Confessions

Confessions

These are my confessions, just when I thought I said all I can say…. Just kidding…I’m not Usher, and I have no chick on the side that’s got one on the way, but I do have some random confessions from the past few weeks nonetheless.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I had THE best weekend at a music festival with one of my favorite humans. Coming back to the reality where I don’t get to hang out with this guy every day, live in a hotel, eat pho, go to kick ass concerts, and other unmentionables was mother f-wording brutal. My mental health took one hell of a hit when I had to return to being an adult.
  • After a week of adulting bullshit, I hit a local bar with one of my very oldest friends. She wanted to go, I didn’t want to be around people that I know, but I shut that anxiety ridden portion up with a quick shot of tequila.
  • This weekend was the first time in my entire life that I didn’t have to pay for any of my drinks at a bar, and not just because my friends were paying this time. Total strangers paid for most of my drinks. I had to turn drinks down because I was the one driving. So, this is what it’s like for pretty girls. Not a bad feeling. I’m glad I could be an imposter for the night…although I could have lived without the “I just did a shot with the chick from X94” declaration…
  • One such stranger decided to hang out with us all night. I’m 100% unsure on the etiquette surrounding someone who drops $5 on a vodka soda for you because he’s trying to get in your friend’s pants, so we just chilled with the dude and some other random people until last call.
  • I felt ZERO shame when I wouldn’t let vodka soda dude physically drag me out on the dance floor, listened to his comments about how surprisingly strong I was, and then left him in the dust when the DJ dropped the Cupid Shuffle. C’mon….it’s like the Macarena…one doesn’t just stand around when that’s playing. You get your ass to the dance floor.
  • Met some guys from Texas….momentairly broke their hearts when I asked how they manage to live in Utah without Whataburger. Made up for it by offering to make fun of their enemies on the air.
  • Refrained from laughing when vodka soda guy tried to get me to drink more so he could take my friend and me home. Yeah….sorry friend. My liver is a champion, and 4 drinks over 4 hours isn’t leaving me stranded in a bar. Did you notice how I kept funneling your drinks to my BFF? It was my night to be the responsible one, even if those goosebumps were proof that my body betrayed me when you decided you were going to grab my ass and pull my hair.
  • Decided I felt a little too old and had an equally old friend play Jr. High with me. Good news…the boy I had her talk to for me is single. Bad news….in this stupid backwards state, “Do you want to grab a drink with me” apparently means “I love you and we should get married tonight,” and not the “hey, we should just get a drink and catch up” that it means in the rest of the civilized world, so yeah….that probably won’t go anywhere, but it was fun to be 14 years old again for a minute.
  • Met (OK….matched on Tinder, whatever) a ridiculously cool guy and had some pretty amazing conversations with him for about 4 days. The guy challenged me mentally. That’s a difficult task. He also knew the damn difference between your and you’re, which is apparently a lost art. He told me he hated me for where I live, so that’s where that went. (Don’t get pissed at him….It’s a valid concern!)
  • A freaking meme I saw on Facebook made me realize I tripped in to some feelings. That hit me like a ton of damn bricks. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I keep trying to brush them off, but they’re like glitter and they get freaking everywhere. Wanna know what it said? Here it is: “I have to be honest with you. I think about you a lot. All the time actually. In the morning, at night, in the middle of the day. It’s you. It’s just always you.” Shit…. Also, it’s not about the recent Tinder guy. Yeah, I know I live in Utah, but unlike the vast majority of the state, I am perfectly capable of having coffee with a guy without thinking that means we’re now in a committed relationship.
  • The kid is back home. I have no idea how long it will last, but I just about lost my shit when I told him to take the trash out and he told me “I worked 13 hours today, and I don’t need your attitude.” Um….excuse me, but last I checked, this was my house, and for the record, I worked 16 hours, so take the effing trash out and pick your pants up off the kitchen floor. (One of us may die, and my life insurance policy is worth more, so if I come up missing, y’all know what happened. Joke’s on him though; he’s not listed as the beneficiary!)
  • Did you notice the kid told me he worked 13 hours? Yeah….one of my friends took pity on him again. I hope he doesn’t mess this one up. I’m running out of local friends; especially ones that might take pity on the lost soul that is my kid…
  • I managed to make it 10 days without washing my hair. I didn’t need dry shampoo at all. I only washed it on Sunday morning because I smelled like the bar. I still am not certain whether it was the shitty mental health, or the 16 hour days at work that made the task so daunting. I’m also 100% unclear whether I should be impressed that I didn’t need to wash the green mess for that long, or if should be a little concerned that I was OK waiting that long to wash it…
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That’s oddly specific

That’s oddly specific

Memory lane…sometimes it’s my favorite.

I was perusing the Facebook memories again today and came across a picture I posted back when my man-child was a cute, easier to manhandle when he was being an assholesomewhat well-behaved child, sitting on a recliner at my grandma’s house with my nephew on his lap. This of course was back before he started smoking, chewing, talking like an uneducated hick, and sporting the most ridiculous mullet in the history of forever, all in the name of being cool. He was 10, and life was a WHOLE lot easier.

About 2 weeks before this picture was taken, I had asked him to clean his room and all of the sudden he was walking like an old man, groaning that he had a migraine, doubled over in fake pain, and for good measure, because his friend at school just got 2 days off for strep throat, it hurt SOOOOO bad to swallow. It was uncanny how it all hit him before I even got the word “room” out of my mouth!

I let this charade go on for a couple of hours, because it was HILARIOUS, and then we loaded up and headed to Urgent Care. We had to go, because even if he was faking, there’s always that ever so slight chance that he isn’t, and even at 10 years old, he was apparently well versed in how much worse symptoms of a man cold are than the exact same illness in a woman. That, and because if he wasn’t faking it, the next day would bring an ER co-pay instead of the insanely inexpensive Urgent Care co-pay.

When we checked in to Urgent Care, he had that nurse wrapped around his finger. She asked if he needed a wheelchair, gave him a popsicle from the freezer, and offered to get him an ice pack if it would help his throat feel better. The entire time, I was thinking “you really are so sweet,” while also simultaneously thinking “I can’t believe you’re falling for this!” She apologized profusely for having to gag him with that giant cotton swab for the strep test, and then checked to make sure he was warm enough before leaving the room. Really, she was STELLAR at her job.

When the PA came in the room, he was every bit as nice as the nurse, checking glands, and giving the boy a thorough “does it hurt here, how about here, what about here” look over. Finally he asked “Can you tell me exactly where it hurts?”

“Right by my uvula,” said the kid, with the most deadpan expression I have ever seen on his face.

The PA blinked, took a split second to compose himself and said “That is very specific,” to which my kid responded “Well you asked exactly where it hurts.”

After a few more seconds to compose himself, he informed my kid that the strep test was in fact negative, and he would like to do a flu test and possibly a blood draw to check for mono before sending him home. When he looked at me to verify that it would be OK to proceed, I SWEAR he winked at me. Why? Well that would be because he was the PA who administered the flu test to my kid just 9 months prior to this, and he remembered just how much my kid enjoyed that.

The recovery rate after hearing the words flu test and blood draw was miraculous. He sat up straight, quit talking like he was on his death-bed, looked at the PA and asked him if he thought that maybe it was just a virus and he would feel better if he got some rest, drank lots of Gatorade, and took it easy for the weekend.

“Yes,” said the PA before adding “and clean your room.”

That was the best $30 I ever spent in my entire life.

What’s your name?

What’s your name?

In an effort to remember that my kid isn’t ALWAYS a giant teenage asshole (let’s be honest, some days that’s a giant mother forking struggle!), it’s probably time to reminisce about the times when he was actually kind of cute and fun to be around.

First, I have to admit that once upon a time, I thought Wal-Mart wasn’t that bad of a place to shop. I got smarter and realized it’s actually a portal to Hell disguised as a discount store, but before that, I shopped there, because as a single parent, you need to save money, and at one point in our lives, we’ve all been brainwashed in to thinking that’s the place to do it.

On one such shopping trip with the kid, we were standing in a ridiculously long line waiting to buy whatever we couldn’t live without. Side note: WHY do they do this? Really, there’s like 500 checkstands and 3 of them are open. Have you EVER been in a Wal-Mart that has more than half of their cash registers open? I didn’t think so. Those 500 checkstands are a myth. They’re there to make you think that at any given time there could be 2000 other people in the store and ALL of them will want the stuff you’re thinking you might need someday, so you should buy it all now before someone else can. It’s a fantastic way to boost sales.

Anyway, I digress…as I was unloading things for the cashier, this sweet little lady behind us was making faces at my 2-year-old and talking to him in that voice we all use with babies, animals, and stupid people.  After a minute or so she asked him “What’s your name sweetheart?”

As plain as day, he responded “Damn it Bryan, no!”

At that point I should have known what the next 16+ years had in store. Instead, it was all I could do to not just literally die laughing at the horrified expression on her face. If only I knew how many times I was going to utter those words, I probably would have just gone ahead and named him “Damn it Bryan, no.”

Toilet water and cigarettes

Toilet water and cigarettes

I like evidence based arguments. Feelings and emotions are open to interpretation and get in the way, but scientific, evidence based facts and arguments….those are pretty difficult to dispute. For example:

Emotion based facts about tobacco (several of these opinions belong to my 18-year-old idiot, obviously)

  • Smoking is gross
  • Smoking makes you look cool
  • Smoking is fun
  • That chew can ring in the back pocket of my jeans is sooooo sexy.
  • Avoiding law enforcement because I’m too young to do this legally is such a thrill!
  • Tobacco helps me not be such a raging hormonal asshole (He said “deal with your stupid rules” but I prefer raging hormonal asshole to “cleaning up after myself is just sooooooo unfair.”)

Scientific/evidence based facts about tobacco (Just a few…obviously I could go on and on and on, but nobody came here for a health lesson.)

  • There are 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke alone, and 28% of those chemicals are known carcinogens.
  • Smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the United States
  • There is no “safe” form of tobacco
  • In addition to cancer, tobacco causes heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Tobacco increases your risk of stroke

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You see “There are 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke” is much more accurate than “smoking is gross,” even though it is. I mean, if you’re old enough to light up or shove something in your lip, and you feel like playing roulette with your own health, by all means, go ahead and do it. There is absolutely nothing I can do to stop you. BUT, if you’re my kid, and you’re not even old enough to buy this shit legally, and I’m paying for your health insurance, dental bills, and doctor’s visits, among all of the other things I’m paying for, you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to have an opinion on your filthy habit.

For crying out loud, I’ve spent YEARS trying to help pass bills to combat the use of tobacco, and you know what? Collectively, the group I work with on this has been successful! Smoking rates among US adults is at an all time low. Only 15.1% of US adults smoke! Another all time low? Only 8% of high school students smoke. 20.2% of high school students used any tobacco product in 2016, which is a 5.1% decrease from 2015.

This weekend, I was able to celebrate some great successes ACS CAN members have been part of. Successes like Guam raising the legal smoking age to 21, entire cities in California banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol and all flavored E-Cig juices, and New York City raising tobacco taxes to the point where a pack of cigarettes purchased in NYC is now $13. You can argue that these things are all unfair all you want, but if fewer people are using tobacco, then fewer people are dying from diseases caused by tobacco, and THAT is never going to be a bad thing.

While all of these people are doing all of these things to combat tobacco use and all of the problems it causes, the response I get from my man-child is simply “I don’t care if I get cancer.” Soooo….when I left town to go to Washington DC to ask members of congress to fund cancer research, to close the Medicare loophole in colorectal cancer screenings, and to improve quality of life for people with long-term illness by passing the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, and found a nearly full pack of Marlboros sitting next to my microwave, I did the only thing I felt was appropriate, or would at least satisfy my devious nature. I took 2 of them out of the package, dipped them in the toilet, dried them with my hair dryer, and placed them back in the package. I left a note that said “2 of these have been dipped in the toilet. Good luck figuring out which ones they are,” and then walked out the door and left for 6 glorious, smoke free, teenage asshole free days in the nation’s capital. I’m sure he never saw the note, because my house was still standing and had no new holes in the walls or doors when I returned home, which makes it even more satisfying to my devious/evil side. I regret absolutely nothing about this decision.

Since you’re hell bent on getting cancer…

Since you’re hell bent on getting cancer…

My kid tends to be an idiot. I can say this here, because I say it to his face, and I don’t regret it at all. I can also say it, because he’s 18 and he knows everything, which really solidifies the conclusion that he tends to be an idiot.

Yesterday, el tonto asked me “Would you rather I chew, or smoke?”

“Well,” I told him, already annoyed that he was waking me up to ask me this, “considering you’re 18 which makes them both illegal for you, and given the fact that they’re both absolutely repulsive habits, and you’re on MY health insurance, I’d prefer you didn’t do either one.”

He said “That’s not an option. You have to pick one.”

At this point, I told him he was number one with my favorite finger and responded, “If you’re that hell-bent on getting cancer, you may as well keep them both up, quit eating any kind of healthy food, and start tanning daily too. It’ll help clear up some of your acne from never washing your face with the hella expensive Rodan and Fields skin care I bought you, and you’ll have nice tan skin and melanoma to go along with your lung, throat, esophageal, stomach, and gum cancer. Plus all the money you spend trying to get cancer will help your goals of never having anything nice or God forbid, your own place. I hear chicks really dig guys who live at home with their mom for their entire life. Go big or go home sweetheart.”

He rolled his eyes, mumbled something about me being stupid under his breath, and stomped up the stairs like a herd of elephants. I’m pretty sure this is why my baby making parts jumped ship right along with him when he was born. There’s no way in hell I could do this more than once…