It’s ok if you pretend you don’t know me

 

I’m not really sure what to do as I recently made it so that I can never show my face in my kid’s school again. This will most likely pose a problem for his upcoming band concert performance. And basketball season. And every school-related event ever over the next two years.

Here’s how it went down:

Parent/teacher conferences were last week. For the first time, my kid had to lead the entire conference while his teacher and my husband and I all sat around a table in his classroom. He was a little uneasy because, duh, but I kept telling him it was NBD. He can easily talk to his dad and myself. He can easily talk to his teacher. The conference was just combining the two easy-peasy interactions into one and he’d be totally fine.

On the night of the conference, my kid did his thing and it was great. Then it was time for him to go out into the hall while we had a few minutes alone with his teacher.

So he goes out through the classroom door and closes it. I start to say something or other to his teacher. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the door slowly cracking open. I decide my kid is trying to be sneaky and listen in, and in a clear, loud voice I shout, “CLOSE THE DOOR!” I mean, can you believe the nerve?

And then the door opens even further and a head that is not my kid’s pops into the classroom. To my utter HORROR I realize I am staring straight at the principal.

Yup, that’s right, I screamed at my kid’s principal and I cannot even convey to you how much self-control was needed in that moment not to vomit all over the table in front of me.

I look at my husband and I believe his reaction is best conveyed by this emoji:

Which was in no way helpful.

I panicked because, well, have you met me?, and screamed at the principal, “OH NO! YOU don’t have to close the door!” And then I think I actually cackled.

I looked at the teacher and was about to literally die where I was sitting, but instead of dying I whispered to her, “I can’t believe I just yelled at the principal!” to which she responded, “At least it wasn’t me!”

Again, not helpful.

It turns out the principal just came in to engage in some playful banter about both my kids who were sitting in the hallway. Instead of bantering playfully, however, I completely sullied my reputation, that of my children as well as the millions of generations that have come before me and will come after me. I am not even exaggerating.

So the next time you think you’ve committed a faux pas, please take comfort in the fact that no matter what you have done, it will never be worse than what I did on school conference night. And for those of you who I usually run into at school, I will see you after graduation.

 

I know you are but what am I…infinity!

Last night I finished reading the most FANTASTIC novel called Infinite by Jeremy Robinson. It contained all of my interests:

  • Cryogenic sleep gone awry (very awry, muwahahahaha)
  • Various references to Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise
  • Conjecture about what humans will look like thousands of years from now
  • A person who’s gone madder than Deanna Troi that time she lost her Betazoid telepathic abilities (if you don’t know by now that I’m talking about Star Trek: The Next Generation, then I can’t imagine we have anything at all in common.)
  • Science-y talk that seems to be legit but isn’t so hard that you need a Ph.D. in physics to follow it
  • Brains in vats! For the unfamiliar, there’s this philosophical theory about reality that proposes someone (who may or may not be a mad scientist) has actually taken your brain out of your head, placed it in a vat filled with life-sustaining liquid, and hooked it up to a supercomputer that triggers electrical impulses to make you think you’re actually feeling/seeing/smelling/etc. your environment. Basically, everything you experience is a simulation, and in reality, all you are is a brain in a vat! OMG!

I loved this book so hard that when I read the notes from the author at its conclusion, and saw that he was asking readers to post reviews because it would really help him out, I was all, “YES! I will post a review because this book is not only awesome, but I’d like to help a brother out.”

Then I got to thinking: A book review? I don’t know how to write a book review! Who do I think I am?!?

Then I got to thinking even more: Well, I have written five books. I think I’d probably be capable of writing a book review.

Followed by: Yeah, I can write a book, but a book review?!? That’s an entirely different animal! How long should it be? How much should I give away? How do you summarize over 300 pages of awesomeness in one compact blurb?

And then I wrote this blog post which is kind of a book review but mostly about my insecurities. Do with that what you will.

But the takeaway is — READ INFINITE! You will not be disappointed! (That’s my one-line book review and it really, really sucks. I’ll stick to my day job.)

Pee Wee image from Postimage.

 

I’ll take my movies without a side of zombies

I am psychologically, emotionally, and physically drained.

Why? Because of a stupid movie called Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. I just finished watching this abomination and it has put me into such a state that I am never sleeping again.

You should know that this movie is based on The Maze Runner series. Which was written for young adults. And which I have read. So you’d think I’d know what was coming and watching this movie would be no big deal because it’s for, you know, kids.

Nope nope nope. I guess the only thing I remembered from the series when I read it a few years ago was that there were a bunch of teenagers stuck in a maze. Apparently, I forgot that the book (and, consequently, the movie) contains all of my fears:

  1. People being chased.
  2. People being chased by zombies.
  3. People being chased by zombies while a building that they’re in is collapsing around them.

I do not watch zombie movies because zombies up the trauma factor of any said movie by one million.

For example, I like Brad Pitt. I enjoy watching Brad Pitt movies. Yet you couldn’t pay me to watch his movie World War Z because it is about zombies. Specifically, zombies chasing Brad Pitt, or so I’ve gathered from previews.

Imagine my surprise as I’m sitting there watching this movie and everything’s going fine until the first jump scare is a freaking zombie jumping out of pitch black darkness. Then more zombies jump out and there is a swarm of them. And then they start chasing everybody. For like two hours.

The entire time I am freaking SCREAMING, saying things to my husband like, “WTF I didn’t know this was a horror movie!?!” and “How are there zombies in this?!? I don’t remember zombies from the book…” and “Did you know this was about zombies?!? I didn’t know this was about zombies! I would have NEVER watched this if I knew it was about zombies!” in addition to, “I’m having chest pains.”

I mean, I was so freaked out before watching The Sixth Sense. On a scale of 1 to 10 of traumatizing me, it was like a 4, while Maze Runner is a freaking 27. How did this movie happen to me?

Only one good thing came of this. There was a surprise gun shot that nobody was expecting and as soon as the gun went off, I slid down real low into the couch in a nanosecond. It turns out that I have a kick ass gunshot reflex that would serve me well in a post-apocalyptic society. So there’s that.

Okay, seven hours to go until morning. It’s going to be a long night.

Image from Uber Humor.

 

 

 

European vacay

Last week, my husband and I took a trip to Berlin and Prague. We saw many amazing sites, like Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War:

Like the place where the Potsdam Conference was held, where Stalin, Churchill and Truman decided the fate of postwar Germany:

Like these skateboards featuring characters from The Simpsons:

Like a park where 100 random peacocks were wandering around, squawking at little kids and making them run away and cry, which, I’m ashamed to admit, was kind of hilarious:

And we can’t forget this bicycle outside of a yarn store that was all warm and toasty in its knitted attire:

Not to mention the food, which was mostly this:

Let’s just say I ate a lot of sausage. And meat. So much meat.

But, surprisingly, what was most amazing to me wasn’t any of these things. It was something that happened to me on the plane ride home. For 18 long years, this one experience had eluded me. For a very long time, part of me wanted to dive headfirst into it, throwing caution to the wind, but the other part of me was, frankly, too terrified that I’d lose myself. Lose what made Meredith, well, Meredith.

But on the plane ride home, I made the leap. I did it.

Ladies and gentleman, for the first time ever I watched The Sixth Sense on the in-flight entertainment system.

Since the film came out in 1999, I was terrified yet strangely drawn to it. Was I going to watch a movie about ghosts? About a kid seeing dead people? HELL NO. I remember the previews on television would make me run screaming from the room.

But for some reason, on that flight home, something clicked. While I was perusing my movie options and happened to spot The Sixth Sense on the list, it just felt right. I was ready. And it was ready for me.

And…the movie wasn’t really that scary. I have no idea why for 18 years I’d built up this idea that The Sixth Sense was the most terrifying horror movie ever to be made. I mean, there was only one jump scare. ONE.

All those wasted years. And it took a journey across the ocean to another continent for things to shift in me. I am changed. And no one can ever take that away from me. Not even Bruce Willis.

A cautionary tale

 

My kid had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, which meant that instead of him taking the bus home from school, I’d have to pick him up directly. It sounded so easy. However, it was not at all easy and now that all is said and done, I think I’ve been added to some type of “crazy parent” list that the school district keeps on file.

Here’s what happened: I drive to his school to pick him up. I sign him out, wait in the cafeteria for him to come out, but he doesn’t. I realize after 10 minutes of waiting that he probably forgot I was going to pick him up.

No big deal. I go up to the guy with the walkie talkie behind the sign out desk and tell him about my predicament. He walkie talkies the office, and they go down this whole chain of command, the result of which is that (and this is where it starts becoming a big deal) my kid is already on the bus. It’s too late to pull him off because the bus is en route to the junior high, where it will pick up a whole other group of kids before bringing them all home.

Walkie talkie guy tells me if I hurry, I might be able to pull him off the bus at the junior high. I momentarily consider just meeting him at home and canceling his doctor’s appointment, but quickly remember who I am and that failure is not an option. I sprint out to my car and drive like a madwoman over to the junior high.

I try to turn into the parking lot when a police officer, who is standing in the driveway to the lot, shakes her head at me, indicating that I am not allowed to go into the lot. I roll down my window and tell her in my most desperate voice that I need to grab my kid off the bus before it leaves for its route. She says that’s fine, but no cars are allowed to go into the lot during bus pickup.

Exacerbated, I throw my hands up and yell, “So what do you want me to do?!?” Please know that I have never in my life been disrespectful to a police officer, but she is messing with my meticulously planned schedule and THAT CANNOT HAPPEN.

She tells me to go park on a side street. I sigh (loudly), and speed into the fruit store parking lot next to the school. I sprint down the sidewalk, where I see her waiting, and it occurs to me that I wasn’t very nice to her before and, if she wanted to, this could end very badly for me. So as I run past her I yell nervously, “MY KID IS IN SO MUCH TROUBLE! HAHAHAHAHA!” and she just kind of smirks but I know she hates me.

I get into the junior high lot and am immediately confronted with 35 buses parked within one inch of each other and they all look exactly the same. I take a deep breath and try to remember the number of the bus my kid goes on. Miraculously, I remember, and start running through the lot looking for it. Yes, there are middle school kids, many of which who know my kid, staring at me through the window thinking I am a complete lunatic, but I don’t care because we have only ten minutes to get to the doctor’s appointment.

I find the bus! I go up to the door and tell the bus driver that I need my kid! And she tells me that she can’t let him off without a school administrator present.

Without even answering her, I run over to the building and find some random guy who looks like he works there. I scream at him, “Are you a school administrator?!?!?” He tells me that he is not, in fact, an administrator, but he can call one for me.

I stand there in the lot and time is a tickin’. My kid is on a bus 15 feet away from me and the buses are about to pull out and I don’t know if the school administrator is going to come out in time for me to grab my kid and I seriously think I’m going to LOSE MY FREAKING MIND right there. I’m swearing in my head left and right as I’m scanning the 6000 kids who are currently exiting the school, hoping to find this mythical school administrator in there somewhere.

He comes out and approaches me. I’m so flustered, I can’t even get any words out. All I can do is throw my driver’s license at him and run towards my kid’s bus.

Well, in the end I got my kid off the bus. And I got to meet the junior high vice principal, who thinks I’m a lunatic. He spent five minutes on his walkie talkie verifying who I was, making sure I wasn’t some insane person trying to grab a kid, which, if you think about it, I totally am.

I got my kid to his doctor’s appointment on time, but AT WHAT COST?!? I think I need to bake pies for a whole bunch of people to thank them for dealing with me in my heightened state of anxiety.

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