What To Do If You Expect Your Child is an Addict

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is An Addict

If you’re a mom who suspects a family member is addicted to drugs, you may be wondering what to do. There are many treatment plans available for all age groups, and the earlier you can get them into a program the better. Some of these include combatting addtiction with a combination of counseling and pharmaceuticals. But dosing too early can cause severe withdrawals so you need to get the right treatment plan, customized to each individual. But how do you know for sure?

Overreacting?

How do you know if you’re overreacting to minor issues, blowing things out of proportion?

The first thing to notice is if your child is having problems. Perhaps, they are similar problems their peers face. Alternatively, they may be more severe and disruptive.

If they are preteens, they could be having problems with self-esteem and taking care of themselves.

If they are adolescents, they could be having problems with staying healthy, making friends, or getting along with people.

If they are young adults, they could be having family and work issues, struggling financially, or in trouble with the law.

If you notice your child is having more problems than before, it’s reasonable to guess that substance abuse may be the cause.

One strong reason for suspicion is if they appear untroubled by the behaviors that are causing the problems. In this case, their addiction may be stronger than the desire to stop the problems it’s causing.

The best way to approach the issue, in this case, is to talk about the problem directly, without linking it to what you suspect may be the cause. See if they are willing to discuss the problem? If they deny having an obvious problem, then this is a strong indication that there is a deeper reason for it.

4 Intervention Steps

If you’ve come to the conclusion that there is a strong underlying reason for their problems, then it may be time to take some action. Here are 4 things you can do.

1. Confirm your suspicions.

Educate yourself about substance abuse symptoms. There is more than enough information available online to come up with a profile of the underlying disorder.

While there are variations on how people react to different forms of substance abuse, there are a lot of commonalities among users taking the same drugs.

2. Observe the person over a few days or weeks.

How closely does their behavior match up to your hypothetical profile? This information is important for four reasons.

First, you will be able to clarify whether or not their erratic behavior is due to drugs or some form of psychological issue.

Second, you will be able to convince other family members to help you if you can prove your case.

Third, you will have more than enough information to share with a substance abuse counselor to help them come to a clear understanding of the issue.

Fourth, you will be armed with more than enough information to convince the person you are trying to help that they really do need the help.

3. Enlist the help of other family members.

You don’t need to create an exhaustive profile before you share your information with other family members. If you are a single mother, you may have to enroll aunts, uncles, or cousins.

Tell them what you suspect and why you suspect it. They, too, may want to deny that there is a problem, but it will be harder to dismiss your suspicions if you have strong reasons for them.

If you can get other family members to help you, then also come to an agreement about who is the best person to talk to the person about the need to get some help. As a mother, you may be the least influential and your child may be more open to listening to a trusted aunt or first cousin.

However, before an intervention, get some professional advice on how to go about the process.

4. Speak to a mental health professional.

There are many mental health professionals who have worked with hundreds of substance abuse cases and can provide you with invaluable advice on how to conduct a successful intervention. Seek out the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist, a school psychologist, a college guidance counselor, a family doctor, or a clergy member.

When you speak to them, they may want to know certain things about your family.

a. The reasons you think your child has a substance abuse problem.

This will help them decide whether or not this is a psychological problem or one due to substance abuse.

b. The results of any substance abuse behavior you may have noticed.

  • ·  What type of alcohol do they drink?
  • ·  What type of drug have you seen in the house?
  • ·  How much do you think the person is using?
  • ·  How long has this been going on?

c. Any changes in behavior?

  • ·  What was their behavior like before they began using?
  • ·  Has it been getting worse or staying fairly consistent?
  • ·  What was your child’s response to questions or confrontations about their behavior?

Tough Love

Although confronting your child’s substance abuse is emotionally painful and may increase already difficult behavior, you should take action using these steps as a guideline. It’s not an issue about whether your child appreciates your intervention, but about getting them to a safe harbor where they will get the help they need.

What Was Decidedly NOT Brownie Batter

Part I

Part II

Part III

After what felt to be 27 years – but was more likely to have been 27 minutes – I decided that one melting down child (read: me) was enough; it was time to return to our humble room to watch some … whatever people watch in hotels that isn’t porn. When I’d skinned the kids of their wet suits, much to their vocal displeasure, I noted that they were covered tip to tail in a rash. Attributing it to over-chlorination, I felt, for the first time, pleased with the hotel. We all know kids whiz in pools with alarming frequency and by the rashes on their bodies, I figured that even if some kid dropped some pipe in the pool, it’d probably immediately be reduced into an effervescent chemical reaction that looked remarkably like pool water. The kids, on the other hand, weren’t as comforted as I. Instead of doing the right thing and plunking them into the bath, instead I tried to rub hydro-cortisone cream onto their skin.

Bad fucking news.

I halfway expected DCFS to break down the doors with the screams Mimi was emitting, noting that while they didn’t quite sheer the ugly “tropical” wallpaper from the walls, it came damn close. Feeling like total shit for making things worse, I tried to make it up to them without much success. Finally, my father returned with Culver’s which, at the very least, provided the distraction needed to move on with the evening with our eardrums intact.

We picked at the food until we deemed it “done” and began the task of cleaning the room. As I hadn’t known when we’d be lounging against the machine, I’d declined maid service for the day and embraced shopping instead. Besides, I’m perfectly capable of cleaning up a mess made in part by me and in part by those who (unfortunately for them) share my DNA. The Littles sat on the bed watching Minecraft videos and lamenting the snail’s pace of the hotel wireless while I busily cleaned the room, getting ready for the ultimate in sucktastic jobs – packing.

Soon the room was nearly clean and I steeled myself for the packing project by staring dejectedly at my suitcase, hoping that some magical packing fairy would come along and pack for me. I’m absolutely uncertain how – without purchasing a single thing – every time I go to pack, my crap has multiplied. With the kids? It’s like eleventy-niner times the amount I’d brought. When no magical packing gnome fell out of the sky or someone’s ass, I got ready to get down and dirty.

That was when something caught my eye.

Earlier that day, we’d thrown what was supposed to pass for food down our throats. I sadly ate my boring oatmeal as I jealously watched my eldest devour a chocolate chip muffin. I don’t know if the muffin was supposed to be “extra mess-worthy,” but I swear to you, Pranksters, I’ve never seen a muffin end up spattered on walls, in the hallway, and in the bedroom next door. I’d assume it’s simply Ben’s amazing ability to eat without actually getting food in his mouth, but without further inspection, I didn’t particularly care.

So that’s what I assumed it was.

More chocolate chip muffin carnage.

Because I am not a complete dick*, I grabbed some tissue to pick up the chunk on the floor – no reason to make more work for the maids, who, I’d assumed, lived in a perpetual homicidal state after cleaning up after kids all day, every day. It was, I figured, the very least I could do. Only after I’d absentmindedly picked up the chunk on the floor did I realize what it was. It wasn’t muffin wreckage. It wasn’t the remains of the airplane that vanished. It was decidedly not brownie batter. It wasn’t the Lindbergh baby or that huge ass diamond from motherfucking Titanic. It wasn’t even Carmen motherfucking Sandiego.

No.

It was a chunk of shit.

Horrified, I threw the offending turd into the garbage can and practically elevated to the bathroom to scour my hands. The kids, sensing something was wrong – I think it was the screaming and retching that tipped ’em off – stared at me all wide-eyed. I stared back at them, remembering all of the times I’d said “jeepers, mister, this room smells like a fresh dook!” when it dawned on me – without maid service in the room, the remnants of someone’s colon had been sitting on the floor since we’d checked in. We’d unknowingly slept in a hotel room in which someone had laid pipe.

Someone’s entirely digested breakfast had made its way from their colon onto the floor in my hotel room. Crawled? Deliberately placed? Oops I crapped my pants? Carelessly tossed from a rectum? Gnomes? Vampires? I scratched at the inside of my brain and could come up with no good reason why a pile of poo had been left in the room. And I knew I never would.

It was then that I suffered a complete break from reality:

“I think we’re all fucked in the head. Well I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. You’re gonna have fun, and I’m gonna have fun!”

(pants)

“We’re all gonna have so much fucking fun we’re gonna need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ out of your assholes! Holy Shit

“I think,” Alex said to his sister, “Mommy needs her medicine.”

“Yup,” she nodded. “She does.”

*Results pending

Cheeseburger in… Paradise?

Growing up, my parents weren’t much for amusement parks. They considered them to be beneath us, and every time I begged to visit one of those stop-n-drop carnivals set up around the outskirts of town, they shuddered notably and gave me a long lecture about how unsafe these things were. Considering the most hardcore attraction was a merry-go-round, I didn’t quite buy the bullshit. I don’t think I visited a Great America until I was in my early 20’s and when I did, I was horrified. The throngs of people, half of whom looked as if they’d slithered out from some rock somewhere were everywhere: peeing on things in public, pushing me out of line, and screaming at their children using words I didn’t even know existed. The five dollar, ten ounce cup of lukewarm Diet Coke hardly seemed worth the price until I realized there were no drinking fountains in the park appeared to have been sexually molested by one of those old dudes who troll around in the Child Napping vans, slowly creeping by playgrounds at 0.5 miles an hour. Half an hour into my first trip to Six Flags, I agreed with my parents – amusement parks were TOTALLY not my thing.

Which is what makes it all the more shocking.

A couple of weeks back, I got a call out of the blue from my mother. Immediately assuming someone had died, I answered the phone, panic rising.

My mom: “Hey Rebecca*, Dad had an idea.”

My father, now retired, is rife with ideas, such as “let’s organize the books in the house using the Dewy Decimal system” while my mother watches, mouth agape in horror.

Me (groans): “Yeah?”

My mom: “How would you like to take the kids to a water park?”

Me (looks outside): “Uh, Ma, isn’t it a bit… WINTER for that?”

My mom (laughs): “We were thinking of an INDOOR water park. There’s one up by Great America.”

Me: “Um, okay. I bet the kids’ll love it.”

And so the grand plans were hatched. Being a moron, I didn’t bother to ask my parents WHAT particular water park they’d intended to take us to, so when we got there, a few short weeks later, I was completely taken aback. The place was a sprawling monstrosity, the parking lots abutting it reminded me of a litter of piglets nursing a particularly ugly mother. I’d prepared myself for the very-real likelihood that one of us, at the very least, would walk away from this trip teeming with worms and other Oregon Trail diseases. Secretly, I’d been hoping to get a tapeworm from the trip, whom I’d already named Sally, because of COURSE you name something that’s slowly killing you from the inside out, but that’s neither here nor there.

For all the packing I’d done, for all the times I had to reassure my kids that this would be happy! happy! fun! time! nothing could’ve prepared me for what lay inside.

Armed with bags and blankets and backpacks and stuffed animals (the kids are on a stuffed animal kick – it’s almost like they can sense my dislike of those creepy fucking things with the eyes that watch you everywhere you go and probably sneak around the house when I’m asleep, stealing socks and pants and peeing on things), we trudged through the falling snow and grey mushy sleet inside. It was like walking into hell. Jimmy Buffet sang loudly about drinking margaritas and whatever it is that guy does besides drink margaritas over the constant din of shrieking and splashing, the chlorine in the air so heavy I was nearly bowled over. Everywhere I turned, it was flamingo shirts, gaudy “island” decor; fake tropical flowers dripping from every possible surface, squalling children who did not come from my crotchal area weaving in and out of my legs, parents nowhere to be seen. It was like a gaudy tropical resort threw up all over a large hotel in the Midwest.

I was not prepared for this. I was never going to be prepared for this. Ever. I simultaneously regretted and applauded my lazy decision not to turn to Dr. Google for the name of the water park. I couldn’t have prepared for this.

Neither, I should add, were my children, who stood in shock flanking my sides. Alex looked up at me, eyes wide, as he grabbed my leg and held on for dear life. Mimi, the more brave of the two, took a moment to gauge her surroundings before she buried her head into my guts, nearly knocking me over with the force of a terrified five-year old. My father soon joined the three of us, still standing in the entryway, the sound of the automatic doors whooshing open and shut barely audible over the cacophony.

Never one to pass up a Clark Griswold moment, he broke the silence with, “What the fuck is this place?”

We just stared at him, eyes wide, the sound of pseudo-reggae raping our ears as the chlorine choked our throats. Slowly, I shook my head.

“I…” I started, looking around as though blinders had been lifted from my eyes, “I don’t know.”

And with the chords of “Freebird,” starting up against the wall of noise, began our first family vacation.

———————–

*My parents loathe the name “Becky” and refuse to address me as anything other than “Rebecca,” which means that every time I hear it, I assume I’m in trouble.

Part II on Monday!

Ding Dong

Working in Chicago (as opposed to NOT Chicago), I tend to see a lot of weird shit. Like the circulating saw blade out in front of my office next to the rusty razor blade, which I took one look at, thought “Someone should do something about that,” realized that there was no way in hell I was going to be that somebody and went about my day. And the strange pattern of tweens attaching stuffed animals to their backpack confounds me – are they storing meth in there or something?

I work in a building full of former lofts that was probably once a sweatshop back in the days of wine and roses… *looks wistfully into the sunset* While my office is the one of two on the floor, the floor above me is home to one huge office that I’m halfway convinced trains elephants and reenacts historic Civil War battles.

Since I have to commute about 45 miles to and from the office, my journey begins at the ungodly hour of six in the morn’ (did you know that there’s a six in the morning? ME EITHER). By the time I’m in the office, I’m either so jacked up on caffeine that I’m vibrating or I’m nodding out from my train ride so I probably wouldn’t notice if the floor above me began to reenact famous battle scenes in my own office.

I was practically nodding out on my way in last Wednesday; so out of it that I’d tried repeatedly to enter an office down the block (which turned out to be a home) and nearly tweeted something about how I heart Justin Bieber.

Yeah. I know.

Through the sleep in my eyes, I punched the door code and stumbled into the foyer of the building, eyes on the prize. Or, in this case, the elevator. As I approached I noted that I was not alone in my desire to ascend floors and groaned inwardly. Not because I hate people but because I was fearful I might blurt out “Blergy-poo-Lady-Gaga” in response to “Good morning!”

We stood semi-quietly waiting for the elevator and the gentleman struck up a conversation with me. He’s one of those guys you can’t help but like, all smiles and witty banter, and I instantly forgave him for speaking to me before I had my coffee* because he was just that awesome. We chattered and chittered our way upstairs where he wished be good luck on my day as I bid him farewell.

It was then that I noticed what was probably the awesomest thing EVER to be carrying around.

There, nestled in his arms was not a backpack or ottoman. It wasn’t a bird, plane, or Superman. No.

It was a life-sized bendy-looking model penis. Complete with balls. It wasn’t – I don’t believe – a dildo, it appeared to be intended for use as a teaching device, but I couldn’t be sure. I mean, how do you say, “NICE DONG!” to someone you’ve just talked about sparkly Uggs with?

I spent the rest of the day feverishly wishing I’d had a model penis to lovingly carry around with me. It could be my new friend! We could go on adventures together! I’d call him Stampy and we’d be the very best of best friends! It was a beautiful daydream ripped apart by learning that those types of teachable penis models do not come cheaply.

But hey. At least I learned that they’re probably not reenacting historic battles replete with cannons upstairs.

They’re probably recreating all the light saber scenes from Star Wars.

With model penises.

*I fired my Thermos for poor job performance

I Had A Dream

Only because my links are sadly outdated, here are the answers to your questions:
 
To buy a Cancer is Bullshit tee, click here.
 
To buy an I Kicked Cancer’s Ass shirt, click here.
 
The rest of my shirts are here.

Before you click away, horrified that I’m about to launch into a detailed description of a dream I had about my cats going snowboarding, don’t worry, Pranksters. I know the painful retelling of dreams is second only to memes as “most annoying thing on the Internet*.”

In the Paleolithic era, when my inbred cousins were dinosaurs, I was a small child. Let’s call me “Young Aunt Becky,” because that makes the assumed familiarity sound a lot more white trash. My parents were hippies, hopelessly stuck in an era of Wall Street Boy Wonders snorting piles of coke of three thousand dollar an hour hookers, and mullet-ed Trans Am owners trying to get chicks in bikinis to lay on their car hoods while Whitesnake blasted in the background. Needless to say, they were entirely lost in this brave new world.

(pointless sidebar: weren’t we all?)

We we were a civilized bunch, if it killed my mother, we’d attend the ballet, the symphony, and the opera. While my friends visited Salmonella-infested water parks during their “family days,” my parents dragged us to look at the dusty rocks that had once resided in the pancreas of Catherine the Great. You tell me who won on “family fun days.”

And you can forget listening to Bret “I Have VD” Michaels croon about roses and thorns – that shit was beneath us. While the rest of the world fawned over Axl Roses’s mullet, we listened to public radio. All day. Every day. Most of the time, I tuned it out.

That was, of course, until the day I heard one of the commentators on NPR lose their fucking shit. See, for those of you not forced to listen to tragedies about billions of babies dying in a country I couldn’t locate on a map, public radio does their own ads. So instead of hearing Billy Mays screaming in the middle of a coke binge about my “whites getting even brighter!” It would just be one of the droning voices reading ad copy into the microphone.

And, I learned that day, it was live.

I couldn’t have been more than eight the first time I heard someone say the word “pube” on the airways. In fact, the word was so innocuous that I didn’t even recognize it for the comedy genius it is. There is no finer word in the English language than “pube,” my Pranksters. I continued going about whatever business it is that eight year olds have before I realized what was going on. My lizard brain recognized that something was gloriously rotten in the state of Denmark when I heard laughter – actual, real, laughter – emerging from the stereo. I dropped whatever I was doing and began to listen.

Did NPR REALLY just say a naughty word?

Between giggles and guffaws, the commentator choked out a few words I did happen to recognize: “shit,” “it sounds so sexual *bwahahaha* just *gasps for air*” before someone interrupted and continued in the sober, drab, dull-as-dry-toast commentary I’d grown accustomed to.

That was my first experience with the miracles of naughty words on NPR. And it left me with the singular desire to have more, MORE! debauchery, more nasty, more gross, more AWESOME words on public radio. For years, I suffered through other people listening to public radio in my presence – some would cluck their disapproval when some far-away land experienced a life-shattering earthquake, while I, having spent my young life listening to these tragedies, played an eternal loop of Britney Spears in my head. Accused once of “not caring” about the “social injustice in the world,” I merely laughed – this coming from a slacktavist who worked at a garage door company. I was in nursing school at the time.

Still, I listened diligently. And still, I heard nothing. No “pubes,” no “shit,” no maniacal laughter when someone fucked the shit up on NPR. Not a single naughty word on NPR was to be had; instead, I had to listen to people who spoke through a mouthful of grogginess in a sleep-inducing lull. And nothing. I’d nearly given up my dream of listing for naughty words on NPR.

That was, until Thursday, when I was finally able to cross an item off my ever-implausible bucket list.

I stepped into a cab Thursday morning, dodging the icicles hanging precariously from the tall building, glinting sinisterly in the early morning sun. I announced my intended address to the cabbie and away we went. I stared out the window, trying to rattle my brain into coherency as we drove, halfway listening to NPR while trying to connect still-asleep synapses.

And there it was.

Completely detached and speaking through a mouthful of marbles, an NPR announcer made my dream come true without even realizing it. Barely listening, my ears perked up when she said in a dull monotone, “Poo.”

While it’s not the “motherfucker,” I’d been praying for since I was 8, it was a damn good substitute. Like most people, I find the word poo hilarious, in part because my hippie parents insisted we refer to bodily functions as they were named. We did not shit. We did not piss. We “urinated.” We “defecated.”

I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed to admit that the word “poo” still sends me into gales of laughter. Which is precisely what I did when I heard it in the cab. I laughed until a stream of saline spurted from eyes and rolling down my face. My sides hurt. My back ached. I pulled an intercostal muscle. And I didn’t care. The pain meant nothing.

I had finally realized my dream. NPR said naughty words to the sounds of my thrilled – yet cold – ears. And, my Pranksters, there is nothing sweeter than that.

Somewhere, my parents are feeling an intense pull of pride toward their only daughter…

…or not.

*I am the second-most annoying thing on the Internet.

Okay, Pranksters, YOUR TURN – what’s the most ridiculous have on your “I must do this before I die” list? (I overarching loathe the term “bucket list”)

Guest Post: Getting More Science In The Classroom

Every now and again, Pranksters, I get pitched an article that’s worth sharing (not, obviously written by you – because I’m so bringing Guest Post Friday’s back. Email becky.harks@gmail.com if you have a hilarious story you think other Pranksters will dig) and I do it.
 
Also: given the overwhelming response to the idea of bringing back “Go Ask Aunt Becky,” if you look at the top of my blog, you’ll see that Go Ask Aunt Becky (link goes to the submission page!) is back! You can submit questions through that tab – easy-peasy. Once I have a couple of questions, I’ll start writing it again every Sunday. Because even though the Internet is closed on Sunday; SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY.
 
Which makes me think of “sundae” which *drools*
 
Anyway – BRING ON THE SCIENCE!

The White House has instituted an annual White House Science Fair to focus attention on the importance of science education in the nation’s schools. The fair involves more than 100 middle school and high school students who display their inventions and projects for the president, education officials and the media. In his address at the 2013 fair the president linked the importance of science and technology to America’s future, as well as to his own educational policies. President Obama said “The belief that we belong on the cutting edge of innovation, that’s an idea as old as America itself.

You think about our Founding Fathers – they were all out there doing experiments – and folks like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, were constantly curious about the world around them and trying to figure out how can we help shape that environment so that people’s lives are better.

According to comparative studies American students score 23rd in science when compared with 65 other top industrial nations, behind countries such as Estonia, Finland, Hungary and New Zealand.  This, scientists and other educators believe, is unacceptable. The President’s own Council of Advisers on Science and Technology issued a statement which declared that “economic forecasts point to a need for producing, over the next decade, approximately 1 million more college graduates in STEM fields than expected under current assumptions.”

Science educators are thrilled to see the increased emphasis on K-12 science education. Many of these educators have banded together to create a list of suggestions that, they believe, will return America’s students to a top place in science education. These suggestions include:

*Concentrate on front-load STEM-related teaching. Tap into the students’ natural curiosity and integrate science education into the school’s curriculum as early as first grade. One Chicago school has shown considerable success in beginning science education in preschool by integrating it into story time, puzzle time, play time and just about any other time of the day.

*Include science education in teacher training programs. More science-knowledgeable teachers will feel comfortable with science and will be motivated and prepared to integrate science curriculum into the children’s daily lessons.

*Don’t segregate science classes from the rest of the curriculum. Schools that “specialize” in sciences shouldn’t be the norm – every school should see science as a subject that is as important to the students’ future as math and English.

*Find ways to adopt forms of scientific methods in the pedagogy of all classes, including building models, arguing from evidence-based facts and communicating findings. These techniques can help develop students’ critical thinking skills and make science into a comfortable and familiar way of thinking.

*Stay in contact with nonprofit organizations (such as Project Lead Way) that are dedicated to supplemental training of teachers in the sciences. Good teachers will be open to additional training and their curiosity will inspire their students. Students who take courses from a well-trained teacher will be more dedicated to their coursework and more interested in the subject matter than their peers who don’t have well-trained teachers. Lowell Milken, an educational leader, has notes that “The most direct and enduring way to reach the mind and imagination of the learner is through the mind, imagination and character of the outstanding teacher.”

*Additional corporations and non-profits should be encouraged to donate towards enhancing teachers’ abilities. School districts and principals should make full use of these auxiliary institutions.

Ask any adult “Don’t you wish you had better and more engaging access to science education when you were in school?” The answer will almost always be: “yes.” With the proper attention and resources now America can make that wish a reality for today’s student.

2013: (Insert Catchy Phrase Here)

Generally speaking, I think memes are as interesting as dry toast, so I tend to avoid them. If anyone really cared much about “which Disney Princess I am,” I’d begin to wonder about your sanity, Pranksters. I’m used to seeing that shit on The Facebook (along with invites to Farmville – which, if I want to have a farm, I will plant real crops in real dirt) Once a year, though, right about this time, I am compelled to answer the same questions I’ve been answering since I chipped out my homework on a tablet of granite and road a dinosaur to school.

Despite my dislike of answering mundane questions about myself that no one cares about, I admit that I am a weeeeeee bit compulsive. As in, for the year I barely blogged, I ran around The FBI Surveillance Van flapping my arms like a chicken, not knowing what to DO with myself. And since I do this every year, I do this EVERY motherfucking YEAR.

(Pointless aside: As proof that I do not actually have a life, I offer this spectacle of year(s) in review: 2012 here, 2011 here, 2010 here2009 here, 2008 here, 2007 here, 2006 here. I have 2005 somewhere in an email, which is where I’d gotten this stupid meme in the first place)
 
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Papered my walls with the souls of the gnomes that power my refrigerator. Oh. Um. Wait. *chuckles uncomfortably* I didn’t MEAN that.

Whelp – hrms. I got my own insurance card. That’s kinda rad.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My resolutions is usually fairly preposterous – two (three?) years ago, I vowed NOT to turn into Lil Wayne (that link is SO worth it, I promise) because every time I try and make some lofty goal, the Universe flips me the bird. And guess what? I still wake up every day and am NOT Lil Wayne! Way to GO!

This year, I vow NOT to visit the state of Delaware. Not because I have anything against it (shit, I don’t even know anyone who lives there) or some bizarre personal vendetta, but because it seems like something I can resolve NOT to do.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Every year it alternates – The Facebook V. The Twitter in the amount of blurry ultrasound images that are PROBABLY of a baby, but could just be an ultrasound image of a neck or something. This year, The Facebook is pregnant. ALL of it. Even the floating fetuses (or necks) are pregnant.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unless you count the death of my dream to marry my television husband, Dexter a death, no.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A pet squirrel.

6. What countries did you visit?

According to the official statement released by the FBI Surveillance Van, the answer is “none.”

Quotes intentional.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

Um. I ate a cookie yesterday. That was pretty awesome.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

 Not turning into Lil Wayne. Or *shudders* Lady Gaga.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not taming a squirrel to be my best friend, confidant, butler, or minion. I did feed one once before I realized it was boring as fuck.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I fell off the train. My pride has yet to heal.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Reasons I know I’m turning into an old fart – I bought a new winter coat that’s all super warm and shit. And it made me happy in the pants. How pathetic is that?

(on second thought, don’t answer that)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Um. The squirrel who decided that I would NOT make a good housemate.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

C’mon, Meme – are we 12? Oh. We are? In that case: TERRORISTS. I’ve heard they don’t even like BACON.

Also: The Hamburgler. Who the fuck steals someone’s hamburger? AN ASSHOLE, THAT’S WHO.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Renting the FBI Surveillance Van. When I renewed my lease, I didn’t even get a new air freshener shaped like a wee whimsical merry tree. I should sue somebody. Anybody.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My vagina is totally tickled pink that my girl Britney is doing a show in Vegas because LET’S GO TO VEGAS, PRANKSTERS!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

 “The Monster” from Eminem and Rhianna.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?  Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner.

iii. richer or poorer? Well, I’ll tell you this: last year this time, I was working as a freelancer. Now? I spend my days in an office (a real one, not my bathroom) writing. All day. I’ll let you guess which one I am.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reminding myself that things work out – one way or another, they always work out.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about the future.

20. How will you be did you spending Christmas?

Dave and the kids came over to the FBI Surveillance Van Christmas morning to open a metric fuckton of presents and eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Then, we hightailed it to my parents house with the kids because it’s TRADITION, Meme.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21.

I’ll make up my own question:

21. Why does the term “designer drugs” conjure up an image of a bunch of pills hanging out wearing tiny Chanel and Prada clothing and snappy accessories?

Um, I think that’s the point of the name – to make you feel you’re better than the wino down the street whispering “fucksticks” at every passerby.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Only if you count “every time I looked in the mirror.”

23. How many one-night stands?

More than you can count. My vagina was like a revolving door for penises (penii?).

Actually, none.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

The Following. I hate to admit it, but I’d sorta lost my lust for Dexter in the past couple of years.

*whimpers* Please stop throwing things at me.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

The Hamburgler, obviously. And anyone who manufactures gravy in a can because that’s just fucking wrong.

26. What was the best book you read?

Grey’s Anatomy. Seriously.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

How can one “discover” music that’s been written by someone else, produced by another person, then promoted by a third entity?

28. What did you want and get?

I’d wanted to find world peace. Instead I got peed on.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

The last time I saw a movie in the theater was in 2009 (+/- a year). I did see Skyfall and, like most James Bond movies, I loved it without understanding what it was about AT ALL.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 this year and hid under the bed, only to emerge for some tapas and champagne.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Owning a unicorn that farted Skittles.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

“Whelp, this shirt doesn’t involve swearing – guess I can wear it to school conferences.”

34. What kept you sane?

Sanity is overrated.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Kim Kardashian’s ass. I fancied the HELL out of that.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

“Butter side up” versus “butter side down” had me awake more nights than I’m comfortable admitting to.

37. Who did you miss?

Billy Mays.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Dan. He’s pretty swell.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

“Smart Water” doesn’t actually make your IQ increase.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (because this Meme is apparently written for tweens):

“Dumb ways to die; so many dumb ways to die.”

—————-

The rest of the meme says I should tag some people but, eh, I don’t tag people. It makes me twitchy. Mostly because I’ll forget someone and then, then I’ll feel sad in the pants.

INSTEAD.

I’m tagging each of you. If I can do one Meme a year, SO CAN YOU, Pranksters.

Happy Happy New Year, Pranksters.

Time to show your work and link this shit UP!

Panic! In The Elevator

When my kids were little and we’d get onto an elevator, they’d get this horrified look on their face like, WHATTHEFUCKISHAPPENING? And I was all, I know EXACTLY how you feel.

See, eleventy-niner years ago (rough estimate), I worked for a much-hated insurance company. While the company was a hot pile of bullshit, my job was actually to look for loopholes in insurance plans to allow people to cheat the system. While my title wasn’t “System Cheater,” like I’d regularly petitioned, I wasn’t one of the total assholes. At work, at least. Still, that didn’t stop people from regularly coming up to me and saying, “Wow, you work for Evil Insurance Company? I’d like to take a machete and cut off your fucking head and shit down your neck hole.” Didn’t EXACTLY boost morale, so when I quit, it was kind of a relief – at least my head would stay atop my spindly neck to annoy another day.

Anyway.

While I was usually one of those bring your lunch people (read: I bought a bag of baby carrots and diet Coke and ate them at my desk), occasionally my co-workers would strong-arm me into popping down to the bottom floor to eat lunch at the semi-pathetic cafeteria there. Normally, I was into taking the stairs because sitting at a desk all day, pouring over insurance plans to find ways to cheat the system wasn’t exactly getting the old heart pumping.

But when I took lunch with my friends, one of them had a problem with her knee and couldn’t exactly take the stairs without running the risk of falling down and smashing her head open like a melon. So I’d take the elevator with them, feeling like a total lazy-ass for going down four fucking floors when I had perfectly functional legs.

One day, we all piled onto the elevator like a bunch of puppies and pressed the basement button. We chatted idly about who would win American Idol that year, how the rain was good for my garden, and what a raging cuntbag our big boss happened to be when it happened.

A screech of metal gnashing upon metal, the lights flickered, and the elevator car fell for a couple of feet before grinding to a halt. Never having been one to be fearful of elevators (despite my fears of other things such as the color orange and fish – all fish), my heart began to pound. Desperately, we pressed the “DON’T TOUCH THIS UNLESS YOU MEAN IT” emergency button – the very same button my kids ALWAYS try to press because you’re not supposed to press it – and waited, sweating and panicked for someone to respond. The tinny voice coming out of the box informed us that the fire department would be there as soon as they stopped busting teenage smokers or whatever it is fire departments do in boring towns.

We settled in for the long haul. That is, all of us but one settled in for the long haul. As I sat on the floor, bored and hungry, there was that one guy. THAT guy. There’s always THAT guy. And this time, it was a girl.

I tried to be understanding, I really did. Getting trapped in an elevator wasn’t exactly how I planned to spend my lunch break either. And shit, I was a little claustrophobic, too, but I was determined not to be all Chicken Little and Panic! In The Elevator because I knew it would make it worse.

I don’t fault her for the panic. I do, however, wish she’d managed to control her screaming “WE’RE GONNA DIIIIEEE!” replete with pulling out her hair and clawing at her face, mostly because it seemed histrionic rather than genuine fear. Luckily, the fire department got there and pried the doors open before she could begin to eat her shit, as she’d been screaming she’d do. Why? I don’t know. Apparently that’s what some people do when they’re scared.

Me? I smother myself in condiments and try to get at least ONE person to wrestle me in a vat of baked beans.

Different strokes and all that.

What do YOU do when you’re scared o! Pranksters, my Pranksters?

—————-
How have you been my Pranksters? I’ve missed you so much! C’mon over, grab a nice cup of coffee and tell Your Aunt Becky what’s been going on in YOUR world.

Siri Is A Fucking Bitch

Despite my plans to run through the Apple store up the block screaming “Android Rulez!” (and yes, the “z” is absolutely necessary) every time Apple launches a new product, I’ve yet to do it. Why? Because that would be a hot, steaming pile of bullshit. I miss my i(can’t)Phone like I miss butter. Wait, back up. I still eat butter. No, not by the STICK or anything, but alas, I digress.

My coworkers and I had gone out for lunch on Monday because, well, FOOD, DUH, and we’re used to the whole “working lunch” thing which basically means we try not to drool on the keyboard as we work. In my case, as you may have guessed, this is more of a reality than it is for the rest of my coworkers. On the way back, my coworkers rubbed their awesome i(can’t)Phones in my face as I tried to make my Android pull up a text message*

*note, it did NOT work

by showing me how awesome Siri is.

And by “awesome,” I mean, “she sucks.” While Ryan got Siri to tell him a story, I couldn’t even get my phone to turn on. When I asked the bland Android female robot in my phone to “tell me a joke,” my phone sorta did this fizzle-out thing and turned itself off. Apparently, my Android doesn’t like awesome. Or me.

Now, I’ve been working hard to stalk one of my coworkers as it seems like a good thing to do. Not because I really have the time to wipe my ass these days, but because, well, I’VE NEVER STALKED ANYONE. I can imagine getting a telephoto lens and taking rando surveillance photos o him doing such things as “taking out the trash,” and “eating an apple,” and then developing them in the darkroom I don’t have, then pasting them above my bed. Why? IT JUST SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA.

Because I have absolutely no filter, he knows my plan to stalk him and is perfectly happy to allow me up to two minutes each work day to do so. We’ve gone to great lengths to determine what “stalking” entails – it’s not standing and having a conversation or even doing that standing uncomfortably close massaging his shoulders and creepily whispering “Hey Buddy,” in his ear. He’s immune to all that. I think it’s because he’s from New York and that’s probably how people there greet one another. Or maybe they sniff each the other’s butt. I don’t really know.

The last time we spent time discussing my stalking habits, my coworker Ryan overheard us yammering on and was all, I should do something. Thanks, Ryan. So what does he do? He whips out his cell phone and tells Siri,

“Help, Becky is stalking me.”

Siri responded by providing him local emergency contacts. I can’t take a picture on my phone and Siri is ready to make Ryan coffee, walk his dog, and protect him from the big, bad, mean girl in the office.

I guess I should be grateful that Siri didn’t actually call the police or anything, but really, I’m just pissed off that the bitch can’t even tell me where to bury a body.

Wait. What?

A Divorce of a *Different* Color

(ring ring)

Dave: “Hey, just calling to see what time you’d be by to pick up the kids tonight.”

Me: “Erms…kids? I have kids?”

Dave: “Well, I think so.”

Me: “Huh.”

Dave: “But… they do sometimes make mistakes with these things.”

Me: “Must’ve been a burrito and an overworked L and D nurse.”

Dave: “Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too.”

Me: “Well, I guess I’ll be by to pick up these so-called “kids of mine” between 6-6:10 depending upon the train.”

Dave: “That works.”

Me: “I mean, if they ARE my “children” after all.”

Dave: “They’re actually reporting to the NSA about all the times you go to the bathroom.”

Me: “I KNEW there was something funny about the way they looked at me when I said I had to go to the bathroom again.”

Dave: “Ha-ha.”

Me: “I’ll text when I get close.”

Dave: “OH! And have you looked at the settlement agreement?”

Me: “Well, I did notice it was lacking in something very important.”

Dave: “What?”

Me: “Nowhere in it does it stipulate that I get a pony.”

Dave: “I must’ve left it out.”

Me: “Well, that’s a must. Please write it in or I won’t sign it.”

Dave: “I may have to cross “And Becky gets a pony” out of the final settlement.”

Me: “So long as the judge takes note of that.”

Dave: “I’m sorry I overlooked such a viable part of your future.”

Me: “You and me both. See you tonight!”

Dave: “Laters!”

Me: “Bye, yo.”

It didn’t dawn on me until after I hung up the phone that I didn’t specify if the pony had to be alive or not. Devil in the details and all that.