Friday, February 24, 2017

And Then She Pushed Hank Into The BioHazard Receptacle!

Since I wrote about my sleep apnea and all that comes with it and I let you all know that I was going to have corrective surgery to hopefully fix these issues, I decided to update you.  I did in fact have the surgery to open my "breathe-way" just the other day and I'm going to tell you exactly how I feel about how it went and how I feel now that the surgery is complete and the healing is beginning.  But I want to paint the picture of how it all went down first so you get a good idea of how I was feeling about going through with this major surgery first and as usual I'll oddly weave my way to where I am today without hopefully losing you to boredom.

Let me be perfectly clear to anyone thinking about having double jaw surgery (no, that's not the medical terminology for what was performed on me...I can't remember right now and I'm parked on the couch and have no intentions of getting up except to drink some food and go potty for at least another week), this is not, in any way, an easy surgery.  No matter how much the doctors, orthodontists, surgeon's and nurse's walk to you through everything or how many times they go over the procedure and what could happen or what you may or may not feel, you will still not be prepared to feel what you feel when you come to and in the days that follow...you will not be prepared to see how you look when you wake up from anesthesia...and you will not be prepared for the feeling of helplessness that overcomes you when you try to take your first sip of water and it just runs down your chin.  But, with all that, if you sincerely need the surgery as I did...it's one hundred percent worth it. Anyway, let me start from when I went in for my pre-op visit last Monday...

Last Monday I was starting to get really excited about my upcoming surgery which sounds weird because, well, it's surgery, when I went in for my very last appointment before going under the knife.  They were to make some last minute impressions of my teeth and answer any questions I may have before arriving that Thursday for the actual procedure.  I was excited because I, as you would have read in the last post, have tried everything possible to alleviate my sleep apnea including my horrible snoring that would wake the dead for over ten years...maybe around twenty.  I mean imagine not sleeping well for over twenty years! After signing in at the usual place, the surgeon's assistant that always helps me came in and brought me back to one of the rooms for my impressions and questions session and proceeded to ask me the normal questions that doctors and nurses always have to ask even if you had been there just days before.  Well, as she's asking me about how many glasses of alcohol I consume per week I can't help staring at this "example skull" that's sitting on the work counter...broken.  Yes folks, his jaw was broken and hanging akimbo for all to see.  Now, if you haven't realized what surgery I'm about to go through you won't understand how deeply this disturbed me; I'm about to have my jaw broken - on purpose, and there's a replica of what mine or anyone's skull looks like with the jaw hanging by one plate on the right side like I will be having put in my jaw merely three days from right then.  Apparently I was staring so intently at my broken little friend that the nurse finally followed my gaze and broke my trance with a small scream followed with "Oh! Oh no!!  You weren't supposed to see that!  Hank was in an office accident and we have to put him back together! Don't you pay one bit of attention to him Mrs. McKinnon!" As she's saying the last part about me not paying attention she's also realizing that it's too late, the vision is seared into my brain so she steps in front of Hank and then she pushed poor Hank into the bio-hazard receptacle.  Poor Hank.  I couldn't help but say a small prayer for him and wonder if I would fit into that red-orange trash can if they couldn't put my jaw back right.  I realize, as she's out of the room gathering herself, that I'm too big to fit into the bio-hazard trash can so they'll just have to try, try, try.  Needless to say I add a few more questions to my list as I'm overhearing the nurse telling one of her co-workers in the hall the fate of Hank and that no, she can't fish him out of there because it wasn't the normal trash can and then ask that same person what the hell she would have done in her position.  She came back to me not long after so we could get on with things but we never made much eye contact after that.  Personally I think we were both mourning Hank for our own reasons.  Next up...surgery day!

Three days had passed since my pre-op appointment and I had barely thought of Hank because I work at a flower shop and it was Valentine's week so I barely had time to sit down before Thursday rolled around.  That was good that I was so crazy busy because some of my more vain concerns started surfacing every time I stopped to grab a sip of water around late Monday evening.  I mean, this surgery was going to change my face!  If you don't know, I'm an identical twin so that is a big deal to me.  The doctors gave me a mock up of what I could come out looking like and although it's not a huge difference, it's definitely a difference so...I was a little emotional.  Anyway, I was committed to this and ready to move ahead so my husband got me up around 4:30 am and we headed to the hospital.  The surgery itself was to last around four hours and ended up being around five and a half hours and I came to feeling like I was hit in the face with a baseball bat and then swaddled in concrete.  Turns out the concrete feeling around my head was ice packs and I ended up not wanting them removed.  You know, I never did see what I looked like until way late that night and I won't lie, I wanted to cry...but I was high so I laughed.  I looked like a cartoon character!  My face was so swollen that my eyes couldn't open all the way and my nose looked like the check-mark emoticon.  Well, the next morning the surgeon didn't like the way my nose looked either and some other things he wasn't completely happy with so instead of starting the healing process I was scheduled for round two of Operation Fix Barbara.  What started as a one surgery Thursday check-in with a Friday check-out turned out to be a four day stint in the hospital.  It's okay, it was definitely worth it because guess what everyone...the surgery worked!  It worked!!  I'm still ready to start snoring again or waking up from this dream, but for now I haven't snored since the moment I came out from the first surgery.  It's a freaking miracle!  I kept asking my sister when she was at the hospital if I snored every time I napped and now I can't stop asking my husband every morning.  The surgeon literally opened my throat to three times the size it was pre-surgery!  You guys, I wish I could tell you how happy that makes me even though I'm still swollen and look like Louis Litt from Suits.  The swelling and pain will go away and I'll be left breathing well and sleeping like I've never slept before.  No longer will I be so tired from sleeping that I almost fall asleep at the wheel ten minutes into a drive or fall asleep on the couch less than five minutes in while trying to watch mine and my husbands favorite show or have to have my child yank me out of bed so I can get to an appointment that has nothing to do with her! No longer will my family opt to drive up the day of my daughter's tournament because no one would get any sleep if we went down the night before and stayed at a hotel.  This surgery is a game changer everyone and I'm going to embrace this new life...just as soon as I'm ready to stop hiding because I can't even take myself seriously with this face right now.

Thank you for reading about my journey to better health.  I'm posting a picture of the before and after x-rays of my throat hole so you can see the difference and then a little something my sister made for me (thank you Smalls!).  If you ever have any questions or are thinking about getting something like this done and want to talk to me just let me know.  This is a huge surgery and I'll be healing for a long, long time but I believe that when someone is ready to get something like this done then they are at the end of their rope and it's necessary and all that person needs is support from friends and family.

Here's to good sleep!!




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Who The Hell Are You?

The other day I wrote on my Facebook page the following: 
I learned today that there are two groups of people - there is the group of people that can have differences of opinions and discuss, question, argue, fuss, debate, or whatever you want to call it and at the end of the day just agree to disagree and maybe even agree on some thing's but never fully everything but that's OK because there's respect and well thought out opinions and the discussion is fluid and non-stupid (seriously needs to be a word) and those same people read carefully what the other person is saying not what they want to read. That's very critical to having a good debate (not even a debate, just trying to make others see where you are coming from). Then there's group number two..idiots that can't see past their own nose.

Who the hell are you to tell me who I can and can't vote for?  Who the hell are you to tell me I'm wrong for what I believe?  You're no one when it comes to my fundamental beliefs and you're no one when it comes to how I feel.  That's what's cool about America...I can think and feel as I like and there is absolutely nothing you can do about that...or is there?  See, I'm up for listening to reason and could even change my mind about some things that I never thought about before IF you tell me calmly, coherently, and not judgmentally.  Without talking about who I voted for or how I felt about the candidates, I will tell you what happened to me today that made me want to say "who the hell are you to say that to me?" But I will also tell you about a few other friends with completely different points of view that stood up for me and how I watched silently along as they "discussed" the Women's March.  I'm going to try and not give away how I felt about the march and who I voted for because that's not what this post is about.  If I do end up spilling the beans, it's my opinion and feel free to comment but if it's hate filled like I saw today, it will not be tolerated and my laser puppy will find you (aka you'll be blocked).

Today my friend posted something quite interesting on her Facebook page about the Woman's March that wasn't...well, the mainstream thoughts of the men and women joining in.  If you want to read it let me know and I'll send the link.  Regardless, our long time friend, Julie, who is a huge feminist and life-long liberal decided to ask why this was any different from what she thought.  Anyway, it spurned a whole days full of conversation about why one felt the March was off point and why another thought it was directly on point.  In the end they both agreed that the woman dressed as a vagina was beyond comprehension.  LOL (no, seriously, no one could really speak for that). But in all seriousness, both Julie, Amy and Jenn decided that no matter all the different reasons one showed up, is that we, as women, showed we could come together en masse...BUT there has to be next steps.  We all agreed that "people must participate and affect the change they want to see".  It was so cool that we all had differences of opinions and Julie, remaining calm and vigilant, not only opened her heart to what was being said...she opened our hearts and eyes too because she wasn't "screaming" at us or demanding that we admit we were wrong and we all ended up agreeing a little more about everything and not just the weird vagina costume (barf). Anyway, I was really enjoying reading the comments and hitting like and I even asked why everyone couldn't have discussions like this without wanting to back-hand the other person or unfriending them because of their views when all of the sudden, out of the blue, some jerk said "If you are pro-Trump then you agree that women should be allowed to be sexually assaulted - so don't bitch when it happens to you..."

You know that feeling when you want to peel your face off and show your deepest anger but you're too busy wiping hot tears off your cheeks trying to pretend to your spouse sitting next to you that nothing is wrong because all they'll say is just let it go but you're preparing the mac-daddy of all ass chewings ever (if only you could see because that jerk really hit a nerve) and you just need a moment and two...no, three gulps of wine to calm down so you can respond in a manner that is so awesome and heated that he actually visualizes his journey to hell so he at least knows his mistake as he's getting ready to meet Beelzebub (aka. the Devil, Satan, Slue-Foot, the list goes on) and your words are so awesome they blaze hot and light up the whole room...but he doesn't notice because he NEVER REALLY READS WHAT YOU SAID!! Lord I hate those people.  I mean, c'mon man...I put thought into what I said and I really think if you went back and read it you'd at least take back the one statement that will have every woman that can read my facebook (approximately 438) wanting to strip you of your manhood...tiny as it clearly is.  Not only did this guy keep going about how woman ask for what they get, he boasted about how he served in our military.  Let me just put your mind at rest, my good friend Amy also served in the military and I literally visualized her holding this guy down with her boot to his throat even before she inboxed me...SHE is who is the face of the military (and one lady that stood up for me that I haven't met but clearly she's cool too...shout out to Cindee).  Between, Julie, the die-hard libertarian and Amy, the die-hard republican, I've got a good shot at hearing both sides fairly and calmly.  Honestly, I'm more republican than democrat but there have been many things over the years (yes, some of them argued by Julie) that have made me more of a republican with a democratic flare...and it looks good on me!

Anyway, I hated that I let one person get under my skin today because I knew he was a radical (and now eradicated from my friend list...get it? radica...never mind) but there are things that one day I'd love to share with you guys that would explain why it cut so deep, but for now it's important to know that you can't fix stupid and you can't change the mind of anyone that doesn't want to listen.  Change will only come when we can all agree to disagree AND find some middle-ground.  Also, and this is very important - please don't presume to know what others have gone through, are going through, have been through.  When you try to take into account things you can't possibly understand only then will you feel the power of your words take hold of someone else.  I don't presume to know what even my bi-polar identical twin has been through because I have only been a spectator but empathy is better than assuming nothing tragic, devastating, or just sad has ever touched someone.  Be careful with your assumptions and start listening with more than just your ears.

Remember, we may not like who the President of The United States is, but if we don't unite and get behind him then we will not have a successful country.  Did I vote for him? Maybe...or maybe not.  Do I get to complain because I voted?  Yep!  Will I?  Nope, but I'll enjoy all the jokes just like I did during the last several presidencies.  It's my right and besides, I adore humor!  Our differences make this world work even though it appears to also tear it down at times.  Our differences can be viewed as balance and that's how I chose to view it.  I'm totally open to differences and I hope you are too because if you're not we will never move forward as one.  Also, remember what Michelle Obama just recently said - if our Commander And Chief is successful then we all are successful.  And reminded us to aim high.  Good words to live by in my opinion.  

I can love you for who you are and what you believe...can you love others for who they are and what they believe?  Gosh, I hope so because it's a pretty cool feeling.



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Darth Vader Has Nothing On Me

Have you ever pulled up to a stoplight and the person beside you is blaring their radio so loudly that even with your windows rolled up, your air-condition running on high and your own radio kicking out your jams at a fairly reasonable decibel, you can still hear and feel their music? Completely annoying right?  Well, pretend that car is beside you in bed and no matter what you do you can't drown out the noise and vibrations emanating from it.  Sounds like a bunch of y'all's husbands doesn't it?  I mean, if I was complaining about my husband you would say something like "OMG, I know right? I have to sleep in another room!" or "it's normal for men, just shove them and ask them to roll over!"...God I wish I could say it was my husband.

Sadly, I snore like a big hairy mammoth that has it's trunk tied closed less a tiny gap that lets a pin-hole worth of air through.  Picture it like this, you know how McDonald's has those extra thick shakes and they think they are helping you by giving you their extra wide straw, but when you go to suck down that cold yummy goodness nothing happens except maybe you drool a little because your mouth gave up?  Yeah, that's me breathing every night.  It's actually so loud that if you walk anywhere near my room you're either going to fear the wild beast that I turned into once sleep found me or I was eaten by a bear.  It's bad y'all, my breathing at night would freak Darth Vader out!  I'll give you a snapshot of how my sleep study went not that long ago - I don't find it nearly as funny as my husband did by the way.  

When you go to a sleep study, you have to go at a weird time of night, and by weird I mean I should be on glass of wine number two but you're not allowed to drink anything but water so as not to mess with their results (if you ask me it feels like they are punishing you for having sleep issues before you even get started).  Once you get there they have you brush your teeth, wash your face and potty so they can hook you up to some machine that resembles the getup Professor X wears to contact all the other weirdos...I mean gifted people around the world and then get right in bed.  Once in bed they tell you to go to sleep however you normally do...which I found amusing since a) I don't ever go to bed at 9:00 and b) they took away my wine which would have allowed me to entertain going to bed at a freakishly early time.  Oddly I passed out immediately.  Somewhere around the mid-night hour the technician came in and told me that my breathing was labored and she was going to put a mask attached to some machine on me to help.  Not gonna lie...I slept great!  I only wanted to throat-punch her a little when she woke me up again at 6:00...IN THE MORNING.  Anyway, you get the results as they are yanking the leads out of your hair, which they glued in with this white gunk so it leaves you looking like you went walking down the beach during a hurricane and the birds overhead were scared shi...to death and their bowels couldn't be held.  My results went like this:
Her - so you say your husband travels during the week?
Me - yes
Her - with your snoring I'm surprised he comes home at all, heck he might be able to hear it all the way in Nevada! Hahahahaha
Me - 
Her - anywho, we recommend the cpap machine...(and a bunch of other words - I was just happy that I was going to be fixed!)

She even added in that I have restless leg syndrome but who cares, I was going to be able to breath during the night!  Looking back, I should have watched for when her pupils turned to dollar signs but at the time I just wanted a good nights rest and for the rest of my family to not dread staying at hotels with me knowing that I'd be the only one asleep.  Technically I'm not sleeping well but to others it appears that way.  I'm literally getting only about 30 minutes of sleep for every 1 hour I'm "sleeping".   Well, I tried that damn machine on every "ramp up" number (how forceful the air is blown into your nose-holes) and every level of humidity and all the combinations that could be made and no matter what I did I felt like someone hooked up a faucet to my nose.  I was sick for days.  I was so sad...it was a big fat fail.  

I gave up trying to solve my problem for a while...it's expensive to keep trying different things!  Over time I've tried mouth guards, saline rinses, nose bands and some other weird stuff that's not holistic as they claim because my lack of sleep had gotten so bad that I could only drive for a short distance before I was fighting sleep and don't even let me sit on the couch for a few minutes!  So, just like any normal person I've decided to have someone break my face to finally fix my problem.  Okay, so I went to an ENT and then a maxillofacial clinic and they are going to fix the way my jaws line up because apparently I have a tiny throat hole and a large tongue (I know, I sound amazingly beautiful). 

Hopefully the next time I blog I'll be all fixed...well, all fixed in that department.  I am constantly reminded of the aging process within my body and this sleeping problem is speeding up the dang process.  Sleep, or lack thereof, affects so many things in your life...I had no idea until these last few years.  When you're young you toss all cares to the wind and pull all-nighters and you bounce back like you didn't miss a beat!  Now, well, if I didn't have two alarms, a kid, a dog and two cats that count on me on some level of survival and a job I adore, I think I could sleep for a week straight!  But no worries folks, I will have more to blog about after this surgery...bladder leaks, weird pains in my left hip, weakening eyesight, squatting for too long, my love affair with Zantac...

Ps. I missed you all!

Monday, November 23, 2015

How To Text With Your Teen...LOL

I fear I have mislead you all with my post title as I have no idea how to communicate with the average high-schooler anymore.  In my defense, I just wanted to grab your attention so I could then admit that I should have added "I Need To Know" first.  I thought I had a good grasp on the "skill of teen talk" until social platforms like Twitter came out that literally fast forwarded the creation of new and really, really confusing acronyms due to their limited amount of characters allowed per tweet.  The manufacturing of new acronyms over text was bad enough before the majority of kids realized there was a platform that they could have a whole conversation with someone else while allowing others to view the whole "discussion".  I use the term 'discussion' loosely because I'm at a complete loss for what those things are that go on between two young people on there.  Oh, I follow my kid on all of her social media sites, I just don't understand what the hell I'm reading sometimes! I'm hoping that discussing this out loud (yes, I know it's not really out loud) we can start making some educated guesses without exposing our lack of knowledge to too many young people...thus making my post title somewhat correct.  

Remember the good ole days when acronyms had almost this unwritten three-word maximum rule?  I mean who doesn't immediately get what FYI means?  Just in case, it's For Your Information.  But seriously don't even tell me you don't know that one.  But see now that's not good enough for the average teen; kids need to make it complicated and type something like FYIAEOILY...D (for your information and eyes only I love you...duh).  Okay, so I made that one up but I'm not even close to joking when it comes to what they have "shortened" in to some sort of messaging system that resembles and drunk guy trying to recite the alphabet!  To be fair they have kept some simple acronyms like ILY, I love you, or IKR, which is "I know right"...but I still had to study that IKR one for a while to figure it out.  For the life of me I couldn't think of what word started with a "k" that my kid was saying to me.  I won't lie, I was starting to think I should punish her for some risque word she was thinking of that she took the first letter from but again I was stumped.  I had no context because I had sent her a picture of it raining outside!  Turns out she was agreeing with me in the way that you and I would say "yeah, I know it's terrible out there and I hope you're enjoying a nice cup of that cocoa you love so much while I'm here in school." Okay, so maybe IKR is better here.  And here's a fun fact, the iPhone doesn't auto-correct that one!  It for real knows that you meant to type those three letters together!  Heck, it'll give you the option of keeping it like that or spelling it out even.  Oh, and there's a ton more it knows...my OS (operating system...I'm not trying to be a smart ass...this time) knows how to communicate with my child better than me!  "Siri, text my daughter that it's time to come home." "Kk." It makes me wonder if I were to type three letters together that meant to spell "you" but I fat-fingered "uyo" if it would give me the option to keep it like that or let me choose "ugly yo-yo offering"...which clearly I would.  I mean if I wanted to say "you" wouldn't I just put the letter "u" now?  Which begs me to address the fact that just a year ago it would have auto-corrected the "u" to "I" because who in the world can't type three letters that sound like one?!  I wish you could hear my inner inflection as I type that...I have my eyes wide open and my frustrated-screechy face on right now.  It's out of control people!  I mean IOOCP!

Here's a typical conversation between two teens via social media (don't worry, I'll translate after...because I kind of can now):

Kid 1:  HBD O! ILYSM!! DM me if u wanna hang l8tr QT!
Kid 2: LOL ILY2! IDK if I can yet.
Kid 1: HBU go check.
Kid 1: WYD 
Kid 2: lax sry
Kid 1: kk hang?
Kid 2: dont forget the hbd glo up for ur bff
Kid 1: yeet

Translation...ish:

Kid 1: Happy Birthday Olivia! I love you so much!! Direct Message me if you would like to hang later cutie!
Kid 2: Laugh Out Loud (I don't know if it's supposed to be all capital letters or not or if that depends on how loud your laugh is) I love you too! I don't know if I can yet.
Kid 1: How about you go check.
Kid 1 (again): What are you doing?
Kid 2: (sometime later) lacrosse (game or practice we'll never know) sorry
Kid 1: Okay hang?
Kid 2: Don't forget the happy birthday age progression pictures of your best friend forever (that took an in depth explanation and a visual for me to grasp)
Kid 1: the word "yeet" can mean the following:  sweet, cool, I'm on it, okay or here I come. Also, I'm fairly certain it can mean "help, I'm falling so please help me, help me now" because I've made that noise on multiple occasions and that's exactly what I said.

Writers note:  I still don't know if they ever got together and hung out that day but I did see the age progression collage fly across my Twitter feed so...yeet!

There are a ton more examples of acronyms and weird words out there that I can't figure out and some I'm scared to ask about.  Example?  Well, FOH for instance I found out from a friend. The O is for out of, the H is for here and the F isn't for fork <ahem>.  Probably my kid knows that one but I'd rather hear it from someone over the age of hers...whatever age she is (it'll get tougher over the years I know). It just feels unfair because all these kids know our tried and true acronyms PLUS their own.  Honestly I feel like I'm a foreigner in my own car when I'm driving a gaggle of (that's more than three and less than 6) teenagers around.  It's total BS!  See?!?  Tried and true! 

Here's my list of acceptable acronyms and their meaning:
BRB - be right back
TTYS - talk to you soon
TTYL - talk to you later (almost interchangeable with the popular ttys but be mindful of timing)
SYS - see you soon
FYI - for your information
NM - never mind (I used to think that was just one word - I ultimately lost the "it should only be an N!" argument)
OMG - oh my God/goodness
*LOL - laugh out loud

There may be a few more but that's pretty much the ones that I can completely understand especially when there's context.  I literally started typing this post the other day and in that time I've learned three new acronyms!  There's also acronym-codes to alert the teen or creepy young adult living in their parents basement you're chatting with that they shouldn't respond inappropriately because your mom is standing somewhere in reading-over-your-shoulder range.  I'm kinda proud my daughter told me about that one...I'm going to assume for now that she actually gave me the right intel and didn't try throwing me off course.  Anyway, this post would be much too long if I kept going with all the new phrases, acronyms and codes that have come out and continue to and I'm sure if you have a kid anywhere from 12 to 18 you've heard all the ones I've mentioned plus others that I haven't come across yet.  It's exhausting!  And annoying...exhaustively annoying.  

People, here me now - teenagers around the globe have an inside joke going and it's something that we'll never be a part of.  They all understand it no matter where they live and they are getting a big kick out of having some weird language that adults don't understand.  It's like they are born with this new gland...the universal language gland! Every child is now born with it so that this new form of communication doesn't need to be taught in high school so you can get a job in a new country someday. Seriously, "LOL" in America is the same in Japan (or is that ROR? KIDDING!  Don't get offended OMG!).


Anyway, I don't think I helped us learn anything but I hope you know that you're not alone out there if you're feeling cold and vulnerable trying to figure out what your kid is tweeting, texting, snap chatting, blah, blah, blahing...because you're not alone, not at all; I'm struggling right there with you.  

TTYL ILY




*LOL actually means LAUGHING out loud not LAUGH out loud. I just learned that before hitting the post button and I'd be remiss if I sent out bad information to you...apparently only us old people didn't know that. And yes, there is a difference between the two, I'm just not sure what it is but there you have it.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Modern Obscure Maternity (M.O.M.)

I'm not normal.  I don't strive to be normal nor do I harbor any jealousy towards those mothers that encompass all the requirements that I feel place them in the traditional or "normal" category.  I do, however, respect the women out there that do all those mom-things that categorize them in what I feel is more conventional than myself.  I don't fit that mold and I have finally decided that I'm totally okay with it.  I wasn't always okay with it...that came with time and a family that let me be...well, me.  Trying to be something I'm not was not good for my mind or my soul.  I personally feel we need all types of mothers out there to fill the many different roles our kids need and we ultimately make one well-oiled machine that our children can only benefit from.

What is normal or traditional you ask?  I'm sure I can't answer that question entirely or to the satisfaction of all of you ladies out there although I'm sure most of us could probably agree on a lot of the same ideas.  In fact, I have a feeling that when I do try to describe, in my humble opinion, what I think falls under this "normal" category that it may actually step on some of your little toes.  So, I'd like to pre-apologize for missing anything in my personal assumptions as I try to outline as best I can what I feel qualifies some of you as the quintessential (of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something) mommy. Oh and I'd also like to remind you that this is my blog and direct you to the word "my"...feel free to write whatever you like in comments.

Actually, I'm not sure what makes up the "normal mom", I just know I'm not. So I'm just going to tell you a few things about me that I feel makes me the non-traditional type of mother and tell you about the journey that made me who I am today.  Mind you, some of the things that we have in common are things that you did well before you were with child and were long-ago whims or my-friends-dared-me-to-do-it type things...I just happened to want to do them after my kiddo came along.  In fact, she's so much of her own person and has been since she was small, that I would say she's the main reason I've embraced my true self.  Some of my non-traditional qualities you guys will embody too...it's not like my true self wanted to rob banks or something, I think that it's the culmination of them all while in my 40's that lends to my thinking that I'm not mainstream and maybe not the perfect fit for certain groups.  I like to think I can hang with just about anyone but I've said before in previous posts that I'm not for everyone and I'm okay with that.  I can promise you this though - I'm about the easiest friend you'll have; I don't need to talk to you or see you everyday to validate our friendship and unless you give me reason to think it, I won't assume you have a problem with me just because we haven't spoken for a month...or two...or longer.  Sometimes I wonder if that makes me a lazy friend but then I step back and check myself because I can't forget that we all have things going on in our lives...even us stay-at-homers.  I am, however, lazy in other ways I hate to admit. I actually started writing a post called Tales Of A Lazy Mom but stopped mid-way through...I'm not sure why...

If I had to identify  myself in a particular category during my teenage years, I'd have to say I was fairly mainstream with the prerequisite 90's wardrobe, big hair and a love for MTV (you know, back when it was actually about music and music videos - you wouldn't remember if you were born anytime after the mid 1990's).  I tried to never call attention to myself and was actually told that I was very quiet in high school when I went to my 20th reunion.  The quiet part shocked me because I love to make people laugh (and I have to be reminded that I don't need to yell my stories when I'm sitting beside someone...my poor family.  I just get so excited!).  I spent a huge part of those early years trapped in a scoliosis brace, shoe lift and braces on my teeth (my teeth and spine were jacked up, bless my heart) so blending in was a mix of goals and dreams especially because my identical twin had no desire to remain unseen whatsoever.  I guess I spent so many years after high school trying to be that funny girl people wanted to be around that I forgot I never wanted the attention all those years ago.  It was inevitable that I would want to tell good stories to my friends I guess; if you could meet my dad you would know that at least one of his daughters was destined to learn the art of delivering a humorous spiel.  It rubbed off on both my sister and myself, I just chose to advertise it via blog, radio, that one time on stage (too frightening to do again), etc.  I'm not saying that I've mastered it, but I would like to think I've gotten pretty decent at it.  The good news is, and if you read my blog regularly you'll know this about me, that my social anxiety actually helps with the funny stuff (also something I've embraced). My late teenage and early twenties were something quite opposite of when I was in high school and quite frankly surprised the hell out of me.

When I graduated from high school I also got to graduate from the scoliosis brace and all those other things that made me want to hide from the world.  It was freeing and terrifying all at the same time.  I went off to college and was probably less excited than I should have felt because it was the first time I would be without my twin sister (and parents of course).  If you don't have an identical twin or if you aren't the more passive of the two you might not understand how scary it is to wake up and not have the stronger personality mentally (and sometimes physically) pulling you through everyday life.  I had to be my own person!  That was not okay with me.  I had to make my own way...for a whole week!  As it turns out the person I was without my sister wasn't that bad.  Surprisingly I met the man I would marry only two years later during my first week away from my whole family and he liked who I was!  Because of him I heard new music and saw new places that I'd never think of visiting on my own.  He taught me how to play pool and introduced me to stand-up comedy.  I loved that part the most and we still quote some of the greats to this day, over twenty-four years later.  I also fell in love with watching movies; we would go to the theater and usually watch two per weekend night (they weren't freakishly expensive like now though).  I guess I'm trying to describe myself through telling you my journey through my twenties.  Is there a part of me that wonders if I'd be much different today if I hadn't met my husband at 18 years old?  Sure, but what we go through over the years is what molds us into who we are today and I know I'm not anywhere near perfect, but I like this version of me.  As much as my daughter is more her own person than I was at her age, she'll make some changes here and there because that's what living and the people in your life, well, force you to do quite frankly - and that's not a bad thing.

The years between my late twenties and now have been spent doing the whole mom-thing but in my own way no matter the opinion of others.  That's not to say I don't welcome advice because I've needed a ton of it from the moment I understood my parents words and I will until the day I no longer walk this earthly path.  Will I take all of your advice?  Um, no...would you take all of mine?   I advise you not to; sometimes advice is really an opinion and Lord knows we all have different ones.  There's a saying about opinions and it mentions that some of them stink.  Moving on!  This is me as summed up and condensed as possible because I've rambled on so long about how I got here.

I love tattoos (sorry Mama) and I have a few now.  They all mean something to me and I can't promise that I won't get another.  I pierced my nose recently because it's something that I've wanted to do for a while and low and behold it didn't change who I am.  I quit my job to pursue something that not many people succeed in - writing.  I wear clothes that probably cost too much and aren't age appropriate anymore (except those items with words in visible places), but let's face it, True Religion makes your butt look better.  I love hanging with my kid and her friends and quite frankly I like their music too.  I'm not one bit domestic but I'm optimistic as is my husband...well, he's more hopeful than optimistic.  I literally don't sweat the small stuff to a point that it can appear that I don't care.  Nine times out of ten I'll choose to stay home instead of going out even at the promise of a yummy dinner. So maybe these things don't disqualify me from being bor...conventional but it certainly lands me in a different category.

I think I completely missed the mark of what I was intending to write about...but thanks for the therapy.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

It's Heart To Talk About

I wish I could sit down with my daughter and coherently explain to her why when she is in any kind of pain I feel it too.  In fact much of the time I feel it deeper and longer than she does especially when I can't do anything about it.  And the physical stuff?  I wouldn't know where to begin explaining to her that her headaches make my heart feel like a pincushion from worrying whether it's a concussion or a sign of something worse. Or, when she's limping because she killed her knees as goalie during a soccer game I feel like someone has my heart in a choke hold, especially knowing that she did it willingly and will again the very next day. But the emotional pains that my child suffers are the hardest on me and I'd be willing to bet that most mothers feel the same for their children.

Honestly, until you're in a position where you take care of someone who depends on you to survive, you can only imagine how much it hurts when that dependent hurts.  It's not the same kind of hurt you feel for a spouse or your parents and not even close when it comes to friends.  That sounds callous but it's true; I love my husband and my parents to pieces but that doesn't change the fact that they aren't my child.  Your child is your heart and if they aren't then you need to reevaluate yourself.  I tell my daughter all the time that I want to take whatever pain she's feeling from her and make it mine.  Over time the look she gives me when I tear up over her boo-boo's or her hurt feelings have gone from "what the heck" or "why would you want to feel this" to "I know, I know...you'd rather it be you than me".  It's not just about taking her pain away; explaining the emotions a mother feels for her child is as complicated as solving those darn Rubik's Cube's and she won't completely understand until she's a mom herself and I'm not talented enough a writer to articulate it to her in a way that she'd truly understand why I'm sad when she's sad and happy when she's happy.

Some days my daughter's day has so many ups and downs that I feel as if I've run through an emotional maze.  And not just a normal mice-find-cheese maze!  No, no...I'm talking about one of those horrid ones you see in movies like Labyrinth with hidden walls and changing paths. Or, on a particularly rough teenage day, the kind of maze like in The Shining.  You know what I mean - the kind you have to frantically keep covering your tracks after every step with snow in hopes that the psychopath can't track you down and stab you with an icicle and if done successfully, he finally ends up freezing to death because he's so lost.  Oh shoot, I meant to say spoiler alert since 1980 wasn't that long ago (said no one ever).  I strongly feel that it helped paint a good visual for you, thus forcing you to better grasp how hard it is for a mom to navigate her teenagers emotions especially on those occasions that your daughter feels that one of her friendships is falling apart.  Those are the times that you really, really don't want to watch your child suffer through.  As hard as I try to remain dry-eyed, I can't.  I say, what I hope is, the right things while trying not to let her see that I'm hurting for her because if she thinks I'm upset she might stop talking.  You have no idea how many times I've told her that I'm only wiping my eyes because something flew in one of them or that I'm sometimes allergic to the dog we've had for years, like it had a bad dander day. Lame, I know.

There is nothing more important than the "right now" with teenagers.  We all have gone through it and we all have felt like nothing matters but what's happening right then.  It's not until you leave high school, I believe, that you start to see things differently.  I've tried to tell my daughter this and I've promised her that how this or that person is treating her right now is not a reflection of her, it's a reflection of who that person is.  But, no matter how much you try to tell them the tears still flow.  I want to tell her that I've met that girl or boy before back when I was a teenager and she will be saying that to her children someday (Dear Lord, let me have at least one grandbaby).  I say to her that sadly there's always at least one jerk born every year that's only out for themselves and will hurt you no matter what or how close a friendship you thought you had.  But the look on her face says you're not really helping because it's still a broken friendship.  Gah, I want to find that kid and...and...well, nothing because I'd get in trouble just for wagging my finger in their face.  But I want to say to them that they are a walking cliché and to enjoy the moment of being able to hurt someone by just ignoring them because in a few years they'll be irrelevant.  Then I think to myself, what's the point because they are so self-centered that my words wouldn't even phase them for a second so I'd just be standing there looking like a foolish old mom fussing at someone else's kid.  I'm thinking about this so hard my daughter can hear it and she tells me not to do anything that she just wants to vent...that she doesn't need my help.  There are many reasons I continue to tear up during this whole night-time conversation, starting with her not needing my help, but the biggest one is that my daughter is hurting and I can't magically make her forget about this kid.  The other reasons I'm sad for her is because I know this isn't the last time it will happen, that I too liked that kid, and that I know she would forgive them if they asked and she will think it's genuine.  

I like to tell my daughter that not everyone you lose is a loss and really it's that person who screwed up because they lost her.  I feel sorry for them because she's everything I wanted in a friend growing up and they are too blind to see the fierceness and loyalness of her friendship.  I tell her that someday, when she's not hurting so badly, because time does heal us, when someone asks if she knows that very person, she'll be able to smile at the good memories and say "I used to".  But, as you can imagine, it doesn't fix it right then and there (so I give her melatonin and knock her butt out because she's not listening!  Kidding!) so I have to let her cry and deal with it in her own way and just hope that my words slowly sink in.  To walk out of her room knowing that tears are flowing down her cheeks is so hard and if I could paint you a picture of what my pain looks like, you'd see me dropping little pieces of my heart like breadcrumbs on her floor from her bed to where I sit down at night.  And I sit there knowing that I left her there feeling sad, confused and hurt and I actually feel like I physically ripped those pieces of my heart out and if I were to look down I'd be able to see the trail I left behind.  You know, as much as I would love to be young again...never would I wish to be a teenager again.  But everyone must go through it and learn to rise above or work around or handle the teenage years with as much grace as possible so that you see the value in a true friendship later.  Believe me, even the jerk-kid has to go through it and maybe, just maybe he will be a better person when or if you ever meet again.

I would like to add one thing that annoys me that too many people say to kids all the time like it's a remedy to solve all problems.  It's "life ain't fair!" Where do you think you learned that lesson?  Your teenage years of course!  First of all, it's a silly statement because life is not a singular event.  Also it sounds like you're trying to say that everything in life sucks - you sound ridiculous because life is made up of millions of events and most of them are positive.  Events that are happening to our children are big to them so I beg you to please quit using a blanket phrase that makes it sound like they are whining because they didn't get the same amount of cookies that someone else got. 

Kid:  I thought they were my best friend!
Dad: Life ain't fair.

Kid: My best friend just said she didn't like me anymore!
Dad: Life ain't fair.

Kid: Why wouldn't they invite me, all of our friends are there?
Dad:  Life ain't fair.

Sorry, I just couldn't type a mom saying that over and over again.  What?  Life ain't fair.  That was a horrid attempt at humor.  Anyway, I just had to add that pet-peeve of mine in here; being eloquent is my delima not throwing out platitudes in hopes that it miraculously explains away everything.  You and I both know that what our children are going through isn't as big a deal as they think much of the time but it's a huge deal to them and it's our job to help try to lessen the pain and teach them to deal with lifes curveballs so they can do the same for their children.  I look at the teenage years like this - being in your teens is like being at war and you just have to fight to make it out of there alive.  Our job as parents is to watch, worry, and sometimes send in a care package to help lessen the proverbial bleeding.  I can't imagine how much harder it would have been without my mom's shoulder to cry on or my dad's sage advice when I was my daughters age.  Right now I'm wondering if Daddy remembers telling me that no matter what, when I was at school the next day to smile as if what's-his-face didn't hurt my feelings by breaking up with me.  That's some of the best advice ever!  I'll tell you guys why in a different post.   I'm sure they were thinking how that someday I'd look back and realize some of those things that felt so terrible at the time weren't really as tragic as I thought.  And I'm positive my parents hurt for me too when I was balling my eyeballs out about some boy or when teased by a classmate but now I can't even remember their names...well, for the most part.  

I'm always working really hard at not overstepping my boundaries as a mom by remembering that to be my daughters hero is to let her go through the pains of these high school years only mentally holding her hand and not trying to fix the situations for her.  I would be failing her if I didn't respect that right of passage, but I won't lie...it hurts like hell to watch.





Friday, July 18, 2014

A Heart Overused

I always knew, somewhere deep down, that my Daddy's heart would break before any of us was prepared for it to.  If he sat down and really  thought about it, Daddy would have realized it was bound to happen as well.  I'm not necessarily talking about the heartbreak we all suffer during our lives; if you have loved someone, cared for someone or even depended on someone over the course of your life, your heart has surely broken countless times. Yes, he has gone through that scenario many, many times just like you and I have.  Personally I believe we can't enjoy the glorious moments to their fullest without knowing the pain of lost love, death, and bitter disappointment. But the difference between my father and the rest of us is that his heartbreak and heartache goes much deeper than anyone that doesn't know him well could ever imagine.  I'm talking about the kind of break, or to be more accurate, destruction he was bound to experience because of how much he cares.

Thanks to modern medicine and numerous brilliant doctors and surgeons my Daddy is alive and doing well after his open heart surgery he underwent recently.  They did a wonderful job repairing the damaged part of his heart even if they don't know why it was literally falling apart.  But the why at the time wasn't important to them (or us) when he was rushed to the hospital - we just needed him fixed.  But I know the real reason his heart was giving out and to be honest I wouldn't change a thing that led him to needing it fixed.  I know that sounds...heartless (sorry, the wording fits) for me to say that so let me explain what I mean by that to you.

Men are funny creatures; the majority of the male population prides itself on being the stronger, tougher, and less passionate of the sexes.  From the time of Adam and Eve and the Cro-Magnon era men have clung to the hunter-gatherer persona (some men more than others - you know who you are) and still practically pound their chests when they conquer any task, menial or skilled.  Who's to blame them?  Not me, it's just entwined within their DNA or something.  Personally I don't mind a bit of that in my household...what?  It just means that his form of hunting equals going to the local grocery store instead of me and I'm totally cool with that.  Okay, it's really because I spend way too much money on crap that we don't need when I set foot in there and he goes by our weekly list.  I think I just undermined my likening my husband to a big ole' caveman when I brought up the grocery list.  Regardless, I like to think of it as him bringing home his latest kill for me to cook.  Wait, I don't cook!  Um, I'm going to stop there because I'm questioning my role as the dutiful wife now.  Anyway, my point is to say that it has been a part of human nature for the man to keep up a brave front, physical or emotional, in whatever crisis or predicament is at hand while the woman tends to dish out compassion in whichever form fits the situation.  However, there are those rare male souls that have somehow muddied the waters of the emotional chasm that has divided the sexes for hundreds of years and my father is listed amongst them.

My father has an immeasurable amount of wonderful qualities but the one that shines the brightest and far outweighs the others is his "emotional well" that never runs dry.  I am not exaggerating when I say that he feels every word he speaks or is spoken to him.  A simple "hello" from a stranger will remind him of a moment where he first made friends with a long-time friend or at the least how nice people can still be. And when he's telling you about how his favorite basketball team (go Duke!) was down by twelve points at the half and fought their way back for the win, his eyes, turning red-rimmed,  tell a story of hard work and perseverance that he admires to his core.  The best thing about Daddy telling you anything is the way he tells it and the way he makes you feel it as strongly as he does.  Sometimes I can't even look at him when he tells a story because I don't want to cry and let him know that his eyes have betrayed the part of him that's trying to be my strong father...so, I'll mess with my fingernails or look at a non-existent bird flying by so I can remain composed while he finishes telling me about the time he swallowed so much bubblegum that he threw-up and my grandmother called the doctor because she thought the huge wad of gum that came up was his stomach.  We both laugh, he at the memory and I at the picture he painted for my minds eye, but my quick glance at his eyes and his smile that's strained because he's choking down that cry-lump one gets right before tears spill, I know his story is filled with a longing to see him mama just one more time because he misses her so.  I would like to add that among the top ten qualities that my dad possesses, ranking at the top is his story telling abilities.  When he tells you about sneaking his dog into the movie theatre as a young boy, your heart starts racing and you fear you're about to get caught if the dog barks even once!  Or the time that his pant legs caught on fire and he panicked and jumped on his bike to ride home to his parents for help all the while just fanning the flames...well, I'll just say that I felt stupid checking my calves for burn marks.

It's a bitter-sweet thing to feel so strongly about everything; being an emotional person is a gift because what the less emotional person enjoys for a moment, someone like my dad takes that moment and ties it or relates it to some part of his life story.  The "bitter" element of feeling so deeply is the part that feels the need to help, fix, change or take over an impossible task thinking that your passion will infect others and a change of heart or mind will occur.  People like my dad know that not everyone and everything can be fixed but part of him cannot help but think if he tries hard enough, says the right things, pleads to the compassionate part he hopes dwells in others that somehow resolution will manifest.  Because I was in my teen-I-don't-give-a-crap stage I wasn't aware of how he was at his job pre-retirement, but if he was anything like he is now, just trying to make his neighborhood better for all by serving on the Board...well, I'm surprised he didn't need that open-heart surgery before June 2014.  I'm not going to go into what he's tried to do to bring those people together because that's a whole other blog post, but I will say that he cares about the betterment of the place he wants to live the rest of his life so much so that he has poured everything he has into reaching each individual like they actually care as much as he does (disclaimer, some do and they know who they are).  Maybe he thinks that if he cares deeply enough it will cover the "caring deficit" that's plagued too many in his community?  No, that's not it.  It's that Daddy's passionate about anything he feels affects his family and friends and the minute he took that damn position...it took him.

You see, where most of us have passion righting a wrong that's occurred or about a particular "thing" from time to time, my father has that passion about anything that's touched the life of someone he cares about past or present.  When he tells me the struggle, triumph or death of a neighbor or friend unbeknownst to me I leave feeling that I've made a new friend (or enemy...he's too forgiving) or lost someone too soon too.  I love that about my dad and I wish I was more like him even if it damaged my heart too.

I hope now you understand why I say I wouldn't change a thing about what happened to Daddy's heart; I can't imagine my father any other way than he is and I truly believe that all of our family and his friends would have empty holes in their hearts if he wasn't constantly filling those holes with pieces of his own.  Daddy, you have my heart too so use it anytime you need to!

Interesting facts about Daddy pertaining to this post:

1.  Oddly enough, emotional and caring as he is, my dad is a patented mechanical engineer. (If you are an engineer or married to one you'll know what I mean)

2.  Although mathematically inclined, he is crazy artistic!

3.  He has freakishly strong arms but hugs you like you're a delicate flower.

4.  His stories are amazing but he's shy and uncomfortable in large groups (though he hides it well when Mama drags him to a party).

5. He is the most level-headed person in the family even though things affect him the most.

6.  He once made a sock-puppet act so real I wanted to cry when it got angry. (So that's not about this post...I don't care, it was awesome)

And the best for last:

7.  My Daddy thinks his heart surgery made him more emotional than he already was.  Dear Daddy, you just had more to be emotional about these last few weeks and haven't realized that we've all seen the red-rimmed eyes that betray your inner-most feelings.  I speak for everyone when I say you affect our lives with your huge heart more than you'll ever know.

I love you Daddy!


Daddy and Me - June 2014


Friday, May 2, 2014

Prom...iscuous

Ah, prom season - it's in full swing once again and just like all things teen related, there's gonna be drama.  This year, and probably building up over the last few from what I've seen, it's all about dress-coding girls.  How do I feel about this?  I'm not torn actually; I personally think that too many girls have lost the art of dressing in a way that leans more towards elegance and understated beauty.  Even worse, many of our young tend to dress more towards the "gosh, I hope my boyfriend confuses me with a prostitute tonight".

Not all girls feel the need to flaunt all their bits and pieces but unfortunately for the ones that actually have some taste, rules have had to be put in place that might actually be a little over the top, even in this moms opinion.  But don't despair all you young women out there...it will continue to happen even in adulthood because those same fun-ruiners grow up and continue to ruin it for others in their place of business.  Matter of fact, the dress codes put into place for things like the prom, grade school, and the ever popular "Casual Friday's" in offices wouldn't have to be anywhere near as strict as they are except that the females that crave to be ogled on the regular will push the limits of whatever boundaries are set.  So, to help alleviate the problem or pending lawsuits, schools and businesses will over-do so as not to have to address the usual suspects over and over again.  Trust me, I've been in Human Resources for years and trying to tactfully fix the problem does not register with them. See, you can't say something straight up like "hey, quit dressing like you're about to go work the corner downtown!" or go about it like you're making an honest mistake to drop a hint, such as -  "Yo', I was chatting with Bob in the corner office and I promised him I'd ask if you were booked tonight and what are your rates?"  For most females either of those approaches would be their golden ticket outta there via a new yacht to their new beach house courtesy of <insert company name here>.  There are a few of those that will look mildly ill but immediately upon leaving your office will do a quick fist pump because they were successful in pulling off the slutty co-worker look.  You can't be too direct and you need to ease into the conversation with an adult about the choice of clothing they are wearing; you can be as direct as you wish when telling a teenager that they can't wear something at school like what they are parading around the halls in at the moment.  Let's compare the two types of conversations before we get back to the prom topic shall we?

Conversation One - HR vs. Jane Hoe (see what I did there? Not Doe but Hoe...as in 'Ho like Wh...anyway)

HR: Jane, can I see you in my office please?
Jane:  Sure, what's up? Something wrong?
HR:  Well, no...no, not really wrong per say.  Have a seat.  Jane, let me just come out with it so you can get back to the wonderful work you do here at IAMBSINGU.  But before we go into that, I just wanted to let you know that your work here is invaluable and I've heard many great things about you.  But the reason I wanted to chat with you for a moment, other than your terrific sense of humor - you do make me laugh! Remember that time we had that team building meeting?  You had me in stitches young lady!  You had everyone doubled over in laughter that day! We've had some complaints about some of the things you wear here on Casual Friday so if...
Jane:  What?! What kind of complaints?  Who's complaining?  I bet it's that bitch in Accounting! What did she say?  What...
HR:  No, no, it wasn't her. I mean anyone in that department!  It honestly doesn't matter who it was; it's my job to talk to someone when things of this nature are brought to my attention.
Jane:  Things of this "nature?" What in the hot Hell does that even mean?  What's wrong with the way I dress?  Do YOU think there's anything wrong with what I'm wearing?
HR:  Do I?  Oh!  Well...well what I think doesn't matter really.  But, I mean, I may not choose to wear such tight jeans or such a low cut top?  But, I don't have the body type to pull it off like you do.  But if I did? Um, I'd still probably opt not to wear that sort of outfit.  If it were me that is.  Maybe you might want to think about a less provocative ensemble in the future?  You know how people talk and we don't want it to get so out of hand that we lose out on "Casual Friday's" you know?
Jane:  This is absurd!  Look! <stands and turns rear towards HR> Do these look too tight to you?! Do they?
HR:  Well, not everywhere; they certainly aren't too tight at your ankles.  Listen, let's not get all worked up here Jane.  If you could just save those particular jeans for after hours that'd be great.  Don't worry about the people talking, they'll move on to other things soon enough.  Oh look at the time!  Sorry, I'm going to have to cut this short I have a meeting in five minutes.  Jane, if you have any questions just let me know - my door's always open!  Thanks for helping save our Fridays...by not wearing those jeans again...or that top...

Conversation Two - Any School Official (ASO) vs. Female Student (FS)

ASO:  You're shorts don't come down to your fingertips Miss FS so they don't meet school policy. Call one of your parents to bring you a change of close then report back to class immediately.
FS:  But..but...okay.

My point about being direct and not entertaining an argument with a child or teenager about choice of clothing is that it's our job to teach each girl self respect and that means dressing appropriately and not like she's willing to do something that she's probably not even close to really wanting to.  We have to teach young women that if you dress like you want the boys to attack you then don't be surprised when they do just that. But also don't be surprised if they treat you like garbage later because in the end it's the girls that demand respect for themselves that they boys really drool after.  Teach the girls to leave something for the imagination when picking out that prom dress or beach attire, etc.  If we teach them young then they won't be conditioned to think that they have to look like a "working girl" to get ahead in the workplace later.

Now, I must add that I've seen and read some disturbing things about dress-coding too and it's only fair that I call out those teachers that have been wrongly turning girls away from one of the biggest days thus far in their short lives.  Teachers, school officials, etc you need to chill out just a bit and recognize when you're being ridiculous!  I am ashamed of some of you for turning away girls that look perfectly fine and possibly better dressed and covered than you were at your own prom.  One teacher turned a girl away that had on the same dress (different color) than another that was let in moments after! For shame Mrs. Teacher!  You're either picking favorites or just being vengeful for some reason.  If you can't take into account that every person is proportioned differently then this night of chaperoning was not something you should have signed up for.  At my height most dresses that come to the knee on my friends would be somewhere around three inches shorter on me but still at my lower thigh.  Would you turn me away for that?  Or rather would you let me in because I'm the quiet one in your class that does what she's told but you wouldn't let my friend in because she's too chatty during school even though we thought it would be cute to wear the same dress in different colors?  Another school in Charlotte actually kicked a girl out for wearing pants!  Please explain to me how that violated the schools dress-code! Sad.

The ugly truth is that it's mainly the parents fault for allowing their children to wear whatever their hearts desire from well before the prom was a thought in their heads.  You are parents! You are not pimps!  They'll find the right guy without you helping them find their cleavage before they've stopped giggling at the word breast.  So say it with me everyone:

Parents not pimps! Parents not pimps! Parents not pimps! One more time!! Parents not pimps!

Girls, please remember that you do not look beautiful when all of your junk is spilling out of the top of your strapless gown or if that gown is too tight.  I promise you'll look back and shudder because you stuffed yourself into a dress to impress someone and didn't realize that you looked like you were one hors d'oeuvre away from ripping through the seams like sausage out of it's casing.

Be stunning, be elegant, be proud of yourself and have the best night of your teenage lives!



Jennifer's (my twin sister) dress circa 1990 



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Justin Bieber - A Tale of Parenting Failure

Although I have no immediate idea of how my feelings in this post about Justin Bieber will lean until I'm in the midst of writing it (sympathy, disgust, etc), I'd like to quickly point out that I blame the majority of his issues on his parents.  I wanted to make sure I threw that out first because I really don't want to spend the next few days worried that some outraged teen will show up to claim retribution by setting my house ablaze.  Those "Beliebers" can be a bit coo-coo...bless their hearts! But I'm also not excusing his behavior either; I have heard so much buzz about his ridiculous actions lately that I felt the need to "discuss" it all at once and publicly.  Well actually I really wanted to write his parents a nasty-gram shaming them for allowing their son to let his life spin so wildly out of control before it got this bad.  Can you imagine someone like you or me sending some finger-wagging letter to Pattie and Jeremy (his parents of course) like it would all of a sudden make them open their eyes to what their non-parenting has done to their once sweet son?  Here's how I'd like their reaction to be (and I know they're from Canada but for some reason I'm already thinking in a British accent.  Don't judge, it's uncontrollable and...well, it's how I work):

<picture Pattie slowly walking up their driveway after checking the mail and reading my extremely eloquent, albeit harsh, letter>

"Jeremy come here you have to see this!  Apparently we've been doing things all wrong for our son to become a contributing part of society.  As well we've let the money Justin has made blind us toward his retched behavior for years and years.  Let me finish reading...oh my she does use some colorful language!  Oh dear, she also says it's too late to fix it now because he's legally an adult and that we should request that he comes home to Canada post-haste and that you and I issue a public apology for being stupid.   Well, I wish this Barbara had written us years ago so we wouldn't have made these mistakes!  She must be right because the letter is so well written.  I think I'll start following her blog too!"

What?  I'm just saying that I wish that's how the letter would be received.  Also, I'm not sure why I didn't just email them in my little fantasy...huh, that is quite strange.  Oh, and they don't live in the same house.  Whatever.  Anyway, although I am trying to be a bit humorous with that whole letter thing, in my "wish response diatribe" I was actually highlighting the real underlying parental issues that has allowed Justin to feel like he can do whatever his heart desires.  He is clearly ignorant when it comes to laws, social grace, and even others feelings.  For those of you living in a world without his music, posters, movies, etc (clearly you don't have anyone living in your house younger than 20) let me briefly go over his beginnings so you can be up to speed.  This is in no way every little thing about him so no need to "scream" at me for leaving something inconsequential out.  Justin was born in 1994, his mother was just 18 at the time and never married the father.  At the age of twelve Bieber entered and won a singing talent show and his mother posted it on YouTube.  After continuing to post his songs online he was eventually picked up by a record company.  No one could or can deny his ability to sing...the boy has chops for sure.  He can also play four different instruments that he taught himself.  I'm not a huge fan of much bubble-gum music but over the years I've certainly caught myself singing along with quite a few of his hits.  On top of his musical abilities, Justin was also blessed by the good-looks fairy which didn't hurt his already skyrocketing fame.  Side note, he and Miley Cyrus could be twins - his delicate features bend towards a slightly feminine note.  But still, he's a cute kid and I can see why all the girls practically drool when they see him.  They do worse than that actually!  His effect on the young female population is so insane that people have dubbed it as Bieber Fever.  Really people?  Whatever my feelings on girls crying or passing out over a celebrity (silly, that's what I think.  Silly.) it's what happens when he comes anywhere near his fans.  So, now you're up to speed on The Biebs.

Justin's home videos were very good and he looked to be just a regular kid other than his incredible musical talents.  But he was so talented that fame hit him faster than anything you could imagine.  Literally his very first song was a number one hit in Canada and the US!  This is where his parents should have stepped in and at least tried to help him adjust to this whole new lifestyle.  And let me just say that his mother travels almost everywhere with him which makes her lack of parenting even worse because she's right there with him!  He was twelve years old and that makes him a kid that needs rules and structure no matter what else he's involved in.  But sadly they just let him do whatever he wanted and now he acts like a kid that was never spanked, grounded, or hell, a time-out woulda been something!  His teenage antics aren't like our kids because he can do it on a grand scale that can hurt others and himself.  And just like we've seen with some other child stars, he's spun out of control and doesn't even care.  And no, giving to charities does not erase his ridiculous, rebellious and dangerous activities (including drag racing, drinking and driving, drugs, destruction of his neighbors property...the list goes on).  All his fans can do is hope that he sees the error of his ways before the drugs he's now doing kill him or someone else.  I read something that I just had to shake my head in disbelief at the other day; someone who was defending Bieber about his drinking when drag racing said he barely blew anything on the breathalyzer so he shouldn't have been arrested.  Ah, blind allegance...HE'S NINETEEN-YEARS-OLD FOOL - ANY NUMBER WAS ILLEGAL!!  Jeez.  Now, people are dealt bad hands all the time and they grow up and make the necessary changes - and this is where I start putting the blame back onto Justin and not just his parents.  By the way, his mother being young and single does not an excuse equal.  This is what I would love to say to the young Mr. Bieber:


Dear Mr. Bieber,

I'm so sorry that your parents weren't there for you in the way that you really needed them to be.  It sucks that they loved the money you made for them so much that they didn't even think once about teaching you that for every action there is a reaction and sometimes it's going to be severe consequences when you make bad choices.  I'm super sorry that you weren't yanked off your tour years ago when you had been drinking and threw-up in front of all your adoring fans.  But son, I have to tell you that the following things are not acceptable and if you insist on acting this way you'll not be making any money off of this family with your posters, songs, etc.  It is not okay to spit on your fans because you think it's funny.  It is not okay to put others lives in danger because you can afford a fast car and people supply you with all the alcohol and drugs you want.  It is not okay to pretend to be a good person and then go around vandalizing other peoples property.  You may not have chosen to be a role-model but you are and I refuse to let you promote the idea that your behavior is one my daughter and her friends should emulate.  Take responsibility and grow up.  It's not too late to make the changes you need to to become a responsible adult but if you don't soon you will see that parents control the purse strings in their households and I can speak for myself and many of my friends when I say that our kids will not be given money just so they can fund your new-found and growing worse habits.  I hear talk about the US thinking of having you deported and I fully support that decision now.  Go be a nuisance to Canada and get off our streets...when you become a real man feel free to come back (if you want to since you did say that we are evil).

Signed,
Mother of a daughter that used to think you were awesome.

ps.  I wish you had been spanked once as a child.

pss.  Thank you for not wearing skinny jeans anymore. 

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Well, I know that if kids read my blog they'd be looking to cause me bodily harm right now because it turns out that my post did lean towards feelings of disgust.  Whoopsy!


I wonder if any pediatricians offer a vaccine for the Bieber Fever...


BUT WAIT!  THERE'S MORE!!

Right before I was about to post this I heard on the radio and then more on the news that Justin is at it again and could care less who he hurts!  Bieber and his fathter were smoking pot on a plane going from Cananda to New York and after the pilots and flight crew asked repeatedly for them to please stop (father and son refused) they all finally gave up and and put on oxygen masks so they wouldn't feel the effects of the marijuana or have to breath in the smoky air.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if JB assumed they could just roll down one of the windows for some fresh air. 

**I do hope you caught the part about Justin's FATHER in my update.  Not only was he guilty of allowing his son to do drugs, but that failure was joining in on the "fun"!  Right now I'm mentally ripping up Bieber's work visa or whatever is allowing him to stay here.