Performance Anxiety

I don’t know what YOU were thinking this blog was gonna be about; but you are a dirty bird, so I can guess. 

In which case, just to set sexpectations, it’s about job interviews.  But since your mind is in the gutter, you probably misread that sentence and thought for a second I said SEXpectations instead of “set EXpectations.”  Creep.

Anyway…I told the kids this morning that I was going for an interview.  To which Sonny replied, “Wait!  Will you be able to pick us up after school and make us dinner?!” 

I wasn’t sure if his question was referring to today, the interview day; or if it was a more long-term, far-reaching impact question.  As in, “If you DO get the job you’re interviewing for today, will you still be able to pick us up after school and make us dinner until we learn how to drive and/or get married??”

But as I’ve learned from skiing, don’t think longterm.  Short-sighted is the way to go.  It’s best not to look past the tip of your skis as you’re coming off the chairlift.  Because if you do look, you’re stunned into immobility because you realize how high up you actually are.  And how far down you actually have to go.

With this in mind Thank you, skiing.  Turns out you are good for something, including my new-found life philosophy of not looking beyond the moment because otherwise, it scares the sh^# out of me. I interpret Sonny’s question as a “right now, this moment-in-time” sort of ask. 

Also?  A ride and food?!?  Good to know someone has their priorities straight.

So I reply, “Yes.  But is that all I am to you?!  I was telling you this because I’m kinda nervous and I thought you could help me feel better about things.”

So they all cluster around and do their very best to allay my anxiety. 

Hubby, for example, tells me to just have fun with it.  Then he hugs me and reaches around to squeeze my a$$.  When I jolt and try to pull away, he explains that what he’s doing is akin to acupuncture.  Everyone knows THESE wucka, wucka, wah-Ah, Ah-ah [those were a$$cheek squeezing noises by the way] are pressure points on the human body and touching them wucka, wucka, wah-Ah, Ah-ah releases endorphins and relieves stress. 

Oh.  Ok.  Frankly, it didn’t do a thing for me, but he had a big smile on his face when he pulled away. 

Sissy didn’t say anything as she took his place in the hug line.  But by the way she was swallowing, I could tell she didn’t want me to get the job almost as much as I don’t want to get the job.  So she just hugged me in her pubescent I-think-I’m-getting-too-old-to-hug-my-mother sort of way and moved off.  But having her fresh, freckle face so close to mine for that brief second actually did make me feel better.  Until I remember how I used to have a fresh, freckle face of my own.  BACK WHEN I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT JOBS!!!  And we’re back to square one.

But not for long because Sonny comes in for his own hug.  And having his sturdy arms around me is a treat.  Then – as if he will shortly be imparting his usual out-of-the-mouths-of-babes brand of wisdom, he smiles at me and says, “Two words, Mom….

KNIFE FISTS!!!!”  And starts jamming his pointified fingers into my ribs. 

Thanks, everyone.  I feel much better about things.  Glad we had this talk.

P.S.  Don’t know nothin’ ’bout no knife fists, you say?  Knife Fists 101 can be found here – http://newstayathomemom.com/?p=2490

Shake it up

Make a scene
Let them know what you really mean
And dance all night, keep the beat
And don’t you worry ’bout two left feet…

Why yes, those are the lyrics to that 1981 song by the Cars titled “Shake It Up” from their album of the same name. 

Is it in your head yet?!

‘Cause it’s in mine.  And I wanted to share the wealth.  I’m nice like that.  A true giver, really.

Also?  You have been SCHOOLED, Son!  You have been SCHOOLED in this “80’s song for every moment in life” game that we play.  I have SCHOOLED you; and you have been SCHOOLED!

But where I was really going with all of this is that I have GOT to tell you about the most bizarre business-y behavior I have ever witnessed.

I was at a fundraising event.  It was at an outdoors walk-a-thon being held in a park adjacent to a kiddie amusement area (complete with rides, snacks, birthday parties blah, blah, blah).  And when the walk was over, I spotted a man standing in the crowd whose right hand was covered with a plastic bag.  He was chatting to people.  AND PEOPLE WERE SHAKING HIS HAND!  WHICH WAS COVERED BY A PLASTIC BAG!!

As I eventually understood it – when he had arrived at the walk, he had seen cotton candy for sale at the amusement area and had gotten a bag of it.  A grown man, eating a whole bag of cotton candy in the 88-degree heat in sunny Phoenix, AZ during a fundraising walk, subsequently came down with a severe case of Sticky Hand Syndrome.  So to protect everyone in the vicinity from inadvertently shaking his sticky hand, he then covered it with the empty cotton candy bag when he was done.

BUT PEOPLE SHOOK HIS STICKY, PLASTIC-BAG COVERED HAND ANYWAY!!!

Did I mention that already?  Seems like I may have.  In which case:  What. The. Hell!?!

That was full-on wack, and I can’t figure out why people would be shaking the hand…of a man…whose hand…was covered with a plastic bag…and was clearly OFF-LIMITS…for shaking!!!

But I have some theories, none of which make any sense:

  1. Did people think the man had a painful medical condition being protected by the bag?  Uh…then why are you SHAKING THE HAND of a man WITH A PAINFUL MEDICAL CONDITION!!  On his HAND?!?   
  2. Or perhaps these people thought he had a communicable disease and was pioneering some inexpensive “hand rubber” concept??  In which case, you deserve whatever Scabies you get, ya moron!
  3. Conversely, perhaps HE could have been trying not to catch whatever OTHERS had on their hand.  Because Godonlyknowswhereyourhandhasbeen!
  4. Was Bag Man playing the part of Curley in “Of Mice and Men” and was taking the glove-full-of-vaseline, keeping-his-hand-soft-for-his-wife character flaw a bit too seriously?!?  Ewwww!  You’re completely gross!  Either way, WHY ARE YOU SHAKING THAT SOFT LITTLE HAND?!!
  5. Maybe some folks thought he had just had a hand transplant?  And they wanted to show him how cool and accepting they were of his new hand??  Come ON!  THINK ABOUT IT!!  If he had just had a hand transplant, the last place he would be, would be a fundraising walk!  With his new hand protected by nothing more than a crappy plastic bag with COTTON CANDY CALORIE INFORMATION clearly printed on it! 

And quite frankly, I don’t really care WHAT you were thinking when you shook the hand-in-the-bag.  It was weird.  You are weird.  Always, ALWAYS think before you shake.

Speaking of which…

Shake it up oo-oo
Shake it up oo-yeah
Shake it up oo-oo

[how ‘bout now?!]

striptease

I start out the chiropractor appointment with, “My crochet elbow isn’t getting better, Doc.  It now connects from a spot in my neck, through to my shoulder-blade and all the way down to my elbow.  I think it’s because I hold my fingers like this when I crochet.” [I’m now pointing a left-handed finger gun at him.  Cool, right?]

He looks at me kinda puzzled [was it that part about: the neckbone connects to the backbone, dem bones dem bones gonna walk around that threw him off?] but then he says, “Actually I’ve had truckers with this same problem.”  Oh?  Do tell.  “They point their finger when they shift their rig.  It causes an injury with the tendons on the front of the elbow which connect to the muscles of the forearm.  Lie down.”

Then he proceeds to touch my boobs to see if they hurt too.  KIDDING!  Jeez, I was totally kidding!!

But he does have me lie flat on a massage bed while he attaches some electrodes to my forearm.  And I find out after he’s left the room, and I’m fixing my ponytail-made-uncomfortable-due-to-the-prone-position, that he also stuck a piece of metal in my head.  Stop surprising me like THAT with the acupuncture needles, already!!!

When he comes back to check on me, I ask him what’s up with the needle in my head?!  And he explains that it’s to tap into my relaxation centers.  Uh…weird much?  He mentions that this is the one treatment he does to his wife to relax her.  Weirder and weirder.  When I ask if he does it without her knowledge too, he just looks down at me with a lopsided grin and extends his arm like an olde tyme gent requesting a stroll.  Weird Level One-thousand-and-one! 

After he helps me up, we go into the treatment room and he proceeds to strip my elbow tendons. 

MO*%^$ FU#^&*!!! 

Do you remember that time when you were two weeks overdue with your 9 ½ pound firstborn?  Mommy wants to meet you.  So…GET. OUT.  ALREADY!!!  And the OB/GYN “stripped your membranes” to encourage labor??  Yeah, remember that?!?  And then you kicked her teeth out because of the exponential pain factor??!!!

Yeah.  It was just like that.  ‘Cept in this instance I woulda PUNCHED the doctor’s teeth out if he hadn’tuv been holding on to my punching device with a firm grip while PRESSING all of the very SOREST spots.

Gaaaah!  GAAAAH!!!! Can’t.  Take.  Much…more……

And then it’s over.    

When I come out of the office to find that someone has rear-ended my car in the parking lot and pushed it a good three feet, I’m surprisingly calm about the whole thing.  And my arm feels amazeballs!!

Huh.  Maybe there is something to that metal-in-the-head approach, afterall.  In fact, I now recommend it to everyone.  Barkeep: a round of head metal for allll my friends!!!

Fools Rush In

Shortly after I published yesterday’s blog about April Fools Day, I got a call from the school nurse.  She started the conversation with, “Sonny isn’t showing any signs of concussion, but I’ll monitor him closely today and let you know if something comes up.”  Uh, ok.  But that’s odd because I didn’t send him to school with a concussion.  I wonder how he got it.

But she wasn’t finished, “Oh!  Also?  He just came from the principal’s office and he’ll be bringing home a REFOCUS FORM for you to sign.”  Aha!  Lightbulb.  Sonny was living up to the day’s name and decided to do something completely foolish which landed him in the principal’s office AND the nurse’s office.  This is gonna be fun.

Eventually I was able to piece together this story: Sonny’s bestie (to protect his privacy, we’ll refer to him as Slapnuts) suggested during snack time that Sonny climb on his desk and jump off.  In order to understand the dynamic don’t of Sonny and Slapnuts, you have to understand that they continuously live in opposite land where every “good” idea they come up with is actually a really, really bad idea.  Case in point?  This classroom parkour scenario. 

The teacher had her back turned, instructing the new girl on some rules and heard a HUGE thump and then some screaming.  And laughter.  And screaming laughter.  And crying.  Welcome new girl!

When she turned back, Sonny was lying in a tangle of desks.  Apparently when he went to leap like a gazelle off the top of the desk, the desk actually squirted out from underneath him.  So instead of “graceful jump” it became more of a fiery Hindenburg plummet-to-the-ground scenario.  Oh, the humanity!

As a nice final touch to the disaster, Sonny’s melon-head slammed – in a crashing, concussive sort of fashion – and really not fun or funny at all because remember it’s opposite land where good ideas are really, really BAD – into the leg-bars of one of the toppled desks.

Yep.  That sounds about right.

I got those additional details of the incident from Sonny’s teacher.  When she emailed me requesting a meeting.  Eeeks!  Why do I suddenly feel like I’ve been jumping off desks?!?  And laying out the consequences that Sonny will now be facing in the classroom.  Thumbscrews for starters and then shackling in the stockade during snack time for the rest of the week.  I’m to provide rotten cabbages for throwing.  And no reward recess for Sonny on Friday. Doesn’t seem like enough if you ask me.  COME ON!  No I’m not being too hard.  He completely disrupted the classroom, had to go see the principal AND the nurse, and probably gave himself more dain brammage than he already has as a result of all the hi-jinks he and Slapnuts endlessly come up with.  My vote would have been for a dull, rusty guillotine!   

My email back to the teacher started with, “Sounds like it was a bad plan all the way around…and he got what he deserved including the blow to the head and trip to the principal.”  And ended with, “Again we apologize for the disruption today & we are taking steps to correct the behavior at home. [Off with his head!We appreciate all you are doing at school to make our monkey into a human boy.”   

Yep.  Fools’ Day alright.  Did you notice that was plural, possessive?  Because I’m including Slapnuts in this one.  April or otherwise.  Ongoing, really.  With no end in sight. 

April Fools!

Last night I put liquid raspberry jello in the kids’ clear juice cups. Then slipped a jaunty straw in each. And presto, change-o! By morning I had a fun April Fools prank on my hands. 

When the kids came down for breakfast, Hubby proposed a toast. (I made a “drink” for him too, but he spotted right away that there was something off about it. Probably because – for the first time ever – I was offering him a drink of juice in the morning. Whatevs.)

But he went along with it, and clinked glasses with the kids who then proceeded to suck on their straws. They sucked. And sucked. And sucked. You know how it is when your kids suck.  heh, heh, heh  The first clue that it wasn’t real juice? Wasn’t that they weren’t getting anything through their straws after a full minute of sucking!  No.  Instead, Sissy finally noticed that her straw was “stuck” in her “juice.” The gig was up. April Fools!

Me fun. Me fun mom, right?!? [For future reference, the answer will always be, “Yes, so fun…AND pretty. And smart.” Awwww, shucks! Blush-y face. What a nice thing to say. Thank you! Thankyouverymuch! “It’s a wonder to us why you don’t have a job yet.”  Ok, that’s enough. You ruined it. But that’s just like you. Always ruining it by bringing up the job thing. Stink eye, stink eye.]

Does April Fools Day always remind you guys of when I was Pledge Class President of my sorority – or is that just me?? {By the way, that stint as Pledge Class President shows “leadership” to any prospective employers currently viewing my blog.} Part of the duty of my appointed office {Sheee’s so POP-u-lar!} was to plan the Spring Rose Formal which would be attended by the entire sorority and their boy-toys. {This shows project management capabilities as well as organizational skills and a dim view of college boys.} The Formal date just happened to fall on April 1st 1989. {This shows longevity and dedication to excellence. Screw you. There’s no need to mention I’ve been out of college for 25+ years. Just go with it.} But what to do, what to do – how does one work with a date like THAT?!? {Problem solving skills much??  I’m looking at you, Prospective Employers.} 

So drawing on my ingenuity and creative thinking, I came up with the theme: Why Do Fools Fall in Love.  {See? Ingenious and creative, right?? wink, wink, youknowwho.} I proceeded to corral the other pledges into helping me make the requisite door signs announcing the date, theme etc. to the membership. {Again, leadership. Along with some “collaboration,” not to mention “consensus gathering” as well as a smidge of “gaining buy-in from those I have no direct managerial authority over.” Can I get an Amen, Sista?!}

What were these doors signs with all Formal details documented and placed outside each sister’s dorm or apartment door? {Notice “attention to detail” here.  And did you also notice how I just introduced mystery and intrigue to my storytelling?  Oh…and STORYTELLING??  Always helpful in the marketing arena.}  They were multi-dimensional Court Jester heads-on-sticks.  Like Punch, from Punch-and-Judy fame.  The first “fools” who fell in love.

Oh.  My.  Gawd!  I know, right?!!  SOOOO stinkin’ creative. It’s a total wonder to me TOO why I don’t have a job yet. Hire me already, ya FOOLS! 

P.S.  You should see what I have planned for dinner tonight. To go along with the chicken I’m baking, I’m also serving “mashed potatoes and gravy.” Or am I?!? Perhaps it’s really just vanilla ice-cream with caramel sauce on top! Whoop, whoop! Fun Home Mom in the house!! (Don’t forget pretty and smart – everyone says so, see above.)  Also? I am also currently unemployed, but highly skilled and available for hire.  Immediate start date.  To Whom It May Concern: Thank you for your consideration. Yes, I’m looking at you.