Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Comment on Comments

Dear commenter who wrote:

Mary....this is the first time that I've read your blog & I'm afraid that I was a little offended. You speak about teaching your children about the "true" meaning of Valentine's Day....but then in the same blog use the "F" word. I'm afraid that I just don't get it. I would think that this would be considered in bad taste....especially since you are a business proffessional& refer people to your blog to get to know you better! I've heard good things about you & have looked forward to hearing you speak....but now I've found myself to be extremely disappointed!

You bring up some valid points.


Yet you don't sign your name.

I am pretty sure I have an idea of who you are.  I'm speaking to a group next week, and I suspect I will see you there. 

I promise I will NOT swear during the talk.

That said, this is not my business blog. 

I am a business professional (please note the spelling).  More importantly, I am a mom, a daughter, a wife and a sister.  I am a Catholic. 

And I say fuck all the time.

Is it inconsistent?

I suppose.

I'm not proud of it. 

I'm inconsistent in lots of things. 

I work out like a gladiator but can't bring myself to eat the way I'm supposed to.

I am passionately in love with my husband but get platonic crushes all the time.

I love a sparkling clean house, but can't find the time to clean the shower.

I'm not perfect. 

I'm not trying to be perfect.  I am trying to be excellent.

You may find it hard to believe that saying FUCK is ever a good tool to excellence.

But it is.  It's called comic timing.  "I need those fucking hearts" is funnier than "I need those hearts".  I tried it both ways.

So, you don't think it's funny.  Sorry. 

Wait.  No, I'm not.  You don't have to think it's funny. 

It's enough that I think it's funny. 

And I do.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dear Moms At Daycare

Dear Moms at my son's daycare:

Hi!  I don't know if we've had a chance to meet, but I'm Paul's mom.  No, not his grandma.  I'm his mom.

I'm the mom without the tattoos. 

First let me say -- your kid is a cutie.  Paul really likes his friends.  He was so happy to make valentines for each and every one of them.  Also, he truly appreciated all the heart-shaped suckers, the dum-dums, and of course, the Hershey kisses.

The thing is. . . you forgot the conversation hearts.

I know you may be new at the whole Valentine's Day thing.  Paul is my third child, so we've done Valentine's for a long time.  I make sure to explain to my boys that Valentine's day is named for St. Valentine.  I explain that he was a martyr, who died for Christ.  We talk a lot about that as I go through the bags of Valentine's candy that they bring home from school.  Valentine's day is actually about Jesus, and not about romantic love or candy.

Their dad emphasizes the point by waiting until the last minute to buy me a valentine gift.  This year, it was a potted plant.  I am pretty sure it was the last one at the store.  So we talked about Christ's love, and how God loves every living thing, even really, really hideous potted plants that cost three times what they normally would have, on account of being purchased at the very last second.

It's a teachable moment.

Anyway, as I was setting aside the dum-dums and heart shaped suckers for the boys, and confiscating all the Hershey's kisses (they are a choking hazard), I noticed that you forgot the conversation hearts.

I am sure it was a mistake. 

As you know, conversation hearts are a once-in-a-year candy, like candy canes, candy corn and of course cadbury cream eggs.  It's important that they be included in every Valentine's celebration. 

Plus, they have words on them, which is another teachable moment.

When else is my child going to read the word "hubba-hubba"?

You may ask why I didn't supply the hearts this year.  That's a fair question, but remember that I am the mom who occasionally remembers to bring the napkins for the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years-Martin Luther King day parties. 

Normally, I would let it go, but I haven't had a can of pop in almost two weeks.  I almost took up smoking as a substitute, but the cost of cigarettes is crazy.  I need those fucking hearts.

So listen:  St. Patricks Day is in a month.  The kids are having a party.  Put together some goodie bags with green jolly ranchers, chocolate coins and  a king size box of sugar babies.  We'll call it even.


Paul's Mom

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 3

And I am about to commit murder.

I gave up pop.

I drank my last Coke Zero on Monday evening.

I hid it in my bedroom so none of my kids could mooch any.

It was my last can of pop and I was NOT going to share.

I didn't give up caffeine.  I gave up pop.  Not just for lent.  I gave it up For Evah.

I don't drink pop for the caffeine.  I drink it for that fizzy burn that quiets some secret need like a forbidden lover.

I have a lifelong relationship with pop.  I started drinking diet pop when I was about 5.  That's when diet pop first began to emerge.  My mother assumed diet pop was good for us, as it didn't have any sugar.  The ads for diet pop showed beautiful girls in bathing suits enjoying a guilt-free treat.

Tab.  My first love.  One of the biggest treats we could have as kids was to drink a WHOLE BOTTLE OF POP.  That's 16 ounces.  In a glass bottle.  With saccharine.  In those days, the Coca-cola company collected empty bottles, sterilized them, then refilled them with the nectar of the gods.

By high school, I drank Tab out of a can.  My friend Dana and I would each have a can of Tab and a diet pill for lunch. Those were the days.

In College, I loved Diet Pepsi.  Then I moved to Diet Coke.  A few years ago, I found Coke Zero. 

I found my soul mate. 

Or so I thought.

I knew pop wasn't good for me.  I knew that the phosphorous was slowly dissolving my teeth and bones.  I knew that the artificial sweetener was fucking with my neurons and my metabolism.

I didn't care.  It had zero calories.

Why did I give it up?

I gave it up because we have 2 weeks left in the Tri-Mary Challenge, and I have been stuck on 244 like glue.

I need to get over this plateau.

What happens once the challenge is over (and another Mary wins)?

I'm not going back.  I know pop is bad for me.  It's an abusive relationship.  And I have to end it.

Me & pop are over.  No diet coke.  No regular coke.  No Sprite, Diet 7Up, no Diet Rite, no Coke Zero.  Nothing.

No "occasional" treat.  No "only on weekends".  No walking slowly down the pop aisle, no googling it, no stalking mutual friends on Facebook.

I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't cheat on my husband. Now that pop is gone, what vices are left to me?

I guess I still have swearing. 

Fuckin' A!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Phone Hex

Reading this great post at one of my favorite blogs -- Hair Raising Hell -- reminded me of one of my own pet peeves.  Let me elaborate:

Ring Ring

"Good Afternoon, this is Mary A."

"Hi Mary!  How are you?"

"Doing well, thanks!  How are you?"

"I'm Good."

"Great.  How can I help you?"

"Do you  know who this is?"

The "guess who I am" game.  At work. 

Do you think this is charming?  It's not.

If you're calling me at home and ask "Do you know who this is?", I will generally hang up.  Because I once got an obscene phone call that started with "Do you know who this is?".  So that question kinda freaks me out anyway.

But if you're calling me at work I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

I don't know who you are, OK?

I have no fucking clue.

I know you aren't my mother.  My mother has been smoking for 63 years.  Her voice is rather distinct.  Plus, she's too much of a lady to jerk me around like that.  And she ALWAYS identifies herself.  I know it's you, Mom, but I appreciate you having enough courtesy to identify yourself anyway.

When I call her, I always identify myself.  She has 2 daughters.  We probably sound similar on the phone. 

When you call me -- at home, at work, or on the cell -- please identify yourself.  Please.

Also, as long as we're on the subject:  if your name is Mary, Mark, Mike, Dave, Joe, Kathy, Lori, Tom, Rick, Jose, Manuel, Cynthia, or Debbie, and if we don't speak on the phone very often, do me a favor and gimme your last name too.  I have lots of Marys, Marks, Mikes, Daves, Joes, Kathys, Loris, Toms, Ricks, Joses, Manuels, Cynthias and Debbies who might call me at work for whatever reason.  I love talking to each of them.  Truly.  But I prefer knowing which one I'm chatting with.

And one more thing:  sign your texts.  I don't know your number by sight (except for Vic & Gabe). I have a cheap phone.  Just gimme some quick initials, 'kay?



Mary A