Tag Archives: writing

Serving Up Humble Pie and Excuses

6th Grade Class Picture, 1979

“Okay Karen, I will be the first to admit I thought this blog was going to be more mommy bullshit. Seriously, pass the Tena Lady, I’m peeing myself. It’s so freaking hilarious.”

Just over a month ago, I threw this blog out to the masses and thanks to the power of amazing friends, supportive family and this new fad called the World Wide Web, the word is spreading like bedbugs. The response has been beyond overwhelming and I just can’t thank you enough for reading. Or for even giving a rat’s ass!

It’s been surreal. People are saying nice things to my face, posting links on Facebook and forwarding emails to their friends. Thanks to your kind efforts, the site has over 6400 hits from around the world. Many faithful followers are among the most elite graduates of Harvard. (Illinois.) And now I am even controversial! This blog has been blocked from the employee web server of a national hotel chain thanks to my foul language. My parents are so proud!

I am truly humbled, flattered and also scared out of my pants that my family will become normal and I will run out of material.  Even Eileen asked, “Are you going to do this when you retire? Because we won’t be funny when we are older.”

Speaking of, many have asked, “Aren’t you worried about your kids reading this online some day?” There have been a few implications that I am exploiting my kids for my own gain. Hey, I’m no Kate Gosselin. The only thing we have in common is the desire for a tummy tuck. And the similarities end there. (She got one and I am still the owner of a deflated tire around my waist.)

My kids knew what they were signing up for when they were born: I am a blabber mouth. They are used to their embarrassing stories being shared by anyone who looks in my direction. It builds character and just may have them think twice about being boneheads. For example, a few weeks ago, I busted Aidan taking a whiz in a Diet Coke bottle while sitting in our van parked in front of his grandma’s house. After delivering the riot act, his response was, “Hey mom, can we just keep this one between the two of us?” Sure buddy, no problem.

I’ve also been asked, “Why are you taking so long to write another post?” (Mainly by my husband who thinks I can fart out prose between loads of laundry. At least he believes in me, right?) The truth is I received such a positive response from Eileen’s Project Runway story that I gave myself writer’s block. I was beyond nervous that I reached my peak in week three and the next post would Jump the Shark. You know that moment when your favorite TV show tries too hard, takes a dive and drifts off to Cancellation City. (Impress your friends: The term “Jump the Shark” is named after that Happy Days’ episode when Fonzie jumps the shark while water skiing — probably in a Tommy Barlett Water Show in the Dells.) It usually happens when they introduce a little kid to a show. Oliver in Brady Bunch. The “That’s So Raven” chick in the Cosby Show. That blond kid with the bowl haircut in Family Ties. Or when Kimberly from Melrose Place came back from the dead and ripped off her wig to reveal her scar from brain surgery. (How I can remember that and not what I had for dinner last night scares me.)

Aaay! Fonzie Jumps The Shark

Anyway, besides writer’s block which I found can be cured with two vodka lemonades slammed down during a disastrous “fun family dinner at a restaurant,” regular life stuff got in the way of posting. Eileen was home sick for four days while my poor dad was installing recessed lighting in my kitchen. A real bitch of a job considering that all of the old wiring is white (GODDAMMIT) and I am paying him in Oreos and coffee. Also, for the past two weeks, I practiced Safe Sanding by wrapping all the cabinets and appliances in prophylactics so the dust doesn’t get into every frickin’ crevice. Each day, I would forget to pull out (no pun intended) the peanut butter or cereal necessary to feed the people. Eileen created a snot cave in the basement that was only accessible by leaving through the front door, walking around the house and going down the side door since there wasn’t any kitchen access. I really don’t know how anyone survives real construction. I am such a wimp.

Fun with Saran Wrap

While Eileen was sick, I was scheduled to help during her play rehearsal (without her) to make sure the kids behaved. These are drama kids: lots of touching and loving and singing and talking. And me shhh-ing. At one point, the director needs me to do Eileen’s part because the staging is so complicated and they want to make sure the whole cast is in place. I am hardly shy, but I was soaked in nervous flop sweat, cheating off the kid next to me because I had no idea the difference between stage left, a pivot step and jazz hands. This went on for two hours to learn a five-minute song — and I still didn’t catch on! At the end, the director sends in the parents to show off what the kids learned and there I am doing a square dance, mouthing the words and looking like a complete jackass. (Hopefully they thought I was a puffy version of my kid.) But like the blog, the show must go on.

(Oh, also the entire time Eileen was sick, she complained about Aidan constantly hugging her. “It’s not out of the goodness of his heart! He said that he wants to be sick and stay home to watch TV.” Then I found out that he never unpacked his toothbrush from an overnight trip and was “brushing” his teeth — twice a day, mind you — with his finger. For a week. Was probably flossing with his big toe, too.)

A few days later, I was racing back and forth from play rehearsal (Eileen’s, not mine this time) and Aidan’s soccer practice that are conveniently located on opposite ends of town. I was running late to get Aidan, rolled a stop sign and spotted the cherries in my rear view mirror. I plead soccer mom insanity, but the cop doesn’t buy it. He goes back to the squad car and writes a ticket for the next 90 minutes. In the meantime, my cell rings and it’s Tom asking when I am going to be home. “Well, I don’t know. I am pulled over right now.” No lie, at that exact moment, he responds, “Yeah, I see you,” and drives past me! At least he was able to get Aidan as I hung my head in shame and accepted the $120 ticket. Ouch.

Now that I got that pile of thank yous and excuses out of the way, we will return your regularly scheduled blog about penises and poop and puke.



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