Under the Knife


Earlier this year, I decided to get a few unruly hairs lasered off my chin.  And by a few, I mean an Amish beard’s-worth.

Whatever.  I’m of Mediterranean descent and stumbling into menopause with the grace of a rhinoceros.  It happens.

While I was waiting for my appointment, I saw a brochure for something called Smart Lipo.  It’s way cheaper than real liposuction (Stupid Lipo?) and it heals much more quickly.  I asked my aesthetician about it and she suggested I schedule a consultation with the plastic surgeon.

OMG, thought I, this could be the answer to my prayers!  I may actually be able to stop singing the big-belly blues!

Or not.

Evidently, Smart Lipo is for people who are already skinny, but have a little bump of flab.  And that’s not me.  At all.

Me: I’m interested in Smart Lipo.
Doctor: Let me see the area of concern.
Me: (baring my enormous lily-white belly) Don’t laugh.
Doctor: Yikes!  (OK, so he didn’t say that, but he was probably thinking it.)
Doctor: (poking at my dough-ball belly) Well…Smart Lipo would reduce this a little bit, but you’d be an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck.  If you really want to get rid of this blob of fat, that would be the way to go.
Me: Thanks for not sugarcoating it.  Geez.

Ten minutes later, I sent Jack a text from the parking lot: Mama wants a tummy tuck!

Being a faithful believer of the Happy Wife, Happy Life method of marital bliss, he graciously agreed to go along with the idea, in spite of the fact that he thinks I look ‘fine’ just the way I am blah, blah, blah.  That’s just what a girl wants.  To look ‘fine’.  Needless to say, I scheduled the surgery and paid the deposit before he could change his mind.

I recently told a skinny friend about the surgery and she asked, with the innocence of a five year old, ‘Why don’t you just do some sit ups?’

PUH.

I love skinny girls.  I have many skinny girlfriends and I cherish them all.  I really do.  But, seriously?  If I did 10,372 sit-ups, I wouldn’t have a flat stomach.  My people are doughy, thankyouverymuch. I haven’t had a flat stomach since I was seven years old.  Unfortunately, unlike our skinny counterparts, we meaty girls lack the energy and metabolism of gazelles.

Oh, hey, speaking of gazelles, I own the Tony Little Gazelle.  Remember that one?  YOU CAN DO IT!!  Only you won’t.  I used it once and nearly threw out my hip.  It’s been in the basement ever since.  It’s keeping my wanna-be Soloflex, my Thigh-master and my Ab Lounger company.

I may have an impulse problem.

No, seriously.  I have to make a conscious effort to avoid QVC and informercials so we don’t end up bankrupt.  In addition to the Tony Little Gazelle, the wanna-be Soloflex, the Thigh-master and the Ab Lounger, I own four Snuggies, two Ped Eggs, Spin Storage Containers, a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter, Shoes Under, and Debbie’s Green Bags.  There’s more.  Plenty more.

I stopped short of The Clapper, though. I was tempted, but walking to the lamps is part of my rigorous exercise routine.  And I’m serious about getting into shape.

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Hair On Fire


I actually feel sorry for Jack tonight.  I am ruthlessly cranky.  It’s not his fault.  Well…it’s not entirely his fault.  You see, I have wicked PMS right now.  For those of you lucky enough to have never experienced it, it can be best described as the way you would feel if you drank two entire pots of coffee, realized you were late for work, ran out of gas and had to walk six miles through a sea of clueless, slow-moving people who won’t make eye contact with you and won’t get out of your way.  Times three.

It doesn’t take much to make me go from one extreme to another when I’m PMSing.  I got choked up because Jack cleaned up the dinner dishes without being asked, then had a hissy fit (with a couple of tears) 20 minutes later because he couldn’t get the printer to work.

On nights like this, I often consider saying goodbye to those who mean the most to me (the dogs…HAHAHA…kidding…kind of) in the event that Jack smothers me in my sleep.  I really couldn’t blame him.

It’s been a bad week, to be honest.  I mean, any week that starts with your hair on fire is destined to end badly, right?

OK, so it wasn’t technically ‘on fire’, but it might as well have been.

I should preface this with a brief explanation of my relationship with my hair.  I hate it almost as much as I hate my (piece-of-shit) front-loading washing machine that was manufactured in a Chinese toy factory.  Almost.  It has no rhyme or reason.  It’s pin straight on the left front, frizzy in the back and wavy everywhere else (not the pretty kind of wavy; my sister refers to it as a ‘bacon wave’).  Also, I have enough hair for three people.  No, seriously.  My stylist has to book extra time for my appointments and can probably skip the gym for the workout she gets blowing it dry.

This would be a good time to mention that my father is bald.  And bitter.  He’s made several comments about the injustice of it all.

Because my hair is such a freak show, washing and drying it is an ordeal.  I only do it every other day because it’s so time-consuming and exhausting.  I have to schedule my morning differently on ‘wash-my-hair days’ because it adds at least 45 minutes to my routine.

Sometime late last week, I had a bit of a mishap when I was getting ready.

If you could see me get ready in the morning, you would understand why I am almost always disheveled.  I sit on my bed Indian-style, surrounded by my (many) beauty tools (for it takes a lot of effort to create the illusion that I am a presentable human being), with a mirror propped on the bed  in front of me.  Frankie, our clueless chihuahua mix, always finds a way to jump on the bed, charge through all of my stuff and curl up on my lap.  If he hears the wings of a butterfly in the backyard, he’ll jump off my lap, run around the bed, knock over all of my stuff (again), use my leg as a launching pad and hurl himself to the floor and out the door.  It’s a very frustrating ordeal.

Anyway, I blow my hair dry, pull it up in a clip and use a fire-hot flat iron to straighten it one small section at a time, starting at the bottom and working my way to the top.  Just the straightening part takes about 20 minutes, so you can imagine how relieved I am when I get to the last section.

Well, late last week something very unfortunate happened.  As I was sectioning off the last bit of my mop of hair, I heard my flat iron make a weird popping sound and I smelled something burning.

Oh, HELL no!  I was on my LAST section!!

So, I did what any woman would do.  I threw caution to the wind and straightened the last section.

Did I ever mention that I’m a wacko fire freak?  It’s really bad.  I have turned the car around more times than I care to admit to make sure the iron, the stove, the flat iron, the dryer and/or anything else that might create a spark was turned off.  I won’t let Jack sleep with the ceiling fan on because I’ve convinced myself that it will catch fire while we sleep.  I am nervous leaving lights on at night because, in spite of Jack’s assurance that it won’t happen, I’m sure that the lightbulb’s heat will ignite either the lampshade or the ceiling and set the house on fire.  Our air conditioner compressor thingy is in the attic.  Every summer he has to talk me off a ledge and explain that it will not simultaneously combust regardless of how hot it is in the attic.  I’m pretty sure that’s a filthy lie.  We’re doomed.

Yet I didn’t give a second thought to picking up that molten flat iron and running it through my hair.

It was my LAST section!!!

Only the flat iron didn’t move quite as smoothly through my hair and the last piece looked a little different when I was finished.  Like it was sticking out or something. The next day, I ran my hand through my hair and was horrified to find that the last 2-3 inches of that section of my hair was completely singed.  Scarecrow-style.

Me: Look at my hair!  I burned it!  No, seriously, it’s singed!
Jack: Wow. It looks really dry in that spot.  How did you do that?
Me: My flat iron popped and made an electrical burning smell, but it was my last section, so I used it anyway.
Jack: Why would you do that?!?
Me: It was my LAST section!!

I ended up calling my stylist, who expressed concern through her giggles, and told me to pop in and she’d see if she could fix it.  And she did.  She managed to work a small miracle and cut most of the singed part off.  Of course, my layers are a little shorter than they usually are, so I may or may not look like Shaun Cassidy.  Whatever.  It could be worse.  I could have set my whole head (and the house) on fire.

Bedroom Fortress


Today’s entry is brought to you by a blend of horror and rage.  I am writing it from my bedroom which happens to be the room that is furthest from my kitchen.  My kitchen happens to be the room where a tablespoon-sized hairy spider currently resides.

Did you hear me scream when I saw it?

Like virtually every other inconvenience and/or irritation in my life, the root of this situation can be traced back to my husband, Jack.

Allow me to explain.

Jack was gracious enough to attend a March of Dimes ballroom dancing charity event with me last night.

Me: Honey, I forgot to mention that I’m supposed to go to this thing at the Hilton tonight.  It’s a fundraiser and one of my co-workers and her husband are going to be in a ballroom dancing competition.  Do you want to go with me?
Jack: What if they all start chanting “JACK! JACK! JACK! Get up and dance!”?
Me: I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Jack: Fine.  I’ll go.

I was stunned.  He’s generally an agreeable guy, but he doesn’t usually consent to last-minute social functions (especially ones that involve ballroom dancing) without at least a little bit of pouting.  Naturally, his quick cooperation could only mean one thing – the ledger would be tipped in his favor.

I hate it when that happens.

It didn’t take long for him to cash in his chips.  We didn’t stay at the event very long.  I was exhausted from a marathon (read: ALL FREAKING DAY) Words With Friends session.

Side note: OMG, have any of you ever played Words With Friends???  If not, DO NOT.  I am convinced that it’s brought to us by the makers of crack.  It’s an iPhone/iPad app similar to Scrabble, except you play with either friends or random users around the country.  When I first heard about it, I didn’t think I’d be interested.  I’m not a fan of Scrabble for the same reason I’m not a fan of Jeopardy; it makes me feel stupid.  I don’t know whether it’s because I don’t have to look my opponents in the eyes as I attempt to use FLAUX as an entry (what?…it could be a word…whatever) or because I don’t have to deal with calculating the scores myself or because I don’t have to contend with that annoying little rack and those annoying little tiles, but I genuinely enjoy WWF.  Unfortunately, my enjoyment quickly turned into a full-blown obsession. I accomplished absolutely nothing yesterday.  The fact that I had 14 WWF games running concurrently may or may not have had something to do with that.

Anyway, I was tired, my defenses were low and the ledger was not favoring Team Donna, so when Jack said he was was in the mood for wings (and by ‘wings’, he meant ‘beer’,) I reluctantly agreed to go to a local (dive) bar.  Because we’re classy like that.  We had a lovely time talking to an absolutely adorable 21-year old bartender named Miley who was so full of promise and joy that I kind of wanted to slap her.

Miley:  I’m a senior at UD!  I’m graduating next month!
Me: Oh, that’s so nice!  Congratulations!  What’s your major?
Miley: Hotel and Restaurant Management!
Me: What are you planning to do after you graduate?
Miley: I think I’d like to be a wedding planner!
Me: Why? Brides are such bitches.

I really need to work on my cynicism.

Miley: Haha!  But I’d be a part of making a memory for people!  That would be such a nice thing!  My best friend is getting married!  I helped her plan her wedding!
Me: How old is your friend?
Miley: 21!  I think she’s probably a little young to get married, but they’re so happy!  They’ve been together since they were 14!!
Me:  Oh, dear Christ. They’re doomed.

What’s wrong with me??

Anyway, Jack had a few beers, so I drove home.  As we were walking into the house, he pointed to a huge, tablespoon-sized hairy spider on the step.  It had a neck and a head.  And teeth.  I think I saw teeth.

Jack: (pointing) Huh-huh…look.
Me: AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  KILL IT!!!  KILLLLLLL IIIIIIIITTTTTT!!!!
Jack: He’s fine.  He’s not hurting anything.
Me: If you don’t kill it, it’s going to make its way into the house and then there will be hell to pay, I tell you!!!  HELL TO PAY!!!!!  KILLLLL IIIIIIIITTTTT!!!!
Jack: (hiccup) Relax. It’ll be fine.

I was out for a few hours this morning.  I thought the worst thing I would encounter upon my return was a pile of poo (Frankie does not appreciate being left alone for too long).  Instead, I walked into the kitchen and found him.

I literally froze mid-stride and stopped breathing.

Frankie appeared from nowhere and pounced on him a bit.  He didn’t move.  At all.  I assumed he was dead, but was afraid to vacuum him up in case he wasn’t.  I think I would have passed out if I saw him actually move.  So, I did what any self-respecting woman would do.  I grabbed my laptop and my phone, ran upstairs to my bedroom, called my husband at work and demanded that he come home immediately to address this crisis.

He’s still at work.

A couple of hours later, Frankie was barking to go outside so I went downstairs.  On my way, I was thinking about how ridiculous I was for being too afraid to vacuum up a dead spider.  Halfway down the stairs, I drummed up the courage to take care of it myself.  I am woman, hear me roar!  As I rounded the corner and walked toward the sliding door, I glanced toward the crime scene.  But he was GONE.  GONE.  HE’S GONE!!  That means he’s somewhere IN MY HOUSE!!!

I think I might have to move.  Right after I wrap up my 12 remaining WWF games.

Hate-of-the-Art Technology


There are no words in the English language to adequately describe the unbridled hatred I feel for the technology that surrounds me.

First, there’s my Blackberry.  You know when you’re driving through farm/mushroom country and the air is suddenly so thick with fresh shit that you gag violently as you breathe, but you have no choice but to breathe (because it’s required to sustain life and all) so you power through but you hate every second of it and you’re bitter – BITTER! – about the farmers and their cows/pigs/chickens/mushrooms?  That’s how I feel about my Blackberry.

I am quite certain I am only utilizing a small fraction of its (alleged) incredibleness – in part because I am a dolt, but mostly because I am too lazy to read the 157-page instruction manual (written in 8pt font, by the way).  For instance, I recently learned that I can sync information from my Blackberry to my computer and vice versa (I think).  Evidently, that’s the main reason people use and love them so.  And here I thought it was because of the Facebook app (which only works about 72% of the time).

Recently, my Blackberry has been freezing.  I finish a call and hang up, but the screen still says ‘connected’.  Whenever it happens, I have to take the battery out of the phone, put it back in and wait for the phone to power up again – a process that takes about 7-8 minutes.  I have been told the only way to fix this problem is to buy an iPhone.  While I am tempted to do that at least once a day, I fear the situation will only get worse, given the fact that I am still perplexed by my MacBook (which is supposedly designed to be simple enough for a squirrel to master).

Then there’s my car. I drive a Kia Sportage.  Evidently, the ‘sport’ is fury.  It’s a stretch to call it ‘technology’.  It’s about as technological an achievement as the abacus. It is the worst car I’ve owned since my 1980 Chevy Chevette.  It runs fine, but I’m pretty sure it’s made of aluminum foil and scotch tape.  Little things randomly go haywire or stop working.  Sometimes I’ll start the car and all of the lights will start blinking and clicking for no reason.  One of the power outlets stopped working about two weeks after I bought it.  One day my husband reached for the little handle thingy over the passenger-side door –  the one you grab when the lunatic driver is (allegedly) taking a turn a little too fast – and it broke off. Oh, and keyless remote only works occasionally.

Me: OMG, my effing keyless remote doesn’t work!  What I am going to do now???
Jack: What do you mean?
Me: I mean how am I going to get into the car?!?
Jack: …
Me: Oh…never mind.

True story.

Finally, there’s the nightmare known as my washing machine and dryer.

Oh, dear GOD.

I had to had to HAD TO have a front-loading washer and dryer set (with pedestals!)  Ooooh, sooo pretty!!

First of all, high efficiency my ass.  A load of wash takes an eternity.  I would tell you the exact time, but I don’t know it because THE TIMER IS A CRUEL JOKE.  I load the damn thing to the gills (because it doesn’t drain properly unless it’s full…do you know how much laundry those stupid things hold??), choose the setting and the ‘timer’ displays 1:21. Or 1:17. Or 1:09. Or 0:49. Or some other number that has absolutely nothing to do with the time it will take for the cycle to finally finish.  Here’s how a wash cycle typically goes:

Step 1: Cram 47 lbs of laundry into washing machine.  Add laundry detergent. Choose setting.  Hear washing machine lock click. Notice that you’ve forgotten one article of clothing.  Hit ‘Pause’ button. Wait two minutes for machine to unlock.  Open door.  Notice laundry detergent running down front of machine. Use forgotten article of clothing to wipe up laundry detergent. Cram forgotten article into machine.  Stop other items from falling out of machine. Slam door shut. Hit ‘Start’ button.

Step 2: Check load 45 minutes later.  Note that timer says 0:08.  Go about your business.

Step 3: Momentarily stop breathing when 3.4 earthquake causes entire house to shake.  Resume breathing upon realizing it’s just the spin cycle.

Step 4: Check load 20 minutes later.  Note that timer says 0:03.  Curse.  Go about your business.

Step 5: Check load 15 minutes later.  Note that timer says 0:01.  Decide to wait it out.  Give up after five minutes.  Curse.

Step 6: Check load 10 minutes later.  Express joy that timer says 0:00 – load is finally finished! Open door to find that laundry is soaking wet.  Close door.  Hit ‘Drain and Spin’.  Note that timer says 0:15. Roll eyes.  Curse.  Vow never to purchase anything made in China again.  Go about your business.

Step 7: Check load 40 minutes later.  Look skeptically at timer that says 0:00.  Open door to find that laundry is finally finished, but tied in the tightest of knots. Spend 10 minutes detangling 171 articles of clothing (some of which may be torn/shredded).  Curse China.  Place items in dryer.  Choose dryer setting.  Mock timer on dryer.  Go about your business.

Step 8: Check load 30 minutes later.  Note that timer says 0:00.  Sigh with relief that the ordeal is over.  Open dryer to find 171 articles of clothing tied in a giant ball and wrinkled beyond recognition.  Peel articles of clothing off from the top. Note that articles in the center of the ball are still damp.  Curse.  Restart dryer.

I desperately want to get rid of my washer and dryer and go back to my mismatched old-school Maytag/Whirlpool set.  I’ve thought about selling my fancy front loaders on Craigslist, but I’m afraid the buyer will hunt me down and kill me once they realize the sheer horribleness of the goods I’ve sold. Maybe he’d be willing to spare my life if I offered to throw in my fridge…until he found out that the ice maker only works sporadically.