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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

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 Carnival:

It was so great to see you again. I’m sorry our three-family tribe cheated on you with Royal Caribbean.

It won’t happen again.

You have everything we want:

Comfy chairs where Edgar can nap, and Pat can play his games

Photographers willing to take unusual pics

Plans

Limited tolerance (for what, I’m not sure)

Maybe for Swedish girls throwing gang signs (?)

Places for Uno battles to break out

PLENTY of places

Places to play with children too

Even enough room to pay a push-up penalty if you are too loud while playing Uno

An unflappable wait staff

Exotic food liked smoked oysters with some kind of weird froth

Games designed to titillate while taking Edgar’s money

Elevators big enough for parties of 11

The ability to get intimate with sea life

And, most importantly, the chance for friends to get together and have fun year after year

There is only one thing we needed but couldn’t have: unlimited bacon.

Fix that, and we’ll love you forever.

Still, we’ll see you next year.

Wet, sloppy stingray kisses,
Beth

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Dear Apartment:

I’m going to miss all the quality alone time you and I had while the guys were out of town getting my mother-in-law’s house in Puerto Rico ready to rent out.

Don’t get me wrong: I do love them. But when I cleaned you the day after they left, you stayed clean.

You and I had so much fun together. I got to watch whatever I wanted to watch on TV. I could roam around in my underwear without embarrassing any teenagers. I didn’t have to worry about your front door being left unlocked or coming home to random friends of aforementioned teenagers inside you.

What’s more — and this probably made Charlotte next door very happy — you and I were peaceful together. So peaceful.

The communication styles of my family members are just so different.

The quietest one missed me. He texted me almost every day.

The medium-loud one texted me informative tidbits regarding house progress, interesting videos, and photos engineered to make me wish I had left you.

The loudest and grouchiest one did not talk to me at all until he wanted something the day before he came back to us.

It figures.

In an interesting twist, Dominic the Loud immediately stripped upon arriving back to you and charged around eating chicken wings.

I guess Eddie’s right: He and I are alike.

Anyway, I’m going to miss you, my fortress.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear God:

I just want to thank you for all the times that speaking your name and that of your son has helped me not to murder MY son.

You know which one. Dominic. It’s always Dominic.

This child tests me every damn day.

  • He has barely turned in any school work this whole year but won’t take responsibility.
  • He asks questions but won’t listen to the answers. (Then gets mad because he doesn’t know what is going on.)
  • He refuses to do what he is told but wants rewards.

Dominic is supposed to be putting together the shelves he is using as a pillow. (Meanwhile, his brother put together an entire bed by himself.) Then this slacker had the nerve to ask to be paid. He wanted $30!

He is about to go out of town with his father, brother, aunt and uncle. I secured the tickets a month ago based on his aunt’s instructions. He didn’t pay any attention, of course. So when I reminded him this week, he lost his mind.

My reaction?

This line really gets me:

He genuinely thinks this is my fault, not his. Does not understand cause and effect, actions and consequences.

What’s worse is that his teacher is the wife of one of my colleagues. So his poor performance — in language arts no less — is a smidge embarrassing for me.

He wasn’t done. But I was.

You know what else I don’t like? His Gen Z abbreviations. No wonder he is sucking so hard in language arts.

Perhaps it is Dominic who should be calling on you for assistance.

Your Obedient Servant,
Beth

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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 Bingo People:

I’m going to have to ask you to dial it back from 11. It’s bingo. It’s not “Trauma: Life in the ER.”

At least I did not think it akin to life or death when my friend Lisa noticed the ad for the event.

I’m at the point in my life where my motto is “absof—inlutely.” I say yes to many adventures.

Lisa says yes too. So that’s how we found ourselves at the American Legion on Tybee Island for Bingo Night. My other friend Amy and her husband Brian said yes too.

From left: Lisa, Amy and Brian prepare for the rollercoaster ride that is Bingo Night at the American Legion.

We allowed ourselves to be upsold to the party pack (whatever that was). A “dabber” of one’s own sold separately.

Meet my very own dabber. I chose red to represent the blood I planned to spill on the gaming floor. (Just kidding. They didn’t have blue, my favorite color.)

When the event began, all thought of a fun night went out the window. Bingo Lady was very clear that there would be NO TALKING. AT ALL.

Bingo Lady does not suffer fools.

Lisa knew that this would be problematic for the two of us. All we do is talk. Especially when the Legion sells plastic cups of Merlot for $4.

Lisa realizes we may be in trouble.

Besides the fact that we were not allowed to speak, the game itself was very stressful. The numbers came fast and furious. Luckily, the woman on my right liked to repeat every combination twice.

 

Notice the intensity Amy and Brian exhibit. Shhh … they are concentrating.

It almost paid off for both Amy and Lisa: They each were one or two squares away from the loud groans and golf claps that accompanied each shout of “Bingo!”

I was surprised at the amount of people who turned out for the event.

How did I fare? Let’s just say I got more satisfaction from the cheap Merlot.

Not even close to winning a cover-all.

So thanks for an interesting night. I’m glad I went, but I’m not sure I’ll be back. Y’all are too much for me.

Love anyway,
Beth

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Dear Parents of Teenage Boys:

I’ve been on the struggle bus with Dominic, who is 14 and all eat up with hormones. You know this from posts like these.

We usually cannot speak without a fight.

But this week things have been different.

We are at the beach for spring break — just the boys and me because Eddie had to work.

He has been helpful when he does emerge from the cocoon of his room. But he has barely left that room.

On Monday, my phone rings. I see it is him. CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. I do not answer it. Because:

  1. I hate talking on the phone.
  2. He was 10 feet away.

I go to the room. I hear him yelling, “Pick up the phone!” I open the door.

Me: What do you want?
Him: Why didn’t you answer?
Me: Because you are 10 feet away, and it is insane for you to call me. What do you want?
Him: I think my molar is loose.
Me: (Rolls eyes. Walks out of the room.)

Then he sends me this text:

The next day, I go in the room to make sure he is alive. I open the door, see that he is and leave. Then I get this text:

(Note: If you don’t recognize the Matt Foley reference, I’m afraid we cannot continue to be friends.)

Then he starts communicating in memes, to which I finally respond with my own.


 

So I guess what I’m asking is, is this normal? Is this what puberty looks like among Gen Z? Do I need to seek help for him? For myself?

Please advise,
Beth

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