By: Ann Brown
I am totally going to be nicer to my husband. And not just because I think I am getting the flu and I’ll need his help when I barf.
I was a bitch for a long time. A wonderfully long time. When the kids were little, I was pissed off at him a lot, mostly because I was so fucking tired.
And, to be fair, I have been much nicer to Robin since the kids have grown up but I still feel bad that it took me so long to change. And although our family motto is, “the important thing is that you feel bad”, I knew that the only way to feel better is to do better.
God, I wish there were another way.
Robin and I used to compete for the title of My Life Is Harder Than Yours. I have to admit that some days back then when I had a particularly easy day with the kids, I was loathe to admit it to Robin because then…..well, then he would win. That’s pretty fucked up, but, sadly, it’s true. We each needed to be validated for what we were doing, to be seen by the other as the martyr; it was a years-long standoff. I wonder if, even now, when Robin has spent the weekend fishing and comes home to find me working at the computer or cleaning the house, he doesn’t wax as poetic about how wonderful his day was, lest I resent it. Because I know that I have underdescribed a facial or lunch with my friends when Robin has had a hard day at work. I know. I know this is twisted. And I already said I am going to work on it.
It’s really hard to let go of the martyr tiara. I love how it makes me feel- so hard-working, so munificent, even, I daresay, a little bit thinner around the midsection. I can act the hell out of the role, too. Quiet, long-suffering sighs. A slight wipe of my damp brow. A little dried blood on the tip of my thumb, as if I didn’t have time to attend to my own injuries, so engrossed was I in raising our children. I am a rockin’ martyr.
But so was Robin. He managed to grow huge, excruciating kidney stones that required his hospitalization, just to win points.
And eventually, all that was left was the stark truth that- both of us- work hard. And we both deserved the tiara.
But I keep it in the back of my closet. It’s waiting there, waiting for the competition between us over whose death was the hardest.
By: Ann Brown
The line at Starbucks on Christmas morning was long. The talk was lively. And the topic was hysterectomies. At least, that’s what I talked about with the nice lady in front of me.
Maybe it was the Christmas spirit, or the bonhomie of a crowded Starbucks on a winter’s day, or the power of sisterhood but the conversation skirted the small talk and moved along quickly. It went something like this:
Me: (smiling benignly) Wow, long line.
She: I have to have a hysterectomy.
Awkward silence. I attempted to normalize the conversation once more.
Me: Wow, really long line.
She: If they take your cervix out, you can’t have orgasms during intercourse anymore.
I was at a loss for a response. Another stab at “wow, long line” just wasn’t gonna cut it after that intriguing fact.
But was it a fact? Here is where I am suddenly remorseful that I made fun of my sister a few blog posts back because she only recently learned where the hymen is located. Because although I am quite familiar with the general whereabouts of my cervix, and I can say, with more than a modicum of gratuitous pride, that I have dilated mine – twice – to the size where an actual person’s head squeezed through, I was surprised that a cervix is involved in an orgasm. I mean, isn’t the cervix waaay up there? Like, in Canada?
Wow. My first thought was to congratulate my new friend on the length of her husband’s weener.
“Good for you, honey!” I wanted to say.
But then I worried that I’d be casting aspersions on the length of my husband’s weener. And even though Robin wasn’t there, even though he was innocently waiting for me in the car listening to NPR, even though his weener is perfectly fine, what if when Cervix Woman walked out of Starbucks and saw me get into the car with Robin, she smirked or made a “oh, poor you, with the short penis” gesture at him? How would I explain that to Robin? It’s bad enough that he lives with the paranoia that I talk about him all the time in parenting group, now I am telling perfect strangers in line at Starbucks, ON CHRISTMAS DAY, the day Jesus was born, that I could go with or without a cervix because, uh (and I’d lean in closer here), well, my husband’s weener doesn’t reach there. What if she thought I was complaining, that I was trying to tell her that Robin is alarmingly unendowed, what if she goes home thinking that he and I just bump flat surfaces around down there for fifteen minutes or so and then call it a night?
Robin would totally not be down with that. He might even begin reading my blog, just to check. And that would definitely affect my writing mojo. (In my defense, I did show him the first few posts when I started out a few months ago, just to make sure he was cool with what I was writing but he perused about three sentences, said to me, “are there ever going to be any car chases or anything in this?” and when I told him no, he deleted “drstrangemom” from his Favorites.)
Still, there were questions to be asked about the cervix/orgasm issue.
Unfortunately, however, they will remain forever unanswered because at that very moment my new friend’s lattes (nonfat with two Splendas for her husband, cocoa for her; I heard her order) were ready and she high-tailed it outta there. Rushing home to her foot-long man, no doubt, to get the most use out of her cervix while she still had it. And maybe have him clean out her sinuses and wax her eyebrows while he was up there.
I climbed back into the car and handed Robin his grande double bold drip.
Yeah. You heard me.
By: Ann Brown
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Virgin Mary.
Probably because I discovered recently that, despite menopause, I am still not completely out of the woods, fertility-speaking.
No, I am not pregnant. But I am not taking any chances now, either. I am not even going to stand downwind of Robin after he’s watched anything on Showtime. And as for letting him see me writhe on the bed while trying to pull up my support tights? Fohgeddaboddit. A guy could get ideas. I am going to make myself as undesirable as possible until I am 100% barren. I am pretty much almost there, anyway. My personality alone can be a powerful anti-aphrodisiac if I use it correctly. Or so I am told.
When my son was in Kindergarten he came home one day and said to me, “we learned all about menopause today!” I kinda believed him because he went to this groovy alternative Waldorf school and maybe I hadn’t really researched the curriculum well enough, having based my decision to send him there solely on the fact that my friend Mary Ford sent her kids there and I wanted Mary to like me.
So, being the highly trained parenting instructor that I am, I knew to give a neutral response. Feigning only a casual interest I screamed, “Say, what the FUCK?”
He nodded. “Yes! Menopause. My teacher told me. It’s a very very beautiful story.”
I made mental note to actually read the brochure of the next school to which I was going to send my child.
Again, relying on my years of parenting educator training, I said, “Hunh.” God, I am hopeless when it comes to parenting my own kids.
My son continued. “Well, when it’s time for menopause and very very winter, you eat and eat.”
Okaaay. So far, he’s right on. Maybe this Waldorf education isn’t such a sham.
“And then you crawl into a cocoon. Then you are a butterfly.”
I was stunned. And intrigued. And more than a little concerned because I was still at the “and then you eat and eat” stage and I am highly claustrophobic. There aren’t enough legal refills of my Xanax to get me to crawl into a cocoon. I freaked in my “open” MRI and made them stop it halfway through.
“Do you mean ‘metamorphosis’?” I asked my kid.
He paused. “Yes!” he said. “I keep getting those two words mixed up.”
Damn. I liked the first version better. Especially the eating and eating part. So I am going to eschew science and go with the cocoon theory of menopause. Who knows, the kid could be wrong. I mean, this is a child who used to mix up the words “nun” and “mummy” and once told his class that God is married to paper-wrapped dead people.
Yeah, definitely, I am going with his first theory. And I intend to be a gorgeous butterfly at the end of menopause.
Now, pass the cookies over here. I’ve got work to do.
By: Ann Brown
Last post, I theorized that Mother Mary got more than the baby Jesus that miraculous Christmas eve; she also probably got her first hemorrhoid. And I think that even the most devout woman who has ever pushed a watermelon through a turtleneck would not be offended by my ramblings. So I feel fairly safe that that post isn’t going to keep me out of Heaven.
But this one will.
I’ve been seeing commercials for the Disney Holiday on Ice shows lately and it has got me thinking. I imagine when Disney runs out of ways to suck our money into every merchandising crime possible, they turn to each other, rub their palms together and mouth the magic words, ” On Ice”.
And they high-five each other and the skies open forth and rain money on their hair plugs.
Well, I could use some money right about now so I am going to play their game. A Hanukkah on Ice show? Too cloying. I can just see it now -Dick Button carrying nine skaters on his arms, each with a candle on his head while Neil Diamond sings something vaguely Jewish-sounding. No thanks.
I’m going new school with this idea.
Dr. Strangemom presents:
Anne Frank On Ice.
Can’t you just see it? The brown-shirted SS goose-stepping and double Lutz-ing their way around the rink ghetto (Brian Boitano will be the show-off standout lead Nazi because he can triple-Lutz). Sascha Cohen or that other Jewish skater will play Anne (yeah, it’s typecasting but that’s how I roll) and Michelle Kwan will steal the show as Miep (the real hero. And I worship Michelle Kwan. I wanted to name my beloved dog, Molly, Michelle Kwan because I adopted her – the dog – on the day MK dropped out of the Olympics. Plus, I thought it would be such a trip to be able to say to people, “hey, I gotta go crack open a window. I got Michelle Kwan in the back of my car” or ” Dammit, Michelle Kwan peed on the living room rug again so I hit her on the snoot with a newspaper”).
Johnny Wier will be Peter but when it’s time for Anne and Peter to kiss, he can step back and Elvis Stojko will take over because Stojko kissing Kwan is money in the bank.
That Canadian couple – Whatsername and Whatshisname -will play the Van Daams, the couple who lived with the Franks up in the attic. Although Whatshername is gonna have to gain a few pounds but I can give her some pointers in that.
Evan Lysacek (isn’t he that dark-haired tall drink of water?) can be the Nazi who discovers the Jews in the attic. Evan placed only second in the Grand Prix final this year so can use his anger to be more believable in the role.
I feel bad that I have no part for Scott Hamilton because he’s been through so much.
Hitler, natch’, will be played by Katarina Witt. I love her, but let’s be fair. She owes it to my people.
See you in Hell.
Hanukkah. One night down.
I was kind of a slacker Jewish mom at Hanukkah when my kids were young. I was so tired all the time. My weakest effort was the year that I let the kids nap in the back of the station wagon while I drove through McDonald’s for french fries for dinner (hey! They’re potatoes fried in oil, aren’t they?) and then bought them each a Happy Meal toy for their gift that night. Oh, how I love our people and their beautiful traditions.
Since catching up on my sleep in the past twenty or so years, I’ve tried to be a better person. Or at least a person who makes traditional potato latkes at Hanukkah. But I’ve got to confess – it’s a lot of work. And a lot of oil. And a lot of fried shit sitting in your gut for eight nights. Like our people haven’t suffered enough.
Stomach problems can really harsh your holiday mellow.
If Mary’s labor with Jesus was anything like my labors, I bet she has her own version of the Christmas story. When I was in labor with one of my sons, I secretly ate a couple of leftover latkes before leaving for the hospital and then I actually pooped on the delivery table when the doctor said “push”. (And I thought the whole thing was over and said, “That was easy. Now show me my baby!” God, I am a boob.)
Mary probably ate a lot of fried food that winter, as well, since there is a dearth of fruits and veggies in the season. And it probably sat heavy in her colon that cold Christmas eve while the animals coached her in Lamaze breathing. And after the baby was born, while the Wise Men ooh-ed and ahhh-ed and the little drummer boy played his solo, poor Mary was probably crouching behind a bale of hay trying to get her hemorrhoid back in. Bet that would have totally freaked the Wise Men if they saw her. Bet they’d take back their gifts and hotfoot it outta there and probably would have needed a shitload of therapy just to get near a woman ever again.
And back at Hanukkah, the Maccabees were farting their way through eight nights of fried potatoes. I’m certain they would have gladly surrendered and traded their religious freedom for just one night of fiber had help not come to them at the last minute. I imagine when reinforcements finally arrived, the Maccabees pretended to be all grateful for more oil and rocks and shit but whispered to each other, “Oil, schmoil. What I could really go for is a nice, big fruit compote, am I right or am I right?”
There’s the real story waiting to be told.
I’ll be in the bathroom if you need me.