Guest Post – Janelle Fricks

My sister cracks me up! She has a way of taking everyday occurrences, and transforming them into comic genius. I am so excited to have her guest posting today, and when I move to Washington I am going to force her to set up a blog so you can continue to bask in her hilarity. Enjoy!

I found a spoon under a box full of styrofoam in the recycling can today.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but let me explain.

We have been using this particular can for five years now. It says on the lid what can and can’t go into it.

Cardboard, paper, cans, plastic bottles, YES.

Glass, aluminum foil, and all other plastic, NO.

Styrofoam isn’t even mentioned because everyone knows that’s not recyclable, right? RIGHT??

It took me one reading to get it. In five years I have not been able to get the message around to the rest of the family. Glass and aluminum foil they understand, but I have to constantly pull butter tubs, Cup O’ Noodle cups, old binders, wrappers, and take-out containers out of the bin.

It drives.



Also, my spoons are slowly disappearing.

At one point, before I got married, I had a full set of silverware. Eight each, big forks, little forks, big spoons, little spoons, and butter knives.
I had all 40, intact, for several years. Within a year of my marriage more than half were gone. Tired of never having a knife for my peanut butter, I bought a brand new 63 piece set, on sale at Macy’s.


courtesy of

Twelve place settings plus three serving pieces.

Around the same time my friend got me another set of eight. They were really pretty so I kept them, too. For those of you doing the math along with me, that’s roughly 120 pieces of silverware.

I started to notice recently that I could never seem to find a clean small spoon when I wanted one for yogurt or coffee or other things that a large spoon would be wildly inappropriate for.

So the other day I decide to take a count.

Dishwasher: 2, sink: 3.

And the kids had supposedly just brought all the dishes in from the rest of the house.

Filled with righteous indignation, I snatch up my measly collection of five teaspoons and march into the living room. “Alright,” I say, “I am not imagining this. There are FIVE spoons left. I should have at least TWENTY. Who is taking my spoons?!”

My kids have this neat trick that they can do.

When something is missing and I ask if anyone’s seen it, they immediately do a fantastic impression of a bowl full of goldfish. Eyes wide, mouths gaping, they are a united front, a wall of blank expressions.


courtesy of jonathan fricks

They have never taken a spoon.

In fact, they have never even used a spoon.

“What are spoons?” their innocent faces say.

But this time I am not having it. Somebody is going to ‘fess up, so help me.

With the Mom Death Stare I affix each of them in turn. No one’s talking, but I’m not budging. Finally, trapped, they play their last card: The Baby Did It.

You would think that nothing ever got lost, broken or spilled in our house before she came along, the way she gets the blame for everything. But when someone says, “Prob’ly Jorja is hiding them somewhere,” it’s just too likely for me to argue.

I start to tell them that we are going to tear apart the house until the missing spoons are located, but my husband intervenes, corralling me back to the kitchen and calming me down, because we just picked up and he doesn’t want to do it again. When we move the couch a few days later and find a few rogue spoons it seems to confirm the Jorja theory.

The rage beast inside me had subsided.

But today, sick with a cold, tired from no sleep, worn out from a week with no school and frustrated by the abnormal amount of people being stupid at Costco, when I take a box out to the recycling and see there the box that our new coffeemaker came in, stuffed with styrofoam and toilet paper (somebody had unrolled all of it), and under that, twinkling up from the bottom of the can, one of my missing spoons, a spoon that could only have gotten there through someone’s carelessness, it is all I can do to keep my composure.

I want to scream.

I want to sit on the porch and cry.

Instead, I go inside, put the spoon in the sink, find a pen, and write this.

I feel better.

And, since I’m thinking of submitting this to Melissa’s blog, I will end with a question.

What drives you crazy, and how do you deal with it?

UPDATE 4/12/2011: My sister and brother-in-law’s six-year anniversary was two days after this post. He bought her a new set of silverware, and he drew that picture of the goldfish in the bowl for her! Way to go, Jonathan!

Janelle is a wife and mother of four who is desperately trying to finish college and get out of pizza delivery before her 30th birthday at the end of this year. She enjoys sitting, daydreaming, and farting around on the internet when she should be doing any number of unpleasant things like cleaning or homework. She can often be found staying up way too late at night commenting on blogs.

I have some fantastic guest writers lined for this month, and I would really hate for you to miss even one of them. Did you know you can sign up to have my posts delivered to your inbox or subscribe in a reader {for free}? What are you waiting for? Do it today!

24 thoughts on “Guest Post – Janelle Fricks

  1. Yay! I stayed up way too late so I could comment on this :P

    That picture of Jorja is perfect. It says, “I put those spoons behind the couch, but you’ll never find the rest! Muahahaha!”

    This was a lot of fun, I can’t wait until you force me to make my own blog!

  2. Nashville drivers drive me crazy.

    I usually put up with it by saying “God bless you, ya moron!” ;)

    (Great post…I know all too well what you mean by the Children’s Official Passing of the Blame.)

    1. I like your method. Sometimes I have to remind myself that God loves everyone just as much as He does me. It helps me to deal with the people at Costco.

  3. Reminds me of the old Family Circle comic of the mother asking, “Who did such-and-such” and each child has this little imp saying, “Not me!” Well done janelle. Hope to hear more from you. What drives me crazy? Drivers who don’t use turn signals or don’t AT LEAST drive the speed limit. My wife not picking her clothes up and leaving them at the foot of the toilet used to drive me crazy but I learned to pick my battles. Now she at least moves them to the side. LOL

    1. Ah, the clothes in the bathroom. I had to accept defeat on that one, too. Then again, half the time it’s my clothes.

  4. Drives me crazy? Fingernails that need to be clipped (specifically mine). I am OCD about clipping my fingernails and making sure they are trimmed. I know… it’s confession time around here…. :)

    1. THIS. Only with my toenails. And, not being able to find any clippers when I need them. I can tell you where at least 3 pairs are right now. I just keep buying them because they have a way of disappearing, along with pens, scissors, my socks, and of course spoons.

    2. I am obsessed with clipping mine and my kids. I think it’s partly from hating those boxing glove things for babies; I need to keep the nails clipped so my baby doesn’t need to wear those stupid mitts. :)

  5. Way too funny, so typical of young mom’s and hysterically written PLEASE start your own blog. You are a great writer a bit of humor helps us all get through the day. Thanks and looking forward to MORE of your giftedness.

    1. Thank you, that is some great encouragement! I need some help getting started though, so I’ll wait for Melissa to move up here.

  6. I am right there with you! I used to have a full set of silverware too! Somehow I am down to 5 small spoons!!! So frustrating! As for what other things get to me? When I look behind the couch and find that my son has dropped all the wrappers of the food he was sneaking behind there thinking he won’t get caught! :)

    1. I wish I would have taken a picture when we did flip the couch up. It would have made everyone feel better about the state of their own home.

  7. Melissa has a sister?!!??! Whaaaaaat?! And, it seems like Janelle is just as awesomely amazing as Melissa. Woot woot! :)

    I’m so happy that I am not the only one who gets super grouchy when there is a “crowd” at Costco. I get out of my van grumpily and say, “Why aren’t all these people at work!?” Grrrrr

    There’s probably way too many things that drive me crazy. But, today the winner seems to be the “interruption”. That’s the winner on many days actually.

    1. It’s not the fact that there is a crowd, it’s just the one person who manages to take up the whole aisle and then crawls along like a turtle. Just move over! Don’t act like you don’t see me, I’m right behind you!

      And yeah, I think I recognize you. It must be from church if Melissa says so.

  8. <3! Not quite as vexing as lost spoons but one of the things that drives me nuts is my family is incapable of putting a dish in the sink. All the dirty dishes end up on the counter right NEXT to the sink but not actually in it! WTF! Why? Is it too hard to lower them into a sink a few inches? God forbid I try to get them to rinse a dish off and put it in the dishwasher! LOL ;) Love it Janelle – Mel is right! You must start a blog!

    1. Hahaha! Mine is the opposite, when there is no room left in the sink and they continue to pile them up until you can’t use the faucet!

  9. I hate to say this Jessica, you went from being #1 to slipping to #1.5. You have a cooler sister who “farts around the internet”. So cool!

    As for what drives me crazy? You are going to hate this, but I hate, really hate a lost remote control. I know, typical man.

    1. Moe — not only did you feed my biggest fear in having Janelle post here (that you’d all realize I’m a hack), but you got my name wrong. I know you know me, so I will overlook it this time. :) Haha!!

    2. I beg to disagree. I don’t think I could do what Melissa does. How she manages to get a post up every single day, and one that inspires, encourages, enlightens or just brings a smile is a mystery to me. I don’t think I could do that.

      But, I totally agree about the remotes. I hate hate hate when I can’t find the one I’m looking for. Also, a certain three year old keeps taking the batteries out of them.

Comments are closed.