome of summer and spoke volumes about parental supervision and trust for strangers peddling sweets among the young. "Yep, Junior, here's a pocketful of nickels. Run to the street and chase the mustached stranger who wants to give you some frozen candy.  It's the 70's and, with any luck, he might let you pet the little puppy in the back."  Call it paranoia mixed with a little cynicism, but that same jingle now assumes a more sinister tone as the clinky high notes send moms everywhere into a panic. "Jane, you grab the kids and head inside. I'll get the tag number and alert the cops that we have a perp trolling for kids."  Sorry, but if your plan is to list your occupation as the driver of the local ice cream truck in your e-harmony profile, you'll have every single mom out there running for the hills. There does seem to be something a bit shady about the "ice cream guy," who never is the "ice cream lady." Coincidence? Perhaps. But, peddling frozen confections to youngsters in their bathing suits on a hot summer day is simply over the top. Trust me, people will assume that you are over the age of forty, live with your mother, and keep corpses in the basement. When mama starts chasing your truck down the street, she's not looking to get an ice cream sandwich. She's got your license tag jotted on a sticky and, if so much as one kid goes missing in the cul-de-sac, you're going straight to the pokey. Case solved. Fluffy the cat missing? Bets are on that Edwin the ice cream guy did it.

It doesn't help that the ice cream guy on my street ignores my nonverbals. There's no love lost between us, believe me. As soon as those beady eyeballs make contact with mine, it's on. The game sounds something like this:

"Mom, do you hear it? It's the ice cream truck. I need moneeeeeeyyyyyyy. Nowwwwwww."

"No, dear, I can't hear a thing. Ooooopsie. It's already 2:00. Time for dinner and I'll even let you eat the whole chocolate cake by yourself. Won't that be simply delish? Go. Now. Run. Cover yourself!"

"I need ice creeeeeaaaaaaam." (foot stomp for effect)

"But, we have neopolitan in the freezer. You can eat the whole carton right now if you hurry inside."

"I want THAT (points to probable perp) ice creeeeeaaaaaammmmmm."

Perhaps its the guilt of keeping your kid from enjoying one of the last vestiges of 1950's sit-com nostalgia, but you cave and think that maybe THIS ice cream guy is on the up-and-up. Gee, he's simply trying, in his own self-sacrficing way, to preserve a rite of summer. Heck, he probably helps boy scouts build tree houses and runs his very own lemonade stand on the side. Either way, you find yourself digging in the bottom of your purse for some sticky quarters.

But, then you make eye contact. A mutual and unspoken agreement forms between you and "ice cream guy". It screams, "You don't kidnap my little Johnny and I'll continue to patronize your mobile Dairy Queen." With squinted eyes, you flash that all too familiar "I'm watching you" signal as the jack-in-the box theme song fades in the distance.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Family Photos...Where it Went Wrong

Brown clan at the zoo...they let us out for our afternoon feeding...

Busted...

Jacob's strange but curious fascination with orifices...

Ole'??????????
Me...me....me....what's with the riffraff in the background? Who cares if Carrie graduated? What about me?

Where on Earth did Jacob develop his fear of clowns?


Must...be...the...center...of...attention.


        More photos coming...

My Random Facebook Musings

Happy Cinco de Mayo...
Senor un taquito dora exploria en margarita su vaca escuala ti gato y cervesa grande por doritos y fajita casa hermosa y chihuahua a biblioteca.Mi llamo diego por fiestada la unicornio y werwolfio del torro blanco vampirio sharpio fangio dos ejecutar.Finale, tres cyclopsio en quesadilla tequilla negra medela hola amiga is pegasusio.Corona ti vodkaio por Danielio is un buttholio en maize y salsalito y Julio Eglesia.

Happy Mother's Day...
Some of you may remember my cat Bunny, the one who resembled Mike Kckshefd@# (Duke's basketball coach).She was a ball of hormones and hotness and, every few months, baby kitties would randomly tumble from her uterus when she walked across the yard. When seeking nutrition, she'd stumble to her bowl of Tender Vittles with a look of resignation,dragging kittens from her teets.I can completely relate.Happy Mother's Day.

So Great to Be Loved...
Jacob's grumbling. I say, "Jacob, it could be worse. Mom could've had her leg bitten off by a horse or a Gila monster (it could happen...I saw some in Myrtle Beach). Then we'd NEVER get to go on a quality vacation. When Mom gets some stranger's red blood cells slowly injected into her lifeless body, she'll be as happy as a clam on steroids." He's not buyin'..

Can YOU Feel the Love...
Daniel : "If you're that sick and we go to Virginia, it'll ruin our whole vacation if you end up in the hospital."
Jacob: "Thanks a lot, mom."
Gina: (curled in fetal position) "I'll try to breathe more shallow to conserve the tidbits of oxygen coursing through my collapsed veins."


Drathers...
Would rather have a raging infestation of intestinal parasites while being stabbed in my left eye with a fork while being trampled by a herd of stampeding elk in the middle of the Sahara desert while wearing a wool coat filled with angry fire ants.

Game Time...
Tonight's acronym is brought to you by Beer on Tap--the shampoo you'd love to drink, but can't. And by Prell...makers of the dumbest commercials known to man. So without further ado, here is your acronym:
DIASM
Caller number 5 will receive 2 all expense paid tickets to the Bay City Rollers Reunion Tour (as if that will ever happen).


False Advertising...
OMG...I'm so mad. You know those flex trashbags? The white ones? The ones that rhinoceroses can't even penetrate? They show the rhinoceros horn being held back in the commercial. Uh uh. It's a big lie. They tear. Easily. And, what if I wanted to use one when I bullfight (it could happen). I would have been killed.

Sphincters...
Sunshine, spray on tan and the best homemade store bought chicken make for a good day. Brandon Williams and Daniel refused to share their oysters, so they can just cram it. You heard me. CRAM YOUR OYSTERS BOYS. I have Food Lion chicken and pork rinds, so there.

My Amygdala...
My amygdala is so easily stimulated. Thank goodness my frontal lobe is so well developed or else I'd be dotting eyes everywhere. The frontal lobe is one of the last areas of the brain to develop which explains the sometimes irrational behavior of teens and young adults.It's the emotional control center. Impusivity is fueled by "fight or flight."

Oh the Sacrifice...
Funny.Daniel gets irritated when I pull out large sums of money for shopping. Here's what he doesn't get.The sacrifice.Does he have to wake in the middle of the night to fight the crowds, the angry shoppers who are running on caffeine and a prayer, the flourescent lights which show every imperfection?While he's snuggled in bed, it is me who is fighting tooth and nail to save money for our family. I'm...so...cold.

Androgeny...
For the love of all that is good, please help me. Is Peppermint Patty a girl or a boy?? I need closure.

Angels Don't Poot...
Apparently, my husband thinks it's funny to pretend that he's me while on Facebook. I'm just happy that he spelled pooted correctly. That's a big improvement. Ahhh his sophistication and maturity astound me. He's is grand trouble.

Huh?...
Did you know that people fought in the Silver War to get the Constipation and then the radiation from all the bombs caused an iguana in Japan to turn into Godzilla? Happy Constitution Day. Gotta love second grade.

Random Fantasy...
Is it wrong that I find John Redcorn attractive????

Doin' It 70's Style...Ah yea...
The new Prell commercial bothers me.I get trying to revive a product from 1975, but it's cheesy.If you're gonna' revive a shampoo from the 70s,why not Beer on Tap?I used to feel bad,yet so alive,when I used it as a seven-year-old.What would happen if I accidentally drank it or inhaled the foam?I used to sit in the tub with my "Beer on Tap" shampoo foaming atop my head whilst smoking candy cigarettes. Oh the shame.

Confused Yet?..........
Lindsay's real, real, real name is Lindsay. Her real, real name is Brittany. Her real name is Lissa. Lissa just gave birth to Sara in the hospital in her room. The father is Andy (the dog). I've been babysitting this afternoon. Jacob thinks it's all a little twisted and won't help with the afternoon feedings.

Damn Pommuses...
Jacob's been in basketballball camp all week at UNC-W, so I'm zonked. Starting to get my second wind. We had a stray pommus walk into our back yard and he eye-balled me. He was hurt, rabid (not likely as their body temps are too low), or snake bitten and had to be put out of his misery. Made me sad, but he was in really bad shape.Yes, I said "pommus." That's what Lindsay calls those long-tailed, nocturnal marsupials.

Damn Gangstas'...
Uncle Ed likes my gang graffiti idea.I told him I'd need a badge,a gun,a blue light for my car, and the legal right to drive fast (Christina P. can help there).And clown make-up so I can go incognito.Plus, deputy uniforms for my friends so they can look official (but you guys only get water guns....sorry). We'll need a lookout to cover Paula R. and a first-aid kit just in case.Who's in?Wimps and boys need not apply.

I'm So Loved...
Anyway, I fell asleep on a raft at the lake and floated quite a ways down from our campsites. When I awoke an hour later, there were intestines (looked human) wrapped around my arm and two men were staring at me, waving from the bank. Disoriented and hearing the theme song from "Deliverance" in the background, I paddled as fast as I could back from whence I came.So, twenty minutes later I found my peeps. I asked if I had been missed and everyone said they were asking where I went. That's as far as they got in their pursuit of my whereabouts.Carrie pointed in the opposite direction when Daniel asked where I was. So good to be loved. I suppose I should count my lucky stars that the men didn't make jerky out of me. Hmmm....Gina Jerky...bet it would be super sweet.

Wood Substrate?....
Tired. All day in Wilmington till Thurs. and bible school for Lindsay at Harris Creek at night. By the way, what is wood substrate? "The Man" is trying to pull the wool over us my consumer friends. Is that supposed to sound better than compressed wood or particle board? Isn't that like calling Joran Vandersloot (sp?) a misunderstood young man who's been framed? If it's a shoe, call it a shoe!

Hair Algebra...
chi + teething puppy - chi - $ - good decision-making = hot tools iron + bad hair + birthday money + new chi = good hair.

Hmmm...
It's so weird. I still can't find my camera. I had it in my purse the other day when Lindsay and I went shopping. Hmmmmm.


Portable Fish...
Totally new invention: portable fish. Take them everywhere you go. Here's how Lindsay did it. She put her Japanese Fighting Fish (thank goodness he's a fighter) and placed him in a spray bottle full of water. How she got Weinie in there I'll never know, because I had a heck of a time getting him out.

Raised By Wolves...
My cookies aren't burnt, they're blackened. After giving Jacob the "hungry children of the world you'd better be thankful because some kids have to run around naked walked uphill in snow to school both ways" speech, he says to me, "Thanks for making the cookies I can't eat." Does that count as a compliment?

Bless His Heart...
Pediatrician: "We're going to go ahead and test Jacob for mono."
Jacob: "What the heck? Mom, I HAVE NOT been messing with bat poop."
Gina: "Jacob, man, that's guano."
Jacob: "Oh."


RuhRoh...
Interesting. I walk into Lindsay's room and noticed a large earthworm "bathing" in the bathtub (which was full of water) in Lindsay's Barbie house. According to Lindsay, his name is Inchy and she's going to keep him forever. He did look quite content and has his own bedroom, elevator, and crib. He does have to share the bathroom with one of her Littlest Petshop critters. Picture forthcoming.

Thanks Boat Fairy...
You guys aren't going to believe this, but these boat accessories keep showing up on my front porch. It's like magic...almost like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. Wait, it's the boat fairy. Boat fairy, if you're out there, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Because boat accessories are really expensive and Daniel wouldn't be able to get them if it wasn't for you. Boat fairy, you're the BEST!

Hmmm....
I wonder where my camera could be. Hmmmm, who could have had it last????



Andy, was it you??