Subourbon Mom


I am NOT a Survivor – Sorry, Jeff

I don’t know what it is about Americans in particular, but we seem to like watching TV shows that make sporting events out of activities other people do in their daily life.  Off the top of my head, Survivor and American Ninja Warrior come to mind. American Ninja Warrior takes the obstacle courses military organizations used to use for training and makes it into a giant, high-tech jungle gym for middle-class gym rats.  Americans play Survivor on islands where people actually scratch out a living every day – not just for 40 days and then are flown back to their AC and Netflix.survivor

And I love both of those shows.

We still watch Survivor. I hate the people, and it makes me mad, but it’s a train wreck each season, and there’s been 38 seasons.  It seems I’m compelled to watch adults relive 8th grade by lying, backstabbing, deciding as a group who’s undesirable, and seeking revenge later on as an outsider.

I like Survivor because it has contestants that can do all the things I can’t in prolonged, difficult social situations. Here are 9 reasons why I would never win survivor:  

  1. Starting Fires: If I don’t have Fatwood from Plow and Hearth or a stack of old newspapers, I’m pretty useless.  (Voted Off – Day 2)
  2. Food-shut downs, or “The Hangry’s:” Based on people’s reactions to my food shut-downs, I’m pretty sure I would be voted off in the first three days. Apparently, I become unreasonable and just a bit bitchy. They would probably require my one item I could bring to be a Snickers. There is no way I would voluntarily eat sugar-free food (i.e. rice) for 40 days straight without being one of those contestants that gets all listless and weepy (Voted Off – Day 3).funfetti
  3. Hot flashes in the Jungle: I always feel superior as I watch these skeletal twenty-somethings running around wearing teeny-weeny bikinis in the heat and humidity of whatever island they’re dropped on. I dare them to try that with a muffin top while having hot flashes. (Voted Off – Day 4)
  4. Compete without injury: I’ve got bad shoulders, bad hips and I throw like a chimp. Not exactly your desired anchor man in most competitions. That said, you need some swimming done?  I’m your girl. (Voted Off – Day 6)
  5. Solve puzzles: Can’t. Never could. See this? slide puzzle I’ve never been able to do it.  Or this? Rubiks cubeI took those apart or smashed them, depending on my mood. I could proibably hide that deficit for a few days, but not the whole time. (Voted Off – Week 2)
  6. Sunburn: I have an appointment this month to get more pieces of my face taken off (again). I’m pretty sure living on an island for month without sunscreen would hammer that last nail in my peaches-and-cream coffin. (Voted Off – Week 2)
  7. Think logically when tired: Let me put it this way – people at work know not toracerback give me anything after 3:00pm because my brain is tired. I’m pretty sure logical, chess-like thinking is not going to be my strong-suit after being sleep and sugar deprived.  Also, I still can’t figure out how to put on one of those bra things that makes your straps into a racerback. (Voted Off – Week 3)
  8. Maintaining the Lies: One time in the airport I was looking disapprovingly at a girl with a tramp stamp and a thong hanging way above her pants as she tied her shoe; two men were staring at me and laughing at my expression, not even paying attention to the thong. Apparently, my face does not hide my feelings as well as I thought. (Voted Off – Pick Any Day I Look At People)
  9. Razors:  Seriously, people and after 40 days, people would run away from the Sasquatch that I have become.  And the guys who wax their chests on the show?  One of my favorite things ever is to watch it slowly grow back in on each episode. (Voted Off – Day 39)island hair

So sorry, Jeff Probst.  I’m only fodder for the first episode, where they winnow out the sick and old, like lions culling the weak water buffalo from the herd.  But American Ninja Warrior – that’s another story.  I’m going to get Hubby to build a Warp Wall so we can start practicing.



Practical Jokes: Be Creative & Let Karma Do Its Job

With all the warnings about bullying on social media in the news, I started wondering when playing jokes on people moved from the relatively fun and harmless (i.e. stink bombs, shuffling someone’s CDs into all the wrong cases) to the soul-destroying campaigns causing young people to want to kill themselves.

UnknownWhat happened to the creativity?  It’s easy to smear someone’s reputation anonymously online. It’s much harder to find a way to grow grass on someone’s carpet while they’re home on break, or to remove the slats from their bed so that it crashes when they sit on it, and not get caught.  Or better yet, get caught, have a laugh, repair the damage and wait for the required retribution.  At the very least, you’ll find out which of your friends don’t have the same sense of humor as you do – best to lave them alone.

When I was a teenager growing up in a small rural town, there wasn’t a lot to do aside from partying in the woods like every clichéd country anthem. When the cops showed up, they just told everyone to go home – even getting busted was pretty boring. So we had to find other things to do to liven it up, like cow tipping, which is not impossible, but in my experience always unsuccessful because there’s nothing louder than a bunch of teenagers trying to be quiet. Plus, cows don’t really sleep standing up.

imagesWe also “borrowed” grocery store shopping carts and left them in our friends’ front yards. Nothing says “I have friends my parents love” like waking up and trying to explain why there are three grocery store carts parked on your front porch and one has beer cans in it. Oh, and could I please use the family car to do the right thing and return it?

In my twenties, that same boredom and lack of funds caused some of my friends to turn to stealing milk crates from the backs of convenience stores (free shelving) and swiping anything to do with Pabst Blue Ribbon from bars (free glassware and wall decorations). That shot/bar glass collection that every twenty-something seems to have? It’s usually partnered with a stack of coasters or posters.

imagesNow, as a mature adult, when I don’t have money for things, I sulk or charge my credit card ‘cause that’s not real money anyway. The labeled glasses I have the days are purchased from wine tastings, not bars, and if a shopping cart ends up in my yard, it wasn’t my generation that deposited it there.

But not everyone has purged that reflex. For example, “J” still maintains and updates her massive collection of signs. She has a secret room (yes, it’s red) that is wallpapered with signs from restaurants, hospitals, streets, restrooms and bars. She even carries around sign-removing tools in her purse so she won’t miss an opportunity. Another friend has three full-size stoplights under his house (don’t ask).

I have only been seriously tempted to take one item in my recent adult life, and that is the photograph of a black lab sitting on a beach that hangs above the toilet in the bathroom at my local restaurant. It was a running joke for a while that one day I was going to have one too many drinks and walk out with it. Years later, I’m glad I didn’t. Recently, I was in the same bathroom and noticed that above the picture I liked is a new picture – the same dog sitting on the same beach, but clearly many years older. There is white around his muzzle, and he has the bony-hipped look old dogs get. This is, or maybe was, someone’s pet. If I had taken that picture, I might have been taking someone’s memory of their beloved dog.

Sometimes being a grownup brings the maturity that destroying someone anonymously (or not) isn’t a great use of your time, creative skills or humanity. And sometimes being a grownup brings a lot of sentimentality with it – which also happens to protect a lot of things.

So I didn’t steal the picture.  I stay off social media as far as destroying people, and I let karma do its job.

Also, I don’t carry a purse big enough to carry out two 11×14 picture frames.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Corn Hole–It Can Save The World

I have a new talent.  It’s not very often once you hit your forties, you discover something new about yourself that doesn’t have to do with migrating hair or the fact that the doctors on Gray’s Anatomy all look like they’re children.

This summer, I discovered I’m pretty good at corn hole.IMG_6485

The revelation occurred during a wedding reception. Daughter #2 and I tossed our way into a corn hole victory, wearing summer dresses and aiming for a board painted with twining, pastel flowers. What a welcome departure from the typical wedding small talk over bacon-wrapped scallops and monogrammed mints!

A couple of weeks later, Hubby and his work buddies set up a corn hole game in the glass lobby of their office. After hours, we played several games, with the added risk of shattering three stories of glass on a mis-throw. As we played, I realized that corn hole is like dancing: one beer will loosen up the arms, but two or three beers produce uncoordinated, jerky motions that cause folks to shake their heads and back away.

I didn’t realize corn hole had become a part of my psyche until a couple of weekends ago, when we went to the Montpelier Steeple Chase races in Central Virginia.

Tailgates sported silver candelabra and flower arrangements that belonged in an issue of Southern Living. Colorful hats, feathers and scarves competed with the jockey’s silks against a backdrop of falling leaves. Southern men staggered around in khakis and button down shirts, clutching red solo cups filled with bourbon or gin while their dates grabbed an arm and led them over to the track to watch the races.  Vendors touted overpriced boots, and hats, and artwork to grace libraries and sitting rooms.

One vendor was selling chairs and pillows covered with hand-painted watercolor animals and insects.  I was about to move on to the tent with Kettle Korn and gyros, when I noticed a small pile of square beanbags that were also painted in the same style for $20 – $40 each.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would pay such a ridiculous amount of money for corn-hole bags. It wasn’t until I picked one up, felt its weight and caught a whiff of lavender that I realized they couldn’t possibly be corn hole bags. They were sachet bags–the kind that women sometimes put in their underwear drawer. (Does anyone even still use those?)  The fact that I even knew this was due to my proper southern upbringing; but like tomato aspic or chicken gizzards, just because I know what a sachet is doesn’t mean I partake.

Having been introduced to the addictive world of corn hole, I’ve decided it should not be limited to NASCAR, football and weddings. I think the DMV should have them, as should the Post Office, women’s bathroom lines at concerts, and on the back of road construction trucks, ready to be dropped at a moment’s notice when traffic comes to a standstill on I-95.  What better way to kill time and make a group of strangers come together in a spirit of camaraderie?

So grab a couple of boards, prop them up, and raid your kid’s toy box. You never know when you might need to make some friends, or just pass the time while life goes on around you.  For those of you still too proud to admit you like corn hole, just tell people you’re throwing sachet bags around.

 




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