matt and lisa outside car

I don’t keep my car tidy.  I don’t even keep it picked up.  Honestly, I have no idea what’s living in my vehicle, but I’m pretty sure there’s enough mold to make at least one dose of penicillin that would kill just about anything (or at least Paris Hilton’s latest bout with the clap).

I would like to have a clean car; believe me, I would.  I just honestly don’t know how to master that feat.  (I guess I should start by not throwing half-used water bottles into the back seat.)

I usually don’t have regular riders in my car.  It’s not just because I prefer to drive alone so I can roll down the window when I get too gassy.  It’s also because my car is a complete disaster.

Those people who know me well just know this about me.  We don’t discuss it, we just agree to take someone else’s vehicle.  It’s kind of like the elephant in the room…or the Hardees bag in the back seat (isn’t that a saying?)

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drive one of those cars where the trash is piled up so high that there is only a small space for the driver to get in, most likely to drive himself off a cliff during a psychotic episode.  It’s not like that at all (although sometimes I want to throw myself off a cliff when listening to Diane Rhem from NPR).

I can see out my windows and all seats are available…they are just difficult to get to at times. And don’t worry, I got that smell taken care of some time ago.

stuffed carI went on a work trip recently with several of my colleagues.  We all came from different offices to meet in the ever-so-exciting town of Indianapolis.  I decided to drive since it’s easier and there’s no limit to what luggage I bring, and whether my lotion is in a 3 ounce container.

(I also am still on a “heightened alert” list since that recent incident where I may have gotten sassy with a TSA official.  Hypothetically.)

My other colleagues from other offices flew (they are obviously not considered a threat to national security), and then they got a cab from the airport to the hotel.

The night I arrived, I stayed in my room making sweet sweet love to a chocolate mousse cake I ordered from room service, and then told the delivery man I was going to split it with my husband.  I think he knew I was lying, but he played along.

We met in the lobby of the hotel the next morning after I shamelessly scarfed down an omelet and hasbrowns in the comfort of my room, which was a judgment-free zone.  (Yes, I did need to eat the entire omelet, and the hashbrowns and BOTH pieces of toast.  Don’t judge.)

As we sat around waiting for all my colleagues to arrive, one of them said something to me about driving.  Yes, I agreed.  I would be driving myself to the meeting.  I suppose I just didn’t think about how the others would get to the meeting.  Maybe I assumed they would simply arrive without reference to travel, just like Batman.

“No,” Tom Bodett replied.  (Okay, Tom Bodett isn’t his real name, but his voice sounds exactly like Tom Bodett from those Motel 6 commercials.  I like to make him say “We’ll leave the light on for ya.”  He’s never amused with this, although I find it hysterical.)  “We will all be going in your car” Bodett said.

Wait, what?  I felt like he said it in slow motion.  Every thing slowed down and it took me a minute to process what he was saying.  Some of the delay in processing could have been due to the copious amount of Benedryl and Sudafed I had just ingested to mask the misery of my sinus infection.  I was practically a walking meth lab, only without the trailer park and burning hair smell.  (Okay, maybe a little of the burning hair smell.)

“Um,” I responded quickly.  (Yes, that’s the best response I could muster.  I’m not that great under pressure when the sinus pressure in my head could fill up the tire of a small riding lawnmower.)  “You are more than welcome to ride in my car with me, but you can’t judge me for how messy my car is,” I said, silently cursing myself for not even attempting to remove the trash heap in my back seat floorboards.

“It’s no big deal,” Tom Bedett said.  “I live out of my car too.”

Yeah, right.  He obviously didn’t know what he was in for, and I was just too sick to worry about it.  The valet brought my car around and attempted to put my luggage in the trunk.

kid in carseat

He returned to me with an expression of exasperation and exhaustion and I gave him a few extra bucks for his troubles, and told him to speak of the disarray of my car to no one.

I figured a few bucks of hush money was worth it.  I considered telling him to buy himself something pretty, but thought better of it.

We all walked to my car.  I walked slightly ahead of them hoping to get there early to clean out the car.  I don’t know what I thought I would accomplish in the 10 seconds I was there before the others arrived, but I felt like I at least needed to hope for a small miracle.

Perhaps the valet had miraculously cleaned out my car.  No such luck.

I opened the door to the backseat and saw the usual…papers covered in dog hair, bottles of water in varying degrees of consumption, a wadded up comforter for the dogs to sleep on, a variety of dog toys, and random receipts, napkins and Fiber One bar wrappers.

Perhaps what was most embarrassing was the pair of wadded up Spanx that were on the floor in plain site.  They were there from almost a year ago when I spoke at a convention and took them off because I couldn’t breathe and seriously thought they broke one of my ribs.

Those torturous pieces of Spandex remained in my car on the floor, where they were supposed to be.

But at that moment, I wished I would have burned them in a cleansing ritual, just as I would have liked.

I began grabbing things from the backseat and throwing them into the trunk…or at least trying to throw them into the trunk.  My trunk was packed full with briefcases for work, dryer sheets to make the car smell nice, random dog food, dog treats and water bowls, and what was most likely pieces of a wardrobe from every season of the year.

I was able to put a few things in the trunk before announcing to the group that they were going to have to stuff into the car and then hold onto their baggage.  (Not their emotional baggage, although I’m pretty sure at least one of them was holding onto some serious stuff, but that’s another blog for another day.)

You haven’t been embarrassed until you’ve seen your coworkers scrunched in your car, wrinkling their suits with their luggage, and avoiding eye contact with you so they don’t give away their true feelings about how you treat your car like a waste basket.

I felt like I needed to at least point out that although my car was a mess, my house was clean.  Strangely enough, this is actually true.  My house is always clean, tidy and picked up, although my car always looks like a tornado went through it.  I like to think it’s the ying and the yang of my life.

They all piled in the car with their suits and luggage, and although they didn’t say anything, I could actually hear them judging me internally.  I wish I cared.  I really do.

But all I could think about was how much my head actually weighed with the extra pounds of sinus drainage and if the additional pounds were the cause of my recent weight gain.  (It had to be…it definitely couldn’t have been all that room service.)

We arrived at our location and when the doors to the car opened, my coworkers literally fell out of the car with their luggage.  I looked down and one of the empty water bottles escaped the back seat.  It was most likely jumping to freedom and I didn’t blame it.  I looked at my coworkers and reminded them not to judge me and that I was super busy and important, and didn’t have time to clean my car.

They pretended like they didn’t care, but I saw one of them check to see if there was trash clinging to the back of her dress.  (It wasn’t an unrealistic concern.)

I would like to say my coworkers didn’t tell on me and my disgusting car, but I have a feeling they did.  If I get a gift certificate for a car detailing from my employer this year for Christmas, I will know those blabber mouths ratted me out.

day at the spa

I enjoy the finer things in life.  It’s why I refuse to buy the store brand of peanut butter.  (Don’t even think of convincing me that stuff tastes anything like Jif.)  I have become accustomed to a certain life style.  Wait, perhaps I should clarify.

I like things that make me feel good (and full).  I have no problem spending money on things that fall into those categories.  However, things that don’t fall into those categories typically fall by the waste side.  It’s why you will never see me wearing an outfit free of at least one stain or deodorant mark, and why I consider anything less than 5 years old “totally in fashion this season.”

But when it comes to pampering myself, I cut no corners.  I’m a regular spa goer and I don’t care who knows it.  (Okay, maybe a little I care, as I took a spa day recently on a Thursday, and I don’t want my boss to know.  But aside from him…I don’t care who knows it!)

I decided I needed a break from the day-to-day drudgery that is my life, which basically consists of working, complaining, and cleaning up dog excrement.

To reward myself for not totally losing my mind, and for not cursing out the dry cleaners for what I can only describe as date rape on my checkbook, I booked myself a 90 minute massage at The Four Seasons and set out for a day of relaxation and serious price gouging.  (Five dollars for a Diet Coke and it doesn’t even have alcohol in it?  No thank you!)

On my way to the spa, I called in my order for lunch.  I realized this made me look like a total douche to the staff, but I didn’t care.  I figured if I worked in a spa, I would consider all the patrons total douchebages regardless of whether they pre-ordered a salad or not.

I was prepared to deal with their judging eyes.  I was used to it, since I always request a man’s robe when I get there.  (They are so much roomier and have bigger pockets to steal the free mints.)

I arrived, checked in and headed to the locker room.  The attendant followed me, despite the fact she knew I was a regular customer.  Perhaps my stained sweatpants and disheveled hair suggested I was someone who might steal a towel or two (I was).

outside spaWhen we got to the locker area, she looked at me and said “Do you remember how to work the lockers?”

Um, do I remember how to operate something that requires only minimal finger dexterity and the IQ of one of those sweet bottles of lotion I was going to swipe?  Yeah, I got it.  I told her I could handle it and she walked away.

I switched into my robe and headed to one of the relaxation rooms to wait for my food.  I sat down and began chatting with two women who were also getting their relaxation on.  They just had massages and seemed totally relaxed (the bottle of wine they were sharing seemed to be helping in that regard).

I liked them immediately.  We began doing what I call “the spa talk,” which is where we all pretend that being at the spa is a totally normal thing and we aren’t totally freaking out inside because the bath towels smell like eucalyptus.

(Seriously, how do they do that?  And now you know why I steal.)   The “spa talk” typically includes comments about other spas and services, which is just a way for the spa goer to legitimize themselves to another spa person.  It’s like how the mafia is with foot soldiers, or how Jessica Simpson is with everyone.

We chatted for a while and then I was called away for my lunch, which was a $28 vegetarian Cobb salad with a water.  Seriously.  That’s what it cost.  I’m convinced they are in cahoots with my dry cleaner.

I scarfed down the salad in approximately 3 bites, and then to fill myself up, ate the entire basket of bread.  Did you really think I would eat just a salad for lunch?  Oh, that’s so cute.

I was then “collected” for my massage by my favorite masseuse, Mary, who is older than my mom but has hands like a Hungarian baker.  I love her and her outdated Birkenstocks (even I know those are out of style.  Get with it Mary.)

After the service I changed into my suit and headed out to the pool for some sun (and a nap).  I walked through the cafe area on my way to the pool and noticed the two women I spoke to earlier.  They were finishing up their lunches and drinking what I can only assume was another bottle of wine.

We chatted about my service and how fabulous it was.  I told them I was headed to the pool for some fresh air (and because I was gassy) and that they should join me, but sit downwind.  They agreed and collected their things.  As they did so, I looked at one of the other tables and noticed a full glass of champagne, along with an empty glass and an open bottle.

“What’s the story here?” I asked, as I slid over to the table.

“Oh, a woman sat there waiting for a guy who never came.  She drank her glass and then left,” they said, with pity in their voice for the girl who was ignored and was most likely in the bathroom cutting herself at that exact moment.

I wanted to feel sorry for her.  I did.  But all that came out was “So….where are we on this champagne?”

They looked at me and one of them said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we…”

champagne photoBefore they finished the sentence I picked up the full glass of bubbly and took a drink.  It was delicious, and definitely didn’t taste like the $2.99 gas station brand of which I’ve grown to love.

I looked up at them, expecting to see judgment in their eyes.  Instead, I found approval.  Without another word, we all 3 moved quickly, grabbed glasses and the bottle of champagne and headed to the pool on the roof.

We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking someone else’s champagne, chatting, and enjoying the sun and the pool.  The three of us realized we got along great, and had similar personalities (the similarity being that we were all awesome).

When the day drew to a close (which was coincidentally when the alcohol ran out), we said our goodbyes and parted ways.  But not before scheduling another spa day for the three of us.  No joke.

We are scheduled to return in three weeks, and this time, we are hoping two different women get stood up for lunch.  Although would it kill a girl to order a bottle of Grey Goose instead of champagne next time?  Here’s to hoping!

 

parking garageI hate parking garages.  They’re like dungeons, only there’s no dragons or princesses held captive, although the smell of urine in most garages suggests otherwise.  I have to park in a parking garage for work, but I park in the same spot everyday.

It’s an assigned spot that’s probably assigned to someone, although that someone isn’t me.  However, I park in the same numbered spot everyday so as to give the impression it’s my spot and I’m not to be messed with.  It’s worked for the last 3 years so please don’t rat me out now.

Although I’m familiar with my own parking garage, I can’t say the same thing about other garages.  Recently I had a meeting with clients, because I’m super fancy and important…and because someone else set it up for me.

meterI arrived at the building where the meeting was held, and realized I didn’t want to park at a meter because the meeting would be long and I didn’t want to keep feeding the meter.

Those parking meters are hungrier than I am and require constant feeding…although I’m not satisfied by rusty nickels and dimes quite the way a parking meter is.

I decided to park in the garage connected to the building so I would have an easy entry and exit.

I entered the garage with my car, took a ticket, and began spiraling down the levels looking for a spot.  I passed several hundred cars before finding a spot that was to my liking.  It was next to a pole, so I figured it would be easy to find.

After all, how many poles can one parking garage really have?

I hurried out of my car and headed toward the corner of the level I was on.  I assumed there was an elevator somewhere, but I didn’t know where it was, so I thought I would take the stairs.  I was working out and figured I could use the exercise.  I was obviously delusional from being so far underground and so far away from civilization.

I walked up approximately a million flights of stairs, all the while cursing myself for wearing heels and wondering why society can’t accept a woman for wearing flip flops with a suit.  I finally reached the top of the stairs and saw light peering out of the window of the door.

I also saw black spots, which were a reminder that I needed to do more cardio at the gym…or really…do any cardio at the gym.  I pumped my fist as a sign of victory, adjusted my Spanx, and opened the door to sweet freedom.

I expected to see the front of the office building…or the front of the garage…or the front of any building at all.  What I saw was an alley filled with dumpsters and the pungent smell of homeless people’s urine.  And yes, that smell is different than other specimens of urine.  Trust me.

As I plugged my nose and gasped for air, my cell phone rang.  I answered the call and discovered my boss on the other end, asking where I was.  I told him I was in the bowels of hell, or maybe just a scene from West Side Story.

I expected to see highly musical gangs emerge from behind the dumpsters, snapping their fingers and doing jazz boxes.

woman looking at phoneI began singing the opening ballad of West Side Story but he didn’t chime in.  How could he not?  The tune is so catchy.

He told me to get up to the meeting quickly, as they were getting ready to start.  Obviously, they couldn’t start without me, as I’m very important.  I like to think of myself as the glue that holds things together.  I’m not saying that’s an accurate assessment.  I’m just saying that’s what I like to think.

I looked around the alley and then grabbed some weapons from my purse, which happened to be some facial hydrating spray and a tube of lip gloss.  I may not have been armed to fend off violence, but dry skin was nowhere in my future with these potent weapons.

I figured I could spray an intruder with the spray and throw the tube of gloss at him as I ran down the alley.

I had a solid plan.  I then proceeded to sprint down the alley, singing “When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way…”  (I’m soooo a Jet and not a Shark.  The Sharks were so lame.)

After my meeting, I left with a few other people and took the elevator to the parking garage.  As I walked into the elevator I realized I had no idea what floor my car was on because I didn’t take the elevator up.  However, I didn’t want to look like a total idiot, although the Diet Coke stain on my lapel was doing a good job of driving that idea home.   So I randomly pressed a number on the elevator and waited for my stop.

When the elevator opened, I looked around and saw nothing familiar.  I had no idea where I was, and no idea where my car was located.  But how hard could it really be to find my car in a parking garage?

I began walking around looking for my car and the pole it was parked next too.  I soon realized there were poles approximately every 10 feet, and the only unique thing about them were the varying shades of car paint scraped on each one.  I was completely lost.

woman in suit lookingI reached in my purse and pulled out a Fiber One bar.  Don’t judge.  I needed energy to walk around the garage.

I contemplated leaving a trail of crumbs from my Fiber One bar so I could know where I’d already been , but I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good snack on something so stupid.  I noshed away and continued walking.

I pulled out my phone and decided to call for a rescue team.  I figured I could make up an excuse for why I was lost, and someone could drive around the garage looking for me.

Immediately I realized this plan wouldn’t work, not only because I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was lost in a parking garage, but also because I had no service in the middle of this dungeon.

I realized I was doomed, and would most likely spend the rest of my days in the parking garage, scouting for loose change and discarded food.  I took off my heels as a sign of defeat, but also because they were drawing blood from my toes.  I then began wandering aimlessly.

Not long after walking barefoot on the freezing concrete, I had an epiphany.  I would start walking around the garage hitting the alarm button on my keys.  That would make my car alarm go off, which would lead me to my car.  Perfect!

I took a few moments to congratulate myself on being such a genius, and cursed my fourth grade teacher who said I wouldn’t amount to anything.  (Who’s the idiot now?)

I furiously began walking and punching the alarm on my keys.  Eventually I heard the familiar sound of my car alarm and ran towards it, cheering and congratulating myself once again on being so brilliant.

guy reading mapI drove out of the parking garage high on adrenaline from finding my car.  I looked at the clock and realized I had been lost in the parking garage for 30 minutes.  Yes, 30 minutes.

That may not sound like much, but it’s a lifetime if you’re underground in a parking garage.  Thirty minutes is an episode of a sit com, or the length of someone’s lunch break.  It’s also the amount of time it takes for me to get annoyed with my husband’s bad jokes, which is a lifetime if you’re on the other end of his “knock knock” jokes.

If he ever tries to tell you a joke about a muffin, don’t indulge him.

I knew I could never admit to anyone that I was lost in a parking garage for such a long amount of time.  I vowed never to say anything about it, and forget it ever happened…which is why I’m writing it on my blog now.

I mean, I’m sure no one reads this anyway, and those that do may be doing so on their smart phone while trapped in a parking garage somewhere.

To those people I say “Godspeed.”

 

suitcaseWith my ever so glamorous job, I am required to travel from time to time.  Unfortunately, my travel isn’t to tropical places like Belize or The Bahamas (or any location where The Bachelor goes to find true love).

My trips take me to lovely places in the Midwest, where the corn is plentiful and everything smells like manure, including my hotel room.  How does that happen?

Since I demand only the best when it comes to my hotel stay, and because the woman with my company who books the hotels is a little afraid of me, I always like to stay at nice places that have the finest of amenities…and by amenities, I mean room service.

I’m currently out of town for work, and when I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by the clerk with a generous hello and a piping hot cookie.  I’m not sure if the cookie was complimentary to all guests.  My guess is that it wasn’t because the clerk was holding it in her hand when I arrived, so I suspect it may have been her lunch.  It was delicious!

I headed up to my room, inhaling the cookie as I went.  I didn’t want to be rude and not eat the entire thing.

When I arrived at my room I opened the door and discovered the room was large and spacious…and handicap accessible.  Um, seriously?  Now I wouldn’t be so concerned with the handicapped room if I hadn’t just stayed in one.

hotel

Less than 2 weeks ago I was out of town and that hotel room was also handicapped. Well, I guess it was handicap accessible.  The room itself wasn’t handicapped, although it didn’t have a minibar, so I consider that a handicap.

Was the woman at my company who booked my rooms trying to tell me something?

She’d met me before, so she knew I was capable of getting around without too much difficulty, assuming I wore my orthopedic shoes.  So why the handicapped room?

And then I saw the bathroom, and didn’t care why.  There was a huge walk in shower! Perhaps others would be offended by regularly being assigned the handicapped room, but I like to consider it an elite status that few can attain.

It’s like getting the penthouse suite, assuming the penthouse has an entrance ramp, double wide doorways and safety mats in the shower.

And let’s face it, for those of you that know me, you know having a cord in the shower that I can pull when I slip on the soap may be a good idea after all.

Of course, the maintenance man who has to answer that call and find my naked body sprawled on the floor would probably strongly disagree.

handicappedI got settled into my spacious room and then I did something strange…I went to the hotel gym and worked out.  I know!  Crazy, right?

Perhaps the handicapped room was having an effect on me, and it made me grateful for the things I have, even if they are thighs covered in layers of bacon grease and onion rings.

Not literally, although that would be awesome.

After my short workout, I returned to my room, sweaty and worn out.  I had a meeting with a client so I needed to get in the shower and get ready to go.

I removed my sweaty clothes and walked into the bathroom wearing nothing but the sweat from the workout and my disdain for the elliptical machine.

I reached over and turned on the shower, and nothing happened.  The shower didn’t turn on.  It remained a steady stream of water from the faucet, with no water coming out of the shower head.

Seriously?!  Did the hotel think people in the handicapped room didn’t need to shower?

I was immediately irritated and questioned why I bothered to work out in the first place.  That’s what I get for trying to be healthy.  Had I laid in bed and watched TV, this wouldn’t have been such a catastrophe.

However, the fact that I worked out on the elliptical machine and was dripping with sweat, and the faint odor of garlic, I knew a shower was a must…at least if I wanted to keep working with this specific client

I walked to the phone, mentally drafting my lawsuit against the hotel for violation of the ADA.  How dare they discriminate against me?

I called the front desk and told them my shower was broken.  The woman at the front desk (who was probably still bitter about the cookie incident), advised she would send someone right up.  Frickety frick.  That meant I needed to get dressed.  This hotel was really getting on my nerves.

puppy in bucket of soap

I threw on some clothes and a disgruntled maintenance man, who I promptly named Donald, arrived at my door.

He was a bit shocked when my able body opened the door, as I suspected he expected to see a handicapped person utilizing the room.  He then gave me a judging stare and entered my palatial room.

The maintenance guy went straight to the bathroom and got to work.  I returned to the other room and continued to stew in my own filth and sweat.

As I sat there waiting for him to fix the faucet, I heard heavy breathing coming from the bathroom.

What was that guy doing in there? Was he okay?  Did he need CPR? I hoped not, as my only experience with that was the plastic doll I used during my CPR certification class.

I named him Eddie. (The CPR doll…not the maintenance man.  I named the maintenance man Donald, despite his nametag that said his name was Ron.)

Was Donald okay in there?  I thought about asking, but figured he might start a conversation with me about his various ailments (as most strangers tend to do), so I decided to Google “CPR on the maintenance man” and keep quiet.

That way I would be prepared.  I was also a bit disturbed, as my search came up with some interesting results.

As I waited for Donald to finish his work, or breathe his last breath, I decided to call my client and tell her I’d be late.  Fortunately, she is cool, and knows me well enough to know that some sort of disaster would inevitably occur to make me late.

This time it was due to a combination of my own body odor and the maintenance man’s impending heart attack.  Surely she would think one of the conditions caused the other, but which one caused which was still up for debate.

band aidFortunately, Donald finished his handy work shortly thereafter.  Judging by the increase in his rapid breathing, I’d say he finished just in the nick of time.

After he left my room, I disrobed and once again turned on the shower.  This time, it worked, and I silently thanked Donald for his hard work (and mentally made a note to recommend he see a pulmonologist).

The shower never felt so good, and I got ready without any further difficulties.

Although the broken shower was less than ideal, I’m still cool with the handicapped room.

That could have happened in any room, and I’m not going to judge all handicap rooms by this one room.  After all, if history is any indicator, I will be staying in another one next week for yet another business trip.

storm.jpg

I live in the Midwest, which means I know a significant amount about the corn crop for the year, but nothing about fashion. I think flip flops look good with nearly every outfit.

It also means I can go from running the air conditioner one day due to a massive heat wave in January, to lighting candles and running the heater the next day to keep from freezing to death. The joys of the Midwest are plentiful, and the horrid smell is just an added bonus.

There’s a reason they call it “the armpit of the United States,” and it isn’t because the people here are nicely shaved and covered in deodorant…or at least not those I’ve encountered at the local Walmart.

One of the worst things about the Midwest (aside from the redneck jokes) is the nearly constant threat of tornadoes. With the changing temperatures, tornado warnings and sirens are just a part of life here in the armpit (or “pit” for short).

Although I don’t live in Kansas, nor do I have an Auntie Em.  However, I do have an Aunt Sylvia who is addicted to nose spray.

tornadoUnfortunately, my home in St. Louis has its fair share of tornadoes and dangerous weather.  The other night was no exception.

I was up late working (because I’m a super dedicated employee…and because I was behind on Facebook updates), and noticed a loud storm with thunder and lightning.

Although it’s strange for January, I somewhat enjoyed the boisterous weather, as it allowed me to fart loudly and blame the noise on the storm. Yet another reason I love mother nature.

My husband was sound asleep and unaffected by the noise (and the smell), but I continued to notice the storm sounded worse.

The fact that I had sauerkraut for dinner didn’t do anyone any favors either.

I went to bed around 1:30 and awoke about 2:00 to the tornado sirens going off. For those of you not familiar with tornado sirens, they are loud and obnoxious, and a great way to induce an anxiety attack.

They’re similar to Kathy Griffin, or Kathy Lee Gifford in that sense.  However, tornadoes don’t have the alcohol problem or obnoxious laughs the Kathys do.

I woke up my sleeping husband and told him we had to go to the basement because there was a tornado.  He ignored me and continued snoring, so I did what I always do when his snoring annoys me, I pinched his nose.

He awoke gasping for air, and then I gently told him we had to go downstairs because there was a tornado spotting.  And by “gently” I mean I told him to get his ass out of bed or I would cut him.

He stumbled out of bed and leisurely walked to the steps to the basement, as if we had all the time in world.  I told him to get a move on and get the dogs. As he did that I grabbed a bra and some pants, as both were noticeably missing from my outfit at that moment.

Don’t judge.  I was tired and those under wires can be a real bitch.

Of course, I didn’t put on the uncomfortable items, I just took them with me to the basement just in case disaster struck and I needed pants.

I went downstairs to find my husband standing there doing nothing. I suspected the tornado sirens would go on for a while and the tornado watch would last a few hours.  Since sleep was something I was quite lacking, I didn’t want to sit around for a few hours while mother nature played hide and seek with funnel cloud.

I told him to get out the inflatable mattress so we could sleep in the basement.

laternI’d like to tell you we bought that inflatable mattress because we are outdoorsy people and like to camp.  I’d love to tell you that we bought the inflatable mattress because we have lots of company in from out of town and they need a place to sleep.

Both of those statements would be lies.

The truth is, we bought an inflatable mattress because we are lazy people who love to lay in front of our electric fireplace in the basement and watch reruns of Rescue Me, and we don’t want to lay on our couch, as it just isn’t comfortable enough.

It also doesn’t scream “hoosier” quite as loudly as an inflatable mattress atop a shag rug atop carpet in a basement.

So I got out the inflatable mattress and plugged it in.  I think we all know I would have been incapable of blowing up the mattress had it not been electric.  Although my father claims I’m all hot air, my lung capacity is quite lacking, as is my tolerance for other people’s children.

This air mattress was a new one, and we never used it before.  The previous one met its demise in an unfortunate marital incident.

I wasn’t sure how big the mattress would be, although the box said it was queen sized.  As I watched it inflate, one thing was clear; this mattress wasn’t queen sized.  It didn’t even look like it was a full sized mattress.

The tornado sirens blared and our dogs ran around the basement celebrating the impromptu party in the basement.  I realized I didn’t care what size the mattress was.  It would do, as I didn’t want to wait out the storm on the floor.

I threw some sheets and a duvet on the mattress and decided it would have to do.

We got onto the bed, which was similar to mounting a horse.  We had to maneuver around and make sure one of us didn’t catapult the other across the room with a sudden movement.  Once we were situated, the dogs ran around the basement one last time for a victory lap before pouncing on the inflatable mattress for sleep.

inflatable mattress

Please note the inflatable mattress is the size of our love seat…tiny.

Then I realized we could be downstairs for hours, and we didn’t have food in the basement (aside from my hidden stash of Oreos, but there was no way I was going to reveal that location to my husband.  There have to be some secrets in a marriage, and the location of Double Stuff is one of them).

I ran upstairs and grabbed some Cliff Bars, water, and the newest volume of Us Weekly.  If I was going to be involved in a natural disaster, I at least wanted to be up to date on celebrity gossip.

I came back downstairs to find my husband staring at the tiny mattress, puzzled by its size.  He commented on how small it was and I reminded him that size didn’t matter, except when it came to diamonds and vodka drinks.

Matt and I laid there on the tiny mattress and began laughing like school girls.  Not giggling or chuckling, but belly laughing.  And yes, my belly is larger than his so my laugh was larger too.

laughWe were two grown adults sleeping on an inflatable mattress in our basement in the middle of the work week.  What was wrong with us?

As our laughter tapered off, we noticed the house was silent…we went upstairs and the sirens had stopped.  The tornado was gone.

We wasted no time.  I grabbed our pillows (and the Cliff Bar) and we headed to the bedroom to return to slumber.  The dogs followed suit and soon we were asleep in our bed, the threat of danger far away.

That mattress remains inflated in our basement.

Not necessarily because we are hoping for another tornado, but because although it isn’t comfortable enough to sleep on during a natural disaster, it’s not bad for watching episodes of Dexter.

yell with megaphone

Occupy Wall street has received a lot of attention over the months for its supporters’ protests and signage.  As someone who works downtown in a city where the protesters congregate, I’ve noticed that some of the signs complain of legitimate problems, such as unemployment and health care.

However, some of the signs are random and completely irrelevant, as I’m confident that although some may not like our city’s mayor, he really isn’t a vampire.

suit guy on couchI’ve seen him at night…eating garlic.  Back off.

So in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, I decided to make a list of some of my issues and problems.  I can’t make a sign and stand in protest all day, as my job actually expects me to work all day (can you believe it?).

That, and I’m lazy and don’t want to stand for hours holding a sign.  That seems too much like work, or exercise, and I’m not a fan of either.  Instead, I will write some of my grievances here.

Hardly anyone will see this post, but at least it doesn’t require me to use poster board and glitter.

Here it goes:

Why don’t shampoo and conditioner bottles have the same amount of product in each of them?

tub with bubblesHow is it that I can purchase 24 ounces of shampoo, but only 16 ounces of conditioner?

Shouldn’t they be the same sized bottles?

I mean, I have the same amount of hair on my head to both wash and condition.  Is Biolage suggesting I could use more shampoo because my hair is in need of more cleaning than conditioning?

This is most likely true, as I often find my hair has a few strands covered in mascara and a few strands covered with some sort of dipping sauce.

And why is this done by all brands, not just Biolage?  Paul Mitchell is in on it too, which I would suspect, as I don’t trust a guy with hair that nice.

This rule also applies to Antonio Banderas.  No one trustworthy has locks like that.

I’m not into doing math, so the different sizes and ounces is frustrating, as I can never properly calculate how many shampoos and conditioners to buy at once.

Instead, I miscalculate, run out of one of them, and improvise by using Noxema as a substitute.

It doesn’t make a great conditioner, but I smell like candy canes all day, so I’m usually happy.

Why do all shows go to commercial at the same time?

girl with tvCan’t a girl flip back and forth between House Hunters and Project Runway without always finding commercials on both channels at the same time?  Is it that much to ask?

Apparently it is, as clearly HGTV and USA Network are out to get me.

I refuse to watch commercials, as the ads will simply remind me that I need to do laundry, clean my house, or go for my yearly prostate exam.

Wait..that last one might not be right…

Instead, I will head to the refrigerator for ice cream on these commercial breaks and boycott the advertising entirely.  Ha!  Joke’s on them.

However, if I keep heading to the fridge for ice cream, I may need to watch some commercials about laxatives and weight loss pills.

Either way, this conspiracy just makes me use my DVR more, which allows me to leave the house for a trip to Dairy Queen, so I guess everyone wins.

Why is The George Lopez show on nearly 24 hours a day?

Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GeorgeLopezsitcomcast.jpg

Photo credit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
/File:GeorgeLopezsitcomcast.jpg

I like a good sit com about an alcoholic mom who likes to hoe it up with the men, but how is this show syndicated?  Was there a buy one episode get the rest of them free special?

If there was, that’s obviously why Nick at Nite plays these shows constantly; although I can’t imagine it generates a lot of revenue.  I suspect the only people who watch this show are immigrants and drunk people, or sometimes a combination of the two.

And yet, I find myself getting sucked in every time I hear the theme song.  And why is the theme song “Low Rider?”  Couldn’t they come up with a less offensive stereotypical song?

And the characters are jumping on a trampoline?  Really?  That’s all you could come up with for the opening credits?

Someone was clearly stoned when that concept was created, most likely over a bag of Doritos and a pound of M&Ms.

Why must Facebook constantly confuse me with their format changes?

I’m a simple girl.  I need something that’s easy on the eyes and easy to use (like Jake Gyllenhaal).

Photo credit: http://www.jakegyllenhaal.com/

Photo credit:
http://www.jakegyllenhaal.com/

For instance, if I’m in a meeting or don’t want to talk to someone, I will look at Facebook on my phone, furrow my brow and shake my head. 

I like to think this makes people think I’m reading an important email, but I may just look like I’m constipated and in denial about my bowel issues. 

So thanks to Facebook and my confusion over where my status updates are located, the community as a whole thinks I constantly have to use the restroom and that I’m always irritated.  

Wait, that might not be too far off. 

Whenever anything gets complicated and requires me to think, I lose interest.  That’s why I have yet to update my iPhone despite having it for several years.

It may run at a snail’s pace, (which is faster than I can physically run), but I know where everything is and how to use it (as does my 5 year old neighbor, as that b#@$# always changes my password).

But Facebook seems to change their format every time I log on.  Okay, maybe not every time I log on, as I seem to use it fairly regularly as a decoy for my importance.

Why does “top shelf” liquor literally have to be on the top shelf?

shelfYou knew at least one of my complaints would involve liquor didn’t you?  It’s no surprise that I like my vodka.

If you haven’t figured that out by now, you are either an idiot, or drunk on whiskey, and I don’t know which one is worse.  How can people drink that stuff?

I’m also a vodka snob, and like the expensive stuff.  Of course, I have no problem buying a purse, underwear and salad dressing from the same clearance bin at Walmart, but I like my vodka to be of the highest quality.  I mean, I have standards after all.

My beef (mmmm…..) isn’t with the high price of the delicious goodness, it’s with the location of the product.

I realize they call it “top shelf” liquor, but must they really put it on the top shelf?  (My parents put it on all their shelves.  I have photos.)

I mean, we have a Chinese restaurant down the street and I’m pretty sure no one from China would come near that cuisine, nor would they claim it.

Don’t liquor stores know they don’t have to be literal about the location?  It can be “top shelf” and be located on the middle shelf, strategically between the Hershey’s Kisses and the Tylenol P.M.

Doesn’t everyone buy those three things together?

guy with signNow  I’m not one to overexert myself when reaching, unless I’m reaching for ice cream…or Joel McHale, so I don’t want to have to utilize any energy reaching for my beloved liquor.  I want it to be in an easily accessible location.

Come to think of it, I would prefer to just drive through and pick it up…or have it delivered to me at home, and then served chilled with water and a lime, and a new episode of Project Runway.

No one should have to work to get good liquor.  Put it on the middle shelf.  I may be working class, but not when it comes to my drinks.

Okay, I guess I will stop my complaining for now, but I have a feeling I will complain more later, so stand by.  At least this way I don’t have to stand in the rain with a sign.

Rather, I can do my complaining sans bra and contacts…the way our forefathers intended it.

girl prayingThe other day I had to go to Hannibal for work.  I know, I have a very glamorous job that allows me to go to such exotic places as Mark Twain’s hometown.

In all the times I’ve been there I’ve never seen Huck Finn, although I’ve seen several fences that could use a coat or two of Tom Sawyer’s paint.  I also find it humorous to rock out to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” whenever I breeze through town.

The locals think I’m a headbanger looking for moonshine, but I get the irony.

It was an especially cold and windy day, which is my favorite kind of day in the Fall.  Not because I like wind or cold; but because I don’t like doing my hair.

I realize these things aren’t logically related, but then again neither are Kim Kardashian and personality, but people seem to continue to believe she’s relevant.

Here’s my logic:  if it’s windy, I can skip out on doing my hair and blame my disheveled appearance on the elements.

Of course, the wind can’t account for my mismatched socks and the stench of Static Guard, but whatever.

This is totally what I look like when I rock out in the car.

This is totally what I look like when I rock out in the car.

I arrived in Hannibal wearing a comfortable dress that went to my mid calf and was a bit flowy.

It wasn’t the nicest dress in the world, nor was it even remotely cute, but it was comfortable to wear in the car, which is my main criteria for attire.

I’m not sure if this makes my standards high or low.

I don’t like to travel in pants, as they dig into my stomach and take the focus away from rocking out in my car to Foreigner during the drive.  Not cool.

“Urgent” and “Hot Blooded” are too good of tunes to allow for distraction.

I got out of my car and walked to the passenger side to get my purse out of the front seat.  As I bent over to move the empty water bottles and Fiber One wrappers out of the way, a gust of wind blew my dress up, exposing my butt and my less than flattering underwear.

It took me a second to realize what happened, most likely because I discovered the remains of a bag of Gummy Bears and I became sidetracked.

But as I felt the cold breeze hit my cheeks, I realized something was not right.

I stood up and quickly pushed my dress down, careful not to drop the last few Gummy Bears.  Now that would be a travesty.

windyExposing myself in public?  Hey, it’s not the first time that’s happened outside a courthouse in a small town….just saying.

As I attempted to gather my thoughts, and my pride, I looked around to see if anyone saw anything.  I was hopeful that wasn’t the case, as it was after 10:00 in the morning so I figured most people would be at their jobs…or at their court mandated community service.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as I looked up to see one lone man walking across the street staring at me and smiling.

I knew he wasn’t grinning because of the Gummy Bears I was holding, although they are delicious.  Rather, I knew this guy just saw my butt and my ratty underwear from 5 years ago.

Crap.  Now what?  I thought about my options.  I could apologize to him quickly and hope he didn’t want to press charges, as I couldn’t use (another) indecent exposure charge on my record.

Or, maybe I should just embrace it, take a bow, and offer my autograph, which I  naturally sign as Leza Gibbons.  As I was contemplating which route to go, the smiling man (who I’ve named Gary) gave me a thumbs up.

thumbs up2A thumbs up!!!  What?!

What in the world did he mean with a thumbs up?  Was he suggesting he liked what he saw under my dress purchased from a sale bin in 2007?

Or was he simply giving me a rating, like Siskel and Ebert?  And if so, why was I only one thumb up and not two?

After all, I was working out with a trainer, and I only ate a few Gummy Bears.  The rest of the bag was empty from a previous drive.

Okay, maybe I was only one thumb up, but to Gary I should have been two thumbs for sure!

He looked like he’d had a rough life and the only criteria he had for a woman was that she have all her extremities and that she shave her beard before intercourse.

I was a little confused and very disappointed in his gesture.

I wanted to argue with Gary in an attempt to increase his score, but I knew I needed to go inside and work for a little bit.  Not long, but a little bit.

I grabbed my things and headed to the door, wondering if that was the last I would see of Gary, or if he would be camped outside my car when I returned, waiting to ask me to go to the soup kitchen for lunch.

I also wondered if I would be charged with indecent exposure for this event.  I suppose that’s something only God, and the prosecuting attorney for Hannibal, know.  Until then, I’m wearing pants…or at least cuter underwear.

This is NOT my secretary.

This is NOT my secretary.

My secretary is a sweet person. She is a few years younger than me, nice, and absolutely adorable. It’s horrible.  But the icing on the cake (mmmmm….cake….with icing…) is that she is skinny. Super skinny. I know, I’m such a victim.

Why must I be surrounded by skinny people? If I didn’t like her so much I would hate her, but since she brings me Starbucks regularly, I can’t hate her.

She is always doing nice things for others and never wants anything in return.  I know, she’s obviously crazy.

She doesn’t typically tell me about each act of kindness, but the other day she had a story that I  must share with you.

Before you read any further, I want to remind you that this happened, and it is absolutely true. Okay, continue.

Our office is in a high rise building downtown. I know, I know, I’m a super big deal. And because I am so important, our office building has a security guard at the front desk of the building..you know, to keep out the riff raff.

I’m considered riff raff in most places, so I have to repeatedly show my ID to prove I belong in the building.  I think wearing lounge pants to work decreases my credibility as a professional, but I don’t care.  They are so cozy and warm.

razor wireI’m not sure how much “security” the guard provides, as she’s typically engaging in a craft project, braiding her hair, or on her Bluetooth.  Yes, she uses Bluetooth, and no, it isn’t 2001.

I can’t say I blame her for doing other activities, as I’m sure the job is boring and mind numbing.  But then again, so is listening to people talk on Bluetooth.

The other day, my secretary walked by the guard and noticed she was hunched over a trash can. Uncertain as to whether she was searching for something new to use in a craft project or making up a new passtime, my secretary stopped to see if she was OK.

The security guard pulled her head up and apparently looked horrible.

She said she wasn’t feeling well and thought she was going to be sick. Ever the dedicated minimum wage worker, the security guard didn’t want to leave her post, so she was in a real trick bag, and a very stinky trash can.

My secretary offered to get her something to make her feel better. The security guard thanked her and asked her for the one thing she knew would make her stomach feel better….

vitamins and orange juiceOrange juice.

My secretary went to Starbucks and returned with juice. The guard was thankful and began filling her upset stomach with fruit juice.

The next day my secretary entered the building and the security guard stopped her.  Apparently the guard took a break from yelling at her children via Bluetooth.

The guard said she was so thankful for the assistance the day before that she had a present for her.  My secretary tried to politely decline the gift, but the guard persisted and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

This might be why she has so many kids to support…but that’s another story.

My secretary took one look at the gift and couldn’t believe her eyes.  Was it a Starbucks gift card?  A box of candy?  Flowers?  Of course not.

Those would be appropriate gifts.  Rather, instead of a conventional gift, the guard kicked it up a notch with…wait for it…JEGGINGS!

gift bagYes, jeggings.

Apparently the appropriate gift in response to receiving orange juice is a pair of skin-tight leggings that look like jeans but are made of spandex and Lycra.  Who knew?

All this time I’ve thought a free lunch or an iTunes gift card was the way to go, but apparently tights that hug your thighs and cut off circulation are the better choice.  Noted.

Did the security guard wrap the jeggings in a box?  No.  Did the jeggings have a price tag on them or any indication they weren’t used?  Of course not.

Were the jeggings presented to my secretary in a gift bag?  Why would they be?

Rather, the guard felt the appropriate way to present such a token of appreciation was to wad them into a ball, just like I do with my dirty socks.

My secretary didn’t know how to respond, as no one does when getting a gift of this type.  She thanked her and hurried to the elevator before the guard could give another gift of an over-sized neon t-shirt with matching t-shirt clip.

What did the jeggings look like?  I realize you are dying to find out, so I will not keep you in anticipation any longer.  Here is the front of the jeggings:

front

And here is the back:

Jeggings2

Notice the back pocket’s label says “Yaun.”

holding present behind backI don’t know what that means, nor do I believe it’s the name of the brand of clothes.  It’s probably a racist term and my secretary may get shanked for wearing these in public.  Whether it’s by me or not, I can’t say.

Since I’m her boss, I advised her that part of her job duties is now to wear these jeggings to work so we can laugh and speculate how long it will take to get a “run” in them.

If she’s anything like me, it will take less than 3 minutes.  I will have clear nail polish on standby for repairs.

I can’t wait for Jegging Day to arrive.  I’d like to make it an annual event, celebrated with ice cream and liquor.  Actually, I’m pretty sure the only way I could believe I looked good in jeggings would be if alcohol was involved.

Don’t worry!  If you want your own personal jeggings, fear not.  All you have to do is offer someone with the flu some orange juice, and then sit back, relax, and wait for the Yaun to arrive!

From here forward, I shall refer to my secretary as “Jeggings.”

matt and lisa at a weddingFriday night I went to a happy hour for work.  Honestly, it was my true definition of “happy” because the food and drinks were free.

And since the food and drinks were free, we know I stayed far longer than an hour….it should have been called “happy evening” or “happy 3 hours of indulgence.”

Does it get any better than that?  Not for this girl.  I headed to the bar for the happy hour, and wore one of my favorite dresses from the Liz Lange maternity collection.

I was ready to get my drink on in my comfy, flowy maternity dress.

I arrived at the bar and discovered I wasn’t the first one there, which was shocking, as I’m usually first in line for these types of things.

Someone saved me a seat right next to a bucket of beer, so I snagged it.

I ignored the suggestion that the perfect spot at the table for me would be next to the alcohol.  I was sure it was just a coincidence.

We sat around and chatted as I drank the beer.  However, although I like beer, my true love is vodka, and I didn’t feel comfortable cheating on him with beer, even if it was a Michelob Ultra.

I like to drink Michelob Ultra and pretend I’m one of the people in the commercial who drinks Mich. Ultra after biking or running, even though the only strenuous exercise I did was walk briskly to the bar.

Either way, I worked up a sweat.

Although I enjoyed daydreaming of an alternate lifestyle where I chose clothes based on their cuteness and not on their ability to hide my flabby arms, I decided I had enough Mich. Ultra and wanted to switch to my true love…vodka.

I made the switch and wasn’t sorry.  Soon, the drinks were flowing like water and I was relaxing after a long week.

I walked over to speak to a friend when I looked down at the table and saw there was a plate of mozzarella sticks sitting on the table in all their glory.

vodka drinkI couldn’t believe who would abandon a plate of mozzarella sticks, but whoever they were, they were clearly no friend of mine.

I decided to punish the owners of the food by devouring the fried cheese.  It was the best way to teach them a lesson.  I put away the remainder of the mozzarella sticks, and casually walked away.

As if everyone in the bar couldn’t figure out that the stumbling girl in the maternity dress just downed the rest of the fried food.

Like it took Nancy Drew to solve that mystery.  The fact that I dropped marinara sauce on my dress also didn’t help.

After refreshing my drink, I realized I had been drinking for a few hours and hadn’t used the restroom yet.

I was a firm believer in not “breaking the seal” but I was getting a little uncomfortable, so I made the decision to use the restroom.

I walked into the restroom and saw there were two stalls.  The large stall was occupied, hopefully not by the person whose cheese sticks I stole.  I took the smaller stall.

toiletI realize I’m a larger gal (despite my ingestion of Michelob Ultra), but when I entered the stall, I couldn’t turn around and close the door, as the space between the toilet and the door could have easily fit in my purse.

Only a contortionist would be able to easily maneuver between the door and the toilet, and although I pride myself on being able to put my legs behind my head, that wasn’t the type of skill needed here.

As the woman in the other stall appeared to be drafting a novel in there, as a peek under the stall suggested she was setting up camp for the evening, I knew I had to make the small stall work.

I re-entered the shoe box and immediately moved myself as close to the toilet as possible without making contact with it.

I used my left hand and reached behind me to shut the door, doing everything I could not to dislocate my shoulder.  When I heard the door shut, I turned around and realized I successfully closed myself into the stall.

I did a small celebratory dance, but was then immediately reminded of why I was in the restroom in the first place.

splasing waterAt that point, I felt something wet on my leg and foot and looked down only to discover the fall out from the small stall incident.

Apparently, in my attempt to maneuver inside the stall, somehow my flowy dressed managed to land in the toilet.

Yes…the bottom left side of my dress had dunked in the toilet and was dripping toilet water from a bar all over my leg.

I muffled a scream and immediately looked at the toilet to see if the water was “clean” or a remnant of a drunk patron.

Fortunately, the water appeared to be clean, although I certainly wouldn’t want to drink it, and definitely didn’t want it dripping on my leg.

I was so repulsed so I wrung it out to get the dripping to stop.  However, in my vodka haze, I didn’t think to wring out the dress over the toilet.  Rather, I did so exactly where I was standing.

It made a loud sound and water began spilling on the floor, running out of the stall and into the main area of the bathroom.

girl covering faceI was relieved to have some of the foul water removed from my dress until I realized the woman in the next stall most definitely thought I missed the toilet and relieved myself all over the floor.

I was horrified and standing in toilet water.

I walked carefully out of the stall and disinfected my hands in an effort to remove some of the germs that most likely contained vomit from the last night’s drunk girls.

I also moved quickly, as I didn’t want the woman in the other stall to come out and see my face, although I’m pretty sure she would be able to identify me in the bar since I had a soaking wet dress.

I exited the restroom, trying to look normal, as if I hadn’t just dunked my dress in a cesspool of fecal germs.  I  located my husband and told him we needed to go.

He knew something was up, as I don’t typically leave events early when there are free food and drinks.

chinese take outI’m usually the last one at the party asking the wait staff for a doggy bag for the left over crab rangoon.

He knew something disastrous had happened.  I quietly told him of the melee in the restroom and pointed to my dripping dress and the line of water I left from the bathroom to where I was standing.

Surprisingly, my husband didn’t respond with shock or dismay at my story, but rather responded with “Of course you did” and proceeded to say his goodbyes to everyone.

We quickly left the bar before someone could piece together the trail of water and my sopping wet dress.

We headed home where I threw the dress into the washing machine with approximately a gallon of detergent.  I debated burning it, but determined the dress was too cute for such drastic measures.

I wanted to change and go back to the bar but knew that wasn’t in the cards.  I comforted myself by making a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese.

The faux cheesy goodness alleviated some of my disappointment, although some remained.

I did learn a valuable lesson that night…if I want to wear a flowy dress to a bar, I need to be more careful about not dunking it in the toilet.

Normally, one would think that lesson would go without saying, but in my little world, these things are normally learned the hard way.

dog with big boneToday was an extremely exhausting day at work looking busy without actually doing anything productive…hey, it’s harder than it sounds.

So tonight I was worn out and wanted to throw myself on the couch, stuff my face with Cheetos and watch mindless T.V. I can’t resist America’s Funnies Home Videos. I like to guess which shots to the crotch were staged and which ones actually threatened the man’s sperm count.

Back Camera

Our guard dog, Bentley.

If only a lazy night is what happened.  I arrived home to find Bentley keeping watch from the back of the couch, towering over his territory.

This is his favorite spot as he acts like it’s his sworn duty to protect me from danger including dogs, people, and the occasional man on a motorized cart

Seriously, there’s a guy on a motorized cart that zooms around the neighborhood and no one knows who he is or where he lives.

He’s an enigma and I’ve actually asked my husband if he seems him too, just to make sure I’m not losing it.  That guy is our own little mystery.

Bentley barked his 5 ounce head off as I approached the front door, alerting the other dogs to my presence.  When I opened the door I found him on the arm of the couch.

He greeted me with slobbery kisses and tales of the dangers he fended off with his menacing bark and needle teeth.

He was excited I was home, but quickly returned to his post because the potential threats continued, as a Geo Metro drove by.

Our sweet boy, Max.

Our sweet boy, Max.

My Goldendoodle Max, (who we refer to as our “special” child), greeted me the way he always does…by cowering behind the door.

Once he realized it was me, he greeted me with a jovial sniff to the crotch and a lick to the face.  I thought these were signs a low key night of glutenous behavior was in my future.  Not so much.

I headed to the guest bedroom to unleash the ball of energy that is our third dog, the lab/pit bull mix, Shady Jack.  We have to keep him in a kennel during the day because he eats everything in sight while we are gone, and is especially fond of our 1,000 thread count sheets.

What can I say?  He has a “taste” for the finer things in life.

Before I opened his kennel, I found him standing atop the little boy’s bedspread I bought at Goodwill.  He was holding a toy in his mouth, salivating at the thought of freedom.

I opened the door and was nearly knocked over as he raced out of the kennel to do his obligatory lap around the house.  I let all three outside and took a moment to enjoy some quiet time (and an Andes mint).

After I was sure they ran out all their energy, I let them back in and sat on the couch to relax.  This is when catastrophe struck.

Back Camera

Shady Jack, one of the coolest dogs ever.

All three dogs began barking and running around the house at top speed, growling and jumping the ottoman like an Olympic hurdle.  What ever happened to a nice night at home sniffing each other’s private parts and licking themselves?

That was the kind of night I was looking for. For the dogs…not me.

I didn’t have the patience for this marathon all night, so I decided to bribe them with bones.  I got three from the cabinet and gave them each a bone to chew on.

I realize that giving my dogs bones is the lazy parent approach, and I’m cool with that.  I just needed a break for a moment to collect my thoughts and figure out if I was going to kid myself and make a salad for dinner, or if I would just skip it and eat the enchiladas without a side of greens.

I think you know which option I chose.

I sat on the couch dreaming of guacamole when I heard a growling sound.

I looked up to see Max abandoned his bone, most likely because it didn’t taste like grass or his own genitalia.

He then tried to take Shady Jack’s bone.  Interestingly, Shady Jack allowed the seizure to occur, but instead of responding to Max’s hostile take over by retrieving Max’s discarded bone, he looked to Bentley for his bone.

dog looking at bone in bowlSeriously?!  Didn’t these dogs realize these were the EXACT SAME bones?!

Although Bentley is the smallest dog in our house, he is also the most feared and most vindictive.  He is cut-throat and moody and isn’t afraid to nip or snap at the big dogs. All the more reasons I love him.

When Shady Jack went for Bentley’s bone, Bentley looked at him with hatred in his eyes, and growled so loudly at Shady Jack that even the guy on the motorized cart could have heard it over the roar of his engine.

The growl didn’t have the desired effect of deterring S.J…it just made him want it more.  Max caught wind of the scuffle, and immediately decided that he also wanted Bentley’s bone.  Didn’t I tell you he wasn’t very bright?

Max abandoned his bone (which was really Shady Jack’s bone), and headed for Bentley’s bone as well.

The dogs were in a stand-off for rawhide and it wasn’t pretty.  At that point there were three dogs, three bones, one desired bone, and one mom desperately looking for vodka.

Back CameraAfter the liquor was located, I decided it was time to separate the dogs.

I gave each dog a bone and sent them to separate corners of the room to chew on something other than my couch cushions.

You would think that would have ended the scuffle, but it only fueled the fire.  Each dog sent me death stares from three corners of the room, looking at me as if I had crushed their dreams instead of given them a tasty treat.

Bentley was the first to leave his assigned post, walked over to Max and took his bone.

Shady Jack saw his chance to finally get Bentley’s coveted bone and made a run for it.

Max was left confused, as usual.

At that point I couldn’t take anymore, so I channeled my mother, yelled “enough” and grabbed all three bones.  I placed them on top of the fridge where no one could have them.

They are now all three sulking around the house, as if I just told them there was no Santa Clause.

Interestingly, this is the first time all night it’s been quiet!