Monday, February 27, 2012

Rekindling My Feminine Heart Light

I thought planning a wedding would be easy.

I thought brides got stressed out because they were high maintenance Bridezillas who had to have every detail perfectly in place to suit some kind of girlhood fantasy vision of carriage rides and champagne fountains, and I don't know why but the word 'florets' is coming to mind.

I was so naive.

It turns out not actually being a girl has been detrimental to the wedding process. Most girls, it seems, have a detailed vision of what the wedding will look like. Some have actually created Dreambooks, a kind of collage of clipped out magazine pictures of rings and dresses and such.

Unsurprisingly, I do not. When people, let me rephrase that...when women ask what kind of dress I bought I get a vague bemused look and say, "a white one." This is typically followed by annoyed laughter, silence, then when they realize no more information is forthcoming, a barrage of questions.

"Is it a sheath cut? A mermaid? A-line? T-zone? Princess? Ball Gown? Basque cut? How long is the train? Is it fitted? Are you wearing a slip? Does it poof out at the bottom?"

I stare for a moment then respond.

"I think there's some ruching..."

This inattention to detail is what prompted my mother and sister to sit me down for a little chat about my femininity. It started with the phrase:

"Phil (groom) has run amok with this wedding," my mom said.

My groom, in typical male fashion, likes to throw out absurd ideas like lightsaber fighting down the aisle. I just laugh, but these ever escalating shenanigans stress my mom out to no end.

"You need to assert your feminine heart on this wedding," they told me. "Let your light shine."

Really? My feminine heart light? I just have a few questions...

1). If it's my feminine heart light where does it shine out of?
2). Can I read by it at night?

I did try at least to go to Pinterest and pin wedding things but all that happened was this...

I can't help it. I'm easily distracted when there's stuff I don't want to do, and there are readily available pictures of dogs dressed up like Snooki.

I guess my feminine heart light is just a single flickering candle. A whimper, not a shout. A river in the desert planet of Tattooine.

Dang it. I think that last sentence just extinguished my heart light. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

A (sort of) Apology to Minga's Poor, Traumatized Children

Poor Minga.

While reading my last post concerning her dead, frozen guinea pig, Minga's daughter walked up to see what she was giggling about. That's when Minga's daughter saw the picture of the guinea pig formerly known as Mumbo, and burst into wet, sobbing tears. Apparently the grief is still as fresh as Mumbo's flash-frozen body.

So I'm here to explain to Minga's traumatized children why I am so callous towards deceased family members.

You must understand that my family growing up held no kind of sentimentality towards pets. Perhaps this was because both of my parents grew up on farms, but me and my sister always understood that if the vet bill got too pricey our lovable ball of fur would soon be heading out to a "farm" in the "country."

Little Snickers was the first animal I remember getting the heave-ho (literally) out the back door. Snickers was a hamster with a surly demeanor. Looking back, I'm fairly certain he had PTSD from being daily menaced by our cat Sox. Sox would prowl around his cage, batting at the lid, even sleeping on top of it sometimes, in case Snickers ever got the urge to go for a midnight stroll.

Anyways, one day Snickers bit my sister and my mom chucked him into the backyard to fend for himself in the wild. She gave him a one day head start on Sox.

None of the pets I had growing up made it with us into old age. Sox was stolen (long story), Sox's daughter Saphire, grew to be so morbidly obese that she started wiping her rear on the carpet because she couldn't reach her hind quarters with her tongue.

It was at this point that my dad took her to the pound and pronounced her: "Dead kitty walking."

Our first dog Katie ran away. I'd like to believe that she ended up in a good home, but in that part of town, the odds are just as good that she ended up in some Vietnamese pho soup. Our second dog Charlie was protected from neuterment by my dad, who couldn't bear the thought of snipping off two critical pieces of Charlie's manhood. This resulted in a constant family evasion of the City of Denver, who charge $100 a year for fertile pets, in what my father derisively calls "the ball tax."

When Charlie went for a little solo jog through the neighborhood and got picked up by animal control, my parents decided they couldn't afford the back taxes on Charlie's balls. There were no more pets after that.

There is also an unwritten rule in my family that you can say or do anything, no matter how hurtful, as long as it is also funny. My sister exploited this fact to get out of spankings; my mom couldn't spank her and laugh at the same time. We learned early on that you can be wildly insensitive, but it's okay if it's funny (unless you call mom's casserole a craperole on Mother's Day, in which case you're in for a world of hurt).

Perhaps I need to give a few examples.  When I was in second or third grade I got six teeth pulled out.My mouth was emptier than Keanu Reeves's head.

The fact that I was sensitive about this issue did not stop my mother from telling me every evening: "Lauren, go brush your tooth."

The rule still persists. Just last week I was feeling kind of down about not having a job or much money. I had decided to make my boyfriend a Christmas gift instead of buying something, but felt like kind of a loser after he gave me a really nice present. My mom, instead of offering the standard "homemade gifts are more personal" or some other mom-ish cliche, ribbed me for a good five minutes about how my macaroni necklace was coming along. This teasing continued well after I shouted for her to go away and hopped in the bathtub to wallow. She heckled me from outside the door.

Her later apology was, "I'm sorry...but it was funny."

I've simply not been well-equipped to handle delicate issues with sensitivity. So to Minga's children, and anyone else I might embarrass in the future, all I have to say is:

I'm sorry but it was funny. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thank You Jesus For Mumbo

There are a few facts about me that provoke interesting reactions when people learn them for the first time.

Since I've been blogging regularly, people who are familiar with my writing tend to fall in one of two categories. They either want to be mentioned, no matter the potentially embarrassing context of the story, or they're terrified I'm going to make them look stupid.

I just spent an evening with a friend, (let's call her "Minga") who was absolutely paranoid that I was mentally recording her ever misstep for blogging material. To be fair, she did accidentally say a few hilarious things, like: "I have two party balls" and "I'm very familiar with women," but really I probably would have forgotten if she hadn't made such a big deal about it. I coach basketball, and it's not a real practice unless there's a good ball joke.

Grab the balls, take care of the ball, keep the balls below your waist... The permutations are endless. A silly remark won't get you blogged about.

Keeping a dead guinea pig in your freezer will.

A group of us were chilling in Minga's dining room, laughing, talking, the usual party-going stuff, when three of our friends walked in from the kitchen solemnly.

Bijou was in the front, holding a blue shoebox. Something was scribbled on the box in Sharpie and I tried to make it out as she announced:

"I have to show you guys something." A voice from behind her shouted,
"Wait! I have to get my camera."
"Hurry up!" Bijou said. Kish bounded to the front and clicked record as Bijou lifted the shoebox lid to reveal a dead guinea pig.

We laughed and screamed and asked why.

This was Mumbo, Minga's beloved family pet. Mumbo had died sometime during the summer and it just never seemed like the right time to bury him. So, he'd taken up residence in the freezer, right between the peas and frozen lemonade.

I touched Mumbo and he was chilled and ready to serve.

On the box Minga's daughter had written a little account of his life and exploits, ending with "Thank you Jesus for Mumbo."

I turned to Minga.
"You're going to blog about this, aren't you?" She asked.
"Oh, most definitely. Thank you Jesus for Mumbo." 

Monday, November 21, 2011

3 Cups of Pee

I've always been slightly critical of people who can't hold their liquid.

I don't mean liquor. I can get pleasantly buzzed and ready to sing ABBA medleys after one beer, and consider this a great talent. I mean liquids, as in the kind that come gushing out of you after you've had enough alcohol to consider ABBA medleys a good idea.

I have the ability to hold it through the unabridged editions of Lord of the Rings and consider it a lack of personal will when others are always getting up and tripping over my legs because nature has called with the frequency of an underquota telemarketer.

My steel bladder is the result of intensive training dating back to kindergarten. I was mortally afraid of the school bathroom stalls because someone, probably an overzealous PTA member, thought it would  be a great idea to make the stalls in the child bathroom child-sized. I'm not sure what I was more afraid of: someone looking over and seeing me do my business, or, being on the tall side even then, that I might inadvertently witness some little girl in my class taking a number two.

The thought of this was so traumatic that I refused to go in the school bathrooms and ended up wetting myself in the classroom. But, and this is important, no one could see my hoo-ha, so this was still less mortifying than the alternative.

Yes, I thought that having been in training all these years I was invincible to the common prodding of the bladder suffered by ordinary people, until last Wednesday when I nearly crashed my car to relieve the agony of an angry urethra.

I blame my boss, the editor-in-chief of a green magazine, who believes in saving the earth by never turning on the heat in the house where we work. At lunch I sipped own several cups of hot tea to try and regain some feeling in my extremities, then proceeded to drive the 30 minutes from Boulder to Denver. I had to pee as soon as I left the restaurant, but unwisely trusted my steely digestive system to remain dormant until I arrived home.

10 minutes on the road and I started getting bladder cramps. 15 minutes and my jeans were unzipped. 20 minutes and I was recounting the scene from Major Payne (where the Major says "You want me to show you a little trick to take your mind off that pain? then breaks the guy's finger) and biting my hands. I whipped into a parking spot in front of my house, too blinded by pain to notice that I parked illegally, and too in agony to care if I had, and then was faced with a dilemma.

I am a stubborn one-tripper. I take everything into the house in one trip. When unloading groceries I will saddle my arms with ten bags, tucking the laundry detergent and milk under my armpits, rather than come back outside for a second venture. My one-tripping policy is deeply rooted, even when I should clearly make exceptions. For instance when my bladder is seconds from explosion.

I reached down to grab my backpack and suddenly realized I couldn't lift it. Lifting the bag required ab muscles, which were currently busy spasming uncontrollably. I sat there a moment, paralyzed by indecision and a lack of core mobility. Leaving the backpack behind violated my one-trip conviction. I managed to roll slightly to the side and hooked my arm under the strap, then roll back upright.

I triumphantly got the bag and still had a few seconds before my ticking time-bomb of a bladder went off. Then I tried to get out of the van. Apparently exiting vehicles also requires the use of abdominal muscles. I was stuck. I did not have to time to think of the irony of making it all the way home only to wet myself in the car outside. I could only think.


I half-slid, half-rolled out of the car, slammed the door and sprinted in short, waddling steps to the house. I threw my bag, phone and keys to the ground, and raced to the bathroom, praying that no one was inside.

I sat down, half-crying from relief, as the 3 cups of tea turned to 3 cups of pee and thought to myself that I was sure glad no one could peek over the edge of a stall and see me now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sound Off: Nobel Prizes+Mother Teresa+Steve Jobs+Ginger the Prostitute

The Nobel Peace Prize was recently announced and I'm proud to say it was given to a humanitarian this year instead of a politician. When did we decide that it was okay to give prizes to politicians? The only prize I want to give a politician is a purple heart because this means they've been battle-wounded in some way and then I might be able to muster up some respect for them.

First we had Al Gore, who won a peace  prize for making a movie. What climate change has to do with peace I still haven't figured out. Then Obama won it for being black. To be fair he was the first black president, while Al Gore was the first to make a startling documentary. Oh wait...
I'm surprised Michael Moore wasn't this year's recipient.

I can only imagine that Mother Teresa, who recieved her award after thirty years of patching up the rotten limbs of lepers, is patiently waiting in Heaven to bitch slap Al Gore when he sanctimoniously arrives spouting off about global warming.

What happened to the days when the Nobel Peace Prize was about people who do good works in order to atone for some inner shame? Like Alfred Nobel, the founder of the prize, who established it to make up for the fact that he invented dynamite.

Mother Teresa must have murdered a prostitute before entering the convent. It's the only rational way to explain that level of self-sacrifice. Every time she was nauseated at the site of a few bloody stumps in place of a hands, she would have drawn on the guilt of strangling Ginger in that Motel 8, and powered through.

I can  only thank Jesus that the award cannot be given posthumously. Otherwise, Steve Jobs would almost certainly be given one for the invention of the iControlYourLife. Probably there are already crazed Apple fanatics using their petition-writing app to convince the award committee to bend the rules for the late virtual virtuoso.

Jobs is like the white Obama, except that he died before people had a chance to sour on him.  

So keep up the good work do-gooders and get your eye on the nobel prize. If the $1.5 million dollar cash prize doesn't tempt you, always remember: Jesus loves a winner.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sound Off: Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is getting a divorce (surprise, surprise) after spending around 10 million dollars for the wedding, none of which she actually had to pay for, and earning 17 million by selling exclusive rights. Stunts like this are the reason Mexico City Officials are considering giving couples temporary two year marriage licences and making them reapply after this probationary period.

Personally, I think it should be the opposite. There should be two year minimum licences. Kim, if you can put up with a two-year cell phone contract then you can be married for that long. Maybe then people would reconsider wantonly getting hitched. I mean if Britney Spears hadn’t divorced Jason Alexander after 55 hours of marriage she could have avoided the humiliation of getting with Kevin Federline. And who wouldn’t have enjoyed two years of watching Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman argue over who looks better in a dress? Instead we only got 9 days. That’s just unacceptable.

I mean there are some obvious exceptions-cheating, abuse, attempting to name your children things like Apple or Couch or Blake, eating the last of the ice cream while your wife is PMSing. Actually no, that last one is not grounds for divorce, but a justifiable defense in the subsequent homicide trial.

Marriage isn’t something to take lightly people, unlike Mormonism and those commercials for Don'

Oh that reminds me of a joke I heard. What’s worse than getting a papercut?

The Holocaust.

You see what I did there? I was so offensive that I made the idea of mandatory two year marriages seem reasonable, which it is. I mean, I can understand why Kim’s husband wanted to flee faster than my dad ran from the room when I referred to my boobs as my lady-handles. It must have been quite a shock for Kris Humphries to realize Kim is actually an outer-space alien. Tina Fey claims Kim “was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes,” but I disagree. I think she’s what an alien race would perceive as the perfect woman by American standards: gorgeous, materialistic, and a reality tv star. Which, making her a reality tv persona was brilliant because any outlandish behavior can be blamed on sweeps week. They truly are the superior race.

To conclude this rant: Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us togever today.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Digital Danger Zone

About a week ago my boyfriend, Phil, and I went to Gamestop to bum around for a while. Phil is a gamer and likes to geek out over the latest games, and since I also enjoy playing we tooled around a bit until we stumbled across Fable 2 in the used section. Fable is a fantasy game where your character changes as you play. If you do mean things your character gets evil points and grows horns. If you're nice you get a halo. Etc. We played for a while that night, then about a week later Phil made a confession to me.

"I've been playing without you," he said.
"Oh ya? How's your character doing?" I asked.
"I made her look like you," he said. This aroused my curiousity.
"Show me." I said.

Phil booted up the game and beamed proudly.

"Isn't she awesome? Look at that sick axe I got you!" He said. I sat in stunned disbelief.
"Are you serious right now? That's the character who looks like me?"
"She's fat!"
"What? No she's not."
"She's three hundred pounds! She has cankles! Why would you make me fat?" I demanded.
"She's not fat. She's muscular. I had to upgrade your strength so you could beat the trolls."
"Haven't you ever heard of lean muscle? And why is she wearing that stupid hat? She looks like an obese pirate."
"What's wrong with the hat?"
"Nothing if I was the captain of the Flying Dutchman. I can't believe you did that to me."
"She's not fat. She's strong, like you."
"She has thunder thighs," I said.
"Well...the thighs that derby built," Phil said, poking me in the leg.
"Oh no you did not!"
"I'm just kidding."

I raced upstairs where some friends of ours were chatting.

"Phil made a game character of me and she's a fat pirate!" I shouted. Several people hustled down to weigh-in (pun win!). My friend Mij started laughing.

"She's huge!" she said. Phil took a long look at Helga The Gargantuan and finally admitted she was a bit rotund.
"I think she grew since last time I logged on," he protested.

"Mmmhmmm. Sure," I said. "She magically gained two hundred pounds." 
"Well maybe she needs them to swing that giant ax. Did you ever think of that? Would you rather be slaughtered by trolls?" 

Take a look at the picture and you tell me.
My Look-a-like