Loud and clear

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You ever feel like you are under-appreciated?

We just passed a holiday of sorts – Father’s Day.

I remembered my dads. I have three (dad and two FILs). It’s an easy thing to do, right? Talk to one, remember the others. Acknowledge them, appreciate them, take time out of your day to help them feel special for a moment. Doesn’t take a long time, but it is important.

Now, background here…I married into a lot of kids the second time around. Most of them adults by the time they came into my life. So now, including spouses of the kids who are married, there are eight.

Could of days ago, I heard from three.

That’s it. Three.

Didn’t hear a peep from 5 of the 8. There haven’t even been any “after the fact” acknowledgements either.

So, now full disclosure, you know the source of a LOT of the Piss and Moan material.

I try to deny the fact and ignore it, but there just isn’t any denying it.

Look, I realize they have another dad. I haven’t ever expected to be the top of the list. But at the very least acknowledged? Yes.

I am not looking for anything fancy, lord knows that most of them can’t afford crap (see other, numerous, posts about adult children living in our house or on our property). But it doesn’t take much to make someone feel appreciated, right?

Is it wrong for me to feel this way?

 

Babysitting

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I have known for quite a while I don’t like little people. That’s why I didn’t become an elementary teacher. I just couldn’t handle it. It drove me nuts.

Then I had my own child and I survived the little people stage. It wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be, but I was glad when it was over. I definitely didn’t want to repeat it again. It’s one thing to watch your own young kids. It’s another to watch someone else’s, no matter who they are.

So, naturally, I hate babysitting.

But, I find that I am required to do so once in a while for a family member. Mostly it is because I feel obligated and can’t really say no, even though my selfish heart really tells me I should. I have no desire, at all, to spend time with little people. None.

Unfortunately, my sister needed some help this last Saturday and thus, I am obligated to watch my 3 year old niece. She is smart. She is relatively well behaved. I still don’t like it. I can’t wait for nap time to come.

Like really.

Nap time for her. Nap time for me.

Why do I say yes to this torture……??

Price gouging?

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What do you guys thing? Could this instance be considered price gouging or just market demand?

New Years Eve plans weren’t set in stone yet, so going to the movie theater was determined to be a good idea. Killing a few hours at a movie would help get the evening along and help me make it to the new year (instead of being an old, grumpy person – er, like every other day).

Anyway, we only have one movie theater that is local so to the AMC we went. During the ticket purchasing process it was discovered that the normally $5+ tickets at the theater were just the normal price of $11+. Huh? What’s going on here? Discount Tuesday has been a thing for years and this last year has been no different, so why suddenly are prices not the normally discounted price?

Come to find out, because both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are the night before a holiday, the theater suspended the special price to take advantage of the fact that maybe more people would want to go see movies. Really? They’re going to jack the normally low price up for two days just so they can take advantage of their customers?

To me, it smacks of “price gouging,” because it is taking advantage of an abnormal situation to make more money. The official definition doesn’t say anything about a “state of emergency” or “disaster,” but if you look at legal definitions it tends to lean in that direction.

I guess it probably isn’t really price gouging, but it feels really shady when you are standing in line to buy tickets with your kids and what would have been a $25 night at the movies turns into $60 (before you even buy popcorn or snacks) because you have no choice at that point. I watched family after family be surprised by the unique “price adjustment” and the unspoken visual debate between husband and wife take place via their eyes. There were some who just turned around and left, but not very many. As parents, it’s hard to turn around and leave when you have all those eyes staring at you in expectation. So, they break the budget to make it happen.

Real shady, AMC. Real shady.

Pick up

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Time for a good ol’ fashioned rant about kids.

What is the freakin’ deal with kids these days? Specifically my own, but really it must be more than just my own. I may be a matter of culture at this point.

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter how old they are, they just don’t/won’t pick up after themselves.

When the adult children come over, they leave crap laying around. Stuff they used – dishes, a towel, a coat, shoes, personal possessions…then throw in if they have kids and then there is all their crap spread all over the place like the dang toy chest exploded. The adult kids don’t even pick up after their own kids. They leave stuff in the yard and spread out all over. They leave stuff in the driveway. They leave stuff in the bathroom, living room, etc. You get the point.

We got after them as kids to clean up after themselves. We disposed of things when they didn’t pick up after themselves and being warned. We grounded them. We yelled. Why did the message not get through? Wait, maybe it did. Maybe they are just that lazy that they don’t care. From the oldest to the youngest, it’s a problem. Not they have multiplied and their minions are doing the same thing.

Ugh.

I think I’ll move to Siberia. As least there it will be minimally populated and I won’t have to pick up after people.


 

Whether they are adults or not, what do you kids do that annoys you?

Seat for one

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It has been a summer of doing stuff on my own. Mostly traveling to different extended family events in other parts of the state. Back forth I go!

Once again, I am off on my own this weekend. The family is going in many different directions and when the kids get to be of the age where they have cars and jobs, they have to start making choices between participation and doing this “adult-ish.”

So, once again, I have reserved a seat for one at a family gathering.

I am not sure if I am complaining or bragging. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t that way, but at other times I don’t mind it because I don’t have to be accountable to or worry about anyone but me. There is freedom in that. I can eat when I want. I can stop on the way there when I want. I can take my time and get there when I want.

OK, I guess I am not really complaining on this when I look at it that way.


 

Do you value your time alone when you are traveling or would you prefer to do it with others?

Vacation planning

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There is a reason teachers would rather go to work sick, or skip all professional development. It’s because it is more work than it is worth. Planning takes time and effort and more times than not there is more work to do when you get back. It is just easier to be there than to not be there.

Now that I am not in the classroom, I think I have found the regular working stiff equivalent.

I now understand why Americans would rather work and accrue vacation days rather than actually go on vacation.

Why is using vacation and taking a vacation so much work?

Steps to taking a vacation:

  1. Plan when to go on vacation MONTHS (if not years) in advance.
  2. Save your butt off for vacation (or rack up CC bills while on vacation so you can work your butt off when you return).
  3. Ask for time off and cross your fingers someone didn’t beat you to the dates.
  4. Plan where to go or what to do…this couldn’t probably be 10 mores steps by itself but for demonstration purposes, I’ll keep it at one.
  5. Arrange for pet-sitter/house-sitter/rides to or from airport.
  6. Shop for vacation.
  7. Pack for vacation.
  8. Load up the car.
  9. Worry about forgetting something while you drive away.
  10. Unload the car.
  11. Hustle off to destination.
  12. Unpack when you get to destination.
  13. Do stuff. See stuff. Eat stuff. Drink stuff. Repeat.
  14. Pack to go home.
  15. Load the car.
  16. Worry about forgetting something at the place you just left.
  17. Travel.
  18. Get back home.
  19. Unpack.
  20. Do laundry from vacation (and perhaps a house-sitter).
  21. Catch up on mail.
  22. Catch up on yard work.

Return to work exhausted.

Is vacation really worth the trouble?


Anyone else ever feel like this? Ever needed a vacation from your vacation?

I don’t want you…

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Kids. They can be so confusing.

When my daughter was really young she used to tell me that she “didn’t want me.” I, of course, knew she was mad at me and knew that she wasn’t really speaking truth, at least the truth of a 2-3 year old.

Now I find myself in the later years, as she is a teen, saying more things that start with, “I don’t want you…”

Most of the time is related to a request for her independence and I respect that. I shouldn’t need or want to do everything for her. I am willing to let her explore things on her own and allow her the freedom to have success and to make mistakes. I may not always be happy about the choices, but they are hers to make. I can, of course, choose not to honor the “I don’t want you…” if I know the choice or decision isn’t in her best interest and is dangerous.

She now has a job. It’s doing something she likes (kinda, kids don’t really like to work) and in a sport she has enjoyed for a long time. She has been reffing soccer games for the parks and rec. For the most part, she has enjoyed it and she has been successful at it this year.

I once said, shortly after she got the job, that I was going to come watch her some time. Her response was, “Dad, I don’t want you to come watch me ref games.” When asked why she said that was just weird, that parents aren’t supposed to go to their kids’ place of work just so they can watch them. OK, get that. We visited my son at Taco Bell shortly after he got his first job just to tease him a little but it wasn’t to sit and watch him during his whole shift.

So, to honor her request, I have stayed away. Part of me wants to go watch her and be proud of the job she does, but I can also do that just sitting at home. I don’t have to see her to know she is doing the best she can, really enjoying what she is doing at the time, and be proud of her too. Right?

Am I correct in honoring her “Dad, I don’t want you…”?


Why can’t kids come with a damn instruction manual?

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime

Old curmudgeon

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Maybe I really don’t have a heart. Maybe it is just a dark spot in my chest. A black hole of emotion, if you will.

I am sure you are all aware it was Easter over the weekend. There are two sides to the holiday – a Christian celebration or the commercialized side. Most people pick one or the other, or there is some kind of mingling of the two.

Sometimes celebrations bring out the curmudgeon in me. I don’t know why. It just does.

As I was wandering the yard and the grandkids, nieces, and nephews were hunting for candy and change filled plastic eggs I realized this is a really stupid practice. The whole dying eggs, or filling plastic ones, hiding them (or dropping them in plain sight) and then “finding” them – what a dumb ritual.

OK, I can hear the groans and eye rolls from here. “C’mon, it’s fun for the littles!”you say. It might be and their smiles might be a sign of the enjoyment. But I still don’t like it or enjoy it. I did it for my daughter when she was really little, but I didn’t especially enjoy it.

I know. I am an old, un-fun fogey. A grump. A curmudgeon.

Anyone else have a strong dislike for this Easter Egg hunt thing?

There she goes

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Strange things have been happening around here. My little one has turned 16 and a new form of freedom is upon us both.

I love it!

I hate it…

It feels very weird. I mean really weird.

Yesterday, after having her license for three whole days, was the first time she got in a car and drove away by herself. There was no one in the car…except her…

After 16 years, it is time to do a little letting go and I have to admit it is scary. I mean, I love watching my daughter grow and mature and become her own person, but inside the pride is mixed with hurt. Not the kind of hurt that is caused by someone that has done something to you, but a hurt that just aches because you know the “little girl” is gone.

It was surreal watching her drive away. Away to a place of her choosing. She has many more destinations ahead of her and I am not going to be able to protect her as she goes.

Man, growing old is tough. These new adventures my daughter is taking me on are tough.

There she goes…

Limited sale quantity

Over the weekend I was shopping, online. I try to avoid stores if I can and will do so until I can no longer make due.

On said shopping venture I found an item that I thought would fit the budget and would be good for both kids (we usually put this item in their stocking each year). So I decided to buy.

Much to my dismay, the sale was limited to ONE item. I can only buy one. That sucks. How is it really a sale (price wasn’t fantastic) if it has a limit of one? I guess one kid doesn’t get a present in their stocking this year.

Come on, Amazon, you can do better than that.

I wonder which kid is my favorite?