If I have learned one thing as a parent it is that anything I say that I do not want repeated will be repeated, and probably in public. Having a child is a lot like having a parrot. A very drunk parrot. Since I am usually the parent listening in horror as my child talks about the lazy neighbor who never brings in his recycling bin in front of said neighbor, I am always amused to hear other people’s children do the same thing.
Luckily I get to hear all kinds of amusing bits of information from kids every week. I tutor first through sixth graders one day a week for an hour, and I am pretty sure I learn more from them than they do from me. Unfortunately, most of the things I learn from them are embarrassing stories about their parents or siblings. I know all about the mom who farted in the grocery store and the sibling who broke a window and blamed it on his friend. Sometimes I cringe at the stories as I think about what my daughter is probably telling one of her teachers about me. Then I remember that most of the stories my daughter is sharing I have probably already written about. I have no shame.
Yesterday, while tutoring, my 2nd grade student told me about how some boys are mean to her in school. She said one pushed her and another kissed her ear. I was thinking to myself how much her thinking would probably change about the ear kisser by the time she reaches high school. Today, however, she was thoroughly disgusted by a boy’s lips on her ear. She told me she had to go home and wash her ear. The kissing bandit had her pretty agitated. She looked me right in the eye when she said “Boys are gross. They all have HERPES!” I almost fell right out of my chair before I asked if she meant cooties. Her reply was “that’s it. I always say that word wrong.”
I’m not so sure I am qualified to teach sex education, but this guy is:
The quietest sauna in this zip code!
We finally cancelled our gym membership after complaining about the place for a year. We were paying a small fortune to change in filthy locker rooms, shower with mold and get hit on by hairy old fat men in the co-ed sauna. I know that last one might seem like a perk to some people, but seriously, I have been given the head to toe eyeball by an old man that I thought was wearing a sweater in the sauna. It was, in fact, just back hair. Not just any back hair – grey back hair, and lots of it. At least I didn’t have to see him later in the locker room, unlike my husband.
When I went to the membership desk to cancel, the woman behind the counter asked me why. I said “where do I start?” before launching into my three page list of reasons. She stopped me after every few reasons on the list to tell me what her solution was. I have to give her credit – she didn’t even have to read from a script and some of her solutions were not completely terrible. For instance, she said that she could ask the cleaning staff to clean the locker rooms. What a concept! I told her ultimately they can clean the locker rooms, keep an eye on the sauna and police the training area where people blare dance music on their phones, but they can’t change their clientele and that is their biggest problem. I pointed out that they had signs posted over all of the drinking fountains that read “Do not spit in the water fountain!” I don’t want to share space with people who don’t know that it’s not okay to spit in the drinking fountain.
First they lift, then they spit!
I know I have kind of high standards and some of the things that got my panties all bunched up didn’t affect my husband in the least (the old dudes in the sauna for instance). He complained about very few things – mostly the fact that he could never find a parking space and that every time he went to put his water bottle in a cup holder there was a wad of gum occupying the space. Strangely, I never noticed gum in the cup holders, but I once found some in the bottom of a locker. He was also sick of smelling weed in the locker room and finding the source of the smell in the form of a gaggle of twenty year old “boys” hanging out in the sauna talking about their many sexual conquests. I’m sure all their stories were true. I mean they were hanging out in a sauna, half naked with a bunch of other dudes on a saturday night. Plus, they were talking about what studs they were, so clearly they must be!
We only have a few weeks left before our membership expires and I am getting every penny worth in these last few weeks. I have been at that place for a few hours a day every day of the week, Of course I am turning into a gym rat two weeks before bailing. I noticed last week that the water fountain signs have been removed. The locker rooms and showers are still filthy, but the life guards have been patrolling the sauna. I haven’t seen my friend with the sweater, so maybe he was told his presence was a health code violation.
While I was walking out of the gym last week a couple was walking through with a salesman. They were asking about parking and stated that it was difficult for them to find a place at 8 pm the first part of February. The salesman responded “yeah, parking in January is hard because everyone goes to the gym after the new year. It gets better.” I know that after the first of the year I have a hard time remembering what year it is, but this poor sucker was stuck In January. As I passed by I looked right at the couple and said “It’s not any better in June!” Sometimes I just can’t help myself.
This post was brought to you by coffee and the Beastie Boys!!
I gained five pounds. While getting changed into my bathing suit at the gym I discovered exactly where the five pounds are located and all five are trying to squeeze into my bikini top. Of course the pounds are also not evenly distributed. Go figure. When I made this discovery, I of course snapped a photo and texted it to my husband. These are the kinds of texts he gets from me frequently. He should consider himself lucky that he isn’t getting shots of the new mole I have on my shoulder or what appear to be stretch marks on my right thigh. I have been told that people don’t start sharing questionable moles and cellulite photos until after fifteen years of marriage. I can’t wait until August.
He must have been amused by the photo because today, while I was out running errands he sent me a photo of himself with one of my bras slapped across his chest with the caption “I think I gained five pounds too!” Sadly, my first reaction was to look down my shirt because I was certain I was wearing the bra he was sporting. Yes, the shocking part of the photo to me was that I was not wearing what I thought. I am not at all phased by the questionable photos my husband sends. He didn’t get the memo about the fifteen year deal. He has been sending me weird shit for over a decade.
Tonight I was debating about going to the gym to get in the sauna. Just when I decided not to go, my husband rebutted “don’t you want to let the water out of those things?” Charming. And he wonders why the photos he gets from me are of stretch marks and water weight.
I wrote this blog while listening to Bouncing Souls
I was listening to the radio this morning as I was getting dressed and a cover of the Jim Carroll song “People Who Died” came on. Somehow I was quickly singing along. I had no idea that I knew the words to that song. As I was listening I was thinking that he had a pretty diverse group of people that he knew. I mean, if I were the one writing that song it would go: overdose, cancer, suicide, cancer, cancer, car crash, overdose, aneurysm, car crash, cancer, old age. I don’t know anyone who took a bullet while robbing a store or anyone who was offed by a biker gang. When I was in my early 20s I was in a bar when two guys shoved their way through the front door and started shooting. One of the bouncers was killed and another wounded, but I didn’t technically know them. The closest I got to this tragedy was helping my friend wipe blood off his shoes later that night. That wouldn’t make for a great song, or even a great story for that matter. A haiku would be about the max I could get out of that experience.
As I was singing along, a few thoughts were going through my brain. First, I was thinking that of course the same guy who wrote “The Basketball Diaries” knew a lot of people who died, even before he was old enough to drink legally. My other thought was that he knew a lot of guys named Bobby and they all seemed to be dead. I wonder if he had any friends named Bobby still living. I also wonder if he had any friends named Bob and if they were still living. Maybe adding that “by” was, in fact, bad luck for all the Bobs out there. Maybe there is a direct correlation between mortality and dropping the “i” or “y” from your name. I was a Jenni for years before I became a Jen. I just considered this name shortening as a right of passage into so-called adulthood. I never thought it may have hypothetically saved my life.
But to me the most fascinating person in this song is the bride of drano Bobby. I have to wonder about a woman who’s husband feels compelled to drink a bottle of poison the night he marries her. It took my husband at least three years before a thought like this occurred to him in an effort to escape me. Even then I think his thoughts were more geared toward feeding me drano, or arsenic. I wonder if she had a large life insurance policy on her new husband, or if he just really hated her and wanted to scar her for life. So many unanswered questions in this one line of a song. There should have been a b-side to this single or at least an album insert that gave the background on some of these people who died. Someone really needs to write a follow up to this. The world at large should be thanking their lucky stars right now that I am not a musician.
I spend a lot of time at the post office. Between my CPA practice and my Rodan + Fields business, I have a lot of packages going out. I normally go directly to the self-serve kiosk. The lines inside are usually rather long and the postal workers are usually rather crabby. I often wonder if there is some secret torture chamber in the back room that makes the staff behave as if they are being held hostage. I mean I get that they have to deal with a bunch of geniuses that can’t fill out the proper paperwork or tape a box shut, but they are governmental employees which means their benefits should be enough to keep a smile on their faces for the half days they work.
Last week I had a stack of letters that appeared to be about the same size but varied in content. Some were a few pages while others were a dozen pages. When I walked into the post office I bypassed the kiosk and headed straight inside. I wasn’t about to weigh and post forty envelopes by myself, especially when you have to answer about 100 questions and pay after each transaction. Twenty minutes later when I finally was called on by a cashier, I walked up to the counter and set down my stack of envelopes. The cashier looked at me and said “you want me to run ALL of these through the machine?” with annoyance. I stared back at him with a smirk thinking to myself “well isn’t that kind of your job?” I mean this man was sitting behind the desk at the post office and was annoyed with me that I brought him letters to mail out. He ended up weighing about half of them and said they would all only require one stamp. As he was rifling through books of stamps ready to hand me a bunch to affix myself, I told him I had stamps at home and took my letters back.
At the bottom of my pile was an envelope I had received that was addressed to someone who lived in our house prior to us buying it over seven years ago. We have been receiving mail for about ten individuals over the last seven years and every envelope we receive I send back to the post office. I had written on the front of this letter “return”. He took it from me as if I were handing him a coconut with confusion on his face. I stated that the person it was addressed to did not live at our address to which he responded again with a blank stare. I said “Don’t worry, you don’t have to run it through the machine” as I left.
Today I got the the letter back in the mail – the one I wrote “return” on. So I wrote “return to sender” to make it a little clearer and put it back in the mailbox. Maybe the destination designation of “sender” will help accomplish the task. As long as nobody has to run it through the machine!
I wrote this blog while listening to The Descendents