Monthly Archives: November 2012

MomDay Monday – Blech Frizzy

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As most of you know, when I’m not freaking out on taking joy in The Boy & The Girl, I work full-time in retail. Naturally, my job entails tolerating helping shoppers find the items they’re looking for & yelling at supporting the team that helps me do my job. Last week was Thanksgiving, which in the retail world means only one thing.

Survival.

My phone understands this all too well as has taken to auto-correcting “Black Friday” to “Blech Frizzy.” Seems oddly appropriate.

Having survived another year of Blech Frizzy madness, I’m still stunned that there are people whose Thanksgiving plans include standing in line for hours to purchase an $8 coffee maker or a $19 toaster. So here, some random thoughts & observations on the entire experience with a few words of advice for the shopping public.

Sir, I’m sure you take first place every year at the county fair whistling contest, but 20 minutes of your whistling rendition of “Hey, Soul Sister” throughout Small Appliances is quite enough.

– On earth it’s called a “scale,” not a “weighing machine.” And drawing little imaginary circles around your feet while you say it in your very thick Neptunian accent doesn’t help.

Ladies, One-Size-Fits-All is not a challenge.

– We actually sell cardigans for men. Gentlemen, listen to me; unless you are Mr. Rogers, there is never a reason to wear a cardigan.

Where can you find that green ladder in the flyer you’re showing me? Well, since the flyer is from K-mart, I’m going to go with… K-mart. We’re not them.

– Yes ma’am, we do still have the $300 50″ TVs. They’re right over there in that time machine. Just set the dial for 9 pm when we opened.

No ma’am, I am not aware of curling irons that use lighter fluid. And while I appreciate that you are aware of the internet and looked it up online, I”m not sure which website said we’d have such an item. You’ll have to be more specific about which site is “the place you go to online to buy stuff.”

– I don’t need the back story, sir. Nor do I need your design ideas & where you’re thinking of placing your new table. I also have no vested interest in which table you get. Please just pick one.

It’s okay if you don’t believe me about where the kitchen items are, ma’am. Enjoy your time in Automotive looking for measuring cups.

– Yes ma’am, I would assume that the electric carving knife would cut meat. But that’s just me.

And finally… don’t leave your shopping lists around. They will make their way to the internet. 

Rules for the Turkey Feast

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The Boy: “Mom, there are two rules for the Turkey Feast. Don’t pull down your pants & don’t clog the toilet.”

May you have a fully clothed & clog-free Thanksgiving.

1-800-No-Santa

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The Big Man’s about to go down; The Girl is on to the Santa ruse: “It has to be you & dad. You read the list & everything you say ‘no’ to, we don’t get.”

Me: “Maybe we call Santa & go over the list with him.”

The Girl: “Right. Like Santa has a phone.”

MomDay Monday – Cancer Isn’t Funny, Is It?

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I know what you’re thinking. “Every post isn’t going to be about cancer is it?” No, but obviously, this is something that is on my mind right now so indulge me if you will. After all… I have cancer. You have to be nice.

I’ve explained to The Kids what’s happening with me & am doing my best to be honest with them. I had a friend tell me that his mom died of breast cancer, and no one told him or his sister for more than a year. He said what they imagined was so much worse than the reality & wished his parents had been up front. That conversation was huge in my decision to tell the kids everything. I had initially thought that I would tell them I was having surgery, but I didn’t need to actually say The “C” Word, did I? But I noticed as I said it more, it took on less power. It became less scary. The first few times I told someone I had breast cancer, I started crying as I said it. The last time I told someone, I didn’t really bat an eye. Just told them. Then gently pushed their lower jaw back together with the rest of their face & moved on.

The following was part of a text exchange that took place shortly after I was diagnosed with my beautiful niece – let’s call her, oh, say… Alyssa.

Alyssa: “Do the kids know about the cancer? That word is terrible. I feel guilty even saying/typing it. Like if I whisper, it won’t hear me.”

That’s when I realized… Cancer is like the Voldemort of diseases. It has become “It That Cannot Be Named.” And dammit, I’m going to do what I can to stop that. What I’m trying to say is a long, convoluted way of explaining why I wanted to be fully honest with The Kids. Why hide it? Why create more of a stigma around it? And why make my family & friends tip toe around it  & wonder what & how much The Kids know.

So I sat them down one night – it was right after Trick or Treat so they were all sugared up & ready to have a good ol’ serious one-on-one with mom. I told them that I had something that needed to be taken care of & that I was going to be having surgery. Then I asked them if they knew what cancer was.

The Boy: “I’ve heard of breast cancer.”

The Girl: “Me too. We did that walk with Girl Scouts, remember?”

Me: “Awesome. (high fives all around) Do know what cancer is?”

lots of head shaking

Me: “It’s a disease where bad cells start growing in a person’s body & if it’s not taken care of, those bad cells will start to take over good cells. Mine was found really early so once I have surgery, I’ll have some other treatments & then hopefully it will be all gone. Does that make sense?”

And this is where the sugar kicks in….

The Girl: “So it’s like the bad cells are sitting there telling the good cells: ‘Come to the dark side. We have cookies.”

Me: “Um…. Something like that…”

The Boy: “See, I pictured it more like the bad cells got hit by lightning & mutated into like a Godzilla thing & started rampaging through your city.”

Me: “Okay… so we seem to have a clear grasp of what’s going on. Any questions?”

The Girl: “So where is your cancer?”

Me: “In my boob.”

The Boy: “I will pay you to not ever say ‘boob’ again.”

They have both since had good days & bad days. The Boy wanted to be home with me immediately following the surgery, claiming that he needed to be here to help me. The Girl has told everyone she’s met & has often come home with comments such as, “My CCD teacher has cancer, too. He’s going to call you.” I’m glad she’s talking about it. She’s probably reached more people than this blog.

One thing that many people have told me is to maintain my sense of humor. It seems as though The Kids are trying to take that approach as well.

Of course, nothing has made me laugh more than a comment made by The Joan as she was trying to explain my particular type of breast cancer: “It started in her Milk Duds.”

She may need her own blog.