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Archive for July, 2008

I try to have some sense.

Those who know me, know that I have a best friend who is in a bad marriage.  And I have tried and tried to see things from her vantage point, but the long and the short of it is, it’s a bad marriage and she needs to get out. 

Things came to a head last night for her.  It is a long, torturous story but the basic thing about it is it’s come to a head. 

Her husband has decided that he wants to leave the country.  And he’s laid down an ultimatum — either she stays here or she goes with him. 

Every fiber of my being is screaming that she needs to stay here and let him go.  They are not good for one another, they make one another miserable. 

But there is that fear of the unknown.  What will she do without him there?  Who is she if she is not his wife? 

I realize it’s a scary idea. 

She hasn’t asked my opinion, partly because she already knows what it is.  So I am trying to be a supportive friend. 

I pray and I pray and I pray that she does the right thing. 

 

— Mox

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I don’t know about where you live, but warmer weather around here means that road construction projects are in full swing.  And along with them comes speed zones that are watched closely by the cops.  You can get some big tickets fracturing the law in these zones. 

On my daily route to and from work, I drive through such a zone.  The speed limit there is 35 and it is strictly enforced.  Most of the time, I set my cruise to 36 (because I like to stick it to The Man) and I trundle along the way.  Yesterday, I was on my way to a meeting, driving through the speed zone, and passed the cop sitting in one of the blocked lanes, his radar gun pointing into oncoming traffic. 

I checked my speed.  35 on the dot.  Nothing to worry about. 

As I crested the hill I noticed the cop driving through the barricaded lanes, coming up behind me.  I checked my speed again.  Still nothing to worry about. 

He pulled in behind me and as soon as I got out of the construction zone, he turned his lights on and pulled me over. 

The hell…? 

Getting pulled over, even when you know you’re not doing anything wrong, makes your heart jump up into your throat.  I rolled down my window, dug into my purse for my license, and looked in my side mirror at the cop getting out of his car.

It was a guy I went to school with, from first grade on.  He lived right down the road from me all my life.  Every time he sees my mother, he gives her a hug. 

“Hey!  How are you!” 

“I’m good, how are you?” 

“Doing fine.  Do you know why I pulled you over?” 

“No idea.” 

“Your license plate is expired.” 

“Wha….?” 

“Check your registration papers.  I bet your sticker is still on there.” 

I dug into my glove box and found my papers and sure enough, the little registration sticker was still attached.  I’ve been driving around on expired plates since last September. 

Now, I live in a constant state of flux with regard to how I feel about living in the same little podunk town I was raised in.  A lot of the time I wish I lived anywhere else but here, wished I lived someplace where the scenery was different, where no one has known me since I was a baby.  I think you find that sort of feeling amongst a lot of people who live in small towns.  Some of the time, though, I am glad to know that one of my city commissioners is a high school classmate, that the guy who runs the newest bar in town was our class president, that the meter maid who patrols downtown is someone I partied with at graduation.  And sometimes I am especially glad to have a cop who I have known since we were both six years old pull me over to tell me to get my shit together and put my registration sticker on my license plate. 

And as I pulled away I thought to myself “I am totally going to blog this.” 

 

— Mox

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Em-brace-ing my face.

Well, folks, apparently my adolescence is not over yet. 

I need braces.  Again. 

25 years after I got my braces off the first time around, my dentist informed me that my teeth are once again on the move and if I wanted to stop their progress, I needed to get braces again. 

Suddenly I was having flashbacks to a mouth full of metal, feeling unattractive to boys, and the general pain and embarrassment that are part and parcel of having braces.  When I say things like “you could not pay me enough to go back to being a teenager again” this is precisely the kind of thing that I am talking about.  It was emotionally painful (says my inner teen drama queen) and I do not want to go through any of that again. 

But this is how things change over the generations:  Spawn’s dentist has already told us that the kid will need braces at some point, and for Spawn, braces are cool.  The cool kids have them.  Of course I realize that the kid’s opinion of them may change once puberty kicks in, but right now it seems like a good idea in theory. 

As for me, I can’t let go of my vanity.  Then again, I also realize that if my front teeth keep up their glacial progress, I will end up looking exactly like my mother.  So there’s that. 

Stay tuned. 

— Mox

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Ok, so I was headed back from Walmart this morning, with a shitload of crap in the back of my car (damn these creatures in my house who require things like toilet paper and cat food), and got stopped at a red light. 

Suddenly, my car started to vibrate.  And then not.  And then again.  Again, not.  Again.  Again. 

By damn, it had a beat. 

So I looked up in my rear view mirror and saw some kid behind me rocking out for all he was worth.  Which, in my estimation, wasn’t much.  Thank you, Junior, for sharing your taste in music with me.  Allow me to wash out your brain now. 

Why, back in my day, when we rocked out in the car, we were rocking out.  To actual rock music.  Hence the term “rocking out.” 

I get kinda all het up about what passes for music these days amongst the younger set.  I don’t “get” most rap, though I’ve been able to decipher most of “Riding Dirty” (don’t be hatin’) and can appreciate Mr. Lupe Fiasco.  The balance of it sounds like a train wreck to me, and what I am able to figure out about what they’re saying is pretty misogynistic. 

I remember when rap started to go mainstream.  A lot of it was fun, some of it was funny, and the tricks they played with the language sorta tickled a language geek like me.  That stuff, I got. 

When the light changed I was only more than happy to get on my way and leave that thumping bass far behind me.  And then I came home and put in a Bon Jovi CD and rocked out to that.  Because that, my friends, is rock. 

— Mox

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Hey y’all, guess what…. I got my hair all cut back off. 

This fact should not surprise anyone who knows me, even remotely.  I just cannot do the long(er) hair. 

Man, I tried.  I really tried.  But the thing is, I have this head of very thick hair.  I try not to complain about my blessings, and I realize that having a lot of hair is something of a blessing, but there is also a very fine line between being blessed and being cursed. 

I took a few downloaded photos to my stylist and said “give me this hair”

and she did.  She actually cut my hair with a razor.  It was very cool.  (Note:  I do not look anything remotely like Ashley Judd, but thanks anyway.) 

And I am very cool.  Literally.  I think she took a pound of hair off my head. 

Hey, I think that counts as losing weight.  I’ll take it. 

— Mox

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I was hit with the realization yesterday that school starts here in just four weeks. 

Cue the nightmares about school. 

My husband still occasionally dreams that he never graduated high school.  But I was never one to have dreams like that, dreams about being naked in class or being unprepared for a test.  Sure, I’d have the occasional nerd dream, the one where I’d be all uncool in front of a boy I had a crush on, though come to think of it I’m not too sure that wasn’t in fact a reality.  Basically, I don’t dream a whole lot. 

This morning my husband’s alarm went off before 4am, because he had to get up and on the road early-early this morning.  Of course it woke me up, and we were having a thunderstorm right then, too, so I never really got back into a good, deep sleep.  Which is prime real estate for dreaming. 

I dreamed that Spawn was having trouble in school with the second grade teacher, and I showed up unannouced at school one day during lunch to talk with her.  When I went to her room I discovered Spawn being kept out of lunch and the following recess for some infraction (which, had it happened, Spawn would have never told me about, I don’t know why the kid doesn’t tell me anything).  So I waited for the teacher to come back in the room.  When she did she had a angry scowl on her face, which immediately changed to a pleasant expression when she saw me. 

Then my alarm went off. 

I can only surmise that what this means is that I am building up a good deal of angst about the upcoming school year. 

I know that all kids have to make some sort of adjustment to school, and that Spawn isn’t unique when it comes to having trouble with the educational process.  The fact that we have an “official” diagnosis of the kid’s learning and behavioral issues, however, makes the trouble more concrete.  Logically, I realize that having this diagnosis means that the teacher has a head’s-up going into the school year, that Spawn is going to need more or different accommodations than Miss Suzy Straight-A sitting in the front row.  It’s not that the kid is being a Bad Kid, it’s that the kid is not a “traditional” learner.  Logic would indicate that the teacher would understand this and work with us to make school a good experience. 

But logic and human nature often don’t gee and haw. 

So yes, I am concerned that Spawn’s teacher, whoever she may be, will seize upon the kid’s issues as a way and a reason to mistreat my child.  And having had some bad educational experiences myself (see: the old hag who humiliated me in front of my whole class in third grade, that witch), the very idea of that makes me clench my teeth. 

I hate that school starts so early around here. 

 

— Mox

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Over the long weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with my husband’s family, during a cookout at his oldest sister’s house.  My in-laws are good people, on the whole, though I don’t always feel like we are of the same ilk. 

My sister-in-law has four children, ranging from in age from 21 to 9.  The 21 year old has turned into a wonderful young man, though there were times in his young childhood that I wanted to drown him.  If I felt that way as a result of the brief time I spent around him in those years, I can only imagine what his mother must have felt.  But waiting them out is its’ own reward, I suppose. 

The second son is now 15.  Fifteen year old boys are not finished baking, in my opinion, which would account for their half-baked thinking on most subjects.  Fifteen year old boys sort of realize that they know nothing about women, but manage to cover it up with a healthy dose of braggadocio.  Fifteen year old girls, in response, giggle. 

The fifteen year old had a few friends in attendance, and they are all of the same baggy-pantsed, hat-cocked-sideways breed that seems to populate the malls and sidewalks of America these days.  Now, I remember being 15, and I’m sure that boys when I was 15 were every bit as clueless as they are now, but one thing I don’t understand is the way these kids dress nowadays.  On the Fourth of July, which is just about as hot of a day as any during the summer, my 15 year old nephew was wearing two pairs of pants and two shirts.  I guess technically one of the two pairs of pants couldn’t be counted as being “worn,” per se, since they were hanging off his ass the whole day. 

I have a photograph of my dad’s family sometime in the late 1930’s and in that photo one of my uncles is wearing two pairs of pants.  I think he was about 15 at the time.  Coincidence?  Yes.  My uncle wore two pairs of pants because both pairs had holes in them, in different places.  Wearing both was the best way to cover up areas that should not be exposed to the sensible public. 

Fifteen year old boys wearing two pairs of pants these days aren’t poor, they’re just stupid. 

One of my nephew’s equally astute young friends was, on this very same hot Fourth of July day, wearing an outfit that was entirely black.  He was only wearing one pair of pants, that I could tell, but they, too, appeared to be hanging off his ass.  And an oversized black tee shirt.  And a really ridiculous-looking black trucker hat, turned slightly sideways.  And when you’re 100 pounds soaking wet, and black is a slimming color, and you have a zit farm on your face, you, my friend, look sick.  And I don’t mean “sick” in a good way.  Since “sick” is apparently one of those opposite-meaning words that teenagers bandy about. 

I can only hope that someday these kids will look back on their fifteen year old selves and realize just how ridiculous they looked. 

 

 

— Mox

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