my son the mouth-breather

my son the mouth-breather, by est. 1975 at www.established1975.com #funny #humor #parenting #est1975blog #est1975 #established1975 @est1975blog

On most mornings, my husband tries to wake up before dawn. It almost never actually happens, but what *does* happen is that his phone’s alarms go off at 3 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM. With plenty of snoozes in between.

I sleep through all of it.

My son used to get chronic bloody noses. We eventually had his nasal passages cauterized, but before that, there was a good long year of him waking up in the wee hours of the night, screaming, crying, with blood gushing out of his adorable face. He would call for us, frightened out of his little mind: “Papa! Mama!”

I would sleep through all of it.

Loud things happen at our house all the time, and a lot of them happen after lights-out. The cat will spend a half hour hacking up an enormous hairball. Our ancient furnace will shudder, thunk, and sometimes shut down altogether with a god-awful CLANK. A thunderstorm will rant and rage, causing the garbage can to blow over, hit the ground with a thud, and roll down the sidewalk.

I’ll give you one guess as to whether I sleep through all of it.

And just in case you’re wondering, I really am ASLEEP. Not “oh, the baby is crying, pretend you don’t hear it” asleep but “ZzzzzzzzzsdfjsdhSNRKzzzzzz” asleep. My deep sleep is the deep sleep of the gods. It takes me a long time to get there, but once I’m out, I’m OUT. Nothing can wake me.

Except for one thing.

But before I tell you what it is, let me back up for a second and give you a little bit of context.

My son, who is seven years old and an only child, complains a lot about being “cold and scared and lonely” in his bedroom at night. He makes these claims despite the following facts:

  • We let him sleep with the bedroom door wide open;
  • We keep the hallway light on, even though it is brighter than a thousand suns;
  • His bedroom is less than two feet away from our bedroom;
  • We keep the thermostat at a toasty 72 degrees;
  • He has over one hundred thousand million blankets and stuffed animals to keep him warm; and
  • We have provided him with (among other things): a night light, a radio, and a white noise machine.

Oh, and the cat likes to sleep with him. At the foot of his bed. A snuggly warm companion if ever there was one.

my son the mouth-breather by est.1975 at www.established1975.com #funny #humor #parenting #est1975blog #est1975 #established1975 @est1975blog
Cold and scared and lonely, my ass.

So. Because of my son’s totally “reasonable” and “legitimate” concern about freezing to death in his sleep, alone and petrified and unloved, his bedtime now heralds a nightly dramatic production of Why Can’t I Sleep In Your Bed With You? A Play in Three Hundred Acts. It usually starts at about 7 PM and wraps up around 9:30 PM, with many glasses of water, trips to the bathroom, goodnight kisses and hugs, and random complaints involved in between. He falls asleep eventually, of course.

For a little while.

But then, anywhere between 4 AM and 6 AM, my dear son will awake from slumber to “use the toilet.” And of course by “use the toilet,” I mean “stumble sleep-drunk into our bathroom for a pee, then forget to flush the john or wash his hands, then climb over us into our bed, while we’re dead asleep and too out of it to fight him off.”

At which point he crams himself between us and falls instantly asleep, with his head turned towards me and his mouth WIDE. OPEN. And that’s when it happens.

I wake up.

If you’ve never smelled the breath of a 7-year-old mouth-breather in the middle of the night, then you should consider yourself one lucky son of a B. Seriously. I mean it. Little-kid morning breath is a gnarly combination of odors so awful they’re almost beyond description. There’s a fungal and tangy element, like overpowering foot stench, yet it’s also somehow rotten and disturbingly sweet, like a decomposing corpse in the bayou. If I were forced to define it in three words, I would use the words “overwhelming,” “putrid,” and “excuse me while I barf.”

My point is that my son’s 4 AM breath has GIRTH. It has HEFT. It has POWER.

It can wake me from a straight-up dead slumber, like nothing else can.

So I have been driven to take preemptive measures, people. I now sleep facing the wall at all times. I build a “head-fort” of pillows before bed, and I dive under it for relief if necessary. In dire situations, when the wretched stench is powerful enough to waft over my shoulders, I resort to emergency evacuation measures and just go sleep in my son’s bed. His pillows smell bad, but they don’t smell anywhere near as bad as his funky, nasty face abyss.

I mean mouth.

my son the mouth-breather by est. 1975 at www.established1975.com #funny #humor #parenting @est1975blog #est1975 #est1975blog @established1975

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An earlier version of this piece was published in January 2015 on humor/parenting blog A Day in the Life of a Drama Queen’s Momma.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.
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Photo credits:
“Lullaby”: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – Lullaby (1875) — Modified
“Two Sleeping Children”: Title = Two Sleeping Children; Year = c.1612-13; Artist=Peter Paul Rubens; Licensing: {{PD-Art}} –Modified

that’s paris: SO much frenching

I love France.

I mean, I’ve never actually been there. And everything I know about it has been gleaned from the following sources:

  • Those stupid forced-perspective pictures of the Eiffel Tower that all American tourists take;
  • Impressionist paintings that I feel pressured to like but never do;
  • That tired “Royale with Cheese” scene from Pulp Fiction; and
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus, which I read in AP English and remember almost nothing about.

But still. France seems great. They have those awesome black-and-white striped shirts, am I right?! And there’s mimes all over the place, and sad clowns, and I think there’s lots of bicycles with breadbaskets. Also, some famous people hail from France! Gérard Depardieu, for example. And that one chick from Chocolat. And Brigitte something. She had boobs.

Humina what now?

Anyway, I love France so much that I wrote a story about it. More specifically, I wrote a story about Paris—a city I’ve never visited, and have read absolutely nothing about. “Then what on Earth could you possibly have written about?” you probably don’t care. Well, here’s an excerpt to whet your whistle:

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Funny, non? You can find the rest of my story, “This One Time in Paris,” in the recently-released anthology That’s Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love, and Sarcasm in the City of Light. Published by Velvet Morning Press, That’s Paris is a collection of both fiction and non-fiction stories from people who have traveled to Paris, lived in Paris, and (like me) never even set foot in Paris, but nevertheless have staunch opinions about it.

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Among the book’s contributors are: the author of three fashion books, the writer of a recently-released book on Rwanda, Amazon best-selling authors, journalists, a personal chef, and winners of various blogging awards (that’s me!) That’s Paris features new talent as well as established writers, but all of the contributors have one thing in common—their stories capture the essence of what it’s like to breathe Parisian air. Which may or may not smell like Brie farts.

Click here to find a full list of the contributors as well as short biographies on each one, and while you’re there, be sure to read all about the charity Room to Read, to which all author proceeds from anthology sales of That’s Paris are donated.

Seriously, this book is terrific and I am so proud to be a part of it. With a line-up of amazing contributors and all author proceeds going to charity, there is absolutely NO reason for you not to buy 5,000 copies.

Right. Now.

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

a wild man crush appears!

"Anthonis van Dyck 051" by Anthony van Dyck - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anthonis_van_Dyck_051.jpg#/media/File:Anthonis_van_Dyck_051.jpg

Before I launch into this piece, let me say up top that I have FULL PERMISSION FROM MY HUSBAND to write about this particular topic. All of you loyal so-and-sos can rest assured that I am in no way exploiting him or disrespecting his privacy for the sake of my art. He has given me the 100% go ahead. In fact, I’ll tell you exactly how the conversation went:

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Me: I need your permission to write about something.

Him: You have it.

Me: But you don’t even know what it is yet.

Him: I’m fine with you writing about whatever.

Me: That’s totally adorable and I love you, but I still think I should check.

Him: All right, what is it?

Me: I want to write about your man crushes.

Him: …

Me: …

Him: …eh.

Me: So is that a yes?

Him: *sigh* FINE.

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See? Total permission.

Those of you who are est. 1975 regulars already know quite a bit about my husband. You know the nature of his “coffee drinking habits.” You’ve heard the ridiculous things that come out of his mouth. You remember that one time he stabbed a table with a knife.

However, those of you who are new to the world of est. 1975 may crave a few more details about my husband. So I jumped on over to Facebook and asked my family and friends to help me out:

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That was the question. Here are just a few of the answers:

Smooth
Sultry
Craigslist (My sister thinks she’s funny.)
Sardonic
Comical
Adorable
Español
Sarcastic
Funny
Scandalous
Spanish
Cute
Intelligent
Dapper

and the easy winner, from My Girl Natalie:

Dudely.

Now. Some might argue that a truly “dudely” straight dude wouldn’t admit to having crushes on other men. I adamantly disagree. I find any straight man confident enough to stroll up and down the gender spectrum for crush material to be extremely dudely. Not to mention hot, sexy, and whatever the adjective is for “my panties just melted the fuck off, ran down my leg, and collected at my feet in a puddle of liquefied cotton.”

And because my husband is just that dudely, he has (semi) graciously agreed to let me share with you, my readers:

HIS TOP THREE MAN CRUSHES.

Strap yourself in.

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1. Rafael Nadal. Okay. You may wonder why ANYONE would have a crush on a man who makes faces like this:

The answer is simple. My husband has a little crush on Rafa because he has a little crush on HIMSELF. But don’t take my word for it. Just look at the facts:

  • Rafa is from Spain. Just like my husband.
  • He’s exceedingly gracious and polite. Just like my husband.
  • He’s a professional tennis player. Just like my husband. In dreams.
  • He did a practically naked photo shoot with Bar Rafaeli. Just like my husband. In other, dirtier kinds of dreams.

But I’m gonna cut my husband some slack on this one. Weird faces or no, LOOK AT THOSE FUCKING ARMS.

EDIT: After my husband read this post, we actually had this conversation:

Him: There are way better pictures of Nadal’s muscles.

Me: Honey, there were 65,000 images of Nadal on Getty Images. I wasn’t going to look through all of them.

Him: You should have.

Me: …

Him: I would have.

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2. Tim Armstrong.  Front man for punk bands Rancid and The Transplants, Tim Armstrong is without a doubt the wettest of my husband’s wet dreams:

Guys, I don’t understand this one. I never have and I never will. My husband has been at Fan Boy: Level Infinite over this man for the entire thirteen years we’ve been together and I JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.  The man is not particularly attractive. His voice is not what I’d call “easy on the ear.” And, according to the one person I know who has actually interacted with him, he’s… well, let’s just use the phrase “socially disabled.”

And yet, when asked to give me the 5 words that best describe Tim Armstrong, these were what immediately jumped to my husband’s lips:

  • Awesome
  • Terrific
  • Energetic
  • Genius
  • Better than Sarah

So. Yeah.

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3. Adam Rothenberg. Unless you’re a fan of the BBC police procedural Ripper Street, you’ve probably never heard of this guy:

The only American actor in the entire cast of Ripper Street, Adam Rothenberg plays the role of Captain Homer Jackson, a former Pinkerton agent who has fallen from grace and fled to Victorian-era Whitechapel. Sarcastic, intelligent, and cynical, this character fulfills the classic BBC trope of the Underestimated but Savvy American Who Delivers Witty Quips and Wry Observations. You know the one. The handsome, troubled comic relief. He makes my husband swoon.

I’ll be honest—this man crush delights me in a way the other two do not. Here’s why:

  • My husband refers to Rothenberg’s character on Ripper Street as simply “The American.” Guess who else my husband refers to as “The American”?
  • Rothenberg is a brooding brunette with a pale complexion. Guess who else is a brooding brunette with a pale complexion?
  • Rothenberg plays a bitter, sarcastic weirdo who is constantly putting his foot in his mouth and getting himself in trouble. Guess who else is a bitter, sarcastic weirdo who blah de blah?
  • Rothenberg’s character gets himself *out* of trouble by being charming and persuasive and calling people “darlin’.” Guess who else pulls this same kind of bullshit?

Yeah. This guy is totally the man version of me. Actually, if my husband *didn’t* have a crush on him, I’d be worried.

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So there you have it. The three men my husband would totally man-bang. I have to admit I’d take a crack at two of them myself (sorry, Tim Armstrong.) Seriously, did you look at Rafa’s biceps? He can make weird faces all night long. That’s why there’s a light switch next to the bed.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Anthonis van Dyck 051” by Anthony van Dyck – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anthonis_van_Dyck_051.jpg#/media/File:Anthonis_van_Dyck_051.jpg — Modified

i still just want to pee alone: on sale now!

Hey, loyal so-and-sos! What’s up? How you be? How’s it hanging? And other dumb expressions!

So listen. I’m not sure how often you guys check out my sidebar, but the observant among you may have noticed that a new badge has recently appeared. A badge that looks a little something like this:

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That’s right! I’ve had the amazing good fortune to be included in I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone, the third installment in the national best-selling series of anthologies published by Throat Punch Media.

The previous two anthologies in this series have sold over 40,000 copies to date, and boast over 500 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Additionally, the flagship anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone just hit the New York Times Best Sellers list in February 2015.

I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone has 40 contributors with a social media reach of 1.2 million fans on Facebook. Many of the contributors to this book are award-winning writers who have appeared in such places as: The New York Times Best Sellers list, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, LifetimeMoms, NickMom, TODAY Parents, Babble/Disney, In the Powder Room, and the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

AND IT’S ON SALE TODAY!

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Also, just In case you were wondering exactly WHO is included in this wonderful anthology, here is a list of the awesome collaborators. They are some seriously talented and funny women, and I highly recommend you check each of them out when you can:

Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Bethany Kriger Thies of Bad Parenting Moments

Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying

Alyson Herzig of The Shitastrophy

JD Bailey of Honest Mom

Kathryn Leehane of Foxy Wine Pocket

Suzanne Fleet of Toulouse and Tonic

Nicole Leigh Shaw of Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist

Meredith Spidel of The Mom of the Year

Rebecca Gallagher of Frugalista Blog

Rita Templeton of Fighting off Frumpy

Darcy Perdu of So Then Stories

Christine Burke of Keeper of The Fruit Loops

Amy Flory of Funny Is Family

Robyn Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures

Sarah del Rio of est. 1975

Amanda Mushro of Questionable Choices in Parenting

Jennifer Hicks of Real Life Parenting

Courtney Fitzgerald of Our Small Moments

Lola Lolita of Sammiches and Psych Meds

Victoria Fedden of Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds

Keesha Beckford of Mom’s New Stage

Stacia Ellermeier of Dried-on Milk

Ashley Allen of Big Top Family

Meredith Bland of Pile of Babies

Harmony Hobbs of Modern Mommy Madness

Janel Mills of 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of

Kim Forde of The Fordeville Diaries

Stacey Gill of One Funny Motha

Beth Caldwell of The Cult of Perfect Motherhood

Sarah Cottrell of Housewife Plus

Michelle Back of Mommy Back Talk

Tracy Sano of Tracy on the Rocks

Linda Roy of elleroy was here

Michelle Poston Combs of Rubber Shoes In Hell

Susan Lee Maccarelli of Pecked To Death By Chickens

Vicki Lesage of Life, Love, and Sarcasm in Paris

Kris Amels of Why, Mommy?

Mackenzie Cheeseman of Is there cheese in it?

Tracy DeBlois of Orange & Silver

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Now, if you’ve made it all the way down here, you are truly a loyal so-and-so, and I think for that you deserve an excerpt from the story I wrote from the book. It’s called “Here’s Mommy!” and it’s a heartwarming piece about how I locked myself in my garage and had to bust down the door with a hammer to get to my abandoned 2-year-old son. Yes, really.

I knew I couldn’t smash the entire door down with just a hammer, or even bust a hole in it big enough to climb through. My only real hope was to create a gap wide enough to stick my hand through, reach the knob lock, and set myself free.

I pressed my face against the door and called to my son. “Honey,” I said, “Honey, it’s very important that you move as far away as you can right now. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, Mommy,” replied a tiny, anxious voice. I waited a moment, listened very intensely, and heard my son go absolutely nowhere.

I tried again. “Sweetheart, I’m serious. Go sit in front of the television or on the couch. Mommy will be inside in just a moment.”

“Okay,” peeped my son, who continued to stay right where he was. Even at two, he was no dummy. He knew something was up, something sensational and possibly even dangerous, and he didn’t want to miss it. After some more cajoling, I finally convinced him to move back about six feet. That was as far away as he was going to go, and I just had to accept it.

I took a deep breath. I raised my hammer. Then, squelching the urge to yell “Here’s Mommy!” in a totally psychotic voice, I brought the face of the hammer down on the door as hard as I possibly could.

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To find out what happened next, pick up your copy of I Still Just Want to Pee Alone today!

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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all the naked ladies

As many of you loyal so-and-sos are already aware, I live in a land-locked Midwestern city characterized by frigid winters, infernal summers, and a transcendent amount of big-box retail. To add insult to injury, my town is populated primarily by:

  • Skunks;
  • Stinkbugs;
  • Dudebros;
  • Basic bitches;
  • Mediocre indie rock musicians; and
  • Fanatical weirdos with a primal and disturbing devotion to college football.

Still, in spite of all its flaws, I do love my city. It’s affordable. It’s easy to get around. Every place I could ever possibly want to shop lies within a 5-mile radius of my house. There’s culture if you know where to look for it. The schools are good. The people are nice. I have loads of friends and family nearby.

I’m happy here.

Nevertheless, there are times when my family and I need a break from this wasteland of fast food, strip malls, and aluminum siding. And there’s not a doubt in my mind that of the three of us, my husband feels the urge to get away most strongly. After living half of his life near the ocean, every day he spends away from the sea kills off a small part of him and his hot, tight body-boarding butt cheeks.

My husband his hot, tight bodyboarding butt cheeks.
My husband and his hot, tight body-boarding butt cheeks.

So we save our pennies, and journey to the West Coast whenever we can.

We spend the majority of our vacation time in San Francisco, as that’s the city my sister Cheeks calls home. It works out well. The menfolk spend their time doing outdoorsy stuff, and the womenfolk spend their time crabbing about having to do outdoorsy stuff.

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My sister’s boobs taking a nap in Dolores Park.

As many of you know, San Francisco is a very unique and diverse place, and in many ways it is the antithesis of where I live. Because of this, whenever my family and I go there, we try and do things that we can’t do at home. We visit Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park, Sausalito and Angel Island, Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District.

And of course, the naked bathhouses.

****record screeches***

Let me explain.

A few years back, when my son was four and AWFUL, my family was planning a trip to San Francisco when Cheeks assessed—quite correctly—that I needed some girl time.

“I’d like to take you to a spa,” she said.

“Omg. That sounds awesome,” I replied.

“I need to warn you. It’s a … different kind of spa.”

“What do you mean?” I asked warily.

“Well,” said Cheeks. “I haven’t been there yet, so I don’t know the exact details. But it’s a Japanese bathhouse. And you have to be naked.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAhahahaha” I laughed.

But she wasn’t kidding.

Cheeks sent me a link so that I could read about the place. We looked over the web site together, spending about .000001 seconds reading about the spa’s actual services, and close to three hours laughing our way through the image gallery, which included pictures of:

“So you just sit in these baths, naked, in front of God and everybody?” I asked Cheeks.

“I guess,” she said. “There’s a whole bathing ritual you’re supposed to follow. I thought it could be fun.”

“Will there be dudes there?”

“No. The men go on different days than the women.”

“Huh,” I remarked.

“So what do you say?” asked my sister. “Do you want to try it?”

I hesitated for a second. Then I realized I was 37 years old and didn’t really give a fuck. “Sure.”

My family landed in San Francisco a week or so later. My sister picked me up at the hotel and took me straight to the spa, which meant I was filthy with travel grime, and badly in need of a shower. (After all, it’s only polite to rinse off before getting into a public bath with a bunch of naked weirdos.)

Fortunately, shower stalls were available at the bathhouse, so I stripped down and got into one. In the meantime, my sister also stripped down, parked herself on a nearby wooden bench, and began rinsing off with a pull-out faucet. The scene looked something like this:

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Guys. Stop. I know my art skills are amazing, but you’re just embarrassing yourselves with the constant bouquets and the fan letters and the endless parade of compliments. Seriously. Have some dignity.

Now at this point I feel I should mention that one of the rules of the communal baths is that everyone bathing must be as quiet as possible. Silence is preferred, but you can whisper to someone if absolutely necessary, as long as you do so at the following volume:

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10 is normal conversation. 0 is a piece of dandruff landing on a t-shirt.

There is even a mechanism for regulating the noise level in the communal baths—a small gong that bathers can ring to alert rude assholes that they are being too loud.

Yes, you heard me right.

A GONG.

To hit with a mallet.

To keep the room quiet.

I’ll just let that sink in for a second.

Okay, back to the story. My sister and I were completely naked, in front of a bunch of completely naked strangers, and we hadn’t seen each other in a really long time. So naturally we were a little bit giggly and slap-happy. Don’t get me wrong—we were whispering—but apparently we were doing so at a volume above the acceptable level of “a single Kleenex landing on a marshmallow.”

We had barely been in the spa for 5 minutes when:

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Yup.

At which point we were immediately confronted by the angriest naked lady in the history of angry naked ladies.

“EXCUSE ME,” she hissed, at a volume MUCH louder than the acceptable level of a single air molecule drifting over a cotton ball, “YOU TWO ARE BEING EXTREMELY LOUD. YOU ARE DISTURBING THE ENTIRE GROUP. I RANG THE GONG AND YOU COMPLETELY IGNORED IT. YOU NEED TO BE MORE CONSIDERATE. I HAVE A CONDITION WHERE EVERY SOUND I HEAR IS INCREDIBLY LOUD.”

Managing not to say “do you also have a condition where every sound you MAKE is incredibly loud?”, my sister and I quickly apologized to the insane naked woman who was trying to achieve peace and serenity by bashing on a gong and yelling at strangers.

Ah. Tranquility.

We didn’t say anything to each other from that point forward. We didn’t want any more encounters with hostile ladies of the naked variety. In cowering silence and abject nudity, we began the following bathhouse ritual:

  • The steam room (120 degrees): This was nothing special. It was just a run-of-the-mill steam room—hot and humid and sweaty and boring. However, my sister did have a funny experience while in there, which she texted me later:

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  • The dry sauna (140 degrees): This was lovely for about 15 seconds. Then I became a desiccated mummy that had to gulp down 900 glasses of cucumber water just to stay alive.
  • The cold pool (55 degrees): I’ve been swimming off the coast of Maine in 55-degree water, so I thought I had this. But I was wrong. So, so wrong. The minute I submerged my nether parts, my naked labia cracked into a million tiny pieces, and with no bathing suit and accompanying mesh gusset to contain them, they fell off, floated away, and were never heard from again.
  • The hot pool (104 degrees): This was essentially a heated swimming pool, which after the cold bath, was just fine by me. Cheeks and I hung out here for some time, despite the elderly Asian lady who kept following us around the pool and STANDING REALLY UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO US. Still, incredibly old naked women with no concept of personal space aside, the hot pool was by far the best part of the ritual.

While we were sitting in the hot baths, Cheeks and I took notice of a woman walking slowly back and forth between the steam room and the dry sauna. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Like a slow naked tennis ball.

We watched her FOREVER. She was completely fascinating. She was just doing what she was doing, being naked, giving no fucks, pacing slowly between two rooms, but never actually going INTO either one of them.

Then, suddenly, she had a turban.

Cheeks and I blinked. And looked at each other. And looked back at the turban. Where did it come from? When did she have time to put it on? Were the spa’s towels made of magic? Could they simply be willed into turban form? Or was the whole thing like a video game Easter egg, where if you walked back and forth over a specific area a certain number of times, you would unlock a turban?

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Cheeks’ rendition of the naked woman and her magic turban, as drawn on my son’s travel-sized magnetic Diego board. I think she’s saying: “Sup.”

After a while, it was time for Cheeks and I to go home. And the minute we set foot outside of the spa and were finally at liberty to laugh our asses off without being gonged into oblivion, that is exactly what we did. It had been such a weird experience that we couldn’t help it. But after a lengthy assessment, we both agreed that we had enjoyed ourselves.

10/10. A++++. Would bathe naked in front of people again.

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

and panties all in a bunch

1839: Oil on canvas by Edward Delacroix: Tasso à l'hôpital de St Anne Ferrara (Tasso in the Madhouse) - public domain

If you’re a regular fan of this blog, or if you follow me on social media at all, chances are good you’ve already deduced  that yes, I do indeed suffer from a mighty case of depression.

And you would not be wrong.

Still. I wouldn’t go changing your name to “Columbo” just yet. For one thing, you need a fake eyeball, a dirty trench coat, and 38 thousand packs of cigarettes to really sell it. More to the point, you need to be able to crack cases a LOT tougher than this one. I mean, it’s not exactly Unsolved Mysteries over here. I’m pretty sure just about anyone with access to the evidence would come to the same conclusion.

Let’s take a look at the facts, shall we?

  • Given the choice between taking a nap or a shower, I alwZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz
  • I have actually said the words: “I’m not tired enough to sleep, but I am too tired to watch television.”
  • My idea of a good time? Eating vast quantities of Chinese food, then falling asleep instantly.
  • *sees hairbrush* “Not today.”
  • *sees toothbrush* “Nah.”
  • When my husband gets home from a long day at work, I find the best way to greet him is to ugly-cry for 45 minutes about how I stubbed my pinky toe on the washing machine seven hours ago.
  • I have actually thought to myself: “Thank God my son is in school full-time, otherwise when would I watch my six hours of YouTube videos a day?”
  • “My glasses are dirty.” *does nothing about it*
  • “I forgot to put on deodorant.” *does nothing about it*
  • “Is that a skid mark in my underwear?” *does nothing about it*
  • “I’m a month behind on my work.” *binge-watches The Blacklist*

I guess what I’m saying is: Calm your boobs, Sherlock. It wasn’t like you needed to bring in a profiler or anything to figure this shit out.

But worry not, loyal readers. NEVER FEAR. I’m not going to take you through any kind of detailed explanation of my 25-year history of depression, mainly because it’s really boring and not even remotely funny. (Also boring.) I’ll spare you the long litany of my daily complaints, ranging from “I’m sad today” to “I’ll probably be sad tomorrow” to “How long have I been wearing these pajamas?”

That said, I do think you guys might get a laugh out of just how bunched my panties can get over dumb, relatively unimportant shit when I’m in the throes of my depression. Because that part IS actually pretty funny, especially when you’re looking at it from the outside in. AND there’s pictures.

So go burn some microwave popcorn, pull up a chair with a busted spring in it, and get ready to accompany me on a journey through

THE DUMB SHIT THAT BUNCHES MY PANTIES WHEN I’M DEPRESSED

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DUMB SHIT #1: My son’s pajama drawer. Every evening I tell my son to get his pajamas on. Every evening I tell him not to make a huge mess of his pajama drawer. Every evening I walk into his bedroom and find this:

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Also? This is actually not even half as bad as it usually is.

METAPHORICAL STATUS OF PANTIES: They’re not actually up IN the crack, but they’re definitely threatening to go there. All it would take is one wrong move with a butt cheek.

MANIFESTATION: Wandering around and muttering: “You know what I LOVE? Saying the same damn shit, day after day, to people who can’t even be bothered to pretend that they’re listening. Why no, I’m not being sarcastic! I’m serious as a heart attack over here! Being habitually ignored in my own home truly is the wind beneath my wings.”

MITIGATION: An entire pint of ice cream, eaten alone and in silence, all while glaring and making the obvious statement of not offering any to anyone else.

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DUMB SHIT #2: Slicing my toe open while shaving off my toe hairs. I mean, I could just *pluck* my toe hairs. Or I could use a fresh razor blade on my toe hairs instead of the one I’ve been using since September 11th (never forget). Or I could just not do anything at all about my toe hairs because nobody gives an actual fuck. But no! I have to shave them off BECAUSE HAVING NO TOE HAIRS MAKES YOU SUPER HOT. JUST LOOK:

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I Photoshopped my toe wrinkles out of this picture *way* more than I care to admit. And you can still see a butt ton of toe wrinkles. So clearly that was a good use of my time.

HOT.

METAPHORICAL STATUS OF PANTIES: Making a comfortable home in the ass crack, but not so deep that they can’t be dislodged with an awkward chair swivel or an overly animated walk to the restroom.

MANIFESTATION: Crying buck-ass naked on the toilet, trying unsuccessfully to stem the flow of toe blood with a rapidly disintegrating wad of cheap toilet paper, and repeating “I hate men” over and over again.

MITIGATION: A huge bowl of pasta with cream sauce and extra Parmesan cheese. And don’t you dare forget the garlic bread. Seriously. DON’T FORGET IT. I’ll push your mother down the god damn stairs.

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DUMB SHIT #3: The day-old cup of coffee found on the floor next to my husband’s side of the bed. I mean, it makes sense to drink a cup of coffee in bed, doesn’t it? Get that nice big oily jolt of caffeine right before trying to go to sleep? I know that’s what gets me ready for Mr. Sandman. I especially like to not actually finish the coffee, and instead just leave it on the floor for someone else to pick up, or perhaps accidentally drop a dirty sock into. That just sends me straight to dreamland.

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If you’re questioning whether or not this photo is staged, I can assure you it is 100% the REAL DEAL.

METAPHORICAL STATUS OF PANTIES: Where the edges keep darting into your butt crack for what seems to be short recon missions. First the right side, then the left. They’re never all the way in, they’re never all the way out.

MANIFESTATION: Staring at the cup of coffee for a second, then deciding to just leave it there until someone else just fucking deals with it. Slumping both head and shoulders in defeat when the realization hits that NO ONE ELSE is going to fucking deal with it. Then, with a morose sigh and a half-hearted “Eh. FINE,” giving in and bringing the coffee mug down to the dishwasher.

MITIGATION: Writing about it on the Internet for all to read.

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DUMB SHIT #4: The person who installed the light switches in my bathroom like THIS:

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It’s interesting because there are tools out there that prevent stuff like this from happening. Levels, yardsticks, even the side of a piece of frickin’ printer paper. But no. YOU had to do it freehand, YOU STUPID JACKASS.

METAPHORICAL STATUS OF PANTIES: Practically in the rectum. Will have to be manually dislodged at a later point, when there are sure to be no witnesses. They’ll then go straight into the washing machine because reasons.

MANIFESTATION: A pure, unadulterated hatred of the universe. Sullen, empty threats to “burn this whole jacked-up house to the ground” and “move into a dirty dumpster” because even that would be better than spending one more minute in “this janky pile of shit.”

MITIGATION: Taking two Night-time Mucinex and hitting the sack at 9:30 PM.

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So! I hope you guys have enjoyed this little  tour of the ridiculous bunched-panty moments of a depressed person. You know, they say you can’t truly understand someone unless you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes house slippers linty dollar-store socks with cat hair on them.

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I realize that my linty dollar-store socks don’t look particularly appealing. But I’m pretty sure you’d rather walk a mile in these than in a pair of my bunched-up panties.

EDIT: Thanks to Jeff of Jeff and Jill Went Up the Hill for helping out with this piece, despite being in recovery from “the snip.” If you’re feeling generous, check out his blog, or send him a bag of frozen peas. Whichev.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
1839: Oil on canvas by Edward Delacroix: Tasso à l’hôpital de St Anne Ferrara (Tasso in the Madhouse) – public domain — modified

the nagging wife

There’s a reason that the Nagging Wife has always been a comedy cliché. It’s basically because MEN NEVER LISTEN AND OMG THEY’RE SO USELESS AND ALSO THEY NEVER ASK FOR DIRECTIONS AND MAN FLU AND HAVE YOU SEEN MY HUSBAND’S TOENAILS AND BLAH BLAH BLARGH DE BLOO.

Only kidding.

Sort of.

In all seriousness, the reason that the Nagging Wife has been a comedic trope since time out of mind is because we all know one. Oh, don’t argue with me – we do. If we haven’t been scolded by one, we’ve seen somebody else get scolded by one, or we’ve (gasp!) (the very thought!) (well I never!) been the ones who did the scolding ourselves.

Now wait a minute. Don’t bust out your torches and set me on Internet fire just yet. There’s more to this train of thought. Bear with me.

Hear me out.

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can certainly speak for myself, and I will attest to the fact that as a wife and mothers, I certainly do nag. I nag a lot. Some days it seems like I nag my husband and son from the moment they crawl out of their beds in the morning until the moment they crawl back into their beds at night. I nag them to hurry up. I nag them to pick up their shit. I nag them to do whatever housework they said they would do but never did. I nag them to stop leaving their dirty socks all over Every. Damn. Where.

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No, it’s cool. It’s just some of my husband’s dirty socks hanging out on the living room carpet. Two pairs of them. In the exact same place. Because that’s where they go, apparently. No big.

I freely admit I nag. But you know what?

So does my husband.

A lot of husbands do, actually. Probably close to all of them. Except their form of nagging isn’t really considered “nagging.” There’s certainly no pervasive Nagging Husband cliché associated with it. Male nagging generally isn’t thought of as bitchy or grating. It’s not satirized to DEATH on sitcoms or in stand-up comedy routines. It doesn’t make us think of a screeching banshee with a voice like sliding down a razor blade naked.

Which, if you ask me? Is completely and totally unfair.

Because (in my opinion) my husband’s nagging is equal to, if not more annoying than, my own brand. Okay, yes. He doesn’t nag me about chores or parenting or social obligations. He doesn’t nag me about lawn care or car maintenance or any of the other tedious things I nag *him* about.

Still. What he does nag me about is SEX.

CONSTANTLY.

And while I’m sure – in fact, I know – that my husband is not the only one guilty of engaging in some prodigious sex-botherin’, I nonetheless can only speak from my own experience. So that’s what I’m going to do.

First I’m going to hit you up with a couple of important facts:

Fact #1: My husband and I have plenty of sex. He’s not hurting. I’ll leave it at that.

Fact #2: I am a woman whom Dan Savage would classify as “Good, Giving, and Game.” Again, I’ll leave it at that.

All right. Now that we’ve established that my husband is not a victim of Bed Death or even Vanilla Sex Life Syndrome, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.

Question #1: Why is my husband’s nagging about sex completely acceptable in our society, when my nagging about other stuff is considered to be irritating, patronizing, and in many situations, downright laughable?

Question #2: Why does he get to complain endlessly and relentlessly about his sexual needs, but when I ask him to do ANYTHING more than once I might as well have transformed into a hysterical griping fishwife?

Question #3: Why does he get to mope around like an unmedicated Eeyore when I say “Not tonight,” but if I dare to get uppity when he leaves 398475394875 used Kleenex all over the house, I’m “treating him like a child” and “he’ll pick them up later.” (He never does.)

I don’t have a good answer to these questions. I wish I did. Because here’s the thing: Sex is not an entitlement. For either partner. In a lot of ways, having sex is just like going out for a nice dinner or watching a movie – it’s something and fun and entertaining that two (or more) people do together. And they decide when to do it, where to do it, and how to do it, together.

Together!

And if it doesn’t work out on one particular day? You move on. You wait until the time is right. You don’t grumble and moan and bitch about it every minute of every day until it happens. You don’t make passive-aggressive comments (“remember when we were dating?”) until the other person gives in just to shut you the hell up. You don’t constantly grope someone and make suggestive gestures and throw around overtly sexual comments until… well, I guess that doesn’t really apply to the dinner/movie analogy.

For most people, anyway.

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Don’t get me wrong – I love my husband. More than life itself. He’s smart as a whip, gorgeous as hell, and just amazing in every way. And I really do appreciate the fact that he’s still attracted enough to follow me around the house grabbing my ass and making not-so-veiled allusions to butt stuff. But let’s face it. When it comes to sex? He a nagging bitch. And I just think it’s massively unfair that he can consistently ride my ass about doin’ more nasty, but if I tell him to flush the toilet after he pees, I get an eye roll and a “yeah yeah.”

Long story short? Husband, don’t make me get out my rolling pin.

(Though you did say you wanted to do more butt stuff.)

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An earlier version of this piece was published in April 2014 on humor/parenting blog Foxy Wine Pocket.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Taming the Shrew”: Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk; Taming the shrew. T.L. Busby; ca. 1826.; Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0
“Old woman”: Giorgione (1477–1510); English: Old Woman; Date circa 1508; Source/Photographer Web Gallery of Art: Inkscape.svg; This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in the United States. — Modified