I Wonder if Enrique Likes It?

After a few blogs about women’s issues and controversial new sort-of manifestos, my brain was tired. So I headed south to Florida with the fam, where we hung on the beach with some great friends for a super fun, grown-up style spring break. That means instead of doing body shots with strangers and drinking tequila out of test tubes, we sat in the shade and compared body aches and pains. And played a lot of Bananagrams.

Here are some things that happened within the first few minutes of arriving in Florida:
1. I heard an Enrique Iglesias song. I have not heard an Enrique Iglesias song since, um, the last time I was in Florida.
2. All of my exposed pasty white skin immediately burned and is now flaking off in large sheets around the house.
3. My son looked at the stylish, scantily clad, model-types in the airport, and asked me if we were in a foreign country. I said, yes, basically.

Other than the sunburn part (although who doesn’t love a good molting), that is why we travel – to experience tired, terrible music and to feel physically inferior. I hope we can start to take even bigger trips now that we’re through with naps and diapers. Well, at least the kids are through with that phase, who knows with my husband.

Sadly, vacation is over now. And do you know how I am SURE that vacation is over? Well, one day, I was looking at this:
Beach

And 48 hours later, I was looking at this:
Costco2
There is nothing like 4 hours of pushing a flatbed cart around Costco to snap you back to reality. On the upside, I am now the proud owner of 178 reasonably-priced rolls of toilet paper.

While I was zoning out on the beach I started to think about ways to get more people to read my blog. Obviously, porn is always a solution but I think it could embarrass my mom. Except she did send me this article out of the blue the other day with the message: “Well THIS is an interesting concept.” So maybe she wouldn’t mind.

But what are my options BESIDES porn? Most big-time bloggers have something very compelling and dramatic going on in their lives, like divorce, or mental illness, or recovery, or addiction, or cats with eyebrows. Do you know what I have going on in my life? Fascinating things such as trying not to give my family e. coli when I cook chicken; laundry stain removal; and exercising without aggravating my sciatica. I nodded off while I was writing that.

Another option to get more readers: create fake controversy. Some big-time bloggers write things with shocking headlines to hook people, like, “Why My Son is an Asshole,” or “I Only Feed My Kids Dry Kool-Aid Mix,” or “I Just Punched My Husband in the Balls Because He Deserved It,” and then surprise! The article is actually about how perfect the author is and how much they love their family, and the headline was a mean, mean trick.

Well, I can promise you, readers, that I will not play mean, mean tricks with my headlines, unless it sounds funnier or gets me more readers, in which case, I will. That leaves me with one final option: start a ridiculous hobby or vice and write about every sordid detail. Which is why this afternoon, I am pulling my clogging shoes out of the back of my closet, dusting them off, and strapping them on again for an epic comeback performance. It has been years since I’ve clogged, but I know for sure now that the soulful combination of marching and tap dancing while leaving my upper body completely still was really always my calling in life. Please stay tuned for video.

Obvs, this will be the soundtrack to my performance.

Acting Squirrely

As I may have bitched about mentioned earlier, my husband travels every few weeks for work.  This week he is in San Francisco, staying in Union Square, and thoughtfully texted me a picture of the beautiful holiday scene right out his hotel window:

SanFran

I’m sure that he sent that picture because he missed me and wanted to share his holiday cheer, and not at all to rub it in my face that he was on a mini-vacation in a beautiful city.  Well, little did he know that at the precise moment he sent me that picture, I was watching my own extremely interesting scene:

Squirrel

That is a squirrel humping an empty peanut butter jar on the street in front of my house this morning.

At first, I thought, “Oh, how adorable, the squirrel found an old peanut butter jar and is having a delicious snack.”  But then I walked a little closer and noticed that the lid was still on.  And the squirrel was, um, on top of the jar.  Making angry, high-pitched grunting sounds.  Before I realized that this scene was not as adorable as it first appeared, I pulled out my phone and took some pictures, and then once I figured out what was going on I felt like a total perv.  (But not so pervy that I deleted the pictures, obvs.  You’re welcome!)  Then I tried to run to my neighbor’s house so she could see this — I mean, she took care of my kids while I was totally incapacitated, the least I can do is show her a real live squirrel humping a peanut butter jar.  But as soon as I made a step towards my neighbor’s house, the squirrel ran away.  Dragging his beloved jar behind him.

Maybe he was just trying really hard to get the lid off.  I will avoid all of the very obvious and highly inappropriate sentences that I could write after that one.  Anyways, that’ll teach my husband to send me pictures of his fancy-schmancy work trip.  Or maybe it will encourage him.  Dammit.

Should we salute?

Now that I am no longer officially a “working” mom (oh my god, I know all moms are working, just calm down), I don’t really know what to write about. So for now, I will tell a funny story.

Once upon a time, before my husband and I knew about nap schedules and potty training, we went to Thailand for vacation. My husband has some long lost uncle or something (I still don’t know who he is) who lives in Bangkok, so once we were settled in our hotel, we called him. The first thing we learned about this “uncle”: he does not speak a word of English. And he wanted to take us around Bangkok for the day. We do not speak any Thai, but were psyched to have a native Bangkokian (that’s actually a word, I looked it up) take us around the city. Turns out the language barrier was no big deal – the “uncle” was the perfect tour guide, and drove us to some cool places we’d never heard of. And it allowed my husband and I to openly snark and make crass comments without worrying about offending anyone. It was really a win-win.

So it’s almost dinner time, and through a series of charades, “uncle” tells us we’re going to a nice restaurant. We pull up at a building with a large red sign with one word in English: “Abalone.” “Uncle” points at the sign and nods and says with enthusiasm, “Abalone!” So clearly, we’re going to eat abalone.

The restaurant has a formal, strangely Western feeling — white tablecloths, lots of silverware, American music playing, and lots of waiters and waitresses dressed in stiff white dress shirts and red tuxedo pants. My husband and I sit down and exchange glances to say: what the hell is abalone, why is 50 Cent playing on the radio, and why do the waiters look like they are in a marching band?

An older male waiter comes over to take our “uncle”‘s order. My husband notices the waiter’s nametag says nothing but “CAPTAIN.” He nudges me under the table to get my attention and we chuckle a little, wondering if his name is actually Captain, or if that’s the semi-cheesy title they came up with for waiters at this seafood restaurant. At least we think it’s a seafood restaurant – is abalone seafood? No idea. Still.

After an awkward silence at our table where “uncle,” husband, and I all stare at each other, Captain brings out our food. On my plate are several small, round slices of…something (meat?) that is pinkish and shiny, and covered in a clear, thick sauce. “Uncle” looks very proud and motions for us to eat. My husband and I are something other than proud. But not wanting to offend this man who has been lovely to us all day, we dive in. And it is not good. I mean, it’s not offensively bad, but it is rubbery and lukewarm and dense and kind of fishy. Wait, I think that’s the definition of offensively bad.

So my husband and I are trying to eat this new food without offending “uncle,” we’re jet lagged, 50 Cent is actually playing on a loop, and we’ve been sucking down tuk-tuk fumes for the past 6 hours. Then Captain’s helper, looking lovely and gracious in her dress shirt and red pants, comes to see if we need any water.

And her nametag says, “ASS CAPTAIN.”

For the rest of the meal, it was all my husband and I could do to keep abalone from flying out of our noses. I think the “uncle” took our stifled laughter as giddiness over our food, and everyone else probably just thought we were rude Americans. Which we totally were.

I can’t wait to travel internationally with the kids and expose them to other cultures. But maybe we should do it before they learn to read.