My back hurts. I stepped outside of my house and my back fell apart. Technically, we spent the entire weekend on a friend’s boat. Still, I don’t hurt my back sitting in a chair reading. I only hurt myself when I try to DO anything. I think a few days of not doing is in order.
The older I get, the more my body looks like it would benefit from Willy Wonka’s taffy puller. Putting it less vaguely, I’m getting shorter and fatter. I’m down to eating one meal a day and I still look like a weeble. I even spent several months attempting various old people exercises, but do you know how awful the body noises are when attempting squats naked? So, when we went to NYC for Starving Artist’s college graduation, I invested in several pairs of Spanx. Not jiggling like jello seemed like the least I could do to reduce the Ma and Pa Kettle impression that we leave everywhere.
I did not jiggle. I did sweat buckets. Not only did looking like a soggy kitchen sponge not cause me to lose any weight, it made the area under my spanx feel like it needed to be surgically removed. The city was filled with thin women in flowy sundresses, always speed walking their way to someplace other than where they were. In that moment, I realized how wrong I was to ever frown at the people who paparazzi try to upskirt photograph. “Ew. They need more clothing under there to keep from touching bare skin to public seating.” Wrong! They are ventilating and preventing athletes foot crotch.
Life is too short for spanx misery. Rubber bands are for papers. Cotton is for tender bits.
Hairdresser: “Big plans today?”
Hairdresser: “Bigger plans tonight?”
Hairdresser: “Saving up for the weekend?”
Me: “No plans. None. Zero. Zip.”
< - I begin to wallow in self pity about my rapid descent to death when I sit home and do nothing. ->
Guy in chair next door taking to his stylist: “Sooo, what’s your hair color on your license? Ya know?”
< - Wishes I was home. ->
Ten is such an interesting age. Every so often, a fleeting breeze of maturity takes possession and you are actually face to face with the adult that the child is going to be in the future. Then, mid-sentence, the spirit slips back into a different timeline and you are trying to have a conversation with a katamari ball as it bounces across the room.
“You’ve trained the cats to beg for food from your dinner plate.”
“At least they aren’t raccoons.”
“I accidentally cracked my phone screen, but there are not raccoon scratches on our door.”
“There’s cat fur all over my clean shirts.”
“There ISN’T raccoon fur on your laundry.”
“I failed to get the Netflix dvd in today’s mail. I succeeded at not putting food out for raccoons.”
I am excessively appreciative of the relative who taught a raccoon mom to scratch on the door for a plate of food for the raccoon babies every night.
My husband calls himself a gadget junkie. He somehow manages to get new tech in our house on a regular basis. I greet most of it with a suspicious side eye. It isn’t because things that don’t matter to him, like the children’s Cartoon Network, get the budget axe while things you operate with a phone app do make the budget. It is because where he sees all new tech as shiny and wonderful, I question if it is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. He is enthusiastic and optimistic about new tech. I put my hands on my hips and ask it to prove itself.
I like entertainment as much as anyone, but using multiple remote controls to watch a movie just to add a sound system that doesn’t always cooperate is over complicating things. Light bulbs that change color based on a phone app doesn’t seem like something needed outside of a theatre environment. Is there something so difficult about flicking a switch when you enter and exit a room that warrants voice operated lighting? I can get a current temperature report from half a dozen different tech devices while standing in my living room. I can also look out my front window.
I don’t hate tech. I love it. I have learned to love light bulbs that I can adjust to allow me to read in bed while my husband sleeps peacefully on the darkened side of the bed beside me. I like not getting out of bed to flip the switch when I find myself sleepily staring at the same sentence repeatedly. My phone once alerted me that there was smoke in the house while I was grocery shopping. That was amazing! Still, there is some tech that has yet to prove itself.
My husband is the easy sell on tech. I am the difficult customer. Is he the norm? Am I the anomaly? The products are certainly marketed toward his eyes. He seems oblivious to the amount of time he spends working out kinks in each and every bit of tech. He is an adult with gadgets that require tinkering. I am an adult who wants functional tools. I live in a toybox, but it’s a pretty cool toybox.
Now, you are 13. You’ve been the “only person in the world not on facebook” for at least three years. As promised, you can venture forward into the hyperbolic world of social media if you follow a few simple rules.
1. You will friend/follow your father and I on every social media platform you join.
2. Problems with anything posted online will be addressed IRL.
3. Do not allow others to harm you on social media.
4. Do no harm to others via social media.
5. Even though your friends are awesome, I won’t friend/follow them until they are 18.
6. Do not friend/follow your teachers until they are no longer your teacher. Accounts created specifically FOR your class to keep up with assignments and do group projects are obviously something you SHOULD follow.
7. Do not repost or comment on articles you did not read.
8. Only Hitler was Hitler. Nothing and nobody is just like Hitler.
9. If you aren’t willing to sign your real name to it, don’t post it.
10. Rules can and will be added based on your actions.
“It’s asking if we want regular commercial breaks or a single four minute ad at the beginning.”
“What? When did it start asking this? Why do we have to make decisions that don’t matter?”
“It started doing that now. This is a no-brainer. Let’s get the commercial out of the way. It’s a no-lose scenario.”
It was an Entourage trailer. He made me watch four minutes of Entourage.
I want my four minutes back.
“Go empty your bladder. You’ve had way too much apple juice.”
“The balloon full of pee that’s inside of you.”
< - Child looks at balloon floating on ceiling and a slow motion smile creeps across his face. ->
After a year in the dorm, ReadingNoah went to church with the Grands. They sent him home to choose a “more appropriate outfit” than his jeans and flannel shirt, but he made it there eventually. When he came home after church, he and the two youngest had raided the church’s Mother’s Day decor to give me flowers and balloons. Except for the imaginary dress code, my parents have chosen a much more pleasant church than the one they attended when I was a teen.
I’m sure it was a deliberate choice on my part to forget until today that we used to attend a church that would end Sunday morning service with a dozen repeats of one of the “Just as I am” verses. They made us sing that song over and over and over. Then, we had to stand “with heads bowed and eyes closed as the organist plays another verse” while the preacher had a three minute ‘I know what you did last week’ chat with God on our behalf. This was followed by singing the song again. Youth group members would walk to the front of the church and kneel for a minute in the hope that we would get out of church before evening service.
Now that I’ve remembered that, I hope I can forget it for a few decades again.