Potty Mouth

I walked in on a conversation between my husband and daughter last night about how all the kids in her class are talking about swear words. I have been hearing about this for months so I was a little surprised that she hadn’t brought it up to her dad yet. Maybe it’s because they just went to see a movie over the weekend where she spent much of the time covering her ears so as not to hear any swearing. I know this is hard to believe, but she doesn’t hear the f-bomb a lot. I clean up my gutter mouth around her as much as I can. Also, she usually doesn’t really listen to me.

Somewhere along the way she started telling me some of the foul language in the movie. She said someone said “beep-hole” which I interpreted as asshole. But then she said it was the “S” word and I was confused. So as my mind was trying to work out why someone would be calling another person a shit-hole, my husband said “like look at this dump. This place is such a s-hole”. I started laughing that I couldn’t figure out the context. So I said “Oh, I thought it was the ‘A’ word” which was met by a puzzled look from my daughter. I quickly said “A for awesome” to which my husband responded “yeah, your mom is called the ‘A’ word a lot!” I couldn’t argue.

I never would have thought that by the age of 8 my daughter would not have heard at least a dozen four letter words from me. I’m pretty proud of this. Especially considering she told me a girl in her class told everyone how she overheard her Mom say “I f’ing hate you!” to someone. Not to be outdone, another little girl claimed to say the “S” word to her parents. I’m wondering when she is going to ask me to hear the George Carlin recording of the 7 words you can’t say on the radio.

This morning I asked her why she and her friends talk about swear words so much. Being as insightful as she is she noted that it was probably because they weren’t supposed to say them. I told her this was true and I would be upset if she were swearing, but she really shouldn’t feel bad about hearing the words every now and then. She told me she knew this was true or I wouldn’t be listening to all of the music I listen to. She told me that she was happy that she didn’t have to be disappointed in Tim Timebomb for using foul language. She may not listen to me but she does listen to what I am listening to!

This piece is brought to you by lots of f-bombs!

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Negotiating With a Shark

My dad is a do-it-yourself kind of guy. He cuts his own lawn (at two houses), paints his own walls (naked), installs his own dock and boat lift (with minor disasters) and does his own bathroom renovations. And for as long as I can remember I have been his trusty assistant. When I was younger he had to bribe me to help, now I have to bully my way in. He is getting older and I don’t want him to break a hip or anything. If he did, I may have to figure out how to finish the project alone!

My dad is currently renovating the master bathroom at his lake house. It’s a fairly large undertaking since he is moving plumbing. He started demolition last week. Of course I have been there for a lot of it. Destruction is kind of my thing. I got to go swing a sledge hammer at walls for hours at a time. That’s not work, that’s therapy. One day while I was hammering out six inches of tile and cement my dad thanked me for my help. I thanked him for my anger issues which were clearly driving that work vehicle. Truth be told, my dad is one of the few people who doesn’t invoke anger in me.

Home improvement projects have always been a family affair. I grew up with a hammer in my hand and we are trying to place my daughter on the same path. We have attempted to include her as often as possible in work projects. Unfortunately, she doesn’t yet have the kind of anger issues that would lead her to hammer therapy, but a few more years with me should do it. My dad gets her to work with him by paying her. Bribery has always worked with her too. He gets this child to pick up filthy seaweed from the shore in the summer and crusty old leaves in the fall. It’s amazing to me since I can’t get her to pick up the clothes from her bedroom floor, allowance or not.

Today she came out to the lake after school to help demolish some walls and haul out the trash. She actually wanted to work and took part in every aspect of the project. I did have to take a broom away from her after she almost sterilized me while I was facing the opposite direction. I’m not sure what she was trying to sweep but she managed to position the handle in between my legs and pull up at the same time. Luckily I am still quite a bit taller than she is or some emergency room worker would have had an interesting story to go home with tonight.

After a few hours of hard labor we called it quits and headed home. As soon as we got in the car my daughter asked “am I getting paid for this? Grandpa always pays me.” I told her she had a choice, she could either be helpful and do the work for free like the rest of us were doing or she could get paid. The catch was if she got paid she would have to pay my dad every time she used the bathroom in the future. I thought that was a fair trade. She responded with “how much would it cost to use the bathroom?” At least she is using her math skills!

I wrote this piece while covered in dust and listening to Ratboy (how appropriate).

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It’s Raining Men

I went to a male review this weekend. The word review has a bad connotation for me. I think of my former job and the dreaded performance reviews that were meaningless and painfully boring. The feeling that comes along with that word has not changed – I still feel a little nauseous, and now maybe like I need a shower. I’m also a little confused about why these shows are called a review. I didn’t get any score card to fill out. Maybe it is more of a review for the audience about what the correct body parts are or what a guy is supposed to look like naked. Either way, review is not a word that makes me jump up and say “I want to go to that!” Yet I did.

I have never been to a male review so I didn’t have a reference point. I haven’t even seen the movie Magic Mike, but I have seen quite a few memes with a bunch of half naked dancing dudes, so that was pretty much what I expected. This particular show was a group of touring performers, so I assumed the guys would meet a certain standard. None of my expectations were met. I felt like maybe the club owner walked onto the street and stopped random guys leaving the gym to see what they were doing that night. By gym, I mean the local YMCA. Oh, and he only found four guys. That’s fine though, the audience/performer ratio was still 5 to 1.

The audience consisted of a very drunken bachelorette party, a group of gay guys and their fag hags and us. The bachelorette and her posse were all wearing tight white dresses, and one of them was roughly the size of half of our group. She turned out to be the only member of the audience who really appreciated the attention from the dancers – so much in fact that she ended up on the stage with them more than once with her cell phone recording all of the incriminating evidence. The stripper/comedian on stage referred to these ladies as the “wasted white wedding” and us as “the sober divorce club” since we were the only patrons still able to stand up unassisted. He had no clever name for the gay guys which surprised me because I had about twelve. One of the gays was wearing a flannel shirt and what appeared to be a toupee. I had a half hour commentary about that guy alone before even looking at his companions.

Maybe the best part of the night was that we actually watched these yahoos setting up for the show. We arrived an hour after doors opened, right as a group of guys was hanging up a giant blanket on the back of the stage. This blanket was the highlight of the show. It was covered in dancing lights that mesmerized me for a full hour while half naked smarmy guys in cowboy hats danced around. It was magical. I spent the better part of the night trying to figure out how to remove this masterpiece from the stage and get it into my car without getting tackled by a shirtless guy with half a boner. I decided the odds were against me and left empty handed.

At one point my girlfriend turned to me and asked “where do you think they get these outfits?” My reply was “Walmart. Definitely Walmart.” They fit right in with the venue though. It was like a VFW hall outside of a trailer park. At one point I reached under my chair to move it and stuck my hand in something sticky. The makeshift bar may or may not have been on wheels and the ladies room was right outside of the dressing room for the dancers where they could be heard getting changed. At least they had a professional sound system or we may have missed all that witty banter from the guy with crooked teeth and cornrows. He announced he was from the south. No really!?

I was surprised at how many dances occurred with less than a half dozen men performing. They had group dances, individual dances, costume changes and even a few props. I think it was as entertaining as it could be given what they had to work with. From my understanding, a male review is supposed to be somewhat fantasy inducing, and my mind was definitely wandering. Unfortunately, my mind was reeling with questions like “I wonder how adonis ended up here, did he want to be a Juliard trained dancer but just couldn’t cut it?” or “I wonder if any of these guys were actually in the armed forces. Does putting on the military vest cause them to suffer PTSD?” or “who the hell picked this music? I heard the same songs at Drag Queen Bingo!” I mean seriously, when the song that is played repeatedly is pretty much the drag queen anthem, you have picked the wrong music to dance to.

When the country song came on, it was time to leave. I can only endure so much. Unfortunately, I think half of the audience was just waiting for someone to make the first move. I didn’t have to be asked twice. As soon as one of my friends made the “let’s bolt” face, I was at the door waiting. As we exited, the bachelorette party stumbled out behind us. A few other stragglers followed as well.The dancers were left with the gays and their crew which I think was right up their alley.

The woman who planned this event apologized profusely as we walked to our cars and we all assured her that the comic value made it a worthwhile night. She ended with saying “maybe we should stick to the arts and crafts…” Somehow I think we are going to end up in some DIY studio and they will also be playing “It’s Raining Men”.

**Photos have been withheld from this piece to protect the innocent.

There are only a few guys I want to see sweaty on a stage and Henry Rollins is one of them

 

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You Make Me Wanna Puke

I’m beginning to wonder if a few days with me makes my family sick. Every other time we go out of town or spend a long weekend together we all end up sick. I mean, I get it – I make myself a little sick on a regular basis, but it would be great to spend some time together without having to worry which one of them is going to start throwing up first. I would like to say I am not the cause of it, but I seem to always be the last one to catch whatever plague takes down our house. I spend the first few days after vacation taking care of the other two and then my mom has to take over babysitting while I barf for a day uninterrupted. I attribute this to me having a higher tolerance for myself than my other family members.

The last few times we have gone away for a short weekend have both been to water parks. I know those pools are giant petri dishes so I can’t say I am surprised by our illnesses. What does shock me a little is that my husband always gets it the worst. I would think my daughter would be the one to ingest the most pee from the water slides. Go figure.

The worst part about the illness that wiped us out this time around was that it struck on my daughter’s eighth birthday almost to the hour in which she was born. We returned home from our mini-vaca and went out to dinner with her grandparents to celebrate this monumental milestone. Mini-me decided against getting a cake which should have been a clue that something was amiss. This kid loves cake like Charlie Sheen loves cocaine and hookers.

By the time my 8.01 year old was getting into bed, she was complaining about a stomach ache. She lasted about 15 minutes before she started throwing up. I don’t think anyone in our house slept more than a half hour at a time the entire night. For me it was similar to the night I gave birth to her, and many nights after. Luckily, the wee one recovers quickly like her mom and was done barfing within 24 hours. Her father on the other hand has been down for the count for several days. He ended up at urgent care having bags upon bags of fluid pumped into his veins. I attribute this to his inability to properly process vitamin JEN since he hasn’t had a four day dose in awhile.

I’m trying not to take this too personally since I know there are tons of people who encounter me daily who don’t get sick. I guess I am like good chocolate – a little is awesome, but too much may make you hurl for a day or two. Maybe I should get a little consumer warning sign to carry around with me, or better yet a tattoo of the side effects of my sparkling personality. Until then my family is going to have to learn to toughen up or take me in smaller doses.

I wrote this blog while convalescing and listening to the Queers!!

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Kiss With A Fist

Believe it or not, when I was a little kid, I was super shy. I didn’t really blossom until second grade when I changed schools. But, my first two years in school were pretty hellish, mostly because I was small and shy, and therefore, easy prey for the bullies of the public school system. Oh yeah, and I was smart. Smart enough that my teachers were somewhat frustrated with the fact that I already knew how to do a lot of the things they were supposed to be teaching me how to do. I was not particularly popular with my classmates or the teachers.

I remember riding my bike to school one time when I was in first grade. About a block from the school an older boy put a stick in my spokes and I fell. It was the last time I rode my bike to school. I’m sure when I got to my classroom I was told that the boy was being mean to me because he liked me. That was a common statement in my generation. Boys were routinely excused for bad behavior. If a boy put a worm in my hair at recess, I was told that he did it because he was trying to get my attention and the behavior was ignored. Even at the young age of six, I wasn’t buying it. That kid didn’t put a stick in my spokes because he liked me, he did it because he was a little asshole. He was a bully who waited around to attack someone smaller and weaker than him and I was it. The boy who actually did like me was riding with me and helped me up and gathered my possessions as his older brother chased away the bully.

My daughter is going to be 8 this week. She has had her fair share of boys being mean to her, and never have I told her that the boy was doing it because he liked her. I have also never told her that a girl was being mean because she was jealous, which is something I also heard growing up. I have, however, heard several adults tell my daughter or other girls her age these things. I don’t think either excuse is valid or accurate. It’s one of those leftover ways of thinking that makes little girls feel responsible for other people’s actions and base their self-worth on how other people view them. At the very least, it teaches girls to think they are causing boys to behave badly. But far worse, it is telling girls that they should expect boys to be mean to them and that it’s acceptable for boys to mistreat them both emotionally and physically as long as it’s because boys just don’t know a better way to express themselves. That’s a load of garbage.

I don’t know what it was that caused me to reject these ideas by the time I was in grade school. Maybe it’s the fact that my mom wasn’t the type of woman to let someone walk all over her, or maybe it’s because my dad taught me how to box by the time I could walk and told me to never be afraid to fight back. I would like to say that these early lessons brought me to where I am today unscathed but that would be a lie. I still dated some jerks, but not one of them tried to feed me a line of crap that they could hurt me because they loved me.

I am raising my daughter to value herself. I do my best to talk to her about why kids behave the way they do, honestly. I try to ask her how she feels and then let her know that she doesn’t have to hold onto her feelings, especially the ones that don’t serve her well. We must be doing something right because she has never said that a boy must like her because he is being mean to her. She has, however, pointed out that there are some kids who are just mean and all she can do is ignore them. I’ll chalk it up as a parenting win!

**This piece is brought to you by lots of Riot Grrrls!

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