My kids order food from Grubhub. My son is worried about the tip amount. He says, “We should give them a huge tip because they probably need it.”
I say, “That’s commendable but I cannot afford a fat tip to the Grubhub delivery person. I will tip them well.”
A guy comes to deliver the food. Charles hands him the tip. Charles says, “Is that enough tip? I mean working for Grubhub cannot be all that lucrative. I doubt you’re getting rich working at Grubhub.” Then he laughs one of the most awkward laughs I’ve encountered. He says, “Well by then.”
I’m thinking about writing a book called Stupid Things I’ve Done. I will gather stories from friends and family and maybe Ellen and Clooney for the star power potential.
My stories for the book will include:
The time many years ago I was at my boyfriend’s house. We borrowed his mother’s Cadillac. I’m backing out of the driveway and neglect to realize there’s a car parked behind us. I slam into it. After that our relationship went on a major southward spiral.
The time in school when I was reading aloud in class and I referred to Arkansas as Ar-kansas.
The time I was asked to leave my husband’s band gig because I got caught sneaking in liquor. The reason I was caught is because the waitress asked me if I’d like a drink and I responded, “No thanks. I brought my own.”
Tearing the house apart looking for my glasses when they are on my head.
The grand prize is the time I got pulled over for speeding 72 in a 55 zone. I thought the speed limit was 65. The officer says, “Ma’am do you know how fast you were going? Seventy-two miles per hour.”
I say, “I thought I was going much faster than that” because in my head that wasn’t speeding.
At the court hearing the judge asks the police officer if I was cooperative. The offiicer says, “Yes she was. In fact she told me she thought she was going faster than she was.”
The entire courtroom busted out laughing.
I’m leaving work with my coworker. She says, “I have to pee so bad.”
I say, “Go. I’ll wait for you.” She says, “I have a thing about public restrooms.” She doesn’t go.
On the crowded elevator I say to her, “You would not have survived Woodstock ’94. The port o potties were overflowing. I guess you could have worn Depends.” Everyone laughed.
If I was my current age at Woodstock ’94, well first I wouldn’t go, and if I did go I would threaten bodily harm to my husband if we didn’t leave immediately.
No amount of Greenday is worth trudging around in a foot of mud and overflowing port o potties.
I was with my sister and brother in-law at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. We were watching The Who smack in the middle of a large audience. My brother in-law leans over and says, “I just pee’d.” Then he laughs.
He pee’d in his pants and poured water on himself as a pee rinse. He says, “Hey man, I didn’t want to deal with the crowd and miss a song.
This brings me to my product idea. Depends for Festivals. They will come in tie-dye and yellow. The ad will say, “Do you think port o potties are shitty? You need Depends for Festivals. Either that or no fluids for twenty-four hours prior to the festival.”
I watch The Wonderful World of Mrs. Maisel and dream of a life like hers. Except for the two young children part. I write comedy monologues in my head. I imagine losing fifty pounds and wearing gorgeous dresses on stage. Lenny Bruce is in the audience. He laughs and raises his glass to me.
Then I go switch the laundry.
This is a piece I wrote for a site run by a local writer, Life In 10 Minutes. You write for ten minutes and edit for ten minutes. The title is Always:
Today I read a piece by NPR Weekend edition Host Scott Simon titled “We Don’t Fully Grow Up Until We Lose Our Parents”. I had the sudden realization that my parents are gone. It comes to me like that. Every once in a while I have an “aha” moment. My parents are gone. I lost both of them to Alzheimer’s Disease. I lost them slowly for at least ten years before their bodies left this planet. When I think of them it’s typically Mom ironing my father’s shirts, the scent of spray starch in the kitchen, the Metropolitan Opera playing on a cheap radio and Mom singing along in her alto-soprano voice. The sound of a college football game in the background. Dad is fishing on the beach in the Outer Banks or dressed up and looking sharp in his “monkey suit”, as he called his tuxedo, before heading out to direct a concert band performance. My most recent memories of them when they were alive was when they were non-verbal, being fed by a nurse and wheelchair bound. That is never how I remember them. Not through defiance or any conscience choice. It just isn’t my “default memory”. It’s a strange thing, the body and the mind. I sat by my mother’s side when she died. The nurses wept when she passed. “She was our sweet, sweet Phyllis.” I, being attracted to minds more than appearances, thought to myself, I lost her eight or ten years ago. There is no actual point of loss. It occurs to me every once in a while that my parents bodies are gone but they are singing opera and fishing just like they always did.
I read an article about the numerous benefits of magnesium. According to the article 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended RDA. Magnesium is essential for mental health. A clinical trial concluded that magnesium supplementation relieved the subjects of major depression.
I decided to try it. I’m here to tell you my family is very grateful I discovered magnesium. I’m pretty sure it’s not placebo. I have had moments where I go from a volume of zero to eleven in five seconds. My goal is not to do that but when your teenagers set the woods on fire and there’s a copperhead on the way to putting out the fire yelling happens. Okay, that time the volume may have been at twenty-five.
Anyway, sometimes obnoxious teenagers and my fifty-three year old self do not get along. Exhibit A of why I believe magnesium is the shit:
My husband and I go out to dinner for our anniversary. We pray that the kids do not kill each other or set the woods on fire while they are left unattended. We remind ourselves that it rained a lot so the fire is not likely. Phew.
We return home after dinner. I walk into the master bathroom and water is pouring out of the bathtub. My daughter ran a bath and forgot about it. Historically, this would be a loud event. The volume emanating from me. I would flip out that it could have resulted in a major house flood. A very stupid house flood. But I was like, “Oh. Better turn off the water. I grab towels and throw them on the floor. Fortunately, there’s not too much water.
My daughter comes in the bathroom. She says, “Oh my god Mom I totally forgot about the bath. I’m so sorry.”
I say, “That’s okay honey. We all make mistakes. I’m so forgetful this could totally happen to me.” Then I give her a hug.
That right there is my clinical study that magnesium is the bomb. I float through the day like a dandelion flower blowing in the wind. I read some crazy article about Trump and my blood pressure does not go through the roof. Stupid drivers don’t piss me off anymore. I’m happier. I feel more authentically happy than I’ve ever felt in my life. My new motto is “Even if it feels like we’re doomed, don’t worry. Be happy.”
In case you are interested here is a link to the clinical trial:
It’s my eighteenth wedding anniversary. Twenty two years together. My son asked me today how we met. I say, “We were dancing to the band The Ululating Mummies. They were playing the song Lebanese Hillbilly Music.” Charles says, “Oh.” Like he was hoping we met while duel-parachuting down the Alps while sipping champagne.
What I wanted to say but I didn’t: “Kiddo, it takes a lot of work to make a relationship work. In the end we are all flawed humans. We need to lift each other up. Focus on the positive because I guarantee you will bring as much dysfunctional bullshit to the table as your counterpart. Fogiveness and empathy will take you a long way.”