Friday, December 20, 2013

Walking in a Walmart Wonderland

What would the holidays be, really, without another fine Lighten Up! Christmas Carol or two? I do it for you, people - I'm a giver like that. You're welcome. 
Or - I'm sorry, as the case may be. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Walking in a Walmart Wonderland 
(copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)

Children scream,
Are you listening?
Then their moms,
Give them beatings,
An alarming sight, but
We're desperate tonight,
Walking in a Walmart Wonderland.

Gone away,
Is the greeter,
Here to stay,
Is the tweaker,
He lifts his meth pipe,
And asks for a light,
Walking  in a Walmart Wonderland.

In the aisle we will see a hooker,
Then pretend she's wearing lots more clothes,
We will try hard not to stare at Hooker,
And her pimp and all the other hos.

Later on, we'll get ground beef,
Near a thug who has no teeth,
A worrisome night,
We're scared for our lives,
Walking  in a Walmart Wonderland.

In the canned goods we will find a scooter,
Blocking access to the vegetables,
Big, fat guy just sitting on his scooter,
Getting green beans as he picks his nose.

Now it’s time to pay and go,
Might as well set up camp though,
Thirty-eight lanes - just one is open,
Walking in a Walmart Wonderland.

Walking in a Walmart Wonderland . . .
Walking in a Walmart Wonderland . . .

"We Wish You A Merry Christmas?" Nope. "I Hope I Get Wine for Christmas."

(copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)

I hope I get wine for Christmas;
I hope I get wine for Christmas;
I hope I get wine for Christmas;
'Cause I am flat broke.

I don't care if it's shiraz or merlot;
Just bring me some wine for Christmas -
Since pot's a no-no.

Oh, bring me some beer for Christmas;
Oh, bring me some beer for Christmas;
Oh, bring me some beer for Christmas;
A six-pack's just fine.

We'd all like some hooch at Christmas;
We'd all like some hooch at Christmas;
We'd all like some hooch at Christmas;
If we told the truth.

So buy me some wine for Christmas;
So buy me some wine for Christmas;
So buy me some wine for Christmas;
Or vodka would do!


"Jingle Bell Rock?" Nope. "Santa's a Chick."

(Couldn't resist re-posting my top radio hit from last year, "Santa's a Chick." Lyrics copyright 2012, Dawn Weber)

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!


I am still plugging along on the book, and guess what? I have only FIVE MORE CHAPTERS TO GO to reach my goal! It's been awesome and awful, exhausting and exhilarating. But I am almost to my goal of 50 essays - 50,000 words - in a year. I am pretty damn proud of that.
Here's a chapter with the tentative title "Made of Money:"
. . ."Hey Mom," he said. "I need a laptop."
I glanced into the sunroom where, sitting on the desk, was what appeared to be his laptop.
"Um . . . " I pointed to the desk. "Isn't that your laptop right there?"
"Yeah, but I need a NEW laptop."
I cocked my head and tried to remember back to when I'd spent a stack of perfectly good U.S. dollars - several hundred of them, in fact - to buy the computer for him, the one that sat gleaming in the sunlight. It wasn't hard to recall. I'd just bought the thing.
"Son," I said, trying to control my bubbling blood pressure, "I got that laptop for you less than a year ago. What are you talking about?"
"Yeah, but it's not very good. Minecraft runs soooo sloowwww on it."
I took a few deep breaths and closed my eyes hoping for some patience, since my own notebook computer dates to the previous presidential administration, and - I might add - works just fine . . .
Stay tuned!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mediocre Mama Strikes Again

(post and snapshot copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)
You're so splendid, in your ordinary costume.
You think so anyway. I guess you're supposed to be a grim reaper. Or a "Jawa." Or something. I don't know. This getup came from Walmart, of course it did.  I'm not paying any forty-damn-dollars for the fancy, bloody costume you wanted at the "Halloween U.S.A." store. You'll only wear it once.
Anyway, have you met me? Yeah. C'mon, son, we're going to Walmart.
"OK, Mom," you said.
Things are always OK with you.
A few days later, I help you pull the thin fabric over your head, and gently place the Made In China light-up glasses over your brown eyes. I have doubts that said Made in China light-up glasses will survive the evening. I am right.
Of course I am. Have you met me? I'm always right.
And before the night ends, your dad has to duct-tape the frames back together.
None of this concerns you. Pleased as pumpkins, you are, with this chintzy scrap of black polyester. I know this because I catch your smile, Little Reaper, when your Death Hood blows in the breeze.
"O.K. I'm all ready for the costume contest."
You're excited. I know you are, though you try not to show it much because you're practically a man now, being nine and all. You walk proudly and regally to the judging. Just the way a tiny Harbinger of Death should.
You're pretty sure you'll win.
Me? I'm not quite as certain. At the party, I look around and see scads of kids whose moms obviously either 1: shelled out forty clams for "Halloween U.S.A." offerings or 2: made elaborate costumes for their children, using actual sewing machines. The colors, money and effort put into these outfits sear my retinas, like a flashing neon sign.
A sign that says: "You suck, Mommy."
Still proud, still regal, you parade in front of the judges with the others, in a getup that was probably sewn by a little Nicaraguan girl in a sweat shop. Now I wish I'd spent the extra money, bought you the nicest, bloodiest costume "Halloween U.S.A." had to offer. Or at least busted out my dusty sewing machine.
Because you didn't win.
Walking back from the judging, we discuss it.
"Mom, do you think they let the younger kids win? You know, since they're little? Because my costume is pretty good," you say.
Right here, I am nearly pulled to my knees with the weight of my love for you, your kindness and your absolute confidence in your cheap-ass costume.
Next year, Little Reaper, we shall go to "Halloween U.S.A." with a giant wad of forty-damn-dollars in cash.
"Yeah, buddy, I'm sure that's it," I say.
"Aw. That's OK," you say.
Things are always OK with you.
Don't feel too sorry for that little reaper or Jawa or whatever up there and his mediocre mama, because thanks to the above post, originally written two years ago, guess who plunked down a stack of perfectly good US dollars - forty, to be exact - for a costume this year?
Yeah. You guessed it - me. He wanted a "Slenderman" (whatever THAT is) costume, from this year.
And so he GOT a "Slenderman" (whatever THAT is) costume from this year.
Though it was twice the price, it is the same crappy fabric as the Walmart costume from two years ago. Probably sewn by the same little Nicaraguan girl. In the same sweat shop.
Ah, but he wanted it - badly.
However, if I'd have said no, it would have been OK with him, and to be honest, that's the reason he got it:
Things are always OK with him.
As far as the book, listen up, party people, because I have this very important announcement: Forty essays done! Forty essays done! Do you hear me? Ten chapters to go, and I will reach my goal of 50 new essays in a year!
Thanks so much to those who've stuck with me, to read - and especially to comment - through some re-posts and the sometimes very loud crickets in here. I'm using my new material to bang this book out - like a boss, y'all!
Here is another excerpt, concerning one of the (many) times I borrowed My Buddy Al's umbrella:
"The last time I borrowed Al's umbrella, it was raining sideways. No such thing as sideways rain, you say? It's Ohio - it rains however the hell it wants, and often. On this particular evening, the wind kicked up, in a sideways fashion, and blew My Buddy Al's umbrella inside out, busting the hinges. Broke it beyond repair.
Soaking wet, I hunched my way through the rest of the trek to the car, where I climbed in and threw Al's now useless umbrella into my backseat. Then, before he arrived at work the next day, I snuck over to his file cabinet and slid its mangled, lifeless body back into the drawer.
Do not judge me. He never used the umbrella, so I didn't think he'd discover it anytime soon.
Covering your tracks: It's a Youngstown Thing.
No, I didn't feel guilty - just a bit nervous. The man is mostly a gentle giant, however, if he's in a certain mood, Al has been known to pelt me with stress balls . . ."
Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dude on the Sofa

(post copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)
Some guy’s on the couch in the sunroom, watching TV. A dark-haired, flannel-shirted, fella.
As I pass through the room - several (hundred) times - with the laundry, the dog, the vacuum, Jimmy Hoffa, I glance at this vaguely familiar man. Whoever he is, I’m not too worried, because he’s transfixed by the television. Also, he’s been there, immobile, for a long time - just sitting. I am somewhat in awe of this.
I haven’t sat down during the day in my house since the Bush administration. The first one.
After a week or two, I begin to wonder if this individual is breathing. So I head over to inspect . . . and see that it is, indeed, my spouse, still alive. Only then, with the blaring ESPN, I realize:
It’s football season.
No wonder I haven’t seen him much lately. I should maybe watch some games with him.
That's right. From time to time, while the husband watches sports on a nice fall afternoon, I like to bug the hell out of spend some time with him while he enjoys his favorite sport. It’s no problem - I’m a giver.
And he LOVES this. 
So I walk on out to him in the middle of the room and stand in front of the TV.
"What quarter is it?" I ask.
He sighs. "This is Sportscenter. Not a game."
“Oh. O.K."  

I see a flash of a familiar face, then point at the screen. "Hey, look! It’s that guy!”

“What guy?” he asks.
“You know . . . c’mon. That guy!” 
 “WHAT guy?” he says, through gritted teeth.
“That kicker from Ohio State a few years ago," I tell him. "You know who I mean . . . Ted Nugent!”
 “MIKE Nugent," he rubs his temples. Hard. "Don’t you have some Facebooking to do?”
Isn’t that nice? How thoughtful of him to think of my hobbies in this manner. I can tell he really wants to spend MORE time with me and share his affection for the cow-skin.
It’s just too bad I don’t know more about football.
So later in the day when I pass him with the hamper, I decide to plop down for a minute. 

“Who’s playing?”
He closes his eyes. “Dawn. Look at the TV. It’s Ohio State.”
“Huh," I say. "But their uniforms are red. They were white last week.”
“They played away last week, so they wore white," he says. "They wear red at home, and they’re playing home this week. That’s what they do.”
“Well how do people keep up with all these outfit changes?”

He rubs his temples so hard that I fear for the safety of his brain. 

“Don’t you have some blogging to do?”
Again, so considerate! Can you feel the love tonight? I take this as my sign to stick around, keep him company . . . because clearly, he LOVES this. It’s just too bad I don’t know more about football.
“Who are they playing today?” I ask.
He's still rubbing his temples. “Florida A & M.”
“Florida A & M? That’s a lot smaller than OSU. I thought Ohio State was supposed to be good? Why are they playing these small schools?”


“You know," I say. "I was supposed to go to the winery with Marjie, but I don’t have any money. That’s O.K., though, I’d rather stay here with you and talk the football . . .”
“Here!” he says, jumping to his feet. 

He rummages around in his pocket and pulls out a handful of cash. 

"Go ahead!" he says. "Have fun! You never get to go out!”

It’s really too bad I don’t know more about football.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Guys at Work

(post copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)
Jesus had his disciples, the President consults the Cabinet, and my husband has The Guys At Work.
For him, there are no wiser men, no sager sages than these workplace whizzes. Aristotle? Ha! Socrates? Scoff. Michelangelo? Come on! We don't need them.
Not when we have the astute counsel of Jim, Gary, Bob and Other Bob.
Need to know where to get cheap tires? The Guys At Work say to go to Mr. Tire. Wonder what movie to see this weekend? The Guys At Work have seen them all. Curious which car to buy? No doubt the GAWs can tell you.
Yes, we are brushed by greatness to know these wonders of worldliness, these wizards of wisdom. They've offered my man advice on everything from child rearing to Christmas gifts to beef steak.
The phrase ''The Guys At Work said . . . '' elicits an automatic wifely eye roll from me. Not because I disagree with them. In fact, my answers usually match theirs. But the truth isn't the truth until we have the Guys' blessing.
Let's illustrate this scenario with a little dialogue, if you will:
Him: “What movie do you want to see this weekend?”
Me: “Well, I hear “We're the Millers” is good.”
*Crickets chirp*
*Air molecules stand still*
Fade in, two days later:
Him: “Hey - I know. Let's see “We're the Millers” Saturday. The Guys At Work say it's great!”
(Cue the wifely eye-roll.)
If nothing else, at least my agreement with the GAWs proves - at least to me - that I’m right. I love being right. Don't you? I used to dream of being rich or famous, thin or gorgeous.
But I am old. I’ve given up on all that.
And occasionally - just sometimes - I know what I'm talking about. This is because I spent years living single and dirt poor.
Folks - you too can become a rocket scientist. All you need is - nothing and no one! 
That's right. With good old-fashioned poverty, you’ll quickly learn the art of creative scrounging. You’ll also learn to do things yourself, because no one else is around to help. Years of lonely financial struggle have given me solid knowledge of 1040 tax forms, toilet plumbing and your basic Ford engine. Far be it from me to withhold all this valuable knowledge from my husband.
That would be selfish. I have to share.
Case in point: a while back, we hopped in the car to go out to eat. He turned the key.
Car: Click-click-click.
Me: “Sounds like the starter.”
Him (cussing under his breath as we switched cars): “Yeah - maybe.”
Fade in, a few days later.
Me: “Hey. Did you find out what’s wrong with the Taurus?”
Him: “The Guys At Work said it's the starter.”
(Cue the wifely eye-roll.)
Me: “Huh. How about that.”
*Crickets chirp*
*Air molecules stand still* (again).

But just then, the strangest thing happened.
Indeed, the angels sang and the clouds parted.
My husband said Those Words.
Three words.
Three words that every woman dreams of.
Three words that every wife wants to hear.
Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .

''You were right.''


Still working on the book - chapter 34 now, to be exact. Thank you SO much to those of you who've stuck around to read and especially - to comment.
Here's an excerpt from a chapter tentatively title "The Shoulds."

". . . What is it, you ask?
A case of The Shoulds.
It begins every morning, when my eyes - in direct opposition to all good reasoning and the rest of my body - pop open at 4:21 a.m.
I should get up.
This is a lie. I really don’t have to get up until 5 a.m., but The Shoulds . . . they say - you guessed it - that I should.
I remain in bed, but my possibly peri-menopausal (shut up) monkey-mind jumps from tree to metaphorical tree, swinging from branches of Shoulds:
I should change these sheets.
I should clean this bedroom.
I should be a better housekeeper/wife/mother/daughter.
I should be a better person.
The clock now reads 4:22.
Four-plus Shoulds.
One minute.
I should get a shower.
This? I can manage. So I roll out of bed and into the bathroom, stripping off my PJs. Then, I look in the mirror.
Big mistake."
. . .
Stay tuned!