Revelations, Long Overdue and What I Learned Since Last Time:
November 6th came and went. The wrong candidate won. The right candidate won. And twenty-four days later, nothing has changed. The world did not go to hell in a hand basket. The woman that cut me off at the elementary school today, who thinks she’s better than the procedure to go around the back of the middle school to park for parent pick-up, should go to hell in a hand basket. And not because she thinks she’s exempt from the “do not enter” signs – but because she has a window decal depicting a stick figure pissing on the name of a certain politician.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I can’t believe I am admitting how naïve I am, but I honestly have been grateful for the “peace” I’ve had over the last few months with my children, and their father. However, some things never change. He still thinks I’m stupid. I know this because he actually thinks I should just sign over the deed to our house, free and clear – just like the car, the dog, and my diamond ring. Somebody got it wrong, chivalry is dead – but schizophrenia is alive and well.
And, speaking of blood suckers, I hereby confirm 2012 the absolute worst year for fleas in the history of insects. My cat doesn’t even go outside. Yet this particular cancer has plagued him since April and there’s no resolution in sight. I thought we were home free in early October after his third round of wormer and the cold weather moving in. As of today, I have bombed the house four times in 6 months, spent $80 on wormer and approximately $120 on Frontline. Add another $10 for flea shampoo, which was an absolute waste since it only removes the live ones currently residing in his orange forest, and of course they all migrate to his mouth and eyeballs while you’re shampooing him – making for a scene no less freakish than the dude in Poltergeist scratching his eyes out until they bleed. And poor Oliver, with his front paws clinging to the faucet like a flood victim clinging to a tree, and traumatized by the prolonged contact with running water and an unsuccessful, clawless escape from the bathtub, finds the voice that will inhabit every nightmare I ever have for years to come – crying out for mercy in the name of, I kid you not, “Ahh- i- ver! Ahh- i – ver!”
On that note, I have discovered that I can easily spend $100 in less than an hour, in 3 different stores. First stop – wormer at the vet for $20. Second stop – Advantage 4-month supply at Petco, $61. Last stop, liquor store for a BIG-ASS bottle of wine, $8. An extra stop for the hubs and me to cheat on our healthy diet – one medium Stromboli from our neighborhood pizza stop - $11. We’ll just pretend none of this ever happened.
I found out that my 7-year-old daughter is dating someone. She got into the car at parent pick-up the other day and announced she wanted to tell me something. Okay, I said, what is it? She said, “well, maybe I better not tell you… you might get mad.” Now this is maddening. After I told her it’s impolite to get someone’s attention by saying you have something to tell them, and then saying “nevermind,” she said, “Trevor and I are dating.” Oh. She said, “we are. He really likes me, and I really like him.” Well, that’s very nice. He seemed like a nice little boy at the Halloween parade, especially when he politely asked me for help with his costume. “And he said I looked hot today.” Okay, not so nice. Doncha just love those parenting moments when you are left absolutely speechless?? And how the hell do second-graders date?? What does this consist of, exactly??
One of my dear friends is pregnant with her first child! I was so excited by this news, I almost didn’t notice the blood pouring out of my daughter’s head from an “accidental” collision with her brother and a hammer. Anyway, it was all I could do not to share childbirth horror stories… you know, as payback for the one she told about me about fifteen years ago how some women poop during delivery. That story scarred me for years, until I got pregnant with my firstborn and had no choice but to confront that particular atrocity of childbirth. (Thank goodness I never had to.) Ava made a full recovery by the way. That is, from her head wound.
And, while we’re on the subject of violence, I learned that my son is finally an adolescent. You know – the kind that doesn’t tell you he stopped going to school 2 weeks ago until you hear it from the authorities. I was saving this for a more in-depth study of middle school, but I learned – several weeks ago and several weeks after it happened - not that he quit school, but why my son doesn’t want to hang with his “best friend” anymore. He’d made comments before about how he is “mean” sometimes, but he failed to mention that this kid just might be a homicidal maniac. Apparently – and I still don’t quite know what prompted this – dude grabbed my son by the neck and attempted to strangle him on school grounds during a weekend football game. WHY didn’t you tell me this before?! I fiercely implored him, in my most gentle mother’s voice. And he succinctly replied, “I don’t know.” This is one of those moments in motherhood where you want to confront the kid, who probably outweighs me by 20 pounds, and ask him WTF his problem is. But more importantly, WHY didn’t my kid TELL me?? And then I remembered. He’s 12. I know I never told my mom about the girls in middle school who tormented me mercilessly – and one who actually followed me in the hall one day on the way to gym class, and kept sticking me with a pin. She – by the way – can also go to hell in a hand basket, on the high-speed rail. Some things, no matter that it was 31 years ago, should never go unpunished.
On a lighter note…The new girlfriend seems disarmingly friendly, and… happy. I guess I should have expected her to accompany the ex to our (hopefully) last “business” hearing, where they two sat on the other side of the waiting room while our lawyers ironed out the wrinkles in what should have been a seamless agreement, oh – I don’t know – fourteen months ago. But as Todd and I battled each other in endless rounds of Words With Friends, the two of them chattered away and giggled like a couple of teenagers. I actually liked it. I liked how she laughed, the unbridled giddiness she had was charming, and it just bubbled over when I decided to introduce myself and she reached out and gave me a solid handshake and……………said,……… “thank you.” Huh?? She thanked me for giving him up, or giving him to her, or something like that – I don’t know, I was so surprised I was momentarily speechless and wasn’t sure I’d heard her right. She clarified with how awesome he is and how much she just loves him. What the hell do I say to THAT??! I choked back the urge to say, “well, good luck with that,” and instead could only stutter something like, “oh, uh, oh… you’re welcome.” I think he was just as stunned as I was. I smiled my most genuine smile, because I already like her… because I bet she’s a great person… and because I hope that she will inspire him to be the man she thinks he is. Maybe he really will try to be a better man, because of her. However, off the record – hell has not frozen over and there’s always another “shoe.” Because I’ve been hit by it too many times not to be poised to duck.
Periodontal surgery is a great way to lose weight. Those of you who know me will insist I don’t need to lose any, and I surely don’t want to sound unappreciative or pretentious… it’s just that my jeans have gotten really really tight over the last several months. I have effectively gained about 15 pounds since this time last year. The surgery was a skin graft, so I had a wound on the roof of my mouth with stitches and the graft site itself was stitched. I spent the next two weeks eating nothing but mashed potatoes, applesauce, and ice cream, unable to laugh normally and worse – smiling at everyone like Joan Crawford after a stroke. When I was finally cleared for “chewing,” I moved up to soup and soft foods cut up into small pieces. So, I lost 9 pounds. At least I can now pull my pants up without holding my breath and a pair of pliers to pull the zipper up.
Other miscellaneous tidbits…
· Fleas, of the Siphonaptera order of insects, have a lifespan of about one year, but can live for several years under the right conditions. (I don’t know what these are, and I really don’t want to.) In case you don’t already know, they don’t have wings – but they can actually jump vertically up to 7 inches and up to 13 inches horizontally. Their primary goal in adulthood is to suck blood and reproduce… the females laying 20 eggs at a time, and upwards of 5000 over their lifespan. In some recent research, I read that baking soda sprinkled into carpet and fibers is a safe (for people and pets) method for getting rid of fleas by dehydrating them. I hope to give this a try in the very near future.
· George Lucas sold his company to Disney for $4.05 billion. Disney apparently is tentatively planning a release of a Star Wars VII movie for 2015, though there is little else we know about the movie other than that Lucas will be consulting on it. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher have all expressed interest in the possibility of reprising their characters. And, in Disney’s selfless and continuing effort to meet public demand, we can also look forward to Star Wars-themed attractions and merchandise.
· And now for a little shameless brag: My son made High Honors on his first middle school report card, and is doing well in Pre-Algebra a month after most kids – according to the teacher – will either swim, or sink. My daughter is thoroughly enjoying the 2nd Grade, her performance is on-level, and she made the Respect and Responsibility list – the elementary’s version of honor roll. All of her teachers call my little firecracker "a love." I told ya before - hoodwinked.
· The hubs and I got goofy yesterday listening to youtube – I couldn’t believe he had never heard Do They Know It’s Christmastime by Bandaid, and afterward he got inspired to put on We Are the World and suddenly we were pissing ourselves laughing. I realized that if Daffy Duck was a recording artist, he’d sound like Bob Dylan. Can I just say, there’s one thing wrong with the Bandaid song. It’s that lyric, “well, tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you.” Why in the name of the Christmas would I ever thank God someone else is living in famine and poverty… instead of me? Like, gee – that’s horrible! – well, thank God it aint me! Okay, stepping down now.
· And one more public service announcement: I am making a written list of all the speeders on the road in front of my house. Taking no prisoners, just taking down company names on the sides of trucks and, if I can catch them, license plates too. So, either slow the barnacle down, or make sure you’re driving 70 so the identifying info is a blur. Thank you. Goodnight.