Subourbon Mom


2020 – An Ingrown Hair on Humanity
August 20, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor, Parenting, Travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

Over the last two weeks we have launched one of our birds out of the nest and into real adulthood, and gently booted the other one back into fake adulthood (a.k.a. college).

Launch

During this process I learned a few things:

  1. My kids have a lot of shit – that we helped them move around the country, put up on walls and launder.
  2. They have better decorating taste than I will ever have
  3. If you rent a scooter (think razor scooter) to tour a city, just know that if you sucked at Mario cart, you will also suck at riding one of those
  4. You can switch the way a refrigerator door swings – seriously, I didn’t know you could do that at all
  5. Nashville will either make you start to hate fried chicken or ruin it because whenever you have it anywhere else it just won’t be good enough

One of the funniest things I heard was on the 10-hour car ride to launch Daughter #1 into her new, adult life in Nashville. We had lots of time to talk about what it might be like and what had happened over the last 6 months.  But I think she put it best when describing how a lot of recent graduates must feel around this time as they get jobs or head to college:

Mom, my life has been like an ingrown hair.  For a while I was growing and then I got stuck, but I was still growing, and it got all irritated.  All of the sudden I sprang out and I’ve moved, and I’m free!

From the mouths of babes, people – 2020 has been an ingrown hair of a year.  First it was growing and happening, and then it got stuck, but things were still happening. The world got irritated, but we’re trying to treat it with a salve of Dr. Faucci, the CDC and governors trying their best; with first responders and hospital staff and caregivers; and most of all, with sympathy, empathy and patience.

We’re still waiting to spring out of this craziness, but when we do, the relief will probably feel the same.

(I tried to find a funny ingrown hair meme – please don’t ever do that.  You can’t un-see what comes up.)



Hydro-automentia and Other Driving Syndromes
June 16, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

hydroAs pandemic restrictions are loosened and people start to emerge like moles into daylight, I am reminded again how normally intelligent, capable people – people who are doctors and lawyers and engineers outside of their cars – often drive like they’re living the Mario Kart dream or on the antique car ride at King’s Dominion. And God forbid it should start raining – holy shit – it’s like some kind of collective amnesia or processing disorder takes over.

I call this hydro-automentia or, forgetting-how-to-drive-when-it-rains syndrome.

Let me give you an example.  It’s raining, but not too hard – summer rain that finally cools the road off enough so that your dog stops pulling to get onto the grass and stop frying his paws like four little eggs. If you’re driving in this type of rain, a traveler with hydroautomentia in front of you slows WAY down, switches on his hazards and proceeds as if the rain is made of acid and any splash-up will disintegrate his car.  These are often the same people who ride their brakes no matter what the weather.

driving-in-the-rain-is-a-fine-line-between-not-36869317

Then there are the people who suffer from auto-identitatem syndrome, or car identity syndrome. The symptoms can vary and may be exacerbated by disproportionate amounts of testosterone, narcissism and Karen-itis.  Here are a few symptoms:

  • Jersey slashing (If you’re from the south, it’s identity confusion over your place of origin; if you’re from the north, you think you’re just being efficient.)
  • Owning a car that resembles a current or past police vehicle model so that is scares the Bejeezus out of everyone you creep up behind
  • Having a personalized license plate that is either indecipherable or only means something to you, the car owner – either way, you’ve made me look at your car for way too long without getting it and now I’m annoyed
  • Having any kind of “_______ on Board” sign suction cupped to your window – I don’t care and it’s usually not true anyway. Plus, if you have a baby on board you’re providing free advertising to pedophiles.
  • Having any version of the family member stickers on your back window – unless it’s the one where the dinosaur/shark has eaten one of the family members (that’s just funny). Again, you’re advertising to pedophiles, but now they also know exactly which sex and approximate age is in the car and which sports fields to go to.

The last syndrome folks need to be aware of is mergus-icognita.  This syndrome manifests in two primary ways: not using the blinkers/turn signals at a stoplight, and not indicating if you are merging onto an off-ramp. I’ve written about this one before, so I’ll just say that I don’t need a mystery when I’m driving. Life provides me with enough unexplained stuff, like if money is the root of all evil, why do they ask for it in church?  The point is, I don’t need to play “Guess Which Way I’m Going” when I’m at a busy intersection or trying to get on a highway.

So, in addition to the symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, allergies, anxiety and depression that we are supposed to be mindful of right now, please monitor yourself for the symptoms described above. If you do have them, try home remedies first, like removing the offending signage or practicing using your turn signals in your driveway before venturing out and infecting the rest of us.

Oh, and don’t forget the #1 Rule:

Be Kind.

 

 



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.



Port-o-John Etiquette

potty1We live in a society governed in part by laws of decency. They separate us from the animals and White Supremacists, and people should follow them to keep human grossness down to a tolerable level.

Which brings me to Port-O-John (POJ) etiquette.

Look, I get it – nobody wants to be in the Abyss of Nastiness, much less touch anything. I can remember having to take my kids in them and shrieking “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!” This usually ended with me holding said kid by the armpits over the hole while they tried unsuccessfully to do their business in the most awkward way possible.

The other night I was at an outdoor concert, and bless her heart, somebody (I’ll call her Chicken Little – explanation below) just did not follow what I consider to be good POJ etiquette. After waiting in the ridiculously long line for the few POJs the women were using (the men were using a POJ trough that was infinitely faster), I finally got to the front of the line and opened the door.

Now Girls, I know our Mamas told us not to touch anything and to line the toilet seat with toilet paper so we wouldn’t get some God-awful disease, or worse, pregnant, but you can’t do that shit in a POJ in the dark.  First and foremost, nobody can tell if you were merely being cautious (hooray for you – Mama would be proud), or if you’re covering up something nasty. Nobody coming in after you can afford to make any assumptions, especially at a concert where there are copious amounts of drunk Millennials.

POtty2When I opened the POJ door, Chicken Little had spread a lot of toilet paper haphazardly about.  Maybe she had attempted to line the seat, and thought the seat was three feet around and crawled up the wall, but there was toilet paper on the floor, on the wall and stuck to the door handle. It looked like a bunch of used Civil War bandages had gotten caught in a time machine.

No way in Hell was I going to even attempt to hover near that mess.

When I brought this up to a couple of friends, there was a surprising variety of opinions about female POJ etiquette.

My friend, I’ll call her Laura, admitted to lining the seat, AND putting extra paper down the hole to prevent splash back.  That was something I hadn’t even thought of…nor have I ever been in a POJ where the contents were so full as to have that issue. So, I deem shoving TP down the hole for that reason is acceptable.  Note to self: don’t travel with Laura.

Another friend asked, “But what if you aren’t physically strong enough to squat?” Well, that’s why they make the Elvis Handles – you know, the places on the door in front of you where you grab on with your hands to help you balance. Note to self:  keep working on squats at the gym.

So here are my Rules for Using the POJ:

  1. NEVER retrieve anything that fell in the hole – seriously, no phone is worth it. Besides, how awesome would it be to call it whenever someone’s in there? Even better, get an old phone and put a funny voicemail message on it.
  2. Leave your phone/drink/purse outside with a friend.  You don’t want to use any of them after being in that Cave of Satan.
  3. If you forget and bring your beer in there with you, don’t leave the bottle/cup in the urinal.  Somebody’s job is to reach in and get it – do your best impression of a man cleaning up dog poo: leave it on the floor and walk away.
  4.  If you must line the seat because you can’t squat or you’re still scared your Mama will find out, it is up to you to put the toilet paper that lined it into the hole when you’re done.  Again, that’s somebody’s job.
  5. Toilet paper is not a sticky note – it has no place on a wall or door handle.
  6. Feminine products: wrap ‘em up like a bad burrito. Nobody wants to look at that.
  7. Banging on the POJ while a friend is in there to scare the crap out of them is perfectly acceptable.
  8. Banging on the POJ when a stranger is in there is still hilarious but you’d better be able to out run them.
  9. Tipping someone over in a POJ is NEVER okay.
  10. Check your shoes for toilet paper – or tell someone if it’s stuck to them (unless it’s your friend and you’re laughing to hard.


Dear House Sitter (Actual Instructions I Left Last Week)
July 19, 2017, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor, Travel | Tags: , , , , ,

Thanks for taking care of the babies and the house!  Here’s what you need to know:

The Cats:   

We have 3 cats (because we’re stupid), but usually only 2 of them hang out at the house:

Izzy is our 14 yr. old weird orange tabby. She’s very vocal, so don’t be surprised if you find her nagging you to feed, water or be her personal slave in every way. This is usually indicated by a bitchy-sounding meow or by her repeatedly slipping her head under your hand as you try to work on your computer.

Kiwi is the long-haired, gray tabby. She’s the in-house terrorist, taking swipes at you as you walk by and plotting your death.  She truly believes that when she stares at you she is stealing a portion of your soul and selling it to the Devil – it might be true. The vet is scared of her – just feed her and back away.

Holly and EscobarEscobar is the black male. He’s super friendly to people and loves to lay around on his back and show you his junk.  He’s also an asshole to Izzy, especially when he’s hungry.  Escobar wanders the neighborhood looking for…c’mon, that’s too easy.   He occasionally graces us with his presence when none of the neighborhood cats are in heat. He’s our neighborhood’s version of Barney from How I Met Your Mother.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t see him at all.

Food and Water:  Izzy and Kiwi get one scoop of dry food 2x a day.  Escobar gets the same when he shows up, but it’s like going on a date – don’t put out unless you’re ready to use it.  The cats get fresh water in their bowl when I remember, but Izzy usually drinks out of Larry the Fish’s bowl anyway, and Escobar never really learned how to drink successfully out of a bowl – I can’t even explain how ridiculous he looks when he tries. Kiwi drinks out of the toilet – don’t ask. I think it was part of her ISIS training.

Meds:  Izzy gets a half Zyrtec in the morning.  She has allergies, so her lips get really fat like Angelina Jolie and it makes her scratch. That’s also why her stomach is completely bald.  There is something so sad (and hilarious) when she sits on the kitchen floor and her bald tummy rests on the tile like Jaba the Hut, or when she compulsively licks, muttering to herself, “So bald, so pretty!”

Cat Litter:  I’ll change it before we go. There are two boxes – one in the downstairs bathroom and one in the hallway upstairs.  I usually scoop the funk out every couple of days into plastic grocery bags (Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!).  If it’s really nasty, feel free to just dump the whole thing into a trash bag and put it in the outside bin. Just don’t be like me and forget to add more litter to the box – that doesn’t end well.

Larry the Fish:

There’s no reason Larry should still be alive, so don’t worry if anything happens (he’s like 5 years old and came in a Ziploc from Field Day of the Past).  He gets a small pinch of food every day.

 The Dogs:

Disclaimer: You said you wanted to do this!

We have 2 dogs.

Lily front PorchLily is the strange brown hound that is terrified of everyone.  We’re pretty sure she was Rufied when she was a puppy, and never had therapy to deal with it.  She won’t walk through any door except the one off the deck, and will lurk around the corner looking like she wants to come in until you open the door. Then she’ll disappear faster than America’s middle class.  But also like the middle class, she’s perfectly happy to ignore the world around her and snuggle on the couch watching Dancing with the Stars.

 

Holly and EscobarHolly is an attention whore and a klepto.  She loves people and cars – so much so that she will jump into moving cars through the open window. Then she’ll take your stuff as she exits the car, and all you’ll find are chewed up bits all over the yard.  She also eats packages delivered to the house, so please sure they are picked up immediately. So far, our running total of delivery destruction is around $700 – that includes two prom dresses we ordered for sizing purposes only. If you know anyone who might want them, they’re hanging in the laundry room. I’m told the kids are now wearing clothes with holes in them.

They can go outside during the day.  There is an electric fence (it was so cute that we thought that would keep them in). Our neighbors have taken pity on us and when the dogs escape, frequently leave our wayward girls in the driveway like a bad one night stand.

The Pool:  

Enjoy!  If you can clean out the skimmer basket every couple of days that would be great – usually there’s just frogs, spiders and beetles in there. Sometimes there’s a snake or two, but not to worry, they’re more scared of you then you are of them.  Ha! That’s such bullshit!  I’m hate them and call Hubby to come get them out.  You’re on your own there.  I dump the skimmer critters out in the grass over the fence. The dogs LOVE that.

Oh yeah – I threw in enough chlorine in there to give your face a chemical peel. Enjoy your week of being wrinkle-free.

Other:

Plants:   Good luck.  They’ve sucked all summer.

TV:  We have Xfinity for cable purposes. Turn the TV on using the large remotes (either one will do).  Ignore the other remotes sitting around – I’m pretty sure they’re just dog toys at this point and that they don’t work any of the electronics in the house anymore, but SOME PEOPLE won’t throw anything away.  All other TV questions – ask Hubby. I have no idea how any of that shit works.

Internet:  We live in the country. It’s often slow or doesn’t work at all. Read a book.

So there you have it – feel free to call us if you have any questions and have a great week!




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