Friday, March 5, 2010

Return to Sender

Suzy Soro, of whom I am damn near terrified, has a weekly feature she's most aptly titled "It's Everybody Can Bite Me Friday." As if being a signal that the weekend is upon us isn't enough, now I look forward to Fridays because I can visit Suzy to see what kind of drama and grievances she's experiencing. It has a salving effect. It makes me forget my own idiotic preoccupations for a while.

I wouldn't dream of stealing Suzy's idea, but I am going to borrow it with credits to her because oh my word. Things are pogosticking on my last nerve and the ever-increasing number of nightly glasses of wine doesn't seem to be offering me the kind of relief I need.

For starters, Chloe is making a special guest appearance as the college freshman home for spring break. While normal girls her age are lounging about half naked at some beachfront property or drunkenly tongue kissing other nubile young coeds for the fans of Girls Gone Wild commercials, Chloe has parked herself on the living room love seat in front of cable horrors such as Millionaire Matchmaker. I liked it better when she watched Green TV all damn day and issued dire warnings about how we were all going to die from the something something in our drinking water.

And she's doing me no favors either by mentioning her ongoing need for money first thing in the morning. Dang, chick, don't you know that if you bunge up The Writer at 8:13 a.m., you've pretty much shot her day for writing? Stress and concentration do not mix. I'm ready for her to go back to school already.

I know it's almost sacrilege for parents, especially a mama, to voice anything but undying devotion to her children, but honestly. These kids and their endless needs. Things got ugly the other day: this one bitching about that one because he needed some poster board and art supplie; that one fussing about the one who needs a white dress, and the third bemoaning the fact that the others use up too much of the family bank account with their sorority dues and braces......I finally lost it with them. "You all think you are an only child!" I shrieked.

They looked a little stunned, but not at all chagrined. So I was onto something. "Well, fine! Let's sort it out right now. Let's decide. Who should be pink-slipped?"

There were no volunteers, but plenty of furtive finger pointing and communicative eyebrow raises.

And then there are the cats. They are in complete mutiny. I guess it's payback for the last week and half of February when we ran out of money and I started rationing their food which was already the cheapest I could find. I think it was made of shredded newspaper, bits of styrofoam and ground cattle hoof. I can't say I blame them, but damn, they are out of control.

The youngest, still hanging on desperately to her feral qualities, found a breech between the garage and the basement. She showed the other cats how to use it. Damned sneaky idiots. They didn't realize it was an exit and and an entry. They'd go missing for a while then all of a sudden, there would be this clamoring and yowling at the basement door. I discovered their secret slipthrough and plugged it up cleverly with some old pillows and some luggage. Now they're just annoyed. (Note: As of this morning, the youngest found her way through, again.)

Oh, and the secret, angry pooper is at it again. Except we all know it's him so only he thinks it's a secret. We all just go along with the ruse. Well, that's not technically true. When no one is around, I shame him about it. I tell him that I know it's him. But nothing ever really changes. He poops by the back door, I complain loudly about it and clean it up or tell someone else to do it and hope that they do it quickly. That whole when I say do it, I mean now concept gets lost in the translation.

I realize I invited this trouble into our lives. Once upon a time it was just MathMan and me. Our stuff belonged to us. We didn't have to clean up puke or poop or hand out money to ingrates. We went to work and school. Sometimes, we even went out for fun. We hung around our apartment with our non-gray hair, full-throttle sex drives, unfurrowed brows and wrinkle-free skin. We fucked and watched t.v. and generally goofed around. We took drives for the hell of it. I think fondly now on those carefree days....

I remember thinking then that if we started our family relatively young, we'd have time when we were older to enjoy life. Well, on the track of life, we've just about finished up the second lap of the 440. In another seven years, all the children will be grown. The cats will have either croaked of natural causes or will be lovingly outsourced to one of these children who claim to love them. MathMan and I will once again be on our own, living off the reparations that will be automatically deposited into our bank account. We'll be child and pet free. We'll go back to that carefree life, but knowing much more than we did all those years ago.

For example, don't leave a forwarding address......


  1. Oh my darling.........I'm with you, 6 more years of education for the youngest, then maybe we can send him off to college..............and move!!!!

  2. When I was in 7th or 8th grade, my parents stopped buying me clothes unless it was a birthday or Christmas present. I stopped getting an allowance. I babysat for spending/clothes money.

    I was the youngest of 4 and layoffs were common.

    I never went to my parents for money. Years later, my mom was sad to hear I could've gone to Paris in high school, but I didn't have the money and I never thought going to them was even an option.

    I'm not only still alive, I still talk to my parents.

  3. I'm at T minus 3-ish years!! Woot.

    I love her dearly, and I give her my all, my best efforts, but still I am counting the days to freedom. There's a sort of advent calendar going on in my head. It's what gets me through these teen years, and our clashing PMS schedules.


  4. I dunno, it seems the obvious is staring you in the face - it's time to dump both kids and cats. One bold stroke and you're a zillion steps closer to paradise.

    Remember there is NO SUCH THING AS AN EMPTY NEST ... unless you yourself do the emptying.

    Also remember, children, I mean parasites, will hound you in some form until the day you die.


  5. Oh cheer up! Listen to the Decemberists - The Rake and you won't feel like you are so awful.

    p.s. I hate to admit I cannot wait until my step-daughter is off to college next year. But that chick better get it through her head that she needs to make some money while she is there.

  6. I used to tell my kids their high school graduation gift was going to be a set of matched luggage already packed.

  7. "MathMan and I will once again be on our own, living off the reparations that will be automatically deposited into our bank account. We'll be child and pet free. We'll go back to that carefree life, but knowing much more than we did all those years ago.

    For example, don't leave a forwarding address......"

    You have a rich fantasy life and I see some of the commenters share your fantasy.
    Even moving and not leaving a forwarding address(at times we discussed doing that) will work these days because of Google. All they have to do is a Google search and you'll be found in a few minutes.

  8. I think I'm going to do a post called "Why People Are Afraid Of Me."

    I'll probably go directly into cardiac arrest after reading the comments.

  9. I'm sitting here thinking, should I burst this bubble? I am in that fast forwarded phase you referred to , "blissfully" in the empty nest phase, no children to care for. But now there is news of a November wedding in Ohio, and the younger one... yes the one I spent Thanksgiving night filling out FAFSA financial aid forms with, the one I jumped through the hoops to get all the documents to put on my work health insurance & pay for it, just casually mentions he dropped classes.
    ALL of them! Now he is in the hole $1000, loses the health ins, can't get funding till Fall term, and will be attending the school of hard knocks, trying to find an entry level position in a State with an 11% unemployment rate, and make ends meet on minimum wage, IF he can even find anything.
    OK that is just a glimpse into my world.
    I am wondering if that 21 year old will wind up back in the nest by default?

    You can bet I'd be making a to do list.... no way he just sits around doing nothing, while we grind through 40 hour a week jobs.

    Now I am thinking exterior house painting, should Junior need a project.

    My point is there may be small increments of this bliss you dream about.... but as Roseann Rosanna Danna said.....there's
    Always something!

    Probably best to just count on that.

  10. I don't know what your problem is, a day never passes where I don't thank the powers-that-be for my children for what can bring greater joy than such monstrously annoying creatures?

    What's this you say about pink slips?

  11. SOME of you are not helping. If you see me on the news, be sure to ask to be interviewed so that you can look into the camera and say "I'm so surprised. She always seemed like such a calm, quiet woman who adored her children."

    Just so you know, I left the house with Chloe to run some errands and forgot to put the thawing pork roast into the fridge. We just arrived home to find the package torn open, shreds of styrofoam everywhere and the roast bearing sharp, tiny teeth marks.

    And please, I know. You're supposed to thaw in the fridge. I thaw on the counter all the time, just like my mom did. I'm 44 years old and the only time I've gotten food poisoning was in 2000 from a restaurant cheeseburger.


    Very surly

  12. I thaw on the counter too. GUILTY.

    Maybe a few more baby-free years wouldn't be so bad, right? Get in some more empty house schtupping while we can, before we have... TEENAGERS. (Gaaaaaah. Least favorite age EVER.)

  13. The awesome thing about having dogs instead of kids is that when they get to be teenagers, you put them to sleep.

  14. Now I'm glad my Mom didn't have a blog circa 1975. Serious OY.

    (You and she would get along great, though. Except in reference to sex. Mom and Dad did not talk about that stuff.)

  15. I left home at seventeen with no safety net at all. I had a job at fourteen. I didn't love the way things were, but when they throw you in the middle of the lake you either sink or swim. I'd be a great mom wouldn't I? My family called this treatment, the school of hard knocks.

    Ubermilf says it best. I think she's right. She obviously grew up to be a woman of strength and character.

  16. I bet you get another pet when that time comes. As nice as that empty nest is, it can get a little lonely. Maybe I am projecting. It is altogether possible.

  17. I was raised a lot like Ubermilf. I had to buy my own clothes, too. It's not that my parents didn't want to help, though. They just really couldn't afford to.

    I recently informed Nooze that it's time she packed up, moved out and got herself a job. You know, since she already knows everything and constantly tries to correct me.

    I have also told her that when she becomes a teenager, she is moving to ME and living with my sister. [My sister, bless her heart, is encouraging this. She actually LOVES teenagers!]

  18. My magic line is .....Some people around the world don't have food, tv, clothes, a roof, etc.

    They all moan and leave the room. It works every time. :)

  19. Well, at least you can comfort yourselves with the fact that when all this over (:-)) you can screw around as much as you like and no further offspring will ensue. Of course, there's always the strong likelihood of.. grandchildren. How does Tuvalu sound?

  20. Oh, you make parenthood sound so damn wonderful...ha ha. :)


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