Who are you and what have you done with my child?

image I led a secret life as a child, and still do. When I was little, I was two different people:

  • One person was the person I was around my friends. This person ran, he laughed, he played. He also spit, cursed, got in fights, fed his dog live lizards, shot innocent birds with his Red Ryder bee-bee gun (only once or twice), had a MASSIVE crush on a certain blonde girl in high school, drank too much beer on innumerable occasions, and did a multitude of other things he didn’t do at home.
  • The other person was the person who lived at home. This person was quiet. He spent hours by himself in his room listening to Jerry Clower records, mostly to provide background noise since it was otherwise unearthly quiet. Often, he listened with dread for the footfalls above him and he could tell when the person attached to the footsteps was heading for the stairs leading to the bottom floor where his room was. Generally, there were only two reasons for an adult to be heading down the stairs: 1) To go into the garage or 2) To come to either his room, or his brother’s; neither of which usually portended good things. Later, this person also attended church far more than any child, who isn’t enrolled in a brainwashing program, should have, which only further amplified his duality.

I’m all growns up now and overall, the two personalities from my childhood have gelled into one. I don’t really spit anymore, unless I’m out doing man things by myself in my boots and dirty jeans. I still curse on occasion and I laugh around others without fear of retribution.

But I must admit, I still can’t let go around some of my parents. My dad…not so much. My dad is but a shell of the cold, stern man that he was as I grew up. Now, he is a warm, giving person and I feel sad that, for so many years, he lived under the yoke of whatever it was that caused him to be that way.

My mothers though, that’s a different story. I was responding to an e-mail one of them sent me the other day and I was just typing along and wrote out the word “balls” but then I immediately backspaced and replaced it with “cajones.”

Who can’t say “balls” around their mom? Especially as a 35-year old man!

It’s kinda ridiculous when you think about it. Here I am, a (arguably) successful person. I have a family and responsibilities. I have held within my grubby little paws, some of the Top Secrets my country holds. I have two kids of my own, and somehow, despite all of this,  I can’t say the word “Balls” in front of my mom!

Is it just me? I mean, at what point, if ever, do you reach a point where you say, “Hey, you tried. Overall, you did a fine job, but here I am. A product of my environment AND my upbringing. If you don’t like it, then don’t come for Thanksgiving!”

I’ve been around other people while also around their parents and I’ve seen it go both ways. I’ve seen the ones who, like me, pretend that they never had sex before marriage and then I’ve seen those who could pour themselves a scotch from their dad’s liquor cabinet while sitting around with everyone watching Wheel of Fortune.

It’s just weird I tell ya. It’s even worse for spouses I think. I know that when my mom visits, CareerMom is so concerned over what my mom will think of her. And the funny thing is, I’m like, “Eh, don’t worry about it. You just be you and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry what she thinks.”

How’s that for screwed up?

So, come on. Fess up! Are you YOU around your folks?

Playdate Follow Up

pit children Since so many people have asked (like 3!), I thought I’d offer a follow up post to my “family affair” playdate this past Sunday.

Let me start with a free form word/thought association as the 2 hour playdate carried out:

  • Man, steep hill. Hope I can get the car back down
  • Whoa, flat backyard. Nice
  • Hi, good to see you. Thanks for the invite
  • Hmm, house layout is similar to ours
  • Man, a Sunroom?
  • Man, two fireplaces?
  • Man, a finished basement?
  • Damn, nice bar!
  • Dude, that’s gotta be at least $3,000 in top shelf liquor!
  • Man, this is a really nice place. Makes ours feel kinds smallish
  • (lightbulb coming on in head) You sold your house in Vinings for $700K? No wonder you can afford all the work you’ve done on this place!
  • Where are the kids?
  • Sure, I’ll take a Corona!
  • No really, we can’t stay too long.
  • Of course you have a Wii already? Doesn’t everyone EXCEPT my kids?
  • Um, spoiled much?
  • You’re fifty? Dang!
  • I smell poopy diapers.
  • Best get going.
  • Thanks again.
  • I can’t see a damn thing backing down this hill. I hope I don’t hit her green designer Target lawn bags!

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. We had a good time, and cut the playdate at about 2 hours right when the dad was talking about lighting up the firepit outside. I’m not sure how they saw the evening playing out, but we left at 5 p.m. Any longer and we’d have been cutting into dinner and baths and such and to my knowledge, there was no invitation to dinner.

Maybe it’s just me, but do you ever get the feeling when you meet new people that you’re being sized up as a couple for a potential “swingers party” invitation? While I’m not interested (much), I would like to think that CareerMom and I would be at the top of any swinger’s party list because we’re just THAT good looking. Much like, I’m not gay, but I would probably get all offended if gay men didn’t think I was boyfriend material (does that make me gay?).

People are funny though. CareerMom and I were both taken aback by their house, and their stories of yearly “Adult Only” trips, because one of the first times we met the mom, she was complaining about her daughter wanting a jumpy thing at her birthday party and the mom was saying how she wasn’t going to spend $50 on it.

I guess it just comes down to priorities. If it made my kid happy, I’d forgo the vacation to Aruba so I could splurge on his birthday party.

Anyway, it was good to meet new folks and their son is definitely good friend material, so time well spent.

Hey, in case I don’t talk to any of you before Thursday, have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Hollywood, is not America…(ripped off Blessed Union of Souls new song)

hollywood stars I’m considering changing my nickname for MLI because he’s really starting to come into his own. He’s still not “out there” when it comes to new situations, but when he’s around his homey’s, he’s quite the little leader.

And I got to thinking this morning, based on their personalities today, what if I were to compare my two boys to any movie character, who would they most resemble? I think it will be interesting in about 15 years to look back and see if they’ve changed all that much and if so, how.

So, without further ado, I present my lil’ fellars as Hollywood characters:

MLI = The Wizard of Oz!

I know, I know, it’s kinda hokey but lemme explain! MLI is bright, energetic and just a tad on the eccentric side. In the words of the trampy cocktail hostess in Swingers, “…he’s the guy behind the guy…”

MLI will probably never be a Fortune 500 CEO, but not because he doesn’t have the brains for it. More like, I’ll never be able to afford the Ivy League business school that’s required. No, MLI will be the quiet power broker working the deals behind the scenes. He’ll be the Karl Rove (with more hair) of whatever endeavor he throws himself into. And if people don’t like it, he’ll slip on his Batman costume and bust some caps!

MLE = Bodhi from “Point Break

I’ll admit that this is just a little bit of me wanting to live the super-cool surfer life and I think MLE and his blonde hair and his “Dude, whatever! It looks like a rush so let’s do it!” attitude would fit the bill nicely. MLE can charm the pants off anyone and could probably hold up a bank with his smile alone. If he can just work off that baby fat belly and get those oh-so-sexy washboard abs, he’ll put even Swayze (in his younger days) to shame!

So I thought this was fun and I know most of my readers have kids, so why don’t you either blog about your kids or leave me a comment about them and tell me which movie character they most resemble, and why!