Archives for January 2006

The Playground: An Emotional Case Study

Contrary to Alex’s expression, we were not in fact headed for the Evil Playground of Doom. All I can figure is that in his spare time Alex visits playgrounds with half-made-up clowns and one-armed carnies and children who go to the top of the spiral slide but never. come. down. That’s the level of screaming and protest I listened to on our four-minute drive.

But he quickly changed his tune. At this moment, I was the Best Mama In The Whole Universe, the one who provides all the parky / playground fun.

It was only a 30-minute reign. When I told Alex we had to leave, I had to surrender my BMITWU title, for the leaving was so painful that he could scarcely bear the sight of me.

And now I’m the happy one.

What A Refreshing and Delightful Treat

Last night around 10:15 I made an announcement to my husband, who was completely engrossed in my TiVo’d Oprah epsiode (it was about some guys who were shocked to learn that their father was secretly a bank robber, and we all know that the male gender is incapable of turning away from stories about bank robbery, fire, high-speed chases, or fugitives being brought to justice).

“I’m going to bed,” I said, as if a completely novel idea had occurred to me, this notion that I could get in bed before midnight.

“At TEN?!?!”

“Yes. I’m going to bed.”

And I did, y’all. I did.

You can imagine my surprise, when I woke up at dark o’clock this morning, to find that I was rested. Refreshed, in fact. Ready to conquer whatever the day had in store.

I’ve always been a night owl. I’ve programmed myself not to be so much of one out of sheer necessity, but given my druthers (does anyone know what “druthers” are, by the way? I throw that phrase around like I know exactly what it means, but for all I know what I’m really saying is “given my flags” or “given my peanuts” or “given my churns”), I’d stay up until 2 or 3 and sleep until 10 or 11. Every single day.

My brother-in-law loves to tell a story from one of my annual summer visits with him and my sister in Nashville. However, I should preface this story with a critical bit of information. When I arrived in Nashville for this particular visit, I was greeted by a large grocery sack filled with paperback books. A co-worker of my sister’s had cleaned out her bookshelves, apparently, and my sister was the beneficiary. Because I have always been a reader, that paper sack might as well have been filled with, as we like to say in the South, cash money. It was a treasure trove, that’s what it was. And I started reading the books about – oh, roughly? – 11 or 12 minutes after my arrival in Music City, USA.

Over the course of the week, I’d stayed up later and later, reading one book right after another, which is characteristic of that enjoyable OCD part of me that can’t do anything in increments. If I’m going to read a book, I want to sit down and finish it, even if it means ignoring, you know, “childcare” and “responsibilities” and “appointments.” By the same token, if I’m going to start a project, I need a block of time to devote my entire life to painting that wall or chopping that wood (and I cannot tell you how many times wood chopping has been the order of the day). My point is, there’s no happy medium with me. At all. (Side note: I like to claim that I’m a “laid-back” person, but whenever I say that David gets this quizzical look on his face and then he points at me and laughs dementedly. So maybe “laid-back” isn’t the best adjective to describe my personality. Perhaps “high strung” is slightly more accurate).

Anyway, imagine Barry’s surprise when he returned home from work one summer Thursday – at approximately 5 in the afternoon, mind you – and discovered that I had just stumbled out of bed. Only moments before, in fact. And the only reason I got out of bed was because I heard his car coming down the driveway; otherwise I would’ve racked out until 6 or 7, at least. Oh, I tried to fake it like I had been up and productive for HOURS, but he didn’t fall for my sneaky scheme. Something about my slitted eyes and wrinkled pajamas gave me away.

Which brings me back to my startling announcement last night. Since I started this blog(o-rama!), I have stayed awake, on a regular basis, until the wee hours of the morning. Check out the times I’ve posted some of this stuff. For some reason, it’s like the creative juices don’t start to flow (and I HATE that metaphor, by the way, but I can’t think of another one) until at least 10 or 11 at night. But last night, interweb friends, I forsook you for some precious extra sleep. It was delightful.

The best part? I’m so rested and refreshed that, tonight, I’ll be able to stay up late again! And the vicious sleep cycle continues….

J. Walter Weatherman Is Alive, Well, and Living in Mississippi

A bit of back story: my friends Buddy, Andy and Jim are some of the funniest people I’ve ever known. When we were at State, you would often find them surrounded by large crowds of people who would listen intently and then fall to the floor and roll with laughter. I could devote a lengthy post – and I just may – to Buddy’s mastery of the prank phone call in pre-caller ID days, but for the time being let’s just say that dorms filled with international students were his target audience.

When it became very clear to me that I was going to have to include some of their antics in this little interweb forum, I asked them if they wanted aliases to protect their identities since they’re all high-powered businessmen who control a great deal of the world’s oil reserves as well as the legislative branch of the US government. After much discussion, I can now announce that the humorous stylings of B-Diddy, G-Master Detail and Diamonds will be making occasional guest appearances on this blog. I keep telling the three of them that they need a blog, but they don’t listen. They never did.

And since I told you their real names before I introduced the aliases, I guess the whole alias deal is sort of a moot point, but it does add a certain gangsta flava. We’re all about the gangsta flava here in the suburbs of Alabama, you know.

Anyway, they talk much good-natured trash via email (B-Diddy likes to point out that, in his spare time, G-Master likes to do “delicate charcoal drawings of Ron Polk“), and they sometimes include me in their fun because, well, they pity me.

Today I was grateful for the pity, because this little gem from G-Master made its way to my inbox. Enjoy, everyone. It’s an instant classic.

“The following has not been independently confirmed, and is solely the testimony of my sister:

Yesterday, my sister was sitting in the First Presbyterian Church in Loveland, Colorado, reading the weekly church bulletin when she was shocked to see in the announcements section that Bob Johnson of Hernando, Mississippi (our father) had passed away in his sleep on the weekend of January 22nd. She immediately phoned home, and kept calling until my mother answered at about 1:00PM CST. Upon hearing Julie’s voice, my mother’s first words were “wow, the lengths I have to go to just to get a phone call.”

You see…last week, my mother was apparently quite frustrated with my sister due to the fact that Julie had not called home to speak with my mother in about 2 weeks. Having reached a breaking point, my mother apparently contacted the main office of my sister’s church and asked that the church bulletin committee include, in this week’s announcements, the death of my father.

Note 1: My father is alive and well.
Note 2: My mother still lives with my father and is well aware of Note 1.

Again, this story has not been confirmed, but my sister says she will mail a copy of the church bulletin to me very soon.

I can’t make this up, people. Have a nice day.

‘G-Master Detail'”

Like I told Andy, that’s a story for the ages. I can just picture Andy one day, with his children surrounding him, saying, “Okay, kids, now I want to tell you about the time that Mamaw faked Papaw’s death. Oh, it is a sweet memory….”

Would You Like Fries With That?

Alex and Maggie are now Best Friends Forever after the former took it upon himself to feed the latter this morning. Everytime Maggie would finish the teaspoon’s worth of food Alex put in the bowl, A. would scream, “Hold on JUST a minute, Maggie! I’ll be right back!” And he’d go get her another teaspoon’s worth of food, and Maggie looked at Alex with such love and adoration that I thought her little doggie heart might explode.

Apparently all the “pull your tail like a leash” and “ride you like a horse” incidents have been forgiven and forgotten. They’re thick as thieves, these two. Thick as thieves.

Oh, You Silly, Silly Man

Tonight while D. and I were reading our Sunday School lesson, and by Sunday School lesson I really mean watching the last two TiVo’d epsiodes of The Bachelor:Paris, he asked me if girls really think that desperation will land them a man, that all manner of plotting and scheming will actually attract their soulmate and enable them to live happily ever after.

To which I replied, “Ummm…yeah!”

It is obvious that my husband has never lived in a sorority house. And for that we’re actually all quite thankful. But he’s clueless – CLUELESS, I say unto you – about the level of plotting and scheming a girl will go to in order to convince a man that she is his soulmate and he cannot live without her.

Part of the fun – at least when you’re young – is the drama of it all. The chase. Once you get a few years past college, the chase isn’t as big a deal…at that point it’s sort of like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah I’m running I’m running hey you caught me YAY the end and I do.” But in college? OH, the drama was oftentimes the best part.

One of you who may or may not read this blog once went on a date that may or may not have been with someone from what may or may not have been a Large Religious Organization on campus that may or may not have been BSU.

The time leading up to the date was filled with Much Planning. What to wear, how to fix the hair, what the second date would be like for there was sure to be one, what it would be like when he went home to meet the parents – I’m telling you, the boy was on the fast track to the altar and he had no idea.

But, you see, things did not go as planned. If it had been part of The Bachelor, there would have been promos for weeks telling all of America to tune in for the most dramatic. Bachelor. moment. EVER.

Because as I’m sure my sweet, level-headed, even-keeled, Proverbs 31 friend remembers, when she found out that BSU boy was interested in someone else, she SLAMMED THE DOOR, KICKED IT, FLUNG HERSELF TO THE GROUND and started to sob. No, sob is too weak a verb. She started to WAIL.

And we were all, “What the…” and she was all, “I just thought he really liked me,” and we were all, “Ummm…missy, you’ve had ONE DATE,” and she was all, “Yes, but I thought he was God’s will for my life! I decided that he was God’s will for my life!”

Please don’t misunderstand. There were lots of guys who would have loved to be The One for my sweet friend. She’s exactly the “type,” for lack of a better stereotypical word, that many guys hope to marry. But for her, it was just the pressure of the whole thing – she was ready to meet That Guy, date That Guy, and marry That Guy. She was ready to check “Soul Mate” off of the list and get on to the next thing so that the pressure would be gone. I think a lot of girls felt that kind of pressure.

My point is this. Girls are conditioned from an early age to be on the lookout for The One. How do you know he’s The One? Is he The One? Oh, I think he’s The One. If he’s not The One, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m just ready to find The One and settle down. And then, in the tradition of The Bachelor: Oh, BACK OFF, Sistah – he’s not The One for you, he’s The One for me. And then, the saddest: I thought he was The One, but I was wrong.

I think the root of all the drama is that so many women look to someone else to validate who they are. Guys tend to let their jobs do this…but many – not all, but many – women look to men. So I wonder if these “desperate” girls who disturbed D. so much are really wanting Cute Doctor Bachelor Guy – or if they just want someone, anyone to deem them worthy of being wanted. Does that make sense?

If we’re going to condition girls / women / whathaveyou to always be on the lookout for the handsome prince, to think that their lives won’t be complete until they find him, then people like My Husband Who Has Obviously Been In A Cave need not be surprised when girls pull out all the stops to win the prince’s heart.

And then fling themselves to the floor when he’s not so interested.

Eat Him Up, I Could

I don’t really have anything coherent to say, so indulge me as I post some recent photos of The Cute One With All The Cheeks.