A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Summer break, a job, awards, jam, love, & sex.

Today is the last day of school for my two big ‘uns, and my Bucket Head finished last Friday. Yes, you are correct, kids in the South DO get out of school a lot earlier than other kids. That’s because we need to get them out in the fields picking cotton with us ASAP or we won’t have a snowball’s chance in H-E-Double-Fucking-Hockeysticks to win the Blue Ribbon for the biggest crop at the County Faaaaaaair.

Image credit: Places in the Heart: Kobal Collection

On the plus (and minus) side, our kids also return to school at a ridiculously early date: August 9th. It is so backasswards, I’ve been here 9 years and I still can’t get my head around it. By the time August rolls around we’ll finally have found our summer stride and it will be way too hot for the kids to be in school all day. That’s when we need to be lying about in hammocks and skipping rocks and lazing around the pool all day…not shopping for school supplies and new shoes, dammit.

I did the math for you: our summer is 75 days long. Hold me. At least it is two days shorter than last year.

But on a positive note, this week TWO of my children won awards for Perfect Attendance! I know! Can you believe it?! Nature Boy and Mini-Me both made it through the entire school year without missing a single dingle damn day. I’m proud of my kids and all, but really it should be the parents who get this award for nurturing their children’s kick-ass immune systems and/or getting their kids lazy bones out of bed and to the bus stop on time all year long. So I’m commandeering this award for myself. Suck it, kids.


Hey, you know what doesn’t suck? My friend Emily G’s Jam of Love. (This is not a sponsored post, nor is it an example of how to do a smooth segue.) I just bring this up because one of my lovely readers (Lisa) was kind enough to point out to me that I never announced who won my first ever (and probably only) giveaway! Doy-yoy-yoy! Sorry about that. It was Jane. I used Random.org’s sequence generator and it told me that commenter #53 was the winner, so congrats Jane! I hope you like your jams as much as I do!

And speaking of exciting news (and bad segues), I got a job…a real job…a job that pays cash money instead of just frozen corn dogs and body washes to review. Seriously PR people, back the fark off. We don’t want your crappy products. We want money and/or gift cards to the Liquor Barn.

Anyhoooo, my fancy new job comes with a real live press release and everything! This is the real deal, yo, and I couldn’t be more excited or proud. I feel like I have hit the Mother Lode by working with the InThePowderRoom team. They get me. They really get me. And I can actually make jokes about things like anal sex and boners and stool samples on conference calls and not get fired. Remember that ten year gap on my resume? Completely irrelevant now. Keep the faith, my fellow SAHMs…if a foul-mouthed kale-eating hooker like ME can find a dream job, there is hope for us all.

Lastly, I have to tell you something. My sweet husband, The Gatekeeper, stopped reading my blog posts (both here and In The Powder Room) several months ago. He did that because he doesn’t usually like what I write about him, men in general, or sexytimes (or lack thereof). But yesterday, our anniversary, he saw that I was scanning an old picture of us and was curious to know what I wrote.

Well apparently he liked it because he emailed me a written response to share with you all. I’m completely verklempt. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and privilege to share with you a guest post by The Gatekeeper:

Yes I would most definitely do it all again.  But I have to say, her efforts to get me to notice her were totally un-necessary, I mean WOW how could I not notice her, she was beautiful (and still is).  By the time we connected at our friend’s goodbye party I was hooked, and after our coffee date I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

What she didn’t tell you is that she tried to break up with me after our 4th date (the 4th date had some significance in her mind??).  She said she was getting too serious about me and was not ready to be in a committed relationship.  So I listened, but instead I suggested that we go to Reno and get married.  I called her the next morning still pushing the Reno idea.

We didn’t run off to Reno but we did stay together.  The year we got engaged we went to Pittsburgh for Christmas.  While there we went to visit the parents of a good friend of Leslie’s, to wish them a Merry Christmas and share our news.  I remember the Father saying something like, remember how you feel about each other right now and carry that feeling with you throughout your marriage.  It was great advice and no matter what is going on in our lives I keep that memory close and I am reminded of just how crazy in love I am with her.

(*sniffle sniffle, HONK*)

I mean really.

Excuse me. I need a moment.

Okay, I’m back. That Father he’s referring to was my college friend Jen’s dad Larry. We still send each other Christmas cards every year.

By the way, I found a picture of The Gatekeeper in that hat I mentioned yesterday. Ladies and gay men, brace yourselves:


Hubba hubba!

AND he can cook, too.

Back off, bitches. He’s mine…all mine.

Have a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend everyone, and please, don’t come a knockin’ if the minivan is a-rockin’.




  1. Erica M

    Congrats on all of this good news. I love your hubby’s letter. Hey, and my shit is together now. Are you ready for me and all my goodness advanced mediocrity?

    • The Bearded Iris

      YES! I am always ready for whatever goodness and/or advanced mediocrity you are willing to sling in my general direction. Details coming soon!

  2. Amy Sherman

    Proof positive that good things come to bad-ass people! Congrats all around.

    • The Bearded Iris

      WHOOOOO-HOOOO! Thank you Amy!

  3. rachel e.

    Congrats on the job!

    Several years ago, I too had to make myself an award. At the time my younger brother and sister were attending the new Christian school which pretty much gave awards for eating your lunch or remembering to have your shirt tucked in. For athletic reasons, I attended the Catholic school that year and received not a single award despite being my wonderful (and semi-smart) self. So I took matters into my own hands and created the “Not Receiving an Award” Award which my mother still proudly displays.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh HAYLE yes. We’ll show those people for not giving us awards! Mwah-ha-ha!

  4. Lyn

    love it! what a looker you got! thrilled for your job news

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Lyn. I agree – he’s dreamy.

  5. Pish Posh

    Congrats!! I am envious of your new job but it is well deserved!! Enjoy! Happy anniversary!

    • The Bearded Iris

      One small step for a blogger, one giant leap for blogging kind! 🙂

  6. Lisa Hewitt

    Congratufuckulations! Talk about a rollercoaster ride of a post. I’m all laughing one second and ugly crying the next. So Proud for You.
    P.S. I would like one of those tee shirts also please.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Lisa! Love that you share my laughs and tears. You are good peoples.

  7. Ellen at Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    You killed me with the opener! Pickin’ cotton. Snort.

    And you got a dream job, press release, and that letter from your husband! DAAAAAAAMN! I feel all sunshiny. How the hell are you containing yourself?? Sorry, I forgot the perfect attendance. Mad props. I envy all the money you must have saved on Kleenex.

    Excerpt from the press release: “Johno Morisano, InthePowderRoom’s CEO and one of its founders, said “We could not be happier to have Leslie on board. She shares our irreverent attitude and dedication to providing women and bloggers with the online tools and resources that propels them from being in servitude to brands and PR companies to actually being able to leverage their online reach and social media influence in a way that actually results in them getting paid for their efforts.”

    YES PLEASE!!!!!!!! Take us to the mountaintop Leslie! I have a gospel choir singing in my head for you right now. 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh, you are coming, sister! Buckle up, honey. It’s going to be a wild ride. More details coming soon, I promise!

  8. Kristin @ What She Said

    Love this! Especially, “Ladies and gay men, brace yourselves…” LOL.

    I’m so excited for you about your new job, which reminds me that I have let yet ANOTHER e-mail from you (pertaining to said job) go ignored. Whoops. I’m not trying to be a bitch, I promise. I’m just easily distracted. And I’ve been in sort of a blogging funk lately and have been spending a lot more time offline then online. Which isn’t a bad thing. Except when I ignore e-mails about guests posts that could potentially make me money. So, yeah. I’ll get right on that.

    Ooooh, a butterfly!

    • The Bearded Iris

      I totally understand. In fact, I’m about to attempt to log-off for the entire weekend, so don’t write back until Monday or you’ll hear crickets. XO and save some of those butterflies for me!

  9. Arnebya

    Oh, this made me smile from beginning to end (especially your friend’s father’s sage advice. I remember my cousin, who married my husband and me (you know whats I means!), asking where we went on our first date. Um, hole in the wall pizza joint. He said I needed to be willing to still go there 20 years in and remember the way I felt. Well, at the time I felt broke! And now, 10 years in, we still go to holes in the wall because that’s all we can afford, not for sentimentalityismness).

    Congrats on all this good news and yes, you are absolutely right in laying claim to those attendance awards. You ain’t got to go to school but you gots to get the hell outta here.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Amen, sister! I definitely know whats you means. And thanks for the whoop-whooop! 🙂

  10. Amy J

    I’m gonna smile all weekend after reading that post. Here’s to all the gals who’ve been fortunate enough to find fantastic husbands. I’m blessed to be able to count myself in. Congratulations on your new job, and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Amy and congrats on snagging a good one!

  11. Karine

    Congrats on the job! That’s awesome!

    Love the post from The Gatekeeper! After I read it, I turned to Hubs and I was all like “Asshole! You never say anything even remotely as sweet and romantic as this to me!” and then I punched him……….

    Great post!

    • The Bearded Iris

      OMG – you just made me snort! AND I just read that aloud to The Gatekeeper and it made HIM laugh out loud, which he hardly ever does. SO kudos to you, TWICE, girlfriend!

  12. Famous SpokesGoat Pricilla

    Congratulations on your new job.
    I don’t work except for the production of erm, fertilizer for the garden.
    Is your job like that?

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yes, I do believe there will be poop involved. At least I hope so. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

  13. Pamela

    Love the job news, love your stuff, love that you are posting more!!!

    I love my own hubby and we have been together about as long as you guys, so let’s here it for beating the odds and staying together. (Staying together with our respective spouses, I mean.)

    Now imagine a great big celebratory cupcake coming from out here in Texas. Extra sprinkles. Or not. Because with an imaginary cupcake, the options are wide open.

    • The Bearded Iris

      LOVE me some big ol’ imaginary Texan cupcakes with all the toppings! Thanks! Now you’ve got me singing Al Green, “Let’s Stay Together…”

      HAPPY DAY!

  14. julie gardner

    Dude. The Indiana Jones hat rocks.
    Do they still sell those because I think my man would want one…

    (Or maybe it’s just that I want him to have one. Hey. Whatever works…)

    Congrats on the press-release-worthy gig.

    And inspirational. For all of us.

  15. allison

    So even though I’ve been lying around eating bon-bons for the last 12 years and have no discernible marketable skills, there’s hope for me? If I start saying ‘vagina’ more?

    Yeah, he’s cute and everything – but let’s focus on the important part. He’s COOKING, while CAMPING. I’d snap on the handcuffs now. And not in a dirty way. Or maybe in a dirty way.

  16. Jennifer

    I just love you so facking hard! Every single damn thing about you. I am so proud of your big hairy balls and your adorable husband and your kick ass writing.

    Your fan Jen

  17. Cathy Cech

    Hey, Leslie! I need that job! Maybe I could be the Canadian Bureau? Of course, we don’t have powder rooms, here…. Just ‘cans’. I don’t know: In the Can doesn’t have quite the ring to it, unless you combine it with the odd home preserving tip.

    When I first saw your pix, I thought, we kinda looked a like in the 90s! I have a great hub, too (I had a starter husband for 9 years prior) of 17 years. He’s a looker, like your man, though he’s not a camper, he does cook and likes to go SHOPPING! He is very popular with my gal pals and all my gay boyfriends.

    Love that t-shirt, too. I’m getting my Sharpie out now …

  18. Alexis

    Your husband is adorable. If I didn’t love my own so much and if I had anything sexier to wear than a bleach-stained Gap t-shirt I would drive down there and try to steal him from you. Which I’m sure would go horribly and result in a hysterical post from you that would go viral and probably get front-page coverage on Time Magazine about the Mommy Wars and crazy internet people. So I guess I’ll pass on that. But he really is cute 🙂

    Also? Congrats on the job! Woo hoo!

  19. Anna

    Congratulations Leslie – so excited for your new gig. Woo hoo!

  20. Adrian Bielski

    AWWW! I’m so excited for you!

  21. Jackie

    Really? You REALLY needed to post that kick ass, gorgeous bit from the Gatekeeper? I come here to laugh, not to get all misty eyed and drooly! Congrats on the job, I’ve been reading you for longer than I can remember (I was thinking it was a few months but realize I shared your kale salad recipe with my mom last summer. So there’s that.) I’ll leave it at that before I get way too odd!

  22. rootietoot

    I’ve always wondered how come the parents didn’t get the perfect attendance award. They act like it’s the kid…that child who obviously gets up at 6am every morning, does the chores *and* cooks breakfast for the siblings, and is eagerly hopping up and down at the end of the driveway at 7:15,waiting for the bus that comes at 7:20…you know the kid, right? Me neither. My husband had a classmate with 7 older siblings. Every single one of those kids had perfect attendance for the ENTIRE 12 YEARS of school. When the youngest graduated, the school gave their mother a gold watch. True story.
    Congratulations on the job, and on the Hot Husband! I’d say “hubbahubba” but I have my own Prince Handsome who’s butt to pinch.

  23. Peg D

    Dear Leslie,
    Thank you for your lovely writing. You bring a bright spot to my days every time I read your posts. Happy Anniversary to you and your gate keeper! My husband and I will be happily married 35 years this summer. We met in March and were married in August in 1977. It was love at first date! I came home after a night of conversation pizza and beer and told a friend that I was going to marry him. She bet me $10.00 and I still have the ten. Three daughters and two granddaughters later I am grateful everyday.

    Please tell us more about your paying job! I hope it will not have a negative effect on your posting here. Best to you and your lovely family.

  24. Anna

    Oh my gosh – Congratulations on that awesome job!!! So perfect! The gaps in my resume make me cringe in fear when I think about it but your announcement gives me hope 🙂 I was right, you are a total rock star (but prettier and healthier still)! The letter from your husband is so wonderful, hope you had a great anniversary! Kids out for summer here as well – it does seem VERY early! Hope you have a great holiday weekend and smooth sailing in to summer break.

  25. Anne @ Domesblissity

    I posted this on The Powder Room’s announcement as well Iris (sorry, can’t stop calling you Iris) but just wanted to say here how happy I am for your success. You really deserve it. You really do have a ‘keeper’ there, especially with the hat! Lucky you!

    All my love,
    Anne xx

  26. Leigh Ann

    Congrats on the new gig! You earned it the best way, by doing what you love and swearing your way through it. And that letter? So sweet.

  27. MikeP

    Drop your linen and start your grinnin’.

    Enormous congratulations on the job. Have you got business cards yet? You might need an appropriate bag to keep them in…..

    • MikeP


  28. Allysgrandma

    May good things only be in your future.

    PS I don’t need yours, I got mine…..

  29. Jane

    This was a great blog with lots of stuff. First- the jam is delish! I love the jalapeno raspberry. Thank you and I was thrilled to be your first.
    Second- congrats on the job. How fun for you! The press release was glowing.
    Third- the Gatekeeper is amazing. I got a little teary eyed reading that.
    have a wonderful weekend with your family- you deserve it all!

  30. Motherhood on the Rocks

    Aww how sweet. My hubby’s letter would probably go a little something like this:

    Free to good home. No, wait. Free woman. Comes with $100, bag of chips and case of beer.

  31. Kat1e

    awwww! ……and congrats to the kiddos!

    • Kat1e

      and congrats on the new gig! 🙂

  32. Kate Takes 5

    Thrilled for you. And I read that press release – they make you sound like a real grown up. Imagine that 🙂

  33. Jill Perrin

    Congratulations on the job, the immune systems and the marriage!! Take a minute and soak in all the beauty that you have helped create! Awesome job! What a great way to kick off summer.

    P.S. I have been asking mom awards for years. Where is my award for all the gymnastics meets, the dance classes, the perfect recital hair, and all those Halloween costumes? I think I will copy you and make a large poster sized one and hang it in the dining room.

  34. Lady Estrogen

    I’m all teary-eyed – both because of the Gatekeeper AS WELL as the thought of more and more anal and boner jokes.

    YOU really get me, darling.

  35. Tracy in Suburbia

    You had me at “Paying Job!” Woot!! Way to go, Gurl! Drinks are on you at the next conference!

  36. JD @ Honest Mom

    Yay, Leslie! So happy for you! Really, truly, happy for you. 🙂

    You husband is adorbs, but mine is even more adorbs, so you know, hands off my man, lady.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your new work adventure!!!!!

  37. tracy@sellabitmum

    Congrats on your awesome gig!! xo

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