Posts Filed Under nothing to do with parenting.


by Janelle Hanchett

Normally I don’t write my weekly Sunday post because I’m disorganized and insane and can’t pull it together. This week, however, I haven’t written because I don’t want to tell you about my week. Not because I don’t want to share – because we ALL know I’m a hopeless over-sharer – but rather, because for once, I’m without words. Well, almost without words.

I write when I have something to say. I write because something rolls in my head, around and around, until it ends somewhere. And when it ends, I know what I need to say. Even with those silly weekly posts, I know what I want to say.

But I don’t know what to say now. I’ve got no “message,” no “take away.” Not much of anything at all.

On Wednesday, a dear friend – one of those family members who aren’t family members – died in a car accident. To my children, he was a beloved uncle. To my husband, he was a best friend. To me, well, he was a man I knew well and cared about deeply for the last 11 years – revered highly – and absolutely adored for what he was in the lives of my in-laws and husband and children. The way he loved them. The way they loved him.

He was the one who never missed a birthday party, a family celebration, a barbeque. He was the one who never said “no I can’t help.” He was just.always.there.

Until now. Now he is gone.

His heart, it was huge. I see that heart right now. I miss who he was. Just him.

And so I’ve spent the week grieving with my children, watching them walk through this with the miraculous grace only a child possesses – so in the moment, so bravely, so unaffected and free. They play, eat, sleep, walk. And then they remember, cry, fold into each other’s arms, talk, remember. And then, they play again.

But I, I’m a little more stuck in my brain — I’ve got a story about it. I replay it and wonder why. I replay it and I want it to be different. I replay it and I my heart breaks for him, for being gone like this, and his daughter, and my in-laws and my husband and my kids, who have faced the intransience of life. Right now. So early.

I tell myself I need this to mean something. I tell myself I need to live. Now.


Finish the book I started writing, lose the last 20 pounds, apply to PhD programs I’ll “never get into.” Read the books gathering dust on my night stand. Spend time in an ashram. Live in Europe. Do some fucking yoga.

But it’s all so clichéd – that embrace life carpe diem bullshit after somebody dies – because what are the facts? The fact is this death will fade, this loss will drift into my past, my life will go on, and slowly, without my knowing, in will creep the illusion of security, the vast fallacy of permanence, the great human trick  – and I will buy it again, once more – the rabbit in the hat – becoming deluded, believing I know where I’m going to be tomorrow.

Assuming that I will “be”, at all, tomorrow.

Resting secure in the insane notion that I’ve got this life thing covered.

And then, I’ll start complaining again. Stressing about the lone $2.43 in my bank account. Agonizing about my prospects for finding a job when I’m done with school. Feeling the weight of the unfinished. Wondering how I’m failing my kids. Bitching at my mother. Cursing the halted traffic.

But for now, yeah, I’m free of that stuff, breathing a little deeper the air of this strange universe, welcoming the delta winds on my face, and my kids haven’t annoyed me in four days. Today, yes, I’m trembling in the joy and energy of existence, of my life.

Because it IS.

And so you see. I have no closure here, nothing to say. I’ve got no wit. Nothin’ clever up in here, today.

Just life, I guess.


May that always be enough.

And until we meet again, Uncle Jeffy, rest in sweet peace.


My friends and I, we have an understanding.

by Janelle Hanchett


So there are friends, and then there are those friends.

There are childhood friends, who are pretty much sisters. And on the other end of the spectrum there are acquaintances, who you kind of know and kind of like…but then, then there those fascinating creatures right in the middle: FRIENDS. Those friends. The people who get you and you get them and it just works. There’s nothing forcing the relationship…you’re friends just because the two of you jive.

Ya feel me?

I have a few of these friends. And I heart them with all my heart.

Whoa. That was lame.

Yes, lame. But true. And the other day I was thinking about these friends and I realized that one of the things that make them so awesome is that we have some “understandings” – some unspoken ways of functioning with one another.

With these friends, I don’t have to worry about sounding good, looking good, being polite or scaring them. I can just be.

Mostly because we have these understandings, which I have summarized here:

  1. If you call one of these women a name, say for example “slut,” they will respond with something way more offensive, such as “pirate hooker.”
  2. This will not be offensive. This will be funny.
  3. Sexual innuendo is a basic tenet of conversation. For example, one of the friends in question may respond to the aforementioned name calling with something along the lines of “I love it when you talk dirty to me.” or “you’re so hot when you’re mad.”
  4. Not returning phone calls for a day or two or never is not rude, it is a reality of our lives and we all know it and we realize that soon, we will be the asshole who isn’t returning calls.
  5. It is always the husband’s fault. And when you bitch about the bastard, you will not get sound advice, helpful suggestions or supportive pick-me-ups, rather, you will hear some totally unhelpful over-generalization such as “I fucking hate men.” or “God I wish I were a lesbian.”
  6. A couple of the friends I’m referring to here are in fact lesbians, so in that case, we just talk shit about their partners and mumble things like “Let’s move to Vermont and get married and we can have lovers on the side. I’m okay with it.” In fact, that exact sentence occurred recently with a particular friend of mine.
  7. The conversations in 5 and 6 will never be told to outsiders. In fact, if they occur on the day of your wedding anniversary, this friend will STILL congratulate you wholeheartedly on Facebook, acting as if you hadn’t just told her you’d like to kick your husband in the, ahem, face.
  8. PMS is an excuse for all kinds of insanity and weeping and depression, but you will be taken seriously when you call in that state. No questions asked.
  9. If you show up to dinner with one of these friends looking like a homeless person, they won’t even notice.
  10. If you just had a baby, they’ll say you look amazing.
  11. If you just had a baby, you’ll get to decide everything.
  12. It is agreed that people who don’t understand sarcasm are suffering from some horrible mental deficiency and pretty much aren’t funny.
  13. We, however, are universally hilarious.
  14. Comments like “My demon spawn are ruining my life. This evening, instead of eating dinner, I plan on igniting myself and jumping off a building while playing ‘Blaze of Glory’ on a jukebox” are not alarming, wrong, or weird. Because these friends have been there and they’ll admit it.
  15. Any of us can flake pretty much immediately before the event without anybody losing their minds, on account of the demon spawn mentioned above. Or PMS. Or the problematic partner.
  16. None of us know a damn thing about parenting and express it openly, you know, like this for example:

Me: “Rocket’s doing [super annoying behavior]. Have your kids ever done that?”

Friend: “No, my kids are fucking perfect.”

Me: “So what did you do about it?”

Friend: “I drank a bottle of wine and left my house.”

And it’s understood that we aren’t those mothers who “know” and give wonderfully helpful advice and bask in the glory of our perfect children.

Rather, we are the mothers who do our best, clumsily and unglamorously, and often, slightly unwillingly, hoping for the best but often getting what appears to be the worst. And when that happens, we call each other and whine and commiserate, and call each other inappropriate names.

And somehow, I feel better every time.

By the way, at the risk of sounding like a lonely internet inhabitant with no real life, as I was writing this I realized that many of you are in this classification of friends. Though we may have never met in person, somehow, we jive, and sarcasm abounds, and clearly, we are the same mothers. And we are all, obviously, fucking hilarious.

So here’s to the understandings.

Between friends.



20 Comments | Posted in nothing to do with parenting. | June 28, 2012

Fun with Google search terms, Volume III

by Janelle Hanchett

Time for another installment of “Fun with Google Search Terms,” when we give a little recognition to the whackos who click through to my blog (present company excluded of course).

Here are the best ones in the past couple months. For those of you who haven’t played before, the terms below are the Google searches people enter to eventually find my blog. Since they probably didn’t find what they were looking for on my blog (with some of these, GOD HELP US if they did), I’d like to take a moment to respond to them. You know, like guidance.

Because everybody seeks my guidance.

As you can imagine.

So here we go.

  1. “do crackheads fingers turn black” – Yes. Though my friend, I believe that may be the least of their problems. (AGAIN with the crackheads. We always end up with the crackheads.)
  2. “are playdates necessary?” – If you are asking questions like that, then my dear, in this case, you have come to the right place. Here’s the quick answer: only if the parents are cool.
  3. “jessica simpson’s feet are weird” – Not as weird as the fact that you just Googled that.
  4. “how to stop writing on bathroom stalls” – Well, I would start by not taking a pen in there with ya. Also, you could just not do it. You know, try and stuff and see how that goes. Maybe there’s a 12-step group for people who can’t stop defacing public property.
  5. “a hoarding to propagate a daily glass of milk is every child’s right” – I have no idea what that means but I know it needs to be on this list.
  6. “what the fuck is a water table?” – I don’t know you, but I like you.
  7. “do i yell at my kids because I’m angry at them?” – No, you yell at them because you are delighted with them, which is always why people yell at one another. Also, please don’t have any more kids. You’re kind of an idiot.
  8. “fuck yo barbaric yawp” – Alright I’m serious. We need to be friends. Who are you? You quoted Walt Whitman and used the word “fuck” in the same sentence. WE ARE SOUL MATES.
  9. “can i buy my kids way into gifted and talented education” – Let’s sure hope so, because that would be so helpful to them. I mean they’d really learn a LOT by having you buy their way into GATE. [P.S. Does it scare anybody else that asshats like this are walking around the world like it’s nothin’, quite possibly producing children who exist near our children?]
  10. “i realized i like to be naked” – You’re just realizing that now? What the hell were you doing in your twenties?
  11. “fuck you mean fitted sheet” – I want to write something but I’m laughing too damn hard. Win.
  12. “Saturday message from Jesus” – Does it change on Saturdays? [Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that somebody looking for Jesus’s message came to MY blog?]
  13. “Bible quotes against Facebook” – Yo, Einstein, Facebook wasn’t around when the Bible was written. Now go back to scouring the Bible for passages you can manipulate into anti-homosexual propaganda.
  14. why is my dog mothering a sock?” – No idea, but I’d give pretty much anything to see how that’s going down
  15. “neon fucking green shorts bitch” – You tell ’em.
  16. “my parents are unenlightened” -Are you sure?

And now we can all feel confident knowing that this blog is still pulling some of the brightest bulbs in the shed, as well as the crack heads, who are always welcome.

P.S. Fuck yo barbaric yawp.

I’m using that.



Do chores. Get lucky.

by Janelle Hanchett

The other day Mac and I did this thing where we flirt and tease all day, temporarily deluding ourselves into thinking we’re hot and have an active sex life.

Dad, please stop reading this post.

Anyhoo, you know, we taunt and whisper things and grab inappropriately. Et cetera.

As you can imagine, this is rather fun, and by the end of the day, both of us are ready for, um, the end of the day.

So a couple days ago we were doing the aforementioned let’s-pretend-we-just-met thing all day long. That evening I went out with a friend and didn’t get home until 11:30pm. The whole drive home I was imagining how I would wake him, a-hem – and what would probably follow. I went in the house ready to assault him.

But when I walked in the door I was assaulted. By the condition of my house. The front room looked like Toys R Us spun around in circles vomiting on the floor. The living room and kitchen were barely recognizable. The real clincher, however, was the animals. They were all pacing around like the walking dead, moaning and mewing and looking at me like “Please. Do something.”

I checked the cat’s bowls. Empty. I checked the dog’s. Empty. I checked the fucking rodents’. EMPTY.

Suddenly, I was not in the mood. What the fuck, husband. It’s 11:30pm and I want to ravage you but instead I have to walk around and feed the furry beasts. Even though you were here all night, and they were supposed to be fed HOURS ago…and I’ve been asking you for like 6 months to please help feed the animals on a regular basis…you still couldn’t do it and now, once again, at the end of my day, I have to do what was YOUR JOB.

Not hot, husband.

Not hot at all.

And as I finished feeding the last small mammal and felt the last spark of sex drive fizzle out through my toes, and my desire to do my husband turned into a desire to do in my husband, I realized how drastically my idea of “hot” has changed since I was like, oh I don’t know, 20.

Of course it’s a little hard to tell what I considered “hot” when I was 20, since my man of choice was whoever showed up after I’d had enough beers to make men start appearing hot (which may explain how pretty much NONE of them fit the “hot” bill the next morning….but I digress).

Despite this difficulty, I’m 99% sure “Hey baby, I fed the guinea pigs” would not have struck my former self as a turn-on.

But now? Oh yeah. Bring it.

What? You picked your stinky ass socks off the bathroom floor and put them in the actual laundry basket?

Come here baby. I got something for ya.

What’s that you say? You cleaned out the car and changed the sheets?

Take me I’m yours.

To illustrate, I made you a few graphics, which embody my current idea of the hottest shit in the world.

Yes, I realize this makes me pathetic and old and uninteresting.

Also, tired. Very tired. And with a thrashed house. So tired am I, in fact, and so thrashed is this house, that the thought of a man doing the chores they somehow can’t manage to figure out how to do on their own EVER. (I’m serious. What is wrong with them?!) like a giant hit off the love pipe. Like roses and dirty talk and sweat and red wine. Like oceans and whispers and bare muscular chests.

Like yes, please.

[by the way, if I’m the only one of you who finds men-doing-chores sexy, I will in fact off myself.]


Why yes.

Yes I do.



Check it out. There are two types of mothers in the world…

by Janelle Hanchett


Look, I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’ve mulled it over and analyzed it from fifty directions. I’ve considered and contemplated and questioned. And as you know, I spend a good deal of my life contemplating irrational theories with no importance whatsoever, so it should come to no surprise that I have come to the following conclusion…

There are two types of mothers in the world: those who say things like “baby sprinkle,” and those who do not.

What the fuck is a “baby sprinkle?” Yes, Exactly. That’s why we’re friends. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Evidently, a “baby sprinkle” is the celebration you have for your second baby (and subsequent ones I imagine). You know, it’s not a full shower. It’s a “sprinkle.” Isn’t that cute?

No, no it is not cute.

Well yes, actually. Actually yes it is cute. It is so cute it’s dripping cuteness from its every pore. It’s so cute it makes puppies look deformed. It’s the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

And if you said it to me (as in “I’m having a baby sprinkle!”) and you were serious, I would look at you as if you just told me you found a large elderly man rolling in peanut butter on your front porch.

And if I said that to any of my friends “I’m having a baby sprinkle!” they would know I was full of shit, because we don’t say things like that. And then they’d probably say something like “I got a sprinkle for you, bitch.”

Or some other wildly inappropriate innuendo.

And though it may sound like an oversimplification, I’m pretty sure I’m on to something here. There’s no way people can have an ambiguous reaction to that term. You don’t just hear the words “baby sprinkle” and walk off like nothing happened. You either say “Ooooooooo that’s so cute! I’m totally doing that!!!!”

Or you look at them dumbfounded and slightly afraid, making a mental note of the exact details of the situation so you can tell your friends about it later.

In other words, there are women who say shit like that and there are women who make fun of women who say shit like that.

No worries, though, because they make fun of us too. We all make fun of each other. We’re a very mean, judgmental bunch.

Just doing my part.

To illustrate, I made a graph. I like making graphs of my deep life theories. Feels very official.

You see I added “push present” to the graph. That’s because I believe there is a striking similarity between women who say “baby sprinkle” and women who say “push present.” And in contrast, the women who don’t. But the push present thing deserves its own post, which will be forthcoming. In fact, I think I’m going to start devoting regular blog time to this. It’ll be the “Stupid Shit Mothers Say” series. What do ya think?

Anyway, yes. I’ll admit it. I am among the women who would not use the term “baby sprinkle,” pretty much ever, unless maybe I wanted my husband to decorate a cupcake (as in a command: “baby, sprinkle!”). Yeah that’s pretty unlikely.

The truth is, when I hear things like “baby sprinkle,” my initial reaction is a wave of nausea that travels through my entire body, beginning at my toes. After that, I begin asking questions:

What does that even mean? Baby sprinkle. It’s a fucking shower. How is it different than a shower? Do we bring little gifts? No. You bring real gifts. Who the hell would bring a little gift? That’s rude. So why do they call it a sprinkle? To be cute? I hate being cute. I hate cute shit. I’m a grown-ass woman. I’ve given enough up for my kids. I don’t have to be CUTE too.

Fuck cute.

Why do mothers have to be cute?

Being pregnant isn’t cute. Having a baby isn’t cute. Raising kids isn’t cute. There is nothing cute about motherhood except, perhaps, the kids, on occasion. And that’s a big PERHAPS and there’s a lot of NOT CUTE AT ALL buffering every moment of “cute,” so why do we have to have embrace the cute like it’s all there is?

My God. Did she really just say “baby sprinkle?”

Now, I could be wrong, but I THINK this reaction is a tiny bit different than that of the woman who sent out this invitation:

Ah, cupcakes with sprinkles. Get it. Sprinkles. Cupcakes. Baby Sprinkle.

Oh, so CUTE.

Come on, let’s all go be cute together.

Bunch of cute, sprinkly mothers, that’s us.