my mom the smokeshow

One of my favorite things to write about? Much to my mother’s chagrin, it’s well, my mother. We’re not exactly Lorelei and Rory Gilmore. But I would say our relationship is not too far off from Kris Jenner (minus the gold digging although now that I think about it I don’t think she’d turn down a trip to California in 1849…) and Khloe Kardashian (minus the OCD).

I’ve collected a few of my favorite short stories I’ve written about my mom and included them here. Enjoy–and sorry in advance Teri Jo!

Tweets from the Last Vacation I Took with My Mom

mom-4mom-3  mom-6 mom-5

The Dinner Party

One of the last times I went home to visit, my mom wanted to have a dinner party and invited some of her family over for 2 p.m. Around 1 p.m., I started drinking on the deck in the sun. I was on a bit of a beer binge at the time and definitely lost a bit of my tolerance for liquor.

By my second drink, our company had arrived and I smelled noticeably of vodka. By my third drink, I was sitting on my mom’s lap at the dinner table telling her, “I think we should work on our relationship.” She must have told me to go lay down at this point, because the next thing I know I woke up four hours later–alone–on the floor behind her couch.

Who says you can’t go home?

Now anytime I go home and stick to one cocktail or none at all, she makes sure to tell me how proud of me she is. It’s no coincidence that the shorthand for lower expectations is lexpectations.

The Antichrist

Essentially, my relationship with my mom is shaky at best. Mostly because she goes through these periods in her life where she’s randomly super religious (I call her a fairweather Christian) and during these periods of time, she thinks I’m the antichrist.

I seriously woke up one time in the middle of the night to her performing an exorcism on me. Actually that didn’t happen. But I did once woke up from a nap to her standing over me with a syringe attempting to give me a TB test. The fact that she’s a registered nurse only makes this fairly less disturbing.

“Well, Lexie, if you don’t believe in Jesus as your Lord and savior, what DO you believe in?”
“I don’t know yet. But I think karma is probably pretty accurate.”
“Yeah, you know, what goes around comes around.”
“Well that’s just stupid.”
“That’s stupid? You believe there’s a man in the sky.”

(Nonetheless, reading about the happiness benefits of being spiritual kind of makes me want to explore this missing aspect of my life. But first I’ll change my name to “Cake.” That way I can write about my journey to finding my religion and it can be the sequel to the book Life of Pi called Life of Cake. )

The Time I Was Bored and Decided to Convince My Mom I’d Been Approved to Be a Foster Parent

Lexie: So basically, I applied to be a foster parent as a joke. There’s a law in Maryland that says you only have to be 21 to be a foster parent. So I thought that would be a funny joke to put on the blog, me getting turned down to be a foster parent. But as it turns out, they must not have a lot of people applying to be foster parents, because they want to interview me. And they sent me some pictures of some kids. And I just don’t even understand, like, do I get to rename them?

Mom: No, like, how old are these children?

Lexie: I specifically asked for ones that were 16 or older because I want them to be able to drive me home from the bar.

Mom: Lexie, you need to stop.

Lexie: Do you think I should go to the interview?

Mom: No. Explain to them that you were thinking about it but feel like you’re not quite ready.

Lexie: Well maybe I am ready. I was gonna get a dog not that long ago. This would probably look good on my resume…

Mom: Lexie you cannot have a foster child to drive you home from the bars. That’s not going to happen.

Lexie: I think it’s really responsible. Would you rather have my drive myself home from the bars?

Mom: Lexie! You’re supposed to be a parent to this child! Listen, you’re gonna be responsible for sitting in on parent teacher conferences…

Lexie: Oh I’m not going to send them to school, I’m gonna make them be an unpaid intern for

Mom: Just rescind your application.

Lexie: This is not the way I thought this was going to go. I thought you were gonna be happy that you were going to be a grandmammy.

Mom: You’re 24 years old. You can’t do this. You just can’t.

Writing My Mom’s Christian Mingle Profile Is Exhausting

Despite the fact that we don’t always have Gilmore Girls relationship I wish we had, I deeply care about my mom and hate to see her lonely now that she’s single and all of her kids have moved on/out. So I decided, as the family’s only professional writer (everyone else has a useful degree, like nursing), I’d have to help her write her Christian Mingle profile:

I’m quirky. There. I’ll just come right out with it. But quirky in a fun way, not quirky in a “I have a thousand cats and wear a lot of hats” kind of way. I don’t have any cats, actually. I do have a dog though. My children named her “Princess Consuela Banana Hammock,” but we call her Nana for short.

Oh right I should tell you about my children. I have four of them. They’re all pretty much grown up now. They make me laugh so hard sometimes that I could just pee my pants. But in a good way. Like a “it’s okay I’m wearing adult diapers” kind of way.

I don’t wear adult diapers, but I’ve changed more than a few in my life. I’m an RN and have been for years. I love having a career where I can give something back.

I’m a giver. Always have been.

When I’m not working or hanging out with my wacky kids, I do a lot of home improvement jobs around my house. I’ve always been a bit of a handyman. I’ve recently taken up quilting, but my daughter told me to not write that on here. Oh well too late to take it back now.

I’m also currently training for a 5k. I need it to balance all the good wine I like to drink! Oh don’t judge me; Jesus liked wine 😉

The CPR Class

One summer I needed a job, and my mom offered to get me a position at the assisted living community where she worked at the time. For some reason, I was oddly excited at the idea of working at the same place as my mom. I assumed it would be us going to the mall on our lunch breaks and her buying me chicken teriyaki, among other fun and delicious adventures.

I was not expecting the assisted living community to smell so strongly of feces. “You’ll get used to it,” she assured me. She wasn’t wrong, although I don’t know that it’s a good thing that my nose has been desensitized to the smell of human excrement.

The interview was largely a formality. I’m pretty sure I probably wore jeans to it. The training–however–was no joke. Nearly two weeks were devoted to watching videos and taking tests on HIPPA, blood borne pathogens, how to drag a patient down the stairs in a blanket in case of a fire (our building didn’t even have stairs), and more.

Finally, I was required to take a CPR class. This seemed like a lot of hoop jumping for the job I was actually going to be performing–my job title was “Activities Assistant.” AKA I played bingo with the residents. For $10 an hour.

My mom decided that she needed to renew her CPR certification, so she signed up to take the class with me. She regrets this decision to this day, I believe.

My mom was flirting with our CPR instructor even though he was only a 4 and she’s easily an 8. And we all know you should only stoop 2 levels beneath you at the most. Needless to say, I was annoyed that I wasn’t getting the most out of my CPR class because my mom was trying to get a date to the assisted living community prom. That definitely wasn’t an actual activity we held, but I’m kind of surprised because the activities grew increasingly stupid the longer I worked there (I was once asked to do an assisted living community yoga class. I had never taken yoga and most of the residents were in wheel chairs.)

By the time my mom was done batting her eyelashes and twirling her hair, I had forgotten everything I learned. As I approached the CPR dummy–I couldn’t help but think how I was going to let him down. He was going to die, simply because my mom has to flirt with every man we encounter–no dentist, waiter, grocery store checkout bag boy is safe. I became overridden with emotion and rage, tilted his sweet, plastic head backwards slightly, and folded my hands onto the smooth, cold surface of his unmoving chest.

“BREATH GODDAMMIT,” I shouted. “Don’t you go dying on me! I won’t let it end like this!”

As the tears streamed down my face, the temperature in the room dropped and the lights began to dim. Suddenly we were transported to the middle of the Atlantic, and my own breath was visible in the cold air in front of me as I frantically inhaled and exhaled.

“You’re going to go on. And you’re going to make lots of babies. And you’re going to die an old woman, warm in her bed,” I squeaked to the naked, male torso of the mannequin in front of me. I didn’t even know his name, yet we had been through so much in the past twenty minutes. I was deeply invested at this point.

Obviously those last two paragraphs didn’t happen. But my mother was mortified at this point. I had made a fool of myself–in front of her potential fourth husband.

the fault in our bars

The thing about having a blog is, you constantly think of other blogs you should start that would be better than the one you currently have. For example, one time my friend Natasha and I decided we should start a blog called “The Fault in Our Bars,” where we’d attempt to review ALL of the bars in DC. To this day, I think it’s a great idea for a blog, though admittedly I was probably just looking for an excuse to have liquid dinner every night.

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No matter how many times liquid dinner does me dirty, I always find myself coming back to it. These evenings usually result in me doing at least one (if not more) of the following:

  • crying on the curb outside a DC bar until a stranger feels bad enough to offer me money for a cab ride home
  • falling asleep in a patch of grass near Howard University
  • hitting on an older black gentlemen because my friend John tells me he’s Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas
  • leaving my iPhone at iHop
  • getting guacamole stains on my bed sheets

And yes. Those have all happened.

But I’m sure I’m not the only twenty something (god I hate that saying) who’s social life revolves heavily around drinking.

So when my old roommate Monica suggested last August that we try the Whole 30 (no alcohol, no sugar, no grains, no dairy), I knew the hardest part would be the no alcohol part. In fact, the first time we tried Whole 30, I’m pretty sure I ended up drinking for 5 out of 30 of the days.

I’ve done much better this time around.

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I’m currently on day 23 and I’m proud to report I haven’t touched “the bottle” once. And you know what I’ve noticed? Things like this don’t happen as often:

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And because I’m not getting drunk enough to cry on a sidewalk, I’m forced to find normal and healthy ways to deal with my feelings–talking to loved ones, getting in a good workout, journaling (which actually just typing notes in my phone), hugging my puppy, etc.

I’ve always been good at extremes (I keep seeing tshirts that say ‘half drunk is a waste of money” and I don’t disagree with it), but when Whole 30 is over I plan on trying this idea of moderation on for size. I’m hoping it doesn’t give me a muffin top.

starting over

“In New York, you can have a great job, a great apartment and a great companion, but not all three.” – Carrie Bradshaw

I don’t know about you, but I like to evaluate my life based on Sex and the City quotes. Maybe it’s no surprise then that I named my blog Lex and the City. Of course, unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I don’t write a sex column for a living and I don’t allow myself to buy shoes that cost more than my rent. 

When I first started this blog nearly five years ago after I graduated college, it’s hard to say exactly what I had in mind for it. What it ended up turning out to be–now that I reflect–was my pursuit of those three things above. Even Neil Strauss said,

All human problems fall into one of three areas: health, wealth, and relationships.”

Which doesn’t seem too far off from my girl Carrie if you ask me.

There are very few things I’d consider myself an expert. In fact, “keep your friends close and your Doritos closer” is probably the best advice you’ll receive from this entire blog, so if you want to stop reading now, you can.

I’m one of those people who learns best by making the same mistakes over and over, and making the same claim that I always make:

That I’m going to get my life together.

You see for me, the hardest part about growing up has been…everything.

I often wonder when I’m actually going to start feeling like an adult. It’s weird to feel like I’m aging but not getting older. And the only thing that seems to get more certain as I age is my growing certainty that I look like a Hanson brother.

I’m still waiting to reach the age that I wake up and immediately think to make my bed, but as of 26 I still think that’s a waste of time. My bills don’t always get paid on time, I don’t own a real tool set, and occasionally I eat freeze pops for breakfast. At the same time, the more I age, the more and more people around me inevitably get married and pregnant. I have opinions on both:

  1. Marriage? I hear it’s the leading cause of divorce! – Lexie Bond on marriage. 
  2. Kids? I’m not sure I ever want to be a mom. Although, I wouldn’t mind playing one on a sitcom. Plus, I can barely take care of myself!  – Lexie Bond on kids

About my career. I may not be a sex columnist in New York City, but I am a blogger in DC (with a pretty great day job too I must admit). I may not be Carrie Bradshaw, but I am Lexie Bond, which sure sounds like an author’s name if I’ve ever heard one.

Actually, now that I think about it, it sounds more like a porn star or stripper name. But for your sake and mine, I think I’ll keep my clothes on.

And with that–it looks like Lex and the City is back. And this time, I’m coming to you from the nation’s capital.