Seriously, I hate you.

I first noticed the bane of my existence, Franny and Milhouse (names invented since I don’t actually know their real names) about a year ago when I moved to the damn suburbs and had to start taking the train into work.  The express train I take is about 35 minutes to downtown.  The first time I saw them, they had walked up to the front of the car near the doors of the train about 15 minutes before we got into the station.  Franny had a worried, sad expression just like Droopy Dog.  Her husband was by her side with a look of concern and deep, deep, deep, deep enduring love on his face as they stood there, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes.  On a train.  At 7:15 in the morning.  And as they stood there staring at each other, at times he would softly kiss her forehead and sometimes they would hug, and then they would always go back to looking into each other’s eyes and always with the same expressions  — she looking forlorn and somewhat constipated and him staring at her like she is an orphan about to die of starvation.  All this, standing there in the middle of the aisle on the damn train in front of about 50 people.

So the first time I see this, I think “God! Was she just diagnosed with terminal cancer or something?”  These two are fucking intense.  I wonder if it bothers them at all to stand in front of all of the sleepy, seated commuters on a train for 15 minutes and make slow, sad love to one another with their eyes? But maybe something absolutely horrible has happened to them and they don’t even care because they are so traumatized.  It’s kind of embarrassing for them, and me, but I’ll let it go.  I hope she gets cured.  I hope they stay together.  They are so obviously in love.

And then the next day came and there they were again doing all the same shit. And then the next day, and the next.  And after a few days of this, I’ve had enough. It was all I could do not to stand up and scream “Get a fucking room you silly stupid ass wipes! What the hell is the matter with you?”

Nobody could convince me that Franny has ever smiled with her eyes in her entire lifetime. Ever. Franny must be the most depressed, victimized, Eeyore-like person in the universe.  She better have a fucking crazy tough life carrying around that constant pained expression and sucking any positive energy out of the entire train car, leaving a vacuum of desolation and depression.  I think that Milhouse is under the impression that only his dutiful hugs and kisses  keep her from committing suicide every morning and I find myself praying that one day he would stop and let her get it over with so I could enjoy one single fucking day on the train.

If I had to spend more than 4 minutes with Franny I would probably eviscerate myself with a fork  just to get out of her path of misery.  There were times when I felt bad for Milhouse because he has to tend to the needs of the most high maintenance, soul sucking individual on the planet. But then it dawned on me that he doesn’t have to. He LOVES this. This drama played out every morning. He is addicted to this woman’s dysfunction.  I mean, he is as jacked as she is if he has the stomach to be replaying this scene over and over every. single. fucking day in front of an entire train car of people who want them both dead. (I haven’t taken a poll, but how could my fellow commuters not be as infuriated by this shit as I am?)

So I switched train cars to get away from them.  Their shenanigans made me feel homicidal thoughts for the first time in my life and I was worried for their safety. I started day dreaming about punching her in face until I couldn’t see it any more and I’ve never had thoughts like that in my life.  I was scared and surprised about my own visceral reaction to these two. I mean, why do I hate them so thoroughly with my whole being? What about them loving each other sick is so abhorrent to me?

Well, I had to make this stop, so I switched train cars to avoid them.  And that worked! For a day.  But on the second day in my new car where I could feel calm, peace and love?  Oh shit. Franny and fucking Milhouse apparently decide to move a car up, like they are stalking me, and once again in front of an entire train and hold each other and kiss each other and look intensely at one another in the eyes.  Sometimes she would whisper something and then his concern would grow and he’d rub her back and brush the hair from her forehead. Or he would cup both of his hands around her little face and whisper something back. I’ve never heard a single word of what these two are saying, but I imagine in a Mystery Science Theater sort of way that she’s like, “My little toe hurts again. I’m not sure if I can make it.” and then he says, “Darling, if I could take your pain away I would. But instead I’ll just treat you like a sick infant, and I’ll be concerned for your life 100% of this train ride. I love you, Schmoopie.”  and then she looks down sadly because Milhouse should have said something else like, “Darling, I will get down on my hands and knees and suck on your little toe if that will make it feel better.” But he didn’t, and so she must mope some more, all alone in this world and so very sad that her husband isn’t taking her pain away.

So now what? I could not shake these two, but I finally felt grateful I had gotten myself knocked up with kid #3 and finally I could go on maternity leave and Franny and Milhouse and all of their infinite problems they are solving with their intense, infinite love on the train each morning would disappear.  After a week or two, their specter no longer haunted me and truthfully, I forgot all about them. I was sort of busy.

Seven weeks later,  I go back to work and I have to drop my baby girl off at daycare and I’m a mess and as I’m walking to the train station, some guy runs past me like he is trying to beat the world record in the 100 meters. And lo and behold – I recognize him. It is fucking Milhouse.  Seriously, God? Today? These two? Fuck me.

So where the hell is Franny? I thought she and Milhouse were Siamese married people.  How does he expect her to survive without having his face within 6 inches of hers?  “Maybe they divorced!? Maybe she is finally dead!” I thought hopefully.  Well, that would not explain why he was running so fast with his messenger bag flopping all over the place.  He must have dropped our Franny off at the station and went to park the car and though the train wouldn’t be arriving for another 12 minutes, he was running like it was leaving the station.

Yup. Franny was standing there waiting for him with an expression on her face as if he accidentally poured cyanide instead salt into the soup and she was really serious today about jumping in front of the train because of his inadequacy. Very disappointed in him. He didn’t run fast enough I guess. Or perhaps he had screwed up everything already that morning, putting her in a fragile state that only staring into his pleading eyes would ever remedy.  UGH. Kill me now.

But then they did something I could not believe!  They separated for a few minutes! Each lined up on the platform so that they were each on one side of the throng of people waiting so they could hedge their bets so when the train pulled in one of them would be close to the door and could snag a seat where they could sit together.  So clever. I think they were probably texting the whole time just to ensure that Franny was okay as she stood waiting for the train 12 feet and 12 bodies away from her husband.

I realized then I had only seen them in that last half of the ride but apparently, they have to sit together on the train (of course) and if they can’t find a suitable seat where they can sit together, she sits down next to a random stranger and he stands there in the aisle, holding her hand, rather than finding another seat himself. I mean AREYOUFUCKINGKIDDINGME?! These two have no shame. That guy has no balls. It makes my stomach turn.

So now you know about Milhouse and Franny. I’m sorry to tell you that there is no happy ending to this story.  They still ride the train with me every morning. I have switched cars to be even farther away from them, so my mornings have been filled with peace, optimism and calm for the most part because they haven’t found me yet.

But, the story has taken a sad twist.  Franny appears to be pregnant.  I pray for that unborn child everyday.  I cannot imagine the hell on earth that awaits that child when she meets her mother.  I don’t think there is any way in hell that this is going to turn out well for that kid, because her mother’s needs are so vast, I’m sure the baby’s need for food and nurturing and love pale in comparison.  And watch out Milhouse! You spend more than 3 minutes with that child and enjoy it, Franny will have your ass on a platter. You will wish you were never born.

But the good news for me is that this baby might just mean that Franny and Milhouse will no longer ride the train together because she will be institutionalized and he’ll have to stay home with the baby and I can finally get on with being my loving, kind self again. I love happy endings.

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I (heart) pathological liars. Except when they are oncologists.

UPDATE, INTERNET. This girl is back on FB and is stalking me to be friends again. Please read this post I wrote for her a couple of years ago. What say you? Should I accept?

Pathological liars are the best. Except if you have one as an oncologist. Then that could suck. Balls.

But I happen to know this girl from high school that has to take the pathological lying cake, so obviously I really liked to hang with her. She is not an oncologist. Lets just call her “Jenny”, because that is her real name.  She would regale me with stories about how she had a friend who knew the New Kids on the Block and could totally get her into their hotel or a concert whenever they came through Chicago.  I was 14 and this was big time currency in 1991.  Donnie Wahlberg and I were totally soul mates from 1990 to 1993 – he just wasn’t aware of it yet – and then I think Oprah took his place in 1994 and remains my soul mate to this day. The only difference is that Oprah knows it and just won’t accept it. Oprah is clearly not living her best life.

I digress.  So anyway, my crazy ass friend Jenny would talk constantly about her friend “Lisa” who worked at Ulta3 and was like, totally BFF with little Joey McIntyre and one day as we were perusing Bop* and Tiger Beat she was telling me how she and Lisa were going to their upcoming show and then hanging out with them afterward, and naturally she invited me along too.

Isn’t it weird that pathological liars always give you a chance to totally catch them lying?  So they’ll be like, “I’m totally Rob Pattinson’s lover, do you want to have a threesome with us?” Now, there is only one good answer for this and that is “yes”.  Not because you want the threesome (even though you know you do) but because if you say “no”, then you don’t even get to find out what kind of additional, outrageous lies they will tell to get them out of having to prove that they are fucking Rob Pattinson.  So I always say “yes” whenever a pathological liar wants to prove to me they aren’t lying, because its so damn amusing.

Curse you, ADD! (Love is looking angrily to the sky) Can I get through one fucking story without going off on a tangent!?

Okay, so of course I’m like, “I would love to go! Can I invite my little cousin who has leukemia because she is totally into Jordan and wants to put her little radiated fingers through his stiff, sticky hair and touch one of his silky vests before she dies.” (pathological liars deserve to be lied to) and Jenny is like, “TOTALLY! Me and Lisa will set it up!” and I’m like, “Awesome. I’ll let her know she can die fulfilled because you are totally going to hook us up.” Luckily I was aware my friend was totally full of shit and this is how:

1) She is of Asian descent.  But not a smart Asian (does coming to America make you dumb?).  I think this is really bad if this happens to you.  I imagine its like if you’re black, but you dance like Elaine on Seinfeld. Its just mostly impossible and completely unacceptable.

2) She is 5’2″ (this will become important later)

3) In high school, she was not that attractive and she wasn’t rich.

4) She is the oldest of three kids and her mom was a working single mom. I don’t know what her dad’s story was, but he was out of the picture.

So the likelihood of her fucking a New Kid was equivalent to John Tesh’s chances of being named People’s Sexiest Man Alive.

Okay, so we’re back in 1991. The NKOTB show is coming to Chicago, and my friend Jenny is like BFF with Joe McIntyre’s BFF, which happens to be a 17 year old named Lisa that works at Ulta3 in a suburb of Chicago. I know, right? So, its the day before the show that we are going to where we supposedly have backstage passes, and front row seats, and all access to the New Kids on the Block, who are expecting us and cannot wait to fucking meet our 14 year old asses (and my cousin with cancer).

Of course, Jenny couldn’t give me and my cancer-ridden pretend cousin our tickets or passes because you have to get those at the show. So the night before she calls me to say that Lisa called her and there was some terrible mix-up and they only had Lisa down for two tickets, so she wasn’t sure if me and my cousin could still go. So I  was like “well, can’t Lisa just call Joey Joe and explain the problem? I’d be happy to meet him at the hotel to pick up the tickets. I’m sure my dad won’t have a problem driving me.” She’s like, “I didn’t even think of that! Of COURSE Lisa could do that.” So she hangs up the phone and sits idlely for 8 minutes calls Lisa to find out and calls me back and says, “Joey has a photo shoot to do right before the show, so they won’t be at the hotel, but he said maybe he could give them to Big Rob (the bodyguard) to give to you.” So naturally I exclaim, “Oh, Jenny! You’ve just made all my dreams come true. And my cancer ridden cousin too.  Where should me and Big Rob make the big exchange?” And she fucking gives me an address and time to meet Big Rob the bodyguard.  There are so very few limits.  So then she calls the day of the concert to say that Big Rob totally has strep throat and can’t make it and yada, yada, yada. She will go on to tell me she went to the show, hung out with all the New Kids and “Donnie is so cool!” and she has pictures. Do I want to see?

Yes. Definitely.

But aw, shucks! She explained a day later that when she brought the film in for processing that everything got erased.  All she can think of is that there were metal detectors backstage and the fucking things somehow erased all the 35 mm film in her camera.  And it totally sucked because she was on Joey’s lap and everything.  I won’t even go there…

“But surely Lisa has photos?” I say. No, Lisa’s photos got erased too.

Fucking metal detectors. (Love shakes fist at the sky)

Okay, so flash forward to a lovely day in March of this year.  I’m trolling Facebook for the 34th time that day and trying to think up a clever status, when suddenly I’m told that someone named Jenny Df wants to be my friend.  Df? Is that a last name? I don’t know who this person is…until I see the personal message accompanying the invite. Ah yes, its my good old friend Jenny. Her last name has changed. To a last name that surely exists nowhere in the world. How I had missed her!! I wanted to know EVERYTHING about what I missed the last 15 years, but mostly whether she was still the biggest-fucking-not-hot-dumb-ass-Asian-liar-of-all-time.

Since we had parted ways somewhere around 1994, she told me that she went to New York and was a Tom Ford model for many years.  Years in which she made best friends with Rhea Durham and Gisele Bundchen. Okay, so admittedly I know nothing about modeling…except that I think you have to be an inch or two over 5’2″ and you have to be good looking and you have to have big boobs, like my sister.  But she did have a profile picture which showed her in a Glamour Shots-like pose with fake boobs and nasty ass extensions. She reported that she made so much money as a runway model and she invested that money so wisely, that she is now retired and now she spends all of her time volunteering to work with animals.  Her husband is an incredibly sexy, extremely talented actor that I just haven’t heard of yet.  They live in Hollywood Hills.  She was currently trying to figure out whether or not she should take the job as one of the “Deal or No Deal” girls.  I didn’t mention it, but I thought that such an intellectual pursuit might actually blow her mind, since she had been retired for so long and all. She must have tacitly agreed, for she wrote:  “The doggies need me more than the pubic (sic) right now”. I am not fucking making this up.  There’s more…

So then as the weeks go by and I’m checking Facebook 234 times a day as usual and I see her statuses every few days that go a little something like this, “Jess, it was so good to see you and Tony the other night. I’m trying to get our schedules to sync so we can be out in Dallas for the next game!”  and “So happy for my dearest friends Tom and G! Congratulations! Give little Johnny a kiss for us” and “Audrina, I’m so sad I missed you last night at the awards. We totally have to catch up again.”  and finally, “Does anybody have a good cleanse? I have a Hawaiian Tropic shoot tomorrow and I don’t want to look too fat :(”  It doesn’t even end there. She started a chat with me one night on Facebook and I swear to God, she tells me that she and Rhea Durham are BFF from their NYC modeling days and she remembers I liked Donnie Wahlberg and her dearest Rhea is with Mark Wahlberg and now its so weird because they hang out ALL THE TIME and Mark is such a sweetheart!

Lest you think I’m a pathological liar, I am not. I would have copied and pasted directly from Facebook and told you guys to go ask her to be your friend so your life would be full of amusement like mine, but when I just went to do so, I realized she is no longer my friend. And no longer on Facebook. Unless I just can’t find her because I’m blocked or something. I would write her little comments like “Jenny, you are SOOOOOO lucky to be friends with Jessica Simpson. I am SOOOOOO jealous”. and “Jenny, you look so pretty and wonderful these days. I’m SOOOOO jealous. See you when I get to LA!”  She was lapping that shit up. But somehow much to my dismay I am either blocked or she left Facebook. I don’t know how I let this ridiculously amusing friend leave my life again because its hard to find dumb Asians who are pathological liars and don’t head up North Korea , but I’m sure she’ll turn up somewhere else. Perhaps as Dean of Harvard Law or as a United Nations Ambassador.

God, wherever you are Jenny Df, I heart you.  Next time you see Tom and Gisele, punch her in the face (not the stomach) and tell her to stop pretending that Bridget Moynihan’s kid is hers. Thanks.

*OMG, I just remember that I was listed (with my picture) in Bop as one of those kids you can be penpals with. How fucked up is that? Now I see that the Bop pen pal pages where were all the future MySpace pedophiles began their journeys.  I got seriously like 200,000 letters one month from that.  Where the fuck were my parents? I would give my right arm to have a copy of that issue of Bop now. I bet it is creepy as all hell.  Good Lord.

Wine snob

I started a new job in June. When you’re thinking about taking a new job, you think about the actual work involved and what they are going to pay you and if there is free food, but all that goes out the window on your first day when you realize you’re the new kid and you have no friends at this place.  So I was pretty pumped to get an invitation  from one of my new co-workers regarding a wine party at her house.  She said all we had to do is bring our favorite bottle of red.  I felt like that was a sign from God that I had finally arrived in the right place because red wine and I are closer than Jada and Marc Anthony were last week. Red wine is my fucking specialty.

This party would give me a chance to introduce BD to all my new co-workers and in turn, I would get to meet their spouses.  I always hate when you know someone at work forever and you’ve never met their spouse.  Because really, there is nothing more interesting and shocking to me on God’s green earth than meeting your co-workers’ spouses. Well, and that Charlie Sheen continues to find crazies to have his children.

I always create this detailed idea in my mind about what my coworkers’ spouses look like.  Dudes that I would have dated when I was single I imagine with really hot, cool wives.  Dudes that I are d-bags? They have super ugly, dumpy wives.  And the cool women I work with have hot hubbies and the bitchy ones have gay husbands.  Unfortunately, my track record on guessing what someone’s spouse is like is about as good as Kirstie Allie’s on staying away from ice cream.  Suffice to say there are a lot of clown couples in this world. But these type of parties generally have me sitting back and marveling to myself (before two glasses of wine) about how on earth some total zero landed his wife and then after two glasses I marvel to my colleagues about it. Needless to say, I have had my fair share of CLMs (career limiting moves) at parties such as these.

But I’m pretty pumped for this party because BD and I will have to go into the city for this one, which is like a bona fide, full-on real date like the kind we had before we produced our litter.  I mean, the babysitter is going to have to stay until after 10pm. After 10 pm!  I’m going to miss the beginning of Saturday Night Live! Aww, yeah. Big pimpin’ baby.

I need to take this seriously. The wine choice is paramount. The instructions were to “bring your favorite bottle of red”.  I felt some pressure. I mean, I drink a half bottle of red wine every damn night. And that is kind of an expensive and time consuming habit, because I’m kind of particular about the alcohol I imbibe. I have spent hours in agonizing over wine choices at the liquor store – finding good ones under $15 is an art. An art! (which, fortunately, I have mastered).

While we’re on that subject: let me just tell the 12 of you who read this whole Internet that those $9.99 bottles with the Kangaroo on them? Are shit. You already know that, right? When people bring that to my house as a hostess gift I want to just smash it on the doorstep the second I see it.  Not out of anger, but just because I could kill two birds with one stone: my dehydrated hydrangeas would finally be watered and I could quickly and safely dispose of that toxic waste before my children were exposed.   The issue is that you can’t even re-gift the shit, because as a wine snob, I sure as hell am not going to give that to someone I actually like and/or respect.  So really, the only thing that kind of wine is good for is donating to the crazy homeless alcoholics who hang out at the local food pantry along with my expired garbanzo beans to find someone who can really appreciate that shit together, or smashing it on my doorstep as soon as it is presented by people who clearly hate me.  Or don’t know me at all. Cue the Weepies.

But back to the momentous situation at hand: my wine selection. I’m terrified if everybody brings their favorite bottle, that might mean that we drink them in some sort of order and if I actually bring my favorite I’ll become pretty surly if it’s like the bottle people drink after they are already smashed and they don’t know what the hell they are doing.  On the other hand, if I just bring my everyday go-to $13.99 bottle, I might look like I’m unsophisticated and don’t really know the difference between the wine you get drunk on every night versus the wine you get drunk on on your anniversary.

So I discussed with BD and he suggested the bottle of wine we always ordered at our favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago (word up, Via Veneto).  It cost $65 there, but its only about $25 in real life at the liquor store.  I liked his idea.  The wine had some sentimental cache for us, plus if we would routinely pay $65 for it, it had to be insanely great, right?  The decision was made and I was okay with it.  It’s an awesome wine, but not too expensive so if it gets opened last, I’m not going to shed tears all over the place. Not like I would if I had brought my true fave and people didn’t bow down and worship it like Bobby loves Whitney. So we went with it – the David Bruce Petite Sirah — the very wine I happen to be guzzling sipping as I write this.

The big night arrives. I dress up our wine. Well, as much as I’m capable of dressing up anything. It had a paper bag on it. It was a sparkly purple one with some bling that I felt was a nice nod to Martha Stewart and Jay-Z together. I found it in a drawer somewhere and wondered if perhaps the Artist Formerly known as Prince had once presented me with a hostess gift? Not sure.  Anyway, that is about as crafty as I get,  so it was kind of a big deal for me.  We show up and I’m still a tad nervous because I’ve only worked with these people a month and I don’t know what they’re really like.  They seem pretty cool at work. Maybe a little too intense for my taste,  but good people nonetheless.

So we get there a half hour “late”, but we were the first people there, so right off the bat? Dorks.  So much for being fashionable.  Then the hostess tells us to write our name on the bottle and then to wrap it in a plain paper bag. Well, maybe this is for the best because I’m starting to really regret my sparkly purple bag. The sooner it disappears, the better.  I’m totally back in junior high with a fucking Timex and Lee mom jeans when everyone else has Guess and Swatch.

I’m shaken from my insecurity by the news that at this party, we’re having a blind tasting where everyone submits their wine and they all look the same in the paper bags and then we rate each bottle.  PLUS, we put $5 in a pot and then whoever wins for best wine wins the pot.  And I can’t stand to lose. I don’t care what the competition is (well, except if it involves running, swimming, biking or all three) — I’m going to fucking win.  You know, this was almost unfair.  I mean, I am the queen of wine and even though I didn’t bring my favorite, we brought a fucking contender. Surely some ass clown will bring the stupid $9.99 wine referenced above, and even those who don’t will likely bring a terrible bottle because nobody has the sophisticated taste for red wine that I have so carefully honed the last 15 years.

So an hour later, the place is packed and for once in my life, everybody’s spouse matches. They all turn out to be kind of awesome and beautiful and there are no clown couples to be found.  Because OMG, now I work with normal people.  Wait. *Love has an a-ha moment* If they aren’t clowns, could this mean that they too might know something about wine? Something more than I do with my infinite wine wisdom? I start to feel a twinge of anxiety. I will not be beat at my own game!  But I make the best of it. Maybe I’ll discover an even better bottle than the one I brought.

Yeah, right.  Mine will win.

The wine tasting begins.  There are eight bottles to judge.  I immediately try to figure out which bottle is mine, so I can rate it the highest. But I can’t figure it out just by looking at them. The bottles are too dressed up. Damn. Cheating is not going to work.

I don’t know if you’ve actually done this before, but tasting eight different reds in the span of a half hour is highly int(r)oxicating. I consider myself kind of a heavy weight given my daily wine consumption, but at the end of that exercise I was loaded. I could barely see the rating sheet, let alone figure out on a scale from 1 to 5 what my rating was.  So I decided the best route was to cheat off BD’s paper.  Our tastes on wine are the same, so that is a no brainer.  He would recognize our wine and give it a 5.  And I would copy him since I was too drunk to figure out what the hell I was doing.  And we would win.

So I glanced over there after about my 3rd or 4th wine rating and something was awry.  Every wine I gave a high rating, he gave a low rating. I mean, WTF? We share a bottle of wine every night. Surely we should agree on the quality of the wine before us? Right?  Maybe BD’s ‘2’ was actually a ‘5’ he wrote backwards because he is drunk too. Or maybe that was me.

So I couldn’t cheat off that bastard because he wasn’t keeping it real like me.  So I had to do my best to drink each wine, figure out which one was mine, and judge all the others poorly which is really a lot to ask after three or four glasses, I promise you.

So everybody finishes and we turn our sheets in and I’m pretty damn confident that although I’m drunker than I should be, the wine will stand on its own.   At the very least I’m not going to embarrass myself.  So the hostess starts by naming the 6 bottles of wine that did not win…or lose.  Of course, we weren’t in that category because our wine was the winner and I was going to win the coveted Wine God crown. Wait? Was there a crown up for grabs, because in my state of mind at the time, I really felt that wearing a crown for the rest of the party would be an appropriate reward.

Finally they get through all the yada yada yada bullshit and the glory that was all mine was about to be announced. The only problem? The two wines left – the winner and the loser — I rated a 3.  But that didn’t really make sense because I rated the wine I brought a 5.  And so did BD, I’m sure. Or didn’t we? Something had gone wrong. Very wrong.

This wasn’t adding up, even in my embarrassing drunkeness. What could have happened here? How could we both handicap our own superior wine?  Surely a bottle I rated a shitty 3 in my infinite wine wisdom isn’t the winner….or the loser. I gave out 1’s pretty freely too.  What is happening here? Am I this sloppy drunk? Why is everybody talking slow? I wonder why Oprah named her dog Sadie? Oooh. That guy’s wife has shiny earrings….

Well, this much was clear: when we were crowned the winners, it would be sort of a hollow victory,  given that the most either of us could muster for our favorite wine was a stupid 3.  This wine we paid $65 for on a pretty regular basis. I mean, what wine did I give a 5 to then?

The winner was announced. That guy’s wife still had shiny earrings.  And as expected, we were…not the winner.  Wait – what? We were the losers? Indeed. THE. LOSERS.  I mean, out of eight red wines, we LOST. And you know why? Because we both gave our favorite fucking bottle of red wine a ‘meh’ rating of 3.

The world hasn’t really been the same since then.  It’s like how you remember where you were when the Challenger blew up.  And when the Twin Towers fell.  I’ll never forget this moment when my wine was voted WORST WINE EVER AT THIS PARTICULAR PARTY WHERE  I WAS TRYING TO IMPRESS MY NEW COWORKERS AND THEIR GOOD LOOKING SPOUSES WITH MY WINE PROWESS AND EXPERTISE BECAUSE I’M A WINE SNOB, DAMMIT.  The fall out has been kind of horrific, as you might imagine.

I’ve learned a couple of things: first, I realize that my husband and I have completely different tastes in red wine. I don’t even think he likes red wine.  Our entire relationship has been built on lies and deceit. So there is that. Second, fuck you David Bruce Petit Sirah.  Third, shiny earrings can be super distracting at a serious wine tasting fiesta. Fourth, I lost. No money. Just shame and heartache. And PTSD if you must know.  I can’t look at a bottle of red wine any more and not question whether I can tell whether or not it sucks or rocks.

Even though I don’t deserve it, I don’t know how not to be a wine snob.  I still say affirmations each morning to myself about how awesome I am at identifying the best red wines in the land, but I kind of know deep down I’m just a self-righteous asshole who knows just about nothing about anything I pretend to know something about, giving me and Rick Perry more in common than I’m comfortable with.

No more fucking wine parties for me.

Shit My Psychic Says Too

(The prelude to this post is here).

There was probably not a person I came into contact with the week before my reading that I did not regale with the story about my weekend plans with my new psychic.   I was STOKED for this life experience. I mean, this woman claims to talk to dead people. Like that spooky white kid in the movie.  And John Edward on “Crossing Over”.  Best. Show. Ever.

Plus, in order to see The Rev (she is a reverend, apparently, though it is unclear for what sort of church), you have to be referred by somebody she has read before and you have to take an orientation class before you get there. So I feel like I’m kind of in this super special club.

But the ‘orientation’ was pretty ghetto: it’s a number you call and then you listen to this 30 minute voice mail which just sort of ends abruptly while she is mid-sentence.  Apparently she spared no expense for orientation.  But whatever – it went over what she does and how she does it so you don’t waste time asking her about it when you’re there. I’m all about efficiency, so sounded good to me. Here were the main points:

  • Dead people talk to her.  Dead people who know you. And watch you.
  • Dead people don’t give a fuck about time, so whatever they tell her could have happened already or maybe it’s happening now or maybe it will happen in the future (which comes in handy, doesn’t it?).
  • If the dead people tell her any details about your death or that you have cancer or something, she is going to keep that to herself.  She will not tell you anything that could be traumatizing.  In my case, she also will not tell me when/if Oprah is going to die – for obvious reasons.
  • The dead speak to her in a way she processes visually – so she doesn’t hear them, but they “show” her things.  When they are trying to say a name, they spell it, but they spell slowly, so she is going to take liberties and if they show her say, “M”, she is going to say “Michael”, “Matthew”, “Mark”….until either you say you know what she is talking about or the dead person spells the damn name.
  • They also show her pictures, so they could be metaphors for something or literally that thing. So sometimes she gets weird stuff and she’ll let you know because they may be an inside joke that you’d get but she wouldn’t. She says she often has to do some translating.
  • If she tells you about something and you don’t “acknowledge” it, by telling her you know what she is talking about, she can’t move on. The dead require your acknowledgment before they will continue playing Pictionary with her.
  • She says that whatever they are telling her are things that you can change, so if she warns you not to drunk dial your ex and you do, she totally called it and she wins. If you don’t because of her advice, she totally helped you avoid a bad situation and she wins.  You see how this works?
  • If you’re a minute late, fuck you – she starts the clock precisely when your appointment starts, whether your ass is there or not, and you’re paying for the whole thing.  She takes cash money. No pay pal. No plastic.

Okay, so those were the ground rules. Oh yeah, and something about not drinking within 24 hours of the reading because your energy will suck.  I conveniently forgot about that part because depriving my body of its nightly wine break is some crazy shit that I’m not going to dabble in, even if the psychic says.

The Rev lives in the middle of fucking nowhere, so it took what seemed like a million years to get there (so like, 90 minutes) and apparently the address she uses doesn’t show up on Google Maps right, so good luck finding the fucking place.  Needless to say, we were 4 minutes late and I was scheduled first. She wasn’t kidding. Clock was ticking when I walked in.

She does this is a shrink’s office who wasn’t working. It was a weird set up, where she just kind of tapes her name on the door when he isn’t around.  But I was a little relieved I wasn’t in her house because what are the odds she doesn’t own 54 cats? I’m allergic to those mean mother fuckers, and plus I was expecting the lady from Poltergeist to answer the door and tell me to go into the light in her bedroom closet and I probably would have and then I’d probably get molested by zombies and while I’m open to new experiences, zombie molestation does not top the list.

But whatever. So The Rev? She was probably in her late 40s, had hair from the 80s (feathered) and she was wearing a purple muu muu. She reminded me of my music teacher when I was in elementary school, in the 80s (go figure).  Also a cat person, no doubt.   And she was about to tell me everything I wanted to know about my future but was afraid to ask.  The dead people were going to help out too.  So the first thing that happens is that she gives me a flyer for a “healing” she was going to do next month and wanted to let me know about it.

The fuck? I’m not paying you to tell me about your upcoming jamboree and I’m four fucking minutes late, so I want to speak to my dead people NOW. Perhaps she picked up on my negative energy, or maybe she got the message when I crumpled the paper and my sweaty palms, but we moved on quickly from there.

She asked me to stand up and hold her hands.  I complied. She said the “Our Father” and invited me to join her.  I opted out  because I was pretty sure this is exactly how it all started with the priests for the poor bastards who had to be altar boys in the 1970s.  Nothankyouverymuch.

She finishes with some gobbledy gook about love and peace and energy and I took some deep breaths and my annoying Type A ass kind of chilled out for a minute.  She let go of my hands and we sat down and here is what she told me in a nutshell and in this order:

  • I’m going to do something to my left ankle or shin that hurts like a bitch. (Can’t wait!)
  • My beloved grandma was coming through (She is the only dead person I really give much thought to.  I named my daughter after her. I love that woman).
  • Apparently she was with my uncle, who is coming through as a “spirit baby”, meaning this uncle was miscarried or died as a child.  (Grams had four sons and miscarried her fifth child.  Goosebumps.)
  • She asked me who “B” was. I didn’t know.  She offered Bob and Bill.  Bill is my grandpa.  (While she was alive they were exactly like McAdams and Gosling in The Notebook.  I mean, they loved each other as much as Lady Gaga loves copying Madonna.) So Grams first wanted to acknowledge my Gramps, who still cries about her 7 years after we lost her.  Aww…
  • Apparently we went from that to talking about some sort of eye infection that a opthamologist will have to intervene in.  It was unclear whether this was about me or about him.
  • Then a bunch of other spirit babies showed up.  She insisted my mom lost a baby and my ‘sister’ was there.  I was like “Wha? No.” and then I remembered: Shit. My mom did lose a baby when she was preggers with my actual sister.  She tells me that my spirit sister plays with my children. Oh. Wait, what? Weird.
  • She says that there is another spirit baby who is my nephew.  He wants to be acknowledged. Who knew there were so many baby spirits that weren’t born? (At this point I’m like, do we really need to talk about every baby in my family that wasn’t born? This is depressing).
  • So then she says who is [my dog’s A name], [another A name], [my son’s A name]? She was doing the name thing where she just starts guessing names because she sees an “AN” (in this case). My son’s name was third. I acknowledged it. She told me he is a handful and a daredevil (he is) and that I need to keep him safe by ensuring he wears helmets and pads when he goes outside.  She says she sees Evel Kenevil – but then quickly tells me she isn’t call him “evil” – it’s the motorcycle guy.  Yes. I know. She advises me to try to wear him out because he’ll just get himself into danger.  WAIT. What? Is he in danger, I ask. No.  The dead people are just saying he is crazy is all. Um, okay?
  • Then she says who is [S Name], [S Name],[My other son’s name]? Whoa. She is pretty good. I acknowledged and she moved on.
  • She says I have another child. I acknowledge she is correct.  Okay, I’m getting [MA name], [MA name], [MA name that is the male version of my daughter’s name]. Are you shitting me? I acknowledge my daughter. She moves on.
  • She starts laughing and says “I don’t know why they’re showing me this…but you’ll be a grandmother to twins. I usually don’t get things that far out, but congratulations.” I said I hoped they were really far out.  She said oh yeah – 18 or 20 years. Okay…
  • Then she says, who is [initial of my husband & my mom]? I waited. She said [name], [BD’s name]…and it was like, holy shit. Seriously? I acknowleged my husband. She said his deceased grandfather was there and was showing her a fish which could mean they liked to fish, or it was Pisces or a cholesterol issue.  Really?
  • So I offer that BD sometimes has cholesterol readings that are high. She latches. Tells me that I have to intervene to save his heart and then she starts going through her purse and finally pulls out this massive pack of vitamins (I shit you not) and tells me all the vitamins (CoQ10, Garlic, Fish Oil, etc.) I should force my husband to take so he doesn’t make me a widow too early.  What? Then she starts talking about her own husband who eats too much fast food and how she threatened to leave him if he didn’t change his ways. Wait. Isn’t this reading about me? ME. Lets come back to ME and MY life.  But so then she tells me to write down a website where I can get really high quality vitamins for him.  WHAAAT? Does she own stock in a GNC on the side for Christ’s sake? And is BD okay? I mean, should I be worried? I’m feeling a little traumatized here.
  • She says “your heart is fine (and it is), but you need to get more fiber. Your issues are in your intestines and colon.  Eat 30/35g of fiber a day. I like to have yogurt with Fiber One on top each morning”. Again, TMI. I don’t give a fuck what you had for breakfast.
  • I’m usually not this bitchy, but I’m all wound up now.
  • She says time is up, but I can ask a question.  I ask about my career.  She correctly guesses I’m in sales and tells me my job is too stressful and doesn’t pay enough.  She tells me to update my resume and get out of dodge before I get a pink slip.  Problem is, I just got a new job. One I’m definitely enjoying. For once. I mean, hopefully with this whole “time doesn’t matter” thing, she meant my last job? Then she advises me not to take the first job that comes along because it will look really good to begin with, but they’ll make me a “work horse and slave”.  Fuck.  Did I really get the wrong damn job again?  She did say if I wait for the right thing, I’ll get a low stress, more money position.  But you know what? She was supposed to tell me to get the fuck out of corporate America because I have an awesome future doing stuff I love.  But she didn’t.  So it ended on a downer.

So there I am, left to figure out what the hell just happened for the last 26 minutes.  I felt a little lightheaded and creeped out.

I mean, she named my children! And she guessed the first name of my grandpa, and my husband. And it wasn’t like at other times she was naming names I didn’t know.  I mean, all of them she was right on with within three names.  How could she know their names? And all the miscarriages and baby spirits and stuff? That is fucked up.

So then all the stuff she said has me all worried about my son and his dare-devil behavior because I’ve always had the sense I had to worry about him since they laid him in my arms after birth, so that was kind of a sore spot for me.  And then whether my husband is going to have a heart attack or something.  The grandfather who allegedly came through died young of a massive heart attack. I mean, what did that all mean?

So the Rev got under my skin a little. All the fun and games of yesteryear suddenly weren’t so fun.  Even if she was guessing, she guessed right a lot about the things I can verify.  As for the things I cannot so far, time will tell.  I’m just waiting until I break my ankle and if/when that happens,  if you want to talk to dead people, I’ve got just the person for you…

Shit my psychic says

First of all, I would just like to say that psychics???   Are the shiznit.

I’m not that concerned with whether they actually have a sixth sense and can talk to dead people or tell my future, as long as they put on a good show.  For $100 I want to walk out of the psychic’s den convinced that she knows more about my life than I do. It saves me A TON of time from having to figure out my own shit and it is even more entertaining than a Kardashian wedding.

When I was a freshman in college they used have this ‘psychic fair’ once a month at the run down Holiday Inn in my hometown, which is likely ground zero for the modern-day bed bug infestations. I can’t tell you how many times I drove by the little yellow plastic sign that read simply “PSYCHIC FAIR” that they would plant in the front of the hotel and wonder how insane it was that I had never gone in, given my inexplicable, irrational and as yet untested love for psychics,  but one spring break when I was home instead of in Cancun with all the normal college sluts kids whose parents didn’t mind bankrolling the drunken unprotected 3-ways their daughters were initiating (but I’m SO not bitter), I went for it.  Armed with the $20 I earned for the day at my minimum wage job channeling Al Bundy and selling $250 pairs of hiking boots, I was determined to see what my future had in store since obviously it wasn’t Mexican tequila shots and drunken unprotected 3-way sex.  Maybe a psychic could confirm the spiritual connection  that my soul shares with Oprah’s.

So I go for it. I follow what seemed to be 600 little signs with arrows throughout the whole fucking building and wind up in a small, dingy room where there were like six self proclaimed psychics just sitting at these conference room tables just waiting for bitter coeds whose parents weren’t paying for them to be in Mexico for spring break like everybody else’s parents were.   I’m not going to lie – I was pretty disappointed that none of them had big swami hats, playing flutes to snakes coming out of baskets, but it was a fucking Holiday Inn in suburban Chicago – not 7-11. These psychics actually looked more like the people my parents played bridge with than the freaks I was expecting. A little anti-climactic to say the least.

So I sit down with this lady who reads tarot cards. And she had me shuffle the deck and blow on it and probably she took some blood or something, but it was a long time ago, so I’m a little foggy on that. Anyway, she puts all the cards out and tells me that I’m going to marry a man from Boston who is very tall, has black wire rim glasses and eyes bluer than mine.  In other words, not Brad Pitt.  And not my boyfriend that I was madly in love with who was not tall, not from Boston, wore contacts and had brown eyes.  I felt bad for him. Apparently neither he nor Brad was going to get to marry me.  It had never occurred to me that this may not have been all he ever dreamed of.

She said some other shit too and I’m sure I took notes afterward, but I somehow cannot find this info in my journal.  But I remember the part about my future husband, because it was very jarring for my 19-year-old self to fathom that I wasn’t going to marry my 19-year-old boyfriend.  It would be safe to say I was more naive than Dakota Fanning at that time, who was about 10 months old.  Yeah. I know. I’m not sure I’ve ever dated anybody for longer than 4 hours before I began to think about our future marriage. I had no concept of what ‘casual dating’ was and still can’t wrap my head around one night stands. This might have been avoided had I gone to Mexico that Spring Break and had a 3-way. But I didn’t, as we’ve gone over in agonizing detail.

But the point is that 7 years later I married BD, who is from Boston, is tall, wears black glasses and has blue eyes (but not bluer than mine, for the psychic record). Yep. She pretty much nailed it. And it was written in the stars because my angel knew him right when she saw him, so she was totally for realz.  Who knew there was a real gem at the Holiday Inn’s psychic fair every month?  It’s just a fucking shame it took 7 years for her prophecy to play out.  Oh, and by the way, in case you are still feeling bad for the guy that didn’t get to marry me, he was a full-on douche bag that cheated on me, but the psychic neglected to let me in on these pearls of wisdom, which would have saved me an awkward trip or two to my OB-GYN, so the lesson here is that psychics are good for some shit, but really fucking bad at other important shit, like helping you avoid AIDS.

Okay, so fast forward to a month ago.  I’m talking to a friend who casually mentions that she once went to a ‘medium-clairvoyant’ lady  years ago who can talk to dead people and apparently relayed some messages to her from her deceased grandma and she was completely creeped out, but convinced this woman was the real deal.  Suffice to say, I almost had to break up with my friend for not having shared this a million years before she did, because obviously I needed to meet this psychic as bad as Charlie Sheen needs to beat his wives.

So it took a fucking month to get on this lady’s schedule and you can only go if another client refers you and you have to do an orientation beforehand via phone because she wants to explain how she does what she does and the nuance of how dead people prefer to communicate.  If you don’t do orientation, you’re not allowed to have your reading. You’re fired. I know, right? I’m convinced it’s easier to steal plutonium from Russia than it is to get a half hour session with this baller.  And BTW,  the fee is no longer the $20 of yesteryear.  It’s $120.  But the good news is that I’m a lot richer now than I was then, and plus, it’s not about the. bla bling bla bling, it’s not about the. cha ching cha ching, What it’s really about is making the world dance and forgetting about the price tag.  I think Oprah said that? Or was it Ghandi?  I don’t know, whoever it was, it is really fucking genius.

So anyway, I started this story with the intention of revealing to the 12 of you who read this blog what the future holds for Love and what the dead people wanted me to know, but as you all know I have the unfortunate affliction of being unable to self edit, so my deep tangential thoughts have once again taken up an entire entry.

Do not fret. I shall return with the details of my psychic reading and together we can find out if they come true.

God, it feels good to write my stories again.

I Dreamed A Dream: Shark Week Edition

There are three things in this world I love more than my children.  Oprah and red wine are the obvious first two.  The third is the Great White shark.  I’m not sure whether it’s because they sometimes eat humans by accident or that they can’t be kept in captivity or that they’ve been around since the dinosaurs, but any of those things  is reason enough.   I have honestly lived with my obsession for as long as I can remember, so naturally I underwent past life regression hypnosis to uncover that I was indeed a Great White shark in a past life, but it turns out that I was just a soldier that got himself eviscerated in medieval times.  Not exactly what one hopes for when they explore these types of things. But I did learn something albeit centuries too late: when you’re at battle axe camp you need to pay attention.

So I went to another source to figure out what it all means and explored animal totems.  I don’t know what the point of a totem is besides having a reason to tattoo yourself to seem super spiritual and weird. So I am considering it.  But what I’m trying to say is that it must mean something that me and Jaws are closer than Oprah and my arch-nemesis Gayle, so I looked up what it means to have the shark as a totem and it’s really as complicated and spiritual as you might imagine, but I’ll do my best to net it out in lay terms: having a shark as my totem means that I’m just about as awesome as awesome gets.  And that works for me.

So you might imagine my pure, fucking glee when Shark Week comes around every August. I’m convinced it’s the only reason why August exists anymore.  Shark Week. I mean, just typing the words send shivers up my spine.  There has never been a week of programming more beautiful than Discovery’s thoughtful and poignant programming during Shark Week, including such classics as “Air Jaws” and “When Fish Attack III”, “The Summer of the Shark” and “Top Five Eaten Alive” between commercials that are about conserving the shark population.  Yeah, I don’t really get it either, but I can’t look away. My Tivo smokes that week with all the action it gets for Shark Week.

And why?  Fun fact: Great White sharks can not be held in captivity. Nowhere in this world will you find a Great White in an aquarium or in a Disney World resort lagoon.  Not even Donald Trump has been able to capture a Great White, mount a laser beam on its head, and have them swim around the grounds of his magnificent estate waiting for the next Celebrity Apprentice to get fired.   So the only way I can appropriately feed my Great White obsession is to see Shark Night 3D on September 2 go see one in real life.

This is why the number one thing on my list of shit to do before I die of the inoperable brain tumor I’m sure is growing deep in my brain as we speak is to get my ass in one of those shark cages and act as bait so I can pet a Great White shark.

My goal however,  is fraught with a few challenges.  Like:  I hate being in the water unless I am in a shower.  I hate being in boats in the ocean that are not larger the island of Oahu unless Andy Samberg and T-Pain are involved.   Scuba diving seems impossible not only because it requires being submerged in water, but because my asthma is so bad that my lung capacity rivals that of a dying hamster who has tuberculosis and a collapsed lung.  Being caged is another problem for me.  Not a fan of confinement, much like my buddy, the Great White. (Or any gorilla I have ever seen at a zoo. You know they’d rip your head off if they ever got the chance. Those mother fuckers are angry. Right? I know.)

But, back to shit I hate: getting in one of those wetsuit things would only exacerbate the concavity of my little peanut boobs (which, by the way, have somehow found away to sink even further into my chest since the Great-guilty-3rd-child-breastfeeding-experiment-of-2010. Not recommended.) I also could do without sea sickness, chum and sailors.

Yeah. So, I might have some obstacles to overcome before seeing my shark in real life.  But I’m telling you, if I can get over them, seeing that huge, 20 foot long fucking fish swim by me a few times and then have it attack my cage try to eat me in two bites with that ginormous mouth full of hundreds of teeth? OMG. OMG! OMG! OMG!

Let’s all take a minute to honor the orgasm I just had.

Okay, we’re good.

Ultimately, I will be afraid to go in that cage because there is a good chance I will die.  But not because of the shark.  Because of the panic attack I’ll have as soon as I am submerged 2-3 feet under water. It wouldn’t be the first time.  Ask my 4-year-old to tell you about what happened at the neighborhood pool last week. I almost died. It was totally serious. I mean, they just let kids jump in the damn pool whenever and wherever the hell they want and the splash travels like 5 feet.  You’d freak out too if the splash got your face and hair wet. It’s fucking traumatic.

Anyway, I think it is time I get around to the point of my story.  Next fall, BD and I celebrate our 10th anniversary (assuming he doesn’t star in a Lifetime movie with LeAnn Rimes before then) and I turn 36 and we are taking a diving trip off Guadalupe Island in Mexico to see the most exquisite animal on this planet so I can die without regret and earn the right to a cool shark tattoo that is totally spiritual and meaningful.  I mean, I haven’t actually told him this yet, but saying it so matter of factly makes me feel like it’s totally going to happen. And you give power to what you focus on, so I’m going to forget about my aversion to boats, water, Scuba, cages, chum, sailors  and I’m going to focus on the orgasm I just had two paragraphs ago imagining being attacked by a Great White shark.

Love is on the way, Jaws.  Wait for me…

So um, can I come back?

This question is as much for the 1-2 people that might see this as it is for me.  I stopped writing Love Notes about 18 months ago, and I blamed it on an unplanned pregnancy and a new job and Oprah’s 25th and last season and that was that. I just lost the will/time to write.  And since then I have even a newer job and now three kids and I live in the suburbs and I’ll be damned if there aren’t some stories to tell about that.  I lost something important to me when I stopped writing my blog.  But I’d like to find it again, I think.  And I’d like to do it here on Love Notes. So I think maybe I’m going to stage a comeback.  No idea when or if I’ll post weekly, but as long as I can tell my stories when my stories are ready to be told, I’ll be good.  And maybe so will you because you’ll laugh at how retarded I am on a daily basis.  Although I think ‘retarded’ is poor word choice. Lets just you and me call it ’emotional intelligence’.

But I guess I was wondering if any of my old readers/compatriots still have me on Google Reader or will find me again.  I guess it isn’t all that important because the important often retarded stories I have to tell will find an audience somewhere, right?

Holla back if you’re still out there.  I missed you.