My sweet amazing baby boy is now a tween. You know, that stage where moms are not quite as smart or cool … or necessary as they once were? Sure, they want you to get them a glass of water when they’re in bed. Sometimes they’ll throw you a bone and ask you to lay with them when they’re freaked out by some scary character they saw in a trailer on YouTube. Yep, they have to settle for horror movie trailers because that same annoying overprotective mother (you) said they weren’t old enough to watch Final Destination or SAW. (Smart choice)
Actually, tween really is the perfect term, as they’re truly somewhere between “Mommy will you come in my room?” and “Mom my room is off limits to you.” They’re between, “Mom I think Katie likes me because she always says ‘Hi,’ so what do I do now?” and Mom overhearing him tell some friends he wants to date Chastity because she puts out. (This is why you should never name your child Chastity … because irony is a bitch.)
Nearly a decade ago, I moved to the suburbs from NYC (it’s the sole reason I started my blog). In that time I’ve learned some pretty important things to ensure my survival, nay, my sanity.
If my ‘burb sent out a handbook it would look something like this. Feel free to use it as a mini-survival guide. Good luck and in the words of that guy on Hill Street Blues, ‘Hey, let’s be careful out there.’
All children must be signed up for multiple sports and extracurricular activities, to ensure that no family can plan anything on a Saturday until their kids are too old to want to spend Saturday’s with their family.
Do NOT be alarmed if you try to enter the wrong minivan or SUV, this is common. Try to lessen the confusion by putting fun stickers on your back windshield representing each of your children performing their favorite activity.
You can paint your house one of 477 shades of tan. Other colors will be categorically denied, so don’t even try it!
If your child has strep or hand foot and mouth, be aware that the entire town will know about it before you get his/her prescription filled. PS this same urgency in passing news applies to affairs as well!
As a suburban mom you are expected to start some kind of craft business immediately. Your choices are: hair accessories, jewelry, embellished clothing, or things you can print on card stock — anything else must be cleared through the Chamber of Commerce.
If you already have a job, you are expected to purchase these crafted goods, in bulk, at the myriad of local holiday boutiques that celebrate everything from Ramadan to Flag Day. Like PTA meetings, being absent is frowned upon.
If you do not find a grocery store or Starbucks within one mile of your current position, you’re lost and have entered an inferior neighborhood! Please stay calm and return to your suburb immediately.
You are required to join a gym. There, you must take spin classes with disco lighting, pretzel yourself into a reformer, and learn the art-form that is Zumba.
You will be expected to pressure clean anything and everything from your sidewalk to your dog. Be prepared.
Make sure your dog is cute, as neighbors will constantly stop to pet it. Be warned, the same neighbors will turn you in to the association the first time Rufus barks after 9PM. (Don’t name your dog Rufus)
Make an immediate trip to lululemon/Athetica/GapBody/Target … and pick up workout/athletic/golf/tennis gear that’s trendier than simply wearing sweatpants. Wear these goods at least 50 -100% of the time; in the winter, simply wear your athletic gear with Uggs.
You will need to attend a mind-numbing amount of birthday lunches/dinners for ladies turning anywhere from 30-50. Get there early, as who you sit next to (or don’t sit next to) can make or break your day.
Cut back on sex ASAP, as you will find yourself in conversations where moms discuss their infrequent, and unsatisfying sex life regularly — at lunches, parties, dinners, play-dates.
And stop giving blow-jobs! People in the ‘burbs are only expected to give them on birthdays and anniversaries (it’s one of the perks).
Living in the ‘burbs is a little like reading Us Weekly: Everything is sensationalized. It’s fun to discuss “who wore it best,” but not as much fun as playing Fashion Police. You will find yourself looking for cellulite/wrinkles on young skinny moms. And gossip is treated as gospel.
I hope this helps you fit into the suburban life you’ve chosen. Maybe I’ll see you at the next boutique sale — I’ll be selling picture frames with random findings glued on to them!
Last week, I wrote about having MABFs (Move-a-body-friends): peeps who would help you move a body, no questions asked. I learned some pretty interesting things while assessing where a couple of my “besties” really stood.
Me: Hey Susan, would you move a body for me … no questions asked?
Susan: Before I answer, is this something that will come back to bite me?
Me: Um, let’s hope not.
Susan: It depends on who. If it was Mark, I’d help you.
Either it’s human nature to assume it’s the hubby or my friends really don’t like Mark very much.
Susan: If it was someone random, I’d have to ask questions.
Susan: Like, was it an accident? Was it self defense? Could we bring along another person?
Me: Why, you don’t think we could lift a body alone?
Susan: No, I wouldn’t want you to turn on ME!
Wow, I thought it went poorly with the last person I asked. Now, my college roommate who’s known me for like, ever, would want some protection?
Me: After 20 years, I’m thinking I should start branching out.
Both of us were laughing about her distrust in me and fear that I may murder her — hahahah, when this happened FOR REAL:
As she watched me cross the street to go to my car, a gust of wind blew my dress fully up to my ears. Stupid trapeze dresses! We’re talking full view of thong, with my hands full and no way to maneuver to hold it down, other than to completely bend over to place my stuff on the street, which I was NOT about to consider.
I stared at her from my frozen position, in utter shock that she wasn’t rushing to help, but rather standing on the curb laughing. Ahem, laughing doesn’t describe what she was doing — she was in such hysterics that she could barely breathe. “When you start choking over there, just know, I won’t give you CPR!”
I mean we JUST had a conversation about whether she would move a dead body for me?! I think this IS the definition of irony, no?
Still laughing, she came into the street and removed my computer from my arms.
Susan: What? I told you I’d move a body for you!
Me: Oh, I know where we stand. You’d help me move it, but if I tripped over it, you’d just point and laugh. Not cool Susan, if we had a “Best Friend” charm, I’d ask for your half back.
At a conference I attended earlier this year I heard the amazing Brene Brown, give a speech about, move-a-body-friends, (MABFs): People you could call in the middle of the night to come over and dispose of a body, no questions asked.
At first I thought, well, who of my friends has the right girth and strength to take on such a task? Next I thought, who will I have to “off” to test that my supposed “Move a Body” friends will follow through? Then it dawned on me, Brene was simply speaking metaphorically, and I put down the knife.
I didn’t stop there, I mean, I did put down the knife, but I thought I’d check with one of my besties to see if she would move a body for me, or at least share one of those “Best Friend” charms with me.
Possible MABF: Hi. What’s up
Me: I just wanted to see if you would move a body for me?
MABF: Wait, say that again?
Me: Would you move a body for me?
MABF: Move one, like in Desperate Housewives?
MABF: How did it die?
Me: Does that matter?
MABF: Well, did you kill it on purpose? Look, if it was Mark, I would do it, obviously, but other than that, I’d want to know if it was an accident.
How quickly we assume it’s the husband?
Me: Fine, let’s say it was on purpose? Let’s say Mark made that weird chewing sound he makes when he eats bagels, and I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I beat him with the cream cheese container.
MABF: Really, that’s your weapon of choice, cream cheese?
Me: I’m assuming it would be in the heat of the moment, and that would be the nearest thing.
MABF: Do you have any idea how long it would take to kill someone with a plastic container? I don’t know if this is a well thought out plan.
Me: I’m NOT MAKING A PLAN, I’m just assessing the level of our friendship!
MABF: Well, what condition is the body in; is it all mangled? I have a weak stomach, you know.
Me: I just told you I’d beat him with a cream cheese container, I don’t think mangling will be involved. Maybe some curdling, if we let him sit too long. I want you to know I’m starting to rethink our friendship.
MABF: Why do we have to move it? Couldn’t we just say it was self defense?
Me: Fine, but in that scenario you’d have to rough me up to make it look real.
MABF: Yeah, I could do that.
Me: I feel like you answered that so effortlessly and yet, the rest of this pow-wow isn’t going the way I’d hoped.
MABF: Look, I wouldn’t rule the whole disposal thing out, I’d just have to know a little more.
Me: Is that your way of saying you’d be up for the conversation?
MABF: Would it go like this, “Hey Tracey, what did you get at Saks yesterday? What are you making for dinner? What should I do with the body in my kitchen?”
Me: Yes … but frankly, I wouldn’t care what you’re making for dinner.
MABF: Then sure why not? Would you have extra bagels?
MABF: I’m in. So, what are you doing for breakfast, I’m hungry.
As it turns out, I do have an MABF; a meticulous, crafty one, who’s willing to beat me up, if necessary. I’m so lucky!
What crazy stuff have you done for your MABFs? I’m making a list for next week’s article.
I’ll start — I’ve jumped in a pool in a beautiful silk dress because an MABF jumped in at the end of her 40th birthday party in a fun attempt to reclaim youth or maybe she was just super drunk, but I thought she shouldn’t be in there celebrating alone.
Sign up for updates from The Suburban Jungle and if you haven’t seen The Jenny Isenman Show yet – check out this week’s topic – Momnesia: Why are we so stupid, years after having children and how do we fix it?
When I heard a man was caught on video stealing an iPhone from a baby, I had to ask, “Really? what kind of immoral thief are you?” And “where can I see that video?”
Listen, I find babies super cute, not in a “OMG, I need another one of those,” or a “Can I please hold your baby — random stranger?” kinda way. In a “That little bundle is seriously precious when he’s quiet or cooing, and looks even cuter through the window of this Starbucks,” kinda way. I also believe that no one can resist a baby dressed in a costume or using an adult item that’s been miniaturized, like wearing those mini Air Jordan’s or carrying a tiny briefcase.
So, when I heard a man had taken an iPhone from the hands of a sweet innocent child, I had to ask the obvious questions:
Was the child in a cute costume of any sort … perhaps wearing a tiny tuxedo?
Was the child about to clear a board on Angry Birds that he had never passed or was he possibly watching an episode of Phineas and Ferb on the Disney XD app and now he’ll never know if Candice tells her mother of the boys’ hijinks in time to catch them?
Was this some Robin Hood-esque act of justice, in which the thief took that phone to give to another baby who was needier — maybe one who had a first generation iPhone or dare I say, a Blackberry?!
Not knowing the answers to these questions will haunt me … will haunt us all. Worse, is the thought you may not have thunk, “How will this affect me?” When other crooks see how easy it is to take an iPhone from a baby, will they start adopting this practice as well? If so, does that mean I won’t be able to hand my child my iPhone/iPad/KindleFire/Nook in the hopes of taking a few minutes to peacefully assess my options in jewel-tone skinny jeans?
Will I not be able to wait patiently in line for my latte while my little one gleefully attempts to breed a rainbow dragon or learn random words in Spanish? Because that would beyond suck. Not just because those coffee lines are long and my kids get bored if they’re not stimulated for more than 30 seconds, but also because it’s really cute when they say things in other languages.
I’d like to suggest that we not let the lawbreakers win, and simply fasten these items to our children like pacifiers.
“Oh, you want that iPhone? Well, you’ll have to take the baby with it, and let me tell you she doesn’t sleep through the night and um, good luck breast feeding!”
“Um, no thanks ma’am you keep her.”
See, problem solved.
Of course, feel free to let me know if you have any better ideas …
This post is from my favorite new blog: I’m a Jewish Mom, What’s Your Excuse? It’s a blog about GUILT, ANXIETY, MISCONCEPTION, AGING, SEX, SARCASM, SALES, SHOPPING and OTHER SHIT.
You do not have to be Jewish to read it, thought there is a reader test. You only have to have a good sense of humor and not be anti-Semitic. I will be a big part of this blog along with other hilarious Jewish mamas that will make you feel saner with every passing post. Check it out.
That's me in the red bag. Well, it represents me. I'm being anonymous. I know, it's mysterious right? Is it attractive? They say mysterious is attractive. How about appealing? You kinda love me huh? I guess the other person in the bag represents my husband, though in reality he doesn't tower over me like Kris did to Kim. Sure, another reason for their inevitable demise. A good rule of thumb: When it looks like your husband might eat you, it's time to get out. (Or carry a lot of saltines.) Please, every Jewish woman knows that a two pack of saltines can get you through to your next meal. There will be other awesome tips like that to come so seriously, stay tuned.
‘This is my alter-ego. The me who says it all with no holds barred. I’m so not telling you who I am… or at least until this thing takes off, but let’s just say I’m Uber famous.
Yeah, let’s say that.
I mean why not.
Of course with all my wealth I can’t afford a computer that puts the two dots over the U in uber, which by the way are called umlaut-dots. I know this because I am also uber smart and know how to search things on Google. But you know what, those umlauts can go f@ck themselves. Oh yeah, I said that, and I cuss too. Kinda…
They weren't so chipper when I told them to F@ck Off
Yep, like a truck driver.
When it doesn’t even fit the story.
Gratuitously… Like Halle Berry nude scene in “Swordfish” or Paris Hilton in sex scene in her texting video, I mean sex tape.
See, I would never tell umlauts to f@ck themselves in real life for fear that one might beat me up or worse, not like me. But anonymous alter egos can do lots of shady shit.
For instance: You know Superman was some kind of deviant exhibitionist? He lived in a house made of ice for G-d’s sake. I’m sure Lois didn’t even know about his kinky side. Please, the man could put on glasses and she wouldn’t recognize him, imagine how easily she’d be to fool by a cock-ring?
I can’t believe I just used the word cock, which let me tell you, does not fall trippingly off my tongue in my day to day life.
Sorry, I have to take a sec and point out that the last line was meant to be a Shakespeare reference that ended up sounding shockingly dirty and was so not my intention there. Look, I’m gonna let you know when I’m being crass on purpose or not. That’s my promise to you, the reader.
Being that I get to completely reinvent myself here. I’m going to call myself Lady Gaga. No wait, that’s totally taken, okay, how about
Madonna? Pink? Li Lo? Fire Crotch?
Ugh, all the good names are taken.
I’ll just go with Cher, that’s original.
For my husband I’m thinking Thor, no wait, Thor doesn’t quite fit.
Dion? No that’s too “Clueless.”
How about something more Jewish, like Abraham? No, that’s too jewish, ok Adam Sandler, Seth Rogan, Jason Segal, Jon Stewart? All taken?
Maybe we should go back to the one name kinda names? Ummm, let’s see, Barney? Elvis? Fabio? Jesus? O.J.? Prince? Q-Tip? Shaq? Waldo? Noah?
Yes, perfect. You know, Noah… from the ark? Great, a one name Jewish moniker. Lovely.
Noah and Cher. We will have a Boy and a Girl and a dog and a cat. Names to come. That was exhausting enough. But if you have suggestions please leave them in my box.
Hello, my comment box. Sheesh, you people are already out of hand and the balls are barely rolling.
*By the way, you don’t have to be Jewish to read the blog, though I prefer you not be anti-Semitic. I know, that was exclusionary of me, but it still stands.
Cher the Jewish Motha’”
To take the test and see whether I’m a Jewish Mother, What’s Your Excuse is for you click here.
This picture implies that he was washing my car. He in fact, was not, but I couldn't find a better picture of an elderly man near a car... MAKE DO.
See how polite I’m being? Calling him an elderly gentleman and not some wrinkly old curmudgeon? No, that would be rude and I am not rude. Well, unless you consider running a poor old curmudgeon over with your car “rude.” Then yes, I may be rude, but I have an excellent vocabulary and that has to count for something.
“Well Judge, my infraction was merely that. I was exceeding the limit by a minuscule measurement as my true intention was to get the minors to an establishment of learning to imbue their gray matter with knowledge.”
My lady, (This is a court in the 1700s, obviously.) your grasp of the English language is truly inspirational. Clearly, a logophile such as you could do no harm to our language, let alone an old curmudgeon. NOT GUILTY!
BTW: A logophile is a lover of words and vocabulary, which I wouldn’t have to define for you if you were one.
Moving on. My neighborhood is a speed zone during morning carpool. Especially the first couple weeks! Most of my neighbors have kids in elementary school and being that our development is exactly .1 miles short of the school bus cutoff; we’re all trying to get to the same place at the same time (anything shy of LATE).
The fact that this elderly gentleman was in this neighborhood in the first place leads me to believe that he wandered in from somewhere with a minimum age. Regardless – as the busy moms sped around beeping from door to door, it was I that mowed this man down. I must have been going at least 30MPH, which is fast in an area that has “slow children at play.” I don’t know if they’re just not quick or there’s something wrong, but there are enough of them to require a sign.
Frankly, someone should try and speed these kids up. Maybe if they got rid of the knickers and padding reminiscent of a 1908 football game and gave out some bikes. The sign could simply read:
(Let’s be honest, these tykes don’t look so speedy either. Nor do they seem to have the latest in outdoor play equipment. Razor anyone?)
But I digress. The elderly gentleman in my story was not walking on the sidewalk, but on the street and going against traffic, no less. He held up his arm in what I took to be a friendly hello. I waved back, pretending to recognize him, as I do with all my neighbors. When I was about to pass him, he flung himself to the side of the road. I guess that wave was really the international, “Slow Down Crazy Lady” sign. Oops, I didn’t recognize it without the shaking of a cane, though he did seem a bit melodramatic.
I guess the main question is: Did he pitch himself to the curb or did I send him hurling to the sidewalk? I didn’t hear a thud; that’s always a good sign. Though it’s hard to hear much over the din of 6 elementary schooler’s trying to one up each other.
Kid 1: I have PE today.
Kid 2: Yeah, well I had it yesterday and 2 kids in my class got lice from sharing bike helmets.
Kid 3: Yeah, well 4 kids in my class got lice and I sit next to one of them… who also has braces.
Kid 4: I’m getting braces.
All other kids: Lucky!
Kid 5: Yeah, well I have glasses.
All other kids: No fair!
Kid 6: Well, I may have scoliosis!
All other kids: Why can’t we have scoliosis?!
Me: Hey, could someone look under the car for an old man?
Me Answering Myself: Huh? (I tend to answer myself in carpool as no one pays attention to the driver.)
Still Me: Forget it.
Did I hit that elderly gentleman out for a morning walk (wandering from ‘the home’)? I can’t say for sure. I didn’t see any wrinkly parts in my chassis. Wow, there’s a sentence that could be taken out of context!
Did I mean to run him over? Certainly not.
Do I think he was being melodramatic? A little bit.
Am I spraying out my car for lice? Without question.
(PS no elderly people were harmed in the writing of this blog… I can’t say as much for lice)
PPS- By day I’m a lifestyle expert, by night I’m a hooker- just kidding – I do this blog. It’s gaining steam, so if you like it please take a sec to share it and check out the right side for RSS, bookmark, email, and newsletter sign-ups. Sooo appreciated, if I can grow this thing I can stop being a hooker, I mean, oh forget it. JUST SIGN UP!