Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yup, Still Married

Every once in a while, an old boyfriend or old crush will contact me somehow. Sometimes they find my name on yahoo people or they find my classmates.com page, and there are some people who actually had my cell phone number since way back when (ten years ago!).

A few months ago, an old friend of a friend called to chit chat and Peter was home when the phone call came. But I stayed on the phone with him for about an hour and a half because every time I wanted to hang up the phone, he was like, "Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you about that guy who tried to teach you how to rollerblade backwards and how he's in prison for trying to kill two people." And I would sit right back down on the sofa and go, "WHAT?!"

Then later, I was try to wind down the conversation because Peter was casting evil glares at me from across the room and this guy would say, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about another friend of ours from way back had a baby with someone he didn't even know."

And of course, who doesn't want to stay on the line as this person tells you how wonderful you are and how all his friends get together and talk about what a shame it is that you're married because you're TERRIFIC!

I guess that's the difference between men and women. Men will say to themselves, "Hey, it's been four years...Maybe she's not married anymore. Let's give her a ring."

Women are just, "Been there, done that. NEXT!"

Today I got this random email from my classmates.com page. An old boyfriend from high school had just emailed my account there. Last I heard, he was married. And when I checked out his weddingchannel.com website, I noticed that there was an overlap in their story and our story. We had dated in high school for about four weeks, one of those high school ridiculous relationships that consisted of holding hands and saying, "You like going ice skating? Me too!" "Wait a minute, you like science fiction?" "Me too!"

The problem with this guy was that he was attached to his mother, almost literally. On more than one occasion, we would make plans and then he wouldn't show up and I would spend the day with his best friend...which caused him to one day profess his love for me. I guess all that time together and the thought that: Hey! The guy she's dating isn't going out with her! I am! I'm going on all their dates, she might as well be dating me! It was like every bad high school movie from the eighties.

One time, we made a date to meet up at this park near his house and as I was waiting for him, I saw him approach the park...next to his mother! And I kind of got up from the bench I was sitting on and he made a slight gesture with his hand, a dont-come-up-to-me-I-haven't-told-my-mother-about-you gesture. I was SOOOO mad. I remember storming home, just barely keeping it together, I was so mad.

Later that night when he called me, I said to him, "DO. NOT. EVER. CALL. ME. AGAIN."

And then I hung up the phone.

You know what I learned from that situation? You have to give boys CLOSURE otherwise they will obsess about you for no reason at all. So four years after I hung up on him, I bumped into him in Forest Hills, NY, where we used to go to the movies at The Continental, and his friends were all like, "That's HER?"

Now, if I had let that relationship follow its course, he would have gotten bored of me eventually, but cutting him off made him build me up in his mind. He wanted to be friends, so we sort of hung out every once in a while when I was in college. And one time, while I was over at his house, he offered me a diamond ring. It was sort of a proposal, if you consider, "Hey, I have this ring. Do you want it?" a proposal.

He was constantly asking me if I wanted to give it another shot with him, but the answer was always, "Uhm. Absolutely NOT." That image of him walking next to his mom at that park...that image will never die.

So when I found his weddingchannel.com site, it miffed me that he was going out with her for about a year of the time he was trying to get me to go out with him again. I mean, did he offer her the same ring or what? I wasn't jealous at all, but a bit indignant for the other girl.

So anyway, he emailed me a few weeks ago and I just found out today. And it makes me a bit suspicious. If Peter ever emailed some random girl he had proposed to -- God help him.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Litter-Kwitter Training Update

For the most part, lil' meow meow has gone in the litter kwitter except for the two times I left the bathmat on the floor and one time on the towel that fell onto the floor. My biggest fear is that she'll decide to wander on over to the sofa and pee on it. If she does that, then I'm just going to have to open my window and throw her out.

I'm on the orange stage right now and TWICE she's actually tinkled INTO THE TOILET so I didn't even have to clean anything!

For those of you who are interested, you can see what the orange stage looks like here. Of course, if you keep clicking around, you'll become totally mesmerized by all the cat-peeing and pooping videos.

The tinkling into the toilet is nice, but she does scrape the litter all over the place so that litter goes all over the floor. I am hoping that she will be able to be fully trained soon before we have to buy another bag of very expensive flushable litter made out of corn. Basically, this means that when the bathroom does not smell like poop, it smells like tortilla chips.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're NOT Bringing Him Home

Peter came home after throwing out the trash and said, "You HAVE to come see this."

The last time he said this, we got a new cat.

"Uhmm. Okay, but we are NOT getting a new cat. Or a dog. Or a rat. Maybe, and only maybe, if it's a pot-bellied pig, but that's probably not wandering around Mamaroneck at night."

When he brought me to the trash dumpster, Peter pointed out the cutest opossum I'd ever seen in my life. Usually they're a bit messed-up looking with bent tails and kind of scary faces. But this one had a cute little face and big eyes.

"At least this animal is better off outside," I said. "Thank GOD. Stop looking for cute animals in dumpsters. It will only get us into trouble."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's True

Growing up, there was always one or two kids I played with who my mother did not like. She didn't like them, but she was always super-nice when they came over. The second they left, she would say, "Why do you have to play with that one? I don't like her. She seems sneaky."

As it turned out, she was pretty dead-on about those kids. Each one of them ended up proving themselves unworthy of my friendship.

This kid I babysit has play dates and the kids who come over have always been nice kids...except for the one who came over yesterday. He asked if we could go to the bagel shop after school to get something to drink, which was fine so we went.

While we were there, two elderly ladies were also at the bagel shop and this kid kept making comments like:

"Oh look, she's so hot!"


"I think I hear wedding bells. I want to marry her."

He kept pointing and saying things that were not-so-quiet. He was very ill-behaved, but it's not my job to discipline him. Later, when we got to the house, I prepared some snacks for the boys and when I brought them down to the basement where they were hanging out, this kid snatches the snacks from my hands, which ignited my very quick temper.

"Hey!" I said. "What's wrong with you? You shouldn't grab things out of people's hands! "

He looked a bit stunned, probably because no one ever talks to him this way, and said:

"That's true."

He didn't apologize, but I thought it was funny that he said, "That's true," as in, "I'm in total agreement with you and I don't know who got a hold of my brain there for a second."

When his mom arrived, she kind of poked her head in the door as asked, "Did he behave?" She looked a bit worried, like she was half-expecting me to say, "Whoa, that kid you got? He's a nightmare."

The kid then came upstairs and had his mother put his shoes on and tie them for him. He's nine, for crying out loud.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Not Edible

We have this toaster oven that we can preset to "oven" so that we can heat something up at a uniform temperature for a longer period of time than the timer dial allows.

Tonight, at 12:45am, I happened to see that the light on the oven was lit.

Alarmed, I asked Peter what time he had placed the piece of naan bread in the toaster oven, which had now turned into a hardened brown hockey puck.

"Oh MY GOD!" Peter said. "I can't BELIEVE I did that! I put that in at 6pm! I'm SO SORRY! This will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN."

Two seconds later, he said.

"Is it still edible?"

Because you know he's sorry that he put us all in jeopardy, but more importantly, he's upset that he didn't get to eat his snack.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Promoting Mediocrity

The little boy I'm taking care of had a soccer game last Saturday and when I asked him who won, he said that his team won 5 to 0, but only because his team wasn't allowed to score any more points after 5. I kept asking him to repeat this because I didn't understand why they couldn't score any more points, and he said:

"When the winning team scores five points and the other team hasn't scored yet we have to stop at five. If we score 6, the other team automatically wins the game."

I really couldn't wrap my brain around this and then he told me the kicker:

"AND when we get to five, we're not allowed to go on our half of the field anymore. It's called SPORTSMANSHIP."

"Noooooo, that's not what SPORTSMANSHIP is. That's called RIDICULOUS. I mean, those sucky teams know that they're sucky, right?"

"Of course, YEAH."

"I mean, wouldn't it just make them feel even suckier that the winning team has to STOP PLAYING SOCCER? If you were on the losing team, wouldn't you feel COMPLETELY EMBARRASSED?"


I know what it's like to be on a losing team. I went to a total nerd high school. A nerd high school that had a basketball team which was completely trounced by the opposing team during each and every game. The question wasn't whether or not we would win the game, it was: Are we going to lose by thirty points or sixty points?

And yet, our boys went out there and did the best they could. Sure, none of them went on to play for the Knicks, but they went out there and we cheered them on and we got ridiculously happy when we only lost by 20 points.

Are we so afraid of hurting our kids' feelings that we're going to change the rules of the game so that they won't feel so bad losing by fifteen points?

All of a sudden, it completely makes sense to me that when I was teaching at that lovely coed Catholic College in Lower Westchester, the students would neglect to turn in assignments or show up for class and still expect me to pass them. Parents don't make their kids face the very real truths and sometimes those truths are about themselves.

Parents are afraid to say:
No, you are NOT an excellent soccer player. GET OVER IT.

The county's slogan may as well be, "Westchester, Building Mediocrity, One Child at a Time."

I mean, c'mon Westchester! All your kids are going to grow up completely gutless and useless! Am I the only person that thinks this way?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Conversation With My Sister

"Ooooooohhhhhhh! Scout and Rocky have been lying down on our sofa!"

"Why aren't they allowed on the sofa?"

"Oy. We'd like them to, but we totally got the WRONG type of sofa. It's sort of a velour-ish Restoration Hardware sofa that keeps every little hair and shows spittle. We didn't think it through and now it's too late and it's easier to keep the dogs off the sofa than to clean it every second."

"Why don't you lock the dogs up in the kitchen?"

"Because ever since we've tried to toilet-train the cat, we don't want her to jump over to our living room in case she's looking to pee into our potted plants. When the dogs are in the living room, she won't hop over. But now I'm going to have to put stuff on the sofa so the dogs don't get on it. But I hate the way the sofa looks when there's stuff all over it and I always forget to put stuff on it when I'm leaving the house."

"When did your life get this complicated?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Like New Cars

Peter and I recently purchased a brand-new car and I've come upon a new theory of car-owning. I used to be a strong believer in the buy-a-car-and-drive-it-into-the-ground school of car ownership. That way you get the best bang for the buck. But THEN we got a BRAND-NEW CAR! And I LOVE driving a BRAND-NEW CAR! If we only buy a car whenever one craps out, then how many cars does one get to buy in a lifetime? 4 or 5 if you live a very long time?

It might not be very frugal (and it does sting a bit to do something that isn't saving me some money every second of every day), but maybe buying a new car every 5 years isn't a bad idea. That way, you're always driving around in a relatively new car. If you have only one life to live, isn't it nice to be able to go around driving new cars all the time?

After much deliberation, we decided on a Galaxy Gray Honda Civic. Although we DID NOT purchase it at the Mount Kisco Honda because MT. Kisco Honda SUCKS!! We also didn't buy it at the White Plains Honda because they foisted us off on this nineteen-year-old salesperson who we could tell was completely not given any authority to give us any deals on pricing. We bought it at the Yonkers Honda because they knocked $1500 off the price we were given at the White Plains Honda. So yeah, we got it under MSRP!

(Side note: Why is it that whenever we ask a salesperson about the Honda Element's windshield cracking problem and if they've fixed it in the newer models, they tell us that they've "never heard about it." Aren't salespeople supposed to be kept apprised of law suits filed against Honda and the many complaints about a car that they are supposed to be selling?)

We were told that Galaxy Gray is to be discontinued, so we thought we were getting a car color not many people have.

Hmmm. I've already almost tried to open the door of TWO other Galaxy Gray Honda Civics.

Peter said that it was probably the same person.

The same person at the CVS and then a few days later at Trader Joe's? Are we living parallel lives? I don't think so.

Although one time my mother opened the door to another green Jeep Cherokee, sat in the driver's seat and thought it was so strange that someone left a whole bunch of trash on the passenger seat. It took her a few moments before she realized that this was NOT HER CAR.

Well, if you happen to see a girl trying valiantly to open the door to your Galaxy Gray Honda Civic, just give her a few minutes, and please don't get mad.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pain in the Ass Toilet Training

When Peter and I adopted this stray kitten, I knew that I wanted to train her to use the toilet. I had read a really long article years ago about a woman who had trained her cat to do this and it completely fascinated me and I thought, "How cool would it be to have a cat that uses a toilet?"

So a few weeks ago I purchased a system called "The Litter Kwitter," which guarantees to work in 8 weeks to get your cat to use the toilet so there will be no more cleaning up of litter.

The thing is, this kitten likes to paw at the litter all day long. Sometimes she'll just climb up to the toilet and paw the litter so that it is scattered all over the bathroom floor. This wouldn't have been as big a problem in our old place where we had 2 bathrooms and a bath area which was closed off from the toilet areas, but now we only have ONE bathroom, which I like to keep relatively clean and this is DRIVING ME INSANE.

We've also discovered that if you leave a bathmat or accidentally unhooked your bath towel from its place, the kitten will use this opportunity to pee on those things, which is SO GROSS.

Plus, we are encouraged to give the kitty treats when she does do the right thing, but whenever I give her a treat, she FREAKS OUT because when my sister Jenny came over, Jenny gave the kitty a treat, which caused Rocky to LUNGE AT THE CAT. So now she equates delicious kitty treats with MURDER.

But I'm looking forward to a day in which she will be able to just use the toilet, but I can now understand why there are many many people on the litter kwitter forums who have given up.

And just the fact that I am checking something called a litter kwitter forum every day just goes to show you how pathetic my life is right now.

Friday, September 12, 2008


"You have a copy of the Bush/Dukakis debate on tape?"

"Uhmm... Yeah... But don't look at that."

"Why not?"

"Because it might have turned into porn."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Sure I Fit In

I found a job which fits into my schedule and gives me a little bit of spending money. For the past week I've been picking up a child after school and babysitting him until his mom or dad gets home. I figure that this will give me a good opportunity to chat up some of the local moms and get tutoring gigs in the future.

I don't want to sound really snotty, but I really don't get the stay-at-home moms I've met. One mom spent about half and hour recounting each and every item of clothing her daughter tried on at The Gap to her friend, who seemed to hang on her every word. It was kind of like a really boring mommy blog, except I was witnessing it in real time, which made it even more boring.

She probably does that because she can't differentiate between what is interesting and what is NOT INTERESTING. I feel sorry for people like that because they create really boring blogs.

It's a strange dynamic, being "the babysitter" or "nanny." Peter does NOT like it. He said that he doesn't like the idea of people seeing me in that way and looking down on me. I don't really care what people think and I actually look at it as a good way to inform my writing in case I decide to write about a really boring stay-at-home mom one day.

I like the kid I care for and the mom, but I don't know where I fit in with the other moms. Do I sit with them or not? Do I talk to them or not? Some of the moms DO NOT even acknowledge my presence. It's a bit strange. I'm not sure if I really hate it or not so I may not do it for very long.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Television Seats

When my sister agreed to dog and cat-sit for us, we neglected to mention the fact that we no longer have a television. Her reaction was:


(big pause)

"But...You have THE INTERNET, don't you?"

Our saving grace is that Peter is a web developer, so yes, we do have THE INTERNET.

When her friends found out that she was dog-sitting, they all said, "So...Watching a lot of television, huh?"

"They haven't gotten around to buying one yet, so right now all their furniture is facing the wall that the television is going to be, but right now is just a blank wall."

"No television? What do they do?"

"I guess they, uhm, TALK to each other."

"TALK TO EACH OTHER? Why the fuck would they want to do that?"

The funny thing is that the other day, we were sitting around. I was reading a magazine and Peter was sitting on the sofa, the sofa that faces the large blank wall and Peter says, "This is nice, I like this. What do you think about not getting a television?"

I looked at him and said, "Yeah, I think it's a great idea."

The second that came out of my mouth, my mind flashed through all the episodes of Project Runway I missed, the fact that I didn't get to watch any of the summer Olympics this year, and PUSHING DAISIES! I need to watch Pushing Daisies! At least until they cancel it since no one else is watching it.

So then I said. "Maybe we'll get a television and I'll promise not to watch it as much."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Things to Look Up on Google

During our road trips, Peter and I spend about 90% of the time talking. And when we go down to Florida, we jibber-jabber about the randomest things such as, "Are armadillos mammals?"

And of course, being that it's a road trip, we don't have Google handy. So many random facts are now so easily found out through Google that in the future, there will be no more, "It's on the tip of my tongue"-syndromes -- it will be replaced by Googledom.

One billboard I saw coming back up from Florida was a HUGE sign that had a smiling Colonel Sanders and the words KFC BUFFET in ten-foot-long letters.

"KFC Buffet?" I said to Peter. "IS THAT ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT KFC?"

"Why?" Peter said. "What's the big deal?"

"KFC is like twenty dollars for a bucket of chicken."

"No way."


"It's fast-food? Nothing is that expensive."

"What do you know? You haven't had bought a bucket of KFC chicken in twenty years."

"I never liked KFC."

"Correction. What do you know? You've NEVER bought a bucket of chicken."


My sister Jenny took care of the dogs during our impromptu end-of-summer vacation right before Peter starts work. It was pretty nice having someone whose diapers you used to change could every actually become useful.

The only thing I worried about was that the cat and her habit of just blithely sauntering into a room the dogs were in and then go apeshit with hissy fits because they are there. Jenny told us that the cat would go into the bedroom and sleep in the same room as the dogs. To this, Jenny said, and I quote:

"That cat is ballsy!"

Yup, until the night Jenny called me up at 1am to tell me, "Emily Mortimer ALMOST DIED!"

Apparently, everyone was sitting around getting along and while Jenny was giving the cat a treat, Rocky decided it was a good idea to take a chomp out of Emily Mortimer and he went right for her. Luckily, she got away.

When I found out about this, I was so upset, and then I realized, "Hey! I'm getting ATTACHED. I guess this means that we're going to keep her."