When People Pretend They Don’t Know You

I’m known for having a rather freakishly good memory, but there have been several occasions where I’m pretty sure people tried to act like they didn’t remember me.  It was very awkward and I didn’t know what to say.  Other times I’m positive people don’t remember me because we met very briefly and they would have no reason to remember me.

Years ago I attended the funeral of a woman whose family I had known a pretty long time.  Some of their kids were around my age and my sister especially spent quite a bit of time at their house.  I went down the line giving each family member my condolences until I reached the son who was about my age.  It had been a long time and I had gained a lot of weight, so I thought he might not recognize me.  I said, “Hi ____.  Sarah (stated my maiden name).  I thought you might not recognize me.”  He immediately said, “Sorry, I don’t remember you.”  I said, “You must remember my sister ____ coming to your house.”  “Sorry.  Don’t remember.” he said rather disinterestedly.

His wife shot him a glance as if to say, “What the heck is wrong with you?  Just thank her for coming and say it’s nice to see her!”  I think we’ve all had situations where we might not remember someone, but I think most people would say, “I’m so sorry!  I’m having a hard time remembering you.”  OK, he must have been distraught about his mother, but still.  I would never treat anyone that way.  I realize I’m about to have another run in with him, but this time I will avoid him.  I think it would be hilarious though if he approached me and suddenly got his memory back.  I’ll be tempted to say, “Sorry, I’m drawing a blank.  Who are you?”

Maybe he doesn’t like me.  Or maybe he thinks I remember things about his youth and doesn’t want me to remember him.  Who knows?  Maybe he thought I would say in front of his wife, “Remember your Vanilla Ice phase?  That was fun.”  But I wouldn’t do that.  I will remember it in my head and laugh.

Another time I was so surprised to see a man who used to accompany me on the piano 15 years ago, which he did over a period of about two years.  He was amazed by my voice.  He said, “I know another Sarah who sings well.”  I thought he meant someone he knew personally.  I asked, “Who?”  He said, “Sarah Brightman.”  I laughed, “You know someone who sings better than me!”

Unfortunately, our last exchange wasn’t very pleasant because he made the mistake of bagging on his wife to me.  I was already aware there were problems, but I didn’t say anything.  He had asked me many times if I knew this woman named *Mary who had moved away before I moved into the area.   I heard him ask many other people if they knew Mary.  “Long dark hair.  Very beautiful.” he always said.  He later declared she was the most beautiful woman in our ward (congregation).  Not his wife?  Still, I said nothing except to tell him I didn’t know Mary the last time he asked me either.

Finally one evening when we were rehearsing at the church, he made some comment about his wife not liking his music.  (Can’t say I blame her since it was mostly a bunch of flowery runs with no discernible tune).  We then had the following conversation.

Me:  “Oh, really?”

Him:  “My wife doesn’t like a lot of things.”

Me: “Like what?”

Him: “Well, she doesn’t like it when I have female friends.”

Me:  “I wouldn’t like that either.”

Him:  “Why can’t men and women be friends?!”

Me:  “They just can’t!  I mean, you can be friendly, but spending time alone together with people you’re not married to is not OK.  Like I was told as a teenager, if we weren’t interested in marrying a certain type of person, then we shouldn’t date them.  You’re not going to marry someone you never dated and you’re not going to have an affair with someone if you’ve never spent time alone with them.”

Him:  “Well I just don’t see why they can’t be friends!”

Me:  “It hurts your wife’s feelings and that should be reason enough.  And while we’re on the subject, I wasn’t going to say anything, but you have repeatedly asked me and others about this woman named Mary and obviously that is an issue for your wife.  You have asked me if I’ve met her multiple times.  You have described her as very beautiful.  You have never asked me if I’ve met your wife.  You have never told me your wife is beautiful.”

Of course, he didn’t share the part where Mary would ask a friend to babysit while she had an appointment when she was really going running with him.  And it might have been an innocent activity in her mind, but why lie?  Because she knew it looked wrong.  And he didn’t mention how he would call Mary using a calling card from the church (thinking no one would notice that).  If you’re hiding something from your spouse other than an awesome gift or surprise party, big red flag!

I was 24 at the time and spoke my mind back then I think even more than I do now.  I hated to hurt people’s feelings, but I hoped it would somehow help his situation – that he might recognize there was a problem and that everyone knew it.  Maybe he and his wife would go to counseling.  Maybe he would put more effort into loving her.  I told him one final thing, “I don’t think you would like it if your wife were hanging out with a man she described as the most handsome man in the ward.”  He said, “I never thought of it that way.”

I was pretty bold with him that night, so when I ran into him last year as he was visiting his daughter and grandchildren at a Halloween activity, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I thought, “Either that is ____ or he looks exactly like him!”  I asked a friend about it and she said it was our friend’s dad.  Holy cow!  I had no idea!  His daughter said, “Oh, you should go say hi to him!”  I couldn’t just tell her, “Uh, well, your dad won’t want to talk to me because I kind of chewed him out for being enamored with another woman.”   I barely knew her at the time and also didn’t know that he was feeling pretty high and mighty at the moment.  That’s a whole other story I’m not going to tell, but he didn’t treat her well.  It made me laugh later to think that suddenly I was there to remind him that I knew what kind of person he was.

I said, “Hi Brother ____!  It’s been a long time, but I’m Sarah ____ and you used to play the piano for me back in ____!  It’s been like 15 years!”

Him:  “Uhhhhhhhhhh …….”

Me:  “Yeah, remember?  I used to sing and you would play the piano for me.

Him:  “Uhhhhhhhhh ……”

Me:  “Remember my friend A?  You used to play for her too!  She’s so awesome.”

Him:  “Oh.  Yeah.  She sang on my album.”

Me:  “That’s right!  I remember you were working on an album!  Are you still working at USAA?”

Him:  “You remember that?  No, I haven’t worked there for a long time.  I’ve been teaching music.”

Me:  “That’s great!  I’m so glad you’re helping others develop their talents.  It’s so good to see you.  I’ll tell A I saw you!”

I know he remembered me.  He looked so uncomfortable.  I went home and told my friend A, “Guess who I saw tonight!  Brother _____!!!!”

A said, “Oh yeah.  He hit on me when I sang on his album.”

Yes, he must have been desperate for me to not remember him.  Not surprisingly, he was no longer married, but I was kind enough not to ask him, “How’s your wife doing?  What’s her name again?  Mary?”  Now that would just be plain evil.  I’m now very good friends with his daughter and she has verified what a philanderer he is.  And here I thought he only had eyes for Mary!

The moral of the story: Don’t remember people if they don’t want to be remembered.  Or something.

*Mary is Mary’s real name.



How to Deal With a Puking Baby


The other night when our 14-month-old started puking, I thought, “I have five kids and I’m still stupid!”

Maybe you are a new parent who has never dealt with a puking baby or a seasoned parent who somehow got to skip this joy before.  If your baby just puked on you, you’re probably not googling it.  One, because you’re covered in vomit and you don’t want to touch anything.  Two, because it’s just too late.  You didn’t know the signs and now you’re cuddling your sweet baby and you want to cry and you’re having paranoid thoughts that they might be dying.

Just like learning infant CPR, every parent should form a plan as to what they’re going to do when their baby gets a stomach virus.  It’s like writing a will.  We don’t want to think about it, but eventually it’s going to happen.

If your baby is refusing food, for Heaven’s sake, don’t live in denial.  That was our rookie mistake.  Our daughter who normally eats everything in sight was refusing delicious food.  We were in denial.  I had also just had the virus.

If you have any suspicion that your baby is about to throw-up, prepare.  They don’t know or care about hitting any targets and will most likely lie right back down after it happens and go to sleep.  I have watched children as old as 4 years old do this.  I have no idea how that’s possible, but they do. If they are in your bed, you will be so desperate for them to sleep, you will be trapped with vomit smell for the rest of the night and then suddenly you won’t feel so good either (again).

I assure you, when it happens, it will horrify you.  Allow me to acquaint you with the rules of this particular baby conspiracy.

Puking Baby Rule #1

Do it in the middle of the night.  Catch your parents completely off guard.  In the car also works.

Puking Baby Rule #2

Do it right after you ate one of the most awful things you could possibly eat.  Even if your parent thinks putting you in the bathtub was a genius idea, some things just won’t go down the drain.  Did you eat a bunch of corn earlier?  High five!

Puking Baby Rule #3

See that thing Mommy and Daddy are shoving right under your face?  They want to collect your precious food you consumed earlier. Don’t let them.  The bowl or container of their choice is obviously lethal.  Treat it as such.  You really can hurl and smack the evil bowl at the same time.

Puking Baby Rule #4

Now that you’re soaking in your own regurgitated food, you need a hug.  But you want a hug from the parent that is the most grossed out by this.

Puking Baby Rule #5

Prevent clean-up by lying down at the scene of the crime. (Right after your hug)  Don’t worry, you have plenty of time because right now they’re just going to look helpless and clueless for an extended period of time.


And now for some advice.

  1.  Get extra bedding ready for their crib as soon as you are suspicious that they’re getting sick.  (For the next time they sleep in it, which most likely won’t be tonight.)
  2. If they are in your bed, put something on top of it so you don’t have to strip everything off in the middle of the night.  A large towel or thick blankets work.  Remember how you had too many blankets?  Not anymore!  You can quickly change out something that is on top of the bed.
  3. Now that you’ve seen the face your baby makes right before they throw-up (sometimes it might just be a little cough or maybe even something that resembles chewing), you might have enough time to prevent another disastrous mess.  Grab a laundry basket that is lined with a large towel or blanket, and sit them down in it.  You can try covering their chest with a towel.  And just have them hang out in their diaper at this point because clothing is pointless.  Your clothing has probably become pointless too!
  4. Take comfort in the fact that it will become less awful each time, but still heartbreaking.

This post isn’t meant for medical advice – just dealing with the aftermath.  Of course, call their pediatrician or nurse hotline if you have any concerns.  And know that if you’re a first time parent, they’re probably laughing on the inside about your adorable paranoia.  I confess, during the ordeal the other night in which my fifth child vomited exactly two times, it only took me about 30 seconds to imagine a scenario that involved my baby being dehydrated, my van possibly breaking down on the way to the hospital, the nurses not being able to get an IV in, and then being transferred to Children’s Hospital where they would successfully get the IV in, but inform me that my precious baby had not the brief virus I had, but something deadly.

Of course, this didn’t happen.  After keeping watch until 5:30 am, I realized I was a fool and could have slept.  She resumed her usual activities as if nothing happened.

Do you have any tips for dealing with vomiting babies, toddlers, or children who still act like toddlers?

Bowie’s in Space

Insert picture of David Bowie I stole off the Internet here.


I have so much to say about David Bowie.  I was driving my son to symphony rehearsal tonight and there was an interview on the radio.  My son asked, “Can we listen to some music?”  “No.” I said.  “This is David Bowie.”  I gathered he hadn’t heard the news and explained.  He said, “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!”  My 13-year-old son then told me how heartbroken his friend was going to be when he told her (which I’m sure she knows already).  I love how timeless music is!  It was a great interview and I thought he was rather patient with the lady as he explained that Ziggy Stardust was just 18 months of a 40 year long career (he was 55 back then).  He said in England, he’s known as a “bloke” who’s written lots of great songs.  In the U.S., we can’t get over his brief alter ego.  That was never the case for me.  He also said he never lived for the stage, which surprised the interviewer. My son then asked, “Is this an interview from before he died?”  Hmm.  There are two possible answers to that.  1.  Yes.  2.  No, it’s a live interview from Heaven.

When I saw an article about his death last night, my reaction was, “No, he’s supposed to be in the news because he just released a new album!  This can’t be right!”  I thought it must be a hoax, but article after article started popping up in my Facebook newsfeed.  I learned that he kept his cancer a secret and just kept doing what he loved – writing music.

I loved David Bowie since I was a child.  He was entertaining, but I also felt he was a kind man.  He was a superstar, yet he seemed humble. How does one pull that off?  I was so excited to see him in Labyrinth when it came out.  Well, except for the tights.  Tights on men make me feel uncomfortable – like I’m looking at a naked Ken doll.  He did a great job as the Goblin King, although I wasn’t really happy about having feelings of dislike towards him as the villain.  At first I was, “Ew!  Goblin King!  Find Toby and get the heck out of there!”  Then he starts singing “As the World Falls Down” and I briefly thought, “He’s singing a dreamy song to you and he’s obviously in love, so maybe dump the annoying baby and live there forever in creepy Muppet Land.”

Years later, I saw a show with him that was in interview/concert format.  More than ever, I was so struck by how genuine and kind he seemed!  I also loved it when he shared that he always had his lyrics on stage or else he’d forget them.  It never occurred to me that a songwriter would forget their own lyrics.

In 2005 when I still had TV reception, I was flipping channels when I was lucky enough to catch this performance.  I hadn’t seen Bowie in quite a while and I had never heard of “Arcade Fire”.  I was thinking that he wrote a song and that they got this huge group of random musicians together to perform it.  There are few songs that I love instantly, but this was one of them.  I got the impression that he was very emotional at the moment and that it wasn’t an act.  I learned later that it was his first performance since his heart attack, which I didn’t know had happened.  I also learned that he agreed to do the show on one condition – he would get to perform with Arcade Fire.

I had never heard of them, but now I’m quite a fan because of him.  I think not only was he trying to help them get their big break, but that the song really spoke to him, dare I say, in his Golden Years?  What this song says to me is that after all my years, I know what’s important now and I wish I had known it sooner.

I never imagined that someday, David Bowie’s music would help me through one of the most traumatic, yet wonderful experiences of my life. As my husband and I prepared to have our first baby, we went to a childbirth class and the instructor told us we needed to have relaxing music for the beginning of labor, but when it’s time to push, you need music that will energize you.  It’s amazing how much music helped me.

I made the absolute best choices.  “As the World Falls Down” was on my mixed tape of relaxing music (I didn’t think about the creepy Goblin King aspect).  “Heroes” was on there to help me focus on my belief that I could go through anything for my son.  I didn’t feel like drugs were an option for me or him. “Under Pressure” became what I call my “pushing theme song”. I knew a lot of women at that point feel like they can’t do it anymore. I needed something that would make me laugh and remind me of who I was when things were possibly about to get even harder.

Sure enough, after a nightmarish week (that’s not a typo) of labor in which I went at least four days without sleeping and dealing with one of the worst doctors I’ve ever met, I laughed when it was finally time to push and my husband put the song on.  My nurse thought it was hilarious.  At the same time, I felt inspired when I heard, “Pressure! Pushing down on me …..”  It must have been the sleep deprivation, because I felt no pain after that point – not even as my son was born.  Or maybe Bowie’s music really is that magical (combined with the forces of Queen).

It was as if my labor had a soundtrack.  I took all of the emotion of that song and I grabbed the power back from the doctor who made my labor a living Hell.  That’s a post for another day, but a nice doctor had to take over when the other guy had to go do a c-section.  With my new found determination, the new doctor was scrambling to get his gear on.

One last comment on David Bowie.  When I was really getting into Flight of the Conchords and was looking up their songs on YouTube, I saw a song called “Bowie“. (The inspiration for my title) I wished, “Oh please let that be about David Bowie!”  I was not disappointed.  Not only do they do amazing impersonations of him, they have his various genres down!  When I went to one of their concerts, they asked, “Are there any requests?”  My friend and I both yelled, “BOWIE!!!!”  Bret said, “Sorry, we already started playing.”  With the next song, Jemaine said, “This is Bowie, but to a different tune.”  He lied.  Bowie ended up being their encore song!  Such an awesome moment.  What a privilege to have them mess with us and then grant us our wish.  I think they were secretly thrilled we requested it.

Countless people are mourning the loss of David Bowie today.  I can’t even imagine his family’s overwhelming grief.  Thank you for sharing your music with us, David.

Mom Fail #672

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I have five children.  Life can be kind of chaotic at times.  There are rare moments when I praise myself for my excellent memory and planning.

Not only did I remember my son had a birthday party to go to, I was going to buy the birthday boy a present at the perfect time.  GO ME!!! I made my grocery list and I remembered to bring a gift bag and tape before we left for the store.  I wasn’t going to be suckered into buying another gift bag because I forgot to bring one with me.

We purchased all of our food items and finally settled on a gift for my son’s friend.  This is always a fun negotiation because with five children, I have strict price limits on gifts for friends.  I find myself telling them, “I wouldn’t even buy you a gift that expensive!”

Feeling victorious, we went to the checkout and I searched my wallet for my cards.  One section was totally empty.  I flashed back to yesterday when I was going through my paper clutter and briefly noticed my baby had gotten a hold of my wallet.  I thought I caught her just in time.  Of course, she didn’t remove gift cards, punch cards, rewards cards, etc.  No, she grabbed all of my bank cards!

And did you know Fred Meyer doesn’t take IKEA gift cards?  Or Gene Juarez?  Or Bed, Bath, & Beyond?

I dropped my son off presentless.

It’s not that bad really.  The other day I almost set the house on fire.

And Now For Something Totally Random

I asked some friends what I should blog about.  One friend replied, “Cats. Math homework. Cats doing math homework. Donald Trump. Donald Trump showing a cat how to do math homework.”

Several others said “food” because it’s non-controversial.  I think that’s usually true, but then some people are offended by anything non-vegan, anything that has gluten, GMO’s, non-organic, etc.  Other people are offended by kale. People can be offended by almost anything these days.

We also had some inside jokes including “barium enemas”, “hair removal equality”, “glitter”, and others.

The question is, could I incorporate all of these into a story?  I’m feeling really tired today – like the creative juices aren’t flowing at all.  It felt like the nightmare I had last night lasted forever.  For some reason, I had the opportunity to visit my sister, but I was required to fly there in my underwear.  All I could think about was how pictures of me in my underwear would be viral by the time I got off the plane.

Maybe I’ll dream about all of the above tonight.




Star Wars: The Force Awakens

*****************SPOILER ALERT****************************










They killed Han Solo?!?!

What reason do I have to watch the next one?  I suffered through Episodes 1, 2, and 3 knowing there would be no Han Solo and those were awful, especially the parts with Jar Jar. It was hard enough when Han was frozen. I went to see this knowing there would be Han Solo and I looked forward to maybe two more movies with Han Solo, but now I know there will not be more Han Solo unless they use soap opera magic and resurrect him somehow.  Maybe he was wearing a  special vest that is resistant to lightsabers and it was just a set-up?  Maybe he knew his son would impale him and there was a net way down below that caught him?  Is that possible?   So it was some optical illusion.  His bratty little son who doesn’t look at all like a cross between Princess Leia and Han Solo just felt really smug about offing his dad and doesn’t know he’s not really dead because now he’s dead due to Ray (Rae? Rai?) wasting him.  I was kind of hoping he wouldn’t die just yet so that he would have to go back to his dark side friends and they would be all, “Dude.  You got beat up by a girl.”

I will now begrudgingly list what I liked about this movie and what I didn’t like.


It had Han Solo. (Until he was brutally murdered by his own flesh and blood!)

It had Princess Leia. She looked beautiful, although there was no longer any hint of fake British accent like she used to have.  I can get past that.  Carrie Fisher, thank you for coming back even though people are stupid and say you didn’t age well.  You’re gorgeous!  When I’m that old, I will look like Jabba the Hutt. Also, I just want to say, I still remember the time I got Princess Leia bubble bath for Christmas when I was about 4 years old.  It was one of the greatest moments of my life.

Luke did a good job memorizing all of his lines.  (All zero of them.  Seriously?  That was pretty soap operaish, so it gives me hope that Han Solo is not really dead.)

It had Chewy!  I love him.  He reminds me of my old psychotic poodle named Fudge who expressed every emotion through growling.

I liked the storyline of a Storm Trooper defecting.  At first I thought it was someone in disguise pretending to be a Storm Trooper, like maybe Han Solo, who you all know now died senselessly in the movie because he had faith that his son wasn’t as big of a turd as he was.

I liked the new robot BB something, although I would have preferred a little more R2D2.  He’s so sassy!

I loved the return of the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo flying it! (Before he was murdered.)

The scenery was beautiful!

I liked the humor, like the Storm Troopers who turned around when they heard Darth Vader’s grandson throwing a little tantrum.  He is so not Darth Vader material.  Darth Vader never threw tantrums.  He just squeezed people’s necks and threatened to kill them.  Or actually killed them.

I liked Ray (Rae?  Rai?)  GIRL POWER!


Han Solo dying.  I’ll touch more on this later.

Waiting the entire movie for Luke and he says zero lines.  When someone goes out of their way to bring you your lightsaber, you don’t just stare at them and say nothing!  My husband and I both think Ray is his daughter and he didn’t speak because he’s thinking, “Aw, crap.  Now that my daughter is involved, I have to come out of retirement and stop standing mysteriously on the edge of this beautiful cliff the remainder of my days.”  He’s just totally stunned to see his daughter. Hopefully we meet the mother in the next one and that she’s pretty good at kicking butt too.

The innocent people who died also made me unhappy.

It made me question my family’s love for me.  My husband took our boys to see it and they have been DYING to talk to me about it.  They have been begging me to hurry up and go see it.  Why would they let me see this horrible, horrible movie in which Han Solo dies?  If they loved me at all, they would have told me it’s not worth the money and that it’s filled with an army of Jar Jars, then suggested something nice to watch on Netflix instead.

I paid a lot of money tonight to watch Han Solo die in 3D.  Zero stars.