This House is Maid for a Nanny, Sister!

Sometimes, when my four kids are wearing on my nerves and the dust bunnies are plentiful enough to stuff a mattress, I think I need a nanny.

Then I feel like nannies are for rich people, which definitely counts me out. I mean, I have a hole in my shoe but have to wait for payday so I can buy a new pair. On sale. With a coupon.


So since I'm not upper-crusty enough to afford a nanny, I start thinking it might be cool to have a sister wife. Someone else to help shoulder the burdens of domestic drudgery. An extra pair of hands to, you know, clean the sticky handprints off the front of the refrigerator and pick up Legos. And scrub the boys' toilet, because yuck. And to relieve me of my duties when I straight-up don't feel like doing them, like, "Hey, can you take over laundry and bedtime tonight? There's a new episode of 'Teen Mom' and a pint of Haagen-Dazs calling my name."

But then I think ... a sister wife is an actual person living in my household. Not Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons. She would probably want to watch TV and eat ice cream too and then nothing would get done. She'd have needs and feelings. And, like, feelings for my husband.  And she'd also be, like, feeling my husband. Literally. I don't think I could handle all that. (Nor could my husband, for that matter. He's not twenty any more.) Plus, sister wives tend to have more kids, and Lord knows that's not the way to restore order and cleanliness up in here.

So then I think maybe I should hire a housekeeper. Yes! A housekeeper wouldn't be after my husband (well, if she knows what's good for her). She wouldn't ask for any of my ice cream. She'd have her own home to go to when she finishes cleaning mine. Housekeepers don't take care of kids, but I could do that while she's deep-sanitizing the crapper.

Then I remember the hole in my shoe. And the waiting for payday.

Well damn. If you need me, I'll be chasing after my own kids and cleaning my own toilet.

... But at least I'm not sharing my ice cream.

Super-Awesome School Shopping Roundup! ... Or Not


It's almost time for back-to-school shopping. If I were a good blogger I'd do some sort of roundup of the best places to shop, with price comparisons and a handy printable timetable of deals and coupons and a convenient list of stores that offer price matching.

But ... I tell stories about poop and do bad hair tutorials. So there's that.

Luckily, though, I did find a really nice site as far as all that info is concerned. The woman who puts this together at Passion for Savings is a genius (and far more patient, and much better at math, and probably prettier, than I am). It's totally comprehensive, man. You know what a coupon weenie I am so it's nice to have a simple, straightforward guide with all the legwork done.

My goal this year (besides saving money because three school-aged kids = ouch) is to find three things, primarily: durable shoes, durable jeans, and durable backpacks. Seriously, by the end of last school year my kids were looking like tattered ragamuffins with scuffed-up and holey ... well, everything. But I was too cheap to purchase replacements that late in the game, so I was like, "Here's some duct tape. If your lunch falls out of the hole in your backpack just pick it up. What's that? You don't like the way your toe pokes out of your shoe? Just be grateful it's not cold and rainy."

I'm kind of depressed at the lack of hand-me-downs in my house. You'd think that having four children of the same gender would practically guarantee that I'd only have to buy clothing occasionally. And that the things I do buy would last from child to child. But my boys are hard on clothes. Like, I might as well just cut to the chase by taking a brand-new pair of jeans and running them across a box grater and beating them on some gravel for a few hours and unraveling the bottoms. Because that's pretty much what they look like once the dudes have worn them for a month or so. I swear they're in Navy SEAL training instead of elementary school.

I'm hoping this year I don't have to run all over the earth looking for a yellow folder, because y'all? Last year there were exactly ZERO yellow folders to be found. Like, anywhere. I swear I went to five different stores and they were all out. Yet it was on the mandatory school supply list, so I called in a few favors and stood on a few corners and wrote to my congressman and staged some protests and resorted to some bribery and did things I'm not proud of and promised to offer up my next newborn in exchange for the elusive yellow folder. (Joke's on them, I'm not having any more kids.)

Despite it all, I'm actually kind of excited about school shopping. Are you? Anybody got any rockstar back-to-school shopping tips I need to know?

WTF Wednesday: Whacked-Out Searches, Vol. 2

Forgive me for the graphic ... I'm not awesome at "The Photoshop."

Few things are more amusing (and, okay, downright disturbing) than checking out Internet search terms. It's like snooping into other people's computers, kind of. So when I need a laugh, I bring up the search terms that have brought people to my blog and try to figure out why - and now I'm sharing some of the funniest with you. These are actual things people have typed in, mind you, that have led them here to Fighting off Frumpy. Some are obvious, but some ... well ... see for yourself.


#1: Really black people. I'm seriously pale. I make a piece of paper look like a manila envelope (see here for proof). So this one baffles me.

#2: Camel toes and pit stains. I did once write a post featuring both camel toes and pit stains, so I'm guessing that's how this search led to my blog. I'm not, however, too proud about that.

#3: Real poop for sale. Someone's looking to buy real poop? Seriously? They should have sent me an email while they were on my site, because I would totally sell them some real poop if they're looking to fork over some cash. I have an abundance around this piece. (Poop, not cash. Unfortunately.)

#4: Fart perfume. This search term is a little unclear: is the person wanting to smell like a fart or disguise one with perfume? Either way, I'm pretty sure this post about an insertable fart silencer is the reason they ended up here.

#5: Does beer hops irritate my contact lenses? I'm neither an optometrist or a substance-abuse counselor ... but if you're rinsing your contacts with beer, you probably require the services of one or the other. Or both. Just sayin'.

#6: Big '80s hair and a cigarette. I don't know how this search landed someone on my blog, but I do hope that they ended up finding this gem of a photo:

It's my mom in the '80s. Big, bleached-blonde frosted 'fro, tan-from-a-bottle, and hella blue eyeshadow. And an ashtray. Surely this picture satisfied all the searcher's "big '80s hair and a cigarette" needs.

#7: Is holding in farts mannerly? Well. Clearly I've established myself as the Internet's foremost expert on manners, so people are seeking my advice. And in this case, dear reader, yes: holding in farts is mannerly. Especially if you're, like, on an elevator. Or a date. (Or in Target.) But it's also uncomfortable, so I encourage you to let it out at your earliest convenience. A word of warning, though: farting when you think you're alone is the equivalent of sending up a beaming beacon of light like the Bat Signal, and people will miraculously appear out of nowhere. Trust me on this one - I speak from experience.

#8: Cute guy in Eye Mart AND Sexy guy in Eye Mart. Two different searches about - I can assume - one delicious bit of Eye Mart eye-candy? I have noooo idea why this brought someone to The Frump, but now I want to know what Eye Mart this Greek God of Optometry works at because it's about time for my annual exam.

#9: Proper etiquette for placing your penis in your pants. Um ... erm ... eh .... I've got nothin'. I mean I guess I understand why that particular term led them here, but for starters, I haven't got a penis of my very own to properly place in my pants. And as for the members of my household who are endowed with such things, well, they don't wear pants all that often. Except for my husband, of course. Maybe he could help someone answer this question.

#10: Legos strung all over the house. Finally - a search term that brought someone to the right place. Searcher of this term, I feel your pain. Literally. Right in my bare feet.


(If you wanna see Whacked-Out Searches, Vol. 1 - click here!)

An Abode to Unload

I think pretty much everybody has thought about what their dream house would look like - or at the very least, the cool details it would contain. Like built-in storage or a spa tub the size of Texas or under-cabinet pot racks so you wouldn't risk an avalanche every time you make dinner (or is that just me?). I have a Pinterest board full of such revolutionary items, but I can't seem to find a pin for the one thing I want most: a "decompression room."

See, every time I walk in the door, I'm immediately bombarded by kids. But not so they can heap adoration upon me and tell me how sorely I've been missed ... oh no. From the millisecond my foot makes first contact with our floor, someone is whining. Or tattling. Or asking if they can do this or have that.

I don't understand this in the least, because when my husband walks in, they're all, "Daddy! Yay, Daddy is home! Welcome home, Daddy!" and smother him with hugs and kisses. I mean, yeah, that's bombardment ... but at least it's the good kind. With me, though, it's a swift and determined takeover. "Mom-mmyyyyyy, my brother has been on the computer for way too long and it's my turn!" "Mom-mmyyyyyy, now can we have a Popsicle?" "Mom-mmyyyyy, Daddy promised we'd go outside but he's been sitting on the toilet playing his iPhone!" ... all against the backdrop of the toddler whining like he's been abused and neglected during my entire absence, because of course.

What I need is a room between the garage and the house that serves as a buffer. A no-whining, no-tattling, no-request-of-any-kind zone. Preferably soundproof, with someplace comfy to sit and a mini fridge. (Or, you know, a minibar.)

Oh, the possibilities. As long as it picks up on the Wi-fi.

I could chill in the room for a few minutes to unwind from whatever I've been doing and mentally prepare myself for whatever lies waiting for me in the house. There'd be a place for my shoes and bra, which would come off right away, and a supply closet full of comfy pants. (And maybe a direct chute to the laundry room so I wouldn't have to come collect the dirty clothes later.)

Of course, it probably wouldn't do me much good - because unless I could somehow procure a completely silent garage door (unlikely), my kids would still know I was home. And they'd know where I was. And they'd clamor at the door like a horde of hungry zombies.


Okay, so the decompression room sounds great in theory, but I'm not sure how well it would work out in real life.

Maybe I'll just start dropping by the bar down the street instead.


Jalapeñ-oh,no!

When it comes to breakfast (and, okay, any other time of the day) I never met a sweet thing I didn't like. Pancakes. Waffles. Doughnuts. Fruit crepes. Cinnamon rolls. My husband Curtis, on the other hand, is more of a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy and always wants bacon or eggs or hash browns ... or all of the above. However, since I'm the one who does most of the cooking, you can guess which type of breakfast we typically go with.

The other day, though, I decided to be gracious and cook a breakfast he'd like. So I whipped up this concoction of eggs and shredded potatoes and bacon crumbles and cheese and onions and green peppers. I even made him coffee, which I don't drink (although there are times when I sorely wish I did). Then I decided to top off the meal by slicing him some jalapeño peppers, which he loves. He was going to be so happy. This was going to be a WIN.


Unfortunately, in my fervent bid to be an awesome wife, I turned into a not-so-awesome mom. Because while I was chopping up the jalapeños, my four-year-old, Coby, came waving a tube of yogurt at me. "Mommy, can you help me open this please?"

I grabbed the yogurt, ripped the top off the tube, and handed it back to him with a smile. And then got right back to cutting peppers. All was well with the world until I heard a blood-curdling scream from the living room, followed by a high-pitched wail.

"My mouth! Something's wrong with this yogurt!"

With a sinking feeling, I gingerly touched my finger to the tip of my tongue and felt an immediate and intense burning sensation spread across the surface. The same jalapeño-ey fingers that, a moment ago, had been all over the top of Coby's yogurt tube. The part where his mouth went.

... Oops.

At least I didn't pepper-spray the entire house on accident like Curtis did that one time.

But hey, let's just say I was introducing my son to spicy foods via a medium he really enjoys. Like strawberry yogurt.

That sounds better, doesn't it?




PS - Are you a blogger, or have you ever wanted to know what it's like inside the mind of one? Check out this hilarious BabyGizmo video collaboration I got to be a part of (twice!): Sh*t Mom Bloggers Say.

That Awkward Age


Think for a minute about the parties you went to when you were younger. I don't mean the ones where you played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and ate birthday cake; I mean the kind your parents would have disapproved of. The kind that involved alcohol and loud music and things people get arrested for doing.*

*Mom, if you're reading this, I'm just basing it off of ... you know, other's people's stories. I was too busy at the library to ever go to any of those parties. Yeah, that's it. The library.

Anyway, at those parties - and even the ones you went to later, like in your early twenties - there was always "that person." You know: the one who was a lot older than anybody else there but trying to fit in just the same. In the earlier years, this was the person who probably supplied the booze; in later years, when you were old enough (barely) to buy your own, this was the person who was just ... kind of pathetic. The person that was clearly trying to reenact his or her "glory days" by hanging out with a much younger crowd and trying - and failing - to be cool. And the older and more uncool they actually were, the harder they tried - like middle-aged hoochies in shorts they bought in the juniors' section, baring cottage-cheese thighs and crepe-paper cleavage. Or the skeezy older guys who hit on girls young enough to be their daughters. They may have thought they were hip and youthful, but in the minds of the kids they were hanging around, they merely served as a cautionary tale of what happens when you get old.

I swore I'd never turn into that person. But, like, I also swore I was going to be a perfect mother and we can all see how that turned out.

At the awkward age of almost thirty-four, I don't have much of a choice. If I want a social life that extends beyond children's birthdays and please-buy-this-overly-expensive-product-and-then-agree-against-your-better-judgment-to-book-your-own-party parties, I pretty much have two choices. One, go to a dance club feeling all hot and then walk through the doors and realize that everybody there is 21 and all their body parts are still firm and feel like an old piece of crap all night while watching them stumbling and grinding on each other and saying to their friends, "OMG, I'm sooooooo drunk right now." Or two, go to a sedate bar where everybody is quietly sipping martinis in dim lighting, looking like off-duty lawyers.

I don't like either of those choices. Because although I adore dancing, I'm of an age that automatically makes me "that person" at dance clubs. The old, overreaching one. And I appreciate a good martini and a relaxed ambience, but sometimes an oldster just wants to shake her (aging) ass to a good beat.

It's hard out there socially for us thirtysomethings, y'all. We don't exactly fit in when you plop us into the middle of a club full of people who were born when we were in, like, high school. Yet we're still young enough to sometimes want more than soft jazz music and an overpriced cocktail.

My friend Lindsey and I were talking about this the other day (she totally forgave me for the time I messed up her car, thank goodness) and she had a brilliant idea: someone needs to open up a club exclusively for people in their thirties. With a dance floor - devoid of perky twentysomethings - that plays at least the occasional '90s hit because seriously, who in this age group could resist getting down to, say, a little bit of Sir Mix-a-Lot?*

*If you just chanted, "I like big butts!" in your head, we could totally be BFFs.

The place would open at like seven in the evening so we have time to eat first - because when you're in your thirties you have learned that drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea. It would close by one o'clock because hello, that's past our bedtime ... we still have obligations in the morning outside of sleeping off our liquor consumption. There would be awesome two-for-one drink specials since, in your thirties, you have real bills to pay like the mortgage ... or at least that arm-and-a-leg you forked over to the sitter for a night out. There would be a section to chill away from the dance floor when it gets too loud (because while "too loud" wasn't a thing in our twenties, it's a recipe for a headache these days). And an ibuprofen dispenser in the bathroom. And it would have a complimentary shuttle service: because by now we're mature enough to know that "whoever is the least drunk" is not a viable option when it comes to transportation.

I think it sounds like a fabulous, magical place. Who wants to open up the first location?

Hip-hop-hooraaaay! Ho! Heeeey! Ho!


Six Happy-Mom Hacks


There's a wise old saying that goes, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." (Well, okay, it could be a wise old saying or it could just be something that was invented to put on a decorative wall plaque.) Either way, it's relevant: we moms are the backbones of the household, and the internal "climate" has a lot to do with how we feel. If I wake up feeling good (on payday or a good hair day, for example), stuff gets done. I'm productive. The house is more likely to be picked up, I'll be slower to snap at someone, and the probability of a well-rounded dinner on the table is much higher. But if I'm not having a good day, I can quickly slip into "screw-it mode" and let everything around me slide - and, in turn, make pretty much everyone as grumpy as I am.

Moms are vitally important to the well-being of the home and everybody in it. When the shiz hits the fan (sometimes literally, because kids are gross), Mom comes to the rescue. We are the driving force behind this well-oiled machine. So what keeps us happy? The stuff on this list. Pull out a few of these and watch as the entire family benefits. Trust.

Say the magic words. There are three little words that can make a world of difference, and every mom needs to hear them from time to time: "I'll make dinner." Alternately, the three-word combinations of "Let's order pizza" and "Let's have cereal" are just as powerful. Because sometimes when our figurative plates are full, the last thing we want to do is figure out how to fill those literal plates at dinnertime (especially when we're pretty sure our efforts will be met with wrinkled noses and whines of, "But we don't like fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever-nutritious-meal-you've-worked-hard-to-concoct!").

Clean up after your damn self. We're not asking you to keep the house Martha Stewart-spotless. But here's a news flash about moms: even though we like a clean house, we don't actually enjoy cleaning it any more than you do. Additionally, we are not the only people in the house who are capable of keeping the place decent. So please, do us a solid. Wipe the seat off if you pee on it. Throw the wrappers/empty juice boxes/paper scraps in the trash can instead of stuffing them between the couch cushions or under your bed or just leaving them in the middle of the floor. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Toss your dirty underwear in that clever invention we call a "clothes hamper." Or, if you really want to see Mom smile, get crazy and fold and put away a load of laundry! A little housekeeping help goes a long way.

Don't come a-knockin'. Seriously, when Mom is behind a closed door? KEEP. THE DOOR. SHUT. Doors were invented for a reason: to keep other people out. If we wanted to use a public restroom, we'd go poop at the gas station. Don't knock. It doesn't matter what we're doing in there. It doesn't matter how long we're going to be. Us closing the door is not a signal to ask questions or make complaints through the crack.

Stop the spur-of-the-moment invites. There are few things as annoying as unannounced company, so it would greatly benefit you to ask before inviting someone over. I think I can safely speak for all moms when I say it'd be nice to know in advance so we can, oh, put on a bra and perhaps something other than stretchy pants. Or clear the sink of last night's dishes. Or take care of the stuff we need to take care of WITHOUT the addition of someone else's kids. You might always be ready for company, but that doesn't necessarily mean Mom is, so run it by us first.

Be practically perfect (in public). We're proud of our families - after all, we've literally put blood, sweat, and tears into cultivating and tending to them. But if you really wanna get on Mom's good side? Make us proud in public. Use the manners and etiquette we've been pounding into your head gently teaching you since your infancy. Nothing validates our efforts, or makes us feel like better moms, than remarks from the general public about how well-behaved or polite our children are. And for our spouses? Be a team player. The odds of good public behavior are dramatically increased when both parents are involved in whatever family outing we're on - not glued to the phone, or walking ahead while we struggle with a stroller or a stubborn toddler.

Toss us some thank-yous. Motherhood is a thankless job. I mean, doing things for our families 24/7 is part of the job description, so we don't expect high praise all the time, but a little appreciation once in a while (and not just on Mother's Day when it's, like, an obligation) would be pretty sweet. Think about it: you have your own personal chef. Maid. Chauffeur. Nurse. Stylist. Psychologist. Teacher. We keep track of your appointments, applaud your successes, coach you through your failures, advocate for you, and match all your socks. We're on call every hour of every day, and let our own needs go unmet so yours can be not only fulfilled, but exceeded. So it'd be nice if, sometimes, you were like, "Hey Mom, thanks for the clean clothes/homework help/assistance in molding us into respectable citizens." Throw in a big hug and we'll be putty in your hands ... because, pssst - the more appreciated we feel, the more likely we are to keep up the good work.

... Just sayin'.


The Baby-Bod Blues

Sometimes (okay, like every time I take a shower) I just stare at myself naked in the mirror and wonder what the hell happened.

I mean I know what actually happened - four kids and a sweet tooth. But still. It's amazing to me just how much my physique has changed over the years. I want to travel back in time and slap the hell out of my eighteen-year-old self for ever, ever criticizing my pre-baby body. I want to say, "Hey, eighteen-year-old self! Look at your smooth skin. Notice the glorious lack of stretchmarks. Squeeze those perky boobs and notice how they stay in the same place instead of flopping back down over your rib cage. Nothing is baggy or sagging. Buy the cute underwear! Wear the bikini! Take the naked pictures! You'll thank me someday!"

Instead, when I was eighteen, I was unnecessarily anxious over a practically-nonexistent muffin top and the fact that my boobs were small. I never dreamed that someday my muffin top would be, like, a bread loaf ... and that my tiny ta-tas were in fact big enough to deflate and droop despondently toward my belly button like water balloons full of room-temperature Jell-O. They're so flat I can fold them in half. FOLD THEM. IN HALF. You can't do that with the round, bouncy boobies of youth. No sir.


And my stomach? Folds of skin for days. Enough stretchmarks to circle the earth approximately three times. My abs are actually not bad, but you'd never know it because they're trapped beneath a flab-blanket brought on by the gestation of four kids who don't even care that they wrecked my beautiful bod. The ingrates. They just say things like, "What are all those lines for?" and "Why do your boobies look sad?"

Here is the part where I'm supposed to bring in the "but" (and I don't mean the one behind me that's falling and dimpled). I mean the BUT: my body may be jacked up, BUT I'm proud of it. BUT I love it. BUT it has given me four beautiful healthy children.

Some days, though, it's hard to feel glad when you know you once had something, and you didn't appreciate it at all, and now you can never get it back. At least not without a bazillion dollars in plastic surgery.

Anybody wanna float me a loan?


A Boomin', 'Shroomin' 4th

Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle had a big 4th of July bash every year, where my cousins and I would shoot off fireworks and drink alcohol we pilfered from our folks hang out on their dock. And now that I'm a certifiable grownup (uh, most of the time), I always host my own get-together on the 4th. You know, traditions.

But the thing is, I nearly drive myself crazy trying to make everything perfect. Every. Single. Year. I envision a setup that would rival any Pinterest board: cute centerpieces, delicious food, red-white-and-blue everything. Except every year, the date sneaks up on me. I have this habit of not saving up money or making plans in advance and then suddenly it's like July 2nd and I have anywhere from twenty to forty people expecting me to feed and entertain them in two days. Oops. It's my own fault, always.

On the plus side, I have some fabulous resources to call upon when I find myself in a last-minute pickle. I literally live in the best neighborhood ever (we seriously got sooooo lucky), so I can send out a distress signal and before I know it, there are tables and chairs and a screened-in awning for our food and an extra grill and a few coolers and a bunch of yummy side dishes, appearing like magic in our yard. Our whole 'hood pitches in. It's like an Amish barn-raising except, you know, less Amish and no barn.

Whatever.


This year Staples pitched in, too, by sending me a box of their awesome, environmentally-friendly Sustainable Earth products - like this nice sturdy bowl that's so gorgeously displaying my homemade vanilla ice cream. (Because I can't just buy ice cream at the store since I apparently like to stress myself out as much as possible prior to this type of event.)


Mmmmm. Ice creeeeeeam.

What was I saying? Oh yes. Staples - yes, the office-supply store - was kind enough to provide me with enough plates, bowls, forks, cups, and napkins to meet the needs of my entire neighborhood plus a few stray family members who migrated north for the celebration. (And they threw in a bottle of their eco-friendly Sustainable Earth cleaner which I swear works better than all the chemical-laden crap I usually use.)

Corbin, my two-year-old, used his plate for an exceptionally healthy meal:


I mean ... potato chips count as vegetables on the 4th of July, right?

As far as entertainment was concerned, we had fireworks, of course - but there were also some shenanigans when my husband allowed the kids (and the dog) to get into our creek for the very first time.

Cameron was clearly super-comfortable with the situation.

And in keeping with tradition, I spent ample time making fun of my brother Steve's sock-and-sandal combo.

Dear Men Everywhere: If the question is "Socks and sandals?" the answer is "No."

Also helping to make the day more ... uh ... special was the gift of this crazy-gigantic mushroom from our friends Bobby and Laura.

Yes. Seriously. It's a mushroom.

First it was just chillin' in my kitchen sink. Then I wore it as a hat.


Curtis insisted that we eat some of it so he sawed off a few slices and fried them up. (I politely declined.) Now it's sitting on my deck like some hacked-up ottoman, and I'm pretty sure that it's going to attract either some unsavory wildlife or, like, some gnomes or something. All I know is, just because it's edible doesn't mean I'm gonna eat it.

I'm sure these photos are making you wish you'd been at my rockin' 4th of July shindig, because hello? Socks and sandals and giant 'shrooms! So you're welcome to come next year. Just bring a side dish.

... Or, you know, a mushroom.

Dear Gynecologist ...


Dear Gynecologist,

I know, it's been a while. I realize we're supposed to see each other with a certain degree of regularity, and that I'm not exactly holding up my end of the bargain. And yes, I know it's important, and that I need to give you a call and schedule a time when we can meet up. Bite the bullet, spread the legs, and get it over with like a big girl.

But I have to be honest here. I'm not exactly enthusiastic about coming to see you, and here's why.

First of all, I'm paying you to check out my lady parts. Generally when someone gets that intimate with someone else, there's at least dinner involved first. Or, like, some alcohol, and possibly even a little flattery. But no: I don't even get to wear a nice outfit - or if I do, it ends up folded neatly in your little plastic chair (with my undies hiding underneath, just because) before you ever see me in it. I shave my legs from ankle to hip, my pits just in case, and meticulously groom ... well, you know. Whatever needs to be meticulously groomed. Just like any normal woman would do when someone's face is going to be mere inches from their hoo-ha.

But instead of a candlelit dinner and some wine and conversation and something backless, I get to chill solo in your sterile, brightly-lit office awaiting our swift encounter. Okay, I may be in something backless, but it's also ass-less and made of paper and not what I'd call haute couture. Instead of being at a nice restaurant or in a swanky hotel, I'm twiddling my thumbs and staring at framed pictures of flowers - right next to the posters advertising birth control and listing the warning signs of, like, gonorrhea. There are no rose petals or champagne in sight, but there's an array of torturous-looking metal tools all laid out, flanked by tubes and swabs and rubber gloves. Is this supposed to make me feel comfortable, Gynecologist? Because to be honest, it really just makes me feel like I'm going to crap all over your table. I mean, maybe if you took me to a movie or something first, I might be a little more relaxed.

I'm not saying I don't appreciate what you do for me. After all, nobody else who's ever been "down there" has had the medical wisdom to tell me how great my cervix looks (uh ... thanks?). But usually when someone's in that vicinity, I'm not staring at fluorescent lights until my eyeballs burn and trying to make small talk. If you're gonna be poking around down south, I'd like to know you well enough to know your middle name and how many siblings you have and your cell phone number. I mean - we're not even friends on Facebook. I don't even know if you're on Facebook. Yet look at you, all up in my bidness (literally, wrist-deep!) like you own the place.

So I'm sorry if I'm a little delayed for our annual rendezvous. I'm sorry if I'm a little reluctant to put my feet in those cold metal stirrups and slide my butt down to the end of the table and put "the goods" on display for inspection. It's just hard to act glad to be there when all I can think about is how there's a virtual stranger going places where toilet paper doesn't even venture. Do you appreciate the fact that I spent an hour contorted like a pretzel in order to remove unsightly hair (and dulled an expensive razor blade in the process)? Or the fact that I used enough feminine hygiene products to make your entire exam room smell like wildflowers? Or the fact that I am struggling valiantly to hold in a fart because being nervous gives me gas?

I'm not sure you appreciate me, Gynecologist. So forgive me if I'm having trouble warming up to the idea of you nosing around down there.

I have a little suggestion. Next time I come in, maybe you could greet me at the door with a shot - and I don't mean an injection. I mean tequila.

Or whatever's strong enough to make that drafty paper gown feel more like a little black dress.

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