Sunday, July 31, 2011


So my 25th high school reunion was last weekend and preparing for it caused all kinds of angst and drama.  Well, not in any real, serious kind of way, more like in a joking, “Oh, my gawd I’m not old enough to be 25 years out of high school” kind of way.  Joking around about it and having fun with it is the only way I know how to cope with the fact that Oh my gawd I’m 25 years out of high school!

In trying to keep things light and fluffy, which is pretty much what I try to do with everything that causes me anxiety, I put the following status update on my facebook page:

Shopping for something to wear to my 25-year high school reunion.  Let’s see, something that will make me look 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter.  Hmm, perhaps I should be shopping for a plastic surgeon instead!

I received all kinds of funny comments, the funniest of which was a single-word response:  SPANX.  Now, I’m not a Spanx wearer, not that I don’t need to be, but I’m just not.

So I’m at the mall with my daughter and I’m trying on different dresses and I find one that is actually pretty forgiving and, equally important, quite comfortable…not to mention not too dressy nor too casual for this highly anticipated (and somewhat dreaded) event.  

My friend’s Spanx comment, and the subsequent ones related to her Spanx comment (which were quite funny, I might add) got me to thinking, well, er, um, maybe I ought to give this whole Spanx thing a try.  I mean, I looked okay in the dress, but I was thinking it couldn’t hurt to at least give the Spanx a try, you know, to smooth things out a bit and such.

I ask the saleslady about Spanx and she gives me quite the Spanx 101 lesson.  Truly, I did not know there were so many varieties of Spanx (and Spanx knockoffs) out there.  She talks me into a certain variety and off I go to the dressing room to try it on.

Have you ever tried Spanx on?  Well, it ain’t easy, let me tell you.  It’s basically like putting on a wetsuit…only harder…much, much harder!  So I wriggle and I writhe, and I wriggle and writhe some more, and my daughter helps me wriggle and writhe some more, and I’ve almost got it on and I do one final pull and I feel a hole…in the, er, um, crotch region. 

“Oh my gawd,” I say to my daughter. “I’ve pulled so hard I put a whole in the Spanx!”  Only guess what?  I didn’t put the hole in the Spanx…it comes with a hole…for the love of gawd it comes with a pee hole!  “Ewww,” we squeal in unison, and I get that thing off as fast as I can, which ain’t fast at all folks, because what’s harder than getting a wetsuit on?  You got it…getting it off!

The whole pee hole thing really freaked me out and I decided against the whole Spanx thing.  Luckily, too, because the one I tried on was $78!  My dress was less than that! 

So we leave the mall and go on our merry way, dress in hand, Spanx most definitely not, and we head for home. 

The reunion gets closer and I start to think about the Spanx again.  You know, how I would feel so much more confident if I walked into the reunion looking the best I possibly could, you know, with all my parts firmly in place like they used to be, not 25 years ago, forget about that, but, say, even 5 years ago.

Back to the mall I go.  The Spanx I had tried on earlier was the kind that went from below your bra to about mid thigh.  Since I was wearing a dress, I wanted to try on the kind made for, well, wearing a dress.  Basically, it’s a flippin’ wrestling singlet!  I manage to get it on, again not easily, and am happy with the way it holds everything together, so I decide to go for it.  It’s not as expensive as the one I tried on before, and really, my dress wasn’t all that much so I’m able to justify the extra expense…we gals can justify anything related to shopping, can’t we?

I get it home and try it on under my dress and am quite happy with the way things look. 

And then the reunion gets closer…and I start to panic a bit, like What if I have to go to the bathroom really bad and can’t get it off? It has one of those pee holes but that seriously grosses me out I mean I just spent time on a river rafting trip having to squat and pee in a bucket and there was this one time I didn’t quite squat exactly right and I peed a little on myself but it was no big deal because I was right by the river and I could just rinse off but what if I was at my reunion and I tried to use the pee hole and I peed bigger than the pee hole and I peed on the Spanx and on myself well then I’m not by the river and I can’t just rinse it off and I’m freaked out about the pee hole but the only other choice would be to lift my dress up to my shoulders and then pull the singlet Spanx shoulder straps down but where’s my dress going to be like around my shoulders and what if it falls in the toilet or like what am I supposed to do  just take the whole dress off and then try the whole get out of the singlet thing and I’m picturing all this happening in a teeny tiny stall with people I haven’t seen in 25 years waiting to use the bathroom also and oh my gawd there is no way I am wearing that singlet Spanx thing!

But…I really wanted to look my best, so…back to the mall I go.  I return the frightening singlet/straight jacket Spanx thingy, purchase something similar to the original Spanx I had tried on in the first place, and call it done!

The reunion went well…I did not get trapped in my Spanx, and I had a grand ole’ time.  I have to say though, in looking at the pictures from that night, I did not look one bit more pulled together than I would have looked if I weren’t wearing Spanx.  In fact, there are a couple of shots that if you didn’t know better you’d think, Hmm, that dress sure would look better on her if she had some Spanx on! 

Oh, I try so hard people…I try so very hard! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Porsche

Due to circumstances beyond my control, but primarily involving having a third driver in the house, I had to take my husband’s big-a** truck out of town the other day.  My daughter and I have been doing some back-to-school shopping for her and some reunion shopping for me…25 years…ugh…and definitely a post for another day.  Anyway, our local mall pretty much sucks; luckily, though, we have two great malls about 20 miles in either direction, and on this particular day we were heading south.

I know what you’re thinking…20 miles…no big deal.  And, really, it’s not, except when you’re driving your husband’s big-a** truck.  You see, the truck is really meant to carry a heavy load…and no, I’m not talking about me!  I’m talking about our camper.  When the camper is on the truck, it’s all smooth sailing; however, when it’s not, it’s nothing but rough waters.  Seriously people, parts of your body shake that you didn’t even know existed!  

My daughter and I giggle our way through the bumpy ride and arrive at the mall unscathed (well, except for a bruises here and there that we both agreed not to talk about).  Now driving the truck on the freeway is one thing, parking it in a mall parking lot is quite another.  Because my skills in this area are lacking, to say the least, I go out of my way to park, well, out of the way.  I find the farthest parking space I can, park in it as carefully as I can, and off we go. 

Our shopping trip is relatively successful…and I even have a couple of funny stories that involve Spanx and four-inch heels that I’ll share with you another time…but for now let’s just fast forward a few hours to when my daughter and I return to the truck.  We are about halfway there when I notice something that stops me dead in my tracks and causes me to send my husband the following text:  Oh my gosh, the nicest Porsche I have ever seen in my life is parked right next to the truck.  I hope I don’t hit it!

Well, you know those people who are tethered to the phones?  You know, the ones who have it in their hands or somewhere on their persons at all times?  Well, my husband is not one of those people (thank goodness).  In fact, his normal text-response time is anywhere from, oh, about 30 minutes, to, oh, about never.

Imagine my surprise when, about half a second after I hit the send button on my text, my phone rings and it’s my husband!  I could have texted him that I was having a heart attack and he wouldn’t have responded that quickly…but since it involves his truck, well, he’s all over that now, isn’t he?!  (I know, I know, if I were having a heart attack I wouldn’t have been able to text, and I know, I know, at my age I shouldn’t even joke about something like that, but you know what I mean, right?)  Anyway…

I answer the phone and he’s laughing and he says, “Hey, I just finished my meeting and what’s this about you hitting a Porsche?”  I laugh back and say, “I know, right?  What kind of dummy parks a Porsche next to a pick up truck?”  Mind you, our pick-up truck is very nice as far as pick-up trucks go, but it’s a pick-up truck for crying out loud…and it’s huge…and it’s got heavy doors that no matter how careful you are they sometimes just get away from you.  I mean, I wouldn’t even park my old mommy mini-van next to our truck at a mall…and this guy (or gal) parks a $70,000+ dollar car next to it.  I mean, come on, use your head Fancy Pants Porsche driver!

I know I’m making much too big a deal out of it, but I really am shocked that, with all the empty spots available in that lot on that particular day, the person driving that Porsche would park right next to our truck (seriously, it was a very, very, very nice, brand-new looking Porsche, and it was a very, very, very empty parking lot).  Then I go from being shocked to being miffed.  I mean, the onus is now on me to NOT hit that Porsche, which I’m guessing even a mere fender bender will cost more to fix than I make in a year!

My husband and I share a few more laughs about the intelligence of this Porsche driver and then he says, “Well, I’m sure he thought a man was driving.”  I laugh a little bit and then say, “Wait a minute, you mean you think the Porsche driver thought a man was driving the truck…meaning if he thought a woman was driving it he would never have parked so close?!”  And you know what, I can’t even be mad at him for this lovely bit of sexism because you know what?  He’s right. Now wait ladies, before you get mad at me, let me clarify, he’s right where I am concerned.  In fact, if Mr. (or Ms.) Porsche driver knew that I was the one driving the truck, he (or she) would have parked at a different mall entirely!

For the record, I carefully backed out of that parking spot, carefully drove away from the  Porsche, and ran smack dab into…a Yugo…ha, ha, ha, just kidding, but I am happy to report that no vehicles were harmed in the removal of my husband’s beloved truck from that parking lot!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Moose-tery is Finally Solved

So yesterday I mentioned how excited my husband and kids were upon returning from a hike in Grand Teton National Park, and today I’ll tell you why…

It was our second time in that area, well, at least it was for me and the kids.  I’m sure my husband traveled there (or at least to Yellowstone) when he was a youngster, but for us as a family, it was our second trip. 

We had visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton about three summers ago and enjoyed it so much that we decided to return again this summer.  If you are at all familiar with this part of the country then you know it’s famous for its wildlife.  And, for the most part, it does not disappoint, except, however, when it came to moose.

On our first trip to that area three years ago we saw not one single, solitary moose.  Not. A. Single. One.  As in zip, zero, nada!  Apparently the moose (or is it mooses…what is the plural of moose, anyway?) heard we were coming and they decided to am-scray. 

We became a little bit nutty about not seeing a moose.  In fact, when various random people we met during our time in that area said that they had, in fact, seen a moose, we made them show it to us on their cameras.  Yes, we were those people! 

As hard as we tried, we never did see a moose on that trip.  Fast forward three years and we are back in that area.  We hit Yellowstone first and spent three nights there, and then we headed to Grand Teton and spent another couple of nights there, so all told we were in “moose country” a good five days.  And guess what?  We still aren’t seeing any moose!

My husband has done every bit of research he can on where the best moose sightings are.  We drive miles…and miles…and miles to each of those places, and, you guessed it, still no moose!  He overhears someone talking about a moose sighting, so he, of course, jumps right in and asks, “Where?!  Where did you see a moose?!”  The man explains where “his” moose was seen and my husband immediately starts making plans to hike that area the next day, which happened to be the day I did my big “Grand Teton/Bucket List Run.” 

If you read the post about the “Grand Teton/Bucket List Run” then you know I didn’t go on that hike.  You know I was too tired and choose to, instead, stay in the camper and relax.  And if I didn’t go on that hike, then guess what my husband and kids saw?  Yep, a moose!

So they come back to the camper and they’re all excited.  At first I thought they were just pulling my leg, but mixed in with their excitement was a little bit of remorse because, though they were excited that they got to see the moose, they had the good grace to feel bad for me because I didn’t get to see it. 

I feel sorry for myself for about a minute and then face the fact that it’s just not my destiny to see a moose…ever (pretty deep, I know).  After my 60-second pity party, I join in their excitement and ask to see the pictures.  Only here’s the deal, the pictures are HORRIBLE.  And I’m not just saying that because I’m bitter because I wasn’t there…remember, my pity party was short-lived and I’m now genuinely excited for them. 

Anyway, back to the pictures…the “alleged” moose, which is what I’m calling it now since I can’t actually see it on the camera…anyway…this alleged moose is clearly far away because of how grainy the pictures are.  And not only is it far away…really, really far away, but it’s also completely camouflaged in the trees.  Really, any kind of animal at all could be in those pictures.  Heck, it could be an eagle for all I could see of it!  Moose, yeah right!

Now I’m beginning to think that maybe they are pulling my leg after all, and that they did not, in fact, see a moose at all.  However, they insisted that it was a moose and so I decided to believe them…but between you and me, it was a pretty crappy moose!  (I later viewed some video my husband shot, and I have to give them credit, it was a bonafide moose all right, but still, the pictures were awful!)

This moose sighting took place on our last full day in the park; the next morning we were packing up and leaving Grand Teton to head over to Utah for our river rafting trip.  So on our last full day, a moose finally decides to show itself to my family!  Thank you, Ms. Moose. 

Fast forward again to the next morning and what are we doing?  That’s right, packing up.  I head to the bathroom for the umpteenth time (funny how often I have to go when a real toilet is available) and as I’m heading back a lady I’m about to walk past very casually says, “Did you see the moose?” 

Um, excuse me, she didn’t say did you see A moose, she said did you see THE moose, as in the moose that is right here, right now…as in the moose that is, Oh. My. Gosh. RIGHT THERE!

Needless to say I’m a little excited and I start to run back to camp…and yes, I’m even flailing my arms!  About half a second into this little spectacle I realize running with arms flailing is, like, a totally stupid thing to do around a wild animal.  As quickly as I had lost my wits, I managed to regain them.  I mean, I’m excited to see a moose and all, but I’m certainly not willing to die for one…or be maimed…or, well, anything at all other than simply see one. 

With wits back intact, I slowly saunter back to camp and tell the family, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, there’s a moose in camp, there’s a moose in camp, there’s a moose in camp!”  Totally cheesy, I know!

I quickly grab my camera and proceed to take, like, a hundred pictures of “my” moose.  I barely even have to zoom in she is so close.  Not only is she so close, but she very graciously walks right through the camp right across from us.  She is, like, right there!  And then…and then, oh my gosh, and then…she sits down!  Right there!  Right at the end of our camp site.  She just plops right down.  And she stays there!  And there she remains the entire time we finish packing up camp…we even drive off and she is STILL THERE!  Seriously folks, we’re literally like 30 minutes from leaving Grand Teton and a moose walks right through our camp!  How cool is that?!

And then, of course, I have no choice but to razz my husband and kids about how much better “my” moose sighting is than theirs.  I have no choice but to tease them about how they had to walk seven miles (uphill, in the snow, blah, blah, blah) to see their crappy little moose, while I barely had to walk seven steps to see my totally awesome, up-close and personal moose.  Not only that, but “my” moose sat down and hung out with me for a while.  I’ll spare you the rest of the ribbing, it’s really much too ridiculous to share, but let’s just say that that’s my moose story, and I’m sticking to it! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Wave

(To my three loyal readers:  This one is for thereddressclub and it's one you've already read.  Never fear, though, there's a new post right below this one.)

This is a “then boyfriend/now husband” story and it takes place, oh, about 20 years ago. 

Then boyfriend/now husband and I had been dating for a while, probably a year or so, and we were taking our first real vacation together.  Another couple invited us to go to Mexico with them…or maybe we invited ourselves…oh well, who can remember a detail like that?  No matter, the other couple ended up canceling on us anyway.  (Interesting to note, their marriage did not last, ours did.  Hmm…I bet they wish they would have gone on that vacation with us after all.)

Anyway, we’re in Mexico and we’re having a great time together. 

We’re lying on the beach one day just enjoying the sun and each other.  It’s summer so it’s hot, and after a while of sitting in the sun, I decide to head to the ocean to cool off for a bit.

I frolic around for a while and then decide to head back to shore.  I do one final dip in the water, stand up, and start walking toward then boyfriend/now husband.  I’m a good distance from him, but as I pop up I notice him waving at me.

How cute, I thought, I’ve barely stood up and he’s waving at me already.  I haven’t even taken a step toward him yet.  Wow, and he’s waving, like, a lot.  Oh, how nice.  I think I’ll wave back.  So I do.  And he keeps waving.  Okay, this is a little weird now.  I mean, he waved to me, I waved back, shouldn’t we be done now? 

But he keeps on waving.  Then I notice him doing this funny movement.  His hands are at his sides, and then he pulls them up to his chest.  Hands down, hands up.  Hands down, hands up.  What on Earth is he doing?  It’s like he’s pretending to pull something up. 

Oh…dear…gawd…no!  You know where I’m going with this, right?  I look down, and sure enough, my bikini top is down.  And it’s not just a little bit down.  It’s All.  The.  Way.  Down. 

There’s no recovering from something like this. I mean, I can’t just shrug it off and pretend it didn’t happen.  I have to, some how, some way, pull my top back up.  I don’t care how smooth you are, people, there is simply no graceful way to pull up a soaking wet bikini top. 

With as much grace and dignity as I can muster (which is pretty much none), I lower myself back into the water, fix my wardrobe malfunction, stand back up, exit the water, walk over to then boyfriend/now husband, and collapse into a fit of laughter.    

I was suddenly very glad that other couple didn’t come with us after all!

Did You Dye Your Hair?

Sincere apologies to my three loyal readers for my absence, and a huge THANK YOU to my one super fan for Facebooking me that you missed me…you’re the best, T!

As you can imagine, the last few weeks of a school year are intense.  Closing out the current school year, while simultaneously planning and prepping for the next school year, is all kinds of crazy!

And if that weren’t enough to nearly do me in, the husband likes to take our summer vacation right away.  In fact, if he had his way, we’d leave the day school gets out.  No possible way I can make that happen without completely losing my mind (and he knows how close I come to that come June each year), so he gladly compromises with the day after school gets out.  Still stressful, but doable nonetheless.

So that’s where I’ve been:  almost losing my mind finishing up the school year, and then finding it again on a long road trip with the family.  Now I realize that some people might say, “Road trip?!  Talk about losing your mind…I’d totally lose mine if I had to spend every single waking moment with my family on a road trip.”  Well, I feel the opposite.   

The family road trip is my favorite vacation, hands down (especially as our kids get older).  I love that, while driving, my husband is to my left and my kids are behind me and I can literally reach out and touch any one of them anytime I want!  I love that my daughter and I slept side-by-side for 15 nights…in a row!  And I love that my family and I ate EVERY single meal together for 16 straight days.  No other vacation allows for that kind of 24/7 family time…and I love every single minute of it.

Being together for such long stretches of time will obviously yield some pretty funny stories.  Take, for example, this one…

The main itinerary of our road trip was Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Gates of Lodore (a river rafting trip on the Green River), and Vegas, and this story involves our time in the Grand Teton area.

One of my “Running Bucket List” items was to run with the Grand Tetons as the backdrop.  If you’ve never been to this area before, I have to tell you that it is beautiful beyond words.  You owe it to yourself to go!

When we first arrived we began scouting places that might be good to run.  As luck would have it, there’s a great bike path that runs from South Jenny Lake to Moose Junction…it’s a total of 7.3 miles, which was perfect since I was looking to run about 5 miles…I ended up running 5.5!  Well, I say running, but really I was jogging.  But still, 5.5 miles at that elevation (and against the wind…carrying my siblings on my shoulders…in the snow…hee, hee, hee) was no easy feat, I assure you. 

So I walked a mile warm up, ran the 5.5, and then walked a cool down for the remaining distance of the path.  It was truly spectacular!

My family was very sweet and stopped at various spots along the way to cheer me on and take pictures.  When I was finished, they picked me up and we headed to nearby Leigh Lake for a hike…well, they were going to hike anyway…I was done!  I figured I had had enough exercise for the day so I gladly stayed behind in the camper while they enjoyed a little exercise of their own…more than a little, really, since it was a seven-mile hike!  No way was I going on it!

Instead, I hung back and participated in my favorite camping activities:  reading, crossword puzzles, and snacking.  About three hours later they return all excited…I’ll tell you why next time…but for now, they come back and they are all very happy.  I, too, am happy, because, well, I’ve pretty much been sitting on my bum the entire time! 

My son steps in the camper, takes one look at me, and says, “Did you dye your hair?”

Now, at first glance, this seems like a simple enough question.  But remember, we’re in the middle of a road trip…where/how on Earth would I dye my hair?  First off, I don’t even dye my own hair (and he knows that), which means he thinks I went somewhere and had my hair dyed!  Again, how on Earth would I do this?  We are in the Grand Tetons!  The closet place I can think of where any type of grooming might even be remotely possible would be Jackson, which I know is about 30 minutes to an hour away, but in which direction I have no clue!

After I gave him my best perplexed look, and laughed at him a bit for good measure, I said, “Um, no son, I did not dye my hair…what you see is called grease!”

Eww…my hair was so dirty that my son thought I dyed it!  Talk about gross…and talk about needing a shower…STAT!