A #FanAunt Walks Into a Rubik’s Cube Competition…

This past weekend I had two wild and crazy dreams come true: 1) to attend the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop (even though, once AGAIN, I failed to win their essay contest) and 2) to see my nephew Drew, the speedcubing champion, in a competition in real life.

Jenny Cube

(This is not creepy by the way, it’s TOTALLY NORMAL)

I was dismayed when I found out Drew’s only local tournament of the year was going to be at the same time as Erma, because last year the local tournament was the same weekend as my 15-year college reunion and I missed it. (I am starting to think that Drew plans these specifically so that I cannot attend, and I gotta say it’s a pretty plausible theory.) But HAPPILY, there was a 3-hour break in the Erma action Saturday afternoon, so even though I was TOTES EXHAUST from conferencing all weekend, I got in my sweet minivan and drove across town in time to see Drew in some finals, including Pyraminx (at which he is World Record Holder – watch him break the record here –  and some other fancy title like Lord of the Trigon)

Oh, by the way, this is a Pyraminx

Oh, by the way, this is a Pyraminx

and the regular Rubik’s cube, known to cubers and their overly-interested aunts as the “3×3”. Drew is national champion at the 3×3 but his pal Lucas is the World Record Holder aka LORD OF THE CUBE on that one (you can watch him blow the world’s mind in just 4.9 seconds here).

3 x 3 to those of us "in the know"

3 x 3 to those of us “in the know”

SO ANYWAY.  I walk in to this church gym where the competition is, and STRANGELY, there are not hundreds of people there, so I was able to walk right up front and get a seat. I didn’t see Drew’s mom (my sister-in-law Sarah) anywhere so I moseyed up to the front row where Drew was solving one cube or another. And his eyes met mine and they were filled with the glowing excitement all 16-year-olds when they see their embarrassing aunt walk into a room filled with their peers. You can imagine, I’m sure. Well, after Drew locked eyes with his fave #FanAunt, his eyes immmmmedately shifted away and then BACK to me and I saw that he had sent a secret message to his pal Lucas (see Lord of the Cube, above) and that the secret message said “MAYDAY MAYDAY! Embarrassing Adult Female Relative on the Premises!”

So naturally I got up and sauntered over to Lucas and stuck my hand out and introduced myself because OBVIOUSLY he wanted to meet me. DUH. (You’re welcome Lucas!)

I mean, look at me, you guys, I’m KIND OF a teenage dream.

Jenny is Crazy

So, I found my sister-in-law, acquired a pack of Skittles and a coke (very necessary to sugar up for cubing comps) and watched the action—which, honestly, was SO fast I could barely keep up. They had this thing really well-organized and it was all I could do to follow Drew from table to table as he completed the different rounds. I was trying really hard to be not embarrassing but in one round, he solved the Pyraminx in just 1.7 seconds and before I could stop myself, I WHOOPED aloud. Even though it was an accident, the look on Drew’s face was pretty priceless so I’m not even sorry. I DID do my best to keep it under control the rest of the time though. I SWA-EAR. And mostly, I did a great job, except for one time when he solved the 3×3 cube in just 6.36 seconds and I turned to the complete stranger next to me and declared proudly, “I saw him be born!” which is important because my being present at his birth DEFINITELY has a lot to do with how good he is at cubing.

Let's face it. I am the WIND BENEATH HIS WINGS

Let’s face it. I am the WIND BENEATH HIS WINGS

Long story long, Drew won Pyraminx, and he placed 3rd in 3×3 after his pals Lucas and Andy – which leads me to a HUGE revelation— Andy is also local to the Dayton area and ALSO HAS A FAN AUNT. When I walked in I saw another mom from my kids’ school working concessions and I was all “What are you doing here?” and she was all “my nephew helps organize this” and I was all “SO DOES MINE”! Crazy right? Turns out she’s Andy’s aunt. What are the odds? Her daughter in in Joshua’s class and her son is in Sophie’s class, so they have cubing cousins in common! Soooo I guess I’ve got some #FanAunt competition now….good thing I like you, Robin!

Here’s the fab 3, preparing to take over the world at an earlier competition:

Lucas Drew Andy

So, I really enjoyed my first cubing competition! My only regret was that I had the conference all weekend so I wasn’t able to prepare with any super embarrassing posters or life-size cutouts of Drew’s head to wave in the air.

I guess this blog post will just have to suffice!

Congrats, nephew! Can’t wait til the next one!

 

 

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Behind Enema Lines: The Day I Knew the Honeymoon Was Over

Author’s note: This was my entry for the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop Essay Contest. Once again, I LOST. But bonus, you get to hear the most embarrassing story of my LIFE, which I have actually told to very few people. I was hoping it would garner me a win! Talk about your all-time backfires. Pun intended. ENJOY!
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Behind Enema Lines: The Day I Knew the Honeymoon Was Over

 

windy 2

“Marry the person who will help you to the bathroom”.

 

So commands the title of a recent Washington Post feature in which the author describes her spouse’s tender care after her emergency C-section.

 

But I can do her one better.

 

My own emergency C-section added some marital challenges that my husband and I hadn’t foreseen. We’d always been private about “bathroom stuff”; we never dreamed we’d go from “I do” to “Can you help me pull up my mesh hospital panties?” in just under four years.

 

Courtesy of a surgery side effect called an ileus, I couldn’t poop or pass gas after birth. So, my belly, (you know, the one that just had a giant hole cut in it because my hoo-hah wouldn’t perform?) swelled back up to full-term pregnant size—and it hurt like a MOTHER. To remedy this, I got an emergency enema.

 

Fortunately for me, the enema worked. Unfortunately, it started working at the precise moment my mother-in-law chose to visit her new grandson.

 

Trust me, there’s nothing like hoping the moans of your intense pain will cover the seismic sounds of your backed up bowel contents exploding into the toilet so that your mother-in-law won’t hear. (She totally heard).

 

But the spastic colon party was really just getting started. Back in my bed, my bowels decided to prove their reactivation once again. And my poor husband? He alone had a ringside seat for this one.

 

Without warning, loud enema-fueled chemical farts started spewing forth from my nether regions. We looked at each other in shock. Farts? We don’t fart in front of each other! Before panic could even set in, volley after volley of the longest, loudest, stinkiest farts that have ever been farted came jumping out of my body. It was like an eleven-year-old boy ate a 48-ounce can of baked beans plus a tube of your grandma’s stinky antibiotic ointment and just went to TOWN.

 

Horrified, we could do nothing except laugh uncontrollably…but the laughing caused me excruciating pain. After about 15 minutes, this cycle of fart-laugh-moan had us in such hysterics that I had to banish my husband from the room so that my flatulence would be less hilarious and I wouldn’t DIE FROM THE LAUGHING PAINS.

 

Somehow, I survived—and after those odiferous fifteen minutes in that hospital room, I knew that man was in it to win it with me for LIFE. Twelve years later, we still roll with laughter when one of us brings up the “Chemical Fart Incident”.

 

So girls, please: Do marry the person who will help you to the bathroom. Or maybe? Be like me and marry the dude who can withstand your chemical farts.

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Please Stop Smoking From the Pumpkin Spice Flavored Crack Pipe

You guys. It’s FALL. Like, officially, according to the calendar, not just according to white girls who loves scarves, boots, and OHMAHGAH PUMPKINSPAHHHHCCCEE!

Or so I've heard.

Or so I’ve heard.

Little known fact about me: FALL is my favorite season. I love the weather, I love the boots, and scarves, and dangit if ORANGE isn’t my favorite color, I don’t know what is!! I freaking love ORANGE. I even like Pumpkins. I mean, they’re adorable fruits you can eat or decorate. Except I don’t actually like to eat them. But their seeds? I do love to eat some  baked-up pumpkin seeds. What I don’t like? PUMPKIN SPICE. Pumpkin spice is the orange-colored, clove-scented, RUINATION OF FALL! I know you are all gasping in one accord and your heads are collectively SPINNING with rage on your scarf-clad necks, but please take a breath and maybe a huff of your pumpkin-scented Yankee candle and hear me out. I will explain. Once upon a time a few falls ago, I made the mistake of innocently posting on Facebook how much I hated “Pumpkin Spice” and had therefore never been a fan of pumpkin pie or that disgrace that’s come to coffee, the PSL. I say “mistake” because this resulted in an immediate torrent of pumpkin spice-related pictures, memes, comments, and tags on my Facebook timeline. This pumpkin torment has been going on for at least three years, I’d say.  It’s KIND OF annoying. BUT!! But…today I’m here to say, the joke is on the jokers. By tormenting me with all things pumpkin spice on my timeline, you’ve given enough ammo to prove that this country has lost it’s damn mind over all things pumpkin spice to a REEDONKULOUS degree. Allow me to demonstrate:

frosted mini wheats

Ummmm….no. fall frolic YOUR CAT NOW HATES YOU EVEN MORE THAN IT ALREADY DID! Why would your force it to defecate in pumpkin spice-flavored litter? pumpkin spice chips Way to go, Nestle, I just THREW UP IN MY MOUTH. I pity the kids that bite into a cookie made with these and think they are chocolate chip. Have fun paying for the years of therapy caused by THAT violation of trust, parents. Things in the United State of Pumpkin Spice have gotten SO very out of hand that my friend and loyal reader Allison, grocery shopping in sunny California, was compelled to make a lovely photo collage of the pumpkin parade at her local grocery. This is just the stuff on the END CAPS! God knows what other horrors are lurking in the aisles…

pumpkin spice collage

Seriously…Oreos? Milanos? Hostess cakes? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO THESE DELICACIES??? It’s like junk food treason.

That’s right America, you have gone so COO-COO for Pumpkin Spice, I think that stuff must be laced with crack, or more likely, a mind-controlling drug invented by the purveyors of Pumpkin Spice, the Pumpkin Spice Kingpins if you will, to make you crave MOAR AND MOAR AND MOAR PUMPKIN SPICE. I know this is a joke, but I have no doubt that if it were real, people would actually be lining up at the corner drugstore to purchase this so they could squirt pumpkin spice up their hoo-has. (This is another gem from my FB timeline that a “friend” shared with me.)

pS enema

And, in case you’re period just isn’t unpleasant enough ALREADY, have a pumpkin spice tampax! The warm scents of cinnamon and pumpkin will ALMOST make you forget your constant state of hormone-induced homicidal rage.

PS tampons

This is FUNNY BECAUSE THIS IS HOW CRAZY YOU PEOPLE ARE! You guys. Put down your Pumpkin Spice Latte, pick up a Salted Caramel Mocha, (because we ALL KNOW that CARAMEL is the REAL FLAVOR OF FALL), and umm…get a life. (And if you can’t control yourselves, please hide in secret with your pumpkin spice Oreos and do not sully my timeline with that blasphemy! )

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