Tag Archives: Holiday

How To Put The “Me” In Just About Every Meal

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Thanksgiving is here, and while many aspiring at-home chefs dream of salt pigs, Crisco, and Paula Deen, I’m trying to decide how to kick my relatives out of the house so I can focus on the one holiday each year that really matters.

My Birthday.

Yum.

In order to plan the secret getaway my husband will surprise me with next June, I need time. And space. And solitude. I also need money, but I’m pretty much gonna leave that one up to him.

Since airfare is cheapest right around 5:00 p.m. (and a rainbow unicorn will clean the kitchen before everyone gets here in a few hours), I need to focus on avoiding a connection through O’Hare at the exact time every afternoon that I should be whipping up a wheatgrass shake, some raw calf liver, and a side of kimchee for my kids.

Yum.

Most mothers have a hard time prioritizing themselves over everyone else, but I’ve pretty much gotten it down, probably because I’m left handed. And a fast learner. And desperate.

Anyway, following is my six-step plan to put the focus where it should be on Thanksgiving and just about every other day of the year. Yourself. You can thank me later, preferably in American Express Travelers Cheques that are pretty much untraceable and can be used to upgrade my seats.

1. Decide, after nine years of looking at the same kitchen table, that it’s time for a change. Like Obamacare, claim your new table is meant to include everyone, even though it’s really just intended for the few citizens who can hack their way through a complex matrix of broken code and steal all your bitcoins. That’s right, angry Russian expats.

2. Refinish above-referenced sad piece of furniture with something that takes 30 days to cure. So what if you realize you can’t use it for a month only after you’ve slathered your table with it? It might contain asbestos, kryptonite, non-soluble gluten particles, or something equally hazardous to your family’s health. Don’t try to bend the rules and serve a meal on day 25.

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Come eat at my new table and prepare to die.

3. Find some big, androgynous, shiny, circlet-like decorations that could be Thanksgivingish but are probably some designer’s attempt at an Ambien-inspired joke. Place them right in the middle of the table, rendering it fully inoperable.

This could be a thought-provoking centerpiece or ground zero for your next garage sale.

This could be a thought-provoking centerpiece or ground zero for your next garage sale.

4. Tell the kids that if they touch your new, expensive table art you’ll take their phones. Just for fun, go a step further and tell them that if they touch anything belonging to you, you’ll erase all their apps. This should make it virtually impossible for them to Snapchat their friends about your secret stash of painkillers.

5. Accidentally misplace the keys to the refrigerator. That’s right. Don’t be a hater.

6. And on Thanksgiving, when everyone in America is running around trying to find the instructions to their infrared thermometers? Sit back, relax, and dream about my birthday, because when you have a table no one else can use, you’re pretty much relegated to a bottle of wine and a store-bought pie.

If you don’t know what a bitcoin is, go here, buy one, and send it to me for my birthday.

A Strange Tale of NyQuil, Rodents, and Random Christmas Lessons.

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Let me start by inserting a spoiler alert. I wrote this after shotgunning about a gallon of NyQuil.

Yesterday I was bragging to my husband, Scot (who’s fighting off a tiny cold and is bedridden for the foreseeable future…likely until America pole vaults off the fiscal cliff) that due to my impervious genetic make-up, I haven’t been sick for two or three years.

Today I’m tired, achy, sore, and my voice has dropped a couple of octaves (which is actually kind of cool in a Darth Vader-like way when I yell “You don’t know the power of the dark side!” at my kids), I’m annoyed by the presence of a mouse we’re rodent-sitting for my daughter’s 3rd grade class during winter break, and my teeth hurt.

Clearly, I’m sick, which brings me to Christmas Lesson #1: Don’t bring strange animals into your home during the holidays. Or ever. 

Not cute. Image via preparednesspro.com.

I’m sure, due to my clinically proven, bionic DNA, that I’m not sick in the traditional fa-la-la-la-la kind of way, but have actually contracted Hantavirus from the vermin presently residing in a cage in the hall, and must immediately enter a self-constructed isolation chamber to keep my germs from spreading. That my dwelling will contain a posh heavenly bed overnight air-shipped from the W Hotel, soundproofed walls meant to muffle the screams of my children as they beat each other due to lack of parental supervision (remember, Scot’s sick too), and the entire Twilight series on DVD is really none of your business.

As I wait for someone to help me construct my self-constructed parallel wellness universe, I decide to crawl into my daughter’s bed (because as Alpha Mom it’s really all about my health after all, plus Scot’s in ours with his baby cold) and sleep. Due to my spiking fever, I also sweat, a lot, and dream not about sugar plums fairies and stockings hung by the chimney with care, but mimes….evil clown-like ones walking naked around my house with 80s-style boom boxes on their shoulders blaring Kajagoogoo.

Christmas Lesson #2: Read all warning labels before self-medicating and resist the urge to download any bad 80s music while ignoring the aforementioned warning labels.

Don’t bring this dish to your next office holiday party. Image via addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.

After about an hour of tossing, turning, and stalking that cute guy in the A-Ha video, I wake up to find a plate of cold spaghetti, fourteen low-salt Ritz crackers, and a glass of something that looks suspiciously like Michelob Ultra by my daughter’s bed. If nothing else, my kids know that alcohol makes mommy a better person, which could technically be lesson #3, but that would be pathetic.

In a traditional blog post, this is where I tell you how amazing my children are, imply or directly state that they’re more intelligent than yours due to my superior parenting skills, and incidentally, that each just won the World Series Championship of their respective sports (I don’t disclose that they competed in the loser’s bracket and rode the bench the entire season).

I know my kids better than that though, and as you’ve probably figured out, my fever is at its peak, the NyQuil is coursing through my veins (I can’t feel my cheekbones), and there’s nothing normal about what I’m sharing.

Not to be fooled by my children’s faux-sympathy, I realize that in my over-the-counter-drug-induced fog, I promised them they could open presents sent from their grandparents in Kentucky after lunch, because I’m not ashamed to buy time at someone else’s expense when I need to sleep. And I need to sleep. Desperately. But they need me to eat.

Christmas lesson #3: If your children want any big ticket items this holiday season, pawn them off on your out of town parents who feel like it’s somehow their fault that you live so far away.

Our family is A-OK with buying love.

Our family is A-OK with buying love.

And now here I sit, semi-alert on the sofa and banging out this post that may or may not be based on actual events. The kids are skillfully playing the video games I asked their grandparents to send, gifts I requested not to improve their vocabulary or bionicize their IQs, but to buy me the much needed time to do nothing that every parent should have during the holiday season, and really, all year long.

I’m getting sleepy again, so that’s it for my Christmas Tale. It doesn’t make any sense, yet here I am, happily typing away as everything below my kneecaps goes numb. If you don’t like it, feel free to say so. I’ve developed a thick skin (Literally. It’s all rubbery and translucent due to my Hantavirus.). Plus everything feels all warm and fuzzy and blurry right now, which is awesome. I just love the good tidings of comfort and joy I feel when I chug cough syrup, our family spends quality time together.

If you do like my story, consider gathering your loved ones around the fire tonight and passing it on. Maybe it will become one of your family’s most beloved holiday tales, a tradition cherished and requested over and over, so much so that I’ll be forced to self-publish and sell millions of copies so you can read it to them for years to come and I can actually build my aforementioned isolation chamber. In Hawaii.

Truth be told, NyQuil is expensive, and at the rate I’m going, and I could use the cash.

Today marks my one year anniversary on WordPress. This is a slightly edited version of my first post. At the time, only my mom and  some lady I accosted in the grocery store parking lot read it. Thank you to anyone and everyone who’s taken the time to stop by and read my work. Your support is the best Christmas gift ever, even better than a case of NyQuil.

Where The H-E-Double Toothpicks Did Halloween Go?

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When I was a kid, Halloween was different. It was about freaks, fetishes, and trembling with fear as Mom and Dad searched through a pillowcase full of candy in search of the ever-elusive razor blade. Deep down inside, I always wanted to be that child who’s parents actually found a Smith & Wesson 6” serrated knife hidden in the center of a Marathon Bar, because then I’d be on the 11:00 o’clock news, could totally skip school the next day, and would get to sit in the back row of the bus as the newly minted star of Crosby Middle School as soon as I was finished with all of my speaking engagements.

Finding a military-caliber knife in your Halloween candy is cool. Image via midwayusa.com

Back then, Halloween meant sleepovers and Ouija Board séances in the creepy basement with your besties. It was all about ditching your parents to trick or treat with friends and hoping you wouldn’t cry like a big, fat baby every time some high school kid jumped out of a bush in a Freddy Krueger mask in a sincere effort to make you pee in your pants. It was anchored around ghost stories told in pitch-black darkness, and slinking single-file with a flickering flashlight through that abandoned house in the woods.

Image via epagini.com

In other words, it was the real deal.

Fast forward to October 31, 2012, and let’s take a quick walk down my street. Here’s what you’ll find:

This blow-up pumpkin dude should be banned from our subdivision. It’s clear that he’s subsisted on a diet of marshmallow fluff and fried twinkies all of his life, and totally decimates the outdated food pyramid posters hanging on the walls of the school cafeteria. Plus he’s just too freaking happy. Image via my neighbor, who doesn’t know I took this picture.

Are you kidding me? A tombstone propped up next to some kind of metal flower lawn art, a dog leash, and smiling, dancing ghosts on a string? Please. Image via another neighbor, who also doesn’t know I took this picture.

This neighbor is suffering from Holiday Confusion Syndrome. You’ll see her today at Hobby Lobby cleaning out their entire stock of pre-lit LED Christmas trees so she can start building an eco-friendly forest in her front yard. On November 1st. Image via yet another neighbor who doesn’t know I took this picture.

Until, that is, you get to my house.

Tonight, in the spirit of The Shining, liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, and the ghost of Michael Jackson, my family has made it our mission to scare the s*** out of your kids. It’s a holiday tradition in our home, because a politically correct All Hallows’ Eve just sucks.

So Happy Freaking Halloween, and if your kids don’t want to come back next year because we sent them away crying and made them pee in their pants? Good.

American Girl Doll Felicity on our front porch: right where she belongs. Image via my 10 year-old daughter, taken against her will.