What Happens In Vegas

I had no plans to watch the last presidential debacle debate. But then I decided to fix myself a martini or four and see what happened. I made myself a list of keywords to drink to: short list, rigged, lie, crooked, locker room talk, unfit to be president, wikileaks, emails, comprehensive immigration reform, “unfair attacks” from the other, respect for women.

Here follows the notes I jotted down, in progress.

Hello, Chris Wallace!

And, here come the candidates.

Opac: Look! It’s black versus white!

And, we’re off!

Holy run-on sentence, Chris! I’m already confused.

Donald adjusts his mic. Here comes the head tilt. Squint.

His hair looks a little flat tonight.

DT: The Supreme Court is what it’s all about. What it’s all about?

Squint, squint. The lights must be really bright there.

Did they sedate him?

Comprehensive background checks for guns. Can I drink on this?

DT says Hilz was very very extremely upset.

Whoa! She admits she was.

2nd amendment, 2nd amendment, 2nd amendment….

Oooh, another hotbed issue. Overturn R v Wade?

Chris, ask him again.

Donald doesn’t answer the question.

Oh no, he went there. Oh dear.

Rip the baby out of the womb. Rip. The. Baby. Out. Of. The. Womb.

Holy shit, here’s the old white guy telling women what to do with their bodies. Hillz is gonna annihilate him.

They’re mincing words.

Walls and borders… Time to drink!

More scare tactics. There are mothers in the audience whose children were murdered by people who came here illegally? Did I hear that right?

Long sniff….Drink!

Wall times 3. I can’t drink fast enough!


“We have some bad hombres here.” Bad hombres? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

Annnnnndddd, comprehensive immigration plan.  Drink!

And, again! Drink!

He just said the Mexican president is “a very nice man.”

“Hillary Clinton wanted the wall.”

She’s smiling like the Joker.

One martini down. Be right back…

Donald: Under Obama, millions have been deported.

Millions and millions. Millions and millions?

Donald: We’re gonna speed up the process bigly.

BIGly?  Drink!

Now all three of them are talking at once. My head’s going to explode.

Martini #2. I’m behind on my keywords by 6.

Donald: She wants 550% more people.

Radical Islamic Terrorism. “Hillz and Obama won’t talk about this.”

Putin has “no respect” for her, or our president. Perfect, now we’re talking about Putin.

Hillz: Putin wants a puppet.

Donald: Oh you’re the puppet. YOU’RE the puppet!

Hillz is rubbing her upper lip. I’ll drink to the puppet.

Donald: Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way.

And … the fire is lit. He’s gonna blow!

Hillz: Here’s a person who’s been very cavalier regarding nuclear weapons.

Donald: Wrong!

I’d like to add “wrong” to the list.


We’re spending a fortune on defending other countries. 1 point for making sense.

Something, something.

Donald: This is just another lie. Lie.


Trickle-down economics. Late add-in! Drink!

Donald: Her tax plan is a disaster. Disaster. Drink!

9:39 p.m.  Opac tags out. Veruca is asleep.

Chris, you’re losing control of your kids. Shut them down!

Hillz has no lips. They’re like slash marks.

But that pant suit…crisp and clean. I bet a million dollars she didn’t eat in that thing.

Can they put valium in an insulin pump? That way Trump’s team can remotely bolus him periodically.

Bathroom break. Martini’s getting low.

Back. DT is calling out Bill’s mistakes.

Donald: She totally lied. Lied. Drink!

What the hell just happened? I left for 4 minutes and now the kids are slinging mud at each other on the playground.

Oh no, Chris, you didn’t. You brought it up.

“Debunked.”  New keyword! Drink!

The women coming forward are either looking for fame or hired by HER.

Hillz calls him out for attacking the women who came out, as not attractive enough.

“WRONG.” I’d like to buy an “O.”

Wrong! Drink!

More mud slinging.

SHE’S lied hundreds of times.

4-Star general going to jail.

“Crooked.”  Drink!

OMG, are we really rehashing old bad behavior? Just under an hour and- Chris! Get those kids out of the sandbox! They’re throwing sand.

10 p.m. Todd just called. I’m being an appropriate wife. Did I DVR this for him? Of course I did.

I’m losing focus.

Can’t hear a word they’re saying, but Hillz looks like the cat that swallowed the canary.

“She should never have been allowed to run.” Hello, Pot – kettle’s calling.

Will he concede the election if she wins? Nope. He’s gonna be a big baby and go down kicking and screaming.

“Rigged.”  Drink!

Oh no, and the Emmy’s were rigged too? What is the world coming to?

His TV show should have won that Emmy.

Oh lawd – I need a drink. Oliver is biting my foot. Little asshole.

10:15 p.m. Martini #3.

Hillz: Donald Trump was for the invasion of Iraq.

Donald: Wrong!  Wrong. Drink!

Hillz: Something, something, something.

Oh yeah? Well, John Podesta said some horrible things about you.  AND Bernie says you have bad judgement.

Uh oh, Aleppo.

Trump has the little flag on his lapel. Is that a Republican thing? Hillz doesn’t have one. She’s doing the eye-flashing thing while he talks.

Trump is like the politics whisperer. Seriously, did they sedate him?

Nevermind. He’s starting to talk LOUD.

I love the way his lips form a perfect “O” when he says, “Wrong!” I need to practice that. I already tried the shoulder-shake thing last week at work. Somebody took it the wrong way.

Todd just walked in, looking for eats. Good luck with that. I lost my appetite at #unshackled.

What did Trump just say? I wanted to write it down. Too late! This train is already off to the next station.

He wants to create tremendous jobs. What’s a tremendous job?

Oh, tremendous x 3!   Drink! Drink! DRINK!

He said sloppy. I’m feeling it.

Hillz is pointing out Donald’s shit now, like his $100k ad saying the government under Reagan sucked.

Repeal and replace Obamacare.

Donald: It has to go.

Well, that’s all the time we have, folks.  “Now it’s up to you.”

Yeah, thanks Chris.

No handshakes for the angry couple.


** I missed the “nasty woman” comment, therefore it doesn’t appear here. But I heard about it. Classic. I wish I hadn’t missed it.

 **Disclaimer: I don’t use the upgraded service; therefore, you will see ads at the bottom of my posts (ads I don’t see because I’m not you). As it has come to my attention that certain ads may not align with my world views – I am compelled to add the following statement until further notice.



My Life is Shit – Episode 2

Just when you think the universe can’t deliver any more shit your way – surprise!!!

Our 15-year-old dog, Pi, was sick last week. Sick – as in stopped eating, vomited a handful of times, wouldn’t get up from her bed, and generally ignored all offers of food (even the highly coveted Pupperoni). I prepared myself for the worst and called the vet. They took her in Saturday, drew some blood and the vet said she was thinks it’s possibly kidney failure and she’s “not optimistic.” After the longest 25 minutes of my life, where I told Pi I was not ready for this today and silently cursed Todd for having to be somewhere else, the vet called me back inside and….with incredulous eyes informed me that Pi’s kidney function was normal. Her liver function was normal. Her chem screen was normal.

Now Pi – who walks slowly toward the white light while simultaneously cheating death, and often with the stealth of a drunk after twelve shots of tequila – is an old dog. She often forgets where she’s going as she enters the kitchen, which – come to think of it – I do almost every day. She’s decided she’s too good for dog food and we’ve entered what my friend Beth calls the “grocery” age – where the dog is so old you just feed her anything she’ll eat so she doesn’t die of starvation. She has lost her footing twice in the last week and fell into the water bowl, ass first. Usually she’ll just walk through the water bowl on her way to, uh, wherever.

So Dr. Vet said, I’d like to get an x-ray of her chest to make sure there are no tumors. Pi had a large blood-supplied lump removed from her side a few months ago and we opted not to have it biopsied because she’s old. I spend every single day with her and I know her. That’s how I know when something’s wrong. Or not. After the x-ray Dr. Vet brought me back to look at it.

There’s Pi, lying comfortably on the x-ray table looking at me like, what? Her chest x-ray – is clear. Not a thing on it, anywhere. Her heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen all look normal. Her stomach – empty – is full of air. While she’s explaining all this to me, her assistant fed Pi two spoonfuls of baby food from a jar and girlfriend lapped that shit up like melted chocolate. And then she looked up at me, from her comfortable recline on the x-ray table and smiled. I know she smiled because her eyes were bright and she did that everything-little-things-gonna-be-alright doggie-pant with her mouth open and her tongue hanging out. If I didn’t know how much she loved me, I’d swear she was laughing at me for spending $400 to give her a ride in the car and a day at the spa.

It’s been a week, and she’s like a cat with nine lives. She’s eating again – though BFD since it’s all home-cooked chicken and ground turkey and hide-the-pill-in-the-peanutbutter snacks. I have to carry her down the stairs of our deck so she doesn’t fall down them, and I help her get up when she slips on the hardwood floors, or – yesterday – lift her out of the water bowl. But as she eats, her strength returns and she can pick herself up when she slips.

Until Wednesday, I’d been waiting for her intestinal tract to catch up to her digestive tract. And that’s the day all shit broke loose. Or, as it were, all shit didn’t break loose. Instead, it stuck to her fur and there was no way it was coming off without detonating a bomb. I tried, I really did. But I ended up carrying her down to the grooming tub (yes, we have one, and – noneya) and tried desperately to hose off her behind while holding her tail up – which I would guess most dogs don’t like but this one was putting up one hell of a fight for a dog who seemed to be at death’s door a week ago. She literally tried to climb out of the tub with both paws, a feat not seen in – oh – like never.

And not to be too graphic but hell – you’re here and I’m an open book – the water falling down was not unlike the Willy Wonka waterfall and Pi tried unsuccessfully to reclaim her tail. Instead she FELL DOWN. In the water. Which DID NOT smell like chocolate. And there were no Oompa-Loompas to rescue me. (Which, I will confide, always gave me the creeps and I would probably scream bloody murder if one turned up in my laundry room.)

But the good news is – she is alive, and well, and extra clean. And those pills the vet gave her that help push the food through to the intestines (apparently yes, there is) is working wonders and I may actually relax now that I haven’t had to bathe her again.

A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men. ~ Willy Wonka

If you want to view paradise, just simply look around and view it. ~ Willy Wonka

“I want an Oompa Loompa!” screamed Veruca. ~ Roald Dahl, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory


And a Comedy For Those Who Think


Copyright Rob Radikal

Melancholy has gotten the best of me over the last few days. I knew, like a good fart, it would pass at just the right time.

Yesterday Todd called me on his way to work. Lately when the phone rings, it hasn’t been exactly the best phone call in the world. So, after my mom called me early that morning upset that she had to take her dog to the vet because he’d stopped eating and drinking and couldn’t support himself with his hind legs, I was justifiably weary when the phone rang again.

But it was Todd, and he’d only just left a short time ago – what could possibly be wrong? Apparently when he was getting dressed earlier, he noticed a shirt on top of the laundry basket that he didn’t recognize… so, he called me.

He asked, who was here that left an XL shirt behind?

When I was cleaning out my walk-in closet, I found a bag… are you ready for this?……… a bag with dry cleaning in it from when we moved from our old house. Three years ago. This shirt was in there. Naturally I’m like, why is this even in here? Why not wash it and iron it so he can wear it?? Which is what I did. Except that now he doesn’t recognize it (it has been over 3 years, after all). I told him all of this. (Well, except for pointing out the fact that he didn’t recognize his own shirt.)

And he said – are you ready for THIS? He said, oh – I was just wondering if I had to start worrying about you and the pool boy…

—–Wait up, hold up.

There are a couple of things wrong with this picture. First off – we don’t have a pool boy. Hell – we don’t even have a pool. Second – why in fuck would the pool boy be wearing a SHIRT???

Okay seriously. So I said, oh my God. Don’t be ridiculous. I would never cheat on you with the pool boy. (Because let’s face it – who can afford a pool boy?) (Okay seriously now… pool boys are too young and we forty-something ladies need someone with experience.  With the pool chemicals – DUH!)

And then I said, besides – you know the only man I would EVER CONSIDER having sex with besides you…

And he’s DEAD!

And then I laughed my mother-f***ing ass off. (Quote borrowed from Eddie Murphy)

And my Toddy laughed too. A) Because I’m funny. And B) Because he knows I’m right.

(I’m going to leave out the part where he said matter-of-factly, yeah, but you wouldn’t really do that. And I agreed that I wouldn’t really do that.)

(Even though I might have a really, really tough time saying no to Prince in-the-flesh singing Do Me Baby to me in-the-flesh. Who in their right mind says no to THAT?)

(Well, I guess it’s a good thing I’ll never have to be put in that predicament…)

The good news is – I actually cracked a joke about Him. Things are looking up.

Potato, Potahto

Nephtoo has been missing of late. Not missing missing… just missing around here. Admittedly, both Neph and Nephtoo have been missing, and I miss them. Opac and Veruca have been missing them too. We must fix this. Especially if I am to not continue to embarrass myself with my mispronunciations.

Herewith follows a snapshot of a conversation I was not a part of, but was inspired to share secondhand. Mostly because apparently I was accused of being stuffy. More on that later – let’s get down to the dirty details.

Nephtoo – a scholarly young man who knows just as much as he knows not – recently questioned whether the word vase was vah-z or vay-z, and his mother said – and I would have to agree wholeheartedly – that [we] don’t make enough money to own a vahze. So, middle class masses – it is VAYzes for you! Or, if you’re like me, you have amassed a cloudy collection of florist vases from all the flower deliveries ever received since 1989, and have stored them under the kitchen sink.

Still, it does raise the question – how much do we have to make to own a vahze? I need to know this. Today. Because I’m adding it to my bucket list. I will one day buy a vahze. And I will put fresh cut flowers from my gardens in it, and place it on the dining room table. Or maybe on my bedside table. Maybe I’ll carry it from room to room. Or would that be too eccentric? You’re laughing – and it’s not because I would carry my vahze from room to room. If you know me, really really know me, then you are laughing at my gardens. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, back in Nephtoo’s world, the conversation segued into how I pronounce “fondant.” Nephtoo asked if I was stuffy for pronouncing it fon-DONt. Stuffy?! Confession – this is a word I’ve always been uncomfortable saying out loud – kind of like the word “sherbet.”

So I Googled the pronunciation of fondant. In English, the proper pronunciation is FON-dunt. I always thought it was fon-DONt. And actually, in French it’s pronounced fo-ndaw. So I was half right. And no one at the restaurant ever corrected me, which is surprising since Andy wastes no time correcting my speech in the kitchen – though he would let me walk around with spinach between my two front teeth all night.

The pronunciation of “ramen” became an endless source of laughter one evening a few months ago at my expense. Apparently I’ve been saying that wrong too. I said RAY-men and Neph thought this enormously funny. The correct pronunciation is as the Japanese say, RAH-men. And now I have to constantly correct Veruca’s pronunciation of it every time she asks for it and, like the diva she is, she refuses to be corrected.

This brings to mind a waiter we had – back in the days where we had to recite the evening’s specials – who insisted on pronouncing basil, baa-zil (baaa, as in sheep) instead of BAY-zil. This was a guy who marched to the beat of his own tackle box, like the night he marched it in from his trunk and over to a table to show them all his fishing gear. Which had absolutely nothing to do with basil.




Boulevard of Broken Dreams

There’s a new circus in town. It starts at 3 a.m. Whether you want it to, or not. Where the big top is the oversized t-shirt I sleep in – and we don’t have a clown. I hate clowns. Really. I was ruined for life, not by a childhood excursion to the circus, but by the stuffed clown in Poltergeist. That and large, dark, twisty trees too close to the house on stormy nights. Which is why I had them all cut down. Just kidding. I’m not completely batshit crazy. We don’t have any trees near windows.

But we do have poodles! Our poodles do tricks, like strutting the hallway runway in the dark, tap-dancing tapping their fancy nails on the hardwood floor, jumping through imaginary hoops to go outside and pretending to do their business for the coveted Pupperoni reward*. The water-guzzling contest is by far the most exciting.

We also have a cat. Do they even have cats in the circus? Our cat, weighing in at an impressive 16 pounds, performs a desperately hungry falsetto the minute my feet hit the floor for what I thought was the intermission bathroom break.

It all started last night with a blood sugar check that warranted a complete insulin pump set change. At 3 a.m. This always sucks – one, because I will end up fully awake and two, because Veruca will end up fully awake. But it was necessary and the pay-off three hours later was a near-perfect blood sugar. Yet, I found myself wide awake for over an hour, trolling Facebook and pretending not to notice that our senior dog was once again roaming the hallways in search of…. food? Water? The light? There’s a sort of domino effect that occurs on these nights: blood sugar check, cat hears me and thinks it’s chow time, senior dog hears the cat and assumes it’s catfood time! and she’s gonna get some, and younger dog jumps up so she doesn’t miss anything.

So, my island of f*cked up dreams becomes disjointed and nearly nightmarish as I slip in and out of bizarre scenarios where I’m working in the restaurant and there’s never enough staff (this is known as a waitress’s nightmare, and it’s REAL) or someone else is stepping on my toes behind my bar (which, IRL, everyone knows I hate). Or – I ordered a birthday cake for Veruca from Pizza Hut, which I paid for in advance, and they totally screwed it up and the frosting was smeared and sloppy and they actually thought I’d accept it that way. I demanded a refund, after yelling about how shitty their bakery is, and the manager told me I’d have to go online to apply for the refund, but here’s a bottle of Asti Spumante for your trouble. That was a nightmare, because I actually drank it.

And then there was… being Donald’s daughter. Okay, I wasn’t really his daughter, but I was part of “the family” and so he said he was buying a house for me and my kids (no clue where Todd was in all this, which is always disturbing) to live in and I kept telling him no –that I couldn’t accept such a gift from him – because in my mind it’s wrong to accept if I completely wish he’d be wiped from the planet. But he was insistent – no, no, this is gonna be great (you can hear him saying it, can’t you?) – since we will need protection from the masses of reporters, the public, and … assassins (surely). Apparently my mom was his “other” wife and THAT’S how we’re connected… and he needs to keep us all safely tucked away. And all I could think was I don’t want to be associated with him, and what happens when the world finds out? Thankfully, I didn’t have to live through that, since my overactive bladder had better ideas.

I know. Mind – Blown. There are others, too, though much less hallucinatory, that – were I to write about them – would invite psychological analysis from some of my more discerning friends who think I might need an afternoon of introspection with a professional. I’m thinking perhaps no more nachos before bed.

 *No, I do NOT give out Pupperoni rewards in the middle of the night.

Lost and Found

Found 3 things recently that were lost.
  1. A rather brand new cell phone. 
  2. A green “bowl.” 
  3. The cat.


This was all very exciting, though for different reasons. Todd came in from the car one day and showed me this brand new cell phone he found under the passenger seat. He asked who was in the car recently that may have lost it? I’d never seen it before. After a moment or two of reckoning, he remembered how eight months ago Neph had lost a cell phone – which he never found. Neph, like any person of his generation, is quite adept at losing shit. Like his driver’s permit – which, apparently, one needs if one wishes to take the driver’s test. This was quite funny at the time, since he had to get a new one, and later found the original permit at a friend’s house after he got his license.
After the four-foot wall of snow melted from along the fence line, I noticed something green in the corner of the fence from my perch on the deck. It was a large, plastic green bowl and after a momentary lapse – I recognized it as the base to the Christmas tree stand, missing since last year, and not one person in the house knew where it was. Todd said, “probably somewhere in the garage.” If you’ve seen our garage… I wasn’t going in there looking for the veritable pin in a haystack. O blamed Neph – because, well, see above. But all I could say to that was – what would HE want with a Christmas tree stand? So, I went out and found a plastic bin that could hold water and the legs of the tree stand without tipping over.
Why was this bowl in the corner of the fence, upside down? Veruca used it some time ago to climb over the fence – you know – because why use the gate? When I asked her about it last weekend, she said… are you ready for this? Oh. This same child went with me to shop for its replacement. Heard me exclaiming aloud about it. Oh.
Meanwhile, back in the yard…
Todd decided it was time to refill our propane tank and so went outside to unhook it and load it into the truck – because we like to live life dangerously. What I didn’t know at the time was that he’d left the sliding door open downstairs, which I learned upon our return home from having this tank filled. Immediately I worried that Oliver had discovered this lapse, and briefly considered that Todd had done it intentionally. I searched the whole house, every nook and cranny. No cat. I called him and called him. I decided to vacuum the entire house – because if there’s one thing that will flush him out – it’s the vacuum. After 38 minutes of ear-deafening noise, no sign of whisker or tail. Now I was really worried.
I went outside, searching the backyard – which is quite large – and, having also noted that the gate too had been left open, searched the front yard and adjacent properties. I took a can of cat food with me and a fork, and tapped the can and called to him. I wandered into our old horse pasture, all the way to the back where it borders the woods. Two stray cats sitting atop a huge tree stump looked at me with a mixture of curiosity and anxiety. I figured their presence was a pretty good sign that Oliver hadn’t gotten that far. I slipped through the fence and into the woods, winding my way into my backyard. Todd was standing on the deck looking somewhat guiltily at me, and said he still thought Oliver was hiding in the house. He went out to the front yard to look and I went inside the house feeling downtrodden, absentmindedly tapping the can with the fork. When I turned the corner of the kitchen island, an hour and a half after the search began, There. He. Was. The little shit was sitting expectantly by his food bowl, looking gorgeous, well-rested, and completely apathetic about the crisis. I burst into tears. He meowed at me until I opened the can. Dispassionate little jerk.


5 Things Your Mom Didn’t Tell You About the 40s

Weight gain. It’s terribly painful to experience superhuman metabolism for most of your life, only to be bitch-slapped after 40 with cellulite that makes the moon look smooth. It doesn’t happen right away either…it’s sort of a gradual, sneaking up kind of phenomenon where one day spring day you can pull your summer shorts out of the closet but not up over your thighs. And then, to actually tear your jeans in the seat. TWICE. Extra points for not realizing it while you were walking around the bowling alley for 2 hours.
Vision Changes. My mom always wore glasses, so I’ll give her a pass on this one. However, not even my dad (who wears readers) told me I’d be damn near blind in my forties. Can’t read a book, can’t read the computer screen, can’t read medicine bottles, or nutrition labels on all the foods I need to count carbs for. And no more staring romantically into Todd’s eyes, unless he’s standing on the other side of the room. Any closer than two feet and he could be a gorilla and I wouldn’t know the difference. Well, except for all the hair, but…
Libido. Seriously, WTF??! Why, oh why did NO ONE ever mention the forty-something libido that goes to light speed and is as relentless as a mosquito bite?? Who has time for this but a 14-year-old boy with a lock on his door?? If this gets any worse, my husband will stop coming home. Well, maybe not.
Whose body IS this? Mom failed to mention all the aches and pains, especially the unforgiving ones like back pain and sciatica. She didn’t tell me that the mere act of trying to get out of bed would be an Oscar worthy performance. At the very least, it’s a feat of magic on some mornings worthy of a Facebook mention… if only nearly all my friends with the same problem actually gave a damn. The body used to be able to do all sorts of things, which are now nearly impossible without the musical accompaniment of pops, creaks, shrieks, and grinding noises. Pinched nerves, shoulder pain, sore knees, carpal tunnel… I don’t have time to list it all.  And while we’re on the subject of foreign bodies – who in the barnacle invented hemorrhoids?! Dear God – wasn’t natural childbirth punishment enough?
Memory Loss. Walking into a room and forgetting what you went in there for? Used to be funny – maybe somewhat annoying – but now? As an everyday occurrence I now understand why Alzheimer patients get so freakin angry. Looking at my medication bottle trying to remember whether I really took it, just moments after I’ve thought of it. Trying to remember the name of that person, the date of an appointment, what year we went to Greece, how old I was when mom got remarried, what I ate for breakfast, and especially remembering all those bodily symptoms when the doctor asks and – ready for this? – the date of my last period. Because – we’re not quite old enough to discount pregnancy, which they can and will ask before every Goddamn diagnostic test. (And, while it’s not relevant to this post, I just have to mention how much it pisses me off when any chance of pregnancy? answered with a firm “no” is then followed up with, how do you know?)

Respect, Accountability, and a New Name

It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, the day after MLK, Jr. day. Not a sound in the house… because my children are still sleeping. That’s because they were up late partying with their uncle Matt, playing Wii, until Veruca came and woke me at midnight to announce she was going to bed.
Why Veruca, you ask? Because I’m changing her name. (As for the late bedtime, you can address my parenting skills or lack of them, later. Just after you explain to me what a perfect parent is.)
I actually started a blog post 2 weeks ago about this very topic… and it looks like this…
~I have decided to rename everyone in the house. Out of frustration, it’s all I can do to cope with the ridiculousness that is my house.
I’ll start with the youngest. My daughter will now be known as Veruca. Little Veruca wants what she wants and she is none too happy when things don’t go her way. Little Veruca is worse with daddy, which isn’t “really” funny but in a way I feel like karma has been served up rare and tangy like my tuna tartare. Veruca doesn’t get away with much here. Plus her evil stepfather calls her out on her bullshit in a much calmer way (read: not screaming like a lunatic and foaming at the mouth) than her mother.
This morning she laid in bed until the last minute. We did an insulin pump set change and after 7 years of pumping you would think that would go smooth as flan. Not. She will twist herself in a panic over where I’m putting the site, and then insist the spot isn’t a good one – as if I have no idea what I’m doing. It is positively maddening. Then she wanted a sweatshirt that was in the wash, and complained she had “nothing to wear.” Or, rather – that the sweatshirt was the only one that goes with her outfit.
As I walked out of her room and back to the kitchen, the door slammed shut. Back down the hall I went, took a deep breath, and reached for the door handle. She opened it suddenly, and tried to tell me it was “an accident.” That’s her favorite excuse for missteps these days, like on New Year’s Eve when I called her and she ended the call telling me that Owen couldn’t come to the phone right now because “he’s taking a shit.” Oh yes, she did. It was an accident.  I can only guess where she learned the phrase above – she certainly didn’t hear it here.
Nevertheless, we had a long, one-sided conversation where she learned that the next time she complains about her clothes not being clean and/or slams her door at me, she’ll be doing her own laundry. And then I reiterated that communication (without raising your voice, too) is key to getting what you need without conflict. Pat me on the back. I know Todd would be proud. ~
Anyway, I guess I had planned to continue reassigning names, but I got stuck on#2. I don’t really have many complaints about my firstborn – other than his inability to say he’s sorry and his annoying habit of interrupting. Which, for the record, are not meant to be downplayed.
I hate being interrupted. It’s a peeve I’ve had as long as I can remember – one of the most memorable being my 17th birthday. Every time I opened my mouth, someone else would start talking. It pissed me off so much, I just stopped talking. I mean, it was MY birthday and they wouldn’t have been enjoying this fine dinner on a deck overlooking South Street if it weren’t for ME. (The only-child syndrome notwithstanding. Which I was, until somebody decided it was a great idea to give me a brother when I was old enough to be his mother.) (Did that sound sarcastic and ungrateful? It wasn’t meant to be. I love my big little brother – and his ability to put away an expensive bottle of single malt.)
Todd remembers it differently – and snickers as he recalls how every time my mom went to take a bite of her chicken I’d start clucking under my breath. I think he’s wrong. I do not remember this at all.
Anyway, the “I’m sorry” issue is a big fish to fry. My son, at fifteen, will always respond defensively to any accusation and then make excuses why he did the offensive thing, rather than apologize. His dad is notorious for placing blame on others, rather than be accountable himself. I don’t recall the words ever leaving his lips in the 13 years we were married. As for me, and being always the target of blame, I rarely apologized to him. The reasons may be wrong, but they are quite clear. To apologize to him meant he was right to blame me, and that led to more accusations and more opportunities for me to BE wrong.
What O took away from that? You don’t have to say you’re sorry, there’s always someone or something else to blame, and – especially when you’re the unfair target of blame – you refuse to be made further wrong. In dad’s house, he is blamed a lot for Veruca’s reactions. As a young child, he was chastised for not giving her what she was screaming for. In our house today, everyone is accountable. However, that doesn’t make the “s” word come any easier. It’s a work in progress.
The house is quieter these days. Neph has taken his leave and moved home. I have mixed feelings about it. It was nice to have a “third child” but he is, in reality, an “adult” with very definite ideas of what he does and doesn’t want. He is the oldest son in his household, and with that comes a sense of entitlement that is difficult to grasp at times. He has a great deal to learn. As do my kids, but I’m hoping to do it with a lot less drama – God willing. Accountability is high on the list here.
And now, in an effort to keep my posts to roughly no more than 1,000 words, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘ what are you doing for others?’