Grocery Shopping

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Him: What’s the ricotta for?

Me: I’m going to make pasta-less lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles.

Him: Pasta-less lasagna? That’s like God-less religion.

In Case I’m Not at Work Tomorrow

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The other weekend, Mom had two scratch-off-at-the-register coupons for a department store that had a max discount of 40 percent. She mentioned this to my 86-year-old grandmother who then replied, “Maybe one will be 40 percent. I’ll pray about it while we’re in the store.”

When they got to the register, the first coupon was 25 percent — the second, 40.

So I have a MegaMillions ticket for tonight’s $586 $636 million drawing, and Mom is supposed to task Nanny with a new prayer request.

We’re really gonna test this power of prayer thing.

Inside the Actor’s Studio (Hypothetically)

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insidetheactorsstudioshowI don’t delude myself into thinking I’ll ever sit across from James Lipton and answer these questions for him, but I thought this was a fun exercise from The Daily Post:

On the interview show Inside the Actors’ Studio, host James Lipton asks each of his guests the same ten questions. What are your responses?

1. What is your favorite word?

I’m gonna go with awesome. I say it a lot. Is 41 too old to use that word? Sometimes I think it is.

2. What is your least favorite word?

Can’t. Because I hate admitting that I can’t do something, and I hate hearing people say that I can’t do something. Perhaps I’m more of a rebel than I thought…

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally?

I would have to say music, but while I love a beautiful melody or catchy hook, I appreciate a song more for its lyrics. For example, the music in “A Light That Never Comes” by Linkin Park isn’t so bad; however, as a grammar nerd, I can’t sit there and listen to “Night gets darkest right before dawn / What don’t kill you makes you more strong.” O… M… G… I wanna stab a red pen into the radio.

4. What turns you off?

Bragging. And I don’t mean talking about your accomplishments, because there are times and places for that. I mean the people who consistently try to drop their achievements into casual conversation. You’re not fooling anyone, and truth be told, you’re really not impressing anyone either, and one day? The universe is gonna step in and bite you in the ass and none of that crap will help you.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Shit. It’s my go-to word for all things that go wrong, but mainly when I’m at home or among friends. However, sometimes when I’m caught way off-guard, it slips out in public or at work. One time at my last job, the power went out, and it scared me so badly that I let a “Shit!” slip out loud enough that the International Space Station Called and asked what was wrong. Oh well…

6. What sound or noise do you love?

If I had kids, I’m sure the sound would be their laughter, but barring that, it would have to be the sound of the ocean. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard that sound in person since August 2011 when we went to North Myrtle Beach. But I still remember the feeling I had when I got out of the car at the resort and heard the crashing of the waves. I’ll get back there one day…

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of metal scraping or clicking against teeth is worse than fingernails on a chalkboard for me, especially when it’s my own teeth. I got my teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office on Wednesday, and the whole time the hygienist was scraping I felt like what Agent Smith looked like in The Matrix after Neo jumps inside him.

Too... Much... Scraping... Gonna comm out of my skin!

Too… Much… Scraping… Gonna come out of my skin!

I blame it on braces. Because I had them in the dark ages of the early 1980s, the ones I had were metal bands that wrapped around each tooth, plus the wires that connected them all together. I was a headgear set away from channeling AM radio with my mouth.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I could sit and watch The Weather Channel all day long, especially during hurricane season. Sometimes I think I could have been a meteorologist, but then I remember all the science classes I would have to take, and I fall asleep.

9. What profession would you like not to do?

Other than the “volunteer” shifts I had to do at the marching band’s food stand at the minor league baseball stadium, I’ve never had a food service job, and I’ve never wanted one. I have a hard enough time putting one foot in front of the other, so I really don’t want to add juggling breakable plates and glasses. I have the utmost respect for people who can spend eight-plus hours on their feet taking orders and carrying large trays of food and beverages and dealing with unpleasable diners, but I know myself enough to realize that type of job is not for me.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Well, none of us get there without something to answer to. I know that’s what Christians are supposed to strive to do, but we’re not perfect. I suppose I’m just hoping for “Not bad. Come on in.”

Patient Zero

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Today on the way to lunch:

Me:  So I told Mom I was going to skip tomorrow.

Him:  What’s tomorrow?

Me:  I was going to go with Mom to take Nanny out to lunch, but I just can’t say that I’m completely passed this cold. I just don’t want to risk spreading germs that can get back to Dad with his chemo and all.

Him:  Yeah, don’t be Patient Zero, Carla. Nobody likes Typhoid Mary…

As My Ovaries Lay Dying

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Warning: As noted in the title, this is a discussion about Those Female Lady Parts. So, fellas, if you get squeamish hearing the following words — ovary, period, menstruation, menopause, among others — do yourself a favor and skip this post.

I’ve mentioned before how The Husband and I have had a fair amount of shit shoveled onto our plates over the summer, so the insomnia that started a couple of months ago didn’t surprise me, except it usually consisted of me waking up uncomfortable and sweaty. On the one hand, I’m a hot-natured person. If I say I’m cold, Satan is down in Hell wearing a parka. However, we’ve had an unusually cool-ish summer, and despite sleeping with the ceiling fan running, I still couldn’t cool off.

Then I noticed abnormally emotional bouts with PMS. Someone could raise an eyebrow to me and I’d erupt into tears with, “WHY DO YOU HATE ME?” Monthly cramps came on as strongly as they did during my teenage years, and other odd medical anomalies popped up that made me wonder what the frak was going on.

So I did a search of my symptoms. Yes, I know, it’s like opening Pandora’s Box. A small bump on your finger could be a zit or leprosy. (Don’t pop it! You could lose that finger!) What I kept seeing was the term “perimenopause” — defined by the Mayo Clinic as “the time period during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility.” Really, Mayo Clinic? That’s what you want millions of women to read when they can already have an emotional breakdown with the slap of a feather?

Please excuse me while knit myself an afghan to curl up with as I watch Matlock reruns.

I also take issue with the Mayo Clinic’s use of “natural transition” — because these symptoms do not feel natural. Is it really natural to wake up in the middle of the night sweating under a ceiling fan or to suddenly start sobbing because someone asked me to pass the salt?

But, Carla, it can’t be menopause; you’re only 41! Yep, and my mom told me that she started having the same symptoms around the same age. By the time she was 46, her Monthly Visitor had stopped making its regular appearances.

In coming to terms with this phase, (I refuse to call it “The Change.” It’s a change inside the body, not a metamorphosis into some alien-looking creature.) I propose that Hollywood reverse the way it depicts menstruation and menopause. When a girl gets her first period in a TV show or movie, the other women get excited and exclaim, “Oh, you’re a woman now!” Please… My mother did no such thing. If anything, she offered sympathy for the decades of monthly ups and downs ahead of me.

I definitely didn’t feel like a woman when it showed up for the first time — about a month before my twelfth birthday, during my last bathroom trip before going out to wait on the school bus. I still remember standing in the bathroom and shedding the first of many, many, MANY hormonal tears to come. Unable to compose myself in time, I missed my ride, and my mom had to take me to school.

And why does Hollywood love to show a middle-aged woman thinking she’s pregnant only to discover that her missed period is a result of menopause? All that’s missing is the WOMP womp of a horn section. Yes, yes, we can no longer have children. We are as barren as the dessert. We are now permanently infertile. Our biological clocks are deader than Kenny from South Park, you bastards…

There’s also the version of crazy hormonal lady a la Fried Green Tomatoes‘ Evelyn and her alter ego, Towanda. Movies and TV love to portray menopausal women as out of their heads due to their hormones being out of whack, so we end up thinking we need a Ned Stark Internet Meme to warn people.

Menopause

Eh, that’s too tame…

Bat-shit crazy lady

That’s more like it…

What movies and TV need to show are girls experiencing a bummer attitude about having to put up with the ups and downs that come with a monthly cycle. The times they’re caught off guard with their period starting and no feminine hygiene product in sight. The times they’re going to freak out over being late and worry that they’re pregnant. The cramps… Oh, those damn cramps…

However, women finding out they’re perimenopausal need to whoop that shit up. They are almost done with this monthly burden, and it is time to let the champagne flow. Yeah, yeah, they’re biological clocks are sputtering their last breaths, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got one foot in the grave. They’re not any less of a woman just because they don’t have to buy tampons.

I, for one, look forward to sending my Monthly Visitor on a permanent vacation. I will help her pack and drive that bitch to the airport myself.  I’ve eased the bat-shit crazy symptoms by making sure I keep up with regular exercise, and the other women in my family never experienced over-the-top issues with this change. My mom said her “hot flashes” were more like periodic night sweats, so I’m hoping for an average transition.

But y’all pray for The Husband. Just in case Ned Stark is right.

Because I So Rarely Get One Over on Him

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Yesterday morning, while getting ready for work…

Him: So they’ve discovered a new element.

Me: They did?

Him: Yeah, it’s called Element 115.

Me: Ah

Him: It’s the heaviest element on Earth.

Me: Really?

Him: Uranium used to be the heaviest. It’s got 92 protons around its nucleus. This one has 115.

Me: Oh…

Him: Well, to give you an idea? Lead and gold have 82 and 79 protons, so this one has almost 50% more.

Light bulb pops on in my head. I’m surprised he didn’t hear it.

Me: So which weights more, an ounce of gold or an ounce of Element 115?

Him: An ounce of Element 115… (pause as he looks at my shit-eating grin) What?

Me: No, they’re both an ounce.

Him: Oh whatever… I should have known. YOU asking a question about SCIENCE.

Me: Hey, I’ve gotta take my chances to get you when I can.

Pillow Talk After 13 Years

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It doesn’t happen every day, but every once in a while, I get a zinger in…

A couple of weeks ago, after turning out the lights to go to bed but continuing to playfully argue back and forth about shutting up and going to sleep, Cinlach proceeded to let out a loud fart.

HIM:  Ha HA! How does that sound?

ME:  Like everything else that comes out of your mouth.