Shower head

Three Breaths And A Shower

I was well into my 20’s before I heard about this mind boggling practice called shaving your legs in the shower. According to other grown ups I met, it was common and acceptable for women to spend 20-30 minutes in the shower doing everything from sobbing over your lost dreams to using shampoo vigorously on your genitals. This was a fucking epiphany for a human who grew up with a father in the military…a man who could literally shit, shower, and shave before most people could even brush their teeth.

My dad timed our showers. And we didn’t earn the privilege of showering until we were nearly elderly. While my friends were taking vigorous showers, I was bathing with my siblings and having my mother help wash my hair…so my first shower was probably at age 12. Or 18. There were also direct orders on showering procedure.

Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of living with someone timing your showers.

Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of living with someone timing your showers.

“Before you even turn on that water, you better have a handful of shampoo ready. You start soaping up as soon as the water turns on, rinse off, and shut off the damn water.”

We rationed a few things (all the things) at our home including phone time, TV time, Nintendo time, the time it took you to “close the god damn door”, and showers. Long showers were a waste of water and there were four other people who needed to shower so we were not allowed to be selfish assholes who took 10-minute showers. Showers were 2-4 minutes and when you pushed the limit, the door pounding began. And believe me…you didn’t want the door pounding, because after the door pounding came the questions. (Also known as shower shaming.)

“Do you think we have an unlimited supply of hot water?”

“Is it that hard to get in and out of a god damn shower?”

And on and on.

My dad explaining how to take a 45 second shower. #notimpossible

My dad explaining how to take a 45 second shower. #notimpossible

These days I pay for my own hot water and currently IT IS hard for me to get in and out of a god damn shower, so I do anything and everything I can fucking think to do while I’m in the shower. Obviously I shave and wash my lady parts (not too vigorously), but I’ve taken it up a notch over the last 12 months. (Cause 2016, you a hateful bitch.) I like to brush my teeth in the shower now. It’s become so common that I keep a toothbrush on the shower caddy next to my Bath & Bodyworks smell gel. I also frequently pee in the shower…I will purposely hold in my pee until the shower is hot enough just so I can urinate in the drain. It’s the little things, donkey cheeks.

This was also the first year that I became aware of shower beers. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS MINI VACATION IN YOUR OWN HOME???? It’s an ice cold beer drank in a hot shower and yes…I have felt guilty. Not about the beer, but about the time it takes to consume said beer while also shaving my pits and letting that dandruff shampoo soak in before I rinse. My dad would never approve of this scathing misuse of the shower. But fuck it, this has been my year of showers.

Please send me a case of this beer. The name and design warm my blackened, nearly dead heart.

Please send me a case of this beer. The name and design warm my blackened, nearly dead heart.

It’s been a three breaths, one beer, sobbing in the shower kind of year. And I’m grateful there is no one banging on the door and asking me if I’m planning to use all the hot water. Because right now…yes I am. There is a giant metal water heater in my basement that magically (I know it’s not magic) makes more hot water so those guilt trips are currently lost on me. My shower is the only time during the day where I don’t answer to anyone. I don’t have to drive anyone to therapy. I don’t have to talk to teachers about behavior. I don’t have to fold laundry or contemplate my place in the universe. I just stand under the scorching hot water while I burn my skin off, lean my crossed arms against the tile, and take three deep breaths. And drink a semi warm beer that I forgot was sitting in corner of the shower and is now covered in pubes.

My goal next year is to take a 90-minute shower while learning to cross stitch. Fingers crossed. It’s all about the goals, am I right?

 

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Picture This….Or Don’t

In all likelihood you have a storage bin full of adorable school pictures and family snapshots that are taking up precious space in your basement wedged next to one of those As Seen on TV ab cruncher contraptions that you used once but are pretty sure you will use again when you have an overwhelming desire to look like you are straining to poop on your living room carpet. That bin of snapshots is priceless. Especially when your kids surpass cute smiles and pigtails and enter the danger zone of permanent scowls and teenage rage. We have officially arrived at this sacred photo space in our children’s lives and it has become a full time job to get one god damn photo I can send to grandma without having to explain the expression on each of my sweet children’s faces. I won’t be sending anyone school photos this year due to extenuating circumstances (we forgot it was picture day) and Sharpie markers (which were used to create a “artistic” look). You are welcome.

 Harry Potter or satanic cult leader? It's hard to decide which is my personal favorite.

Harry Potter or satanic cult leader? It’s hard to decide which is my personal favorite.

Every fall we attempt family photos. This tradition stems from my unending need to portray myself as a human mother who is very organized, keeps her children frequently bathed, and cares about the state of their clothing. I’m not that person. My son showers once a week and I’m willing to wager good money on the fact that he doesn’t use soap. My kids generally leave the house in whatever happens to be clean or clean-ish. Ripped jeans, tshirts that have been attacked by scissors, and mismatched socks because WHO HAS TIME FOR SOCK MATCHING? THAT ISN’T A THING. We never, ever look like our family photos in real life. But every year I mail out umpteen numbers of Christmas cards with an adorable photo on the front in order to confuse and astound the people who know us. For those who don’t, now you know. Those photos take around 6,000 hours to perfect so I hope you appreciate the time I take to make us look like people we aren’t.

So, I set the date for our photo session this year and then it was time to figure out the clothing situation. Since we have a teenager who refuses to wear anything that could be deemed “adorable” or “sweet” I decide to let her lead the way in clothing choices. And by clothing choices, I mean allowing her to pick a color we can all assimilate to, not an entire outfit. Mostly because the rest of us aren’t really interested in wearing a Panic At The Disco band tshirt, black jeans from Hot Topic, and 14 layered jackets. She shocked no one by picking black.

“Maybe this won’t be as painful as I had planned. We can all find attractive black clothing for one picture.” I thought.

Then Miss 14 asked if she had to smile for the pictures and how long it would take and would it be hot outside and would other people see the pictures and maybe she would wear maroon jeans or a green jacket….and then my head exploded and we had family pictures taken where I was headless because…teenage life.

"Just pose naturally on this log." #nailedit

“Just pose naturally on this log.”
#nailedit

The day of the family picture arrives and I forbid anyone from eating or drinking for four hours (DON’T TELL ME YOU DON’T ACT THIS CRAZY). The last thing I need is have Mr. 10 show up on our Christmas cards with a GoGurt squirt on the front of shirt and then have people thinking we wear our picture day clothes to eat in like some kind of barbarians. So we are all starving and driving to the middle of nowhere because the middle of nowhere is where you get really great family pictures that make it look like you live on a farm next to a dilapidated hay barn but you wear city clothes there because you aren’t really a farmer, you are just pretending to be one for your family photos and you all sit on a hay bail which makes sense because PERFECT FAMILY PHOTOS, PEOPLE.

When you live vicariously through farm living but only for photos because...too much work.

When you live vicariously through farm living but only for photos because…too much work.

I make the mistake of wearing a new tank top that I bought specifically for this occasion because the summer has been super kind to my midsection and everything in my closet made me look like we would be blessed with another addition to our family in 4 months which could be a really confusing look on Christmas cards.

“I didn’t know Mandy was expecting.”

“She just likes burritos and porch sitting.”

Sadly the new shirt wasn’t working as well as I had hoped so I’m tugging and stuffing the softest parts of my body as we get our photos done and once they are printed and posted on the wall, I notice that I have lopsided boobs in most pictures so hooray for trying hard to not look like a wretch.

In addition to my breast situation, there was hay everywhere so Mr. 10’s eyes began watering and he spent most of the photo session looking as if he had poured Tabasco in his eye sockets. The sun was stationed perfectly to make Miss 14 think she was having heat stroke which she may have been considering she wore all black and two winter jackets in 80 degree weather. The hubs was overly concerned about which side of his face photographed better and exactly how slimming his black shirt really was. I’m tucking my boobs and looking around at this group of hooligans I call family and thinking “We are not fooling anyone with these Christmas card photos.”

The only thing Miss 14 had to say about the end result of all my tireless work to get fall family photos was “I look squishy.” Mr 10 was just as impressed “I like all of the pictures except the ones with that kid in them.” As he points to himself in every photo. Bless these years of family photos. When you get your Christmas card this year just know…we are a shit show in real life, we don’t live on a farm, and my boobs aren’t really lopsided. Yet.

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I’m Not The Hostess With The Mostest

When visiting my aunt at her gorgeous home in Washington State (think the cover of Better Homes and Gardens) there is something that is very evident from the moment you pull into her driveway and see her waving at you from her perfectly decorated front porch…she is a hostess. Your bags will be happily brought in, your bed perfectly made, and before you are finished hugging her, she has a cocktail in your hand and is making sure that the dinner she planned will be to your liking. She just whipped up some ribs, 45 sides, and has her best china and linen napkins filling the dining room table. That’ll do, I suppose. The woman is a hostess. The kind of person you feel grateful to know year round, but especially during a long ass road trip. I’m just an asshole with a house and a blow up mattress covered in cat hair, but feel free to come stay anytime.

What my aunts house looks like. Mine, too. Minus the nice landscaping, clean windows and mowed lawn.

What my aunts house looks like. Mine, too. Minus the nice landscaping, clean windows and mowed lawn.

I missed that genetic coding. My younger sister is the one in our family who knows how to treat a guest and I let her treat me like a fucking queen, even if I just stop by her house to drop something off. Yes, I need a fresh towel. Yes, I need a fresh drink. Yes, you can carry me from one room to the other. When people come visit me there is a 99% chance I will be wearing pajamas and a 100% chance that I won’t make you a drink. I’ll happily show you my liquor cabinet and point out the lovely lake view from our deck, but then you are on your own. Because I’ll be resuming whatever I was doing before you drove 6,000 miles just to visit me. Most likely I was sitting on my deck drinking, so I guess that’s what we are all doing now. I’ll then point you in the vicinity of some possibly clean cups and a sink full of dirty dishes. If you came here to be pampered and entertained, you should probably keep your suitcases in the car and get yourself a room at The Best Western down the road. I hear they have snacks on every floor and an ice machine with that soft ice that I would kick a baby for.

I’m also not going to make coffee that is preferable to your palette because I do that for a job and I’m not at work and fuck that noisy noise. My aunt is such a stellar hostess/superhuman that she wakes up at 3 AM to make two different strengths of coffee. By the time we drag our lazy asses out of bed, she has already watered her immaculate gardens, done dishes, made coffee, ran a marathon, started a charity, and whipped up some homemade waffles with all the fixins. Stay at my house and you can bet your sweet ass that I won’t be out of bed until 9 AM, the coffee will be as thick as motor oil, and I will give you directions to a local greasy spoon where they will make you some waffles and will probably also give you diarrhea. If you aren’t a fan of my coffee, there is a truck stop 15 minutes up the road serving heated urine and powdered milk. Feel free to check them out.

Welcome to my home!!! No...I'm not getting off the couch.

Welcome to my home!!! No…I’m not getting off the couch.

I’m also confused about clean guest towels. I don’t even have the opportunity to use a clean towel at my house (even though I’m the one who washes 5,698 of them every week), so the idea that I would have a stack of fluffy white towels with your name embroidered on them is somewhat laughable. Although, when I stay at someone else’s home and they offer sweet smelling linens for my own person use, I’m like crack head who just discovered a free bag of black tar heroin stashed in a cabinet. I will use the shit out of those towels and then I’ll probably pack them in my suitcase. On accident. Also, if you are in need of a washcloth during your stay here at Casa Del Fuck That, please feel free to do what the rest of human kind does and use soap and water. Matching washcloths? You must think we are rich. Or care about clean ears.

This is a picture of noppity nope.

This is a picture of noppity nope.

My hostessing will never live up to your expectations because I don’t really understand how to be grown up and I’m not running a bed and breakfast up in this bitch. I’m just over here trying to take care of two hooligans, one shedding cat, and a dog who likes to leave Tootsie Roll turds under the pool table. Which you will probably step on when you are forced to bring in your own luggage. I’ll be the one pointing out the lovely lake view while I sip on my cocktail and order a few pizzas online. Keep your expectations low…like Motel 6 low. Okay…lower than that.