Instructions Not Included

There are movies that makes you laugh, cry and the rare screenplay that takes your breath away. Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I saw a movie like Instructions Not Included. I absolutely loved this movie. Critics hate it. For years I have based my decision to rent movies on the Rotten Tomatoes rating. Yes, it is ridiculous to make life decisions on a food that claims to be a fruit, but is used as a vegetable. I am glad I didn’t check the website before buying this ticket.

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I met my good friend, Nikki, at the theater tonight. How did I escape the homestead? I had to taxi my teenage son and his friends to the theater. They wanted to see some ridiculously scary movie. I hate being scared which is why I don’t watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The guys were really disappointed I wouldn’t be joining them. Ha! Yeah, right. I bought two giant tubs of popcorn, gave them the soda and candy I smuggled into the theater and sent them on their way.

Nikki had heard good things about Instructions Not Included. She did not know it was a foreign film. I thought we had mistakenly pressed one. Were we in the wrong theater? She turned to me, “Is this a Spanish movie?” The guy seated in front of us chuckled, “Si señor.” I took French in high school, but Dora has taught me a few things. “He said yes.” We debated leaving, but I paid $10.50 and wasn’t budging. It just seems like a lot of work reading and watching a movie for two hours. Of course I have seen other foreign films. There is the one about the orphan who is encouraged to consider himself at home, consider himself one of the family. Then, there is the one about the French mouse who wants to be a chef.

By the end of the movie I forgot there were subtitles. I was also sobbing. I am talking a ‘moaning, ugly face, snot running down your face’ cry. Sure, there were a few over the top Telenovela-ish scenes. It was also funny and touching. I highly recommend it. I don’t recommend trying to engage teenage boys in conversation. Just drive and accept the fact that you’re no está bien.

Who wears short shorts?

I am not a fan of the clothes young girls wear these days. I do not want my daughter dressing like a hoochie mama. Your vagina shouldn’t be longer than your shorts. I love this story out of Utah. A father, annoyed with his daughter’s attire, decided to show her how ridiculous she looked. He didn’t yell at her. Instead, he took scissors and cut up a pair of old jeans. Then, he and his family hit the town. Brilliant!

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I was recently reminded of the belly exposing shirts I wore freshman year in high school. Touché. Well, I am older and wiser. It’s not like I am walking around in polyester pants with an elastic waist, (although elastic is the greatest invention ever) but I am trying to dress my age.

I recently cleaned out my closet to get rid of a few impulse buys. The just because you are feeling 22, you’re not articles of clothing.
I boxed up a bunch of my teenagers shirts, too and took it all to a consignment shop. You could have heard a pin drop when I walked into “Plato’s Closet.” The cashiers smiled, but had that “Hey Grandma” look in their eyes. I returned about 20 minutes later after they went through the box. They bought some things, but not a lot of my stuff. “We passed on a few items because they were a bit, um, like, mature,” she said. “A few doors down is a place called Clothes Mentor you may want to go there.” Allow me to translate for you. “Take your old lady clothes to the old lady store.” Oh, just forget it. I decided to donate my stuff to other senior citizens in need.

Mommy Dearest

Mommy Dearest doesn’t have anything on this woman. (Wire hangers still make me nervous.) The children of a Nevada woman wrote a scathing obituary for their deceased mother. Basically, they are glad she is dead. The obit appeared in The Reno Gazette-Journal, which was published on September 10. Clearly, their editor was kidnapped that day. I guess my 3-year-old daughter doesn’t have “the worst mother ever” after all.

 

 

Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.

On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”. Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.

Call me, Maybe?

So, that’s a maybe? The President of the United States gave a primetime speech to say “Maybe?” Odd. No, I am not getting all political on you. I hate politics. My husband ran for congress and it was a nightmare. I’m talking “1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you…” scary. It’s a dirty sport especially when you are not rich. Scoring $14.30 in soda cans doesn’t buy much. Well, a top local politician didn’t think he was worthy of running in the primary. Apparently, for some the whole We love the troops thing is just BS. “What have you done besides kill people?!” he screamed, spraying the room with his venomous saliva.

I don’t get into political debates. It’s just not my thing. Now, if you want to discuss the future of the RHONJ, I am your girl. My head isn’t completely in the clouds. I actually know and care about what is going on in the world. I worked as a journalist for a decade. (She says throwing a fancy title at you to prove her intelligence) I will admit, however, I have a hell of a time naming all the U.S. states on a map, though. The corners are easy. Those middle states can trick you up.

I was forced to watch cartoons during President Obama’s speech, but DVR’d it. How lucky are we that a simple button records whatever we want? Remember how, back in the day, you would have to program the VCR or press Record & Play simultaneously. I got burned many times by pressing one or the other, missing a good Debbie Gibson video. So, why were we watching cartoons at 9 p.m. in my house when my school aged children should be in bed? Clearly, allowing my daughter to eat Bit O’ Honey before bedtime was not my best move as a parent. She made this sweet pouty face and said, “please, Mommy.” I couldn’t help it. What other 3-year-old begs for Bit O’ Honey? Next thing you know she will be asking for poppyseed dressing on the side.

I can report that Milli, Geo and Bot won’t be invading Syria. Will the U.S.? I guess, the president is telling congress, “Sike! You don’t have to vote yet.” When they do I assure you a few politicians will go with go with the My mother told me to pick the very best one and you are not it… process of elimination. President Obama threatened to spank Syria, but is giving it another chance. (But if you do this again mister you’re in big, big trouble.) My 13-year-old walked into my bedroom and asked what the president decided. “Maybe?”

Hello, Newman

It’s quite appropriate that I would find this when cleaning out my son’s backpack this morning.

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If you haven’t been following along the crossing guard at my son’s school hates me. Doesn’t the Starbucks barista hate her too? Yes, there are one or two or twenty people who dislike me. Whatever. It’s not my fault.

The crossing guard is becoming my “Newman.”

 

We greet one another with a smile and suspicious glare. Our encounters have stretched beyond her crosswalk territory. On Friday I decided to take the kids for ice cream after school to celebrate their first week. I also wanted a coffee, but that wasn’t why we went. I am just a good Mom. Yeah, that’s right. Well, apparently the workers at McDonald’s weren’t expecting customers because it took For-ev-a! They want higher wages for what? You can’t even hold the damn pickles. If I worked there I would be complaining about the uniform pants. Holy hell, that is the most unflattering article of clothing I have ever seen. The polyester blend material squishes even the smallest rear end into a pile of lumpy mashed potatoes.

By the time I made it through the line it was time to pick my oldest son up from school. I decided to turn off Main Street to avoid the traffic jam in this thriving metropolis. I sat patiently in the turning lane hoping a car would stop short of the light and allow me to pass through. Nope. So, I decided to inch up because the only place for the next car to go would be blocking the road.

I made a little sketch to illustrate the position of the cars. Clearly, my son does not get his artistic abilities from his mother.

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Note how happy I am in the picture. I am a nice person, damn it. Well, the person in the car about to block the intersection started screaming and flailing her arms. I start talking back (as if she can hear me), “There is nowhere for you to go. You can’t just let me through? You are going to block the intersection.” Then, my eyes zoom in on the driver. It was none other than “Newman.” Yep, the crossing guard. We stared each other down before I finally passed through. I am going to jaywalk today to avoid anymore drama.

Mid-life crisis

I have been whining for years that I need time alone. Being the mother of three, I can rarely pee without having a conversation with a child. Mom, who would win in a fight? Batman or Wolverine? Could we have this riveting debate after I wipe my vagina?

Well, I’ve finally got time to myself and I don’t know what the hell to do. This morning I sat and cried with another mother over coffee. This woman had no idea what she was getting into when she invited me. Our tearful conversation began at the cash register. The barista was training and couldn’t figure out how to key in my order. She may have been frazzled because a middle aged woman was having a nervous breakdown near the scones. An elderly man with a crisp button down shirt and pleated pants (Hello, 1994 is on hold and would like to speak with you.) was standing in line directly behind us. I could practically feel his breath on my neck. He was huffing and puffing because the line wasn’t moving fast enough. He finally tapped my shoulder and asked, “What’s the hold up?” Today is not the day to mess with me. I know you are eager to sit down and read 50 Shades of Grey while sipping coffee with a sugar substitute, but back off grandpa. That is what I wanted to say, but I was taught to respect my elders. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. He doesn’t care about my mid-life crisis. For goodness sake, he doesn’t even care that his nose hairs are trying to escape, dangling inches from his upper lip.

It hit me like a ton of bricks today. It is the beginning of school for my children, but the end for me. The end of changing diapers, rocking a baby to sleep or teaching a toddler to walk. There are no more babies. My uterus is spent. This phase of my life is over. Sure, my children will always need me, but less and less. My daughter didn’t shed a single tear on her first day. In fact, she was eager for me to leave. I peeked around the corner to see her smiling, playing with another girl. I was proud of my confident, independent little girl. My heart ached realizing how much my baby has grown. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, put on my sunglasses and walked out the door. I suppose it’s time to get to know myself. Well, that or beat the hell out of senior citizens at coffee shops.

Answered prayer

I am finally feeling better. I think my 6-year-old’s prayer helped. It went something like this:

Dear God, please let my Mom’s back feel better. If she is sick she can’t take care of us and if she can’t take care of us we will die and I don’t want to die. Amen.

He clearly has a lot of faith in his father’s ability to be the sole caregiver. I believe in the power of prayer and the power of strong drugs. I’m taking muscle relaxers and a round of steroids. Hopefully, these pills will reduce the inflammation and make me rich. Hey, it worked for A-Rod and Lance Armstrong. How did I hurt my back? I have no idea. My doctor believes I injured myself while I slept. I might as well start wearing compression socks and enjoying early bird specials.

This is not a good week to be sick. My daughter started pre-school and my 6-year-old goes into first grade. My daughter was excited. We toured her room and she asked, “You’re going to drop me off and leave?” I nodded yes. She jumped up and down and said, “I can’t wait.” Little did she know she was stomping on my heart. My 6-year-old is a ball of nerves. He is a sensitive, emotional kid who needs a lot of nurturing. We met his teacher today. She seems all business. I know first grade is more structured than kindergarten, but I expect the day to include some fun. They have their entire lives to work, work, work. I have a pit in my stomach about this classroom. It is small and cramped. I didn’t see pizza boxes on the floor, but the producers of Hoarders may need to plan an intervention. In the meantime, Mama Bear may have to make an appearance at the school. My husband is begging me to stay away, “Don’t be that parent.” The parent who gives a s*** if her child gets a good education and is happy? I own that reputation.

It’s a Fantasy

If my kids want something they should ask me in about 15 minutes. That is when the muscle relaxer I just popped will kick in. I woke up yesterday with an excruciating pain in my back near my left shoulder blade. So, I did what a hypochondriac should never do, I googled the symptom. In the past 24 hours I was convinced I had a heart attack, lung cancer, gallbladder pain and an ulcer. I spoke to my elementary school BFF, had the ‘we are getting old’ talk and gave her the ‘if something ever happens to me’ speech. It went something like this, “Your job is to be the bouncer at the funeral home and kick out every person I hated.” She would be very busy. I am (probably) calling the doctor tomorrow. In the meantime I will self medicate, but not with Molly. Kids, just say no to raves and drugs named after 80’s movie stars.

My husband has been nursing me back to health distracting the kids and massaging my back with Icy Hot. This is the closest we’ve come to foreplay in 14 years. Now, I have granny panties and smell like a 75-year-old man. Talk about oozing sex appeal. (Call me Ryan Gosling)

My husband even encouraged me to rest this afternoon. By the look of shock on his face I think he expected me to say, “No.” He stuttered, “Um, uh okay.” I went upstairs to lie down and got this text message soon after:

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The draft. The I am a grown man pretending to own a football team fantasy draft. There is no trophy. The winner doesn’t get a ring or oversized check. In fact, there is no prize at all. He said, “I will do both,” but meant “I can’t do both and really want to pretend to own a NFL team.” I begrudgingly got up in time for him to pick players for his imaginary team. I will store this moment in my ‘throw it in his face at a later date’ memory bank. It overflowth.

Wet t-shirt contest

I may never be able to look my 6-year-old’s music teacher in the eye again. She didn’t do anything wrong. She is a really nice woman, a great teacher. Her older son happens to be friends with my 13-year-old. A few days ago he and a few other kids were hanging out at my house. After playing basketball and volleyball they decided to play video games. My daughter was playing at a friend’s house. This gave me an entire hour to myself. I wanted to lay on the bed and eat a pan of chocolate brownies. I decided, instead, to run on the treadmill in my bedroom. Honey, my metabolism is in a coma and needs a boost. I can’t have a muffin top when I run into Ryan Gosling at Dollar General and he falls madly in love with me near the plastic flower display.

I was mid-workout, rockin’ to Ace of Base (All that she wants is another baby…) when the doorbell rang. The music teacher was here to pick up her son. I thought about sending a text explaining why I didn’t answer the door. Well, that would be rude. So, I jumped off the treadmill and greeted her from the top of the stairs, apologizing for my attire and profuse sweating. I finished my workout and went into the bathroom to shower. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and stopped dead in my tracks. I looked like the loser of a wet t-shirt contest in Myrtle Beach. Did I really just greet a parent wearing my husband’s old t-shirt with a black bra underneath? Yep and because of all that perspiration, the shirt was completely see-through. I suppose it could have been worse. I could’ve worn a Hooters uniform.