Archive for September 2009
So, this morning, I pull in to my second favorite haunt, CVS, (my first favorite being ANY yard sale or thrift/second-hand/consignment/antique boutique) and what should my wandering eyes behold?
Only THE most incredible old HEARSE on earth – right there in the handi-spot!
I LOVE this old hearse!
(I realize we’re nearing Halloween, but this is the second time this week I’ve seen it out’n’about….)
I LOVE this old hearse!
(have I mentioned this?)
It’s decorated with morbid-cute stickers and fake foliage and a warm, fuzzy death-wreath adorns its grill; what’s not to love?
BEST OF ALL, its tag reads:
Though I do drive my dream car, my sassy red convertible bug (and you thought I was gonna say ‘Suzie,’ my ’97 Isuzu-Trooper-Beater, didn’t ya?);
THE VIV COVETS THE BONEBOX !
*As you may have already deduced, Viv has a story on the BONEBOX. She has stalked that corpse-coche for a couple of years; it is the muse for an already-in-progress YA novel (on which she’d better git her draggin’ dupey a’crackin)’. She has tried many a time, in vain, to discover its mystery driver.
Who could be behind the wheel of the tricked-out tomb-taxi?!
So, I’m trolling the aisles of the store, in search of its elusive chauffeur. There aren’t many customers, and I see no one who may be a possibility.
Now, I’m not exactly sure for whom I look, but I’m fairly certain there must be some emaciated 7-ft.- scraggly-haired-hooded-robe-wearin’-Crypt-Keepin’-zombie lurking somewhere in the well-stocked rows of pharma-heaven. I’m thinkin’ anyone wielding a scythe (NOT one of those plastic-kiddie-jobbies) will be a dead giveaway. I will positively burst into tears if the driver turns out to be the sweet old grandma perusing the $4.99 Good News Bibles (although, it appears she may soon be a BONEBOX passenger).
I spy a burly fella over in Vitamins (in his Gold’s Gym tee and spandex shorts — no doubt I’ll see him on peopleofwalmart.com someday – directly under a photo of myself); but, nope, no way; he’s not my guy. (I’m guessin’ he’s the school-bus-yellow Mustang.)
I will cry if Grandma owns the BONEBOX, but I will shit myself right there in CVS if Grandma’s ride is the Mustang; I swing through the Depends, just in case.
In Frozen, I run into my all-time-favorite clerk, Miss M. She is the sweetest little gal, and I just love her (and not just because she KNOWS my fag-of-fancy and is the one who slides my pleasure across the counter). I sidle up to her, scope for eavesdroppers, and in hushed-tone, let her in on my little recon mission.
As Miss M. returns to the register, I make a final, disappointing sweep.
That’s it. There is no one else in the store.
Did that creepy coffin-chariot drive here by itself?!
I high-step it to the checkout. Hearse still here? Check. Did Miss M. see anyone leave? Nope.
Now, while Miss M. checks-out some other lady, I’m keepin’ an eye on the register and the door, squatting behind the As Seen on TV! and New! Maybelline metallics displays, keeping an ultra-low profile in my red polo, hot-pink John Deere ball cap and reflective yellow raincoat. (I SO should’a been a spy…is there a ‘peopleofcvs’ website?)
The woman checking out is short and stocky and in her mid-late forties. She has Sally Field’s Steel Magnolias-helmet-hair, and though she’s sportin’ a stylin’ black ensemble (low, black patent-leather heels, slacks and a black tunic with, I think, tiny white flowers), she’s some meek’n’mild school secretary or a volunteer at the library.
Naw, she’s no BONEBOX driver, either.
Who the holy-heck is mannin’ that hearse?!
I must know!
Now it’s a frickin’ QUEST, Gawd-damnit!
There are only three cars left in the parking lot, and one’a’them’s mine! C’mon!
Panic-stricken, fearing I’ve somehow missed someone else, I leap up and bolt to the back of the store via its gray main path (my head flooded with the fuckin’ Munchkins advising me to ‘Follow the yellow-brick road’).
Nobody else is in the joint!
I tear back up front (shut-up, Munchkins!) just in time to see the automatic doors close behind the unassuming black-clad secretary/librarian.
I ask Miss M. if she saw anyone else. Nope.
And it hits me; NO FREAKIN’ WAY!…no…freakin’…way….
I tiptoe-creep backward from the check-out to the edge of the door frame and lean back to a 60˚ angle to peek out at the BONEBOX.
I sprint back over to Miss M. (who is, by the way, only mildly entertained by my antics, so familiar is she with my lunacy).
“THAT’S HER! SHE’S THE ONE! OHMIGOD! WERE THOSE LITTLE SKULLS ON HER SHIRT?! I THOUGHT THEY WERE FLOWERS! THEY WERE TINY SKULLS, WEREN’T THEY?! OHMIGAWD!”
MYSTERY SOLVED !
The Devil may wear Prada, but
The Grim Reaper wears sensible slingbacks.
Now, you know Viv didn’t come upon these little beauties in her own search for spirituality; she has been barred from many a church….
Know when I love my children the most?
When they’re sleeping.
That’s when I remember how Daddy (aka El Guapo and The Dingus) used to snuggle up with them, all toasty and cuddly. He nicknamed our sleepy babes ‘the whatsisnoozins’.
That’s when I look at them, when they’re whatsisnoozin, all soft and warm and pink and sweet-smelling and so precious… I could just eat’em up. That’s when I get all-filled with mamalove. That’s when I look at my babies, my little whatsisnoozins, and I get all reminiscent and mushy and misty….
Then I snap out of my little daylight-daydream, my little delusion, and I realize, “Oh, hell! I’m gonna have to wake’em up.”
Now, no doubt you know the old saying about letting sleeping dogs lie. The same wisdom applies to the whatsisnoozins; it’s best to allow them to awake of their own accord.
This tack especially holds true for M1; waking her can be likened to playing Russian Roulette – only in reverse. But in this case, you’re praying for that one, singular shot. You’re praying for that one, singular chance that she will awaken as a pleasant, sweet-tempered angel. It’s those other chances in the chamber that you sweat.
From day one, that child has thrown titanic tantrums if awakened. The instant her eyes open, she scrunches up her face (her ‘uggy-face’) and commences to writhe, kick and convulse as if she were the choreographer of the Broadway production of St. Vitas’ Dance – Supine Extraordinaire. While gyrating and jactitating, she emits a cyclic composition of low, guttural growls and yelps that builds to a deafening crescendo of screams.
She finishes each round with a piercing banshee wail that rises until only our canine friends can detect (and run from) it. My eyes literally cross when she hits that certain note; after which, it takes me a moment to realize that her pitch has merely crossed over the audible human threshold, and that I haven’t actually been rendered deaf by my child.
This tempest can go on for longer than TWO, FREAKIN’ HOURS!
Usually, El Guapo and I take turns watching over her, facing the fury, making sure she doesn’t break a spastic, flailing arm or leg. However, we are able to spell each other for only a few minutes at a time; any longer than that inside her room, and there is the real danger of gouging out one’s very own eyes. While ‘inside’, on the front line, one tends to consider the various ways in which a frilly pink barrette or Dora the Explorer could help one commit suicide.
When she’s in the throes, however, I never leave her side for longer than five or ten minutes; I’d kick myself in the ass if, while I was out of the room, her head spun around and she projectile-vomited all over her dad. I just gotta be there for that. (I do remove the crucifix from above her door on my way out though, just to be safe.)
After so many years of these Wake-Rages, I have learned not to wake the whatsisnoozin!
My kid could freakin’ fall asleep on the porch in the dead ‘a winter, and I’d just toss the welcome mat over her and hope for the best.
Nope! Not this one! No matter what, SassyMama here don’t never wake no whatsisnoozin!
Can I get a ‘HELL’ to the ‘NO’?!
It ain’t worth the splittin’ headache!
Late for work because the little fuckin’ whatsisnoozin’s still comatose?
Find a new freakin’ job!
The Dingus, on the other hand, has not yet reached this conclusion; like Roy, he mistakenly believes he can actually tame his cute, little whatsisnoozin.
And you recall how well that worked out for him and Sigfried, don’t cha?
Is it a sin to fantasize about choking your children while sitting in church?
Is that wrong?
I mean, truth be told, The Big Guy did, in fact, bring forth His very own son to suffer and to die a horrible death, did he not? Am I not created in the image of my God? Post hoc ergo propter hoc: why can’t I consider the self-same fate for my progeny?
As a quarterly-Catholic, I was beginning to feel just a wee full-up on sin (no doubt as a result of the vile filth Viv and I have put forth here), and decided to take the famdamily to mass on Sunday evening.
BIG FREAKIN’ MISTAKE.
Now, believe it or not, I used to be devout as a convert. The worst curse in my VWA was “Oh, my stars!” We were a “good, church-going young family”. I even taught in Catholic schools! We never missed mass. (Nowadays, we never miss the chance to miss it.)
When the M & Ms were mere bundled babes in arms, church was so easy! If they started to wail, it was effortless to just plug’em with a pacifier. Piling on the odd blanket or two tended to muffle and/or stifle their screams sufficiently as I tried to open my heart to The Good News.
At the ages of 3 and 1, however, my sweet cherubs would enter the sanctuary, morph into the Wombat and the Wildcat, and commence to wreak havoc upon the church and upon my nerves and very sanity. The call of the wooden floor, the beckoning of the long, open pews and the large, captive audience would prove too great a temptation for my two to resist.
(It was ’round about then that my personality split; Viv, as Athena from Zeus, sprang from my head. Once Viv entered the picture, all hope of redemption and heaven was lost.)
From the moment the M & Ms became aware of the other’s presence, they have bantered and bickered from dawn to dusk. They are incessantly, figuratively and literally, at each other’s throats. The M & Ms are utterly incapable of getting along for more than a few minutes at a time. They always want what the other one has. They absolutely refuse to share; be it toys, toothpaste, chair space or air. If one farted, she would insist that the other not be permitted to breathe in the foul air, and she would try to fan it back to her own “side”; after all, it was her gas, and it was intended for her pleasure only.
One would think, or at the very least hope, that the M & Ms could put aside their petty arguments and misbehavior for one, measly hour of worship. Not so; instead, they view the vestibule and become drunk with the prospect and power of mischief.
Back in the days of our weekly mass attendance, it became increasingly more difficult to focus on the priest’s homily and the Word as the M & Ms would require physical restraint. It wasn’t long before I sat through a mass with a black heart; the most impure of thoughts possible running through my mind. Mass quickly became torture. It wasn’t long before it was I who required physical restraint.
To vent my frustrations and pent-up anger, when singing some of my favorite hymns, I impovise my own lyrics, and I don’t give a shit if any of my brethren hear my stray:
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder
(Out of the pit of HELL)
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder
(Soldiers ready; armed to KILL)
And this zippy, little ditty, guaranteed to clinch my Mother of the Year award and to take me one step higher on the stairway to heaven :
This little light of mine,
(Gonna light your hair AFIRE!)
This little light of mine,
(Gonna light your hair AFIRE!)
(Let it BURN, let it BURN, LET IT BURN!!!!!!)
Even the favorite hymn, “On Eagle’s Wings”, fails to move me…unless I envision the majestic bird of prey raising up my children high to the heavens above… and dropping them.
It wasn’t very long until I blocked out completely what was happening at church. I had my own little ‘sermon’ brewing in my cryptic, caustic mind:
(Jesus Christ! Get OFF her…I said keep your goddam-$40- prissy-assed-patent leather-Mary-fucking-Janes OUT of your sister’s sonofabitchin’ face! CHHHRRRRIIIIIIIIST ALMIGHTY! I can’t even hear the mugginhuffin’ HOMILY!!!!! And I freakin’ PRAYED for these MONSTERS! WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?????!!!!!!!)
And then it wasn’t long before we stopped going to mass altogether. I’m not sure if it was the fear of committing homicide during the homily or the possibility that I may spontaneously combust the moment the Eucharist touched my tongue. (And for the record, on the rare occasion that I do go to church, I do not receive unless I’ve endured a 2-hour confession and have done my mile-long penance; I do have some remainder faith within.)
I have such Catholic guilt over not frequently attending mass; I think three parochial vicars have come and gone without my laying eyes upon them. I have become such a sinner, and I have such a dark, black heart during the mass; my eternal fate is sealed. I am a hypocrite and blasphemer of the worst kind; I’m headed to Hades in the proverbial handbasket.
And though there are my many, many moments when my inner-Viv rears her ugly, ugly head, and though they drive me bonkers, I truly do love my children more than my very own life. Yes, I did pray and pray for my children, and God has blessed me, the least-deserving person on earth, with two amazing (and fun) little girls that I just couldn’t imagine (nor want to live) my life without. (Although it does cause me to question His ultimate wisdom; how could He possibly entrust me – who should have been court-ordered not to reproduce – with precious children AT ALL?)
I adore my babies, and though they may indeed be the spawn of Satan, I could walk through fire for them.
I’m just not willing burst into flame for them.
Not yet…maybe next Sunday….
In addition to the plethora of minor, nagging and picayune-but-chronic ailments that have afflicted my pathetic and oft-abused 40-year-old body, I think I experienced a true migraine last Saturday. Most people would retort, “If you think you had one, you didn’t; you’d know it!” (To you, I thumb my nose; I have an abnormally high pain tolerance – as evidenced by my 16-year-marriage to The Dingus.)
According to all the literature and sufferers’ first-hand accounts, the pain involved in a migraine would register a 4.9 on the Richter scale. I don’t question those folks who are truly and utterly debilitated by the illness; I have seen my mother writhe in agony and crawl across her pitch-black bedroom and collapse at the foot of the bed, too sick to climb in to relative comfort.
No, I don’t question those poor souls; I call to the carpet myriad hypochondriacs and candy-ass penyas who have the uncanny and dubious ability to miraculously whip up a “mindgraine” each and every time the concept of work happens to conflict with their active social calendars.
Sistas, if you can’t freakin’ PRONOUNCE and/or SPELL CORRECTLY the headache, or if you have the wherewithal to explain to someone that you are, indeed, in the throes of a migraine at that very moment – girlfriends, my money’s on: YOU DON’T FREAKIN’ HAVE ONE! Or, at the very least, you may have had one in the past, but 9/10 of your mindgraines are sheer balderdash; some pathetic excuse to skip out of work before noon every other Friday so you can catch the early bird doorbuster at Kohl’s or beat the traffic to the weekend’s venue of the NASCAR circuit.
Those weak links have ALWAYS irked me; perhaps it’s because I’m so afraid of becoming or being seen as one of their ranks. My little aches and pains are minute compared to those folks who are in agony 24/7 with horrible diseases; in comparison, I haven’t the right to complain.
Labor Day weekend promised to be beautiful and fun-filled, but, holy smoke, did I have a doozie of a headache! So much for the fun & sun! It was what I call a “sick headache” – it seems to settle right between my eyes, and it always shows up with its best buds, nausea and soupy-poopies, for additional entertainment.
In the past, these whoppers have hit me only after smelling more than two perfumes at the mall and after Tilex-ing my shower (which I now make The Dingus do; I just cannot afford to be down for the several days it requires me to get over the pain nor the energy and effort inherent in growing brand new mucous membranes.
I don’t know what prompted this little gem o’ pain, but you know it’s got to be bad if I am more than happy to lie perfectly still in my silent, blackened bedroom (with my trusty puke bucket beside me) while The Dingus and the M & Ms headed off to my favorite book fair and lunch at the local greasy spoon.
At some point, I dozed off. I slept hard, but didn’t budge an inch. Around 2 pm, I woke up ravenous. Sloe-eyed and careful not to make sudden movements, I made my way to the kitchen. I ate an entire can of Progresso Chicken Noodle and the biggest plate of spaghetti with cheese melted all over it. (How can one be sick as a dog and hungry as hell at the same time?)
Incredibly, I felt slightly better after gorging, but I was petrified of puking once I literally crawled back into bed. High tolerance for pain notwithstanding, I am absolutely terrified of vomiting. I think I’m afraid I’ll chuck up a lung or something. Honestly, in my entire life, I can count on my two hands the number of times I’ve tossed the cookies. I would rather apply a tourniquet to my neck than up the chuck. (Am I not the pot calling the kettle ‘pansy’, or what?)
I will do anything to keep that bile from seeing the light of day, and incessant swallowing usually does the trick. For someone so averse to boking, there simply is nowhere else for the “sick” to go…but down.
Piles does not happen to be one of my afflictions (yet), and though I reside with a 6’4” hemorrhoid, I do not possess a single tube of Preparation H. Delirious and desperate for relief – I do recall at one point of particular lucidity – prostrating myself and beseeching God for a trial-sized tube of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and a friggin’ cork.
I ended up sleeping 20 hours that day! I lost consciousness and all sense of time and place. My lips were intermittently numb, as if someone had attached teeny-tiny jumper cables to them, giving them the random jolt. I could feel my heartbeat in the roof of my mouth! I just know that I haven’t been that sick in a very long time.
Truth be told, I’m not sure exactly what gripped me that awful day. Whether it was a true migraine, or even a mindgraine, I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll just chalk it up to a case of a vengeful God smiting me for starting this damn blog!
Last year, a friend told me that once, when her wee one was in time out, the little girl wrote her mother a note:
I hat you !
When mom found the note, she yelled to her hubby,
“Oh, great, honey: (Suzy) hats me!”
When I heard that, I laughed so hard I cried! Now, being the wicked SassyMama I am, I secretly wished that one of my M & Ms would pull a stunt like that so that I could relish the twisted, perverse pleasure of sarcastically retorting to my spellingly-challenged child. I conjured up a few tasty little remarks and filed them for safekeeping in my Verbal Warfare Arsenal (VWA). I would be ready. Now, I knew that because M1 is such a sharp, quick little shit, that I’d not be seeing a note like that from her. But M2, now she’s another story…(aka Big Source of Fodder for the Snicker).
I must have put it out to the universe; several months ago, I was cleaning M2’s bedroom (aka Pandora’s Box – you just never know what may come out of there!) when I found a yellow jumbo sticky-note under her bed.
Yep, you guessed it; my kid hats me, too!
Woo-Hoo! Oh, how proud I was that she had passed a major developmental milestone! (plus, I couldn’t wait to tell my pal that I, too, was an official member of the Hat Club!)
I rushed from the bedroom. In my haste, I stepped on an open, months-old tube of Go-Gurt, squirting a congealing blue-green blob all over the dresser. I’d have stopped to clean it up, but I figured either the dog or the ants would take care of it. I was too happy to care! My baby hats Mama! It’s just too, too cute!
When I finally found my sweet M2, she was locked in the dog’s crate – with the dog – trying to make him drink water from my basting syringe.
I unlocked her and hugged and kissed her: My baby!
“Look what Mommy found under the bed, muffin!”
She looked from the note to my eyes with an impish grin on her cherubic little face.
“I’m sorry, Mama.” (only, as both M & M’s have no control over their r-controlled vowels, it came out : saw-wee).
Gone in an instant were the sharp comebacks that were so neatly filed away; gone was my desire to make fun of my own child’s lack of verbal acuity. Poof!
I was overwhelmed by a warm mamalove, making me treasure the moment, the cute antics of a precious child learning to navigate her emotions. The master teacher in me kicked in, and I saw this as a perfect “teachable moment”.
“What does this note say, M2?”
“I hate Mama.”
“No, baby, this says, ‘I HAT Mama’. What do you need to add to ‘hat’ to make it ‘hate’? I’ll give you a hint: it’s magic…”
“Oh! An ‘e’! I need a Magic E!”
“That’s right, babygirl; you see, with the way this note is written, you only hat Mama. But if you add the Magic E, you can hate Mama, okay? Understand?”
She nodded, again, a bit sheepishly, most-likely waiting for me to rip off my head and let out the alien who will be furious with her for writing the note in the first place.
“Now, let’s go REVISE this to make it say that you hate Mama.” (Hey, I’m an English teacher; SCREW teaching her why we should NEVER hate anything. If she doesn’t learn to spell and write correctly, she’s gonna hate working at McDonalds).
With a red marker, she added the Magic E (including the proper proofreading caret, go, SassyMama!).
“See, baby? Now, you hate Mama.”
She looked up at me with great pools in her eyes, slightly shaking her head, but not enough to cause those beautiful crystal tears to overflow. She leaned in to bury her face in my waist.
“No, I don’t hate you, Mama. I LOVE you! Mommy, I LOVE you! I LOVE YOU, MOMMY! I LOVE YOU MOMMY! I LOVE YOU, MOMMY! I LOVE YOU, MOMMY! I LOVE YOU, MOMMY!”
I smothered my baby in mamalove and thanked God for letting me into
The Hat Club.