The Forth of July is my favorite holiday! And not because it means American independence. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that we have independence, but some days I am not really, Ra, ra, go America! In fact, over the last three years I have been way more, What the actual hell, America? than ra, ra, but I mean come on, man! Trying not to get political here. You get what I mean.
I love the fireworks! There I said it! I love the fireworks, and the swimming holes, and the yummy treats, and the feeling of sweating through your tank-top as you sit in your camping chair and talk to your friends about good times, and watch the kids throw smoke bombs and light sparklers, and eat that cake made with strawberries and blueberries, and listen to Lee Greenwood. It just brings back so many awesome memories. Memories of cook-outs, and summer days on the softball field, and camp-outs in the the backyard, and slumber parties, and that glow that sort of follows you around all summer long. That’s it, probably. The Fourth of July is the epitome of summer and there are the big booms!
So go forth today and have safe and happy fun! Remember what today means to our country, sure. But more importantly, remember to light at least one smoke bomb, just to keep peace with your inner child, or maybe just to keep the ghost of George Washington at bay 🙂 #BoomBoomBoom
Hey y’all! It’s been a white-hot minute since I was in the closet. Literally. I have been stressed and busy and out of town and out of mind and all the things. Hoping to get back on track soon. Meanwhile, here is a 10-minute vide about all the important things in my life right now: Bear claws, Duke’s barking, my recent hair cut, the fact that my husband is a wizard, professional wrestler Ric Flair, and the state of Georgia. Enjoy! Also, here is a link to the Sweet Treats in case you are inclined to pay for some: https://www.riverstreetsweets.com/product/classic-gift-box-of-pralines-and-bear-claws/praline-and-bear-claw-combination-gifts
I love Instagram! Love it. I mainly love it because it allows me to share pics and jokes, man I love a good joke, without actually logging onto Facebook. I used to love Facebook, until my friends and family lost their ever-loving minds. One day they were fine and normal, sharing recipes and baby photos, then the next day they became political strategists. Then the next day they were physicians, deciding that vaccines were bad and that “late-term abortion” means that a woman gives birth to a healthy child at 40 weeks gestation, and then the doctor shoots the baby in the head, while the mom yells, Do it! and sticks a needle full of that good, Mexican meth that was smuggled into El Paso on foot, into her arm, then has sex with the doctor so she can get pregnant again. #GodsPlan
As great as Instagram is, sometimes it fails me too. Like yesterday. I was scrolling my feed, just a scrolling and scrolling, looking for some funny VD Day memes, when I ran across this super-cute, ultra-hip t-shirt (it was an ad) and it had pretty flowers, and pastel colors, great font, all the basic, basic bitch stuff that I love. My eyes were immediately drawn to it (Facebook really knows how to target ads.) I was like, “OHHHHHH, it’s cute!” Then I read the words.
Here’s the thing. I love good vibes. I mean, who doesn’t? If I could live on a beach with Matthew McConaughey, a sack of some really primo weed, and a pitcher of bottomless margaritas all day, every day, I would. No. I actually wouldn’t, for three reasons. 1. I don’t smoke weed. 2. I can’t handle my tequila and 3. He’s waaaaay too active for me. But I like to think it would be Good Vibes Only, right? Right.
But I know myself. And I know my friends. And I know my family. And I know, for the most part, how people operate, and well, it’s not all good vibes all day, everyday. In fact, some days are made of really shitty vibes. Really sad vibes. Really upset vibes. Crazy-busy, justneedaminutetobreathe vibes. Also, my-kid-just-threw-cereal-on-the-floor, I’m-hiding-in-my-closet, and might-stab-my-boss vibes. I have all those vibes. I give all those vibes. I see and hear and feel, all those vibes, from everywhere, everyday. And while it isn’t awesome, sometimes it is necessary. Because sometimes when I’m Good Vibes Only and my husband or my son or my friend is throwing out some Feeling-Super-Overwhelmed-Today vibes, then maybe I can help. But if I’m all, Nah, dog, Good Vibes Only, then maybe they will be less likely to come to me for help. Am I making sense?
I’m not saying this isn’t great. I’m not saying that we should stop sending out good vibes or accepting good vibes, or even anticipating mostly good vibes. I’m just saying, we can’t always live our lives in a Good Vibes Only way. And we shouldn’t be expected to. And we shouldn’t be frustrated with ourselves, or our people, on the days when good vibes are not possible.
I guess all I’m really saying is, I will take you, I will love you, I will listen to you, I will hug you. I will take all your vibes. The good, the bad, and the stabby. And I hope you will do the same for me.
And listen, if that shirt would just change one letter, I would buy it today!
Sending some good vibes your way, y’all, cause I’ve got some to spare today.
I like to make mad fun of those FB quizzes that people share. Not the BuzzFeed ones that tell you which Disney princess you are, those are legit (Belle here). I mean the ones that you fill out about yourself in order for others to learn more about you. I guess they are more like surveys, either way, I started doing every single one that I saw in my newsfeed in a hipster, ironic sort of way, like haha, I’m filling out this stupid thing. Then I got addicted to them. So, there’s that. It’s like that one time I was making fun of people calling their partners “Boo” so I started to ironically call my husband “Boo” and now that’s his name. He legally changed it. No he didn’t, but I do want him to, so I don’t look foolish.
Anyway, the newest survey that popped up was a relationship one (for V-Day, which we call VD Day ’round here because we suspect a lot of VD is passed around on V-Day. Also not to be mistaken for D-Day or for Hep-B Day, which are also holidays we celebrate. Not because we have Hep-B, we just swear off certain restaurants that day.) Jesus, this is getting off track.
One of the questions was: Which one of you is the “Angry one”? Or something like that. Immediately I was like him, duh. He’s so impatient sometimes. Then I was like, Hey Missy… impatience and anger are two different things. Then I was like, Hey Missy, remember that time you threw French fries at his head? Oh yep.
So here’s the thing. Jerimiah grew up in an abusive home with an alcoholic dad and somewhere along the line decided it was best not to be that sort of guy. So he’s not. And honestly, it is rare that he gets “angry”. In fact, he stays so calm sometimes, when I really want him to be angry, that it makes me angry. Then I act out. The French fry throwing was not any of that. It was though, the first and only time I completely understood the term “Seeing red”.
Let me set the scene. I was about five months pregnant. Throughout the whole first trimester I had been so sick, like vomiting-everything-I-ate sick, that I lost 20 pounds! For real, the quickest weight loss ever! You should try it. No, just kidding, not really, I think, uhh, if you are not pregnant, that is an eating disorder. So you can imagine my delight and surprise when in the second trimester I could go back to eating whatever the hell I wanted. I became, very quickly, addicted to Sonic hamburgers. Yeah. Yep. That Sonic. With the crushed ice. So pretty much every day I stopped by Sonic and got myself a hamburger. No cheese, lettuce and mayo only. Sometimes I got fries.
One particular day off from work I did not want to drive all the way to Sonic, so I asked Jerimiah to pick me up a burger on the way home. He obliged and got home to a STARVING me, about 6:00 pm. Now, Jerimiah has this habit of saying he will be home at a certain time, then not being home at said time, and this was one of those instances. He said he would be home at five and he was not home until six. So things were not going well when he walked in the door.
BUT, he had my burger in hand, along with an order of fries, so I simma’d down, now, and waited patiently for him to hand it over. He asked me if I wanted a plate, of which I said yes. I refuse to eat a burger from a box or a bag or a sack or anything else. I only eat on plates. He walked into the living room, where I had been holed up on the couch all day watching Dr. G, The Medical Examiner (because for some reason when I was pregnant dreaming about death was soothing) and he handed me my burger and fries… on a paper plate.
Hmm. At first I didn’t realize it. He handed me the plate, the styrofoam kind, that sags a little from hot food and the weight of a large Sonic fry, and I immediately tore into my burger as I bobbed my head back and forth trying to keep my eyes on the television as he walked DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE DAMN SCREEN.
“Hey, man, have a seat,” I said, taking another bite.
He rolled his eyes and sat down at the desk in the corner to check his email.
Mmm. That eye rolling sorta got to me, but I let it slide. Because, I’m so sweet. Belle. Sweet. You know.
Then I sat up to put the plate onto the coffee table and it banged against the table and sort of crumpled a bit, as styrofoam plates do. And I was like, Hmm, this is not a plate. So I said to my husband, “This is not a plate.” And he turned to me and said, “Yes it is.” And I said, “No. It’s a paper plate.” And he said, “Actually. It’s made of styrofoam.”
And that’s the last thing I remember.
Apparently, and later the details did come back to me with a bit of clarity, I lifted my burger off the styrofoam plate, and launched the plate, full of fries, directly at him. It hit him in the head, because I was a heck of a third basemen, and he sat, stone-faced, while the fries fell onto the floor all around him. Then he turned back to the computer, as the dog ran over to gobble up all the fries.
I continued to eat my burger, in silence, while I watched him not looking at me. Then I said, “Why are you not eating?” To which he said, “I’m not hungry anymore.” To which I said, “You fucking better eat, dude.” And he said, “Nah.” Then he slid his plate to the edge of the desk.
What happened next, I don’t really have an explanation for, except that again, I was pregnant, for the first time, and I guess, hormones? I had never done this before and have never done it since, but I stood up, screamed a bunch of not-nice words toward him and the scared-out-of-her-mind dog, and turned to go to bed, but not before punching the wall, that was literally, for real, made of cinder block.
I sat in the bed for a few minutes, crying and holding my hand to my chest, while I used the good hand to finish my burger. Waste not, want not. Then I fell into a deep, deep sleep and woke up the next day feeling better than ever. Except for the near-broken hand. That’s fun to explain to the doctor, when she really is like, “Did he hit you?” and you are really like, “No, I punched a wall because he served me food on a paper plate. Styrofoam. I’m sorry, it was styrofoam.”
You’ll be happy to know, that four months later, I gave birth to a healthy, happy baby boy who doesn’t, as of yet, exhibit a propensity for Sonic or punching walls. And my husband never left me. He also didn’t eat his burger, he threw it away. And that has always plagued me, because, I would have liked to eat it.
Be nice to your partners, y’all. And to pregnant women.
Below is the actual FB survey that I filled out this morning, that made me remember this little “paper plate” incident, as we like to call it… Enjoy.
Ok couples it’s almost Valentine’s Day!
Who asked who out? Straight up, we got drunk at a house party then made out a little then he was all, “Wanna go on a date.” So… mutual?
Do you have any children together? One living human son. One living non-human son. Two non-living daughters, one human, one non-human, and at least three to four “scares” along the way. One time, no shit, a “psychic” approached me at work and told me I was pregnant with his kid. You guys! I was not. She was wrong.
What about pets? Duke. He’s a shithead and we miss Bentley every day.
Who said I love you first? He did, but it was during sex so I think it was an accident. A “sexident” if you will. Like when you are climaxing and shout out, “I want to marry you!” Never happened to you? No? Weird. Y’all need to have better sex.
Who is most sensitive? If he’s being sensitive, then I’m like buck up, Buttercup! If I am being sensitive he better leave my ass alone. We alternate.
Where do you eat out most as as a couple? Another sex question, ohh, I like it. He eats out a lot. Just realizing now this is not a sex question. La Unica, the Mexican joint down the road. They smile when we come in and say, “Hola friends, we’ve missed you!”
Who’s older? Him. Not going to say any more about that.
Who has the worst temper? I want to say him. But, I once threw a plate of French fries at his head, then slammed my first into a cement wall because he served me my food on a paper plate, not a “real” one. So… In my defense, I was real pregnant at the time.
Who is more social? No.
Who is the neat freak? I am. But I don’t actively make the house neat. So I spend most of my time complaining about how the house needs to be neat, then blaming him for my lack of motivation.
Who is the most stubborn? Him. He once tried to give me a high-five in a restaurant, I refused, and he sat with his hand in the air for fifteen minutes, until I relented because people were looking.
Who wakes up earlier? Him, because: Job. On the weekends, it is me.
Who is the funny one? Smart jokes, him. Fart jokes, me.
Where was your first date? Metropolitan Steakhouse, which sounds waaaaay fancier than it is. The tables were lit by candles, and that is it. Literally could not see each other or our food. Which is probably why I was able to put down a monstrous amount of food without him knowing.
Do you get flowers often? I used to hate flowers as a gift, mainly because of the connotation that the man did something wrong when he brought them home, so he never bought them for me. Then one day I was like, you know what, I want flowers. Mainly because I realized my husband doesn’t do anything wrong. So now I get them on special occasions and not special occasions and I can appreciate them. #Adulting
How long did it take to get serious? Probably about a year. But it took us five years to get married, so, we are both sort of “take your time” kinda people.
Who was interested first? Him. I mean, who wouldn’t be interested in me?! Look at me!
Who picks where you go out to eat? Jackson usually.
Who is the first one to admit when they are wrong? Me, but also him. Depends on who is actually wrong. Either way it doesn’t happen often. I apologize for things that are not my fault and he knows it is best just to say sorry.
Married? For long enough now that I will be granted half his retirement in the divorce. #Goals
More sarcastic? Him. (Eye roll)
Who makes the most mess? Him. (Eye Roll)
Hogs the remote? We throw it at each other because no one wants to pick. Then we end up just turning the tv off and talking.
Better driver? Him (Eye roll)
Spends the most money? The Arabian Sheik that lives in our house. So, me.
Who is smarter? Math? Him English? Me Everything else in the whole world: Jackson
Did you go to the same school? Fo shiz. We met when we both worked on our high school newspaper/yearbook. He was a photographer and I was an editor and he was my workhorse. I could always count on him to get his work and my work done. We didn’t date until we were 20, but I knew by then he’d always take care of me.
Who’s better with a computer? Jackson
Who drives when you are together? Him, unless we need to get somewhere like in a flash. Then I drive and he just closes his eyes and waits to arrive alive.
If you’re like me up, until recently you had no clue what a Charcuterie Board was. Well, gather round kiddies, I’m gonna tell you all about it. See back in my day we called a charcuterie board a “cheese and meat tray” and more recently, at two am on a Saturday while I sat on the toilet gripping my stomach, I screamed to my husband that I shouldn’t have eaten all those “weird-ass cheeses and meats on that wood plank”. Which is to say, it goes by many names.
Picture this: It’s a warm, sunny day in Saluda, North Carolina and I walk into an ultra-hip restaurant with my friends and family and a hankering for some cheese. A thin man with a wicked-sweet porn star mustache and uncomfortably skinny jeans approaches our table, and I ask, “Y’all got cheeses and stuff?” And he’s like, “Uhhh…” So I say, “You know, cheeses and like, things” as I make a shape like a board in front of me. Then he says, “Ohhhh, do you mean a charcuterie board?” And I’m all, “Maybe…” Then he winks and says he will take care of me and I’m nervous because I think that might be a sexual suggestion and I’m not into mustache rides… from a skinny dude. Turns out he meant he would bring me meats and cheeses, because the next thing I know this fancy-ass board is placed in front of me, and Boom! I am introduced to the world of charcuterie.
Charcuterie is a French word, duh. (If you couldn’t work that out, then I just can’t help you, it’s above my pay grade.) It roughly translates to “cooked meats” like bacon, ham, sausage, and a bunch of real fancy, French-ass meats. (Side note: The person who prepares a charcuterie is called a charcutier, which means “pork butcher” successfully rendering me a butcher. Which has always been a life goal.) Basically it is shelf-stable meat, right? Forcemeat, emulsified sausages, brined meats that, eaten in large quantities, cause gastrointestinal cancer, as well as diarrhea (see above).
Then there are the cheeses. Oh Cheezus Christ, the cheeses. There is aged cheddars, and goat gouda. There is gorgonzola and stilton. There is asiago and brie. Stop it right now, I can’t take it anymore! I LOVE cheeses!
Whew. Sorry. That was inappropriate and uncalled for, but you know, necessary, in a get-all-your-burdens-off-your-chest sorta way. Thanks for listening. I owe you one.
So I decide, Missy, you can be fancy-ass too. You too, can host a party and have a charcuterie board. It can’t be that hard to do. And so I did it, in these 18 easy-to-follow steps.
Step One: Get a board. This step took me seven months. Listen, I know what you’re thinking, “What the hell, Missy? I just Googled it and I can have one at my house in three hours.” But listen, like most great ideas I get, I sorta, kinda, forgot what I was doing. Sure, I looked on Amazon as soon as I got home last summer, and even placed a couple of boards in my cart for good measure. And whenever I was bored or needed to shop I would look at my boards and picture what kind of cheeses I wanted to try. But I never pulled the trigger. Meanwhile, I did move on to step two.
Step Two: Get some favorite meats and cheeses. This was simple for me because I already knew two things. 1. Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheese is the best aged cheddar on the face of the planet and I will fight anyone who disagrees and 2. I don’t like hard salami.
Step Three: Invite friends over for a charcuterie.
Step Four: Convince them there will be wine too and tell them to stop asking you questions about the food, they will get fed, look, are you assholes coming or not?
Step Five: Go to Harris Teeter in a panic to get olives.
Step Six: Yell at your husband because you told him to get “fancy-ass beer” to go with the “fancy-ass cheeses” and then roll your eyes when he asks what the hell a “fancy-ass beer” is. “SOMETHING LOCAL!” you scream as you slam the drawer closed when you realize you have nothing to cut cheeses with. (I’m taking the high road here and not including a joke about “cutting cheese”.)
Step Seven: Google “How do you cut cheeses” and find that you need special cheese cutting utensils.
Step Eight: Drive to TJ Maxx. They have everything.
Step Nine: Buy the special utensils, a new wallet, three new dog toys, Christmas ornaments on clearance, two new toothbrush heads, and a llama painting.
Step Ten: Get home and realize you still don’t have an actual fucking “board”.
Step Eleven: Eye the trees in your backyard suspiciously. You have that old hand sander that you bought yourself for your 35th birthday. You could probably make a new board in the next three hours.
Step Twelve: Resign to use a big “platter”.
Step Thirteen: Start to cut up the cheeses and meats, realizing that you have no idea which utensils works for which cheese, abandon the utensils and saw at the bricks of yellow and white until they are start to crumble all over your counter.
Step Fourteen: Call your friends and tell them you have a horrible migraine and you can’t host the party. Send sad, sick emojis and promise a kick-ass party to make up for it.
Step Fifteen: Cry in your bathroom while you eat the crumbles of cheese from a ziplock bag.
Step Sixteen: Six months later happen upon a charcuterie board at TJ Maxx, snatch it up quickly and run to the register before you forget what you are doing.
Step Seventeen: Run over to Trader Joe’s and buy five bricks of aged cheddar, some asiago, some other cheeses that sound yummy, ham, salami, and some soft goat cheese. Get crackers.
Step Eighteen: Pull out the board and all these cheeses at your Super Bowl party likes it no big fucking deal and you do this all the time. You don’t label anything, or make it look fancy, least your friends think you have lost your mind. But you know, you kinda wish you had more time to plan.