Friday, February 13, 2009

Have I mentioned lately that boys are dumb?

Teenage boys have NO CLUE.  I should be thankful they can wash their own ass and do their own laundry but clearly, I still have much to teach them.

Buy valentines, you must.

So Saturday is Valentines Day.  This doesn't mean a whole lot to me anymore as I consider the husband working a solid 40 per week and a paid mortgage a true expression of love.  To young teenage girls in lurve, Valentines Day has the potential to be a B.F.D.  Both of my boys currently date teenage girls.

Each evening this week, I would walk to their room and try to have a conversation.

Me:  Boys, have you thought about Valentine's Day at all?  It's on Saturday.
Boys:  Why?

Me:  Boys, have you thought about Valentine's Day at all?  It's on Saturday.
Boys:  Are we supposed to?

Me:  Boys, have you thought about Valentine's Day at all?  It's on Saturday.
Boys:  I don't know!
Me:  Yes, clearly you don't know.

Borrowed One calls me at 3:45 wanting to go play basketball.  I told him that was fine but when you got home, we were going shopping for Valentine's Day.  He's down with it and Elder Spawn agrees as well.

So at 9:00 pm (PM!!) I load up two testosterone laden knuckle-dragging teenagers to Walmart.  And of course, the second we walk in the door, we see 40 people we know.  We make brief chit chat and I have to pull them away so we can get down to some bidness.

The boys start out in the special Valentine's area.  Nothing here but a bunch of cheap-ass stuffed animals and candy.  They seemed to be thrilled by this but Mama does not approve and I direct them to the jewelery department.

Usually the jewelery department is staffed by some not so friendly ladies.  Tonight, we are blessed to be hosted by the frutiest guy I've ever seen in Walmart.  He is wonderful:  kind, helpful and patient.  

ES can't remember if he's even SEEN his girlfriend's ears so of course he doesn't know if her ears are pierced.  BO finds a set of heart-shaped CZ's and his bling alarm goes off.  I'm feeling pretty "meh" about these but we agree to purchase and Fruity works on putting them in a nice box suitable for gift giving.  ES can't form an opinion on anything and gives up, wanting to walk back to the candy area.  I'm pretty "meh" on this idea as well.

I keep assuring the boys that I'm not trying to commit you to anything, over extend your relationship, etc.  But you are SO NOT going to do this half-assed.  Mama's not having it.

As we're walking dejectedly back to candy land I try once again to appeal to ES, "Are you sure you didn't see anything in the jewelry department?"  Poor ES is so confused and probably wishing lightening would strike his mother down so she would shut the hell up.  We walked back to jewelery to give it one more shot.

Fruity asks us exactly how much we're willing to spend and I submit to the $30 range.  Remember, it's not about being cheap.  I'm not trying to fluff up their relationship any more than it already is.  I don't want anything that screams I'M COMMITTED TO YOU FOREVER AND EVER.  I'm just trying to present you as a nice, thoughtful young man.

The only thing Fruity can offer us at that price is a 20" sterling silver necklace with a 1/10th of a carat in diamond chip/dust heart pendant.  Fruity puts extra emphasis on REAL DIAMONDS.  And in my head, after he says REAL DIAMONDS, I'm screaming, "AT WALMART!"  ES's eyes light up and we've found our gift!  We tell Fruity we're headed back to candy for some reinforcements and he says just come back when you're ready and I'll have your gifts ready to go.

So we've suffered a good 30 minutes in jewelry and it should take just a few minutes to complete our gift bonanza extravaganza, no?  Yeah.  NO.

I found a cute red bucket shaped tin with hearts for handles.  It would be nice to fill with small candies and the jewelery box.  Since I've been a teenage girl before, I could just imagine these girls would have that tin until they graduated from college.  Some small trinkets that a boy gave you are really hard to part with and usually can be converted to a useful purpose (even if said boy turns out to be a total dick).  Standing in that isle, I could see that tin being a pencil cup on a desk for a loooooooong time.  Because I think like a woman.  

You would have thought I was showing them an alien artifact from Remulac.  I tried to explain the concept of inserting goodies and the present and we had a small meltdown.  Right there.  In Walmart.  BO:  "I'm so confused!"  ES:  "What?  Me too!"  I can't think of any basketball or skateboarding terms to communicate to them any better so being mindful of the time we've already spent in here, I gave up.  I pointed to the Russell Stover heart-shaped $1 sampler box and said, "Just get one of those!"

The boys saw a bigger heart with chocolates that was also $1 and started to grab that one instead.  I lovingly (ok, maybe not lovingly but in a Dammit I'm so ready to get the hell out of here! way) point out that while that box may be bigger, the candy inside is shit compared to Russell Stover.  The point was well received by the young gents and they each went with the RS sampler.

On our way back to jewelery I asked BO if he wanted to trade up his CZ earrings to a diamond necklace as well and he eagerly agreed.  I felt bad because Fruity had our stuff cleaned up and ready in the really nice gift boxes and we changed our order.  I think Fruity approved of the upgrade though because he took just as much time, care and glee for our sake as we did in finally coming to a frakkn decision.

As we were getting into the car I told them I had some Valentine's gift wrap they could use, and in unison they whined:

We have to wrap it too??!!??

Dammit boys.  So. Much. To. Learn.

It's now 10:00 pm (PM!!) and on the drive home they both thanked me over and over again.  There was much discussion about being "lost" and "having no idea."  Then there was much talk about how the same trip would have gone down if the Husband would have taken them.  BO said they'd probably still be in electronics trying to pick something out.  And I'm thinking to myself, "Yep, you three would be there playing GAMES in electronics."

And if you'll excuse me, I'm off to track down my 10th grade boyfriend's mother.  After this experience, it's so clear to me now that even though HE presented me with the earrings for Valentine's Day, HIS MOTHER is the one who bought them.  I owe her a thank you card.

Boys are so dumb.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lust lives in my heart

Aren't these so very beautiful?  Polished aluminum in its many forms has been known to make me swoon.  Shown in this form, it completely gives me a case of the vapors.  Since we are in the South, I'll say they give me the vay puhs.

The original intent of these here Gothic Skeleton Hand Salad Tongs is, well....obvious.  Salad.

How very boring and so very against Alton Brown's kitchen gadget rules.  Per Alton (who is the KING of kitchens in a nerdly kind of way) your kitchen gadgets should be multi-taskers.  

Multi-task you say, hmmmm.....

Salad:  Use two hands to scoop salad onto your plate.  I can almost feel Memaw whacking me on the back of the head because I've brought the salad for dinner and had The Nerve to bring these things to her table.  Which brings us to the next task...

Weapon:  See 1:10 mark

Of course, this means I'd probably have to buy a costume and learn some skills to do that specific move.  Since I'm cheap like that, I'd just stick to the tried and true Memaw move.

Cold fighter:  Don't want to shake hands during cold and flu season?  Use these and you'll probably never have to worry about shaking hands with anyone ever again.  Pretty useful for those hand shake-ees who give you the dead fish hand.  So. Very. Gross.  

Back Scratcher:  The husband and I are often fighting over WHERE'S MY DAMNED BACK SCRATCHER?  And that fight is not so bad since one of them is now broken and the other one is probably in the bottom of Junior's toy box.  Mmmmm, scratching in style.

Animal Scratcher:  Going out of town for the weekend?  Just wedge one of these bad boys in a pet friendly zone and Fido can scratch his own ass while you're in Vegas.

I'm sure those few examples are just scratching the surface of creativity.  But it is a total multi-tasker.  

And I really want it!  I'm so sad I asked for bras for Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Best Toy Ever

I almost fell out when I found this link on a Woot! board.  I've been studying that page and just reeling over flashbacks.

This photo is from Christmas 1973 so I'm assuming this is the original playset.  

I remember playing with this thing ALL THE TIME and not only did it serve me well, it was handed down to my sister - she came along 5 years later.  I do believe that it was still in playing condition by the time my brother rolled around
 10 years later.  (And dammit, he was the one who finally BROKE my favorite Tonka toy.  Jerk.)

I think my favorite part was the bridge holding the two halves together.  The traffic light in the middle of the bridge can be turned to change colors / directions.  I do remember it was a bitch to get the two halves joined with the bridge though.  They had to slide in just right.

The umbrella table had good "sproing" to it since the umbrella post was made out of a firm but not too rigid spring.  You could hold the base of the table and shake it like crazy to watch the umbrella bob around and not only could you hear the sproing sound, you could feel it in your hands.  The street lamp had the same awesome sproing factor except its sound was much longer and louder.  I'm pretty sure I got yelled at once or twice over that sound.

The cars that came with it all had fuel tank holes.  You could actually gas up your car at the fuel station.  If you needed to work on your cars, just drive them into the garage and crank them up on the rack.

The jail kicked ass because you could toss a Little People right into the cell and lock their ass up by twisting the knob on the top of the jail.  Twist, twist, open, closed.  This could go on for hours and HOURS.

Every single door worked and had some kind of small bump on the floors to make sure they stayed closed.

You could wind, wind and wind up the firehouse alarm.  I don't remember what kind of sound it made but I'm sure the handle had 1,000,000 miles on it by the time this village made it to baby bro.

The fireman's bed always bugged me.  It seemed like it would be very uncomfortable but the fire chief was made out of wood and plastic so I'm sure he did not mind sleeping on some cheap-ass foam.  He was so very not married because a good wife would not let you sleep on something so ugly and green.
The accessories were awesome.  There was always a steak cooking on the grill and there were several sleek captain's chairs to sit in...if you weren't busy driving a car, sitting the barber chair, laying on the jail cot or making a phone call.  The phone booth....slide open the door, slide the door closed, slide, slide, slide.   HOURS AND HOURS!!

The best, most fabulous part....check out the TOP of both halves.  There's a handle!  Chunk all the stuff inside, close her up and you're off to grandma's house with your favoritest toy EVER!

All of this fun can be yours too on Ebay.  Buy it now for $92 plus $29 shipping.  I wonder how much it sold for in 1973?  Damn, I think I want this for my birthday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Setting Examples

This photo makes me laugh like a hyena every time I see it.  I’m the clown, clowns are funny.  My witch friend is Cassie, we pretty much grew up together (at least from about 1 to 12).  We are four in 1975.

I’m not sure why Cassie is looking at me and smiling other than I’m a clown and clowns are funny.  I have no idea why I am smiling so intently.  We are four so I’m guessing our camera hog gene was firing pretty rich back then.

When I found this photo last night, I laughed and laughed and laughed.  It’s just so goofy.  This photo is early evidence that I spent the majority of my youth living in overalls.

My laughter eventually breaks into tears.  While I am happy Cassie and I had such rockin’ Halloween costumes and make up, I can’t help but think about our mothers who got us all dressed up.

If I remember the story correctly, our mothers met in a laundry mat.  They were close in age, Cassie is a month older than I am and behold!  Cassie’s mom and I share (as well as a very dirty, dirty democrat) the same birthday.  Alas, being a young child, I didn’t really care about their womanly relationship, I was just glad to have someone to play with.

I too have known the joy of finding a friend, a best woman friend when I was a young mother.  Her daughter is a year older than Elder Spawn.  We met when they were about 4.  We did lots and lots of stuff together when they were young and still liked us a whole lot.  I think they still like us now but they keep us at a teenager’s arm-length.  At all times.  Unless they want something. 

When I see this photo, I don’t really see us kids.  I see past the children and look at two long-haired hippie-ish women sitting at the kitchen table talking about how to dress us up, what they have on-hand to dress us up with and which neighborhood they would walk us thru.  They were probably listening to some kick ass music on the stereo I was never allowed to touch and maybe even drinking a glass of wine. 

I did/do these same things with my best woman friend!!!

My heart bursts with pride and gratitude when I think about all four of us:  at that same age, at that same period in our lives.  I am so thankful for the example Mom and my other mom gave to me. 

I am so thankful I was glad to find that kind of friendship as well.