Thursday, June 23, 2016

I Survived the 90's. My Eyebrows Did Not

trends from the 1990's
Looks like someone had a few too many Midori sours.
I've been in the process of going through all of the crap that's accumulated around Casa Lane over the last three years.  Call it what you will - Marie Kondo-ing or purging - but it's really more that I haven't had a chance to get rid of stuff since I went through the whole nesting stage back when I was pregnant with the Muffin Man.  One doesn't exactly get a lot of chances to use the label maker when chasing a baby and a toddler. 

Now that my kids are older and therefore able to entertain themselves while I ignore them, I've been slowly sorting through all of the accumulated junk that's managed to pile up in the closets, cupboards, and garage.  Pro tip: you really don't need to hang on to a bunch of spit-up stained bibs if your uterus is closed for business.  Also, you really are never going to fit into those pre-pregnancy jeans again, so stop holding on to hope and invest in a pair of pants that don't cut off the blood supply to your lady parts.

As part of my garage purge, I stumbled upon a giant box filled with old photos from my high school and college years.  While I was sorting through the pile of snapshots, two things crossed my mind: one, that my children will never experience having to wait several days or weeks in order to see what the photos from their disposable camera look like, and two, that there were some really hideous trends from the 90's.

Brown lipstick.  I'm sure there are women who look incredible in brown lipstick.  I, however, am not one of these women.  The fact that brown is not my color did not dissuade me from wearing this trend with pride.  I spent a significant portion of my allowance at the local drugstore purchasing tubes of some hideous, slightly shimmery cocoa-brown color.  I guess if the look I was going for was "crypt keeper" this would have been an excellent fashion choice, which I will certainly keep in mind come Halloween.

Trends from the 1990's
Giant clothing.  I came of age during the grunge era, which means that I listened to a lot of Nirvana and Pearl Jam while smoking pot, and that all of the clothing I purchased was size Men's XXL.  My body type has not changed significantly; I'm still a toothpick, just older and saggier, so I had no business wearing an XXL anything.  In hindsight I realize that most of my sartorial choices back then hinged on my wanting to hide my slender figure, but instead of turning me into some sort of voluptuous goddess I just looked like a badly-dressed toothpick.  On a side note, if I could go back in time and give my teenage self some advice, it would be to wear midriff tops every single day, because I had amazing abs and it's a shame that I kept those undercover.

I graduated from NYU, but it appears my eyebrows did not.
Over-plucked eyebrows.  As a woman who comes from a rather hirsute background, I have spent my life attempting to tame the uni brow.  I didn't learn about the magic of waxing until I moved to New York because, Berkeley, but once I did discover the allure of hot wax and no body hair, I began a years-long obsession with removing all traces of my Russian Jewish ancestry.  Unfortunately, I got a little too close to my waxer, and while I'm grateful to her for ridding me of my uni brow, I wish she hadn't taken off quite so much of my gorgeous Ashkenazi dual brows.  It turns out that looking permanently surprised is not a great look for most women.

The Rachel cut.  We all had this, right?  I mean, it was the hottest haircut in practically ever and yet it was heinous.  Who in the Hell thought that a weird, layered bubble cut would be flattering?  I clearly remember thinking I looked so hot when I walked out of the fancy San Francisco salon that specialized in this tragedy of a hairdo.  I spent precious amounts of time blow-drying my hairdo every morning - time when I should have been sleeping - in order to make all those layers look halfway decent.  I have super thick, wavy hair, which, it turns out, meant that if I didn't spend the time to blow dry my hair would have me looking like some kind of Golden Doodle who'd been to a sub-par groomer.  Thankfully, I was saved by a cross country move and an (expensive) New York hairdresser who turned me on to the pixie cut and the joys of doing blow at work.

Midori sour.  Whoever invented this drink and dared to call himself a Mixologist should be drowned in a bin of dirty ice, because this "cocktail" is vile.  I sincerely hope that the young girls of 2016 are not still ordering this monstrosity and fancying themselves sophisticated, because this is basically just Otter Pop-flavored alcohol.  I threw back my share of this horrendous drink, which may explain why I slept with as many losers as I did.  Any drink that is garnished with a cherry - other than a classic Manhattan - should not be ordered by any woman fancying herself an adult.

I guess, when all is said and done, I'm happy to be a grown-up.  Sure, I would love to have those teenage abs back, and I could really do without the postpartum tummy pooch, stretch marks, and saggy boobs, but at least I have a great haircut and would never, ever be caught dead drinking any cocktails the color of nuclear waste. 
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Plan the Perfect Family Vacation

How about we just stay home and hang out in our blow up pool for free?
I've been talked into taking a "vacation" with my family this summer.  I was probably slightly tipsy when the Hubster broached the subject, and in my altered state thought it sounded like a great idea, but now that I'm sober and figuring out all the logistics, I'm beginning to fear for my sanity.  I'm still recovering from the last trip I took with my kids over seven months ago.  In fact, I haven't even finished unpacking yet.

On the one hand, I'm incredibly grateful that we have the time and the financial resources to even consider traveling somewhere.  But on the other hand this means we have to travel...with our children.  Gone are the days of impulsive trips that involved throwing a string bikini and some birth control in a bag and catching the next flight to paradise.  Now everything has to be planned in detail, because I can tell you from experience that doing anything impulsively or last minute when children are involved only leads to sleepless nights and tantrums, from both children and parents.

Destination.  When you have little kids who are not yet capable of sitting still for longer than 14.5 seconds, you have to pick vacation destinations that aren't too far from home.  Hawaii is beautiful, but it's also 5-6 hours away by airplane, and until my children have the ability to entertain themselves and use the bathroom alone, I'd like to avoid any trips longer than two hours.  Sure, you can try drugging your offspring with Benadryl in the hopes that they'll sleep through the flight, but if your kids are like mine, and they get totally wired instead, then you'll get to enjoy five hours of your children using you and your fellow passengers as a jungle gym.  I'll just have to wait to take that trip to Italy I've been dreaming about until my children are, well, no longer children.

Air or land?  Traveling by plane is shitty enough these days when one is flying alone, but add two children with all their stuff and who like to make jokes about flying with power tools, and you've got a recipe for the flight from Hell.  Road trips sound fun, until you realize that you'll have to entertain your children the entire time.  Also, instead of listening to that awesome road trip playlist you made when you were single, you'll have to rock out to Baby Beluga and the Wheels on the Bus.  For the entire drive.  All while your children repeatedly kick your seat and ask "are we there yet?" every three minutes.

Accommodations.  I love a nice hotel room as much as the next gal, but I do not like having to share that hotel room with my kids.  I have a hard enough time getting my kids to sleep through the night at home, but expecting them to snooze peacefully in a roll away crib that I've locked in the closet or the bathroom is just delusional.  Not to mention that I have to bring so much crap with us whenever we're not sleeping at home - white noise machines, night lights, blankets, pillows - it takes a whole extra suitcase just for all the accoutrements my children need in order to sleep.  If I'm spending $500 a night to stay somewhere, I better be getting the best sleep of my entire freaking life, not jumping out of bed every 30 minutes to reassure my kids that there are no monsters hiding in the toilet.  

Food.  Children eat all the freaking time.  Once they finish a meal, they want a snack.  Then they want another snack, followed by a second meal, followed by another snack.  It's a vicious cycle of constantly preparing food and doing dishes.  Unless one can afford to spring for a suite (and we can't), hotel rooms do not have kitchens, which means you're constantly ordering room service or running to the snack bar for stuff for your kids.  Other than being a complete pain in the ass, this will also set you back practically $4000.  I'd rather just rent a house with a kitchen so that I can spend my vacation doing exactly what I do when we're at home: dishes.

Activities.  My ideal vacation involves reading books and eating delicious food, but unfortunately my children don't feel the same way.  They want me to play with them and swim with them and take them to places like the aquarium and the zoo.  I may dream of a food crawl through Portland, but unless the dishes being served are plain pasta and white cheese, my kids won't be participating.

Maybe we'll just take a staycation instead.  Sure, there won't be as many Instagram-worthy shots as there would be if we went to Cancun, but at least there's a chance my kids might sleep, and it's safe to drink the water.  And with all the money I'll be saving by not taking a trip, I can hire a babysitter to watch my kids while I go to the beach alone.  Now that's what I call a vacation.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Four Things Your Dad Really Wants

What does the Dad in your life want for Father's Day?
What does the man in your life want for Father's Day?  Probably sex.
With Father's Day just around the corner, the Hubs has been sending me subtle hints about what he wants for this father of all holidays.  I thought for sure that he would choose something from my fabulous Gift Guide, but alas it seems that the only things he wants involves me having to be naked and awake; specifically sex.  This got me thinking about how different the wish list is between Mother's Day and Father's Day.  In fact, when you compare and contrast, it seems that everything on my DO NOT BUY list are all the things that my spouse actually wants.  The only crossover item is sleep because, kids. 

Sleep.  The need for a decent night's rest crosses all gender lines when it comes to parenthood, which makes this a universally desired item on every parent's wish list.  I suspect that when my Husband wrote "sleep in" on his Father's Day gift list, he actually meant until after 9am, but there's only so long I can hold my savages off from waking him up.  He better be happy with a 7:30 wake-up call because there's only so long I can keep my children distracted with the Disney Channel and breakfast popsicles.

Sex.  It seems to me that men want to celebrate anything that passes for a Holiday with a romp in the bedclothes.  My husband has actually tried to use Arbor Day as a valid qualifier for obligatory sex.  Obviously when it comes to Father's Day - a Holiday all about him - you're basically going to have to put out.  The only way I can think of to weasel out of sex would be to remind him what your vagina looked liked when you pushed out your children, or to actually be in labor on Father's Day.  Even then, he may have the audacity to ask for a BJ between contractions. 

Gadgets and tools.  My spouse is not a tool guy - he's Jewish, after all - but the man loves a new kitchen gadget more than he may have loved his ex-wife.  While I don't ever want to be gifted with something I'm expected to cook, clean, or actually use, the Hubs wants nothing more than a new smoker and an immersion blender.  Give a non-Jewish father a set of tools and watch his face light up at the prospect of fixing sh*t around the house or building something for his man cave.  I'll never understand why men enjoy gifts that come with the implicit requirement that the receiver must do something productive.  Now if only the stuff they wanted to fix was what you've had on their "Honey Do" list for the last four years.

Sports.  I don't have a spouse who is in to sports - I suspect it's from too many years of actually playing them - but every man I meet wants to spend his Father's Day either watching sports or participating in sports. I sometimes wonder if sports is what passes for foreplay for men. My Husband may not want to watch any sports, but I know that he would be thrilled to have an hour or two to ride his bicycle, alone, to someplace other than the ice cream store.  The closest I want to get to any sports is having a former Olympic Gold Medal wrestler give me a massage. 

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Pops, Grandfathers, Step-Dads, and Stepped-up-the-plate Dads.  Here's hoping your day is filled with lots of the things you love.  Just remember to use birth control for all that Holiday nookie or risk having another offspring to support next June.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Who's Your Daddy?

Father's Day humor
 Each year, when Father's Day rolls around, I find myself thinking about the "road not taken" or, as I prefer to call it, "thank goodness I remembered to use birth control when I slept with all those losers."  Do you ever think about that, about what your life would be like if you'd ended up with someone different?  In my Mother's case, that would've spared me a lifetime of therapy working through my daddy issues, but when it comes to my own choice of Baby Daddy, I'm pretty happy.  Nevertheless, I sometimes have one of those "what if" moments.  

What if....

I'd married my first boyfriend?  
When a guy can't remember if you were number 57 or 58 on his conquest list, it's hard to imagine him sticking around for the long haul.  Young love may be sweet, but the last thing I'd want in a husband is a guy with a wandering peen and an endless string of ladies willing to oblige. Sure, he was well-endowed and knew what to do with it, but If I'd taken that road I would've been divorced by twenty-two and facing a future of rooming with my Mother. 

I'd moved in with the questionably gay one?  
I'm sure there are straight men who love musical theater and can quote every lyric to every Rodgers & Hammerstein score ever written, I've just never met one.  This guy liked attending the Gay Pride Parade and wouldn't let up on wanting to try anal "just once".  He claimed he liked women, which he proved to me by boning my roommate.  I'm glad I didn't procreate with him, mainly because it would've been awkward to explain to my kids why Daddy left Mommy for a woman...who he then left for a man.

I'd gotten hitched to the drug addict?  
Drugs and alcohol are awesome...until you have kids.  This guy was the life of the party, and we had a great time together slamming back the shots, hitting the after hours clubs and living the (literal) high life.  I probably would've married this guy if he'd ever been sober enough to ask.  I could've popped out two kids and had enough material for my own Movie of the Week.  But you know what's super not awesome?  Watching Daddy do lines in the living room before you leave for soccer practice.  I already attend Al-anon meetings; I don't want to see my kids there. 

I dated more than my share of losers, but in the end I'm terribly grateful that I didn't end up marrying or (G-d forbid) having a kid with any of them.  I thank my lucky stars every day that I met, married, and procreated with a guy who is not only an amazing Father, but also a loving and caring partner.  This Sunday, I'm looking forward to celebrating Father's Day with the Hubs in a fitting manner: by letting him sleep past 7am, and possibly even giving in to some pity sex.  Oh, and by giving him something from my Father's Day gift guide, of course. 

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