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In college, I had to take what I called, “Bible Class” and it was the first time I actually cracked open the Bible. Well, other than the times I read aloud random passages from the hotel rooms I was staying in (much, I should add, to the chagrin to whomever I happened to be staying with). Thank you I say now, o! wily Gideon’s, for supplying me with Bibles to read from to annoy my fellow travelers with.

I read the book cover to cover and learned a lot about what the rest of the religious world was talking about. Things that most of you probably just inherently knew, but for someone like me who grew up saying “Good food, good meat, good God, let’s eat” as a bastardized version of Grace, I simply was flabbergasted. There really is, I should add now, no fucking separation of church and state.

Anyway. I married someone who grew up in a family who is so religious that they’re probably still reeling from the PTSD from meeting me and finding out that yes, their son loves a heathen.

For Ash Wednesday one year, I was working on the floor and the pastor happened to be walking around giving out the cross on the forehead, and in the name of Trying Something New, I had decided to give up using “fuck” for Lent. It should go without saying that I am not Catholic, but I was reading the Bible and figured that it was a good idea to TRY it out.

Aunt Becky Gives Up The Eff Word:

The Daver: “What’s on your forehead?”

Aunt Becky: “Ashes.”

The Daver: “From?”

Aunt Becky: “I gave up using “fuck” for Lent.”

The Daver: “You know that means you can’t say it, right?”

Aunt Becky: “FUCK.”

Lent FAIL.

Aunt Becky Goes Crucifix Shopping:

The Daver: “Shit, I need to pick up something for the Christening on Sunday. Can you pick up something for my new Goddaughter?”

Aunt Becky: “Something…?”

The Daver: “Just go to the religious store in town and get her something.”

Aunt Becky: “Bwahahahahahahahahaha!”

The Daver: “You know, like a pearl something.”

Aunt Becky: “I’m going to go and get her a gigantic crucifix.”

The Daver: “No.”

Aunt Becky: “Like a gigantic BLEEDING crucifix for them to hang in her room.”

The Daver: “NO!”

Aunt Becky: “I want it to have like realistic blood and everything. I’m thinking something in the market of…8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. That should take up at least part of the wall of the nursery.”

The Daver: “Becky, that’s not funny.”

Aunt Becky: “Maybe they can hang it over her bassinet! To keep out The Devil. I think it would be lovely to watch over her.”

The Daver: “Becky, that’s really not funny at all.”

Aunt Becky: “Neither is sending me into a religious store. I don’t know FUCK about this shit, Dave. Besides, YOU are the Godfather, not me. Also, YOU are the heavenly one.”

The Daver: “Please?”

Aunt Becky: “Do you think this sort of crucifix is a custom job?”

Christening FAIL.

(ed note: Dave didn’t speak to me for an entire week. Also, I bought the kid a nice bracelet with a tasteful non-gory cross on it.)

What religion will Aunt Becky mess up next?

It’s like Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? except with RELIGION.

I cannot allow myself to be motivated by fear. If I do that, I’ll spend the rest of my life not trying to do something I really think I should be able to do – even if I suck.

So I’m going for it. I read your comments yesterday and they made me do the ugly cry (luckily, I have no photographic evidence to support this) but they were right. YOU were right. And I thank you for it.

I don’t like to half-ass things. I go balls to the wall, y’all or I go home.

Deep breath. Don’t panic.

It’s time to put those essays into a single document and work my ass off on them.

And I will.

Because you believe in me, I can believe in myself.

Anyone have any suggestions for me? How the shit do I find myself an agent (AGAIN)?

“Okay guys, it’s time to get ready for bed! Ben, brush your teeth. Alex, go to the bathroom,” I holler from the other room, where I’ve been hiding from the Wii and it’s incessantly cheerful music. My head feels like someone stuck it in a vice and turned the crank to 11.

*Spinal Tap Interlude*

The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Exactly.

Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?

Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

I don’t know.

Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Put it up to eleven.

Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

[pause] These go to eleven.

—————

That was like a guitar solo – BUT BETTER.

Anyway. My headache. It’s one larger than ten. It goes to 11.

But I’m not gonna be all Mommy Dearest about it – the kids aren’t at fault, but I’m totally itching to lay down in the dark and watch some Pawn Stars* before sacking out myself.

I can hear Alex’s padded feet tromping toward me for a quick cuddle goodnight and I open my arms for his embrace – which generally occurs at about 827 miles an hour. You gotta brace yourself for that one.

The other one, my big son, begins to wail. Not actual tears but like the typical teenage bullshit, “Oh my GOD, how DARE you, blah blah blah.” I try to ignore his outbursts, but rather than tire himself out (like I’m hoping), he just keeps on. I’ve never MET someone so good at thoroughly beating a dead horse until it’s nothing but dry bones.

He’ll go on for hours – bemoaning his horrid fate of having to brush his teeth, which, I should tell you, Pranksters, is, according to him – “the WORST thing that could ever happen to him.” He’ll argue that point too. Just like he’ll argue that the sky is, last time he checked, green and not blue, and really Mom, how could you be SUCH an IDIOT**.

I’d probably let him continue to rail on and ignore him, but he’ll follow me around like the world’s crabbiest puppy, making damn sure I’m good and aware that he is not happy with me. Nothing is immune to his attacks – chores he’s been doing for four years are still the OTHER worst thing ever besides that one worst thing that was worser.

If I ask him to vacuum, it’s like I’ve asked him to vacuum with his nose. If I ask him to put something away, it’s like he’s stepping on broken glass to perform such a deadly chore. When I tell him to brush his teeth, it’s like I’ve told him to do so with tin foil.

I’m about ready to show him footage of kids in third world countries just to drive home the point that hey, it’s not THAT bad. But he’d probably tell me he’d rather be there, living in a hut, without a Wii, away from Yours Truly.

Ah, the teenage years. So glad you’ve visited my house.

Unrelated (totally related): Anyone want a surly 10 year old? He’s sure anywhere is better than here.

*Hey, at least it’s not the Kardashians

**the Internet wonders the same thing.

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