Friday, January 17, 2014

Oops, I Did It Again. Has Anyone Seen My Wallet? Can Someone Check The Roof? Or Another City? Pitiful Plea by Allison

Oops, I did it again.

No, am not singing Britney Spears song.

Am not singing at ALL.

Because I am too busy being mortified by my ability to find new and pathetic ways to lose my wallet.

I thought,
based upon years of experience losing my wallet,
or driving off with it on the roof of my car (more on that later),
or putting wallet in the fridge and putting my tea in my purse,
which was the opposite of what I meant to do,
and was messy and absurd -

Never mind the endless ways I have lost my car keys -
there is a complicated mathematical formula to calculate the number of times I have done that,
but it boils down to:  Infinity Plus One.

Or, to keep things interesting,
I can lose car keys WHILE putting my tea in my purse,
managing somehow to have the keys lodge themselves inside a closed Starbucks tea,
and I didn't realize it until I was drinking my tea-

That totally happened.

I have witnesses.
Who know me and were not surprised,
at ALL.

But I had kind of kept my wallet and its contents inside my purse,
not a rest stop on I-95,
or bathroom at the Tower of London,
or on the roof of anything for a while.

I got overly confident in my ability to keep ahold of things.

Which is why I am quoting stale pop song lyrics.

Because I left my wallet, full of all my stuff,
in a movie theater while taking the girls to see a Disney movie.

Instead of keeping it in my purse like a normal person,
I opened a bottle of water for M over my purse,
and without even thinking because this is rote behavior for me apparently,
I take things out and wipe them off with makeup wipes,
so my keys don't fry and my purse doesn't get waterlogged.

And then I apparently sit on my wallet?
My beloved red fancy wallet full of my stuff, I
somehow do not notice I am sitting on it,
and leave it there after the movie?

And I don't realize that I even did that,
until the next night,
when I needed my wallet for FORMS for the girls,
and it was not in my purse?

And I had a complete freak out,
because who knows what I have done with it????

(Spoiler!!! Something stupid.  It is always something stupid.)

What I had done with it was to leave it in a movie theater for anyone to see,
take, purloin,
and I would have to cancel cards and learn how to get to the DMV again,
and that is a whole other chapter in Things I Cannot Do At All.

But get this?
My favorite movie theater,
where the ushers never batted an eye at how many times I saw the first Twilight?

They also found, kept, and stored my wallet!!!

They rule.
They are awesome.

As are my girls and Matt and their immediate,
SWAT Team + Sherlock + Ph.D. In How I Lose Things coordination,
searching our house and tracing our steps back to the theater of awesome ushers.

I love awesome people.

They get to join the Unfortunately Large Club Of People Who Have Had To Help Allison Find Her Wallet Or Wallet Content Type Items.

It is not a formal club, I don't think.
It is more like, a cluster of embarrassing memories.

That I do not learn from at all.

To wit:

Fifty (Or More, I Don't Know) Ways To Lose Your Wallet, by Allison:

So I try not to be without my crucial required possessions of phone, keys, and
purse with wallet -
(except on the occasions detailed above and below),

Usually the only time those things are not with me is because I have lost them temporarily.

Eventually they appear in some weird place
I thought I would remember because it was so weird -
that I did not remember,
because it was so weird.

Normally it is not a crisis.
But sometimes it is.

Recently, we went to see A Silent Film in concert.
Which, by the way? Ruled.

Concerts, requiring dancing, snaking way to front of crowd,
nowhere for my purse at all.

That is about the only time I go old-school, ID
(For the bouncer persons who will humor me by carding me and thus establishing goodwill with suggestion that I may not be 21 yet.
Well played, bouncer persons),
credit card, lip balm.

I take more when hiking into the Grand Canyon or in boot camp class.

I tote numerous green teas and my purse everywhere,
except shows where I cannot hold onto them,
too busy watching the awesome music. 
For shows, I bring the fewest things possible, shoved into my jeans pocket,
as I am likely to do something idiotic with whatever it is I have on me anyway.
(As detailed above and below, and also ways I choose to forget.)

And the thing about not bringing all of my stuff?
It reduces the number of things I can idiotically misplace,
and that is good.
But winnowing down my wallet contents into my pockets?
The contents of my wallet are kind of necessary for me to function,
and losing them is no fun.

So of course that is exactly what I do. 

By getting into a car,
(I am blaming it on Matt's car was getting new tires,
and the dealership gave him a loaner, and it was strange,
and I felt like it looked both like a frog,
and like a meteor had squished our regular car)

I lose the things that were in my jeans pocket.

And guess how I found out I lost them?

The very nice man who found them in the parking lot,
in a city in which I do not live,
but did visit the previous night for excellent show,
called me to let me know he had them.

I was all, "Really? What?
I lost them?
I did not know that."

(Note: In my defense, it was still morning the next day,
and I was getting ready for the gym,
and had yet to need to prove my identity or buy stuff)

He was all, "Yes,
I have been walking around this coffee event for an hour looking for you,
but could not find you, are you here?"

And I was all "Noo, I am totally not there at all.
I don't really know where there is, actually."

And after we figured out where he was and where I was were not the same place,
he offered kindly, as he is Good Samaritan,
to mail my things to me so I would not have to go through the horrors of replacing them.
This is so awesome,
and he does not even know me or my DMV issues.


Gold Star Member Of The Unfortunately Large Club Of People Who Have Had To Help Allison Find Her Wallet Or Wallet Content Type Items!

I didn't tell him about the club, because I really hope there actually is no such thing.

But yet:

I leave and lose things all the time,
you can ask my daughter E for the last 11 years refresher,
she has savant-like memory for details on this topic.

But the worst is when I lose my wallet or its contents. 

I have done that a ludicrous number of times.

Not including when, Get This?
I had my wallet, with all my roommates' rent money IN CASH in it,
and I go visit a friend who lives in a rowhouse in the city.
I go in, put my keys and wallet in the kitchen, leave the kitchen,
and within 10 minutes, someone walked into their house and stole it.

That was so lame.
It was absurd,
and my landlord would never believe "a mystery person walked in and stole my wallet with the rent money in it" because that is absurd.
But true.

More often,
I just put my wallet in stupid places.

I have just broken myself out of a habitual, ridiculous habit of when purchasing gas for my car,
I take out my wallet,
get the credit card,
and leave my wallet on the roof of my car,
so I will remember to put the credit card back in my wallet.

I NEVER remember to put my card back in my wallet.

I put it in my purse alone,
and then drive off with the wallet on the roof of my car.

I have done this at least ten times.

But only once did I not get the wallet and contents back!

That was a dumb time I put my entire purse on the roof of our car,
like the baby in Raising Arizona,
at a rest stop during a trip.
 (Note: Before I had children, I had this recurring nightmare where I leave the baby on the roof of the car like in Raising Arizona.
Probably because:
1. That movie is fantastic and I could watch it all day. And?

2. I leave other things of importance on my roof and drive off,
who is to say I won't lose the baby?) 

(Subnote: In reality, I have never lost any of my children ever,
nor have I put them on the roof of the car and driven away.
And now,
they are of an age where I cannot lift them onto the roof without them being a participant in this process,
and also, they talk and say things and would object if I drove off,
which I would NOT,
except in old nightmares I had before I had kids and realized
children are very noisy,
and hard to forget.)

I remembered I'd left the purse on the roof that time when we had been back in the car for over an hour,
I was probably looking for lip balm.
Anyway, Matt made executive decision of "It's gone."
(Note: I was holding out hope somebody on the side of the road was holding it,
 waiting for us to come back for it, but that was a faint hope.)

Normally when I leave my wallet on the roof of my car and drive off -
(Note: I have broken this habit, am very excited about that)
I am getting gas at this one place in our city that I love,
the owner and the people working there are friendly and cool.

I am all about frequenting places where people are cool,
it makes life so much nicer.

Life is made nicer by the entire crew of mechanics roaming down the busy street I drove onto headed home,
gathering up my important possessions I left on the roof of my car like idiot. 

They would then call and say,
"Allison, we've got your wallet and credit cards,
they were scattered all down Elm Street."

And I would be all,
"Really? Oh, yep, you are right, they are not in my purse.
I did that stupid thing again, didn't I?"

But these were cool friendly people,
which is why I went there in the first place,
so they do not throw things at me when I go retrieve the belongings I don't realize I've lost yet until they call and tell me.

However, after I repeatedly do this stupid thing,
the gas station Friendly Cool People Who Were Sick And Tired Of My Nonsense were like,
"Look, just drive up to full service.
We won't charge extra. Do not get out of your car,
do not put your wallet anywhere."

I never do that,
because I forget until I am already parked at the self-service and go get my wallet,
and then I have enough brain cells to remember how embarrassing it is when I am an idiot,
which reminds me to put my credit card in my wallet in my PURSE and not roof of car.

So, I have been cured of a ridiculous bad habit by being so embarrassed of the results of the habit!
Also, as added insurance against myself,
I try to get gas when the kids are with me,
and remind them not to let me put anything on the roof.

I am sure they will share that story when they sit around their freshman college dorm talking about who has the craziest mother. 
I really have no defense on this particular issue, so be it.

And how is that for a meandering chronicle of me being mortified,
repeatedly, by my own foolishness?

But get this?
People are awesome!
Awesome movie theater ushers, awesome gas station mechanics,
awesome Good Samaritan!
I got my ID and credit card I lost at the concert in the mail,
along with a lovely note from Good Samaritan.

And it appears we are kindred spirits,
because he had a story about the whole thing!

He wrote me a letter about walking around with my ID looking for anyone who looked like me,
and making some guys mad when he'd go up to their girlfriends or wives asking
"Are you Allison?"

(Note: As I write this,
I cannot decide if I would like to be fly on wall or not during this quest.
He wrote it in a way that sounded hilarious,
but anytime I think "would I want to be a fly on the wall?" I get all stressed out.
Probably existential crisis because of The Metamorphosis or The Fly. )

Good Samaritan then said that after initial boyfriend antagonizing,
all the women in the area were helping him,
and telling him how nice he was to help me and what a great guy he was,
which is true.
It was, and he is.

And then his friends wanted to take my ID around,
since the female part of the crowd thought it very charming and kind to help this pathetic girl get her stuff back.

My belongings are like a baby or puppy at the park.

You know how guys walking around with a baby or puppy seem extra adorable,
 and they garner way more attention and goodwill then they would if they were without cute prop?

It seems Helping Strange Girl Who Loses Her Things is the new cute prop.

I am glad it turned out to be entertaining for my Good Samaritan and his friends,
since he is awesome for getting me my stuff back.

But if Looking For Girl Who Lost Things becomes a thing,
I totally want credit and am trademarking it. 

I also really, really want an intern.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Study Your Face, And the Fear Goes Away. Both Nostalgic And Lovely "Sirens" by Pearl Jam, And Lullaby For Matt, by Allison

So maybe it's the cold weather meaning flannel is trotted out?

Maybe it's making mixtapes with "Black" by Pearl Jam woven in, because that song has always  smashed me, in the best way?

Maybe it's extreme relief that I like this song, "Sirens," by Pearl Jam,
because I didn't like the first single of their new stuff at all and was worried that it would be all bad and that would make me sad and old?

Maybe because we were listening to it the other day and trying to figure out what made it so cool and I decided that us loving it meant it was doing the thing it needed to do?

Maybe it's because there are gorgeous lyrics and Eddie Vedder is doing that thing he does with his voice, going low and stair stepping up?

Whatever the reason, it is in my mind and playing through my giant purple headphones.

And because tonight,
 Matt and I had the gruesome, lengthy, totally stressful and all around suck task of two hours of de-splintering E's foot - that was hell for all involved.

And we're negotiating who holds the mag light,
who is dealing with the surgical scissors (him, I am not trained for anything above cuticle scissors, and I suck at that),
how can we get her to stop screaming -

And I look up at him,
exhausted from a long day at the hospital,
so focused on our daughter,
so very Matt in his focus and compassion,
even when I was an inept mag light precision,
and I don't know,
it was just so kind.

And in my head, I'm hearing the lyrics to "Sirens," :

 "I study your face, and the fear goes away."

So at risk of being totally schmoopy, (I think the grisly splinter surgery task cuts the sweetness a bit? But the sentiment rang so true to me)

Tonight, a lullaby for Matt.

"Oh, it's a fragile thing
This life we lead
If I think too much
I can get overwhelmed by the grace"

I study your face, and the fear goes away.


PS: I am sure to be snarky again tomorrow, so it is good to have proof sometimes I am overwhelmed by the grace.

But still.

"Sirens," by Pearl Jam

Friday, January 3, 2014

Send The Call Out . . . Lyrics As Absurd Parenting Tool, Excellent Song, And Bonus: Stuff I Totally Made Up!! Lorde's "Team," Plus My Crazy, By Allison

So, I make no secret of the fact that I kind of  use song lyrics as a parenting tool.
Absurd Parenting Tool,
but still.

Necessity is the Mother
(In this case, the mother is me.  But note, I am still very, very young)
of Invention
(In this case, how to deal with the girls when they are making me insane).

Official parenting guidelines and magazines involve crafts and lists,
and completely stress me out.

So in our world?
Song lyrics for the win! (Query: For the win?
What game show was that?
Was it the No Whammies one?
I hope so, that show ruled.)

So when E and M were having Sisterly Warfare,
high decibel,
and irrationality defcon level orange or whatever?
(Note: V is benignly packing for extra fun tween sleepover adventure,
so is not in the mix here, or I would have had to adjust my game plan)

I decide upon the following three-part strategy:

Song We Like,
Plus Write A Document.

I have to be nimble, with these wily girls,
and switch up the Absurd Parenting as needed.

We have been fangirling on Lorde's  song "Team,"
as I am acknowledged fan of Lorde,
even though her overachieving in the arenas of
Awesome Hair,
Excellent Eyeliner Skills,
and Immediate Music Domination While Being 16 Years Old,
kind of make me rethink my
"take AP classes and get driver's license" agenda when I was 16.

I called upon this song as Absurd Parenting Tool because:

1. I love this song

2. I was listening to it when the Sisterly Warfare went down

3. I have invented a completely made-up,
insane backstory for Lorde,
and it is fun to act like I believe my own crazy self,
to antagonize my children.

I love making up backstories!! 
It is super fun and endless entertainment for me,
and sometimes they turn out to be true.

(Note: My made-up Lorde backstory is totally not true.
But I was so right about Sleeper Agent!!!!!
So I am like, mostly right, sometimes.)


Allison's Invented, Made-Up, Not-True,
But Seriously That Would Rule If It Were True Backstory re: Lorde:

I cooked up in my fevered head that Lorde was the unacknowledged,
redheaded stepsister of Taylor Swift -

(Note: There is similar hair excellence and texture,
and advanced cat eye makeup talents at a young age,
 but they are not related and I am making this up)

Who was sent off to a remote boarding school in New Zealand -

(Note: Lorde is from New Zealand,
so that part of this made up story is true,
the rest is made up, but still,
it adds an essence of authenticity to my nonsense)

And she broke out of her Azkaban-type boarding school -

(Note: I realize that I am mixing up my allegorical YA opuses here,
and Harry Potter's misunderstood godfather's terrible Azkaban prison was not in New Zealand -
that is where all the hobbits with giant fake feet frolic,
amidst spare green gorgeous landscapes in Lord of the Rings movies -
But still,
there is a throughline,
at least, in my demented head)

After busting out (of the made up fake boarding school that does not exist,
or does it????) in New Zealand,
she arrived upon the music scene with a less-than-super-cheerful attitude,
righteous hair,
and a potty mouth.

And similar to Taylor Swift,
(her totally not actual stepsister and I am making this all up,
but doesn't it seem like it could be kind of true?
I am on a roll, so play along)

Lorde has the "I got this, just watch" swagger at a young age.

Fewer sparkly dresses,
larger chip on shoulder,
but the immediate ownership of her thing,

It is a totally believable,
completely made-up backstory, right?

Anyway, Lorde's "Team" was blasting through my giant purple headphones,
as I tried to pretend the girls were not having Sisterly Warfare,
so I Absurdly Parented with the song lyrics:

"Team" chorus:
 "We live in cities you'll never see on screen/
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things/
Living in ruins, of the palace within my dreams/
And you know/
we're on each other's team"

Aside from the fact that I consider our house an actual palace,
and not ruined,
unless the bad dog wrecks stuff,
I was going with this song as Absurd Parenting Tool.

It seems less didactic than the "There is no 'I' in 'Team' " thingy you are supposed to say to make people cooperate and play nicely -
that never worked on me,
so I cannot authentically trot that out as a Lecture Condemning Sisterly Warfare.

So E and M were summoned to Stop The Noise,
Listen To This Excellence,
Shh Or I Will Start In On The Pretending She's Taylor Swift's Snarky Stepsister Thing.

And music, as always, soothes the savage beasts, all of us.

And I assign them a Document to Write,
based upon the "we're on each others team" mantra.

Because I do think that way,
that in this house we are on each other's team.
And also, Writing A Document is a go-to because:

1. I love Documents, especially ones written by the girls

2. They stop fighting and get quiet, so I am brilliant in my Absurd Parenting

3. And the quiet means  more excellent music listening while awaiting the Document -
more proof of Absurd Brilliance.

And whee yay tra la la,
the girls totally crushed the Writing of the Document.
If song lyrics Absurd Parenting becomes a thing, I totally want credit.

Behold! The Sisters' Promise:
Displaying photo.JPG

Ok, that thing rules.
I am charmed, nobody's bickering, cool music playing.
We've not yet lost all our graces.

Excellent Document is on the wall now,
so I can point at it as a reminder that they are totally badass sisters who are fab,
and also, I will totally make them do stuff like this if they squabble,
so let's be awesome instead.

I have a perfect soundtrack for it!!!

Lorde's "Team"