Wednesday, July 20, 2016

If He's Smart, The Salesman Never Rings

Unless you're giving away free tiaras or babysitting, I'll have to pass.

 Morning Readers,

I know you tuned in today to hear rational commentary about the world at large, but what if we started with Rice Krispies and anxiety instead?

Great!

First off, the limited edition red, white, and blue Rice Krispies are fantastic. They don't taste any different, but if you swirl your spoon just fast enough, it's a crackly milk tornado of Americana. Two thumbs way up.

Now then, have I ever told you what happens when you ring my doorbell?

Growing up, I had neighbors who owned a rat terrier who, every time the doorbell rang, threw herself right at the glass storm door. It was terrifying, but she was just super duper excited to see whoever was there. I'm the opposite of that.

Salesman? Neighbor? Ax Murderer? How's a girl to choose?

I wear crippling anxiety like a suit, so standing inside the coat closet and evaluating my options usually sounds fine. Because, in the end, people ringing my doorbell during the day are almost always salesmen, and I know what's coming next.

"Mom. Mom, open the door. There's a guy out there, Mom."

"I know."

"He can see you. Even if you're laying on the floor."

"Go upstairs, child, and leave me be."

"It's ok, I'll open it for you. Hi! My mom's hiding behind the door. What's your name?"

My whispered, "Sh*t" is carried off on the wind as I push the door open and the offending child behind me. "Can I help you?"

Last Friday found me staring at a clearly-exhausted young man sweating profusely in the July sun. I felt bad for him. Poor lamb thought he was there to sell windows. He didn't even see the attack coming.

"Hi there. Are you the lady of the residence?"

"I run this nut house, yes."

He smiled. "Great. You see, we're having a sale on windows. I noticed that some of yours are a little, uh.. "

"Yes, that's duct tape." I nodded quickly. "Well, it's very nice of you, but we're not doing windows this yea-" Before I could finish, children started leaking out behind me like an oil spill.

"Mom, who's this?"
"Is he here to make dinner? I'm hungry."
"Yeah, did you know she only feeds us sometimes?"
"Can I see your clipboard? I'll draw a camel on it for you."
"Here, I'll take all those papers. I need to decorate my dollhouse."

Desperately, I reached behind me and tried to shove three kids back through the door, while the baby, suspicious I was about to sell her for some new double-panes, clawed her way up my shoulder and tried to throw herself down the other side.

The poor window man looked around, quickly realizing he was being closed in on from all sides. "Are- are they all yours?"

I thought about it. "They are. I'm not real quick to claim the one trying to untie your shoes though. I mean, he looks like us, but he's a bit of a loose cannon right now."

The salesman looked past me and peered into the house timidly.

I laughed. "There aren't anymore in there."

"No?"

Shaking my head, I took the flyer the man was absently holding out for me while he watched all three of the older kids race down the driveway and look for a way to climb into the storm drain. "No, but I have a neurotic dog who'd love to come out and tell you his problems. How much time do you have?"

The man smiled politely and peered sideways. "My name is Mark, by the way. If- if you ever need anything, the number's on the card. We can come out and quote you. I can see you have-"

"My hands full? Or kids falling into the sewers? Either or, thank you so much for popping by. I'll keep you guys in mind for next year. If you have to head out, I totally understand. But if you want to stick around, I'm going to tie a rope around my waist and jump down in there to pull everyone out. I could really use someone to hold the other end."

"No, it's ok."

"You sure?"

But he was already speeding down the street.

I yelled for down the driveway. "Ok, everyone out of there. Head to the backyard so I can hose you off."

I'm not sure how many years I have left of Kellerman children rushing anyone who comes to our door, but it is what it is. In the meantime, I'll be anxiously waiting for the doorbell to ring again, drinking coffee, and making Rice krispy tornadoes.

Because they really are delightful.


Until Next Time, Readers!




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Friday, July 15, 2016

It's A Dressing Room, Baby

"I'll take that roll of trash bags and maybe a belt to define my waist."

Morning Readers,

Has summer consumed you yet?

I finally waved my flag of surrender and allowed swimming, random tasks, and wondering how weeds can kill all your fresh grass and crawl up to the front door take over my very act of being.

Oh, and Netflix. Netflix is my life.

Do I want to watch another episode? Is the Pope Catholic?

Melting into that type of laziness is only difficult when I have to suddenly pull myself out and do things like clothe myself. Which was recently the case when Husband and I received a wedding shower invitation and I realized the nearest thing I had to formal wear was some maternity leggings and a top that had fallen on the closet floor and was being used as a rug.

A shopping trip was in order. I was sad I didn't actually own a rug.

Sometimes I think I'm still pretty young. In my mind, I'm about twenty-two. I look twenty-two. Sound twenty-two. And then I have to take my baby dress shopping and realize I'm actually none of these things.

Having to haul around an eight-month-old velcro baby who can't be left at home is literally the quickest way to help remind you that you're thirty-two and the lines between your eyes are going absolutely nowhere but deeper. Hauling that same baby through racks of clothes and younger girls is also a good reminder that:
  • You now think most clothes are stupid.
  • There's a drastic lack of clothes for women who've had three c-sections and still have some loose fat they need to tuck into extra pockets.
  • An actual twenty-two-year-old sounds nothing like you. Like a baby deer, she is just learning to walk and chew gum at the same time. You wonder if the gum chewing keeps her forehead line-free.
Nevertheless, with Mrs. Jones on my hip, I foraged through countless stacks of tops, fleets of pants, and dresses that weren't dresses at all, but something unattractively named a "romper" and marketed to grown women who have mortgages. While the baby waved at people, I held things up.

"What about this?"

"Baaa."

"I don't know. It might be a halter top."

"Ma?"

"You're right. I need something closer to an actual horse harness to keep all this in check. If you can stay awake, maybe we'll pop by that western store on the way back. What about these pants?"

"Baba."

"Exactly. I'd look like a poorly tailored clown. Then again, I'm not sure what people's expectations of me are these days."

Mrs. Jones contented herself by grabbing at everything she could get her chubby paws on. Between extracting hoop earrings from her fist and gazing longingly at discount pajamas, I managed to pile several potentially unoffending dresses on my free arm and march to the dressing room. But I stopped short...

What was the proper protocol for bringing a baby in a dressing room?
Maybe I traded her to the attendant for a plastic number to hang on the door.
How long could the attendant sort rejected clothes and let Mrs. Jones slap her in the face though?

Unfortunately, I needed to make a hasty decision and buy something right away, so there was no getting around it. Hitching Mrs. Jones up on my hip, I grabbed the plastic number between my teeth and kicked open the first door the disinterested girl pointed at. "Well, here we go." I yelled.

No one intervened as I hung up my haul and looked around for a place to put the baby. "Where do you want to sit?" I asked. "This questionable corner or that questionable corner?"

The baby, seeing only wide open, unexplored space, was kind enough to gravitate toward the dirty concrete area that held only one used band aid and a shockingly-large piece of lint. The rest of the experience was pieced together by anyone waiting outside.

"Nope, don't eat that bandage."

"Is.. is this a corset?"

"Here, dig through my purse. It's better than picking up hepatitis."

"Hmm, this could work. But I'd need a sewing machine to fix the front and a flame thrower to fix the back."

"Where'd you go?

"There you are. There's only one bench in here. Didn't think you could disappear under it."

"Ok, I guess I'll take this one."

Semi-triumphant, I paid for my pick and, the next day, shoved myself into it with minimal tears. Husband was ready to start the car by the time I made my way down the stairs. "How do I look?"

He smiled. "Beautiful. What is it?"

"It's a romper. I wanted to feel like a toddler but also have the satisfaction I can drive myself places and do taxes."

"I see. I thought it was a dress."

"That's how they get you."

And so we headed out for the night. My purse on one arm and Mrs. Jones on the other. Just a woman, her velcro baby, and a romper.


Until Next Time, Readers!



And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: