Women, the good, the bad and the crazy

Talking about men is usually fun.  We can poke fun at them and they don’t always understand.  Plus, they’re interesting to watch, kinda like a wildlife special. Women aren’t always fun.  A lot of the time, they’re dramatic, prickly and believe they’re always right.  The women in my life are not like that.  I just don’t have time for the serious ones or the ones you have to be careful around so you don’t make them grouchy. I only like REALLY fun women.

You even have to be careful about fun women sometimes.  You can’t always spot the underlying crazy. Women who were once fun can take a drastic turn once they reach “a certain age”.  I had a really fun friend who went, basically, how can I say it…bat shit crazy a few years ago.  And not in a fun way.  Everyone walks on eggshells around her and lives in fear.  I haven’t spoken to her in two years.  Scary stuff.  Nothing feels better than cutting the bad ones free. That’s why we need a universal ladies intervention when we see it coming.  There should be a ladies farm where they can go away and be reprogrammed.

My friend, the Trophy Wife, and I have “in case of crazy” clause in our friendship.  If one of us does something wrong, the other will tell her and then hide behind something.  I made her somewhat mad a while back and she said “this made me mad” and I said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you mad.  I’m sorry” and she said “k” and it was over.  That’s how true friendships should work.  Any unhappy drama takes away from the time that should be spent talking about important stuff.  Like how much you both hate the mean women you know and how ugly their clothes are.

I’ve figured out that I like smart women.  I have some women in my life that can fire back such rude and intelligent comments that a night around the dinner table with them is like a shoot out in the old west.  I love that.  I like to laugh and I want women who will pull out a boob at the mall if it will make me giggle.  My daughter has inherited this and is so witty and sharp that the Goose and I are sometimes downright afraid.

My son picked up my phone the other day when I was driving and told me, shocked and quiet, that someone had sent me a message that that said “play, you disease ridden whore from hell”.  Who would do such a thing?  My favorite Words with Friends rival, that bald headed, wine swillin’, CHEATING, gorgeous fiend from my 9th grade english class, the Sweet Talker.  The Sweet Talker is all the more shocking because every word that comes out of her mouth is sweet.  She is the kindest, most supportive, lovingest woman on the planet, irresistible to dogs, children and baby pigs, but every so often, she comes out with something so vile that it’s hilarious. She is such fun that she let me take a 24 pack of sharpies to her head and draw paisley tattoos.  Now that’s a cool chick.


My long time best buddy, the Empress, will mince no words telling me if I’ve come down with a case of chubby.  She will come right out and tell me that my jeans are doing me no favors or that I could be doing something, anything, else with my hair.  She will reach right out and re-situate my bosom in my shirt, in public.  She would also be there to bail me out of jail should I need it, if she were not incarcerated along with me.  One of her husbands once told us he had never heard two louder women when we’re together.  Well, he’s gone and I’m still here so…

I like loud women.  I like a woman who will root through my closet and take what she wants and then deny it (Peaches…okay, maybe I was wrong and there are TWO of those shirts) or dress up along with me if I want to wear my old prom dresses.  I like a woman who will, after I make a tipsy fool of myself, tell me “no, honey, you were CUTE!”.

A good friend will hate your ex with you, hate your husband’s ex with you, will leave your drive thru dry cleaner with you and move to one in which you have to get out, in the rain, all because the old one shrunk something and then wouldn’t fix it. They will steal a boat with your encouragement. (Notice that I won’t elaborate on this.)

When I had Shep and my boobs became so engorged and miserable that I had to put cabbage in my bra, my friend chose that day to explode her implant, thus making her boobie condition as miserable as mine.  I love that she spent hours on the phone with me, both of us on pain meds, describing our miserable racks.  That is true and abiding friendship.

I hope all fun women have friends as cool as mine.  I adore my girls.  They entertain me every day.  When I look back, there will be a LOT, a LOT of stories that will cause me to laugh.  While all those other, quiet and respectable women are telling stories about their grandchildren, I hope to still be calling my friends in the morning and saying “Do you think we’re going to get caught?  Think we got away with it?”.

The Noms


A word about food.  It plagues us women.  I used to be a girl who forgot to eat.  I was so slim I would whip off my clothes at any opportunity.  My pantry contained paint cans, twist ties and car keys.  All that changes with kids.  First, they cause you to get fat and then they cause you to carry food with you everywhere.  Sitting at a playground can cause any woman to nip into the Goldfish while wishing for vodka.  I hate Goldfish and have eaten at least a semi-truck load out of desperation. 

My daughter, Cricket, was a fabulous eater in the beginning.  I raised two vegetarian kids, no milk, no meat, but she ate everything else with gusto.  People would stop and pat her golden curls in restaurants to see her bearing down on her plate like a lumberjack.  All that changed, though.  Now, she is unable to have her food touch other bits of food.  Food must be white or light in color, no sauce or “green things” (parsley) decorating it.  Many would say, “ah, toddlers are notoriously picky eaters”.  Cricket is a sophomore in college. 

My friend and running partner, Peaches, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.  I have never seen such a small person put away such copious amounts of food. She dreams of food, fantasizes about it.  Her eyes widen and shine at the thought of it. She recently volunteered at a food pantry and shoved food they deemed too disgusting for hobos  into her pockets for later.  Several incidences with Peaches have concerned me lately.  A while back we were on our street coming home from a long run when she spots something shiny on the road and makes a beeline towards it like a chicken on a slug.  It turned out to be a Snickers.  A Snickers that has been crushed by a car.  “No, Peaches”, I begin but she is already listing reasons why it’s okay.  It’s in our neighborhood, the wrapper is still on, etc.  Peaches consumed that Snickers in front of me.  Two weeks ago we saw a plastic Easter egg on the side of the road.  Now, this was NOT in our ‘hood and, indeed, was near a house where there are cars jacked up on blocks protected by pitt bulls. I don’t care about your argument for pitt bulls, you pair them with a transmission hanging from a tree and the result is not good.  Opening the egg, she discovered candy.  Can I mention that Easter was almost six months ago?  Where has this egg been?  Who packed it to begin with?  I have long wanted to do a coffee table book about things I see on the side of the road when running.  I never thought Peaches would EAT one of them. 

It all goes to the grip food has on us beleaguered women. I can be going along fine, fitting into my jeans with room for a friend and, BAM, a chip will whisper to me as I pass through the kitchen.  It will beg for me to release it’s friend cheese dip from the cold prison of the fridge and reunite them with their mother, margarita.  It’s a vicious cycle, food.  As we get older we have to budget our calories, nutrition and fiber and give up chewing altogether. I am thinking that my rise to fame is going to occur with the invention of the metastolifruiti, a combination of metamusil, vodka and grapefruit juice, for antioxidants to keep our skin fresh.  It’s a well-balanced diet all around.    


The Empress and the Snake Bite (or “turn it to Watercolors”)

The other day my friend, The Empress, came to stay at my lake place with me.  She should really be called the Queen, but that conjures up visions of cross-dressing men and The Empress is definitely not that.  The Empress is 130 lbs of pretty woman with a figure like Jessica Rabbit and a giant head full of brunette hair that just never ends.  The Empress has had four husbands up to bat and she’s struck them all out of the ball park, the losers.  She has a great job, a fantastic house and knows how to do anything.  I mean anything.  If I called her with a bullet wound, she would know exactly how to handle it so I didn’t scar or at least fix it so I’d get to get free liposuction out of the ordeal.  She can get anything to grow, rescues little fluffy dogs and manages the church sales.  The Empress has a beautiful house, a garage full of vintage cars, can assess a commercial property with a shrewd eye and still mix a perfect drink in kitten heels.  I adore the Empress and aspire to her level of tough. She’s my hero.

Well, I thought she was a tough girl until the other night.  We had been sitting around, tippling just a little, when we decided we were starving.  The Empress was still in condition to drive, which I was not, which only goes to her tough nature.  Halfway into town I spot a giant snake crossing the road.  I yell out “stop the car!”, which illustrates my mother was right and women become vulgar when alcohol is involved and get loud.  I really get loud but that might be another story.  The Empress slams on the brakes and I jump out, wobbling down the road in a pair of “sittin’ shoes”.  You know the kind.  I was also wearing a dress that was probably better suited to the younger generation but it is sometimes hard for me to understand that I’m not 25 anymore and the Golden Goose does a good job of hiding it from me.  Now, in my mind, I was thinking that when the Goose and my son arrived late that night they’d be proud of me for catching a snake.  Don’t know why I thought this, but that was my motivation and also why I was not driving.  I’ve dealt with lots of snakes and I really do know what I’m doing on a normal day.

This evening, I was not at the top of my game.  I did catch up with the snake, just as a truck pulled up in the other lane.  The Empress yells out “girl, you’re exposing your entire ladytown every time you bend over” and proceeds to roll up her windows and look as if she is not there.  Because she pointed this out in front of the truck full of men, I was offered two unmentionable acts accompanied by a six pack and received one insincere proposal of marriage.  Of course, the snake bites down hard, which causes great glee to the audience and by the time the truck pulls away, I’m just a silly woman in a great, if wrong, outfit, standing with a bloody finger in the middle of the road.  A snakebite has a sobering affect on a girl and so I gently laid down the evil serpent and slunk back to the car.  The Empress had locked the doors and the entire vehicle was vibrating with something that sounded suspiciously like Yanni.  I’m hollering at her to let me in and what the heck does she think she’s doing and she’s yelling back that when she’s scared, she turns the radio to “watercolors” and locks the doors.  This apparently works for her and it might be a good strategy for all of us to keep in mind, but as I was outdoors at the time, I wasn’t enjoying it.  I finally convinced her to let me and take me right away to a big wine and an even bigger dinner, which I charged to the Goose, by the way, as I consider the entire incident his fault since I was only trying to be a good wife in the first place.

I’m thinking more clearly at this point and I like to make the best of any situation.  The good thing I’m taking away from this Springer episode gone wrong is that I may have worn something inappropriate, I may misjudged my wine consumption, I may have even exposed a little too much to some men from the sewer department, but, darn it, I was tougher that day than the Empress.  In my book, that’s a win.

Annabelle and the Trophy Wife


There’s a hillbilly saying in our house, that we really only say amongst ourselves.  Okay, all of us don’t say it.  Really, just my daughter, Cricket, and I say it.  Sometimes she doesn’t even join in.  The saying is “there’s no lovin’ like pig lovin”. From day one Cricket loved pigs.  When she was little, she looked for pigs in every book, stuffed ones in stores, pigs on signs.  We haven’t always been country people.  I grew up in Atlanta with a “True Southern Lady” (this just has to be in caps to emphasize how true a statement this is) of a mother and a “True Gentleman” of a father.   We did have one outdoor dog, the prerequisite golden retriever, but I am certainly not farm bred stock.  When I was 20, I married my husband, the Golden Goose, thus called because this is how he refers to himself.  If I ask him if he would like me to pull him on skis behind the boat, he answers, “what if the Golden Goose gets hurt?  Who will pay the bills and take care of all of you?”  If he is asked to do a zip line, we get the same response. ‘Bout the same thing with bike riding, wake boarding, jumping off the dock, shopping, trampolining, walking or jogging with me or playing Words with Friends.  Apparently, golf is the only sport he finds safe enough.  Probably because he has done it so often and has lived to tell about it.

The Golden Goose had no reason to believe the southern belle he married would become the twisted, middle-aged goddess I’ve become.  I’m sure, looking at my storybook family, he believed I was a safe bet.  I don’t know when I started to crave the critters in an obsessive way.  When our first was born, we lived on a golf course.  She got a normal start that doesn’t explain the pig craziness.  Whatever it was that flipped the switch, I soon realized that life without giving our daughter a pig wasn’t worth the living.  I felt they would frown on a pig on the golf course and began the campaign for a country house.  I spouted facts about spoiled kids and clean air and any other crap I could make up and probably brought the Golden Goose drinks in flimsy attire a few times as well.  Once moved, the assemblage began in ernest.  There are lots of animal tales, but this one is about pigs.  Our first pig, Jemima, was so magnificent as a baby that it caused two of my normal friends to immediately demand a pig baby as well.  Our pigs had dainty painted toenails, rhinestone collars and took baths with lavender scented soap.  They had floral and toile beds, were house-trained and had heated oatmeal for breakfast.  Let me explain my friend the Trophy Wife.  Gosh, she just deserves to be hated.  She is tiny, a zero, with naturally straight white blond hair that never frizzes.  And, damn it, she is nice.  Really nice, but not namby-pamby.  If I called her and told her I needed her to jump into a mud puddle with me, she’d say, okay, should I bring red or white wine?  She is the best.  Well, her pig, Annabelle, went to the ball field with her.  Her stepson was up to bat and her husband was coaching first base.  Annabelle had the bad luck to be situated behind the plate, behind a gap in the fence.  We’ve all been there, All Star game, travel team, anxious parents in Range Rovers, sure their kid in the next star, whispers… So Annabelle walks through the gap.  The Trophy Wife sees a situation in the making and immediately begins to try to operate her retractable leash.  Until you have heard a baby pig get angry about not being able to go where they want, you probably can’t imagine the sound.  Think tornado warning system.  Think dump truck being pulled on it’s side across asphalt.  Think malfunctioning rocket.  Annabelle began such a ruckus that parents and players from other fields looked up in distress.  Mothers picked up their babies out of their strollers.  Old timers checked the skies for attacks.  The more she pulled, the more Annabelle squealed.  All the Trophy Wife could think of was that Annabelle was going to slip her collar and run, willy-nilly, through the game.  When she got her back to the gap in the fence, she couldn’t fit her back through.  Kind of like taking off your heals under the table, she just wasn’t the same size going back in.  Under the scrutiny of the entire ballpark, players, two angry umpires, her husband and his glaring first wife, she finally got her through, tucked her into her purse and slunk to the car.  I know this had to be a problem when they got home, but seeing as how the Trophy Wife is more than cute, I think it all worked itself out.