Bathroom Emergency

baby-boy-sitting-potty-learning-to-pee-65245918I haven’t had a two year old in 16 years, so when I went out on a boat with one, it proved to be quite an adventure.  Julie, my sister in law, was called into babysitting duty when a friend went into labor.

We were having a lovely time cruising around the lake – fishing, sipping our drinks, and noshing on cheese and crackers – when suddenly, the two year old blurted out that she needed to poop.  Lacking any good options, we looked to the shore and saw a family friend’s house.  We saw a young man outside and figured that must be Philip or Michael — let’s dock there.

Julie got off the boat and approached the young man – who was a complete stranger.  She was clutching the anxious two year old’s hand and panicked and blurted out “Can we use your house to poop?”  Poor Andre — a grown man who doesn’t have kids and who had no idea who Julie was – just nodded and showed her the way.

The little girl wanted a shred of privacy so she went into the bathroom alone – leaving Julie standing awkwardly in the hallway with Andre.  The girl said loudly and matter of factly, “Ms. Julie, I can wipe my vagina, but can you wipe my butt?”  Awkward glances and sheepish shrugs were exchanged between Julie and Andre.

Julie quickly made her way back to the boat and proclaimed her humiliation.  We giggled and told her that we appreciated the humor.  We learned two things that day – a new spot to catch bass – and a new place to poop.


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It’s all in the translation…

cucumber-clipart-canstock11804104I got a pedicure today and I had the most delightful thing happen – and it had nothing to do with my feet.  I’ll remember it far after the polish wears off and the calluses return.

As I was browsing through the pedicure options, imagine my surprise/delight when one of the options was “cucumber hell.” What??  This prompted so many questions and even more giggles.  I really didn’t even know what it meant .. peal?  heal?  I told several friends and we decided that cucumbers really shouldn’t be feared.

I’m a avid traveler and I understand the challenges of a language barrier.  I have been the victim of a translation gaffe myself — when we were in Puerto Rico, I thoroughly embarrassed my daughter when I mispronounced the name of a beach — thus calling it “ass beach.”   Yup, she could not have been more proud.

But Spring is here and I can’t think of anything more delightful than going through cucumber hell and then spending a few days on ass beach.  Sign me up.



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Grown Up Girlfriends

girlsweekendAs a grown woman, one of the things that I treasure most in life is the friendship of my girlfriends. I am still close with my childhood girlfriends.  These are the girls who knew me before puberty. They vacationed with my family. They had crushes on my brother. We knew each other before we had ever kissed a boy or had experienced peer pressure.  We had no secrets.

I recently went on a trip with these childhood friends.  Nothing can replace the casual intimacy of 37 years of friendship.  We talk, talk, talk. We talk about our kids, our husbands, our sex lives, our health issues, our disappointments, our hopes. It’s always supportive. It’s often accompanied by alcohol, and it’s always accompanied by laughter. As soon as the trip is over, we can’t believe all the things that we forgot to talk about.

I wish I could spend endless lazy summer days with these ladies, but geography and our grown up lives prevent that.  But the bonds that we share carry through until next year.  We already know our plans …  eat, talk, drink, stay in PJ’s, laugh.  We just need a date.  I’ll be there!

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The Wild Birthday Ride

grand torinoI am all about modern safety features in the car … I always wear my seat belt, I think airbags are a brilliant invention, and I don’t speed excessively … but one of my fondest memories involves none of the above in a moving vehicle.

Twice a year (for my birthday and for my brother’s birthday), my parents would put all the seats down in the back of our Grand Torino station wagon – creating a flat, slippery surface in place of seats. All the birthday kids would pile in the back – an unlimited number because, obviously, there were no seats.

My dad would speed through our narrow, hilly neighborhood streets. He would evoke screams of laughter as he would slam on the breaks or take a turn too quickly. We would literally tumble over each other in the back – bodies flying forward or towards the side of the car. We thought this was hysterical. My mother would put a nervous hand on my dad’s shoulder, but they both knew that this was part of the birthday ritual. We loved it.

We now know more about car safety and this birthday ritual would never happen. When my kids had birthday parties, we had to coordinate car seats, booster seats, enough seats. I have passed down many of my family’s traditions, but (sadly?) the wild birthday ride has been retired!

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The Fun House

school-friends-clip-art-school1When I was a teenager, I never gave my parents much credit.  My house was the fun house – the one where my friends wanted to hang out.   My parents always made sure that the house was stocked with munchies and with soda.  They imposed no curfew.  They let us hang out in the basement and they very rarely came downstairs.  The only rules were that my friends had to enter and to leave through the front door and they had to say hello upon their arrival.

Did my parents know that we would occasionally sneak the beer around back?   Did they care that my friends came over on a regular basis – eating and drinking and staying into the wee hours of the morning?  I doubt it.  But I am now the parent of two teenaged kids and I now know the brilliance of my parents’ plan – they knew who I was with and they knew where I was.

I guess I should give my parents some credit (I was actually paying attention!) … because now my house is stocked with goodies and the door is always open.  Kids spend the night or hang out in my basement until all hours.  Although my kids appreciate the open house, I suppose I will have to wait until they have teens of their own for them to give me credit for my brilliance.

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Auras and Past Lives

blue auraApparently, I have a tall, blue aura. And I was brothers with my friend, Anne, in a past life – in Egypt. Huh?? When I write that down or say it out loud, it sounds nuts.

Anne and I went out to dinner on Friday night. We sat next to an older lady and her husband. I noticed at times that she was looking at me and smiling. I just thought she was entertained by our laughing – but really, I didn’t give it too much thought. I did notice that throughout the night, the waitstaff kept coming up to her. Each time, they would hold her hand and say hello. Each time, it was a very warm reception with genuine affection.

At dessert time, this lady couldn’t help herself. She interjected herself into our conversation and she recommended a dessert. We were in an agreeable mood, so we went ahead and ordered her suggestion. That opened the door for a little conversation, but not much more than idle chatter.

When it was time for her to leave, she couldn’t help herself. She came up to us and held our hands and said “I just have to tell you that what I am seeing is something really special. You two have a very deep, spiritual connection.” Anne and I just looked at each other … we were indeed very good friends. College room mates. Thirty years of friendship. But what was she talking about? She kept smiling and holding our hands and you could tell that she was trying to decide whether or not to tell us.

She must have sensed our openness, because she just said it. “You two have known each other in a past life. In fact, more than one past life. At one point, you were brothers in ancient Egypt.” Huh? She went on to tell us about our energy. Our connection. She told us about our auras. We were fascinated and we asked her so many questions. She was a psychic. She shared some stories. The energy was palpable. Finally, she had to leave. Her husband was waiting.

Anne blurted out “I want to have coffee with you.” Debbie said that would be lovely. She would bring her tarot cards.  They exchanged phone numbers. Debbie left and Anne and I just stared at each other. What had just happened??

We spent the next hour trying to remember and to decipher what she said. Was she for real? It FELT real at the time. I completely believed her. But when Anne called her husband from the car, he affectionately said “Annie, can’t you just meet normal people?” And when I told my husband and my son, they just looked at me with blank stares. I believe the response was “I don’t understand what you are talking about.” Saying it out loud did make it seem less credible.

Anne has Debbie’s number. Will we actually arrange for a coffee date? It might be weird … such a leap of faith. The further I get away from our dinner, the more skeptical I become. I have replayed our conversation again and again — could she have said those things to anyone? But it felt very real at the time. My cautious side tells me that I’m crazy, but my intuitive side tells me this is real. A little research into my blue aura tells me that I am very open minded and that I have intuitive energy. So, I guess I’ll take my coffee with cream and sugar and a little magic.

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Stealing Glimpses

fathersonI spent an hour in an airport the other day.  I quickly lost interest in my phone, so I did the old fashioned thing — I people watched.

There was the usual hodgepodge of folks – young lovers saying goodbye, grandparents greeting the youngest additions to the family, anxious travelers staring at the departures/arrivals boards.  But my eyes were drawn to a young man.

He was with two ladies and a young boy.  I tried to piece together the puzzle.  I quickly surmised that the ladies were probably mother and daughter.  The boy was about five. How did he fit into the mix?  The young man was staying behind and he was saying goodbye to the other three.

I watched the young man say goodbye to the ladies – perfunctory hugs.  But with the little boy, he got down on the ground and took off his baseball hat.  He hugged the boy tight and looked directly into his eyes and smiled broadly at him.  He tousled the boy’s hair and then turned to leave.  At that moment, I saw a very vulnerable young man.

His face flushed and a wave of emotion passed over him.  He paused for a moment and stared off into space.  Something brought him back to reality and he quickly composed himself.  He put his hat back on his head.  He adjusted his hoodie.  He strutted out of the airport.  But I knew.  I knew he wasn’t the tough guy that he wanted everyone to believe that he was … he was a young man who just said goodbye to his younger brother or to his son – and despite his swagger and his clothes, Mr. Tough Guy was feeling pretty vulnerable at that moment.

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