Subourbon Mom


Poop in a Box – It’s More Than You Think
January 15, 2023, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I don’t stick to them. Now that I’m in my 50’s, there are a couple of things that probably should go on the resolutions list:

  • Stop cussing so much, even though social media says you’re smarter if you do
  • Try Dry January
  • Learn how to do the backhanded Southern compliment thing (“You are so brave to stop drinking – people won’t recognize you!”)
  • Say no to the good so you can say yes to the great!
  • Do the Colonoscopy Thing*

When I had my latest physical in December, my doctor and I agreed that I’m a good candidate for ColoGuard…you know, the commercial you see on the TV where they deliver the box to your door, you poop in it and send it back. I’m a 70-percenter, meaning there are a lot of things that are “good enough” for me. I’ve accepted it, my family and friends have accepted it. So, being a 70-percenter, doing the ColoGuard screening makes sense – why go 100% with a free, covered-by-insurance colonoscopy when you can take the also-free shortcut, and then possibly pay for the full colonoscopy if the results come back positive?

Anyway, I was excited to not be put under and go through the prep of a colonoscopy.  Pooping in a box sounded way easier.

(WARNING! This is somewhat descriptive, so don’t read on if you’re not into talking about stuff like this.)

Turns out, there’s a little more to it than that.

You don’t just poop in a box, seal it up and mail it. There’s a wand you have to swoosh around in your poop and stick in a tube like a Covid test, and preservative to pour into the poop container. It’s a pretty gross process and takes a little locked-door private time in the bathroom if you ever want to have sex again, or if you have children who barge into the bathroom with you and you don’t want to scar them for life. 

The instructions are lengthy and explicit…as in an entire booklet. Then there’s a separate booklet for how to pack it up and mail it. There are even diagrams showing people sitting on the toilet doing their thing, and step-by-step instructions on how to untwist the top of the poop container, in case you’ve never opened anything in your life.

Instructions aside, there are also several warnings throughout the booklet telling you not to drink the preservative. Several warnings…as if this has been a large problem in the past and now, they have to spell it out for folks. As in…Don’t drink the bottle of stuff that was made to keep your poop fresh. Who is doing that? You are literally in a bathroom next to a sink with water, but no…some people are reaching for the sketchy bottle from the poop company and drinking that instead.

They also tell you not to fill the poop catcher up any higher than the preservative will cover.

I actually paused when I read that and thought, Let me get this straight. You’re supposed to poop into a container that is under you, where you can’t see it, and try to judge how much is too much? I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of containers shipping with a little bit of extra baggage. I’ve got a pretty strong stomach, but unless they give me a spoon and a gas mask, I’m not measuring it out like I’m baking poop cookies.

Then there are the warnings not to get any urine in with the poop.

So they’re telling 50-year-old women not to accidentally pee on something? While sitting on the toilet? Have they met any 50-year-old women? We can’t do anything without accidentally peeing.  So, yeah…good luck ladies.

Long story short, I got it all accomplished and took my very identifiable box to the local UPS store, who I use for all my shipping needs. They know me. To their credit they didn’t even flinch as they gave me the tracking receipt (which I promptly lost). Oh, and word to the wise: keep your tracking receipt. Those boxes do occasionally go astray, as I learned from a friend. Apparently, her box never reached its destination and is still traveling. Now she has to do it all again.

I never received confirmation that my sample was received, and since I lost the tracking receipt I had no way of knowing if there was a box of my leftovers floating around some warehouse or lying on the side of the road. Thankfully, a couple of days ago I received a text with my results: all negative.   

In the end, it was a weird, kind of gross experience, but thank goodness for the advances of science that make this process possible, and for the discoveries that lead to early detection.

So here’s my PSA – do whatever test is right for you, check your insurance policies, and for God’s, sake don’t drink the preservative!

*It is extremely important that you get tested. While I chose ColoGuard, it is not for everyone. Ask your doctor what test is best for you and get it done!



Stop Hiding Me Behind My Clothes
December 8, 2022, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor, Posts, shopping | Tags: , , , , , ,

Aaahhh..the holidays are here! Mariah Carey is screeching away in every store and the taste of panic-buying is in the air. You know what that means – sales.  Every day my inbox is flooded with exclamation points and percentages. Are the deals great?  Absolutely. They’ve even enticed me to crack open my dusty wallet. This year I decided it is time to buy some new clothes that don’t scream “I WORK FROM HOME AND JOGGERS ARE MY WAY OF LIFE.”

For those of you who know me personally, you know I’m not a big shopper. In fact, I frequently buy clothing sets off store mannequins because I suck at putting outfits together. I’ve been known to walk into a store, touch one item and run out because I’m so overwhelmed. So, when I decide to shop for clothes, this is not a decision I make lightly.

And here is where the first-world problems rant begins.  

When did retail clothing stores start ignoring the middle-aged woman demographic?

I’m a pretty regular size, and I used to be able to get cute clothes from stores that cater to the younger (30’s) set as well as the older (50s+) set. They were trendy, fit well and even had the right shape.

Maybe my expectations are off base, but I can’t seem to find any stores that cater to the middle-class, middle-size, middle-trendy woman anymore. It’s all either too young (for women whose boobs are still somewhere near where they’re supposed to be and the menopausal muffin top is still non-existent) or they are for the older female crowd that just wants to hide everything under a square shirt that hangs to the knees or beneath long sweaters called dusters. 

Side note: If you’re a store mannequin dresser (is there a real job title for that?), please stop pulling the backs of the shirts together with a clip so it looks like the mannequins have a waist.  If you have to do that, stop ordering square shirts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried one on after seeing it there and walked out of the dressing room in a small tent.

I used to love Target, but don’t get me started on Target’s recent stylistic choices. I don’t want to live on the set of Little House on the Prairie or look like I sew my own clothes.

At the mall by my house, since the stores catering to younger women are now out of the question, I’m left trying to decide if I want to go classic square shirt and duster from J.Jill,  blingy square shirt and duster from Chico’s, or “I’m in my late 60’s and have a shit ton of money to spend” in Soft Surroundings.

The only store that still works for me is Loft. Does everything fit me? No. Is some of it too young? Yes. But I can still find work and casual clothes there that don’t break the bank, and that last longer than H&M’s one season wonders.

Since vitamin/supplement companies are finally realizing menopausal women are a real demographic (watch any middle-aged woman’s TikTok feed and see how many Provitalize ads come up), maybe clothing retailers should, too. Just because we need a better bra these days and jeans with that extra inch, retailers need to know that middle-aged women haven’t given up. We’re still trying to impress our partners, and, honestly, other women – but more importantly, we’re not hiding ourselves away from the world.  In fact, many of us are feeling more like our true selves than ever before.

Maybe, if clothes could be designed around what we look like now, not the past or the future, we wouldn’t spend so much on supplements and retailers could take advantage of that revenue.

So, there you have it – the gauntlet has been thrown – someone needs to design clothes for middle-of-the-road, middle-aged women that reflect who we are now, that don’t make us look like we’re trying to hard or that we’ve given up, and that don’t break the bank.  

And by the way, if you’re a woman who loves the stores I’ve just crapped all over, please keep patronizing them. We all have to shop where we are comfortable. I just haven’t found more than one place that meets my shopping needs and I’m grumpy.



Dreams or Nightmares? It’s About the Approach
September 7, 2022, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Exercise, Middle Age, Posts, Sports | Tags: , , , ,

Since I posted the blog What’s Your Dream?, which Life clearly read and had a good laugh, things have gone slightly sideways. Now I’m having to eat my own cooking.

In that other blog I profoundly (I thought) said:

Whatever your dreams once were, don’t let them go entirely – find out what parts of those dreams you can still do, or how they might work in new ways for you.  Life is short and unpredictable. 

Of course Life is unpredictable. That can make it really fun…and then sometimes it can be a pain in the ass…literally.

For a quick recap: I had just revised my dream of owning and riding horses in horse shows to one of riding purely for mental and physical health. Just when I was finally feeling like I was getting stronger as a rider and able to work on details instead of just building muscle, I did what you’re never supposed to do – I got cocky and relaxed.

I forgot that you can ride for your mental health in a field, with a montage in your head of riding like the Elves in Lord of the Rings through buttercups and swaying grasses; but, you cannot EVER forget that you have a 900-lb animal under you who also has opinions. Long story short, as I was walking my horse, she spooked at something, and off I went. (Spooking means jumping sideways because there’s a troll or something equally scary nearby.)

Had I been paying attention and sitting the way you’re supposed to, I would have been just fine.  Instead, I slid off like the frog in that Family Guy episode – you know, where he’s trying to scrape it up and throw it out the window?

I hit my lower back and then the back of my head (yes, I had a helmet on). One concussion and a spectacular bruise later, I am revising my dreams – again.

The truth?  I was scared to get back on – not scared of the horse, but of the pain and inconvenience of falling and doing more damage. It took a month for me to ride again. The first day I went out to get the horse I had fallen from so I could get on her again, my energy must have been negative, to say the least.  I’ve heard horses can hear your heartbeat from 14 feet away. Well, she must have heard mine because she took one look at me, nodded to her sister in the field and walked away. 

“Absolutely not,” she said very clearly.

The ride went fine, and with the jitters pretty much gone the next time I went to get her, she walked right up.  Horses can be great teachers, if you’re willing to listen.

Apparently, Life thought I needed to be reminded that riding for mental health includes retaining focus and positive energy.

It’s not just what you take from the experience but what you bring to it. 

30 years ago, I would have gotten right back on, the Hell with what the doctors said. Now I’m seeing my chiropractor (thanks Dr. Carlsen!), sitting at my desk with ice packs, stretching and doing yoga poses to get comfortable. (When did I become this person???) I’m still going to be riding for my mental and physical health for as long as I possibly can. In fact, I asked each doctor I saw when I could ride again, and I swear each of them said a version of “What’s wrong with you horse people?” (So much – but that’s another blog.)

Revising your dreams doesn’t mean diminishing them. Sometimes it just means changing the direction from which you approach.



Bathing Suit Ads I’d Like to See
February 13, 2022, 11:36 am
Filed under: Middle Age, shopping, Spring Break, Travel | Tags: , , , ,

Apparently bathing suit shopping season is here. I know that because all over my social media feeds are ads for bathing suits featuring svelte and often malnourished models posing in ways you will never see on the beach.

I want to see real moms and middle-aged folks wearing real suits with REAL evaluations. How about a picture of a mom dragging her toddler down the beach because he’s refusing to leave?

Here’s a few I’d like to see….

 


Our beach track suit provides the support you need up top and the grip you need on the bottom while you run. 

Review: 3 stars
Unless you’re wearing an actual track suit, nothing will cover and lift all the things. But I like the irony of wearing a Frozen t-shirt at the beach.


Forgot your razor at the beach? Or maybe you gave a half-hearted try at landscaping after doing nothing winter and your body rebelled by displaying red bumps of displeasure.  Either way, we have two solutions:

Option 1:

This gorgeous suit comes with a pelvis flap that you can tuck in or leave out depending on how neglectful you’ve been.

Review: 5 Stars
Sexy and for all body types.


Option 2:

The Tighty Rightey bathing suit bottom made for women. Comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Review: 1 Star
Appreciate the idea, but having your leg cut off at the upper thigh with a white stripe doesn’t look good on anyone. Also it looks like you went to the first-aid tent.


Is your skin the exact same color as the sand because you work in an office all year? Or has your dermatologist canceled all your appointments because you refuse to listen and now you know there’s like 10 moles that are pretty scary looking and you should probably cover up after all these years? Our whole-body suit comes in dozens of shades and includes footies, so no one will ever know.  Just a add a little blending makeup to your face and you’ll look like you’ve been on the beach all summer.

Review: 3 Stars
5 stars for sun protection and keeping the dermatologist happy. 1 star because if you swim, the sand gets stuck inside the suit, and the suit doesn’t breathe well. If you’re a woman you’ll have a yeasty after one wear.


Afraid to bend over and shake out your towel or pass out at water’s edge because you might get a wedgie?  Our “cocktail” suit is made to look like you’re just stepped away from a party. The material moves with you as you struggle to clean up your beach stuff after 2 bottles of prosecco or if you actually pass out. No more jokes about your hiney eating your suit – just a sophisticated outfit that says, “Yeah, I‘ve had kids and I like wine – fuck off.”

Review: 5 Stars



Live Music – Live a Life Les Ordinary
December 21, 2021, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go see one of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf.  Not only are they talented musicians and great performers, they also went to college with Hubby and I.  So, shout out to Carbon Leaf for still living the dream, even though we have kids, wear readers and pay mortgages.

When the time came to get ready, I was paralyzed with uncertainty.  What does one wear to a concert when you’re 50, and the band is 50, and its 35 degrees outside but you know its going to be 80 inside? I texted my helpful friends and these are the answers I got:

  • Slippers
  • Leg warmers
  • A banana clip
  • Esprit or Benneton sweater

But the most helpful was “Jeans, boots, cute long-sleeved shirt over tank top with a jacket you don’t care gets beer spilled on it so you can tie it around your waist when you have a hot flash.”

So there’s that.  Now I have to factor hot flashes into my wardrobe choices as well.

In the past, we would have forgone food and just pre-gamed at somebody’s house. That usually ended with someone holding someone else’s hair and running eye makeup.  As grown-ups, after a dinner and a couple of bourbons later we arrived at the concert walking straight and smelling like fried food.

Once inside, I was relieved to see we were age appropriate. See, the thing about being 50 and going to bands and other places is we either tend to be the creepy old people who get side-eyes from the youngsters, or we’re the youngest by 20 years getting side-eyes from the Q-tips. This time, there were two generations present – us, and our children. Carbon Leaf plays music both sets can enjoy. In fact, the younger crowd knew more of the sings than we did.

So, we danced and sang along, and I was secretly smug that I was getting my steps in, when I noticed something glinting on the floor. I picked it up – it was a pair of readers.

Omg.  That’s who I am now.

I used to find money on the floor at concerts, or maybe even a tiny bag of weed. Now it’s readers, and the woman in front of me was just as grateful I found those as she would have been back in the day if I’d picked up her bag of weed.

When the encore was over, my jeans were covered in spilt beer and bourbon, and I had in fact stripped off my jacket because of a hot flash or two. We headed out to get our requisite CD (yes, we still listen to them) and t-shirts to support the band.  Unfortunately, all I was concerned about when I selected my t-shirt was that it was soft, gray and had the band’s name on it.  I didn’t really pay attention to the actual design.

Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  If you don’t see it, you are a better person than me.

Because I am super immature and have a 12-year-old sense of humor, this will forever be a sleep shirt, not for public.

The bottom line is, going to that concert reminded me of how much we need connection to our friends, our past, and our sense of fun and adventure. Stomping my feet not only got my steps in, it also reminded me of how much I love live music and, like the band members who are still living the dream, sometimes you just have “live a life less ordinary.”

Enjoy some Carbon Leaf – The War Was In Color (possibly their best song):

And “Life Less Ordinary”




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