Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fate Worse Than Death

School is out and I've been working a little bit more at my part-time retail gig (popular plus size store). We have our loyal customers - they love the fashion and fit and we rank as one of their favorite places to shop.
We also get a lot of new customers - the ones that feel they have to excuse their fatness. "I just had a baby." "I had surgery and now I can't fit into my size 10s." "I'm on a new medication and I've put on 20 lbs." They go on and on about how they've never been this or that size before but someone told them they just had to try this store. Some of the customers are so self-deprecating you would think they beat their dog or park in handicap spaces. I've always said there are worst things to be than fat - such as ugly or ignorant or stupid. For the most part, though, people believe obesity is a fate worse than death.
I would like someone just to come in and say, "I eat too much, I don't exercise and I'd like to buy some new clothes."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kindness of Strangers

I sat in the orthodontist office the other day and listened in amazement as a First wife and Mom had a conversation with her sons' new (young and pregnant) stepmother. They seemed like best friends, exchanging antecdotes about the boys, horrifying birth stories, and thanking each other for the thoughtful Christmas gifts they had exchanged. The Mom even promised new Mom a gift of a housekeeping service once the baby is born.
One hears such horror stories about new wives and old wives that I was just tickled that sometimes it does work out. A little skeptical, but still..........

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Last Christmas

Looking at my son put out cookies for Santa and setting out celery on the front steps for the reindeer, I realized that this is probably the last Christmas any of my kids will believe in Santa Claus. I know the arguments against letting your kids believe and I know the real meaning of Christmas, but there is just something so pure, so awesome about a little kid believing in Santa and reindeers and elves....I guess, it's the trusting innocence I'll miss.
These days, my girls are so surprised when something I suggest makes sense. Half the time things I say just circle around their heads in pretty little arcs waiting to be stored in the file marked "Mom - no damned idea what she's talking about". To them, I am an ATM and chauffeur and sometime maid and cook.
J still thinks I'm knowledgeable, although any questions about Star Wars are fielded to his Grandpa and Uncle R.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Amusing Articles and Such

1. "A Cougar Stole My Man" Cosmo Magazine
This one was especially funny. Young women going on and on about these older, tired women (one caked her make up on to look younger; one didn't dress hip enough) flirting with or stealing their men. Obviously, the old hags had something over these impossibly young, hot women.
2. "Hairy Chests are Hot Again"
Yay! Men should have hair (not pelts, I'm not saying men should be part bear) - no man should wax or shave or otherwise diminish their chest hair. Opposites attract and all that. I don't want a man smoother than me. Otherwise, I would just date women.
3. "Large Rats Sniff Out Landmines" National Geographic
Genius. Some smart guy taught rats how to sniff out landmines. Apparently, dogs are messy and heavy (they end up tripping the land mines as they find them). The rats are easy to train, breed easily, and manage to smell the land mines without getting themselves blown up. Very green. Reusable rats versus disposable rats.
4. "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant" I saw this on Discovery Health Channel.
No explanation needed. This was one incredulous hour of fun!

Disclaimer - the quotes aren't really quotes, more like paraphrases of what I could remember

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm the man of the house.

We are a household of women with my eight year old son being the only male - the bonafide underdog. So, me, being the Mom, the older sister, the home owner - it is up to me to me take care of things. When a family of ants decided to move into our mailbox, larvae and all, I was the only one who would go near it. I had to retrieve the mail, spray and scoop out the remains (with my son shaking his head, "Mom, you killed the babies. They didn't even have a chance to live.") Not only did I have to kill the ants, but I had to feel guilty about it too.
When the AC started leaking and it rained in my house, I had to be the one to google "what to do when you have a ceiling leak and you don't want it to collaspe". I even got on the ladder and pinned the string to guide the water into the cooler I had set up to catch the water. What a waste. The ceiling still collasped.
I had to buy the lawn mower and the leaf blower and then I had to teach myself how to use them. I have to prune the trees and spray the Round Up.
It's not all bad though. I did get to paint my bedroom purple and I didn't have to set up the surround sound (even though the house is pre wired). And I can spend whatever I want on decor.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Time to Accessorize

I work part time at a store that sells plus size women's clothing - L.B. I started working there because I needed something besides my kids and school. I'd been bookkeeping forever (preparing taxes on the side) and I wanted something other than numbers. Besides, I get a great discount.
My colleagues are a great bunch of women. There are skinny fat girls, fat fat girls - ranging from ages eighteen to nearly fifty. We sometimes get drinks together, go dancing, or just hang out. Yesterday, two of us accompanied Miss K (she's 19) to go get her tongue pierced. Other than my ears, I having nothing pierced. I do have two tattoos - I got one when I was eighteen, then one shortly after my husband died.
Anyway - I was curious - so off we went. Miss C (she drove) had her tongue pierced ten years ago, so she was our resident expert. We roll up to a popular tattoo/ piercing salon in the Virginia Beach area about 9:45 on a Saturday night, all dressed up in our business casual work clothes. Poor tattoo parlor guys - I'm sure they didn't know what to expect.
So, Miss K fills out the paperwork, signs the release form, and sticks out her tongue. Yikes. That's a big hole they put in your tongue. 12 gauge. (They use a smaller needle when you get an I.V.) Lots of blood too. Wow. But, hey, it looks great. Plus it's one more thing to buy jewelry for.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Love Christmas, but....

I am starting to really, really, really dislike December. My husband passed away December 16, 2006. His funeral was held on December 22nd. Starting to see the connection?
I've been blaming my late start in decorating and shopping on final exams. There is some truth to this - my kids are lucky that they eat and their clothes are clean. Studying has taken up a lot of my time. Honestly, though, I don't have the energy. The first Christmas was a complete fog - we all just wanted to get through it. Last Christmas wasn't much better. Angry much? How do you help your kids get through the 1st anniversary of their father's death? Go to dinner? Bake cookies? Ignore it?
I keep asking Thomas why he couldn't have been a little more considerate. No one should die in December.
And still - two years later - things aren't much better. My sister and I tried to watch a movie last night. P.S. I Love you. What a great idea! A movie about a widow who receives letters and such from her husband beyond the grave. I made it to the scene where she receives a birthday cake from him three weeks after his death. C has already told me that she's not coming home on Tuesday. She has decideded to spend it with her boyfriend and his family. M just won't discuss it and J just doesn't want to see me cry.
I got a call yesterday from C's guidance counselor - she's suggesting group grief counseling. Great. What a fun bunch of phone calls that'll be. It is so hard to deal with my babies' grief when, sometimes, I can barely handle my own. It sucks being the grown up.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

She really is a quarter-of-a-century old.

My sister looks unbelievably young. Jailbait, middle school young. My fourteen year old daughter looks older. She always gets carded. Not a cursory glance at the ID, thankyouverymuch carded, but "Just a second, I'll be right back" carded. Sometimes there's a manager involved. No one takes her seriously. No one. Store clerks, police officers, school officials. No one at my kids' schools ever wants to hand my children over to her. She gets asked out by high schoolers and grown men tend to bypass her (that whole jailbait thing). E can wear make up, heels, flat iron her hair - still she looks like she's been playing in Mommy's closet.
Everyone tells her that she'll be thankful later that she looks so young. They complement her skin and tell her how lucky she is.
But this rant isn't about her, it's about me.
I am 35. I don't look 35 - I, too, look younger. Unless my baby sister is standing next to me and then I look like her mother. I think that's why I never get hit on either. What's scarier than a single mom with three kids?..........a single mom with four kids.
The other day, my sister, Dad, and I were out together. The clerk at Pearle thought Dad, another one who looks young for his age (I'm telling you, these are some fantastic genes!), was my husband and that E was our teenage daughter.
Now, tonight, she's asked me to meet her and some work friends for a drink. At least, this is a bar she frequents and we'll be able to avoid the police. Unless, of course, someone mistakes me for her mother.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bananas in Pajamas

I attend the local community college five mornings a week. My classes are full of all sorts of graduates trying to save money, middle agers in the midst of changing careers, young, old, rich, poor. There are Jaguars next to the Tercels, Mercedes next to the Fiestas.
People come to class in all sorts of dress. There are those in their Baby Phat or head to toe Volcom. This being Virginia Beach, hoodies and flip flops are de rigueur. Some wear make up, some wear none. A few guys gel and shellac their hair, some don't bother to comb it at all. And, of course, this is college, so a few roll in wearing their jammy pants (Sponge Bob and snowflakes are popular right now) and bedroom slippers, hair pulled in a messy bun, an aura of sleep surrounding their bleary heads.
All very understandable.
What I can't wrap my mind around are those in coordinated sleep wear and pageant makeup. If you can arrange your hair in face framing tendrils and apply layers of black eyeliner, then you can throw on some jeans and a sweater. Even some cute sweats, they have great ones now with sparkles and little pink dogs. If you can match your slippers to your PJ top, then you can wrangle up a pair of sneakers. Or even matching flip flops.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Eight Things.......

Ok....I've been tagged
1. I married young. I was eighteen, not pregnant, and had known my husband to be for two months. We were married for fourteen and a half years and produced three beautiful (and smart) kids together.
2. I am abnormally close to my family. Maybe it's because I am part Filipino, but my family and I are inseparable. It drove my husband mad. My brother is temporarily relocated to South Dakota - we speak or text everyday. My father lives twenty minutes away - he spends two or three days a week at my house. My sister lives with me and has no plans to move out. In fact, we are so close that....
3. My sister and I share the same bed. She has her own room, but we bunk together at least three or four times a week. Granted at any given time, there is at least one or two kids with us and maybe a dog.
4. I can make balloon animals. Monkeys, bears, poodles and giraffes. And dachshunds.
5. Favorite things....rainy days, country music, The Beatles, fuzzy socks, furry Crocs, Skor bars, clean sheets
6. Not so fond of.....peas, cats, people without manners (May I get a "please" or "thank you" every once in a while), having to be the one in the house to kill the spiders, cold feet, mopping floors
7. I have loved only two men in my thirty five years. My high school sweetheart and my Thomas. Well, okay, three, but I don't talk about him.
8. I am a people pleaser. Unless you've made me your enemy. So I will not tag anyone else. But feel free to tag yourself.