If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, 3 dogs, and a whole lot of love.

Family Story Pic

Family Story Pic


Friday, October 30, 2015

Pardon The Interruption...

Ok, so many of you know I've been writing for the website HaHas for HooHas for 6 months now. When people ask how to find those articles, I tell them to go 'Like' the HaHas for HooHas Facebook page and their posts will come up on the newsfeed. Or, if you're looking for my articles specifically, you can go directly to their site, scroll down, click on my picture and all of my articles will pull up. Easy peasy.

Then I have people ask why I don't post my articles onto this blog site. The answer I give is, I created this blog to document our family stories for our kids (and anyone else who happens to enjoy stupid humor laced with heavy sarcasm), therefore, I keep my work articles separate. And that's true. The other true answer that I don't say out loud is, I'm a socially backward introvert who shudders at the mere suggestion of self-promotion. That being said, this is the nature of the beast in the writing profession.

So I think I've come up with a compromise. (((WARNING))) This is gonna feel and sound a whole lot like self-promotion, so please just let me get through this before I vomit.

I'll continue to keep my private Facebook page and this blog separate from my weekly articles, but I'll 'Share' the articles on this blog's Facebook page, Close Courters Blog. So if you want to go 'Like' that page, that's where you'll be able to track both my personal entries here and my professional entries there.

A few things you should know.
1. It's 6 months worth of weekly articles, and believe it or not, my life goal isn't to annoy the crap out of anyone. So starting today, I'll go back to the beginning and share one per day until I get caught up and then stay on a weekly schedule.

2. I write a different format over there. Rather than specific stories, I write lists...of everything you might've never thought could be made into a list. They're generally quick easy reads and hopefully have you nodding in agreement to a mundane observation, laughing at my reaction to a mundane observation or widening your eyes thinking, 'Holy crap, did she really go there?'
The answer is yes. I'll always go there.

Which brings me to this:
3. If you're easily offended, feel free to steer clear. But if you know my humor, understand what I do, and can simply enjoy a good harmless laugh, have at it.

4. I'm always open to ideas and suggestions for writing material. Feel free to message any thoughts or observations of your own that you think might make a funny article topic and if I use it, I'll credit you on the Facebook page when I share it.

5. I need to give a shout out to my faithful team of proofreaders, who every single week, willingly subject themselves to my writing, openly share their thoughts and ideas, always catch my typos, and freely tell me if something just doesn't make sense or goes too far...too far, psh.
So to you, Susan Y and Melanie G, THANK YOU for putting up with me...and I'm really very sorry.

Alright, that's it. Now if you so choose, you can go 'Like' Close Courters Blog on Facebook and then let's all forget that I just invited anyone to 'Like' my anything. *gag*

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Date Fight

Deep in my mind, where peace and order like to reign, I classify my relationships as the rings of the solar system. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. (Bear with me. This will start to make sense. Or it might not.) With that in mind, the sun for me is God, who is at the center of my "universe" and He is who I ultimately strive to revolve all other relationships around. Therefore, in my little system, Ron, our kids, their spouses and our grandkids would be on the first ring, Mercury. That means, they're the ones who come first in my line of priorities in every single area of life. No ifs, ands or buts.

Venus is reserved for my closest of close friendships. The people who know my story and I know theirs. Those few who are aware of my walls and yet managed to love their way to the other side of them. It's a trust thing. If I trust you, you're on my Venus, and if you're on my Venus, I assure you, you can trust me right back. 

That's not to discount my feelings for everyone on Earth...my ring Earth, not like, Earth Earth. Earth is where all my other friendships are. The people who might not know my story and I probably don't know theirs, but there's a fun companionship and I enjoy our time together. Earth is big, Earth is crowded and Earth is awesome. 

Mars is for acquaintances. It's friendly on Mars, in a surfacy sort of way. 

Jupiter has a giant 'Proceed With Caution' sign. It consists of varying levels of relationships, but trust is hard to come by on Jupiter because Jupiter is untrustworthy. No offense.

Saturn is for strangers and Uranus...well, let's just say I don't spend much energy there.

Again, this is just a loose attempt to simplify a complicated concept. Our lives are an ever evolving system of relationships as people meet, change and grow. We all have different levels of relationships depending on how well we know people, and whether we admit it or not, that often dictates how we prioritize our time and which (if any) battles we're willing to choose. 

That being said, don't ever ever mess with my Mercury or Venus. Those peeps are my tribe.

Now, if Ron thought in terms of a solar system, his would revolve around Saturn, where the strangers dwell. For Ron, Saturn is where it's at. Strangers love Ron and Ron loves strangers. 'Stranger Danger?' Not even a thing in Ron's world.

Which brings us to date nights. Last year, we began incorporating workouts into date night. We started at the gym before going out to dinner. Unfortunately, with the late hour and our limited selection of restaurants in our area, we had only 3 places to choose from; Perkins, Applebees, or Bob Evans.

We started at Perkins. By our 3rd date there, the hostess had taken an extreme liking to my extrovert husband who couldn't seem to NOT make eye contact with her, thus in her mind inviting her over to stand at our table and chat the entire time we ate. Dude, she just jumped from my Saturn to Uranus. We're done here.

Next up, Applebees. Nothing horrible happened there if you don't think completely changing their menu and removing my delicious 350 calorie Parmesan Chicken dish somewhere between our 1st and 2nd date is horrible. Welcome to Uranus, Applebees. 

Bob Evans, here we come. The service there is terrible, which is to say that since they were barely interested in taking our order, they certainly weren't interested in chatting it up with Chuckles and they had a delicious potato crusted flounder for a mere 243 calories. This place is a keeper. Until the week we showed up to a practically vacant restaurant at 9pm and the hostess seated us diagonal from the only other people in there. Seriously?

It was a mom and her 2 kids and the older boy took an immediate interest in me. I avoided eye contact and made a mental note to work on my strangers vibe. (For future reference, my Saturn includes kid strangers too.) As time progressed, he was staring at me so intently that he was actually sitting on the edge of his booth seat. I was halfway through my banana nut bread when he got up and made his way over. I prepared myself for my worst nightmare...this kid was about to touch my banana bread and I was gonna end up on the news. (Add germaphobe to my list of fun qualities.)

But to my horror, shock, dismay, outrage, you name it, as I instinctively pushed my banana bread to the side, he started stomping as hard as he could with both feet all over my super-cool-they-no-longer-make-them-orange-and-black Brooks running shoes. In self defense, I moved my feet further under the table, but he reached his feet as far as they'd go and continued to painfully stomp. That's it, you little Uranus...that's when his mom noticed what was going on, grabbed him and made him stop. She'd just barely begun to apologize when my husband...he who used to live on my Mercury...said, "That's ok! He was just having fun!"
Dammit, man, get your planets in order!

We don't do workout date nights anymore. You can now find us on regular dates, sitting in a secluded corner of any steak house during school hours.

The closest we came to having another situation was last year on our annual trip to Hilton Head Island when we chose to eat dinner at the Ohio State Bar so that Ron could watch the game. The place was packed. Ron dropped me off at the door to get a table while he found a place to park across the street. I walked in armed with my library book. (Hey, I never said I was watching the game). The hostess asked if we'd been there before. No, we have not. She said, "Well we seat family style."  What the crap is family style? "You'll be sitting at a table with other people."

I met Ron outside the front doors. He looked at my face and said, "Oh gosh, what happened?"
On our way back to the van, I began describing this 'Family Style' atrocity and then was rudely interrupted by some guy from Saturn yelling "O-H" which of course my husband was morally obligated to respond "I-O!!" in the middle of my traumatic story. Then another guy yelled, "You're not leavin, are ya?" And Ron said, "No!" and I said, "Yes." And Ron said, "We'll be right back!" And I said, "No, we won't." Heaven forbid we disappoint people we've never seen before and will never see again.

Half hour later, we were seated in a booth at the Wild Wing Cafe. Ron buddied up to our waiter and persuaded him to turn one of the tvs to the Buckeye game and I settled in for an evening of reading and margaritas. At one point, I looked up from my book to see the waiter actually sitting in our booth beside Ron and telling him all about his move to the island and the courses he was studying in college, but I figured as long as Ron didn't allow him to start physically assaulting me, I'd let that one slide.
This year in Hilton Head, we ordered in on game days.
He's just too hugely popular on Saturn to take out in public anymore.