Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Men in Tights

(post copyright 2019, Dawn Weber)

He was happy on our wedding day.

He was elated when the kids were born.

He was overjoyed when the Princess graduated from high school.

But nothing -- I repeat, nothing -- thrills my brave, strong husband like a nice long night of . . .

Dinner theater.

I suppose I should clarify here. The dinner theater to which I refer is an equine, sword and testosterone-ridden affair known as Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It offers stunning visuals! It's filled with beautiful horses! It features amazingly talented performers!

It is not my thing at all!

Part of the reason is the horses, because horses and I don't mix. I've ridden exactly five times in my life, and of those five, I've been thrown three.

The first time, at age 12, a green-broke horse gleefully launched me onto a jagged tree stump, whereupon I received a four-inch gash on my back. I should have had it stitched up, but I neglected to tell anyone because I wasn't supposed to be riding in the first place. So, in all my 12-year-old wisdom, I bled and suffered for months in silence rather than risk telling my mother.

As you can see, I was brilliant.

As you can imagine, I still have a huge scar.

The other two horses that threw me were similar  assholes, one of whom broke my nose. So yes, I avoid horses except to gaze upon them.

From a very far distance.

Which leads us back to Medieval Times.

During our recent vacation, the Husband wanted -- nay (neigh) demanded -- to go. We've been there twice before, and though it makes him so happy, I wasn't looking forward to attending again because I remembered it as a loud, crowded, horse-intensive affair with, worst of all, absolutely no alcohol.

I know, I know -- some of you might say You don't need alcohol to have a good time!

To which I would reply, Of course you do! Especially when there are horses around!

Luckily, I remembered wrong about the hooch, because one of the first things we saw upon arriving at Medieval Times was a very large, very overpriced bar. I put a second mortgage on the house real quick so I could buy a beer, then the Husband, the Hobo and I settled in our seats for the show.

Oh, he could barely contain himself. This is a man who will randomly shout "MEDIEVALLL TIMESSS!" while getting dressed for work in the morning. The Hobo also enjoys it, which makes sense given his love of swords, dirt and all things violent.

Out came the performers and the damn horses. Jousting! Dust! Way more testosterone than necessary!

As we watched, I brought up the fact that it surprises me the Husband enjoys le theatre so. I mean, there were grown men in tights and what appeared to be miniskirts.

"I can't believe you like this stuff," I told him. "It seems a little too Renaissance
 fair--y for you."

Smiling, never removing his eyes from the arena, he shook his head. "Well the Guys At Work say Renaissance fairs are cool!"

Ah, the TGAWs. That explains it.

You remember the TGAWs, yes? It's been years since I've written about them, but as you'll recall, Jesus had his disciples, the president has his advisers, and my husband has The Guys At Work. Aristotle? Ha. Socrates? Scoff. Who needs them when we have the astute counsel of Mark, Biff, Bob and Other Bob.

They. Know. Everything. And as a wife, I. Know. Nothing.

The show continued, and I feigned enthusiasm as best I could. But since I couldn't match the boys' unrestrained happiness, I decided to take a quick restroom break and avoid horses. I arose, climbed the stairs, stepped into the colorful, castle-themed lobby, and it was there I beheld something wonderful:

Another bar. And another bar only meant one thing:

Another beer.

That's right. I could stay at this second bar, take out a third mortgage on the house, and slowly sip a beer in the quiet, nearly deserted lobby with no dust, no swords and absolutely no horses whatsoever.

Anticipating peace, free time and maybe a nice summer shandy, I walked slowly toward the second bar. I reached back, unzipped my purse and grabbed some cash. And that's when I saw it.

A Medieval Times t-shirt. In the Husband's size.

Here, I had a dilemma. Should I buy a beer and sit and enjoy it in peace? Or should I be an awesome wife and buy him a t-shirt?  Beer? T-shirt? Beer? T-shirt? Beer? T-shirt?

Most of you know me pretty well, so you will probably guess at what I chose.

And you would probably be wrong because I bought the damn t-shirt. Plus a mug to go with it.

No peace, no quiet, no more beer for me. I paid for the items and ambled back into the theater where the horses raced, the swords clashed and the boys sat waiting, watching . . .

. . . and grinning like complete idiots.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Snoop Dogg and the Collapsing Cubicle

(post copyright 2019, Dawn Weber)

My Buddy Al has dreams.

You remember Al, my Youngstown pal, he of the Day of Three Burritos. My co-worker, my friend, and the man who advises us all to never, ever - under any circumstances - wait in line with the dummies.

Yes, Al has dreams. But he doesn't dream of a new car or house or job. He doesn't dream of curing cancer, solving world peace or winning the lottery. He doesn't dream big, he doesn't dream small. Nope.

Al dreams of Snoop Dogg.

In his cubicle.

Eating pie and tearing things up.

Al didn't tell me about his dream right away - I heard it on a lunch break one day from our co-worker, Shereen.

"Tell her about Snoop Dogg!" she said.

Intrigued, I turned to Al. "What does she mean 'Snoop Dogg?'"

He regarded me briefly from his fun-size bag of potato chips. "Snoop Dogg was here."

"What do you mean, 'Snoop Dogg was here'?"

He grabbed a napkin, wiped his face and placed the chip bag on the table.

Things are serious when Al puts down his chips.

He leaned forward. "So, I dreamed I was in my cubicle, right?"

"Okay . . ." I said.

"I was sitting here working," he said, "and Snoop Dogg came flying around the corner!"

"Wow," I said. "Snoop Dogg. How cool!''

"No," Al shook his head. "He started yelling at me and tearing down my pod walls."

"Are you sure it was Snoop Dogg?" I asked. "That doesn't sound like him. All that weed - he seems like such an amiable guy."

"Oh, it was him. And he was eating pie - my pie, mind you - and yelling 'Ra-ZIZZO! Ra-ZIZZO!' Over and over."

"Well, what did you do?" I asked Al, who is 6'4" and built like a linebacker. "Did you fight back?"

"No way," he said. "He was acting all crazy, so I hid under my desk. He just kept eating pie, yelling 'Ra-ZIZZO! Ra-ZIZZO !' and tearing down my cubicle."

I nodded, speechless.

"Then the walls fell on me," he said, "I was trapped between them and my desk. And he's over there eating pie and yelling."

"What happened next?"

"That was it. I woke up. I was all . . . agitated."

"Huh," I said. "What do you think that was about?"

He shrugged, leaned back and picked up his chips, clearly done with the matter. "Who knows?"

Break over, I walked back to my cubicle where there were, sadly, no chips, rappers or bakery products whatsoever, and pondered Al's dream. What could it mean, the collapsing cubicle, the famous celebrity, the random pastry?  Did Al envy Snoop's lavish lifestyle? Did he feel trapped at his desk sometimes?

Holy Hostess cupcakes - was he lacking in sugary snacks?

I haven't seen many episodes, but I'm sure Snoop Dogg has made desserts on VH1's "Martha and Snoop's Dinner Party." And I'm sure he did it in his usual laid-back, sleepy-stoner way. I just can't imagine Snoop being aggressive about anything these days - especially pie - which makes it even more odd that he antagonized Al in this fashion. I mean, not only did he tear down his cubicle, he yelled at him.

And then went on to eat the man's snack.

In the end, the whole thing probably meant nothing. Just a bunch of chemicals coursing through a man's brain overnight, reminding him of things he might have seen that day. Cubicles. Snoop Dogg. Pie. I guess there's really no point in worrying about it.

After all, I don't want to ruin Al's dreams.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Zen in the Slow Lane

(post copyright 2017, Dawn Weber)

I tried something new today. I drove the speed limit. Almost.

I can't believe it myself, but it's true: I went 71 miles an hour in a 70 mph zone on the interstate, and I am thoroughly impressed with myself, even though I might be a senior citizen now.

Not only did I go the speed limit, I stayed on the far right for most of my trip. Yep. I tooled along in the slow lane like I had no place to go. Like I didn't have a job. Like I was 80.

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, this idea of driving slow. Along with millions of other American hot-heads, I've been a fast-lane driver most of my life, cheerfully going five to ten miles over the speed limit in the left lane and passing everyone in the right lane. My habits have only grown worse as I've aged--I've been the blur on your left, the headlights in your rearview mirror and the thorn in your side, kind of wishing you'd get out of my way.

As I've said before, instant asshole: just add freeway. Nowhere is this more apparent than the interstate, where nice, tax-paying, law-abiding people become Satan's spawn. It's especially true of the left lane, where the asshole quota is much higher.

I'll admit it: without even meaning to, I have occasionally been obnoxious in the fast lane. Maybe more "jerk" than asshole, but still--I'm tired of it. I'm tired of watching for brake lights. I'm tired of white knuckles. I'm tired of stress headaches, a pounding heart and a racing pulse. I'm tired of Rusty McLeftLane, cruising 50 mph in the fast lane. I'm tired of Sneaky McRightLane, trying to pass  on the right. I'm tired of tail-gaters, riding my rear like a frat boy on a Saturday night.

Mostly, I'm just tired.

And in today's commute, I discovered something important, and it is that in the slow lane, there are no worries. I can drive at a reasonable pace, merrily oblivious to any kind of stress, and if the people behind me don't like it, well, they can pull out and pass. I'm doing what a right-lane driver should: putting along at the posted speed limit, while the folks in the left lane continue in their quest to kill each other.

Oldster level: complete.

But most of all, in the slow lane, I can ignore the assholes, and if I've learned anything in my 48 years, it's that one of the keys to a long and happy life is ignoring assholes. Before I move from "jerk" status to "asshole" status myself, I'm going to slow my roll a bit, because the senior citizens really have something here. Although I'll admit that it's much easier to do when I'm going somewhere I have no desire to go -- such as work -- driving the speed limit in the right lane is freeing and downright relaxing, and I have much more energy to think, to chill--to just stop and smell the roadkill. 

You know, I just might obey the law more often.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Let Sleeping Bums Lie

(post copyright 2017, Dawn Weber)

The Hobo is missing.

I've looked for him everywhere, and checked all the usual spots: the couch, the computer, the refrigerator. He's usually in one of these places engaged in his hobbies of video-gaming, Snap-chatting or eating his weight in chicken wings. But I just can't find the boy.

So I ask the husband, "Where's your son?"

And that's when it happens: the unthinkable. The unfathomable. The unbelievable.

"He's taking a nap."

My heart stops, my stomach thumps. Surely there's been some kind of mistake.

"Yeah, right," I tell him. "That kid doesn't nap. He's never napped."

The Husband glances up from his iPhone, where he's playing his 341st daily round of Panda Pop. "See for yourself."

I'm going to have to do that, because there's no way I believe him. Our son hasn't napped since the early 2000s, and he hasn't willingly taken a nap ever.

I creep slowly, slowly up the stairs to his room.Pausing outside the door, I listen for movement or the telltale Pew-pew-pew! of video games, but hear nothing. My hand rises to the doorknob then stops. I am, after all, the mother of a teenage boy. I better knock first.

Knock-knock

No answer.

Knock-knock again, louder.

Nothing.

This is alarming.

"Are you sure he's in here?" I hiss down to the Husband in the living room.

He's annoyed, but he doesn't look up from Panda Pop. "I'm tellin' ya, he's napping."

Still doubting, I turn the knob and ease open the door. And that's where I find the Hobo, fast asleep, sweating, drooling and indeed, napping.

My jaw drops. This is a kid who hasn't taken a nap since he was a newborn, and then, he never went down without a fight. Even before birth, his tiny fists and feet pummeled the insides of my belly all night long. The baby knew no bedtime.

I tip-toe over to the bed. Still not believing my eyes, I bend over his body. I have to make sure he's ok. "Hey," I whisper, shaking his shoulder. "Are you sick or something?"

He wrinkles his brow. "Hmmff?"

"I said, are you sick? Are you ok?"

He rolls over, eyes still shut, face perturbed. "I'm fine. I'm just tired, that's all."

Who is this kid, and where is my son, who hasn't slept since the Bush administration? I had to beg, plead, cajole and bribe him with Doritos to nap. I had to lay beside his crib on the hardwood floor, holding his hand through the slats to try and get him to sleep. Forty-five minutes later I'd be there, hips throbbing, still clutching his hand through the crib, his eyes as wide as saucers.

I'm not sure where such a non-napping baby came from. The husband is a nap-master, elevating it to a high art form. He can sleep anywhere -- outside, during a conversation, behind the wheel of a moving automobile. Anywhere.

Somewhat worried about the sleeping Hobo, I pull my phone from my pocket and Google "Teenage son sleepy." Thousands of posts pop up, all of which come down to "rapid physical growth."

Well. That makes sense. The boy has shot up at least six inches in the past couple years, towering over me now, his arms easily reaching the ceiling. It's almost scary how much he's grown, and sometimes it frightens me that the tall hairy guy raiding the refrigerator once resided in my abdomen. How did that gangly giant come from me? The physics alone are frightening.

I put my phone away and look back down at him. So now he naps. Great. Must be nice. One of my lifelong goals is a nap. As I've said before, I've been engaged in a futile attempt to sleep since the kids were born. The Hobo in particular thwarted most of my potential naps, insistent as he was on remaining awake until the second coming of Christ. That boy beat the sleep right out of me, and over time -- and the countless hours on the cold floor -- I learned to let go of the idea of ever napping again.

Hey -- I'm a parent. I gave up my dreams a long time ago.

I feel a wave of nostalgia, looking at his rumpled bed-head. It would be kind of nice, I think, to lie down, strike the old pose and watch him sleep. But 14-year-old boys don't take well to hand-holding.

And 48-year-old hips don't take well to the floor.

Standing there, I also toy briefly with the idea of waking him up, partly for revenge, sure, but mostly to stop the growth spurt that's pushing him ever taller, ever out the door, ever away from us.

Instead I ease my way from his room, shut the door and leave him be, just another drooling hobo, tangled in a blanket.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Big Book Announcement! Finally!

That's right! After four years,  833 hours of procrastination, two dozen boxes of wine, five million re-reads and approximately 7,498,865 edits, it's finally happened.

The book. She is here.


I Love You. Now Go Away: Confessions of a Woman with a Smartphoneis a thoroughly modern concept, a book written on a phone. In fact, for the past seven years, I've drafted all my pieces -- at least until the point where they have to be formatted in Word or Blogger -- on my phone.

It started with a Blackberry. Back in 2009, I realized I hadn't yet attempted my lifelong dream of writing humor. Since I'd just turned 40, I figured I'd better get on that. You know, before I dropped dead and all.

Because I loathe writing with a pen -- and no one can read my chicken-scratch anyway -- I began writing on my phone. I let my thumbs do the walkin', tapping out thoughts on my Blackberry keypad, transferring them to a PC, and submitting them to the local paper -- and later to this blog and the Huffington Post. Eight years (and eight phones) later, I'm still at it, and here's the book to prove it. Read on for the back cover copy:


If you like the blog, I think you'll love the book. Though there are a few favorites inside, 96 percent of this humor collection is new material featuring the usual suspects, the Husband, the Princess and the Hobo, as well as dozens of shenanigans featuring yours truly. Adventures in my soul-sucking cubicle! The annual trip to the OB/GYN! That time I drank vodka and fell off a boat!  All of this and more. You will learn more about me than you ever wanted to know, and I am so sorry.

Still, I hope you'll pick up I Love You. Now Go Away (and, if you enjoy it, please leave a review -- reviews are so important!) But even if you don't, I want to say how much I appreciate those of you who have read and laughed with me all these years. Without your support and words of encouragement, I'd never have attempted the monumental, gratifying, and unbelievably frightening task of writing a book. So it's all your fault.

And I thank you for that.



Friday, December 16, 2016

All I Want for Christmas Is to Lose 10 Pounds


(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

It's not Christmas for me unless I'm ruining carols by completely re-writing them!  
Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

All I want for Christmas Is to Lose 10 Pounds

All I want for Christmas is to lose 10 pounds,
To lose 10 pounds, just to lose 10 pounds,
Gee, if I could find a way to lose 10 pounds,
Then I would have a Merry Christmas.

It seems so long since I could see,
My feet beneath my giant bulbous belly,
Oh gosh, oh gee how happy I'd be,
If my thighs felt less like jelly.

All I want for Christmas is to lose 10 pounds,
To lose 10 pounds, just to lose 10 pounds,
Gee, if I could find a way to lose 10 pounds,
Then I would have a Merry Christmas.

It's been ages since I could get,
My pants on without swearing or a struggle,
"Oh crap, oh shit -- these slacks don't fit!"
Over a gut bulging like a bubble.

All I want for Christmas is to lose 10 pounds,
To lose 10 pounds, just to lose 10 pounds,
Gee, if I could find a way to lose 10 pounds,
Then I would have a Merry Christmas.

If I could just control myself,
Around all the goodies, cakes and candy,
Then I might have the chance to wear,
A skirt that pulls up over my big fanny.

All I want for Christmas is to lose 10 pounds,
To lose 10 pounds, just to lose 10 pounds,
Gee, if I could find a way to lose 10 pounds,
Then I would have a Merry Christmas.

I guess it's kind of useless to,
Try and diet at this time of year,
When cream cheese is our main food group,
Nothing to drink but egg nog, wine and beer.

Still . . .

All I want for Christmas is to lose 10 pounds,
To lose 10 pounds, just to lose 10 pounds,
Gee, if I could find a way to lose 10 pounds,
Then I would have a Merry Christmas!


____________________________________________

I'm Dreaming of a Blue Christmas

I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas,
A Christmas I have never known,
Where the temp is 80,
And sun shines all day,
While I lie basking in its glow.

I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas,
Without a snowflake to be found,
I'll go on vacation,
With much elation, 
As my plane flies southward bound.

Oh, I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas,
Without a traffic jam in sight,
No one aggravates me,
Or spikes my BP,
When I drive island roads at night.

I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas,
Where I don't have to shop at all,
I'll spend all damn day,
Just being lazy,
While up north y'all are at the mall.

Yes, I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas,
With every shovel full of snow,
I clear the driveway,
But if I had my way,
I'd hop a Southwest flight and go.

I'm dreaming of a blue Christmas,
I bet that you would like it too,
May it happen for me and for you,
May we have one Christmas that is blue!


_____________________________________

(... and I couldn't resist posting an old favorite I wrote in 2011)

Santa's a Chick
(sung to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock")

Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa's a chick,
She lacks a dick, Santa's a chick,
No dude could do all they say that he does,
Only chicks could get all that done.

Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa's a chick,
Ain’t that a kick, Santa’s a chick,
Bakin’ and wrappin’ and deckin’ the hall,
With her wine bottle!

What a headache, how her back aches,
Fifty-nine things to do,
It's pure chaos, runs her ass off,
Most of these men don't even have a clue.

Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa’s a girl,
All 'round the world, Santa’s a girl,
Started her list around June 24,
Men they wait until the day before.

Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa has boobs,
Thirty-six Cs, average boobs,
Bouncing and flouncing all over the mall,
Since the early fall!

On Black Friday, she’s up early,
Left before the crack of dawn,
Flat-screen TVs, she’d like one, please,
“I'm sorry ma’am - they’re already gone."

Hurry up, Santa Chick, get the hell home,
Cookies don't make themselves,
Hubs he's asleep and he's no help at all,
That's why Santa's a . . .
Surely Santa's a . . .
That's why Santa's a chick!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Terror at the Grocery Store

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

There I stood in front of the door, faced with one of the most important decisions of my life. I was dazed. I was confused.

I was downright scared.

It had all started innocently enough. I'd found a couple hours of unexpected free time, so I stopped to check out the fancy new grocery "marketplace" in town. I had heard the store contained a Starbuck's, a gourmet cheese counter, and -- joy of joys -- a wine bar. Since coffee, cheese and wine are my three main food groups, I was pretty stoked to see what else the place offered.

And it did not disappoint. My jaw dropped as I walked into a building big enough to require a dedicated zip code. At the front of the store, patients checked into a full-size health clinic, while in the cosmetics aisle, a makeup artist gave free makeovers. Add to that a clothing department, a shoe department, plus the aforementioned coffee, cheese and wine, and this place was a middle-aged woman's wildest dream.

But one thing the mega-mart didn't contain? Restrooms. At least, not in the traditional sense.

Now, as some of you who've been around here long enough may remember from years such as 2012, I am somewhat restroom-challenged, especially when it comes to stores. I've merrily and cluelessly walked into the men's room at Walmart not once but twice because every time management remodels the building, which is often, they flip-flop the restrooms, probably so they can stand in front of security cameras and laugh at dummies who don't pay attention. Such as me.

So I've become the type of person who takes extra care in considering my bathroom choices. And as I made my way to the wall marked "restrooms," well, that's when it happened.

I looked to my left.



I looked to my right.

There were two of them, one on each side, and no other options. No ladies' room, no men's room, no "Family" room. Just:


Now, it's not that I'd never encountered a unisex bathroom before. I've seen these single-pot affairs in tiny restaurants or the occasional gas station. However, in a retail store that size, one expects stalls. Lots and lots of stalls.

I turned my head side to side, from unisex bathroom to unisex bathroom.  Like I said, I'd used them before. But surely a business this big contained many commodes -- in the unisex bathroom, I guess? What the hell was I getting myself into? A one-stall wonder? Or a friendly gathering? I didn't know what to do. I pictured myself entering a room full of men at urinals and women on toilets, all pausing from their task to lift a hand and wave "Hello!" as I walked in, a la Norm from Cheers. We'd then proceed to have jolly unisex conversations as we did our business.

But there was no getting around it. I had to pee. Of course I did. As I've said before, I'm a 47-year-old woman who possesses a bladder that's been cheerily pummeled by two fetuses. If I'm awake I have to pee. If I'm breathing I have to pee. Indeed, the situation had reached the point of no return, and I was one sneeze away from disaster there in aisle A-11. I had no idea what I'd find on the other side of either door. Women? Men? Jimmy Hoffa? Well, I thought, this is just the world we live in now. I mean, Donald Trump has been elected president. Clearly, reality is broken.

So I pushed through the unisex bathroom door to find . . .

One toilet. One sink. One lock. It was, thank God, just a standard unisex restroom -- not the big potty party I'd envisioned.

I did my thing, washed up, and went back out to find a large crowd of women and men milling around and looking as worried and confused as I did minutes before. I was going to tell them all that they'd be OK, but then decided, nah. Why ruin the fun?

Though I enjoyed watching them meander about in bewilderment, I didn't stay long. To tell you the truth, after my own alarming adventure I just wanted to sit down -- somewhere other than a toilet.

Yep, I thought, No wonder this place has a bar.

As I walked away, I still couldn't fathom why a superstore large enough to produce its own clouds contained only two tiny restrooms. I had no beef at all with the "unisex" part -- I've never cared who uses what with what apparatus. But I will admit it perplexed me when there were no other facilities, at least in the front of the building. This  type of thing might  happen in California, mister. But here in Ohio, in a store that size, we require a little more guidance, as well as stalls.

Lots and lots of stalls.