The Audacity Of Hope

Sunday is allowance day at our house. Every week, we sit down for dinner and half-way through the kids 'gently remind' us that they haven't received their allowance yet by saying, "Hey, you owe us $5." They do this because they realize that we're A) old B) not elephants and C) off our fish oil supplements, and therefore have the memory of your common household door-stop.

Luckily for us, our eyeglass prescriptions are up-to-date, so we can see the mountains of boxers and socks piled up on the couch, the pencil shavings cleverly swept behind the trash can and the obscure hieroglyphics adorning the walls. And we giggle at our silly children and tell them to eat more broccoli.

It used to be that they were paid by the chore. If I've learned anything about men all these years, it's that the way to their heart is through their wallets. You want a man to do something? Pay him. Payment, of course, negotiable by age and relationship to you. My boys never wanted to be "good helpers to their momma!" like my daughter does...they wanted Pokemon cards. Lots and lots of Pokemon cards.

We had a massive dry erase board hung in their room with a column down the left of all the chores we'd like them to do, and a row across the top with the days of the week. It went a little something like this:

People, I write. I never said I could draw.

It taught them word recognition and addition and a little self-reliance. They filled out the chart all by themselves; I simply shelled out shiny quarters and head pats at week's end.

But now that they're older, they're not contracted laborers anymore...they are salaried employees. I'm not trying to get them in the habit of doing chores by bribing them anymore, I'm trying to instill the concept of a work. And if you don't do your job, all of it, bitch don't get paid, yo. So the days of "X chore=X dollar" are over, and the days of "You have five days to complete these four tasks" are upon us. They don't do all four? They don't get their allowance. Period. I suck.

But Captain Selective and his first mate, Memory, choose to forget this every week and instead take out the trash on Saturday night and then wait with hopeful hearts and outstretched hands for magical golden coins to fall from the sky. I keep trying to tell them that magical coins only fall from the sky when strangers wearing bedazzaled tights break into their rooms at night and steal their teeth, but for some reason, that just gives them nightmares. However, months weeks of no allowance are taking their toll, and my kids are starting to fight back. They are hoping against hope. They are getting cocky.

I found my oldest son's locker dry erase board hanging on the fridge, offered without comment, on Monday morning after he went off to school.

"Allowence: Put under magnet. I'll get it later."

Maybe the boy can't spell for shit, but he's got 'strong-armed negotiation of the terms of his own existence' down to a silent, arrogant artform.

Frugal Is The New Burnt Sienna

I am a hair enthusiast. A product junkie. A snob, really. I almost never have tampons; I always have Silk Infusion. I haven't bought eggs in three months, but the last haircut I got cost me a dollar amount that included the numbers one, two and three, with no decimals in-between, and I'll let you guess as to the order those numbers sat in on the receipt I swallowed to hide the evidence.

Not even I give a good enough blow job to get away with that nonsense.

But that's what my hair costs to do, and by do I mean cut, color, highlight, lowlight, product up and style. All to cover some gray hair that four years ago I couldn't wait for. Kids, man, they don't know shit. I never used to pay anything close to that for my hair-do, or more honestly, lack-of-do. Washing it and sleeping on it was my Super Secret Style Technique. My product came in the form of elastic bands wrapped around my wrists. I cut it when it touched the next patch of hair on my body. I was unfettered by the confines of a society's rules for grooming and appearance.

I was Robert Plant.

And then I met a girl who did hair, seriously, for reals, and she showed me a world I didn't know existed. She also used my head as her model hair, so I never had to pay for it, which was awesome. And just like any good dealer of dealerable goods, once I was strung-out hooked she took away the freebies. She got the job she'd needed the model head for and I was left alone, cast aside, with a craving for Wella the likes of which I've only ever known before with a human being writhing under my skin who wanted hot dogs and peanut butter. ALL of the hot dogs and peanut butter.

And in about 2 months, I was Robert Plant again.

Over the years since then, I've amassed an impressive collection of hair styling pastes, salves, infusions and goops. I've learned how to pin curl, to swide-sweep bang, crimp, soft roll, straighten, wave, up-do, down-do...point is, I can do my hair. I just can't bring myself to drop the amount of money they'd like me to on it and since I've been shown the light and now fully appreciate the wonders of the Salon Proper, I only get it done two or three times a years.

And for the other 10 months of the year, I am, you guessed it, Robert Plant.

I'm usually pretty patient in-between haircuts. It's like the choice between the 7-11 coffee or the Starbucks, the husband or a vibrator...I'll wait for the real thing, thank you very much. I've got nothing but time, and no one actually ever sees me anyway except my neighbors who are used to the trainwreck by now, and my husband who actually hasn't been able to look me in the eye since the first little fingers clawed their way out of my vagina some 11 years ago. There's no reason to succumb to the Great Clips haircut when I know the Aveda one is coming. Sometime before I have to buy a new calendar. Maybe.

I totally gave in and got the Great Clips haircut today. I couldn't help it, really. I mean, I made it through BlogHer without so much as a trim, I went on my first business trip looking like an old mop, I've got two trips in the next two weeks coming up and I just didn't want to look like Robert Plant anymore, dammit. So I marched into the Great Clips where I take my kids and I told the girl who looks exactly like my kids godfather's sister to do something, anything, just make it look nice, okay?

She did. Plus.

The highlights are so everything matches my nose hair
Shut up. I haven't done it yet.

I am so fucking in love with this haircut, I can't even tell you. The longest layer used to be the shortest layer. She took more than 3 inches off the bottom and more than half the bulk out, and I still have a really kick ass head of hair. And it's actually kind of curly now, because she didn't just tell me to flat iron the curls my daughter gave me as a "Thanks for the great digs these past 9 months" present, oh no....she cut my hair to SUIT THEM.

And then she gave me a coupon for $10 any Old Navy Purchase for my kids, for back to school. The grand sum totally of this haircut? Contained the numbers one and six. Go ahead, guess which order. And as long as I can learn to love the gray, because hell, at least the carpet would match the curtains again, I can reasonably hope to get a cut every 6 weeks or so and not pay as much as I did for my last cut for, oh, a year and a half or so.

And I won't have to swallow a receipt, or anything else for that matter.

In The Velvet Darkness

I'm posting this from an iPhone.

Thank you all for pointing that app out to The Donor and me; he added it right away and now, 1 3/4 of a sentence in, my thumbs joints won't unlock.

What I've learned: iPhones were designed by rodents in an attempt to rid us of our opposable thumbs and thereby Take Over The World. Don't worry, it's the same thing they do every week.

So, yes, this can bite me and I wouldn't be expecting another post until my piece of shit HP comes home from the shop, if I were you. Remember a year ago when I dropped $80 at the vet on a hamster we'd had for a whole week and you guys were all "you so dumb" and then that hamster died anyway? Yep, pretty sure we're reliving that nightmare, just with wardrobe money, not Starbucks money.

What I've learned: don't buy hamsters for christmas and mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be pc's.

I actually have so much stuff to talk about once I'm functional again that I've forgotten ALL of it. You know when you see the sign at the gas station that says Do Not Pump More After This Thing Shuts Itself Off and you do anyway because what do THEY know and then all the gas you pumped in comes shooting back at you because what THEY knew was how your gas tank is pressurized and you end up dousing you, your car and everyone within a 5 mile radius with gas and when you start your car to leave before THEY yell at you, you blow the whole place up?

What I've learned: That's the blog section of my brain after two weeks with no computer. Do Not Overfill.

That reminds me: what do you call a hooker with a runny nose?

I do remember that I wanted to mention that yes, we have one computer. And it's a laptop. We also don't own our house, drive 12 and 10 year old cars and I have exactly 4 bras. No one will ever blame Economegeddon on me.

(Truth be told, we have three computers. One has been dead for five years and one has been dead for one. At least they're not on cinderblocks on front of it house. YET.)

My whole point was that there's a light over at the Frankenstein place. I should have a computer again by early next week, and then y'all are IN FOR IT. If I can remember anything. Which, probably not.

Orange mocha frappucino, anyone?

Also, full.

Priceless My Ass

  • One hamster: $6.95 on sale for Santa

  • One awesome hamster cage: $39.95

  • One replacement hamster after the first one met with an untimely doom: $12.95

  • One night in Hamster ER to treat hamster shock; cause unknown: $57.75

    He totally cheated death!

  • Saving my son from the agony of two hamster losses in one month: $FIFTY SEVEN MOTHERFUCKING DOLLARS AND SEVENTY FIVE MOTHERFUCKING CENTS.