Monday, September 27, 2010

Reason for Divorce: Romantic Comedies

If video killed the radio star, then what has the romantic comedy genre done to relationships? Per a study from some country that mass produces hot romantic comedy actors, women who watched a large number of romantic comedies were less satisfied with their relationships. Go figure.

I do think that the romantic comedy, or modern day fairy tales, are to blame for our ridiculously high expectations. Take Pretty Woman, for example. I don't know of any actual prostitutes that get picked up by rich dudes and turned into Mrs. Donald Trump. That movie makes prostitution look glam and fruitful. You are even encouraged to have good dental hygiene for God's sake. But, flossing doesn't mean some rich dude is going to whisk you away in his odd grey limo and support you in paradise. Just ask Divine Brown. I haven't seen her on Hugh Grant's arm at any premiers, have you?

Ok, so we now know that you can't trust the career success in a romantic comedy, but what about the fact that they portray men and classy, loving and downright romantic. Give me a break! Ok, so I love Mark and blah blah blah, but come on. Romantic comedies are men standing outside holding up jam boxes blaring great songs. Real men are snoring and farting in their sleep. Romantic comedies are couples holding hands and strolling through the park. Real men are checking their Blackberry for the Colt's score and wondering how many walks it takes to get some action. Romantic comedies are happily ever after, romantic proposals and gorgeous weddings and then the credits roll. Real life... after the romantic proposals and wedding... you actually have to have marriage. Kids. Dirt. Bathrooms that smell of poo after the dude leaves and coffee grounds on the counter tops. It's laundry day when their socks are all inside out and when you turn them the right way, you feel his foot sweat. It's work. It's not romance. It's not comedy. It's life. And the movie makers are too smart to show you that part, or you go from Bed of Roses to War of the Roses in 60 seconds or less.

So, just say no to the romantic comedy. Our expectations are raised by men like Richard Gere, Will Smith and Mel Gibson (pre-psychotic rants and racism, of course) and our real life men just can't live up. I suggest instead that we watch hours and hours of Lifetime movies. I can say for sure that my man can stack up pretty well against the alcoholics, wife beaters and racists on that channel. Suddenly a little sleep fart won't smell quite as bad... ok, yeah it will... but at least I will fall back asleep with the knowledge that it could be worse. He could be running a dog fighting ring in our backyard.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dancing with the.... what the hell???

Dear Producers of Dancing with the Stars,

What the hell is this stupid ass cast of people on your show this season?



OK, no one gets off that easy First, let me say this.... My name is Lynn and I like Dancing with the Stars. There, I said it. Admission is the first step. I know the show is terribly dorky, but I like it. Admittedly, I have an addiction to all reality competition shows that ever appears in front of my eyeballs. And, I like the pretty sparkly costumes (although costume is too big a word when certain professionals take the floor in their bedazzled Kleenexes taped to certain "not seen on TV" body parts) and I like the dancing. No blood, no sex (at least not too overt), no mystery... it is what it is and sometimes I like that. And, just to up my ballroom cred a little, I have even attended the finale show. Granted, the tickets, hotel and airfare were free (I wouldn't pay money to be there), but still, at a time when my Will was a wee little baby and I rarely left him to even go out to dinner, I left him for three days to attend the Mario Hosting Guy versus Emmitt Smith finale show. So, like I said... I am a fan.

But, not today. Today I deleted the recorded season opener (unwatched) and I deleted the results show (unwatched) and I deleted the setting to record future shows. Today I deleted my show that I typically made a priority to watch. And why, you may be wondering? Because I don't watch idiots on TV. If I did, I'd be DVRing Jersey Shore not Dancing with the Stars. Granted, AC Slater is no MENSA candidate, but still... The Situation? He doesn't even have a name... he has a noun. This is a man famous for... well... being drunk, overly tanned and obnoxious? I realize George Hamilton was once on the show, but his younger, dumber version just isn't needed. There is more to life than abs... After all, didn't we learn that from Jake Pavelka's demise???

And Bristol Palin? Really? I almost can't dignify her presence with comment. But, no one is that lucky, so comment I shall. Just a little clue to the yayhoos that picked her to be on the show.... she is not a star!!! She is the child of a wack job (ahem... I mean politician) who is only known because she got knocked up in high school and then on again off agained her baby daddy. FYI, I used to work with like 5 middle aged women whose teen daughters followed that same path. Let's put them on next season and have a dance off! If Bristol hadn't entered teen pregnancy statistic land, we wouldn't know her name. Case in point... what are the names of the other Palin offspring? Beside Bristol, I can't name a one, although I think Twig or Twithead might be in there somewhere.

That leads me to The Hoff (really, now we're taking other reality show "has beens"???), Florence Henderson (who they had to bring in an aged partner to dance with so didn't go all pervy Mrs. Robinson on us), and Audrina Pap Seeker from The Hills whose name I know only because she had a nudey picture scandal a couple years ago. Maybe if this stint on DWTS doesn't kick start her "career" maybe she can release a sex tape or have 10 plastic surgeries in one day like that other Hills moron (I mean star).

So, in closing... count me out. I won't watch the train wreck (I mean Tango) being done on the ballroom this season and I politely request that maybe before contracts are done for the next round of dancers, you might want to gauge their annoying and/or idiot factor before signing on the dotted line. Until then, I guess it's House and Hoarders for me on Mondays.

Monday, September 20, 2010

If you see my mind, let me know...

Wanted: My mind. My marbles. My sanity. The sandwich that will complete my picnic. Something!

I usually have it mostly together. I want to say that I have it all together, but that is not true. I may let something little slip like putting out a check for Tabbi's lunch money or leaving out Will's trucks the way he requested, but on the whole I have the big stuff handled. I know when the bills are due, I know when the paychecks are coming, I know volleyball is Tuesday and Thursday and I can throw in tracking on Laura's mom's birthday party, too. I can juggle it all... until today. Today I dropped the ball. Balls... actually.

I got dressed up today for the Parent/Teacher coffee at Will's school. You drop your kid in his class with a substitute teacher, and then his teacher and the parents sit in a different room getting to know one another. It's a cute little gathering to meet the other parents and chat. I shoved Will into his class and was ready to hit the snack table in the coffee room when his teacher handed me a yellow paper. It was an invitation. To the coffee. Next Monday. Oops.

Fast forward to picking Will up from school today. He and Jack want to hit the playground, but I say no. Today we need to book it home, eat the fast "special" lunchable at a decent pace and zip over to the doctor for Jack's 2 year old check up. I shove them in the car, unhappy about missing playground time. They are thrilled about the lunchable, but a snail could lap them in the eating process so I begged, I threatened, I pleaded and finally they were done. We use the restroom, wipe faces and back into the car. We hit the waiting room in record time and I sign Jack in. The receptionist asks for his name and plugs him into the computer. I wait. She looks. I wait more. She looks more. I am still waiting. She is still looking. Then she sees it. Jack's appointment... 1:30... on the 30th. So, I am roughly 5 minutes, and 10 days early. Great.

I used to track on things. I used to be able to manage my little family of five and all of our commitments. Now... I think I may need to be managed by something, and I certainly need to be committed. So my next task for the day is either finding a new CEO of our family or finding my freaking mind... and I am not sure either one is very likely.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kids Text the Darndest Things...

Ladies and gentlemen, we have entered a new realm. An era where we as parents don't have to just worry about what our kids say and do when they are at school or friends' houses.... oh no. Now they have access to other wee ones 24/7. They have cell phones and Facebook and all sorts of techie mediums they can use to spread their kidiocy throughout the universe whenever they want and we, the parents, cannot keep up. We are losing the battle for our kids to the machines. Insert Terminator reference here.

Here is the situation we encountered this weekend. Tabbi spent the night at a friend's house and apparently she, her friend and another guest decided to spend their free time harassing some boy via text messages. Now, I am not going to lie... I distinctly remember a sleepover in someone's basement where many a prank call was dialed to many a boy from our school. I also distinctly remember being the speaker for most calls because I am a killer liar (sorry, Mom) and can do so without laughing. But, the difference between then and now is that you could really only prank the same dude two times before his 'rents got involved and we were toast. In this case, the boy Tabbi targeted received 67 texts in a 2 hour period of time. Gone are the days of just saying "Is your refrigerator running" and here are the days of 12 texts of "asjdkjadjkkj" in a row.

To make things worse, I later found out that the other two girls involved have told their parents that Tabbi knows this boy two years her senior, from another school district and she has been texting pictures of herself. Upon hearing this news, my head exploded. The end.

Ok, my head is still intact, and amazingly so is Tabbi. Turns out that the part of the story that made me the most upset isn't true. They came across this boy because he initially texted Tabbi on accident. It was a wrong number. He had no idea who she was and most importantly she never sent him photos. She wanted to seem older and cooler to her friends so she made a "they'll think I'm cool" story into a "Lynn Nightmare!!!"

All of this has been resolved and Tabbi has learned a really hard lesson on what type of behavior is ok on a cell phone. She has lost her phone/Facebook for a week and knows very clearly that if this happens again she loses both for good. But, punishments do not really fix the problem. Tabbi is 11 years old and fighting all the same demons that I fought 20 years ago when I was her age. She wants to fit in, she wants to feel good about herself and she wants to be accepted. But... she has all these tools to make the lack of these things scream so much louder than before. At least in my day, you went home and unless you received a phone call, the lamb stopped screaming til the next day at school. I remember a note from friends that temporarily ended my world in 7th grade.... but the issue was only between us. I see similar messages come across Facebook pages daily and instead of a private fight, it goes viral. This world is a new frontier for kids and parents, and I for one am scared. Scared for her, scared for us as parents... and most of all... scared that the Amish community I am planning to join to avoid all of this won't have us.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!!!

So, Mark has his new job and he is all "hey, my new server works" and "hey, my boss took me out to lunch again because I'm kinda awesome" and while I am thrilled for our family's financial status (which hovers around "adequate but not ritzy" right now), I have to admit that I am a little bit jealous. He's all meeting new people and doing new things, and I am all Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Every single day I wake up is virtually identical to the one before. Ok, yesterday we went swimming and today we're going school shopping for Will, but still... substitute children fighting over pool toy for children fighting over check out toy and it is the same freaking day. And you know what... tomorrow is right on schedule.

Let me paint a picture for you... I wake up when Jack does. We watch one and a half Blue's Clues in my bed and then he wants to come downstairs. He asks for apple juice and when I give it to him, he gets pissed that it isn't chocolate milk. He didn't ask for chocolate milk. Every day I ask him if he really wants chocolate milk and every day he screams "APPLE JUICE, YOU IDIOT!!!" Ok, I added the last part. One day, in my infinite wisdom, I handed him chocolate milk instead of apple juice and thought I was one step away from the MENSA presidency.... and he chucked it at my head. I gave in and got him apple juice. He chucked it at my head and screamed for chocolate milk. I give up.

Will rolls out of bed an hour or so after Jack. Then the fighting begins. They fight over who sits where on the couch, who gets the blanket, who gets the toy that the other one doesn't even really want to play with but will fight to the death over it, what to watch on tv (when neither one will really sit down and watch anything), what to watch on Netflix online (when neither one will really sit down for more than 30 seconds anyway), who gets to sit in which chair at the computer, whose foot touched the other, whose hand slapped the other in the face once the one foot touched the other... You see my point. They fight. They start at Will's wake up and they stop at Jack's bedtime, only pausing for nap time/quiet time in between.

During nap time/quiet time, Will fights with me. He doesn't nap anymore so he gets to lay in my bed and watch tv. He is not to leave my room until whatever show is over. I threaten... I cajole... I implore. He leaves. He comes down to tell me that it is a commercial. He comes down to tell me that he has to go potty. He comes down to tell me that Olivia is super funny today. I send him up. I talk sternly. I swat him on the butt and put him back. And he comes down. Every day.

Later, Tabbi comes home and is vehemently opposed to anything I say. I remind her that she has girl scouts and she flips her lid over having a meeting. I remind her that I gave her the opportunity to quit over the summer and we had many a long talk about it, and she reminds me that she is never ever ever going to just willingly do anything in her entire life. She does her homework, and then we have to fight over her practicing the violin... this instrument that she proclaims a deep and profound love for... until she has to touch it. Then, when that is done and I ask her to watch the boys while I make dinner, she reminds me that her version of babysitting is being within 30 feet of the children, but not really knowing that for sure because her eyes are too glued to her phone to see them.

Lather.... rinse.... repeat. Every day.

I am jealous that Mark is doing something new. I am jealous that he likes it and that he gets to do new things and that he actually has something that measures his success. I can't migrate over to a new server as proof that I can accomplish something. I can't do anything but laundry, dinner and dishes, and there is no gratification in that, because I just start over again tomorrow. The alarm goes off (which is not Sonny & Cher, but rather Jack's screams of "MAMA!!!!") and my day starts again. No change, no..... oh wait, I gotta go. The boys are fighting.