Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Family that Feuds together...

Who's Ready To Play???

My family doesn't get a lot of "downtime", time that isn't scripted out, where we can do anything we want or nothing at all. Between football practice, baseball practice, music lessons, tutoring, tai chi for cats... it just doesn't happen all that often. So when the opportunity DOES arrive, you'd better believe my butt is finding it's way into a recliner.

(as long as the kitchen is clean. Oh, and the laundry is folded. And I can wrestle control of the remote. OK, OK, it mostly hinges on that last one. I AM NOT WATCHING ANY MORE "Austin and Aly" or "Jessie" or goddamned freaking SPONGEBOB than I absolutely have to! NO MORE! Whew. OK. Feel better.)

Last week we had an unexpected free night when the Monkey's football conditioning camp was cancelled due to heat. Instead of using the time to be productive human beings, we fastened our butts to the sofa and watched FOUR HOURS OF FAMILY FEUD. Game Show Network, I love you. Four straight hours! We got to see one family come back FIVE TIMES before finally being eliminated by the Schumacher family of Sandusky, OH. Impressive.

What I forgot, though,  is that the Feud isn't always proper family fare.The categories can, at times, lend themselves to discussions you're not quite ready to have with your young progeny. I should have known- look at the original host, the man himself, Richard "Nice to meet you...aaaand my tongue is in your mouth" Dawson. Did you know that he supposedly kissed over 20,000 women in his Feud career? That's a lot of chapstick. And mouthwash. At least, I hope. So it shouldn't surprise me when the categories lend themselves to things like "We surveyed 100 Americans and here are the top four answers to!- Name something you might use both at the office AND in rrrrrromance!"

However, what was surprising was the complete and total idiocy of some of the contestants. Look, I know you're under pressure and Steve Harvey is just WAITING, just SALIVATING to make fun of you... but did you really think the answer to "Name something you throw out in the morning" was "grandpa!" Really? Then there was the question "Name something a man wishes he had in his hands right now." I'm sitting there going "A beer! The answer is a beer! A beer!" They family has two strikes. The game and the money are on the line. It is the number two answer for crying out loud! And it's a GUY ANSWERING. So obviously his answer is "his future, in the palm of his hands."

Really? REALLY? Personally, I WEEP for the future.
(For the record, the answer was "A beer/A drink!" Ha. I so rule this game.) 

But back to the whole sex thing. In our fifth episode of the evening, we had the category "Name a food that can be used for... romance!... that can get stickier than you thought!" All the obvious answers were on the board: chocolate syrup, whipped cream, strawberries. It's Grandma's turn... this little round Grammy with her neat floral print dress and her helmet of purple hair. She doesn't blush. She doesn't hem and haw. She looks Steve Harvey right in the eye and belts out, without a BIT of hesitation....


 Well... Peanut Butter will never be the same anymore, will it? Can  you even imagine the ad campaign? The lights are low.... the music is soft... he takes her by the hand, leads her to the kitchen... she smiles and pulls out.... the concord grape jam. Ohhhh yeahhhhh.

*shivers* These are after 9pm marketing campaigns that I do NOT want to see. I feel dirty even making my kid's lunch now.

And don't get me started on all of the other product possibilities.... BAD! BAD! NOOOOOOOOOO!

Image snagged from collegehumor.com ... well, actually from Google Images, but then it linked back to collegehumor.com. You picking up what I'm putting down? 

It didn't end for Grandma there.... "If you were in Las Vegas... name six things you'd be shocked to see your Grandma doing!" It should be noted that the number one and two answers were "Gambling" and "Drinking," to which D and the Monkey both chorused "Not our Grandma!" Busted......
 But thank God they didn't say that for the number four answer "Working the strip clubs!" What the HELL? I mean, yeah that would be shocking, but how the hell did 16 people even wrap their brains around that concept enough to put together the answer?

Image from Google Images.... artwork from my own sick and twisted mind....

Truth be told, while the premise of the Feud is fun... it's not a REAL family feud. The families don't interact. No one spits at anyone. No one gives the cold shoulder. Now, a real show would be "Your Family Feud!" Your family, Mom, Dad, siblings, Aunts, Uncles, grandparents, that shady cousin that everyone knows is skimming money out of Great Granny's bank account but no one wants to confront? You all gather together for a chance at great prizes and bodily harm.

Now that.... would be a show. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


On May 20th, I got off of work early, strangely early. On the drive home, I was musing about some blog ideas for the upcoming summer. See, i'm always looking for a way to be better disciplined when it comes to writing, a way to make myself write more, post more. I thought I had it, an idea that could produce two, three pieces a week. 

And then everything changed. 

This is my first time logging into Blogger since the day the world turned upside down. Moore, Oklahoma may not have been where I was born or raised, but the nearly six years we lived there made it, undeniably, my hometown. My friends there are not just friends... they are family in all but name. Losing Sydney ... there aren't words. There weren't then, there aren't now. I don't know when there WILL be words. But I do know that I can't just jump back into writing without saying SOMETHING. So here it goes. Bear with me, friends. I'm a little rusty. 

I've thought of dozens of ways to take this on. I've come at it in anger, in frustration and rage. I've approached it from a place of emptiness, of desolation you can't see the end of. I've stared at the screen through tears and even the bottom of a beer bottle a time or two. When there aren't words, though, there aren't words. Language has always been my closest friend, but for the first time in my life it has left me these past 57 days. Eventually, though, you have to look for the words, find them in whatever way you can. You (and by 'you' I mean 'me'.... YOU can do whatever the hell stirs your cornflakes, friends.) have to find whatever voice remains, no matter how cracked or broken or hesitant.

And frankly, if I didn't... I have a feeling Sydney would be PISSED. After all, she was never one to mince words, never one to hold back... regardless of the outcome :)

It's things like that, thinking about Syd's point-blank assessments, that brought my hands to the keyboard. Because as angry as I am and as broken hearted as I am.... I am so damned grateful. I can't ignore it anymore. Every time another story, another picture, another memory pops to the surface I am just... I'm just grateful that I was blessed enough to be a part of Syd's life, and she a part of mine. It's this tiny, irritating little nugget that pushes its way through the sadness, demanding I pay it attention. With every story that is told, every picture that I find, every memory that plays through my head in full HD... it gets a little bigger. A little brighter. Demanding, like she might, my full attention.

I figure I have two choices. One- I can ignore it, shove it down, deal with it another day. Or B- I can accept it. I can accept it, even embrace it, and let it shine a little brighter. So there it is. I'm grateful. I'm grateful that her Mom chose me to do newborn portraits, starting our friendship. I'm grateful for messy diapers that had to be changed while she flipping squirmed all over the place, blowing raspberries the whole while. I'm grateful for every playdate and babysitting opportunity, for Halloween nights and first day of school walks that made my youngest truly believe that we were actually related. For Christmas villages and manger scenes that turned into Army outposts complete with snipers in the manger. For rolling eyes. For every argument I refereed, for every stuffed animal that ended up lodged under my butt (no matter HOW MUCH I CHECKED UNDER THE BLANKETS!) when I'd stay the night. For llamas and emus that needed "kisses". For arguments over lifejackets in wave pools and laughter over waterslides. For every time I had to watch just ONE MORE music clip from a Disney movie or series.... for all of it.... I am grateful.

But I am also greedy, and it wasn't enough. It won't ever be enough. How could it be?