Top 5 Things I Will Do Before Accepting Your Party Invitation

As a high-functioning introvert, I’ve trained myself to attend public events without breaking out in hives, shutting myself away in the bathroom or yelling at people to “Just stop with the talking, already!!”

But social interaction isn’t high on my to-do list. In fact, I can think of at least 50 things  I will do before accepting your invitation to go clubbing, drinking, partying or anything that involves standing in large groups of people, making small talk and eating crudites.

introvert

The list mainly includes some version of reading, TV binge watching, eating/cooking, doing yoga or just sitting on the back porch, staring off into space. But besides those, here are five things I’ll do to avoid socializing.

  1. Clean my fridge. Yes, I would rather handle pounds of rotting broccoli and green onions than go to any “party” involving Tupperware, skin care, jewelry, adult toys or home decor.
  2. Bathe my dog. My dog hates baths more than I hate groups of people. Picture this: Ringo hears the bath water and glides out the doggy door. As the tub fills, I hunt him down, luring him with bites of meat (doesn’t matter what kind). I entice him with squeaky toys to get in the bathroom, when I slam the door and wrestle him into the water. By the time he’s “clean,” there’s no water left in the tub and my bathroom walls are covered with dog hair. Yep, I’d rather do that than party.
  3. Take a Zumba class. Me and Zumba go together like Trump and Clinton. It’s just an ugly, uncoordinated battle that no one wants to see. But if it gets me out of a black-tie reception, I’ll Zumba my ass off.kitchenintrovert
  4. Eat kale. You know how much I hate kale; the attention whore of the greens family. No one likes kale. Everyone who says they like it is a liar. Even deep fried or sprinkled with powdered sugar, kale will still taste like death. But. If I’m invited to a party and told if I don’t attend, I’ll have to eat kale? Done. Kale is my new best friend.
  5. Pull weeds. If I had lived in the Garden of Eden, I would have eaten that apple immediately so I wouldn’t have to weed the damn flower beds. To me, gardening is synonymous with dental appointments. Luckily, my husband is an avid gardener who loves to dig in the soil and be one with the earth. But if digging up dandelions will give me an excuse to stay home, get out the tiny shovels!

introverts

So if you invite me to something and I don’t show up, don’t be offended. I would just rather do pretty much anything else, including burning my house down, to avoid insincere conversation and celery sticks.

Top 5 Things I’ve Learned by Going Gluten-free

gluten free

I never wanted to be one of THOSE people who had to tell everyone, from family members to strangers at Walmart, about their gluten intolerance. I didn’t want to be one of THOSE people who read all the food ingredients, interrogated waiters at restaurants until they cried, and then babbled on and on and on about their sensitivity to gluten.

I thought I would continue with my bread-eating, donut-binging, cookie-making life, with no thought to how gluten would one day affect me.

Until.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that has pissed me off to no end. After years of doctor appointments and blood tests, I was told “You’re just old. Deal with it.” And I thought, “WTF? This is it? I’m going to feel shitty for the rest of my life?”

But finally, I was given a diagnosis and was told going gluten-free would make a huge difference in how I feel. Riiiight. . .

So, I upended my life adapting to this new gluten-free prison, turning down birthday cake and bagels, whilst munching on raw veggies. (Not necessarily a good trade.) But it isn’t too bad. I can still enjoy many of my favorite foods. Like water.glutenfreeHere are the Top 5 Things I’ve Learned By Going Gluten-Free.

  1. Gluten is in freakin’ everything. It’s not just in bread and baking products that contain wheat, oats or other grains. It’s in soy sauce (!), licorice (!!) and even beauty products (!!!) Why can’t gluten be in kale? Or Lima beans?
  2.  Lots of other things are gluten free, including:
    • Libraries
    • Pedicures
    • Grandchildren (usually)
    • Massages
    • Shoe shopping
    • Sunrises
    • The beach
    • Hiking
    • Yoga
    • Margaritas
    • Puppies
    • Sex (usually)
    • Binge-watching TV shows
  3.  There are lots of recipes using alternative flours. Granted, most of those recipes taste like shit. But there are a few that actually taste like chocolate chip cookies. Or brownies. Or waffles. My search continues to find a flour mixture (that doesn’t cost the equivalent of a Tesla) that will allow me to return to my baking habits.brownies
  4. I don’t need to tell everyone I meet I can’t eat gluten. Yes, I understand the hypocrisy of that statement as I post a blog that is read by at least four people. But I can politely refuse baked goods without going off about how gluten has basically ruined my immune system and I’ll probably die a horrible death that involves a dingy motel room and a loaf of sourdough bread.
  5. I feel so much better. After years of daily headaches, overwhelming exhaustion, brutal cramps, unexplained bloating and overall depression, I think this gluten-free thing might be a real solution. It might just catch on.

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Deep Thoughts From the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Besides the super-human performances, the world-record-breaking finishes and the crazy intense tracking of mosquitos and water in Rio de Janeiro at the Summer Olympics, I found myself asking the following questions. (At least until my husband told me to stop talking and just watch, for @#$@’s sake. Geesh.)

zika

(Unofficial mascot of the Summer Games in Rio.)

Why do swimmers wear headphones? Are they listening to whale or dolphin noises?

How can the underwater camera guy, getting shots of the swimmers, hold his breath for so long?

How do the beach volleyball women compete without getting constant wedgies?

Do gymnastic organizers buy chalk in bulk? When they open the bag, does it explode all over the room, like when I rip open a bag of Fruity Pebbles?

Do gymnasts ever get tired of smiling and swinging their arms every time they stand up? Should I start doing that at work?

Badminton?

If Ryan Lochte is ever really robbed at gunpoint, will anyone believe him? Did his horrible dye job affect his judgement?

lochte

Have Aly Raisman’s parents been properly sedated?

Shouldn’t the U.S. win all the shooting competitions?

How are you supposed to stand during the national anthem? Is there a rule for crying the appropriate amount for TV (one lone tear, rolling slowly down the cheek)? Do you have to silently mouth the words correctly?

How soon can we expect synchronized horse diving?

Who can explain Greco wrestling?

Is Usain Bolt the coolest person in the world?

When will they bring back tug-of-war and croquet?

Can anyone watch the canoe slalom without singing songs from Disney’s Pocahontas?

pocahontas

(Just around the river bend!!)

Only two more years until the Winter Olympics in PyeyongChang, South Korea. I can’t imagine anything going wrong there. . .

Citius, Altius, Fortius! (Translation: Citrus, HealthCare and Couch Cushion Forts!)

10 Things We Do On Our Birthdays

I’m amazed when people tell me they don’t like birthdays. Whaaa???

You get cake! And presents! And people are nice to you (at least to your face). And you hear from strangers on Facebook!

Barbie

(Woo-hoo! Birthdays!)

I love birthdays. It brings out the kid in me. There’s an element of tradition and excitement that is unique to YOUR day–even though you celebrate it with thousands of other people around the world.

Having just celebrated a birthday, I realized that even though we’re “adults,” there are still funny birthday things we do. Like thus:

1. Convincing yourself you could pass for 25.

Me (looking in mirror): “Look at those crow’s feet. Are they new?”

Me: “What crow’s feet?”

Me: “That’s what I thought.”

2. Hearing people say, “You’re better off old than dead” or “Just getting better with age.” (I hate these people.)

3. Making sure to blow out all the candles. Because you never know. That wish thing might actually work someday.

4. Opening a birthday card and acting like you didn’t notice the $20 bill in it until you read the entire card. “Oh, wow! Twenty dollars! Thanks! I didn’t realize it was in my card because I was reading this heartfelt message from you.”

5. Hoping your husband read your mind and bought you that great pair of shoes you’ve been hinting at for six weeks–even when you insisted he didn’t need to get you anything for your birthday. (But if he didn’t . . . *shake fist*)

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6. Acting like you’re too old to care about presents. But you know you love presents.

7. Checking your Facebook page every 5 minutes to read the birthday wishes.

8. Eating half of your birthday cake, and seven scoops of Cherry Garcia ice cream, because birthday calories don’t count.

9. Counting the years until the next milestone birthday. “Holy, s***! In twelve more years, I’ll be 60! Someone better bring me some more cake and ice cream.”

10. Presents and birthday cake. (Yes, I mentioned it before. But it never hurts to say it again.)

birthday

A Sixth Sense

When my oldest daughter turned 15 and my youngest daughter turned 3, strange things began to happen.

The TV turned on and off all day. No matter how often I shut the kitchen cabinets and drawers, they were always open. I’d put toys and books away, and the next minute they were on the floor again. I kept getting pinched and slapped, and I was even head-butted a couple of times. I was pretty sure we had a poltergeist.
poltergeise

(Insane teenager freaking out. And a lady in a red shirt.)

But the psychic I hired to rid my home of this supernatural disturbance had a different idea. “Although teenagers attract destructive spirits because they’re basically horrible people, I don’t think it’s a poltergeist. I think you just have a toddler,” she said in a really creepy voice.

A toddler? It all began to make sense. My toddler had been possessed by a demon. I began listing all the strange occurrences and felt she had a point.

If your toddler exhibits the following behavior, it might be inhabited by one of Satan’s minions.minions

(Minions even look like toddlers.)

  • Projectile vomiting
  • High-pitched shrieking in the middle of the night (causing me to jump out of bed and run into the door frame)
  • Appearing out of nowhere
  • Babbling in a foreign tongue
  • Standing by the bed watching you sleep
  • Talking to “friends” you can’t see
  • Jumping out from behind couches
  • Rattling and slowly turning doorknobs
  • Heavy, loud mouth breathing
  • An aversion to water
  • The disappearance of utensils
  • An overabundance of drool
  • Inexplicable toilet flushing
  • Random blood stains
  • Boogers streaked on the walls

This is just a short list of all the demonic symptoms exhibited by my 3-year-old daughter. And although I was relieved my teenage daughter hadn’t invited a poltergeist to live in her bedroom, she was still a teenager. So, there’s that.

Bathroom Brouhaha

I feel like I’ve missed something. Admittedly, I often feel like this since I’d rather spend my life reading books than interacting with humans, but the furor around this issue leaves me flummoxed.

Recently, the Obama administration told schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Okay. Great. Move on. Right?

Not so fast, common sense. It seems many people in this country received common sense vaccinations, rendering it impossible for them to behave like rational people. So, they scream and freak out, saying Obama has given permission for pedophiles and perverts to access the saintly vault of women’s bathrooms.

Officials in 12 states, including quick-to-be-stupid Utah, are huffing and puffing and stomping their feet, and suing the White House because they feel the issue should be decided “by the states.”

boss

(Actually, yes, he is the boss. He’s the President. Of. The. United. States.)

There have been transgender people using bathrooms in America for decades and it’s never been a problem that I’m aware of (refer to paragraph 1.) So why now?

These aren’t people going into bathrooms with video cameras strapped to their shoes. This directive doesn’t allow the school’s quarterback to barge into the ladies room and kick open doors. It doesn’t grant approval to men to dash through the women’s water closet, giggling and running from stall to stall, peeing on the toilet seats.

Nope. All of that is still not allowed, crazy people.

This White House ruling was meant to foster non-discrimination across the country, and will affect less than 1% of ‘Merica’s population. In fact, .03% of the population are considered transgender, with most of those people undergoing gender transition procedures.

Obama’s hope is that these students can be treated fairly without being discriminated against. So, remind me again why people have their panties in a bunch?

obama

(“Are you s***ing me?”)

Would it bother me if a transgender person used the stall next to me? Nope. I wouldn’t even know. They are normal people, just trying to get through their day with as little stress as possible. Being worried about where they can pee shouldn’t even be a concern.

Does this mean you shouldn’t worry about your children being alone in the bathroom, or you don’t need to keep an eye out for Willy the Weirdo peeking over the stall? Of course not. But odds are it won’t be a transgender person doing the lawbreaking.

 

Traffic Control

brakes

I’ve avoided writing a traffic blog, because complaining about traffic is such a cliche. But instead of bitching about how most Utah drivers graduated from the Fast and Furious Driving School for Sexually-Repressed Individuals, I thought I’d explain some of the rules for the most common violations.

Maybe drivers aren’t intentionally causing mayhem on the roads, maybe they’re just dumbasses. Here’s a quick refresher course for driving safely (and courteously) on the roads.

Red lights: This device, originally intended to stop traffic, is now used as a panhandling kiosk. If you actually stop your car at a red light, you must avoid eye contact with the person holding the “Anything helps” sign.

Solid White lines: Don’t cross a solid white line unless it’s clear, because sneaky sons-of-bitches like to cross the line behind you so you can’t merge safely.

Merging:

drivers

4-way stops: If you’re not sure how to navigate a 4-way stop, just drive your sorry ass back home and throw your driver’s license in the garbage disposal.

Cell phones: Unless you’re a death-row inmate, waiting for a pardon from the governor, there is no reason to be on your phone while driving. And if you’re a death-row inmate talking on a phone in the car, you’ve obviously escaped, stolen the nearest Honda Accord and are taking one last joy ride. Hang up and enjoy it.

Kids or Dogs Driving: Isn’t it cute how little Baby Boy is sitting on daddy’s lap, steering the vehicle? Ain’t it funny how  Fido perches on mommy’s thighs, while sticking his head out the window to bark at passing cars? Snap out of it! You don’t live in a freakin’ Disney movie. Babies and kids can’t drive. Use some adulting for cryin’ out loud.

Hopefully, this refresher course will keep you safe on the roads. Buckle up, my friends.