Tuesday, May 18, 2010

RTT: A Richness of Embarrassment

My parents drove all the way down here to SoCal from the Great Northwest to visit us (the grandbabies, really) this week, so I'll start with an embarrassing conversation I had with my mom.

Mom: Well, we don't want to keep you from doing your work or anything...

Me: My...work?

Mom: You know, if you want to work on the house or...

Me: Um...yeah, I might do some of that...

Mom: You need to write your blog, don't you?

Me: [embarrassed] Oh, God.  You know, that's just, like a little hobby thing...I don't really need to write anything while you're here...

Mom: But tomorrow is Random Tuesday Thoughts...

Me: Oh, geez...

So, yeah, it's Random Tuesday, sponsored by Keely; and again I just can't avoid finding a theme. 

My parents are staying with us for a week, and it's going really well.  I usually find all kinds of work for them while they're here, but this time we're mostly playing with babies.  Butterbean has already warmed up to Grandma and Grandpa, but Cobra is still pretty suspicious of them and tends to burst into geysers of tears, snot, drool, and noise when one of them violates the perimeter for more than a minute.  But she's embarrassing me a little less in that respect each day that the 'rents are here.

Grandma and Grandpa are very cool and supportive of our family arrangement (Dr. Mom bringing home the bacon, and me frying it up in a pan [and eating 80% of it]); but part of me is still trying to demonstrate that, at two weeks shy of age 43, I am indeed a grown-ass man with real responsibilities and accomplishments.  So it was gratifying to show them around the (almost) complete addition/renovation I did on the house.  They had been here and helped me with the addition in earlier phases, but had not seen the (mostly) finished product up till now.  Also, I felt like they were impressed with my ability to wrangle twins.

But it undermined my attempt at gravitas when my mom pointed out that I should get to work on my silly blog.  Of course, she didn't mean to cast any aspersions on my obsession  hobby. [I just violated another promise I made to myself, in addition to not "going meta": to never resort to the "strike-thru" gag.  My standards are in free-fall.]  In fact, my mom is probably my biggest fan and most most devoted reader.  And that's not embarrassing at all

So I started out hoping that my parents would be impressed with what a grownup I had become by virtue of my accomplishments in the so-called real world.  But I quickly abandoned that tactic and started introducing them to all my imaginary bloggy and facebook friends, because those are the other grownups I associate with, and I thought that might boost my credibility.  We were all embarrassed.

In other areas, I have moved beyond being embarrassed.  For instance, I seem to have a gynecological condition on my foot.  My wife, Dr. Mom, calls it Athlete's Foot, and gave me some prescription ointment she pulled from the vast pharmacopeia we call our medicine cabinet.  After I went through the tube and the condition worsened, the good doctor told me I could get the same stuff over the counter at the drugstore.  I didn't find any of the stuff in the foot remedies section of CVS, so the helpful pharmacist directed me to "feminine hygiene" to pick up the ointment, which also happens to be a treatment for yeast infections.  I went through checkout with a defiant look, daring anyone to say something about my feminine itching.  I stopped being embarrassed about picking up woman-things at the store after the fourteenth trip in a month to pick up off-brand XL maxi-pads when my dog was going through heat.

Speaking of Fancy Dog Stella, I'm a little chagrined, but mostly relieved, to announce that she is on anti-anxiety meds as of last week.  We wanted to get her on them months ago, but our vet had different ideas (read here for the back story).  I used to scoff at dog owners who put their pets on psych meds, suspecting that their problems were due to poor training and the owners' own anxiety rubbing off  on the animal.  This made me think for a while that I must have some serious underlying anxiety issues that Stella picked up and magnified a thousandfold.  But so far, the medicine (Clomipramine) has done wonders.  Stella is a little less energetic than before, but she no longer scrambles for the other side of the house when one of the girls drops a toy on the floor.  Turns out it's much less embarrassing to have a fancy dog on psych drugs than a 120-lb feral cat.

Now I have to get my mom to check over this post for grammar errors before I hit "publish."

Update: My mom just offered to feed the girls so that I could "play blog."


  1. Listen, man. As a fellow sarcasmer (it's like an enchanter, but with sarcasm), I'm here to tell you that you need the strikethrough.

    No one makes fun of Harry Potter for having a magic wand, right?

    Well... not to his face, right?

  2. Hilarious. 120 pound feral cat for a dog. Glad the meds are working for the dog. Hope your problem resolves as well.

  3. Hey, at least your mom READS your blog. Mine doesn't read mine and refers to my cooking school as my hobby.

    I too have an aversion to the strike-through gag but every now and then...

    I may have to look into some anti-anxiety meds for my Fido, or me, can't decide who may need it more.

  4. Three cheers for your mom. We love it around these parts when you blog, and sounds like she does too.

    My dog is on that fine medication as well. Life saver. I tell myself that every month when I go to pick it up. (cough cough money cough cough).

  5. Your mom is awesome. Glad you posted on Keely so I could find your blog. My parents don't even know I have a blog. They might not even know what a blog is. Or care really. Because it's on the INTERNET.

  6. I love every part of this post. Except for the scary part about your foot. Sounds like a medical anomaly to me.

    My parents used to read my blog, until they decided they didn't like my use of foul language. One particular comment from my Mom that really stuck: "I'm sorry, but I just don't understand why you like to use the word 'douche' so much."

  7. This post just reminded me that I should take a Xanax..It's one of those evenings when I'm trying to plan my entire future and I'm totally anxious right now.
    I had some serious anxiety in the semester before I left for Italy so I got a gigantic bottle to take with me for the year, and I've since taken only about 3. Not that I haven't been anxious more than three times.. I just don't like taking them because it seems like admitting defeat, and I was afraid of leaving deeper issues unresolved. Also because I heard they are dehydrating and I have an obsession with hydration. And because it makes me feel devious for some reason, like Dr. House with his eternal little orange bottle of Vicodin.
    But tonight I'm feeling convinced that sometimes you should give yourself a break and just pop a pill. Especially because anxiety is a strange beast and you can hardly ever rationalize it away. At best you have to distract it away like when you have the hiccups. So I'm glad you got Stella some help. Plus, sometimes a period of artificially induced calm can lead to unmedicated calm later on. Like a jumpstart.
    Oh and I don't think it's embarrassing to have your mom as your biggest fan if you also have other actual fans. I think my mom is mine too.. it's nice to have supportive parents :)
    And I'm glad you're not embarrassed about your vagina foot.

  8. It is wonderful that your Mom reads your blog ~ if my Mom read my blog she would be lighting so many candles at mass and her rosary beads would be worn out. Enjoy your visit!

  9. You have a yeast infection on your foot? THAT. is awesome!

  10. we're on the cusp of such a living arrangement in my household as well. (more by force, craig is post knee surgery) but, the same nonetheless. i think i'm gonna enlist him to read your blog to reinforce it being an acceptable alternative to the norm AS a choice. it wouldnt hurt if you throw some stuff in about household duties. :)

  11. ROFL, my mother is the exact same way about me blogging. Every monday, wednesday, and friday, she asks if I've written a blog already or if I'm behind (which rarely happens.)

    But your blog is way more wholesome than mine. So much so that I am totally not linking my regular blog because there may or may not be porn on it as of today.

  12. At least your mom is supportive.

    I refuse to give my mom the link because all I ever hear is: "If you're writing about me on there I'm going to effing kill you." OR - "Ooooh! (making fun of you face) Are you gonna write about that on you blooooog? Huh? Ooooh! (taunting fingers)"

    Sigh. I might need to share your dog's meds.

    Also: The strike through is sometimes necessary. It's ok. :)

  13. Bah ha ha! Play blog. At least you built something. My year and a half as a SAHD all I did was paint a few rooms and make grilled cheese men.

    PS. Peeing in the shower helps with athletes foot.

    Don't ask, don't tell.

  14. Frank,
    I prefer to think of myself as a sardonicist. And did Harry Potter use the same kind of wand as every other wizard? No. His was made of hydra tooth and dinosaur spleens. That's what I want.

    Get your dog meds through 1-800-petmeds. It costs 22 bucks for 60 doses for the generic. For which I am thanking Little Baby Jesus every day.

    I see it as a challenge to write for an audience that includes my parents. My blog is much cleaner than my internal (and sometimes external) monologue. Butterbean has been saying a word that sounds a lot like "douche" lately, so Grandma and Grandpa will soon be onto the real level of discourse around here. I tell my mom that I speak a lot of German at home, and the baby is learning her prepositions. (durch)

    I like your "jumpstart" theory about psych meds. Anyway, don't you enjoy feeling devious? Or does it make you anxious? I've been proud of my diseased foot ever since I went and saw "The Vaginafoot Monologues."

    That's a good idea! I'll do a public service post reminding husbands to get off their asses and do some housework.

    You don't know if there's porn on your blog? I guess I'd better find out for you.

    I'm sorry. It seems like you must see a little too much of your mom. She makes for good blog-fodder though! You should passive-aggressively thank her for that.

    Cpt. D,
    You created life out of grilled cheese? That's nothing to sneeze at! Regarding the foot remedy: what doesn't urine cure?

  15. Yeah, I agree with Kathy. Whatever you call it--obsession or hobby or perfectly good waste of time (oh sorry, that last one was what I used to call MY blog)--you're hella-funny and your blog is so much fun to read.

  16. It's funny because I feel really, really odd putting athlete's foot cream on my baby girl's vagina. It just seems so....wrong. But that's what the doc recommended and it helps so we do it, but still.

  17. A. I have nothing against the strike-through and have seen it used brilliantly. I know some bloggers hate it, but those bloggers are hate-filled dorkjerks with not enough beer.

    B. I kind of resent you a little bit and hope that no one I know reads your blog because people are always all, "Oh, you do your writing from home AND take care of the twins. How DO you do it?" And I'm all *shrug* "No biggie" *dimple smile, twinkle eye*.
    Meanwhile, nothing gets clean, I'm always against deadline, and the twins spend about 40 percent of their time in mortal danger.
    I just don't want anyone to read your blog because I don't want the looks or the questions, like, "Sooooo, Sarah, how's the house? So interesting, I read this blog by this man who is BUILDING AN ADDITION ONTO HIS HOUSE while raising twins. Out of curiosity, have you thought any more about maybe addressing your cobweb issues?"

    C. Please tell me you didn't send your mother to my blog because, seriously, I'm ashamed enough of my humor, I haven't even told my own mother about my blog - and she would probably have some form of pride about it.

  18. Sarah,
    I didn't even realize you had twins! Guess I better read through your archives. Anyway, I think we're all in mortal danger 100% of the time if that makes you feel any better. And the fact that you have "deadlines" means you have way more responsibilities than me, so cobwebs are totally understandable. I only showed my mom the blogs I read that use less cuss words than I do. So, no, I didn't send her to yours.

  19. Hahahaha Vaginafoot Monologues is too funny. You're a pioneer for diseased bipeds everywhere.

  20. You should be fucking happy you got a yeasty rave on your foot and not your fucking taint! Never rent a scuba suit in mexico my friend.


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