I’ve always been skeptical about “love at first sight” stories. Instant attraction is one thing, but I never believed that true love, the real deal, could blossom the instant one person first set eyes on another. But then it happened to me.
Exciting news! My first and still-popular book, Carpool Tunnel Syndrome, is now back in publication, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle download. This nearly fact-free book offers wise and wacky parenting tricks based on my boots-on-the-ground, hamper-overflowing life with four kids, one husband, and assorted hamsters hiding behind the bookcase. As summer begins, moms and dads coping with eternal childhood ailments including “fat hair” and “sibling intolerance” must get copies for themselves and for friends, to help them survive the summer. This essay—one of my readers’ all-time favorites—is adapted from the book.
On any normal day, our incoming mail is predictable and boring: bills, junk advertisements, pre-approved credit card applications with large spending limits, and coupons for remodeling contractors. That’s why I was captivated immediately by the glossy color brochure with a vivid photograph of a bunch of guys in a raft, navigating frothy white water rapids. Their eyes were bugged out and mouths agape in that distinctive combination of terror and joy that men find so thrilling. Below the photo was this teaser, all in giant capital letters:
THIS COULD BE YOU!
I have good and bad news today: the bad news is that I misplaced my checkbook – again. After frittering away a half-hour I finally found it, but only after kicking up a blizzard of paperwork from previously neatly stacked piles in the kitchen, my office and my bedroom. Searching for my checkbook, my self-esteem plunged to dangerously low levels as I berated myself for being such a chronic loser.
The “bypass burger and flatliner fries”—nobody’s idea of good nutrition.
Every time I try to make sense of the news the world of nutritional science, I get a headache. I’m sure you have also noticed that advice that seems airtight today will be turned on its head next week. What is a person to do who wants to eat healthy?
Super Mom Bear photo courtesy of Vermont Teddy Bear.
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard some blowhard repeat the lie that women “forget” the pain of childbirth. If women really remembered the searing pain of it all, they claim, the world would be populated mostly by ants, who would be fighting over slim pickings at small picnics made by one-child families.
It’s 2:37 a.m., and while the rest of my family sleeps soundly, I am agonizingly, tediously awake. This is not a novel predicament. It has been going on so long that nowadays, I want a good night’s sleep more than I want almost anything in the world. I want it more than I want my kids to stop using “like” every third word. I want it more than I want to write a bestselling book that will put me in the highest tax bracket imaginable. I want it almost as much as I want peace in the Middle East.
While I was diligently working to make my face fit to be seen at a swanky restaurant, my husband became impatient. I don’t know why. I had been in the bathroom only for an hour and a half. When he reminded me that we were in danger of losing our restaurant reservation, I cracked open the bathroom door and assured him that I’d only need another ten minutes. Fifteen, max.
If there’s one thing that really steams my potatoes, it’s so-called “health experts” who warn me against eating chocolate. Next to my Jumpy Java coffee, chocolate is one of my essential food groups, the others being frozen yogurt; hamburgers grilled medium rare and slathered with onions; spinach calzones; and fresh, lightly sauteed broccoli. After all, I believe in a balanced diet.
Have you ever wanted something really badly, so badly it almost made you feel like a fool? Have you ever prayed and schemed and toiled to get it, but when you actually got it, you thought you were dreaming?