Category Archives: friends

Fair Weather Friends

Woe is the life of a six year old.  I mean, who knew kids could be so… fickle?  Snags has decided to start a club.  But only kids who are nice to him can join.  This leaves Trevor and Zane out, that’s for sure. Because they aren’t nice.  In fact, they aren’t even Snags’ friends anymore.  Especially Trevor, he’s downright mean. 

Alarming, isn’t it? Just wait, there’s more.

What, I inquired, did Trevor do that was so mean?

“I don’t remember,” Snags said.

Okaaaay then, I thought.  “Well, if you can’t remember what he did that was so mean, how do you know he was actually being mean?” I asked.

“Well, everyone knows you can’t break a pinky swear, but Trevor did.  There’s a fiddle diddle that you can break a promise but you can’t break a pinky swear.  Or maybe it’s you can break a swear but you can’t break a pinky swear…  Or maybe it’s you can break a pinky promise but not a pinky swear.  I can’t remember, but I think it’s you can break a promise but definitely not a pinky swear.”

Yes. Right. Of course. Clearly! I thought. “But wait!” I nearly shouted, as I held up my hand in the classic “Stop! Talk to the hand!” position.     “A fiddle diddle?”  I asked.

He rolled his eyes.  “It’s like a rhyme, mom.  Geez.” And in his mind I could hear him thinking, My mom is so uncool. She doesn’t even know what a fiddle diddle is and, God, what were you thinking? Why did you give me HER as a mom? She doesn’t even like Star Wars!

It took a little while, but three hours later I had managed to drag part of the story out of Snags.  He and Trevor had made a pinky swear to not be mean to each other ever again.  But now Trevor has gone and broken the pinky swear (which everyone knows you CAN’T DO!).  And this all has something to do with Zane who won’t stay in his spot and gets up and tickles Nicholas under his chin at rest time, but he shouldn’t do that and even though Snags might have done that before it’s okay because Snags sits right beside Nicholas, but now Trevor and Zane and Snags can’t sit together and Zane has to sit in the red row but he doesn’t stay where he is supposed to and by God I don’t know what any of this has to do with a broken pinky swear except to say that six hours after the story began I learned that Trevor and Zane were covering their ears at lunch so they didn’t have to listen to Snags (talking about Star Wars again?) and everyone knows THAT’S not good.  Because if you want to be part of the club and you cover your ears then you can’t hear what anyone in the club is saying!

Snags asked me to write this all down so as he gets more clues he can try to solve this mystery and figure out why Trevor and Zane aren’t his friends anymore and also this one:  Why does Bryne change her mind?

“What does she change her mind about?”  I asked.

“I love you, I don’t love you, I love you, I don’t love you…” he said, sounding exasperated.

See?  Fair weather friends.  And girlfriends.  Or not.



Filed under friends, humor, life, Snags

Like a Drug

Nearly 24 hours later and I am still floating off the high that comes from visiting with best old friends.  These friends of ours, they used to live next door to us.  This was in our newly married stage, pre-kids, as were they, and we had time to get together at each other’s house or a nearby restaurant for dinner, for drinks, for stories, for laughter.  Oh, the laughter!

Years went by and they had their child first, and my husband and I used to spend time with them. We’d hold the baby and she’d fall asleep in our arms and we’d lay her down or our friends would take her home and put her in her crib and come back over with the baby monitor.  We lived in townhouses and really, it was like the baby was just in the next room.

I had thoughts, when I became pregnant, that my friend and I would spend part of our days together, taking long walks, pushing the strollers, and she could share her mothering wisdom with me, like a mentor.  Her baby had recently turned one after all.  But it wasn’t to be.  Just weeks before my son was born our friends announced they were moving out of state.  A new job beckoned and they had to go to it.  A few days after my son was born they were gone, and I was lost.  I mourned the loss of my friends, and I lived the hell that is post partum depression.

Time marched on.  Our friends had another baby.  We moved out of our townhouse. We visited our friends one winter weekend, at their home in New Jersey.  Their first baby was 3 ½ already, the second just learning to crawl.  Our son had fun playing with the girls, we had fun visiting with our friends.

Time marched on again.  Our friends moved to Connecticut, their oldest daughter started school.  Here we are a few years later still, and their oldest is in 2nd grade, loves to read, and is studying tap dancing. My son is in Kindergarten and easily seduced by LEGOs.  Their youngest, at 4 ½ attends preschool, has a head full of the thickest and curliest blonde hair there ever was, and may have stronger seductive powers than LEGOs.  When we got together yesterday my son never left her side. We found them at one point, my son down on one knee, the hand of his outstretched arm clasped by his new found friend.  She was standing, staring down at him, as if trying to decipher the sincerity of his proposal.

Needless to say, when I came home from work a few nights ago to an answering machine message from my friends announcing they were in town for a few days, and did we have any time to get together with them, I jumped at the chance.  I called them back right away and we chipped away at dates and times until we found a spot of time in all of our busy lives that would work. A span of a few hours squeezed in before they had to head back home to work and school and everyday life.

It was the day after Thanksgiving, and rather than fight the crowds out hunting for deals on Black Friday, we got together at a holiday festival where the children shared popcorn, jumped around in a moon bounce, rode carousels, and watched miniature train displays.  The festival was nice but crowded, the children easy to lose sight of as we walked and tried to catch up on time spent so far apart.  We talked in spurts, interrupted by pleads of “Mom! Look!” and small hands tugging at our coats. 

Afterwards we went to lunch and once fed, the children busied themselves at one end of the long table by writing on the backs of receipts and scraps of paper and combing the fur of stuffed animals with the plastic tines of a fork.

We the parents, the best old friends, finally got a chance to really talk, to catch each other up on our lives and our families.  We shared stories and we shared laughter.  Oh, the laughter! 

This time as our friends drove away, headed back to Connecticut after their holiday visit here, I wasn’t sad.  I was sated and still high from our time together, from the laughter, like a drug.  It was, I remarked, as I hugged them goodbye, just like old times.


Filed under friends, laughter, life, old times

Banana Phone

Dear Brother,

Happy Birthday!  I sent you a birthday card in the mail.  When it arrives, you might have to pay the post office 2 cents because all I had on hand were the old 39 cent stamps.  I promise you though, if you can dig 2 cents out of your sofa cushions, and fork it over to the post maser, it will totally be worth it because the card is HILARIOUS!  Hallmark’s got some funny people working for them.

I was going to call you and wish you a Happy Birthday in person, until I remembered your phone isn’t working.  When are you going to get that fixed, anyway?  The ½ marathon we ran together was back in April, for goodness sake.  That race was a lot of fun wasn’t it?

It was really unfortunate though, what happened to your cell phone during the race.  I mean, who would have thought that when you put your cell phone in your jacket pocket, and you put that banana in the same pocket with the phone, that so much trouble would come of it all?

Looking back, I guess you realize now that it wasn’t wise to tie your jacket around your waist when the temperatures started to rise.  Doing so meant that the jacket pockets, instead of being in a normal pocket position, were left hanging down near your calves.  I guess on a normal afternoon it might have been fine, but with all that running, it caused the jacket to swing and the pocket with the phone and the banana in it to bang against your calf reapeatedly.  REPEATEDLY!  Which caused the banana to smack into your cell phone over and over and over again.  AND OVER AGAIN.  For 13.1 miles!

Did you know that elite runners take on average 180 steps per minute when they are running?  It was rather obvious after seeing your finishing time that you aren’t an elite runner.  So maybe you took an average of 160 steps per minute during the race.  Divided by 2, (because we’re only going to count one leg in this) that means the pocket was hitting your calf, and the banana inside the pocket, was smashing into your cell phone roughly 80 or so times a minute.  Multiply that by the 171 minutes it took you to complete the race, and you have a recipe for cell phone disaster!  I mean, that was bound to tear open the banana peel, smash the banana to a pulp, and grind it into all the cracks and crevices on your phone.  Well, of course you know that now, don’t you?

Are you still picking out bits of banana from around the buttons on your phone?  And how about the USB port?  I know you said for a while there that the port was so full of banana that it actually thought the phone was connected to the computer.   I actually thought that was kind of funny.  In fact, I think the only way you could have ended up with MORE banana smashed into your phone would have been if we had baked it into a banana cream pie. 

The bobby pin I gave you was too fat to fit into the teeny crevices on your phone.  Did you try a sewing needle like mom suggested?  You might be able to pick out more of the banana with one of those.  Just be careful not to prick your finger with it.  I’m sure you don’t want drops of blood mixed in with all that banana mess. Do you?

I tried, just on the off chance that it might work, actually calling you from a real banana, but Chiquita doesn’t have enough cell phone towers in my area.  They may have more down your way.

Well, if you haven’t fixed your phone yet, you might consider getting a landline for your house.  Or, if you continue to insist on ONLY having a cell phone, you might buy one of those new iPhones.  I haven’t seen one up close and personal yet, but I did read a story about a test somebody did.  They put a set of keys and an iPhone in the same pocket and walked around all day.  The glass on the iPhone didn’t even get scratched.  And from what I can tell from the photos I’ve seen, the iPhone doesn’t appear to have any buttons, so that would be far less crevices to pick banana out of should you ever make such a dumb mistake again.  In fact, you might be able to just WIPE the banana off the phone, in one swipe.  Failing that, the key test I mentioned at least suggests you could scrape the banana off with a knife or something, and the glass would probably still be okay.

The only downfall I see, should you get an iPhone, is that you’d have to change over to AT&T.  Chiquita’s calling network, as far as I know, doesn’t support iPhones.

Happy Birthday from Your loving sister,

P.S.  It’s my friend Russ’s birthday today too! 


Filed under 1/2 marathon, bananas, birthday, brother, cell phone, Chiquita, friends, humor, iPhone, phone, running

Golf and Things Like It

“What are you doing?”  I asked my husband as he knelt on the floor in front of his golf bag and some 40 dozen or so golf balls spilled all over the floor. 

“I’m sorting these golf balls,” he said.  “I have to leave some of these here because you can only take a dozen golf balls with you on the plane,” he said.  “I dumped these out of my golf bag.

“You carry THAT many golf balls around in your bag?” I asked incredulously. 
Then I added, “I bet Tiger Woods doesn’t need that many golf balls.  He probably only carries like one golf ball with him when he travels.

 “Yeah, well,” my husband replied, somewhat huffily, “Tiger Woods is a PROFESSIONAL.”

“Ah, so that would be the difference,” I said.

My husband, you see, was packing to go out of town last weekend to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday.  The entire weekend was a surprise for his friend, Chad.  Chad’s wife organized the weekend, including gathering all of Chad’s friends from near and far to help celebrate with a Dinner Cruise, a day of golfing for the guys, and a fun-filled family bar-b-que.

My son and I turned down the invitation to join in this revelry because:
a) he had a tooth to lose (and so I’ll refer to him as Snaggletooth in this story) and
b) he had two other birthday parties he’d already agreed to attend.  Plus,
c) I get sea sick in the way that Dinner Cruise equals Vomit Fest, and that would have surely put a damper on Chad’s birthday.

By the way, Happy Birthday, Chad!  My present to you is that I didn’t come and throw up all over your shoes!

Anyway, our Saturday back home was filled with birthday parties and a visit from the Tooth Fairy, which, in case you missed it, you can read about here. But on Sunday, Snaggletooth and I splashed around with the hose in the backyard and caught a frog and some kind of large pretty beetle that I think was a scarab.  We put the frog and the beetle in a container and watched them wrestle and try to escape.  The beetle, by the way, won the match hands down. At least as far as I could tell, considering I’m not a wrestling referee so I’m not entirely clear on the rules and scoring and such.

Eventually we set the beetle loose and dumped the frog into our barrel fountain.  We caught 2 more frogs and dumped them in the fountain too.  We watched them swim for awhile then prodded them with a stick when they appeared to have drowned; however, it turned out they were only faking death, and they shot out of the pond aiming for our faces (but luckily just missing) as we jumped back and screamed in abject horror at the trick.  Later, we watched SpongeBob SquarePants on television, read stories, and made giant paintings of Christmas trees with twinkling lights on butcher paper rolled out on the floor of the garage because Snaggletooth kept saying, “I wish it was Christmas and I wish I could paint now.”  And because he woke at 5:45 in the morning, we had finished all of the above before noon.

Sometime after lunch Snaggletooth became contentious and cranky.  He was crying over nothing and whining in that irritating way kids have.  I pronounced him “tired and in need of a nap.”  But to those of you with a 5 year old, you know that uttering the word “nap” is akin to unleashing a stream of invectives at your boss.  That is to say, it’s a very bad thing.

This led to even more contentiousness, crankiness, and crying, with the whining ratcheted up several notches as Snaggletooth argued with me about how un-tired he was.  But I put my foot down and insisted that if he wasn’t going to take a nap then he had to at least rest by lying down on the sofa and watching TV QUIETLY.   I joined him there, hoping to get a chance to read a few pages of a book, and perhaps, if I was lucky, get a short nap myself.

But after only 20 minutes Snaggletooth sat up and said “Mini Golf! I know what we can do.  Let’s go play mini golf!”  I figured that was a better option than shushing him on the sofa for the next hour, and he seemed to have been refreshed by the 20 minute TV break because at least he wasn’t whining anymore.  I grabbed my license, car keys, and some money, and we hopped in the car.  Of course, not five minutes after we started off, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his head nodding back and forth, rolling from side to side, with his eyes glazing over.  “Hey!”  I called.  “You’re not falling asleep back there, are you?” 

“No.”  He lied.  “I’m not tired.”

But 30 seconds later, he was fast asleep.

Crap!  I thought.  Now what should I do?  Turn around and drive home?  He’ll be really pissed off if he wakes up back in the garage and realizes that we didn’t go play mini golf after all.  I considered tricking him.  I could tell him we did play mini golf, but he fell asleep afterward and just doesn’t remember…  Nah, I reminded myself.  That doesn’t work anymore.  He’s too old now.  He stopped falling for that kind of stuff 2 years ago.  Plus, I knew that as soon as I stopped the car he’d wake up.  He wouldn’t stay asleep long enough for me to carry him in the house so there was no way I could claim he’d fallen asleep watching TV and only dreamed we’d gotten in the car to go play golf. 

My only option then seemed to be to keep driving.  I figured that a fifteen minute nap was better than nothing, and so we continued on.

I passed a place that sells riding mowers and tractors.  The sign out front advertised “New and Used Zero Turn Mowers in Stock.”  Zero Turn mowers?  What’s that, I wondered?  I have to believe they turn.  Who would want a mower that doesn’t turn?  I assumed they meant they could turn with a small radius.  Turn on a dime, as the saying goes.  Or smaller yet, on a fraction of a cent, almost nothing — hence, the zero.  Still, I couldn’t help but contemplate the use of a mower that didn’t turn.  Perhaps, I considered, that’s why they have used ones in stock.  Maybe people bought them, took them home, gassed them up and turned them on, only to realize “these don’t turn!”  I bet, I thought, they took them back.  “Yes, I want to return this mower.  It doesn’t turn.  I’ve got one strip of grass cut but that’s it.  I really need something that turns so I can finish mowing the rest of my lawn…”

Anyway, that kept me occupied for a few miles, and then I was turning the car (lucky for us it wasn’t a zero turn car) into the mini golf parking lot.  “Hey kiddo, we’re here!  Wake up.  Do you want to play mini golf?  We’re here…” 

It turns out that I’m pretty good at miniature golf.  I ought to be though.  It’s the only golf I’ve had a chance to play.  I’ve considered going out sometime, playing 18 holes on a real course, but my husband swears that you have to know how to play golf before they (they being the golf course police I assume) will even let you step foot on a golf course.  But I find it curious how that “rule” doesn’t ever apply to my husband’s friends, especially the few that aren’t golfers. I know for a fact that at least one of those non-golfing friends attended Chad’s 40th birthday bash AND joined the guys on the golf course, AND played golf.  Maybe not as well as Tiger Woods, but still, look who’s been carrying 40 dozen golf balls around in his bag.  Also, I am pretty certain they didn’t sneak him in by the trunk of the car, either.  Funny then, how nobody stopped him, nobody asked for his golfing credentials, don’t you think? 

But me, I’m supposed to learn by playing miniature golf.  By putting the ball through the windmill without hitting the turning blades, or through the clown’s mouth while he opens and closes it in an evil sort of way, where it looks like he’s chewing something.  A small animal, or a person perhaps, like the clown from It.

And Snaggletooth. Well, he has his own way of playing.  He refuses to hold the club properly and he hits the ball over and over again without once allowing it to stop rolling.  His version of miniature golf looks suspiciously like hockey.

Also, it occurs to me that maybe the scoring used in golf was invented by a loser.  Somebody who could never score high enough in other games to claim a victory, and so like a petulant child, changed the rules: “No! It’s not the person with the highest score that wins!  It’s the person with the lowest score.  So that’s ME!  Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!  I win and you lose!” 

In the end, the score was:

        Snaggletooth: 113
        Me: 61  

Snaggletooth’s score would have been, if I hadn’t finally stopped counting after 8 or so strokes at each hole, something much higher.  Much, much higher.  If we’d been bowling, say, instead of playing miniature golf, professional bowlers worldwide would have kneeled at his feet in awe and appreciation. 

He does though, seem to understand that in golf at least, less is more.  He said at one hole after a very lucky shot “Wow!  I got a hole in two.  A hole in two is pretty good, huh?”

“Yep, Snaggletooth!  A hole in two is great, I replied. “Your Dad would be proud!” 

1 Comment

Filed under beetle, birthday, clown, friends, frogs, Golf, minature golf, wrestling, zero turn mowers