Monday, May 31, 2010

A passionate conversation.

I was on my way to the grocery store this evening when the weather started to take a turn for the worse. The sky looked awful and we were already starting to get thunder and lightening - I really started to wonder if we might be under some sort of tornado watch. I was near my mom's house and, since she doesn't like to be home alone during storms, I decided to swing by her house and watch some television with her until the storm blew through.

As I was driving to her house, I stopped at a corner gas station to get some treats for her. You see, one long-standing tradition in our family is making a "crap run" when a storm is coming. What is a "crap run," you ask? Well, we go to the store and load up on all the junk food (i.e. "crap") we want and then we get to eat whatever we want during the storm. It's one of the many healthy habits we have in our family. So I thought it would be fun if I surprised my mom with a mini crap run for our little storm. I know - I'm pretty amazing.

ANYWAY . . . as I walked into the store, the cashier was standing outside talking to some of her friends. That was fine with me because I had some looking around to do - a proper crap run cannot be rushed, my friends. So I browsed the ice cream cooler and then walked over to the register to set my stuff down so that I could go look at the Hostess section, too. The cashier walked in and over to the register at that point. And then we had this conversation as I looked around and she rang up my stuff:

Cashier: How are you doing tonight?
Me: I'm good! How are you doing?
Cashier: Oh - I'm just getting adjusted to a new role as a hostess.
Me: [Oh boy. This is not the quick exchange of pleasantries I was hoping for . . .] Oh, really? [She's fishing, Catherine. Don't bite. Don't . . .] What kind of hostess? [Dangit, Catherine.]
Cashier: For Passion Parties.
Me: [Ah sh--] Oh, really?
Cashier: Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaah. I'm trying to get people to buy raffle tickets.
Me: Oh, really?
Cashier: Yeah - you can really win some good prizes.
Me: [At the risk of sounding repetitive . . .] Oh, really?
Cashier: Yeah. Have you been to a Passion Party?
Me: No, I sure haven't.
[Awkward pause. Resist filling the space with a question, Catherine. Resist. I know you can do it. I know you can . . .]
Me: It's like . . . ummmmm . . . toys . . . right? [DANGIT, CATHERINE!!!! YOU STUPID . . .]
Cashier: Yeah. Sex toys, lotions, and oils.
Me: Oh . . . [CRAP.]
Cashier: I've got some catalogs in the back if you'd like--
Me: NO NO. [Easy, Catherine. Be cool. Be cool.] No, thank you. That's okay.
Cashier: It's not all sex toys . . .
Me: [Wow. Never thought I'd hear THAT sentence in a conversation . . .] Mmmmm hmmmm . . .
Cashier: We also have pheromones that you put on like behind your ear.
Me: [Just ring up my ice cream sandwiches before I drop down into the fetal position, please.] Mmmmmm hmmmmm . . .
Cashier: And if you work with guys, they just can't hardly resist it.
Me: [Please, God - please let someone come in to rob this store right now . . .] Mmmmmm hmmmmm . . .
Cashier: And if you work with women, it works on them, too. It makes them more nicer to you even if they was in a bad mood.
Me: [My passion is grammar, lady. And you're obviously not selling that . . .] Oh, really?
Cashier: Yeah. And [drops her voice and looks around like she's about to tell me something VERY private . . .] they've got this shaving gel . . .
Me: [Oh, Lord, no . . . please. Please. I'm not ready to hear this.]
Cashier: And I shaved my legs with it and [drops her voice even lower] and a week later . . . I still didn't have to shave again.
Me: [Whoa - hold up. Did she just say no shaving for a week? What is this miracle product??]

Somehow I got out of there without booking a party or taking a catalog. But I honestly don't remember how I managed that. I really don't even remember much of the rest of our conversation because I was too busy picturing myself at a Passion Party, standing there with my bottle of miracle shaving gel and staring at it happily, oblivious to all the people examining various sex toys on display. How can I live without that shaving gel now that I know it exists??

Well, better get to bed. I have to get up an extra 10 minutes early in the morning so that I can shave my legs before I leave.

[Sigh . . .]

Friday, May 28, 2010

Confessions of an 11 year old girl.

Most of you know by now that I was a HUGE New Kids on the Block fan back in the day - oh, who am I kidding? I'm STILL a huge fan. In fact, the New Kids are still in my top 5 favorite things to talk about . . . along with Gustavo and all things Little Debbie. ANYWAY, what many of you don't know is that, before I gave my heart to Joe McIntyre of NKOTB, my heart belonged to one man and one man only . . .

Kirk Cameron.

Ahhhhhhhh . . . Kirk. The first love of my life. He was the picture of perfection and he was hanging ALL OVER my bedroom walls. With his curly hair and his pleated pants - how could a girl resist him? Mike Seaver was the cutest airheady guy on TV and I loved him. I was glued - if I didn't feel so strongly about flagrant misuse of the word, I'd say "literally" glued - to the television once a week when Growing Pains came on. And when I wasn't watching his show, I was sitting in class doodling "I love Kirk Cameron" all over my book covers and writing notes to my friends, signing off as "Catherine Cameron." I was so in love with him.

Which makes it all the more strange that I ditched him so quickly when Joe McIntyre came on the scene. What a little TeenBeat tramp I was.

ANYWAY . . .

This weekend I cleaned out my garage. I had several boxes of "keepsakes" that had been up in the attic at my parents' house for years so I decided to go through them and throw out anything that wasn't really worthy of "keepsake" status. You know, like the Snickers wrapper I kept from a random Astros game. Seemed like a big deal to me then . . . not so much now. Anyway, as I was going through one of the boxes, I ran across a letter that I had written to Kirk Cameron that I never mailed. I pulled it out of the envelope and began reading it. I immediately became so embarrassed for myself that I didn't even want my dog to see it. So I thought I'd do what any normal person would do with something that embarrasses her so much that she curls up in the fetal position by herself in her garage . . . post it for all of y'all to see.

So here it is, complete with the inner thoughts going through my head as I read this in my garage on Sunday afternoon:

Dear Kirk:

I hope you don't mind me calling you by your first name, I don't really know what else to call you so I'm really sorry if you don't like it. [Oh good God . . . I can't take this] Anyway I've always tried to write you but I never mailed them. [Thank you, Lord, that I was never good at following through . . .] I'm only 11 yrs old but I'm trying to get into acting. [Oh crap.] I've always dreamed of acting but I've never done anything about it. I guess I was thinking that a director would come up to me and ask me to be in a movie. [Why am itching? Are those hives on my arms?] I read about your new movie. I'm gonna ask my mom if I can see it when it comes out. [Way to show him you're an independent young woman . . .] I wish every day that in the first movie I'm in you're in it too. [I'm hyperventilating. I'm ACTUALLY hyperventilating.] I wish you would come to Houston for something so that I could meet you once but I would probably faint. [Oh, geez. What I'd give to pass out right now . . .] I've got a few questions for you: Do you enjoy watching yourself on television? What's your favorite song? Who are your favorite actors and actresses? Do you like it now that your so popular? [Seriously, 11-year-old-me? "Your" instead of "you're"? Unacceptable!] And do you enjoy posing for your posters and pictures?

Well if you don't want to give me my answers, that's ok. If you do send me back a letter could I please have an autographed picture of you if its not too much trouble. Hope to see you on the screens if I get that far [Oh, I need to burn this NOW.] and hope to see you a lot in the future.

Your #1 fan and friend,

[And my favorite part, which must be read in the style of a gushing girl who is blurting out a profession of love . . .]

P.S. I have a major crush on you and I've only got posters of YOU up in my room!

[Good thing I clarified that for him because I'm sure he would NEVER have picked up on my true feelings otherwise . . .]

Oh, geez. So embarrassing.

One thing that was so funny to me when I read that letter was how much I talked about wanting to be an actress. I mean, I guess most kids want to be famous at some point in their lives but I don't really remember wanting to be an actress so much that it warranted a letter to Kirk Cameron. It's funny how a dream that was apparently so important to me back then is hardly memorable to me now.

I have no current dreams of being an actress. But it's not because I've realized that it's not all it's cracked up to be or because it's an unrealistic goal. No - it's because of the whole "pausing live TV" phenomenon. The last thing I want is for someone to pause their TV to take a phone call like I do and leave me looking like THIS for 45 minutes while they gab with their friends:

No thank you.

But thanks, Kirk, for the fun memories and the stress-induced rash I got on Sunday afternoon. And for reminding me of my childhood. I kind of wish that I HAD mailed the letter so that I could have gotten that autographed picture from you. I guess I could write you a new letter but I don't know what I'd say to you now, Kirk.

Seriously . . . you don't mind if I call you by your first name, do you?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How could I forget THAT??

I took my nieces and my nephew to see Taylor Swift tonight down at the Toyota Center. I had given them the tickets for Christmas so it was fun to FINALLY get to go. And Taylor did NOT disappoint - she sang lots of good songs and flipped her hair around lots for us. Maybe a little too much . . . but who am I to criticize?

Before the concert, we took them to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe where we enjoyed some inedible food . . . I had forgotten how much their food stinks! While we were at dinner, I was trying to remember a story about something that had happened to me recently when I was with the kids. All I could remember about the story was that it involved me forgetting something (ironic, right?) so I was asking the kids if they remembered what had happened and if they could help me remember what it was that I had forgotten on that particular day:

Me: It was just recently. I forgot something and was trying to tell the kids but they didn't believe me - they thought I was just joking with them. Do you all remember that?
Savannah: You forgot something? Was it ice cream for our milkshakes at the slumber party?
Me: No.
Avery: Was it Oreos?
Me: No. [silly Avery - I'd NEVER forget Oreos . . .]
Emma: Was it the chocolate sauce for our sundaes for our slumber party?
Me: No. I don't think it was anything for one of the slumber parties. I think it was something that I was supposed to have with me when I met up with y'all somewhere.
Ben: And you forgot it?
Me: Yeah - do you remember what it was?
Ben: Yeah . . . a husband?

Man. I KNEW I'd left something off my grocery list!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An eye-opening bottle-opener experience.

So I had my friend Stephanie and her husband George over for dinner tonight to thank Stephanie for designing my beautiful backyard for me. My mom and sisters joined us, as well, and it was a great evening of fun and lots of laughing. I made Italian sausage lasagna and asparagus using all the herbs that Stephanie had planted for me in my yard. She loves red wine so I had bought a couple of bottles of one of her favorite kinds for her to enjoy with dinner. But unfortunately, and much to my dismay, I couldn't find my wine bottle opener when it came time to serve the wine. I searched every drawer in my kitchen and there was no sign of it. I was so frustrated.

So I decided to go borrow one from my neighbor but when I knocked on their door, there was no answer. Again . . . frustrated.

Then I walked over to my OTHER neighbor's house to see if they had one I could borrow. Again, there was no answer when I knocked on the door. My frustration was growing.

As I was standing at my 2nd neighbor's door, I saw yet a third neighbor who lives a few houses down and who I have only recently met. So I yelled down to her, asking if she had a wine bottle opener that I could borrow. She said she wasn't sure but she thought she might so I walked over to her and followed her into her kitchen. We stood in her kitchen for a few minutes while she practically emptied her drawers trying to help me out. While I was standing there, her husband yelled from another room: "What are you looking for?" She yelled back "Catherine from down the street is here and she's looking for a cork screw opener." There was a slight pause and then he yelled again: "What are you looking for?" She repeated her answer and then there was a short pause again. I guess he wasn't able to hear her because, the next thing I knew, he was coming around the corner and into the kitchen . . . completely naked.

HO . . . LY . . . CRAP.

I really didn't know what to do. So, inexplicably, my reaction was to stand up completely straight - you know, in that "I'm totally awkward and I don't know what to do so I'm just going to stand here with perfect posture" posture. I kept my eyes UP and AWAY and tried to not yell "That's NOT a cork screw, buddy!!" He certainly didn't react as quickly as one would expect a naked man to do when he realizes that some innocent bystander he barely knows is in his kitchen. He was carrying some plastic orange kitchen utensils with him (mental note - do not EVER eat dinner over there . . .) and he handed them to his wife. Then he moved back behind the wall he had come around and I tried to act like it was the most normal thing in the world to walk around naked with orange kitchen utensils. Meanwhile, his wife continued to look for a bottle opener while I resisted the temptation to shout "GOOD GOD IN HEAVEN, WOMAN - I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FREAKING BOTTLE OPENER!! I WANT TO GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE SO I CAN PUT MY HOUSE ON THE MARKET AND MOVE AWAY AND NEVER LOOK YOU PEOPLE IN THE EYE AGAIN!!!!"

I was able to eventually get out of there and get back to my house. I spent a few seconds in my front yard looking for a good stick with which to GOUGE MY FREAKING EYEBALLS OUT. But all I found was an image burned into my mind of a naked man carrying an orange spatula. This is what I have to live with now. Forever.

Freakin' wine bottle opener.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Customer service at its best.

A few weeks ago, I was having some problems with my cable so a technician came out to see what was wrong. He determined that the actual cable that connects my house to the Comcast box behind my house was bad. So he replaced it for me and got the picture on my television back in shape. The only problem was that he wasn't able to bury the new cable so he had to leave it just running through my back yard. But he told me that he'd put a work order in to have someone come out and bury it for me so it was no big deal.

Unfortunately, no one ever came.

I recently had my backyard landscaped and when I met with Gustavo (bestill my beating heart) to get a quote on the landscaping, I noticed that the cable was still there. So I called Comcast to see if they could send someone out to bury it before we started with the yard work. And by "we" I mean Gustavo and his muscles . . .

ANYWAY, the phone call to Comcast was such an experience that I just had to share it with y'all:

[Ring ring . . .]

Automated system: Thank you for calling Comcast. Para espanol, marque numero dos.

[long pause while I don't marque numero dos]

Automated system: Please enter your telephone number.

Me: [Why do they make me do this? They're just gonna ask me for it again when they answer the phone. So pointless. But okay - I'll play along . . . (entered number)]

Automated system: Thank you. Our next available customer service representative will be with you shortly.

Customer Service Lady: Thank you for calling Comcast. My name is Teresa. Can you please verify the phone number on your account?

Me: [Aaaaaaand there it is.] Sure. It's . . . [gave phone number again]

CSL: Thank you. And how can I help you today?

Me: Well, one of your guys came out to fix my cable and he had to replace the actual cable line that runs from your main cable box to my house. He wasn't able to bury it so he left it laying in my backyard and said that he was going to send someone else out to bury it. But no one has come back out so I just have this cable running through the grass. And the problem is that I'm getting my yard landscaped so I'd like for it be buried before they start working in my yard.

CSL: Okaaaaaay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okaaaaaay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay. For security purposes, can you verify the last 4 digits of your social security number?

Me: [Seriously? Is someone really going to pose as me and ask the cable company to come bury my cable? Is this really a security threat?] Sure. It's . . . [last 4 digits].

CSL: Okaaaaay. Thank you. [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . .

Me: [Wow. She's reeeeeeeeeally typing there, isn't she? She must be typing down what I just told her . . .]

CSL: Okay. [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . Okay, now tell me again what happened?

Me: [Wait - seriously? Then what was she just typing?] I need my cable buried. One of your technicians had to fix my cable and he left the new cable line unburied in my backyard. So I just need you to send someone out to fix it.

CSL: Okaaaaaaay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okaaaaaay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okaaaaay. Soooooo . . . I guess what you're saying iiiiiiiiiiis . . . [click click click click click click click click click click] . . . that you need someone to come bury the cable?

Me: [I wonder how it would feel to jab this pencil in my eye?] Yes, ma'am.

CSL: Okaaaaay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay. And how did the cable get exposed?

Me: [Is it too late for me to marque numero dos?] One of your technicians had to replace the cable line because the old one was bad. And he said he was going to send someone out to bury it but it's been a couple of weeks and no one has come out. So I just need someone to come bury it for me.

CSL: Okay. [click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay. [pause] Okay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click] . . . so you need someone to replace the cable?

Me: [OH . . . MY . . . G-] No, ma'am. It's been replaced. I just need someone to bury it.

CSL: Okay. [click click click click click click click click click click] . . . okay . . . okay . . . [mouse click mouse click]. I'm just gonna put you on hold for a second.

Me: Okay.

[whereupon commenced a small eternity sitting on hold]

CSL: Okay. [click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click]. Please hold again.

[another small eternity passed, allowing me to contemplate sticking my head in my oven and turning on the gas]

CSL: Okay . . . ma'am?

Me: Yes?

CSL: Ma'am?

Me: Yes? Can you hear me?

CSL: Ma'am . . .?

Me: [Oh dear God. No. NO! Please don't do this to me. Please!!] [with clear panic in my voice . . .] Yes? Can you . . . can you hear me? Can you hear me?

CSL: Oh - now I can. I thought I was talking to myself for a second there.

Me: [courtesy laugh] Oh . . . I know what THAT'S like.

CSL: Okay . . . [click click click click click click click click click click]. Okay, I've put in a work order for one our technicians to come out and bury your cable. That's what you wanted, right?

Me: [I don't . . . it's . . . I just . . . why me, God?] Yes, ma'am.

CSL: Okay. Well, one of our technicians will call you to schedule a time when he can come out and bury it for you.

Me: Great. Thank you so much.

CSL: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Me: [Good LORD no.] No, ma'am.

CSL: Thank you for calling Comcast.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand then two weeks passed before anyone came out to bury the cable. So, in the meantime, Gustavo buried it for me while he was landscaping. Because he's hot like that.

And I didn't even have to verify my social security number for him.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't take it out on the gas pump.

I was filling up at a gas station in Huntsville this afternoon when I noticed this sign:

Looks like someone's Anger Management classes are paying off . . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now THAT would be a cool car . . .

This weekend I went to my niece Emma's piano recital at the Marriott here in town. When it was over (or, to be more precise, when Emma was finished and we were able to sneak out . . .) we decided to over to a local Cold Stone Creamery to get some ice cream. My niece Savannah had her friend Kaylee with her (the same Kaylee from the butterfly exhibit) and, when we started to head to our cars to go to Cold Stone, they asked if they could ride with me. I, being the best aunt in the world, said "fo sho" (or something equally hip-and-with-it) and we began walking to my car. That's when I heard them having this conversation behind me:

Savannah: Catchy's car is so cool. Know why?
Kaylee: Why?
Savannah: Because the top comes off.
Kaylee: [slight gasp at this news] It comes OFF?
Savannah: Yeah. It's red and it has a black part and that part just like . . . just like . . . comes off.
Kaylee: [silence while she marvels at the thought] Reeeeeeeally?
Savannah: Yeah - it's a convertible.
Kaylee: [big gasp, then in a whisper . . .] You mean you can't SEE it???
Savannah: What? [confused silence] Oh . . . no - it's not INVISIBLE, it's a CONVERTIBLE.

Understandably, the car was a big let down for Kaylee after that . . .

Friday, May 14, 2010

A peaceful garden.

I finally had my backyard landscaped this weekend. My friend Stephanie designed the most beautiful little garden for me and picked out the most wonderful plants and flowers that I don't know the names of yet. And then my yard guy Gustavo worked all weekend to get it all done while I may or may not have watched him from various windows in my house (Gustavo . . . mmmmmmm). ANYWAY, while Gustavo was being super manly and landscaping my yard, he discovered that one of the trees in my backyard had a nest of baby mockingbirds that had just hatched. So we left that tree alone to leave the little ones in peace. And it's been so fun to sit out in my pretty backyard and watch the mother mockingbird feed her babies . . .

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand dive-bomb my dog while he's going potty under her tree.

My mom and my sisters came over tonight to see how beautiful my yard looks now (thanks to Gustavo . . . mmmmmmmm . . .) and we had a lovely few minutes sitting outside enjoying the breeze and the pretty flowers. It was so relaxing. And then, like icing on the cake, we saw that one of the little baby mockingbirds had left the nest and was hopping around my yard. So precious. The moment just could NOT get more perfect.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then my dog saw the baby bird.

Serenity turned into panic in an instant:

Me: Don't you LOVE it out here???
Erin: Oh my gosh - it is SO beautiful!
Tammy: It really is, Catch.
Me: I know. Gustavo is so hot.
Mom: It really turned out perfectly. He did a great job.
Me: YEAH he did . . .[wait - what does that mean?] Those are Japanese boxwood over there . . . I think. And see the pentas over there?
Tammy: Where?
Me: Ummmm . . . like . . . over there somewhere. I think they're the blue ones.
Tammy: Pretty!
Me: And that thing over there is a . . . well, I don't remember the name of it but it's gonna bloom red flowers. And then there are day lillies, too, in here somewhere. I think these are the day lillies . . . or maybe these are . . .
[enter little baby bird hopping around the yard]
Erin: Awwww . . . one of the babies is out of the nest.
Tammy: Oh, it sure is! So cute!!
Me: Awwww. Such a sweet little baby. Look - Jacques is going to see the baby, too - oh wait . . . Jacques, no. Jacques . . . NO.
[pandemonium ensues . . .]
Erin: No! Get him, Catherine!
Me: [running as quickly as I could while also making sure I didn't step in dog poop - an interesting sight] Jacques, NO! Bad boy! Get over here!
Baby bird: Ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap.
Jacques: Not so tough without your mom around now, are ya?
Erin: Get him, Catherine!
Baby bird: Work, wings! WORK!!
Tammy: I can't watch!
Me: STOP that, Jacques. Get over here! Bad boy!
Baby bird: For the love of GOD, woman! Get him!!! GET HIM!!!

Finally, I was able to get Jacques away from the bird before his plan for revenge against the mother mockingbird was complete. The little baby appeared to be okay but he sure had to sweat it out there for a while. As I was leading Jacques into the house, I saw him wipe his brow and take refuge under the petunias.

Or were they impatiens?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bike path karma.

I was preparing for trial this weekend and, at one point, decided to take a quick break to run up to Chick-Fil-A and grab some lunch. As I pulled out of my neighborhood, I saw a man on the bike path who was wearing knee pads and wrist guards . . . and WALKING. Not rollerblading. Not skateboarding. Not even walking FAST. Just out for a little stroll . . . with protective gear.

So I went up to Chick-Fil-A and got my lunch. I sat in the lunch hour rush in the drive-thru line and kicked myself for not having taken his picture. I finally made it through the line and headed back home with my lunch. As I got close to my street, I noticed that the overly-cautious walker had not made it very far down the bike path in the time that I had been gone. In fact, he had just barely passed my street - it was like a little gift from God. So I got my camera, zoomed it way in, slowed down to a stop in the middle of the street, and took a picture. I felt a little stalker-ish doing it but it had to be done:
Seriously - look at him. He's not even looking forward. He's just strolling along, staring off into the woods daydreaming having a relaxing walk. And that makes the knee pads and wrist guards even more perplexing. Honestly, if he doesn't have sleep apnea or epilepsy then he really has no excuse.

When I had first seen this guy, I had called my best friend to tell her about it and then I emailed her this picture so that she could fully visualize him with me. We just laughed and laughed at his expense. It was awesome.

And then karma bit me in the butt . . .

I was walking my dog later that day on the bike path and I passed one of my neighbors. I smiled and said hello to him as we passed and I noticed that he seemed to just glance away from me. I thought that was strange but, as I have pretty unfriendly neighbors, I got over it. A few seconds after I passed him, I felt a little breeze on my stomach. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand that's when I realized that my shirt had ridden up and was exposing the entire left side of my belly. And, believe me, it's gonna take a LOT more Hip Hop Abs for that to be okay.

So I can never look my neighbor in the eye again.

And I hope he doesn't blog.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A brutally honest Mother's Day.

My niece Emma and my nephew Ben were in a program at their church this Sunday so we started our Mother's Day at their church, sitting front and center and ready to watch them perform. The whole family was there and we had the first three rows saved for all of us - yes, we're that family. When my sister Erin and her husband arrived, their kids ran over to us and greeted all the moms in our group with big hugs and an effusive "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!" It was really sweet.

Until they turned to me . . .

Savannah: Catchy, I didn't tell you "Happy Mother's Day" because you're not a mom.
Catchy: Oh - okay.
Avery: I know. You're like not even a mom. Because you don't have ANY kids.
Catchy: Ooooooookay . . .

Wow. Someone needs to get these kids into sensitivity training STAT.

The worship music started pretty soon after that and Savannah came and sat between me and my mom. The music they were playing had a good beat so the entire church was clapping to the beat . . . eeeeeeeeexcept my mom, of course. All you could hear was one big loud clap from the congregation as a whole, followed by one little, lone clap from my mom: CLAP [clap] CLAP [clap] CLAP. So I focused my attention on her and helped her get on the beat, which is WAY harder than it really should be. When the music stopped, the pastor acknowledged all the mothers in the service and had them all stand up so that everyone could clap for them. That, of course, led to additional commentary from Savannah:

Pastor: I'd like all the mothers in the room to stand up so that we can give you a big hand.
[Mothers around the room stand up to be recognized . . .]
Savannah: [Looking up at me] Pooooooooor Catchy. I bet everyone here thinks you can stand up . . . but you can't. [Then, as if to help me fully understand . . .] Because you're not even a mom.


The kids did their programs and they were AMAZING. I was so proud of them!! After the service, we made our way into the front foyer, where there were people handing out candy-filled koozies to those of us who were leaving. A lady handed me two koozies and Savannah, thinking that they were really just intended for mothers, looked up at me and said excitedly and as if we had gotten away with something: "Catchy - she gave you TWO and she didn't even know that you're not even a MOM!!"

I think my uterus flipped her off at that point.

So I decided that we need to have an official "Aunt's Day." But, since my sisters are aunts, too, and I really just want it to be MY day, we decided that we should make the new holiday more exclusive and call it something like "Single Aunt's Day" or "Barren Aunt's Day" or "Shriveling Uterus Day." You know - something catchy like that . . .

Those kids are hilarious. They are so innocent in their honesty and I love it . . . it never fails to crack me up.

But it's a good thing that I'm content with my life right now or Mother's Day could have ended in a tragic murder-suicide . . .

Friday, May 7, 2010

Proofread, people. PROOFREAD!!

I was at the mall the other day and saw this advertisement for Sam Houston State University. You know - a place of HIGHER EDUCATION, for goodness sake . . .

Hope these "tranfer" students aren't expecting to major in Spelling . . .

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Crazy lady.

Every few years during my childhood, my mother would lose her mind. And I'm not talking about just a little bit like most moms . . . I'm talking about going bat-sh** crazy in an epic way. I don't know what it is that triggers these . . . ummmm . . . episodes, but they are amazing.

And they're burned in my memory.

Like the time our paths crossed with the now infamous "Nacho Lady" - a woman who has earned a place in Palmore family legend. I was like 7 or 8 and we were driving on a highway in the Dallas area. We were all in the car together - my dad was driving, my mom was in the front passenger seat, and my sisters and I were in the back seat together. There was a lady in a nearby car who had a plastic container of nachos on her dashboard - like the kind of nachos you get at a ball game. She was an aggressive driver and was driving like a mad woman, weaving in and out of traffic and cutting us off. Then she'd drop back behind us, speed forward and cut us off again, all the while eating her nachos from her dashboard. It was crazy. My mom was yelling at her through her window (which was rolled up) and she appeared to be yelling back at my mom. Then she did the unthinkable - she flipped my mom off. Just straight up flipped . . . my . . . mom . . . off. Without a word, without giving us time to work up some righteous indignation on her behalf, indeed without so much as a pause to blink, my mom fired back with the unprecedented - and heretofore unheard of - double bird. And she didn't just flash her fingers quickly in some sort of half-hearted double bird. Oh no. She worked it. Her whole body got into it: her head was cocked to the side, her face had a look of sheer madness, her lips were pursed with restrained curse words, and her fingers were out there for all of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex to see.

It was a quiet car ride home.

Then there was the time that I unwittingly invited a crazy person to my birthday slumber party in 5th grade. My friends and I were hanging out and having lots of fun but then this girl had a melt down for reasons unbenownst to the rest of us. She stormed away from us and headed toward the stairs, threatening to leave. The other girls and I, of course, followed after hoping to convince her to stay. When we got to the top of the stairs, she turned around, screamed, and then accused us all of trying to push her down the stairs. It was like 75%5th grade drama mixed with 25% Psyc ward drama. Aaaaaaaand then she insisted on calling her parents to come pick her up. I guess that's understandable, what with the attempted murder and all. Anyway, my mom called her dad who came to pick her up and was EXTREMELY irritated with his daughter for the drama. We got the distinct impression that this was not the first time this had happened. But later that night, her mom called to question my mom about the incident. My sisters and my friends and I were listening in on the conversation but could only hear my mom's side of it. We watched as her facial expressions gradually became more and more disgusted and then we heard her say "Oh, go suck an egg!" Aaaaaaand then she hung up violently on my friend's mom. I was sure I was in a bad dream. Surely my mom had not just told another parent to go suck an egg. Surely she knew better than to do that. Surely she knew that now I really did have to push ALL my friends down the stairs so that there would be no witnesses to what she'd done.

Another moment that lives in infamy for the Palmore family is the legendary Enchilada Showdown. My family was out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant and we had the WORST waiter. He was rude and lazy and HORRIBLE. He had had a terrible attitude with my mom the whole night for no reason at all and just chose to be a jerk at every turn. When he brought my mom's enchiladas out, they were really cold so my mom asked him to go heat them up. He refused and told my mom that they were fine. Can you believe that?? I couldn't. And that's when my butt clenched like it has never clenched before. It actually started cramping. I remember things got really quiet - like that initial silence after someone pops a lunch bag in a school cafeteria - and my ears were filled with a ringing sound. I think I actually HEARD something snap inside my mom. She pursed her lips and mashed her hand down onto her enchiladas. Then she raised her hand up and said "These are NOT hot. If they were hot, the cheese would be sticking to my hand." Then she kept slamming her hand back down onto the enchiladas and lifting it back up to reveal a lack of cheese, all the while saying things in a manic fashion like "See? No cheese. Do you see how the cheese is not sticking to my hand? Do you see how these are not hot?" Over and over and over. With all my strength, I suppressed the urge to shout "JUST HEAT THEM UP FOR LOVE OF GOD, MAN!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!" I think I blacked out at the point because I don't recall his reaction or what he did to resolve the situation. I just remember getting indigestion. And developing an aversion to enchiladas.

Sweet sweet memories.

My sisters and I like to lovingly tell my mom how certifiable she was back then and reminisce with her about all the times we should have shot her with a tranquilizer. Things are much less exciting now because she's mellowed out considerably as she's gotten older. For the most part, all she does now is mess up the names of things and provide me with a substantial amount of blog material.

But the other day, she lost her mind again . . .

She took me to see Date Night because she loved it and wanted me to see it. We were sitting in our seats and, apparently, the lady behind my mom was kicking the back of my mom's seat. So my mother handled that situation in a style I like to call "Classic Nora": she turned to me and said loudly, disdain dripping from her words "I'M GOING TO MOVE TO THIS OTHER SEAT OVER HERE TO GIVE THIS LADY A LITTLE MORE ROOM. OKAY? I THINK SHE NEEDS A LITTLE MORE ROOM BECAUSE SHE KEEPS KICKING. MY. SEAT. SO I'LL JUST BE OVER HERE. OKAY??" I sank down in my chair and suppressed the urge to say "Lady, why are you talking to me??" A few minutes later, the offending lady and her date began talking. It was annoying, I grant you, but I ignored it. But another lady, who was sitting further down their row, yelled over at them "Please stop talking!" What happened next is kind of a blur to me because it happened so quickly. My mother, feeling emboldened by this new lady's courage, turned to give the annoying couple a dirty look and noticed that the girl had had the nerve to put her feet on the back of the seat my mom had been forced to vacate. Before I knew what was happening, my mom made a broad, sweeping, back-hand motion and slapped the girl's feet off of the chair, saying unabashedly "GET your feet off my chair, you IDIOT."

I was absolutely beside myself. In horror, I gasped and exclaimed "MOM!" My mom's response was to just settle back comfortably and continue watching the movie as if nothing had happened. I did the same but have NO idea what happened during the next 15 minutes of the film because my mind was racing with thoughts like "It's finally happened. It's time to commit her." The girl, apparently terrified, kept her feet to herself after that so my mom moved back into her original seat, clearly not picking up on the fact that I wanted to distance myself as far from her as possible so that I didn't get shot after the movie when she did.

While we were walking back to our car after the show, my mom explained to me that she had lost her temper because the girl had started kicking her NEW seat, as well. Like going out of her way to irritate my mom. Understandably that upset her - it would upset me, too. But as I kept a vigilant lookout for any signs of a retaliatory ambush in the parking lot, I tried to explain to my mom that, although she was justifiably frustrated, that MIGHT not be an acceptable legal defense in any subsequent assault charge.

Seriously, people - we're just a few years from a padded room.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stupid scale.

My sisters and I are trying to lose weight so we've decided to enter into a friendly little competition to see who can lose 10 pounds first . . . you know, because we always have to turn everything into a competition. We've decided that we will meet at my mom's house on Thursdays to weigh and then hang out after that. Preferably at some place like Cheesecake Factory so that we can do our best to put our weight back on as quickly as possible.

Hold on - I need to put these Oreos down so I can type better . . .

Okay, I'm back. ANYWAY, I have been super motivated. I've been eating pretty well and have been Hip Hop Ab-ing my butt off so last week I knew that I had lost more than my sisters. I just knew it - they were going down. So I was SO excited to get over to my mom's so that I could weigh in and see just HOW much weight I'd lost. On my drive over, I was practicing some of the nice things that I would say to my sisters to encourage them and to not be disheartened about losing so badly to me that week. I had narrowed it down to "BAM, Beeyotches!! Take THAT!!" and "Taste that defeat ladies? It's calorie-free and courtesy of ME." I could NOT wait to get on that scale.

I got over to my mom's and went inside. Two of my nieces were helping my mom make Rice Krispie treats so they were busy in the kitchen while I ran to the scale to get the good news. I stepped on the scale and waited for the digital readout to make my night. Suddenly, the numbers popped up and I read them.

Excuse me . . . does that say that I GAINED a half a pound?? LIAR!!

Stupid scale.

There is no cuss word that could possibly capture what I felt at that moment. Or what I wanted to say. But, being the nice girl that I am, I kept a clean mouth and handled it very maturely by pouting into the kitchen and being a good role model for my nieces by saying things like "I'm so MAD. Hurry up and make those Rice Krispie cookies cuz I'm gonna just eat 'em ALL. Stupid Hip Hop Abs - why am I even DOING it? And my stomach's been GROWLING all week - how the HECK did I not lose anything. Ugh. I'm so MAD. I just wanna CRY."

That's when Savannah tried to comfort me. She was standing on paint can by the stove so that she could stir the butter and marshmallows in her pot - because it's safety first in the Palmore family - and we had this exchange:

Savannah: Why do you want to cry, Catchy?
Me: [in mature 34-year-old pouty kind of way] BeCUZ. I didn't lose ANY. WEIGHT.
Savannah: Well, that's okay, Catchy. Don't cry. You'll have LOTS of chances to lose weight before you die.
Avery: Yeah, but my mommy has already lost like 100,000 weight.
Me: Well, your mom is a filthy liar.

Okay - I didn't say that last line. But I wanted to.

And Savannah's words were strangely both encouraging and depressing all at the same time. But she does have a point - I'll have LOTS of chances to lose weight in my life.

But those Oreos, on the other hand, have an expiration date. So I better take care of THAT while I have the chance.