Saturday, May 2, 2015

Someone Once Told Me Life is a Highway

If life is a highway, why do I feel like I'm in the carpool lane and it's always backed up?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sometimes Peer Pressure is Good

My 14 year came into the kitchen this morning dressed for school. My 11 year looked at her and said, "Why does your generation dress like they don't have any money? Baggy shirts, ripped jeans..." Too funny! Apparently, I don't need to parent anymore, I can just let my 11 year old do it for me. BtW, after her comment, my 14 year old went in and changed out of her ripped jeans! God, I love peer pressure!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Never Thought It Would Happen

One of the things we loved when we moved into our neighborhood was that there were so many young families with kids roughly the same ages – about 40 of them. It was so sweet and fun and exciting to see them go through all the different stages of life…until now. They are teenagers. AND, they are all starting to drive. All at once. One by one, I see one teen after another behind the wheel, nervous parent trying to act calm riding shotgun. I’m terrified, not only of being on the streets with them as either a pedestrian or a driver. It’s that mine will be driving soon, too. I firmly believe anyone who still sleeps in your bed (on occasion) or asks you for money (not on occasion) shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel of a car…but wait, that describes too many spouses I know, so forget that point. But regardless, I think the thing which instills the greatest fear is that soon, too soon, my teenager will be riffling my purse for my extra pair of car keys and expecting me not to scream as she reverses my already dented Honda into the back of my husband’s car. Or even worse, all of her blooming teenage energy will be mobile. There will be little stopping her from taking to the streets except me and my ability to say no repeatedly…to someone who doesn’t listen to me and has a high tolerance for punishment. The first road trip I took after learning how to drive was to follow my parents on the highway in our second car as we drove up the coast to Cape Code. It was bumper to bumper traffic, and they call it that for a reason. That’s exactly what I did – bumped my bumper into the back of my parents’ car. We pulled over to the side, my dad got out of the car, teeth clenched, and inspected the rear of his vehicle and the front of mine. I climbed sheepishly out of the other car, tears already welling up, ready to offer any earthly punishment to keep from being killed. It wasn’t bad. In fact, I don’t think any dent or scratches were noticeable. Still, my father was steaming. All he could manage to say was “Get back in the car.” I can imagine all he wanted to say, the rant about how many hours he’d spent painfully explaining to me about parallel parking, turning into a spin, and staying at least one car distance away from the vehicle in front of you. ONE CAR DISTANCE AWAY. Only to have my first fender bender be with him! When my husband and I were new parents, ten or eleven years ago, the parents used to joke with each other at neighborhood parties about how one day all of these cute little kids would be teenagers learning to drive. And now it has happened. It’s like the zombie apocalypse. You never really think it will, until it does. And then it’s too late because some undead creature is chewing on your foot. Well, that’s exactly what has happened on our block. Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse – zombies or teenagers with cars.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Again????

I'm exhausted. "Everybody is, it's the holidays," you say. Is everybody hearing jingle bells and ambulance sirens? I am! I've got a hubby home from the hospital who scares me on an hourly basis by one minute seeming fine and trying to push the limits of recovery time by asking me questions like, "Do you think I can drive with a neck brace," or "Are my feet supposed to be numb?" Not to mention refusing to take the pain meds the doctor ordered because taking them would be a sign that he's not getting better. Refusing to take pain meds! I want some pain meds. I wish someone would prescribe them for me! On top of that, I'm putting the finishing touches on a holiday script I wrote a while back that will see the light of day live on Christmas Eve - not to mention all the folks eyeballing it from home while they kiss under egg nog and drink mistletoe. No, that's backwards. And I think mistletoe is poisonous you so don't drink it. I'm on holiday overload. I've baked because despite the fact that our home has been turned into a hospital unit - although I feel it's more like a mental ward and I'm serving as Nurse Ratched -an inside joke for anyone who loves One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - I want my children to not miss out on Christmas entirely. So I've been baking. Hourly. Maybe that's because I don't have any meds like my husband does, that he refuses to take. Chocolate chip cookies and red velvet cake with more peppermint and candy canes added to them than are legal in most states. I've taken my girls to see holiday lights and skate on what was supposed to be an old-time ice rink in Burbank. It's nice, but they can't really hide the fact that it's a city parking lot. Kinda kills the Dickensian feel. I think I've seen over 20 holiday performances in the last several months and if anyone mentions watching It's a Wonderful Life to me one more time I think I may hurt them. Happy Holidays! Talk at you in January!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Real Test of a Marriage

Some people say that financial difficulties test a marriage. Others, talk about how babies (and the children and teens they grow into) can strain a marriage. Illness, death, work stress, those can pull at the bonds of matrimony and push even the most loving and devoted of couples into divorce court. But I now know the real test of a strong marriage. It has nothing to do with how much debt you do or don't have. Babies/kids/teens might test you, but they grow up and go away in 18 years. Your health, even the death of those close to you, or the constant stress that often comes with the job - those things are tough to weather as a couple, but still doable. No! The real test is living 27 days in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California in the middle of the summer with a broken air conditioner. After this long in the sweltering heat, I'm surprised we're still married. Hell, I'm shocked we haven't killed each other and used our carcasses to construct makeshift shelters as shade from the sun. David insists we sit in the dark (because you know how much heat light bulb puts out) in order to keep it cooler in the house. The shades are drawn but the windows are open. Which seems counter productive, and I'm sure it is. But I've stopped arguing with him over cooling strategies. That might break us. Our goal is to keep calm, keep cool and ride this out. The first few weeks were tough. We were mad, we were worried. There was a lot of barking around here and none of it came from the dog. There were four cranky humans (and a rescue dog wondering if maybe she had been better off in the streets) with tempers that were rising as quickly as the thermostat. But then something odd happened. We got used to it, realized it was hot and that all the arguing and grumpiness was because we were miserable and hot, and then we stopped arguing. It's still hot, but at least we're not bitching about it. My kids actually think this is a grand adventure! My idea of adventure is lounging by a pool with misters on and an open bar tab. But my girls, this living in a house that's hotter than hell and doesn't cool down even when it's nighttime...they think that's fun. Why? Because long after the age where they should be in their own beds at night, we have all taken refuge in the master bedroom, some on the bed, some camped out on the floor, with the only fan in the house blowing air directly on us all night long. We take cold showers. We eat cold meals. We savor ice cream. We chug ice water. Anything we can think of to bring the temps down. It’s like boot camp in hell…only with groceries to buy, laundry to do and dinner to cook. This no air conditioner thing has also done wonders for stimulating conversation. Who says married people have nothing to talk about anymore except their kids? We are constantly talking now. Trying to figure out whose pool we can invite ourselves over to has become a wonderful topic of conversation. Ditto, which malls, movie theaters, and restaurants have the coldest air conditioning. Last weekend, we even thought about taking a spur of the moment drive up the coast to Santa Barbara. Not because Santa Barbara is fabulous - which it is - but because it would have meant three hours round trip in the car - where the air conditioning is working. They say if you and your spouse can weather - pun intended - difficult situations, it makes you stronger for it. And I think we've come through this pretty well so far. I joked with David the other day that I was going to start up an affair with an air conditioning salesman. Without missing a beat he said, "Good, do you think he'll give us a discount on a portable unit until our system is fixed?" I don't know if we can get a discount, but at this rate, it might be worth a shot. Honestly, all I really want right now is not a cold glass of water, or imposing on friends to suck up their cool air and/or pool, or even a hunky, or not so hunky air conditioner salesman. I just want the darn electrician to agree with the darn access guy, to agree with the darn home warrantee company that something needs to happen to fix our air conditioning unit now. And when it's fixed, I have no doubt the record heat we're having will end. It always works that way.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Scream Heard Round the Block

Last day of school! Last day of school! Last day of school! Could not have come soon enough. Just in time for kids about to overload from academic pressure. Just in time for parents about to overload from serving as both chauffeurs and ATMS. Just in time for teachers about to overload from students, parents, and administrators. Just in time for national donut day. Because we need a day for that! I was waiting in the car on the street when the last bell of the day rang at my daughter's middle school. There was a scream. A collective scream. It was so long and so loud that I was afraid glass would shatter. I wanted to scream, too. Last day of school. It couldn't come soon enough. Now the pace will change. We can relax a bit. Maybe even do something silly or stupid or both. It will be a long summer, just long enough so that come the second week in August, we will be not only ready, but eager to ship the munchkins back to class. But until then...summer fun! Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Antisocial Media

My 12-year old daughter got mad yesterday when she discovered that an older girl she knows stopped following her on Instagram.  Outraged, she vowed that as retaliation, she was going to stop following the older girl in return.  I realized that this antisocial social media was about to turn ugly and suggested that the point was to express yourself and not worry about who wanted to "follow" you.  Both my children looked at me like I was nuts.  "It's ALL about how many followers you have, mom!"  What do I my mind people follow you if you are a cult leader, have a scout troop, or are a yellow brick road.