Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Risk of Dirty Roses

It's amazing how something that lasts only about three minutes can make me feel so dirty. One bad decision before 8 a.m. and for the rest of the day I'm wishing I could take another shower. You would think that feeling this way just once would be enough to teach me a lesson, but I'm ashamed to say that I continue to go back for more.

The temptation begins around 7:20 a.m. when I consider my arrival time in the parking lot at work. I know I'll be there before 7:40, but will it be 7:30 or 7:39? Those few minutes make all the difference. I'm not so far gone that I'm willing to wait for 10 minutes, but a minute or two is a different story. If the timing is right, I wait. The regret will come just minutes later.
I blame one of Rob's coworkers for turning me on to this cheap thrill.  He once told me his daughter is obsessed with War of the Roses on MIX 106.1 FM. It airs at 7:40 a.m. The premise is simple. An insecure man or woman has suspicions about their significant other. Rather than speak with the individual whom they purportedly love, they call a radio station to air their concerns. The morning show host Chio involves "Marie from Accounting" who calls the presumably unfaithful, pretending to be from a flower shop. Said flower shop is giving that individual a dozen long stemmed roses, the only hitch is that said individual cannot accept them him/herself, but rather must send them to someone special. If that someone special is not the suspicious partner listening online, well then Houston we have a problem. What follows is ugly. Screaming, crying, general nastiness, and most recently threats of bodily harm when a guy played this game to see if another guy was into his girl, which naturally he was, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered airing it.

I've learned a lot listening to this program:
  1. There are entirely too many people in this world happy to air their dirty laundry for a couple minutes in the spotlight.
  2. There are bunches of people who should not marry, and most definitely should not procreate.
  3. There's something seriously wrong with those who listen to this shit. 
  4. This is a great example of what happens when you hang out in the wrong neighborhood.
Just like the wrong crowd can lead you astray, apparently, so can the wrong radio station. Not only have I heard stories that involve cheap whore earrings and lip gloss found in the husband's toolbox, but I now know that Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose had a huge blow up on Twitter. Thank God for Mario Lopez or I'd never stay up to date with this stuff. And, did you know that this past weekend more than a dozen teenage Sudanese boys were kidnapped by a militant group while studying for school exams? It's obviously not that important because Mario didn't mention it. I stumbled upon this bit of news while skimming the paper. It was only a short paragraph in small type in the back of the national/international news section, so don't feel bad if you missed it. 

I confess that prior to this fall from grace, I'd felt pretty damn superior to the rest of America. I read "real" literature, I watch independent films, and my television program choices are, for the most part, respectable. (Although I watch America's Next Top Model, I do fast forward through the tawdry portions.)

So why this, why now? Perhaps it's nothing more than the same sick need we have to look at car wrecks, in which case God is responsible for messing up our hard wiring. Or maybe I listen to that relationship absurdity to feel downright giddy about the blissful state of my marriage. Whatever the cause, I know it's a habit I must break if I ever want to regain my place of superiority in our great nation of fools.

If you've personally experienced an unhealthy addiction such as this, please share your story. I hope it will be more disturbing than mine. That way I'll feel better about myself. But I promise I won't judge.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Imagining a Temporary Reprieve from Adulthood

Today's one of those days when I don't want to be a grown up. I don't want to deal with those fairly
Real life. Look crappy. Cat ignores me.
mundane adult issues that are commonplace to us working parents of teenagers and pets. Stuff like:

  • Arranging for a tile pick up so the contractor can finish the kitchen. 
  • Picking up Lily from her meet and greet at the Barker Lounge, a doggie daycare facility where I can take her when the cleaners are at the house and board her when we go out of town.
  • Going out of town this weekend for our annual church retreat. Ian wants to stay home to work instead. Old enough to stay home alone? Sure. Do I trust him. Absolutely. Do I trust everyone he knows not to show up at the door with illegal goods in hand? No. Call neighbor, recent college grad now living at home. He'll hang with Ian and Lily, One problem solved.
  • Figuring out when to schedule Lily for dog training. I'll be in Italy with the Silvertones for two of the six Saturday classes. Can Rob take her on those days, or will Phillies' games be an issue? It's that time already...
  • Having that damn gum ball tree removed. It's the only tree left in the front yard and it's the one I've always hated the most. There goes another grand.
  • Deciding if we want to take in an 18-year-old refugee whose father and brother were killed by the Taliban. My parents think I should give up the dog because she's causing too much stress; imagine if I bring someone into our home who doesn't speak English. Hard to explain why the things that cause stress and major adjustments to our lives can also be the greatest gifts. 
  • Learning to vent elsewhere.
  • Managing the gender issues that frustrate me in the workplace.
  • Ian's first tutoring session and the college search process. Hoping we can get those SAT scores up just a couple hundred points. May make all the difference where merit scholarships are concerned. Villanova may not be the obvious choice after all. What fun these next 12 months will bring.
  • Working out? Don't see fitting it in tonight. That's three nights in a row. I really should work out on the weekends, but I think of that as my vacation time. And since working out isn't something I want to do, I'm definitely not doing it on vacation. 
  • Making dinner.
  • Doing laundry.
  • Figuring out how to get a crap load of work done before March 27, especially when all I want to do is cry, sleep, and write about my issues.

Goofy college girls. Not a care in the world.
So, I'd like to give up being a grown up for a few hours. Maybe days. Oh, who am I kidding? I'd like to be college-age again for at least a week, month, maybe a year.  Let's imagine I'm 19 and a sophomore at some competitive private liberal arts college in the South. One that turns out great writers.

8:00 a.m.: I've just woken from a recurring nightmare in which I'm late for a final exam, for a class that I forgot to attend for the entire semester.

I don't bother with my hair; a baseball cap will suffice. I pull on yoga pants and I don't iron my wrinkled shirt. Do I even own an iron?

Given that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I hit the cafeteria and make myself a Belgium waffle, top it with fresh strawberries, maybe a dollop of whipped cream. No longer a freshman, no longer fearing the freshmen 15.

9:30 a.m.: Dramatic liturgy class. Looking forward to tonight's rehearsal for the musical. Surprised and delighted with my leading role!

11:00 a.m. Photography class. My digital skills are really developing (no pun intended). Definitely going to enter that photo contest.

Noon: Cheeseburger, fries, vanilla shake. I'll pay for it later. Someday I'll probably learn that I'm lactose intolerant.

1:00 p.m. Catch up on DVRd episodes of American Idol. I can't figure out why everyone disses this show. First, it's the only talent competition that's created bona fide stars, and second, Harry Connick Jr. is the man. So funny, charming, smart and talented. Not hard on the eyes, either. Actually, I'm dating this guy named Rob who has a lot of the same qualities. He could be a keeper. Rob, not Harry. I think Harry's taken.

2:00 p.m. A nap. A quick nap. I always say that, but it's always at least an hour or two.

4:00 p.m. Writing for publication class. I like that this course covers publishing for old fashioned print media, as well as social media. Still psyched that my piece about Greek Rush was picked up by the Huffington Post. Now if only National Geographic would consider the photos and article I wrote about my experience in Ghana with my friend Ann. She's going to be a great doctor someday, I just know it.

5:30 p.m. Leftover pizza. Should probably start refrigerating the leftovers, rather than leaving them on the counter for days. But hey, hasn't killed me yet.

6:00 p.m. Rehearsal starts, only going till 9. An early night. Looking forward to meeting up with the girls later.

9:00 p.m. A quick glass of Boone's Farm with Kathie & Cathie, Lisa, Amy, the Karens, and Kim and Theresa. GDIs, all of us. Love these girls. I hope we're friends well into old age. Can't imagine getting old. Hard to imagine life much past this year. Can't believe one day soon I'll have a full-time job, I'll get married. Probably have kids. Definitely want a dog and a cat. And a shore house. Would love a shore house.

Can't wait till tomorrow. Same shit, different day. Lots of new stuff to learn. Ideas to share. Fun to be had. Talents to engage. Love this life.