Friday, January 29, 2016

He Texts, She Texts

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

Recently, I bought my son a cell phone so that I could communicate with him.

Ha ha ha! I know. I crack myself up sometimes.

I can all hear you parents laughing along with me, because as many of you know, giving your son a cell phone practically guarantees that you will hear from him even less than before, and possibly never again. Oh, sure, your son's friends will hear from him, but the only time your boy will actually communicate with you is to walk into the room and let you know he's lost or broken his cell phone.

His $400 cell phone.

Still, it was his 13th birthday, and as he grows older and participates in more sports, it's become ever harder to get messages to and from him at various practices and games. I figured he should have a phone of his own so I could get a hold of him.

Like I said, I crack myself up sometimes.

Take, for instance, this series of recent texts, each sent several hours apart, in which I ask him whether he had his basketball warm-up jersey for that evening's game.

It looks like I was talking to myself up there. That's because I was talking to myself up there. Yes, those of you familiar with the sweaty adolescent male of the species can predict when I got a response from him, which was namely, never. You are no doubt on the edge of your seat, wondering if the Hobo had his shirt, and the answer is yes, which I finally discovered when I saw him wearing it during the pre-game warm-up.

Later that evening on the car ride home, I asked him why he didn't respond to my texts earlier that day.

"We're not supposed to have our phones out during school," he said.

"I understand that," I replied, "but I sent two of those after school. Anyway, why aren't you checking your phone before the game? The whole point of you having a phone is so I can tell you important things before practices and games and stuff. Why don't you text me back? Can't you at least give me a 'K'?"

"I don't like to write 'K' - that's just rude," he said. "Anyway my battery was dead."

I looked at him in the passenger seat, where he was -- you guessed it -- texting his friends on his phone. With a battery that was clearly not dead.

Choosing to pick my battles, I continued driving home and thought about the verbal differences between males and females. I know exactly where my son gets his (lack of) communication skills - his dad. I could spend two hours composing the guy a 150 word text sharing emotions, recalling old memories, and detailing all the reasons I love him. His response?

"K"

That's just rude.

But getting back to my son's and daughter's texting habits. They are different. Very, very different.

Although there is an occasional non-response from the Princess, she generally replies to my texts. Several times. Several dozen times.

Sometimes I think she has psychic powers, because often I'm not even done typing my message to her before I see the ". . ." telling me she's responding. In fact, if you want to text my daughter, you better be sure that you're fully hydrated, your phone's 100 percent charged, and that you have a few hours -- perhaps an entire evening -- to converse. Because that girl will write you back.

All night long.

Yes, males and females have different communications styles. Consider the following examples of boy vs. girl responses.

Boys:

Girls: 


You know, studies show that females communicate more often than males. Girls' verbal skills develop at a young age, they speak their first words earlier than boys . . .


. . . and have larger vocabularies and use a wider variety of sentences and . . .


. . . these same experts say that females use 13,000 more words a day than males. I think all 13,000 of those are texted by my daughter -- to me.


Hey, would you look at that. I think my battery is dead.

Ha ha ha! I crack myself up sometimes.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Old Fart's Guide to Parenting: Now vs. Then


(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

The other day, as the kids tapped away on iPhones worth more than six months' rent on my first apartment, I marveled again at how much things have changed in the past 40 years. I'd been busy with my usual lunchtime routine of cooking two different meals for two different kids -- a.k.a. Picky and Pickier -- all the while tripping over them and kind of wishing they would go outside.

So I said, "Why don't you two go outside?"

They glanced up in horror from their screens.

"Mom, come on!" said the Princess (a.k.a. Picky).

The Hobo (a.k.a. Pickier) opened his mouth in disbelief. "It's only, like, 30 degrees out there!"

And before I could protest, both kids hunched back over their phones and returned to the important Instagram business at hand.

Feeling very old and tragic, I continued preparing their lunches -- plural -- and had several Get Off My Lawn epiphanies about life in the 70s compared to life  in 2016, so I grabbed a pen and jotted them all down. Read on for your handy Old Fart Guide to Parenting, Now vs. Then:

Food:
2016
"Would you prefer pasta or chicken? You'd rather have steak? Of course, honey - whatever you want!"

1976
"Oh, so you're tired of fish sticks. Is that right? Guess what - here's seven more. Don't leave the table till they're gone."

Playtime:
2016
"Are you warm enough, honey? It's so cold outside! Let me bring you a blanket and some hot chocolate so you don't have to pause your video game."

1976
"Aw, baloney. Nineteen degrees isn't that bad. Bundle up and go outside! I'm locking the door  till the street lights come on."

Clothing:
2016
"We have $800 for your school clothes shopping  today! Let's see. We'll go to  Hollister, American Eagle, Abercrombie . . . crap, that won't be enough, will it? I'll grab another hundred."

1976
"What do you mean your jeans don't fit? I just bought them two years ago! Alright, alright. Here's five bucks. Ride your bike down to Kmart, put some pants in layaway, and we'll pay them off by the time school starts. Maybe."

Transportation: 
2016
"Hop in, sweetie, and buckle up. You're such a big fifth grader! Only two more years and you'll be out of that booster seat."

1976
"Get in the car. No, not the back seat - Grandma and Grandpa are sitting there. Sit in the way-back, and quit complaining. Seat belts? Hmm . . .there's some chains on the floor, I think. Strap yourself to the spare tire."

Discipline:
2016
"Now, if you keep talking to Mommy that way, she's going to take away some of your XBox time . . ."

1976
"Who do you think you are, telling me how to drive? There's 18 feet of road -- I use all 18 feet. You open your mouth again, and I'll kick your ass from here to the end of the highway!"

Health:
2016
"Come over here, baby, and let Mom help you with your sunscreen. SPF 50 won't be strong enough for a bright day like this! We'll reapply in 40 minutes, and take a break from 10-2 when the sun's the hottest.

1976
"What are you doing back in the house? What's that? You have a sunburn? Well, there's some baby oil in the bathroom. Rub it in, suck it up and go. I'm locking this door till the street lights come on."

Independence:
2016
"Whoo - is it hot outside! Let's hurry into the store, sweetie, before we dehydrate!"

1976
"I have to run in for a few things, so stay in the car and keep the windows rolled up and the door locked. If it gets too hot, start the engine and turn on the A/C. Don't look at me like that. You're old enough to drive. In eight more years."
____________________________________________________

As you can see by my Handy Old Fart Guide to Parenting, things are indeed very different these days. I'll think I'll start showing this to my kids whenever they complain, and if they don't like it, you know what? I have no problem locking the door till the street lights come on.

Now get off my lawn.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chaos



(post copyright 2015, Dawn Weber)

More messed up Christmas Carols for your listening pleasure. Happy Holidays, everyone!
__________________________________


It's beginning to look a lot like chaos,
Everywhere you go,
Drive through the parking lot,
Hoping you won't get shot,
Just to buy your kid a new iPhone

It's beginning to look a lot like chaos,
Thieves in every store,
But the scariest sight to see,
Are the moms on Black Friday,
At the Walmart doors

Expensive footwear and a new iPad air
Is the wish of Emma and Belle,
Games about war and Playstation 4
Is the hope of Noah and Will,
And Mom and Dad can hardly stand to see the Visa bill

It's beginning to look a lot like chaos,
Everywhere you go,
Assholes are all around,
On freeways and in town,
Full of rage and Starbuck's espresso

It's beginning to look a lot like chaos,
Idiots a-bound,
A mass of humanity,
Bursting with insanity,
Crazies all a-round!

___________________

I Must Go, I Must Go, I Must Go

Oh, the stores are filled up with buyers,
But my Kohl's cash soon expires,
And since I'm not made of dough,
I must go, I must go, I must go

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
This never ending shopping,
The traffic, it really blows,
But I go, I must go, I must go

When I finally think I'm done,
I remember my nephew Jack,
He wants a new Nerf gun,
Shit - guess I have to go back!

My bank account's quickly draining,
My back and knees complaining,
The roads are covered with snow,
I must go, I must go, I must go

When the cash is completely gone,
It's a good thing we have Mastercards,
Visas for everyone,
Credit statements by the yards

Christmas Eve and I'm still buying,
My bankruptcy denying,
Santa left a long time ago,
Still I go, yes I go, I must go!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch?" Nope. "You're an A**hole, Mr. Trump"

(post copyright 2015, Dawn Weber)


Well, for five years now, I've been writing these messed-up Christmas Carols! Perhaps I should publish a little songbook to pass out to the children . . .

Nah. Better Not. Anyway, Happy Holidays, and feel free to sing along!
_______________________________

You really are quite frightening,
Your mouth is always running, 
You’re qualified for nothing, 
Mr. Trump

You’re a bigot, Mr. Trump,
You’ll cause nothing but problems,
You have no sense of justice, 
Mr. Trump

From the back seat of your limo,
To you, we’re just sex symbols, 
Mr. Trump

You’re a bully, Mr. Trump,
Your gall’s the stuff of fables,
Mr. Trump

You scare me, Mr. Trump,
The rednecks, they adore you,
Casting their votes for you,
The liberals all abhor you,
Mr. Trump

You’re a danger, Mr. Trump,
A nasty billionaire,
With ideas crazy as your hair, 
You’re our worst nightmare, 
Mr. Trump

Drunk on all your power,
Basking in your malice,
Go back to your tower,
Mr. Trump

Three words that describe you are stink, stank, stunk!




______________________________________________

Jerry the Junkie

Jerry the Junkie,
Was a jolly fucked-up soul,
With a big crack pipe and a blown-out nose,
And two pupils like black holes

Jerry the Junkie,
Was a criminal they say,
He went to jail, couldn't post his bail,
So he stayed for Christmas Day

There must have been some good shit in,
That last crack pipe he smoked,
For when they placed him in his cuffs,
He said, "Please just one more toke!"
Oh

Jerry the Junkie,
Was as high as he could be,
And the police say, 
That for several days,
He believed he was a tree

Down came, old Jerry,
When his crack buzz was all gone,
He said, "Give me some!"
They said, "You'll get none"
So he suffered till the dawn

He tried to call his ex-wife to,
Coome spring him from his cell,
But when he heard her screeching voice,
He said, "I'll just stay in jail"

Jerry the Junkie,
Found some bail on late Tuesday,
And he waved goodbye,
Saying, "Don't you cry! I'll be back again Friday"

Crackety-crackhead, crackety-crackhead,
Look at Jerry go,
Crackety-crackhead, crackety-crackhead,
He's the oldest junkie you know!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Momsgiving


(post copyright 2015, Dawn Weber)

That's right, you heard me. Instead of Thanksgiving, I'm calling it Momsgiving because, well, I don't see anybody else in this damn kitchen. Anyway, think about it: Mom's giving you turkey. Mom's giving you stuffing. Mom's giving you yams, potatoes, pie -- and possibly  diabetes.

Yes, ladies, Thanksgiving, Momsgiving, whatever you want to call it, is here, and you know what that means for us.

Hours of cooking! Distant relatives! An overwhelming urge to run far, far away!

It all begins in early November with the dreaded question, the one that leaves us sweaty and depressed:

"What are we doing for Thanksgiving?"

To this, you have several answers -- "Flying to Vegas!" "Driving to Daytona!" "Getting away from all you people!" -- but sadly, you know that none of these will be acceptable to your family members, who want nothing more than to sit around eating the food you cooked, and watching TV in the house that you cleaned spend time with you.

Because of that, you say what you do every year, the same five dreaded words:

"We'll have it here, I guess."

And so it begins.

Saturday and Sunday:

Spend 13 hours dusting and mopping guest room, living room, kitchen, and kids. Remember annual tradition of Hiding of the Liquor and Questionable Movies, as well as all-important Clearing of the Internet Browser.

Wednesday:

Rush to grocery store after work. Quickly become just another frantic woman in overpriced fleece, pillaging piles of yams, potatoes, rolls, etc. Hustle past crying babies and slamming carts, and nearly get into fight in grocer's freezer over last bag of noodles. Despite craziness, don't forget to pick up most important item on Thanksgiving list.

Your Xanax prescription.

Thursday (early a.m.):

Kids sleep, husband snores.

Not you.

Must start prepping and cooking in wee hours of morning. Exhausted already, you begin to hold  conversations with turkey such as:

-Hey there, Handsome!
-We'll go vegan next year, I promise.
-Is that your pop-up timer, or are you just happy to see me?

Oddly, turkey doesn't answer.

Thursday (noon):

Relatives arrive. Yay!

Locate Xanax.

Thursday (afternoon):

Crunch time. Dash around kitchen, simultaneously preparing yams, potatoes, stuffing, corn, gravy, rolls and turkey. Trip over relatives as they belatedly try to "help." Resist impulse to scream, "Get the hell out of my kitchen!"

Wonder if is too late for drive to Daytona.

Thursday (dinner time):

Try not to drip blood, sweat and tears into turkey while carrying to table. Sit down, say grace, appreciate loving faces, and watch as they cheerfully devour the food you spent 11 hours preparing.

In exactly four minutes and 45 seconds.

Thursday (evening):

Survey empty chairs and table full of dirty dishes. Realize you haven't seen people disappear that fast since cops showed up at senior year keg party. Sigh and roll up sleeves.

Locate hidden liquor.

______________________________________

Well, folks, there you have it. I've pleaded my case. With this, the average American mother's schedule during the third week of November, I proudly declare it not Thanksgiving, but Momsgiving.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go. There's lists to write, plans to make, much to do, and soon I will be just another frantic woman in overpriced fleece.

On a flight to Vegas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mom's Mind-blowing Modern Technologies

(post copyright 2015, Dawn Weber)

It's hard, I know, to be a kid nowadays. Hours and hours spent Twittering, Instagramming, and playing video games can really take a toll on our youngsters' lives, to the extent that they are "too tired" to perform even the most menial of tasks.

Case in point:


I know, right? It's exhausting, growing up.

Unfortunately, a "tired" child doesn't do much "work." This leaves more -- much more -- for his mother to do, which in turn makes her "upset" and keeps her from the important things in life, such as "drinking wine" and "watching HGTV."

It's simple, really. Messes + chores = angry mom. Wine + HGTV = happy mom.

Thankfully, there are several magical inventions that can help kids overcome the huge hurtles so very taxing to them. And as a parent, it's my job to educate the children on these incredible wonders of the world. Read on, young ones, for your guide to . . .

 Mom's Mind-blowing Modern Technologies!




You may remember this container from such rooms as your bedroom. Often, you've been curious about the strange vessel. What could it possibly be?

This is an amazing invention called a hamper. It can get your soiled clothing off the floor and out of the way, thereby keeping your bedroom neat, fresh, and obstacle-free.To use, simply A) Remove dirty clothing from body, and B) Toss it in hamper.

"But," you ask, "where will my clothes go?" Never fear, my child, for the glory of the hamper is such that once it's full, Mom will take it away, and your wardrobe will magically re-appear, clean and fresh, in a couple of days. How she appreciates the fact that your filthy clothes are conveniently located in one place, so she can have the great honor of washing your laundry. All 33 pounds of it.
________________________________________________






Clearly you enjoy making aged cheese from your leftover chocolate milk. And Mom understands. It's nice to have hobbies.

One wonders, though, about the dozen other abandoned glasses of lukewarm liquids scattered about the house. What will you do when your beverages are room temperature and all the cups dirty and half empty -- or full, as the case may be? The waters, the Mountain Dews, the blue Gatorades on every available surface of the living room, bathroom, bedroom and family room, each of them left lost. Weeping.

Alone.

Fear not, my child. The remarkable device pictured above can keep your drinks cold. Never again will you lack refreshments or cups, for the appliance called refrigerator has the sole purpose of chilling and preserving food and drink items so that they can be enjoyed again and again. Sure, production of chocolate milk cheese will be reduced or eliminated by relocating half-full glasses to the "fridge," as those in the know call it. But you'll be able to enjoy your beverages over and over, simply by placing them in this super cool box.
___________________________________________________






There seems to be some confusion, Mom's noticed, on responsibilities in this household. For instance, when one is finished with dinner, one seems to think that leaving one's dirty dishes on the table is adequate. This is not so!


In the year 2015, we have a machine to wash our dishes, and it's called -- stay with me here -- a dishwasher. To utilize such a marvel, all you have to do is open the door, and place your soiled plates and utensils inside. That's it! Mom will take it from here by putting a cleaning tab in its container and pushing "on," a task too complicated for anyone else. 

Apparently.
___________________________________________________




"Where are my shoes?"

It's a question that's plagued children for centuries. In our house, the answer is easy: right by the front door. Heaps of shoes. Piles of shoes.
All the shoes.

I have good news, young ones. No more will you suffer the search when you leave them in this marvelous little room, designed especially to hold clothing and footwear! A closet, we call it, and why, it couldn't be more useful. You'll find your tennis shoes -- sure you will -- right in there by your football cleats. And your baseball spikes. Behind your winter coats. Under your sleeping bag. And your old toys.

Bah. Never mind. Wear the shoes by the door.
__________________________________________________




Perhaps the simplest of our Mind-blowing Modern Technologies, the toilet paper holder is an absolute study in efficiency with its rod-and- plate design. You can sit. You can go. You can wipe.


Except when you can't.

Why? Because the holder is suddenly empty. This can be very distressing, because now you can't sit, you can't go, you can't wipe.

What will you do?

It's easy. Help the toilet paper holder fulfill its God-given purpose. Just open the cabinet door, grab a new roll of TP and slide it onto the rod. Fill it. Spin it.

Wipe it.
___________________________________________________

And with that, we've come to the bottom of your guide to Mom's Mind-Blowing Modern Technologies. Keep this manual close by for whenever you're pondering what to do in the face of such conundrums as lack of shoes, cups, clothing and toilet paper. If you lose this guide, don't fret, as the whole thing can be summed up with four words:

Clean up your crap.

You know, choosing to do things for yourself pleases Mom. By the small act of cleaning up your crap,  you can make her happy, and, as the saying goes, when she's happy, everybody's happy. Life is all glitter and rainbows and unicorns. Like a Disney movie. With wine.

And HGTV.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Moment of Silence for the Packing Away of the Flip-flops


(post copyright 2015, Dawn Weber)

It's time to pack up the flip-flops,
It's time to pack up the smile,
Winter is well on its way,
Yet I'm in complete denial.

I get like this in October,
When the forecast turns to shit,
'Cause I don't want to pack up my flip-flops,
No sir. Not one little bit.

But six months of ice and snow,
Don't make for flip-flop weather,
From fall till the end of March,
You want your feet in leather.

It's time to dig out my boots,
I really hate to admit it,
I'll also unpack my pants,
And hope to hell they still fit.

That's one reason I love flip-flops,
They're never too tight or snug,
Even after a week's vacation,
They feel like a gentle foot-hug.

Yeah, flip-flops are like a party,
Right there on my feet,
With a look that yells, "Margaritas!"
And a vibe that shouts, "Let's eat!"

Oh sing a song of the flip-flop,
They're cheap, they're fast, they're easy,
Much like your average prostitute,
Only wearable, flat and disease-free.

All the world loves a flip-flop,
Manufactured by kids in China,
For sale at every Dollar Tree,
From Maine to Texarkana.

Still, it's time to lose the flip-flops,
Oh how I will miss them,
My toes will count the days,
Till they return to freedom.

Yes it's time to pack up the flip-flops,
I can't deny that it's winter,
But things aren't really all bad 'cause,
I am also packing my razor.