Tag Archives: portlandia

I called my kid a butthead in public

There have been times in my writing career that I have slightly exaggerated a story for comedic effect. Not much, mind you. Just a detail or two, here or there. For instance, when my kids are driving me insane, I don’t actually chug a whole bottle of whiskey.

It’s half a bottle, tops.

So, with that said, let me assure you that what follows below is not one of those times. It’s all true. Every single, last, horrifying detail.

It started out mundane enough. I took my kids to a children’s event hosted by the local library. A “multicultural concert for families featuring new and familiar songs played with a Brazilian beat,” to be exact. All that was missing were some organic vegan cookies and some one-legged, free range, orphan chickens and it would have been a skit straight out of “Portlandia.”

But it was either that or spend more time playing Batman vs. Little Bunny Foo Foo with my toddler, so I schlepped the whole crew over for some fancy music learnin.’

As we were sitting there waiting for the music to start, I noticed the not unhandsome guitarist staring at me. I’ll admit, it was a bit of a confidence booster. I mean, I had a baby only nine months ago. And when your days are filled with cleaning poop off a series of tiny tooshies (including the dog’s), it can be hard to feel attractive. I even sat up a little straighter. Started telling myself, “hey lady, you’re still keeping it tight, despite the oatmeal in your hair.”

Which is when I look down and notice that my shirt is unbuttoned almost down to my naval (thanks to the friction from wearing a baby carrier). A fact I had been oblivious about for 12 whole minutes, giving everyone in the band a good look at my boobs that were casually hanging out like they owned the place.

I discreetly try to button it back up when I made my second big mistake of the day. I was reaching into the diaper bag to pull out a toy for the baby when the toddler saw the chocolate-covered raisins I’d thrown in there as a treat to eat after the show. There are few things this kid loves more than raisins. But one of those things is chocolate. So, you can imagine his reaction.

“OOOOOOOHHHHHH…NOW WE EAT CHOCOLATE RAISINS! MOMMY! MOMMY! CHOCOLATE RAISINS! MOMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!”

I quietly inform him he can have them after the concert. And so now I’m stuck with a kid that, after every song ends but before the polite applause begins, yells “NOW WE EAT CHOCOLATE RAISINS!”

After the fifth song and the fifth time being denied his CHOCOLATE RAISINS, he decides to have a meltdown.

Because of course.

I knew when I was beat. I tell him we are going home and start grabbing our 17 pounds of items scattered around my chair (coats, hats, baby shoes that had been kicked off, diaper bag, sippy cup, the kitchen sink, my deflated ego). And it’s as I stand up that I realize my son has untied my shoes when I wasn’t looking. This is quickly followed by the realization that I have an undone and bulky baby carrier hanging down to my knees because I never took it off when we got there. Meanwhile, the band is still playing. Which is relevant because as I’m making the world’s most awkward and disruptive exit in the world’s smallest library (all our stuff in one arm, baby who is hanging off me like a giant sack of flour because she never learned to cling like a normal baby on the other), my son decides he doesn’t want to leave and runs back in front of the playing musicians, hysterically crying and yelling “NOOOOOO!” at the top of his lungs.

As I go to get him, still holding everything, baby still a lifeless sack of flour, shoes still untied, still tripping over the baby carrier, another mom informs me my shirt had come undone. Again.

Because of course.

So, now I’m trying to drag my toddler, (gently, because we are in public) away from the musicians, while still holding everything, tripping over everything and also now trying to discreetly button up my slutty, slutty shirt.

As you can imagine, everyone is staring.

And yet no one will look me in the eye.

I finally get him in what I assume is an out of the way location to stuff him into his coat and get the hell out of this, my own personal hell, all while telling him to knock it off in my best Batman voice. I’m pretty sure I also said something along the line of “stop being a butthead.” Which I don’t feel bad about because no one can hear us. Which is when I realize we are blocking the way to the bathroom and a group of moms and kids is waiting for us to finish our ridiculous family drama so they can pee.

Somehow, by the grace of God and whatever deity is in charge of mortifying moments at child-centric events, we make it outside the library. He’s still crying, I’m practically throwing chocolate covered raisins at him, and the baby’s left hand is now stuck in my hair, which is making it hard for me to button up my shirt (BECAUSE MY BOOBS ARE STILL HANGING OUT) and tie my shoes because my head is at an awkward 90 degree angle.

Luckily, all this is in full few of everyone, who are now leaving and awkwardly filing past because the concert picked that moment to end.

Because of course.

And all this is one very long way of saying that alcohol should always, ALWAYS, be served at children’s events.

 

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Brunchers in the Mist

(Alternative title: “Don’t get your panties in a brunch”)

Boston. The urban jungle. A wilderness teeming with exotic species and, at times, dangerous terrain (the Pedestrian/Vehicular Civil War has been raging in the region since 1934).

For the past two years, I have lived among the wildlife naturally found in this part of the world, in an effort to study and document their behavior and way of life. After several months of careful observation, I have come to discover that the creatures found here are much more varied than first thought.

Among the numerous species found in Boston (such as Manic-Depressive Sports Fan, Drunk Sorority Girl and Angry Hobo), is a most curious mammal known as the Native Bruncher.

The Native Bruncher is a result of centuries of evolution and combines the urban dwellers’ natural instinct to flock together on the weekends and their natural aversion to any type of exertion. From what I have gathered in my research, the habits of the Native Bruncher serve on both a medicinal and social level.

While for most of their week, the Native Bruncher forages for food among the alleyways and corners of their habitat, the main caloric staple of their diet is morning-appropriate cocktails and ironically named omelets featuring a fascinating combination of cheeses. The Native Bruncher will drink and eat these items on the weekend until they have amassed enough calories to tide them over for the next five or six days, where they lapse into a hibernation-like state known as “The Work Week.”

Although the history of Brunchers has never fully been documented, it is believed that the very first brunch was held in 1753 in England when a hungover Lord Hamish Cottington Hammingford the IV woke up late one Sunday morning and found that he was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch at the local pub.

hamish

Flabbergasted, the proprietor asked him what he would like to eat: breakfast or lunch?

His response changed the course of weekends as we know it.

“Hmm…well, eggs sound good, but so does steak. Or perhaps pancakes. But then again, a big sandwich might be nice. You know what, how about you just bring me a crap load of all of that. And some ale mixed with something fruity and topped with no less than three fruit garnishes.”

This unique mixture of food caught on immediately among the hungover-impaired peasantry, prompting Lord Hammingford to declare “I shall call it ‘Lubreakfanch!'”

Luckily, his wife, who was slightly less inebriated (having only had four fruity ale cocktails, as opposed to seven) suggested changing it “brunch.”

Eventually the ritual spread throughout Europe and by 1829 was brought to America by a traveler named Chet Avery, who in some academic circles is also believed to have been the first hipster on record and the inventor of what we now call “the soul patch.” Avery was also an avid proponent of the healing effects of alcohol to combat the negative effects of alcohol and making it a staple of the brunch ritual.

soul patch

While Brunchers can now be found in urban jungles all over the world, they seem to be most populous in Boston (although Native Brunchers from Portland and Brooklyn would probably categorically disagree with that statement in a pompous voice while barely looking up from their iPhones).

The Boston breed of the Native Bruncher is also unique in its penchant for “theme” brunch, such as Disco Brunch and for being the first successful species to have brunch on the water (the 1974 sinking of a ship in the early days of this tradition, dubbed “The Bacon-Flavored Tea Party,” notwithstanding).

What separates the Boston Native Bruncher from other species who practice brunch-ery is the way it has honed its skill and timing in arriving to brunch before the phenomenon known as “the rush” begins. For example, if the species known as “Newbie” arrives to brunch promptly at 11 a.m., they will find that particular watering hole already teeming with Native Brunchers. The “Newbie” is then likely to give up, bowing down to the alpha herd, and will then head to a much less trendy watering hole where the eggs are much less fancy.

A close cousin of the Native Bruncher, known as the Permanent Resident Yet Non-Native Bruncher, can also be found in large quantities in Boston. They are easily spotted on the outskirts of the herd, waiting until the Natives have finished and then getting whatever scraps are left over. At times, the Permanent Resident Yet Non-Native Bruncher can wait up to four hours, tiding itself over with screwdrivers and Bloody Mary’s until they are finally allowed to feast. This is also where the Fanny Pack Tourist species can be spotted as well.

Typically, brunch lasts for two to three hours for all of the species, although on certain occassions it can last until 2 a.m. depending on the individual Bruncher’s capacity to ingest large amounts of alcohol for many, many hours straight.

As for what the future holds for the Native Brunchers and their ilk, no one can be certain, especially considering the encroachment of chain restaurants on their native land. But the most current scientific research suggests that mimosas will be involved no matter what.