Educate Me

I had to buy a new hairdryer, which means I stood in an aisle for twenty minutes while my brain flooded with questions:

If this one dries three times as fast and this one dries fifty percent faster, which one actually wins? Three doesn’t go into five, so is this just math I don’t understand? And what are they faster than? Air? Wind? My husband pursing his lips and blowing on my hair?

And is faster good? Or bad? How fast is so fast that curls become a giant ball of frizz? Would I look like I electrocuted myself? Is looking like I electrocuted myself okay if I spend less time doing it?

What exactly is an ion, anyway? Does my hair actually have an ion deficiency?

What does a fifty-dollar hairdryer do, anyway? I mean, if it will dry my hair in my sleep, I might spend the fifty bucks. My other hairdryers have seen that as a fire or shock hazard. Maybe this one has a different design?

And then, finally, . . . which color is the prettiest?

Because that’s the only question I could actually answer.

And I want to be an educated shopper.



Bending the Rules

As soon as the boys arrived home for Christmas break, I announced, “I have several packages coming. No one but me opens them.”

So, Younger followed the rules.

To an extent.

Apparently, he discovered a logo on one of the packages and did a Google search.

“Hey, Mom,” he approached me, confused but attempting an oh-so-casual air. “Would you buy me a necklace?”

Obviously, he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. And maybe not even as smart as I thought he was.

Because not only did he guess the gift wrong.

He also ratted himself out.

So far, I’m not that impressed with his college education.

More of the Same

Elder is almost finished with his second-to-last semester. Younger is almost finished with his first ever college semester. Next week is finals. Then I will have my boys at home together once again for a few weeks.

I will kiss them goodnight — just the tops of their heads so I don’t interrupt an important Smash tournament.

I will settle arguments — or maybe just yell, “Why can’t we all just get along?” You know, either way.

I will fill my laundry with sweatshirts and stinky socks. And try to remember whose stinky socks are whose.

I will cook regular size meals. Or maybe I will cook the same size meals, but my husband and I won’t be eating leftovers for four days.

I will mumble that stacking video games into one large pile is not straightening up.

And I will watch superhero movies — or stare blankly at a television screen — while snuggled on the sofa with the men I love the most.

One more time, I will experience Christmas break with just my little family.

Life is change.

But, every now and then, we are blessed with same.

That Thing I Do

With Thanksgiving behind us and December quickly approaching us, I thought I would share a Christmas story from 2005. Elder, my careful and literal child, would have been nine years old, and Younger, my irreverent and quick-witted child, would have been six years old . . .

In the midst of the whirlwind of opening Christmas presents and eating Christmas meals, we were on our way home for our one peaceful night during the holidays.  And, of course, less than five miles from the last house, Elder and Younger launched into an argument over one of the few toys they were expected to share.

After both sides were presented at a screeching intensity and two pairs of eyes settled on me in expectation of great words of wisdom that would somehow split one toy into two, I muttered with weary sarcasm, “Merry Christmas, boys.”

And Elder with the utmost sincerity and solemnity responded, “Merry Christmas, Mom.”

My eyes widening, I smacked both hands over my mouth because I am not allowed to laugh at Elder for any reason.  And I was doing all right, was starting to feel somewhat confident that I would survive the ordeal until Younger whispered, “Elder, I think she was doing that thing she does, you know, that thing she does when she doesn’t really mean it.”

Did you know that you can emit laughter from your nose?


I’m not doing that thing I do, you know, that I do when I don’t really mean it.

But it was all right, the snickering and snorting, I guess, because Elder watched us for a moment, my husband and I, trying unsuccessfully to suffocate all sounds of hilarity, then turned to Younger to announce, “They are laughing at you.”


Smart Is as Smart Does

I keep a clock in our bathroom, but every time the electric blinks, the reading on the clock starts over at midnight. A long, long time ago, I gave up trying to program the correct time into it and simply figure out, after each random blink of electric, how many minutes I need to add or subtract for the correct reading.

But the other day, early morning, half-asleep and hair still wet, I glanced at the clock, added the required fifteen minutes, and panicked. Because I had ten minutes to leave the house.

Suddenly awake, trying frantically to ascertain where I had lost fifteen minutes, I barely dried my hair, swiped on some make-up, shoved in my contacts, and grabbed my phone.

Only to realize that when he was updating the clocks for the time change over the weekend, my husband had included the clock that he never uses, the clock that no one cares about but me. And the bright numbers staring back at me from the bathroom counter were actually correct.

In other words, I hadn’t lost fifteen minutes.

My husband tried to assure me that he had gifted me with fifteen minutes.

Like a bank robber returning his loot is somehow gifting the bank.

Everyone says my husband is a smart guy.