Monday, April 27, 2009

I Must Confess

Hot topic - the mom in New York who put her two fighting preteen daughters out on the side of the road and drove away. One daughter ran after the car and the mom stopped. The other daughter was left on the side of the road, picked up by a compassionate passerby and taken to the police. Later the mom went back, could not find the daughter and reported her missing. The police arrested the mom.

This is being discussed at length on many TV shows, radio, etc. There have been heated discussions about whether it was abuse, neglect, or just a bad choice. One thing all Moms agree on . . . we have all been there. I know I have. The difference was that I never drove away.

I confess . . .

It was about 5 months after my husband died. My son was 15 and my daughter had just turned 12. They were at "that age". And they hated each other for at least 70% of each day.

We were on our way to Alabama to visit my husband's parents for Thanksgiving. I need to clarify that the drive from our house to the in-laws takes about 6 hours. They started fighting about 30 minutes from home. I would distract them with music, a story, stopping for a soda or snack, whatever I could come up with. It worked pretty well most of the time. There were periods of happiness. But there was a lot of fighting.

We made it past Birmingham and only had about an 30 minutes to go. I could make it. We were almost there and then they would fall into the loving arms of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that had not spent the last 6 hours with them in hell. And then . . .it happened. Daughter started it (I think . . . it's really all a blur). Nothing I said worked. Then the pushing started. The yelling continued and then, there I was, joining in on the yelling. Lotta good that did.

This continued and I was done. I had had enough. I pulled over on the side of the interstate. I told them to get out. They looked at me. Daughter laughed. Son just stared at me. I yelled at them to "get the hell out of the car". And I meant it. Daughter got out and stood there, staring at me. Son refused to get out. I pushed him. He refused to move, just staring at me in disbelief. I told Daughter to get back in the car. I looked at them both and dared them to speak. I told them I wanted total silence for the remaining 30 minute drive. I drove away. Then I started to cry. Quietly, so they would not hear me.

When we arrived at the in-laws, the kids went in and said hello. I could hardly speak. My husband's aunt took one look at me and handed me a glass of wine. Then she took me outside and I smoked one of her cigarettes (I don't smoke) while I unloaded my frustration with the craziness of it all. She laughed and eventually I did too. Thanks Cathy.

So no, I didn't drive away and can't imagine doing so. We all have a line somewhere that we won't cross when we reach our crazy point. Some will consider me abusive or neglectful or just mean for what I did. Go ahead. You can't beat me up any more than I have already beat up myself over the way I handled things.

We have all been there. We have all been bad parents at some time. But here's the thing . . . I never did that again. And my kids never did either. I think I scared them a little bit but I scared myself a little bit more. I learned from it and so did they. That's the point of making mistakes. To learn from them. I hope the Mom in New York has learned too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You Asked For It, You Got It

That's me in front. Doing the splits.

You asked, you got it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Redneck Road Rage

Easter Sunday was quiet for me. My kids were not home so I knew it would be a good day to catch up on some reading and get some laundry done. And it was.

Later this evening, I was finishing up some laundry and the phone rang. It was my friend Robin. She said she had received a call from the floor crew at our office and that Friday's storms and tornado warnings had apparently caused a leak on the roof. The ceiling tiles had given way in my office and water had landed all over my desk. She didn't know if my computer was damaged or how bad things were but I might want to go have a look.

I threw on some sweats and a t-shirt and headed that way. My daughter met me over there and we checked the damage, sorting through the wet papers and checking the electronics. I called our facilities people to get them there first thing in the morning and then my daughter and I headed for home.

As I started to pull out onto the main street, there were no vehicles any where near me. I pulled out and the next thing I knew, a truck was flying up on my bumper and leaning on some weird horn that sounded like a train. He had to have been going 75 miles an hour to reach me that quickly. He pulled into the turn lane on my left and began cursing at me over his PA system. He rode beside me, yelling at me. I pulled over into the right lane and slowed down thinking he would go on. He didn't. My daughter saw this all happening and came up beside me, pulling between me and him.

Redneck pulled up in front of her and she moved over in the right lane in front of me. Then I became concerned because she is one tough cookie and no one better mess with her Mama. She called me on the cell phone. I answered immediately and said "DO NOT chase him!!!" She laughed and said "What is this crazy idiot doing?" Redneck started to drive away, turned the same way we had to turn but eventually he turned off the road we were on. I honked at him and waved. That was probably a mistake.

We continued towards home and my daughter drove on ahead. The next thing I knew, Redneck was flying up behind me again. He pulled around beside me and began yelling at me again over his PA. Who has a PA on a truck? At first I ignored him. He continued to yell. He called me a stupid bi***. I held up my phone and acted like I was dialing. He yelled "Go ahead, do you want my tag number?" I yelled back "Got it". He said "Go on, call, you fat bi***!" Then he did a u-turn and went the other way.

I breathed a little sigh of relief. Then I said the "F" word about 10 times. I called my daughter back and shared with her that the idiot had returned. We called him some inappropriate names until we arrived home.

So now I have decided to handle things the Southern way. No, I will not get a shotgun and blow his tires out. I thought about it. But in the end, all I can say is "Bless his heart". And wonder if he had a bad Easter. Of course I am blessing his heart through my teeth right now. Maybe tomorrow I can say it with conviction.

Or not.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm In The Flexibility Hall Of Fame

Today's Plinky Prompt - What Are You Famous For?

It's been said that I am famous for doing the splits. Usually with a drink in each hand. Doin' the splits, no hands. So you ask - "What's the big deal?" Well, I'm 48 and fat. Fat girls ain't supposed to be able to do that I guess.

Usually, it starts at a party. At some point, someone says "Hey, have you seen Tere do the splits with no hands?" Someone else says "No Way!" So then I have to prove it, right? I take my drink in one hand, someone hands me another. I hold them out to the side, put one foot out in front and start to slide forward. As I reach the floor, I hold my hands and drinks over my head like a gymnast as everyone cheers.

I don't have a picture of it but they do exist. My friend Gary, in North Carolina, has some but he's holding them for blackmail at a later date.

It's fun to be famous for something! What are you famous for?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You Are So Tweet

I am sure you have heard of Twitter. It seems to be all over the media - the Today Show, The View, radio, local news, national news, everyone seems to be saying "follow me on Twitter". But you may not know what the hype is all about.

It's kind of hard to explain if you have never seen it. Basically, you have 140 characters to express a thought. You can enter it on your mobile phone or online. Your thought goes out into cyberland and anyone who is "following" you can read it immediately. And you can read "tweets" by anyone you "follow".

"Why would I want to do that?" you might say. You might not. Some say it's TMI - too much information. But it's not like you must read it or participate. Some people tweet hourly or more. Others, once a day or even every few days. Okay, there are those that tweet like this:
  • I just ate breakfast. Oatmeal and milk.
  • Just brushed my teeth. Used minty toothpaste.
  • Drove to work. Sitting at my desk now.
Guess what - I don't follow those people. Not many people do.

I follow people that are funny or amazing or interesting. I love Brian Andreas who writes StoryPeople stories - he is funny and some of his tweets are like poetry. Some of my blogger friends are on twitter and I love hearing their so-called mini blogs as tweets. Here are some of my favorite recent tweets:
  • dooceBit of a bumpy landing at SFO, and I'm only mildly exaggerating when I say that the baby stuck her foot up into the back of my mouth.
  • badbananaObama gave the Queen an iPod. Now she'll have something to listen to while being carried around the jogging track
  • brineypupthinking of work as an ecstatic dance, because if I thought of it as work, I'd probably have to go lie down & take a nap
Interesting people with interesting thoughts. If I can't be around them in person, I love being able to experience them via my blackberry.