Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Teenage Mutant Ninja Karma
In the middle of all the angst over Wally and what happens next Beav has decided it’s time for him to regress back to Weird Hormone Boy. I thought we had left WHB behind at the Crack Shack but I guess I was wrong. WHB is not welcome here because there is not enough room for more than one moody person in this house and by default of my age it gets to be me! Seriously, didn’t the kid get the memo? I’m the only one allowed to be grouchy. Beav has also reverted back to his previous incarnation of The Boy Who Won’t Get Up For School. Hells bells, the kid who hated school always got up on time and this one? He loves school Loveslovesloves school. Fortunately, the only person nagging is me because back in the day it was a chorus of me and Wally which would lead to Beav crying in grades 2 through 5 and yelling at us to leave him alone in grades 6 and 7. I’m not sure how much he actually hears because if I had to listen to my whining nagging voice I sure has hell wouldn’t stay in bed because I would welcome a chance to go to school and get away from it! And it’s not as bad as it was when he was in the second grade and I had to hold him down and force his shoes on him, carrying him to the car. Once he went to school in jammies. Because I‘m just that mean. This morning, he managed to get dressed and hopefully brushed his teeth and was sorta kinda awake he comes into the family room where I’m doing something emergent on the computer like checking in to see if my Fb friends have purchased sheep dogs for their farms or they have managed to “ice” someone in Mafia wars when I hear a very terse young man voice bark at me: “Let’s go.” Not, “hey mom I’m ready” or “Mom can you please drive me to school now?” And certainly not: “Mom, sorry you will have to speed on the highway to get me to school on time but it’s time to leave. I should have rolled out of bed when the alarm went off.”
I ignored the terse command because I’m usually not the friendliest person in the morning, either.(I know everyone is reeling with the shock,, I’ll wait here until you gather your senses) I come by my morning nature naturally but my father makes me and Beav look like Little Mary and John Sunshine. He was like the meanest grouch in the world before work. I always hoped he would wake up to a civilized state by the time he got to work. When I say mean, I don’t mean he would start the day out by beating us or hurling insults at us. No. He would sit and glower at the Today Show and offer monosyllabic comments in Jane Pauly‘s direction and grunt at me and mom. When I was in high school I would sit at the breakfast table with him; mom would putter in the kitchen and I would try my level best to be conversant with them even though I was half asleep and the 36 electric rollers jammed into my scalp didn’t help elevate my mood either. Besides that I had HEAVY things on my mind like…should I have lunch with Donna or Paul because if I had lunch with Paul we could watch All My Children at his house and his mom would make us something really good…but if I had lunch with Donna we could go to the mall and skip fourth period but that would involve lying to the attendance secretary and just how afflicted with menstrual cramps can one girl be…would anyone notice my new blouse and did my jeans make my ass look cute or flat and was Keith really interested in me or was he interested in me to get to Amy because everyone was interested in Amy anyhow and why should I bother because it was all going to end in a big explosion of heartbreak like everything else had ended this past summer ... So given my mood state any given morning of my senior year why not bait the hell out of my dad with incendiary remarks about how I thought Jimmy Carter was doing a great job .
I was poking a sleeping dog with a stick. An old sleeping dog with a sharp stick. An old sleeping dog who had been abused by mean people when it was a puppy with a stick. An old sleeping dog who had been abused by mean people when it was a puppy left in the cold to starve with a stick.
Poke poke poke…I think Jimmy Carter* is cool and what he is doing in the middle east is cool.
GRRRRR noises, comments about Southern Baptists as president,…hick farmer…democrats…ruined the economy…
Pokepokepoke I think Israel is wrong…”
“GRRRR…1948...how can you think that…it‘s their land”
PokePOKEPOKE“The cold war is stupid and pointless. No one is going to nuke anyone. It‘s just a waste of money.”
Have you ever seen someone breathe fire? I know my kids have seen me do it. Beav saw me do it yesterday after he auditioned for The Most Ungrateful Teenager Of The Year Award (the boy nailed it too, he made Wally look like the Dali Lama and Sister Theresa’s love child) Anyhow, it was at this point I would make some sort of peacenik dove remark completely uninformed by any reality other than knowing I would get my dad’s attention and he would breath fire at me.
By the time we were finished establishing which side of the aisle we were one; my dad had me burning the flag and I had him lobbing missiles at Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. My mother started referring to breakfast as World War Three. What she didn’t realize is I always started my early morning diatribe against the war machine just to see if I could get him to string a sentence together first thing in the morning. Just to see if he was paying attention because when I was 17, I was three.
So now when I hear Beav say in his barky little man voice: “Let’s go!” I hear my father and instead of getting upset with Beav, I laugh, because I would rather the commute to school not resemble Breakfast Wars 1978.
Dad and I still go at it. In 2003 I almost asked him to leave my house because he was going on and on and on about how great George Bush was. Just like an old dog that had been poked with a stick one too many times and exacts Cujoesque revenge on his abuser. Karma’s a cruel bitch sometimes, isn’t she? And this summer I almost put the old man on my email filter because he insisted on sending me emails about how Obama wants him to sit before a death committee because the Neurontin he takes for his terrible neuropathic pain is costing Medicare too much money. Looks like I’m getting poked with my own stick.
The other stick I’m getting poked at is The Messy Room stick. My mother would threaten me with the Front Lawn Humiliation. We would go around and around like Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin on the way to Camp David because I had not developed the fine motor skills necessary to hang up my clothing after I had had it on for three minutes and decided it was what I wanted to wear. I was threatened with all sorts of things, mean notes about taking my clothes to Goodwill or never sewing for me again or--her favorite threat--putting everything on the front lawn. Now I was clueless and thoughtless when I was seventeen but I wasn’t stupid. I would have to be so dumb it burned if I thought she was actually going to take the time to move all that crap on my floor to the front lawn. Really? It would be easier to just hang everything up in the closet. Yesterday, I was cleaning the house and audibly groaned when I saw Beav’s room. He’s normally relatively tidy. When me and Ward went to our first parent/teacher conference for Beav his tote was perfectly arranged. Scared the crap out of me, I flashed on a picture of a boy with blistered, bleeding hands from compulsive hand washing (oh don’t I wish that now) Of course the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and I considered leaving the “front lawn” note but then I stopped a minute and thought about it. Screw the front lawn, I could take a picture of his room, post it on my Facebook page tagging it as a picture of him so it would show up on his wall. The shock and awe I thought this would inspire continues to make me cackle like an evil genius. Can you imagine? Much better than the lawn. Much. I may just file this away for future reference. Feel free to use this with your messy teenager or messy spouse. But I’m not sure this would be a great idea because Karmic justice could be served all over me if the kids took a picture of me screaming at them about something and posted it on their walls. Yeah…no.
The “My Parents Hate Me So They Bought Me The Crappiest Car Ever” karma is living at my house, too. Beav won Most Ungrateful Teenager Award yesterday when he got huffy with me about the 1990 Honda I will be giving him. Obviously, I’m giving him this crappy beater because I don’t love him. Why else would I ruin his life? It couldn’t possibly be because I can’t afford to buy him a car with the magic checkbook that makes all his dreams come true. (I think my checkbook is magic because without fail there is always enough to provide what we need with a little left over for what we want. But that is a subject for another blog entry) The Honda has been a source of consternation since last winter; when Wally decided buying the Honda was all part of my diabolical plan to ruin his life. The Girl suggests we keep it forever and give it to Wally or Beav’s kid as a present. The grandkid would point out what an awesome relic it was and be grateful--tearful even-- as I cast a withering stare with my filmy and rheumy eyes towards the once thankless boy who is now a middle aged man with his own unappreciative son or daughter. Besides that? Every teenager needs to start out their driving life with a crappy car. The car at the top was my second car and it was nice compared to the first car: The Stupid Death Machine Pinto who’s only claim to fame was a decent 8 Track tape deck. I’m still not completely convinced that car is why I wasn’t the most popular girl in school my junior year.
After discovering I was ruining his life via the Honda, Beav told me what he wanted for Christmas and It’s a good thing Beav didn’t see my face when he assured me the PS 3 is no longer $700 but a paltry $300. But he assured me he doesn’t need 120 gigs of gaming memory, just 80. What a magnanimous boy I’m raising. And what a relief it’s NOT as expensive as it was this summer! Too bad it’s what I spend on both boys each Christmas. I guess I’m going to have to live with his Whoville like disappointment when he wakes up and imagines The Grinch stole his PS 3 and left behind crappy gifts. Please excuse me while I pat myself on the back because I had a What Would Jesus Do moment versus a What Would June Do moment after he gushed his great news of all the money I was saving this winter. Instead of setting fire to his dreams, I simply mouthed to the back of his sweet dear head: “Oh. My. God. Where is the pod you crawled out of and why don’t you find that nice kid Beav and bring him back here because I don’t like this current boy who claims he is my youngest son.” If I had allowed June to respond, the verbal flash fire would have destroyed our family room. Feelings would have been hurt and Beav probably would have run away from home. Or worse. He would have been completely oblivious to my ire and asked for some other crazy expensive shit. Like a rocket ship or a pony.
My final crime against He Who Is Self-Entitled was the audible gasp over his eight hundred dollar camp dream. Eight. Hundred. Dollars. For camp. One week of camp. Not a month of camp. Young Life Camp. Jesus camp. I don’t need to dust off my New Testament to see that Jesus didn’t charge more than my share of the mortgage to be a member of his flock. Now some of his nefarious priests did in the late 15th century but we live post reformation and it doesn’t cost 800 bucks to love the lord. That’s free. And for a tank of gas I can drive him up Floyd Hill to a lovely trailhead where he can take a walk and bask in the glory of nature for about 20 bucks. Fifteen bucks if we drive the Honda.
*in the Old Man's defense: he volunteered for Habitat For Humanity over the last few years and thinks Jimmy Carter has done great things since his presidency.