What I Wish I Would Have Done For My Children

I have great kids. They are the light of my world. I wrote that on a card for each of them at Christmas and gave them a candle to go with it. I love light. And I wish I could have given them more of it when they were young.

I'm afraid I chose a man of darkness as a spouse, and parent of my children. That happens a lot. A person of light chooses a person of darkness because they think they can bring them out of it. It's stupid. It's a concept that is validated by movies like, "Sound of Music." You know the drill. Asshole man meets good woman and asshole man turns into perfect and kindly man.

So, we gave birth to three little lights. Still, not enough light to bring him out. I could never figure out why. But now I know. He loves his darkness. You can't take someone out of something they love.

The children are fine. They are beautiful human beings. I've written a lot about them here. And it's their light that saved me. But I wish I hadn't made them live so long in the darkness. I wish that when they looked back they saw more happiness and less misery. I wish I could have been the free mother I am now, back then.

Ah well. You know the old saying. If wishes were horses...

The MeMe Generation

Obesity in children. No one can figure out how it happened or how to solve it. Everywhere I turn, I run into some new "healthy snack" idea. Little packaged apples, little packaged carrots, little packaged cheese cubes. (Gee whiz, I wonder what we did before those little packaged snacks? Oh I know! We handed them an apple!) And sure, a lot of kids will eat those things. And when they're done, they are still hungry for a more substantial and tasty snack!

I don't think the problem is really rooted in the snack choices we offer our children. I think it's that the Me Generation is raising a MeMe Generation.

I'm gonna blame public schools. (The blame goes way back before that, but we'll start here, because public schools is an easy target.) I'm afraid that parents learned early on that the schools would raise their children. That's why parents are so choosy about the schools in an area where they live. Because that's to be their child's newly adopted parent! It's all planned out. From the minute they are born, we are looking forward to getting them out of the house. I wish it were uncommon to hear a parent say (right in front of the child) "Oh! He goes to kindergarten next year! I can't wait to have the break!" And then we are so excited when they are in first grade, because they'll be in school ALL DAY! Even the most involved and loving parents are caught in this trap of looking forward to the break, because most likely they have been paying a babysitter or a nanny and now they get a financial break. And if that weren't enough, we started putting them in pre-school (for their own good, of course) at age two!

So then, they are in school, and we whine about their vacations when they will be home all day long. And how we can't wait for them to go back to school. We can't wait until they graduate and turn 18 so they can move out and we can get on with our lives that we've put on hold for them.

We've learned to put our children away from us. We figured out that if we put them in front of a tv or a computer, they will shut up and we can have some quiet and think. We've had people talking to us all day. We've had traffic and phones and deadlines all day. And now we come home and we have to help with homework! Good God! If a parent is lucky, they will have maybe an hour to themselves. Maybe. And all of this is done in a fragmented way. We can't stop to eat with the family. Everyone is grabbing something and running out the door. Soccer, football, ballet, music, yoga, whatever! Whatever we can do to essentially fill up every minute of every day with productive shit!

And we feed them. We feed them to shut them up. We feed them first at events or family gatherings. At home, we let them eat an entire bag of chips, because we can't be bothered with spending time training them to put some in a bowl and stop at that. Every once in awhile, we awaken from our coma and say, "Oh my! You can't eat just chips! Here! Have some carrots! They're good for you!" So they learn that, not only do they take precedence, but they need to be fed! And they need to leave us alone to do grown up things!

So what we've done is we've raised a generation of people who are entirely gluttonous. We neglect them, so we appease them. Then neglect and appease. They wind up with too many clothes, too many toys, too many gadgets and too much food! I thank God for parents who don't have the means to appease them in such a way! Single parents have become the best parents because they just can't fucking afford it!

So it's not really obesity that is the problem. It's that we, of the self-absorbed lot, have taught them to be like us. Even anorexic children are consumed with self. It's all rooted in this and there is no solution.

But we can start by having dinner with our children every night. At least they can learn some table manners.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

First the Good ~

I just ate an amazing cheeseburger! I was at Albertson's, and decided I needed a burger. I'm staying in a hotel, so I couldn't just buy raw meat and cook it. So I stopped a young woman and asked her where I could get the best hamburger in town. She said, "Oh I dont' know. I don't eat hamburgers." I said, "oky doky..." and moved on. Not much later, I was in line to check out and she came up to me and said, "My boyfriend tells me that the best hamburgers are at Nation's." I thought that was so sweet that she looked into it and sought me out to tell me! :) At any rate, he was right. Superb burger. It was a little joint with a very small menu, and homemade pies. Lots of people stopping by to pick up pies. It was like an old diner. The layout was so genuinely nostalgic, that everyone there was nice. And by everyone, I mean even the customers! Every one of us was talking like we were afraid of putting the workers out by having them serve us! Now remember, I'm in California! It was such a breath of fresh air. I brought my order home, along with a piece of peaches and cream pie which I have yet to eat, and proceeded to eat that sloppy, perfect burger!

Now for the Bad ~
A List, if you will. (And even if you won't.)

Things that piss me off

Number One Thing:
Receiving forwards in my email box. I know, I know, they are so funny or touching or interesting or beautiful or whatever! And you just want to SHARE that with me. Because you just love me so much! But … well, let’s pretend that I have a wealth of information at my fingertips. I can look up any interesting/beautiful/funny/touching thing I want at any given time! So if you simply can’t stop yourself from sending them to me, then please try to follow two simple rules:
1. Make it a very rare thing.
2. Make sure it’s not a waste of my fucking time! (And by "fucking time" I mean, literally, FUCKING time!)

Number Two Thing:
Guys who know what pisses you off and then do those very things just to get under your skin. Strangely, they think of this as a good wooing tactic. I have no idea where they learned that. Maybe from their fathers? Summer camp? Idiot classes? I used to date a man who I think liked me quite a bit. He was older than me. I don’t usually date older men or even men my own age, because they can’t keep up with me! At like nine or ten p.m. they want to go to bed (and I mean to sleep). I just can’t hang with that sort of inactivity. Hehehe …

ANYWAY, he happened to be online once while I was online and he playfully (or so he thought) started hammering me with email forwards. I’m a good sport. I let him have his fun for the first one or two, but after that (and I mean there were about twenty-five after that) I sent him a message and said, “So, when I tell you something bothers me, you think it’s cool to do that thing?” He replied, “Oh I’m just having some fun.” I said, “And if I tell you something I love, will you begin a plan of withholding that from me? Will that be fun, too?” What a dork. As you can tell by my phrasing of “I USED to date a man…” he’s gone.

Number Three Thing:
When people give you a smartass answer when you ask a perfectly reasonable question. Like, when you work in an office and you ask someone if they’ve seen so and so. I mean really, it is highly likely that they’ve seen them, if it’s a small office. And they say, “I don’t know, it’s not my turn to watch him.” I need someone to give me a good reply to that. Something like, “Oh, I’m sorry for asking… fucker!”

Number Four Thing:
When people ask me to go look at their online photo album and it has 683 pictures in it! I mean, I don’t even like to look at 683 of pictures of my own damn life! These people have begun to be interested in photography and they even think a certain angle of the corner of the desk is worth sharing! My friend’s response to that is, “Don’t you have any pictures of just the ground?”

I have a niece who is into photography. I love her pictures. They are creative and pleasing to view. But she doesn’t hand me triple digits of them!

Is it beginning to sound like maybe I should just settle down with a man (a younger man, who’s not been to that idiot class) in an isolated cabin somewhere?

Yeah, I think so.

And now for the ugly ~
The ugly, ugly truth that I both love and hate humankind. Although the pie might be ugly too, since it was just on a little plate and was tossed about in a bag between there and here. But no doubt it will still be tasty! :)

Dear John... er... I mean, M. Night

Dear M. Night Shyamalan,

I think you are a brilliant man! I think your character development is deeply amazing and superb! And the actors chosen to play the characters are unbelievably perfect for the parts! You are clearly a man who knows about life. You present the real struggles of people in the throes of battle, not only in the terrestrial and the heavenly things, but all those that lie between. It is truly a pleasure to be thrilled by your thoughts! To have my senses tingled and teased by your implications! You bring me to the point of… oh my… titillation… the point of… well… the point of… anti-fucking-climax! What the hell happened? You’re like a seer! Like a prophet! A man with eyes open to the universe, open to hell, open to inner and outer beings! Did you stop searching just short of finding? Every single time you tell a story, you draw me in. You make me be there with you. You drive me along the path you’ve trodden. I can’t wait for the next step. And bam! Brick wall! Every single fucking time! Stop that! Please. I beg of you. Stop telling stories until you really know how to follow through with something that is really going to mean something. Don’t show me meat, if it’s going to just disappear as I reach for it, mouth a-watering. If all you have to offer is straw, then just tell me up front. I can’t take the disappointment any longer!

I’ll be waiting right here to hear from you when you have finished with some things that have some finishings.

Your devoted servant,
Cathouse Teri

I'm Not Impressed with Jessica Alba

I just read about twenty quotes of hers. She's almost empty headed. Very sweet girl, though. And I'm sure she's tons of fun. PLUS, she's hotter than fuckin hot. (God, I hate that term hot.) So I read some things about her at imdb.com. I always segue to different actors in there. I was originally looking to see who that guy is starring with Bruce in the new Die Hard movie. Then I followed to his next movie and she was in it, etcetera. I think she's a real beauty. Just yum yum yummy. Loved watching her in "Honey." Not a great actress. In fact, less than not great. But I appreciate her anyway. I mean, showbiz ain't easy. But I'm still not impressed. (Well clearly she's made some impression on me, for me to spend this many words on her.. ya know, I'm just thinking out loud.)

But you know what's dumb? How in her list of accomplishments, there is a plethora of which number of hottest/sexiest/baberooest she is on this list or that list or whatever the fuck list. How is that an accomplishment? Oh wait. I know. Because even as a girl, she shunned her family's meal offerings because she didn't want to be fat. I guess they were a bunch of fatties. She was anorexic for a bit. All that makes for a girl who is suited for the camera! Yay for the shallow beauties of the world!

All kidding aside, I am positive that she is the sweetest thing in the universe. Her smile lights up the entire screen. You can't help but stare at her. It is my hope that somehow she will find some depth. I have no idea how, in the biz that she's in. If she becomes friends with Salma, maybe. Yeah.. that's it.. Salma can make Jack's movie and Jessica can star in it! She'd be a changed woman after that.

Wait till you hear what I have to say about M. Night Shay... oh hell, I gotta look that up now... Shyamalan!

More about MeMe... Meow?

So I was thinking about the whole thing where you are in a relationship, but you decide to give one another the privilege of being allowed to sleep with one of three famous people (if you ever happen to come by one ~ pun intended). My son and his girlfriend gave me their lists over breakfast yesterday. I began to think. Hmm… I just drove 450 miles one way to be with the man of my dreams. Why would I ever want to be with anyone else, famous or otherwise? (I’m not kidding, he’s that good.) But, just for the sake of brevity, on a day like today when there is really nothing good on the news, I’ll give you my three.

1. Morgan Freeman. There is rarely a man I meet or see (on or off screen) that makes me think, “Oh man! I’d love to fuck him!” But once, while watching MF dance (wow, I just realized what cool initials he has… I’ll bet Samuel L. Jackson is sooooo jealous!) at the end of the movie “Moll Flanders,” I observed that he would probably be a most excellent lover. So there you go. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to know him, in the biblical sense. ;)

2. Augustus McRae. Sure, he’s a fictional character, but one helluva fictional character! Once, I met a man at Temecula Western Days who was a Robert Duvall lookalike. I had stopped by an outdoor wine and beer garden with a friend and she said, “Teri… look over here.” And there she stood, chatting with Gus McRae. I had never experienced the feeling of being so entirely and deeply in love with a stranger upon meeting. Now I’m not talking about love at first sight. Everyone has felt that. But that is a shallow feeling, albeit a HUGE one. (Let’s just call it wide, but not deep! Horizontal, if you will… hehe) But I’m not talking about that sort of feeling. I mean when I looked up and virtually saw the greatest man that ever lived standing there in front of me (remember, it’s Gus I’m in love with, not Duvall, although I like him plenty) the deepest rush of emotion washed over me… and joy. My friend exclaimed to me, “Teri! Stop standing there with your mouth agape! It’s Gus!” I smiled. He said, “Well, actually, I’m not Gus today, I’m Boss Spearman, the man Duvall played in Open Range.” I gave him as sassy a look as I could muster and said, “You want a poke?” He said, “Yes!” I said, “Well then you’d better be Gus!”

3. Salma Hayek. There’s just something about that woman that makes me want to spend a night in bed with her.