We Got Crabs.

January 22, 2015

From the moment my kids could speak they have begged me for a dog.  Which is unfortunate for them because:  A.  My husband is deathly allergic to fur, and B.  I am at maximum capacity for cleaning poop.

A shell bearing sea creature was not exactly on my list of ‘things I need in my life right now’, but I do appreciate the value of learned responsibility via keeping things alive, and a change of heart is just a flush away so welcome to our home, creepy hermit crabs.  Because really, what says ‘loyal companion’ more than a black-eyed, soul-less crustacean?

hermit crabs

Introducing (from left): Barbie Sparkle Queen, Sparkle Rainbow and Ella. Feminists around the world may now join together in a collective cringe.

I’m semi-familiar with hermit crabs because we had them as kids.  My uncle lives in Florida and one Christmas he found three on the beach, boxed them up and mailed them to Missouri.  Several questions still go unanswered about the hows and whys and legalities of that decision.

My first clue that hermit crabs mightn’t be the most desirable of animal companions was the outpouring of volunteers willing to drop them like a hot potato.  Within minutes of suggesting we might be in the market on Facebook, several friends were practically throwing them at me.

“We have some!  And a cage, and food, and I’ll give you all the cash in my wallet if you’ll just take these things off our hands!”  Ignoring the red flags waving in my face, I happily drove around town collecting unwanted crabs; the motley crew now sharing a sand-lined one room loft on the girls’ dresser.

And I must say – they are not the worst pets I’ve had.  They’re quiet, appreciate my cooking and not once have I had to frantically scour the neighborhood in my bathrobe shaking a bag of cat food over my head screaming “TREATS! TREATS!  GODDAMMIT, LUCKY! TREEEEEAAAAAATTTTTSSS!” because someone chewed through the screen door.

The only snafu came last week when I had to Google “how do you know if your hermit crab is dead?”.  They’re not the liveliest of God’s creatures.  Unlike most other pets whose death is probably obvious, I’ve had to give those lazy little fellas the sniff test more than once.  Which, fine.  An animal that you can poke with a pair of tweezers and still not be 100% on its living status is the perfect speed for me right now.

And even when, heaven forbid, things start to go downhill and it looks like we have to pull the plug… well let’s just say God never closes a door without opening a window.


My girls have been surprisingly stoic.  Most kids would complain if they asked for a dog and got a crab, but mine are probably still under the impression the hermit crabs are simply a gateway pet to one that actually has a soul.  A test I’m giving them, and if they do a good job they will awaken one morning to a ribbon tied around a basket filled with chocolate lab puppies.  So they make make the best of the situation by hot gluing bows to their shells and threading a leash through the terrarium, ‘walking’ them around the block in their wagon.

I’m sure there’s an equal amount of love and appreciation reciprocated between all parties involved.


Dear Man Who Brought His One-Year-Old To The Movie Interstellar,


It’s funny – I’ve never actually wished anyone dead before.  Sure, there have been a handful of people I’ve met who I wouldn’t necessarily jump on the subway tracks to save, but the amount of energy I spent trying to mentally will laser beams to shoot from my eyes into your face until you literally burst into flames was staggering. Like the majority of the other moviegoers in the packed theater, my husband and I slowly lowered ourselves into our seats, our ham flowers still tender from being taken advantage of at the box office.  Movies aren’t cheap.  Neither are babysitters, which probably means nothing to you because that is a concept as foreign as “consideration”, or “other people”. Settling in, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me as I heard the familiar noise of a fussy child reverberate from the walls throughout the previews.  I buried my face in my popcorn and prayed it was just how the brain rids itself of the residual noise I’d been hearing all day.  When the movie started, however, I turned around and realized it was very, very real. Interstellar is every bit of a three hour movie.  And we’re not talking Dances With Wolves three hours, with 90% of it being B roll of amber waves of grain and Kevin Costner talking real slow.  This […]

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To Hadley On Her Third Birthday


Dear Hadley, From the moment you were born your chief request has been for me to hold you.  I realize this is probably because you were afraid I would accidentally forget you somewhere.  It was a legitimate fear.  Instinctively from birth, you’ve known that you were gonna need to either hang on tight or make a lot of noise. Which you did, coherently, at a very early age. Wherever we went when you were a baby, people would stop me with a freaked out look on their face, point at you and whisper, “Did you know she can talk?” From seven months on no one has ever had to question what was on your mind.  Oh, you want that bottle with an extra shot of formula?  Comin’ right up.  Even now when I wash dishes while you finish up your lunch, you’ll call over to me, “Mom… let’s talk about it.”  So I’ll immediately stop, dry my hands, sit down and you’ll launch into a half hour explanation of whatever is on your mind.  Usually dinosaurs or bath toys. But really, what you’ve been most vocal about is to be carried. So for the past three years, almost 24/7, I have lugged you here there and everywhere, yelling over my shoulder to your sisters to hold onto anything they can grab that is attached to […]

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Tidings of Comfort and Joy


Last week Nick’s Great Uncle died.  He was the Grandfather figure in Nick’s life, but he was 97, a widower, and had recently moved into a nursing home so there was an overarching sense of comfort and joy in his peaceful passing. The visitation was last Friday night.  Because babysitters on a weekend in December book out about two years in advance, we decided to take the girls with us. Our kids have occasionally asked questions about death which I’ve always tried to navigate as carefully as possible.  There’s a fine line between explaining to a child that death is a certainty in life and having three kids who think every meal will be their last.  I knew I needed to do a little research on the best way to broach the subject because this time I would be incorporating visual aids. By the way, this was all contrary to Nick’s plan – to simply “show up to the funeral home – they won’t understand what is going on.”  Be on the lookout for his parenting book, Imminent Therapy, coming soon to book stores everywhere. Having been their primary caregiver for the past five years I assured him this was a bad idea.  These kids are very observant.  I can tell you with confidence that they will immediately sniff out anything unusual in a room, […]

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… And To All A Good Night


Dan and I have been friends for almost fifteen years; ten of which when we worked together at an ad agency.   Obviously everything we created was nothing short of spectacular, however, occasionally a project would reek such creative brilliance that it deserved the highest possible compliment, “Wow.  You really brought the whole ass on that one.” We have since parted professional ways; I became Chief Butt Wiper and he started his own agency.  However, a masterpiece was created once again when I asked him to help us shoot and design the 2014 Mayer family Christmas card: Awesome card, Dan.  You brought the whole ass. 2014 has been an incredible year.  I was a part of an actual book that was actually published that 1000s of actual people have read, I had a post go super viral on my blog, had numerous posts published and then go viral on Scary Mommy which subsequently forced me to learn how to shake off shit like this: Also, I finally took the leap on fulfilling my life long dream of learning how to play the banjo. That is no make up, no filter with a whole mess of bed head, by the way. I wanted to take a moment an offer a sincere thanks to all of you who have read, commented, shared and supported my blog this year.  […]

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‘Tis The Season… For Kicking Some Ass


I went black Friday shopping.  On Thanksgiving.  At Wal-Mart.  Go ahead – accuse me of contributing to the erosion of the American institution.  And I’ll tell you that it was a lot easier than you might think to abandon a Thanksgiving dinner table where my 82-year-old Grandma is ripping twelve second farts to shop kidless with my sister while sipping on Crown and Cokes. Also, we usually eat around noon, so by 6pm my aunt’s house makes Chernobyl look like a botanical garden. This marks the second year my sister and I have gone black Friday shopping.  The first year we showed up at Wal-Mart bright eyed and bushy tailed well before the sun came up, ready to fist fight an old woman over whatever the hell we wanted.  The drive was filled with excited chatter about deals and strategies and deadly stampedes.  McCafes in hand, our  jaws dropped as we crested the hill only to find a sparcely populated parking lot. “Oh, that craziness all happened last night.  It’s all over now,”  the bleary eyed Wal-Mart cashier informed us as we sheepishly scanned our full-priced merchandise. “What?  Shopping on Thanksgiving?  Who would do that?” <<<< FAST FORWARD TWO YEARS>>>> “Oh my God… I think that one broke the sound barrier,”  My voice was muffled under the sweater I had pulled up over my mouth […]

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A Whole Mess Of Holiday Wonderful


Every year I make myself the same promise:  Start shopping early so I’m not the asshole sweating it out at Walgreens on Christmas Eve wondering if my secret Santa would prefer windshield wiper fluid or blackhead scrub. The key part of that sentence is “every year”.  Unfortunately I’m not great at learning from my mistakes *pours more tequila in blender* and I’m sure this holiday season you will again find me perusing the pharmacy aisle for stocking stuffers at the 11th hour. But this year, I’m going to help one lucky reader avoid the gift giving time squeeze because I am giving away three great prizes that you can give to that special someone, or keep for yourself (I won’t judge). Prize #1:  Personalized container from Take This Personally. Stacey is an amazing artist and can pretty much paint whatever design you want on a handy personalized storage container.  The winner will receive a small container (like what is pictured here) but she also does cups, platters, popcorn sets, beer steins and just about anything else you can think of.  For real… just imagine how together you’ll look if you have the foresight to PERSONALIZE SOMEONE’S GIFT.  I mean HAVE SOMEONE PERSONALIZE SOMEONE’S GIFT.  This gift is the perfect mix of cute and practical, sort of like your “yoga” pants.  Simple to order – just […]

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