Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dog Sitter

My parents panned their small white dog, Gracie, off on my husband and I while they vacationed in New York for two weeks. So for two weeks we had to dog sit, and Matthew had two bitches on his hands. Only one of us licked their asshole, however.

"Is she licking her butt again?" My husband whined, and I didn't blame him for complaining. We were not handling living with the dog very well. Matthew was tired of constantly taking her outside to pee, feed her, and take her on walks, and I was exhausted from trying to find compassion and kindness inside me in order to care for the small creature.

I get that a lot of people love dogs. The details are fuzzy, but I think it's something about having a best friend to come home to and a cute addition to the annual Christmas card picture. But there are also people out there who are selfish who would rather booze at happy hour then go home and walk a dog. We fall into that second category.

"What?" I asked Gracie nervously. I was on the couch with a glass of white wine and December's InStyle magazine. The dog was sitting in front of me and staring. It was creepy. "Do you....NEED TO GO TO THE RESTROOM?" I said this slowly, like that would help her understand- surely she knew the word 'restroom', right?
I tried to escape to the bedroom, but the dog followed me in there, where I started to panic. Gracie wanted attention, and she wasn't going to stop staring until I gave her some. I mustered the strength.
"Good....doggy..." I said, awkwardly, and patted her on the head. "Nice-doggy..." I petted her again. She licked my hand, which I thought was sweet. And when I say 'sweet', I actually mean gross, because I had to race to the bathroom to wash off the dog saliva. Moments later she had been licking her asshole, for crying out loud.

While I never quite warmed to Gracie, over time I discovered some great uses for her.

TEN GREAT USES FOR GRACIE

1. Dressing her up in a little top hat is fun, although it's also weird.

2. Shaved dog down, used a hot glue gun to attach fur to collar of wool coat. Looks like rabbit.

3. Pillow.

4. Attached fanny pack around the waist of the dog. Used for storage- spare keys, a tool kit, extra tampons.

5. Neighbors view you as 'adorable' when you walk the dog in the snow with your new Ugg boots.

6. Called in a personal day to work and told the boss Gracie was sick. Company understands because, hey, everybody loves dogs.

7. Watching the dog eat her crappy, dried up dog food makes you feel a little better about your crappy, dried up Lean Cuisine.

8. Door Stop.

9. You finally have something in common with your obnoxious co-worker. ("Oh, YOU have a dog? SO DO I! Aren't they swell?")

10. Can't think of a tenth thing.

So this holiday season, please- play with your dog, walk your dog, feed your dog, but- for the love of god, please don't pan your puppy off on Living Shallow, Living Well. I would just prefer to drink my wine in peace without the eyes of an (admittedly adorable) dog staring up at me.

Also, the fur around my wool coat is starting to yellow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Infertile

I've heard that men and women can have sex and get pregnant. That's what my 5th grade science teacher, Mr. Brogan, said anyway. But I don't buy it- why? Because my ass is sitting in a fertility clinic waiting room.
"How is it that two people can fuck for over two years and not get pregnant?" I whined to my husband sitting next to me, who was perusing through Fertility Today magazine. "Nature finds a way, my ASS." The receptionist looked over at me and glared. Probably because I dropped the F-bomb in her sterile, pastel-pink waiting room.
"I don't know, honey," Matthew said, turning the page of the magazine. "Hey, what's 'sperm washing'?"
I ignored him. "You know what's funny? How many times in my twenties I was peeing on the stick of some pregnancy test in a random gas station bathroom praying it was negative because I was dating some douchebag and forgot to take a birth control pill?" I giggled. "And that whole time- I didn't know my womb was a barren wasteland! Jeez, the money I could have saved on all that Zovia- I could have been popping Tic Tacs, for crying out loud."
"I'd rather not think about that, honey," my husband said. "And why would you take a pregnancy test in a gas station bathroom?"
"I've done a lot of things in gas station bathrooms that I'd rather not share," I answered, avoiding his question. "I'm 34 years old, have the body of Macaulay Culkin, and am the color of chalk. Of COURSE I'm not fertile," I complained. "Teenagers, like those kids on MTV's 16 and Pregnant, don't have this problem. If this was like, the 18th century, we'd be fine," I continued. "Back then everybody got married at like, thirteen and started having kids before they got their braces off."
"I don't think they had braces in the 18th century," Matthew mused.
"What, you're an orthodontist now?" I asked. "Either way, teenagers have super plump, juicy eggs. Mine are probably crusted and shriveled, like week-old roadkill."

"Living Shallow, Living Well?" A nurse barked from across the clinic waiting room.

"So..." Dr. Lopez flipped through our charts. We were sitting in her elegant and refined office, purchased with the dreams of childless couples, no doubt. "You're interested in getting pregnant," she said.
"Well, we want to have a baby to save our marriage," I joked, nervously. "And I've heard that children have nibble fingers, which are great for picking weeds out of the yard."
Dr. Lopez gave me a polite smile and ignored my comments. "I'm going to go over the process- we need to start with a lot of testing and figure out what the problem is. Then we'll give you two a variety of options...."
I tuned out then, because she started talking about science stuff, and science is boring. Plus, I had spotted a plate of cheese pastries on her desk.

"...certain number of eggs begin to mature within tiny sacs called follicles- the follicles produce estrogen-"

Would it be OK if I took a cheese pastry? I wondered. Surely they're out for the patients, right? She wouldn't have a dozen cheese pastries out on her desk just for herself- but is it weird reaching over onto her desk and just grabbing one, especially when she's talking about my vagina?

"-blockage in the male or female reproductive tract can prevent fertilization, or sperm may be unable to swim through the cervical mucus-"

Cheese pastries are so good. But so are croissants. And cinnamon rolls. God, I LOVE cinnamon rolls. I wish they weren't so fattening, though. If they had no calories I swear, I'd have like two a day. Maybe three. Maybe, when I'm pregnant, I COULD eat three a day because I'm supposed to put on weight, right?

"-we would see a sudden increase in the hormone LH- we can pinpoint this surge by testing-"

You know who's super thin right now? Leann Rimes. She looks like Skeletor from He-Man. She could use a cinnamon roll, that's for sure. Ugh, I'd be eating a ton of cinnamon rolls if I was married to Eddie Cibrian- just to ease the depression of the fact that I'm married to Eddie Cibrian. I think he was on that show that got canceled, something about Playboy?

"-are carried away from the epididymis by tubes called vas deferns- the sperm mix with fluids produced by the seminal vesicles and prostate-"

Eww, is she holding up a picture of sperm? Is that a two-HEADED sperm?! That is disgusting. Two heads are definitely not better than one. Would I have a two-headed baby if that thing made it through? Because I don't think they make baby clothes with big enough necklines.

"-you should be aware of the possible side effects. Some of these can result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which will require prompt treatment-"

Necklines this fall are pretty high- everybody seems to be in turtlenecks or those tie neck blouses. I should probably get a tie neck blouse to update my fall wardrobe- maybe after this I could run to the mall and- oh, look...Matthew is taking notes- that's good.....I should probably be taking notes. Meh, but I don't have a pen, or any paper, and also I'm not even listening so how would I even take notes?

"-we can look at that sample in a lab. Adhesions, fibroids, or a uterine septum can be removed with hysteroscopic surgery, with other hormone-"


God, how long is this going to be? I thought this would be less boring. Like maybe they'd have some sample babies out in little top hats to play with? That would be entertaining. Watching Leann Rimes throw herself up would also be entertaining. You know she's doing it- her teeth are looking a little gray. OMG- what if the doctors here miss my uterus and accidentally implant a zygote in my colon? I would have an ass baby. That would-

"Are there any questions?" Dr. Lopez asked, interrupting my thoughts.
"Can I have a cheese pastry?" I asked.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mrs. Vice President

My husband and I were at the hardware store last night, looking at floor tile so we could remodel the bathroom. At one point we asked for help from one of the sales associates, and he asked us about what type of construction our building allows, what the building codes would permit, and so on. I interrupted him.

“My husband,” I said, gesturing to Matthew, “is the Vice President of the housing board in our building. So he knows all about that.”
The sales associate nodded. “So do you know if the board would allow you two to turn off the plumbing in your bathroom?”
“I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem,” I replied, before Matthew could answer. “And if not, well- let’s just say we’re in a position to work around it,” I said, winking conspiratorially. “My husband is VICE PRESIDENT,” I repeated. “We KNOW people.” I winked again.
“Er-“ the sales associate paused. “-you already said that, and- I need to know if you can cut the water-“
“Oh, trust me,” I said, interrupting him. “We can cut any water, in any one of the condos in our building, anytime we want.” I was getting cocky now, and my husband, who’s used to this, stood silently by me in polite restraint.
The sales associate was getting weirded out, I could tell, and started backing away from us. “Okay....well, let me know if you guys need anything else,” he said, and booked it down the aisle.
“You could have handled that a little differently,” Matthew said mildly.
“I guess he’s just uncomfortable being around high-ranking officials,” I mused, shrugging. “Not everybody can handle it like I can,” I continued, brushing a piece of lint off Matthew’s shirt and staring up at him in adoration, the way I imagined Jackie Kennedy probably did to John. “I’ll always stand by your side,” I finished, dramatically.

My husband is VP of our building’s housing board, and this is a detail that gives me more of an ego boost than anything else on earth. I tell everybody, I mean everybody, about this mundane fact. Most people would probably think that being the wife of the Vice President of a housing board in a 31-unit building is insignificant. But those are people that don’t know me, and my ability to take seemingly small things and turn them into power trips.

“You really shouldn’t pack the wash machine so tightly,” I told Carol Peppercorn, the 72-year old woman in unit #201. I was down on the first floor of our building, where the wash machines and dryers were. I was getting a Pepsi out from one of the vending machines (to take back upstairs and spike with rum) and happened to catch Ms. Peppercorn packing in what looked like a thousand bath towels into one of the building’s tiny washers.
Ms. Peppercorn glanced up. “I’m out of quarters,” she complained, and glared at me.
“Well, I don’t see why you need to potentially break down the building’s wash machines just because you ran out of quarters. My husband is Vice President of the board, and he posted a memo in the elevator last week about only filling the washers up to 75% of their holding capacity. Did you not read it?”
“No- I....I didn’t read it.”
I sighed, opened my Pepsi, and took a drink. It did need rum. “I’m going to have to tell Matthew,” I said sadly, but secretly enjoying myself. I lowered my voice to a whisper. “You know how he gets.”
Ms. Peppercorn didn’t actually know how my husband gets, mostly because he’s a really nice guy, but the fear in her eyes showed me that she was worried. “I’ll- I’ll wash the towels next week,” she said, not wanting to get in trouble with the Vice President.
“It’s probably for the best,” I soothed. “I’ll put in a good word for you with him,” I finished, before leaving the room. I really wanted her to know I was on her side.

On Monday, when I got home from work, some jerk parked in my parking space, even though my space is clearly marked with a sign that says 'Reserved For The Wife Of The Vice President of the Condo Housing Board' (I had it specially made). Livid, I found a parking space in the street, stomped upstairs and into our condo, and wrote a nasty letter to put on the driver’s windshield.

Dear Degenerate Fuck,
This is not your parking space. This is MY parking space (can you not read the sign?!), and if I catch you parking here again I’m going to have your car towed (after taking a baseball bat to your headlights).

My husband is VICE PRESIDENT of our condo’s housing board, and just so you know- I’m going to tell him about this, and he is NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY. While I’m sure you probably aren’t used to dealing with someone with that level of power, let me tell you – you do NOT want to mess with a VP. Of anything. So move your car NOW- or there is going to be a Vice President’s foot up your ass.

-The Wife of the Vice President of the Housing Board
(Just in case he wasn’t clear on who I was.)

I ran downstairs, put it on his windshield, and felt a lot better.

“Can you believe that couple in #704?” I asked Lisa, the wife of the treasurer of the housing board. “How many dogs do they have? Like eleven? Those things just bark all day long.” Matt and I were hosting the board meeting the following day, and I was thus trying to entertain like a White House staffer. Everybody on the board and their significant others were there, and being tasked with hosting was taking my ego to new levels of delusion.
“I know,” Lisa said, rolling her eyes. “And that guy in #310? What’s his deal?” She sniffed.
“That’s Mark Cannes,” I said in a low voice, and leaned in closer. I was wearing a little cream-colored jacket with a brooch pinned to it, and from my ears dangled pearls. I could really clean up when I was sober. “He and his girlfriend are always fighting over money. Makes you wonder if he’s going to be able to pay his HOA fees next month,” I gossiped, eyebrows raised. I prided myself on knowing all the tenants of our building. “I would tell your husband to keep an eye out on that one, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh, I will,” Lisa said smugly. She gets off on her husband being the treasurer like I get off on mine being VP. We’re pretty tight, her and I.
“By the way, these mini hot dogs are delicious,” Lisa said, plucking one off a tray that our waiter, Bruce, was holding. Bruce was a homeless guy who lived in our alley- earlier I had given him $20 bucks to shower, put on a velvet smoking jacket, and walk around the board meeting with trays of appetizers. Aside from the fact that he was missing a few teeth, he was honestly doing a great job.
“Thanks,” I said to Lisa, because having to purchase a bunch of frozen finger food from our neighborhood 7-Eleven, and then stabbing toothpicks into 200 mini hot dogs had been incredibly hard on me. I picked up a bowl from the coffee table. “Cheetos?”

“We need to talk,” my husband said the following day.
“Hmm?” I looked up from my needlepoint. I was making Matthew a tiny pillow that said IT’S GOOD TO BE KING.
“Did you photoshop a poster-sized picture of me in an army tank with the words ‘obey’ written below it, and hang it in the mail room?”
I scrunched up my face, like I was confused. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said, innocently.
“Honey,” my husband sat next to me and wrapped his arm around me. “Between this poster incident, that guy’s headlights we had to replace, and the fact that Ms. Peppercorn won’t look me in the eye-“ Matt paused. “I think you’ve taken this Vice
President thing a little too far.”
I sighed. “You're right, honey- you are so wise. I guess that’s why they made you VP.” I set down my needlepoint and sighed. “I’ll chill out, I promise,” I told him.

Guess I’ll have to return my pillbox hat.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Grit

I have no grit, and thus will never be truly cool.

I attended a service in a Catholic church with my husband's two sisters, both who are grittier and cooler than I. And both of them, BOTH of them, had to wear black tights with their dresses, to hide their leg tattoos. Even though it was about a hundred degrees out and the dead of summer, they wore them because they were totally respectful that we were in a church, yet at the same time were totally bad ass- because they both have leg tattoos, hidden from God, if only for a couple hours. Later that evening we were all at dinner, and when the two of them ducked out of the restaurant for a smoke, I pointed them out to a waiter.
"Those are my sisters-in-law," I said to him proudly, watching them both smoke in their black tights and their dark hair.
While my own dishwater blond hair, tattoo-less skin, and pink lungs are probably considered OK to the average Joe, let's get real- I was missing the bad ass edge my husband's sisters naturally possessed. But how to get it?

"It's your CD collection," my husband informed me days later, when I asked him why I wasn't a bad ass. "I almost dumped you when I went through it." He's referring to our third date, when we were hanging out at my place (read: a hovel with about 11 roommates) talking (read: making out) and decided to put in a CD (I know, SO 2008, right? I didn't own an iPod).
Matt slipped through my collection in confusion. "Oh, um....Britney Spears....Gwen Stefani, Madonna....." His confusion quickly turned to horror. "Oh, my god- Mandy Moore- holy fuck...what- Jessica Simpson? Willa Ford? Who in the hell is Willa Ford?"
"Oh my god, I love her," I said, adjusting my top. "She is so cute!"
"Cute." Matthew tried say that word in conjunction with music, and almost choked. "Cute...." He continued to stare at me in despair. I could see him doing the math in his head.

MY NEW GIRLFRIEND: PROS AND CONS
BY MATTHEW
JUNE 2008

PROS: Funny, ass looks good in jeans.

CONS: Has an odd obsession with Keanu Reeves, can't cook, has more credit cards than Paris Hilton, smells like rotten cotton candy, hates dogs because they 'require compassion', is unemployed, has one protruding snaggle tooth, thinks that Lindsay Lohan is 'misunderstood', sleeps until noon, annoyingly refers to her friends as 'my bitches', is 29 years old but acts 15, lacks health insurance, has a glass unicorn collection, smacks her gum, has eight unpaid parking tickets in her glove box, directs every political conversation back to her hair, calls me her 'future baby daddy' even though we've only been dating for 13 days. She also roots through my wallet when she thinks I'm not paying attention, talked me into sneaking a six-pack of beer into a club and then blamed it on me when we got caught, and keeps locks of my hair in her wallet- that she cuts off of my scalp when I'm sleeping.

"Honey?" I asked, twirling my gum around my finger. "What do you want to listen to?"
"Um..." Matt shook his head. "Er- let's just listen to the radio."

My other issue is that I wear a lot of pink. And pastels. But that's just because I'm real pale, and 'adult' colors make me look like a corpse.
"What is that color?" My sister asked, peering at me through her sunglasses at our favorite happy hour spot. We were outside on the patio drinking margaritas, and while the conversation was flowing smoothly, my wardrobe clearly was not.
"It's sherbert," I said, with a little bit of defiance.
"Jesus, why are always dressed like a baby?" My sister grumbled. "Like what, you're going to show up in a onesie? Where are you getting your clothes? Babies R' Us?"
"It's not my fault I can only wear Easter egg colors," I complained.
"I know you're on this mission to get more grit," my sister soothed, "but that mint green bow in your hair isn't helping. Maybe you need to rethink this, and just stick to what you know- like Hollywood gossip, finding the perfect shade of blond, and giggling."

She had a point. I do love to giggle.

I officially gave up becoming 'grittier' when I re-watched the Breaking Dawn trailer 17 times. Surely no one who was truly edgy would do that. I can listen to some of my husband's 'indie bands', put on dark makeup, read Edgar Allan Poe- but it's just not me. No, I'm destined for other things.

Like cutting locks of hair off my husband when he's asleep.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Optimus Prime

Well, I just saw the third Transformers movie, and it's official: I have a crush on Optimus Prime.

For those of you who aren't familiar, Transformers are cars that can transform into walking, talking robots. It was both a cartoon and a toy back in the 80s and recently made its way into Hollywood with Transformers, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and now Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon. I've seen them all, and let me tell you- Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, gets more and more attractive with every movie. He's like the George Clooney of inanimate objects.

For those of you who might find it odd that I have feelings for a cartoon machine, I urge you to view the movies yourself- maybe it's his chiseled metal cheekbones, or his deep, gravely robot voice, or his abs of steel- literally. Maybe it's because I love vibrating metal objects. Maybe it's his great leadership qualities- when the chips were down in Transformer 2, who was the guy to rally the troops to fight Megatron? Optimus Prime. Who prevented the Decepticons from hacking into the US Military network? Optimus Prime. And who has those gray-blue eyes that pierce into my very soul? Yup. Same guy.

My favorite fantasy involves Optimus Prime and I, driving up into the mountains together. I'm driving, well- him, and we're chatting about life, love, and timing belts. We're really connecting on a machine to human level, and finally- I pull up to a meadow- birds are chirping, flowers are blooming- and he transforms from the car into the robot (gently unbuckling my seat belt and pulling me out of his insides while he's doing it) and we lay in the soft grass and stare into each others' eyes. The smell of metal and rubber tires is radiating off him like a beacon, and even though kissing him is like frenching a bike pump, I can't stop because I'm in love. He embraces me, his arms feeling like two microwaves pressed around my shoulders. I can feel his tailpipe hard against my thigh, and right before we make love I'll think- if loving a man who resembles a toaster is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

I've already thought about our life together, and being Mrs. Prime. On the weekends we would grab lunch, run some errands, and oil down his dashboard. We'd have barbecues, and all the Autobots would come over- can you image Bumblebee, Jazz, and Ironhide all sitting around my kitchen table, passing around the potato salad? Their clumsy robots fingers would probably really struggle with the silverware. If any of the Autobots spilled any food on themselves I would just run them through the dishwasher, of course. And when we have children, who will look like small golf carts- I will probably stay home with them, while my husband continues fighting intergalactic evils. It's going to be a hard life, me at home alone feeding my baby a bottle of (warmed) gasoline while Optimus is off fighting a war against the Decepticons and their leader, Megatron, in a power struggle for world domination. Sigh. The things we do for love.

When Optimus finally retires and our children have all grown up into sedans (we are so proud!) we'll end up in a scrap yard to idle the days away with all the other Autobot couples. They'll be movie nights (drive in, obviously) and bingo. And even when my husband's paint has chipped off, his leather seats have cracked, and rust forms around his joints- well, we would have gotten all that fixed up because of the lifetime warranty on him, of course. The main thing is that we'll be happy because we'll be together.

I mean, who could resist those cheekbones?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Interns

It's Intern Season!

Every year, in mid-June, a dozen interns descend upon our corporate office for three months. They think they are here to expand their horizons, learn about corporate America, and make life-long connections. What they're really here for is to do my bidding for roughly 90 days. To me, interns are like clowns- worthless but slightly entertaining if I've had enough to drink. They're only really good at stapling and wasting my time.

"You get three of them," my boss informed me, tossing their files on my desk on his way to lunch.
I looked up from my computer. "What? Oh, shit," I moaned, looking at the stack of papers. "You're going to dump the fucking interns on me again this year?"
"Somebody needs to babysit," he informed me. "Just try not to screw it up like you did last year."
My boss is referring to July of 2010, when I told our intern at the time, Robert, to charge $400 worth of vodka on the company's credit account. Robert was canned for that a couple days later when I told human resources it was his idea.
"It's not my fault that Robert ended up being both an alcoholic AND a thief," I sniffed.
"I'm pretty sure you had something to do with that, Living Shallow," my boss replied. "But I'm not going to lie- I wasn't sad to see that guy go. Interns are fucking worthless."
"Amen," I agreed.

The next day I had three college students sitting along the wall of my cube, similar to bottles of liquor lined up on a shelf. But unlike a bottle of liquor, these interns I didn't want.
"So," I said to them, lazily, and put my feet up on my desk." I flipped open the folder containing their files. "Let's see....Madison?" A blond with stringy hair nodded eagerly. "Adam...and Tucker?" The beefy one with dark hair, probably a frat boy, nodded his head, and the second guy, who looked young enough to be a fetus, smiled at me.
"That's your name? Tucker?" I asked the fetus.
"Yes." He smiled at me again.
"Well, that's a dumb fucking name. I'm going to call you Larry, cool?" Without waiting for a response I threw their paperwork into the trash and cleared my throat.
"Here's how this is going to work. I'm going to tell you what to do, and you're going to do it. I'm available for mentoring, but only between 3:48pm and 3:55pm. I like my coffee hot, with two sugar packets. And use the real sugar, not that Splenda shit. Don't think I won't notice the difference." The interns furiously wrote all this down.
"Also," I continued. "If I ask you to do things, like, say, give me a back rub or vacuum out my car and you feel like they don't fit your job description- then please, by all means- just let me know, and I'll make sure you get fired." I paused to sip my coffee. "I have an open door policy. And when I say 'open door', I mean it's actually a closed door and I really want you guys to leave me the fuck alone- like all the time. The intern who kisses my ass the most will get the best recommendation from me come September. Oh, and starting now, please refer to me as My Overlord." I stopped. "Any questions?"
Adam raised his hand. "Um...My Overlord? What about lunch breaks?"
"Great question, Adam. And when I say 'great question' I mean that you have so much product in your hair right now you're practically an EPA violation."
Adam looked confused. "Um....lunch...?"
"Your lunch will consist of gumming stale Fritos out of the vending machine around noon each day. Oh, and if you three don't mind- I'd really prefer it if you could use the eighth floor bathrooms. The ones here on the first floor are for staff only. You understand."
The interns nodded, eager to start their day.

Everything started off okay. I gave Larry the task of finding a Hollywood starlet who's hair was an ashy-brown with beachy waves to take into my stylist. He knocked it out of the park by finding me a picture of Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley, who's hair will look perfect on me. Madison got my car detailed and filled it up with a full tank of gas, and Adam got the annual percentage rate on 11 of my 17 credit cards lowered by hassling their customer service departments all day. The three of them even managed to staple 2,300 pieces of blank paper together. That I just made them do for my own amusement.

"Living Shallow?" My boss said, peering into my cube.
"Hey boss," I said, munching on a Nutter Butter that Madison had fetched for me out of the vending machine. "Hey, have you met Larry?" I asked, gesturing to my feet, which were propped up on Larry's back since he was crouched on all fours in my cube.
"Hey, Larry," my boss said, unconcerned that I was making a company intern my own personal human ottoman.
"It's- really- Tucker..." Larry said, straining his neck up to my boss, my calves digging into his spine.
"Great, great," my boss said, nodding. "Well, looks like you've got everything handled here," he said to me, and then strolled off.

A couple weeks later, things started breaking down. The interns started complaining about the jingle bell dog collars I made them wear during the day, but really, I just liked knowing where they were at all times. Since they're dumb they still mixed up the sugar and the Splenda, and, finally- the final straw was when I caught Madison and Adam making out in the supply closet. I called a meeting.

"Listen up, toddlers," I barked. "You guys haven't been pulling your weight around here- you've been showing up late, complaining non-stop, and now- making out in the supply closet? Dear lord, you KNOW only full time employees are allowed to make out in there! What is wrong with you?"
Madison teared up. "Corporate America sucks," she cried.
Larry nodded in agreement. "It's boring. It's just meetings, and stapling."
Adam shook his head. "I just can't believe how bad it is," he said.
I stared at the three of them, quietly, for about 30 seconds, and then, slowly, started clapping. They stared at me in confusion.

I leaned back in my chair. "So, my young grasshoppers, you have learned the lesson I have been trying to teach you all along. That yes, corporate America DOES suck. And you have to go to your job every day, every week, every year- FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. And when you're 65, you'll get a shitty retirement plan and a discount on adult diapers- and then you'll watch daytime television until one day they find you, dead of heart disease in your easy chair, clutching a warm beer." I paused, and stared at them with grave eyes. "So my question is, why in the fuck are you wasting your last summer in college in this shit box?" I let that question sink in and then leaned toward the three of them. "Listen, Madison, Adam, Larry- here's what I'm going to do- I'm going to fire all three of you right now. For the next eight weeks you have left of this summer, I want you to get shitty but young, fun jobs- life guarding, bartending, folding sweaters at The Gap- and I want you to party, work on your tans, have sex with the wrong people, drink too much, and basically blow off the entire summer in a haze of immaturity and debauchery. And in 50 years, you're going to look back on this moment, and think, 'That was the summer My Overlord set us free.'" I paused one final time. "Now get the fuck out of here," I said, as they bolted for the door.

I'm the best mentor.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summertime!

Summer summer summer!!!!

June first always kicks off summer in my mind. For three months, three delicious months, every last mature cell in my body (and admittedly, there's only about a dozen) turns off and the super hyper, child-me pops out for the next 90 days. It's like that scene in Alien, where Sigourney Weaver's friend is eating dinner, feels a few stomach pains, and then ends up on the kitchen table of the space ship with an alien fetus clawing out of his flesh. It's just like that, but more fucked up.

I don't know what it is, but everybody around me seems to have it. The sun is shining, the grass is green, the whole world seems to be out and about packing the outdoor cafes, chasing their dogs around like children and biking around town in a pair of picnic pants like some kind of fucking JCrew ad. And, the skin- the chests and legs and shoulders of the opposite sex are finally exposed and glistening, sweating in the sun like sausages on a grill. And while I'm happily married, this time of year has me panting out the window of my car like a dog in heat.
Husband (driving): "Honey, you're drooling."
Me (passenger seat): "Our neighbor's son is home from college. And he's mowing their lawn. Without his shirt."
Husband: "That's weird, honey- he's like 19. He's a kid."
Me: "Do you think they need anybody to baby-sit him, then? Because if they do, I'm Kristy Thomas."
Husband: "Not funny."
I sighed. "God, he looks like Taylor Lautner," I moaned, wishing I was Bella.

Summertime is a total excuse to mentally regress without looking like an idiot. Want to stroll downtown in your husband's boxer briefs chewing on a funnel cake? It's ok, it's SUMMERTIME! Want to drink six margaritas on somebody's patio, pass out in their yard, and then get woken up in their grass the next day when the sprinklers go off? It's ok, it's SUMMERTIME! Want to blast Kesha's latest single out the window of your 1992 Subaru station wagon with your greasy hair in a scrunchie? It's ok, it's SUMMERTIME! Want to skip deodorant? Read a trashy romance novel? Make out with a hobo? SUMMERTIME! SUMMERTIME! SUMMERTIME!

"This is fun!" I said to myself gaily, drunk on Ketel One at two o'clock in the afternoon last Saturday and drawing pictures on the sidewalk out of chalk. First, I drew a picture of a bunny. Next, I drew a picture of the bunny holding a flower. Then I drew a picture of Satan eating the bunny. It would probably make the neighborhood kids cry.
"Babe?" I heard my husband call out the window of our 5th floor condo.
"I'm down here!" I yelled from the street where I sat, my eyes squinting up at our building and my legs stained with colored chalk. My husband was hanging out the window in a stained, yellowed t-shirt and holding a beer.
"I can fit eleven of those stale Marshmallow Peeps leftover from Easter in ONE toilet paper tube!" He cried. "Can you fucking believe it?!?"
"Damn!" I shouted, impressed. "Oh, and honey- could you bring me a beer? Let's slam it and then sneak into the rec center pool!"
"Ok!" He shouted back, and then disappeared into the condo. I added a few squirts of blood around the wound of the neck of the bunny where Satan had ripped into it. I wanted it to be realistic.

Work seems to go to hell, too. Around 3:40pm, somebody says something casual, like "Every Tuesday Sullivan's has half price jager bombs."
We all give noises of approval, and then twelve minutes later somebody else says, "Gee, we've worked a TON today. And I don't think we took lunch, right?"(We actually took a two-hour lunch playing Velcro Ball in the parking lot, but hey- who's counting?)
"Maybe we should schedule an out-of-office meeting," I'll suggest, casually. "Y'know, maybe we could brainstorm ideas to reduce overhead and become more cost efficient?" I asked.
"Great idea," somebody else will say, and 45 minutes later we're at Sullivan's slamming jager bombs and gossiping about office hookups, upcoming vacations, and who the hottest Kardashian sister is (my vote is on Kendall Jenner).

My point is, welcome summer into your home- be immature, stupid, and reckless. Your dignity might suffer for it, but in the name of fun, really- who cares? Somewhere out there there's a bucket of sidewalk chalk with your name on it.

I recommend drawing a bunny.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Comfort Shoes

“Yeessss!” I shouted, excitedly at work last week, when the mail room clerk brought a package over to my desk. I immediately started ripping the box open.

All my coworkers and I like to purchase a bunch of stuff online and through catalogs, and then have it mailed to the office so we can show everybody our loot. And when I say, ‘all my coworkers and I’ I actually mean me, because I’m the only one that does it. The rest of my coworkers have things like kids and big mortgages to pay for, whereas I only have a husband and a tiny 550 sq. ft. condo. So my point is, there’s cash lying around, and I like to buy shit.

“What’d you get this time?” My older and less attractive coworker asked me tiredly, glancing up over her granny glasses. Like, seriously, she’s 40 and looks and acts 80. But I guess that what happens when you choose your three children over things like facials and shopping sprees at Nordstrom. Luckily, I have my priorities in order. And speaking of orders, my new shoes were in!

“Aren’t they sexy?!” I squealed, holding them up above my head like Moses parting the red sea. And these shoes were definitely red- bright red and shiny and vinyl and HOT. “I’m wearing them out to a gay club this weekend for my friend's birthday- we’re going to get wasted and dance all night!”
“Those look really painful,” my coworker said, glaring, probably jealous that she’ll be at home watching Finding Nemo for the one hundredth time while I’ll be staring at gorgeous homosexuals gyrating to techno music in sequined underwear. But hey, who am I to judge?
“Actually…..” I smiled a secret, all-knowing smile. “These are Clarks,” I whispered, referring to the shoe company known for comfort shoes.
My coworker’s jaw dropped. “Those are Clarks?” She said, shocked. “But comfort shoes are…so- so-“
“Ugly?” I asked, helpfully. “Not anymore. They all wised up and now have cute shoes, too- they still have that orthopedic crap, don’t get me wrong- but now they make new stuff too- these pumps-" I held them up again for her benefit. "-were recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association," I finished, bragging.
“Wow,” my coworker said, impressed.

When I was in my twenties, I got drunk and went to clubs in shoes from Steve Madden, Nine West, Unlisted, Chinese Laundry, etc. Now I’m in my thirties, and I’m still getting drunk and going to the clubs- but now I do it in comfort shoes- Clarks, Naturalizers, Aerosoles, Bass- if it involves cushioned soles, wick-away sweat protection, or gel footbeds- well, I’m sold. My shoes now resemble a mini van after a car accident- more air bags inflated inside than is probably needed, but you don’t mind having them there. I used to think that comfort shoes were only for old ladies with back problems- but then, I also used to think that using tampons meant you were no longer a virgin. Either way, I’ve wised up.

Now that comfort shoes are attractive, why WOULDN’T you wear them? Why even bother with regular shoes?

“Cute shoes!” My friend Tess cooed to my other friend, Molly. Molly was strutting up to our table during happy hour in her new Jimmy Choo shoes- probably purchased for the price of a small car.
“Thanks,” Molly said, fluffing her hair.
“They are cute,” I said, agreeably. “Do they have polyurethane foam cushioning?” I asked, innocently.
“Huh?” Molly said, confused.
“Well, I’m just a huge fan of foam cushioning,” I said, casually. “I also really prefer my feet in a stability cradle- it really disperses the pressure from the ball of your foot.”
“What in the fuck are you talking about?” Molly asked. “These are Jimmy Choo's- Jimmy wouldn’t put foam cushioning in his shoes- that’s fucking lame.”
I snorted. “Oh, so now it’s lame to prevent lower back pain?” I asked, arguing. “Well, excuse me for wanting the ligaments along my spine to line up. Enjoy those bunions that are forming on your feet, bitch.”
“I will enjoy them, Grandma,” Molly spat back. “Where exactly are you shopping for your shoes- some gift shop at a Retirement Community?”
“These pumps are red vinyl,” I said hotly, pointing to my new shoes. “RED VINYL.”
“Like putting lipstick on a pig,” Molly answered back, shortly.
“Stop it you two,” Tess snapped. “And Living Shallow, it’s rude to insult Molly’s new shoes.”
“You mean her new torture chamber? Can’t wait to go shopping with you next week in them, when you black out in Banana Republic from the pain.”
"Well, you'll have your oxygen tank on you, Betty White- so you can just resuscitate me," she answered back.
“That’s enough!” Tess said sternly.

I go everywhere in my comfort shoes- even the gym. I get some weird looks, especially when I’m on the StairMaster in them, but hey- they’re comfort shoes. I can jog in them, do laundry in them- hell, I could kick some major ass in them. I always wondered how Wonder Women and Supergirl chased down and beat up so many bad guys, and it's SO obvious- they're all in those comfort boots. Leather, knee-high, spike heel, and gel insoles- that's their secret, not the fucking super powers!

"Wow, honey- you have a LOT of comfort shoes," my husband said to me one afternoon, gazing into the closet. "You're like a billboard for preventing lower back pain."
"Thank you, honey," I cooed, lounging on the bed with my legs daintily crossed, wearing my new black peep toe pumps that also happened to have phenomenal arch support and a reinforced toe box. I liked to seduce my husband in my comfort shoes- can you imagine? Seducing in comfort? I need to tell all the strippers about these things. Dancing on those poles in those clear plastic ten inch heels are probably giving them all corns on their feet. Poor things.
"Well, I support this new obsession of yours," he said. "I want you to be comfortable."

"Oh, I'm definitely comfortable," I said. Me and Wonder Woman both.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Suicide Watch

Last Saturday night, I was sitting at home alone in the condo.

My husband was out getting hammered with a bunch of his geologist friends. I didn't go because honestly, they all just end up talking about igneous rocks, landslides, and different types of sandstone- and yes, it's as boring as it sounds. Especially when they tie on one too many and end up arguing about whether geothermal fluids at super-critical pressures and temperatures can be exploited as sources of power. I've seen fights break out over this.

So he's out on the town, and I'm sitting at home drinking Jack Daniels and organizing my make-up drawer (pale pinks on the left, sunrise corals on the right) when I hear a knock at the door. I'm wearing a pair a pajamas with tiny lime green stars all over them, but I grab my glass of Jack and get up to answer it anyway.

I open the door and two people are standing there. One, a girl, probably twenty years old was staring at me through glazed eyes, and with her was a guy with spiked blond hair and a lip ring.
"Um..." I took a sip of my drink. "Can I help you?"
The girl blinked rapidly. "Our friend, like, lives next door, and we're looking for him- he's not answering and we keep knocking."
I frowned. I vaguely remembered a neighbor moving in next door a couple weeks prior, but personally had not met him. "Okay...." I said, confused.
The guy stared at me and started scratching his arms. "We keep calling his cell phone but he won't pick up," he explained.
Again, I was confused. "Well, maybe he's out," I said, wondering why they were telling me all this. "I don't know him," I said, slowly, to the two kids who were clearly not playing with a full deck of cards.
"Well, we think-" the kid paused to scratch himself again. "We think he might of killed himself," he whispered.
"Oh." I paused. "Oh, my- that's- that's terrible," I said, formally, because really how do you respond to that? "Um....you really think he's dead in there?"
"Maybe," said the spiked-hair kid, nonchalantly, as he continued to scratch himself in an obviously opium-induced haze.
"Ok..." I said, and took a really strong swallow of my drink. "So, um- should we call the police?"
"No, no," the girl said quickly. "He's already had a ton of problems with the law- I don't want him to get in trouble."
I stared at her. "Er- if he's dead, I don't think that's really an issue," I couldn't help but point out.
"Do you have a key to his place?" She asked impatiently.
"No- and honestly, if he really did kill himself, I'm pretty sure I would of heard a gunshot," I answered, helpfully. "The walls of this condo are real thin- and I haven't heard a thing."
The boy smirked at me. "Some suicides are silent," he said, all condescending.
"Oh, right- well, I haven't heard like, water running if he tried to drown himself in the bathtub, or anything," I continued, trying to think of other ways people kill themselves. Wasn't there a Saved By The Bell episode about this or something? Maybe Beverly Hills, 90210? Surly Dylan McKay dealt with suicide at one point.
The girl was growing impatient with me. "So do you know where we could get a key or not?" She said, growing more irritated.
"Again, no, I don't have a key or know where to get a key for you to check to see if there's a rotting corpse next door," I snapped, as these kids were starting to annoy me. I was also getting suspicious with the truthfulness of their story. Is this what thieves do? Get the key from the neighbor claiming a dead body is next door, and then rob the house? I'm no Nancy Drew, but this situation was quickly becoming sketchy at best.
"We might have to break the door down," the guy said, lighting up a cigarette. Clearly he was real concerned about his supposedly-dead friend, as he slumped against the railing of the condo building.
I slammed the rest of my drink. Obviously I was going to have to talk these two nut jobs down off their Cops fantasy. "You're not going to break down the door," I said. "Now let's start at the beginning- why do you think your friend killed himself?"
"He's real unstable," the girl said.
"We're all unstable," I answered. "I'm 34 years old and wrote a love letter to Justin Beiber yesterday. If that's not fucked up, than I don't know what it."
"Gross- he's young enough to be your son," the boy said, grimacing through the cigarette smoke.
"Exactly," I agreed. "My point is, my friends don't think I killed myself every time I don't answer a text- they just think I'm passed out drunk somewhere. So you're going to need to either call the police or take your asses home."
"But we need to leave a note on his door, at least" the girl whined.

The three of us ended up writing this on a large post it: JER- ARE YOU ALIVE? CALL US- TISH & RICKY and sticking it to his front door. They finally went home and I ended up falling asleep in front of the television, exhausted from playing high school counselor.

The next morning I woke to the sound of keys rattling in my maybe-dead neighbor's door, and I quickly got up and raced outside. There stood my neighbor, alive and in the flesh.
"You're alive," I said, blinking.
My neighbor stared at me in confusion. "Um...yeah...?"
I crossed my arms. "Tish and Ricky thought you killed yourself," I said, tattling on them. "You might want to give them a call."
He looked really confused. "Why would they think I killed myself?" He asked me.
"Word on the street is that you're unstable," I replied.
"Who isn't?" He mused, turning the key on the lock and walking into his condo.

My thoughts exactly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scared Thin

Has anybody seen that new show on A&E called Beyond Scared Straight?

It's based on the program, Scared Straight, that takes troubled kids who have had problems with the law and are headed to a life of crime through the prison system, where real-life convicts share with them the horrors of jail. The kids, after hearing these stories and witnessing inmates banging on doors and making sexual gestures, realize they don't want to end up in prison and start doing their homework. The program is meant to 'scare' them down the path of righteousness.

When I was watching the show I thought, OMG, I totally know how these kids feel. It was like looking in a mirror.

No, my sister and I weren't bad kids. We just had a mom who considers fat the most evil single substance on earth. My childhood was like an ongoing episode of Beyond Scared Thin.

My mom, about 5'4" and 90-pounds soaking wet, is a health nut. I'm talking wheat germ in your flax cereal, organic beets for dinner, nuts for a snack. Her medicine cabinet is stocked with ginger root, sunflower seeds, fish oils, and ginkgo biloba. Her favorite pastime involves hooking herself up to an IV filled with carrot juice and meditating. I grew up nibbling on beans, wheat grass, and bark (well, we got bark for dessert, but only if we finished all our wheat grass).

My sister and I, in turn, were always fit and healthy. I don't think I had a tablespoon of salt, sugar, or fat really- ever. And my mom was going to make sure we kept it that way.

"Don't you bring that garbage into my house," Mom stated one night, as my sister and I, both in our teens, brought home some leftover cake from a friend's birthday party.
"It's made of sugar-free chocolate, though," I said helpfully, like that would change things. "I think it was made from, um- organic flour," I lied.
"It's Satan," she stated. "Throw it in the trash."

My cousin came over one morning with a box of donuts, a box of donuts- and I am not kidding you- she lost her shit.
"Well, wow- I didn't realize we were all going to ingest complete poison in our bodies this morning," she started, sarcastically. "Well, that's a great way to start off the day- with a triple bypass. GOOD THING I don't give a flying fuck about the health of myself, my husband, or my two beautiful daughters!" Mom clutched us tragically as we stared into the box of donuts in confusion. We had never seen a donut before and were fascinated. It looked like bread with some type of gooey substance on top, and, that smell- was that sugar? I had heard about sugar from some of the kids in my class, but I thought it was something that didn't really exist- like a unicorn, or a smurf.
"Um...." my cousin paused thoughtfully. "You want me to throw them out?"
"Only if you want to live to see another day," my mom said, calmly. The kind of calm that gives you chills up your spine.

The real beat-down came one day when mom caught my sister with a soda one of the neighbors had given her, and decided that my sister and I were 'out of control'.
"You're both about to graduate, and head off to college- and at college there's- buffets." My mom said this last word like some people say 'venereal disease'. "Get in the car," Mom said, gathering up her keys.

She drove us to McDonald's.
"OK." She parked the car, turned around, and glared at my sister and I, both trembling in the backseat. "We are going into a fast food restaurant. I want you to take a GOOD LOOK at the people in there. If you keep putting in your mouth, stuff like SODA-" she stopped and gave a death-stare to my sister. "-then you're going to end up like them. Get out of the car."
We quickly unbuckled our seat belts and raced into McDonald's, a place I had only previously seen on television commercials, and, admittedly- it housed more obese white people than a Republican National Convention.
Mom huddled the two of us to her, up front by the soda machine. "Look at that man over there," she said, pointing across a couple tables. "Is that how you want your future to look like? A double chin and type 2 diabetes? Does that look like fun to you?!? Does it?!?"
We stared at the floor. "Nooo....."
My mom pointed again at a large woman. "Over there! That woman- do you think she WANTS to be in pants with an elastic waist?! Do you want to struggle climbing a few stairs without passing out?!"
We both shook our heads no.
"And do you smell that? The smell of lard frying? And then that lard, sitting in your stomach, creating cellulite on the tops of your thighs? And all of it, eating away at your heart, killing you at young age? IS THAT THE KIND OF LIFE YOU WANT?!"
My sister started to cry and I resisted the urge to purge the carrot sticks I had eaten for lunch.
Like the prison inmates in Scared Straight, mom grabbed one of those large soda cups and started banging and dragging it against the side of the soda machine, and chanting 'Ronald McDonald is goin' get you!' until management kicked the three of us out. It was a day I would never forget.

Was it severe? Yes. And yet, like the 14-year-old gangbanger who finally stops stealing cars and starts doing their homework, my sister and I were traumatized into submission. To this day I faithfully eat my salads and whole grains and avoid the 'garbage'.

I just can't get the image of those elastic pants out of my head.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blobby

When I was in my early twenties, I worked for a large department store.

Every year, we celebrated 'Take Your Child To Work Day'. All the employees would bring their kids to the store to greet customers behind the counters, fold shirts in the back rooms, and sweep the floors in the break room. Basically, it was an excuse to abuse child labor laws and get all our cars washed, as we sent them out to the parking lot around noon with buckets of soapy water. (I highly recommend getting a small child to wash both the inside and outside of your car- their small, nimble fingers can really get into any hard-to-reach place.)

In conjunction with Take Your Child To Work Day, my company always brought out Blobby, a large, fuzzy, orange, blob-looking mascot costume- and once a year, they talked one employee into wearing it all day to entertain the children, wave at cars in front of the store, and participate in a humiliating act of self-degradation.

2003 was my year.

"I am NOT wearing that fucking costume," I complained to my manager, arms folded in defiance.
My boss glared at me over her glasses. "You've been late to work four times this week. You're wearing it- or consider yourself fired."
"Define late," I hedged, trying to figure a way out of my impending doom.
"Showing up at noon reeking of vodka when you were due at 9am is late," she barked. "Get into the costume and entertain those goddamn kids- and remember- NO talking when you're Blobby- Blobby does not speak. Blobby only waves at people and gives hugs."
"Blobby sounds like a fucking loser," I pouted.

An hour later I was in the Blobby costume- it was hot and stuffy inside. The costume was over six feet tall, so my view to the outside world was through Blobby's nostrils.
"The children are waiting for you!" The man from human resources announced gaily in his office, after securing Blobby's tail to my ass. "Have fun! And remember- you can't talk. Blobby does NOT speak- okay?" He swung open the door and pushed me into the store, where all the spawn were waiting.

"BLOBBY!" Shouted roughly 8-10 children, all waving their arms wildly and jumping up and down with excitement as I walked through the door.
I waved and waited for them to calm down. "What's up?" I asked.
The children's jaws dropped in shock.
"Blobby- you- you talk?!" Asked one little boy, his eyes wide. They had all hung out with silent Blobby previously.
"Of course I talk," I scoffed. "I just had strep throat before and couldn't speak."
"What's strep throat?" Asked a little blond girl.
"It's what you get when you drink to much and make out with shady-looking guys in bars," I explained.
"Oh," she said, nodding wisely.
"You're a girl, Blobby?!" The first boy asked, still in shock.
"I am- girls can do anything- they can be doctors, lawyers, and even pathetic, costumed, department store mascots. And don't you kids forget it." Bored, I glanced around. "You guys want to ride the escalator up and down for a couple hours?"
"Yeay!" Shouted the children.

Two hours later, I was in the break room with the kids and answering a flurry of questions. They couldn't get over the fact that I could talk, and had a million questions for me.
"Where do you live, Blobby?" Asked the oldest of the group, a six-year-old who seemed suspicious.
"I live in the basement of this building," I answered.
"The basement?!" He asked, stunned. "Isn't it cold down there?!"
"Oh, no- not at all. The basement has large coal ovens in it- the same coal ovens that heat this department store. I shovel large amounts of coal in the hot ovens all day and all night." I looked down sadly and wiped a fake tear off my googly eyes with one of my large orange hands.
The children looked horrified. I could tell they were all picturing their beloved Blobby, bent over a hot coal oven, sweating through her orange fur.
"But Blobby, you don't have to do that!" One of the youngest girls protested.
"But I do," I said, and paused for dramatic effect. "They chain me to the basement floor. I have to shovel the coal, or-" I made my voice quiver. "I don't get fed...and...there's the beatings....."
One child burst into tears as the older boy clutched my furry arm in desperation. "You have to run away, Blobby! You can come live with me!"
I patted his head gently. "I don't think your parents would want to house a six foot tall mascot, but I appreciate the offer. Oh- and tell your dad I said hi."
One girl raised her hand. "Do you know Santa Claus?" She asked, eagerly, because kids think that all mystical creatures know Santa Claus. Kids are dumb.
"Oh yeah," I said, nonchalantly. "We're actually dating."
The children gasped. "You're dating Santa Claus?!" They screeched.
"Yeah, but-" I brought my voice down to a whisper. "Don't tell Mrs. Claus, okay? It's strictly physical- I don't want any drama, you know?"
The kids nodded solemnly.

After lunch I gave them a tour of the store. I dry humped a couple of mannequins, which made them laugh really hard, and pretended to pass out in Active Sportswear, making them all scream in horror. I felt like Maria in the Sound Of Music, gallivanting around Austria with the Von Trapp family. Except this was much more fucked up.
"My hands hurt, Blobby," one of the kids complained, behind me. Toward the end of the day I had made the kids take turns giving me shoulder massages as I flipped through a magazine.
"I'll tell my man Santa Claus to not bring you any gifts this year," I threatened, while perusing an article on open-toed pumps.

At five o'clock I gave all the kids hugs goodbye and sent them on their way. Exhausted, I wadded back to my boss's office and plopped down in a chair, pulling Blobby's head off its body.
"How was your day?" My boss asked, eyebrows raised.
"Fine."
"You never called anybody over to zip you out of the costume for bathroom breaks," she continued.
"Oh, right-" I paused. "I sort of..." I stopped.
"Oh, my god- you pissed yourself in the costume?" She asked, horrified.
"It's super absorbent," I replied, defending myself.

The next day, the store received lots of angry phone calls from parents, mad because their kids had told them that Blobby, the store mascot, was giving blow jobs to mannequins, having an affair with Santa Claus, and being beaten in the basement. During my firing, my boss kept shaking her head and asking me, "How could you?!" I didn't really have an answer, and, honestly- I wasn't that upset. I had absolutely no desire to ever put on the Blobby costume again.

Besides, it's stained with urine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can't Turn It Off

On Saturday, I was in the checkout line at the grocery store and the cashier was TOTALLY hitting on me.

“You saved $4.23 with your shopper card,” he said, gazing into my eyes as he pulled the receipt off the register and handed it to me, his fingers lightly caressing the palm of my hand. “Thank you for shopping with us today.”
“No, thank YOU,” I flirted back, clutching the paper shopping bag to my huge (read: padded bra) chest. “Thanks for checking me out,” I said, because I find puns both amusing and sexy.
“Um…sure,” the cashier, both married and old enough to be my dad, looked momentarily confused. “Have a nice day.”
“I will,” I replied, and gave him a big wink. “I’m sure YOU’RE having a nice day as well.”
Now the cashier looked really confused. “I…..am….” He nodded briefly and turned his attention to the next customer.

I have a confession to make, and please- don’t judge me (that’s reserved for God and Fox News). I ALWAYS think that men are hitting on me. Always. There. I said it.

I have thought about this a lot. I really, really struggle having normal, non-sexual conversations with men I’m not related too. I believe this is for a variety of reasons:

1.) I’m a girl’s girl. I only have female friends. Sure, I have a few acquaintances that are men- but a true friend? Women only. I just don’t really relate to guys- I’m pretty sure they don’t talk about anything I’m interested in, which is fashion, Hollywood, and the comfort levels of thong underwear. I don’t really know what to talk to them about. Beer?
2.) I have an inflated ego based on nothing. I am extremely average. My vanity is not based on facts or data, only my own shallow, irrational thoughts. (Read: Front of fashion magazine says: “Plum eye shadow makes guys want you!” So I purchased plum eye shadow, wear it, and am convinced I am Megan Fox.)
3.) I get bored easily, so I create fantasies in my head to dull the repetitiveness that is life.
4.) I am mentally not well.
5.) I’m pretty sure they’re hitting on me.

“I think we need this major account to leverage our overhead so we can avoid outsourcing,” said one of my coworkers, Ronnie. We were in a status meeting with about fifteen people. Ronnie was sitting next to me, a seat he obviously picked because he’s in love with me. He turned to me. “Could you pull some of that data from last year’s numbers?”
I crossed my legs and smiled suggestively. “You WOULD choose me to help you with that, wouldn’t you?”
Ronnie paused. “Um…yeah, you’re the only one with access to those numbers.”
I snorted. “How convenient for you,” I said.
“I’m sorry…?” Ronnie asked.
“It’s just…” I leaned in a little bit so he could smell my new perfume and get a peek down my shirt. “I know what you’re doing, and it’s not going to work,” I whispered. “I’m married, and I know this is really hard for you to understand, but it’s not going to happen.”
My boss interrupted. “What’s the problem here, Living Shallow? Get Ronnie the numbers.”
I sighed and leaned back into my chair. “I don’t want you two fighting over me- for crying out loud, boss- you’re causing a scene. Jesus.” I rolled my eyes and stared at my cuticles. My boss has been crushing on me since 2007, when he hired me. It’s cute when he has these jealous fits of rage, but in a meeting? He should really try to be more professional.
My boss briefly closed his eyes, either to try to control his temper or picture me in a bikini. I assume the latter. “If there’s problem with you doing your job, we’ll talk about it later in my office,” he barked.
“Big surprise, you want me alone in your office,” I muttered under my breath.
“What?!” My boss roared.
“Nothing.”

A few days later my husband and I went out to dinner. The waiter could not have been more obvious about his feelings for me.
“More wine?” He asked, smiling at me.
“Yes, please,” I watched him pour the bottle into my glass, lust written all over his face. I could tell he wanted to say a thousand things to me- that I am the window to his soul, the mother to his children, the oxygen to his breath. But instead, he just listed off the specials of the evening as I read the pain in his eyes.
“……and that dish has a caramelized topping on it- it’s very good,” he continued. “I’ll let you two have a moment before I come back for your order.”
“I’m sure you will,” I said, woefully.
The waiter’s smiled stayed on. “Anything else you need, miss?”
“Only to ease the ache in your heart,” I whispered, sadly. I reached out and clutched his arm. “I know that unrequited love is like a thousand knives into your soul, and I’m sorry for that,” I said, dramatically.
“I’m sitting right here, honey,” my husband said dryly, interrupting me.
I ignored him and stared deep into the waiter’s eyes. “It will be painful to move on, but move on you must- as I am betrothed to another.” I touched the napkin dramatically to my eyes and gave his arm a final squeeze before letting go.
The waiter blinked a few times in confusion. “Er- I’ll be back with your salads,” he said, before running off.
My husband eyed me. “Is this about that whole you thinking everybody’s in love with you thing again?” He said, complaining. “Because that’s weird, honey.”
“I can’t turn it off,” I sniffed, defensive.
“I’m going to have to leave him a huge tip now,” my husband complained again.

When my friend, Rebecca, wants me to visit, I usually decline because I don’t want to cause tension between her husband and I and make things awkward. He always asked me really personal things, like how my job is. It’s SO obvious he wants me. To make matters worse, her five-year old son hits on me constantly. Please- all those repeated requests about pushing him on the swings? Could he BE more obvious? It’s pathetic, really.
“I’m pretty sure my son doesn’t ‘want’ you, honey,” my friend said, dryly, after I asked her to hose her kid down with cold water before I came over.
“Clearly you’re in denial, and I really don’t want to argue about it,” I snapped. “I just hope our friendship survives this.”
“Oh, for crying out loud,” she moaned.
“He cries over me?” I asked. “Figures. What a fucking baby.”

I guess in the back of my mind there’s a piece of me that thinks maybe there are actually men out that aren’t interested in me. That maybe I’m mistaking basic everyday politeness for lust? That maybe every man I encounter doesn’t want me to give birth to his spawn? Perhaps I am simply stroking my own ego? That maybe they are actually in love with their own wives and not-

Oh wait, there’s a knock at the door.

I open the door and am greeted by a UPS driver.
“Package, miss,” he says, and then holds out a clipboard. “Sign here please.”
I sign and hand him back his pen as he hands me back a box.
“Thank you, have a nice day,” he says, before hurrying off.

He wants me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ten Resolutions

This is going to be MY YEAR.

I say that every year on New Year's Eve, usually around 11:43pm, right before I either blackout or vomit from all the alcohol. The next day, hungover, I write out all my new year's resolutions, swearing to myself that THIS YEAR is going to be the year that I actually follow through with all my goals.

I swear I'm going to keep them.

LIVING SHALLOW LIVING WELL'S 2011 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

1.) I WILL FIND A NEW SHADE OF BLOND.
I have been every color of blond- ash blond, honey blond, sunset blond, caramel blond- but, surely- there are more? There's got to be an entire world of blond I have yet to discover- I'm going to become the Christopher Columbus of blond hair. Straw blond? Billy Idol blond? The possibilities are endless.

2.) I WILL STOP CALLING MY BOSS 'DADDY'.
Every time my boss asks me to do something, I sarcastically say "Sure.....Daddy." He gives me a pretty odd look, especially when we're in staff meetings or conference calls and I do it. I should probably stop.

3.) I WILL DEVELOP A HEALTHY DIET AND EXERCISE PLAN.
Read: Abuse laxatives.

4.) I WILL STOP MAKING FUN OF MORMONS.
Eh....actually, this probably won't happen. Mormons are like those crab apples that fall from trees and end up scattered on the sidewalk- I can't help but step on them, because the sound of that crunch is so satisfying. Also, I wouldn't make fun of them if they didn't give me SO MUCH to work with- I mean- multiple wives? Aversion to coffee? Those creepy white smocks they wear under their clothes? I have enough material for years of jokes.

5.) I WILL TAKE MY SHALLOWNESS TO A NEW LEVEL.
Last weekend, I wasted tons of time reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, discussing politics, and volunteering. No more. I should have spent that time reading gossip magazines, smacking my gum, trying on eyeshadow colors that make me look more like Kate Bosworth, and staring vapidly into space.

6.) I WILL STOP REFERRING TO MY HUSBAND AS 'MY OVERLORD'.
When we go out to eat, I love giving my order to the waiter and then saying to my husband, "Go ahead, My Overlord." Or when a telemarketer calls I always say, "I'm going to need to check with My Overlord." When I'm filling out forms at the doctor's office, I love writing 'My Overlord' in the emergency contact section. I do it because it's really funny, but my husband's patience is wearing thin. So I'll just start calling him 'Master Of All That Is Holy."

7.) I WILL KEEP WRITING THIS BLOG.
Mostly because one women emailed me and told me that my blog is the only laugh she gets all day at her miserable, dead-end job. So Marnie28....this one's for you. Also, Marnie- try sneaking shots in the restroom around 10am. Your days will get a lot better- trust me on this one.

8.) I WILL TURN MY BATHROOM INTO A HOLLYWOOD REHAB CENTER.
It's going to look just like the one Lindsay Lohan stayed in- you know, rolled towels in baskets, zen music playing in the background, calming pale blue wallpaper, 3 grams of coke hidden in the toilet dispenser, and a therapist on site. It's going to be dreamy.....I should call that magazine, House Beautiful and see if they would want to do a photo shoot.

9.) I WILL STOP DRINKING MY DINNER.
My husband travels a lot for work (he's also the cook in the family), and when he's not home at night I turn into a frat boy. Two glasses of Jack Daniel's over ice with a side of white wine? Welcome to my Tuesday nights. But word on the street is that 'dinner' should include this thing called 'food', and while I'm no Julia Child, would it kill me to throw together a sandwich?

10.) I WILL STOP TELLING MY DOCTOR I HAVE ANXIETY/DEPRESSION/PANIC ATTACKS JUST TO GET A PRESCRIPTION TO XANAX/ADDERALL/PROZAC BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD/IS FUN TO ROLL WHILE WATCHING REALITY TELEVISION/CAN BE RESOLD TO HIGH SCHOOL KIDS FOR PROFIT.
Seriously, that is so wrong. I'm going to get my highs naturally- through things like working out, prayer, and spending time with friends and family. Plus, one of the high school kids I was dealing to told me he was going to call the cops. Fucker!

Well, there they are. My top ten- they're pretty lofty I know, but I'm going to work real hard and try to achieve them. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year!