Six-year-old me immediately thinks I have some sort of weird purse between my legs. This is my big-girl talk about how to wash my Mimsy-purse properly. Momma knows. She’s had one for a long time and babies come out of it.
I still can’t imagine coming out of a Mimsy-purse, but I’m not a baby and I’m supposed to be paying attention to Momma.
“Honey, you’re too big for momma and daddy to wash you like that. Now listen. You don’t want an itchy Mimsy and I don’t think you’re washing good.”
If momma would just quit saying things like “flaps” and “itchy Mimsy” I’d sure be able to pay closer attention. I’m trying, but momma just keeps saying stuff like that. I envision how awful an itchy Mimsy would be, based not on experience, but the disdain with which momma said it. I felt…
I had breast cancer last year. It was pretty shocking, but not nearly as shocking as the bills that came with it. Honestly, if cancer doesn’t kill me, the anxiety of wondering what exactly the crunchy fuck they did to me in radiation that cost $18K for 15 minutes of general discomfort will certainly shorten my life span.
I survived with more than $100k owed beyond what my “good” insurance paid and a divot out of my left boob over which I keep threatening to have an eyeball tattooed. And bitch, I might if I can ever get past my incredibly expensive cure without living in a van, down by the river.
I also had a radiation doc who would say, “Well, that’s strange,” when I would tell him about side effects. Hey guy, here’s a little tip – women who have a newly carved-on boob don’t really want to hear how strange it is for them to be shitting their guts out because I can assure you with ever fiber of my being they already feel like Quasimodo with their gorgeous new scar and flaming-hot radiation burns.
Don’t take my grousing as disregard for the care I received. I appreciate it, but damn y’all, why does someone have to go completely broke because they had the audacity to actually get (gasp) sick? I already got a weird boob and nerve pain forever, is that not enough?
I digress. And if I continue whining, I may have to drag the wood for my own cross, so I’ll stop.
But I will mention expensive conversations that don’t involve a 900 number. (Again, let me stress, I’m old. I remember when you had to pay real money to get porn and dirty-talk.)
Here’s a trick for when you’re paying $250/hr to talk to an attorney. Talk fast. Make your point make sure he gets the basics. Get it done in 15 minutes. Then just start talking randomly about your childhood terrors and the reason you don’t like peanut butter loofa soap. Seriously. It works.
Here’s an example:
Me: “So that’s it. Anything else you need?”
Attorney: “No, you’ve been very thorough.”
Me: “I had notes. At these hourly rates I make sure to have my shit together.”
Attorney: “Ha ha. Good plan.”
Me: “See? It just cost me a dollar seventy-five to make you laugh uncomfortably. It was worth it.”
Attorney: “Uh, is there anything else?”
Me: “Well, I don’t know if it matters, but I have a fear of spider monkeys. Probably because one ripped a handful of my hair out. Hey – if that monkey is still alive, can I sue the owner for my lifelong terror?”
Attorney: “Mrs. Parker, I don’t practice personal injury law.”
Me: “That’s cool. Can you represent me in a book deal? I wrote some stories about how to keep your vagina clean, only I called it a ‘Mimsy,’ because vagina makes people nervous.”
Attorney: “Mrs. Parker is there anything else you have pertaining to our first fifteen minutes of discussion?”
Me: “Besides the fact that I’m scared of monkeys?”
Attorney: “Yes, besides your fear of monkeys.”
Me: “Nope, but we only talked for 27 minutes. I bought an hour, didn’t I?”
Attorney: “We’ll bill you a half hour. Thank you for the information. I’ll get back to you.”
Me: “Hey, what size pants do you wear? I found a pair of crocheted swim trunks at the thrift store the other day; I’ll send em’ to you.”
Attorney: “OK, we’ll call it fifty bucks and you let me go.”
Me: “Deal. And you’ll take my case?”
Attorney: “Unfortunately, yes. You’ll hear back from one of my associates.”
Follow me for more tips on making expensive conversations end quickly and how to’s on finding new lawyers frequently. Remember, I’m here for you, and it’s free.
I should have known I was starting way above my level when “mask” was spelled all fancy with a “que” instead of just a regular old “k”.
The mud masque was intriguing in that it promised to remove impurities from my face with a satisfying, rubbery, peel-away finish. I’d never used a mud mask before, at least not on purpose.
It sounded like a great idea when I was standing in Kroger, browsing the rack of discontinued items. In hindsight, this should have been my first clue, however, I am a bargain shopper and won’t apologize for it.
“I’m going to do my roots and have a mud-masque this afternoon,” I confidently said to myself.
“It’s high time I had some self-care,” I agreed.
“Don’t forget the wine!” I chimed in.
“Ma’am? Are you OK?” asked the cashier.
“Yes I am!” we said, a little too enthusiastically. I paid the clerk and scurried out with my ricotta cheese, wine, hair color and purifying mud-masque.
After carefully following mixing directions, I immediately broke the (free!) applicator attempting to haul a load of face cement from the flimsy bag to my ever-impure face.
I dug in with my fingers and smeared mud in an upward motion, as indicated on the instructions. Of course, the face in the instructions didn’t have nostrils because it was a drawing, and smart enough to realize smearing globs of tub grout on your face was a bad idea in real life.
More on that later.
After smearing clay masque into most of my nose-hair, I finished the application as instructed.
Instead of blithely relaxing for 20 minutes while my facial impurities were under attack, I slapped on my hair color. This completed a lovely look that caused my cats to hiss and run from me when I attempted to blithely relax with a glass of wine for the remaining 10 minutes.
I was bored with this situation in about three seconds. Mostly because I couldn’t part my lips to drink wine without causing the hairs of my menopausal mustache to be painfully yanked on by the purifying mud-masque.
I fully admit the directions did not mention speeding up the process, but it also did not prohibit the use of outside influence to “dry the masque to a rubbery finish.”
I helped it along with a quick little blast from the blow dryer.
It seemed like a great idea until the masque began to shrink rapidly, ripping out each and every nose-hair it was attached to simultaneously.
This caused my eyes to water uncontrollably, resulting in an impulse swipe that caught the corner of my eyelashes in quickly drying shrinky-dink mud masque.
My eye was pasted open in a what can only be described as a Clockwork Orange torture scene, but the real fun began when my eyebrows and chin hair got in on the pain action.
Every single hair on my face was being tugged just hard enough to hurt, with the promise of hideous and acute pain if I dared to peel this quick-setting concrete off my damn fool face in any kind of “satisfying” manner.
I prayed I could remove this sorcery with something other than holy water. I stepped into the tub to slough away not only skin impurities, but large portions of my sparkling personality and will to live in general.
As if on cue, UPS showed up.
Thankfully (for me, not the UPS guy) the vent window in the shower is head-high and faces the front porch.
I opened the window to reveal a purple-haired, mud-masqued, monster-head with one bulging eye (me) emerging from the steam to acknowledge the UPS guy.
It was at that moment I realized I hadn’t attempted to move my mouth since heating the mud-epoxy on my face. As I tried to form words, I recognized the fact I had a lot more hair on my upper lip than I had ever imagined. Instead of telling him to “just leave it,” I croaked, “Oh God, it hurts!”
Needless to say, he left (dropped) the package. I think he broke his ankle falling off the porch but he apparently dragged himself off the property and back to his van.
After extricating myself from the mud-masque sarcophagus, I self-cared my way through the bottle of wine.
I remain impure of face, but certainly a lot less hairy of lip. Hooray for self-care.
It wasn’t really something that would be comfortable while sitting in my home office, where I’ve worked in seclusion for years before the pandemic was ever a thing.
And because of the aforementioned pandemic, the only place I go is the doctor and the grocery store. I have no planned events beyond a mammogram and it’s just not the right color to wear to a mammogram.
But I wanted it.
And I was bored. So, I spent $120 on a cap-sleeved dress I fell in love with on Amazon.
It was too much to spend, I know. I heard it from my husband, who usually indulges me but has become a little less indulgent since the world turned upside-down and we may wake up under a foreign government one day and need to take the last bit of money we have to escape, instead of spending it on a cap-sleeved dress I may never have an occasion to wear.
Anyway, the dress came. From here on out there are two things you should remember. One, I am not a small woman. I have an ample bosom and a stomach to match. Two, I promised my husband I would return it if it wasn’t as wonderful as I thought it was when I ordered it because this happens to me a lot. Mostly because I forget number one. Also, because sizing in America is frighteningly varied.
But that’s another story.
The moment of truth had arrived. I even put on my spanks so the silky fabric could gently glide down my body easily and make this the most gorgeous little cap-sleeved shift-dress ever.
Only that’s not what happened at all.
The dress got hitched up at my boobs, like every single piece of clothing I have ever put on besides a hospital gown, so I gave it a tug to help it “glide gently down my body.”
Same issue at belly-level, even with the spanks. Quick tug. Dress goes on. I am suddenly trapped in cap sleeves so freaking tight I can’t reach down to get the damn dress off without busting out of it like the Incredible Hulk.
Holy shit. Just think. Relax and think. Sit down and – oh hell no, do not sit down. The silky fabric has no stretch, and my rather meaty arms will surely be sliced off at the shoulder if I sit down.
I know. I can just lay down on the bed and worm my way far enough through the dress for my trapped arms to grab the hem without busting out of the whole damn thing and losing $120 that I can’t really afford.
I flop on the bed in something that looks a lot like a Monty Python skit-move and giggle for a split-second before I realize that even a spanks can’t keep the ample boobage from spreading to def-con status for the silky, now very uncomfortable and not-cute-at-all dress when I’m on my back. The material makes a warning sound as I flail like a turtle to regain an upright position.
Oh, please don’t rip, please don’t rip, please don’t rip. Roll. Just roll. That’s it. Oh holy fuck don’t roll off the bed.
In a final attempt to stand, I throw my back out in a Nadia Comaneci (yes, I am that old) stiff-armed dismount from the bedside that might have garnered a favorable amount of points in a contest for looking as ridiculous as humanly possible but would be a huge fail in a gymnastics competition.
No rips. Back on my feet. My hands are starting to turn blue. I wonder if I should call my husband before I lose all control of my appendages.
I imagine the conversation, “Hi, honey. How’s your day? Yeah? Mine is great, except I’m trapped in the dress you didn’t want me to buy and my arms are numb, and I’ve probably sustained permanent damage already. What’s that? Yeah, I know you told me so. That really doesn’t matter right now because I need you to drive 25 miles home to pull me out of this sausage casing of a dress so I can send the motherfucker back to the hell it came from.”
I decide against it because as I’m running the scenario in my mind, I have a brilliant idea.
I can sew. I have things and tools for sewing and such.
I know what I’ll do.
I’ll use my handy-dandy stitch ripper to open the seam under my arm on one side so I can wiggle my way out and sew the dress up, lickety-split.
I am a fucking genius. I refuse to ponder the next thought of, “Yeah, a fucking genius who has herself trapped in a $120 dress,” because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. I scurry to the sewing room.
Of course, my stitch-ripper is on the floor, under the sewing machine table, just where it should be.
I wriggle it out with my foot, pick it up with my toes and fling it up onto the cutting table like a bizarre circus animal. At this point, the cats have congregated in the doorway, to watch my complete and total devolution with delicious satisfaction.
I don’t care. I’m on a mission. I don’t give a fuck about common sense and reasoning because I am going to win, dress be damned.
I withstand the pain of raising my left arm far enough to use my restricted right hand to immediately jab the stitch ripper into my armpit far enough to be considered a lymph-node removal.
At this point, returning the dress is a total bust because the armpit is soaked in blood and it looks like I really am going to lose my left arm. I imagine gangrene setting in immediately because I know what I’ve used that stitch-ripper for, but I banish the thought because I really can’t take much more mental anguish at this juncture in time.
I don’t care about damaging the dress anymore, so I do an Incredible Hulk move that does not rip the fabric but does put a fantastic fabric burn in my right armpit. Silver lining: staunching the flow of blood from the stitch-ripper incident in the left arm.
I’d had enough.
I calmly took my fabric scissors in my cold, blue hands and inserted the blades at the neckline.
The fabric began to rip beyond the cut and my transformation from dress-encased grub to bloody-armpitted human was complete.
I stuffed the soiled, ripped dress into my sewing project bin, kicked the cats out of my sewing room, and put on the standard outfit before my dress delusion – Ohio State sweats.
My husband asked about the dress weeks later – he had forgotten about it and only noticed the credit card charge. “Hey, how did that dress work out? Did you return it?”
“I love it, but the zipper is messed up. I can fix it, it’s in my sewing basket.”
I may be going to hell for lying but I won’t be trapped in a cap-sleeve shift dress when I get there.
So, I was reading my last post and I realized that people who are unaffiliated with the trucking industry might make hateful decisions about the people who do the job based on a few of my personal experiences.
Let me be very clear here: there are some of the finest people on the earth trucking this country right now. And without them, you would have nothing. They work hard and are treated with disrespect and disregard on so many levels it’s really disgusting.
There are human beings in those trucks who are often forgotten because all anyone cares about is the freight – they don’t care how it gets there, they just want their rose-scented Guatemalan roach spray and they want it right fucking NOW.
Know that I have the deepest respect for the drivers who do it right. Also know that they never had a more determined foot soldier when I was fighting for them.
But sometimes, when all you do is fight battle after battle and carry scar after scar from angry folks who will always be angry, no matter what happens, it gets old. And it gets tiring. And the goal is often forgotten because all you can see is the next fight.
I also say “fuck” a lot and believe it or not, the old-time truckers don’t like that word. Or they don’t like it when a woman says it to a government official because the government official is acting like a fucktard about something trucking-related.
Long story short, I had to go. For my own sanity and the sanctity of the fight.
I hope this clears things up and remember – if you bought it – it came on a truck.
Believe me, I’ve worked some tough rooms. I’ve been called, “the dumbest broad in trucking,” and a lovely variety of what I am pretty sure were supposed to be insults but were typed with such seething anger they turned into illegible hieroglyphics with a “dumb ass” scattered here and there.
It comes with the territory when working with/for the public. You get used to it. I will say I was invited to break bread and be civil more than I got the standard, “I keep my pee jug right by the seat so I can throw it on you if I ever see you.”
There were good days and bad days. While sorting through my files to separate the forty million transportation files from my personal writing, I came across this reply I left on what was apparently a bad day.
I thought enough of it to copy it and attach it to the original file, so apparently it made me feel better.
Feel free to use your own version of it, should you have a “Blustery Commenter” day.
Dear Blustery Commenter,
First and foremost, I appreciate your 77 clicks to the article. It boosts my numbers exponentially, and I commend you for it. Your strong opinions, and flagrant disregard for the proper use of “your” and “you’re,” give me an in depth view into the psyche of someone who is either so angry they can’t grammar properly, or so horrifically confused by contractions, they spew them like a garden hose and hope to wet something important with an apostrophe by chance.
In closing, please feel free to subscribe to the “file it under fuck it” option. Lose your way to this portion of the website forever. I assure you; it will free you of the cumbersome burden of attempting to call me an idiot – it’s “you’re and idiot,” by the way, not “your a idiot.” It will also allow me to continue my existence free of the knowledge that you might actually get it right someday and make a bold public statement about my visceral ability to reason.
I felt sorry for him until an hour-and pint-of-human-blood-ago.
His occasional fits of licking himself in one spot until his fur and skin dissolve are alarming in their escalation. I’ve gone to bed with him just beginning to fixate on a tiny spot and woken up in the morning to find the poor bastard bald from the waist down with part of his liver exposed.
We’ve narrowed it down to “seasonal allergies” through a process of paying off our veterinarian’s lake house. Food allergies were ruled out by spending roughly the same amount we would on a kitty-sized heroin habit for weekly cat food bills. He currently eats (and copiously vomits) kibbles made of meat held to higher standards than those of human baby food.
The best we can do is treat the symptoms when they arise. Which would be fine if this particular cat wasn’t the closest thing to feral a house cat can be.
He has seasonal allergies and he’s skittish. There are still no answers for the skittish part and no money left for a cat therapist. All I can attest to is 10 years of trying to love this weirdo through his problems, which seems to be a prevailing theme in my life in general.
Mind you, this same cat acts like mesmerized serpent when our vet has him on the table. The hissing, pissing nightmare of crating him magically ceases when the crate is opened and he finds himself on the table, under the lights. From that moment forward, at least until I get him back to the car, he’s a lovely, docile creature who stands perfectly still while I look like a turd for letting him lick himself bald and liver-less.
Hell yes I’m jealous. I want a lake house and a cat who loves me.
According to the vet, pilling a cat is “easy peasey.” Keep in mind this is the lady who can also talk me into buying pet food worth its weight in solid silver.
“First, cover the pill with an oily of fatty base because antihistamines taste awful and we want it to slide down his throat easily.”
“Second, wrap the kitty in a towel so he feels safe.”
Wait. What about my safety?
“Third, part his jaw at the joint, push the pill down his throat with your index finger.”
Yeah, about my safety. I have concerns.
“Pinch his little jaw shut gently and rub his throat – he’ll swallow reflexively. That should keep him from being so miserable when he has flare-ups. I’ll have the tech get you a pheromone plug-in to try at home. It should help with his anxiety.”
We did not discuss my anxiety and I gave her money. Again.
Whether it’s an effort to warn the general public or clear my conscience of dark hatred is probably a moot point, however, I would like to address a few key points the veterinarian-of-the-lake didn’t mention.
The instructions should probably include, “have twelve assistants and a giant net available” and plainly state that the part where she told me to “coat the pill in something oily or fatty” should definitely not be done first if it takes 45 minutes to catch the cat to wrap it in a towel so he feels safe after you’ve chased him around the house for 45 minutes.
Clearly step one should be laying out the fatty substance and the pink, pinhead-sized pill in close proximity of one another. Refrain from mixing the two until the cat is caught and wrapped unless you hate your whole life and enjoy crushing disappointment.
Needless to say, catch one ended with harsh feelings between myself and Mr. Skittish when I screamed in frustration after finding a puddle of antihistamine-butter-goo where I left the pill. I’m here to testify that opening a child-proof medication bottle is positively impossible to do while holding a thrashing cat-burrito
Also of note, you will never actually get a cat wrapped in the towel twice, but it will be necessary to staunch multiple wounds you’ll no doubt obtain in the second quest for the freaked-out cat.
So let’s forget any pretense here.
My second attempt at making the cat feel safe was a “three-footer,” meaning I only got three of his feet under control. This was a grave error in judgement from which I sustained a facial wound worthy of a Quentin Tarantino movie as the fur-rocket launched himself off of my face towards the bedroom.
Blinded by my flapping eyelid, I slipped on a $20 pile of cat-food-vomit chasing him down the hallway. At this point it was all-out war. I was determined to make him feel safe.
I blindly clawed my way towards the smell of cat urine while the cat displayed his heightened level of anxiety by liberally spraying everything in his path worth more than $25 before darting underneath the bed.
(Fun fact: cats can sense when something is expensive or irreplaceable. It actually intensifies the smell of their urine and improves their aim.)
When I finally got him backed into a corner under the bed I realized I’d left the towel in the living room with enough of my DNA on it to clone a species.
I did, however, have one of the pills in my pocket because my initial intention was to lovingly wrap him in a towel, place him on the kitchen counter, remove the medication from my pocket while gently holding him in place in his happy-fucking-place towel, wiping the stupid pill in butter, and shoving it down his ungrateful throat.
But things didn’t work out like that.
I’m not going to lie. I just grabbed him and laid on top of him. Honestly, in my altered state of pain and near-exhaustion I no longer gave a shit if he felt safe, I was going to feel a whole lot more fucking safe with that feral bastard pinned underneath me and the bed, towel be damned.
I grabbed his jaw and tried to gently pry from the joint with my thumb while clutching the intact antihistamine like it was The Holy Grail in the other hand. It was this posture in which I discovered yet another key point the veterinarian didn’t mention.
Cats have jaw teeth that can shred titanium.
It took me a second to realize the growls had become gurgles because while “gently parting his jaw at the joint”, his jaw teeth had inflicted an arterial bleed on my thumb that was shooting directly into his windpipe.
I blame pure adrenaline for thinking how fortunate it was to have an oily substance to assist in shoving this pill down the esophagus of my demon-cat from hell with such ease and efficiency. I did not pause to rub his throat as I wasn’t sure if he was reflexively swallowing the pill or a large portion of my thumb-meat.
Instead, I deflected parting blows from a cat who clearly did not feel safe anymore. I slid myself from under the bed in the trail of blood and hair I left going in. I briefly paused to consider smashing the $40 pheromone plug-in.
As I limped to the bathroom to attend to my wounds, I stepped in a pile of foamy, pink vomit that looked suspiciously like the blood-soaked antihistamine I had, only mere moments earlier, fought for my life over.
It started with a simple candle-lighting. I feel as lost as everyone else right now, something as benign as lighting a candle to meditate on seemed like a great idea. Also, I was out of vodka.
Of course, I can’t just leave the house on a whim to buy a proper meditation candle (or more vodka) because death and stuff, so I dug around in the closet until I found a scented candle. Remember those? Scented candles were the predecessors of wax pots and essential oil diffusers. At one time there were entire cities built around the production of scented candles. Old people like me know these things because we’ve been trying to cover the smell of marijuana since 1983, when whether or not parental units could smell weed in your room was our biggest concern.
The candle was black, which didn’t seem strange. My candle-period coincided with my Morrisey fascination, where everything on the outside must be black due to conditions of blackness on the inside.
I lit it and held back the urge to oscillate wildly.
I took deep breaths.
I wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t relax. I wasn’t in the groove. Something was missing.
I needed a chant to make this candle-lighting meditation complete, so I did what anyone who makes terrible life decisions would do – I Googled it.
“Incantations and meditative chants to promote peaceful prosperity.”
Boom. My bitch. I skimmed the piece until I could find something remotely pronounceable. I was ready to meditate my way to the sunny beaches of Cancun. When the plague ends, that is, but I don’t need that negativity in my chant so I proceed while pretending like everything is going to be just fine and shut the fuck up, brain, we are not all going to die and I’m getting ready to mesmerize you with my chant and meditation. So there.
I composed myself.
I lit the candle again.
I took a deep breath and chanted, “Inna gadda da vida, honey, inna gadda da vida,” because I couldn’t remember the words to the stupid prosperity chant and averting my eyes from the flame to read it would be counter-productive. Or so I thought.
A giant raccoon landed on my desk. Before I could get the words, “What the fu…” out of my mouth, he said, “Hi. I’m Larry. You conjured me?”
“Oh shit, Larry,” I stammered, “There’s been a mistake. I was trying to chant my way to Cancun.”
“There’s a plague on, you know,” said Larry, knowingly.
“I don’t need that kind of negativity in my chants right now, Larry,” I snapped. “If you’re going to be a downer, you can just get your ringed ass back into the universe.”
“Do you have any grapes?” asked Larry.
“What? Grapes? Christ, I haven’t seen a grape since March. I don’t leave the house, Larry. That’s why I’m currently crazy enough to think I could conjure my way to Cancun through meditation,” I cried.
“That’s too bad, luv,” said Larry. “I quite like grapes, you know.”
I ignored the fact that Larry had suddenly adopted a British accent.
“I don’t have any grapes, but I do have some stuff floating on top of the dirty dishwater in the sink you’re welcome to,” I offered.
“Does it stink?” asked Larry.
“Oh, you bet,” I confirmed.
“Worse than you?” he pressed.
“That’s a low blow Larry. I showered just a, well, time doesn’t matter anymore, Larry. If you want the sink-critters, you can have them. Leave me out of this.” I said.
Larry gave me as dirty a look as a raccoon can give with their cute little faces. He trundled off to the kitchen to check out the sink flotsam.
I covered the candle, snuffed the flame and decided I really didn’t want to know if Larry was real because who needs a critical raccoon with a bad British accent in their lives with a plague on?
As for Cancun, well, one day again, maybe. But for now, I will revert to my old behaviors of smoking weed, oscillating wildly and wondering how soon is now. I’ll probably have a few more blue Mondays but when we finally get to be out and about again, it will be like fascination street.
Stay safe, my friends. And never Google your chants or incantations.