My Secret

I have a confession to make.

When I was about 11 years old, I ordered a book called "The Secrets of How to Get A Boyfriend" from the back one of those teeny bopper magazines. It cost $12.50.

$12.50 was a lot of money to me at the time but I felt it was a reasonable price to pay to learn the secrets. Secrets that I would never know if I didn't pay $12.50.

Being somewhat of a novice (somewhat=complete), I knew it would surely contain a wealth of information I'd yet to consider when trying to attract the opposite sex. I decided it was a worthwhile investment in which to place the entirety of that year's birthday money and allowances, minus fifty cents because soon I'd have all 14 of the boys in my class following me around like puppies and asking me out on dates. I fantasized about them fighting over me and the jealous glares I'd receive from the other girls in the class. The book was not only the key to getting a boyfriend, it was the key to coolness.

So, I cut and filled out the tiny form and mailed it in with my cash and two quarters and eagerly began awaiting the arrival of THE BOOK which promised to teach me very important things like:
  • how to get your crush to notice you,
  • how to get a boyfriend,
  • what boys REALLY like in a girl,
  • and other very pertinent information on how to land the boy of your dreams.

It even promised to include a FREE "How to Kiss" pamphlet (I may have been more excited about this than the book).

Now that I'm older and wiser, I realize that there are many women's magazines out there that publish this information regularly and openly. However, the manufacturer promised it would be delivered in plain brown packaging and the word "Secrets" was in the title, which could only mean it had to be chock full of top-notch information that even the publishers of women's' magazines weren't privy to. Secrets like mind tricks, love potions and voodoo. I was sold. Never the less, it was a relief to know that my mailman would have no idea what lay under that boring, untelling wrapping. Deep down I was so embarrassed by my purchase that I didn't even tell my best friend.

6-8 weeks later, after rushing out and checking the mailbox everyday before my parents could get home and use their x-ray vision to pierce through the packaging and find out my dirty little secret, THE BOOK finally came. I rushed upstairs, locked my bedroom door and ripped the brown paper wrapping off the book that would truly change my life.

Deep breath.

The cover was blue and purple. It was about as thick as a Cliff's Notes. As I hungrily read through it, I found such useful information like-
  • Bathe regularly
  • Smile a lot
  • Bat your eyelashes,
  • Laugh at their jokes,
  • and most importantly- HAVE A GOOD PERSONALITY.

Seriously?! This is what I paid $12.50 for? This is what my life savings was spent on? HAVE A GOOD PERSONALITY?!!! What'd they think, I was born yesterday? Every moron knew this stuff. It wasn't a secret, it was plain ol' common sense! In fact, I DID all these things regularly and still no boys were kissing my feet. I didn't need a guide for the village idiot, I needed voodoo, damn it!!!!

And the "How to Kiss" booklet was missing. I'd have to figure that one out on my own.

My disappointment was overwhelming.

I promptly threw the book in my trashcan where it was hidden amidst candy wrappers and barbie hair. I was never discovered and I never told anyone about it until now. I have managed to land many a boyfriend without the help of mind tricks, love potions or voodoo.

But I could really use that $12.50 to pay for gas right now.


Squirrel Melts

...in case you were wondering what to do with the squirrels that you hit with your car.

It's survival of the fittest bitches, survival of the fittest.


Suicide Season

Normally around November 15th, I start to notice an abundance of dead squirrels in the middle of the road. I've always chocked it up to the start of winter. I figure the squirrels are probably so depressed by the coming frost, that they can't help but to end their lives prematurely, lest they face a freezing, nutless winter- the squirrel equivalent to hell on earth. Instead they go crazy and convince themselves that waiting patiently for oncoming cars they can throw themselves in front of is a better option than searching for hidden acorns in sub-arctic temperatures.

Sometimes, one squirrel can't find the courage to end his life alone so two or more make their Romeo-and-Juliet-like pacts and dash out together, often from different directions, as to make sure at least one of their miserable existences come to an end. I've always felt this practice was a little irresponsible on the part of the squirrels. Sure they may want to die but what about the innocent drivers like myself who become overwhelmed with guilt at being responsible for the demise of one of these cute furry creatures? What about the poor city worker who has to come scrape their bloody corpse off the pavement? Irresponsible.

This year was different though, probably due to the lengthened fall season that global warming brought, none of the squirrels were trying to kill themselves. I didn't really notice the lack of dead rodents until last week when they started appearing again. Now that global warming has once again failed us and winter's come, it seems that squirrel suicide season has started again. Late, but never one to disappoint, it's here. I will once again have to heighten my squirrel radar so I can be sure to swerve quickly if need be. I don't really care what they say, the sound of a squirrel rolling under your tire is something I'd avoid at all costs.

There's really nothing more to say about it. Winter's here. Squirrels are killing themselves. I have to become a more careful and responsible driver because of it. I'm so cold, I think the tip of my nose is about to fall off (frostbite). Spring should really consider coming early this year.


Bow to me. I'm a domestic godess.

Because of the unusual combination of it being both Valentine's Day and a snow day, my motherly instincts must have been kicking into overdrive as I became the perfect stay-at-home mother today.

I let my son sleep late (mostly because I wanted to sleep late too). When we got up, I promptly turned on the t.v. and he spent the rest of the day in my bed watching cartoons and movies, wearing his birthday suit. I didn't make him get up and go shovel snow, didn't make him play in his room- use his brain or imagination, didn't even make him put clothes on. He was in 5 year old heaven.

I served him both breakfast and lunch in bed. And I made him cupcakes (from scratch) with strawberry whipped cream frosting and let him eat one for 'brunch'. While he laid around, I washed dishes, cleaned the toilet, and even changed the automatic shower cleaner.

And I made chicken and dumplings for dinner. He ate some valentine's candy for dessert.

Luckily, he was able to take this all in stride and didn't thank me once. I didn't force good manners on him because I was being a perfect mother and perfect mothers don't make their kids do anything they don't want to.

I tell you these things because they are not only rare and unusual but they will probably never happen again. Starting tomorrow, my son will be back on his strict 1 movie a week diet, healthy desserts only, entertaining himself while his mother ignores him because I'm "busy working", and I probably won't cook another dinner that involves more than 5 minutes of prep time for at least a month. I'm hoping that when all this happens, he remembers this day and looks back on his childhood as having the 'perfect' mother who cooked and cleaned up after him, who asked for little and gave a lot, and to whom no other woman can compare (just kidding about the other woman thing, he better find a woman to compare, I don't want him living with me forever).

Now my darling's coming over and I'm going to cook him a steak. I've never cooked steak before but he'll love it anyways and claim it to be the best he's ever had. When I'm long gone he'll remember me as the most wonderful woman he ever dated- slave in the kitchen, goddess in the bedroom. Or something like that. No other woman will ever compare. And I mean it this time. :)

Happy Valentines Day all! I love you.



Last night I did my monthly grocery shopping. I made a list, gathered coupons, packed up the kid, grabbed my wallet, and made the 30 minute trek to SUPERWALMART!.

We're frugal shoppers in my house- we bought only what we needed (& he convinced me he needed to try a box of 'Lunchables'), we budgeted, we carried refrigerated products around the store for hours and then put them back. We stopped at the men's rest room, proceeded to the deli, ate some cheese, brought our items to the register, and started checking out. All in all a good trip.

As the cashier rang out the orange soda I'd grabbed, I opened it and took a much needed sip. Then he rang up the box of Lunchables that my son had drawn pictures of robots and lions all over (he was bored).

It was in the middle of him ringing up the Lunchables that I realized my checkbook wasn't in my wallet. It wasn't in the cart. In fact, I was almost positive that my checkbook had never even made it out of the house. Which is 30 minutes away. I recently cut up all of my credit cards. And I don't carry cash. I didn't have a penny on me.

So I did the only thing a girl in a situation involving stolen cheese, defaced boxes, and half-drunken beverages could do-I made the cashier continue ringing up the whole order, had the manager take everything, bagged and thawing, to the courtesy counter so that I could go search in my car for my checkbook (which I knew wasn't there). I promised I'd be right back.

Then I left.

And I went home. My son cried because now he'd never be able to try Lunchables. I cried because I could never go to SUPERWALMART! again.

I cried because I was a SUPERWALMART! bandit. Within hours there'd be life-sized photos of me posted all over Walmarts throughout the country that read- CHEESE THIEF-SHOOT ON SIGHT. I'd have to dye my hair blond and wear sunglasses if I wanted to go back. I'd have to gain 100 lbs. I'd have to dress my son like a girl.

We had to leave the country immediately. I'd make the 10 o'clock news. One of my enemies (I have 2) would recognize me and turn me in. I'd go to jail. My son would be raised by elephants. I would die of embarrassment. The world was over.

And it was all my fault.

The guilty and unfortunate realization that I could never go back to Walmart lasted until approximately 8:35 this morning when I had no milk for my cereal. Or raisins. And I needed raisins to make oatmeal cookies. And raisins at the supermarket would cost twice as much as the raisins SUPERWALMART!. And did I mention that I'm cheap? So I decided I had to take the risk and venture back. It'd be like an Indiana Jones movie.

Luckily I hadn't forgotten the wisdom of my disguise plan from the night before. So I changed into my black coat. I wore my hair down. I put on new sweatpants. I wore makeup. I looked good.

I would be unrecognizable.

But my son- no way, he's too gorgeous to be unrecognizable. Strangers stop in their tracks to marvel over his beautiful eyes. Grown women propose marriage. Birds and small woodland creatures flock to him. Nope. I couldn't risk it. I'd have to leave him behind.

Instead I dragged my cousin along, who's considerably taller, much more feminine, and though she has nice eyes, doesn't have as nice eyes as my son. There's no way they'd know it was me.

When we walked into SUPERWALMART! the greeter gave us smiley-face stickers. There were no posters with my face on the walls. There were no carts full of rotting chicken waiting for me at the service desk. In fact, I don't think the cashier or manager from last night were even working anymore.

So, I shopped. I fought the crowds. I took out my checkbook and I paid.

I didn't get pulled into the back room by a friendly Walmart security guard demanding $1.25 for that bottle of orange soda. I didn't get shot at by whistling smiley faces. Even the nice guy at the deli gladly gave me another pound of Land O Lakes white American cheese without getting suspicious.

NOBODY recognized me!

NOTHING happened!

My disguise had worked!

I was strangely disappointed.

I think I'll have to work on becoming more memorable.