Friday, January 30, 2009

Of Mice and Men

Marriage is a wonderful part of life. Jerry is truly my knight in shining armor, and in all the time we’ve been together, the newness hasn’t worn off. We communicate well and we’re always learning new things about each other. I remember once Jerry left the toilet seat up and I came home after working second shift. Not wanting to wake him up, I slipped into the bathroom without turning on the light and fell right in! After screaming hysterically and punching Jerry awake, he asked, “You fell in? I didn’t know you’d fit in there!” So he learned that my butt isn’t as big as it looks and our sofa was not comfortable for sleeping. Ah, the things you learn when you’re part of a couple!

When we moved to North Carolina, we quickly found ‘the perfect house’ and settled into our domestic routine. The previous owners left some stuff behind, but the strangest things they left were a hermit crab and a fan-tail goldfish. Growing up, I always had dogs or cats as pets, so I wasn’t sure about our new pets, but I tried to make them as comfortable as possible. By week one, I had christened the goldfish ‘Sir Shitzalot’ and tried to decide what to do with the hermit crab, whom Jenda named Mr. Krabs.

After some research, I learned that hermit is a misnomer, because according to information on the web, they are really social creatures. They are also higher maintenance and more expensive to care for than those broads from ‘Sex and the City.’ I went out and spent a fortune on an expensive crabitat, special food, and a new friend. I settled them into their new digs and let them meet and greet.

Imagine my horror the next morning to discover that the new crab was dead! He was face down in the water dish, lifeless and limp, while Mr. Krabs skittered around in an agitated state. Jenda came into the room at that moment. “Mommy, what’s wrong with the new crab?”

Damn! Think fast! Well Jenda, I said earnestly, he’s sleeping. Don’t wake him up. He needs his rest, okay? I hustled her off to daycare and went back to the pet store to buy an identical hermit crab. Jerry was quick to point out that I must have overfilled the water dish, causing the crab to drown as he went to get a drink. Hello…pack your bags, you’re going on a guilt trip! I spent the rest of the day horrified at the thought that I killed the poor creature and equally horrified at how much I had spent on crab crap in the last two days. I introduced the new crab into the mix before Jenda got home, so she never noticed the difference.

Hell’s Bells! I woke up the next morning and the newest new crab was dead! There was NO WAY Jerry could blame this on me, because I had emptied out some of the water, but there was number two, dead at the watering hole. And then a horrible thought occurred to me. Our original hermit, Mr. Krabs, was a serial killer! I wasn’t the one who killed the crab, he was killed by one of his own! Then to top off everything, Sir Shitzalot died, so I told Jenda the crabs and the fish became fast friends and went on a road trip of sorts and that they’d drop us a line when they had time. Then, I gave Mr. Krabs a very wide berth!

I hate to say that I was happy when Mr. Krabs finally kicked the bucket, because jubilant is probably a better word. I made Jerry bury him in the yard, which was quickly turning into hermit crab cemetery, and decided to live pet-free for awhile. Then one day, I came home to find Jerry waiting for me in the garage with what can only be described as ‘guilty husband face.’ I jumped out of the car prepared for a smackdown. I asked, WTF?!

Let me tell you, I know I talk a lot, but it’s social stuff. With Jerry, when you ask him what time it is, he’ll tell you how they make the watch. So I had to hear about how the Bradford Pear trees are blooming and the wind is scattering their white petals everywhere. Okay, I’m with you. Then he said, “I was sitting on the front porch and I noticed that one of the petals was larger than the others, and blowing in the opposite direction.”

Yeah, and…?

‘Well I went to take a closer look, and I saw that it was a little white mouse. He seemed so sad, so I took off my shoe, and caught him under it.”

Well, if he wasn’t sad before, the smell from your shoe did it. And I assume after breathing in your shoe fumes, he died…?

“No. I lifted up my shoe to get a closer look, and he ran up the leg of my pants.”

Oh Jeebus!

“So I shook around and wiggled my legs like crazy, because I could feel his little feet skittering over my, um, y’know, buhdoobies. Then I ran in the garage and yanked my pants down, and had to pull my undies down to be able to grab him.”

I can’t help it, y’all. I pictured Billy Idol. Sing along with me….

‘I’m a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho, a-dancin’ with myself…I got a rat in my pants, I want the world to dance, so I’m a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho, a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho, a-dancin’ with myself, I’m naked in the street, my balls are covered with feet and I’m a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho ho…’

So when you came into the garage to, er, take care of business, did you close the garage door?

“Heck no! I had a mouse running around on my manly manhood. I had to do what I had to do!”

Well, now I guess the neighbors know I didn’t marry you for your money.

‘Look, Myrtle, what’s that fool doin’ over there?’‘
I dunno, Mavis, but it shore reminds me of my late husband Billy Mack!’

So I’ve buried a few hermit crabs, flushed a goldfish, and have endured the admiring glances of the neighborhood women at my husband. I now have a pet mouse, Ratatouille, who I believe escaped from a testing facility since he runs on his wheely-thingy for hours on end and has an inordinate fondness for Cheez-Its. But he hasn’t killed anyone, and outside of one escape from his mouse house, hasn’t caused any problems. In fact, it’s safe to say that the mouse is pretty low-maintenance. So he can stay.

But if any of you see my husband dancing alone, in the street, with only one shoe on, don't assume he's happy to see you. There probably IS a mouse in his pants.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Sexual Orientation? Usually Horizontal!

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”
Jonathan Swift

Let me start by admitting that I am not as caught up on current events as I should be. I try to read the news online every day, but with Jenda in the house, our TV is dedicated to Noggin and HGTV. I don’t like Jenda to see the news because she finds it upsetting. Frankly, so do I. Let’s face it, when I saw in March of 2007 that James Brown, who died on Christmas of 2006 had, up to that point, still not been buried, I was so skeeved out I couldn’t sleep for days.

Recently, one of my facebook friends sent me a link to join the cause to “Keep Phelps out of Florida.” I was rather perplexed. I watched the Olympics and watched Michael Phelps make history, and I was so proud of him in his little Speedos, uh, I mean, with all his gold medals. Why wouldn’t we want him to come to Florida? Then I realized they meant Reverend Phelps. I am using the term ‘reverend’ very loosely. If you aren’t familiar with his particular platform, he is most famous for his “God hates fags” protests. I have seen this idiot in the news, and I can’t help but wonder why God would hate ‘fags’ but have such an open-door policy for assholes.

The more I read about Phelps, the more afraid I become of his hatred, stupidity, and megalomania. I can tell you that I do not profess to know the mind of God, but I try to live according to His will. Allow me to state categorically that I do NOT believe that homosexuality is a sin. I do believe that every one of us on the planet IS a sinner. That has been made clear, because if you believe that Christ was the Messiah, the Savior, as I do, then you know that he died for your sins. We are created in his image, but none of us is the Messiah. That includes Rev. Phelps. I like to think that the image we are supposed to be mirroring is the joy, the unconditional love that Christ embodies. I don’t know what that love looks like. Maybe I’m the one who is doing it wrong. Whatever the case may be, I find that some of my Christian friends are the most judgmental, unloving, close-minded people I have ever met. Remember Christ, the one who died for all mankind? He was laughed at, spat upon, ridiculed, and feared. Sure, he was radical, and his ideas were different, and his ideals were revolutionary. He died for those ideals. He died for us. So I wonder, do you suppose that God made his gay, lesbian, and transgender children ‘different’ so that they would know the travails of Christ? To see if maybe THIS time, the rest of us would get it right and embrace the Christ in them instead of judging them, somehow deeming them unworthy of love, and ultimately exiling them from our midst? Because if that’s the case, we’re still getting it wrong. I have to admit, too that I have prayed for Rev. Phelps and his raving lunatics. I know that diamonds come from lumps of coal. Perhaps Rev. Phelps or one of his followers will be converted as Saul was.

After reading about him, I found that he and his followers are equal opportunity hate mongers. They demonstrate at military funerals and cheer at the deaths of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Phelps and his followers cheer their deaths and the grief of their families, but have perhaps forgotten that they have the right to protest because of those dead soldiers. They celebrate tsunamis and natural disasters because they believe that God has sent them to punish homosexuality and those who refuse to condemn it. This is pretty sick shit! But I have to look at it this way. If you are one of those “fags” that God hates, you are in wonderful company. He hates soldiers who die for their country, he hates President Reagan, Diana, Princess of Wales, Billy Graham, Coretta Scott King, and pretty much anyone else who doesn’t believe in his rancid rhetoric. So that includes me. And he has plenty of reason to hate me. I have no desire to condemn people who are different from me. My roots are showing (which really isn’t my fault since my stylist is out on maternity leave.) And to paraphrase the immortal Truvy from Steel Magnolias, “maybe he hates me ‘cause the elastic’s shot in my pantyhose!” So for those of you that he hates, I am PROUD to be in your midst.

I look at a group like the KKK and the stupidity of running around in sheets and hoods to spread their stupid racist rantings and crap. Phelps is a similar kind of lunatic, but instead of wearing leftovers from the Sears winter white sale, he cloaks himself behind his convoluted interpretations of God’s word. Perhaps he does this to mask his own failures and shortcomings as a man. It’s too bad, because we all have them, but there is no need to project those onto others. And I find that in most cases, the things that we hate about other people, the things that we fear most about them are the qualities that we fear and loathe most about ourselves. So for those who spend their lives clothed in hate, beating other people up with their fists and baseball bats, or beating them down with their words and their ignorance, I will keep praying for you. And I will, as always, hope for the best, because miracles happen everyday. But we also have to want the miracles. We have to embrace and accept others; love one another as Christ has loved us. If not, then Rev. Phelps, please stay out of Florida. In fact, go to Hell.

I’ll be glad to help you pack!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Keep My Hoe in the Toolshed!

Life is filled with moments of truth, defining moments that transcend one point in time to stay with us forever. There are the big ones, like high school or college graduation, marriage proposals and weddings, the birth of a child. Then there are the little ones, summer days spent with your best friend, or a silly, private joke that you and a loved one share. It’s just that moment that you can’t forget. During many of these defining moments, I have told myself, I have see/heard it all. Then, something comes along that redefines these memorable occasions, and reminds me that there is so much absurdity, plain ol’ freakiness, left in the world for me to experience.

The holidays always bring calls from my friends and loved ones, and as much as we promise to stay in touch throughout the year, it seems that our connectedness manifests itself primarily in the November to January timeframe. Then we all drop off the face of the earth and resurface the following holiday season. Of course there are those one or two friends that stay in touch all year, either because they really love you or they need to borrow money. At any rate, one of my friends, I will call her Gina, is of the let’s-stay-in-touch-all-the-time variety. She calls to talk about anything and everything. We reminisce about good times we’ve had and bad times we’ve caused others to have, and we’re very close so nothing is off-limits and I’m always glad to hear from her. But her most recent call was out of the ordinary, even for Gina.

It started off innocently enough. She called to tell me about her plans for the holidays and what was happening in her job as a real estate agent. Since I work in the financial services industry, I was asking her how the depressed market was impacting her work. She admitted it was rough, but then told me that she was doing some side work in sales.

“When I come to visit you guys in North Carolina, invite some of your friends and I’ll do a Passion Party for you.”

Oh, that’s okay. I saw the movie but I’m not sure I want to have a screening at my house.

“I’m not talking about ‘The Passion of the Christ’, I mean a PASSION PARTY.”

Hmmm, passion. Y’know, unless it involves George Clooney and lots of Kendall Jackson, I’m not sure I’m interested. What is it, anyway?

“I hold shows in people’s homes and present and sell sex toys and erotic items. It’ll be great fun!”

WHAT?! You mean like a Tupperware party for skanks?!

Of course she went on to explain that it’s not like that at all. And she’s right. How many times have you ever seen a vibrator at a Tupperware party? As I listened to her enraptured descriptions of the items that she sells, I sank into disbelief. When had Gina turned into Jezebel? Simply put, I was flabbergasted!

“Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it,” she purred.

Look, I’m no prude. I am married and have a child, and being a reasonably intelligent sort, I am well aware of what transpired for me to get pregnant and have a child. I even remember when the moment occurred. Jerry and I were remodeling the downstairs bedroom and let’s face it, some things ARE more fun than watching paint dry. But googly-moogly, sex toys? I got myself a husband so I would never have to resort to that. There are certain things that I expect my husband to do for me, like taking out the trash, anything relating to plumbing or automotive work, and, well, nooky! Besides, I don’t want any electrical gadgetry anywhere NEAR my hoohah! My nerves are just not that strong.

“Well haven’t you noticed that now that you and Jerry have a child, well, your intimacy level and frequency have changed?”

Sure! When you have a child, or children, sex takes more planning and strategizing than the Normandy Invasion. And it’s faster and more fleeting than the series ‘Cop Rock.’ But that’s not the point. We’re together. Granted we usually have to pencil each other in for times when Jenda is in daycare, or if the mood strikes and she isn’t tired, we turn to children’s Benadryl instead of Viagra. Who cares, we make it work. And no electrodes are involved. Just the way nature intended it!

“Well I want to send you a catalogue. I think you’ll especially like ‘The Rabbit’, page 4.”

Nope. No electronic gadgets, and ESPECIALLY no bestiality. And for God’s sake, don’t send me a catalogue. I live in a small town, and I sure as hell don’t want my mailman to see that and get the wrong idea about me. I know that dogs are supposed to chase mailmen, but I don’t want him thinking that I would dry hump his leg.

So the good news is, so far, no catalogue, and no weird glances from the mailman. I have no plans on hosting a Passion Party, unless it’s to share a glass of Kendall Jackson, about which I am passionate, with friends that I love (but not in THAT way!) And no way am I putting any of those products on this year’s Christmas list, nor will I be giving any for gifts.

I mean, talk about ‘Ho, Ho, Ho!’