Friday, June 6, 2014

Two Snakes, A Bottle of Wine, and A Tiara

The other day, I had two snakes in my house. Big, black, awful snakes.

I have PTSD from it, of course, so I'm not quite sure how to relay the whole experience other than to shout, "TWO SNAKES IN MY HOUSE!"

I coped with it the only way a rational adult can cope with two snakes in her house: by wearing  my tiara and drinking a bottle of wine while having a nervous breakdown.

The husband asked me why I was wearing my tiara, to which I responded, "TWO SNAKES IN MY HOUSE!"

Honestly, I shouldn't have to explain these things.

I had him take a picture of me in my tiara holding a wine glass and the bottle. The wine was a $10 Moscato, and while it definitely isn't the cheapest wine I've ever imbibed, when it comes to posting pictures on social media, I like to feign an air of alcohol sophistication.

"Don't get the price in the picture," I told the husband.

"Of course not," he responded. "Because that would be embarrassing."

Funny guy that man o' mine.

Here's the thing about having two snakes in your house. Everything you see from now until the end of forever, is a snake.

Shoelace? Nope. Snake!

Piece of yellow lint? Nope. Snake!

The hair on your head? Nope. All snakes!

The sticks in your yard? SO MANY SNAKES!

I witnessed the snake enter our abode.  I was working from home, sitting at the coffee table when I heard a noise to my right. And there he was, Mr. Big Ass Imma-Ruin-Your-Life Snake slithering right on in. Naturally, I freaked out (though, shockingly, I did not scream - that would come later). I did say, "Oh God, oh God, oh God," not in vain, but in a "Oh Dear God, please deliver me from this hell" kinda plea.

My first action was to lock the dogs in our bedroom because I positively could not handle a dog/snake showdown; and, as evidence will soon show, I positively could not handle any of it.

Cody immediately followed me into the bedroom, but Riley stood outside the door and looked at me as if to say, "What is wrong with you, Mother? I do not wish to go into the bedroom right now."

There was much pleading and urging and Texas two-stepping, in which I would walk out of the bedroom and back in, in the hopes that Riley would "follow the leader," but my antics only resulted in Cody being the one to follow me, in and and out, while Riley stood there and said, with his bored expression, "I do not understand your games, Mother. Frisbee is much more fun than this."

Finally, I secured them in the bedroom and called the husband. "This is a real emergency."

Note the use of the word, "real" when describing the emergency. I call the husband at least once a day with some sort of "emergency."

"The smoke detector won't stop beeping."

"There's a lizard in the closet." (If you know me and my abject horror of lizards, then you know that reports of a lizard home invader is just as emergent as a phone call about a snake invader).

"There is a big black snake in our house," I told my fearless defender.

"I'm on my way," the husband said and hung up. He called me from the car a few minutes later. "I need you to keep an eye on the snake. Just make sure you know where he is."

Sure, I can do that, I thought. Keep an eye on the snake. There is nothing inherently dangerous about looking at a snake. I CAN DO THIS.

When the snake had breached our home, he'd slithered along our curtains, which were pulled to the side of our sliding glass door. I assumed he found those curtains decidedly cozy and coiled up to take a nap.

Oh, assumptions. How many men have fallen victim to your folly?

I was still on the phone with the husband as I walked toward the guest bedroom and office to close both doors. It was a rather silly errand as the snake would have had no problem sliding through the one inch gap between the door and the floor. But sometimes, in moments of terror, we find comfort in silliness.

I turned the corner to step into the guest bedroom, and there he was. Mr. Snake.

I screamed.

I screamed so loud and for so long, so very, very long.

The part of my brain that wasn't screaming (I, too, was surprised to realize that that part existed) told the rest of my brain that I could stop now.

But I couldn't.

I. Could not. Stop. Screaming. Telling myself to stop is like telling my heart to stop pumping blood. I never had any control over it starting, so I certainly have no influence over it ending.

Eventually, though, the screaming ceased.

"What happened?!" the husband asked. "Are you okay? Did it attack you?"

"I saw it. I saw the snake."

"I thought it had wrapped itself around your throat. Your scream scared me so much I ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of someone."

I wanted to point out that, had the snake formed a noose around my neck, I probably wouldn't have been able to produce the most impressive Scream That Would Not End, but I couldn't tell him this because I was laughing. Laughing in that way of a person who has most assuredly gone mad.

But I was also laughing because of Startled Snake.

Ladies and gentlemen, please rewind with me to the  moment of the scream and allow me to introduce you to Startled Snake.

You have probably met Scared Snake: a snake that slithers away really quickly when you accidentally stumble upon it.

You may have even met Pissed Off Snake: A snake that coils and strikes at you.

But if you did not know that snakes have shoulders and hands, then you have not met Startled Snake.

In order to fully picture Startled Snake, I ask you to imagine that you are visiting a new city. You are walking down the street at a leisurely pace, head turned up, looking left to right, taking it all in: the colors of the buildings, the soft light in the sky, the unfamiliar scents in the air. "What a lovely place," you start to think. But before you can complete the thought, someone jumps out from behind a building and screams, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" in your face.

Your body reacts. You jump a little, your shoulders hunching up toward your ears, your hands lifting in subconscious surrender.

That is Startled Snake. That is what the snake looked like, hands, shoulders and all, when I screamed.

Even in my terrified state, I was able to appreciate Startled Snake and could laugh about him later when the terror had subsided. Even as I write this, I'm laughing at Startled Snake.

In fact, I think the answer to any bad day is picturing Startled Snake.

The husband arrived home, entering through the garage wielding a fishing pole and sand flea rake. I imagine my face matched his dubious expression as we assessed our instruments of capture; nonetheless, we proceeded onward to catch the snake, feeling most confident with the plan we had concocted over the phone of How the Hell Do You Catch a Snake?

Mr. Snake was nowhere to be found when we peered into the guest bedroom. From the safety of the hallway, the husband shone a a flashlight under the bed. No snake.

He used the fishing pole to open the coat closet. (Yes we live in Florida, and yes we have a coat closet. With coats in it. I have eight coats, the husband has one). No snake.

The husband surmised he was in the guest closet.

I began looking at the couch and throw blankets, that were I snake, would find oh so cozy.

"What if he's in the blankets? Or under the couch?"

The husband gave me the most exasperated look. "He could be under the couch?!"

"He could be anywhere!" I cried. "I saw him, screamed and ran the other way. He could be under the couch or in the shower. He could be in the kitchen or on our bed. He could be in a plane or on a train. He could be in a box or with a fox. I AM NOT THE SNAKE'S KEEPER!"

"Okay, okay" the husband soothed. "Stay here, and whatever you do, don't scream."


Here's the other thing about having snakes in your house. They arrive at the most inconvenient time. Contrary to popular belief, you do not receive a notice in the mail proclaiming that, on the third day of the month of June in the two thousand and fourteenth year of our Lord, two snakes will deposit themselves in your residence, and to please block off four hours of your day to locate and capture them.

Neither of us was especially eager to root around in the closet, and the husband declared that he could not stay home and just wait for Mr. Snake to mosey on out. His reasons had something to do with work and responsibilities and duties relating to running a business and other such nonsense that did not involve The Great Snake Invasion of 2014.

"And just what are the dogs and I supposed to do?" I wanted to know.

"Uh, come with me to work?"

While I did agree that the husband's clients would most appreciate his entourage of one hysterical wife and two insane dogs, I vetoed that solution.

And so began the process of trying to identify a company that specialized in snake removal and would post-haste remove them from my closet. That was a fiasco in and of itself. I was given the Animal Control Snake Around, which is similar to the good ol' fashioned run around, but with more snakes.

Not only was it frustrating, but it brought to light the lack of infrastructure this nation has in place for rescuing damsels in distress from house guests of the serpent variety.

I am in the process of petitioning our Commander In Chief to establish a national call number, similar to 911, whose sole purpose is to remove snakes. I was thinking the number should be 611, but, in this case, I do believe that 666 would be most appropriate.

While I was making a million and one phone calls to people who declined to help me because either they did not remove reptilian creatures, or I did not live in their snake removal jurisdiction, the husband said, "Hey is this the snake?" and pointed to one who was brazenly lounging on our patio.

"That is the smartest snake in the world if, after hearing me scream, he said to himself, "Self, I do not believe we belong here" (you just know snakes refer to themselves in the royal we) "and turned around and went right back out the way he came. No, I do believe we are now in the possession of two snakes."

Now, before you say that having a snake in your patio is not the same thing as having one in your house, allow me to say:


We live on our patio. I spent most of last Sunday on our sectional reading The Fault in Our Stars. I drink my coffee on the patio, we have dinner on the patio, the husband and I answer emails and deal with work minutia on the patio, we blow up our air mattress, watch movies on our laptop, and sleep on our patio. Having a snake on our patio is the exact same thing as having a snake in our house. The exception to this, of course, is if the snake in my house is on my pillow, in which case you can rest assured that you will never hear about it form me because I will immediately be dead. There will be no Texas two stepping, or calling of the husband, or parading around with a fishing pole. I will bypass all of those things and proceed straight to death.

Finally, after much ado, I was given the correct number for Animal Control and Officer Dangerfield  was  pulling into our drive within minutes. It was almost alarming how quickly he descended upon our doorstep, but I did not question him. I was just so very grateful he was there.

He carried a complex and sophisticated snake-catching contraption called a pillow case.

The husband ordered me to the bedroom with the dogs because apparently he does not think screaming your head off is a valuable contribution to the snake capturing process. He followed me to the bedroom to ensure I was securely tucked away.

It seems like such a simple thing to open your bedroom door, cross the threshold, and lock yourself inside. However, as soon as I opened the door, Cody darted out, and in a most dramatic and hysterical fashion, I threw myself on top of him to thwart his efforts of assisting Officer Dangerfield. Riley decided that this was a rather delightful looking game, and in equally dramatic fashion, I wailed, "Nooooooo!" as I tired to prevent him from sprinting away. The dogs and I then proceeded to engage in a lesser-known Texas dance called Utter Chaos.

"Go!" the husband ordered. "Just get in there."

"I'm trying!"

It took a loving shove to get us all inside the bedroom, where I would have been happy to spend eternity were I not absolutely certain the entire room was filled with snakes.

I was told Snake One and Snake Two put on an impressive show, but in the end they were carted away in Officer Dangerfield's pillow case.

The good news is that those two snakes will never enter our home again. Even better news? I learned that where there is one snake, there are usually four to six more.

I foresee much wine drinking and tiara wearing in my future.

No snakes were harmed in the making of my hysteria.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Snow White Didn't Have to Deal With This

I often compare my life to a Disney movie.

When I was little and my mom would make me do chores, I would call myself Cinderella.

When I was nine, I went through this whole ILOVETINKERBELL phase that lasted until I was twelve nineteen twenty-seven...okay, so the phase never ended. But can you blame me? She's an adorable fairy. She was wings! And a cute outfit! And can fly!

I was mildly (okay, a lot) disappointed when the husband picked me up in Jeep instead of a magic carpet for our first date. He had all the doors and windows off and it was thirty degrees and the wind was biting at my face, so it was kinda like experiencing A Whole New World, in that I finally knew what it felt like to be Frosty's mistress.

When I had my first Big Girl job, where I was paid to make important decisions like should we copy this flyer on tangerine or sanguine colored paper? my coworkers called me Snow White.

You guys remember Snow White. How all the little woodland critters flocked to her, and she to them, and they'd sing and play and dance and have a grand ol' time and NEVER ONCE DID ONE OF THE WOODLAND CRITTERS KILL ONE OF THE OTHER CRITTERS.

That's me. That's my life. Me and the animals? BFFs forever ever.

To say that I LOVE ANIMALS, is an understatement. Even animals I hate, I love. You guys know I'm terrified of lizards, but I don't want them to die. Snakes are evil, but I don't want them to die. Alligators will drown you and eat you, but they have their place in this world, and I don't want them to die. Roaches are...okay roaches are gross and I kill those. But any other bug that enters the house, I make the husband catch and release back into the wild.

Well, except for spiders. I kill those too because they can bite you and kill you. But sometimes I let them live...and become BFFs with them.

After Christmas, the husband and I spent the week in a cabin in North Carolina. There was a spider living in our bathroom. I saw it and thought I should kill you. But I had nothing with which to kill it, so it lived another day.

The next day, I saw it and thought Oh, right. I'm supposed to kill you. But then I didn't.

On day three, I was all, oh hey there little spider. don't you look cute today!

By day four I had named it.

Day five, CharChar was missing.

I asked the husband if he had killed her and told myself not to get angry at him for murdering my pet.

The husband said that he hadn't.

"She left without saying goodbye?!" True story, I said that.

I was rather devastated that CharChar had just packed up her web and left, but then I remembered the old adage, if you love something, let it go, if it comes back and lays a million spider eggs in your ear while you sleep, it's yours.

We all know that every Disney movie has a villain. Snow White had the witch, Ariel had an octopus with heaving bosoms, Simba had a jealous uncle of questionable sexual orientation.

My Disney-movie-life is no different. Except the villain in my movie isn't some distant hideous beast that lurks about in the shadows. My villain is perhaps the most complex evil character of all time, for the simple fact that it is not my hated enemy, but something that I love. My villain is my child. My son.

My villain dog.

Remember when I said I was like Snow While because me and the critters were BFFs and sang and played and everyone got along and NEVER ONCE DID ONE OF THE WOODLAND CRITTERS KILL ONE OF THE OTHER CRITTERS?

Well, those shouty caps? That's where me and Snow White differ (well that and the whole being-followed-around-by-seven-creepy-singing-old-men thing).

You see, Snow White never had to begin her day by screaming at her dog, "Oh no, Cody! What are doing?! What do you have?!! Drop it! DROP IT! WHAT DID YOU KILL?!!!"

Snow White never had to stand over one of her small furry critters and wonder if it was a bunny, or a squirrel, or maybe a bunny, or maybe a... OH MY GOSH WHERE IS ITS HEAD?!!!

Snow White never had to do or say or wonder any of those things, but I did. Thanks to my blood-thirsty Evil Cody, I had the pleasure of shouting, "DID YOU EAT ITS HEAD?!" at 9:00 this morning, which I'm sure all of my neighbors thoroughly enjoyed.

The husband, who left work to come home and dispose of the corpse, confirmed that it was a bunny. And its head was still there, it was just, uh, hard to recognize.

Every Disney movie ends with the words "And they all lived happily ever after." (okay, so that's  not true, but it's totally implied.) But in my Disney movie, no words are farther from the truth. It wasn't happily ever after for the husband who had to deal with a hysterical wife, or for me who is traumatized beyond repair, nor for my therapist whose number has been moved to the top of my speed dial list, and it certainly wasn't happily ever after for that bunny. That poor, poor bunny.

No one is this fairytale is living happily ever after. Well, except for Evil Cody. He seems pretty happy. In fact, I'd say it's the best damn day of his whole life.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Like Dirty Dancing, but Instead of Putting Baby in a Corner, They Drop Her on Her Head

For those of you unprepared for a sequel, this is part two of what happens at a bachelorette party is not admissible as evidence of ANYTHING in a court of long as you have a good attorney.

(This post is a tad long and for that I apologize, but I am recording this tale not only for you, my dear readers, but for the sake of posterity. For many millennia to come, parents will be telling this story to their children before bed. Actually, that is a terrible idea. Parents of the future, please don’t relay this story to your little ones, ever. Probably don’t tell it to anyone, okay?)

(Also, the font and spacing of this post are completely screwed up and it's giving me seven kinds of anxiety but there's nothing I can do about it so we're all just going to have to deal with it, okay?)

As I mentioned at the end of part one, there is not much I can say about day two (mainly because my attorney told me not to).  I can assure you this. Shenanigans were had. There was lingerie. And there were books about...there were books. And games. And cookies that were most definitely not shaped like body parts.

The night started out innocently enough.  We went to Dirty Harry's and sang along and danced to the live band. Everything was going famously until this couple squeezed their way to the front of the stage. There was zero room for them because there was 11 of us ALREADY DANCING THERE.

I have little tolerance for people who violate the most sacred rule of dancing: “This is my dancing space. That is your dancing space.” But being the nature adult that I am, I took a deep breath...and began dancing like a spaz with the occasional totally accidental body check. Despite my best efforts at being obnoxious, the couple refused to move so we begrudgingly made our way down the dance floor.

The good news was that we were that much closer to the bar...and our animal print soul mates, the bachelor party! 

I know 19 beer infused bachelor-partying guys sounds like a testosterone fueled nightmare, but several times, we fair and delicate maidens marveled at just how gallant they were.

Okay, gallant might be a bit of any exaggeration, but they were a far cry from the boys of our college days.

Case in point?

One of the guys dropped a beer bottle and it shattered. After first checking to make sure all of us delicate creatures were okay, they swiftly cleaned up the mess and broken glass. I don't actually remember seeing brooms or paper towels, or recall them brushing glass away with their feet. I just remember lots of frenetic movements and suddenly everything was neat and tidy (which maybe means they weren't so much gallant as they were...wizards?). 

Compare that experience to college, where, not only did beer bottles shatter around you with little regard to your care, but beer was actually thrown in your face when the guy you were dancing with body checked a girl who got pissed and threw her drink at him and thanks to her shitty aim, connected with you instead. And how did your dance partner respond to this act of wayward rage? By picking you up, tossing you over his shoulder, and running around the dance floor like a caveman who's just killed a water buffalo, of course.

Unfortunately, even the chivalry of gallant men has its limits. Like when it comes to stealing their bras.

Remember when I wrote how I almost bit a stranger for safeguarding the bra of his brother? This is that story! 

But first, I think I should introduce the cast of characters. Yes, there were 19 of them, but only five had a starring role. I made up names for them, because fake names are fun and also I don’t remember their real names. (However, might I suggest to the friends and families of these fellas that they start calling their dear loved ones by these most fine names?)

There was…

The Bachelor – the superhero, who stood with his hands on his hips and a proudly puffed chest, emblazoned with a hot pink “B”, as in Bra, of course.

Robin –the oldest brother, known as the consummate best friend and all-around good guy.

Wolverine (the bra-defending brother) - so named for his ability to tear flesh from limb.

Goose- the shy guy who possessed a quiet confidence that made you think he'd be capable of, I don't know, flying fighter jets (without the tragic ending).

Stretch (as in Armstrong) - who was particularly bendy and flippy and made all of the delicate creatures need two Aleve and an ice pack for our joints just watching his feats of flexibility. 

Now that we got that out of the way, it is time to tell the tale of a wee lass who slayed the dragon and incurred the wrath of Wolverine. You see, The Bachelor was wearing a bra over his clothes because of course he was. He was very protective of this bra, which naturally made The Girls want to steal it. So we devised a cunning and brilliant plan which consisted of me distracting him by dancing with him, while a couple of the girls unhooked his bra and removed it from his chest with him none the wiser (because he’d be so enamored and/or distracted by my awesome/and or utterly confusing dance moves).

The plan was genius, I tell you. Genius.

There was just one thing we didn’t account for…The Bachelor was quite the slippery little sucker and had some spastic dance moves of his own. And also, the bra seemed to be welded shut. 

I absolutely despise when a plan goes awry, so I took matters into my own hands, literally. I wrapped my arms around him in a boa constrictor-like grip, grit my teeth in determination and … un … hooked … his … bra!

I waved it above my head and jumped about with the triumph of one who has just made Mt. Everest her bitch.

You know the saying pride cometh before the fall? Well, I literally fell to the ground when Wolverine grabbed my wrist. We engaged in a tug of war over the bra. His death grip became increasingly hurty to my delicate little bones, but I didn’t want to let go because I hate giving in and also because the sweet taste of victory was still fresh on my lips. My only option was to bite him. I opened my mouth, unhinged my jaw and got ready to chow down. But I stopped just in time, partly because I remembered that assaulting fellow human beings is frowned upon by the law, but mainly because I was afraid Wolverine might have skin bugs, or something, and I most definitely did not want to ingest those.

With my shoulders sagging in defeat, and my captured hand turning blue, I released the bra and Wolverine released his grip. I woefully rubbed my wrist and cried, “My poor hurt wrist! Why would you do such a terrible thing to such a tiny girl?”

Wolverine was instantly apologetic, but it was too late. Seeing my distress, The Bachelorette (who is one delicate creature you most definitely do not want to mess with) punched Wolverine in the kidney. I could tell it hurt by the way the color drained from his face and how he clutched his back and was all, "Wow, you punch hard." And I was all, "That wasn't me." 

He said, "Oh," but it came out all strangled sounding and he looked like he was going to pass out. I could practically see the darkness descend. Robin, Goose, and Stretch kept asking me if I was ok and I was all, "Really I'm fine. It didn't hurt that badly. I'm just starved for attention. If you want to worry about someone, you should keep an eye on your friend over here. He's about to cough up blood."

Later, Wolverine (a.k.a. the guy in need of a new kidney) attempted to redeem himself by standing several feet away from me and holding out his arms. "You know that scene from Dirty Dancing?” he said. “Run to me and jump and I'll lift you over my head." 

I was all, "That sounds swell. Almost as swell as me bashing my head on the ground, which is what's going to happen when the lift goes horribly wrong."

(Everyone knows the first place you practice lifts is in the water.)

Needless to say, I passed on the offer to be Baby. But I suppose it would be a fun memory to come back to that spot a year later and be all, "Hey see that stain? That's blood from my head." 

So that's it. That's ALL that happened.

Okay, maybe I gave more relationship-type advice to guys in bars, and maybe we almost got in a fight with another bachelorette party for stealing my friend's veil. 

And maybe, after 4,000 bendy dance moves, Stretch paused a moment and said to me, "Are you those girls from the boat?"

And maybe I responded…

And maybe I didn't actually say that because I would never use such unlady-like language. 

And maybe we forgave him for not remembering the hottest gaggle of girls to ever don animal print because it is common knowledge that those known for their powers of stretchiness cannot also be known for their powers of observation. 

Maybe all of those things happened.

But probably we were home and tucked in bed long before midnight while visions of sugarplums and cookies (that were most definitely not shaped like body parts) danced in our heads.

Whoa! Susannah (Formerly Write, Rinse, Repeat): Well, this is epic. The last bachelorette party I attended included a blow up doll named Pedro. I learned that Dennys doesn't allow blow up dolls in their establishment at 3 am. I learned the hard way. And Key West. All I remember from that trip are a lot of stray cats. I think they were all decendents of Ernest Hemmingways cats. I think.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What Happens at a Bachelorette Party is not Admissable as Evidence of ANYTHING in a Court of Law...As Long As You Have a Good Attorney.

Once upon a time a boy proposed to a girl. The girl said yes and several months later she and a bunch of her friends went down to Key West for an epic bachelorette party weekend. We all know that 99% of what happens at a bachelorette party stays stored under lock and key in the minds of the fair ladies who attend. But some things are suitable to share, so here is our tale...

Like most good parties, this one started with a theme. Our bachelorette was a particularity wild little thing so it seemed only fitting that we were instructed to "get wild" and by that I mean, "wear animal print." We all remember from C's bachelorette party how challenging it is for me to find suitably themed attire, so I was not optimistic as I began my quest.

Unfortunately, the year was not 2002 when I was a college sophomore with a closet full of animal print. Tiger shirts, zebra skirts. You name it, I had it. My absolute favorite in all things big cat was a pair of leopard print pants so tight it looked like the spots had actually been painted on my legs. My favorite thing to pair it with was a black backless shirt.  

I still have that shirt that I keep in a drawer I like to call, "what were you thinking?"  

After trying on every animal print shirt I could find from the abysmal selection of my depressing mall, I finally settled on a shirt with a pleather tipped collar. I know you're thinking it can't get any better than pleather...but this shirt? Was also backless. And shear.  

I know, I know, ladies. You're totally jealous, but this shirt is mine. MINE! 

Due to its shearness, I couldn't just free-boob it like I did in my college days. I wore a black bra that I couldn't be bothered to cut the tags off of so they hung down my back, which we all know is not only classy but super sexy.  

The first official order of business was a sunset cruise, or as some people like to call it, a booze cruise. "Some people" being not us, though, because we are grown ups. Grown ups do not booze, they sip on a margarita...or four...ish. 

We boarded the boat and claimed our table. I felt so excited for all the other seafarers who were about to have their boat, and world, rocked by the awesome that is us. 

No good story is complete without a knight in shining armor...or in this case 19. A bachelor party had taken over the dock across from us and were waiting for their own "sunset cruise." (No boozing for that group, I'm sure.)

Several members of the bachelor party had on leopard shirts (mixed with some sort of awful floral print that I hesitate to recall too vividly lest I go blind at the memory) and since we all had on animal print we were all, "Awww, their bachelor party is the soul mate to our bachelorette party."

As the boys were waiting to board their boat, my friends T and A and I naturally began evaluating their looks, cuz we're fourteen and rating their level of cuteness on a scale of one (being ew, no) to ten (being, like, totally hot).

One guy kept trying to stand on his head, which made me seven kinds of anxious. No one else seemed to be concerned that it was a very narrow dock, and he was intoxicated, and his head standing ability wasn't so much bad as it was awful. I worried the non-existent pearls around my neck while screaming, "Someone stop that man! He's a hazard to himself." No one heeded my cries, probably because the screaming only occurred inside my head cuz no one like a hysterical woman.

At the conclusion of the cruise, the bachelorette party planners divided us into two teams and handed us laminated cards with a list of scavenger hunt items – bachelorette style. Our tasks consisted of completely innocent acts like, “find a guy with the same name as the groom”, and “take a picture with a drag queen.”

I instantly put my game face on, complete with crazy, intense eyes, and got ready to destroy the other team. It's not so much that I'm competitive, it's more that I approach competition with a "if you stand in the way of me winning, I will cut you" attitude.

Our teammates and I were quickly crossing items off our list, and it was time for me to have a cartwheel off with a  guy. The rules were quite simple. You and your competitor see who can do the most cartwheels. If you win, then you get points for completing the task. Losing WAS NOT an option, and, well, what I did next I wouldn't exactly call cheating...more like creative winning.

Basically I told the guy, "Look, I'm in a competition with you. But my team, The Golden Girls (so named for our advanced age of older than 28), is in competition with those young whippersnappers over there and we HAVE to win. So here's what's going to happen. You are going to do one cartwheel and I will do two. Which means I will win and get four points for my team. Yay me."

And he was all, "But I can do lots of cartwheels."


The competition began. He did a cartwheel and I did two. Then he did another one and I shanked him in the kidney, so I had to do another.

After every one I did, I jumped up and down and clapped my hands with pride and glee as though I had just walked on the moon and not just thrice rubbed my hands all over a sidewalk where drunks and druggies had pissed, and spit, and puked, and only the good Lord knows what else.

This obnoxious celebration was captured on video. I watched it several times that night and every time I did, I wondered how exactly it is that I have any friends. Please don't view this as a personal affront to my self-esteem, but if someone were to lock me in the closet for the rest of my life, only to be let out on holidays and Champagne Thursdays, they would be doing the world a favor.

We continued on with our tasks, like asking guys for a business card. When they said, no, we'd follow it up with, “Do you have handcuffs?” Which always led to a bewildered look followed by a promise to make handcuffs appear (out of thin air, I assume).  We decided our best source of handcuffs was a police officer which should be easy enough to find since it's after Key West...on Duvall Street.

We found ourselves a lovely pair of officers but they were all arms crossed, frowny faced, Imma taze you, bro.  We were a wee bit nervous to approach them and be all, "Excuse me, big strong bulging men of the law, but can we borrow your handcuffs for a sec?"

My friend, D, suggested that instead of asking them for their handcuffs we should just do something to get arrested...and then the whole handcuff thing would logically follow.

It sounds absurd in the non-Key West light of day, but I'm not going to lie. D and I considered it as a legitimate option for at least a full minute. 

Soon our group was scattered on both sides of Duvall. Some of us were dodging traffic, others of us were doing dodgy things in dark alleyways (more cartwheels, people.). It was a mess. We managed to get everyone over to Rick's (which is a club/bar/hotbed of debauchery), which was nothing short of a miracle. Getting 11 girls anywhere at the same time is like herding cats (all that sipping goes straight to our silly little heads).

I ran into my cartwheel buddy at Rick’s and we start talking about his wife and his life and his kids. He looked like a sad little puppy and I found out that this wife wasn't with him because they are "having problems." Like the trained therapist I am not, I proceeded to give marriage advice. 

Because, Random Stranger + Key West Bar + 3 Mango Martinis = Of Course Marriage Advice.

Me: Nooo you can't have problems. You love her. She is your high school sweetheart. You have to stay together for-ev-er.

I was very concerned because I am a kind and generous soul. I kept counseling him until my friends were all, "group picture time!" and I was all, "see ya!"

I don't claim to be a mind reader, but I was pretty sure he was glad when I left and he was once again alone with his piƱa colada.

All good things must come to an end and soon it was time for us to return back to our cottage. Which was exactly what everyone did, except for me, K, and D who decided we must absolutely find a drag queen…and then promptly got distracted by the music at Fat Tuesdays where D taught me to angry pigeon dance and my life was forever changed.

Stay tuned for day two of the party. Most of the details of that day are locked within a vault that has been tossed out to sea, never to be found again. But there are bits and pieces that can be shared...some of which may or may not involve the return of the bachelor party.

Comment gem!

abi: Why was there no fat-thighed baby photo in this post?!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Bored. Can I bite you?

Today, I decided to take a break from the story of me and the husband (sorry to leave you guys hanging about the jacket...just pretend it's like when you want to know what happens between Meredith and McDreamy but instead of telling you, they show a lame rerun instead. today is just like that, except for the whole lame rerun part.). I figured some of you might need a time out from all that romance. Plus, I have something I need to get off my chest. A confession of sorts. And since you guys are kinda like my therapists, I figure it's only appropriate to lay it all out here. 

Before I start, let us all remember that, as my therapists, you guys are not allowed to judge. ‘Kay?

Seriously. NO JUDGING.

My confession...

I am a biter. When I was little I used to bite other little kids.

On the face.

I’d like to say I did this in self-defense, but if I know me (and I think I do), I did this for my own amusement and probably also because I was bored.

My mom used to babysit other children. They were all boys, which, according to context clues and deductive reasoning, means I was the only girl. While I have very few memories of those early years, I think it’s only safe to assume that all the boys wanted to date me. Not only did I have shiny hair, but I had the fattest thighs ever seen on a toddler. We all know how much two year boys love a girl who can make the ground shake when she walks so I imagine the battle for my attention was constant.

Ever the problem solver, I’m sure I was eventually  like, “Enough already. All your fighting is super annoying, plus it’s interfering with giving my Barbie’s new haircuts with these scissors that I stole from my mom, which obviously she doesn’t know that I have and if any of you rat me out I WILL CUT YOU.”

And then they were all, “Oh we would never tell on you, our Fat Thigh Shiny Haired Queen.” And then they started fighting again and I was all, “Silence! I’ve come up with a way to end your squabbles for my affections once and for all. I will bite each one of you on the face and whoever can stand the pain the longest will be my beau.”*

Naturally, they readily agreed and so I began the process of determining the most bad ass boy in all the land until my mom walked in and was all, “my child is a monster!” She quickly enrolled me in electroshock therapy, or grounded me until I was 17, or made me sit in time out for two minutes, or did whatever it is you do when your two year old is exhibiting psychopathic behavior.

And that was end of my biting days…

Until I became an adult.

You see, although I have gotten older, I am still little. It is very hard to protect yourself when you are little. Since getting kidnapped/mugged/mauled by bears is low on my list of priorities, it is important to me that I know how to kick some ass.

I’ve heard karate is a good form of self-defense, so for a while I tried to test my kicking skills out on the husband. But before I could ever make contact with body parts meant to render him a weeping useless mass of male, he would grab my foot causing me to lose my balance and almost fall down.  He wouldn’t let go until I screamed, “Let me go, you monster! You’re going to make me fall and get hurt!”

The husband: Then don’t try to kick me!

Me: Don’t you want me to learn how to defend myself?!

The husband: Yeah, but not by kicking me in the balls!

Honestly, it’s like he wants me to get stolen.**

A staunch believer in a woman’s right to defend herself, and not one to give up easily, I turned to other methods.

Punching? Every time I tried to punch something I’d end up hurting myself. I’m no martial arts expert, but I can confidently say that when trying to defend yourself, don’t inflict more pain to your being than your attacker does.

Throwing knives? The husband adamantly refused to let me try this one out on him.

I was quickly running out of options and time was of the essence. Life for us ladies is one potential kidnapping/mugging/bear mauling moment after another. I had to dig deep (okay, honestly not that deep) to uncover the strength I knew I possessed…with my jaws.

To paraphrase my good friend Christina Augilera, “I am a biter. I aint gonna stop. There is no turning back.”

Once I unleashed the biter in me, there was no reining her back in. I would like to say that I only bite in self-defense, but one time I bit my friend during a game of Spoons. We both went for the same spoon and she wouldn’t let go so of course I bit her. I’ve never seen the Spoons rulebook, but I’m pretty sure rule number one is secure a spoon by any means necessary.

And sometimes I just bite the husband for reasons that I can only assume have to do with being bored and/or wanting to amuse myself (the thirty year old version of me is not much different than the two year old version of me). The husband is all, “OW! Don’t do that,” every single time I bite him (Every Single Time!) until one time I was all, “Oh come on, it can’t hurt that bad. Bite me.” And then he was all, “No.” and I was all, “Yes.”

We went 400 rounds until I finally wore him down and he bit me. And I was all, “Harder! Harder! Harder!”

He bit harder and harder and harder until I finally shouted, “OW! That hurt! Why would you do that?!”

And then the husband went into the other room where I’m pretty sure he called his attorney to find out if forced biting is acceptable grounds for divorce.

The answer is, no, husband, it is not.

I’ve never bitten a stranger, but I came close a few months ago at friend’s bachelorette party when a guy grabbed my arm. He wouldn’t let go (in his defense, he was the brother of a bachelor we had run into and he took his job of guarding the bachelor's bra (which I had stolen (it's a long  (and fantastic) story)) very seriously), and I opened my mouth to bite him when I remembered the husband’s words, “It’s not okay to bite people!” 

(I’m pretty sure that years ago, when the husband envisioned himself as a husband, that is not a sentence he ever thought he’d have to say to his wife.  He also probably never thought he’d tell his wife she’d make a good mob boss, but that’s exactly what he said to me the other day, to which I replied, “Funny you should mention that. Please take this horse head and stick in our neighbor, Gordon’s, bed. He’s being an asshole again.”)

I probably should seek therapy for this odd little…quirk. But it’s my one thing. Other than biting people for funsies, I am completely normal. Totally. And besides, quirks are charming. Right?

Say yes, or I’ll bite you.

*Lest anyone think my mother was a terrible babysitter, let me assure you that I only bit one child, lightly, before she put a stop to it. I did not get to bite ALL THE BOYS. Leave it to a mother to ruin a child's fun.

**No, seriously. He wants me to get stolen.
Editor’s note: No horses were harmed in the making of this blog post. A husband may have been kicked, punched and bitten, though.

Comment gem - every one of them! Seriously, you guys are amazing and crack me up. I always love your comments, but you guys are taking them to a whole new level of awesome sausage. I only hope my posts can keep up with your fantasticness. It was impossible for me to pick a gem, so I put your names in a hat, closed my eyes and drew a name. And the winner is...

Is the moon made of many, many Oreos, or just one giant Oreo? I feel like this impacts my decision on what to do. Wait. No it doesn't. Eat it is still my answer.

Fast and the Furious was a *paradigm* when I was in high school. It's a miracle we didn't die in Hubby's 1988 white Chevy Cavalier.

I hope you kept the jacket, but never gave it back.

Comment gem?! Now I'm just reminded that I'm upset with you about the whole wine thing.