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On this particular morning, I walked into the cafe and found Alissa sitting in the back.  She’d already gotten herself a coffee.  She was holding the cup with both hands, still feeling the chill from outside.  She was wearing jeans and a fabulous off white sequined top under the perfect navy blazer (not a spot of spit-up to be found), a pair of slouchy knee high boots – low heel – in mahogany with side buckles and they DID fit her calves.    She had a manicure.  French, pppfff of course.  Her wedding and engagement rings fit her ring finger perfectly.  Her hair looked lovely tucked behind one ear with ease, curls flowing and not frizzing.  As I approached the table, I noticed her looking down and smiling.  Of course.  She’d brought the baby.  He was in his carseat. I stopped and watched for a moment.  As I stepped closer to the table his face became visible and I could see why she didn’t want to take her eyes off of him.  He was THE CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD.

Me: Hi, Alissa.

Alissa: Hi!  So good to see you.

Me: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.  It’s been awhile.

Alissa: Yes, it has.  But the time off has been worth it. She looks down at her son…nope…sorry her manicure.

Me: He’s beautiful.  How old is he now?

Alissa: Thank you.  Ten weeks, eleven on Saturday. 

Me: He’s so calm, such a good baby.  He seems very advanced.  He was holding a menu running his finger down the list of iced drinks.

Alissa:  How nice of you to say that.  Yes, I don’t mean to brag, but he is quite extraordinary.  I don’t want to compare my baby to others.  Although, he does seem to be gifted.  And perfect.  And gorgeous. In fact, he may start talking next week – you never know! She laughs.

Me: And how are you doing as a new mom?

Alissa: Wonderfully, I think.  I’ve managed to look stunning, didn’t you notice?  And, my child is clean, in a fresh diaper, keeping to himself and occasionally smiling at me to let me know that he needs me but is not overly needy.  My husband is completely content with our new family life and is sure we’ll be able to afford everything a child needs.  If you were to go to my house right now, my floors would be vacuumed, laundry done and put away, dishes loaded in the dishwasher and everything in its place.

Me:  That sounds…almost impossible, but okay.  So, you’re getting back to work then?  We would love to know what’s next for you.

Alissa: Work?  Who’s working? I had a kid so I could stay home and watch Oprah.

Me: Ha.  That’s a joke…right? Anyway, you’ll be churning out something stellar soon? 

Alissa: Totally.  Yes.

Isn’t my child pretty?  His poop smells like the rainforest.

We sat and talked for another hour while her son filled out an application for Mensa or plotted the takedown of all wireless communications – I’m not sure.  I swear he winked at me once.  Look for a continuation of this interview in next month’s issue.  Find out Alissa’s other uses for a breast pump and why you shouldn’t panic when the doctor delivering your baby says, “What is that?”

 

 

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Over the past few months, my husband and I have come to the realization that no, we’re not going on that over-seas trip because we’re having a baby!  We’re not installing new kitchen cabinetry because we’re having a baby!  We’re not fencing in our backyard because we’re having a baby!  You’re not going on that sky-diving trip because we’re having a baby and you can’t die and leave me here alone.  What?

The money we would be spending is now going to nipple cream, butt cream, blankets that you receive things in, blankets that you wrap things up in, blankets that are annoyingly called “lovies”.  Swings, play-pens or yards or packs or boxes, onesies – twosies – threesies.  If you’re a new parent, the list is overwhelming.  Will my child die if I don’t buy this brand of wipe?  Should I be concerned about this pacifier and the manufacturer’s evil plan to confuse my baby?  Is this my mother’s nipple?  IS IT? I’m so confused!  Maybe my baby should have this type of toy so that he is intellectually stimulated at a very young age, which will prove to be beneficial when he is sitting for the MCAT in 20 plus years. 

Check these out:

Staring rabbits.  Any way you turn this puzzle, the rabbits just keep staring.  Is this really interesting to a toddler?  Where are the fun colors and the cute bunny faces?  I get it.  There are several different ways to solve this puzzle.  Thank God.  I wouldn’t want my child to get his feelings hurt when it didn’t work on his first try.  Now, to go and find a little league soccer team where the coach cheers when a player runs away from the ball and tells him, “Hey, great job recognizing your feelings about that ball.  Who needs to score? Or play the game, right?  High-five.”

Look are that pretty green paint.  So soothing.   Cute bassinet, right?  Hmm…wheels may not be a great idea.

OH MY GOD.  WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT DUCK?!

I phone, you phone, we all phone for ridiculous apps.  Hey, hun, we should totally buy that app that analyzes our baby’s cry.  I mean, I definitely want to put my overly expensive phone in the crib where our child can have explosive diarrhea all over it and then I’ll be like, Oh, no.  Baby is crying.  Let me go check my phone and see why.  Wait.  I can’t because it’s covered in poop.  What do I do now?!!  I just want to know if the app recognizes the cry of a baby who is sad she was born to such f-ing idiots.

Oh, Glory Be!  Do you think she knows there’s a baby coming out of that hole in her vest?  Maybe you’ve seen this picture before.  I searched for its origin and could not for sure connect it to www.togetherbe.com, but it seems likely they are the ones to blame.  And, they’ve taken this particular product off the website.  Wonder why?  I love alien baby heads.  This particular baby head is consuming this woman from the inside out.  But at least they are both warm.

In our household, updating the Netflix queue is just about as important as taking a shower, which is very important – especially during the summer.  Every time I run across a movie, a classic movie that The Hubbs hasn’t seen I’m astonished.  How have you made it this far in life without seeing The Godfather trilogy or The Deer Hunter?  Are you a real person?  Or have I made you up and my brain couldn’t possibly make you 100% perfect, so your one flaw is that you haven’t watched M*A*S*H, the movie?

Me: Well, what are you in the mood for next?

The Hubbs: Ummm..

Me: OH MY GOSH!  You could finally watch Animal House and become a real boy.

The Hubbs: …

Me: How come you haven’t seen this, anyway?

The Hubbs: We’ve been over this.  My parents didn’t watch a lot of movies.  Because…

Me: Because they didn’t want you to see “R” rated movies?

The Hubbs: No.  Because…

Me:  Because, honestly, “R” rated movies?  Ya’ll were out jumping off of roofs and getting tangled in fences and jumping off of bridges.  You probably would have been safer inside watching an “R” rated movie.

The Hubbs: BECAUSE my parents had other things to do.  They were busy.  That’s why.

Us: …

Me: That’s dumb.

Thank God he’s seen Blazing Saddles.  This marriage will work afterall.

My house was filled with estrogen this weekend as I hosted a girls’ weekend get-away for my closest friends.  As promised there was a lot of laughter, some booze and a stirrup pants sighting at the mall.  Bonus activities included an impromptu fashion show in my living room and laughing at old pictures that I didn’t realize were on my friend’s facebook account (thanks, Erin.).  God, it’s good to be a girl.

Once the party was over and everyone had packed up and started on their treks back home, I hunkered down with my laptop and told myself I was going to figure out this coupon clipping craze.  This can’t be hard.  I’ve never won at Monopoly, but I have kicked ass in Candy Land.  So, I’m golden, right?

I was in Walmart last week stocking up on essentials for the coming girls’ weekend frivolity when I passed this woman who was thumbing through a large zippered binder full of coupons.  They were organized in these plastic pockets, just like the ones my brother used to stash his basketball cards in, which, by the way, he would not let me touch.  This may have something to do with some G I Joes I buried in the front yard.  I stopped beside her and said, “I think you might be my hero.”  We talked for about 15 minutes.  She explained her strategies to me, most of which I have already forgotten probably due to some episodes of Housewives of NY.  Those women are killing my brain cells. 

I watched my hero flip through her binder showing me how to organize by store (she goes to at least two different grocery stores depending on the deals) and then by item.  She looked at my cart (Embarrassing!  I didn’t have a chance to explain to her that I don’t usually by four different kinds of bread or two tubs of sour cream at a time or drink that much beer by myself) and she noticed my two boxes of Suddenly Salad (Oh my gosh!  This salad is so sudden.) and instantly knew that she had a coupon for fifty cents off two boxes of Suddenly Salad and gave it to me.  Did I mention that she had a small child with her?  How did she remember that coupon existed?  Then, she wrote down two sites (here and here) for me to visit for more info on clipping coupons.  I think that if I had invited her to come to my house and show me how to put a coupon binder together, she would have come and brought snacks – free snacks that she bought by combining coupons and sales deals. 

But I did not invite her, so here I sit on my own visiting these sites she wrote down for me and trying not to get distracted by Bejeweled Blitz or online Scrabble.  It’s just that I was never good at math and I loathed word problems.  And these sites, while they do offer a great deal of information, do not offer step-by-step, outlined, color-coded instructions on how to get the most out of clipping.  I would even settle for old school clip-art hieroglyphics because let’s face it.  I’m a visual learner.  All these words.  Blah blah blah coupons blah blah manufacturer blah blah double blah blah stock piling (should I be worried?) blah blah it’s so simple.  Kiss my fanny.  It’s not simple.  It’s panic-inducing.  Do they make coupons for Zoloft?

The thing is, I’m sure there is a justifiable savings for all this work.  I just wish I could download a manual directly to my brain or hire someone to shop with me and show me the ropes. OOh, or hire a personal shopper AND a personal coupon clipper.  If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t have to use the coupons at all. 

I wonder if we have any booze left…

One of the members of my writing group wrote a personal essay about taking her 85 year old mother bra shopping.  What an experience.  Can you imagine?  It was a great topic and got me thinking about a bra fitting my mother made me go to when I was 12.

“Mom!  Close the door!”

“Oh, please.  Nobody’s paying you any attention.”

Did anybody else’s mother do this?  Just pull open a dressing room door or jerk open a curtain without any pause to see if you’re dressed?  Oh, and then invite in a stranger to feel you up?  Not only was I 12 with boobs bigger than my classmates, but I also had hips and was at least two inches taller than my male counterparts.  It was awkward being 12.  My mother’s solution to my “boob problem” was taking me to Belk’s annual bra fitting.  Really?  Is it really necessary for a stranger to see me topless?  How hard is it to pick out a bra anyway? 

I remember standing in front of the dressing room mirror waiting for my mother and the bra consultant  to bring me the appropriate selection of underwires, seamless shapes, and double clasps.

I hope at least one has butterflies on it.

And then I realized I hadn’t shaved my armpits.  And it was quite possible that I’d forgotten to put on deodorant.  Yep, no deodorant.  Shaving and wearing deodorant were still new tasks that I sometimes forgot.  I was also not good at brushing my hair, but that’s another story.

Oh, no.  What if she gets stabbed by my pokey pit?  I wonder if anyone else can smell that?  I want to go home.

Before I had a chance to throw my floral polo over my head, my mother flung open the door and she and the consultant entered the room.  So much for my escape.  I covered myself with my polo.  I mean, could we sit down and have some cookies, get to know each other before I show you my rack?

“Alissa, this nice lady is going to measure your bust to make sure we’ve picked out the right size. “

The consultant pulled out her measuring tape and asked me to put my hands on my hips.

EEEEEK!!!! POKEY POKE POKE POKEY AND NERVOUS SMELLS…GAH

And just like that she was done measuring.  And I was thinking we were done.  Nope.  Next thing I knew she was wrapping me up in a bra and instructing me on the proper way to wear one.

“You’ve got to get in there and situate them.  Bend over and pull them up and over and into the cups.”

I got lost in the middle of word problems in my math class and this lady wanted me to remember how to navigate the proper steps to putting on a bra. 

The first couple of bras didn’t work.  They were uncomfortable, they were too pointy, they were too grown up.  Finally, we found one.  I didn’t look like a tramp.  I wasn’t lopsided.  I was held in place by an off-white, seamless, slightly padded underthing.  And even though it didn’t have butterflies on it, it did, somehow make me feel a little better.  Even though I had five o’clock shadow under my arms and no one wanted to stand down wind of me, I felt a twinge of confidence.  Of course, that could have just been the AC kicking on.

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© Alissa C. Miles and "And So They Did...", 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including pictures from posts and/or other pages without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alissa C. Miles and "And So They Did..." with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Basically, don't steal my stuff. Thanks. -A.

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