Monday, November 28, 2005

Don't Call Us Baby

Demigoddess the Younger: We could hear you and your Ho giggling during the movie.

ESG: Sorry.

DY: It wasn’t an appropriate part to be laughing in.

ESG: It was at the part when Johnny Cash is at June’s door, and he says something like, "Come on, baby," and June goes, "Baby, baby, baby!" and then slams the door in his face.

DY: Yeah.

ESG: We were laughing because My Ho used to sometimes call me "baby," but I didn't like it, so I asked him to stop, and he did. I forgot all about it until that part in the movie, when he whispered in my ear, "I guess June doesn’t like being called baby, either."

Okay, So Maybe, Every Once in a While, a Fish Does Need a Bicycle

We had our first sizeable snow of the year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was lovely, since I didn’t have to work that day. Instead of getting up early and spending 40 minutes digging out my driveway at 6:00 a.m., swearing the whole time at those fucking shitheel Boy Toys next door for leaving their fucking shitheel BMW and Lexus parked in front of my house AGAIN… Instead of that, I was able to sit in a comfy chair under a down throw, knitting mittens, serenely sipping tea and watching the snow fall.

Well, okay, there was a tiny bit of swearing about the Boy Toys. But this time I had a plan for exacting my revenge, because I NOW HAVE A SNOW BLOWER—my very first snow blower ever—thanks to my elderly former next-door neighbor who kindly sold me his for a very reasonable price before he moved into a retirement community last summer. Not only would I be able to clear the driveway and sidewalks like magic, but how sweet would it be to aim the blower directly at their fucking shitheel BMW and Lexus? Very sweet, my friends. Very, very sweet.

I am woman. Hear my snow blower roar.

So late in the afternoon on Friday I went outside and got the snow blower started, no problem. That part I had practiced long before there was actual snow. For a minute it worked just like it was supposed to, but then it sort of clogged up, and instead of flying in a brilliant white arc out the top, the snow sort of gagged and dribbled out. I turned the blower off, cleaned it out, started it again and played with the gears, trying to get it to work right, but without much success. While I was doing this, the neighbor man from two doors down came walking over.

“I think you’ve got your choke on,” he said. “It should really be humming.” He adjusted a knob. Problem solved.

Now, given that this was my first experience with running a snow blower, there is no reason I should automatically know how to work it. Especially since I bought the thing used, and it didn’t exactly come with an instruction manual, so it’s perfectly reasonable that my kind neighbor would have to come over and show me how to adjust the choke.

But damn I hate having to have a guy come over and save my sorry female ass.

And what in the hell is a “choke” for, anyway?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
--Marcel Proust

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

THREE… is the Magic Numbah

Number three is where my sister Molly falls in the family lineup. Three is also how old she is turning today—as in the big THREE-OH, as in yeah, she's 30.

Molly is gorgeous, she has a great boyfriend, she has a job that requires her to wear suits and carry business cards, and yet…

...she is not too old to ask for an American Girl doll for Christmas. This is Molly and her new friend Felicity, whom she received last year:

(Look! She went completely BLIND with joy!)

...she's not too old to do some serious damage to a good bottle of wine. Or even a bad one, for that matter.

...she is not too old to watch "Little House on the Prairie" videos, or burst into spontaneous song at any moment.

...she is not too old to go to a Liz Phair concert at First Avenue and yell from the crowd at the top of her lungs, “FUCK AND RUN!!!” (I’m pretty sure it was a song request.)

...and she’s not too old to want a little bit of sparkly bling on her birthday, in addition to a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

Heaps and piles of love, and a big ‘ole Happy 30th Birthday to you, darling magical Millie. Aren’t you glad it’s not on Thanksgiving this year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It’s All about The Timing

Demigoddess the Elder had three teeth pulled yesterday. For over an hour I sat in a chair near her feet, rubbing her ankles as she squirmed and cried in the chair. Twice I had to look away. Once I felt nauseous. But I held it together and tried to talk her through it.

Six shots of novocaine later the dentist still couldn’t extract the last root fragment of one molar, even after the yanking and the blood and the drilling and the cutting and still more yanking. The dentist stitched her up temporarily, and then tried to get her an appointment with an oral surgeon for that afternoon, while I went downstairs to the pharmacy to fill her pain meds prescriptions.

I waited patiently in line, flanked by wobbling old people, as Shirley MacClaine screamed in my head, “GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE PILLLLLLLLLLLLS!” But outwardly, I was calm.

The oral surgeon wasn’t available until this morning, so I took Demi the Elder home. I replaced her bloody gauze, tucked her into bed, gave her some meds, and then went to the kitchen to get her a dish of sherbet.

And that’s when I fell apart.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Yesterday was the second time since having children that I thought, just for a moment, maybe having boys would have been better.

The first time I had that thought was the first time I brought the Demigoddesses to a Twins game at the Metrodome. Demigoddess the Elder was maybe five years old, the Younger would have been around three. I spent most of the game in line at the restroom, first with one, then with the other, then again with the first one, and for the tiniest fraction of a second, I thought that if just one of them were a boy, I might at least have gotten to watch one uninterrupted inning.

In my family, it’s ALL females. The boy my cousin gave birth to last March represented my extended family’s first male child in over 50 years. Eleven straight girl babies, we had. I wouldn’t know what the hell to do with a boy if I had one. When my sister was pregnant, I secretly wished and wished for her to have a girl, and the Demigoddesses and I were thrilled when we found out we would be getting a little Madge.

But yesterday as I trotted back and forth between two adjoining department store dressing rooms, slinging an armload of bras of varying sizes and styles, that thought came to me again. Boys. Muuuuuuch easier.

In addition to having to explain what, exactly, a Wonderbra is, and also why anyone would want one, a few of the choicer phrases that I heard coming out of my mouth included:

“You’re too young for a black bra.”

“Just find some underpants that aren’t a thong. And no zippers on the front.”

“Purple lace? No. Let me rephrase that… that would be a HELL NO.”

“It’s the right size, it only looks small because it’s a push-up. Which, by the way, is totally inappropriate for the eighth grade."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Nope. Can’t Do It.

It seems that there is a limit to the things I will do for my children.

While I understand that their father has encouraged their participation for the past five years, and while I empathize with their disappointment that this year, for some reason, he won’t take them… I’m afraid I’m going to have to play the mean mom card on this one.

I will pick pestilence out of their hair with my bare hands. I will put back the items of clothing I chose for myself in favor of buying Demigoddess the Elder a suit to wear to her debate tournaments. I will, as requested, put honey in Demigoddess the Younger’s tea in the morning so that her voice will be in top form for her school musical audition eight hours later.

But I will not. WILL NOT take them to compete in a White Castle eating contest.

So don't even look at me like that.

Today’s Friday haiku is dedicated to Demigoddess the Elder:

I don’t know why you
Want to compete again when
last year, you threw up.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

We're Totally Still Friends

CombatGirl will soon begin blogging from her very own site, which she hopes to have up and running in the near future.

In the meantime, you can find her continuing adventures, including updates on Johnny and Sid and culinary tips for her ex, here.

And, for the record, this dissolution has been a great deal more amicable than either of our divorces. Way cheaper, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Who’s Going To Make Me Another Drink?

My maternal grandmother passed away shortly before Christmas five years ago. At the end of her life, she wasn’t even five feet tall, but everyone who came in contact with her knew on sight that she was a force of nature. Even at 92, she was constantly on the move, had a vast circle of loyal friends, and was very clear about what she liked and what she didn’t. Her unwavering sense of tradition continues to bind my family together, even today.

That Christmas, only a couple of weeks after Grandma died, I was talking to my mom about plans for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. Mom was going down the list of which family members were bringing what dish, and at one point she said, “…and Cindy will be bringing the potatoes.” I was confused for a minute. That wasn’t right. Why would Cindy bring the potatoes? Grandma always brings the potatoes. Then I remembered.

Five years later, I still have moments like that.

In addition to her love for family, for handbags and Italian shoes, for travel, and for fine glassware, my Grandma had a deep affection for Scotch whiskey. One of her trademark moves was to sit in the midst of a family gathering, usually in the comfiest chair in the room and at the center of whatever was happening. When her glass would run low, she’d raise it in the direction of any unlucky person who happened to be nearby, shake it back and forth and bellow, “Who’s going to make me another drink?” The rattle of ice in an empty glass, with a back beat of jangling charm bracelets, will always be pure Grandma to me.

After she died, when we were moving everything out of her condominium, I found a bottle of Chivas Regal, still in the box, in her pantry closet. Most of the rest of the closet had already been cleared out, and, since nobody else seemed to want it, I took the Scotch, even though I’m not much of a drinker. I figured it might make a nice gift for somebody, someday. I took it home, put it in a seldom-used cupboard, and forgot about it.

Then last week I decided to build the season’s first fire in our fireplace. It was a quiet Sunday evening after a long week, the house was reasonably clean, the laundry and dishes were done, and as I relaxed in front of the fire, I remembered that bottle of Scotch. A little of that over ice would taste pretty good just then.

I hesitated for a moment, debating whether I wanted to ruin its potential as a gift by opening the bottle, but finally decided that if I hadn’t given it away in five years, I probably wasn’t going to. So I got out the step-stool, found the box in the back of the high cupboard, brought it down and opened it. Then I laughed.

The bottle, it was half empty.

Of course it was.

So it ended up being a gift after all. Thanks, Grandma.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


To the City Pages Minnesota Blog of the Day.

(How cool is THAT?)

Negative Vibes

Ever have one of those days where one small mishap leads to another slightly larger mishap, and before you know it your whole life is one fat problem avalanche?

It all started with the onion. When I arrived home after work yesterday, I realized I’d forgotten to stop at the store on the way to buy an onion. The plan was to make chili for dinner. The meat was thawed, I had the tomatoes and the beans, but everyone knows you can’t make chili without an onion. No problem, I thought, I’ll just turn the baking of the corn muffins over to the Demigoddesses while I run to the store and pick one up quick.

But really, there is no such thing as “quick” at Cub Foods. When I got back home again, the “muffins” were done… except that, instead of putting the paper cupcake cups into a cupcake tin, which they apparently couldn’t find, the Demis had placed the paper cups onto a flat baking sheet and then poured in the batter. The result was an oddly-shaped cornbread pull-apart thing with pleated paper sticking up throughout. Interesting. And the gooey mixing bowl, half-full of water, was still in the sink.

Then I noticed that the package of muffin mix, which was supposed have contained enough mix for two batches of corn muffins, was empty. I asked the Demis, “Did you measure out this mix like it says in the instructions?”

Blank stare.

“Because it says right here, you’re supposed to measure two and a half cups. This package had five cups in it.”

“Oh,” Said Demi the Elder thoughtfully. “Well, it’s okay, I put way too much water in them anyway.”


I made the chili, and the corn muffin pull-apart thing was actually not bad, once you picked out the paper. It was 8:00 by the time we finished dinner. I put Demi the Elder on the dishes while I settled into yet another hour-long comb-through on Demi the Younger’s hair.

Thankfully, the combing produced almost no sign of fauna. I sent Demigoddess the Younger to the shower, and had my weary heart set on few precious minutes on the couch, at last, to unwind before bed… until I went into the kitchen and discovered the dishwasher running, a number of dirty dishes still in the sink, and the floor… flooded.

Okay, maybe not flooded, exactly. But water was running out of the under-the-sink cabinet. I thought at first that Demi the Elder had neglected to run the disposal, and somehow the drain had backed up. But no. The problem is the pipe that runs from the drain on the right side of the sink to the disposal on the left side of the sink. The the underside of this pipe has apparently rusted through, and dirty water from the dishwasher was spouting out of it. I tried to cover the hole with my hand (without much success) and yelled for Demi the Elder to turn off the dish washer. She blinked at me for a minute before comprehending what I was yelling about, and eventually managed to hit the “Cancel” button. By that time I was good and soggy. And, yeah. Ornery.

We cleaned up the water. I did not sigh, I did not stomp, I did not swear. I put a garbage bag over the sink to remind the children not to use it. I finally, finally, fell into a chair to regroup and… the phone.

My well-meaning Ho was at Whole Foods and wanted to know if I needed anything. Somehow, that was the last straw. I was not very nice to him.

I have always wondered if there isn’t some merit behind the whole karma idea, if releasing negative energy into the universe somehow creates more negativity that will, eventually turn back on you in the end. I can’t help but wonder if yesterday’s post had anything to do with this.

So I’m taking it all back. My ex, he is a swell guy. Just a super individual.

Now, I have a plumber to call and amends to make.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fucking Chickenshit Weak–Ass Bastard

What do you do with a guy who doesn’t want to spend time with his kids?

(In what universe does that question even make sense?)

What do you do when, after spending less than 24 hours with her dad (the only time she has seen him in a month) your 14-year-old child comes home, walks directly into your arms and says, “I’m glad to be home. I like it better here.”

I suppose that’s an improvement over the times she has come home crying, but it doesn’t seem like much of a victory.

Last week she told me she’d discovered that one of her best new junior high friends is in a similar situation. Her friend’s dad moved cross-country after marrying another version of the Universally Hated Step Psycho. She seemed so relieved to have found a friend who understands how it feels to have been significantly demoted on her dad’s list of priorities.

He pushes them away, and then makes the time they do spend with him a misery and a chore, so he can turn around and tell me that they don't want to be with him anyway. That they're better off with me. That he's being a good dad by removing himself from their lives.

I want to rage. I want to condemn. I want to pound on him until he feels every ounce of their heartbreak times ten. I want to shake him until he GETS IT. I want him to suffer and suffer and suffer because I am so, so angry.

But in the end, all I can do is hug her back and say, “I’m sorry, baby.”

Friday, November 11, 2005

Well, That Sucked

I'm referring, of course, to the agonizing three-day meeting, and not to my birthday, which was lovely.

I warned My Ho ahead of time that Wednesday was going to be “Self-Absorbed Girlfriend Day.” He was nothing but charming as he followed me on a lengthy and thorough tour of Marshall Field’s handbag department. He was very helpful in The Gap and Banana Republic and Eddie Bauer and New York & Co. He sniffed and smelled and nodded most patiently throughout Bath & Body Works.

Various friends and family members provided a divine showering with gifts—gift cards, a book on writing, some tea, the new Liz Phair CD, and, from My Ho, a ridiculously luxurious feather bed, just like the one from our hotel room in Seattle.

And as if that weren’t enough joy for a Goddess on her birthday, at dinner with my family, I ordered an alcoholic beverage and was carded. Carded! And the waitress was all shocked and flustered when she saw the actual age on my ID. (True, the weight on my driver’s license is a total fabrication, but the birthdate is REAL.)

I have never been much of a greeting card person. I never saw the point in spending $4.00 on every birthday and every holiday, to have Hallmark express in mass-produced card form the sentiments that I'm too much of a chicken to say myself (or worse, to say things I don't really even MEAN) to everyone I've ever known in my life, simply because it's expected. If you have something to SAY, I preached, save a tree and write the person a note in your own words! That is so much more meaningful!

Wednesday proved me right about that. No fewer than four of the people I love most in the world gifted me with personal birthday missives—one long, one short, one electronic, and one written in orange marker. Never mind all the stuff, those letters were the best gift of all.

But of course, it couldn't go on forever. Wednesday’s wealth of loveliness made the final agonizing day of the agonizing three-day meeting seem even more, well, agonizing.

And so, on to today’s Friday Haiku:

Brain damage? Or just
a PowerPoint hangover?
It’s too soon to tell.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Please Don't Leave Me

It's time again for the agonizing three-day meeting. From tomorrow through Thursday, I will be in the immediate physical presence of the powers that be from my place of employment, and will, therefore, have to actually be, you know, working.

And not blogging.

Or even reading blogs.

I'm starting to have the shakes already.

On Friday, if I haven't suffered too much brain damage, my Goddess self will return with more eloquence and wit... except that I will be bringing it to you as a Goddess who is one year older, since my birthday is Wednesday.

During my brief absence, feel free to occupy yourselves with shopping for luxurious and expensive gifts to shower me with.

Just The Shot In The Arm A Goddess Needs Sometimes


Friday, November 04, 2005

My Ho Grew Up In Skokie, Illinois…

…yet, inexplicably, he totally did not get the joke when I asked if he had been in a barbershop quartet there.

And so, I give you today’s Friday haiku:

Dude really needs to
see “The Usual Suspects.”

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Not Exactly Mommyblogging

From: Meghan
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:30 AM
To: EverydaySuperGoddess
Subject: New site

Here’s our new site:
Very exciting!

From: EverydaySuperGoddess
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:33 AM
To: Meghan
Subject: RE: New site

Cool! Whose idea was this?

From: Meghan
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:36 AM
To: EverydaySuperGoddess
Subject: RE: New site

Jen Satterwhite's. She is writing a book and got the idea from her agent.

YOOOOOOOU will be a guest writer too! I just don't know when.

From: EverydaySuperGoddess
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:39 AM
To: Meghan
Subject: RE: New site

Am I a mommyblogger? I feel like my kids are too old for me to be a mommyblogger.

I'd be more like a HeyMomINeedSomeMoneyAndOhByTheWayIHaveHeadliceBlogger...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


When the Demigoddesses were immunized against chicken pox, I felt like I had gotten out of one of the required rites of parenthood. My mom dealt with four kids having it all at the same time, when I was in the third grade and my youngest sister, Betsy, was just a baby. I remember an endless parade of Popsicles, constantly rotating medicated baths, lots of itching, and everywhere, little scabby faces and tummies. The fact that I would miss out on all of it seemed kind of like cheating.

Similarly, when cases of head lice started circulating around the Demigoddesses’ elementary school, I was sure that, at some point, it would arrive at our house as well. I listened to the horror stories from battle-weary parents who fought through recurring cases, about the chemical shampoos and the vacuuming and the laundry and the combing, combing, combing, and I wondered where and when my number would come up.

I mentioned in a recent post that we also dealt with head lice when I was a kid, so I figured I was up to the challenge. But miraculously, both Demis made it to the junior high without a single case, and I felt like I had once again dodged a bullet.

Until last Saturday, that is, when an inspection of Demigoddess the Younger’s itchy scalp confirmed it. Vermin. Lice. Bloodsucking parasites crawling and reproducing in my daughter’s hair.

I did not freak out. She, on the other hand, cried and begged me not to tell anyone, because if any of the kids at school found out it would be SO EMBARRASSING!

Oh, you mean embarrassing like standing in line at Walgreen’s with an armload of RID shampoo? “KILLS LICE AND THEIR EGGS,” it says in huge letters on the box, just in case the guy at the one-hour photo counter missed it. (I will NOT scratch my head while I am standing in this line… I will NOT scratch my head while I am standing in this line…)

It turns out that the poison shampoo (“My head feels like DEATH,” quoth Demigoddess the Younger), is the easy part. The really nasty bit is the fine-toothed combing. Like all parents, I have dealt with nuclear diapers, the entire vomit spectrum, and all manner of disgusting bodily fluids, much of which I have had on my person at some point. But none of that had legs. Through two hours and most of a tube of “Egg & Nit Comb-Out Gel,” the foulness I picked out of that child’s hair made me swoon.

Really. Gross.

Then came the cleaning, because, naturally, the Demis’ bedroom was wall to wall with stuffed animals and dirty clothes. While they piled everything into garbage bags for quarantine, I loaded the washer with every stitch of bedding, and then vacuumed every corner of carpet and every square inch of upholstery in the house.

Of course, none of this was on the agenda when I woke up on Saturday morning.

As of today, Demigoddess the Younger appears to remain louse-free. And, fortunately, her sister and I seem to have been spared altogether, although the psychosomatic scalp itchiness that I have experienced since Saturday is really getting annoying.

After school on Monday, Demi the Younger happily shared that earlier in the day she had overheard a couple of her friends whispering about their moms bagging up all of their stuffed animals and putting them in the garage. She confided in one of them that she, too, had been a victim, and she learned that her arch-nemesis, Mean Boy, had gone under the poison shampoo, too.

And yes, she gave me permission to blog about it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

So Very Sad

My Ho’s Youngster attends a swanky private school. The Demigoddesses go to our local public school with the rest of the unwashed masses.

It turns out that the Demigoddesses’ public school soccer team is playing the Youngster’s swanky private school soccer team in the state soccer tournament tonight.

My Ho forwarded me an e-mail that he received from another of the swanky private school parents yesterday. He had added his own subject line (“This Cracked Me Up…”), under which it said:

The game will be tomorrow night, Tuesday November 1, 2005 at 6:00 pm. The game starts promptly at 6:00; the team announcements, national anthem, etc, start at 5:45 pm.

Bring (SWANKY PRIVATE SCHOOL) students of all ages, parents, relatives (distant and near), friends, neighbors, and passers-by to cheer. (UWASHED MASSES’ PUBLIC SCHOOL) is a much bigger school so we have to offset their noise.

Apparently those unfortunate overpriveleged kids need all the help and support they can round up. My heart, it BLEEEEEEEEDS...

Nevertheless, we will be cheering for the public school kids. Obviously.