Tag Archives: good housekeeping

iCan Not iStand the Apple Store

iCan't iStand The iApple Store - We Have a Love Hate Relationshipi Have an iLove iHate Relationship with the Apple Store. (A little Apple Store humor for frustrated customers who really kinda love that place, like me.)

Last week, I took a trip to the Apple store.  Oh, the Apple store.  It’s like a Dylan’s Candy Bar for adults.  Like it’s namesake, in the Garden of Eden, or in the hands of Snow White’s evil stepmother, APPLE was so inviting… so enticing.  There it was, in all of its overcrowded, 8 gazillion watt minimalistic splendor.  Continue reading

Innocent Or Not, I’m Guilty

I went out shopping with my mom the other day and I felt guilty, not because I was breaking my necessary self-imposed shopping ban, but because I had left my kids. I had left them not with a babysitter, but with my husband. They were not doing child labor; they were simply going to a movie.
I couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the feeling I was having. Maybe it was guilt brought on by the fear of sending them off alone with their dad. Would something happen without my guidance? Continue reading

Total Humilation on the Roller Rink, circa 1984

You know when you’re feeling a little big for your britches? (Using that phrase alone should nullify anything I’m about to say.)  Then you get a flashback, a glimpse of some past experience that is earth shatteringly embarrassing and the universe puts you right back in your place?

Well, here I am trying to parlay this “CBS Expert Mom” thing into a piece for a national magazine.  I am at my laptop touting myself as an “expert,” and trying to seem way more important than I am.  Just as I am rambling on about my amazing qualifications to a senior editor, whom I shouldn’t be writing directly in the first place, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” comes on the radio.  I am immediately transported to Cockeysville Skateland circa 1984.  Its Girl’s Skate, the disco lights take over the floor.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with roller skate culture, “Girl’s Skate” is the precursor to “Couple’s Skate.”  During “Girl’s Skate,” your job, as a girl is to look as cool as possible.  You have to rock your shirt with the iron-on decal, those jeans with a comb sticking out of the back pocket, and those leg warmers you shoved up over them to add a “Flashdance” effect.  The boys watch from around the rink and if they likes what they sees, they put out a hand for you to slap.  The hand out also implies that they would like to Couples Skate with you.  If you think they’re cute, you slap their out-stretched hand.  Yes, it is an exercise in self esteem.  Years of this did quite a number on my psyche.

On one particular day, I had my eye on a very cute older boy; he may have even been a preteen!  I spotted him from across the crowded rink, as my dad laced up his skates trying to catch up to my speedy entrance.  Oh, I didn’t mention that my dad skated with me every week?  How could I forget that detail, this story is about how cool I am right?

Here I am doing my best tricks: The speed up and glide,  the crouch down and stick one leg forward, the professional leg cross weave around the corners.  I look around at the outstretched arms, More than a feelin, should be my background music.  As a sensitive kid, I am an equal opportunity slapper.  So, I slap the hand of anyone that puts it out there, unless they’re really dorky and everyone else is avoiding them, obviously! Those poor kids go home and make “kill lists,” or comfort themselves with their Star Wars figurines.

Then I spotted him, that cute preteen, he looked bad.  I mean good bad. He probably drove here on his motorized dirt bike with his skates hanging from the handle bars and a switchblade hiding in his pocket.  He was definitely from the other side of the tracks. You know, like Matt Dillon was in Little Darlings. I noticed that he wasn’t really offering his hand to too many girls and in a defensive action started to skate towards the middle.  As I got closer, he did it.  He eyed me and then threw out his hand.  Holy crap, that’s for me and now I’m so far on the inside I’ll never make it, and then we won’t get to couples skate.  I won’t be able to hold his hand, which I’m sure will be cool and big, not small and sweaty, like the other boys I always couples skate with.  He may even be good enough to do the envied backwards hands on hips skate! My life is officially over…Move Jenny, move. I weaved through a few slow girls and reached as far as I could to touch even a fingertip.  Then in a crushing blow he pulled his hand back and pretending to slick his hair… Shit, he gave me the “psyyyyych.”

To add insult to injury, or in this case injury to insult, my arm had overstretched to meet his teasing gesture.  I felt myself going down think slo-mo in some cheesy 80’s film.  Ohhhh Nnnoooo, I grabbed at the wall to pull myself in and slammed straight into it, then ricocheted off, and slapped to the ground.  I am SO COOL!  I got up quickly and ran to the bathroom to cry in a stall, while reading about who is ez, and who loves whom 4-ever.  “Couple’s Skate” started without me, as if the most horrifying incident had not just occurred on that concrete slab of rejection.  I remember the song perfectly, it was Air Supply’s, “All Out of Love” or maybe Journey’s “Open Arms,” or some ballad  by Foreigner or Styx.  I also remember the pain, oh the pain and the uncoolness.  Apparently, you can’t get too cocky in Cockeysville, cause someone will put you right back in your insecure, struggling, awkward place… where you belong.  Unfortunately, I’ve been put in my place too many times than I care to remember.  Even as an adult, a simple song can bring back an experience that sends you to rock in a corner.

Dear Senior Editor- I am a lowly writer, eh forget get it.

The Most Common Personalities on Facebook

I’m not gonna name names, as I would certainly be one of them, but there are distinct qualities that describe most Facebookers.

The Over Sharer -This person seems to think that a trip to the store, a traffic jam, or the weather is worth repeating. They give updates like a minute to minute log. “Sitting in traffic.” “When will it stop raining?” “Just left SB, grande cap, mmmmm.” The Over Sharer is also the most enabled of all personalities. Other Over Sharers are constantly responding to their minute to minutes with fascinating epiphanies like “LOL” or “Rain makes me sleepy” or “Love Starbucks J (Yes, let’s not forget the smileys, winkeys, and frowneys.)

The Workout Addict and the Closet Alcoholic -These people are actually the same, personality-wise. They feel the need to tell you what they’re drinkin’ or what they’re doin’ in the gym… and the stats. I think they’re both sending signals that require intervention. “20 mile jog, 500 sit-ups and feelin’ it.” “5 mojitos, ahhh” Not only do they flaunt the accomplishments of their pastimes, they like to question their friends as to whether or not to do it. “Do I climb a mountain, or go to the 10:15 spin?” “Drinks with the boys at Lucky’s, or sit on the couch with a cold one?” ;)

The Just “is” – At first I thought these people were publishing this status by accident, but then I realized certain people do it more than others. Either they have sausage fingers and can’t work the keyboard or they just “are.” What does that mean? Is that a call for sympathy a cry for help? A Buddhist feeling of zen? You people are too profound for me. ):

The Gibbrisher -Everyone knows a Gibbrisher. This person speaks in code. Code that at least one friend understands, while the other 500 hundred friends are wondering what the hell, “is so $ due MJ explosion!” means? LMAO

The TMIer -This person is like the Over Sharer in that they have too much time, but takes it one step further by including info about last night’s sex, a bout of diarrhea, or an overly itchy rash. Anytime you talk about your own genitals in any fashion, you fall into this category, BEWARE. TMI

The Self Promoter -Don’t waste your time thinking, “Oh, the irony,” I know this is me. This person thinks that their business is of the utmost importance, TO YOU. They don’t want you to miss a single sale, review, TV spot, story, or promo. They ask that you join the 50 fan clubs, groups, and subscription sites that they have spent valuable work time setting up. Don’t think we, I mean they don’t check to see if you join every one of those clubs and sites! IMHO

Honorable mention: The Quoter and The Lyricist.

BTW-There will be a sequel. I would love to hear about your experiences with these personalities and the other personalities you have encountered.

OMG I almost forgot please join my fan page on FB , seriously!

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Do You Have a Case of Nanny Envy? -article I wrote for iVillage

I am now freelancing for iVillage, which is an amazing site for women.  They cover enough issues to give me work and let me keep the humor in my essays.  Those pieces will not be printed on my site as it is against my contract.  I will give you the links as I get them and I am so happy to share the news with you all.  The first article is

Do You Have a Case of Nanny Envy? I hope you read it, tweet it, FB it, email it, and continue to enjoy me here at Suburban Jungle!

Thanks for your unwavering support!

J from the B

PS- if you haven’t read iCan’t iStand the iApple Store, do so.  It set new records on my site!!!

“Mommy, Where Do Babies Come From?”

There are certain phrases that you imagine hearing, years before they may ever be spoken. As an adolescent, you dream of those three little words “I Love You,” being said with something other than a familial connotation. You envision the intoxicating “I do,” and long for the significant, “Congratulations, it’s a (put sex here).”

The phrase I heard today didn’t represent one of these reveries. Instead, I got the ever-dreaded question “Mommy, where do babies come from?” and more specifically, “How do they get out?” This is not the first time I’ve been asked this question, but it’s the first time I considered answering it honestly.

 

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I’ve given quite a few explanations over the years: The stork, the basket on the doorstep, “out of mommy’s bellybutton.” I’ve even given the seldom used, “We found you in a trashcan,” explanation. An excuse used by my own dad, who on too many occasions told the tale of how they first heard my echoing cry, and then debated whether or not to take me out.

How is this happening? Just last week I reiterated, with strong conviction, the existence of the Tooth Fairy, and now I’m about to share the reality of how one enters the world? While I looked around the crowded diner for signs of eavesdropping, J said, “Do they come out of your belly?”

“They can.” I said, hedging.

“So they have to cut your belly open and take the baby out?”

How come when he says it, it seems like a scene from Alien?

“They can.” Still hedging.

“How do they put your belly back together?”

“Stitches,” I replied, knowing this would not be the end.

“RY… RYYYYYY!” J yelled to his sister, “You’re gonna have surgery, ‘cause you’re a girl and girls grow babies.”

Ry, who was previously occupied with the jelly packet mountain she was building, looked up in horror.

“Whaaat?” She cried and looked to me for some explanation as her mountain toppled over (for dramatic effect).

“Go back to your jelly.” I said attempting to redirect her. “J, there’s another way,” I whispered, bracing myself for the look I was about to see. “Babies can also come out of a Mommy’s vagina.”

No amount of bracing could have prepared me for the grossed-out, confused, gape-mouthed, unblinking eyes that now stared at me. A scene from Alien on the table across from us would have been a treat.

“NUH-UH!” He said in horrified denial, as if I was saying it to be funny. Like telling him if he eats too many watermelon seeds, he’ll grow a watermelon vine in his belly.

“It’s true.”

“WHAAAT, BABIES COME OUT OF YOUR VAGINA??”

The families that hadn’t been paying attention to us before quickly turned, as “vagina” is not the usual morning conversation fare.

“Shhh, J we can’t scream the word vagina in public,” I whispered thinking, this wouldn’t be the first time (see the “Let’s Name Our Dog Butt Munch” article).

“Well, I think it’s better to cut open your belly.”

“Why?”

“If it comes out of your vagina, the baby would just drop in the toilet. Yuck!”

Not where I thought this conversation would go, but before I knew it, I was explaining stirrups and OBs pulling out babies and OMG I just wanted an omelet!!!

Jtook this in with unwavering interest. I felt like I could actually see the mechanics of his mind, like watching the inner workings of a watch. Just when I thought he had digested it all he said,

“How do the babies get inside you?”

No way am I going there, not until he finds the Tooth Fairy utterly ridiculous.“Eggs,” I said, “Eat your eggs.”

I was quoted in Redbook magazine August, p.27 in response to the Question:  Is it ever appropriate to get “Hot and Heavy” when you’re a houseguest?

My response, “It’s always appropriate to get hot and heavy, unless you are staying with your parents.  Then it’s only appropriate to get warm and light.

Sage advice, sage advice.

 

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Heads Up on the CBS4 Segment Thursday 7/23 Sometime Between 5-6:30

IF YOU ARE IN THE SOUTH FLORIDA AREA THURSDAY 7/23, CBS4 WILL BE RUNNING MY SEGMENT SOMETIME BETWEEN 5 AND 6:30!!!!! TIVO OR WATCH!

Last week I received a call about doing a segment for CBS4 Miami as an “Expert Mom.” It’s ironic because I am totally an expert at the mom thing, as most of you know. It’s about time the media noticed. I was told the interview needed to be soon, so we agreed on Friday. On Thursday at noon I received a call from the reporter asking, “Can I come in an hour? This is the only time I am available.”

Well, I was still in sweaty workout clothes and hadn’t had a bite to eat. Oh, and I was also researching the subject of the interview. I said, “Fine, but hair and make-up will have to take precedence. “ He agreed, and that’s when I knew we’d be friends. I jumped in the shower and recited whatever info I could remember. I then grabbed a bowl of cereal and a serving ladel.  You get bigger bites that way.  I shoveled spoonfuls in with one hand, blew my hair dry with my second hand, and put on make-up with my third. Yes, I have three hands but that is a whole other blog.

The subject of the interview was, “What can moms do with their kids when they are not in camp?” The reporter questioned me about my blog, “Oh, is that what you write about? Places to take the kids? Crafts you can do at home?” I said, “No, I write about what happens when you do those things and they go horribly wrong.”

He really had no response and may have searched for a door, but all exits were barricaded. I would not lose the interview.  Aside from some dramatic sweeping hand gestures and goofy comments in a fake accent, I think the interview went famously. In the end, I’ll look like a certified expert or a certifiable lunatic.  it’s all in the editing.

By the way, look at my armpits for a tuft of white tissue. Yes, when I was blow drying my hair and sweating I shoved tissues in to make sure I didn’t have marks on my dress. Apparently I forgot to take them out… Good times, good times.

If you are not in South Florida, I will post a link… Maybe.

PS I was asked back to do another segment on back to school bargains!!!