Happier Than Pigs in Mud

Coming from a long line of people who lived in the South, and then marrying a man who comes from a long line of people in the South, you would think I’d be prepared for every Southern slang and phrase to pop up at inopportune times. But no, this weekend took a whole new spin in the stuff-you-don’t-wanna-hear category: happy as a pig in mud.

Our oldest offspring had a cross country meet more than three hours away. Of course, she also had to be there at eight am. We overslept because we’re cool like that, jumped in the car with the youngest still wearing just the T-shirt she slept in, and headed off to the competition.

Somewhere around the town of Junebug (yes, the town’s official name is Junebug and they have a mayor AND a Miss Junebug pageant), it started to pour down rain. The coach texted everyone on the team from the venue and told us the race had been delayed.

Once we arrived and the race was underway, our daughter’s category was the seventh event. That means that some four hundred runners in each category in each of the six prior categories…carry the one…subtract three because it’s Tuesday…that means that a bazillion people had already run on the wet, muddy course, tearing up any hope of actual grass on the course and along the spectator side. By the time we arrived and got out of the car, we slopped ankle-deep in mud.

Back up: yes, we took my new car. The new car that has all kinds of rules for the passengers, rules which include no sneezing or burping in the car. There’s no eating or drinking and there is definitely NO MUD ALLOWED.

So it was really a shock to my family when we slogged our way back to the parking lot, filthy from head to toe and picking the mud out of our teeth, when I announced, “I saw a Starbucks on the Interstate, we can walk there and clean up before getting in the car.” I knew before I spoke that no one was going to take me up on that offer, least of all the child who had just set a new personal best in her three-mile race, but I at least thought they could pretend to entertain the idea before shooting it down. They were a little surprised, though, when I held up the key fob and ceremonially locked the doors until they all stripped their muddy clothes off and put them in the garbage bad I held out.

Luckily, the nearby town of Junebug has several major food franchises. And just as luckily, no one in the town of Junebug minds if tourists come into the restaurant wearing only car blankets from the waist down.  They’re just happy as pigs in mud that we spent our tourist dollars there.

You’re not getting in my car. Ride home with the pigs.
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The Memes Are Chasing Me!

First, I cannot write a blog post about internet memes without a shout-out to my awesome friend and fellow writer, Rachel in the OC. She has been diligently educating the world on the proper pronunciation of the word “meme,” even going to great lengths and vodka-infused research on how it should be pronounced due to its Greek roots. I think the vodka might have extended the diligence and the research, but don’t tell her I said that.

So there we were, minding our own business at a cross country meet. Hundreds of high school girls with their hair in the requisite bouncy ponytails were lined up to run three miles on this really grueling, muddy, yucky course, our daughter included. Wait, I have to back up.

I have to tell you about last week’s cross country meet. Why yes, as a matter of fact, society screws over every single Saturday of your life when your child is good at sports. I digress. LAST WEEK, unbeknownst to us, our daughter stepped in a hole and twisted her ankle during the warm-up. Every time we saw her during the three-mile race, she was crying and on the brink of outright sobbing. Even for someone who was injured, it was a little bit embarrassing, mostly because we could feel the ugly stares from other parents and hear their whispers: “Those monsters shouldn’t make her do this, what kind of parents make a child cry???” Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, some of those ugly comments came from my own husband.

*IN MY DEFENSE: There were lots of girls crying during this race. Apparently, it’s just a thing they do. And none of them had seen that great baseball movie where the guy yells in her face, “There’s no crying in baseball!”

Back to yesterday’s race. I had prepared my daughter all week for the fact that it’s really not okay to cry while running, even if you’re injured. We worked out a strategy to hold back the tears: total bribery. If she made it through the race in good spirits and got close to her goal time, I would buy her these boots she’s wanted for weeks. Go ahead, judge me, then ask me if I care.

So the first time she passed us yesterday, she wasn’t exactly crying but she wasn’t looking like she was having fun. And despite the other people around us quietly applauding like this was a golf tournament, I began screaming, “BOOTS! BOOTS! BOOTS!” I’m sure the other parents thought I had entered Dora’s pet monkey in this race.

Our running child perked up a little bit when she saw us because how do you not crack a smile when a middle aged woman is screaming, “BOOOOOOOTS!” for no reason? Then I began screaming, “SMILE! You’ve got to SMILE! THIS IS FUN! WOOOOOOOOOO!” That brought on a full-fledged tooth smile for only one second before she recovered and said: (drum roll)

“I can’t smile, I’m Kristen Stewart!”

It was the proudest moment of my life. My twelve-year-old isn’t allowed to play on the internet and she’s never seen any movie starring Kristen Stewart (except for that kids’ movie she made about a board game that sent the whole family into outer space). But yet, somehow, she just knew.

Sadly, my daughter didn’t make her goal time but she did such an awesome job that I told her she could have the boots anyway. Then even more sadly, we went straight to the mall to get the boots she has dreamed about for two weeks, but they look like hooker boots and I had to tell her no. She’s getting a pair of jeans instead. Unless they look like hooker jeans.

The boots looked a lot like this. You’d better be able to run really fast if you think you can pull those off in public.

Lorca’s Week in Review (One sammich short of a picnic)

This week was a complete and total clambake. I had a lot of fun with my kids, as evidenced by the YouTube video I posted of me tricking them into getting on a historic wooden roller coaster by telling them we were really in the line for the train ride. What? It was sort of a train. It had tracks and wheels.

We also went on this amazing four-story ropes course thing on the next mountain over from us and sadly, they wouldn’t let me take my camera. They said it was for my safety since I needed both hands to hold on to my rope, but I totally know it was because they were afraid of a lawsuit and just didn’t want me using my little camera as evidence.

I read a couple of books this week, and only one of them really sucked. The other one only mildly sucked, mostly because it was a book about ultra-religious strict Jews and it’s one of the Ten Commandments that you can’t not like a book about people who have suffered as much as the Jews. The book that really sucked was about rich people who vacation in their swanky summer homes on these quaint little islands off the coast of Maine and it’s practically preordained that you can hate those people because they very well may have had something to do with the plight of the Jews. They certainly don’t let Jews play golf at their country clubs in the crappy book, so I can say all kinds of ugly stuff about it.

On my autism blog, I explained why holidays like the Fourth of July really suck for autistic people. SUDDENLY it’s okay to set stuff on fire???

On these other blogs I read (mostly during time when I probably should be cooking a meal or swabbing Neosporin on someone), I found this great stuff:

Eating My Yard – about this total overachiever who actually cooks things

Toronto Pride – My friend with the panties on her website posted a whole bunch of pictures from the Toronto Pride parade. I could be wrong, but I THINK it either has to do with being proud of being gay or being proud of being from Toronto. The jury’s still out.

Dr. Jekyll and PMS – This writer tackles the ever unpopular male version of PMS. Or Mad Cow Disease. Whichever.

Tomorrow is a momentous day in our household: it’s the day we force our oldest child to join the cross country team. She’s already looking for a new home, preferably one with lots of fried foods and an aversion to any activity more strenuous than opening your own can of soda. Sadly, both of her parents are Ironman 70.3 finishers and one of us (yeah, it’s totally me) is a Boston Marathon qualifier. I’m kind of floored that she somehow thought she was NOT going to participate in school sports. Go figure.