Monday, June 06, 2011


Oh God. Help me. It's time for one of these.

I have a cold. When I have a cold, I feel like I am going to die and I feel sorry for myself and moan and groan and it's largely because I can't taste food, which is my currently one and only pleasure in life. I also can't smell Baby Lawns's head.

I am deep in misery with this cold and Baby has it too so when she nurses her breathing sounds like a rattlesnake piglet hybrid.

Nurses, yes, with teeth. I don't even want to talk about that.

My sister has officially moved in, as in is living and sleeping, next door to me now, which has been really nice because today when I was sick I called her wailing and she said, please bring your baby over here and go lie down for a minute. It was also nice the other day when I needed an avocado and she needed a taco salad. Yes, people need taco salads and yes, I usually have all the ingredients on hand because that's like my favorite food.

I think my husband is having a mid-life crisis. He's lost 20 pounds and gotten his eyebrows cut. He got some new clothes and he's Mr. Yoga man now. He even built a Zen garden in our front yard. I'll take a picture of it for you. So yesterday I decided to take the baby to the mall for no other reason than that I wanted to get out of the house and I'd run out of things to entertain her with. I'm driving down the beach road and I see this hot guy in a $125,000 Jaguar flagging me down and I get all smiley and excited and start thinking well of myself, all like, yeah I still got it. Would you know it was my freaking husband in his friend's car? I mistook my own husband for a random hot, rich guy. So now I have a hot husband. What to do? I'm kind of not used to this and especially not ok with it because I am officially the least hot I have ever been in my life. Christ how I wish I looked as beautiful as I did when I was sixteen. I think we need to start a serious campaign to get me on What Not to Wear because I have no clothes anymore and my hair looks like the girl from The Ring again. I think I could clean up well.

I also want to lose ten pounds but I have to be honest and admit that right now I'm not yet willing to do the work it would take to lose the last baby weight and chocolate tastes better than skinny feels at the moment. It really does.

What Not to Wear starts with a road sign that says "No Mini-skirts After 35." What's the rule for two piece bathing suits? Having birthed a child and being over 35 I reluctantly, but out of deep necessity, bought myself a one-piece mom-looking bathing suit that is in no way sexy or flattering. It was a depressing moment, let me tell you. I just stood there in Old Navy and wanted to weep for how quickly my life has passed. Where did my squandered youth go? I look back at the body I had even eleven and twelve years ago and I wonder why didn't I wear a string bikini every solitary waking hour of my life, even in the winter. One regret  - I should have dressed like a whore more often. While we're at it, I probably should have acted like a whore more often too.

My sister's ex got arrested a couple weeks ago for robbing a bank. I know there are people who accuse me of gross exaggeration in my stories, but I couldn't make this up. Dude robbed an effing bank y'all. A bank robber. My sister dated him. Albeit, he was a con man and she didn't know it and he took her in and stole all her money, but still. A BANK.

I'd been supposed to spend the summer up in Millpond. Remember that? Not happening, but I'm ok with it. My grandmother isn't feeling well and I think it would be too much for her to have a baby in her condo so she asked me to hold off on coming up, which is fine. I'm ok. I was starting get overwhelmed by the idea of it myself.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my grandfather's death. I can't believe it's been three years now. I forgot it was the date of his death and get this. This is craziness. Last night I had this amazingly vivid dream that he came to visit me and he looked like he did when he was about 50 and Baby Lawns and I sat on his lap. When I woke up I felt so happy and then I remembered it was the anniversary and I swear, the dreams are real and he is visiting me. Am I nuts?

I don't know what my parents are up to lately. My dad found out he has Type 1 Diabetes caused by a virus. He is very thin and fit. Now he has to take insulin shots, so that's been a big shock. 

My mom has just been enjoying her two grandbabies. She's in baby heaven. She has magical powers I think. Baby Lawns loves my mother and my mother can get her to laugh and squeal when everything I do elicits a cry.

So Internet, I need your help. About six weeks ago I got this letter that was very official looking and appeared to be from the state and had seals and whatnot all over. It said that the state treasury owed me some unclaimed funds - $1,300 to be exact. This smacks of scam to me and I'm about the most cynical person alive. I think everything is a scam. But the funds were supposedly from GMAC, with whom I had a lease over ten years ago. Now I'm not the sort of person who has so much money that I could just lose track of $1,300. That's a tremendous amount to me, so I don't get how a company could owe me that much money and I wouldn't know about it and not just not know about it, but let it go for over ten years. Where did this money come from? So, is it a scam? I was supposed to fill out a bunch of paperwork and send it off in order to get the funds, but I'm so suspicious that I'm scared to do it. It feels vaguely Nigerian to me, but they aren't asking me for any money. They are asking for my social though and since my mom is going through an absolute mess with identity theft right now, I'm wary. To make matters worse, now I'm getting letters daily from different companies who say that they'll get the money back for me and do all the work if they can take a small percentage of it, which is usually about a hundred bucks. So what to do? Is this BS? Please assist.

Anyway. So Baby Lawns, oh my God this child. She's 7 1/2 months now. I have no idea where the time went. She crawls all over the place and has a way of honing in on whatever one thing I've overlooked in my baby proofing. She's like a magnet for things that will kill her. Last week she decided that crawling was no longer doing it for her and that, yeah, she'd rather stand. And climb. Lovely. She is so her father's child. She has his personality, God help me and is into everything and athletic. My husband's dream for her is for her to be an Olympic snowboarder. He wants her flying off of cliffs like he does. Fabulous. At this rate, I can see that happening.  And let's talk about those teeth. She has four now and three coming in, which has been a wonderful experience of biting, yelling and drool. I love that she bites everyone except me. She has never bitten me, but oh the nursing. The pain. She doesn't bite, but she scrapes. It isn't pleasant.

Husband and I are both reading some good books right now. Husband recommends Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip (P.S.) by Peter Hessler. I'm going to read it when he's done because it sounds fascinating and Husband says it's engaging and interesting and will really help you to understand China, something more Americans need to be aware of.

I'm reading The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins. I read Pledged by the same author a couple years ago and loved it. I like this author's style and the way she writes about group dynamics. I'm not too far into the new book yet, but I'm enjoying what I've read and I like the book's thesis which is basically that the characteristics that make some kids outcasts in high school are the same qualities that will lead to success outside of high school. It's debatable obviously, but interesting and she makes some good points. I'll discuss it more when I finish.

That's all for now. I'm going to go back to being sick.


A said...

If the state has a record of your unclaimed funds online, then you will probably be safe claiming it. I live in Ohio and they have the same thing.

Jean_Phx said...

I just finished reading Zippy. Thank you. Thank you.

Kerry said...

Sorry you're sick, hon. I hope you (and baby!) feel better soon.

Yay for your sister being in her house! :) :) :) That sounds like all kinds of happy.

I think a two-piece bathing suit is ok, even after 35. Maybe a trip or two to the gym to go with it, but I don't think it's awful. I agree with the mini-skirt rule, though. And belly shirts are out after 20.

My dad came to me in dreams a few times after he died. Times I really wish I had the skill of lucid dreaming- the things I want to ask him! But I don't have that skill, and I could only sit along for the ride. The last time was several years ago and it was goodbye but I was ready for it. I'm glad your dream gave you such comfort! :)

Definitely check with the state of Florida about unclaimed money. Sometimes it will be an overpayment/miscalculation that they just never told you about and now they have to add interest since they had your money for so long. I had that happen with the DMV. They had made us pay a fee to bring a car into the state from Ohio, and later they were told they can't do that, so we got our fee back plus interest. Check online, and use the state website to claim it. That way you can avoid dealing with the outside company that you don't trust.

:) Hope you feel better soon!

Lauren said...

OMG what are you doing? Don't buy a swimsuit that makes you sad! Don't you know how many SUPER CUTE and sexy one piece swimsuits are out there? Just because it's a one piece doesn't mean you're a frumpy mom!!!!
Like here:

Or why not a tankini? covering AND cute!

If you don't have a plethora of stretch marks and baby fat from an october c-section like I do, you can TOTALLY rock a 2 piece. Or just find high-waisted bottoms! They are all in style right now.

Find something you feel GOOD in! It's worth it!

Kirby said...

I recently rec'd a letter from the Title Co who handled my house closing. They claimed they had funds in escrow for me and if I didn't claim it they would have to send the money to the State unclaimed fund or whatever the agency is called. I didn't know about the money and immediately requested they release the funds - which they did and I did a little happy dance! The title co. did not request a SS # though, and I agree that part would make me nervous. If GMAC is legitmately contacting you, and you leased from them, seems they would have your SS # and maybe this is their way to confirm you are you? I'd ask them why they want the #.

Flora said...

My mum still wears a bikini at 60 and she is otherwise a fairly conservative dresser, on the other hand she does have a 6 pack cause shes a physio therapist so make of that what you will. However I think Bikinis can be just as flattering as a bathingsuit and its really just a question of what you feel the most comfortable/attractive in. I think the whole "you have to be this age to wear this" thing is complete rubbish! For christ's sake Helen Mirren looks stunning in a bikini at 63 and I dont think anybody would call her mutton dressed as lamb

Head Ant said...

I have a history with GMAC. They processed a payment from me when I didn't even have an account with them. Classy. So I believe they could be holding your money.

Sarah663 said...

I'm sure that the unclaimed money is real. You can go to the Florida treasury site and search for your name. I did it on a whim and found money for like 30 people that I know - it's amazing - one more paycheck, one utility deposit, etc.

Suffer Kate said...

Madame Lawns, I am sorry you and Baby are ailing! That said, I most definitely believe that our loved ones - yes, friends are included - visit us in dreams. Frequently they look younger than they were when they passed, but the most telling aspect is how happy one feels upon awakening. I see my brother often in dreams, and recently, I saw my former employer. It's kind of wonderful when it happens, and happen, it does.

About the GMAC conundrum, I don't have any advice. Your gut instinct has proven itself, but it's worth looking into.

JDogg said...

At least call GMAC and see what they turned over to the state in your account.

Anonymous said...

click the state you want and it will take you to a legitimate site ... I clicked on Florida, which gave me:

That's the site for the state of Florida's Financial services.


*** here is a nonprofit database that lists unclaimed money from GMAC, the surnames are alphabetized.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

About the three links, sorry,..don't use the third's not a non profit "for free"...I didn't find that out until to late.


BoB said...

There are companies who troll the state unclaimed property databases and then try to collect fees for claiming your money for you. I think the third party letters are a good sign the unclaimed funds are legit.

True story, I had unclaimed paychecks and stock bonuses in CO that one of these companies tried to collect for me. I searched the CO unclaimed property website and went through their paperwork jungle to claim them on my own.

I'm pretty sure those paychecks and stocks were sent to me in WY so I think I didn't loose track of anything but did benefit from a company's inability to keep things straight.

Like other comments, I would recommend you initiate contact w/ the state unclaimed property and see what's up.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate Tastes Better Than Skinny Feels--title your first book of essays that, automatic bestseller. While your husband is reading Country Driving you might try Pete's (I can call him that, we're college pals, and I maintain a fierce jealousy of his success that allows me to call him whatever else I like too) first book, River Town, which is about teaching English in China...Papatya (p.s. feel better)

Pickyknitter said...

I just finished "The Last Samurai" by Helen DeWitt and loved it. I have read a lot this year, but it is the only book that was fancy schmancy enough to recommend.

Stephani said...

I got one of those letters a few years ago and it ended up being real. I think mine was right around $1300, too.

I circumvented the company who contacted me, though, and went directly to the State of FL (can't remember the department who handled it). The company who contacted me was charging a fee for their service (10%, I think), so I ended up with 10% extra by doing it myself.

JoeinVegas said...


Miss Kitty said...

As always, WL, this post is so wonderful. Bittersweet and sad and spit-take funny all at the same time.

I'd call the state bureau from whence the letter came (look up their # on the interwebs instead of using any URL or phone # provided in the letter, which may well be fake), and then ask questions of the official state folks.

As to bikinis after 35...I'm 37 and still wear bikinis, though nowhere near as skimpy as I once did. I don't look as good as I used to, and I haven't even had any kids. So I try to walk the line between attractive and age-appropriate. The tops of my bikinis tend to be wider-cut halter tops that cut down on side boobage (I'm a 34DD, and gravity hasn't been my friend). The bottoms are usually some form of boy shorts. My ass doesn't look anywhere near as good as it once did, even with exercise, and I do have some hip spreading. But I try not to worry about it and wear something pretty age-appropriate. As I used to advice my college students about dressing for class, "I don't want to see your private parts--there are some things about you that I do NOT want to know. And I know you feel the same way about your professors. So wear some drawers, a decent bra, shorts of a decent length that don't make me wonder if you know you walked out of the dorm this morning in your undies."

Barring that...quite a few places are making gorgeous 1950s-style one-piece swimsuits, with the shirring and the skirt-type look. I think has a few, and some of the less-pricey websites do as well.

greyspasm said...

Anon: I had the same thought regarding a book title!

Also, when I read "I should have dressed like a whore more often," I pictured a New Yorkerish cartoon with an old woman lying on her death bed.

Thanks for the chuckles.

Cristina S said...

Definitely check the Florida Treasure Hunt site; as cheesy as it sounds, that's where escheated funds go!

& I agree w. posters above regarding your book title. DO IT!

Anonymous said...

You don't need the services to claim your funds. If the state has it, go to the state's website and look for the instructions for "unclaimed property"

@upinthebush said...

I think this is one of my favourite posts of yours. The voice is so casual and off the cuff. Almost as if you were having a glass of wine and chatting with good friends. It's cool that we (your readers) get to know you so well. Was thinking while reading this: "Widelawns can outdooce 'dooce' and out tragedy 'greek tragedy'." Hopefully you and babylawns are now on the mend. Thank-you for sharing your lovely storytelling skills with all of us.

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