July 31 Editorial

We’ve all been to Wal-Mart and witnessed behavior by people that somehow seemed to make us feel superior, either because we were shopping with all of our body parts fully concealed, our kids were well behaved rather than screaming bloody murder while running up and down the aisles, or we appeared to have evolved past knuckle dragging and mouth breathing. This week, I joined the ranks of those ill-mannered folks of Wal-Mart, and believe it or not….it was awesome.
Last week, I took a nasty spill that left me with a badly twisted knee that on a scale of one to ten was a 15 when it came to pain. For the first few days, I was out of commission, keeping as still as possible on the couch with my knee elevated and wrapped in ice.
Around day four, I realized that if someone didn’t get to the store for groceries, both me and my husband were going to starve to death. So instead of going to the store for me, my helpless husband convinced me to load up and head to Wal-Mart. It was late, so I figured the store would be empty enough that I could ride on one of those motorized carts that are generally driven by people who not only don’t need them, but abuse the privilege by taking up entire aisles, driving too slowly, or crashing into anything in their path.
I reluctantly hopped on one of the carts and quickly realized that these things would not only move, they could turn on a dime too! I channeled my inner brat as I zoomed up and down the aisle while my husband searched for the perfect loaf of bread. I was becoming one of those people I hate, and I didn’t even care. It was too much fun.
I kept it together for the remainder of our shopping trip until my husband decided to stop at the sporting goods section. Bored out of my mind, I told him I was going to go cruise the health and beauty section to get myself some much needed shampoo and a fresh ACE bandage.
I hit the throttle and was quickly speeding past the toy section when something caught my eye. I threw my cart in reverse and “beeped” my way back to an amazing display of Ninja Turtle merchandise. Within seconds I was dressed with a Ninja Turtle shell on my back, a full faced Leonardo mask, and armed myself with foam nun chucks.
I spent the next ten minutes flying by each of the aisles my husband was frequenting, alternating choruses of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…..heroes in a half shell….turtle power” and showing off my awesome one legged ninja skills. He was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face. I’m pretty sure I just solidified his choice in marrying me. Thank goodness the store was empty.
After begging for him to buy me the toys I was sporting with no positive result, I put my gear back on the shelves and pouted my way up to the front of the store with him to check out. With only one line open that late at night, there were a few people who had joined the line behind us when my husband forgot that it was 2014 by acting like it was his first time seeing a credit card machine…ever.
I began circling around him in my cart, honking the horn and saying, “Beep Beep!! You’re holding up the line.” The people in line were dying laughing while my husband pretended he didn’t know who I was. As I spun in circles, cutting what I called “doughnuts”, I noticed the security guard had spotted me. I thought for sure this is where I was going to lose my cart privileges, but instead she high fived me and said, “That’s some of the best work I’ve ever seen in here.”
Turns out, behaving badly at Wal-Mart isn’t frowned upon after all. At least if you’re awesome. I only wish I could’ve gotten a copy of the security tape.
In the end, my behavior was deplorable and I should be embarrassed. Unfortunately, I’m not. Had it been a crowded store I probably wouldn’t have done it, but let’s face it….if you can’t be an idiot at Wal-Mart, where can you be an idiot?
In my opinion, the motorized carts are the only way to shop at Wal-Mart. I guess I’m going to have to injure myself more often!

July 24 Editorial

This week, my husband and I had the chance to once again step foot inside our home that we first lived in when we got engaged, then married back in 2009. With our house on the market and this lovable waterfront beach bungalow back on the rental market, we decided to once again move our things in and get a little sand between our toes.
Once a cute little cottage, with beachy colors on the walls, a fabulous deck for entertaining, and a huge white sand beach in the backyard, living in this house was a dream that I had always wanted to achieve. As an older home, it was never perfect by any means, but it was perfect to us. That is until we made the mistake of leaving to purchase a home close by, allowing for a gaggle of Navy fellows to move in.
Flash forward two years, and here we are.
I picked up the keys from the realtor, and was like a kid on Christmas morning, unable to control my excitement, as I rushed over to see it. I remembered the way it smelled, our initials in the wood wall by the front door, the sound the back door made when coming through it after a lazy day spent on the beach. All the quirks that made me love it. But when I opened the door, my heart sank.
The smell was different, and not in a good way. It was dark and dirty, with holes and scuffs along nearly every wall. The roof had been leaking onto the ceiling without being reported, causing the sheetrock to fall in in the living room. The doors and blinds had been chewed by a dog that must have been the size of a pony based on the extent of the damage.
The deck outside had been burned to the ground, and the siding on the house was melted due to the heat. There was water and fire damage in the bathroom, and the floors and walls were sticky from top to bottom. Suddenly I felt disgusting just standing in there. I had to get out.
I escaped through the back door, which comforted me with its old familiar sound, and headed for the beach. As least it was still the same. I started to get a little teary eyed at the thought of how the house once was while looking at the tattered shell that was left of it. I thought, “What the heck happened here?”
I just couldn’t understand how someone couldn’t love this place like I have for so many years. Were we making a huge mistake by moving back here? Was the house always this crappy, but I was just too blind to see it? Would we ever be able to relive those amazing first “glory days” that we both cherished so much here? My head was spinning.
I called the realtor and she assured me that they had assessed the damage and that they were well aware of what they were dealing with to make it right. There was nothing left to do but put my faith in them that they would get it fixed. If the guy would just give in and sell it, I’d fix it myself…..but for now I’m at the mercy of others, and I hate it.
A few days passed with not so much as a single contractor’s visit. I know because I am obsessive compulsive and made several trips a day to the neighborhood. I’m pretty sure the neighbors are going to call the cops soon to report a lurker.
Then today, as I made my stalker-ish pass by the house, I noticed that workers were going to town. I pulled in the drive way as they were leaving and asked if I could take a look around. I couldn’t believe the progress.
The deck was rebuilt, the whole house had been repainted inside and pressure washed on the outside, new doors and windows with matching blinds were on hand ready to be hung, and the roof and ceiling had already been repaired. I felt overjoyed. It was like a new house again. Who says Rome wasn’t built in a day?
Although there is still a ways to go, seeing the house almost come back from the dead left me with that same old feeling that she always gave me….happiness.
Now if only someone would come pack up my things and move them for me. That would be bliss.

July 17 Editorial

This weekend, my husband and I loaded up the boat and headed out to the Blue Angels show on Pensacola Beach. Usually my favorite weekend of the summer, this year just fell flat mostly due, once again, to my husband’s accident proneness.
Friday evening, we made the trek to Wal-Mart to load up on all the essentials….beer, snacks, beer, sunscreen, more beer, etc. We arrived home, and like a good lady of the house, I dove into making sandwiches, packing lunches, wrangling coolers, towels, floats, and all the things that make for an awesome marathon day on the water.
As I finished preparing for what seemed like should have been a month long trip based on the amount of bags I had packed, I dared to ask my husband one pivotal question, “Did you check the battery in the boat?” It wasn’t that I didn’t trust that he knew what he was doing on his end of things, it was just that he’s been on a roll of bad luck lately. I didn’t want to take any chances.
“Don’t worry about that. I got this, woman!” I should’ve known then that these would be his famous last words because sure enough, the next morning as the sun was rising and our friends were arriving for a day of boating fun, the battery was in fact dead.
I knew that I could handle this two ways: I could throw a temper tantrum and scream “I told you so”, making myself feel better while making the situation worse, or I could take a deep breath and have faith in him that he could get this bump in the road under control in a timely manner.
I decided to do a combo of both by saying “I told you so” then unfolding a lawn chair in the front yard while popping a Mango-Rita at 8 am. I have to say, it really did take the edge off.
We were finally on the water at 10:30 am, which might as well have been midnight by Blue Angel show standards. If you aren’t there by 9 am, don’t even think about getting a decent spot to anchor. But I held it together and rolled with the punches.
We arrived to a record breaking crowd and I slumped down in my seat when I realized we were the jerks that were meandering through thousands of boats in an attempt to find our friends, a cause that was lost. We finally decided on a spot that was shallow enough for me to touch while swimming, but wasn’t particularly ideal for witnessing the show. Once again, Mango-Rita to the rescue.
As the day went on, we had more and more fun. That is until my brother ran into his ex-girlfriend with his new girlfriend. The alcohol fueled cat fight went something like this:
New girlfriend: “I hope we can be civil to each other.”
Old girlfriend: “Maybe if you can keep my name out of your mouth.” New girlfriend: “I will scratch your eyes out.”
Old girlfriend: “I wish you would. Bring it.”
Long story short, these two idiots had to be sent to their respective corners and all parties involved were mad. Except me and my husband…..we are more mature than 6
th graders….and we were still laughing too hard.
The ride home was awkward as my brother and his girlfriend argued the entire way, although we did get a break when we slipped away when we stopped to watch a killer sunset at Fort McRae.
We arrived home on the dock, and began unloading. My husband put the keys to the truck and the boat in his pocket and stepped from the boat to the dock when we heard a splash. At some point during the day, he had ripped his pocket, and the keys fell right out of the hole and into the dark water. All I could say was, “Really?” Luckily we were close enough to walk home.
The next day, armed with scuba gear, we arrived back at the dock to search for the missing keys. Within minutes we found the truck keys, but realized that the boat keys didn’t fare the same seeing as how they were equipped with a floating keychain. They were long gone. A whole new ignition switch was in order, and I wasn’t happy.
We made a bee line for the truck, excited that we had found the keys, only to find that the truck battery was now dead because my husband left the interior light on. I’m beginning to think he’s a moron. Good thing he’s lovable.
Four hours, a new battery, and a new ignition switch later, we finally had the boat on the trailer, thus bringing a close to one eventful if not exhausting weekend. I was proud of myself for not screaming or freaking out about things not going as planned this weekend. Not to mention I only said “I told you so” once. That shows major personal growth.
In the end, I’m not sure if I should add the Blue Angels weekend to my Murtaugh List (the “I’m too old for this…list) or if I should just learn to take care of everything important myself. Either way, next year I’m going to need more Mango-Rita’s.

July 10 Editorial

In every household a little dirt and disaster must fall, but my house seems more like it’s had a visit from a bull in a china shop. Some people spend their days cleaning up the messes of their children. I spend my days cleaning up the messes of my husband.
This week, I learned the valuable lesson that no matter how old he gets, my man will always need full time supervision. With that being said, I’ll take you back to disaster number one of the week.
It was nearing midnight, and our three crazy dogs were insistent that we take them for a walk before bed. Knowing their track record of keeping me up all night if not properly exercised, we decided that these night owls were going for a stroll. The last time we took a late night walk, we encountered a strange young man who said nothing and wandered aimlessly around the neighborhood, spooking me a bit, so my husband asked, “Should we take the pistol this time just in case?” I told him that I thought it might be a good idea, so he went to the bedroom to get it while I went outside to the car to get the dog’s leashes.
Seconds after I exited the house, I heard a shot ring out and my husband yelling my name. My heart stopped. I sprinted for the house, terrified that he may have hurt himself or one of the pups. I busted through the door to a living room that smelled like gun powder to find him standing there grabbing his ears and squinting his eyes like he had just encountered a flash bang.
I screamed in freaked out excitement, “Are you okay,” to which he replied, “I think so.” He asked where the dogs were, and it took us fifteen minutes to track them all down, as they had scattered like cockroaches when the shot rang out. Tucker was under the bed, Leia was under a bush in the backyard, and Jake had let himself out of the front door and headed down the street. Once all were wrangled, we realized no one was hurt. We had literally dodged a bullet.
“What the heck happened,” I asked. “I was checking to see if there was a round in the chamber and it went off. My hand wasn’t even near the trigger,” he explained. I’m not sure that I believe that this was a gun malfunction over user error, but seeing as how no one was hurt, I thought it was best not to split hairs and point fingers. He felt guilty enough on his own.
Our next task was to find where the bullet had gone, and it didn’t take long. It was lodged in about four pieces in the middle of our hard wood floors. I know that it could’ve been much worse, but spending the next two days ripping up the living room floor is something I could’ve done without.
A few days after the Wild West showdown in my living room, disaster number two happened when he once again decided to take it upon himself to take on another dangerous task…..checking the attic for packing boxes.
Normally, this would be a simple job, but not for my husband. I heard a gigantic crash, so I sprang from the bedroom to find his lower body dangling from the ceiling. I yelled, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?” He giggled like an embarrassed school boy and just said, “Oops.”
A minute or two later he managed to wiggle himself back into the attic with the help of a ladder. The mess was massive. There was sheetrock and insulation everywhere. Not to mention scuffed up walls, a dust covered couch, and a gaping hole the size of a small planet in my living room ceiling.
“This will be an easy fix,” he said hoping that I was in a good mood so that he didn’t have to die. Luckily, I was in fact in a good mood, so I smiled and gave him the eyes that said, “You are completely out of control, but I love you anyways.”
We spent the rest of our day off together repairing the sheetrock and cleaning the mess. I have to say that I nearly lost my good mood while holding up a heavy piece of sheetrock to the ceiling while he measured and searched for a pencil. I beginning to wonder if I can be considered for sainthood?
There are so many things I love about my husband, but his accident prone-ness isn’t one of them. I always talked about having a nanny one day when we have kids, but I’m seriously thinking we may need to hire one now. I’m not sure he can be left unsupervised and he loves warm milk before a nap….I think that qualifies. He may be a giant walking disaster, but at least he keeps things interesting.
I think I need to write an apology letter to my house. Poor little thing never had a chance.

July 3 Editorial

As a food lover, nothing brings me more joy than spending a night out with friends at a restaurant. That is until that restaurant turns into a perfect storm of bad experiences. This was the case last Saturday when my friends and I decided that dinner at a lively hibachi place sounded like a good idea. Turns out, we should’ve stayed home.
We arrived at 7:30 pm, and although the hibachi tables were mostly empty, we were told there was a wait. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I unfortunately was seated next to a baby who apparently thought that the next county over wanted to hear him screaming for no reason. My ears were literally ringing when I looked to his mother for some sign of frustration. Instead, she giggled and encouraged his horrible behavior. Good luck in the teen year’s lady.
We were finally seated at 8 pm, and I cringed when I realized that junior baby mutant lungs was seated around our table. I knew the only way I was going to get through this was to start drinking, so I waited for the waiter to arrive to take our drink orders. Fifteen minutes later, he was still nowhere to be seen and my blood pressure was on the rise.
The waiter finally arrived at 8:20 pm, and asked everyone for their order. Ten minutes later he returned with a glass of wine for me and a ridiculously large fishbowl drink that looked like cotton candy for the woman next to me. When he reached in to put it on the table, he lost his grip on the glass and showered me with sticky liquor and fruit juice. I jumped to my feet, feeling like I had just taken the “cold water challenge” while he fumbled to pat me down with paper towels.
This was becoming a nightmare.
I sat back down in my chair eager to order my food and get the heck out of there. When the waiter approached the other side of the table (which contained 6 people, 4 teeth, and 2 English speakers), there seemed to be some confusion about what they intended to order. They wanted to share plates, but didn’t want to pay the shared plate fee, scrambled to decide who was having chicken or steak, blah, blah, blah.
I stared at them as if laser beams were going to come out of my eyes and force them to explode. I mean, we had only had 40 minutes at this point to work all of the details out. Get it together people.
When the patriarch of the family laughed and said, “Can you just come back in a minute so we can figure this out,” my husband pinched my leg as if he knew I was about to go New Jersey Housewives on this guy’s behind by flying across the table with rage. Thankfully, the waiter just skipped them and took our order instead. I added, “Can you go ahead and put our order in? We need to be somewhere.” Also, I will cut you.
When the chef came out to prepare our food, the idiots next to us were so fascinated by the sight of rice and vegetables that they felt compelled to take photos of each course and selfies with the chef. The woman next to me said, “I’ve never seen rice like this before.” Where was she from? Neptune?
Her phone rang, so she put her camera down to answer it, “Hello? Shane?....Shane?....Shane? SHAAANNNE!!!???” At this point the baby was crying and this lady was driving me bananas, obviously too dumb to realize that “Shane” couldn’t hear her. I had officially come unglued and the main course hadn’t even arrived yet.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the bar was full of drunken World Cup fans yelling, “GOOOAAALLLL” every five minutes. Yay, my two favorite things; drunken idiots and soccer.
I looked at my friends and asked, “Is this all really happening? Are we on TV right now?” They laughed and agreed that this was ridiculous. We had to get out of there.
All in all, the food was good, but our night was a complete disaster. We paid our bills and headed for the front door, only to be bid farewell by one of the soccer fans who had apparently had way too much to drink judging by the pile of urine and vomit he was sitting in right outside the door. The management in this place must be top notch.
I know that there are different people from all walks of life with all kinds of behavioral patterns, and I can usually deal with them in singles. When a group of these strange birds get together I nearly need to be committed. I know its “different strokes for different folks”, but maybe someone can come up with a restaurant concept that accommodates bad servers, horrible patrons, and complete morons. I’ll be sure to skip it.