I'm a blogger and the author of Misfit Academy. You can find my book on www.amazon.com. I am a work from home mom and hermit, and I like to talk about cats. Is there a home or a meeting for people like me.
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Picture it! It’s a sunny Saturday morning. The husband, Chris, is unloading the dishwasher, and I’m throwing a scrambled egg sandwich in the microwave for the boy, who has to work. Poor boy. Anyway, I decide to make coffee.
Me: Do you want some Starbucks coffee? [I say this like I just offered my husband a treasure chest full of sex or something.]
Husband: Are we going to Starbucks or do we have some here?
Me: [walking to the pantry like I’m about to reveal what is behind door number three] We have some! I bought it on Thursday.
Husband: Good. I didn’t want to go there right now. [Chris is not a morning person.]
Me: You don’t have to. [Pulling out the bag of Starbucks from behind the chips] See! I got genuine 1971 Pike’s Place. Fuck!
Me: I bought decaf! Well, this explains everything! I told you I nearly fell asleep grading essays yesterday. Well, essay grading is boring, but still!
Me: And I wanted to take a nap at 10am. Now I get it! I drank decaf. No wonder it was on sale. I blame Mr. Roll Tide for this.
Husband: Oh, you were chatting up your friend again.
[Mr. Roll Tide is a stockman at our local Kroger. I love talking to him because he is from Alabama and proudly wears his Alabama hat. I’m from Florida and also do not route for the local team, OSU.]
Me: Yes! He was on the coffee aisle, wearing his Roll Tide hat. I told him, “Good for you for wearing that hat!” And he asked me if I was from Alabama. I reminded him I was from Florida. So, he told me to keep rooting for the Gators. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was a Seminole because he was so happy to remind me that Urban Meyer was at UF before he was at OSU. So, I got distracted and picked up decaf. It’s all his fault.
Husband: Of course. Well, just make whatever swag we have.
And that’s what I did. I made cheap Aldi coffee. Are you all crying for me?
I ventured to the outlet mall with the husband on Sunday. I wasn’t going to go anywhere because I just switched from Zoloft to Lexapro and I wanted to be sure I was “normal” enough to go out in public. Then, I said, “Screw it! Let’s go shopping.” I wasn’t really planning on buying anything because as the husband says, “We’ve been spending money like drunken sailors.” I’m not sure what that means as we have not purchased hookers or cheap rum, or any rum for that matter.
But then there was a Kate Spade store. Cue the harps. Everything was 70% off. My wonderful husband insisted that we go look around. This is why I love him. Well, there are other reasons, but his insisting that I buy even more purses is one of them. So, of course, I found two purses that did not even cost as much as one Kate usually does. I walked out of the store smiling with my Kate Spade shopping bag hanging off of my arm.
Then, we began looking in different clothing stores. The husband (we’ll call him Chris) was looking for good deals on Polo shirts because he only has 872 of them in every color in the Roy G. Biv rainbow. He needs more shirts, you guys. He’s got a uniform to maintain.
Finally, at G.H. Bass, he found the gold mine of Polo shirts. Can we call them all “Polo” like people in the South call all sodas “Coke?” Anyway, you know what I mean – short sleeve business casual and/or golf shirts with three buttons. They had a ton of them, so he grabbed a few to try on.
While he was in the fitting room, I must have looked lost because the manager (she seemed in charge so she must have been the manager, right?) came over to ask me if I needed help with anything. I said, “no, thanks” and raised my bag, telling her that I already spent money today.
That’s when my awkward light came on.
Manager: Have you seen our purses? [She points to a bunch of perfectly nice looking purses without Kate Spade labels.]
Me: I’m kind of partial to Kate. [I held up the purse I had hanging cross body.]
Manager: [Gets a serious look on her face] Oh yeah, especially now.
For those of you who don’t know or don’t care, Kate Spade committed suicide a few weeks ago.
Me: Yes, it’s a shame she didn’t just take her meds. I take meds. I don’t understand why people are ashamed of taking meds.
Manager: Me, too.
Me: I read that she self-medicated with alcohol, which is the opposite of what she needed.
Manager: Yep, because it’s a depressant.
My Brain: Hold my beer, Lisa. Shit is about to get awkward.
Me: Years ago, when I was going through my divorce. I wanted to kill myself. I sat in a closet and thought about buying a gun and shooting myself.
Manager’s Brain: Seriously Shari, you need to stop talking to customers you always get the weirdos.
Me: I was doing comedy at the time, and the next night I did a show, and everyone was telling me how funny I was and how much they loved me. I was thinking if they only knew.
Manager: Yep, you never know I guess.
Manager’s Brain: Shari, say something neutral and back away slowly. You are not the fucking suicide hotline.
Manager: I wonder what happened with Anthony Bourdain.
Me: Yeah, I wonder. Who knows.
My Brain: Just stop. You have been awkward enough for one day.
Me: [Looking around store.]
Manager: Well, look around. Let me know if you need help with anything. [walks away]
I bet there are a lot of people out there who talk about me at the dinner table. They usually have stories that begin with, “So, I had the weirdest customer/patient/client today.” You just know that manager Shari sat down to dinner with her friends and/or family later and said, “You guys, do I have therapist written across my forehead, or what?” Sorry, Shari!
Recently, I took a ten-day break from Facebook. It was supposed to be a month long break but I had to keep logging back in to use Goodreads, Uber, and the 97,000 other apps I have linked to Facebook. I needed a break because I was tired of the never-ending bad news in my feed about the government, murdered children, beaten pets, and random fires and floods. I was also tired of rolling my eyes at the vague booking, diary posts, and pictures of meals. So, even though my break did not last a month, I did learn a few things from the experience.
I’m nosy. One of the reasons I spent so much time on Facebook is because I am nosy. I love looking up old boyfriends and high school acquaintances to see whatever happened to them. Guess what? When I was off of Facebook, I Googled them instead. I love Google stalking. I think I could probably be happy being a detective but my son reminded me that detectives do more than Google people.
I get a lot of work done when I actually focus. So, when I was not Google stalking, I did get more work done by not having Facebook as a break option. Instead of taking a few minutes between tasks to make sure that one woman was still crazy or that other person was still overly dramatic, I simply moved on to the next task on my list.
I still procrastinate my writing when I am not on Facebook. Sometimes, I think maybe I just don’t like writing as much as I thought I did. According to a therapist I used to see this is because I have a “fear of failure” so I “self-sabotage.” I tell myself there is no point in writing because it is so hard to get published. I tell myself I’m not that good at writing anyway. I would say that is accurate.
I read so much more. Rather than scrolling through and seeing what everyone had for dinner, I opened a book, either hardcopy or e-book, and I actually read. I read memoirs in the hopes that this would inspire me to actually work on my own memoir. I’ve got stories to tell, but I keep muting myself. I guess we covered this in number three.
I rolled my eyes a lot less. The only time I rolled my eyes during my Facebook break was when I watched the news. Facebook and the news remind me of how mean and unempathetic people have become.
I’m just a more tolerant person when I don’t know about someone’s political views. I enjoyed talking to people in real life without seeing what meme they just posted.
I didn’t miss much. You could log on to Facebook every five minutes or once a week. You will see the same things. There are cat pictures (yay), memes from both sides of the political aisle, news stories about shootings, bombings, and children being left in cars, and a plethora of awkward selfies.
So, I’m officially back on Facebook, but I am limiting my time. I have taken the app off of my phone and my iPad. I will only look at Facebook on the computer, and that will only be when I have completed my grading, discussion responses, and other tasks for the day.
What about you? Have you ever needed a social media break? How often are you on Facebook?
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.
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.
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.
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 sleepover 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 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 them, 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.
Here is my husband with his dad.
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.
No, that is not a euphemism. One time, when we were in middle school, one of my best friends and I ate a hot dog in the bathroom of the Sheridan Seven movie theater in Hollywood, Florida. We had met two boys at the theater to see the award-winning film, All of Me. Yes, it came out in 1984, and yes that makes me oldish.
Anyway, I had met the one boy, Bob, at a Bar Mitzvah the previous weekend, and had an instant crush on him. We had joined a group of other 13 and 14 year-olds in the designated make-out area in a dark part of the temple. As you can imagine, the Bar Mitzvah boy was not happy about all of this. Anyway, at the end of the evening, Bob asked me for my phone number and I was thrilled. Being a sort of dorky, chubby, and unpopular girl, I could not believe that someone so cute could like me.
He called me a few days later, and I about hyperventilated from joy. I sat on my bedroom floor with my Mickey Mouse phone and talked quietly so my mom could not hear me. During our brief, awkward conversation we decided to meet at the theater the next Saturday along with our best friends. I’m pretty sure the best friends went as our covers because neither one of us were allowed to date.
So, that next Saturday, my mom drove Hillary and me to the theater. We waited outside in the Florida humidity until the boys arrived. It was only a few minutes but I was worried that the air made of gravy would ruin my perfectly blow-dried hair. We didn’t have the flat irons and high-end shellacs and pomades that we do now.
The two boys arrived. I don’t remember what Bob’s friend looked like. I just remember that Bob was so cute that I could hardly look at him. I felt so lucky and so not worthy of any attention from him.
We decided to see All of Me, which sounded like a dumb movie to me but I went along with the group. I just felt thrilled to be on a “date” with a cute boy and my new bestie. I felt like I was straight out of a normal teen life or a John Hughes movie.
I sat between Hillary and Bob in the theater. It was awkward from the beginning. We sat there in the dark and just watched the movie. At some point, Hillary whispered that we should go to the bathroom. Since we were both girls we had to go together. When we walked out of the theater and into the lobby, we smelled the food and realized we were starving. We didn’t want to bring popcorn, or worse yet a hotdog into the theater and eat IN FRONT OF BOYS. We thought, or at least I did, they would think we were pigs. So, we did the only logical thing – we bought a hot dog and brought it into the bathroom.
Hillary and I passed that chunk of overly salted meat and white bread back and forth like we were college kids smoking a fat joint at a party. We finished it within five minutes and checked our teeth in the mirror. I think we even rinsed our mouths. It would be so embarrassing to have any evidence of eating, especially since I thought I was fat.
In reality, I wasn’t fat. I wore a size 5 in juniors, but since my thighs touched and my bones didn’t show, I thought I was fat. This was my main reason to not eat in front of boys. I didn’t want them to tell me I was fat and that I should stop eating. I already thought this. At 13, I felt guilty for eating that half of a hot dog.
My step-dad picked me and Hillary up after the movie. So, we couldn’t really hang out and talk much or anything. There was an awkward, quick hug as we left the theater. As we rode home, I replayed every word I had said during the “date” and thought about what a dork I was.
A week or so later, Bob called me again. I was so excited when I heard his voice. I was a little confused though because I heard another voice, probably that friend, in the background. Bob kept putting his hand over the phone. I would hear the noise of his hand on the mouthpiece and the muffled talking with his friend. When he finally started talking to me he said, “Hey, you’re a fat puss wad, ok?”
I was stunned. I already thought I was fat, but puss wad? Was he referring to the couple of pimples I had? I was 13 for fuck’s sake. I hung up immediately and cried. I called Hillary to tell her what he said and she told me to come over.
I sat on Hillary’s twin bed with her in the room she shared with her four-year-old sister. Hillary kept telling her sister to leave the room while I cried and talked about how fat I was and how I would never have a boyfriend. Hillary hugged me and told me what a jerk he was. Eventually, I agreed and we started talking about other things.
Thirty-three years later, I saw Bob in a news article online. I knew it was the same Bob because he looked exactly the same. I wish I could say he was in the news for a positive reason, but that is not the case. His son was one of the victims of the Parkland shooting. At that moment, I stopped thinking of him as that mean jerk from my middle school days and empathized with him as a parent.
This was originally posted on Huffington Post in 2016. In the wake of another school shooting, it has become relevant once again.
As everyone knows, there was a terrible attack in Paris on Friday, November 13. ISIS has claimed responsibility for it. Right after it happened, all of the various social media sites lit up with different versions of “Pray for Paris.” My first thought was “Why?” While I get that to religious folks praying for someone, or a whole country in this case, is a kind, warm thing to do, it is not the most helpful thing to do. I’m not trying to be a jerk to my religious friends out there. I would LOVE if prayer worked. Think about how different the world it would be.
We would not need to pray for Paris or any of the other places that insane, misguided people have attacked because there would be no such thing as terrorists. Someone would have prayed away that whole “let’s kill each other over God” mess hundreds of years ago.
The world would be jam-packed with people. There would be a lot more babies because the “pro-life” folks would have prayed away all abortions. Also, other people would have prayed away HIV, herpes, hepatitis c, and all other sexually transmitted diseases. So, people who were concerned about catching diseases would stop using condoms. Thus, leading to more pregnancies. No one would ever die because people would have prayed away cancer, AIDS, Ebola, and a host of other diseases along with death in general.
Everyone would be really overweight, and then not. First, people would pray to end world hunger so there would be so much food everywhere that people would become obese. Then, people would pray to end obesity. So, everyone would wake up one morning as though they had spent a month on The Biggest Loser. Slim-Fast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and all other weight loss programs would go bankrupt.
Every football, basketball, baseball, soccer, or other game would end in a tie. Think about it. You’re praying for YOUR team to win, and your *&#khead neighbor is praying for HIS team to win. Important stuff here. So, it’s a tie. God is listening to EVERYONE. Seriously though, if God is really listening to every prayer, he’s sucking down a trenta espresso every 9 seconds. It’s a lot of work. You would think he’d hire helpers.
I used to pray when I was a kid when I still believed in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and Jesus. Back in the 70’s, I prayed to end the sexual abuse I was enduring. I had tried telling my grandmother about it when I was three, but she told me “we don’t talk about things like that.” So, I used to curl up under my sheets and pray that it wouldn’t happen again. But it continued, just like cancer, terrorism and all of the other horrible things go on even though a lot of us are praying for them to stop.
I know what you’re thinking. If something bad happens, it happens for a reason, right? God chooses which prayers to answer. It’s all a part of God’s plan. Well, then God is one sick dude. He allows people to be raped, tortured, starved, bombed, beaten, and many other things just because it’s a part of his plan. Is he playing some masochistic version of the Sims?
The majority of people don’t question “God’s plan.” They go on offering prayers in person and online. If you really think about it, typing “prayers” as a comment on Facebook or a hashtag on Twitter is really a very useless thing to do. It’s not actually helping anyone but the person who typed “prayers.” That person feels like they actually did something. In reality, they probably typed “prayers,” reached into the bag next to them for another Cheeto, and then went back to surfing the net for fat pics of their ex. Even if the person actually DOES pray, what does this actually accomplish?
Oh, people always have stories of that time that prayer saved someone. Maybe their spouse had a brain tumor and it was completely cured. It’s a miracle! God saved the spouse, right? Nope. Maybe, just maybe, the surgeon who removed the tumor should get credit. He did spend a decade or more in training to do just that. I don’t know about you, but Jesus Christ, MD is not on my health insurance plan.
Religious folks will say, “But, Lisa, GOD put that surgeon in that person’s life to save their husband. God did that.” Oh, silly me. So, God gets credit for giving a person a surgeon but not for blessing them with cancer. Of course. That’s logical.
If we really want to help people, there are tangible things we can do. Does your friend have cancer? Offer to hire a cleaning service for her, or take her a meal. Buy her some warm pajamas. Do something real to help. Want to help the people in Paris? You can donate to the Red Cross and Red Crescent. They are coordinating efforts to assist victims in Paris and other places. Pray all you want, but if you really want to help people, there are ways to do it.
One of the things that a lot of people, including myself, love to complain about is their imperfect childhoods. We sit on many a couch in many a therapist office talking about it. We seem to blame our parents for a lot, and our mothers usually take the brunt of that. So, to get away from that Freudian way of thinking, I would like to share with you some of the great things my mom taught me.
Mom taught me to dress nicely when going to the hair salon. If you dress like a slob, they will think that is how you want to look. Actually, my mom has always dressed nicely to go anywhere. There were no sweatpants and Crocs on her.
Mom told me it is better to be slightly underdressed than really overdressed.
Mom pushed me to go to college. After high school, the last thing I wanted to do was go to school. I wanted to nap, read, and cuddle kittens. I still just want to do these things, but now I do them with a master’s degree and an online job.
Mom moved to Florida before I was born. My father got a job there, and even though they were not getting along, she decided to make the move with him. I’m glad she did. This enabled me to grow up with people of many cultures and religions.
Mom taught me to tip generously. She tips everyone, even the cashier at Wendy’s.
Mom taught me to make a family out of friends. My mom was never one of those “blood is thicker than water” folks. She taught me that if someone did you wrong, even if they were family, it was ok to get them out of your life.
Finally, Mom taught me to treat myself sometimes. My mom was not a saver. She would rather have the better product than the cheaper one. This is a trait I have inherited. It is why my husband is in charge of our money. : )
I learned a lot of great things from my mom. These are really just a few of them. Let me hear from you in the comments. What are your favorite lessons that you learned from your mom?
The boy, the husband and I are sitting at the table having bagels and coffee on a Sunday morning. The husband is going through Open Table and finding a dinner spot for when we are in DC for our nephew’s wedding.
Husband: Here’s a good one — Tap House. It looks like it has something for everyone.
Me: You mean plain things for boring eaters like me.
Son: Tap House – why do they call it that?
Me and the husband: Beer on tap.
Son: OH! I thought it was like a tap dancing place.
Me: (feeling hyper from the coffee and getting up from the table) HI! Welcome to Tap House. Follow me to your table. (fake tap dancing and walking out of the kitchen)
Son: (laughing) YES!! Oh my God! Let that be real!! There needs to be a place like this.
Me: (Still fake tapping) What can I get you guys to drink?
Son: Yes! See, you’re making it kind of a cheesy, campy place, which is great. I pictured it as a really exclusive place. You know, it would be really classy and there would be a pianist playing on a stage and then a really serious tap dancer.
Husband: You guys are scaring me.
Me: Either way, the shifts would have to be short there. Their feet would hurt. What if someone called in sick and your four-hour shift became eight hours.
Son: That’s why they would have understudies. If someone called in sick, the understudy would work. I can just see him backstage calling his mom. “Mom! It’s finally my time to shine!”
Son: So, what would we call it?
Me: Tap House!
Son: Ok. I was thinking we’d call it I’d Tap That.
The boy and I have a mutual friend that he works with. She is young, funny, smart, pretty, and single. She has not had much luck with the usual dating apps. She wants to date, but she is also introverted and doesn’t get out much. As she says, “I don’t bar hop or climb mountains. I want to find my couch potato in crime.” So, the boy and I were chatting about her in the kitchen, and the husband was on the couch commenting.
Husband: Well, she’s never going to find a boyfriend watching Netflix.
Me: Wait a minute! What if she could? I bet we could design an app for that.
Husband: Tinder already exists. You can date from your couch.
Me and the son (at the same time) – No!! No!! You could match people by shows.
Husband looks a bit scared because sometimes the boy and I share a brain. He also looks confused because he’s really not a big fan of movies or TV unless it’s Shameless (American and UK).
Me: Yes!! People could choose the shows they stream and the movies they like. We could call it Netflix and chill.
Son: Mom, I’m pretty sure Netflix would sue us for that.
Me: What about Hulu and hug?
Son: No, mom. No.
Friends, does such an app exist? Can you find your partner based on your streaming preferences? If not, can one of you invent this? We can go on Shark Tank together.
When I first heard about “A Quiet Place” I was intrigued. I thought, really? A QUIET movie? Most movies today are SO LOUD. Scratch that. The special effects and music are loud; the dialogue is usually too quiet for me to hear, even with my hearing aids. Whenever my son watches movies in the basement after my husband and I go to bed, I often wake up thinking that we are being invaded by cyborgs or whatever the current alien/monster/robot is. The floor vibrates as the booming effects enter our bedroom through the air vents. So, when I heard Jim from “The Office” (That is who he will always be to me) talking about his new movie with a real, live deaf girl and almost no noise at all, I wanted to see it.
On Sunday, the family and I went to our local “have some booze and eat before you see the movie, heck you can even have booze and food in your reclining seat in the theater” movie theater. I love those. It seems like they are everywhere now. Unless you live in a town where “turn left at the third barn” is one of the directions to your house, you probably have one of these magical theaters. So, my husband, my son, and my son’s girlfriend got to the theater early and had drinks and tasty food. Then, we entered the quietest theater I had ever been to in my life.
Well, actually it was loud at first. We found our group of pleather recliners while the previews were still going. We had to inch past the people that were already in full recline mode, including a man who was at least as tall as Shaq. His feet hung a good six inches over the edge of the recliner. With the previews going, it was still a normal theater. So, we slurped on our drinks and the kids (they are 21 and 22, but still kids to me) crunched on their candy. This all came to an end rather quickly when the movie started.
The great thing about “A Quiet Place” is that it is, well, quiet. Most of the movie is nothing but sign language, sub-titles, and bare feet. Since I can’t hear for shit, I usually have the sub-titles on at home. It was a real treat to have them at the theater because, as I mentioned, I usually can’t hear the dialogue. If you are hearing impaired, “A Quiet Place” is THE movie to see in the theater. Because of this, I LOVED the movie.
The downer to “A Quiet Place” is that it is TOO QUIET. You can hear EVERYTHING in the theater. My ice shook when I took a drink and I felt bad because EVERYONE in the whole damn theater could hear it. Once this fact hit me, I got anxious about the possibility of farting. I literally broke out in a sweat just thinking about gas. In a normal movie, you can get away with a little fart, here and there. I’m not talking about one of those “for the love of fuck somebody light a match; something died in here” farts. I mean your garden variety toot or rubber band snappy sounding fart. In a normal movie, you could totally let loose. DO NOT attempt this in “A Quiet Place.” One time, I changed positions in my pleather seat and it made that sort of fartesque noise that denim scooching across fake leather makes. Two people in front of me looked at me and I wished I knew the sign language for “that was not a fart!”
And then I had to pee. Usually, I can hold a pee for a while if I’m watching a really good movie, but this was one of those pees where your bladder feels like a water balloon that is about to pop. I had to try to quietly walk to the bathroom. So, I lowered my recliner. That made a noise. This woke my husband who always sleeps in movies, so I signed “P P” so he knew where I was going. Then, I put my rain jacket, which crinkled, over my purse in the seat, and walked quickly to the exit. Of course, I ran right into Shaq’s feet and the bottom of his shoes dragged across my new Stitch Fix jeans. Now, I had to wash them or burn them when I got home. I could visualize the germs. When I came back from the bathroom, I did the sideways crab crawl plie to get past Shaq without soiling the other leg of my jeans.
I was able to watch the rest of the movie without causing any distractions, aside from making the fartesque noise again while sliding into my seat, and uncrinkling my rain jacket as I moved it to my lap. My husband went back to sleep after I sat down, and he was able to keep his snores to an acceptable level. I stopped drinking my drink so I wouldn’t make any more ice noise or have to go to the bathroom again. I was ready to sit silently and watch this movie.
And then it ended. Just like that. Really suddenly. I hated the ending. I’m a typical American when it comes to movies, I guess. I don’t want an artsy fartsy make you think ending. I want to know what happens to the characters. I want to know if they live or die. I want to know if they solve this pressing monster issue that has plagued them and caused them to risk ringworm, tetanus, and a number of other things by running around barefoot. The ending of “A Quiet Place” did not tie things up neatly. Office Jim and his co-writers left the audience hanging quietly in their seats. Perhaps there will be “A Quiet Place Two” or “A Quieter Place” or “Seriously, Be Fucking Quiet” movie in the future. If there is, I’m watching it at home. I can’t take the pressure of putting all bodily functions on hold.