This may not seem like news, or rather something that should be implemented 4 and 3/4 years after said child’s birth, but it’s happening. It is swift and merciless and makes me feel like a fantastic mother!
But why now, you ask? Great question.
The other day in the heat of some old-school disciplinary action, I was looming over the child, threatening to suspend our weekly Saturday Target outings unless he put on some pants and stopped trying to feed the dog Legos, when the child looked up, shook his head, and said, “Jesus, you’re mean.”
I’m sorry, wha?
Seriously, kid. I was mean, but where’d you hear about Jesus?
“Repeat that?” I asked him calmly.
“Jeeee-zuuuuu–sssss, yeeeeerrrrrr meaaaaaaan,” he said real slow because his mom was deep in middle age and kind of slow herself.
“Wait. You think I’m mean?” I asked. “Or Jesus is mean?”
So much to unpack here.
“Well, that’s fine. You can call me mean, but you can’t just go around saying Jesus, okay? Great. Good chat, kid.”
“It’s not appropriate.”
“Because it could offend people.”
“But why?” Quinn asked again. “What’s a Jesus?”
“Well, let’s see,” I started. “Jesus was…uh…a guy who some people believe was a really good person who did some really good things and saying his name like that is disrespectful.”
Nailed it! (You can totally crib that for your own kids.)
This might come as a shock given my very articulate and educated description of Jesus, but I’m not religious. I believe I’m what an online dating site would call spiritual but not religious. Religion to me should be crafted like an la carte menu. Believe in something from column A, dabble is something from column B, and dessert. Just try to do the right thing, don’t suck, watch out for karma, earn good juju, put it out to the Universe, come back as a friendly ghost, learn from past lives…that kind of thing.
My parents made my brother and I go to church, Sunday school, get confirmed, have a first communion, cash a bunch of checks from relatives, and eventually only go to church on major holidays like Easter and Christmas Eve. Neither my mom or my dad goes to church now and while they definitely have their beliefs, they’re not what I would call religious. That is until something seemingly innocuous like not getting married in a church or having the cleric from your D&D game act as your officiant or NOT BAPTIZING THEIR GRANDCHILD causes them to burst into spontaneous religion.
The baptism…good lord.
This is how it was apparently supposed to go down:
Quinn exits my body
We immediately rush him to the shores of the holy river and cleanse that helpless child of all that icky original sin (And here I thought it was cradle cap.)
I guess we were just too selfish and preoccupied with all those trips to see lactation consultants and occupational therapists and car seat experts to grant our poor son guaranteed admission inside the pearly gates. I mean, what a life, right? Who wants to give that up? But whatever. When we went home to visit eleven months later, my parents got a friendly priest to do a baptism on a Thursday afternoon and I got Quinn a lovely blue seersucker suit. RITUAL COMPLETE!
After he called me mean (which I admit, I found hysterical), I told my own mom (whom was called much, much worse by her own offspring. Sorry, Mommy) the story.
“YOU TOLD HIM JESUS WAS SOME GUY?” she yelled.
“I’m not sure exactly what I said. But that’s not the funny part. It was the context–”
“Jesus wasn’t just some guy! TEACH HIM ABOUT JESUS!”
“Uhh, okay? But he’s four and just starting to wipe his own butt so maybe I’ll hold off on the Things to Know About Jesus talk.”
“He needs to start learning now! He needs a basis! Can I send him books?”
I already knew how this ended. There would be books. So. Many. Books. But I reminded her again of his age. Sometimes Peppa Pig goes over his head so I’m pretty sure the Old Testament might be a titch advanced, but okay. I’ll try to get her books into the rotation. We read to him every night before bed. Were these stories that much different than Thomas the Tank Engine getting schooled in responsibility or Wonder Woman putting some tiger thieves behind bars?
God bless Amazon Prime. Two days later The Miracles of Jesus and The Big Book of Bible Stories were on the porch.
“Juju got you some new books,” I said, trying to build up the excitement. “About Jesus. That…uh, guy I was telling you about. Shall we read them?
“Nah. I want to read The Duck Who Played Kazoo.”
“Okay,” I said. “Another time.” It is really hard to compete with a kazoo playing duck.
The next night I brought up the Jesus books again.
“Hey, want to hear about a super cool miracle?”
“Nope,” he said matter of factly. “Not reading those. I want to read Teen Titans.”
“You know,” I said, unsure of why I was working this so hard, “Jesus was kind of a super hero. I mean, he apparently had some pretty rad powers. He could walk on water. Turn water into wine. Communicate with animals.” (Actually I don’t know if that last one is true. I might be getting him confused with the druid in my D&D game.)
But this kid wasn’t buying the loaves or the fishes.
Oh well. I tried.
While Bart read Teen Titans, I cozied up with one of the Jesus books and read about Noah and the great flood. It was one of the stories I actually remembered because it was about animals boarding a giant boat by way of a rainbow gangplank. Pretty much the stuff all my favorite stories were made of.
Or so I thought.
What in the actual hell?
Here’s a slightly paraphrased version of Noah’s Ark from Quinn’s new Jesus book:
God said, “I hate all the people and they must be eliminated. I can totally do better next time! People are stupid and violent. I’m over it, ‘k?”
Noah said, “Sure God. I get it. What can I do to help? I also hate people.”
God said, “Get 2 of each animal (male and female because duh. Hubba hubba), your family, all the food you can store, and get on your boat. I’ll, uh, let you know when things are finished here.”
Then God wipes out ALL THE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS! NOT A BIRD OR A BUNNY OR LITTLE BOY WAS LEFT! Goodbye stupid, violent people! The slate has been wiped clean! Good riddance! Noah sat on his ark for 601 million years before God remembered him out there and finally told him–by way of a bird holding a stick in its beak– that it was safe to come home. Order was restored. People got stupid again.
That one’s gonna be a hard no. Definitely not right before bed.
Where was the peace and love and animal procreation? THERE WAS NO RAINBOW! How did I not know God was eliminating every stupid, violent living thing? Who is reading these books to children?!
Well, it’s a good thing my parents had us both baptized because neither of us was getting into heaven on our test scores.
If you’re coming here for your Bachelor recaps, you’re in the wrong place.
No, it’s me. Really. And I’m fine, promise. I want to watch The Bachelor and recap it in all its sad, desperate, tropey, predictable glory, but come on! I need a little help here! Could this season be more boring? Could Arie be more hateable, arrogant, boring, and whiny? Are any of us surprised? Sigh…not really.
Anyway, this whole season has been boring. I don’t even get around to watching the episodes until days after they air. I now fully believe that Krystal is a paid actor. ABC must have known they were in for a dud of a season so they hired someone with the worst voice ever to create unrealistic drama, steal the villain crown right off of Chelsea’s head, and grate on the nerves of EVERYONE IN THE WORLD TO INFINITY.
Krystal, I appreciate the effort, I really do, but even I’m not buying it and I am willing to suspend my disbelief for even the New Jersey Housewives.
I watched half of last night’s episode and was seriously not compelled to write a damn thing except, “Wow, I should try bowling sometime” and “Bekkah does a pretty good imitation of Krystal.” Even Krystal’s big, dumb tantrum didn’t move me.
So I leave you with this image because it really sums up how dumb this season is. Also, watching it with captions on is opening a whole new portal into hell. Especially when the captions say things, IN A HIGH PITCHED VOICE or IN A NORMAL VOICE.
This here is Tia. She’s besties with Raven, the runner-up from Nick’s season. You might remember Raven as the gothy southern girl who almost took her boyfriend out with her stiletto. So, yeah, they breed ’em real special in Arkansas. Weiner, Arkansas to be exact.
Anyway, this here is moments after she she professed her almost love for Arie. So romantic, right?
When I was about 6, I followed my brother into a House of Mirrors at an amusement park. He ditched me about 1.3 seconds later citing some bullshit like, “Oh, I didn’t see you behind me.” Really, dear brother? You couldn’t see me in a HOUSE OF MIRRORS?
I have a terrible sense of direction. If I tell you, “Oh that really good pizza place we liked is right over there!” it’s not. It’s probably not in the same town. Also, if you try giving me directions and say something stupid like “It’s just north of the freeway” I’m going to punch you in the neck. North is up, jackass. Give me some good old-fashioned rights and lefts, okay?
So imagine young Shelly (who often gets lost on an airplane trying to find her seat after a visit to the lavatory) alone in a carnival torture house designed to confuse young children and separate them from their families. Now imagine having to see your horrified little face reflected back 1000x into infinity.
But I’m no dummy. Continued movement would have been futile. It didn’t have 2,945 back issues of Tiger Beat or a Mickey Mouse telephone, but that house of mirrors was my new home. So I plopped down right there and accepted my fate. God, I missed Pepsi and elephant ears.
Four days minutes later, the teenaged ticket-taker told me to get up and walked me seven feet to the exit.
Admittedly, I probably don’t look in a mirror as often as I should, which results in showing up to places with toothpaste dribbled down the front of my shirt or mascara only on one eye. Shit happens. But I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m too lazy to look straight ahead and not permanently scarred from a childhood carnival experience.
Poor Annaliese (“Which one is that?” you ask. “THE BLONDE ONE!” I tell you.) clearly doesn’t have the fortitude to move on from hers.*
Arie, as you know, is our Bachelor (yawn) who happens to be a race car driver (yeah, yeah, Arie, we are soooooooooooooo impressed) and isn’t this guy:
He enjoys showing off his race car driver moves any chance he gets. (Yawn again.) Have you ever wondered how the show comes up with all those clever group dates? Of course you have. Here’s what happens: The producers look over the questionnaires filled out by contestants and look for responses to the WHAT ARE YOU MOST TRAUMATIZED BY? (FEEL FREE TO USE AN ADDITIONAL SHEET OF PAPER) question.
Woe is Annaliese, because this group date had the girls participating in a demolition derby which unearthed her very painful past. You see, when Annaliese was a child some asshat (probably a loving adult!) took her to a carnival (PROBABLY TO HAVE FUN!) and let her ride the bumper cars. GET THIS– OTHER CARS HIT HER CAR! What the what? Who does that??? Watching all those derby cars get all creamed and stuff was just too much for Annaliese to bear. So she had to stand on the sidelines, shaking and sobbing and accepting fake, mannequin-armed hugs from the other girls while her sweaty tears plowed through all that expensive BB cream. And if THAT scene weren’t dramatic enough, the producers reached deep into their bag of “cheap ploys to make it clear we are totally giving up this season” satchel to give us a very special reenactment.
You guys, that is not just a reenactment, but it came with creepy carnival music!
You guys, that is not just a reenactment, THAT IS A SEPIA-TONED REENACTMENT.
It’s like our blurry, pixelated faces were there too!
I AM FEELING HER PAIN! It is DEEP IN MY GUT! Oh no wait, that is just laughter.
Arie tried to be empathetic, telling her she could sit this one out if she really needed to, but if she did decide to participate he’d totally protect her. Maybe later he’d even rub his dumb pillow lips all over her sad, wet face.
And now I’m traumatized because I can’t tell if The Bachelor was seriously trying to get us past the dyed roots and into this woman’s head or if they’re all saying, “F.U. Arie! Your season blows! Let’s just trash the place and burn it down!”
Please God let it be the latter! (EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s totally the latter. I’ve seen the latest episode.)
Are they making fun of themselves?
Even the other girls thought this whole trauma thing was ridiculous. I mean being afraid of swimming pigs, sobriety, or yeast infections is totes normal but bumper cars? Come on, girl! Jenna thought she could knock some sense into Annaliese by repeatedly ramming into her when Ol’ Pillow Lips wasn’t looking, which kind of worked. Annaliese seemed rather aggressive for someone who couldn’t handle a little light jostling in a heavily padded carnival toy car, but whatevs. I’m no shrink.
What else happened? Let’s see:
Krystal–my god– is cray cray and super annoying. For someone who claims to make a living making others, “feel their best feels”, she sure likes making other woman feel angry. It’s pretty much guaranteed that whatever words spoken in her drunk, husky baby voice are going to suck. Even though she already had a rose, she stole Arie away TWICE during the cocktail party. One of those times was right out of Bibiana’s vice grip, seconds before she would have choked Arie out. Dammit, Krystal!
Bibiana cracked, threatened to leave, gave up, sat back down, yelled at Krystal, got up to leave, didn’t talk to Arie, finally talked to Arie, took a Valium, drank a bunch of vodka, bit the head off a bat, drank more vodka, and calmly accepted rose #18 out of 18 from Arie.
Angry Anonymous Blonde #4, #12, and #16 were sent home. Angry Anonymous Blonde #4 didn’t even bother saying goodbye to Arie, which made Arie sad. No one gets out of here without a stiff hug and an extra heaping of televised humiliation.
“Hey, sorry about dumping you. I honestly can’t tell all these blonde girls named Lauren apart and it’s hurting my head.”
“I’m not sad about you dumping me. I’m sad that I have to leave all this free alcohol behind.”
I hear that, Angry Anonymous Blonde #4. Surely the girls are pouring one out in your name.
*You can’t make this shit up. It can and will get worse, I promise.
I watched 45 minutes of The Bachelor while on the treadmill and really I should loose 84 pounds by the time this train wreck of a season is over. It’s…so…hard…to…look…away. But I did. But only because I was so excited TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST 3 MINUTES!
First, yes, something AMAZING happens later in the show that I haven’t “officially” gotten to yet, but I totally YouTubed because I heard how good it was. (When your male co-workers seek you out to talk about something that happened on The Bachelor, that is some good TV right there.) And it was. But in the worst possible way. It’s almost like The Bachelor is making fun of itself. Like they’re all, “Well. We’ve pretty much sunk to as low as we can go. Our bachelor is super boring and a solid NYC/LA 5 (Scottsdale 7.5), and no one is going to forgive us for not casting that other guy. Might as well bust out the sepia-toned reenactments to illustrate just how wicked dumb our cast is.”
Yes, Peter, you. It should have been you. WE GET IT!
BUT WE ARE NOT THERE YET.
We are here.
A lovely sunny morning. The girls are half drunk on champagne and rosé all day when Chris Harrison arrived. He gave them this ominous message:
One of you will be Arie’s wife.
There was an audible gasp like they just heard, “4 out of 6 of you will become Restylane-intolerant.” It was almost like a threat, like Chris knew they’d rather grow hermit crab claws and pull out their own eyelash extensions than have to accept Arie’s thoughtfully chosen Neil Lane sparkler. They’re not here for him! They’re here to audition for the next season of The Bachelorette! But Chris reminded them how real this is. If he had to suffer through this season, so did they. Remember your purpose, ladies! You are nothing more than Jabba’s palace dancers in ankle booties and slouchy sweaters. NOW DANCE!
Chris left them with a date card. The girls went ballistic, side-eyeing the shit out of each other and smacking the fresh mimosa off their lips like storm-addled waves hitting the shores of Desperation Island. The first one-on-one date of the season went to Becca K who was whisked off on a motorcycle.
A motorcycle! Egads!
Motorcycles are great because they spark conversational gold like this awesome exchange between Chelsea (villain) and two other girls who are probably named Lauren.
CHELSEA: I’m jealous.
MAYBE LAUREN 1: Yeah.
CHELSEA: I really like the feeling of being behind something that is bigger than me. Like…holding on and stuff.
MAYBE LAUREN 1: Yeah.
MAYBE LAUREN 2: I’m like, totally scared of motorcycles. My dad had a really bad motorcycle accident and I know people who have like lost limbs and things like that.
MAYBE LAUREN 1: Huh.
MAYBE LAUREN 2: If I was on that date, I would have to like, had to tell him…
MAYBE LAUREN 1: It’s good…it’s good that you weren’t.
CHELSEA leans close to MAYBE LAUREN 2 and bit her head off.
Meanwhile… Arie and Becca K ride off to a mysterious mansion where they meet Scooby Doo and some meddling kids. Not really. But they did run into an awful lot of shellfish. Like an ungodly amount.
It was dangling from pedestals three feet in the air. It was clinging to the Carrara marble countertop. It was a bizzaro Hansel and Gretel under the sea. I mean, what kind of budget are working with here, ABC?
It was festooned across Arie’s chin and eventually his lap because no way was he letting that shit go to waste. He’s the God damn Bachelor, America! Not that God damn Peter guy! He may not get the girl, but he’s eating the shit out of some shellfish.
If you think the location of the date was rather random– a really nice house overlooking the water– the actual date activities will really jumble your brain. All 26 pounds of Rachel Zoe popped out from behind a clothing rack (we know she ain’t here for the shellfish)
Becca made like she was going in for a hug, but really she was blinking out distress signals.
I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE HERE WITH HIM. STOP. HE HAS CRABS. LOTS AND LOTS OF CRABS. STOP.
But alas, she stuck around and tried on 136 evening gowns and surprise again! She got to keep them all thanks to Arie. (But really ABC. And Rachel. But okay, Arie, small victory for you.)
I realized this was ABC’s weak attempt to make us like Arie. Like he’s such a gentleman! A true Prince Charming! He’s not here because he’s a D-list fame whore from Scottsdale. He really cares about these girls! He wants to make them feel special! It’s all about the girls. Instead of feel sad because I wonder how tough times have gotten for Rachel Zoe. I used to really like her show.
But I digress.
And then when they were enjoying some champs by the sea some random dude in sunglasses and a suite waddles up to them. NOT WEIRD AT ALL.
“Neil Lane sends his regards,” he said, handing Arie a briefcase.
Oh good! ABC is cutting this season short! It’s the final rose ceremony! Oh, it’s not? Sigh…Not a ring. Just everything else: Earrings, bracelets, a necklace to go with the free outfit she’ll don later that night. Arie kept telling her she deserved it. He really wanted to spoil her. He’s really grossing me out. But man, Becca K is pretty much guaranteed to walk off this show with something of value. FINALLY!
Becca almost got bludgeoned with empty chardonnay bottles when she returned to the lady house. Bitch, do not walk through these doors in your inappropriate sparkling shoes (Louboutins! Also a freebie!) with your shopping bags full of Rachel Zoe promotional consideration. DO NOT. Bibiana (who–how did I miss this before–is clearly this season’s mujer loca), got super emotional looking at those shoes because where she comes from that is clearly a sign of impending marriage. Why don’t they all just go home now?
The date continued in the evening with a fake dinner where Becca talked about her late father (sad) and Arie talked about race cars (of course.) Then Arie mashed his “pillow lips” up against her face while they mumbled about how much they liked kissing each other while they were kissing each other.
BUT THAT WASN’T THE REALLY GOOD PART!
There was another one-on-one date with Krystal where Arie took her back to his hometown of Scottsdale because he forgot to feed his cats and might have left his curling iron on. They watched home videos, looked through his color-coded closet, drove past the Pizza Hut where he worked before getting the call from ABC to be the next bachelor. Oh, and they dropped by to meet his sad, Dutch family.
After meeting Arie’s brother and sister-in-law, Arie’s mom and Krystal had this fun exchange:
MOM: They just got married.
KRYSTAL: Oh, that’s nice!
MOM: They are nice normal people who met in a nice, normal way.
KRYSTAL: So great!
MOM: Not on TV.
KRYSTAL: I get it, nice Dutch lady.
MOM: They got married in the Netherlands. Not on a TV show.
KRYSTAL: Look bitch, I don’t like your son anyway. None of us do so there’s not going to be a freakin’ wedding– televised or otherwise. Bye now!
That is also where I had to say buh bye because my legs were getting all liquidy and someone had to pick the child up from pre-school. I can’t wait to tell you about the REALLY GOOD* thing that happened!
*That, ladies and gentlemen, is a cliffhanger made all the more intense by the fact I’m writing this THREE days after the episode aired. Don’t you dare Google it! Wait for me! I’ll be back!
Okay, fine, I started watching the new season of The Bachelor but only because it was my first day back on the treadmill in 729 days and I needed a good distraction.
Here’s what I know so far:
Ari likes blondes
Oops, I mean, “Arie”
There are so many race car puns
I still don’t like him
I don’t think Chris Harrison likes him (“Wow, you haven’t managed to have a relationship in five years, huh? Wow, wow, wow. So here we are.”)
Even the girls were struggling to think of good things to say about him (“He…um…has such a full head of hair!”)
As for the cast, well you’ve got your spray tans and baby voices and nervous chardonnay drinkers. And clearly casting couldn’t find enough delusional fame whores to date Ari (sorry, ARIE) so they cast the same girl three times.
And of course the usual tropes are immediately obvious:
The “I’m not here to make friends” award goes to:
Interesting facts about Chelsea: she also fills the “single mom” trope. (Let’s pour one out for that poor kid) and she bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the best villains of all time: Olivia!
The only thing Chelsea likes about women is talking shit about them. Chelsea is going to love living in a house with 28 other women–especially when they all get on the same cycle.
The “Lovable Weirdo” award goes to:
She has a tiny guitar she used to serenade a dead seal. That’s right– Kendall likes dead things. As in taxidermy. She collects it, what? Relationships end (for her a year was her longest) but dead things last forever! Can’t argue with that! Kendall is my top pick!
The “Overcompensating Entrance” award goes to:
Wow, these girls were really leaning into the whole race card driver thing. One girl even made a god awful “pit stop” joke after making Ari (GOD DAMMIT ARIE) smell her B.O. BEKAH, the nanny from Fresno, rode in on a cherry red Mustang, only to be bested by Maquel (that’s right, bitches, MA-QUEL) who showed up in an actual race car. I mean, come on BEKAH! Why you gotta be half-assing it on day 1?! Also spell your name right! Also girls with short hair never go far on this show. YOU KNOW THAT! Does a nanny not pull in enough coin to spring for some damn hair extensions???
The “Have you never seen this show?” award goes to:
Hey, Valerie? So this is a reality show called, The Bachelor where we pick a bunch of spray tanned, bouncy haired girls with little self-esteem, but lots of cut out dresses to all compete for one man’s affections. There are a lot of girls– really pretty girls– here because THAT’S THE WHOLE FREAKIN’ PREMISE OF THE SHOW, YOU DUMMY!
The “Why can’t I find love” award goes to:
Okay, so they could all pretty much get this coveted award, but I’m going with Maquel because she flat out whinnied, “Why can’t I find love?” (Or some strain of that B.S.) during her intro montage.
She’s a photographer who loves to shoot (like literally shoot!) engaged couples so she can make them feel bad for finding each other while she’s still single. SO RUDE! Hey Maquel, do you know why you can’t find love? Because you’re TWENTY-THREE! Cool your freakin’ jets. No love until you can legally rent a car, okay? Speaking of which, Alamo should not have let you drive that race car off the lot!!! Hope you had a co-signer!
The “Lauren” award goes to:
How many Laurens can you stuff in a limo? There’s always at least 2 per season, but there was a bumper crop this year because we got 4.
The non-Laurens could hardly believe it. What was this, some kind of nomenclature sorcery?
And that’s what I know 43 minutes into the show. Will I keep watching? Am I already hooked? Can I quit this stupid show?
You guys, The Bachelor started tonight! It’s been on for 55 minutes and I’m all meh, whatever on this season. No, I did not make a New Years resolution to stop watching garbage and get some GD culture. Nope, I didn’t have to sell all three of our TVs to buy my son 8,385 Star Wars toys and what was apparently the ONLY Sasha Banks action figure IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. (It had to be otherwise I cannot justify the price. It had to be, okay?) No, someone did not dare me to not watch MY MOST FAVORITE TV SHOW IN THE WORLD! I’m just not, okay?
But let’s be honest. I’m going to watch it. Eventually. The Earth will not spin off its axis. Just chill.
But I’m not committing to blogging about this season. I know! SAD! I know you (Jenn) looked forward to my recaps 5-7 days after the episode aired. Want to write a letter of complaint? Address it to this guy:
He’s kind of gross, right? Like makes you feel like you need to pull your collar up a little closer to your neck an maybe Purell your eyeballs.
Sorry, Ari, I’m just not that into you.
It’s not me, it’s you.
It’s your hair.
And that weirdo half-smile like you didn’t know it was time to take a photo even though you’re staring RIGHT INTO THE BELLY OF A CAMERA!
And the fact that I didn’t like you 5 years ago when you were vying for dum dum Emily (whom I also did not like) and she surprised dumped you and she was all like, “I don’t know! It’s so hard to choose between two sketchy weirdos but I think the other guy has rich parents and maybe even a real job” and you were all like, “yeah, no, totally cool. Don’t explain. I’ll be the Bachelor 4 3/4 years after everyone forgets about me. Later!”
But I wish she picked you and you lived happily ever after so we weren’t stuck looking at your hair and hearing about how you’re a race car driver (like that’s a THING!) for the next 16 weeks.
Also, Ryder from the Paw Patrol called and wants his hair style back!
Look, Ari! He too is a race car driver! Maybe we’ll see him as the Bachelor in 2037!
Also, I’m kind of bitter just like the rest of Bachelor Nation.
Did you not watch the last season of The Bachelorette?! Everyone worth their spray tan, gel manicures, and sew-in hair extensions (and hello! That is ALL OF US!) know Peter should have been the next Bachelor! I mean come on! A nice mid-west boy, sweet family, can hang with a baby on a kitchen floor, and might be the most beautiful man in the world NEXT TO MY HUSBAND OF COURSE!
But seriously, did we all not love Peter? Like love him so much we kind of wanted to yell BACK OFF, HO every time Rachel pulled him aside for a little one on one time?
And sure, maybe Mike Fleiss and every producer who has ever manipulated a grown-ass adult into crying in the back of a limo hated the fact that darling Peter couldn’t, wouldn’t propose to a woman he met SIX WEEKS AGO because, “this shit is cray!” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s basically what he said) even though he really liked her and was totally willing to, you know, date her in the real world and see if they could fall in love without the Northern Lights and helicopters and maintaining a steady buzz for 63 days straight.
But God dammit, Rachel. You were NOT leaving this show without a proposal. This was not a reality show so much as a game show. You would take home the prize and maybe a fancy Bosch dishwasher and trip to Sedona. You were getting your ring! One that promised marriage! And babies! And would make your father come out of hiding and show his sad, embarrassed face on national TV! So you went with the sure thing– the creepy, hairy Miami dude even though your family was skeeved out by him and HE DID NOT GET ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR WITH A BABY!
Bryan’s all like, “Uhhhhhh I love you so much! I’ve loved you in all my past lives! I’m gonna propose to you as soon as I get out of the limo!” Rachel, you cried your fake eyelashes right off your face when Peter said he wasn’t 100% sure he could propose the NEXT DAY! I didn’t even know that was possible, but there they were right on the floor of his hotel room like caterpillars murdered by mascara. Clearly you were into the guy! Like waaaaaaaay in! But whatevs. That’s cool. 13 minutes later you’re on a mountaintop saying yes to Miami Lice when he got down on one knee with a tacky Neil Lane sparkler. Even Neil Lane was all like “Whoa! This guy? Not the super hot trainer dude?”
So yeah, even though we all wanted Peter (but secretly not really because it’s just better for all of us if the guy stays single) you cannot call bullshit on a show’s entire premise and get to be the next star of said bullshitty show. That’s showbiz!
Okay, fine! I’ll watch this season, but only because I have friends who watch it too and I don’t want to let them down. Also FOMO. But I’m not dedicating my life, my life, to recapping the season.
You will never find a happier, more hospitable, more generous me. I make gingerbread from scratch every year, each time forgetting how gross it is and deck my halls before the Thanksgiving turkey has even been ordered. Give me fake snow, LED curtain lights, and all the Candace Cameron Bure holiday vehicles. I am so in.
I come from holiday-loving stock. My parents only desire was to make sure my brother and I had a better Christmas than the previous one. Oh yes, they brought us to church where we learned all about the real “reason for the season” too, but even a magical pregnant virgin couldn’t compete with flying reindeer, misfit toys, and little elves who could build the exact same Lite Bright that was in the Toys R Us catalog. Every December 25th, my brother and I woke up to a living room filled with Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Legos, and Barbie’s Dream Gated Community. Didn’t matter that some of the toys had Kmart price tags on them or that Santa had the exact same chicken scratch as our mom. What mattered was the cookies left on the mantle had been eaten and the tuft of stuffing near the front door indicated Rudolph was almost positively definitely inside our house.
It was pure magic.
Now I am the parent of a four year-old who is just beginning to understand the magic of holiday fallacies. And because I’m me, we totally bought into the whole Elf on the Shelf deal last year. If you’re familiar, the Elf comes to stay with your family sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas and returns home to the North Pole every night to give Santa a rundown on the day’s activities. The next morning the child delights in finding their elf residing in a new spot around your home.
Pure magic, right?
Well, sort of.
As it turns out the little imp is rather contentious. A lot of people despise this thing. Like hate it’s stupid, stuffed, little guts.
I of course am not one of those people. I revere our elf almost as much as our son does. When she made her return trip Thanksgiving morning, my son could barely hold it together. He woke us up, nearly in tears, and dragged us to the living room where I was certain he’d point out our dead cat (she’s been tormenting the dog for years) or the ol’ bearded one himself ass up in the fireplace. But nope. He pointed to the dining room table where the rosy cheeked “Elfalina” sat perched on a Mason jar.
“She came back,” he whispered.
Do you not see thePURE MAGIC here???
Well, magic mixed with animosity. For some reason people aren’t digging a stuffed doll that not only airs your dirty laundry, but tells Santa it took you six days to fold it. Perhaps you’ve heard the hateful allegations lobbed against elves. Perhaps you’ve been deterred from inviting your very own shelf-sitter into your home. But wait! These are also holiday fallacies (the bad kind) and hold as much water as a tree stand from a dollar store. (Pro Tip: don’t buy a tree stand from a dollar store.)
Fallacy: It’s Too Much Work
Fact: I have a full time job, a demanding kid, and a DVR full of Bravo television that isn’t going to lay on the couch, moderately buzzed, and watch itself! I’m super lazy and yet, I still manage to muster the physical strength to pick up a three ounce doll and move it from a houseplant to behind a canister of coffee.
Yes, I’ve seen the Pinterest pages and Instagram accounts dedicated to the elite elf movers and shakers. There’s one riding away in a bouquet of candy cane colored hot air balloons! Oh look! There’s an elf who was up all night baking and decorating miniature sugar cookies! Oh har har, your neighbor’s elf poops Hershey Kisses. So cute. Hey man, whatever works because your the one setting expectations. Maybe your elf never leaves her perch. Maybe the elf prefers to communicate through Instagram posts. Your elf, your rules.
Fallacy: It’s Creepy
Fact: If your elf is creepy, stop right now, get the box it came in, and READ IT! Does it say Chuckie on the Shelf? Little Girl from The Ring on the Shelf? High-Profile Man in Hollywood on the Shelf? Because our elf is a straight up stuffed, side-eye-giving toy with a cute backstory. If you’re worried about the creepiness factor, have your elf debut with a small offering for your child. Works like a charm. Santa’s been pulling that schtick for years.
Fallacy: It’s an Invasion of Privacy
Fact: “I don’t want that thing watching us!” They shriek. “What message is it sending to our kids?” I heard those arguments from a mom who constantly shares photos of her toddler daughter in the bath and her son’s potty training progress with her 649 Facebook friends. I’m pretty sure they didn’t sign a release.
First, the elf isn’t really watching you. (SEE: Stuffed toy.) The same can’t be said for the roly poly dude who has built an empire on voyeurism, bribery, and some light home invasion. You know, that guy who sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake? Hello, stalker! They learned it from watching him!
Fallacy: It’s Sending the Wrong Message
Fact: Sorry, what message are we talking about? The one where you’re supposed to be good for goodness sake? Again, our boy Santa is already perpetrating that myth. And really, what’s wrong with asking your kids to clean up their mess, eat a vegetable, and maybe not moon their grandparents when you’re Facetiming? Trust me, having a little imp to tag in once in awhile is pretty awesome.
See? The Elf on the Shelf is basically like having a free au pair your kids are sort of afraid of. At least for the month of December. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to figure out how to make a zipline from my son’s bedroom door the Christmas tree. Pure magic.
The Scene: A nice couple are hosting Thanksgiving for nine of their closest friends. The girl, a vegetarian in her 40’s, is enjoying the beautiful fall morning while walking her dog, Puppy. She calls her mother to wish her a happy Thanksgiving.
GIRL: Hi, Mommy! Happy Thanksgiving!
MOM: Where are you? It sounds loud! Is that your oven???
GIRL: I’m taking a walk.
MOM: WHO IS WATCHING THE TURKEY?
GIRL: Watching the turkey do what?
MOM: YOU NEED TO BASTE THAT BIRD! BASTE THAT BIRD RIGHT NOW! DO NOT LET THAT BIRD BURN!
GIRL: It’s not even in the oven!
MOM: IT’S NOT IN THE OVEN??????????? WHY IS IT NOT IN THE OVEN????? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
GIRL: We’re not eating for seven hours!
MOM: THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TIME! YOU ARE RUINING THANKSGIVING!
GIRL: I have an oven bag!
MOM: JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A VEGAN DOESN’T MEAN YOUR FRIENDS DON’T EXPECT TO EAT TURKEY ON THANKSGIVING!
GIRL: I’m vegetarian, not vegan! They will have turkey! The butcher said–
GIRL: I HAVE AN OVEN BAG!
MOM: GO HOME!!! GO HOME RIGHT NOW AND FIX THIS!
If you have a mom who used to/currently hosts Thanksgiving and you are hosting Thanksgiving, this probably sounds familiar. Thanksgiving was my mom’s jam and if she was going to do up the whole damn shebang from (literally) soup to nuts, for anywhere from 25-693 people then so must we all. It was a big production. Like several god damn days worth of producing.
I did not like Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong– I loved the food. I just didn’t love the lead up.
Polish the damn silver!
Get the good dishes out!
Get the leaf for the table!
Get another leaf for the table!
Peel 286 potatoes and then peel 925 more BECAUSE WE NEED ALL THE POTATOES!
Cut 837 celery stalks!
CLEAN, MOTHER ‘EFFERS, CLEAN!
Set the table!
Now set the table with the knives ON THE CORRECT SIDE!
Get the serving dishes!
DO NOT TOUCH THE DISHES!
Stash 83 pies in the laundry room! NO ONE TOUCH THE DAMN PIES! Don’t even look at the pies!
ARE YOU WATCHING A PARADE??? REALLY? TODAY OF ALL GOD DAMN DAYS????
It was madness! Madness, I tell you! My mom did all the food! There was no “bring a dish to share.” There was no order up some pies from Costco. THERE WAS NO COSTCO! If my mom was around for the first Thanksgiving there would be NO MORE THANKSGIVINGS. The pilgrims would have been like, “Well, that sucked. Great food, but holy stress, man! Next year it’s Cracker Barrel.”
And then there were the vegetables and all the apps.That celery wasn’t going to cut itself! My mom had cut all the vegetables by hand. THERE WERE NO PRE-CUT, PRE-WASHED VEGETABLES. (I would have helped, but my parents didn’t let me use sharp objects until I was twenty-seven years old.)
And then there was the turkey. Jesus God let’s talk turkey. The biggest turkey had to be purchased (months? years?) in advance. A giant, frozen ball of giblets and neck bones soon-to-be-shoved full of twenty-eight pounds of stuffing and salmonella. (They also didn’t have the internet and Alton Brown to warn you about pre-stuffing your turkey.)
The turkey was the star of the show, but it was also the biggest asshole. What a freakin’ diva that thing was. Was there ever a turkey shortage in the past 4 decades? Because it felt like just getting one home and into the freezer was a major coup. And then getting it out of the freezer and into the refrigerator for it to properly thaw had to happen at the EXACT RIGHT MOMENT or you’d be eating ice cold bird or worse– Chinese food BECAUSE YOU TOTALLY RUINED THANKSGIVING! Like me! Yes, the thawing the turkey was a big, freakin’ deal. You had to subtract thirty-eight hours from when you wanted it on your table, divide it by nineteen, multiply it by eleven, half it six times, and then add four minutes for every pound of human flesh that would be surrounding your Thanksgiving table.
I asked my mom if they didn’t have fresh turkeys back in the day. I mean, what the hell? Wouldn’t that have alleviated all this stress?“
“EW! That would be like getting your eggs from a farmer! Too god damn fresh!”
I feel you, mom and moms of the 70’s and 80’s. Your lazy Gen X’er children were no good. You had to chop vegetables by hand. You didn’t have Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes to toss in a crockpot with a brick of cream cheese and pretend they were homemade. (As if!) Turns out all that damn silver we had to polish wasn’t even real.
The Thanksgiving nonsense is behind my mom. Now she’s an armchair sous chef, riddled with anxiety at the thought of fresh turkeys baking in oven bags for two hours and potluck dinner parties.
“Not my circus, not my monkeys,” she told me.
But don’t feel bad for my mom. She may have baked her own pie crusts and shelled almonds by hand, but did she ever split her pants halfway through dinner? Nope. Did I? Yep. I am a Thanksgiving cliche. Ripped ’em somewhere between green bean casserole and Butterfinger Brownie Cupcake.
Don’t ever feel bad for a vegetarian on Thanksgiving.
I have less taste buds and muscle mass, but I also have way less shits to give about things I used to care about. Or rather “things I didn’t care about but cared about people knowing I didn’t care about them.”
I know, right?
Let me tell you, getting old is great, but apathy is liberating! Why haven’t I tried this before? While some people are busy cultivating a stupid bucket list, I’ve been pecking away at my F*ck It list. Go ahead and judge. Seriously. I no longer care about your judgement!
I now present to you:
Shelly Mazzanoble’s Official F*CK IT LIST:
The Mediocre Outdoors
I didn’t move to the Pacific Northwest for the hiking, skiing, or five active volcanoes. The first time my friend Dan and I tried this “hiking” thing so many of my friends were fond of, we headed to Mount Rainier (where all beginners go for their first hike) and devoured two footlong Subway sandwiches, seven pounds of trail mix, four power bars, and a gallon of Gatorade before we completed one loop of the parking lot. We seriously spent more time debating banana peppers with the Subway Sandwich Artist than exploring the majestic wonder of the PNW.
This is sacrilege, people. Like a real, big affront to the Teva-wearing, tent pitching, fly-fishing men and women who surround me. It’s offensive. Like wearing mesh panel convertible pants to a wedding. I mean, who does that? Oh, I don’t know– maybe EIGHT PEOPLE AT MY WEDDING!)
I adore a good, cold day drink on a nice, covered patio. But I also like going home– to sleep. In my Heavenly Bed. And eat my perishable food that has been kept cool in my dual cool zoned refrigerator while sitting in front of a fully-charged electronic device. When it comes to the great outdoors I’m definitely less Bear Grylls and more Naked and Afraid. (Only not naked because I also love wearing clothes. Especially ones that don’t sound like a cacophony of 7,492 shushing librarians when I walk.)
Suck It, Adventure
There was a time when it felt like my duty to throw myself out of an airplane or take a spin on that stupid roller coaster atop of the Stratosphere casino in Vegas, or even want to go to Vegas, but I’m over it. There’s plenty of ways to enjoy myself that don’t involve a 30-page waiver and a camel-toe inducing harness.
On vacation in Australia my more adventurous friends wanted to go white water rafting. I agreed because I liked the sound of stories that began with, “That time I went white water rafting in Australia…” (Non-adventurous people still like sounding adventurous.)
The night before, it rained like the wrath of 1,000 pissing horses. So much rain we thought our trip would be canceled because surely the entire continent would be untethered from its island roots and float even further down under. But alas…turns out lots of rain only meant lots of water and lots of water meant gushing, surging roaring death traps, which apparently some people are into. Our Class 2 introductory rapids just got promoted to Class 837.
I was a hot, bloody mess the whole damn time. I’m surprised they didn’t just find a nice, muddy bank to pull over to and leave me to the yellow-bellied sea snakes. I mean, I wasn’t helping. In fact, I was actively not helping because “helping” required you to keep one butt cheek on the edge of a very slippery raft and the other butt cheek dangling inches over the angry rapids. Umm, no. My butt cheeks were planted in the middle of the boat, which kind of screwed things up for the rest of the passengers. The guide kept yelling at me to GET UP AND PADDLE, but I pretended I couldn’t hear him what with those roaring rapids in my ears. Was that even English he was speaking? Hard to tell. And get this! Everyone else was having a blast! Even the kid who broke his collarbone was having a grand ol’ time as paramedics belayed him up a cliffside. (I was so jealous of that guy.)
When it was finally over, the tour group took us to a bar to get us drunk enough to buy the commemorative photo package. When I went back to the bar for my sixth attempt to block out the day’s events, the photographer grabbed me by the shoulders and screamed in my face.
“YOU!” she yelled. “YOU WERE WONDERFUL!”
“What the hell?”
“Your face!” she screamed. “So expressive! I could have shot you all day.”
MY FACE??? My face that was expressing horror and terror and impending death was f’ing wonderful? YOU WERE STEALING THE SOUL OF A WOMAN RIGHT OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE GRIM REAPER! How dare you exploit my pain and suffering for your profit AND YES I WILL BUY THE WHOLE PACKAGE!
Upside Down You Ain’t Turning Me
I’m with you kids from Stranger Things. I ain’t going near the Upside Down. I don’t like somersaults, headstands, hanging by my feet and most of all any activity where vomiting is a probable side effect. I always take Dramamine if I’m approaching anything resembling water. I don’t eat adventurous food (unless you consider a salad bar adventurous and then screw it. I’m all over it.) And you will never find me on a cruise because HELLO! Come on up to the Lido Deck for your complimentary norovirus RIGHT F’ING HERE.
You know where else you won’t find me? Casually licking the cotton candy from my fingers as I wait my turn to ride the SCREAMING RAPTOR FLAMING GATOR DOOM DEATH FIRE COASTER. Oh hells no. Those days are over. Or rather day because it only happened once. It was Darian Lake 1988. I skipped school with my brother and his friends to spend the day at the amusement park. Somehow my brother convinced me to ride an upside down coaster. Now, I love a good roller coaster. Fast, wooden, rickety, side-ways tilted, neck jostling. But I do not appreciate being flung around in a loop-the-loop. Know what your life looks like as it passes before you? It looks upside down.
Somehow I survived, but I was clearly confused and suffering a rare form of Stockholm Syndrome towards The Viper. I went on the damn thing again. Ugh! And that was the last time ever. The only corkscrews I enjoy these are the ones that unplug my favorite Trader Joe’s tempranilo.
HELLicopters: The Devil’s Transport
Basically if I lived in Adventure Bay and needed to get out of a jam, Skye would be the last member of the Paw Patrol I’d want saving my ass. Look, Skye, it’s not because you’re a squeaky voiced, goofy-grinned, talking dog. It’s your prefered method of transportation. I don’t do helicopters. Not even hot pink ones. Just go get Rocky or Zuma or even Mayor Goodway, ‘k?
Helicopters are like super drunk people who can’t walk a straight line and need to lean on telephone poles and other drunk people to stay upright. There’s no good reason (other than aero-mechanics–but, whatevs!) why they should stay airborne.
We went to Hawaii for a babymoon and thought it would be fun to do a helicopter tour. Why look at a waterfall from the ground when you can soar through the mist 4,000 feet above? And because we were stupid jackasses with terrible judgement (see: BABYMOON) we chose the doorless option.
First shitty thing to happen was having our weight WRITTEN DOWN ON AN INDEX CARD and propped up on the instrument panel so the pilot could tell the bloated, insecure pregnant chick when to shift her burgeoning weight to her left ass cheek. You see, weight distribution matters on a helicopter because they’re assholes. I’m pretty sure Marlene from Columbus, OH didn’t want me to know she weighed 183 pounds and I sure as hell didn’t want her to know I was a pregnant stress eater. Also, doesn’t the pilot need to actually read those instruments he so carelessly covered up? How am I supposed to trust this guy? And how did I gain 8 pounds before the end of my first trimester?
I treated my first and only chopper ride much like how I treat snorkeling: DON’T LOOK DOWN DON’T LOOK DOWN DON’T LOOK DOWN! Who cares if that’s where all the good stuff is?
Clowns, Chainsaw, and the Houses They Live in
Aw piss off, carnival haunted houses and the seasonal lunatics who work there! They couldn’t have considered Cinnabon or a Dick’s Sporting Goods as a viable career alternative? If I wanted to pay money for people smeared in novelty make-up and tattered pants to yell in my face, my son would have his own PayPal account.
A few friends and I thought it would be fun to visit a haunted house sponsored by the worst radio station in the county. That should have been our first clue. The second clue should have been the sounds of people literally shitting themselves from inside, but nope. Still thought I could totally handle it! Spoiler alert: I couldn’t. I’m a chicken shit. I yelled like an awkward, overdramatic B-movie queen understudy who was a stellar method actor.
Know what happens when asshole carnies hear fear? It makes them hot and sweaty. They want more. Out come the clown pants wearing maniac revving the chainsaw in your face. Out come the cold spaghetti on the back of your neck. Out come the zombie surgeons and throat-slit starlets and decapitated doll heads with their bleary stares. These schulbs make it their minimum-wage mission to hunt you down, corner you in a cobwebby corner and breath in your ear. F’ing assholes jerks. Not today, Chuckie! Nobody puts this baby in a corner!
Tanning My Hide
Back in my impressionable teenager days, the most important thing you could bring home from vacation was a suntan. The quest started before you even went on vacation.
Step 1: Purchase a package from a tanning booth and stop there on the way home from school every single day for the 32 days leading up to vacation.
Step 2: Once you built your base tan, sit in the sun every single day from 8:30-5:30 until you look like a vintage rugby ball.
Step 3: Visit the tanning booth at least 13 more times when you get home to really seal in those UV rays.
It was hugely stressful to make sure you CAME HOME WITH A DEEP, DARK SAVAGE SUNTAN. I had to be the MOST HEAVILY PIGMENTED PERSON IN SCHOOL or I might as well just eat a handful of boogers or say no to alcohol at the homecoming dance. LOOOOOOOOOOSER!
Now fast forward a handful of decades later when the effects of Young Shelly’s SPF -40 Floridian Spring Breaks started to surface. Literally.
One day I stumbled into a skin care event at a department store. I was immediately ambushed by a woman in a lab coat.
“Let’s analyze your skin!” she said, pushing my neck into a little white box.
I had some time to kill and she was wearing a lab coat so I let her.
Inside the box was a little, mirrored device that transported me to the 10th level of hell. Clearly I had been here before because the face I saw reflected was the love child of Carol Channing and a cat’s anus.
“WHO’S FACE IS THIS?” I shouted at the woman in the labcoat.
“That’s you, sweetie!”
“But what are those around my eyes?” I screamed
“Crow’s feet,” she said.
“EEK! What are those holes?”
“Those are your pores. Gnarly, right?.”
Curse you, young Shelly and your stupid tan accelerator! (And curse you, Lab Coat Valley Girl!) Young Shelly left me with this crepey, discolored, freckled swath of skin that was going to turn to dust and fall off my bones the next time it rained.
Nowadays when I go near the sun I lather up the SPF. If I see the beginning of a tan line or a new freckle I immediately run indoors and repent. Do you know how hard it is to return from a South Florida vacation even whiter than how you left? Hard.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Where I Shall Sit on My Ass
Get behind me, gym class! I ain’t playing you no more! Softball was the bane of my school-age existence. I would immediately develop a stomach cramp and hives on days we were forced to play ball, which still wasn’t enough to get me out of class. I can’t hit. I can’t catch. I can’t throw in a straight line unless I turn my body 45 degrees. I’m that uncoordinated.
I tried to be on a team when I was 10 and the only time I got on base was when I deliberately walked into a pitch hoping it would end my career. Turns out I didn’t need to be that dramatic. My parents were very supportive of my decision to hang up the cleats and spend the rest of my summer watching soap operas and making macrame plant holders. Watching their daughter suffer through a sporting activity was worse than watching her intentionally get hit with a softball.
I Like Bad Taste and I Cannot Lie
I’m a devoted member of Bachelor Nation. I follow every Housewife on Twitter. I’ve been known to cry watching Say Yes to the Dress. But did you know I have terrible taste in music too? It’s true!
The other day at work I was listening to a random Spotify playlist and this amazing song came on. I checked who the artist was and was pleasantly delighted!
“Hey!” I shouted, forgetting I had headphones on. “I like Selena Gomez!”
“Stop talking,” my co-worker said. “Stop it right now.”
Gentle co-worker, I’m 184 years-old. I DON’T CARE! This Selena girl is going places!
I like boy bands. I still seek out that MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmBop Hanson song at least once a week. And thanks to the movie, Sing, Quinn and I have almost daily dance parties featuring Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepson. Why didn’t I ever appreciate the genius of “Call Me Maybe”? It’s brilliant!
I dance like nobody’s watching and sing like… an asshole. But I also love like I just don’t give a damn and live like a liberated mother f’ing who just happens to be listening to the Backstreet Boys. Seriously, it’s amazing. You should totally try getting old.
While visiting family in the Chicago suburbs, Quinn’s Great Uncle Mike handed him a silver dollar. Quinn thought that was super cool. He’s starting to understand money. You get it, you trade it for cheap plastic toys, repeat.
Later at the hotel, we were all chilling on the king sized bed eating Chex Mix and watching Beach House Bargain, when Quinn started squirming.
“What are you doing, buds?” I asked.
“Trying to get my money out,” he answered.
“Out of where?” I asked like a stupid, dumb, moron mother. I mean, duh, Mom. Out of where do you think an almost 4 year-old stashes his money?
“Out of my butt,” he said.
Oh for f*ck’s sake, I thought. It’s finally happened. Sticks and stones and broken bones and coinage stuck in a pooter. Some kids stick marbles in their noses, some kids swallow magnets, of course mine is going to treat his butt like an ATM.
“What the hell, kid?” I asked, trying to remain calm. We were in the Chicago suburbs. There had to be what? 8? 9? 362 urgent care centers around us? Someone within a 2 mile radius will be way more equipped at digging coinage out of my son’s butt, right? (EDITOR’S NOTE: Jesus, woman, did you just say that?! Your kid will be a teenager one day! THE INTERNET IS FOREVER!)
More equipped like perhaps my life parter and baby daddy who was laying 2.6 inches away from his son’s currency-filled crack. But yeah, its hard to be able-bodied when you’re face-down in a dirty hotel pillowcase laughing your ass off. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Ass? Really? Because this is a story about butts? Lame joke, honey! You’re better than that! We’re better than that!)
“What money did you put in your butt, dear child?” I asked. “Or rather, who’s? Because stealing ain’t cool and even less cool is stealing and then hiding the goods in a sacred orifice.” Again, super calm because there was no need to get the child worked up and tense. Tense would be about the worst thing to happen here. Tense is what’s going to happen at the Urgent Care center. We don’t need tense right now.
“The money Uncle Mike gave me,” he answered with all the nonchalance of someone answering the question, “Where do you keep the Vaseline and tweezers?”
Oh, sweet relief! Okay. A silver dollar, you say? I admit, I’m not the most spatially gifted girl. If you ask me the distance between my home and Trader Joe’s, I would tell you 13 miles (EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s .04 miles) or how tall Quinn is I might guess maybe 2 and a half feet (EDITOR’S NOTE: Or 3.6 feet. But what’s an entire foot when talking about your child’s physical appearance.) But even I could ascertain (EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh good lord. How long has it been since you wrote a freakin’ blog post. ASCERTAIN? Because it sounds like “ass?” It’s not even spelled like that!) that a silver dollar could not fit into an almost four year-old’s…well, I don’t need to paint you a picture. But OMG, what if I did? What a horrible picture! (EDITOR’S NOTE: MOVE ON!)
So I helped Quinn out of his PJ’s, shook him a bit (EDITOR’S NOTE: You can’t shake babies, dummy! Use a different word!) Umm…okay so I jostled him a titch? And wouldn’t you know it, there dropped the silver dollar! Jackpotty! (EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, jackpotty is actually pretty funny.)
“Disgusting!” Bart yelled, muffled because he was still guffawing into his pillow.
“Honey Bear,” I started, again in my calm mommy voice. “Please don’t put money anywhere near your butt. That could have been scary.”
“But why?” He asked.
“Because money is dirty. And if anything gets stuck inside your body, we’d have to go to a doctor to have it removed. And that might not feel too good.”
He looked appropriately repentant which pleased me. Got to grab those teachable moments when they jump in front of you and down your kid’s Thomas the Train pajamas.
And then he said, “Smell it.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Smell my butt coin!”
“OMG, no. This was a TEACHABLE GOD DAMN MOMENT! I’m not smelling your butt coin!
“No, baby bear I will not. Not ever.”
“SMELL MY BUTT COIN!”
“Please leave me alone, thank you.”
“Jesus Christ on a cracker, GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!”
“Mommy, smell it!!!!”
I jumped from sleeper sofa to bed to desk to shower stall back to bed to hallway to sleeper sofa and back again trying to shake the little loot tooter. But he was buoyed by his love of butts, poop, farts, being disgusting, and his dad’s encouraging hysterics so he was relentless.
“I’M YOUR MOTHER!” I yelled. “YOU DON’T TREAT MOTHERS LIKE THIS!”
In our house we have a saying. “Moms are for snuggles. Dads are for farts.” What was happening here was not normal.
“SMELL IT. SMELL IT NOW!”
“Make your dad smell it!” I shouted. “GIVE DADDY YOUR BUTT COIN!”
I…I…I don’t know what else to say. I can’t explain. I said that– no I yelled that. I know our neighbors must have heard it. Give daddy your butt coin.Go on, sweetie.Give daddy your butt coin so he can get you a Pepsi and some M&Ms. (EDITOR’S NOTE: How much are butt coins worth???? In a hotel vending machine that order is at least $4.75) Or If you can’t take care of your things you need to give Daddy your butt coin right now!
I know you want to know how this situation was resolved. My god you read this far you deserve to know the ending. I didn’t smell the butt coin, but I took possession of it. What choice did I have? I yanked it out of is gross, little hands and ran to the bathroom with it where I scrubbed it down with Marriott branded body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Then I hid it in Bart’s toiletry bag.
“Aw, Mom!” Quinn pleaded. “I need it! Give me back my butt coin.”
“Sorry, kid,” I said, pouring hand sanitizer on his arms, neck, torso and face. “Your money is no good here.”
“Mommy, snuggle me.”
And just like that my baby was back. Mommy’s are for snuggles. Wow, I guess butt coin was a short phase. I kind of expected it to last a little longer. Sugar and spice and butt coins and lice.
I grabbed my soft, gentle, little sweetness and cozied up to him and about 8,945 filthy bedbugs on our king size hotel comforter.