Another short story: Presidents & My Pool

It started innocently enough. I was studying for an American History test at the kitchen table, my legs tucked underneath me, biting gently on the tip of my purple Bic pen. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, I repeated over and over in my head. It seemed ridiculous to have to learn the order of the U.S. presidents. Boring to be sure, but at least history was mostly just memorization, which I could handle. It was math that reduced me to a quivering mess.

Just then my mom and her boyfriend walked in with a bunch of really hot guys, one of them being boyfriend's son off limits and a player. I felt my face flush as I looked down at my dorky plaid uniform skirt and suddenly wished I'd stayed in my room to study. But it was too late.

Mom looked at me and said, "This is my daughter, Bella."

There were some nods and awkward waves as they indroduced themselves. Boyfriend's son was Brian, whom I'd already met several times, and his two friends were Travis and Bill. They wanted to go swimming, so mom had offered up our pool, apparently without thinking to give me a heads up so I could at least pretend I wasn't a junior in high school.

The guys were joking with one another and my mom started handing them cans of beer from our fridge. I wasn't sure, but I guessed they were in their early twenties. I quietly gathered my books and started to sneak out when one of them said, "Hey, where you goin'? You're not gonna swim with us?"  My stomach lurched and I coughed out an excuse about having to study. Then my brilliant mom butted in and said, "Bella, you really should take a break. You've been at it all day and if you just cram...." she dribbled off. Once the guys made their way outside onto the patio mom pulled me aside. "You should go swimming for a little while," she said, and I could see a twinkle in her eye. My insides were doing somersaults, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I sighed and said, "Okay. I'll go." As I turned to head upstairs to change, she called, "Great! I'll turn on the hot tub!" Shit!

Upstairs I put on my black bikini with the polka-dots that I hoped camouflaged my flat chest. I took deep breaths. I told myself it wasn't a big deal. But it was. These guys were older and good looking and I felt like a kid. I shoved the feeling down and wrapped myself in a towel as I headed back downstairs.

When I went outside I was terrified to see them all in our hot tub. The pool is one thing, but sitting in a hot tub with a bunch of guys? More somersaults began. One of them (who turned out later to be Travis) saw me and said, "Hey, come on in!" I quickly dropped my towel and plopped into the water, sinking down with bubbles up to my chin so no one could see me.

We talked and when they questioned me about my test, I reluctantly told them it was for my American History class. Jokes started flying and someone said something like, "Studying? I was never really good at that part," and they all laughed. Travis positioned himself directly across from me and began asking me about myself. How old I was, was I dating anyone, what I liked to do in my spare time, etc. Eventually I relaxed a bit. Someone handed me a beer and I made myself drink it so they wouldn't think I was a total geek. Someone's foot slithered up my leg and I quickly pulled away thinking it was an accident...until it happened again. I felt Travis' eyes on me.

Later when only the backwash of my Bud Light was left, I had to pee and was dreading it, but finally couldn't wait anymore. I stood up, quickly hopped out and hid myself in my towel. "I'll be right back," I said, as I tiptoed towards the door. When I walked in, the air conditioning gave me goosebumps and I left wet footprints down the hall to the bathroom. Just as I'd closed the door behind me, it opened and Travis came in. My heart threatened to jump out of my chest. "What are you doing?" I asked as I gripped my towel with my pruned fingers. He turned and locked the door, pulled me close and said, "Kiss me."

"What?" I asked.

"C'mon, just kiss me!" he pleaded, and I blurted out, "But I really don't know how." Oh my God, did I really say that out loud?

The next thing I knew his lips were on mine and we stood there kissing, me not really knowing what I was doing and him not seeming to mind. He put his hands on my face softly and stepped closer to me. I could feel a puddle of water pooling at my feet and was suddenly embarrassed that the bar of soap next to the sink was the same cruddy bar that had been in there forever. And that my little brother had probably left pee all over the toilet seat. Yet this 23 year-old man was kissing me.

Something in me unraveled. I let go of my towel and it fell to the marble floor. I wrapped my arms around Travis and etched everything in my brain so I'd never forget.

There's so much more to life than studying for a stupid test.


Guest Post via The Crazy Baby Mama : The Rabbit & the Rabbi

Please welcome Sarah, The Crazy Baby Mama, (@_CrazyBabyMama_ on Twitter, don't forget the underscores!) who has agreed to a little cross-pollination today! Below you will find one of her most hilarious posts, and if you hop over to her blog today, you'll find one of mine there. Me love Sarah long time. I've followed her forever, and I have the utmost respect for her as a writer. I'm quite sad because she's abandoning me moving to Israel this winter, but thankfully through the internetz we'll be able to keep in touch.
Please note that if you are sensitive to discussions of a bris or battery-operated sex toys, you should skip this. But I encourage you to relax a bit and read on!
So folks, I give you....SARAH! The Crazy Baby Mama!

DISCLAIMER: Dear Dad -- If you somehow manage to stumble on this story, I suggest you check out http://www.funwithtrains.com/ instead. Thank you. Love, Your Daughter.

Anyway, ladies, I may have some bad news: While having sex during pregnancy is generally fine, using a vibrator may be a little more risky. While it's true that most health care practitioners say that if you're having a normal, low-risk pregnancy then you can go to town with your iRabbit, but, if you're prone toward any uterine irritability then you should probably considering retiring that plastic bad boy for a few months. You see, no matter how incredible and mind-blowing your partner may be in bed (or in the backseat of a car, or in the shower, or on a pool table), orgasms from a vibrator are... well... more electrifying. Sorry B. It's nothing personal: Anything battery operated that pulsates like 1000 times a second is bound to deliver the goods harder and faster. And, because of the way vibrators are built, they increase your chances of having very strong, incredibly intense contractions.

(Seriously, Dad, http://www.funwithtrains.com/)

Since I was a hyper-neurotic crazy pregnant lady, I had said goodbye to my neon purple friend as soon as I found out I was knocked-up with Little Homie. But, now that he’s here safe and sound, and now that I’m forbidden from putting anything up into my lady business until Doctor B gives me the green light at my postpartum checkup, my iRabbit has made its triumphant return to my bedside drawer. See? There is no such thing as too much information.

Anyway, on Little Homie’s 8th day of life -- in accordance with the laws of Moses and the people Israel and because B is adamant that his son’s penis match his-- we invited our close family over for his Bris.

For the past few months, we scoured synagogues and two different Benihana restaurants for the perfect mohel to perform the ceremony, until someone reminded me that our family Rabbi had trained as a mohel and wielded a scalpel with a slow hand and an easy touch.

Now, I've known and loved this Rabbi since I was just a few years older than The Girl and Little Homie: He presided over all the services my parents and I went to when I was growing up. He told the best Jewish scary stories at sleep-away camp. He officiated at my Bat Mitzvah, and my mom's funeral. He was there to give the blessing at The Girl’s Simchat Bat. He's more than just a Rabbi to us -- he's part of our extended family. And, I felt better knowing that we were entrusting our son’s penis to someone we already knew than some stranger off the street.

Well, given my ridiculously intense paranoia concern about germs affecting my newborn baby boy, as the guests trickled in on the morning of the Bris, Little Homie and I hung out in the bedroom awaiting the arrival of our Rabbi.

"Ok, what does this have to do with vibrators?" I hear you cry.

Don’t worry. I’ll get there. I’m just taking the scenic route.

The Rabbi arrived and joined us in the bedroom. He greeted us with many "Mazel Tovs," and we got down to business. After we discussed the order of the speakers for the ceremony, the Rabbi stood up and said he needed a pen and paper to write it all down. Before I could stop him, he reached over to open the bedside drawer.

As cliche as it sounds, it really was like the whole thing happened in slow motion. I tried to block him, but I was still a little unstable with the baby in my arms. So, I had to make a fast decision: Either I drop Little Homie on the floor and keep my flysecrets hidden in the bedside drawer, or I sacrifice my dignity while keeping my son safe and sound. Well, Hasta La Vista, Dignity. Vaya Con Dios.

The Rabbi grabbed the knob, and pulled, and for a blessed moment, it seemed like the drawer wouldn't budge. But, with a mighty tug, the Rabbi yanked the drawer open, and in the process, managed to activate the iRabbit's on-switch. Whirring, buzzing, and gyrating, unlike so many smaller, more discreet models, this vibrator leaves very little to the imagination: it comes complete with a fairly girthy shaft, a well-formed glans, and -- YES -- it even appears to be circumcised. While the neon purple tempers things a little, it doesn't help much.

Well, the Rabbi quickly slammed the drawer shut, and we both pretended that we couldn't hear the rhythmic buzzing as we continued to discuss the upcoming ceremony. Little Homie survived his bris without any apparent physical or emotional trauma. In fact, he slept through the whole thing, cooing softly when the Rabbi placed a tiny droplet of the ruby red wine on his sweet baby lips. I, on the other hand, like every other mama of a Jewish baby boy, wept, my head buried in The Girl’s curls while we welcomed my son into the Covenant.


Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes....A la Mother Load

You've hopefully been admiring my fantabulous makeover courtesy of  Bloggy Blog Designz (@BBDesignz on Twitter). Jenna is wonderful to work with, despite being down with a broken foot. I knew what I wanted and she helped me bring my ideas to fruition. Although I've already managed to accidentally delete my buttons, Jenna will have them back in their proper position in no time. This cool gal often hosts giveaways, so if your wallet's a little light and you want to tweak a few things, or even if you want a whole new look, be sure to head on over to her place and see what prizes she has up for grabs. Thank you, Jenna, for my awesome new look and for putting up with me!

These aesthetic changes reflect what's been going on inside, and the direction I want my blog to go in. I'm veering off the path of memes, posts lacking interesting material, and I'm certainly not blogging daily. I firmly believe in quality, not quantity, though I'm sure some of you disagree with me. I don't write unless I've got something to say, which I think should be one of blogging's Golden Rules.

The Ninja Blogger graciously agreed to post for me on Monday, and if you missed her insights, please go here. Tomorrow The Crazy Baby Mama will be guest posting, and I have to warn you---if you are easily offended or prefer not to read about a bris, a vibrator, and the female anatomy, you may want to skim or skip; but if you do, you'll be missing out on some of Sarah's best work! So I encourage you to come back tomorrow. And because we are nearing the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, my brother will be guest posting this weekend. I am enjoying an unofficial bloggy break and letting my brain recharge a bit.

I'll leave you with a link to something I wrote here 2+ years ago before I had honed my mad blogging skillz, before I had any followers, and before I realized that no one was reading but I didn't care because it was strictly an emotional outlet. But it's funny, and my friend Meg tells me that this post always makes her laugh. I give you, "My Dear Husband."

See you back here tomorrow for Sarah's post on vibrators!


The Ninja Blogger Takes Over The Mother Load (Cross-Pollination)

**First off, don't run away! You're in the right place. I've just gotten a lovely new look from the awesome Jenna over at Bloggy Blog Designz. Like what she's done here (she did my last makeover as well!)? Be sure to go check her out and enter some of her giveaways!**

This week I'm cross-pollinating with some bloggers I adore. Today's post is from the one, the only, The Ninja Blogger! She's so popular that she was featured last week at The Crazy Baby Mama. If you need a laugh, you should go read that post right here. I'm tickled pink that she agreed to post at my place today. She's a mama, a writer, and she hates Crocs. I think I love her. You should also follow her on twitter: @TheNinjaBlogger. She rocks my socks off with her candor and honesty. Please visit her and tell her I said hello. Maybe if you're super sweet, she'll guest post for you, too!

Without further adieu, I give you:

What I’ve Learned from Blogging by The Ninja Blogger

I have learned so many things from blogging.

I have learned to find humor in so many of life's little things. Whether it is my husband, kids, driving, grocery shopping, cooking or internet surfing, I am finding humor everywhere now, and good blog material.

I have learned to work out my problems in a concise way. By writing about what is going on in my life, it makes me stop and think about how I feel and how to dispel it so that I will feel better.

I have learned how to put myself out there by joining in things, even if it is virtual; it is a step in the right direction. I am still not brave enough to attend a conference, but I will get there one day.

I am learning how to express myself in a way that hopefully appeals to everyone who reads me.

I have learned that spell check is my friend. I use it often.

I have learned that if you call out stalkers, they go away.

I have learned that even in the blogosphere you can make very close friends.

I have learned that I do have an addictive personality. I am addicted to blogging.

I have learned that if you host a giveaway and for an extra entry a person can join/follow your blog, that doesn't mean it increases your readership or comments, it's just that someone wants an extra entry.

I have learned that not everyone comments back, no matter how many times you leave comments or how many days in a row you leave them on their blog.

I have learned that I am a voyeur.

I have learned that my butt starts to fall asleep when I sit at the computer for too long.

I have learned how grateful I am to have this outlet.

I have learned how to find my sanity again, and for that I am most grateful.

Thanks to everyone who reads, listens, glances, comments, follows, stays, leaves and likes my daily rants, raves, praises, sorrows, sarcasm and life!

What have YOU learned from blogging?

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