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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

EPISODE 3: Rated PG-13 for Near Nudity and Coarse Language

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

Two groups of six HARDBODIES each have taken over two corners of the pool. The scent of testosterone is more pungent than chlorine. TWO OTHER COUPLES lounge at the other corners. Each couple basks in the Atlanta sun, oiled up like Thanksgiving turkeys.


DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR LESS-SWOLLEN-AND-RASHY MOTHER enter the pool area. They are joined by FATHER, no less a hardbody than the 12 mentioned above. However, the appearance of MOTHER and FATHER in the pool area raises the median age by at least 15 years.

MOTHER and FATHER survey the pool area with dismay. BLINDINGLY WHITE MOTHER needs shade.* They head to the covered area with the plush furniture. DOMINIC and GIDEON are reluctant to get in the water with so many people there (i.e., potential victims for which they will get in trouble for splashing). They sit on the plush furniture and contemplate their next moves.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 starts talking about leaving to go to dinner.

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HAIR-TOSSING GIRL NO. 1
We should eat. They are expecting us there by 7.

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HAIR-TOSSING GIRL NO. 2
I could eat. Should we go get pizza?

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 exits.

Conversation amount and volume increase within HARDBODY GROUP NO. 2 out of earshot of MOTHER. They exit.

DOMINIC and GIDEON jump into the pool. FATHER goes to work out (of course). MOTHER sips her beer and pretends to read about TRUMP in The New Yorker (but really just looks at the cartoons).

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER spots BASTED TURKEY LADY NO. 1 looking around the pool as if to say, “Where are these children’s parents?” She murmurs disapproval to BASTED TURKEY MAN NO. 1. MOTHER sits calmly waiting for THE BASTEDS NO. 1 to see her. BASTED LADY finally does. Her pinched, angry face relaxes slightly.

TWO RUBENESQUE WOMEN carrying large floats, a massive bag of Outback takeout, and an also-oversized speaker enter the pool area. They commence eating. After their meal, they remove their cover-ups to get into the pool. RUBENS NO. 1 is wearing a bathing suit with a keyhole cleavage opening in the front. There is at least a foot of cleavage.

SMALLER-BREASTED MOTHER wonders if she is breaking a rule by not being busty in the pool area, as large teats appear to be the norm.

FATHER returns from his alone time in the gym.

Despite the fact that music already is playing over the speakers in the pool area, RUBENS NO. 2 begins to play loud hip-hop music on her speaker.

MUSIC
F— them! F— her! The b—- can s— my d—! (and similar).

FATHER and MOTHER look at each other in alarm. Such language is to be heard in the privacy of the home via the many action movies they like to watch as a family. It certainly cannot be heard out in the wild. They are outraged. FATHER and MOTHER give the RUBENS TWINS pointed looks. RUBENS NO. 1 notices their distress and nudges RUBENS NO. 2, who changes the song.

MOTHER and FATHER run out of beer in the cooler. MOTHER decides it is time to go make dinner.

She exits.

Moments later, FATHER, DOMINIC and GIDEON exit.

(END OF SCENE)

 

*EXTREMELY PALE MOTHER visited the Dominican Republic last year on a cruise. She put on 50 SPF, a one-piece bathing suit plus hat and cover-up. She stayed in the shade of a building all day and STILL got burned. On her stomach. True story.

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EPISODE 2: Respect My Authoritah

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

STRANGE WOMAN lounges by the pool, barely paying attention to her two daughters, who appear to be around six and eight years old. The earbuds she is wearing indicate she is listening to music.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR STILL-UNHAPPY-IN-HER-BATHING-SUIT MOTHER WHO IS BEGINNING TO WONDER IF SHE HAS A HORRIBLE DISEASE THAT IS CAUSING HER TO HAVE CONSISTENTLY SWOLLEN ANKLES AND A WEIRD ARM RASH enter the pool.

DOMINIC
Let’s play Friday the 13th! I’ll be Jason.

GIDEON
OK.

DOMINIC (to girls in the pool)
Do you want to play?

GIRL NO. 1
OK.

GIRL NO. 2 (apparently named Jo Jo) ignores DOMINIC.

GIRL NO. 1
Jo Jo!

STRANGE WOMAN
Jo Jo!

JO JO
OK.

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER tries to read a magazine in the lounge chair across the pool from STRANGE WOMAN. MOTHER is unable to read said magazine because STRANGE WOMAN is dancing in her chair and singing along with her music. STRANGE WOMAN is not a gifted vocalist.

A MAN IN A TOO-TIGHT BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT enters the pool area, pulling a wagon filled with THREE SMALL BOYS. His LARGE-BOSOMED WIFE follows. They position themselves directly across the shallow area from MOTHER.

DOMINIC (to BOY NO. 1, the oldest)
Do you want to play?

BOY NO. 1
No. I can’t.

The WAGON BOYS play together in the shallow end in front of MOTHER. There’s plenty of whining with no response from their parents.

A MAN and a WOMAN carrying the largest pool floats sold on the open market enter the pool area. They set up camp at the far end of the pool to MOTHER’s left.

STUFFED SHIRT stands up and begins walking around the pool area while playing on his phone. MOTHER sips her thermos full of cider and watches SHIRT track a pacing circuit in front of her. Her blood boils as he repeatedly walks within one foot of the end of her lounge chair. ANGRY MOTHER marvels at the fact that there is an entire pool area, but SHIRT feels the need to be all up in her grill. BOSOM strikes up a conversation with WANNABE MARIAH CAREY while SHIRT continues to pace.

MOTHER runs out of both patience and cider.

MOTHER (to DOMINIC and GIDEON)
Let’s go.

They exit.

(END OF SCENE)

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Dear Readers,

Part of the joy of living in an apartment complex (even temporarily) is taking advantage of the pool.

Enjoy these missives from our adventures.

Love and kisses,
Beth

EPISODE 1: Is this Sun City?

EXT. COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

Two elderly women tan their already leathery bodies on lounge chairs. A girl of about six years old plays with a pool noodle in the shallow end.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR STURDY MOTHER WHO IS NOT HAPPY IN HER BATHING SUIT (OR SKIN, FOR THAT MATTER) enter the pool.

DOMINIC
Let’s play Friday the 13th! I’ll be Jason.

GIDEON
OK.

SPLASHING commences. MOTHER drifts close to ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1.

MOTHER
Is there a hot tub?

MOTHER emphasizes “tub” as in the SNL The Love-ahs sketch with Rachel Dratch and Will Ferrell. ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1 does not appear to notice the affectation.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1
No.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 2 has been listening to the exchange. She chimes in from the other side of the pool.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 2
There should be!

MOTHER nods. She drifts to the pool steps, exits the pool, and parks herself in the lounge chair with her thermos full of beer.

DOMINIC and GIDEON continue their game for another hour while MOTHER texts her friend BRIAN about PRINCE CARL of SWEDEN and SEBASTIAN BEAUPIERRE THEROUX. (Another scene for another day.)

Eventually, the three exit the pool area.

(END OF SCENE)

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How healthy are you? How willing are you to do the things you need to do to be healthy? Let’s find out!

You are diabetic. It’s time for lunch. What do you eat?
a. A healthy meal featuring protein, fruits and vegetables.
b. Ice cream, baby!

But wait, you have a sore on your toe that won’t heal. The diabetes is obviously affecting your circulation. Now what do you eat for lunch?
a. A healthy meal featuring protein, fruits and vegetables, and then go for a brisk walk around the block.
b. Still ice cream. And also onion rings. (Get off your back!)

You go to the doctor for a routine visit, and he tells you that you are now permanently blind in your left eye. You are:
a. Dismayed. You just thought it was a side effect of one of your many medications.
b. Surprised. You had no idea you couldn’t see out of your left eye.

You have to go to the bathroom. You just had a mini stroke, so you need a little help. What do you do?
a. Wait until someone brings the pee jug to you.
b. Open up your gown and let it go like you are Manneken-Pis.

You are (clearly) having issues with your bladder. The doctor installs a catheter. When do you ask for it to be removed?
a. As soon as possible because CATHETER!
b. Never. It just makes peeing easier.

Your leg is wet. Your catheter tube has come unattached. Do you notice?
a. Yes. Um … pee!
b. No.

Despite physical therapy at the nursing home after your mini stroke, you can’t walk without assistance. To be honest, you have trouble doing anything without help. When do you ask to be released from the nursing home?
a. Not until you can walk and manage tasks on your own.
b. Immediately. Watching TV all day is better from the lift chair. Who cares about the risk of falling?

Once home, your physical therapist tells you not to use the lift chair to help sit and stand. You need to build strength in your legs. What do you do?
a. Listen to her. She knows what she is doing.
b. Tell everyone that she changed her mind. The lift chair is totally fine.

Scoring:
Mostly or all As: Congratulations! You are doing what you need to do to be as healthy as possible. Your family must be so happy!
Mostly Bs: You need to take better care of yourself. Think about how your health issues are affecting your family.
All Bs: Dad?

 

 

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Dear Family:

Many have asked how my father is doing after his recent “mini” stroke that necessitated a trip to the hospital and then a care facility. Many of you also have asked how I’m doing, as it’s no secret my relationship with my incredibly stubborn father has been strained over the past couple of years. Usually, I’m good with words. When it comes to him, though, words fail me.

Hence, I will describe what has happened/is happening using photos of bad taxidermy.

We visit Dad for Christmas. He says he wants me to look into assisted living places near us (as opposed to where he is, which is four hours away).

We visit Dad for Christmas. He says he wants me to look into assisted-living places near us (as opposed to where he is, which is four hours away).

 

After I took a day off of work to take tours of assisted living places, Dad calls to tell me, "Nevermind." He has decided to stay in his house with my stepmother.

After I took a day off of work to take tours of assisted-living places, Dad calls to tell me, “Nevermind.” He has decided to stay in his house with Kat (his wife).

 

Dad called. He had what he thinks is a stroke.

A few days later, Dad calls. He had what he thinks is a stroke.

 

We visit. He's fine. He will remain in the hospital for a while and receive physical therapy. He needs physical therapy. Everyone is happy.

We visit. He’s fine. He will remain in the hospital for a while and receive physical therapy. He needs physical therapy. Everyone is happy.

 

He tells us he is fine. He says we should start cleaning out his garage as he may have to sell the house to pay for full-time care.

He tells us he is doing great but that we should start cleaning out his garage as he may have to sell the house to pay for full-time care.

 

We spend an entire day cleaning out 1/3 of his garage. We took two truckloads of crap to the dump and three truckloads of stuff to the Salvation Army.

We spend an entire day cleaning out 1/3 of his garage. We took two truckloads of crap to the dump and three truckloads of stuff to the Salvation Army.

 

A couple of weeks later, I go back up to visit him in the nursing facility to have a chat with him and the therapist about next steps. Kat yells at me for cleaning out Dad's garage when I should have been sitting vigil next to him the entire weekend we spent doing what he told us to do.

A couple of weeks later, I go back up to the nursing facility to have a chat with him and the therapist about next steps. Kat yells at me for cleaning out Dad’s garage when I should have been sitting vigil next to him the entire weekend we spent doing what he told us to do.

 

According to Dad's legal papers, I share power of attorney with Kat. We have to agree on any decisions regarding his care. We do not agree.

According to Dad’s legal papers, I share power of attorney with Kat. We have to agree on any decisions regarding his care. We do not agree.

 

Dad is supposed to be released this week. There is no plan for in-home care. Kat is not speaking to me. Dad rotates among three main states: confused, angry, depressed. Only once in a while is he the dad I remember.

Dad is supposed to be released this week. There is no plan for in-home care. Kat is not speaking to me. Dad rotates among three main states: confused, angry and depressed. Only once in a while is he the person I remember.

 

I do not know what will happen next.

I do not know what will happen next.

If you are praying people, pray for him. Pray for me. Like the taxidermy pictured above, it’s not good.

Stay tuned,
Beth

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Dear God,

After this weekend, I’m certain you exist. The proof: My father is still alive.

I asked you for patience, and you granted my wish.

Here’s a refresher on the circumstances. (You know this already, but I know you have plenty on your plate with all the election-related prayers.)

My cousins were visiting my dad, so Eddie and I made the four-hour (one way) drive to visit him/them. As soon as we got there, and I settled into a chair for a chat, Kat (my stepmother) asked me to fix their DIRECTV setup.

Me:

irritated

 

Hell to me is being tech support.

While trying to get that sorted, Gideon discovered my father’s WiFi connection was down.

Me:

rage

 

I called DIRECTV tech support as it was clear the issue was bigger than something I could fix, and gave their phone to Eddie. I took my phone to the so-called “computer room” to sort out the modem issue with Windstream.

While on the phone with Windstream, we determined the phone jack might be bad. The following ensued:

Me: Dad, where is another phone jack?
Dad: It’s at the end of the phone.
Me:

wtf

 

More troubleshooting followed. Meanwhile, I was trapped in this “computer room” feeling like I was in an episode of “Hoarders” and wanting to do this:

 

"Citizen Kane" room trashing

If you would like to answer another one of my prayers, you can inspire my father to get rid of the two late ’90s computer systems and desks, floppy disks and miscellaneous paper that clutter this room. And maybe you can compel Kat to get rid of the four creepy dolls, fake ferns and flea-market clocks.

Anyway, thank you for helping me summon the patience necessary to keep from throttling my father. And thank you for helping arrange technicians for both DIRECTV and Windstream to come out Monday. That truly is a miracle.

I’m a believer,
Beth

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Dear Mr. Trump,

Good evening! I know you are gearing up for the third (and final, thankfully) presidential debate, so please read this later — like at 3:20 a.m. when you are up tweeting.

When I first wrote you back in July, I said, “I’m sure you are quite lovely in person.” As it turns out, you aren’t. And you have the dubious honor of bringing the P word into the mainstream. Imagine the fun conversations I’ve had with my kids!

1b5cb62ae34b24690eef2b82723f3999And speaking of mainstream and conversations with kids, I do have to thank you. We regular humans are having some interesting conversations that apparently should have happened long before now.

We are talking about rape culture. We are talking about saying to men, “Don’t rape,” instead of telling women, “Don’t look like you are asking for it.” We are talking about the thousands of indignities women face on a regular basis.

On Facebook today, I posted a link to a blog post titled, “It’s Not Okay,” by a writer named Molly.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-7-27-15-pm

In response, a man who was a good friend of mine in high school wrote this:

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-7-07-39-pm

While I certainly appreciate his note, that episode was not on my list of stories. I was thinking more about that time when a guy at a bar grabbed my P word just like you like to do, Mr. Trump. Or when a guy I had just started dating let himself into my apartment and replaced my sheets and shower curtain with ones on which he had drawn himself. Or when a guy assaulted me at gunpoint in college.

Yeah, those are the ones that stick out.

Every woman I know has stories like mine.

And I want to be clear for the purposes of educating you and your defender Rush Limbaugh, I did not want, ask for or agree to any of the above.

If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine, whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left. — Rush Limbaugh on his show Oct. 12

Yes, Rush, consent is the “magic key.” Without consent, a sex act is indeed rape. Even the U.S. Department of Justice says so.

So thank you, I guess, for bringing this topic more into the light than it ever has been. It gives me an extra reason to talk to my boys about how to be respectful men and not someone like you.

Sincerely (but not respectfully),
Beth

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