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The Happy-Freaking-Holidays Update
2010-11-02, 2:47 p.m.

With trees now nearly bare, Hallowe’en decorations put away, and most of the general public in a stupor from too much candy and slogging through choices at the voting booth, it’s time for the Impending Holiday Update Of Why I’m Too Fried To Post Regularly (And Other Things You Could Care Less About But I’m Going To Blog It Anyway).

After a year’s reprieve, my children are once again in the special hell known as My Mom Works At My School. Daughter has learned to appreciate the privileges on hand, like “MomIneedmoneyNOW” and “MomIreallyneedyoutosignthispaperNOW”. Son is too cool for such things and slinks along the fringes of hallways like a stalked prairie dog, quickening his pace at the first glance of that which spawned him. So, like any good mom, my reaction to this is to chase after him, arms outstretched and lips puckered, screeching “THAT’S MY SON!” to all passersby. No one can tell me my job doesn’t have its perks.

I traumatized Daughter on her birthday. I popped into her classroom at the exact moment of her 18th birthday and planted a kiss on top of her head and wished her a happy birthday. Apparently public birthday wishes are a foul, foul thing which causes mothers to ruin the lives of offspring all over the planet. She sat at the kitchen table after school, dripping vitriol and screeching exactly how I did so.

“What rumors?”

“I DON’T KNOW, BUT THEY’RE BAAAAAAAD!!!!” (insert wail)

Upon which she fled to her room to take a nap and left me to sob about how I destroyed her birthday, took away her only chance for happiness on what should be a very special day indeed, and whether or not to end it all with a butter knife.

She reappeared a little over an hour later all smiles and giggles and loving being wished “Happy Birthday” and how all she needed was a little sleep so things are just fine now, aren’t they.

I need therapy.

All this is after I spent my life’s savings on a vintage (“vintage” being it was manufactured while I was in college) vehicle for Daughter to drive. The original owners were able to keep it pristine for 23 years; Daughter completed her mission of tearing it up after 3 months, under the guise of taking care of it. She did over $1,000 worth of damage at, of all places, a car wash. One tight turn, one bout of trying to remedy said tight turn, and one big metal guard rail earned her the joy of two police officers blocking the highway and one big tow truck dragging her car sideways to unwedge it. Her little car is drivable and thankfully only her pride was hurt, and the next day she got a call to come for a job interview so therefore it’s no big deal because she will have no problem saving up the money for repairs with a (seasonal, minimum wage, after school) job, right?

Never mind the fact that she needs certain color shirts and pants for work, and she also needed new shoes so as to not wear her nasty shredded (“perfectly good everyone else wears them”) ones to work, so I spent $300 yesterday outfitting her for her (seasonal, minimum wage, after school) job.

Now we await her orientation and schedule to confirm that we will most likely be spending the holidays at home. This has put my mother in a conundrum: she is proud of her granddaughter getting a real job; she is unhappy about her granddaughter getting a real job, because it interferes with traveling to her home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are going to try to haul her and Significant Other here for Thanksgiving; Christmas is TBD. Mama had hernia surgery a couple of weeks ago. My beloved drove down to take care of her and S.O. for most of that week and to make sure she complied with doctor’s orders. Beloved called me the day after surgery, a bit surprised that taking care of my mother post-surgery was like chasing a 3-year-old, or herding cats with a noodle. He understands what I’ve insisted for a long time: Old people in my family do not behave. Now that we are all up here and she and S.O. are left to their own devices, she is feisty and rebellious and sneaking in things like loading the dishwasher and driving to restaurants. This new dilemma with Daughter and the holiday schedule will be a good distraction, so she can sit in her recliner and fret and ponder instead of declaring herself well enough to rearrange furniture, which gave her the hernia in the first place.

When we get them here for Thanksgiving, she will be trying to rearrange MY furniture.

Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy, and non-cat-herding holiday season.

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