Friday, January 29, 2010

An Engaging Engagement

I often enjoy reading the engagement announcements in the newspaper. Even though I am certain to not recognize anybody in the announcement, I guess it's my way of being nosy without side effects.

What I don't understand is, why do the authors of these announcements turn it into a resume'? Here's a sample engagement announcement:

Mr. and Mrs. Hershal Lunatic of Livingston, NJ announce the engagement of their daughter, Naive to Tyler Snodgrass, son of Harvey and Matilda Snodgrass of East Bumfuck, NJ.

Naive Lunatic graduated from County College with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2000 and is now a Kindergarten teacher at Elm Street Elementary School.

(Then it goes on to give the credentials for the potential groom.) With an ending of: The wedding is planned for April 2010.

Why are they giving us their education and career background? Is that necessary when announcing their engagement? Where they work or went to school is not relevant to them getting married. Unless you know multiple people with that exact name and if the photograph doesn't narrow it down, I guess you could narrow it down by the background. "OH, it's THAT Naive Lunatic! I thought it was the Naive Lunatic who also went to County College but is a Customer Service Rep.


A true engagement announcement should include the following:

A.How the couple met.
B. What led them to their circumstances (i.e.. why they were single)
C. How he (or she) proposed.
D. Where the wedding is (which is usually included anyway).

For example:

Mr. and Mrs. Hershal Lunatic of Livingston, NJ are freaking overjoyed that their 32 year old daughter Naive is finally getting hitched to Tyler Snodgrass, son of Harvey and Matilda of East Bumfuck, NJ.

Naive and Tyler met when Tyler was rebounding from his prior girlfriend, Ashley. Tyler was drinking in Hoboken with his guy friends when Naive fell for his bullshit line that he thought he knew her. At the time, Naive was celebrating her friend's bachlorette party. Showing a brave face but internally whining that she wants to meet a guy too. After two years of breaking up and getting back together, Naive finally made an ultimatum. Of course, Tyler didn't want to be tied down like that, but then he thought he figured he wouldn't have to work anymore to "get the goods". Tyler popped the question in the most UNORIGINAL way by putting the ring in a dessert when they had dinner out. But then again, Naive took all the fun out of the proposal because she had already personally picked out the ring and knew a proposal was coming. He might as well asked her at the jewelry store.

The wedding is planned for Spring 2010 and will be held at the Snooty Country Club. The bride is focusing on colors, theme and decorating crap. She doesn't realize that nobody gives a SHIT about any of that stuff except: If the food is good, if the bar is OPEN and the music is danceable.

The groom's friends are giving it two years - TOPS.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Makes Me, ME

The following is not a put down on my parents. Merely, funny and strange occurrences that have happened which I believe has made me the nutcase I am today. Though not all of these stories have been witnessed, by siblings or otherwise, I am swearing that they ALL really did happen.

Let me preface by saying that my parents were not in any way, shape or form abusive or neglectful. As far as parents go, they were pretty awesome. From age three to age 14 they sent me to camp. They paid my college tuition (and would have paid for my Masters if Montclair College -oops University - didn't reject me for my MBA. Assholes!). They did this also for my siblings as well. They never kicked me out of the house or required that I pay rent. I also always had awesome birthday parties and they brought me up not ever "wanting for anything" yet did not spoil me.

On occasion, they just said or did some WACKY things! I'm going to try and do this in chronological order:

1. EAT YOUR MASHED POTATOES!: As a child I was a slow eater. My mom would sit and wait at the table while I finished and everyone else would get up and do their thing. One time, everyone had already left but I still had mashed potatoes on my plate. I told my mother that I was full and she replied "eat your mashed potatoes". I insisted that I could not eat anymore and her response was that I better eat them or I would be wearing them. Well, I certainly couldn't eat them without busting a gut so my mom took the plate of mashed potatoes and shoved it in my face! If that wasn't bad enough, she brought me outside to where my friends and siblings were playing and yelled "Hey everybody! This is how Stacey eats her mashed potatoes"! Then she brought me to the bathroom and filled the bathtub with about a centimeter of water and expected me to take a bath in it. To this day, I absolutely LOVE mashed potatoes and usually over extend myself when eating of them.

2. GET OFF THE TOILET NOW!: I am not quite sure how old I was but this is the first memory I have of feeling REALLY insignificant (which is pretty much the theme here). I believe I was in elementary school around 4th grade. Well, I was sitting on the toilet and I hear my father come in the front door, presumably from work and run up the stairs in a panic. He sees the closed bathroom door and says "Who's in there?"
I answer "I am" (what else?). He opens the door sees me on the toilet and forces me to get off. Now I am almost certain he only verbally forced me, not yanked me off the toilet or anything. But I am also pretty certain that his words were all it took. What my father said, went. From this day on I do pee / poop very quickly. I believe this incident scarred me from having a relaxing time doing my business. By the way, we had another bathroom. Why he couldn't run back down the stairs is beyond me.

3. OH,BY THE WAY, DID I MENTION THAT GRANDMA IS DEAD?: A little background information. By the time I was 2 all of my grandparents had passed except my maternal Grandmother. In fact, I didn't even realize that my grandmother was my mother's mother. I mean, my father didn't have a mother, and both my father and mother didn't have fathers. But I knew she was my Grandma and that was all that mattered to have a special relationship. Well, the summer going from I think 6th grade to 7th grade I was away at sleep away camp. My mother told me (in July)that Grandma is sick and that I should write her letters. I wrote letters all summer long and mailed them home for my mom to deliver. On top of that I made all of these arts and craft projects and saved them to personally deliver to her when I got home from camp. I remember specifically making a Chai (hebrew number 18 and symbol of good luck) and I made her a heart both from the copper enamics art class. I think I still even have it in a box in my closet at the house I grew up in. Anyway, the summer is over, I arrive home and my parents take (us) out for dinner. Then they drop the bomb! Grandma died. What??? When???

In friggin July!!!! So I was writing letters and making art projects for a dead person? They didn't think to tell me then? I kind of understand their logic: they didn't want to ruin my summer, and being a 10 year old, what was I going to do anyway? They would have to drive all the way to Pennsylvania to pick me up to bring me to the funeral, and that would just be inconvenient. Still, I think it's kind of weird. Maybe they could have sent me a postcard.

4. SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BABYSIT, SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND: When I was a camp counselor, one of the camper's parents asked me to babysit. Honestly, the kids were awesome. They had fun games to play with, they went to bed when I told them to and on top of that the parents paid $10.00 an hour!!! That was back in the mid 80's which is pretty damn good. Anyway, that summer, like most, I had the boyfriend du season (my summertime boyfriend - to be dumped immediately after labor day). So the parent calls my house and I had unfortunate timing. I was not home and my mother answered!!! UGH! She should never, never, answer the phone, especially if the call is not intended for her (but how would she know that unless she answered, right?). She tells this awesome parent who pays $10 an hour that I am not interested in babysitting because I have a boyfriend. WHAT????? THAT WAS SOOO NOT THE CASE. My mom ruined it for me!!! By the way, I can't even remember boyfriend du season's name but I do remember that the kids were Jamie and David P. of Livingston.

5.I JUST FARTED AND I FEEL BETTER: Ok, so I think I pretty much went unscathed from 10 years old until I was a freshman in college. Granted my mom went on with her inappropriate comments but nothing that affected me directly. Well, Freshman year my friend Susan calls me and during our conversation she asked "How is your dad?" I kind of think it's strange because it's not like she asked "How are your parents?" You know, asking to be nice. I say "Fine, I guess". Then she asks me if he is out of the hospital yet. "What are you talking about, Susan". She answers that he had a heart attack. I quickly hang up and call home. I ask my mom about dad and she says that he is fine, he's right there next to her, not in the hospital. Susan is crazy. I had my mom put my dad on the phone and he said he had chest pains but then on the way to the doctor's office, he farted and everything is fine. Susan must have heard wrong. Well, I accepted this answer..but guess what?? A couple of months later during a long weekend I brought a friend from college home. While sitting in the den, my father said to my friend "Would you like to see my scar from my pacemaker?" So not only did they lie about having a heart attack but my friend finds out about it and the pacemaker before I did! And we were in the same room!

6. OH NO, MY PARENTS ARE GETTING DIVORCED: Sophomore year of college my parents drove up to Rhode Island to pay me a visit. Now you don't understand my parents. They just don't drive a couple of hundred miles to say hi and pay a visit to their daughter. It just wasn't in them (as you will see in my #7). When they arrived my friend Lisa was in my dorm room. They asked her to leave the room because they wanted to talk to me privately. I got a little tingly because I had a premonition that they were going to tell me that they were getting a divorce. Honestly, I wasn't upset..I was actually quite excited. I mean, I have seen children of divorced parents and the parents like to play "Can you top this" with spoiling their children. Well, they proceed to tell me that they have bad news and the news is that my cat, Howard died. I have had this cat since the first grade. I was upset, but seriously, I thought this could have been handled over the phone. It's just so ironic that they DON'T tell me when Grandma dies but they drive 200 miles to tell me that my cat died??????????????? Totally screwed up!!

Growing up, you always here "Don't talk to strangers" or "never get in a car with a stranger, even if he says he has a lost puppy". Usually it's a parent or adult saying it to a child. In my case, my parents ENCOURAGED me to get into a car with a stranger!?! It was on the Sunday after Thanksgiving my Freshman year of college (Probably one of the busiest traffic days all year). I had gotten a ride home from a girl in my dorm but she had a two seater car. She called me to tell me that over the weekend her mom took her shopping and there was just no room in the car for me. Well, I had some stuff to bring back to school too and I had too much stuff to take on the train by myself. My parents would just have to take me. We left early morning and about an hour later we were still on the Parkway since there was A LOT of traffic. Phones built into cars had just become popular and my father insisted (though it was only 9:00 a.m.) that he call my brother to tell him that they would not be home until midnight. My father's constant complaining was seriously causing me to have suicidal thoughts. Only there were no sharp objects in the car. Every time we passed another car that had a "University of Rhode Island" sticker on the back window, my father would ask me if I knew that person. One time, we passed an older lady in a car that had a sticker. He asked me if she was one of my teachers. When I replied "No" he asked if I was sure. Yes, I'm sure that none of my professors commuted to Rhode Island from New Jersey. Anyway, I could only tolerate this for so long! As we are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic my father spots another car with a URI sticker on it. He again asked if I knew him but this time, so fed up, I said facetiously "No, but would you like me to ask him to take me to school?" I rolled down my window, asked the guy if he was going to URI. When he replied that he was, I asked him if he would take me. Next thing you know, he was pulled over, my dad pulled over, handed him some money, put my bags in his trunk and said "take my daughter to school". Great, so not only was this guy going to kill me, but my father just paid him cash to do it!. Obviously I got to school just fine since I am here to tell all about it. He even invited me to his fraternity house for a party that night AND carried my bags up four flights of stairs. The even better news: My parents bought me a car so that I could drive MYSELF to school!

Honorable Mention: In the 5th grade I fell while roller skating at Livingston Roller Rink. When I came home and told my mother, she refused to take me to the hospital because she said that I was faking it for attention. (Actually it was my Aunt who suggested I was faking, but my mom was easily persuaded). After spending the night in her bed and waking every hour in pain, she finally took me to the hospital the next day. Yep, it was broken.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Don't kid yourself, Your Kid is not cute.

I have always wondered...Do parents of ugly children REALLY believe that their kids are cute? I realize that when babies are born, mothers (and fathers) are usually delusional and believe that their baby is gorgeous and the best looking baby ever. I did not have that delusion. Not trying to be mean, but when my daughter was born she wasn't cute. She had big eyes and her tongue hung out of her mouth. Fortunately she quickly became adorable. And no, I'm not being one of those delusional mothers I am writing about. Even strangers would come up to me and tell me how pretty she was (and still is). A stranger would not do that. A stranger would just not say anything at all. Anyway, anyone who knows my true identity would be happy to back me up on this.

There are other ways parents are delusional into thinking their kid is cute, other than just their physical features. There are moms (and dads) who think that whatever their kid does or says is just hysterical and so original. Every time you see them they have some stupid anecdote about their child.

There is such a mother in my daughter's Saturday class. Her kid is U-G-L-Y. I know, I know, it's mean to say about a child. But I'm not saying it to to the kid's face or anything. It really is just a fact. On the first day I swear I thought someone dressed up a pet monkey in a pink tu-tu. I can't believe that anyone would think that this kid is cute. But the mother just goes on and on about her child. She always brings up these stupid stories like "oh and then she said 'no mommy, I'm tree not two'". And she acts like this is just the funniest thing. I just want to tell her that the story was not so funny and we (well I) really don't care. When looking and listening to her, in my head I'm actually thinking her kid is not nearly as cute as the mother believes her to be and quite frankly the mother is annoying too. At the same time I'm wondering if my face is reflecting that I am interested in her story or if she can tell that I just don't give a crap and stop talking to me.

The worst, worst is when an ugly kid misbehaves. One time in my daughter's music class there was this girl around 2 or 3 years old. This girl was a BRAT! She would steal instruments out of other kids hands, push kids and so on. Not only did the mom not discipline her daughter but she would just laugh or smile when the kid misbehaved. As we were leaving the class and putting on coats, the brat pushed my child. Oh! NO! Maybe other parents looked the other way to be nice but not me. I told the mother that her child just was not cute enough to get away with that behavior. Now honestly, if the girl was a good looking girl, I still don't think the behavior or the mom's reaction would be appropriate. But for some reason I felt that the child being un-cute made is even less tolerable. Call me shallow I guess.

Do parents see an illusion when it comes to their own children? G-d (or whatever supreme being you fall for) makes it such that women forget the pain of childbirth so that they procreate again. Does He do the same with ugly kids? Does he distort the child's image in the parent's brain so they only see beauty?