Archive for August, 2009

Just Send Chocolate

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Today I have been trying to clear my desk off, and I finally sorted the huge stack of coupons that I faithfully clip from the paper every Sunday in an effort to save a few bucks. It also included the coupons I download and print from websites and the ones that Kroger sends me for being a good little shopper. And I’d just like to send an open letter to the kind purveyors of all this largess:

Dear Manufacturers,

I just finished sorting and filing my coupons so I can go to the grocery store. Most of them were already expired. I have sad news for you. Women are too busy to always sort the coupons the week you print them. If you can’t put an expiration date on the coupon that is at least three months long, don’t bother. Six months would be much better.

That means that I will have time to use up the shower lotion that I only need in winter and I can use the coupon for a new bottle in October. In August, it just makes me sticky. Thank you for making the amount either $.50 or $1.00, because the ones that are $.55 don’t double and that’s just an annoying tease—so close to being worth a dollar if only you’d been a nickle chintzier. And the tiny little print you use for the expiration date? Whatever new college grad marketing genius picked the font should be fired. Thank you so much! Your faithful customer.

Yeah, I can hear it now. The born organized women out there are shaking their fingers at me and pointing out that if I would just sort them as I clipped them, it would be so much easier.

Dear Women who always sort the coupons as soon as you cut them out, which you do on the day you receive them,

Shut up! We hate you. If our lives were organized enough to do that, we’d be the queen of the world and wouldn’t need to clip coupons. No offense.

Your ordinary Sidetracked Home Executive sisters.

I guess that told THEM! Now where was I….oh, yes:

Dear Manufacturers,

Forget the coupons. Just send chocolate. Thank you.

Passing the Test

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote about going back to school to take Real Estate classes. Now the classes are finished and I’m studying for the state exam, which I have to pass to be licensed. As soon as I’m licensed, I can get right to work, listing and selling houses and making BIG MONEY!

Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. I have known plenty of people over the years who made a living and raised families on what they made selling real estate. Most of them lived pretty well, too. But they must have been making money in some other way, because by the time I finished the classes (when it was too late to get a refund) I had heard from every teacher and half the students that I would be lucky to make enough money to cover my fees in the first year. And there is a good chance I’ll quit before the year is up. And I’m going to get sued. In fact, I think the entire point of taking the classes is so you can’t say, when it happens, that you didn’t know you could get sued. All of the teachers reminded us of that daily!

I’m not all that worried about getting sued. After all, remember, they also said I’m not going to make any money. Can’t lose what I don’t have! I’m more worried about working sixty hours a week to make an average of $36,000 a year. Who would do that on purpose? Oh. Me, I guess. After all, I took the classes. Shouldn’t someone have told me to research this first? Of course, figuring out how much money I might make probably involves math. I’ve looked at the math part of the study guide. I’m not even going there.

Now as an excellent test taker, I have never before in my life worried that I’d actually flunk a test. I have worried that I wouldn’t get an A, or even a B, but flunking was just not a problem. This time, I’m worried. The goofy part is that I can fail this test and it will not mess up my GPA. It won’t even go on my permanent record. If I fail, I can do what high school and college students only dream about—pay to retake the test until I pass! That’s right, as long as I can afford the test fees, I can take the test over and over until I pass…and I WILL pass.

Okay, truth, I’m not really all that worried. I know that I could probably pass most standardized tests with no knowledge at all of the subject, so this test will not be that hard. Well I’m not worried about passing the test, I’m not worried about getting sued, and I know that, if the average income of a real estate sales person is $36000, I’ll eventually make more than that, because I am so above average (or so my mother says.) What’s left to stress about? I guess I just feel bad, knowing that I’m going to cause my teachers to be wrong when I pass, don’t quit, and make plenty of money without getting sued!

*Editor’s note: The content of this blog post (okay, probably ALL my blog posts) is fictionalized to make it more interesting than my real life. So I want to point out that my teachers were really great and that, while they scared us to death about how hard the test is, they also assured us that we WILL pass. It is my intention to prove them right, by passing the first time.

Mother Awards, Good Versus Bad

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Right now, I’m earning the Bad Mother award from my daughter, so I decided to write about it here, where I can be assured of getting the Good Mother award from at least some readers. Because as we all know, if the child thinks I’m a bad mother, I’ve done something right.

My youngest has a new best friend, and her new best friend just happens to be a boy. They worked on a project together and found lots of common interests, and now they talk and text and IM all day and half the night. He is not her boyfriend, she says. He’s just a friend. I’m very fine with that.

Now that their project is finished, they don’t see each other every day, so naturally they want to get together and hang out. She invited him over to watch a movie. That’s great! I love it when my kids bring their friends here! She invited him for Saturday. Oh. I will be gone all day Saturday. Sorry, not this week.

I suppose it’s probably mostly my fault that she’s upset. Her brother’s friends have been in and out of our house almost constantly for as long as she can remember, and I never made them leave just because I was going to the store or taking a walk. So she has been in the house with boys when no adults were present on plenty of occasions. I never thought about it. Trying to explain the difference to her isn’t easy, because it’s really based on faulty reasoning. This boy is okay, that one isn’t, even though he never did anything to disqualify him from “okay.”

Who says that giving birth makes us logical? I know that the child rearing books preach consistency, and I’m sure it’s the best idea. But life isn’t always logical, and if I consistently allow her to be here with boys I know well, and consistently say no to being alone with boys I’ve never met, I think I’m fulfilling the requirement. I’m sure he’s a wonderful kid. But he’s still a boy I don’t know.

And I am the evil mom who is wrecking her friendship. And guarding her reputation.