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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So maybe he's not cut out for the priesthood

Charlie close
Priesthood might require a miracle.
Since Charlie was a little boy, I've thought (dreamed, maybe?) that he might one day end up being known as Father Charlie. Not that he loves church -- he doesn't, but he's always had a sensitive and spiritual side to him that makes me think he might be a good candidate for the priesthood.

I would never force him to be a priest, but I do slip the possibility into conversation from time to time. Charlie, however, has so far proven to be an unwilling character in this every-Catholic-mom fantasy. His hang-up with the idea is solidly grounded in the whole celibacy thing.

He's always had an eye for the girls, starting with his preschool crush, Mary Charlotte (at least she had a good Catholic name).

When he was 11 years old, Charlie was talking about what he might be when he grows up. Professional basketball player and professional football player were both on the list. I gently suggested that he might be open to the idea that he could be called to the priesthood. His response?

"Mom, do you really expect me to go without a woman for the rest of my life?" He was 11, people.

Last winter, Mike took him to the Super Bowl Experience when the big game was in Indianapolis. He loved getting to participate in a workshop with real NFL players, but when I asked him about his favorite part of the day?

"I got my picture taken with some New Orleans Saints cheerleaders and when one of them stood next to me, I could feel her boob on my arm."

Heaven help me.

But I didn't give up. Every once in a while, when the moment is right and the conversation lends itself, I remind him that someday God might call him to be Father Charlie. He remains unfazed and unconvinced.

Last weekend, he went to Dave & Buster's entertainment center with a friend and he came back with a bunch of junky stuff he bought with the tickets he won playing the games. Around his neck was a strand of cheap, plastic silver beads.

"I got these from a hot Dave & Buster's girl," he told me.

"You got those from a pretty Dave & Buster's girl," I corrected him.

"Ok. But Mom, she was smokin' pretty!"

Hmmm...maybe I better start working on Sister Annie or Father Robbie.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I ordered wonton soup and I got a transgendered lunch date.

It all started as an effort to avoid fast food. I was hungry and had about 45 minutes before I had to begin the afternoon round of kid transportation. As I left the office, I decided to grab lunch but really did not want to face another in-car meal of whatever was fast and cheap. Fortunately, my office is near several tasty sit-down options. So today, I decided Chinese sounded good.

The restaurant was nearly empty, as it was after 1pm. The waitress invited me to seat myself as she was talking to another customer. Though her back was to me, I noticed this lady's voice was kind of deep and her frame seemed a bit large.

I picked a small table and waited to place my order. I could see the other customer's face and it seemed to have a masculine quality to it, but I didn't stare or dwell on it. Instead, I looked over the menu. I really had a taste for General Tso's chicken (so much for healthy), but my usual hot & sour soup sounded too much for a summer day with temperatures in the upper 80s. I decided to go with the wonton soup.

So when the waitress came to take my order, I told her: "Diet Coke, wonton soup, General Tso's chicken with white rice, please."

She said, "That's exactly what she ordered," nodding to the lady who I'd notice earlier. The customer looked up and I could tell for sure that "she" might not always have been so feminine. I smiled, nodded and said "Great minds think alike."

"Guess so," she said. "You might as well join me then."

I gave a little friendly haha and looked back to my phone. But then I thought "what if she thinks I don't want to have lunch with her because she's a he?" I didn't want her to think that I was rude or snobby or afraid. Plus, it was just the two of us in the restaurant and Siri aside, human company is almost always preferable to iPhone company.

So I picked up my purse and phone, crossed the restaurant and said, "I'm not sure if that was a real offer, but I'll take you up on it. My name is Amy."

And that's how I met Emma.

I was nervous at first because despite her long hair and frilly blouse, I knew she was (or at least used to be) a guy. And she knew that she was (or at least used to be) a guy. We small talked about the neighborhood. She told me she used to be a deputy sheriff, but retired and is mostly a painter now.

As if the deputy sheriff info wasn't enough of a clue -- yes, I know women can be sheriffs -- she said something about the sheriff asking why she retired. She said she told him "Because I grew boobs."

Ahhh...ok. Now that was out of the way. From there on out I wasn't nervous. Emma was clearly at ease with who she is, which put me at ease. We talked about her family and their reaction to her decision to live as a woman. (Her wife was shocked. Her kids were a little freaked at first. "I was a man's man -- and a really good actor," she told me.)

We talked about Indianapolis and her painting. She has a show coming up. We talked about law enforcement and her time in the military. It was really an enjoyable -- and normal -- conversation.

It was certainly a situation that this suburban wife, mother and blogger doesn't encounter every day. I'm glad that the waitress referred to Emma as a "she" so I didn't get all distracted by trying to figure out the right pronouns. And I'm glad that I decided to order the wonton soup.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My kid is not a pothead

but she plays one on stage.

Actually, that's not quite true. She plays a "poser stoner." That's a kid who acts like she does drugs and drink just to be popular, but who doesn't really like to party.

Annie is in a show this summer called "Facebook Me." As part of the character development exercise, the director of the show told each of the kids to create a Facebook page for their character, which is what Annie did this afternoon while I was on the couch trying to recover from 3 hours and 30 miles in the car. 

As I was sitting there, mindlessly staring at the television, a text message popped up on my phone. 

"Are you with Annie?"

YES.

"OK. Don't tell her I'm texting you. And I'm only doing this because I would want someone to do the same for me."

OK. What's up?

"She's inviting people to friend a kid on FB named Jessie. Can you go to that page?"

OK.

PhotobucketSo I click over to Annie's page, see the post that says "You should friend Jessie Wilson. I hear she's really cool."  When I clicked on Jessie Wilson's link, there was a picture of my child. And on the info page of the profile, it said things like: 

Interests:  Partying hard and smoking pot --- and a bunch of other things that I don't remember exactly, but that I would not want people thinking about my kid.

Fortunately, I knew two things. First, I knew that Jessie is Annie's character and that she'd mentioned they were supposed to make Facebook pages for the characters.

Second, I know my kid and I know that she is a tea-toteler and not interested in drugs or alcohol. (Seriously, I know everyone is shaking their head at my now, but honestly, it's true. The boys? Yeah, I will worry about them some day.)

So I explained to the texter -- whom I love for looking out for my kid and whom I will not name because I protect my sources -- that this was a character for a play. 

"OMG! I was freaking out, thinking 'Not Annie!'" was the text reply. 

Then I insisted that Annie delete the page. This did not go over well. She did it, but with much frustration and muttering about people not trusting her and not knowing that she would never do that or say that stuff. 

And she posted this on her Facebook page:

To everyone who went to Jessie's facebook page:
It's for a character. I am not doing any of the things on there and I would never. As part of the show I'm in we had to make facebook pages for our character and my character is a poser stoner. I AM NOT DOING ANY OF THAT. Please, do not worry, it's part of a character building exercise and "Jessie" is a girl who pretends that she smokes. Hence all the nonsense on her page. Sorry for alarming you all. I did not create a fake name and facebook and even if I did, I wouldn't be stupid enough to advertise it on here.

Finally, I called the director and explained that while I thought the character development idea was a good one, I thought maybe the girls might need a little more guidance. I can see it now:

"I'm sorry Annie. We cannot admit you to Best College Ever because this Facebook page clearly shows that you are a substance abuser."

Yeah. So please, everyone just know: My kid is not a pothead. Honest. But I'm so glad to know that there are people keeping an eye on her.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How was your day today, kid?

This is the first summer that we have not hired a summer babysitter or had one of us home most days of the week. So this is the summer of 10 zillion schedules. Summer gym. Police teen academy. Basketball camp. Boy Scout camp. Theatre practice. Probably Amateur Fireworks Camp -- I can't remember them all.

And I'm left trying to live vicariously through the bits and pieces that my kids tell me about their days.

"So Robbie, how was Boy Scout camp today?"
"Good."
"Just good?" 
"Yeah. Good." 

He's covered in dirt from head to toe, his hair is all jacked up and he smells like little boy, but all he can tell me about the past 8 hours is "good."

Then there's Charlie. He's more forthcoming.

"So how was police academy?"
"Torture. We marched everywhere and people were looking at us funny."
"But did you have fun?"
"Yeah. And they passed around meth, cocaine, crack and weed."

Boy, was he hungry after camp.

Getting information about the day from the teenager is a little trickier. It's an adventure in navigating through stories that must be really funny because she's laughing so hard I can't understand anything she's saying and deciphering grunts that provide the sound effects to the text conversations she's having with 27 of her closest friends at one time.

At least there is one other adult in the family who I can talk to.

"How was your day, Mike?"
"Hmmm? Oh, good. What's there to eat?"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Don't mind me

Just testing a few things. I'll be back soon. Promise.

Monday, June 4, 2012

10 ways to call in fat to work

Sorry boss, I can't come to work today because...
  1. The button popped off my pants, ricocheted off the counter and hit me in the eye, leaving me temporarily blinded.
  2. Only my shirts with the wrong-way stripes are clean.
  3. My teenage daughter said leaving the house in these hip-hugging pants would be a felony.
  4. My fat dress is at the dry cleaner.
  5. Dunkin' Donuts was out of maple glazed and I simply can't deal.
  6. Everyone left the house early and no one is left to help hoist me off the couch.
  7. When I sit down, my blouse gaps between the buttons and the employee handbook clearly frowns on the showing of too much skin.
  8. The Food Network is running a marathon of Cupcake Wars today.
  9. I have to work on my video for the Biggest Loser auditions.
  10. I'm just too fat to leave the house.