Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Rules of Monopoly and Other Commandments

It's 9:20pm.  We've been playing Monopoly since 10 this morning.  And it's getting personal.

We took a brake for lunch and even went for a walk.  But for the better part of the day, we've been locked in a battle of mortgages, construction and aggressive rent collection.

We take Monopoly very seriously.

Scott insisted we play by the rules.  That's why we don't really like playing with Scott.  We don't like to play by the rules.  We have our own little "family" rules - our little Monopoly "traditions" and if you don't like 'em - you shouldn't play with us.  For example, if you land on Go you get $500, and we always keep $500 in the middle for Free Parking.  Scott said money NEVER goes into the middle of the board - it ALWAYS goes into the bank.  But he's wrong.  Because that's not how I play.

The race to get the best properties and negotiate trades for monopolies was fierce.  With each turn around the board, everybody watched each other...waiting...ready to yell "RENT!" if anybody landed on their property.

We like to yell ""RENT!"  It's loud, it's obnoxious, and it makes the other person feel worse for landing on your property.

In fact, we like "RENT!"so much that if you DON'T yell "RENT!"you don't get you're rent.  Yeah, it grates on you eventually, but watching it grate on other people is worth suffering through it when it happens to you.  That's how we roll in our family.

After a few hours we knocked Scott out of the game (that's what he gets for pushing his stupid "rules"). He continued to play as Ben's "consultant."

It was all going my way until my daughter got Boardwalk.  It was fine at first, but then she started getting cocky about it.  And putting money into it.  And making money on it.  Then she started waving Boardwalk in front of me and pointing to MY massive complex of houses on my Orange Properties saying stuff like:

"Mommy, you can mortgage your houses.  Then you'll have enough to pay me when you land on Boardwalk."

"What if I don't land on Boardwalk."

"'ll land on Boardwalk.  Everybody does."  Then she nodded confidently and reorganized her money. Taking time to tap and neaten her $100s.  Livi loves to irritate people.  I found myself paying rent in small bills just to annoy her.

Meanwhile, Ben built up Kentucky Avenue and Illinois Ave - you know - just in case his mother, who was being sweet enough to visit was looking for a comfortable place to stay.

Then I landed on Illinois.



"$240 please!"

"Excuse me?"

"$240 smackarolas!" (nothing is more irritating then somebody about to take your money gives it a cutesy name)

I looked at my pile of money.  It didn't look too healthy.

"You're going to charge your mother rent?  The woman who gave you life?"

"Yes.  $240 please."

"Fine."  I flung my money at him.  It was easy to see where Livi gets her attitude.  I called him a Shmuck.  He giggled.

Then Ben landed on Tennessee - one of my beautifully built-up Orange properties.  I yelled "REEEENNNNNT!" Served him right.   It's a good life lesson any way.  After all, he can't live at home for free forever.

Then Ben landed on Park Place, Livi's Park Place - which she hadn't built up quite as much Boardwalk, but it posed a financial threat nonetheless.  Livi didn't notice.  She was occupied counting her money.

Scott said "OOoooooohhhhhh...!"

Livi looked up .  "REEEENNNNNT!"

Ben scowled at Scott.  "SCOTT!  YOU TOLD HER!"

"She would have noticed anyway!  Do you think she wouldn't have noticed you landed on Park Place?"

Inimitable Livi...She shrugged and said lightly "I probably wouldn't have noticed."  Happy to sink Scott in Ben's eyes.

Ben was pissed and glared at Scott.  Scott shrugged.  Ben handed over nearly all of his money to Livi.

- Livi landed on Tennessee where I had just put up hotels.  She handed me $950.
- I landed on Park Place which now had 4 houses.  I handed $1,300 over to Livi.
- Ben landed on Community chest and paid $40 in hospital fees.  He had $20 left.

Then, for the first time in 6 turns around the board, Livi rolled and landed on something of Ben's.   His hotel on Indiana.  He was jubiliant.

For the first time the whole game Livi was all frowns.

- Ben rebounded, BIG.  Money pouring in from his hotels on Red.

Then I landed on Boardwalk.

"REEENNT!  See?  I told you you'd land on Boardwalk."

She cleaned me out.  I started rooting for my other child.

- Livi held out for a while - rich with early cash infusions and enjoying the financial rewards reaped from me landing on her hotel on Boardwalk. 

And now, FINALLY, 11 HOURS LATER, it's down to the two of them.  My son and my daughter.  Battling it out for Financial Dominance.

Sure, one of them will win the game.  It' will probably be Livi.  And she'll dance around.  Taunting us.  Laughing.  Fanning herself with her money.

But that's okay.  Because one day, she'll come home to me after college graduation - spend a little time trying to find herself and get her sea legs.  We'll be so proud of what she's achieved and excited by all of the possibilities that lay before her.  I'll hold my hands out and she'll come in for a hug. 

And I'll say...


Tags: Monopoly, Game of Life, Hasbro, Family Game Night

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Every Town has a Tool...

Today I met the biggest tool in Woodstock.

He sat down right next to me (believe it or not, I look a lot more inviting than I sound) at breakfast at Oriole 9 (best french toast in Woodstock).  He must have thought he would have a good audience in me because he decided to share my bench.  First he tried to move it - with me on it - eating my french toast.  When he had trouble lifting it, he asked "do you mind..." at which point I lifted my fanny, mouth full of french toast, so he could move the bench to his liking.  I smiled so he would know I was fine with it.

He laid out all of his "paperwork" (I use quotes because I'm not sure he was actually doing anything useful - just trying to look useful).  He was "jotting" notes down on his paperwork furiously while simultaneously looking to catch somebody's eye so they could inquire as to what somebody so "busy and useful" might be doing.

I could feel him continuing to look at me.  Waiting for his opportunity to start a conversation.

Then he heard me asking the waitress if she knew of anybody who babysits in town because I was in from LA.

"Los Angeles!?  You're in from LA?!  I have a place in LA!  It's so nice to hear somebody say the words "Los Angeles."  That last line should have been a warning.

"Yes.  I live in LA."  Then I made my first mistake.  "Where's your place?"

"Santa Monica.  Well near Santa Monica (which is already weird because nobody from Santa Monica ever says "I live NEAR Santa Monica" to somebody else from LA. ).  But I also have a place in the city.  So I have three places really.  And now I'm here.  I'm not sure I want to keep paying for all three places though..."

Mistake #2 "Oh.  Well what do you do that you can be in all three places?  Are you a writer?"

"Yeah.  I'm a writer.  And an editor.  And a musician.  You know, I write music for movies and stuff.  All kinds of things..."

The waitress showed up to check on us.  I should have waved a white flag because he went on and on about I'm not sure what.  But he was incredibly passionate about it.  Whatever "it" was.  Somehow we got on the topic of the new Woody Allen movie and I said "I really liked it, even though I don't like Woody Allen."

"What's  a Woody Allen" asked Ben.

"Woody Allen is a director.  He's a person.  He makes movies.  And I don't really like him."  I said.


"Because he married his daughter and it's gross."

The tool then responded.  "I think it's great he married his daughter! YEAH, Man! Go!"

Livi looked at me like she just saw the face of crazy for the first time.

"Uh huh." and I turned away from him to break up a fight between Ben and Livi and hopefully end our conversation politely.

We ordered.  Then we waited for our food.  During which time Ben was all over his sister.  Pulling, pushing, grabbing.  Doing things hungry kids do.

"Ben, keep your hands to yourself, please."

Now anybody who knows Ben knows he's kind of "handsy".  He can't help himself.  He grabs everyone and everything.

Our food came and calmness ensued.  That's when the Tool leaned over.  "Do you mind if I discuss something with you?"

Thinking he wanted to talk about "writerly" things I thought I'd be friendly and said "okay..."

He then proceeded to tell me how he couldn't help but overhear me ask my son to "keep his hands to himself" and how I should never tell my son to "keep his hands to himself." (what more could I expect from somebody who respects Woody Allen's romantic choices).  "It's important he learn to be free and loving."

Then he added "I really appreciate you taking my advice on this.  I just see you squelching his natural urge..."

I'm not sure what he said after that but I wanted to squelch HIS natural urge.  I couldn't believe this TOOL was giving me parenting advice!

Unable to control myself, I smirked at him.  Actually laughing while I spoke to this idiot.  "Do you have kids?"

"I raised two boys from ages 3 - 10."  I wasn't even going to touch that weird statement or engage it since I was pretty sure he wanted to talk more about why he got the kids so late and why he doesn't have them anymore.

"Ah."  I continued laughing and turned away.  I thought that would just shut him down.  But no.

He went on to tell me how important it is to allow my son to express himself however he wanted.  There was more - I just don't remember any of it.  I couldn't stop composing my next blog post about him in my head.
I didn't even bother responding.

What do you say to people who just want to impose their advice on you?  They don't know you.  They don't know the children.  They know nothing of the circumstances and yet they feel qualified to FIX you.  Unbelievable.

Some tools are useful.  Helpful objects that help you achieve your goals - fixing a sink, hanging a picture...and then there are other tools - the ones who want to fix everybody else.

Yeah.  What a F*cking Tool.

Monday, July 11, 2011

GREAT REVIEWS for "Got Milf?"!

If you haven't gotten your copy of "Got Milf?" yet, I thought I would share some of the GREAT reviews it's been getting!  These reviews should assuage any fears of being seen reading it in public, worries it won't be informative, or general concern that it just might totally suck.

(Just a reminder, "Got Milf?" makes a great gift for new moms, Baby Showers, and girlfriends who could just use a good laugh (It is also available on Kindle!):

"Sarah Maizes's pioneering study seems destined to revolutionize the field of MILFology."
-David Javerbaum, former EP and head writer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", coauthor of "America (The Book)" and "What to Expect When You're Expected."

"Somewhere between the delivery room and the carpool line you lost your mojo. And though 'reclaim sex kitten status' is not at the top of your to-do list (hey, it's on there, though, way below 'Get baby food out of hair'), you're well aware of how important it is to shave your legs regularly. We'd like to suggest Got Milf? The Modern Mom's Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great, and Rocking a Minivan, a new book by Sarah Maizes, blogger, comedienne, and mom to three. The best way to describe the breezy read is this: It's the girlfriendish advice you're so good at giving but never take to heart yourself (be honest - did you shower today?). Full of hilarious, insightful, and quote- worthy tidbits (we're still reeling over 'Have sex before you go out to dinner'), the book enlightens and entertains without coming off as preachy. Maizes uses humor to remind you of all the reasons you're a mom others would like to ... ahem. After all, as she points out, if moms weren't doing the deed, we'd all be only children." 
-Daily Candy Kids

"Got MILF is an empowering book for moms, told from Maizes' point of view... It was refreshing to see Maizes take a derogatory term, turn it on its head, and take it in a positive direction."

"A funny look at modern-day motherhood with tons of tips and "aha" moments. But if you're not a mama, there's a lesson or two in there for you, too. In short, laugh more, stress less, and ... get your nails done? Well, yeah!"
-Vitamin G blog,

"Fresh, witty take on parenting with style."
-San Diego Family Magazine

"My husband has been telling me I'm a MILF for years-but he sort of had to if he ever wanted to get any action. Thanks to Sarah Maizes, now I believe him! After reading Got MILF? I am thinner, tanner and totally rocking my glorified station wagon." -Jenna McCarthy, author of If It Was Easy They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon

"Sarah Maizes takes the Madonna/whore dichotomy and runs over it (and back over it) with her minivan. No matter what term for 'hot mom' you have adopted as your own, this book will make you laugh and inspire you to enjoy where you are right now in your life." -Stephanie Dolgoff, author of My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches from Just the Other Side of Young

"Every mom has an inner MILF. This breakthrough book shows you how to get it out without major surgery." -Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids

Thank you to ALL of these wonderful people for their supportive words, and for reading the whole book front to back!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dozing Off...

WARNING: T.M.I. (Too Much Information) Alert!   Read at your own risk...

My vagina fell asleep.  

I'd been sitting on this 200 year old hardwood chair for hours, writing, and I began to get that tingling sensation in my butt that told me I had been sitting too still for too long.  So I got up and walked around to stretch it all out.  Sure enough I noticed that that "sleeping" sensation had spread to somewhere quite unexpected.

This was disconcerting.

I can't ever recall my vagina falling asleep before.  Not that it's always engaged in activity, but at least it never decided,"Well, nothing's going on here.  I think I'll shut down for a while."

I remember at one point toward the end of my marriage asking my Gynocologist half-jokingly if he needed to dust me off before he performed a pap smear.  I may have offered him a crowbar.  I was grateful to learn it doesn't work that way. 

Or does it?

Maybe I've been holding out on my boyfriend for too long.  The holidays are a busy time and having the kids home full time for the past few weeks certainly has put a damper on our sex life.  But I really don't think it's necessary for my vagina to decide that it's bored.  That's just rude.

It's like my vagina has no faith in me.  Like it said..."'s been three weeks since I've been put to good use.  I've been down this road before, I know the drill.  It's gonna be a while.  I think I'll just take a little snooze."

And since when does a vagina need a nap anyway?  Alright, I'm in my early 40's and get the occasional hot flash in the middle of the night, but I had convinced myself they were caused of my heavy down comforter.  Is a sleepy vagina another sign of pre-menopause?  The reproductive organs get a bit squeaky and the vagina suddenly doesn't have the stamina of a 20 year old anymore?  Is it too much to ask for it to stay awake for an entire day? 

I wiggle my legs around a little and hope to wake it all up.  It resists.  I think it just grabbed the edge of my underwear and turned over to nap on its other side.  I don't want to listen to hard because I'm afraid I may hear it snoring.

Obviously, my boyfriend and I need a little time alone together.
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a sleepy vagina is my wake-up call.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Filed under "Is It Just My kids?"

My twins are reading out loud to each other.  So sweet.

Now if only they weren't reading totally different books simultaneously...

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