My kinda luck…

For as long as I live I may never understand why I have such strangely humorous luck.

Or in other words, why it is that people don’t listen to me when I speak.

My latest example is the children’s division coordinator at church asked if I’d do story time one week this month at church. I said yes, but not the second weekend. I won’t be at church. I’ll be traveling for a wedding.

Which weekend was I put on the schedule for?

The second weekend. Of course!

Anyone else out there suffer from this type of craziness? Or is it just me? (I have other examples, too. This happens all the time. This was just the most recent.)

“Mom, can I cut the couch?”

Imagine this…

Monday morning we were at the table chowing down on our cereal.

“Mom,” Linc says between bites of cereal.  “You know how things fall into the cracks on the couch?”

I nodded. The remote to the DVD player is currently MIA and if I had to guess it’s camping out in the company of some spare change and lint in the deep, dark crevices of the sofa. It’s what it is. We’ve all dropped our remote down there and every few days have to fish it out.

I digress.

“So last night Abe and I were moving the couch–”

“Why?”

“Because we wanted to see if when we dropped something behind the cushions if it’d fall straight to the floor.” His matter of fact tone was almost more than I could bear.

“We’ve had that sofa for six years, don’t you think if it worked that way, we wouldn’t have spent so much time blindly groping into the interior of the sofa for lost objects?”

“That’s because there’s a liner,” he says as if he’s just made the greatest discovery in the world.

“Yes, there is.” I tried to keep the sarcasm from my tone, but I’m pretty sure I failed. “Hence, why we have to fish…”

“OK but see, the liner goes so deep down the couch, Abe nor I can reach our hand down there, so…” He shrugs as he trials off.

“And?”

“Well, Abe and I want to cut the bottom of the couch so things just fall out the bottom.”

Mom, can I cut the couch?

I’m sure the look on my face spoke volumes of the annoyance and disbelief I was feeling.

“See, it’ll be great,” Linc says as if he really thinks he’s convincing me of this. “Then we won’t have to reach down in there when we lose stuff, it’ll just fall out the bottom.”

“Uh huh, I see.” I seriously just lied to him. I don’t see. I do see his brother Abe nodding his head in agreement like a bobble head dog. I see Linc looking all excited that he thinks he just won me over. I can almost my blood pressure rising. But what I don’t see is the utility it a huge whole in the bottom of a leather sofa so things that are dropped can fall out the bottom!

“So we can do it?” Abe asks, his brown eyes sparkling with excitement.

“Sure.” I smiled. “Just as soon as you both do enough chores to earn the money to buy that sofa.”

My two youngest boys both looked at me as if I’d just taken away their puppy.

“Sorry, guys,” I started. “There isn’t any use in this modification other than just destroying the furniture.”

Let me pause here to say, at least they asked me first. I do have to give them credit for that. There are several people of my acquaintance who’d be telling this story a little differently–like after they’d discovered a freaking huge hole in the bottom of their sofa. So at least there’s that.

Back to the story…

“But what about not having to reach down into the cracks?” Linc persists. ” Remember the time you found the grilled cheese?”

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth at the memory of the an ancient, cold and partially deteriorated grilled cheese that I once pulled out from the back corner of the sofa. “That’s what I have you guys for. You eat on the couch, you can be the ones to dig in the crumb abyss.” I tried not to grin at their disgusted faces. “The answer is no.”

Linc’s eyes lit again as if he’d just had such a brilliant idea that I couldn’t say no. “What if Mickey gets stuck back there?”

“Son, if you think asking me if your guinea pig crawls around on the couch and gets stuck back behind the cushions and so far down your arm cannot reach is going to convince me to allow you to cut a hole in the bottom of the couch, then I think it’s time to go find her a new home before you can be so negligent.”

And THAT is how you stop the nonsense. I know, I know Imma Mean Mom. But good gravy, what the hell is the obsession with destroying the furniture? I’ve seen so many dang sitcoms I almost feel shamed into having little debates with my kids about things that I’m never going to allow to happen just to be “fair”. However, in my world, no means no and Mom’s word is final.

So, what crazy request have you received from a kid that you felt like an idiot debating? Imma curious and I wanna know so comment below!

Imma B.

The Joy Thief

I have this relation who I secretly refer to as the Joy Thief. Why? Because anytime anything good comes my way, she has to cop an attitude for why it didn’t happen to her.

Example: one day one of my novels hit the USA Today Bestsellers list. I shared the news (this was the last time I shared such news with her) and her response, “Oh, that’s nice. It must be nice to have a job you get paid for even when you don’t work.” She was referencing my receiving royalties after the book is released. Uh, excuse me? I worked my ass off to write said book and to market said book to get that many copies sold. It didn’t just happen.

She isn’t a writer so she really doesn’t understand how much time and even money goes into writing a book. Yet, every chance she gets she remarks how jealous she is of me for not having to have a real job. Again, 25 books didn’t just write, publish and market themselves. If she wants to be a writer and collect royalties, then shut up and write a book…or two dozen.

Another circumstance, I got food poisoning from eating at a restaurant with my ex-mother-in-law (a mere coincidence? I’m not sure….). Anyway, I had to cancel my plans to help her move some lawn furniture because I was camped out in the bathroom, calling Huey on the big white phone. Instead of a “Oh no, I hope you’re okay. Is there anything I can bring you?” She texts: “Lucky you. I wish I could have gone to eat at XXXXXXX.”

Really? She really wants to play that card? She goes out to dinner probably 5-6 times per week and only a week ago, she was bitching to me about it because it was making her fat. She’d moved up two bra sizes in the past three months because her husband had been taking her out to eat every night. I eat all my meals at home except two days a week I’ll eat lunch out because I have to travel two hours from home for some medical stuff that takes a few hours before I have to drive two hours back home. Then this particular night I went to a $9/plate large-chain Mexican restaurant because my ex-mother-in-law was in town for one of her two yearly visits and get deathly sick and she’s bitching that she’s never gotten to eat there?! Next time she can take my spot. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable sitting at the table with all my ex-inlaws (my ex-husband wouldn’t take my kids, so I had to and got roped into staying) OR driving home and feeling like three pounds of crushed glass was working its way through my intestines. I’ve never clenched my cheeks so tight in my entire life. I prayed my asshole wouldn’t fail me on the way home.

Thankfully, it didn’t.

The examples could go on and on:

She came with me once to a craft fair. I paid for everything I purchased with cash, she used her credit card for most of hers. She commented how lucky I was to just have money to blow. I spent $75 total (admission, lunch for both of us and a few nicknacks) because that was all I had in my pocket. She came with only $20 in cash used it at the first booth, then fished out her credit card for 3-4 other shops where she bought so much crap we couldn’t carry it all. I’m not lucky, I came prepared and stopped when I reached my limit.

She got in my car once and saw I had a DQ Blizzard cup in my cup holder. “I wish I could have gone with you to Dairy Queen.” I didn’t even eat the damn Blizzard one of my kids did.

I helped her move stuff all day and when we were done I said I was going home. “You’re so lucky you get to go home. I have to stay up all night and unpack.” Well…I did just use my back and my gas to move you. Not to mention it took longer than it was supposed to because she was running late so I had to ask another friend to pick up my kids from school Now I need to get home to my house full of kids and cook dinner and do homework.

I wore a dress to church that I bought from the clearance rack at Dillards three years ago. “Oh, I love your dress. Where did you find it?”  I inwardly cringed. “Dillards.” “It must be nice to go to the mall so much. I buy all of my dresses at yard sales.” That’s an outright lie and I know it. I’ve seen her plunk down $150 for a dress at a department store and at the fair and at a boutique. She also swears flip flops that are at least $40-50 a pair. Who the hell pays that for flip flops??? I clearly got into the wrong business if that’s what people pay for flip flops. I can string you up a pair for that! I honestly don’t care how much her dresses cost compared to mine. I don’t care where she gets hers or where I get mine. I shouldn’t have to justify wearing a department store dress to anyone. Period.

She gets her feelings hurt if someone buys her a greeting card priced below the $3 mark. It’s a freaking piece of paper. In my family, we do The Nana. Meaning we send the wrong cards for different holidays.  Then we just keep them and re-circulate them. It’s great.

If I’ve had a bad day, hers is worse. If someone compliments me on something I bring to a potluck, she has to tell everyone about when she made that same dish and what she uses so I could improve. When I wear anything she hasn’t seen before, she says it’s cute and asks when I went shopping.

I have come to learn not to say anything other than how the weather is. Otherwise, I cannot enjoy a treat. I can’t talk about writing or she’ll bring up how lucky I am not to have a “real job”. I don’t tell her when I’m going anywhere fun or when I’ve done anything fun because she has to suck the fun and joy and life right out of it! And she wonders why she doesn’t have any friends except me…

I’ve bitched for about a 1,000 words to say this, if you’re a fun-sucker and do this crap, stop! You seriously won’t have any friends left. If you have (or had) a friend like this, advice please!!!

May your day be merry and your friends treat you right,

Imma B.

STOP texting and talk to ME!!!

I think we’ve all been there. We invite someone over for dinner or coffee–just some girl time between friends–and they spend the whole time on their phones texting someone else. Why bother to come over? Just sit at home and text ME from there. This irritates me so much, but you know what I do? Probably the same thing you’ve done: grab my phone and start texting someone else, too. At least it kills the awkward moment.

The most annoying though is when I’m in the car and someone does this to me. I have this friend who is notorious for not wanting to drive. Why? She claims its because I’ve lived here longer and know the area better; but the real reason is because she spends the whole time texting her boyfriend while I’m driving. Then, when he isn’t texting her back quickly enough, she calls him, lets the phone ring once and hangs up so he’ll call her back and she can pretend it was an accidental dial…but since she has him on the phone, blah, blah, blah. At least when she does this I can at least hear the conversation and don’t feel quite as annoyed. Weird how that works, I know.

I think people who do this crap should pay a “being rude” fee. Buy my gas. Or pay for my presence–$100 an hour should be good enough. 😀

If you’re a serial texter when someone else is in the room STOP. It’s just downright rude!

Just some thoughts from…

Imma B.

Garage Sale from HELL!

In my lowly opinion I think every blog needs to have a regular column. Since every other day I blog about random crap, I think that Fridays should officially be dubbed “From Hell Friday!” in which we have a guest share about a hellish ordeal they’ve suffered. This week I will go first with the day I entered into…

GarageSale HELL
Artem Stepanov | Dreamstime.com image purchased, modified and used with permission

First, let me get this out of the way so when you later see this in my post you don’t feel the need to crucify…er…correct me in the comment section. I don’t call them yard sales, rummage sales, moving sales or even garage sales. No matter what kind of sale it is, I call it a…

Garbage Sale.

No, I know how you read that, but stop and go with me for a minute. In this circumstance, I don’t pronounce garbage like garbage. I make it rhyme with garage. So pronounced more like “gar-bajh”

Yes, I’m weird, however, this term “fits”.

How?

  1. What is 99% of what you find at a garbage sale?
    Unwanted items.
  2.  Where do unwanted items typically go?
    The garbage.

Simple logic. Plus, garbage pronounced gar-bajh actually sounds kind of class, don’t ya think?

Okay, so my advice on hosting a garbage sale:

Don’t. 

That’s very plain and simple. Just don’t.

About two months ago I got a flyer in the mail from the president of my HOA saying that our neighborhood’s annual garage sale weekend was in two weeks.

My first reaction was to cringe. My second was, “Hmm, well, maybe I can offload some of my crap onto someone else and make a little money while making my crap their crap.”

I should have stuck with my initial reaction because before I knew it, I had fallen into the depths of Garage Sale Hell

For two weeks I stayed up late to do research. During the day, I neglected my cleaning to comb through my entire house and attic for things that would hold a value for someone else. Then peeled and created so many price stickers I was starting to see them in my sleep.

I was so super excited. I had done a purge on my house and I was hopeful to have a nice chunk of change at the end of the day.

Then came the “Big Day”.

At 5am, I started dragging all my crap outside. No easy feat considering how much I had gathered in my crap cleanse.

As I was putting stuff out, people started walking up. I was so excited. Not because I’m a natural born salesperson, because I’m not. I couldn’t sell a parka to an eskimo. Never even dream of selling one snow.

First couple came and snapped up 3 of the six children’s life jackets, paying $3 each for them for a total of $9. And THAT was the biggest sale of the day. I’m not even kidding.

From 6:30/7-ish to a little before 10 there was a steady stream of people. From 10-noon, it was dead. There was a minor uptick between 2-3 and not another soul after 3:45. It was miserable and embarrassing. At the end of the day I counted up how much money had been made…$72. Not counting all the hours I worked leading up to the day of the sale, on sale day alone, 12 hours were spent setting up, selling and cleaning up. That equates to $6 per hour which is less than minimum wage. Did I mention this was a miserable and embarrassing experience? Actually humiliating is probably a more accurate adjective.

Was it my location that drove people away? 

Heck no! I was the first house in the subdivision!

Was it that I didn’t have anything worth buying?

I guess it’s possible…I had what a lot of the blogs and sites considered hot sellers: super cheap Christmas decorations, kitchen stuff, kids things, clothes, etc, etc. I even had unopened, new in the package, high-end cosmetics. And I credit one particular sale of said products as the reason I didn’t make $80 instead of $72 😀

This lady who had on more makeup than a clown came up and found my box of makeup. She dinked around in the box for a few minutes, then brought a handful up to me wanting to buy it. Oddly enough ALL, not just some, but ALL of the price stickers from all the makeup in her hand were gone. Had I been smart, I’d have just said, “I’m sorry, that’s not for sale, I need to go fix the prices.” But I’m an idiot, so I told her what I had it all marked as. “Oh, that unused powder isn’t worth $3. It’s been opened. I’ll give you one for it,” she says.

I ground my teeth. That powder had not only been sealed, it had been in a sealed box not five minutes earlier. “Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. “I had these lipsticks,” which I see aren’t sealed any longer, either, “for $1 each.”

The lady sighs, counts the six lipstick tubes, the four things of eyeshadow, four makeup bags, a handful of bottles of nail polish and the powder and says, “I’ll give you six for all of it.”

Just wanting her to go as far away from me as possible since most of that was now unsellable I said, “Fine.”

The lady opens her purse where there is money overflowing from every nook and cranny, throws down a five and says, “I think that’s fair.”

I was livid…and numb. I just said fine as calmly as I could and walked away. There were other people in my driveway, it wouldn’t do to cause a scene and argue with her. But I’ll never forget that and never again will I ever host another garbage sale. I don’t care what people say about making hundreds or even $1,000 from a strategically planned sale. This lady ain’t doing it again. EVER.

What about you? Have you visited the depths of Hell and have a story to tell? If so, we’d love to hear it. It doesn’t have to be this long. 🙂 Just go to my Files from Hell page up at the top and fill out the comment form. It’s that simple. Then look for your story to be featured. 

*Please note: submission does not automatically mean you’ll be featured. To increase your odds of being featured, please read beneath the contact form.*

 

Paying to be Tortured AKA a trip for a pedicure

At the urging of a girlfriend I recently decided to go get a pedicure.

FootSoak…warm, bubbling water; lotion; hot towels wrapped around my lower legs; a long, soothing calf and foot massage all topped off with a new coat of lacquer on the tips of my toes. How could I say no?

With my lips. And that’s exactly what I would have said if I’d known about the other tools of torture they’d pull out…

…cheese graters, oversized needles; a pair of what appeared to be wire cutters…

Each new tool of torture was worse than the last. I’m only 31, my don’t even have scales or crusties yet, the cheese grater was not only unnecessary, it was downright insulting! She shoved that needle thing under the end of my toenails, mostly in the corners. Damn thing hurt! There was even a few little orangish-red spots on the towel that the technician was absolutely certain was a stain from my old toenail polish she’d removed… Oddly enough she folded the towel in half in short order. The wire cutters, I’m sure that’s not really what they were, but they sure looked like it, she used to yank little pieces of I-don’t-know-what from the corners of my toes.

You know what the only thing she DIDN’T use?

Nail clippers! Nope she didn’t clip one single toenail. Weird. Instead she spent the entire time sawing and scrubbing, poking and yanking. I always thought the best part of pedicure would be the pedicure itself, turns out it was waddling out of there in those little green foam flip flops!

The color does look great, though, so I’m excited about that!

What about you? Have you ever paid to be miserable? If so, tell us about it in the comment section! As they say, misery loves company.

Why is it that…? (Part 1)

I was thinking, and no, thankfully, I didn’t hurt myself, but…

Why is it that you come up with the perfect snarky comeback after you’ve walked away from a demoralizing ass-chewing?

Why is it that a writer can come up with the perfect dialogue banter for their characters while driving 75mph down the highway with both hands on the wheel?

Why is it, that when said author from above gets home they’ve completely forgotten how that conversation came to be or even what half of it is?

Why is it that I have friend requests on Facebook from people I don’t even know and don’t have any mutual friends?

Why is it that when your alarm goes off at 6 a.m., you’re barely able to pry your eyes open, yet three hours earlier were wide awake counting the little popcorn balls on the ceiling?

Why is it that the technician at the nail salon uses something that looks identical to a cheese grater on my feet…even if they aren’t scaly?!

Why is it that at the craft store I can load up my cart with a mountain of craft supplies as a hundred project ideas race through my head only to get home and totally lose heart as I put it away?

Why is it that you can read, re-read, read again the same passage and not find an error, then as soon as you hand it to someone else and start reading over their shoulder, you find three?

Why is it that there is a curling iron that costs one penny shy of $400 that is covered in rhinestones and looks like it belongs in an adult toy shop?! (Don’t believe me, click here)

Why is it that the smaller the bikini, the higher the price?

Why is it that in Tulsa, OK they have these wooden “Up With Trees” signs all around that are supposed to help promote planting trees and taking care of the environment?

Why is it that the number of episodes in a television season keep getting smaller and smaller?

These are things that can keep people awake at night, folks. At least this person.

Have any questions for the universe? Post them below. Not that I’m claiming to be the universe, but it’d be awesome to have more oddities to ponder to keep me awake at night.

Imma B.

(Oh and a bonus, why the heck is there Christmas stuff out already at Hobby Lobby?!)