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Dear Bearded Men:

I love you. Every single one of you, apparently. And that, in fact, was news to me.

I was at a club with my friend Clair not too long ago, fangirling over one of the hairy members of the band that had just played — mostly because I was having a great time out and loved their music.

He thought I was hitting on him. I think Clair did too. (I told you: I’m a Golden Retriever when I like someone’s work.) She said, “Ah she just loves tall men with beards.”

I paused. I was about to disagree, then I thought, “Oh. That’s actually true.” I had never really identified that as a thing for me before.

And then I remembered that time when I nearly cried when my BFF Royce shaved off his glorious mustache and goatee.

Even married straight men could not get enough of The Royce’s furry face.

So, yeah. Clair had me pegged.

At my son’s baseball game Saturday, I complimented a fellow mom’s date:

Me: “Your beard is lovely — quite lush.”

Him: “Thank you!”

Me to the beard’s lady: “I love beards. I’ve been begging Eddie to grow his back, but he complains that he doesn’t have the connection or anything beyond the chin area. I told him that’s the same for Johnny Depp but he doesn’t care, nor do the thousands of women who love him.”

Beard’s lady: “I know that’s right.”

Going back to Clair’s comment, I want to point out that the owner of the beard doesn’t have to be tall. Johnny Depp is 5’10”.

Beards hide all kinds of things: weak chins, thin lips, acne scars, a mole shaped like China, etc. (Note that women do not have this option. We have only makeup and plastic surgery. And the distraction of boobs, where applicable.)

So, in honor of Man Crush Monday, and my own particular fetish, feast your eyes on this collection of hot men — some famous, some friends, some with full facial hair, some with just scruff (in first-name alphabetical because I am Monica):

 

Also, I realized while compiling this that I totally have a type. (Yeah, I know. Some things are not immediately obvious to ourselves. Like a beard fixation in general.)

Anyway, I raise my glass to you hirsute hotties. Keep on growing!

Your not-so-secret admirer,
Beth

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Dear Spammers,

This is not the first time I’ve written to you (see here, here or here for a memory refresher). This time, I’m prompted because I’m just mystified at why I am the recipient for such strange things.

I don’t wear dentures.
I haven’t bought flowers lately.
I’m not looking to hook up with singles, not even desperate Asian girls.

The only thing on this list that fits is Smithsonian Magazine. It’s time to renew my subscription.

So help me out here. I’m not the target audience, so why am I targeted?

You’re barking up the wrong tree.

Good luck finding your MILF hunter,
Beth

Dear Sun,

I’m glad you exist, but we need to talk.

I spent a week at the beach but DELIBERATELY tried to avoid you. You may have noticed that I’m a white girl. Very white. Milky even. And I try to stay that way.

I’m married to and have birthed brown people. Go hang out with them. They love you and have no adverse effects.

I, however, am traumatized by my experiences with you.

Remember how you harassed me in the Dominican Republic when I tried so hard to escape you? I was in the shade of a building, wearing sunscreen, a one-piece bathing suit AND a cover up. Somehow I still got burned. On my stomach. (For real.)

There are two kinds of people who go to the beach: People who want to “lay out” to worship you and people like me, who enjoy the scenery and experience but need a cave.

Here are examples of the first:

And here’s my cave:

My chair is the one completely in the shade.

Here’s a lady who is in the second category but thinks she is in the first. (Lily White is going to be in so much pain.):

And here’s a velvet bikini, because I didn’t know such things existed:

Anyway, despite my best efforts, you attacked me again. My arms and chest are red. HOW? The only time I emerged from my shady haven was to visit the loo.

I probably should have set up camp UNDER the pavilion like these people:

Now I need aloe.

Thanks so much, friend.

Warm SPF 100 wishes,
Beth

Dear Famous, Sort-of-famous, Barely-famous and some Just-contextually-famous People:

If I like you and your work, I have no game when I’m around you. None. Just ask Patrick Warburton.*

Forgive me when I report that I’ve had three super fangirl moments that have left me feeling like I need a confessional. And perhaps professional help.

To The Bloggess (aka Jenny Lawson):
I squealed like a toddler getting an Elsa doll when you followed me on Twitter. I’m sorry to all whose glasses I shattered and dogs I made howl.

To Steven Ray Morris, audio slave engineer for the “My Favorite Murder” podcast featuring Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark:
I may have hyperventilated when you liked my reply to you.**

To Dr. Brightman, the person who helped me become the writer I am:
I apologize for vomiting words all over you at your recent birthday celebration. My respect for you is directly proportional to the amount of geeking out I was doing after seeing you again 1020 many years after college graduation.

Me=Overjoyed; Dr. Brightman=Frightened? Bothered? Bored?

So, fair warning: If you meet me, I tend to act like a Golden Retriever. I’m sorry.

I promise I’m harmless.

Your No. 1 fan,
Beth

* Warburton was a guest of the Savannah Film Festival just before the live-action version of “The Tick” came out. Always a Puddy fan, I was an even bigger fan of Ben Edlund and “The Tick” animated series. I was at an after party, saw him standing by himself, got two beers and headed over to introduce myself. He shot me down hard by explaining he was on the wagon. (Mortifying Moment No. 1)

As I was working in PR related to the festival at the time, I gave him my card with my cell number on it in case he needed anything. Then I realized it seemed like I was hitting on him. (Mortifying Moment No. 2)

I couldn’t just let the moment go. No. I had to make it worse by SAYING, “I’m not hitting on you.” (Mortifying Moment No. 3)

I will never forget the way he looked at me:

Pity. Disgust. Amusement. All of that.

And this is me, just before slinking away:

** For you non-Murderinos out there, the tag line of the podcast is “Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered.”

Dear Friends Who Also Are Parenting Boys:

In my last post, I asked you to tell me the crazy things you never thought you would say. My Facebook feed blew up with sentences that did not disappoint.

Here they are in all their glory, along with the name of the beleaguered parent who shared (thank you!):

  • “Stop touching Jackson’s penis, you have your own.” [Jackson is a dog.] (Maya)
  • “Is that poop or mud? Wait, let me smell it.” (Wendy)
  • “Is that poop or chocolate?” (Stephanie)
  • “Quit playing with your penis in the living room.” (Afton)
  • “Get your balls off the counter.” [Yes, THOSE balls.] (Also Afton)
  • “Stop wiping your boogers on the ________.” (Afton again)
  • “That IS a big poo-poo!” (Still Afton)
  • “Oh please don’t pee on me.” (Elizabeth, mother of a newborn)
  • “Wash your feet. Every. Day.” (Amy)
  • “Washing includes more than just standing under the water! Use soap. All over your body. Rub it around. All over your body. Then rinse it all off.” (Mary)
  • “How have you survived 9 years of life … you’re just now figuring out what happens when you stick something metal into an electrical outlet?!” (Also Mary)
  • “Why does the upstairs smell like piss?! I swear to almighty God if I open your toilet lid and find you haven’t flushed upstairs in days, I will bolt this bathroom shut and you can go in the yard.” (Mary Catherine. And also, he did. And she did. And he did for a week.)
  • Wash your hands! Use soap!” (Mary Catherine again)
  • “Don’t lie to me; that’s the same pair of underwear you’ve had on for 3 days. You smell.” (Still Mary Catherine)
  • “Wiggle wiggle wiggle. Wiggle wiggle wiggle.” (Mary Catherine again, reporting that this came from the shower)
  • “Stop behaving like an animal.” The reply: “But mom, I am just a mammal.” (Mary Catherine FTW)
  • “NO chain saws in the living room!” (Said to both father and son, according to Vanessa)
  • “We don’t jump on the trampoline with our penises out. Put it back in your underwear.” (Amber)
  • “Yes, you’re allowed to say ‘bad ass’ in this instance, but don’t go making a habit of it, ya got me?” (Said by Billy, referring to a suit of armor for an imaginary man cave)
  • “You can’t just come back to life after your brother killed you!” Don’t cheat; you’re now on the sidelines until all the kids are dead!” (Eddie)
  • “Um is that TP hanging from your butt? Did you even finishing going? If you leave it there it dries on and is harder to get off. OK in the bath tub.” (Erika)
  • “Do not call yourself Lil’ Woody at recess.”(Kelley)
  • “Don’t put your penis on the TV.” (Chrissy)
  • “Don’t wipe boogers on the cat!” (Marguerite)
  • “Go ahead. Whatever happens is on you.” (Kimberly)
  • The son: “I just want to climb this tree.” The mom: “Go ahead, and see how far you get.” The reply: “You’re always ruining my fun.” (Kimberly again)
  • “Who put the athletic cup in my purse?” (Caroline)
  • “The dog brought three waffles down from your room today. Stop leaving food up there!” (Caroline again)
  • “How can you still be hungry? You just ate a footlong Subway!” (Also Caroline)
  • “Why are there empty cereal boxes in the pantry?” (More Caroline)
  • “Get the earbuds out of your ears! I’m talking to you.” (Still Caroline)
  • “I don’t care who started it! Just stop!” (Caroline one more time)
  • “Don’t bite your toenails. That’s just gross.” (Caroline has three boys)
  • “We do not eat people!” (Stephanie)
  • “You can NOT go to school naked!(Stephanie again)
  • “If you’re not dressed in 2 minutes, you’re going to school naked.” (Stephanie with the mixed message)
  • Son #1: “Mom! He’s looking out my window!”
    Son #2: Continuing to stare intently out his brother’s window.
    Me: “He’s breathing your air too so get over it.” (Pam)
  • Those clothes/that camping gear/that (pick a sport) uniform cannot touch the carpet anywhere in the house.” (Michele)
  • “No, you cannot eat the whole chicken/roast/side of beef. Leave some for the rest of us.” (More Michele)
  • “Socks, especially stiff ones, go in the laundry basket.” (Michele one more time)
  • “You are not leaving this house until you figure out what that awful smell in your room is.” (Shital)
  • “Get that mulch/beetle/mustard bottle out of your mouth!” (Shital again)
  • Are you ever going to remember to flush the toilet?” (Nicole)
  • “Do you realize that not doing your homework makes me want to strangle you?” (More Nicole)
  • “OK, how about let’s try that again, but this time tell the truth.” (Nicole again)
  • “It’s fine with me if you can’t get your driver’s license until you’re 18.” (One more from Nicole)
  • “You must flush the toilet every time you use it! There is pee all over the floor!” (Amanda)
  • “I am not your maid!” (Also Amanda)
  • “Hey! Stop! No [sniffing] armpits.” (Candy)

There are a few themes here, including being preoccupied with body fluids and functions. And I know from being married to a man that not much changes in adulthood.

Yours in solidarity,
Beth

P.S. Parents of girls, I don’t want you to feel left out. I’ll post your crazy comments too. Please share them below or via Twitter, email, DM, Facebook, Hando’s Instagram page — whatever!

Dear Parents of Boys,

A little more than eight years ago, I posted my Top 10 recent quotes as a mom. I thought of that list this week because I could not believe some of the things I’ve had to say to the boys, now 11 and 13. Here’s the 2018 expanded version:

  1. Put on some pants before you hug me. I don’t want you to drape your wiener across my leg.
  2. Esmeralda* is off today. Get this underwear off the floor.
  3. Please clean your bathroom. There’s all sorts of fluid all over the mirror.
  4. I’ve clocked out for the night. Ask your father; he’s on call.
  5. It’s not appropriate to flick food across the cafeteria.
  6. Please get your hands out of your pants.
  7. Be quiet! You sound like a howler monkey.
  8. Stop eating — it’s almost bedtime!
  9. You have to open this door and let the air circulate. It smells like ass in here.
  10. You can’t watch “Game of Thrones” with us. (And no, I don’t like Jon Snow better than Daddy!)
  11. Yes, you have to go to school today.
  12. No, you cannot eat granola bars for dinner.
  13. No, you cannot watch yet another episode of “Teen Titans Go!
  14. It’s time to get off the Xbox. Yes, now. I don’t care about your “Fortnite” mission.
  15. Keep your hands to yourself. (How often do I say this? Every. Single. Day.)

Not much has changed from 2010, really. (And yes, I also tell them regularly that I love them.)

Please tell me I am not alone. What things have you said recently that you never thought you’d say? Tell me in the comments.

In the meantime, I’ll pray for you if you pray for me!

Sending strength,
Beth

* The name of our make-believe housekeeper

 

Dear Trish the Chicken,

It’s been eight years since your untimely death. I miss you on the reg, but never more so than yesterday.

I went to the Northwest Georgia Poultry Club show in Calhoun, Georgia — an hour northish of where we live now.

By myself.

For no reason beyond curiosity.

I did feel out of place, though. For example, I drive a Volkswagen, not something like this:

 

Also, I wasn’t wearing camouflage. (An oversight, really. I do own plenty of camo and a general affinity for rednecks.)

The show made me miss you so much, and also miss having a house where we could have chickens. Look at your beautiful brethren!

This looks like some kind of dog!

I thought the sign said “bitchen” at first, and I thought, “Yes, that is a bitchen’ chicken.”

Look at this handsome specimen!

She’s got legs, and knows how to use them.

What a beautiful bird.

This face!

As I am mostly a “city girl,” it’s hard for me to understand some customs. For example, why is one of the judges wearing a Clinique consultant coat and the other is wearing an apron?

Let’s review your skin care regimen.

The apron on the guy on the left says, “Judge.” It makes me fear for the losers of the competition.

The contestants were vying for these trophies. And perhaps the hand sanitizer as well.

And the title of Champion Cock.

These were the sights. You can imagine the smells. Here are the sounds:

Finally, thanks to the onsite Tabernacle of Praise, I was able to say a little prayer for you.

Anyway, it was an interesting Saturday morning.

And I still miss you.

Love always,
Beth