Old Enough To Remember Every Episode Of “Little House On The Prairie” Ever Aired

I don’t know whether it’s something in the water around this place or not, but the technical difficulties just keeping rolling out, like a car filled with clowns that is unloading.

And just when you think the VERY LAST sad-faced clown in the orange-and-pink-striped jumpsuit has emerged, they trick you and unload fourteen more.

All of that to say that the batteries in my Big Mac’s keyboard died today, which is a problem that I can handle all alone, without any need to whip up a casserole of any kind for the Chief of Technological Assistance Who is Otherwise Known as Hubs Daddy.  The difficulties came today in that when I went to the kitchen junk drawer to get new batteries, there were none.

But SWEET HOLY MERCY!  The Wii remotes are fully loaded with fresh energy, and the miniature helicopter that scares the snot out of the cats has new batteries, and all the flashlights seem to be shining exceptionally bright, and toys that we had plum forgotten that we even own are all bearing evidence that someone has used a screwdriver on their backs to dismantle their Energy Pack Panels and put in brand new Duracells.

That, people, is what the boy does around here when I buy a meant-for-a-family-of-twenty-seven pack of batteries from the Costco.

And then when the batteries in my computer keyboard dies, I’m just fresh out of luck and left beating my head against the desk and bemoaning the fact that I thought a wireless keyboard was a brilliant decision.

Somehow I believe this is one of those life lessons that include the words MOMS ALWAYS LOSE.  Someone wants that last slice of pesto-and-mushroom pizza? It won’t be the mama who gets it.  Someone wants the last handful of pretzel M&Ms out of the bag that SHE KNEW WAS IN THERE JUST FOUR MINUTES AGO?  The mama will find the bag as empty as a political promise in election year.  And someone needs new batteries out of the kitchen junk drawer?  Mmm-hmm.  Strike three, Mama.

No matter.

What I didn’t strike out on this weekend was all the fun, which I haven’t even gotten to tell y’all about, because of all the technical difficulties and the small fact that someone had to do the laundry around here, which turned out to be me, because no one else in our family actually knows where we keep our washing machine.

On Friday, I turned Officially Old.

But the good news is that Hubs and the boy presented me with a card at oh-six-thirty in the morning hours, and it was a card of the MUSICAL VARIETY, which makes you snort with laughter and want to dance.  This card played a little musical number, with accompanying lyrics that informed me that I am the Mayor of Hottie-Hot-Hottville because of all of my hotness.

Sometimes it takes a Hallmark card to speak the truth over you.

My boys also gave me charms for a very special necklace that I have, and then they bought me Starbucks because anyone who has to face their birthday without a grande, no-water, non-fat, no-whip, please-and-thank-you chai latte is completely unloved and alone in this world.

At lunch time on Friday, Sister whipped together a Girl Party, which is the very best kind of party to attend, because boys tend to stink the fiesta up when they come in and kick off their shoes.  Sister had everyone meet at… you guessed it!… Starbucks.

Starbucks is where dreams come true.  It’s also where an adult can be an adult with a good beverage in her hand.  Disneyland has nothing on The Bucks, as far as fancy slogans go.

So there we were, a pile of girls squished in around two tables, laughing uproariously and sounding like an undisciplined pack of Girl Scouts at summer camp together.  And the beauty of the atmosphere was simply this:  Becki brought the HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU banner, and she stood on two different chairs and tied it to the window shades right there at The Bucks.

This is good advertisement, as far as free drinks go, because when you are the guest of honor beneath the HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU banner, everyone hands you their Starbucks Gold Card and says, “Get yourself a little something, on me.”

Of course, when Becki does this, she also adds, “Oh!  And I think there’s only $4.00 left on my Gold Card, so go ahead and get yourself SOMETHING SMALLISH.”

My girlfriends, people, sustaineth me, and we laughed like hyenas loaded with strong espresso shots.  Sister, Becki, Mika, Christy, Regs, Amy, and Tiff… y’all make me ever-so-very-much happy, clear down to my core.

After Happy Hour at Starbucks, which was really HAPPY THREE HOURS, I picked the boy up from school and we drove out to Mika’s house, because Mika is as well-known for her ability to do good hair as Truvy Jones from Steel Magnolias is.

And the other thing?  I can quote Steel Magnolias in my sleep.  I have seen it no less than three hundred and sixteen times, and I still cannot get through the entire piece of cinematic joy without sobbing like an inconsolable Democratic loser in the primaries when Shelby dies.

So, imagine my utter delight when I found a pop-up quiz online one day last week that said, “Test Your Knowledge of All Things Steel Magnolias.”  Hello, Contest!  I am your clear winner.

All of the questions were multiple choice, and I was cruising right through them like a hot knife in a butter bowl.  Dare I say that my confidence was perhaps A BIT OVER THE TOP and also UNSANCTIONED BY HEAVENLY STANDARDS?

And then the message popped up that said, “Okay!  Let’s See How You Did.”  And how I did apparently turned out to be a 92%, which shocked me and caused me to think the words THEY CHEAT, THEY CHEAT, THEY CHEAT over and over in my head, until they gave me my test answers back, and let’s just say that I missed some questions concerning covered dishes.

It figures.  I missed the COOKING QUESTIONS.

But as far as Mika goes, she’ll never let her personal tragedies interfere with her ability to do good hair, just as Annelle once said.  And while I sat at Mika’s kitchen table and talked her ear plum off, Mika created the most stunning messy bun in the history of beauty pageants ever.  When she was done, there wasn’t a formal evening wear presentation or a baton twirling demonstration that I couldn’t have won, hands down.

And then we used nearly an entire can of Big Sexy Hair hairspray to insure that it would REMAIN DARLING, even in the face of the windstorm that Small Town endured on Friday night.

So, with my hot hair, my parents took our family and the Mayor of Hottie-Hot-Hottville to dinner.  We went to the local Chinese buffet, because apparently Mama’s desire for a cedar plank salmon at the steak house was overridden by the boy’s UNBIRTHDAY desire to eat forty-seven-cents’ worth of white rice for the child price of $10.95.

But really?  It doesn’t matter that we had fried turtle on a stick and questionable noodles. What matters is that my people were all around me, for the second time that day.  It was precious.

And then we came home, where Hubs and the boy promptly dropped me like a hot potato for an episode of Gold Rush, Alaska on the Discovery Channel.

Welcome to reality, Mama.  There isn’t anything that can shut a birthday down like a bunch of men in plaid flannel with grizzled beards who are desperate to find the bling in their gold pans.

On Saturday, the fun just kept rolling in, because we had Birthday Lunch Number Two with Hubs’ parents at the local pizza parlor, where the boy and his cousin stripped Papa of $15 in quarters for the game room, and where I had a salad that was roughly the size of West Virginia.

And then all of the girls regrouped and met at Theresa’s house for a baby shower for Sister and Little H, who is now a chunky, eight-week old baby who loves her Auntie (and that’s me) more than any other person around.  On Saturday, we were an even larger pack of girls, outfitted with coffee and Theresa’s cheesecake slices, and we talked and laughed until our sides hurt.

And also?  I may have talked Robin’s and Sierra’s and Theresa’s ears completely off, because I came home with Very Little Voice, which Hubs told me was nothing short of a genuine blessing on his end.  Sometimes Hubs is plum GLAD when I deplete my daily supply of words without him.

Talking during Avalanche games is a no-no.  During hockey games, I am to sit quietly beside Hubs and just energize him with simple shoulder-to-shoulder contact, and I am not to make any comments about how if I was the coach, I would put anyone who spit on the ice on an automatic six-game suspension because of GROSS!  And because of WHO WANTS TO SKATE THROUGH SOMEONE ELSE’S HACKED UP SNOT?!

And then the girls gathered up ONE MORE TIME this past weekend, so that we could hit the cinema for the movie One For the Money, because we are always up for a bag of butter with popcorn floating on the top.

And that, people, is how I ushered Older Age in over the weekend.

I just wish that someone had thought to gift me with a pack of AA batteries, so that I could have typed all of this on my Big Mac, instead of on Hubs’ laptop with the impossible-to-remember password.

Happy Tuesday night, y’all.

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