Subourbon Mom


Spring Break – 5 College Guy Body Types

Lots of people have asked me if there was any eye candy on the spring break cruise we took, which apparently had most of the University of Georgia on it. I hesitate to say yes, because a) the “men” were the same age as my daughters and b) eye candy is only fun in this situation for someone my age as long as you have your headphones on.  As soon as you actually hear the eye candy speak, it’s all over – it’s like getting what you thought was a caramel chocolate out of the candy box, and it ends up having that nasty pink creamy stuff inside.

But while I waited at the back of the pool crowd (see photo above) for the waiter to bring my next boat drink, I did notice that there are essentially 5 main male college bods:

  1. The football player who will eventually be a real estate broker or work in his Dad’s car dealership. This guy has already peaked – in fact, he may have peaked in high school but is riding the wave until the bitter end. His bulky size is beginning to go or will go to fat as soon as he stops working out in the gym, although he may re-acquaint himself with his neck when that happens. He always enters the belly flop contest and does the beer yell while dancing like Uncle Kracker. He also has some of the worst sunburn because he doesn’t have a girlfriend, and guys generally just aren’t that helpful to each other with sunscreen application.
  2. Dad-Bod. This guy has already achieved that settled look that usually comes after baby #1. You can already see what he’s going to look at when he’s 40. He’s wearing the pastel button-down shirt (probably unbuttoned) and a university hat. But he is someone who might be able to hold a conversation, and his sunscreen is evenly applied because he has a girlfriend (or potential girlfriend) who cares.
  3. The Gym Rat. This guy, no matter how tall or short, spends the same amount of time in the gym that Oprah Winfrey spends telling people how to live their lives better (BTW, I’m still annoyed that one of Oprah’s “favorite things” was a pair of slippers for $300, as if we’re supposed to be able to afford them – bitch, please). He has perfected the flex-and-scan, which involves – you guessed it – flexing his pecs and abs and scanning beneath his $200 sunglasses to see who noticed. This is usually followed by a smirk if he’s spotted a fan, or a frown if he hasn’t.
  4. The Head of the Back (a-la Michael Anthony Hall in 16 Candles). These leaders of the non-Ken Doll contingent tend to lurk around the outskirts of the big crowds, drinking as much as the rest (or more), but never quite make it to the inner circle. They may not spend as much time in the gym or in the girls’ dorms as the other guys, but they have an amazing assortment of professional sports-related clothing to choose from, such as baseball and basketball jerseys. Sunburn? See Bod #1.
  5. Baseball player bod. These guys aren’t necessarily baseball players – they just have that naturally athletic look to them, without all the gym work. They either are already in the military (hence the look), they’ll work 20-hour days on Wall Street, or they will climb some other corporate ladder quickly with their combination of looks and charm (and probably smarts as well) – unless they go the opposite direction and do something interesting/noble like joining the Peace Corp or becoming a Wilderness adventure leader in the Rockies. Their sunscreen is applied evenly by pretty much anyone they ask.

At the risk of being accused of body-shaming, these are generalizations only. I don’t know these people and haven’t spoken to them except to ask them to please aim their vomit down the stairs and not down my front (just kidding). And no, I’m not going to talk about the girls’ body types because…I’m not stupid.

And yes, I was jealous of them for a bit, but then I had a revelation:

College kids don’t have cash, and pool wait staff like cash.   A lot.

Grownups have cash.

So, we grownups grabbed some chairs first thing in the morning while the partiers were still sleeping, and camped out all day enjoying the partiers’ annoyed looks.  We tipped the wait staff each time they took our orders.  Soon we didn’t even have to ask – they just brought. No standing in line amongst the sweaty, rum-breathing hoards, vying for the bartenders’ attention among the belly button rings and thongs. Just drinks on a tray when we needed them.

It’s good to be a grown up.



Treadmill Tourette’s & Other Winter Exercise Hazards

After walking around all winter grumbling about how I hate the way my stomach has started moving independently of the rest of my body, I finally realized I was actually going to have to do something about it.

I was going to have to start…dare I say it?

Exercising.

And even worse… Eating Better.

So I did what I always do when I realize Virginia winters don’t require the amount of extra insulation I’ve been building up.  I tried a few things, and quickly realized my intentions do not match the reality of the situation.

Intention: I am trying to eat 5 fruits and veggies a day and limiting bread to get more good carbs and limit the bad.
Reality: My body went into a fiber-induced shock. Apparently, granola is not everybody’s friend, at least not at first.

Intention: I am limiting alcohol – and by that I mean I am only having drinks Thursday through Saturday. (Some folks asked me “why include Thursday?” Well duh…because Thursday is “Little Friday!”)

Little Friday

Reality: Middle Age takes care of some of that desire; I now have a whole list of drinks that make me have hot flashes, so I’m definitely weighing my choices more carefully – is it really worth having to change out of my sweat-soaked my PJs at 3:00am to have that glass of wine? Nope.

Intention: I bought a few Clean Eating and exercise magazines to give me inspiration and ideas.

Shape CoverReality: They make me feel like I am being healthy without actually being healthy…until I look at the 20-year-olds in the pictures who clearly have never had children and don’t sit in an office cube all day like a veal. I also refuse to spend a lot of money on special spices and high-end oils that those Clean Eating magazines seem to demand. And, I have never once tried any of the exercises in the fitness mags – mostly because I couldn’t follow the diagrams any more than I can put together anything that says “some assembly required.”

Intention: I am regularly exercising at the office gym, mostly doing ab work and cardio to get the weight off as fast as I can.
Reality: Running on the treadmill comes with two hazards I wasn’t expecting:

1. Watching my reflection in the windows as I run makes me unbalanced – I had to grab the rails before I shot off the back of the machine like a sweaty, horizontal human waterfall;

Unknown
2. I thought my new cheap headphones were mildly electrocuting me every few seconds, until I realized that in the winter treadmills acquire a lot of static electricity.  So, every 3rd or 4th step I had to slap the metal rail with my hand to prevent the static zap from reaching my headphones and inner ear.  I don’t know what the people walking by the gym window thought, but I’m pretty sure I looked like I had a case of Running Tourette’s.


Intention:
 I am going to look awesome in a bikini this summer.

Bikini
Reality: I will once again spend too much money on a conservative tankini that my mother will approve of.

 

Vintage bathing suit

 

But in the meantime, I’m going to be burning those extra calories flailing at the metal treadmill rails – maybe those expended calories will turn into that bikini body I remember. Or maybe they’ll just let me eat that extra helping of summertime happy hour appetizers.

 



Zip Lines & Zebra Suits…The Loterie Farm, St. Maarten

Day Three of Spring Break, St. Maarten:

Today was one of those perfect days you fantasize about when you’re scraping the windshield and cursing the fact that you didn’t get that finicky backseat window in your car fixed before winter hit.

Our intrepid leader Mark and his up-for-anything assistant Stazzi took us to a place called The Loterie Farm (pronounced “Lottery Farm,”), an oasis in the middle of St. Maarten that offers an idyllic infinity pool with cabanas you can rent, straight out of “Who The Hell Lives Like That?” magazine. (This is the genre of magazine that features houses with all-white furniture and carpets, and ads for curtains that cost more than my snow-covered car.) For the more adventurous, there is a network of zip-lines and hiking trails throughout the jungle.

IMG_2156 IMG_2157

Before we left, there was the usual 45 minutes of trying to round up seven people and all of their gear for the day:

Me:  “Does anyone have the bug spray? Did you put sunscreen on? No you didn’t—you’re not shiny enough. Put it on—not here, outside! Did you bring sneakers? You can’t zip-line in flip flops…”

Everyone else: “Mommmm…”

Eventually, Mark and Stazzi managed to corral all of us into the rental van. When we arrived at The Loterie Farm, we entered the pool area and plunked our gear down. What a surprise! We were a loud, laughing group of Americans invading a quiet and serene European setting–no wonder they hate us.  A frowning French waiter brought a complementary bucket of champagne, which made me salivate like a dog looking at a steak, but that would have to wait—there was zip-lining to do first.  After all, I do have a little bit of a work ethic.

The zip-lining was as fun as it was exhausting – I definitely recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure.  After and hour of straining muscles over a ropes course and clipping and un-clipping ourselves to various cables and trees, the tired Fam plodded down the last wooden ramp to the fix-it-yourself rum punch bar—seriously, they had that.  I love Island People. The more athletic and wise among us (Daughters 1&2) made do with water.  Dripping with jungle sweat from squatting and zipping and maneuvering my not-as-limber-as-I-thought body around, I went back for champagne and my bathing suit.

Guess who didn’t bring hers?

Hubby, already in his suit and ready to get into the pool and cool off with a glass of the bubbly, saw me getting ready to FTFO and took me to the Teeny, Tiny boutique that was there just for forgetful people like me, to buy a suit. Everything in that boutique was Teeny Tiny, including The Loterie Farm Dog, a Chihuahua named Felly who periodically got the “zoomies” and ran in circles before collapsing in the grass ( I think I lost 20 minutes just watching him).  The only things not Teeny Tiny were the price tags.  Of course, the Teeny Tiniest things in the boutique were the bathing suits. And Ladies, in case you were wondering, Land’s End tank-inis don’t exist in Europe or The Islands, except on suburban-American moms. We may think we are camouflaging the muffin-tops in them, but the rest of the world can spot us a mile away, and they shrink back in horror.

What I ended up purchasing was a band-aide-sized, black and white bikini that, next to my sunburned skin, made me look like a zebra with a bad case of mange. You could clearly see the tan lines left by my forgotten suit.

Mortified, I wrapped a towel around my waist, trying desperately to ignore the fact that there was air coming down the back of the bottoms because—yes, it’s gross, but true—I’m pretty sure I actually had crack showing. Classy.

But, after a delicious tapas meal and a couple (make that several) boat drinks over which we solved the problems of the world, I was no longer mortified.  In fact, I felt kind of French—I had a too-small bathing suit, lack of inhibitions, and an attitude of undeserved privilege—or is that more like a recent college grad? It’s hard to tell the difference, except for the accent.

Either way, I decided it was a pretty nice way to spend time on vacation; and since Daughters 1 & 2 are closer to graduating than I will ever be again, I’ll just have to become French.  Oui?  

“Mommmmm…”

“I know, I know. Put some more sunscreen on. You’re not shiny enough.”



Things Are Looking Up

Spring break this week couldn’t have come soon enough, after yet another week of missed work, missed school and sleet that no longer sounded like popcorn on the windows, but more like an irritating toddler tapping on the bedroom door while Mommy was in “time-out.” Courtesy of my very generous in-laws, we were invited to spend a few days in St. Maarten.  For weeks I’d been envisioning white sand beaches, tropical drinks and hangovers that mysteriously disappeared with an hour or two of being in the sun.

I also had visions of how I would be looking in my bikini.

Huh.

I didn’t remember I’d have two teenage daughters with me, and that I would be surrounded by other youngsters in their 20’s, with no wrinkles or worn-out-looking skin draping their bodies like Scarlett O’Hara’s curtains before she made them into a dress.

But I wore it anyway. Hell, I didn’t know anybody there.

I also tried to justify it to myself by going for a walk from where we were staying up to a radio tower on top of the “mountain.” Okay, it wasn’t really a mountain, but it looked like one when I was eyeballing it from the breakfast table, with a stomach full of healthy granola trying to counteract the bellyful of pizza and Heinekens from the night before.

My eyes have always been bigger than my stomach, and that day, they were clearly bigger than my exercise capabilities.

So off The Fam went, a water bottle in each hand, our pale, prison-term skin glistening in the mid-morning light and blinding the locals.  As we plodded along the congested street to get to the “mountain”, my only thought was, “My goal today is to sweat out the many, many toxins I ingested last night.”  By the time we’d gone about 500 yards, I’d achieved that goal. We hadn’t even started uphill yet.

Our friend and guide to all fun things local, Mark, led us landlubbers through the maze of tiny lanes winding up the hill. Each indentation in the road hid a charming villa overlooking the ocean in a panorama of turquois and cerulean blues that made your heart actually ache, wanting to see that view every day.  In his characteristic speed-walk (large steps, head swiveling from side to side like an ostrich as he scanned for potential hazards), we hiked up the mountain that I had quickly decided was not eroding with time like a normal mountain, but was in fact growing, probably due to some strange up-thrust of island infrastructure-related sewage activity. (For some reason, there was a stench of raw sewage that would come at us in wafts all over the island—random waves of shit-smell that would actually burn the back of your throat until you cleared the area).

St. Maarten hikeTwo-thirds of the way up, I had to take a break. Mama Bear was falling behind, and not in a, “I’ll block the cars from the rear,” protective kind of way. My lungs were on fire, and the hip I busted white water rafting was seizing up in a way no WD40 or bottles of Aleve were going to fix.  Ahead, Mark and Daughters 1&2 were plowing on with heads down and shoulders hunched against the humidity and the the incline. 

Hubby was patiently waiting for me to catch up, the last prisoner on this Bataan Death March.

Eventually, we made it to the top, and the view?  It was worth it—a panoramic view of our part of the island.

The best parts of the whole adventure?

  1. No texting
  2. Daughters 1&2 were impressed with something that, while not exactly life-sized, was not on SnapChat until THEY put it there.
  3. I didn’t have to use my inhaler, and the hours on the elliptical weren’t wasted.
  4. I was toxin-free…
  5. …until I had the three frozen lemonade drinks at the beach bar later on that were GUILT-FREE.


The “Plane” Truth on Mindful Thinking

There are too many people in this world, and most of them found ways to annoy me last weekend while I was traveling by air from Texas–especially the fake cowboy who walked through the Houston airport with his jeans tucked into his boots (the Marlborough Man would have been so ashamed). There were the usual delays and morons who couldn’t figure out how to go through security on the first try.  But one bright spot? Airport food has gotten surprisingly healthier.

On one of the longer flights, I was offered a Mediterranean tapas-style snack to purchase that cost more than I make per hour; I splurged. Added bonus: I was pretty sure no one would sit next to me on the next flight if I ate the olives and fancy, garlicky cheese.

Since I’d lately been reading about mindfulness (the act of being present in the moment, and focusing entirely on one thing at a time), and I had LOTS of time on my hands, I decided to try to bring down my stress levels by savoring each cracker smeared with garlicky cheese. I chewed slowly, letting the crumbs dissolve in my mouth, trying to identify each herb as it hit my palate (garlic was at the top of the list—the other passengers LOVED me).  I felt the way the cracker pieces gummed up between my teeth and resisted the urge to start picking at them; instead, I made those weird faces people make when they run their tongue over their teeth to dislodge an article of food.  I’m pretty sure my lips looked like there was a gerbil running around under there.

I pressed another glob of cheese onto a cracker with the teeny-tiny spoon they provided that looked like it had been stolen from a Polly Pocket set.

Then, the next cracker shattered. Not into a few pieces I could cup in my hand or pick out of my lap, but into a billion tiny specks that hurtled themselves across the cabin and behind me in a hail of Focaccia shrapnel. I didn’t look up, but I could hear people mumbling and shifting around, brushing crackers off of their laptops and phones.

In an instant, I had gone from being mindful, and feeling somewhat superior as I did it, to being mortified and wondering if the lady next to me knew she had cracker crumbs on her cheek (she didn’t—it stayed there the rest of the flight).  I didn’t have the nerve to tell her.

So, I fell back t playing my favorite flying game: Who on this flight would survive on an island if we crashed? Who would be the hero and open the emergency exits? Most of the passengers were elderly (South Texas is like Steven Spielberg’s Cocoon in the winter), so not much help there.  Maybe the ex-football player with the Baptist bible camp shirt on—at the very least, he might be able to put in a good word.  The old biker dude with the mutton chops? Not likely, but based on his tattoos he might be handy with a needle if I needed stitches.  People with kids—forget it. They’d be useless, instinctively protecting their spawn.  My best bet was the pudgy guy wearing cammo, who looked like he would be on the rescue squad, and the skinny lady who looked like a doctor or pharmaceutical rep; either way, one would have training, or one would have good drugs.

Scouting out my fellow passengers may not have exactly been “mindful thinking,” but it did give me a mind full of other things to think about.

 




Just 4 My Books

My own curious world about books and writing

1XPAD.COM

WHERE EVERY POST IS THE LAST POST

SKYLARITY

Paradigm Shift, Mindfulness, and Personal Empowerment

Love Exploring Scotland

Explore Scotland through my photos and experiences. She's a beauty!

Drinking Tips for Teens

Creative humour, satire and other bad ideas by Ross Murray, an author living in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Is it truth or fiction? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.

Today's Author

Fostering a community of creative writers through articles, comments, writing prompts and a healthy, supportive environment.

Subourbon Mom

Life is like bourbon: sometimes strong, sometimes sweet, sometimes it makes you tired!

Energy Writer

A passion for writing and energy healing.

The Byronic Man

We can rebuild him. We have the technology... Drier. Hilariouser. More satirical than before.

Leila Gaskin

I Write. I Learn. I Dream. I Live.

Skinny Dipping

Life is like bourbon: sometimes strong, sometimes sweet, sometimes it makes you tired!

Enter The Laughter

Life is like bourbon: sometimes strong, sometimes sweet, sometimes it makes you tired!

Snoozing on the Sofa

Fatherhood's Finest Hour

I've become my parents

Things my son needs to know before he grows up to be just like me.

Ned's Blog

Humor at the Speed of Life

%d bloggers like this: