Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I have been having the most bizarre, vivid dreams lately. Not nightmarish at all - just really...real. The one I had the night before last was so real that I actually dreamed that I had a dream, and in the dream I woke up and realized that it wasn't a dream at all. As you can imagine, when I really woke up from the actual dream, it took me a good two to three minutes to shake it off and realize that it was a dream.

Still with me? I was hoping the italics would help...?

The weirdest thing is not the usual dream oddities that make you embarrassed to even tell someone about the dream, such as how you were eating an ice cream sundae out of the toilet that was on your high school English teacher's back porch (which, by the way, looked more like the boat from Gilligan's Island). No, it was that there wasn't very much odd at all - it was believably real. And that's what made it so hard for me to shake the dream off and realize it wasn't real. (Again with the italics. I know. Not helping.)

Anyway, this was the dream.

Paul was an actor. And he had an on-screen kiss with this not-particularly-attractive girl with a hawk nose and long, brownish hair. This upset me. I didn't like it. But I was willing to let it go. Until...

I somehow found out he'd also slept with her. Like, in the biblical sense. Just a one-time thing, he said. He's all "oopsy" and casual about it.

I was hurt, humiliated, and rip-roaring mad. But he felt that I should just forgive him and let it go. I angrily told him to pack his things and get out of the house.

He smirked as if I was being ridiculous and calmly said: "I will," and proceeded to sit in my rocking chair. He covered himself with a bath towel, closed his eyes, and said, "I'm just going to take a nap first."

I, of course, wanted to kill him. I felt my hands were tied and it was very frustrating. It's not like I could push him physically out of the house! He was so obviously trying to piss me off!

In the meantime, each time I looked through this one window of the house, I could see the offending girl through a window in the house next door. She was on the second floor, making faces at me and snickering. It made me feel very belittled.

The first person I decided to tell, in my dream, was my friend, Sue. We were at a bar, on these high barstools with backs. We ordered margaritas (because that's what always helps release the hard truths), and I began to tell her what had happened. Suddenly, in the middle of what I was saying, before I could even get to the point, she falls backwards for no apparent reason, and she and the barstool end up on the floor. Instead of jumping up to help her and see what's wrong, I sat there seething because I hadn't been able to tell her what had happened, and dammit it's an important story to tell! Strangers rushed over to see if she was okay before I did. I felt a little guilty about that. But not so much, because I was really annoyed with her for FALLING in the middle of my fricking STORY.

This is the point where I dreamed that I woke up and hoped that it had all been a dream, but I realized it had actually been real. And I got this horrible feeling in my gut because I knew that I had to deal with this situation. Then, I really woke up. I sat up and tried to figure out if I was still dreaming about waking up or if I really woke up in all actuality. (See slanty words for clarification.)

I heard Paul coming upstairs to get ready for work, and I slowly start to realize that it didn't happen. It was a dream. Really. So, of course, I say to Paul in a groggy voice, "Wow, you were SUCH an asshole last night!" Paul, not particularly surprised to be greeted like this in the morning, was just like, "Hmm? Did you say something, hon?"

So anyway, usually I'm all befuddled by such dreams and I keep thinking, "But what does a snake in the refrigerator drinking Tabasco sauce mean?" This one, however, I was able to psychoanalyze immediately.

Paul as an actor: It's a bit of irony, because in all actuality he's the WORST candidate for an actor. Any time he's ever tried to pull one over on me, he has this permanent "doh!" look on his face and it totally gives him away. He really needs to give it up, and never play poker.

The girl with the brownish hair and the hawk nose: Clearly, it was a Giada DiLaurentiis look-alike. I don't find Giada to be particularly attractive, but Paul has made it clear that he thinks she's hot. (He never really told me this, but the drool trickling out of the corner of his mouth while he watches her making gnocchi has always made me wonder if it's about the dumplings or...the dumplings, if you know what I'm saying.)

My telling Paul to pack his bags and get out, and his smirky, casual attitude about it: Any time we've ever gone to bed mad, I absolutely cannot get the man to go sleep somewhere else. He insists that "it's my bed, too, and if you don't want to sleep with me, you go sleep somewhere else." (Which is the husband version of "I know you are but what am I.")

His saying "I will" and then sitting in my favorite chair to take a nap: He always says "I will" whenever I ask him to do something, but he refuses to do it right away, as if to say you're not going to tell me what to do, sister. And usually he's doing something I'd rather be doing myself, like lounging on the couch watching t.v. or using the computer, while I'm sweating over a hot stove: thus, the favorite chair metaphor. Are you following?

Covering himself with a bath towel: Okay, I'm still pondering this one. But I'm sure it's just another symbol of some other annoying thing that Paul does.

Seeing the girl in question through a window in my house: We have a window that has needed a shade for, oh, about eight years now because it provides a direct view into my house for anyone who happens to be on the second floor of my neighbor's house. Thankfully there isn't much nudity and debauchery going on in my kitchen (most days).

Sue, falling off her barstool in the middle of what I was trying to tell her: This is so obvious. Being a stay-at-home mom, I don't run into many opportunities for real, adult conversation during the day. So, when Paul comes home, or on the rare occasion that a friend comes over my house to visit, I am DYING to talk to someone about SOMETHING. And it drives me INSANE the way my kids interrupt every. single. thing. I. say. before I can finish a frigging SENTENCE. It's like mental torture to be CONSTANTLY interrupted by little people asking asinine questions and to have to keep trying to remember where the hell I was in my thought process and go back to the beginning of stories over and over until you know what? NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR THE STORY ANYMORE EVEN THOUGH I'M STILL ITCHING TO TELL IT!!! I have been known to say, as the person I'm speaking to is jumping up yet again to see what the kids are up to, "Listen, if there's no blood involved, let's ignore them and PLEASE JUST LET ME FINISH SAYING THIS ONE THING!!!"

Not that that's a big "issue" of mine or anything.

So! That's the official psychoanalysis of my dream. Don't get me wrong, Paul is a great guy regardless of the fact that my dream makes him out to be a jerk. And, truthfully, he's more than welcome to have himself a little fling, as long as it involves skinnydipping in the Amazon. Because any guy who cheats totally deserves a penis fish.

(If you're completely confused right now, you are obviously not a Grey's Anatomy fan, and, sadly, I have nothing better to offer you as a conclusion to this post. Move along now. Scoot, scoot.)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

On a bender

Ever hear of this?

I had the t.v. on this morning while I was doing my work (which is the absolute BEST way for a copy editor to make sure they catch every error, I've heard), and an infomercial came on for this exercise ball. Being the infomercial whore I am, I saw about 3.4 seconds of the pitch and was already sold and halfway to the phone with credit card in hand.

Well, actually, the first thing I do when I come across an infomercial is scoff. And then I roll my eyes. And then I bolt for the phone. (This all fits within the 3.4 second timeframe.)

Anyway, I call the 800 number and hear a recorded voice, and I immediately thank the Lord above because now I don't have to deal with listening to umpteen offers after I've completed my purchase. I can just place my order and hang up. Yay!

This conversation (for lack of a better word to describe the occasional word or series of numbers said to a non-person who is giving you canned instructions over the phone) went like this:

Non-person: "Please let me see if I have your correct information. Your last name begins with the letter __, is that correct? If it's correct, say yes. If it's not correct, say no."

Me, dumbfounded: "Yeeeeessss..." (How in hell do they know my last name?)

Non-person: "Please let me see if we have your correct address. Is it _______? If that's correct, say yes. If it's not correct, say no."

Me, wondering if I've accidentally called the Psychic Hotline: "Y-yes."

After giving my credit card number to Non-person, "she" says: "Please say the expiration date as you see it on your card. For instance, if the expiration date is May of 2008, say '05/08.'"

Me, shocked into silence because the expiration date on my card IS May of 2008!: "What the f-...??"

Non-person: "I'm sorry. I missed that. Can you please say the expiration date again?"

Me, in a small, frightened voice: "05/08."

Non-person: "Okay. Your order is now complete. If you would like to upgrade your order from a Bender Ball with video to a Bender Ball with DVD for only $2 more, please say 'okay' now."

Never one to make snap decisions about money, this is me: "..."

Non-person: "I'm sorry. I missed that. If you'd like to upgrade to a DVD, please say 'okay' now."
Me, figuring what the hell it's only 2 bucks: "Okay."

Non-person: "Great! Now. Let me tell you about these fat-burning dietary supplements that you can have for only $25 per month. Taking these all-natural supplements while using the Bender Ball will provide the ultimate fat-burning so you can get the most out of your workouts! They will be automatically delivered to your house each month, for your convenience..."

*I press the '0' to see if that's The Secret Button That Shuts Up the Non-person*

Non-person: "...and you can cancel at any time. If you'd like to take advantage of this terrific offer, please say 'okay' now."


Me, hoping this will be the opposite of 'okay': "NO."

Non-person: "I can understand your hesitation. But this is such a terrific, one-time offer I will give you one more chance to take advantage of it. If you would like to, please say 'okay' now."

Me: "NO. No. Nonononononononono. No!"

Non-person: "I'm sorry, I missed that. If you'd like to take advantage of this terrific, one-time offer, please say 'okay' now."

Me: "No."

Non-person: "Okay, that's fine. (It is? Really? Why, that's just...terrific!) I'm sure you're thinking 'No, please, not another offer,' but I just have to tell you about our new DVD workout designed..."

Me, hoping that a combo-type rejection is more convincing: "No (punches '0') no (punches '#') nononono (punches '0#0#0#')."

Non-person: "...tighten your buns..."

Me, weeping quietly: "No. Nononono. No. Thank you."

Non-person: "I'm sorry. I missed that. If you'd like ..."

*I then begin banging madly on the 0 and the # and screaming "NOOOOOOO DEAR-GOD-IN-HEAVEN NONONONONO!!!!"*

Non-person: "I can understand your hesitation. But this ..."

*I'm now stabbing myself in the eyeballs repeatedly with the phone antenna.*

Finally I work up the guts to just hang up. And I pray that my original order went through even though I didn't complete the phone call (because it was such a terrific, one-time offer of $12! for the ball AND the DVD!). And then I congratulate myself for not allowing myself to be sucked into paying ten times as much money for a bunch of things I never wanted in the first place (unlike that time I ordered a food chopper after watching an infomercial and ended up getting three for the price of one with your one-year subscription to People magazine!) (The two "free" choppers have since been gathering dust in my closet, and the one-year People subscription was something like 24 bajllion dollars. Another terrific, one-time offer!) (Also, the one chopper I really wanted is...somewhere unbeknownst to me.) (Not that I've ever looked for it because who the hell needs a food chopper when you have Ginsu knives?)

I still cannot get over what I was put through just to place a simple order. They're sooo lucky I didn't hang up before I gave my credit card number (even though they probably already knew that, too). Some companies have such...BALLS.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I need a vacation from this vacation

It's that time again. School vacation. Time for the kids to relax and stop stressing out about their ABCs and coloring inside the lines and whether they want to use the monkey bars or the seesaw or whether to read Horton Hears a Who or Green Eggs and Ham. Because week upon week of that business can be so exhausting. These kids need a break, and lots of them! Once Christmas break is over, they have six harrowing weeks to get through until February vacation. And then they have to stick it out for another five or six weeks until April vacation. And THEN! Then they have to wait EIGHT MORE WEEKS before they begin their three-month-long summer vacation. My God! Can you imagine how tired these poor children are??

So these seven days (or 168 hours but who's counting) have so far been spent running around the house in various stages of undress, screeching, throwing toys all over the living room floor, playing with the remote control for the t.v., and almost constant begging for McDonald's french fries and pizza.

And you should see what the kids have been up to.

Yesterday Paul had the day off from work and it was a rainy day, so we took the boys to an inside playground-type thing. You know, where the kids run wildly from one activity to another while the parents sit staring blankly into space and occasionally glancing at their watch or cell phone to see if adequate time has been spent amusing the children so they can get the hell out of there.

Anyway, the kids had a blast, to the tune of $18.90. It was money well spent, because they were both in a zombie-like state on the drive home, and that's exactly what we were looking for. Paul and I kept giggling and stealing glances at each other, because we both knew what was going to happen when we got home. NOTHING.

Jason: "Mommy, want to play a game?"

Me: "Sure. Let's play Who Can Get Their Pajamas On the Fastest!"

Drew: "Daddy, can I watch t.v.?"

Paul: "There's no time to watch t.v. because as soon as I'm done shoving these hotdogs and Smiley fries down your throat you are going to bed."

There is nothing better than the Guilt-Free Parent pass you get after allowing your children to run around for three hours at one of those indoor playgrounds (and paying good money for it).

And today is yet another rainy day, so we're stuck indoors. Tomorrow our car is going to be in the shop AND it's supposed to rain again, so we'll not only be stuck indoors, we will have no means of escape.

Hold me?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Up she goes

Sorry for the unannounced absence. I've been busy coming to grips with the fact that my metabolism has slowed to a snail's pace. Did you know that some medications can do that? Me neither! So you can imagine my intrigue when I heard my doctor say to me in a cheerful voice: "You've put on some weight, my dear!"

"Really?" said I. "And why, may I ask, do you think that is? Seeing as I've been eating the same way I've always eaten and yet my jeans are beginning to fit like I've grown myself a second ass?"

"Well," said the cheerful doctor, "That's the unfortunate side effect of the medication you're taking."

"Oh," said I, with relief. "Well, that explains it, then. It's good to know that if I had actually eaten the cookies and cake and chocolate I've passed up over the past six months for the sake of my figure, I would look much worse. Thank God it's only ten pounds, because we all know how easy that is to lose. Whew! Also, thanks for not telling me this before I started taking the medication because I really hate being warned about such things. I'd much rather go to sleep one day looking like myself and wake up the next day looking like Rosie O'Donnell."

Once we (cheerfully) established the reason for the weight gain, she moved on to the rest of the physical exam. Taking a peek underneath my paper dress to look for suspicious moles, she felt the need to ask, "Have you ever tried a low-carb diet?" (This is the doctor's professionally polite way of saying, "Holy crap, do you have any butter for these rolls??")

"Yes," I said, with a smile. "In fact, I watch my carbs all the time. You fucking bitch."


Okay, so those are things that I would've LIKED to have said. In actuality, I just sat there, hunched over in horror and shame. And then I cried all the way home. Just what I've always wanted! A slower metabolism than the one I've been fighting with for 39 years! Let me tell you, there is nothing better than hearing that it doesn't matter what you eat, you will continue to gain weight unless you decide to stop eating completely. Can you say "worst nightmare"? Can you say "SHOOT ME NOW"??

The good news is, Dr. Cheerful Yet Condemning feels that once I stop taking the medication, I will lose the weight. The bad news is, she doesn't recommend I stop taking the medication. The good news is, I talked her into letting me reduce the dosage. The bad news is, that might not be enough to do the trick. The good news is, if it doesn't work, I'm reducing it even more without telling Dr. CYC. The bad news is, she will not be happy with me at my next appointment. The good news is, I can blow off my next appointment to go to the gym because my acupuncturist gave me the go-ahead to do some light exercise (!!!!), which should also help with the dawdling metabolism issue. And all's well that ends well, right?

You see, what the little 90-pound doctor is just not getting is that pumping me up with medication that sabotages my efforts to keep my weight at a reasonable level is not the way to alleviate my anxiety and frequent bouts of crying in front of strangers. In fact, the discovery of a muffin top when I lay down on the bed and button my pants only increases the anxiety and the crying in front of strangers. How difficult can this be to understand? Maybe if I tie her to a chair and stuff some Twinkies down her throat, she will have an idea of what I'm talking about.

Mmm. Twinkies. Hostess really needs to come up with a low-carb version of those.