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.


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.



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.


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

We’re all mad here.

Scott doesn’t have a Facebook account.

I mean he has an account on Facebook but he never looks at it. He doesn’t even have the app anymore. He receives family and friends gossip from me. If you want to interact with Scott on social media  – follow him on Instagram. He only posts hunting pictures, for the most part.

Why did Scott stop looking at Facebook? He says he got bored with it. People complained too much. I think he stopped using Facebook because the wives were killing my vibe.

“Mike’s cool girlfriend hunts with him all the time. Look at all these turkeys she’s killed.”

“Jim’s wife is super hot. I bet he gets laid every night.”

“Hunter’s family looks normal in these family pictures. Must be nice.”

These statements are Scott’s opinion, of course. He succumbed to Facebook’s Fakebook. But if you talk to Mike, Jim, or Hunter, you will find that all of the men – including Scott – are married to the same wife.

Things ALL WIVES say to their husbands – I don’t care how many hobbies a wife shares with her husband, how hot she is, or how picture-perfect her family appears in a photo. We’re all the same. We’re all mad here.

  1. “This period blood made your children.” From buying tampons to listening about her cramps to sharing a bed with blood stained sheets – men have to hear about periods. I would dare to say a menstruating woman is grosser than any male. Just look in the bathroom trash can.
  2. “We can’t stay late.” Maybe she said it in the car on the way to the party. Or maybe she whispered it in his ear. This doesn’t happen at every social event but it will happen. She doesn’t want to be there. She wants to be at home because the drunker he gets, the more responsibility falls on her shoulders. Those kids are waking up at 6 am and a puking husband is the last thing she needs.
  3. “Here’s your list.” The list. Every wife has one. The list can be limited to physical things she can’t do or doesn’t know how to do. It can also include shared chores of the household. The hotter the wife, the longer she takes to get ready, therefore – the longer the chore list. It’s science.
  4. “Fine. But leave my shirt on and hurry up.” We’ve all said it. We’re tired ok?
  5.  “I gotta poop.” I mean, women do eat. Women poop. The normal women poop, the hot women poop, your daughters poop, your mom poops, Kate Upton poops. Ok, fine – they might not say ‘poop’ but it’s disguised as, “I was sick in the bathroom this morning.” Whatever. It’s poop. She pooped.
  6. “Take them. They’re your kids.” That picture-perfect family has days where the kids break them – both of them, mom and dad. They can’t do it anymore. That mom will be pushed past the point of exhaustion and that’s when – oh yeah! Another person helped create this 3-year-old spawn of Satan. Your turn.
  7. “Wait! Stop! We need to get a picture so I can put it on Instagram!” She’s said it because she wants to show off her loves. You can’t see a life in a still-shot picture. We’re all mad here.


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



The co-worker.

I work with my husband, Scott.

I don’t work with him professionally but I work under the same roof as him. We work “out-of-the-home.” It sounds nice on paper. You can make your own hours. You can be flexible with the kids’ activities. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on work attire. There’s no commute. It’s deceiving – working from home.

It’s strange working with your spouse. We spend a tremendous amount of time together. Scott and I are essentially co-workers during the day. The kids are at school and we focus on our careers side-by-side.

We each have our own office. I have a couch, blankets, and a fireplace in mine. He has dead animals on the walls in his. We share a kitchen, coffee maker, and bathrooms. The offices are not soundproof. I don’t even have a door on my office. We can converse to each other yet we’re far enough away that phone conversations aren’t an annoyance.

It’s proven the more you like your co-workers, the more you like your job. As always, the Internet has advice to help you be a better co-worker.

  1. Employ audio etiquette. Watch your noise pollution. You and your co-workers are there to perform a job. Conversations, phones ringing, and food utensils clanking can be disruptive to your co-worker. Wear headphones when you can. “Oh, hell no. Not this bitch again. I ain’t listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album on November 2nd!”
  2. Be respectful of your shared workspace. Sharing physical space with people can be easy if you set rules. Last one to leave a room turns off the light. First one awake makes the pot of coffee. Close the door when you use the restroom. “Every time I walk in here, you’re taking a giant shit. I wish people could see what you do all day.” 
  3. Participate. Bounce ideas off your co-workers. Spending ten minutes chatting with people about a project can be more beneficial than thinking it through on your own. Use creativity together. “Hey! Check your IG. I just tagged you in this meme. Your vagina’s name is Tuna Curtains!”
  4. Sexual harassment is never ok. Unwelcome sexual advances, asking for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical sexual conducts is forbidden in the workplace. “You want to heat up this leftover pizza for lunch and then go in the bedroom real quick for a nooner? My balls are sore.”
  5. Dress appropriately. The term “dress for success” is true. If you look professional and put-together, your co-workers will perceive you that way. If you’re sweaty after a quick lunch break at the gym, you should shower before getting dressed again. “Oh, sorry – didn’t know you were changing in here. I’ll watch until you’re done.”
  6. Don’t be a gossip. Speak about others as you would if they were in the room.“There’s something different about you. Something with your face. What’s different? Your eyebrows. They’re like too dark or something. Go wash your eyebrows off. They look terrible.”

My co-worker is Scott. They say the more you like your co-workers, the more you like your job. People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.

Day 2 of the Nano Poblano.

Written from work.



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


You had a 1 in 292,200,000 chance of winning the 759 million dollar Powerball jackpot on August 23, 2017.

You’re more likely to get attacked by a shark or get struck by lightening. A Massachusetts woman beat the odds. She also landed into the 100% odds of the government taking its share, leaving her with $480 million.

Why are we talking about this?

Because every so often, a jackpot will get so big that you start dreaming. You buy a lotto ticket. You start throwing out promises of giving away money to Instagram followers if you win because you need their good karma.

Because if you want to see Scott and I fight – screaming, walking out of the room, and flipping each other off behind each other’s back because he’s so wrong about this –  then let’s talk about winning the hypothetical Powerball.

What would you do with $480 million?

I think most people are in agreement –  you would hire a financial planner. You would pay off all debt. Sell your house. Donate to charities. Go on a ridiculous shopping spree.

Scott and I would set up Emma and Kate’s college fund to be paid in full at Kansas State University. Maybe we would buy a building and name it Burton Hall.

Kansas City would be our “home base.” We wouldn’t move. We love our neighbors and schools too much. I’d call designers over to decorate for me. Every door would get a screen to allow a proper breeze. We would add a pool to our backyard. The fire pit and basement would be complete. I would hire a maid and hire a chef. I’m a simple woman. I don’t need a mansion.

We would buy a house in the Florida Keys. Scott grew up in South Florida and knows the area well. Jimmy Buffet would not be playing from our speakers. No, Jimmy Buffet would be live in concert in my kitchen overlooking the ocean. I would buy a boat and hire a captain and mate. We would fight sailfish, marlin, tuna, and mahi around the world. We would fly our Kansas friends out to come play with us. They could probably use the tan in December. Merry Christmas. 

We would buy a mountain lodge in Colorado. The lodge would be for me and anyone else that is normal and likes warmth in the winter. Scott likes sleeping in a sleeping bag at 15,000 feet in below freezing temperatures. He wants to be at one with the elk. Or maybe he thinks he truly is Jon Snow.

We agreed to take care of our parents and living grandparents with enough money to live with no financial stress.

But then our views differ: siblings.

Our siblings are the people that probably know us best. We would not be who we are if it weren’t for our siblings. Every childhood memory is shared with them. Every important event in our lives is shared – weddings, babies, vacations, tears of joy and tears of sorrow.

This is where Scott’s view of family equality really shines.

Scott has one brother. I have two sisters and a brother.

Scott’s view: His side should get half and my side should get half. Let’s say we agreed to $10 million going to our siblings. Scott’s brother would get half and my three siblings would get the other half, divided by 3. Five million dollars would go to his brother. My three siblings would each get a little over $1.5 million each, for a total of $10 million.


My view: Every sibling receives $2.5 million each, totaling $10 million given to all siblings. All siblings are equal. Scott’s brother gets just as much money as my brother.

Our siblings are people, not his and hers towels. Just because I have two more siblings than Scott, does not mean Scott’s brother wins his own mini-lotto. I love his brother like my own brother but come on. My siblings should get the same amount.

The chances of someone in my large family winning the lotto is greater than Scott’s tiny family because my family has greater odds. I’m sure Scott would take lotto money from one of my siblings if they were to offer it. When you marry a person, you marry the family. When Scott said “I do,” he said “I do” to two extra sisters and an brother.

Of course, this is just a hypothetical argument. And worst case, I would totally slip my siblings an extra $3.5 million cash under the table at Christmas to make them equal to Scott’s brother.

Who wins the argument?

The odds of finding out the answer is one in 292,200,000.


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