Chapter One Hundred-Six: Ma’am is not living the dream…

Has anyone else seen the crazy investment/retirement commercial: Devin and Sheila plan to hunt for fossils in their retirement? It pops up frequently and albeit I do not personally know Devin and Sheila, I HATE them! Their background or theme music is all chipper and upbeat!( But in the background of mine and Confused Husbands commercial is Chopins Funeral March!)

First– WTF?!!!

Second– Is Fossil hunting even a thing?

Third– When one thinks of retirement don’t ya think of an air-conditioned room with your oxygen tank and a TV? I picture Confused Husband with a GYNORMOUS magnifying glass viewing his stamp collection ensconsed in his favorite chair. His electric scooter parked next to him.

I really want to know who the hell Devin and Sheila are? What kind of life did they lead BEFORE retirement? Obviously, overachievers, they probably have very few friends and are collectors of rare wines that they don’t share nor drink because they are waiting. For what?!! They in all likelihood are childless and their house is like a museum.(They are able to have ALL white furniture and expensive tchotchkes.) Devin and Sheila have no pets, travel frequently, and host dinner parties for work acquaintances to show off their perfect, unblemished life.

This flawless couple ski, snorkel, and hike whilst posting snapshots of their postcard life. Sheila is an only child born into a home of a famous heart surgeon and a renowned child psychologist. Devin on the other hand hails from a dairy farm in Boise. He left the farm at 16 and reinvented himself. He used to be called Clay Fogg. He changed his name to Devin Frank. Devin is living the dream. (Yes, I have surmised all of this in my mind whilst watching this commercial for the millionth time!)

They have put money aside during their child-free, pet-free, impeccable life. It is painfully clear that Devin and Sheila do not nor have they ever had to worry about a new water heater, car alternator, car bumper after child number one backed into a tree while trying to parallel park, braces for child’s teeth, leak in dining room ceiling, college tuition, chemotherapy for the family dog, violin lessons, then piano, accompanied by soccer paraphernalia, class trip abroad for children one, two, three, and four. Confused Husband’s short-lived hobby of Parkour quickly followed by foot surgery, then a boot, last but not least six weeks of physical therapy.

I mean LIFE stuff that occurs in the REAL world!

Nope, Sheila never had to host RIDICULOUS Class Mom meetings at her home, where moms and dads came to eat, DRINK, and gossip in lieu of planning constructive events for their child’s class. (All occurring mid-morning during the week!) Chauffeuring surly teens around the duration of each drive being told:”Don’t look, talk, or act like you know me mom!”(Hoke had an easier time driving Miss Daisy!). Devin never had to go to the emergency room while installing a doggy door and receive stitches like (according to the ER on duty) ” He had tousseled with Jack the Ripper and lost!” Or STUPID family vacations to Disney World where we had to wait in line three hours in the blistering sun to go on a two minute ride because SOMEONE was too cheap to purchase a quick pass.

Watching Devin and Sheilas f@#$%&! Commercial again, I really hope that they fall off a cliff during their next “Fossil hunt!” A girl can dream can’t she?…

Chapter One Hundred-Five: Ma’am is socially learning impaired…

I have become socially learning impaired from being in quarantine with my family. As we reemerge into society, I realize that I have to relearn social etiquette all over again! How I have pined for new conversation other than ” I call the right side of the couch!” “Where’s the remote?” ” Which episode are we on in Netflix?”

I am THRILLED to be headed to our local coffee shop for a walk-up take out coffee! it is AMAZING how something so small has become so exciting! On the stroll over, I practice my soon to be conversation with the barista.

My opening line is: ” Wow great to see you again!” ( Does that sound too needy?) I decide to share how I have been querying and pimping myself out on Twitter( this I surmise will help me to sound younger and more hip!) I also can hopefully get my barista to be intrigued by my witty raconteur and follow my blog! (Yup, I am literally a harlot at Starbucks, offering my services for a follow.) I so NEED to show how productive I was during quarantine!

I practice being able to enunciate properly through my mask. Albeit I sound like Darth Vader on crack. I look down and marvel at actually being out of my Coronavirus grey sweats and able to see my legs! Although in the sunlight I realize they look like they could body double for Big Foot in a movie( note to self: SHAVE LEGS!) again, one of those social graces I must relearn.

Like a virtuous bride on her wedding night, I coyly approach the café walk-up window. I smile through my mask and wait. The window gingerly slides open and the barista is not one I am familiar with. S’ja according to his nametag through his mask muffles to me words I do not understand. It is though a record is warped. I have no idea what S’ja is saying. I am also curious if his name is pronounced S(suh sound) JAH or S”Ja. I REALLY want to befriend him since he is basically the only stranger I have conversed with in a LONG time. I ask first how to pronounce his name? He has NO clue what I am saying as my mask although I think stylish is also so cumbersome and thick. Like I am in a cave yelling through a can with a string.

He gestures to me and I am apologizing profusely and explain that I suck at charades! I shout my name and order out to him. He shakes his head letting me know that my words are not understood. My whole conversation fantasy is going down the tubes. He hands me a pen and I write my name and order out for him. This is not going how I imagined during my rehearsal. He slams the window shut and I see my pitiful reflection. Thick, ridiculous scarf covering most of my face, only my eyes and eyebrows are visible. I also notice that I only penciled in one of my eyebrows WTF??!!! I look like the Phantom Of The Opera!

S’ja opens the window and slides out my drink. I tilt my head to reveal the penciled in eyebrow towards him. Might as well give him something since I failed in all other aspects of this outing. I scuttle home disappointed in myself and my obviously impaired ability to function in society.

Returning home, I whip off my mask, change into my standard grey sweats, and plop myself down on the right side of the couch. With my one eyebrow, I slurp down my drink, looking at the other social misfits surrounding me I know this is where I belong…

Chapter: One-Hundred Four: Ma’am is all pimped out…

I am EXHAUSTED pimping myself out on Twitter to get blog traffic and followers! It would be much easier to stand on the corner and offer senior citizen men from the old age home across the street sexual favors. I am considering suing Twitter for Carpel Tunnel Syndrom in my fingers! I follow, comment, and engage as much as I can. I am depleted of energy after my Twitter prostitution sessions.

I read the articles posted by the top millennial bloggers instructing me with what, how, when, and why to post. It is harder to decipher than hieroglyphics! I Google ninety-five percent of the technical jargon they use because I haven’t a clue!

I thought Bloglovin’ was a new sandwich at McDonald’s! A hip blogger suggested I make a Tik Tok vidéo. WTH??? Is Tik Tok?!!! I know it’s a sound clocks make or a bomb before it goes off. I Google Tik Tok and see Tony award winning worthy performances that look professionally choreographed! It’s INSANE!!! The singing, dancing, costumes, too much!

I look over on the couch at my two possible Tik Tok stars and cringe. They have not moved since the beginning of quarantine. How other than teasing them with food can I get them to move? I picture myself dangling a slice of cake from a fishing pole and having them chase it. There is my Tik Tok video! (perhaps I could play the Jaws theme in the background?)

What if I Tik Tok with the dog? ( which sounds like a sex act if you ask me). I am not a good dancer at all! A combo of Elaine from Seinfeld and someone having an epileptic fit. The dog is hanging on by a thread so I don’t know if subjecting him to perform a Tik Tok is inviting Peta to bang on my door in protest of cruelty to an animal.

I give up on Tik Tok and join Instagram which is a lot of work! Why the hell does it connect to my contacts on my phone?!! I don’t want my dentist, child’s guidance counselor, plumber, that weird woman from the dog park, looking at my Instagram! Or befriending me and now because I need them in my life have to follow them back! (BTW, my plumber posts WAY too much and I am pretty sure he is doing it from customers bathrooms!!! No wonder why he charges by the hour! He is perfecting his Tik Tok videos for HOURS in their bathrooms and kitchens, then billing them for his rehearsal time!

My child’s guidance counselor is into some Zen stuff and is OBSESSED with making candles and hot yoga. (Now I know why I was having massive hot flashes in her office! She has it like a hot yoga studio for F#$% sake!) She also has a knitting story she posted, and I am pretty sure she was filming it during school hours in her office. That explains a lot of the reason child’s schedule was so screwed up!

My dentist, according to the Instagram stories is a big drinker. There is a WHOLE Mixology story going on. It seems a good amount of it was filmed in the back room of the dental practice, which is alarming! I also now know that it wasn’t menopause gaslighting me! In place of mouth wash,it definitely WAS Crème de menthe!

The Whackadoodle from the dog park who got my phone number from a neighbor seems to spend most of her life on Instagram when she is not at the dog park. She does a talk show from whichever room in her house she happens to be in. She has one from the bathtub where she has a tutorial on shaving her legs with an old fashioned razor and yogurt. It was like a scene from Sweeny Todd because she couldn’t work the razor correctly. I am HORRIFIED that I now have to follow and comment on her nutter stories! (note to self: Bye, bye dog park!).

I know WAY too much about these people than I want to! It’s all of these blogger’s faults who are telling me that this is how I have to market myself! Agents saying you MUST have a social presence. Whatever happened to good old fashioned writing? I can’t imagine Harper Lee or Charles Dickens having to pimp themselves out on Twitter or any of the other self-promoting apps!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” Dickens narrates on his Tik Tok page whilst hip hop music plays in the background. “Please sir, I want some more.” a goth looking Oliver Twist raps against a chain-link fence.

Harper Lee’s insta -story, has Atticus Finch in a speeding car, accidentally running over a mockingbird as the Jonas Brothers songs play on the car’s radio. Scout and Jem in the backseat along for the ride.

Mark Twain’s video may have him reciting “Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush.” as an androgynous-looking Tom Sawyer paints to the theme of a Lady Gaga soundtrack, while in the background on a raft stands Huck Finn gyrating to the music.

I know that self-promotion is important and that one needs to have a social presence. I just am confused as to how to market myself. I realize that perhaps I am best off pimping away on the Twitter corner in hopes that someone without seeing or hearing me via a video but through my words gets me…

Chapter One Hundred-Three: Ma’am feels like Mata Hari…

Coronavirus has affected EVERYTHING in our lives! Normal activities such as grocery shopping, hair cuts, going out to dinner now have changed into an episode of Survivor. I have been on the waitlist at my hair salon and FINALLY get the notification from my hairstylist is like being Charlie and finding the golden ticket for the Wonka chocolate factory!

Emerging from our quarantine cocoons, people look like Tom Hank’s character in Castaway, hairy and disheveled. Men look like the neanderthal’s from the Geico commercials or the Uni- Bomber. Women look like those long-haired polygamist wives, with Frida Kahlo, uni-brows it’s unnerving.

I resemble a spy about to commit espionage with the detailed instructions I receive from my hair salon via email: On Saturday, June 5th between the hours of 930 am and 1:00 pm you will receive a text from an unknown number ending in 0007. You are to respond yes via text and then wait for a phone call coming from another unknown number ending in 0009. Pick up and hold until you are transferred to the front desk where you will be instructed which button to push for which service for example haircut is one, color is two, etc… once you push your designated button you will be directed to the appropriate appointment scheduling agent. Upon reaching the agent say into the phone your last name( spell out hard to pronounce ones), your stylist of choice, and the service required. Please do not add on any other services, or your call will be redirected to the main number and you will have to resubmit your information and start this process all over again by adding your name to the waitlist and waiting for an email and call.

Once you have finished these steps, repeat your email TWICE for clarification. You will then receive an email within 72 hours with your appointment time. Please follow directions in your email pertaining to mask, social distancing, and required behavior in the salon. ( I don’t think the Raid on Entebbe was this intricate!)

I feel like Mata Hari! So I sit with my phone, fully charged waiting for the call, I wonder if this is how General Eisenhower felt…. I sense that this is the anticipation before the storming of Normandy…. It harkens to the Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi. If you say or push the wrong button “No Haircut for you!”

I get the call, it’s a whisper of a voice. I have a visual of the Wizard of Oz, a man behind a curtain whose in control of my hair destiny. He is directing me towards my next step. My breath quickens and I feel the sweat beading up on my upper lip(as I rub my tongue over I think I should have added a waxing F&^%$#!) I feel like I am on a game show and have just phoned a friend because I don’t know the answer. The mysterious voice instructs me to spell out my name, service requirement, and stylist. I marvel at how I know the answers! I then hear the rustling of pages and picture a black book double the size of War & Peace with appointments. The “Hair Whisperer” who I now dub him, hems and haws, clucks, clicks, and sighs as he flips through the pages. I make what I hope is sympathetic sounds at his difficult task, I SO want him to like me! I begin to Lamaze breathe and wait. I hear a clicking sound on the phone and see it’s Confused Husband calling and texting me from the upstairs loo asking for toilet paper. If somehow because of his frenzied calls and texts he disconnects me from this unicorn call I will murder him no question. Above me, he stomps his feet from his throne. I watch the chandelier sway back and forth. I will not relent! This is barred none one of the most IMPORTANT calls of my life! As I wait, I flip flop on his name. I picture a tiny man on a chair behind a curtain, but then I see him as “The Hair Whisperer” I am torn, and briefly consider asking him which nickname would he prefer? He bellows to someone in the background, which rattles the phone piercing my ear and I go back to calling him The Great Oz. Yes, he is a VERY important man, and I am Dorothy waiting on his command to click my ruby red heels.

The Great Oz coughs, thoughts of Coronavirus enter my mind but only fleetingly. Yes, I will risk being infected not to look like I have been lost in the Amazon for a year. What is the old adage? Beauty is pain? Yes, I will put my life in peril for this haircut. I also wonder why The Great Oz is using a book and not a computer? I am too scared to ask and don’t want to ruin my chances of him turning on me.

FINALLY, the Great Oz speaks. His voice is no longer a whisper, but a command of authority! He informs me that I will be receiving an email with my appointment time and orders of what to do upon my salon visit. (I briefly wonder if I need to wear camouflage for this expedition. I am too intimidated to ask!).

Babbling like an idiot I thank him profusely as though he has just given me one of his kidneys! I hear a dial tone which lets me know(rather harshly) that he has hung up, our discussion is over.

Waiting for the illustrious email. I scroll through my emails of nonsense: How to get rid of crepe skin. Need dentures? Bladder issues? All the spam reminding me that I am a middle-aged woman on the cusp of becoming old. I see an email offering me Asian women to date( must be after I Googled: Asian women’s secrets to beautiful skin) Big Brother is truly watching!

Searching for this email is like looking for the Holy Grail, although now it has become more like Monty Python and the Holy Grail…..

Chapter One Hundred-Two: Ma’am is starring in a movie…..

Being in quarantine we have been watching a lot of movies. Sometimes I look over at my family and insert them in the movie. Like, take The Sound of Music, for example, my family barely moves off the couch, let alone climbing the Alps to escape Nazis. Now they may climb the Alps if a bag of chips awaits them on the other side. They wouldn’t move for anything less. I could just hear the complaints: “What do you mean we have to climb snow-capped mountains in lederhosen? WHY??? What do you mean I have to sing as we climb the alps? What do I get out of it?” They also would NEVER wear matching clothes made out of curtains either!

ET is another classic I forced them to watch. I love ET! Poor ET would die in our house.  The first day like the family dog, they would be all attentive. But as soon as the novelty wore off ET would like the dog, be fending for himself. They forget to feed the dog let alone taking the time to feed an alien. Even if ET were potty trained, what good would it do? He wouldn’t be let out to conduct his business, nope ET would become that goldfish floating upside down in his goldfish bowl, which would then turn into the movie:Finding Nemo

Alive: Hit too close to home, was receiving strange sideways looks from the couch. Must assume I was first on their list to eat, am feeling uncomfortable. Pretty sure I would be the main entree on their dinner menu, which would then turn into The Silence of the Lambs

Inception: As bewildering as my life! Situations occur entirely in people’s minds while they dream. In my case, I am awake and its a nightmare…

The Usual Suspects: No one knows where the hell or who Keyser Söze is! But in our house, Keyser Söze is the clicker. Pretty much sums up my days in quarantine, mass confusion…

Sophie’s Choice: There would be a unanimous choice I reckon it would be me…

Lord of the Ring: I would be Frodo and the ring would be the vacuum…. I would search endlessly for the hose that attaches to the vacuum that someone used as a light saber…

Brokeback Mountain: The dog with the vacuum…

Gladiator: The fight for the right side of the couch…

Singing In The Rain: Water pouring through our chandelier and I was not singing…

Psycho: As I was showering, Confused Husband appears as stealth as Norman Bates and asks:”Where’s the clicker aka Keyser Söze… movie almost turns into the Lorena Bobbitt story

Gone with the Wind… Teenage sons ability to fart whilst morphed into couch….

Citizen Kane… Instead of muttering “ROSEBUD” I mutter”PINOT GRIGIO”

It’s a Wonderful Life… Unlike Jimmy Stewarts character George Bailey trying to get back to his life, I would Run Forrest Run!…

I can pretty much insert my family into each movie scenario! I kind of feel like the Siskel and Ebert of quarantine…

Chapter One Hundred and One: Ma’am and the Lucky Charms plumber…

Why is it that everything happens to break during quarantine?

We now have one working toilet so  Confused  Husband thought it would be a good idea to bring home Indian food. Hours later a situation occurs that is slowly turning into a scene from Les Mis in front of the bathroom door. I don’t have the bandwidth to participate in a Hunger Games event to win the “use of the bathroom”. Teenage son decides it would be grand to hold a debate where each of the “Need to use the loo candidates” could campaign as to why they should get first dibs on the toilet. While they were practicing their campaign speeches I took full advantage and utilized the empty loo.

I then dropped out of the running for office of occupancy of the bathroom and continued my night. Sometimes I question my choice of quarantine people, I mean I know they are my family but, is there like a quarantine rule that you have to quarantine with them?

The next morning, we have a massive leak that runs through our dining room chandelier like Niagra Falls.  I have teenage son come view it, kind of like a “Stay-cation’ type event.  I also worry about the thought of having to bring in a stranger during quarantine and find it extremely unnerving. Of course, being the Charlie Brown family, we get a senior version of the Lucky Charms leprechaun as our plumber. Red and grey hair askew, with the height of an elementary school student. Mask intact he hems and haws at our plumbing situation. He also informs us that his plumbing partner has Coronavirus. I feel so much better now! he is sweating like a nun in a cucumber patch, and all I can focus on are his Coronavirus infected sweat beads dripping on my floor.

The Lucky Charms plumber also has a spontaneous chuckle instead of a period at the end of each statement. I don’t see the humor in our leak. He is also small enough to fit into the access panel for the bathtub. For a moment, I picture him setting up his home in there. Between his purging about his ill workmate and plumbing lingo, all I can focus on is his what I now consider sinister chuckle.

Teenage son actually ventures out of his room cave to inform me that his bed is broken and the shaving bottle cap has accidentally been flushed down the toilet. WTF???

I wonder how many murders will have been committed during quarantine?

I hear that sinister chuckle, and fantasize that I could murder the leprechaun and stuff him in the access panel. I know he fits in there, so I wouldn’t have to chop him up.

Teenage son and Confused Husband are a whole different situation. How could I successfully dispose of them? These are my thoughts during quarantine and I am not afraid to share…