The next door neighbors.

I don’t like writing stories that involve alcohol.

Drunk stories, if you will. Stories about being under the influence.

Sure, they’re funny and they show a part of our personalities that most people will never see. But the land of the Internet is not just you, Scott, and me. It’s employers, it’s potential clients, it’s our parents, possibly our future adult children. It’s our doctors making a mental note to check the “drinks alcohol” box on our charts. It’s people we’ve never met watching Scott and me roll by their house in a red golf cart at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

This wasn’t a normal Saturday morning joy ride through the hood. It’s not summer. No one in their right mind would be driving a golf cart in the bitter, blowing 27-degree wind.

We didn’t have coats. My shoes were in my lap. Scott’s fly was down. My makeup smeared under my eyes matched my rat’s nest hair. You could smell our breath coming a block away. Our eyes looked like penny slots because the sun was burning our eyes and our souls. We don’t even own a golf cart.

It was the golf cart ride of shame.

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As soon as we turned down our street, two things came into focus: The SOLD FAST! realtor sign was gone. And moving trucks were in our neighbor’s drive way. Our new next door neighbors closed on their new house. 

First impressions are everything when you meet new neighbors. Here we come – Mr. and Mrs. Burton in a golf cart bouncing into the driveway followed by moaning because Scott took the turn too fast.

You’re probably asking – Julie, you’re 36 years old. You’re a mother. Get ahold of yourself. What in the world happened the night before? Excellent question. I’ll tell you what happened. We traveled back into a time warp – also known as the neighborhood progressive dinner. Scott, me, and 70 of our fellow neighbors thought we were in college again. We traveled from house party to house party. We were 21-year-olds with no kids.

House 1 – The Gordon Household: White mojitos, a veggie tray, chips, friendly hellos, and introductions.

House 2 – The Burton Household: Burton’s saltwater whiskey, Moscow mules, wine, hot ham and cheese sandwiches, and chatter about who lives on which street and how many kids we each have.

House 3 – The Ricks Household: Apple cider punch laced with Fireball. Maybe. I don’t really remember what house 3 had. I don’t remember what food either. I do remember telling a neighbor she looks like the hot chick from Joe Dirt. Not white trash hot just hot hot. My last known google search on my phone was “hot chick from Joe Dirt.”

House 4 – The Willauer Household: Rumple and Fireball shots. That’s it. No food. No water. Just Rumple and Fireball. Mint or cinnamon – pick your poison.

House 5 – The Johnson Household: If you made it to the Johnson’s house you were the true winners. Chocolate martinis and a dessert bar. Champagne for being fabulous.

Something snapped in Scott. The basement bar morphed into a club. The DJ played Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” and Scott decided it was time to give our neighbors their Christmas present for making it to the Johnson’s house. He went down as the Christmas progressive dinner legend. Scott Burton is Magic Mike.

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In our true 21-year-old fashion – Scott and I shacked at the Johnson’s house that night. We slept in their guest bedroom. I got up to pee in the middle of the night, forgot I wasn’t at home, and ran into a window. I could barely open my eyes the next morning because I woke up with a 36-year-old hangover.

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We found a way home. The golf cart.

We briefly met the new neighbors last night. They’re our age, they’re huge OU fans, and they have two kids. We invited them to our neighborhood New Years Eve party and they accepted. They suggested we could even do a progressive dinner and I damn near threw up in my mouth.

Our new neighbors still don’t have a clue about the blog they’re living next to. For all they know, we’re the quiet couple next door with a golf cart because I don’t like writing stories that involve alcohol.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

“My side” of the family.

I ran into my cousin, Bob, at a bar last night. I was with Scott’s family.

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We were two drinks into dinner when Bob walked in. Scott was high on medication from the hospital.

Me: Oh shit.

Scott: OH SHIT. THERE HE IS!

Scott clapped. Scott’s family nervous laughed.

Bob: YOU NEED TO WRITE ABOUT ME AND OUR FAMILY MORE! We got an aunt showing her titties, we got a grandma shitting her pants…

Me: Goddammit.

Emily: Is this your real cousin?

Me: Yes, our dads are brothers.

It’s funny you say I need to write about you more, Bob. Because I have. I’ve written about our family.

And you wonder why I am the way I am.

A reprise blog post from four years ago. Believe me, my side of the family has gotten worse since then.

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“In my 88 years on earth, I have never seen someone so blessed by a family like ours. I have never seen a family so loved by each other. I am so lucky to have each and every one of you.” — Grandma, Christmas 2013.

Don’t let Grandma fool you. Oh, she knows.

Everyone has a “crazy aunt” they have to put up with on Christmas. I have a “crazy family.” I’m not kidding you – this is how they act all the time with or without alcohol. I feel I must apologize in advance for their raunchy and inappropriate use of words in front of the kids. It’s not my style to fill my blog with profanity but I will make an exception for the family Christmas.

What that poor helpless fly on the wall heard in a neighborhood clubhouse:

Me: Scott, is it messed up if my Grandma called me last week to see how much beer you and I can drink for the party? That’s sweet. She wanted to make sure she buys enough. — Scott: Your family has some serious issues.

“There’s a 45 second over/under on when Grandma will start crying during her blessing. You in?”

“Is Grandma’s seat shit proof?”

“Why are we waiting to say Grace? — They went to get some liquor first.”

“Grandma, look at this picture of Emma’s deer she shot! — Oh, look at that. She shot that? Now, will the deer recover?”

“So Zach took a bite of my side dish in the car and spit it out. Then one of the kids tried it and spit it out. My dad said it tastes like something from the Middle East. I hope the rest of the family likes it.”

“So then the asshole neighbor decided to call animal patrol on us. I’m sorry but you’re going to have to hold me back from getting drunk, picking up every piece of dog shit in my yard and making a pile on their front porch. — Hey, did you know your grandmother did that once? Left a bag of shit with a note that said “your dog is shitting in my lawn.”

“AH! Who’s rubbing my shoulder? I hope you don’t have jizz on your hands!”

“Are we going to play spin the bottle? — No, we are going to play spin Grandma.”

“Go give your Grandmother a kiss. — Let’s get wet, Grandma!”

“Wait, why is Grandma giving my unborn baby a gift? Does she think she’ll be dead next year? — Just shove the gift up your vag.”

“Oh, this is going way too slow. Someone help that kid open that shit.”

“What’d you get? — Great. Fuck you.”

“I think my mom just farted. — Maybe it was a queef. — What does a queef even smell like? — Like a flower. Like a deflowering. They don’t stink at all.”

“Hey, show Julie that picture of my mom pissing herself.”

“Don’t put your ballsack in my face! Jesus Christ!”

“Hold on. Stop opening presents. Grandma is going to the bathroom. — Is someone going to go help her wipe? Tom, go help your mother wipe her ass.”

“I think Grandma grabbed a tampon out of her purse on the way to the bathroom.”

“Ok! Open your presents! — Let’s see how good Grandma’s gaydar is working.”

“I’m trying to grab his ballsack! Hold on, maybe I got the head. Have you seen his ballsack? I’m telling you, he mooned me once and they’re HUGE, like just hanging down like some sort of animal. He has the biggest ballsack I’ve ever seen. You should check them out sometime.”

“I’m pretty sure your husband just tongued Grandma.”

“Hey! There is nothing wrong with my ass! — Except it’s hairy.”

“That’s my wife’s seat but you can go ahead and sit here. You’re way hotter than her. — I’m your cousin, Bob.”

“I got an Oklahoma Joe’s gift card. You want to steal it, then come and get it. It’s in my pants.”

“Oh my gosh! It’s a flesh light! What’s a flesh light? It’s a vagina in a tube! Show grandma! (Grandma looks at it) Room starts chanting – TRY! IT! ON! TRY! IT! ON!”

“He just slapped the vagina. Is that his signature move?”

“Kate sure is pretty. But if she doesn’t like you, she has that “eat shit and die” face nailed down.”

“Where is the damn macaroni and cheese? What do you mean she didn’t make it? What kind of sister are you to tell her not to bring it? This is the only reason we invite her!”

“How’s the baby brewing? — He’s growing good! Did you know it’s a boy? I have a dick growing inside me!”

“So you can still have lots of sex right now while pregnant. But towards the end, you’ll have to cut him off. But hey, at least there is still anal.”

“Did you just grab him? — Yeah, I did. And there is nothing there. Same with his crotch, I grabbed that too.”

“I don’t want a baby that’s naked.”

“I don’t know where it went but I just spit out my food.”

“Go fill this up with half vodka. — You didn’t even say please. — I already took “care of you” earlier. I don’t have to say please.”

“Most gay guys are good looking, like models. You are definitely not gay.”

“Did you say I’m about to clear this section out? There aren’t even deviled eggs here!”

“Oh, hey. I am trying to teach your daughter how to poop in here.”

“He’s the only nephew I can mess with. — Yeah, you took a bath with him once too.”

“Nice necklace. You wearing anal beads around your neck these days?”

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

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Laces out.

It’s the one day of the year you can be anyone.

You are not who you were born to be.

You can slip out of your own clothes and into someone else’s. You can be dead. You can be a fictional character brought to life. You can be a celebrity. You can change sexes. You can even change from a human, if you really wanted to.

You can attempt murder on Dan Marino because he didn’t place the football with THE LACES OUT. He forced me to miss the kick – thus losing the game – in the final play of Super Bowl XVII against the San Francisco 49ers.

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I’m sorry, did I say I attempted murder on Dan Marino? I did not. I meant she.

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She.

Lt. Lois Einhorn with the Miami-Dade Police Department attempted murder on Dan Marino. She dolphin-napped Snowflake from the Miami Dolphins. She murdered Roger Podactor. And – she made out with Ace Ventura, the Pet Detective.

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She also really needed to lose the damn beard because we could have sacked this contest. But she wouldn’t because EINHORN IS A MAN.

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EINHORN IS FINKLE. FINKLE IS EINHORN.

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Who beat Finkle and Einhorn? Who beat a real woman with a sock shoved down her pants and a real man, also with a sock shoved down his pants? Emma’s poor soccer socks.

Well, it wasn’t the reigning Halloween champs – the host and hostess of the night.

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It wasn’t Hugh Hefner. Although, there was that one time Finkle met Hef at the Playboy mansion. If you dig through the mansion’s archives, you might find a picture.

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Finkle naturally met Andy Reid too. But no, Andy Reid and his Chiefs didn’t beat Finkle. Go Dolphins.

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It was them.

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The King of Pop and his girlfriend won the Halloween costume contest of 2017. 

Michael’s girlfriend is a huge Dolphins fan.

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The biggest shocker of this night – this night, on the one day of the year you can be anyone. On the night you are not who you were born to be.

YOU GUYS – I AM MY FATHER.

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The traditional morning after picture: Ray Finkle only drinks coffee from his favorite college mug. Oh look! So did Daenerys Targaryen.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Shame.

You know when you were a kid and your mom yelled at you for pulling your sister’s hair?

You knew better but did it anyway. There’s no way of “accidentally” pulling your sister’s hair.

You know after years into adulthood, you get the lecture by the dental hygienist for not flossing well enough?

You’re ashamed because you remembered to floss but you’re also a lazy ass and don’t want to get out of the warm bed and walk on the cold tile floor.

Shame.

Shame on you.

The index finger shake. The shame shake. The you-knew-better shake.

You know when you’re driving along the road and you think to yourself, ‘I haven’t had a pedicure in a long time. I’m going to treat myself to a pedicure while the kids are at school.’ Good. You deserve it. Sometimes you need to do something for yourself.

I have two daughters. Two daughters that love expensive pedicures. I felt no shame sneaking in a pedicure while my daughters were at school. I was saving money by only paying for myself instead of three full pedicures.

“Do You Lilac It?” by OPI was my color choice. Why, yes I do lilac it. I lilac sitting alone, scrolling my phone, people watching, and reading a book. I found great comfort soaking my feet in hot water while my girls were staring at multiplication flashcards and running a mile in middle school P.E.

School is good for them. I graduated school. I deserved a pedicure alone.

Tap. Tap. 

What the hell.

I put down my book and looked down at the nail tech. She was using her tiny scoop to dig out the sides of my toenail, where the nail meets the skin.

Hm, that’s weird. She tapped the top of my foot. That’s never happened…

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Oh God.

White piles of toe gunk fell from her scoop and rested on top of my foot. I pulled out my phone.

She’s placing the gunk on my foot. Why isn’t she using a towel like everyone else? She’s piling my toe gunk on top of my foot.

My mouth dropped. I looked around the room. No one had white toe gunk in tiny piles on top of their feet. I opened the camera app on my phone and slid the viewer to video. I pushed record and held the phone at a slight angle. I spread my fingers apart on the screen and zoomed.

Tap. Tap.

“Nasty toes. You see this? You nasty toes.”

There it was.

Shame.

Shame on me.

The index finger point.

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Nasty toes. 

I’ve been getting pedicures long enough to know she was showing me I didn’t get enough pedicures. She placed my toe gunk there for all to see.

Tap. Tap.

She tapped my foot with her hand. Code for, “put your foot back in the water.” I waited a second to see if she would wipe the gunk off my foot with her towel. She did not. I closed my eyes and slid my foot back into the water. I could feel the toe gunk release and float up. I wished I was holding up multiplication flash cards for my daughter. I wished I was running a mile with my other daughter. I wished for anywhere but here.

I opened my eyes, saved the video, and closed my phone down. I lifted my right foot.

She shoveled my toe gunk out again.

Tap. Tap.

“See that? You need to keep coming.”

I knew it. She was trying to sell me more pedicures in an odd sales pitch including white toe gunk placed on top of my foot.

Shame.

Shame on me.

I got a pedicure without my two expensive daughters.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Swipe up.

Swipe right.

You’re good-looking.

Swipe left. 

You’re not good-looking.

The terms swipe right and swipe left are terms from the dating app, Tinder.

I am married. I have two daughters, two dogs, a cat, a beautiful home, and my iPhone stores my credit card number for me.

I swipe up. 

I swipe up on Instagram stories. I swipe up all the time. I swipe up when Scott’s asleep next to me. I swipe up in front of his face as he’s talking to me. School car line? Swipe up. Grocery store line? Swipe up! Sitting in the parking lot of the gym? Fling! 

If you’re wondering, “Julie, what the hell are you talking about.”

I’ll tell you what I’m talking about. THE FASHION BLOGGERS ARE RUINING MY LIFE. Ok, my life isn’t ruined. I have a lovely life. But now I’m buying their life and damn, I am rocking this casually draped jacket over my shoulders on this humid 85-degree day.

Cody’s probably going to kill me for posting this but it’s really highlighting my susceptible tendencies, not hers.

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I swipe up.

I can’t stop watching fashion bloggers’ Instagram accounts. It’s like a fashion magazine come to life. I get excited when I see their perfect faces pop up in my feed because it’s like turning a new page. The babies never cry. The toddlers never have meltdowns. The husbands are silent props. The inside of their houses are white. White, you guys. Who has white interior? Fashion bloggers living in a fantasy world. It’s a world where I’m an outsider, looking in. My face is pressed against the window and staring.

Do I want a perfect life? Yes, who wouldn’t. I swipe up for sweaters. Pants. Shoes. Rugs. New restaurants I need to try out. Makeup. Even fresh flowers sitting in my kitchen sink for no reason. Did you know certain nail polish colors trend? They do and I have them.

And do you know what else happens when I swipe up?

I’ll tell you what happens – Scott finds out.

Scott: Hey! What’s this charge? Did you buy something for $89?

Me: What? Oh. What did I buy? It might be the joggers I accidentally bought. Such a good deal for under $50.

Scott: Wait, what did you buy?

Me: $89. I don’t really remember. That might be a rug runner too.

Scott: Ok, well I was just making sure our credit card wasn’t stolen.

Me: Scott, I’m buying Becky’s life. I need help, I think.

Scott: What? Who’s Becky?

Me: Me. I’m Becky. My whole outfit – Becky. Our house decor – Becky. She’s like my own stylist or something. Here, look. She’s a fashion blogger. Her blog’s name is Cella Jane but her real name is Becky. And actually, she lives in Kansas City. Look, she has these swipe ups on her Instagram stories and this is how I shop now.

Scott: Tell Becky Swipe Up that she’s draining our bank account.

Me: I don’t know her personally. But…

Scott: What did you do?

Me: Nothing. I did nothing. It’s just…she works out at Fusion and I haven’t seen her yet. I just want to see her look like crap after a workout. No one escapes Fusion without looking like a drowned rat. I need to see the perfection fall a little bit.

Scott: You are out of control.

Me: Sometimes I see her chipped nail polish in her stories. It makes me feel normal.

Do I know, deep down, every fashion blogger rips ass under the sheets at night? Of course I do.

Being a social influencer is a job. It is a full-time job to appear magazine-perfect through special cameras and photo editing. Ripping ass and waving the sheets towards their husbands’ faces is the behind-the-scenes we’ll never see. Their babies cry. Their toddlers have meltdowns. All couples argue, even on date nights. No one is perfect. I know that.

Do I think Becky Swipe Up will read these words? I’d say the chances are high. Our town is big but not that big. I’m ok with being the woman that looks like a drowned rat and rips ass under the sheets. That’s who I am.

I am a humor writer, not a lifestyle blogger.

But it doesn’t stop me from swiping up. And the rug wasn’t an accident.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Oh Emma, Oh Kate.

Oh Emma, Oh Kate is a series of funny things my kids say. Emma is 11 and Kate is 8. 

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I asked Kate for my phone while we were walking through a parking lot. She handed the phone to me and it dropped. We both looked at the phone at our feet.

Kate: That’s your problem.

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Kate made a fake cast to wear. Emma signed the cast with “hope you feel worse.” For whatever reason, Kate left the cast on. I took the girls to downtown Kansas City. We sat in the KC Streetcar (like a bus). One of the employees walked down the aisle to make sure everyone felt welcome.

KC Streetcar employee: Oh no! A cast! What does that say there? Hope. you. feel. worse. Well that’s not nice.

Emma: (laughs)

Kate: (growls)

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Kate was in my shower.

Kate: HEY, MOM! YOU’RE OUT OF SOAP!

I walked in and grabbed Bath and Body Works “Vineyard” soap from under my sink.

Me: Here you go. Open the door.

Kate’s hand grabbed the soap and she shut the door.

I walked off.

Kate: SERIOUSLY, VINEYARD?!

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Emma takes the bus home from school. I passed her walking home on my way to pick up Kate. I rolled down my window.

Me: Hi, Emma! Do you want to ride with me to pick up Kate?

Emma: (takes a drink of water and spits it at my car) Nope.

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Scott: I’m going to kiss mommy right now, just to freak you two out.

Kate: Put your tongue in her mouth like you did at your wedding.

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One evening, I was outside on my patio with my computer, playing music. Kate walked outside and sat with me.

Kate: Put on Bruno Mars.

Me: No, I can’t write with Bruno Mars. I like this Spotify station. It’s called Relax and Unwind.

Kate: I’m taking away your wine.

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Kate: I have twins in my class.

Me: Aw, that’s cute. Are they boys or girls?

Kate: One boy and one girl. They don’t look alike.

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I woke up to Kate jumping on my bed.

Kate: Wakey, wakey! Eggs and Starbucks!

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Emma: MOM! Kate called me a butthead!

Kate: Uh, it’s called SARCASM!

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Kate: What should I be for Halloween?

Me: Be the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones. You can borrow my good wig.

Kate: No one knows who that is. I’ll have to tell my class with that wig on my head and say, “my parents watch this show.”

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I got a new calendar. I filled in the girls’ school activities through the year. I opened up May.

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Kate: I think I want to be the witch from Snow White.

Me: Good one! We can get you a basket of apples and….

Kate: Make Emma be Snow White so I can poison her.

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We took the girls to a popular sunflower farm near Lawrence, Kansas. Home of the Jayhawks. (A friendly reminder we are Kansas State Wildcat fans.) We ate at a restaurant in Lawrence for dinner.

Kate: I gotta go to the bathroom.

Me: Emma, will you take her?

Emma: Yeah.

The girls walked back to the table a few minutes later.

Emma: Kate said she wasn’t going to flush the toilet because she’s in Lawrence.

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Me: Scott, did you see Emma’s arm after the soccer game? Some girl from the opposite team dug her nails in her arm so bad she’s bleeding and now it’s bruising.

Kate: Ha! For once it wasn’t me.

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Kate went to the KC Royals game with some friends. Her friend’s parents drove her home.

Josie, Kate’s friend, told Kate she could rap. Josie starts rapping in the car.

Josie’s dad: Josie, that didn’t rhyme.

Josie: Yes, it did.

Kate: Just use the word “chicken.” Chicken rhymes with everything.

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I drove Kate to school.

Me: See how it’s all cloudy this morning? Kinda hazy?

Kate: Yeah.

Me: Those clouds are from Hurricane Irma.

Kate: They are?! Sounds like Hurricane Emma.

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Emma and Kate were fighting in the backseat of my car.

Kate: KNOCK IT OFF, EMMA!

Emma: I didn’t do anything, KATE!

Kate: You sound just like your mother.

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I took the girls to Panera for lunch. We were leaving when Emma said she needed to use the restroom. I told her to meet Kate and me outside when she was done.

Kate: Let’s just go. She can figure out how to walk home.

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Me: Kate, you’re trapped in an elevator. Which one person would you want trapped with you?

Kate: You.

Me: Me?

Kate: So you’re trapped too.

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Special Edition: Oh Kids.

Email me at: Jbugbytes@gmail.com if you want your child to be featured here! I only need first names and ages.

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Lane, 7: Hey dad, is it a good idea to light a fart on fire?

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Lane: Teeth are like torture for food.

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Lane (jumping into his mom’s car from a friend’s house, as she pulls away): Well, that felt like robbing a bank.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

 

My husband is well endowed.

My husband is well endowed.

I know that’s not anyone’s business but it is a piece of information you need to know before you continue reading because unless you’re me or maybe Scott’s high school hockey player friend or his mom, you wouldn’t know this.

Scott is well endowed.

Stop squirming. I have a point.

Remember the Oregon Trail computer game where we learned how to ford river, caulk a wagon, and then we died of dysentery before reaching Oregon? Your success was largely due to which profession you gave yourself. Banker? You start with extra cash to purchase supplies. Doctor? You’re more likely to survive accidents or illness. Hunter? Your family will never starve.

In many ways, the Oregon Trail is like modern life. Doctor? Your kids will never see the inside of a hospital unless they’re literally dying. Hunter? You’ll never have to shop the meat department at the grocery store. Banker? You’re probably a good saver.

Writer? Oh, this shit is funny as hell and gather, gather around.

I am a writer. One of the things I love about Scott is he allows me to write about our family. I don’t normally ask Scott permission to write about him but this time I did. He said it was fine but his mom and grandma couldn’t read it.

So if you’re Scott’s mom or grandma, please stop reading. Everyone else – you’re good.

My writing niche is humor. I never meant to become a humor writer; the words just happen to come out that way. But a few times – oh, a few times – life hands me a slice of a bulging, ripe piece of fruit and it goes straight to the blog.

For months, Scott complained of a “pulling, achey” sensation in his lower abdomen. The degree of discomfort varied on the day but it was constantly present. He made an appointment with his internal medicine doctor.

Scott wasn’t seen by his doctor on the initial appointment because Scott’s doctor was on vacation.

I’ll tell who wasn’t on vacation – his doctor’s smokin’ hot nurse practitioner. A true ten. A knockout. An beautiful angel saving others in the name of medicine, even if her contribution means asking Scott to drop his pants, turn his head, and cough.

To stand in front of a medical professional with your pants down and legs spread apart is probably uncomfortable. I’ve never stood in this position but I’m guessing it’s similar to the “slide your butt all the way to the edge of the table” speech women hear every year. You have to remind yourself that medical professionals see this every day. You’re one of a million penises, testicles, vaginas and buttholes they’ve seen in their life.

When a patient comes in complaining of a pulling or achey sensation in the groin, the first thing a doctor – sorry – a smokin’ hot nurse practitioner will do is check for a hernia. Based off my WebMD search, I diagnosed Scott with a hernia when he walked in the house.

Me: You never texted me back! What did the smokin’ hot nurse say? It’s a hernia, isn’t it.

Scott: No, no hernia. They did an ultrasound too. I’m still waiting on the radiologist to call me back but the tech said he didn’t see anything.

Me: Well, that’s good. I wonder what it is?

Scott: The nurse said it sounds like a lower abdominal muscle tear. I still need to drop off my urine but she’s guessing it’ll be fine.

Me: Hm, so maybe stop working out so much? What’s wrong with you? Why are you so quiet?

Scott:

Me: Hello?

Scott: LIKE A BUTTON ON A FUR COAT.

Me: What?

Scott: It shrunk. He shrunk up like a frightened turtle.

I laughed.

Me: Ummmm. What?

Scott yanked his jeans open and dropped his underwear and jeans to his feet. There he stood with ‘ole morning glory whipped out in our kitchen.

Scott: LIKE THIS.

Scott folded his penis like an accordion so the tip was showing.

Me: No! It’s never shrunk that small, Scott. I’ve never seen it like that. You’re probably overreacting. Just the tip? It’s too long to go back that far inside your body.

Scott: Just the tip. I looked down and there he was, all scared with stage freight. I’ve never seen him like that before.

Me: But you said the nurse was hot?

Scott: HELL YES, SHE WAS HOT! Smokin’ hot.

Me: Hotter than me?

Scott: Of course not, baby. It doesn’t really matter because I couldn’t even get a chub. I would’ve been happy with it halfway normal. Like this. Or maybe this. She asked if I’ve been with any partners other than you and I’m like, “well, obviously not. Apparently I need my wife in the room for him to come out of his shell.”

Me: SCOTT! NO, YOU DIDN’T.

Scott laughed.

Me: Maybe she didn’t look. Did she laugh?

Scott: No, she had two fingers digging in and told me to cough.

Me: I’m sure she’s seen all kinds of penises. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. Look at women’s vaginas after giving birth. You…

Scott: LIKE A BUTTON ON A FUR COAT.

My husband is well endowed.

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And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

 

Date your spouse.

This post is sponsored post by Fyllan and Rozzelle Court Restaurant in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Date your spouse.

It’s marriage advice. You’ll hear it at weddings. You might even hear it repeated at a baby shower. It’s advice for empty nesters or retirees too, although that’s a guess. I haven’t reached that point in life.

The fact that it is a piece of advice will tell you it’s hard. Dating your spouse is hard.

Babies are good at putting out a rockstar couple’s fire. Really good, like rolling in on a firetruck with a water hose. But I’m not here to tell you that. You know. You also know it’s not always the kids. It’s stress too – the adult kind of stress that no one sees coming. A job loss. A breast cancer diagnosis. Losing a baby. Caring for aging parents. Life will throw something at you.

Even the day-to-day repetition can turn a marriage from for better into for worse. This isn’t a sad post. It’s a real one.

Date your spouse.

What kind of date? Well, that’s up to you.

I’ll tell you one of my favorite dates – feed me and take my dirty dishes away. 

For better is red lipstick. It’s watching Scott knot a tie even though he changed his mind later and went with a cowboy shirt instead. It’s curling my big hair. Scott trims his beard. He won’t shave it all because he knows I love his beard. For better is when Scott kisses my hand in the car on the way to our dinner date. I’m driving, of course, because I wear the pants in the relationship. That was a terrible joke, Scott. I’m sorry. For better is a dress and high heels. The heels that are just high enough to put me face-to-face with Scott. I love being his equal. He opens the restaurant doors for me and lets me walk in first.

For worse is putting in our name and waiting. It’s staring at other couples waiting. Everyone is on their phones.

For worse is making a mental note who was waiting before you. It’s our night, not theirs.

For worse is knowing you’re paying a babysitter to watch the kids while you stare at a hostess. You question if you remembered to give her your name after asking how long the wait is. Yes, I have done this before and Scott will never let me live it down.

Romance shouldn’t come with a wait.

Fyllan (pronounced “fill-in”) is a new restaurant app for your android or iPhone. I got to try out the app on Friday. We never waited for a table at Rozzelle Court Restaurant in the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. Scott and I checked in by showing the app code and we were ushered directly to our table.

The app works in real time so you never have to call or book a reservation days in advance. The app is free to download.

The app is easy to use. We picked a restaurant from the map.

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We wanted a restaurant with ambience. Oh, I don’t know, maybe a 15th-century Italian courtyard ambience. And live music! Sold.

Rozzelle Court Restaurant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

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We booked two guests for a 7 pm dinner time on July July 21, 2017.

Each restaurant will display a price to book. The price is determined by the restaurant according to the average ticket cost. This cost, paid on your credit card at time of booking, is used as a credit towards your final bill. The credit will also cover gratuity. Restaurants may list specials or additional options such as “meet the chef.” Fyllan charges 10% of your final bill for its service. Fyllan will make sure you’re dating – not waiting.

And rest of your night is yours.

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Thank you Rozzelle Court Restaurant and the Nelson-Atkins Museum. I am not a food blogger or even a foodie but you sure do make me look good on a Friday night.

And Fyllan – thank you for giving us a date night without the wait.

Scott still knows how to make me laugh for the better.

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Links: 

Fyllan app

Rozzelle Court Restaurant

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

____________

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Biodegradable marriage.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the sun, sunscreen, bleach cream, and Scott and I were married on July 17, 2004 by a pastor in front of one hundred witnesses.

When people say they don’t want to get married because it’s a piece of paper – they’re right. Marriage is a piece of paper.

It’s a piece of paper that can be easily misplaced when a newlywed couple moves from Manhattan, Kansas to Charleston, South Carolina. Misplaced meaning it probably got thrown in the trash. Thirteen years later, it most likely doesn’t exist because paper is biodegradable, much like a marriage. Hold on. That last sentence came out wrong. Scott and I are still married. According to our health insurance, we are not.

“Mr. Burton, we regret to inform you that Julie Burton will not be covered on your health insurance policy effective immediately. Please submit a valid marriage license stating you are married.”

Proof.

The insurance company wanted proof Scott and I are married. They also wanted proof that Emma and Kate are Scott’s dependents. Emma and Kate’s birth certificates were sufficient to prove that Scott is the father of Emma and Kate Burton. The birth certificates also lists the mother – me, Julie Burton. I share the family last name because we’re married and Scott didn’t bang his sister. 

I’ve nagged the shit out of Scott to order a new marriage license. No, I didn’t politely remind Scott. I nagged because we’re married.

A few months ago, Scott pointed out a dark discoloration on my face because we’re married. 

Scott reminded me for weeks that my face is flawed and I should get checked out by a dermatologist because we’re married. 

I lied. Scott didn’t tell me my face is flawed. But he was concerned I would get skin cancer. But, to me, he totally looked for flaws because we’re married.

I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist.

“Mrs. Burton, your insurance card isn’t working. We even called and they said you aren’t covered anymore. You’ll have to self pay and resubmit it when it’s working again.”

Mrs. Burton.

My thumbs rage-texted Scott in the waiting room.

“Julie Burton? If you follow me, I’ll take you back to the room and the doctor will be right in.”

Burton.

The doctor walked in the room.

“Hey Julie, what’s going on today?”

“I have this discoloration on my face. I’m a little concerned about it. It’s been there for months now. The intensity changes but it’s always there.

“What SPF sunscreen do you wear?”

“Oh, high. 70, maybe? I’m paranoid about that stuff. I’ve been at the pool with my kids a lot this summer.”

“Do you reapply?”

“I do to my kids. Hm, no, not to me. I kinda forget about taking care of myself when I’m with them.”

“I see. This is from the sun. Make sure you continue to wear a high SPF and reapply. That’s key, make sure you reapply. I’ll prescribe some bleach cream that should help balance out the discoloration.”

“That’d be awesome. Thank you.”

I walked out to the receptionist.

“That will be 108 dollars, Mrs. Burton.”

Mrs. Burton.

Dear health insurance company, I regret to inform you you didn’t get a wedding invite on July 17th, 2004. You missed a hell of a party. You also missed being a witness to the words, “I take you in sickness and in health as long as we never lose the marriage license because official name changes, tax returns, and bank account statements won’t be enough to prove we’re married.

Marriage is a piece of paper.

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

___________

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Shiplap lover.

What makes something funny?

I don’t have an answer for you and I consider myself a humor writer. I can tell you humor is an art. There are different styles of humor – parody, satire, slapstick, irony, sarcasm, puns, spoofs, dark humor, the unexpected. Any stand-up comedian will tell you timing plays a role in humor. My parents will tell you humor is genetic.

But recognizing when you’re a dumbass and telling the world takes a certain skill. I once told Scott that people only think I’m funny because I’m good at making fun of myself.

It’s called the dumbass humor.

I was in the bathtub when I realized – holy shit, I might be the dumbest person I know. And I know a lot of dumbasses.

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What is this empty tub you see?

That’s the after.

Before I get to my story, let’s talk about my house. If Scott got his way, our house would look similar to a mountain lodge. Towering windows, ceilings that can easily fit a 15-foot Christmas tree, wood beams, a statement shed chandelier. Animal fur rugs under your feet and big game animals staring at you as you drink your hot cocoa with a splash of whiskey.

I mean, I don’t have anything against mountain lodges. They’re beautiful. They have a charm about them that makes you go straight for the red wine, the stout beer, the whiskey, and the medium rare steak. It’s hearty, warm, and full bodied. It’s man versus the wild – even if the eyes of the wild are made from glass.

We live at an elevation of 1,040 feet above sea level. We live in Kansas. We do not have majestic views of mountains but one time Scott saw our next door neighbor topless, popping a zit on her face in the mirror. Stop. It wasn’t at this house. Scott closed our blinds at our old house one night and there she was, really digging in with her nails. And Scott isn’t a peeping tom if he called me to watch too. That’s as far as we get for views of majestic – fine – full but a little saggy mountains.

In order to make our house a normal looking Kansas home, I need to balance the man vs. wild on our walls. I try to soften our home with flowers and white knit blankets. I weave my love of script and words with Scott’s fur and glass eyes staring at us. I think I do a good job. I am always looking for ways to mix our own version of the outdoors into our home.

The first weekend of the month, thousands of people head to the historic West Bottoms of Kansas City. You will find stores filled with antiques, one-of-a-kind vintage finds, thrifty picks, other people’s junk, whatever. It’s an interior designer’s dream. I went down to the West Bottoms this past weekend with two girlfriends. We wandered into store after store, each talking about our homes and our personal styles.

I found a perfect piece.

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Shiplap lover.

Me: Oh! This is cute. I have a whole fishing theme going on in our bathroom. Shiplap lover. Sounds sexy.

Cody: Oh, you should get it then.

Me: Yeah, I think I will. I’ll get it to decorate the shelf by our tub. It’s perfect.

Kathy: What’d you get?

Me: Isn’t this cute? I have a fishing theme in our master bath.

Kathy: Oh. Yeah. Get it.

It was perfect. There’s something about the master bathroom, especially the bathtub, that can be intimate without mushy. Shiplap lover is sexy. If there’s one thing Scott and I love with a passion, it’s fishing. You will see that love in our personal spaces.

Scott: What did you buy with Cody and Kathy?

Me: This. This. Isn’t this cute? Oh, and this too! For the tub.

Scott: What’s a shiplap?

Me: Oh, you know. Like lovers on a ship. It’s like us and fishing!

Scott: I’ve never heard of that.

Me: You’re not romantic. It’s a thing. It’s cute.

Scott: Oh.

Sunday night. I put my new decor pieces out. I filled the tub with epsom salts and oils. I applied a facial mask to my face. I poured a glass of wine, grabbed a book, and my phone. I sank into the tub and looked over at the words shiplap lover.

What is a shiplap anyway? I better make sure it’s not like the bottom deck with the rats or something gross.

Google search: shiplap

Um, what the hell is HGTV’s Fixer Upper? Who is Joanna Gaines and what the hell did I tell everyone I was buying?

Shiplap refers to a style of building material made of wood boards that overlap each other. No, not in the form of making a ship but in the form of wood pieces being nailed up on a wall like a barn. Go ahead – Pinterest search: shiplap. It’s bringing the look of a barn indoors. Some woman named Joanna Gaines from a show called Fixer Upper made it popular.

Shiplap has nothing to do with ships or fishing or getting drunk on the high seas with a lover. Nope. Any reference to fishing and shiplap makes zero sense to anyone that is not a dumbass. I don’t have one wall in my house that is shiplap. How can I be a shiplap lover if I don’t have shiplap? I love fishing and Scott not Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper what the hell? Is that what I’m declaring now? My love for a television show that made shiplap popular?

Not only did my girlfriends probably think to themselves, what the hell was Julie talking about? But Scott called me out on it too. The employee at the store in the West Bottoms probably thought, this dumbass is buying a turquoise starfish with a shiplap sign. Every person I have ever fished with is sitting on their phone and laughing at my anchor, a turquoise starfish and shiplap lover. HGTV viewers, Joanna Gaines and interior designers everywhere are thinking, but those are rocks on her wall. Where’s the shiplap?

What makes something funny?

My dumbass.

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