My former mother-in-law forwarded me an email yesterday which contained some of National Geographic’s best photos of 2008.
I have always loved my former in-laws and I have always loved National Geographic. Their photos blow my mind.
National Geographic’s photos, that is. My former mother-in-law, bless her heart, cannot take a picture without lopping off someone’s head.
And my mom is no longer allowed to touch a camera lest her grandchildren think they are descended from the Headless Horseman.
I need to keep my current mother-in-law sequestered. There needs to be one grandma in this family capable of taking photos of family members with all of their appendages attached because I simply do not have time to photoshop heads onto relatives.
So anyway, National Geographic photos blow my mind and it’s not easy to blow my mind because I experienced the seventies and eighties and nineties, which is like living through the sixties times ten. Oh, and I’m also currently raising a teenager. A female one. So yeah, blow all you want, my mind is not going anywhere.
Except when you stick a National Geographic in front of me. Because as soon as you do, watch out as my mind hightails its ass right on out the window to far away, exotic places.
I wish the rest of me could go to far away, exotic places. Cracker Barrel doesn’t count.
The photos contained in this particular email blew my mind not only for their subject matter and artistic excellence, but because they reflected so much of my own life.
So much so, that they actually scared me.
It’s not easy to scare me. Did I mention the whole seventies and eighties and nineties thing? And the whole “raising a female teenager” thing? A female teenager with hormones? And issues? And attitude?
So here I sit, wondering how National Geographic managed to sneak into my house and create a photo essay of my life without my knowledge.
Nate kisses me goodbye every morning.
I’m the smaller one.
Like I had to tell you that!
This is Nate, waiting for oodles of money to drop out of the sky so that he can go buy something, preferably off the Internet.
He thinks that I think he’s just answering emails on his laptop.
Little does he know I’m watching. These are the eyes in the back of my head. They look exactly like the eyes in the front of my head. Except bigger.
Who says you need mascara?
Not me, that’s who.
Why why why did I blink?
There he goes, out into cyberspace.
Off into that big retail nirvana that is online shopping.
God help me.
Excuse me while I flip out.
Because OH MY GOD, I have only to look at our $80 Chia Pets to be reminded of the damage Nate can do in mere seconds online.
I won’t even bother mentioning the numerous Wii systems he “won” online in a few moments of panicked desperation one Christmas, all for only double the MSRP.
Or the framed certificates pronouncing our daughters as owners of specific stars in the universe.
On second thought, I guess I will.
I just don’t think our poor, frazzled, worn out Mastercard can hack it.
Believe it or not, our Mastercard was once firm and shiny and vibrant and full of life.
Come to think of it, so was I.
Before I married a man who thinks buying on eBay is written in the Bill of Rights in invisible ink.
I live in fear that we are only one Chia Pet fiasco from declaring bankruptcy and relocating into the gutter down the street.
I don’t do gutters.
Maybe Nate didn’t get that memo.
For God’s sake, do you know how long I’ll have to skip shaving to grow a fur coat heavy enough to survive our winters?
At least two days.
I am simply inconsolable.
We finally get our Mastercard bill and as I hyperventilate and go into cardiac arrest, Nate tries to make nice nice.
Take your nice nice and stick it where the sun don’t shine, mister. Take your Chia pet with you.
You know what’s wrong.
No, I don’t.
Yes, you do.
I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong.
If I have to tell you, then you don’t deserve to know.
That doesn’t even make sense.
So what? Leave me alone.
(Repeat 10 times)
For approximately a day or ten, I concentrate all my attention on the kids and remain aware but aloof to the Y chromosome lurking in my midst.
I am frustrated and upset.
Translation: Who ate all the goddamn cookies?
I am no longer frustrated and upset.
And in the middle of all this hullabaloo, what do you know? Yet another raging bladder infection. Must be my birthday. Or Christmas.
Can I get a WHOO HOOO anyone?
WHOO FREAKING HOOOO.
Can we talk now?
*Sigh* I guess so.
Eventually, we hug it out.
And before we know it, we’re back to ourselves again.
Just for the record, if this is ever made into a major motion picture, I call dibs on Angelina Jolie.