Thursday, December 30, 2010

When Driving Under the Speed Limit Happens to Good People


When you choose to drive less than the posted speed limit you might create havoc for the family in the car behind you. But by all means, don’t worry, just keep mosey-ing along at a pace of your own choosing because after all, you can’t be responsible for other people’s actions.

When you are the passenger in the car that is behind a car that is driving below the speed limit, it might not be a good idea to ask the driver of your car to not ride the back end of the car in front of you. Especially when you know full well that you do the exact same thing when you are ALONE in the car. You know that you might even express yourself in a vulgar way when you are alone in the car behind the car that is driving under the speed limit.

When you tell the driver of your car to get off the back end of the car in front of you, you potentially sound like a: NAG, hypocrite, know-it-all, goody two shoes, or worse a below the speed limit offender yourself. You have now annoyed the driver for criticizing their driving.

When you criticize the driver of the car that is taking you and your family to dinner, you have more than probably made them annoyed, aggravated, exasperated, wanting to take you home where you and your big mouth belong.

When the driver of your car who is now annoyed is suddenly highlighted by the flashing lights of a police car about to pull them over, it might be a good idea to sit quietly, keeping your mouth shut.



When the police officer claims the reason for pulling your car over is due to the lights not working over the license plate, you might not want to laugh it off. The reason you don’t do this is because the driver of your car, who was previously annoyed is now thoroughly annoyed for being pulled over for a very obnoxious reason and now wants to start an argument with the police officer who has not been apprised of previous events.

Saying the driver’s name in way that makes him feel like a child while he is arguing with the police officer who has an attitude is probably not the best idea you had all day.

When you are now far behind the slow driver but back on the road, it might not be a good idea to critique the driver of your car’s demeanor with the police officer. This might result in the car being turned around heading for home.

When the kids in the car realize that they are not going out to eat because they are back at home, it might not be a good idea to blame the driver of the car.

The best way to recover from this series of events is not starting an argument with the driver of the car who is thoroughly aggravated beyond belief with three hungry children waiting for dinner.

The logical solution is to teach your oldest son how to make scrambled eggs for dinner in case this ever happens again. After you do that, you should then realize that tomorrow is New Years Eve and that kiss you have never gotten at midnight, is once again looking like a never gonna happen situation.

When you drive under the speed limit, take a look in your rear view mirror. If you see a man driving and a woman in the passenger seat with three small heads behind them, STEP ON IT.

Here’s to hoping you get a kiss at midnight New Year’s Eve….

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fine, How are You? Year in Review


I have BIG plans for 2011, my blog and my writing, but before we get to that, I thought I’d introduce my NEW-er followers to the blog:

January, February and most of March 2010:

I was MIA. I had recently ended five years of work that took 80 hours of my life per week. I was in recovery still. I had started my current position and last job I will ever land and was getting accustomed to working a normal 40 hours per week. I was thinking about writing, I was gearing up. It took me awhile.

So the first post back was NEWLY MOTIVATED. Nothing spectacular, just me bragging about going on vacation, but I have to note it because it’s the first of my blog. (I had other blogs, but they never really went anywhere)

Skip forward to May. I must have had a great time vacationing because I was gone for awhile. I wrote two posts and they may have meant something to me, but sadly, they do nothing for you as a reader. Looks like it took me half the year to really get in the swing of blogging. I was probably still trying to get my point across on Facebook.

In July, I wrote what I would say was the first REAL post of this blog. ON A WILD RIDE. There are parts of the writing that make me cringe, but at the end of the post, I wrote this:

So I'm back on track heading up a slight hill just coming out of a dark tunnel and I can see the light, but my hat flew off while we were in the dark. It was a very nice hat, one I'd had for a long long time that traveled with me from house to house in a box and was only worn twice. As it flew off, I was sad to see it go, but I didn't need it, the girl in the very last seat of our car might catch it and use it more than I ever could...


At this point I am averaging less than a post a month. But in August, I posted 38 times.

Domestic was a post that is SO me it isn’t even funny. I baked. It wasn’t a disaster .

In REMEMBERING, I posted this about my Grandma: Then we laughed because Poppies was known and Mr. Lucky Pants as he wore the same jeans and always won every game we played. I told her she must have somehow gotten into Mr. Lucky's Pants and we roared with laughter some more until the men told us to get back out there so they could beat us at our game......

Getting Ready – I write about my fear of Deer and when I slaughtered one on the roadway.

I wrote about the disease I have in TEENITIS. (it’s currently in remission, because of Christmas and all but it WILL be back in oh, about 6 days from now)

In Random Statements My Dad has Made, I am certain you will find one that YOUR Dad made to you. For Example my favorite: If you slam that door one more time, I’m gonna slam your head in it.
(it would have been nice if the DOOR didn’t weigh 100lbs and had a spring! My friends appreciated this statement too. You should have seen the looks of horror on our faces when we remembered at the last minute they were the last one out the door and..... TOO LATE- the door just slammed shut.)

Finally, in light of my Grandmother’s funeral I wrote Got Etiquette? Rule 17: Tell children the body is only a vehicle. (Good advice. I’m hoping they don’t bring pennies)

Around this time in my blog, I started gaining momentum and followers. In September I wrote Not in MY Pond when a large Goldfish was pictured on news sites everywhere and I tell my own story of largish Goldfish:
The size and sheer amount of poop that came out of the fish in my tank at their size was mind-blowing and well, absolutely disgusting. Let alone what must be coming out of the fish pictured?!! The poop would be wrapped around this guy’s legs like a rope cutting off his circulation.



At this point I am blogging AND reading all the blogs I am following DAILY (yes, I was up REALLY late most nights) one post by another blogger really bothered me and I responded in Buttons Resolved, not that the writer was ever going to know.

In October I wrote a cautionary tale but VERY true story: Don’t Let it Expire. Let’s just say it involves The hubby, the DMV and accidental cleavage.

I also shared what I say to Inanimate Objects out loud.

In November, I added to my slowly growing series of tearing up advice columns found on the front page of YAHOO. My Take on the Yahoo article:10 Shocking Secrets of the First Year of Marriage.

I also shared my delight in finding myself playing cards with naked men in Guess What I Saw??

You can tell its WINTER in my world in Why it’s so Much Better in the Dark.

In December, I got the bright idea to write a post a day on the gifts given in The Twelve Days of Christmas which was quite the undertaking. 12 days staying in character was hard, and the hubby was ready to get rid of my so called EX. You can read the first in the series here: http://imfineu.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-its-so-much-better-in-dark.html

All in all, 2010 was OK for this blog, but 2011, watch out my followers, I’m excited to blow you away with my talents… (cough, cough)

My most read post was Advice Review – Time Management. And I truly have no idea why.

I owe the blog: The Pop Eye for referring most of my followers, check her blog out if you haven’t already.

And I owe the following bloggers for talking back, listening, and making me feel like I am not talking to an empty box on my dining room table:

What’s on My Mind Today            Crab-Ass Mom                         Tickets for Two

The Middle Side of Life                 What’s on Your Mind Monkey Butt?

Butts and Ashes                            RotDuJour                                Kelley’s Breakroom

The Blog O’ Cheese

That’s it for this blog and 2010. But stick around for 2011….. (I beg of you on my knees from a pile of yellow snow, wearing only shorts)

Monday, December 27, 2010

THE PRESENT and Christmas Catch-up.

First – THE PRESENT. My parents live in Florida and do not get to see us (my two brothers and I) very often AND they have pretty much everything they need or want, so this year I thought it would be fun to get the three of us, and our families together for a family picture they could hang up and you know, brag to all their friends about. I pictured us looking like this:


or this:


In my head, I envisioned everything working out perfectly. My sister in law’s Dad could take the photos at her house; we would get it developed, find a frame, ship it to Florida and make my parents cry. (The way you know you hit a home run in gift giving).

The day we finally got together for the picture was a Friday night, of course after working all day, I felt I could have looked better, but I feel that way all the time so nothing new there. We didn’t color coordinate and I begged my son to PLEASE wear the nice collared shirt for the picture and he gave me 60% of the hard time I figured he would. I didn’t even bother begging the hubby to wear anything in particular knowing I would never win that battle.

We arrived at my brother’s house and were faced with exactly what I thought we would be. I think my family and I are pretty cute, but my brother and his family, well they have all hit their most beautiful this year. My brother is in the best shape of his life, thin and looking amazing, my sister in law, ditto as usual. My neice and nephew at 15 and 16, look like they walked out of an Abercrombie catalog ad. Then walks in my other brother and kids with his years younger gorgeous wife. The boys had burgundy sweaters and plaid shirts and the girls had black sweaters and plaid shirts. Their kids at 13 and 14 are in no way awkward.

The picture taking began and my thoughts were as follows:

Oh, yeah put me on the end so maybe I will get cut off.


Oh God, keep sucking it in, shoulders down, sexy smile, where do I put my hands??


That is my son complaining over there, too bad he is too far away to kick.


Oh, the hubby’s humor right now is enough to make me want to drink HEAVILY.


Please let there be one picture where I outshine the rest of these people. I know, I am asking for a miracle or at the very least a big smudge wiping everyone else out.


If my daughter sticks her tongue out like she did in my brother’s wedding photo, I’ll kill her.


Then the camera batteries died and we were done.

When it was all said and done, the picture turned out OK and I think there were some tears.


Christmas Catch-up:

The day before Christmas Eve, I cleaned and decorated the house from 6am til 1am, did my best not to yell too much and thought I was having a heart attack only once. I would have swore the hubby and I would be divorced by today though.

I attempted to make my traditional peppermint pound cake for the kids which resulted in having to open all the windows to release the black smoke coming from the oven, my having to cut a square of cake out of the pan, throwing the pan in the garbage, and using the GREEN frosting I accidently bought instead of white. It tasted OK as long as you ate it with your eyes closed.

Christmas Eve morning we discovered our furnace had died. 17 people were coming over at 3pm. Thankfully a combination of lots of candles, two gas fireplaces, the dryer, the dishwasher and the oven had the house toasty warm and no one knew how cold it could really get. Today is Monday and the furnace has yet to be fixed.

The party was a pretty good success, learned that next year we will have it later, serve heavy hors d’eourves and desserts only instead.(That’s all people like anyway) and my hard work of cleaning and decorating was worth it.

Christmas Eve night I got two hours of sleep. The kids had us up at 2:15am, 3:30am, 4:30am and then I had to WAKE them up at 6:30am!!



We were heroes for the next two days, and the hubby broke our promise by getting me gifts when we said we weren’t going to and hit a home run in gift giving. We are no longer on the road to divorce. Thank god, because I was about to think that psychic may have been right….

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

There is a Bah-Humbug in my bed!

Every Year.
Without Fail.
We get into a fight (maybe that is too harsh - argument, disagreement, scuffle, battle royale?) - days before Christmas.

I used to chalk it up to stress, multiple children in various life sucking stages, or unfortunate events in life.
But I am NOT STRESSED this year.
OH! Maybe the Bah Humbug is?? Well, it is possible, but don't ruin my good mood because of it.  Why would there be stress? It can't be the amount of money in the bank account after Santa raided it.  It can't be the 17 people coming over on Christmas Eve.  It can't be worrying if the kids will be happy Christmas Day.  I mean what's to stress about?  It's not like I am nagging or anything, I have only mentioned the following things less than 20 times EACH:

I need a good White Elephant.  HELP ME THINK!!
You're going to shovel the walkway better than that right?
The garage is going to be cleaner on Christmas Eve, right?
What are you planning on making for breakfast Christmas morning?
Are you going to clean out your five junk baskets before Christmas Eve?
What are you going to wear?

He's not the only Bah-Humbug out there either! 
I can name SEVERAL bad cases.  They know who they are.  Of course I have not had any humbug attacks. NONE. Clearly. (don't ask my kids)
This may be my last post until after the festivities because tomorrow on MY VACATION DAY, (as usual) I will be cleaning, baking, decorating, setting out clothes, organizing and doing all things that any proper hostess would do WITH A SMILE of course. 
I promise a great post after Christmas. I haven't been able to share this story because it has to do with the gift to my parents and they haven't gotten it yet, so I do not want to spoil anything,
But WAIT FOR IT.

Merry Christmas, Good Night, and don't let the bah-humbugs bite.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things that make me Smile around the Holidays that otherwise would Annoy the %#$@ out of Me.

We smile, laugh and enjoy the most extraordinary things this time of year that normally we would never tolerate. Here is my list:
For anyone who reads this list and thinks poorly of me for saying it, I do some of these things too!!
(I just won’t admit to which ones)

Decorating your Giant SUV/Mom-Van as though it’s your home. Boughs of holly and twinkly lights.
How come I can never find those battery operated kind?


Wearing Sweatshirts & Sweaters that look like walking decorative pillows. Teddy Bears wearing Santa Hats, Christmas Trees with presents you can actually open, or Nativity Scenes with cartoon characters. That’s just an open invitation for a good ole stare at your chest and some inappropriate petting.

People wearing silly hats. I know you are not Santa or one his helpers, stop confusing my kids.

Ohhing and ahhhing over Giant Lawn Decorations. I especially like when they are half deflated and making obscene gestures.

Listening to Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey & John Tesh. And humming along.

Men who grow out their white beards. And we let our kids sit on their laps.


24/7 runs of The Christmas Story. You’ll want to shoot your eye out, kid.



Sending cards to friends and family with a picture of your dog in one of those funny hats.


Wearing Red and Green together. And thinking it looks good.

Wrapping and giving a gift you have already been given or of something you have at home.

Stealing a gift from someone at a party. And not getting kicked out.


Dressing like Mrs. Clause for nighttime attention.

Listening to lyrics such as: All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth, I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, Don’t be a Jerk it’s Christmas, He’s filled his sleigh with things, things for you and me, and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.

Putting puppies or kittens in boxes with bows or hanging them in a sock on the fireplace.


Putting so many lights on your house that the neighbors need black-out shades. And the police aren’t the ones shining the light.

Spending so much money on the kids that there is nothing left over for paying the bills. And it’s not school supplies or daycare.

When quantity is better than quality. In food, gifts and kissing.

Lying to your kids. Not about the birds and the bees.

Drinking a concoction of Eggs and Rum. Then lying to your kids.




Enjoying “The Holidays” (saying the politically correct thing instead of what you really mean) in all of it’s TACKY Glory!



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Confessions,Traditions, Myths & Adventures

I have a problem.  I want my Christmas to be like every corny Christmas Movie I watch. Unfortunatley, there are not a lot of people around me that share that same feeling.  The hubby and I have been arguing and seem to every single year about this. So today I thought I would share a little of my Christmas self and see if anyone is with me, or am I crazy??

I have never been kissed under the mistletoe. Sounds like a good movie, right?
Does this really happen to people?
My Mom used to hang some in our foyer and anytime a good looking friend of my older brother’s came over OR my boyfriend if I had one at the time (for some reason mine always broke up with me around Christmas), I envisioned a passionate and romantic kiss under the mistletoe.

Still Waiting.


I have never had a REAL Christmas tree. I know, you think this is SOOOOO tacky right? Well, in my opinion it “stems” from how you grew up.  I remember the first tree of my own I bought with my Mom – I still have it and we still put it up along with a bigger fake tree. Next year the hubby and I agreed it might be fun to try a real one. Mostly because we need a new FAKE tree and we say we will get one on sale after Christmas every year until we realize we are broke after Christmas and never do it. I want to be one of those people who drive around with it on the top of the car. I’ll make the hubby drive an extra ten miles after we pick it out that day. I’m not sure I even know anyone where we live who has a real tree? And I have never strung popcorn on my tree either.


I have never had or received fruitcake. I consider myself pretty lucky on that one.



I didn’t know you pronounced it “Point-set-ia” until a few years ago. We just said “ Point-Set-ah”. Not that I have any. I am not an indoor plant kind of person.

Colored or White Christmas lights?: I grew up with all white all the time. The hubby was used to color. So our bigger tree has white and our original tree has colored. I like it either way.


I honestly do not remember what I thought about Santa. I had two older brothers, so I stopped believing fairly early, although my Mom was great about keeping up the fa├žade. Our kids have grown up to believe he comes down the chimney. Which meant we bought a fake fireplace when we didn’t have one, he ate the cookies, and the reindeer ate carrots. Santa even left crumbs –which put me into OCD overload just thinking about the crumbs sitting out all night.

Someone reminded me about these the other day.  Our fake one is  lot more real looing -don't worry!
We still wait until everyone is asleep to unload the presents under the tree. We still read The night before Christmas just before bed, and I think we all still kind of hope those are bells we hear as we fall asleep.
A few Christmas’s ago when everyone still believed, we were driving home on Christmas Eve and the kids looked into the sky to see a red flashing light. I know it was probably a plane, but it looked very odd that night and they had great fun telling us to hurry home so we could get to bed. Another year when the kids were very little, and wasan especially sparse year for presents, we woke up and looked across the street to see (no, kidding!) 12 MALE deer in the field eating. Of course the kids assumed they were Santa’s reindeer and it was great fun!

I have never gone to see The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. I did finally watch Disney’s version of The Christmas Carol last year with Jim Carey and it was good. I would like to go to an actual ballet or play sometime though before Christmas.

I have never been in a nativity scene production, nor attended one. Never had to make the kids a costume for a Christmas play or church production.


My Mom always hosted Christmas Eve. We got dressed up, she made amazing food, we exchanged gifts and then.... we played.......

DIRTY PICTIONARY.
Yep.
It didn't start out that way, but every year,
Guys against Girls
there always ended up being
a very inappropriate picture of Santa and his elves.

I have never gone to a fancy New Year’s Eve Party.
When the clock strikes midnight, I believe I have been kissed maybe 3 times by the one I love.


But I have done the following:

Drawn out Christmas morning and opening presents as long as possible, just like my Dad did. We were not allowed to go down the stairs when we were little until my Mom and Dad were up, so we would get up at 4am and sit on the stairs staring down at the tree and presents. Finally around 7am, my Dad would get up, brush his teeth, make us brush our teeth, get his camera out, make the coffee, pour orange juice, and then, and only then we would open gifts one at a time. We do this same thing to this day with our kids.

Went Christmas shopping for my Mom with my Dad and two older brothers, every year. My Dad is an amazing gift giver. We spent hours at the fancy mall, most of the time in the lingerie department. I usually picked the colors but he had most of the say. My brothers rolled around in their boots and jackets miserably staring at the mannequins. We spent lots of time sampling perfume, looking at leather and fur coats, gloves and jewelry. My Dad then always saved one big gift for either us or my Mom that no one knew about except him. He would wait until we were completely done opening presents and had moved on to cleaning up and eating breakfast and then say, “Hey, you guys, go in the garage and get some steaks out of the freezer” and we would find cross country skis for all of us or something equally amazing. The hubby and I stopped sharing gifts a long time ago so that we could also do the one amazing gift for the kids thing.

On the way home from shopping we would stop at Bakers Square for pie, and then my Dad would tell us the story of why barn roofs are red (because the hunters shot santa’s reindeer, duh...) and other horrible stories. I haven’t told these stories to my kids YET.

When the kids were still little my hubby and I had a tradition of getting everyone in the car in their jammies he and I included, to go and try to find Santa and look at the lights on the houses. We did this until everyone was asleep except for us so we could carry them to bed and get everything done. This started when our first child was 1, because he would not go to sleep no matter what we did unless he was in the car. It got comical as the kids multiplied and got a whole lot heavier.

My Mom is an amazing decorator. Growing up, decorating the house for Christmas took an entire weekend. We saved the tree for when my Dad was out of town. He wasn’t a fan of all the hoopla. He also is a man who has never eaten a piece of cheese his whole entire life and cannot even stand to be in the same room as a pizza or anything with cheese as its main ingredient. So when the tree went up we ate pizza. Now, I too take an entire weekend to decorate the house.

There are still some traditions I would like to tackle and I have so much more to look forward to.


Real family.  Fake Tree
Real Family. Fake Fireplace.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

MY SAY – Holiday Parties.

So I came across another advice column/editorial titled:

10 Things Party Guests Won't Tell You -By Shine on Yahoo!

I know you want to know how I feel about this article so let’s get to it!

THEY SAY: The holidays are here, and chances are you have your fair share of parties to attend. You know the rules: Bring a bottle of wine and follow up with a thank-you note.



I SAY: I have been invited to one holiday party. ONE. The hubby had two (the one, and his work party) We didn’t bring wine to either of them and no follow-up Thank you note…. SO FAR.
If you have to bring a gift or a dish to share, I do not see the need to bring a gift for the host on top of that –unless you would have gotten them a gift anyway. Let me preface this by saying I am coming from middle-America, average income level. The higher incomes have a whole different set of rules I am sure. But we are talking reality here.

THEY SAY: But what if you're the one throwing the bash? We talked to partygoers from around the country and found out what they have to say about hosting dos and don'ts. If you're planning to open up your home this season, read on to learn everything your guests are too polite to tell you.

I SAY: How about you have a party and people enjoy themselves no matter what. RIGHT. I suppose there is always one Elephant wearing Diapers in the group –aka Party Pooper.

THEY SAY: Put some thought into the food you serve—and how you serve it.

Any holiday party guest will appreciate being served a full meal, but if there's nowhere to sit and eat, it can be more trouble than it's worth. Either have plenty of seating and wineglass surfaces, or commit wholeheartedly to finger foods."

I SAY: How about TV trays?? I’m having 17 people over on Christmas Eve. The handy card table is coming out of the basement and I am trying to avoid making the kids eat in the basement. Which means there will be NO counter space without another table coming out of the garage. This is always tough, no matter where you go – who has seating for 20 that isn’t in scattered disarray? That makes it more fun. This year I am having the girls make name cards and randomly place them. Mix the adults with the kids because who doesn’t want to sit next to a kid jacked up on excitement at Christmas??



THEY SAY: Be upfront about the guest list.

"I find it annoying when people hide the guest list on Evites," says Agnes* from New York City. "I want to find out if I'm going to know people there or if I should bring a friend." She also wishes hosts understood that it's helpful for guests to know the size of the party, which influences whether they plan to drop by, be on time or arrange to travel with friends.

I SAY: I get invited to a party and I just worry about figuring out how to get myself there. Who cares who else is invited. You can count on the following people to be in attendance EVERY SINGLE TIME: A female dressed better, skinnier, prettier and getting most of the attention. A loud guy telling bad jokes and paying a whole lot of attention to the female mentioned previously. A couple standing at opposite ends of the room shooting daggers at each other, taking turns vying for attention from the female and bad joke guy to make each other mad. The person regaling everyone about their medical woes, childbirth or bad dental experience. (I’ll stop now, I do have normal friends…….)



THEY SAY: Make sure there's enough room for everyone to mingle.

You don't have to have a huge house to create a welcoming atmosphere—you just have to be smart about how you set up the party. "An overcrowded [food] display is a real turnoff," says Brynn from New York City. She wishes hosts would avoid a stampede at the appetizer table by creating separate areas for the drink and food stations as well as remembering to leave trash receptacles in clear view.

I SAY: Please do not come to my house for a party EVER if you agree. We just pack em in like sardines, and everyone stands around like penguins. I do have breath mints on hand.

THEY SAY: Make an effort!

"If you don’t care to make things festive, then don’t bother throwing a party," says Brynn. "The holidays are special, and should be treated that way." She wishes every host would encourage guests to dress up, throw on seasonal tunes and decorate the house. According to Maghan, a hostess should remember that lighting is crucial for setting the mood and creating a party atmosphere: "Bad overhead lighting is such a mood-killer! If it's at night, well-placed lighting is invaluable."

I SAY: FIRST - These people have never met my husband. We have been arguing about what game to play on Christmas Eve. I try to insert some kind of Christmas theme and he looks at me like I am crazy and my son flat out refuses to play any games at all. SECOND –good lighting – I can guarantee you that when I ask the hubby to replace the lightbulbs with good lighting for the party he will take the bag that is secretly packed under the bed and really leave this time.

THEY SAY: Don't forget about the bathroom.

Partygoers have serious gripes about the state of the restrooms at holiday bashes. Marie* from New York City says, "Cleaning your bathroom is just as important as making the perfect cheese plate or holiday punch. Nothing will tarnish my impression faster than a bathroom straight out of a gas station with empty toilet paper rolls to boot." Leslie* from Chicago also stresses the importance of keeping the bathroom stocked with toilet paper: "Don't make your guests have to come out and awkwardly ask for more."

I SAY: Yeah, I learned my lesson the last time. The prettier female at the party had to come out with her stockings around her feet asking for toilet paper… it was just, well a bad situation…..Apparently Marie and Leslie don’t have nice ASSES.

THEY SAY: Don't try too hard.

Organized party games and icebreakers are fine in theory, but unless your gang is gung-ho about playing, they just end up making people feel uncomfortable. "Forced party games are a clear sign of desperation. If guests can't simply enjoy each other's company, you should maybe reconsider your friends," says Allie from Seattle.

I SAY: Does this count for husbands and sons?? Do you mean this is grounds for termination??

THEY SAY: Make it clear whether kids are welcome or not.

Agnes remembers one party she attended where a couple arrived with a newborn baby and the woman proceeded to breastfeed in the middle of the room. "That might be fine if everyone else has babies or kids in tow, but in a room full of 23-year–olds, it was very odd," she says. To play it safe, specify "adults only" or "kids welcome" on the invitation.

I SAY: My invitations say:
PARTY at My House – Non-breast feeders only.
(Is that why only women ever show up??) OR:
PARTY at My House – Bring your smelly, messy, un-housebroken kids, PLEASE, because they put me in the Spirit!!



THEY SAY: Keep Fido and Fluffy out of sight.

For an allergic guest, a surprise four-legged partygoer can ruin the night. Consider keeping pets in another room or having someone watch them for the night. Even if none of your friends is allergic, there's no guarantee they'll love your furry friends as much as you do. Maghan puts it this way: "Your dog is not that adorable. The slobber and scrapes [guests will be subject to] aren't cute at all."

I SAY: Maghan (people who spell their name in this way WOULD say something like that) GET A LIFE. With that said, I do have two cats, the hubby, my brother and I are all allergic to them, somehow the hubby and I have gotten used to it…..



THEY SAY: Don't be a neat freak.

Parties get messy. No matter how hard hosts may try to prevent it, people will spill their drinks or leave a ring on the coffee table. "I hate being told that red wine won't be served because the hostess doesn't want stains anywhere," says Brooke from Los Angeles. "If you're that uptight, don't have a party!" Brynn dislikes having to take off her shoes before entering a party. "Nobody likes walking around in someone else’s house barefoot or in just stockings. If the tenants downstairs will throw a fit over too much clicking and clacking, then perhaps you shouldn’t be having a party. If it’s your white rugs you’re worried about, maybe you can splurge on a few area rugs for the occasion."

I SAY: Ok, this is where my OCD kicks in. I am a neat freak, and I do secretly walk around wiping and picking things up. I REALLY don’t want shoes worn in the house, but on party occasions I leave it up to my company. I assume people wear cleaner shoes to a party anyway. If not, I will leave a mound of CLEAN snow by the door so they have to walk through it to clean their shoes off. PERFECT!

THEY SAY: If you can't afford a party, don't have one.

Chances are your guests will bring a hostess gift to your shindig—and you really shouldn't ask for anything beyond that. Luba from Atlanta hates when hosts ask her to bring specific items to their party or request donations to cover the party costs. Isabel from San Francisco recalls a particularly uncomfortable situation in which a host asked for financial contributions the day after her party. "It's tacky to invite people over for a party and send a follow-up email the next day asking each guest to contribute cash commensurate with how much they ate or drank. Just ask us to bring over some wine instead."

I SAY: I don’t think Isabel was invited to that party and if she was, she drank all the alcohol and ate all the food. I can’t afford to have a party, but then what would the hubby and I fight about for two weeks and what on earth would I have to complain about. GEEZ – party poopers – the best parties are thrown by the one who can’t afford them!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not Ready Yet....

I have to be a real blogger now. My stint as a jaded ex-girlfriend is over, my 12 days of blogger fodder is gone. Now it’s up to me to come up with something witty and entertaining. Something deep and meaningful. Something that will attract my followers, bring in new readers, keep them coming back and wanting more.


THE PRESSURE!


Christmas is right around the corner. (Newsflash – right?) I was so ready 4 weeks ago. Couldn’t wait, did everything early. Now, it’s coming too fast, I need to hit PAUSE. This always happens. I don’t get to BE in the moment, and ENJOY the holidays and the spirit of things. Once I get to work, I am all business and then when I get home, I am all Mom/Cleaning Lady/Laundress/Teacher/Blogger/Couch Potatoer. OH and Cat Pooper Scooper-er! There just is no time for Mrs. Clause to come out and play.

This is my last weekend to enjoy the season and I am kind of stressing about it.
One of the many things I have to do is WRAP the presents. **I am not crafty.**  I blame it on the fact that I am left handed and have never been able to operate a pair of scissors properly. I saw those cool bracelet tape dispensers and paper cutters on a commercial recently and thought maybe that would help me, but then I realized I’m talking about ME and no amount of tools will HELP ME.

I would really like to take a sleigh ride with some hot chocolate, the hubby and kids. – Unfortunately, the closest I could come to that, is packing everyone into the Mom-Van, stopping at Starbucks and drive around looking into people’s windows.



I would love to bake all different kinds of cookies Martha Stewart style with my adorable kids. But, I do not have Martha’s kitchen, appliances, money, patience, cleaning service, manicurist or skills. The closest I can come is buying some pre-made dough, baking whatever is left after everyone eats the dough and retires to their room with a belly-ache alone, then throwing out the ones that are burned or under cooked, leaving me with nothing but an under-used oven mitt.


I would love to snuggle with the hubby by the fire in pj’s watching a Christmas movie. The closest I will get is waiting for the kids to go to bed on a weekend before I fall asleep, then race to find some kind of pj’s that do not cover my entire body, flip the switch on the gas stove and find something appropriate at 1am that is still Christmassy that will also interest my hubby. I think Gremlins took place around Christmas and usually plays late at night. That should put us right in the mood for sure.



I would love to go caroling – I suck at singing and DOES ANYONE DO THIS ANYMORE? Where I live, it would be miles between houses and most of the Amish will not appreciate it. So instead I'll sing Christmas carols in my car - I especially like the song by Ella Fitzgerald -Santa Clause Got Stuck in My Chimney
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odqsnneeD6M



So there you have it. I’ll try to enjoy each day’s Christmassy offerings and keep you posted on my progress…..

How are you enjoying the last few days of the season?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Drummers and I'm DONE!

Dear True Love – (Your letter 12 of 12) FINALLY!!!


I will not miss writing to you. But I am glad I got your horrible gift giving off my chest and you for that matter. I am so very glad you were able to rid yourself of some feathered friends and interesting characters. REALLY glad about that.

In response to the final gift from you -

 THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME WAS SOLD OUT once these guys showed up! ( I re-directed them after they did what they must have been paid to do)  I have to admit, this gift was at least entertaining.

Animal
Travis
















I have received a lovely letter from my Turkish delivery guy – He said that he would have loved to have an affair with me, and missed me this week, however, he admitted that he couldn’t keep up with the gift giving of my previous lover and wished me luck in life.

After a few of the drummers consoled me, I told them where they could meet some lovely ladies and men if they were so inclined, and they hitched a bus to the concert hall. Now I am just left with a lot of bird poop and feathers. Most of the birds have fled the neighborhood. I wasn’t sure if the eggs splattered on my house were from angry neighbors or jealous hens.
Neil
Either way, I am glad to be rid of you. I am glad this is my last letter. I hear you wrote a song about your amazing gift giving and sold it for quite a pretty penny – and yes, I have heard it once or twice. I am pretty sure you owe me some kind of royalty –I was after all the inspiration.



You and your horrible gift giving are thankfully no longer mine–

-K
Carter

Lars
John

Phil

Alex
Tommy
Larry
The other two were camera shy....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I love a Man in a Skirt!

Dear True Love – (Your letter 11 of 12)


UGH, THE NOISE!!! Have you even spent time with a Piper?? Thankfully once they “piped” me a tune they were on their merry way.


My newly coined Turkish ESCORT company has gone back to delivering packages only and he says he will never deliver a package to me again. Thanks a lot.

I was really getting used to him and will miss him dearly. Thankfully the next delivery is your last and I truly hope it comes in a small package- you know what that is, dontcha? Let me show you what I would want that will fit nicely in a small package:


You and your small package are thankfully no longer mine–

-K

PS – I am so happy that I have attempted to respond to all of your horrible gifts, however, my blog readers are more than likely a lot happier that this will soon be over. I owe them for listening to my gripes, and for letting me cry on their shoulders. Can’t wait to tell them about my life again and maybe critique an advice column or two. Although, not a lot has been happening as I am buried under a mound of snow and my life has consisted of waking up early, hearing the cries of joy from the kids when school calls and cancels, driving to work for an hour in treacherous conditions, then try to thaw while working to only drive an hour home in treacherous weather and then be badgered for hours before bed time with the questions –“do you think school will be closed?”,” if you had to GUESS, do you think school will be closed?” Are you sure we still have to go to bed on time, don’t you think school will be closed??”

It’s like a bad version of groundhogs day over here.