Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It’s Official: My Life is a Comic Book

I don’t think any appliance in our home was spared this year.  Well, the fridge, but the year is still young.  One thing or another had to be repaired or replaced all year long. 

Then today as I was about to leave the house, I heard a weird noise.  It sounded like water flowing.  But there was also a humming.  I checked the toilets.  Nothing.  I unplugged the washer and dryer.  Nothing.  I went to the bedroom and unplugged the TV, but I noticed I didn’t hear the noise that much.  It was loudest by the kitchen door.  I checked the fridge.  Nothing.  I turned off the switch for the computer and its accessories.  Nothing.  I went outside and again noticed that the sound was minimized.

My first instinct was to drive away, in the event that if the house explodes, I’m nowhere close by.  But that plan seemed very short term, so I rechecked the appliances and electronics.  Nothing.  Realizing that this was above my pay grade, I called my husband and tried to explain what was occurring.  In describing the symptoms, I apparently was not succinct.  He calmly let me know that if I can’t explain to him what I was hearing, he won’t be able to diagnose the problem.  I was thinking that I had never heard this sound before.  I was thinking that I am possibly in trouble.  I wanted to shout, “Dude, this is your department!  You should know what the heck is going on!”  But this is the new and improved Myra, so I said calmly, “I know I hear water running.  I know I hear a noise, but I just cannot figure out the issue.”

He told me to turn off the main breakers.  Several years ago I managed to get over my fear of flying, but fire and electricity, not so much.  I quickly flipped the switches and waited for further instructions from him.  Next thing I know, the phone went dead.  I thought to myself, “Dammit, didn’t Verizon just fix this phone last week?  Shoot.”  I went over to use the neighbors' phone because of course I haven’t seen my cell in about a week.  The husband was outside with his cell.  I borrowed it, but in my panic, I could not figure out my husband’s number.  I told my neighbor that I heard a weird noise in the house and if he could come and check it out with me.  By the way, only as I write this, I realize that the phone went dead because I turned the breakers off, but let me proceed.

I tried to turn back on the main breakers, but boy was that difficult.  He tried and finally got them on.  We went inside, and of course I didn’t hear the noise.  Then I heard another weird noise.  I knew where that was coming from.  The stupid aquarium was now buzzing.  We found the button and turned it off.  And by we, I mean he because the only button I found was the light switch.  I was still not working on a full cylinder; plus I hadn’t really looked at that aquarium in a long while.  We now have turtles which totally repulse me.

He observed that the water was low, and the pump was sucking on air.  My husband called at that moment, and I assured him that I was fine, and that it was the aquarium.  I was about to feel really silly when we both got to the door and I heard that noise again.  I said to my neighbor, “That’s the noise.”  I called my husband back and said, "It’s not the aquarium.  He thinks it’s the water heater downstairs.”

We went outside and down the crawl space.  Using his cell phone light, he checked the heaters.  I found the light switch and turned it on.  We observed that it was leaking.  He suggested that I turned it off.  Then he said, “Wait, water is leaking on the wires.  You are going to have to call someone.  But it seems like some kind of automatic switch came on when it started leaking.”  He probably then said, “Go turn off the main breakers again before we touch anything”.  But I heard, “GO TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKERS NOW BEFORE THE WHOLE PLACE BLOWS!”

I darted to the garage and turned the breakers off.  I was so relieved that I made it in time before the big explosion that I physically felt my heart continue beating again.   In my mind, that someone that I had to call was the electric company or the fire department, so when I heard the doorbell ring, I couldn’t believe help came so quickly before I even called.  I figured that automatic switchy thing he mentioned worked a lot better than I thought. 

I opened the front door, and I gather that a range of expressions flooded my face because the next thing I know my Jehovah’s Witnesses point person and her colleague were asking me if I was okay.  I tried to motion to them that I was fine, but going through something at the moment.  I was still so stricken that I couldn’t talk.  They kept asking if I was okay.  I put my hand up to say wait and nodded.  They were not convinced that all was well, so they asked if it was the kids.  I repeated the gesture.  Then finally I said that my water heater was leaking, and I had to turn off the main breakers quickly since the water was running on the wires.

My Jehovah’s Witnesses point person explained that she understands how it is with those things, but before she leaves me to handle it, she just has these brochures to leave and she will see me another time.  Like any top-notch salesperson, she was not leaving without giving her wares to her prospect.  She gave me a hug. (Yeah, my Jehovah’s Witnesses point person and I have become good friends over the past seven years even though I still haven’t visited her hall.)  Then she told me to say hi to the kids and left.

That should have given me a clue that up to this point, my actions were a little over the top, but it has dawned on me that when a person has a major fear, rationality is not the first thing on her mind.  I went back to the crawl space where my neighbor finally turned off the valve so the water could stop leaking.  Using the light on his cell, he searched for the buttons.  However at the time, I had not returned to my senses and thought the light I saw was a sparkle or something.  I kept calling him and saying shakily, “I wouldn’t go under there alone.  I’m staying up here.”  But he ignored me and did what needed to be done.  Truth be told, being neighborly or not, if shit had hit the fan, I was leaving his ass down there and running for the hills.

My neighbor and I returned to the garage.  He turned off the buttons affiliated with the crawl space and water heater and then put back on the main breakers.  I called my husband and asked the neighbor to explain to him what he did, because God knows, that is so not my expertise.  Then my husband said to me, “Do you know that I had already turned everything off in the crawl space before I left?  I wouldn’t have left it like that.  You weren’t in any danger.”  

I was thinking he didn’t tell me that; but between you and me, even if he had, I still would have reacted in the same frantic way.  Instead I said, “Do you think you can come home tomorrow?”  He said “For what?  Everything is fine now.”  I replied in my mind, “I don’t know, just to hold me.”

I swear I could not live without that man.  Sure, my input in this relationship is vital, but the things that he does that I can’t do are lifesaving.  Any time he is not around and something goes awry, I am totally helpless.

For instance, last year summer, the kids and I were enjoying a Sunday afternoon when we went outside and noticed a crow trapped in some loose strings on a crocus bag.  I looked at my kids.  I don’t care if they are 9 and 10.  I don’t discriminate.  They looked at me, and I know they were thinking, “Lady, you are so on your own”.  I took up the bag and realized this would be no easy task.  With so many strings around the bird’s leg I had to do something because every time the poor thing tried to walk or fly, it got dragged back down by the heavy bag.  I asked one of my sons to go over to the neighbor and ask him if he can help us.  His son returned and said his dad wasn’t home, but his brother was, but he was showering to go to work.

I wasn’t going to ask the entire neighborhood, so I found some courage.  I said to myself:  Okay.  I will get some scissors and cut the strings from around the bird’s leg.  However, every time I picked up the bag, the bird flapped its wings which threw me off, causing me to drop the bag.  On my third attempt, I started cutting until I saw something red.  Not being able to see exactly where strings ended and where leg started, I had cut into the bird. 

At this point, I dropped everything, ran off, wrung my hands and was on the verge of tears.  I wondered if I could cut without looking at the blood or the bird’s leg, but that was impossible.  The neighbor’s son squealed, “MYRA!  YOU CUT THE BIRD!”  At this point, I’m thinking he’s useless, and I don’t need a commentator.  I asked, “Are you going to do it?”  When he said no, I responded, “Then please don’t tell me the obvious.  Do you think I wanted to cut its leg?  Don’t you think I don’t feel badly about that?”

Looking over at all this spectacle was the next door neighbor’s boyfriend on the patio smoking.  He came over like some Western hero with cigarette in mouth.  Carefully and effortlessly, he undid the strings and let the bird loose. 

When my kids and I saw the ill-fated creature hopping on one leg and trying to fly with one wounded wing, as badly as we felt, we couldn’t stop laughing.  And it didn’t take long before every time we saw a crow someone would joke that I killed its relative.

I know I appear like a complete dimwit, but I promise you, perspectively speaking, I fall somewhere between that and genius.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just Tell Her, Already!

I know of women who get depressed, threaten to leave, actually leave their men because these men cannot find it within themselves to tell their women that they love them.  But it’s not just saying it and meaning it; it is also showing it.  People break up for all sorts of reasons, and apparently, not feeling appreciated is one of them.

Recently, I watched an old Oprah episode and this poor woman was beside herself because she didn’t feel loved by her husband.  Through tears, she explained that she had to remind him to bring flowers when she gave birth to their twins.  She complained that she has to remind him of every birthday, anniversary and Valentine’s Day.  Then she cried even more from the pain of knowing that he only does anything when she reminds him. 

The man in me thinks, “Seriously, she is crying for flowers!”  When I gave birth to my twins, flowers were the last thing on my mind.  After I recovered from my C-section, I just wanted to pass my first gas, get some food, get dressed and get the hell out of Dodge.  After being on bed rest for months, I was tore up from the floor up.  I just wanted to go home and get back into my skinny jeans and feel like myself again.  Flowers?  Please.

But the woman in me thinks, “Seriously, dude!  After this woman has picked up, washed, folded and put away your drawers; after she has made sure your dinner is always ready; after she has provided a clean house for you, the least you can do is tell her what she wants to hear when she wants to hear it.  I mean, is it gonna kill you to just tell her?”

Then the guy in me thinks again, “Valentine’s Day?  You are bitching about Valentine’s Day?”  That is a made up holiday to get consumers to part with their money.  And everyone knows I’m not falling for that!  Plus, it’s your birthday and anniversary.  You remember and celebrate them; he doesn’t.  Sure it will hurt the first three or four times, but by the fifth time, you go out alone, do something special for yourself and buy something exquisite.  Trust me;  after a while, he won’t forget.  In fact, not only will he remember, but he will surely get you something cheaper to stop you from spending too much money.

But then the woman in me thinks, wouldn’t it be nice to be surprised on your special day?  Wouldn’t it be nice to spend that day with the person you love the most in the world?  Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a special gift without prompting anyone?

Look I’ve been in my relationship for a long time, so I know what it was like in the beginning getting my guy to romance me like those heroines in Harlequin.  Truthfully, it doesn’t work.  After all, most young men do not want to appear whipped whether in public or private.  I get that now.  What I don’t get is a grown ass man who has been with a woman, married or not, for years and still has the nerve to say that he’s not romantic or he’s uncomfortable being mushy.  I don’t think any reasonable woman is looking for candle light dinners every night.  All she wants is a compliment here and there.  A special look now and then.  A hug once in a while.  She just wants to feel loved.  In fact, if you do it right, you don’t have to say anything.

Instead, some men choose to be stubborn about that little matter.  It really isn’t brain surgery.  If a man can’t or won’t show love to his woman, she will think one thing and one thing only.  HE DOES NOT LOVE ME.  Once that happens, she will do one of two things: stay miserable in the relationship or leave for another man.  And of course, she will make a point of letting the world know that it wasn’t about sex…….at first.

Many of you have figured out by now that I’m quite practical.  So if my husband is putting up with my crap and hasn’t left as yet, chances are he still loves me; and I will assume that until told otherwise.  And since I’m not a big woman, if I ask, “Does this make my butt look big?” I expect to hear, “YES!”  But whereas it takes a lot to offend me, and whereas I am pretty flexible, typically, women thrive on hearing those special words, feeling those tender sentiments. 

And really, at the end of the day, it is all about compromise.  I don’t particularly like to cook; but my husband has to eat.  Yes, when I was younger and more hardheaded I used to act out whenever I had to cook and wasn’t in the mood.  Now I look forward to cooking for him.  It gives me great pleasure to have him come home to a hot meal.  Why?  Because I’m doing something wonderful for someone that I love.  And in a relationship it cannot always be about one person’s needs.

Look, let’s keep it real.  This is 2012, and we are all adults here.  Well, if you are reading this and you are not fully grown, what the heck, keep on reading.  It’s best to know what the deal is sooner than later.  Women compromise all the time.  The truth is, and I’m speaking for the majority of women, it’s not that we don’t like sex as much as men.  It’s just that when our heads hit the pillows, one million things are on our minds, and sex is one million and one.  We are thinking about what we have to do tomorrow, what we are going to cook, what we have to do for the kids, the chores we need to complete; the list goes on and on.  But what do most women do?  Find a way to put that at the back of their heads and be there for their husbands.  So men have got to put insecurities, false pride, or what other stumbling blocks are in the way and just do the right thing because perspectively speaking, women get married for love and men get married for the loving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It’s Okay to Need Him

Every time I greet a young family member or friend, my first usually question is, “How is school?”  No matter how young the child is, I generally follow with, “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”  I often hear, “I don’t have one.”  To which I then reply, “That’s a weird name.”  But it always puts a smile on the child’s face and a frown on the adult’s face.  The adult tends to say, “S/he is too young for that.”  Or I would hear, “What nonsense are you asking the child?”  And I usually want to sneeze, “Bullshit.”  But I mostly respond with, “Don’t act like you were never young.”

Unless it’s just me, I always had a crush on somebody as a schoolgirl.  And as an adult, I have no problem with kids having their innocent relationships.  Seriously, what are the average 10 years olds going to do, but giggle when they see the person they like?  And if they are brave enough to become boyfriend and girlfriend, the most they will do is hold hands.  (If you know your child is loose, then please don’t try this at home.) So that is why I’m always tickled when a child actually admits to having a boyfriend or girlfriend.

It shows that this child is beginning to figure out what s/he wants in a mate.  And really that is not a bad thing.  Chances are, she would not be the woman at 35 that her parents keep asking, “When are you going to start dating?”  He would not be the guy at 30 who keeps falling for the wrong woman because he is not used to the fairer sex. 

The other day I was assessing my relationship (because that’s what I do), and I thought to myself how lucky I am to have someone like my husband in my life.  Then I reassessed (because that’s what I also do) and realized that luck was indeed a part of it, but making good decisions played a bigger part.

At 13, I had already learned that if I kept running and hiding from the guy I liked because I was too shy to speak to him in person, I would never get to know him.

By 15, I figured out that if I my instincts told me not to trust a guy it was because he wasn’t trustworthy.

At 17, I knew for sure that if I was afraid to be myself around my boyfriend in case he wouldn’t like the real me, then he wasn’t the guy for me.

So by 19, when I had so much fun hanging out with the guy I was dating, when I trusted him completely, when I could be myself with him, when I regarded him as my best friend but still had feelings for him, I figured to myself, let’s see where this is going.  I didn’t push.  I didn’t pressure.  I just went with the flow.  And 24 years later, things seem to still be going in the right direction.

Last weekend when I watched Iyanla, Fix My Life, she worked with 300 single women who were having a hard time finding and/or keeping a man.  I was thoroughly amazed that women in 2012 had so many common ‘men issues’: 
-         My daddy wasn’t around, so I don’t trust men.
-         He is intimidated by the amount of money I make.
-         I have body issues, so I’m afraid to get close to anyone.
-         He is not tall enough, rich enough, old enough, young enough.
-         I had been told all my life that I don’t need a man to take care of me.

I get the feeling that some of these women were the same little girls who got offended when another adult asked if they had a boyfriend.  I get the feeling that some of these women have been told for so many years that they don’t need a boyfriend.  I get the feeling that these women probably didn’t even have guy friends so have no idea how men think.  And I know for sure that Harlequin and his friends are to be blamed for putting so many unrealistic images in their minds.

Let’s just get the record straight.  I need a man!  Not to validate me, but because it is physiological.  Plus, who is going to throw out the garbage, lift the heavy stuff and change the oil in my car?  Luckily, the same person who is going to lotion my back, rub my aching feet, surprise me with Ducuna, salt fish and chop chop (Google it) and keep me warm at nights.  There is nothing wrong with needing someone.  We all need someone.  It doesn’t mean that you are vulnerable.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it by yourself.  It doesn’t mean that if you will get hurt.  It just means that you are normal, alive and well.

Most of the women on the show remind me of my kids learning Algebra.  They always worry about the answer, the end result.  It doesn’t matter how carefully they follow the steps, they become unsure about the outcome.  It doesn’t matter how many exercises they practice, when the real problems come, they forget all the basics and panic. 

Ladies, we just need to relax, take a deep breath and see where things go.  If you are having fun with the guy, then proceed.  If you are not and being around him seems to be a chore, free yourself up to have fun with someone else.  It’s really not that difficult. 

And don’t be so picky.  I know everyone wants tall, dark and handsome (ok, most of us) and although no one ever daydreams of short, fat and ugly; sometimes that is where happiness lies. 

Women tend to overanalyze too much.  They forget that in some ways, men and women are the same.  Men are afraid of getting hurt too.  Men have self-esteem issues too.  Men have trust issues too.  The difference is that when men get hurt, when they are betrayed, when they feel disrespected, they don’t roll up in a ball and cry themselves to sleep for the rest of their lives.  They shake it off and seek love again.  They don’t give up on love, on women and on life.

I realize that some of this is generalized but, perspectively speaking, I have never met a man who hangs out with his buddies and rebuffs women repeatedly because he is convinced that he doesn’t need a woman.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

You’d Be Cynical Too

It’s no secret that I’m a major political buff.  I cannot even remember any time in my life when I wasn’t fascinated with the subject. It’s also no secret that I’m a major Obama supporter and a huge Liberal. 

I am aware that during a campaign candidates veer to the left or right but once they have secured the nominations or are ready to govern, they slide to the middle.  I get it.  It’s part of the political nature.  And I can tolerate a bit of pandering too.  I mean, why go to New York and pledge to expand the coal industry?  Doesn’t make sense.  You gotta customize.  I’m not na├»ve.  I get it.  And sometimes one has to step on the toes of one’s base and appeal to the moderates to get by.

But seeing Mitt Romney in these past three debates was stunning.  We know he’s a flip flopper.  We know he’ll lie to anyone’s face and try to convince people that they are the crazy ones and that the lies he is telling is just their imagination.  But to hear the Republican pundits and strategists spin it all was utterly amazing.  Saying that his principles and character can take a backseat because that is the nature of the game was downright terrifying.

Then hearing even Obama’s supporters saying after the third debate that Romney did what he was supposed to do was mind-boggling.  “He was supposed to not make any flubs.”  “Just being on the same stage with Obama made him look presidential.”  Who are they kidding?  Mitt agreed with just about everything Obama said.  He randomly threw in the African nation of Mali without any rhyme or reason, to prove that he knows world politics. He thought that Syria and Iran share a border.  He stumbled.  He stammered.  He evaded.  He told the moderator to look up an answer on his website when thrown a tough question.  In other words, “I’m not telling you anything I don’t want to talk about.”  He was sweating.  He was grinning inappropriately, and they thought he came through unscathed?

He changed all his positions from years ago, months ago, weeks ago, days ago, heck minutes ago, and people thought he did fine virtue of the fact that he was sitting at the same table with the President.  Well hello!  It’s a debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, where the hell did they expect Mitt Romney to be?  Under the table in a fetal position!!

In the first debate when Obama tried the cool strategy and hoped that the American people would see through Romney’s lies and position changes, he was sacked with looking disengaged and lackluster while Romney looked strong.  Second debate Obama learned his lesson and won hands down.  Most Democrats who admitted that he lost the first debate thought that he won the second.  But the deniers thought it was pretty much a tie because Romney held his own.  It didn’t matter that Obama held his own with substance in the first debate.  It was more about style.

Now after the third debate when Romney got another shalacking from Obama, supposedly reasonable-minded people were instigating that Obama was too aggressive.  Rules change because the incumbent has to look like he’s in charge, and if he doesn’t he is weak.  If the challenger doesn’t look like he’s in charge he doesn’t look weak; he gets points just for showing up.

The saddest thing about this exchange is that it just makes people cynical about one more thing in society.  Nothing is sacred anymore, and that is why I do not fault some people for not believing in the sanctimony of marriage.  It’s bad enough when Joe down the street has cheated on his wife, and the whole neighborhood finds out, but lately there has been a barrage of celebrities and other public figures having their dirty laundry aired before the entire world.

We found out that Kobe Bryant not only cheated on his young, beautiful wife, but had sex with some random chick who then accused him of rape.  Respectable, funnyman Bill Cosby didn’t seem so upright when his former lover’s daughter attempted to extort millions from him.  Jesse Jackson not only strayed but did so without backup which lead to a lovechild.  And sitting President of the United States, Bill Clinton, could not refuse getting blown in of all places, the Oval Office, by none other than a White House intern.

As much as I abhor cheating, as much I was never a fan of his, if anyone deserves a pass it’s Tiger Woods.  Outed by his 14 mistresses, the world found out why this clean cut individual was really named Tiger.  I have never met another athlete who so many people were ambivalent about; however, I have never met anyone who found golf interesting before he came on the scene.  So let’s forget about that Thanksgiving 2009 incident and give Dude a break because he has not gotten back his mojo, and no one watches golf anymore.

And the next time I see another D-list celebrity asking for 50 cents a day to feed a hungry child, I am gonna scream.  First off, 50 cents a day is not enough to pay for her cut.  Secondly, if she is asking for such a meager amount, wouldn’t it be easier to just ask her celeb friends for $1 million each and then make life better for the whole continent of Africa?  I mean, when they are going to their private parties and spending thousands of dollars on hair and makeup, they don’t invite us.

In my attempt to keep my posts to around 1,000 words, I will save my cynicism on religion for a later date because perspectively speaking, that is a whole nother ballgame.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What if I Were a Republican?

I don’t have any Republican friends (well, not any that will cop to that), but I do have Republican acquaintances.  And that’s fine.  Nobody’s perfect.  We are all entitled to one mega mistake per lifetime. 

Usually when I find out that acquaintances are Republicans, without fail, I always take a pregnant pause.  My first impression usually is, “He seems so normal.”  “She is so rational.”  “How is that possible?”  Then for I a split second or more like several minutes, I picture them listening to and believing the rhetoric of people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  I picture them being unfair, illogical, hateful, racist, bigoted.

But because these people appear amicable, I wonder if peoples’ personalities or traits cause them to be Republican or being Republican causes them to have certain characteristics or attributes.  I mean during small talk, these people and I relate to so many things like family, careers and vacations; they seem so sane.  So it really troubles me to perceive them as having weird political beliefs.  I kid.  I kid.

But seriously, if I were a Republican, would I have a different mindset?  Would I see the world totally differently?  I always think of it as a ‘which comes first, the chicken or the egg’ scenario.  If I were a Republican, would I believe that every child should be entitled to a great public school or believing that every child is entitled to a great public school makes me a Liberal?

If I were a Republican, would I believe that every frigging nut job is entitled to own a boatload of automatic weapons or knowing that the right to bear arms is highly overrated makes me a Liberal?

If I were a Republican, would I believe that the “job creators” are the only ones who can crank up the economy or because I believe that building and maintaining infrastructure will create stateside jobs makes me a Liberal?
If I were a Republican, would I believe that health insurance companies should not prosper from consumers’ ill health and death or would I believe that health insurance companies like any other company is in business solely to profit?  Would it make a difference if a baby needs a life saving innovative procedure but the parents have reached the lifetime limit?

Would I refrain from assisting the poor and elderly with such vehemence but have no trouble giving billions of dollars in tax credits to multi-billion dollar corporations?

Look I’m as liberal as they come. Okay, maybe more.  I believe that as much as I would not have an abortion, I would not inject my personal beliefs and morals on someone who chooses to have one.  Although the idea of using abortion as birth control seems ridiculous to me, I cannot in good conscience tell someone else that under the law, they cannot do that.  Who am I to say that if a woman or girl is raped, whether forcibly or not, that she will be in the right mind to have that child, to raise that child, to have that child be a reminder of what she endured?  Likewise that girl whose baby was conceived in an incestuous rape or that woman whose life is at risk due to a pregnancy and wants to bring that baby to term and vows to love that baby, again, who am I to condemn her?  I refuse to pretend to know someone else’s psyche.

As heterosexual as I am, I have no problem with same sex marriage.  Who am I to tell someone else that the person he is in love with is wrong in my eyes?  That her life is a sin?  Plus, why should heterosexuals alone suffer?  Marriage should be an equal rights suffering opportunity.

After 9/11, I vehemently disagreed with the government for profiling Muslims and others from the Middle East, especially since not everyone from Asia or the Middle East is a Muslim.  Wire tapping ordinary citizens and strip searching airline passengers all in the name of the nation’s security should feel like an infringement to Republicans.  Yet, after 9/11, all of that was quite fine.

To demonstrate how outlandish Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is, check this out.  After the Shoe Bomber’s inept attempt to bring a plane down two months after 9/11, no one was permitted to board a plane without removing his shoes.  After several failed liquid explosives attempt, passengers were again banned from travelling with liquids on their person.  So even if you were seen drinking a can of Coke, you would have to finish it or dispose of it before going on the plane.  And you mothers don’t even think you can bring your babies’ bottles on board.  You better fill their small bellies before you get on that plane.  Force it down their throats if you have to or discard it.  Those are your choices.  I always wondered why no one at the executive level ever recommended that the agents used a little bit of common sense and enforced the rules on a case by case basis.

But another thing I always wondered about is this:  After the Underwear Bomber failed to detonate his bomb, why weren’t we banned from wearing or removing our underwear before boarding flights?

My Republican acquaintances might not have seen me in a different light, had I reveal that I’m a Liberal, but they probably would be taken aback knowing that I actually possess some not so liberal ideas.  Like I truly believe that although it is the government’s job to ensure that its citizens are taken care of in terms of education and wellbeing, everyone should take personal responsibility for himself.  If you are of a certain age, seek employment.  If you keep having babies for different fathers who are unwilling to support you, stop.  If you have children in school, read to them and don’t depend on teachers to do it all.

However, as liberal as I lean in terms of my political and social views, I have always been an independent minded individual, and I tolerate everyone's point of view, even Republicans, no matter how wrong they are - perspectively speaking.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Vote

I vote because I love the democratic process.
I vote because it is empowering.
I vote because it gives me a sense of belonging.
I vote because I love to win. 
I just love it!

Ever since I can remember, I always found politics engaging.  I must have been about four years old when I first got the political bug.  Back then my parents were supporters of the party in power, Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) – the blue party.  Another reason why to this day I love blue and HATE red.  I know.  I know.  Don’t judge me!  I attended political meetings with my parents at a very early age.  Every year we marched on Labour Day in solidarity with our party.  We were just blue to the bones.

When I was finally eligible to vote (the one and only time I ever voted in Antigua), I was one of the first persons in line.  To this day, voting is something I accomplish first thing in the morning.  Nothing comes between me and my ballot.

The idea of proving to my opponents that my side is more right than their side is wrong is invigorating.  Obviously, winning doesn’t necessarily prove that, but it sure gives that ‘stick it to you’ feeling.  And the only reason why I know that winning doesn’t necessarily prove it, is because every time my side loses, I find numerous reasons as to why my side is still right. 

Not only do I love to vote, but I’m truly obsessed with politics.  I love learning about the history behind the politicians, the history behind their policies and the mindset behind their actions.  My TV is never set too far from MSNBC.  I am enthralled by the daily political shenanigans.  I am enthused and appalled by the nonsense some of the extremists exhibit.

Watching TV, arguing with the TV, talking with my kids, debating with my friends - all of this is not enough.  I want to be more involved.  I have convinced a cynical neighbor to register and vote.  I have encouraged and reminded others to vote.  I use political analogies in everything!

So when Obama for America called me a couple of months ago to volunteer, boy was I eager.  Unfortunately the timing was wrong.  Working on a campaign in the evening and leaving my children unattended would be a bit much.  I received another call just a few days ago, but of course my kids are still in the midst of soccer season, and there is no way I’m missing their games.  We settled for me to campaign the day before Election Day.  My job will be to get Democrats out to vote. 

For some reason I noticed I didn’t seem as enthusiastic as I should have.  After all I am given the opportunity to help the President of the United States get elected to a second term.  And not just any president – my favorite president.  One of my biggest inspirations, and God knows I just don’t give any and anyone that title.

Why wasn’t I feeling like I just won the lottery?

Then it hit me.  I used to be in sales.  I used to door knock.  I used to get doors closed in my face, if I was lucky enough to get someone to come to the door.  I used to trek in cold weather to find clients.  And all of that was for my livelihood.

For all the reasons why I love to vote, I cannot comprehend why others do NOT exercise their civic duties.  (Do I have to add that I also LOVE jury duty?)

And I said to myself, as much as I love the Obamas, as much as I love the process, as much as I get nervous on election night, as much as I’m stressed that Mitt Romney might be the 45th President, there is no way I’m about to convince anyone who registered as a Democrat, that taking a few minutes out of their busy schedule to cast a vote is of the utmost importance.

There is too much at stake.  These are the same people who will benefit if Roe v. Wade is not overturned.  These are the same people who will benefit if Obamacare (as we now affectionately call it) is not repealed.  These are the same people who will benefit if the very wealthy get to pay a little bit more in taxes than they do now.  These are the same people who will benefit if this country gets rebuilt, if more good teachers are hired, if the war in Afghanistan ends, if no new war starts in the Middle East, if climate change is not seen as a joke.

And these same people who will spend hours a week watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Basketball Wives, Real Housewives of (fill in your favorite city), who will find the time to vote for their favorites on Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and the likes, cannot vote in a national election, something that will benefit them directly.

I’m sorry.  And yeah call me selfish, but perspectively speaking, if I have to force you to take the medicine to save your own life, then maybe you don’t deserve that medicine. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Congrats To Me!

Today marks my 12 year anniversary in the coveted club of motherhood.  Yep, it’s the twins’ birthday.  I can just hear some of you, “Twelve years is not a big deal.  I have grandkids older than twelve, and I’m younger than she is.”  I kid. I kid.  But seriously folks, a big shout out to all the young grandmothers.

The reason why it’s a big deal for me is because there were times when I wasn’t sure I would make it this far with my sanity intact.  I don’t have to reiterate how difficult parenting is…..I have done that in previous blogs. 

For years my sisters would suggest that I just relax and stop fretting over the kids, but my answer was always the same.  “It’s a whole lot easier dealing with one easy child than three rambunctious children.”  But today it hit me!  If I have been on this job for twelve years and am still on the same level, then maybe it’s not the work that is difficult, maybe it’s me that needs to tackle the work from another angle. 

So although there will still be days where I won’t feel like working, days where I might call in sick or even days where I might strike, I will relish even more the days where I look forward to the job, the days where I can say I had a great day at work, the days where I cannot wait to get to work.

Plus, twelve years ago they weighed 8lbs and 2 oz combined.  Today, they are almost 200 pounds together.  I’m 5 feet, 3 ½ inches tall; okay the ½ I borrowed a few years ago, and I’ll be damned if I ever give it back.  But in a few years I won’t be able to talk to these kids any way I want without getting a smack down.  I kid again.  They can’t be that crazy, right?  But seriously, who wants to be 16 and have their crazy mother scolding them like they are still six years old?

So as I pivot to preparing to have teenagers around, I will try to focus more on our mutual interests and stimulating conversations and not on what they haven’t done or were supposed to do. 

As a political buff, it’s a joy having people in the house who are willing to oblige me, since somebody who shall remain nameless has no interest and just wants to know where and when to show up on November 6. 

And with whom else can I delight in a conversation like this?

Me:  Look whatever Bill Clinton did in the White House was between him and Hillary.  I’m not his wife.
12 yr old son:  Yeah that’s what my teacher said about Tiger Woods.  He likes him as an athlete, but he’s not getting into his personal business.
Daughter:  He had four girlfriends, right?
Me:  More, he had about 15.
10 year old son:  Woo, that’s a lot!
12 yr old son:  At least that is not illegal.
10 year old son:  What’s illegal?  16?


Although he is not always up to speed with the twins because he is two years younger, other times he is way beyond his years.  Like the other day this transpired.

Him:  Tyler is not playing basketball this year.
Me:   Is his father still going to coach you guys?
Him:  I’m not sure.  I just hear that he doesn’t want to play this year.
Me:  Gee, I wonder if his father will still coach the rest of you.
Him:  All I know is word on the street says that he’s not playing this year.

The other day he and I were watching TV, MSNBC of course, and we had previously heard Mitt Romney bitching about President Obama wanting to redistribute money from Romney’s rich friends to Obama’s lazy, welfare cousins. (Recognize that I’m paraphrasing.)  So when Romney stated another day that he is for school vouchers, and he will take money from the federal government and give it directly to parents so they can send their children to the schools they want, my baby, my 10 year old son said, “Isn’t that redistribution too?”

Yeah like any relationship, we will have days where we get on each other’s nerves.  We will annoy each other.  And everyday won’t be Christmas, but I know that once we keep the lines of communication open, once I continue to put myself in their shoes, once I try my best to respect  them like I expect them to respect me, then I believe they will have a better transition to young adulthood and then full independence.

Not to mention that they are also developing on an intellectual level that I have to take into consideration.  A few weeks ago I purchased some sports clothing for the kids.  My youngest came and asked if he could wear a shirt.  Normally, I would say to wait. Instead I replied, "Go ahead.  Life is short."  Later, he wanted to use the brand new basketball socks although it was soccer season.  Again I said, "You know what, why not.  Life is short."  He quipped, "I'm not dying, am I?"

So yes I will have a glass of wine to celebrate my milestone because perspectively speaking, do you know what is better, and by better I mean infinity times better than bitching and yelling and stressing myself out constantly; it is having my 10 year old son asking me to peel a tangerine for him because and I quote, “The last time I peeled one, it was an epic failure.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How To Raise Perfect Children

Step 1: Do NOT look at me!  You won’t find any answers here.  I am not raising any perfect children.  I do not want to raise any perfect children.  I do not have any perfect children.  I’m just an imperfect mother raising imperfect children. 

The political fiend that I am, I liken child-rearing to the strategies of the last three presidents.

1)     Dive in, sacrifice everything and everyone else and still make colossal mistakes.
2)     Realize you are in over your head, say screw it and let the chips fall where they may.
3)     Do your best, but still focus on pertinent relationships; learn from your mistakes and move on.

If you have to ask, it’s Clinton, Bush and Obama, in that order!

I was the last of my sisters to become a mother, and none of them had the decency to tell me that this was going to be the most challenging feat I was about to encounter.  And of course, being the youngest, I just assumed, “If they can do it, I can it do it too.”  Being the youngest, I naturally thought that I’m going to do it better because I would have learned their strengths and weaknesses. 

Well, somebody sure knocked some reality into me.  And now that I’m a mother I know for sure that if my mother had just let us be, she could have saved herself years of stress.

Of course every parent has deal breakers.  For me, education, respect, good manners, proper hygiene and chores top the list.  Any child of mine needs to get those in check in order for us to have a harmonious home life.  I try not to make a big deal about the rest of the stuff that annoy and irritate me sometimes because at the end of the day, I cannot change anyone’s DNA.  Sure some lashes on somebody’s butt will make me feel good for a while, if nothing else is working, but seriously, how many times can you beat somebody for the same infraction?

The reason why parenting is the hardest job is because it’s a lifetime investment. The average parent doesn’t separate her emotions when the child turns 18, gets married or even dies.  Most jobs last until retirement.  Many marriages end in divorce.  Bringing a child into this world is FOREVER.

Look, my biggest priority in life is to be happy.  And yeah it’s broad, but if I can just instill that in my children, I think my mission as a mother would be accomplished.  I can only do my best, the rest is pretty much up to them.  And to get to that, I try as much as I can to be myself and allow the children to do the same.

But back to the topic at hand.

What is perfect anyway?  It’s way too subjective.  I don’t want them to go to the perfect schools. I don’t want them to marry the perfect mates. I don’t want them to have perfect children.

My husband and his family got stuck with me.  Why on earth would I put that much pressure on my children to find the perfect mate when they will be happy with the perfect mate for them?  It’s also up to them to attend the perfect school for them and have the perfect job for them.

Actually now that I have your attention, I just want to drop a few lines about the joys of motherhood 21st Century style.

Obviously, I’m not done raising my children, but so far I have a few pointers on now to raise children guilt free.  Now before I start, a word of caution:  Everyone will not agree with me.  In fact, some of you will totally feel compelled to give me a piece of your mind, but what the heck.

When they get on your nerves, and you have tried everything possible under the sun to be patient and kind, do not feel badly if you forget that they are not your shipmates and utter a few choice words.  And those of you who are thinking, "Why can’t she say dagnabbit instead of bad words?", just remember that most things are easier said than done.  Plus even if I had enough patience to remember to say dabnabbit, I would be laughing so much that who would take me seriously.

Do you remember that clip from one of Bill Cosby’s acts when he showed how his wife’s face contorted as she dealt with the kids?  What the good doctor neglected to mention was that Mrs. Cosby wasn’t always the elegant, sophisticated lady we see in public.  I mean, do you honestly believe she never dropped the F bomb when dealing with those five kids?  Ever??

People on the outside looking in always seem to think that they have the answer.  Just the other day, my youngest, the source of my gray hair and stress stated that his kids are going to be well disciplined.  Are you kidding me!!!  It’s not that easy, Buddy, and I have come to the realization that one way to get out of this alive is to not take it so seriously.

When you find yourself at their chorus or band recital or musical and you try your best to stay awake and it’s not always possible, don’t feel guilty.  Let’s face it…..Mozart they are not!

So what if I’m at a recital and I’m the only mother who cannot wait for the torture to end.  It’s not that I don’t support my children.  It’s not that I’m a bad mother.  It’s just that if I have to hear someone blows the incorrect chord on a trumpet one more time, I’m gonna scream.  I mean, these kids knew from day one that they would be having a concert.  Would it kill them to practice a little bit more so they can do their best?  And I know that they WILL get a standing ovation regardless of how they sound.  After all in these days, just showing up counts as much as really showing up to work.

And am I really that harsh for thinking that if a kid throws or kicks away a ball one more time during a game that his mother should just be quiet instead of saying GOOD TRY, BILLY.  A good try is when Billy hits the baseball but somebody catches it.  It’s when Billy kicks the ball but the goalie stops it.  It’s when Billy aims for the basket but somebody blocks him.  A good try cannot be Billy at the base and holding the bat and is struck out without him even trying.

People say kids learn from example and will do what you do and say what you say.  I beg to differ.  I pick stuff from off the floor that I didn’t drop.  I clean the house without being asked.  I cook and do the laundry.  I read.  My kids don’t always follow my lead. 

But I refuse to yearn for perfection when it is elusive.  So what if my youngest has a bad temper, so what if my oldest knows every button to push with his siblings, so what if my daughter can strike a sneak attack on her brothers.  These are just issues I have to deal with, talk about and monitor.

If I were “blessed” with quiet, perfect children, I would be the one going through the terrible twos.  Yeah, TWO decades of climbing the walls and pulling my hair out.  I don’t want a boring house.  I want a house with kids a bit on edge.  A house with kids a little crazy sometimes, a little loud sometimes.

I want kids that are perfectly healthy and perfectly happy.  Because perspectively speaking the last thing I want is to pray for normal when my “perfect” kids have weirded out on me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

As Long As They Keep Their Gayness to Themselves

I know…  I know…  We are all evolving when it comes to this “gay” thing.  And people who talk like that have clearly just stepped on the evolution scale.  They realize that there is nothing they can do about the existence of homosexuals.  They want to do the “Christian” thing and accept their presence, but they just cannot come to grips with it.  They are not ready to admit that they have to share this world with homosexuals.  They want to be progressive, but just cannot shake their discomfort with the whole concept.

Look, I’m not judging; well that’s not my intention.  And I admit that every time I too see a gay couple casually engaging in PDA (public display of affection), I do a double take.  I’m just still not accustomed to it, so I’m usually taken aback; but I don’t condemn. 

People who have a problem with homosexuality think that in a perfect world, there would be no gays.  But in whose perfect world?  My perfect world?  Because in my perfect world, there would be no bigots.  In a homosexual’s perfect world?  Because in his perfect world, he would not be ostracized.  So whose perfect world?  In someone else’s perfect world, people would rinse their plates off after meals; people would not keep on their nighties all day long (after all they are not called dayties); and people would just put all the spare hangers in one spot in the closet. 

My bad!  That’s still my perfect world. 

And don’t get me started with “Christians” who say they love the sinner but hate the sin.  According to John 8:7, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."  Yes, I said it.  No one's sin is bigger or smaller than another's.  Sure some crimes are worse than others; but sin is sin.  And can you imagine if a gay person were to call out a liar, a thief or an adulterer?  I could just hear it now.  They would forget their Christianity and call him every name in the book.

Since it is extremely difficult for us humans to see our own faults, while having no problem at all seeing others, how about we try being compassionate or even a little bit empathetic?  How about we walk a mile in their shoes and stop accusing them of being the worst people on the planet?  Yeah, accept that this is not a choice or a fad.  See that they are people like us who happen to love others who are the same sex as they.

Look, not because someone does something differently means he or she is different. It simply means that they do it differently from you. For instance, I eat pretty much anything, and I have no problem eating anything together either.  If I have stewed liver, and I have a sweet bun, who is going to tell me that I can’t have a bun and liver sandwich?  It doesn’t make me nasty.  It doesn’t make me gross.  It doesn’t mean that I am different.  It just means that I have a different eating habit than another person or other people.

Seriously.  Who wants to be judged by what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms?  If we are going to vilify same sex activities, then we should be prepared to have others cast aspersions on our bedroom activities too.  After all many heterosexuals engage in a plethora of bedroom pastimes.  Doesn’t it stem from plain old missionary to hanging from the ceiling fan to swinging altogether?  And don’t try to figure out where on the spectrum I lie (pun intended).  Just stay with me here.  We want our bedroom activities to be private (well most of the times), so we should grant homosexuals the same privacy too.

When did it become okay for their characters to be publicly assessed because of what they do in private?  When did it become okay for them to have no privacy at all?  Why is it okay for a person to like and respect another, but as soon as his or her sexual orientation is known, all esteem disappears?  How can some people not see that being homosexual doesn’t define a person any more than being left handed does?  Being homosexual doesn’t define a person any more than being a certain ethnicity does.  Not any more than being in a certain socioeconomic class, and not any more than attending a certain church.

For some reason homosexuality is the last prejudice that has remained in modern society.  An individual will easily attend a wedding of a womanizer, knowing full well that he will continue cheating the day after his honeymoon, knowing that he has brought his mistress to the ceremony than to accept the marriage of two people of the same sex.  For the life of me I don’t get it.  I don’t get how two people can be in love, have mutual respect for each other but their union is regarded 1000% lower than another couple who is clearly not in a harmonious, loving relationship, but happen to be a man and a woman.

So for those who say that they can be as gay as they want, as long as we don’t have to see it, please know that you are not being humane or tolerant.  Know that you are simply being ignorant.  Also know that being gay is nothing new.  More and more people are just accepting it, so more and more gays are feeling more and more comfortable living in openness.

Lastly as we get older we should become more developmentally mature.  So we should know that not all sophisticated ladies in public are always ladylike in bed.  And that some publicly indecent people can be subservient in private.  Let’s not assume that all homosexuals are pedophiles.  I don’t have time for a professional or reputable study, but you and I both know that most pedophiles are heterosexuals. 

Don’t not vote for President Obama this time because he publicly supports same sex marriage.   Vote for him because you believe he will make your lives easier or don’t vote for him because you don’t think he can make your lives easier.  But don’t let his stance on gay union or gay marriage deter you from performing your civic duties.

Although I don’t get why homosexuality is the last taboo to be broken, I know that the person who I want to keep whatever he has to himself is the bigot because perspectively speaking hatred causes more hurt than same sex love.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up

It’s a Thursday, which means football (aka soccer) for all three kids.  The youngest is at 5:00, the twins are at 6:30.  But today my daughter is being dropped off at the neighbor’s to practice for an event.  After my 5:00 run, I returned home to hang some more clothes on the lines, figuring they could be dry by about 8:00 before the dew forms.  I dropped her off then quickly popped back home to check my email before taking her twin to practice.  (Note to self:  get a smart phone!) 

Scattered thunderstorms were promised, and indeed practice was cancelled.  With that, I decided to get my youngest in the event that his practice was shortened.  As soon as I thought that, he called to be picked up.  Yep, his practice was cut short.

I sped off with my son and niece in tow, thinking to myself, “I wonder if the storm will hold off long enough for me to return and get the clothes off the lines.” It started to drizzle, so I asked my son to call home to let my nephew pick them up quickly; but we scrapped that idea when the drizzling turned to rain. 

When the rain turned to torrents, I attempted to get my window up, but it was not happening.  The window on the driver’s side has a little situation where it requires two people to operate.  Occasionally, if I’m lucky, it goes up on its own.  But typically, it takes one person to press the button, and another to hold the window, and pull and jiggle until it’s aligned.  And would you believe that today was not my lucky day!

That storm came from nowhere.  Well, I knew a storm was coming.   I just didn’t know precisely when it was going to start, and my storm starter device wasn’t working.  But before you know it, there was lightning and thunder, and the window still wasn’t cooperating.  At that point, my son and niece went into panic mode because they were exceptionally quiet.

I’m thinking, “Boy, if I didn’t have to get my own flesh and blood, I would have just reversed and told the coach to keep him.”  I kept trying the button but to no avail.  I wasn’t so scared……..initially, but when the wind started pushing the minivan, I admit a wave of fear came over me too.  I’m thinking, “I know we are not going to die, but my God, I wouldn’t know what to do if lightning struck one of the passengers.”  (Notice I didn’t say the driver.)

As we came upon a fallen tree, my son reached his limit and started sobbing.  My niece had reached her boiling point too since every lightning and thunder drew a whimpering sound. 

It usually takes 10 minutes to get to the field, but due to the heavy rain beating on the windscreen, at times I could barely see.  We finally got to my son, and I tried the window again, with the help of my older son.  Still no luck.

When my youngest came in, I headed to a gas station to see if I could work some magic under the shelter.  Both boys pressed the button while I gripped, jiggled, pulled and tugged at the window; but no luck.  I don’t know if my hands were too slippery or if I was just scared, but nothing worked.

I thought the heck with this.  The wind is actually causing not too much rain to come inside the van, so I’ll take my chances and a different route and go home.  We called my nephew and asked him to make room in the garage and to open the door.  When we got home, I was so happy that we made it home safely that in my haste to get in the spot and not damage the barbeque grill on the left, I forgot about my right and dragged the side of the car on the beam of the garage door.

I do it, so I’ll say that the average woman does it.  You know what?  I believe most women do it.  Heck, I’ll go out on a limb and say that all women do it.  And I can get away with it because the average man will agree with me.  You know what?  Most men will agree with me.  Heck, every man that reads this WILL agree with me. 

Here goes:  A woman will blame her man for something that she is wholly responsible for, no matter how far away he is or how far-fetched her rationale is.  I haven’t blamed my husband directly, but if he has been paying any attention to his wife, he has to know that blame is coming his way.  And this is why I partially blame him for the accident, incident.  It stems from a conversation we had several weeks earlier.

Me:  I can’t wait for this van to break down again so I can buy a new car.
Him:  Why do you have to wait?  You can buy your car now because we are keeping this van.

If the conversation had gone like this,
Me:  I can’t wait for this van to break down again so I can buy a new car.
Him:  You must be kidding.  That van still has a few more years to go.
Me:  You must be nuts.  In fact, I’m getting a BMW X5.
Him:  You must be drinking.  You better look into a Kia Sportage.
Me:  You must be smoking some of that good Jamaican stuff.  I’ll just get a Volkswagen Tiguan.
then I wouldn’t have to worry about all the logistics like what kind of car to get, what color to get, when to get it. 

Didn’t even give me a chance to argue, bitch or whine.  I don’t know about you, but I think that was cruel and unusual punishment.  Downright inhumane, I might add!

For months I had been thinking of getting a new car.  Apart from the window issue, there is the radio issue.  It doesn’t work all the time either. But I could live with that.  I mostly use it to transport the kids or run errands, and seriously I could do with the peace and quiet.  Then the back doors don’t lock all the time.  I could also live with that.  It just takes someone to pull up the locks to let someone else in.  But the window issue is real annoying……Well, in bad weather.

As I assessed the damages on the van and the garage, I realized things weren’t as bad as I initially thought.  I also thought, “Hey, not a bad way to get a new car.”  While the kids helped me get the soggy clothes off the lines and off the grass (you know the wind had its way with them) to rewash, I thought, “Hey, one more dent gives the van more character.  Plus it’ll be a whole lot easier to locate it in a crowded parking lot.  And, perspectively speaking, that was not even the worst ‘can’t get my window up in bad weather’ experience I ever had!” 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Moments I Wish the Camera Was Rolling

The other day my nephew said something so outrageous that my other nephew, my children and I were completely baffled.  Now I didn’t say that I don’t remember what he said; simply that he said it.  The other children queried, commented and moved on.  But me, oh no. I had more questions and many more jokes.

After a while, I was back to interviewing him.  I needed more answers.  I needed more clarification.  And I thought I was funny too.  So the last joke I cracked, I gave my signature thigh-slapping laugh and fell right into the dishwasher door.  How was I to know that my daughter was emptying it and had left it wide open?

As I fell, my initial thought (and let me just state that each and every thought came with a facial expression) was, “Okay that’s funny!”  Then I thought, “Oh shit, hope I didn’t break the dishwasher!” Then I looked at my youngest son and thought, “Oh no, I better get up quickly to console him.”

My little pumpkin saw all these expressions and thought I was dying.

Speaking of near death falls..........

Two years ago, I got my eyes done.  A lil’ Lasik here, a lil’ Lasik there.  Being the perfect patient, when the doctor presented me with goggles to sleep in, I thought it made perfect sense to also wear them during the day for protection against any clumsy kid.

A couple of days later, the door bell rang, and one of the boys informed me that a stranger was outside.  I was at the top of the stairs cutting someone’s nails; so naturally I wore the goggles.  I got up and on my way down the steps, I decided to remove them.  Apparently, for someone with my dexterity, doing those two tasks simultaneously proved to be an impossibility.  I missed a step, but instead of simply misstepping, I tumbled down the steps like a Raggedy Ann Doll.  I swear I hit everything except my belly button.  I got up like Jack in the Box (after all, someone left the door open, and this stranger had a front row seat)!  I walked down the rest of the steps, went to the door, smiled and asked how I can help.  Of course she wanted to pretend that she didn’t see, but let’s face it:  Ray Charles would have known exactly where I landed.  So after a bit, she asked if I was okay.  I replied, “I’ll live.”  To diffuse the situation, we made some small talk until she informed me that I was bleeding.  I brushed it off and continued talking. 

She had wanted directions.  I gave them to her, and then closed the door.  I thought to myself, “Of all the houses to come, why this heifer had to come here and make me fall, I don’t know.”  When I looked up, my boys were bawling their eyes out.  They thought for sure I was dead.

Speaking of clumsy falls..........

Three years ago, our sister-in-law was having her daughter baptized and invited my sister and me.  I’m highly directionally challenged, which I admit.  My sister is too, which she doesn’t admit; but I will say this:  every time she gives me directions, I’m tempted to go the opposite direction knowing that I’ll end up where she says.  Anyway, I had a GPS (I know, it is just less challenging and only helps because I won’t get lost going back home) so we entered the church’s address.  In case you never noticed, one thing that is not lacking in this US of A is CHURCHES.  So when the GPS first took us to the address, we didn’t see a church.  (Also, not all churches are held in “churches”, so it can be complicated.)  We thought we might have put in Ave instead of Rd or something of that sort, so the geniuses that we are, we changed it and lo and behold, that new address had a church.  So we must have been right, right?

Since we were running late, I suggested that my sister go inside with the kids while I parked the car.  By the time I got inside, the kids were already settled in the children’s service, but my sister and I noticed that we could not find our sister-in-law.  We knew she went to a Spanish speaking nondenominational church, but this church looked quite Episcopalian.  That was when it dawned on us, not only were we at the wrong church, but this church looked like it could have done with the extra worshippers.

There was no way I was going to remove those kids, so I whispered to my sister, “While I get the car, can you get the kids?”  When I picked them up, we were all in stitches.  I drove like a maniac back to the first address, trying to maneuver Newark’s Sunday morning traffic.  We finally got our sister-in-law on the phone, and she confirmed that the address was correct.

When we entered the church, one of the things I noticed was a step down.  I thought to myself, shouldn’t there be some kind of cautionary note?  Before I was even able to tell the others to be careful, my sister stumbled down it.  At first she looked like she was about to fall but was trying hard not to.  And I thought she was going to succeed, but her footing was quite wrong, and she fell to the ground.

I mean, who falls flat on their bottom in a strange church, especially when you are about an hour late?  I know she was thinking, “I came here for a Christening; I didn’t come here to fall.”

Speaking of being late..........

Years ago, I was late for work as usual; but it was Casual Friday.  The fact that it was a Friday, and that we dressed casually are not useless information that I’m dropping.  By Friday I was mentally done for the week, and because it was casual, I was wearing comfortable shoes and clothing which made me think it was okay to sprint to the subway station.  

What I didn’t anticipate was the front of my shoe hitting the jutted sidewalk and my lunch bag flying one way, my bag another way and I sprawled out on the sidewalk wearing of all things white pants. (I don’t know what possessed me to buy white pants years prior to the fall, but they were in my closet, and I didn’t feel like getting rid of them so I used them for Casual Fridays).  In all the commotion, I was surprised when out of nowhere two men came to assist me and my possessions.  

I kept a straight face, but once I entered the subway I could not control myself because I only visualized it – they must have been in stitches every time they pictured it.

Speaking of nephews (well, earlier)..........

Several years ago at my sister’s summer barbeque, we were playing rounders.  If you are not West Indian, it’s baseball without a bat.  My nephew (who is not known for being a prankster) was throwing/pitching, and it was my turn to hit.  A few times he shammed me, and I fell for it; so the last time he did it, I called his bluff; but since he’s not known for his pranks, he probably got bored and by the time I realized he had let go the ball, it took me too long to wrap my brain around the concept, and just like in the movie Caddyshack, I stayed there motionless, watching the ball coming right at my nose.  

He had not been throwing the ball perfectly either, so I didn’t expect him to perfect his throw on that swing.  Boy was I pissed!  Especially when the two people who found it the funniest were his mother and my husband.  Then he started to cry which really ticked me off more because I was the one who should have been crying.  

Luckily, it was a tennis ball, but every time I picture the ball coming at me, the only thing that comes to my mind after I chuckle is, “It would have been a LOT funnier if it were somebody else.”

Look, life is short.  We have to be able to make fun at ourselves and others.  Well, we don’t have to, but perspectively speaking, it is a lot more fun than walking around looking like somebody just farted!