Sunday, December 19, 2010

Adventures in Real Parenting: So I Say Hello to Wasted Hours

Is Mars in retrograde with Venus or something?  Because the way things are going here, there must be some explanation beyond the biological.  It's like 1987 all over again.

Either way, MathMan and I are aligning a lot lately.  Not that I'm complaining.  Along with the cardiovascular benefits, it's good for the brain chemistry.  I am less likely to chew your head off for asking a simple question like "Are there any clean towels."  Which is, for the record, a damn ridiculous question.  Of course there are clean towels. That washing machine seems to run 24/7.

Anyway, Friday night "alignments" were so splendid that we were in the midst of discussing a three-peat when a faint rapping came from the bedroom door.  What promised to be a mutually satisfying game of the desperate novelist and the  lecherous publisher was abruptly interrupted.  I tucked the velvet cuffs under my pillow while MathMan adjusted the blankets over us.

"Yes?" we huffed in sexually-repressed unison.

The door opened slowly and at first I thought Sophie was the culprit.  Alas no.  It was Chloe, doubled over as she made her way into the room.  A hungover Groucho Marx missing the mustache, but sporting tremendous raccoon eyes from the previous night's liberal use of mascara and eyeliner.

"Wild night?" Her father inquired, his voice sanguine, his expression a smirk.

Chloe barely nodded before resting her head against the bed's foot board.

We watched as she slid to the floor where she whimpered, a bedraggled mess of headache, nausea and that lingering sense that you said and did things you're going to regret when your friends tell you about them at some later date.

"Tough lesson," I nudged MathMan with my elbow.  "What, pray tell, were you drinking?"

She whimpered again. Pititful.  Finally she managed to bleat a few words.  "Beer," she hesitated.  "And some malt liquor thing."

MathMan and I hooted with laughter as our darling child, our perfect girl crawled to the bathroom.

"I have sunk so low" were her last words before she retched.

"So did you ever share your hangovers with your parents?" MathMan asked me in a voice loud enough to be heard over the barfing.

"Good god no."  And then to Chloe, "Shall I turn on a parade?  Extra loud?"

My mother came into my room one New Years Day and did that very thing as I lay in bed wishing for speedy death.  Our children had heard this story before so Chloe would have understood the reference.

"Please don't" came the weak voice from the bathroom.

"But this is all about punishment so you remember not to do this again."  MathMan helped make the case.

Chloe flushed the toilet, but remained in the bathroom.  "Yeah, well, don't you think throwing up next to a trash can containing my parents' condom wrapper is punishment enough?"


  1. Great story Lisa! I sure laughed. I recall many a time sneaking off to bed hoping my slightly tippy walk wouldn't be noticed. Tell my parents? No way no how were not mature enough to handle it properly. Old school. Sigh....

  2. Ah yes, 1987, the interchild interregnum. Followed by 20 year of interr... but I digress.

    Younger daughter is 'in da house' for the next 10 days.

    Setting the Wayback Machine to 1990.

  3. Apparently her friends aren't doing a good job of showing her alternate methods of re-entering the house.


    I thought "Yes?" we huffed in sexually-repressed unison. was such a perfect line, until I got to the rivaling punch line.

    Great anecdote, Lisa!

    (And, good for you on the "aligning.")

  5. I laughed when it happened and I laughed at the Groucho crack. Funny as hell.

  6. Ha! My son, Boy Wonder, is flying in tonight from Portland via Milwaukee... his ETA at local bar with old college friends in town is 12:30 CST..... ETA of hangover at his Mom's house.... 2pm tomorrow. he he he

  7. I have so many comments I don't know where to start.

    Let's try: yay! um... Har and Yes!

    That might cover it. Or not. Happy holidays!

  8. This post! Brilliant! I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved it, I read every word (and sometimes I don't always do that...shhhh!)
    I loved your term "alignment" to your daughter's sorry state. Parents after my own heart!

  9. Oh God, too funny! I have so been there... on both sides. We'd like to think our kids won't repeat our same mistakes, but who are we kidding? It's the circle of life. The drunkenly scrawled, vomit-spittled circle of life.

  10. 'a mutually satisfying game of the desperate novelist and the lecherous publisher'

    sounds like a game plan all right :-)

    Poor Chloe. Hearing about her tale of woe makes me glad I gave up drinking and took up drugs instead. Good ones, I mean..

  11. I have no words, only streaming tears of laughter. way to go! I think the next time I snap at someone, I'm going to blame it on bad alignment., not bad alignment--infrequent. LOVE THIS. :)

  12. Thank you, gang! I'm pleased to report that this morning's alignment was uninterrupted.


  13. She has a point. When a friend and I had too much to drink (first time for me), my mother simply smiled. The next day was Thanksgiving and when my friend came over she asked if she wanted a glass of wine. My mother is an evil woman.

  14. LOL! :) Oh, Lisa, that is sooo funny! :)

    I read it aloud to Iwanski and he laughed, too...a great story, and a great storyteller! :)

  15. Oh totally priceless!! No I didn't share that with my parents,but certainly they knew I'd had those moments.
    I hope Chloe is feeling human again now,live and learn,and ftr,never drink some"Malt liquor thing"...gag.
    Oh,happy game playing!


  17. oh lord, this one almost had me barfing but i'm sensitive....but if i had a hangover and was retching into the toilet bowl, those awful dry-heave things, and looked over and saw THAT, well, that would take care of it...thanks lisa, i needed that one lots...have a good one, aligned in all ways ;) xx

  18. Lisa, that's hysterical. You can turn anything into a great story. My mom wasn't nearly so...nice after my first vodka experience and that evening's spaghetti hurled all over my blue and white flowered wallpaper. But I think she was WAY out of alignment at the time.

  19. poor chloe. it must be hell having such a funny mom!!!


    i used to have to cook my younger siblings breakfast most weekend morning. if mom or dad had the slightest hint that i may not be working at full capacity because of too many beers (shots, whatever), they'd make me fix the whole she-bang, eggs, bacon, toast instead of my usual fruit loops and milk.

  20. That is hysterical. Chloe sounds like a riot.

    I came home once so, so painfully hungover. I was of course dehydrated, and for some reason I deciding drinking a big glass of apple cider, really fast, would be a good idea. Um, NO. I ran upstairs to puke so hopefully my mom wouldn't find out. Then I stayed in bed for like 6 hours. Later she told me she knew what was up...I mean, you'd have to be a moron not to.

  21. *giggles* i love all the love here. I'm totally serious. I grew up in a family that pretended nothing improper ever happened and now live with a family that hubby can't quite find the humor in... you know... funny stuff.

    I never told my parents ANYTHING and the don't ask, don't tell policy really worked for us because... you know.. my mom didn't WANT to know.

  22. I have nothing to add here, except that I'm nearly in tears from laughter.

    Chachi read this while shaking his head and...shaking with laughter.


  23. I'm wiping away the tears of laughter. Seriously. Chloe's got her mother's knack for one-liners.

  24. My good friend's dad video taped her drunk once...and shows it to people to embarass her often! Her mom left her and her dad, he was all she had. Sad, but good cuz her dad is an AWESOME guy!

    and her mom, well???

  25. Ooh, I don't know which was worse for her, the condom or the vomiting? I know if I saw my parents condom I would STILL be a getting sick.
    Malt Liquer? Ah, the joys of youth!;-)

  26. A threepeat? seriously?

    DUDE! a huge tip of the bald spot to you MathMan!

    You lucky little novelest you.

    Maybe you should take a week and right some serious porn paperback shit for a quick buck.

    I have no sympathy for the little brat though, being a seriously drunk sonofabitch, that is a daily thing.

    I drank a full water glass of straight whiskey when I was ten and then went out in the ice and snow on a fucking bicycle to deliver Sunday papers at three in the morning.. I did OK, until we started getting phone calls at ten in the morning. My drunk little ass missed a whole street.

    I was wondering why I had so many papers left over but I just dumped them on a side street. Guess what I got to do?

    Merry Christmas to you all.

    Keep an eye on the likker cabinet. ;)


  27. Oh My Lisa! This was a really very funny story. My parents have seen me like that once too. Fortunately I did NOT have to puke in a trash can with my parents condoms in it!

    I hope Chloe feels better SOON!

  28. better malt liquor than boones farm - i think that was my first upchuck


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