Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where Did My Happy Go?

At dinner one night, my nephew, who is three, could not sit still. He was a little ball of energy, hoping on and off of his chair. My sister-in-law, tired from a long day and busy feeding the baby, was at her wit's end. She sternly reprimanded him and reminded him that he needed to sit correctly and eat his dinner. Sitting squarely on his chair, he looked up at her and said, "Momma , you took my happy away!"

I've been thinking about that story a lot lately, because everything, it seems, has been taking my happy away....the end of the school year, too much family togetherness resulting in possible permanent scars, multiple trips to the dentist, global warming, reports of John Stamos' attempt to orchestrate a "Full House" movie deal, Michael Jackson tribute coverage, all of the golf and cycling my husband has been watching on the weekends (I don't give a fuck about Lance and the old guy.....and why aren't women allowed to complete in the Tour de France?) followed by complaints of my cooking chicken for dinner again...

My husband with his infinite wisdom suggested that in those moments of extreme stress - when the 5 year-old has drawn zebra stripes on his arms with black Sharpie marker, when the 8 year-old has managed to cover the entire floor in the family room with his ecclectic and obsessive collection of matchbox cars, when the 10 year-old can't understand why for the 10,000th time she can not have and iPhone and tells me that I am ruining her summer - I should put myself in a self imposed "time out" and try to envision a happy place.

But, what was my happy place? A clean spot on the beach were we vacation - too many memories of the kids encroaching upon my sense of zen. Yoga class at the local Y - too many pretzel-like poses. Running on a cool day down a country lane - too many shin splints. A relaxing soak in the tub - too many damn Spongebob toys up my ass. Maybe it is too many viewings of "Confessions of a Shopaholic," but standing in the handbag section of a local TJ Maxx, I realized my happy place. As I touched the price tag of a last season Cole Hahn hobo, I closed my eyes and whispered "va bene!" and invisioned myself half a world away....cue music.....at the Fendi store on Via Condotti in Rome.

My happy place, a stone's throw from the Spanish Steps, was nestled just across the way from Hermes and next door to Gucci. Now I realize that since my last trip to Rome, Fendi has opened a beautiful, new Piazza Fendi flagship store, but my memory still holds true to my late afternoon sojourn down Via Condotti in 1999. It was the height of "Sex In The City" on HBO and I wanted to visit the shrine to the holy grail of "it" bags, the Fendi baguette.

It was all very intoxicating....the smell of the leather, the crisply folded, hand-rolled silk scarves, the decandant disdain of the staff and the pungent scents of the Fendi fragrance line. My trip could have started and ended in that one spot and all would have been golden, except for the impatient and annoyed whining of my husband for dragging him into what he called "his fashion hell" complete with absolutely NO electronic devices whatsoever.....and I can still hear him guffaw over the exorbitant prices...

"Girlfriend, I have seen a lot of weird shit go down over in men's boxer briefs, but please, CONTROL YOURSELF! You can NOT sniff the half price pocksetbooks." The TJ Maxx Lay-Away Clerk snapped me out of my reverie, and I quickly pushed the purse away from my nose and cheek and hung it neatly back on it's hook. I looked around the store hopping no one else had noticed and slunk off in the direction of my back-up happy place, ladies clearance shoes....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Drought Explained.....

Apologies! Apologies! As you can see, my output on this blog has slowed considerably over the past few months. The fact that this has occurred in conjunction with the end of the school year is no coincidence. With three active children, summer always seems to be a combination of breaking up arguments, chaffeuring the kids to their various day camps, and counting the minutes until bedtime. But this summer has been very different, as I have had legitimate reasons for my lack of posts.

First, I was quite excited when I was presented with the opportunity to sign me and the kids up to star in "A Chorus Line Jr." at our local theatre. Our youngest, aka The Crazy Man, has always shown a penchant for naked dancing around the house, and my middle son, he who is obsessed with France, recently exhibited an odd curiosity for "jazz hands".

I'll admit that my daughter needed a little convincing, but after about 7 repeated viewings of the "Sound of Music", I convinced her she could be the "Lisel" to my "Maria" in this production (and that "Cookin' Mama 2: Soul Food Edition" might be in her future for her DS). Plus, I checked, and there was little opportunity for that little attention hog to steal precious spotlight from me.....bonus! The impromptu tribute to Michael Jackson we performed during the finale will be talked about for years to come in our town, no doubt!

Next, was the unfortunate incident you may have read about around the 4th of July. We were going to do a water balloon toss during our annual BBQ, but my husband thought it would be a bit more exciting if we did it with sparklers instead.

As you can see, that bastard miscalculated that after a few Coronas his aim might be a bit impaired. Don't worry, the Crazy Man is doing fine...though my husband did try to blame it on all the "fruity dancing" he had been doing lately instead of improving his eye-hand coordination. I am so glad our last performance of "A Chorus Line Jr." was the week before, otherwise I would have had to scramble to find a kid to do the moonwalk during the finale.

Then, this past weekend we had some drama here after we broke out the Slip and Slide.....We had a bunch of neighborhood families at the house for some summertime fun, and one thing led to another, and my husband thought he would show off by giving the kids a head start "midget toss" style....

Unfortunately for one of the two year olds on the street, my husband was busy talking about the god damn Tour de France or something with one of the other guys while mid toss and you can see the result. Who's got the poor eye-hand coordination now, asshole?

Soooo....it has been a pretty busy summer here as you can see. Please bear with me.....school is just around the corner, and that means plenty of bus stop time.....which is blogging gold for me!