WHY do I always learn things the HARD WAY???

Today is the day - THE day. I am 50 years old. What have I learned?

I have learned that you are never too old to learn a lesson. I’ve had lots of embarrassing moments over the years, and I actually like to call them “great learning opportunities." They are often the most important lessons of all.

Remember these?

1. When I first started teaching fifth grade, I showed a whale video to the whole class, and in the middle of it this HUGE penis was flashed on the screen – FREEZE FRAMED, as the narrator described the huge penis (16 feet in diameter) of a gray whale. I only knocked over two kids and one garbage can as I FLEW over to the VCR to shut it off. The School District Superintendent brought that story up when I ran into him at my school several weeks later. He still laughs about it to this day.

2. When I lived in California I was invited to a lovely Christmas Dinner at the incredible home of a rich, well-to-do family who had befriended us. I decided to bring my Grandmother’s famous Christmas Bean Soup (a tradition of my mother’s large Slovak family…). I forgot how GASSY everyone would get after eating it. Needless to say, I have NEVER served that at a party since. NEVER!!!!!

3. Two summers ago I had a jewelry party at my house (against my better judgment) for a friend of mine. When the consultant was preparing her grand displays, my son proudly said to her, “My mother said that if she weren’t HOSTING this party, she would NEVER EVER be going to it.” It appears he has inherited the foot-in-mouth gene from my side of the family.

4. Another day when I was teaching fifth grade, I wore pajamas to school. I thought they were classy day-wear from V. Secret, but the girls kept saying, "Mrs. Smith, are you wearing pajamas?” When I got home I called my sister, who sent them to me, and she said, “Hell yes, they ARE pajamas.” So there. Dang it.

5. I sat through three parent conferences several years ago with my zipper down. Finally, one mom had the courage to let me know.

Last night I received an innocent email from a friend of mine. I opened it, and pushed something I shouldn’t have pushed and it gobbled up my email contact list like a hot fudge sundae and spammed them all.

In my contact list were members of my huge extended family, wonderful blogging friends and colleagues from work. Oh, and did I mentioned that very important agent from NEW YORK CITY that I have been stalking for nine months now? Yeah. He’s in the list. And, as of last night, he SURELY received at least a dozen spam emails from yours truly.

That will SURELY impress him, don’t you think?

However, let me put this latest faux pas into perspective. Did I lose a precious family member? Did I lose a dear friend or colleague? Was my life altered in a horrible tragic way? Did my husband lose his job again? No, no, no and no.

Today I am celebrating my birthday. And even though my life is filled with bumps and twists and sometimes-embarrassing turns- I am very proud of the woman I have become.

I am human.

Now where’s my damn champagne?


Patsy said...

Happy Birthday, Vodka Mom. Hope you had some champagne. :-)


ShanaM said...

Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...


Wunderwoman said...

Woohoo!! Happy Birthday Vodka Mom, now where's my party hat and the drinks? LOL

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to a fifty and fabulous new friend:)

Renee said...

Hope you have an amazing Birthday! And many, many more!

Buckeroomama said...

Have a grand birthday, Vodka Mom!!

I celebrated mine a couple of days ago and haven't even gotten around to doing my birthday post yet (which might not happen at all)... :)

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people in the blogosphere! Yay!

King of New York Hacks said...

First...Vodka Mom..your HUMAN ?!! LOL

Happy Birthday , hope you've learned all the lessons ( they are fun...later, aren't they? ) and school the rest of us ahem...cough cough 40 year olds. LOL Hope you have a great birthday and I knew it was spam, I only got 3 but figured everyone would let you know...and that agent ??? Tell him he can get an open call to the King's Taxi when he REALLY needs one and I'm sure he'll forget about it...that and a little vodka of course. ;-) Enjoy your day, thanks for keeping us smiling, and most of all keep on being you, that's why we keep coming back.Congrats VM, I bow to you and send you 50 + 1 for good luck honks from Times Square NYC !! YAHOOO !!

Liss said...

I love those examples of 'learning'.. :) Happy half a century, you've at least earned a BOTTLE of champagne haven't you?

IB said...

Many happy returns of the day...and of the bar-tender


Kyddryn said...

Happy birthday, Mizz Vodka, and many happy returns!

One lives, one errs, one learns, life goes on. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Shade and Sweetwater,

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday!!! And what a realistic view you have of what's really important vs. what's not. Is that the vodka talking???

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to my favorite blogger in the blogosphere! And would you PLEASE show us the pajamas you wore?

Ekanthapadhikan said...

Many Happy Returns of the Day. Hope you had a rocking day!

Phillipia said...

Happy Birthday, Vodka Mom.

Sorry, I drank your damn champagne earlier this evening...it looked to good to package up and send...

Laoch of Chicago said...

Have a sybaritic birthday.

Betty Manousos said...

I think you are a remarkable woman!!
Happy birthday to you!!!
Many happy returns of the day!
Your blog is lovely!!!
Nice to "meet" you :)

Alan Burnett said...

Happy birthday. From what I have read in your blog - a life to be proud of.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Happy Birthday!! Hope your day is filled with lots of cake and craziness!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday - Congatulations & I hope that your hangovers haven't deteriorated with age! (Mine have)

Eternal Lizdom said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!

♥ Braja said...

Well it's ABOUT TIME you went for the class and asked for champagne :)))

And when I say went for the class, I don't mean attack your room full of kids.

You know that right?

And you do know, too, that I love you enormously and wish I was with you and that bottle of champagne, right?


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Girl...

Sto Lat!

We live and we learn, we come back smiling and we blog about it, right?

Love you sweetie, have a great day!

Peace - Rene

Christina said...

Happy birthday! Today is my boyfriend's birthday too. I have lots of cupcakes if you want any :)

unmitigated me said...

You make me excited to turn fifty! A few more years and I'l be expecting the same comment from you!

Vodka Logic said...

Happy Birthday and welcome to the club. We all could have written that post in one way or another.

Love being human


Aune said...

Happy Birthday D!
Have a blast

Sheila said...

Happy Birthday to one of the reasons the internet was created!

Unknown said...


Michele said...

Happy Birthday!

See 50s not so bad. Not that I know first hand whether it is or not because I'm not 50, I'm just saying. Yeah, you can harshly remind me this in (grasp) 18 days.

S said...

happy birthday!

SkylersDad said...

Happy Birthday my friend, you are the best!

The Stiletto Mom said...

Happy Birthday, hope you get spoiled rotten today! Love you tons!!!

Boozy Tooth said...

35th in line, but wishing you happiness with such VIGOR and GENUINE LOVE that it should rightfully float straight to the top.

Happy Birthday my friend. And when I say friend, please don't doubt it for a minute. I love you my funny hacker comrade. Welcome to the 50 Club.

Mrs. E said...

I'll drink some champagne in your honor! Happy 50th--and thanks for making me smile EVERY time I read your blog.

Unknown said...

Happy day...Life is all about learning lessons...there's one in ever event, as long as you have your perspective open to it...

Love the whale video...

Anonymous said...

Cheers Vodka! Welcome to the 50's decade. It's all downhill from here girl! LOL

Happy B-Day from another downhill Gal.

Snappy Di

Keyona said...

You can hack my email anytime you want! Happy Birthday! May you continue to leaarn and teach us young ones so we DON'T have to learn the hard way. :o)

Cora said...

LOL @ Braja - I thought the same thing: Champagne? Classy.


Stereos and Souffles said...

Keep on bringing the funny for another 50! Happy Birthday to you!

Sara said...

Whale's penis was my favorite.

Happy birthday! Sounds like you're destined to move through it with grace and class!

An Open Heart said...

I'm going to have to go with Sara,
whale penis is my favorite.....

Happy Birthday.


The Good Cook said...

happy 50th!!!! Welcome to the half century club.

WeaselMomma said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (I now feel like Frosty the Snowman). How's you get that adorable photo of me holding your cake?
You make 50 look like a place that I want to be!

Anonymous said...

It is only a number - it just keeps getting better...enjoy!!

Deb said...

you learn things the hard way because you LIVE instead of OBSERVE!

happy birthday!

blognut said...

Have a wonderful birthday, you hawt thing, you! I love your outlook on life!

Sue said...

Great birthday post, thank you. And just so you know, my 50's haven't been any less challenging or boring or lacking of embarrassing moments than my 40's! I think age has to do more with the individual in that some of our lives are just more enriched my the stories we can tell, the experiences we have shared. All that crazy stuff makes us who we are! As you know, each of our days hold stories that are just waiting to be told!! Happy Birthday and bottoms up to you!

CJ said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I really like your posts they are humorous! And nice


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

where's the cake??? i mean, happy birthday honey! hope it is the best ever! and thanks for entertaining me on a daily basis, i like to be entertained. and i like cake, did i mention that?

smiles, bee

IS there cake??? ps

only a movie said...

Cheers, VM. Happy happy birthday!

Courtney said...

Oooooooooooh a very merriest birthday to who, to you! I will spare you my actualy singing (thank god)! I hope you have a great day and enjoy the lessons learned!

Brian Miller said...

happy birthday!!!!!! you are just getting started! My english teacher showed a movie once that was very releaving...lol...i remember her just putting her head down while we giggled....have a wonderful day!

Laura Marchant said...

Happy Birthday!!!!! You are a riot!

Melisa Wells said...

Happy Happy Birthday!!!!

Jeanne Estridge said...

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
I'm so glad I didn't click that link you sent me
Happy birthday to you!

Captain Dumbass said...

Happy Birthday, VM.

Unknown said...

Happy birthday Vodka Mom!

I love that you wore pj's to teach, that you served gassy soup to someone else's house and that you are, above all, human.

P.S. Also, thanks for the warning about the spam! Whew!

Tamis Marks said...

Pajamas to school--Love it!

Happy Birthday to you! Hope your family spoils you~

K Dubs said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Have a wonderful day, do nothing, do whatever you want - you deserve it :)

*Akilah Sakai* said...


The whale story is friggin' hilarious! Freeze framed?!

Tara R. said...

Happy, happy birthday. I would wear PJs to work if I could get away with it.

Dr Zibbs said...

Happy B-day my friend

Lorraine said...


Paige Lacey said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

His Sweetheart said...

You're just 50! You're so young, so lively I have to admit!!

Happy birthday my dearest! My birthday was on August 28th! No wonder I loved you, You're Virgo :P

The whale's penis story was awesome looool

Missed your posts a loooooot

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! 50 is still young - you're just getting started.

PS. I once taught an entire class full of 14 and 15 year olds with my zipper down. They didn't hesitate to let me know.

Unknown said...

To the oh-so-inspiring Vodka Mom ... thanks for always keeping smiles on our faces and for being so darn funny!!
Sending lots of love for a wonderful birthday!! Now go have yourself a martini!! :o)

Unknown said...

To the oh-so-inspiring Vodka Mom ... thanks for always keeping smiles on our faces and for being so darn funny!!
Sending lots of love for a wonderful birthday!! Now go have yourself a martini!! :o)

Suzy said...

I already called you, that's enough.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I lift my glass to you today, my dear. Cheers! Nobody does it better!

Linda said...

Happy Birthday! And thank you for entertaining us on your special day.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Happy Birthday! Fabulous that it's a holiday weekend birthday.

DKC said...

Happy, Happy Birthday my darling VM! I hope you get as much champagne you can handle!

Linda said...

Happy Birthday!
And, hey, I've SEEN that whale video (or something close to it) on the TV when I was watching with my OWN boys. And what a bunch of questions that brought up!

Enjoy your day!

for a different kind of girl said...

Happy, happy birthday! Enjoy your day!

Susan English Mason said...

Happy Birthday Vodka Mom! It's my first visit to your blog today, although I have heard of it often enough. I read the hilarious post by you can the Captain over at Braja's blog and had to say Hi and wish you a happy 50th. I'm 50 too. It's not fatal at all.

Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) said...

Well, I just opened the spam, and I could tell that quite of few of us had followed you there. . . I guess that means we just might follow you to hell and back!

Happy five-o! I'll be following you in that regard too in less than a month. . .

Mike said...

Happy birthday. Have a great day.

Elenka said...

Hey, Vodka Mom....I'm 100 percent Slovak...don't know your bean soup recipe, tho. We always had sauerkraut soup. Probably almost as gassy.
Happy Birthday and dovidenia!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Cheers to a great 50th birthday!

That Janie Girl said...

I was excited to get a picture from you, but hesitated to open it when there were three identical e-mails. Now I'm glad I didn't!!!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! I love ya!

You heifer.

Susan said...

You owe us all a personal email with a picture. Since we got so excited and all.
Happy birthday!

Notes from Noël said...

Joyeux Anniversaire! Happy 50th! I have a great bottle of French champagne in the frig - come on over!! Thanks for all the laughs!

Scope said...

Happiest of birtdays!

The Mind of a Mom said...

Very Happy Birthday to you!

Malisa said...

"Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday old, friggin woman...Happy Birthday to you! :)


Ms. Witi said...

Champagne for Vodka MOM? Come on where is the shot of Vodka? You go girl...Happy Birthday on such a milestone as the BIG 5-0!!

Anonymous said...

happy birthday. for what it's worth, it was very clear the email was spam. i just deleted it.

Melissa B. said...

First of all, congrats on a milestone. Hope you had a HAPPY! Secondly, you're just the gift that keeps on giving, even on your b-day. I'm still laughing about the Christmas Bean Soup...priceless!

Julie D said...

Happy happy birthday!!!!!! Come check out my blog post, and go visit my son's blog...and please leave him a comment!

Beth said...

Happy Birthday!

I bought vodka for the occasion. I had no idea you'd change up your preferences.

Rita said...

Happy Birthday from someone who is MONTHS older than you.

I celebrated by 50th birthday last April by going to Italy with my sister and nephew. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Being 50 is great. Well, excluding the hysterectomy weight gain, the hormonal hysterics, the night sweats and...

being happy with who you are anyway.

Enjoy it!

Grace Matthews said...

Happy Birthday! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that does interesting hings to embarass myself...well another year older and hopefully wiser :)

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Wooohooo! Happy birthday, Vodka Mom! You bring so much joy to my days.

Thanks for sharing those stories. :)

Stacy Uncorked said...


And here I thought I was special when I got an email from you... *sniff* So yeah, maybe the NYC Agent dude will think so too! ;)

Hope you've had a champagne (or vodka) filled Birthday! You ROCK! :)

Zip n Tizzy said...

Happy Birthday Darlin'!
To Many, Many more!!!

I for one knew that you hadn't personally sent the spam. I bet he knew too. We're all likely to be gobbled up online at one time or another. Let's just hope he didn't open it!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday ... May the only pain in your life be champagne :0)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I only got 3 spam e-msils from you. And I knew exactly what they were and just deleted them. I used to get stuck like that at work all the time - who ARE the people who waste time creating those????

And I like your perspective on what's really important in life. I try to maintain the same one. Once when were were at the Smithsonian (can't remember the exact museum) I realized that I had lost one of my new favorite (and expensive) earrings. I was sad - but ultimately said, "well, it's not like I lost a child there!" Then I made the remaining earring into a necklace.

Happy birthday friend!

Joanie said...

Happy Happy Birthday! Know what I got for MY 50th birthday?? Single!
turns out it was the best gift of all! hahahaha!!!

Laura said...

Happy Birthday, VodkaMom! I hope it's a wonderful celebration for you. (I only received 3 spam emails from "you", & they didn't even zap my computer when I opened them--I was so excited to be getting email from "VodkaMom") Thank you for keeping me laughing!

Joanie said...

Happy birthday, dear and lovely lady!

mo.stoneskin said...

I suppose you could have mixed up the jewelry party a little by showing a whale penis video to the Moby Dick soundtrack.

Kat said...

Happy Birthday! My English teacher in 9th grade almost fell over a desk rushing to fast forward through the sex scene in the 1970s version of Romeo and Juliet. Good Times...

Magpie said...

Happy birthday!

Debbie said...

Happy birthday! I had read all of your funny stories. It was fun to remember them again.
And you are my second blogging friend to experience that hacking problem this week.

buffalodick said...

Happy Birthday! Did AARP send you the join up kit yet?

Susan said...

It made me feel very special to get mail from the very famous VodkaMom, even if it was spam.

Happy Birthday. I'm toasting to you now, only with chardonnay of course.

Kevin McKeever said...

For your day, I will switch from gin to vodka. See, I'm willing to make the big sacrifices.

Fragrant Liar said...

Happy birthday, VM. Hope your day is as large as that whale penis.

Sodermoto said...

Happy Birthday! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy B day VM from perhaps your youngest follower!


Reveda said...

Happy B Day-VM from your youngest follower......

Take care and lots of love from little Reveda


Sara J. Henry said...

OK, right, I got that photo email from you with the "yes" and "no" button - but you didn't seem the type to send cheery "want to see my photos" emails, so I ditched it.

So probably most people figured right off it was spam and that your address book had been hijacked.

Kathy B! said...

Happy Birthday!!

And I'll consider that SPAM you sent your little gift to me :)

Hope you got lots of goodies.

tamilyn said...

Happy, happy, happy birthday. On as a comment on the next post-those darn kids will surprise you when you least expect it, won't they? Glad you had an awesome time, and high five Bitchy and Sassy from all your blogging friends.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Happy birthday! This is just the laugh I needed to end my night!

The Lady in Pearls said...

Happy Birthday VM! I am right behind you. 40 on the 12th! And when I grow up I want to be just like you! Hope it was a great one. Your daughters are priceless. But you already know that....

The Rare Amylesaurus said...

Did the "my famous Chili" when all the males in my family came from all states to help us move into our new house.....in the wintertime. When they were all getting the last load into the truck at the rental, my husband told me you surely could not have lit a match the rental house would have went up in flames.

Happy Birthday, Gal! I shall drink one for you today and one for you again on Saturday when I turn 39....for real ;oD

Karen MEG said...

Happy Belated, Vodka Mom. Hope you got lots and lots of bubbly!

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