Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shut It, I'm Comfortable

Many, many years ago, when I was young(er) and foolish(er), I use to observe Women of a Certain Age and their apparent total oblivion to the current styles in denim wear. ‘How sad’, I’d think to my teenaged self, dressed in safety-pinned acid wash, ‘They don’t even realize how terrible that looks’. Ahh, young self, if I told you the secret behind the uniform of the middle-aged mom you’d be even sadder. Because I’ve learned that those women just really, really don’t care. They know. Believe me, they know. Those pants are pulled over sore feet and bruised calves and fat knees, up past lumpy thighs and ever-widening hips and over a saggy c-section gut, and there is no way anyone can pretend they’re fashionable or sexy or a trendy color.

The Mom Jean, found in many cultures, is a rite of passage for those who are past the New Mom Pants phase. The New Mom can still get away with wearing maternity jeans for quite some time, and can blame her inexplicably ever-shifting weight patterns on the baby. That lasts for approximately one year, max. Anyone trying to do this longer is in the denial phase. The denial phase can last anywhere from 1-25 years. This is the time when a mother tries panels, pleats, lycra-blends, and long sweaters, to no avail. Many, many women over 40 can be immediately recognized as being in jeans denial by sporting skinny jeans, ripped jeans, or having a massive ‘chef’s hat’ or ‘muffin top’ lapping over a low-rise waist band.

At some point, every woman who weighs more than 80 lbs must accept the Mom Jean. You will know a pair of pants are Mom Jeans if the following are true;

  1. The legs are too wide to be fashionably skinny, but too narrow to be fashionably boot-legged
  2. Your friends look at them, then look away in embarrassment, and can’t even mock you
  3. They are either a little bit longer or shorter than a normal pair of jeans
  4. The dye color is even and consistent, and is either too light or too dark to be trendy
  5. Your butt looks like a cement mixer was overloaded with oatmeal
  6. The waist falls somewhere above the belly button and just below the bra line
  7. You can fit a sippy cup in the front pocket
  8. The zipper is a solid 8 inches
  9. None of your trendy tees look right with them, and you are forced to wear either a ¾ sleeve cotton blouse in a pastel color, a sweatshirt with a rustic snowman, or something that has been bedazzled. Or has a picture of a kitty on it.
  10. People start calling you ma'am a lot more

I just bought my second pair. I both hate myself, and rejoice in the unrestricted comfort and lack of back fat that shows when I lean over.

Next stop – elastic-waist rayon. Grandma Pants.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ta's Kind of Town

Sooo.... yeah. Vegas. City of lights, and machines that go *ping!*, and great shows and meals and shopping and whatnot. Also, city of smoke and dark and dryness, and expense and greed and timelessness. I understand the attraction, don't get me wrong. When we first stood in line to check in to our room, in the expansive lobby with the lion and the blinky things in the casino nearby and the crush of people, it was very exciting. It was someplace new, filled with possibility and adventure.

And it's not that I hate to gamble. I love to feed money into the slot machines, and pull the handle, and feel that thrill of winning. It's just that I hate the feeling afterwards, angry at myself for throwing money away on something so dumb. People who enjoy gambling say that you have to look at it the same way as spending money on a good meal or show - you're paying for the entertainment value, and as such you're not going to have anything to show for it, and you have to just accept that. I can't. I'm the kind of person who gets more happiness out of a good show or meal than kissy fish when you get a bonus at the Goldfish slots. The Ta, on the other hand, LOVED Vegas. Like, has already booked her next trip in February. She loved the gambling, and didn't feel the crushing disappointment and fury when she lost like I did. She loved the convenience of a Starbucks in the hotel, and the strip; these things were much better amenities than a pool or beachfront room for her, and she had a hard time understanding how I would prefer boring ol' swimming.
Maybe it has something to do with the different ways people unwind. On my weekends I'm a doer. I like to shop, and take Jelly places, and meet friends, and eat out. When I'm on vacation I like to divide my time between doing, and relaxing, and the beach is ideal for me for that. Some people like to just relax. Some people like to just do. All I know is, I would never choose Vegas as a vacation destination for me. And I was grateful every single second that I was there that I had decided not to take Jelly along.
It wasn't all the advertisements for Girls, Girls, Girls, or the sad bleary empty-eyed zombies still sitting at the tables at 4:30 am. It was partially the cloud of cigarette smoke that imbued everything, from the bathroom towels to the hallway carpets to my hair. It was partially the tourists, shoving past baby strollers like they were pieces of obtrusive furniture. But it was mostly the fact that, no matter what they are advertising, it is NOT a family-friendly place to visit. M&M World? There were identical items for sale at the Raleigh airport, and for better prices. None of the restaurants I saw were toddler-friendly. There sure as heck wasn't anything for short people to do in the casinos, unless you were staying somewhere like Circus Circus, and even then everything looked like it came with a price tag. And smoke. And scary clowns.

Since we unexpectedly stayed on East coast time, we were up before sunrise and in bed by 8pm most nights. This meant I missed out on some fun stuff. I also got a migraine one night, which I really tried not to let color my experience. Barfing all over the hotel bathroom wall was not cool. It meant I definitely wasn't going to risk any more drinking though, which probably impacted my fun factor. We did get to take in a Cirque de Soleil show, 'Ka', courtesy of Jonesy, which was awesome. We were so close we could feel the heat of the fireballs. There were a ton of things on our wish list that didn't get done simply because work or our bank balances got in the way, and to be fair, it was a work trip first and foremost. I'm not exactly dreading going back again next year, since there were definitely some high points. But I'm super-glad The Ta went with me for this first visit, as it would have been pretty lonely otherwise.

Also, I got a tattoo.
Can you believe it?! A freakin' TATTOO!!!
I love it.
I've been thinking about getting one for YEARS, and I figured Vegas was the perfect place to do so. I got it done on the fattest place on my body, the knickknack ledge between my waist and butt (NOT a tramp stamp, it would be fully covered by a bathing suit). Maybe that's why it TOTALLY DIDN'T HURT. No, seriously, at one point I felt very soothed by the whole thing - laying down on the table, the hum of the needle, the artist's delicate touch. I would honestly compare it to waxing - you know, that ouchy-but-short-lived pain. I was thrilled by the whole thing. Not in a 'going to get kitty whiskers tattooed on my face' way, but yeah, it was way more awesome than I expected. 'Club Tattoo', in the Planet Hollywood shops, tell Krystof I sent you.

And now my parents are here for a visit, which is SUPER awesome, because it meant that after a week away from home, Jelly gets to stay home for a full week! And then NEXT week - Thanksgiving vacation! Myrtle Beach!

Ok, right, back to this work thing...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Happens in Vegas Will Definitely Be Shared on This Blog

Hello, bloggy friends, acquaintances, family, and stalkers. Can you believe it’s November? The weather here sure is winter-in-the-South; grey and rainy, and I almost considered wearing a jacket this morning. Of course, in sunny VEGAS! this weekend, it’s going to be 83 degrees. Oh, did I mention VEGAS!? Yes, for once I scored a work trip that is not to Detroit in January, or Orlando in August. And TheTa is going with me. AND we’re staying at the MGM Grand. AND Jonesy may have scored us a real money deal. But I’ll keep that a surprise for now. Also, Cousin J gave me some sort of magical cup that I can pay like five cents to fill with some sort of alcoholic slushy. So I’m pretty stoked about that.

It’s been a zillion years since I’ve had time to sit down and write. Apparently, not posting to your blog means that people don’t comment, no matter how many times you check your blog. And I’m very comment-hungry today. I have had a whole slew of topic ideas come and go in the past few weeks, sadly because work prepping for the upcoming VEGAS! conference has been soul-consuming. Also, Jellybean was SO. MAD. that I had left her for the Boston trip, she spent a full week making me regret every second I was gone. And now I have to leave her again. That poor little Bean. A full week of MsD hugging on her and cooking for her and taking her fun places, and sleepovers with MsD’s girls and playing dress up, and getting read to a gazillion times a day. Yes, it’s a hard life for her. I think the hardest part is that she’s away from her house. That kid is a homebody like her mama, she cracks me up. I just keep telling her that I’ll bring her presents. Hopefully she likes empty Tylenol bottles.

So here are the blog posts I didn’t get to write, and you’ll never get to read. Sorry. Blame my boss, The Nice Lady Who Signs My Paychecks.

Gluteal Amnesia – Why My Butt Forgets to Not Get Bigger

(seriously, this is a real thing, and probably the reason for my chronic back pain)

Toddlers – The Worst Invention, Ever

(omg – where did that whiny noise come from, and why won’t it stop? We spent 4 awful nights fighting about the fact she refused to pull the damn plug in the damn bathtub drain, it was just STUPID)

Trip to the Farm/Fair/Boston/Trunk or Treat

(Farm with my CSM group was great, JR is definitely a hardcore hayride fan; the fair was ok, she probably liked the petting zoo the best and gave me crap because I didn’t let her ride on the rides enough times; Boston was a whirlwind, the ‘Taste of Boston’ tour freaking ROCKED; Halloween was out of control, we did too many events this year and suffered some burnout, but she was cute EVERY SINGLE TIME)

The Scientist – Yeah, I Bailed on that Shit

(Every email he sent annoyed me further. You probably shouldn’t tell an agnostic ‘I’ll pray for you’. And the pics of his Etsy stuff – ugh. Yes, I’m a mean person. Yes, I am aware this is why I am single. Yes, I chickened out on bailing outright and said something along the lines of ‘it’s a busy time for me, blah blah blah, maybe in the Spring’)

I’ve managed to squeeze in one more activity between VEGAS! and the Thanksgiving Myrtle Beach Extravaganza. My much-adored friend S and I are taking the wee wench and young knights to the Renaissance Faire. And spending the night. So we can go to IKEA the next day! You may remember how much I enjoyed my Ikea trip last spring in Cincinnati. Cousin J was embarrassed to be with me. I might have wept a little with happiness. Swedish Meatballs and well-designed children’s storage bins make me weak, who knew?

So yes, as you can imagine we are still as busy as ever. I have a few pics for your enjoyment. Hopefully I will have some embarrassing and blurry ones for you the next time I post. First VEGAS! trip, omg, I cannot wait.

No, it's not all smiles and puppies with a 2-year old. Sometimes it's kicking and shrieking and public humiliation.
Happy Halloween! Yes, I am forcibly restraining her in this pic, good catch.
She does love to accessorize, a word which my spell check refuses to acknowledge.
That's my girl.