December 11, 2014

It’s apt that as I type this entry I am listening to Low’s excellent album “I Could Live in Hope.” If you’re familiar with the band, you’ll understand why I love them. Slow, soft, melancholy, perfect. Only 38 words in and I am already stalling; this is not a good method if you are trying to write a blog, unless you are Algernon Blackwood and are getting paid by the word for your stories in magazines. Sadly, I am not Algernon Blackwood.

I was conversing with a friend a few days ago via text messaging about the holidays, and that it doesn’t bother me as much anymore; I am feeling much better, and am able to deal with the loss of my mother more maturely now, so to speak. Then, I promptly slipped into a deep depression, accompanied by a completely atrocious attitude. Well, I guess I wasn’t progressing as well as I thought. Granted, 2014 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for me, but looking back, what year was? I digress.

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13 is apparently getting ready to ask a new girl to go steady. She is tutoring him in math. He is literally living out a fantasy if she says yes. The kid has skills, I will give him that. He will be leaving to see his father for Christmas in another 13 days, and he doesn’t seem too excited about it at the moment. When he’s there I know he’ll have a good time, though; his father is a real life cartoon character, so 13 will get his fill of rough-housing and the like that he doesn’t get here. Around these parts, we have dinner table discussions regarding the ongoing repression of minority groups and the poor treatment of women in society. With his father, he listens to country music, goes muddin’, plays with horses, and gets his fill of League of Legends. Come to think of it, why isn’t he more excited?

I have so much to write about, but so little energy to do it. Perhaps I will write more later. Have a nice holiday season! Here’s a cute picture to make up for the shitty writing.

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Dots and dashes with peppermint lashes

I was finally able to convince myself to leave the house today and actually go somewhere to be around people. I don’t normally do this due to my extreme fear of people in general. Of course, my travels took me to the local big box bookstore. After purchasing the requisite coffee, I wandered around the aisles for a good 30 minutes, looking at nothing in particular, before leaving empty-handed because I was unwilling to spend over $10 on books that are upwards of 75 years old. I went in feeling very well; after all, I got myself out of the house, which is a rarity. I left feeling somewhat downtrodden. Being so close to Thanksgiving, they were playing the obligatory Christmas music, and hearing it just sucked all the joy out of me, which I think is the opposite effect of what it is intended to do. It’s like this every year for me. Christmas time rolls around and I become even more of an insufferable oaf than I already am. Logically, I don’t feel I really have a good reason to hate the season; I have a wife who loves me very much, as well as a step-son who I care for very much. Yet, this time of year just leaves me feeling despondent, and very much alone. I will leave it for the psychiatrists out there to analyze.

13 is getting restless. He doesn’t want to date this girl anymore, but he also doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of breaking up with her, going so far as to use us as an excuse to get out of hanging out with her this weekend. Obviously, the end is nigh. He’s interested in at least two other girls, one being his girlfriend’s best friend. I told him if he wants to completely ruin his social life forever, by all means pursue this girl. This shows to his naivete towards dating, that he didn’t understand how doing that could virtually ruin his life for the foreseeable future. He is not quite there yet in terms of emotional maturity, and I am totally fine with that. I am hoping that if and when he (or she) breaks it off, he just goes back to being a kid for awhile. Dating is hard work.

I love the winter as long as I am inside. I can appreciate the cold air as an invigorating tonic, but only in doses of a few minutes. I really sympathize for those of you whom are out there working in this cold every day.

Buying New Soul

So, I’ve met 13’s girlfriend. Twice. As a matter of fact, she is due to come over in under an hour to watch movies and probably make out with him. Funny thing is, I like her. This reversal is mostly due to her straightening up her act; she has dropped all of the drama, and has seriously toned down the raciness of her texts. She’s polite in person, and not embarrassed or awkward when you converse with her. What’s more, she legitimately wants to spend time with my step-son, even going so far as to choose coming over here to hang out with him instead of going to the mall. That one blew my mind, truthfully. Everything seemed to change a few days after their first break-up. Once she realized that he wasn’t going to drop on his knees and beg her to come back, she also went against type; she sought him out, repaired the relationship, and dropped all histrionics (perhaps I could learn a thing or two from her.)

The past two weeks or so have been a bit rough for me. Depression has reared its ugly head once again, and I am doing my best to stave it off. It sucks so much joy out of my life, but observing how happy this kid is right now is definitely helping me battle my blues. The kid is practically walking on air; he loves his school, he just made honor roll, he has lots of friends, and he has a girlfriend. At 13, that’s akin to winning the lottery.

Now, if I could only improve his taste in music…

Respect for the 13

13 is growing up fast. In many ways he is more mature than I was at his age. I lacked self-confidence, due in part to extremely high anxiety in my teens, that to date has never dissipated. He, on the other hand, could probably run for mayor of our town and win. He’s not afraid of engaging a crowd, and more importantly, doesn’t seem to give a shit what people think about him. Sure, he cares about his appearance and doesn’t want to come off as some kind of goof in front of you, but he is also ready to stand up for his beliefs. A week or two ago his school had a “goth-theme”, and they encouraged the students to come dressed in their finest goth gearYou cannot get in this kid’s way when it comes to school spirit; he will mow you down. The students could do whatever they wanted; if they wanted to wear all kinds of crazy make-up and clothes, they were allowed to. At that age, I might have thrown a black shirt on or something, but that was about it. I was very anti-spectacle. 13 went out with his mother to the store and proceeded to buy black nail polish and black lipstick. He went to school the following day dressed all in black, with black lipstick, nails, and eyeliner. He rocked it, quite honestly. The school he attends has their own Facebook page, and they routinely post pictures of the students doing random things. Sure enough, that night there was a picture of the kid getting his lipstick reapplied by some chick. Well played, 13.

This is nowhere near what he looked like but we'll just pretend that it was.
This is nowhere near what he looked like but we’ll just pretend that it was.

He was ribbed by some of the guys at school, of course; he was one of the only boys who actually put make-up on. One of his buddies said to him that only girls wear nail polish, and his response was: “And?” When he came home he didn’t even rush upstairs to scrub the polish off. He waited until the next morning and only succeeded in removing some of the lacquer and not all of it. So he just left it on. He still has some bits of it on his nails now, and he doesn’t give one single fuck about it. Being a 13 year old boy in my past life, I know that takes some serious balls. I will admit that I gained some admiration for him after that.

He is handling his second stint as crazy-girl’s boyfriend much better, too. Here are some examples:

(1) Text conversation:

Him: Are you going to the Halloween Dance?

Her: No. There’s always so much drama!

Him: OK. Well, I am.

I might have paraphrased a bit, but that was pretty much what happened. And guess what? After she realized that he was going no matter what, she relented and accompanied him. This kid loves to shake his ass, and no mere woman is going to stand in his away from becoming the reincarnated Michael Jackson.

(2) Conversation between himself and me:

Me: Better turn your phone on. I bet it’s blowing up since you’ve been gone. (He had stayed at his friend’s house for the weekend, and left his phone at home by choice.)

Him: Nah, she can wait. I told her I was gone for the weekend. I’ll text her tonight. (Opens up computer and turns on League of Legends.)

-End Scene-

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I’m liking this updated version of 13.

Saturday Morning Hysterics

Well, 13 is back with the tramp. I guess I should have seen this coming, having been in many dysfunctional relationships myself. If anything, it at least gives me a few more blogs worth of material.

This may or may not be me.
This may or may not be me.

They went out last night on a date, but with a few other people, too. If I can keep it like that until he’s 34, I will have succeeded as a parent. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

13 and dating; parents around the world have heart attacks

13 is back in the saddle, so to speak. He took exactly one day to grieve the loss of his relationship with that trollop, and he has moved on towards greater things. He is already chatting up another girl, much to the dismay of his ex. I believe that this jerk-off never intended to break up with him; she expected him to be down on his knees, begging her to come back, that he could change, that he would love to go to the mall! Luckily, he did not, mostly due to my radical and frothing-at-the-mouth coaching over the extended weekend. My wife helped a bit, too, of course, if only to prevent me from ripping the phone out of his hands to type a vitriolic manifesto-like response to her juvenile attempts at goading him. The first day back at school she was playing the sympathy card to people; kids were asking him why he broke up with her. She totally twisted it around. Then, in an about-face yesterday she attempted to repair the relationship and rekindle the friendship. 13 agreed, because in his world there is no reason why you can’t be friends with someone again after you’ve dated (poor thing.) That brings us up to last night, when she texted him out of the blue to ask him to “stop telling everyone we made out.” He claims that he didn’t tell anyone, but you know how it was in high school. For each person you tell a secret to, you can count on at least twenty other people finding out. Oh, how I would love to shake this girl about until her senses were rearranged.

I tend to be a sensitive soul. If you are in pain, I feel it with you. I suppose we call that empathy. High school was a grind; I would never want to go back to that again. We forget how hard it was growing up. It’s exhausting! You are constantly learning new things, how to act, your body and mind are constantly changing, etc; it’s a wonder we ever make it to our twenties!

The next time you lose your temper at your teenager for slagging you off, take a step back for a moment and remember how much shit was going on inside your brain at that age. I am not advocating here that we let our kids get away with murder; I am just advocating for more slack on the rope.

Teenage Love

Well…it’s over.

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13 has been dumped because he had the audacity to not want to go to the mall. I wish I were kidding. I will break it down very simply for you, and then you will remember why being 13 sucked. He asked her on Saturday night if she wanted to go to the movies today (Monday.) She said maybe, that she would have to check and get back to him. Sunday afternoon she texted him to let him know that she couldn’t make the 1:30 showing because she was going to be shopping at a mall with her mother. OK, he said, how about 4:30? Suddenly, she realized that she was going to be at the mall all day and if he wanted to see her he would have to come with. Incidentally, this mall is over 90 minutes away and in another state. Um, no. His exact words at this moment, and I also believe were the death knell, was “Shopping is not my forte.” Within 10 minutes of that statement, the relationship was over. According to her, he should have spent his entire day at the mall with her, because you should do things you don’t like in order to spend time with your partner. Now, she’s not entirely wrong here; yes, some times in a relationship you make sacrifices for the other partner in order to spend some time together, but this goes beyond that. You are asking a 13 year-old boy to spend an entire day in a mall with you and your mother while you both go shopping. Are you insane? Don’t answer that.

Everyone knows how I feel about this harlot. I am secretly glad that she broke it off. I am relieved to not have to answer questions like “She’s asking me if I had a boner. What’s that?” I am happy to no longer read texts where she is asking him to take a shower with her (that last text was from Saturday night, and when I read it, my wife had to talk me out of banning him from seeing her again, as well as possibly contacting her parents.) I also think that, deep down, 13 is a bit relieved to be free of the shackles of having a girlfriend. The dude just wants to play League of Legends and watch Netflix. In fact, he is going to make that a requirement for the next girl that wants to date him. If you want to play video games, watch movies, and eat junk food, I am your man. We can kiss if you want to, I guess.