Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Friend

Today is September 30th and for those of you not in the political fundraising world, this day is just another day that leads into October.  For those of you in the political world today is a BIG DAY.  It is a filing deadline.   This means that all of the work you have been doing for the past three months gets reported to the reporting agency (FEC, CIA, FBI, Supervisor of Elections, what have you). The “agency” looks at your work, releases the data to the public, then the press tears your candidate apart based on your fundraising prowess.  Needless to say, it can be a bit stressful.  And crazy enough? It happens every three months!
Why, you may ask did I name this blog Dear Friend?  Well, maybe it is because in the last week alone I have received 45 emails calling me a ‘dear friend’?   While I understand that I may not be on a personal name basis with Barack, Michelle, Joe and Bill I still have somewhat of a relationship with them – that of a donor.  And yes, maybe I am not your average donor.  I have a bit more insight into the system seeing as I was and remain a political fundraiser.  I know that today’s politicians meet thousands of people and in no way can they remember me.  President Obama won’t remember the time I taught him how to make coffee (true story) or the time I babysat the Clinton’s nephew (another true story).  I do however know that they took my money, cashed my check, filled out the required name/employer occupation card and filed me away with their regulating agency.  Therefore, my dear politicians running for office, you do know me and know a bit more about me than a “dear friend” email deserves.
I am not one to post a blog just ranting and raving about a rude email or how I feel jilted because while I wished Senator Nelson a Happy Birthday by contributing to his campaign he didn’t even send a Happy Birthday email to me.  No friends, I will offer some advice. 
Upgrade your donor recognition software.
It is very simple.  I can probably find you a good vendor who would sell it to you cheaply.  Today nonprofits are getting really smart and our technology is getting smarter.  You can buy a system that when you are mass emailing thousands upon thousands of emails all you have to do is insert name tab in the merge field.  (If that was too technical for you, I will offer a class later).  Basically friendly politicians, when you are sending a mass email asking me for money and pleading your case that my donation is going to bring you over the top, save the day, allow you to fight another fight – at least use my name.

Being Single

This blogger is taking a sick day.  Don't think it is a good idea to blog while high on DayQuil as you never know what might happen.

Enjoy this little tidbit of wisdom as I recover in bed... aaaaaaachoo!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spin Doctor and Politician in training?

It is amazing how much our little people take after their parents and grandparents.  My little man comes from a long line of politicians and spin doctors.  His one grandfather held state wide office for years and is now a lobbyist.  His other grandfather is a successful salesman who now holds a local office.  His daddy is a lobbyist who ran a state wide political party, and let’s face it my job has always been political – raising money for political candidates and charities.  You can say he was born to spin a tale, impress a crowd and basically get his way…
 I remember taking my little baby into the local coffee shop and the ladies behind the counter swearing he was going to be President someday.  At only a few months he had developed a sense of stage presence like a mini Bill Clinton.  He would bat his long lashes, flash his big toothless smile and flirt his way to a free muffin. 
At about age four he perfected the art of making a contract.  He somehow convinced his Gogo (my mom) to pay him a dollar to take a nap.  If payment for services he was already going to do wasn’t bad enough, he made her sign a contract to ensure she upheld her end of the bargain.
Once he entered Kindergarten he had a bit more bargaining power.  He now lived in a land based on spelling tests and math homework.  One Sunday night I was watching Sunday Night Football while at the same time trying to uphold the 8:00 bedtime and I was met with a really tough argument.  My  3 ½ foot spin doctor was able to convince me to alter his bedtime saying that him watching the game was going to help him with his numbers.  “See Mommy that is number 57 and number 35 just tackled him…”  My little man won a later bedtime that night.
The problem is that my little man is now using his powers of persuasion and storytelling on his friends.  After the infamous black eye incident I heard him on the phone with my dad.  “Pop Pop I have a black eye.  Yep!  Yesterday, during my game, I caught a fly ball with my eye”.  What!?!   That is NOT the story I remember.  How did he turn a bruise in the shower into a baseball injury?  Like any good mother, I confronted him and told him I do not appreciate him making up stories. 
“Ok Mom” he said, “but falling in the shower is really not cool.”
Good point, little man, good point.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom Did It

My little man has a really bad black eye.  Unfortunately it is not his first black eye, however it is the first black eye where he is old enough to tell people how he received a giant purple and blue bruise on his face.  Let’s just say this is one of those times I regret ever teaching my little man to talk….
After a rather muddy baseball game I made the little man shower.  Like any good mother, I was hovering in the bathroom making sure all of the parts that needed cleaning got sudsy.  Well, my little man didn’t necessarily feel like actually cleaning anything in the shower, so I had to intervene.  I pulled out my stern mom personality, grabbed a washcloth, added soap and started scrubbing.  Like a wild animal not wanting to be caged my little man broke free of my grip and bit it in the shower.  Yep, wham, blam, splat!  His little body splayed out on the floor of the tub with him screaming about his eye.  As the bruise swelled into a grapefruit I thanked the good lord that he wasn’t seriously hurt.
The next morning I dreaded the car drop off line.  I just knew someone was going to say something.  I mean really, my kid looked like he just went head to head with Tyson.  At least I had a legitimate story – me being the good mom ensuring cleanliness.  No need to worry right?
Not so…
Teacher in drop off line “Morning Little Man”
Little Man: “Morning”
Teacher: “What Happened to your eye!?!  Poor Baby!  Are you okay??!?!?”
Little Man:  “My Mom did it”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo Op

Not sure what message this guy is trying to relay?
 Kind of makes me want to run!
A few months ago my friend and I were both stuck at home with bad colds.  Like any single 30 something’s, our conversation found its way to dating.  My friend had recently signed up for the online dating site Plenty of Fish, her roommate was on, and I was still recovering from my stint on EHarmony.  We were debating the pros and cons of each, agreeing that the key is to put up as many filters as possible on searches as well as post a good picture.  The picture being the key to success, since let’s face it, you are online and the photo not the caption is going to get you noticed.
High on cold medicine we decided to go online and see what was out there in our dating pool.  If I didn’t know people who had found love on these sites I would have thought the pictures were fake. No kidding!  I am not sure what is going on, if it is a regional issue or a unilateral problem with the male species.  But 9 out of 10 of the pictures were of guys with no shirt on either flexing or looking at themselves in the mirror.  While I’m not a matchmaker I have to suggest to the men out there that a shirt might help.  Ladies like to be a little surprised now and then.  You can get pretty far in a dress shirt that hints at your muscles and leaves us wondering what is underneath, no need to show all of your goods up front.
The second most popular picture was that of guys holding fish.  Where in the “How To Get A Girl Manual” does it say women are turned on by a large, stinky fish?  I give these guys credit for trying to show off their sportsmanship and active outdoor lifestyle, but a dead fish? Really?
The third most popular pose was that of a guy on his motorcycle.  I get this look, you are trying to look tough, show us you have a wild side, that you love the feel of the open road.  That is all good, but maybe take your doo rag off, put down the shades, lose the leather vest and stand next to the bike?  The standard picture of a guy on his hog just leaves us wondering if you have hair and how tall you may be.
After a few hours (yes I said hours) of clicking through the endless pictures of available men online we decided that these poor fellas need some help in the picture department?   Here are a few ideas:
1.        No pictures in the bathroom and especially not in the shower.  The lighting is always bad and the mirror and angles are weird.  Stay away.
2.       While everyone loves a good hat picture, post at least one without a hat on.  We need to see your face and yes hair is important to some of us, so just let us see what you have going on.
3.       Many girls like a man who is good with kids, but please don’t post pics of you and kids (yes, even if they are your niece or nephew).  This is an online dating site and kids online can be creepy.  We will find out if you are good with kids in due time, don’t post them.
4.       Stay away from animals. Yes, we know you might be an excellent fisherman, wrangle alligators or are the next dog whisperer.  We can find that out on a date.  You don’t need to put up every shot of every fish you ever caught.
5.       Tattoos – I’m all for tattoos, they can express your personality and individuality, but your profile picture does not need to be that of your latest and greatest ink.  Again, cover it with a nice shirt and let us find it on our own.
6.       Keep other girls out of the picture.  I have yet to figure out why a guy thinks this is a good idea?  If you are looking for a woman, then don’t post pictures of other women on your profile.  Yes, it may show you are sensitive, friendly, etc.  But take some advice, women are easily jealous.  No one wants to sign up to date a guy who is advertising his other girls, even if they are ‘just friends.’
7.       If you are completely lost and can’t come up with a photo, have a friend come over, go outside and snap a shot.  It will show us who you really are, and please remember to wear a shirt!
Check out the size of his fish, just leaves me saying WHAT?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Referral Rewards?

If you read my previous post “You are freezing my what?!” you will notice that I said I would talk about my conversation with my OBGYN about dating.  So, here it goes.
As he was doing the exam we start talking about dating.  “Yes” I say, “I’m single”.   “No” I say, “I’m not dating anyone”.  This is a typical conversation for me and I honestly don’t get upset about it.  The Doctor and I discuss how it is hard to meet someone since I work from home, have a son, the typical small talk about being single in south Florida. When all of a sudden he pokes his head up and says “I should introduce you to my brother!”   “Sure!” I agree and immediately think to myself – what is his referral of me going to be?  “Her hoo haw is in good shape?”  “Nice birthing thighs?”   No pressure there Doc….
I then think about some other times people have set me up on dates and what their referrals must have been. One that comes to mind is when my personal trainer called to tell me he has the perfect guy for me.  I suddenly become aware that our trainer/client relationship is built on me basically complaining during our 60 minutes together. I complain about being tired, the weights being too heavy, and the reps too much for me.  I also complain to him about past dates, past relationships, work and so on.  My trainer basically turned into my shrink – I figure I have his undivided attention for 60 minutes, might as well make the most of our time together!  So, as I gladly agree to meet this new catch out for drinks I’m really left wondering what his referral of me was.  “I have grandmas who can lift more than her, but she is kind of cute when she is doing sit ups?”  or “She doesn’t smell too bad after a mile or two of running?”
The one referral that tops all other referrals is when my ex husband called to tell me he found me a man.  Yes, he like my mom is hoping I find a wealthy man to take me away.  (His reasons are pretty selfish - I think he wants me off of his payroll).  Anyway, he called one day to tell me he found me the perfect guy.  I ask a few questions and find out this man is older and wealthy; a perfect match for me thinks the ex husband. I hesitated to agree to a date. I can’t help wondering what the referral is in this case.  “She’s good in bed, but can’t cook for anything” or maybe it was “I couldn’t stand her but you’ll love her?!”
And thus I continue to be very hesitant about my referral sources.

Monday, September 19, 2011

You are freezing my what?!?!

Ok, so this post is something that may cause my male followers to blush. (But let’s be honest, I don’t have THAT many male followers, so y’all can just deal with it and read on).
Not to get too personal, but my last Pap test came back a little weird, so after one really uncomfortable follow up visit to get my cervix scraped (Ouch! Yes, it hurts, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) my Doctor tells me that he is going to freeze my cervix.    
Never one to freak out at a medical procedure, I decided that the first appointment of the day should be a good time to get frozen. I figure I’ll be defrosted in time for my car pick up line duties. 
Never being frozen before I was a bit curious.  A few days before the procedure I call the office and ask if there is anything I needed to do to be prepared?   The nurse bluntly said “they are freezing you – it’s going to be cold.”  Thanks for the words of wisdom lady.  I promptly dug out my snow boots, hats and mittens, popped a few Extra Strength Motrin and headed off for my trip to the tundra.
Entering the OB exam room used to be a bit scary for me.  Now, after delivering a baby and being scraped, prodded and needled I feel quite at home in the white paper gown and stir ups.  I prop open my book and start passing away the time, when all of a sudden the nurse comes in with a rusted blue gas tank attached to some long tubes.  I glance down at this formidable foe covered in stickers saying things like “Gas cut off” “pressure gauge”, and “flammable”.   With a keen eye on the little tank, my ski cap on, I am ready for this battle.
It can be a bit awkward talking to your OB, especially while laying down, legs up and getting frozen. I have to give my Doc credit, he has a great bedside manner and we chat away about our weekend while he’s inventing a new south pole in my nether regions.  We are reminiscing about this and that when all of a sudden he takes a phone call.  (Ok, to his credit, apparently being frozen is like playing hockey, 3 minutes on ice, 3 minutes off, 3 minutes back on ice). So, during the three minute time out Doc takes a phone call.  Since he was on a 3 minute countdown clock he told his caller that he couldn’t talk right now stating “I’m in the middle of something, no literally, I’m in the middle of something.”  UGH!?!  Doctor did you just say that? Talk about embarrassing.  His nurse and I busted out laughing and we continued on to our next 3 minutes of freeze, moving on to talking about boyfriends, dates and ex-husbands.  (That will be a Blog for another day)
All in all my frozen experience was not that bad.  I’m feeling fine and don’t need to go back for a few months.  I was planning on meeting a friend today and trying to figure out what a good time was. I told her I was waiting on my cervix to defrost; she suggested it defrosts per pound….

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dress Codes

I’m all for dressing up and quite honestly put a lot (ok, maybe too much) time into finding the right outfit for special occasions.  I have ball gowns, cocktail dresses, church clothes, Sunday shopping dresses (yes, I have them!), beach attire, surf attire, golf clothes, tennis clothes and ski clothes.  (Ok, I don’t TECHNICALLY play, golf tennis or ski, but I’m prepared just in case the need arises.) My friends comment that I have “too much” clothing. I prefer to think of myself as prepared.
I also live in the land of the “special event” AKA Palm Beach.  Somehow the caring residents and our seasonal guests have created a social scene like no other. We have breakfasts, teas, luncheons, mid day drinks, happy hours and black ties. We party it down at Polo Matches, Tennis Tournaments, on the golf course and even on the croquet fields.  We cocktail on yachts, at museums, in private homes and posh night clubs.  There are some people whose full time job is just keeping their boss’ social calendar.
Lately it seems as if the event planners and committee chairs have gotten a bid bored with the traditional “Cocktail Attire” comment on the invite.  For someone who is truly prepared for any occasion, I am completely stumped lately. Check out some of the invites I have received recently.
Invite #1              Cowboy or Indian Attire - no this was NOT an invite for my son’s birthday party; it was for a “Garden BBQ” for adults
Invite #2              Festive Feline Attire - Seriously. 
Invite # 3             Strappy Sandals and Sexy Dress   - Finally some direction!  My only worry was the sex factor – how sexy is too sexy?
Invite #4              Smart Casual – Ok I really have a problem with this one.  How is an outfit smart?  I get casual, but smart?
Miscellaneous Invites: Wear Green, Wear Pink, and Wear Purple - while I do appreciate the direction and help in choosing my color for the night, a few more descriptive words might help.  These leave me still wondering – Cocktail? Jeans?  Ball gown?
And my new favorite mystery attire description – “Vegas Casual to Semiformal” and thus the reason I will be sitting in my closet for the next hour trying to figure out what in there fits this description…

Friday, September 16, 2011

Attack of the Unsolicited Comments....

I am blessed with high self esteem. 
I guess I owe it to my loving parents who told me I was smart, funny, pretty, and all of those other good thoughts.  It takes a heck of a lot to rattle my cage when it comes to discussing me.  I’ve been fat, been skinny, had zits, had bad hair, had REALLY bad hair, been preggo, been post partum, been laid off, been fired, been turned down, been dumped and been divorced.  You could say I’ve survived my share of criticism.  Taking it with a grain of salt and moving on.
However, there is something that occurs every now and then that can really rattle a person’s esteem – and that is the unsolicited opinion.  We’ve all fallen victim to the unsolicited opinion, it tends to attack when we are least expecting it, sting really bad, and then linger on in our memory for days. 
Just yesterday my dear friend fell victim to not one, but two, viscous unsolicited opinions. My friend was a blonde – you know the type that technically grew up with brown hair but sometime in her mid 20’s changed to blonde and stayed that way so that everyone who knows her now thinks of her as blonde.  Well, dear blondy decided to go back to her roots, stop fighting the power and become a brunette again.  Like any good friend would, we all raved about the new do.  It looks fantastic, perfect with her skin tone, and just right for her.  Well, not according to her land lord.  For some reason the land lord felt it was ok and socially acceptable to say she looked better as a blonde.  What?!? Who does that?  Who just blurts out a casual remark that stings so badly?  If that wasn’t bad enough, while sitting at a meeting a co-worker asks my same friend if she is pregnant.   Clearly my friend was left speechless.  I mean, how does one reply to a question like that?  “No, I’m not pregnant, just ate a big lunch?  Or, “No, not pregnant just retaining water these days?”   So, with not one but TWO insults during her day she had to fight the self esteem monster and move on.
Not to just sit here and tell of my friend’s woes – I too have had my share of encounters with unsolicited comments.  My first and most memorable/embarrassing was in the Las Vegas Airport.  It was 2002, I had extremely short hair, no makeup on, no earrings in, baseball cap on and an oversized sweatshirt and some work out pants – hey it was Vegas, I was hung over and getting on a red eye – I was appropriately dressed.  I was travelling with my boyfriend and we were checking our luggage.  When, out of nowhere the skycap dude asked if we were brothers.  EEKE!!  Stop the presses! WHAT?!   I took a deep breath, put my $5 tip back in my pocket and decided from then on to always wear lipstick and earrings.  Not going to lie, that one stung for a long time.
Another harsh stinging episode took place a few years later.  This time I’m still with same boyfriend, happily sporting longer hair, earrings and lipstick. In fact we were headed to the Russian Embassy in D.C. so you know I was looking and feeling good.  We had just gotten engaged a few months earlier so all was happy in my land.  When all of a sudden, during small talk some lady reaches down and pats my stomach and says congratulations – heard the good news!  WHAT?  I honestly don’t remember how I back peddled my way out of that conversation; I think I blocked it all out.  It was horrible. 
My friends let me offer you some advice so you aren’t the ones facing the DUH! moments when you accidently blurt out some stinging words of advice or congratulations.
#1  Unless a woman is IN labor – do not comment on her pregnancy.  Really, keep it safe and stay away from all talk about babies
#2  Think before you speak. Yes, this is very hard for me.  But, try it. You will stay on the safe side if you think first.
#3 Never say you like something better than the other.  Say things like “this is great!”  “you look fantastic!”   Stay in the present when you comment on things, no comparing to the past.
#4  Don’t offer parenting advice (especially if you aren’t a parent).  Parenting has got to  be the only job in the world with extremely high success measurements and NO handbook.  Parents are stressed and really don’t want your opinion.  Unless they ask, don’t tell.
#5  Never offer diet advice.   My ex mother in law felt the need to mail me diet books.  I wasn’t on a diet.  I burned the books.
#6  If all else fails – talk about the weather.

What other unsolicited advice have you gotten?  Let me know!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spa Day

There is nothing more relaxing than a day at the spa.  Right?
Thanks to Living Social (a coupon site that offers extreme discounts on things – if you haven’t check them out – do so now!) my girlfriends and I found ourselves spending the day at a resort and spa. We took advantage of every ounce of discounted spa goodness, arriving at 9:00 a.m. for our 3:00 p.m. appointments.   Some say we are crazy – I say we were dedicated to the sport of relaxation.  We happily started our staycation with a beachfront tiki hut, followed by fruity cocktails and yummy lunch.  We napped, we swam, we tanned, and we relaxed.  
As any good spa-goer knows, you need to start off with a niece steam to relax your muscles.  I spent a few minutes in the steam room, then joined the girls on the lounge chairs with our waters and champagne awaiting my first treatment – a massage.
I’m not one to talk during a massage, pedicure, wax, what have you. I find it a bit awkward and would prefer to drift into the happy place; somewhere between sleep and consciousness where no one is really bothering you and your mind is just kind of jelly.  Apparently my masseuse didn’t get the memo.  She was chatty.  To make things worse her accent was very strong and we spent the first ten minutes with her saying something, me saying a muffled “what?”, face down with my head in that holder thingy, her repeating herself, me muffling  a “what?” her repeating herself and me finally me just saying ‘k’. I figured the “k” was a universal answer, basically covered any question/answer conversation.
 Somewhere during the back and forth it came out that I have lower back pain (actually diagnosed as a S.I. joint that pops out, really, I was NOT about to get technical with my new friend).  My dear masseuse was very sympathetic and decided to put hot towels on the painful area.  Perfect! Thank you.  She then decided each time the towel cooled, she would remind me that she was putting a new towel on and would insist that each night I would do the same.  ‘K’ got it. I said. Over, and over, and over again.  We did the towel reminder/ “k” about 20 times during the 60 minutes I was laying there. 
All was good; we got into a rhythm, her talking about towels, me drifting in and out of my conscious “k” when she got to my legs.  Before you ask – yes my legs were shaved! Geese!
 Apparently, I have spider veins.  They’ve never been a big deal, don’t hurt and quite frankly are much better looking than most members of my family’s veins so I never worried about them.  Not so for this chic.  She screeched! She stopped.  She halted my relaxing mojo to insist that I don’t get my legs too hot, no hot tubs, no hot showers (SHIT! I’m thinking, I just steamed for like 20 minutes, am I going to need an ambulance to the ER?) 

“K”, “K”, “K” I repeat over and over again. Yes I will be careful with my legs. Yes, only cold showers. Yes, I won’t sit too long, I won’t stand too long, I won’t cross my legs too much.  I’ll agree to anything to get her to stop talking about my veins.  This is my day of relaxation and my clock is ticking and now I am brainstorming all the ways I can hide spider veins.
The massage ends, I thank her, take my glass of champagne and head to the relaxation zone with my girlfriends.  Unfortunately my spider veins and bad back have made an impression on this poor soul.  She follows me out to the lobby area, insists on telling me again, loudly about how to cure my broken body.  People turn, whisper, give me strange looks.  Now, all of that stress and worry that she was supposed to massage away is back – I’m showing my friends my legs, worried about back pain and staying far far away from anything steamy. 
One of my girlfriends called the other day, turns out Living Social ran a special on Sunday - $500 worth of spider vein removal for $99.  I might just have to try that….

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Attack of the Jerseys

Yesterday I was driving to Starbucks to celebrate another thing that is back for the fall - pumpkin spice latte!  When I fell upon the conclave of the Football Jersey.  I spied them in the Ale House parking lot, their secret meeting,  all shiny and glistening and getting ready for the big game.  But, then my spidey sense kicked in.  It’s 2:00 on a Monday.  I live at least an hour and a half from Dolphin’s stadium.  These jerseys are attached to jean shorts and short skirts and are from all different teams!?!?
 What is going on?
 Is the jersey plotting to take over South Florida?
I rolled on through the parking lot, kept my spidey eyes on the shifty jerseys and successfully got my pumpkin spice latte. 
I only had one more errand to go and I figured I’d be safe from those shifty jean short wearing jerseys. 
Too bad my next stop was the sporting goods store.  Turns out that is the jersey wearer’s Mecca.  Their little slice of heaven with an unlimited array of logo’d gear.  I ran through the store, kept my eyes low and made my purchase before crashing into Michael Vick and Tom Brady at the check-out.  I don’t know that much about football but what I do know is that Vick is an Eagle and probably not buds with Brady, and the Brady in front of me looks as if he can’t throw a Frisbee let alone a spiral.  So, who stole Vick and Brady and replaced them with these two fellows and why are they shopping at my sporting goods store?!?!
Oh…right… they’ve been attacked by the Jerseys.
I think I figured out how the Jersey’s take over our neighborhoods each fall.  First, they prey on the unsuspecting beer drinker.  They get themselves all shiney and new and tell them stories of football games’ past.  Then they whisper sweet nothings into their prey’s ear about touchdowns and fantasy sports leagues.  Once they have them hooked, they attach themselves and insist on being partnered with jean shorts and sneakers. 
Next, they stalk the malls.  They shrink themselves down to teeny tiny girly sizes and tell the young girls that they will certainly grab a football player if they just wear one and start spouting football facts.
But the worst of the worst is – they conform to kids sizes.  They get so small that they grab a hold of an unsuspecting toddler and latch on.  The toddler won’t let go and together they play, pretending they are the next Tom Brady or Michael Vick, they nap together and dream of touchdowns and may even go out shopping for a matching helmet and pads.  And together they develop a life-long love affair of boy and his jersey.
 So what does one do when the Jersey’s attack?  Set some ground rules:
Rule #1   Jerseys can only be worn on game day. Period.
Rule #2   College Jerseys can only be worn if you attended (and hopefully) graduated from that school.
Rule # 3 You must wear a t-shirt under the jersey and the jersey must be a full size bigger than you would actually wear.  Please don’t wear a ½ jersey and let you beer gut hang out.  That is just wrong.
Rule #4  If you choose to wear a jersey, you do not have to wear any other form of logo’d gear.  Hat, pants, shoes, can all be plain.  Really, we know what team you are supporting.
Rule #5 Once you pick a team stick with it.  You can’t wear one team’s jersey and another team’s hat. See above rule #4, you probably don’t need a hat.
Rule #6 You are never, ever, ever allowed to wear jean shorts with your jersey.
If you follow the above jersey wearing rules, you will probably be safe from the Attack Jerseys, but please don’t say I didn’t warn you.
…Go Eagles!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sister Wife

I am not a polygamist nor do I live in Utah, but I do have what I sometimes refer to as a sister wife.  She is the wife of my ex husband, also known as a step mom, step monster, and in some circles the ‘devil’. But in my world, I like my sister wife and I do everything I can to keep her happy. 
Some people think I’m crazy.  Why would anyone want to get along with their ex husband’s new wife?  I’ve heard all of the reasons about how she is the one he left me for, she is the one who caused trouble, she did this, and she did that.  Honestly – I don’t care. I don’t blame anyone else for the breakdown of my marriage – it was my fault, it was his fault, it’s over – move on.
And with that moving on attitude, I’ll explain why I like my sister wife.
For starters, she and I have more in common than anyone else on this planet.  Let’s face it – we both raise my son, we help with his homework, wash his clothes and clean up his boo boos. We both have to deal with the same crazy schedule my ex husband has, rotate our family holidays to accommodate our son’s schedule, share the same crazy mother in law/grandma, and we both slept with the same man.  We definitely have a lot in common.
Honestly, I think I scored in the sister wife department.  One thing might be small to you, but HUGE to a boy is she loves water parks and roller coasters. Me, I hate them.  She LOVES them and actually asks to take my kiddo on extra trips to Disney just to go on the giant crazy water slides. Small to you – HUGE to me. Check one for Sister Wife!
Two – she doesn’t work.   I often have the guilt of a working mom. Not so much with my sister wife around. When my son has a field trip and I can’t go because of a work meeting – she goes.  When he is home sick and I can’t stay home – she does.  When I have a date and can’t find a sitter – she kid sits.  Check two for sister wife!
Three - I never wanted my son to be an only child.  She and my ex have one daughter and will be having their second any day now.  I get the best of both worlds.  I don’t have to raise another child and he gets sisters – Check three for sister wife!
Four - she puts up with my ex husband and all of his crazy… Enough said – check four for sister wife!

I’m not going to say our relationship has been all roses and sunshine – it hasn’t. We’ve had our share of blow ups and arguments. But, at the end of the day we learned a few things.  First we both care about our little man and second, we both get mad at her husband equally!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Facebook friends...

I love Facebook. I admit it. I might actually be addicted to it.  I like checking in places, scanning friend’s photos, being nosey and reading people’s comments to each other.  Besides what else are you supposed to do when waiting at the doctor’s office? 
My phone was broken for an entire week and I went into FB (that’s Facebook speak) withdrawal.  I mean, how was I supposed to keep up with friends? See what their plans for the day were? Check and see who is “liking” what and follow what links they clicked on?  I tell you it was a long week.
Previously, I had found myself falling into the FB trap.  You know, being in a conversation with someone and bringing up a fact that they didn’t actually share with you, but you ‘read’ about it online.  Like – “Hey, your vacation to Aruba must have been awesome! Love that red dress you have.” And they are just looking at you like you are a crazy stalker chick.   You can casually brush it off and say something like “well your photo popped up in my feed” or something smartly technical like that.  But really, it’s creepy and you need to come up with some fancy back peddling ASAP.
Another FB danger to worry about is getting too involved in FB land.  I find myself starting to worry about my FB friends.  (Those people you are FB friends with, but if FB didn’t exist you probably wouldn’t have actually remembered them)  All of a sudden my circle of friendship has blown up to 824 friends and 50 followers. That is a lot of worry for one chick.  Now I am curious as to how every kid’s first day of school is, what the results of friend’s Dr. visits are, how did everyone’s vacations turn out, and of course what did my 824 friends eat for dinner?!
Don’t get me wrong – I am one of those people who really does click on the links, read the posts and follow your recipes.  I told you, I’m addicted to FB, there are days when I don’t get out of bed until I check my FB Newsfeed.  I even adjusted my schedule, tried new places and shopped at new stores at the advice of my FB friends and their FB feeds.
However I need to draw the line at those ‘virtual’ world things – no Farmville for me, no sorority life, nothing that requires an avatar or login.  I find that FB land is virtual enough for me. I’m overwhelmed enough with interacting with my 824 friends, what would happen if I started a farm or became mayor of Starbucks – that is just too much to think about.
But, I do have a doctor’s appointment soon, if the wait is long I just may try farming….

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Mom's Can't Do...

My son has a book that is called “What Mom’s Can’t Do.”  It mentions things like Mom’s can’t keep lizards in their pockets, can’t give quick hellos/goodbyes, and can’t eat frosted flakes for breakfast.  Lately I feel as if the author left out some important pages of “What Mom’s Can’t Do.”
Yesterday I was sitting at my desk updating my calendar of to-dos, when an email popped up on my screen from Coach Chris – our now infamous baseball coach who insists on ten push-ups and ten sit-ups a night.  The subject was protection – Not Helmets, Not Sex Ed, but a CUP.  What the!?  He would like all parents to make sure their little men where their cups from now on at practice.  Ok.  I think to myself, I can do this.  But first, how does one by a cup?   Is there a size chart?  A tape measure?  Do you think the lady at Victoria Secrets who sizes me can do the same for a cup?  Once I am able to get a cup, what do I actually do with it? How does it stay in place?  There aren’t any strings or fasteners.  And then I fast forward to the obvious Mom question – how do you wash it?  UGH!
I am sure this subject has been tackled before and the questions I raise are not unique.  But, where is the Mommy book on subjects like these?  There are moms all over the world whose Daddy counterparts are working, in the military, secret agents, deadbeats, what have you.  Moms are single handedly raising little men and we need a HOW TO BOOK!
A few other suggestions I have for a how to book on raising a boy.
1.        Skateboarding 101.  My theory on skateboarding was start them young, so if and when he falls on the ground he is much closer and therefore the impact wouldn’t be as rough.  It was a good theory and kind of worked, however I have no clue how to skate board.  How did my son learn?  I borrowed every kid in the neighborhood, boyfriend of my girlfriends, and generally pleaded with people at the park to teach him.  Sometimes it just takes a village…
2.       Surfing/Riding the waves.  I found the most fantastic surf instructor ever. But, did not realize that if you are 4 and take a break of a few months in between lessons, you may develop a fear of the waves.  So, one particularly choppy day my bikini clad body was forced to swim out to sea and ride a few waves in to show my little man that it wasn’t all that scary.  Honestly – I was scared to death! It was cold! I fell a lot, and I hate seaweed.  However, when you are the only parent around you have to suck it up and jump on a board and smile your way into your wipeout.
3.       Pee standing up.  Ok, this is where I draw the demonstration line.  I relied on some creative parenting skills here.  Drop a few Fruit Loops in the commode and teach your little man to aim.
On the last pages of “What Moms Can’t Do” the book ends with saying “What one thing Mom’s CAN do is LOVE YOU.” And yes, that is true.  It is because of love that I will happily go out and buy my son a cup… 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I think you need a husband...

Son: “Mom, I think you need a husband.”
Me:  “What?”
Son: “Yes Mom you need to find a husband”
Me: “O.K. Where does one shop for a husband?”
Son: “Dick’s of course!” 
Me: Trying really hard not to laugh at the obvious pun of my 6 year old. I know he is thinking of the sporting goods store, but my brain tends to wander.  “And what would someone who needs a husband look for?”
Son: “A football guy”
Me:  “Ok, besides a football guy, what else would I look for?”
Son: “Batman”
Me:  “Ok, so I’ll go into Dicks walk to the football aisle and find a guy that is batman and he will be my husband?
Son:  “Yep”
If only life were that simple….

Seriously? Who IS This guy? 


Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day...

As I sit making my deviled eggs and marinating my chicken for our Labor Day BBQ I reflect on my past work history.  It is no secret that a year ago I entered the world of “Consulting”.  You know “Consulting Land” it is the place between working full time with benefits and getting a new job working full time with benefits (some call it unemployment).  The difference for me is that I truly like Consulting Land.   I get to pick my clients, set my price, schedule my own work hours and spend a lot of time with my son.  
However surviving on the mean streets of Consulting Land you have to develop some thick skin.  You may put all of your time into updating your resume, picking out the perfect suit/jewelry/hairstyle combo, proofreading your proposal and manicuring your nails all to find out that there is no money in the budget, you are overqualified, under qualified, too female, too white, too young, and too old.   And you have to suck it up, move on and find the next gig that will be the perfect fit for you.
I think I am able to live happily in Consulting Land because of my past experience of looking for work. I’ve been working for over ½ my life – yes people my mom did not believe in child labor laws and my sister and I started at the ripe age of 13 bussing tables at the Diner.  We got paid under the table in cash so it was a win-win relationship.  Call me a capitalist, but I actually liked working.  Well I liked having cash in my wallet more than I liked the work.  So I cheerfully filled coffee cups, served up pie and smiled my way through my shifts. 
Currently I could use a bit more cash and I’m still pounding the proverbial pavement looking for work.  I get high praise and shut down in equal amounts.  My skin is growing thicker and I’ve fined tuned my presentation skills over the year.  I also have learned to up my standards and not take any job that jumps at me.  Here are a few of my top interview Duh moments:
Me to Lt. Governor of Unnamed State while interviewing:  “Yes Sir, I have a lot of experience, I look forward to doing blah, blah, blah”
Lt. Governor to Me:  “Look Dana, I know your husband, I know he makes enough money.  Why don’t you just stay home and have babies.  You don’t need to work.”
Me to Lt. Governor: Nothing! I was speechless! 

Me to prospective Client:  “Yes, I’ve worked with U.S. Presidents, U.S. Senators, Diplomats, well known actors, NFL Athletes, National Charities and successfully raised millions of dollars…”
Prospective Client to my Current Client: “But, how does she act around men?”
Me to Myself:  “What the Hell!?  Is he looking for an escort or a fundraiser? I think I want to kick him in the balls – that’s how I act around men you gross old man!”
Me:  “Sir, I treat everyone with respect and dignity no matter if they are male/female, wealthy or poor”
Me to Myself: “Jerk!”

Me to prospective employer’s Receptionist:  “I’m here to speak with the manager about applying for a position”
Receptionist:  “She is way too busy to handle that right now.  She is on a conference call, the assistant manager called out and two other girls are sick today.  She has no time for you.”
Me to Receptionist: “It sounds like now is the perfect time to hire someone.  I’ve worked here before and can fill in immediately if you need me.”
Receptionist:  “I’m sorry you will need to come back next week to talk to her - try Tuesday or Wednesday.”

National Vice President of a HUGE Non Profit:  “Dana I really like you and your energy, but I think you think outside of the box too much.”
Me to myself:  “What the hell!? Is this 1984?  What kind of company is this?”
Me to Vice President:   “You may be correct; I am a forward thinker and like to create new and innovative ways to accomplish a goal.”

So with that, I am still looking for something that fits perfectly allows me to think outside the box, interact with people and just generally enjoy life!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The things we do for love...

There is nothing I despise more than spending my Saturday morning at the little league field – really nothing tops the discomfort I feel. 

My people skills and personality have helped me get far in life and I’ve successfully conquered closed societies like the High School Cheerleading Squad, a Southern Sorority (new member of the year and President), secret societies (sorry, you won’t get the name out of me), the local HOA, and even the PTA.  But for some unknown reason the cliques of the Little League leave me shivering with uneasiness.   I am not sure who scares me more; the clusters of happy moms sipping their Evian and pushing their strollers, or the groups of Dads scouting the players and predicting who the ringers will be, or the groups of grandparents in their pop up chairs trying to hold on to the toddlers who are too young to play, but are dressed like their older siblings anyway.  Either way, each group is an unwelcome challenge that leaves me dreading Saturday a.m.

…this leads me to my little man. 
 I honestly have never said no to my son (ok, yes I say NO to things like No new pets, No you can’t eat that, No you cannot jump off the roof).   However if the request is reasonable and no one is going to be harmed, than I generally go along with it for the happiness of my little man.  I’ve taken him on trips, we’ve tried new adventures, I’ve enrolled him in every sport you can imagine and I’ve happily been the snack mom.  I’ve gone as far as coach the cheerleaders for his flag football team, because no other mom would and I had a few pom poms and spirit dust in my closet.  But, I draw the line at Little League. 

I’ve pawned off the practices and games to everyone I can think of. I’ve corralled my parents into helping, let my ex husband have him extra days, scheduled Drs. Appointments, anything I can think of to NOT have to go the dreaded little league field. 
So imagine my dilemma when my little man comes home from baseball practice asking me to be the dugout mom.  WHAT?!?! How did the devil get a hold of my little man and play games with my baby?!  There is NO WAY I can be the dugout mom. 
I tried to stall.  “Mom, the coach really needs you now”. 
I tried to deflect.  “Don’t you like Karate more than baseball?”
I tried to play dumb.  “I don’t know anything about baseball.”
Then he hit me with the knockout punch.  “Mom you would get to spend time with me and be the coolest mom on the team.”
He got me.  He hit me where it hurts. 
Of course I’ll be the dugout mom.  Of course I’ll label all your bags, memorize the line-up, figure out  which kids have peanut allergies and make sure you all get bathroom breaks.  Of course I’ll bring coffee, have band aids and smile while all of the dads yell at me about the line up and the moms question me about this week’s snack.
At least I won’t have to deal with the Evian sipping moms or the grandparents in their pop up chairs.
Go Cubs!