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Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

Dear Parents of Older, Non-teenage Boys (i.e., Survivors):

I need your advice. As you may know, I have a 14 year old who tests my patience.

But I just spent a week on a cruise with him. It was … interesting.

It started out in typical fashion. He was cranky:Once on the boat, it seemed like he would fall into last year’s freak-flag-flying habit of making a face in every photo:

But then he got sick:

And kept everyone up three nights in a row by coughing. So I got back at him in my own special way: by harassing him mercilessly:

You can tell he isn’t feeling well:

And here he is being nice to his “cousin” Mia:

But we Lysoled the place every day to reduce germs:

And soon he was back to normal, making sure the stingray was a girl before he would kiss it:

And harassing his father:

And Ryder:

And telling me he planned to troll the hot tubs to score numbers (in this getup and baby glasses he found, no less):

So my question for you is this:

How do I keep the funny, silly Dominic and get rid of the one who is such a pain on the reg?

Not fix his phone so he’s forced to communicate with us? (He’s shattered two.)

Or just accept that he is 14, hormonal, and PERHAPS too much like me?

Thanks in advance for words of wisdom.

Gratefully,
Beth, Mother of a Dragon

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Dear Lisa (aka Goat Yoga Lisa),

You are a great friend. One of the best. Not only do you play Bingo with me, write guest posts, and let me stay in your house all the time, but you also loan me your husband.

Well, Rob loaned himself, really.

And it truly was a shock to all of us hanging out in your living room.

When I said I needed a dress to wear to do the weather* because the chroma wall hated the one I brought, you said you would go with me.

But then Rob piped up and said, “I’ll go with you.”

You, Gunner and I swiveled to look at him. Silence. Two eye blinks each.

Me: “Wait. You will go DRESS SHOPPING with me?”
Rob: “Yeah! I’ll go.”

Maybe it was the wine talking. He vinoteered.

Or maybe he is jealous of all the blog space devoted to you.

Or maybe he just wanted to hang out with his pal Beth.

He might have regretted it in the morning. But then I brought him bacon in bed. (That sounds way saucier than it was. You were there. You made the bacon. You suggested I take it to him.)

He might have regretted it when we got ready to go. But then he filled a to-go cup with wine for fortification.

He might have regretted it when we got in the car. But then I put the convertible top down and fired up a great rock playlist.

Rob seemed to be having a good time in the store. This was his first selection:

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Thank God he was just joking.

Then he suggested a housedress with a belt. Ha ha, very funny.

We headed to the fitting room with three contenders. Rob, the fitting room lady and I unanimously chose the third option.

We were in and out of the store in 15 minutes. For real. He was in shock.

Rob: “It’s like a blur.”
Me: “You didn’t even finish your wine.”
Rob: “I was just sipping, but now I don’t need to.”

We did have to stop by the CVS on the way home. But Rob even helped with the ridiculous receipt.

We were back at your house just 30 minutes after we left.

Me: “Thanks for the date!”
Rob: “It was fun!”
Me: “Did you actually just say it was fun?”
Rob: “Yeah, it really was.”

I’m pretty darn proud of us.

To my additional astonishment (that Rob — full of surprises), he really took ownership of the situation. After my segment in the early newscast, you told me he said “his” dress looks great.

Then Gunner sent me this message:

And then the man, the myth, the dress baron himself weighed in after the later newscast:

So, I give thanks to you for the loaner spouse, and loads of thanks to Rob. He’s like my hubs away from home!

See you when I’m back in Savannah.

Love to you and the super shopper you married,
Beth

* I can’t believe I’m still filling in at the TV station after all these years.

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Dear Trish,

Hope you and Irv are doing well. I miss seeing you on a regular basis, trying new beers, playing Cranium, and complaining about Ed.

I do want to take this opportunity to say thank you for inviting me to your wedding. It turned out to be the catalyst for an important journey for me.

I didn’t realize quite how fat I was until I couldn’t squeeze into the dress I brought to Sedona for your big day. This dress had always been my go-to dress. (Full disclosure: It’s a maternity dress. It doesn’t look like a maternity dress. Nothing maternity about it except that it has an empire waist. I just like it because it’s a pretty green silk.)

But I had a rude awakening when I was getting ready for your event.

Houston, we have a problem.

The dress must have shrunk at the drycleaner, right?

My Spanx waved the white flag.

I’m sorry I ruined all your wedding photos trying desperately to either avoid the camera or hide behind my children.

Look here. Dominic is not large enough to cover me:Let’s take a closer look:

Yes, yes, I know this is counter to the whole body-positivity movement. But let’s be honest: We all know when we are not the size we should be.

No one wants to feel like their seams are screaming.

The week I got back, I went out to dinner with my friend Kim. She had dropped 30 pounds and looked great. We have the same feelings about diets and working out (i.e., hate them with a white-hot passion). She shared her secret (and I will too if anyone wants to DM me), and I was off and running immediately.

I started my program the last week of September. This week, I hit my goal weight.

I’ve lost 45 pounds. That’s like losing a first grader.

And three dress sizes for me.

Here I am in the wedding-attendance dress that I now need to have altered. (Dominic has changed considerably too.)

Here’s the side-by-side before-and-after image for your viewing pleasure.

And here’s one of me the day I started this journey next to how I look today.

I feel so much better about myself.

It’s not a physical thing — I could always do stairs and whatnot.

It’s a mental thing. Being about to reach deep into the back of the closet and grab pre-kid jeans? That’s some real joy right there.

This is not PC (Kate Moss even regrets saying it), but it’s true for me:

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

So thanks, Trish. Inadvertently, you started me on a better path.

Congratulations on your eight-month anniversary coming up.

Your not-so-fat friend,
Beth

 

 

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Dear Aggressive Dudes on Words With Friends:

I’ve mentioned this to you before, but can you please not try to chat with me? I’m just there to play the game not THAT GAME.

I even changed my profile picture to stop the madness.

It didn’t work.

Here’s one of your brethren with his moves:

 

I continued to ignore him, so this happened:

 

People may ask, “So why do you accept the game request from someone you don’t know?” The answer is that sometimes it is a friend of a friend, and that’s totally fine.

But now I’m going to take every opportunity to mess with people like you. Witness:

Anyway, word of warning: I’m here to play, literally and figuratively.

No love and no kisses,
Beth

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How to have a great time in New Orleans around Mardi Gras without losing your money, mind or morals
By Beth, Bon Vivant

So you’re headed to The Big Easy, and you want to make sure your trip doesn’t end up going viral on social media for all the wrong reasons? I hear you. I’m here to help with a short list of DOs and DON’Ts:

DO:
• Go with a long-time friend who is very familiar with the area and has a hat you can borrow when you get cold.

Wendy, Beth and Wendy’s hat. And new bead necklaces. (More on those in a moment.)

• Fortify yourself with Char-Grilled oysters from Felix’s. (Don’t wait in the line for the inferior Acme across the street. And don’t wait in the Felix’s line on Iberville: Go around to the one on Bourbon.)

• Appreciate the wit of The Crescent City denizens.

• Take advantage of smaller parades when they pop up as you are walking down the street. People in the parade will force beads on you whether you want them or not.


• Blend in with the rest of the tourists at a packed dance place.

• Say “Oh HELL yes” when your long-time friend wants to go to the Chewbacchus parade, which features a multitude of Chewbaccas (Chewbacci?).

• Marvel at the coordination it took to get so many different groups on board — groups like the Leijorettes.

• Admire festive outfits.

• Make friends with law enforcement officials. You’ll want them feeling friendly toward you should you make any mistakes. (Not that I did. I was very well behaved. But Officer Cummings and I became chums anyway.)

• Sample season-specific cocktails.

 

DON’T:
• Sample too many season-specific cocktails. Or too many of any, really.

• Pay attention to certain calls for action. Everyone has a smartphone and social media account!

• Argue if anyone says the Saints got robbed (“Blow whistles, not games“).

Laissez les bons temps rouler, y’all!

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“The Omen 6”: Now filming in my house, apparently

Dear Satan:

I’m sure you think it was very funny switching bodies with my 14-year-old son. Hee hee. Ha ha. You’ve had your fun. Now I’m ready to have Dominic back.

What’s this? It’s not you? He’s just a typical 14-year-old boy. There’s more where that came from, you say?

Oh no.

A Dominic selfie: “Feeling cute. Might delete later.”

I was certain he was inhabited by a demon Sunday (the Sabbath — oh the irony). He was so unusually awful that I told him I was done speaking to him for a while so I could preserve my sanity.

I didn’t say one word to him for five whole days. If he came into the room, I left. I’ve never done that before, but honestly, it gave me such peace.

At one point, Eddie and I had this conversation:

Him: When are you going to start talking to Dominic?

Me: I don’t know. It’s been kind of great.

Him: Maybe for you but you not talking to him means I have to, and he makes me want to kill him.

I felt like I had failed as a parent though. It was going to be my dirty little secret. But then I told another mom about it in confidence, and she said, “Yep. I’ve been there. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for your own sake. They suck at that age.”

Emboldened, I confessed to another friend.

She said, “I’ve totally done that. I’ve even packed a bag and left the house to stay in a hotel for the night.”

That’s some Big Mom Energy right there.

It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Or is it?

Do you have a special treatment (i.e., tranquilizer or the like) for such creatures? Or do I need to take that up with another entity?

Let me know. Things are tough here, which you might love, but remember that the 14-year-old might even be too much for you to bear.

Yours truly from HOTlanta (tee hee*),
Beth

* No one in Atlanta uses this term for real. It’s cringey. And we all immediately know “you ain’t from ’round here.”

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Review of Isle of Hope carriage house:

As this is a new listing, I didn’t know what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried: My five-night stay with Lisa and Rob was fantastic. Even their children, Cole and Cali, made me feel welcome by inviting me to play Unicorn Magic Ring Toss and Old Maid.

Lisa and Rob are exceptional hosts. They always had red wine on tap, offered me a homemade burrito, and Lisa went with me to various Savannah hotspots including The Jinx, Barrelhouse South, Congress Street Social Club, the Georgia Tasting Room and 17Hundred90. She even paid for parking. Now that’s a great host!

The carriage house had everything I needed to make my stay perfect — including something dead.

I would recommend the Isle of Hope carriage house any time. Two thumbs up!
Beth

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