Winter has arrived in Minneapolis...sort of. We had our first measurable snow a few days ago. A lot of my dear friends are bemoaning the onset of mitten/boots/snowpants weather, and all of the hullaballoo and chaos that follows. But you know what? That changes when your kids get older. My big kids don't even wear coats until it's below zero, and even then they act like I'm asking them to wear a Shrek mask or something. The days of hanging up 3 or 4 sets of soaking wet snowpants over the shower rod and of squeezing as many little boots in front of the heating vents as I could are over for me. And that, just like every other little milestone that seems to be slipping between my fingers on a daily basis, is so very bittersweet. For those of you still wrestling with the seemingly never-ending hunt for the lost left mitten or racing to school to drop off the forgotten boots, try and enjoy these days. Well, maybe not enjoy but don't let it get you too frazzled. This too shall pass.
Ok, maudlin hormone induced weep-fest over...let's get to the 10, shall we? We shall.
1. Thank you. You know who you are, I, unfortunately have no clue who you may be. But please know that whoever you are, I love you. My kids love you. And the five of us are grateful. I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I type this, tears of happiness but I'd be a big fat liar if I didn't admit there's a bit of shame mixed in there as well. I don't know that I deserve what you did for us, but I know that my kids sure do. So for that, THANK YOU. There are angels among us, my friends. Always remember that.
2. Who goes to the gym at 5:00 a.m.? Me! Started last week. And much to my surprise, it's not only pretty painless but it's actually PLEASANT. Mornings have been, dare I say...easier. I feel like someone has hit me upside the head with a happy stick, all because I've been getting my ass out of bed and lifting weights and chugging away on the treadmill before most people have hit their snooze buttons for the first time. The only downside is that I'm completely worthless by 8:30 at night. Like, snoring and drooling on the couch worthless.
3. Yo, dream interpreters (yeah Shannon, I'm looking in your general direction): My dreams have been absolutely flooded with old boyfriends lately. Nothing raunchy, believe it or not....the dreams are more like mini-flashbacks. Little snippets of time with a few of the ones who got away. One from high school, one from college and several about Andy. Ok, the ones about Andy are PG-13, but he was like a young (Iceman) Val Kilmer, people. Watching him sleep was a trip to erotic city. I think dreams are not only a glimpse into our psyches but that they are also trying to tell us something. What are these telling me? Is it some deep message from my psyche, or is it simply my libido telling me to arrange a tryst with Cabin Boy?
4. I am like the last person on earth who retailers would give a whit about, but I have to say that I think the practice of opening any store on Thanksgiving is wrong. Mark my words, in the very near future (like maybe next year), stores will just say "eff it" and be open regular hours on Thanksgiving. Working retail sucks hard enough, people. You want to be open on a major holiday just to make more money? Get management in there manning the cash registers. Upper management. Let's see how many Walmarts and Best Buys are open then.
5. Have you seen these Target commercials?
Her name is Maria Bamford. My dear friend Whitney gifted me and Uncle Lorie with a night out earlier this fall, to a comedy club where we were lucky enough to see this amazingly insane, hysterical woman perform. I laughed so hard I had chapped lips the next day. Minnesota may not be remarkable, but we do make funny people. Check out her stand up stuff on You Tube...
6. The other day I had a very deep conversation with my Charlie. We talked about how, if an alien were to land in the United States and was given a television to watch, and watched nothing but commercials, they would assume that we are a country with no poverty, no illness and no worries. Seriously..according to the marketing powers that be, every family has a pretty, tastefully appointed home with a fabulous kitchen, every family has a giant flat screen t.v., every family has a hapless dad, a smirking mom and a passel of adorable kids. And iPads. Charlie is an amazing conversationalist, with wise-beyond-his-years observations and a very firm grip on reality. Have you sat down and had a real conversation with a teenager lately? I highly recommend it. They are fascinating creatures. And, like Whitney Houston once told us, they are the future.
7. Tomorrow is the feast at my BFF's house. I'm in charge of Bread. I need to go get some croissants, which means a trip to the grocery store or Costco today. I'm trying to determine if I should go right when they open, or sneak in at the last second tonight. Going in the morning would mean going shoulder-to-shoulder with the masses, going later poses the risk of finding nothing but shelves that have been picked clean. I'm also making my kick ass pumpkin bars (with the cream cheese frosting recipe DOUBLED, y'all) and my kick ass mashed potatoes (the secret ingredient is...wait for it...cream cheese. Why am I fat???). I love feasts.
8. My friend Danielle and I were talking the other day, and I confessed to her that I have no idea what all of this "Occupy Wall Street" stuff means. Seriously. I have a vague idea, but don't know what it's really about. She made me feel better by confessing that she, too, was clueless. I still don't know what it's all about but I saw that Susan Sarandon is now involved which tells me it's something kind of lame (sorry, Susan).
9. Cold weather means dry skin. Dry skin means itchy skin. Itchy skin means itchy head. Itchy head means full-blown lice paranoia. I am checking my head daily. Shudder.
10. Free passes to the local Cinema Grill means the boys and I will be seeing "Real Steel" this afternoon. I'm hopeful that Hugh Jackman will take off his shirt at least once.
Ok, now I must start stretching in preparation for the croissant hunt. I'm goin' in. Cover me.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Please take a moment tomorrow to acknowledge all that we have to be thankful for. I know I will.
Check out more Ten on Tuesdays at Linny's Vault. Sorry I'm late again, Lin!!!