Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goodbye June! Don't Let the Screen Door Hit You in the Butt on the Way Out.

Okay, pretend we're talking. Okay, here goes:

YOU: Oh, hello Jesslyn! haven't heard from you in for pretty much ever. What have you been doing that you're not writing entertaining and self absorbed blog posts for Me, your semi-faithful reader?

ME: OH, HI SEMI-FAITHFUL READER! I've been remiss, I know. But you know why? Because my life is a HOCKEY BAG FULL OF FLAMING NUTBALLS right now. No, seriously. It is. You know how I know? Because I just made the whole concept of flaming nutballs up just this second. So I'm entitled to use it in any way I feel is appropriate.

But here it is 10:40 Pm, so let me list Some Things That Happened to Jesslyn in June (in order of importance):

1. Bryan came home for good--yaaaaay!

2. The Prius broke. That's right, Toyota fans--at the moment my traitorous though comfortable friend Whitey the Prius is but a useless, Prius-shaped pile of state of the art Japanese engineering taking up valuable driveway space. And you know how much it's going to cost to fix it? (You got pearls on ladies? Because you best get ready to clutch them.) Four Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars!!!! For a new transaxle-or-whatever-thingy! I didn't even do anything wrong!! I did it all right!! I paid them all of my money to make sure this would never happen! Damn right, it's unjust. Flagrantly unjust.

3. Odessa started walking! And dancing! This is only #3 in order of importance because we knew it was going to happen eventually. But Sweet Toaster Strudels, is she ever cute. To wit:

4. Paddle Georgia came and went. So, I'm going to have to write a whole nother post about Paddle Georgia some day because it deserves it. But basically, each year the organization I work for takes 350 people between the ages of 5 and 80 down a different river in Georgia by kayak and canoe for a week (participants paddle between 80-100 miles, depending on the year). My job--so far as I can ascertain--is to keep track of 300 people's children, socks and toiletry bags, to administer First Aid to dehydrated people, and to field complaints about what flavor potato chips are being served for lunch that day. For an entire week.

Yeah, so that happened.

5. We're in the process of buying a Subaru Outback. Oh God, what am I doing?

6. My sweet Ruby Bear stopped eating for a while this month. She's a 10 year old, 95 lb. Rottweiler. Then we started feeding her wet food. And suddenly she's allll better. So, that's taken care of.

7. I was feeling like an armadillo carcass the first couple of days of Paddle Georgia, so I went to the hospital in Royston, Georgia (my friend Mary who lives in Royston told me later that I might as well have gone to the large animal veterinarian, and I think there might be something to that...). Anyway, besides verifying that I was, in fact, not pregnant (because that's what is usually wrong with women when they don't feel good, don't you know?) and that I definitely should not still be nursing my 16 month old because that's just weird, they gave me a giant steroid shot in my butt and sent me on my way. NOW I see why the baseball players love that stuff! The next morning I woke up and felt like I could vaccuum a football field.

8. I turned on the air conditioner in my house. Saints Be Praised!

9. My cat Babesby got like this gross pizza-face acne on the back of his ears and now I have to wash them with my face soap every night and massage them with Benzoyl Peroxide. He loooooves it. (yep--sarcasm.)

10. I have the worst hang nails.... It's seriously impairing my nail polishing activities. And you know I hate that.

ME: So, that's my excuse.

YOU: Oh.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mama's Boys

Okay, ya'll. As a special Monday treat, I'm fixin' to make some sweeping generalizations. You ready? Okay, LET'S DO THIS.

As I think most of you know, I have a little girl.
Cute, right?

WRONG! She's the most adorable eff-ing thing in the world. She's cuter than 400 baby elephants, 150 baby otters, 60 baby pygmy hippos and 11 baby sloths rolled into one super species that has been selected only for its cuteness genes. I mean, come on:

It's stupid how adorable and hilarious and cuddly she is. And she loves her Mama, certainly, which is gratifying.

But yesterday I was at my friend Claudia's house and made a very important realization:

Little boys--and in fact, boys in general--love their Mamas with more extravagant abandon than girls do. Claudia has a couple of my favorite kids in town: a smart, lovely six-year-old girl and a sweet, hilarious four-year-old boy, who at one point during my visit came over to Claudia as we were talking, gently took her head in both his chubby little hands and plucked a piece of glitter off her chin. When I commented on the tenderness with which he provided this little service, Claudia said, "Yeah, that's the difference between boys and girls. Anna would never do that."

And I started thinking about other friends who have little boys, and it seems pretty consistent: the little boys I know are just really passionate about their moms. And I don't think that changes a whole lot as they grow up.

Case in point:
I adore my mother. I do! I'm not just saying that because she reads this blog. My mom is really funny and cool and smart and we love each other to pieces, truly. I respect and am eternally grateful to her for the way she raised my sister and me, and for what a good friend she is to us as adults. That said, my mom is not beyond reproach. For instance, Ma can be a complete airhead and also can not be relied upon to complete very necessary paperwork in a timely manner and her lifelong preoccupation with horses might be classified by some experts as mildly psychotic. I'm not afraid to tell you all of this because she is my Mom and she is human, and I would tell this stuff to her face if she were here right now (in fact, I think I might just tell her when she comes to visit tomorrow.)

Now, let's compare my feelings for my mother to those Bryan feels toward his. Let it be said, Bryan totally won the parent lottery. Both his parents are unbelievably helpful, caring, supportive, generous and kind. They're the kind of people who volunteer every week at the women's shelter. Despite the fact that they don't know you, if you got cancer, they would take excellent care of your kids for an entire month while you were in the hospital, no questions asked. (No, I'm serious--I've seen them do it. No, I'm not going to give you their phone number.)

So, there aren't a lot of situations in which you would want to rib Bryan's mom; but she, like my own mother, is human. But don't tell Bryan. Ooooooooooooooh no. There is to be no blaspheming of Gail Nuse in our house. If I really want to get on his nerves, I can say something like, "So, has it ever occurred to you that your mom might not be a legitimate speech-language pathologist, but may actually be running a human trafficking ring specializing in selling disabled children to creeps and perverts?" And that's basically all it takes to get my 31-year-old husband to throw a rock at my head and call me a retarded homo who was probably adopted.

Anyway, I'm not here to goof on my husband and his excellent mother. I'm not even here to understand this phenomenon, because the real reasons behind it have got to be like 400,000 times more complicated than Freud's load of horse crap, and so I'm not even going to attempt a guess. Because I have like zero credentials: I am a woman who is raising a little girl, who was raised mainly by women and my only sibling is a sister.

I mean, I think it's really sweet and everything, but what's with boys and their moms? I really want to know.

Please discuss.

PS. Have you noticed I've been writing about boys a lot this month?
Well, they really
are a mystery, you know....

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Polish

We've discussed how I'm one of those ladies who has read Pride and Prejudice 17 times and appreciates a well executed romantic comedy and has like 7 different types of shampoo in my shower and all that, right?


Well, then it probably won't surprise you to discover that I love fingernail polish.

I said LOVE and I meant it.

Each month, I allow myself the selection and purchase of one $8 OPI nail polish, and it's something I look forward to, like picking Odessa up from daycare every day and skwunching Bryan when he gets home from the field on Friday nights. I sometimes feel guilty spending that kind of money on nail polish, but I figure some people go out and spend $8 on beer and cigarettes, and I don't. So there.

You may ask, "Jesslyn, what's so great about fingernail polish?"

Well, aside from the the smell of it, which I find oddly (also, disturbingly) comforting, I like the fact that after you apply it, you are obligated to abstain from any manual activity for at least half an hour. Also, You have not one but TWENTY places on your body on which to apply it. And you can use it to bedazzle your chigger bites. But perhaps most importantly, wearing nail polish makes you feel like you're not such a disgusting slob. It's like in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, when it explains why you should always carry a towel when hitchhiking through the galaxies:

"...A towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

In short, if your nails are nicely painted, people just assume you aren't wearing the same pair of underwear you wore yesterday, only inside out.

Another thing about nail polishes: they have such wonderful, evocative names. Here are a few from my collection:
  • Midnight in Moscow (black with sparkles)
  • Meet me on the Star Ferry (opalescent violet)
  • What's With the Cattitude? (light blue)
  • Fiji Ouiji Fawn (beige)
  • Bling Dynasty (gold)
  • Big Apple Red (red. duh.)
  • Black Cherry Chutney (eggplant)
Not that I know what any of this means, because I don't. But I love to go through the nail polishes at the store and decide what name I want and what color I want and whether it should be sparkly or not.

All said, I think I probably missed my calling as a nail polish namer. Seriously, I would be so good at it.

And you know what I would name my first favorite color? Sweet Jane Argentina.

(You know what you did, Madam.)