Friday, September 30, 2011

Just Pull Forward: before I crack you over the head with my Starbucks.

And because you all know school drop off / pick up circles are the bane of my existence I have created a Facebook Page dedicated to the complex rules of the entire phenomenon. It's called Just Pull Forward and I invite each and every one of you to share your experiences, lest you blow your top and go psycho on some poor soul in the drop off zone, thus ruining your child's chances of ever receiving play date invitations ever again.

I'm not entirely sure what makes them so complicated. They seem simple enough. Pull in, kid gets out, drive away. Or, if you're picking up - which, granted can be slightly trickier since kids aren't exiting school in the exact order as the cars are lined up - you pull in, wait until your kid hops in, and then drive away. And if the car in front of you drives away -- and this is the tricky part -- you just pull forward (even if you're kid isn't in the car yet). The reason you do this is to make room for the car waiting behind you.

Like I tell you, tricky stuff.

The whole parking your car in the drop off lane thing? Don't get me started. There is no parking and exiting your car in the drop off lane. However, there IS parking and exiting your car in the parking lot. Do it there. Really. You can stay parked there for hours, I swear. You can feel free to saunter over to your BFF and chit chat about book club or whatever it is you're doing over there in the drop off lane blocking traffic flow. I promise. No one will bother you there or silently curse your super expensive dye job and perky, obviously paid for by your much older husband boob job.

Just Pull Forward: because drop off lanes are hard.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bullies thrive wherever authority is weak.

I was about 16 years old when the house phone rang and my mom said it was for me. I answered, excited like any teen would be to have a friend calling. Except this friend - a girl I had known for years; I had been to her house to play and she to mine - the words she used were cruel. Threatening. And I didn't understand why. As quickly as she began, the call was over. I stood there stunned. Replaced the phone on the hook and walked silently to my room, never saying a word to my mom who stood just steps away.

It was hell at school the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that.

Days turned to weeks.

I was threatened, called names, followed into the bathroom. Not just by the first girl, but by a second as well. Girls I thought I had no quarrel with. [Apparently, they thought I had found out something about them and were afraid I would tell. Except I really didn't know anything about it until they don't me during threatening me. Der!]

It didn't matter though. It was hell. I hated it. I hated them. I hated school. I hated the teachers who sighed and blandly commented to my two bullies to knock it off or get back to work. I hated that my friends sat silently by and did nothing. I hated that the confident kids would give me a look that said I'm sorry, that's just not right but refused to say anything out loud. I hated that I was all alone. Day after day I was just all alone.

Bullying has gotten more brazen and bold over the years. Especially at my old school. It's no secret that parents have pulled their children out of our local high school due to what they have experienced as a lack of discipline; a lack of authority. Violence is common. Fights break out daily. Teens yell back at the teachers. And children are scared to walk the halls. What kind of parent would want their child to be there?

I was talking with a student who goes to my old school ... a beautiful, talented, sweet girl... who was describing her experience with being relentlessly bullied (both physically and verbally) for the past several months:

Everyday she yells "slut!" or "whore!" at me in the hallway with her friends or pushes or shoves me. Today at lunch I was behind her and she turns around with her friends and yells, "you dirty ass slut get the fuck away from me! I can't even be ten feet away from you, you fucking bitch! Get the fuck out of here before I beat your ass again!" And so, without a word I walked to the back of the line while everyone just stared. Do you know what it's like to be like, 'shit, I hope she's not down this hallway so she yells slut at me in front of everyone.' I can't tell a teacher because she'll get yelled at and then find me after school somewhere and hurt me. I just want her to leave me alone. I can't deal with it anymore. I don't think you really understand what I'm going through. There is nothing you can do. Or teacher. Or anyone else. It is what it is.

What?! It just is what it is? I can't accept that.

I can't accept that no one sees what is happening. I can't accept that there isn't one single teacher in the entire school who hasn't caught on to what's happening. Or is it happening so much with so many kids that it's become commonplace?

When I was in school, there were lunch ladies and room supervisors and the principal would walk around making his presence known. Where are these people?

Where is the leader who says enough is enough! This behavior will not be tolerated in this school!

If any of my co-workers acted like that they'd be fired. I'd go to my boss, or my boss's boss and make it known. If I was ever hit or shoved or touched or threatened I'd call the police and press charges. Because that behavior is not okay and I'm going to make sure they know it's not okay.

Why is it that high school is some sort of limbo where kids just have to put up with someone relentlessly making their life hell? Hey, someone treats you like this as an adult and you've got options - but you're just a child so you have to put up with it. That is not okay.

Bullying should be taken seriously. Kids sitting silent, worrying about walking down a hall, or into a bathroom by themselves for fear they'll get harassed are not going to spend their time focusing on homework. They're going to be anxiously planning their survival route between classes. Getting an A in Algebra is not going to silence someone screaming whore! at you while you walk down the hall.

Not to mention, what do you think this bully is going to be like in ten years? Or twenty? How do you think she's going to act in a relationship? Or towards her children? If a 16-year old girl is that full of rage and anger and violence - she needs help. She will not be able to claim her right as a productive member of society if adults keep turning their backs and pretending not to see her lashing out.

It's time to step it up, Educational Systems. It's time to reclaim your authority and knock bullying out of our schools. There should be no place for bullying in our halls.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We're not done yet....

I need a colonoscopy. I know you know this because I already told you about it. Because that's how I roll. Anyway. The first odd thing that happened occurred over lunch. At work. When I was asked in a hushed voice if I needed it because of constipation. And I was like, uh.... no. I would take an enema or a stool softener for that. Again, uh.... no. But you're close.

The first step of the process was to meet with a specialist. And I had all the information printed out for me on a piece of paper. The information included the name of the doctor, the date and time of the appointment and the building the appointment (and the doctor) was located in. It would help immensely if that information was correct. Because pulling up to the valet in a violent downpour one does not want to hear well, that building is located clear across the city. And, knowing there's no way I can get clear across the city in fifteen minutes, I call, ready to cry and complain and reschedule, only to find out the paper is wrong and they're actually located in the building I passed on my way out of the parking lot. Which possibly may have made me conduct an illegal u-turn that may or may not have cut someone off. But then I waved to say sorry but I was still trying to steer and hold the phone so it might have been perceived as a not-so-nice gesture which is probably why the other driver flipped me off. Because I'm sure he misinterpreted my friendly oops, so sorry, didn't see you there, we're all good here, right? wave and wouldn't normally have laid on the horn like that.

The initial appointment was easy. Mostly because he felt there was no need to "repeat the rectal exam" that the first doctor conducted. Let me tell you, that exam'll bring up some hazy college flashbacks. Mostly we just chit-chatted. And then he made me lay down and poked at my belly. Which always tempts me to do the Pillsbury Boy giggle but I always chicken out. Someday, doctor. Someday.

The doctor explained that since there is evidence of celiac disease in our family he'd like to run a blood test real quick. Sure, whatever. Then he sent the nurse in to schedule the actual procedure.

This nurse gave me an option: drink a gallon of disgusting liquid or take a few pills to clean me out. Duh. I'll take door number two! (ew. no pun intended.) Have you seen the size of a gallon jug these days? That's a lot of liquid! She typed the order into the handy-dandy computer and told me the pills would be ready to pick up at my local pharmacy. Isn't technology something? And then she gave me the print out of the Pill Schedule. Because you need a schedule when you're ordered to swallow 32 pills in a 10-hour period.

Thirty freaking two?! She assured me she was serious. She also told me in a very serious tone that I would be setting up camp in the bathroom all day so make sure I don't have any plans.

Well, doesn't that sound lovely.

Then I left. Because I had to get my blood drawn, remember?

Except the friendly, chatty Janeanne couldn't pull blood. That was obvious twenty minutes and several puncture wounds later. She finally decided to call up to the other lab in the other building to see if they could try. And the phone call sounded like this, "Hi, Donna. It's Janeanne again...." Light-headed and slightly dizzy I made my way across the skywalk and through to the next building where I was told Janeanne is new. Very new. My arm alone would make me a candidate for Intervention.

Personally, I can't wait to see what fun and excitement come next because so far this has been a barrel of laughs!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby's got his blue jeans on!

Big V and I went out in public this weekend and he decided to wear his best jeans. He likes them because they're baggy and long. Meaning that when he sits down the pant legs don't get pulled up into that elusive dorkus zone.

So he comes out in these:

And I tell him there is no possible way these can be his best jeans. But he insists they are. And I say, no, no they're not. And the 16-year old Fashion Diva also says no, no they're not. But he keeps insisting they are.

And so I took a picture (see above) and showed him and he said, "well... they aren't that bad" and I said yes, yes, they are. Because no matter how longish they are in the front they're stupidly short in the back. And I asked how the jeans got that way, which he shrugged off and said simply "the dog got them." Then he promised they'd look better with shoes. 

Except they didn't.

Guess who's getting jeans for his birthday?