I do acknowledge that even though it was only three dollars that is no excuse.

A couple of weeks ago my sister and I went to the local biannual kid’s clothes consignment sale. I bought a bunch of clothes for a baby I haven’t met or seen yet – so I don’t know how big she’ll be or get. That’s kind of weird, which means buying a lot of clothes of varying sizes and hoping for the best.

This consignment sale is a monster – racks and racks of clothes. You kind of go nutty after a while. Late in the afternoon, I found this monstrosity:

Baby Boop

The babyfication of popular animation characters perhaps hit it’s stride with Muppet Babies and then through the nineties everyone became a baby for baby and young child-related merchandise. For instance, Elmo, who’s already supposed be like three years old anyway, is mysteriously babyfied further for baby clothes and toys. Why? I DON’T KNOW. The only logical conclusion of this trend is little sperms with popular character faces.

But, seriously, Betty Boop? Really? Just a little reminder from Wikipedia about this cartoon character developed in the 1930’s:

“Betty Boop is regarded as one of the first and most famous sex symbols on the animated screen; she is a symbol of the Depression era, and a reminder of the more carefree days of Jazz Age flappers. Her popularity was drawn largely from adult audiences, and the cartoons, while seemingly surreal, contained many sexual and psychological elements…”

Kids LOVE 1930s sex symbol black and white cartoon characters! Especially ones with either their lips on their chin or their chin completely missing. Informal poll: which do you think it is?

How does she open her mouth? I don't see a jaw.
How does she open her mouth? I don’t see a jaw and there’s no room for bottom teeth.

So, I find this thing, it’s marketed under the name “Baby Boop.” I have the following conversation with my sister:

Me: Look at this, it’s horrible. Should I buy it? It’s three dollars.

Sister: Uh, well, it has a matching bib?

She meant this as the best reason she could come up with to justify my suggesting I buy this thing because I thought it was so awful.

I ended up buying it, thinking at the very least I’ll blog about it. I showed it to Tom:

Me: Look at this, isn’t it horrible?

Tom: Why did you buy that?

Me: It’s terrible, it’s baby Betty Boop.

Tom: We’re not putting that on our child.

Me: I thought I would blog about it.

Tom: You could have just taken a picture of it.

Me: At least it’s off the streets now.

So, for the past few weeks the outfit has been hanging off or our fireplace screen, on display like some two headed pig in a jar at an oddity museum. Tom’s been throwing things like “I want that out of our house” into the ether, hoping it will come true.

Now I’m blogging about it. So there.

While at the consignment sale, I actually also saw a onesie that Baby Boop herself would probably wear, but this one I just took a picture of because I couldn’t even bring myself to have this in the house:


I guess nobody had bought it yet because all their babies were taken.

It’s five o’clock dinners and mall walking for me from here on out.

I’m thirty-five years old. I have a sister who’s four years younger than me with two beautiful children ages four (girl) and twenty months (boy).

Last month, my niece’s daycare had a little holiday recital. I was really excited to go because this is the type of thing I was looking forward to seeing since my husband and I moved back up to our home state, North Carolina, from Georgia.

It was very simple; you’re not getting a full-scale production with four year olds, although that would probably be adorable. The kids came out with little Santa hats on, attempted to sing “Jingle Bells” and a few other songs in unison, kind of did it, and then it was over. Each child also had the opportunity to explain to the audience what the holidays mean to them – every audible answer I heard involved candy and presents (sorry Jesus, etc.). I couldn’t hear what my niece said, and when I asked her later, she told me, “I didn’t say nothing.” So touching.

After the show, everyone filed into the classroom to eat cupcakes and then watch sugar-rushed children run around and scream. This is when things went south.

As my sister an I were standing around, attached to each other as we tend to be during social situations (she’s the “outgoing” one by about 2%), one of my niece’s teachers came up to us. She said something like, “You must be the grandma!”

Yes, she motherfucking said that.

I was having a hard time processing it. I’m sure I looked like a deer in the headlights, but  also with a lot of confusion on my face because, for example, I noticed that a deer was also driving the car. So, as I stood there, my bottom jaw probably being trampled by four-year-olds, my sister picked up the slack and said, with as much restraint as possible, “This is my sister.”

And then the lady gasped in horror and apologized profusely. HA, no. She had apparently already boarded the conversational “this lady is obviously the grandma” train and just kept chugging along, admittedly with a weary “why am I still talking” expression on her face. She continued, “Well I can see which side of the family you [my sister] get your looks from.”

Nope, sorry, we draw our “looks” from the exact same genetic pool. Try again.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this were the end of the story, I may not have even written about it. It makes me uncomfortable, as a lazy vain person, that I worry about things like this. I am indeed reaching the age where we as women start to try and turn back or freeze the hands of time, so to be told that my clock is a valuable antique is a little disconcerting. If it was just this one lady, who I think is in her twenties, I could chalk it up to a crazy misunderstanding – that maybe she asked before she got a good look at me – and let it slide (much like the skin sliding off my brittle old bones). But, sadly, that is not what happened.

A few minutes later, my niece’s other teacher, a much older lady, came up, extended her hand and said, “Are you the grandma?”

This time, I was ready! I extended my hand and with brow furrowed, released a sad, confused, “Noooooooo.”

This lady was so embarrassed and appalled at her assumption, she said she was so sorry and told me OF COURSE I didn’t look like a grandmother. HAHAHA, you guys are so gullible. No, she then told me reassuringly that SHE is a grandma, and then started listing the ages of her grandchildren.

Really, lady who is clearly at least twenty years older than me, you’re a grandma? WELL THEN EVERYTHING IS FINE!

I understand that it’s a nightmare come true to assume someone is “the” grandma  and find out they are not. Much like I’m sure it’s embarrassing to ask someone when they’re due and they’re not pregnant. I have done neither of these things but I have once mistaken a boy child for a girl child and I felt like a steaming pile of shit for doing so. I didn’t have a loud, more-attention-brought-to-the-situation meltdown apology, but I did apologize, because I was in the wrong, and it’s just kind of good to acknowledge so that it doesn’t seem like the other person is to blame. What I’m saying is I don’t want to feel like an old hag at thirty-five so one of you being slightly mortified would have made me feel a little better. To me, continuing a conversation as if nothing happened tells me that OF COURSE I was mistaken for a grandma, and have you tried the cupcakes?

Maybe it IS me. Maybe at thirty-five it’s time to admit that even though I would have given birth to my sister at age four (thus being pregnant through most of my third year), I do indeed look as old as my own mother (who looks great, by the way). Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to you all. Here’s a picture from the day I attended the recital, what do you think?

Maggie Smith

Gift Guide for the hard-to-shop-for people in your life

We all have that one person who’s so hard to shop for – no matter how much thought you put into it, you just can’t come up with something that’s really gonna knock their socks off (the ones you bought for them last year). Well, friends, here’s where I come in. I think I’ve covered about every type of hard-to-shop-for type there is. Below you should find an idea for that special someone in your life.

For the Sadist/Boxing Helena fan:

This item is perfect for people who both hate AND love Hello Kitty to a disturbing degree.

For the ambitiously lazy people in your life:

Want to feel like a superhero crime fighter but actually only want to have to get off the couch to use the bathroom (if that often)? Then here’s the item for you.

Is your friend or relative more of an ambitiously lazy jack hole? Then get them the joker version:

For the Fecal Enthusiast:

Go on, take a shit in the dark! Then, cover your ass with all sorts of chemicals designed to illuminate your leavings!

For the Living Pitcher of Beverage lover:

It’s a crystal encrusted Kool-Aid Man! On a necklace! Oh Yeah!

What’s that, you say? Your friend is more of a Supportive Tiger Who Over Pronounces ‘R’ kind of gal, but only the top half of him? Well, duh:

For the person who always says, “I like garden gnomes, but I don’t want them in my yard, I’d rather use them to wash my junk. In other news, I also like the smell of watermelon.”

Yes, it is watermelon scented gnome soap on a rope.

For the lumberjack who doesn’t want to be emasculated among his lumberjack friends because he has to take a nap on a regular pillow:

I hope this has been of help to you this holiday season.

P.S. Congrats to Misty and Cindy, the winners of the 15-months-or-so anniversary giveaway from last week!

It’s a Dog Eat Carrie World

My dog is weird. Ed has plenty of strange quirks that have revealed themselves over the six years he’s been with us. He has a bb lodged in the top of his head, so that tells you that 1. he had a tough life before he got to us and 2. he possibly has brain damage (only half-kidding on that one).

He doesn’t like popping sounds – fireworks, spontaneous hand claps, etc. Totally understandable. He also doesn’t like storm drains and is a bit of a pain in the ass on walks (walks he goes on because we spent a long time teaching him to walk on a leash, which he hated at first). That doesn’t  have anything to do with the bb, I’m just expanding on my proof of his being weird.

Because everyone knows the middle of the street is the safest place to be.

I could go on, and I know it sounds like we just aren’t training him. To that I say: yeah, that’s kind of true. But, on the other hand, dog ownership is just as much an adjustment of what you will tolerate as it is trying to get the perfect pet. He is neurotic and weird, but so am I, so I kind of get him, and we don’t really have many issues – his quirks fit in fine with our life.

Earlier today, about an hour ago, being the graceful, perfectly organized person I am, I set a completely full mug of hot tea down on the coffee table, a pile of mail, and the corner of a wallet. Physics was like, “bitch please,” and so the whole mug emptied out onto the table, several magazines, my pants, and the carpet. It was a grand ol’ time.

The coffee table is wood with a glass top. I had to take everything off the table and move the glass so I could clean between the layers. While I was wiping the glass of with the paper towel, it was making that sound – you know the sound. “EEEEEEEEEEEE!” The sound of squeaking from glass, liquid and towel. Apparently, this sound is like The Manchurian Candidate’s Queen of Diamonds and it activated Ed.

He jumped down from the couch, trotted over, and bit me. He bit through my jeans and caused and ugly small shallow skin puncture and bruise. I don’t know if he was playing – he hopped to get up to my knee and maybe literally bit off more than he could chew – or if the noise made him snap, but it was a shock. He’s never, ever bitten me or even entertained the thought (uh, that I know of).

It was quick and simple – he hopped up, bit my knee, I yelled, “ED WHAT THE FUCK!?” And then he looked at me like “What? Oh, snap, you didn’t like that?” He seemed genuinely confused, then got submissive with the ears back and the tiny tail wags.

Here’s the things with dogs – it’s all about the moment, and it’s all about context. I don’t know why Ed bit me, or even if he meant to. He could have been asleep, and the sound could have triggered him, waking him and setting him into action before he actually knew what he was doing. He could have done it to get me to stop that awful fucking noise (he genuinely dislikes it, I now know). Or, like I said, he could have been trying to play. I just don’t know. Since he’s never bitten me before, and he was in my peripheral vision, I can’t assume what happened exactly.

Other than being on the lookout for any additional strange behavior, having his eyesight and blood work looked at during his next check-up, and making a mental note to not clean glass within earshot of Ed, there’s nothing else to do about the bite. Dogs aren’t people, something I’m thankful for 90% of the time. Every once in a while, though, they remind you that your ancestors domesticated and developed them from their ancestors (wild wilderness animals) – and sometimes, that means yelling “what the fuck” at them after they give you a little bite for an unknown mysterious reason.

He can’t speak English (if he did I’d be in my castle eating gold or whatever super rich people do), but he can speak dog, and I have sense enough to know that he’s told me, “sorry about that – can you see my ears are pinned against my head and I have a sad tucked wagging tail?” And for now, you little weirdo, that’s good enough.

By the way, please nobody tell my mom about the spilled tea.

A Trip to the State Fair, Part Two: The World’s Blankiest Blank

At our state fair, you can find more blankiest blanks than you could ever dream. The World’s Biggest Horse, The World’s Smallest Horse, The World’s Smallest Woman, etc. They used to have a Giant Rat years ago, and when you wandered any where near this exhibit you could hear, over and over, loud enough to soar over all the other noise – “GIANT RAT! GIANT RAT!” The rat must have died because I didn’t see him this year (and by “see him” I mean see the structure that houses him, I would never pay to see a giant rat).

Two things I noticed at these exhibits – first of all, the descriptor “educational” for the World’s Smallest Woman:

“So you see boys and girls, if you are born below average size, you too can travel the country being displayed as a novelty for profit!” I’m assuming that is the educational aspect of it as I don’t think any kind of lengthy lecture on genetics is in the cards (they look so huge when she holds them!).

Second, the reassurance that all of these things are alive.

Yeah, of course they’re alive. If they weren’t they would have been deep fried and sold as a snack.

But, I have to say, as far as side shows go – I got to see one for free! You see, I went to the bathroom. Wait, tangent:

All the bathrooms had attendants – why? Because State Fair attendees are the filthiest people on earth and cannot be trusted not to turn every inch of surface into a toilet, that’s why. These attendants all had tip jars everywhere in these bathrooms. Some even had signs on the mirrors – “Imagine how bad this bathroom would be without an attendant.” While I appreciated that there were attendants, I wasn’t planning on tipping any. One was sitting on a stool (a sitting stool, not, you know…), eating a bowl of soup, saying “welcome” with her mouth full, for example. No, I do not tip for having to watch someone eat food in a public restroom.

However, I entered one bathroom, found an empty stall, and as I was closing the door a desperate cry rang out: “DON’T LET HER GO IN THERE, SHE’S GONNA GET PEE ON HER!” That fucking hero got a damn tip.

End tangent.

At a different bathroom, as I exited, this caught my eye:

Either this lady was taking a nap, or she was being punished by the Blair Witch. I don’t think she was a bathroom attendant, I’m pretty sure she was a fair visitor. I can only assume that eventually, someone built an exhibit around her and now she’s a fair side-show.