Snarky Retort to “Rules for Dating my Daughter”

Normally, I flip through the interwebs casually and inattentively. I read headlines, glance at cat pictures, and roll my eyes at religious and political stuff. Every so often, I see a popular meme that irritates me so much that it jars me from my semi-conscious social media induced zombie state. I know you have probably seen this one, too. It’s everywhere. It’s even on t-shirts. As you can probably tell from looking at the title, it’s the Rules for Dating my Daughter meme that irritates the pacifist right out of me.

Why would this irritate me? It’s funny, right? WRONG. It’s not funny when you have a son. Not one bit. It’s not funny when someone assumes your Star Wars watching, animal loving boy is a threat to anyone. So, Mr. Macho Rules for Dating my Daughter, I’ve got some replies for you.

Get a job.

Why? Are you counting on him to pay your bills while you sit around, pull the bedbugs out of your navel, and write stupid ass rules for dating your daughter? School is his job right now. Obviously, it was never your focus.

Understand I don’t like you.

Understand he probably doesn’t give a shit. Also, understand your snotty little princess might get on my last nerve.

I am everywhere.

That’s an odd statement. Are you on any psychiatric drugs or did you fail basic physics in school? While you are floating around EVERYWHERE, can you tell your daughter to stop leaving hickies on my son?

You hurt her, I hurt you.

First of all, that is a comma splice. You would have learned fancy writing skills in school. Also, DO NOT threaten my son. If you hurt him, I can promise that you will never know what hit you. I will fly at you with some Lifetime movie level shenanigans like the Wicked Witch of the West on Meth riding a Dyson.

Be home 30 minutes early.

Then tell BOTH of them to be home 30 minutes earlier than you originally said. Don’t play games. Just give a damn time.

Get a lawyer.

Why? Dating your daughter is a crime because she is such a special princess? Fuck off.

If you lie to me, I will find out.

How? Did Harry Potter mind reading skills come with your “I am everywhere” starter kit?

She is my princess, not your conquest.

I didn’t know princesses traded in their gowns for shorts that show their labia. My son generally wears pants that cover his genitals. Who is the conquest?

I don’t mind going back to jail.

Really? Is it the food or your big, burly lover that you miss most?

Whatever you do to her, I will do to you.

So, you will buy him jewelry for Christmas? You will take him to the movies every week, and out for ice cream, too? I think you need to think this one through a little.

Really, I’m not sure why any of these “rules” bother me. They were obviously written by a “man” who sits on his porch, polishes his gun, and spits tobacco juice into a Mountain Dew can. In other words, he’s a walking stereotype.

Hey, I’ve got an idea, Mr. Rules. You could maybe get to know my son as a person rather than an imaginary threat. In return, I will stop rolling my eyes whenever your daughter complains of being cold in her denim bikini bottoms. Deal?


Murder Mystery Meltdown

On Friday nights, I usually change in to my pajamas at 5, order a pizza, have an extra glass of wine, and watch Shark Tank with my husband. Last Friday was a wee bit different. My good friend M had a couple of extra tickets to the murder mystery dinner here in my hometown. My husband and I like hanging out with M and her husband, so we were glad they invited us. Having never been to a murder mystery dinner, I thought it was a dinner show, meaning I could just sit there, shovel food in my face, and watch the show. It would be kind of like what I do at home in front of the TV only I would have to wear a bra, and not put my feet up. It sounded awesome.

At 43, I have the hearing of a 90 year-old, so before walking into the restaurant, I turned up my hearing aids. I wanted to be able to hear M and hear the show. This was my first mistake. Holy heck. From the time we entered the restaurant until the “crime” was solved, there was constant noise and “information” about the killer. The interaction never stopped.

Once I realized how noisy it would be, I turned DOWN my hearing aids and asked to see the drink menu. I said a silent secular prayer that this was a full liquor bar place and not a beer and wine only place. I did plan to order two glasses at a time if wine was my only option. One glass would not be strong enough for this hermit hell I was in. Beer is just weak bread flavored soda, in my humble opinion.

As an introvert, I lose energy when I am in a crowd of people. It’s almost like my light switch goes off and my ability to interact with people just shuts down. My switch flipped off about an hour before the show was over. I’m sorry, I mean about an hour before the murder was solved.

Not only was there a lot of listening and talking, but there was freaking homework! Seriously. We had to take notes and fill out a worksheet about “clues” and “suspects.” I was not allowed to write, “I don’t care. Can I just have my dessert in peace?” That is not a correct answer. They really wanted us to THINK about what had happened and who had a motive to kill the victim. I hadn’t heard most of what the suspects had said because the sound system seemed to have come from a 1989 K-Mart catalog. It also could have been because I’m hearing impaired.

Not only did I have to strain to listen to suspects, but also I had to talk to strangers. Strangers. I’m still recovering. We were supposed to actually get up from our table and circulate to talk to even more strangers. As the token introverts at the super interactive murder mystery show, M and I declined to do this. Our husbands played the game, though. This gave M and I a chance to catch up.

There was a theme, too. It wasn’t just a murder we were solving; it was a totally awesome, tubular murder from my high school years. That’s right. We were partying like it was 1985. I really enjoyed the 80’s theme, especially the costumes. I wore my cat Swatch (of course I have one), a checkerboard mini skirt, and leggings. Other people dressed in really authentic 80’s attire, including the murderer and her man.

The Murderer and her Beau

The Murderer and her Beau

The murderer was Cindy Leapyear. Get it? Leapyear instead of Lauper. I don’t remember what her motive was or any details because I had stopped paying attention an hour earlier. I think it had something to do with a romantic relationship with another character that looked like Joe Dirt. My husband got a picture of Cindy (not her real name) and her companion, who wore a plastic suit. I hope he had a layer of baby powder under that suit. It did not look comfortable. I spent the evening trying to figure out if he was Michael Jackson or Devo. He did win a prize for his costume, as I told him he would when I first saw him earlier in the evening. Cindy and Devo Jackson gave us permission to use their picture.

So, if you are an extrovert, and you love talking to people and being social, and doing a lot of thinking while you eat dinner, find yourself a murder mystery dinner to attend. If you are an introvert, stay home and watch TV. It won’t talk back to you and you can wear pajamas while you watch.

Gun Shy


A million years ago, when I was 28 for the first time, I wrote this short story for a creative writing class I was taking. 

“You just can’t find Hops gun oil anymore,” Frank Theterson mumbled to himself while he sat on a lawn chair in his backyard cleaning his handgun. This was the latest in Frank’s collection, a gift from his son, and his current favorite. It was a Smith and Wesson 686, a Combat Masterpiece. Frank had wanted to buy it for himself at the gun show he and his son had recently attended, but he had talked his father out of it. Now Frank knew why.

Frank carefully removed the lower receiver and placed it on a cloth on the grass next to the upper receiver. He oiled the chamber with the generic gun oil he had picked up from Wal-Mart after finishing his security guard shift at Weston Lakes Community the night before. Frank had started working for Wackenhut security a couple of months ago. He was on the third shift, eleven at night until seven in the morning. Frank volunteered for the shift because all of the other guys were married and had families to go home to. Frank lived alone. The long nights didn’t bother him. It gave him an excuse to drink more coffee and stare at the stars.

Frank rubbed the small amount of corrosion off of the chamber. The gun was in pretty good condition; it wasn’t new but it had been taken care of by its previous owner. As Frank rubbed oil on his bun, he reached down into a brown bag of peanuts, with his non-oily left hand, and threw one at the squirrels who lived in his yard. The four squirrels ran over to the peanut, but the smaller one grabbed it and ran with it in his mouth before any of the others could get there. Frank threw three more peanuts over to the hungry animals. He enjoyed having the squirrel family inhabit his tree. He would sometimes just sit in the yard and watch them chase each other or hide the nuts that Frank gave them. They were like pets to him. If he could have told them apart he would have named them all. He called the small one Sumo. The other three were the same size and color; so, Frank just called them the dancers.

Since his wife died two years ago, Frank had been pretty lonely and had become more comfortable outside with the squirrels than inside the house with Helena’s clothes, knick-knacks and the furniture that they had picked out together. They had only been married five years when Frank found her on the floor in the hallway one morning. A heart attack. She was only 54 years-old. Frank always thought he would go first. He was six years older and overweight. Frank never watched what he ate; he enjoyed his baby-back ribs and steak. Helena was the opposite – always exercising and dieting. She started taking herbal diet pills too, Ephedra or something like that. The doctor said the pills probably caused the heart attack. All of Frank’s friends told him that he should sue, but going to court and talking about Helena every day was more than he could stand right now.

Frank raised the gun and aimed at the house to check the sites. The chamber was empty, so he pulled the trigger. His son had just given him the gun the day before and Chuck knew enough about guns to unload a gun before giving it to somebody. Click. If the gun had been loaded Frank would have just blown away the Tinkerbelle wind chime that Helena had bought in Disney World six months before she died. If he had known he was going to lose her, he would have spent the extra money and gotten a room at the Polynesian Resort instead of the Holiday Inn. Helena had always wanted to stay at the Polynesian and go to a luau with Mickey and Minnie; but, Frank just couldn’t see spending over two hundred bucks a night on a place you just slept in. He wished he could go back and let her have the luau.

Frank held the reassembled gun between his knees, by the handle, and polished the barrel with a felt cloth. He rubbed around the trigger, removing his oily fingerprints from when he had been checking the site.   The gun was now aimed towards his neighbor’s back yard. There was some oil built up on the trigger, so Frank folded the cloth so it was smaller and scrubbed the trigger. Click. He had pulled the trigger by accident while he was cleaning it. He would have taken out a rose bush that time. Nancy Johnson would have been angry. She loved those roses almost as much as she loved Tom, her husband, or Sergeant, the couple’s German shepherd or her children.

The trigger still felt gritty to Frank, so he grabbed a clean cloth and folded it in quarters. He rubbed it against the trigger as hard as he could. Bang! The gun went off! Shit! Frank had thought for sure it was empty. The gun had kicked back, burning Frank’s inner thighs. “Son of a bitch!” Frank yelled, hearing himself as if he were in a tunnel. His ears felt clogged from the noise of the gun going off. He started thinking about how stupid his son had been not to unload the gun and how stupid Frank himself had been not to check the gun. Damn! Thank God it was a weekday. Frank could have shot one of the kids. He felt very relieved.

Frank got up from his lawn chair and brushed off his jeans and grabbed the handkerchief out of his back pocket to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Good thing he hadn’t changed into shorts before going outside, like he usually does; his thighs would have been really burnt then. Frank shook his legs so that his jeans pulled away from his thighs a little. Damn! That hurt, he thought. Frank walked over to the fence separating his yard from the Johnson’s. He wanted to make sure he hadn’t hit a rose of something. The Johnsons weren’t home; like most of Frank’s neighbors, they both worked during the day. Frank also wanted to get the shell. Even though it was empty, he didn’t want the kids to find it. The Johnson kids were still little. Todd was 5 and Mary was 3. Frank didn’t want them to put the shell in their ears or mouth.

Frank looked through the large holes in the chain length fence and looked into the rose bush. “Sergeant!” Frank yelled. The dog was lying under the rose bush. He wasn’t moving. “Sergeant! Get up boy!” Frank yelled. He thought, maybe he was just sleeping and too tired to get up. Then, Frank heard a slight whimper and saw the blood on Sergeant’s neck.

Frank hopped the fence into the Johnson’s back yard. He kneeled next to the rose bush and lifted Sergeant. The dog yelped and tried to nip at Frank’s forearm as he moved him, but the dog was too weak to sink his teeth into Frank. Frank needed to get Sergeant to a vet immediately.

Frank backed his Explorer into the Johnson’s driveway and got out of the SUV quickly. He ran back to the yard and picked up Sergeant. The dog felt like he weighed as much as Helena, about 90 pounds. Frank put Sergeant into the cargo bay on a blanket. He wrapped the blanket around him to keep him comfortable. It was still early in the day, so the SUV was not hot yet, but it was kind of warm outside, even for South Florida. Frank hopped back in the front of the Explorer and looked at Sergeant in the rear-view mirror. “You’re gonna be ok, boy. We’ll get you to a doctor,” Frank told Sergeant as he pulled slowly and gently out of the Johnson’s driveway. Frank drove slowly down the street to prevent Sergeant from moving around much.

They arrived at the vet within a few minutes. It was the same vet that Frank used to take his cats to. He wasn’t sure if the Johnsons brought Sergeant here or not; Frank decided to alter his story a little, just in case. He was so afraid to tell his neighbors that he was responsible for this. They would hate him. The Johnsons didn’t believe that civilians should be able to own guns. Frank and Tom had had many debates over the fence in the evenings. Now this.

Someone was coming out with a Dalmatian on a leash when Frank was carrying Sergeant up to the door. The man held the door and Frank stepped in through the open door and went up to the counter. “This dog has been shot. I found him on the side of the road near my house. He needs help now,” Frank told the woman at the counter. The woman yelled to someone in the office behind her, and this woman ran around and opened a door into an examination room, where a vet was waiting. “Put him down here!” the doctor said, pointing to a gurney. Frank put Sergeant down and patted him on the head.

“You’ll be ok, boy,” he said, and then the doctor wheeled Sergeant away. Tears came to Frank’s eyes, and he sat down on a plastic chair in the exam room and started to cry. He could not believe that he had been stupid enough not to check if the gun was loaded or not. Damn it! What would he tell his neighbors? He couldn’t tell them that he had done this, that he had pointed a gun at their yard and fired it. He just couldn’t do it.

Frank looked down at the blood on his shirt. He still had on his Wackenhut shirt. It seemed like a lot of blood. He hoped they could give Sergeant a transfusion or something. He would donate blood to the dog if it would work. Damn it! How could he have done this? He would do anything for a time traveling Delorean right now. What was he thinking? Playing with guns after working all night — that was smart.

Frank buried his face in his hands and started whispering. “Hey, God. It’s me, Frank. I know you haven’t heard from me since Helena was sick, and I know I’m not a regular church goer and stuff, but you gotta help me out here. Well, just — you gotta help Sergeant. Nancy and Tom love that dog so much, and he’s so good with the kids. Please keep him alive, God. I swear I’ll never touch another gun as long as I live, if you just keep Sergeant alive.”

“Sir?” A woman’s voice interrupted Frank’s prayer. “Sorry to interrupt. I just need you to fill out this information sheet for the dog. Bring it to the front counter when you’re done.” The woman handed Frank a clipboard with a white paper and a pen on a chain attached. She walked out of the room, her shoes squeaking with every step.

Frank got up from his chair and grabbed a couple of tissues from the Kleenex box on the counter behind the examining table. He blew his nose a couple of times and then grabbed another tissue, shoving the used one in his pants pocket. Frank wiped his eyes and looked down at the paper and the blue stick pen that was attached to the clipboard. The alcohol and wet dog smell was getting to him. He looked down at the blood on his shirt, and the combination of the blood and the smell made him gag. He dry heaved into the red biohazard waste can next to the counter.

Frank sat back down and wiped his face with another tissue. There was cold sweat all over his face, in his hair and on his arms. He felt chilled, like he was sick. Frank picked up the clipboard and filled out the form quickly so he could go home. He put his name address and phone number. He wanted to have the chance to talk to Nancy and Tom about the accident before they talk to anyone from the vet’s office.

Frank got up from the plastic chair, holding the clipboard with the pen dangling from it. He could feel the air from the ceiling vent blowing on the back of his sweaty shirt and through his moist hair. He still felt shaky and queasy, but he knew he had to check on Sergeant’s progress and he had to get home to tell Nancy and Tom where their dog was.

After hearing that Sergeant was out of surgery and would probably make a full recovery, Frank headed home. As soon as he got into the house, Frank unbuttoned his bloody Wackenhut work shirt, took it off and threw it in the kitchen trash. He put his blood stained undershirt in the garbage too. Next, he grabbed two large black trash bags and went into the guest room. He opened the closet door and grabbed his five handguns, making sure each was unloaded before tossing them all into the trash bag. He tied the bag and put it next to the door. Frank then opened the other trash bag and grabbed his pile of Gun and Ammo and threw them into the bag, too. He grabbed all of his Wackenhut shirts from the closet and threw them in the bag. He even grabbed the one shirt he had in the hamper and tossed that in as well. Frank took off his blue, stained work pants and threw them in, along with the pants from the closet and hamper. Then, he tied the handle ties and placed the bag next to the door, with the other bag. He stopped to look at his wedding picture. Then he grabbed both bags and carried them out of the room to place them in the garage. He put the bag of guns next to the garage door and put the other bag in the trash bin. If Helena were still here he never would have taken a night job or gotten so interested in guns. He would have been working during the day or traveling with her. They had loved to travel.

After throwing the trash bags away, Frank took a shower. He stepped into the shower and turned the water on as hot as he could stand it. Steam filled the bathroom within minutes. Frank grabbed the bar of Irish Spring and lathered his whole body, including his hair, with the green soap. He stood under the hot water until his pale skin was red. He let the water beat his scalp, listening to the pulsating sound with his eyes closed.

When he got out of the shower it was 2:30. Nancy, a school librarian, should be home soon. Tom, a bus driver, got home shortly after her. Frank Figure 3:30 would be a good time to go over and let them know what happened. Frank got dressed and called the veterinarian’s office to check on Sergeant.

After keeping Frank on hold for a few minutes, the receptionist told him that Sergeant was awake and doing well. The bullet did not hit his jugular vein and just went through some fatty tissue and muscle. Sergeant would be sore for a while but he would be ok. Frank was lucky. It could have been so much worse. He had to get rid of those guns. He had heard that the police station would accept them, so he carried the bag out to his truck and put it in the cab. Frank locked the truck door and was about to walk back inside the house when Nancy pulled in to the driveways with Tom right behind her.

Frank walked over to their driveway, being careful not to step on a row of new gardenia plants Nancy had just planted the week before. He folded his arms in front of himself as he approached Nancy’s car, and looked down at his black sneakers.

Nancy got out of her white Ford Focus with her purse and lunch bag in her hand, and walked to the back door to get the kids out. They were in the back seat, smiling at Frank. “Hey, Frank! You’re up early. What’s the occasion?” Nancy always kidded Frank about his odd schedule.

Frank looked up from his shoes to Nancy’s smiling face. “Nancy, I’m afraid there’s been an accident. Sergeant..”

Nancy dropped her bags on the hood of her car and said, “What happened to Sergeant? Oh my God! Is he ok? SERGEANT!!!”

“What’s going on?” Tom said, standing next to Nancy.

“Sergeant’s at the vet’s office. He was shot but now he’s—“

“Shot!! What! Where’s our dog?” Tom demanded.

“Up the street at Coral Springs Animal Hospital. He’s going to be ok.”

Nancy and Tom were in Nancy’s car before Frank finished his last sentence. Frank stood in the driveway for a few minutes and thought about how his oversight had caused so much pain and stress. He walked around the gardenia plants to his own driveway and walked into his house. He sat down on the couch, picked up the phone and called Wackenhut to let them know that he would not be in that night, or ever. Maybe he’d get a job at the grocery store.

The Children in Iraq Weep for You


If my son actually read my blog he would be rolling his eyes right now. I say this to him over and over, every time he complains about something asinine, like having to mow the lawn or, gasp, clean up after himself. Let’s face it, as ‘Muricans, we all have our little first world problems. For example, your day might be ruined if your gel nails chip after only one week. They’re supposed to last at least two weeks!  Or, perish the thought; your wifi might be slow. Time Warner is the devil; amiright?   Your child might throw a tantrum because you bought the wrong cereal. How dare you get store brand trash with no toy? Have you ever said, “There are hungry kids who would love to eat Walmart brand Fruit Loops”? If so, you will understand what made me start talking about the children in Iraq.

We’ve all been there. The struggle is real. I started saying “The children in Iraq weep for you” when my son was 8. Let me take you back to September 10, 2005, otherwise known as my birthday. Yes, my birthday is the day before 9/11. In 2005, it was also a week and change after Hurricane Katrina. I know it’s not all about me, but can my birthday get a fucking break please?

Anyway, that year, my husband and I decided to celebrate my birthday on the 9th because it was a Friday and it had been a LONG workweek. So, my husband brought home a cake and prepared dinner. Before dinner, our son asked if he could spend the night at a friend’s house. We told him that he could go, but we were still going to celebrate my birthday without him. He skipped off to his friend’s house down the street. I blew out my candles, and the husband and I ate cake. Life went on.

TIMEUntil the next day when our sleepy, cranky, 8 year-old came home. He stumbled in the door like he had been on a drinking binge during rush week on fraternity row. My husband told him to go take a shower because he was taking him shopping for a birthday gift for me. (Guys, why do you always wait until the last minute? Seriously, why?) At this point, our son asked if we had already “sung happy birthday and had cake.” I told him yes. Then, my almost as tall as me third grader had a toddler level melt down.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU WAIT FOR ME???” He screamed and cried.

“We told you we were going to celebrate my birthday. You opted to leave anyway.” I remained calm, even though I wanted to smack him.

The boy continued screaming and crying. I bit my lips together and wondered why my birthday always had to be fucked up by something. I rolled my eyes and looked around the room, trying not to yell back at him.

That’s when I saw the Time Magazine on the couch. There was a picture of two women floating in the flooded aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the cover. I picked up the magazine and flipped through to find more such pictures.

I held up the magazine to my son, showing him a picture of a little girl who was crying and standing on a roof, clinging to her teddy bear and a fire fighter. “See this,” I asked him.

He stopped crying and looked. “Yeah?” he questioned.

“Do you know why that little girl is crying?” I asked calmly.


At this point the spirit of Sam Kinison took over my body. “SHE’S CRYING BECAUSE HER FATHER DIED IN HURRICANE KATRINA! THAT IS WHY WE CRY. WE DON’T CRY OVER BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!” I took a deep breath and turned the page. (Yes, I did receive my mother of the year award. Why do you ask?)

The boy stared at me from across the room, and somehow knew it was time to get it together. I went through a few more pictures of hurricane destruction with him. With every picture, I emphasized that THIS is why we cry. We don’t cry over CAKE.

Finally, at the end of my Kinison like rant, I told him that the children in Iraq, who lived in destroyed villages because bombs were dropped on them, did indeed weep for him because he missed out on cake. The boy quietly walked out of the room and went to take his shower then.

Since that day, over the years, whenever the boy, or anyone that I am close to, including myself, has complained about some first world problem, I have told them that the children in Iraq just weep for them. I’ve also used the phrase in a few blogs; here are some examples.

I’m not trying to be an insensitive asshole by talking about the children of Iraq. I’m just trying to put things into perspective. If you compare your life here in ‘Murica to living in Iraq, you live like royalty, and you should shut the hell up about your crappy cell phone service with AT&T.

So, during this July 4th weekend, as we celebrate our Independence from England, I want you to really be thankful for living in a building with a roof and climate control, for having clean clothes, for eating non spoiled food, and for being free. Because even if you hate your shitty office job, or you despise doing yard work, or you are overwhelmed with your parenting duties, you are free. So, quit your bitching, enjoy the fireworks, and don’t make me go all Sam Kinison on you.





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The Children in Iraq Weep for You by Lisa R. Petty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

A Tale of Two Fathers

Now, don’t go getting too excited. This is not a story about how I was raised by a nice gay couple. Nope. I was born way back in the 70’s. Two men were not allowed to get married and adopt a baby. This was REALLY frowned upon back in the polyester and disco era. The only two men who could openly live together back then were Burt and Ernie, and they had separate beds even if they were in a one-bedroom apartment. Nope. This is a story of the two fatherly type men in my life – my never around biological father and my fantastic stepfather.

This is where I get my sarcasm and my tendency for high blood sugar.

This is where I get my sarcasm and my tendency for high blood sugar.

Like everyone else on the planet, I have a biological father. I mean, duh, we all need TWO parents in order to become a person, right? But I use the word “parent” very lightly when it comes to my father. Really, “sperm donor who cheated on my mom and left for good when she was 7 months pregnant” is more accurate. Yep. My mom finally had enough of her husband’s Mad Men level philandering and kicked his ass out when she was full of pregnancy hormones. He left, taking both cars with him. Asshole.

I saw my father about five or ten times in my life. When I was first born he told everyone that I “looked Asian” and that I couldn’t possibly be his kid because my mom was a big ole cheater.   Not true. Then, as I grew older, I began to look EXACTLY like my paternal grandmother, his mama. So, he could no longer deny that I was his. He did, however, continue to deny to pay child support, but I digress.

I don't have any pictures of me WITH my father, but he did take this picture of me at the park, hanging with a duck.

I don’t have any pictures of me WITH my father, but he did take this picture of me at the park, hanging with a duck.

The few times that I did talk to my dad as a kid, I liked him. My mom always told me what a crappy husband he was, and I knew that he rarely visited me, but I still liked him when I did see him. We seemed to share a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. He was intelligent, musical, and a little mystical at times. He read my Tarot cards and told me stories about the ghosts that haunted his house. I found him fascinating and like all kids of divorce, I used to wish that my parents would be back together. It never happened.

The last time I talked to my father was horrible. I was 14 and my mother had just married my stepfather. I was excited because my stepfather was going to adopt me and then I would have the same last name as him and my mom. We were going to be like a “normal” family. Growing up as the lone custodial child of a single mom (my brother lived with my father), I was always chasing “normal.” So, I was THRILLED that my stepfather was going to adopt me.   I told my father the good news over the phone one night. He got angry and said, “Well then you’re not my daughter anymore.” He hung up. I never talked to him again. He died the next year, at age 49, of a heart attack in a Denny’s parking lot. I was 15.

At first it hurt to lose my father, even though I barely knew him. All of the future “should have beens” came rushing through my mind. He should have been there to see me graduate from high school, and college, too. He should have been there to walk me down the aisle when I got married, both times. He should have taken me on vacations to spend time with his parents and his sister and her kids. To this day, I really don’t know his entire side of the family. I thought we had years ahead of us to work through our fucked up father daughter relationship. We didn’t. To this day, I will not let someone leave or hang up the phone if they are angry with me.

I got out of the “my father died” funk when I realized he really wasn’t ever a father to me. Now, my stepfather, on the other hand, was a father to me. Not only did he teach me how to cook, clean, and not be an asshole, the man taught me that he had my back, right from the beginning.

This is where I get my ability to make lasagna and clean a kitchen floor on my hands and knees.

This is where I get my ability to make lasagna and clean a kitchen floor on my hands and knees.

Before my mom even married my stepdad, he was there for me. Since he was 19 years older than my mom and already retired, he took me to the orthodontist and other appointments when mom was working. So, during these drives in his 1977 HUGE green Lincoln Town Car, we had some good talks. One time, I told him about a boy at school who was picking on me. This boy was calling me “pig lips.” I never really thought much about my lips one way or another, but once this jackwagon pointed out that my lips took up half my face, I spent most of the time trying to pucker inward and hide the majority of my huge lips. My stepdad set me straight.

One day, he sat me down on the couch and put a pile of fashion magazines on the coffee table. He flipped through them and said, “Look at all of these gills (he was from Boston and didn’t pronounce his R’s). They get shots in their lips to make them fullah,” he informed me.

“Well they’re stupid!” I said with all of the seriousness an embarrassed 13 year-old girl can muster.

He didn’t stop; he kept flipping through the magazines, pointing out the “gills” with full mouths, and telling me I had what women paid plastic surgeons to get. It took me years to believe him. Now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m glad for my pig lips because they look a lot less pruny than skinny lips.

One of the best things my stepdad ever did was teach me how to drink. He had a very liberal policy on alcohol. He figured if you don’t make it a “big no no” then kids wouldn’t want it so much. I think he’s right about that. My stepdad bought me my first drink at one of those private clubs in Boston (I don’t remember if it was the Elks, the Eagles, or what, but you know what I mean). I was 15 and he had just picked me up from the airport. I had flown up to meet him in Boston, where he was visiting family. My mom was going to fly up in a few days. On the way home from the airport, he had to stop by this lodge of sorts and talk to a friend. My guess is it had something to do with betting on something as the man’s only vice was gambling. So, we sat down at the bar to wait for his friend and my stepdad asked me what I wanted to drink.

“A screwdriver,” I said, being sarcastic and not really knowing what the hell a screwdriver was.

He ordered it for me, and the bartender actually gave it to me. I drank it. Now, this was not the first time I ever drank alcohol. It was the 80’s and there were these things called wine coolers that high school kids could somehow get from stores who sold to teens. I’ve got lots of stories about wine coolers, but that is for another blog.

After that, my dad let me have drinks here and there. On New Year’s Day when I was 17, I came home from a sleep over with my friends. I told my parents about how one of my friends had drunk too much and barfed. I had not had any alcohol at all, so I held her hair. My dad immediately went into a lecture on “how to drink.” Here are his rules:

  • Stay away from the “dahk” stuff. (Dark stuff — Whiskey, dark rum, etc)
  • Stay away from the sweet stuff. (No froo froo drinks)
  • Don’t Mix. (That one is pretty self-explanatory. Stick with the same drink.)
  • Pace “yahself. Just keep a little buzz.” (Don’t over do it.)
  • Have some “watah.” (Stay hydrated.)

The man was right. I got all the way through college and young adulthood without barfing from drinking. I was 31 the first time I puked from alcohol, and that was the first of only three times. The three times that I have gotten sick from booze have been because I broke one or more of the drinking rules.

My son with grandpa.

My son with grandpa.

My stepdad was not only a great father to me, but he was an amazing grandfather during the short time that he was in my son’s life. After my son was born, I went back to school to get my Master’s degree. My mom and my stepdad babysat my son. They took him everywhere with him, to the mall, to the grocery store, everywhere. My stepdad even let my son “help” him build a trellis. Unfortunately, my son’s time with my stepdad was too short. He died when my son was 3.

Father’s Day is always kind of tough for me because I don’t really have a father anymore. I do have lots of wonderful men in my life who are fathers. First of all, there’s my husband, who, like my stepdad, took on the role of stepfather to my son. Then, there’s my son’s biological father who has maintained a good relationship with our son even though we live several states away. He also always paid child support, unlike my father. Last but not least, there is my father-in-law, who is a kind, warm, and friendly man. He would have to be; he raised my wonderful husband.

 So, we’ve talked about me enough. What are you up to on this sappy Hallmark card holiday weekend? Leave me a comment. I love hearing from you.

D and C Lessons Learned

Last week, Monday was more craptastic than usual. Instead of going to work, I had to go to the outpatient surgery center for a D and C. Contrary to what your grandmother may have told you, that does not really stand for dusting and cleaning. It should be called a VUS (violent uterine scraping). While it did SUCK, I was happy to have a day off of work. I got to sleep until 10:00am on a Monday, so that was kind of cool. I forced myself to sleep in so that I didn’t have to kill a pet or family member during a fit of hanger. I had my last drink of water and my last bite of food at 11:45pm on Sunday night and I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink again until after my dreaded procedure. By the time I woke up at 10, I was a little irritable, as I already knew I would be. In addition to this little lesson, I also learned a few more things before, during, and after my D and C. It’s your lucky day because I will share them with you, just in case you or someone you have to co-habitat with needs a little tidying up in the baby holder.

Stay the hell off of Web MD. Seriously. No looking up your symptoms before the procedure itself. No matter what you read you will have cancer or some sort of rare parasite that will eat your blood vessels and make you speak Swahili.

Bitch session boards blow. Every asshole with a negative story is out there, posting it on multiple discussion boards. When I looked up Depo Provera, a treatment my doctor recommends for my condition, I found 5,678,932 posts about becoming fat and crazy. People blamed everything on Depo. I was waiting for some whacko to say, “I grew a rectal unicorn horn 13 seconds after my first shot. This makes sitting on my husband’s lap a felony in 37 states.” Let’s face it; people love to bitch online. Not many people want to post when all is normal and fine.

You are a pissing queen. Yes, you will likely need to abstain from food and water for 12 hours before your procedure. That won’t stop them from asking you for a urine sample to do a pregnancy test. They ALWAYS ask you to pee in a cup. You could be missing an arm and a leg, and somehow manage to crawl into the ER, leaving a trail of blood from the car to the sign in desk, and the nurse would say, “OK, we will be happy to stop that bleeding as soon as we get a urine sample.”

Fasting is not a good diet plan. There are people out there who fast to lose weight. Those people are morons. You know what I did as soon as I was allowed to eat 16 hours after my last meal? I ATE like a pig. And I kept eating, FOR DAYS, because I was STARVING.

The pussy parlor is closed. Don’t bother styling your pubes, or shaving them all off, or applying rhinestones to your outer labia, or anything vag beauty related. Your surgeon and the staff have seen it all, and legally they are not allowed to Instagram your nether regions. You will be on a gurney, not a shiny pole or a .com.

Afternoons CAN be a delight. I used to always schedule procedures for the early morning hours because of the dreaded fasting. I might have mentioned that I tend to get a little hangry. My D and C was scheduled for 1:30 in the afternoon. I dreaded it because I thought I would starve to death. The time actually worked out well because my blood sugar was so low by the time we got to the surgery center that I didn’t have the energy to be nervous.

Let the nerves flow. Sometimes, you’re just going to shake like a fish with Parkinsons, and that’s fine. (Cranky people, it’s OK. Michael J. Fox would totally laugh at that if he read my blog.) Dr. Feelgood the anesthesiologist will give you a happy shot and it will all fade away.

It ain’t tequila, toots. You may be able to do shots with the fellas and not barf, but you will slur and repeat yourself and stumble from anesthesia. You will also not be able to spell or punctuate properly. Don’t write anything for at least 5 days. Just don’t. No one is stronger than whatever is in that mask and IV combo.

Accidents happen. The couch is your friend. Just stay there. Hold a cat if it helps to keep you seated. Stairs are not your friend. Stay away from them.

The Poo Choo Choo derails. I have IBS and I usually poop 4 times a day. Seriously, I am the type of person who gets the runs if it is 5 degrees too hot outside or my internet goes out. So, constipation is not usually an issue. Not usually. When I have surgery, my system just SHUTS DOWN. When this happened last week, I drank a big glass of gritty Miralax and that did absolutely NOTHING. So, I called in the troops. I sent my husband out to buy liquid glycerin suppositories. In case you are lucky enough to not be familiar with them, glycerin suppositories are like dynamite for your ass.  You might as well yell “FIRE IN THE HOLE!” when you insert one. And you should really insert these on your own, while you are no more than 14 centimeters from the throne. You do NOT WANT TO walk after using them. They work. QUICKLY.

Thank you for reading this. As you can tell, I’m still a little loopy from that mask/IV cocktail on Monday. I understand if you want to stop following my blog now. I usually don’t write about uterine scrapings and poop on the same day. Hey, at least there aren’t pictures. Seriously, I need to read this piece again and again since I’m one of those lucky women who needs a “dusting and cleaning” every 4 years or so. Good times.

 Leave me a comment. Tell me about your awesome medical experiences. After what I shared with you, you should have no shame about anything, really.





Your Worst Best Friend Ever

See how good my friend looks here?  And she is holding my cat bff.

See how good my friend looks standing next to me here? And she is holding my cat bff. I love this picture. 

I know I am a self-described hermit, but lately, I have felt a little lonely. DON’T TELL ANYONE THIS. You will ruin my image. Anyway, yes, this cat-loving loner has felt the need for more human companionship. Sure, I live with the boy and the husband, and they are both my best friends, but there are times when a strange, awkward woman needs to talk to another strange, awkward woman. And that is where friends come in.

I have friends, just not a lot of them. After sitting here alone on many Saturdays, I have asked myself, “Self, why do you not have more friends? You’re charming, and you don’t have any noticeably strong odors. Why are you not out more?” After a lot of thinking, and a pot of coffee, I have discovered the reason. It’s because I suck as a BFF. It’s true. Read on.

I moved without telling my friends once. Yep. I was so upset while going through my divorce that I moved two hours away and didn’t tell most people. When I’m down in the dumps or going through drama, I don’t really talk to people. So, I didn’t mention the move to another county. Oops.

I don’t want to talk about feelings. When I am upset, I write, or I exercise, or I talk to my husband or son. I will never call you crying in the wee hours of the morning. I expect the same respect for sleep from you.

I turn my phone off at night. See above. I am allergic to midnight drama. Unless my husband or son is out, my phone is off at night.

I never talk on the phone. If you need to call me, it better be urgent and you had better text me first, or else I will look at my caller ID and step the fuck away from my phone if it is not my son, my husband or my mother.

I would rather hang with the fellas than the girls. I’m not talking about going out with random guys. If you have read about my childhood, you know that men scare me. What I mean here is that I would so much rather be home, in my jammies, and watching a movie with my husband or my son. They are my fellas. Girls’ night out just sounds hellish. And since it likely requires real pants and a bra, it sounds plain old uncomfortable.

I roll my eyes at vaguebooking. If you want to get all teen-girl emotional on Facebook, I will add you to my restricted list. I prefer straightforward communication. Don’t hint at any issues you have with me; just tell me.

I have nothing bad to say about my husband. Seriously. Sure we have our ups and downs, but I am not going to bash him to you. I prefer to do that shit straight to his face. And it makes me uncomfortable when you bash your husband. I might consider him a friend, too.

I don’t care about shopping. I buy most things online. I loathe the mall and I don’t want to share a dressing room with you and try on skinny jeans.

I prefer to do most things alone. I bought my wedding dress alone. See above. I don’t like shopping, so I like to get it done quickly when it is necessary. If I had shopped for my dress with someone, I would have had to hear her opinions and try different things. This way, I bought the dress I liked and then I ate lunch. Done.

I would rather have scotch than wine. It seems to be fashionable for moms, and women in general, to love wine. I don’t hate wine, but I would rather have hard liquor any day.

I don’t share your love of chocolate. The good news is that I will likely give you any chocolate I have unless it is GOOD dark chocolate or a Reese’s cup. Then, you’re on your own.

I won’t come to your Botox/MaryKay/Avon party. I’m just not that vain. I wash my face and put on moisturizer, and that is about it. I do get my Elvis Presley sideburns waxed, but that is so I don’t get mistaken for a really short cross-dresser. I live in the Midwest where people aren’t so tolerant of such things.

I will never hold your hair while you puke. Hell, I don’t even want to be in the same building with you if you are puking. That shit could be contagious.

I go to the spa alone or with my husband. I wear hearing aids, so I don’t really hear well. I don’t want to try to have a chitchat session over running water and other assorted salon background noise. My husband either talks louder to me or happily chats away with his spa person while I give mine one word (hopefully correct) answers until she stops chatting.

Right now you’re probably wondering how in the hell I have any friends at all. I wonder this myself. After all, I do have the emotional availability of Sheldon Cooper. Why do some people like me and want to spend time with me? I can’t be sure, but here are a few guesses.

People think I’m funny. Most people, aside from Sheldon Cooper, like to laugh. So, they are attracted to funny people.

I’m short and stubby, so most people look good standing next to me, especially if we are photographed together. I can make anyone look like a long, lean super model.

I’m stupidly generous. I will buy you lunch for any old reason, and I will never forget your birthday. This is why my husband is now in charge of the money. You may have missed your window on this one.

I will tell you the truth. If you ask for my opinion, you better want an honest answer because that is what you will get.

I can keep it together in tough situations. I’m usually not a crier. I fight tears through a combination of holding my breath and visualizing kittens. When I do cry it is usually due to fever related illness or scary doctor visits.

Having said that, I would accompany you to your scary doctor visits. I know what it is like to fear things like “biopsies” and “procedures.” I will hold your hand through scariness even if you break it. I’m tough like that.

Yep, I can see why I hang out with cats most of the time. As a super best friend, I flat out suck, but I do make a good horrible best friend. Everyone needs one of those to make them appreciate their BEST friends, right?

So, what about you? Do you have ONE best friend? If so, who is that person? What makes you a good or bad friend?



Not Digging Duggar #‎callthemout

Unless you live in a cheese-lined cave without wifi, you know that Josh Duggar recently confessed to molesting multiple young girls when he was a teen. Honestly, that didn’t shock me. What is making my stomach turn over this whole situation is the fact that A LOT of people are defending him. I keep seeing Facebook posts from multiple “friends” who think that Josh should be forgiven because he was a teen when this happened.  And now that he is an adult, all of his abusive behavior should just disappear because he apologized and found Jesus. Well, that might work for Josh and his family, but I know for sure that time has not healed the horror his victims experienced.

My teen step-uncle molested me when I was a Sesame Street watching pre-schooler. I know that sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil, but it is actually my reality.  He was the first of two pedophiles in my life.  He was 13 when he first began touching me inappropriately, and 17 when it finally ended.

The abuse started a year or so BEFORE this picture was taken.

The abuse started a year or so BEFORE this picture was taken.

I remember the first time Arnold (not his real name, of course) forced me to perform oral sex. I was 3 and I was sitting on his lap in the recliner just outside of my grandma’s bedroom. Her room was directly off of the living room. My mother and I were staying at my grandmother’s house at this time. I don’t think anyone was home. It was dark. The big, old floor model TV was on, tuned in to some 1970’s show. I don’t remember the show, just the noise of the TV and the flickering lights. Arnold was babysitting me. I will leave out the graphic details. I will just tell you that I was very frightened, and I started crying. This made him angry, and he shoved me off the chair and stormed from the room.

Some time after that, I was alone in the kitchen with my grandmother. While we were standing in front of the refrigerator, I tried to tell her about what was happening with Arnold. Her sparkly blue eyes turned cold and blank. She told me never to talk like that again. I shut up immediately and never said a word about it to her again.

We moved back to Florida not too long after this. When I was in third grade, Arnold came to live with my mother and me in Florida. From what I could overhear when my mother talked to my grandmother on the phone, Arnold was having trouble in school and was too much for grandmother to handle. So, the adults thought it would be a good idea for Arnold to live with my mom and me.

Since we lived in a two-bedroom apartment, Arnold slept on the spare twin bed in my room. Previously, Arnold’s bed had been home to my stuffed animals. They were relocated to a garbage bag in the closet, which I wasn’t happy about because I thought they would suffocate.

There were two big incidents that I remember when Arnold lived with us. The first one occurred one day when I had to come home early from school for vomiting. I remember the grown-ups thinking that I vomited because I got overheated on the playground or something like that. I thought that sounded silly, but I had learned that as a kid I shouldn’t question them. Mom picked me up and brought me home. When Arnold got home from high school she went back to work.

I was lying on the black and white couch when Arnold said he wanted to “play a game.” I had been watching TV and snacking on the potato chips he had given me. I had eaten quite a few when he started his old tricks. He unzipped his pants. I immediately started to feel sick. I’m sure he must have said something first, trying to persuade me that this was a good idea, but I don’t remember any of that. I just remember vomiting potato chips. He smacked me for puking on him and the couch, and I started crying from the vomiting and from being smacked. To this day, I still cry when I puke. Neither one of us mentioned any of this to my mom when she got home.

Shortly after that, Arnold abused me for the last time. I had a bad dream and woke Arnold with my crying. He told me to come over to his bed. I’m not sure why I complied, but I did. At first he held me and comforted me. I started dozing. The next thing I remember, Arnold was on top of me, with his pants off. He was pulling down my pajamas telling me, “It’s ok.” I didn’t think it was ok. I don’t know where I got the energy, but I got out from under him and ran into my mother’s room.

My mother’s boyfriend went into my room to get Arnold. This is actually ironic because a couple of years after this my mother’s boyfriend became my second abuser. But on this particular night, he played the role of hero. I’m not sure what happened or where Arnold slept the rest of the night. I heard yelling. The next day, I was sent to school, just like any other day.

After school, Arnold was sent home on a plane. Before he left, he was sitting with my brother, who lived with my father. Arnold and my brother, Timothy (again, a fake name) were close in age and always got along well. They were talking about how horrible it was that Arnold had to leave. I was relieved and couldn’t wait for him to leave. Timothy was angry with me, and blamed me for this. He asked me why I “lied” about this. I was stunned. I really couldn’t believe that my big brother was not taking my side, but I didn’t want to tell him the truth. I’d already learned from my grandmother that no one really wants to hear the truth about sexual abuse.

Arnold is in his 50’s now and I still hold him responsible for what he did to me as a teen. I don’t know what he has done as an adult, and the truth is it doesn’t matter.  I wouldn’t forgive him if he cured cancer, saved all the baby seals, adopted all of the homeless kittens, or found a way to make kale taste like vanilla cupcakes.  He still violated me.  He took my trust and my peace of mind.  He is the reason that men make me nervous.  Even now, 40 years later, men scare me.  I feel incredibly safe with my husband, my son, and a couple of close male friends, but other than that, I am on edge if I am somewhere alone and a male approaches me.  My “uncle” taught me to fear men when I was 3.  He was never punished for this. The police were not called. No jail time was served. People tell me I should forgive him, and move on. I’ve moved on to a happy, normal life, but I will never forgive him. I bet Josh Duggar’s victims know what I mean.


Hamster Wheel Philosophies

I was just on the elliptical, AKA the Hamster Wheel, and “Days Like These” by Asia came on. Since I refuse to leave the 80’s music behind, I have a lot of older songs on my iPod, but this one really motivated me right as my arthritic left ankle threatened to give out. I kept going, and thinking. “Days like these, I feel like I can change the world” is the chorus and is repeated throughout the song. So, I started to think about what I would do if I could change the world. I’m talking about the entire world, not just the life of one person etc. What if I could sit at a big marble desk, or maybe cherry wood, and create my own list of commandments that must be followed. HMM…. I think they would go something like this:

  1. Political arguments would end. Seriously, you are not going to persuade the other side. Whether you are a conservative, a liberal, or a little of both, you have likely thought about why you believe the things you believe and no amount of arguing is going to change that. All of the debates and arguments just bring stress and take the focus away from, well, actually changing the world. So, duct tape your mouth and actually get out there and HELP people.
  2. Evangelism would end. This is the same concept as political arguments, only, in my humble opinion, with double the arrogance. Anyone who thinks they KNOW the mysteries of the universe and can SAVE someone else needs therapy, and good strong roll of duct tape. It’s a big universe out there. We know a lot less than we think we do.
  3. Truth serum would be pumped into the water supply. People lie, sneak, cheat and steal too much. The real kicker is most people lie to themselves; they tell themselves things like, “I tried my best”, or “I do eat healthy.”
  4. People who abuse children would be beaten and have their children taken away permanently. There would be none of this, “Your abusive drunk daddy went through a few therapy sessions and now you get to live with him.” If someone cannot get himself or herself together enough to be a decent parent, then that person does not get to be a parent. Period.
  5. The breeding of pets would end. There are thousands upon thousands of animals that are euthanized every year. We don’t need people breeding more pets just because some people want “pedigree” animals. Are you a pedigree person?   I bet not. So, go adopt a nice mutt than needs a home rather than worrying whether he or she has “papers”.
  6. War would be illegal. People would have to talk about their differences and agree to disagree. People would also be educated on how to spot a sociopath. Violent rulers like Hitler and others like him are sociopaths. Studies show that most people will follow the commands of someone who appears to be “in charge” or “of authority.”  Stop following crazy people and they won’t be able to lead. Stop bombing the #$@#$ out of people and they won’t hate you.
  7. Racism would end, for real. You may think that racism went out with Jim Crow, and you may be in a coma. The day that President Obama was elected, some local idiot drove down the street with a Confederate flag on the back of his pick-up. I really doubt that this was a coincidence. In order to stop racism, for real, we need to stop focusing on, well, race. We need to stop asking for an applicant’s race on forms. It does not matter. We need to stop focusing on differences and, instead, start focusing on similarities. We are all people. It does not matter if we are brown, paste white, peach, or any other color. We are all people.
  8. Everyone would have healthcare. Everyone. This would include dental care. There would be no deductibles or certifications or approvals. People who are sick or injured would receive care. It is possible. There are some countries doing it successfully.
  9. Teachers would be paid more than professional athletes. I mean, let’s pull our heads out of our behinds for a moment and actually think about this. Someone who chases a ball around for a living can make millions of dollars, but a teacher can barely pay his or her bills. In addition, more and more people are spoiling their children, making teachers’ jobs that much harder. Say no to your child and yes to increasing salaries for educators.
  10. Trophies and awards would be earned, really. We are the “good try” culture and it’s killing us. If little Timmy keeps getting trophies and ribbons for half-assed work in school, scouts or whatever, then he is really going to have a hard time living in the real world as an adult. In the real world Timmy’s boss isn’t going to pat him on the head and say ”good try” when he loses his company’s money. Timmy will be fired. Rewards are for good work, not mediocrity.

That is all I can think of, right now. If you can think of more, add them in the comment section. I know that there are a lot of other changes we can make to this world, a lot. It’s not perfect; we’re not perfect. So, we need to all work together to change the world.

To My Son, the Graduate

My son, my one and only child, graduates this week. So, in the spirit of letting go, I tried to imagine what life will be like for him in ten years. This is what I came up with.  


June 1, 2025

Dear Son,

You always told me that you were going to live with us until you were thirty. We would laugh, and laugh, and joke about you living in the basement, but the funny thing is that you weren’t fucking kidding. Here it is, ten years after you graduated from high school, and well, you are pretty much hanging out in the basement all day. Sure, you go to school, but when you’re home, you are downstairs watching that holographic TV of yours, a gift from Santa. Just like when you were a kid, I’m still making you scrambled eggs and coffee in the morning. Well, I didn’t make you coffee when you were a little kid, and I do make pancakes on weekends. So, I suppose I don’t make eggs every day, but you get the point, right?

This is difficult for me, as I do adore doing your laundry, especially when you leave your underwear wadded up in your pants, but you need to get the fuck out. I mean that in a nurturing way, with all of the love in the world. Seriously. It’s time to grow up. I’m not sure why you are failing to launch since I have done everything I can to encourage you to be a mature and responsible adult, but it’s time to sail away from the nest and become a real grown up. So, grab a suitcase or five, and get packing. I can run to the store and get you some boxes, too.

As you are packing your stuff, don’t forget your Batman footy pajamas from last Christmas. Most people buy them as gag gifts, but I know that the Dark Knight makes you feel safe when it’s, well, dark. And they are glow in the dark, in case your night-light burns out. I know how you can’t sleep without some sort of light. Let me know if you need me to get you a bigger night-light.

Take the package of floss from Costco. I know you won’t buy floss if you have to pay for it yourself. After paying thousands for braces, I’m not going to let your teeth rot out of your head. Just let me know when you run out and I will buy you more. I can pick up toothbrushes and toothpaste, too. You can pay me back when you’re a rock star some day.

We, well I, would still like for you to sleep over on Christmas Eve and the night before Easter. As you know Santa and the Easter bunny won’t come if you’re not sleeping in your mommy’s house. It’s a law. You do want presents, right? Make sure you leave your basket and stocking here. It will be hard to find Joker from the Dark Knight Batman movie holiday stuff now. It’s been a decade or more since that movie came out. I loved seeing it with you, even though you ate all of the popcorn.

I don’t mean to make this more awkward than it needs to be, but I just want to let you know that I will continue purchasing your condoms from Costco. Where else can you get a box of fifty grandchild preventers for $22.99? Your current girlfriend is a peach, but we both know the type of trash you have dated in the past. The last thing you need to do is make one of them your baby mama. You don’t want me to have to kill a girl, do you? I’m kidding, of course, kind of. I mean I wouldn’t actually kill your trashy baby mama. I would just threaten her and take my grandchild from her. My grandchildren will not grow up in a trailer park, understand? So, Costco condoms it is.

Sorry about that. I got a little carried away. Anyway, we, well I, want you to keep going to school, so we will still pay your college tuition. That PhD in music production will get you far in life, and it’s worth it. Your dissertation on Quincy Jones will be made into a famous book. I’m certain of it. Just remember to bring me on the Today Show with you. I want to meet Matt Lauer while he’s still alive. He hasn’t looked so hot lately.

I know what you are wondering, and yes, you can have all of the furniture in your bedroom, and the stuff in your upstairs music studio, and the furniture in the basement, and the stuff in the downstairs band practice area. Take it all. It’s yours.

The only thing you can’t take is a pet. I know how you can sometimes forget to feed them. I won’t bring up poor Fifi again, but, well, I guess I just did. Anyway, leave the cats and dogs here. You can always visit them. This way you won’t have to step over their poop when you forget to scoop their litter or let them out to go potty.

Don’t worry about looking for a place. We will take care of everything. We don’t want you renting a nasty apartment with bugs and loud neighbors. So, we will just buy you a condo in a nice building full of retirees. You like old people. They can be like faux grandparents for you. You can pay us rent when you get on your feet. No rush.

There. Won’t it feel good to be independent? In just a few weeks, you will be a real grown up with your own place and your own furniture. I will buy you new sheets and towels and plates and pans and groceries and whatever else you need. Just let me know what else you need, OK? Now, give me hugs and kisses. Mommy loves her little pumpkin.



Here's my little graduate 13 years ago.

Here’s my little graduate 13 years ago.



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