Sunday, November 11, 2007

Where The Hell Is Flannery At?

I've been blasted away from the center of the blogosphere. I've been hanging on to a tail of a kite that connects me to you. I keep trying to pull myself back in but the gale force wind of time blasts me in the face and I lose all ground and am back where I started from. So here I sit, frustrated by the Chevron Relief Stitch I'm trying to conjure on my sampler afghan that has me occupied, nay, obsessed.

I spent the weekend running behind; I intended to post on Friday and here it is Sunday and I'm days late and dollars short. Saturday I had to get three birthday presents for a party that night and a baby shower gift for the next day. I made the grave mistake of going to the mall with my kids. Talk about flying loose from sanity and reality! I was sadly mistaken that my finding a great parking spot was a good omen.

I usually try to avoid the mall; it's way more expensive than Walmart and equally stuffed with weirdos. But I thought, hey, I've got some coupons for stores at the mall and I'll be able to spend what I would at Walmart and walk away with some good stuff. This was a rookie mistake. At first I was sucked in to the Piercing Pagoda. All of the sparkling things made me forget that "buy one get one half off" was a good deal. It's not, really. But I did end up finding two of the gifts and got my left ear pierced on the cartilage, which I've been intending to do for a while now. The problem with the Piercing Pagoda is that it's right outside of the Disney Store and Build-A-Bear, which my girls had ample time to salivate over as I dithered back and forth over what to buy.

So I got my gifts and my ear pierced and we wandered into the Disney Store where the kids found an overpriced toy I promised to buy them. It was wandering around this plush paradise that I realized I had my ear pierced on the side of my head opposite where my part is, so no one can see it. I decided to go back and get the other one pierced on the way out. The girls decided they were hungry and we made our way to hell. I mean the food court for some Chick-fil-a. We finished eating and went to the ATM to get more money I didn't need to spend.

I decided to forgo finding the third birthday gift and the shower gift and opted to give the ever popular, one-size-fits-all cash and headed back to the Piercing Pagoda. On the way, Riley became obsessed with building a bear. No, I replied. She melted away in tears when I began to redo the piles of paperwork it takes to get one's ears pierced. I think I had to avow that I was not a terrorist at one point. At this point, I look over at the other customers around the kiosk and noticed a fairly normal looking mom-type. Normal, except for the gang style tattoo along her jawline that read "BITCH". Her drunken companion, also somewhat normal started to harass one of the pagoda ladies and she told him to shove off.

"I'm sorry about that," she apologized to me.

"Don't worry about it," I said brushing her apology away, "It is the mall, after all." I immediately felt bad, remembering that this was her workplace. It was not my intention to slag her, just her clientele.

Riley continued to cry, which is not like her, and I decided I'd relent. Another rookie mistake. We went over to Build-A-Bear and build a rabbit for Riley and a cat for Lucy. When we were next in line, one of the two friendly bear-builders decided to disappear and we had to wait and wait and wait. I kept checking my watch; the party was to start at 6 and it was 5:15. We had arrived at the mall at about 2:30. And I snapped. I needed to be anywhere but there. My ears were throbbing and my heart was racing with the anxiety of being late and having spent more than I intended.

At last, our fate was in my hands and it was time to type in the details of the "birth certificate". I kept hitting the wrong button and going back five steps in the process. The screen kept saying "push the green button". The green button was enter, but there was also a green button that had a diamond on it and sent me back to the start. It was lunacy. By the time I got to the register, my veins at my jawline were popped out and beginning to spell out "bitch."

"Do you want to sign up for coupons?" the sweetheart behind the counter asked me.

"Sure," I said.

"What's your address?" She inquired. And the next ten minutes whirled out in front of me and I had a moment of prophecy. I'd be giving her my personal information, which I had just put into the stupid birth certificate computers, again.

"You know what?" I said, trying not to turn purple, "I think I'll pass on the coupons; I'm running late."

She quickly packed up my stuff, like the nice person she was (at least until Black Friday hits) and we made our way out the door.

"OK, ladies," I proclaimed in my best drill sargent voice, "We've got to hustle if we're going to make it to the party on time."

I had told my Mom that I'd be at her house at six, just in case, she, Dad, Grandma, Bobby and Vernice (my uncle and aunt) didn't make it back in time. It was 5: 30. We got to a little seating area and the girls decided to take a rest.

"Let's go!" I said, "We've got to get to the party!"

"I peed," Lucy said and I began to unravel.

I quickly called my Mom and checked to see if she was home yet. Thankfully, she's got her shit together and they had made it home in plenty of time. I asked if she had any of Lucy's clothes at her house. She didn't. I told her I'd be a little bit late and I tried to figure out what to do next. Should I go home get the kids out of the car, get them into the house, get Lucy cleaned up and changed, and drag them back out again and then stop at Target or Walgreens and get cards? Or should I just give myself up completely to the demon of consumerism and dash into Target, get her some new undies and clothes as well as the birthday cards I had failed to get in my 3 hour tour of the mall? I took option b and gathered the girls together for one more stop.

We were able to run into Target and get everything, excluding the baby shower card and made it to my parent's house about 20 minutes late. I zealously hold to the rule set forth by Dirk Gentley that it's better to be 4 hours and a few minutes late and be put together than four hours late and a complete mess, so I asked the girls to sit tight as I applied my lipstick. I heard Riley messing with the door and I told her to stay put. I finished off my lipstick and a woman in a mini van pulled by us slowly and gave me a death glare. I wondered what her problem was as I gathered up the gifts and got out of the car, only to find Riley standing with her back to the car and looking like she'd seen a ghost. Here she had disobeyed me and got out of the car. It probably looked to mini-van woman like I'd left my daughter out in the middle of the street on her on. Well, there went looking like I was put together. I was sure that lady was already dialing children's services on me.

I was able to calm down for a moment in my parent's foyer, until I saw my cousin, Tracey, with whom I share some bad blood and things disolved from there. I made my apologies to my parents and went to their basement to sign cards and put the gifts together while my Mom changed Lucy.

We ended up having a lovely time in my parent's new house. My cousins behaved themselves, as far as I know. I hid out in the basement with the men and watched Roadhouse, a true 80's classic film. I have never seen it all the way through, but I began to understand its appeal.

Today was like the movie version of the novel I had lived yesterday. I was late for the baby shower, having had to stop to get another damn card and I was once again faced with being cordial to a person I'd rather not run into again in my life. And Lucy had her pants. So we left and came home, where Lucy slept and I ignored the piles of laundry and clutter while Riley and I played Scooby-Doo on the Playstation.

So, if you're wondering where I've been recently, you now may have some understanding. I am battling the forces of chaos. Here's to a quieter week with more writing and less poop.


  1. I'm exhausted just reading this.

    More writing, less poop, and just say no to the mall!

  2. you're a survivor. I would have hung myself with a short noose by the time we hit Chik-fil-a.

  3. Holy crap! You should take a sick day this week. This sounds like the exact opposite of my weekend.

  4. Oh man Flan, I feel your pain at the mall! I hope you get some well deserved You Time.

  5. Ha. All dat shit happens to me by noon on a Monday. by the time Saturday rolls 'round...

    While I'm being an asshole, I have to say that the mental image of Lucy saying, "I peed" and the image on your face put me in to fits of laughter. ah, sweet schadenfreude!!

    (Oh, and I've got a bowl of thrown popcorn, Doritoes being ground into the carpet, a mysterious wet spot to deal with and now Dharma Bum has just dragged the foam mattress thingie and all the sheets and comforters into the living room and piled them on top of the Doritoes. Oh, and I see coleslaw sitting in the pencil cup of their little art desk...)

  6. Would any of this happened if you'd had your Xanadu roller skates on? Hope this week is nice and easy.

  7. Chaos can be fun if you just give into it once in a while! Just sit back and enjoy the ride!!

  8. she'll be sure to get some down time this weekend!

  9. As much as I dislike "Roadhouse," I would pick it over an upstairs full of women and poopy-pants kids any day. You made the right choice. May the Swayze be with you this week.

  10. Nice use of the word "dither" in its proper context.

  11. Yes, but let's hear more about Tracey! Nothing like a good family drama.

  12. Thanks everyone!

    Sorry, CP: the Tracey story is not for public consumption.

  13. ...I'll tell you all about it when I come to NYC.