What color is the dress?

I got sucked into the debate on the World Wide Web over the color of a hideous dress. This picture quickly went viral because some said it was white and gold while others claimed to see blue and black. I think the latter group lives in Colorado, Alaska or Washington D.C. The dress is clearly a dingy white and gold.

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It is amazing that we live during a time when a picture can be shared instantly with strangers around the world. Kids these days don’t appreciate the technology. They just expect it to work. Hell hath no fury like a child in 2015 forced to wait while an internet video buffers. I think a punishment for disobedience should be to lock them in a room with a box of VHS tapes and a VCR. They will straighten up after having to rewind just one. My teenager was actually complaining over how many steps it takes to get an Amazon Prime video to play on the television. Seriously? The video magically appears on the TV from a tablet.

My 7-year-old son is learning about the Pony Express in school. Could you imagine how long this dress debate would last if each reply was carried across country on a horse? How angry would you be if you spent a week carrying a “hashtag” in an envelope only to get a “favorite” back. Isn’t is astonishing that we are even debating the color of a dress? That is precious time we could be spending following every move a Kardashian makes.

Besides, the dress is awful. Unless you are a prostitute or traveling in a time machine back to 1993 to attend prom, you have no business buying this dress.

Here is my favorite response to the great dress debate:

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Here is a link to an article explaining the science behind why we see different colors : wired.com

Princess crackers

Dear Pepperidge Farm,

I want to thank you for finally making “Princess Goldfish Crackers.” You have no idea how many days my delicate 5-year-old daughter sat at the table watching her brothers eat and wishing she, too could have crackers. Unfortunately, her teeth aren’t strong enough to chew the manly orange fish crackers. Plus, being that she is female, the color orange is foreign to her. We only taught her the two colors a woman ever needs to know: pink and purple. As you can imagine, because girls are so emotional, I wiped away many tears during snack time.

I promised her that one day girls would get to enjoy crackers, too. I just didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime.

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We are going to celebrate this momentous day after we finish doing the dishes, vacuuming and putting away the laundry. Of course, we will feed the boys their goldfish first, putting our needs last. I am going to have my daughter send you a hand-written letter using a Bic for Her pen. I know that Susan B. Anthony is looking down from heaven with a big smile on her face.

Just like us!

Celebrities are just like you and me, right? US Magazine tries to prove it month after month with a section titled: “They’re Just Like Us!” It’s full of shots, snapped by Paparazzi, of stars just being regular folk. ‘They chew with teeth.’ ‘They clap with their hands,’ They walk one foot in front of the other,’ etc. Etc. I thought about this while watching the Academy Awards ceremony. I should clarify. I did not watch the entire show. I caught the opening segment, gave children baths, herded them to bed, watched some French guy refuse to wrap up his speech even when the music played, cleaned puke off a wall, took a shower, saw Patricia Arquette go all Susan B. Anthony on the crowd, folded laundry, emptied the dishwasher and packed school lunches. I was fortunate enough to see the incredible speech by Graham Moore. He won an Oscar for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for the “Imitation Game.” Moore talked about how he tried to commit suicide when he was 16-years-old because he felt like he didn’t fit in. Obviously that wasn’t the incredible part. It was his advice for kids like him that gave me goosebumps.

“I would like for his moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she is weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere, yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different.”

Amen! He definitely earned his Oscar swag bag with that inspiring speech. The only gift bag I ever received for attending an event contained a key chain flashlight, a water bottle and coupon for French fries. Celebrities got a $168,000 swag bag complete with a vacation, liposuction and luxury condoms. What is a luxury condom? Is it bedazzled with diamonds? Ouch.

I don’t think I spent my weekend like a celebrity either. On Friday I painted a stand I purchased from the Salvation Army for $4.99. It was a wild and crazy night.

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On Saturday I returned five large garbage bags of soda cans to the store. I know the organic food nazis just let out an audible gasp. She drinks soda? She occasionally allows her children to drink carbonated beverages, too? Yes. I am the worst mother in the world. Anyway, there is a new business in town that counts the cans for you and forks over the cash. You no longer have to manually put each can or bottle into a machine. Only in America do we complain about having to raise an arm in the air to get a cash refund. I carried two bags into the store and returned to the minivan to get the rest. Unfortunately, one of the bags had shifted during the drive. It is unfortunate because of what happened next. I had to climb inside to dislodge the bag. There is nothing sexier than the ass of a middle aged woman sticking out the back of a minivan. I will give you fellas a minute to process that image. You’re welcome.

I grabbed the bag and managed to get one foot back on the ground. Just one. My other boot got stuck on something. There was nothing I could do. I was going down. Somewhere Pitbull was yelling “Timber.” I landed on my back. I hit hard. My head bounced off the ground like a tennis ball.

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I cursed and moaned as I pulled myself to my feet, looking around to see if anyone witnessed the fall. I could of broken a bone or had a concussion, but my first concern was whether or not someone was laughing at me. It was quiet. Then, off in the distance I heard, “Are you alright ma’am?” Not only did someone watch me bite it, but he called me ma’am. “I’m fine,” I said. He wasn’t satisfied with that answer, “Are you sure?” No. I wasn’t sure. I just wanted to get the hell out of there before I died of humiliation. Besides, if he was so damn concerned why didn’t he run over to help me get up.

I brought the rest of the soda cans into the store because I’m not a quitter.

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I walked out $46.55 richer. I’m also one step closer to being a celebrity….when the store surveillance video goes viral.

Freedom

I need to go on a rant. A recent news story got under my skin. You may have read about the un-retouched picture of supermodel Cindy Crawford that went viral. The photo was from a 2013 cover story shoot for Marie Claire magazine.

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People online applauded Crawford for showing the world what a “real woman” looks like. Apparently, none of these people have seen the HBO show Girls. I don’t think Lena Dunham owns an article of clothing and she is very real. I have been flaunting extra flab and cellulite for years without praise.

Cindy Crawford did not release this photograph. She isn’t on a solo mission to change how women are portrayed in the media. The picture was leaked on Twitter by British journalist Charlene White. The supermodel isn’t outing the industry for photoshopping pictures. She isn’t our hero. In fact, I bet she was less than thrilled when the picture made headlines.

Marie Claire is not putting the au naturel shot in a magazine either. The publisher did not want you to see what Cindy really looks like. The photoshopped picture from that shoot already went to print.

One columnist expressed sympathy for Crawford and called the unauthorized release of the photograph ‘body shaming.’ I disagree. She looks beautiful.

Besides, I don’t feel sorry for a woman who made millions of dollars by making the rest of us feel inferior. She rose to stardom because of her looks. I felt less beautiful when I saw her magazine spreads. As a teenager I skipped meals trying to get her body. I compared myself to a perfect woman that didn’t exist. My 5-year-old saw the photograph while I was writing this post, “Mom, she has a squishy belly like you!” I replied, “Yes, I guess that makes me a supermodel, too.”

It’s Magic You Know

I had the pleasure of co-hosting a local radio show last week. In two days there was a comic legend, a hockey hero and a magician in studio. Andrew Basso is a modern day Houdini. His signature act involves being handcuffed and placed upside down in a locked box full of water. He has to use a bobby pin to remove the handcuffs and pick the locks. He does wear nose plugs. Even magicians hate getting water in their nose. At what age does one realize he would be good at escaping from a locked box full of water? Do you experiment with inflatable pools and work your way up?

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Basso speaks with a thick Italian accent which makes his act more alluring. It just wouldn’t be the same if he explained his dangerous feat with a southern twang. Basso is a handsome man with jet black hair. It is short in length, but long on top. The sides are shaved. He combs his hair straight back and uses an excessive amount of hair product to hold it in place. If I were to guess I would say he goes with L.A. Looks. If this gig doesn’t work out Basso can always join the Thompson Twins. In the meantime, he is part of a traveling show called “The Illusionists.” There are seven magicians with different specialties: “The Warrior,” “The Manipulator,” “The Trickster,” “The Inventor,” “The Anti-Conjurer,” “The Escapologist,” and “The Futurist.” That basically describes every ex-boyfriend I have ever had. The show looks entertaining. I can relate to these men. As the mother of three children I perform magic on a daily basis. Here are just a few of my tricks:

1.) I can get a raucous child to freeze by counting to three. I don’t usually get to three. Sometimes I only have to announce that I am going to count or ask a child if he/she wants me to count.

2.) I can sense when a child is going to be sick, wake from a sound sleep, run to the bathroom with one eye closed and catch puke in a bucket.

3.) I can cook dinner while simultaneously solving 2nd grade Common Core math problems and never take my hand off the spatula.

4.) I can give the illusion that I enjoy playing with Barbie Dolls at age 39.

5.) I can run on the treadmill while reading my daughter a book.

6.) I can enter and escape a sleeping child’s bedroom without making a sound.

7.) I can make a bag of candy disappear at night.

8.) I can use the bathroom while breaking up a fight in the other room.

9.) I can make socks vanish from the bedroom floor.

10.) I can make toilet paper reappear on the roll in the bathroom.

The list goes on and on.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

I took my children to see “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.” I know what you’re thinking, ‘That was your first problem.’ I arrived about fifteen minutes before showtime because I thought we lived in a civilized society and there would be plenty of seats. I was wrong. The movie was sold out and the patrons were mostly adults. Yep, grown adults without children bought tickets to see a cartoon sponge who works as a fry cook. Why would you do that on purpose?

My purse was loaded with candy and soda, but we stopped at the concession stand to buy popcorn.

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I know it’s against the rules to bring ‘outside food’ into the theater, but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do. I dropped $25 on popcorn alone. I don’t think you could find a person who could care less about customer service than the guy working the concession stand. It is a job where I need you to move faster than a dying turtle. I could lean over the counter and scoop my own popcorn faster. He looks confused after every transaction. You have one job. There is a giant bin of popcorn behind you. Turn around, put it in a bucket and pump the artificial butter flavoring throughout. The end. It took so long that by the time I got into the theater the previews had started. I opened the door and sheer panic set in. I have four children with me. We walked all the way up and back down again. There was a seat here and there, but none together. The oldest child with me was eight. I finally spotted two seats together on the other side of the theater. There appeared to be three empty chairs in the next row. I leaned in to ask a man nearby if the seats were taken. He turned his head and it was an old boyfriend of mine. We dated for nearly four years in college. What are the odds? I am not Taylor Swift. I didn’t have many boyfriends when I was younger. Let’s just say some of us blossom much later in life.

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I haven’t seen this man in at least 16 years. He was my first love and, contrary to the nasty rumor that went around the boys locker room in high school, my “first.” I was relieved when I found out the seats in front of him were taken. How awkward would that have been? We exchanged pleasantries after the movie. I will get to that in a minute.

I, once again, dragged four children to the top row of the theater. I didn’t really drag them. They walked, but I felt like a horse pulling a heavy cart. Children mess with you when you’re in a hurry or walking in inclement weather. They will walk slower than the guy working at the concession stand. There were three seats together in the top right side of the theater, a woman sitting beside her young daughter and two more empty chairs. I politely asked the woman if she would mind moving over two seats. She begrudgingly agreed. Actually, she hesitated for longer than ’10 Missisipppi.’ As a fellow mother I am shocked she didn’t feel my pain and immediately get up. There was one more obstacle. The fifth chair had a coat draped across the seat. Sitting next to the coat was a teenage girl who was clearly rebelling against her parents. She was wearing tight Cheetah print pants and make up that was applied by Joan Jett. Her eyeliner practically connected her eye to her ear. “Excuse me, is this your coat?” I asked in the kindest voice possible. She glanced up at me and looked back at the screen. I leaned in closer and repeated, “Excuse me, is that your jacket?” She looked at me and rolled her eyes. I was losing my patience. “Is that your coat?” She finally acknowledged me, “Um, yeah.” I took a deep breath. “Well, would you mind moving it because we need the seat.” She let out a loud sigh, snatched her jacket and threw it down to her mother. Her mom, who should have stood up at that moment and beat her daughter down, hollered to me, “Get here on time next time!” Was I going to get into a fight at a SpongeBob movie? “I’m sorry,” I said. “Did you buy a ticket for her coat? No? Well, then you’re out of luck.” I sat down beside that little ray of sunshine. Her mom should worry less about a stranger politely asking a favor and more about the amount of time her daughter spent licking her boyfriend’s face during the movie. I didn’t have time for bullsh*t. I still had to hand out the sweet contraband in my purse.

Like I said, I caught up with that ex-boyfriend after the movie. We walked out of the theater at the same time. It turns out he married the girl who broke us up. I was dumped for an Applebee’s waitress. She went on to be a nurse or something, but I choose to remember her as the whore who served skillets and sang Happy Birthday to strangers. He looked so much older. I realize it happens with time, (unless you get a Groupon for Botox) but I was taken aback. He was shorter than I remembered, handsome, but thin. It was nice to see him, but that was it. I felt nothing. It’s amazing how you can go from being madly in love with someone to feeling absolutely nothing. Back in the day, he told me he never wanted to get married. He just didn’t want to marry me. For months after our breakup I beat myself up. ‘What is wrong with me?’ The answer was nothing. And thank God on that day it showed. I thought about going to the theater looking like a Walmart shopper. I even laughed when styling my hair and applying make up to go see a SpongeBob movie. I looked damn good. I always wanted him to see that my life didn’t end when we broke up. He started to introduce me to his son, “This is…” but before he could say my name I interrupted, “…an old friend.” He smiled. “Yes, an old friend.” I got more out of that SpongeBob movie than I expected: Closure.

Super Duper

I always chat with the cashier at the grocery or department store. In fact, I probably annoy the people standing in line behind me. My mama raised me right. It’s important to be polite.

I worked, albeit brief, at a supermarket when I was a teenager. The now-defunct store was called “Super Duper.” I’m not kidding. Who thought that was a good name for a grocery store? It’s impossible to sound sophisticated and say “Super Duper.”

My career at “Super Duper” was short lived. I actually walked out mid-shift after a customer put her items on the conveyer belt. The woman picked the wrong day to be rude. An hour earlier I was called into the manager’s office and scolded for wearing a short skirt. This guy had greasy skin, hair on his knuckles and was missing important teeth. The collar of his white buttoned down shirt was permanently stained yellow. His lecture was absolutely humiliating. My skirt was not short. The blonde bimbo working lane one was wearing a skirt that practically exposed her vagina. She didn’t get yelled at. I believe ‘Mr. Boss Man’ discriminated against me because I had cankles. So, when the woman barked at me to ‘double bag’ her groceries I quit. I didn’t lose it because she wanted a brown bag inside a plastic bag. However, that is an annoying and greedy request. It was the tone in which she spoke to me that sent me over the edge. I shut off the light, turned in my drawer and marched out the automatic sliding doors. It wasn’t professional, but it felt good.

The cashier I encountered today was a kind young man. I surmise he was in his early 20’s. Initially, we talked about the weather. Cashiers act like they haven’t been outside in a decade once their shift starts. “What’s it like out there?” You’re not a prisoner of war being held captive in a dark, underground bunker. The weather hasn’t changed since you punched in. He told me how he helped his mother and neighbor shovel their driveways. I complimented him for his chivalry.

Then, the conversation took a sharp left turn. He asked what I was planning for Valentine’s Day. I’m not planning anything. He then suggested romantic things I could do with “my man.” He told me I should drop some hints on what gift I would like. “You know, jewelry, flowers or even a teddy bear. You’re never too old to get a teddy bear.” Yes. Yes, you are. What is a middle aged woman going to do with a teddy bear? How could I possibly decide between putting it on my bed or hanging it in the rear window of my car? I do not want relationship advice from the guy weighing my produce and asking if I want my milk in a bag. I don’t need a bag. It has a damn handle. I chuckled uncomfortably until he handed over my receipt. Then, I got the h*ll out of there. It was just the beginning of a super duper day.

Fireworks

Dear Facebook friend,

It is time. This relationship is over. It’s not you. It’s… No, actually it is you. I can no longer stomach your daily posts. Even Pinocchio would read each one with a furrowed brow.

Who in the hell gets ridiculously excited to go to the grocery store, library or dry cleaners? I enjoy a ‘buy one bag of potato chips get three free’ deal as much as the next girl, but not enough to use a fireworks emoji. I am pretty sure I have an overdue fee for a book my child carried home from the library. He didn’t actually read it. I must have missed the Facebook post about you dragging a child out of the children’s section kicking and screaming because he needed ‘five more minutes’ to play with the germ covered puzzles.

Where are the posts about the arguments with your husband or the insistent fighting among your children? Am I to believe you are the only mother in the world that doesn’t have to count to three at least 99 times a day?

There is no way your kids sat through an entire movie without one complaint. You don’t enjoy driving them to dance lessons or baseball practice EVERYDAY. You don’t like to snuggle and watch Caillou. Nobody likes Caillou.

Your children don’t always clean up after themselves either. Quite frankly, I think the man upstairs shakes his head when you use #BLESSED after your son puts his cup in the kitchen sink.

My children complain from time to time about going to church, but not yours. Your little angels have permanent grins on their faces. They look like they stepped out of a Hanna Anderson catalog.

Your husband made you dinner? Neat. He surprised you and came home from work early just to help out. Great. What about the other 363 days in the year?

Everyday is not full of rainbows and lollipops. You struggle like the rest of us. You cry. You hurt. You get pissed off. I don’t expect every post to be negative. I don’t want you to be miserable, but enough of the baloney. Don’t bother requesting my friendship when my profile shows up under “People You May Know.”

Nobody’s life is that perfect. Well, unless you spend your days and nights with Ryan Gosling. That is worthy of a fireworks emoji.

Craig and Barbie

I inadvertently risked my best friend’s life to make my daughter happy. She picked up a Barbie Dream House that I purchased off Craigslist. I came across an odd post while searching for the Dream House.

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What the hell is going on here? If your husband or boyfriend has some and you’re sick of them being around the house… What? Is this a common problem? I can guarantee you I would get rid of that guy before I went online to sell his dolls. The person who posted this ad will settle for Barbie as long as she is dressed like a whore. Don’t you dare try to sell him Teacher Barbie, Veterinarian Barbie or Politician Barbie. He doesn’t want Handicapped Barbie either. The arms and legs must move. I down want to know why either.

Trust has to be earned unless it involves saving money. Then, we will meet a stranger in a dark parking lot in a violent section of town. This particular Barbie Dream House retails for nearly $300 online. It was listed for fifty bucks. Unfortunately, it was an hour drive from my house. My friend lives ten minutes away and agreed to pick it up.

My daughter has several bins of Barbie dolls. It is ridiculous and not my fault. There is a simple explanation for her overindulgence: she is the only granddaughter. However, she rarely played with these dolls because (cue a Sarah McLachlan song) they were homeless. They were living on carpeted streets while Sofia the First, Little People Princesses and the Fisher Price Loving Family lived in the lap of luxury. Even Dora had her own house because, I surmise, her mother and father are in prison for child abandonment.

Ulysses S. Grant bought more than a dream house. I purchased extra chores. I had to pack up toys and re-arrange furniture to make room for the house. The only thing I didn’t move was the book shelf because it is strategically placed to hide a stain. You don’t realize what a slob you are until you move things. Then, it’s impossible to ignore the dust. Did God create dust as another form of punishment for Eve? It wasn’t enough that women bleed for seven days? We also have to vacuum corners.

My daughter and I have played with that house for hours. I love this child with all my heart, but Barbie isn’t as much fun as I remember. I want to play for a few minutes and then I want Barbie to sleep. My boys were capable of playing alone when they were her age. Little girls are so needy and she knows how to lay the guilt on thicker than Lorde’s ankles. I’m talking about the singer and not the man above who apparently spends his time helping professional athletes win games. I am allowed to joke about cankles because I live in that hood. I have (re-cue Sarah McLachlan music) struggled in my life to zip boots or take off skinny jeans.

My daughter doesn’t always ask me to play. She will lower her head, sigh and say, “I just wish I had someone to play with.” Of course, I offer to be her playmate. “You don’t have to.” Then, before I know it, I am begging her to play. She is that good. Girls are needy and bossy. “Now, you say this .” “Now, you do this.” “Put your doll here.” Why the f*ck am I even here if this whole thing is scripted? I blame Craig.