Keeper of The Fruit Loops

The Keeper and Somewhat Sane Mom

August 12, 2014

They say first impressions are everything.  That a first meeting, glance or encounter will make or break your relationship.

Sometimes, you get to have a moment in time when your first impression is so lasting, that it makes you laugh when you recall how great the encounter was, even months later.

My first impression of Katie Manley, writer of the wildly popular Somewhat Sane Mom blog and one of my coauthors in I Just Want To Be Alone, was a visual of a woman rushing wildly across a parking lot, race walking one pace below full sprint.  She had on a bright, neon yellow T shirt and she was bellowing across the parking lot that she couldn’t believe how late she was arriving to BlogU conference we were attending together.  She had a mess of gorgeous, long curls trailing behind her and a string of obscenities flying out of her mouth with a heavy Delaware accent (yes, they have an accent there.  No disrespect to my Delaware fans, but seriously, you all have an accent.  YES. YOU. DO.).  She was ranting about how she was stuck presiding at her school’s Field Day activities and had to drive like a bat out of hell to make it to Baltimore in time for the opening festivities.

She was like a bubbly, friendly bull in a china shop in a yellow shirt on that day in June and she was my friend instantly.

And that was even before I saw The Dress she had brought along with her for the 80s Retro Prom Dance later that weekend.

To say that Katie and I are are 80s soul mates is an understatement.  Both of us having grown up in and near New Jersey, we KNOW about big hair, Bon Jovi and Aqua Net.  We KNOW about Rocky Balboa and Bruce Springsteen. The term Jersey Girl was coined for us and our jacked to Jesus hair.  Just one look at the shock of curls we both sport on a humid days explains it all.  In the 80s, we went big or we went home.  Sooooo big.  So very big.

And we, as we came to find out, both have a deep abiding love for anything sequined.  ANYTHING.

As we were getting ready for the 80s prom, she giggled like a school girl when she announced that, in addition to a mauve, mother of the bride number, she’d brought her original prom dress from the late 1990s (Shut up.  It was the 80s in New Jersey and Delaware until like four years ago….).  I had brought along a teal, peplum, shoulder padded number to wear but when I saw The Dress, I about died.  It was like the 80s were calling me back to The Mother Ship.

Red sequins.  Diamond cutouts on the chest.  Long sleeves.  And so very many sparkling sequins.  It looked like The Supremes had thrown up all over it.

It was a thing of beauty to behold.

And then Katie dared me to try it on in all it’s red sequined gloriousness.

Not gonna lie:  I dropped that teal peplum situation like a hot potato and pulled the dress on while simultaneously having every single high school memory flash before my eyes.

Sweet Mama Jackson, it fit like a glove and <heavy sigh>,  I was right back in my high school gym listening to Billy Joel croon about the times we needed to remember.  I could practically feel my hair growing and remembering what to do.  And for Katie, well, let’s just say we held a “Who Wore It Better?” contest on our Facebook pages and she won by a narrow margin….it was the strand of  tendrils that pushed her over, I think….But I got extra points for defying all laws of gravity in 2014.

So, as you can see, Katie and I are simpatico and that is why I invited her to share one of her blogs with you today for Tribe Tuesday.  Frankly, any gal who is willing to give me the prom dress off her back should say it all.  Her blogs about her three girls are hilarity personified and I can only hope she’ll let me tag along when it’s time to go prom shopping for them.  Because obviously, we have the same taste….although, as you’ll read in a minute, her girls might have other opinions as to what dresses they will choose….




The TRUTH About Girls

by:  Katie Manley, Somewhat Sane Mom

The other night in a ranty Facebook post, I mentioned that I was fed up with reading all of these posts about being a mom of boys.

Let me state for the record that I actually enjoy reading these posts and I am very certain that they are accurate. My frustration comes from that fact that many believe, or seem to believe, that girls are just the complete opposite of those rowdy, gross, mama-loving boys.

And that is not true.

I have 3 daughters. Trust me. (Yes, you read that correctly. THREE daughters. So say a little prayer for me. Mmmkay?)

Here’s the truth about girls:


They like to be dirty.

Seriously, most girls don’t give a crap about getting their hands dirty. They like to dig their pink sparkly painted nails in the dirt just as much as the next guy.

They are dirty.

Their rooms can smell like complete @ss and they don’t care. There are clothes and toys and stuffed animals and barbies and dirty socks strewn everywhere. AND THEY DON’T CARE.

They are rough.

My girls will knock a b*tch out. And by that, I mean each other. They will throw punches and kick and wrestle. They also will try to slide down our railing or jump over it onto the sofa. Instead of playing IN their little playhouse, sometimes they enjoy sitting on the roof. It all depends on whatever mood they are in … that minute.

They love potty talk.

Not a day goes by that they don’t talk about poop or farts or butts…and with girls, you most likely get the added bonus of “boobie” talk.

They like to be gross.

They also think burps and farts are hilarious. It’s even funnier when they do it right on each other. My 5 year old loves to torment her older sister with her feet. All the time.

They love their moms, too.

It’s not just boys that love to kiss and hug their mommies. Sure, they love their dads a whole lot. But sometimes all the want is mommy. And they might even tell you over and over again that they NEVER want to move out because they want to live with you forever. Ummmm, talk to me in 10 years, honey.

They are not sweet and girly all the time … and sometimes they never are.

It’s not always princesses and tea parties. It’s not always pink frilly dresses. But when it is, they are usually a size too small and they still insist upon wearing them to the grocery store.

It’s not always sugar and spice and everything nice. Sometimes it is everything crazy and gross and dirty. It’s a little bit of everything.  And it’s wonderful.

That’s the truth.


And there you have it….Katie’s partial sanity on display for you in a small snippet of her world.  Go like her on Facebook and Twitter….if for no other reason to go tell her I still have her dress….

Photo on 6-19-14 at 8.18 AM #2


10 Responses

  1. I’m the youngest of three girls so I can say with authority that girls are also ruthless. But to have the option of three closets from which to choose is worth it.

  2. “Their rooms can smell like complete @ss and they don’t care.” Cracking up!! And, Keeper, although I wasn’t there for Katie’s arrival, I can totally picture it! 😀

    I love both of you AND that sequined dress!

  3. Hair jacked to Jesus?! Brilliant! I also agree with all of Katie’s points about being a girl…especially the one about potty talk. I seriously love potty talk.

    That’s the same as talking shit, right?

    I love both of you ladies!

  4. I can attest to the little girls not being sugar and spice, unless that spice is chili powder and it’s blown into your eye. You ladies rocked that dress btw!

  5. I don’t trust anyone who did not live through the 1980s. 🙂 You ladies make me laugh!
    Thank you for the introduction to Katie Manley. I have 5 — Yes, FIVE daughters! (moment of silent prayer) (thank you) so girl humor is appreciated. And desperately needed.

  6. i have 3 nieces that LOVE wearing dresses while climbing trees, playing on the swing set, playing in the dirt, playing with baby goats, wrestling & anything else their hearts desire! Needless to say even though they are in dresses they will not hesitate to be just as rough and dirty as little boys! My daughter is 16 months old and I have a feeling she will probably be the same way! #girlmom

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