Friday, April 15, 2011

Living God's Purpose in the Bathroom

I believe that God gave each and every one of us a purpose to be fulfilled in our time here on earth. Mine happens to be placing the rolls of toilet paper actually on the toilet paper holder.

You see, not everyone can do this. It takes great physical strength and immense education to accomplish this feat on a regular basis. And, while it is true I get winded walking up a flight of stairs and I don't currently hold a PhD, God granted me enough brain cells to figure out the complicated contraption and enough muscular power to muster through the task.
Where would my family be if not for me?

Rolls of toilet paper would be left haphazardly on the bathroom counter, waiting anxiously for water to spill over and wilt its precious edges. Rolls would hang precariously off the edge of the toilet tank terrified of that final moment when some outside force causes it to plunge to its death, only to be found hours later, clogging the bowl, bloated like a dead cow in July. Or, as was the case yesterday, a roll could be left, isolated, alone, sitting on the entry table by the front door, wondering if anyone was ever going to come to its rescue and return it to the security of it's home. Meaning the bathroom. Not the front entry.

My poor family would be reduced to drip drying because there would not be any toilet paper available within reach. I imagine them crying out, "Lord! What precious time is lost here on the toilet wondering where the hell the toilet paper is! Please send someone to save us, Lord!"

Alas! My family shall never be frightened or afraid. The good Lord sent me.

I have been blessed with the understanding of the elusive toilet paper holder. I understand the spring loaded action of the plastic tube. My hands are able to complete the difficult "push in, tilt towards, pull out" motion that is required to take the roller off. I understand the concept of taking off the old, finished cardboard roll from the holder before attempting to place the new roll on. (See, that part can be tricky. You're stuck standing there trying to shove the new roll on and can't understand why it's not working... it's because the old roll has to be removed first! Tricky, indeed.)

I search out displaced toilet paper rolls from throughout the house and return them to the bathroom. I save rolls from countertop and toilet tanks. I save rolls from under beds and hall closets and the back seats of cars and wherever else they might land. And, proudly, filled with God's purpose, I continue to replace old rolls with new.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Think you know everything? You obviously don't have a Teen.

I am 37 years old. Which, according to my 15-year old daughter, means that I ought to be shopping for coffins instead of hip new sunglasses. Since my impending death from old age will obviously strike any day now, I figured we should spend more time communicating with each other. Which is really hard to do because (1) I don't text nearly as fast as she does, and (2) I have no idea what she's saying.

It is at these moments, when Teen Speak has my head spinning like that creepy girl from The Exorcist, that she slows to Mom Speed and breaks it down. (Okay. I admit: she would never actually use the phrase "break it down." That was 100% me.)

Last night we talked about boys.

When I was going to school we would go out with different boys. Well, other girls would. I didn't. Because none of the boys wanted to go out with me. They actually preferred to go out with my beautiful, older, richly tanned sister - but, hey! I'm not bitter. If you were going out for a substantial period of time you automatically morphed into boyfriend/girlfriend status. Then you went to college, realized the planet was much bigger than your rural high school and broke up.

But today's teens.... well.... you're gonna need a flow chart.

(1) The Cool Stage.
As in, "Oh, that's Bob. We're cool."

When you are cool it is acceptable to approach that person in public. You can acknowledge them in class. You can even say hi when they're standing around with their friends - but quickly. Then you walk on. Because you're only cool.

(2) The Talk Stage.
As in, "Oh, that's Bob. We talk."

This means you can send and receive texts to each other. You can also speak in public. Like in math class. When you're actually supposed to be listening to the teacher explain that using the slope-intercept form of a line helps in finding the slope of a line from an equation and the intercept directly from the equation. This is great because it shows how to graph a line using y=mx+b and can be quite useful for applications of linear equations.

You can even talk on the phone late into the night about whatever your heart desires. But that is all. You can only talk. You are not exclusive and you are not expected to save yourself for each other.

I liken this to my old fashioned idea of "he is a friend of mine." But that was like 150 years ago.

(3) The Thing Stage.
As in, "Oh, Bob and I have a thing."

You do all of the things Stage 1 and Stage 2 provide, but now you can make out. With each other. You can make out with other people but then you're a slut (girl) or a douche (boy). Also, if your good friend knows you have a thing with a boy and she moves in for the kill, you can hate her.

(4) The Facebook Official Stage.
As in, "Oh, this is Bob. We're Facebook Official."

You can do all the things in the previous three steps, plus now you get to change your Facebook Status to "in a relationship." And you get to boss them around and say things like, "I already told you I have to go to my dad's this weekend so you're going to have to take me out Friday night instead of hanging with your friends." And also, "My prom dress is not Cornflower Blue; it's Brandeis Blue. So you're just going to have to change that cummerbund."

* It is super, duper important that you never prematurely status a relationship on Facebook. If you have a thing you cannot, should not, better not change your Facebook Status. That is called social suicide and you can be shunned for years. Also, it is always best to have the boy instigate the Facebook Status change so you never accidently commit social suicide. See, boys can be slippery and want to be Facebook Official on Friday, but then come Monday morning change their mind and suddenly you're eating your lunch by yourself in the hall by the Ag Room because you changed your status too quick. Also, also - if the boy says you're Facebook Official but three months go by and there's no actual status change, you can bet he has another girl two school districts away and you need to let that boy go.

By the way, I think it's important for me to announce that for my entire life I thought it was "cumberbun." Well, I mean, I've thought that since I first learned what one was. Obviously not when I was like two. Or six. Or probably not even when I was twelve.  Yet when searching for the correct spelling I was surprised to find this:  "A cummerbund (sometimes mistakenly spelled cumberbund) is a broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with single-breasted dinner jackets (or tuxedos)."

I consider it a success when communicating with my teen lends knowledge to mankind. And to me, specifically.

Looks to me like a fine day for a nervous breakdown.

You know how sometimes you're just standing in the middle of the kitchen, water on the stove boiling over, baby screaming at the top of his lungs while he attempts to open the fridge for the forty-seventh time to get into that can of shortening (again), pre-tween shouting how she can't possibly throw her dirty clothes into the laundry because her hands still hurt from horseback riding four days ago, the teen entering her second hour of showering with accompanied ghetto music blaring from down the hall, and you're imagining how peaceful the thinking gardens might be at the state mental hospital?

No? Just me?

Never mind.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Those Pork Rinds Totally Blew My Budget

You know what I'm never going to do again? Besides take a huge bite out of an onion and down it with a shot of whiskey just so I can dance the night away as opposed to staying in bed trying to sleep off a cold? Take Big V grocery shopping with me. Because that, my friends, was torture.

First off, when I go shopping with the kids and they're trying to dump boxes of hostess cupcakes in the cart, I can snap at them at tell them to put it back or they're not going to watch TV for a week. Do you know how people look at you when you say that to a grown man? Not very nicely, if I do say so myself. Instead, they're all shaking their heads muttering things like why do all the nice men end up with such bitchy women?

Also, do you know how many aisles are in a grocery store? Way too many to hear, "Oh! I forgot about these! I really like these. We should get these." Again. And again. And again.

And, like most Americans we're on a budget. A budget I had to remind V of several times as he was tossing in bags of pork rinds and jars of seasoned mustard. Also, this cart is getting heavy so maybe you should push it with your big manly arms and then maybe you'll be distracted and not keep throwing crap in the cart.

Except you can't push the cart without running into the back of my foot, can you? Which leads to the question why must you actually push the cart a half inch behind me? Are you intentionally trying to see if I'll punch you in public? And so I'll just push it myself.

And then, Big V wanted to know what that paper was I grabbed when I first came into the store. Which would be the store coupons. Which are great when something you need is on sale.

Big V was very impressed with the super savings. So impressed, in fact, he snatched that flyer right out of my hands and started sprinting around the store intent on finding every great deal listed.

Tuna fish? Why look! You can get three cans for a dollar! Surely we'll need those!

Hey! Looky here - frozen pot pies are on sale! But no one eats frozen pot pies. Doesn't matter! They're on sale so surely we shall buy some!

And that is how my $80 budgeted grocery bill came to $120 and why Big V is never accompanying me to the grocery store ever again. Although, on a positive note, we did save twenty dollars in coupons.

Oh. And the onion/whiskey thing? Totally works.