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My Ovaries Are Too Old, According To My Dad

“You know that when old people have kids, their kids are retarded,” my father said while dicing vegetables. My husband shot me an angry glance, my blood boiled, my father chewed on a carrot. “So, when exactly are you having children,” he continued while reaching for a cucumber. “DAD!” I groaned and tried to tune him out.

My husband and I were at my father’s house for a few days, spending time with the family. I like family stuff. I enjoy being around my siblings and parents. I enjoy it more when my dad isn’t saying insane, offensive shit. Which he can’t help because he’s kiiiiind of a narcissist and that part of his brain that should gauge what’s appropriate to say to other humans is broken. Most of his crazy is highly entertaining, like, when he’s not being horribly offensive, he’s bragging about what a glorious male specimen he is. “Baby, you don’t understand how hard it is to be so good looking. Baby, I have the voice of angels.”

He’s also really into knowing things. He has “all the best knowledge,” and the inside scoop on pretty much everything, according to him and his way  of caring is lecturing. He loves to lecture. His favorite topics include: Government conspiracies, Russia, China, how bottled water is a lie, ancient Persia, and the power of fruits, vegetables, and Persian cuisine.  “Cucumbers will clean your blood, baby, did you know that?” He asked after he essentially told me that my ovaries are practically filled with dust. Then he moved onto the magical powers of dates, cherry juice, and walnuts. All are “spectacular,” for curing any and all diseases. Anxiety? Eat more dates. Insomnia? Cherry juice. Brain tumor? Walnuts. Tired? Put tea in your eyes.

After he covered his usual topics: Offensive shit about my womb/lifestyle/goals/marriage/dog, the power of dried apricots, and Russias goal to govern the world with China, he demands that we put on Sophia Loren videos for him to sing and dance to. “Nobody dances like Sophia Loren, NOBODY!”

My siblings and stepmom watch all of this and exchange a few raised eyebrows. That’s just him, in all of his crazy glory. He’s a lovely man, charming, and caring, but also a highly critical man with an eye for flaws. My dad either exaggerates your achievements (you got a job at a call center and he’ll tell people that you’re the CEO), or he exaggerates your flaws (you went to a psychologist so you’re clearly mentally unstable, cannot be trusted, and definitely got that gene from your mother).  Our shortcomings blaze from us like disappointment beacons. If we’re really pissing him off, every flaw glows for him, and it’s all he can see or think about and it’s all he can talk about, too.

Luckily, we all have a sense of humor. When my dad accidentally separates us in a constant competition for his love-completely conditional-we gang up against him and gossip, roll our eyes, or blog about his never-ending insanity. My dad isn’t a terrible person, in fact, he’s a really fantastic dad. But he’d deeply emotional, very sensitive, and our mistakes terrify him which cause  him to lash out because he’s not a good communicator (because he has a penis). Instead of talking about it, he panics, cuts us down, attacks us or  turns a blind eye so he doesn’t have to deal with what he sees as guaranteed failure. Also, he’s super Persian and culturally they just have an incredibly high standard for everything in life. Hence, all of the criticism:

Hence, all of the criticism:

1. I care about my dog too much. It’s weird. They love their dog, too, but their dog is better than my dog so it makes sense.

2. I have too many college degrees. And none of them in medicine or engineering.

3. I have waited too long to marry and have children. Only a selfish person would wait for so long. My womb is a place where sadness lives.

4. I’m a horrible wife because when I’m upset with my husband I tell him. A good woman would keep it all inside, and then manipulate her husband with guilt to get what she wanted.

 

Obviously.

On the opposite side, my dad is extremely dependable when you need him. If I were to call him right now because something was wrong he’d be here in a minute. He always wants us with him, sometimes in a way that is suuuuper clingy. There have been weekends where he’s asked me to hang out no less than 6 times. He loves to be surrounded by family and friends. When we were children, my sisters and I would dog pile around him on his bed and watch movies with his arms wrapped around us.

 

He’s the kind of guy you want to hug and kiss and then stab in the head with a fork. He’s not perfect, he’s perfectly crazy.

But, I wouldn’t want him any other way.

P.S. On that note, maybe I’d want him to at least be less offensive. Just, a smidge.

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Weird conversations with my dad

My dad immigrated to the US in 1979 to STEAL AMERICAN JOBS. Just kidding, he actually came here to repopulate the United States with his seed. This dude makes babies like it’s his job (that he stole from an American). Because my dad is foreign, and also crazy, growing up with him is interesting. And often, just super weird.

Take for example this 20 year running joke where he claims to be some random man named John Anderson. He thinks it’s THE FUNNIEST joke in all the world. And it’s literally been a thing since I was a teenager. That, and, “I’m in Chicago.” Which doesn’t even really make sense.

The other day:

Dad: hello? [very thick Persian accent]

Me: Hi dad!

Dad: I’m not eh your dad. I’m John Anderson FBI.

Me: Ok dad.

Dad: I just eh said I’m not your dad. I don’t have deh children. I have many girlfriends and no children.

Me: Gross.

Dad: excuse me? What’s so gross about dat?

Me: The picturing my dad with his many girlfriends part.

Dad: hahahahaha! Can’t I git a break?

Me: Not when your goal in life is to recreate the Persian empire on American soil.

Dad: Bahahaha. Well, I need a break.

Me: Then you should get better at using contraceptives.

Dad: hahahahaha. I’m dropping off your stepmom at the airport and then I’m coming to see you. I love you baby.

Me: love you, too. Dad.

Me: [hangs up and searches for wine].

Does This Cup Make My Vagina Look Huge?

My friend K just moved back from France. So, it made sense for us to catch up over a FOUR HOUR phone call (it actually flew by). During this conversation, we talked about work. K is a former journalist turned evil copywriter, like me. Only, replace “journalist” with “literature major,” and “pimp.”

We talked about the ideal company to work for and fun parts of our job (like strategizing ways to take down competitors because marketing is an asshole industry), and I mentioned, about 400 times, that I would love to work with Thinx. They make period underwear. And as much as you’re probably thinking, “ew gross,” what you would be thinking after you used them is, “fuck yeah.” Anyway, I have five pairs, they’re amazing, and I’m obsessed with them. I was explaining the absolute badassery that is period panties, when K said, “I really want to try cups.”

“AH! Yeah! I’m trying!” I squealed like a teenager.

And I went into a long rant about how tampons are stupid because they dry out your lady garden, mess up your ph balance, and are also full of chemicals (unless you get organic ones).

“So, I’ve wanted to try cups forever,” I continued. “My sister gave me one to try from a pack of disposables she bought at Target. I tried it in Munich. And it got stuck. In. My. Vagina. And I spent one hour squatting on my bathroom floor like Gollum, trying to hook the fucking thing so I could get it out of my vagina. It was the WORST. I just kept wondering how I would explain to Francesco that I got some silicon doo-hicky permanently lodged up there.”

“That sounds terrible,” K laughed, “when I tried it,  the same thing happened. My boyfriend had to help me get it out.”

“AH! Jesus! REALLY? Awful. So, after that shitty experience, I still wanted to try a cup. I bought a Lena on Amazon. And it took three cycles to figure it out and I felt like a fourteen-year-old again, trying to figure out tampons. And to not freak out about how it might be sucking out my guts (note: It can’t suck out your guts, apparently). But on the fourth cycle, I finally figured it out. And, it’s awesome. Except, I think it might be too small because it leaks a little.”

Then it occurred to me that she might be all like, “she has a giant vagina.” So I quickly added that my lady cave is perfectly compact. And I don’t even know why because vaginas come in all sorts of sizes and it’s TOTALLY FINE. Still. I tried to overly explain.

“I mean, it’s not like my vagina is huge. My last gynecologist had to use the small speculum. She even waved it around and said, ‘I only use this small one for my special ladies,’ which was weird and kind of scary. And F was in the corner like, WTF is happening?”

K burst out laughing. “You have the WEIRDEST gynecologist stories. Seriously, who are these people you go to?”

“Right? I noted that I DO have weird gyno experiences,  “anyway, my vagina isn’t like enormous or anything.”

K paused, “I was just remembering one time when I was over at your house and you told Francesco to buy you Super tampons and he asked, ‘like extra large?’ and you were like, ‘Yes, extra large, for my EXTRA LARGE VAGINA.”

” And it’s not extra large. It’s just extra bleedy. But yeah, that conversation sounds like me and F.”

“It does.” She agreed.

I pulled up Amazon on my phone while we were talking, “So, I’m going to order the same cup but in a bigger size. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

“Thanks, yeah, definitely let me know how the HUGE one fits.”

And then I just glared at my phone while K laughed.

“This should be a blog post,” K said.

“Hmm. Yeah.” I agreed.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Things That I’ve Learned About Arizona

1. It’s hot. Yet, white people from all over the US flock here, and then complain about the heat.

2. Pretty much everything here can kill you. Scorpions, black widows, killer bees, snakes, rednecks with guns, hungry fat girls…

3. Phoenix is actually fun and surprisingly diverse despite the staggering violations on human rights that Arizona is growing famous for. We might lynch you, but we sure are fun!

4. It’s over 108 degrees today, yet our neighbor has her dogs outside on a cement porch. Apparently, some people here confuse dogs for cacti.

5. People here can drink! I’m all for the wine stores, fun restaurants, and cute clubs. I’m not that excited about the drunk bro culture. It’s like AZ collects rapey frat boys.

6. This sign is everywhere: “No guns allowed,” because some people obviously read better at Barnes And Noble with a rifle on their back?

7. Everyone is extremely concerned with how Francesco got his green card. He’s been asked multiple times, “but I’m sorry how does you get a green card?” I’m not sure if it’s genuine curiosity or if everyone is trying to deport my husband.

8. There are a lot of rich people and a lot of people who live in tin houses. Sometimes I want to get all Robin Hood on their asses and relocate lawn nomes to the Campbell’s soup can houses. Cause sad.

9. There are a lot of good restaurants here. Postino, Liberty Market, Rum, to name a few. This isn’t funny, it’s just really surprising. And delicious.

10. There are two types of Arizonians: The transplants, a delicate, often well off retiree, and a native. The natives are rare, hard-to-spot survivalists, who would probably fair well during the Zombie Apocolypse which I’m pretty sure they’ve been preparing for since birth (I think they are born blending in with the desert). Seriously, my brother in law is totally going to have to adopt us when the zombies come, which I’m certain he’d be excited about because a native would totally find that “fun.”

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Devil Insects, Emergency Death Storms, And Allergies: Welcome To Arizona.

Two months ago my husband found a job in Phoenix at an engineering firm that designs and manufactures audio systems. Arizona has never been on my list of places to live, or visit. Coming from downtown SLC, and Florence, Italy, the last place I wanted to end up was a sprawling desert. I’m too accustomed to small, walkable, cities and I am a terrible driver. The job offer presented a great opportunity though so I tried to be supportive and excited to live in Phoenix because that’s the kind of wife I am.

It helps that two of my favorite people live in Phoenix, one of my younger sisters, and T-Bone, who you may or may not recognize from the story I wrote about my five minutes as a sort of “pimp” in my early twenties. Having the people that I enjoy nearby is incredibly important to my mental health. I’ve never been the type to be totally inspired by place, rather, I’m inspired by interesting people, awesome people, weird people, passionate people, kind people, unkind people who are gay and so for no reason their dickishness is hilarious. I just like “unique.” I hoped that being near people I loved would make the move more interesting, tolerable, fun even.

English: A frontal view of the Bark Scorpion o...

English: A frontal view of the Bark Scorpion of Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We arrived in AZ ten days ago and I’ve come to realize that Arizona isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s much worse. It was clearly one of the original mockups for hell. On our second day here we discovered that our adorable house was full of scorpions. Ugly, mean, death bugs who exist only to keep me up all night worried that as soon as I nod off, one will jump onto my face and sting out my eye, rendering me a pirate. These aren’t just your everyday scorpions, either, our house is packed with Bark Scorpion which are venomous and blend in perfectly with our tan marble floors, sand colored walls, and granite countertops. Every moment since we first saw one on that fateful day next to our screen door while letting our dog out to pee I’ve been nervous. I’m afraid of my own shadow. I can’t stop watching them attack things on YouTube.

Someone told us that you have to hunt them to get rid of them because they don’t respond to poison like other invertibrates. Hunt them? Apparently. They are a creature so terrible that the best way to kill them is with face-to-face combat, up close and personal which seems not only terrifying but difficult. I’ve learned from my obsessive Googling that scorpions are nearly industructable. Allegedly, they are one of the few creatures that can survive a nuclear attack without so much as a flinch. Scorpions are also very egotistical about their grossness, carrying their dozens of nasty babies around on their backs, practically shoving them into the faces of the world, “Look at the demon babies I’ve created and unleashed onto the innocent! LOOK AT THEM!” They scare the shit out of me.

Our very sweet landlord’s husband came over to help “us” hunt for them outside. I just stood in the background screaming maniacly. F kind of stood back. The husband bravely defended our territory with great vigor. He would scan the yard with a handheld black-light BECAUSE THEY FUCKING GLOW LIKE THE 1990’s, stab them with pliers and then kick the shit out of them. While this happened Oliver tried to eat one and he ran to me for safety like, “OUCH! My face hurts! Fix it!” And I was like, “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EAT!?” And he was like, “Why are you yelling at me!?” After our landlord’s husband had fought 15 scorpions he took a deep breathe and said, “I’ll be honest guys, this is the most scorpions I’ve ever seen as someone’s house. You’re going to need to call a scorpion guy.” Those exist? Dante clearly spent some time in AZ before he took to poetry.

Yesterday the exterminator arrived in the early afternoon. I opened the door slowly because I’ve read that a huge percentage of rapes actually occur in the home. That’s why I also have more than one knife in various hiding spots throughout my house. It’s perfectly sane. Standing in front of me, where I expected to see an old, pudgy man, I found a young man in a safari hat with a matching blue button-down work shirt on our porch. “I hear you have a scorpion problem, ma’am.” I held back a laugh and imagined wind machines and seventies music. I texted my husband who was out, “You better hurry home. Our exterminator arrived. He’s young and cute and it’s like the beginning of a bad porn in here.” It took him about fifteen minutes to spray the inside and outside of our house with toxic material. My husband came home. Exterminator guy left. Scorpion came running out of the baseboard under my feet and I screamed so loud that my throat hurts today. It was a shrill, embarrassing scream, one that would suggest that I wouldn’t fair well in the wild. Mr. Exterminator came running back inside, “ARE YOU GUYS OKAY!?” I gestured to the floor and ran in circles. One of them accidentally stepped on it while searching it out. He picked the dead monster up by pliers, it dangled back and fourth, “It’s a Bark. It’s dead.”

I’m walking around our 80 degree house in thick slippers with solid bottoms, a small handheld black-light clenched in my fist, sweeping, sweeping the ground for that neon glow. I nearly peed myself this morning because I couldn’t sweep the bathroom with light fast enough to sit down.

And there are other things.

We drove to the vet yesterday because our dog can’t stop sneezing since we arrived. Could be allergies or something native to AZ called the valley flu or something. It involves sneezing, coughing, limping and death or something terrible. I searched the car for Scorpions while Oliver sneezed in the backseat, Francesco sang The Postal Service songs. Our phones screamed so loud we both leapt in our seats, fumbling for our phones. I grabbed mine, the screen showed, “EMERGENCY! DUST STORM HEADING IN YOUR DIRECTION. DO NOT DRIVE UNTIL AFTER 5 p.m.”

I looked at Francesco. “Where in the hell are we!?” He shrugged. “Arizona.”

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Stuff My Mom Says That I Wish She Wouldn’t

I went to Petco with my mom the other day to get some dog food for my poodle. I weaved through the aisles with her behind me when I heard:

“My neck, my back, lick my pussy and my crack, heeeeey.” In my mother’s voice.

I spun around.

“Have you heard that song?” She asked.

“Yes. Unfortunately. But why have YOU heard that song?”

“Your aunt’s roommate listens to it.”

“Lovely.”

“My neck, my back, lick my….”

“MOM! Please! Help me find the food.”

“Sigh.”

————————————–

“Hey! Come check out this shirt I bought your uncle!”

I run downstairs to see my mom holding a sweatshirt up. The shirt read, “If you  have to turn your head to read this you owe me a blow-job.”

“Classy.”

“It’s hilarious! He’s gonna love it!”

“Who wouldn’t?”

————————————–

“HEY! Your dog keeps putting his head near my crotch! Tell this damn dog that that area is for my husband only!”

“YEAH! MINE” My step-dad chimed in.

“Sigh.”

—————————————–

My mom is probably the most unhealthy person I’ve ever met. She lives on coffee, coca cola, and beer (after five or six p.m., naturally), eats only packaged foods and candy, chain smokes and probably hasn’t done any kind of cardio since she was in elementary school.

Yesterday, my husband and I were hanging out at her house when she offered him Cheeze Whiz.

My husband: What is that?

ME: Gross cheese

My husband: No!

My mom: Don’t be such a fucking wuss! It’s just cheese in a can!

My husband: BWAHAHAHAHAHAAH!

My mom: What the hell is so damn funny? It’s just cheese! It comes in different flavors too. It’s good!

My husband: BWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH!

Me: Wow. I had no idea that you’re a sort of Kraft connoisseur. They got that sharp chedder. That bacon. That American. Mmmm.

My mom: Assholes. Shut up.