Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why the Christmas Spirit Now Requires a USB Cord and a Password

Throughout the years, I have learned a lot about the toys I want my kids to have for Christmas.

That's right.  The toys I want them to have.

I pretty much avoid anything that says "Assembly Required" because if it has more than 5 pieces, that's the equivalent to at least 3 glasses of wine and I'm never quite sure what the end result will be.  I try not to buy anything inflatable because I discovered last year that I don't have the lung capacity to blow up a sled the size of Mt. Rushmore.  And I have learned to stay away from anything that says "Fur Real" on it because what that really means is that it's "Fur Really Creepy."

I figured out that lesson a few years ago when I bought my daughter the "Fur Real" cat (which should be renamed the "Pet Cemetery Cat") that has a motion sensor in it I could never figure out how to turn off.  Every time I went into the closet where I had hidden the presents and that cat would turn its head and look at me, I just about soiled myself.

That was also the year my son was the lucky recipient of the "Fur Real" Macaw that he quickly discovered could record what he was saying and repeat it back to him.

All I can say is that that Macaw has a filthy mouth.

But now, I'm outnumbered by older and wiser children who really don't want to hear my helpful suggestions for Christmas.  Last night, I brought them to Toys R Us, hoping to get a little more insight into what they wanted which was big mistake because I quickly realized that their Christmas lists would be better taken care of at Best Buy than an actual toy store.

My stomach clenched with fear as my son pointed out the complex gaming system he was hoping to get, knowing that I would never be able to set it up on my own.  I tried steering him over to the stack of "retro" Atari's on the shelf (God, am I really old enough to be considered retro??) which were cheaper and something I felt sure I could handle.

He looked at me like I had Frogger growing out of my head and said, "Mom.  We can get that stuff for, like, $1 on Ebay."

Silly me.

They've pretty much outgrown the entire center of the store because most of that section doesn't require batteries, a USB cord, or some sort of password they will forget within minutes and then wail about the rest of the day until I can figure out how to reset it.  Even my youngest daughter let me down.  At 6 years old, she is apparently too old for Barbies, has no interest in dress-up, and can't stand the thought of getting something that doesn't have a port in which to plug in headphones.

My son didn't help when he led her over to the DSi selection and said, "Look at these.  Aren't they shiny?  And look at that pink one?  Isn't it pretty?"

I watched as her little face pressed against the glass of the case and I knew I had lost the battle.

Good golly, my parents had it easy.  Okay, so my dad made me a dollhouse one year, I'll give him that one.  But other than that...what did we get?  My sister got a cat one year so all that was really required was poking holes in a box.  I asked for a Cabbage Patch Kid which my mom, ever the planner, actually bought months in advance, sensing the Cabbage Patch Frenzy that was to come.  And then there was that year they gave us both sleeping bags.

Yeah.  I bet they stayed up all night rolling those bad-boys out under the Christmas tree.

It's not even December yet and I'm already feeling the stress.  It kind of makes me wish that I had started promoting a family celebration this year more like Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about in "Little House on the Prairie."  I'm daydreaming about my kids dipping into their stockings, bringing out shiny pennies for all to admire or the treat of an orange that they could enjoy later in the day.

As it is right now, I have a feeling if I put an orange in my son's stocking I would probably hear only one thing.

"Hey, Mom.  Where do you put the batteries in this thing?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fighting the Election Day Blues

So I've been poking around Facebook this morning and reading with extreme admiration all of my friends' posts about how truly excited they are that it's Election Day.  This enthusiasm comes from one 1 of 2 places:

1.  They're either truly excited about the election process and honored that they have the priveledge to vote.

2.  Or they're just excited that, come tomorrow, they won't have to watch any more of those political ads.

And I'm embarrassed to say that my own personal election day delight probably stems more from the second reason and not the first.

I feel very un-American as I say that but I truly feel like this year more than any other year the election process has beaten me down.  I'm weary.  I'm jaded.  I'm feeling like I know a lot of people are, after watching 2 men bash each other for months, that I'm not really voting for a great leader.

I'm trying to pick between the lesser of 2 evils.

I find that depressing because it feels like the campaigning process in general has become kind of un-American.  I'm not seeing a whole lot of ads about what a great country this is.  I'm not hearing a ton about how either candidate truly believes that we live in a great society.  All I'm hearing is what I hear in my own house day after day with 3 children.

"I didn't say that!"

"You can't believe him!"

"Mo-om!  He won't let me talk!  He keeps interrupting me!"

And, as a bone-tired parent, I hate that my vote has become a tool for settling a disagreement between 2 squabbling children.

I may be the only one who believes this, but the election process has completely lost the American spirit.  I'm not running to the polls today, hopeful that tomorrow will bring change.  I'm dragging my feet to stand in line so that someone might have a chance to get a couple of things done in the next 4 years.  Because I'm not sure if either one of these candidates is capable of bringing back America's pride.

I'll tell you this:  If one of those men had said, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, "I'm going to take my ads off television for 1 day and donate that money to the people who need it" they would have firmly secured my vote.

Because that's what America should be about.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Top 10 Things Skinny Women Shouldn’t Say

“This will go straight to my hips.”

Unless you are saying this while having a surgical procedure actually performed on your hips, I really don’t want to hear it.  You are especially not allowed to say it while eating a salad, granola bar, or drinking a latte.

“No, I hate going to the gym.  I keep in shape by chasing my kids around.”

Okay.  I have 3 children.  I have a gym membership I use at least 3 times a week.  I also have a sizeable ass.  So shut up.

“If I could change one thing about my body it would be my ankles.”

Enough said.  Bitch.

“I just had a baby a month ago.  I lost all of the weight by breastfeeding.”

Any woman who can even look at her pre-baby jeans a month after having a baby is not to be trusted.  And any woman who can model lingerie weeks after having a baby should be arrested.

"It is so hard for me to find pants that are the right length that still fit in the waist.  They just don’t make long enough jeans in the junior section.”

If you don’t have a student ID, you should not be allowed to shop in the junior section.  Go buy some beer instead.  Then you won’t have this problem.

“Can you put the dressing on the side?”

Don’t say that.  I’ve just ordered a bacon cheeseburger with extra mayo.  Seriously.  Toss that vinaigrette in.  It will be okay.

"I’m having dental work done next week and my doctor told me that I need to gain 10 pounds first.”

I never liked you anyway.

"When I’m PMSing, I can’t even fit into my skinny jeans.”

Okay, if I’ve had an extra glass of water I can’t fit into my skinny jeans.  And by skinny jeans I mean my sweats from high school. 

"Grease just doesn’t agree with me.”

     That’s why I don’t argue with it.

  “My clothes just don’t hang right.”

Hang?  What is this “hang” you speak of?  My clothes suck the very life out of me.