Saturday, December 27

Whoever Said Half the Fun Was in Getting There...Has Never Been Here

I finally did it. And now I have no excuse not to keep doing it. It took me hours and those hours are ones I will never get back. And now I will need to spend equal time doing it to friends.

I traveled with the baby.

I took my first trip with the baby. I drove nearly six hours to visit The Boy's mother and family at her B&B. I had no idea how it was going to go. Poor baby has never had to ride in a car that long. I mean, sure, I've had her out for a long time shopping and running around. A friend lives about an hour and a half away and we've visited her a couple of times. That is the limit on her long-distance travel experience. I usually put the iPod on and let her listen to audiobooks every time we're in the car. As soon as the woman starts saying These audiobooks are brought to you by audible dot com. Audible. Audiobooks wherever you are or something like stops screaming and is mesmerized for the next however many minutes I have her held hostage. She has never been a fan of the car and I wasn't sure how it was going to work having her strapped in for what I thought would be five hours.

I had to stop for us to have lunch and I swear...this is KILLING me to admit this...I split a three piece chicken something or other from McDonald's with the baby. I'm so ashamed. She really enjoyed it, which is the most shameful part. The woman who waited on us was the biggest bitch I've ever encountered at a McDonald's and I've been served by some really surly teenagers. This woman is saving her McDonald's a million dollars a year. They need to make her a franchise owner. I asked for a three-piece McNugget and she informed me there was no such thing. I read through the menu and finally found the chicken whatever it was that I ordered. People at McDonald's hate me because it takes me forever to place my order. I'm sure they're all like...come on,'s freaking McDonald's...our menu hasn't changed in like...ever, but I can never decide what I want, mostly because I do not want to be there. I was waiting for my food and went over to the fountain drinks to get my rootbeer and overheard a woman telling the cashier that she didn't get a sauce for her McNuggets Happy Meal for her daughter and something else about getting one too many cups and not getting a milk and the woman gave her a five minute lecture about how many dipping sauces you get with a happy meal and how she wouldn't be able to have another blah blah blah. That woman was pissed. She really gave an eye roll. She was ma-ad.

I grabbed my bag and left and ate in the car with baby. Which brings me to another thing...OMG. I'm going to live here and never return my rental car. Holy shit! I'm IN LOVE. I am driving a Chevrolet Equinox or some crap. It has totally spoiled me in under seven hours and I am hoping to return my Jeep in its place with the hopes of convincing Budget that they gave me a piece of crap car and somehow I'll be able to keep this car for my very own. It is the most luxurious thing I've ever ridden in, mostly because it's silent. The roads on the way here were out of contrizzle and I was the only person who was able to go anywhere. Winter drive. Ahhh. I forgot about the joy it brings to one's soul when you have that special little button near the gear shift. The security you're possessed with as you push it. It's not unlike starting a fight with someone twice your size when you're with someone four times your size. "Plow through" is my new motto.

Baby slept as soon as we got in the car and then again after lunch. Just when I thought I was a mere six miles from my destination, I was informed by The Boy that I was about an hour and fifteen minutes away. WUT? I was pissed. Baby had been screaming and I thought for sure I could make it just a few more miles. So I had to hang up on him and pull into a Sunoco. I stupidly parked in a spot by the fire department next door just so I could get the poor child out of the car. I changed her diaper in the back like I always do in my Jeep because we're a couple of dirty hippies. She was shivering, poor little thing. I had to move the car because I was horribly paranoid that we would be towed like the signs threatened so back in the car seat she went. I drove the thirty feet to the space in front of the front door of the Sunoco station. I had to go to the bathroom for about the last 50 miles, but she had been asleep and I didn't want to wake her. I went inside and found that the door was locked. Ten minutes later...still waiting. I tried again. Locked. A woman came up behind me and baby said 'hi' to her about twenty times. I tried the door again and as I was walking back to where I'd been standing, a man came up on his cell phone and said, "My wife is in there. She slipped and fell in the parking lot and she's changing her pants." He was easily in his seventies. I asked, "Is she alright?" He said, "Yes. Thanks. She's fine." A few seconds later, a man went into the men's restroom. He came out and motioned to the woman behind me and she went into the bathroom. I have never been so pissed. I wanted to yell, "I am holding an adorable baby and I've been waiting in line longer than you've even been in the damn store OBVIOUSLY and you're just going to cut me!!!" Whore. Hate her. I made sure to roll my eyes at her like that chick at McDonald's did to the rude cashier lady. I think it made quite an impression.

I got baby back into the car and we made it to the B&B. I want to live here. We've had the best time. She has been an angel. There is a No Children Allowed policy but I am guessing she's acting as the resident grandchild this weekend. She has said 'nigh-night' and 'bye-bye' to all the guests she's encountered. She hasn't made much of a fuss and has gone to sleep in this strange place without even a peep. Last night she was in a room all her own and the alarm clock radio went off at 6 a.m. loudly blaring some horrible 80's music and it didn't even wake her.

I got to go to lunch with The Boy and his aunt, uncle and cousin today and baby stayed with The Boy's mother and finished her nap and ate lunch and played until we got home. His cousin must've gone up and down the stairs with her a hundred times this weekend. My child is so independent. I'm amazed at her bravery everyday.

We're all leaving tomorrow. Hopefully the ride home goes as smoothly. I wish we could transport ourselves back into the 1970s so she could ride in the front seat with me and stretch out and relax and move around without being so constrained. I'm sure her poor little butt hurt after all that time in the car.

I'm having a great time. She had an absolute blast.

We're very lucky.

Sunday, December 21

And The Results Are In

Six B's. Well, technically five B's and one Pass, but that doesn't do anything to the GPA so let's just say six B's. These B's feel like A's. It also feels wrong to put an apostrophe after the A and B but I Googled it and I reckon it's correct.

I really wondered if I was making the right decision going back to school. I know that Michael Phelps's mother worked fourteen jobs to take care of him and turn him into the phenom that he is. Hopefully one day baby will appreciate me and what I did to make a better life for us.

It was hard. Very hard. And it was no secret I wanted to bail. A dear friend told me she would do whatever I needed because she didn't want me to quit. And I honestly don't know what I would have done without her. All the free babysitting. Just being there to listen to me bitch. Coming over for dinner and breakfast and lunch. Being a surrogate mother when I needed her to be. And giving me advice that is truly appreciated. She practically raised her sisters and niece and nephews. I have no experience whatsoever with children. I have babysat a few times in my life but I don't remember it. I would also like to apologize to the parents because I have no recollection of ever having changed a diaper. Hmm....

Another friend has also been a big help to me. She left work one day when I was stuck in traffic and wasn't going to make it to baby's school before they closed. I sat in traffic near tears imagining another huge fear of mine that I'm not even going to type here. I called her and she didn't even question what I needed. She just picked her up and, God love her, walked her halfway to my place carrying her in her arms before I found them and picked them up.

To know that my daughter sees the faces of these two friends and trusts them implicitly makes me happier than I can even explain. A lot of friends have cheered me on these past few months and I am so lucky to have them all. From Atlanta to Paducah to NYC. Austin to Israel to down the strangers who have found me online...I just want to thank you all. For everything.

Saturday, December 20

So It Happened

I did it. I fell down the stairs while carrying the baby. I knew it. I have a wild imagination. And I promise you that every horrible thing I can imagine will eventually happen to me. I'm not saying I force it to happen, but I do think that perhaps it happens to teach me that I can handle anything. And that I am a tad bit psychic, something many close friends and relatives will affirm.

So I was walking down the stairs and I slipped and fell with baby on my right hip. I am pretty sure that it must have really hurt her somehow. She cried. A lot. And I cried. Almost as much. I was in shock, I think. And she was probably more afraid because I was so frightened for her safety. It was only six stairs but it didn't feel like it was going to end. I kept trying to catch myself but there was nothing to grab onto. I just couldn't gather my thoughts to make it all stop.

A couple of weeks ago, I went out to lunch with a friend of mine. I've known him for nearly ten years. I should have known him for fifteen years. He was an employee of an arena football team for which I was a cheerleader. Small world. We didn't meet until 1999. We lived in the same building twice. I didn't think he liked me "like that," not that every guy must like me but he's adorable and I'm not a psychopath so...why didn't we date?

A week later, he invited me to a play. OMG I actually was picked up and taken on a bona fide date. I was pretty nervous. Really nervous. I have been a real basketcase these past few months. Living alone causes you to lose some serious conversational skills. Living with a child under sixteen months old causes you to talk too much when you're around other grown-ups.

I guess he didn't mind too much that I blabbered on and on all night long. It was at his house where I fell. In more ways than one.

Tuesday, December 16


Finals week.

Friday, December 12

P.S. Your Drawing Sucks

I was sitting in the Starbucks on campus studying yesterday. I do patronize Starbucks. I do not patronize Walmart. Am I a hypocrite? Who cares? The inside of Starbucks is the ideal environment for studying. Unless, two idiots come and sit down within earshot of you. Two people, guy and girl, who are somehow pissing off their respective significant others. I was trying not to listen but it was damned impossible.

Seems the girl had to have a discussion with her boyfriend. He had evidently "jumped to conclusions" and thought for sure she was going to "dump" him. I tried to get the whole conversation's details--they sucked me in, what can I say?--but I got lost amid all the " know" and "I was all like..." and "he was like..." fillers. Her guy "friend" said, "You don't need to edit on my account." She said, "I'm not. It's just really hard to explain." Yeah. We gathered.

So, I hear the guy say, "I talked to Meghan and I'll explain it to you the way I explained it to her." He pulled a folded piece of paper out of his book bag and she said, "Are you going to draw me a picture?" He said, "Yes. I'm going to draw you a picture." And he grabbed a pen and HE FUCKING DREW HER A PICTURE. Oh my God. I wanted to throw my tall soy chai latte and my Madeleines Petite French Cakes on them but I wouldn't do that to my favorite drink and French Cakes.

He proceeds to draw a circle on a piece of paper. It looks more like a kidney bean with a slice hacked out of it which he claimed was a "very narrow margin in his relationships where certain people fall that cross over into intimate areas and familial ones." Holy shit. What the hell is he doing? Is he enrolled in psychology of personal adjustment? Clearly this is an interpersonal relationship and obviously he's dealing with some serious moral dilemmas. Unfortunately, his female friend has no idea that these are not his original thoughts.

I'm trying really hard to picture him somewhere with his girlfriend trying to explain to her the dynamics of his relationship with his "friend." Did he take her to a bar? Applebee's? Perkin's? Where do you have a discussion like this with someone you supposedly love? Her house? Your house? From what I gather, the female friend told her guy over the phone. That's how I would have done it. Surrounded by girlfriends while we secretly made faces and gagging motions and drew our own pictures as he blubbered on about this and that.

The dude's girlfriend had asked, "How do you know this friendship won't turn into something more?" He said, "I just know." Wow. He is either secretly gay or his girlfriend must be Heidi Klum because the friend was gorgeous. Not a genius but really hot in a "your basic nightmare" kind of way.

Just when I couldn't take it anymore, it was time for me to leave for class. I so desperately wanted to go over to them and say, "Get a room."

I give it six months. Her boyfriend will cheat on her with a waitress from Hooter's. He will dump his girlfriend for being so completely naive and spineless for not kicking his ass. The two friends will end up together and they'll be married in a year and pregnant on their honeymoon.

Wednesday, December 10

Dr. Evil

Baby is finished with shots until her 2 year appointment. This is a good thing. This means, sans any sickness (fingers crossed), I won't have to see those people for some time coming at my child with a needle.

Every time she got a shot, she cried for about five seconds and I cried for about twenty minutes. And each of those times when she cried tiny little baby baby tears, the nurse (a different nurse each time) would say, "I'm sorry. I didn't want to do it. Your mommy made me."

What would have been your response?

Sunday, December 7

Things That Make Me Go WUT?

Solid perfume. I have never understood the appeal. (It's like the white corduroy miniskirt I used to have. When in the hell are you supposed to wear a corduroy miniskirt? Summer? No. Winter? Um...effing cold. Where'd the damn skirt come from? Who purchased this damn thing?) What in the world are you supposed to use to apply a solid perfume? Your finger? Uh...let me paint you a purty picture.

1995 (I don't really know what year it was, but just go with it.) You may have previously read about my desperate search for the perfect deodorant. It's been a life-long quest. Well, I was trying to fall in love with a roll-on deodorant. It drove me crazy the same way the Maybelline Kissing Potion did when I was in elementary school. The one thing to top that annoyance was a girl in my grade, who I took dance with, whose mother would fill her empty Kissing Potion bottles with vegetable oil claiming, "It's the same thing!" Yeah. The oil dripping down your daughter's mouth yes! certainly does smell like rootbeer! No wait...bubble gum! This was the same woman who, once we all fell asleep at her daughter's birthday slumber party, put all of our hands in a glass of water and froze our training bras. Of course, mine wasn't a training bra; sadly, it was a real bra and I've been wearing one since I was in the third grade. But I digress.... So I'm trying to apply my stupid roll-on deodorant and it's clogged or something. I can't get the ball to spin. So I rub it vigorously across the palm of my hand. It spins but isn't leaving a white residue. (When I was in the seventh grade, I had spent the night at another friends house. We were getting ready to go somewhere and I was trying to do my hair in her bathroom. Having a mother who is a hair dresser teaches you how to use whatever is available to achieve the look you're going for. I grabbed the aerosol can and started spraying. I touched it with my hand and it didn't feel sticky. So I sprayed again. Same result. Sprayed again. Not stiff. Finally I yelled and asked if she had any other hair spray, that this can was empty or something. She said, "I don't have hair spray." I looked in the mirror and that was when I noticed a white layer of gunk in my hair. I picked up the can and it was deodorant. A giant can of deodorant. Who puts deodorant in a giant aerosol can? Deodorant and I do not get along.) I try again to apply it to the proper areas and finally just assume it has either worked or hadn't worked which would just mean I'd been let down again. Well, later that day I was hanging out with some friends. Someone had brought a chocolate cake. I ate a piece, because I can't turn down chocolate; it doesn't even have to be good chocolate. I got some on my hand and licked the icing off. This is where it all went down hill. I remembered not washing my hands after the deodorant test and my mouth was filled with the sweet splendor of chocolate and Powder Fresh. I wanted to cry.

(This all reminds me of the time I was in second grade and was stapling my papers together at the teacher's desk. I can still see the look on her face. I picked up the stapler, looked at it and put it back on her desk. I said, "I think there is something wrong with this stapler," and just as she was reaching for it, I stuck my middle finger under the handle and stapled the stapler to my finger. I picked up my hand and the stapler was just hanging from it. My teacher and I were a bit alarmed. Luckily it was easily remedied. That part I don't remember, but I assume it went well since I am not typing with a stapler growing out of my hand.)

So solid perfume. I don't think just washing it will get rid of the taste. Later if you have Milk Duds stuck in your teeth and you need to dig them out that taste will probably still be there. And then what if you're without a drink? Or gum? Or it was your last Milk Dud and you're left with that taste in your mouth? Ick.

Maybe you could carry around some sort of applicator for the perfume. Ooh! Maybe I could invent one!! You know, I'm going to Google it. I bet there already is such a thing. I thought I'd invented the AM/FM transmitter for the iPod, but I went there the other day with my friend just to get the smell of the Apple Store all over me and voila! there it was. I asked the man who worked there if you could use it in your car since my car stereo picks up 1.5 stations. After taking a good look at the package I said, "Oh, I guess not. It seems as though it has to plug into the iPod so there's really no way to have it play through the stereo." He said, "Well, you could just plug in the transmitter and listen with your headset." I said, "Um...but that's illegal."

I don't think boys have these problems.

Saturday, December 6

Thanks for the Visual

A friend of mine just lost a case in federal court. His client: a 5o-something-year-old Korean woman accused of running a brothel/massage therapy business with Korean employees in their 60s.

Good goddess.

When I entered massage therapy school, I had just moved to a new building down the street from where I live now. My roommate came in one evening and said, "The news is outside with a van and a reporter." Really? Let's take out the garbage. So we grabbed a couple of bags and ran down the stairs nearly falling over each other and almost breaking our necks (This is a huge fear of mine; that I will fall down the stairs and somehow get my head stuck between the rungs on the railing and snap my head off). We usually just opened the balcony door and tossed the garbage bags into the dumpster from our second floor balcony, so we were inexperienced in carrying the bags down the stairs. We also didn't realize that the news girl would have moved right in front of our main door so imagine her surprise when we busted through like two crazed bag ladies.
"Would you mind answering a few questions for us about your building? Have you seen a lot of men coming and going?" We just moved in.

And we took off running around the corner and then even faster past her and back up the stairs. What the hell was she talking about? Damn! We have to wait until 11 p.m. to find out!! (This is something else that pisses me off --it's a long list: "Is what you're eating for dinner killing you? Story at eleven." about story now? I'm about to sit down to dinner, bitches. This is why I majored in print journalism. I couldn't see myself going up to someone and saying, "Hi. I see that a tornado just origamied your trailer into a box of toothpicks, your family is somewhere over Oz, you lost your dog and your neighbors and from what I gather...most of your teeth. I'm sure you've got a lot going on, but if it's no trouble...I'd love to get your comment for tonight's news and if you don't mind...this guy is going to film the whole thing." Yeah...not my style.)

So...eleven o'clock rolled around and evidently there was a brothel in our building. It's a very nice building...right across the street from the jail. (I live among a city of dumbasses.) I immediately called my mother and said, "You're going to see my building on the news and they will be talking about massage therapist hookers. I'm not one of them."

And so, my state which didn't require a license when I got mine, started requiring one six years later. Wow. Way to really make a change. Those kinds of stories would show up on the news more often than not. When I got my license, I worked at a spa. Men would come in and say things like "Wow. This place is a lot nicer than where I usually go," to which I wanted to say, "Yes. I'm not wearing a bikini and my name isn't on a kiosk out front on the sidewalk." One guy sat down on the edge of the table, in his robe, and said, "It really hurts right here," and proceeded to lift his leg up incredibly high for a hamstring that supposedly really hurt and of course, he wasn't wearing any underwear. I said, "Well, I could massage that area, but the technique I would have to use is four times more painful than what I'm sure you're experiencing. I just want to warn you." He said, "That's okay. Maybe I'll just take some Tylenol." Good idea. Of course there were the men who would throw all the covers on the floor so they would be laying on the table stark naked when I walked in or the ones who would ask me out four minutes into the massage. All freaks, I assumed. And all of them ready for whatever oral pleasure I was handing out that day. But for crap sake, why on Earth are you going to come into a place like this, make an ass out of yourself and then pay sixty-five dollars. For the love! Really!! Not to mention that we will all be talking about you even before you're dressed and back out into the lobby.

I remember one week in particular. A coworker of mine quit and I had to work pretty much a double five days that week massaging his clients as well as mine. One day, I did eight one hour massages. That, if you don't know, is a lot. At the end of the week, I sat in the spa lobby and cried. I stopped at the Korean restaurant down the street on my way home, which was my normal routine about three nights a week. Korean food is my favorite! I couldn't even hold the chop sticks. I couldn't get my hands to open up. My fingers were all curled and cramped. It was awful. So, what I'm wondering do these women eat? I couldn't even hold a fork, there's no way I could give a hand job.

Well, I asked my friend, who claims he isn't having much luck in federal court lately, "Did you try the argument that those women were dating all those men? I mean...seriously. What's the difference? They pay for dinner and get sex. They pay for a massage and get sex. Sounds like a date to me. Of course, I never massage my boyfriends, and if I was dating a valet, I wouldn't make him come out and park my car every time I went to his house. Just sayin'."

And honestly, when you're a 35-year-old man is a blow job from a woman who demands the senior citizen's discount really a happy ending?

Tuesday, December 2

Monday, December 1

Baby Talk

Took baby to the doctor today for her fifteen month check-up/stabbing. I swear, nurses these days lack any semblance of a respectable bedside manner. In and out. It is so ridiculous. I know it is overwhelming having to see so many patients in one day. The XH (whose name shall forever remain unspoken) was a doc who thought seeing twelve patients in one day was tiring. At the time of separation, he was seeing forty-two patients in one day. That is beyond ridiculous.

Well, I don't have a doctor. I never get sick. So when it came time to pick a doctor's office for my pregnancy I picked a family practice thinking it would be smart for the two of us to be able to go to the same doctor's office. Well, I didn't realize until halfway through my pregnancy that it is a practice made up mostly of residents and the majority of the patients are on medicaid or medicare. Our doctor was a resident. We have only seen him twice since she was born so I assume he's like a real doctor now or something. I've seen a different resident every time baby has had a check-up and each of those residents are complete dillweeds.

The residents and the attending physicians who come in to supervise now and again think that every parent is one moment away from tying up their child and leaving them in the closet while they run off to Disneyland.

Today, I saw a resident who followed, word for word, the script of questions he was supposed to ask. These questions seem more suited for someone with a bright light shining in their face while they're surrounded by federal agents. "Is she walking?" Yes. "She's holding on to furniture?" She's walking. "By holding on to furniture?" N. O. "Does she respond to commands?" Yes. "Does she talk?" Yes. "What does she say?" Oh, about fifty words or so. She'll repeat pretty much anything if she's interested. (Baby is over by the chair and starts tugging at her diaper. Me: Do you need a new diaper? Baby: Nooooo. Resident: blank stare at Baby.)

After he left, I ended up changing baby's diaper anyway because as of last weekend, no means yes. Actually, as of last Saturday evening. Not Saturday day, but Saturday night. Around 7 p.m., Baby started saying 'Nooooo' whenever I asked her if she wanted something which I knew would garner a 'Yes.' "Do you want a bottle?" Noooo. "Do you love mama?" Noooo. "Do you love Gramma?" Noooo. That's when I was certain this was a new phase. A cute one.

Just as I was about to fasten the diaper, the resident came back in and the attending with him said, "Wait. Leave that. I want to see." He came over and looked at her and lifted her legs and then turned to me and said, "I am just checking for diaper rash." Noooo. Really? I thought maybe you were some predator who just wanted to stare at my child's vajayjay. Where's Chris Hansen and the Dateline crew? Are you freaking serious? Do you think I'm an idiot?

Honestly, I think they do think all of their patients are idiots. They just have to assume we know nothing and then when we tell them that yes, in fact, dairy does give her eczema and diarrhea they can't help themselves and still have to say, "I don't think that's it."

Dude. Don't screw with me. I'm the mommy. Didn't you just hear her say that?