Alternate Route: My Long Journey Home


I share the following story not in the hopes that you will learn from my mistakes, but that you will read these words and realize what a true badass I am (in case you didn’t already know).

I ventured home from work around ten o’clock one dark night in September. Before getting on the interstate, I thought it would be wise to stop and grab something to eat. I felt a nervousness in the pit of my stomach as I pulled into the McDonald’s drive-through. I should’ve recognized this foreboding moment as more than a prequel to a bout of IBS, but I didn’t. I was starving and tired.

The gentleman at the loud speaker read my order back to me incorrectly. After correcting it, he asked if I would like tomato on my chicken sandwich. I told him I didn’t care.

“Ma’am, I can’t decide for you.”

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I really don’t care what you put in that bag. I’m going to eat it regardless.”

“Please pull around,” he said calmly.

When I arrived at the window I apologized for being so blunt. I explained that I was just really hungry and tired.

“I didn’t get it at first,” he said, “but I believe you now with that look you got on your face.”

“Well,” I stammered. “My face doesn’t… move a whole lot.”

“My Grand Mama’s face don’t move a lot either ‘cause she had a stroke. You had a stroke?”

“No,” I answered grabbing my bag of mystery food. “Sometimes, when women get older…”

He interrupted. “Well, Imma pray for you anyway that your face move again.”

“Not necessary, but thanks. I guess. Ok, have a good,” he closed the window.

Friggin’ whippersnappers.

I was headed down the interstate when I reached into my bag and found my plain chicken sandwich made just the way I had requested. Cha-ching! However, as I approached the I-40/I-65 interchange there were lights flashing. My exit was completely closed. I panicked.

I don’t know any other way to get home. Should I call 9-1-1, or find a hotel? Maybe I can find a quiet place to bed down at an underpass until tomorrow. Wait a minute! I think I remember signs warning me about this last week, but I didn’t pay them any mind. I never thought that it would apply to me. I don’t use alternate routes! Alternate routes happen to other people.

Oh, Lori! Listen to yourself. This is exactly the kind of thinking that led you head-on into a Veteran’s Day parade in Fairhope, AL five years ago. Had it not been for a conveniently located alleyway and a horse that was light on his feet who knows what could have happened? Old people can be so mean when frightened.

It’s ok. I can do this! I will just use my navigation and this time I won’t argue with it.

I crammed that dry chicken sandwich into my face as Siri directed me in a forty-mile circle around Nashville only to dump me five feet past the initial roadblock. Thankfully, it was just far enough and I was able to follow my familiar route home. *

As I pulled into my garage that night I felt as triumphant as I always do after having worked a shift, but with a little extra chutzpah. Not only had I taken the path least traveled, albeit against my will, but I had also eaten fast-food for the first time in over a year and made it all the way home without crapping my pants.

*Strong work, TDOT on closing an entire section of interstate for a job that size.

Addyi or Addy-uh-uh?

Earlier this month the FDA approved the drug, Addyi (Filbanserin) making it the first ever prescription treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women. Studies showed that the (all too cliché) pink pill, manufactured by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, increased sexual desire in 37% of their test subjects. Let’s take a moment to talk a little more in depth about Addyi and hopefully separate some myth from fact.

First of all, Addyi is not female Viagra so STOP CALLING IT THAT. Viagra treats a physical problem in men who can’t get, or keep an erection. Addyi works with chemicals in your brain to treat women with horny deficiency. Just after the earth cooled, scientists discovered that the cure for horny deficiency in men was low testosterone. Perhaps the delay in treating the decreased female libido was due to the centuries of research that scientists put into searching for the G-spot.

“… After spending years toiling away in bed with countless women, Dr. Shlong was left to ponder why the G-spot was more difficult to find than an entire family of Sasquatches wearing matching T-shirts reading Vote For Pedro. However, his persistence never waned. Even on his deathbed and between shallow breaths he was said to have pleaded with his colleagues. “Seriously, guys. I was this close to finding it last time. Just send me one more focus group.”

Now, let’s talk about side effects. Sprout Pharmaceuticals indicate that women who take Addyi can expect nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness. No red flags there. We can only hope that Sprout’s next revolutionary medications will target the side effects of Addyi and also come in a fun color. (Please be periwinkle.)

Don’t be completely discouraged, ladies. Take solace in knowing that about a third of the test subjects studied reported an increase in sexual desire. That’s great news! Sure they were too nauseated and tired to act on said desire, but you know what they say- it’s the thought that counts thirty-seven percent of the time.

Lastly, the cause of your decrease in libido is worth looking into. We aren’t talking about a miracle drug here, but rather a prescription that was approved by the same governing agency that brought you Fen-Phen. Popping those pink pills until the cows come home is not going reignite the fire you once felt for your baby daddy when he had more hair on his head than he did growing out of his ears and on his back. To date, there isn’t a pill that can fix ugly. Until then, we will continue to rely on alcohol and plastic surgeons just like God intended.

Middle-Aged Affirmations

Self-esteem is important at any age. Everyone knows that, but did you know that a leading indicator in a person’s self-esteem is how many times per week they practice doing affirmations? It’s true. In fact, some argue that Middle-Aged Affirmations are more important than ever because they play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of entire families. In a recent scientific study, researchers were able to find a direct correlation between the number of children who point out their Mother’s varicose veins at the YMCA and the number of children who are left in hot cars while the same Mother goes into a liquor store a short time later.

So please, remember to do your Middle-Aged Affirmations because it’s good for the whole family, but take it from me and lock your bedroom door before you get started.

Take care!

Middle Aged Affirmations

Luke-isms: A Lesson On Equality

Lukeisms Equality

Me: “Hey Lucas, see that big mansion right there? Two men live there and they’re married. Cool, huh?”

Lucas: “Do YOU mean to tell ME that they drive THAT brown car?!”

Me: “Umm. I guess so.”

Lucas: “Why in the world would someone buy a BROWN car?! That doesn’t make sense! If I was married to that mansion I would drive a green car and it would be AWESOME. Maybe their parents just gave them that car because they weren’t using it.”

Me: “Okey dokey.”

Lucas: “Hey Mom, did YOU know that at two fifty-eight on June second and 1965 they invented shoes?”

Me: “I did NOT know that.”

Lucas: “Yep. I learned it off the internet. Before then everybody just walked around in their socks. There’s a lot to learn on the internet. You should try it sometime.”

Operation Oil Change

Today’s mission was to get an oil change. Brantley (current husband) usually does it himself, but over the last few days he noticed my car was leaking oil. Instead of investigating the leak himself he told me to take it somewhere and have the oil changed.

I pulled into the Valvoline express and went through the vaguely familiar process of Back up. No. Pull forward, again. Stop. Cut your wheels slightly to the right. Too far! Reverse. Ok, stop. I said stop!

An employee named Michael approaches my car and the following ensued.

“Pop your hood, please.”

“I did. It’s popped.”

“No, Ma’am. It isn’t. There should be a lever below the steering column somewhere.”

“Yes, I’m familiar with levers. In fact, if you’ll lift up on the hood a bit you’ll find that there’s one under there. It can be hard to find, but sometimes you gotta just give it hell and…”

“Yes Ma’am, I too am familiar with levers, but I believe you popped your trunk by mistake because it’s now open.”

“Oh! So it is. Alright. Give me one second. Aaand got it.”

“That was your fuel door.”

“You know what?” I grab the handle and open the door. “Let me just get out and find it. It’s so dark in here.”

Michael, grabs my door keeping me from opening it. “Ma’am, for your safety we ask that you stay in your vehicle.”

“Ohhhhhh-kay. I’m guessing you’re not going to be putting fuel in my car today, are you?”

“No, Ma’am.”

“Then would you mind closing my fuel door AND THE TRUNK while you’re back there since I can’t get out of my car and do it myself.”

“Sure. First, let me just reach in your window here and…”

Of course, he immediately finds the appropriate lever and the air traffic controller who waved me in earlier gets to work under the hood. I hand Michael a coupon that I brought with me, but he proceeds to tell me that the coupon doesn’t apply to cars requiring full synthetic oil. Clearly, at this point he thinks he has the upper hand until I respond with, “I don’t care. I prefer full synthetic. None of that organic crap for my car. No thank you.”

The air traffic controller woman begins barking a series of commands for me to perform as little beads of sweat start to form on my upper lip.

Step on the brakes. Flash your headlights. Put your right hip in. Put your right hip out. Turn on your left blinker.

At this point, Michael who was making his way back to my window shields his face as he is sprayed with windshield washer fluid. I own up to it.

“My bad. That was my fault. I was looking for my blinker. Do me a favor and please tell that woman that my blinkers are fine and that she can stop.”

He is happy to oblige my request. Then he says, “It looks like your car has been leaking oil because whoever changed it last put this in upside down.” He shows me something round and demonstrates the act of turning it upside down in the proper fashion.

I immediately burst into laughter. “That’s so great. My husband did that. What’s that contraption called so I can make fun of him? I have to write it down. O-ring, you say? Got it. He’s so sweet and stupid.”

Operation Oil Change




It’s April 17th which can only mean one thing- Haiku Day!!

Throw some wasabi into the air and celebrate with me. You won’t regret it at all.

Now, it’s time to get your culture on, fools!

Haiku Day

The Hell Is Wrong With You, Electric Company?

Electric Company

Maybe it’s the awesome weather we’re having. Maybe it’s the eleventy-millionth day of school being closed due to snow. Maybe it’s because I have a fever- the kind you can measure with an actual thermometer AND the Here’s Johnny! Jack Nicholson kind. Or maybe, just maybe it’s because I’m chemically unstable. Whatever the reason, I am taking off my gloves and I’m dropping the heavy hammer of  “What the hell is wrong with you?”

As some sort of reward for bull-shittery my son came home from kindergarten yesterday with a baby tree courtesy of the MIddle Tennessee Electric Company. Strong work, electric company! Not only did you send home a tree for me to plant amidst the ice and snow-pocalypse, but you sent home the very thing that you lay slaughter to every year!!! What a concept!

We all know that once this tree gets as tall as I am that you will swoop in with your hard hats and chain saws to butcher its limbs off. Hey, I know!. Why don’t you just have my kid name a goldfish, then make us all stand in the bathroom as you flush Nemo down the fucking commode!!

Do any of your department heads talk to each other? Because I really feel like this was the product of some idiot savant in the PR department who didn’t bother to run the idea by anyone else, much less focus group it. I’d love to talk more about this matter, but you see I have a tree to kill, dreams to shatter, and time’s a waisting. Thanks again, butt holes.


Stable Mom- 35

Forgive and Forget with Brian Williams

Brian Williams

All aboard the I Hate Brian Williams Express to Judgement Village, population: shut your damn mouths.

That’s right. I said it.

Remember the saying “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” Well, keep that in mind before you go picking apart every word Brian Williams has reported since the beginning of time, as well as his citizenship. Damn birthers. We ALL live in glass houses. Brian Williams is just the most recent celebrity to have his reduced to rubble. Do you know what it’s like to walk on broken glass? I don’t either, but I have been camping before and I can tell you that it was terrible. Absolutely terrible. The pain he is experiencing right now is unimaginable, unless you have a REALLY creative imagination like Brian Williams.

Journalism is a thankless job in a cut-throat industry with an audience that takes no prisoners. Trust me when I say that no one was there to wipe my brow and hand me a cookie when in November 2014 I singlehandedly blew apart the hiking industry for being the giant scam that it is. Do you think those graphics created themselves? Hell no they didn’t! I spent two hours photoshopping high heels on monkeys, dammit. That was admirable as hell, but I digress.

Did Brian Williams lie to the American people? Not really. He just sprinkled a little sugar on top of his story the same way his Mama used to on his cornflakes.

Instead of shaming Brian Williams for his faults perhaps we should show some concern for his memory loss. I personally experienced a bout of memory loss after a 2012 crafting incident involving a few cans of spray paint and some crazy glue. Sure, I looked fine on the outside- in fact I looked great, but I couldn’t remember my kid’s name for days. Has anyone stopped to think that his memory problems just might be due to head trauma he received in 2003 when the Chinook helicopter he was riding in… Oh, I see what you’re saying.

Well, damn.

Five Things I Hate Hearing

Five Things I Hate Hearing

There are a considerable number of phrases that cause me to cringe a little, but some are worse than others. Here are the top five things I hate hearing.

  1. When the word “seen” is spoken without being preceded by “have.” (e.g. I know she done killt that rooster because I seen it with my good eye.)
  2. “It’s a God thing.” This particular phrase is used to describe anything good that has happened to any person at any time. I find it most reprehensible when said with a southern drawl. (e.g. After not holding nothing down for a week, Sissy drank a whole Mountain Dew. It’s a God thang.)
  3. “Can you do me a favor?” I probably can and I probably won’t. That’s what you get for using a poor, vague proposition.
  4. “Now, that’s where you’re wrong.” FALSE. I’ve been wrong for years. If you’re just now noticing, then that’s your bad. And just in case you’re wondering, nope- I still don’t care.
  5. Unsolicited parenting advice. This is particularly hard to swallow when spoken from the mouth of stranger, or anyone without kids of their own. (e.g. It’s been forty years since mine were that age, but I spend a lot of time volunteering in children’s church and I tell you. You’re going about it all wrong.)

It’s pretty apparent that the older I get, the less I’m able to tolerate. However, I’m not the only one experiencing intolerance with aging. So spill it. I want to hear what grinds your gears? What phrases, cliches, or otherwise annoying activities make you cringe? There are no wrong answers. Go!