....but i'm not

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Stranger Danger

Nothin' makes you feel more pedophile-y than having some mom holler "STRANGER DANGER" over and over and over again to her oblivious 5 year old as said 5 year old chats you up about her new baby sister while you push your smiley 15 month old on a swing.  Seriously lady.  Like I need more chaos in my house to the point that I'm going to kidnap your chatty kid and add to the collection?  Wishful thinking.

But that's not the best part.  The best part is that while walking over to remove her kid from the obvious threat that a mom like me clearly poses, she huffs about "wasting all that money on those stranger danger classes!" And then I didn't even feel creepy anymore because I started thinking about what goes on in Stranger Danger class and clearly the person who teaches that has to be the creep of all creeps.

But that's actually not the best part.  The best part was as I'm heading out of the park her 5 year old daughter says "Mom, you know why I talk to strangers?"  all snooty.




Friday, May 2, 2014

The Time I was "Given a Chance"

I was reminded of one of those moments that "molded me into the person I am" whilst sweating my crotch biscuits off on a sprint to the train this morning.

The year was 2003ish. It was the New York State Girls Basketball Class D something something blah blah blah finals and I was really soaking it all in, from the bench obviously. (Side note- just because one was born with great height, does not mean one was born with great hand eye coordination and a fierce competitive drive.)  

The whole town was there, all 2,000 of them.

There were like 2 minutes left in the game and we were down by 11 or 12 or 27.   For the love of God, it was some insurmountable number of points given the amount of remaining clock time but I know someone from my town is probably reading this going "there were 2 minutes 14 seconds left in the game, so and so had the ball..." Which is why I don't publicly list my home address anywhere.  

Now I loved my high school basketball coach.  He was the most positive, kind and patient man on the planet and he tried his damnedest to make me tough without making me cry.  I still remember him shaking his head with disbelief (not disappointment) when I apologized to a girl on the opposing team for what I thought must have been a really embarrassing blocked shot for her. I think he finally realized that my purpose on the team was more for comedic value than a physical contribution.  Poor guy.  

Anyway, there's this whacky long standing tradition in sports of "giving everyone a chance," (obviously only when that chance is so far out of reach of being fucked up by the second string it would take a LeBron James appearance to change the outcome).  My coach, like most coaches, was a believer in this tradition and so, with a couple minutes left in the finals and what seemed like a pretty wide point gap, he walked over to those of us at the end of the bench, tapped our heads and gave us the "you're up."  

Ho-ly shit.  I actually remember my buddy murmuring "No, no, no, no, no, no"  but it was really hard to hear her over the entire town yelling "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."  I realize that the town wasn't exactly booing ME per say, but as a fragile 16 year old, I was pretty sure my great grand-kids kids would be learning about this game right after their teacher finished the chapter on 9/11.  

When the final seconds disappeared from the clock and I realized I hadn't pissed myself,  I appreciated my coach's wish to have us nerds feel like we were a part of the experience.  We felt it alright, and while I feared for all of our lives for like 3 seconds, I am glad it happened.  Would I have been totally fine experiencing it from my warm folding chair?  For sure.  Did I learn something about human nature and losing with class?  Definitely.  Did I still get to go to McDonalds after the game?  I did.

The next season, or maybe it was the season after that, I was a member of the starting five. Was it the traumatizing final minutes of that game that lit the competitive flame in my bones?  Was it the image of the crowd, foaming at the mouth, that made me learn how to use my hips to box heavy set girls out? Was it puberty?

All of the above.  But mostly it was because I just couldn't handle smiles like this from the crowd during those last two minutes of those games anymore:

Long story short, I saw those faces of everyone already aboard the train as I sat down on my swass (sweaty ass) and I'll tell you what, I'm leaving my house five minutes earlier from now on.  Too many memories

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Metra Pep Talk

My first day of Metra commuting from the burbs felt exactly the same as my first day of 4th grade in a new school.  Same khakis and all.

Here are a few moments from the "Jordan, listen here" pep talk I gave my brain:

1.  Choose your platform spot wisely because it will probably be your platform spot for the next 18 years until you move to California and stop taking the Metra.  Nobody switches platform spots, they just don't. (**Note- I chose the wrong platform spot and now I have to do it all over again tomorrow.)

2.  Keep an eye out for that annoying guy you work with who lives in your neighborhood because IF he sees you, you're screwed and he's your new commuting buddy.  He too, will be in this platform spot until the day he dies or until you move to California.

3.  Pretend like you aren't concerned that the train is 10 minutes late.  Everybody else is, except for that guy next to you who keeps walking up to the bumpy blue warning line and sticks his face out into the tracks to see if he can spot it first.  Everyone else seems to realize that we'll know the train is here when that guy gets smoked by it.

4.  Choose your Metra seat wisely because it will probably be your Metra seat for the next 18 years until you move to California.

5.  Similarly to point number 4, choose carefully because your comeback for a group of 50 year old women refusing to share a saved seat is probably the same as your comeback for a group of 4th graders refusing to share a saved seat - lots of tears.

6.  Don't beat yourself up if you laugh embarrassingly hard at your new commuting neighbors' corny joke about nobody giving you a "Metra rookie" hat even though I'm pretty sure that hat is my face.  Girl's got to suck up after dumping coffee all over said commuting neighbor.

7.  You are still way taller than everyone.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

City Camo

Perfect city camouflage sighting today! I love that it does the exact opposite of what it does in the woods.  

Insert your own caption here:


Friday, January 31, 2014

The Search for the Perfect Hairdo You Already Have

My life changed forever the day I got that first group text from my mom.  I knew it was inevitable, that she would one day break free from the chains of antiquated technology that bound the Hoffmann family to VHS players and flip phones for decades.  That she would one day figure out how to add both of my sisters and me to the "To" field.  That she would then discover how to flip the camera around and take selfies.

But seriously, I don't think anyone could have predicted the magnitude with which this earthquake would strike, deep within the depths of a Wednesday afternoon... or far below on a quaint Friday evening when you least expect it.

We get the occasional picture of the cat sitting on my sister's face, or a beautiful Montauk sunset, or a cute picture of my mom and dad out on a date night.  But 96.7% of them focus on her hair.

Mom:  Okay girls, what do you think about this cut?  Way better than the other one right?

[A solid two hours of silence inevitably pass before I feel like a dick and cave because I know my sisters are stronger than I am.]

The answer that that question is always YES.  YES, I am being a smart beep and YES your chain has been yanked!  You know why?  Because the other two pictures you sent were these:

I know I'm not the most observant person on the planet when it comes to physical appearance (pretty sure I inherited that from my dad who has his own set of issues after she brings home the final product for his portion of the exam) but I have to believe that the only difference between these two pictures is that maybe she just woke up before the first one was taken.  Color wise, I'm stumped.

My mom has great hair - it's wavy, it's thick, she somehow knows how to use those big round brushes to get the back of her hair perfect when she blow dries it.  It always looks awesome and perfectly coiffed, if I'm forced to use that word.  But for the love of Lisa Rinna, I can't tell you the difference between how it looks now and how it looked 10 years ago.

Where I'm like Joe Biden and end up with verbal diarrhea in place of an opinion, my middle sister is like Dick Cheney, cold as ice and unresponsive.  My youngest teenage sister however (we'll call her the Ronald Reagan of group texts) is the most skilled of us all.  She always comes flying in with her manipulative jar of jelly beans and a big fat "Mom, you would look great in all of them, but I think you would look extra beautiful with the third picture."

And I can't even be mad...girl knows who butters her bread.