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.



How About Romance Novels for Grown-Ups?
July 30, 2022, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor, Posts | Tags: , , , , ,

The other day I was super grumpy and stressed for absolutely no reason. So, I did one of the two things I always do when I’m like that.  Since I didn’t have what I needed to make and eat an entire tray of Rice Krispy treats, I went to the bookstore (yes, I actually bought NEW books at a Barnes and Noble, not used on Amazon) with the sole intention of purchasing a genre I haven’t read in a long time – Romance.

When I say Romance, I don’t mean the plasticky covers with raised lettering and a Scottish pirate or a huge-breasted heroine with Victoria Secret hair stranded in a castle somewhere.  I just wanted something happy and a bit less sugary than Hallmark or Virgin River. Maybe Maeve Binchy with a little sex? Or Outlander, which has just the right amount of sex and plot (but I’ve read and watched all of those).

What did I find?   

About 100 Romance novels for current day 18-40-year-olds, with cartoon looking covers and full of young people who don’t know how to communicate with each other. They’re all going on trips or to weddings or changing tech jobs, which is age appropriate. I’m just not there anymore – at least, not for first weddings.  

I found another large batch of Romances between quirky women who are attracted to supernatural creatures that may or may not kill them in between sexual encounters. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the Twilight Series, True Blood and A Discovery of Witches. I just wasn’t feeling it that day. I wanted to take the edge off, not be edgy.

I also found some Romances with a “Red Room of Pain” theme that can be interesting when you’re in the mood, but again, not feeling edgy that day.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I saw a bunch of Christian Romances. I suppose they exist in case I was feeling guilty after reading something from the Red Room of Pain section, and needed my inner church to whisper, “Make room for Jesus!” as I was reading. Ummmm…hard no. I was already grumpy – I didn’t need God hanging out on the periphery of my escape making me feel bad.

What I didn’t find was a Romance section geared toward the 45+ crowd that wasn’t Christian, wasn’t syrupy sweet and didn’t come in large print. In fact, anything that appealed wasn’t even in the Romance section – it was in the just plain Fiction section. That should tell you something – publishers clearly don’t believe 45+ people want to read about romance between their peers. After thumbing through a bunch of possibilities (think Kristin Hannah, Erin Hildebrand), I realized that Romance for the 45+ crowd all has the same elements:

  1. 40+-year-old woman is deserted by her husband through cheating, financial ruin, or death
  2. Deserted woman must abandon her old life and return to a place of her childhood and confront some trauma before she can heal
  3. In this process, deserted woman meets the new love of her life but she hates him at first, before he helps her see her real value and accomplish her goals (on her own of course – then they get together after)
  4. Somewhere in between her hating him and accomplishing her goal, they sleep together and can’t communicate afterward so it’s awkward or downright antagonistic. I always want to scream at them, “Just fucking talk already and stop being 13 again.”
  5. The setting is always somewhere we wish we could be – a cute cottage on a coast or in the mountains, a ranch, or a crumbling house that must be rehabbed. Anywhere but Suburbia, USA.  
  6. There is always at least one quiet person who befriends her and tell her when she’s being a twat.  
  7. And if you’re reading Norah Roberts, there’s a murder or assault or stalker that must be dealt with, too.

Full disclosure, one of the novels I’ve written has elements 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6 in it. I get it – it’s a formula that works.

*But I think we need to find a way to work Romance novels for the older(?) set back onto the Romance section bookshelves. How about we talk about trying to look sexy while having a hot flash?  Or the heroine falling in love with a guy whose testosterone might be a little low, and he can’t always get it up? 45+ romance isn’t fiction – it’s real life, albeit just not as glamorous as jet-set 30-year-olds or as prescriptive as the Christian or supernatural romances. Real life romance may not be quite the escape you’re looking for, but it can be romantic and comedic and downright spiritual in its own way, depending on your view.

So, after an hour I bought three fiction novels – none of which have those plot points but look promising.  I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, please don’t be offended when I don’t answer your emails, texts or calls. I’ll be eating Rice Krispy treats and reading about the circus, a cult and an affair.

*Okay, when I Googled best elderly romance book covers, turns out there is already a section for that, at least on the internet. Here is my favorite cover (I can’t even…):



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



Weed: We’ll Ruin This For You, Too
July 13, 2021, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , ,

Recently my state made it (sort of) legal to smoke weed.  It’s not my drug of choice for a lot of reasons, but I have enjoyed watching Bougie, middle-aged people decide that it’s now ok to try it, or at least openly talk about trying it.

But I suspect that, like all things that have been cool, this too shall pass. We’ll ruin it for our kids like we do everything else:  Face Book, Tik Tok, using the word “woke….” 

Here’s how it will play out:

 

  1. We talk it to death amongst ourselves, like we’ve discovered some huge secret.
  2.  We start trying to talk to our kids about it, who take pity on us, thinking we’re cute for trying to be hip, and let us know how much we don’t know.  They give us lots of tips, glad they don’t have to hide what they’re doing anymore.sativa

  3. We wait for hours in line outside strip mall weed stores to get the 4 free seeds they’re giving away as a promo, with visions in our heads of growing our own and becoming 21st century weed homesteaders. 
  4. We grow it, dry it, roll it, bake it and whatever else you can possibly do with it. We post our epic fails, techniques and recipes on Tik Tok with the same enthusiasm as we post about Karens and dueting with other people much cooler than we are. 
  5. Older Weedies marvel at the fact that middle-aged, middle class parents are now paying top dollar for the seeds they used to pick out of the crappy weed they could afford back in the day.
  6. Older Weedies have mixed feelings about the new weed on the market. They are wary of the new, more powerful and branded weed, but happy it’s regulated so their grandkids don’t experience the same flashbacks from laced weed they “got that one time from Jimmy.” 

    kurt
  7. Boutique brands have their own lines of weed-related products – Lily Pulitzer wrappers and bags, Toberlone weed-infused dark chocolate, Trader Joe’s weed/pesto ravioli bites. 
  8. Younger Weedies turn away from weed entirely, shitting all over it and the benefits they shouted at us until we made make it legal. Weed has now become uncool. They identify something about the new weed that is the equivalent of side parts and skinny jeans.

    stopped weed
  9. The states once again make money based on the middle class’s desire to be young and cool.

So enjoy it while it lasts, my Bougie friends and Young Weedies. There aren’t many times when our worlds intersect before we part ways again over what is cool and what isn’t.  




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