Friday, February 27, 2009

Please excuse me while my heart breaks

I'm sorry to have been such a downer lately. I've been sick and not at all my usual pithy self. And now it's worse. . .

Believe it or not, I've spent the last couple of days in bed thinking I'm being too hard on these Stepford Mommies. Maybe they're just the way they are because they're trying to fit in? I dunno. But now I'm back to resenting the hell out of them. Why you ask? Because they're mean.

The flyer's birthday party is coming up and only 4 of the people invited have RSVP'd. Ok, no big deal but apparently the others are slow to respond because there is another party scheduled at the same time. That's fine- can't help these little glitches in life- but you see I wouldn't know about the other party because my daughter wasn't invited. In fact, this isn't the first time. We tried to arrange a play date with one girl only to be told (rather rudely I might add) that she was going to a classmate's birthday party. Hey! The Flyer is one of her classmates and if we were inviting your daughter over it's because we clearly didn't know about any party. Why point it out and make my kid feel bad?

Come to think of it, my kid has only been invited to 2 parties this year. One from a girl in her class and another from a girl in the other class. There are 18 girls in her grade this year (and btw we invited all to The Flyer's party). We are more than half way through the year so you'd think that there would have been more than 2 parties, wouldn't you?

In what demented universe is it ok to invite some but not all of your kids classmates to a birthday party? I get it that 37 is too many kids so no need to invite the whole grade but there are 18 and 19 in individual classes. You could invite the whole class or all of the girls in your class (9 in one and 8 in the other) or all of the girls in the grade but why leave people out? Does it make the kids feel better because they've snubbed someone? Or is the Mommies who are doing this selective inclusion?

Does this cult really need to indoctrinate their 8 year old daughters into the cycle of snobbiness?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Ugh. This economy stinks. And by the way STINKS isn't at all what I really want to say. It's worse than stinks because every single one of us has been affected and not only do we suffer from our personal ouches, we suffer on behalf of our friends and neighbors who have lost more than we have.

I know that I have a charmed life. I really do! Despite the petty annoyances and the realization that I'll never live up to my full potential (look- that'd be a full time job in and of itself and I just don't have that kind of energy anymore- I'm turning 29 for the 11th time people!) I have it pretty good. But even those of us who have it pretty good are feeling the pinch. And it's bumming me out.

I'm doing my best not to pass the pinch on to my kids. I know that the older 2 are aware that there is a recession but they can't really figure what that means and The Flyer? She's got no clue. Her life is consumed by take-apart erasers and cheerleading competitions. I'm not trying to spare them out of any kind of Mother Teresa type of thing but I just think this isn't what little people should be worried about. We're (THANK GOD) not going to be losing our home and we're both still employed but the pain of this crunch has meant that Ken and I have cut back our own pleasures. For example, we haven't gone out to dinner on a 'date' since August. Not that it's burned in my memory. . . anyone else feeling the pinch?

I feel so bad complaining but I'm thinking it will help to put my cards on the table. One of my very best friends once showed me that your worst fear or biggest shortcoming is much more manageable if you just own up to it. Keeping it hidden away creates a whole 'other' layer of stress. She told me "How can people make you feel bad about a fact that you put out on the table yourself?" What she was saying was that if you can own up to your circumstances and reality then you'll never feel threatened by being exposed. Does that make sense to you?

I'm hoping that someone out there gets it too. Otherwise my current state is just going to be added onto the list which I'm sure will be used to commit me one day. . .

Crazy bus

You all know its nutso around here but sometimes things get so weird that I honestly think I've been transported into a Seinfeld episode. Well last night was one of those times and I kid you not I was looking around for the hidden camera in case I was being punked.

It started out with a phone call from Ken's dad. He's a wonderful, sweet man with a heavy European accent that only adds to the flavor of this story. Basically he's calling to tell us that he's disappointed in us and he doesn't understand how we could do 'this' to Ken's dear old uncle. "He was just trying to do something nice for you and you go and break his heart- how could you do such a thing? He's an old man, you know."

Great. Now I'm in trouble for doing things I didn't even know I did. Of course what soon unfolds is a story of love, rejection, confusion, accusation and frustration. All regarding fruit no less.

Apparently Ken's sweet old uncle decided to send us one of the ginormous boxes of fruit from sunny old Florida. But it seems as though he sent the coffin-o-fruit to Ken's old address where it was deemed 'undeliverable' and promptly returned to not so sunny Tennesse from whence it came. Cue the notification to the Uncle that said Nephew has 'refused' the delivery. You can see where this is going. . . anyway once we explained to Ken's dad that the problem was the wrong address and that we'd take care of it in the morning the second layer of irony kicked in.

Apparently the fruit company is none too happy with these sort of things and somewhere there are about 30 grapefruits threatening to go bad so they're on the case like Miami Vice. No sooner did we hang up with Ken's dad then the phone was ringing again from the Fruit folks. They called 2 more times last night and again at 7:30 this morning. And by the way, they're not at all sweet and humble like the orange growers on those tv commercials for the juice. Maybe it's because they're not really in sunny Florida at all but they're just mean. Like Ken-moved-on-purpose-to-avoid-their-delivery kind of mean. So now it seems that they will be calling us on a regular basis until either a) the fruit in question arrives or b) we fear for our lives and lie about the delivery saying we're enjoying it this very second so they'll stop harassing us.

Honestly, I don't even want the damn fruit anymore but I do wish to get off of this crazy ride. Driver this is my stop!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Confession: I am an addict

I admit it. I'm an addict. It's shameful and has taken over my life but I am completely powerless to avoid my craving for a select few types of ridiculous tv shows. There is not a single food based reality competition series that I can avoid and I also have a stupid penchant for watching home buying and reno shows. Its affecting my family.

Every time Ken walks in and catches me he is forced to spin on his heel and flee the room. The flyer is considering pulling together a contract to outline the programming that she will agree to while spending time with Mommy. I'm looking into therapy and am welcome to suggestions regarding support groups or helpful reading selections. Because the madness must stop. Ok, maybe not stop but be controlled a little because addictions are a serious thing. I can't let my life be taken over by vicarious food based competitions and perhaps a tad too much wine enjoyed while watching the former.

Did I forget to mention the wine? Well, I'm not that worried about it because I've developed selective hearing and will only acknowledge the studies that show its good for you. Also, there is no way I can survive in this town without a regular allotment of alcohol. So really, we only need to worry about the tv. One vice at a time. . .

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sorry guys

I'm having a tough week and frankly, despite the desperate need to blog about the ridiculousness of my life, I'm not feeling it. Not to throw a pity party but things are tight here (they are everywhere) and financial stress is just one more thing that I don't need.

Also, this week is The Flyer's birthday which is a happy occasion. It's a blessing to have a wonderful, healthy happy child but a bit of me gets sad this time of year because each extra candle on the cake is another step away from being my baby.

Only the most morose of morose can turn a little girl's birthday into an occasion for tears so I'll just take the rest of the day off.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The three Jacintas

Jacinta is not a very common name. At least not around here. What's odder still is to coincidentally employ three Jacinta's in a row. What am I talking about? It's a long story.

You see I know a Stepford Mommy who has had that happen. Her last three nannies/housekeepers/indentured servants were all named Jacinta. These three (unfortunate if you ask me) women came from different parts of the world and yet all shared this one name.

Jacinta the first, as we shall call her, was a very nice lady. She was a bit older but was able to keep up with our Stepford Mommy's three young daughters pretty well until the arrival of baby number 4. That was just too much for Jacinta the first and so she hopped the first train out of town.

Of course our Mommy was distraught. Calls were made and lo and behold! Who arrives on the doorstep but Jacinta the second. An odd coincidence considering that Jacinta the second was from Brazil not Florida like Jacinta the first- but nonetheless our Mommy was saved!

For about one week. Poor Jacinta the second was no match for those four adorable little blessings (or maybe it was the one Mommy- who knows?) So despite offerings of riches and even a car, Jacinta the second hit the road as well.

Finding Jacinta the third took a bit longer. This time our Mommy (and the agency placing all of the Jacinta's) wanted to be sure that the proper match was made. They needed someone who had been through rigorous training- perhaps the Israeli army even. Someone who wouldn't be put off by our Mommy's shrill voice or frequent rants- perhaps someone hard of hearing. Someone who had boundless energy so that she could not only keep up with the children but simultaneously clean, cook and carpool- because our Mommy is busy enough keeping herself entertained and can't do any of the above.

And were these prayer's answered? Yes they were. And I'm happy to announce that as far a I know, Jacinta the third is still alive, well and living in her cramped nanny quarters in Stepford. But the funny thing is that Jacinta the third (and Jacinta the second come to think of it) they don't ever refer to themselves as Jacinta. For some odd reason when they introduce themselves they use some sort of code or nanny pen-names like Maria or Sara. It's really quite odd. Almost as strange as employing three Jacintas in a row. . .

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stepford Mommies are following me

I'm on vacation this week and, as you might have guessed, I've been looking forward to a week without interacting with my hometown nemesis so imagine my surprise when The Flyer said "Look Mommy! I see a family from my school!! And wait! There's another family over there!!
Guess what I said? Fantastic! Grab your stuff- it's time to go!!
Ok, so maybe they're not following me but they are showing up wherever I am so you make the call. . .

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stepford Mommies have always been crazy

I was lying in bed last night not sleeping- which I do a lot of- and trying to recall what the average Stepford Mommy was like when I was a child. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember. I was pretty caught up in my own little kid world.

But then I remembered one of the wackiest Stepford Mommies ever. She was a very nice woman- rail thin; beautiful natural blonde hair; gorgeous home; athletic; funny and as nutty as a fruitcake. This woman walked around everywhere with a plastic bag full of parsley and she would proceed to eat it all day long. I don't mean a nibble here and there- this lady spent her entire day eating parsley like it was popcorn.

To make matters worse, she would go through 'spells' of extreme exhaustion (probably due to malnutrition) and she would be forced to call the Stepford Police Department to pick up her kids from the Stepford Country Club and deliver them home because she just was not able to do it herself. And you know what? They did pick up her kids and drive them home like a law enforcement cabbie service and they didn't even arrest her for being a loon.

Only in Stepford.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Stepford Dump

I love the Stepford Dump. I really do. It might be argued that I can't get enough of it. I go as often as possible and its the very first place that I take anyone who is visiting from out of town. Am I deranged? Possibly yes. But, we already knew that didn't we?

So, I thought I'd toss together a list of reasons I love the dump.

6. They have an amazing recycling facility. I'm not the world's greenest person but I'm trying

5. They have a swap area where people leave very nice stuff for others to take. I once got a great shop vac there.

4. They have a book swap area too. I have to admit some of them are a little funky but its a great place for people who collect National Geographics (which I don't but my little brother did for years) because somebody's always dropping off their old discarded collection.

3. They compost all of the plant material that is left at the dump and give it away free so I can have compost for my garden without all the work. :)

2. They provide all the salted sand you can shovel in the winter. That is certainly easier than buying expensive bags of ice melt.

And the absolute number one reason:

You will never, never, never run into a Stepford Mommy at the Dump.

The Supermarket Runway Fashion Show

Am I the only person out there who isn't always ready for her close up? I can't be the only one who runs out of cat food and has to go to the store in her sweats can I? I guess I don't have to go in my sweats I could change into a designer outfit or even a ball gown if I wanted but we're out of cat food and Phantom is howling. Mind you, if it was Knucklehead I'd be all set. He's more than happy to have a big old bowl of cereal when these issues arise. But the cat is less flexible so somebody is going out. And guess who that somebody is? Mommy.

Anyway, I'm now faced with the fact that my already hectic day must now include an unplanned trip to the grocer. "So what" you ask? "Big deal!" you say. Well you have obviously never experienced (cue the big booming voice over. . .) The Stepford Supermarket Runway Fashion Show show show. Perhaps there is some reason for it, but I have to say I've never come close to understanding why a person would go to that kind of effort to buy bread.

I'm talking full make up, manicured nails, hair blown out and styled, fancy schmancy shoes and the kind of clothes you have to dry clean. I don't even own any 'dry clean only' clothes anymore. . . Again I ask- is anyone expecting the President to drop by for cold cuts? Will the Pope be making an appearance in the Frozen Food aisle? I didn't think so.

So, that's whats facing me as I stumble in the door and slink through the produce section trying very hard not to be noticed. Why bother? They're not going to be seen talking to me anyway but I'd rather not get "the look" when really what I need is cat food. The whole scene is almost as uncomfortable as whats coming next. The un-needed help that is about to be thrust upon me.

For some reason the supermarket in Stepford has grocery assistants. Now I don't mean the nice men and women who bag your stuff as you check out. They have those too but there is also a secondary level of assistance. They actually employ people to assist you with your shopping even after you've checked out. And if you think i'm kidding I assure you that I am not.

The Stepford Mommies have already done their allotted work for the day in collecting all of these groceries in the cart. They can HARDLY be expected to put them into bags, push the cart out to the Mercedes and put the bags into the back all by themselves can they? Of course not! The housekeeper will unload the groceries when she get's home but how the hell is she supposed to get them home?? Thank God for the Grocery Assistants.

My problem is that I only have a 5 pound bag of kibble and I don't even have a cart. I don't even need a bag for goodness sake! But still I am absolutely bowled over with "oh no ma'am's" and "please let me get that for you's" and I'm on the hook. They will not allow me to leave this store unless someone is trailing behind me carrying the cat chow.

Ok, I realize that this service creates jobs so I'll play along even though I find the whole thing humiliating. But what gets me is the big "It is our honor to serve you so please no tipping" sign I have to walk under as I lead my temporary servant out to my car. This store will absolutely not allow you to tip or treat these assistants like humans in any way. I've given up trying to walk next to them or make small talk. Apparently, like tipping, they've been trained to refuse any morsel of friendliness or kindness.

So, needless to say, the very long walk back to my car is excruciatingly uncomfortable. Why the long walk you ask? Well I always park as far away as possible because Stepford Mommies are horrible drivers- but that's another story.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I've been asked to give a little more detail on the subject of knucklehead. Where to begin? Where to begin?

Knucklehead is a 10 year old Weimaraner. Anyone who knows the breed is probably laughing right now. They are great dogs. . . as long as they get enough exercise. And when I say enough, I mean 3 to 4 hours of flat out running a day. When I first got him that's what he got. I was living on a horse farm and he could just mosey about wherever he wanted.

But we don't have the same freedom here in Stepford. Not only must you prove your dog has had his immunizations and pay too much to get a license but Stepford also has a leash law. That means that your dog must always be contained in the yard by a fence and can never be in public unless restrained on a leash. Neither solution gives Knucklehead enough space to burn off his 'enthusiasm' so he's always in overdrive racing around like a little coke fiend.

That alone wouldn't be the worse thing. There's also the fact that he's poorly trained. My fault! I know but as it stands our home is a maze of baby gates erected to keep him out of the kitchen and any other areas where food might ever be present because when he sees food, he becomes irrational. Like bum-rush-the-small-child-and-take-her-sandwich irrational. He doesn't bite and isn't particularly scary but when a 40 pound little girl sees a 100 pound dog coming for her PB&J, she's giving it up.

Oh, and then there's the fact that he's suicidal. Don't laugh. I'm serious. Knucklehead has had at least 10 near death experiences. Allow me to list a few of the good ones: he once jumped out a second floor window (not a scratch on him- I gave him an aspirin but skipped the vet); ate an entire container of rat poision; ate a corn cob (which was probably 25 cents worth of corn but it cost $5000 to get out of him); ran across 4 lanes of highway traffic and back without getting hit (for no reason either by the way); he has broken into his food and gorged himself at least 2 but probably 3 times (the first time he did it his stomach was so distended that the vet could feel the kibble from the outside of his belly); he broke a pane of glass banging on it and severed an artery; he once stole 2 Halloween sized bags of Kit-Kat's and not only ate all of the chocolate, but also the tinfoil and the plastic bag so as to hide the evidence. I only found out 2 days later when the tinfoil started showing up in the back yard- yuck!; and he has ingested (and expelled) more socks, bathrobe sashes, baby tights etc than any one person could count.

I think those few examples will make you agree that he is aptly named. Forget about the fact that the bugger can tell time and demands to be fed at exactly 7am and 5pm every day- no matter what! In fact, he's barking his head off right now because I'm 15 minutes late!

I'd gladly give him away if I didn't love the little punk so much. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kick the dog

I'm in a wretched mood. A very un-Stepford mood, I'd say. But nonetheless. . . I just heard from the realtor who is listing my younger-self's condo in NY. The buyer who made a lowball offer and a desperate plea for my consideration (which I fell for) has now decided to back out. B * T C H! ! !

Anyway, I'm now out a considerable amount of money. In NYC you don't get a deposit until the b*tch -oops I mean buyer- gets a sales contract which incidentally costs almost $2000 to 'pull together'. It pisses me off to no end because I'm a flipping certified lawyer in that damned state and god help me but I could have done a flipping contract for flipping free. And by the way, when I say 'flipping' that is NOT AT ALL WHAT I REALLY MEAN!

I'm going to go sleep on it because that's my only real choice. It's that or 1. slit my wrists (very messy) 2. kick the dog (kind of mean but he's a real ding-dong so in his mind that might be retribution for any number of sins) or 3. both of the above with kicking first just in case I show an unexpected talent for slitting. Good night all. I guess you'll all find out how it resolves in the morning.

Circle of friends

The Stepford Mommy loves to chat. She loves to hang out with her peers and just chat chat chat chat chat. Don't they have any 'friends'? I mean you should see them at pickup. It's only 3:00 and you'd think that they'd been through the war. They absolutely must get all of the horror off their chests. So, they all pull up in their Suburbans, Escalades, Audi SUV's, Mercedes SUV's, Lexus SUV's, Porsche SUV's etc (please note that there is not a single mini van among them- they'd rather walk thank you very much) and then the games begin.

There is obviously some sort of pecking order because immediately upon switching into park the subordinate mommies jump out of their cars (and are nearly hit by other mommies who either can't see over the dashboard or really just don't care) and they do the "preppy jog" over to the driver window's of the superior mommies for a little chat. The superior mommies roll down the window and hold court. They're not getting out for anyone-including their kids! Regardless if little Lance or Emma is stumbling under the weight of his 40 pound backpack. . .

Anyway, it's really quite a sight. I'm sure there are anthropology PhD candidates out there looking for a good dissertation topic and the ritualistic behaviour of the Stepford Mommy would make a great one! All the danger of studying a pride of lions without the trip to Africa!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Mommy Mafia

In a world where we are obsessed with smoking out the last remnants of the Taliban and destroying the structure of Al Queda you'd think that someone would have noticed that there is a domestic terrorist group out there that is holding literally millions of American women hostage. That's right folks. I'm talking about the PTO.

Unlike their 1950's predecessors the PTA, today's PTO doesn't "Associate." Oh hell no. That stuff is for lightweights. These women were put on this earth to ORGANIZE and by God, they're going to do it. Pity the fool who drives through the pick up line the wrong way or dares park too close to the playground. In some towns the PTO mommies will come to blows if need be but not here in Stepford. All renegade behavior is met with the most deadly of weapons- the icy stare.

Needless to say, I'm familiar with it. I've tried folks. I really have but I can't deal with these committees and women who for the life of them have no idea what they're doing. Last year I got roped into volunteering for one of their damn fundraisers. Seeing as I'm really not the poster-painting type I said I'd keep track of the money. Everyone signed up in advance and sent in checks and I was to keep track on a spreadsheet. No big deal.

Except that apparently it was a big deal. I said I'd just make a spreadsheet and fill it in as the checks were received. We could sort it alphabetically whenever and all would be fine. Except that they kept insisting that they had the spreadsheet from last year and it would be better for me to use that. So, I kept a list of about a million checks, names etc waiting and waiting for last years spreadsheet. And guess what? When they finally emailed it to me IT WAS BLANK!

So, I called and asked them to resend the one with the names and they told me there isn't one with the names but this was the "spreadsheet" I should use. OMG How did these people get through college? How do they get through their days? They are so damned out of touch that they don't even know Microsoft Excel one of the world's most popular programs? NEVER AGAIN!

Now I make sure to volunteer only for jobs that can be done over the net or by email. No more PTO bullsh*t. Heaven.