Easier to Wrangle a Vampire at a Blood Bank than a Kid at a Grocery Store

Isn't It Easier to Wrangle a Vampire at a Blood Bank than a Kid at the Grocery Store? #funny @sothenstories

So then…I try to navigate the brightly-lit food aisles with my daughter, who’s enthusiastically belting out constant demands:

“I want ice cream!”
“Let’s get cookies!”
“Fruit roll-ups!”
“I want ALL these cereals!!”
“Please? Pleeeeeeeeease!? MOM!! PLEASE!!!!!”

Perfectly understandable toddler behavior.

But she’s not 4.

She’s 15.

Why are kids such sugar-fiends, no matter how old they are?

We’re in Costco, so I’m pushing the cart in between 8 million shoppers as I try to grab a few quick things.

But every time we pass something sweet, Chloe starts yammering about how much she NEEDS to have it.

“Mom! Look! I love this ice cream! We have to get it!”

She runs over to the freezer door, pointing and making sweet puppy dog eyes.

“Chloe, that’s COSTCO-sized ice cream! Those containers are huge! That’ll last us 3 months!”

“No, it won’t! I promise I’ll eat it before 3 months.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of!” I retort.

Now believe me, my daughter gets plenty of sugary treats in her life. She also eats pretty healthy meals and she’s in good shape.

When it comes to dessert, I’m not too strict – and I’m not too lax. But she’s driving me batty with all her plaintive pleas today.

In fact, she’s relishing the role, practically swooning when we pass the cereal aisle.

“Omigod, Mom, look at all the cereals you won’t let me have!”

“Cereal? You mean ‘Sugar in a Bowl?’”

“Mommmmmmmmmmm!” she says, dragging out the syllable and rolling her eyes.

We’re laughing as I push the cart to a different section to distract her.

“Forget about all the sugary food, Chloe! Let’s go over here. Do you need underwear?”

“No, just sugar.”

“How about this section — do you need school supplies?”

“Are they made of sugar?”

“Oh, look! Books! You love reading! Let’s look in the book section!” I say, wheeling the cart over to the display.

“I hate books,” she says, mock petulantly.

“What? You do not! You love books!” I roll the cart down the book aisle, looking at the covers.

“I do not!”

“You used to! Don’t you remember?” I ask.  “You used to get in trouble a couple years ago for reading too late at night!”

Chloe follows me as I push the cart along.  I say wistfully, “Don’t you remember? I’d have to come in and pry the book out of your hands! That girl LOVED to read! I really liked that girl! She was so nice and sweet. Whatever happened to that girl?”

“I a—” Bwahahaha!

Chloe’s laughing so hard, she can’t finish her sentence.

“I a—” Bwahahaha!

Now I’M laughing because I realize she’s trying to say “I ATE her!”

We both stop in the middle of the aisle, laughing so hard, tears are running down our cheeks. I’m literally crossing my legs so I don’t pee my pants.

And the two of us just keep saying “I a—” over and over, dissolving into fits of laughter.

Shoppers weave around us, giving us a curious glance, wondering what the hell is so damn funny over by the book section.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Do your kids drive you batty with their pleas for sugary treats when you shop with them? When do they grow out of that? DO they grow out of that? Or are you smart enough to shop WITHOUT them? And let’s be honest, do some sugary treats find their way into your cart even when you ARE shopping alone? What’s your weakness? Mine is anything produced by those dastardly devilishly delectable boys, Ben & Jerry!)

Elf on the Shelf Narcs on MOM!

Ellington, Elf on the Shelf, turns his tattle-tale focus on MOM this Christmas -- and you won't BELIEVE what he's tellin' Santa!  #funny #sexy #Christmas @SoThenStories

So then…I wake up at 3 am to the sound of click-clacking. I pop downstairs, peer round the corner, and see two tiny red felt feet scurry out of sight. My laptop screen is glowing, so I cross the room, lean in…and what to my wondering eyes should appear – but EMAILS from Ellington, our Elf on the Shelf, to SANTA!

Hey Santa,
Ellington the Elf here, reporting from the Perdu household! My vertigo’s still acting up, so rather than fly back and forth to the North Pole, I’ll just email you my reports!

Day 1
So excited to meet my new family, Darcy (Mom) and David (Dad) and their darling kids, Tucker, age 8, and Chloe, age 5. I’ll be on the lookout for any naughty or nice behavior to report back to you!

Day 2
Look, Santa, I don’t want to tell you your business, but the naughty ones in this house are NOT the kids. Oh sure, they bicker and whine a bit, with the occasional fib – but the one I REALLY need to keep an eye on is the Mom!

When she made breakfast this morning, the Dad asked, “Are these real eggs and bacon?” “Of course,” she replied. Nope. Egg Beaters and Turkey Bacon. He asked for regular coffee and she snuck in Decaf. For dinner, she assured the kids she served “real” hamburgers. Nope. Veggie Burgers. So she’s a liar. Maybe for a good cause – but still – a liar.

Day 3
When the class mom called for volunteers to collate papers at school today, Darcy, the Mom, said she couldn’t because she had a “doctor’s appointment.”

Then she watched the Dr. Oz show on the DVR. That is NOT an appointment.

Day 4
She straight up lied to the kids today on the way home from school. There’s no way Chuck E Cheese, Toys R Us, AND Game Stop are ALL closed for renovations.

Plus she gossiped at great length with her friend about Mrs. Kobar, one of Chloe’s teachers who’s allegedly very short-tempered and cancels recess when the kids are rowdy.

Day 5
While watching TV tonight she passed gas with such a foul stench, I had to gasp for air. She blamed the dog.

They do not even HAVE a dog.

Day 6
She tells the kids never to swear, but when she was alone on the freeway today, she let loose a string of expletives that would make a sailor blush. Honestly, Santa, I cannot even TYPE them for fear my hands will go straight to hell. Omigod, now she has ME swearing! She’s corrupting me, Santa!

Day 7
The Mom does do lots of nice stuff with the kids. She helps with homework, makes crafts with them, and plays silly games.

But tonight when she was baking cookies with Chloe for teacher gifts, I noticed she set aside all the misshapen, over-cooked ones for Mrs. Kobar.

Day 8
She’s not terribly organized. Before bedtime tonight, when Chloe suggested pulling out her old 1,001 Deluxe Bead Craft Kit and Tucker requested his 99 Paints & Goop Set, the Mom said she couldn’t find them in the toy closet. I suspect foul play.

Day 9
The neighborhood association called today for volunteers to deliver ballots door-to-door, but she said she had a “doctor’s appointment.”

Yep, you guessed – Dr. Phil on DVR. And the irony? The episode was “Nasty Neighbors” about residents who sue, sully, or sex each other up! It was scandalous and provocative! Honestly, after the third time, I could hardly watch it anymore.

Day 10
While rummaging in the closet for wrapping paper, she found the fancy toiletry bag-shaving kit she bought her husband last Christmas. It had never been used! She uttered some profanity and was about to bring it downstairs to confront him – but then she smiled, dusted it off, and wrapped it to give him THIS year!

Day 11
A new low. She stole quarters from Tucker’s piggy bank for the parking meter in front of the manicure place.

(And that polish is too pink for her skin tone. I’m just saying.)

Day 12
Possible redemption? She donated 3 bags of items to Goodwill today!

But guess what’s in the first bag? Yep! Chloe’s 1,001 Bead Craft Kit and Tucker’s 99 Paints & Goop Set!

Day 13
When her husband asked about his DVR recordings, she innocently said, “Oh, I don’t know how your golf tournaments got deleted.”

I know how, Santa. And I know WHO. Her head’s tilting accusingly toward the kids, but we all know who’s deleting shows to make room for Scandal and Outlander!

Day 14
She told a telemarketer she couldn’t talk on the phone because she had to go walk the dog. Still no dog, Santa.  NO DOG.

She works from home so she has lots of conference calls. The other people on the line think she’s studying the spreadsheets when she’s saying “yes, good point” and “mm-hmm” but she’s really reading Facebook updates!

Day 15
When her family mentioned they’re running out of clean clothes, she said she’d planned to do laundry last night but got sidetracked by other “important things.” I’m no detective, Santa, but that empty bottle of red wine might be a clue.

Day 16
Whenever her husband asks what she wants for Christmas, she smiles and says she has everything she needs: a loving family and a lovely home; she just wants everyone to have a happy, healthy holiday. But then she turns up the volume on all the jewelry commercials – and leaves catalogs lying around, open to pages showing beautiful tennis bracelets. She does not even PLAY tennis, Santa!

Day 17
When Tucker yelled downstairs that he’d accidentally knocked over all his Legos for the 4th time today, she hid in the pantry eating Oreos until her husband went up to clean up the mess. She was giggling, Santa. GIGGLING!

Day 18
Her friend tried to make her join her for a Zumba class, but she said she had a “doctor’s appointment.”

She watched GREY’S ANATOMY on NETFLIX. Oh come on! She’s not even trying anymore. Those aren’t even REAL doctors! Have you no shame, woman?

Day 19
Darcy called the relatives today about Christmas Eve dinner at her house. She “confided” in Aunt Bernice that Darcy’s sister Della really doesn’t care for Aunt Bernice’s jello fruit salad and could she please bring Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes instead.

Then she “confided” in Auntie Fran that Della made some uncomplimentary remarks about Auntie Fran’s zucchini bread loaf, so could she please bring Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes instead. Della said no such things!

Day 20
The kids rarely fight, but tonight I think the Mom and Dad got into a huge fight after drinking some after-dinner wine! They went right to their bedroom and locked the door – played music to cover the sounds, I guess, but I could hear them wrestling and moaning and exclaiming, “Oh God, Oh God!” I think they even knocked over a lamp!

Day 21
The gift she brought for today’s Book Club Secret Santa exchange looks suspiciously like the one she received at last week’s Neighborhood Secret Santa exchange! Regifting alert!

Day 22
When the kids asked for dessert, she swore there was no ice cream left. As soon as the kids were asleep, she opened a bag of frozen peas that concealed a pint of Ben & Jerry’s!

Day 23
She sang lots of Christmas Carols with the kids while seeing the lights on Candy Cane Lane tonight. But after 9 renditions of “Let It Go,” she claimed she couldn’t remember the words anymore. How does THAT happen?

Day 24
About 18 relatives came to Christmas Eve dinner at the Perdu house. I’m actually impressed — she’s been cooking all day; the house is decorated; the gifts are wrapped.

Aunt Bernice and Auntie Fran gave a bewildered Della the stink eye. Darcy just smiled sweetly and shoveled in some more Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes.

At the Christmas Eve dinner, she loudly let one rip and exclaimed, “Tucker!” Tucker protested his innocence while the adults shook their heads and the kids giggled. Tucker laughed too — but Santa, you and I both know who’s passin’ Brown-Sugar-scented gas tonight!

After dinner when it was time for clean-up, she told her husband she had “digestion difficulties” and was going to use the upstairs bathroom for privacy.

But while the relatives were cleaning the kitchen downstairs, she went upstairs to her bedroom instead! She locked the door, pulled out some book about colors – something about shades of grey? – and reached for some kind of strange magic wand — and you’re NOT gonna BELIEVE where she PUT the–

OH NO, she saw me! I’ve got to skedaddle lickety-split. More later, Santa!

–Ellington the Elf

I narrow my eyes. That little son-of-a…

With arched brow, and malice on my mind, I coaxingly call out, “Oh, Ellington? Little Elfie, where are youuu?”

–Darcy Perdu

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All posts on So Then Stories are true, with only the names changed – except THIS post which is completely fiction. I mean, come on, y’all – you know I never pass wind! Ne-vah!

(If Elf on the Shelf reports YOUR naughty behavior to Santa, what would the report say?)

Hey, Remember That Time We…

So then…we wake the kids by bellowing, “Dizzz-neee-laaaaaaand!”

8:00 am

Remember 180 8 am

They pop right out of bed, super excited to return to their favorite place. Chloe, age 5, and Tucker, age 8, get dressed and hustle downstairs for breakfast.

We live in LA, so it’s only 1.5 hours to drive to Anaheim to Disneyland. We pack up the minivan, ensuring our backpack contains all 832 essentials for surviving a long day at the park – and off we go!

9:00 am

Remember 900 new black new 180 180

We’re zipping along the 101 Freeway.

Zip! Zip! Zip!
Zap! Zaaaap. Zaaaaaap.
Zerp.
STOP.

What the hell?

We were careening down this freeway, and now we’ve STOPPED DEAD, smack dab in the middle of a 6-lane gridlock, with cars stretching as far as the eye can see.

How did this happen so fast? It’s like someone sent a mass group text to every driver in California with an urgent message: “Hop in car! Rush to 101 Freeway! Surround the Perdu Family Vehicle. Ensure no escape!”

And BAM!
EVERYBODY WHO HAS EVER LIVED IN CALIFORNIA IS NOW ON THE FREEWAY WITH US!

David and I slowly turn our heads to look at each other.

His eyes say: “Let’s cut our losses, go home, and watch football.”

My eyes say, “Yes! Abort! Abort the mission! Turn around and go home!”

Then we turn to look at Tucker and Chloe in the back seat happily chatting about which Disneyland rides they’re most excited about riding.

We slowly turn back to look at each other.

Now my eyes say beseechingly, “We must go! Look how excited they are!”

His eyes say, “Football.”

“No, David, we have to keep going,” I say out loud. “It’s just a little traffic! It’ll be fine.”

9:30 am

Remember 180 930 am

He agrees – but it’s quickly evident that the 1.5 hour trip’s going to be a 3 hour trip.

Unspoken tensions are running high – but with each mile, it seems crazy to turn back – so we push valiantly onward.

We hit the parking lot, which is bulging with cars. Honestly, did EVERYONE decide to go to Disneyland today?

12:30 pm

Remember 180 1230 blue clock

After an excruciating hunt for a parking spot, we finally disembark the car to find the shuttle to take us to the park.

We wait an hour for the shuttle.

Let’s say that again just so we fully appreciate the agony of standing there after a long car ride:

We wait an hour for the shuttle.

Finally! We hop aboard and head to the entrance.

I’m overly cheerful to compensate for the flagging spirits of my crew. Grinning broadly, I say, “Won’t this be fun!? We had a little bit of a late start, but now we’re here and we’re gonna have a blast!”

1:30 pm

Remember 180 130 pm

The shuttle drops us off at the entrance, which is obscured by engorged lines of people snaking out in all directions.
Just as we approach, the intercom announces, “I’m sorry, folks, Disneyland is full. No more entries today.”

Full?

FULL?

What do you mean Disneyland is FULL?

We just spent 4 hours to get here! And what about all the people who FLEW to get here? And all the people who saved for months for this trip to pay for your stupid crappy $6 hot dogs and $16 Mickey hats! How dare you shutter your doors!? What about the children? What…about…sob…the childrennnnnn?

(I’m in full meltdown mode — but my kids are actually taking the disappointment pretty well. David is another matter altogether. I can actually see him squeezing his eyes shut and concentrating fiercely — trying desperately to time travel back to that point on the freeway when we could’ve abandoned the mission and returned home.)

“I’m hungry,” says Chloe.

“Me too,” says Tucker.

I’m starving.

David and I look to the left. Literally thousands of dejected people are leaving the park entrance to line up for the shuttles.

We look to the right. Thousands more are walking to the souvenir shops and restaurants just outside Disneyland.

We look at the backpack. Its snacks were depleted long ago on our long-ass car ride.

We look at the children. They appear edible.

That will solve everything. I will eat my children.

They will satisfy my hunger and I won’t have to deal with their disappointment about missing Disneyland.

I’m just about to explain my plan to David when he points toward the shops and restaurants.

“It’ll take us hours to get back to our car and find someplace to eat, so we might as well line up over here,” he says.

We reluctantly join the huddled masses, yearning to be fed – shuffling from restaurant to restaurant looking for a line that looks to be less than a 2-hour wait.

3:30 pm

Remember 330 brown

Out of desperation, we finally settle on a pizza place which is so packed we have to eat our cold cheese slices standing up between hordes of other families standing up, eating their cold cheese slices.

All the adults look a bit dazed. Like, “How did this happen?” We all expected a spectacular day at the Magic Kingdom — and now we’re standing in line for almost 2 hours just to get a slice of crappy pizza.

Then we trudge back to the shuttle line, wait an hour and a half, walk a million miles to our car, then drive with 4 billion people on the freeway through rush hour traffic, and finally reach home where we collapse – as exhausted as though we’d just climbed the Himalayas.

9:00 pm

Remenber 180 900 green new

Our roundtrip is 12 agonizing hours.

We promise the kids we’ll return to Disneyland soon – and we do – and it’s wonderful and glorious and all the things it’s supposed to be.

As for today? Well, today is the day we refer to as:

“Hey, remember that time we drove 12 hours for pizza? Ah. Good times. Good times.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Do you have an example of a “Hey, remember that time we…” experience? Something fun that ended up NOT so fun?  Ever show up someplace that was “full” or “closed?”)

Ah, good times (NOT!) - hilarious true tale of a trip gone awry #funny #Disney

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Family Dinner Fiasco: Comedy AND Tragedy in 3 Short Funny Acts

So then…I’m literally so excited about this lasagna I’m making, I text a photo to show the family how amazing dinner’s going to be!

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #lasagna #humor

LOOK! Warm and delicious homemade food! Yahoo!

Everyone has a generous helping and agrees it’s scrumptious — and I’m even more excited that we’ll have leftovers for the next night! Double Yahoo! No cooking! Just heating up! I’m a fabulous heater-upper!

So the next night, I’m in my home office when my daughter Chloe, age 15, texts me from the dining room to ask, “Will you please rub my back while I’m doing homework?”

Now before you accuse me of potentially spoiling my daughter, I can assure you, she’s ALREADY spoiled! That train left the station a long time ago, my friends. As I’ve mentioned, I’d be a much better mother if I had 6 kids like my pal, but I only have 2, so I spoil them 3 times as much.

Besides, Chloe may be a bit spoiled, but she’s also pretty awesome, loving, funny, smart, and helpful.

And she handles her academic career completely on her own – and makes A’s – so if you give me a choice between actually helping her DO the Chemistry homework vs. just rubbing her back a few minutes while SHE does the Chemistry homework – I think you can guess what this mama’d rather do.

So I text “Sure,” then walk through the kitchen, figuring I’ll take the luscious lasagna out of the fridge on my way to the dining room.

But just as I pull the tray out, it pings the side of the fridge, DROPS

and SHATTERS INTO A MILLION PIECES –

ONTO MY BELOVED WOOD FLOOR!

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #lasagna #humor

I’m devastated!

I don’t know what’s more distressing:

The loss of our delicious home-cooked meal –
The loss of my favorite glass serving dish –
The marks on my cherished wood floor –
Or
The fact I now have to SWEEP.

I glance desperately at the lasagna on the ground. 5 second rule? Can I just scoop it up quickly? “Hey, family, just eat around the glass shards!”

I huff and puff, stomping off to retrieve the broom and dustpan – colorful profanities spewing in my wake.

Just as I round the corner back into the kitchen — I hear a click, a giggle, and the tiny pitter-patter of footsteps fleeing the scene.

“CHLOE! Did you just take a PICTURE of my floor lasagna!?!?!”

From the other room: *Giggle* “No, Mom, what’re you talking about?”

“CHLOE! Are you texting and Tweeting and Instagramming this!?!”

From the other room: *Snort Giggle* “No! Of course not!”

“OMIGOD, CHLOE, THIS IS NOT FUNNY!”

From the other room: *Muffled laughter* “I know, I know. Do you need any *laugh* help?”

“NO! Just stay there. You’ll just cut up your feet and then I’ll have to take you to the hospital!” I say, in my Angry Martyr voice. Far better for me to clean this up myself — and make everyone else feel guilty about it.

Of course, I DO see the humor in it, so naturally, I snap a pic and post it on Facebook to generate some sympathy. Several people post compassionate words and similar mishaps — and my cyber-buddy Don Re posts, “The lasagna looks a bit dry anyway. Is that helpful?” And perversely enough, that DOES make me feel better.

But now I have nothing to serve for dinner and I want someone to deliver some GOTT-DAMN homemade lasagna to my front door!

Just then I get a text from Chloe saying, “Um…about that back rub…?”

I text back, “Too soon! Give me a minute to mourn, for God’s sake!”

So she texts me this:

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #card #humor

What a wise ass.

I head to the kitchen and holler, “I don’t have time for backrubs! Now I have to MAKE DINNER!”

We don’t have much in the way of ingredients, so I whip this together:

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #Elvis #humor

Inspired Brilliance – or a Cry for Help?

(I actually ate this the other day and IT.WAS.DEEE-LICIOUS.)

I’m definitely making these for my Dinner with Elvis in the After Life. I’ll be like, “Look, El, peanut butter and banana sandwiches are so 1969. The kids today are rockin’ it with Candy Corn.” I know he’ll dig it.

Meanwhile, the mere mortals down here are none too impressed.

So I stuff some ham and cheese in those little crescent rolls and call it a day.

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #rolls #humor

As for Mama — this is MY dinner:

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #icecream #humor

And well-deserved, if I do say so myself.

— Darcy Perdu
(She of many skills, but much maligned for her comical cooking incompetence.)

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(Any kitchen mishaps to make me feel better about mine? What else pairs nicely with peanut butter? What dishes will you cook with YOUR fave celebs & historical figures in the After Life?)

Just as I slide my HOMEMADE lasagna out, it shatters in a million pieces and triggers a family fiasco! #funny #dinner #comedy #tragedy #humor

Raising My Daughter to be a Stripper?

Raising My Daughter to be a Stripper?  Um...well...um.  #funny #strippers #shaving #humor

So then…I click the blinker, just as my daughter Chloe, age 15, says, “You remember how you taught me to shave my legs – the calves and thighs?”

I turn the steering wheel right, continue up the hill, and answer, “Yeah.”

“Well, my friends Maggie and Layla just shave from the knees down. They say only strippers shave their thighs.”

My eyes pop. Really?

I’ve always shaved my thighs.

Am I secretly a stripper?

Maybe I have that sleepwalking disease where I don’t even know that I’m waking in the middle of the night to go shake my tatas at the local strip club.

If so, where’s all that cash I should be making?

I frown.

Maybe I’m not a very good stripper.

Maybe I’m shakin’ mah groove thing and people are all like, “Yeah, um, nice thighs…but uh, the rest is…well…do you have a robe or something?”

Damn bastards! How dare they? I’m up there, sweatin’ my ass off, trying to please the masses, twerkin’ like there’s no tomorrow – and they don’t even APPRECIATE it?

I “tsk” loudly and shake my head in disgust.

“Mom?” asks Chloe.

“Huh?”

“The thighs?” she says.

“Oh, yeah, right. Well, I thought everybody shaved their thighs. What about when they wear shorts?”

“Nope,” she says.

“So it’s just smooth from the knee down and all hairy on the thighs? Doesn’t that look odd?” I ask.

“Well, their hair’s pretty light so you can’t really tell,” Chloe says.

(They’re lucky! I knew a girl in high school whose hair was so dark, she even shaved her arms. Oh! And a girl I worked with in New York shaved her arms and waxed her upper lip and eyebrow area and “sideburns!” When I asked if all that was really necessary, she said, “Honey, I’m Armenian. My entire life is devoted to hair removal!”)

I turn to Chloe. “Well, of course it’s fine – they can shave just the calves – whatever they want to do. But did they really say only strippers shave their thighs?”

“Yes!” she says.  “They can’t believe you told me to do that!”  She snickers.  “You’re raising a stripper, Mom!”

“Good grief! It’s just the thighs. It’s not like I suggested shaving the hooha!”

“Omigod, Mom!” she corrects me. “Don’t say ‘hooha!’ It’s ‘Vagina.’”

“HooHa-Hooray?” I ask innocently.

“Vagina!” she says.

“Vajayjay?” I ask sweetly.

“VAGINA!” she shouts.

(It’s possible she’s more mature than I.)

We laugh.

She goes back to her Iphone.

I continue driving, while also silently brainstorming ideas for strip clubs that might welcome dancers like me and my friends…

MILFs R Us?

Hot Chicks & Hot Flashes?

GoGoMama?

PTA Pole Dancers?

Carpool Queens?

Thong Moms?

Book Club Burlesque?

or

The Saggy Strippers? That’s a good one.

Are you interested in trippin’ the light fantastic – and shakin’ what yer mama gave ya?

Swing on by Darcy’s Dollhouse to submit an application. All thigh-shavers welcome.

‘Fess up, ladies! Do you shave just from the knee down – or are you shavin’ the thighs too?
If yes on the thighs, are you a stripper? If so, can you get me a job at your club?
Can I wear Spanx and support hose? Are slippers allowed?
Can I check Facebook while I’m dancing?
Can you play NetFlix on the monitors so I can be entertained while I’m entertaining?
Do you serve snacks? What’s the 401K like?
Look, strippers, just private message me and we’ll work out all the details.
And I only take crisp new hundreds. None of this wrinkly one dollar bill crap.
If Mama’s gonna bust out the Dougie and the Cabbage Patch, with body parts swingin’ in all directions — Mama’s gotta get PAID.

— Darcy Perdu

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If YOU have a daughter, you might enjoy when my smug tween got schooled — or when she mortified me in front of Dr. “Fancypants!”

 

What Chinese Character Does YOUR Furrowed Brow Form?

So then…I read a ridiculous email from an exasperating client on my Iphone. I audibly sigh and roll my eyes – at the precise moment I’m passing the hallway mirror – which means I can see the reflection of my furrowed brow.

I’m horrified.

I already mourn the loss of my line-free, wrinkle-free, smooth-as-a-baby complexion.

What Chinese - Baby 350

And I barely made peace with the fact that a small indented line forms between my eyebrows whenever I make my “annoyed” face.

What Chinese - Furrow New 1 image crop

But now THAT line has sprouted MORE lines!

…shooting in SEVERAL directions!

I lean in closer to the mirror.

What is HAPPENING here?

The size and location of my new brow lines seem to be forming…some sort of Chinese character!

There’s one big line down the middle, with little offshoots at angles – just like a Chinese symbol!

What Chinese - Furrow New 2 image crop

What does it signify?

I can only assume my poor puckering brow line is forming the Chinese character for:

WISDOM
or
INTELLIGENCE
or
HONOR.

I check online to confirm my theory.

What Chinese - Symbols Good 400

Um…no.

My creases and crinkles don’t match any of those noble words.

What could it be then?

Maybe I should figure out what makes me furrow my brow in the first place.

It’s usually when I’m baffled, annoyed, or exasperated:

1) Like when my teen daughter Chloe chops the asparagus in half and throws out the tops and only eats the bottoms – because the “tops taste weird.” No, honey, YOU’RE weird. Honestly! What’s next? Peeling an orange to toss the orange and eat the peel? Brow furrowed.

2) Or when my teen son Tucker signs the back of his birthday checks with a squiggle comprised of the initials of his first name, last name, and NICKNAME – all stacked on top of each other!

Me: “Tucker, the bank needs your signature, not your stacked initials!”
Tucker: “But that symbol IS my signature!”
Me: “Who are you – Prince?
Brow furrowed, eyes rolling.

3) Or when I walk into the kitchen to see that David can never seem to put his dishes IN the dishwasher. They’re always dishwasher-adjacent. I mean, he was right there. What prevents him from opening the dishwasher? Is he afraid bloodthirsty zombies will pop out and devour him? Furrowed brow – and frowny face.

4) Or when my coworker asks me to forward her the same attachment that I’ve emailed her four times already, because she can’t keep track of her documents (or her brain). Brow furrowed, head shaking.

5) Or when someone’s in such a hurry that she cuts ahead of me in the school’s car pick-up line, but then holds up all the cars behind her so she can chat extensively out her car window with another mom walking by. Brow furrowed, profanity muttered.

Mystery solved!

The Chinese character my furrowed brow is forming is not:

COURAGE
or
PEACE
or
TRUTH.

It’s

What the Fuck?

Yes, that’s exactly it!

When I furrow my brow, those creases and lines form the Chinese character for these words in bright neon lights:

What the FUCK are you DOING?
What the FUCK are you TALKING ABOUT?
Who the FUCK ARE you?

I suppose the WTF expression could be a bit off-putting – and even alarming – to the people surrounding me, especially since I seem to be brow-furrowing all day long – (I’m looking at YOU, telemarketers, over-zealous classroom moms, and guy at work who interrupts every.single.meeting with off-topic questions/complaints) so perhaps I should conceal my obvious displeasure in some way…

Otherwise, my white-hot smoldering Wrath of Khan stare might smite people right where they stand. And if they happen to read Chinese, they’ll know what my brow is saying.

HOW TO CONCEAL YOUR “WTF” BROW FURROW:

1) Botox
This would conceal my furrow – but also 90% of my facial expressions, so um…no.

What Chinese - Botox More Shots 300

2) Sunglasses
I’d look cool, but if I wear them indoors or at night, it would make other people furrow their brows – like “what’s up with that weird chick wearing her sunglasses 24/7?

What Chinese - Sunglasses 300

3) Bangs
No. Just no.

What Chinese - Bangs 350

4) Xanax
If I pop enough pills, nothing will bother me enough to furrow my brow in the first place! But then again, potential drug addiction…so, no me gusta.

What Chinese - Xanax 250

5) Masquerade Mask
Now here’s an intriguing and unique way to hide my furrowed brow. I love it! I’ll buy an array of colors and styles so I can wear these everywhere – the office, school pick-up, Target, the post office…

What Chinese - Mask 429

And when you see me in the grocery store 10-items-or-less checkout line, in my fancy masquerade mask – just when someone darts in front of me with CLEARLY 16 items and an out-of-state check – you can rest assured my brow is furrowed. Oh it is FURROWED, my friend!

So now YOU tell me:
1) What makes you furrow YOUR brow?
2) And what Chinese character does YOUR furrowed brow form?

— Darcy Perdu

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Who makes MY brow furrow?
Misbehaving Mamas at Back to School Meeting…
Husband Who Brings Home the Most Ridiculous Gift Ever
Party Guest with Outrageous Behavior

What Chinese Character Does YOUR Furrowed Brow Form?  I hoped mine might be "Wisdom" or "Peace," but NOPE!  Turns out it means...click to see!  #funny

HUGE Funny Surprise When I Opened My Baby Book!

Mom cleaned her attic & mailed me my Baby Book!  Imagine my SURPRISE when I looked inside and saw...uh-oh  #funny #baby #babybook #pregnancy #humor

So then…I see the package on my front step and jump with excitement!

My older sister Dawn’s helping our Mom clean out her attic, so she’s mailing my Baby Book across the country to me!

What? A book about ME?

That’s my FAVORITE topic! I can’t wait to see the photos and notes my Mom penned about the mini-me!

I rip open the package and see a sweet little old-fashioned baby book.

ADORABLE!

I gently open the book to see my name lovingly inscribed there. Awwww.

I tenderly turn the pages – which are EMPTY.

COMPLETELY EMPTY.

What!?

I call my sister. “What the hell, Dawn?! My Baby Book is EMPTY!”

“Well, you were the THIRD child out of five,” she says. “Our parents were pretty busy.”

“Oh, easy for you to say. You’re the second. Is YOURS filled in?”

“Um…yes,” she admits sheepishly.

“Well, why’d you even bother to mail mine if it was EMPTY?”

“I dunno,” she retorts. “I’m mailing Mom’s attic stuff all over the country – I don’t have time to open everything! Just be glad you got a book at all! The 4th and 5th kids didn’t!”

It reminds me of the time my friend Angie confided a secret:

One night over drinks, Angie says, “I lied to my daughter.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Well, the damn teacher asked the kids to bring their Baby Books to school so all the third graders could ‘get to know each other,’” she says, sipping her mojito. “What the hell do they need to do that for?”

“Uh-oh,” I say, smiling. “Sounds like someone’s a bit defensive.”

“Damn right I’m defensive!” she says. “I never made a Baby Book for her! I have one for my first kid – it’s packed with all sorts of his photos and crap – but by the time I popped out the next kid, I didn’t have time for that! I was chasing a toddler and trying to grab my baby off my titties long enough to sleep for an hour!”

I’m laughing because she’s acting out her words, boob-pulling and all!

“So what’d you tell her?” I ask.

Angie looks guilty. “I told her it’s packed away and I’ll have to get it out later.”

“Um…okay?” I ask, “So how—”

“I bought a new one!” she says boldly. “Yep, I just marched into the store and bought a brand new Baby Book. I found some old baby pics of her and glued ’em right in.”

“You did not!” I laugh.

She nods emphatically.

“But how’d you fill in stuff like ‘What was baby’s first word?’ or ‘When was baby’s first step?’ How can you remember so long ago?”

“I just made shit up!” She slugs the last of her mojito and motions to the server for another. “First word? How about ‘ball?’ First steps? I dunno — a year maybe? So I put 11 months. She’s a go-getter so she was probably early. Why not boost her self-esteem a little?”

Angie dips a chip and continues her rant, punctuating her words by pointing her chip in the air:

“First baby food? Sweet potatoes! Favorite baby food? Apricots!”

“Apricots?” I interject. “Are you sure that’s a baby foo—?”

“Shut up, Darcy! She’ll never know!” she laughs. “Favorite toy? How about a green ARMADILLO!?”

I gasp-laugh. “What if she asks to SEE the green armadillo!?”

She says mournfully, “It was accidentally sucked out of our minivan window when we made a sharp turn into Disneyland.” She makes sorrowful puppy eyes.

“You just made that shit up right now!” I accuse her.

“Yes, yes, I did. And I’ll tell her the same thing if she asks me. ‘Cause I love my daughter — but I didn’t have time to create a damn Baby Book back when she was a baby! And I’m sure as hell not gonna let her walk into that classroom empty-handed! So I made the whole damn thing up and passed it off as totally real – and she bought it – hook, line, and sinker!”

Angie looks me straight in the eye, defiantly – almost daring me to object to her deceitful little ruse.

I clink my glass to hers, smile, and say, “Honey, you’re an AWESOME mother!”

— Darcy Perdu

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(And yes, I’ve changed her name for this post — and her daughter does not read my blog, so the secret is still safe!)

(Speaking of secrets, here’s the HORRIFYING & HILARIOUS SECRET everyone knew but me…)

(Did you make a Baby Book for each of your kids, with the exact same attention to detail? Would you “fudge” some things like Angie?  Do you still have your OWN Baby Book? I have mine. It’s empty. Did I mention that? COMPLETELY empty. I’m not bitter or anything. Cough. Should I mail it back to my Mom so she can make up some shit about me?)

Is This Tutor Messin’ with Me? Oh yes. Yes, he IS, that little…

Am I paranoid?  Or is this guy totally messin' with me?  #funny #tutor #homework #humor

So then…my son Tucker slips through the dining room door into the kitchen and whispers, “Mom, I think the tutor’s asleep.”

I look up from the crockpot and whisper, “What?”

We both tiptoe to the dining room door, ease it open a crack, and peer through to see the Biology tutor sitting at the table before an open book, chin on his chest, head down, eyes closed.

Tucker and I look at each other and suppress a giggle. We ease the door shut, then scurry to the opposite end of the kitchen to confer.

“What happened?” I ask.

“I dunno. He was kinda quiet so I looked over and he was sound asleep!”

“Did he just doze off in the middle of a sentence?”

“No, no, he was explaining something, then I started filling in the worksheet, and the next thing I knew – ‘’ (he mimes shutting his eyes and snoring, getting progressively louder and more dramatic with his snores)

“Stop that!” I say, laughing softly. “You’re gonna wake him up!”

“Well, shouldn’t he be awake if he’s going to help teach me Biology?”

Hmm, good point.

“OK,” I say. “I’ll go wake him up. You stay in here and pretend to get a snack or something. I don’t want to embarrass the guy!”

Tucker happily invades the pantry for a snack.

I ease open the door and clear my throat.

Nothing.

I don’t want to startle him. He’s a very nice man. He teaches science at a school in another district during the day – plus he and his wife have 3 kids, including a new baby — AND he tutors after school – so he’s probably exhausted.

And let’s face it, Biology is not exactly riveting.

If I were a Biology tutor, I’d fall asleep as soon as you opened the Biology book, much less if I had to discuss it!

In fact, I’d fall asleep as soon as you said the word, “Biolo— ” Zzzzzzzzz.
See? It just happened.

Now if I were a tutor on the “best TV series to binge-watch” – or the “relative composition of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors by deliciousness of ingredients” – or the “statistical likelihood of Ryan Gosling’s car breaking down outside my house, in a rainstorm, and needing immediate medical attention and a warm bath” – I’d be WIDE AWAKE for the entire session!

So I certainly don’t blame the guy for falling asleep, but I should wake him.

So I cough.

Nothing.

I tiptoe out of the room, then walk back in, very loudly clicking my shoes on the floor. The tutor does not move.

Good God, I hope he’s not dead.

That’d be incredibly awkward.

I have delicious French Dip beef simmering in the crockpot, more homework to supervise, then a slew of shows on the DVR. Tonight’s schedule is not ideal for an untimely death in my dining room.

Next Thursday, sure. But tonight, no. Definitely not.

I approach the slumbering tutor so I can call his name, but then I realize I don’t KNOW his name!

That may sound odd since he’s been tutoring Tucker for about 6 sessions or so.

But he has a very thick accent and when he introduced himself, I thought he said his name was Farooq Malik.

But then the next time he came, I could swear he introduced himself to my friend as Marooq Falik. Or maybe it was Malik Farooq?

I’m terrible with names anyway, especially if the names could be interchangeable. If you tell me your name is Henry James, I’ll likely call you James half the time and Henry the other half!

Two of my friends both have a “v” in their names so I’m constantly calling them by each other’s names – and I’ve known them for years!

I once knew a Carla that I routinely called Sharon because oh-my-God-you-guys, she just seemed like a Sharon, you know?

So whenever I try to address the tutor, I hesitate, stumble, or mumble. I think he’s on to me.

Recently, I asked him something, and said, “Right, Malik?” and he corrected me by saying “Farooq.” And I could swear he’s corrected me the opposite way too. And he’ll smile mischievously, like he knows that I can’t keep his name straight.

So now I don’t know if I just have a bad memory –

or if he’s just Farooq-ing with me.

My son comes back in the room with chips and sits down.

I cough and say, “Mister…Malik? Farooq? Hello?”

He opens his eyes, shifts in his seat, glances at the book, then looks at Tucker and calmly says,

“And that’s the difference between prokaryote and eukaryote organisms.”

Wow. Didn’t even skip a beat.

Nicely played, Farooq.

Or Malik.

Or whatever the Farooq your name is!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Are you terrible at remembering names too? Any funny tutoring stories? IS he just messing with me? And should I serve strong black coffee whenever he tutors?)

Most BRILLIANT Craft Fail

Most Brilliant Craft in the History of All Crafts -- but then something goes TERRIBLY awry... #FUNNY #playdate #party #kids #paint #arts&crafts #DIY #humor

So then…I dart around the craft table, setting out supplies in a wild-eyed frenzy.

It’s Group Playdate Prep Time — and I’m a whirling dervish setting up the kids’ activity for the 12 excitable 4-year-olds about to come crashing onto my patio for festive frolicking!

Sweat forms on my upper lip as I ensure I’ve thought of EVERYTHING.

I shall not be like my sweet friend Kim — who innocently packed her son’s adorable cow piñata with those individually-wrapped miniature chocolate bites — then hung the piñata on a backyard tree – 6 hours before the party — on a 102 degree day.

She unknowingly created a veritable cow “crockpot” where those little chocolates simmered and boiled and broiled. By the time the kids had all whacked and thwacked that poor cow, it burst open, spewing melted chocolate all over the place. It was HILARIOUS – to us, of course — but not so much to Kim – especially when her son gleefully yelled, “My piñata’s POOPING!”

And I shall not be like me — when I provided darling little treasure chest craft kits to the kids at the group playdate I hosted last summer. How was I to know the jewels intended for decorating the chests looked like delicious little candies, causing all the moms to hover nervously to ensure no one ingested a ruby or sapphire? A swallowed gem would mean a mom’s on poop patrol to reclaim that little “treasure.”

Nope, this time, I shall prevail. No Poop Patrols. No Pooping Piñatas!

I’ve cleverly purchased white t-shirts (in a variety of sizes!),

NON-toxic fabric paints (in a variety of colors!),

and brushes (in plentiful supply!)

plus stencils of amazing shapes and designs –

and plastic aprons for everyone!

I am “BRILLIANT CRAFT MOM!”

My sweet 4 year old Chloe and her pals have a blast decorating the white t-shirts.

Moms ooh and ahh over the stenciled hearts, flowers, and moons.

Kids painstakingly create intricate designs with many colors.

Moms and kids make adorable HANDPRINTS and stencil their NAMES on their shirts.

This craft is going over fabulously!

I take a moment to bask in my brilliance.

After snacks and games, my playdate guests make their way home, excitedly holding their personalized crafts aloft so the shirts can dry.

A spectacular success!

The next week, Chloe asks, “Can I wear my painted shirt tomorrow?” Sure!

I toss it in the washer, then when the cycle’s done, I pull it out – and the shirt’s completely WHITE.

WHERE THE HELL did the paint go? Where’s the butterfly – the rainbow – the lopsided flowers – the stenciled “Chloe?”

I look in the washing machine. No paint.

So now I have a frikkin’ plain white t-shirt.

I’m holding the thing in complete shock, wondering what I’m gonna tell Chloe.

And then I gasp because I realize that if this happened to OUR shirt – it probably happened to the shirts of our 12 playdate guests!

Oh.My.God. HOW EMBARRASSING!

Did I buy the wrong paint? The wrong shirts?

I Google “fabric paint washed off shirts WTF!” — and see directions about PRE-washing the shirts – ensuring they’re 100% cotton – IRONING the painted designs with wax paper to SET the paint before washing it – and all SORTS of other things that might’ve prevented my DISAPPEARING DESIGN FIASCO.

I explain it all to Chloe and throw myself on the mercy of the court. She’s quickly mollified by a rousing game of hide and seek and 3 Oreos, so the UN-painted shirt is quickly forgotten.

But here’s the odd thing. I don’t receive one phone call or text about the disappearing paint from ANY of the moms who attended the playdate!

So help me solve the mystery:

a) They’ve never WASHED the shirts – they just let their tykes re-wear the painted shirts over and over without cleaning them!

b) Their kid hasn’t WORN the shirt yet, so it’s a little surprise time bomb just waiting to go off as soon as they try to wash it.

c) The moms have ALREADY washed the shirts, discovered the paint disappeared, and are much too polite to ever mention it to me.

c) Mine’s the ONLY shirt that turned white.  (IhopeIhopeIhope)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any similar disasters at your parties or playdates? Can you solve the mystery of the silent moms?  Give me your best conspiracy theories!)

I Do NOT Want My Nipples There, Please

Oh - the sunglasses on my boobs?  Yeah - I can explain...  #funny  #kids #parenting #games #questions #crockpot #humor

So then…I’m standing there, minding my own business, slaving over an impressive gourmet dinner (aka checking the crockpot) – when my tween daughter Chloe enters and asks, “Would you rather have eyes for nipples – or nipples for eyes?”

Silence.

I look up from the crockpot, spoon in hand – furrow on brow.

“What?”

She sighs impatiently as if this is a matter of great urgency.

“MOM! Would you rather have EYES FOR NIPPLES – or NIPPLES FOR EYES?”

Omigod. Is this a decision I have to make right now? Is this a real thing?

My eyes dart around the kitchen. What does she know that I don’t know?

Is some grand master wizard — or satanic demon — or demented plastic surgeon about to burst in here and make me CHOOSE?

And really — what a dreadful choice!

How could people look me in the face if my nipples are where my eyes should be? I’d have to wear a face bra!

And if my nipples were eyes? Well, based on my low-hangin’ swingin’ bosoms, my eyes would be somewhere around belt-level. That would really limit my vision.

And how awkward when I’m talking to people. It would flip that whole “Hey buddy, my eyes are up here” upside down. “Yo dude, my eyes are DOWN here.”

And I wouldn’t be able to SEE anything if my tatas were covered, so I’d have to go topless everywhere – totally creeping everyone out with my eyeball on each boobie.

And I wear GLASSES to drive, for God’s sake! How will I strap the glasses to my boob eyes? I won’t even be able to see out the windshield anyway — since my boob eyes will be resting in my lap!

Really this whole switch thing is stressing me out.

“MOM! Answer the question!” she says.

“Why, Chloe? Why must I decide? Those are both appalling options!” I say.

“It’s a game!” she says. “It’s called Wouldja Rather. My friends and I play it all the time. Like ‘Wouldja rather have 3 toes on each foot and have to wear sandals everyday – or wouldja rather have only one giant nostril?”

I make the I-just-smelled-bad-cheese face.

“Or,” she continues, “a famous You-Tuber likes to ask ‘Wouldja rather change genders each time you sneeze – or not be able to tell the difference between a baby and a muffin?’”

OK, first of all – there are famous You-Tubers?

Second of all, changing genders each time I sneeze could get real awkward real fast.

What if I’m breastfeeding at the time? Or competing in a Miss America pageant? (Stop laughing. I could so compete in a Miss America pageant.)

And with my allergic multiple sneeze attacks — God forbid my sexual partner brings flowers into the boudoir – he-ey! It’s about to get ALL crazy up in here! I’m a chick! I’m a dude! I’m a chick again! Nope, a dude! Hell-o!

Third of all, who comes UP with such a bizarre notion that someone couldn’t tell the difference between a baby and a muffin? And I DO love me some muffins. If that’s the case, though — I tell you what, if someone sprinkles blueberries on that kid, he’s a goner.

“Chloe,” I say, “These choices are—”

“Oh!” she says, “Or how about THIS one? Wouldja rather slide into an erupting volcano — or jump blindfolded into a tank of sharks?’”

I put the spoon down and fold my arms. “Neither! Neither, Chloe! I do not want to do ANY of those things! I am anxious just THINKING about those things!”

She laughs and says, “Mom! It’s just a game! It’s fun to see what people choose and the reasons why. My friends and I debate the pros and cons. It’s fun!”

Honestly, what is wrong with these kids? Why can’t they just hot-wire cars and knock over liquor stores like normal teens?

“Chloe, why are all these choices so dire?”  I put on a cheerful voice and ask:  “Why not ‘Wouldja rather win a brand new beach house – or find a million dollars in your sweater pocket?’”

She rolls her eyes. “Oh Mom!” She picks up her books and goes into the living room.

I follow her, waving my spoon. “Or how about ‘Wouldja rather vacation in Paris — or Rome?’”

“Mo-om! You don’t get it!”

“Or ‘Wouldja rather dance with George Clooney — or bake cookies with Ryan Gosling?’”

She huffs, but starts grinning. “Stop, Mom! Just stop.”

I return to the crockpot, glad I’ve made my point.

But tonight, I’m CERTAIN I’ll have nightmares of sharks chasing me into volcanoes, while I hyperventilate through my one nostril — with my eyeball-boobies flapping in all directions!

— Darcy Perdu

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(OK, what choices would YOU make in the above “Wouldja Rather” options? And do your kids play this wackadoodle game?)

AWKWARD! Mom Forbids Me to Do This Unless A Nun Approves!

AWKWARD!  Mom FORBIDS It; Makes Me Ask the NUN for Permission!  #humor #school #backtoschool #teacher #student #Bible #earrings #funny

So then… she says “Absolutely not,” with an air of such finality, it would stop Attila the Hun in his tracks.

Because when my Mom says, “no,” she means “NOOOO!”

But I’m a 16-year-old girl desperate to have my ears pierced.

I’ve been lusting after the earrings at the mall for weeks. They have little gold knots – and darling little hoops – and butterflies! Dainty little gold butterflies, people! MUST HAVE.

Attila ain’t got nothin’ on me. I shall not cease my relentless campaign! I shall scourge the earth and annihilate all obstacles until VICTORY IS MINE! – and those precious butterflies adorn my earlobes!

I follow my Mom into the kitchen, where she’s preparing dinner.

I set the table and say, “Mom, WHY can’t I get my ears pierced? I saved up my babysitting money – and I’ll make sure the piercings won’t get infected – and the mall is just—”

“It’s against the Bible.”

“What? The Bible says I can’t get my ears pierced?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says.

(I’m no theologian, but I don’t remember either of the testaments discussing ear jewelry!)

“Where does it say that?” I ask.

She stirs the spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and says, “The Bible says it’s a sin to self-mutilate.”

Self-mutilate!? I’m not mutilating myself!”

“Well, you want to cut holes into your ears, don’t you?”

“Mom, that’s not the same thing! The Bible just doesn’t want you to hack off your hand or something!”

She arches her eyebrows in that “you say potato; I say po-tah-to” sort of way and returns to her sauce.

Seriously! It’s not that she’s a religious fanatic – I mean we go to Church every Sunday, but she’s not a zealot. But she was raised in a pretty strict Catholic family, back in the days when the Mass was said in Latin.

Lots of hellfire and brimstone in those days.

Lots of hard and fast rules – with clear cut consequences leading straight to eternal damnation.

Pierced ears = self-mutilation = grievous sin = loose morals = immediate downward spiral into prostitution, pregnancy, tattoos, heroin addiction, and *gasp* — skipping Easter Mass.

So I beg and plead and debate and beg some more.

She is resolute. It’s like trying to move Mt. Rushmore just a couple inches to the left. She will not budge.

It’s a sin. It’s a sin. It’s a sin.

I insist that the self-mutilation in the Bible DOES NOT refer to pierced ears! Did.I.mention.the.butterflies.Mom?The.earring.butterflies.are.ADORABLE!

FINALLY, she agrees to CONSIDER it – IF and ONLY IF I consult with a priest or nun to CONFIRM that ear piercing does NOT qualify for Biblical self-mutilation.

Ahhhh! The clouds part, the angels sing: HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

Quick! Get thee to a nunnery! Find the youngest, hippest, coolest nun you can find!

All night long, I rack my brain to think who I can ask. My very life depends upon it.

Should I ask our parish priest at Mass on Sunday?

Should I ask one of the nuns who teaches at the Catholic school I attend?

Do I choose the youngest nun – the nicest nun – or the nun who teaches the class with my highest grade?

Finally, I settle on Sr. Rita. She’s not young, but she’s an awesome teacher and I love her class.

All day long, I fidget in my blue plaid skirt and white blouse, my legs shaking a mile a minute.

Finally the last bell rings. The rest of the students file out and I stay behind to timidly say, “Sr. Rita, may I please ask you a question?”

She looks up from her papers and says, “Sure.”

Suddenly I lose my nerve. Maybe my Mom is right! Maybe this IS a sin! I don’t want Sr. Rita to think poorly of me.

“Um…um,” I stammer, looking at my shoes.

“What is it, child?” she asks.

“Well, um, my Mom says that something I want to do is a VERY BAD SIN – and that I had to ask your permission before I could do it,” I say.

Sr. Rita raises her eyebrows, crosses her arms, and stares at me intently. “What’s the sin?” she asks.

“I want to…I want to…get my ears pierced!”

Sr. Rita suppresses a grin, her eyes crinkling, as she sighs with relief.

In retrospect, I now realize she probably thought I was going to ask about having sex — or doing drugs — or committing homicide!

In comparison, piercing ears hardly makes a “ding” on the Sin-o-Meter!

She pats my shoulder and says, “Yes, dear, yes. You may pierce your ears. It’s not sinful at all!”

I beam from ear to ear – (soon to be punctured ear to ear) – and thank her profusely!

I fairly explode with happiness! I share the good news with my Mom, who, trooper that she is, lives up to her promise to take me to the mall now that we have a religious blessing.

And I ensure that Sr. Rita is one of the first to see my darling little earring butterflies!

(Of course, I still end up a coke-addict junkie whore – but that’s completely unrelated to the pierced ears.)

Ha! OK, just kidding! Fear not, Sr. Rita, where ever you are: your decree was sound and just. I’ve not squandered your blessing. My pierced ears and I will see you in Heaven one day. (It may take some pretty heavy-duty negotiating to get me on the admit-list, but I aim to rock & roll up there in the Great Beyond!)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Anything YOU wanted as a kid that was impacted by parental reluctance, outright disapproval, or religious beliefs?  Do you remember back when you got YOUR piercings?)

Is This a Playdate Fail by Dad — or Perfectly Reasonable Behavior?

Did this Dad Make a Playdate Faux Pas? Is this a funny blunder or WHAT?  #humor #playdate #dad #baby #embarrassing #funny #kids

So then…I plop on the hotel bed, moving my files over so I can chat with my 9-year-old daughter Chloe back home.

Me: I’m so happy I’m almost done with my business trip! How was your day, honey?

Chloe: Great! After school, I went for a playdate at Maggie’s house!

I furrow my brow. That can’t be right.

Me: You mean Layla’s house?

Chloe: No, Maggie’s house.

Me: You mean Ashley’s house?

Chloe: No, MAGGIE’S house!

Me: You don’t mean the Maggie whose mom just had a BABY?

Chloe: Yes! Today was the first day they brought the baby home and I got to meet her!

Me: You had a playdate at Maggie’s house the SAME DAY HER MOM BROUGHT HOME HER BRAND NEW BABY?

Chloe: Yes! It was great! The baby’s so cute! I got to stay for dinner!

She prattles on and on about the baby –

and of course I make all the appropriate responses to share in her glee.

But the whole time I’m thinking: What the HELL?

When we finish, she puts her dad on the phone.

“Um…did you know you accidentally let Chloe have a playdate at Maggie’s house the same day her mom brought home the new baby?I ask, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh, that was no accident,” he says proudly. “Chloe asked if she could go see Maggie’s new sister, so I dropped her right off!”

“Did Maggie’s parents know about it first?” I ask.

“I dunno,” he says. 

“David! Don’t you think the last thing a sleep-deprived, just-endured-childbirth mom wants to see at her house on her first day home is someone else’s kid?”

“Oh come on,” he says. “It’s her 4th baby. She probably didn’t even notice our kid was there.”

Oh my God.

David’s a terrific dad, but sometimes I wonder if he understands basic social graces.

When someone has a new baby, you drop off a casserole.

Or a gift.

NOT your kid.

And CERTAINLY not for dinner!

To be fair, David’s the type who wouldn’t mind at all if the roles were reversed. If HE popped out a baby, he’d probably invite the whole neighborhood over as soon as we pulled in the driveway so he could proudly display his creation: “Tap a keg, grill some burgers, look what I just pushed out of my hoo-ha!” (or he-ha, as the case may be)

He was raised in a free-range neighborhood where kids constantly meandered in and out of each other’s homes, mooching meals whenever they were hungry, and everyone was cool with it.

I was taught that you don’t even call someone’s house before 10 am or after 8 pm – and never during dinner time – MUCH LESS just SHOW UP at their house!

Consequently David’s fine with anyone coming over anytime no matter what’s happening at our house. It’s practically like this:

“We’re having construction done at the house today – but come on over!”
“Sure, the kids all have the flu — but that’s ok — pop on by!”
“Don’t mind the termite fumigation tent – we’ll just barbecue in the backyard!”

OK, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.

And as moms go, Maggie’s mom is very chill.

When my kids take a tumble and bleed – I rush to console them, disinfect the entire limb, bandage it carefully, and mollycoddle the child endlessly, while surreptitiously checking WebMD on my phone to insure no signs of sepsis.

When her kids report scrapes and cuts, Maggie’s mom just says, “You know where the band-aids are.”

And damn, if her kids aren’t much more resilient and independent than mine!

(I’ll be bandaging my kids’ paper cuts when they’re 45 and still living in my basement.)

Maybe it’s the large quantity of kids that makes these moms so chill?

As soon as I return to town, I drop off a beautiful gift, coo over the darling new baby, and make apologies for the awkward timing of the surprise playdate.

Maggie’s mom just smiles and shrugs – no big deal. The new baby in her arms starts to fuss, so she shoots her a look, like “Hey, you know where the boobies are.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Who’s more observant of social graces – you or your spouse? Any funny examples? Am I crazy to think HE’S crazy for letting her have a playdate on Bring-Home-the-Baby Day?)

How to Make New “Friends” at a Lady Gaga Concert!

So then…I hop a flight to Vegas for the Lady Gaga ART POP Ball‘cuz that’s how I roll.

Lady Gaga Wings 429

Actually, that’s how my niece rolls! And since she wanted to celebrate turning 18 this weekend at a Vegas Gaga concert, her mom (my sister) invited my 14-year-old daughter and moi to join the fun. So we have a blast enjoying Vegas all weekend, including the girls zip-lining down wild Fremont Street at midnight on Friday.

Lady Gaga Slotzilla 429

On Saturday, we splash it up at our hotel’s gorgeous pools at the MGM Grand where the concert’s being held tonight. After a lovely lunch at the poolside café, the server brings the bill.

Me:         Can I put this on the hotel room?
Server:    Sure. (grabs pen) What’s your hotel room number?
Me:         12-124
Server:    What’s your last name?
Me:         Gaga. First name — Lady.

Her head pops up, eyes wide.

Me:         Yeah, she’s a good friend. She told me I could charge anything I want to her room.
Server:    Whaaaa?

The rest of my table cracks up laughing, so the server realizes I’m kidding. But I was close – THIS close, I tell ya – if my sister, niece, and daughter hadn’t blown my cover — dem lil bitches. (But they do refer to me as “First name: Lady” for the rest of the trip, so I forgive them.)

That night, we zip downstairs to the arena to rock out to the Gaga concert with my friends.

And by “friends,” I mean awesome people who let me take their picture and who don’t actually know they are friends with me – yet.

Lady A 1 429

Lady A 2

Because I desperately want to be friends with these people because they are amazingly enthusiastic and commited and cool and creative.

Lady A 3

Lady A 4

I mean, look at these outfits!

Lady A 5

Yes, that’s a 6’4″ dude hanging out by the Roasted Nuts stand.

Lady A 6

Lady A 7

I LOVE this kind of fervor.

Lady A 9

Lady A 10

It doesn’t matter if you’re dressing up for a concert like this – or dressing up for a sporting event by painting your face with your team’s colors — you have my admiration for proudly displaying your allegiance. Go big or go home, baby!

The first act is a darling K-Pop group called CRAYON POP.

Lady Crayon Pop Photo 429

They wear colorful school girl outfits — and helmets for some inexplicable reason – (Do they need to make a speedy motorcycle getaway? Do they have identical head injuries? Or just a Bad Hair Day for everyone?) Whatever the reason, they look adorable as they pull off some highly-complicated synchronized dance moves while singing infectious pop songs. We LOVE them!

However, the middle act is some DJ chick at a soundboard playing what sounds like heavy metal Electronic Dance Music. And while I’m sure she’s a lovely person who probably crochets afghans for orphans and reads to blind puppies (so don’t take this personally, lady), but I hate EDM. Sounds like one monotonous bass line punctuated by noises a drunk rhino would make in a hoarder’s tool shed.

So during her set, I excuse myself to the ladies room — and take the opportunity to snap pics of my new “friends” out by the concessions while my sister stays in the seats with our daughters.

While I’m hangin’ with the Little Monsters, I receive this text from my daughter — which makes me laugh out loud. She knows me so well –

You should come back soon — this is the last “song” before Gaga

Ha! Damn right EDM deserves quotation marks around the word “song!”

As I weave through the crowd back to my seat, I’m energized by all the camaraderie amongst the attendees – young and old, gay and straight, every race, every nationality – everyone’s there for one reason — to have a BALL! Gaga’s all about love and self-acceptance – and we love that!

This concert’s going to be a spectacular spectacle filled with outrageous costumes and rousing renditions of G.U.Y., Gypsy, Poker Face, Paparazzi, Alejandro, Bad Romance, and much more.

Just before she takes the stage, 3 Hispanic men file into the seats in front of us. They’re dressed in jeans, drinking from super-size beer cans, and look like burly construction workers.

I don’t mean stylized construction workers like the dude from Village People. Or burly like Bears. Or muscular 6-pack abs like manual-laborers-slash-underwear models. I mean like burly macho Hispanic men you’d see at a construction site.

I exchange a quizzical look with my sister. I wonder if these guys accidentally wandered into the wrong arena on their way to a monster truck rally or a boxing match — and they have no idea they’re about to see this:

Lady Gaga Octopus 429

Or maybe they said to the hotel concierge, “Can you get us tickets to a Vegas show? Maybe magic or juggling or something?” And they sit down and see this:

Lady Gaga Kpop 429

I’m interested to see their reaction when the show starts.

I picture them looking puzzled and whispering “Que pasa?” to each other.

Suddenly the lights dim — then a burst of BLAZING LIGHTS! The music explodes — and Gaga and her dancers gyrate on stage in a dazzling frenzy of excitement!

My burly Hispanic construction workers instantly begin dancing the exact same moves as Gaga’s dancers.

The.exact.same.moves!

Take that, stereotyping!

They’re amazing! These 3 guys know every word of every song — and every move of every dance! I’ve never seen more impressive gyrating in such a small space before! They’re limiting their movements to the 24 inch area directly in front of their seats – but oh they are fierce!

As the concert progresses, they venture outside their area a bit, dancing and gesticulating passionately – they turn around to dance with us, high five us, hug us, and sing loudly along with us. We have a blast together!

And that’s one of the reasons I love concerts so much – especially a concert like Lady Gaga – you never know who you’re going to meet –

And regardless if they look like Club Kids (blue circle) – or Local Librarians (red circle) –

Lady Gaga Club Kids Librarians with Circles 429

They’re ALL here to PARTY — and revel in the music and spectacle that is:

Last Name: Gaga.  First Name: Lady.

ROCK ON, LITTLE MONSTERS!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Been to a fun concert lately? Which outfit above is your favorite?)

How to Make Friends at a Lady Gaga Concert -- funny story of my attempt to befriend Little Monsters!  #concert #costume #ladygaga #funny #humor #dance

Be VERY Careful What You Ask Your Teen Daughter

Be Very Careful What You Ask Your Teen Daughter!  #funny #cook #crockpot #turkey #humor #parenting

So then…I take a bite of Pralines & Cream at our little neighborhood Baskin-Robbins shop and ask my daughter Chloe, age 13, “So what do you think I should cook for dinner when the Donnellys come over Saturday?”

She nearly chokes on her Oreo 31 Below.

I shoot her a sharp glance.

She tries to recover quickly.

She loves me dearly but knows that cooking is not my forte.

“Um…let’s see,” she stalls. “There are lots of things you could make…um…”

“Well, what do you like that I cook?” I ask.

“Oh, I love your cookies and cakes and brownies and—”

“No, not what I bake. What I cook. What do you like that I cook?

She pales.

To be fair, my cooking repertoire IS fairly limited. I’m a woman of many talents, gifts, and skills (FAR too many to detail here) – but cooking’s not one of them. In fact, the main reason I’m asking her opinion is that I’m a bit anxious about cooking for the Donnelly family (or anyone, for that matter.) For potlucks, I always bake dessert. For my own dinner parties, I often order in or even (gasp) cater for the special occasions!

I’ve long envied the women who can whip up a delicious meal on a moment’s notice with the ingredients already in their pantry and fridge. I could try that – but it’d need to be meal that includes the typical staples in my house (Nestles chocolate morsels, mayonnaise, peanut butter, and delicious cheeses.)

My other cooking issue is that I have a fanatical fear of undercooking the meat. It probably stems from the first turkey I ever tried to cook — it simply WOULD.NOT.COOK. It was in that oven for hours and hours and hours – and no matter what, it never fully cooked. Honestly, it was traumatizing! The next year, I even ordered a PRE-COOKED turkey so all I had to do was heat it up — and it STILL didn’t cook through! Ever since then, I ensure we invite cooking relatives to our house for Thanksgiving — or invite ourselves to their homes. We’re working our way across America for each Thanksgiving and will probably be at your home soon.

So this is why I always order steaks/burgers/fish/etc well done at restaurants. And this is why I started crock-potting. Because if you put something in there at 8 am, it’s usually cooked through by 6 pm. In fact, some might say a little TOO cooked through. (And to them I say, “Well, fine, more for me, my friend. Help yo’self to the peanut butter and delicious cheeses.”)

Actually I make a fabulous tuna casserole.

My daughter Chloe abhors tuna.

She ate it maybe ONE time when she was about 5 – and to this day, anytime she can’t readily identify what I serve her, she’ll suspiciously ask me, “Is this tuna?

“No!” I’ll say. She’ll poke it a bit, and ask plaintively, “Are you sure it’s not tuna?” As if I were serving her potentially poisonous pufferfish!

Honestly, I’ve never served that child tuna again since she was 5 – but she asks me at least once a month, with an accusatory tone, “Is this tuna?”

Add to this that Chloe’s a picky eater, so there isn’t much that she likes anyway. (Of course, her being a picky eater MIGHT be related to my culinary malfeasance…)

So you can see that this innocent conversation about what to serve the Donnellys on Saturday is a virtual minefield that Chloe’s trying to tiptoe through, so as not to offend my feelings – or God forbid, trigger a tuna dish.

“Well,” she says, “I like your porkchops.” (crock pot recipe)

“Yes, go on.”

“Um, I like your French Dip beef.” (crock pot recipe)

“And what else?” I ask.

“Um, your green bean casserole?”

“What!? You never eat my green bean casserole!” I say.

“Yeah, but I’ve heard it’s really good!” she says brightly.

“From whom?” I ask skeptically.

“From you!” she says.

“Oh, for God’s sake. Seriously? After all these years, that’s all you can come up with?” I ask.

“Well, I was gonna say, ‘You open a mean can of corn,’ but I didn’t want to offend.”

I bust out laughing. “Chloe!”

“Or ‘you order Honeybaked Ham well,’” she offers.

We both guffaw.

She’s right, of course. And she does love her some corn (as evidenced in the Embarrassing Book Club Incident)

We finish our ice cream and finalize the menu for Saturday:

crockpot chicken,
green bean casserole,
canned corn –
and 3 – count ‘em, 3 – scrumptious homemade baked desserts!
Get ready, Donnellys, you’re in for a treat!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Is your child terrified of tuna? Or some other innocuous food? Are you a culinary master — or more of a baker like me? Can we come to your house for Thanksgiving this year?)

He Disagrees, But I Insist — So Of COURSE Disaster Ensues!

He Disagrees But I Insist, So Hilarious Disaster Follows 430x

READ the story below — or click Green Arrow below to HEAR the story!

So then…he snorts. “The ‘Park After Dark?’ That doesn’t make any sense,” says my husband David, skeptically.

“No, no,” I say. “This will be great! Instead of dragging the kids through the 90 degree heat of the day, we can visit the wild animal park at night, when it’s so much cooler!”

“Amma-mals?” asks toddler Chloe.

“Yes, honey, we’re going to see the animals,” I say.

David scoffs, “Are you sure we’ll ‘see’ them?”

“Yes, yes!” I say, laughing. “I just talked to the park on the phone. The guy said there’s lighting all over the place – and it’s so cool to visit at night!

David raises his eyebrow dubiously – but finally relents.

So we pack up Chloe, age 2; Tucker, age 5; the stroller and supplies, and drive the minivan 2 hours over to the wild animal park, just as darkness descends.

The kids are so excited.

The tickets are $50 each. David is so not excited. “Fifty bucks? Seriously?”

“Yes, it’s the special Park After Dark price.” I say. “It’s even more during the day!”

More?” he says. “Geez, what kind of animals do they have here? Unicorns and dragons?” he says.

“Dragons?” asks Tucker, wide-eyed.

“No, no,” I say quickly, shooting David a look. “No dragons, but lots of cool wild animals – rhinos, hippos, zebras, lions — you’ll love it!”

We board the caravan bus and there’s only one other family on board. And I could swear that husband exchanged an exasperated look with my husband. Like “you got roped into this too, huh?” There may have even been a shared rolling of the eyes.

As Mom the Cheerleader, I enthusiastically say, “Let’s grab seats by the windows, so we can see all the wild creatures!”

So we look out the windows — but the jungle foliage is thick; the lighting’s poor; and we can’t really see anything.

We look left, right, front, back — I’m desperate to see something to point out to the kids – an animal, a movement, a shape, a shadow…something.

David stares at me with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Chloe stands up on the seat next to me and presses her face against the window. “Where da amma-mals at?”

David swallows a guffaw. “Yeah, Darcy, ‘where dose amma-mals at?’”

I stare at him with the icy glare of a thousand glaciers.

“Excuse me, sir,” I say to the driver. “We’ve been riding around for half an hour and can’t really see anything. Where are the animals?”

“They’re sleeping,” he says.

“SLEEPING?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he says impatiently. “It’s DARK out.”

Oh my good God.

David practically chokes, he’s laughing so hard. He tries to suppress it so the kids don’t see, but he can’t help himself.

I shake the park map out in front of me. “Don’t worry, kids, we’ll find something fun to do!”

(But I notice that many of the attractions say “closed at night.”)

Finally! “Oh! Look, kids – there’s a Bird Sanctuary! It says you can feed the birds and they’ll land right on your hand!” I say brightly. “Let’s go there!”

So as soon as the “Sleeping” Animal Tour docks back at base camp, we head off to find the birds.

And thanks to the pitch black night, dim lighting, and poor path signage, we get lost.

The jungle air is thick with resentment.

We finally arrive at the Bird Sanctuary, which is packed with people. We buy little tiny paper cups filled with bird seed and stand there, holding our little cups up to the birds in the trees above us.

But they don’t land on us. They don’t really land on much of anyone. Every so often a bird lazily floats down.

Chloe’s running in circles, holding her cup as high as she can. “Come here, birdies! Come here, birdies!”

Tucker’s inspecting the bird feed in his cup and looks as if he might try it out himself.

I don’t get it. These birds are not flitting and flying like energetic little whirlwinds. These birds seem very lethargic — and disinterested in feeding.

“What’s wrong with these birds?” I ask one of the staff workers. “They’re not eating any of the food our kids are offering.”

“Oh, they’re full,” she says.

“FULL?!” I ask.

“Oh, yeah,” she says. “People have been feeding them all day long. By the time night comes, they’re stuffed.”

I squeeze my eyes closed tightly. Oh please, don’t let David have heard that part. Oh please. Where is he? Is he…is he…yep, he’s right behind me, biting his lip, grinning like a madman.

Oh for God’s sake. I whip out the map again, desperate for something to salvage this trip.

“Hey, look kids! There’s a Tribal Dance performance in the African outpost! Doesn’t that sound FUN?!” I say, infusing my voice with the enthusiasm of a thousand cheerleaders on crack cocaine.

We bundle Chloe in the stroller and grab Tucker’s hand and make haste to the outpost.

It’s much farther than we thought, and the directional signs lead us astray twice.

So I’m trying to push this frikkity-frik stroller over the ruts in this “authentic” dirt path, sweating – and swearing (under my breath) – through the massive jungle vegetation.

We’re walking forever. David’s ready to abandon ship.

I swear I think if a golf cart magically appeared, he’d immediately hop aboard and ride away, with a tender wave goodbye: “Farewell dear family, I loved you well and will think of you kindly when I’m back in air-conditioning chugging a cold beer.”

He’s just about to insist we turn back when we see another family coming toward us on the path.

“Do you know where the Tribal Dancers are?” I ask desperately.

“Yeah, they’re right through there,” they say, pointing behind them.

“Come on, kids! We’re almost there! Oh, oh, I think I hear them!” I say, picking up my pace.

All we see is jungle, but we hear the faint thrum of the drums and low rhythmic chanting, so we run toward the sound.

Just as we turn the bend, huffing and puffing, we spill into a big clearing with lots of people – and the announcer says, “So that concludes our last show of the night, folks! Hope you enjoyed it!”

Cue applause.

Cue laser daggers shooting out of David’s eyes into my cerebral cortex.

I want to slump into a sweaty ball of surrender. Just give myself up to the jungle gods right here and now. Let the baboons feast on my flesh; let the hyenas laugh at my folly.

I am done.

But I have two disgruntled kids and one fuming husband to transport back to the park exit and put an end to this disastrous night.

David doesn’t say a word on the trek back through the jungle, but I can hear his thoughts in his head as though they are screeching from a megaphone: ItoldyousoItoldyousoItoldyouso.

The longer we walk, the madder I get at the park guy on the phone who told me that this was such a great idea.

When we finally reach the exit, I say to David, “This is ridiculous! I’m gonna march right in that ticket office and demand our $200 back! We couldn’t see the animals – the birds were full – the dancers were too far away – there’s nothing to do at this stupid park at night!”

David shoots me a cynical look and crosses his arms. “Really? You think they’re gonna give you your money back?”

“Yes,” I say firmly. “Just you watch.”

I stomp into the ticket office, full of fire and brimstone. I rant and rave and rail.

Moments later, I emerge with an envelope.

“So,” he says, grinning. “What’d they give you?”

I hang my head and say, “Four free tickets for another night at Park After Dark.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Yes, yes, this whole disastrous tale is true! Now it’s your turn – share your funny experiences with zoos, theme parks, and other family excursions. Any brilliant ideas YOU’VE had that your spouse was oh-so-right and you were oh-so-wrong? Do tell!)