Monday, July 25, 2011

Things My Mother Said

Lately, I've been catching myself using a variety of phrases to get my son's attention when he is doing something he shouldn't.  Most recently, when Samuel knowingly disobeys, I find myself looking at him and saying in exasperation, "Seriously, Samuel?" or "Really?"  To which he replies, "Sorry I'm fusterating (his pronunciation, not mine) you Mama."

Just last week I was dancing in the kitchen when I looked down to see him, with his hands on his hips, looking at me like I was, well, crazy.  "Really, Mama?  Really?" was the comment I got from this too-smart-for-his-own-good-but-its-what-I-get-for-being-so-gifted-with-sarcasm-myself at that very moment.

Apparently he wasn't into my choreography.  I told him that when' he's 18, he can come up with his own, but while he's under my roof and unemployed...I was the Cheryl Burke of the kitchen.

I realized I sounded like my mother, I sounded like your mother, I sounded like all of the mothers of the world...when did this happen?

It made me think of some of the things my mother would say when I was growing up to get my sister and I back to "right livin'" and even though I pinky swore to my 6th grade BFF that these would never come out of my mouth...I am resigning myself to the fact that they most likely will.

It's just a matter of time.

Here are my mother's top six discipline statements:

1. I didn’t say you had hairy thighs and didn’t love the Lord - My mother used to say this whenever we took her guidance too personally.  It was like, "yes, your behavior sucks, but your thighs are smooth and you do love God so what are you so mad about?"  Don't ask, I don't know where she got this from.  

2. It’s gonna be me and you, but mostly me. - This was always a pre-spanking threat.  It was like, "If you do that one more time..."  

3. To the moon, Alice, and I guarantee it ain’t gonna be in no rocket ship - I'm not going to lie.  I don't know what this one meant.  Perhaps the worst punishment in life is being made to go into space without any special equipment.  Being that kids are so literal, I always wondered...would she catapult me into space?  Would she just throw me with her bionic Inspector Gadget Arms?  Would I have to find my own way?  All I know was that if my sister and I continued to go down the path of disobedience, we were going to the moon...and we weren't going to like it.

4. Do we need to have a prayer meeting? - Gosh, my mother was spiritual.  In the midst of our meltdowns in the ladies department of Rich's, my mother's first thought was to go a nearby dressing room and take our problems to the Lord...unless of course I go ahead and let you know that a "prayer meeting" was code for a spanking.  Looking back though, I'm not exactly sure why it required a code.  In the 80's my other could have bent me over her knee at the intersection where the Big Chicken stands and all the passing drivers would have honked in approval.  Public spankings in the 20th century were the modern day public beheadings that bored families packed a picnic lunch for and waited all day to see.  There was no need to drag God into it.

5. I’m gonna knock you naked (neck-ed) and hide your clothes. - This was my mother's way of saying, "Y'all, it's getting on my nerves. Enough"  When I was little, I wondered how hard you had to hit a person so that their clothes would actually fly of their body.  I assure you that I didn't really want to find out.  Mostly, though, this threat did not really refer to actual hitting or public nudity...again it was simply a scary and colorful way of saying "STOP IT."  

6. I mean, a nun. - The threat of sending me to a convent was usually the result of doing something wrong the first time and the consequence of doing it a 2nd time, I was told, would be dedicating my life to the Catholic Church...as soon as we looked one up in the phone book because we were Southern Baptist and there is no threat equivalent in our church.   Just saying, "you do that one more time and I mean a job setting up the bi-monthly potluck dinners on a table as to give each chicken casserole equal distance from the last" just doesn't have the same ring to it. If we were going to be thugs...the Pope was going to have to deal with us.  

I hope all my peeps born before 1990 can relate to some of these methods.  I am so thankful for a mother who loved me enough to discipline me and keep me on the right road.

I love you Mom!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Blender!

Great news.  All of my small kitchen electric appliances (except the toaster 2004-2008), stainless steel silverware, every day dishes, fancy dishes (wherever they are), living room furniture and bath towels all turn 7 today!

It's also another way to say, it's my anniversary!

Seven years ago, Andy and I planned and executed a wedding.  We said our vows, exchanged our rings, kissed our families and left on a jet plane. We went on our honeymoon where we drank wine in the vineyards of Napa and dined on steak several nights in a row. Our wedding was July 18th and by the end of that week, we were certain we had gotten the hang of this marriage thing.

Well, perhaps honeymoons should come at the end of the first year as sort of a reward for not killing each other and not as a way of setting unrealistic expectations in the beginning.

Marriage, after all, is not always wine in a vineyard, so to speak.

We had odd habits that went previously unnoticed.

For instance, I was raised by a father who could not go to bed until the doors and windows were triple checked and all the house keys were accounted for.  Andy called this inherited quirk of mine...well...being neurotic.  He, in turn, felt there were certain questions that I asked that required audible answers and most that only required grunts if any noise at all.

Who am I kidding...he still feels this way.

I look back at our first year and see how far we've come. How much of a learning curve two people raised in different homes had.  We also had many wonderful adventures, laughed a LOT and had a whole bunch of fun.

As we look at year 7, I'm grateful that this man is in the foxhole of life with me. There is no one I would rather have not answer my questions.

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband.

Also, happy birthday to all of my home goods.

Rachel

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't Go a Changing...

So this week has been full to say the least, however, in the midst of the stress and chaos, I got a bit of good news and I'm excited to share it with you.  No, it doesn't cause cravings, overwhelming nausea and lower back pain.

A month ago, I submitted a short story to be considered for publication in a humor anthology. I wrote it, read it, thought I was the funniest person on the planet, submitted it, didn't hear anything, reread it, composed an apology to the editors for submitting such a pathetic attempt at humor, ate some chocolate, deleted email apology draft, got mad at the editors for not realizing my genius, read through all my blog posts, contemplated deleting my blog entirely, wrote a post about bears, strained to hear the groans and eye rolling as people across the world (or the few people who read my blog) read it, reread anthology submission, sank further into depression, had some more chocolate...

Then came July 2.  An email arrived from the editors the morning we were slated to go out of town and the morning after spending a hectic evening in the ER with my mom.  I had foolishly slept in my contacts and my eyes were so dry I literally couldn't read the email.  It was the single most frustrating moment of my life. (I know, "Watch Band of Brothers, Rachel and it will put the I have dry contacts and can't read my emails problem into perspective.")  Finally after much eye-rubbing, forced yawning and squirting contact solution directly into my eyeballs, I saw the word..."Congratulations."  It was glorious and so validating.

So...I am going to be published.

The book I'm going to be a part of is an exciting concept, really.  I can't wait to read it.  It's an anthology of humorous stories about Valentine's Day called, My Funny Valentine.  It will feature several, very funny, writers with their own story/take on Valentine's Day. When I sent the submission, I told the editors it would be great if I could be included, but really I just didn't want them to think the story sucked.  I know, so professional, right?

So that leads me to changes.  With this book coming out in February and my focus moving toward becoming a humor writer, I am changing things 'round here.  I started this blog to capture the moments of my precious son.  I enjoyed having an outlet and I love going back and following the evolution of me as a clueless crying, hormonal mess into a confident mom who still doesn't know what she's doing, but really doesn't care.

The conflict is that I want to bring more traffic to my blog and therefore will be removing some stories and really reading my blog over to remove the personal info.  Right now, I'm not searchable, because I was once and found Sam's picture on some Danish photo database.  Just kind of made me nervous.  I am getting someone to help makeover my blog (contemplating a move to Wordpress, but not sure) and have officially changed the web address to:  www.rachelshumor.com

I have had a tremendous amount of private and public feedback from a lot you who read my blog regularly and it has really helped encourage me and it has challenged me as a humor writer to keep going.  So, THANK YOU!!!! While this opportunity to be a contributing writer to this anthology is not going to put me on par in fame and fortune with the cast of the Jersey Shore, say...It is an amazing resume addition and it has encouraged me to keep on keepin' on.

Favors to ask:
-Keep reading my blog.  I will keep writing in my current genre/style (which includes stories about me an Andy)
-Comment as you can/feel.
-Keep an eye open for the book (I will publicize here)
-If you are on Linkedin and you are familiar with my work as a writer/entertainer with my murder mystery business, Make it a Mystery, I need recommendations!
- Make a note, this blog has had an address change to www.rachelshumor.com

Many thanks!