Subourbon Mom


Hydro-automentia and Other Driving Syndromes
June 16, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

hydroAs pandemic restrictions are loosened and people start to emerge like moles into daylight, I am reminded again how normally intelligent, capable people – people who are doctors and lawyers and engineers outside of their cars – often drive like they’re living the Mario Kart dream or on the antique car ride at King’s Dominion. And God forbid it should start raining – holy shit – it’s like some kind of collective amnesia or processing disorder takes over.

I call this hydro-automentia or, forgetting-how-to-drive-when-it-rains syndrome.

Let me give you an example.  It’s raining, but not too hard – summer rain that finally cools the road off enough so that your dog stops pulling to get onto the grass and stop frying his paws like four little eggs. If you’re driving in this type of rain, a traveler with hydroautomentia in front of you slows WAY down, switches on his hazards and proceeds as if the rain is made of acid and any splash-up will disintegrate his car.  These are often the same people who ride their brakes no matter what the weather.

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Then there are the people who suffer from auto-identitatem syndrome, or car identity syndrome. The symptoms can vary and may be exacerbated by disproportionate amounts of testosterone, narcissism and Karen-itis.  Here are a few symptoms:

  • Jersey slashing (If you’re from the south, it’s identity confusion over your place of origin; if you’re from the north, you think you’re just being efficient.)
  • Owning a car that resembles a current or past police vehicle model so that is scares the Bejeezus out of everyone you creep up behind
  • Having a personalized license plate that is either indecipherable or only means something to you, the car owner – either way, you’ve made me look at your car for way too long without getting it and now I’m annoyed
  • Having any kind of “_______ on Board” sign suction cupped to your window – I don’t care and it’s usually not true anyway. Plus, if you have a baby on board you’re providing free advertising to pedophiles.
  • Having any version of the family member stickers on your back window – unless it’s the one where the dinosaur/shark has eaten one of the family members (that’s just funny). Again, you’re advertising to pedophiles, but now they also know exactly which sex and approximate age is in the car and which sports fields to go to.

The last syndrome folks need to be aware of is mergus-icognita.  This syndrome manifests in two primary ways: not using the blinkers/turn signals at a stoplight, and not indicating if you are merging onto an off-ramp. I’ve written about this one before, so I’ll just say that I don’t need a mystery when I’m driving. Life provides me with enough unexplained stuff, like if money is the root of all evil, why do they ask for it in church?  The point is, I don’t need to play “Guess Which Way I’m Going” when I’m at a busy intersection or trying to get on a highway.

So, in addition to the symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, allergies, anxiety and depression that we are supposed to be mindful of right now, please monitor yourself for the symptoms described above. If you do have them, try home remedies first, like removing the offending signage or practicing using your turn signals in your driveway before venturing out and infecting the rest of us.

Oh, and don’t forget the #1 Rule:

Be Kind.

 

 



First Responders – Shit Got Real
May 13, 2020, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Beware – this one is not for the squeamish
or the judgemental….

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Amid all the thank-yous and celebrations for our First Responders as the pandemic rages around the country, it’s important to remember that these extra acts of bravery and self-sacrifice are in addition to the normal stupid and often really gross stuff they have to deal with.

A friend of mine who is a firefighter submitted this to me and said I could use it.  (Hopefully, he or I will start another blog about the things they have to deal with – the funny, the gross and Darwinian selection in action.) So here goes – (reminder: this is not for the squeamish!):

I got sent to Station 4 for the medic unit.  A very nice medic named Christy (names have been changed, yadyadayada…) was my partner. We checked out all the equipment;  unfortunately, we never discussed a plan for The Secreting Poop Monster.

The Secreting Poop Monster was found passed out on the floor of a bus shelter.  Christy and I pull up, and “Stacie,” the officer at the scene, met us. 

“That guys smells like shit. That’s why I’m over here. Good luck,” she said. 

Christy and I go over and assess the Poop Monster. He is drunk and hypothermic, and has been laying on the wet floor of the bus shelter all night.  Poop is everywhere on the floor.  It is all over him – as plentiful as trash on Sunday morning after the Virginia Garlic Festival.  

At Christy’s suggestion, I paved the cot with two layers of blue absorbent napkins. Then I paved that layer with two more layers of bed sheets.  Together, Christy and I picked up the Poop Monster and laid him on the cot. He soaked through all the layers instantly. 

Christy yelled “Cover him up!”

I had the presence of mind to bring two more sheets and a blanket.  I instantly threw all three layers down over top of the patient, and Christy worked feverishly to tuck in both sides and his feet. Honestly – it was like trying to wrap a soaked car-washing sponge in a dry towel, and expecting the towel to absorb all the water from the sponge. Within seconds, brown stains began appearing on the TOPSIDE of the outside blanket that was covering him. 

Christy and I had both dressed in full Star Trek, Season Three science fiction outfits. We put the Poop Monster in the back of the medic unit and Christy yelled, “JUST GO! Priority One – Lights and sirens!”

Four minutes later we were unloading the Poop Monster at the hospital. That medic unit likely has a bent frame from me slamming over speed bumps at 50 mph.  We wheeled him into his room – and then, he topped 29.5 years of disgusting calls, including The Bug Lady of Station 5 who had a gangrenous, open toe, a bleeding sore on her chest, a prolapsed uterus and lice, which required me to take a shower in paint thinner.  

Christy and I had positioned the cot containing the Poop Monster along side the regular ER hospital bed. The plan was for the two of us to position ourselves on opposing sides of the cot, reach down into the lower abyss, grab hold of the leading edge of the bottom-most sheet on the cot, pick up and slide the Poop Monster over to the hospital bed.  

All was good. I had my side, and Christy had hers. We had agreed she was the point person and would give the orders. I was looking her straight in the eye across the cot, waiting for the “shift” command.  Suddenly, she gets this puzzled look on her face.  She pulled out her gloved hand, looked at her index finger in utter disbelief. 

In the most perfectly unruffled, even-tempered voice that I have ever heard, she said, “A maggot has just crawled from this man’s ass, and it is now wagging its little tail on my index finer.  Oh my God – what should I do?”

Sure enough, I looked across the cot and poor Christy was staring, fixated, at a white maggot.

“Drown it,” I said.  I grabbed her by the arm, dragging her over to the sink and washed her gloved hand with hot water.”

And that, gentle readers, is the kind of thing First Responders have to deal with during regular times – in addition to the pandemic crises they are being called on to handle as well.  The Poop Monster may have been an extreme case, but remember: First Responders take care of people from all walks of life, in all living conditions and with all kinds of ailments, mental and physical. They frequently put themselves in harm’s way so others can survive.  So the next time you get one of those solicitations from your local First Responders for donations, be generous and be kind.  Write that check and remember to give way on the road when you see them coming. Someday it could be you or your loved one.

Or, they could just be covered in shit.

Either way – be generous.

Be kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Crossing the Shaky Bridge to Middle Age

Women of a certain age joke about menopause all the time.

“If I had a dollar for every time I get distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.”

“I don’t have hot flashes, I have short, tropical vacations.”

“Menopause – it’s a thin line between love and homicide.”

This happens…that stops happening … and thank God THAT doesn’t happen anymore (you can Google the symptoms – it’s not secret knowledge, despite what our mothers’ generation thought).  I always thought that knowing those things made me have a pretty good handle on it, mentally.  My kids are grown and I’m definitely ready to kiss the whole period/PMS thing goodbye.

So, when mine stopped happening, I diligently started counting down the months until the magical 12-month mark with no period – then it would become official.  I’d be in a new stage of life that didn’t involve trips to the store because I ran out of tampons and packing extra underwear to take to work and on vacations (just in case).  I was looking forward to emotional stability, sleeping through the night and becoming the wise old matriarch I am destined to be.  I was even getting used to this new, fatty swim ring permanently hanging over the top of my pants, no matter how many sit-ups I did.

And then, at 11 months and 3 weeks – I got it again.

Are you freaking kidding me?

I was at the finish line, looking official Middle Age in the face and she laughed, said “Bitch, please,” and drew another 365-day line in the sand.

A couple of nights later (and one emergency trip to CVS for supplies), I dreamed I was pregnant (I’m not).  And in that dream, I was very upset.  I cried and wept, feeling angry and betrayed and trapped. I remember wailing “I don’t want to be 70 when my kid graduates college!”

50b

It took me a few days to process what was  happening with that dream. I finally realized that even though my body decided to have a last laugh or last gasp, whichever way you want to look at it, in my mind I had already moved on.  I’ve raised my two wonderful daughters and experienced  the joys and agony of watching them go through the ages and stages. I am ready to start a new phase of life.

That’s something the OBGYN, memes, Facebook and even your friends probably don’t talk about – the mental and emotional adjustment of menopause. I’m sure most women feel it is liberating, devastating, or some combination of the two, but we just don’t talk about that part of it.

Memes are way funnier, let’s be honest.

But eventually you either embrace or resent this new phase of life, this new you. You come to terms with it, or if you don’t, society will most likely not be very kind to you. There will be a lot of pursed lips and head shaking when you show up in your Daisy Dukes, 4-inch wedges and bikini top at age 60, no matter how in shape you think you are.

On the surface I was annoyed, but deep down getting my period again shook the fragile estrogen bridge (made of HRT pills and a secret stash of Midol) I was clinging to, as I tried to cross the chasm between youth and middle-age.

Bridge1When I look behind, I see a thinner version of me chasing my children, arranging play dates, juggling work and parenting and a busy social life, and generally burning the candle at both ends without a thought. I see Hubby working hard and picking up the slack, leaping into the chaos when he got the opportunity, and juggling the same crazy things.  It’s a busy, almost frantic life back there, and I get tired just watching them. When I look forward, I can see the other side, at least what we’re told is there: great, worry-free sex, wisdom, acceptance of certain physical flaws and changes that actually celebrate the life of a woman.  I see Hubby and I standing together watching our girls make their own way in the world, their own families, their own memories.  I see us figuring out this new existence together and connecting in a new way.  I see us being the team we were in the beginning.

And I realize that I’m looking forward to getting over this bridge, despite the bottles of Aleve, the moments of missing what used to be, and the memory losses that are already starting to peek around the corner at me.

So, another 365-day countdown begins. Now, if only I could remember where I put my calendar….

 

 



Venmo – A College Freshman’s (Unintended) First-Year Diary
March 26, 2020, 9:00 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , ,

As a parent, you know when your kid goes off to college to live in the petri dish they call a dorm, there will be times when they have to “adult,” like making doctor’s appointments or figuring out how to get to Target because because, God forbid, they can’t have a car on campus Freshman year.  What we didn’t realize was that all of these things would be documented in Venmo, the payment app.

You can parent your college kids however you want to, but one of our decisions was to let both of our kids charge Uber and Safety rides to our cards, so that they never felt like they had to get in a car with someone who’d been drinking so they could get home.

They used it.  A LOT.

(And we were glad.)

We also allowed them to ASK for help when they needed it, like for doctor’s appointments and things that normally wouldn’t be in their budgets. But what we didn’t count on, but were happy to pay for (mostly), were the MANY charges from multiple trips to urgent care, Target and CVS for medicines….and many other “necessary” items.

Since her year got cut short, I thought i would share this little financial diary.  For so many reasons I’m sad that her and her sister’s years were cut short…and one reason is because I will miss these entertaining requests:

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And then there are the requests for daily living, because adulting is expensive:

 

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Welcome to adulthood, young lady.

And welcome home.  🙂

 

 



Dungeons, Dragons and D*!dos, Oh My!

If people judged me by the catalogs I receive, they would probably say I am a woman somewhere between the age of 12 and 75, I prefer being athletic outside (true), I occasionally have an interest in high-end hunting attire (nope), and I may have a fetish for dressing like I play Dungeons and Dragons (also no).

It’s the last catalog topic that I find the most fun.  The Pyramid Collection catalog,  which I receive because I somehow got on a list, is a clothing catalog for wanna-be wiccans, female Renaissance Faire attendees, and those on the fantasy side of Goth (not the EMO, skeletal, dyed black hair and white-face makeup Goths). It bills itself as “Myth, Magick, Fantasy & Romance.”   All true, if your idea of romance is to meet fellow wiccans wearing flowing blouses with  lacy sleeves (think Seinfeld’s “Puffy Shirt”),

puffy

you want to meet prince charming after a joust at your local Medieval Times,

Ren Dress

or your idea of fantasy is to meet a fellow enthusiast at ComiCon while waiting to do a meet-and-greet with the cast of Outlander or Game of Thrones.

Dress 1

But the most interesting thing about this catalog is that right in the middle, where the staples are and where it falls open is a double-page spread of a variety of sex toys for women.  So, in addition to buying the many fantasy-related accoutrements, you can also purchase some toys to help you relieve the loneliness that apparently is assumed will follow the initial purchase. It’s genius, really – cater to women’s fantasies, then cater to them not panning out – all in one catalog.

Perhaps other catalogs should follow suit, in their own way:  Athleta and LuLu Lemon could also put a spread in their catalogs that include the inevitable cheese boards, pizzas and wine that somehow seem to follow those departed New Year’s resolutions.

W CatalogMen’s catalogs could offer sleek suits and upscale weekend wear, but also include a spread with wings, onion rings and a selection of porn (not that I condone porn in any way) when the suits don’t hide the douchey-ness beneath, and they once again are seated with their buddies on a Friday night at BW3s instead of out on a date.

I just can’t believe this marketing trend hasn’t caught on before – addressing the “Who I Want to Be” part of the customer, as well as the “Ok, This is Who I Am” portion, all in one place.

Land’s End is gonna have to step up their game.

 

 

 




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