Uncategorized

Hold your nose and pull the lever

vote

Y’all, I said I wasn’t going to do this. I said I wasn’t going to get political. I didn’t want to do it. I’ve had it up to my eyeballs and then some with the tv and radio ads, the robocalls, and the obnoxius Facebook, Instagram and Twitter blatherings.  For all those reasons I had no intention of writing this blog today but Oprah made me do it.  (Insert needle scratch sound effect here.) Well, I’m going to assume it was Oprah. (Yeah, yeah I know ALL about assume.) The quote my friend posted on Facebook was attributed to Oprah, so I’m gonna go with it.  The quote is this:

“For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote, and you are choosing not to vote — wherever you are in this state, in this country — you are dishonoring your family.”

That’s some powerful stuff. For a hot minute, I was blown away by how simple and yet profound and important her words were until it hit me. She’s talking about everyone. Think about it, if you have females in your family and everyone does, your ancestor was denied the right to vote.  If you had immigrants or minorities of any sort, your ancestor was denied the right to vote.  If you had poor white men in your lineage that didn’t own land or a business, your ancestor was denied the right to vote.  Yep, that’s pretty much everyone.  Whether this was what Oprah was going for or not, what this quote said to me was is we are all equal and we are all equally duty bound as Americans citizens to vote. We all have a voice. Use it. And, now, this is my quote, stop patting yourself on the back for voting. This is something you should have been doing already. You shouldn’t be getting a prize for participation. Furthermore, sometimes your candidate doesn’t win and it sucks.  Don’t be a sore loser. Don’t act a fool for the camera or loot because your candidate lost. Keep trying.

Now, I don’t know about you but since I’m sick of all the politics I’m going to go watch something on my DVR. I will find out who won or lost tomorrow.

Standard
Motherhood/Parenting, Random, Uncategorized

Homecoming

75a7cf508587495cafa7cf790d089863As of last weekend, all the high schools in my area have finished with homecoming festivities; and I am very thankful.  No, it’s not because all the nice restaurants were a madhouse and you couldn’t find a decent cocktail dress within a 100-mile radius. It’s because I can finally go to any grocery store with a floral department or Hobby Lobby and not see the photos like the one attached to this post.

Today’s topic is going to get me de-friended by my Texas bestie but really y’all this is something I will never get used to no matter how long I live in this state.  Now I get that the traditional thing is to give a girl a corsage or flower of some sort before going to a formal dance/homecoming/prom but these Texas mums have moved beyond a flower.  I’m attaching a link here to something I found the other day. It’s a blog post about 50 Gigantic Homecoming Mums everyone has to see.  These things are truly ridiculous.  They are like a car wreck you just can’t take your eyes off of.  High schoolers turn these mums into a competition of sorts – who’s mum is bigger, tackier, has more flair and do-dads, etc.  And let me tell you, these things aren’t cheap.  A small mum is easy $100 with the average mum costing $200-$300.  It’s insanity.

For years I have mentally told myself we have to move away from Texas before my kids get in high school. Now, with high school fast approaching, I’m starting to get worried because we have no prospects for a move. I wonder, will my son have to help foot the bill for this monstrosity? Will my daughter expect to get one of these fugly things and will subsequently want to hang it on her bedroom wall after Homecoming like her peers? I’ve already started campaigning for a move to Florida. It’s about the only Southeastern state we haven’t lived in.

Photo Disclaimer –  I don’t know those girls or the school they attend. I did a Google search for Texas Mums and this was the first one that popped up. Apparently, it came from Pinterest. Whatever, if you find this post and you know these girls and want me to take it down just message me and let me know.

Standard
Motherhood/Parenting, Uncategorized

Extracurricular Shuffle

img_1748Y’all, I’ve seen a sign that the end is near. No, I’m not talking wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. I actually saw parenthood from my Mother’s point of view – which is a bonafide miracle.  I saw her point of view last night as I sat on a hot as Satan’s balls metal bleacher in calf-high grass watching my son play middle school football. My Mother refused to let me participate in any extracurricular activities. She had every excuse in the world from “We can’t afford it.” to “The Girl Scout leader is a whore who sleeps with all the Dads.”  Yes, that last quote is true. She actually told me that when I begged to be a Brownie. I desperately wanted to wear that cute little uniform complete with knee-high socks and beanie and sell (i.e. eat) those delicious cookies. As I got older, I realized all of her reasons were just excuses.  If I had really wanted to do it, we could have swung the instrument rental or registration fee.  The fact of the matter was my Mother was selfish and lazy.  She didn’t want to cart me 20 minutes across town to a game, practice or meeting. She didn’t want to sacrifice money for her cute clothes so I could have some god awful hot pink tutu that I wore once on a stage and immediately went into the toy box.

When I was old enough to understand, I vowed if I had kids that had the talent or ambition to play sports or an instrument or whatever, I would move heaven and earth to let them have the opportunity.  And, the opportunities they have had.  Between my son and my daughter, they have done soccer, t-ball, swimming, football, basketball, art, theater, golf, dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, band, choir, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and I’m probably forgetting a few more things.  Some of these endeavors have lasted for years while others only lasted a season. I have spent more hours shuttling children from one place to another and sitting on the sidelines or in waiting areas for various lessons to wrap up than I even want to think about.  We have spent enough for a few nice vacations on instrument rental, extra training camps, and hot pink tutus.  We have heard the dreaded, “I don’t want to do _____ anymore. Can I quit at the end of this season?” So yeah, last night as sweat rolled down the back of my legs and the white trash lady behind me rang a cowbell the size of her face everytime our team made a touchdown, I completely understood my Mother’s point of view.

Look, I know I have it easy. I only have two kids and neither of them is at the top of their chosen activity.  I have a cousin with four daughters who all play multiple sports.  I have friends that do elite or select kid sports.  You know, the teams where the kids are recruited like professional athletes and travel all over the state or region for games. These families are never at home. They can’t remember what home looks like.  They barely have time for school and jobs before they are on to the next game.  I actually texted one of those friends last night and told her she’s a saint for being an elite sports mom because I don’t know that I could do it.  Maybe if my kids had really remarkable talent, I would sacrifice and make it happen for them but I don’t know. That’s one of those instances where I’d have to be in that position to accurately make that call.

Tonight, when I sit on a well worn couch trying to read a book while waiting for my daughter to get out of ballet class, I will remind myself I am doing what I always said I would for my kids. I’ll be thankful for an hour that I get to sit on my butt and practically do nothing.  And, I’ll mentally pat myself on the back for not being a selfish twit by allowing my kids the opportunities I never had. But, I swear if that lady sits behind me at another football game and rings that damn cowbell in my ear one more time I may have to snatch it from her and knock her across the face with it.

Standard
Motherhood/Parenting, Uncategorized

Orientation

interior of abandoned building

I hated the majority of my Middle and High School experience. Were it not for a close group of girlfriends I met my 8th grade year, I’m not really sure I would have made it out of school. I wasn’t a bad student. I got decent grades and actually loved the learning aspect. I hated the busy work. I hated the halfassed curriculum and poorly thought out assignments. I hated the teachers who droned on like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off about absolutely nothing of consequence. Even at the tender age of 13, I knew I had better things to do with my time than detail the parts and pieces of a worm and memorize the capital of some Western European State that would get renamed a few years later.

A few nights ago I found myself once again roaming the halls of a middle school, only this time it was for parent orientation. We were given our kids’ schedule and were expected to follow a modified bell schedule for our kid’s classes.  Of course maps weren’t available, so you had to rely on your powers of deduction to find the classrooms.  After going through the motions for two hours, I realized a few things.

First, the middle school experience hasn’t gotten any better.  The building still smells. When you’re short and there are 18,000 people in the halls taller than you it’s nearly impossible to find your classroom.  You will be late to class.  The teacher will give you the stink eye for being late even if your schedule says the wrong room.

Next, educators are still the same. The principal is clueless and only the office staff know what’s going on. Most of the teachers still treat you like you’ve done something wrong even when you haven’t because they expect you to be surly.  To the teacher’s defense, 13 year olds are typically very surly.  Then you have your different types of teacher. There are the ones that have been there forever and are so good you hope every child you know gets to have that teacher just once.  Then there is one that has been teaching forever and should not have become a teacher or at minimum retired 20 years ago. There is the teacher who thinks they are cool and aren’t and the one that is but doesn’t let it go to their head.  There’s also the hardass and the doormat. And, finally, the ones just punching the clock and praying it will all be over soon.

Finally, the kids, err I mean adults, are still basically the same. There are the perfects with their perfect make up, hair and outfits. They are so damn perky you want to slap them because let’s be real no one is that damn happy over mundane crap even if you are trying to have a positive attitude.  Back in the day, they would have called to each other across the hall about a sale at the Gap or maybe a party.  The other night I heard one simper, “Hey Karen, are y’all doing lacrosse again this year? I sure hope we see Chloe next week!”  You know perfect doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Chloe but there she is pretending to care.  There’s the smart kids, the greasers, the hipsters, the artists, the jocks and the suck ups.  You remember the suck ups?  They are the ones all up in the teacher’s face as soon as the bell rings. There were several of those at orientation night. Personally, I know I reverted back.  Much like I am today, I didn’t have time for all the fake bullshit.  I was a jaded adult in a child’s body.  With zero f$cks to give, I was uninterested and above it all. I gave the teachers the ‘Yeah, I’m here because I have to be, now thrill me’ look. In short, think Daria with thing for Disney.

I think the thing that struck me the most was despite how much things have changed since I was in school, it’s interesting to see how much they are still the same. While I’ll never understand the pressure to have a million subscribers on my social media account, I will know what it’s like when simpering Becky or no neck Evan blackballs my kids that never want to grow up or haven’t hit their growth spurt.  Hopefully just being able to remember all those personalities and things that never change will help my guide my kids.  If it doesn’t help at least I showed my face at orientation so the administration will know who I am when I have to raise hell on my kid’s behalf.

Photo credit: Free picture. I’m broke not copyright infringement intended.

 

 

Standard
Motherhood/Parenting, Uncategorized

School Slacker

abc books chalk chalkboard

According to all things WordPress and Facebook, I have been an epic slacker blogger in the last two weeks.  Time got away from me.  It happens to the best of us, does it not?  Mainly, I was busy interviewing for a paying gig – I think I was ghosted. And, I was getting my kids ready for school to resume. Being the epic slacker that I am, I refused to go to every big box store within a 20 mile radius looking for one orange folder with brads and one green folder with pockets but no brads.  I chose to buy the pre-packaged kit offered by the PTA.  For the first time in my kids’ school career, I am regretting that decision.  While it did save me some time there was so much extra in that pack now residing in my junk closet that will never get used.  And, since my kids started back two days ago, I have had to go nightly to a store looking for something that my kids need tomorrow that wasn’t included in said pre-packaged kit.  What a rip off and time suck.

While we’re at it, let’s discuss the money drain. Holy smokes, I honestly don’t know how some parents do it.  I would be willing to bet more ramen noodles get sold in the months of August and September than any other months of the year. Let’s face it, with these fees we are all broke as a joke. So far in the last three days, it’s been $25 dollars per kid for a p.e. uniform, a $35 art fee, a $15 lab fee, a $75 choir fee, and $40 per kid technology fee.  This is a public school I’m talking about, not private. And, thank you baby Jesus, it is public because I know it would be double the price if it was private.  No wonder more people are homeschooling.

I’m not even going to talk about dress code and back to school clothes shopping. That will be a separate blog for a different day.  Let’s just say being a girl sometimes sucks and I wish we had uniforms. Consider that last sentence a preview.

On a positive note, in the last three days, I’ve thoroughly cleaned my house and I’ve mowed the lawn, edged and cleaned out the flower beds. This joint looks like a showplace or as close to a showplace as a really lived in, mismatched furnished 25 year old house can look. I guess I haven’t been a complete slacker. I shall resume a regular posting schedule soon.

P.S. For some reason when I publish blogs, Facebook is not including the thumbnail picture I include on most of my blogs.  I thought it might be because I sometimes use stock photos instead of my own. But, I have found this is the case no matter what photo I use. If anyone reading this is smarter than me and knows the solution I would love to hear it.

P.P.S – Today I used a free stock photo. Yes, I took the obligatory first day of school photo. No, my children weren’t holding signs. None of us were that into it. Apparently, we are far too slacker for that.

Standard
Uncategorized

Vacation is Over

20180719_200848The saddest day of the whole year is the day you have to return to your real world life after vacation. Technically, that day has already happened for me since there was a mountain of laundry to be done, a whole house full of groceries to buy and dog to pick up from the kennel the day after we returned home but whatever. Today is the first day the hubs is back at work, camps start back up for the kids and it’s a regularly scheduled ‘work’ day.  The day has been filled with to-do’s, errands, laundry and downloading pictures off my phone.  The kids have already started the “I’m bored” bullshit and I just haven’t any patience for it. We are currently enjoying a heatwave so there’s no way I can just make them go outside. It’s 108 in the shade.  But, I digress

So, I’m sitting here going through vacation pictures and I’m struck by something I noticed while it was happening but promptly forgot. Everyone and I do mean nearly everyone, was using a smartphone.  No, most aren’t talking or taking pictures. They are staring at the screen.  This normally wouldn’t cause me to take notice, however, it’s the place we are at that gives me pause.  Our family went to Disneyland for our vacation. The most famous theme park on the planet.  Dare I say one of the most famous places in the world. Like most everyone, I had my phone in my hand most of the time. I was usually taking pictures but I also used the Disneyland Park app to book Fast Passes and upload on-ride photos to my account.  I admit I love the convenience of the app but I hated that I had to be on my phone.  It felt like it was taking away from the experience of the park. I didn’t want to have to step aside out of the walkway to book my next pass.  Yes, not all people are that conscientious, but I try to be.  Do unto others and all that.   I didn’t like having to check to see which ride was down or which ride had a long wait.  I wanted to be in the moment and yet record things at the same time. I hated feeling like I had to rely on this device. I have no real footage of any of the parades or firework shows but I’m glad I was just in the moment taking it all in.  I didn’t want to miss one minute of this magical place I may only get to visit once.

Taking in all the splendor and amazing sights brings me back to the real issue I had with the phones.  With all there is to see, why is everyone staring at a screen.  Disneyland is one of the most spectacular, amazing places on the planet. What could possibly be so interesting on that phone screen that would necessitate missing the real spectacle?  I, honestly can’t think of anything. Yet, everywhere I turned parents and children alike all had their head in a screen. The worst offender was a smallish tablet laying on the ground while everyone was waiting for a parade.  I mean here we are crammed in here like sardines in a can and some parent felt the need to bring a tablet to entertain little Johnny.  And, let me tell you that tablet clearly wasn’t entertaining the kid because the kid would peck away at the tablet then pitch it on the ground. Oh yeah, and we were all expected to dodge around it.  What in the world?!  If little Johnny can’t wait for said parade why are y’all even there?!  And, we wonder why no one has any self control and can’t understand the concept of anything other than instant gratification. I can already hear it now. Oh, you’re Mommy shaming. You’re damn right I’m shaming. The world could use a little old school shame.  Get your shit together people.  The world is right in front of us. It’s a great big beautiful spectacle and you’re missing it by staring at a screen. But, hey, if you would rather stare at a screen why don’t you give me your vacation money.  I’ll put it to good use. I’ll go back to Disneyland and I guarantee I won’t be looking at a screen during a parade.

P. S. I did hear some instant karma for this phones everywhere issue. At the foot of the Splash Mountain hill I heard someone yell, “Oh No, my phone!!!”  I cracked up.  That’s what you get, dumbass. Put it away and enjoy the ride.

Photo Credit – I took today’s photo. Check out the two ladies on the left and the group of teens/young adults on the right – all of them staring at their phones.

Standard
Uncategorized

Friends

backlit dawn foggy friendship

So, I’m over here drinking my coffee and looking at the local Facebook mommy message board when someone asks all the transplants to the area to list what has been the hardest thing they have had to get used to.  Besides the heat and traffic, the thing came up most was friendships.  I admit that has been the worst for me too.  In the past 20 years, we have lived in 7 different towns in 5 different states. We just made it to the one year anniversary of living in our “new” town.  In that year, I have made exactly zero friends.  I had a tribe in my last town.  I’ve gone back and seen a few of them and a few have come to see me. I talk to most via text and the rare phone call but others not so much.  I’ve been lucky enough to make friends rather quickly in all the other towns we’ve lived in and keep in touch with a fair few of them. But, with each move, there are fewer friends and even fewer still that keep in touch. It’s not anyone’s fault. If anything, we all share a bit of the blame.

I noticed with this last move that living in the South we are all super nice people. We are friendly to a stranger. We are quick to open a door or stop to let someone cross the street. We are what I call surface friendly. We’re super nice but very few genuinely want to get to know anyone for a true friendship. This sentiment was echoed on that message board. Many other ladies commented that they felt much the same way.  Of course, there were those who claimed we weren’t trying hard enough.  Join a church, volunteer, go to a class some people encouraged.  I didn’t justify those people with the response of yeah well I’ve done all that and I still haven’t found my tribe.  I’m starting to think the older you are and the older your children are the harder it is to find a tribe. And, I’m starting to believe that my age group is far too busy with life to make room for something new.   Think about it, the majority of the 35-45 set isn’t trying to drum up playdates anymore.  Gone are the days of diapers, sleep schedules and what should you feed next.  These ladies are focused on their career, older children and all their activities, aging parents and keeping their marriages together. They don’t have time for new relationships.  I’m starting to think that’s why friendships both near and far fall apart as well.  We are so wrapped up in the day to day that if we aren’t in front of each other on a regular basis the friendship just sort of fades away.  I can’t figure out which is worse – the not making new friends or the fading away of the old.

I’ve mentioned all this to my husband. He looks at me like I have grown another head. Men don’t understand that women need other women.  We need a tribe.  Which brings me to social media like Facebook and Instagram. It’s the only place I can see all the friends of my past without hopping in a car and driving all over the Southeast. In other words, don’t delete your accounts and please post a picture of you and your kid every now and then.  I miss your face.

P.S. I was going to write something about the whole illegal immigration and separation of families thing. I decided against it. After commenting on a friend’s comment, I remembered not to wrestle with the pig.  Remember that phrase?  I’ve talked about it before.  It’s just a big ole wad of trouble to talk about that topic. I will not be changing anyone’s mind and it’s right up there with wrestling with a pig.  We both get dirty but only one of us (the pig) likes it. In other words, that’s a fools’ errand.

.

Standard