Quirky holiday gift guide

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love Christmas. So much so that I have a few gift guides lined up for your shopping pleasure. To kick off the holiday shopping season, I’ve taken the liberty of curating a super fun list of quirky Christmas gifts from one of my favorite online stores, UncommonGoods. It was hard to narrow it down to ten items, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

BTW, I love it when a store I’m obsessed with is kind enough to sponsor a post like this by allowing me to choose a few items from my wishlist to keep! While I may have received free products to write this post, all opinions are my own. Additionally, product links are likely affiliate links, which may earn me a small commission to help keep my cheese drawer fully stocked. 

Quirky Gift Guide - 10 items from UncommonGoods that everyone should have

Gifts for foodies (and cheese lovers)

Gifts for foodies: Boska Portable Cheese Melt Utensil $25

Guys. GUYS. YOU GUYS. This cheese melty raclette device has been on my wishlist since I saw them in a gif last year or the year before. I can’t be trusted to remember these things. Anyways, Brian was too busy buying me a Le Creuset and a magic sparkle skirt last year to pick one of these up for Christmas, but now I have one, and it is everything! Melty cheese for everyone!

Gifts for foodies: serving palette with bowls $35

I also love throwing shindigs. And when I saw this fun palette platter, I knew it had to be mine. Think of all the tiny things you can put in the little bowls! Olives, fig jam, tapenades, fruit spreads, butter, CREAM CHEESE, dips, cheese spreads. God. The possibilities are endless for a kitchen artiste like me — or you, for that matter.

Gifts for foodies: molecular gastronomy kit $49

Another foodie gift on my list from last year, I have been dying to try this molecular gastronomy kit since I saw it on the suggested wishlist items from Draw Names. It comes with 4 different food additives (5 of each) that you can play with to make creative foodie dishes that will at the very least impress your husband because SCIENCE! I can’t wait to show you what I make with it!

Gifts to stock the bar

seven deadly sins glasses $72

I LOVE these glasses. I don’t own them yet, but (ahem, Brian) they are on my Christmas list. The seven deadly sins on rock glasses with fun little cartoon devils. I don’t know why I love these so much, but I do. They’re the most expensive item on this list, but glassware is expensive, you guys. And these are too fun! They also have matching pilsner glasses. Or personalizable sin glasses.

gifts to stock the bar: woven wine tote and glass holder $40

So this summer, my bestie Ally and I went to an Alannis Morissette concert at a park. The park allows you to bring your own food, drinks, etc. It’s like a magical concert picnic of joy. People get super swanky and bring candelabras and stuff. The biggest problem we encountered, though? Not having anything to hold our wine glasses! Which is where this picnic saver comes in handy. Six wine glasses in a caddy that holds your bottle of wine and your glasses. Like magic.

gifts to stock the bar: beer caddy with bottle opener $45

This is on the list of things I’m going to get Brian. He likes to bring a collection of rando ciders when we go to parties, but he never has a six-pack holder to carry them. This super nice wooden crate is perfect for those occasions, and — bonus — it comes with a bottle opener!

Fun gifts and stocking stuffers

UncommonGoods also has a number of super bragworthy smaller gifts perfect for filling stockings or rounding out bigger gifts.

fun gift ideas: balloon dog nightlight $25

These balloon dog nightlights probably won’t fit in a stocking, but they are SO FUN LOOKING. I would love to have or two of these hanging around my house. Because unlike real balloon animals, these will never deflate on you!

fun gift ideas: f bomb paperweight $45

 

This f-bomb paperweight is sure to weigh down someone’s stocking, but you know it’ll be worth it. Come on…you know you want to drop an f-bomb in someone’s stocking. It even looks a little like coal for a double whammy of fun. Fun fact: They also have an A-hole paperweight. You know. For the matched set.

gifts for bookworms: pride and prejudice scarf $48

Scarves are also on my list of things you can never have too many of…especially when they have text from your all-time-favorite novel! I am so thrilled to have this magical Pride and Prejudice scarf in my life, you guys. Anyone who loves a good book and a cozy scarf will probably love one of these too!

stocking stuffers: yogi joes $25

My personal favorite stocking stuffers (hint, hint Brian) are these adorable yoga Joes. Forget tiny army dudes, these yogis are all the rage.

A couple of other fun tidbits about shopping with UncommonGoods: Their mission is to provide a space for artists and creative designers to showcase their products. Half of the items they sell are handmade and 1/3 of the items are created with recycled and/or upcycled materials. Their customer service is top-notch — they’ve received awards for it for the last ten years. Customer service is SO important to me that I will quit a brand I love if their CS isn’t up to snuff when I need it.

So go take a gander at UncommonGoods, and let me know what else is on your list!

Looking for more gift list ideas? Consider one of these bad boys.

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guide

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The sexiest man alive

I’ve spent the morning reading about what a bullshit thing it was for People to put Blake Shelton on the cover of People Magazine for Sexiest Man Alive and that people are up in arms about it. Personally, I stopped giving a fuck what People Magazine thought about men when — nope. I’m not even playing. I’ve never cared about the Sexiest Man Alive. If Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum aren’t on that list, it clearly hasn’t adequately captured the heart of sexy. Ever.

On a Facebook post, I saw someone write, “Are there any good ones left?” And I was like, Duh. My husband.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

So I decided I’d start my own Sexiest Man Alive award. And the inaugural recipient is, obviously. Brian. But don’t just let me tell you he’s the sexiest man alive. Here are just a few of the things that make him so dang irresistible.

He’s got a soft spot for watching TV with me

And he’ll even watch some things that many husbands/boyfriends/partners would typically opt out of. Not only is he watching The Handmaid’s Tale with me, but he also watched Gilmore Girls. I’m not saying he binged the entire thing in 3 weeks like I did, but he would sit down and watch an episode here and there. I’m also pretty confident he was Team Logan too.

He feeds me

This is why ladies are not supposed to get sick. The boyfriend was left to his own devices. #GetOuttaMyKitchen

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

Even if he doesn’t know the correct pan to use for boiling hot dogs.

We all know that I’m the cook in this relationship. He sends me gifs of things like ice cream sandwich cakes and Cheetos mozzarella sticks, and then I make them. But sometimes, he’ll throw together one of the things he knows how to prepare and he’ll hand deliver it to me like the sexy AF gentleman that he is.

He’s got a keen fashion sense

And he was ready to go toe to toe with anyone who fought me on my wedding shoes.

He cleans

Brian’s putting our mop and bucket to good use before holiday party time. #BestBoyfriendEver

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

He meets me halfway, even when I’m halfway across the country

I’m pretty sure the only people who lost that contest were the ones in the rooms on either side of mine. Did I mention I was on the executive floor?

He’s a poet and he doesn’t even know it

He takes care of me when I’m sick

He’s smart, funny, and he keeps me on my toes. He’s got science guy and gentleman wrapped up with a bow. You know, now that I think about it…Brian is pretty much an amalgamation of Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum. He really is the sexiest man on earth. [I really tried to squeeze in a joke about Earth girls being easy, but I just umm…couldn’t…well find a way.]

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Really, though, with all of the big-name men being called out for assault, harassment, and more, maybe we should stop putting the people we see in movies and on TV on pedestals. Maybe we should think about how to make the world a better, safer place. And I think a lot of that starts at home. So can we all stop worrying about the guy a bunch of editors at a weekly publication determined was the sexiest man alive and focus on the ones we know in the real world?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Alternatives to making your name plural on a holiday card

Last night, I came across my favorite annual article, just in time for Thanksgiving. You know the article. The one that yells at you to stop adding a fucking apostrophe to your name when you send your Christmas card.

Well, that article is, as it always is, spot on. But it’s not just YOUR name you have to worry about. How are you addressing your recipients’ names on the envelope?

As someone who sent eleventy billion wedding invitations and thank-you cards last year and sends dozens of Christmas cards every year addressed to families and couples galore, I have developed a number of potential solutions for you. You never have to worry about a last name seeming off when it’s pluralized again.

Santa holding an envelope that says alternatives for addressing your Christmas cards

Instead of addressing your adorable photo Christmas card to The Wojs (which is the correct way to address a card to my family), try one of these simple variations.

 

Address Christmas cards using both or all the names

Look, you can try to be fancy and fail miserably with your misguided apostrophe (stop calling us the Woj’s!)…OR you can be super cool and use both of our names. Just because we got married doesn’t mean we’re no longer individuals. If you want to get really fancy with it, you can use our full names. Brian’s name is still Brian. But I suppose you can call me Chrysanthemum if you really feel as if full names are important. If we had kids or dogs, you could add their names too. Sure it would take up a lot of space, but isn’t my pet Ebenezer the Sloth worth it to you?

Postcard addressed to Brian and Chrissy Woj

Address the holiday card card to the whole family

Instead of worrying about accidentally shoving an apostrophe in the last name — because OMG you can’t possibly just put an S after a J — just address the card to a single family unit, like The Woj Family. Sure Brian and I are just two people, but we ARE a family unit. We live in the same house. We argue about toothpaste squeezing procedures. The best part is that it doesn’t matter if there’s two of us or twelve of us. It’s the same three words across the board.

Postcard addressed to The Woj Family instead of attempting a plural with an apostrophe

Address cards to the person you like better

I mean…maybe it’s the person you know better. Or you don’t know their family at all. You might just address the Christmas card to me and say, “Screw Brian. He has his own people.” Or, if you’re feeling extra generous and want Brian to feel the love, you can add him as an afterthought by addressing your card to Chrissy Woj and family. Either way, we’ll know who you really meant to send the card to.

Postcard addressed to Chrissy Woj and family

A superfluous use of apostrophes on the left? Probably. But are they grammatically correct? God, I hope so.

There you have it, folks! Easy alternatives to addressing your Christmas cards to the correct person. If you’d like to receive a Christmas card from Brian and me this year, fill out this Google form with your address and you’ll likely get something in the mail by December 24. I’m nothing if not a procrastinator.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Beauty and the Beast costumes

I use affiliate links for some items in this post to help support my writing habit. Any purchases you make through my links might contribute to my monthly cheese budget. 

Well, there’s only a few days left to get your costume situated, you guys! Might I recommend trying out a classic?

A couple years ago, I conned Brian into Beauty and the Beast costumes. He has costume restrictions:

  • No glitter
  • Lots of accessories (as evident by Captain Mal — guns! — and Jack Skellington — Zero!)
  • The opportunity to get creative with his look (When he was Ra’s Al Ghul)
  • No masks that cover his mouth (This was the biggest problem with Jack Skellington)

And a Beast costume didn’t necessarily break any of his restrictions, so I got to be a Disney princess!

Beauty and the Beast Halloween costumes

Beast costume pieces and tips

We weren’t going for full-on Disney style, but a mash-up of the different versions of this tale as old as time. So we went looking for ways to create a regal beast.

He started with finding the right headpiece. He ended up with this goat head quasi-mask from Amazon (one-day shipping anyone?), and it actually was perfect for what he needed.

Then, he picked up wolf feet from Amazon and wolf arms from Walmart (you can pick-up in store to avoid a shipping delay). We created his chest with a thrift-store jacket, lined with faux brown fur ($7). He cut the sleeves and bottom of the coat off, turned it inside out and backward, and essentially wore it as a dickey.

beast costume head and upper body From there, he needed the right ensemble. For his outfit, we found a thrift-store tuxedo shirt ($3) to make him look fancy. He used the cape he bought for his Ra’s Al Ghul and a pair of dress pants and a belt.

For his makeup, he just grew his beard a little scruffy and used brown make-up to give a furrier appearance than his light red-gray beard.

Ta-Da! A magnificent Beast to complement my Belle.

Belle costume pieces and tips

My costume was a million times cheaper and easier than Brian’s. And I like accessories too. I was just able to pull a lot of them from my closet.

First I needed a dress. I searched on Amazon for the perfect dress, and when that didn’t work, I bought a cute 1950’s style polka dot number that will totally also work if I ever want to be Alice for Halloween, am I right? I had to safety pin the halter straps to the back of the dress to make them regular straps because I’m not so much a fan of halters most of the time. Of course, if they had this pretty blue dress then, I totally would have gone for it instead.

I got the white top to wear underneath the dress at a thrift store, but you may even have one in your closet! The apron came from my closet. Sure, it may say Betty Crocker on the front, but all I had to do was turn it around and kablam! Plain white apron. I finished the look by adding a plus-size white petticoat under the dress for a little poof.

I accessorized with the Chip cup I’ve had since I was a child at Beauty and the Beast on Ice (you can find a similar Chip cup on Amazon) and the biggest, coolest book I could find (my Norton Anthology of English Literature).

For my hair, I did a simple topsytail (Put your hair in a ponytail. Split the top section in half and loop the tail through the hole) and tied it off with a Christmas ribbon. Don’t you judge me. It was available and it worked. And no one else noticed the snowflakes.

topsytail for Belle's hair Beauty and the Beast costume

So there you have it. A relatively easy to put together Beauty and the Beast costume for your next cosplay, whether it’s Halloween or just for funsies.

Beauty and the Beast halloween costumes

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How I ended up in the worst neighborhood in Orlando

It had been a busy week of anxiety and blog conference nonsense. Work was stressing me out to the max. I was in the middle of a month of travel (15 out of 26 days, to be exact), having returned from Vegas two days prior to my Orlando departure, and the exhaustion was starting to wear on me. But I was finally having a magical night thanks to some friends and a fabulous twinkle skirt. We were closing down the BlogHer dance party, and some of those friends got together at the end of the evening and said, “You know what, gang? This just isn’t doing it for us. Let’s get outta here and do something crazy!”

I believe it was Mary who suggested we hit up a local private-room karaoke bar that she had googled. It was only a 5-minute Uber from the hotel we were staying at. I hemmed and hawed something about needing to wake up for an early morning press trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but in the end, I decided that I needed a “Yes!” moment. And so I said yes. I went up to change out of my now sweaty AF skirt and finish packing for my flight the next day.

We met down in the lobby a half hour later, and I hailed the car that would take Mary, Kristen, Lea, Brea, and me on quite the adventure.

We had been driving for about 7 minutes when I looked at the map on my Uber app. “Hey uhh, guys…I don’t think this is quite as close as we think it is. We’re still about 35 minutes out…”

It was at this point that we thought it might be best to ask the driver about our destination, an address on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando.

“Is the area we’re going to an okay part of the city?”

The driver gave a vague answer, at best, but he was hinting that it wasn’t really the best area for a group of women set to arrive just before 11 pm. We kept probing, spending the next half hour debating whether to turn around and find a different bar to spend the evening. By the time we arrived at Q Karaoke, we noticed the area was definitely the type of place we wouldn’t want to find ourselves stranded on a rainy night. Very desolate, few businesses open, and the ones that were closed were barred up. The bar itself was in the middle of an empty-looking strip mall with the neon lights of an exotic clothing store at the helm. The driver offered to take us back to our hotel, but we persevered.

one-way street sign

We decided to scope the place out. A few of us went inside, asked about prices and took note of the surroundings. It seemed innocuous enough, and so we opted to stay…until 1:30 in the morning. As shady as it seemed, we had A BLAST. Our little gang of singers had an unbelievable time busting out some of the most ridiculous and amazing karaoke tunes that we could muster. If you’ve never tried private-room karaoke, I highly recommend it. The lights flashing and the room jiving was everything. If my twinkle skirt didn’t make me feel alive this adventure sure did.

As we called our next Uber for the ride home, we were flying high on adrenaline and friendship. A night that surely wouldn’t be forgotten. When our driver arrived to pick us up, he seemed surprised to be collecting 5 30-something-year-old women, and we, of course, asked him about our location. He pointed out a few things that we had missed on our way in (a woman who was likely a prostitute, different establishments, etc) and told us that they called this stretch of road the OBT, known for the violence and crime rates. He even mentioned a recent murder that had occurred.

Welp. We survived that one, guys. 

We made our way safely back to the Hilton and hugged goodbye to each other until our next adventure. I proceeded to ask my next two Uber drivers about the OBT, and both were as surprised as anyone that we were hanging out down there. My driver on the way to the airport just shook his head and smirked like I was crazy.

I love saying yes to adventure.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

You are not alone

It’s hard to be light and funny when your entire Facebook feed is congested with posts stating, unapologetically, “Me too.” Some posts just two words, and others…others full tales of Harassment. Abuse. Rape.

Girl hiding behind tress

For those of you who haven’t seen it, women have been sharing stories on social media in solidarity with one another to show just how many women have been sexually harassed or raped. Spoiler alert: It’s a lot. We’re far from alone in these experiences. Which breaks my heart.

This is rape culture.

When girls and women know that what is happening is wrong, but it’s easier and sometimes safer to just brush it off or act as if it never happened. When we have to bring a guy friend with us to parties to make sure we’re safe. When we travel in groups to avoid confrontation. When we have to lie and say we have boyfriends to get men to leave us alone. And when that doesn’t even always work. When we break up with someone in a text or ghost them because we’re afraid of what they’ll try to do. When we let someone say inappropriate things to us and feel the need to smile and giggle even though we feel dirty and exposed.

It’s the little boys who chased me and looked up my skirt when I was just a child.

It’s the teen boy who directed a video camera into my bedroom window.

It’s the teen boy who exposed himself out his bedroom window.

It’s the guy at the teen dance club who kept coming up behind me, rubbing his junk against my backside, no matter how many times I moved out of his way.

It’s the bartender that always looked me up and down, appraising my curves and licking his lips as he told me how much he wanted my 18-year-old self.

It’s the man who blocked my car in a parking lot to ask me out and didn’t move until I made up a boyfriend who wouldn’t like it.

It’s the stranger who relentlessly offered to father my children because he liked my blue eyes.

It’s the man who, on the first date, asked if I had hangups about sex when I responded to his continuous begging and pleading with a broken record “no.”

It’s the man at the karaoke bar who belittled me when I told him I didn’t want to date him. Seven times.

It’s the man who flipped out on me in a restaurant parking lot when I wouldn’t go home with him after a first date.

It’s the man I was dating who took pictures of me while I was asleep, naked.

It’s the man who told me I owed him when he couldn’t finish because of his own drug addiction.

It’s the man I told no, who did it anyway.

I don’t tell you this to feel sorry for me. I tell you this so you can see how often women are put in situations that can damage or break them. How prevalent these situations have become. I know that I’m not the only one with a list, and these situations are not unique to me. But the more we see them, the more we can do to stop them.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Never have I ever

When I was younger, I hated playing the game, Never Have I Ever. For those of you who don’t know how the game is played, this covers a brief rundown (before people start adding house rules):

  • One person says, “Never have I ever ___________ (insert something they’ve never done)”
  • Everyone in the group who has done that thing does something to indicate that they have (typically taking a drink from an alcoholic beverage).
  • Those who haven’t done the thing sit quietly while the others in the group explain or don’t (it really depends on the group), but there’s often a lot of oohing and OMGing.
  • The game continues until everyone is wasted or someone gets bored enough to start dancing on tables or running around the block naked. (This may indicate that the game has moved onto Truth or Dare).

I hated playing the game in my early years of college because I NEVER GOT TO DRINK ANYTHING. Because everyone liked to throw down the dirtiest things people did, and I was a shy prude. Here are a few nuggets that would have given me ample drinking opportunity prior to attending Bradley University:

Never have I ever…

And until my junior year of college, the only thing that really changed was my alcohol consumption. So I hated playing the game. Because I wanted to do more things, and the few things that I had done felt embarrassing to me.

But now, as an adult, I’m proud as fuck of the things that I’ve done. I love playing never have I ever because almost everything I’ve done has been an adventure, even if it was stupid/crazy/insane/ridiculous/horrifying.

Just for reference, a few of my favorites that would cause me to drink:

Never have I ever…

  • Seen Stephen King speak (20 feet away from me)
  • Gone on vacation by myself
  • Gotten married
  • Been fired from a job (one I hated)
  • Ordered a pizza for delivery while finishing a plate of nachos in a taco joint
  • Seen Hamilton performed live in Chicago
  • Made out with the same guy as three of my girlfriends
  • Gone home with someone on the first date
  • Punched a hole in my apartment window because I was mad at my boyfriend
  • Smoked my first cigarette after smoking was banned in bars
  • Stayed up partying for an entire weekend without sleeping more than 2 hours ( with no drugs involved)
  • Gotten lost in France
  • Dated a drug addict (or two)
  • Threatened to punch a bouncer at my bachelorette party
  • Gotten lucky on a golf course

My bucket(list) hath runneth over. And I can’t wait for the next notch on my wall.

we took wedding photos at a playground, and had so much fun on the purple dinosaur.

What’s on your completed bucket list?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Creepy Halloween Jack O Lanterns

I love carving pumpkins. It’s one of my favorite Halloween activities. With our Halloween party coming up fast and furiously, I thought I’d share some more of my favorite creations with you! The first year we went fast and furious with pumpkin carving, I used Pinterest heavily (before Pinterest was cool, mind you) to make these magical creatures.

Finger-Eating Carved Pumpkin

Yes, that goofy-looking pumpkin is eating a finger. This was Brian’s work of art. The eyes were my idea.

Jack o lantern with a bug crawling out of its eye

I read somewhere that the awkward looking pumpkins make the best carvers…so when I went to the grocery store a week before Halloween, I felt that the lonely clearance pumpkins needed a home! And now I absolutely agree that awkward looking pumpkins are amazing. We didn’t carve the top, just a big ole hole in the mouth to scoop out the pumpkin guts.

Little pie pumpkin jack o lantern

This little guy was on the clearance pile too…a pie pumpkin going a little soggy, but I loved him and his cuteness.

Cannibal Pumpkin-Eating Pumpkin

This cannibal pumpkin is one of my pride and joy pumpkins. I had so much fun carving the big guy, and while those little decorative pumpkins are pains in the ass to carve, the finished product was pretty impressive.

Scary Baby Eating Pumpkin

By now, you must realize that I’m a little fucked up when Halloween rolls around (what with my creepy Halloween snackshangman, bloody bathroom, dead babydolls, and spider den bathroom). This baby-eating pumpkin is definitely my favorite. All I did was buy some infant-sized footy jams and a stuffed animal with posable legs at a resale shop, and BOOM. Baby eating pumpkin. I saved the “baby” so I can do this, or some variation of this every year. Stop judging me.

Creepy Jack O Lanterns

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Storytelling false starts

I’ve been telling stories here for more than 5 years now. Sometimes, I’ll get an idea and run with it, publishing almost immediately. Other times, I start something, but can’t quite find the right words. And more times still, I’ll think of what I think would be a fantastic fucking title, only to forget what I wanted to say entirely. Luckily, I’ve saved some of these titles, and I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Maybe you can offer some inspiration, and I can get these word babies in the air.

possible blog post titles from a writer

Titles in time

  • How to get a thigh gap and other pertinent answers from the universe
  • Meet my uhhh new boyfriend Ryan and wife Mandi
  • What Hillary is doing for little girls
  • Screenshots of a year in my life
  • All the fucks I have to give
  • Lectured for laughing at a humor conference
  • That one time I went BATSHIT crazy or why my life is like a Taylor Swift song
  • There are people who hate me and other confessions
  • Things I wish I did before I left my old job
  • Let’s talk about narcissism
  • On parenting, from a non-parent
  • Let’s talk about your kinky group on Facebook
  • When it comes to red light tickets, the internet fucking lies
  • Giving more fucks this year
  • Clark Griswold is my spirit animal
  • How to passive-aggressively handle passive aggressiveness
  • We built this city…we built this city on rock…to roll?
  • That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage
  • People, for the love of all things logical, look shit up before you post it: A lesson on clickbait
  • How many how-to videos does a girl need to watch to figure out how to put together a freakin’ mop?
  • How I ended up in the worst part of Orlando

What do you think, guys? Any of these titles look delectable?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The homeless man living in our backyard

I’m pretty confident there was a homeless man living in our backyard this summer. I found a man’s winter coat tossed haphazardly in the weed forest a few weeks ago, and that was my initial suspicion. The thought hasn’t let up. What else could it possibly be? No one wears a winter coat in the middle of summer except homeless people — or someone with a serious case of the flu. Maybe.
homeless man's coat in my backyard
Brian, who’s been home most of the summer while I galavanted across the country, suggested that it was one of the neighbor’s coats, so I marched next door, knocked on the door, and when he answered asked if the coat belonged to him. It didn’t. He also looked at me like I was insane (probably because of the crazy eyes). Well, there goes the most plausible explanation. It was time for my imagination to run wild.
I walked back to the house where Brian was busy painting the deck and didn’t have an opinion…or even care that this giant coat was found in our backyard. It couldn’t possibly have been blown through the neighborhood because it was one of those super heavy work jackets, and there hasn’t been any gale-force wind up in the Chicago suburbs lately. 
Which left a couple of options.
1. It belonged to a homeless man sleeping in my backyard.
2. It’s discarded evidence from a crime.
I graciously placed the coat on my fence because a. I was not bringing that thing inside — it could have bugs. Or germs. Or be evidence for a murder or something and b. I thought if the homeless man came back, he would realize that I had left his coat in a place he could access without coming into my backyard, and perhaps he’d realize that I was on to him. And would possibly sick Louis the squirrel on him. Or maybe the cops. 
Brian apparently spoke with the other neighbor on the other side of our house, and they both think that it was left by a ComEd dude. But I just want to point out that IT IS SUMMER. No one wears a heavy coat in the summer.
Nearly a month later and the coat and I are at a standstill. I refuse to move it from the fence and it refuses to disappear. I realize that I could also throw it away, but it’s a pretty decent coat.
But I’m also left wondering, what happened to the homeless man who was living in my backyard? Maybe he moved to someone else’s backyard across town. Though heaven only knows why. I still have tomatoes and peppers galore in my garden if he were to get hungry. And my backyard is welcoming and cozy as fuck. It’s all Illinois Prairie gardeny and shit.
Illinois prairie backyard with milkweed
What would you do? How do you think it got in my backyard?
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