Monday, May 4, 2009
Weekend Round Up: I Still Don't Have Any Red Boots UPDATED WITH PEE PEE RANKINGS
This weekend was a perfect mashup of the real, the unreal, and the surreal. The Actor was away on a band trip until late Saturday night. The Dancer was booked up with her last high school performances on Friday and Saturday night and Friday night found MathMan and me fidgeting grumpily on hard, small benches that double as lunchroom tables and benches at Garbo's elementary school. It was the annual "talent" show.
As we squirmed and hissed gripes to each other and checked our phones for any text that could distract us from our skin-peeling boredom, countless numbers of sweet, well-loved children attempted to sing over the voices of the artists who made today's pop songs pop.
Think karaoke without the beer, drunks, hot wings and Hooters Girls.
Pardon me for saying this, but it was brutal. Of course, being a biased mama, I'm confident that Garbo and her BFF K were the best singers, performing in tune and quite confidently to a current Miley Cyrus hit. But this highlight of our evening was just one teeny fraction of a moment in the midst of so many where I wished that I could be anywhere but there.
Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of Garbo, who flat out sparkled on stage, and I did enjoy the songs crooned by the Bus Driver Who Stole the Show, but when the program was over and the assistant principal announced that the we should stay put because we were under a tornado warning, I thought it was the cruelest joke ever. I believe I made some kind of gurgling noises of dissatisfaction and threw questioning glances at MathMan. "What do we do now?" I asked, my eyebrows raised in a full on RESCUE US expression.
MathMan was decisive. "We're outta here." Was his pronouncement. Halfway through the parking lot, we heard the severe weather sirens blaring. We rounded the edge of the school where we could see the horizon and it was black with clouds that made an ominous wall. Having experienced tornadoes as a kid and again just last year, I'm just a tad weary of them. I could feel my adrenaline spiking.
Lightening backlit the clouds as we watched in awe. Now we could see in front of the black wall fingerlets of clouds breaking out and moving swiftly over the murky backdrop. We broke into a run to the car. Garbo got there first.
After we clambered in and buckled in, the question remained. What now? We, like so many others who'd abandoned the school (which happens to seem like a tornado magnet - its pavilion was obliterated in last year's storms and its roof was lifted off and returned just slightly out of place), drove quickly and as safely as we could to the exit and then turned on to the main road, wondering where in the hell to go? Off to the west, the wall of black, swirling clouds inched closer. "We don't want to go home," MathMan said pointing toward the clouds that were swallowing up Plant Bowen, our neighbor.
We got to the intersection of the main road. "Which way?" I asked. I really wasn't sure what to do and I was driving. Again, MathMan was decisive. "Towards town," he instructed me.
Now I like to drive fast, but I save my fastest driving for when I am alone. It is one thing to endanger me. It's something quite different to endanger my loved ones. But Friday, I drove as fast as I've ever driven. My eyes were glued to the road and my knuckles stood out stark white against the dark grey leather of the steering wheel. MathMan and Garbo scanned the skies for danger.
With each blaze of lightening, I imagined a swirling giant of destruction bearing down on us. The drive had the surreal quality of a dream because I do often dream of tornadoes. We decided that the best thing to do would be to meet The Dancer at the performing arts center. As if on cue, she called and told us that they were in intermission and waiting for more news about the weather.
Just as we got to the PAC the front edge of the storm was upon us. The wind whipped and the lightening crackled in the air and felt too close for comfort. Thunder rumbled overhead as MathMan took Garbo's hand and ran toward the building with me following closely behind.
Thankfully, the front passed as we waited inside. The electricity flickered and then went out, leaving us sitting against the wall in the dusky glow of emergency lighting with all the attendees of the performance. I remembered again that I really want to get a flashlight for my purse. Just in case. (Read MathMan's version here.)
The performance was suspended and the dancers were sent home. The Dancer was miffed because the two pieces she'd choreographed were in the second part of the show. Nevertheless, she seemed glad to drive home with her dad riding shotgun and Garbo in the backseat recounting the wild ride from earlier.
Me? I stopped for pizza and tried to get my heart rate back to normal. The tornado that touched down didn't do much damage and there we no injuries thank goodness. We'd all live another day to sit in the basement (on Sunday afternoon) while the sirens went off once again. (Enough already! We get it - the weather is a powerful force in our lives. Can we go back to the drought now?)
Saturday was full of family snark time and finally a chance to see The Dancer's performance. I think that deserves its own post. We got The Actor back in one piece and were grateful that we hadn't gotten a huffy call about his behavior during his trip. He came back with voice rough from screaming and loads of stories about roller coaster rides and other off color, adolescent things. Fast forward....
Sunday was a day of more family time in which we went to the mall (a rare event for this family, I tell you what) because I decided it was time to treat myself to some new skin care products. A pumice stone and Vaseline just aren't doing the trick anymore. Naturally, a trip to get mama something is an invitation to all to outstretch their little hands and beg for some new clothes.
Honestly, I can't complain. Compared to the way I was raised (if you daddy's going to work 16 hours a day, I'm going to spend that money), our Spawn rarely go shopping. They've learned that we only go when absolutely necessary and even then a budget is established. I don't mean to sound defensive here, but after all we've been through financially, it seems odd to even go to the mall. The one thing these kids will never confuse is entertainment and shopping.
The drive to and from the mall did not include outrunning threatening and severe weather (that came shortly after we arrived home), but it did include a segment that went unrecorded, thank goodness? The Actor detailed his adventures during the band trip and explained how he and his friends had watched Manswers on the Spike Channel. I could tell by the name Manswers that no good was going to come from this. But then, I have radar like that. Plus I'm married to a man who calls Lifetime Channel Vagina T.V., so it's not often that something so blatantly gender-biased would be missed by anyone in our family.
And y'all know we don't do nearly enough to shelter The Spawn from the realities of, well, anything......
Apparently Manswers had important biological information about why spanking is, in fact, sexually stimulating. The program also provided detailed information about average penis size and size ranking among the world's nationalities. (FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR RANKING INFO)
Not one to allow her children to think they are anywhere near sexperts yet, I had my comeback ready within nanoseconds of the average penis size pronouncements. After nudging MathMan in a "see, I told you so, you are too above average" way, I glanced at my self-satisfied son in the rearview mirror. He loves shock value as much as his mama does. Then breezily, I quipped "I would agree with those findings, based on my informal studies of individual penises."
They tell us that The Actor's hysterical blindness is only temporary and that, when his sight returns, I might want to refrain from mentioning myself and the male organ in the same sentence.
* Ranking info provided because of loud outcry for details. I assume you wanted the info provided by The Actor and not from my informal studies....