5

Gee, Your House Smells… Damaged…

I need some opinions. I have difficulties thinking for myself so I’m reaching out to my readers (Mom, I’m talking about you).

So, like many others, I love air fresheners. I like the plug-in kind and the wax melting kind. I like candles and diffusers and oil burners, oh my! I will use them all in tandem to have a scent orgy going on in my house. I want you to walk in my front door and feel like you’ve been punched in the face with a cookie/apple-pie/lemon-mint/cucumber-melon fist. I’m promiscuous with my scents… there’s no smell I won’t try and if there’s a new way to disperse it throughout my home, sign me up.

I’ve tried lots but I have my favorites. I’m not going to name names, but I do have a brand that I use as my go-to guys for smelly stuff. I have a small-ish stockpile of their products in my basement. I buy new plug-in warmers pretty frequently since they come out with new, cuter ones each season that get me all wiggly with excitement. Anyway, I’m a little bit brand loyal.

Here’s the problem- I’ve had my suspicions about this brand’s plug-in oil warming products for a while now. There is a questionable/concerning oil-drippy spot on one of my kitchen outlets that seems like it was about three minutes away from an electrical fire…

I swear i have tried to clean this....

I swear i have tried to clean this….

But to be honest, I can’t remember what the offending brand was that did the damage to the wall/electrical plate. It could have been one of many; however, I’m starting to think that all of the damage is coming from one, singular brand.

But this is besides the point. This damage is water/oil under the bridge. The current issue began with a plug in warmer being unplugged and set into my son’s Bumbo seat and, unbeknownst to me, began decomposing the seat. I couldn’t tell you how long the plug in was in there, but I’d guess maybe a few hours? When I went to use the seat, I noticed the plug had sunk into the bottom of the chair and was melting the foam/plastic of the Bumbo–

Chemical reaction frownie face.

Chemical reaction frownie face.

The plug in left a distinctive, owl shaped spot in the seat which is now squishy and weird-feeling.

Confused and stupid, I set the offending plug on the table while trying to figure out what the fuck just happened. While I sleuthed, the plug ate a hole through the finish on the table top.

Owl faces blurred to protect the potentially innocent.

Owl faces blurred to protect the potentially innocent.

Here’s my issue– is this my fault?

I feel kind of like it is. I should have taken the utmost care with the plug-in. I should have known better than to just set it on an uneven surface and I should have shown an understanding that the damn thing would vomit corrosive oil all over my home, ruining everything it touched.

I should have known better.

However, I obviously didn’t. So I kind of feel like it’s NOT my fault.

So, that’s question number one- Is this my fault? Like, are there little warnings that I missed that say oil plug ins are never to be set down on things or can potentially leak, ruining your nice shit?

Question number two– If it’s NOT my fault, should I write a letter to the company?

My husband says, yes, definitely write them a letter, but for him to tell me not to would be saying this is my fault. He’s too afraid of me to say that to my face.

If I did write them a letter, I should have a resolution in mind. (At least that’s what my professional writing class told me.) What’s the resolution? Buy me a new table and a new baby seat because your stupid oil ruined my stupid shit? PLUS I have a ton of these plug ins in my basement. Should I return it all? How would I even go about returning it? I’m sure to lose money on that deal since some of the stuff has been clearanced since I bought it… I don’t know. I guess if I keep it and use it it might ruin other expensive things I own so maybe just returning it would be smarter? Plus I have to buy a new plug-in warmer now so I’d be spending more money and right now giving this company more money sounds like a shitty idea. And what should my tone be in the letter? Angry Bitcherella? Sweet, stupid bumpkin who don’t know better than to set stuff on other stuff? I feel like both of these things right now… Sometimes it’s just easier to shut the fuck up and forget about it.

Except there’s a weird spot on my good table.

And a weird, squishy hole in my kid’s chair.

And this company makes enough money on these products (hell, on ME) that they can afford to appease me as a customer. Plus, wouldn’t this be considered a design flaw? I’m not exactly nonobjective in writing this. I don’t want to admit this is entirely my fault… but I can’t think for myself and need someone else to tell me what to do.

Someone who’s not afraid of me.

Someone not my husband.

<sigh>

So give me advice.

And while you’re at it, tell my dog she’s pretty because she got a hair cut and she feels insecure about it.

Can I haz compleement?

Can I haz compleement?

We eagerly await your thoughts…

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5

Costco Wins My Heart

Costco, man. I have such a hard on for Costco. I mean, a place that provides a living wage, benefits and closes its doors on Thanksgiving so its employees don’t have to deal with the likes of me on holidays? AND they sell delicious products in HUGE sizes? BoooOOOooiiiIIIiiiiinnnnggggGGGG! Hard-on city.

My husband takes me on dates to Costco. It’s the place that makes me love him again. I caught him throwing a massive bag of Brookside chocolates into the cart even though I told him we absolutely, positively MUST NOT BUY THEM because I am addicted to them and will devour them non-stop until they are all gone. They’re my equivalent to what a coke whore would do if someone dropped a pillowcase of A-1 Bolivian Marching Powder in their lap and told them to have at it.*

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3

Minecraft and Hot Tamales

What, you may ask, gets me through the long days without any interaction with living humans that can respond to me?

Minecraft and Hot Tamales.

Now you may ask why I needed to qualify humans with “living” and for that I must admit I occasionally speak to both God and dead people, begging them to tell me what I should make for dinner. I have also asked Jesus to watch the baby while I take a bathroom break. He sucks as a babysitter, by the way. Gabe screamed the whole time.

Why did I need to specify “humans”? Because I also sometimes talk to the dogs but those conversations usually occur after I trip over one of them, so its more me yelling obscenities at them rather than a conversation. I also just said, “Fuck you, Car!” because… well, the Mazda is a dick and loves to not unlock when I tell it to so I run out in the rain to get something from my car, thinking it unlocked, only to find that it didn’t truly unlock when I told it to. So I have to run back to the house– in the rain– to get the key… and then run back out to get the intended item… You get it. You’d say fuck you to your car, too, even though the neighbors are standing on their porch, watching you like you are crazy. Well, maybe if they came over to talk once in a while, I wouldn’t have to talk to my fucking car, now would I? Ha ha! Just kidding! I love you, Bob and Janet! (I have no fucking clue what their names actually are.)

And why “that can respond to me”? Because, for the majority of the day, a torrent of baby-appeasing, sing-song-y bullshit pours out of me in an attempt to keep Baby Ass-en-heimer content. Usually, his response is to puke on me and then he cries. I don’t count that.

Since I spend so much time NOT talking to anyone, you can see how easy it is for me to spend three paragraphs describing one sentence.

Pathetic.

But honestly, the real topic at hand (Minecraft and Hot Tamales, remember?) isn’t much more interesting than an in-depth investigation on why I said something. It basically boils down to, “Yeah, I like to play Minecraft on my iPad and stuff my face with Hot Tamales while doing so.”

The end.

But not really, because I need to tell you that you should NOT eat so many Hot Tamales. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to poop again. I can actually feel a gelatinous, cinnamon flavored gummy baby in my stomach. If I ever poop again, I will probably post a picture because it will probably look like a four pound Hot Tamale in the toilet. Does the body even digest these things? I mean, is it like the candy equivalent of corn?

Anyway, gross, right? So, I think I’ve established how much I love Hot Tamales. If you don’t know what they are… I really can’t even fathom someone not knowing what these are… but if you aren’t familiar, I will describe them thricely.

1- They are like cinnamon flavored Mike and Ikes.

2- They are like hot gummy bears but slightly crunchy? LIke, really stale, cinnamon-hot gummy bears?

3- Think Big Red gum except more gummy… and you are supposed to swallow it.

Sounds delicious, right? I should be a food critic or something. My descriptive abilities, when it comes to food, are unparalleled.

Now these candies in conjunction with a fully sedentary day of Minecraft playing create my ideal rainy afternoon. And since it has rained non-stop since Noah started building the ark (in early March, I’d say?) I have eaten an estimated seven tons of Hot Tamales. Their stock price is booming. Can a stock price boom? Well, if so, it is.

And as for Minecraft, if you haven’t hearD of it, you must not have a seven year old boy. Or a twelve year old girl. If you do have one of those two things and haven’t heard of Minecraft… consider yourself blessed. Regardless of how awful it is to listen to someone talk about a video game, I’m making the sensible decision to talk about a video game! 

My son and daughter turned me on to the game. I spent the whopping eight dollars (EIGHT DOLLARS!? AM I FREAKING INSANE TO SPEND EIGHT BUCKS ON A FREAKING IPAD APP??!!……. yes.) and have been playing ever since. I have gotten my money’s worth.

So, if you haven’t heard of the game, I will describe it thricely–

1- In Minecraft, you are splunked down into this world that resembles an uninhabited Earth. There are animals that you kill to eat and monsters that try to eat you/blow you up. You have to try to survive by finding items to create other items. For example, you must mine coal and chop wood to make torches. The point is to not die by falling off of a cliff or bitten to death by a giant spider/pig-zombie-man. 2- The game is entirely composed of bricks. Just squares that you can dig up or build up or whatever. You can play in creative mode and build anything you can think of (with squares only) and the monsters go away so you can’t die. So I guess you couldn’t build, like, a circle…I basically just build houses. And paths to my many houses. 3- It is a game created for computer people who like to write code. Somehow if you play on the computer or something you can type stuff or something and the game will be different in ways that are cooler than the original. Like, according to my son, you can make boats. And different swords or something.

Again, I am so awesome at really painting a picture for the reader, no?

Anyway, when in the middle of marathon breast-feeding days, I find myself rather consumed by things like this. I compulsively eat candy and dig digital holes in this game until my eyes go all wonky. Then the kids come home from school and join me on their iPads and we all play together.

I’m contributing to their brain rot, I know, after the first time my son looked at me and said, “Mommy, we had a really fun adventure today, didn’t we?” I knew I was hooked.

I mean, an adventure on a rainy day with my kid? Awesome!

And an adventure on a rainy day when I’m by myself and I don’t have to leave the house? Awesome! Mostly pathetic, but still kinda awesome!

And just so you know how deep I’m in here, it took me two days to write this… not because I was busy cleaning my house for the realtors (of course, I was doing that) but during my down time (read: nursing time) I was Minecraft-ing.

Don’t judge. It’s super fun… and I’ve already mentally checked out of this blog since I’m really just itching to play… and there’s a box of Hot Tamales calling my name….

I need help.

I’m available for an intervention any time you are. Just form your support circle around me on the couch.

1

Real Estate, Real Stress

We are getting ready to put our house on the market and an unpleasant side effect is that I now hate everyone. The realtor is coming this week to take photos to put on the website so I’ve been busting balls to get the place looking less like a flop house and more like something someone would want to buy instead of shoot up in. You don’t realize how filthy your family is until your home is about to be judged by everyone on the internet. I now realize that my kids all have fingerprints and my husband wears shoes and the dogs have hair and I wear clothes. These are the reasons I hate. And I am almost ready to punch the dog… because he is licking his pecker like he doesn’t have a care in the world and I can SEE the hair being magnetically pulled from his body and statically clung to the couch behind him . Everyone must contribute to making this house look its best… even the dogs.

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1

Success in Advertising

Yesterday I was long winded. Today I will be brief because I have shit to do.

Well, brief-er.

More brief.

Already it’s not looking good for brevity.

Anyway, I skipped WTF Wednesday because I simply forgot. So I guess this is sort of a WTF Friday? I didn’t make it to the thrift store this week. The images from previous trips just aren’t speaking to me yet, so I’m going to talk about some images that I used to use as teaching tools about successfully conveying a message in advertising. I guess I could have just used the word rhetoric but this brevity thing…. I’m not so good at it.

I used to teach a class on rhetoric and composition and I’d use these images, not so much because they are excellent examples of successful advertising. It’s basically because I thought they were funny and I wanted to share them with friends. Since I had no friends, I would squeeze them into lesson plans so I could laugh with a group of people and feel like I was part of the 18 year old cool kids. I was their leader. I was the head cool kid just for a moment.

Come be a cool kid with me and look at this shit I brought….

I'm sure they're much better at sewing. I mean, how could they NOT be?

I’m sure they’re much better at sewing. I mean, how could they NOT be?

So I’m not going to speculate on who this person is. Okay, maybe a little speculating…. So I would like to believe these are English-as-second-language people. I refuse to believe that any native speaker would mutilate words like this. It’s possible though. Notice that only the Es are in cursive? And, yes, that is the way I’m pluralizing the letter E. Maybe it’d be easier to just make a list?

– Scribbled hastily on side of van in Pig’s Blood Red lipstick

– The letters A, R and T are capitalized with no apparent reason behind it.

– E and i are not capitalized. (Is there a Da Vinci Code type message here? Do they know where Jesus’s hemmed dress slacks are hidden?)

– Why, oh why, did they break up the word alteration? Why didn’t they just start writing 3 inches over? Why didn’t they wipe the lipstick off and try it again? If they wrote it in permanent marker… why in the fuck did they write it in permanent marker? On the side of their vehicle?? I’m seriously leaning Da Vinci on this. Are the Alterati an even more secret sect of the Illuminati? More secret because they’re not rich and they drive poorly tired mini vans? And because they sew stuff instead of do mean things to Taylor Swift at award ceremonies?

– And for the love of God why is there a comma after the phone number?? Every time I look at this I think that the phone number is someplace in Ontario. Why, yes! I DO live in 592-4783, Ontario! (Yeah, that one didn’t bring any laughs in the classroom either…)

And, just for your information, my students and I called the number once. It was out of service. The Alterati again have disappeared into the dark, hidden sweatshops of the world….

God, now I feel guilty! What if this was a cry for help? What if they are trapped somewhere, being forced to sew red carpet dresses for Hollywood’s elite Illuminati?

Or maybe they just got arrested. I took the photo in front of a flea market that the cops shut down because they were selling millions of dollars of knockoff designer purses.

I will always wonder, though— who ARE the Alterati?

So I’ve already broken my promise about brevity. I’m just going to say a few words on this next one because I don’t want to give anyone the impression I actually am trying to speak politically on the topic being advertised here…

Abortion

I took this photo on my way home from work one day.

Read the sign. Just the words.

I know it is an anti-abortion ad.

I also know it’s unsuccessful but still successful. Either way you read it, it’s correct.

Abortion does stop a beating heart.

Abortion also, technically, could stop a beating.

It’s all in the perspective, I guess.

Happy Friday, everyone! 🙂

6

A Serious Talk about Gaslighting

There are things that people do that have a pretty clear motive. You witness what happened, you know why it happened. The end. For example, if your husband drinks directly out of the milk carton you can say, “Hey, I saw you drink out of the milk carton.” Then, he should respond, “Yes. I was thirsty.” You can be pretty sure there are no other motives behind his actions… unless you have told him a million times to not drink out of the milk carton, then there’s a chance he might be passive aggressive… So maybe that’s not a good example. Maybe a better example would be if someone has a headache, they might take some Tylenol to get rid of it. They aren’t taking Tylenol to piss you off or make you feel stupid. They are doing it for the sole purpose of getting rid of their headache. The end.

There are other times when a motive might not be so clear. Say your husband starts demanding you show him all the receipts from any shopping you might do. He says he needs to have all of the receipts hanging on the fridge by the end of the day that you go shopping. If you don’t have the receipts up there, he accuses you of not being committed to the marriage and you are sabotaging your relationship. So, this is kind of a domineering request in itself, what is the motive on his part? Are you in money troubles that you aren’t aware of? Is he doing a spending experiment with you that he can’t tell you about because it’s a blind study? You know it feels wrong, it feels controlling but the motives aren’t clear enough for you to make a solid decision on it.

So maybe that example became a little muddled. I’d like to be explicitly clear on this because I feel like it’s important.

My ex-husband is the master of unclear motives. Since I have known him, he has honed his skills at making me doubt myself and whether or not what happened was something he intended. It’s this thing called Gaslighting. I’m pretty sure he isn’t aware there is a term for the sociopathic behavior he exhibits but the fact that I know brings me comfort.

I hope educating about this term might bring someone else comfort too.

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0

The Tale of Spring Break in Ohio

woman in shoe

Once upon a time there was a mother who lived in a little house with her husband and her children. They had plenty to eat and lived a nice, modest little life. Then one day, an event occurred. It was something that came around every year and mothers all over the land would shudder in fear of it. It was called “Spring Break” because of, certainly, all the spirits of mothers that were broken during that fateful week.

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