couples fight

Stupid Shit Couples Fight About

Sometimes I read these posts floating around the internet that propose to tell you how to make your relationship better: “Tips and Tricks for a Stronger Relationship,” “Learn How to Avoid Arguments with Your Spouse,” “The Top Five Things You Shouldn’t Be Fighting with Your Spouse Over,” “True Love Doesn’t Bicker and Nag,” “Learn How to Fight Fair,” etc. And I have to wonder, who writes this shit? Are they actually married to a real person, or one of those fictional characters out of a sappy romance novel?

In a perfect world, of course we wouldn’t fight about money. We would have discussed it earlier in our relationship, made out a twenty-page family budget plan that would make Congress piss their collective pants, have a ten year savings nest egg already started, and would respect each other enough to not bitch over somebody, I’m not calling any names here, but somebody paying $100 for some super special screwdriver drill thingie. Or for Italian leather boots. But I digress…

It’s not a perfect world. And in our imperfect world, real couples bicker and fight over far less important things than what the “experts” would have us believe is healthy and normal.

The most common things people fight about with their partners? Only the most important shit EVER, beginning, absolutely, with:

1. The fucking thermostat.

One half of the couple likes the ambient temperature of the house to be around 72ish, while the other half likes it to be about -30 below. Totally normal. And totally worth a catfight now and then. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

2. Condiment mixing.

You do NOT use the mustard knife to spread mayo from the communal jar. Because now there’s mustard in there in the mayo jar. What if the next person doesn’t WANT mustard mixed in with their mayo? So rude. Likewise, you must use a separate utensil for the peanut butter and jelly. Do NOT get jelly in the peanut butter jar, nor peanut butter in the jelly jar. It’s not rocket science, people. I WILL CUT YOU.

3. Dirty laundry in the floor – right next to the hamper.

Do you see that wicker box about 3.5 feet tall, right there next to the wall? It’s kind of tan, has a hinged lid…It looks a little bit like a receptacle of some kind. I know it may not have occurred to you to wonder what that contraption is or what it’s for, but we use that to collect the dirty clothes, so that they aren’t strewn about in the floor. And yet the dirty socks and wet towels are magically still strewn about in the floor, right next to the hamper. ::eye twitch::

4. Washing the dishes.

I have come to understand that the dishes are a chore more hated than pretty much any other household thing in the history of people living together. And it should be sooo simple, right? You cook, I clean. I cook, you clean. And yet it never works out that way. And don’t even get me started on the all the travel mugs and Tupperware hoarded in the car or the bowls piled up on the headboard. Seriously, what are you doing, eating cereal in your sleep? There is a simple solution for this one, though. Buy a dishwasher, and then teach your kids how to use it. Until then, paper plates and solo cups should work just fine. You can even buy them now with pretty patterns for when you want to feel fancy.

5. Making plans.

Inevitably, someone makes plans without checking the family schedule. You know– the family schedule posted in the kitchen on that artfully-crafted, Pinterest-inspired work of genius that took three weeks to make and was promptly forgotten about after the second week? Yeah, that one. Oh and whose job is it to get a sitter when one party makes plans without letting the other one know anything about it until half an hour before we’re suppose to be there? Ohhhhhh. Yeah.

6. Working late.

Follow my logic here, if you will: If my boss says I have to work late, then I have to work late. #theend. It is very rarely a choice. Yes, I miss you too. But I like my job, and I’d kinda like to keep it. Plus, the overtime will be nice to have this payday. Perhaps you could use these extra hours I’m away to look into that dirty sock on the floor situation.

7. Holidays.

I don’t really think this needs any explanation. Holidays are a pain in the ass. From travel arrangements, to the added expenses, to the strain on everyone’s emotions and stress levels, to gift-buying. Especially when one person is elected by a majority vote of one to buy all the gifts, and then has to answer every one of the next 7000 questions about what “we” bought and how much “we” spent.

8. Lost keys.

Imagine if you can, this gorgeous little block of polished wood mounted onto the wall next to the front door, with several little hooks on it, engraved with the letters K-E-Y-S. Now close your eyes and imagine a world where all the happy little keys were returned there after use. Can you picture it? Can you see it? Neither can I.

9. Apologizing when you don’t mean it.

I believe that you’re sorry you forgot and accidentally flushed the toilet while I was showering like you believe I’m sorry for thinking you didn’t need your old bowling bag anymore and setting it out at the yard sale. And p.s. If you can’t even say it without giggling, you are fooling no one. Geeze.

10. How many times we’ve had this fight already before.

 

© 2015 MyLove Barnett, as first published on Scary Mommy

WOMANIFESTO

Libba Bray

Congratulations.

You have woken the witch that lives deep inside me.

You have removed the slumber chains from the giant of old.

You have handed me a box of matches and no chaperone

And a world made of lies and polyester.

Congratulations.

You have barked up the wrong bitch.

Proclaim it:

I have shucked off the good, southern lady’s cloak,

Of the homecoming court, the cheerleader,

The preacher’s daughter, hands gentled in her lap.

They tied it at my neck with a bow, a Gordian girl-knot,

When I was young and bossy and sure-footed

“For protection,” they said.

Whose protection? I wondered.

Enough.

I have sent that shit out to the dry cleaners

I will not pick it up

They can sell it for a profit from a rack on the street.

From now on,

I’m exposing the raw pink edges of my true skin to the sun.

Some things…

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Let’s Do Something Drastic To My Hair RIGHT Before A Photo Event

I started going gray around 19 or so. It wasn’t a traumatic thing or anything like that, but when you have hair as dark as mine, it’s not something you can readily hide. When that inevitably happens, you have three choices:
(1) Let it happen.
(2) Dye it.
(3) Pluck the motherfucker.

(If you just heard Sam Elliot’s voice, we are soulmates and should elope immediately.)

The first couple, I plucked. Superstitions be damned, I plucked at least three. And then I decided to start the several decades-long habit of dying my hair. From 1996 to 2007, I faithfully colored my hair once every two months with brunette neutral level 2. In 2007, a funny thing happened. I went in to get some highlights for Halloween, and my stylist talked me into some cherry red streaks. Like a moth to a flame, I was hooked. I fell for that red, and I fell HARD.

From 2008 to 20011, regardless of what style I had my hair cut into (and I had a new one every month, because my bestie was a stylist and I was her guinea pig), I always kept those bright-ass red highlights. And then, it happened. I had to go to court, and our attorney was fairly certain that my wild-ass hair wouldn’t put on the best of appearances. We lifted them out, and just left some white blonde streaks. BOOM. Respectable once again. For about a month, and then I was itching to get some color back in there. This time, though, we went with a hot pinkish fuschia shade that made me weak in the knees. I never loved anything more that seeing that first glimpse of that bright-ass shade in my hair. I kept that until late 2012, when I became obsessed with blue. Blue we went, and blue we stayed, until yesterday–a week before Christmas, 2016.

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My husband has been after me for years to let my gray come on out. He has a thing for Emmylou Harris, and he’s said many times that I shouldn’t feel like I have to cover my grays. I get that. But also, I’m not covering my grays because I shun aging or looking old or anything. I cover my grays because I don’t like the way it looks to have just a handful of silver tinsel growing out of my head randomly. If it was in streaks, I’d be all over that! But it’s not, so I cover it. But I’ve been seeing a lot of this lately, and I covet this look fiercely!

silver-hair

And so, yesterday, I began the long and arduous journey into silver hair. I will stop right here and say very clearly: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. If you want this look, get thee to a salon and let a professional handle it. I’m serious. Don’t do it. The chances of a DIY home project like this turning out well are slim to you will absolutely fry your hair off.

But I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I’ve been self-coloring for decades, so here we go. It’s only hair. If I fry it off, I will wear a wig or rock a pixie until it grows back and be a walking talking warning to everyone else 😀

Let me insert some of my favorite selfies here, so you can see the look I started with:

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(Also, if you ever see me with anything other than kinky waves, please know and appreciate that I spent hours with a smoothing brush and a flat iron to make it happen, because the natural state of my hair is kink.)

Okay! Now that we’re clear on our starting point, let’s get this party started! First, I slathered my hair in coconut oil, covered it with a shower cap, and slept in that overnight. And then I got up and washed my hair. (No conditioner, just shampooing the oil out.) Then I towel dried and sectioned my hair to start the bleaching process.

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I used 40 volume lifting bleach, and I left it on there about 40 minutes total. I did start about 3inches down from the root first, and then did my roots last. So it was on the new growth maybe 20 minutes. (Virgin hair bleaches faster, so never start at the root when bleaching your whole head!)

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So, for the first lifting, we did make it to a bright-ass YELLOW! Which, if you have dark hair, you know is pretty great for one take, because we usually get a rank orange nastiness LOL So this was a great first run. The next step is to tone the fuck out of it and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! In a few days, I will do a second bleaching and see where we are.start3  start2

I did manage to get some makeup on my face the next day, but I will also most likely be wearing a wig or a hat if I need to leave the house in the next two days. I will go ahead and post this so you can laugh at my dumbassery, and will update this post as changes happen!

My Husband Is A Writer

Adam wrote this recently, but he is without blog and this was too good to not share. So I’m posting it for him and also beaming at how talented my husband is. I don’t post a lot of political stuff here, but that’s how good I think this is. Whenever he writes, I bug him about starting his own blog. Please join me in bugging him.

Clerk: Welcome!  What can I do for you?

Customer: Saw your ice cream shop here and thought I’d stop in.  I’m dying for some ice cream!

Clerk: Well you came to the right place!  We have two flavors here today: Make America Great Again, and Stronger Together.

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10 Kids Who Totally Suck

Let’s be honest here for a minute, ok? As adorable as babies may be — in that puppies and kittens kind of way –eventually some of them grow up into kids who suck. Ok, ok. Not all of them, but some of them. Too many of them, in fact. Any of these sound familiar?

1. The Kid Who Won’t Share – He’s the one at the park or the beach with the coolest new thingamabob, waving it around in front of your poor deprived kids who only WISH they had a mom cool enough to buy it for them, but even worse– he’s got that neiner-neiner attitude about it. It’s his, and he’s proud of it, and he rightly should be. He just hasn’t learned yet how not to be a jerk about it.

2. The Kid Who Thinks You Should Just Give It To Him – He is the exact reverse of TKWWS, only on steroids. Everything he sees, he wants, and you will hand it over or you will face the consequences. The consequences, of course, may include glass-shattering shrieks which may or may not be coupled with some pushing and/or some “I’m going to tell my Mom that you’re not sharing!” Sure, kid. Go tell your mom that you jerked something out of my baby’s hands and then pushed her over and made her cry. I’m sure THAT conversation will go well.

3. The Crybaby Kid – If you’re like me, you want to stab yourself in the ears every time you get within 40 feet of this kid because this child whines about EVERYTHING. Offer her a popsicle? “I waaaanted the reeeeeeed one, waaaahhh!” Invited him over for a birthday party? Better not open the presents! “Where’s miiiiiiiiine??? Waaaaahhhh!” Trying to chat with the mom? “Mooooooom, I’m ready to goooooooooo, waaaaah!” Trying to have a meal? “My French fries are too hard/too soft/too brown/not brown enough, waaaaah!”

4. The Kid With No Volume Control – I’m sure you’ve heard this kid coming and bolted the other way. This is the kid who learned to whisper in a sawmill, the one who thinks you can’t understand him unless he’s shouting, the one who acts like his words only beget action if they come out of his mouth at a thousand decibels. There’s no amount of SHHHHHHHHH’ing in the world that will quieten this kid–he only has two volumes: mute and ear-bleed.

5. The Hulk – Also known as the “I Will Break Everything I See, Just Because I Can” kid. This kid just plain digs breaking shit. No rhyme or reason for it, he just breaks everything he touches. You can ask him to be more careful, but you may as well be talking to a brick wall. He throws things to feel joy. Stop trying to steal his joy, why don’t cha?!

6. The Bad Influence Kid – You can only pray that this is not YOUR kid, but…well…chances are… This is the kid that can easily and consistently talk ALL the other kids into doing shit that they KNOW they’re not suppose to be doing. This kid is probably most closely related to …

7. The It Wasn’t My Fault / I Didn’t Do It Kid – “It wasn’t me.” “I don’t know who did it.” “I think the dog knocked that over.” “It must have been Dad.” “Maybe we have a ghost.”

8. The I Know Everything and You’re Just Dumb Kid – This kid is most likely somewhere around 8ish, or 12ish, or 16ish, and unless you’ve written THE book (and can prove it) about whatever-it-is that you are discussing, you may as well give it up. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and no amount of anecdotal evidence will prove otherwise. The IKEAYJD kid most likely has a parent who has resorted to either “Ok, whatever.” “Because I said so.” or “Just shut up.” On more than one occasion.

9. The But WHY? Kid – This kid responds to any and all conversations (even questions WTF?) with a familiar refrain: Time for bed! “But whhyyyyyy?” Eat your peas, sweetie! “But whyyyyy?” Put your shoes on before you miss the bus! “But whyyyyyy?” If you don’t pick up your toys, they are going in time out. “But whyyyyy?” Because I fucking said so, kid!

10. The You’re Not The Boss Of Me Kid – His favorite phrases may include such gems as “I don’t have to.” “No, I don’t want to.” and “You can’t make me.” He will repeat said phrases over and over, no matter how many times he is asked nicely, told firmly, or begged desperately to stop. Who IS the Boss? I dunno, but if you have to ask, it’s probably not you.

*Note: My own children went through every single one of these phases at some point, so if one (or more) of these strike a nerve, fear not. We’ve all been there.

 

© 2015 MyLove Barnett, as first published on Scary Mommy

15 Reasons Homework Sucks

Homework blows. Is there anyone on the planet who actually enjoys homework? If so, I’ve got a house full of kids who need some of whatever you’re smoking. Homework seems to be especially painful for parents – parents who want nothing more than for their kids to do well, as long as that happens without us having to spend a bajillion hours (and tears) trying to help our kids do things we haven’t even seen in thirty years. We did our time, kid. This is all you!

Here are 15 of the biggest reasons that homework sucks for parents:

1. Having to use Google to help with fourth-grade math.

2. Running out of lead in the mechanical pencil and having to actually sharpen a #2.

3. Trying to explain the difference between “c” and “k” to a 5-year-old.

4. Midnight trips to the craft store for hot glue and popsicle sticks for a project due at 8 a.m.

5. Watching your kid work an iPad more efficiently than you.

6. “Family Homework Projects” HAHAHAHAHAHA!

7. Bribing your way through the whines and tears just to get it done, and knowing that the only thing actually learned was how many treats they can sucker out of you for finishing three pages of math problems.

9. Repeating “Are you finished with your homework yet?” a billion times each evening.

10. Eye rolls.

11. Insisting that your kid do his own work, and then seeing all the obviously parent-completed projects at Science Night.

12. Hiding in the corner of the laundry room with your spouse for a best 2 out of 3 in Rock, Paper, Scissors for whose turn it is to help with homework tonight. Losing the battle.

13. Incomplete or vague instructions on tonight’s homework due tomorrow.

14. Getting notes back from the teacher on all the things wrong with your kid’s homework, when you helped them with a majority of it.

15. Homework kills trees. It kills all the trees. Save the planet. Stop the madness.

© 2015 MyLove Barnett, as first published on Scary Mommy

Why Moms Love Social Media

Oh, Social Media, how we love you. Let us count the ways! Ha, just kidding. Aint nobody got time for that, and your ego is swollen enough already. Just suffice it to say that most people we know with a few minutes to spare can be found perusing various social media sites via wi-fi now days, rather than leafing through this month’s issue of Reader’s Digest. In fact, there are a large number of people lately who confess that most (if not ALL) of their bestest friends are primarily people they’ve met online! Of course there’s also a portion of the population who think that’s crazy weird (maybe even slightly pathetic. So to THOSE people, let us explain why our internet friends are so amazing:

No housekeeping necessary.

No last minute, Omg I can’t let the house be seen like this, flight of the bumblebee cleaning attacks required. Just tilt the webcam toward the other wall, away from the piles of laundry you haven’t folded yet. Problem solved!

There’s no dress code.

Did I say the house was a mess? I meant I’M a mess. Aint nobody needs to see this spectacular fashion fail, either. My internet friends care not a bit that my hair is in a messy bun, I haven’t put on eyeliner in two weeks, my leggings have a hole where I snagged them on corner of the broken clothes basket, and I can’t even find my comfy bra. Seriously, I haven’t seen that thing in three days, and it’s the only one I have that doesn’t cut off my circulation.

Kids underfoot is a non-issue.

I don’t need to get a sitter or lock the kids in their room to have a semi-adult conversation. I can log in anytime of the day or night with no appointment necessary, and without having to yell like a maniac over the din to be heard.

Less filtering required for foot-in-mouth syndrome.

I’m less likely to type something accidentally hurtful than run off at the mouth in person. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m better with the printed words than the spoken ones, and I think a lot of it has to do with the time to think in between opening my mouth versus typing a message and pressing “send.”

Three-way calling? Girl, please.

The internet means that now we can have as many people in the same conversation as there are stars in the sky, and no one has to feel left out or missing something. Just scroll up, catch up, and get in where you fit in.

Different time zones – No problem.

Actually, it’s pretty fantastic. The days of worrying about “long-distance” phone bills are pretty much non-existent now, so we don’t have to worry about taking out a second mortgage to catch up. And even if you’re on the other side of the globe just starting your day as I’m tucking my kids in for the night, we can still chat online, without having to hide in the pantry whispering.

Hook-ups can be more meaningful.

It’s way easier to connect with new people online than it is in person. When you take out all the superficial bullshit that normally attracts (or repels) people at first glance, and replace that with common interests and well spoken words on a page, human interaction takes on a whole new level of “you get me!” that transcends classes, races, income levels, etc.

It’s easier to be nice to people online.

Even if you’re rolling your eyes at their latest dumbassery, it’s easier to keep those lips zipped when they’re not standing right in front of you regaling you with the most current episode of The Poor Choices of Our Lives. For people who have problems with their brain-to-mouth filter, this can go a long way towards NOT seeming like the judgemental twat that none of us want to be but can’t help sounding like sometimes.

It’s easier to deal with assholes online.

It’s easier to think of snappy comebacks when the hostility isn’t nose-to-nose. Or you could, um, take the high road and ignore them. I know–where’s the fun in THAT? I’m just saying, if you want to get all technical about it, there IS that option to just act like they didn’t just say what I clearly just read.

Total honesty here: It’s easier to lie online.

(See what I did there?) That doesn’t mean create a fake profile and become an internet phony. But sometimes when people text or call, the messages they leave are so banal or inane that I just don’t know how to (or if I even should) reply to that. I might need a minute. (Or a day or two. Sometimes I don’t brain very well.) But the damndest thing about these new smartphones is that once you open a text, it shows that it’s been read, so you’re kind of obligated to say SOMETHING. On FaceBook, Twitter, or Instagram, that’s a big fat “Get out of commenting FREE” card. (Unless you’re tagged. Bitches love to tag. Don’t tag me, bro!)

It’s a lot easier to pretend to be less of slovenly blob online, too.

Really, I totally don’t mind admitting that I’m about to sack out with an entire bag of cheetos and binge watch the entire second season of House of Cards after the kids go to bed. To a select audience, of course.

 

© 2015 MyLove Barnett, as first published on Scary Mommy