Subourbon Mom


5 Guys You See at Every Grown Up Bar

There are very few things scarier than a bar full of horny, sweating 40–60-year-olds.  Unlike college kids and 25-year-olds who are up front about what they’re doing there – drinking and trying to get laid, Middle-Agers (a.k.a. Middles) try very hard NOT to look like that’s what they’re doing. Oh, some put it all out there, with their backless turtlenecks (not a good look on anyone over 30), or the open-necked shirts showing off all that non-millennial chest hair.  But for the most part, when you look around a bar full of Middles, its full of copious amounts of eye liner and hairspray, missing wedding rings, annoyed spouses who hate dancing, and lingering (but squinting) glances that border on being creepy because Middles don’t realize they are old enough now to look like rapists and pedophiles.

A couple of weekends ago we were invited to go see a great local 80’s cover band at one of the bars in our area, located in a Food Kitty parking lot. Usually the music there is geared towards the older crowd (think Carolina beach music), and when we go, we are the youngest by at least 15 years.  This time, there were Middles like us happily re-living their high school and college years, but with better drinks and an Uber app on their phones.

While there are a few differences between going to bars in your 20’s and bars as a Middle, there are still the same bar guys – they’re just a little older:

roadhouseRoadhouse is either an ex-Frat Guy or a Redneck just out looking to start shit. He looks like he reads Maxim and goes to the gym more than he reads social cues.  Roadhouse is the guy who will start a fight with the smaller guy in your vicinity by looking your way and saying things like, “This guy bothering you?” or giving the guy a shove and saying “The F*&K did you say?”  The beauty of being a Middle is that this is no longer impressive. In reality, it means I’m probably going to get a drink spilled on me, and frankly, I’m not drinking rail drinks anymore, so that’s going to piss me off.

johnny-dirty-dancingAbout 15 minutes after the band started up, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze’s character from Dirty dancing) started dancing…or at least some guy in his mid-50s who thinks he looks like Patrick Swayze.  Johnny Castle sports a form-fitting black vest (no short underneath) and skin-tight black pants, and a black fedora on his shaven, balding head.  And, he is clearly on the hunt.  Johnny Castle spends the entire evening gyrating, twisting and generally trying to grind on anything female that moves. He thinks the empty circle of space around him that appeared while he put on his Michael Jackson moves was created out of sheer awe, not from fear that he might grab one of usand pull us in for a Dirty Dancing grind.
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Several feet away from Johnny Castle is Colonel Sanders. At least 70 years old, Colonel Sanders is also on the hunt, lurking around the edge of the dancers, looking like an old Rutger Hauer (see above reference to pedophiles).  An 80’s cover band event it really isn’t his scene, but the alternative of watching pat Sajack is too depressing for him. He eventually either finds someone age-appropriate or hangs out with the bar owner in the corner looking cynical and hopeful at the same time.

 

Of course, no matter what bar you go to or what age the patrons are, there are the Wall Props. These guys don’t like dancing and are usually too drunk to do more than hold up the wall near the bathroom and hit on women as they wait in line.  They might slur and try to cop a feel, but they’re easy to slide past. But ladies, if you want a free drink – that’s your guy. No expectations on either side – he’s just happy to be there.

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And last, every bar containing Middles has “married-guy-on-the-prowl.” This guy looks harmless, but has the suspicious white skin band around his wedding finger where he just took his ring off. His posse of married guy friends are sheepishly drinking craft beers in the background, having given up on deterring him from his mission: to hook up with someone other than his wife.  Usually this guy is from out of town, but sometimes he is stupid enough to go poaching in the local forest – inevitably he will be caught by his wife’s network of friends, and the drama that ensues is fodder for suburban cookouts for weeks to come.

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And like any good night at a bar with a band, there were groupies, a fight, a guy who stood like a stone doing the head nod while his girlfriend twisted and swayed around him, and at least three couples who left in a huff.

So, after two bourbons and three straight hours of dancing, I had somethings confirmed:

  1. Rail drinks are not my friend – I’m better than that now
  2. I still suck at dancing – Hubby’s got the moves, not me, but the beauty of being a Middle is I don’t care anymore;
  3. The White Man’s Overbite is alive and well
  4. I’m grateful I have Hubby to go home with – the Middles’ dating pool desperately needs some chlorine; and
  5. Blister in the Sun is still crazy-fun to bounce in a circle to, like one of the characters in A Charlie brown Christmas!

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New Year’s Resolutions

(Not that any of you should even remotely care what my resolutions are this year, I thought maybe you could use some ideas.)

Dear Self –

debit-cardLearn to pay in cash – not only will you save money, but the super-annoying “Remove Card” buzzer when using the debit card will no longer send you over the edge in Food Kitty

 

Do yoga in the living room – just because it humiliates you that Sting’s trudy-yogawife is 63 years old and can twist herself like a pretzel is no excuse for you not doing her yoga DVD that you spent $20 on

 

Sleep more – that means stop playing Candy Crush in bed – you’re the only person on the planet who’s still doing it

Stop playing games on phone…except at stop lights…and while watching tv…and while waiting for the fam to go anywhere…and while Hubby’s driving…

Write more family-friendly blogs

Start anonymous blog page so you can write about the fam

Save money for hiking trip in Scotland (a.k.a. satisfy Outlander fetish)

sam-heughan-768

Run a 10k

Run a 5k

Walk every day

Walk once a week

Hike once a month to train for hiking trip in Scotland

Drink only on weekends…or when out socially…or after a really, really crappy day at work…or when the cats pee in the house…or when the recipe requires wine…

cooking

Stop cooking with recipes requiring wine

dogs

 

 

 

Be nicer to the dogs

 

Be nicer to the cats



Are You A Reacher or a Settler?

Daughter #1 recently informed our family that on the TV show How I Met Your Mother, they talked about how in every relationship there’s a Reacher and a Settler.
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Reachers are in a relationship with someone who is out of their league. Settlers are with someone they believe may be inferior to them, either intellectually or physically – think Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel, or for those of you under the age of 40, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde.

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Ok, ok, if you want to be intellectual about it, it could be anyone of normal intelligence who has married a genius of any kind.

 

So I started wondering:  If this is true, what relationships would work better and longer?

 

Reacher + Settler:  A lawyer once said, “You know 10’s don’t date 2’s, right?”  Well, in my opinion, if they do it’s most likely not going to work, for two reasons:

1.       There rarely are 10’s.  Some people may think they’re a 10, but chances are they’re not.  I’m not just talking about looks here – you can be  a 10 in the personality department, or a be a 2 (a total D-bag).  Either way, it probably won’t last.

2.       These relationships are doomed from the start, unless the Settler (the 10) is a narcissist and the Reacher (the 2) has absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever, and they stay that way.  In this type of relationship, Reachers will let their well-being be dictated by their desire to be needed by the Settler.

unknown-3Think of Bella, the character in the Twilight movies. She is the Reacher (a young girl who is completely attracted to the all-powerful vampire), and Edward, the vampire, is the Settler.  (Yes, I know what happened in the books at the end – more on that later).  If their relationship had stayed the same, she would eventually have become just a blood supply to him.

Settler + Settler:  This would appear on the surface to work, except that the relationship will become toxic. Eventually, both Settlers’ feelings of superiority allow them to convince themselves they are right, or at least that the other is wrong. In a relationship between two Settlers, each thinks the other must be a Reacher, and therefore must be inferior/wrong.  “Asshole”, “arrogant” and “egotistical” are a couple of favorite words for two Settlers to sling about when they fight.  Try to imagine what would happen if Kanye West or Taylor Swift got together, or even better, Hillary and The Donald.

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Toxic.

 

 

Reacher + Reacher:  This is the best combination.  Two Reachers will be convinced they don’t deserve the other person, and will treat each other well.  Back to Bella and Edward – by the end of the series, both become Reachers.  Once Bella is made into a vampire, their unique vampire abilities put them on equal footing. Plus, both are so screwed up emotionally (she’s horrifically repressed, and he’s got some bizarre emotional need to be with a girl one tenth his age) they will never consider themselves Settlers.  That said, most of the marriages I know that have lasted a long time have done so because both people are self-aware enough to know they are flawed, and that not many people in the world could put up with their shit the way their spouse has for the last decade or two.

But what if the dynamic changes?  What if one of the two Reachers turns into a Settler? It happens.  Think of the Couch Potato-turned-Gym Rat.  The Couch Potato, who is in a relationship with another Couch Potato, should be happy (according to my theory) – until the Couch Potato decides she no longer wants to be a Couch Potato (because she watched the Twilight series too many times), and begins working out in the gym.  Soon she’s rockin’ the six pack and has a whole new set of Gym Rat friends. She starts to look down on her Couch Potato, and becomes in her mind, a Settler.  So, we are back to the first scenario:  Reacher + Settler.

Does this mean people aren’t allowed to change and grow in their relationship?  Of course not.  It does, however, mean that both people have to communicate, and never stop growing and trying new things.  Children try new things every day and grow exponentially.  It’s one of the reasons they are so interesting to watch.  Adults have a harder time trying new things, out of fear of looking ridiculous of being uncomfortable.  But not trying anything new means not growing.

Trying something new doesn’t have to mean hiking the Appalachian Trail or learning to pole dance at age 50; it can be something as simple as taking an online class about underwater basket weaving, writing a blog, or starting a business from your home.  When one person in the relationship stops growing and trying new things, they automatically become a Reacher.  If both people stop trying new things, they become…Al Bundy.

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Thanksgiving – It’s a Greatness, You’re Lateness
November 15, 2016, 2:47 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

unknownThanksgiving is a time for families to get together, eat too much, drink too much and share WAY too many opinions.

Many folks (usually what I like to call “the Middles”, aka the sandwich generation) try to juggle seeing several crooked branches of the family tree during the holidays without offending anyone. To accomplish this, we end up driving all over creation with our kids texting in the backseat, picking up our assigned foods at the grocery store on the way or juggling a pan of some sort of casserole on ourr knees.
And don’t forget to grab that extra bottle of wine because, frankly, Uncle Jack is going to start in on (fill in a political topic here), and one of the cousins already declared “this time I’m not gonna just sit back there and let him say that shit just ’cause he’s a thousand years old. It ain’t right.”

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It’s what we do.

It’s also why we’re often late (although sometimes that’s by design).

But I will never be able to top my brother’s excuse for why they were late one year.  My brother’s known for being late; in fact we used to plan for it. We would tell him to get there at least an hour before we needed him. One year, he and his family were pushing two hours late for Thanksgiving dinner, and I finally called him on his cell phone to find out where the Hell he was.

“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.”

(What follows is the best excuse ever):

We were getting ready and heard the cat meowing like crazy. So I followed the sounds into the garage, and there was Jackson (their large calico cat) with a sticky mousetrap stuck to his face…and the mouse still on it!

Jackson had seen the mouse wriggling in the trap and tried to bite it. The cat got his cheek fur stuck on the trap glue, and was running around howling, with a trap and a mouse about a half-inch from his eyeball.

We caught Jackson and tried to pull the trap off – not a good idea.

Then we tried hot water – in 30 seconds we had an extremely pissed off, wet cat and lots of scratches.

In desperation, we tried cutting the mouse free from the trap, but Jackson was struggling so hard we cut the mouse’s tail off. Blood was spurting everywhere, and the mouse was still stuck.

Finally, cold water did the trick. We got the trap of and put the mouse out of his misery.

“So,” he said, “we’re going to be a little late.”

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Costco Sells Caskets & Urns

I recently received a text from my friend Kristin late one night that just said Costco sells caskets and urns. Naturally, I had to go look it up, and sure enough they do.

 

costco-funeral

So does Walmart…and Amazon.

Did I miss something? When did the big box stores get involved in the big box business? (Apparently, this business is actually referred to as “Death Care,” the death-sensitive phrase I learned while Googling.) In addition to the assortment of caskets and urns available, Costco also posted a must-read FAQ that informed me about all kinds of death-care rules I knew nothing about. For example, not all states will let you order a casket from somewhere other than a funeral home. Of those that do, you are required to be present when it’s delivered.

coffin1Of course, I toyed with the idea of ordering one the next time Hubby makes me furious and just leaving it on the front porch with Universal Casket Company (Costco’s supplier) emblazoned on the box as a hint/threat. But now that we live in the country, only the coyotes and screech owls would see it, so I’ll just have to go back to regular yelling.

I couldn’t believe how expensive these caskets were, and mind you, these were from Costco and Walmart, so I’m sure they had a tiny markup compared to the markup funeral homes add. So, in search of other options, I Googled alternative ways to be buried.

Wow.

There are more ways to be buried than there are ways to have a baby – and that’s after watching every episode of A Baby Story. Actually, many burial methods are eerily similar to methods of having a baby – standing up; in water; natural (read “green”); and, cut open and filled with chemicals. I guess you really do come full circle, like they say.

I have a weird fear of being cremated. I can’t rationalize it, but the idea of it freaks me out. I much prefer Monty Python’s “Nibble, Nibble, Nibble to Crackle, Crackle, Crackle.”

I’ve also always assumed I would be buried in a plot of land overlooking something meaningful and gorgeous, like Robert Redford’s character in Out of Africa. Since we are running out of planet space and it’s uber-expensive, I started looking for alternative burial options. A few stuck with me, if only because they fell into the OH HELL NO I’M NOT DOING THAT category.resomation

Resomation – in which the remains are dissolved in an alkaline solution, leaving a white powder not unlike ashes from cremation. Or a giant pile of coke.

Freeze Drying – I believe this method is still in development, but the process is similar to resomation, except they use liquid nitrogen. After being exposed to the nitrogen, the remains become super brittle and are shaken into a powder.  I imagine this to be much like the old rock tumblers we used to use to polish rocks. Afterward, fillings and other non-biodegradable parts are sifted out…in keeping with the rock analogy, kind of like panning for gold. No thanks.

ryan-lochteCryogenics – in which the body is frozen until scientists can figure out how to transcend death in the future and bring you back to life. Jurassic Park ring a bell anyone? That went well. What if you are respected now but turn out to be the biggest douche bag in the future (think Walt Disney)? Or worse, what if Ryan Lochte opts for cryogenics and he’s our representative from the 21st century?

My personal favorite is becoming part of an artificial reef. These reefs are being created off-shore using a mixture of cremation remains and whatever else they make artificial reefs with. These eco-friendly reefs are part of the green death care movement, and are increasing fish habitats and scuba diving opportunities, all while resembling the lost city of Atlantis. I like the idea of building something good for the environment out of peoples’ remains. But why stop there? Why not just start making an entire new planet – WAIT!!!! We could call it the Death Star!!

death-star

Too far?

But seriously, for a subject that is so personal and impactful to so many people, both the living and the dead, I find it offensive that we can now buy burial items online the same way we can buy clothes or get a pizza delivery. I understand why people will shop at the box stores for these things – the same reason we buy our food and eBooks there. Prices for caskets and funeral services are ridiculous. In my opinion, there should be limits placed on the costs of caskets, urns, shrouds, and burial options. Alternative burial options should be allowed to be explored and utilized. But the big box stores should stay out of an industry that requires sensitivity and dignity. There are entire industries welcoming the box stores with open arms, but the death care industry shouldn’t be one of them – no bones about it.

 




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