So, I’m an OK mother—Cranky, Whiny and Punch seem to be surviving. Honestly, were I grading my parenting, I would give myself a B, which is weird because I always have been an A student.
I have been a pet owner for many years—sometimes successfully; other times, not so much. I have had a towheaded 3-year-old come to me with a goldfish in his hand, and ask with utter sincerity why Gil doesn’t seem to like playing in the yard. I have had a guinea pig give birth not once, not twice, but three times on my watch. We had an albino gecko. Why, you ask? I wonder the same thing every day. I think it may have taken its own life, but the official cause of death is ‘accidental.’ Apparently, it accidentally stopped eating and drinking. I have had a puppy sit on my lap while I scratched her head and rubbed her back as she—unbeknownst to me—devoured a bird. But now, I fear my patience may have run its course. It appears our puppy—our adorable, precious, impossible-not-to-love puppy—has discovered a nest. Or a herd. Or a pack—of voles.
Depending on your age, this time of year can mean many different things. It can mean time to plant your garden or hose off the patio furniture. It can mean time to swimsuit shop or time to make your summer travel plans. However, if you are a high school junior or senior, this time of year means one thing and one thing only: prom. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Some of us spent prom night at home watching horror movies, eating Mint Milanos, and dreaming about how much Tom would regret not asking me after I make my first billion creating a social networking website…theoretically speaking. Nevertheless, most kids that age, whether in groups or on dates, go to their high school prom. It is the 'date' aspect that I now find interesting.
So last week, a show premiered on ABC called Splash—not to be confused with Smash, which has an actual story line. Splash is a reality show where 'celebrities' attempt to dive. That’s it. They dive. Coaches coach them, they hurl themselves off a 10-meter board (please don’t call to correct me about the height of the board because frankly, I just don’t care), and judges score them. So let’s tally it up: We’ve had celebrities dance. We’ve seen them skate, cook, diet, rehabilitate and survive in the wilderness. All I can say is that fame—however it is achieved—must be pretty freaking awesome if people are willing to go through all this to get it--or rather cling to it. And that got me thinking: I wonder what else we could get said fame-seekers to do?
Last week, my husband and I attended a seminar on alcohol and drug prevention at Whiny’s school for eighth-graders and their parents. We were split up, and tables of nine were composed of four kids, four parents and a faculty facilitator. There were various speakers: a doctor who explained the effects of alcohol on the teenage brain, two seniors who had elected not to drink during their high school years, and the head of school who encouraged open and honest dialogue about the subject.
So, there’s a movie coming out this week called The Last Exorcism Part II (the sequel to The Last Exorcism). Now, one would think that a movie called The Last Exorcism would not have a sequel—presumably because that exorcism was the last one (still, a movie called The Second-to-Last Exorcism might not have had the same box office draw). In any event, apparently the ability to do a back bend is synonymous with demonic possession and we have another last case. A last, last exorcism, if you will. Of course, if Weekend at Bernie’s II taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood can make a sequel out of anything.
So last week my family and I were spending an uncharacteristically quiet evening at home. Homework was finished, and Cranky Whiny and Punch inexplicably were not bickering (I wondered idly if they had run out of ideas). Anyway, we were lolling around the family room, watching some vaguely inappropriate crime show when Pebbles, our puggle, hopped onto my lap and settled in. Wow, how Norman Rockwell! I guess every family deserves one night like this…and then I heard the noise.
Do you have a secret? Are you living a shameful (or shameless) existence? Do you hate your body? Do you have a sex tape? Do you think your toddler needs to go on a diet? Have you stabbed your lover? Do you have a more-than-meaningful relationship with your car, your pet chimpanzee, or an inflatable doll? Do you grocery shop at a gas station? Well, there may be some good news for you. Your outrageous, unrefined, crude, addictive, aggressive, compulsive, self-loathing behavior might make you rich and famous…well, rich and infamous. A quick glimpse at the array of what we so literally describe as 'reality shows' may have you wondering if there’s hope for you yet.
I’m on Facebook. I’m not proud. Admittedly, I really only check the site to monitor Cranky’s postings—what boys she’s posing with, scanning a photo for a stray can of beer in the background—but a problem has emerged. Facebook no longer is the cool college social networking hub it was in 2005. Now it’s the 21st century equivalent of a slide carousel of your neighbor’s family vacation. It’s the digital version of cropping, and worst of all, it apparently is the world’s most unproductive cure for boredom. I’ve realized something: Facebook isn’t cool anymore.
So, I don’t know if you heard, but the Super Bowl was last weekend. The score is final at the end of the game, but that may very well be the only topic that is not open to debate. Check any social media outlet or coffee shop or bar, and people are arguing about anything and everything football. Did the refs screw up? Was the power outage a conspiracy to shift momentum? Well, I only heard one guy claiming that, but he also was licking parking meters.
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