Parenting, Snark

7 Reasons It’s Great Being the Only Girl in a House Full of Boys

There are so many reasons that females find it difficult to live with males. However, everyone overlooks the plus side to being with them. I am drowning in boys at my house. I’ve learned to love being the only woman. Here are my top seven reasons it’s great being the only girl in a house full of boys.

1. I am the only one in the house who has a period. This means there is no sync up with cycles, no dually bitchy days. It’s just me and Aunt Flo facing off. The other upside to being the only one with a period is that boys are afraid of that monthly occurrence. One raised hand and an “I’m on my period. Do you want to re-think that eyeroll?” is all it takes to stop the shenanigans. Whether it’s the fear of my hormonal wrath or simply the gross factor, I don’t know and I don’t care. All eyerolls cease to exist for 5 to 7 days.

2. Humongous savings in toilet paper. Think about it. Boys only need paper to wipe once, maybe twice a day. Us girls can tear through some shit paper. So all those families piled high with girls are sending off their hard earned cents to the cheap toilet paper, because splurging is a cost they can ill afford. I’m over here with the happiest asses in town because the expensive butt paper is what I buy. I get the final say in that because I use it more. Bonus!

3. I get to avoid watching how my kids sit when they are really small. Every mother has to worry about table manners and teaching their kids to be polite, but women with girls have extra worries. They have to constantly monitor whether their legs are closed and they aren’t lifting their dresses to display their underpants for the world to see. I don’t have that worry, thank God. Boys are so wiggly and loud that just getting them to sit still is enough. As long as their butts are touching the seat, we are good to go.

4. My clothes are all mine. Relatives with teenage girls are constantly complaining that their daughters are stealing their clothes. I don’t have that worry. That peach colored scarf with the sparkles and fringe is mine, all mine, baby.

5. I get a free pass to enjoy guy movies. When my girlfriends ask me what I’m going to see and I tell them, I get the sad look. “Poor thing. All those boys. It must be tough not having a girl around.” Yeah, sure. Have you SEEN Thor? Iron Man? An entire two hours with Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth is just breaking my damn heart. Now pass that rag so I can mop up all this drool.

6. I own the only Get Out of Uncomfortable Conversations Free card in the house. Basically, this boils down to my not having a penis of my own. When topics related to penises pop up, excuse the pun, I have my Get Out of Uncomfortable Conversations Free card. It comes in the form of “Go ask your father.” Seriously, I have no answers when my kid comes to me and asks why his penis is hurting or how one should place one’s penis when trying on tight jeans. And, while I have the answer to one of the most embarrassing questions I’ve been asked (“Why does my pee pee keep standing up when I play with Amy?”), I still pass that shit on to Dad. I was never intended to answer these hard questions. All my goodies are on the inside, decidedly unsquished by the seams of my jeans.

7. When the kids are teens, school mornings are so much faster. I don’t have to waste time checking for modesty. There are no long conversations about hooker makeup and socially acceptable amounts of cleavage. I just give the boys a good, healthy sniff as they walk out the door. As long as no one smells like a goat, all is well.

So, now you know why, when approached by other women who ask me, “Oh, don’t you want to try for a girl?” that I shiver with disdain. No, I don’t want to try for a girl. I’m absolutely happy over here with my perfectly pampered butt, drooling over the latest big screen superhero.


 

 

(Video posted by heat on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 and shared here.)

 

 

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Snark, Uncategorized

Scary Mommy: 10 Reasons I Am Jealous of My Small-Breasted Friends

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Look who’s on Scary Mommy today!  Hop on over there and check out my latest essay “10 Reasons I Am Jealous of My Small-Breasted Friends.”

Give it a share, a like or a tweet, won’t you?  I’d really appreciate it!

Tweet me @MirandaGargasz

Facebook:  Miranda Gargasz, Writer

 

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Snark

Let’s face it, boys are weird

I never realized the extent to which boys are weird until I had nieces.  Girls sit still.  They are sometimes quiet. They play house and they teach school.  They even mother their dolls and give Barbie high fashion makeovers, not to mention aspirations of becoming a lawyer or doctor.

Boys do not do “sitting still.”  They come with two switches at birth:  on and off.  “On” means full tilt, through the dirt, all day.  Boys are dipped in sugar, rolled in grass clippings and mulch, all the while attempting to break the sound barrier while going anywhere.  “Off” happens while being wrangled out of the bath and wrestled into pajamas.  Nine chances out of ten, they fall asleep mid-squirm and mid-sentence, their batteries just as drained as yours.

My sons had a doll each when they were small.  Both of them asked for one for Christmas one year.  They learned how to father them, of their own accord, for about a day.  After that their babies were stark naked Nerf gun targets and cannon fodder.  Their dolls were given jobs like Hollywood stunt double or dinosaur attack victim.  All I could do was sit back and watch as one of their babies launched across the back yard, a failure at making it over the swing set via the slingshot they created (with the goal post from a long-lost football game and a piece of elastic scavenged from my sewing basket).

Once they had cousins who were female I thought some calm may rub off on them.  My hopes were dashed pretty quickly.

Tony came home from his aunt’s house one day, excited beyond belief.

“Mom, Alexandria said I could have some of her broken Barbies.  She even said I could have her Barbie house when she was done.”

Visions of Barbie’s new career as Fay Wray to Tony’s RC King Kong ran through my mind.  “What are you going to do with a bunch of broken dolls and Barbie’s Dream House?”

“Well, I thought I could decorate them with Sharpies and turn it into a haunted mansion.  It won’t matter what shape the Barbies are in.  I plan on turning them into the zombies that live in the mansion.  I’ll need some Halloween spider web, of course, but it would be perfect!”

I guess I’ll give the kid ten points for creativity.

I know you’re sitting back in your chair, thinking that I’m making this up.  Well, you’re wrong.

So accustomed to their weirdness I have become, that I don’t even notice anymore.

Case in point:

I woke up with a stuffy nose, laryngitis and aches and pains.  We were out of milk. Like many mothers out there I was the only one with a license who could drive.  I dragged myself and Tony to the store.  I gave him the few dollars he needed to go in and purchase our milk.  It wasn’t until he came out that I realized what he looked like.

Zombie preparedness at its finest.

Zombie preparedness at its finest.

Yeah, that’s my kid.  In a gas mask.  At the grocery store.

And you wonder why I say boys are weird.

What’s the weirdest thing your kids have ever done?  I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

For more stories about what my crazy kids do, purchase my book Lemonade and Holy Stuff.  It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Parenting, Snark, Writing

Goodbye, linear phone conversations

I was never a huge fan of talking on the phone.  I’m a highly distracted person to begin with and walking around with a phone attached to my ear is not something I enjoy.  However, I never knew how much I’d miss a straight forward phone conversation until I became a mother.  No one understands that more than your friends who have children.   Other moms have gotten the pass to the club and the secret decoder ring that makes linear phone conversations as stimulating as decaf coffee.

Just the other day I was on the phone with my writer friend Sarah Cottrell.  She has two young boys so she is totally a member of my tribe.  We were talking writing and the conversation went like this:

Sarah:  Just checking in to see if everything is alright……Hey, I’m on the phone.  Remember, we talked about this.

Me:  Oh, yeah.  I’m fine……. Tony, stop putting your face so close to Rosie’s.  Do you want to get bitten? Again?……  I’m just taking a short break to get focused on my writing goals.

Sarah: Is Rosie your dog?….Who wrote on my wall?!

Me:  Yeah, She’s ten years old and grouchy……I’m not going to yell at her for biting you if you don’t. Get. OUT. OF. HER. FACE!….I haven’t written anything new in weeks.

Sarah:  I was wondering…..Finn, you need to keep that in the Kung Fu Corner, do you hear me?…because I saw your Facebook post…..IN. THE. CORNER, MISTER.

Me:  Yeah, I just get overstimulated….Seriously?  Jimmy, did it occur to you to just ask?…by social media sometimes.  You know what I mean?

Sarah:  Yeah, I can see how that would happen. (Muffled talking that I can’t comprehend)  We probably all should take a break.

Me:  It’s crazy, isn’t it?  I should be concentrating on the essays……..Where did I put my pen?  Jim, have you seen my pen?.…….. with deadlines that are coming up anyway.

Sarah:  I have so much writing to do.  I’m swamped…..Alright, now you have to sit on the bottom step and think about what you did.

Jim:  Hey, is that your friend from Maine?

Me:  Yes.

Jim:  Good, she can kick you in the butt and get you back on track.

Sarah:  Is  that your husband?……..Yes, I love you, too.

Me:  Yes.  He and the kids are equal opportunity annoyers…..Geez, Rosie!  Just step all over my feet!  Ow!

Sarah:  That’s funny….Oh, don’t cry……Hey I’ve got to go.  Poor, Max is crying.

Me:  Aw, poor guy.  Talk to you soon.

You see, it’s phone conversations like that that make private messaging on Facebook so much easier to follow.  Granted, I have to write down my every thought, but the person I’m chatting with doesn’t have to be exposed to the mundane details of my life.  I recently chatted with my best friend, Renee, about an upcoming event that I’m excited about, and she missed out on me having to remind Tony for the nine millionth time to use a pot holder when pouring the water for hot chocolate.  She also missed out on me reminding Jimmy that it was trash night and the cans needed to go to the street.  And she didn’t have to be exposed to Rosie’s vocal stylings while Tony practiced the clarinet.  That private message made me sound so much more together and with it.  So much more like a real person.

Oh, well.  I’m a writer so text messaging should be right up my alley, right?

For more about my antics as a mother to this crazy brood, check out my book Lemonade and Holy Stuff sold at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow me on Twitter @MirandaGargasz or on Facebook at Miranda Gargasz, Writer.

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Snark

8 Reasons to Love Your Introverted Friend

I make no bones about it.  I am an introvert.  I prefer a night alone, doing my own thing to just Quiet is might.Solitude isabout any other option.  My husband and many, if not most, of my friends are extroverts.  They enjoy people and networking and always being in the spotlight.  It took them years to realize that the spotlight is the last place I want to be.  Once they realized that I wasn’t like them, they began to see that introverted people make some of the best company.

Here’s a list of eight reasons you should love your introverted friend.

1.  They are low maintenance.

Seriously.  They don’t require your constant attention.  Consider them the cats of the human world.  As long as they have what they need, they are pretty quiet, content people.  You could literally not speak to them for weeks and not only will you not damage your friendship, they probably won’t even notice that you weren’t speaking to them.

2.  No matter what, life is almost always calm around them.

Introverts don’t like drama or noise or chaos.  They don’t thrive on commotion.  They bloom when all is quiet and they can take the time they need to process life.  If you are having a stressed day and just want calm, call that introverted friend and hang out.  It’s like a spa rolled up in a person.

3.  They don’t mind when you cancel plans.

This is a big one for me.  I have zero sadness when you cancel plans with me.  You know why?  Bras.  If I had plans with you, chances are I have a babysitter.  A babysitter usually means Grandma or Auntie time.  Grandma or Auntie Time means empty house.  Your canceled plans equal jammie time and a good book.  Jammie time curled up with a book equals no bra required. It’s like freaking Christmas when you cancel, so don’t feel bad.

4.  If you want to know if you’ll like that book everyone’s been talking about, you almost never have to research it.

The majority of my time that isn’t spent carting teens from A to B is spent reading and writing.  As I age, what I read is becoming more diverse.  So save the data on your phone and just text me.  I’m quicker than Amazon when it comes to book reviews.

5.  They make excellent listeners.

Because they need to observe and process, introverts are the best listeners.  They will allow you to ramble on as long as you like without interruption.  Most of this is because they just can’t do the small talk thing.  They don’t care that the weather is too hot or too cold and they have no opinion on what the local sports team is up to.  They do, however, care that you are hurting and need someone to help you through a crisis.  In this way, they are the dogs of the human world, with less drool.  If you’re lucky.

6.  You are guaranteed a level of “special.”

Let’s face it.  When it comes to making friends, introverts are not the people you go to for advice.  They are pretty awful at it simply because they are deep end of the conversation pool people.  They are not comfortable with shallow relationships.  Count yourself very lucky to have an introvert as a friend.  If they call you friend, you must be pretty darn special.  And you will be that special friend for life.  Introverts do not invest time in someone they don’t intend to be around for a while.  And by “a while” I mean “until death.”  It’s a marriage of sorts.  Consider it an investment.

7.  They make excellent spies.

Introverts are the world’s most observant people.  Not much gets by them.  If you have a special someone you aren’t quite sure about, make them spend some time around your introverted friend. Introverts are people watchers by nature and they log all those little peccadilloes they see for later use, whether it be to help a girlfriend know she’s about to date a douchebag or to save for later when they write this shit down.

8.  They are great storytellers.

Alright, maybe not storytellers, but definitely writers.  All that listening, people watching, and down time results in a truly beautiful thing.  If you’re lucky, your introverted friend will pen an essay about that time you helped her peal out of an ex-douchebag’s driveway, spraying gravel to the four winds. She’ll tell you she loves you not on a phone and maybe not in person, but she will write you the most dazzling love letter you’ve ever received.

From their low maintenance demeanor to the “big picture” way their minds work, introverts truly make the best friends. You’ll have them for life.  They will always love you.  They may screen your calls until they can handle the chatter, but they will always be there for you.  What more could a friend ask for?

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Snark

On Mother’s Day, give her the gift she can take with her

I was in my early twenties and single. Mother’s Day had rolled around that year and I found myself broke, with no gift for my mom.  Growing up, my family was poor so store-bought gifts were not something we really did.  I remembered Mother’s Days from when I was a kid, handing over crafts I’d made in school to give her as gifts.  One particularly nice one was a leather key chain that I punched shapes into and then painted.  Others were just malformed pinch-pots painted crazy colors, hideous things.  I was not yet a mother, so the beauty of those pathetic little dishes was lost on me.  All I knew was there was no time to make her anything of any significance that would be worthy of Mother’s Day.

I remember it was a bright, sunny day, the perfect weather.  I woke up early and decided that, even though I had my money earmarked for bills, I was going to use it to buy my mother flowers for her special day.  Flowers weren’t something my mother ever got.  I drove down to the florist and waited in line behind all the other procrastinators.  As I stood I thought about what I’d buy her.  Roses?  No.  I surely didn’t have enough money for those.  Carnations?  No.  I wasn’t sure she’d like them.  She lived in an apartment where she got little sun exposure so potted plants were out.

That’s when a great idea occurred to me.  I’d buy her fake flowers.  She wouldn’t have to commit to keeping them alive and, frugal as I was, she would be able to enjoy this gift of flowers forever.  I puffed up my chest and turned to the fake flower section.  I spied the most beautiful silk, pink peonies I’d ever seen.  They came in a huge bundle.  I kept my eyes on those peonies, worried that some other person would steal my idea and get them before me.

When my turn at the counter came, I told the clerk which flowers I wanted.  She looked at me with this sad look in her eyes.  I thought it must be horrible working customer service in a flower shop on Mother’s Day morning.  It was very packed, customers snatching up everything that wasn’t nailed down.  Her misery would end soon, I thought.

She brought me the peonies and I was dismayed to see that they came in a truly plain, bordering on ugly, green pot.  To make matters worse, the pot had two big spikes on the bottom.  I thought, How are these things ever going to stand up?  No matter.  Mom and I would fix it.  We’d just pop those spikes off with a pair of pliers so they’d stand nicely on her dining table.  I handed over my cash and left the store.

I drove to her place with my chest puffed up, proud that I got the most beautiful flowers for my mom and she could keep them forever.  They lay on my passenger seat, unable to stand because of those darn spikes.  So filled with pride was I that it never occurred to me to spend any time thinking about the significance of those spikes.

Mom buzzed me in to her complex and I rode the elevator to her floor.  I spent my time waiting really observing those flowers.  They truly didn’t look fake.  They were very pretty and I was convinced that she would love them.  As I walked down the hall to her door a sneaking feeling began to creep into my spine.  My head started adding the plain green pot and the two peculiar spikes together.  As I knocked on her door, I swiftly hid the flowers behind my back.

Oh, no! I thought, and burst into tears.

My mom answered the door to a runny-nosed, sobbing mess of a daughter.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

Unable to speak, I slowly pulled the flowers from behind my back and handed them to her.

She looked at them with a confused expression.

“Are these for me?”

I nodded.

“Um, Miranda, you do know that these are flowers one normally places on a grave, right?”

“I do now!” I wailed.

She pulled me close and hugged me.  And laughed a great belly laugh.

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“It’s okay,” she said.  “I can at least say that I got to enjoy my funeral flowers while I was still alive.”  She laughed again.

I was still crying, but I giggled, too.

I went inside and explained the whole story to my mom, who did not successfully stifle one bit of laughter the whole way through.  I apologized a million times, so embarrassed that I would do such a stupid thing.

Later, as I lay in bed and replayed my awful choices in my head, a thought occurred to me.  My mother had always told us that we should never be attached to the material things in life because you can’t take your stuff along for the ride.  I had somehow managed to prove her wrong.  I gave her the gift that Mother’s Day that she really could take with her.  So, top that, daughters everywhere.

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Parenting, Snark

Sometimes I think everyone is my kid

It’s true.  I have officially become blind to the line that delineates which children are mine.  In fact, the people in question don’t even have to be children.  I’ll still take them under my wing and fuss over them as if they were.  It’s really kind of sad, and, if I’m being honest, it’s creeping me out just a little bit.

My best friend can attest to the fact that I feed people.  All the time.  If you are coming to my house, 9.8 times out of 10 I will have food prepared for you to eat.  The other times we’re living it up large and ordering out.  Why?  I don’t know.  If I had to guess, it makes me feel better to know that no one leaves my house hungry.  Our local writer’s group came over as they often do on Tuesday evenings and someone commented that they never eat dinner before coming over because they know I’ll have food.  I was glad to hear it.  Then one of the other members said, “It’s because she’s a mom.  She feeds everyone.”

It was that moment that I realized something may be amiss.

My problem became clear to me when I was complaining long distance to my friend Sarah (a firecracker of a woman and super writer.  Go to her blog NOW).  Someone was getting on my nerves and I was irritated and asking for advice because I don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings.  Sarah straight up told me the truth:  “You don’t have to be everyone’s mother.  It’s time to cut the shit and tell it like it is.”

Holy crap!  I think I’m everyone’s mom!!!!!!!

I worry over problems that aren’t mine.  Seriously.  If there were such a thing as a professional worrier, I’d be one.  And a damn good one, too, because I can worry like a BOSS.  I worry about one of Jimmy’s friends who just lost his mom on Christmas Day.  His friend is 15 years old.  It reminds me of a friend of mine who lost his dad at that tender age and how, at 40ish years old, it still defines him.  I worry about a writer friend who lost her dad and mom two months apart last summer.  I worry about another writer friend whose husband shot himself while she looked on.  I worry about a friend I have who is so desperate for attention and love that she’s looking in all the worst places to find it, and smothering the friends she has.  All this worrying on top of my normal, everyday neurotic worrying that I do for myself.

Tony had a friend spend the night not too long ago and I sent the kid home with underwear and food because I thought he needed some.  I often send people home with goody bags for their kids, or just dump excess candy we have from holidays into Ziploc bags and give them to friends when they leave.  I pick up my niece from school and ask her about her lunch and if she wore a hat at recess, reminding her to keep her coat zipped.  I asked a grown woman where her gloves were the other day.  A grown woman!

Criminy!  No wonder I’m so tired.  What have I got, like 50 “kids” I’m caring for?   I think it’s a sickness.  The only cure I can think of is Xanax and Dis Arrono.  So pass the Dr. Pepper and the anxiety meds.  This Mama needs a break.

 

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