Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop — I’m not worthy!

Tomorrow morning I board a plane bound for that popular tropical resort destination, Dayton, Ohio, to attend the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop.

Erma Freakin’ Bombeck.

Now, mind you, I didn’t have to “qualify” to attend. I merely had to man my laptop on December 6, when tickets for this conference went on sale, and be one of the first couple hundred individuals to purchase a pass before the event sold out. Which it did.

And as I prop my eyelids open this morning and get ready to substitute teach in a fourth grade classroom while visions of dirty laundry and unpacked suitcases dance in my head, I begin to think, “Who am I to attend this elite writer’s conference?” Seriously?! What was I thinking?

Humor writers from all over the country will be there. They’ve published best-selling books, written for Saturday Night Live, contributed columns to national newspapers…

And then, there’s me.

I have a recurring nightmare that when I check in at registration tomorrow afternoon, they’re going to ask me for the secret humor writers’ handshake. I’ll try some lame fist bump and then “blow it up” at the end, and everyone will then know that I am a fraud. “She’s no humor writer!” “Kindly escort her to the door!”

So provided I don’t get outed and arrested by the humor writers’ police, I’ll let you know how it’s going…

*Gulp!*

 

 

 

The Easter Farm Cat Miracle

Easter sunrise crossWhen you grow up on a farm, you learn the hard truths about life and death at an early age. And when you have rampant inbreeding going on in your farm cat population, death (not to mention mental disabilities and never-before-seen genetic mutations) becomes a guest that drops by way too often.

Such was the case on our farm. For several years we would experience a population explosion spurred by cats who apparently had extremely overactive (and undiscriminating) libidos. Mothers were breeding with sons, grandfathers with granddaughters… When we tried to plot out the family tree the branches became so twisted and gnarled that we finally just gave up and declared our farm a cat commune with very loose morals.

Then, out of nowhere, one cat would get sick, and the weakened immune system that seems to plague the genetically inferior would rear its scrawny head. Pretty soon all we’d have left were our memories. Well, those and the battle scars we wore on our arms from carrying out cat food to EXTREMELY hungry cats who weren’t smart enough to actually hunt on their own.

So it probably shouldn’t have bothered me that much when I stepped out onto the porch one Easter morning and found that a scraggly black-and-white tomcat had dropped dead there overnight.

But despite their flaws and idiosyncrasies, I loved all those mangy cats. And I didn’t think it was fair that he should die on Easter. It was a special holiday for me, second only to Christmas, and this cat’s thin, stiff body made it really difficult for me to enjoy stuffing my face with Peeps, going back for seconds on Grandma’s baked beans and secretly jumping in with the baritones to echo “He arose” in my deepest voice during my favorite Easter hymn.

I’m pretty sure I cried all the way to church that morning. I’m also pretty sure that I told my Sunday School teacher, as well as anyone else who would listen, my lamentable story. My sisters probably didn’t carry on like I did. I was always the melodramatic one. And the fact that one of my sisters went on to major in zoology in college leads me to believe that she had that whole “circle of life” thing down much better than I did.

Pulling into the driveway after church, I was still mourning the loss of this poor demented cat. So when I trudged back onto the porch, you can imagine my incredulity when I saw that another member of the cat commune had, in fact,

Death…birth…somehow it all made sense in my young mind. It was, I was sure, an Easter miracle.

No, the sick farm cat was not resurrected, but there was new life, and I felt peace believing that our cat had at least died on Easter for a higher purpose.

What about you? What are your Easter memories? (Bonus points if they involve dead farm cats!)

When I attended BlissDom last month, I had the opportunity to talk with staff from Hershey’s about Easter. They are creating the first-ever virtual Bunny Trail to connect people through stories, tips and traditions about Easter. How fun is that? Check it out at www.CelebrateWithHersheys.com.

[Disclaimer: I am sharing this Easter story as part of the Hershey’s virtual Bunny Trail, and in exchange I will receive Hershey’s product. Mmm…Cadbury Creme Eggs…]

Image via flickr
photo by: cwarnercarey

Vote for some smart kids with a cool idea

Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains logoOkay, I don’t usually do this kind of thing on my blog, but I figured, hey, it’s my blog, I get to do whatever I want, right? That’s what I thought.

Well, I was just so impressed with what a group of kids is doing that I had to share with you all. (And beg for votes on their behalf.) A friend of mine from high school sent out an email explaining a contest one of her sons (and his group) is a finalist in. It’s called Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains. First of all, how awesome is it to be a finalist in a contest like “Battle of the Brains”?! The only contest I would likely find myself a finalist in is “Battle of the Trashiest Van” or “How High Can You Pile YOUR Laundry?” (And I’m pretty sure I could rock BOTH those contests, thank you very much.)

For this contest, the kids were supposed to create a proposal for the next exhibit at Kansas City’s Science City museum. Their entry, City Imagineerium, was chosen as one of 20 finalists from 560. Not too shabby! And looking over their proposal, I was impressed. Even though I am not a math and science geek, I AM married to one, and I also apparently gave birth to three other geeklings as well. I love that these kids are so interested in engineering and learning how buildings and cities work. Someday these kids will be planning our cities and designing our skyscrapers; if they want to get a head start on it, I say go for it! And I LOVE that imagination is emphasized along with science, math, technology and engineering. Sometimes schools get so bogged down in the concreteness of math and science that they forget to remind kids that without imagination and the willingness to dream and “think outside the bubble sheet,” none of these theories and principles would have been discovered. After being married to my math teacher hubby for so long, I’ve learned that math is really a creative and even beautiful discipline. (Just don’t ask me to divide fractions, please.)

One other thing that impressed me about my friend’s son’s group is that his is the only science CLUB represented. He is home-schooled and joined the LEARN Science & Math Club this year. The other entries all represent high schools or school districts. With that comes the power of the PTA and district media to spread the word. Being just a club with a handful of kids, LEARN is in some ways, the underdog. And I always love me a good underdog.

LEARN Science & Math Club's Battle of the Brains team
Battle of the Brains team from LEARN Science & Math Club

So if you have a free minute, head over to the Battle of the Brains website and check out the proposal. And if you’d like, go ahead and give them your vote. You can vote once per day until Nov. 18. I know they’d really appreciate it!

Things I Love: Crocs for Back to School


Thank you to Crocs for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Crocs’ new Back to School line. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

It wasn’t until I attended the first Blissdom conference that I became a Crocs convert. Before then, I snubbed my nose at Crocs, thinking of them as ugly plastic shoes you wear in the garden. Because Crocs was a conference sponsor, I received a gift certificate to try out my own pair. I became hooked. Not only did I not realize how many adorable styles Crocs offered, I was also unaware of just how incredibly comfortable they are.

Now my two youngest hoodlums can be found wearing Crocs year-round. I am convinced that there is no other shoe company that has got kids “figured out” like Crocs. Especially boys. My boys can easily slip them on and off, not needing to slow down long enough to actually tie shoelaces. (That’s unheard-of in our household.) They are comfortable, with socks or without, and they can withstand the wear and tear that my boys subject to shoes. Our Crocs have been used and abused, and they keep coming back for more. Wash them off and they’re ready for another round. LOVE that.

And now Crocs has come out with “school-approved” shoes, ones with closed toes and heels that have been deemed “safe to wear on the playground” from the powers-that-be. They feel like Crocs on the inside, just without the holes on the outside. Perfect for the active kid who isn’t quite ready to give up his or her summer. They have 13 new styles, just for Back to School! And I love this video on the Crocs.com website highlighting the line of shoes. The video is even interactive. Click on the shoes and you can go directly to their page on the Crocs website. Oh, and look for the hidden Easter egg, click on it and see what happens. Here’s a hint.


See all the great colors and styles for the Back-to-School line here.

And if you really want to keep summer alive, enter to win a family trip to San Diego that Crocs is giving away, no purchase necessary! You only have until September 30 to enter, so hurry up, already!

What about you? Do your kids wear Crocs? What do you think of their new Back-to-School line? Let’s talk!

 

My kids’ reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death

I didn’t hear about Osama bin Laden’s death until this morning. My husband had been up last night and watched the breaking news unfold, checked reaction on Twitter and listened to President Obama’s speech. When he told me, I was immediately overcome with joy, which seems weird considering it was due to a person’s death. But the evil that he invoked and represented was gone, and that filled me with relief and thanksgiving.

Although I did not know anyone personally who was killed on September 11, 2001, I grieved with the nation. I was pregnant at the time, and I recall feeling a deep sense of guilt at bringing another innocent life into this brutal world. I fell into a temporary depression, as did many other citizens, although I’m sure hormones accentuated my emotions to a degree. Now, even I, just an outsider to the events, feel wounds (those I didn’t realize were still there) healing. As our president said, “Justice is served.”

However, the divide between generations became evident when I woke up my 13-year-old son this morning for school. “Time to get up,” I said after opening his door. “And guess what? We killed Osama bin Laden last night!”

“What?” he asked, still half-asleep.

“Our military found and killed bin Laden!” I repeated.

He paused, then asked, “Why are you telling me this?” in his oft-used annoyed tone of voice.

His question took me aback. Why was I telling him this? It was history. It was good news. It was a sign of our dominance over the terrorists in the world. It was justice. It was proof that God is here and God is good.

But he didn’t get that. Being 13, if it doesn’t directly affect him, it’s not important. That adolescent brain doing its thing. It’s not that he didn’t care, I don’t think. He just didn’t understand why I would find it important and relevant enough to share with him at 6:45 in the morning.

I went back to my bedroom, where my 6-year-old was laying in my bed, playing his Nintendo DSi. “Do you know who Osama bin Laden is?” I asked him.

“No,” he said, not taking his eyes off the screen.

“What about 9-11? Do you know what happened on September 11?” I pressed.

He gave me a blank stare and said, “No,” turning back to his game.

Chances are, he’d recall something about September 11 if I pressed him. Surely we’ve talked about it on the anniversary. He must’ve seen something on TV at one time or another.

My 9-year-old was the most interested. Although I’m not sure he realized what Osama bin Laden did, he did recognize that he represented evil. He knows what happened on September 11, at least to an extent. And his brain hasn’t yet developed enough to reach the self-absorbed, “what does this have to do with me” stage. I imagine he’ll mention it to his teacher, and I’m sure a short discussion with the class will follow. Third graders are a curious lot, after all.

But this “Why are you telling me this?” is sticking with me, like a popcorn hull wedged between my molars. Why am I telling my boys this? Why is it important that they know? How does it affect their lives?

So after giving it some thought, I’m going to answer Boy #1’s question, even though he probably won’t even read this. No matter. At least it will make me feel better.

Why I’m Telling You This

  • Because you were alive on September 11, 2001, and I mourned your future, uncertain of what kind of world you’d grow up in.
  • Because history is unfolding before your eyes, and you should be able to recognize it.
  • Because even though it doesn’t directly affect you, it indirectly affects all of us. Empathy is a precious and valuable trait.
  • Because we can never forget what happened, for fear that it will happen again. You need to understand so you can share it with the next generation.
  • Because good has overcome evil. Hope is alive in the world.
  • Because justice has been served. People do get what they deserve, even if it’s a long time coming.
  • Because I don’t want you to ever feel the sadness and bleakness I felt nearly 10 years ago when so much evil was unleashed on our country and our people.
  • Because I don’t want you to grow up in a world where people become numb to terror threats and accept them as the norm.
  • Because our men and women serving our country have not sacrificed for nothing, and they deserve for every citizen, young and old, to understand the events that have unfolded and just how dangerous and critical their job is.
  • Because we are so fortunate to live in America, and it’s important to understand this and feel the swell of pride that’s flowing through our nation.
  • Because some things take time. Yes, it’s been nearly 10 years since 9-11, but perseverance paid off, and the job has been completed. Work ethic seems to be lacking in this new generation. Instant gratification is seen as a right. Sometimes this is just not possible, or desirable. Sometimes this is not what it takes to get a job done correctly. And it should never be all about what makes YOU happiest or what’s easiest for you.
  • Because God entrusted you three with me, and it’s my job to make sure your eyes and heart are open to what’s happening in the world today. After all, you will play a part, however big or small, in shaping the future.
Image: By Carlos Latuff [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

Countdown to 40: T-Minus 48 Weeks

So, I seemed to have skated right past weeks 50 and 49… Is anyone surprised? Yeah, didn’t think so. But here I am, back at it, nonetheless. Allow me to share what my past month or so has entailed; not that I’m looking for sympathy or a “pass” on bad blogging behavior. Okay, maybe a little…

Rewind to mid-February, when Husband was knee-deep in wrestling. If you’re not from around these parts, you may not realize just how crazy Iowa is about wrestling (well, most of Iowa, anyway). Not only a coach, but a former collegiate wrestler and just all-around fan himself, Husband lives for this time of the year. First it’s the Sectional tournament, then the next weekend the District tournament — and then it’s four glorious days of high school wrestling-palooza, otherwise known as the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament. But what did we do the Sunday after Districts and before the week of State Wrestling? Went to a college wrestling meet, of course!

Yeah, whose idea was that? Uh, mine. I ordered tickets to the Iowa Hawkeye/Michigan Wolverines wrestling meet as a Christmas gift for our family, obviously not considering how tired we’d probably be that Sunday. But we all went anyway, and we actually had a great time overall. Some of us really liked the atmosphere of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, especially during close matches. Others of us enjoyed playing the game “Count the cauliflower ears.” (If you don’t know what this is, Google it and you’ll likely see some great examples of what happens to your ears after being banged against mats for years.) Still others of us really liked to turn around in our seats and stare at the family behind us. (Those same “others” also liked getting ice cream cones and watching the matches on the “TV’s” above us.)

The boys at Carver-Hawkeye Arena after watchin’ some “wrassluhn'”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is more fun when ice cream is involved! (Unless, of course, you’re lactose-intolerant like me…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously, Boy #3 couldn’t take his eyes off the wrestling match… (And don’t ask where his shoes are. I think I’d given up by this point.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say, it was a busy few weeks in our house, full of crazy schedules, long days, reacquainting with wrestling friends and experiencing the highs and lows of watching our team’s wrestlers win — and lose. And the day after State Wrestling was over, I was crazy enough to schedule Boy #2’s belated birthday party — at the Reptile Rescue.

So after the birthday party mayhem was over, I started my “furcation” (otherwise known as that furlough week I don’t get paid). Surely I did something enjoyable with my time off? Nope. I spent the next day and a half painting Boy #3’s room so I wouldn’t be horrified when our houseguest — a teacher from Poland — stayed with us. Not that she wouldn’t have appreciated the various “murals” on the wall, or how it was practically black beside the bed where Boy #3 would always put his hands and feet. (And yes, I do make him bathe, at least monthly.) So while I moved furniture, taped, and painted by myself, I also packed, cleaned out the van and prepared to leave Tuesday evening for Rochester, Minn., where Boy #2 had doctor’s appointments the rest of the week.

I’ve already told you a little about Mayo. Overall, it was good, but very tiring, both mentally and physically. But did I get to rest when I got home? (Do you have to even ask?) Nope, because it was Friday night, and we were picking up Mrs. Wap from the airport on Saturday evening. And our house was a wee bit on the disgusting side. We cleaned hard from the moment we got up Saturday until the moment we ran out the door to get to the airport. Oh, and of course, I waited until this day to do a very necessary cleaning chore — clean my oven.

Brilliant.

You see, my oven had had so many things spilled in it, that no matter what you baked or roasted, at any temperature, it produced enough smoke to set off the smoke detectors. I didn’t think it would be too cool to put a roast in the oven for our guest and then have to fan the smoke detector with a towel every 3 minutes, so I knew this had to be done. Obviously, it was a bit overdue.

What followed included flames shooting to the top of the oven, smoke pouring out so much that we had to put our shirts up over our noses, and our eyes were watering — even with every window in the house open (and it was approximately 25 degrees outside), me calling Husband (who was at the grocery store) freaking out and reading on the Google that there was no way to open an oven once the self-cleaning mode started, short of using an axe.

Welcome to America.

Amazingly enough, the fire died out, the smoke cleared, and by the time we got home with Mrs. Wap there was only the slightest hint of burnt cheese smell, which mingled nicely with the AirWick fresheners and Glade Plugins that I had placed strategically throughout the house.

Moving on… The following Tuesday Boy #2 and I were back in Rochester overnight for another appointment and a follow-up X-Ray. And then back home and back to work and entertaining our out-of-country guest.

Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE Mrs. Wap. She is awesome, and we had a wonderful 3 weeks. (Yes, I said THREE WEEKS.) But you know how it is when someone is staying with you, no matter how much you like them and how comfortable you are with them, you still can’t totally relax? Okay, if any guys are reading this they are likely scratching their heads, but women, you know what I’m saying, right? And even though she didn’t eat NEARLY as much as we do, I still didn’t feel like I could just force our normal cuisine du jour on her. (Froot Loops for supper doesn’t seem like a very hospitable meal to offer guests, even though we do just fine dining on it.)

Mrs. Wap, the boys and me at—yes!—Antique Archaeology, home of the American Pickers. Some people go to Florida over Spring Break; we went overnight to the Quad Cities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So anyway, all I’m saying is that I was busy and tired, and even though I was neglecting you, I did compose plenty of great posts in my head. If only I owned a mind-reading transcription device, you would have been thoroughly entertained and satisfied. I promise.

Because we apparently don’t believe in “leisure time,” our time will now be spent squeezing out every spare minute painting the rest of the bedrooms, cleaning out the basement, getting rid of yet more clutter and doing all those fix-it-up projects we’ve been putting off so we can finally put our house on the market after talking about it for nearly two years. (And as if on cue, as soon as I typed “fix-it-up projects” an unidentified loud noise, like a dying fan, came bellowing out of the bathroom. Boy #3 and I looked everywhere, turned the fan switch off and on, jiggled the toilet handle — nothing. Three minutes later the sound stopped abruptly and Boy #3 came walking out of the bathroom holding an electric toothbrush, which had accidentally turned on in the drawer and was vibrating like a jet engine! At least I don’t have to add one more thing to my “honey-do” list…)

Oh, and as we’re trying to make it look like a family of raccoons hasn’t been inhabiting this house for the past five years, we’ll also soon be going to baseball games and practices in three different leagues AND preparing for Husband to leave in June for A MONTH IN POLAND.

Smelling salts, anyone?

What does any of this have to do with me preparing for the big 4-0? Yeah, I don’t really know either. Except that through the busyness of life and anticipated winds of change, I realize that the older me, the almost-40 me, seems much more relaxed than the almost-30 or even the mid-30s me would have in a similar place. With age comes wisdom, or so I’ve heard. Sometimes I wish the saying went, “With age comes a sharper memory” or “With age comes a rock-hard ass”… but I guess wisdom will do.

A birthday party match made in heaven

Princess the Alligator. She has very soft hands — really! One of the volunteers kissed her on the mouth. I’m so not kidding.

Snakes and iguanas and alligators, oh my!

Boy #2’s birthday was January 26, but true to my nature, I failed to schedule his party within the same week — or even month — of his birthday. Fortunately, however, it seemed to be worth the wait.

His party was Sunday at the Iowa Reptile Rescue, and it was a HIT. I don’t think there could be any more perfect venue for 9-year-old boys. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend the IRR for birthday parties. The staff there made a BIG impact on my boys.

Boy #2 and his friends petting a BIG snake.

For the first 45 minutes or so, the IRR closed the rescue to the public, so we had the whole place to ourselves. One by one they brought out snakes, iguanas, a bearded dragon, turtles, a baby giant tortoise and even an alligator. They told all about these animals, where they came from, and what they’re like. Then we all got to pet each one. (Yes, I think I touched every one. I was very proud of myself.)

Boy #2 petting Iggy the Iguana. He likes cake. (Boy #2 does, too.)

Hulk the Iguana. He can break bones with his tail! And yes, I even touched Hulk. He was cute in a frightening sort of way.

A baby giant tortoise. (I love the oxymoron.)

The boys were so good — they were great listeners, asked fabulous questions and were careful with the animals. They were so good, in fact, that Robin, the owner, brought out a very special iguana. Rocky was paralyzed on his back legs and tail, and he wasn’t used to being around people yet. But since the boys were so good, Robin brought out Rocky and the boys carefully petted him. Rocky had just started eating on his own and was making good progress, so Robin wanted to start introducing him to small groups of people. I think the boys felt honored to be the first group that got to meet Rocky up close and personal, and I think Rocky liked it too.

Rocky the paralyzed iguana. I think I love him.

After the reptile show and a tour of the rescue, Robin opened the front of the shelter back up and we still had the back half for cupcakes, ice cream and presents. And YES we sanitized our hands well before eating! I bought cupcakes from Target, took off the Happy Birthday rings that were on them, and substituted them with stretchy lizards that I had found and bought.

Boy #2 enjoying his cupcake (sans salmonella since we sanitized thoroughly after touching the critters)!

We made goody bags for the boys to take home that included a big snake or lizard that I found at Target, gummy worms and alligators, and a blower thingy. The snakes and lizards were a hit; only boys would discover that the mouths were just the right size to fit onto and stick to their chins.

Boys will definitely be boys.

When we got home from the party, Boy #2 told me he was going to treat his rubber iguana like a real pet, and Boy #3 was all over that idea. We had a few extra animals, and soon we had our own reptile rescue of sorts at home. I was pretty impressed with the boys’ commitment to their fake pets! First, they borrowed my computer to do research on each of the types of reptiles. Apparently, the species of each reptile was printed on the bottom of it, so they knew what to search for. The boys then determined what kind of habitat their pets needed, what they ate, how much light they needed and many other facts about each one.

We go by the “RRF” for short.

Pretty soon they started asking me for supplies, and I resisted objecting when they grabbed one of my Longaberger mixing bowls as a pool for one of the snakes. They staked claim to part of the family room and set up their center, which they named the RRF, or Reptile Research Facility. They created signs for each of the animals, just like they had at the Iowa Reptile Rescue, and set up a desk where they could perform their research (with my laptop, of course).

This is the home for Jango the anaconda. I’m a little disturbed that his home does not have a lid…

The boys learned that anacondas eat small birds. So apparently they sacrificed their Webkinz in the name of science.

Wendy is a Burmese Python. Apparently they don’t even need cages. Eek!

The boys provided rocks for Burmy the rattlesnake after learning they live in rocky, desert terrain. They must eat little Pokemon as well.

Max is a Frilled Lizard, who eats, as Boy #2 put it, “salad.” I don’t think the boys have figured out yet whether Max prefers Ranch dressing or a nice vinaigrette.
Two of the lizards share this abode. That’s another one of my Longaberger bowls, along with some “salad” and Boy #2’s reading light. I think these reptiles live better than I do!

This is probably why my house is always a mess. Oh well. Someday I’ll have a clean house, and I’ll probably be really lonely.

The Reptile Research Facility

So It’s Come to This

I have had birthdays on the brain for the past few weeks, and for good reason. First there was my niece on Jan. 9, then my mom on Jan. 18, then Boy #1 on the 22nd, and yesterday Boy #2 was 9! Then my sister Pam is the 31st, another nephew on Feb. 16, and then my big day on Feb. 24. Whew!

Did you catch that last birthday? Yeah, it’s mine. And I’ll be 39. My last year in my thirties.

Even though my brain hasn’t quite caught up to my age yet, my body is getting the hang of it pretty quickly. Flab where it used to be firm. Lines starting to form in the corners of my eyes. And I know I USED to have a waist. I have no idea where I lost it. (Unless it was in that last bag of Cheetos…)

Here’s where my vanity is going to rear its ugly head. But I’m pretty sure I used to be sorta cute. Mildly attractive, or at least not completely disgusting to look at. Now, I was never a head turner, unless it was because I did something totally stupid and embarrassing, like accidentally turning off all the lights in a full lecture hall. But I distinctly remember being asked out a time or two in college.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that when I walk into a dance club, I will turn heads, but not for the same reason as when I was young. Instead, it’s because the young’uns are wondering who let the old lady with the mom jeans in. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that I want to relive my past or cheat on my husband. It’s not that at all. It’s just that sometimes, when I’m putting my prescription cream on my adult acne, I daydream about what it’s like to feel attractive again. Yes, and maybe even to turn a head or two, just so I can toss my hair and purr, “Sorry, boys, but this girl’s taken.”

So this week, when I was doing some shopping at the mall for my job and got hit on, I should’ve been excited, right? Or at least a little flattered. Instead, it was more like a slap in the face. The one time I get hit on in years, and it’s by a man who I’m pretty sure was a serial rapist. Any man who walks by a late-thirty-something woman in the middle of a weekday in a mall and says, “Hey, cutie,” in a greasy voice and then makes a clucking-type noise with his mouth is a pervert, or at the very least, a creep.

After overcoming my shock and disgust, one thought immediately popped into my head: So, it’s come to this. This is, apparently, as good as it gets. Maybe I should’ve thanked Mr. Yuckypants for noticing me. Never mind that I’m pretty sure he said that to every woman who was alone and passed by him. Maybe in an year or two, when I’m even lumpier and wrinklier, I’ll be thinking back to our brief encounter, wistfully wishing I could experience it just one more time.

Or maybe he’ll be in jail. I’ll put my money on that one.

Photo: cerealfan (And no, this is not the real guy who hit on me. Promise.)