The True Value of Poshfest

The cray of Poshfest - where PFFs become IRLs...

The beautiful cray cray of last year’s Poshfest – where PFFs become IRLs and IRLs strengthen bonds… (not sure who snapped this pic, but full CRED to you, GF!)

 

Be emotionally warned: the following describes a very REAL side effect to POSHING: the delightful moment you become what is lovingly referred to as a “PFF IRL”. 

This simply means we Poshers have had the extreme good fortune to meet our PFF…

…wait for it…

In. Real. Life.

This unbreakable bond, created virtually on an app (an app, of all places!!) is either revealed or solidified at our annual Poshfest.

The inaugural Poshfest was, without question, our most chilling.  It was a watershed moment for the app, in a time before anyone hosted a local Posh meetup or a “Posh ‘n Sip”.  In the Fall of 2013, 200 not-yet-PFF-IRLs descended on Las Vegas, and Posh history was made… 

 ******

When I boarded my flight out of Nashville on that chilly Wednesday in October, it was only the second time in my life I had traveled alone.  The first was to visit family in Colorado.  Though I had been to Vegas previously, this trip both thrilled and terrified me. Ten months after discovering a Poshmark app that changed my life, I was finally headed to my very first Poshfest.

Little did I know, as the plane departed the gate, I was off to meet family.

Shortly after checking into the Cosmopolitan (PF’s HQ hotel) my initial OMG encounter was with a small group of neatly dressed women in the lobby.  They were hugging and laughing. Some were crying.  I approached and screamed “POSHMARK!” at the top of my voice, arms outstretched.  The ladies turned to me in amazement and one said rather thinly, “I’m sorry. Who?”

Here is my first lesson of Poshfest:  In Vegas, bachelorette party attendees outnumber Poshers by about 16,000 to 1.  That said,  these women AREN’T Poshers.

I admit, I set myself up for a bit of heartbreak. Poshfest was 2 days away, and I suffered from a severe lack of finding Poshers.  I didn’t yet know how PF attendees arrived in waves up until the opening Saturday session, with most arriving Friday evening.

I also didn’t realize that apart from tagging in the app, I had no contact information on anyone. All of those Posh Facebook groups had yet to be formed.  Very few of us were acquainted well enough to divulge phone numbers.

I strolled different areas of my hotel, wishing aloud that closet usernames were tattooed on foreheads.  It would at least provide some chance of telling Posher from non-Posher.  One guy overheard my grumbling, resulting in a recommendation of the best tattoo parlor in town. For a second, I almost caved.

*****

On Friday afternoon, I emerged from my hotel room after a self-imposed 36-hour exile.  Subsisting on a diet of mini-bar, I was delirious but desperate to locate a Posher in the flesh. I had nearly given up when a tag appeared in my closet:

@Mizfabulousity “I’M IN VEGAS!”

I responded in one rapid tag, “Yes, I’m here too!  Where are you! OMG, we MUST meet at once!  Are you in the lobby?  I’ll come to you!”

“Miz” stated that she had just arrived after an extremely long drive from LA.  She was staying at the Elara across the Boulevard. At present, she was post-nap, sans makeup and would see me soon at the Chandelier, a Cosmo bar where numerous Poshers were planning to converge later that evening.

No, I insisted.  I needed to see her immediately.  It was essential I find a Posher as soon as possible, to resolve a plaguing curiosity.  Seriously, did we REALLY exist outside this app?

Miz responded that if I wanted to come over to her hotel, she would meet me in the lobby for a coffee right away.

I sprinted the entire way. Appearing breathless in the Elara lobby, I whipped out my phone and confirmed in a tag to Miz that I had arrived.  I plopped down in a large chair, grinning at what could be the quintessential Posh moment of my life.

And then my mind began to wander…

There I sat, anxiously waiting to meet someone I knew only from an app.  Yes, Miz and I had spoken numerous times. There were pics of her online: an adorable petite blonde modeling fashion in her closet. I just couldn’t confirm any of this was real.

I had never given serious thought to online predation, but this was different.  I was alone in a strange hotel and highly suggestible from a lack of real food.

OMG, I thought.  What if Miz is not who she says she is?

What if she ISN’T a SHE??

What if Miz tags me and says “hey, come upstairs to room 509 and let yourself in….” while HE hides behind the door with a chloroform-soaked towel and a bedside drawer full of newly sharpened knives?!

I nearly jumped out of my skin when my phone flashed a new tag notification.

“Coming down in the elevator now.”

This is it, I thought.  I nervously scanned the lobby for reassurance. I was within sight of both the concierge and 2 boys holding pool noodles. Safety in numbers…safety in numbers.

The elevator door opened.  I tensed.  A petite woman emerged wearing a huge smile and waves of blonde hair twisted up in a clip. Her real name, she said, was Anna.  And OMG, she was perfect.

Meeting @mizfabulousity - my first PFF IRL!

With @mizfabulousity – my FIRST PFF IRL! And she’s wearing the Union Jack? OMG KISMET!

@mizfabulousity was the first.  And she will always be my LONGEST Posh hug. What’s more intriguing is how she took this first IRL with me and channeled it into a veritable cornucopia of Poshmark networking moments. I now consider Miz the undisputed queen of the Posh Meetup.

*****

Back at the hotel that same evening, I arrived early yet again in the Chandelier bar to stake a good spot and find more Poshers.  I wore a flashing crown on my head because I figured the forehead tattoo idea would be a bit too gimmicky.

Tags popped up on my phone.  More Poshers on the way!  Michelle (@gordomom) told me she would be arriving via escalator, wearing a black racerback tank.  Seconds later, I spotted a girl in black walking away from the escalator, her face hidden. I began screaming, “MICHELLE! MICHELLE!”

Second lesson of Poshfest: People who aren’t Poshers wear similar clothing to those who are.  Confirm facial identity prior to making an ass of yourself.  That said, this ISN’T the Michelle who would one day become the “Mom” to my “Mumm” and a west coast shoulder of strength during my sleepless central time zone nights.

As I embarrassingly returned to my seat in the bar, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to a tall, impeccably styled woman with glowing skin, long hair and a brilliant white smile.  In a melodic voice, she cooed “Hello, Brenda!”  This was the moment I met the divine Shiela (@ex_globetrotter). In the not so distant future, Shiela would become my roommate at an Arkansas Posh meet up, introduce me to pho, and serve my husband and me an exquisite homemade apple pie in her newly remodeled Denver kitchen.

Over the course of that Friday evening, women emerged one by one from a crowded lobby.  Anna, my first IRL, arrived in makeup and I fell in love all over again.

Then Crystal (@lilmscrys) strolled in, wearing a Heisenberg tee-shirt. I flipped.  We hadn’t met in the app, so she was shy, but determined. She hailed from Albuquerque and had met many of the “Breaking Bad” TV cast.  I flipped again.  She smiled and handed me a small paper bag filled with crystal blue rock candy.  It was a cute take on her name and figured into a great gag when I accidentally left my “bag o’Crystal blue” in the bar that night.

Amazingly, I would “marry” Crystal 24 hours later in a hotel restaurant to ward off a tacky drunk moocher named Jim.  We’ve been wifeys ever since, depending on one another through good times and bad. That IRL with Crystal was for me, a Godsend.

Note to new Poshers: yes, you may end up with a “Posh Wifey” one day.  It’s all in good fun, completely innocent, and it reveals just how addicted you are to Poshmark. Best wishes finding her SOON!

Many women walked into the Chandelier that night: LyAnn, Evelyne, Jody, Charis, Robin, Hannah, Lynn, Bertina, Kathy and Christine – to name a few – and yes, even MICHELLE! MICHELLE!

We squealed and hugged, clasped hands to look into each beautiful face, squealed and hugged again.  I realized I didn’t need tattooed closet names.  These were exactly the women I had pictured in my mind.  Only now I had real names to etch alongside those visions.  They matched perfectly to their photos, their style and their way of speaking (or writing, to be more precise).  More importantly, they had that “Posh” personality.  They literally shined…

Giddy with the evening’s developments, I carried away momentarily to the second floor hotel coffee shop, where the cinnamon rolls were the size of watermelons.  As I stepped out with my latte, I bumped into the one Posher I didn’t expect to see so soon.

Manish Chandra, CEO of Poshmark, grinned warmly, extended his hand to shake mine, and motioned to my still flashing crown, “you must be Queenmumm”.  At that moment I knew I had arrived at Poshfest.  And btw, Manish – you really should consider carrying on your person some smelling salts or an AED or a pre-measured dose of adrenaline. Just sayin’.

*****

PFF IRLs celebrating pre-Poshfest, Cosmopolitan Hotel roof, 2013

PFF IRLs celebrating pre-Poshfest 2013 on the Cosmopolitan Hotel roof.

Night turned into day, with miles of smiles the next morning at our premier Poshfest session. A crowd of women – all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds – converged in a ballroom to exchange greetings like decade-old friends. I still recall the gasps from those finally meeting a mentor, a protégé, the closet owner whose style they worshipped, the gracious seller whose sales they coveted, the icon whose beauty and mystery were so perfectly defined by her “enigmatic” name.

The remainder of that weekend was just as poignant.  We giggled, we learned, we partied until the wee hours.  We danced with a Poshmark Team who made each of us an honorary member of the PMHQ family.

There were other surprising moments.  I met Stacy (@mommalaughing) and our minds were blown to find out we live just 4 miles from each other. Four freakin’ miles! In Las Vegas, 1800 miles from home, Poshfest had finally aligned us.

Finally, I met the “other” Brenda that night. @bschuler and I jokingly raised fisticuffs over our shared name, then laughed and hugged. Brenda (2.0) has become my IRL “twin” and an incredibly affecting soulmate.

On Poshfest Sunday, many Poshers – including @lynnsimmons @Missbertina and @dkcasey0920 – held onto the surprisingly comfortable familiarity by staying an extra night. Just like girls at a slumber party, we didn’t let go of the euphoria even after dawn creeped back ‘round to find us.

*****

That first Poshfest was one of the most amazing, most inspiring trips I have ever taken.  I returned home relieved and blessed with more family than I could have imagined.

I’ll be attending my 4th Poshfest in a few months because I know it won’t disappoint.  Again I’ll fly in alone.  And again I’ll leave with so much more.  I expect many more IRLs coming my way and that’s a lovely given. It will be a weekend which presents all of us with something invaluable, probably bigger than any bargain we’ll find in the app.

Poshmark teaches us how to share our closets, but Poshfest, ahhhh… Poshfest is where we learn to share ourselves.

*****

MEET ME AT POSHFEST! Comment below or in my POSHMARK CLOSET and let’s plan on it!

Cheers! 🙂 QM

Poshfest means the best slumber parties EVER.

A final takeaway: Poshfest means the best slumber parties EVER.

 

 

The Dangers of Thinking and Diving

“The ocean is a beautiful world

which we can’t possess

but that we’re lucky enough

to borrow on occasion.”

– anonymous

 

Whenever I meet someone for the first time, I’ll invariably divulge two things in the course of conversation.  One is that I’ve been a scuba diver for 8 years and I LOVE IT.

The second is that being a scuba diver makes me extremely uncomfortable when I think about it.

I, who have always been a poster child for claustrophobia, motion sickness and slimy creature freak-outs, am now so invested in diving I’ll lug 50 pounds of equipment across the planet if there’s a reef involved.

And yet, my brain persists in saying, “No. Don’t do that.”

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Should I stay, or should I go now?

It usually hits me when I step onto a dive boat.  There’s always a checklist in my mind of bad, bad and more BAD, and there I am readying gear and chatting with the other divers while drowning out my rapid fire reasoning for staying on the boat.

My most recent break with reality occurred mere weeks before our once in a lifetime dive trip to Wakatobi, Indonesia – the spectacular details of which will be blogged about soon…  

If you can believe it, I actually got angry about having to GO there.

So blatant were the dire consequences of Indonesian diving that I totally skipped over the usual high probability of a plane crash (8 total flights including a prop) and went straight to my own tragic version of “diver down”:

  • What if my air tank explodes?
  • Will I get dizzy during a dive?
  • Is there a big green thing residing in the coral that wants to make a meal out of me?
  • Will I succumb at depth because I decide not to shave my armpits one morning?

Certified divers are trained for emergent situations.  We’re taught, “never hold your breath” and “problems at depth must be solved at depth”  and “don’t wear that diveskin – you’ll frighten all the fish away.”

Because I’ve completed training of the highest nonprofessional level, and I dive conservatively, I maintain faith that my chances of having a catastrophic event are greatly minimized.  I leave myself very few gray areas to challenge this.  I dive with a buddy, safety check all my gear, plan the dive and dive the plan, and make sure my armpits are free of strays.  I also tend to stay off the reef but in close proximity to my buddy while checking my depth gauge and air supply to the point of being Rain Man.

I also don’t shake a finger, stick, or camera at the marine life.  However, because my primary dive buddy likes to take underwater macro pictures, it is my duty to keep my buddy in my sight at all times even if he has absolutely NO idea where I AM.  I also furiously ponder all possible rescue scenarios when that octopus yanks off his mask and chomps through his air hose.***  After which, of course, I shall succumb at depth due to a septic combination of traumatic shock and unshaved legs.

*** Disclaimer: Octopi typically don’t grab or chomp on anything.  Unless you really do poke it with a stick, a startled octopus will more likely shy away or ink the water.  An inking octopus really does looks like a Sharpie exploding underwater.  Or rather, a Sharpie with eight tentacles exploding underwater. 

By most definitions, I’m a safe diver… possibly a boring diver.  This isn’t to say that a safe, boring diver is immune to danger.  Underlying medical conditions and equipment malfunctions can pop up at anytime – and trust me, I will consider all of these just in the few seconds it takes to defog my mask.

And now I’ve just read that scuba should be considered an extreme sport for anyone over 50.  This both concerns and perplexes me.  I never had a taste for base jumping or formula one racing, so I find it wildly odd that as I close in on 50, I’m about to be truly engaging in dangerous activity. Living on the edge, if you will.

So, where is my BRAIN in all of this?

Oh, it’s freaking out.

It’s also dwelling on how edgy my life already is.  Midlife has its own edge which I’m trying to skirt the best way I know how.  

Age is much like gravity.  The bigger the number, the more grounded one is expected to be.  The youngsters look on 50 as devoid of movement and extreme flights of fancy.  Diving defies that.

I’m a diver – an almost 50 year old diver.

A mermaid….

And that’s pretty damn cool.

So what I will do is breathe out, dip under the waves and open my eyes to a world without age or gravity.  I’ll continue to poke a stick at fear until it inks me and swims away.  

I’m going to remember that one morning in Indonesia when I broke through the surface of an azure sea, sank 40 feet into the cradling arms of a coral wonderland and floated effortlessly above a cuttlefish displaying his various shades of crimson to a group of gawking divers

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Cuttlefish on display – Wakatobi, Indonesia
Copyright 2014 www.midlifealamode.com

I will remember how I caught myself in that amazement and realized that my thinking about diving could not compare to the dive itself.

And that is what I hope to impress upon anyone who has given diving a bit of thought, only to run away like a child shown to the dentist’s chair.

Don’t think.  Just dive.

Oh, and that quote at the top of this page?  It’s not really anonymous.  

My husband wrote that…

…just after the octopus let go of his mask.

 

 

99% Pure and All Bad

Fellow Baddites, it’s official.  I am now one of you.

Remove your masks, tip your black pork pie hats, shower me with hundred dollar bills and just call Saul.  I am a full fledged Bryan Cranston groupie and the newest member of the Breaking Bad fan club.

Make that a ZERO TO 62 member.  I just went on one hell of a Bad bender and am now emerging from the underground lab that used to be my living room.

And my reaction?

That was meth’d up.  Really really meth’d up…

Chemistry has never been my strong suit. Call me Jesse, if you will.  I know just enough to unintentionally set something on fire.  I’ve never liked the periodic table.  It lacks symmetry.  It’s clear that elements are missing, and that bothers me.  And why all those little numbers in the corner boxes?  They look like Scrabble tiles, which could be fun because I really enjoy making triple letter double word combos.

What I do remember most about chemistry is that all reactions start with a catalyst.  Befittingly, my primary addiction, Poshmark was the catalyst for my Breaking Bad addiction.

Btw, you can stop sucking up all the air from the room.

It all began when I received (what I now know to be) the biggest compliment I have ever received on Poshmark.  I was sorting through Posh comments one morning and saw that a fellow Posher said – about my closet – “it has more surprises than an episode of Breaking Bad.”

“Wow.  Really?  That’s SO sweet!!! (multiple question marks buzzing over my head) But I don’t get it.”

At precisely the same time I was getting strange Breaking Bad “love” in my Posh closet, the buzz for the series finale was becoming deafening.  Wow again, as I had no idea it was already ending after such a “short” run.  I couldn’t even remember that it had all started in 2008.  It just never was on my radar.  My household never watched it, so no one missed it.

OMG. Would you stop gasping?

I didn’t watch it THEN, and I had good reason.

I surmised from others that Breaking Bad’s storyline had no breaks.  It’s evident now just how immediate those breaks really are, each one’s action blending right into the next. And it’s shocking to know that the hardcore Bad fans, the ones who started with the series from day 1 and have remained loyal to it all this time, never got what Vince Gilligan likely intended for them – a 99% pure product that only Walter White could cook.

Series creators can have a brillianty concieved vision – a story to tell – only to have the translation squashed by the timeless rules of the small screen and the market that supports it.  Censorship, commercials, uncertain contractual obligations, hiatuses – these all conspire to taint the vision.

Vince Gilligan would never have been able to showcase Walt’s terrifying metamorphoses in a 3 hour movie. He had to make a long-term commitment to yield the highest possible attention to detail.  That’s what makes Bad so good – those little plot twists that keep you glued to your seat.  Character development, foreshadowing, continuity and symbolism would have been criminally neglected if scripted for the big screen.

But unfortunately, the result was far from pure.  Bad’s viewers got contaminated product, a watered down version of Gilligan’s vision.  Mind you, I’m not bashing the show.  Far from it.  I’m merely stating my opinion that something as visionary as Breaking Bad got lost in it’s own scheduling requirements.

Think about it – sixty-two 47-minute episodes stretched over 5 years.  That’s roughly 2 days of Breaking Bad delivered to you in about 2000 days.

That’s akin to jumping on a water slide but being told to stop every few feet along the way.  And while the thrill may be there, the process of getting to the bottom kind of sucks.

When a TV show I’ve never seen gains cult status, that’s when I make the difficult decision to look away.  I decide right then and there that I won’t budge and get into it halfway.  I place myself into information lockdown and I wait.  I wait and stay clueless because I’ll go crazy if I become another sheep in the peak and lull world of television.

Instant gratification.  Gotta have it.  I don’t grow plants from seeds.  I don’t commute to work.  I don’t create rousses (yeah, look that one up).  I don’t buy lottery tickets.  I steer clear of  blow pops.  I despise ketchup from glass bottles.

Got a fabulous show that you want me to see?  Still in production?  Just keep me out of it.  It’s as bad as telling me there’s a toy surprise in the Cracker Jack.  Screw the popcorn and peanuts, just give me the f_ckin’ toy.  You really have no idea how many pounds of cereal got wasted at my house because of that ass-trio of Snap, Crackle and Pop.

Call it my weakness, but I couldn’t possibly watch Bad until the last episode was in the bag.

And what a wise decision indeed.

I knew before I started that Breaking Bad was about crystal meth.  I knew that Bryan Cranston had won a slew of awards playing a chemistry teacher turned meth cook….

…and that’s about all I knew.

The weekend of the the show’s highly anticipated series finale, I swore to steer clear of social media and talkative friends.  I announced my presence in a room by stating that I was intent on starting the show soon and didn’t want any mention of plot or characters made aloud.  I then set aside an afternoon that began with Walter White’s flying pants.  I streamed, via Netflix, the uncensored episodes one after the other, only stopping for life’s basic needs.

I watched whole seasons in a single day.  I muted my phone, invited everyone in my household to do anything ELSE but watch with me, took root in my recliner and synthesized what I was seeing.  No lightweight 50 pound batches for me.  I did the full 200, with a little bit of overage.  I did what few others can claim.  I watched EVERY episode of Breaking Bad from a virginal “untouched by fan” perspective, not just the last season, but all of them.  Number one to number 62.

And the added bonus of knowing when I was ready, I’d have the finale at my immediate disposal, was the black hat on my Heisenberg.  No waiting.  No wondering.  No zoning out.

It’s unfortunate that I didn’t do this with Dexter. (Dexter semi-spoiler ahead, btw)  I began Dex in the fourth season, got hooked, rented the first 3 seasons and then waited 3 summers.  My interest in the whole series got squandered so badly that by the final season I just didn’t care anymore.  Dexter became a huge downer no matter how it could be wrapped up in the finale.

I suppose I would have been more keen to see Dexter lower himself into the water with Deb’s body, inject his own neck with his usual hypodermic and disappear silently into the waves, waking hazily to find himself strapped down with saran on his execution table… that next scene materializing into Dexter being strapped down to a prison execution table.

And I guess my interested would have been piqued to then see another hypodermic appear onscreen, guided by the gloved hand of a prison employee, and directed into Dexter’s IV line.  And as the deadly solution was delivered, the camera would fade to

{yawn}

Too many breaks.  Too much waiting.  Too much build up.  I’ve already forgotten how we got here.

What I gave myself by waiting for all of Breaking Bad to be made and delivered was a streaming 60 hour movie premiere shown just for me.   With nobody else in the room.  There were no moments of “oh, I bet he’s gonna kill him!” or “wait, rewind that last bit” or “can you pause while I pee?”

I stayed in the Bad zone through shortened nights of sleep and meals consumed in front of the screen.  My bladder unwillingly doubled in capacity, and I did the one thing I would never have imagined – I stopped Poshing for 3 days.  I want to gasp at that last revelation, but I’m still breathless from all the Bad I just witnessed.

My Breaking Bad marathon was devoid of Facebook statuses and fan boy tweets, griping over plot points, swooning over explosive gun battles and all attempts to sway me into a certain theoretical direction of what would happen to Walter White in the last episode.  I saw the series in one drawn out breath, fast forwarding only on the last 8 DVR’d episodes.

Before I go any further, I urge you to STOP here if you’ve never seen the show.  Wait for all the seasons to be released on DVD.  Do as I did.  Wait and stay clueless.  Though you’ve probably read or overheard conversations on the finale, try your best to stay ignorant.

Knowing anything beforehand is like having a fly in your lab.  Any contamination, though minute, compromises the sample…

(HERE BE SPOILERS)  Take me at my word, people….

 

 

What did I gain by waiting?

I never had to wait for season finales and season premieres.  A 47 minute episode never felt like a rip-off.

I stayed in the story and caught all of the references.

I never had the concern if the series would get a 5th season. I thought Gus would be around through the finale.  You can imagine my shooting out of the chair when he emerged from Hector’s room, screaming in horror as the camera panned around and fist pumping with a thunderous “boo-yah” when he dropped to the floor.

I never had to speculate for months on end why the pizza was not cut.

The pink teddy bear stayed fresh for me all throughout.

I immediately caught the casual victory in the crustless sandwiches.

I maintained adrenaline from “Half Measure” to “Full Measure”.

I witnessed Walt’s lust, greed and degradation in a more realistic time span – it felt like the scripted two years, not a physical five.

And what have I learned?

I’m so happy my bathtub is on the first floor.

I will never again ring the bell at a front desk.

I will steer clear of restaurant sweetener packets.

I will always look at my mother’s souvenir spoon collection and reflect how Marie unwittingly set up Hank’s deadly collision course with Walt.

Yesterday evening, I sat through “Ozymandias” with my hands over my eyes.  I didn’t remove them until Holly was found in the fire truck.  I noted the lone dog crossing the street as the red van disappeared from view.  I then sat quietly in my chair for 20 minutes and debated if I could finish the last 2 episodes.  That might have been the only moment when my heart desired the episodic lull.  But I needed the denouement.

And when Walter White succumbed to his gunshot wound on my screen early one morning, I wept.

I wept not for Walt, but for every unsuspecting soul destroyed in his powerboat wake.  How clearly these faces lingered in my mind…like Krazy-8, chained to a pole with a bicycle lock – one broken plate away from escape.

I had just met him for the first time days before, after all…

Today, my television is dark.  I sit in quiet contemplation of how this ghost of a man chemically changed into the ghost of a nightmare.  I alone render my verdict of when the man lost his soul.  There is no office discussion around a water cooler.  There is no water cooler, only the one that doused Walt’s wrist.

I lived Breaking Bad in one fell swoop, and came out of it tingling – every element of me exposed.

That I could meet Vince Gilligan in person and kowtow to his methodical and brilliant genius – what would I say?  I would tell him that I got it.  I got his vision in it’s purest form – crystal blue and crystal clear and at 99%.   I lived the show like they all lived it, feeling Walt’s manipulation at every harrowing turn and never getting a single break from the chains, the betrayals, the beatings… Not until the moment I crashed the gate.

And as I drive away into the night, crying and laughing at my escape from Mr. White, I sense a release of a different kind…

I think I’ll buy myself a blow pop.

 

 

It’s Reigning Men

This one’s dedicated to the lads.

Yes, I’m talking about you – you handsome XY with the raised brow.  You really do have a reason to read this woman’s blog.

Although I will warn you in advance:  there is NO Paypal and I won’t be web-caming with you.

Damn.  Just lost half the male readership…

For the 3 of you that remain, I PROMISE  THAT THIS POST WILL NOT TURN YOU INTO A GIRL.  Unless that’s what you want.  If so, may I suggest my post on hot flashes?  Can’t get anymore womanly than that.

But I digress.

What follows here is my 2 cents on the subject of…drum roll please…

{whispering} football.

Football season is upon us.

C’mon boys!  Join me in proclaiming this magical moment. Shout it from every water tower, penthouse rooftop, roadside crew and convertible beemer.  Wail about it while you serve those fries, cross examine that witness or change that oil.  Don’t forget to use your diaphragm.  Breathe in deeply and bellow it to the heavens.

FOOTBALL SEASON IS UPON US!

Football has returned, and with it comes the biggest trade of the year: the moment when contractually-obligated family men cast off their itchy Clark Kent personas and become “common sense-free” agents with a remote control in one hand and a brewsky in the other.

These are true men of steel.  As long as that steel makes up a keg or describes a team out of Pittsburgh.

And this football season couldn’t have gotten here any faster, for it’s been an agonizingly long summer of anything BUT football.

And by anything I mean that American Girl Museum, that 10 hour road trip to Disneyland, visits to Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday night, Smurf movie-induced nightmares for your 2 year old, water parks, that beach house with the busted plumbing, dinners in Cinderella’s castle, flat tires nowhere near an exit, “It’s a Small World”, and those wrenching, surprise (for YOU) visits to your mother-in-law’s house.

In other words, all that comprises the 9th circle of Hell.

But you can escape the heat now, dust off that recliner and tune IN to that 70 inch screen.

Tuning IN will certainly help you tune OUT how you chased your toddler around a bikini-clad resort while your struggled to change the swim diaper to a pull-up.

A few rough tackles should erase once and for all that night you took your ‘tween daughter and her posse into McDonald’s.  Yep, THAT overcrowded McDonald’s that didn’t have the sense or decency to serve you alcohol at a moment it was most needed: when the giggling conversation at your table turned to which member of One Direction was the most “nail-able”.

The synthetic green of turf will likely aid you in forgetting the summer battle of you – astride a petroleum-powered steed – attempting to hold sway over a burgeoning lawn.  You knew Tru-Green was a bad idea when the season turned wetter than the first 3 rows of a Shamu show.  And when your lawn created a relatively stable system of government AND got it’s own Netflix account, that’s when the war was over.

Here’s the biggie:  WORRY NO MORE about any score other than the one on the screen.  Does it matter now if and when the little lady is gonna put out?  Hell, no.  YOU HAVE FOOTBALL AGAIN.

Not that your attempted pass was ever looking that good, right?  Your spouse knows everything from your old high school locker combination to the number of attractive women in your office (seven).

So riddle me this.  Three weeks of tampax wrappers in the trashcan?

That is indicative of some other-worldly feminine flaw that you shouldn’t have to decipher, because HOW ON EARTH could something so wife-controlled be so imprecise?

For God’s sake, someone please throw a flag.

“Personal foul.  Illegal use of feminine hygiene products – 25 yards.  Extra yardage assessed for roughing the passer.”

Hey, look.  You’re on the 1 yard line now.

Aaaaaannd, you STILL can’t score.

Well, craptastic.

Shall we just put aside all those non-football woes and return to the one true SANITY of bad referees, up-tight tight-ends, nightclub drug arrests and plastic faces shaking two poms – hopefully at the same time – in your face.

(It’s a silicone thing.  More isn’t necessarily better.  Placement is what counts.)

What’s makes FOOTBALL SEASON SO RIGHT  is the availability of the orgasmic frivolity.

Monday nights, Thursday nights, Saturdays ALL DAY, Sundays ALL DAY, with sports radio and news talking about it over…and over…and over….

IT NEVER STOPS.

Until February.

Or until a strike.

Whichever comes first.

But you know, I can’t post to my primarily female following without giving a good reason why I’m waxing on so much about the game.  After all, this is a blog entirely devoid of athletics except for the occasional wrestling with another woman over a triple clearanced designer handbag at TJ Maxx.

So this little post is about to turn even MORE cahhhhh-razzzy.  Because now is when I reveal, for the first time ever, how yours truly will have her very own Fantasy Football team this season.

I heard that collective gasp, btw.

Oh, just stop getting freaked out by the sudden boost in parka sales to hellish residents**.  Pick your gaping mouth up off my blog and allow me completely agree there’s an unfortunate disaster awaiting this decision.

Perhaps I’ll gain a bit of manly assistance if I act blonde enough.  Maybe I’ll gain a little respect.

Doubtful, but I’ll try.

I NEED HELP… {eyelashes batting}

Aaaand… I just lost my last two male readers.

Hey, don’t blame me.  I didn’t beg to have a Fantasy team.  I’m just assisting the son who wants to have a big FF league this year.  I’m told I have to call it that:  FF.  You can call it whatever you want.  Currently, the men are all grunting that FF has always meant Fantasy Football.

I was thinking French Fries, Founding Fathers….or an eFFin big bra size.

I’m told by my league manager, my son, that I’ll soon be sleeping, eating and filing my nails based entirely on the actions of a group of guys I don’t even recognize.

Save for Peyton.  Peyton….something. I’ll remember it shortly.  I know Peyton because he went to my school and he does that Oreo commercial. Have I mentioned in previous posts how I love Oreos? Cream!!!

Btw, Peyton does that cute little Oreo spot with his brother…. something Manning.  God, what IS his name?

Ya see?  It’s the names…and the faces…and what position they play on the field.

Yeah. I don’t know any of that.

But periodically, I will breeze more slowly than usual through the man cave and catch the last few utterances on that ESP channel.  I’ll catch a few names here and there.

Names like Tom Brady….of the well-known Brady Bunch.  Tom is apparently that little nerdy blonde cousin who lived with the family.  And it looks to MOI like little Tom Brady grew up…and THEN some.  Not that I am complaining.  Men like Tom make me VERY interested to watch football, in a strictly visual “oh my, which part of that is the jock?” sense.

My flippant hubby says Tom is married to a Victoria’s Secret model.

Hah. As IF.

Models DO NOT date athletes because they are TOO sweaty.  The athletes..not the models.

The sweaty models have a Paypal account and will web-cam with you, btw.

Let’s see….I remember hearing about some guy named Drew Breezes.  I actually think I had that scent in a Glade air freshener.  It was the perfect combination of testosterone, astroturf and cinnamon.

But my dog got too close and tried to roll around on it like it was road kill.

Goodbye Mr. Breezes.

Here’s a name that rolls off the tongue but sounds totally fake:

RG3.

WTF?

That’s a childhood vaccination. Or a genetic marker.

Or maybe it’s that droid that looks like C3PO but is a different color and doesn’t speak as eloquently as C3PO and is definitely not as smart as R2D2.

OMG, did that sound completely droid racist?

Terrific.

Hey George Lucas, your subpar prequel to Star Wars has turned me into a droid racist.  I’m so ashamed because I now realize that perhaps maybe there is a chance that I possibly might be a droid racist.

This is a horror I’ve not felt since grade school, and that was when Kermit tried to hook up with a pig.  It took years of therapy, but I can finally say that green and pink do look good together…as long as one of them isn’t amphibian.

But I’m older now – MUCH older.  And I’m strong and smart and VERY crafty.

And I LOVED every single Star Wars episode and I am most certainly NO droid racist.

Alright, dammit.

Give me my eFFin list of guys and let’s play this game.

But I hope you don’t mind if I change the roster a bit so I can remember who everyone is and what they’re doing.

And as this is fantasy, I’ve got the perfect system in mind…

At the moment Tom’s jock runs onto the field…

{referee whistle sounds}

“Red 4 standing by.”

“Red 6 standing by.”

“RG3 standing by.”

Start your run, boys.  Let’s blow up this death star and rescue the princess.

AND MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH US.

**droid racists, all of them

*****UPDATE**** My draft was announced this morning and I’ve got the OREO boys on my team!!!!  Yay!  The ultimate battle of cream versus cookie.  I’d better go buy a shitload of milk.