Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Extra Roll Conspiracy

Since Rocky has been working out of the house we have been managing to swing a date lunch each week. We've been to a lot of different restaurants, and I have noticed a conspiracy. When you go to a place that brings bread to start, they always bring one more roll than there is people at the table. At first I thought it was a fluke, but then I realized it was a standard. It's a trick! They are playing on our politeness. They can not bring more rolls until the basket is empty, so they put in one more than you have people counting on you not to take the last roll.
If someone at the table is bold enough to take that last roll, your basket gets refilled with the exact right number, which is also a trick. If one person at the table has already had their second roll because they took the last one then once everyone else gets their second there will still be 1 extra roll sitting there.
The only way to win is after everyone gets their first roll, take the last one, and cut it into equal parts to divide with everyone at the table. Then stare down the waiter until they refill your basket and restores the balance.
It is either this, or they are hoping to watch a fight break out over the last roll.
Speaking of weird things I've noticed at restaurants, Rocky orders Diet Coke, and I order Coke, but over and over again they bring me the diet. What's the deal? I am not saying my husband needs to diet, but between the two of us, I am clearly not the one dieting. Do they just default to the woman? I've finally started saying, "regular Coke", which seems to make them take notice and remember.
If I'm being truly honest, our mixed drink marriage goes deeper than that. This is what is in my frig right now.

I know, I know, but we make it work in spite of the differences.

Monday, May 20, 2013

High School, Here We Come

In just a few short days I will be the parent of a high school freshman. Every time I say that I hear dramatic music play in my head. It is like the kind you hear right before the commercial break of a soap opera, or maybe when the killer jumps out in a horror movie, I'm not sure which it is yet.
We have had three pretty great years in middle school. I remember being equally nervous when she started middle school. I was so concerned about all the new challenges that she would face. I worried about peer pressure and bullying and if the work would be too much. The truth is that the work is harder, there are more pressures from friends, and there are always bullies, but she was ready to take it all on. She made new friends, sadly lost some old ones whose lives took different directions, and became much more sure of herself and of what friendship meant. In short, these challenges I was fearing became the very things she needed to mature.
This new change has me fearing something totally different. Sure there are the same old questions of course load and peer interaction, but what keeps me up now is the knowledge that these next four years are my last chance to ready her for leaving home. The school seems to be doing their best to remind me of this. All the talk of colleges and tests and career paths just drives home the feeling of time slipping away. Hearing things like "By now your child probably has an idea of what they want to major in when they go to college, and narrowed down the field of possible places they'd like to attend" gives me heart palpitations. It hasn't been even a full year since my daughter ruled out "professional ballerina". That is only one step removed from "fairy princess". Now she is researching things like forensic psychology and the best pre-law degrees. I'm not ready for this! But, she is, and that is the only thing keeping me sane.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Secret Hero

Nix has taken ballet classes for 8 years now. Since the start she has taken from our local Park & Rec. There are a lot of unusual things about our school. The teachers are not the harsh task masters that you picture dance teachers being. When I say all are welcomed, I really mean all. They do not discriminate on size, shape, or ability. You will never hear one of these teachers tell a girl that they need to lose weight, or tell a child with a special need that they can't participate. In fact, this past weekend, a girl with Down Syndrome was the star of her tap class. I didn't realize just how amazing this school was until my mom overheard a conversation just before the recital started.
Costumes are often a topic of much discussion between us dance moms. We love them, we hate them. we are glad our class got short, long, pink, not pink, this year. Just your basic dealing with a hundred stage moms type talk, only mostly nicer because we are a fun group. My mom heard two moms remarking that this year's costume was not nearly as itchy a last year's. (tulle is scratchy) Then one of the moms reveals that her daughter has sensory issues and could not stand the costume from the year before. Her teacher, Ms. Sara took the costume home and made a soft lining for the entire inside of the costume. Who does that? Awesome people who are secretly heroes, that's who!
Here is the part that made it even more special to me. If you were to use one word to describe each dance teacher you'd hear words like happy, bubbly  chipper, perky, and energetic, but for Sara, you'd probably say serious or perfection. Her hair is in a clean, tight bun, her dance shoes are on, and her matter of fact manner is what you always see with her. Even though she is a very nice person, I don't think I would have suspected that she was secretly ensuring that a girl with issues a great many dance teacher would have no sympathy for, could not only enjoy dance class, but could perform in the school's annual show.
I am positive that Sara would not tell others that she is up to this kind of service, so I'm outing her. It is exactly this kind of attitude that has kept us going to this school for 8 years.
 Nix backstage

Thursday, May 09, 2013

And this is why we should never take up drinking

Rocky and I don't drink alcohol, at all, never have. There are a number of reasons why. Some are religious, some personal experience. This week I found a new reason that we should not be allowed to drink ever.
Rocky was super busy with work one morning and didn't have time to make coffee. I thought I'd be all helpful and make it for him. This argument was a result of that kindness.

Me: How many cups should I make?
Rock: 10
Me: Hahaha, I'm not drinking any. Really, how many? 4?
Rock: No, really. They measure it weird on the pot. At least make 8
Me: You drink 8 cups of coffee in a day!? That is WAY too much.
Rocky: No, I drink 2.
Me: Then explain again why I'm making 8
Rocky: It takes that much to fill my cup up twice. I drink 2 cups.
Yeah, his mug holds 24 ounces at a time. A serving of coffee is 6oz.

I instantly get a picture in my mind of him saying, "I promise officer I only had 1 glass of wine." And then I'd be no help because I suspect a half of a glass of wine would have me drunker than Reese Witherspoon. Except, I don't think I'd be a stand by your man kind of drunk like she is. I'd be telling the cop how I told him that the glass held 12 oz and that was really almost 3 glasses of wine, but he wouldn't listen. Then we'd all go to jail. I'm not sure how I would end up arrested too, but I think it is a safe bet.
Since I went ahead and threw Reese Witherspoon under the bus here, I thought I'd mention that I actually buy her "1 too many" excuse. The girl is literally smaller than my 14 year old. Anything more than 1 glass is probably 1 too many for her.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Are Bullies Aware?

I'm starting to wonder if bullies know that they are bullies. I know the stereotypical "Give me your lunch money" guy probably knows, but does the snotty girl who is passive aggressively mean know that she is a bully? This past week Nix came out and asked one of her tormentors, let's call her K, what her problem was, and was pretty taken aback by her answer. K accused Nix of thinking that she is better than everyone, and that she was just trying to bring Nix down a peg. Keep in mind that my kid is the no makeup wearing, wouldn't know one boy band from the next, British tv watching, introverted geek (so, me at that age, but smarter). The super popular, athletic, brand name everything, party girl was accusing her of elitism. This was confusing on so many levels.
I have to hand it to Nix, she kept her wits about her and asked for specifics. Nix and K have Spanish together. K struggles in class where as Nix, who has taken Spanish for several years, excels. K sees life as a competition. Since she feels superior when she beats someone, she assumes that others feel superior when they beat her. Nix is winning a competition she didn't even know she was in, and is being punished for it.  It gets better. Other signs of Nix's superiority complex include her advanced vocabulary and lack of swearing.  Apparently, because she does not work to fit in with the mainstream, it is assumed that she thinks they are beneath her. SERIOUSLY?!
Someone who was a popular kid, please tell me this is not standard!
How can it be possible that the bullies are walking around thinking they are in the right and the introverted nerds are the snobs? Was that girl in high school who started hating me out of the blue just reacting to some slight I had no idea that she was perceiving?
Just in case you are wondering, thin people don't really care about your weight. Smart people don't care about your IQ. People are usually too concerned with what they think is wrong with their own appearance to worry about yours. Introverts are not avoiding you, they are avoiding people in general because they find certain types of personal interaction very stressful.
We'd all be better off if we embraced the idea of not assuming what people think because chances are good they don't think of us at all.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Glitter Glitter Everywhere

I'm a reasonably crafty person. I have a craft table and various craft supplies, but in the past I've shied away from glitter. It is an understatement to say that it gets everywhere. Scientist have used it in air vents to test how biological weapons could be deployed and the impact they would have. At Christmas time I open the mail over the trash can in case someone has sent us a glitter bomb disguised as a holiday greeting. I have been an avid grumbler when my daughter's ballet recital dresses were glittery. Don't even get me started on the spray glitter moms. I don't mean the ones who spray a little on their child. I'm talking about the moms who use it like hairspray backstage at the Miss GA World pageant infecting all who are within a 10 foot radius.
I started with the easy stuff. Glitter glue. You don't have to worry about it going everywhere because it is already in the glue. I made this nifty thing from pinterest where you take a bottle and put water, glitter, and glitter glue in it. When you shake it up the glitter slowly floats to the bottom and is very peaceful. I decided that my glitter was settling too quickly and added more glitter glue to slow it down. The problem is that it didn't break up right and I now have what looks like glitter poop in my jar. Red glitter poop is not relaxing.
This past month I bought some gold tulle to use in making a fabric flower to go with Nix' 8th grade dance dress. I didn't realize at the time that I bought it that the glitter on the fabric wasn't so much attached as it was sprinkled on. I noticed that when I stood up from making the flower and saw that my lap looked like Tinkerbell had thrown up on me. Somehow the fabric still seemed to have plenty on it.
Next came the mask. Her dance is a masquerade. Naturally, her dress doesn't match any store bought mask. In fact, most of the masks outright clash with her dress. This lead me to purchase loose glitter to aid in decorating one from scratch. I actually ended up experimenting with mod podge to glitter ratios.
The final straw came this week when I voluntarily offered to get tiny silver glitter top hats for Nix' ballet class as they will be circus magicians in this year's recital. These hats absolutely rain glitter. I decided to bring them all home and spray them down with a clear acrylic to help seal it all down.
I need a glittervention. Just the fact that I made up the word "glittervention" means I have gone too far and need help. It is the glue and spray fumes. They have gotten to my brain. Last night I went to wash my face and there was glitter all over the wash cloth. I don't even know how it got there. I've had a glitter blackout.

On the upside, look how the mask turned out! It looks beautiful on her. Believe it or not, I had most of the supplies laying around the house.

Friday, May 03, 2013

No Really, This Happened

Sometimes things happen that are so bizarre that I hesitate to tell people about them because I'm not sure I believe it actually happened even though I witnessed it. JD has been pulling a lot of those lately. Yesterday probably topped them all.
We were in the car driving home, and out of nowhere JD says, "Hey. I'm Christopher Walken". ??? No one would actually mistake him for Walken, but he kind of had the right accent and inflection going on. Christopher Walken doesn't exactly do children's movies so at this point I'm more than a little confused. Nix had to ask who Walken is, and I said he was probably one of the creepiest actors out there and the "More cowbell" guy. At this point JD says in his Walken voice, "I am offended." I almost had to pull the car over to collect myself.
He finally fessed up that there was a bit on a Disney Channel show about how all of this kid's impressions sounded like a bad Christoper Walken. Although he didn't actually know who Walken was, he knew it was funny, and knew it would be funnier to spring on me. He was right.
I wanted to video him doing it to prove it happened, but now that he knows it is funny he has exaggerated it and it doesn't sound the same as when he did it off the cuff. Rocky thinks that my shock in processing what he said made it sound better in my mind, which could be true. Even still, if your kid did even a really bad Walken out of the blue, you'd be freaked out, too.
Some days I really wonder what JD will grow up to be. The most likely choices right now seem to be comedian, politician, or con artist. Rocky says that is ridiculous. JD would never go into politics.
Since I can't give you JD, I'll leave you with the best prescription for a fever. (SNL clip to follow and all that implies)