Going…going…gone

ChillCentral_Slush_SmallIt was 3 pm. I hadn’t seen my smallish, 11 year old, male offspring since we arrived this morning at the property that my husband manages. I wasn’t overly concerned by this fact, though. Everyone knows everyone in the community, watches out for each other’s kids, and adores all of ours. He’s made friends with most of the kids that live there, and is likely off playing video games with one of them. Someone will have fed him by this late in the afternoon, too. So, I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the day, and getting a lot accomplished in the apartment I was painting. That is until my husband gifted me with…a slushie.

I had no sooner taken a sip of the sweet frozen yumminess, when I spy the boy bopping by the kitchen window, mere seconds away from bursting through the door. I frantically look around for some place to stash my frosty treat, but I just wasn’t quick enough. Before I could make a move, there were 2 big grey eyes staring me down accusingly. “What’s in the cup?” He asked, and before I could even say Pineapple Slushie, he was sucking it down like a desert camel. You got a hump somewhere that I don’t know about, son? Maybe storing some up so that you can bounce off the walls later? Needless to say, the lad made quick work of my slushie.

How did he know?! I thought as I frowned at my empty cup. Then, from out of the blue, it hit me. The greatest epiphany to ever wander through the farthest galaxies of my cranium: Kids share a psychic link with sugar! I’m actually rather upset with myself for not realizing this fact sooner, as I reflect back on my years of life with 5 children.

I can go through the McDonalds drive through and order myself a quadruple biggie sized drink served in a bucket with a straw, and it’ll barely be passing through the minivan window before I’ll hear the first, “Hey, can I have a sip?” This of course results in 4 additional “sips” as it gets handed around. By the time it gets back to me there will be nothing but a half chewed ice cube in the bottom, and several teeth marks in the Styrofoam.

My 16 year old daughter is the worst one of the bunch. She can down an entire drink with catlike stealth.  She pulls this ‘faster than the naked eye ninja move’ and you won’t even know your drink is gone until you pick up the empty cup. I’ll glare at her and say,” Really Amber?” Then she’ll flash me her big innocent emerald eyes, belch like a drunken sailor, giggle, and say, “What? I was thirsty.” Child, where did you even come from? Were you there just a minute ago?

I did discover years ago that if I actually want to try and enjoy a sugary snack, I need to hide it from the herd. Even then, though, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get the pleasure of enjoying my hoarded deliciousness.

I can put my treat in a Ziploc bag, stuff the bag into one of those indestructible black boxes that they use on airplanes, place the black box inside a 3 inch thick steel safe, wrap a couple of thick iron chains around it, secure the chains with 5 or 6 strong padlocks, encase the whole thing in cement, and they’ll still come stiffing around my door like a pack of dogs. “You have an M&M in there, I can smell it.” Nope. That’s just my new perfume. Au De Hershey. You like?

I’ll wait it out until they’re satisfied with the fact that I’m not harboring any rogue goodies.  Then I’ll slide out of bed at 3 am and tip toe to the other side of the house. I’ll crack their doors open ever so slightly and peek in to see the rise and fall of the covers and listen for the gentle sounds of snoring. Then I’ll tip toe back to my room, quietly shut the door, and begin the process of extracting my stowed sweetness. Ah, there you are, you candy coated morsel of pleasure. It’s a green one, too. Just look at the way it sparkles in the moonlight. As the dainty delight starts to make its journey from hand to mouth I look over my shoulder one last time to see….5 sets of imploring eyes hovering over a freshly forming puddle of drool. Sigh. I give up. How exactly does one divide a single M&M into 5ths?

I realize now why so many women that I know with children are always on a health kick. They don’t really want to lose a few pounds, prevent heart disease, or lower their cholesterol. They just can’t get their hands on anything other than vegetables anymore. You like that carrot stick Sally? No? Well, get used to it, you have children. Consider it your new candy bar.

As I depart for the day, I offer those of you with children a deliciously sweet cookie, just to show that I am sympathetic to your plight.

Image

Oops. Too late. Better luck next time.

Image

Advertisements

The Grand Zoo Tour

images

I once read one of those captioned Facebook pictures that said, “Children are like farts. You can stand your own but other peoples are intolerable.” While there is a certain measure of truth to that statement, mine have been known to run me out of a room just as swiftly as anyone else’s ever could.

There are 5 of them total. Five outrageous offspring, units of union, creations of coupling, miracles of mating, reminders of relations…all with 5 distinct personalities. Four of them happen to be teenagers, all in full, glorious rebellion. This phenomenon happens at about the 12 to 13 year mark in the growth cycle of your average teen creature. I say creature, not only because their actions can often be somewhat inhuman, but because I tend to view myself as a zookeeper when it comes to this abundant herd. I could say that my husband is my assistant zookeeper, but he happens to be one of the biggest animals in the bunch most of the time.

When we’re out and about as a group, people will ask, “Are ALL these kids yours?” I, of course, just say, “Yes. There’s never a dull moment in my house,” and smile not only because my husband came as a package deal, thus making 3 out of the 5 a very big part of my life for the past 10 and a half years, but also because it’s just marginally easier than having to explain ‘the way we all became the Brady Bunch’ version 2.0.

So, are you ready to embark on the grand tour of my zoo? Well then hop in the mini-van and let’s roll! I strongly recommend keeping your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. The beasts here may bite.

 Coming up on the left we have…

The Kelsey: (Angerus Hormonius) Real Age: 17 going on 18. Calculated age in human years:  35

Short, blondish, and way too big for her britches (literally), the Kelsey squeezes her “assets” into things that the average person might floss their teeth with. This is even more problematic considering the fact that while she was once a very active and competitive critter, she has become a bit sluggish with age, leading to a slightly expanding girth. Despite that fact, the Kelsey is still quite pretty, and bears a set of striking big green eyes. She just chooses to cover herself in some not so pretty things, and she really doesn’t care about having perfectly styled fur and a well-groomed face the way that other female teen-creatures do.

This particular Kelsey happens to be missing the filter between the mouth and the brain that most humans have, and at any given moment something jaw dropping and cringe-worthy might roll out like a dense fog from between her likely numb from excessive tongue wrestling lips, no matter how inappropriate or harsh it happens to be. The Kelsey is super smart, though, and extremely tricky, so don’t let her crude utterances fool you. She’s merely working to get your hackles raised, which she knows that she is more than capable of.

Your very presence in close proximity to the Kelsey has the potential to anger her, so proceed with caution. She’s very stand-offish with everyone at first meeting, but can easily be won over with affirmations of how pretty she is… and cookies. Bring cookies. Then, the Kelsey might be more than willing to warm up to you, which can prove to be quite fun regardless of her potential to be abrasive when the mood strikes her. She’s also quite the songbird, often singing along very loudly with any particular song on the radio, which isn’t an unpleasant sound because she’s very skilled.

The Kelsey came to be part of my zoo by marriage.

 Now if you’ll look to your right, you’ll see…

The Amber: (Vainish Prissyus) Real Age: 16 going on 17. Calculated age in human years:  25

“You really need to pluck your eyebrows”…”Ugh. You’re not seriously going out of the house in THAT, are you?”…”Are you freakin’ kidding me right now?”…”We all know I’m prettier than you.” These are just a few of the things that could issue forth from the jaws of the Amber at any given moment, because “She’s too sexy for this house, too sexy for this family, because she’s a model, you know what I mean? And she’ll do her little turn on the catwalk.”

While she is a gorgeous creature when it comes to looks, tall and statuesque (the child towers over me by several inches), with her emerald green eyes and mane of flowing red fur, her attitude doesn’t always reflect her beauty. You’re likely to lose your head or any other important appendages for merely breathing in her personal space.  You may NOT communicate verbally with the Amber, either. All requests, commands, and general correspondence must be submitted via text to even be acknowledged.

A self-proclaimed tree hugging hippy and bleeding heart vegetarian, (at least at this current moment because her phases are subject to change at any given time), the Amber is the adopter of all things stray… and stuffed pandas. There’s no panda that the Amber has laid eyes upon that isn’t cluttering up some area of her lair, which she happens to have to share with the other female teen-creatures in the zoo. This fact makes her pack-rat tendencies…troublesome.

While the Amber may blow more hot air than a hurricane when the mood strikes her, she’s quite fun to be around at times. She’s quick witted and incredibly funny when she wants to be, and she’s extremely artistic. Her drawings and paintings will leave you with your jaw hanging in amazement.

The Amber came to be part of my zoo by birth.

Oh look up ahead! It’s the illusive teen boy, rarely seen emerging from its den!

The Jonathan:  (Gaseous Extremus) Real Age: 16. Calculated age in human years: 10

You would think that the Jonathan would be past the stage of his growth cycle where very loud, very smelly expulsions of bodily methane would be losing their humorous appeal, but you would be thinking wrong. No place or time is inappropriate for the Jonathan to let loose a blast of Clydesdalesque proportions and find it thoroughly enjoyable. Dinner table? I hope you have a strong stomach. Enclosed vehicle with 6 other people on a 19 hour road trip? Best keep your windows down, or your eyes may begin to burn.

There shall be no video game left unplayed when the Jonathan is around. He has seen and beaten them ALL and is yet to be left overly impressed by any of them. Your knowledge and skill cannot lure him in, don’t even try. Unless, of course, you have a vast knowledge base of all things pertaining to anime, ninjas, zombies, nerdy card games, medieval weaponry and torture devices, and of course…girls.

The Jonathan is capable of ingesting enough food for a family of 5 in a single meal. If you want those tater tots on your plate, I recommend that you don’t even chew. Once his plate of human chow has been devoured with such swiftness that you’re left with some question as to whether or not he even tasted any of it, anything that you have left is fair game.

Often dabbling in things of questionable legality, the Jonathan is attracted to anything that he should likely not be doing, or things that are incredibly sharp and threatening…and lighters, let’s not forget lighters… because fire is a teenage boy’s best friend.

While the Jonathan only emerges from his den when he smells food, requires bathing, or needs to relieve himself, he is, in fact, quite polite. You can ask him to do just about any chore without argument, and if he does give you a hard time when you make a request of him, it’s always done purely in playful jest. His sisters could learn a thing or two from his level of compliance.

The Jonathan came to be part of my zoo by marriage.

And here, directly in our path, blocking our view of any other wildlife until we acknowledge her beauty is…

The Grace: (attentionus demandus) Real Age: 14 going on 15. Calculated age in human years: 65

The Grace has been there. The Grace has done that. The Grace knows what you should be doing, when you should be doing it, and won’t hesitate to offer her services in telling you exactly how you should be living, eating, sleeping, playing, walking, or even…breathing. The Grace knows all. Next to God, the Grace is the most knowledgeable being in existence. Her wisdom stretches far beyond the reaches of the galaxy.

Communication is hard with this one. Every word that comes out of your mouth she sees as a personal challenge. If you were to state that pickles are crunchy, you’d best be prepared to spend the next hour debating the fact that they aren’t always crunchy, and how she doesn’t appreciate that you would imply that they are. An encounter with the Grace has the potential to leave you more exhausted than running the Boston Marathon.

The Grace also has this uncanny ability to twist any story that you tell and make it about her. Oh, you’ve been to the moon before? So has the Grace, and the fact that you’ve done it simply MUST be overshadowed by the fact that she has also, and she’s done it…better. You wanted to regale us with a tale of something funny that happened to you last week? Tough. This isn’t about you. Everyone in the known universe would much rather hear about the Grace’s adventures, whether they know it or not.

While lacking common sense some of the time, the Grace is incredibly book smart and quite pleasing to look at. She’s going to be one of those women that require you to do a double take and look at twice when you pass them in a public place, with her large sparkling brown eyes and her lovely brunette locks. She can play the piano like nobody’s business and is a quick learner. When she decides to be sweet and loving, she could very well give you a cavity, but when she decides to be rotten, a thousand hells hath not seen the evils that she is capable of inflicting upon you.

The Grace came to be part of my zoo by marriage.

 Last but not least, coming up on our left, we have…

The Cameron: (Smallish Disasterus) Watch it, they spit. Real Age: 11 going on 12. Age in human years: 5

I often say to the Cameron, “Son, you’re a disaster wrapped in a tragedy,” because he has a tendency to not pay attention to what he’s doing. Ever. This usually results in something being broken, stained, or otherwise completely destroyed. I also firmly believe that the Cameron suffers from what I like to call ‘The Reverse Midas Touch’. Somehow, everything he puts his paws on turns into a sticky, gooey mess, even if he himself is not covered in any sort of disgusting substance. It’s completely bewildering and almost as magical as the unicorn. I have yet to figure out how this phenomenon works.

The Cameron also has this parrot-like ability to repeat things that he’s overheard, usually when least expected, and ALWAYS  with whom you would not like the information to be shared. If the Cameron has heard or seen what someone is getting for Christmas, you can rest assured that it will no longer be a surprise by the time Christmas actually arrives. If the Cameron overhears what one sister has said about the other one, expect him to provoke a sibling battle faster than the speed of sound. You really wish that your friend didn’t need to invade your personal space because they spit when they talk? Don’t worry, if the Cameron knows, soon, they will too. And speaking of spit spraying, if you haven’t had a shower yet today, the Cameron’s got you covered. If you stand too close you’re likely to drown in a saliva waterfall.

When the Cameron was born, he was a BIG pup, and most of it was his head, which caused the doctors some concern. It’s earned him the nickname of my ‘baby bobble-head’ for most of his life. He’s growing into it as time goes by, though. He’s super cute because even at the ripe old age of 11, he still doesn’t have an extensive knowledge of the English language base, so words that he thinks he knows the meaning of don’t always fit with what he’s trying to say. For example, when he was trying to tell us that his sister’s insanely obnoxious pet rabbit has “spasms” all over the place when you let him out of the cage, he used the word “orgasms” instead. This resulted in a stifled bout of laughter from me and some gentle correction, of course. He’s proof positive that ‘kids say the darnedest things’. I wish that I could hold on to his puppy years, but he’ll be your average, obnoxious pre-teen boy critter before too long. His siblings would argue that he’s already there.

The Cameron came to be part of my zoo by birth.

And thus concludes our tour. I hope you enjoyed yourself and will come back and visit us again. If you find that any of the belongings that you came with are missing, don’t expect to see them again. Teen-creatures are sneaky like that.

Note from the Author: My husband pointed out that while humorous, others might tend to view this post as somewhat harsh and abrasive because of the fact that I AM a Christian woman. I felt the need to explain that in our household, playful teasing and poking fun of each other is just part of daily life. It’s how we interact with one another, as long as one’s teasing doesn’t become hurtfully nasty. I can assure you that I have read this story to all of the kids, which resulted in peals of belly laughter and affirmations of, “Oh my gosh! That’s sooo me!”

Vengeance is…Who’s?

As is human nature, our carnal mindset tends to kick into overdrive when we we’ve been hurt, angered, disgusted, or any other very human emotional response that’s powerful enough to completely override our impulse control. That’s usually about the time all rational thought goes out the window and is replaced by something that to us, a society of intelligent creatures with the ability to reason has been ingrained into our flawed, sinful characters since Cain first spilled his brother’s blood on that ancient patch of soil…

Revenge. An eye for an eye. You’ve wronged me in some way, committed some heinous act that I’ve decided deserves retribution, so now I must repay what you’ve done… with interest. You see it everywhere in the media, can barely turn a channel on the T.V, hear or song on the radio, or munch a bucket of popcorn in a crowded theater without touching on the highly publicized, worldly ideal that evil should be returned for evil…tenfold.

Now, If you’ve learned anything about God in your lifetime, whether you choose to be a believer or not, you’ve likely heard some of the more popular biblical principles that he’s imparted to us for the sake of leading us down the correct path in this crazy little thing called ‘life’; the  path of righteousness and salvation. The bible, or ‘basic instructions before leaving earth’ imparts these bits of Godly wisdom to us not to be cruel, or keep us from enjoying the life that we have been given, but because God, our Heavenly Father, has our best interest at heart. He created us, and in His image no less, so why would He wish for us to indulge in things that will cause us harm? I’ve never seen a parent watch their toddler lean over a hot stove and say, “Go ahead. Touch it, because I can see that you really want to.” Those parents would want to remove their child from the danger, and in much the same way, God put rules into place to keep us safe.

One of those rules and it’s a BIG one, folks, is given to us in Romans 12:19, which says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

Now there’s a hard concept to for our ‘act now, think later’ fleshly selves to grasp.

This past week I was unfortunate enough (or dare I call it fortune because the situation didn’t involve me) to be on the outside looking into a turn of events that made me think long and hard about this very verse, in a way that I never had before.

I had never given this command much thought up until this point. Now don’t get me wrong, I followed it, but I followed it blindly. I had always just shrugged it off and thought nothing more of it other than that it was just God’s way of telling us to put our complete trust in Him. A test of faith. He’s got this, count on him to take care of it, and go about your business. While having faith and giving God control over difficult situations of course plays a huge part in this command, I realized that there’s a deeper reason for it, other than just pure faith. What’s that reason? ONLY GOD KNOWS WHATS TRULY IN A MAN’S HEART.

Let me explain. This situation I’m referring to, which I’ll simplify for the sake of those involved and convey to you to the best of my knowledge for the sake of understanding the point I’m trying to make, is something along these lines:

A man once committed a crime. He claims to have been set up by someone with a vendetta against him, angered the wrong people, and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether there’s truth to the accusations against him or he truly was falsely accused and is an innocent man, though, is neither here nor there. He’s served his sentence, paid for this crime, and is going about his daily life. Working his job, supporting his family, and basically, minding his own business. There have been no further accusations against him since this one past offense.

Now someone else, and a Christian, no less, not even having an issue directly with him, but with his spouse, has decided to launch a crusade to destroy this man, going so far as to call his place of business to try and have him fired for those criminal charges from long ago that the man has already paid his debt to society for.

My point in all this is that it’s not up to us to judge what’s in a man’s heart and take matters into our own hands. God knows what’s in our hearts better than even we do, and only He knows if that man (or woman as the case may be), has truly repented and is trying to never repeat the same act of sin. It’s not our place to launch some hate-fueled vigilante justice crusade. You can try to convince yourself that your intentions are nothing but admirable, and say that you have the best interest of others at heart as you label your vengeance as an act of societal compassion, but God sees into the hearts of men, and He knows what’s in yours as well. Just because it looks like a cow and moos like a cow, He can smell when it’s a load of bull. You likely have no idea what’s really happening in the heart of the person that you’ve become hell-bent on destroying. Once you do exact your revenge on that person, the consequences and repercussions are likely to cause a wave of destruction, not just for them, but for you as well, and others caught in the path of your tornado of irrational action. God’s trying to stop you from wandering off the path that He’s laid out before you, because there are thorns to both sides. Don’t touch that hot stove of revenge and regret. Vengeance is HIS, and with good reason. It’s not a toy. We’re not meant to play with it.

Husband Number 2

Wedding-Rings-Hands-Groom-Bride

If I really want to start putting my marriage into perspective for you, I need to go back 10 and-a-half years ago to the day that I met the love of my life, who I have already introduced as husband number 2. The romance started with a ‘happy birthday’ wish that came across my screen in bright green letters in guild chat as we were running through the hills of East Karana searching for Giants to slay for gold with our band of merry treasure seeking guild-mates.

Lost yet? If you are, then you’re obviously not a gamer.  My husband and I met playing Everquest, or as they called it back in the day, ‘Evercrack’ because it was THAT addictive. We of course moved on to World of Warcraft when that became popular and played for several years, but that’s another story for a time when we wish to argue the pros and cons of Fire Mages and whether or not a Paladin can out-heal a cleric. These days I just dabble with different free online games, like Forsaken World, while he mostly plays games on the X-Box. It works for us, though.

When my husband and I first e-met, I was still in a relationship with my son’s father, and it was actually him that first introduced me to the large, foreboding ogre warrior that I would eventually marry…IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ for those of you that don’t know the gamer lingo), after a whirlwind 4 month online romance. Hey, when you just know, you know. You know?

Now before you get all ‘judgy’ on me for admitting this to you, I hope you’ll understand that when I met my husband, the relationship I was in was already at rock bottom and I had tried to end it several times to no avail. His answer to me when I’d try and get him to leave my apartment would always be “I aint goin’ nowhere, you’ve got my kid here.” Which is true, I did. However, when your relationship turns into nothing but a continuous battle, and every time your boyfriend gets a paycheck he disappears for the entire weekend to go and drink it away without even letting you know where he’ll be, it’s really not a ‘relationship’ at all. I had gotten to the point that if I knew it was the Friday that he was getting paid, I wouldn’t expect to see him until sometime Sunday night and I’d brace myself for the fight when I finally heard his key in the door.  It took me moving on and starting a new relationship to actually get him out of my apartment.

Staying together for the sake of the offspring created in the relationship isn’t always the best course of action if you just can’t make it work and you spend every moment together fighting. They say that there’s a fine line between love and hate, and I couldn’t even think back to the time when I’d officially crossed that line. I don’t hate him anymore, of course, because you can’t call yourself a Christian and still harbor hate for anyone in your heart. I didn’t attend church or have any sort of relationship with God at the time, though, so I didn’t really know any better. I was miserable and terrified of the man because he’d already struck me on several different occasions after he’d been drinking. In all honesty, I just didn’t make a great support team for an alcoholic with a bleeding liver and a mean streak of epic proportions. Besides, when you have to call your parents in the middle of the night to take you to get your vehicle (which he took off in without even asking, by the way) out of impound because your boyfriend has been arrested for drunk driving on an already suspended license, it really makes you take a long hard look at the direction your life is heading in.

Needless to say, he denies our son now because of his anger at me for finally throwing in the towel and walking away from the war that my life had become. He hasn’t spoken to our son or cared to know anything about his life in the 11 years that he’s been alive. When I tracked him down and sent him pictures about 6 or 7 years ago, he responded with, “that can’t be my kid, he looks nothing like me”, and that’s where he left it. I haven’t heard from him directly since. It doesn’t seem to bother my son, though. My husband has been the only daddy he’s ever known for all of these years, and he doesn’t even give his sperm donor a second thought.

Enough of that dreary little drama from days if old, though. My life has been much better since, despite the raging OCD that drives my family crazy.

My husband and I hit it off so well in our online relationship that it soon turned into phone calls, which led to him buying a plane ticket to Michigan where I was born and raised, to see me in person. He said some time after that first meeting that when he saw me standing there to greet him, his first thought was, “I’m going to marry that girl.” You always think that the silly, romantic notion of love at first sight can never happen outside the movies until it happens to you. That’s how it went, though, and as I stood there freezing my ta-tas off on a cold January day on a Florida beach, I still wasn’t sure what hit me as I exchanged “I do’s” with a man that I hadn’t even know for half a year yet. All I knew was that it had to be love. I can assure you, though, that it is love, and we couldn’t have made it the 10 and-a-half years that we have if it weren’t.

What can I say about my lover bear? He’s a morning person. I’m not. He likes sweet tea and coffee. I don’t. He likes math, and I’m pretty sure that 2 and 2 makes 5. He’s an amazing singer. I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, and my wailing along with the radio is so bad that it sends the neighborhood dogs into howling fits. Despite all of our differences, though, we still have a lot in common and have fun together when life doesn’t have us bogged down with our everyday routines. He’s just this big, obnoxious child, and even though there are times I want to gouge my eardrums out with a hot poker because he’s just so loud and boisterous ALL OF THE TIME, I still love the big lug with all my heart. I used to call him my hero when he first rescued me from my old life, and I still feel that way. We’ve had our ups and downs just like any relationship, but he’s fairly laid back and easy going, is willing to do just about anything for me, makes me laugh, and is adorably cute. Well, to me, anyways. I like to point to him and say to my teenage daughter, “look at that guy, isn’t he a sexy beast?” She just rolls her eyes and gives me that ‘seriously, mom?’ look. Then she says something along the lines of, “Ugh. Gross.” Ah, well, to each her own. I don’t really expect her to agree with me, I just enjoy yanking her chain. It’s one of parenthood’s guilty pleasures.

Let’s call this a good stopping point for now. In the next installment of my life I’ll start to introduce you to our house full of teenagers. Buckle up for that crazy trip. The twists and turns down that road are endless.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Welcome to the Nuthouse

crazy-peeps

So here you are, and here I am. Are you prepared to step into my crazy world and embark on an adventure of mediocre proportions? You see, here in my world, if things aren’t completely mundane and routine, they’re just too insane to make up. There is no in between. Crazy is the new normal, though, so let’s embrace it together.

As with anything that requires a certain degree of thought, one must wonder when it comes to blogging: where does one start?

Well, I suppose THIS one will start with an introduction. That would be the logical choice, wouldn’t it?

I’ll save the family introductions for the next dose of insanity. There’s way too many of them and you’ll be here all day caught up in my household drama if I bring the fam in at this point. No, there’s plenty of time for that later, and in the words of the great Toby Keith, “I want to talk about me!”

My name is Shawn. Now, that’s not your stereotypical tall, youthful, manly version of the name that you’d imagine regaling his friends with dirty jokes and tales of girls gone by at the local pub, with a dart in one hand and a mug of something cheap and frothy in the other. No, you can picture me as more of a 5’2, frumpy (or any other politically correct term for ‘fat enough to snore like a cave bear’), pushing 40 housewife with a head full of creative ideas but absolutely zero ambition, and legs in such need of some razor attention most days that Chewbacca leaves me love notes. But hey, my house is spotlessly clean thanks to the OCD that I really do suffer from. So, I suppose I do manage to muster up some degree of ambition when necessary. Just not for anything important.

I love to laugh and make a joke out of everything, mostly at my own expense. As if you hadn’t already noticed, right? Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you might as well pack it in early and get started on your one bedroom hovel and extensive cat collection. No one loves a sourpuss.

If I’m being honest, though, I’m not giving myself enough credit here. I’m pretty artistic. If you told me to draw a fly, squiggly line, or family of frolicking squirrels mingling with a herd of geese while a Golden Retriever is about to give chase, with the New York City Skyline and a glorious sunset in the background, you’d at least be able to tell what it is once I’m finished. Artistic ability is just one of my 2 God-given talents, though. The other would be my organizational skills, which happen to be legendary in certain circles. (See? You’ve heard of me already, haven’t you?) We can accredit those to the OCD, too. After that, I’m just your average mom of one of the most obscene words in the English language: teenagers. I’m looking toward middle age with dread, packing way too much junk in my trunk due to my affinity for junk food and carbs (hello, pasta!), and as I believe I’ve mentioned, suffering from a severe lack of ambition, motivation, drive or whatever tag you want to stick on laziness. Exercise is the dirtiest word in my arsenal of things that should never be mentioned out loud.

exercising-cartoon

I wasn’t always this way, though. I was pretty cute back in my younger days, which is how I managed to land the former husband number one, and the man currently holding strong in the position of husband number 2 for the past ten years. I have to give the man credit, too. It’s a tiring job, I assure you, and the benefit package isn’t that great. This crazy little thing called ‘love’ ends here, though. Should anything go wrong this time around, I’m not dipping my pole into THAT pond anymore. I’ll get a dog. A small, male dog that I can totally emasculate by carrying him around in an oversized purse while wearing large, floppy hats, flowered dresses, and slathering on way too much of some hideously colored lipstick. Call it my back-up plan. Let’s hope it never comes to that, for your sake, and mine.

Now, as far as work goes, I try to stay actively involved in my church and do a lot of volunteer work. I run a thrift store there on the weekends, which comes complete with a whole plethora of crazy stories due to the unbalanced people in ‘the hood’. I’ll save those stories for another post, though, so that you’ll have to come back for the sake of curiosity. The job does have its rewards, though. We have a food pantry and I get the honor of handing out food to the homeless and needy on a regular basis. Take this sweet old widow named Betty for example, who will come in and see me maybe once a month, and she’s too proud to come right out and ask for help. So, we have our usual routine where I’ll say, “It’s good to see you, Betty. Could you use some groceries?” Then she’ll tear up and say, “If it’s not too much trouble.” Then I just can’t help but hug her because she’s so sweet and adorable. (Awwww)

I also recently did a short stint as the Media Director and contributing writer for a bridal magazine. By short stint, I mean bent over backwards and worked my tail off from October to April until the magazine pretty much exploded into a glorious hailstorm of drama and accusations worthy of any rivaling high school girl gangs. If you like a good jaw dropper, stay tuned for that story, which will come soon. It was a nice dream, full of promises and hope, but in the end, it won’t break my heart to see it go. I have plenty to keep me busy. Like my part-time ghetto apartment painting job at the property my husband manages. I say ghetto, not because I’m terrible at it. In fact, I’m quite good at painting and the apartments that I paint usually get rented out quicker than the others. No, I say ghetto because if a cockroach crawls across your hand while you’re painting due to the disgusting way that the people in the community treat their apartments, yeah, you’re in the ghetto. I’ve made a game out of it, though. I’ll paint their little butts white or put a white stripe down their back so that I can identify them later. I’ve tried to break it to my husband that he’s a slum lord, but he’d much prefer looking at his job through rose tinted glasses. It pays the bills (barely), though, so I can’t complain about his job too much other than the fact that he’s grossly underpaid compared to what a certified property manager should be making. How grossly underpaid? We live at poverty level with 5 kids. His company does take us on a nice cruise every October, though. I consider it a consolation gift for the fact that my husband works for peanuts when he should be making pistachios.

Come fall I’ll also be putting in a couple hours a week teaching high school art the co-op that our gaggle of homeschooled children attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m looking forward to corrupting…err…molding young minds and sharing my love of art and color with a room full of the ‘I’d rather be texting and probably will be when you aren’t looking’ crowd.

I believe that pretty much covers the colorful life I lead. I’m sure you’ll learn more about me as time goes on, but for now, I’d guess that you have a pretty good image of me painted in your mind’s eye.

I hate to say ‘the end’ so I’ll just leave you with what my daughter likes to point out as one of my favorite sayings: “Quite frankly, it is what it is.”