french flagI don’t speak French.  I know nothing about French other than to say “Pardon my French” when I want to cuss at an inappropriate time…which is frequently.

So when my husband and I decided to plan a trip to Europe, we agreed we probably needed to learn a little French so we wouldn’t look like complete morons in Paris.

I’m pretty sure we will still look like morons. If my husband’s behavior in New York City was any indicator, we will be thrown out of Paris in no time…or at least spit on.

We talked about doing the Rosetta Stone CDs, but they were expensive and we knew they would end up collecting dust in our cabinet, along with the Fit For Life guidebook and DVDs of Sweating to the Oldies.

French iconSo we decided our best bet was to take a French class.

We didn’t want to return to school in the classic sense, mostly because it’s expensive, and I feared if we returned to that environment, one of us wouldn’t be in the “cool kids’ club” and we might break up.

I wanted to avoid divorce, so we agreed to try a Continuing Education class through a local community college.

These courses are inexpensive and are geared towards working people (NOT working girls.  That’s an entirely different group…).

Best of all, these classes don’t have tests or grades!  Woo hoo!  We thought it sounded perfect so we enrolled in Beginners’ French.

Last night was the first class.  I had a long day at work and was a bit late coming home.  When I arrived I found my husband noticeably nervous, although he pretended he was completely cool.

Looks like we know who would be the popular one.

pointing to watchHe hurried us through dinner and said we needed to leave 45 minutes early, as we needed to go to the bookstore to buy the textbook.  I objected to the 45 minutes early, as the college is approximately 2 miles from our house, and I didn’t think there would be a large line in the bookstore to purchase the book.

He disagreed, so I obliged with the early departure.

I grabbed my Punky Brewster Trapper Keeper and a box of pencils with my name on it and headed out the door.  I didn’t have time to buy a new notebook but Matt told me he had it covered.

He proudly produced a notebook circa 1999 that had approximately 7 pieces of paper left in it and smelled like fruit roll ups.  The fact that the pages were college ruled made me chuckle.

As we walked to the car, I glanced at my husband.  Although I’m not entirely sure, I suspect he bought a new outfit for the class…kind of like new “school clothes.”  Him and third graders everywhere.

pencil and paperI debated pointing this out to him and asking if his name was written inside the shirt, but since he was on a time crunch and irritable, I thought better of it.  Of course, I made a comment about hoping class pictures weren’t that evening.  He wasn’t amused.

We arrived at school and headed to the bookstore where I discovered my husband actually called ahead and had a textbook placed on hold for us.  Seriously?!  Did he really think they would run out?

As we stood there waiting for them to get the book from the back, we guessed how much the book would be.  I suggested it would be about $80.00.  We were both just hoping it was under $100.00.

The bookstore clerk returned from the back with a book the size of a cocktail napkin.  Where was our textbook?  Did he forget it in the back?

When I reminded him we were waiting for our textbook, he advised that the small book was our textbook.  What?!  It was an English to French dictionary!  How was that a textbook?  We thought about complaining until we realized the book was only $9.99.

male student with booksWe quickly paid for the tiny thing, I shoved it in my purse, and we left the bookstore.

Since we left ridiculously early, we had 30 minutes to kill waiting for class to start.  We walked around campus in an effort to get ourselves reacquainted with the college experience.

It wasn’t long until I could almost taste the Natural Light bonged.

That feeling of not being prepared for class also crept in, immediately followed by the realization that I just didn’t care.  Ahhh…I was home.

I also noticed I was very overdressed.  I came from work and since my husband is a master time keeper, I didn’t have time to change.  I felt very out of place in my dress when I realized most of the people around me were in pajama pants.

I was immediately irritated when I realized this is one of the few places in public I could go without a bra and no one would care.  How could I have blown such an opportunity?

I looked around at some of my fellow classmates and noticed most of them were wearing things made only of 100% cotton.  They all looked comfortable.  One guy had to have been 35 and wearing blue pajama pants with polar bears on them.

hands and glassesAlthough he looked like a total tool, I envied his comfortable pants and obvious disregard for hair product.

We took our seats in class. We sat together, presumably so we could pass notes and doodle inappropriate sketches.

We were greeted by an old woman wearing reading glasses.  Her hair was askew and her pants covered in chalk dust. She was my kind of lady.

The best part was her shirt.  In honor of our first French class, she was sporting a shirt that had a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it and it said “Tour de Paris.”  She dressed the part and was ready to teach!

She asked if we wanted a folder to keep our French papers.  She fanned out different colored folders.  I absolutely love free things, so I thanked her and grabbed a green folder.  I was pumped about the swag!

Apparently she wasn’t done.  She came back with stickers with French words on them like “Tres Bien” and “Bon Jour.”  She said we could put stickers on my folder.  Awesome.  It was like a craft project at community college.

Here are my school supplies laid out before class started.  Notice the French stickers on my free folder and our “textbook” that could fit in someone’s back pocket.


Before the class started I knew it would be amazing.  And then it got better.  I surveyed the room to get a good look at my fellow classmates.

There was a douche bag with the obligatory soul patch sitting in the front row.

His hideous hair and faux hawk alerted me to his douchiness, but his velvet sports jacket confirmed his status.

The fact that he was wearing the velvet jacket in a classroom that had to have been 80 degrees let me know that this guy was a moron.

I saw several old people, mostly women living out their last moments.  And then I saw the obvious child molester.

He was covered from head to toe in black and sporting a black fanny pack.  It was probably for all of his lollipops.

His long gray hair was in a ponytail with a pink ponytail holder…apparently he was in touch with his feminine side.

I tried to get a picture without being obvious but this is all I could get.  I’m confident you will get the idea, although this picture doesn’t at all do his creepiness justice.


We began the class and our teacher told us she was a retired grade school teacher, which I could have figured out by the way she referred to herself in the third person and told us to let her know if we had to potty.

She told us if we wanted to get serious about learning French, we should commit ourselves to listening to French for at least 10 minutes a day.  To help us with this task, she brought in several cassette tapes that we could borrow.  Yes, cassette tapes.

I wanted to ask her if she had any Rick Astley or Milli Vanilli cassettes, but thought she might take offense.

She made us go around the room and say why we were taking the class.  Several of us said because of travel, but one lady had a very distinct answer.

When it was time for the extremely geriatric woman to speak, she stated she was trying to learn French because it was on her “bucket list.”

Yes, she referred to her own death, which judging by her clear skin and laborious breath, could be any minute.  The entire class got very silent as it got real.  I considered asking the teacher to teach us how to say “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” in French, just as a precautionary measure, but then thought better of it.

bucketBut I decided to keep an eye on her for the rest of the class.

We quickly moved on to the other class members and their names and reasons for attending.  One gentleman, who sat a few seats down from me, said his name was Doyle, but we could call him Tony.  Really?

At first I thought he was joking but the devil in his eyes told me otherwise.  I quickly found something else to focus on and began perusing the syllabus.

I noticed our teacher included her email address on the document and couldn’t help but notice her address was ptcruiser678.

Not only could this woman speak French fluently, she also had a sweet ride.

We proceeded to learn numbers and letters in French, which I promptly mixed up with Spanish and became confused.

calculator and numbersFor some reason, the teacher called on me to count from one to ten in French.

I began with “un” and then immediately jumped into Spanish and continued with “dos” and “tres.”  The worst part was I didn’t realize I had switched to Spanish and was actually proud of myself for doing so well.

Doyle/Tony promptly reminded me I was speaking the wrong language.

The teacher didn’t call on me the rest of the class, either because she didn’t understand Spanish, or she didn’t want to anger Doyle/Tony anymore than genetics already had.

I left discouraged with a mind full of jumbled words and a sudden craving for a croissant.

Maybe we don’t need to go to Paris on our trip to Europe.  London speaks English and it’s looking more and more desirable…

This is NOT my stomach.

This is NOT my stomach.

I will admit I have let myself go.  I don’t mean in the personal hygiene department.  I still shower and floss regularly. Well, maybe not totally regularly.

What I mean is that I have let myself go in the weight category and have gained some serious pounds.  My friends tell me “it’s happy weight” in that I have gained weight since I got married because I’m living in such marital bliss.

This suggests that happiness requires me to fill my stomach with carbs.  Wait…it kind of does.

I don’t care if it’s “happy weight” or not, the result is the same: pants that dig into my stomach and a flirtation with the plus size area of the mall.

Interestingly, this area is strategically located next to an Auntie Anne’s.

In an effort to shed this “happy weight”, which does anything but make me happy, I’ve recently started working out with a personal trainer. I see him twice a week where he tortures me and makes me regret every single delicious thing I’ve eaten.

I kind of think he enjoys watching me suffer.  I share this training experience with two of my closest friends: Downtown Christy Brown and Pajama Jeans (not their real names).

scale5I figure if misery loves company, then complete agony must love a crowd, which is why I’m glad to share my pain with my friends.

After tonight’s horrendous workout, Downtown Christy Brown (DTCB) and I headed to our favorite place…Chipotle.

Pajama Jeans was out of town, and since she’s the fittest of the three of us, I think Marbi was irritated he was left with the two “chunky girls” so he worked us extra hard.

We decided to celebrate our good workout with salads from Chipotle.  I figured I would sit next to someone eating a burrito and ask them if I could just smell it.

We grabbed our salads and headed outside to discuss our workout regimen and the various ways we wanted Marbi to suffer.

At first, we felt bad about ourselves, but the more we got to talking about it, we realized being the fattest person at the gym is actually a pretty good thing.  In fact, it’s amazing!

So here are a few reasons why DTCB and I think it’s best to be the fattest person at the gym.

1.  Everyone has low expectations of you

down arrowNo one expects you to crank out a five-mile run on the treadmill or bust out a ton of reps with weights.  They’re just happy you finally took the step to take your fat butt to the gym.

The fact you showed up and used the gym membership you’ve been paying for is good enough for the regular gym-goers.

They don’t expect much from you, so any type of exercise is impressive to the hard bodies and their judging eyes.

2.  People automatically look out for you

look outSince you most likely have blood comprised of at least 50% milkshake, the regular gym members are concerned about your ability to work out…or even to walk the steps to get to the gym.

Seriously.  What gym puts steps to the entrance?  My gym does.

I’ve found fit people keep an eye on me as the fattest person in the gym to make sure I don’t hurt myself or pass out from overexertion.

Passing out would most likely occur before the workout started, as those lockers are difficult to open.

It’s nice to know that if I had a heart attack, or passed out from lack of oxygen, the fit people at the gym would know it and take care of it immediately.

3.  People will give up a machine for you

treadmillOther gym-goers look at you with pity as their eyes ask why you couldn’t just say “no” to the frosted donuts.  Although this may seem like a bad thing, it can be used to your advantage.

When all machines are full, there’s always someone in great shape willing to sacrifice a machine just to give you a chance at a little bit of a workout.

Granted, they may be giving up the machine because they know there’s no way you will use the machine for more than five minutes without experiencing heart palpitations.

Whatever.  Chivalry is not dead at the gym when you’re the fattest one there.

4.  You can stare at the good looking people and they won’t notice it

gym peopleUsually, there’s good eye candy at the gym.

My gym is comprised of old people and the junior high track team, so unless you have a fetish, there isn’t much to look at where I go.

But, if you are the fattest person at a gym with people who haven’t yet hit menopause, you’re in luck!  You can stare at the best looking people at the gym and you won’t be “that creepy person” or “the one I had to get the restraining order from.”

The good looking people with the rocking abs are just happy you’re at the gym, and are hoping you are looking to them for inspiration, or a tutorial on how to use the equipment.

It’s a free pass!

5.  The gym gives you free water

water bottleSpeaking of free, as the fattest person at my gym, I always seem to get a free water.

Maybe it’s because I look like I’m going to pass out, and the gym wants to avoid a lawsuit, but more than once I’ve been offered a water “because you look like you need it.”

Score.  My dehydration finally pays off!

6.  You get more personal space in the classes

Sometimes the aerobics and Zumba classes can get a bit full and space is limited in the room.  But, as the fattest person in the class, you can get just a little extra room on the workout floor.

This is definitely the case with me. Maybe it’s because people are worried I will pass out and fall on them as I head to the ground, or maybe they just don’t want to hear my panting and cursing under the breath.

I don’t care why no one wants to stand close to me, I’m just glad for the extra space.  Personally, I think it’s just because no one wants to stand by the fat girl.

7.  You get a “complimentary” sweat towel

woman with towelBecause I love free stuff, I’m especially happy about this perk.  At my gym, if you want a sweat towel you have to pay for it.  But, when you’re the fattest person at the gym, they give you one for free.

I think it’s because I sweat profusely all over the weight machine after only three reps of five pounds, and they don’t want my fatty perspiration all over the machine.

Maybe they’re afraid my love of cheeseburgers is contagious and can be contracted through my sweat.

I don’t care why I get the towel.  A free towel is a free towel, and it saves me from bringing my own, which means less laundry for this girl.

8.  Everyone around you is attractive and easy on the eyes

dog lookingIf you are the fattest person at the gym, no one looks worse than you.

Although this may sound like the kind of thing that would send someone running (or driving) to Dairy Queen for a large Blizzard, it’s actually a good thing.

It means that every single person that you see at the gym has a good body and looks better than you.  No one wants to look at the fat person…and you don’t have to…because that fat person is you!

The thin people are the suckers because they have to watch your fat jiggle on the treadmill for the five minutes you’re on it.  They’re the ones who have to cleanse their eyes after a workout…not you.

So there you have it fatties:  All the reasons why being the fattest person at the gym isn’t so bad.  I know I feel better about it.

So go have a Hostess 100 calorie pack (or three) and know that although your pants might not fit and you might have a permanent wedgie, you have it made at the gym!

dog's tongueTonight I came home from the dog shelter both tired and hungry (and smelling like dog poo).  I told my husband I would make spaghetti for dinner, so I had been thinking about the delicious carbs all day.

It’s the only thing that got me through my shelter shift.  That, and a large amount of hand sanitizer.

Unfortunately, when I went to the kitchen to make dinner, I noticed I was missing a few ingredients for spaghetti.

I was shocked, as I keep my house stocked with everything needed for spaghetti, as it is my “go to” meal when I can’t think of anything else to make.

It’s also a great way to make yourself worthless for an afternoon, and the perfect recipe for a post dinner nap.

Since coming back from New York, our pockets have been a bit low on cash, so instead of bailing on cooking and ordering something, I decided to run to the store and pick up what I needed to fill my belly with carbs.

And by “run” I mean I walked to my car and drove to the store.

grocery cartsI both love and hate going to the grocery store.  I love it because as a fat person, a place filled with food is my happy place…my Mecca of sorts.

I hate it because I’m a fat person and find it hard to resist all the delicious treats that comprise each aisle of the store.

From the bakery to the frozen pies, the grocery store is a form of torture that is especially horrible for the hungry.

I went through the store, forcing myself to stare straight ahead and avoid the temptation of the brownies that were calling my name as I passed.  I also had to walk quickly, as the smell of dog poo was on my clothes, and lingering too long forced me to smell myself.

I found what I needed and headed to the checkout, excited to get home and start cooking.  I glanced over at the self checkout, but it was closed.

I was secretly happy I didn’t have to use that, as I had a bad experience recently and I know the clerks are still a little irritated with me.

woman cashier at registerI’m not formally banned from that area, but it is “suggested” I stay away.

I found the shortest line and grabbed a spot.  While I waited I perused the magazine selection.  During this time I discovered that Angelina wants Jen’s man, and that aliens are causing the satellite debris to fall.

Confident I was up to date on all the happenings in the world, I moved up in line and continued to wait. I looked up to see who was ahead of me in line, and discovered a 45 year old man with his wife.

Although this may not sound strange, the fact that he was wearing a t-shirt that said “I love strippers” was a bit odd.

The fact that he was wearing it in the presence of his wife, and she didn’t seem to care, was the most shocking part.

As I looked a little closer at them, I discovered that neither one of them were particularly attractive, and perhaps the stripper he loved was actually his wife.

hands at tillI swear I saw glitter on her face and she seemed to be eyeing the pole that housed the carts a little too closely.

I held my breath and hoped “Pour Some Sugar on Me” wasn’t the next song on the Muzak, as this woman looked ready to go.

My stomach was growling and my clothes smelled like dog excrement, and I found myself getting impatient with the strange couple in front of me.

Their cart was filled to the top with PBR and pork rinds, and it seemed they were never going to get to the end of their items.

After waiting for what seemed like forever, the cashier finally gave them their total.  I let out a sigh of relief, careful not to inhale the foul odor emanating from my clothes.

I felt a pang of excitement as I realized I was one step closer to stuffing my face with delicious Italian food.

writing checkAnd then it happened…the stripper couple did what I haven’t seen done in years…they got out a checkbook.  What?!  Was I standing in line so long that I time warped back to the 80s when everyone wrote checks for groceries?

Didn’t these people know there were such things as ATM cards and credit cards?  I thought for sure this couple would have a large stash of money, most likely all one dollar bills that smelled of booze and broken dreams.

They were paying with a check?

The woman looked around for a pen and discovered she didn’t have one…as if the act of writing a check could be done without a writing utensil.

Did she expect to write the check with her STD filled blood?  How was it that she had a checkbook but failed to have a pen?

The cashier located a pen and handed it to the woman, careful not to touch her directly.  It was then that the woman began filling out the check.  Seriously?!

no saleWhy didn’t she have the check filled out before the total was calculated?  Was it that shocking that the store required her to pay?

I picked up another magazine in an effort to curb my irritation. This plan immediately backfired when I discovered that Suri Cruise is apparently required to wear red lipstick and high heels.

I found this somewhat fitting considering Suri’s outfits most likely resembled those work clothes of the woman ahead of me in line…same size and everything.

The stripper finished drafting her check and I was finally able to proceed through the checkout…making sure to pay with a credit card…like a normal American.

zumba instructorsI recently started taking Zumba classes in an effort to lose weight.

I love to eat and since I don’t want to give up chocolate lava cake, or carbs, or sugar, or anything else that is delicious, I know I need to burn some serious calories in workouts.  Enter Zumba classes.

For those of you unfamiliar with Zumba, it is a torturous aerobics class where we constantly move our hips and do somewhat sexy dancing (although with the size of my hips and my protruding stomach, I would say I look anything but sexy.

I look more like I’m having a seizure).

As I’ve taken these Zumba classes, I’ve noticed a few things about the instructors.

So here are the 9 things I’ve observed about Zumba instructors.

I know, lists usually have 10 things, but I couldn’t think of a 10th thing so stop judging and read.  And 10 is so unoriginal.  I’m such a trend setter and 9 is going to be the new 10.

Just wait.

1.  They must love rubber bracelets

wrist band

It seems that every Zumba instructor I see has one arm covered in those ridiculous rubber bracelets.

At first, I thought they were all just really devoted to finding a cure for cancer, or that they loved Lance Armstrong and his one testicle.

But a closer look demonstrated these rubber bracelets say “Zumba!” on them.  (Yes, with the exclamation point).  Apparently zumba  instructors love jewelry but are too cheap to buy anything made from material other than what tires are made of.

Maybe teaching Zumba doesn’t pay well.  And I can’t imagine that rubber bracelets smell good after an hour of sweating it out to Latin music.

Clearly these women need to find a Claire’s Boutique asap.

2.  They must wear bright colors

colored starsI’m not sure why every single Zumba instructor I see is covered in neon colors like it’s the 80s and they are headed to a Wham! concert.

What ever happened to a nice gray t-shirt for a workout at the gym?  Clearly this is forbidden in the Zumba instructor world.

Maybe when they get those rubber bracelets from the super secret place they shop, they are reminded of the importance of wearing distracting neon colors.

Maybe the bright colors are used as a focal point so those of us in class who start to feel weak and lightheaded can look to the blurry bright yellow blob doing hip moves and attempt to stay conscious.

Personally, I think a bunch of bright colors bopping around to the tunes of Gloria Estefan is enough to make any normal person go into shock.  And yet, I return each week for more zumba.

3.  They must have at least a small form of Tourettes

screamFor some reason, all Zumba instructors I’ve encountered seem to think they need to randomly yell out “Zumba!” throughout the workout.

I have no idea why this is necessary, as it certainly doesn’t help me burn off my burrito any faster.

But alas, every class I’ve been to has involved an instructor randomly yelling this throughout the workout.

Perhaps that’s why they wear the rubber bracelets adorned with the word…maybe their memory isn’t that great and they constantly need to be reminded of what they are doing.

4.  They must look good when they work out

glamourI am no glamour queen, and I never go to the gym wearing makeup.  Sometimes my clothes don’t even match.  I figure the people at the gym are just lucky I put on a sports bra before I go.

So I realize I may not look overly attractive when I start at the gym, but about halfway through the workout, I look horrible.

My face is red and last night’s mascara is always running down my face, as I can’t seem to find a good makeup remover to save my life.

As I gasp for air and pray for the end, I look up and inevitably see a neon blob with rubber bracelets looking amazingly good.

What?! How are these women not dripping their makeup down their faces, or at least sweating a little under their armpits?

My shirt is always covered in sweat and I look like I might have a heart attack at any moment.  These instructors, although sweaty, seem to glisten with the sweat, and I swear they look even more attractive.

How is this possible?  Perhaps a requirement of becoming an instructor is to put them in a sauna and see how good they look when they perspire.

I wouldn’t pass that test.

5.  They must hate Mexican food

margaritaI realize this seems counter intuitive, but with all that Latin music pumping through the speakers, all I can think about during these workouts is a large margarita and a bowl of chips and salsa.

The urge to eat something salty and covered in melted cheese is overwhelming at times, and if there was a Taco Bell close to the gym, I’m pretty sure I would have that every day for my post-workout meal.

Clearly these instructors hate Mexican food, or have will power of steel, because I don’t know how any respectable human being can listen to the music they play at Mexican restaurants every day as part of their job, and not be tempted to indulge in some serious carnitas.

I know they can’t possibly like Mexican food because if they did, these instructors wouldn’t be the size 2 that all of them are.

And no one can resist chips and salsa.  No one.

So clearly instructors hate Mexican food.  Which makes them un-American if you ask me.

6.  They must all have artificial hips

pelvis xrayZumba requires a lot of moving and shaking of the hips, or in my case, shaking of the beer belly.

These instructors clearly have bionic limbs with the way they are able to shake their hips to the beat, all the while looking attractive.

I’m convinced their joints aren’t human, and must be machine.


7.  They must have a very short memory

memory.jpgAlthough they seem to be able to remember the routines, these instructors seem to have a short memory about what they are doing, as they always need a reminder about their activities.

From the clothes they wear that say “Zumba!” all over them, to the bracelets, to the yelling of Zumba in the songs, to the random Tourettes yelling, these instructors clearly need constant updates about what they are doing.

8.  They must enjoy torturing themselves

Zumba is not for the weak hearted (or the overweight).

It’s rigorous and ridiculous and I usually want to pass out after the warm up.

Clearly these instructors love to torture themselves, as I can’t see any reason why they seem to be enjoying the squats as much as they do.

9.  They have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time

gumball.jpgOkay, I don’t know if this is really a requirement, but it seems like it would be.

These moves involve the hips, the legs and the arms, and I’m lucky to get one of those movements correct, let alone all three.  These instructors seem to do multiple movements with ease, as they glisten away.

Clearly, the walking and chewing gum thing must be a requirement.

That’s all I could come up with for now, although I may think better when my legs aren’t throbbing and I’m not so dehydrated.

I will continue to attend Zumba classes, mostly because I want to keep eating and Mexican food keeps calling my name.

I’m off to down a burrito from Chipotle….

I recently had an incident that made me question my choice of clothing, especially what I wear to bed.

So I decided to go with a friend of mine to the mall to scope out some new clothes for the Fall season.  After all, I am a bit of a trend setter, so I want to keep up with the newest styles, as long as the newest styles are comfortable, don’t dig into my stomach, and don’t require me to wear Spanx.

So I called my trusty friend Scissorhands (not her real name), and she agreed to meet me at the mall to browse.

Scissorhands is one of my fashionable friends, who is up with all the latest trends and styles, and tries to keep me updated too, but I usually screw that up.

She equips me with knowledge about new trends, and urges me to try them, and I do, but I usually try them with something that is wrong.

For instance, when bangs were popular she urged me to get them, thinking I would look cute.

Naturally, when I think of bangs I think of mall bangs that are teased and sprayed with approximately one bottle of Aqua Net.  Apparently that’s not what she meant by bangs.  That was an embarrassing day.

I met Scissorhands at the mall and (of course) she looked adorable.  She had feathers in her hair and was wearing adorable deck shoes.  I didn’t know those shoes were in style, but if Scissorhands was wearing them, they must be.

She showed me how cute they were (on her), and told me I should get a pair.  Apparently she forgot about the “bangs incident of ’07.

I reminded her that I’m not capable of being fashionable, or of eating without spilling on myself, and there was no way I could rock the deck shoe look.  I also reminded her I don’t have a deck, so I would have no place to wear them.

She rolled her eyes at me (as she does about every 3-5 minutes we are together),  and told me I could wear them anywhere…not just on a deck. But why would they call them deck shoes if they are supposed to be worn everywhere?  I was so confused.

Despite my questions about the propriety of wearing deck shoes at the mall, I walked around with Scissorhands looking for the shoes.  We found them in the first store we went into and I tried on a pair.

Scissorhands is yet another one of my skinny friends, which makes me wonder why I surround myself with people who are thinner than me.  (I will begin taking applications for fat friends.  Please apply immediately.  I definitely need more than one).

Due to her svelt figure, she looked adorable in the shoes, as they looked proportional to her body and her jeans.  I, on the other hand, looked like an exclamation point.

My hips were wide, and then my legs got narrow down to my feet.  (I am incapable of gaining calf muscle no matter how many lifts I do).  I was trying to be fashionable with a tapered leg jean but it further accentuated the fact that I looked like a form of punctuation used to emphasize things.  Isn’t that appropriate?

So although she looked proportional and was rocking out the deck shoes, I looked like an old woman trying to fit in.  The cardigan I was wearing didn’t seem to help the look.  Fail.

Scissorhands urged me to buy the shoes, and told me I looked great in them, but I knew she was lying.  I could see it in her eyes.  She knew I couldn’t pull the look off.  I put on my Orthaheel Orthopedic shoes and we left the store, my head held in shame, forcing my double chins to smush together.

We walked around for a bit longer but I was devastated about the deck shoes and didn’t want to see any other fashions or trends that I wouldn’t be able to pull off.  (When is that 90s grunge look coming back?  I can rock that flannel shirt look).

Scissorhands and I went our separate ways, as we parked on separate sides of the mall.  I started walking down a hallway of the mall when I was immediately accosted by a very large man giving away free samples of chocolate.  What?!

This was the universe’s way of making my lack of fashion sense right.  Free chocolate.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take it.  I am working out with a personal trainer now (See here), and he watches my diet closely.  I knew the free chocolate wasn’t worth the sprints my trainer Marbi would make me do.

I passed up the chocolatey goodness and kept walking.

Approximately two seconds after I said no to the delicious dessert, a woman from a different kiosk asked me if I wanted to try a sample of dry nail polish.  What was with this?  I was being accosted by people at kiosks in the hallways of the mall when all I wanted to do was get to my car.

Although we all know dry nail polish would be an excellent idea for me, and if I had known about it earlier, there wouldn’t be a pink polish stain on our ottoman, but now was not the time to push product on me.  I just wanted my car.

I declined the nail polish and kept going.  Approximately three seconds after the nail polish woman asked to give me something, a woman from yet another kiosk asked if I wanted a neck massage.

Of course I do, but not from a 300 pound woman with neck hair working at a kiosk in the mall.  What was with these people?  They were like vultures and I was their prey.

And clearly I looked like a fat woman with bad nails who needed some stress relief.  What I needed was to find my car.

I looked up and saw I was approaching Macy’s, which wasn’t the place I entered the mall.  Seriously?!  I had to walk all the way back down the hall of shame again to get to my car.

For a moment I contemplated just going out the wrong door and walking outside in the parking lot, but it was raining and I actually did my hair that day so I decided to brave the pushers in the mall.

I headed back down the same hallway I had been just 30 seconds previously.  I was convinced that since these vendors just saw me, they would remember I didn’t want a free sample of anything they were pushing.

Wrong.  Every single one of them asked me if I wanted a free sample.  Really?  The girl who looks like a question mark in orthopedic shoes isn’t memorable?

Once again I declined their free offers, wondering if these people were going to get a beat down from their boss if they didn’t push these products.  With how aggressive they were, you would think babies in China would die if they didn’t give away all their free samples.  It was ridiculous.

I finally found my car and as I walked to it, I realized that I don’t like going to the mall.  I hate finding a parking spot and I hate being attacked by all the kiosk workers trying to push their items.  I like shopping on line…where I don’t need a parking spot…or a bra.

front doorIt seems as if most people fall into a category of being a morning person or a night person.  I fall into the latter category.  As a requirement of being a night person, I despise all morning people.

As a night person, I find I’m more alert later in the evening and I do my best thinking then.  After all, it was at 11:30 p.m. when I came up with the brilliant idea of a business suit made out of velvet.

Trust me.  It will be big, and sooo comfortable.

So last night at 10:53 p.m. when our doorbell rang, I was awake and so was my husband.  I would love to tell you that we were awake doing something extremely sophisticated, like discussing works of art or the fate of our economy, mostly because it sounds a lot better than what we were really discussing, which was what determines how long the smell of a fart lingers.

As we tried to wrap our minds around this puzzling mystery, we heard the ring of our doorbell.

We looked at each other with a quizzical look as we both thought to ourselves “Our doorbell works?!”

In the three years we have lived in this house, we always thought the doorbell was broken.  As the loud ring filled our house, we were filled with excitement at the realization that we had a working doorbell.  We were movin’ on up…just like the Jeffersons.

pajamas.jpgAfter doing a celebratory dance, we realized that the doorbell was rang by someone, and he or she was probably still on our doorstep.  But who would come to our house at 11:00 at night?

Naturally, I convinced myself it was a burglar who was trying to catch us off guard and raid the house when we opened the door.

I looked around for a weapon to use against the insurgents.  There were probably more than one of them.  The only thing I could find was the back scratcher I purchased for my husband at the dollar store.

It’s made of bamboo and is very lightweight, and the fingers are practically worn down to nubs with the way he uses that thing.

I know it’s a little creepy, but if it keeps me from expending the energy to scratch his back, then I’m all about it.

Armed with a flimsy back scratcher, my husband and I headed to the door for what was sure to be an assault of some sort.

As we stumbled to the front door together, I contemplated the outfit I was wearing, which was most likely going to be the clothes I was brutally murdered in.

I didn’t want my mutilated body to be discovered wearing pajama pants with penguins on them and an Iowa Hawkeyes t-shirt.

welcome matFor one thing, we all know penguins and hawks don’t get along, and the two animals are incapable of living in harmony together.  I was really pressing my luck pairing them together with my wardrobe but hey, I’m a risk taker.

But now, my lazy attitude towards the pairing of birds would be forever memorialized in crime scene photos that would inevitably end up on “48 Hour Mystery.”

And what photos would they show to viewers?  I hoped it was my junior year’s pom pon picture.  I looked hot in that one.

I realized that I should have been more thoughtful about my nighttime attire.  I also realized I should have eaten the frosted cookies I resisted earlier in the evening.  I didn’t want my last meal to be some stale carrots.

We reached the door together.  Our house really isn’t that big…I just thought all of those things in a very quick time frame, and my husband opened the door a crack.  This was it:  It was over.

light switch onMy last moments in life were upon me.  My life flashed before my eyes in a series of moments; Thanksgiving with the family, chocolate Easter bunnies, backyard BBQs, Christmas breakfasts.

Then I realized that all my memories involved food and was thankful I wouldn’t live another day to deal with that crazy obsession and what that meant about myself.

I flipped on the light to the front porch and the figure standing there was illuminated.  I peered through the peephole and saw the teenager from down the street.  Matt opened the door a crack, peered out, and asked him if he needed something.

Clearly this kid was here to rob us blind and use the spoils of his crime to purchase video games and crack.  Duh.

Hi” said the teenager in an unassuming voice (most likely masked by the hard drugs he was surely on).  “Have you seen a black cat around here anywhere?”

So that was his angle.  His way to get in:  alleging he was looking for a black cat.  Smooth.  Well played.

black+cat.jpgNo, we have never seen a black cat around here before,” my husband answered in his best “I’m a big strong man” voice.

Are you sure you aren’t looking for a fat orange cat?” my husband inquired.

As if this kid was really looking for a black cat.  Sheesh.  My husband was falling for this hoodlum’s bait.  Not this girl.

No, it is a black cat.  We haven’t seen him in a few days and we were wondering if you had seen him” the delinquent said.

Wait a minute…”we?”  He was the only person standing there, so who else was he talking about?

Clearly he had some friends hiding nearby who would assist him in looting our home.  Didn’t I tell you there would be several insurgents?

“I will keep an eye out for the black cat and let you know if I see anything” I told the boy, knowing full well there was no such black cat.  He thanked us for our time and left our front porch.

screen doorWe locked the door and returned to our riveting conversation about the pungency of gas, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had just been “scoped out” for a burglary.  (I watch lots of “Law and Order” so I know how these things work.)

I told Matt I was concerned this kid was just trying to get a feel for us so he could rob us later.  Matt didn’t share my same view of the obvious drug addict.

We went to sleep and awoke the next morning unharmed, our house in tact.  Okay, so maybe he was waiting for the next night to strike.  That was fine with me…I knew I would be ready.

This evening I came home from work and got into bed, as I didn’t feel well.  Matt went out to a movie and almost immediately after he left the house, he called me.

I answered my cell phone, irritated with him, as I was sure he forgot something crucial, like his wallet.  Instead he said “I just saw a black cat wandering around the front yard of the house on the corner.”

What?!  Could that hoodlum who came to our doorstep last night looking for a black cat have actually been looking for a black cat?  Surely not.  But alas, my husband found the elusive black cat.

Was it a coincidence?  I’m not sure.  But rest assured that tonight, I will be sleeping with that bamboo back scratcher right by my side.

refrigeratorAt some point in every responsible adult’s life, we must do a task we don’t want to do.  There are several of these dreaded tasks, including braving the freak shows at the DMV and getting that yearly “female” exam.

But what I’m talking about now affects everyone, not just those of us with female genitalia…I’m talking about the dreaded task of cleaning out the fridge.

It’s horrible and time consuming, but every responsible adult must clean out the fridge every now and again.  It’s what separates us from the college kids…that and the fact that we don’t have a nightstand full of condoms being held together by duct tape. (Mine is held together with masking tape.)

Tonight was the night for this dreaded task at my house.  We recently came back from vacation and needed food for our bellies.  I needed to go to the grocery store to buy food but knew our refrigerator was home to several expired items.

In order to make room for the new stuff, I had to clean out the old stuff.

A lesson I should also apply to my closet, but I’m waiting for neckerchiefs to come back in style.  pantryThey’re on their way…I can feel it.

It’s no secret that I love food.  The grocery store is my happy place, as it has large quantities of food available for the small price of my self respect, which I usually leave at the first sample station.

So I admit that always sometimes I get carried away at the grocery store.  When I see a box of 100 calorie Hostess snack packs on sale, instead of buying 2 boxes, I buy 5.  After all, they are 30 cents cheaper on sale, and what if I run out?!

Will 5 boxes be enough? I mean, it’s just the two of us at our house.  Maybe I’ll grab 6 just to be safe.

And grapes?  I can’t just get one regular bag of grapes.  What if some of them are bad?  What if they are too ripe.  No, I get two bags instead, just to be sure.

Yogurt is also a downfall of mine.  Every week I tell myself this is the week I’m going to start eating yogurt.

All those commercials with Jamie Lee Curtis talking about being regular make it sound so fun and exciting.  Like pooing on a schedule is something to write home about.  I’m sure if I did that I would be disowned.

grocery aisleSo every week I may overbuy at the grocery store, which leads to a refrigerator bursting at the elastic seams.  Tonight I took it upon myself to clean it out.

I know, I know, I’m quite the martyr.  But hey, it’s the cross I must bear.

I considered donning gloves before getting to the task at hand, but decided if I was truly going to be a martyr (and hopefully score points with my husband which would lead to a day at the spa), I needed to do this the hard way…sans gloves.

I locked eyes with the fridge, mentally prepared myself, and walked towards the white tower.  I held my breath, mostly to keep from inhaling the horrific smell emanating from the fridge.

Where to start?  The door full of condiments or the vegetable drawer?

I decided to start at the bottom of the fridge and work my way up.  Thus, the vegetable drawer won out…or apparently in my case, the cheese drawer.

I found not one, not two, but three bags of shredded cheese.  Really?  Three?  That’s three whole pounds of cheese.

cheese1Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about cheese, but why did I need 3 bags of shredded cheese?  I looked at the expiration date on the bags and was surprised (and delighted) to see that none of the bags of cheese had expired yet.

I thought about it, and decided times are tough, and the economy is basically in shambles.  Who am I to throw out perfectly good cheese?  Wouldn’t that just be spitting in the face of those who were cheeseless?

I knew the good people of Wisconsin wouldn’t appreciate my throwing away perfectly good cheese.  I definitely didn’t want to upset Packers fans, so I decided to keep the cheese…you know, for America.

I next moved my attention to a plastic bag full of mushy balls that I can only assume were peaches at some time…sometime several long months ago.

By some act of fate the peaches hadn’t yet developed fruit flies, and for that, I was grateful.  I grabbed the mushy bag and tossed it in the garbage.

Crisis avoided.

veggiesI then moved my attention to the second veggie drawer where I came across a very bendy stalk of celery.

I tried to break a piece off to see if it was good, but it bent like licorice.  Knowing that celery didn’t taste anything like Twizzlers, I knew better than to try to taste that.

I also cursed myself for buying celery in the first place.  What was I thinking?  Who eats celery on its own?

It’s only purpose is to serve as a mechanism to hold copious amounts of peanut butter.  Why else would I have purchased such a vegetable?  Discard.

I decided to next focus on a small bag of baby carrots, which were extremely dried out and ashy.  They looked like the bottom of my feet before a pedicure…scaly and in need of lotion.

There was no way I was going to eat pasty carrots.  I made a mental note to schedule a pedicure, threw the carrots away, and moved on.

cheesesNext on the list was a container of sour cream, which is interesting because neither me nor my husband eat sour cream.  I believe it may have been brought over by Pajama Jeans a few months ago when we had a Mexican night and made tacos.

However, that was before I started my pathetic attempt at dieting, so I knew it had to be old.  I opened it up and discovered it had shifted form from sour cream to cottage cheese.

I thought about keeping it and using it as cottage cheese, but figured I probably wouldn’t eat cottage cheese either, and I would hate to find out what form it turned into after cottage cheese.  I chucked it in the trash.

In looking through the fridge I discovered that my husband and I may have a problem with pizza…or not so much a problem as a love affair.

I found two separate containers of leftover pizza from two separate evenings of dining.

Neither one of us are Italian so I couldn’t blame it on our heritage.  I suppose the only excuse is that our carb loving stomachs can’t live without the stuff.

pizza3I may need to remove the local pizza place from our speed dial, which would be nice, as Christmas is coming up and I don’t want to have to buy our delivery driver a gift again this year.

It was then I discovered the grapes.  Didn’t I tell you I can’t resist buying grapes?

I found one bag of unopened grapes that were more shriveled and wrinkled than Hugh Heffner’s scrotum.

I contemplated keeping the grapes a little longer to allow them to turn into prunes, but decided if I was going to start eating yogurt, I wouldn’t need the prunes to be regular.

I also contemplated squeezing the grapes to make my own wine, but that seemed like a lot of work, especially when I could buy “3 buck Chuck” wine at Trader Joe’s.

It wasn’t worth the effort.  I threw them out.

Need I tell you that I also threw away at least $5.00 in yogurt?  I needn’t.  Deep down you already knew.

oil and vinegarI then turned my attention to the door of the fridge, which is where all condiments and dressings go to die.  Judging by the large amount of salad dressings on the door of my fridge, you would think salad was all I ate.

How many bottles of fat free Ranch did I really need?  They all tasted like poison, no matter how many different ways they tried to remove the fat.

The fat is what makes Ranch dressing so delicious.  Removing it is like taking marijuana away from Amsterdam.  It’s the essence of what it is.

Forget the fat free Ranch.  I tossed all three bottles.

And how did I have a fat free blue cheese dressing?  How is that even possible?  I love blue cheese dressing and should have known better than to purchase it as a fat free item.

Who was I kidding?  With a drawer full of three bags of cheese, I should have known better than to attempt a fat free blue cheese dressing.

I threw that away too, and swore off all fat free dressings.

pickles1I then turned my attention to the pickle containers, of which there were several.  Who knew there were that many different kinds of pickles?  (I’m assuming pregnant women knew this.)

I had dill pickles, sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles.  I also had pickle relish in both sweet and dill.

Who needs that many different forms of pickles? Wouldn’t just one kind do?  And what is a bread and butter pickle?  Are they covered in butter?  If so, maybe they would be delicious.

I told myself that a pickle is really just a form of a cucumber and my trainer told me cucumbers are good for me.  So I rationalized that I should keep the pickles…all five different kinds.

By this point my trash can was full and I was far too lazy to empty it and start over.  So I abandoned the fridge cleaning project.  I felt like I made a good dent in cleaning it out.

After all, now that there was more space, I had room to fill it up with more delicious food, and I heard there was a sale on yogurt…

Our first full day in NYC together!!!

After getting a good night’s sleep, my husband and I awoke in our hotel and were excited to take on our first day together in New York City.

His excitement had not curtailed over night. In fact, it seemed to have intensified over night. Maybe that pizza we got was authentic and it infused him with extra New York pride.

Whatever the reason, he was ready for a day of exploring, and so was I. We got ready and I remind him to wear comfortable shoes, as we would be walking quite a bit and I wanted him to be comfortable.

I also didn’t want to run to the pharmacy for band aids. He put on his “kicks” and we headed out the door. Just to be clear, he was also wearing clothes…not just the kicks.

Central partWe headed uptown to check out Fashion Week. I didn’t have tickets to any of the tents, but I still wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of the new Spring fashions.

My husband wanted to catch a glimpse of Heidi Klum…or some side boob from a model. We walked to Lincoln Center and saw the tents set up, but it looked like the action hadn’t started yet.

We didn’t want to camp out and wait.  After all, we wanted to appear like real New Yorkers.

We headed to Central Park next. I wanted Matt to see how beautiful it was, and how pretty it looks juxtaposed to the large buildings. He wanted to see the pigeons.

Whatever.  We are on the same page about going to the park.

We got to the park and it was beautiful.  There were people everywhere, and more importantly, there were dogs everywhere, which made us both quite happy.

puppy on benchMost people would probably look at all the cute kids playing in the park and focus on them and how cute they are (in a non-creepy way of course).  Not us.

We focused all of our attention on the adorable dogs in the park.  One could say were were true pet-o-files.

Okay, I know that joke was horrible but I just made it up and was so proud of it that I had to use it.  I apologize…wait…no I don’t.  It was awesome.

We decided to take a stroll through Central Park since we were enjoying it so much.  Except, it wasn’t really a stroll so much as a hike. Who knew that park had so many hills?

I knew I was going to do some walking while in the city, but I had no idea the park was one giant hill (or at least it felt that way as the remnants of last night’s pizza stuck in my stomach).

We finished our sweat-fest through the park and emerged on the other side, sweaty and thirsty.  It wasn’t socially acceptable to grab a beer yet, so we stuck with water and purchased a bottle from a street vendor.

sculpturesWe then headed to The Met where I channeled my inner “Gossip Girl.”  For those of you not familiar with “Gossip Girl,” I must first ask, what’s wrong with you?  How are you not watching this show?  CW on Mondays.  DVR it.

For those of you familiar with the goodness that is “Gossip Girl,” (congrats on being awesome) you know that B sits on the steps of The Met each morning to meet with her minions.

I felt a little like B sitting on the steps of The Met, although I didn’t have minions…just my husband…although I can definitely make him fetch me a coffee if I need it.

My clothing didn’t compare with B’s.  I don’t think my DressBarn sweater could compete with B’s Dolce and Gabana coat, although I think my sweater is still cute.

After pretending to be spoiled rich kids (well, primarily just me), we decided to go inside The Met and check out some art work.  I had a recent experience with art work, and since then have deemed myself an art expert.

We walked around The Met and decided to head toward the Egyptian exhibit first.  What can I say?  I like their jewelry.

ticketsWe walked over to the exhibit, following the advice of The Bangles and walking like an Egyptian.  The security guard was not amused and asked to see proof of payment.  We didn’t have any because we didn’t buy tickets.  Who knew you had to buy tickets?

Actually, I knew that, as I had been there before.

We headed over to the ticket counter where the sign said tickets were $25.00 per person.  Um, no.

Paying $50.00 to look at some old stuff didn’t sound appealing to either one of us, even if we were pretending to be characters on “Gossip Girl.”  (Well, again, mostly me).

We decided we would rather spend that money on a bar tab, so we left.  We did NOT walk like an Egyptian on the way out, just out of spite.

We walked down Madison Avenue in the Fashion District and window shopped all the designer stores.  I’m sure the sales people were impressed with my DressBarn sweater and orthopedic shoes. 

We noticed several of the designer stores had security guards posted at the door, presumably to keep out the rif-raf. 

guggenheim.jpgI assume these guards were trained in poly-cotton blend identification, and to immediately lock down the store if anyone wearing such a heinous fabric approached. 

Considering we were covered in this material, we decided to avoid the body check and not go inside the stores.After that we headed to the Guggenheim, which is a super cool museum.

After being there, we both had an insatiable craving for Cinabon.  We tried to suppress it and kept moving.

We headed to Midtown where we grabbed some lunch.  Wanting to avoid repercussions from my personal trainer.

yawningI ordered a salad, which I inhaled in approximately 2 minutes.  We left the restaurant and headed back to the hotel for a quick siesta (and by “quick” I mean 3 hours).

We were exhausted and our feet hurt.  Mine were blistered and Matt’s were sore.  We decided the best way to ease our pain was to take a nap and sleep it away.

We woke up, got ready, and hit the town with a friend where we stayed out late and spent lots of money on drinks.  We were so happy we decided not to waste $50.00 on The Met.

That money tasted so much better going down in the form of vodka.

For some strange reason, my husband has never been to New York City. I don’t understand it, as I think New York is a magical city, filled with fashion and food.

Only in NYC can you walk outside at 2 a.m. and get fried rice, a side of hash browns and a Zima, followed quickly by Tums and a trip to the restroom.

So my husband and I decided that he needed to go to New York to see the city, and I needed to return because I can’t seem to find good falafel in our home town. Everyone wins.

We booked a trip to the Big Apple and anxiously awaited our departure date. As the date got closer, my husband got proportionally more excited (and annoying) about our trip.

He would call me in the middle of the day and when I answered, I would hear “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z playing in the background. He would send me emails with the lyrics to “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra.

map with pin on NYCHe made a countdown of days until we left.

I fully expected him to make a tear off chain out of construction paper, but I used all of it on a recent craft project that went very wrong, and barely left my fingerprints in tact.

The big day finally arrived and my husband was like a kid at Christmas (or like me at Chipotle). We got to the airport and he could barely contain his excitement.

I was tired and just wanted to get there, so I didn’t share his zeal for the plane ride.

We found our seats and when I sat down I discovered my seat was the “farting seat.” Whenever I moved, it would make a farting sound, and everyone looked at me as if I was making offensive sounds.

I explained the sounds came from the seat and demonstrated that to my fellow passengers. They all seemed satisfied with my explanation and turned their judging eyes away.

And then I realized something….I was in a chair that made farting noises! I hit the jackpot!

empire state buildingMy husband may have been excited about seeing the nation’s largest city, but I was excited to have carte blanche to fart at will the entire flight and blame it on the chair!

I know what you’re thinking…what about the smell?

I’ve been eating healthy and seeing a trainer and healthy food…ahem…plays a number on my stomach. I also had a recent bout with a bad smell and knew I needed a scape goat and a way to account for the stink.

I looked around and found a crotchety old man in the next row wearing sweatpants and a pleather fanny pack. He was rude and yelling at his wife about their seat assignments.

He was the perfect scape goat! Everyone knows old men are gassy! I was set. I settled into the fart seat and fully enjoyed the 2 hour flight. And the peeling paint was DEFINITELY there before I sat down…definitely.

I feel sorry for whomever sat in that seat after me.

We landed at Laguardia and my husband was so excited that I was convinced he was going to pee his pants. Between my gas and his incontinence, I knew we would be flagged at security, and I didn’t want that to happen. I urged him to curtail his excitement until we got out of the airport.

We got our luggage without incident and headed outside to get a cab. The cab driver we had couldn’t have been more rude or difficult, and I’m pretty sure he was cursing us in his native language, which was clearly NOT English.

As soon as we got into the cab, my husband donned his seat belt. What?! I started laughing and told him that no one in New York wears a seat belt in the cab.

I felt like I was the bad influence on the playground trying to get little Johnny to eat his own boogers and wash it down with expired milk.

I tried to peer pressure him to live dangerously, but he didn’t budge. He looked so cute all belted in. I, however, decided to buck the system, and went sans seat belt.

Before we left, Matt made a huge deal about wanting to “fit in” in New York. He talked about how he was sure he would look like a New Yorker and he was going to be so cool and chill in the City.

However, I’ve never seen a true New Yorker stick their head out the window and yell at the top of their lungs (in a high-pitched voice) “What up New Yorkers?” Fail.

His adorable red polo with his khaki shorts also wasn’t helping his plight. He looked like he was ready to go to a Catholic school to learn about judging others and hiding liquor in your pants.

greeting new yorkWe checked into the hotel and the bellman took us to our room, where my husband did his best to act as if he wasn’t impressed with the City thus far. This consisted of lots of fist pumping and yelling “New York City, bitches!”

He continued yelling out the window, his head as far out the cab as his restrictive seat belt would allow. We arrived at the hotel, and he was practically hoarse from all the yelling and greetings he gave the New Yorkers (or, as he called them, “his people”)

I tipped the bellman well to make up for any offense he may have taken to my husband’s profanity (or my leftover gas).

As soon as the bellman left, Matt ran over to the bed and jumped on it and continued his mantra of cursing out of excitement. I reminded him that although it was midnight, we could go out and walk around. His head nearly exploded.

We walked around Time Square where he fit in with all the other awe-struck travelers who seemed mesmerized by the lights. He told me he was hungry and wanted to “grab a slice.” Yes, this is exactly how he said it. Oh boy.

We walked into a “local” pizza shop, which was probably a chain where the pizza were constructed by underage kids in New Mexico. Whatever. We were hungry and the slices looked good.

NYC at nightWe got the pizza (or “za” as he called it), and headed to a table to eat. The joy on his face was worth the ridiculous amount of money we paid for the food. He was so excited and could barely wait to eat the New York pizza. It didn’t disappoint.

Look at that face…pure excitement.

After we ate, we walked around for a while and headed back to the hotel around 1:30 a.m. I tried to go to sleep, but found it difficult with my husband jostling around, randomly smack talking New Jersey.

As I laid there thinking about whether we would be assaulted on the street for his smack talk about The Garden State, I regretted not increasing our life insurance policies.

If he was going to get shivved for his behavior, I at least wanted to be taken care of.

Based upon our first night in New York, I knew we were going to be in for an interesting and fun vacation.

I was also confident that no one would mistake us for New Yorkers, which was fine with me, because I had orthopedic shoes and mom jeans I wanted to wear.

I only have one sibling, and it’s a brother.  I think the universe knew I wouldn’t do well with a sister.  My brother is a funny guy who loves college football even more than I do, which is a hard thing to do.

We have a great time when we get together, which isn’t very often since we live in different cities.  But every once in a while we get the opportunity to hang out, and it’s always a good time.

This past Saturday was no exception.

On Friday night I received what I can only assume was a drunk text from my brother at 6:00 p.m.  He advised he was in town for a bachelor party, but was willing to allocate some of his time of debauchery to hang out with his sister.

Lucky me.

I was happy to know he was in town (and that he was still able to spell debauchery after downing several beers).  I agreed we would hang out on Saturday to watch college football.  Naturally, he was excited to see me. Who wouldn’t be?

I attended zumba class in the morning before heading out to meet my brother.  I figured I should get in some exercise before stuffing my face with bar food.

flying footballI came home, showered, changed, grabbed my husband, and we headed out to a sports bar to meet my brother, Smohawk.  (Not his real name).

What you should know about my brother is that he is a huge Iowa Hawkeye fan. And he loves Crown Royale.  Loves it.  A love affair I will never understand.

I love the Iowa Hawkeyes too, but not to the degree he does.  I follow the games and watch them each week, but he knows every player on the team, their stats, and what high school they hail from.

He also prints out the roster for the Hawks, and the team they are playing each week.  He’s hard core.  It’s a little too “the call is coming from inside the house” for me, but he’s my brother, so I go with it.

For every game he covers himself from head to toe in Iowa’s colors, which are black and gold.  I knew when we went to the bar that I just needed to look for the loud guy in black and gold with the shaved head downing whiskey and offending other patrons. He was easy to spot.

Before we got there, he bragged to me that he had some new shoes (or “kicks” as he called them), that were Nike and they were Iowa’s colors.

I didn’t really care, as he didn’t seem to be interested when I got a cute new pair of peeptoe pumps, but I wanted to be a supportive sister.

So, when we got to the bar, after saying our hellos, I looked at his shoes…this is what I saw:


Seriously with the polka dots?  He looked like Minnie Mouse in those things.  And as I stared at them in both awe and disgust, I found myself singing “She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini….”

I realize these mesh shoes are a far cry from the teeny weeny bikini purported to be worn in the song, but the connection seemed uncanny to me.  How could he pay good money for these things?

Clearly, his judgment was off…either that…or the Crown Royale had a hold of him when he made this online purchase.  My guess is that it was the latter.

beer and keysThese shoes were mesmerizing.  I felt like if I looked at them long enough, a picture would emerge, like one of those stereogram posters from the 90s.

I looked at them for a while, hoping to see a picture of a dog jump out of the shoes, but all I could see were those hideous polka dots and the gum stuck to the bottom of his “teeny weeny” shoes.

Perhaps as retaliation for my comments about his pretty shoes, Smohawk immediately scolded my husband and me for not wearing Iowa’s black and gold colors.

Truth be told, I wore my favorite Iowa t-shirt the day before and may have “hypothetically” spilled soy sauce on it while gorging on sushi.  So it was hypothetically in the dirty clothes hamper.

Whatever.  I was there to cheer on the team. Who cares if I wasn’t in the right colors?  Apparently my brother cared.

Smohawk advised he would grab his beer and come sit with us at our table.  Naturally, I thought he meant he would grab his mug of beer and come over, because that’s what normal people do.

Or maybe his bottle.  Or maybe a frosty glass.  But no, he grabbed a large contraption that looked like it was purchased in an illegal smoking shop, and headed over to our table.  What was this?


Only my brother would have his beer served to him in a refrigerated container with a spout at the bottom.  Sadly, when I got there, this was his third one.  What’s even more sad (or impressive, depending on how you look at it), is that each one was filled with the world’s worst beer…Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I told you my brother was hard core.

He placed the contraption down on our table, along with its stand.  Yes, it actually had a stand to hold it.  We watched the game, cursing the bad plays and cheering for the good ones.

flying flagI have a nasty habit of yelling profanity during a football game, and the fact that I was in a public place surrounded by strangers did nothing to deter me and my potty mouth.  My husband says my favorite phrase is “Run, bitch!  Run!

I wouldn’t know because I don’t pay attention to what I yell, which is unfortunate for those around me who may have children closeby.

All I know is that I yell what I’m thinking at the moment I watch the play. I also like to yell out my desire for nachos and beer as well.

We screamed at the game and smack talked the other patrons in the bar, some of which were fans for the opposing team.

I found myself dishing out the put downs on the opposing team’s pathetic offense, and then casually going to the restroom every time that other team scored.

It was my strategy, and it worked.  I was able to successfully avoid smack talking in my direction and I also avoided the inevitable concussion that would have occurred from the smack talking and ensuing fist fight.

Unfortunately, the Hawks lost, and my brother didn’t take the loss well.  The team played poorly, and since my brother knows everything about the players from their astrologic signs to their shoe size, he took the loss personally.

Speaking of shoes, do you think the Hawks would be caught dead wearing Smohawk’s shoes?  I think not.

We said our goodbyes and left Smokawk to drown his sorrows in PBR.  Even though it was a short visit, I was glad to have some time with him while he was in town.  The patrons at the bar, however, probably didn’t enjoy our presence nearly as much.

Hopefully I will get to see him again soon, and we can once again share our love of college football.  But next time, he better not wear those hideous shoes.  Seriously.

They are “spot on” ugly.