WHERE AM I, AGAIN?

We ‘Mericans live in a civilized society. Or so I thought until I went to the WVU-Maryland game this weekend.

It all started happily enough. Our friends, Lucy and Craig, came in from Maryland for our annual football game adventure. They get to visit with us and their son, Dylan, (who, we are proud to say, is a mighty Mountaineer like his Uncle Mike and Aunt Robin) while enjoying a sporting event. I had advised Lucy and Craig in advance that if either showed up in Maryland garb, they would be sleeping in the shed. But no fear; they own more WVU garb than I do.

We met Dylan at the Walnut St station and rode the PRT to the Medical Center. Side note to the one guy in the UK who reads this: PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) is WVU’s above-ground subway system. Tailgating was well underway and the stadium was filling up. We strolled through Tent City and got in line to get through the gates. As there were about 1000 people trying to get through five ticket gates, I began to get a little annoyed at the pushing and shoving. I made a comment to my total bad ass husband(PTST) about this not being the Hajj (too soon?) and people didn’t need to stampede me over when there was still an hour until kickoff.

Then the line cutting began. At first I was able to let it go, as it was mostly wasted college kids trying to get to their friends or just get through the mass of people to find more beer. But as grown-ass adults in the back of the horde began to see this, they began moving around the corner and cutting into the middle of the pack in front of me. After about three times of this my blood was boiling, and when the fourth drunken asshole tried it, I put my arm out and stopped him and said, ‘’Yeah, get to the back of the line.’’

And here is where it got interesting. Instead of giving it the ‘’Oops, my bad” and wandering off, he began to argue with me. I am no delicate flower, standing 5’9’’ and weighing enough to survive at least a few months of the Zompoc if I didn’t eat another ounce of food after today, but this man had at least four inches on me. He appeared to be about forty years old and could have done with skipping a few meals of his own, and perhaps the couple of Michelob Ultras he had apparently consumed before our little chat. Not “a couple” like he had two; “a couple” like he was on Cops. (I know the brand because he was still carrying one during our discussion.) And his response to me was thus: I had no right to be so upset about people cutting line. I needed to chill out. It’s just a ball game; we are all trying to get to the same place. My response was a big fat smile and a nice loud “EXACTLY!” All while I continued to block his drunk idiot ass from getting in front of me and wondering when people had lost the ability to recognize irony when it slapped them in the face. Probably somewhere around the tenth beer was my guess.

In the end, he fell into line behind me and I stewed myself the rest of the way into the stadium. We made it to our seats without further incident, but little did I realize the afternoon of confrontations was not yet over. Next up: directly behind us were sitting a group of adults with three small children on their laps, approximate ages 2-5, none of whom appeared to have their own seat (although stadium rules strictly state every person must have a ticket; I Googled it). Everyone knows kids love to run, and jump, and hop, and it’s not really important to them where they do it or the fact that their still-developing motor skills causes them to be off balance during these activities. A lot. Especially when the totally awesome Mountaineers are blowing out pitiful Maryland and the game is not interesting to watch. Although I don’t think such young kids are capable of spending four hours watching any sporting event, regardless of the excitement, but that’s another story.

Fortunately, while Mike and I were discussing how much blood we would be peeing from having our kidneys kicked for four quarters by the marauding toddlers, Craig sprang into action and asked one of the adults to please stop the kids from using our backs as seat cushions and punching bags.

So all was quiet and smooth until we left and were at the PRT station to return to our car. Of course there was a line because there were over 60,000 people in the stadium, and each PRT car holds about 20 people max. We promptly fell in line behind the crowd and began to wait, and then the line cutting began again. This time it was a group of drunk male students who attempted to wedge their way in front of a pillar to become first in line on the platform that broke my straw. I was done. I was officially and totally done. I said, “No, no, no. Back of the line, Son.” Yeah, apparently young drunk men do not like to be referred to as Son. The one I spoke to was too drunk to come up with a coherent response, so while he lit a cigarette, his friend stepped in–draped in his invisible cloak of irony repellant–to tell me that we were all just trying to get on the PRT. Once again, my response was, “EXACTLY. So get to the back of the line.” More back and forth ensued, but by this time Craig had positioned himself between us, and that was pretty much that.

The end result is that I am unallowing myself to go into large gatherings anymore because of my inability to keep my big mouth shut. Not that the inability to control my wicked tongue is anything new; I have always been a mouthy broad. And I have always feared that someday my total bad ass husband (PTST), who has learned that I prefer to fight my own battles and does not interfere with the process, is going to end up punched by some angry man that I have pissed off with my venom. But this weekend I learned that we now live in a society that a man (for lack of a better term) will fight directly with an old woman. WTF? We sure aren’t in Kansas anymore. Or even Lincoln Financial Field.

So I’m just waiting for the World War Z; I’ll get my revenge then…

FACEBOOK

Since I have broken my “I’m never signing up” rule and signed onto Facebook for this blog, I have learned a couple things. First of all, I currently have a four-ingredient chicken dish in the oven that someone posted; I’ll get back to you on whether it is a giant success or an epic fail. Knowing my cooking skills, my shiny quarter is on the latter.

I have also learned that Facebook really does serve some good purposes—namely, pictures of adorable kids, and pictures of animals lost or looking for a forever home. It is difficult for me to not rush out and snatch up every furry face in search of a home that I see, but I don’t want to end up as a Facebook News headline as the world’s biggest puppy hoarder. Plus, Ralphie states he prefers being an only child so we can focus all of our love and affection (READ: toys and treats) on him. So in case you were wondering if his diva ways were fading with his end of puppyhood, yeah, that’s a big fat NO.

Anyhoo… Another learning experience was finding out that I should care where my friends are eating today. It seemed odd to me when I first began looking at posts that this information should be provided, but I figured eventually I would figure out the reason behind it. Perhaps there would be a later post telling me that there was an extended wait time or service was bad, so I should avoid said restaurant. Maybe there are roaches. Or rats. Or maybe they are giving away free beer. But as far as I can tell, it is just to tell me where someone is eating. Which leads me to wonder if I should be adding a post every evening that states I am dining at Café Rozycki. I would post when I eat at Pizza Al’s, but the oftenness would make the internet explode.

I have also learned that people will believe just about anything. Who has two thumbs and has seen more photoshopped crap passed off as real than a Playboy magazine? This guy! Here’s a tip: if it looks too good to be true, it is. This applies to both real life and Facebook. Just sayin. So… Jesus will not stop loving you if you don’t repost his picture; you will not have good luck and get fifty bucks if you repost the one that says you will. And if you are not certain whether or not it is real, please resist the urge to share. Thank you from the entire universe.

But the absolutely, positively, very best thing that I have learned from Facebook is that people are just as narcissistic and idiotic as I always suspected. Arcane posts about feelings, hoping that others will ask what’s going on? Check. Calling out people for driving too fast in the neighborhood, thinking it will slow them down? Check. Posting so much inspiring, uplifting, positivist-filled dreck that I want to punch you right in the face?  Check.  Humblebragging about how crowded it was at the sold out WVU-Maryland game this weekend? Check. Wait a minute… That will be me…

Today was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so Ralphie and I went to the park. We had a lovely time burning off some puppy energy and working on our Heel and No Pull commands. Then we came home and I looked at Facebook and got so angry at the ridiculousness that I had to blog. This is no way to live.  But I fear I am entrapped in the tentacles of the Book like the others around me. Only time will tell. Until then, I should look and see where everyone’s eating dinner tonight…

FAREWELL, JON STEWART

I’m going to take credit for starting a retirement trend that Jon Stewart couldn’t resist. This is the only logical explanation for why he would ruin my world by leaving The Daily Show. Apparently, he is now off on some farm in New Jersey raising goats with his wife, which gives my total bad ass husband (PTST) hope that, like Jon Stewart, someday his dream of being a goat herder will be realized. Guess I should be grateful for that one final gift, but I’m thinking it’s going to come back to bite me in the ass when I’m 80 years old and fighting off a billy goat attack.

I am still running around yelling STEW BEEF anytime someone says stew, or beef, or Jon Stewart, or The Daily Show, or sometimes none of the above. Just because it’s fun to yell. Of course, now that Jon Stewart is no longer on the air, it is even more random and upsetting to the neighbors. Oh well, whatchagonnado…

The departure has left the Rozycki household routine in upheaval, as we enjoyed eating our evening dinner in front of the taped (yes, I still say taped; I am a fossil) episode of The Daily Show from the night before. It was my sole source of news information, unless you count looking at Us magazine online. And it was a nice distraction from the offal I had created in the kitchen and called dinner. But now that is gone and I am sad. The routine, not the offal; the offal will remain as long as I am in charge of cooking dinner.

Do I know what’s happening in the Middle East? Not at all. Do I know who is winning in the polls? No idea. Do I know what ridiculous thing Donald Trump said today? Well, yeah, because I cannot resist him. The biggest heartbreak of all, now I am forced to actually READ (yes, I am yelling) to get my news.

Mike’s great disappoint lies in the fact that I have begun replacing the time I spent watching Jon Stewart watching even more HGTV. Having already announced that being retired has given me ‘’too much time for thinking,’’ he is less than ecstatic to find me spending my days viewing Fixer Upper and Property Brothers. He’s been around long enough to know this only leads to more projects for him, and less time to watch the new Fear of the Walking Dead.

Ralphie thinks that the departure of Jon Stewart means he should get a treat. He thinks everything means he should get a treat. Silly dog.

I’m sure that Noah Wylie or Noah Drake or whatever the hell his name is will do a fine job. But it will never be the same. And my heart is so broken that I have advised my total bad ass husband (PTST) to remove The Daily Show from our list of shows to be recorded. I am hopeful that someday my grieving the loss of Jon Stewart will end, and I will be able to watch the show once again. Until then, I need to remind Mike to stop at Lowe’s on his way home from work and get some crown molding…

AGING FASHIONLESSLY

Yesterday, when I was shopping at TJ Maxx (I don’t work there anymore because I’m lame—literally and figuratively), I saw a lady about my age. She was wearing a nice pair of khaki shorts, a boho chic blouse, and some kicky wedge heel sandals. She was properly accessorized and carried a fashionable purse. Her hair and makeup were done. I wanted to be her.

While gazing at her in admiration (read: hate-filled envy), I realized the gym shorts I was wearing had a hole in the leg. I knew this because I had found the hole when I was wearing the shorts the day before. I noticed my Aruba t-shirt, also on its second day of wearing, had a stain. My tennis shoes were covered in mud from walking the dog around the neighborhood. My hair was in a ponytail; the only thing on my face was sweat. Why did she look like a cool, hip chick about town while I looked like I had been living with a pack of wolves for a week?

Here’s the thing… Even if I put on the exact same outfit as the lady I saw, and donned full hair and makeup, I would still look like I had been shot out of a cannon to get to TJ Maxx. Unlike other people, for whom the phrase “not a hair out of place” was invented, my finished product has always been a little bit off. Be it a hair—or all my hairs—out of place, unmatching socks, too short pants or sleeves (a curse of all tall women—especially those of us too cheap to pay the extra $2 for tall size clothing), outdated shoes, or an unpolished face (such a nice euphemism for bad makeup), I have never been able to successfully pull together a cohesive look. Instead, I share the David Sedaris disease of being able to dress in a $400 sweater and still look like a hobo.  Side note:  I believe this is from When You Are Engulfed In Flames but couldn’t confirm on Google.

As I type this, I am wearing the coolest–heat gear, not fashionable–athletic wear I own because it is about five thousand degrees today and Ralphie Nugget had a big hike in the blazing sun this morning with his humans. Or so goes my excuse. The shirt has two different types of food stains; the bottom has a twisted waist band that makes one leg longer than the other. I am wearing the same mud covered shoes I had on at TJ Maxx. I have snotties and a sweat rag in my pockets, with some lip balm, of course.

I guess I should just be grateful this isn’t the second day I’m wearing the same clothes, but I always thought by this point in my life I’d have it a little more together, especially since I no longer have any reason not to make myself at least slightly presentable before leaving the house. When I was young I got to use the ‘’I’m too poor” excuse, which everyone knows means I would rather spend my hard earned dollars on beer instead of fashion. Then I fell into the “I’m too busy” excuse because I was working long hours and did not care to spend my rare downtime putting on fancy pants and bronzer, which everyone knows means I would rather spend it drinking beer. Now I’ve got all the time in the world and have learned that it doesn’t matter how much money I spend, I still end up looking like a flood victim.

So what’s a middle-aged (and then some), slightly-overweight, mother of a soon-to-be two-year-old fur baby to do? Well, today at Walmart I bought myself a new swimsuit for my upcoming trip to Niagara Falls. Hopefully, I will wear it in the hotel pool and not while being pushed over the Falls by my total bad ass husband (PTST). It was on the clearance rack. And I took Peyton Manning’s paraphrased advice and bought some bigger belts, since when I cleaned out the closet last week I found I no longer owned a belt that was big enough to fit around my ever-expanding gut.

We will see if either of these items ever see the light of day, especially since I’m guessing a belt will look funny being worn with my holey gym shorts…