Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nits will drive you MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD

At a five star hotel, there was a film shoot in progress. Sitting under an umbrella and wrapped lace, Alec Baldwin came over and asked if I would be in his shoot.

He was short one super model and I would be perfect. I glanced at the women standing on the beach in their string bikinis, all glammed up. I’m nobody so this couldn’t be a punked thing.

“You are gorgeous,” he says. Let’s move”

His eyes carried me to the sand where I stood along the line of 21-year old models, standing out like an infested oak tree.  But hey, I'm the one on the right. A bad case of misperception.

Alec is shouting out of a large, white cone.

“When I say RUN, head toward the water. Okay. Action. And RUN!” We all took off; feet burning by the hot sand, yet the girls are running gracefully, like gazelles.

“Why are we going so fast?” Then I hear gun shots. “That’s why…” but they were now way ahead of me. I took a bullet in the back and fell flat on my face.  This is me just before taking the bullet.

I hear: “Baby, let me adjust this again, make sure it’s tight. Now we twist is around…”

My husband’s voice. He runs a commentary on his every move. He was adjusting Thing One’s nit cap, during which he woke me up and burst my bubble. Yes, it was a dream, but godamn it I got out of the house!

“YOU popped my bubble! I’m trapped for life. Why do you have to talk all the time? I hate your voice! Just adjust it. Jesus!” I am now sobbing. Inconsolably.

“It was a perfect dream! I never have them. I only have nightmares. You are such an ass hole! No, you are the anti-christ!”

The husband whisks Thing One out of the room. I am hysterical.

“Anything is better than this!” I sobbed.

I never tell dreams in stories because I never read them. I skip over them and get to the point. Hence the opening.

I want to go back to Alec, to see the wound. He thought I was a supermodel! Who cares if I was killed?

I can't seem to stop my ranting. "I'd rather be dead with Alec Baldwin than alive with you!"

The night before we all tucked in, we did a nit treatment; all of our heads were covered in olive oil, caps and scarves. There was an outbreak at school. I never had nits or lice as a kid, or if I did, my mother ignored it. She probably figured they would die in the Michigan cold. Who knows?

Earlier that day, I had to make this call according to school rules.

“Hi parent mom whom I never talk to, but your daughter told E she has lice. You should know that.”

This mother is French. “Impossibeeel. There is way no.” This went on and on until she saw a bug in her kid’s hair.

“OH, this is catastrophic!” Here come the tears.

I have worked with the French over 15 years and everything is catastrophic. What I might consider a drag, to them it’s catastrophic. For example, “Well, they want more on the back-end on this movie.” “Oh, that is catastrophic!” Really? I grew to like the word and now use it regularly.

“There is jam on the table. That is catastrophic!”  "Oh my god! There is a smudge on my new jeans! This is a catastrophy!"

Back to the French mom.

“Oui, oui,” I tell her. “Douse her hair in olive oil then go on line.” She kept talking as I hung up.

Still upset about not getting shot by Alec, I got out of bed and flung myself around the house. “This CANNOT be my life. This has to be the dream!!” I put on some Joe Henry and sashayed up and down the hall.

When did I turn into litttle Edith Bouvier? I do love her. We think a lot a like and oddly, my backyard, due to gardeners never showing and tree droppings every where, it has a concrete feel to it. I bet she had nits.

After exhausting myself twirling around, I went back to bed, hubby slept god knows where, maybe on the kitchen floor. Closing my eyes, I envision that hotel, the models, the blood, then wonder if nits are in fact catastrophic.  The next morning this magazine was on the mail stand.

They have no idea what is coming.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Lordeth loves you like meeth!

A wacky trip to the E.R., this time ME!

The only times I have been to the Emergency Room was with the girls if one of them spiked a fever around 105.

There were a few exceptions with my older son, but that's a different story and of course the few exceptions concerning me when I thought some hippy dugged me. This I will snapshot.

On a trip to Palm Springs with a BF when I was in my 20's, on our return, I thought this hippy-type guy who was stuck in the 60's, and worked at a 7-11 put purple haze in my coffee. Maybe because  I was seeing more than mirages,  like dinosaurs and giant moon pies. This terrified me into a state of such anxiety, thus  thought I was tripping; and as it turns out it was a severe panic attack. But that was 20 years ago.

So, the other night, after 3 days of feeling so weak I could barely read the tabs, get out of bed and then thought my heart had stopped, not to mention my back had gone out, this a result of carrying twins to beyond term (but that’s a different story,) I thought I had better drive to the E.R.

How I got the energy to do this is beyond me, but hope was in sight, and that alone was enough.

When I pulled into the parking lot, in an attempt to straighten my car to keep it neatly between the white lines because I have a mild case of OCD no matter how sick I am, suddenly, an enormous gold Cadillac taps the front of my car. I really thought nothing of it, because I already knew I would have the scrape and this person would not. I have THAT kind of car. Honestly, a class of cola sitting on the fender would cause major damage.

Anyway, 4 seconds later, a rather large, okay, super-sized woman gets out of her car, replete in a moo-moo that's riding up to her ass and hair I can only describe as, “how could she leave the house like that!?" starts screaming at me about her back pain! Note here, she hit me, maybe going 1 mile an hour in basically a tank. But no matter, she was going to sue me, then she cursed me to hell!

I was so sick I really had no time for this person and wondered if she was just released from the psych ward.

“What the hell is wrong with you girl!? Now I’ve got the back pain! Do you know how much that shit costs?”

A seasoned driver, I knew even in a much worse “fender-bender” no one can feel any “pain” for at least two days. But, whatever. This lady had the sue-thing going on. Not uncommon in LA.

“Jesus loves me! Not the likes of you!” she went on. Jesus? What does he have to do with this?

She quickly jotted down my license plate and kept on ranting Corinthians from what I am presuming the Bible. Here, I couldn’t tell you if it was the Old or New version, having never read either. Meanwhile, I’m ready to vomit and coupled with my own back pain, I may have said, “ Go fuck yourself and your Jesus.” I have nothing against Jesus,from everything I’ve read, he seemed like a pretty interesting guy; a cute carpenter, anarchist who stood up for prostitutes and fought the corrupt political system. What’s not to love? Now that's a last supper I would enjoy.

As I was limping away, a skinny, old man approached her, (husband?) He inspected her car like a germaphobe mother might inspect her kid's head for lice. He saw there was no damage, yet there was a scrape on my car.

“Do what you need to do.” He tells her. WTF?

“And you didn’t even say you was sorry!” She was still ranting. Honestly, these hypocritical Jesus people.

“Jesus died for your sins! Not mine!” she continued. The man was escorting her back to her car. Now she is limping like I struck her with a steel bat. I don’t mean to be mean, but she was so big, in that 250 to 300 pound way where it’s hard to tell where she might be hiding that back. And with all the cushion! Please.

On top of why I came here in the first place, I am now reasonably upset as I don’t like being bullied, no matter the circumstances. Plus how does she know Jesus doesn’t love me. Fuck her.

Cut to:

The waiting room. Of course it’s packed. There is a man in front of me, his arm dripping blood like a bad B movie. Next to him is his wife claiming to sue the hospital if they don’t see him right now. She was screaming and ranting also.

“If he bleeds to death on your floor, you know you’ll be looking at a hefty lawsuit. I will shut this place down so fast your heads will spin!” What was with all the people? Again, it is Los Angeles.

Years ago, a young boy, say, 8, ran across my street and was hit by a brand new Mercedes. Then suddenly, his parents seem to appear out of nowhere screaming lawsuits! He could have been killed. So, were they waiting for an expensive care to drive by before pushing him in the street? I took him into my house, a couple of bruises, then glared at his parents. “This is not 911. It’s a cold pack." The poor, oldish women in the Mercedes (who was going under the speed limit) was torn apart. But I digress.

I felt bad for the man as the cut was actually pretty minor. But felt worse for his young son, witnessing all of this and his nutty mother. His father kept leaning over and kissing him on the forehead.

“You don’t seem to understand! We have in-sur-ance!” and good kind too. Medicare!”

They took me right away and I was whisked off into a quiet, lovely room by the most kind nurse I had seen since the birth of the twins.
I tell her all my ailments; the list seemed endless. Yet somehow the conversation shifted to poker!

“Where do you play?” I just couldn’t resist.

Well, that is all it took. After hearing that this poor woman lost 300 dollars with 3 aces got me pretty upset; so I gave her some solid poker tips since I have been playing the game more than 20 years; and as mentioned, it paid my way though college.

Her assistant nurse enters, apparently also an avid player, and was instructed by her boss to take notes, which she did.

Finally the doctor comes in. Young, cute, frankly datable. We talk, he’s kind and gentle and then shoots me up with antibiotics and a shot for my back. It reduced the pain and I felt better. Then I hear:

“Where’s my hundred dollar bill!”

I snuck a peek as he was just outside my room.

A rather pathetic looking guy, filthy, matted hair, lying on a gurney, slurring nonsense about this hundred dollar bill, despite being told countless times he never had one.

His nurse: “Now remember, when you drink, stay home and don’t go out driving. Just drink and, say watch House or Family Guy."

Shortly thereafter I hear “Georgie? Is that you? Georgie?” This from some old man on a gurney a few feet from the drunk, clearly ready to drop dead.

COLD BLUE CODE BLUE. Lots of commotion out there. So was he already seeing Georgie before he died?

“Is it always like this, doctor?” If I wasn't married I would have slipped him my number. Not that it didn't cross my mind anyway.
“Pretty much.”
The cute doctor gave me some Motrin and told me if I don’t feel better and say, start peeing blood, come straight back. Well, okay. If I ever pee blood, which will be never, this is not where I will return.

Finally back at my car, just before settling into my seat, I see a note on the windshield. Now, a couple things. It’s barely legible and written on a rose patterned piece of stationary one might find in a Motel 6. (Do they still exist?) On it, was the face of Jesus as a kind of back drop.

I throw it in the driver’s seat and when stopping for gas, I read the damn thing.

“Girl. Jesus loves you!!!! Sorry for earlier comment. He is not out to get you.” Huh, who said he was? It goes on. "The Lordeth is always hereth. He saved meeth." Then, something about born-agains. It was a long note, one I wasn’t interested in finishing, but did notice, it was dated 10/8/08. Now, the date is 9/20/09! Does she just carry these around and hand them out willy-nilly without changing the date?

I finally got home and tell my husband the whole kerfuffle. “I feel a story coming on… but I’m glad you’re okay.”

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Here is a quick snapshot of girls growing up in LA.  Notice the difference in 1.5 years. Because this world/county/LA is lousy with seductive images everywhere you turn.... do I lock them up now?

Seems like yesterday:

Here we are today

So what is a mother  to do? New Zealand?  The good news in this is they have a father that is so hands on, I'm surprised he doesn't  still use the dog chains. (yes, we did, once at Disneyland, but, we also didn't lose them, so eff off)

Like any reasonable mother I went out and got some Restalyne.   Here is another before and after.

Prior to my going in, I thought, well, everyone says it gives you a nice plumpy look.  As a sidenote: everytime my kids see a picture of her on a magazine, they always say "mom! you're in a magazine!"  How can you not love them?
So I get the Restalyne, but this crook kept telling me I needed more, a little more...I left in tears and here is why

This crazy doctor insisted I need this stuff in my cheeks, lips, eyes, neck, armpits and ass. I wore a mask for a few weeks, after threatening to sue her. She reimbursed me and in fact gave me extra so I wouldn't call the BBB. Though I was actually ready to call an attorney.

Leave your face alone! And while you are at it, build an attic for your daughters; but keep cutting their hair to leave no room for error.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Children do NOT keep you young!!

“Children keep you young” is quite possibly the biggest lie told to parents in the history of parenthood. Right up there with thinking you'd love Disneyland all over again.

First, the facts. Carrying a child, sucks out all of your nutrients, leeches your gums, ruins your breasts, mottles your once-lovely skin tone and adds a layer of fat to your stomach that simply will never go away unless, of course, you go the surgical route.

On a mental health level, there is the constant moment to moment worry regarding their well-being, speed drives to the hospital, sleep deprivation, hair-pulling over the smallest of an incident, “She seems so quiet today. There must be something wrong!”, or “why is she crying so much, she never cries! It must be a rare disease!" Then, all the restraint one must muster as to not lose every friend they have by screaming continuous anxiety and stress … stress which in fact ages every part of you.

Was this ridiculous quote for the parents that thought: Oh YAY a whoopee cushion; what a blast! or I get to go to Six Flags again, YAY or, another opportunity to visit the Ecoli infested Water Park, or perhaps the constant trips to the smelly beach where I can no longer wear my bathing suit, and carry four bags of kid stuff (sunscreen, shovel, extra clothes, barbies, etc.)

Can someone tell me where the fun is in that??

I hated all of those places as a childless person. And as time goes on, there is the homework you end up doing so your child stands a chance to get into a better school, so then you have to endure elementary school all over again. What a fucking blast. Then the god-awful helicopter school parents you are forced to interact with.

For example, Dina, “So far I have racked up 25 hours of community service, serve hot lunches and have recently become a room parent! Plus I am on the volunteer committee to collect “donations”.

I knew there was a reason I hated her.

“How are you participating?” she inquires.

“I drop them off.”

The parents at the school have never liked me, which is fine. It’s a forced situation, people I would not deal with in the real world. But then this: “You do realize these people become your social life.”

I really thought this woman was insane. Sadly so. I had plenty of friends, by my choice. Then:

“Yunno, all I ever wanted in this life is this, my kids in a great school and a new Volvo,” she adds wistfully.

I never spoke to her again. In fact, I was aging by the minute just standing next to her.

Then this from some scientist talking to the BBC:

Regular sex "can take years off your looks." This made some sense to me. If it meant I was able to nap afterward.

“Couples who have sex at least three times a week look more than ten years younger than the average adult who makes love twice a week,” claims consultant neuro-psychologist Dr. David Weeks, who has made a 10-year study of the subject. But then he blew it.

This insanely photoshopped picture of Christie Brinkley, not to mention her wealth that would include daily trainers, chefs, helpers, surgeons, dermatologists, drivers, nannies, whatever she needs, debunks his entire theory. Because even without all the help, any mother could look like that with the right filters. In fact, I look better. Also, her article doesn't even mention sex. Not once.

Strange choice indeed, Dr. Weeks.

Yet he continues on with his fantasy.

"Pleasure derived from sex is a crucial factor in preserving youth. It makes us happy and produces chemicals telling us so."

Who knows whether or not Christie Brinkley engages in any kind of sex. And she sure as hell isn't having it with you.

Dr. Weeks said these sex-happy couples make more of an effort to keep themselves in good shape for their partners and will also benefit from the physical and emotional effects of .... sex.  This guy is too much.

"There are physiological factors too," continues Dr. Weeks.

"Sex is the most intense kind of pleasure and that triggers certain chemicals. In women, it produces a human growth hormone which helps the process. Regular sex with the SAME partner came only second to physical and mental activity as the factors most important to retaining youth."

But he doesn't say what the first one was!

This guy Weeks was really starting to piss me off. I had a feeling he wasn’t getting any!  Then I found this. Hi! It's Bob's your Uncle Dr. Weeks.

What is with the owl clock?  Okay, I'll spare you the rest of his nonsense, even though I read the entire article. Then this: "Casual sex, or sex outside your marriage, will bring DETRIMENTAL things to staying youthful. In fact, you'll age faster." OMG!

So what this comes down to is Dr. Weeks is a perverted, misogynistic, right-wing prude. He just told me to go have more sex. But it can't be casual? A one-off? An affair? That's the best kind! Forget this guy. I will stick to my own routines.

I have some news for Dr. Weeks. Here is a young woman before kids.

Then she married her college sweetheart and three kids later:

This is a popular meme because it's true!

So, I really wish people, and by that I mean, PARENTS, and men like Dr. Weeks, would stop saying, “Aren’t kids wonderful? They keep you so young.”

I typically respond, “Why, are you having a lot of sex? An affair perhaps? Chugging the HGH?”

When a newish mom makes this comment, and she still looks pretty good, I try not to roll my eyes; but instead nod politely, “Oh yes, they have taken years off. I’m actually 112. It’s magical.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Gonna Kick Yo Ass!

I hear crickets chirping, leapt up from my computer and sprinted around the house looking for the pesky noisemaker, finally finding the source coming from the dirty clothes hamper.

“Hello! I mean, this is Rhonda.” That is one of the problems when you work from home in your pajamas. The professional voice is a balancing act and often one forgotten.

“Who is this?” This was a very angry voice. At first I was relieved because it wasn’t a bill collector.

“Uh, Rhonda. Who’s this?”

“Well Rhoda, if you don’t stop texting me, I’m going come over to kick yo ass from here to kingdom come!”


She signed off. Kingdom come? Where the hell is that anyway? If it’s by the beach, then maybe this is a weird sign I’m finally getting that lovely ocean shack.

Then I thought maybe this was a mistake, this person had clearly dialed the wrong number.
One hour later, I hear the chirping again. I frantically run around and find my phone in the tampon drawer.

“Hello… I mean, this is Rhonda.”

(BTW, this was NOT my choice of ring tones, but my 6-year old twin girls; despite the fact they feed live crickets to their many reptiles.)

‘Okay, lady, I gotta another text! This one reads: “I love you daddy! Now who the fuck is this? Are you talking ‘bout my man bitch! Plus, you keep interrupting my dinner."

After a brief moment of shock, then trying to imagine what this person looked like, I responded; “I’m sorry… there has to be a mistake.”

“I’ll say. How about I come over there and shove your head up yo ass and we call that a mistake!”
“Actually I’d rather go to kingdom come.”
“Stop texting me!”

I looked at the number and soon realized it was one digit off from a friend’s number whom I text a lot. But never “I love you daddy.” And also, I really shouldn’t put numbers in my phone without wearing my reading glasses. Honestly, god knows who I call or text these days.

The irritated woman continued. I have to say she was really over reacting. So she got a couple texts. It’s not like they said, “Hey, you big fat ho, your man has syphilis and sleeps with every hobag in L.A.!”

She sighs, now it says, “daddy we love you more than mom.”

"Oh. Look. I am so sorry. I just realized what’s going on here. I have kids, and they sometimes grab my phone when I’m not looking and text their father, but really they are texting the last number I used.”

“I gotcha… it’s the kids. Well that would explain why there are no spaces between the words. Plus my kids don’t have a dad, so you can see why I might get a little pissed. I thought some slut was coming after MY daddy.”

“Oh, no no no, I am not that person. I would never do that. I mean I did it once, but that was a long time ago. Anyway, I promise to take you number off right now.”

“Please do! Immediately. This is driving me crazy, girl! Who are you tyring to call anyway?”

“Jamie. She’s my best friend. We go way back, yunno, the kind of friend who will drop anything if you are in trouble and in fact when I was having a mild breakdown…”
“Okay, okay, I don’t want to hear this shit. My name is Mary Ann. Now you just get me off your phone and we’re cool.”   Suddenly I saw this stranger in a whole new light.

"Right. Super cool."

I am no techie, so trying to change my friend’s number, I kept calling Mary Ann!

“Girl, you do have some serious problems."

"Mary, you don't know the half of it."

"Get your kids to fix it. My son fixes my computer all the time." Suddenly I wanted to invite Mary over for a coffee.

Finally I erased the whole thing and started over.

As my girls get taller I have to keep putting things on higher shelves. I think I have some kitchen knives on the roof. Now, I’m slightly terrified to look at my cel phone bill this month. They love coming into my office and drawing hearts and flowers on my work documents, letters, bills.

"But we want to be just like you mom. Sit in p.j.'s all day and play on your computer." Here, I stifle some tears. Kids just love their parents no matter what. Until they don't. Later.

I tried to lock my door but there’s the consistent, maddening pounding and my guilt; "This is obvious rejection they will take into their adult life and will never be happy and seek out rejection all because of you!”

I keep my phone hidden behind my doll I made for them which they hate, so I know it’s safe. For now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Proof I have actual parenting skills!

I really hate the beach. The sand, the sewage smell, the hordes of people who have no business taking their clothes off in front of others. But summer was coming to a close and the girls were begging to go. All day. I figured they would tire themselves out then it would simply be too late. But by 5pm they were thowing water balloons into my office. I have no idea how to discipline my kids. "Knock it off!" That didn't work. I almost threatened to send them back to the hospital, totally old-school like my parents did to me, but where we live that would simply be child abuse and the girls know it. All those old parental threats don't hold water anymore: the reservation, your one-eyed Uncle, the zoo.

"You are the worst mom! Dad loves taking us to the beach!"
"Well good for him. He's not here, now is he?"
I went back to working on my computer; because, see, my plan is to earn enough money so we can go stay at a 5- star hotel in Hawaii; I sit in the lanai, say reading a book or getting a rub-down by a gorgeous native guy wearing one of those diaper wraps, while the sacred DAD takes the girls to the damn beach.

Suddenly I'm hit in the side of the head with a huge moldy lemon. Then another. We have a lemon tree, but no one ever trims it, so it produces what are supposed to be lemons, but they look like moldy grapefuit and they are hard as rocks for some reason. They also stink and are disgusting.  Thing One and Two are launching them into my office like missles. I am so pissed off, but they don't believe any of my threats, potential punishments or even what could pass for a scary face. I don't even know how to make a stink eye or I would give that a shot.

"Okay! Get your shoes on!"

The sun was about to set, so I had that going for me. No traffic. I drove 90 miles an hour until I could see a place to pull over near the Pacific. I jerked the car onto some dirt behind what looked like an outhouse, but I think was a trailer. Once the dust settled we got out of the car.

"Mom, why are you such a bad driver?" Thing One and Two ask this in unison. They ask all the time, but usually after I back into a garbage can or shopping cart. "Dad never hits anything! And his car smells better!"

"Hey! Did you see that? A dolphin just did an aerobatic somersault!"  When in doubt, distract. The girls leapt out of the car like their car seats were on fire. The inquisition was over.
The sun was setting, so we could still kind of see as we stumbled down some rocks (here is where I broke a tiny bone in my foot, a bone, btw, I have broken before doing the same thing... that is, wearing the wrong shoes climbing on rocks at the beach, in the dark.. in fact, very close to this part of the beach.)  But the thing about broken bones in the feet is there is not much you can do. The pain is minimal and this time I was ready; I didn't go out dancing in high heels the next night. Instead I just walked around like a regular person.

In any case, the night beach trip seemed to satisfy the girls. There were maybe 5 people standing around, most fishing for dinner. My kids thought that was "awesome" and wanted to fish as well. Good luck, I was thinking. I handed them both a long twig.

"How do you fish with a stick?"
"Where do you think fish sticks come from? Hello!"

They took the sticks and stared at them. Then Thing One saw something glittering in the filthy sand and proudly held it up. "Mom!  A hook!"

I gasped and grabbed the dirty syringe from her little hand and flung it back into the ocean where it belonged.

"That hook was way to old and used. Sorry, honey."

They threw the sticks on the ground and noticed the seaweed-riddled sand was blanketed with clams. That would explain the swarm of teensie flies I kept smacking with my purse.

"Oh my god, mom. Look! We can make a pearl necklace."  The started scooping up the stinky clams then asked for my brand new hoodie to hold them in. Gross. But I did it. Because that's the kind of mom I am.

I heard a loud belch and that is when I noticed the outhouse/trailer. And the pig that lived in it. She was all boozed up, bloated and probably insane, but kids needs to see sometimes how other people live. So, I struck up a conversation with her.

"Catch any big ones tonight?"

She eyed me suspicously. Maybe it was the Prada sandals, the strappy dress towing two girls also fully dressed.

"I'm not a narc," I told her, like this was high school. But the look she gave me was familiar. People always thought I was a narc in high school. To this day I don't understand why.

"Well, we got some trout," she slurred this, and I detected a redneck twang. But hey, I am not one to cast aspersions. She pointed to her make-shift BBQ that sat just outside a piece of cardboard that passed for a door.

"OH MY GOD! Are you going to eat the head? Even the eyes? Cool!" Thing One enthused. Then Thing Two, the sensitive one, screamed.  "Fish head! Fish head! Mom!! What's wrong with her?"

I pulled the girls back toward the beach and away from the strong stench of body odor and rum. Cheap rum.

We moseyed along, the girls sticking more stinky clams inside my beloved hoodie, then I thought I might chalk up a conversation with an attractive Asian couple, maybe mid-forties. I'n not sure what compelled me to do this as I hate most people but I needed some type of normal interaction for the girls to witness.

"Nice night, right? It's cool, pretty, relaxing."

The man looked at me like I might arrest him. What was with all of these people?

They both nodded.  "Oh, nice, nice."  Then the couple bowed and backed away, bowed and backed away, but super fast. What the hell were they doing?

Maybe they didn't understand English. Out of nowhere, the mother starts screaming some kind of Asian gibberish at her two small boys and then they just, run. All of them. Like at any moment, we will be eaten be by sharks. I scratched my head. I looked around to see if there were any signs indicating this might be an illegal part of the beach, but saw no such sign.  Then for second, I wondered if someone stuck a post-it on my back reading "Beach Police."

The sun made it's final descent, and now in the complete dark, the girls and I clambored back up the rocks to our car. As we buckled in, the boozy trailer lady peeled away in front of us, leaving tread marks. She must have packed her hot BBQ because it too was gone. This was all so puzzling.

But I must say, the highlight of that night is this little doll. I have no domestic skills on any level, but I thought my kids should learn something about sewing. In a proper manner. Never mind that a while back they had already gotten into some old sewing kit I stole from the Four Seasons and stitched heart patches on their blue jeans.

So I had gotten this kit a few months back and when we returned home, I would surprise them with this great activity; something the three of us could do together. A mommy and daughter thing. However, 2 minutes in and the girls were gone. Fuck em. I was adamant about the doll and wanted to finish. It took hours. I think the girls were pitching those fake lemons over the fence and into the street. But no matter, I had to finish. When done, I was so proud.

"Girls! Girls!  Look how beautiful she is!"  Thing One rolled her eyes and walked away. 
"Mom, we hate dolls. Anyway when is dad coming home?"
"But I made her, like from scratch."
"Mom, you made her from a kit for 5-year olds and all the lines are uneven, and she's missing an eye and she's ugly," smirks Thing Two. With that, she grabbed my doll, stormed out to the front yard and threw her into a the camillia bush.
"Go to your room! Right now. And no dinner and you're grounded!"
"We are both already grounded."
"Well, then no more beach outings!"
They both started to giggle. "Dad will just take us."
I ran outside to retrieve the doll, held her in my arms and caressed her so she wouldn't feel rejected.

"Where's our dinner, mom?" The Things screamed.
"It will be okay... Sally." I named her right there on the spot. And her permanent wink held more meaning.

I love her. I had no idea I could sew, and who cares if the kit was for 5-year olds. It's was actually pretty damn difficult; the cutting, staying in the lines, the stuffing.
Sally sits on my desk all day, always winking. Like she knows something.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just eat your frickin bananas!

On the hottest day of the summer thus far, with fires raging a few miles away, the sky is raining soot. Since we are nearing the end of the summer, and I have been in lock down with Thing One and Thing Two, while trying to work in my cave of privacy, it seems we are all at wits end. I have run out of tasks for them to do, they are sick of sweeping the floors, writing letters to Santa, and scrubbing the bath tub. So they have taken to fisticuffs. Though playful, someone always gets hurt. Not bad, but enough for me to get of the phone, check the boo-boo, and give them a plate of cookies.

Then suddenly, at 102 degrees outside and black smoky air I keep outside with closed windows, our air conditioner dies. We one by one strip down to basically the bare essentials. I personally hate the heat and clearly they do too. Now everyone is screaming and yelling and brawling.
My fix it guy, for whatever reason, too much traffic, got cozy at the Subway, never showed up. I was waiting for him like a forlorn lover to end my misery. The girls are so out of control I have lost track of them. I just keep hearing things fall, break, crash, but at my desk, staring at bills, work I can’t get done because I can’t think straight, and looking around my office, which somehow in the heat is the ugliest place I have ever sat in, brings up in me every bad memory of my life. I break down in tears and can’t stop sobbing, yanking the yellow pages to find help. I settle on the first ad because it says, FAST EDDY.

“Just how fast are you Eddy?” I am now sobbing uncontrollably. I can hear chatter in the background. I am telling them my life story. “Then after my dad left, we lived in a car for a while…anyway….I have two small girls, one is breaking out in heat blotches, I can’t think, I’m going to lose my job, nothing has ever worked out! I had such big plans Eddy!”
“Calm down miss, calm down.” But I can’t stop crying. I throw myself on the bed and wait for Eddy.

Miraculously he arrives in 20 minutes. But his name is Raul. Or Roll. Or something like that. He is sketchy, and probably a thief, but I don’t care. I have black mascara all over my face and I leave it there. But I did put on some pants before answering the door.

He brings in his tools. The girls have now completely lost their minds. They are running around the house with nothing as innocuous as scissors, but have somehow gotten a staple gun, my husband’s cigar clipper and other sharp objects I can’t even identify.

“We are building a rocket ship to Iceland.”  It made perfect sense.

“Just be careful.”

As Roll works on the outdoor air unit, I notice the girls are not building a spaceship but are shooting wasps and cutting them in half.

“AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” I snap to my senses and grab what may as well be a rocket launcher.
“Mom! We have to kill the wasps before they kill us!” They run around the overgrown backyard, insane from the heat.
“Stand in the shade and DON’T MOVE!”
Back in the house I put away the weapons on high shelves, survey the kitchen. It’s a mess. Dishes, toys, newspapers, soda bottles, left over breakfast. I get why my sister of eight once said “what’s the point” when I asked her why she never cleans her house. I judged her so harshly for that comment and now completely understand. Then it occurred to me I hadn’t eaten all day. But there are dishes, so I fed the girls. Syrup drips off the table. Looks like pancakes. Then I see a bunch of perfectly ripe bananas and a sense of calm washes over me. They are beautiful. I grab them and run outside.
“Girls! Everybody just calm down and eat a banana.” I start handing them out.

“I don’t want a banana, mom.”

“Me either.”

“Just eat your goddamn banana!”

Roll looks over at me. I smile sheepishly.

“I mean frickin. Do people say frickin?”

Both girls throw their bananas on the patio table and resume their running to nowhere game.

“Please just sit down and eat these bananas! They are perfect! They will rot if we don’t eat them. Think of the starving children!” I start to sob again. How could I be saying that? I have become my mother and my father.

Roll walks over.

“Give me the bananas. I love them.”

“Thanks Roll.”

“By the way, the system needs complete overhaul.” Then something about burnt plastic and initially crappy installation. He howls when I tell him who originally installed it.

“They didn’t show ‘cause they are based 70 miles from here.” More laughter. He consults his notepad.
“This will cost 1000.00. But I guarantee you the other company would’ve charge more ‘cause they have to drive so far and they wouldv’e used plastic again. I’m using copper.” I suddenly don’t care I am overdrawn, and I am also being ripped off. I have a few thousand dollars hidden under my office rug.”

I am sweating, crazy, the girls are still running around the filthy backyard proudly pointing out dead wasps they had shot with a staple gun. I know there must be a nest. The Chinese elm is so over grown there is debris everywhere. In that mess is a nest, and more hornets. I run in the house and grab the staple gun and start shooting at the tree. Roll looks at me. I lower the gun.
“It actually works. Who knew?”

The girls grab the hose and spray my husband’s coveted barbecue grill, probably destroying it. Then they join me and spray the tree, debris falls on our heads. I can’t control them. I can’t control myself. I run to the kitchen, covered in we leaves, put the staple gun on top of a shelf, and tears spontaneously drip from my eyes. Why can’t I stop crying? I sit down in the filthy kitchen and eat three bananas. Finish off the bunch. I start to feel better. Then there is cold air blasting from the vents.
Roll and the girls walk in. Casual. Even smug.

“Mommy! He fixed it!” They both splay out on the living room carpet.

“I have three of my own,” Roll tells me as I hand over the cash. He leaves.
I join the girls and we just lie there, and sigh.