Am I Really Bidding $800 for a Set of BBQ Sauces?

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CanIgetthreehundredforthislovelyitem?ThreehundredthreehundredThreehundred!CanIgetthreefifty?ThreeFifty!Fourhundred,fourhundred?Fourhundred!Fourhundredgoingonce-goingtwice-Soldtotheshortladyintheback!

Auctions.  These events are like skydiving – a rush of exhilaration, joy, and pocket emptying.

This past weekend we attended our daughter’s school auction. It was a beautiful affair. People were dolled up, alumnus came back to their old alma mater, and everyone got buzzed and nutty over a blanket made out of t-shirts.

I have only been to a few of these shin-digs, however, I have noticed two things: 1) You need to go into the event with a plan and budget; and 2) People lose their marbles at these events. Myself included.

Out of all the wonderful auction items, I had my heart set on only one thing. Even now, thinking about how special this item is and what it means to my daughter and my family, makes me tear up.

I had my eye on the prize, and I won it. A two-fer. I helped out a great school and obtained something with tremendous meaning for my child.

Here’s how I did it, illustrated a la marble count:

1)      PLAN – Talk to husband and decide on a budget together. We were not going over X amount of dollars.

RESULT – I ignored the budget and went rogue. MARBLE LOSS: 10

2)      PLAN – Act like a lady and raise my bidder number.

RESULT – Stood on chair with high heels screaming. MARBLE LOSS: 5

3)      PLAN – Clap and smile if win item or shrug it off if bid was too high

RESULT – Did the cabbage patch dance when won item. MARBLE LOSS: 25

While I did act silly during the bidding and probably ended up with -15 marbles, isn’t that what it’s all about? Having fun and raising money for good cause/good school?

Apparently not.

While most attendees either didn’t care who won what, or were happy people were bidding and helping out the school, a number of people reacted in an odd way (more marble loss).

After winning the item, some people felt it necessary to bequeath my husband and me with bizarre questions and comments such as: “What are you going to do with _____?” Or, “Wow, you sure did spend a lot. Must be nice.” Or one of my favorites, No dialogue – Insert glaring at us up and down, then turning away in disgust.

I’ll be honest, the cattiness really bummed me out. These are parents from our child’s school, our community, our church. These are people I look to in times of need, both for my family and my child, and I the same for them. This is our village of role models for my young daughter.

I couldn’t understand it. Were people upset if they did not win the item? Were they concerned we would not use the item in the proper way? Did they think we had a secret money tree in our backyard, supplying us with endless funds so that we could nap all day?        

Nope, no tree. But my husband and I did have a “spirited” conversation on the ride home about what we spent.

Whether we won or lost the item, or rolling in the dough or not, who cares?

What I looked like after the live auction.

What I looked like after the live auction.

 

If there is one thing this life has taught me, it’s that you can’t control how people act, treat you, or feel about you. You can’t stop living your life, or curb being who you are because of it. And while yes, snide comments hurt, it’s really not worth the time to try and change someone’s opinion of you. Because it won’t.

Bottom line: It’s your life, no one else’s.

I will always be that short, loud, crazy lady in the back of the room raising my flag and having a good time. It’s who I am.

So the next time someone says to me, “Wow! Can’t believe you did that. What are you going to do with it?”

I’ll say, “Anything I damn well please.”

They’re my marbles anyway.

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Am I Really Walking Through a Hailstorm of Cat Tee Tee?

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Because it sure does feel like it.

At the risk of constantly complaining, this year has been less than stellar for me and my family. I have been in a constant state of heart palpitating stress, stomach upset, and straight up sadness. All because sometimes life wants to hand you a sh*t sandwich. And when you’re starving, you take it.

With everything going on in the world today, I feel extremely self-absorbed writing this. I am not being gassed by chemical weapons; I am not trying to reconstruct my life after a major natural disaster; and I am not laying to rest a loved one who lost their life while serving this country. With yesterday being the heart wrenching commemoration of 9-11, I am pretty thankful for my crap sandwich.

But sometimes the stress is too much in my little bubble.

At what point can I look up to the sky and say, “Okay, that’s enough now. Perhaps today nothing goes wrong. Tomorrow is negotiable”?

Based on recent scientific observations (and by “scientific” I mean sitting in a restaurant and badgering my husband with ideas while eating my third taquito), I have categorized the source of stress into two main groups:

1)      Situational – Sometimes it is merely the nature of the beast that can cause life to go banana sandwich (Think: overflowing toilet destroying your child’s papier-mâché reconstruction of Iwo Jima). It sucks. Usually there are cries of, “Why is life doing this to me? Is it because I did not donate to the Leukemia Society, but I still use their return address stickers?” Depending on the severity of the situation, the amount of help you receive, and if you are a person who cries when you run out of Miracle Whip, can determine the stress level. While devastating at times, situational events allow us to pull up the boot straps and move forward.

2)      People – Some people are straight up buttholes. I think I found that quote in a fortune cookie. Personally, I like most people I meet and I can play well with others.

However…..

…. I have discovered this subset of our population who walk around the earth solely to agitate and cause woe for others. I have yet to decipher what payoff these folks receive, and honestly, I don’t have the energy to do so. Some folks like to say difficult people are my cross to bear. I get it, but some of these “crosses” seem to have elephantiasis. So I do my best to “bless and release” these folks…as in releasing them to Antarctica. But don’t wish ill on others, that is just bad ju-ju.

I wish I had some stress relieving tips that I would actually use and would actually work. Meditation seems like some form of Eastern European torture. People tout the benefits of positive mantras, so I’m going to pass along the phrase my father often uses, “Keep Going.”  He’s retired military, has fought in a war, and has generally seen a lot of crap. He’s still standing so I guess it works.

So if you are having a crap day, do like the General (aka, my dad) and put one foot in front of the other – just keep going.

Who knows, maybe there is a ham sandwich waiting for you on the other side of this tee tee torrent.

Am I Really 0 for 1 in the Parenting Department?

The school year is coming to a close and many of you are welcoming summer with glee.  As your child graduates from one grade to the next, you may feel the pang in your heart knowing that yes, your baby is growing up.  My daughter will be saying good-bye to Kindergarten this year and I have to keep myself from letting the torrent of tears flow down my face, because….

…I am going to miss the crap out of my daughter’s teacher. Seriously. This woman is the Child Whisperer. Whoever is your kid’s teacher, ours is better – trust me.

While my daughter learned to read this past year, I learned what a crappy parent I am, thanks to the talents of the wonderful Mrs. Blank (let’s keep her real name under wraps).  With her magic wand of awesomeness, Mrs. Blank was able to get the children to do such things as:

1)      Sit when asked.

2)      Put away toys – on the first request.

3)      Be quiet and – wait for it – listen. (I know!)

4)      Keep underpants on at all times.

She did this and so much more all while NEVER raising her voice. In fact, she sometimes whispered, yes, whispered to get the attention of the class.

I can’t get my child to do any of the above unless threats are made of an untimely Barbie demise.  Someone should reward this lady.

When discussing end of school year gifts for the teacher and teaching assistant, I suggested a house in the Caymans and an Audi respectively.  I was informed that these items were a little over our budget. We decided on a decorative pin.  Oh well.

Nonetheless, I realized that while I may not be able to reward my daughter’s fan-tab-u-lous teacher, I could still milk her for information.  Therefore, I have compiled a list of pertinent questions before I say my final goodbyes to Mrs. Blank:

1)      Do you conduct certification courses?  I must have skipped the training classes at the hospital after I gave birth to my daughter. Perhaps I could take a fast track one – like getting a GED.

2)      Do you conduct home visits?

3)      Are you related to the Super Nanny?

4)      Are you coming with us to the First Grade? Oh no? Well then, can you come back when my daughter turns fifteen? I have a feeling that the you-know-what is gonna hit the fan at that time – Hurricane Bob style.

5)      Are you a robot?

6)      Was Mary Poppins your grandmother? (Why are all the best child wranglers from England? Hmmm.)

7)      Do you work with dogs?

8)      Can you do anything about my spit ends? (Hey, it’s worth a try.)

9)      Are you a magician?

10)  Are you running for office? No? Well can I put your name down and vote for you anyway?

11)  Can you get my husband to stop snoring/throw his fruit roll-up wrappers into the trash/wipe his chin after eating corn on the cob/stop watching American Pickers at volume 289?

I have many more questions to ask Mrs. Blank, but this is a start. And while I do feel slightly, okay, massively inadequate in the parenting skills department when I’m around Mrs. Blank, oh well. My daughter is still my daughter, and I am still her mommy, and that’s the way I like it. She’s my girl and that’s that.

Even if I can’t get her to pick up her f*&%ing toys.