Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Samson Syndrome

When Mandy was young, she slept with her long blonde hair up in a bun so it didn’t get in her face. (She still does this actually, and so do I). In the morning after breakfast, I would bring her over to the closet with the mirrored doors, and we would sit on the floor together while I brushed her hair. She would admire herself in the mirror for as long as the project might take, and we would chat.

Why didn’t my mother ever do this for me???

When I was growing up, my mother had long brown hair that reached all the way down her back. It was long and straight and shiny. So was mine. Except mine wasn’t so straight or shiny, because it was usually all knotted up.

(This photo is from the 3rd grade. I think my mother brushed my hair for this, because it looks like my barrettes are evenly placed.)

Probably once a week my mother would sit me down and start tearing into what she affectionately called The Rat’s Nest. This was a ball of knotted hair at the back of my head. It didn’t take long to develop. Heck, one night of tossing and turning in my bed and my hair was wrecked. I never knew about sleeping with my hair in a bun.

She used to threaten that if I didn’t take care of my hair, she would cut it all off.

The problem was, I knew nothing about the finer points of hair care. Sure, I brushed it. But I only brushed what I saw. I didn’t see the back. Or the “underneath”. I slid the brush down the visible surface of my hair. In the front. That was it.

I would cry when my mother started tearing into my hair with a comb at the end of the week.

Sometimes I would try to conceal The Rat’s Nest. When I realized it was there, I would carefully brush and smooth the surface hair over it. She always seemed to notice, though. Perhaps because there was a huge smoothed-over lump on the back of my head. Kind of like an elephant hiding under a throw rug.

Sometimes my mother would bring me to my grandmother’s house on the weekends, and my Aunt E would brush The Rat's Nest out for me. She brushed carefully. It never hurt when she did it.

When I was in 4th grade, my mother decided she’d seen enough of The Rat’s Nest. She took me to the salon, and my hair was cut short. It wasn’t too bad, though. I didn’t mind it. And my mother went on and on about how easy it was to take care of.

“Just wash it and go,” she would say.

My hair was getting pretty long again by the end of 5th grade. I was a cute kid. I had a few admirers. I thought maybe I might be one of the prettiest girls in my class. Boys snuck notes into my desk. A boy named Jamie wrote “I (heart) Tammie” on the fogged window of the school bus. Then David, not to be outdone, wrote David + Tammie = (heart). I blushed and looked out the window.

Then sixth grade came. In our school district, all three elementary schools converge into one middle school, and 6th grade is the first year you go there. This was a huge big deal. We would meet a whole bunch of kids we didn’t know. There were new boys to have crushes on, and new girls to give dirty looks to.

We were to be thrown into the social gauntlet.

Mom took me to get my hair cut again at the beginning of the school year. “I don’t want it cut short,” I said.

“You need something easy to take care of,” she said. “Besides, I’m the one paying for this, not you.”

That’s when I got The Boy Haircut. This is how I started the 6th grade.

No need to worry about admirers any longer. Or popularity. Or anyone wanting to be my friend.

Bad enough the acne was starting.

Bad enough I wore the same hand-me-downs year after year until my ankles were peeking out of my jeans and my socks were showing and everyone asked "Where's the flood?"

Bad enough everyone was wearing white Nike high-top sneakers with the laces undone so you could make the proper scuffing sound as you strutted down the middle school hallways with that perfect scowl that says “I’m cool and you wish you were”, and I was rockin’ those grayish-blue no-name sneakers with suede insets straight off the Caldor’s clearance rack.

But The Boy Haircut too?

“This is perfect!” my mother beamed. “Just wash it and go!”
Great. My life is over.

We attended a boring family gathering soon after I got The Boy Haircut, and one of the older relatives I didn’t know thought I was my older brother. “I haven’t seen Keith in so long!” she said. I glared at my mother.

I never got my hair cut that short ever again. In fact, I started paying for my own haircuts with my babysitting money by the 7th grade. By then, my hair was growing out and I feathered it back or curled it into those banana curls that framed your face like Farrah Fawcett.

But it didn’t matter. First impressions are everything, and I started my first year of middle school looking like short-haired, zit-faced, ankle-showing dorky mess.

It would be a very long time before I had to worry about a boy noticing me again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Leaves and Twigs

This miserable thorn in my side called "Work" is keeping me from blogging today.

So instead of a fun little post about the history of me posing as a hoochie mama in photos...

Or a rant about my mother making me get my hair cut short when I was young...

Or the tale of meeting my husband on

(those are all upcoming, by the way)

I'm just going to post a few recent photos I've taken around the yard:

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm A Winner!

I entered a contest last week over at Steve Novak’s My Brain Hates Me, But I Hate It More (see my link to the left... not sure how to put links in my posts yet - sorry!). This is one of my favorite blogs, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t already found their way over there to go check it out. And read back, too. This guy is hilarious.

The rules of the contest were simple: Write the name NOVAK on a piece of paper and take a picture of it. No Photoshop. He asked that we grab his attention and cater to his sense of humor.

If you read my recent post about cleaning out the old house, you know that I have a bunch of old toys at my disposal.

I had soooo many ideas for this one!

I considered lining up a bunch of Barbie dolls to moon him, each one holding a letter of his name above their little pink plastic butts. Let’s see… Wonder Woman, Farrah Fawcett, The Bionic Woman, and all three Charlie’s Angels. That actually left me with an extra, since there are only 5 letters in NOVAK. Perhaps one of the Angels could be spanking Wonder Woman. She’s hot.

He did say to cater to his sense of humor. And so many of his laughing-so-hard-I-can't-catch-my-breath posts have some sort of “questionable” content. Sooo... perhaps a threesome with 6 Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman, one of them bent over his name. Big Foot can watch. Hee hee!

I also found these freaky Spawn creature action figures in a box up in our old attic. I think they look funny driving in the pink Barbie convertible. Maybe I could make a little NOVAK license plate? Hmm…

Or maybe I could make a police lineup, and each toy could hold a different letter of his name. I could use a Barbie, a Spawn, GI Joe, maybe a Ninja Turtle and He-Man. “By the power of Grayskull!”

No wait! I can set up an entire dirty scene from Caligula, with Ninja Turtles and Charlie’s Angels and… Wow, this is all so wrong.

I also considered going in a completely different direction. Since Steve has a twisted sense of humor, I considered making a little altar to NOVAK, like I’m obsessed with him in a deranged, stalker/slasher sort of way. There could be candles, pictures of Steve, and maybe a little voodoo doll with NOVAK written on a piece of paper and pinned to his belly with great big pins. I even found a freaky little doll that would work perfectly. Now we’re talking!

But then there was a recent post by Steve in which he expressed his fondness for the Muppets. Oh, there it was. I had to do it…

And guess what? I won! Yeah!

Here is the winning photo. It’s not family friendly, but then again neither is Steve’s blog.

Thanks Steve! This was fun!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Night in Venice, Part 2

If you missed yesterday’s post, it was Part 1 of my Venice story. In it, my husband flashes his package for a bunch of awe-stricken Venetians in the kitchen of the Hotel Cavelletto. You should check it out.


So it seems that my husband’s weak bladder has resulted in a stroke of good luck for us. As the last couple on line, instead of sharing our gondola with another couple, we have one all to ourselves.

We snuggle together under a plaid woolen blanket at the back of the craft, just beneath where Roberto, our gondolier, is perched. Sean uncorks the champagne and pours us each a glass. We toast to each other and drink heartily. This ride will only last 30 minutes. We need to drink up!

Besides, it is a little chilly, and the champagne will give us that nice warm feeling.

“Salute!” (sa-lootay) Roberto calls out. Cheers!

We offer some champagne to Roberto, but he confesses that he has already imbibed plenty of vino prior to arriving at work this evening. He removes a bottle of red from his coat and takes a hearty swig. This should be fun!

“You are honeymooners? Congratulazioni!” He tells us.

As the caravan of gondolas exits the station, Roberto is already causing a commotion.

“Antoniooooooooo!” he calls up to another gondolier in a very Tarzan-ian manner. “Antoniooooo! Te amooooooo!!!”

Yes, he is amusing himself by telling Antonio that he loves him. I can’t be sure, but Antonio seems to be replying to shut the hell up.

It is a beautiful night. As Roberto maneuvers through the narrow canals, he is teaching us some basic Italian.

“Say ‘te amo’ (I love you) to your bella,” he tells Sean.

“Tay yah-moah.”

“No! ‘TE AMO!’ Say it like you are Italiano!”

We both have to practice this a bit, but finally we earn a smile and a “Bravo!” from the young, drunken Roberto. He pats Sean on the back heartily.

Young Venetian woman are smiling from the windows above the canal.

Buona sera” (good evening) he calls up to them. “Come ti chiami?” (what is your name?) The girls are giggling. Turns out Roberto is quite a flirt. He is writing down their phone numbers as he steers us around the corner and out of sight of the pretty girls.

Farther down, there are more cute girls standing on a bridge. Roberto is making plans to meet them for drinks after our ride. “A che ora?” (what time?) they call. This guy is good.

We are several glasses in. Is this the best champagne ever?

We are absolutely drunk by the time we enter the Great Canal. Roberto is pointing out places of interest. We are not entirely comprehending what he is saying. It’s all just too awesome.

These photos are a very good representation of what it all looked like through our fuzzy eyes.

We are all singing now, all three of us. Roberto has taught us a song that remains in our hearts to this day.

Ciao Venezia, Ciao Venezia, Ciao Venezia, Ciao Ciao Ciao!!
Ciao Venezia, Ciao Venezia, Ciao Venezia, Ciao!

Ciao can mean hello or goodbye, kind of like aloha. So I’m not sure if we are saying hello or goodbye to Venice. All I know is that this all seems like a dream.

So every few minutes, instead of pinching myself, I turn to Sean and shout “We’re in effin’ Venice Fother Mucker!” And then we are singing again.

We return to the gondola station, bid farewell to our Roberto, and sneak him a nice tip so that he doesn’t have to pool it with the other gondoliers.

Grazie! Buon viaggio!” (Thank you! Have a nice trip!)

And now, onto our next mission. Our plan is so simple, yet we feel it is the absolute pinnacle of brilliance. Yes, we have downed a bottle of champagne. So naturally, here’s what we need to do: We need to find ourselves some more alcohol.

We find a small cafĂ© in St. Mark’s Square. Funny, St. Mark's Square looked a little fuzzy too.

After perusing the menu for a while, we decide on red wine.

When they serve us the wine, they bring us a tasty little cracker assortment for free. We feel this is most certainly due to the fact that we are exuding coolness and an understated yet clearly evident importance. Perhaps we are some sort of royalty. We are sure that they do not do this for just anyone. We are probably experiencing illusions of grandeur at this point. No matter.

I am taking goofy pictures, as always. Sean says he’ll be right back.

“I have to find the Cucina.”

“Don’t you mean la toilette?"

“No, kitchen first. It’s more fun that way.”

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Night in Venice, Part 1

I am waiting in line behind a gaggle of happy couples. Happy couples holding hands, kissing, waiting in unmasked anticipation to embark on an adventure that will surely become a treasured memory. One that will be filed under the category of Most Romantic Night Ever.

I am waiting in line with all of the happy couples, and I am alone.


My husband and I are in Venice. What a place to begin our honeymoon! Venice is just oozing with romance. It pulsates romance from every street lamp, from every narrow passageway and footbridge, from the glistening moonlit canals to the sparkling puddles in St. Mark’s Square. We are giddy with excitement as we make our way from the water taxi, through the square, and over to the gondola station.

We are about halfway to the front of the line, where couples are being assisted into the gondolas two by two. They are being covered with thick blankets, as it’s a bit chilly this evening, and they are offered a bottle of champagne to share.

We are holding hands as we inch our way closer to Honeymoon Adventure #2. Adventure #1 has already taken place back in the cabin on the cruise ship ;).

Because my husband has the bladder of a small child, he needs to find the facilities. As soon as we’re done? No, pretty much now. Immediately. Even though we are on line waiting for our gondola ride? Yeah, sorry.

The translator suggests he try one of the restaurants or hotels nearby. Sean dashes off down a passageway and across a bridge.

The line seems to be moving pretty quickly. I am almost to the front of the line, so I let a few couples go ahead of me. And then a few more.

Eventually, I just step out of the line and wait.


Sean is running along the canal, looking for a place to relieve himself. There are shops here and there, but none offering a restroom. Many are already closed for the evening.

Finally, he finds the entryway to the Hotel Cavalletto. He dashes inside.

“Bathroom? Restroom? Water Closet? Loo?”

He is directed to the back of the building with a dismissive gesture and rolling eyes.

When he sees the sign on the door, he is so relieved! Well, almost relieved. He is already unbuttoning his pants. They have fallen to his thighs by the time he bursts through the door.

There are many astonished eyes looking at him in awe. Venetian eyes. Eyes that are not accustomed to seeing such a sight so abruptly thrust upon them.

The room falls silent.

Faces turn red.

Time stands still.

Sean is generally commando. And apparently, Cucina does not mean bathroom.


The line is getting shorter and shorter. Only 6 couples left. Where is my husband?

Finally I see him, dashing back across the bridge and down the passageway towards me. As we rejoin the line, I realize that there is an even number of couples ahead of us. As they file into the gondolas, two by two, it looks as if we’ll get a gondola all to ourselves!

And do you know what that means? Well, besides the obvious increase in our gondola ride romance factor.

That means we have a bottle of champagne all to ourselves.

Tomorrow… part two.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Baked Ziti Night

One of my favorite things when I was young was Baked Ziti Night at my grandparent's house. All of my aunts and uncles would be there, and the few cousins from that side of the family.

My grandmother would make this huge pan of baked ziti.

When it was done we would all be gathered around my grandmother, waiting with our pristine white pasta dishes for that luscious scoop of pasta and cheese and sauce. Gram would give us each a big cheesy spoonful and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

I’d always looked forward to those gatherings... the congregation of our extended family, reconnecting with each other, sharing stories and laughter and baked ziti. And on those nights when absolutely everyone showed up, and I had to sit at the "kids table," I didn't even mind. It was that good.

Those family get-togethers didn't happen as much in my teenage years. Even less after I went off to college.

Eventually my grandmother started to loose her grip on things mentally, and making those big dinners became too much for her. A few of us would gather for Pizza Night on Wednesdays, but it wasn’t the same as having the whole gang together.

After my grandmother passed away, we made it Chinese Food Night because my grandfather was tired of pizza. Sometimes I would cook something up for us homemade, especially when it was just my grandfather, my daughter and me, but of course it could never rival the baked ziti with the sauce of tomatoes from Gram’s garden.

After my grandfather passed away, my aunts and uncles had to clean out the old house on 4th Street. There was a huge dumpster out in the front yard, and my aunt E was pitching everything in there she could get her hands on.

I don't think anything really has any sentimental value to her. She likes nice new things. Old things are garbage.

So there I was, salvaging some of the things that reminded me of my grandparents. There was the Bunny Cup, a little purple plastic cup with a bunny on it. As kids, after riding our bikes up and down the dead-end street, or playing catch in the back yard, we would race to the cabinet to get the Bunny Cup. It was an honor of distinction to be the one sipping your cream soda from it.

There were a few boxes of papers that I decided to keep too. Since my grandfather was blind, these boxes made no sense. There would be store receipts from 1986 mixed in with oil bills from 1972, mixed in with newspapers clippings of Elvis and the moon landing, mixed in with recipes my grandmother used. One box even contained my grandfather's army yearbook and old newspapers from when he was stationed in North Africa in 1945. My aunt would have surely thrown these away. I took them home and sorted through everything.

You know what else I saved from the dumpster? The baked ziti dishes. There were only 3 left, with a few chips along the rims, and a few cracks in the glaze. And since three doesn't make a complete set, oh yeah, my aunt was throwing them out. But I saved them, along with all those fond memories of when we were all together.

And besides, there's one dish for each of us: my husband and my daughter and me. So really, three does make a complete set.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Moblem Of Prime

Sometimes I have a bit of a speaking dyslexia. I think it happens when my brain is working faster than my mouth can keep up with. What I end up doing is exchanging the first letters of two words.

Some recent examples:

“Know what I had for lunch today? A Chilly Freesesteak!”

“My daughter’s room is pretty big, about 600 fare squeet.”

“Leave me alone for a while. I need to nake a tap.”

These are all total accidents. I couldn’t do it on purpose if I tried. Well, I mean I guess I could, but I’d have to sit there and really think about which letters to switch.

What’s scary is that it might be contagious. Oh yeah, I’m not sure how, but I think my husband is catching it. The other day he asked me if I’ve heard from Duncle Ave.

“Uncle Dave???”

Unfortunately for Duncle Ave, the new name has stuck.

Of course, Sean will still make fun if he catches me in one. The other night I asked him if he wanted to take a hide out to Rome… I mean, a ride out to Home Depot.

“You switchin’ shit up again?”

“Shut uuuuuup!” I whined.

And then more quietly, under my breath: “Fother Mucker.”

Monday, February 19, 2007

Toys in the Attic

I get the call on Saturday at noon. I have lots of plans for the weekend, as I usually do, but I have to drop everything. This is an emergency.

“I’m cleaning out the attic today over at the old house,” my mother announces. “If you want any of this stuff you’d better come down here.”

The “old house” is the house I grew up in. I moved out years ago, and my mother had moved out several years before that. The house has been vacant for a while. But recently, my mother decided to fix the place up so she can rent it out. Step one, of course, is to get it cleaned out.

“I don’t think you’d want any of that old crap anyway, but I just thought I’d check.”

As a matter of fact, I do want that old crap. It’s MY old crap. My Childhood Old Crap. I’m talking about the Hollie Hobby Oven here. I’m talking Atari with all the old games. I know when she says “old crap” she is not EVEN referring to Space Invaders. That game is awesome.

And what about my Baby Chrissy doll? Or the Farrah Fawcett Barbie with the white halter pantsuit? And Wonder Woman! Dear God, this stuff is priceless!

I am in my car in 5 minutes flat. I don’t even shower.

This is an emergency!!!

The old house is about an hour away. Traffic laws are meaningless in a situation such as this.

As I pull in the driveway, I know that my concerns are not ill-founded. My mother has been here since 7am this morning, and there is already a huge pile of stuff out at the curb.

And what do I see at the top of the pile, the Garbage Pile, still in the original box that Santa gave to me back in 1976? As I get out of the car, I am shaking my head in disbelief.

“For crying out loud, Mom, my Lite Brite? How could you?!”

“What would you want that old thing for?”

The woman just doesn’t understand.

Not that she doesn’t understand about being a packrat, mind you. Oh no, she knows plenty about that. She is, of course, saving those boxes full of files from the company she used to work at five years ago. Because, well, you never know. And she’s trying to salvage that old desk that is literally falling into unrecognizable pieces as she drags it outside into the front yard.

And yet, she sees no value in my Dino Bank???

“I’m on my way home to get some lunch,” Mom says. “I’ll be back in about an hour.”

So I have an hour. One hour to go through the refuse pile she has amassed by the mailbox. I dig right in.

An hour later, my car is loaded to the top. The Six Million Dollar Man has been reunited at long last with the Bionic Woman. Charlie’s Angels have been spared the cruel fate of the dump. Ditto for their van.

What am I going to do with all my old crap? Well, I’m not quite sure. I suppose anything I’m not necessarily emotionally attached to will probably find its way to ebay.

I wonder if there’s anything I’m not emotionally attached to? I’m a very emotional person.

Later on at home, I am trying to explain to Mandy just how awesome my favorite toy is. I don’t know why she’s not getting it. I’ve even turned out the lights so we can get the full effect. Maybe if I sing the jingle…

"Lite-Brite, makin' things with light!
Outtasite, makin' things with Lite-Brite!"

“Can I go back to playing World of Warcraft now?”

“No, c’mon! This is great! I still have all the pegs! Let’s write your name in different colors, and then you can put it in your room if you want.”

So now Lite Brite is on top of the entertainment unit in Mandy’s room, in between the lava lamps. It’s a fitting place for it. And although it used to say Mandy, a few days ago it was illuminating a colorful flower, and now there’s a picture of a bunny.

Lite Brite lives on!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Still Snowbound...

No time to write today, so I'm posting more snow pics...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Winning Numbers

When my grandfather was alive, I would visit him every Sunday and Wednesday.

Mandy was just a little thing, but she enjoyed our visits too. Pop was fun. He played songs for her on his keyboard, and he let her play it too. And he was very animated as he told her funny stories.

He always put Jeopardy on at seven o’clock. He loved to hear me answering the questions, especially the “final Jeopardy.”

“You should go on that show,” he would say. “You could make a lot of money.”

Pop knew I had no money. I was a single mother from the day my daughter was born. I didn’t have a dime to my name before she was born, since I was working three jobs to pay my way through college. After she was born I had even less. He was always trying to give me money.

“Here, take this twenty.”

“No, Pop. You don’t have to do that.”

“Take it for you and the baby. Just take it. I’m sure there’s something you need.”

I would make him lunch and dinner while we were there, too. He loved when I cooked for him.

“Why does toasted cheese always taste better when you make it?” he would ask.

“Because it’s nice to be taken care of sometimes,” I would tell him.

Pop was blind for the last 15 years of his life. He still took care of himself just fine, though, and people who met him didn’t even realize that he couldn’t see. And he would always figure out ways to do tasks that seemed beyond the capability of a blind 75 year old man, like taking out his air conditioner or grouting a loose tile in the bathroom.

But there were some things he just couldn’t do alone, like going to the store. And since he couldn’t go to the store, he couldn’t “play the numbers.” So every Sunday and Wednesday he would give me some money (yes he was blind, but he always knew which bill in his pocket was the $5 and which was the $20) and I would play the “Pick 3” for him. I always left his house with little scraps of paper in my pocket with his numbers written down: 616, 327, 684…

He won fairly often, too.

Sometimes the numbers were birthdays or other important dates. Sometimes he was trying to use a system, and he would pick his numbers based on the number from the day before.

“Put in 817 for me. See yesterday was 726, so I’m gonna go one up on the 7, one down on the 2, and one up on the 6. We should do alright, as long as it’s not Yolanda Vega.”

Yolanda Vega was one of the women who announced the numbers on TV. Pop never liked her. “She picks terrible numbers,” he would say.

Well one day Pop called me, all excited. “Did you hit too?” he asked.


“The numbers. I was wondering if you hit too, since we played your birthday, 427.”

“Oh, are you kiddin’? I didn’t play it.”

“You didn’t play it?”

“Nah, I don’t usually play. I usually just put yours in.”

Truth was, I had forgotten to put his numbers in. We had stayed with Pop later than usual the night before. Mandy was getting cranky, and I had just gone straight home and put her to bed.

“Which store did you get them from?”

“Baisley’s.” I lied. I lied to my grandfather. But how could I tell him that I didn’t put the numbers in? What else did my grandfather have to look forward to, besides my visits and playing the numbers?

“You’ll have to go back and see how much we won.”

So I drove to the bank to see how much money I had. $367.42. I wasn’t sure which bills had gone through and which were still pending, but it didn’t matter. I took out $350 and went to see my grandfather.

“Here it is, Pop. You hit for $350.”

“Yeah? $350?”

I called out each denomination as I handed him the bills, so he knew what they were. “Here’s a fifty, and another fifty, and a twenty…” He was grinning from ear to ear.

“So you didn’t play your birthday, huh?”

“Nope. Too bad… we could’ve both hit. That would have been fun.”

After I handed him all the money, he gave me a hundred back.

“Keep this for you and Amanda,” he said.

“No, Pop. You don’t have to do that. These are your winnings.”

“Well it was your birthday that hit. Here, take it. I’m sure there’s something you need. Go buy something for you and my great-granddaughter.”

“How about if I take the three of us out to lunch?”

I can’t remember if I bounced any checks that month. I probably did, but I really don’t remember. The only thing I do remember, now that 10 years have passed and my grandfather is gone, is that I made him happy that day. And that’s all that matters.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Close Encounters

I’m pretty much assuming I have 9 lives, like a cat.

I think I used one of them up on the way home from Maine many summers ago…

Mandy is about seven years old, and I have just started letting her sit in the front seat of the car. I’m still a little nervous about the airbag being too powerful for her little frame. But we are sightseeing through the north woods of Maine. From the little cabins out on Moosehead Lake, out to Lubec where we pitched a tent on the rocky shoreline, down to Bar Harbor where we fell asleep to the sound of the waves and coyotes calling from the mountaintops. We are planning to end the trip in Boston visiting my friend Tracy.

Well Tracy is expecting us on Friday night, and we have stopped off in Freeport on Friday to watch the sun set. We still have quite a ways to go. So after snapping some pictures and getting some lobster rolls, we are on our way.

My eyes start rolling up into my head, so I enlist Mandy’s help in keeping me awake. We have taken many road trips together, and she understands my need to keep talking so I can keep driving. We make up a few dozen new verses to the Diarrhea Song. We quote lines from Disney movies and make the other person guess which movie it was. Bonus points for knowing the character who said it.

She makes me explain to her, for the umpteenth time, why she is not allowed to watch rated R movies. Mandy’s friend at school is allowed to watch them. She really wants to see The Sixth Sense, because he keeps telling her about it. I explain that it is too scary for her. “But why?” So I tell her what the movie is about, and describe the entire story from start to finish, which keeps me awake for the next half hour.

Finally, Mandy is falling asleep. I can’t stay awake either, so I pull off the highway and into the well-lit parking lot of a church. I figure no one will disturb me here, and I close my eyes.

After grabbing a little cat-nap, I am back on the road.

As I’m driving, I am passed several times by packs of cars that speed by me doing about 90mph or so. Although I am driving with my brights on for most of the trip, I switch to the low-beams as these groups of cars fly by me. They are out of sight pretty quickly, since I’m only going about 65.

Then, up ahead, I see a sign that says BOSTON 90 MILES.

I speed up to about 70. Maybe even 75. I’m thinking I can get to Boston by about 1:30am.

From the point of view of the large bull moose, a pack of lights had gone zipping by, and then there was quiet and darkness. He steps up onto the roadway and begins to cross the Maine Turnpike, just north of the tolls near Wells.

Luckily I am feeling very refreshed from the nap, because the next thing I see illuminated by my low-beams is knees.

And by the time my low beams are striking moose knees at 75mph, I am nearly on top of this massive animal.

And my daughter is in the front seat for the first time.

I jerk the wheel hard to the left. Really hard. I don’t even think about it, I just react. Somehow, I don’t hit the moose. I have no idea how I could have missed him, unless he jumped straight up into the air. Or maybe it was my cat-like reflexes.

But such a maneuver at this speed sends my little Cavalier careening sideways toward the center guardrail. I try to turn into the skid, but I quickly find myself fish-tailing the other way. The only thing I can think is Don’t hit anything. The airbag could kill her.

I break all of my nails as I rip the steering wheel back and forth. Camping equipment and Nilla wafers and seashells are being tossed all over the car. We fishtail nine times before coming to a stop on the side of the highway.

Mandy is awake now, of course. “What happened Mommy?” She sounds calm.

I am hyperventilating. I can hardly get the word out.

“Ma… ma… ma… ma… MOOSE!”

“It’s okay Mom. We’re okay now.”

We drive very slowly to Boston. I don’t think we exceed 50. Cars are flying by, wailing their horns at me, but this is all I can handle.

She is talking to me some more. She knows I need her. We are both wide awake.

“Tracy is going to be really freaked out when I tell her what happened,” I say.

“You know what would freak her out more?”


“If we are already dead. Like in The Sixth Sense. And we don’t even know it, so we just go to her house like everything is normal. But when she comes to the door, we are ghosts standing there, all bloody and stuff. Maybe we have big pieces of glass sticking out of us and stuff.”

She’s right. That would definitely freak her out. It’s freaking me out.

But luckily, Mandy seems to have 9 lives, just like me.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Valentine Tribulations of the Third Grade

They are all
staying away
from Joey’s chair.

In art class we all made pouches from paper plates, and we decorated them with construction paper hearts, little white paper doilies, and lots of paste. We hung the pouches from our chairs with red ribbon, awaiting all the little mini cards and lollipops and conversation hearts that would come from our classmates on Valentine’s Day.

The third graders are running around the room, depositing their Valentines in the little pouches and goofing around.

Joey has already finished handing his out. He’s back at his desk, sitting in his seat, waiting. A pouch hangs from the back of his chair too. But his pouch is empty.

The rule, of course, is that if we choose to bring in Valentines, we must bring one in for each child in the class.

Joey is sitting there, looking hopefully around the room, hoping that someone, anyone, will drop a Valentine in his pouch.

But they are all staying away from Joey’s chair.

They are all kind of watching, too, out of the corners of their eyes, to see if anyone will give Joey a Valentine.

I’m sure a few of the kids have brought in cards for him. I’m sure that a few of them, especially those girls who always do exactly as the teacher requests (I am one of those girls), I’m sure at least they have a little mini envelope with JOEY written on it.

Maybe they're not giving him the best card in the set. Probably not the one that says Be My Valentine, or the one that says You’re the Coolest Valentine! Certainly not the one that says I’m Sweet On You. But maybe the one that says Have A Great Day or something like that.

But it seems like now, with all the cruel, condemning third-grade eyes on them, all those obedient girls - they have all chickened out.

And forget about the boys. They’re not giving him cards either.

I’ve handed out most of mine. Only a few left in my hands as I walk slowly by the last few seats.


I’m almost to Joey’s desk.

I never tease Joey. My big brother is fat. I’m constantly sticking up for him out on the playground. He gets into a lot of fights in elementary school because the kids tease him all the time.

So I’m not a teaser. I love my brother. And I feel bad for Joey.

But kids never want to be on the receiving end of taunting. That’s why they’re so mean to each other, I think. Because if they were to stick their necks out and defend someone, then they might end up being teased themselves. Even if they sit there quietly, minding their own business, they might end up being teased.

So they usually strike first. Let everyone know that they’re on the “cool” kid side, not the “loser” kid side.

I don’t join in on teasing. I’m a quiet kid. I mostly just mind my own business.

Of course, it helps that I’m not a fat kid, or an ugly kid, or a kid that has trouble with schoolwork, a kid with a big birth mark on her face, or a kid with dirty clothes. I don’t have any obvious abnormality that will set me apart from the persecuting masses. So I mostly fade into the background. I’m shy, so I like it there.

So here’s the thing: do I call attention to myself today, by placing a card in Joey’s Valentine pouch?

Just think of what they will say. “Ewwww! Tammie likes Joey!”

Tammie and Joey sittin’ in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
First comes love! Then comes marriage! Then comes a baby in a baby carriage!

I take the card that says JOEY and go back to my desk.

Some kids are starting to empty their booty onto their desks and eat the candy. Joey has nothing. He is sitting there expressionless.

I think of my brother, over in his 5th grade classroom. I wonder if he’s gotten any Valentines today. He probably has. Even though he’s fat, he’s outgoing and he does have friends.

But Joey looks so vulnerable sitting there, with no friends to defend him.

I’m back on my feet.

No, I’m not planning to make some big show of it. I’m not going to march over there with righteous strides and condemn the rest of the class for ignoring our classmate.

I’m trying to figure out how to do this as quietly as possible.

I’ve got a handful of candy from my pouch and Joey’s card. I’m not sure what my plan is exactly.

But then I see Steve (the loud, red-haired class clown) steal someone’s lollipop and start running. All the girls are chasing him. The boys are in on it, and a big monkey-in-the-middle thing has started.

I seize the opportunity and drop my card in Joey’s pouch, along with a handful of candy, while everyone is distracted. I don’t say anything to him. I just drop and run.

I’m back at my desk before anyone notices.

I nonchalantly watch the classroom shenanigans for a moment or two, and then I look back over toward Joey.

He has candy on his desk, and he is smiling at me.

I smile back.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Accidental Junk

Okay, how shall I explain this… When you want to see it, it looks amazing! Like Excaliber! Full of power and strength, not to mention the glistening promise of coital bliss to come.

But when you don’t want to see it, or it catches you unawares, dear God! It looks like a big ol’ mess. A big ol’ scary, ugly mess. Sometimes it even looks quite frightening, especially if the area in question is not well-groomed.

Let me give you an example.

I’m in college. My housemate Tracy and I are on our way back from the park, where we’ve spent the afternoon playing Frisbee. Naturally, the Frisbee is just the bait. What we really want is for the cute boys to come over and ask if they can join in.

And if they don’t make the first move, well, they might find a Frisbee on their laps, or in the middle of their baseball game, or in the spokes of their mountain bikes (hopefully causing only minimal injuries). All completely unintentional, of course. Yes, the Frisbee is our ticket to Cute Boy Conversation, and we’ve mastered its potent use.

There’s no shame in our game.

Not that the boys don’t have their own little games. Of course they do. That’s why they all go out and get puppies and tie little red bandanas around their necks and parade them through the park. Oh believe me, this works like a charm. Gets me every time.

So our shameless flirting session is over. Phone numbers have been exchanged. We throw one last giggle and toss our hair, and we’re on our way back from the park.
Two blocks away from our apartment, there’s a man (we’ll call him Dick) sitting on the stoop in front of his house. For those of you not from New York, stoop is a regional term meaning “a small porch, platform, or staircase leading to the entrance of a house or building” (thanks Not to be confused with schtup.

So basically, Dick is sitting on his front steps in his yellow 70’s shorts with white piping and a stained Home Depot t-shirt.

But this was really more of a stoop. There are nuances.

Anyway, Dick is holding up a baby boy who’s about 9 months old (we’ll call him Baby). Baby is unsteadily standing there in his little diapey and t-shirt (it was a hot day), facing the sidewalk. Dick is holding onto Baby’s torso as Baby bounces around and flaps his arms, squealing at the passing cars.

Baby is adorable, so Tracy and I stop to say hello.

Both Baby and Dick are quite receptive to our little visit. They both have big smiles on their faces. Baby is flapping his arms quite wildly now as we coo at him and tickle his little belly.

“Hi Baby! Hi Baby! Aren’t you a little cutie pie? Yes you are! Yes you are!”

Suddenly and without notice, I straighten up and begin marching hastily toward the apartment. I’ve got to get as much distance between me and The Situation as I possibly can before any sound escapes my lips. If anything audible were to let loose, it might sound like a cross between a wounded buffalo and a yelping dog.

I’ve got to be quick. I can’t hold it back much longer.

I’ve left Tracy behind, abandoned and completely ignorant of what lies just behind Baby, not 3 inches from Tracy’s cooing, open mouth.

It’s… it’s…

It’s Dick.

Unauthorized Dick.

Not quite sure if it’s actual frank or just beans. But there’s a big ol’ mess hanging out the side of Dick’s little yellow short-shorts.

“Hi Baby! Hi Good Boy! Who’s a good little boy today? Who’s a…”

The cooing stops abruptly. I hear the footsteps gaining on me.

And now that Tracy has caught up to me, we are running. Running and screaming like two scaredy-cat girls being pursued across the playground by a dreadful boy holding a big, ugly worm.

Actually, it’s almost exactly like that.

We do not stop running until we are safe inside our apartment, doors locked.

“Ewwwwww! Ewy-ewy-ewy-ewy!”

But now I wonder, was this just an honest slip?

Or did Dick know he was hanging out of his shorts? Imagine that. I bet he was using Baby to lure the girls in to see his naughty bits and pieces. A shock and awe campaign like no other.

Pretty ballsy, too.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

We Should Have Been Friends

When I was 5 years old, I found a friend to play with while my father was playing a softball game. We were the same age, and we were both wearing dresses and barrettes in our hair.

We were happy to have found each other, because a softball game lasts a really long time. We played on the swings, in the sandbox, and on the seesaw, giggling all day.

Later, when the players were taking a break, I went to see my dad, and she went to see her dad, who was on the opposing team.

Dad and I shared a turkey wedge with lettuce, tomato and mayo, my favorite. He had an RC Cola, and I had a Yoo-hoo. And of course, I had Twinkies for dessert. Always Twinkies.

Someone on our team came over and said teasingly, “I saw you! I saw you playing with that little black girl!”


But he continued, “Yeah, I saw you playing with the little porch monkey.”

I didn’t know what that meant, but it didn’t sound nice. And I think even someone else joined in too. And my dad just raised his eyebrows and nodded his head a little, not completely playing along with them, but not standing up for me either.

And I started to feel embarrassed, like I’d done something wrong.

When my dad’s team went back to the dugout, and her dad’s team went out on the field, she came over to the bench where I was sitting and sat down right next to me, ready to resume our games. I felt like I shouldn’t be seen with her, like they were all going to talk about me and laugh at me.

They might even point their fingers and say “I see you!”

So I moved away from her to the other side of the bench.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I just don’t feel like playing anymore.”

But that was two lies in one. I did feel like playing some more. And something was very wrong.

It's a good thing we're not all destined to repeat the mistakes of our fathers.

So to the little girl on the bench at the park, with the pretty little barrettes in her hair, I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry. I’ve remembered you my whole life, but I hope you don’t remember me.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Hollywood Hotties Ain’t My Thing

“So what’s your type of guy?”

I don’t know how many times I was asked that question when I was single.

“I don’t have a type.”

“What about movie stars? Who do you have a crush on?”

“I don’t have crushes on movie stars.”

I really don’t. I never did.

Well, maybe in the sixth grade when I saw the movie The Outsiders. I thought Matt Dillon was hot. And I was smitten with C. Thomas Howell.

“Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.”

I loved that movie. All those guys were gorgeous, and they were cool because they were dirty boys that wore leather jackets and ripped jeans. I’m sure I fell asleep many a night dreaming of kissing Matt Dillon.

But as a grown woman, I just don’t get infatuated with famous people. I lived in Brentwood, California for a while. I would see famous people quite often. I even met a few at parties and clubs. But they were just people. I never got all googly-eyed over them.

“C’mon, there has to be someone. Brad Pitt?”

“No, a friend of mine interviewed him once and she said he had really bad body odor.”

“Tom Cruise?”

“Hell no! Arrogance is the ugliest thing to me.”

“Just name someone. There has to be someone you think is hot.”

“Okay then… Jon Stewart.”


“If I have to name someone, it’s Jon Stewart.”


“Because he’s intelligent, witty, and funny. Those are qualities that attract me.”

So that has always been my standard answer to that stupid question. Jon Stewart. It usually leads to some discussion, since he is not an obvious choice to most people.

Over the summer, Sean and I are visiting his “new brother” in North Carolina. That’s a whole other story.

Well don’t you know, we get into one of these conversations about who has the hots for whom.

Angelina Jolie always comes up as a clear choice for the men. Brad Pitt and Matthew McConnaughey are mentioned by the women.

“What about you, Tammie? Who do you have a crush on?”

“My husband.”

“No, in Hollywood. Or on TV. Who do you think is hot?”

“I don’t go for Hollywood types.”

“Oh c’mon, there has to be someone.”

My husband knows my dirty secrets (well, not all of them… yet), so he tries to help me out: “She likes Jon Stewart.”

Jon Stewart? Why?”

“Because he’s intelligent, and witty, and funny. That’s the kind of guys I go for.”

“Yeah, but so is Dr. Ruth!” the new brother calls across the room.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on now. See that’s completely different.”

“No, it’s not!”

“Yes, it is. Because I like my women HOT.”

That shut him up.

Monday, February 5, 2007

A Proper Send-Off

Charlie comes running over. “Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Is Scruffy okay???”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I had been walking around the yard with the dogs.

Butchie, the lab, loves when I join in on the Morning Sniff. It shows a unified front when the entire pack patrols the property together, marking all the standard posts. My two old boys and me… no one would dare trespass into our territory.

Scruffy, the little white cockapoo, can’t see much anymore, and his hearing isn’t very good. So for him, patrolling means sending out pings in every direction to see if he gets a hit. Sure, it looks like he’s barking incessantly at nothing, and perhaps some of the neighbors find it a bit annoying, but he knows what he’s doing.

He is feared by squirrels, rabbits, and even a few select deer that have made his acquaintance during the daily 6 am tour of duty. He’s got a pretty bad-ass rep around here.

Both noses go up in the air. They smell it. I see the white fur in the grass and immediately started clapping my hands to lead the boys back into the house.

Then I go to get Sean. There are many reasons for a woman to get married, but the main one is so you don’t have to deal with gross stuff.

“Honey, can you help me?”

There are many reasons for a man to get married too, but the kind of lovin I give my dear husband is the main one. I gave him real good lovin just a little while ago.

So he cheerfully responds, “What’s up?”

“There’s a dead opossum in the yard. We have to take care of it right away so Scruffy doesn’t try to eat it.”

He knows when I say “we” I really mean him.

And he knows Scruffy would probably be chewing on dead opossum corpse in a second if given the chance. We’ve caught him eating dead rats before, and dead birds, and even his own crap. Even Butchie’s crap, and that stuff is hard core. Surprisingly, he does not find most vegetables palatable and will spit them out.

Sean gets a big shovel from the garage. We head for the back yard.

“Are you gonna bury it?”


He positions the shovel beneath the fluffy white fur, lifts the carcass, and heads for the back of the property.

I’m following a few feet behind him, sickened yet oddly curious and excited.

As he nears the woods, he positions the shovel behind him. With a few running steps, he then catapults the animal about 30 feet into the air. It lands in the bushes with a loud thud.

Although in retrospect it seems wrong, we are in an uproar.

“Holy shit! Did you see how far that thing went?”

“Did you hear it hit the ground? Oh my gosh, that was hysterical!”

Our neighbor Charlie had been involved in some early morning yard maintenance. He had grown concerned when he saw us walking into the back yard with a shovel. Both of our dogs are pretty old.

Seeing a white fluffy creature launched into the woods had only confirmed his fears.

Charlie comes running over. “Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Is Scruffy okay???”

“Charlie! Do you really think I would give my best friend of the past 15 years a send-off like this? You were a good dog…. Whoosh!”

“Well I would hope not!”

It was a mistake, of course, throwing that animal into the woods. It was a large beast, and it was the middle of July. For the rest of the summer, no matter where we were in the house or yard, we always seemed to be downwind of its foul, deteriorating remains.

I kind of wished something would eat it.

Friday, February 2, 2007

A Date Should Include Making-Out

He appears without warning from behind a tree, brandishing a handgun and pointing it unsteadily in our direction.

“Freeze!!! Drop your weapons!!!”

As I raise my hands above my head, I shoot Chuck a look that pierces his skull and burns out the little area of his brain that had thought this would make an enjoyable afternoon.

This day was just not going the way I had planned.

Let me set the scene for you. It’s 1987. I’ve succeeded in teasing my hair to lofty new heights with a combination of Aqua Net and Aussie Mega-Scrunch Mousse. I’m wearing black stretch capris, black granny boots, and pink slouch socks that match my pink, gray and black sweater. I’m also sporting earrings that are large, dangling pink stars.

I know this all sounds rather hideous, but my tiny ass (it was just a modest bubble back then) looks smokin’ in the stretch pants.

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of my boyfriend Chuck’s car. It’s a little blue Toyota something-or-other (I’m not good with cars). He’s survived many car accidents in this little beauty, and it shows. Every corner of this vehicle has been smashed, bashed, and dented in. The back window on the left side is completely gone, but he has woven a formidable replacement out of layers of duct tape.

And on the hood of the car, the crowning glory: a white body outline (a crime scene staple), as if someone met their maker right there, cursing out this reckless lead-foot teenage hooligan with their last screaming breath. From the looks of the car, you consider for a moment that the body outline might actually be real.

No Sleep Til Brooklyn is booming through the sound system. Chuck knows every word.

I’ve been waiting all week to hang out with my boyfriend. We planned on seeing a movie. I’m pretty sure that after the movie, we’ll park the car behind the theater like we always do and have a hot make-out session. That’s the part I’m looking forward to.

“Why are we going this way?”

“Malaney called me. He wants to come to the movie with us.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve got ourselves a third wheel. My plan has been foiled.

“Are we still gonna see Who’s That Girl?”

“Nah, Malaney wants to see Predator.”

A dude movie. How romantic.

Billy: I'm scared Poncho.
Poncho: Bullshit. You ain't afraid of no man.
Billy: There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die.

Oh yeah, this shit has them going. They come out of the movie all juiced up on buttered popcorn, Milk Duds, and dangerously high levels of testosterone.

We head back to Malaney’s house to get some BB guns. You heard me… BB guns.

Then we park the car (you know, the one with the body outline) at the end of a very residential street. We are heading into the woods to play Ambush.

What’s Ambush, you ask? I don’t freakin’ know. Malaney gives us a head start.

Reminder: I am dressed like an extra from a Madonna video.

We dart down a trail and scamper up an embankment. I’m skewering dead leaves with the heels of my granny boots. We duck down between some boulders which form a cave-like area. We have a perfect view of the trail below us. Chuck has the BB gun aimed and ready. We wait.

We wait.

We wait for quite some time. Sparrows have begun nesting in my teased mane. Malaney has obviously taken a different trail, and has most likely found himself a similar vantage point. I’m sure he’s got his gun aimed too, ready and waiting.

And waiting.

“This sucks. Someone’s gonna have to make a move in this stupid game.”

We begin our covert mission to uncover the hidden Malaney Hideout. Maybe we can sneak up on him from behind and fire a BB at his ass.

I’m not sure how stealthy I can be in heels. “It’s all fun and games until someone looses an eye,” I whisper.

Chuck’s not listening. He’s spotted something.

Suddenly, shots are fired. Our position has been compromised!

Chuck and Malaney have sprung into action. There are diving rolls, dashes behind trees and rocks, peals of laughter, and BB’s flying everywhere. There’s even some cursing to coincide with the sting of the BB’s.

I am staying a safe distance away, in the middle of the trail, with my arms crossed, pouting. I bet I look quite fetching standing here, with the trees all around me and a nest in my hair. And he’s not even noticing.

I’m not very happy with this date.

I guess from the perspective of the elderly couple on Crestview Drive, it did look a bit menacing: Two men with shotguns... yeah, shotguns! leading a young (cute) girl into the woods. I suppose I would have called the authorities, too.

When the children finally grow bored with their Predator games, we start up the trail toward the car.

He appears without warning from behind a tree, brandishing a handgun and pointing it unsteadily in our direction.

“Freeze!!! Drop your weapons!!!”

As I raise my hands above my head, I shoot Chuck a look that pierces his skull and burns out the little area of his brain that had thought this would make an enjoyable afternoon.

The boys slowly lay their weaponry on the ground. We all have our hands above our heads. A painfully obvious rookie is pointing a gun at us with a precariously shaky hand.

And my hair looks so good today. I even did my nails.

I decide that next week I'll make Chuck take me to see Dirty Dancing. That should increase the odds of a post-movie make-out session. And decrease the odds of anyone wanting to join in.

It would be many years before I looked favorably on the prospect of someone joining in...


Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Worst Thing I've Ever Done

Okay, we all do stupid things in our lives. Especially in our relationships. I’m sure everyone can look back on some wrong committed in a relationship and shudder. And then you file it in the back of your brain and leave it there, hoping it will get lost and fade away.

Well screw it. I’m pulling out my shameful file and posting it. Let me tell you about the worst thing I’ve ever done…

It was a relationship I had during college with a guy named Chris, who would eventually become one of my stalkers. But that’s another story.

Chris and I are dating for a few months, and we become attached pretty quickly. Scarily, obsessively attached. Well, he is anyway. I’m just enthusiastic because he’s a nice dresser and he knows how to dance.

We are having a little spat. I can’t recall what it’s about. All I know is that it starts to become irrational. There is no sense in continuing an argument with an irrational person. You just have to walk away and resume the discussion when both parties are calm and in a better frame of mind.

That’s my way of thinking anyway.

So I declare, “That’s it. I’m going home. I’ll call you later.”

Chris subscribes to a different approach, called Never Leave Until It’s Settled.

So he says, “Oh no you don’t! You’re not going anywhere until we work this out!”

“Uh, this isn’t going to be worked out right now, because you are a crazed lunatic and I’m leaving.”

“No you’re not!” he says.

“Yes I am!” I am grabbing my purse and heading out of his bedroom.

He leaps from the couch and positions himself in the doorframe like Vitruvian Man. This is supposed to block my exit. I duck under his arm and head for the stairs. Again, he dives in front of me and tries to block my escape. Again, I duck under his arm.

I run up the stairs like a gazelle being pursued across the veldt. He is chasing me, yelling, “No! You can’t leave! We have to work this out!”

But by now I’m out the front door and in my car. I’m locking the door and rolling up the window as fast as I can. And then immediately doing the same on the other side of the car as he tries desperately to get in.

“Open the door!”


“You can’t leave!”

“I have to get the hell away from you!”

Now he’s standing in front of my orange Vega hatchback. He’s blocking the driveway. I start the car.

“I’m not moving. You have to stay and finish this.”

“I’m already finished with this.”

“I’m not letting you go.”

I shift the car into drive and I slowly roll up to where he is. I’m not even applying the gas; I’ve merely removed my foot from the brake and I’m rolling.

He adjusts his stance as he attempts the Herculean feat of holding back my car. I continue rolling forward.

“Get out of my way.”

“No! I’m not letting you go!”

He is backing up as he tries to halt the car. I can see the veins popping out of his head as he strains to keep me from moving. I do not stop.

Since the driveway is a steep hill, I have to gently apply the gas to continue. It is taking every ounce of patience in my body not to mow him down. I think I hate him.

He is shuffling backwards faster now as I begin to accelerate, but he’s still attempting to keep me there through the sheer force of his manly power. Finally, he gives up and does the only thing he can do.

He jumps up on my hood.

“Get off!”


“Well I’m not stopping!”

I continue driving up the hill to the road. It’s about 11:30 at night now, and there’s no traffic on Jean Drive.

Good thing, because now I’m driving down this winding back road with a man on the hood of my car.

I decide to stop and give him one more chance. I feel that I am dangerously close to blowing an O ring if I can’t get the hell away from this idiot.

“Chris, listen to me. Get off of my car. I hate you and I’m going home.”

“No! You have to stay and talk to me!”

“Get off!”


I floor it. He is gripping onto the hood for dear life. I’ve seen spiders do this quite well, little bodies blowing in the ever-increasing wind as little spider feet (do spiders have feet?) stay firmly planted on the windshield. But I've never had the pleasure of seeing this act performed by a dumb-ass soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend.

I feel like I’m going to go insane if I can’t get away from deranged human being.

I’ve got the car up to about 40 mph now. And I do the only thing I can do: I slam on the brakes. This sends him careening onto the roadway. But Spiderman doesn't even need a stunt-double. He executes perfect tuck-and-roll form!

Then he grabs his leg and starts writhing in pain. “Help me! Help me! I think it’s broken!”

I know he’s faking. I drive around him and go home.

I know I probably sound like a callous bitch at this point, but hold tight. That’s not even the end of the story.

I live across town. 45 minutes later, the doorbell rings. I turn on the light to see who’s out there. It’s Chris.

“Hon, I ran all the way over here. We have to talk.”

“We are not talking tonight. Leave or I will call the police.”

“Can you at least give me a ride home?”

Yeah right. All that work to get away from him, and he wants me to drive him back home. Not a chance.

“Go away.”

I turn off the light and go to bed.

NOW maybe I’m a callous bitch.

He’s probably still in love with me.