Yesterday at the fireworks site it rained, forcing us to spend about an hour sitting in the car. Thus it was not a celebration of our nation’s independence as much as a celebration of import car interiors. “My country tis of thee . . . leather upholstery.” However, entertainment was provided by watching people run to the bathrooms. And they must have been in severe discomfort. After all, not many people would risk being hit by lightening just to sit in an outhouse. If nothing else, no one wants his obituary to read, “Died while sprinting to a port-o-potty.”
Most of the time I am somewhat introverted. My idea of spontaneous, wild behavior involves calling someone on the phone. When I really want to live on the edge I will call someone who might actually be there and risk not getting his voicemail. “Next time you see that it is me, could you just not answer it? I’m really more comfortable talking to the recording.”
I am not extremely introverted. I can maintain eye contact for extended periods of time, and not just with cats. I even do speaking engagements pretty often. And again, not just with cats. But for me, introversion is my default setting. My idea of relaxing involves being alone with a book or a computer. Again, I can speak to large groups of people. I just don’t consider it relaxing. In fact, it usually results in a spike in blood pressure and the kind of intense bladder pressure that is usually only experienced by pregnant women.
Commercial - “I was having severe urination blockage problems. My doctor prescribed two weeks of daily lectures in front of no fewer than six thousand people. Now my bladder is unstoppable.”
Even though I have a child of my own, I am not a natural with kids. In fact, a lot of the time I feel like I need a translator or one of those scientists who are able to explain that a series of spastic movements by a bird are actually his way of marking his territory . . . or filing his taxes. Something like that.
“Note the intricate hand gestures that the monkey uses to express his love for his mate.”
“Are you sure? It looks like he is flashing gang signs.”
My wife, Michele, has become interested in knitting the way some people become interested in crack. It is not just a hobby for her, but an obsession, one that might require an intervention and some time at a treatment facility. “Michele, you are up to three sweaters a day. It’s time to admit that you have a problem.”
And although it is a source of joy for her, it is also often the reason she swears. As a result, we have decided that it is best if she does not knit in front of children. And while Michele is very good at knitting, because of the swearing she will probably never be able to host a television show about it. “Tonight at 10:00 is ‘(bleep)ing Knitting with Michele’”. Not unless it is on some cable channel, the kind that regularly shows those extreme fights where the winner is given a trophy and the loser is given a tasteful burial service.
At my son’s school they have a very efficient system for when parents pick up their children at the end of the day. The parents line up their cars along the curb right in front of the school. It looks kind of like an entire funeral procession pulled over to nap. To get a spot at the front of the line, you have to get there pretty early, about twenty minutes after you dropped your child off that morning. These parents are prepared for the long wait, though, often bringing food, reading material, and occasionally a catheter.
When school ends, the children walk very fast from the building to the waiting cars, which then drive off. It is an exit strategy that has been perfected over the years by organization experts and people who rob banks for a living. In fact, some days you almost expect to see the kids leaning out of the car windows and shooting at the vehicles behind them.
By Alesia Harwood
First born – you get all the rules slammed on you – and if you’re a girl, you’re up a creek without a paddle. Lucky me, first born girl with parents that could’ve been CIA interrogators who expertly detect lies from body language. They were good, too good, my friends considered it a sport trying to pull a fast one on them – all in the name of fun – of course.
Our most elaborate orchestration involved aligning the lies of six girls to their parents setting the stage for a bogus “slumber party” that was a cover to escape to a party out in the country full of the best sins. Lies were scripted, each girl knew her cover story, every parent bought our scam AND we had my mom sucked in.
Big night comes, sleeping bag in arm, “bye mom!” I pick everyone up, we were home free, on the road to sin, hearts pounding, euphorically doing the Thelma and Louise “woohooooo” chick bonding cheer…as the car behind us flashes it’s headlights on and off, on and off…..
Through panic I hear:
No lights and siren.
It’s Alesia’s mom – in the car – behind us!!
I don’t even know her and I’m scared!
Wait – HA! Only Alesia’s busted!
Ha, ha, ha, oh no honey – we’re all going down, she’s already called your parents - that won’t be worse than the wrath of Alesia’s mom - guaranteed.
We didn’t tell you about this part?
Welcome to the game!
(This is an entry in the contest to win the new book from Dave Barry.)
by Martha Mills
I am the youngest child, only daughter of 4 children, raised in an Irish-Catholic home. I’m also a nurse—great role prep to be full-time caregiver for my 85 year old mom, who lives with Alzheimer’s disease.It was not a role I planned on, but just the way “things” worked out. I’m also a wife and mom, with acareer, and a life that is all too busy.
When my mother came to live in our home 6 years ago, we had an 18 year old and an 81 year old livingacross the hall. There is really no way to prepare for an experience like that—mood swings and memoryissues…on both ends. I fondly recall this as the time I discovered wine.
Every day is new, yet the same—refill the empty drawers… track down the toothbrush, toilet paper,pocketbook, eyeglasses, and shoes… answer a million questions: “Where are we?” ”What time is myhusband coming to pick me up?” “Where’s Mom?” “Do you know you are putting on weight?” “Yourbehind is getting awfully big…”
At night, a whole new world has opened to me—Mom talks and sings in her sleep—fullsentences…complete songs…loud and clear…completely asleep. I was unaware of this until I startedsleeping in Mom’s room while she has been recuperating from a procedure. I’ve actually learned somefamily history—I wasn’t sleeping, that’s for sure!
Sometimes difficult situations are really blessings in disguise, and give true meaning to “…live, love,laugh…”