In recognition of your service

I have a friend who just celebrated his ten year anniversary at his place of employment. To show their appreciation for his years of service the company is allowing him to pick one item out of a provided catalog. Here are a few of the options:

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Nothing says thank you for your hard work better than an uncomfortable folding chair. Now, settle down champ. The lounge chair with the attached cup holder is reserved for employees who have worked twenty years at the company. Until then, you and the other valued long term employees can sit together and hold your drinks in your hands like the b*tches you are.

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For ten long years you have walked around wearing wrinkled clothing. The shame was almost too much to bear. Passersby turned up their noses in disgust at the uneven pleats in your pants. Housewives giggled at the sight of your wrinkled blouse. You could have purchased this at Walmart for $9.99, but you were determined to earn it by working eight hours a day, five days a week, for a decade.

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A triple pack of cookie sheets? F*ck yeah! The years of longing to bake cookies are over. You are no fool. You knew it would pay off to be belittled by a manager who wears short sleeve dress shirts and rubber overshoes year round. Now, your free time will be spent doing what you love most; putting fork marks in peanut butter cookies.

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Finally, you can use the crockpot recipes your relative posts on Facebook every other day. You can whip up a stew for the company party. It will go great with the dishes prepared by the lady in the front office who allows her cats to walk on the kitchen counter while she cooks.

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This is my favorite item in the catalog.

“Spark excitement at your next dinner party with these vividly designed porcelain plates.”

Who hasn’t been to a party and said “This dinner party is great, but it would be more exciting if they served food on dishes designed by a bleach blonde reality star who chews like an absolute slob and wears sunglasses on the back of his head .” You’ve helped made this company what it is today. Who needs a cash bonus when you can have tattoo appetizer plates? …. and just in time for the holidays.

Tickets please

I got a second mortgage on my house and took the entire family to the movies. Do you remember when a matinee was a few dollars? Now, it’s $10 no matter what time of the day you buy a ticket. I used to sneak in popcorn and treats. I would put the snacks in my pocket book. Then, I almost got busted. I have enough enemies. I don’t need to be blacklisted at the local movie theater. So, I have to buy popcorn and soda, too and that costs $9 million. My kids won’t be able to go to college, but we had extra butter.

I did a little more research this time before choosing what film we would see. I learned my lesson after taking a teenager to see “Gone Girl.” Is there anything worse than watching a sex scene where Ben Affleck goes downtown on his lady friend while your firstborn child is sitting beside you?

I took the younger lads to see “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” The oldest went to see a scary movie with his cousin. I hate scary movies. I hate previews of scary movies. I can’t even watch Dateline. It’s like television network executives want to punish people for staying home on a Friday night. They will make you laugh with sitcoms Monday thru Thursday, but scare the hell out of you on the weekend.

We made it through the entire movie with the children only asking seven times “Is it almost over?” Then, made a pit stop at the bathroom before piling back into the minivan. That is when my daughter embarrassed me. It is impossible to have a giant ego when you are a parent. Children are in the meanest clique of all. They just don’t know it. “Heathers” has nuthin’ on a kindergartener. My daughter will tell me how beautiful I am while pushing on my squishy belly and giggling. She will look at me lovingly while counting the pimples on my face.

She went into one stall. I was in another directly beside her when she asked loudly, “Mom, are you pooping?” I tried to ignore her question. There was a line of people in the bathroom. “Mom, are you pooping again? It stinks!” I could hear teenage girls chuckling outside the door. The stench wasn’t coming from me, but nobody would believe it. I flushed my dignity down the toilet and gave her a brief lecture on bathroom etiquette on the way home. Perhaps we should just stick to renting movies at home.

Conversations in the minivan

My daughter was watching over my shoulder as I posted this and said “Your nose looks really big in that video. It doesn’t look that big in real life.” Children really know how to boost your confidence.   I don’t know why I am frantically looking from side to side like I am driving a getaway car. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this edition of “Conversations in the Minivan.” I am still waiting to interview Ryan Gosling in the third row. Call me!

As Seen On

As Seen on TV products are causing unnecessary stress in my life. My 4-year-old daughter is mesmerized by the commercials. She acts like a middle aged woman at a New Kids on the Block concert when she sees OxyClean on a store shelf. She wants everything on every commercial. She is going to grow up and entertain guests in a Magic Mesh enclosed room. They will eat food mashed with a Chop Magic Chopper and dine by Timber Wick light. Her guests will have a bowel movement while sitting on Comfort Gel Toilet Cushion. When the day is over she will rest her head on a Sobakawa Cloud Pillow.

I hear “I want that” a dozen times a day. She had to have a Ball Pet. It’s a pet you can throw; PETA’s worst nightmare. She nagged me every day for weeks until I finally broke down. Do you know how many times she has played with the Ball Pet? Twice. She also wants a Stuffie. It’s a stuffed animal with a zipper so you can stuff your s**t inside. When I was a kid a stuffed animal didn’t have special features. It sat on the dresser below the cover of a Tiger Beat magazine featuring Ralph Macchico and a Kenny Rogers poster. (That is another story.)

The latest product to launch is “J-Animal.” It’s a stuffed animal you can wear. It comes in child and adult sizes. The pitch is that you can wear it to the grocery store. Who doesn’t want to shop for produce in a tiger costume?

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…..and to the mall. As if shopping for jeans isn’t painful enough?

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…..or to the movies. I’m sure that wouldn’t scare the hell out of everyone in the theater.

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…… and to high school. What better way to fit in than wearing a kitty cat costume to biology class?

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How do you clean the J-Animal?
Is it dry clean only or can you use OxyClean?

SIERRA HOTEL OSCAR TANGO

I planned and executed a covert military operation. Well, at least that is what it felt like. I took my kids to get flu shots. I can’t tell them where we are going in advance. I drove an alternate route to the doctor’s office. Some people say you need to be honest with your children. “It is the only way to build trust.” Hogwash. Do you tell your kids they look like homeless clowns when they dress themselves? No, you lie and compliment their outfit. Do you tell your child their singing makes you want to stab your eardrum with forks? No, you listen to her sing “Let it Go” over and over again, applauding each time.

I made the rookie mistake of being honest once. My son asked, “Am I getting a shot? Mom, mom, mom, mom am I getting a shot? Is the doctor giving me a shot? Mom, mom, mom I don’t have to get a shot do I? Do I need a shot? I don’t want to get a shot. Do I have to get a shot? Will I? Mom, will I get one? Mom, mom, mom……”

I told the truth. Do you know what happened? My son cried in the house and refused to get in the car. I had to peel his fingers off the door knob. (Children either get Superman like strength when they don’t want to do something or they turn into a wet noodle. Either way it becomes a struggle.) Then, he cried on the way to the doctor’s office, in the waiting room and in the exam room. In fact, he tried to hide under a chair. He wailed while he got the shot and afterward. I was sweating like Hillary Clinton during a congressional hearing on the Benghazi attack.

So, this time I channeled Pinocchio. I told them we were going to the office because my son needed a physical. That part was true, but I refused to answer the question about the shot. Once we arrived at the office I distracted the kids and whispered to the receptionist, “Don’t say anything about the s-h-o-t.” They grew suspicious, but I dodged each grenade thrown my way. I filled out the forms on the sly. The nurse knew the plan. She got the needles ready without anyone seeing anything. They didn’t have time to freak out. There were a few tears, but it was over before a major meltdown. I wanted to stand on the exam table and scream “Victory is mine!”