Monthly Archives: November 2011

Once upon a time, an adult had a nervous breakdown

Hey kids! You know how you can’t WAIT to become an adult and do all the COOL stuff that only adults get to do? Like…

Well, kids, ice cream gives you heart disease, puppies eventually grow old and lose bladder control and insomnia gives you wrinkles.

And now, Auntie Aprill wants to tell you some more “special” stories, little ones. All about the other COOL stuff you get to do as an adult.

The first story is called “The Princess With the Out-of-State License.”

Once upon a time, there was a princess who had moved to the kingdom of Texas. But being a fairly lazy princess, she waited a little too long to replace her Ohio driver’s license with a Texas license. So when it came time to renew her auto insurance, the evil step-insurance agent said “Princess, we can’t renew your policy until you get a Texas license,” and then laughed an evil laugh.

So, the princess drove her “technically” un-insured car all the way into the bowels of Hell, also known as the Department of Motor Vehicles. And it was there she was told by the horned devil, also known as a DMV employee, that “Princess, we can’t give you a Texas driver’s license until you have proof of insurance,” and then laughed an even evil-er laugh.

So, the princess, trying to remain in good spirits and not chew through her seatbelt in utter frustration, returned to the evil step-insurance agent and told them what the horned devil had told her. And then do you know what happened, kids? That’s right! The evil step-insurance agent said, “I’m very sorry, princess, but we simply can’t give you insurance until you have a Texas license.”

Now, kiddies, do you see the problem with this scenario? You do! Well, good for you! Because apparently the asshats trolls at both these institutions did not. So finally, the princess told the evil step-insurance agent “Well, lady, something’s gotta give. Else I will be stuck in your office forever because I can’t drive anywhere.”

Luckily, the evil step-insurance agent finally relented and agreed to give the princess proof of insurance under the condition she immediately return and show them her new license. So the princess drove back to the bowels of Hell, stood in line for 43 hours and then finally went through the ass-numbingly dull process of getting her license. But just when she thought her epic journey was finally at an end, the horned devil behind the counter said, “That will be $62.50.” As the princess whipped out her debit card, the horned devil disguised as a human being added, “Sorry, we only take cash.”

“You didn’t feel the need to mention to this earlier?”

“Nope.”

“What about a check?”

“Nope.”

“OK, well, let me run to the ATM. Can I have my Ohio license back real quick?”

“Sorry, princess, I can’t do that. Once you turn it in, I can’t give it back.”

“Can you give me the Texas license then?”

“Nope. Not until you pay.”

Kids, do you see the problem with this scenario? You do! Good for you! Because once again, they did not.

And so, the princess said “Well, lady, something’s gotta give. Else I’m stuck here forever and I’m about two seconds away from re-enacting that scene in “Steel Magnolias” “Terms of Endearment” where the mom really wants the nurse to give her daughter the drugs.”

Luckily, the horned devil let her run to the ATM real quick in order to get $62.50 in cash after discussing it with Trooper Gary, who said “Whatever. Just don’t kill anyone. I’m on break.”

And they all lived happily ever after.

That is, until the princess decided one day that in order to pay off one of her credit cards, she needed to cancel her security protection and warranty policy on items purchased because the monthly charges were adding too much to the interest. This story is titled “The Princess and the Battle of the Automated Phone Answering Service” and can be read in one of my earlier columns here. (You can also read the story of “The Princess Who Tried to Find a &#$@ing Place to Live in the Kingdom of Boston” here.)

This next one I like to call “The Princess and The Ogre Guarding the Rental Car Office at the Columbus Airport.”

Once upon a time, there was a princess and her prince who flew in a giant, metal bird to attend a friend’s wedding in Ohio. Upon landing, the two went to meet the ogre guarding the rental car office at the airport.

“We’d like to rent a car,” the princess said.

“OK, princess. May I see your license?” the ogre replied.

“Oh, well, actually it will be the prince driving. My license expired this week and unfortunately, I didn’t notice,” the princess said.

“OK. Does the prince have a credit card?”

“No. But I do. I’ll be paying.”

“Oh, I’m very sorry, princess. We can’t allow that.”

“Allow what?”

“We need a valid license and a credit card to rent you a car.”

“Right. And that’s what we have. He has a valid license. And I have a credit card.”

“I’m sorry. It doesn’t work that way.”

“What way? I’ll sign a waiver or whatever saying I am allowing the prince to drive the car.”

“No.”

“No, what? Look, we’re together. Like, together together. Not married yet or anything but we have a joint bank account and I’m comfortable enough to fart in front of him, so basically, all that’s missing is a piece of paper. We have what you require: A license and a credit card. Now give us a freaking car.”

“I’m sorry but one of you needs to have both.”

“Are you kidding me? It’s two hours to my family’s house. We. Need. A. Car.”

“No.”

“I’ll give you my first-born!”

“Um…no.”

“Don’t make me jump this counter, little man.”

“Princess, you’re becoming belligerent.”

“I’ll show you belligerent, you mother-…”

“OK, princess,” the prince finally said. “Time to go.”

“Have a good day, princess!” the ogre cried out as they were leaving.

“I hope you die!” the princess said as dignified as she could while being carried out fireman-style.

And if all THOSE stories weren’t enough to convince you of the joys of adulthood, kids, check out this one fresh from this morning, which I like to call “The Princess and the Multi-State Bureaucracy Nightmare.”

Once upon a time, a princess tried to register her car with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Now, the princess, through a rare instance of fiscal responsibility, had actually paid the car off and owned it in full. Now, kids, you may be thinking she should be rewarded for that. But NOOOOOO. No, because see, the princess originally bought the car in Ohio, an evil land where apparently, when the bank no longer owns your car, the title doesn’t go to you. Oh, no, silly goose. It goes, obviously, to the Clerks of Court in whatever god forsaken county you happened to purchase the car.

And in order to get it back, you have to download and fill out Form No. 3774 to apply for your certificate of title (of the car you legally own, by the way), and under the replacement box, put No. 5500XXXXXXXXX, and then under some other line put 67907XXXX, fill out the vehicle information section, have it signed by a notary, then mail it to the Clerk of Courts WITH a self-addressed, self-stamped envelope. Luckily, you should retrieve your title before the Mayan-predicted end of the world next December.

(Kids, this is all true).

After that, you have to get auto insurance from a Massachusetts state-approved insurance company, who has to fill out a RMV-1 form, send it to you, which you then print out and bring it with you to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, along with your registration from Texas (of which you can’t find), some other documents you are pretty sure are simply just made up, a royal decree agreeing to give the RMV your second-born (since your first-born promise to the ogre at the car rental place is binding) and the still beating heart of a baby bunny.

And the moral of all these stories, kids? Don’t ever grow up. And if you do, don’t ever buy a car, move to another state, get a credit card, travel or drive. Just become a hermit. In the woods. Far away from civilization.

Just make sure you fill out Cave Dwelling and Advance Beard Growth Permit Form No. 9073 first…in triplicate.

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Meat, Muppets and other things to be thankful for

Well, stuff my arse and call me a turkey. Thanksgiving has finally rolled around again. It seems like only a year ago we were celebrating this holiday and BOOM! Here it is all over again.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, mainly because it is based around my No. 1 favorite activity of eating and drinking way too much and then napping (and then waking up to eat pie and drink some more). There is none of that pressure to buy gifts, or hand out candy to miniature beggars dressed as Dora the Explorer, or search for eggs hidden by a giant rabbit.

Plus, I’ve always been the kind of person who thinks we don’t give enough thanks in our daily lives, especially for the little things. I mean, have you guys ever had bacon? That little product alone deserves epic poems of praise dedicated to it with every single bite.

And as such, I’ve created a list this year of the little things in my life that I am thankful for this year.

Ahem…

The Muppets are making a comeback.

Leggings are still in style, making fat days for chicks everywhere a little less horrible.

Thanks to her 72-day sham marriage, there is finally a backlash against Kim Kardashian.

Eggnog is socially acceptable to drink for breakfast again.

I am wicked close to convincing my friend who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year to serve turducken (chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey).

Angry Birds.

People who use proper grammar and spelling on their Facebook posts and limit their exclamatory statements to only one exclamation point!!!

There exists a product called the Forever Lazy, which is essentially footie pajamas for adults (complete with butt flap).

Discovering the short-lived TV show “Kitchen Confidential” starring Bradley Cooper is on DVD (with nine unaired episodes!).

Speaking of which, Bradley Cooper…just in general.

The fact that my parole is finally up (just kidding…I have three more months).

I live in a world where my dog can have his own Twitter account (@BuffytheMaleDog).

Pauly Shore has stopped making movies.

Hats with ears designed to make you look like a kitty or a bear.

The fact that even though I’m 30, I have no shame and will wear hats with ears designed to make me look like a kitty or a bear.

Reading books that make you laugh out loud in public.

Meat.

Oxygen (the element, not the channel).

Pumpkin-based beer.

My brother still bear hugs me and calls me Sissy even though he’s now 13 and like, kind of totally too cool for that.

People who realize Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information.

This blog has 46 subscribers, three of which I am not immediately related to.

Knowing a person like Joss Whedon exists in the world.

Thanks to the prolific amount of recently released zombie movies and books, the American people are more prepared than ever for the eventual zombie apocalypse.

The fact that when my husband was surfing movies on Zune last night and asked me “What was that one movie with Sean Penn we couldn’t rent but we could buy and it was about grave robbers?” I instantly knew he meant Simon Pegg in “Burke and Hare.”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

It’s exhausting being a chick…

This past Sunday, my husband Ryan and I were out with some friends, having a couple beers, a couple of laughs. Naturally, I was being my usual charming, slightly buzzed, self-deprecating self.

But then…THEN I had to go and make a comment about how since I’ve been struggling to find work as a writer, at least it gives me plenty of time to clean the house. HA HA!

We then moved onto other topics (mostly farts and boobs, since it was all guys save for me) but for some reason (beer, and possibly the fact I own a uterus), I got irrationally angry at my husband for not jumping into the earlier conversation and defending me.

Which is ridiculous. Defending me from what? Even my baffled husband, when confronted with my irrational anger, said “I thought you were just doing a schtick.” Technically all he was guilty of was sitting at the bar and having a good time.

And then, because I couldn’t just leave well enough alone, my husband soon after bought me the bracelet and necklace I’d been admiring from a street vendor, to which I also responded with irrational anger.

But what the poor guy didn’t realize, through no fault of his own (since he’s not a nut job crazy 30-year-old woman), is that for months I’ve been dealing with conflicting feelings on going from a full-time, hard-working journalist to being a struggling freelance writer financially dependent on her husband when we moved to Boston. And apparently on Sunday they just boiled over.

So I decided to create some visual aids to give dudes an insight into the mind of a woman. And although these aids are specific to my own neurosis, you will at least get somewhat of an idea of the way a modern woman’s mind works.

For example, chart No. 1, which I like to call “The Cycle of Guilt,” is all about my mixed feelings on being a freelancer writer and occasional photographer and not making much money:

Long before my current employment situation occurred, my husband and I had already discussed the possibility of one of us staying home with our future children if we could afford it, instead of schlepping them to daycare all the time. We agreed, as mature, rational adults, that whoever did stay home would take on the majority of the household chores since they would have more free time. Gender roles be damned.

And so, even though we don’t have kids, I have kept my end of the bargain during my non-9-to-5 lull. But seeing as I’m not really doing anything meaningful, like, oh, I don’t know, raising a human being, it is constantly sending me down what I like to call the “Cleaning Spiral of Shame”:

Of course, being a woman, I let all these feelings fester inside, which leads to the Pie Chart of Reasons for Overeating:

And for a former athlete and one-time size six, all this over-eating makes me worry even MORE and feel bad about my body, which makes me feel even MORE guilt, meaning most of my days are spent in cycles and spirals of these feelings, which leads into the Bar Graph of Time Mis-management:

And what does all of the above equal out to? What I like to call Husband-Oriented Anger Displacement:

Yeah. It’s exhausting being a chick.

Now where are those damn Oreos?

P.S. Ryan, you are a very, very tolerant man. I love you.

P.S.S. Where are the damn Oreos?

A writer by any other name

When I was in college, I once got into a fight with a boyfriend because I said if we ever got married, I was keeping my maiden name. To him, apparently this statement meant I was some sort of scary nutjob closeted hippie feminist that ate pieces of the Constitution for breakfast.

But my reasoning was much more simple. My decision was merely motivated by the fact that I’m the last one in my large extended family that still has my biological grandfather’s surname. I just wanted to keep that name going for as long as I could.

Luckily, the man I did marry understood this desire and since he was the last in his family carrying his grandfather’s surname, we ended up coming to a nice compromise, where I would keep my family’s name going in long-forgotten articles and blogs and our future unholy spawn would take his name.

Boom. Done deal.

Except it wasn’t. Not really. When my stepdad bought me a plane ticket out of the goodness of his heart, he put Aprill Huddle, leading to a rather intimate patdown by a TSA agent when they discovered it didn’t jive with my license. When I was maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding, in the program I was listed as Aprill Huddle. The majority of our mail says “Mr. and Mrs. Huddle” and I’m often called Mrs. Huddle in public.

Which, to be honest, I don’t really mind. I’ve been called worse (including some painful years in high school and college where my nickname was “Chunky Bob”).

However, I was surprised a married couple having two different last names, no hyphen within sight, is not quite as common as I would have thought. So it should have come as no surprise to me when I saw that a recent survey found that 50 percent of Americans would support a law requiring a woman to take her husband’s last name.

But it still was.

Fifty percent? Really? I mean, I understand the tradition of taking your husband’s last name and I think it’s a lovely way to symbolize that you are now a family. But making a law requiring it?

Come on, this is America. A country where celebrities can name their children Audio Science (actress Shannyn Sossamon), Pilot Inspektor (actor Jason Lee) and Moroccan (Mariah Carey’s demon seed). Where celebrities themselves can decide to go by one word, like Cher or Madonna, or in the most extreme cases, simply change their name to an unpronounceable symbol, and then change it to The Artist, and then change it back again to the original one word name of Prince. Where a normal kid named Sean Combs can be Puff Daddy and then later P. Diddy and then later still Puff the Magic Diddly or whatever he’s going by now.

On the same note, this is the land of the free and the home of the brave reality TV stars who actually choose to go by ridiculous monikers such as Snooki, The Situation and J-Woww.

This is a nation where spelling is a fluid concept and Paige can be spelled Payj, Rachel can be Raychelle, Max can be Mhaxx, and Kimberly can be Kymberleigh. Where apostrophes know no bounds: De’Shawn’a, Se’Heira, Ce’Qwoia.

This is the melting pot of the world, where little kids with Polish surnames featuring four Z’s, three Y’s and 12 vowels can play alongside little Asian children with the hard-to-pronounce-for-white-people last name of Nguyen in peace and harmony. Where girls named Christi and Sammi and Mari can dot their i’s with stupid, little hearts on legal documents.

Where a fourth-grader from Ohio can decide one day to add an extra L to her name on a whim because there were three other girls with her same name and she was tired of being referred to as “April B.”. Not to mention, I could go right now and for a reasonable fee, legally change my name to Scrappy McDoo if I really wanted to.

Like Shakespeare said, what’s in a name?

Well, in America, it’s anything you want.

And in my opinion, we should keep it that way.

Signed,

Aprylll Br’and’on