Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.



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Memo #579b


Dear Retailer:

I appreciate the email notification of your sales.  Really I do. I love a good bargain and rarely make it to brick and mortar stores that don’t sell diapers and/or milk.  Without your emails, I would never think to browse for clothing or accessories for anyone other than my children.  Sorry about that not buying thing…nothing personal, I’m just that my children steal all of my money at a frugal point in my life.

I’m not writing to complain about your less than stellar sales in the past.  Hey, times are tough all around.  (But for future reference, please don’t use the word clearance for less than 50% off.)  I’m writing to check that you understand the definition of the word everything.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary it means “all that exists”.  Don’t believe me, here let me google that for you:  click here.   So when the headline of your email reads “40% off absolutely EVERYTHING” and the huge text in your ad says “40% off absolutely EVERYTHING” you can understand my confusion at the asterisk and fine print.  If you don’t want to put everything on sale, perhaps don’t use the word everything?

Or maybe the confusion is absolutely and you meant almost?


Perplexed customer who probably wouldn’t buy anything anyway so feel free to ignore my advice

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Really Facebook?


I sometimes scratch my head at the ads Facebook seems to think are targeted at me but the people I may know usually contains someone I went to high school with but didn’t really know well enough to care to catch up with them on Facebook.  But no, Lambchop and I weren’t classmates.  I would be curious to know why Facebook thinks we might be acquainted.

While we are talking Facebook, can I just add a little piece of etiquette/advice?  If you send a friend request to someone you don’t really know well (or only know online), include a quick sentence about who you are.  Say hi.  Something.

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Resistance is futile


We will be assimilated.  We are becoming more Southern with every passing day.  We’ll never be true Southerners but the South has a way of creeping in.

One day we were talking about what we needed to do and Steve said “I reckon…” (who talks like that?)

I find myself saying “Ya’ll” without the previous irony.

I tried shrimp and cheese grits.  And I liked them.  A lot.

I tried fried green tomatoes.  They were pretty good.

I wear capris and skirts more often when I go out.  I still wear shorts in public but I’m aware that I am breaking the rules.  I still don’t care but I know why I am getting disapproving looks.

Whenever I am pointing out something about another person that might be considered a flaw or criticism, I follow it with “bless her heart“.

When it is 100 degrees outside, I take a sweater with me to restaurants because it is likely to be 66 degrees inside.

I know the best pulled pork sandwiches can be found in gas station restaurants in the middle of no where.  Seriously, there is one in NC, on the way to the beach, that makes me drool as we approach.

The other day, Steve declared it was going to be a nice day because it wasonly supposed to be 90 degrees”.

I have a strange desire to try Chess Pie despite the fact I am sure it is foul (it has been described to me as pecan pie without the pecans – blech).

But yesterday sealed it.  We bought meat off the back of a pickup truck. Yes, yes we did.

Okay it wasn’t quite as redneck looking as that – but it wasn’t far off.  It was a pickup with a chest freezer in back.  And we purchased steaks from them.  The prices were decent – not low enough to set off “too good to be true” alarm bells but good.  The meat was frozen solid and looked nice.  We’ll see once we try it.

The funniest part of the transaction (and there were several) was the guy’s son.  The son was probably 20.  He looked like quite the good old boy and was sporting a slight mullet.  They both had thick Southern drawls.  The son had said very little but dad was showing us the box of pork and pulled out some stuffed pork chops.  Dad described the corn bread stuffing and the son drawled “They are divine.”  Totally not the choice of words I would have expected.

Welcome to the south.

Memo #42813


Dear Crazy Lady In Whole Foods:

Often after having a baby, we get stuck inside.  We don’t talk to many grown ups.  Our brains get a little mushy and we forget our social skills.  I get that.  Really, I do.  That is why the first time you approached me, I smiled and even engaged you a little.  I’m not big on chatting with random strangers in the grocery store.  I have a toddler who is like a time bomb.  The second we enter, the countdown starts but I don’t know how long I have before all hell breaks loose.  So I get in and get out – quick like a Ninja.  If Ninjas kept up a constant stream of non-sense chatter with a toddler while stuffing animal crackers in her mouth to keep her quiet happy.  Whatever.

Your double take when you turned and saw me examining tofu noodles was a little strange.  Your extreme surprise and excitement over our matching Graco strollers was a little odd.  But I thought perhaps your baby was young and you didn’t get out much.  I thought maybe you didn’t realize how over the top you sounded (we’ve all done it).  I assured you it was a nice stroller and it had served us well with our first and now second child.  Then I excused myself.

The fact that you tracked me down, 10 minutes later, on the other side of the store, dragging your mother who was pushing said matching stroller with you, was borderline stalking flat out weird.  I really didn’t need you to prove to me that your stroller was the same.  And your mom didn’t look particularly impressed either.  (Ever seen the Friend’s episode with Joey’s hand twin? Kind of felt like that.) But I smiled and nodded as I sidled away.

Following me down the aisle while loudly explaining to your mother how amazing it was that we had matching strollers “because you know they didn’t make that many” started to feel creepy.  By the way, Graco makes more than 1 of each stroller.  Go to Target and take a look sometime.  And get a cart while you are there – see if you can find someone else with a matching one.


The Woman Who Knows How to File a Restraining Order

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VD keeps on giving


Yes, I am 12.  That title makes me laugh.

I love scoping out the bargains after a holiday.  Valentine’s Day is especially fun because you can find some indulgent items for 50% – 75% off.  I picked up 2 t-bone steaks for around $5 dollars and some turtles for half price.  (Which just makes me yearn for my Pgh south side turtle because these commercial ones are fine but they probably shouldn’t even share the same name as those.  Sorry…got off track there.  Let me wipe the drool from my keyboard and I’ll continue.)

What is even better than a great clearance sale?  When you bring home a bonus that you didn’t know you were getting!  See these aren’t just turtles.  Oh no siree.


I opened the box to discover that I had not only brought home turtles but also…


An ELEGANT candy dish.  Just by opening the sides this ordinary box is transformed:


Isn’t it gloriously elegant?  I feel like I should put it in a more elegant spot than the kitchen counter.  We aren’t really elegant folks though so I’m not sure what to do with it.  I hope I can find sufficiently elegant candy to grace our new elegant candy dish once these turtles are gone.

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Specifically yours truly…


I snapped these with my phone while browsing Valentine’s Day cards at the pharmacy today.  (Filling my prescription for yet another antibiotic.  Yep. Strep. Again.  The doctor was impressed with how swollen and “beefy” my tonsils and throat looked.  He positively swooned over the number of pustules in my throat. Sexy, no?)

For the guy who wants to make it REALLY clear that the “L” word is not in play yet:


For the woman who will scare the bejeesus out of the guy above…she’s pushing for the “L” word to make an appearance and wants to start marking firsts together  (really if your first “holiday” together is Valentine’s Day that means you weren’t together 6 weeks ago at Christmas so quiet down that biological clock honey):


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One more thing I’m thankful for…


I’m thankful for the usual things: the health, happiness, security, and success of my family and my friends.  But this year I am thankful for one additional thing: there were no angry octopus at dinner this year because you know I love to taunt…


Thanks to oddlyspecific.com

I hope you all had a holiday as warm and fuzzy and octopus free as mine.

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Funnies because I got nothing






I’ll try and get my camera out so I can dazzle you with cute photos if nothing else.

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Snark Deflecting Bracelets


wwbraceletThanks for all of yesterdays comments.  While I’m not glad others have to endure it, I am always glad to know I’m not alone in my frustrations.

When ever I start hearing the little comments, I paste the fake smile on my face and imagine I am wearing the Wonder Woman bullet deflecting bracelets.  I think about half of my readers are old enough to remember Linda Carter as Wonder Woman and to perhaps have played Wonder Woman while your BFF was Bionic Woman (either working together or in a grudge match depending on your imagination and the dynamic in your neighborhood).

Maybe next time I’ll make some tin foil bracelets to wear and pretend I am deflecting the verbal barbs…then they will think I am crazy and shut up for fear of agitating me.

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