An observant, anonymous reader kindly noted recently that I "find fault in everything and complain a lot." And you know what? She's right. And it got me thinking: what am I so damned pissed off about? My life is pretty good and I'm crazy about my girls. My family is healthy. The girls are happy (usually). So I think I'm going to change my tune, my blog, my life. I am going to become a positive person, be grateful for what I have and stop, as the saying goes "sweating the small stuff." I'm going to stop being so negative and start blogging about the spiritual, positive aspects of my life. I am going to have new mottos, oldies but goodies: "live and let live" and "free to be you and me." Readers, welcome to my revamped blog: Chicken Soup for the Twin Mom's Soul.
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Seriously, no movie line ever resonated with me so completely as when Shirley Maclaine (or was it Olympia Dekakis?) said in Steel Magnolias "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." Well, that and "Nobody puts baby in the corner" by the late great Patrick Swayze and "I get a lot of compliments on this, besides it's not a man purse it's a satchel; Indiana Jones carries one" from The Hangover but those are less relevant here.
Okay, so on that note here are my top gripes for the day:
1) Independence Day: July 4 will be here in exactly 3 days. While I like to celebrate the birth of our great nation as much as the next guy, now having kids it only means one thing: they will be awakened repeatedly over the weekend by idiots setting off fireworks WHICH ARE ILLEGAL IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. Last year, I went ballistic (a bit embarrassingly over the top) on our neighbors (I haven't been able to make eye contact since) and wonder if my excessive over-reaction will a) make them not set off fireworks this year or b) set off about 10 times as many just to prove a point. And something tells me the hippie squatters behind us won't pass up the opportunity to make a little noise this weekend. After all, what could be more fun than mixing pot and explosives?
2) The Ice Cream-Eating Nanny: We pretty much go to the same park after naptime very day which has the unfortunate location of being across the street from a Dairy Queen. Which wasn't a problem until recently, when a nanny starting showing up at the park like clockwork every day around 5:00 pm eating a ginormous sundae, and occasionally when she desired candy with her ice cream, a Blizzard. Her charge is only an infant so doesn't really get the ice cream thing yet. But all the other kids do and you hear a dull roar resonate throughout the park of kids demanding ice cream. Listen, I get it's a public place and you can whatever you damn please there. But really? You need to taunt children with ice cream during the dinner hour? Kind of like the mom who sat in a sandbox sucking on a lollipop at 9:00 am. Really?
3) The Jet-Setting Neighbors: Our neighbors who own the comparable unit in our condo building are going into foreclosure. Who would have known they were broke and not able to pay their mortgage when they were going on lavish vacations and recently bought a fancy new car! What suckers we are to be driving a 2004 model and skipping vacations so we could continue to afford ours after I quit working! And because they put no money down, they don't care what price they sell it at -- because they're not getting any of their non-existent down payment back anyway! So guess who is screwed if we want to sell our place because theirs is going for way below market value? Not them! They also have a dog who recently overdosed on Prozac and had to be rushed to the doggy emergency room. I bet that cost a pretty penny... And, no, I swear on my life I'm not kidding.
4) Ali the Bachelorette: And just when I thought I couldn't hate a Bachelorette more than Jillian, Ali exclaims "Bring on the boys!" And it's been downhill since then. Who could have foreseen that a professional wrestler who goes by the stage name "Rated R" might be up to no good? And what's with the guy Cape Cod Chris who has his late mother's signature tattooed on his chest? You get that creepy piece of information and you don't even wait for the next rose ceremony to chuck him.
5) The Chatty, Pretentious Lady at the Park: People, do I seem like I want to make friends to you? Some woman is hell bent on being pals and, quite frankly, I'm more open to Lisa Rinna becoming my BFF --and we know how I feel about her. She uses "summer" as a verb. She says things like she "doesn't shop at big box stores" and brags that she and her husband (who must have been a serial murderer in his past life and this is payback) take their kids to "fine dining establishments" because "that's why we live in the city after all -- for the culture." She's never been in a Jewel (is that a "big box store" one wonders?) only Whole Foods and "Trader Joes only when absolutely necessary." Whatevs. I try not to respond beyond what's completely necessary so as not to encourage further interaction but I am curious why going into Trade Joes would ever be "absolutely necessary." Asking that question, however, might present the false impression I care. She also goes "on holiday," not vacation and no, she's not European.
Thing is, this woman tries to act like she's wealthy but I'm pretty sure if she summers somewhere it's at a Motel 6 right near a major interstate. So anyway, my mom was visiting and after a joint encounter with this woman my mom said, "You were so cold to her!" I was so happy because that's the exact demeanor I was going for. I actually thought I was being sort of too nice. But if you give this lady an inch, she'll never leave. Anyway, this woman just announced she is selling her house and moving to a new neighborhood and she must have wondered what was up because I practically hugged her in glee. She probably didn't know I had teeth before that moment because I'd never before smiled in her presence. BTW, later in the week after we encountered this woman again and she cornered my mom she understood why I give this lady one-word answers. It's not "cold" it's "self-preservation." Oh, and don't get me started on her kid who is like a mini-me and one day asked me if the bananas the girls were eating were organic. She's like four or five years old! When I said no, she yelled, "Ewww!"Again, I'M NOT KIDDING. I didn't know what to say so in a juvenile move I said, "Ewww yourself." I don't know what that means exactly but it's all I could come up with at the time. I was pissed all night I didn't come up with a better retort. I was out-witted by a pre-schooler.
Listen, I don't have a lot of readers, so to keep Anonymous happy I am going to think of an uplifting topic to write about. As soon as I can think of something. Don't hold your breath though -- it might take a while.
PS -- Does anyone else encounter these situations at the park or is it just me? Maybe park-goers are like dogs -- they migrate toward the least friendly people in a bid to win them over and I should be over-the-top hyper friendly and see if that turns people off and they leave us alone?
PPS -- I just thought this photo was a fairly bizarre one from the park and went with it...
PPPS -- Do you think the person who didn't like that I used PSS instead of PPS is happy I switched purely for her sake?