Stunted Adults

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My Very Own Kato Kaelin

Despite the fact that I have spent the past decade living a champagne and croissant fueled life in the heart of a major city, I seem to have all too regular run-ins with feral vermin, particularly those of the raccoon persuasion.

And this year is no exception.

A few months ago, Country Boy and his hapless but hilarious assistant (me) finally finished revamping our tiny backyard.  We managed to squeeze in a deck, an in-ground hot tub, and a covered porch that is the home to a gorgeous white outdoor couch.

photo (2)

This joint is straight up Shangri-La.

But, Shangri-La ain’t cheap, which means I have to drag my ass to work every day to pay for my little slice of paradise.

I came home from work earlier this week and wandered outside to get my zen on.  Sliding into that hot tub would make every argumentative telephone call and curt email melt away.

But, I immediately felt that something was amiss.

And then I saw it.

There were muddy prints all around the hot tub.  Around MY hot tub.

pawprints_by_pool

No.  NO.  NO!

I knew those paw prints.

I had seen them before.

They come with beady little eyes, a mask, and paws.

Ready for the catch

WHAT ARE YOU DOING BACK IN MY LIFE?!

WHAT?!

How in the hell was there a raccoon in my hot tub?

I live smack in the middle of a city, a tropical city no less.  While I do have a one-story house, it’s an urban house.  On every side of my house, there is another house within spitting distance.  There are high-rise buildings within walking distance.  There is no nearby forest filled with wildlife.  Hell, this place is barely hospitable to pigeons.

Yet, there were those unmistakable paw prints.

This raccoon had clearly packed a suitcase, took her last $200 and her record collection, and hopped a bus to make her way in the big city.

sherrie christian

Looks like someone watched Rock of Ages a few too many times.

But, then I turned around.

It was immediately apparent that I was not dealing with some sweet, misguided raccoon who was fresh off the bus from Kansas.

Oh no.

I was dealing with an entirely different sort of beast.

There were also paw prints all over my new white couch, eventually ending in a circle in the corner where the raccoon had decided to stretch out and assume her lounging position.

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Apparently, this is a raccoon only VIP area.

You know what else was on my pristine, white couch?

A half-eaten avocado.

WHAT?!

Not only had this raccoon taken a dip in my hot tub and sprawled out on my couch, she had also managed to procure some local, organic produce for her afternoon snack.  Apparently, everyone knows that nothing pairs better with a day of leisure than some guacamole.

Raccoon eating avocado

Can someone pass me the cilantro?

And my little ‘buddy” did all of this while I was trapped in an office working hard to finance the entire operation.

I was clearly dealing with a professional.

The raccoon version of Kato Kaelin had moved into my backyard

The raccoon version of Kato Kaelin had moved into my backyard

How did this happen to me?!  How did I become both the sugar mama and the maid to a freeloading vermin of leisure?

I sat down on my violated couch to ponder how my life had taken such a turn.  After a few moments, a shocked gasp escaped my mouth.

I had a realization.

You know what a hot-tub lounging, guacamole-eating urban raccoon probably has?  An iPhone.

And, you know what an iPhone has? The Internet.

And, you know what the Internet has? My blog post from last Christmas about how I risked family scorn and exile, because I wasn’t willing to eat raccoon.

Kato the Raccoon apparently misinterpreted that as an open invitation to take up residence in my pool house.

Sorry, Kato the Raccoon, but you will not be the Ryan Atwood to my Seth Cohen.  You have got to go back to Chino right now!

Sorry, Kato the Raccoon, but you will not be the Ryan Atwood to my Seth Cohen. You have got to go back to Chino right now!

I always knew the Internet would ruin my life, but I just never expected its weapon of choice to be a feral woodland creature with a penchant for Mexican food.

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Birth Control

If I have any self-appointed beat here, I am thinking it’s going to be Birth Control.  Not in the … traditional “no-babies” sense?  I mean, sure, I can talk for hours about the pros and cons of ANY method of “no-babies,” but let’s not beat a dead horse.  For our purposes here, it’s in the FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WHAT DID YOU JUST EAT OFF THE FLOOR YOU KNOW I HAVEN’T WASHED THEM IN WEEKS AND WHY DO I HEAR THE FAINT CRIES OF YOUR BROTHER IN A HEATING VENT HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN WHAT IS MY LIFE sense.  The legit Anti-Babies.  The practical kind.  Told best over a CougarTown-approved glass of wine.

Yes, drink up.  You are going to need it if you want to forget everything that you are about to hear.

Yes, drink up. You are going to need it if you want to forget everything that you are about to hear.

I pretty much live in the Internet these days.  I read far too many blogs and news pieces about kids and parents.  These are whole places that I never even knew existed until I actually started paying attention to things that had the word “mom” in them.  I mean, there are huge spaces of Internet dedicated to shaming parents and shaming babies, specifically.  I love these kinds of places fiercely.

But here’s the deal.  This stuff is just crazy/awful/amazing/meh and, trust me, you don’t really want to see it all.  Consider me your Sherpa-like guide through the insane in kid stuff out there.  I promise we’ll have enough provisions for the trip; I’m totally used to bringing snacks everywhere now.  Do you like Yogurt Melts?  You will now. 

My goal is to pull together things from the awesome wilds to remind you why it’s totally cool and okay to not buy into what your crazy breeder friends have done.  And provide as much information to keep your household child-free.  I mean, this shit isn’t for everyone, y’know?

Alternatively, I’m here to provide any little laughs and perspective to fellow breeders.  We could use it.

First up, everyone is probably familiar with the epic Reddit thread that let parents and caregivers of all kinds unload the creepiest things their kids had done or said.  If you haven’t spent time there yet, please do – and you’re welcome for the sleepless nights. 

My personal fave is the small child that called her parent a “demented peon.”  That is, as one commenter put it, hardcore for someone who was likely in diapers until about 6 months ago.  Someone else called it “totally metal.” 

Legitimately frightening.

Legitimately frightening.

“Metal.”  Now that is word that I never thought I’d use to describe a child, but it is perfect.  And now I’ve embraced it to try to make the ordinarily gnarly shit my kids do (like, literal shit) totally wicked.  Your kid spews up the entire glass of milk he just HAD to have all over your clothes before you head out to work?  That’s metal.  Other kid tries to eat a live butterfly that happened to wander into his path?  That’s also pretty metal.  Spinning around and screaming until he passes out into a heap on the floor?  Metal.

But I want you to think long and hard about this, dear child-free friends.  Do you really want a cranky, unpredictable, uncoordinated, non-toilet trained mini-Ozzy sharing your home? No, obviously not.  Unless you do – and then you are totally ready for parenthood.

Watch closely.  In the first 30 seconds of this video, it’s like Ozzy is invoking the spirit of one of my toddlers.  Every last thing he does is something I’ve seen in the past 24 hours.  Stumbling around lost.  Flailing about in a circle dancing.  Dumping a bucket of water over his head.  It’s uncanny.

So next time someone even suggests it’s time to get to the baby-making, think of Ozzy.