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Archive for October, 2019

Dear Dominic,

You are something else. You call to mind Forrest Gump:

Your raging hormones ensure that life with you is unpredictable, at best.

See, this recent text exchange made me laugh:

 

 

(Why didn’t you take a selfie? I don’t know.)

This one with your father is pretty funny also:

And you even charmed some college girls when I took you to my Public Speaking class as a visual aid. One student was doing her informative speech on the difference between college-aged Gen Z and younger representatives of the generation.

Students in the class gave the presenter high marks for her breathing visual aid:

When you left, half the girls in the class squealed, “He’s SO CUTE.”

Don’t let that go to your head.

For the love of gawd, as you wrote.

Just don’t.

Instead, focus on your school work so I don’t have to have convos like this:

I love you despite your bad attitude and general slackery.
Mama

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Dear Big Freedia,

I listen to all kinds of music, as you know, but you are one of my favorites.

The first time I saw you perform live, you blew my hair back. So shocking, in a good way.

Friday night, the first night of your new tour, wasn’t quite as much of a surprise. It still was fantastic.

Those who don’t know you may not know how you popularized New Orleans bounce music and the accompanying twerking.

That “dancing” is part of the allure of your live shows.

This is what I told my Support Spouse Rob. You were performing in Savannah the night after I saw you, and Goat Yoga Lisa had tickets. Rob didn’t want to go. I sent him videos like that from your Atlanta show to encourage him.

It’s not just your female dancers who perform.

I love that you have amateur hour at your shows.

Here’s the thing: I can do this move. Should I? No. At least not in public.

Some of these folks shouldn’t either.

But others rival your own crew.

It’s not just the ladies who astound, though.

So thanks for a great night!

And thanks for having Low Cut Connie open. They put on a high-energy, engaging show.

Much better than the DJs you had for your last tour.

Anyway, I’m still a huge fan. Just look:

Love you!
Beth

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Dear Readers:

Y’all know I love to have a post from a guest blogger. Today I have for your reading pleasure a post from Eddie. I dragged him to my Biddy Boot Camp. Here is his report.

Love,
Beth

Trying not to drown: My experience with Beth’s Biddies
By Eddie C.

Beth invited me to attend her pool aerobics class, and so I did. When we walked in, the grannies were already in the pool. We are not young, but were by far the youngest people there. Beth instructed me to get a waist thingy, and strap it on. (Note from Beth: He’s talking about an Aquajogger.)

I felt super self conscious because they were all staring at me. I think two people had worn my belt before as I had to make a major adjustment to the strap. I climbed into the pool, and the ladies were very welcoming. One lady in particular took an interest in me. She started giving me pointers:

If you push against the water as hard as you can, you will get a great workout. Trust me. My obese ex-husband tried this, and he was red and dying. He never came back!

My main thought was this:

If I’m dying, Beth better beat all these old bitches to my body to give me CPR. If I wake up, and it’s not her, I’m gonna be pissed!

The class begins, and I can best describe the movement as swirls and kicking. (Note from Beth: It’s just jogging.) I feel strange because I can’t seem to get the movements to look or feel smooth like everyone else in the class. The instructor looks at me, and I smile. She smiles back and says:

He’s giving me the courtesy smile.

Then I hear this:

Old Lady No. 1: He won’t be smiling for long!

Old Lady No. 2: Yeah! In about two minutes!

Damn! What happened to the sweet old ladies?! It was clear that there would be no friends in the pool; I was on my own. Not even Beth was making eye contact. (Note from Beth: Nope. I’m there to work, not socialize. You all know this.)

Things got heated up when we were instructed to touch our toes with our hands. I wanted to ask:

How the hell do we do that and stay afloat?

But without missing a beat, they all started doing it! Lucky for me, I had a secret weapon. I am 6’4” and could still touch the pool floor. Even with this super power, I could not even come close to doing it right. In fact, I was a rhythm-less freak. I could not sync my arms and my legs to save my life. I thought:

This must be the way white people feel when they try to dance salsa.

After what seemed like forever of “Let’s watch this big doofus try this,” the instructor announced that we had Tabata coming up next. I don’t know who this Tabata dude is, but he is not my friend! Plus, she started bringing out the foamy weight things, and I started to panic:

Crap! The burn is coming, and I just spent an hour trying to touch my toes gracefully!

The one thing in my favor was the water. No one could see me sweat.

Now, the way a Tabata works is you do 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.

HOWEVER, if you are in the water, trying not to drown, there is no off time. So, you have to tread water instead of being still and “resting.”  How these ladies can do all these moves and never move from the spot, I have no freakin’ idea! I was all over the damn pool. I was all on top of folks. I would have to pause and use the floor to push myself back to my original spot. “I’m sorry! Excuse me!” is all I seemed to be saying the whole time.

At one point, I look over at Beth, and she was going so freakin’ fast. I was like:

How the hell is she going so damn fast without going head first into the water?!

I tried to match her, and I could not. She was doing a sprint, and I was well … not so much. At one point, it turned into a participants’ choice Tabata. I stuck to stay alive and afloat. I look over, and I promise you I wish I had my phone for video. The move that Beth chose is a familiar move to me but it’s called a parallette, and it’s done on the ground.

I was like WTF?! I have zero chance at that.

Finally, that part was over, and we put our weights on the edge of the pool. But that’s not all. The instructor gave us all a noodle: There was more burn to follow. We had to kick our legs back, get on top of the noodle with our arms (like a push-up) and press it down and up into the water one hundred billion times.

Next, circles with the noodle in the water and then reverse. At this point, I just closed my eyes. I couldn’t see a damn thing anyway, because the reverse circle dumps all the water in your face. You better figure out when to breathe.

I believe this is the point where most people drown.

We then had to straddle as if it were some kind of seahorse and paddle with our hands up all around the pool. (Note from Beth: He does not mean “paddle.” He means “bicycle.”)

I knew this had to be close to the end. Why? Suddenly as I was passing ladies on my paddling extravaganza, they became nice old ladies again.

Thanks for joining us.

Please, come back again.

Finally we put the noodles up on the edge and begin our stretches. I could not enjoy the stretch because all I could think about was peeing.

So my advice if you are going to join these warriors:

  1. Don’t think for one second that you are going to out-do them.
  2. Check your ego, or they will check it for you.
  3. Pee before you go.

Thank you to these wonderful, beautiful ladies for having me.

He lived, see?!

Pruney as he was.

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Dear Decatur Craft Brew Fest Organizers:

You had no way of knowing months ago when you set the date for the event that Mother Nature would be a complete bitch.

The coldest day since winter. And raining. Of course.

Not the ideal day for an outdoor festival.

Still, folks like us came out.

They must be made of heartier stock than I am, though. I was ready to bolt as soon as we got there.

But I tried to stick it out, managing to drink a few of my much-beloved sours.

My Southern blood is thin. So is Eddie’s. At one point, he said this:

I’m embarrassed. I gave the guy my glass all shaky hands.

Even the statue of Thomas Jefferson looked cold with rain dripping off his nose.

Once the rain soaked the bottom of our pants, and the cold had fully paralyzed our fingers, we knew we were beat.

We aborted the mission before I could even get my pretzel necklace out of the bag.

(I’ve been to enough brew fests to come prepared.)

We tried. You tried.

Better luck next year.

Love ya!
Beth

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Dear Gideon,

I’ve never written to you here. It’s always been your brother.

Why?

Because he gives me loads of trouble, and trouble can be funny (i.e., My mantra: Bad decisions make good stories).

You don’t give me any trouble at all. You help out around the house, haven’t broken a single phone, are an A/B student, earned Student of the Month this month, and do your homework before dinner.

You also are my couch chooch.

So when you were off for fall break, I wanted to do something special for you: Spend the afternoon at Six Flags. (I invited your brother. No surprise he didn’t come. And broke his fourth phone while we were gone.)

The day started with a ride on the Twisted Cyclone.

I look so calm and collected, right?

Yet moments earlier, you were laughing at me because of this:

I scream and laugh and laugh/scream on rides. It’s what I do.

Still, you agreed to be seen with me, riding rides such as Batman (front row!):

Eating Dippin’ Dots:

And being a fool in the Fright Fest decorations:

Thank you for putting up with me taking so many photos.

And screaming like a banshee. (And thanks to you, I do hear someone yell “chicken strips” right before the first hill on the Mindbender.)

We had a great time together. Though I looked a little worse for wear once we got home:

Not pictured: My jumbled organs thanks to the Scream Spleen Machine.

I would do it all again just to spend the day with you.

Love,
Mama

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Dear Friends:

It’s the rare time of year in the South where I can put down the top on my convertible and be comfortable.

One of my favorite things to do is play music REALLY LOUD and (possibly) torture those around me.

I’ve been in a serious metal and rock phase lately: Think Halestorm, Drowning Pool, Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed, Metallica, etc.

But I do have eclectic taste. See this recent screenshot from my Ticketmaster app:

I’m looking for suggestions. What’s your favorite song? Though I will listen to almost anything, note that I’m not a huge fan of rap, trap, jazz and classical music.

And please don’t send me video game theme songs. The 14 year old has the lock on that. And he is persistent. (Read: annoying when he wants me to do something.)

(Yes, this is what I have to live with every day.)

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Sincerely,
Beth

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The above is from The Pattern, an iPhone app that freaks me out daily. And this is accurate.

Dear Emotions:

You know I don’t often truck with the seven of you, with the exception of Joy. Joy and I get along GREAT!

As a matter of fact, Joy and I hung out this morning when my niece Chelsea sent me this delightful video:

Yessss.

The rest of you can shove off. I’m the worst at allowing myself to consider any of you. I don’t know if it is a woman thing or a mom thing or just a me thing, but I usually think about myself and my own feelings last.

But.

I showed a speech in my Public Speaking class yesterday that featured Psychologist Susan David noting that we human beings need to do a better job of acknowledging our emotions.

And my friend Brian told me the other day that I needed to “roll my feel window down.”

Fine.

So here are the six other feelings I tend to — or try to — ignore:

1. Anger
I married into a family that goes from zero to 60 in a hot second. So I try to tamp this one down as hard as I can so things don’t escalate. All bets are off with Dominic, though, when he refuses to help around the house but then asks for a replacement phone when he shatters his. For the fourth time.

2. Contempt
I reserve this for Mitch McConnell.

3. Fear
I’m an extrovert in general. But, as I revealed to my Public Speaking students, there is one scenario I find surprisingly crippling: receptions/networking events. I just have the hardest time walking up to a closed group of people and inserting myself.

In fact, I was faced with this scenario Monday during a Rotary meeting. I walked into the room, saw about 30 groups of two to three people close-talking, and decided to visit the restroom and breathe into a paper bag.

Not really, but I did give myself five seconds of panic like Jack in “Lost.”

4. Disgust
This emotion only manifests while I’m watching “Ridiculousness.” Or the aforementioned Mitch McConnell.

5. Sadness
This one is kin to disappointment, which I feel all the time but pretend I don’t. I try to avoid this emotion by managing my expectations. Sometimes it works. (I don’t really expect to win the lottery.) Sometimes it doesn’t. (Want me out of your life? Break a promise.)

6. Surprise
I’m rarely surprised in a bad way (see above for managing expectations) or in a good way (see my post about a recent holiday). But, I was surprised not too long ago that someone I trusted at work could not be trusted. At all. So that was a shock that quickly led to No. 5 before I could put a cork in it.

Yeah. The truth is that I experience all of you but I either pretend that I don’t OR bottle you up as quickly as you appear.

According to Dr. David, I’ve got to do a better job of prioritizing emotional truth over (sometimes false) positivity.

So.

The truth is that sometimes I’m not OK.

And that’s OK.

I guess that means I’ll be hanging out with all seven of you more often. That’s a crowded house, but a richer, more honest one.

My feel window is open.

Come on in,
Beth

 

* Apologies to “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”

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