Subourbon Mom


Lily the Rescue Dog or, My Weird Dog Toy Fetish

We have a house full of cats, (by that I mean we have three, which makes any house smell like there’s a cat hoarding situation going on – call Animal Planet), cat hoarding and I’m not a fan. Hubby and the Daughters each have a cat that loves them – I am merely the House Staff that is tolerated. I have been relegated to taking care of Larry The Fish – who, let’s face it,  isn’t exactly stimulating company.

I wanted a dog.

So our latest acquisition, quickly falling under the “What were we thinking?” category, is our new “free” dog, Lily. Lily is a rescue, and she’s everything I said I didn’t want when we first decided to get a dog: she’s a puppy, not housebroken, and high-energy. I’ve since been informed that what I really wanted was a housebroken sloth.

We’re pretty sure Lily’s never been in a house before, walked on a leash, or hung out with people…ever. She’s terrified of just about everything except other dogs. In the 3 weeks we’ve had her she’s run away 3 times, decided that pooping inside is preferable to standing in the cold by the woodpile, and will only walk through the front door.

But we love her.

Ok, I love her. The rest of the jury is still out.

store displayWhich is why I found myself standing in the dog toy aisle in Wal-Mart, looking for something Lily might like to play with to get her mind off the Scary Box That Talks (the t.v.), the Scary Smaller Box That Talks (the radio), the Mean Cats, Scary Couch, Scary Pillows, Scary Kitchen, Scary Bathroom, etc. I’m a pretty firm believer that the same parental coping strategies can apply to dogs as to children – give them something to keep them busy so you can do the things you need to do.

So for the same reason I gave my kids questionable Mac-n-Cheese and off-brand Cheerios when they were little (they don’t know the difference and I’m cleaning up their poop anyway), I decided to go the cheap route and visit my local big-box store to get Lily some toys.

I stood in awe, looking at the range of wild animals and Muppet-like things that squeak, crackle, crinkle and smell like peanut butter. Some even looked disturbingly like sex toys. (My co-worker’s dag actually has this one, but she assures me it doesn’t come with batteries.)  Dog toy 1None of them were under $3.00, and none of them are any kind of off-brand, that I could tell. Um…just to be clear, this is something I’m buying for my dog to shake and chew on, right? What happened to just having your dog pull on an old sock?

So there I was, squeezing every toy like a toddler in one of those saucer things parents use to keep their child occupied while Mommy drinks her wine. I was obsessed. I couldn’t stop making those toys squeak and crackle over and over again, sending loud, annoying, fake mouse shrieks up and down the Pet section, and into Lighting and Paint. It was like scratching an itch – it was wrong, but it felt ooooh, soooo right.

In the end, I opted for a raccoon, a blue elephant and something that looks like a rat crossed with a parrot. Two days later, raccoon stuffing littered the dining room, and the elephant’s ear has gone missing – I’m pretty sure Lily ate it. I’m looking forward to seeing that on the dining room floor tomorrow morning.

But somehow Lily managed to worm her way quickly into my heart, and the Fam’s too.  She always manages to redeem herself by putting herself in her crate when she’s been “bad”, or lying next to us (only slightly under duress) on the couch while we watch the Scary Box That Talks.  But the next toy I buy will be a toy in the shape of a cat, with life-like meows…or I could go high-end, and just let her chase our actual cats.

Who’s the Staff now, little kitties?

(maniacal laughter fading….)



Chick Flick Fail

Once in a while I manage to get the house to myself and have a chick-flick night. Nothing’s better than settling down after a crazy week with a glass of wine, a warm, fuzzy blanket and 2 hours of watching a hot guy seduce a woman in the most unrealistic ways.

Trailer picSo the other night I had a little bit of alone time (Hubby was out of town, and the Daughters had plans), and settled in to binge watch my new favorite show “Outlander.” And best of all, the episode I was on was going to be the climactic wedding.

Jamie MacKenzie, the hot Scottish Highlander character in the show, explains how he has somehow remained a virgin in his mid-twenties in the 1740s (yeah, right), and is staring at his bride Claire with smoldering eyes and perfect dimples.

One of the cats walks in front of the TV screen.  It’s ok – I can rewind. I have that power. I start over, and take a sip of wine.

Jamie and Claire finally put their whiskey down and have sex, the first time for Jamie. It’s not pretty, but Jamie’s auburn curls and charming smile amply make up for the lack of finesse, although he certainly had more finesse than one would have thought. They lay on their backs in the candle light, breathing heavily –

Cat walks across my lap, stopping to put Old One-Eye in my face.
Shove cat to the floor. I rewind again, take another sip of wine.

eyesex

 

 

Jamie and Claire relive their wedding day, with smoldering looks, tentative touches and candlelight everywhere. He carries her to their room –

 

 

The cell phone rings. I put my wine glass down.
“Mom?” Daughter #1 asks.
“Yes?”
“Is there any way you can bring me the concert tickets I left in my backpack? I’ll meet you close to the house.”
Seriously? I think.
Sigh… “Ok. I have to pick up your sister soon anyway. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”

45 minutes later I bring Daughter #2 home, where she disappears into her lair, not to be seen again until morning. I get a glass of water to balance the wine, pick up the glass of wine, ignore the water and settle back under the blanket and rewind.

eyesex2

 

Jamie lets Claire see him in all his glory, scars from English torture showing his vulnerability and flawless musculature. Claire reaches up to caress the scars –

 

 

 

 

Cat sharpens claws on back of the couch near my ear. Shove cat to the floor, spill some wine. Go to kitchen to get towels and clean up the wine. Rewind.

Jamie and Claire, after an agonizing amount of carefully orchestrated removal of layers and layers of clothing, finally make non-virginal love, loudly and with gusto.

The back door slams. Daughter #2 comes in, cautiously yelling, “Hellooooo?”

Sounds of pleasure are blaring from the TV. I hastily try and find the pause button in the dark but only succeed in turning the volume up. I finally manage to hit the power button and turn the damned thing off completely, but drop the remote somewhere in the blanket and cushions.

“Hello! Mom?” Daughter #2 calls again.
“What?” I bark.
“I can’t find my learner’s permit and I have Drivers Ed tomorrow.”
“Did you look on the floor of your room?”
“Yep.”
“Car?”
“Not yet. I’ll go look.”
I sit in the dark, waiting. The door slams again.
“Find it?”
“No. I’ll go look on my floor again.”
“Ok.”

Search for the remote, and find it on the floor under the couch. A cat paw grabs my hand as I retrieve it, drawing blood. I try Attempt to unsuccessfully stomp on the cat paw.

Rewind – watch the love-making scene again – because you can’t stop half-way through. Just sayin’.

Jamie and Claire reach their climactic finish again, and Jamie is asking if she liked it. (Um…really?) How could she not? Like I said, unrealistic. Claire says she did, and Jamie –

Cell phone rings.
Heavy sigh….I not-so-gently put my mostly empty wine glass down.
“What?”
“I found it.”
“Good girl. Now please go to bed.”

Claire decides to show Jamie what making love can be like when the woman is in charge. Jamie is clearly enjoying himself, looking at the ceiling and groan—

Cat walks across coffee table, spilling the glass of water.

“Oh my God!” I yell.   I clean up the water and settle down to try one more time to get through just one entire romantic scene. But seeing the spilled water made me have to go to the bathroom.

Minutes later, I rewound the scene and tried again. But going to the bathroom made me start thinking about UTIs, and how no one ever seems to have one in romantic shows, despite the fact that they had sex all night long, and no one ever had to pee. I’m pretty sure cranberry juice wasn’t available in Scotland in the 1740s. What did they use? In fact, where did they go to the bathroom? What did they use for toilet paper?

So I missed most of the last love scene, thinking about UTIs.

And that’s how I spent my romantic night with Jamie from “Outlander,” — plus one glass of wine, the cats and two intermittent teenagers.

Jamie1

 

 



Disney’s Space Mountain–It’s Not the Tunnel of Love, People

Okay I meant to post this earlier in the year since it’s about New Year’s resolutions, but I couldn’t get organized. So,

Resolution #1: Get organized. Yeah, I’ll get on that–right after I fold those 12 loads of laundry still in a pile on the spare bed, figure out what’s stinking up the fridge from Christmas, and write those thank you notes that are hanging over my head like a guillotine axe (thanks Mom, for that good ol’ Southern guilt).

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I suck at them. By February, I’ve usually given up and gone back to eating Rice Krispie treats straight out of the pan. But while we were briefly at Disney World in Orlando this holiday, I realized you can get ideas for New Year’s resolutions just by waiting in the 80-minute line for Space Mountain (and yes, my super-helpful FB friends, we tried Fast-Track, but the earliest spaces available were at 11:00PM).

Here are the resolutions I came up with while waiting in line:

  1. Have patience. Disney does a fabulous job of keeping you entertained in line for the Space Mountain ride—while you are jammed into the cattle shute with hundreds of other folks, they are are worth observing because, let’s face it, people are just weird. Unlike cattle, though, the people in the shute are aware that they may soon be facing their deaths in that dark cavern of spiraling humanity called Space Mountain; in fact, they go willingly.
  2. image002PDA is cool—but not in a line with five hundred of your newest friends. It’s especially not okay of you’re over 20—the couple next to us was easily in their 30’s. That’s just nasty. I don’t need to see anyone’s tongue that close up. And the hands groping the muffin top? Nobody wants to see that, no matter what age you are.
  3. Keep your hands to yourself. Not in a PDA sense, but more for Ebola’s sake. Just looking at the handrails skeeved me out.
  4. Crop dust whenever possible. Always fun, but especially fun when you’re stuck in a dark room with nowhere to go. Be sure to wrinkle your nose, turn around and glare at innocent people—your children are the best target, especially if they’ve been bugging you for souvenirs all day—so are older make-out couples.
  5. Face your fears. I’ve been afraid to go on Space Mountain, since we first went to Disney probably 35 years ago. This year, Daughter #2 wanted to ride it—it was the only thing she wanted to do while we were there, so I reluctantly said ok. It was awesome. I also felt like a wuss afterwards for being so terrified for so many years.
  6. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Whether you’re riding a rollercoaster in a pitch black room or dealing with a personal darkness, the ride always comes to a stop. It’s up to you whether you choose to wave your arms in the air and shout “I survived it!,” grit your teeth and stoically step off the ride, or burst into tears. Also, in the dark, you can crop dust to your heart’s content—no one will see you blush.image003
  7. Take a second before the next freefall and look up. In Space Mountain there are tiny constellations lit up in the “sky,” just before you plummet into the blackness. It was oddly beautiful, even if it was fake. When you know things are going downhill, take a second and look up—you might see some pinpoints of light.images
  8. Always know where the bathrooms are. An 80-minute line—seriously, Disney? No bathrooms? Let the crop dusting begin….
  9. Savor the anticipation of doing something new—we had 80 minutes of anticipation, but sometimes you don’t get that much. Take one breath and enjoy your rapidly beating heart, the pump of adrenaline through your veins, the knowledge that you’re really living. You only get to do something for the first time once—hopefully that something new will be fun, not watching strangers making out in front of you and your kid in line. I totally should have blamed the crop dusting on them.


Three Juans Don’t Make a Right

collegeThere are times when every parent worries about their kids—not because of grades, or because they play a sport, but because sometimes they say things that just make you shake your head and wonder how they managed to live this long.

Daughter #1 and I were sitting at the kitchen table the other night, pouring over the stack of college brochures she’d brought home. We finally got down to the last three. She was leaning in close, looking at the brochure for a big university down South—which I encouraged because neither she nor I have any interest in going father north than where we are right now.

I asked her, “So what is it about that school that makes you want to go there?’

Daughter #1 glanced up at me, leaving her finger on the picture of a girl sitting on a green lawn with a book in her lap. “Look Mom, I’d wear that outfit. She looks like me.”

Seriously, that was her answer.

Not to be deterred by her answer, I asked why she was looking at another southern school.

“I like red.” she answered.

Sigh….and that’s how a teenager with a 4.5 GPA decides how to spend thousands of dollars on their education.

But I don’t know what we’ll do when they’re out of the house. How will I survive without conversations like the following?

Daughter #2, Daughter #1 and I were all sitting at said kitchen table, when Daughter #1 started making fun of how Daughter #2 says some words. “Milk” is pronounced melk, and she says I Juan instead of “I won.”

Daughter #1: “You do too say it that way. Juan is a Hispanic boy’s name.”

Daughter #2: “No I don’t.”

Me: “Actually, you do.”

Daughter #2: “Mom!”

Me: “But I think you’re not saying Juan, you’re saying wan, which actually means looking all washed out.” I tried an example: “You look wan today.”

Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 just stared at me, used to my random insertion of pointless facts into conversations. Sometimes they’re even true.

Daughter #2 thought about it for a second.  “That’s one of those words that sounds like what it means.”

Daughter #1: “Yeah, like faaaaaat. Or thin.”

Unknown

Daughter #2: “It’s an onomatopoeia.”

Me: “No, onomatopoeia is a word that is a sound, like Bang. ‘Wan’ isn’t a sound.”

Daughter #2 looked deflated.

Daughter #1: “C’mon, Mom, let her have it.” She looked at her sister. “Good job! You Juan!

 



Twerking to the Oldie’s

Being part of the Sandwich Generation is more than just taking care of both your parents and your kids—you’re also the ground wire between those two high-voltage groups.

Now y’all, I am well aware that I have lately slipped into a routine of going to work, coming home, fixing dinner, and mindlessly binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy. Somewhere between the patient being diagnosed and the amazing procedure that miraculously saves her, I fall asleep. I know my mouth is hangs open and I probably snore, but no one has made it into a Vine yet (that I know of).

Until the other night, I assumed my flagging energy is a sign of age—then I was proved oh, so wrong.

A week or so ago, Hubby and I broke the mold and went out at eight o’clock on a Wednesday to meet some friends—we hadn’t seen them in a while, and they were going to Enzo’s Chop House.

Enzo’s is known for three things: great food, stiff drinks, and fun dance music from the 60’s and 70’s. We’d been there before, and knew there would mostly be older folks out having a good time before going home and bathing in Ben Gay—we were confident we would outlast them.

This time it wasn’t just an older crowd—it was a scene out of the movie Cocoon.

Our mere speckles of white hair and ability to walk without hitching one hip up on one side were not the only things that set us apart — was the dancing.

As I said, Enzo’s is also known as a fun place to dance to the oldies—and by that I mean Motown and good ol’ Southern Rock. (I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but Southern Rock is now classified as “classic.” When I was growing up it was just “Rock.”)

Usually, when Hubby and I dance, we do the high school sway back and forth thing, because the one time we took dancing lessons, it was pointed out (to me) that both people can’t lead. So while we shifted our weight back and forth, the rest of the crowd was doing the Shag, the Swing, and the Two-Step, and even throwing out some disco moves that would make John Travolta look bad.

images-5It was humiliating.

And if the dancing wasn’t enough, watching those reliable social lubricants, Viagra and Bourbon start to take affect was just scary. Like any bar filled with 25-30-year-olds, the bourbon goggles eventually came on, and couples that had begun the evening together started mixing it up. Men in their 70’s shuffled over to tables occupied by younger women and began chatting them up. Eventually, one of the women would stray from the herd and find herself out on the dance floor shuffling and kicking her feet to Al Green and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Hands sometimes wandered a little lower than they should, and meaningful, myopic stares stretched across the dance floor from table to table.

It was almost like watching your parents twerk.

Unknown-1By ten o-clock, the Highball Shuffle took over as the dance move of choice. The music wound down, and Styrofoam water cups began to replace bourbon glasses on the tables. By 10:30 we were done with a capital “D”. We were sober, and I’ll admit it—a little jealous—we left those rascally retirees to their own (sometimes medically required) devices and went home to the next generation of bar-hopping, dancing romance-seekers.

 

 




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