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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


...so it just must suck to have me as a mom sometimes. My lack of patience manifests in interesting ways.

Today, we opened up a new box of Pop Tarts. The kids were excited because there was a temporary tattoo inside.

ONE temporary tattoo.

Do you see the issue? Immediately, a fight ensued as to who would get the rights to the tattoo. The squabbling got to me. I didn't feel like doing the usual "let's put this up since you guys can't decide who gets it" routine wherein I then save it for a later time when, oh, I dunno, we get another box of Pop Tarts and hence another tattoo.

Nope. Exasperated, I grabbed it and put it on myself. "It's mine. I never get the tattoos," I whined, and to their stunned expression (and Alex's huge grin), I then proceeded to use a wet washcloth to add it to my arm. They hovered around anxiously to see the result, then giggled when they saw that mom's left arm now proudly says, "Pop Tarts...To The Moon!" with an odd graphic next to it.

If you're on Clemson's campus tomorrow, I think I'll be pretty easy to spot. It's a big ass tattoo.

My poor kids.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who's Awesome?

My daughter. That's who.

So, she did very well at that audition on the 2nd of Feb. We were told that if she were "good enough" to make the second cut, she'd have to try out again on the 23rd. We got the letter today. She does not have to try out again on the 23rd. Why, you ask?

Because she's so freakin' awesome that she's already in the damn program!!!

Ariana will be in the county-wide gifted program for drama this summer for two weeks.

I'm so excited for her that I'm not sure what to do. There's a lot of baggage attached to this particular topic that my daughter doesn't know, nor do I think it necessary for her to know because I think she'd feel pressure then to succeed FOR me. Let me give the short explanation. I always wanted to do drama, and my mom made sure I couldn't do it. See, she was afraid that if I liked it too much, I'd want to try and be an actress for a living. God forbid her daughter do something non-intellectual for a living! So, excuses were always made, lies were even told, just to keep me from being allowed to try out or do anything with theatre. Finally, in my senior year of high school, she allowed me to audition for the last two plays of the year once I had my early decision acceptance to Duke in my hands. She admitted to me many, many years later--in a moment of weakness, too, because my mother won't typically admit ever doing anything wrong--that she knew that it was "safe" to let me try out then because I hadn't built up the confidence and enjoyment with it that would make me do it in college around others who had been doing it for years (Duke has a decent drama program). She knew she had thwarted what she considered a bad career for her daughter.

One of the many, many promises I made to myself when I was pregnant that no matter what my child wanted to do, I would in no way be discouraging unless it was just something physically impossible (IE, she/he lost both legs and wanted to run in the regular Olympics). All career options were fine, regardless of status or money or education. Alex backs me up on that, which is why when Jared--who loves to wash my car with Alex, and he's very detail oriented about it too--opened up his mouth to say that he wanted to be a professional car cleaner when he grew up, we both nodded and told him he had the eye for it. The end. So, no matter what Ariana said she wanted to do or not do, I was behind her.

I just had no idea that she'd love to do drama, is all. I dunno. It almost feels like we're righting the universe here. We're correcting a tilt. She now has me telling her, if you WANT to do it, I'll support you because I KNOW you can do it. But she doesn't have me telling her she has to do it (I hate stage moms!) nor that she can't (my daughter can do damn well near anything!). Sometimes, we do get to fix things...just not in the way we expected.


I had my first hysterical female meltdown in class on Monday, and I was at a loss. Let me correct myself: it's not that I haven't seen a girl sniff over a bad grade, nor see a girl get anxious and panicky over a test she's just taken. I just never have had a student have a complete, total freakout to the point wherein her sobs and tears were frightening the next class coming in for whatever subject (you could see it in the students' eyes as they filed in...who IS this bitch of a teacher? Let's never take her. She makes STUDENTS CRY! haha!). The odd part is that her sobbing fit was over an 88. A grade of a B+ is not bad (esp. for me). She screamed and wailed that I had told her that her paper was crap. So, I had to ask her exactly where I did that...and of course she couldn't find those exact words on her paper because a B+ is not crap. I had just marked what she did wrong. She insisted that since I marked anything on her paper at all, that meant I thought it was crap. I then asked her if she wanted to talk to my two students who actually got papers back this last time that said "This paper sucks" on it to feel better (yes, I did do that...and have in the past...and will in the future...but those are the Ds and Fs anyway, so the kids usually figure it out by the grades. Believe it or not, the kids usually just nod, sigh, and go, you're right--I should have gotten help--and then move on). Instead, she told me that I should not expect perfection out of a paper. I said of course I don't...I don't expect perfection out of myself, either, since it's impossible. I just expect to mark off things that are wrong. So then she sobbed that she was only 19 and had just been in college for one year and so I was asking too much of her.

I wanted to tell her that I was 17 when I was off at Duke, and on the 10% of my papers that did not receive an A at that time, I did not go cry at my professors that they graded too hard or that they think ill of my writing. Never occured to me. Whatever I did, it was me. But I refrained and listened to her sob more, then demand that I fix her grade. I told her that there was nothing to fix. "I am only 19" and "You think my paper is crap" is not a reason to up a grade. A reason to up a grade is if I made a mistake while grading it. She was then astounded that I would not up her grade, and when I told her we needed to get out of the classroom so the next class could begin, she snarled between her tears, "I can't believe you won't DO anything about this!"

Why no, no I'm not.

But now I know why men want to look at women sometimes and say, "You're being irrational!" It certainly crossed my mind a kajillion times while she sobbed at me. Oh well. I guess I was overdue for a hysterical girl in one of my classes.


And last but not least! I'm not sure how long this will last, but I started up a blog on a topic I'm more interested in than my own life lately: food and wine.


I can't post often on this one, so I'm not sure what makes me think I can post elsewhere. But I'm going to give it a shot!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Good News

Sometimes, good people are rewarded.

Alex was told that he would not get his work permit until the end of March.

Yet today, we got it in the mail!

Life is good. Yay!


Ariana was offered an audition slot for the gifted program in drama in Pickens County. If she's accepted, she gets a two week (FREE!) program over the summer related to drama and other arts. It's exciting that she was even invited to audition. Honestly, that was a surprise. I know she tried out for the drama club and was one of the 15 out of 30 to make it, but I didn't know she impressed the drama club teacher THAT much that she'd be offered this chance at a cool program. I mean, I think of my daughter as a brain--she's in the gifted academic program, Quest--but sadly, I haven't expanded my knowledge of her to fit the awesomeness of the rest of her capacity. She was also offered a tryout in voice, but she had to choose between drama and voice. Voice! My daughter can sing? Why didn't I know this???

The tryouts were today. She claims they went well (I was not allowed in the room), and she was so excited when she left. What do we do now? We wait...until two weeks from now to get an envelope in the mail that tells us if she gets to go onto tryout #2 on Feb. 22nd or not.

So, now we wait! I'm just proud of her that a) she got the invite and b) she did a great job with her audition. She tried so hard--and as my mom used to say, when you try your hardest even angels cannot do better.