I Love Girls!

A friend recently posted this list on his fb page. As the mother of three beautiful girls I thought it would be fitting to create a list of “Rules For My Daughter”.

Rules For My Son: 

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
  2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.
  3. If you hunt and kill you clean and grill.
  4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
  5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.
  6. Request the late check-out.
  7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
  9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
  10. Don’t fill up on bread.
  11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
  12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
  13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
  14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
  15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family; but don’t forget your mom.
  16. Write down your dreams and keep them under your hat.
  17. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
  18. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
  19. Never turn down a breath mint.
  20. In a game of HORSE, sometimes a simple free throw will get ’em.
  21. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
  22. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
  23. Thank a veteran, and then make it up to him.
  24. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
  25. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
  27. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
  28. Remove your hat when you enter a room or sit down to eat.
  29. Give credit. Take the blame.

Rules For My Daughter:

  1. When seated, if a man approaches, extend your hand. If he shakes and doesn’t kiss it, forgive him, if he kisses it Germ X asap.
  2. If you’re gonna lay out at the pool, be sure that your bathing suit is so tastefully sexy that all others around you can’t help but look and smile with awe and wonderment.
  3. I will hunt and kill, Tom, Sally or Bill if they ever think or feel that it’s ok to hurt you- (no one will ever find the body).
  4. In a negotiation, remember your skills: outwit, outsmart and, if all else fails, outgun.
  5. Act like you’ve been there before— OWN IT!
  6. Get up and out- the early bird catches the worm and gets the continental breakfast, too.
  7. Keep secrets like they are yours (and remember sharing information is what conspiracies are made of…shhhhhh…)
  8. Be your own hero.
  9. If you borrow a car to transport a body, wipe it down before you return it.
  10. If you eat a lot of bread, expect a lot of dimples.
  11. When shaking hands, grip firmly, make eye contact, then go for the Germ X asap.
  12. Straighten your back when sitting and standing – hump backs are intended for whales.
  13. If you like sand between your toes…you must have gotten that from your daddy.
  14. To hell with a handkerchief, carry Kleenex. A used handkerchief in any pocket (or purse) is disgusting.
  15. You ARE the girl, we ARE your whole family and I Am your mom… need I say more?
  16. Live your dreams (remember I’m living vicariously through you so let’s GET-IT-IN!!)
  17. When traveling alone, be aware of your surroundings- those blonde headed girls walking down 125th, alone, at night, with their bags on their shoulders are hookers child. They are ON THE stroll, not OUT FOR A stroll!
  18. Never forget that YOU ARE the best-looking girl in the room.
  19. Always carry breath mints and be ready to throw one at anyone who needs it.
  20. In a game of HORSE, watch from the comfort of your air-conditioned home and offer them lemonade when the game is over. By the way: do you even know what a game of HORSE is?
  21. A guy wearing a sport coat isn’t always a bad thing unless it’s plaid and it has matching pants (looking like OshKosh B’gosh).
  22. Your life is your eulogy. Make it your best written work.
  23. Your grandfather was a veteran. (Thank him in your prayers tonight).
  24. Everything about you is unique. Don’t be afraid to show ‘em whatcha got girl!
  25. Pay it forward at Starbucks. (I know you’re a “frequent buyer” in that joint).
  26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully, and after forwarding it to me delete it. I’ll read it then I’ll take care of the s.o.b. it was intended for.
  27. Ask your grandmother to play… be brave my child… be really, really brave.
  28. You’re a young lady, wearing a fashionable hat indoors and or at the table is acceptable (especially on a bad hair day!).
  29. Give credit where credit is due and take responsibility for yourself and your actions but don’t let any jerk off get away with blaming his or her dumb shit on you.

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—

(This is the eighth and final chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O intro         http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH    chapter2    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OL     chapter 3

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OQ    chapter 4    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pj     chapter 5

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pw   chapter 6     http://wp.me/p5AbPX-PV   chapter 7

Chapter 8

(This is the eighth and final chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

Thank goodness the other bathroom was complete or we might have had an entire family of critters living in the walls. What I wanted to say was, “I wish the other bathroom had been incomplete, that way I could have had my own little family “living inside the walls”, but you never know who might be reading this. I wouldn’t want the reader to think I’m weird or anything, you know how people can take one little comment and run with it. Hell, one opinion like that and the police might be at my door with a battering ram, a search warrant and a strait jacket.

Ok, I have total and complete recall of that yellow painted room with the divided towel closet and the long white vanity top. That towel closet was the perfect hiding spot. When Lil Renny and Chuckie would try to force me to play games like “hide and go choke the middle child” or “ring around the middle child’s head with the barb wire headband”, I would hunker down in that closet behind the towels and stay there until they forgot they were looking for me.  Naturally, they caught me one time – just before I got into the closet, they dragged me out into the yard. That’s when I learned to play “red light, green light, middle child lights out”. You’ve seen enough of how my life went to understand how that was played without my even going into detail. They also taught me their version of “Simon says” that day, only it was called “Brother Says” and I was the only pigeon playing. After several rounds of “Brother says go spit on yourself” and “Brother says go lick that chicken”, the chickens got wise and ran into the henhouse. That’s when I got away from them and ran inside and got into the towel closet. Unfortunately, there were no towels in the closet that day so I did like all little kid’s do… I covered my eyes with my hands so they couldn’t find me and guess what?  They searched that bathroom high and low for more than 3 hours looking everywhere from inside the towel closet to down the bath tub drain but never found me… and they say the middle child is always the slow one, hahahahahahaha!

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—-

(This is the seventh chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O intro                  http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH    chapter2     http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OL     chapter 3

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OQ    chapter 4     http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pj     chapter 5

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pw   chapter 6

Chapter 7                          

           (photo credit: pinterest.com)

The half bath

Being the parents definitely had its perks. For example, they had their very own bathroom complete with their very own incomplete shower. I have no idea why they never had it finished. Heck, with daddy and Mr. Dunston’s brick fence building skills, one would think it would have been an easy task for them, but I guess not. There was a large gaping hole that exposed all the plumbing on one side and a plywood trap door on the other. I would imagine the idea of losing that hook inside the wall was enough to prevent mama and daddy from asking for any assistance from him.

I often wondered if anyone else realized the trap door led to the hole and vice versa. I have so many memories of that room, like the time mama made me crawl through the trap door to look for critters after she heard something running in the wall. The idea was for me to go in, catch, skin, cook and serve it for dinner. Mama promised I could have the leg and thigh portions if it was a nutria. What she didn’t know was that every time she and daddy and the boys left me home alone, I would crawl into that hole and hang out. The critters within were friends.  There were the conjoined nutrias, the nervous 3-legged possum, the owl with the glass eye and the pair of bald headed bald eagles. They made me feel loved and needed… go figure… One evening at mama’s insistence, I crawled through the trap door in search of a nutria big enough to be dinner for 4, no not 5, I was the middle child and I always ate alone. I knew Asa and Asa were big enough to feed the entire family, but I knew I could never harm a hair on their stuck together backs, especially the way Asa looked at me and the way Asa looked back at me.  That was the night I had to improvise, so I crawled in, bent over and took a chunk out of my right ankle. It was the one with the fungus on it so I had to work twice as hard to chew through all that thick hard skin. To be sure it would be enough to feed the whole family, I reached around and bit a plug of fat off my back and that was actually quite simple. (For more than a year Chuckie and Lil Renny enjoyed playing tug of war. I was the rope… one held my feet and the other one held my head. I think my neck stretched more than a foot before the judge caught wind and banned them from their favorite game.) I took my meat to the kitchen and tossed all of it into a pot of hot water with some fresh dug potatoes and carrots. When it finished cooking I sat back and watched my family have a fleshy foot fungus and back fat food fiesta, and I didn’t even mind the fact that Princess wouldn’t share her bone with me as I watched. Thinking back and looking forward, I suspect that explains my chronic back issues and maybe even my recurring foot fungus.

The Family I Never Dreamed of—

(This is the sixth chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O   intro    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH  chapter2   http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OL  chapter 3

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OQ    chapter 4    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pj

Chapter 6

My bedroom, aka, The Taj Mahal.

The walls were covered with magazine cut outs of my future husband, Michael Jackson. Yes, the world famous, now deceased, Mr. “I Want You Back”, himself! We He released that in 1969 with his brothers. We were very young then and had one of those arranged marriages, only neither of us really had anything to offer the other. I was a lonely middle child and he was “mean Joe Jackson’s” boy. Who’d have ever thought he’d rise above and make it so big? Not me. Hell, if I knew then what I came to eventually know, I wouldn’t have insisted on him moving away to Indiana. Of course, he came back for me when he started making it big, but I’ve never been one to grab anyone else’s coattail – so I sent him away to live his life …as a lonely guy with a monkey for a best friend. If this seems fictitious, just google the lyrics to “Ben” and you’ll see me written all over that song. Not to mention, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Baby Be Mine”. I could go on forever, but my peepers of times forgotten are starting to cloud over so I’d better get on with it before they’re too cloudy to see the computer keys.

Earlier in the story I indicated that my room was not appropriately furnished. Pictures on a wall, even if they’re of such a beautiful guy, certainly do not make for a comfortable area to call your own. Remember when I said that I slept on a mat in “the boys’ room”? That wasn’t forever. At some point it became perceptible that I was being treated more like a red head step child than a middle child and mom and dad must have felt bad, or something, so they decided to change things up a bit. They bought used furniture from a flea market, used carpet samples (shag and thin) from a remnant store and a pair of venetian blinds that were only missing half the slats. For the most part, I loved my “new” room. The sofa sleeper would only pop out three quarters of the way so I slept sitting up, sort of leaning forward and folded. The bed bugs and chiggers weren’t much of a problem either, after daddy started dipping me in kerosene and motor oil in the mornings. The blinds, even with their shoddy, flawed design, provided enough shade and cover to keep me from being completely exposed. Since there was no glass in the window, they blew in and out freely, which helped keep some of the horseflies out too. The only thing I didn’t like was the flooring. I couldn’t seem to keep my footing on the thin parts, and the fleas on the shag pieces kept my ankles peppered with oozing, red, itchy spots. To my dismay, the kerosene motor oil potion was more like joy juice to them than poison. It’s like they lived for that stuff. I can still see them licking it off, then using their needle–like front feet to drill holes into the fleshy parts of my ankles making them look like fat, caramel covered candied apples but without the apples. They still look like that to this day.

 

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—

(This is the fifth chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O intro    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH    chapter2   http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OL  chapter 3

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OQ    chapter 4

Chapter 5

Ok, now let’s go ahead and put my parents room “in review”:

Their room was laid out much like my room is today. They had the master bedroom in their house like I have the master bedroom in my house, except I added a 6×12 foot walk-in closet and had my half bath converted to full. The closet was a must have, my Snicker Bar, Fritos and Coke fetish have to remain private… and secret. Yes, after all of the “things” I went through, I survived, and I guess you could say, I even thrived…never underestimate the power of prayer, 47 years of psychotherapy and some of the best mind altering drugs known to man.

The master bedroom- my reminiscences of this room are a bit hazy, and it’s likely that the matter involving the bees, the electric blanket and the baseball bat are the cause. The doctor said that waiting until the swelling went down was probably not a good idea. That one nostril was swollen so big it cut off the air to the other one and I guess my airway was blocked off a little more than I thought from that blood poisoning infection I got from the rusty needle mama used for my stitches. Those five days of random wheezing/whistling instead of breathing, undoubtedly must have done some brain damage.

What I do remember is the way mama and daddy had to hold Renny down every morning before school to comb his hair. See, Renny was born with his intestines twisted and had to have an operation when he was just two days old. Granny Lynn said they used too much “ether” and that made his teeth look like tiny yellow spikes. She said it also explained why his hair was so damn bad that they had to use a metal comb to comb it. Spikey teeth, non- spikey teeth, good hair, bad hair – no big deal, right? Especially since his baby teeth were destined to fall out anyway… but what about that hair? Would it fall out, too? Was there any hope? The fact that they basically had to hog tie Lil Renny each day just to get the comb through one “2×2” block was too much for mama to bear. He was her baby and she wanted to protect him at any cost. I believe that’s when the hair transplant idea first crossed her mind, at least that’s about the time that I noticed mama spending more time with me than ever before. She hugged me more, she held me more, she kissed me more, she smelled my hair more and she ran her fingers through it more. The only time I can recall a hug or kiss from mama was the night I choked on my hamburger steak. Looking back, I realize two broken ribs might be consistent with the Heimlich maneuver, but where does mouth to mouth fit in to that scenario? I guess she wasn’t taking any chances. My parents were court ordered to keep me alive “by any means necessary” or else, and obviously, they intended to do just that. Nothing in the order mentioned keeping me with or without hair, which now leads me to believe mama was “casing” my head. Do you know what that means? It’s a slang law enforcement word used to describe what potential thieves do when they check a location out or watch it closely and covertly.

This hugging and kissing and finger combing went on for 6 to 8 months. Then one day granddaddy came around and offered me a cup of that sweet, fruity tasting, warm tea with the funny smelling froth on top. I didn’t want to be rude so I took it, drank it and woke up 4 days older, lying on the floor, in a tea induced fog.  I was confused, thirsty, hot and sweaty which was the way I always felt after drinking that “tea”. I eventually realized I was in my parent’s bedroom and I can remember nervously looking up at daddy who was sitting in his recliner next to the bed. When I stirred, he looked down at me with that empty mouthed frown and a question mark on his face. That simple look silently spoke volumes. When I looked over at mama, who was sitting in the corner, her face told a different story. She looked away and snickered. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of my hair in the big mirror over the dresser, only it no longer framed my face. It was Lil Renny’s face that my beautiful, luxurious locks were caressing. I reached up and touched my head and began to cry, not for the hair I’d lost but for the hair they’d left me with. I felt what could be no less described as patches or splotches. One look in the mirror and my muffled sobs were covered by shrill, hyena-like laughter. I stared at my reflection in the mirror until it became obvious that each time I inhaled, the hyenas would stop and they would only begin again when I exhaled. It was me, the laughter slash shrieking was coming from me…

…8 days later…. I woke up to the smell of ammonia and Vicks Vaporub with a hint of Lysol and a touch of bleach on the side. It seems that daddy had convinced mama that I was possessed, and that the only way to stop my “fit” was to purge me. It only took 3 months for some of the feeling in my cheeks to return. I still have trouble with the right one when it rains and the dentist has such a hard time numbing my mouth that he has to sedate me. I guess that’s from that ammonia, Vicks, Lysol, cocktail enema they gave me that day; and all these years I thought I’d inherited this crooked smile…

More About Aunt Maggie

If you’ll recall i introduced my Aunt Maggie to the blogosphere back in July in “Aunt Maggie’s power Outage”- http://wp.me/p5AbPX-zG . Well today while driving home from mass I thought of her again and decided to share another of my precious “Aunt Maggie” tales.

My Aunt Maggie was a six-foot-tall, full- figured woman. She wore a size 44 double D brassiere, often bragged about wearing nothing but the best, white cotton granny panties on the market, size 22 triple X. Aunt Maggie said that wearing those little nylon and lace things was too much work.  She said all of that twisting and pinching and pulling and digging all day long made her fingers and arms sore, and it kept her with an awful rash, too.

Anyway, I didn’t care about any of that. Aunt Maggie was my favorite. We spent hours and hours together, especially when school was out. I specifically recall the year I stayed with Aung Maggie during my spring break. It was April, and boy oh boy, was it windy outside. We used a pair of Aunt Maggie’s bloomers to make parachutes, and we jumped off the barn into the duck pond. That was so much fun… until we saw the snake. That was the longest, fattest snake I’d ever laid eyes on. It had fangs hanging outside its mouth and it had two rows of teeth. Now most snakes have little beady eyes, but not that one… the eyes in that thing’s head looked to be as big as golf balls, and they were oozing some kind of green slimy looking stuff. To make matters worse, I think it was blind but it apparently had some kind of heat sensing ability.  That fat, long, double row tooth, fanged, blind thing was swimming right for me, and no matter which way I went, it stayed on my tail. I was screaming and splashing and trying to get away from it when I saw movement out the corner of my eye. I looked over my shoulder and there she was – Aunt Maggie- in all her glory. I wanted to give up and let the snake eat me because life as I knew it, would never be the same after seeing all that up close and in person. She gave a whole new meaning to “naked and afraid”. She was naked and I was afraid… and nauseous… and ready to die.

Aunt Maggie wasn’t having it. I saw her take one deep breath then trap the air inside her cheeks. In one swift move, she released something that was pure evil, it was repugnant and noxious, and at the same time, it was as hot as fish grease. I immediately smelled hair burning…my eyebrows and eyelashes were gone in that instant. Luckily, between the heat and the shear fear and panic, I managed to either subconsciously block or ignore enough of that atrocious odor to limit the blood loss from my nose; but that poor snake never saw it coming. It hit him dead between the golf balls. Aunt Maggie immediately flipped on her back then lunged forward taking that snake’s head between her 44 double D’s and that, dear people, was all she wrote. When her girls let him go, I watched as he lazily slithered to the bank, curled up in the snake fetal position, put his tail in his mouth and sucked himself to sleep.

 

 

Young Teen v. Old Mom (still at it)

My young teen and I are at it again and I’m winning!

A pitiful looking stray dog wandered into our yard several days ago and per the norm, my young teen wants to keep it. You know how kids love puppies and kittens and baby bunnies– right up until they become dogs and cats and adult rabbits? Well, that’s exactly how my girl is. You see where I’m going with this? Yep, she loves em either until they outgrow their cuteness or until it wears off or until they become adults. So, she asked if we could keep the pup and of course I said no. Here’s the conversation that resulted in my taking the lead:

Young Teen: “Ma, can we keep her?”

Old Mom: “No”

Young Teen: “Ma, please, I’ll feed her”

Old Mom: “No you won’t, I have to force you to feed the one we already have”

Young Teen: “I promise I’ll feed her. If I don’t you can take my phone”

Old Mom: While laughing hysterically–“Girl, I can take you phone anytime I want, what else ya got”

Young Teen: 1                       Old Mom: 2

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