Say It! Say It! Say It!

I have said this before, but it bears repeating…

Sometimes I just can’t control my own ornery.

I try (some days I try harder than others) to act civilized and “normal,” but there are times when I just let it all hang out simply because it feels good.  Plus, it makes me feel closer to (Ma) Kettle.  That’s my mom’s mom who died from cancer two years ago.  She was the Queen of Letting Your Freak Run Around Unchecked and Unfiltered.  Admittedly, she could be totally embarrassing in public but that woman was fun and funny as hell.  And I sure do miss her.

“If you don’t like it, you can go shit in your hat!”

Anyway, I was at my home away from home the grocery store last week stocking up on items I buy in bulk that don’t fit in the cart during regular orders (10 or so cases of flavored seltzer water, a mega-pack of toilet paper and paper towels, 2-for-1 bottles of vitamins, multiple giant bottles of wine… essentials for the apocalypse).  I packed my cart to the brim and I headed to the checkout.  Being the frequent flyer that I am at this store (back in college a dive bar called Cavanaugh’s was my Cheers, now-a-days the ghetto Kroger is where everybody knows my name… sigh), someone scrambled to open a lane just for me.

I actually did not recognize the clerk who was giving me the red carpet treatment.  He was definitely new.  But he ran his lane with mad skill and had me through in a jiffy.  As I was whipping out my credit card and preparing to swipe it he told me to hold up, as his register was spitting stuff out like it was a married Jewish girl.

“Ooooh!  You got a lot of coupons today,” said the newbie.

“Oh yeah?  Anything I can use right now?”  I asked, unimpressed unless there was.

He examined the paper strip with feigned intensity.  “Mmmmm… I don’t really know you (as he looks back at all the wine and TP) but you seem like you would probably buy Lunchables.  And you’re a girl, so you can definitely use this last one for… you know.”

Insulted by his insinuation yet intrigued by his phrasing, I push back.  “I know what?”

I look at the coupon that I now presume is covered in anthrax because this guy won’t even touch it with his bare hands.  It is a coupon for tampons.  Harmless, little cotton tampons.  And just the thought of them is freaking this guy out.  My ornery is just begging to come out and play.

“Tampons,”  I say boldly.  “Can’t you even say the word?  Tampons, tampons, tampons.”  My voice is getting louder.  Several nearby heads turn in the direction of our lane.  “It is 2012.  You are a grown-ass man.  You have got to be kidding me,” I whisper-yell.

“Shhhhhhhhhhh!  You don’t have to say it!” he whisper-whispers back at me as his face turns the color of a baboon’s butt.  “Stop saying that word!”

I figure that I have embarrassed him just enough to retaliate for the pre-packaged-kids’-lunch-box-product comment, but I insist on adding one more thing.  “So you’re single, right?  (He glares back at me but I see from his reaction that I am correct)  Well, you will never get a real, live girlfriend if you can’t even say the word ‘tampon’ out loud.  So here’s your homework for today… when you get done your shift you’re gonna get in your car and drive home.  I want you to say the word ‘tampon’ over and over and over for the entire trip.  Tampon, tampon, tampon, tampon.  It will be good for you.”

I then go out into the parking lot and unload my cart full of goodies.  During my own car ride home I proceed to chant not only “tampon, tampon, tampon” but also “penis, penis, penis” and “vagina, vagina, vagina” for good measure.  I like to keep my reflexes sharp, you know.

When I got home I unloaded the car and went upstairs to take a shower before I started making dinner.  Ironically enough, it was then that I realized that Aunt Flo had come for her annoying monthly visit.  And guess what was missing from my bathroom cabinet?

I wish this post was in color so I could end it with a big red period.  More than that, I wish I had used that stupid coupon.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Just Driving Around, Learning Some Life Lessons

Ugh!  It is only Thursday.  Why can’t Friday just get here already?  This does not sound like something that should be said during summer vacation.  What is going on?

This week has been filled from start to finish with stuff on the schedule and I am not happy about any of it.  The Joy of Summer is that the wall calendar is basically empty, with the exception of “AT THE BEACH” that extended as far as I could stretch it and some doodles that I drew to keep it colorful and fill in the blank spaces.

But this week has been very un-summery because of the jam-packed schedule and non-stop driving around.  Kid A has thirty plus hours of driving school and Kid B has soccer camp.  And the drop off and pick up times have made it next to impossible for the rest of us to do anything for more than twenty whole minutes before having to get back into the car again.  In scheduling these two things I knew it would be the case, so I also decided to throw in a few other necessary appointments and check-ups, just to get it all over with at once.  The end result is that this week has felt like a punch in the face.

Last week we were doing nothing more than catching up on our Good Luck Charlie episodes and lounging at the pool.  We were all total slackers when it comes to meals and showers and going to bed.  We were just chillin’ and loving every minute of it.

This week I have to make sure that the clocks get reset every time the power goes out because I actually need to know what time it is.  And I keep almost running out of gas in my car.  I have been planning meals and enforcing bedtimes.  I feel like I am one “Did you finish your book report?” away from it being the school year.  Yuck.

One of the only fun things about all of the driving around is that the kids will usually request that we watch a movie while we do it.  Once we all agree on something then we just pick up where we left off each time we get back in the car.  This week, in honor of Kid B’s activity, we have been running Kicking & Screaming, starring Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall.  And let me tell you, that is one funny film with some really great quotes…

Mike Ditka: Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions.

Buck Weston: I take a vitamin everyday. It’s called a steak.

It is a movie about a family man who has been living in his dad’s ultra-competitive shadow all his life.  He ends up coaching his own kid’s soccer team (along with Da Bears coach, Mike Ditka, as his assistant) and eventually he starts acting all crazy – just like his dad – when it comes to the championship.  In the end he learns that having fun and trying your best are more important than winning.

Screeeeeeeeeeech.  Wait, what?  I hate when movies that start out all awesome end with such lame lessons in the end.  I mean, don’t be a jerk to your kids if they don’t come home with the gold, but encourage them to win a little.  Or a lot.  Just provide them with unconditional love even when they lose.  You’re not doing anybody any favors by teaching them that nobody really needs to keep score.

Maybe I’m extra negative because I’ve been driving around in traffic all week, or maybe I’m just grouchy because of the unnatural scheduling issue I’m dealing with in the middle of my lovely summer, but that just pisses me off.  Are you telling me that I am paying all of this money and spending all of this time and committing all of my resources so that my kids can have a good time?  What about preparing them for the future in the real world?  The one where they need to get a good education so they can get a good job and make a positive difference.  The one where some people win and some people lose.

I realize that they make family movies that are all happy and fun and nice, but our kids are learning from these movies.  It can be and has been done right before.  Take the movie, The Incredibles, for example.  Now that movie has a very well articulated message about the downside of letting everybody think they’re special.

Mr. Incredible: You mean you killed off real heroes so that you could *pretend* to be one?
Syndrome: Oh, I’m real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I’ll give them heroics. I’ll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I’m old and I’ve had my fun, I’ll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone’s super…
[chuckles evilly]
Syndrome: – no one will be.

All right.  It is about time that I have to get back into the car to pick somebody up from somewhere.  But before I get back into the car I am going to switch out the DVD and run something that teaches some more realistic life lessons.  Hey kids, who’s up for some Varsity Blues?

Wish me luck for tomorrow…