My son was an action figure connoisseur of sorts. As a kid, he spent hours engaged in elaborate battles with his huge collection. These ‘campaigns’ would continue for days on end and until completion, I was not allowed to alter their tactical arrangement in any way. In the majority of these battles, an action figure he named Chris the Caveman (of mysterious origins) was invariably the leader and subsequent conqueror. I asked my son once, why?, and he replied that his battles required super-hero strength against extreme powers and Chris with his ripped muscles seemed like the man for the job.
Now, Chris the Caveman sits on a dusty shelf in the playroom – his battles behind him. The truth is, he has not only been abandoned by a maturing boy, but he has also been replaced by an enemy I must now face. A foe I wonder if even Chris the Caveman would have had the strength to overcome.
Before I go any further let me just say, Electronics are not inherently evil – ok, maybe they are, but in the interest of political correctness let’s just say they ‘behave badly’. And like most families these days we are equipped with the usual: computer, HDTV, phones (my smart phone may have been a stumble into enemy territory), microwave – plenty enough to distract from human interaction (those microwaves can really be addicting). But, I have tried to hold firm against an all-out invasion (i.e. big gaming units with flesh eating Zombies).
Nonetheless, I was blindsided by the enemy’s recent ploy. My weakness has been identified…my kids. When my boys presented the idea they “earn and save” the money (they took that Get a Yob thing seriously) to buy their own desired items I was all aglow with: smug relief (Ha! They will never be able to save that much), and maternal pride (look at those little darlings willing to work for something they want, aaah). However, this Custer–like underestimation of my opponent has proven to be a fatal misstep. For now, my boys are both in possession of their desired electronic, complete with bells, whistles & Zombies, and I feel like Mickey in Fantasia, helpless as Electronics march over me and into my house.
In essence, I have become Chris the Caveman – except, without the rippling muscles and you know, cool loincloth. I am single-handedly attempting to fight an enemy of extreme powers with only help from my minions (well, minion – my husband) – struggling to stop the time-sucking, interaction-obliterating, Electronic devices from completely taking over my home. And as in all of Chris the Caveman’s battles, I fear it will get worse before it gets better, be bloody, body parts scattered, and end with only one true victor. But like Chris the Caveman, there is no “if ya can’t beat em’ join em”, only a fight to the last one standing. I think I am the woman for the job but just in case…
Better save a spot on that dusty shelf for me.
Yob: I did it! I created a word. At least I thought I had. Until I discovered some slippery, sly English peops (I can say that because some of my best friends are English) had beat me to it. However, when my son won at scrabble using “Yob”– which according to Merriam-Webster is b-o-y spelled backward (really?), and meaning: a young man who is rowdy, rude, noisy, and aggressive (I live with Yobs and didn’t even know it), and rhymes with Gob (Ha! Didn’t see that one coming did ya’) – I was forced to face the disappointment or lobby M-W for inclusion.
You see, for some time, Yob has been a Homonym of sorts in my household. Allow me to illustrate.
“Get a Yob”: In this context, Yob is most effective in answer to the frequently asked question from minors in household: “Mom, can I have…(fill in blank with overpriced electronic of choice)”. Used in this form, Yob means: If you want particular time sucking device, you will have to work, earn money, save, spend it all on desired item and realize you are flat broke…again.
Positive attributes of usage being, minors are proud purchasers of mind emptying electronics and my Botox emergency fund remains intact…oh, and they like, learned some kind of valuable life lesson or something.
“Not my Yob”: The usage of the word in this context is a clear indication that a “pass the buck” scenario from one adult to another is about to take place (from myself to hubs if you must know). At this crucial moment, husband is forced to revisit the possibility he failed to examine the fine print in the marriage contract explaining his Yob description included: all things gross (puke clean up), all things that make you simultaneously sweaty & dirty (summer yard work), and all things smelly ( taking out all trash).
Sadly for him, the misplacement or loss of said document has relegated husband to taking wife’s word on the subject.
“Do your Yob”: The bellow of the word in this context is music to the ears of one occupant of the household…my dog. At moment of utterance, the word ringing in dog’s ears causes her thought process to go something like this…The Mom is cooking…dropping food on the floor…all over the floor…like always…I must away…to the kitchen…no time to waste…to clean the floor…I love my Yob,…no, I REALLY, REALLY love my Yob. (Which in this context means – That thing one does when not sleeping, eating or urinating on the tires of cars in the driveway…preferably you are a dog if you are using the word in this context).
Disclaimer: For those of you getting the ole undies in a bundle over the use of this questionably politically correct pronunciation, please keep one thing in mind. As a person from San Hose, who has endured a lifetime of “You really do know the way to San Hose, don’t you!” and “Are you from San HosA or San HosB?”– I think I have paid my dues and deserve to take a few liberties. No Yoke.
Only a few words were maimed in the writing of this blog.
Watching my boys learn how to make Macaroni and Cheese.
Seriously, it was poetry in motion. I laughed, I cried, I cleaned up burnt pasta water all over the stove. Actually, the best part of the moment may have been seeing them growing up?… Learning to do for themselves? …No, it was when I realized I won’t have to do it anymore. Laundry, anyone?
First of all, I want to give a huge thank you to my niece, Gina Benedetti, a very talented photographer and graphic designer, who created this wonderful logo for my new feature on Sweet Spot.
I came up with the idea for this feature after attending the funeral of a good friend’s Mom. My friend’s Mom had been on this earth a long time, so I am guessing she must have learned a few things along the way. At the funeral, it was explained how she had a special journal where, each day, she recorded her Best Moment of the Day. When you visited her home, you were encouraged – very encouraged – to add your own best moment of the day to her book.
I thought this was such a wonderful life skill. One I wish I was better at. So, of course, I wanted to bring it to Sweet Spot. I already “unofficially” started over Christmas with Santa Cruz (this pic!), Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe2.
Where I will go with it next… I’m not sure. But that is ok. In fact, it is the Best.
As promised in my last post, New Years Non-Resolutions, here is my full confession…
It was a normal afternoon. My sons and I were in the kitchen. I was making toast. When all of a sudden, for no reason at all (ok, I may have burned the toast), the smoke alarm- where it had been strategically placed on a cabinet directly above the toaster waiting year after year to be hung from the ceiling – began to go off.
Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep.
I frantically waved the smoke out of the air and removed the offending item from the toaster (fine, I did burn the toast, happy?) so as to relieve the smoke alarm from duty.
But still – Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep.
I climbed up on the counter and brought the alarm down to show it that all was well. Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep.
I pushed its button in assurance. Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep.
I begged, pleaded, demanded it stop. Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep.
I threatened. I threatened it with a short trip and a quick end; as in –“Stop or I will throw you against the wall”. You can’t say it wasn’t duly notified. Surely it could hear the crazed frustration in my warning.
And still – Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep, Bleeeeep.
So in the interest of follow through, you know good parenting and all that, I chucked it as hard as I could at the nearest kitchen wall. It crashed against that wall – pieces of plastic flying, battery hanging out like entrails, cover dislodging as it landed with a thud on the floor.
Finally…it was quiet. We all three stood frozen in the silence; me, reveling in the peace; the boys, awestruck at my conviction (or… fearing for the potential loss of a few more cards from my deck). 10 seconds…20 seconds…30 seconds…
Then it happened. Out of the silence in a ‘man down but not out’ kind of way, labored and painful, slurring like the moo of a drunken cow (if cows could, you know, belly up) came the smoke alarm’s final words –
Bluuurrrp, Bluuurrrp, Bluuurrrp, Bluuurrrp – As it continued, despite all aggressions, to attempt to do its job.
We stood. We stared. Our jaws dropped open. And then, we laughed hysterically until our bellies hurt.
In the end, it was decided the smoke alarm had earned retirement with full benefits (but no severance pay), I should never make toast without the aid of Mother’s Little Helper (the prescription kind) and Dad/Husband should be called immediately the next time a machine in our house malfunctioned (and even with this assurance, my machines have never since treated me the same…)
What is the point to this twisted machine abuse story?
Simply this- It is moments like this that I live for. The kind that get funnier with each retelling. The kind that teeter on the edge of crazy. The kind my kids will remember. The kind where I get to laugh with them.
The kind that teaches them no matter how bad, frustrating or crazy things are, if you can laugh, life is good.
Yeah, I know the New Years Resolution Bus has passed. However, due to the fact that my Christmas Cards invariably hit the ground running about mid-January, I decided to claim end of the year procrastination as a “tradition” and forge ahead. Besides I was occupied between Christmas and New Years combating a bunch of kids for a patch of mountain on which to ride my board (hey, I only took out a few…that I know of) -man-made snow, quite the hot commodity.
Anyway, I will make this easy. I do NOT make New Years Resolutions. Not since, after occupying Los Angeles for 10 years, I Resolved to give up using the F bomb – which has led me to a lifelong, frustrating and futile search for its replacement equal.
Therefore, here are my 6 New Years NON-Resolutions:
I will NOT drink more water. Let’s face it, at a certain age the Pee Pee dance is no longer cute and becomes potentially hazardous. (If you are not getting a mental picture here, just give it a few years).
I WILL add to my embarrassingly large, spilling out of the closet, “yes, honey, I swear I got that for a good price” denim collection. However, as an attached rider, I renew my vow to shun all things bearing the name “Jegging” and I will pass on the new “Ass-Cam” now being installed in select designer denim fitting rooms.
I WILL eat sugar in my coffee, in my soda, in my desserts, in my snacks; Even if it means the possible acquisition of a JLo Butt (wait, maybe I should re-think that Ass-Cam…?). “I’ll have boobs to go with that butt please.”
I will NOT give up the right to throw things when the situation demands. For example, kids’ shoes I have tripped over a cajillion times, malfunctioning machines (full confession coming soon), cat that lies right in the middle of the room (jk – of course I would not throw my cat…she’s too fat.)
I WILL cook way more pasta then anyone wants to eat. Furthermore, I WILL, in a fit of thinking I am the next Pioneer Woman, mangle some poor unsuspecting piece of beef, force my family to eat it, and expect them to give me praise.
Lastly, I WILL, in my totally un-cool Soccer Mom van, peel out when local teens make fun, bump into curbs, back into low concrete walls and drive over the grass on the side of our new driveway that hubby is desperately trying to grow. Because, well, that’s how I roll.
Happy 2012. May all of your New Years Non-Resolutions be a success!