Monday, June 22, 2009

Dropping the F-Bomb

My Aunt, sister and I threw my parents a 40th wedding anniversary party on Friday. Everything went perfectly, and the guests really enjoyed themselves. That being said, I left the party wondering when it's OK to drop the f-bomb.

It's not like I haven't heard this word at least a thousand times. I teach students in high school who are fond of the word and creatively use it. My f'in teacher . . . He f'd her . . . I brought an f'in sandwich for lunch. It would seem there is no limit to the word's place in the English language.

However, I was dumbstruck when a friend of my father's, who will remain nameless, said that very word while we were talking Friday night. It came up casually, but hearing it was like hitting a warm spot in the pool. Before I knew what was going on, I was entrenched it in. In fact, after he said it, I wasn't entirely sure it had really happened. Here we were, having a very normal conversation when BAM. The f-bomb enters unannounced.

I didn't know what to do. Do I respond in kind? Should I ask him what he thinks of this f-in party? What the f are you doing later? Maybe I should keep it friendly. How the f are you?I mean, when one drops the word, does it mean we should all start swearing? And if I don't begin swearing, will it make the other party feel uncomfortable, as if I didn't pick up on their invitation to join the club?

I think I threw in the word "shit" at some point soon after the f-word entered the conversation. I figured it wasn't quite as bad as "the" word, but let him know I was still cool. It was a safe alternative. I'm happy with my decision. Plus, it's less likely to get back to my father. Deep down, I feel we've taken our relationship to a new level. We're swearing buddies now. F-yeah!

Beth - 1 F-word - 1 (We're on equal footing now)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yeah Boy!

Yup. This pretty much sums up Northern Virginia. Oh, that is where I live, by the way.

Remy - 1,124 Beth - 1 (cause I live there)

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Nice Little Saturday

So, a funny thing happened at Target on Saturday. At least, it is funny now. It wasn't funny on Saturday.

I went to Target for two things: an inflatable pool with a slide for the backyard and a card for my sister's bridal shower. Sounds easy enough, but my son is two and a half. He knows how to unbuckle the straps that keep him in the cart. Therefore, I have no choice but to let him walk. He loves it. Freedom. Lots of things to touch and break.

You can see where I'm going with this. We made it to the back of the store to get the pool without incident. I won't lie. I bribed him. I promised to buy a pair of Thomas the Train swim shorts if he behaved. But a shiny new tricycle caught his eye as I decided between the dinosaur pool and the dolphin pool. You can understand his dilemma. Wouldn't everyone rather have the shiny new tricycle?

In less than a minute, he was on the floor, on his back, kicking his legs and screaming. I did the only thing a mother in this situation could do. I made a run for it. With a shrieking toddler under my arm, I grabbed the cart with my free hand and bolted for the checkout counter. There was panic in each teller's eyes. They didn't want me to come to their line. But I had to choose one of them. A middle-aged man with no line was the winner.

Something along the lines of "I need to get out of here NOW" spewed from my mouth as he scanned the pool and shoved it into a bag. I wouldn't buy the swim trunks, which only made the situation worse. I had my son by the wrist as he screamed "Mine! My choo-choo train shorts!" My daughter chose this moment to tug on my shirt and remind me that she was being a good girl.

I tucked my screaming son under my arm yet again and propelled the cart forward, out of the store and through the parking lot. Suddenly, Joey squirmed out of my grasp. As I turned to re-acquire him, my cart took off, barreling down the hill. A young man with a pregnant wife came to the rescue, sprinting towards the cart and saving it before it hit anything. I'm pretty sure he's regretting his decision to have children at this very moment.

I eventually got Joey into the car and went straight to Wendy's. Chicken nuggets stopped the temper tantrum.

Even though I didn't get a card for my sister, we made it to the car in one piece. I consider the trip a success.

Beth - 1 Joey - 0

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The End of Shimmer

It is a sad day for my first novel. I officially received forty-five rejections, and the one request for a partial was returned today. It didn't "resonate" with the agent, which is a nice way of saying "it sucked." To be honest, it probably does suck. Even so, I must admit that I am more than a little bit crushed.

Gone are my secret dreams of immediate greatness. I haven't lost my desire to write, but my eagerness to become a published author has waned. I'd hardly be human if I didn't admit that rejection hurts.

On the bright side, I got a lovely "I'm sorry and still think you're great" BBQ popcorn kiss from my husband. The smell of his breath continues to linger in the air.

And the weekend isn't a complete wash. The English department had a "good riddance" party for those of us leaving, and one of my co-workers had some very kind remarks for me. It looks like I did a bang-up job of convincing them I'm a good teacher. All those acting classes came in handy!

I am worried about the state of my classroom when I return on Monday. The ants (and that is not a code name for something else. I do, literally, mean ants) were attempting a take-over on Thursday. They were aggressive a few weeks ago, but came back with a vengeance when they discovered my students were making literature dioramas using candy Peeps. I sprayed them with wipe-off-board spray, but that will only hold them for so long. Little bastards.

Beth - 0 Literary Agents - 45 Ants - ?