Welcome to Leslie Dishes!!!!! Read my weekly rants regarding my dysfunctional upbringing, struggles with motherhood, intolerance for stupidity and life's general observations.  You'll find that I tend to get myself into trouble....often.  Read how I successfully manuever my way out of these debacles.  Sometimes I'm just an idiot.  Enjoy.  ~Leslie Bosscher



April 2014

Recent Posts

  1. Middle School Me vs. Middle School Ben
    Thursday, February 06, 2014
  2. A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self.
    Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  3. Things That Don't Need to be Said.
    Wednesday, January 15, 2014
  4. Casual Observations of a Mat Mom
    Friday, January 10, 2014
  5. Water Park Ridiculousness
    Monday, January 06, 2014
  6. 5 Actual conversations
    Thursday, January 02, 2014
  7. Maybe just.....
    Monday, December 23, 2013
  8. Christmas letter
    Tuesday, December 17, 2013
  9. Seems legit
    Friday, November 29, 2013
  10. 40....it's no big deal.
    Thursday, November 21, 2013

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Middle School Me vs. Middle School Ben

There are so, so many differences between my son and I. It would actually be easier if I listed our similarities because that list is shorter. Watching my boy navigate himself through his tween years and throughout his first year of middle school has been interesting to say the least. I can't help but compare his middle school experience to mine. 

He doesn't even bother bringing home his straight A report card because "What's there to see? It's just seven A's in a row." he says. While I used to practice making my D's into B's with a fine tip pencil and then I'd work tirelessly on perfecting my mom's maniacal signature. 

He  would sooner chew his own arms off before he'd miss a day of school. While I'd use a riveting episode of Jenny Jones as a reason to skip.

He dutifully approaches his homework like he's heading into battle. I'd sit for two hours and my paper would only have doodles of hair styles.   

He  makes up his own mind and refuses let others influence him (Ben, it's fine! You really don't have to confess to your pediatrician that you once drank a Mountain Dew!) His mother, on the other hand.... "Jump head first into a shallow river??? Absolutely! I'll go first to test it out."

He has zero, unequivocally NO interest in girls as it relates to romantic feelings. They're merely ridiculous and screechy humans that he is forced to somewhat co-mingle with.  Technically I didn't like boys either but that didn't stop me when they'd ask me to "go with them" or feel me up. I didn't want them to, necessarily. But I acted like I had no say in the matter. "May I feel your breast?" "Well, alright. I suppose I have no other choice."

When he gets called down to the principal's office, he walks down there like a boss because something amazing is about to happen. I too walked down there like a boss. But the difference is--I was an idiot. I trotted down to the office thinking I was going to get a "Student of the Month" award. But no. I got suspended for mooning a bus. True story.

For the most part, the boys likes what he sees when he looks at himself in the mirror. While I wouldn't have necessarily considered myself ugly, per se. Except most of my family told me I was ugly and I figured they were probably right.   

He already understands basic algebra. Me, no comment.

His teachers love him. Mine growled at me and called me "mouth."

He always wants his buddies to congregate at our house. I would have sooner died before I had people over to see the freak show that was going on at home. I would have secured a sleep over with my lesbian gym teacher if it meant I could leave my house for the night.

He thinks "shut up" is a bad word, while I was able to recite Eddie Murphy's Raw and it's entirety at age 11.

Are you picking up what I'm dropping here? What does this mean? Do I have an over-achiever who happens to be extremely confident or am I just fortunate that 'trouble' skips a generation? I'm not sure what to make of this. Am I actually a good parent? Or is the universe just giving me a pass until Gabe gets to middle school and all hell breaks loose?

One of the last things my mother ever said to me before she died was, "I hope you get one just like you." Was that a blessing? Or a curse? You cryptic woman, what did you mean?!? I guess I'll have my answer when Gabe permanently moves into our basement at age 30. And Ben moves me into a nursing home and leaves me there to die.

A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self.

Don't you wish your current self could go back in time and warn or encourage your 18 year old self?

Here's what a letter to my 18 year old self would look like.

Hey self,

How are you doing? You're looking real sexy in your pleated, plaid skirt, textured tights and penny loafers. However, that HUGE grosgrain ribbon in your hair looks ridiculous. I know you're trying to look like the quintessential sorority girl as you bee bop around WMU's campus, but really you just look like a girl that no one wants to have sex with.

Anyway, I like that you're studying psychology. That's great and everything, but remember when your statistics professor showed up to class wasted and yelled at everyone who was a psych major and told them to immediately change their major to social work? Yeah, you should probably listen to him. Turns out, he knew what he was talking about.  And furthermore, remember when you wanted to be a teacher and your mom told you that you'd never get hired because "no one was hiring teachers anymore." Well, that turned out to be a blatant lie but at least she deterred you from becoming a teacher because, turns out---you hate kids. So it all worked out. Yay! Despite the fact that you failed 7th grade math, twice...I really can't stress enough how much you need to pay attention to your general eds. They'll come in handy when you have an 11 year old who is seemingly smarter than you are.

We'll get to other things that your mom told you that were epic mistakes. But first let's discuss your beauty regime. Um. Get one. Maybe? Also, become acquainted with wax and/or tweezers. Honey, your eyebrows need shaping mmmm-gay. Regarding skin tone, looking like a lobster might seem like a great idea compared to your usual ghastly skin but it isn't. Avoid the burn and stop lying to yourself that it'll fade into a tan. It won't. It'll fade into cancer. And I can't stress this enough. When you're applying make up please blend at the jaw/neck area. I realize you're probably putting your make up on in a fluorescent lecture hall, but trust me when I tell you that an orange face next to your white neck ain't pretty. And about those cameras? Leave them at home when you go to parties. All they are good for is creating incriminating evidence that you were very, very ugly.

Here's where I should encourage you to look into antidepressants. I know you think you'd just be a drooling shell of a person if you started taking them, but I think you would really, really, really benefit from them and it might save you a few decades of unnecessary sadness. Despite the misconception, it's nothing more than getting your endorphins stabilized. Nothing to be embarrassed about! Sure, your face will be frozen into a smile but we can botox that out later. What's botox, you say? You'll seeeeeeee.

Ok, so moving onto mom. DO NOT listen to her when she tells you that she has a friend who can do your "up-do's" for proms and weddings. Her friend's only, one-trick-pony was the French twist with some curly tendrils hanging down like a Hasidic Jew and a few sprigs of baby's breath pinned in said twist. Don't do it. Don't you do it! And don't listen to her when she suggests that she can frost your hair. The average age of her clients is about 113 years old, so take that into consideration. But, I will say you're on the right track with your hot rollers, but maybe just stop hot rolling your bangs. Also, you know how your mom jokes a lot how she won't live long and how she acts about 20 years older than she really is? Yeah, you should probably pay attention to that and treat her accordingly. She doesn't find your drunken antics nearly as charming as you do, so do her a solid and act like a lady. At least in her presence. Like when she begs you to pour your beer bottle into a wine glass at your wedding and you ignore her? That would be a great example of when to listen to your mother.

You can file this under "MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL."  Amid all of your "friends," family, co workers, etc. you have this unbelievably insecure way of reacting when you aren't treated the way you think you should be. The energy that you will spend crying over life's injustices and heart break is so, so useless. You'll find out that you have this amazing ability to NOT have to put up with anyone's shit. You just don't know it yet. When someone doesn't respect, value or appreciate you, don't get mad and hurt---just move the hell on. Keep it moving, nothing to see, just keeping it moving. It will feel like a house has been lifted off of your chest once you realize that you actually don't have to subject yourself to mean people or crazy bitches. I wish I could list for you all the people that are worth your time and the ones who aren't. You might be surprised by that list. But you'll have to figure that out on your own.

That damned cat. Save yourself the $1400 vet bill and PUT THE DAMN CAT DOWN. It was a neurotic, high maintenance, FREE cat that will suck the life out of you and you'll wind up putting down anyway. But smother the heck out of your dogs because you have a great and infinite love for all of God's creatures (the animal kind of creatures, not the people kind).  

Oh and ps. In about 7 years you're going to have a blurry happy hour with your husband and later that evening, it'll be the first time in your life that you'll spontaneously decide to go bare back. And that moment will change your life forever. Interpret that as you wish. Just sayin'.

Things That Don't Need to be Said.

You know I value my words. That's why I use as few as possible and would greatly appreciate it if everyone respected my need to keep the dialogue as simple humanly possible. I loathe the superfluous words that don't need to be said.

"Ink pen."  Really? As opposed to a feather pen? Since 1930 the 'ink' part is just implied.

"Hair brush." Got it. You want me to hand you your hair brush? And not your horse brush?

"Dental floss"  What other kind of floss is there?

"Dog leash"  Don't you hate it when you accidently put your people leash on your dog?

"Airline ticket" Oh no. I've mistakenly shown up at the airport with my cruise ship tickets.

"School bus"  Here comes the school bus! Oh wait, no. It was just a Greyhound coming through our neighborhood.

"AAAAAHHHCCCCHCHHHHOOOOO" The loudest (scream) sneezes that for some reason unbeknownst to me, men feel that they have to do. Not necessary. Like, at all. In fact, it gives me a mild heart attack every time you do it.

(Insert name brand) "Have you seen my Tory Burch?"  Um, is it in your big ass mouth? Have you checked inside your deflated ego, is it there?  

"Your funny"   First of all, it's you're. Not your. Second of all, I know.

"I love my kids!"  Yeah. we all do. You don't get points for posting it on Facebook.

Basically just say nothing. I'm obviously in one of those moods where everything you say is going to somehow annoy me.

Carry on, then.

Casual Observations of a Mat Mom

As you all know, I've been a wrestling room rat since 2006. It's the only sport that I genuinely do love to watch. A. It's easy to know what's happening and I don't have to ask everyone if "this is good or bad?" B. It's never too cold or too hot, because it's always inside a gym. C.I just like it.

I've never tried to pretend that it's a classy sport. But, such is life. We'll never be found chaperoning our kids to golf tournaments in argyle sweater vests. You have to know what you're getting into when you decide to get your child involved in wrestling. You must know that most wrestling parents smoke cigarettes. Why? I. Have. No. Idea. I don't get it. Our kids play football & baseball as well and NEVER in one million years would you see parents outwardly smoking at football games. NEVER! Yet, it is completely normal to walk through a cloud of smoke to get into the wrestling tournament. As you're approaching the doors to the gym, the first thing you'll see is a sea of stadium jackets, as far as the eye can see. A lot of Red Wing gear. A lot of pleather jackets that read, "Newport; Alive with Spirit!" Of course, this would be the one sport that I love.... Claaaaaasic Leslie, tries so hard to shake the WT image, but ultimately cannot.

Another thing you'll expect to see at a wrestling tournament is tears. A lot of tears. Basically 50% of the kids cry. Because 50% of the kids lose. It's not a sport for the weary. You have to have thick skin in order to watch your kid get choked. Restraints are often necessary for the more-shall-we-say-over-protective-moms. A-hem. Who's that ridiculous woman who keeps gasping audibly every 3 seconds? Oh, just me. One time, true story, the match had barely begun and I sucked all the air out of the room. A dad next to me said, "Whaaat??? Nothing happened yet!" I said, "I know. But Ben just shook hands with his opponent and it's flu season!" You know damn right and well those kids don't disinfect their hands after each match. Please. But whoooooose mom is standing right there waiting at the corner of the mat with her hand sanitizer strapped to her belt???  Me!

You know how they tell you that if you feel bad about yourself, you should go spend the day at Walmart? It's like that at wrestling tournaments! Right off the bat you can tell which kids are there from their school district's club and which kids are from private clubs. For example, the Rockford families (holla!) are there with their crock pots and their Thirty-One bags. And their greek yogurt. And their antibacterial gel (shut up). And the private club kids? Um.... follow the smell of cigarettes and Aqua Net. You'll find 'em.

I've made a list! Ohhhh, I love me a list. Especially where it pertains to society!

School Wrestling Clubs Parents                                      Private Wrestling Clubs Parents
Average age: 37                                                                Average age: 19
Cheers appropriately for all opponents                                Threatens to kill opponents parents
Comforts child after an inevitable loss                                 Threatens for child to walk home after loss
Parents decked out in school spirit wear                             See: Marlboro/Newport jackets
Brings activities for child in between matches                      Makes kid do 300 crunches btwn matches
Uses wins & losses as a teaching tool for child                   If all else fails, break their arm, son! 
Wears regulation singlet & mat shoes                                Spray painted Mohawk or shaved head
Cheering positive messages all the way to the car               Berates child from the mat to the car
Offers a special treat after the tourney                                Promises a Ford Probe for a pin
Number of teeth in head: Roughly 28, give or take               Questionable. Iffy at best.

I could go on and on, but really? It's like a freak show, every weekend! I'd take pictures to support my position, but I feel very conspicuous at tournaments. Like everyone is staring at me. Like they've never seen a mom without an ankle tether. Come on. Wrestling families, I dare you to argue.

Water Park Ridiculousness

You didn't really think I wasn't going to elaborate on our water park adventures, did you?? 

Ok, so after a LONG day of swimming and a LONG night of blowing up the arcade, our kids were exhausted. They fell asleep and Jason and I got cozy with our respective books. I realized we were dangerously close to becoming the nerdiest couple in America so I said, "It's 10 PM. Let's go roam around the hotel." And off we went.

The only that was still open was the bar and the arcade. We predicted the people watching in the arcade would be way, WAY more fun than the bar. We were right. We didn't want to appear to be creepy, walking around an arcade, NOT playing games, so Jason bought a beer and I ordered Dippin Dots, because I'm 9 years old, apparently. This arcade is much, much more than JUST an arcade. It has putt putt, and bowling and a caricature artist! I asked Jason if we could get a caricature which snowballed into an absurd story. Behold.

We decided to renew our vows. In the most painfully obnoxious way. First we ran into the "surf shop" where they sold hideous water shoes, cheap bikinis, plastic flip flops and cover ups. Perfect! I bought a white cover up (which Jason calls a moo moo) and a cowboy hat for Jason that I bent and folded into a top hat.

Flowers aren't really my thing, so our focus turned to finding an officiate. Our options were limited. The people that were milling around the arcade at 10:30 P.M. weren't really the type of people we wanted facilitating our vow renewal. Water park people in general aren't our type of people, but what can you do? There seemed to trouble at the Deal or No Deal game. Teenage burn-outs seemed to be outraged by their insufficient ticket return (guess they really wanted that oversized panda stuffed animal that was hidden behind the counter). Out from behind the counter came an important looking person to rectify the situation. I looked at Jason. He looked at me. Bingo. Looks like we found our officiate. We wondered who'd take pictures and then we remembered the caricature artist. Everything was falling perfectly into place.

I was really enjoying my Dippin Dots which worked out real well because that doubled as our wedding renewal cake! The arcade music playing on the overhead speakers solved the DJ dilemma. The bar, technically was still open but we noted that the arcade's vending machines sold tall cans of beer. We had an open bar at our actual wedding, so we felt that it was sufficient just to have self-serving vending machines at our vow renewal ceremony. You know, to accomodate the water park people.

Once the vows were exchanged---which was challenging because the arcade mechanic kept whining about 'being off work 20 minutes ago' it was time for our vow renewal portrait. While it would have been a lot quicker to simply have a photographer, nothing compares to the timeless beauty of a caricature! She really accentuated Jason's enormous head and additionally she over-elongated my nose. After the business end of renewals were finished, it was time to party!

By the end of the night, Jason was leading the conga line while I held onto his hips. The teen burn-outs held onto me all around the arcade. We tried to get the concierge on board but she said she couldn't leave the front desk. After we'd eaten the last of the Dippin Dots and completely cleaned out the vending machine, it was time to call it a night. Jason tried to carry me over the threshold into our hotel room, but he lost his footing and he threw me face first into the door handle. We were so in love and high on life, I barely noticed the pain. But, unfortunately our vow renewal consummation had to be put on hold because we had two sleeping boys in our beds.

Ok, for the record, none of this happened. Wait--I take that back. We DID leave our kids for 10 minutes to go get Dippin Dots and a tall can of beer. We talked about this entire vow renewal scenario, right down to the arcade mechanic officiating it. We were absolutely DYING laughing at the thought of our kids bawling the next morning to hear that they missed out on Dippin Dots and caricature drawings. That would be enough to send Gabe into a complete meltdown and this made us laugh. Plus, I've never said the words "Dippin Dots" so much in my entire life.

Finally, our kids really did win about 1400 tickets throughout their various arcade shenanigans. Jason dared me to bring them up to the concierge when it was time to check out. We had it all rehearsed. She was going to rattle off what our fees were for the two day stay and countless drinks that were charged to our room. Then, I was going to make a big production out of handing over a pile of tickets and I'd wait for her to look up and then I'd say, "This should cover it." in a very official sounding voice.

But then when it was time to check out, I got distracted by the old timey ice cream parlor at the front of the hotel and forgot. Next time, next time.....

5 Actual conversations

I kept a mental tally of actual conversations that occurred between my family and I over the holidays.

We took our kids to Kalahari again. Hilarity and people watching ensued, as usual. The boys and I got split up from my husband, Jason and we were in the lobby of the hotel looking down into the water park trying to spot him.
Me: What if we saw dad sitting with another family and he pretended he didn't know us?
Gabe: Would you be sad if that happened?
Me: For a minute. Then I'd go find us another daddy. One who was really old and filthy rich.
Ben: Mom, you're lucky you even got one man to marry you. I doubt you'd get that lucky twice.
In the car on the way to Kalahari, there's a commercial on the radio for a new "vitamin" called Lumiday or whatever. The voice-over person says, "Are you irritable? Do you get easily frustrated? Do you find it hard to get out of bed? Are you always in a bad mood?"  .....and so on.
Ben: Sounds like mom, right dad?

Ben (at Kalahari): Mom, will you come on the lazy river with me?
Me: No.
Ben: Why?
Me: Because you just lie there and do nothing.
Ben: Perfect! You'll love it. Am I right, dad?

While compiling my list of back-handed compliments, insults and general shade thrown at me by my 11 year old, I ask him:
Me: Ben, what other mean things have you said to me during this trip?
Ben: Hard to tell, there were so many.
Me: Did you insult my intelligence or anything like that?
Ben: (cocks his head and gives me a condescending smirk) Mom. (long, pitiful pause) It's very likely. I mean....

Finally, and my most favorite. #5
Although this particular dialogue wasn't with Ben. It was with my 5 year old niece, who just became my most favorite person. I'm sitting on the floor on Christmas. Georgia is sitting between my legs. She turns around to look at me and out of NO where says:

Georgia: Ben is stupid and Gabe is stupid.
Me: Yeah.... sometimes boys are stupid.
Georgia: And that guy over there is stupid too.
Me: You mean Uncle Jason?
Georgia: Yes.
Me: So, basically everyone in my immediate family is stupid. Is this what you're telling me?
Georgia: Yes.
She turns around to watch tv for a few minutes and then turns around to look at me again.
Georgia: Actually...(long dramatic pause) everyone here is stupid. Idiots. All of them.
Me: Are you for real? Did you really just say that?
Georgia: Yep. (Turns around and goes back to watching tv)

So, this is how I spent my holidays. Being insulted. But, in their defense I have to give them all mad props for the timing and the execution of the insults. And every funny person knows that timing is everything! Ben is really getting the hang of being a sarcastic prick and little Georgia will need NO lessons in hilarity from me. She's gonna be trouble.....and I'll be right there next to her.

Happy New Year!!!!!

Maybe just.....

Embarking on a new year, there's always new rules to abide by. Times-a-change and sometimes the game changes too, in which case you must adjust. To help you stay abreast of these new games and silly rules, I've compiled a list for you. You know how much I like lists. They help keep my attention deficit brain all organized and compartmentalized. You might drink wine to even out. I make lists. Ok, so game changers and adjustments to them; behold.

#10 Don't be offended when 95% of your friends/family only communicate with you via text msg. Yes, it's much more impersonal than a phone call or a hand written note, but it'll do. This is the world in which we live. It's fast paced and ego centric and not everyone has time to invest in a 15 minute weekly conversation. Maybe just take what you can get and be happy that anyone is reaching out to you.

#9 Just say no. I hate to say this, but, our kids are a generation of dicks. They are. They're total dicks. We give them everything they want the day that they ask for it. Well, we don't. But you probably do. We make our kids sweat a little bit in order for them to know what it means to truly want something. Work for it. Earn it. Be accountable for it. Appreciate it. Stop trying to be friends with your children. Maybe just say 'no' and stand by your answer.

#8 Protect yourself. We live in a world surrounded by tricky tricksters who are such good manipulators that you don't even realize you're being completely manipulated. Hell, the manipulator might not even realize that they're manipulating you. That's how good they are!! My biggest rule of thumb for life is that you TEACH people HOW to treat you. If you let someone walk all over you, take advantage of you or use you, it's very likely that they'll continue to do it. And do you know why they do it? Because they can. So, maybe just toughen up and don't apologize for it.

#7 Keeping with the we're-too-damn-self-centered-and-busy theme, try this one on for size. If you decided that getting a dog is a good idea, do your research. Will this dog get big; too big for our house? Do you have time to dedicate to this dog? Because guess what dogs aren't? Dogs aren't cats and they do need attention/affection/loyalty/dedication. Sorry if that doesn't work out with your schedule. Maybe just think it through before bringing him home and allowing him to bond with your kids.

#6 Everyone is so hyper about everything. Oh no! Did she just describe that black woman as a BLACK WOMAN??? Oh. No. She. Di-int! Racist! Racist! Everybody is damn uptight about every single thing, it's a wonder there's even such thing as freedom of speech. You can't say the C word (learned that the hard way). You can't refer to someone as black, even though that's what they are and quite helpful if you're trying to narrow down who you were talking about. It's a fairly outward characteristic. I don't take offense to being described as white, middle aged or having light brown hair. I don't get it. You can't even say 'midget' anymore. Come ON! Maybe just lighten up and get a sense of humor.

#5 What's up with the high school girls, who--for some reason--simply cannot bring themselves to get dressed or walk completely upright? These girls....the baggy sweats, shuffling around in their filthy Uggs, barely bothering to lift their feet in between steps, hair in some sort of unintentional, messy bun. I don't get it. They do this on purpose. I realize that in my day (early 90's) we got decked out for school; tights, plaid skirts, penny loafers and matching ribbons in our hair. That's equally as absurd and I'm not suggesting these girls ditch their A&F sweats for a pleated skirt. Maybe just walk like a human and not a cave person. Maybe just brush your hair. But, your call.

#4 Here's something. Get comfortable in your skin. Not every minute of every day is a scrapbook-worthy moment. Be ok with doing nothing. Don't apologize for it. Just embrace the fact that we're not leaving the house today. We aren't getting out of our pajamas and we don't care. Maybe just don't worry so much about being seen. No one cares. No one's looking for you.

#3 If you know that you have trouble holding your alcohol, maybe just don't. Try...ya know, not drinking. See if you have better results. Just a thought.

#2 Maybe just be a little more kind than necessary.

By FAR the most important lesson of all....

#1 Say you're on Facebook. Say you see a photo that a bunch of your friends, co-workers, cousins or acquaintances are in. Let's say you make a comment. Let's say the innocuous comment sounds something like this, "Hey Kerri, GREAT picture! You look awesome!"  Maybe just acknowledge the other people in the photo. Maybe don't single out Kerri when clearly all of Kerri's friends are hot! Maybe Kerri's friends are sensitive. Maybe just don't be such a rude bitch.

I just realized that Dr. Phil recently published a #1 Best Seller and the content is uncannily similar to my list. But, I'll bet he doesn't call your kids a dick in his. Maybe just forget the part about your kid being a dick and absorb the underlying message. Plus, my list was free, sooooooo......

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!  Hey, 2014....bring it, bitch. It's on.

Christmas letter

So, it's been brought to my attention that I have committed the most offensive of sins! The Christmas letter! Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know I've criticized them but mine was different. I wrote it, so right away you know that it wasn't braggy. Come on guys, it's me. I'll be honest, the main reason I decided to go with a letter versus a photo card is simply because my beastly children are thee most unphotogenic people in the entire free world. Either one has his eyes crossed or the dog is arbitrarily gnawing on the one's hand as he weeps. Trust me, it's not like I don't try. Each year, my only objective is to obtain a decent photo of my children. My only objection! Twelve months. 52 weeks! This is how long I have to conquer this goal and I simply cannot get it done. This year, I just didn't have the strawngth to create a Norman Rockwell moment on film. So, I did what I do best. I pulled up a chair and let me fingers do the talking.

Now, there are several different paths I could have approached with said Christmas letter. I tried to be short but sweet, despite several friends pointing out that it was 3 pages, ".....I couldn't finish reading it in one sitting. I have to finish it tomorrow!"  To which I maintain the only reason it was 3 pages was because of all the photos AND because the holiday border made my margins very large! But I digress. As I was saying, there were several different paths I could have taken with regard to my Christmas letter.

Thanks to Jason's better judgment, this was the path that I could have taken, but didn't.

Dear Family & Friends,

Hoping this finds you.....alive? Actually we hope this finds you, period. The fact that I even had time to tackle Christmas cards AND track down your address after the big move... Please!

In case you didn't catch the subtle reference in the above paragraph, we moved! I'd love to give you our new address. But. Well, we'll just leave it at that. Frankly, I'm not in love with anyone having my address, but then how would we get Christmas cards? You pick your battles. ps. I love receiving and then hanging Christmas cards from my staircase spindles because it's like a little popularity contest that you can display.

Moving on. Jason still has a job. Doing what? I have no idea. He drones on about it but the only thing I absorb is when he says the word 'erect' or 'erector' and then I dissolve into full-blown hyena laughter. So, by that account I can either deduce that he's either an architect or a urologist.

Ben is smart. Too smart, really. Nothing I love more than being schooled by my 11 year old. We hound him constantly about whether he likes girls. He doesn't. But, that doesn't stop us from tormenting him about it. He's taken a liking to the saxophone. Gabe calls it the sexy-phone. And it Is. In related news, my ears sometimes bleed.

Gabe (long, dramatic sigh). Oh Gabe. He worries me. He gets lost getting out of the bathtub. But then, he'll go mess around on his piano and he'll find himself playing Bohemian Rapsody. He's funny that way. He likes to fish and drink beer. He fully admits that he cannot, nor has ever drank beer. But maintains that when he's a dad, he will. And he'll like it.

Both kids were apparently born with a handicap. Tragic, I know. Despite them both having 20/20 vision, neither of them can see a damn thing that needs to be done. They will hurdle, literally hurdle a garbage bag just so they don't have to take it out. The work that they put into NOT working is actually astounding. Useless, both of them!

Winston continues to be a complete imbecile. He's as dumb as the day is long. We love him and everything, but sometimes it's difficult to watch him try and connect the dots. Which is to say that it's physically painful to witness him try to maneuver his way through life. He wasn't born with the ability to learn from his mistakes which personally, I think is what's eventually going to kill him. We can only sit back and watch him lick the glass on the fireplace so many times before his face melts.

And me? Oh, you know. Claaaaaaaasic me. Nothing too exciting. Oh, except that I had all 5 feet of my colon removed earlier this year and what was supposed to be a 3 day hospital stay turned into a 9 day nightmare. Oh, nothing. In a nutshell I had some kind of blockage in my digestive track and my stomach looked about 8 months pregnant. This however didn't stop me from climbing on my hospital bed and taking a selfie of me wearing nothing but a bra & adult diaper. No really, there really is photographic evidence of this. A gamut of other things went wrong including an infection, pneumonia and blood clots. But the most noteworthy event to have happened in the hospital is when a palliative doctor decided that Ketamine was how he'd treat my pain. Ever heard of Ketamine? Yeah, it's a horse tranquilizer. Also known as Special K, should you be in a gang or live in urban areas. It's what's in PCP if that helps. Anyway, one way to describe my experience with Ketamine is to say that I had a bad reaction to it. Another way to put it is to say that I freaked the fuck out. And yet another way to put it is to say that I literally threw adults off of me and across the room. Me. So, there's that. Note to self: Ketamine is not a choice relaxant for me.

That concludes our 2013. A bunch of other shit happened too, but who really cares?

Merry Christmas.

Seems legit

Everyone knows I love me some tv. I rarely have time to actually sit down and watch it (except every, single night without fail). So, during the day I do the next best thing and listen to it while I clean. Jason even bought me some beats so that I can listen to the tv from any room in our house. I look absolutely ridiculous when I answer the door and I'm still wearing the cans on my ears, but whatevs.

I was surfing for the perfect show to listen to while I organized closets. At first I wanted to see what those whores over at 19 Kids & Counting were up to. But as usual their daughter in law, Anna butts her freakishly small head into every scene and I can't stand her, so I continued to surf. Then I almost settled on The Governor's Wife, but that's a show that you definitely need to keep your eye on because of the 62 year old, chain smoking, drag queen.

So, I finally settled on Snooki & Jwoww. I really can't stand either one of them but it was mid-day and it was either that or Judge Judy. For the record, I don't mind Judge Judy, but I can't stand the constant commercials for fake "colleges" which insist that you call the number below to better your life by being a massage therapist or a medical assistant. It's a trick! Don't call the number! Don't let the urban graffiti wall fool you!!

Snooki & Jwoww it was and I was certain that I'd be dumber by the time the episode was over. I just realized that this is a really, really long post and all I was trying to do was tell you about one teeny part of the show. You know I love a big build up when it comes to story telling.

Anyway, so Snooks & Jionni are getting married. So are Jwoww and Roger. Since everyone seems cool with having babies before marriage for some weird reason, Jwoww starts talking babies. She thinks long and hard about this commitment (17 seconds) and decides that she doesn't want to get fat. She announces that she'd rather adopt a baby simply because of the fat factor. It's been decided. Done.

Just let that simmer. Yeah. I'm totally sure that an adoption agency would consider Jwoww & Roger to be suitable candidates for adoption. I can see it. Seems totally legit. Absolutely.

That is all.

40....it's no big deal.

So, I'm a big girl now. I was 39 and then I turned 40. So, I guess I'm 40 now. That's weird because I don't feel 40. I think my true age is 27 because that's the age I want to say when someone asks me how old I am. When I am asked that question my inner dialogue sounds like this, "Hm. That's a good question. How old am I, anyway? I've got to be what.... 25? No, I got married when I was 25 and that man-person has been around for a very long time. Ok, so what? 27?? No, that can't be right. I have to be at least 30. Am I 30? Wow, that's old. Holy shit, I'm not 30 because that doesn't even make sense. I think I had a baby when I was around 30 and I haven't had big, engorged boobs in like....10---fuckin' A. I'm 40. No. Way."  Mind officially blown. Kids that I used to babysit are adults. Ew. So, my point is, when I'm kicking it in heaven, I believe my eternal age will be 27. I was awesome when I was 27.

Speaking of heaven and aging and everything like that, It's no secret that my family history isn't great. It's not so much a gene pool, but a cess pool. Pretty much no one lived past 60 in my family. I don't know if that's a curse or a blessing. Like, maybe it's not such a bad thing to leave on a high note. Like Seinfeld. He ended on a high note, before the story line got stale.

So, do I want to live to be 92, shuffling around my nursing home, yelling at randoms, living from one bland meal to the next? Or would I rather still be active, sharp and independent when it's my time? As in, "Who me? Yeah, I'm 64, what's up? Yes, I still wear heels. Yes I still swear like a trucker. Hells yeah I still know how to party and I know all the words to Eminem's greatest hits, beeeyotch! But wait, I feel a cough coming on." BAM! I'm dead.

You weigh the good with the bad. I never want to be so old that people are waiting, literally waiting for me to die. On the other hand, if I die while I'm still relatively young, everyone will be miserable without me in their life. And I mean miserable! Hell, even I'd miss me. Dying when you're barely old versus dying when you're obnoxiously old both have perks, I suppose.

Death and old age seemed like a million years away last week when I was 39. But man, 40. That's when shit starts to go south.  You always hear stories like, "Did you hear about Dan? He was just mowing the lawn and dropped dead! He was only 42!" You always hear those stories! Your 40's are when you're old enough to drop dead but you're still young enough for it to be considered a tragedy. If you're 50 and you drop dead, it's like, "Meh." Perhaps I'll think differently when I'm 50. I feel like the decade ahead of mine is always considered old. When I was in my teens, the thought dating a guy in his 20's (albeit creepy and suspect) sounded so old and worldly. Then while I was in my 20's, I thought people in their 30's were so lame. Then, in my 30's I just pictured people in their 40's just being in a sort of limbo. As in, not quite old enough to be considered "old" but too old to change careers, go back to school, have kids, etc. Now I think 40 is where it's at and 50 is practically God's waiting room. And can I just say, God bless the MILFs and the cougars for making 40 trendy and hot!!??!!

My kids had a field day with my birthday this year. They tell me I'm old constantly, but this year I had the wherewithal to take offense to their insults. At first I was all, "ha ha ha, good one!" but then suddenly my eyes got all crazy and I was like, "Ok. Shit. Just. Got. Real."  My oldest one couldn't wait to tell everyone that his mom was 40 (like this deserved a visit from Guinness or something). He kept threatening that he was going to loudly announce everywhere we went that I had just turned 40. Luckily I rarely leave my house, so that didn't affect me. Finally, I came up with this brilliant reasoning. Good! Tell them I'm 40. Now I have a reason for looking like this (picture haggard). I have the perfect excuse for being old and ugly. I'm 40! Yay! When I was in my 30's and I looked like this, people were probably like, "Damn. She old." But now that I can say I'm officially in my 40's people might nod in agreement as if to say, "Yeah, seems legit." Then I decided it would be even more brilliant if I told people I was closer to 50. That way they'd all compliment me and say, "Wow! You look amazing!" No one would say that to me right now. I look 40, there's no two ways about it. But 50...damn, I'd be smoking. 

What do you want from me? I lived with a smoker for the first 17 years of my life. Then I was a smoker for another decade or so, then I had kids (this aged me more ways than I can count). Not to mention the hundreds of sunburns, bad vision (squinting = crows feet) and hell-lo, I'm hilarious, so I laugh constantly (laugh = laughlines). I don't know what to say, I've aged.  

So to everyone still lying about their age, you can still lie if you want to. But don't be stupid. Don't age down. Age UP! Everyone will talk louder, be nicer to you and tell you how pretty you are!

* Above picture taken at my 40th birthday. I wasn't so much upset about turn 40 as I much as I just didn't want to wear a crown. Maybe I'm wrinkled because I make faces.