Category Archives: Mom-ness

SHOPPING IN BULK. SQUEE!!

Oh, honey! That ain't gonna be big enough!

I love me some shopping in bulk.

Shopping in bulk makes me go boom. Yes, I’ve already established my first love is, and always will be, Target—my life, my passion, my love! Shopping warehouse style is not the light, bright, “cheap chic” social hour shopping experience of Tarjay. Still, something about buying in bulk puts some bounce in my butt. Something about cradling a 36 pack of individually wrapped cookies in the middle of a suburban concrete shopping jungle makes me wanna shout, “SNACKTASTIC!!!”

The warehouse club? It’s momma’s playground.

Warehouse “clubbing” (Yeah, new rules. New definition of clubbing. What? People call me ma’am now. I can’t go into a real club anymore. Come on, you know I’m more Irish pub anyway.) is pure shopping A.D.D. Or is it A.D.H.D.? Either way, it’s sensory overload in the biggest, most funtabulous way. It’s awesomeness in a box. A big, big, biggity big ass box. Everything is bigger. And better. And did I mention bigger? How do you not get sucked into paying a few bucks more than you would at a regular store to get a much larger quantity of something? This is to speak nothing of the vast range of goods and services all housed under one ginormous warehouse roof for your shopping convenience.

Leather furniture purchased in conjunction with a 200 pound drum of pretzels and a 30 pack of beer is what I call EEEE-fficient? And well? The ability to test out the sofa with beer and pretzels in sight? Now you are singing my song! Take THAT Ethan Allen!

Like Tarjay, there’s a $100 cover charge–$200 if you don’t keep your head down and your wits about you. When you walk in the door and grab two supersize boxes of diapers and a box of wipes (Sorry environment, I double pinky swear I’m so getting you back when everyone in this joint is potty trained!), you’re pretty much there. And that’s before you sample the jalapeno/artichoke/dip/spread on the new!/flatbread/toasty/bread/thingys or spy the 500 count daily mega vitamins for women–totally worth the price. (Health before wealth!) Speaking of 500 count? Give me summa those 500 count thread count sheets! (Oh, you’re dead to me Bed, Bath and Beyond, you’re so dead to me. But thanks for playing!)

 “I just know if I get some cute new workout pants it will really inspire me to get my Richard Simmons on,” I whisper out loud. “But, build me up butter cup! Is that a vat of olive oil the size a gallon of milk? A must have for a gourmet chef such as myself!”   Barefoot Contessa? You better put some shoes on woman, because I be coming for you! Fresh herbs? Bring it. I have  a year’s supply of EVOO and cumin for $14.99! And Giada, watch your back, girl–you and your beloved pancetta (I’m sorry, I mean, pannncheeet—ttaaaahh.) Yeah, me be getting some of that in bulk. So suck it!

30% off books? Should we take one more whack at the crock pot? I mean, 1,001 crock pot recipes for only $9.99–there’s gotta be something good! (Yeah….probably not..remember? Nothing good comes out of a crock pot!) 50% off cards? Oh squeeeee! Happy birthday to meeeee!

Need new tires? Have them put on while you snack on a  jumbo dog or ice cream while you shop for…face cream? Ray-Ban polarized sunglasses? Small appliances? Big appliances? And more! Oh, so much more! Deeeep breaths….deeeep breaths. Wait! I know! A yoga mat!

Every day could be a party at the warehouse club. With all the free tasty treat samples, they’re halfway to margaritaville!  Just uncork some of that wine in aisle 12 and call momma a cab! Who needs a club? Crank up the Bose in aisle 7 and we’ll get this party started. Sorry Pauly D, we’re beating up the beat without you, bro!

The worst part is, I’m so club crazy I have memberships to two different warehouse clubs. Costco I love for produce, meat, antibacterial wipes, and diaper wipes. Their frozen fish and wine is fab too, and last time the hubs got “lucky” there….no really, he did. But why do I have on dork jeans from Kohl’s today, but my husband is sporting Lucky jeans? Costco! Over the years, we’ve bought….a swingset.. a fridge.. a tv, too… oh, Costco, I’m just sooo in love with you! (But seriously? Selling fridges? That is kinda akin to a drug dealer selling you a container for your stash, no? I mean, I ended up buying so much meat, frozen fish, and drinks at Costco that we needed another fridge for the basement to store said bargains and OH, LO AND BEHOLD, crafty Costco happened to sell just the perfect one….I believe that’s called entrapment!)

But BJ’s, sweet BJ’s, I love you, too. So I guess I’m all about the two timing and some might even call me a warehouse ho. (Harsh, but true. I will slut around for the best deals.) But BJ’s is closer to my house, and carries diapers, food, and drinks the kids like. It also takes coupons. They send out their own every month–good ones too for like $1 to $10 that really add up–not these piddly ass buy five and save .35 cents nonsense—BJ’s plays to win on the coupon front. They also take  manufacturer coupons (but we all know how well those coupons usually turn out for me…remember?) But seriously, last week BJ’s sent me a friendly email saying based on what I purchased last year, I saved over $1,000 on grocery items alone. Whoa. If I saved a grand, what the hell did I spend? I know they thought they were being all smarty pants sending me that, but ho’ing it up big ain’t cheap apparently! Perhaps I should re-examine the thrill of buying in bulk?

And I will say I’ve figured out the hard way a bargain ain’t a bargain unless you really need it. I’ve been “Costcoed” and “BJ’ed” before. Have you? You get home and realize it’s not really cool to have two giant bottles of salad dressing that you don’t end up loving or 4,000 of the wrong size garbage bags. So I guess the lesson is, “caveat emptor” or let the buyer beware. Or I should say, bulk buyer beware! But… as long as you know the rules going in, oh what fun you’ll have playing the game!

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Filed under Awesomeness, Mom-ness, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Yo! It's a girl thing!

WHY DO OLDER PEOPLE HAVE CELL PHONES?

For the love of all things holy, it doesn't have to be this difficult!

 

There are certain questions in life for which we may never have definitive answers…. 

Where do we all go when we die? 

Why must we speak in tongues at Starbucks? 

Why do kids on soap operas go from infant to college in three years? 

And just why, why, why do older people bother to have cell phones? 

Help me understand. I really wanna know.  Please feel free to present your theories, and the most plausible will be posted here in a subsequent blog post. Winner will receive a free subscription to muffintopmommy for life and my unending gratitude. (Depending on how you view it, the prize is either worthless or priceless. It’s on you!) 

This question has been bugging me for a while. I’m not proud, but I’ve frequently gotten huffy with my rents who travel two hours to visit us, but don’t call when they leave to give me an ETA. (So I can make sure I’m home when they arrive. Or maybe NOT WORRY about their well being! Wouldn’t you think they’d be totally into that since they appreciated the heads up phone call– and probably would have put a tracking device in my shoe had it been available– when I was growing up?) 

The rents also fail to answer their phone when I call to inquire as to their whereabouts. My mum and dad will arrive, and mum will throw her hands up in the air all “Oops! I guess it was at the bottom of my purse and I didn’t hear it!” (In her defense, it’s totally possible my dad blasted talk radio at concert decibels. But bottom of the purse–not prime hearing the phone ring locale.) This is the same woman, God love her, who til recently if I called her on my cell and lost the connection, she’d call back my house and leave a message, “Hallo! Hallo! What happened? We got disconnected!” I mean, would I hang up on my own mother? Shouldn’t she know I wasn’t raised that way and assume I was on my cell? Or look at her caller ID to see where I called from? Nope. She called me the other day to ask if I called and hung up on their answering machine. (Again, why would I crank call my own parents? Huh? She’s not a cute boy and it’s not 7th grade, circa 1985.)  

 “Was I on your caller ID?” A tiny part of me thought maybe 2 year old hit redial or something. Oldest called Nebraska once so you never know! 

 “Oh, you know, I never even thought to check that!”  Freaking Comcast, just stop taking caller ID money from anyone over 65, you scammers! You know none of them even use it! 

I swear to God, I am not trying to make fun of my beloved mother who gave me food, love,  shelter, and Nike Cortez sneakers. I am not. I simply don’t understand. I know this is gonna bite me in the muffin top some day when my sons are all flustered that I don’t remember to call them in the Andes in 3-D or whatever the hell we’re expected to do then. 

My friend’s parents never even got caller ID. (They are so banking that $5.99 a month at least.) But now caller ID automatically shows up on their tv when it’s on so they think they’re all funny answering, “Hi, friend of muffintopmommy! HEE HEE.” when she calls. (I’m not going to start outing friends, sorry.)  But…but… the 90’s called and they want their joke back. OMG. 

This whole cell phone madness finally came to a head the other night.  Unfortunately, the rubber met the road on a jammed Route 93 South in New Hampshire. We were taking the fam to meet the in laws (Follow along…totally different set of older people…I’m equal opportunity with my phone snark.) for dinner about thirty miles south in Massachusetts because my son and hubs both have birthdays this week. You figure 30 miles, 30 minutes? Give or take an unexpected potty stop or two? Except we forgot it was the Sunday after the end of school vacation week for Mass. (That sound you heard Sunday night was me slapping my gigantic forehead.) So, there we sat on 93, along with every Bode and Lindsey disciple who came north to New Hampshire to ski for vacation and now voyaged south to get home.  

After the highway screeched to a halt, we jumped off  the nearest exit, and soon found ourselves winding our way down random back roads, blindly heading south. (Not really blindly. We did both get our licenses in Massachusetts so our driving skills are probably questionable in other regions of the continental United States, but our eyesight is totally fine. And while the registry, aka DMV, officer who administered my driving test junior year in high school did ask me if I had an eye deficiency after I parallel parked, I still passed with flying colors. Okay, I passed–barely–no need to be a show off! Someone has to barely make the cut or there’d be no cut, am I right?) 

Anyway, after it looked like our circuitous voyage would be a rather long one, I said to the hubs as I eye balled the hungry trio in the back, “You better call your parents and tell them we’re going to be really late. Or even ask them if they want to start driving north and meet us halfway somewhere else to eat.” 

“Yeah, you’re right.”  Of course I’m right! That’s the wife’s job! Scratch that. If I were that smart, we wouldn’t have gone 93. And I’d be way better at parallel parking.  

So the hubs dials up the parentals….and…..NO ANSWER. 

I raise my eyebrow. 

Dials them up again five minutes later. NO ANSWER. 

I raise my voice. (Which was difficult. Given the intense competition coming from the bleacher seats.) 

And again? He dials. And you guessed it….NO ANSWER! NO ANSWER, NO ANSWER, NO ANSWER. NO. ANSWER. 

I raise my pointer finger and squint all mommy/tv trial lawyer/Bubba Clinton. “WHY EVEN HAVE A CELL PHONE!!!!” 

“I know! This is your next blog post. Why do older people have cell phones? WHY!” 

After our collective (and surprisingly cathartic) huff is over, I finally figure out, A-HA! We can go all 90’s and just call the restaurant, like you’d do if someone had NO cell phone.  Rocking the brain cells that night! 

Hubs gets the restaurant number right away off the iphone (See! Cell phones are your friend!) and explains the sitch to the hostess. 

“You? You….have TWO parties of 7 for 5 o’clock for Dick?” 

Seriously? I cannot make this shit up. Two parties, under the name “DICK” for half past the stroke of blue light special. 

OMG, my mind can’t help but wander as he looks at me dumbfounded….what are the odds? Eleventy billion to one? I swear to God, I’m gonna go buy one of those MEGABILLIONTRILLIONMULTISTATE lottery tickets. Because with odds like there being two parties of 7 at 5 o’clock for Dick, I think we just might have the chance to be sunning oceanfront at the Cape some day on our own freaking Kennedy-esque compound! 

Why yes, I would like my Bud-Light in a frosty mug, thank you, Jeeves….just leave the stack of People and OK! right over there by the massage table!  

Snap! Paging muffintopmommy…. 

“Oh, one has a high chair? Okay, then that’s our…Dick. Yup. Yes. Oh, he’s not there? Okay, well if he checks in can you tell him we’re going to be pretty late because 93 was a parking lot? And can you ask him to call his son?” 

At this point, steam is coming out of my typically calm husband’s ears. (That’s not good, because that’s my job, along with being right!) 

“Well, I feel badly they’re going to be waiting so long for us.” Translation: I feel sorta bad but I postulate that if I were in their shoes, I’d be lovin’ me some bar snacks and frosty adult beverages, while I watched some Bode butt on the flat screen in the restaurant bar. (What? I am not obssessed with Bode. He’s from NH and I’m all about him representing is all!) 

“Too bad! Serves ’em right for probably sitting on the cell phone in the car with the ringer turned off!” Dial down the anger, boyfriend! We’re just minutes from toasted ravioli! 

But then….the baby starts whining, 2 year old keeps shaking his head saying, “I don’t see the Ta-toe, I really don’t see the Ta-toe!” (The Chateau!), and birthday boy says he has to “pee and he doesn’t know how long he can hold it…”, and there is not a store or a business in sight in Eastbumblebee, Cow Hampshire. 

 “Dad, are you SURE you’re going the right way?” 4 year old demands.  

“YES!” husband uncharacteristically snaps as the team starts assaulting us one by one. Yeah, he so had no clue and the gig is about up. They’re totally turning on us. 

In the midst of  this family fun adventure, I start rethinking my steadfast claim that I don’t need a GPS because, “I don’t go anywhere but Tarjay or the grocery store!” If we’d had a GPS, we might have known there was traffic. Calling the in laws would be a moot point. We’d have gone another way, and been yukking it up over toasted ravs. 

Maybe our blame and cell phone fury has been totally misplaced this entire time! We’ve been livid with the collective older folk in our lives for not using technology to our liking and to our advantage but WE could have had a completely different trip had WE gotten all 2008 and gotten a GPS! 

Smug much, muffintopmommy and hubs? 

Anyone know where I can get a deal on a GPS?? Preferably one that’s, ah, easy for a technology challenged mom to use?

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Filed under Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!

SERIOUSLY? THIS IS MY LIFE? STILL!

*Hello muffintoppers! After I published my lovely, heartfelt poem the other day, some of you asked about the toilet paper rage?rant?grousing? from the poem. About three months ago, I first published this post. There are some similar themes as the poem, but it goes into….greater detail about my plight. Since many of you weren’t rocking the muffin top with us here at muffintopmommy a few months ago, I thought it was worth a second run….to ,um, help put things in perspective for the newer readers! If you’ve been following the blog since pre toilet paper roll rage, there will be a brand new post by the end of the week. Keep on reading and spreading the word of the muffin top!

Oh! And don’t forget to check out muffintopmommy on Facebook.

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Someone wake me up. Surely, this must be a dream?

Tell me I don’t live with a 40 year old adult who can’t put a new toilet paper roll on the hanger thingy?

WAIT.

Before we go any further, disclaimer… (Read: I’m about to bash the hubs just a teeny bit, and because I feel just a wee bit guilty I’m broadcasting it on the world wide web, I’m going to put down some nice stuff about him. And, if he wants to respond in kind, he can feel free to start his own blog, OR make amends for his transgression immediately!)

But I digress….I’m the first to admit I’m very fortunate to have the husband I do. Not only does he put up with my constant sassing and overall smartassishness, he tells me I look great even when I know sometimes THAT ain’t true. Better yet, he actually wields a mop. He even—without prompting, puts the toilet seat down. Does he bring me flowers? No, not often. He really doesn’t. But, he does bring me 12 packs, and truthfully, that’s because he gets it—that’s what makes mummy happy. So,yes! Yes! It’s true. The romance IS alive. ‘Nuf said.

But for the love of God in heaven above, why can’t the boy put a toilet paper roll on the hanger thingy? Tell me I’m imagining that. Please.

Please?

It’s not hard. (Please see exhibit A.) It’s not even one of the tricky ones built into the wall. You don’t have to exert even a sliver of effort pushing it to the one side and wait for it to spring back. You merely plop it on the hook thingamabob and done! It takes, I dunno, a second? Two if you’re in major slow mo?

I just don’t get it. I buy the toilet paper. I bring it home. I put extra rolls under the sink. It just needs to travel from under the sink to the hanger which is all of a foot away. Perhaps I should draw a map?

I know you’re not supposed to sweat the small stuff, blabbity blah blah blah. I know it. I know there are far greater transgressions in the world. But this is my world at the moment. Besides, you do the math. I have three little sons so I’m pretty outnumbered around here, and let’s face it, they’re going to be taking their potty cues from daddy. Three boys + one man – basic bathroom etiquette = one jacked up mama bear holding a gazillion empty toilet paper rolls forever and ever and ever! And ever.

After a long, exhausting Thanksgiving that included one family trip to the emergency room (not from my cooking, but thanks for your concern), having houseguests afoot and running to and fro serving food and schlepping drinks all day, I ran into the toilette to take a few moments to tinkle and this is what I find?

For whatever reason, at that moment, on that day, at that time, when all I wanted was 20 seconds to have a minute of quiet time to do the most basic of bathroom biz, I was enraged that, in the words of the great Elaine Benis, there was not a “square to spare”! Because really? That’s just a big FU! Am I right?

Doesn’t everyone, besides someone at huge rager of a college party, deserve a few squares? (Come on, you walk into that situation you know it’s every man… I mean, woman, for herself so no bellyaching. If it’s a good enough party you shouldn’t care if you have to drip dry anyway!)

Even prisoners get toilet paper.

So I sat there stewing for a minute. It was time for action.

I stomped into the family room and held up the evidence at hand.

“Are you freaking kidding me?” I wailed, thrusting the sad, little empty roll in the air.

At which point, my husband looked at my brother, and they exchanged a knowing look. And then, they laughed.

Way too loud. And for way too long.

I stormed off, knowing I had lost the battle.

But some time, some day, I know I’ll hear a pleading call from the el bano, and then? Victory will be mine!

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Filed under Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, TMI? Says who!, Yo! It's a girl thing!

IT’S JUST NOT COOL TO USE YOUR NEW BABY TO STEAL

*Greetings muffintopmommy readers! Before you read the post today, I want to thank all of you for helping spread the word about the blog–we have had an unprecedented amount of readers this week. You are rocking the top muffin style and I love it! If you don’t have a subscription yet, please look for the orange button to your right. See it? It’s right…there. See? Yup, right there. Don’t be afraid…just click it! And that’s the first step toward getting your 100% FA-REE, money back guarantee *(*just seeing if you’re paying attention…cuz sometimes the hubs smiles and nods too but I know he’s really watching the Bruin’s…) subscription. Anyway, once you hit the magic orange button, you can sign up to receive muffintopmommy by feedburner or email. Just don’t forget to verify your subscription once you sign up. (Does WordPress think I’d be shameless enough to sign peeps up without their express permission? Yes. You bet.) Several of you in your awesomeness have been kind enough to pass your muffintopmommy emails to your pals–and even some of your DADS and HUBS who now read the muffintop (How awesome is THAT? We’re not just for mommies!), but I would politely ask that you send them the link and ask them to click onto the actual blog so that muffintopmommy gets the official blog “hit” from it as that helps me out….”I want credit for the big salad!” , George Costanza, Seinfeld. 

Also, (I know, what a windbag I am today..mea culpa, mea culpa) we have a new muffintopmommy fan page on Facebook! So if you’re on FB, please join. Just type in muffintopmommy in your search box (top right where you search for your friends) and you should find it. My blog is a work in progress (Read: I have absolutely no natural ability at anything remotely technical and therefore seek help from kindly, tech savvy friends…) and soon I will hopefully have a badge right on the site you can click to join, and with any luck, some cool new graphics.

Enjoy the post. I started writing this long before I had a blog—when my baby was still little enough to be in the bucket car seat. (Sniff…where does the time go?) The material is timeless I think, so I thought I’d share…..

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Sometimes I have to take all three kids to the store, and when I do, I don’t linger. If I linger, I run the risk of losing one of them, or my purse, or my mind, or all three. Usually I put the baby in the bucket in the body of the cart, my two year old sits in the front, and my four year old walks with me. This works out great provided I only need a “few” little things. Once you put the bucket into the body of the cart, there’s not much room left for “stuff”.

By the time I get the “few” little things that have multiplied before my eyes and engulfed every square inch of the cart (Please refer to, “Target: My life, my passion, my love!), and corral us all to the check out, my oldest is whining for Matchbox cars and my two year old is beet red, fuming like a major league ball player on ‘roids because I won’t let him open the Dora fruit snacks. “Open! OPPPEEEN! OPPPPENNN ITTTTT!”

Oh, the injustice of it all.

I don’t even get embarrassed anymore. Glass houses and all that. (Go ahead and judge me, I dare you…you know you’ll be there, too!)

By the time I pay, put everyone’s hats and mittens back on, and move the brood out of the store and to the car with all the efficiency of a clumsy snail, I usually get two of them in their car seats before I take the baby out of the cart and realize, sonofabitch, there were two items wedged behind the car seat that I forgot to pay for. Usually it’s something small like some Chapsticks (Why yes, I am an addict and no one can stop me. No one. I live for Crackstick!) and some chocolate.

Exactly. The important stuff.

Oh, the dilemma. Either I have to get the hooligans back out of the car, and schlep all the way back into the store and get back in line to pay the $3 or whatever it is for the stuff OR I have to just toss the bounty into my car and rationalize I will pay next time OR I have to just leave the contraband in the cart, and hope someone from the store spies it when they go to collect the carts and returns it to the store.

I’m telling you right now straight up, I am SO not schlepping back to the store with three kids in the cold for the sake of three bucks worth of stuff. When I had one baby, I always did it. Two kids, I sometimes did it. Three kids, oh no, that shit so ain’t happening. MAYBE if it were a $25 can of formula that I desperately needed to feed my innocent baby or felt too guilty to leave in the cart, then yeah, but you can be sure I’d bitch and moan the whole way back! And why does it always seems cold or rainy when I pull this stunt?

I’m also not taking the stuff, whether it’s three bucks or 25 bucks. I just can’t. Maybe it’s the Catholic guilt that lingers from childhood, or the fact that I was raised by a police detective and a second grade teacher (I know, what are the odds? Talk about bustometer–couldn’t one of them have been, I dunno, an accountant? I couldn’t break my curfew in HS OR spell a word wrong…don’t know how I made it….it was a rough life, you see.)  Anyway, since I never got away with squat growing up, I just know I’m not going to start now.  And even if I did, I’d obsess about it and replay it in my head til I drove myself crazy because deep down I’m a closet nerd. (Right— you’ve probably figured that out by now. Was it the Lands End shoes that gave it away or professing my love to a big box store?)

No, seriously though. Can you see me, looking over my shoulder in the Target parking lot, making sure no one saw me chuck the candies in the way back? And with my luck they would!

I can hear it now, one of the other moms whispering, “Wow, times really ARE tough! I just saw muffintopmommy lifting Dove candy outside of Tarjay!”

“Nooooooooo!”  the other mom would sniff, “as if she needs it too! *Snort!* She should be stealing Weight Watcher dinners, not caaandy, ma ha ha ha!”

And besides, if I’m going to steal and sully my good name, I’m going for the big haul damn it, not some Crackstick I could have paid for myself! (Real crack probably is outside my budget…so it’s nice I have my cherry alternative at the ready.)

So, out of viable options, I’m left to just dump the cart and run for cover, burning rubber out of there like a teenage wild child who just got his license.  This option I know is imperfect, because leaving the stuff in the cart essentially just makes it easier for someone ELSE to come along and take it, provided they share my affinity for cherry Chapstick. Hey, I did the heavy lifting and got the loot out of the store, and now it’s like low hanging fruit for the taking for any unscrupulous shopper that happens by! Now that I think of it, I could be charged with aiding and abetting.

I’m a criminal after all. Crap! (How much does James Sokolove and Affiliates get by the hour? Anyone know?)

I'm innocent. I swear. It was all a big misunderstanding! I can explain!

Do you think four Hail Marys and two Our Fathers will cover it? I don’t imagine a priest has ever found himself in this awkward position of moral ambiguity, being single and all. I think I should dole out my own penance on this one. Which has to be, listening to my kids when they find out there’s no candy when we get home. Yeah, that should square me with God I think.

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Filed under Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness

I WANT TO LIVE IN A CATALOG. WANNA COME WITH?

I mean it. I want to live in a catalog. Just for a day, I want to escape to the land o’ catalogs. Where the sun always shines. The kids never cry. The mom twirls in the kitchen in her $150 khakis. And the dad hangs the flag with junior on the wide, front porch with the perfectly coordinated wicker furniture and plantings.

The people in catalogs just look so…. happy. It’s not that I’m not happy. As I said before, minus my husband having an aversion to replacing the toilet paper roll (Please refer to, “Seriously? This is my life?”) and realizing I live in a frat house (Ditto for, “Oh no! I think I live in a frat house!”) I’m beyond fortunate.

But the catalog people? Oh yeah, they’ve really got it going on. They’re always flashing day glow toothy smiles about something—like they have some fun inside joke the rest of us aren’t privy to. They always have on stylish clothes that fit just right, not a hair out of place. You don’t see any of those catalog moms rocking the muffin top with spit up on their shoes.  Nobody has on a baseball hat with fringe sticking out because the kids started cockadoodledooing at 5 a.m. If they have a hat on it’s not a baseball hat and it’s on purpose—it’s strategically placed with just the right amount of styled—but not too styled—hair peeking out. And roots? Come on. Junk in the trunk? Um, no. Hello! Pick up a catalog lately? Do yourself a favor—don’t!

The catalog kids frolic in playrooms furnished more beautifully than my house, and none of the toys are strewn about like a stage five hurricane ripped through (please refer to photo above). All the kids color on paper—not on the walls. Nobody crawls into the pull out drawer under the stove and throws all the cookie sheets on the kitchen floor and then clangs them together the minute an adult conversation is attempted. Nobody unravels the toilet paper down the hall, squirts toothpaste in the toilet or boots up their dinner.

Nobody is screaming. Or crying. Or screaming crying.

“Is everything okay over there?” asks your kid’s doctor.

“Oh fine, just fine! Yup. Totally. ” Can you write prescriptions for grown ups? What’s it gonna take? $25 smackers? An even fitty? A c-note? Do you take plastic? What can you get me? And when?

“Oh, because it sounds like you’re having work done in your house. Are you having work done?” Because if not? I’m pretty sure you’re running an illegal daycare or are living in a McDonald’s play land. Where’d I put that number for social services again….

Sigh.

“No. Heh. Just the boys engaging in some spirited play! And that little one? Well, he sure has found his voice!” **Grits teeth.** These rugrats kick it up on command I tell you. They see the phone and they go all Pavlov on my ass—automatically screeching like hyenas in the outback. Or tweens at a Jonas Brothers concert. Or cougars at a Twilight movie. What-ever!

That would so never happen in a catalog. Never. Ever.

The catalog families never have a dated kitchen or a shingle loose. Emerald lawns are as perfectly groomed as their owners. Adorable puppies snuggle by fires on doggie beds that are nicer and cost more than my duvet cover! The catalogers throw parties outside on impeccable brick patios, where coordinating linens, glassware, and dinnerware adorn fancy pants tables made of exotic woods. They play lawn games like croquet. They sail on ginormous yachts (with those adorable puppies and angelic kids again)! But..rest assured it’s never too windy to muss up their hair!

You know what though? On second thought, I don’t want to live in a catalog. Not even for a day. The catalog people look way too perfect to be any fun. Smug even. Superior.

And if that’s superior, then I’m fine with inferior.

Yes I am!

I can hear you. I can. You’re sneering….jealous much?

NO! Who me? I am not. Oh no I’m not!

Yeah, they look good. They probably don’t shout. Or swear. Or shout swears. Or drink out of a red plastic cup on their Target chair on their hastily stained deck. They definitely don’t know how to score a bargain or belly up to a bar. They probably fold all their clothes right when they come out of the dryer. I’m sure they never mix whites and darks. They’d never eat a row of Thin Mints. Or three. They never screech stuff like, “Where the HELL did the bread tie just go? I JUST HAD IT RIGHT HERE!” I bet their socks never get eaten by the dryer either.

They’re…. “the beautiful people”.

Rat bastards.

They’re the croquet to my wiffle ball. The caviar to my hummus. The Banana Republic to my Merona. The Ketel One to my Bud Light. The…the…scone to my muffin. Top.

Pfft. Who needs ‘em? I might like to visit their world for an hour or two. But I ain’t staying. It’s just doesn’t seem that fun. I’m just keeping it real.

Care to join?

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Filed under Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness

TARGET: MY LIFE, MY PASSION, MY LOVE!

The one place I love to visit, and visit often, is Target.

Wait, let me start over.

“Hi, my name is Muffintopmommy, and I’m addicted to Target”, or as I, and seventy bazillion others affectionately (nay, lovingly?) call it, “Tarjay”. I know that to some Target might just seem like any other big box store, but to me it’s so much more. I would go so far to say it’s a huge part of my life right now. No, I am not kidding!

Really. Stop laughing, you! Come on, did you really think I was going to say Bloomingdale’s or some fancy pants place like that?

WE DON’T EVEN HAVE BLOOMINGDALE’S IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND EVEN IF WE DID, THEY’D LOCK THEIR DOORS IF THEY SAW MY BROOD AND ME COMING!

“Henderson, cut the lights, lock the door…I see the bourgeois coming. Quick, quick!”

Target is where I buy a lot of household stuff, sure, but it’s also where I end up socializing, and for better or worse, buying a lot of my clothes. Now, this is partly because I can rapidly toss clothing items into a moving red plastic cart while I shop on the fly with the little scamps in tow…. and partly because Target really embodies ‘cheap chic’… in my humble opinion. I like to think I really am quite the budget fashionista—please, don’t tell Stacey and Clinton. (Or better yet, do tell.  I exaggerate my talent, and could use a $5,000 wardrobe makeover and some pointers on how to disguise the muffin top, because it is becoming abundantly clear that I am just going to continue to whine about it while doing nothing to change.)

There, I said it. I feel better now.

Please note for your shopping pleasure that Target really knows its audience. “A” for effort Target marketers—no doubt a team of savvy moms—you thought of everything. Frazzled mommies on the go rejoice that the big red shopping carts that restrain your crew can easily navigate their family changing rooms. Take that Bloomies!

Every time I hit Targ I run into other moms I know and end up yukking it up by the laundry detergent or seasonal items. I’m not going to lie to you, staying home with three kids four and under can make for long days, especially when those frosty New England winters hit, and I so look forward to my impromptu social hour. Don’t even tell me you didn’t know Targ was an informal social club? (Are you lying? Admit it— you’re right there with me.) They don’t advertise it in the Sunday flyer but it’s a well known fact among moms. You might have your water cooler, we have our aisle seven!

Target having everything I could possibly need under one roof is both a blessing and a curse. It’s fantastic because I only have to take the kids out of the car seat ONCE to do a million errands. What’s more flipping annoying than taking three kids, none of whom can buckle themselves yet, in and out of car seats on multiple errands? You might as well go have a tooth pulled then do that. (Although wait, I just remembered– that’s my vacation!)

Really, the only downside to my love affair with Targ (I like to abbreviate words. So fun. Go ahead and try it. Be a rebel. I dare you.) is that it is absolutely a threat to my household finances. But if posed with the choice, heat, light or Targ, I gotta admit, I’d have to think about it long and hard…..

Okay, I decided.

Who needs light when you can just go to Targ and enjoy all the lovely, fluorescent bright lights you want for as long as you want?! Lighting at home is so glorified anyway. So twentieth century. Laura Ingalls didn’t need light, so neither do I!

It is just so terribly easy to become derailed in Targ. I swear the orangey red décor riles you up into a spending frenzy or there’s some kind of secret old school subliminal messages in play. All I know is I might go in there for toilet paper and soap, a minor and necessary expenditure, and then come out with new wine glasses, some shorts, a frame, a book, bathing suits for the kids, tortilla chips, stationery, a purse and—oh, don’t forget the undies at the check out—seven pair for $6.99 with the fancy cursive writing on the band—sing with me now, “I’m bringing sexy back. Yeah!” 

But the kicker? I’ll get all that and then forget the toilet paper and soap that I went there in there for in the first place.

Oy.

I’m pretty careful with the household budget but in Tarjay I end up like a kid in a candy store and since most things are reasonably priced, I figure what’s the harm—til I get to the register and realize, omg, all this piddly stuff really adds up and did I really just spend that? If I get out under $100 bucks, it’s a good day. (My friend’s sister jokes that there’s a $100 cover charge at Target. I swear no truer words have been spoken.) I have no idea why each and every time I shop at Target what I spend astounds me. You’d think I’d learn some defense or something, or, gasp, just not shop there. But the fact is I don’t want to stop. I can’t stop!!!!

HELLPPP MEEEE!!!

I think I need an intervention.

It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who suffers from Targ-diction. I’m not going down alone. As a joke, I started a Target group on Facebook. (What? I do too have a life!) Are you really surprised I’d be into Facebook?  I’ve already revealed that I’m a thirtysomething mom of three boys four and under, who has a serious muffin top problem and looks forward to socializing at a big box store. Should it surprise you some of my biggest socializing now occurs online? It’s not sad. It’s not!

But I’m digressing again (Adult onset ADD? I keep meaning to look into that…but then… I interrupt myself again and forget.). Just for kicks, I decided to see if I were the only loser, I mean, mom, who shared these sentiments about Target. I figured it would be a fun social experiment of sorts. Here’s the group’s description as I wrote on FB, and you can check for yourself, it’s 100% real and serves no actual purpose as evidenced by the fact that I put it under, “just for fun/totally random”:

MOM’S ADDICTED TO TARGET—ADMITTING IT IS THE FIRST STEP!!!

For all you moms out there who hit Target at least once a week…..if you go in with the intention of buying a ‘few’ things, and come out with at least $50 worth of ‘stuff’…..if you bump into at least a few other moms you know every time you go and love the little impromptu social hour by the cleaning products….if you can’t stay away from the pull, the glow, the allure of the orangey-red decor of Targhhhay….if you passionately tick off a laundry list of why Target is infinitely better than it’s dingy, unhip, uncool and no fun rival Wal-Mart, this group is for you! Target addicts unite! Admitting it is the first step to recovery….although, none of us probably want to recover…where would we go on weekday mornings then???

I’m proud to say, we are 63 members strong! And? We’re a geographically diverse group, having members from coast to coast, and even from Canada making us…an “international” group (That’s what I’m talking about; I like to foster international relations.) and  proving the Target addiction knows no boundaries, and targets (no pun intended) any mom, anywhere. Consider yourself forewarned!

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Filed under Mom-ness, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Yo! It's a girl thing!

WHO AM I? I MEAN, WHO IS SHE?

I struggled with a challenging task this week. I entered a writing competition and had to write a biography about myself. You’re probably thinking, “So? You yammer on about stuff going on in your life a few times a week right here.” This is true. But mostly what I choose to yammer about are experiences that happen in my life that I hope others can relate to or laugh with me about. (I said with me, not at me! Meanie! Watch out or I’ll go all Kanye West on you in one of these posts and really go off on a tangent! Then you’ll be all, “Ack! Please, just stick to muffin tops and crock pots!”) Anyway, I’m not in the habit off ticking off the life and times of my professional and academic life. For a reason. (That sound you hear? That’s me snoring.)

And also? This fun little “bio” could only be 150 words—not a word more. 150 words! I swear I can speak in 150 word sentences when I really get going and not even come up for air. Brevity is not my style, though in truth, being forced to limit myself to fewer words at times makes my writing better. (And probably would keep me from sticking my foot in my mouth if applied to the spoken word as well!)

But my main issue is biographies—and I’m not sure why—tend to be written in the third person. So to me, it’s kind of like you’re writing about yourself in a detached manner. It seems impersonal, oddly formal, and for some reason—totally weirds me out. For example, instead of writing, “I live with my husband, sons, and assorted dust bunnies.” I had to write, “Mrs. Muffintopmommy lives with her husband, sons, and assorted dust bunnies.”

It just doesn’t sound right. Not the dust bunny part! That part is totally right.

I tried to practice by speaking in the third person when my husband got home from work the other night.

“Hey hon, she didn’t cook any dinner tonight so would he like to order some take out?”

“Huh?”

“I said she didn’t cook any dinner. There’s NO dinner. None. Muffintopmommy was too busy working on her blog, hoping to spread joy and laughter for the good of humanity, and so I’m sorry, but she couldn’t make any dinner. Between that and her role as executive hausfrau in charge of toddler negotiations, she just couldn’t squeeze it in.  Her degree in English did not adequately prepare her for these culinary challenges.”

“Wait, what? Who’s she?” Now that’s flip. If he’s pissed there’s no dinner, he should just say so.

“Hon, try to follow along here. Come on. You know who she is. Just tell me. Does he want pizza or Chinese?” Dinner is just a phone call away. Just answer her already! She’s starving! Can’t you hear her tummy roar? Can’t you see her muffin top whittling away?

“I thought the kids ate. He who?” Sonofabitch. Remind her not to try the kingly we.

See what I mean? If the whole world operated in the third person, pandemonium would surely ensue.

Oh, and by the way, this whole blog post is 567 words! It’s one of my shortest ones ever. One good thing about the bio exercise? I’m embracing my inner brevity. Besides, I don’t have time for more tonight. She has to go cook the dinner.

Send help.

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Filed under Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!