Me Days: Mani/Pedi Edition

Last Friday was my birthday. It was pretty low-key (read: boring), as birthdays usually are after you have kids. So yesterday I decided to go a little splurge-crazy and have a “me” day. I treated myself to a morning mani/pedi topped off with a quick afternoon shopping spree.  I realize this indulgence comes on the heels of my detailing how much it sucks always putting my kids first and basically never doing a damn thing for myself.  But I think that post really just made me see how badly I needed some TLC.  Plus, I haven’t had my nails done in a YEAR, and my cuticles weren’t gonna cut themselves.

Since I’m always looking for relatable shit to share with you all (and a trip to the nail salon kinda screams blog material) won’t you please join me on my little nail adventure?  I would take you shopping with me as well, but that part went south when I made the very bad decision to try on a bikini. I’ll save that story for another day.

So I arrive at the salon and pick a nail polish color first. I hate it already and it’s not even on my nails yet. Whatever.

I sit down and immediately wonder if the lady doing my nails is talking about me.  Why is she laughing like that with the girl next to her?  Are they laughing at my horrible cuticles? My clothes? Hair? What are they saying?? I feel like I’m trapped inside an episode of Seinfeld.

seinfeld

I wonder if anyone can tell that I haven’t shaved my legs today? Or yesterday. Or yet this week.

The pedicurist grazes the bottom of my foot and I giggle like a three-year-old. Why am I the only idiot in here who does that? I thought being ticklish on your foot was normal. Are these other women made of stone?

A cell phone rings in my ear. Loud gabbing ensues. It continues for an unpleasing length of time. I resist the urge to rip  the phone from this girl’s freshly polished hand and chuck it right into her dirty foot water.

I notice that something reeks.  No, not the familiarly toxic chemical nail parlor scent (I call it “eu de acrylic”). It’s like….a funeral home or something. Ohh, I see where it’s coming from. Betty White, 12:00. Why do old women insist upon dowsing themselves in nasty perfume that smells like dead roses? Seriously, lady, tone it down. I can smell you from like five chairs away. I bet the girl doing her feet is contemplating a career change right now.

Foot rubs from strangers are creepy. Just saying.

A girl wheels a baby stroller in.  Guess what? The baby is crying! Yay! Thanks for bringing a whiny, screaming infant in here.  I wasn’t looking to GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THAT or anything. Um, newsflash, mama. No one expects a brand new mom to have a fresh set of tips. Either get a babysitter or give up on the dream.

I’m disturbed by a sign on the wall that reads: “Is permanent makeup for you?” The answer is NO. The answer should ALWAYS be no. They need to take that sign down immediately. Eyebrow tattoos should be fucking illegal.

What was I thinking with this color?  I wonder if it’s too late to change it. That’s the last time I pick a color based on the shade of wine I plan to guzzle when I get home.

Okay, I’ve been here for like an hour and I’m over this now. My nails are dry enough, I think. Maybe. I dunno. But if I sit in front of these greasy, germ-spewing hand dryers any longer, I’m definitely going to catch some potentially fatal, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection . Or worse, someone may try to strike up a conversation with me.

I’m leaving. I’ll be careful this time. Like, extra, super careful. Now where the heck are my car keys (fumbles around in purse)…. Wow, that might be a record. Three nails ruined before even making it to the car.

Oh well, who cares if I messed up a few nails? I’m not a hand model. They still look a hell of a lot better than they did yesterday. Yay for pretty nails!

Putting My Kids First: A Nasty Habit

Do you have a nasty habit of putting your kids first?

Well of course you do.  You’re a parent. It’s part of the job. It’s unavoidable (kind of like Frozen, which I’ve chosen to weave into today’s blog after my daughter watched it on repeat all morning).

If you didn’t bother to put your kids first, I would think you were a total jerk.  And I’d be right.

Because once you have children, you can no longer claim your life as your own.  Your children are now your number one priority, and everything you used to do for yourself gets pushed all the way to the back of your to-do list.

There are times when you have to try to put yourself first, usually only when your own sanity is at stake, but realistically the kids come first and they always will.  It takes some getting used to at first, but after a while you realize that what you want just doesn’t matter anymore.  Because all you really want is to make your children happy.  Sacrifices are made, and all of that “me, me, me” crap becomes a thing of the past.  It’s all just another part of raising children.

olaf-frozen-quotes

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still kinda suck.

So here’s how I know I’ve got that pesky “putting the kids first” bug:

  1. My wardrobe sucks, but theirs sure as hell doesn’t.  Winter, spring, summer, fall– these kids need new stuff every time the temperature jumps a degree or two.  New sneakers, coats, dresses, tee-shirts, the works.  Brand new everything, practically all year round.  But my summer wardrobe shopping? Basically consists of a grabbing a few tank tops off a “3 for $10” table at Old Navy and calling it a day.  I’m actually still wearing the same pair of banged-up old sneakers I wore when I was pregnant with my first child SIX years ago.  I guess my style sense flew right out the window with my common sense the day I whispered the words “it’s okay, I’m on the pill”.
  2. I haven’t been to the hair salon in over a year. Who has time for that? Have you ever heard of the “hombre” hairstyle?  The one where half of your hair is one color and the other half is a different color altogether?  Well, that’s the only stylish thing I’ve got going on in my life, and it was a total accident.  Apparently, going a full year without redoing your color or highlights is “trendy” these days.  I never thought that cosmetic negligence would actually someday become fashionable, but this is awesome. I don’t know who this hombre is, but let me tell you, he is mi mejor amigo.
  3. When I receive Visa gift cards for birthdays, Christmas, Mothers Day, etc., I usually use them on diapers, kids’ clothes, groceries, or gifts for someone else.  I like when I get one with special instructions, like “this is for a manicure and pedicure”.  Because then I slap a nice coat of polish above my overgrown cuticles before I head over to Pathmark to cash in on my “gift”. I do like to pamper myself.
  4. Date night is dead.  It’s gone from fun, romantic dinners at swanky restaurants to basically anytime my kids fall asleep before 8p.m. on a night when there is a good show on and a bottle of wine lying around.
  5. I know every word to every song on the entire Frozen soundtrack, but the only way I can identify a new singer on the radio is if they’ve ever starred in their own Nickelodeon show.  That’s actually okay though.  Reindeers are better than people, just like the music of my youth is better than today’s shitty pop music. (Off topic side note: reindeers really ARE better than people.)
  6. My lunch consists solely of sandwich crusts, spare chicken nuggets, and leftover mac and cheese. I sometimes look at healthy food and feel a twinge of nostalgia, remembering the pre-baby days, when I used to have those fancy salads for lunch because I was watching my girlish figure. You know, the ones with the cool, retro ingredients like arugula, dried cranberries, maybe some hearts of palm.  And I remember when I couldn’t bear the thought of wasting calories on fast food because I just spent an hour on the treadmill and didn’t want it to go to waste.  Gosh, I can’t believe I owned a treadmill. And I even USED it! Sigh. The memories.
  7. Vacation options have gone from anyplace with white, sandy beaches and exciting nightlife to anywhere that grown men and women dress up like giant cartoon characters and then make you wait in line to charge you twenty bucks for a picture.
  8. Book choices are not quite the same, either.  I used to read like a maniac, plowing through the year’s bestsellers faster than Amazon could deliver them to my door (back in the prehistoric, pre-Kindle era).  Now the only books I have time to read cover important issues like overeating caterpillars, misbehaving dinosaurs, and home-destroying, hat-wearing felines.
  9. Sometimes, in the winter, I DON’T wanna build a snowman.  But I do it anyway. Because I’m not shitty like Elsa.

I know I do a lot of complaining about raising kids.  It’s just really, really hard so I can’t help it. Plus I’m kind of a chronic complainer so it goes along with the territory.  But just to be clear: I love my kids more than life itself.   And I’m sure those of you with this nasty habit of putting your kids first feel exactly the same way about your own little ones.

olaf 2

Screw You, Summer

It’s summer. Oh, yay.

I’m less than thrilled about it.

Oh summertime, why must you complicate my life year after sweaty year?

Why must you constantly resurface after springtime’s sad end, bringing with you unbearably humid days, itchy mosquito bites, bored children, disappointing bikini bodies, sunburn, and debt-inducing electric bills?

And this year, as if there aren’t already enough reasons for me to loathe the summer, apparently now great white sharks have begun infesting the waters surrounding the New York/New Jersey coast line.

GREAT.WHITE. SHARKS.

shark

Fuck. No.

At least in summers past you only ran the risk of maybe losing a toe or two to some kind of flesh-eating bacteria found in those disgustingly polluted waters. But sharks won’t be looking to merely nibble on your toe a little. Those motherfuckers will take off your entire leg and probably a nice chunk of torso to go along with it.

But I digress. My point is this: I am clearly not a summer person. It’s hot, it’s sticky, it’s overrated, and it’s way, way, WAY too long.  And right now, it’s only the beginning.

After this last brutal winter, I saw a meme floating around the internet that said “the first person to complain about the heat in the summer is getting smacked.” Well, get your sweaty palms ready for my face.  If I deserve a smack for saying I’ll take two feet of snow over heatstroke any day, then so be it.

I didn’t hate the summer quite so much when I was a little younger, back when summertime meant fun outdoor happy hours and long, relaxing days on the beach with friends.  Of course, summer was fun then.

But then I found myself nine months pregnant one sweltering Fourth of July, just five miserable days away from my due date, swollen kankles like something out of a Shrek movie, at least fifty pounds heavier than than I had been the summer before, feeling like a hippopotamus trekking through the Mojave in search of a baby elephant to swallow (yes, I’m aware that elephants don’t live in the desert, but work with me here), and I thought, I am done with you, summer. This is just a little too much for me.

You know what I find hilarious?  When people talk about “the lazy days of summer”.  LAZY? I wish I had the time for laziness in the summer!  I wish I could be a daiquiri-holding, sun-bathing, pool-dipping summertime lazyass for even ONE DAY during the summer. Just one!

Instead I find myself wasting away hours of my life in boiling hot amusement park lines for two-minute rides and shelling out a half month’s paycheck for some shitty lemonade or a crappy stuffed animal that will get thrown in the toy bin ten seconds after we get home.  Or I find myself at the beach, hunting my kids down to reapply their sunblock and keep them out of the shark-infested water every fifteen minutes. Or if I’m really lucky, I get to go to my favorite place on earth: the park.

It seems like you always have to be DOING something with the kids in the summer. If you’re not busy with vacations, day trips, parks, barbecues, block parties, pools, carnivals, the beach, etc., then you’re epically failing as a parent and maybe even a human being.

And why wouldn’t you be doing any of that? It all sounds like a blast on the surface—at least to those of you without young children. But those of us with young kids aren’t fooled by the seemingly “fun” activites that summer brings. To anyone constantly dragging their kids through hot crowds, who find themselves in a permanent state of terror at the thought of their little one falling into a pool without a pair of swimmies on, these summer days are nothing short of exhausting.

While some days really do end up being fun — and those are the times that keep you planning one insane outing after another – some days just leave you dreaming of the first day of school.

Which is, like, really, REALLY far away.

Misery loves company, folks. Please tell me I’m not the only one counting the minutes until Labor Day?