Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happiness Is . . .

I started this list a while back.  Maybe it's dumb.  Or maybe it's - and I think this is more like it - therapeutic.  I have the list on Blogger, in draft format, and also on my phone (most of them anyway).  Whenever I feel like punching someone in the face, I try to remember to glance at my Happy List. 

I have a lot of Happy going on right now.  I'm leaving tomorrow for NEW YORK CITY.  This means I'm doing a lot of grocery shopping for frozen dinners that are easy for my husband to fix so that he and the kids don't exist on Mickey D's for the next five days.  It means I'm doing load after load after load of laundry.  It means I'm shopping for last minute "must have's" and trying on everything in my closet to see if there's anything that will magically turn me into Carrie Bradshaw (spoiler alert: there's not) and, basically, just being OMGSOBUSY.  A good busy.  The kind of busy that means in about 48 hours I'll be headed straight for WGW-ville. 

So rather than try to crank out a real blog post, I'm sharing my Happy List.  A lot of these seem to revolve around food.  So sorry not sorry.  Here goes!

Happiness is . . .

. . . 75 degrees with sunshine
. . .  the smell of honeysuckle on a warm spring night
. . . fresh baked chocolate chip cookies
. . . leaving your favorite restaurant with a full belly
. . . leaving your favorite restaurant with a full belly and going directly home to take a nap
. . . margaritas on the patio with your best girlfriends
. . . the smell of a used book store
. . . night swimming
. . . a cupcake
. . . fireflies
. . . children chasing fireflies
. . . not caring what other people think or how stupid you might look
. . . riding with the windows down
. . . Christmas morning
. . . the realization that regardless of how long it took you to get there, you finally have all your shit together
. . . a Las Vegas buffet
. . . introducing out of town friends or family to your favorite local BBQ place
. . . hearing a favorite song from your childhood
. . . new shoes
. . . free drinks from the cute (or at least not-repulsive) guy at the bar
. . . a field of bluebonnets
. . . laughing so hard you have tears running down your cheeks
. . . remembering a happy moment - a moment that made you  laugh so hard you had tears running down your cheeks - and smiling so big and goofy even though no one else around you has any idea of WHY you're smiling so big and goofy
. . . sleeping in
. . . ice cream
. . . good night kisses from your kids
. . . yellow roses
. . . trees blooming after a long hard winter
. . . running through the sprinkler
. . . a day at the lake
. . . a day at the lake with beer
. . . a day at the lake with beer and hotdogs on the grill
. . . New Orleans
. . . a baby's laugh
. . . a chubby baby
. . . a chubby baby's laugh
. . . Roseanne reruns
. . . trying a new food for the first time and loving it
. . . the national anthem being sang (sung?) at a baseball game
. . . the beach
. . . the smell of the beach
. . . having shrimp and a drink with an umbrella in it on a deck on the beach
. . . finding an old love letter (even from someone you currently wish would get their balls smashed, if it makes you feel good about yourself -- it's a happy)
. . . a big pretzel from the mall
. . . finding a Mike's Hard Cranberry at the back of the fridge
. . . that feeling after thanksgiving dinner has been eaten and everyone is still there, stuffed and visiting while football plays in the background
. . . the first football game of the season with "football weather"
. . . a frito chili pie at a football game
. . . hot chocolate on a cold night
. . . Pinnacle whipped in your hot chocolate
. . . finding an episode of SUV you haven't seen yet
. . . having a babysitter on a Friday night
. . . how sexy you feel when you're buzzed but not quite drunk
. . . running into a friend at an unexpected place
. . . road trips with good music and without kids
. . . freshly painted toenails
. . . tailgating at a college football game
. . . college football
. . . taking an evening to eat bad food and catch up on your recorded TV
. . . seeing something that reminds you of a grandparent
. . . the Fourth of July
. . . ribs, potato salad, and baked beans on the Fourth of July
. . . friends who are cool with calling it the "Whoreth of July"
. . . receiving good news from your kid's teacher
. . . fitting into a size smaller than you thought you wore, even if it IS just vanity sizing
. . . a clearance sale
. . . finding a Cold Case marathon on a rainy day when you have nothing to do
. . . a greasy burger and fries from a no name diner
. . . FINALLY BEATING LEVEL 65 OF CANDY CRUSH
. . . hearing Gin and Juice, Back that Ass Up, and Regulators on 90's on 9.  ON THE SAME DAY.  (Happened Monday!)
. . . 90's on 9
. . . Chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right, and the radio up

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It was Funny. Until it Wasn't.

We're in North Carolina. We left yesterday morning, drove ten hours, and switched time zones before arriving at our destination. This post, however, is not to tell you about our road trip or share pictures of the Smokey Mountains. It's to tell you about five little minutes ... five minutes of ignorance we encountered on the final leg of our journey, when we were actually at our destination city but needed to fuel up and use the bathroom before getting to our hotel.

Let me preface this by stating that I am non-confrontational to a fault. Any sort of conflict makes my heart race and my hands shake and my palms sweat. I hate to argue! I certainly don't instigate conflict. Except maybe with my husband. When it's that time of the month. And I just feel like being an asshole.

Anyway. Yesterday.

We stopped at a gas station. Eddie was fueling up and J needed to go to the bathroom. He is six-years-old, a kindergartener, and please know that THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL HE WAS GOING IN THE GAS STATION MEN'S ROOM BY HIMSELF. Not an option, not going to happen, nuh-uh, no way. I took him in the ladies room with me where he chose his own stall for a little bit of privacy. He had trouble with the lock and, in that time, another lady entered the restroom.

"You need to be using the men's room. Ain't no need for you to be in here."

I was insta-pissed. It's hard enough to convince this kid to go in the ladies me without some busybody coming along telling him he shouldn't be in there.

From my stall, I calmly and nicely called out, "Ma'am, he's in here with his mother."

"I don't care. I need to go to the bathroom and he don't need to be in here."

I told her I was finished and she was free to use my stall. Surely it would end there, right?

Wrong.

She had to go to the bathroom so bad that she would harass a little boy but when a bathroom was available, she decided to get in my face.

"You know he's too big to be in here."
"He looks big but he's only six. He's a kindergartener and he's not going into the men's room alone."
"You can't just do whatever you want!" She went on and on and when she told me "once he reaches a certain age, they can fine you for bringing him in here," I'd had enough. Up to that point, I'd responded with "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" and being as nice-but-firm as possible. But I was done and just said, "whatever lady."

"You DO NOT talk to me that way. I'm a 63-year-old woman and you'll treat me with some respect."

"I treated you with more respect that you deserve. You'll get a lot more of it when you quit trying to tell me what I can and can't do with my own child."

Then.

Then! Oh y'all. Somebody hold my earrings.

This 63-year-old heifer is going to tell me, "AND THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULDA STAYED YOUR ASS IN MEXICO!"

I called her a racist bitch loud enough for the entire gas station to hear and then got myself and my kids out of there before I beat that vile human being with my flip flop.

Initially it was funny. I even posted a Facebook status last night with the story and attached a "hahaha" at the end. Because really? Mexico? ME? Was she crazy or blind or drunk?

But this morning it's not so funny.

She probably was crazy but she also saw a woman with long dark hair with a little boy who had darker skin and automatically assumed we were Hispanic because of that. It was initially funny because, hello, big old redneck here. But it was racist regardless. And I can't imagine how much more hurtful her hate would've been if she'd said something about my actual ethnicity (for the record, and not that it's important, this woman was black) or insulted my child for being biracial.

Not quite as funny then, huh?

I can honestly say that - as an interracial family - we face very little racism. One time we had a woman tell us "your family is beautiful. Even if you are mixed race." We've gotten a few dirty looks here and there. But it's 2013 and, for the most part, people just don't care anymore. So when we DO see racism it shakes me to the core a little more.

And it's certainly not funny.