I admit to whining about this move. So sue me. But leave it to a few punchy readers, and a wise and extremely gorgeous woman who shared with me her Darfur Theory of Moving to put me in my place.
Basically, if you're not moving to Darfur, then you've probably got it pretty damn good.
That or Mississippi. The stretch of stinky catfish farms they call "landscape" down there is pretty damn close to an African desert. Except I think the desert is actually prettier and doesn't stink as much.
So when people ask me if I like Little Rock, it's a pretty simple answer.
Now don't get me wrong. There are definitely some downsides to living here, including some pretty treacherous roads and a whole lot of religion. But considering I don't listen to the radio anyway, and obviously don't watch television anymore, it's not such a big deal. And while my particular town (north of the city) is dry, that just means I can't get an Ultimate Mudslide with my TGIF 3-course special.
But since the last time I set foot in a TGIF a waitress dropped a bar glass on my foot which ended with me requiring eight nasty and painful stitches, I'm okay with not having to eat at TGIF.
See. Little Rock has my safety in mind. Plus, with all the people praying on the radio and the television, that's got to provide some type of heightened protection.
And if want to eat anywhere else, I can just load up before I go. Very economical, this city.
Aside from my safety and my bank account, Little Rock is very concerned with my appearance. They've conveniently placed some type of waterfall, pond, or miniature lake in all their Asian restaurants so instead of stuffing my face with white rice and teriyaki chicken, I'm running after my two children who think that they need to catch their own sushi fish and swim for change to tip the chef.
Plus, thanks to the the base gym, I can drag the two kids along and run on the treadmill while they chase each other in the fenced in "family work out" room. Imagine a Medieval Times type set up, except instead of eating large turkey thighs, you're trying to work yours off all while your fellow mothers are yelling threats like "Don't make me get off this bicycle, little boy" while your kids try to avoid getting rammed by some wild children with large square shaped mats.
And what I can only attribute to nothing short of a miracle, I scored a pedicure and hair cut appointment at the town's best spa on a short notice Saturday morning.
I hear you, Little Rock. Those feet were pretty damn scary.
So not only am I thinner, a bit scared of some of the base wives, and nicely coiffed and scrubbed, within the three weeks that I have been here I've virtually met some extremely friendlybloggers, one of which sent my blog to the Democrat-Gazette for a feature article in the family section.
And if that's not enough, almost every single person I've met or emailed with here in the city, including well-known sex author Suzi Parker, has told me that my name is terribly familiar. Like they know me.
That's because Little Rock loves me so much, they have a store named in my honor.
I guess the "E" in my name messed up my chances of getting a discount. But if you're in the market for a Lacoste shirt in Little Rock, that is the place to go, my friends. I always knew I had very expensive, preppy taste hidden under my printed tee-shirt, dirty jeans, and free ghetto pedicure flip flops (that aren't really for going out in public except I'm a dork -- hence this photo opp).
So thanks for the welcome, Little Rock. Hell, without the southern accents and Waffle Houses, you could pass for Jersey.
The only neighborly visitor we’ve had in the two weeks we’ve lived here was from the resident girl scout.
“Do we need girl scout cookies?,” my husband yells from the door.
Now what kind of messed up rhetorical question is that? I mean who really ever needs girl scout cookies? The fat content in those puppies is enough to simultaneously re-clog the arteries of an entire cardiac unit.
That’s not generally something my heart or my ass needs. Ever.
It’s one thing when they set up shop outside of the local supermarket and before you know it you’re signing your life away for a box of Do-si-dos that you consume on the way home just so you can hide the evidence. Hell, I’ve seen grown men make it through an entire cookie aisle and fully stocked bakery emptyhanded only to be suckered into a case of cookies by a couple of little girls wearing their brown and green uniforms complete with side pony tails and freckles.
But when they knock on your door, they’re a bit harder to escape. I mean what grumpy old miser says “no” to a $5 box of cookies from a little girl and her fully stocked wagon goodness. In fact, I’m pretty sure they carry around a credit card machine and a check swiper since most people don’t have enough cash stashed in their house for two damn boxes of those things.
Meanwhile, there we stood. The new suckers neighbors caught with our extra big cookie-needing pants down around our ankles.
“We shouldn’t have answered the door,” I whispered to my husband as I approached him from the kitchen. He ignored me, entranced by the complicated ordering chart already full of cookie orders that were bound ruin some poor person’s new year’s resolution and inevitably end up left on the work “snack table” or turned into a pie.
“So what do you want?,” he asks me.
“Um, what are those called, tinfoils or something” I ask, sort of jokingly to the eight-year-old standing on my doorstep.
“Trefoils” she said, unamused, pointing to their picture on the box with her very pointy pen.
“No,” I said. Those aren’t it.”
“Well, everyone likes the Thin Mints.”
“Ew. No way.” For me, chocolate and mint together is like some terrible incestuous relationship.
“What’s the one that like a square dance move?”
“Do-si-dos.” She points again, her little Ked-sneakered foot tapping.
“Okay. I got it. You know, the ones that have the coconut and the caramel and are like 12 grams of fat each. Yeah those,” I say, challenging her cookie knowledge.
“Oh. Samoas.” I swear she rolled her eyes.
“Right. Apparently we need two boxes of those.”
Here’s hoping we’ve moved before they actually end up on my ass our doorstep. I suppose there are benefits to moving a lot.
I've come to learn that birthdays have little to do with celebrating the actual birth of your child. I mean who really wants to celebrate those moments. Besides, I relive many similar ones (with hardly as good a result) on the toilet almost daily.
But what they do allow us to celebrate is making it through another year of parenting. That candle on the cake and the icing on the face means that we survived. They survived.
And that, my friends, is definitely worth celebrating.