So You Think You Are Ready To Be An Adult?

I always tell my kids, “Don’t rush too fast to grow up. Enjoy the freedom of youth while you can.” Of course, they don’t listen to me, but what do I expect? I didn’t listen to my parents either.

Anyway, in an effort to slow them down a little – especially my two boys – I wrote this little story. Who am I kidding? I wrote it to scare the shit out of them. And yeah, I know, it’s a little harsh, but extreme sarcasm is the only way I know to get them to pay attention.

So You Think You Are Ready To Be An Adult? | TheFurFiles

Check this out. You are on the verge of real adulthood. You think you are “all that” – that you can handle just about anything – and then this happens…

You and your significant other have been living in the same one-bedroom apartment for what, one or two months now? Originally, the place belonged to your girlfriend Amy, but when the two of you met and started dating – getting closer and closer as time went on – it was just easier for you to move in. Besides, you were living in a house full of guys before – sort of a leftover set-up from college – and you really needed to get the hell out of there. All that beer was going straight to your midsection…

At Amy’s, it went from staying over a few times a week, to having a few drawers in her dresser and a small spot on the bathroom counter for you stuff. When your brought over your XBox 360, it was pretty much a done deal. Anyway, Amy suggested it. “Brent, why don’t you just move in. It will make things a lot easier – no more of this running back and forth.” And it made sense – sort of. She liked to cook and clean; you didn’t. So you figured, what the heck, if it doesn’t work out, you’re only committed for a year max, the length of the lease.

Well, lucky you – it HAS worked out, and now you and Amy (more Amy) want to take your relationship to the next level. You and Amy (more Amy) yearn to put your stamp on the world as a couple, to become that perfect “one”, that unit of solidarity that includes sharing the same bank account and peeing in the same toilet on a daily basis forever. This sort of love only comes around three or four times in a person’s life, so you’d better catch it now before it gets away. Sure, there will probably be babies involved in this whole deal, but will try to put that off as long as possible. Screaming, barfing, pooping, miniature humans just aren’t your “thing”. And they take time away from watching football, and playing video games.

Yes, the “m” word – as in “marriage” – has reared its ugly head, and it’s to the point that you’d rather succumb to it than have to deal with Amy’s whining all the damn time. Plus, her father can be a real asshole when it comes to this subject. He keeps barking, “Hey Brent, when are you going to make an honest woman of my daughter? Or are you just going to boink her forever for free?” And he always has that look in his eye that says he’s going to stab you if you don’t propose pretty soon. You’d rather keep your chest cavity in tact, thank you very much. And as if that’s not bad enough, her father’s attitude is affecting your sex life as well. Every time you do it, it’s like he’s right there watching. It doesn’t take a psychic to know that if you ever got Amy pregnant before you tied the knot, you’d be in big, BIG trouble. Her father has an extensive gun collection.

So you decide to do it – you decide to set a date – though you tell Amy that you want to keep the ceremony relatively small. There are better things to spend money on, like that trip to the Superbowl that you and your boys have planned for the upcoming season. Of course, Amy wants to invite everyone she knows to the wedding, including her cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and ALL of her friends. You can’t help but wonder why you just can’t elope. Yes, you “wonder” this, but you don’t dare mention it. You know that it’ll NEVER happen.

Now to go along with this marvelous idea of the wedding, Amy has also decided that the two of you should buy a house. She says, “We can’t live in this apartment forever, Brent. We won’t have enough space once I get pregnant.” Furthermore, she says that she wants to be able to come home from the honeymoon, and just settle right in. Even though you don’t want to take on so much responsibility at once, Amy is relentless. “Either we buy a house, or you can consider me dead.” Those are her exact words. “And I’ll tell my father.”

So you decide to do that too – you decide to buy a house. Surprisingly, Amy finds one she likes in less than a week. “I’ve had my eye on this one for a while,” she says. It’s OK. It only has a marginal amount of water damage in the basement, a few cracks in the foundation. and a roof and windows that need replacing, but hey, whatever you honey bunny wants, right? Straight away, you guys make an offer, a little bit above asking price because Amy couldn’t stand to lose this deal. At the bank the very next day, you sign the papers, putting you as a couple (but more you, because Amy’s decided to stay home to look after the children that are sure to come VERY soon) four hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars in debt.

“That’s it,” says the bank guy. He has a unibrow. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you,” says Amy, all smiles. Barely able to stand, you feel like throwing up.

At this point, you turn to Amy and say, “Hang on for a second. I just gotta do something.” Rushing out of the bank, you go next door to the donut shop. Once inside, you push past the line of people waiting to get food, and you head straight for the washroom. Locking the door, you unzip your fly, pull down your pants, sit down on the toilet, clutching your stomach. Suddenly – but not unexpectedly – tears start to stream down your face, and some stuff comes out of the other end of your body as well. Unable to stop, you bawl your eyes out for a good three to four minutes – the amount of time that any man is ever allowed to cry. That’s it. You are trapped, and there will be NO escaping. Amy is happy. And you my friend, have just experienced real adult life.

Something to definitely rush into, eh buddy?

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You Know It’s Time For Your Children To Move Out When…

A little prelude to this post. My children are 21, 20, and 18. The all still live at home. And they ALL sleep naked.

Now, you are probably wondering how I know this. Simple, both of my sons think that the second floor of our shared abode is something like “Bob And Babette’s Bare Bottoms Nature Reserve”. I am constantly telling them to “shut their bedroom doors until their penises are put away”. And my daughter, that was one embarrassing “I went into her room one night to look for a pair of nail clippers, and she was asleep with the blankets askew” moment. Not an experience I hope to recreate any time soon.

Yes, as I move through this journey called parenthood, I know that a change is on the horizon. I’ve witnessed this kind of thing before.

You Know It's Time For Your Children To Move Out When... | TheFurFiles

For example, when my oldest son was almost three, I knew that things needed to be different when he came up to me in the grocery store and said – in a voice deeper than my husband’s – “I need a nurse.” I knew right then and there that it was time to cut him off from breastfeeding. Yeah, I was one of those hippie mothers who nursed her babies almost until they could ride a two-wheel bike without the training wheels. My girlfriend buried her placenta in her backyard. At least, I didn’t do that.

Also, I knew that it was time for my kids to move into their own rooms – are you surprised that we practiced the “family bed” as well, probably not – when my husband could barely walk from having to sleep on the floor for nearly five years. And today my children are totally independent, so what if none of them know how to turn off the lights, do the dishes, or take the G.D. bus.

Just so you know, from the time my children were infants until they were preteens, we lived in a very Bohemian, student-centred community. Think Jesus Christ Superstar and Wanderlust but without the religious overtones, the singing, or the free sex. It was actually a wonderful place to raise kids – very supportive. And it probably completely explains why my offspring are profoundly comfortable with their own bodies, which in this rather uptight world, I believe is quite refreshing.

I still think it’s almost time for them to fly the coop and find their own places to live, though in the imagined words of Stephen Gaskin, (founder of the modern-day American commune The Farm), “I wouldn’t be mad if they decided to move in right next door, or if they wanted to buy one giant family complex where we could all live happily together because love is love and love brings the world together and I love them”. I just want to be able to lock my section of the house at night and keep them out of my kitchen. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

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A Few Simple Questions Can Tell You A Lot About A Person

You can tell a lot about a person by how they answer certain questions. Consequently, I thought you might want to learn a little more about me. I know I always want to learn more about myself, like who doesn’t? So I took part in this random questionnaire that I found on the internet. And then I got a few of my family members to do the same. Weirdness ensued.

Here are the questions:

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 48, and find line 4. What does it say?

It’s a quote from the play Salomé, written by Oscar Wilde – “I am amorous of thy body, Jokanaan. Thy body is white like the lilies of the field…There is nothing in the world so white as thy body. Suffer me to touch thy body.” Hot turn-of-the-century stuff.

Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What can you touch?

“Xtreme Monkey” Gym Rings, a very large book about voodoo, and an empty truffle wrapper.

Before you started this survey, what were you doing?

Eating raw broccoli, a tomato, and baked salmon dipped in Sriracha sauce. Oh, and I ate that truffle as well.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

Some movie with James McAvoy. I fell asleep.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A place in the Caribbean for all of my family and friends to come and visit. I would design it myself. And a cat and dog sanctuary for unwanted and/or abused pets.

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.

I nursed all of my children until the day they turned three, no more, no less.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

Easy. I’d rip out all the windows and make them bigger, and I’d install a sleeping porch. That’s it.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

I wonder if any cats have pooped or barfed on the floor during the night.

Think fast, what do you like right now?

Ummm, ummm, ummm, Sriracha sauce and Justin Timberlake. He’s hot.

What are your best physical features?

My eyebrows, and the arches of my feet. If I do say so myself, the arches of my feet are pretty darn sexy.

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So what did I learn about myself from taking this quiz? I’d say – that I have a problem with enclosed spaces (true), that I’m definitely a romantic (also true), that I love animals (totally true), and that I’m a bit of a total frickin’ weirdo. My husband would vehemently agree with that last statement.

A Few Simple Questions Can Tell You A Lot About A Person | TheFurFiles

As for the other members of my family, their answers weren’t all that interesting. They did a lot of mumbling about lying in blankets and watching Million Dollar Listing because I forced them to. What I learned about them? They are a bunch of big babies who whine a lot. And truth be told, they are all kind of boring.

My husband did say that he has 3.5 cats. I thought that was interesting since the rest of us in the same household have four. I guess he considers Jackson only half a cat. Figures since the two of them don’t get along very well.

On a final note, my younger son answered that he thinks most people would be surprised to know that he actually has a heart. I’m surprised by that too. What I’m not surprised by however is the fact that the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning is girls, though he didn’t say “girls” exactly. He said the word that rhymes with “sussy”, hence the reason why I’m not sure he has a heart.

Next time I’ll know to keep the questionnaire stuff all to myself. There are just some things a mother does NOT need to hear about.

Thanks, I Get It Now Corey Hart

This is how my brain works…

The other day, I heard about Cory Monteith’s death. They said it happened because he did heroin and then drank alcohol, or because he drank alcohol and then did heroin – either way, it’s a lethal mix. Sad story, for sure. I still don’t like Glee.

Then I thought, Cory Monteith – Cory, Cory, Corey – like Corey Hart? Both Canadian. And no, we don’t all name our kids that here in Canada. At least, I didn’t. I did know a Cory/Corey once back in high school though.

Anyway, thinking of Corey Hart made me wonder about that damn sunglasses’ song. I’ve never quite been able to figure it out.

So I called Corey up – Corey Hart, not Cory Monteith obviously – and I asked him. He’s not famous anymore. I knew he’d take a random call.

We didn’t chat for long. I got right to the point. “I get the beginning of the sunglasses’ song, Corey – ‘I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so I can watch you even breathe your story lies’…or whatever. It’s just the rest of it that sounds fucked up to me. Can you sing it again, and this time, make the words more clear?”

Canadians are obliging, so he did.

Thanks, I Get It Now Corey Hart | TheFurFiles

“Ahhh, I get it now,” I replied, feeling much better. I then went on to make dinner untormented for the first time in over twenty-five years.

End of story.

NOTE: For any person who actually thinks I called Corey Hart to ask him such a silly question, thereby insulting him and making light of his entire music career – and there WILL be a few of you (Donna) – well, I didn’t. It’s a joke. Lighten up.

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Parenting Is Hard, Like “Trying To Squeeze Water From A Stone” Hard

Sometimes, I want to wring my eighteen-year-old daughter’s neck. Sorry daughter, but you were there the other night. You probably wanted to wring mine as well. Yes, we were having one of those discussions that went from a simple disagreement, to a full out scream-fest.

I find that one of the most challenging parts of raising teens and young adults is that they don’t always do what you tell them to do, like that’s a surprise.Parenting Is Hard, Like "Trying To Squeeze Water From A Stone" Hard Sometimes | TheFurFiles

As parents, we have our children’s best interest at heart. I’m always saying this, especially to my daughter. “Do you think I”m trying to ruin your life? Why would I want to do that? I only want you to be happy and safe, and if I can pass along some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years, then I will.”

But we all know that people have to learn things on their own. You can only say, “Eating an entire bag of grapes will give you uncontrollable gas/if you drink a whole bottle of vodka by yourself, you might end up puking your guts out/you’re probably going to want to wear a coat out there in the minus thirty degree weather…” so many times.

Often, I’m not even trying to teach anyone a lesson. I just expect common courtesy, like that’s such an unreasonable thing for which to ask.

So when my daughter was going out with her friends the other night, I said – like any good mother would – “Call me and let me know what time you’ll be home.” That’s the reason she has a damn cell phone.

Her response – “I’ll try to remember.”

I was hoping for more like, “Sure mom. No problem.” But with my daughter, nothing is ever that simple.

“Make it a point to remember,” I said, snarling slightly. “And how are you actually getting home? Do you need a ride?”

“We’re taking the bus.”

“Whatever you do, stay together as a group. Don’t walk anywhere by yourself.” I remind her of this every single time she goes out. It is paramount in my mind, especially right now as they just found a woman’s body in the bushes very close to our house. As I write this, the police are still investigating the incident. It doesn’t matter. A woman is dead, and you can never be too cautious.

And that’s part of the reason for the scream-fest. A scared parent can be a very animated parent. But you know how young people are. They have no sense of mortality. I get it. I was the same way once. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to handle when you are a mother though.

This whole situation with my daughter brings to mind a few moments in the past when I’ve tried to give her advice, and she hasn’t listened. There have been a few times when things have gotten pretty screwed up too. I don’t ever want her – or any of my kids – to get hurt, but there comes a point when they have to make their own decisions. I can’t be there to hold their hands, and tell them what to do for the rest of their lives, can I? Or can I… [sly smile] An image of her locked in the basement came to my mind just for a split second. Nah, she’d whine and demand things too much.

It’s so hard as a parent to see your kid mess up. There have been a few occasions when I’ve just wanted to smack someone upside the head and say, “I told you so.” But then, what good would that have done? None, except to make me feel better, hence the reason I left out the smack but still said the words.

Anyway, the other night ended with me shouting, “Just call me. Don’t forget.” That’s what I said as I dropped her off at her friend’s house. Well, those might not have been my exact words. My EXACT words were more like, “You’d better fucking call me, or you can start looking for a new place to live. Start right now, in fact. Maybe Angela’s mom will let you live with them.” I was mad. And mad me doesn’t mince words. And I know that if my daughter moved in with Angela (not her friend’s real name, but close) that she’d be home faster than a cat getting caught in the rain. Once and for all, maybe she’d appreciate what a great family she has.

A mother can dream.

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