Family · Ridiculousness

Mommy I Don’t Like This….

Below is a story I turned in to a writing contest last year. The challenge was to write based on the following topic: Mommy I Don’t Like This. I never answer my phone or check my voice mails so if I won (which I probably didn’t), I wouldn’t know.

“Mommy, I don’t like this” were the five words I prayed would never be uttered as my son opened gifts in front of everyone at any of his birthdays. P was turning four, in preschool and somehow added words like pumpernickel and actually to his precocious vocabulary every day. I still don’t know where his intelligence comes from as I usually have to learn his math lessons before I help him with his 5th grade math.

Young children act like drunken grandfathers, giving their opinion honestly, openly and at the worst possible times. I knew my time was coming, it was just a question of when. The year before, when P turned 3, we had a Thomas the Train party because he was obsessed with those $80 cabooses. After opening about the sixth train, P fell back in his little wood rocking chair completely exasperated throwing his hands in the air exclaiming “Ugh, another train?”

This birthday was going to be different. I had a lethal combination of brainwashing and blackmail in store for P to reduce the chances of awkwardness. Two weeks from his Barney themed birthday party I began to coach him on how to graciously accept a gift even if it’s a duplicate or one he doesn’t care for.

“P” I began, “If you get something you don’t like it’s almost better. You know why?” His little blue eyes looked up from the Monet he was painting and asked, “Why?”

“Because then we go to the store, exchange the gift and you can pick out something you want!”

He found this idea agreeable and I was confident I had planted the seed. I continued, “So if you get something you don’t like, don’t say mommy I don’t like this. Simply pretend you like it, say thank you and then we’ll go exchange it. Cool?” He shook his head and went back to his masterpiece.

We had the same conversation every three days. As his birthday approached, I upped my attack by agreeing to get him a Build a Bear if he pretends to like gifts he does not. Closer to the date, I added dashes of guilt with phrases like “we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings” or “how would you feel if you got someone something and they said they didn’t like it?”

The day had arrived. It was an unseasonably nice day for a Saturday in March. The party would be at our home and so far 15 kids had RSVP’d. We had games, cake and gift opening planned for the next two hours.

After all the kids were exuding signs of sugar highs, we thought this would be the perfect time to ask all of them to sit quietly around P to watch him open gifts they would never be playing with. If you’ve ever been to a kid’s birthday party you’ll find that placing your child in the center of a circle of children is like putting road kill in a circle of vulchers. After about the third gift, you have to play a cop at a criminal scene asking everyone to “move back” and “there’s nothing to see here folks.”

Half way into the gift opening he began to open something that resembled a book. From my experience at birthday parties and with my own children, there are 2 things you do not get kids between the ages of 4 to 10: books and clothing. I don’t know what this mother was thinking but I was secretly revoking her mom card for the day.

This would be the tester of everything I had taught my young padawan. Upon ripping the last bit of paper off the gift and flipping it over to see a Go Diego Go title, I knew right then and there, he was not happy. Simultaneously, I was trying to send him telepathic messages of ‘God help you if you say anything other than thank you.’

With a twinkle in his eye you could tell he was proud of what he was about to say. He looked up at all the guests, grinned at me then methodically announced, “Mommy, I’m going to pretend I like this.”

My face turned red yet I giggled quietly.

“No baby, Diego is great. Can’t wait to read this to you.”

‘I’m sorry,’ I mouthed to the mother that got P this stupid gift. She quickly swiped her hand and mouthed back ‘no problem.’

Fast forward 6 years later and now birthdays are ridiculously easy. Swear to God, every gift he received last year was a gift card. Either it’s the age or word spread after his 4th birthday about his faux pas.

Advertisements
Family · Pop Culture · Ridiculousness

Don’t Question My Music Knowledge Boy….

As my 7 year old and I walked down the stairs a few minutes ago he announced, “I like that song If I could turn back time.

Shockingly, he sang it to the exact melody of Cher’s Turn Back Time, circa 1989.

“But I can’t remember who sings it,” he said disappointingly.

“If I could find a way….then maybe….maybe….you’d staaayyyyy,” I picked up right where he left off, completely off-key.

“I know the singer!” I announced proud that I could solve his riddle. “Baby, where did you hear that song? It was popular when I was growing up. It’s Cher.”

I was confident he had heard it on an “oldies station” (God that makes me sick to say).

“No, it’s not Cher.” He said with the confidence of a Rolling Stones Editor.

“Uhhhh, yeah it is. I’ve heard that song a billion times and that’s her song. It’s called If I Could Turn Back Time.” I was becoming mildly frustrated my son questioned this fact.

“No it’s not mom,” P yelled from the front room. “It’s called Stessed Out.”

By now, I began to have a mild, adult tantrum. I needed to defend Cher and her right to sing If I Could Turn Back Time. This was her song that signified her 3rd comeback to the mainstream in 1989. No one, and I mean no one, was going to take that away from her. If my son’s were referring to a remake by say Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez, I was going to loose my shit. There are some songs that are only right the first time.

“No, no, no. You guys have no idea what your talking about. Here, I’ll bet you a million dollars I’m right.” I grabbed my tablet and pressed YOUTUBE suddenly regretting my decision.

‘I can’t show them that video,’ I thought. How she pulled off one large piece of electrical tape without anything falling out will always be one of life’s greatest mysteries.

By now P was walking into the kitchen playing the song in question on his phone.

“It’s by 21 Pilots.” He said handing me his phone.

“Oh yeah, I’ve heard that song, it’s pretty good. You’ve got the band name just a little wrong though,” I said holding my index and thumb up to a pinching sign. I didn’t want to crush their glory about being right, but I did want to ensure they had factual information.

“It’s not 21 Pilots boys, It’s Stone Temple Pilots. Close. But no cigar.”

Work

Are You Thrown Under the Bus at Work Like Me?

I am always astounded by the number of co-workers that throw people under the bus either consciously or unconsciously. It takes a certain kind of unhappy asshole. One specific co-worker attempts to not only throw me under the bus, but in front of them as well as push me off a subway platform. Is that an expression? If not, it should be. It’s like our families have had an ancient feud and she’s been trained all her life by the greatest bitches that have walked the Earth, to make me look like a moron.

I knew things weren’t going to go well in the first 30 seconds of our introduction:

“It’s so nice to meet you,” I said extending a hand, relieved I was no longer the newest person.

“I was your runner up,” she said to me like I ditched her for a lunch and deserved an explanation.

Excuse me? 

Trying to remove the instant awkward she had placed on the conversation, I smiled and responded with, “well Runner Up, it’s very nice to meet you.” Right or wrong, that was my split second response.

Fast forward 2 months and the assaults are consistent. The most obvious are in e-mail communication. When I e-mail her about one of her mess ups, I e-mail her without our boss cc’ed on them…..because I’m not an asshole. Once she realizes I too have contributed to a mistake, she immediately cc’s my boss and explains how difficult my error has made her job and how much time this has cost her. Like an errant child who needs to learn, she then proceeds to explain the proper process, making sure to lay out each step and why it’s so important for the company. Occasionally she’ll sum up the e-mail (just one more time) of how detrimental my mistake was.

From a social perspective, all my co-workers love Runner Up. They can’t figure out why I have issues. Runner Up bends over backwards for other co-workers, joking with them or talking like an 80 year old Chinese man (I don’t know if this is a nervous thing but it’s odd and annoying) when responding to questions or dropping something off at their desk, engaging in friendly banter. On her way back to her desk, her eyes stay straight never glancing down at me to acknowledge my existence.

Once we had a project we were stuck together to complete. We had to put labels on various products in the warehouse as they were behind and needed help. We stood in silence most of the time at the large processing tables.

When I opened up my 67th box and pulled the items out to process, I noticed from the corner of my eye that she had looked up and was staring at the goods. She then mumbled something inaudible.

“I’m sorry I didn’t hear you,” I said as I cupped my ear.

She repeated herself but in little to no increased tone. She made no effort to walk closer either. By now I felt annoyed, but I still didn’t hear her. There were massive rotating fans above us making it very hard to hear. Regardless of the fans, I find I have a tough time hearing people even when there aren’t background noises.

Frustrated, she swiftly walked over to me like she was going to punch me and yelled “WHAT DO YOU HAVE THERE?” Obviously any sort of connection was immediately thrown out the window after this declaration of war. She even went so far as to roll her eyes and mumble “God” under her breath in the most exasperated tone.

That was the last straw for me. I was over her asshole-like tendencies and I was tired of being neutral in every confrontation. Normally I am of the speak softly and carry a big stick school of thought. At that moment, I threw that stick as far as I could throw it.

“Calm the fuck down,” I said slowly to her with a don’t fuck with me look, “I didn’t hear you,” I said in a very clipped tone. I wanted to drive home the point how pissed I was with her, not only for this but her overall coldness towards me. You don’t have to like me; just don’t be a jerk.

I resumed politeness and finished the conversation with, “These are horse totes.”

She was probably pissed at me but realized she had poked the bear one too many times. She nodded her head, turned around and went to her post.

I’d like to say after that confrontation we suddenly realized we had a lot more than we thought in common and began having lunch together. Nope. This hag continues to cc our boss whenever she has confirmed I did something wrong and is still the same ass hole she was when she introduced herself as the runner up.

You were the Runner Up for a reason.

 

 

Family · Ridiculousness

Which Doesn’t Belong With the Others?

wp-1453527537571.jpg
Found this in the kitchen….in the dishtowel drawer….

Uhhhh….
Which one doesn’t belong with the other…it happens living with only boys…

Ridiculousness · Work

Corporate Phrases Your Tired of Hearing-Part 3

Thank the baby Jesus this week is over and it’s the weekend. Not enough wine in the world to handle work in my opinion.

Below is my final installment of corporate phrases. Please check out Part 1:Corporate Phrases Your Tired of Hearing-Part 1 along with Part 2: Corporate Phrases Your Tired of Hearing- Part 2 at these links for a combined total of around 100 phrases to suck the last bit of life you have left from your cubicle. Please send me more phrases. There has to be new strains of this plague, somewhere we haven’t heard of.

corp term 4

So I’m finishing up an essay about one of my many “Mean Girls” co-workers. I hope to have it complete tonight; tomorrow at the latest. If I’m a hot mess…she’s well…ok, I don’t have anything, sorry…..I suck right now.

Pop Culture · Ridiculousness

I don’t need to grow a thicker skin….

You just need to stop being an asshole. I’ve been told to grow a thicker skin all my life and it just dawned on me, ‘why do I have to change?’

Pop Culture · Ridiculousness · Work

Corporate Phrases Your Tired of Hearing-Part 2

What a shitty day at work. I won’t go into why  but  I will be having wine later, lots of wine and intend to write and post about it. I’m at my wits end, I’ll tell you that much.

Tonight

The minute dinner was over, I announced the following to my 2 sons,

“Boys! We will be doing 2 activities this evening to help mommy unwind. We will be coloring, then we will be hitting the punching bag in the basement. P, grab my gloves!”

“Why are we hitting the punching bag mommy?” C asked.

I bent down and in the most serious tone while looking at him like a crazy person stated, “because mommy is a disgruntled employee and we might even give that punching bag a name tonight.”

wp-1453427029820.jpg
Do you like my pink boxing gloves?

As we continue in part 2 of this 3 part series of corporate phrases, it was clear to me that after the response and likes, that horrible corporate phrases is an epidemic affecting the entire population

So chart #2 contains corporate terms that cover areas such as communication and how shit is organized.

corp term deux 1.21.16corp term trois

My personal favorites?

Can you speak to _____. This is said when they are not asking you to get with a human but about a project. Why can’t they just say “Can you talk about the Houston Galleria project”. It’s as if a man named Thurston woke up one day and thought, ‘I will no longer speak like the peasants that work for me. From now on I will speak to a project, not talk about it’.

I don’t have the bandwidth. Bandwidth? You’re not a computer just because you wear a blue tooth.

Partner. This is used all the time yet bothers me the most and I don’t know why. This isn’t a hoedown. I won’t partner with you but I’ll work with you.

And lastly, I do want to call out an awesome phrase I have never heard of until today, posted by girlygeekgirl…….

Tool: I ask that you please appoint a delegate if your attendance is unlikely.

Translation: We both know some of y’all are too important for this meeting, but my boss made me invite you anyway, so send one of your lackeys, k?

Sheer brilliance.

 

Ridiculousness

Possible Pervert Visits my Garage Sale

So this is the second half of my garage sale chapter in one of my books.

The day dragged on and on. A half hour later, a tall, white haired man drove up in a minivan. From what I could tell, he looked about 80. He was at the threshold of my driveway when we made eye contact.

“Hi, how are you?” I asked.

No response.

Good talk.

He went straight into my garage with a mission. One minute later he reappeared with a pair of my black velour, high heel slippers. The slippers were a sample I had received for free, having worked for a slipper company. The normal, ridiculous price was $80. I marked them for a $1.

“What size are these?” he asked.

“8”

“I’m hard of hearing, can you come closer?”

Now I felt like an ass hole having been frustrated he didn’t respond to my earlier salutation.

“I’m sorry,”I said.

“No, no, that’s all right. Can you do me a favor?”

“Sure”, I said.

“Can you put these on?”

I anticipated a justification from him as to why I needed to model the shoes but it never came.

“Sure, but please ignore my toes. I need a manicure”, I said.

“Oh don’t you worry about that”, he responded dragging the word that out to sound trashy.

I put the heels on and stood there for a few seconds becoming increasingly uncomfortable. A tiny voice in my head began to chant ‘perv, perv, perv’.

“That looks good. And these were yours, right?”

“Yes.”

“Ok, I’ll take’em. Do you have any other women’s clothing?”

“Um, yes” I responded as I walked back up on the porch to retrieve my flip flops. I motioned for him to follow me into the garage. I honestly didn’t have a lot of women’s clothing but have always been good at selling things to men they really don’t need. After all, I did have an identical pair of the slippers he liked but in pink.

“I have this pair of jeans”, ‘I am never going to fit in again’ I thought.

“Oh and I have the same slippers you like but in pink”. I picked them up to show him. Again he inquired, “and these were yours?”

Now he was creeping me out. I made a mental check that A. he was too old to subdue me and b. my husband was within yelling distance.

“What about lady’s undergarments?” He asked.

Suddenly I regretted putting the 4 Victoria Secret bras in the garage sale. I knew where he was going with this and I didn’t like it one bit. When I was pregnant, I managed to get 36 C’s. Because irony is a comedian, they retracted back to their mediocre B cup 6 months later. I had no need for these bras. 2 bras were beautiful with lace detail while 2 looked like Cross Your Heart brand. I hadn’t actually paid for any of them. I was part of a wear test program when I worked at Express. The benefit of testing was the free swag such as these bras.

‘Well, let’s get this over with’, I thought.

“I have these 4 bras,” I said uncomfortably as I picked them up.

He began to rub the material of the black lacy one between his fingers. He didn’t say anything while doing it until he asked “was this yours?”

I put my head down in defeat, sighed and muttered “yes”.

“I’ll take them then,” he said grabbing the other white lacy bra and placing it on top of the black one. I was prepared to run should he begin to sniff them.

I quickly went around him and out of the garage where witnesses would see me. “That will be 4 dollars,” I said as I grabbed a Kroger bag and shoved his new/old lingerie in it.

“Here is 5,” he said, “keep a dollar for the smile” he said with a wink, turned 45 degrees and walked towards his car.

What was I thinking putting lingerie in a garage sale? I had an extra vibrator I never used, I should have thrown that in next to the bras. Lord knows that hot mess would have probably bought it.

Pop Culture · Ridiculousness · Work

Corporate Phrases You’re Tired of Hearing-Part 1

I don’t understand how the English language became so fucked up in the work place. In my early twenties I marveled on how well-spoken these high power Executives were.

I wish I could talk like that’ was a frequent thought I kept to myself.

As the years went on, I continued to hear more and more phrases and it only became worse. Occasionally, I would be at a conference table and I would hear “put a lasso around that.”

Come again? I didn’t copy. What does that even mean? Are we at a rodeo? Put a lasso around what, your neck for saying what you just said?

Phrases began to spiral out of control. Executives from entry level to the CEO were strewing nonsensical phrases together then looking at their direct reports expecting complete adoration. Phrases began to manifest in daily communication such as job descriptions and employee reviews. To this day, if my husband or I let a phrase slip we are given carte blanche to make fun of the other person until it’s out of our system.

I’m breaking up my blog posts into a few posts over the next few days and this is the topic I want to talk about first as it is the most soul sucking. I’m sure many people use these phrases and don’t even realize it. If you do and regret it, there is hope. Like Pax Prentiss of Passages Rehab, “I too was once addicted to these phrases, but now I’m not.”

If you are new to corporate I have developed an easy to use chart for translation. I compiled over 100 phrases after talking with friends and family. Below is about 30. If you read these, promise me you won’t use them. Ok?

corporate terminology

In the next post I will have another chart for you covering corporate terminology such as Teamwork, Communication and how shit is organized. So what have you heard? I want to hear that have made you do a double take. I have 70 more to go and I hope to add new, douchier ones with you help!

 

 

Family · Ridiculousness · Work

Left For a Business Trip, Came Home to a Pigsty

I knew leaving for four days on business would yield a hot mess house upon my return. If the below text wasn’t an omen, I don’t know what was. It cracks me up he wanted a table cloth. Has anyone seen anyone play poker on a formal table cloth?

wp-1453254480050.png
Attempting cool wife while cringing..

After 4, 12 hour days the trip was over and I was making my way home from the airport. I arrived home around 11:30 to find my youngest had waited up for me but had fallen asleep on the sofa. I picked him up and carried him to bed.

I came back down and flipped on the light which was my first mistake. Just over yonder (what the hell is yonder? Sounds like an Amish last name if you ask me) and saw something on the floor. At first I thought it was just another fur tumbleweed courtesy of my chihuahua. As I got closer, I realized a chunk of the floor had been ripped out.

 

Here it is:

wp-1453256647181.jpg
WTF???

“What happened here?” I said attempting to keep my cool despite extreme exhaustion and completely enraged.

“Oh yeah, we don’t know,” my husband responded as if I had asked him what the weather will be like tomorrow.

I didn’t want to start a fight yet in my head I was screaming “Liar!” This crater was smack dab right in front of our table! It can be seen right when you open the front door. How the fuck could you not know how this happened? I would be getting to the bottom of this but for now I was stupid tired, had no wine to calm my nerves and Downton Abbey would be rerunning at 1 am.

I took the next day off and awoke to my son hugging me at 6:45 am. So precious. I came downstairs and like realizing your reality wasn’t a nightmare, stared down at the gash in our floor. I pursed my lips completely pissed off.

“Baby, how did this this boo-boo happen?” I asked sweetly as I pointed to the floor. I wanted to tell C that no matter how much dad was paying him for his silence, I would pay him exponentially more. Name your price. X Box game? Gum? Later bedtime? Name your price. He must have paid him off with a life long supply of Pokemon because he wouldn’t budge.

The final straw was the island. Our island had shit all over it- water bottles, a dart board, bills and just a plethora of things. God we are messy. In the middle of the island was a deck of cards, surely left over from Saturday night when I was still traveling. I picked up the cards and let out the largest gasp of my life. I don’t know if it was beer or a grape Capri Sun but the queen at the bottom of the deck had transferred over to my island because she had laid in a pool of liquid, thus staining it.

I tried to remain cool, imagining myself as a senior citizen telling my son’s girlfriend about the stain on the island and how I like it there because the house feels lived in. Fuck that, this was the last straw.

“What-the-hell?! What in the world? If this doesn’t come off, you need to go to Lowe’s and buy a new island stat!”

Again, acting as if he had amnesia, his only response from over on the sofa playing candy crush was, “what?”

I scrubbed that shit like Single White Female. I don’t care if my husband had to go out and get a magic sponge or whatever he wanted to call it but this stain was coming off. Even though it came off after the 3rd spray, I sprayed it a few more times scrubbing ferociously, acting as if it wasn’t quiet off just to get my point across that I wasn’t happy.

So how about you? What train wrecks have you come home to after travel? I can only imagine.