#Beyourself, #johnhughes, #clarkgriswold, #nationallampoon,

#WWCGD

The older I become, the more I realize that I can now relate to most of the characters in National Lampoon’s Vacation, not just the teens & Uncle Eddie… 😜

What triggered thoughts of the Griswold’s was an incident with my daughter a few weeks ago. My daughter’s friend asked her to go to Fright Fest at Great America, I agreed, assuming the other mom/dad were going. Unfortunately the other mom/dad assumed I was going.

Since we already told them yes and they were so excited; neither of us could say no. So I agreed to drive one way and the other mom agreed to drive the other. Neither one of us were thinking about the round trip time. When I realized I would be in the car for 2.5 hours going nowhere, combined with my daughters additional side text requests for other accommodations; I started to get a tad bit resentful. Hence, my text below to my daughter.😜👇🏻

Suddenly, I understood Clark Grizwold

On my round trip to Gurnee, I got to thinking about how much I will enjoy seeing my daughter sing zip-a-dee-do-dah out of her tiny butt😊😅 like Louis Armstrong. Then I realized I am becoming more and more like Clark Griswold! How did this happen?

Becoming CG

Despite our parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles’ best efforts to provide us with social guidance and teach us society’s unspoken rules; there are many instances that do not “come up” in everyday life. Therefore, movies & TV shows assisted in bridging the gap of the absent social cues on how to behave.

Looking back, I now recognize how being exposed to the encounters faced by this family has played a key part in my upbringing. Here are some of the crucial components I might’ve missed if it wasn’t for this family and their interactions with others.

#1. Hand Hygeine is important

Growing up in the 80s, where most of us probably washed our hands once a day, if that, before dinner (after the street lights came on.) It is a damn good thing that Clark Griswold (CG) subtly suggested to cousin Vicki, (a young Jane Krakowski!🤯), to not stir the Kool-Aid with her hand.

As an avid, Kool-Aid stand entrepreneur, I might’ve thought this was behavior was acceptable if I could not find a large spoon. Thankfully, I caught Clark’s subtle hint.

2. Don’t Judge/Be Proud of where you’re from.

Cousin Vicki is uncouth, however, it is not her fault since behaving this way appears to be normal where she resides. Hence, when Audrey confronts Vicky: “That being a farmer isn’t cool” instead of reacting offended, cousin Vicki advocated for herself with an “Oh yea?Well…”. Vicky counters Audrey’s statement with a shoebox full of weed.

Touché cousin Vicky
Thanks for da stash cuz
Audrey: “Farmers are actually cool. “

#3. Drug use can get you arrested

In the 80’s, we were lucky enough to have those amazing commercials about “This is your brain on drugs 🍳, any questions?” Also, the powerful “I wanted to be a ballerina when I grow up.” (I am being serious rn, it was powerful, it stuck with me;)

Other than 🍳that, there really was no other protocol for not participating in the use of illegal substances. Thankfully, I witnessed Audrey’s attempt to throw Aunt Edna under the bus when the cops pulled them over. I realized, “Holy smokes Audrey could get busted, in front of her parents! Yikes! No drugs for me.”

#4. Don’t get caught, but if you do, indirectly blame the crabby person

I was never able to pull off this one: If you are always happy, nice, kind and sweet-no one will suspect a thing. 😜 I have zero poker face. I kept this default tactic in mind “blame-the crankiest individual, no matter what age, for the “bad” behavior”…

#5. How to shotgun a carbonated beverage

In my family, pop or “soda“ was a rare commodity in the 80’s. A day I could have pop was the best day of my life. 😎

Which usually meant, the next day was the worst! 😩 The sugar & caffeine withdrawal left me tapping my inner-arm veins like an addict for some more high fructose corn syrup & artificial flavors.

Drug of choice👆🏻

For some reason, I also thought that “I better drink as much as I can today because there might not be any tomorrow!” Which made me feel normal when I saw Rusty slam that beer.

#6. The Mom is the Smart One 🤷🏻‍♀️

Ellen Griswold taught me that I need to be smart! Better go to college!! Also that I need to question the dad just in case ;).

#7.The Dad will rarely admit he’s wrong 😜

Therefore, I don’t waste my time waiting for an apology or acknowledgement. With no expectations, I am never disappointed, but there is always that possibility of being pleasantly surprised.

#8.The Dad always wants to impress the hot women.

Turn a blind eye ladies, they can’t help themselves. 😜 It is in their DNA.

#9. Props are important while dancing.

My family can attest that I use this tip at most functions that involve dancing. Props can include, but are not limited to, (CG) bologna sandwiches (me)trays of cold-cuts, plants etc.

#10. Many unforeseen problems will occur on family vacations

This tip has come in handy over the last few years. Clark planned his vacations meticulously, yet many unfortunate events still occurred. I expect our family vacations to be disasters, and they usually are.😜 Incorporate same mentality as #7.

Learn from disasters for the next shitty family vacation

#11. Find a job with an excellent PTO package 😉

Allow for some extra time during your vacation in case of a setback.

#12. Don’t Shoot the Messenger

The majority of people in this world are doing the best that they can, (even if they are annoying;). Overall, the majority of people are good, unfortunately we only hear about the people with bad & rude behavior. Most annoying people are just doing their job as instructed.

#13. Don’t believe everything you hear, no matter how convincing and like-able someone is…

The Future Johnny Rose 🌹🥰
Cmon, Don’t bullshit a bullshitter

I was very naive and innocent growing up; still am sometimes. Somehow, I knew that Clark was an example of a dorky parent. (Ya think? Yes I know I’m a genius.:) Anyways, everyone in the family rolled their eyes and sighed at Clark; yet they went along with whatever he suggests or does.

I am aware this is a movie, however, I would like this type of cooperation without the eye-rolls & sighs from my teens. Did Clark know he was a dorky parent? I wish I didn’t. 😉

Fortunately, there is one thing that I partake in that Clark does and I do not care about the sighs or glares… The final way I’m like Clark Griswold. 🥁 roll please…

#14. The more Christmas lights, the better 😜

My tip: Don’t buy 300 light sets. They always burn out in half. Purchase 100 light sets, probably 12-15 boxes. Easier to keep track of the quantity.;) They also seem to last a couple more years without the annoying and impossible fuse changing.

Contrary to popular belief, the holidays actually start a week from tomorrow, ya know, the day AFTER Thanksgiving ;)…Sweet baby Jesus…Hallelujah…Well holy shit, where’s the Tylenol ?🙃

#freedom, Christmas; The Grinch; The Ultimate Gift; Mother knows best; 2020

The Stocking is Half-Full

The biggest fights I had with my mother were about her relentlessly forcing me to watch old movies.
.
It was so “unfair”! I wanted to watch “normal” stuff like everyone else. I would fight her to the end.
.
I was SO stubborn! I STILL am! Right now, I am gritting my teeth like these defiant toddlers & teens below.👇🏻🤬.🙈

I refuse to touch the grass!
I’m not moving, what you gonna do about it?


I haven’t watched THE BISHOPS WIFE since I was an eye-rolling teenager- too busy scowling to see the magic. Even if I did, I wouldn’t admit it.

To keep from slipping into that Charlie Brown-what-is-Christmas-all-about-depression this year; I needed something bigger than Buddy or the Red Ryder BB gun.

So I made a point to watch The Bishop’s Wife over Christmas weekend, remembering how much my mom loved it.

Watching this movie now at 46, in 2020, was like fuel for the soul.

How did I miss the sweet snowball fight scene? (Or my favorite kid of all time- the young George Bailey—Bobby Anderson). Probably because my mom was trying to tell me to look.

George Bailey I’ll love you til the day I die. (Just don’t tell my mom or I’ll have to kill you,)


I didn’t appreciate the ice skating scene; probably because my mom gushed about it; which in turn made me think it was “dumb”.👇🏻

In pouting and covering my ears, I also missed the story about the shepherd and the empty stocking.🥰🥲😢🤩
.
I see it now. I feel it now.🙈👇🏻

White Christmas- I dreaded this one too- “I hate musicals!” is all I would defiantly scream.

My Mom: “You don’t hate musicals. You love Grease, West Side Story, Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music & Mary Poppins.”

Me: (grrrrrr🤬) “Those aren’t musicals, shut up and don’t talk to me!”

When my mom is right. Me: 🖕🏻


Over the last few years, I finally swallowed my pride and let myself enjoy White Christmas. Fine!

Ok! The songs are kinda catchy. 😜

Who am I kidding? I love all of them. 🙈
I get the true meaning of the story now.

That General Waverly chokes me up every time😢…

Sobbing like a bitch at home 12/26/2020

I now appreciate the insane dedication, practicing and hard work that went into this movie: the real dancing, the real singing, (not computer generated ) the lighting, and the dresses! Perhaps it’s because we live in lounge wear & jammies now but I never truly noticed THESE outfits!

I mean…who wouldn’t feel sexy AF in this?

I am grateful that my mom is still here for me to tell her THANK YOU for being so annoyingly persistent. It only took 30 years+a quarantine for me to come around.

Read this true story about Irving Berlin. It will break your heart even more about this song, the story and the👇🏻 movie.

https://www.countryliving.com/life/news/amp45720/white-christmas-song-history/

THE ULTIMATE GIFT

This year, I recognized the greatest gift I have ever received. The gift of this knowledge presented itself on Christmas Eve and was about as welcome as Ebenezer’s three spirits.

A old friend casually joked with me “at least you got to believe in Santa Claus.”

I never thought of “believing in Santa” as a gift or that having the “chance” or “opportunity” to believe in Santa Claus was a privilege.

It makes me sad that my friend did not have this opportunity.

I realize now how much effort is put forth into having your child “believe”. Perhaps some parents don’t have the energy, imagination or faith to keep this alive; or maybe some parents do not know how.

The innocence, imagination and simplicity of a child’s mind made the magic of Christmas easy to pull off.

Their excitement over little things made me excited; which in turn made me WANT to make it fun and magical.

The last two years have been opposite for me with two teenagers. I honestly had no clue what to do for them because they are genetically predisposed to be selfish, ungrateful assholes.

The vibe & statements I received from them was, “Christmas isn’t as fun anymore mom, it’s no big deal. It’s okay.”

The message I would give back, “It’s okay kids. I have nothing left to give anyway you life-sucking punks. I am empty.”

Which in turn caused me to NOT WANT to do anything for them this year. I didn’t care.

However, this is the year they needed me to care the most.

Then I remembered what my mom would do. Despite what we said, she would do it anyway. My mom still did everything the same even when we were teenagers and early twenties. She still put presents out from Santa on Christmas morning and put stuffed animals in our stockings despite the eye rolls. It was as if she could still see our inner child; kinda like this commercial.👇🏻https://youtu.be/QJntbYytPz8

She had the ability to be where we were at… yet she still knew what we still wanted; even though we were too stubborn to admit it.

I did what my mom did and I did it anyway. I stayed present with where my kids are.

I had no expectations of them or their reactions. Instead of being mad about their lack of excitement, I rolled with it.

I made my kids wait until after church to open gifts.

I stalled a little longer to finish wrapping gifts for others. Even though “it’s not fun like it was, mom” they may have accidentally displayed some anticipation and a glimmer of childlike-Christmas-morning-glow.

By expecting them to be as they are instead of what I hoped them to be; I was pleasantly surprised by their pleased reactions and gratitude.

It was a beautiful Christmas and my kids were grateful, sweet and thoughtful.

My mother gave me this gift to me…

My mother “showed” me how to “do” Christmas.

Mom, I should just wrap you up and put you under the tree every year because you are truly a gift. 😢☺️

And you were right about everything.🤬😂 (Inner Teen: Thrashing defiantly inside.)

Well, almost everything….

I refuse to stay up til 4am wrapping – that shit is done way ahead of time while kids at school or out with friends. I also learned from this SNL skit to ask for exactly what I want, buy it for myself if I do not get it and to stuff my own stocking!. 😂

No flat as a pancake stocking here 😜
#brenebrown, #doitanyway, #freedom, #greatpretender, #homeschoolingrealshit, #millenials, #opportunity, #sidehustle, Badassery, brene brown, glennondoyle, Health & Wellness, Lin Manuel Miranda, narcissism, narcisstic personality disorder, parenting struggles, relationships, unlockingus, vulnerability, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

Sympathy For The Devil

I may not KNOW a lot of things but one thing I do believe for sure is that BOB (Esai Morales) from La Bamba is one BADASS mother fucker. He has to be THEE coolest and most captivating actor on the planet.

He should have won an OSCAR for best supporting actor for his performance; (Esai Morales) truly MADE the movie.

He literally SEDUCES the audience.

That being said, what I find most ironic is that no matter what he did or said, I still liked his character. I thought he was hilarious, I still do. What is even more puzzling, is that he is a complete dick.

(Side note: Esai also appeared on Ozark for a season or two- I was immediately entranced. )

As a woman, I completely identify with Rosie. As a mother and wife, I empathize with how she feels; I hate how she is treated by Bob. What was also puzzling is that she ANNOYED me. 🙈

I can actually feel her pain, grief, & confusion. You can see it written on her face. The “wait…wtf-just-happened?” face. The “how-in-the-hell-did-I-end-up-here” face. She displays this facial expression the majority of the movie. We all know that face.

This puzzled face☝🏻The “Rosie” face.

We all know that feeling: When you realize you’ve been had. You got screwed over. The worst part about it, the majority of it was your own doing. You assumed. ASS-U-ME.

I get how she assumed as well. Any woman in a could easily fall into Bob’s trap; especially the married ones. Bob’s seductive allure could have wise woman entranced in his spell: After Bob flirts with you: Huh? What kids? What husband? You don’t have a job you say? Ballsy. Hot…You drink every day? Wild & crazy. You live in your mom’s trailer? Sounds cozy. Humina Humina 😍🥰😛

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I remember thinking: Awwww just leave him alone Rosie.. it’s your own fault you got yo self knocked up

☝🏻This is the work of the devil.👆🏻

I STILL liked him after that horrible, disrespectful and honest statement by Bob. Like “Dayyyuuumm.” Why?

Currently, I am an adult and an educated & wise woman, yet I still like Bob. Wtf!? How come? 1. Clearly excellent acting by Esai Morales 2. Amazing directing

However, I am not satisfied with this. Inquiring minds want to know!!!

I was concerned with my reaction when I watching this movie recently. When the mother, Connie Valenzuela, minimized Bob’s cartoonist abilities and reminded him that he is about to become a father, I thought: Jeez Connie, buzzkill, what did you have to go and do that for!? Why don’t you get out of Richie’s ass and pay attention to poor Bob. He is trying. POOR BOB

Poor Bob: your womanizing, chauvinistic, selfish, entitled, immature, unemployed, alcoholic, manipulative, man-baby-son who just was released from prison.🤔 (Bob sounds like a real catch on paper doesn’t he?🤥😂)

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.Proverbs 16

From a biological & genetic standpoint, Bob does what Bob does best. Bob is a an alpha male who is genetically predisposed to flock his sexy shit to attract females. Bob does whatever possible to get laid; ultimately procreating more human beings to populate the earth. (Biology 101: It is vital for males to compete for reproduction and for females to choose between those competing males.

If a member of the opposite sex finds your tail, your song, or your dance moves sexy, you will have a chance to fulfill your primary biological role as a member of your species: to reproduce.

https://biogeoplanet.com/how-do-animals-find-mates-sex-and-sexual-selection/

This is “Bob’s” “primary biological role” aka his job and he rocks it. He got Rosie pregnant so now he needs to “move on” and to do this again.

It’s not his fault…yet. (Please don’t get angry, hear me out;)

From a biological/genetic standpoint, Bob is doing his job. He behaves how all male animals act. Bob is genetically predisposed to be what humans would consider “an asshole”.

The problem is, he also doesn’t know any better. No one has taught him otherwise. No one has had the chance to teach Bob to step above his biological urges.

Please don’t cause him to feel inadequate by making him have to THINK.

Don’t make him feel like a failure by asking him to have COMPASSION or EMPATHY? That is NO FUN.

What a DRAG it is getting old.

What would cause a human being to behave this way? Or to treat women this way?

Bob’s True Story & my psychological interpretation😜:

Just like Rosie, Connie also hooked up with a bad boy at a young age and got herself impregnated (with Bob.) The hot, sexy biological father took off.

I know you “love him” Rosie, but unless you want to cook dinner on his motorcycle…

Connie then met someone else (Steve) and Connor married Steve when Bob was two years old. Steve loved Bob and treated him as his own. Steve and Connie then had a child, Ritchie. Ritchie was a reflection to Connie what she did right=Ritchie=golden boy. However, Bob was a reminder of her bad decisions.

Connie, Steve, Bob & Ritchie were doing well together for a while. Bob assumed Steve was his biological father and Bob loved him.

In an interview, the real Bob Morales states his life took a bad turn when he was 14 and his parents (Connie & Steve) separated.

“I moved in with my mom while Ritchie went with my dad. One day I told my mom that I wanted to live with my dad and and that’s when my aunt told me ‘Why do you want to go with him if he’s not even your real father.’Bob Morales 

Despite Steve conveying to Bob that he loved him as his own son, the shock devastated Bob. Also, it was horrible timing for Bob to find this out because soon after this discovery, Bob began high school.

Bob was getting into fights frequently so he stopped attending. Instead he gave money to the homeless nearby who would buy him alcohol.

While his now single-mom was working two jobs, Bob was not going to school and had no structure all day, no guidance, no direction=idle time which is the DEVIL’s playground.

Therefore, Bob ended up going to a detention center from age 12-17! Connie, his mother, signed him over as a ward of the state. He did not see his family that entire time he was locked up.

👆🏻AKA Go Fuck yourself Connie. I will never let a woman hurt me again.

The first time Bob saw his mother or Ritchie in years; was the day of Steve’s funeral. Which also means he didn’t get to say goodbye to Steve or to grieve properly.

Bob learned to adapt to his lonely life by becoming the life of the party. He learned how to get what he needed by finding comfort in women and selfishly move on. This probably soothed his resentment toward his mother for while, but then he felt guilty; so he drank the pain away.

Of course he was jealous of Ritchie. Ritchie got his Dad and his Mom. He got nobody.

The point is that all of US are capable of evil depending on what we are exposed to.

I thought of this blog when I was about to bitch at my son for not cleaning up the mess he made after making quesadillas. I realized that I can’t assume he knows how. Instead, I showed him how clean it up. I told him that this is what I expect. I didn’t talk to him like he was stupid. I thanked him for making his own food. I didn’t clean it up for him. This is the only way they learn.

Mothers: We cannot assume that our sons are just going to know how to treat women when they’re older. We cannot assume that their Dad’s are going to teach them either. Most Dads are working their ass off and are never home. (Probably chasing tail 😂 not knowing why. Kidding!🤪)

We have to teach OUR SONS what WE want from them so they can learn how to GIVE this to their future partners. We need to teach them about affection, connection, friendship, compatibility, respect, and the long term.

We have to teach them that this may be a biological urge to continue to chase women and populate the world, HOWEVER, we are not animals.

It costs a lot of time, money, energy to raise a human child properly into a respectable adult.

We need to teach them that human females can be hot and smart. Women can be attractive, fun, brilliant, and confident. We have to teach them, not ASSUME, that a Human FEMALE’S purpose is not to populate the world.

It’s Biology Rosie- kidding! You can have both!

We also have to teach our daughters: What they tolerate will become their future. Being a victim will not get you anywhere.

It’s OUR job to ALSO teach the FUTURE MEN of this world these skills. We need to teach them how to love unconditionally. Parents need to be a TEAM.

There is a chapter in this book on how we “go easy” on our sons because we don’t think they can manage it all and are tougher on our daughters 🙈

https://markmanson.net/love

https://markmanson.net/compatibility-and-chemistry

#markmanson

#ericthomas

#glennondoyle

#freedom

Adult Goldilocks

As a mental health clinician, I have the right to diagnose myself. Lately I believe I have been suffering from MULTIPLE OZARK PERSONALITY DISORDER. (MOPD)

MOPD is located in the DSM-V: Diagnosis code: 69692020. ICD-10 Code: 2337.

Since quarantine, I have noticed that I am taking on more and more characteristics of these Ozark personalities. (You WILL definitely relate to this, whether you watch Ozark or not. Truly… no spoilers here, anything discussed is all pretty obvious.)

What I find ironic and hilarious is that my husband will no longer watch this show with me because he found the show “ridiculous” and “unrelatable.” He stopped after season one…typical. Season one of any show is comparable to a psych 101 class; basically playing just-the-tip with character development.Sheesh.

Anyways, the irony is, that the more outlandish and ridiculous this show becomes, the more I find it relatable.

Let’s be real, everything is ridiculous in the world right now. I mean who would ever think we would not be allowed to attend live sport events and there would be cardboard fans? Who would ever think that kids would not be attending school in person? Who would ever think that in the midst of massive change and uncertainty there would be a presdential election? I digress

These real-life events make some good old-fashioned, illegal activity seem refreshing. What’s the big deal about a dad who wants to make some extra bank on the side for his family?

Since we were encouraged to do nothing but sit at home, scroll on the phone and binge watch tv; we extinguished our coping skills. Now, everything is different at one time. All this change is just too painful for my brain to tolerate; my psyche has now split in order to protect my sanity…

Split Personality #1:The first episode of the third season of Ozark, Ben is introduced. He is a substitute teacher who seems pretty cool; but then he is exposed to the reality of tweens and smart-phones when a student begins to cry in class about a text with a photo received. The lack of eye contact, respect or response from the rest of the students infuriates the him. He then proceeds to take all the kids’ cell phones and throw them in a garbage. (I think this is a completely appropriate reaction.) He goes too far and throws them all into wood chipper. I find myself relating to this entire scene up until the last 17 seconds.

Take it easy Ben, you are just a sub. Substitute teacher: https://youtu.be/Dd7FixvoKBw

Split Personality #2: Ruth Langmore, who can make you blush with her raw cussin and brutal lack of filter. Ruth’s demeanor, even while having sex, gives off that don’t-fuck-with-me vibe that can make you cringe. She has also channeled her white-trashness into some useful business woman tips. What is cool as hell about her is she owns her mistakes; no excuses. Fuck is now a noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb and a language in itself because of Ruth. Anyone else speak fluent fuck nugget?

Straight up…my Spirit Animal.

Personality #3 The matriarch of the show, Wendy Byrde, who manages being a mom and wife with political policies. Wendy Byrde is completely transparent with her kids, does whatever the hell she wants in her marriage and uses her political knowledge to commit illegal crimes legally.

First episode of season one: Wendy is an ordinary, stay-at-home mom who gave up her political career/power to raise her kids. Her life was uneventful and easy, and she was unhappy and bored. She thrives in chaos. She had a rough childhood. 👈🏻(This article is brilliant about her acting out when she doesn’t belong.) She comes alive while juggling negotiations with a mexican drug cartel and her power soars when she comes up with strategies to legalize her husband’s money laundering operation. Wendy spins these webs from the safety of her minivan.

Just like any mom does, “Wendy’s got this.” Mom’s know what to do. Wendy can handle almost anything and plow through the day, unaffected. However, what is so relatable: it’s the little shit that throws her over the edge. Everything is cool until her damn emotions slow her down.

She can blow off a call from a drug lord👇🏻.

She can answer her kids tough questions without missing a beat.

Wendy’s-mentality: Don’t sugarcoat anything. Throw us a bone and let us know where we stand. Mama Byrde: OK, here’s a bone…straight up your ass.

TO HUSBAND: “Quite Frankly, I Don’t Give A Damn If You Like It Or Not, Cause I Feel Pretty Good About It. It’s A Good Idea, And I Did It For Our Family. What Did You Do Today… For Our Family?” Wendy Byrde (boom)

Marty replies flatly: “I bought a strip club.” (He is pretty bad ass but I haven’t gone numb yet;)

Everyone has a weakness and Wendy’s is: she cannot handle her brother and his “irrational” behavior. Why can’t her brother just understand that they are laundering money for a mexican drug cartel and everything is going according to plan? Why won’t he leave things alone and stop trying to make everything moral and just? Why doesn’t her brother “get it” that it is normal to be disintegrated in an acid barrel when you stand up to the cartel’s lawyer or you work with the FBI? Why won’t he stop behaving like a toddler and involving the police? Jeez…

Wendy. loses. her. shit. with her brother. The flooding of emotions causes her to get hammered in a parking lot in her minivan for days. When she does eventually come home, she wants to hide under the covers. She doesn’t want to get out of bed. She doesnt care about any of the stuff she was relentlessly working toward. She lost her tenacity and drive. She fell apart.

Which brings me to my “Wendy Moment”. No I did not get hammered in my minivan. What are you nuts? I do not drive a minivan😜.

Backstory: The last seven months during this global pandemic, I’ve taken pride in that I’m a Gen Xer. I have been thriving in this chaos. Watch movies with my kids every night, psshh, my dream come true. I have loved not having to go anywhere. I accomplished so many projects and got in the best shape of my life. I was kicking ass at work and rolling with the changes. My relationship with my kids and husband has never been better. Even when I struggled with e-learning and juggled my kids being home while I was working; I persevered.

Then the little shit happened that threw me over the edge. School started for 2 days, then was canceled for two more weeks (something died inside me that day😜). I broke my own phone and had wait 6 days for a new one (I am still re-doing every password in my life). My daughter received her scoliosis brace and she was NOT happy. This clusterfuck of events has triggered me to split. These are all NORMAL, regular, solvable problems, yet I cannot deal. Like Wendy, I can deal with the crisis and big stuff. The little, unpredictable, emotional shit…not so much ..

👆🏻Mama Byrde broke into her old house in Chicago, then acted out by pulling an adult Goldilocks. She drank their beer and sat on their beds. She realized she no longer belonged to this life anymore.

MOPD Examples:

Monday: I was picking up some girls for a volleyball camp carpool and my friend was talking briefly about her day to me as a elementary teacher; now teaching her students online. It sounded unbearable, extremely stressful and overwhelming. A flashback of me teaching my daughter in May, triggered a depersonalization episode. It was as if I was hovering above both of us, looking at our life thinking “this cannot be real.” Similar to the Wendy-Goldilocks moment when she realized she did not belong in that life anymore.

The no longer knowing is terrifying.

The not knowing how to do our job, not knowing how to be a parent, not knowing how to behave in public (That awkward-should we hug, I want to hug but, are you hugging?…)

Everything we once “knew for sure” we no longer know.(split) In comes Ruth Langmore: “This is crazy. I don’t know shit about FUCK!”

Tuesday 9/28/2020 – I Drive kids to school, attempted to listen to the news on my way home. The discussion about the presidential debate …Flood of emotions …I walk past my office, get in bed and hide under the covers…(split) Ben Davis “I will not fall into line with the others. What you walked into is normal… this is all normal….No, nope, no it’s not …smh…” (split) In comes Ruth again…

“What are you going to do, kill me? you bitch wolf?

☝🏻Ben the sub: insubordinate and churlish☝🏻
Wednesday: My son was excused from school for a golf tournament. I drive him to golf course at 5:30am. By 8:46am: My son has a golf-injury, I shit you not. He hit a ball, it ricocheted off a tree and knocked him in the chin. He was gushing blood apparently. I had to stop working and bring him to urgent care to get stitches. The day was shot. Anything my family said to me after that, I replied:
Kid: “I’m going to ride my bike to Dunkin.”
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Me: “The fuck you are.”
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Kid: “I’m going to the skate park.”
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Me: “The fuck you are.”
. Everyone just stay here, stay safe, stay uninjured. But…wait…we already did that…and that’s not living. Of course I thrived when we were all in a bubble. Nothing ever happened. We were all zombies. That’s not normal. It was a nice break; a reality check on what’s important. Yet it is all a blur. You don’t remember the nights you got plenty of sleep. You remember the nights you almost died in a field while you were at a “sleepover.” “Ok, ok you can ride to Dunkin after you do the dishes, and get decaf”. Look both ways when you cross the street (dipshit).”

“Ok. Ok you can go to skate park after you take out the garbage. You better wear helmet, knee pads, elbow/wrist guards…and here’s some bubble wrap (dumb ass).”

In the end, the little shit is all that matters and that must be why it’s so hard. -Quillan Kelly-Dunn

#doitanyway, #freedom, #homeschoolingrealshit, Find A Way, parenting struggles

District 2020

We had a 13th birthday party for my daughter last week; decided to make it an 8th grade kick off as well. This means we invited the whole class, all genders, hoping the class would possibly get along…together. (This class has not worked since day one.) We also rented a dunk tank assuming this should be a hit; and perhaps they would forget they can’t stand each other😂.

My daughter kept warning me about the boys, she said “Mom, they have no consideration for anyone but themselves.” (Probably repeating what she had heard year after year from the teachers.)

I was getting the yard (arena) ready the night before. I ripped a piece of shipping tape off the side of the pool (kids tried to ghetto-ly hang some rope lights next to the filter. 😂) Suddenly, I feel a sharp, shooting, burning pain on side of my head. I thought for a second I electrocuted myself. Then I see a wasp flying around. I look under pool edge and there is a giant a yellow jacket nest.

I considered spraying it and removing it myself. However, when I googled what to use, it strongly advised not to do this alone. Then found some websites for bee removal services and “Swarm removal.” 😬 (Usually, I would ignorantly underestimate the situation and fearlessly proceed. Then I had a momentary flashback of THE HUNGER GAMES’ tracker jacker scene and….it is 2020.

The hive has probably been there all summer. Adults & kids have been here swimming almost daily; no one saw it or got stung. I email some of these services, receive some prices and then they explain this is a 3 step process that needs to start at dusk .

The party begins in 14 hours, there won’t be time for someone to do all these steps. I hope, pray and assume no one will see the hive. I am then distracted by a past winner, “Haymitch” who graciously drops off a cooler of Gatorade and cookies.

Good luck…

12pm: I notice on my phone the temperature outside is a perfect 84 degrees; I look out the window, not a cloud in the sky. The most perfect day. Despite the temperature on my smart phone, stepping outside is a different story. As I slowly slide the door open, I am hit with a humidity blast that feels like 110 blazing degrees.

I am pouring with sweat setting up the bean bag boxes and volleyball net. I stop to wipe the sweat from my brow that is stinging my eyes. As a stand still, I feel the sun searing through my sun-screened, pale af, freckled, perimenopausal skin.

12:30pm: Most of the “tributes” have arrived. The girls remain on the deck, staring wide-eyed at the boys who are violently shoving each other into the pool and holding each other underwater. The floats are mangled and destroyed within seconds. The girls remain shocked & terrified; unsure if they should enter the pool or get blistered in the sun.

1pm: The dunk tank has been delivered. As I am pulling our hoses to fill the tank, I hear “It’s a Yellowjacket!” “Omg there’s a yellow jacket nest!” “Awesome!!!”

To my horror, all the boys are now surrounding the backside of the pool armed with bean bags, a ball, whiffle bats, and a broom (where the hell did he even find that?) Immediately, I demand they drop their weapons and step away from the hive.

“You guys are going to get stung!“ I exclaim. The boys playfully reply, “No we won’t!” Or “We don’t care!” I try another tactic: “Would you care if I record you and send to your parents?” Most freeze and give that you-wouldn’t-dare-look. I glare back at them👇🏻.

All except one take the bait and retreat. The last is still laughing maniacally as he is shoving the broomstick into the heart of the tracker jackers lair. I remove the broom from the boy, he mopes away with his head down, temporarily defeated.

1:30pm: I witness the girls still standing on the deck with their mouths hanging open. I gently encourage the girls to go in the pool while boys are out. Thankfully, “Peeta” shows up with lunch!

While kids are eating, I hide the “weapons” in the basement. Then I hear a loud, thumping sound. I run outside and see a heckling boy sitting on the dunk tank seat. The boys have already begun throwing balls at the dunk tank target. The Problem is there is only one inch of water in it. I envision a Tom & Jerry episode (pic below).

Before I plummet into debt from a kid requiring extensive dental work or sustaining an injury in the empty tank; I completely over-react with a loud, shrilling, scream. Everyone looks at me, stunned. *Side note: My reaction is amplified due to the dunk tank manual boldly stating SEVERE injury should occur if dunk tank is not full or “damage to the tank will result in responsible parties assuming cost of repair.”😱🙈

👆🏻Me: Visualizing myself having to listen to my husband’s lecture about adulting and “dunk tank repair” is not being financially responsible. 😜

2pm: I regained composure and tell the kids how high the water needs to be in the tank before they can use it. I assured them I have three hoses going and it should be full in 20 minutes. This answer pacified them and the boys retreat back into the pool, while sporadically antagonizing the bees. I notice The grass around the pool is flooded (Tick Tock Tidal Wave).

2:14pm “Someone’s been stung!” I hear repeatedly by numerous girls. (Tick Tock Tracker Jackers)

As I am searching for a sting antidote in my closet, I remember something important from my kids toddler years.. At every playdate, it was chaos the first two hours; then magically the kids started to get along. The kids had to get used to and adjust to having another kid around. Epiphany: That is what is happening now! The two hour mark is in 15 minutes!

Stung tribute…Don’t say I didn’t warn ya kid.

I walk down the stairs and find the entire floor from the back door to the front is soping wet. I am blindsided with a smell of stove gas & wet dog combined with sewage. My daughter is shaking her head at me. I ask her, “For the love of God, what is that smell?” (Tick Tock: Poisonous gas) My daughters glares at me with contempt, that “mom-you’re-so-dumb” look.

“Mom! I told you this would happen! All the boys smashed into the bathroom and locked the door so we couldn’t use it! They don’t wear deodorant! Then one of them took a big dump!” My daughter exclaims.

For once, the Covid mask comes in handy as I cover my nose & mouth. I locked the front & garage door to prevent numerous, wet entries and dried the floor. I tell my daughter, “They are boys, they never hung out with you guys yet. They just need boundaries and limits; it will be okay. If not, they are leaving in 2 hours and we won’t have to do this again.”

“Two more hours of this!? UGH!” She exclaims and stomps away.

2:30pm Some of other boys have now realized that there are girls present. “Effie” shows up to help me (hallefuckinglujah!). We gather them all together to take a group picture. Immediately following the flash, the boys simultaneously charge at the girls, pushing them into the pool. The girls nervously laugh and Effie and I shrug in unison; “At least they are all in the pool together.”

The dunk tank is full. The girls huddle and watch the boys heckle, whips balls at the bullseye and dunk each other. This contained, organized activity has seemed to spark the interest of all parties. The boys surprisingly organize themselves into a line and take turns throwing and being dunked. I overhear one of the more advanced thinkers of the group (who has sisters 😂), “Aren’t we going to let the girls have a turn?”

With two other moms present to supervise, I take this opportunity to escape. I had some lunch, cooled down in the AC and changed my clothes. The fear-induced “hallucinations” begin to subside and I have an epiphany.

My yard is the “arena” and the arena in a CLOCK! Just like in Catching Fire! It’s just a GAME! Stop giving a fuck and just play the game!!!

3pm: I look outside at the “arena”. I see “Effie” & “Peeta” sitting on lounge chairs with their feet up. To my surprise, some of the kids are either playing bean bags together or making a whirlpool. What…the…

Toddler to Teen mindset: Every “play date” takes two hours for the kids to get along.
That’s just the way it is.

Haymitch shows up holding a 6-pack and provides some useful advice. We enjoy some cold, adult beverages as a team. We effin did it! It WORKED! We won!

I have a sip of the “adult elixir” and experience another revelation… “They are just kids! They are supposed to be assholes! It’s our job to teach them to not be! They do not know how to play the game yet! We have to teach them how to play!”

Peeta organized the bean bag tournament. The kids all sat TOGETHER and watched each other play. I couldn’t believe it. Haymitch periodically would make the kids stop and take cleaning breaks. They listened. It was an effin miracle! (A 2020 miracle …pssshhh. No way.)

The four of us are sitting around talking and laughing. Parents are starting to show up to pick up their kids; grateful for the long break from their kids after a five month quarantine.

My daughter whispers in my ear, “Can you text all the parents now before anyone else comes so everyone can stay later?”

“What!? I thought you couldn’t wait until this was over? Remember you were frustrated there was two hours left?” Stay later?!? She’s hallucinating; musta been stung by a tracker jacker. I still almost fall out of my seat.

Daughter: “Well that was before. It’s been SO fun. I never want it to end. Everyone wants to stay.”

“They do?”

“Yep. And…You. were. right. Mom.”

👆🏻HO.LEE.SHIT. Was not expecting that👆🏻Me, Mom…was…right?. Tears of joy welled in my eyes.

I really did win!

😂 #winningmommoment