Category Archives: Off-the-Wall

The Dress of Her Dreams

My friend Connie is such a sweet and supportive mom.  Her daughter is only 14, yet Connie has already picked out the most gorgeous wedding dress for her.  I mean, doesn’t every mom dream of this type of dress for her baby girl?

Wow!  Nice, um, rhinestones.

Wow! Nice, um, rhinestones.

She might need a little shawl if her shoulders get cold.


An Open Letter to My Book Club


Wow, this is awkward.  Um, things aren’t working out and I think we should stop seeing each other.  No, it’s not you, it’s me.  Really.  I mean, how I wound up in a group with (mostly) atheist, non-Southern Democrats will remain a mystery of the ages.  We could only have less in common if you were all gay and child predators.  Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy friendships with all kinds of people.  Many of my friends exhibit one or more of the above-mentioned, um, quirks.  (Well, except for the child predator thing, I hope.)  We just don’t seem to be meant for each other.  You all are very nice and I like you a lot.  Just not in that way.  More like siblings, you know?  Like my taste in beer and wine, my taste in books is rather pedestrian.  That may be one of the things coming between us:  the fact that I skip reading the high-brow tomes and totally get into the trash (um, like the young adult vampire fiction.)  You deserve better.

Thanks for being nice but please, don’t try to call or text me.  Let’s not make this any harder than it already is, OK?  Good luck–I know you’ll find someone else who is the perfect person for you.

Always the best,


Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy . . .

I was recently reading about the new, hip thing to do:  get a fish pedicure!  So bizarre, so strange, so Hollywood, y’all!  And the only place in the country (supposedly, at the time) was right down the street in Alexandria, Virginia.  Of course, being the cool and trendsetting girls that we are, the Queen and I had to try it out.  The spa’s site tells you about it here.  We got there and saw the tanks where you put your feet.

Waiting for the buffet.

Waiting for the buffet.

We got our feet washed and stuck them down in the tanks for the fishies to nibble.  Your feet sort of dangle in the water, which pleased me because I have all my dancer’s callouses on the bottoms of my feet.  Those fish would never go hungry again.  Unfortunately, fish don’t take direction very well and kept feeding around my ankles.  Hello?  My ankles are baby-butt smooth.  They don’t need the attention.  But, much like my kids, the fish ignored all my advice and suggestions.  It was a strange sensation.  Almost like your feet were asleep and had the prickles.  The fish don’t have teeth, so they really just rush up, suck your foot firmly and quickly, and then pull away.  (Insert your own fetish/inability to commit comment here.)  At first I kept jumping because it tickled.  But I eventually got used to it.

Yes, my feet really are shaped like that.

Yes, my feet really are shaped like that.

You can tell the Queen gets regular pedicures.  Her feet look very well taken care of.

You can tell the Queen gets regular pedicures. Her feet look very well taken care of.

After, we got traditional pedicures.  All in all, it was a fun experience.  But I don’t really think it made a huge difference in how soft my feet were.  I think the lotions helped more than anything.

When we were done, the ladies at the spa asked us to autograph the big sign they keep next to the fish.  It’s a place for customers to put their name and home town so you can see how far people are coming for the fish pedicures.  The ladies seemed rather disappointed that we were from the local area.  When I mentioned that I used to live in Germany, they got all excited and told me to put that as my home town.  I think they were really wanting to seem exclusive–“that woman came all the way from Germany just to get a Doctor Fish Pedicure!”  I’ll let the onus for truth in advertising be on them.

Barbie Legs

Like so many women, I am not happy with most of my body. I’ve never had cosmetic surgery, but I have a fantasy of having everything from my knees to my eyebrows lifted, sucked, or tucked. One part of my body that I do like, however, are my calves. The Queen has always said I have nice calves, but I have only noticed it since I started Irish dancing. Spend hours up on your toes jumping around the room and you can’t help but have good muscles in your legs.

While the Baghdaddy was away, I decided to upgrade my “frumpy Mama” image. I had not gone downhill to the point of wearing sweats every day, but had gotten a little too comfortable in my jeans-and-t-shirt uniform with my sneakers. I’m not much into make-up and have short hair that looks the same every day, so it was easy to look like a tired mom who just didn’t want to make the effort. At the same time, with five kids I don’t have a lot of spare time. I needed some easy ways to add oomph to my daily persona.

At Target one day, I found a pair of black slides with high heels. I figured shoes would be an easy thing to change–and it doesn’t get much easier than slides. Plus, I think it just sounds sexy when you walk down the hall and make that “click, click” noise with the heels. (Not the usual squeak of my tennies.) I started wearing those most of the time with my jeans. I already felt hotter! The shoe shopping had only just started.

What Not to Wear pointed out that people should dress to show off their best feature. After mulling this, I decided to try more skirts with the high heels I was now collecting. Walking into church one day (Lord forgive me for the vanity!) I was checking out my reflection in the glass doors. I finally realized what I liked so much about the way I looked. I HAD BARBIE LEGS! Barbie’s feet are always so pointy and dainty looking in her vertiginous high heels. And Barbie has some nice calves. (If only I had Barbie thighs, too, but I shouldn’t get greedy.)

So I am enjoying my new look. I feel more attractive, and have gotten at least one person’s attention. I was at a large hospital one day and this older gentleman came up to me. When I say, “older”, I really mean he was four days older than baseball. And when I say “came up to”, I really mean he had to inch forward using his walker with the tennis balls on the feet. He finally got right up next to me and whispered in my ear, “Ma’am, when it comes to legs, Marlene Dietrich has nothing on you.” Sigh . . . I guess I’ll take it where I can get it.

Irish dance program for the calves!

My Genius is Finally Recognized

I was happily surprised when my site, The Dolan Blog, suddenly started getting a large amount of hits last week. People had finally realized my genius! About damn time, too. And I checked with my mom–it wasn’t all her visits.

The hot air was let out of my balloon when that nice little WordPress feature told me what people had been searching on to hit my page. Things like “bri*tney spe*ars sh*aved he*ad pic*tures” (minus the asterisks).

Oh. They hadn’t been searching for “funny kid stories” or “smart ass mom talks about life.” When I told about my kids cutting their own hair so they had bald spots, and how I had to sh*ave their he*ads, that set the whole thing in motion.

Got me thinkin’, Queen. Maybe we should be writing stories about “ways we are not like Lind*say Lo*han”. Or, “Su*ri, T*om, and Kat*ie–what we named our new goldfish”. We could feel so good about ourselves when we get hundreds of hits a day.

And I guess I will continue to be amazing, yet unappreciated.

The Great Sh*t Transfer

I had to laugh imagining Mama’s chubby-baby in the toilet, splashing herself like she was trying on perfume at Macy’s.  It also reminded me of a toilet-related story from my college days that until now I haven’t shared with anyone but family and the people involved.  This little anecdote is a tale I affectionately call my “S**t Transfer story”, and it goes a little something like this:

When I was a freshman in college I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with three other girls since on-campus housing was limited.  This meant that instead of a dorm super, we had to pay for any plumbing problems that arose out of our own pockets (or the pockets of our daddies.)  One day after doing what people do when sitting on a toilet (i.e “dropping mud”) I went to flush and stared as the water rose ominously close to the edge of the bowl.  Of course, being the member of Mensa that I am, instead of being smart enough to turn off the valve in the back of the toilet to stop the water from rising, I just sat and stared in horror as my little turdballs slowly made their escape from liquid captivity, gliding so gracefully from the depths of the crapper over the edge of the bowl and onto the bathroom floor.  It was like watching little brown fish tumble down a waterfall.  After it finally occurred to me to shut off the water I realized that I had a problem:  I was standing in a puddle in the middle of my bathroom floor staring at drenched dookies, some that managed to stay in the toilet bowl, and some that managed to find freedom on the linoleum floor.  Having never taken plumbing as a high school elective and left with no other recourse for action, I called the plumber.  Porto-Potty Paul was on his way.  But wait a minute:  I couldn’t have some strange MAN eyeballing my wayward poo poos!  That would be a lesson in humiliation that would require years of therapy to erase from my subconscious!  So I did what any 18 year old blond female with poop anxiety would do:  I hatched a plan to transfer the turdlettes from the overflowing toilet and floor into the secondary bathroom so it would never have to be seen by male eyeballs.  The Poop Relocation Plan was in effect.  Picking up the dookies from the floor was easy… Scoop it up with a paper towel  (almost like cleaning up after a dog), walk it to the other bathroom, and toss it into the other commode.  Simple enough. But the shit floating around like little Fat Alberts in a swimming pool inside the toilet would require a more innovative transfer technique.  How was I going to scoop the poop from one toilet and walk it across the living room to the other bathroom?  I didn’t want to use a ladle…we used those for food service.  Forget a shovel … too big to fit through the toilet rim.  Then I saw it out of the corner of my eye… The toilet brush!  What a no-brainer!  It was MEANT to touch poopies.  I grabbed the brush and ever-so-gently slid it into the toilet, sneaking up behind the biggest turd like a covert poopie operative and scooping it up!  Success!  Mr. Dookiepoo was cradled in the toilet brush like a baby in a crib.  I gingerly walked my little brown masterpiece over to the receiving toilet, much like a child carrying an egg in a spoon during the annual Easter Egg race.  That’s when it dawned on me:  There is one very significant difference between a spoon and a toilet brush, which I ruefully discovered just feet from a successful transfer.  A toilet brush has a hole in it.  Why this didn’t occur to me sooner, I don’t know.  But before I even had a chance to process the kink in my masterful plan… PLOP!  The poop slid through the hole in the brush and landed in a little brown pile on the beige carpet. SHIT!!  Now there was a Dookie Trail throughout the house leading from one bathroom to the other! I tried to clean it up, I swear I did, but as I was on my hands and knees scrubbing all remaining evidence, the doorbell rang.  It was the plumber.  As he walked over the dark spot on the floor he glanced my way with an all knowing grin on his face.  And I know what he was thinking: “Haha.  Another embarrassed college girl and a failed attempt at the Great Shit Transfer.”


From the Queen:

I just opened up a Facebook account. Are you on there? It’s a very confusing place, especially for someone who’s already on meds for this sort of thing. One minute I’m writing a profile about myself and downloading pictures to share with my friends, the next minute I’m somehow sending “virtual stickers” to strangers and being stalked by some guy named “Brad”, who we all know is actually a 72 year old housewife named Mildred who chain-smokes Lucky Strikes while her husband tinkers on the ‘87 camaro sitting astride cement blocks in the front yard of their double-wide. Then there’s this feature where people can add you to their “entourage”. I love that… “entourage”, like we’re going to ring for the private jet to fly us to Vegas to drink apple martini’s at Hyde’s with Paris and Lindsey. Would we even be allowed in their entourage if we admit to our nasty habit of wearing underwear?