Monthly Archives: October 2017

Really? Halloween Trees?!

halloweenOkay, I’m done. Just shoot me. I just found out that Halloween Trees are a real thing. All my hope for the future of humanity is gone and I’m devoid of a desire to go forward. There are actually people out there with way too much time and way, way too much disposable cash, all coupled with a twisted drive to prove they own a glue gun. What the heck has happened to just carving a pumpkin, stapling some cobwebs around the front door and calling it good?

Oh but wait! It gets better (and more expensive)! You can order your own 9-foot PRE-LIT Halloween tree for about $975 plus tax and shipping. It comes with purple and orange lights, all ready to be adorned with spooky… I don’t even know. Ornaments? This means, I’m going to guess here, that we should start seeing Halloween trees and the necessary accompanying decorations in stores some time right after Easter.

I can’t help but wonder: where is this coming from? Is Halloween having some kind of bizarre crisis of holiday gender identity? Is this a holiday that doesn’t want to be constricted by societal expectations of spooky fun and happy, costumed kids wanting candy but wants to explore its more Christmassy side? This is just weird.

And where does it stop? Will we have Fourth of July trees? Labor Day trees? We can’t have Columbus Day trees because there are folks that will think they should be Indigenous People trees. Will we need to decorate our Arbor Day trees with just more trees? You do see how this just opens up a virtual Pandora’s Box of wrongness, right?
This is, of course, a conspiracy. Big business craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s are obviously in cahoots with Pinterest and such to drive those poor souls afflicted with crafting skills into a buying frenzy. They’re planting this sick belief that you must over decorate for every occasion. How long before you have to put up your “I have a dentist appointment” tree?

Because I’m open-minded and tolerant of all things (HA!), I’ll point out the one benefit I see: I don’t have to ever put my Christmas tree back in the attic. I can decorate it for every possible holiday and just leave it in the living room until it rots.

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When I’m the Commish

mlb-logoI love baseball, from t-ball to Little League to college ball to the pros. Of course, with the Houston Astros in the World Series (insert squeal of excitement here), lots of people are loving baseball. But I even love baseball when the Astros can’t buy a win against the Iowa School for the Blind’s practice team. It is only as a result of this deep abiding love that I point out that there are some glaring, fundamental problems going on in the sport, problems I will straighten out when I become the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Okay, blah blah that there’s not an opening right now, but I fully expect to get the call to the bullpen to take over when word of my sweeping reforms and improvements gets out.

First order of business will be making the pitchers in the American League bat. No more of this silly designated hitter ho-haw. There is no reason why the pitcher can’t step up to the plate and hack away like the rest of the team. If you don’t want to be embarrassed that you can’t hit, take lessons or look for another job. This is, after all, BASEball where the objective is to run the bases. It’s not PITCHball. I’m sorry, Carlos Beltran, it’s not that we don’t love you, Sweetie. Remember, you’ve got a fine career ahead of you in coaching.

Next up to bat will be a dress code. I’m not going to nit-pick the small things like whether the pants are worn down to the cleats or pulled up to the knees, but I think it’s important the players look professional on the field at all times. That means no more of that long hair everywhere. Cameron Maybin, this means you. You’re a great addition to the team, and we’d like to keep you. But there’s only a spot there for you because we got rid of Colby Rasmus this year, most likely because he wouldn’t get a good clarifying shampoo and a haircut. As commissioner, I say get a cut or get cut! If they aren’t going to let girls play, then the boys who do play can’t look like girls.

Now, if you need me, I’ll be here with my peanuts and cold beer waiting for the next first pitch and my call up to the top of the big leagues! Let’s play ball! AND GO ‘STROS!

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Meh, It Could Be Worse

Bless Your HeartIt’s only my opinion, but the world seems to be just one bad hair day away from a complete meltdown. Mix together the pack of rabid hurricanes, earthquakes in Mexico, fires in the Northwest, volcanos in Bali with stupid, senseless shootings and bickering over religion (which includes football because that kind of is a religion) and we’re a hot mess. Maybe if we all agree to quit saying, “It could be worse,” then the universe would quit saying “Hold my beer.” It’s a small step, but it could be a start.

Besides, telling someone it could be worse is really just another way of saying “stop your belly aching.” Not that this isn’t a valid directive. In the Whiner Olympics, we’ve got real gold medal promise in the individual and team events. But, too, it is a bit insensitive and not very nice to invalidate whatever challenges someone is facing. Since we’re a society of no one having their feelings hurt, let’s not say that anymore.

Try saying “Bless your heart” instead. A solid southern principle which is basically the same idea, but it sounds better. And nobody can add hurt feelings to their mound of problems if you’ve blessed their heart.

To be honest, suffering is actually not a competitive sport despite how a lot of people seem to approach it. Yes, there are people who are worse off and there are those in much better shape. It’s not about the glass being half full or half empty; it’s about what’s actually in the glass. A glass completely full to running over with contaminated storm water is not better than a glass barely half full of spendable cash, Jamaican rum, or Godiva dark chocolate chips.

I think, too, we’d have a much better world if we could all collectively agree to stop praying for patience. Maybe then God will stop answering that prayer with opportunities to learn patience. Honestly, I don’t have to pray for those lessons, because they just keep presenting themselves completely unbidden. Despite the fact that prayers for patience, tolerance and diplomacy never leave my lips, I am overrun with chances to practice them and most often fail miserably – especially on the diplomacy part. Which is why I’m the first one to say “It could be worse” to someone so they’ll stop their belly aching, bless their heart.

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Sheets Happen

Dorm roomAfter nearly two months of living in his college dorm room, my youngest son proudly sent me a text message (because you know college kids can’t actually dial a phone and talk on it, they text), and he proudly declared that he had actually washed his sheets … for the first time. As a mother with at least a marginal sense of parental responsibility, I wasn’t sure if I should be overwhelmed with a sense of “Where oh where did I go wrong” or actually proud that I got this text at the end of September and not March.

I try to place it on a scale of what are normal ranges for college freshman. On one end of the spectrum, I know his roommate is still living out of the suitcase he showed up with. At least my kid has his clothes on hangers. Okay, they were on hangars when I left him at the beginning of the semester, so in my mind, they’re on hangers. Just give me this delusion, will you? On the other end, there are the dorm dwellers with beds that would make a military drill sergeant misty-eyed. Of course, those are the kids who also have mothers driving to campus regularly to pick up laundry and drop off lunch. (I can’t even type that idea without cringing.) I guess that makes him pretty normal.

I’m reasonably certain that he has done laundry since he’s been gone despite the failure to include the bed sheets… reasonably certain, but not wholly positive. Which is why, a few weeks in, I sent a care package with socks and underwear, just in case. He’s probably too old for CPS to take him into custody for parental neglect, but, at the same time, I try to keep up appearances of being a good mother.

So I sent a reply to his text asking if he’d also gotten the sheets back onto the bed. And he had. I mean, to clarify, they were piled up on the bed with the rest of the laundry, so that sort of counts. I’m not sure if the bed was ever actually made again, and, honestly, I didn’t pursue it past there. As a parent, you have to chalk the wins when you can and let go of the rest. He has clean sheets – I’m a happy mom.

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