Paper Moon

There was a time, as a suddenly single mother of four boys, I came to discover that I needed a game plan that would require some magic on my part. You see, after a period of time of being single, I realized that I wanted go out with some co-workers or even go on a date. Yet, I needed a babysitter.  My calls would start off like this, “Hi, do you think you can watch my boys Friday night?” There would be a moment of silence followed by my own echoed “hello?” I found people needed that extra minute of time to quickly think of an excuse. Their next question would be, “all four????”  And then, “I guess if you can’t find anyone else, then call me.”

I needed to change my game plan a bit. I had to figure out how to “convince” rather than “ask.” So I thought about it, and decided that the problem was that I was asking the wrong age group.  My elders were tired of kids and were enjoying their empty nests.  My married friends were reluctant (and a little resentful) of enabling my newfound “singlehood,” and my family was too busy being… a family.

One day, my six-year-old son and I were standing in line at Taco Bell, behind a beautiful sixteen-year-old girl. My son was staring up at her and unbeknownst to me blurted out, “Wow! You are hot! Can you give my mom your phone number and babysit me and my brothers?”  I stood there speechless and started to apologize, but she was already handing me her phone number and schedule.  I gave him the evil eye and then realized that he was so proud of himself.  Hmmm, we may have been on to something.   He and I might be the next Moses and Addie from Paper Moon.  I told him, “Next time DON’T mention you have brothers.”

These younger girls were great, although easily manipulated by my sweet and innocent boys. Ha! These girls also lacked the experience with discipline.  I had one call me and say, “Your boys are all on the roof and will not come down, what should I do?”  I had another nervously laugh and tell me the boys had tied her to a chair and ran down to their friends and accidently forgot her.  Then there was the time when I crawled in at midnight and found the babysitter and boys laying on the floor playing Super Mario Bros and my youngest was sitting on her back cornrowing her hair.  I think they even asked if she could move in with us.

Needless to say, I went through a ton of babysitters and to this day, I still run into these girls. Each one says, “Hi, remember me?  I was your babysitter.  As I start to work up my apology, they are already expressing their babysitting story with my boys and how it was an adventure they will never forget.  To all you babysitters, thank you!  For you I Blog… for you… I find humor!!

My First Blog

NEXT!

I’ve never been a big fan of shopping; I think of it more like a good hunt and kill!  I walk in… aim, fire and walk out; half of the time, I never even try stuff on.  This concept of shopping has caused me to randomly splurge through the many stages of my life.

I remember the time I decided to shop at the new young married girl counter. I strolled up to the counter, and they were having a special on “baby boys”!  The sales clerk was so good, she talked me into buying four of them!  Yet, every time I would go back to the store and try to exchange or return one of them, the clerk would shake her head at me in disbelief and shame, and point up at the big neon sign over her head that read… “ALL SALES FINAL” with a little stupid clause under it: “No Exceptions!”.   I now had more stresses hanging in my wardrobe then I ever imagined!  I had to learn to juggle, tolerate, and even get comfortable with the discomfort of ambivalence.  I was a walking zombie with bad roots, puffy eyes, and a pacifier hanging around my neck!

Years later, I decided to take another shot at this shopping. I hesitantly walked up to the menopause counter, and then suddenly forgot why I was there!  I happened to notice a sign that read “HOT flash special” and it instantly reminded me of what I was shopping for!  I ordered one maternity looking blouse, one mini fan for my purse, a patch, and what the heck… throw in a new husband!  They bagged them all up and even loaded them in the back of my empty minivan!  This crazy biological emotional rollercoaster I was on, was one wild ride of irritability, sudden cries of sadness, feelings of loneliness, anxiety and drastic mood changes!  I was a walking billboard for a pharma-med disclaimer!

I finally got up enough courage to try one more stab at this shopping. I  proudly walked  up to the silver lining counter.  I approached the sales clerk who had the audacity to smile past me and yell “NEXT!”  She completely ignored me!!!  I looked at her and said, “Hey lady it’s me, REMEMBER MEEEEE!!  I am here to shop and would like a box of drama, that backstabber friend you have on clearance, the sleep mask that reads “not tonight jerk!” and you just keep yelling “Next”!”  The lady behind me finally out of sympathy whispered, “that’s because you are in the “Next stage of life” line.  I said, “what”???  She continued, “Every time someone or something irritates you, tries to control or manipulate you, you just look past them and yell “NEXT!” The ladies in line giggled and all chimed in saying their health was better, they had more fun, more independence, and they all felt they had more choice in everything from work to leisure pursuits.

Wow! This Next Stage of my like would enable me to make the kind of informed choices that would surely help me maximize my enjoyment into my next stage of life. I have a greater appreciation for God, my husband, my children, and just as importantly; my sisters! For you, I Blog… for you… I find humor!!