It’s a Terrible Disease with No Known Cure

I despise clothes shopping. It’s weird, because I have really strong memories of loving clothes shopping when I was a preteen and I also really remember my mom hating clothes shopping back then. I wonder if her hatred of shopping and my hatred of shopping are linked by the coincidental introduction of a twelve-year-old into the mix.

ME (stupid, stupid me): What about this shirt?

12YROLD: I can’t even say what’s wrong with that one.

ME (angry stupid me): Well, I can say what’s wrong with the one you’re wearing…it’s about to be on fire.

12YROLD: Ugh! Whatever.

ME (switching gears): How about these jeans?

12YROLD: They look stupid.

ME (at least I’m not the only stupid one around here, I’ve now been joined by the pants): What’s wrong with them?

12YROLD: They’re too long. I won’t be able to wear them.

ME (stupid sigh): You haven’t even tried them on, how do you know they’re too long?

12YROLD: Everything’s always too long. You know, because of my condition.

ME (back to stupid): What condition?

12YROLD: Mo-o-o-om, my condition, you know. (looks around and whispers) I have elfilepsy.

ME (nope, still stupid): What the hell are you talking about?

12YROLD: I have elfilepsy! I’ve always had it! I have to take medication and everything, and so nothing fits right.

ME (stupid laughing): oh my god did you just call it elfilepsy??? Bwahahahahaha!

12YROLD: MOM! Stop laughing! It’s very serious and I can’t believe you’re laughing at me!

ME (stupid snorting): I can’t help it! Wait, now I can’t breathe! Really, I can’t breathe! Okay, no wait, come back, I’m not laughing anymore.

12YROLD: I always knew you were mean but I can’t believe you would laugh at me for this.

ME (this will never stop being funny): I’m not laughing at you for having elfilepsy, I’m laughing at you for pronouncing it elfilepsy! And for thinking it’s a disease that makes you short!

12YROLD: What are you talking about???

ME (trying to sound not stupid while dispensing medical advice): It’s pronounced epilepsy, and it doesn’t make you short. It makes you kind of shake uncontrollably and wet your pants.

12YROLD: Oh. So how long have you had it?

ME (she’s so stupid): Watch it, missy! Anyway, really, it doesn’t make you short. And wait just a second…we’re the same height! Why would you think you have elfilepsy if you’re as tall as I am?

12YROLD: Like I said…how long have you had it?

NOTE: It’s amazing how much you can learn to love shopping after that conversation takes place. Sadly, I did actually shake uncontrollably and pee a little bit every time I remembered her telling me she had elfilepsy.

ANOTHER NOTE: Also sadly, she does actually have elfilepsy. I mean, epilepsy. I’m also really kind of embarrassed that she didn’t know what it was. We should probably eat dinner at the dining room table as a family a lot more.

EXTRA ANOTHER NOTE: Don’t bother leaving ugly comments about what a bad mom I am, because I’ll just delete them. In all seriousness, she has the really mild kind of elfilepsy that is completely controlled by her medication, so it’s really not that bad that I never told her about it and that I kept shoving pills in her all these years and she never bothered to ask why I was drugging her. I just thought we were good. It’s a short people thing.

And That’s How You Accuse a Nun of Being a Terrorist

From time to time, I like to let people know that I’m just a normal everyday kind of person, despite the amazing fame that all of you must imagine me to have. I mean, I actually do have an amazing kind of celebrity status, but it’s not for anything that I can actually tell people about. Just let it go.

So when I want my legions of minions to see the human side of the dog-and-pony show that is me, all I have to do is toss out an embarrassing story to let them see that I have an all-too-human flaw or two. Or three. Let’s go with two. Plus, my lawyer really thinks it will help sway the parole committee if I own up to my mistakes and show remorse. If I ever need to come up for parole, that is. Better to be prepared, the way things are going these days.

In story number one, I went shopping with my daughter. We perused the racks and I headed to the register with a really, really blue knit-weight short-sleeved dress. It wasn’t all that pretty, ESPECIALLY being Smurf-blue, but it was marked way down and I thought it could make a good swimsuit cover or something to throw on to chase the garbage men down the street while rolling our overloaded trashcan behind me. We laid our items on the counter for the saleswoman to ring up when my daughter said, “Mommy? Why are you buying that dress? I thought you had to wear pants to work so you could fight off the inmates whenever they start a riot?” (It’s important to know that yes, my child was old enough to have really clear diction and a great vocal pitch, two things which the saleswoman REALLY appreciated at this time.)

“I’m only buying it because it’s on clearance. You know, it’s to wear around the house and stuff. I’d NEVER be seen wearing that dress out in public. I mean, seriously, is there even a name for that color?” I scoffed.

Please tell me you see where this is going. Yup. The saleswoman was wearing the dress. The exact dress. The one I had just declared not fit to be seen in. That one. Apparently she gets a discount for shopping there. Complimenting her on how the shade of blue really brought out her eyes did nothing to make her overlook my comment.

Sadly, that is nowhere near close to the worst thing I’ve done to humiliate myself publicly. The worst thing (well, the worst thing I’ve done this year, and yes, as a matter of fact, I do know we’re not even to the end of the first week) involves calling Homeland Security on a woman with a suspicious-looking lump under her dress that I have to say ANYONE could really easily have mistaken for a kilo or two of uncut cocaine but instead was just her hunchback. She was actually an elderly nun and she probably got that hunchback from decades of bending over to wipe little orphans’ runny noses in the tuberculosis ward of a Zambian hut hospital but that’s not what it looked like when I was following her through the mall, waving down idle security guards and telling them to go get the feds while I kept an eye on her. Apparently I’m quite the credible witness because those guys tackled her like she had the secret rocket formula and was smuggling it out of Oppenheimer’s lab.

Tell me that doesn't look like the same woman who cut in front of you at WalMart.

How was I supposed to know she wasn’t a notorious coke mule? Like anyone (but me) would think to accuse a nun. And excuse me for wondering why a nun is even shopping in the mall. Aren’t their clothes provided for them, like Maria’s dress in Sound of Music? More importantly, why in the name of all that’s holy was she wearing that hideous blue dress?