Friday, January 30, 2015

A Wrinkle In Time

 
     It happens one morning when you wake up, glance in the bathroom mirror and realize your face looks like an un-ironed shirt. You wonder---is it from stress? The kids? Too many libations the night before? You vow to get more sleep, take your vitamins and spend a fortune on miracle face creams. If spackle can fill the cracks in a wall, then an expensive wrinkle epoxy ought to do a damn fine job covering the crevices on your face. Unless, of course, your skin looks like a lunar landing strip. The good people at Lancome have yet to invent a facial epoxy that will fill cracks that deep.


     When I was in my mid-thirties, it was no coincidence that I sprouted my first wrinkle around the time my fourth child hit the Terrible Twos. A deep furrow formed across my brow, giving the impression that I was angry all the time. Or constipated. I began slathering my face nightly with rich emollients that promised to erase my worry lines (and the remnants of a youth spent poolside with a rum runner in one hand and a bottle of baby oil in the other). I was terrified that after all those years of sun tanning, I'd end up with a face that resembled a potato left too long in a microwave.

     Once I reached my forties, the deep grooves that bracketed my mouth were evidence of my inability to defy the laws of gravity. They formed parentheses when I smiled, acting as a dam to prevent the tsunami of cheek flesh from falling forward. As much as I tried to conceal the signs that I was, indeed, a middle-aged woman, the wrinkles on my forehead were Mother Nature's way of revealing my true age like the concentric circles inside a California Redwood.


     There were other unavoidable tell-tale signs that I was well past the carefree days of my youth. The so-called "laugh lines" around my eyes were not funny at all once the wrinkles reached my eyebrows and formed tributaries similar to those near the Mississippi river.

     Now that I've accepted the fact that I can no longer disguise my age behind expensive makeup and creams, I realize that facial wrinkles are the least of my problems. There are other parts on my body that the wrinkle cadets have invaded while I've been busy trying to prevent my face from looking like a peach pit. The other day, I noticed several rings around my neck. Four, to be exact. I now have a neck that resembles a Slinky. How have I missed this delicate area during my nightly ritual of slathering creams heavier than margarine on my face?

     And that's not the only section I've overlooked. I've got wrinkles on my hands now, too. The skin has become so thin there that my veins have popped up like the Appalachian Mountain range. There are also deep creases on my elbows and knee caps, for God's sake. My joints look like a wrinkled rhino's butt. "Excuse me, dear lady at the Lancome counter, do you have any rhino butt wrinkle cream in stock?"

     I prefer to think that the lines on my face show character, not the actual stress of aging or too many summers spent on a beach with a silver reflector beneath my chin. Undoubtedly, I'll be picking up a few more wrinkles along the way, but that's okay. These little creases are the merit badge I've earned from years of laughter and a life well lived.

     And no cream can take that away.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Fly On The Wall In The New Year

 
     It's that time again! For those of you new to my blog, once a month I participate in these "Fly On the Wall" group postings with 13 other bloggers. It's a chance to see what REALLY goes on behind the closed doors of all my writer friends. It's also an opportunity for me to share with you the nutty things and the odd conversations that go on in my own home.

     This month the pesky fly witnessed some interesting things. I broke my big toe, for starters. Yeah, remember Queen of Klutz? I'm living up to that title in 2015. 

     The fly was also buzzing around a few weeks ago when I was a nervous wreck at the NBC studios. Shortly before I was to go on the set for a live interview about my Spandex book, my husband said something so off-the-wall stupid that it was hilarious…..just as I took a GINORMOUS swig from my water bottle. Needless to say, water spewed EVERYWHERE, soaking my shirt and the white fabric couch I was sitting on.  That's not even the worst of it. Moments before the camera turned to me, I looked down and noticed a large hole in my black leggings, just below the knee. Note to self: next time I'm invited to a television station, I'm bringing a bib and an emergency sewing kit.

     

      If you were a nosy fly on the wall at my house this month, these are some snippets of conversation you would have overheard in the looney bin that I call home:


     "You're a true carnivore. Every day you open the meat drawer in the refrigerator and gorge on cold  lunch meat right out of the packet. No bread or condiments necessary."

     "Am I the only one who has a husband who offers shots of whiskey to the cable guy after the installation is finished?"

     "Never come between a little girl and her ice cream cone."


     "You sure do go the bathroom a lot before leaving for work every morning."
     "I'm worried that I'll need to poop while I'm out on a landscaping job."
     "You could always use the bushes and grab some leaves for toilet paper."
     "With my luck, the leaves would be covered in poisonous sap and gum up my butt."

     "Since when did a simple toy like a child's spinning top become a dance party with strobe lights and techno music?"

   
   
     "I ate so much, I'm having Braxton Hicks from my food baby."

   
     "Hey honey, wanna go to the gun show this weekend?"
     "I'd rather have my teeth extracted."

 
      "My stomach hurts."
     "Eat a cheese stick."
     "Your answer to everything is a cheese stick! Got diarrhea? Eat a cheese stick. Dementia? Eat a cheese stick. Financial problems? Eat a cheese stick!"

   
     "You know you're old when you keep several pairs of toenail clippers in your nightstand drawer."

     "These book signings always make me nervous. I'm afraid no one will buy my book."
     "If you ply them with enough wine and beer, they'll buy the Brooklyn Bridge from you."

     "You girls think 50 Shades of Gray is cool---well, your mother and I are on 60 Shades of Gray….and that doesn't include our hair color."

     "Why does my home office smell like a baby's dirty diaper? We don't even have a baby."
     "This is where all the kids slept when they were infants. It's the ghosts of old poops that you're smelling."

     "I would NEVER eat anything called, 'Crunchy Tuna Surprise'."
     "Yeah, because the surprise part is that you don't know what the crunchy stuff is."

     "Just when you think you're doing a good job parenting your teen, he tells you that he and his buddies spent the evening Tasering one another for fun."

     "The family that wrestles together, stays together."


***Want more Meno Mama? I am THRILLED to be featured on BLUNT MOMS this week!!! You can read my funny post on aging right here: http://www.bluntmoms.com/goin-south/


Be sure to click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

 http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home
http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                        Stacy Sews and Schools
http://dinoheromommy.com/                                   Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com                    Juicebox Confession
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                              Battered Hope
http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/          Eileen’s Perpetually Busy
http://www.gomamao.com                                  Go Mama O
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                       Someone Else’s Genius
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                            The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                             Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                       The Momisodes


    

     


Friday, January 16, 2015

Goin' South

     Why didn't someone warn me that once I hit the middle age years, my skin would lose its elasticity faster than a stretched-out rubber band? Wrinkles, I understand…but sagging? I didn't see that one coming.

     Despite the hours I spend at the gym to tone and firm what God gave me, the skin on my body still looks like an accordion. I'm pretty sure that if every crease was stretched out flat, I'd have enough skin to cover two people. There's even excess flesh on my back . If I could pull it up over my head, I'd have a skin hoodie for all those cold winter nights.

     I had to stop wearing tank tops years ago too, and not because my boobs look like they belong on a reality TV show called, "Gourds Gone South."  I chucked all my sleeveless shirts because they revealed the extra skin flaps under my arms, and I didn't want to be mistaken for a flying squirrel.

     The same goes for slinky dresses and tight jeans.  No amount of sit-ups or stomach crunches can erase the effects of birthing four children by c-section coupled with years of yo-yo dieting.  I doubt that I'll ever regain enough muscle tone in my waistline to wear a bathing suit in public again. I'm cursed with a deflated inner tube that's stuck around my middle like a droopy doughnut (minus the chocolate sprinkles). Sadly, the only part of my body that hasn't lost muscle tone is my uterus. That particular organ is about as tough as overcooked calamari.

    I need to combat these sagging parts one area at a time. Lately I've been Googling Brazilian butt lifts because I think a little booty enhancement would do wonders for my bottom, which is heading south at an alarming rate. If my fanny drops any lower, I'll be dusting the floors with it….and I'll be the first person to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records as a Human Swifter Butt.

     Spanx was invented for this very reason----to give the false impression that both my tummy and derriere are firm. Unfortunately, the tight fabric just pushes things further south until my thighs are rubbing together like mating seals. At this point in my life, I consider it pure luck that I haven't received a free, lifetime membership to Sea World.

     I've also noticed that my earlobes are beginning to hang a bit lower. It won't be long before all my dangly earrings are resting on my shoulder blades. But on the bright side, if my earlobes continue to droop, they can serve as wind flaps while I'm driving down the road. At least the grand kids won't have to worry about grandma running any red lights.

     The good news about my sagging skin? By the time I'm a senior citizen, I'll be able to tug on the drawstring of my skin hoodie to look twenty years younger.

      Or maybe just swim year 'round in the warm pools at Sea World.



If you love my blog, you'll love my book even more! New stories you've never read! Buy it now on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   http://amzn.to/11uY6fD



 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ladies' Restroom Etiquette 101


     I've gone to the bathroom in some strange places. Swamps, mountain trails and a roadside stop in Italy where the toilet was a hole in the ground with strips of torn newspaper used as toilet paper. I've come to the conclusion that in America, there's a misconception floating around about the fairer sex being the neater, cleaner sex. Anyone who walks into a ladies' public restroom knows this a myth. A sign stating,  “BIOHAZARDOUS MATERIALS INSIDE” should be posted outside these doors.

     My daughters both work in corporate offices and we agree that certain rules of bathroom etiquette need to be enforced there. No one wants to be the habitual office pooper, but sometimes you just have to make a bombing run. If you're the stinker in the stall, the next person in line will be accused of leaving the smell, especially if there's hang time to it. Everyone knows who the token office pooper is. Just steer clear of the restroom once she finishes her morning business.

     Every corporate office also has a stall stalker. These polite ladies sit quietly in a stall and wait for everyone to leave so they can uncork the results of last night's chicken wing binge fest. These women are known for stalking secret stalls in the office building, even if it's a long elevator ride up to the handicapped stall on the twenty-fifth floor.

     Pubic restrooms are the stuff that nightmares are made of. College taught me never to use a pub bathroom after 11:00pm because inevitably someone was crying or puking up beer in the stalls. Impromptu roadtrips from my youth also proved to be a lesson in courage when the only available bathrooms were at lone gas stations in the middle of Nowheresville. I'm pretty certain those pit stops were the inspiration behind many Stephen King novels.


     On a recent family vacation, I lost count of the times I played musical bathroom stalls at truck stops with my daughters. We never knew what lurked behind door number one, two or three, forcing us to play potty roulette. Most of the restrooms we visited smelled like a fisherman's wharf and had not seen a janitor's mop since Bush was in office. There were enough hairs left behind to knit a small sweater and the sanitary product disposal boxes were filled to capacity with mummified tampons.

     I understand a woman's need to squat like a sumo wrestler over the toilet bowl to avoid the germ infested seat. But ladies, if you're going to spray like a cat marking her territory, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie. If you're there to do some serious business, do us all a favor and flush the toilet. I don't need to know that your last meal included corn.

     Whether it's laziness or just plain forgetfulness, there are plenty of women out there who would benefit from a refresher course in Bathroom Manners 101. In the meantime, when my daughters and I hit the road, we'll be packing Public Restroom Survival Kits (complete with rubber gloves and industrial size antibacterial soap). Hopefully we'll be able to right the wrongs of women's bad bathroom habits---one toilet at a time.


***FUN NEWS*** I was a guest this week on NBC's 6 in the Mix to promote my new book! It was a great experience and you can bet I'll be blogging about it soon…. 



    

Friday, January 2, 2015

Why I Look Forward To Being An Empty Nester


    I'm counting down the years until the last of my four children moves out of the house. I get giddy at the prospect of being an empty nester. While there are some parents who might dread this phase of life, I know I'll embrace the newfound freedom of an unscheduled calendar. No more P.T.A. meetings, teacher conferences, football games, homework squabbles, band practice or bake sales. I dream of the day I can lock the front door, hop in the RV and hit the road to Margaritaville.

     There are numerous advantages to being an empty nester:

*The laundry room will no longer look like I it has been hit by an atomic bomb of dirty clothes.

*The liquor cabinet that was once locked down tighter than Fort Knox can now be left open for legal libations.

*Our extra bedrooms will no longer resemble hotel rooms trashed by rockers and their overzealous fans after a sold out concert.

*My electric bill will decrease because no one will be checking the refrigerator every ten minutes to see if new groceries have magically appeared inside.

*I won't have to wake up before the owls go to bed to get my kid to the school bus on time.

*I can travel to exotic places like Bore Bora. Just kidding! I'm broke after raising four kids. The only trip I can afford now is to Walmart.

*No more stockpiling of toilet paper, milk or socks.

*It'll take three days to fill the dishwasher---maybe more since I'll only be cooking for two. How much space do I need for a microwave tray, cup of soup or a bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal?

*Ant colonies will no longer form on my kitchen counters to feast on donut crumbs or pizza crusts left out by the kids the night before.

*There will be no more squabbling over the TV remote. I can watch Cupcake Wars instead of listening to Kim whine on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

*I won't have to conceal my Chinese leftovers in a container marked, “Urine Sample” to fool hungry teenagers.

*I'll finally be able to hear the birds singing outside instead of covering my bleeding ears to the loud, thumping bass of my son's EDM music.

*My grocery bill will be cut in half since I'll no longer be feeding a school of piranhas at the dinner table.

*The Hubs and I will be able to get our freak on 24/7 without worrying that the kids will catch us playing Little Red Riding Hood in bed with the big, bad wolf.


     There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel of motherhood and it's called, RETIREMENT....
until the circle of life comes around and bites me in the ass with grand children.



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