We have had, and are continuing to have, a weekend of really crappy weather. Thanks a lot Hurricane Sandy, Little Miss Tardy to the Party. Everyone knows you are not supposed to have hurricanes just before Halloween. Geez, come on. Wal-Mart is stocked up on Christmas crap already, not bottled water and batteries!
Since we have a lot of indoor time, I took advantage yesterday to do 6.9 million loads of laundry. This includes two loads that were stuffed in laundry baskets, clean but massively wrinkled and in need of some serious fluff time before folding. (It is also possible that one of said loads had to be fluffed yet again as I might have gotten side tracked during the football game in which Giovanni Bernard was making the NC State Wolf Puppies mewl like kittens.) Currently, every scrap of cloth in the house is clean. Note: this could change at any moment as I am considering letting Connor go outside to experience some hurricane ditch surfing.
If you ever suffer massive amnesia, of the likes typically seen in overwritten melodramas, action movies, and sci-fi flicks, and you wake up wondering for days who you are and what your role is in life, then here are some sure fire ways to at least narrow down whether or not you are a parent:
You have superhuman hearing that wakes you up in the middle of the night if there is even the mildest creak out of the ordinary. (Yes, I know if you have amnesia you won't know what's out of the ordinary. Just shut up, and go with it.)
The back seat of your car is strewn with cookie, cracker, or chips crumbs. (As secondary verification, be sure there is no other evidence back there that you could be having an extra-marital affair with a Keebler elf.)
When you put on your socks, one fits perfectly, but its mate only goes up just past your toes.
You look for something sweet to eat in your cabinets and satisfy your craving with an entire fistful of gummy vitamins.
Your freezer has at least one shelf full of pizza rolls, microwaveable chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and macaroni and cheese. (Be careful as this may also indicate that you are a stoner.)
When you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you wander around the other rooms in your house to make sure "everything is alright."
During this midnight walk around the house, you trip over a bunch of crap in the floor and damn near break your neck. As you fly head first across the carpet, you try to transform the scream of "shit" coming out of your mouth into "sugar" but don't quite make it.
While in the grocery store or Wal-Mart, you see an, obviously, non-parent critiquing a parent's effort to discipline his or her child, and you think (about the non-parent), "I will stab you in the eye."
Now that you have figured out you are a parent, you should probably try to find your kid. Just go to the closest school and walk around randomly. One of two things will happen:
Your kid will smile and run up to you. Congratulations, you are probably a great parent!
There may be one kid who absolutely refuses to make eye contact and looks totally embarrassed that you walked in. Well, at least you found your kid...
I'm currently working on the college years chapter of the manuscript and thought some of you might want to revisit this post, which starts off the chapter:
Here is a letter from my undergraduate years at UNC. I was 20 years old at the time.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
Department of University Housing
Division of Student Affairs CB# 5500, Carr Building Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-5500
To: Residents in Suite 839-842 FROM: D. Jones DATE: 12/2/91
While inspecting your suite during closing on November 27, 1991, it was discovered that the hallway and bathroom shared by the six residents residing in this suite was left in poor condition. This included trash bags in the hallway, beer boxes and beer cans in the bathroom, personal items left in the shower and above the sinks. In addition,there was an object hanging from the ceiling that is in direct violation of the University and State of North Carolina Fire Codes.
My next girlfriend must like books. I don't mean she should be a reader. Yes, I mean that as well, but more than that. She should like the physicality of books, the feel and smell of them; she should have a desire to touch their pages with her fingers, to whisper her secrets to them and listen to their secrets in return, to get lost in between their front and back covers the way others might get lost in the woods while following the path of a stream strewn with mossy boulders just to see where the path goes.
My next girlfriend must like spice. She should like the adventure of it and not be afraid to smear a little wasabi on her hibachi grill, a little Texas Pete on her fried chicken, a little me on her tongue. She should get into a pissing contest with me to see who can eat the hottest wings and chase them with the coldest beer. She should wear habanero sauce like lipstick just to see if I can take it.
My next girlfriend must be independent. She should have her own way of doing things and to hell with me if I don't agree with her methods because, damnit, I don't pay her bills and by God, she only has one daddy. She should have a hard crunchy, candy shell with a soft, chocolate center because independent doesn't mean invulnerable no matter how much you want it to, and while pillows are good for cuddling, they do little in the dark of night to stop the creeping in of doubts and insecurities through the half open curtains.