Lyrical Laughs

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How These Things Go Sometimes

This past week Youngest Kid decided she wanted to go to a concert in Boston on Friday night with a friend. Originally she thought she would drive. That got nipped in the bud very quickly on our end. Fortunately we had a little reinforcement when Oldest Kid’s best friend who was visiting and happened to mention that she would rather drive in New York than in Boston. It’s always a huge help when someone much closer to your child’s age can affirm a point you’re trying to make that was met with complete and utter dismissal because you are a dinosaur.

The plan then changed to driving part of the way and catching the subway into Boston. The idea of these two girls trying to find their way around the subway system (by the way, Government Center – the hub – is closed for 2 years for construction. Great.) and then driving back and not arriving home until who-knows-when was just a little too much for me to handle.

My mind started spinning, along with my stomach. I wanted so very much to let them figure it out on their own, but not like this, and not when I knew I’d be insane until they got home sometime in the middle of the night.

So here’s how yesterday’s events unfolded, via text messaging with my very understanding and relenting spouse:

Me: So… how do you feel about driving to Boston?

Him: Um… why?

Me: Why not. I am really having angst over them doing this on a Friday night.

Him: Does she know about this?

Me: No but trust me, she will be ecstatic. We could drop them off, find a place to park and do whatever… eat, walk around…

Him: (knowing this wasn’t even worth arguing about) Sure.

Me: It would be 2 less hours I am having anxiety over where they are.

Him: (in typical guy fashion) And that could be worth a LOT to me…

Me: (do they even try to disguise what they’re thinking?) Oh yes, I will owe you.

Him: Always wanted to drive to Boston on a Friday night.

Me: Well now you can cross that off your bucket list.

I should mention that the last time Youngest Kid went to a concert at the same Boston venue it started at 8 p.m. and was over in less than an hour, and she and her friends had to wait around for more than two hours while the parents of one of the friends were at another event. They passed the time wandering through a nearby Rite-Aid and then loitering around Dunkin Donuts where the staff was less than cordial. Fortunately it wasn’t too sketchy of an area.

The concert this past Friday night also started at 8, so I was sure we’d be back on the road by maybe 9:30 at the latest. Yeah… no. The first act came onto the stage twenty minutes late. The headliner finished up at 11 p.m.  Guess who spent three hours last night walking up and down streets in the neighborhood only to end up loitering around the same Dunkin Donuts?

I should probably mention that Spouse and I are typically sacked out on the sofa by 9:30 at the latest on a Friday night, being that we wake up starting at 5 a.m. for work all week. This was way beyond our bedtime, and I knew Blind Dog and Demanding Cats would have no mercy by 7 this morning.

Some of you might think it was too much mothering to take this trip. Others might be mumbling that the concert never should have been an option. It’s a call that’s not easy to make sometimes, and I can’t honestly tell you I felt it was the right thing to do either way. This is just how these things go when you’re a parent – you wing it and hope you’re making the right choice for yourself as well as your kids.

I can tell you my almost-20-year-old was more than okay with it – in fact, after stressing herself out about wanting to be excited but feeling nervous and a little overwhelmed about the whole thing, she was just as happy about it as I thought she would be – and extremely thankful.

If we hadn’t done it this way they probably wouldn’t have made it to the concert until long after it started, and they most likely would have been facing a two-hour drive home well after midnight.  And guess who would have been awake all night in a panic?

Naturally I was the one the animals woke up this morning, because everyone else in this house is sleeping like a rock. That’s fine, I can sit in our backyard and sip my coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet for a while. And I can start figuring out how to pay off my debt to the Spouse for going along with me (as if he had a choice).


I can pretty much guarantee it won’t involve loitering around Dunkin Donuts.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The four-letter word that needs to be banned

There are few things I sternly put my foot down about at home. However, there are times when you just have to make it clear that some things are just not acceptable – some behaviors forbidden, especially when it comes to language. In my house there is one four-letter word that needs to be avoided at all costs. The mere mention of this word can corrupt minds young and old and send you down the path of self-destruction with the very temptation of its use.

The word is Etsy.

Do you see how easily it rolls off the tongue, as if it was there since the dawning of time instead of just created less than ten years ago? Did you just hear a musical carousel start to play because this word is just so cute that it almost screams “Go! Have fun!” in your head? Can you feel its grip as it lures you toward the statement silk bow bracelet that entwines around your wrist on a metal plated bangle? Do you find yourself wondering how any bride can glide down the aisle without a red floral fascinator headband? I mean seriously, it’s not even fair to leave the house without a cool tote back that says “I like big books and I cannot lie” – am I right?

Of course I’m not right. I’m insane. You have to admit that spending more than four minutes on Etsy could certainly lead to insanity in that I Have to Have This kind of way.

Fortunately, I am not much of a shopper. I’m a search and seize kind of girl. Show me a mall and I’ll show you a bad excuse for wildly overpriced shoes, sushi and spatulas. Etsy sells shoes and spatulas (not sushi). I had no idea there were so many kinds of spatulas. I’m feeling like I’ve led a bit of a sheltered life now.

Etsy sells everything. Just for kicks I typed the word soul in the Etsy search bar. They actually sell souls. Well, not souls, technically. But there was some kind of soul eater doll, which seriously creeps me out even though it was kind of adorable.

Unfortunately, that non-shopping gene did not extend to my children. No, no – they got their father’s penchant for purchases. And this is why Etsy needs to be banned from our home.

My husband doesn’t really know what Etsy is. If you brought Etsy up in front of him right now he would probably say “What’s an Etsy?” This is the same reaction we got when we were making fun of Jersey Shore a few years ago and he asked “What’s a Snookie?” So he’s not really an issue, as long as Home Depot doesn’t start selling on Etsy.

Here’s the problem with banning it at home and having no control over any other environment.

Our oldest daughter has a life of her own in Philadelphia. She has been exposed to and has helped support Etsy, Amazon, Ikea – all the tricks of the trade that reel people in. My only glimmer of hope is that she and her future husband are saving for their honeymoon… and hopefully groceries.

Our youngest daughter is what you might call a stress shopper. This stress shopping tends to occur when she is 8 hours away at college. I’m pretty sure I am aware of maybe half of her Etsy purchases. The really sick part is that her shopping triumphs at Etsy have most likely encouraged her to find bargains at other websites who adore college students with work-study jobs and debit cards.

So I need to teach this kid how to better handle stress or hope she graduates in three years with a guaranteed job that can link her pay directly to the Etsy shopping cart.

Either way, Etsy, I am out to end your reign of handmade high waist purple spotted denim shorts terror. You are going down before our charge card limit goes up.

That is, as soon as I can tear myself away from this vintage orange tin box with the parrot in a birdcage design. So cute!

The apple doesn't fall far

I didn't get to post last weekend because I was enjoying the glorious Maine weather. I realize this is a poor excuse. In my defense, I was also wiped out from working my day job and hadn't been feeling well for a few days. I'm better now and have regained my snark strength.

This coming weekend Oldest Kid and The Fiancé will be visiting, so I'm giving you a rare treat. A post and a half. This will be the half, but it does have a back story, so it's close to a full post.

We spent a chunk of this evening trying to find the bed in the spare bedroom (I still have a hard time calling it that after 2 years of it being empty) and part of it involved helping (watching) Youngest Kid filter through a bin of her papers from first through fourth grade. It was a great trip down Elementary School Memory Lane to look back on old photos and read things she had written when she was just a kid. Among the loot were a couple of partial diaries she started but never filled. Below is an entry which I couldn't help but share. Her sister was "excepted" to college and this was her version of preparing for the separation.

As far as that I want to be Erma Bombeck thing I've always had going on, I attribute the journal entry below to genetics, even if she doesn't really know Erma the way I do.