Sunday, January 29, 2006
1) How many kegs should we provide for a one-year old's party? I know when adults congregate, it's common to have a couple of kegs, maybe three to be on the safe side, but remember, most of our guests will be under 30 lbs. They can't go through more than one keg, can they? Maybe I could even get by with just a pony keg? Then again, it's bad form to run out of beer, and I don't want a house full of half-drunk toddlers nipping at my calves in anger over a depleted alcohol supply.
2) Do I hire strippers for this event? Or is that something that would be more appropriate for his 5th birthday?
3) Is this the kind of party where we all put our house keys in a big bowl and exchange them? (And yes, I'm talking about the grownups only, you perv. Jesus.)
4) Is it bad form to expect people to bring their own blow? Or do I have to provide it? I don't want to sound cheap, but the idea of cutting down on expenses by asking people to BYOD is sounding pretty appealing right now.
I think that's all the questions I have for now. I'll await your answers while I blow up some balloons and make some snickerdoodles.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The latest one was brought to my attention by my friend Donna, in an obvious attempt to shrink my ego further. It's comprised of questions from the US citizenship test, plus a few extra. In a spectacular failure, I managed to get 18 right out of 30, meaning that really, I should be kicked out of this country immediately. Even as we speak, there are scores of very intelligent, hopeful foreigners standing in line at the Department of Immigration, asking for a shot at living in this country, and by some unfair twist of fate, I got in free by being born here. No way could I make it in if I had to pass that test, clearly. In fact, judging by my score, it's doubtful I could even muster up the brain cells required to locate and drive to the Department of Immigration to fail the test. If I did make it there, and was handed the test and a No. 2 pencil, I'd probably sit on my haunches and begin eating the pencil and rubbing the test under my armpits. Then I'd start flinging poo at the test moderator. I'd be quickly deported back to the country from whence I came, where I'd go back to living in my mud hut and farming leaves for 2 cents per day. The most excitement I'd ever get in my impoverished life would be when Sally Struthers occasionally showed up to make another tear-filled commercial begging rich fatcat Americans to dig up their spare couch change to feed my entire village for a month. I'd be featured in the commercial, rail-thin and encircled by flies, clutching my distended belly. Meanwhile, Sally would stuff entire Sara Lee poundcakes into her face between takes. It would be a far cry from the easy life I live here in the U.S.
So I'd like to apologize to all those unfortunate, deserving men and women standing in line at the Department of Immigration, about to leap through several thousand hoops and shimmy up two billion miles of red tape hoping for a chance at a better life here in America. I know it's not fair that I'm here instead of you. I'd give you my place if I could, really! Okay, not really. Let's face it, I'm not tough enough to survive the mud hut/leaf farming life. And I'm not a big Sally Struthers fan.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Knowing most of my readers have drug and alcohol abuse problems, I realize most of you have already forgotten the valuable wisdom I've tried to impart to you in Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Lessons I've Learned, but that won't stop me from trying to educate you once again.
When I was in college, I did a brief and unglamourous stint in a kitchen store in the mall. This was one of those stores that sells whisks and crock pots and all that super weird stuff that people (I am told) make use of in kitchens when they do something I've heard referred to as "cooking." I'd expand on that term for the curious among you, but I don't know much about it except that it involves a long, complicated, somewhat acrobatic process of mixing and tossing and mashing different food items and so-called "seasonings," heating them to ridiculously hot temperatures, only to then allow them to cool enough to consume them. It's apparently an arduous process that results in big piles of dirty dishes, and usually the end result is a small amount of finished product, hardly worth all the sweat and aggravation and time. A silly pastime that's totally unnecessary, since everyone knows there are plenty of places to purchase food that's ready-to-eat without going through these strenuous kitchen acrobatics.
In spite of my confusion regarding the whole concept of cooking, I took this job because, well, beer and concert tickets aren't free. It was a crappy job because the owner of the store was a jackass, and because it was an ungodly boring environment. While the clothes and shoes stores in the mall were hopping with business, the kitchen store was as dead as Corey Feldman's career. There were always two employees per shift, and the two of us would just stand there, minute after minute, hour after hour, trying to invent reasons not to disembowel ourselves with a potato peeler before the end of our shift.
One of my coworkers there was a man in his late 60s, a very nice, very distinguished gentleman named Bob. A likeable fellow, proper and polite. Bob and I had little in common, and would do our best to scrape up some small talk between us, never really getting very far with it. But our coexistence was comfortable enough... at least until "the incident."
I was wearing a skirt and blazer one day, rather professional-looking attire, especially considering the head-pounding hangover I probably had. The shirt I had on under the blazer was one of those that kept a girl from having to fuss over making sure it stayed tucked in. It was a kind of bodysuit design, so that it snapped between the legs, sort of like a giant version of the onesie my infant son is wearing right now. Of course, I trust you to assume that it didn't look like a onesie. It looked like a regular shirt, and no one would suspect that it wasn't just your average tucked-in shirt. Here's a picture I found on the internet of the kind of shirt I'm referring to.
These things were popular at the time, though I don't know if people still wear them, and of course, in hindsight I don't understand why they were invented in the first place. Can it really be that there are scores of frustrated women out there having an incredibly hard time keeping their shirts tucked in? But it seemed like a good idea when I bought it, and back then there was certainly no harm in investing in new and innovative ways to keep my clothes from slipping off at odd times. I only ended up wearing it one time, and you're about to find out why.
There was a tiny little unisex bathroom back in the storeroom, which was located in the rear of the store, and the entire time I worked there, the lock on the bathroom door was broken. Industrious employees tried different methods of making it known when the bathroom was occupied, to include a sheet of paper taped to the door with "Occupied" scrawled on it. The problem with such methods is they're not very reliable. Over time people would get lazy and just leave the "occupied" sign on the door regardless of whether the restroom was occupied or not, which caused a "The Boy Who Cried Occupied" scenario. A person might see the sign, and then patiently wait for the occupant to finish his business, only to eventually reach the point of near bladder explosion before realizing that there was no one inside after all, and the sign had simply been left up from last time.
I would have been mortified to be caught peeing by anyone, but really, the chances of it happening were pretty slim. For one thing, I'm a speed pee-er. I hop on and hop off the potty like a Jack In The Box popping up, and the odds of someone invading during those few "on" seconds were slim to none. Plus, there were generally just two of us in the store, and a good employee would make sure, before slipping back to the stockroom, that the other employee was minding the store, and perhaps even give them a courteous heads up with a quick, "Um, hey, I'm gonna pee" warning. Apparently I forgot to do that on the day in question.
As was my custom, I finished my business quickly and then stood up to reassemble my clothing. Had it been a regular tuck-in shirt I was wearing, I would have first repositioned my skirt up to its proper spot on my hips, and then proceeded to tuck my shirt in, and that's how I would have been found when my elderly gentleman coworker walked in on me: Fully dressed with my hands dipping demurely into the waistband of my skirt. He would have blushed and said "Oh! Excuse me," and closed the door, and I would have finished up, and sailed out of the restroom gaily, reassuring him that no harm was done.
Instead, I had the snap-crotch onesie to contend with. Therefore, upon standing up after finishing my business, I had to hike my skirt all the way up around my waist, leaving my pantyhose still pulled down just above my knees, while I hunched forward and struggled with the crotch snaps. There were three, and I got them snapped, but then two came instantly unsnapped, thanks to the sloppy work ethic of the 9-year old Cambodian sweat shop employee who engineered my blouse. I remained hunched over, hands buried in crotch, pantyhose around the knees and skirt up around the waist, when Bob opened the door and took a step into the restroom. Our eyes locked, and looks of mutual horror were briefly exchanged before Bob fled like O.J Simpson, minus the white Ford Bronco.
Here was my dilemma. No way would a 60-some year old guy know about ladies' shirts with crotch snaps. The only conclusion he could draw from what he had just witnessed was that I had been doing something involving a tampon. The only thing I could imagine that was more embarrassing than being caught mid-pee was being caught mid-tampon retrieval. I had to explain to him that I had merely been innocently buttoning my shirt up, not, I repeat NOT engaging in any type of tampon placement or tampon removal.
When I came out of the bathroom, I tried to explain to the embarrassed Bob that my shirt had snaps at the crotch, some new-fangled invention, you see, and that's why my hands were busily rummaging around in my nether regions, but Bob would have none of it. He shushed me and waved me off with an embarrassed "No explanation necessary" attitude and scuttled away like a frightened squirrel, unaware of how desperately important it was to me to explain why my hands had been ferreting around in my naughties.
The lesson? Whatever the reason you have for engaging in any kind of crotch exploration, for the love of God, make sure you only do it behind a locked door.
Unless, of course, you work for tips, or there's a webcam involved.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Dear Weirdo Who Backs Into A Parking Space:
This doesn't really have any negative impact on me, but it's just irritating. Are you robbing a bank, and need to make a fast getaway? Is your car such a heap of shit that you expect to be pushing it out of the space instead of driving it away? Or are you just one of those pompous turds who has to be different? Either way, cut it out. Park normally like the rest of the world and quit being such an attention whore. It's no coincidence that people who insist on backing into a parking space are the same people who keep their stereos cranked up and their windows cracked enough that everyone can be impressed with their commitment to deafening themselves. "Look at me! I'm wild and crazy! I'm so wild and crazy I'm going to make myself deaf by age 35!"
Dear Smile Nazi:
I'm at the gym minding my own business when you walk by and say, in your Howdy Doody voice, "Smile!" So now I'm obligated to fake a weak smile for you, but really, I want to gut you with my car keys. I don't like what you're implying here, which is one or all of the following:
1) I'm a joyless, miserable cow who needs to lighten up.
2) You're a fun-loving saint who was put on the earth to bring happiness to the bitter and disenfranchised.
3) I desperately want to be happy and fun like you, but just don't know how to release my inner child.
Hey asshole, maybe the reason I'm not smiling is I'm in the middle of working out. What kind of goofball works out with a big dumb grin on his face? If you had walked by and I'd been smiling like a loon, you'd have thought I was dipping into Courtney Love's stash. Now you've got me doubting myself, questioning whether or not I'm too uptight. How about you bash yourself in the head with a 50 lb. dumbbell? That would make me smile.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
But if you're in the mood for some more crab, I have it for you here. This one comes from my friend Joe, and it involves his parents. And yes, it is 100% true. You can't make this shit up.
Joe was attending college, but was home for the weekend to visit friends, and to support the local liquor stores. Apparently his parents were out of town, so at some point in the booze-filled evening, he and his comrades took the party to his parents' house, where his cousin Henry ended up romancing some lady of dubious moral character in Joe's parents' bed. (Note to self: Never, ever leave town after Jake reaches puberty.)
Why wouldn't Joe's bed have been the natural choice? We may never know. Perhaps the vomit present on that item of furniture was distasteful to the questionable lady in question. Perhaps there were four nearly comatose alcoholics already peacefully napping there. Perhaps the tipsy couple were unable to locate Joe's bed, or perhaps they thought there were in Joe's bed. Either way, the deed was done--probably very sloppily--and Joe returned to his college life after the weekend of fun and frolic and displaced fornication.
Sometime during the following week, Joe received a panicked phone call from his father back home. Joe's mom was accusing his dad of cheating on her because she found herself with a case of crabs--which, naturally, would send up a red flag to any thinking woman. Dad's flustered reply of, "Well, I didn't give them to you; you must have picked them up from sitting on something," was not going over well with her. A divorce, and possibly a fatal stab wound, was imminent unless some hasty detective work could produce a more acceptable explanation for the sudden panty invasion. It didn't take a genius to know the investigation should begin with Joe.
Joe called cousin Henry, cousin Henry was forced to reluctantly call Mom and claim responsibility for the crab infestation, and probably to apologize very, very profusely and sincerely and repeatedly for having the bad judgment to use their marital bed for the site of one of his STD-collecting expeditions. Dad was removed from the Shit List, at least for the time being, and Joe was left with the rare distinction of being able to say he was at least partially at fault for his mom getting crabs. And Henry, I assume, was off to the nearest pharmacy.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
91. I call my older sister Candy Pants, just to bug her. I don't know if it actually bugs her or not, but the perversity of it makes me cackle like a mental patient.
92. I refuse to do any chore that involves greenery. I don't mow the lawn, I don't plant petunias, I don't trim hedges. When I lived alone, the lawn just didn't get mowed unless some entrepreneur with a lawn mower knocked on the door and asked me if I wanted him to do it for a fee. In fact, had I not gotten married a few years ago, I'd probably be unable to leave my house right now because of the jungle blocking my front door. That's 90% of the appeal of marriage: It comes with a free gardener.
93. I'm afraid of looking like an idiot, which has kept me from doing a lot of things in my life, like playing sports, going dancing, performing in plays, etc. I belonged to my gym for probably three years before I got up the nerve to attend one of the group exercise classes. I had always wanted to do it, but I saw how the other club members would stand around watching the classes through the huge glass window, and I was paranoid about looking like a dope in my first few classes as I stepped left while everyone else stepped right, beebopped while everyone else scatted. This shows supreme ego on my part, because why else would I assume that anyone would be watching me, in a class of 40 people? But that's how I go through life: Certain that I'm being watched and and critiqued by everyone, when in actuality, most of the time probably no one's even looking my way. This is a sure sign that when I get old and senile, I'm going to be 'that' old lady; the one who raves constantly about how everyone's out to get her, everyone's stealing her money, and everyone's lying to her and plotting against her. With any luck at all, my husband will die first so he'll be spared that lunacy.
94. I need two forks when I'm in a restaurant: One for whatever I'm eating that has a sauce or a dressing on it (like a salad or pasta dish) and one for whatever I'm eating that doesn't have a sauce or dressing (like a vegetable). But I nearly always for get to ask for the second fork until after I've started eating. Often, you'll find me sitting there, stricken, sauce-covered fork in hand, wondering how I'm going to eat that non-saucy item on my plate, as I look forlornly about the restaurant for the waitress who can provide me with that crucial second fork.
95. I have been known, in public restrooms, to hold a camera over the bathroom stall to snap pictures of friends of mine as they're peeing. It's also big fun to hold the camera over a shower stall and snap a picture. It's not quite as much of a violation as you might think, since in 95% of cases you can't see much from that angle except the top of a head and an arm or two, but the joy lies in witnessing the reaction of the person being photographed. The trick is to let them know what you're up to just at the moment that you snap the picture. The best method is to say, "Look up!" about 2 seconds before you pop the camera over the top of the stall and snap the picture. Come on--don't you want to be my friend?
96. When at a restaurant, I feel that I must sample the food of whoever I am dining with. Even as my plate of food is being brought to me, I'm already eyeing the plates being set before my dining companions. You've seen how a pair of dogs behave when they get each their separate bowls of food set in front of them? Instead of just being content to eat his own food, at least one of the dogs will scramble to dive into the other's bowl, clearly worried that the other dog might have something way better in his bowl. I am that dog. But don't worry, I don't always act on it. It's not like I behave like primitive man or anything. I mostly only stick my big germy fork into my husband's food, and leave everyone else's alone. Mostly.
97. I absolutely do not cry in front of people, not even my husband. In fact, when my mom died a couple of years ago, I cried a lot--but always in the bathroom with the door locked. Brian and I would be watching TV, and if I felt some tears coming on, I'd get up before he had a chance to notice, and I slip quietly into the bathroom and sit on the floor and cry. Afterwards, I'd go to great pains not to let him know I'd been crying--I'd put on makeup, busy myself in the kitchen or wherever he wasn't, until my my red face turned a little more normal, etc. There's no good reason I'm this way--Brian is very sensitive to me and doesn't in any way discourage me from showing my feelings, and there's been no one in my past who has given me the impression that it's weak or wrong to be sad. I'm just a weirdo.
98. My first name is legally spelled with a C, but I spell it with a K. This is a result of that phase little girls go through in about the third grade during which they experiment with different spellings of their name. Debbie becomes Debi, Robin becomes Robyn, Wombat becomes Wahmbat. Girls typically use their new and improved spelling for about 3 months before they grow out of that silly little phase. Apparently, I'm still in that phase.
99. I do not understand the whole concept of chicken fried steak. There's not a person I know who doesn't love it except me, so I must assume I'm the crazy one. But for the love of Christ, what IS it? It's not chicken, but it's sure as hell not steak, even if it did allegedly come from a cow. But I offer you this: There's something very suspicious about a meat that must be completely blanketed in a disguise of thick gravy in order to trick people into eating it. My guess is that if you left the gravy off this dubious so-called meat, it would look like something you'd see at the site of an auto accident, and there's not a person alive who would eat it.
100. It's shameful how seldom I clean the grout in my shower--and it's almost certainly a violation of several health codes, as well. Luckily for me, all my problems have recently been solved with the purchase of a Scumbuster by Black and Decker. It is a rather phallic instrument with a rotating brush that cleans my grout for me while I stand there idly and think of things to blog about. It even has a reservoir that holds the liquid cleanser of my choice, so that I don't even have to muster up the energy to point a spray bottle at the filth in my shower. I just hit the 'spray' button on the phallus periodically as it scrubs away. Observe the clean wall on the left of the following picture, versus the wall on the right side, which looks like something you'd find inside a POW camp. Bear this in mind next time you try to weasel an invitation to stay at my house while you're in town.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
A recent issue of Shape magazine touted this revelation:
"Holy cow," you might be thinking. "This is just what I've been looking for!" Secrets! Success! How exciting! Finally, this article will reveal why some women are willowy and delicate, while others are stubby and squat. Apparently, the willowy women know some dieting secrets that the stubby ones do not, and these secrets are the keys to their success. Huzzah! Stumbling upon this article may be the single greatest thing to ever happen to you!
Slow down there, cowboy. These articles are always a big disappointment. You know how sometimes the key point in an article will be highlighted in a larger print, to draw a reader in? It's a sentence that's in the article itself, but simply printed again in large print and perhaps encapsulated in a colored box to draw the reader's attention to that important point. For example, if an article is about the sexual abuse of livestock in America, a particularly compelling sentence would be featured in large print, such as, "There are over sixty 'leven zillion farm animals raped by rednecks every day in America, most of them in West Virginia." The idea is that the point is so essential to the article that it should not be missed. Hopefully this blurb is so profound that you'll read it and say, "Whoa. That's incredible." If you saw it while reading the article, this crucial point will be driven home. If you saw it while idly flipping pages in the magazine, this line will draw you in, forcing you to read the article.
With that in mind, observe the blurb from the Secrets of Successful Dieters article:
Whoa! That's incredible! Thank God I found this enlightening article! I must cut these pages out and frame them! I must email them to all my friends! Attention dieters: Eat less and work out more! AT LONG LAST, THE SECRET IS OUT!
No shit, Sherlock. Thanks for the tip. Up til now I'd been carefully planning my diet in such a way as to strive to take in an additional 400 calories each day until I reach my ultimate goal of 55,000 calories a day. I've also been seeking ways to trim the physical activity out of my day so that eventually I won't have to get out of bed to pee or refill my bedside trough, thereby burning calories unnecessarily. But now! I will look into this whole "eat less, work out more" revelation. It sounds so crazy it just might work.
But I know that instead of laying on my couch reading the articles in Shape magazine, I should really be thinking of ideas for freelance articles I could submit to them. If they think the abovementioned article is print worthy, perhaps they'll go for these ideas:
Smoke Less to Avoid Lung Cancer
Walking Causes Wear and Tear on Shoes
Scared of Heights? Stay at Ground Level
Water is Very Wet
This is a Magazine Article
Books Are Useful If You Know How To Read
Cold? Wear A Sweater
See how I'd be perfect for this job? I'm just as good as pointing out the painfully obvious as anyone out there, and I'm just as good at filling a page up with total bullshit. Heck, look how many of these nonsense blog entries I've written, and you fools just keep coming back.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
On the bright side, though, Anonymous Coworker did make the final cut. I can hear you now: "But Karla, ACW is not nearly as funny as you! He's not even a tenth, not even a millionth as funny as you! He is perhaps 10 pounds of funny in a 15 pound bag, while you are a thousand pounds of funny in a half pound bag!" Oh, come on now. You're exaggerating. He's every bit as funny as I am--even more, if you factor in appearance.
So if you were planning to give your vote to me, then I ask that you give it to Anonymous Coworker instead. However--if he and I had both made the final nominations list, and you would have given him your vote instead of me, then screw you. I demand total loyalty, and will accept nothing less. Even ACW would be required to give his vote to me instead of voting for himself. But again, perhaps because the judges are blind or maybe even illiterate, I did not make the list, so the point is moot.
The truth is, I am certain that ACW slept his way into the final nominations list. The man is ruthless, shameless, and there's no one he won't blow to get the fame he craves. I find that sad. But now's not the time to dissect his desperate need for attention; leave that to the prison shrink he will someday receive counsel from behind bars. In the meantime, vote for him, will you? An award win may, at least temporarily, keep him from snapping like a dry twig and killing his entire family with a rusty meat cleaver just to make it into the newspapers.
Did you go read the link? No? You lazy prick. How did you expect to understand the rest of this post without reading the damn link? I know, I know--you rarely understand any of my unintelligible posts, and don't care to spend the next week and a half trying to unravel this one. Look, quit being difficult and just click on the link, smartass. Thanks.
I've got to hand it to the guy--if deceit is a skill, he's number one in his field. But not wearing a condom? That's really showing his commitment to not getting caught. He's willing to risk catching Exploding Penis Disease just to keep his wife from catching him cheating. That shows a level of dedication--and stupidity--unparalleled by even the most seasoned Lying Scumbag.
Here's where my dilemma comes in: I've never believed in heaven or hell, but I reallyreallyREALLY want this guy to char like a marshmallow on a stick. It's the only way I can reconcile what I've read about him. Either that, or I have to comfort myself by assuming that his wife (who we tend to assume is an innocent victim here) is, in reality, a very bad person who stomps puppies to death and mocks the handicapped, and being married to this guy is simply how karma is working its poetic justice on her.
So please, God, if you exist and if you can hear me, please let this woman be a puppy-stomping cripple-mocker, or please let this guy blacken like one of my home-cooked "meals" in the fiery pits of the hell that I now hope exists. Thank you.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
9 our of 10 polled say they'd rather remove their own spleen with a corkscrew than attend a baby shower
10 to 50 ladies arrive in skirts and sandals, wearing Brighton jewelry and bearing gift bags. They sit around making stiff and uncomfortable small talk with one another, fake smiles plastered on their faces, for a good 45 minutes while waiting for God-knows-what...more guests to arrive, the food to be arranged in a pretty semi-circle on the table, whatever. The aforementioned small talk always involves labor and delivery stories. Anyone attempting to strike up a conversation that's not related to the pain of pushing a human head out of one's hoo-ha is swiftly punished, as the other ladies close in on her and pummel her about the head and neck with their handbags. The guest of honor and her mother work the crowd, appearing unspeakably thrilled to see each guest. Hair and shoes are complimented even in cases where a person would have to be high on glue to really like the hair and shoes in question. Finger food and some kind of non-alcoholic punch is available on a table nearby, but no one goes near it until the hosts physically shove a few people toward the table to get the ball rolling. Meanwhile, a couple of the expectant mommy's friends scuttle around handing out whatever accoutrements are necessary for the 45 tedious, insipid games that will be played throughout the affair. These games appear to have been created by grade-schoolers for grade-schoolers, so it's no problem to use only a couple of brain cells to play them while you use the rest of your brain formulating your escape plan. "How much time do I have to put in here before I can leave without looking like a dick?" The comedy is that every single smiling skirt-wearer there is thinking the exact same thing, and when one person finally does bow out politely with a made-up excuse, the rest of the attendees practically trample each other following suit. It's like a stampede of well-dressed cattle, mooing, "Congratulations!" as they body-block each other trying to get to the door first.
The truth is, I've been to a couple that weren't so bad. In fact, the one I went to in December for my neighbor was downright nice. The good showers all have one thing in common: Booze. I know, it sounds just plain wrong to have booze at a baby shower, but I'll argue that there's no situation where it's more necessary. My own shower had plenty of it, even though I couldn't drink any. (I didn't mind, though; I was high on coke at the time.) How else but half drunk can a person be expected to listen to a throng of women shriek in perfect union, "Oh my God, so CUUUTTE!!" each and every time a gift is unwrapped? The unwrapping of the gifts takes forever, and is mind-numbing to everyone but the guest of honor and her mom. After the 26th chorus of "It's darling!!" I always feel like jumping up and yelling, "Okay, we all agree! Itty bitty dresses are goddamn adorable! Let's move this thing along!"
So let this be a public service announcement to all you women. A baby shower doesn't have to be torture. Follow these few simple rules to prevent a trampling death at your shower:
1) No games. None. Okay, I understand this suggestion might just break the heart of your mother, who, for some inexplicable reason, has her heart set on some baby shower games. Fine--two games max, then, and let them be along the lines of "Guess how many diaper pins are in this bowl" rather than, "See who can diaper a baby doll fastest." Under no circumstances should a game be incorporated that takes more than 4 seconds to play.
2. Provide booze, I beg you. Make it clear on the invitation that booze will be provided; this will greatly increase the number of attendees, and therefore, gifts. You can try to keep it classy if you must, with white wine or some kind of froofy champagne spritzer hell, just as long as there's alcohol involved. No one should be expected to buy you a gift and put on a skirt without at least getting a glass of wine in return. Hopefully several. And a handful of pills.
3. Have it at your own house. I realize others are probably throwing this shower for you, rather than you throwing it for yourself, but they can just as easily throw it for you in your own house. Your mumsy and girlfriends can do all the setup and cleanup for you, just as they would if the shindig were thrown in some other location. This is important because a good half the reason these affairs are so uncomfortable is most of the attendees have never been to the house of the aunt or girlfriend who is hosting your shower, which adds to the oddness factor. And it's odd enough without trying to cram in extra oddness where it's not absolutely necessary.
4. Open your gifts quickly. You can still coo and squeal over each hat and each stuffed bunny, but coo quickly, for Christ's sake. I know it seems like everyone is thrilled to see each gift, judging by how loudly they're screeching at every pair of tiny booties you hold up, but trust me, they're only doing this to mask how incredibly uncomfortable they are, or to keep from nodding off. Possibly both. Plus, it's a sociological fact that any time you throw a crowd of total strangers in a room and deprive them of alcohol, they tend to get nervous, eventually turning shrill and bird-like. If you don't want one of your coworkers pecking one of your cousins to death, pick up the pace a little.
5. This is an option for girls who, like me, have mostly male friends: Don't make it a "ladies only" affair. If you're thinking there's no man alive who would attend a baby shower, then you're underestimating the draw of free booze. Probably 50 people attended mine, about half of them men. Besides, no one wants to go to a baby shower alone because they're expecting it to be so godawful boring, so lots of couples will attend in cases where, had it been ladies only, the lady might have sawed off her own foot just to have a valid excuse not to attend. As in, "Oh Cindy, I'm sorry I couldn't be at your baby shower--I was so mad that I had to miss it! I was at the hospital getting fitted for my prosthetic foot, and couldn't hobble away. But I know your mother took photos of you holding up each and every single bib and box of diapers that was given to you, so make sure I get to look at those sometime soon! I'm dying to see!"
That pretty much sums it up. Please, pass this advice on to any expectant mothers you know. Especially the ones you and I both know, so that the next time I get invited to a baby shower I don't have to resort to self-mutilation to get out of attending.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Personally, I'll be happy if Jake survives into adulthood with me as his mother. Beyond that, anything else he manages to accomplish will just be a bonus. But here are some of the possible routes my son could take:
He could be a bodybuilder.
This would be handy for me, because there will come a day when I'll need someone strong to hoist me out of my hospital bed and give me a sponge bath, and change my support hose for me. Bodybuilder Jake would be ideal for this. Plus, big-muscled guys look great with a "MOM" tattoo on their arm, which Jake would definitely want because, you know, I'm so great. In fact, I'm thinking of getting him one of those for his 1st birthday.
Or, he could be a prom queen.
Or prom king, which I suppose would be my preference. However, since I missed out on having a daughter to dress up in cute little outfits, it would be kind of fun to go with him to pick out a prom dress. And we could sit side by side in the beauty salon under our hair dryers and talk about celebrity gossip, which would be a great bonding moment.
Or, he could be a religious leader.
Not the child molesting type of religious leader, nor the money-grubbing type who squeezes every last dime out of his followers and builds a lavish country estate complete with a waterslide and several statues in his image. But the kind of religious leader who occasionally heals the sick and causes the crippled to jump out of their wheelchairs and walk again. That way, I would be very powerful at the old folk's home. Those old biddies would be falling all over themselves trying to gain my favor so I could send my big shot religious leader son to cure their gout, incontinence, bed sores, and whatever else ails the elderly. Plus, he'd be there to read me my last rites when I kick it.
But then again, he might end up on the cover of a magazine.
That would be really cool because then I could push my walker up and down the halls of the old folk's home waving the magazine and shouting, "Ha! I bet none of you old bats have a kid who's on the cover of a magazine!" Of course the downside, at least in this particular scenario, is that the less senile among my elderly companions would probably point out that my kid looks a little fruity in that cheerleading uniform. But I'd just pull that common old person's trick and act like I couldn't hear them. Then I'd pee a little.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
That could be me someday. See, I've been nominated for a Best of Blogs Award. Sounds neat, right? Who wouldn't want to win an award? Well, I've got news for you: This is how it started with Axl Rose. He had his little band, he was having fun playing in the local bars and partying with the local groupies. Life was good. Then he started getting some recognition, playing bigger arenas, winning awards, til eventually he was catapulted to the highest pinnacle of stardom. That's the curse, people--stardom. It made him into a junkie, a drunk, a total prick. In the days since, he has managed to pummel his liver to a fine puree, pick off his brain cells one by one like ducks in a shooting gallery. He probably shoplifts his underwear from Goodwill now.
Is he lucky to at least have lived the glamorous life for the short time he did? Hell no! If stardom had left him alone, he'd probably have led a life of quiet mediocrity, happy enough with his little circle of friends and family. He'd have sang in his local band for a few years, then settled down with a normal job and an average nice girl. He wouldn't be where he is now, which I think we can all assume is curled up in the fetal position next to a Jack in the Box dumpster, sleeping off the fifth of cheap whiskey he drank this morning and waiting for the night shift to throw out the burgers that have sat too long under the heat lamp.
I may be just an average nobody, but I like my life. I have friends, a house, a family. I may not have all the things I want, but I have everything I need. I don't want to end up a sad tale of woe on an episode of True Hollywood Story. I can see it now: It starts innocently enough with a Best of Blogs award. Next thing you know, I'm hobnobbing with Paris Hilton, engaged to Colin Farrell. I'm photographed and interviewed at every twist and turn. Soon, rumors begin circulating that I'm immersing myself too much in the Hollywood club scene. The tabloids publish shocking photos of me passed out topless in the lobby of the Four Seasons hotel after a week-long coke binge with Michael Irvin and Pam Anderson. In an attempt to reclaim my former good-girl image, I enter rehab and write a children's book. But soon enough I'm shooting smack with Scott Weiland and going overboard on plastic surgery procedures. A scandalous home video of my sexual escapades with 50 Cent is released without my permission at about the same time my Beverly Hills mansion goes into foreclosure. Anorexia turns me into a skeletal shell of my former self, and not even a very public romance with Ellen Degeneres can salvage my career. Soon, even OJ won't be seen having dinner with me. My husband and son, abandoned by me long ago when my star was rising, have no sympathy for me now that it's all come crashing down and I've called them begging for forgiveness and a small loan.
Think I'm being dramatic? It can happen. Look at poor Axl. And if it does happen, won't it be kind of neat to be able to say you knew me back when I first started up my silly little blog, back when I was a nobody? They might even interview you for my True Hollywood Story. You can tell them what a shame it is to see how low I've sunk, and how witty and clever I used to be before the prescription painkillers got the best of me. You can tell them how you used to read my blog faithfully, before I became empty and hollow and vain, and pissed away every good thing that came my way, finally ending up a tabloid joke.
If you'd like to ensure that you have that opportunity to say you knew me when, then by all means, vote for me for Most Humorous Blog. I don't know how long voting will remain open, all I know is begins on the 10th of January. And I may not even make it that far--right now I'm just nominated (thanks, Jason, Melissa and Ally) along with lots of bloggers who couldn't possibly be as funny as me. The list will be trimmed down to 10 bloggers in each category before the voting starts. Considering the judges (whose votes will weigh more heavily than those of you mere mortals) are probably not high and drunk like my regular readers, I may not be as funny in their eyes. But as the diplomatic losers are obligated to say, it's an honor just to be nominated. Or something.