Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cat Scratch Fever

Just look at that hateful cat
Because it may be the last time
You ever see him in my house.
Don't pee on my sofa and
Believe you'll get away with
It, because you're guilty. I saw.
Doesn't that fancy litter box
Mean anything to you, Tucker?
I gave you tuna, catnip, love and
Didn't expect a soiled sofa in return.
Mean old Tucker, not the car too?
It is the end, my feline friend...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Regrets, I've Had a Few...

I was hit with a ton of bricks today. It was an epiphany long overdue, but I'll get to that later.

Do you remember Chrissy Snow? It's the character Suzanne Somers portrayed on "Three's Company". I loved that show - the hot chick, the smart-but-not-so-hot chick, the guy pretending to be gay so he could live with the chicks and of course, crazy landlords. You know, I have a "Chrissy" living in my house too - my dog Millie.

Millie is beautiful, sweet and extremely lovable. Like Chrissy, though, she is as dumb as a box of hair. We adopted her from a rescue shelter when she was a year old. My theory is that her previous owners didn't speak English because she doesn't seem to understand a word we say. They didn't speak Spanish or French because we tried those too. (Although the only thing I remember from French class is how to say, "I am 14 years old.")

Millie has been on my mind for days now since I witnessed an act of down right stupidity on her part. I was doing yard work last week and Millie was with me. She went over to one of our very tall trees and sat at the base with her neck craned as far back as it would go. I thought maybe she had treed a squirrel or something, but she didn't bother to even bark or scratch at the tree.

She just sat there. Staring. Not moving. Not barking. Just sitting. Looking. She stayed in that position for nearly two solid hours. I'm not kidding.

My first thought was that she's a really stupid dog. She's so brainless that she thinks she can just sit there and the squirrel or bird or whatever she saw would just relent and march down the tree to her. She was too lazy to even make an effort. Her plan was apparently to sit there, look at this thing she wanted and just hope it would come to her.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

After thinking about this for days, I realized the reason this incident was nagging me endlessly is because I have been sitting at the bottom of the tree my whole life just waiting for the squirrel to come down for me. Really, I'm just like my stupid dog. (Okay, this is where the ton of bricks came in...)

My problem isn't that I'm completely ignorant like Millie. (At least I hope.) For me, it's more of a toxic mix of my ridiculous sense of entitlement and my complete lack of ambition. I want everything I want, but I've never been willing to work for it. If I stare long enough, it will come and make me happy in the process.

I want the perfect, fulfilling job. Oh, never mind that I didn't finish my degree and wouldn't dream of putting in the work to pursue the career that would make me happy.

I want the "Norman Rockwell" family too. Normal people know that maintaining healthy relationships is work. This is another area where I've been failing miserably lately. It's hard being the Queen. You can only sit on your throne and expect your loyal subjects to do your bidding for so long before an uprising starts to brew. I think it's time I got off my royal rear end and go for what I want.

Maybe I should have found this long ago...

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within." (Ramona L. Anderson)

Yeah, what she said.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breck Girl

So I went running today. As usual. How could I not? It was a "Chamber of Commerce" day here in the ol' Sunny South. I stepped out the door to the most beautiful blue sky. The color was so brilliant it must have been digitally enhanced somehow. Everything was green, bursting with color. The temperature was a delightful 70 degrees.

I head out through the hood, the wind blowing my graying, frizzy hair. The sun is warm on my face and sparkles like diamonds on the ponds I pass along my way. Even the ducks and geese have called a truce today, as they splash together in the water.

Then it happened. A glance at the iPod confirmed it. The next song that shuffled up today? It was none other than "Come Sail Away" by Styx. Now, on a rainy day, a sad day, or 364 other days of the year, I would quickly skip ahead past this dinosaur of bell-bottomed arena rock. Not this day, my friend. On this day, I let Dennis DeYoung sing to me in all of his Pre-Mister-Roboto glory.

My pace quickened. A smile started to form as the scene was building in my head. Today, I was the star of my own personal 1970's-era shampoo commercial. I sensually shook my head in the breeze a few times as if I had a luxurious mane of golden blonde hair. I gave a coy smile to the cute imaginary passers-by in the convertible. ( my daydreams I'm NOT old enough to be their mom.) They slow the car a bit, give a few quick taps on the horn that seem to be a secret code language for, "Hey, we'll be back to pick you up later!" I giggle and gently wipe the stream of sweat from my brow.

As I'm waving and flirting with the good-looking pretend guy walking his pretend dog, I'm jolted back into reality. Dennis has climbed aboard the star ship now and is headed for the skies. The next song shuffles up, shattering my delusion, and it's back to the drudgery of my daily run.

Damn you, Katy Perry.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tattoo You

I've been wondering what a mid-life crisis looks like for a woman. We are all familiar with what society tells us a man goes through when he hits the 40 plus mark and gets antsy - hair plugs, red convertible, gold chains and a too-young-for-him blonde on his arm. We like to laugh at this stereo type. I'm guessing it looks a little different for that soccer mom in her mini van, but still ridiculous all the same.

I haven't received an official diagnosis yet, but I may be entering my mid-life crisis phase. And from what I can see from the carpool line at school, I'm not alone. I've been gathering my own ideas on this subject, and what I've found is that women facing old age reverts back to being 21 years old again too.

What does this look like? The first thing I've noticed is very tight jeans. Unfortunately, most women are never the same from the neck down after childbirth. If you are going to pour yourself into those Lucky jeans, please, for the love of God, spend some time in the gym. Left over baby fat and skin tight pants may result in "muffin top". Enough said.

The next thing I've noticed is extremely high heels. Getting groceries is always an occasion for sassy red pumps, right? I've seen them at the ball field too. That 40-something mom is strutting her stuff and aerating the sidelines as she cheers on little Timmy.

Another sign is being loud, obnoxious and drunk in public. Sure it's great to get out with the other moms for a drink and some adult conversation, but please have respect for everyone else at Chili's. They really don't want to hear that your husband needs Viagra and your married neighbor is sleeping with the swim coach. Just sip your pomegranate martini and use your inside voice.

The last sign that you are a desperate woman in a mid-life crisis is the desire for tattoos and piercings. I'm admitting now, in front of God and everyone, that I am considering this for myself. If you are a woman that already has "ink", then this doesn't apply to you at all. However, your best friend Susan, President of the Junior Welfare League, looks conspicuously out of place in the tattoo parlor trying to decide between the heart with her kids' names on it or the sun/moon symbol that would look "just awesome" on her ankle.

I wonder what our mothers did to soothe their wanderlust and the need to be young again. There was always Valium, but I don't remember a single mom at my band concerts sporting a Harley tattoo. I'll bet all they needed back then was an upgrade to a washing machine with King-sized capacity or to just demand the latest model Chrysler wagon. You know, the fancy one with power locks and windows.

So now that you know the signs, keep your eye out for one of these creatures. You may find that there is one next door, or teaching your children, or, heaven forbid, staring back at you from the mirror. And for your own safety, NEVER say to her, "That outfit is a little young for you, isn't it?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ghost in the Machine

I wish I could talk to ghosts. Wow, that's random, huh? I never even entertained the idea of ghosts until I had an urgent need to talk to someone that was no longer here in the physical sense. The night of my mother's funeral, I sat alone in the dark with my glass of wine watching "John Edward's Cross Country" and believing. For those of you uneducated in afterlife communicators, John is a wannabe goomba who bullies his audience members with vague references and makes them believe he's got Grandma on the line. Hell, I bought it.

I love to think that our dear, departed loved ones are watching us, guarding us, sitting behind me and smiling. Well, the exception would be when I sweep that dust bunny back under the couch, or encourage my kids to eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast because I'm tired. It comforts me on a bad day, though. Wouldn't it be nice to know for sure that our dead relatives never really leave us? They are here, sending subtle messages to keep us on our toes.

So I'm obsessed with it. (I have such a knack for unhealthy's a gift, really.) I watch every reality ghost show that digital cable has to offer. I know the difference between a residual haunting and an intelligent haunting. I see that orb and raise you an EVP (electronic voice had to ask?) I know that ouija boards are bad news and ghost hunters are full of themselves.

I absolutely revel in the idea that my mom is still hanging around the house. It's no secret that when I see that dark shadow out of the corner of my eye, I smile a little knowing smile. When I hear footfalls on the stairs, I don't get scared. I just think, "She's still taking her own sweet time."

I'm anxiously awaiting the day that I walk into the house after work and her crock pot mac and cheese - that gooey, fattening ambrosia - is waiting for us to enjoy. Thanks, Mama, and do you mind cleaning the toilets while you're at it?