Friday, August 26, 2016

It's a Good Thing Dudes Don't Wear Shorts or Ride Bicycles

“Why are women supposed to use special soap for their vaginas?” I asked my confused husband when he entered the living room.
“I think I missed something.”

He did. It was the Summer’s Eve commercial that was on right before he entered the room. The lady is seen wearing shorts in the summer and bicycling and apparently that is why she needs special vagina soap. Because I guess dudes don’t do those things?

Because if dudes wore shorts in summer and bicycled they would be sold special soap for their testicles, deodorant ball spray, and cleansing scrotal wipes similar to products that are sold to women. I think that’s why you never see guys in shorts or riding bicycles. Because if they did they would be spending all their money on testicular hygiene products.  Guys would be asking their guy friends out for a beer and would be told, “I can’t, man. I spent all my beer money on deodorant ball spray that smells like a field of summer flowers.” (Because everyone knows that genitals are supposed to smell like a field of summer flowers.)

So it’s a good thing that guys don’t wear shorts in the summer or ride bicycles.

Because if guys wore shorts in the summer or rode bicycles they would be asked questions like “Do you prefer to cleanse your balls during the day or at night?” and then have to choose among a line of time-specific ball cleansing products.  This is good because ladies already know the outright catastrophe that can happen if you choose the wrong product. You could have your genitals smelling like aloe at night when they are obviously supposed to smell like lavender.  That’s a societal faux pas you do not want to make. Every lady has had that moment of horror driving to a party at night and thinking, “Shit! Did I use the aloe daytime vagina wipes instead of the lavender nighttime vagina wipes?”

So it’s a good thing that dudes don’t wear shorts in the summer or ride bicycles.

One time my husband said that he saw a guy in the gym locker room drying his nether regions with a hair dryer and then applying baby powder. I still wonder if this really happened. Because if dudes were actually blow drying their balls, surely someone would have developed a line of ball deodorant powder. Well, I hope this did not really happen. If it did there’s a guy walking around with balls that smell like baby powder when they are obviously supposed to smell like tropical rain and how embarrassing is THAT?

So it’s a good thing that dudes don’t wear shorts in the summer or ride bicycles.

Because if dudes wore shorts in the summer or rode bicycles they would read quotes on websites selling testicular hygiene products that read “couldn’t live with out it!” It’s a little known secret that we ladies keep from the men, but if our lady parts don’t smell like tropical flowers we literally die. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Also, if you wore shorts in the summer or rode bicycles, guys, you would need special pH-formulated ball wash to keep your balls from falling off.

So keep not wearing shorts in the summer or riding bicycles, dudes. It’s saving you from a world of hurt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Let Me Tell You About Gerald

I have a little bit of social anxiety. Nothing so bad that I stay in my house with my cats for whom I make tiny cat clothes, ordering all my necessities online. It’s just that when making small talk with people I don’t know, I spend less time listening and more time worrying than a normal person might that I might yell out something inappropriate like “TITTIES!!!”.

This past week I may have been in the one and only situation where this might have been the appropriate response, that being the day after my grandma died. Hang on! Where did I lose you? Was it where I suggested that yelling “TITTIES!” was a sane response to my grandma dying? I thought that might be the case. Stay with me.

The day after my grandmother died, mom and I went over to her house in her senior living community to clean up. There was regular knocking at the door from concerned neighbors. The sweet Vietnamese lady across the street came by to tell us how much my grandmother meant to her and her husband. She said that she always looking out for her husband who was in therapy because he was “brain dead”.  I think something might have been lost in translation here because I’ve seen her husband and if he is brain dead he is the poster child for living with brain death. Anyway, it was very sweet and she told us about how much she will miss my grandmother.

A little while later there was another knock. This time the Vietnamese lady’s husband. He told us how sweet my grandmother was to him and how he sometimes drove her to the casino. He cried when he told us about how he will miss seeing her smiling face. Then my mom cried and I cried and we hugged and we were just one big mess.

A little while later there is another knock on the door, this time on the garage door. Enter Gerald.

Now let me paint a picture of Gerald. Gerald is 67-years-old. He is thin and has a thick white mustache so long you can’t see his lips. Gerald would drink Monsters and Mountain Dew everyday if it wasn’t for that fact that he has nonfunctioning kidneys and is on dialysis. I can’t be 100% sure that Gerald owns a “Who Farted?” trucker hat, but I would put a lot of money on it.

“I don’t know if I can find my shoes,” are the first words out of his mouth.
“What?” mom and I say together.
“My nice shoes. I’m not sure where I put them.”

I’m starting to wonder if Gerald is aware that my grandmother has died, but as he continues talking it is apparent that he is concerned that he may not have appropriate footwear for her memorial service later that week. Now this is where the conversation took a detour that I can’t explain. We were talking about shoes and before I know it, we were here—

“My girlfriend was over here, she’s 41 and she’s not really my girlfriend, but she was, now she has a boyfriend and she was wearing this thin shirt and her nipples were poking through and I just wanted to flick ‘em.”

He is standing with his fingers pointing out to demonstrate what the flick-able nipples looked like. Cue stunned silence followed by laughter because…what?!

There’s more.

“Yeah, she’s got some big ol’ fake knockers.”

I never know what to say in these situations. Miss Prudie never covered that oh-so-common scenario where you’re talking about your dead grandma and then someone tells you about wanting to fondle fake knockers. But you know who knew just what to say? My mom.

“How did you know they were fake?”

With zero pause Gerald answers, “Because I used to suck on them.”

SEE?! If I would have yelled out “TITTIES!!!” at this point we all would have laughed and Gerald would have high-fived me, amiright?! I think my grandmother would have been proud.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

If You’re Going To Rip Your Toenail Off With Your Teeth, Confidence is Key

Sometimes I look at my daughter and see myself. I look at her sitting on the floor with her friend, showing her her pictures of her family and her vacations and I see myself. I see myself in her red, usually unruly hair and in the freckles across her nose. I wonder what else she will get from me? Will she be shy? Will she be funny? Will she be kind to others? Will be awkward but sweet in her awkwardness?

Then I watch her straight up put her big toe in her mouth and rip off part of her toenail with her teeth and I think…


What. Have I. Done?

Then she just goes on talking like that whole ripping-off-her-toenail-with-her-teeth thing never happened. Just goes on talking about this picture of her and Hudson at Legoland. Her friend never said a word.

This is a kid that will own her weirdness. This is a kid that will rip a toenail off with her teeth, spit it off to the side and say “Yeah, that just happened. What of it?” This is a kid with a level of confidence that I only wish I had.  (Only not for ripping toenails off with my teeth in front of my friends, but useful things. Like maybe not being wracked with guilt over rescheduling a doctor’s appointment and then fear being labeled as “unreliable”.)

Sometimes I look at my daughter and I think, “This kid is gonna be alright.”

Sunday, August 14, 2016

An End of Summer Nightmare--An Original Play Based On a True Story

A kitchen.  An 8-year-old boy, HUDSON, is boiling keychains. Mother is supervising. She hasn’t totally given up, but given up enough that she is telling herself this is the budding of a great scientific achievement. She daydreams of son accepting Nobel Prize. He starts his speech with “It all started when my mother saw me for who I was and allowed me to boil keychains in her good pot…” She hopes this is how it will go and not the alternate story. In this one he is sitting on a couch with his stoner friends. They are covered in Cheeto dust and neck tattoos. They think their neck tattoos are “really deep” and “ironic”, but most people would describe them as “stupid” and “spelled wrong”.  They are one-upping each other in terrible parent stories. “You think that’s bad! My mom let me boil KEYCHAINS and didn’t say shit! How fucked up is that?”

*Writer’s note: I realize this isn’t how plays work. You can’t really convey “worried that son will hang out with Cheeto dust, neck tattoo covered losers” in one look. If anyone could though it would be Helen Mirren. She’s brilliant. Did you see her in ‘Red’? I watched it the night I was going to teach myself French after the kids went to bed. I’m sorry. I’m tired and I’m busy supervising a child who is boiling keychains.

Mother, SABINE, turns her tired eyes on her 5-year-old daughter, KENZIE, and thinks she should probably do something to feel like she is doing something remotely resembling parenting.

SABINE: Get off the iPad and do something else.
KENZIE: Can I do an experiment?

KENZIE starts pulling out bowls, pots, baking soda, spices, etc. Experiments=putting a bunch of shit in a pot, heating it up and seeing what happens. Pretty much what her son is doing, but that’s different. He’s eight. She still has standards. She has not totally given up yet.


SABINE bangs head repeatedly into a wall while looking longingly at a calendar. As curtain closes, KENZIE can be heard yelling from off-stage.