Still Holding On – and Holding

It was a simple question.  It should have been on the website.  It wasn’t.  So it should have been a quick and easy phone call.  Forty-seven minutes later, I realized I was in hell – that tortured no man’s land of a customer service phone call known as On Hold.

So it was only fitting that the purgatory playlist included Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire.

But just getting to that loop of music is a herculean task in the customer service Olympics.  Because before you can even to listen to the Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive you have to talk to the automated lady who rarely understands whatever words are coming from your lips, regardless of the volume or tone in which you speak.

She starts out nice enough.  “Your call is important to us,” she says sweetly.  Robo Lady tells me to listen carefully because the menu options have changed suggesting that I might have the interest and brain capacity available to have this memorized for reference.

Robo Lady seems committed to getting my call to the proper destination and offers up a detailed array of menu options.  “If you’re calling about warranty questions, say warranty,” she says.  I say, “Warranty.”  “You said technical support, right?” she continues. “Please say yes or no.”  “No, warranty,” I tell her.  “Sorry, I didn’t get that. You said technical support, right?” she says starting to sound annoyed with me.  “NO. NO. NO! WAR-RAN-TEE,” I enunciate slowly and carefully like I’m auditioning for The Actor’s Studio.  “That is not a valid option. Please hold while I transfer you to the next available customer service representative,” she admonishes me now morphing from her once helpful persona into a cranky, peri-menopausal broad with passive-aggressive issues.

[Read more…]

A Real Mother: stumbling through motherhood – FREE TODAY

I’m in a push to get A Real Mother: stumbling through motherhood to the top 20 (or better!) on the Kindle downloads (it’s a #35 right now), so please download your FREE copy today! And please, please, please – if you’ve already downloaded a copy, share this with your friends.

I’m not above groveling, people.

So get your FREE copy today, pretty please?













(edited: August 31, 2012 – Thank you everyone who downloaded a free copy.  Over 10,000 copies downloaded in the last three days. You made A Real Mother make it to the top 20 on Kindle for a brief shining moment and #1 in both Parenting and Humor downloads. Readers, you all totally rock.)

The Verdict on Junk Food

Trouble was brewing in the cereal aisle. And the one about to incur the wrath was me.  As my ‘tween and teenaged sons stood there, it was clear they were about to make their case with the tenacity of Perry Mason and Atticus Finch.  “See Mom, you were wrong!” Older Boy said shoving the box within an inch of my middle-aged eyes.  “Go ahead, read it.” Younger Boy then chimed in. “They’re GOOD for you,” he argued.  “It says so right on the box.”

My bad.

It was hard to argue with the good health claims emblazoned on the front of the Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops boxes that my boys paraded in front of me like I was a Price is Right Showcase Contestant.  There they were – boxes of an immunity-boosting, fiber enhanced morning indulgence that I’d denied them based on my misguided beliefs.  And boy did I feel pretty stupid. All these years I’ve been making them eat real froot. [Read more…]

How’d You Find Me?

I’m always curious about how people find my blog.  Do they find the link from my column at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle?  Have they read A Real Mother: stumbling through motherhood?  Found it on Facebook?

All good to know, but my all time FAVORITE way (and by far THE  most fun) is to check out the search terms people use to find me.  I find myself repeatedly uttering WTF?

These are some of my favorites – exactly as they appeared in the search engine: [Read more…]

Exaggeration – It’s All in the Family

You never forget the first story you write that gets attention.  At that moment, you fully understand the power of the written word.  You know that your words can move people.  And apparently, your words can also get you in trouble.

Because my first memorable writing experience was in second grade.  [Read more…]

Kirkus Reviews A Real Mother

I’ve been holding my breath waiting for the Kirkus Review. . . the wait is over.  Woot!  Woot!

stumbling through motherhood
By Denise Malloy (Author)
Malloy presents a collection of 39 funny, charming and poignant snapshots of her life as the mother of two boys.

Malloy presents a collection of 39 funny, charming and poignant snapshots of her life as the mother of two boys.

As is true of most mothers, Malloy notes that she used to have “an individual personality” with hobbies, interests and a career. Then the baby arrived, and the new mom discovered this arrival marked the beginning of a new series of identities: Baby’s Mom, Schoolhouse Mom, Frazzled Mom, Invisible Mom. With gentle humor and wit, the author recounts various moments of motherhood that most mothers will recognize from their own lives. The stories are not reflections on the big occasions of celebration or sadness or drama. These are the short, ordinary, everyday moments often taken for granted, but not here, where they’re examined and savored. Her approach serves as a good reminder that motherhood doesn’t require perfection; that it’s the everyday chaos that makes motherhood so exasperating and yet so worthwhile. This is what it is to be a “Real Mother.” Malloy makes no apology for her conclusions: that the parenting magazines might best be suited for lining the hamster cage; that fathers parent differently; that math will need to be learned all over again; and that the “Land of Perfect Parenthood” is as fictional as never-never land. Rather, Malloy celebrates what “no book could ever teach: common sense” mixed with a little levity. Any mother who has ever herded toddlers, coped with a child’s amazing array of questions and bodily fluids or tried to appear calm while their insides were raging with worry over a teenager, will find solace, camaraderie and more than a few laughs.

A quick, lighthearted romp through the joys of motherhood as told by a real, honest and very funny mom.

Download the eBook for just 99¢!

Confessions of a Fashion Tween

I’ve hit that magical age of clothes shopping, when you’re no longer able to shop in the Junior department with a straight face but not yet ready to give up the fashion ghost to polyester tiger print slacks, a fanny pack and K-mart slippers and white socks like my grandma used to wear.

Because it’s next stop Alfred Dunner separates.

It’s the Twilight Zone of women’s clothing where trying to be too hip leaves you looking like you are pathetically clutching the shards of your youth.  Catalogues offer the only thing that comes close to middle-age appropriate wear but that’s just not good enough to satisfy my inner-impulse shopper.

The clothing choices for us middle-aged tweens are pathetic. Because now inseams are now measured in centimeters rather than inches.  Some of the skirts are so tiny that I’d need two, one for each thigh.  I held up one of these microscopic garments, roughly the size of a car visor, and wondered who on earth could actually wear it.

Because if I tried it would look like I was wearing a neck warmer on my meno-pot.

Jeans are no better.  The low cut, low riders, so popular in my teenage years have reemerged on the scene.  While a thong may look cute peeking out of the top of these, it’s a safe bet that seven inches of the Granny Panty do not.

I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those cutesy, tiny shorts with Cheer! or God forbid, Sweet Thang emblazoned across my rump.  But now seizing the booty-licious advertising potential, everyone including the college marketing folks have gotten in on the act.  Now I see young women at the gym sporting Bobcats on their fannies.  My alma mater is no exception.  Unfortunately those in my size are a little too informative: University of Louisville, est. 1798, Home of the Fighting Cardinals, For season ticket information call: (502) 852-5555.

They even dare to market belly shirts to women of my age.  While there are about 4 of you out there who could pull it off, I think it should go without saying: if you have a belly, just say no.  If I dared to don one of these and put my middle-age muffin tops on public display, I’d be cuffed and stuffed by the fashion police.

[Read more…]

Does Hallmark Make a Card?

When I go out of town for a few weeks – I always miss something, REALLY BIG.  Which means I didn’t buy any cards, I didn’t call anyone to send my heartfelt wishes.

To make amends for my error, dear readers, I’m sending my good cheer -a few days late – to you here at A Real Mother.

So without further delay, Happy Colonoscopy Day Everyone!!

That’s right, June 24 is Colonoscopy Day.  And wouldn’t you know it, that was the EXACT topic of my last column in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.  So it only seemed appropriate to reprint it here.  After you read it, make all those appointments you’ve been putting off.

You know who you are.  Go do it.  Now.

Put That Colonoscopy Behind You

I bet some of you have uttered:  I’m healthy. I have no family history of [insert malady of your choice]. I’ll do that next year, I don’t have time. I’m afraid.   

Well you should be afraid – of what happens if you DON’T have your screening tests.

Now I’m going to do what I’m told I do best: Nag. I prefer to think of it as Motivational Speaking.

So listen up. [Read more…]

ForeWord Thinking – ForeWord/Clarion Reviews A Real Mother

Woot! Woot!  Just received a review from ForeWord Clarion.  Here’s what the reviewer had to say about A Real Mother: stumbling through motherhood:

“A Real Mother is a real pleasure.  The only thing to wish for in Denise Malloy’s collection of hilarious essays is more chapters. . .her snarky sense of humor comes through. . . spot-on descriptions. .  good-natured humor. . . elicit giggles and the need to read portions aloud to unsuspecting spouses.”

ForeWord Clarion awarded A Real Mother Five Stars (out of Five). You can read the full review here.

Am I thrilled or what?

Summer Time – It’s A Teen’s Life

School’s out today.  No more studying for finals, no more tests.  Just a long stretch of summer days.

But a lot has changed since the boys were little kids.  For all of us.

Because within a few hours, this is what my house will look like:

Welcome to the hang-out house.  I love it that they’re all so comfortable being here.   [Read more…]

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