15

There’s Not Enough Vodka on this Plane

It’s a Friday afternoon. I board a plane with my two children. Final destination: Disney World. 

Because I forget things and didn’t check us in on time, we got stuck with a crappy boarding assignment, but alas, my child is under 6, so we file in with family boarding. 

I see a family of four: mom, dad, child, and toddler. It’s clear the toddler rules this family at first sight. Dad is struggling with a million dollar stroller that doesn’t seem to collapse as easily as the two year old who is lying on the floor screaming about having to exit said stroller. Meanwhile, mom stands  above dad wrestling thrashing toddler dictating authoritative directions to dad who can’t figure out the difference in pull and push. 

They board before us. Thank god so we don’t have to sit by them, but as we walk single file down the tiny aisle, I hear them before I see them. 

“I want the window seat.” Toddler screams and snorts. 

Mom says, “now we already talked about this. Your sister gets the window seat now, and you can have it when we come home.” 

“I WANT THE WINDOW SEAT,” toddler refuses to relent. 

Dad says to older daughter who is looking out the window ignoring her obnoxious brother, “let him sit there. Just for a minute.”

Daughter folds arms, “no. I’m not moving.”

Dad, “come on.”

Daughter, “no!” I mentally high five her and also mentally punch dad in the balls. 

Mom takes a noticeable deep breath and says through gritted teeth, “no, Todd,” and makes crazy eyes at dad, “he sits here.” Kid screams. Traffic moves. I trudge forward. 

My children and husband take a row of seats. I ask the man in the row adjacent (who isn’t seated but is standing) if I can have the aisle seat. He informs me he’s saving the aisle and the window seat. As if I’ll take the middle when there are several other seats available. Southwest Airlines at its best. 

I choose the window seat behind my son, noticing the family already seated with a daughter about the same age as mine (5) sitting directly behind me. I can handle this. 

Until I sit down. 

Kid kicks my seat no less than 42 times before I have my seatbelt buckled, but I optimistically conclude she’s just getting comfortable. 

No. 

(Kick count 8,488,911 times, and I’m one hour in flight.)

As we taxi the runway, I determine that she is playing one on one with Steph Curry on her tray table (which should be raised.) I try to internally convince myself that she calm down once the plane begins to move. 

No. 

She screams, “weeeee,” which even in my annoyed state I find cute because I’m a mom and not an asshole, but then she just screams. Over and over again while still pounding on her tray table. It will get better. Surely. 

No.

Screaming, kicking, and reconstruction of the back of my seat ensue as I pray that the flight attendants will eventually come by and though I wasn’t planning to have an adult beverage, my temperment demands a vodka, and blessed sweet baby Jesus, they bring me one. I glimpse behind me and see her mother, sleeping peacefully in the seat next to her. 

And then she turns on music. Justin Bieber. And she isn’t wearing headphones. 

Meanwhile, the a-hole who was saving the aisle/window seats opens a plastic container of what is obviously a shite sandwich and begins to eat, filling the airplane with the aroma of an over used porta potty. 

My daughter looks through the crack in her seat and pinches her nose at me. 

“I know,” I mouth. 

My drink arrives, and as I sip and read the contents of my newest book (Revenge of the Chupacabra by Kyle Abernathie), I try to block out the noise, the smell, the chair assault, and my overwhelming need to pee, and I pull out my phone to write this. 

It is not edited. I am sorry. But a girl has to vent. 

Kick count: 9,100,875,209,299,100 multiplied by pi squared. 

There is not enough vodka on this plane. 


46

Dear Woman on the Beach (in Defense of My Body)

Dear Woman at the Beach (in Defense of my Body);

I see you looking at me. I see the way you start at my feet and work your way over my bikini, never making it to my face. You can hide behind your dark tinted Dior shades, but it’s there. That subtle way you turn up your nose at me, the way you glance at your man to see if he’s looking at me. Guess what? He isn’t.

I see the way you lean over and whisper into your friend’s ear. Then she looks at me, and you both purse your lips and giggle.

I see you judging me, picking apart my body, looking for flaws.

When I say “hi,” I see how uncomfortable it makes you, how you can’t even manage a simple hello because you spent all afternoon scrutinizing my body.

When we see each other at dinner at the resort restaurant, no longer in our swimsuits, you manage to force a smile. Then you take your husband’s hand and lead him to a different part of the restaurant.

You hate me because I spend hours in the gym to get what society deems a “bikini body.” Because I spent thousands of dollars to inflate the empty skin sacks that were left behind after nursing my two children.

I paid for boobs, yes. Judge me for that, but I didn’t do that for you. The swimsuit isn’t for you either.

Here’s what you don’t know about me. I’m also ashamed of my body. Not because I don’t like it or because I think it’s sub-par. I’m ashamed of my body around other women.

I have cried alone in my room at the cruel things women have said to me. I have been the brunt of jokes because I’m thin. I have been the center of a tirade of questions and comments aimed at my body.

“Do you ever eat?”

“How many hours do you spend in the gym?”

“If you had a little meat on your bones.”

“Those boobs..”

Before I got to the beach, I tried on several suits. I picked apart myself in the mirror trying to see myself from your superior eyes. I fussed with my cover-up so much walking to the beach that my husband said, “Jesus, Mandi. You look fine.”  My breakfast threatened to reappear at least twice before I was brave enough to remove said garment. I had to have a drink to work up the nerve.

I feel for people who hit the gym and diet to no avail. I really do, and I realize I’m fortunate that when I put the effort into my body, it pays off. It doesn’t mean I have fewer feelings. It doesn’t mean hurt doesn’t hurt. The number of pounds on our bodies doesn’t determine the way we hurt.

I feel self-conscious. I wear my cover up most of the time. I sit with my feet in the pool at pool parties instead of getting in. I have consciously chosen swimsuits on numerous occasions based on what I thought you would think.

But I’m done.  I’m sick of mean girl mentality. And I refuse to give into it anymore.

We are in this together. We are women, beautiful, breathtaking, powerful women. You, woman on the beach, are stunning. We might be different shapes and sizes, but I shouldn’t have to worry about what you think of me in my swimsuit. And I don’t care if you think women of a certain age should not wear bikinis anymore or that we should stop wearing shorts or skirts or shirts that show cleavage. You are aiding in a growing epidemic of body shaming whether you realize it or not.

You can shake your head at me, or wrinkle your nose if you want to. You can look at me with disgust. You can hate me. You can even talk about me with your mean girl posse. I’m a great person, a supportive friend, and funny AF, so if you don’t want to get to know me, it’s your loss. Sit there, drowning in negativity while I splash around in the pool with my children, while I go down water slides and build sand castles and take pictures.  I’m going to make memories. I’m going to laugh and smile and enjoy my life while I can – in my bikini. I’m not promised tomorrow. I won’t waste my time being ashamed.

 

~You know who I am.

 

But in case you forgot...

But in case you forgot…

 

 

28

Changing of the Guard

I hold an envelope in my hand. I know what it contains, but I hold it between my finger and my thumb, staring down at it, willing it not to exist.

I visit my parents every summer. I pack my children in the car and drive six hours due West listening to complaints of “are we there yet” and “I’m bored” so that my children will make memories in my childhood home. I lived in the same house from the time I was four until I went to college. My parents are still there. It will always be home no matter how far away I move or how long it’s been since I used the address.

This week, as I drove the straight and narrow highway, my mind drifted to my mother’s house. A house where everyone was always welcome, where the smell of fried okra lingered in the air outside the kitchen window, where coffee was always brewed and ready to be poured for anyone who stopped by. Visible from the major street, it’s always been a beacon of warmth to anyone driving by. Often times, my family (all four brothers, their wives and children, my parents, and I) would be sitting at the table piled high with my mom’s semi famous home cooking with sweet iced tea in every glass, and a random friend or family member would walk in the door without knocking having passed the house and seen several cars parked outside.

My mother never hesitated and would jump up from her chair and set an extra place or two. Her cooking style always offered enough for one or two more, and if you knew my mother, and you happened near her house at dinner time, you too would stop in and “pull up a chair.” Dinner was an event, and though her house was small, she could feed a small army from her stove.

Some of my sweetest memories were made at my mother’s house at her kitchen table, and driving home, I looked forward to sitting there with her, drinking my morning coffee and visiting with her and my dad.

As a teenager, it always annoyed me that I could see my mom in the kitchen window when I pulled up to the house, but this time, seeing her peeking through the curtains made my heart smile, and I practically leapt  from my car to run and meet her.

I walked into the house, and breathed in that consistent familiar scent. Home. I would make it into a candle if it were possible and call it “Comfort.”

My dad greeted me with a hug and as I squeezed him back, I noticed that he was even smaller than the last time I saw him. He stooped down and hugged my kids, and I caught sight of the new age spots forming on his bald head. I pulled my mother into an embrace and held her for a little while until my kids could no longer contain their excitement and wanted Nana’s attention all on them.

I unloaded my car and delivered the bags to my mother’s room where the kids would sleep. I dropped the bags in the doorway and stood aghast as I took in what was before me. A walker. My parents are in their seventies, and my mother’s health hasn’t been great in years, but this was a first, and my mind drifted back to my grandmother’s house where first there was a walker, then one of those portable hospital potties, then a wheelchair. Then a nursing home. Then a funeral home.

My mother called my name , and I let out the breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding. I followed her oxygen tubing to her living room and found her comfortably sitting in her rocking chair, a pretty blonde little girl bouncing happily on her lap. They both looked up at me, two sets of identical blue eyes beaming with love. “What do you want for supper,” my mom asked.

I swallowed the lump in my throat and in my mind said “chicken fried steak “ or “pot roast” or “chicken and dumplins” (they’re not dumplings in my mother’s house). But I knew that was out of the question, and so I simply said I wasn’t hungry and sat on the couch. We ordered pizza and enjoyed it almost as much as if she had cooked. (The next day, she surprised me and made a ham, a Sunday afternoon staple in my home, and it tasted as delicious as it did in my memory.)

I slept in my childhood room and woke looking up at the purple and red checkered ceiling my brother built for me when I was 8. I rubbed my eyes and listened to my parents laughing, enjoying their sweet and playful conversation with my children. I took advantage of the kids’ distraction and opted to shower. I opened the shower door and held my breath once more at what was in front of me. Handicapped bars. I recalled a conversation with my dad where he told me he installed them to make showering easier for my mom, but the visual of those bars cemented something I’d been ignoring for some time. My parents’ aging. I traced my fingers along each one of them, feeling the cold metal in my hand, and before I realized it, I was holding onto them for support.

That day, my dad and I took the kids to an outdoor museum that required lots of walking. I couldn’t help but notice how many breaks my once spry father took during the walk. We lost him during one of those breaks and found him back inside. He hitched a ride on a golf cart, too tired to walk back on his own. The rest of the day, he was spent, completely exhausted.

Throughout the rest of the week, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle differences in my parents. Tiny little things like movements that once were easy, took more time, and it wasn’t unlikely to find one or both of them quietly napping in their chairs.. I looked around the house and wondered how much longer they would be able to keep it, and I had to squelch the thought that one day I might not be able to go home.

I don’t remember when they got old. It’s like one day they were shiny and young, and the next they were tired and gray with age spots and walkers and handicapped bars and oxygen.

And this envelope.

This envelope that holds the information I will need when they can no longer make decisions for themselves, and as I read the words, my resolve breaks and I weep, dripping giant drops of tears onto the paper.

I will hold on to this envelope and its contents, and when it comes time, I will do my part and carry out their last wishes, but in the meantime, I will hold on to my memory, to the smell of my mother’s kitchen, to the sound of my dad’s laughter, and I will treasure the time we have left.

Time – it’s our most limited resource. Don’t waste it.

mom and dad young

 

 

 

12

WTF America?

Can I say it? Do I even want to go…there?

I woke this morning to the news of another mass shooting. Over one hundred people injured or killed. As I wiped my blurry eyes, I tried to make sense of it. But how? How can I make sense of something that I don’t understand?

How can I begin to understand the terror that the people in that club must have felt? People who were out with friends to have a good time, dancing, drinking, laughing?

Right before trembling, hiding, praying, fearing?

I can’t.

A man walked into a club with an assault rifle and opened fire on a group of innocent people. Humans.

It’s too early to know anything about him yet. I can assume he was full of hate. I can assume he was troubled. All I know is he and several other people died senselessly.

I can’t look at social media anymore today. I’m sick to death of what I’m seeing. I saw a post that said, (and I paraphrase) that this is President Obama’s fault. I saw another that said something to the effect of “lock and load.” I saw another that said “you reap what you sow.”

Fuck that noise.

Sadness, anger, disgust, fear, desperation, pity, empathy, sympathy, pain. Those are just a few of the emotions I have felt today. I wasn’t there. I don’t know any victims personally, but I shake my head and close my eyes and try to block out the things that my fellow American citizens are saying in response to this awful horrible act.

An act where people died. Where innocent people lost their lives.

Can we stop? Can we please quit making it political? Just for a minute, just for a little while, can we please take a minute and remember that people died? People are in hospitals. Families have no idea if their loved ones are alive.

I don’t care what your religious views are. It doesn’t matter how you feel about gun control. It makes no difference whether you are straight, gay, trans, or none of the above.

What matters is that lives were lost for no reason at all other than hate.

Hate.

Are we, as a nation, becoming immune to these acts? Are we brushing them off? Is that why these dismissive statements are being written? Have we lost our heart? I saw that President Obama has had to issue statements in response to mass shootings fifteen times in his presidency. Can this be accurate?

We may not be able to change laws. I don’t think any one person can “make America great again.” But maybe if we all try, we can agree to be less hateful. To love our neighbor. To follow the golden rule.

 

When I hit shuffle on my iTunes today, Jeff Buckley’s voice began to sing “Hallelujah.” I won’t pretend I understand the lyrics, but they seemed fitting to my mood:

“Maybe there’s a God above

But all I ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya.

And it’s not a cry that you’ll hear at night.

It’s not somebody who’s seen the light.

It’s a call and it’s a broken hallelujah.”

I don’t know what’s right or wrong. I don’t know what I believe anymore. I don’t know if there’s a God. I don’t know if there’s not. I don’t know the answers, and I certainly don’t know how to explain to my children what happened in the early hours of this morning.

But I know this. I am sad. I am scared, and I am sick and tired of waking to this news.

I didn’t edit this. It’s simply my random thoughts. Thank you for reading my stream of consciousness.

I stand with Orlando.

orlando

17

What I Really Want For Mother’s Day

“What do you want for Mother’s Day, Mom?” My son asked.

I thought for a minute.

I want to sleep in, and by sleep in, I don’t want a child coming to my side of the bed during a middle-of-the-night thunderstorm or with an iPad that doesn’t work or a boo-boo that needs a band-aid. I want to sleep uninterrupted until my body tells me I have to get out of bed.

I don’t want to brew the coffee or make breakfast that will go un-eaten and left abandoned on the table for me to clean up. I don’t want to pour the orange juice or argue over which cup each kid wants. I want to pour my coffee and drink it while it’s hot. I want it refilled for me only to leave the cup on the coffee table for someone else to pick up and wash.

I don’t want to pick out clothes or find underwear or matching socks or tie shoes. I don’t want to fix anyone’s hair. I don’t want to even walk up the stairs before we have to leave the house.

I want to shower without feeling rushed, alone in the bathroom with the door closed and listen to music as I put on my make-up and fix my hair. Alone.

I don’t want to decide what we eat for lunch.

I don’t want to wipe anyone’s bottom or clean anyone’s nose or pick up dirty clothes or mop up any spills.

I don’t want to spend an hour cooking a meal that everyone will complain about when I serve it after setting the table myself and pouring everyone a drink.

I don’t want to bathe the kids, or fold the laundry and put it away. I don’t want to go through the back packs and decipher what needs to be done for the upcoming week.

I want to sit on the couch all day and watch mindless  television  or get sucked into a good book and ignore the world around me. All day long.

I want to go to bed and fall instantly asleep without worrying about how everything will get done the next day.

I suddenly realized I had an answer for my son.

I looked at my little boy and said, “I want to be Dad.”

He laughed and with a big crooked smile said, “But you’re a girl.”

A girl can dream of dreaming

A girl can dream of dreaming

10

Party Panties and Jesus Juice #RHOD

Let’s get white girl wasted and discuss these unreal housewives of Dallas.

Spoiler alert – not a lot really happened. If you aren’t watching and want to get caught up click here for Episode 1 and here for Episode 2.

Three of the girls went to a male strip club where apparently white girl wasted means getting so hammered that  one of them saved a horse and rode a cowboy. It looked like they had a good time but unfortunately, one of the husbands wasn’t thrilled about his wife’s western style. Maybe he should get a cowboy hat. And some abs.

Tiffany’s husband, on the other hand, practiced the guitar in the garage, like a true teenager. He voiced his concern about not booking anything big yet in Dallas and then asked his mom where babies come from. I have a friend whose ten year old son has a standing gig in Deep Ellum. Maybe he should contact this kid’s manager and see if they can work something out.

Two housewives filmed a fashion vlog where one husband showed his vogue side. Side note:  I find metro guys incredibly sexy. A man who can tell his girl what shoes look hot with what dress…something about that is hot to me. A guy who appreciates a well-dressed woman is a keeper. It’s even better when he is dressed as well if not better than she is. Men, (because tons of men love to read about the housewives of Dallas) it’s okay to care about clothes and shoes and style.

Brandi (now infamous for her shithat) showed a more vulnerable side, one that for me and probably too many people is far too familiar. Relationships are hard. Marriage is hard, and it’s even worse when one person does not feel satisfied. To me, Brandi is going through what so many women experience and which I will call Invisibility Syndrome ™ .  There was a time when I’m sure Brandi’s husband showered her with love and attention. Then came life, then came marriage, then came two babies in a baby carriage, then came careers and sick parents and everything else, and if there isn’t an effort put toward each other, then what was once a blazing  fire becomes a flickering flame until nothing is left but a plume of smoke. And at that point, is it even worth it to find a match to reignite it?  My friend and I were talking today, and she said, “Relationships are like flowers. If you don’t water them, they’ll die.” And this is why divorce happens.

Let’s talk about LeeAnne Locken, former Carnie, current Socialite(ish). My favorite part of the entire episode was when she was discussing how classless it was for Brandi to wear her shit hat to the Mad Hatter charity event. She gave some long diatribe about how awful Brandi is and how she felt so sorry for her daughters, and then she said in what is nail- on-a-chalkboard  twang, “I just don’t know how they’re gonna grow up. It won’t be with class,” as she sipped red wine on the rocks. Yep, all the classy girls put ice in their wine when they are gettin’ white (pronounces waaat) wasted.

Later in the show (because it seems the entire season will center around the Shituation of last week), LeeAnn discussed the incident over lunch with Cary and Stephanie. While speaking about class and having several of her very classy words bleeped out, she said, “Bow at me. See what happens. I don’t give a f*ck.” What the heck does that even mean? Bow at me? I googled it. Nothing. All I could find was bow to me, like in reverence. This, my friends, is one of the major problems with the casting of this show. Where I do not think Bravo was necessarily going for classy, it seems they went for trashy.

After speaking with several other Dallas women, I learned I am not alone in my distaste for how my wonderful city is being portrayed. I promise we don’t all act like these women. We don’t all talk like that, and as a whole, we are all a little disturbed by the overall behavior that we are seeing.

Jesus Juice

Jesus Juice

So tell me, are you wearing your party panties? When is the last time you got “white girl wasted?”

12

The Shituation on #RHOD

I’m calling this episode of Real Housewives of Dallas The Shituation. If you watched the show, you’ll understand why.

The episode centered around a  charity event benefiting the Dallas Arboretum called the Mad Hatter. It’s not as much of an Alice in Wonderland Tribute as it should be. In fact, I’m pretty sure these women didn’t even know that’s where the term originated, but I could be wrong. The plan was they were to wear a fabulous hat to a party at a flower garden and pay anywhere from $375 for a ticket (according to LeeAnne Locken) to thousands of dollars for a table, which if you’re smart like I am but she isn’t, you’ll do the math and figure out how much a table for six costs. $2,250 (or thousands. Whatever.) My point is that these social events are not the premiere events in Dallas. We have better. I promise, but at least it beats the Stella and Dot show they tried to pass off as a charity event last week. *rolls eyes*

Brandi, the former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader who is a stay at home mom in what is clearly a suburb of Dallas (if I had to guess, I’d say Plano and not just because my good friend is Maggie P.I.) chose to make her own hat. Your eyes did not deceive you. I promise this woman got a friggin hot glue gun and went to Hobby friggin Lobby and purchased the materials to use her own hands and make a hat.

Here’s my problem with this and so much that is happening on this show so far. I get that it’s called “The Real Housewives of Dallas,” but I don’t want to watch someone make a hat with a hot glue gun or I would watch a DIY show or get on Pinterest for Christ’s sake. *shudders* And furthermore, I’m used to the Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills who actually go to expensive galas and pay copious amounts of money to charities and who would never even know how to use a hot glue gun or that said glue gun needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet. I don’t even know how to use one and I’m actually a housewife, kind of. I don’t want to see them being mommies or dealing with a toddler who has pissed his pants. I can deal with that shit (pun fully intended) at my home. I want unreal. I want spectacular. I want lifestyles of the rich and famous, not playdate at my neighbor’s house.

Anyway, Brandi chose to make her own hat for said charity gala and decided it would be a great idea to make a poop hat. I’m convinced the girl is obsessed with poop. Maybe she needs some probiotics. Or maybe it was Bravo’s idea since these girls are about as interesting as my philosophy professor in college who to this day, if I have trouble sleeping, I summon his voice in my head. But apparently if you want to get a rise out of the wives, you wear a poop hat to a pseudo charity event. She arrived with Stephanie (the housewife who lives on the third hole of the Four Season’s golf course) who wore a hat she purchased from the couture section of Wal-Mart, I’m pretty sure. My dead grandma wouldn’t be caught dead in it, and she loved tacky hats. (See what I did there?)

LeeAnne Locken, who had her hat professionally designed for at least the second year was not happy with the poop hat or the girl beneath it. She rolled her eyes and smacked her lips a couple hundred times and then tattled on Brandi to someone who I’ve seen on Fox 4 Good Day. I can’t remember his name, but apparently he’s important in Dallas.

Nothing was resolved. Nothing happened. They talked about poop. According to Andy Cohen of Watch What Happens Live, “It was a crap ton,” and the word “poop” was used in one hour (this is with commercials) twenty-six times.

“That’s the way we do it in Dallas.” NO IT’S NOT!

I have four older brothers. I can handle poop humor. I’ve been a victim of poop pranks and dutch ovens more times than I can count, but I grew out of that. Like most grown women. I’d much rather talk about sex. What is wrong with these girls?

Other happenings not centered around the Mad Hatter event: Cary’s kid she never knew she didn’t want spoke in a language nobody could understand but apparently knows Swiss-German, English, Spanish, and Swahili (I’m pretty sure this is what she spoke). Tiffany’s Australian Keith Urban husband doesn’t want to buy a house in Texas, especially from a real estate agent who answers the door in an over-sized cowboy hat, and Stephanie’s husband has fur coats and also probably labia instead of a penis, or maybe he’s a pimp.

In other news, this happened on Twitter today, so even if she is a bit of a shit show, she might be my favorite.

It was bound to happen.

It was bound to happen.

I’m sorry to bore you with another recap. If nothing happens next week, I promise not to write another. What I am thinking about writing is a post called “Actual Text Messages I Sent to My BFF” which I promise are much more interesting than this show. What do you think? Is anyone else watching this show? Do you want to see my text thread history instead? Here’s one: “Yep, they’re her husband’s. Because he has a vagina. A very old one.”

10

Real in Dallas #RHOD

**Disclaimer: This is not my usual post. I’ve been watching Real Housewives on Bravo since the beginning. I watched the original Real Housewives of Orange County as it aired, and I’ve been addicted ever since. One time, I even stood with Vicki Dunvalson, ( and Don), and Jeanna Keough on the red carpet of the Emmy awards as they used disposable cameras while we all celebrity watched. I can’t help it. I am addicted, so when I found out the producers of Bravo were finally going to film a Real Housewives of Dallas, I vowed to watch and perhaps write about it, so here it goes.**

Real, according to Merriam Webster means “actually existing or happening. Not imaginary, not fake, false, or artificial.” So let’s see how real we can get in Dallas.

That’s right, friends, forgive me, but when it gets “real” on my turf, a girl’s gotta talk about it and see if these housewives can represent.

“That’s how we do it in Dallas.”

RHod

So let’s meet the wives.

Brandi  is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader (they make like $13 a game) but stays far from the sidelines. She’s a full time mom who can’t do math, so let’s hope she doesn’t home-school. Her last name is Redman, and she has red hair. I’m going to stop there.

Tiffany states she is a hometown girl, a former model and has a British musician for a husband (who hates Texas, I’m pretty sure.) She’s done lots of coke and wears bandanas like Brett Michaels, which I must have missed the memo on because I didn’t realize it was cool again or ever.

Cary claims to be a trophy lifetime achievement award (she’s playing on trophy wife here but clearly she’s not too clever), which clearly shows her very low opinion of herself. She assists her husband in giving boobs to Dallas socialites and former cancer patients. So far, she’s my favorite.

Stephanie is the Stepford Wife next door who lives on the third hole of the Four Season’s Golf Course (which isn’t in Dallas), but if we looked closely at the thoughts in her head, we would see the cymbals playing monkey from Homer’s mind in the Simpsons. She can also fart on cue, so at least she has that going for her.

Leanne proudly announces she is a  carnie kid  or Stephen Tyler’s long lost daughter who isn’t a millionaire or a billionaire or married to a police officer.

*****

Before we go any further, I feel like there are some things you should probably know about Dallas if you’re from out yonder before you get too involved in the Real:

1.The Dallas Cowboys are actually in Arlington and practice in Valley Ranch but are building a huge practice field in Frisco, which is north of Plano (which apparently is no Bueno according to Leanne.) Dallas is a general term, and I would be willing to bet at least one or four of these wives live outside of Dallas proper.

2. Dallas girls think we get better when we drink. (Some of us do.) Most of us call wine wine, not Jesus juice.

3. Go has two syllables. “Gowah” or “Gu-oh”

4. “Bless your heart” really means, “I’m sorry you’re an effing moron.” I want to say “Bless your heart” to Brandi, pretty much every time she speaks.

5. Dallas women have a look that we give each other. We know when we give it, and we know when we get it. It says “I hate you more than kale flavored brownies.” (I saw it more than a lot tonight. Mostly between Leanne and Brandi.)

6. We don’t all wear cowboy boots and listen to country music, but when we do, we look fabulous.

7. We do all say ya’ll, and it’s sexy when we do.

So now that we’ve gotten you hip to what is real in Dallas, let’s review whatever it was we just watched:

I have to say, this episode kind of fell flat for me. I expected something somewhat interesting. I mean, everything is bigger in Texas, right? But these girls were bland, and that is NOT the Dallas that I know and love. Dallas is full of vibrant women with big diamonds and even bigger personalities. Maybe it was because they were new and clearly not used to the cameras, but these ladies didn’t offer much, and not just because there isn’t one of them that has a brain. I mean…Where’s the Vicki Gunvalson, or the Lisa Vanderpump?

Clearly, Leanne will take the reigns as the feisty trouble making mouth of the group only to be challenged by the little ginger pistol,  but even their drama seems forced. And boring.

They’re not even funny when they’re drunk, and everybody is funny when they’re drunk, right? P.S.  Nobody thinks farting on demand is funny here. (Truth #8).

And the husbands…snore.

Honestly, where have all the cowboys gone? We have beautiful men in Dallas. Tall, dark and handsome men who are nice and chivalrous and say “yes, ma’am.” Where are all of the hot husbands? Hello, David Beador is handsome, but not Texas handsome, and these dudes aren’t even funny.  Where, for the love of Dealey Plaza, is our Terry Dubrow?

AND…what about the handbags? I didn’t see a Birkin. I didn’t see Chanel. You know what I saw? I saw the same Louis Vuitton shoulder bag that every single stay-at-home mom in all of Frisco carries. Come on, girls. Do better.

I only hope the housewives strive for perfection in more than their Botox this season. I will watch every week because I must. They had me at Dallas, after all. It will get better, even if the previews didn’t prove that. It has to. It certainly can’t get any worse.

Until then, ya’ll come back now, and tell me if you watched, what did you think about the first episode? Who’s you’r favorite? Who do you hate? What do your cowboy boots look like?

 

 

 

 

 

19

Stars in the Southern Sky

 

 

PicMonkey Collage (2)

“Amanda, light of my life …” I can hear his deep bass voice sing.  I close my eyes and drift back to childhood when he would pick up his guitar and start singing this song to me. I know the rest of the words aren’t very appropriate for a brother to sing to his sister, but it doesn’t matter where I am, I hear those five words, “Amanda, light of my life,” and I feel special. Loved. Continue reading

12

Dear Amazon: In Defense of My Review

Dear Amazon,

I appreciate your giving me a platform to sell my books easily. I appreciate your giving me a place where I can “one-click” all of my favorite authors’ titles. You’ve added hours of enjoyment to my life by providing me a convenient place to spend my hard earned cash on fictional stories, makeup and costumes for my children.  I value easy access to Kindle books, the paperback, and don’t even get me started on Amazon Prime. I support you, probably more than my pocketbook would prefer.

Having said that, this doesn’t seem to be a reciprocal relationship. In one month, I’ve spent  almost $200 on products, which doesn’t include the amount of money I’ve spent on audible books, kindle books, and paperbacks. That’s one month from one customer. I am loyal to you, Amazon. I heart you.

But I’m mad at you right now because I don’t think you care for me in the same way. You see, I’m a struggling independent author who published a kick ass book on Amazon (exclusively, I might add) who continues to sell copies every day; yet, you’re making it difficult for me to sell more. (Which, by the way, the more I sell, the more you make. We are in this together.)

Here’s why. As an avid reader, I’ve always been a little star struck by authors. Since becoming an author myself, I’ve puffed out my chest and sent “friend requests” to some of my favorites. A handful have *gasp* accepted those requests. To which, I performed a shocked happy dance each time. Let me explain though, we aren’t friends. We don’t know each other. Most of the time, we have never even had a conversation.

On some occasions, I’ve been included in social media groups where some of my fellow authors are also members. We discuss writing, books, marketing, and many times Amazon. We buy each other’s books when the books look interesting. Let me repeat: we buy each other’s books. From Amazon. From these purchases, you profit as an organization.

Writers, in general and as a whole, are supportive of each other. If you were to look at my kindle purchases, the majority of the books you will find are from authors who I follow on social media. I read their books. If I like them, I recommend them to my friends. I am a respected reader and am a go-to person for book recommendations. People know that I read; therefore, they value my opinion. Trust me, Amazon, you have profited from my opinion.

So here’s my question: Why are you deleting my reviews? Okay, you haven’t actually deleted any of mine yet; however, you have gone through my fellow writers’ reviews and removed some from them. People who have purchased  (from which you’ve profited) and read a book and written an honest review are having their reviews removed because they “have some connection to the writer.” Listen, Amazon, it’s 2016. Taye Diggs follows me on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean I have his phone number. (If you want my phone number, Taye, just PM me, K?) I am “friends” with Author Kim Holden. She has no idea who I am, but she’s a gracious author and accepts her *fans’* requests. That’s why we are fans. Because we bought books from you. We took the time to read the reviews, we hit “one-click,” and we dove deep into their words.

It seems you’re willing to take our money but not our opinions, and that is upsetting.

What you’re doing is putting a stick in the very spokes that keeps you alive. You are the biggest bookseller for a reason. You’re respected and valued by readers and authors alike. Our reviews are selling books on your site. Please, I encourage you to think about this before you remove the next review.

Sincerely,

Mandi Castle, Author, Reader, and Over-spender on Amazon.

Reviews

Look, you asked for it.