Archive | June, 2011

To All The Boys I’ve Kissed Before

29 Jun

A kiss. Brits cheer for it on balconies after royal weddings. Pop singers croon songs about wanting it. Even great artists like Gustav Klimt center a work of art around it. But is a kiss really just a kiss? Can too much kissing be a bad thing? And, most importantly, why the heck would an old married woman care about the subject of kissing anyway? The answer: a random gum commercial.

I had no reason to suspect that watching a commercial about chewing gum would cause me such inner turmoil. What huge, earth shattering revelation did the gum makers release? Just that “the average person has 28 first kisses.” Oh, and you should chew Dentyne for clean breath when your not lip locked with a hottie. Which I get, because everyone needs a boost of freshness after a tuna garlic sandwich. Hold up. Did the smooth voiceover say the average person only has 28 first kisses? My mind races. This statistic can’t be accurate. I rush to the only reliable site that I know will prove that dumb stat wrong. Facebook. After I post a question asking what my peeps think about this deceptive number, I receive several responses. All my friends think the figure is too high. Yes. Too high! More confusion and guilt.

You see, I’ve kissed three times as many lips as the average person. And that’s with not smootching any new men for the past 12 years. Holy cow. I’m a confirmed Kissing Concubine.

How could I let this happen? At 16, my kissing career started off innocent enough. Late bloomer didn’t even begin to describe me. John, my chemistry teacher’s son, gave me a sweet peck outside the journalism hallway. Ok. Maybe some tongue. Regardless, it was as pure as the driven snow. (How pure is driven snow? I mean, if you drive on snow, shouldn’t there be dirt from the tires, oil from the engine leak and pee from the dogs down the hill?) Anywho, my young suitor even sent me a little folded up note asking me if I would like to be kissed, boxes to be checked and all. My friends did intercept the letter and have teased me about it for decades to come. But we all have to be stupid, giddy teenagers sometime. So what went wrong?

Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun entranced me with it’s geisha ways. I lived in a small town called Tanushimaru for over a year and surrounded myself with some wonderful European friends. Oh, and a gay American which in some U.S. circles is akin to being a European. Living away from home, the gang and I needed a new past time. So my BFFs Cheryl, Cory and I formed The Good Feel Ambassadors’ Society. As a condition of membership, we had to agree to extend goodwill to other countries using a cross-cultural hands-on approach. This involved mostly kissing. According to a sociologist named Ernest Crawley, the Japanese society was ignorant of the romantic kiss before the 20th Century. Our East Asian friends were already centuries behind the West. Who cares they kick our rears in meditative practices and healthy eating? Our mission to bring about a new Silver Age of Slurping was needed. I personally believe this ragtag group has done more for American and British interests abroad then many other international organizations including the International Olympic Committee, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Justin Bieber Takes Over the World Fan Club. I sacrificed my lips to those dozens of French, Japanese, Russian, Scottish, Thai, Australian, Korean, Israeli and Antarctic boys who needed to know what an American truly tasted like. But I believe, all and all, it was worth it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that college also contributed to my kissing totals. But getting tongue tied with handsome Hoosier boys doesn’t sound nearly as romantic, nor scandalous, as macking with the foreign variety. Plus, I married an Indiana man and would hate to sully his reputation. So, we’ll just say that college instructed me in the finer points of kissing while intoxicated, which in all honesty should be a ticketable offense. University also taught me not to smootch your best guy friends. Even if they are hot and sweaty after cross-country practice. But I digress.

Now, I know some of the boys I have kissed are probably reading this blog and thinking, “Wow, for someone who’s locked lips with half the population of Taiwan, you really weren’t that skilled of a kisser.” First of all, thanks for the kind words and the remembrance. I obviously was going for a world record, so I chose quantity over quality. If it makes you feel any better, like any professional athlete, I too have sustained irreversible injuries. My jaw popping sounds like a firecracker inside a tin box. I’m self-diagnosed with TMK- Too Much Kissing- an uncommon derivative of TMJ. I have thought of founding a support group. Those interested please contact me.

So, after all my kissing confessions, what are your thoughts on the Big Smootch? Do you think 28 is an adequate representation of the norm? Or are those darn gum companies trying to bring down our wholesome society with a deceptive stat?

All I know is that as a recovering kiss-aholic, it’s nice not to have to worry about sharing my saliva with half the world anymore. I leave it to our younger generations to further this field of international relations. When in need of a mantra, just remember Prince’s universal lyrics,

“You don’t have to be rich to be my girl. You don’t have to be cool to rule my world. Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with. I just want your extra time and your…Kiss”

Let Them Eat Cake… Or a Peanut Butter Sandwich

27 Jun

Spoiled. Overindulged. Pampered. To think these are the adjectives used by my best friends to describe me. Why would anyone label a nice stay-at-home- mommy like me in such unfavorable, but somehow still super-posh, terms? For one simple reason. My husband is the household cook. Every night, after arriving home after a 10 hour work day, my husband fires up the stove and starts preparing the family dinner. He also supplies the kids all three meals on Saturday, Sunday and most major holidays. If you invite us to a picnic or pitch-in, the hub has no doubt made our tupperwared contribution to the gathering. He even bakes cookies and throws together the crock pot delights.

Now, it’s not that my husband’s food rivals Wolfgang Puck or an Iron Chef.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s a decent chef. His tasty dishes would win over a soldier’s combat ready meals or an astronauts space fare quicker than the speed of sound. But the real reason he always fixes our grub is that I just flat out can’t cook.

How do I know my cooking is terrible enough to be turned down as a first meal of a protesting Man versus Food participant on a 15 day hunger strike? An overabundance of non-edible evidence, my dear Watson. People have thrown up after eating my Christmas cookies. Yes, I did put several chopped sticks of nutmeg in the batter, instead of the powder. But when you call for nutmeg, I thought go big or go home. Frying foods is even harder. Sausages and brats always come out looking like burnt puffy worms. Remember the ones you dissected for biology class? Not tasty.  I inevitably burn the kids, and myself, from flying grease bombs. I’m certain that if the Trojans had used a hot skillet filled with olive oil they would have burned down that blasted wooden horse and won the war. I also undercook all meat. My chicken legs are fit for the tigers at the zoo or Hannibal Lecter, not for normal hungry humans. When your dishes could kill innocent women and children from salmonella poisoning, it’s time to reconsider cooking.

According to recent studies, my reliance on my husband for home cooked meals is not the norm. A 2011 American Time Use Survey from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on an average day, 41 percent of men participate in food preparation or cleanup, compared with 68 percent women. In all honesty, I expected these percentage of women who prepare the family meals to be much higher. I relished my minority status. But women recently have had a greater gender equalizer than just the Feminist Movement of the 70s: Fast Food. It is estimated that kids get up to 40 percent of their meals from fast-food chains, convenience stores and restaurants. Now mothers need not depend on their husbands for domestic help when Ronald and Wendy serve breakfast, lunch and supper right around the corner. Hopefully this trend will reverse itself and the old fashioned family meal prepared by- wait for it- a family member will return, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Although holding our breath might make our waists look a tad bit smaller after they expand from all those high calorie fast food meals. Hm.

Being summer break, I do muster up enough cooking prowess to feed my three kids breakfast and lunch during he work week. Thank the lord for super sugary breakfast cereals, fresh fruit and raw vegetables. I’ve learned ranch dressing makes anything edible, including rice cakes and even cardboard pizza cutouts. Canned soups, cheese sticks, PB and J and a plethora of lunch meat finish the smorgasbord. Viola. Welcome to the Beam Bistro.

A lot of people might call me lazy. Or maybe they think I could learn to cook. But I tend to reply cooking is like an art. Can you teach a tone deaf person how to sing? Yes, with the unfortunate advent of auto-tune, but otherwise not so much. And we’ve seen the train wreck auto-tune causes. Have you heard Kim Kardashian’s song? The horror. Same with cooking. I too have some auto-tune food prep items, like the microwave , a toaster and the phone to call out for delivery. But leave me to fend to my own devices, and I’m quite literally toast.

So I suppose there are worse things than being a kept wife. But shouldn’t current societal norms allow for the men who allow their wives to cook all the meals to be called spoiled and coddled as well? Until then, I’ll be thankful for any dinner my husband prepares for the kids and me. Plus, according to a Journal of Family Issues study, men that contribute more time to domestic chores also tend to heat up the bedroom more frequently then men who contribute less. Can anyone say check, please?

Smells Like Overbearing Mommy Spirit

24 Jun

Do you ever feel like you have a secret that’s really not a secret to anyone except yourself? And, more importantly, can you follow the absurd ramblings of an Indiana mom questioning said self realization in the middle of a cool summer’s night? It’s best that I just get this well-known secret off my chest before it either gets reburied deep in my subconscious, or manifests itself as a 36 hour Celebrity Rehab watch-a-thon. So here it goes. I AM AN OBNOXIOUS SPORTS PARENT.

Hear someone shout questionable things at a ref during a preschool game on Lil Tike’s goals? It’s probably me. But in my defense, if the NBA doesn’t allow double teaming, I don’t think you should be able to corner trap a four year old who dribbles his own slobber better than the ball. Notice a mom manipulating her body like a charades’ player with the song title “Maneater” to illustrate a soccer pass. Yeah, that’s me too. In fact, I’m known in our local sporting community as “that mom”. Which is funny, because I’ve never played an organized team sport in my life. Could I be trying to avenge my own lack of athleticism by focusing too hard on my miniature Beckhams? Or am I trying to validate my decision to be a stay-at-home mom through the success of my Duke Class of 2022 star freshman recruit? I tend to go out on a limb and blame it on my husband for brainwashing me with repeated showings of the SportsCenter Plays of the Day. I won’t even mention what Mike and Mike in the Morning would do to innocent women like me, but I believe it combines the plot of the Manchurian Candidate with infiltrating underaged Chinese gymnasts.

In my defense, quite a few moms and dads are somewhat annoying when it comes to watching their kids compete for any type of round, bounceable object. You want your child to do well and are proud of their accomplishments. Not to mention that you’ve gotta keep up with that dorky Jones kid from down the street. But some parents tend to go overboard. And I am afraid I am often one of them. In my experience, these rambunctious guardians of the game can be placed in one of several categories.

First, we have the Fanatic Fan. Sometimes parents just cheer incessantly for their own kid. A child could get hit in the forehead with six pop up fly balls, or  worse yet, break another child’s nose with a pop up bat and still a mom would think that little Katie was the second coming of the Babe. I suppose that’s the beauty of unconditional love. Either that or someone  truly doesn’t understand a damn thing about baseball. Now I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing to fully support your little rookie in all his endeavors. But these certain parents take it to the extreme by usually putting down every other player on the field while at the same moment telling you how there child single handedly won the game for the past 12 seasons. And the kids only six. Generally, the punishment for these parents is the bitter recognition that they will most likely never be a mother of a future MLB player. But I wouldn’t mind throwing in a beating with an orange-filled mitt just for the heck of it.

Next up, the Bleacher Barkers. These are the moms and dad who have decided to coach their kids from the stands. Who cares what the actual coach plans for a play, every parent has a god-given right to call the offense his or her little power forward needs to execute.  What ensues is chaos. Just like poultry getting trapped with a coyote in a coop, our little darlings start to run around like chickens without heads. Although great for posting to YouTube, having a bazillion different coaches does little to teach the fundamentals of the game. Especially when you have moms like me who only know how to shout “foul hard” and “throw some ‘bows”. Just call me a street baller.

Last but not least are the Referee Rilers. Harassing the ref’s are these parents’ specialty. I admit I fall into this category. And yes, I know referees have a hard job. It’s difficult to see every play of the game. Plus, these guys and gals get paid little for the harassment they endure, very little when you factor in those tacky black and white striped shirts they must wear. But I digress.

All and all, I have made it my mission to become a more calm fan. I cheer for both teams now. I try and remember that it’s just a game, and as long as my child is having fun, it’s a win. I’ve  also learned to kiss up to the refs both before and after the game with kind words of appreciation and, if the time is right, a gift certificate to a sporting goods store. But the biggest change I have enacted to counteract my competitiveness with my kids sports is to take up a new athletic activity of my own. So if you see a masked mommy on inline skates roaming the streets with a hockey stick, just try not to coach from the sidelines. It’s amazing where those pucks can fit.

The Summer of the MILF and My Quest To Become One

22 Jun

It’s official. Summer has arrived. And with it’s return comes the old warm weather staples: ice cream, water sports and MILFS. Yes, those ladies known as Mothers I’d Like to… well, you get the picture. Go to any local pool and you’ll witness this exotic creature in her natural environment. Strewn across the yellowing plastic strapped pool recliners, she lays in wait; a 30 plus mommy in a string bikini, perfect tan and a flock of gawkers that would peck the dirt from between her toes if only she would let them close enough. Oh, and not to forget the MILFS most essential defining accessory- her angelic children. The MILF remains the summer scourge of decent Mid-Western mothers and wandering-eyed fathers everywhere. And I secretly want to be one.

Why would someone aspire to MIlFdom? Well, according to an article in my latest Discover magazine, the keyword MILF ranks third among all sexual internet searches. MILFs are all the sudden a hot commodity. Doesn’t this research and the term itself portray women in a negative, and I’m not just talking about morning, light? Isn’t it almost like saying we moms are in a lower category separate from other “mateable” women?  Yes to both. But sometimes it’s nice to receive a little recognition of your sexuality when you live in a world of dirty diapers, leaking breasts and burp cloths.

Becoming a MILF is a difficult task for most of us. There’s not too much that’s sexy about being a mom. Sure, sometimes a spaghetti stain obtained during a food fight looks tantalizing when it happens to draw attention to your breasts in a white shirt. But that’s about it. So to transform into a MILF, you have to mess with mother nature. Swimsuit selection is vital. Unfortunately, you can’t wear Spanx with a bikini, so a high waist and loads of underwire are necessary. Other manipulations help as well. My drag queen friend instructed me in college how to draw in cleavage and tape those breasts up so high that they look like a polar bear’s behind. I’m as white as a polar bear’s behind as well, so a spray tan is a must. Apply too much make-up and style some long flowing hair as final touches. Finally, put on heels that make your achilles ache for an arrow to relieve the pain, grab the kids and here comes sexy.

Transformation complete. I proudly limp to the crossover-that-everyone-calls-a-van and wrangle the tax deductions inside. Suddenly, a new aura overtakes me. It’s a man’s stare. My MILF super powers must be forming. I whip around, and ever so slightly scoot down my $10 gas station fake Ray Bans. Behind me I find an 80 year old man out for his morning walk. There’s no smile on his face. Only a weird forehead tic. Then it dawns on me. I don’t look like a MILF. I look like a Parisian whore. Flashbacks of the Great War have obviously frozen poor Mr. Greer in his tracks. He’s remembering Gigi, the old Lady of the Night that charged less then the younger ones because of her fake leg. Ah, those were the days. Needless to say, I do a run/fall/crawl back up the stairs and change back into my comfy fleece capris and a ratty tank.

Why couldn’t I pull off being the perfect MILF? Maybe I need to aspire to something different. I could totally be a MILK, aka Mom I’d Like to Kiss. Plus, MILK also explains why my breasts aren’t as perky as they once were. Ugh. Infants and their nutritional needs. I think we need other ILF groupings, too. Like FDILW- Funeral Director I’d Like to Whip. Or GILG- Grandma I’d to Grind. How about CILF for the clowns. Because everyone knows hot and sexy clowns need love too.

Perhaps I’m wrong in my definition of a MILF itself. It’s not about trying to be the hottest mom north of the local Asian massage parlor. It’s an attitude.  Or maybe I’m completely inaccurate and the term is  just another way of allowing ignorant men to define women according to their needs. Either way, the male species need to look at the mother’s body as what it is. Something that nourished life for ten months and continues to shape that life into a compassionate, intelligent human being. That’s kinda sexy too. I believe each mommy is a MILF in her own way, regardless of if they have 20 onlookers or just the one that you’ve been married to for 10 years that lies beside you snoring in bed every night.

Greetings and Salutations

20 Jun

Hello World! I know that’s not a very grandiose way of beginning my first ever blog. If I were a proper writer, I would need to begin with an emotional quote or with fancy hardly used words I had learned in my high school Latin class. As luck would have it, I am not a proper writer. So who is this unique person attempting to vie for your attention in a sea of a 1,000 bloggers? Well, that’s complicated.

My name is Amanda. Not an overly distinct name, In fact, Amanda was one the top ten most popular U.S. baby name list for most of the 80′s and 90′s. Millions of Amandas roam the streets everyday. I’m sure you know one. Most likely she’s a pure girl, with a bit of trashiness. I blame the trashiness on the Boston song “Amanda”. You just can’t have a hairband name a song after you and not be slightly tarnished. Case in point, Tommy Tutone’s 867-5309/Jenny. Sorry Jennys. You are now known as sluts who have your number written on bathroom walls. Just send your thanks to Mr. Tutone. Regardless, having the name Amanda does not make me stand out in a crowd.

How about the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mama to three well-meaning-but-terribly-energetic kids? According to suite101.com, a totally random website I just googled to support my point, around 25 percent of all mothers stay at home with their three to six year olds. That’s a lot of tired mommies, not to mention a ton of snotty noses that need to be wiped. Perhaps if we subdivided this group into caregivers who take a shot of Jack to survive the day, I might be in the minority. But given the initial premise, I’m still one of many.

I could try and impress you with my double major in East Asian Studies and Political Science I received at Indiana University. But there is a fine line between unique and just flat out strange. My love of comic book heros already has me dangerously treading this line. I dare not cross it with my affinity for all things Japanese including hunky Asian men.

I also run. If you call it that. I myself do not consider prodding along at 11 minute miles as a run. It’s more of an overly enthusiastic walk. When a seven month pregnant woman and a man wearing a suit of armor pass you at mile marker eight, you know you’re not at the apex of the sport. So I doubt if mediocre qualifies me as unusual.

So we have a problem. I’m not very unique. Except in one way. Every blog I post on here will be something original. Something totally me. Although nothing separates me from say, your co-worker’s annoying wife or one of Hef’s Playboy Bunnies, my collective experience is something no one else has shared. As Aristotle stated, “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” Oh crap. I threw in a quote. Perhaps I am a proper writer after all.

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