What Everyone Else Sees In Your Selfies

Stop Selfies

In an effort to decrease the number of selfies clogging up my social media feeds, as well as photos of your naked son’s rash, photos of a body part before, or after the stitches were placed, and anything else suitable for a medical text book I beg of you- STOP.

“My selfies don’t look…”

STOP!

Yes, they do. They DO look like that.

If you’re interested in further reading material on this matter see also Moms Against Sexy Faces.

That concludes this public service announcement.

Stupid Suburban Problems: Things Just Got Stupid-er

Stupid Suburban Problems, Chapter 2

Welcome back to egocentric community of Withering Lows. A lot has happened since neighbor, Shane lost it a few weeks ago after finding litter on the running trail. I’m assuming he didn’t make good on his threat to quit his job and monitor the neighborhood for hooligans, but who knows.

Irene lives just a few houses down and found herself in the midst of her own conundrum just last week. She needed to defecate badly, but the cleaning ladies were still at her house. Naturally, she took to the Facebook HOA page to ask for advice on what to do. (Personally, I would’ve just Googled it, but different strokes for different folks, as they say.) There was a range of responses including “Go next door,” “Drive to the BP station,” and “If you have a privacy fence, then do it in the back yard.”

There was no official word on how it played out, but rumor has it that when Consuela opened the door to the butler’s pantry to dust the counters she found Irene squatted over a paper sack. Please pray for all of those involved.

The Facebook HOA page became another hot bed of controversy two nights ago when Jean got into it with a few of the other neighbors over premature Fourth of July fireworks.

Here is their conversation for your reading enjoyment.

Jean: To all of you who think it is ok to shoot fireworks tonight… a week ahead of the fourth… think again. My pup is traumatized without any warning. We were prepared for the actual fourth, but now it may be too late. Please be considerate. 

Neighbor 2: Dogs get used to them at some point. Shoot ‘em off. And it’s TWO weeks before the fourth. 

Sandy Vagina: Obviously, Neighbor 2 doesn’t have any compassion for animals.

Neighbor 2: Obviously, Sandy isn’t very patriotic. Maybe she hates America. PS: My dog loves fireworks.

Neighbor 4: My dog hates them, too. 

Neighbor 5: Popcorn in hand. This is going to be good.

[Insert ten more comments for and against shooting off fireworks before the Fourth of July.]

Neighbor 16: You should be more considerate. It sounds like you’re asking Americans not to celebrate their independence. 

Neighbor 17: Go Merica!

Me: My dog is afraid of fireworks AND thunder. While you all took care of the fireworks situation I fired off an angry email to God about that thunder. He has yet to respond. Whew! It takes a village. 

*End Conversation*

In unrelated news, last week Boko Haram was suspected of kidnapping another 90 women and children in Nigeria, mystery still surrounds the missing Malaysian flight, and the U.S. traded five high-ranking Taliban terrorists for one American POW. However, in what turned out to be the biggest news story of all, one of the Duggar kids of the TLC show Eleventy-Thousand Kids And Counting got married, had her first kiss, and found out that THAT isn’t how babies are made.

Once this whole fireworks debacle gets worked out, I’m sure these new stories will find their way through Withering Lows iron gates just as swiftly as the New Kids On The Block- Greatest Hits album sweeps through Russia.

  Stupid Suburban Problems chapter 2

Five Elevator Speeches Worse Than Yours

Elevator Speeches Worse Than Yours

Experts will tell you when trying to pitch a new business, invention, or book proposal that a great elevator speech is crucial. While most don’t require an ACTUAL elevator to get their point across successfully, my five-year-old son, Luke uses the literal eight square feet of space as a way to entrap strangers into awkward conversations of up-close and personal over-sharing.

Here are a few of our recent awkward elevator encounters.

The Getting To Know You… and you and you and you

As the elevator door closes, Luke positions himself in front before turning and addressing everyone.

Hi, I’m Lucas. L-U-C-A-S. This is my mom. She’s name is Lori, of Loripalooza. What’s your names and where do you blog?

The Short Motivational Speech

The elevator stops before we arrive on our floor. A stranger gets on and successfully pushes the button leading them to their floor of choice. Their hard work and determination won’t go unrecognized.

Nailed it! High five, bro!

The Urgent Secret He Needs To Share With Me That Isn’t In A Whisper

Mom, there’s a baby in here and you know I hate babies because they’re stinky and they poop in their diapers and they’re nasty because they crawl around on the floor like bugs, or snakes and they cry so loud, but I’m not going to be rude about it, okay.

Over Sharing With Strangers For No Reason At All

This incident happened recently on vacation and was especially well played by me because I sent Luke down to the pool with his aunt and uncle, sans me.

Hi, I’m Lucas. L-U-C-A-S. These are NOT my parents. This is my mom’s sister, Heather, but you can call her Heather James, and this is uncle Sidney- definitely NOT my father.

De-constructive Criticism Directed At Surly Strangers 

We were still on vacation when this little incident went down. Two gentlemen entered the elevator on the ground floor giving me pause that I was without my pepper-spray. My arms were piled high with take-out boxes because Luke had decided he couldn’t behave at the restaurant with Heather James (Side note- her name is not James. We don’t know why he calls her that) and Uncle Sidney. As the elevator doors close, Luke notices the two fellows on the elevator with us and bursts out laughing while slapping his knee.

You guys look ridickerous! Where are your shirts? I can see your nipples! (More laughing, but only from Luke) Mom, look at their nipples. Is that a tattoo on your neck? I hope it comes off. You can’t smoke in here! That’s uh-scusting!

I had no free hand with which to cover his mouth. At long last, the elevator doors opened and I shoved Luke out with my foot. A couple of the to-go boxes landed just outside the elevator and before the doors closed I was able to shout an apology.

I am SO sorry. I think your ink is great. I smoke all the time!

No, you don’t, Mom. I’m telling Dad you pushed me wif your foot.

Zip it!!!

In closing, if you really want to improve your child’s elevator speech, then try having them use the stairs for a couple of days. It works well, especially when you’re on the seventh floor.

How To Train Your Ginger: Phobias

My Luke has been described as crazy neurotic eccentric quirky.

I certainly won’t argue given his recent phobias- pocket change (not kidding) and escalators.

As if taking him with me to purchase a bathing suit wasn’t bad enough, I completely forgot about his irrational fear of escalators. When I stepped onto the escalator in Macy’s he was right behind me, but I was halfway down when I realized he had never actually stepped onto it.

Despite the slow creep of the escalator, I was already to the bottom when a man walked up behind Luke in what was clearly an attempt to use the handy, automatic staircase. Luke shouted, “I’m scared of exa-lators! I can’t do it!”

I pleaded with the man to please help my son onto the escalator, so we could all move on and go about our completely abnormal lives. However, Luke was a little hesitant. It took a gentle shove from the nice, black man to get both of Luke’s feet onto the escalator. The man steadied Luke with a hand on each shoulder. I was relieved that Luke was on his way down to me, but Luke was beside himself and unable to take comfort in anything.

“Don’t let me go!! Please! Do NOT let me go,” Luke wailed during what felt like an hour-long descent. I felt badly for the nice man who was helping my son, because a small group of people had gathered around me and I had a feeling they were wondering what this man could be doing to illicit screams from a young child. They probably also wondered why I was laughing hysterically. Who knows. I’m not a mind reader.

When they reached the bottom Luke jumped off proudly. “I did it, Mom!”

“Yeah, you really did it.”

I thanked the man several times for helping me as Luke engaged in some celebratory hip-hop dancing, making doubly sure that everyone saw his ground work.

Of course, the fun didn’t stop there because I was off to purchase a swim suit. For the most part, Luke sat quietly outside my dressing room and only occasionally peaked under the door to offer unsolicited advice like, “Disgusting!” and “How did you get wrinkles on the back of your legs?”

I tried to fashion a noose out of several swimsuits tied together, but it was a fruitless effort. It’s impossible to kill yourself with lycra. It’s stretchier than a bungie cord. Luke will turn six mid-June and start Kindergarten in the fall. I hope they have a lot of escalators there.

I believe the best way to train your ginger is baptism by fire. I bet if I put a big pile of pocket change at the top of an escalator he’d hop right on.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

A video- Luke’s Dream

Inheritance Alert!! My Ship Has Come In. (More specifically a yacht)

You know I’m not one to brag, but a certain recent family inheritance has come to my attention and I’m not going to say to what extent ($17.5 million) because that would be gauche, but you’re going to be seeing a lot less of me here AND a lot more of me in exotic locales.

I received a very personal email and had a gut feeling right away that it was going to be one of those good-news bad-news good-news situations. I was right. My only regret is that the email was sent on May 8th directly to my junk mail folder causing me to miss the memorial services of my deceased relatives.

I’ll share part of it with you.

Attn:   Wescott (…told you, personal)

I am  Chidima Oluchi, Private attorney to Late Mr. Peter Wescott, a national of your country, who used to work as an Oil & Gas servicing and distribution company (SODAMEF SARL) Oil Company in Benin Republic West Africa, Here in after shall be Referred to as my Client. On the 23st of March 2012, my Client, His wife and their three Children were involved in a car accident  near Cotonou-Lome express-road. All occupants of the vehicle Unfortunately lost their lives.Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives but all efforts was just in vain.

After  these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track His last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his Family hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in Repatriating the money left  behind by my Client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Continental Bank  Republic West Africa.These huge deposits were lodged particularly, with the “Atlantic Bank Benin” where the Deceased had an account valued at about $17.5 million dollars (Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated. Since I have been unsuccessful in Locating the relatives for over this years.

Naturally, my first reaction was,

Noooooo, please no. Not the children, too. Not little Crystal, Brandi and Tundra!! They were so dear to me!!! Why would you even be on the express-road, Peter? You know how bad the traffic is there!!

I’ll be honest, I was (almost) close with Peter, but I always felt like his wife was just an opportunistic bitch who was out to get his $17.5 million (bless her heart and may she rest in peace).

Enough about them, I’m the one grieving my awaiting inheritance.

I’ve decided not to tell my husband, Brantley about any of this because he isn’t great with money. Just last week he had the oil changed in both of our vehicles when there was 200 miles of driving left before they were due. No, he can’t be trusted with this information just yet.

I will personally take charge of this situation by following the simple steps given to me by the late Peter Wescott’s private attorney, Chidima Oluchi. Some of the questions seem a little personal, but we are talking about a lot of money so that is understandable.

Inheritance alert In the coming days and weeks you can look for me to write an open letter to anyone I have ever disliked, or anyone who has wronged me. Also, please give our family some privacy while we greave this loss, buy a boat and possibly all of Brangelina’s kids.

Stupid Suburban Problems

Stupid Suburban Problems- Chapter 1, Shane’s BIG Problem

With today’s twenty-four hour news cycle it’s hard to escape the almost constant barrage of atrocities occurring around the globe. I, for one, have a hard time sweating the small stuff when people I know and people I don’t know are hurting- suffering from untreatable illnesses, the victims of mass kidnappings, genocide, and continued inequality. However, when things start to look a little too bleak there’s a place I can always turn to. It’s not as far away as you may think, either.

Not far outside of Nashville resides a quiet suburb community called Withering Lows. It only takes a quick peek at Withering Lows Facebook page to tell that this isn’t a community concerned with other people’s problems. No, they have bigger fish (of their own) to fry.

Today’s story takes us into a day in the life of a man I’ll call “Shane.” Shane is God-fearing man’s man who doesn’t believe in cussing. No sir.

However, Shane’s limits are about to be tested when he encounters something on his morning run through the wooded neighborhood trail. It’s a straw, and it just broke his camel’s back. Read for yourself, but keep in mind that his words are unedited. Personally, I envision his entire message being shouted, so I can only assume that the sections in ALL CAPS were written while simultaneously firing an assault rifle into the air.

Shane: “OK residents I think I have seen enough. While running this morning, I came across the remnants of a bonfire on the walking trail. GIVE ME A BREAK. Do I have to quit my job and sit in a lawn chair to watch the subdivision each day. The speeding, the profanity, the way we address issues. The Board is getting overwhelmed with this type of..sorry but CRAP. I know that I will be bombarded with comments soon, but this is getting old. We were voted one of the best subdivisions around and we act like this. If you see something, take the time to address it please and not wait till we have a “mob” of complaints.” Stupid Suburban Problems First of all, I just want to thank Shane for being so brave. He didn’t have to share this story, but for some reason he did.

After reading this last night I was overcome with worry. I didn’t fall asleep until after ten o’clock and when I did I had a nightmare. In this nightmare, no one heeded Shane’s warning and he DID QUIT HIS JOB and buy a lawn chair. It was awful. All over the neighborhood dinners were burning and children weren’t being picked up from soccer on time. I ran to the aid of a woman in distress and I don’t think I’ll ever get her screams out of my head. “Why don’t we have a neighborhood pool?” she kept crying. I urged her to be strong for her family and not to think like that, but she continued, “I know we were invited to join that other neighborhood’s pool, but it isn’t really OURS. Nothing is ours!”

I still have a lot of unanswered questions, like How does Shane quitting his job somehow a threat to anyone but him and his family? 

Oh, wait. It isn’t. Go for it, Shane.

This concludes today’s look into Stupid Suburban Problems. Stay safe out there.

For those of you who have missed the last few posts coming to your email inbox, you can find them by clicking below.

How To Behave In Public: Lesson 1

I didn’t have to practice becoming awkward. It’s something I was born with. As I continue to learn and grow, I’d like to share my journey to normalcy so that other Awkwads may learn from my mistakes. I hope each person can take something from this lesson on how to behave in public and carry it awkwardly, perhaps in a fanny pack, throughout their awkward lives.

(Side note- only Awkwads can use the word, Awkwad. Those who aren’t awkward should refer to it as the A-word.)

I was in Target a couple of days ago when I thought I saw my friend Amber. She was at a distance when I first saw her profile, but then she turned and I could only see the back of her head. I’ve learned from past experiences NOT to run up and hug (or smack on the rear) people I think I know in public.

Walking a few feet closer was clearly out of the question. I didn’t have time for shenanigans. So I pretended to look at the little girl’s clothing while shouting, “Amber!” to see if she would hear her name and look around. After my fourth try, (yeah, I’m persistent) I heard one of the Target employees say, “We have a lost child.” I turned to see this employee standing behind me and speaking into her walky-talky. There was a sense of urgency in her voice as she asked, “Ma’am what does Amber look like? What is she wearing?”

I was frozen. Mortified. I could’ve just told her that I was too lazy to walk fifty feet and see if that was my friend, Amber BUT I didn’t. My gaze held steadfast on the sparkly, pink shirt I was gripping and my awkwardness came shining through.

I just shook my head as my weak voice uttered, “Never mind. Don’t need her.”

I’m pretty sure the Target employee stood there staring at me for awhile, but much like a turtle can withdraw into its shell when it senses danger, I am able to slip into a fugue state when I sense embarrassment. I have no idea what happened for the next couple of hours, but according to the items found later in my car I made several impulse purchases before leaving Target. Then, I went to Krispy Kreme.

Amber is so high maintenance.

How to behave in Public

 

Luke and Sadie: A Relationship Rollercoaster

Luke and I took a trip to Greenwood, MS last week to visit Robin O’Bryant and her three girls. As usual, my little Casanova fell hard and fast. His newest love interest was Robin’s youngest, Lady Sadie.

Luke and Sadie: the relationship rollercoaster

With the big girls at school and Robin needing to run errands, I offered to take Luke and Sadie to lunch. It was our second day in Greenwood and I decided on Steven’s Barbeque- an excellent choice. Luke and Sadie had already chosen a table and when I sat down with our food Luke introduced me to the man at the the next table. “Mom, this is a man we’ve been talking to. We told him that we are cousins and that this is our first REAL date.”

Help me, Jesus.

Luke and Sadie Later that afternoon with Sadie in her tiara and Luke in his Batman mask, they wed. However, it wouldn’t be long before their marriage had its first hiccup.

Not long after the wedding ceremony they were playing Minecraft in the girl’s room and Luke had a cow. I don’t mean he pitched a fit. I mean while playing the game of Minecraft he had acquired the singular form of “cattle.” This was a problem because Sadie is afraid of cows. She stormed out of the room with tears in her eyes as Luke shouted, “Fine, Sadie! Fine. I’ll get rid of the cow!! What do you want, Sadie? Do you want a pig? Can we AT LEAST HAVE A PIG?!”

Things cooled off after they agreed on obtaining a pig for the most pointless game ever created. Side note- if you know the plot, or point of Minecraft, please get in touch with me.

At dinner that night Sadie spilled Luke’s pink lemonade. She tried to make it up to him by tying his shoes. While he was impressed, the lemonade was something he just couldn’t get past. You can see him here breaking things off.

Luke and Sadie break up

In a show of poor taste, he tried to immediately get a rebound girl in Sadie’s older sister, Emma.

“You’re my girlfriend, now!” he told Emma.

Emma was not excited and informed him that she already had a boyfriend. This did not deter Luke from laying on the charm. He began pulling up his shirt. “Have you seen my five-year-old belly?”

Robin interjected. “You know it isn’t really nice to date the sister of someone you just broke up with.”

Luke shrugged his shoulders and pointed back and forth between Emma and Sadie. “Eenie. Meenie. Miney. LOVE.”

Similar laughter and antics continued throughout the week, but none as funny as what I witnessed on our last night at the O’Bryant’s. Luke asked Robin’s eldest daughter to connect their iPads so they could all play Minecraft together. She was wearing her bathrobe after having just showered and told him that she would do it as soon as she got dressed. The second she walked out of the room, Sadie stuck her little finger in Luke’s face. There was fire in her eyes and she spoke through gritted teeth.

“If you EVER saw my sister nekkid I would be SO MAD at you!”

For the first time all week, Luke was speechless and I wasn’t about to complain.

Luke-isms: An Unwelcome Tub-side Chat

Here is your latest installment of Luke-isms, as promised.

Luke-isms

It had been a particularly trying day as I attempted to get housework, writing, and Luke business taken care of. It was the kind of day that Brantley received a text message from me saying, “Have fun at the gym after work because when you get home, he’s all YOURS.”

Brantley got home that evening and I headed upstairs to take a bath.

“I just need ten minutes to myself,” I told him.

The tub had no sooner filled and I turned off the water to relax when I heard the door open. A familiar sound followed. It was the sound of Luke dragging his stool slowly across the bathroom floor. He parked it right next to the tub and sat down.

“WHAT are you doing? And where is your Dad? I’m trying to take a bath, Lucas. I just want some privacy.”

“It’s ok, Mom. I’ll just sit here and watch you quietly.”

“No. No. No! Brantley, where are you?” I shouted.

Brantley popped his head in the door. “Luke, leave Mom alone. She’s trying to take a bath.”

“Ok.” Luke said as he hopped off his stool. Then, he stopped. “Oh Mom, just one more fing. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I forgot. What happened to your penis, again?”

“Lucas Payne Wescott, girls don’t have penises…”

He interrupted, “Oh, that’s right. Baginas. Baginas. You have baginas.”

I wished for someone to hold my head under the water until I stopped struggling.

I wasn’t asking for the world. I just wanted ten minutes alone. With my baginas.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Luke-isms where Luke spanks himself as he shouts, “Don’t ask any questions, Mom. Just trust me. I deserve this.”