Tag Archives: teenagers

The Blackest of Fridays

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I went Black Friday shopping this year. I haven’t been shopping the day after Thanksgiving since…well, since Black Friday actually started at 8:00 a.m. and not 8:00 p.m. the night before. God, I’m old. Anyway, after gorging myself on my mom’s amazing cooking, I took a short nap. But like most naps when I was a kid, I spent most of the time talking to my sister (via text) instead of sleeping. A sure fire way to make sure I went out grumpy despite the cookies and juice box I had when I got up. (By the way Juicy Juice, I’d appreciate a bigger hole in the box. I spilled vodka everywhere.) But since I love Christa-mas sooooo much, I figured I’d have great time. What could instill the holiday spirit more than buying 50% off items that will most likely be returned with 5,000 of my closest friends and neighbors at 2:00 a.m.? A sharp stick in the eye. That’s what!

(Yep. Still better than going to Best Buy any day of the week.)

The Gathering

So the mall stores opened at midnight. Melanie insisted we get there by 10. For someone who does numbers for her job, math really isn’t her strong suit. When we got there we parked our sweet asses in front of Hollister. Hollister is this trendy store with tiny little clothes that promotes itself as selling pure Southern California realness to kids not in L.A. Now, I lived in L.A. for almost 10 years and never saw anyone dress in clothes like they have in that store. But whatevs. It’s not up to me to judge the cool kids. I just want them to like me! Please! Come on, y’all. I can be cool! Anyways, in those 2 hours of waiting, I went to pee twice, moaned about how much longer 8 times and whined about being hungry 5 times. So far, so good. At 11, American Eagle opened, so Melanie ran over there to get some stuff while I held our place in the other line. Thankfully, she had more faith than I did about my ability to stay put and not wander off after something sparkly or trade our place for some magic beans.

(Shiny magic beans?! You had me at hello.)

 

While Melanie was in the other store, Ashton came over to say hi. Dammit! What the hell was she doing at the mall while we were shopping? She asked me where her mom was. I told her and she said, “But I was just about to go in there.” I told her don’t go in there. She said, “Why? I won’t look at what Mommy’s doing.” (pffttt. Really?) We went back and forth until I finally grabbed her sweet little face in my hands and said, “Ashton Faith, if you step one foot in American Eagle, I swear to God every single Christmas present I buy you will come from K-Mart!” Needless to say, she ran the other way. That’s parenting a teenager, right there folks. I’ll give you a moment to write it down.

And So It Begins…

Midnight arrives. The crowd is growing. Surging and pulsing like a single living organism. I had my orders from General Smelanie and knew exactly where I had to go in the store to get my assigned items. We were second in line. I got more hand action from strangers waiting that last 5 minutes for the store to open than I’ve gotten since last time I tried to convince guys at the bar to go ahead and prove I’m not a drag queen. Then, the doors opened and I did something unbelievable. Something crazy and insane and so remarkable, I can barely admit it. I ran. I hauled ass to the back of that store like a bat out of hell. And I got my shit. In case you don’t know me, let me inform you. I don’t run. I don’t see the point. I’m going to get where I’m going eventually so what’s the rush? Nothing really starts til I get there anyway. And there’s no point in me running from something because I’m not athletic but I am super clumsy and whatever it is that’s chasing me will eventually catch me. If a bad guy’s chasing me, there’s no point in spending my last few moments sweating, heaving and possibly tripping and scraping up my pretty face. Nonetheless, for my nieces to be able dress like they’re not related to me, I ran.

(Why did she run? It costs an extra $50 to nail the coffin closed.)

Are We Done Yet?

We shopped at the mall from 10pm to 4:30 am. I am not even kidding. That’s not even counting external stores and a couple of hours at Walmart later in the day. That was just the mall. And that place was packed! Not only were there people everywhere but there were kids everywhere. (And no, teenagers aren’t people. Ask anyone who owns one.) These idiots weren’t even shopping. They were just wandering around the mall like it was any Saturday afternoon. They were only there so they could be out late and be underfoot and in my damn way. Go home and go to bed, children! WTF? Despite the repeated drop offs at the car, I was always toting huge bags. And those bags were heavy! I don’t understand how stuff for two such very small individuals like my nieces can weigh so much. My feet were killing me and I was even wearing my Disneyland comfort shoes. My arms hurt from the bags and being repeatedly walked into. (Apparently, I forgot to leave my invisibility cloak in the car.) My head hurt from the noise. I was hungry. I was tired. I had to pee again. The buzz from my Juicy Vodka box had worn off. And then I realized, I was buying and hauling all this crap and none of it was even for me! Though I did make sure to torture Melanie quite thoroughly during the one full hour we spent in line at Victoria’s Secret by alternating between putting bras on my head, spraying the nearest Eau de Cat House scent all around us and asking her which teddy would look best on grandma. I got a really nice tote bag from Vicky’s though. So that made the wait a little more bearable.

(You can have this sparkly pink bag if you will just please get out of our sexy store.)

Anyway, by the time dawn was approaching, I was a tad…miffed. So Melanie promised to take me home. After we stopped at 3 other stores. I literally moaned in agony which the other, hateful shoppers found quite amusing. And I found it just as amusing to give a little flirt and grind on the shirtless male model outside Hollister.

Mall’s Well That Ends Well

So Melanie finally took me away from the mall. We stopped at 2 more exterior stores but she promised me if I was good, she would buy me some chicken nuggets. I was able to control my behavior just long enough to get through the drive-thru. After we got to her house, I could not believe the amount of crap we had. And then Melanie had the nerve to say, “This is a good start.” Start! Start? Ok, I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that. I went home, slept for about 5 hours before the cat was begging for food and dog for outside. Then Mom, Melanie and the kids were ready for Walmart for more presents, decorations, wrapping paper and hopefully some sort of anti-psychotic to get me through the rest of the weekend. Things were much simpler when I shopped online and Christmas presents just arrived at my house. Oh well. This adventure made for a much better blog. Now I just have to wrap it all up and hope it’s received with the love and insanity with which it was given.

(What do you mean “nobody wears that crap from PacSun”? Fuck you, kid. Seriously.)

And of course, let’s not forget Mom, Melanie, Fallon and Brian all have birthdays within a week of Christmas. Santa?…Little help?

 

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Sister Act

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So we all know that after Buttons, Scuppy, vodka, Homer Simpson, my Kindle Fire, tacos and my lucky polk-a-dot underwear, my very bestest friend in the world is my sister, Melanie. To be honest, when she came along, I was not exactly sure she would be a good fit for our family. She was small, loud, hairless, toothless and arrived home with no decent toys to share whatsoever. So I tested her mettle by trying to give her to neighbors, locking her naked in the bathroom, strangling her with my truth lasso (this was during my Wonder Woman period) and feeding her quarters. Surprisingly for an infant, she took it all in stride and I decided we could keep her. My parents were grateful for my benevolence.

Melanie is 2 years, 7 months, 27 days, 5 hours and 15 minutes younger than me…approximately. But if you did not have this guesstimation, you would think were twins. Probably because she looks old and I look young (so I tell myself) but mostly because we are so close in our hearts. When we were younger (like last year), I called her Smelanie and she called me Cracker.

(You can’t handle the cute!)

Childhood

Being a big sister is a big responsibility. I had to work very hard to teach Melanie about the world when we were kids. Before puberty took over, Melanie was way easier to handle. She reacted well to threats and guilt. An example of a typical conversation while playing at a friend’s house.

Me:                 Melanie, run home and get the ball so we can play.

Melanie:        Why do I always have to get the ball?

Me:                 Because. Now go get it. I’ll let you play this time. I promise.

Melanie:        But I don’t want to go get the ball.

Me:                 Fine, then. Be selfish. Now nobody gets to play ball because you’re lazy. Thanks a lot.

Melanie:        Ok. I’m sorry. I’m going.

This kind of logic always worked. Even when I had a $5 bill and she had five $1 bills and I explained to her it wouldn’t be fair unless she gave me two of her dollars. Then we’d both have 3 bills and we’d both be happy…my mother made me give her the $2 back. It’s obvious that my mother did not have a little sister and thus did not understand the lesson I was teaching Melanie as her big sister. Pffftttt…whatever.

(You’ll never learn to escape the box if you never get in the box.)

I also spent one afternoon braiding every hair on her head into tiny little Bo Derek braids and putting a bunch of rubber bands around them. It took my grandmother hours to get them out. When we wanted to play electrician, I would screw the faceplates off the outlets and then let her dig in the hole after it was off. I somehow managed to convince her that Angela Lansbury on “Murder She Wrote” was a killer and she was always scared to go to bed after it was on. When we played “Dukes of Hazzard” she always had to be Cooter, even if it was just the two of us playing. Ok, I’ll admit. I actually laughed out loud when I typed that. Man, that was funny! But in all seriousness, the fact that Melanie lived to adulthood is proof that God really does perform miracles.

Adolescence/Teenage Years

This period of time, also known as the War of the Woomers or the War of Totally Tubular Proportions (circa 1986-1992), was really tough on my parents. We fought over everything! Clothes, accessories, shoes, makeup, food, friends, pets, tv, music, electricity, politics, religion, who could breathe, who could grow, which one of us was really adopted…it was endless. We couldn’t say good morning without the other one responding with something like “Ugh. You made it through the night again?” One time she threw an open can of Sprite in my face in front of everybody at the bus stop. Once I literally tackled her for the last Band-Aid (she had a cut of some sort-allegedly). She had taken it from my side of the bathroom. I didn’t need it but I still tore it up so she couldn’t have it. We got into a physical, scratching, hair pulling fight as teenagers because I wanted the deadbolt on the front door locked and Melanie did not. As you can see, these were all serious, life threatening issues completely worth kicking each other’s asses over. (insert sarcasm here) Melanie might be little, but she’s mean, tough and scrappy. Since I’m bigger, the only way I ever won was if I sat on her.

(What did I tell you about looking at the sun on my day!)

But whenever my mom would say, “You know what? You two want to kill each other? Go ahead! I don’t care anymore. Go on! Hit her, Christa. Kick her, Melanie. You want it so bad? Kill each other. I dare you.” Then we would be like, “Geez, Mom. Calm down. I don’t want to hurt her. She’s my sister. You’re such a drama queen.” I’m surprised my mother didn’t drink more.

Young Adulthood

After I graduated high school, there was a huge change in the dynamic of our relationship. I’m not sure how or why but we started hanging out for no reason and realized, we really liked each other. We had so much fun together and really complimented each other. I was outgoing when she was shy. She was brave when I was a coward. She helped my fashion and I helped her stop wearing her bangs like a rooster.

(Who else is hanging their head in shame right now?)

I was on time when she was late. She was nurturing when I was a bitch. We took turns staying up and keeping watch for Freddy Krueger while the other one slept. She would flirt with cute guys she wasn’t interested in so I could mack on their friends. I would dry hump unsuitable guys from behind who were trying to dance with her when she didn’t want to. When she was in labor, I was the first to honestly tell her, “This is really not cute.” And she was the first to tell me the same about my ex-husband before he was my ex-husband. We’re both funny as hell. When I said, “I think I’ve had enough to drink tonight.” She would say, “You can’t listen to you. You’re drunk. Have another!” I so love my sissy! We’ve bowled together. We’ve gone clubbing together. We’ve traveled together. We’ve read the same books and loved the same movies. We’ve hated the same people. We’ve discovered a love of history together. We’ve run from the cops together. We’ve laughed and cried and vomited together. And that was just last summer!

The Here and Now

I can always be myself around my sister. I can tell my sister anything and vice versa. No judgment, no censure, no repeating it. In fact, sometimes she doesn’t even remember I told her something vitally important. We can rail, bitch, yell and cry at each other and then be fine like nothing happened 15 minutes later. My mom can’t understand that. But that’s just the way it is. As time passes and Melanie ages, we only get closer. She is now the mother of 2 teenagers. (Let us all take a moment of silence to pray for her……..thank you.) I am an actress in L.A. She sings in the church choir. I sing at karaoke. Our conversations revolve around work and what body part hurts most today. Our partying days are long behind us. Even though we live 2,300 miles apart (which, despite the laws of physics, both sucks and blows), I know she is always there for me. And I am always there for her.

(This is the least drunk-looking growed up pic I could find)

Out of all the stuff my mom’s ever given to me, I can honestly say Melanie is my favorite…followed by the time she introduced me to Ryan Seacrest. I will say, when my dad took me to the nursery and showed me baby Melanie screaming behind the glass, I very pragmatically said, “I’d rather have a pony.” I humbly admit, I was wrong.

 

Thirty-Mumble

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I’m getting old. And it sucks. Not for the obvious reasons like, I’m just that much closer to the cold, cold grave. But for things I didn’t expect would happen to me. There were things my mom would say when I was a kid that I thought were just stupid and no matter how old I got, I wouldn’t feel that way. But, as usual, she was right. (But don’t tell her I said that.) So as I’m sliding towards 40 with no brakes within reach, I have to come to terms with stuff I never thought I would.  And I hate coming to terms with stuff. I just hate it!

My Body is a Lying, Backstabbing Bitch

Gravity used to be my friend. It kept me from falling off the face of the Earth and exploding in the oxygenless nothingness of space. I appreciated that. When I throw something in the air, gravity brings it right back to me, like a faithful dog. But now, gravity is a hellhound bound and determined to take all my favorite bits and pieces and drag them to my knees. Boobs, butt, neck skin-they are all deserting me in favor of gravity.

(Who’s a good gravity? You are. Yes, you are!)

I also have night vision problems. I can’t see signs well. I can’t identify what cd I’m trying to play or even where the stupid cd player is! In the winter, when I have to drive home in the dark, I will get in one lane on the freeway and stay there. No going around that tractor trailer going 35 miles per hour. Because I have no idea if the headlights behind me are in the next lane, the far lane, 10 feet back or 100 yards back. All I see is bouncing yellow dots somewhere in the vicinity of my car and I’m terrified to change lanes, lest I cause an accident and end up getting home late and missing “The Simpsons”. I just couldn’t handle that.

(Stupid kids. Wandering the street at night like idiots.)

I’m also tired. Always, always tired. I know that there was a time when I could work all day, go to play rehearsal for 3 hours, go out and drink, get some action, sleep 4 hours and still be fresh as a daisy at work the next morning. Not now, buddy. It kills me to be out on the weekend until midnight after I’ve sat on my ass all day. My mom used to say she needed to “unwind” after work. I hated that. I wanted to play and/or go now! What the hell is unwind? Now, I totally get it. I not only have to unwind after work but also after meals, after housework and after going to the ATM. Unwinding is very important to me. Because my body just can’t roll like it used to.

(I have to stop opening all the mail in one sitting.)

Those Damn Whippersnappers

Kids today. I don’t get them. I always thought I’d stay cool. Well, as cool as I ever was-which wasn’t a lot. But I’d stay in the know on tv, music, movies, books. Didn’t happen. While I still have an appalling love of pop music (omg-I love you, Britney!) the hip-hop and such like just doesn’t do it for me. I swear, it all sounds the same to me. I can’t stand more than 10 minutes of the Jersey Shore. I have no desire to watch the Gossip Girl or the 90210. And I’ve started putting the word “the” in front things like “the 90210”.  I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a pointy stick than read or watch Twilight anything! I’m sorry. Hate me if you must but Robert Pattinson is just not sexy. No. I’m telling you. He’s not.

(Yum!)

(Ptooey!)

Also, I can’t keep up with the lingo. Most of it totally baffles me. And the stuff I do know sounds imbecilic when I say it. Hearing me say, “Dayum, those kicks are beast!” is just really sad. And kids today seem so rude. I would’ve eaten my teeth for a week if I spoke to anyone, parents, teachers or strangers, the way I hear kids talk today. They all need a good ass-whoopin if you ask me. A nice two week stay with my dad at “Rusty Woomer’s Camp for Re-Educating Foul Mouth, Smart Ass, Stupid, Idiot Teenagers” would fix their wagons.

Conversation

I talk about stuff now that really surprises me. My sister and I, who used to converse on such weighty issues as Vodka v. Rum, Leather Jackets (Love ‘em or Leave ‘em) and Does This Top Make Me Look Slutty-If Not, I’ll Change. Now me, my sister and my friends discuss how tired we are, what cute thing the dogs did, kids, stupid teenagers and the weather. Seriously, I check weather.com several times a week. I never used to care what the weather did. I lived my life. Weather lived its life. Now, if the temperature on Wednesday is going to be 76 instead of 80, this is cause for serious discussion!

(Light sweater tonight or long sleeves? I can’t fucking decide!)

And we talk about work and hating work. We talk about dieting and hating dieting. We talk about finances and hating finances. Hm…there seems to be a theme here. We even talk about politics and religion. But all of this “grown up” talk is a somewhat new thing. When did I start talking about this crap? When did I start caring about this crap?

 

The Fear Factor

This is honestly one of the biggest things that has changed for me in the past couple of years. I used to love horror movies. Never had a bad dream. I still like horror movies but I can’t watch them at night and I have to watch something funny before I sleep even if I watched a scary movie hours ago. And still sometimes I have bad dreams. I’m also scared of stupid things. I’m convinced I have some horrid disease in my body just waiting rear its ugly head. Cancer, tumors, Chlamydia-what if I have it? What if it kills me? What do I do? I have no symptoms and I’m healthy as a horse but you never know. I’m also scared of real life bad guys. I watch too much Discovery I.D. Those shows are all about people getting kidnapped, raped and murdered. It’s awful. I don’t know why I watch it. I check my door and window locks all the time to make sure a bad guy doesn’t come and get me. I have a huge dog and it makes me feel better that she protects me and any Charlie Manson wannabes will have to go through 175 pounds of fur, muscle, and very large, sharp teeth before they can get me. But where did this fear come from? I’m safe. I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong with me. Horror movies are fake. I don’t have cancer. Nobody is trying to get me. I think…

(She’ll kill you 7 times before you hit the ground!)

So, yeah. Getting older is weird in ways I didn’t realize. I thought I’d just wake up one day and be like Sophia on Golden Girls. I’ll get there one day, but the road to such geriatric awesomeness is long and gray and twisty. Kind of like the hair at my temples. But that’s ok. With my vision, I can’t really see it anyway. Might as well just sit back, bitch about how it’s all going to hell, and enjoy the ride!