My mother, the twat.

All of you with kids – does your mother charge you for babysitting?

I’m not talking regular sitting, because that, in my mind, would call for some remuneration. I’m talking once-in-a-blue-moon sitting. In fact, this is only the second time we’ve ever asked untitledmother to watch untitledson in all of his four years. I’ve got to ask, because untitledmother recently charged me $100 for watching untitledson for one week. It was during a Montessori sabbatical, and the sitter we had lined up bailed at the last minute. We were in a major bind.

So I called untitledmother about two weeks prior and asked her to come down for a week and watch him. “I can even pay you,” I said, being what I thought was gracious and now know was just plain foolish. “Yes, I can do that. But I WILL need to get paid, since I am taking some days off work.” “That’s fine,” I said, since I had no other options. I mean, she wouldn’t actually follow through and demand payment, would she? I thought that perhaps after spending some time with her untitledson, she’d melt a bit and see that taking money for watching one’s own grandchild would be a bit callous. I was wrong. She cashed that check faster than Larry Birkhead.

A little context here – two weeks after watching untitledson, I took off four days of work to stay with her during her bariatric surgery. During this time, I incurred numerous expenses, including about $100 in gas and $60 in meals. This doesn’t even count the pain and suffering I endured while watching her sleep off the anesthesia (which was like watching an old troll suffocating on her own neck fat).

During the hospital stay, I had to beg her to spring for my motel room (she was going to make me sleep in a hospital recliner, until hospital staff informed her that isn’t appropriate). Did I ask for reimbursement for my meals and parking and gas? No. Did she even offer reimbursement for these things? No. So how can she charge me for watching untitledson, knowing that in two weeks, I was going to take four vacation days and numerous hits to the pocketbook to take care of her?

What a twat.What makes me fume even more is that every year, she watches her granddaughter (my brother’s daughter) for one week during the summer. She takes about three days off work, and pays daycare for the other days. Total cost to my brother = $0. Why does she charge me for sitting, but not him?

I’d bring up all this fuckery to her, but she has a way of justifying everything in her own mind. It’s the same thing that makes her quietly retreat when it comes time to pay for dinner. She’ll weakly say, “Oh, let me get that…” as I pick up the bill, and drop her hand back to her lap before I can even respond.I believe in karma, in so much that it is my karmic responsibility to usher justice to her doorstep. I’d love to recoup my $100 (and the $160 she owes me for the gas and meal expenses I incurred during her surgery stay). But teaching her a lesson is most important here.

Oh, did I mention that I have her credit card info written down here in my dayplanner? Seriously, I do. Half-tempted to publish it right here and let you guys have it at.

Easter Monday.

I am not dead. Life’s just gotten away from me here… but I promise I’m still around. I am working on a longer post for tomorrow, but until then, here’s a teaser of what’s up:

I am fine (now down to 267 pounds, bitches).

I am wearing size 22 pants (used to wear size 34).

untitledmother has now had the surgery too (another story altogether).

untitledmother recently charged me $100 to babysit untitledson for one week (don’t even get me started, OK now I’ve started myself – post forthcoming).

untitledhusband has been wicked busy with freelance work (thus my absence, being as shit and household chores run downhill).

I just dropped $600 on Pottery Barn bedding (what the hell is WRONG with me?).

I am starting up a charity fund (to pay off my Pottery Barn bedding).

I’ve been listening to Kanye’s new album and loving it.

The joy of socks.

Last weekend during a shopping-induced frenzy, untitledhusband and I dropped $473 at the mall. We don’t know how it happened. We went there to buy me a few new bras. My old ones have gotten a bit big, and were making my girls looking less like melons and more like two zucchinis. I also got some running shoes, workout clothes and socks, which turned out to be the hardest decision of the day.

So I walk into Lady Footlocker and drop the bomb. “I’m going to start running, so I need some running shoes and socks.” It can’t be everday that a girl of my size walks in with this kind of optimism, but the sales clerk held it together regardless. Once she recovered, she hooked me up with the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn outside of my Crocs, which made me question the cartel responsible for withholding these babies from the general non-exercising population. Must one run (or even leave the couch for that matter) to experience such comfort? Blasphemy.

After overcoming the orgasm induced by said shoes, I headed towards the large barrel filled with white athletic socks. “Low-rise or mid-rise?” she asked. I must’ve stood there for five minutes, trying to decide. This was a conundrum, for I am from the generation that has seen every sock trend imaginable. I have clear memories of wearing purple and gold knee-shooters while playing basketball in junior high. Somewhere between then and high school, socks became scrunched (all the better to showcase those pegged jeans). Now, it seems we have the invisi-sock. Unless there is a market for hosiery that only covers ones toenails, there is nowhere to go but up.

This revelation has me awaiting the return of thigh-highs — socks that would make even the thinnest of legs look like paunchy, cottony Greek columns. Socks that could double as Wilt Chamberlin’s sleeping bag. They would protect my inner thighs from the inevitable chafe of my early morning spins on the elliptical. I would gladly rock the look of the fat chick from Meatballs if it meant I could forego the Gold Bond for just one summer. But being an overweight 36 year-old from the Midwest, I fear my vision might be misinterpreted as high-functioning autism or worse yet, fashion ignorance.

So until the sock apocalypse arrives, it looks like I will be wearing the shorties. Every other part of my body is well-covered, but my ankles are out there, naked and free, spotlighting vein patterns that only moms and injured gymnasts have. I have one body part free from jiggle and stretch marks, and by god, I ought to flaunt it.

Open wounds.

I think perhaps the shittiest thing about Father’s Day is having to pick out a card for untitledhusband’s dad. He left his family and the state when untitledhusband was 8, so he could shack up with his girlfriend. Since he paid his child support, his parental responsibilities were fulfilled.

untitledhusband has been cleaning up the mess ever since. After the divorce, he watched on as his already-thin mother lost 10, 20, 30 pounds seemingly overnight. She’d melt into her bed and quietly cry and pray, cry and pray. It wasn’t quiet enough, for he’d always hear, doing whatever he could to keep his younger brother from hearing. He’d listen on and wish that he could superglue her back together. She’d bake cookies, fold laundry and pour cherry Kool-Aid into the Flintstones jelly glasses for him and all his friends, as if this whole mess had never happened.

The meager paycheck of a single mother couldn’t support a mortgage, so they moved around from rental house to rental house. For a short time, they lived with Grandma and Grandpa. They’d settle in, and soon find themselves displaced when a whole family who could make a house payment moved in. Every box that was packed and unpacked was a crude reminder of everything his father took with him when he left.

He had a nervous breakdown after his dad split. Being man of the house before you’ve even hit puberty will do that to you. He’d lose his shit every time his mother left the house or deviated from her daily routine. His mother stopped at the grocery store for a few mintues after work one evening, and came home to find her oldest son hysterical, thinking she had been in a car accident. During his next visit, his father grabbed him by the shoulders, confronted him about the child psychologist bills and declared that he was perfectly fine. And so that was that.

Now, I watch on as untitlehusband takes his father’s phone calls on holidays and yes, Father’s Day. It’s always less like a conversation, and more like a job interview. The dialogue is punctuated with nervous laughter and obligatory ice breakers. “So how is the pond coming along?” “I hear you’ve had no rain down there.” As much as he says that he couldn’t care less about his father, I can see just how much he does.

No matter how old he gets, untitledhusband will always be this nervous, unsteady boy around strong older men like his father, whether it’s his boss or the waiter at Friday’s. When we go to untitledson’s soccer games, I can feel his apprehension when he realizes that he knows nothing about sports. I see how he avoids getting oil changes on his car. Talking to the mechanic reminds him just how little he knows about things that a father teaches a son. When he says that he is so over his dad, I nod and smile, knowing that being fatherless has damaged him in ways he can neither comprehend nor admit.

Deep down, I think untitlehusband feels that if only his father had loved him more, he might have stayed. And so he will forever and always be trying to prove himself to a man who didn’t deserve his love in the first place. Unfortunately, Hallmark just doesn’t have a Father’s Day card for that.