- Buy season tickets! Go to gallery openings. Buy local art. There are plenty of ways to support the arts in the CSRA. No excuses. Support doesn’t have to cost money. If you want to give money, that’s cool, too. $$ (January 2017)
- If you came to the Imperial on Saturday, February 4, you were a part of the very first Debi Ballas Day. Oh, what a night. The speeches, the performances, the packed house. All of it. The support for Debi and The Augusta Players was overwhelming. The support for the arts in Augusta was inspiring. (February 2017)
- Being a parent is an amazing thing. It’s amazing how you can go from so proud of your kid one minute to so irritated the next. I wish there was a kid manual that taught them how to not aggravate parents. Wishful thinking. (March 2017)
- Why do so many of you dislike the tournament so much? Is it because you’ve never been? I don’t ask that in an ugly way. I’m curious. Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle for one week, but our city is better because of the improvements, landscape-wise. The hospitality industry does pretty well during that week, and it’s actually easy to avoid traffic. (April 2017)
- The Easter Bunny doesn’t come to our house. Never has, even when The Kids were tiny. It’s always been Easter Mama, because that makes more sense than a bunny. Easter Mama quit buying candy for the baskets because she found herself throwing it all away to make room for Halloween candy later in the year. Speaking of Easter candy, do y’all like Peeps? I’ve found that Peeps make some people really angry. I like them. Sue me. (April 2017)
- Even if you don’t care a lick about golf, you should watch Sergio win that tournament here. He is a true hero, and a fine example of class and sportsmanship. He’s been playing for that green jacket since 1999, when he was an amateur. Work hard. Don’t give up. It’ll pay off. Sergio Garcia’s payoff was $1.98 million. (April 2017)
- Fifteen years is a long time when you really think about it. How often do people stick with anything for fifteen years? I’ve been driving for over fifteen years. I’ve been able to swim for nearly forty years. Breathing for over forty. I’ve been married for fifteen and find it to be quite an accomplishment. (May 2017)
- We don’t always get along, and I don’t have any sage advice to share. We have a common goal: to see this thing through no matter what. We talk about that often, especially when things feel tense. We try to go on dates as much as we can, and when we do, we try not to talk about the kids. We aren’t anywhere near perfect, but that’s okay. We’re us, and we make a great team. (May 2017)
- Friends have come and gone, but the most important ones still remain, and they are more important than ever. The cream rises to the top. It’s a natural selection process that at first feels a little unnatural. Go with it. A wiser, older friend told me it would happen. I didn’t believe them. Even when it was happening, I denied it. Her words came back to me in a bright, flashing epiphany. “Just you wait until you’re forty,” she said, “you’ll be surprised that the ones who now cause you pain won’t even remain.” It sounded so silly at the time. (June 2017)
- Looking for local, fresh produce? Visit Good Earth on Davis Road. Everything is as local as possible, including peaches from SC. Also, try a jar of green tomato pickles, homemade candies, peach bread, or local honey. You’ll be glad you did! They have butter, cheese, and meat, too. My kids love a bottled Nehi while we shop! (July 2017)
- Does anyone else have a kid who constantly asks to buy things at the store? Like, no matter the store, “Can I get this?” Is inevitable. She wants everything. She has her own money, but she wants me to buy this and that. I say no and no. And no. And no again. And again. (August 2017)
- Every night, I ask my kids if they’ve done their homework, packed up their book bags, and laid out their clothes for school. I don’t really care what they wear to school, as long as there isn’t any “I don’t have socks!” or “My jeans are dirty!” at 6:30 a.m. There’s not enough coffee in the world for that. I felt like a mean mom this morning, when The Girl realized she’d lost a big homework assignment and I told her I was sorry. That’s all I did. She looked and looked, and it was nowhere to be found. I hugged her and told her I loved her. Then I told her she should’ve packed up her book bag the night before like I asked. (September 2017)
- The Boy had the chance to be an extra in “Stranger Things 2.” If you blink, you’ll miss him, but he shows up a few times in the last episode of the season, in the middle school dance scene. (October 2017)
- I’m thankful for everyone who reads this mess every week. At almost seven years in, you’ve put up with a lot of words, strange stories, and endless lists like these. Thank you for letting me keep rambling. I love my people. You know who you are. If you think you are, I’m thankful for you. (November 2017)
- I’m not nosy. I’m curious. (December 2017)
Editor’s note: Jenny wrote this column a couple of years back. She is busy spending time with her family for the holidays.
How’s your holiday decorating going? If you’re Jewish, I’d guess you’re all set, since Hanukkah just wrapped up. Who am I kidding? You’re probably all finished. It’s December, after all.
I’m behind. Haven’t started. I went through this last year, too. It was different, though. I couldn’t catch the spirit. This year, I simply haven’t had time. Between shuttling my people around and several back and forth Atlanta trips, any extra hours have evaporated.
Do y’all want to know slack I’ve been? The Halloween decorations are still in the box in the hall, waiting to go to the attic. Even worse, our pumpkins still sat on the front porch, until I pulled them inside yesterday. They weren’t carved, so there wasn’t any mold. Yet. You’re asking why I brought them inside, aren’t you? I could’ve taken them to the garbage can. Opening the front door, grabbing the pumpkins, and yanking them inside was the quickest solution. Hopefully none of the neighbors saw me. I’ll take them to the trash when it gets dark.
I’m not usually bothered by such things, because it will get done at some point, and it doesn’t have to look like one of the Fat Man’s style trees I so loved decorating. However, when I caught The Girl cutting paper decorations out of white copy paper, I got a case of the guilts.
Coupled with that was the fact that there are now paper chains, ornaments and signs all over the house. She can’t wait to hear what Santa thinks. I guess that means they’re staying. I guess that also means I won’t need all the boxes of décor out of the attic. Less work for me. Thanks, Girl.
The guilts don’t give me any extra time, though, so we still don’t have a tree. I woke up this morning feeling bad about it. “At least our elf has moved (most nights),” I told myself. At least he’s got it together.
Everything else is great, so I shouldn’t be complaining. We are all eating three meals per day, we’re busy doing things we love, and we have a roof over our heads. The clothes are mostly washed, though I can’t promise you The Girl is wearing clean socks. It’s not because they haven’t been laundered. She doesn’t mind wearing dirty socks. Her feet stink something awful. I pick my battles. Thank goodness for shoes.
As I sat this morning, making my list of Christmas chores that must be done before guests come to town, I envisioned rushing everyone around the house in our limited spare time, probably raising my voice a little. Everything has to be beautiful! It’s Christmas! Tie the ribbons! Don’t burn the cookies! Water the tree and vacuum up those needles! Company’s coming!
I took a break from my list and stumbled on another. Y’all know I love a list. Baby doll, bottle for the doll, paci for the doll, small blue notebook, a blanket, spray spray, doll car seat, Jedi bag, iPad, and a pencil. It sounds like suggestions for Santa, but don’t be fooled. These items already belong to a child. With an iPad and all of those accessories for her doll, she’s not wanting for much. Don’t be fooled.
Frances, our friend, and the owner of the list and an ultra rare disease, has had more surgeries than Christmases. That’s her hospital packing list. Gut punch. Who cares about the dadgum tree? Sure, we’ll get one. We’ll hang candy canes on it and put a wreath on the door. For Frances, we’re getting a new decoration. A small blue notebook will sit on our coffee table this year. A sweet, gentle reminder to get a grip. Peace to you and yours, y’all.
I love hearing people say they don’t have time to wrap presents. If you’re working long hours and have small children, I understand. Time comes at a premium. Life gets in the way, too, with unexpected circumstances filling our already precious holiday time. There are your disclaimers.
If you don’t have time to wrap, I wonder if you bought too much. I don’t love wrapping presents, but akin to vacuuming, I thoroughly enjoy the end result. A fresh vacuum mark on carpet is a thing of beauty. Vacuuming is not. Wrapped presents, especially in coordinating paper with pretty bows, make my tree look even better. When they were tiny, our kids loved hunting their names on the glittery tags.
Don’t get me wrong. I get a big kick out of shopping for my people. Anticipating the excitement is part of the thrill. I’m thankful Santa hasn’t ever wrapped presents at our house. Our kids open one present on Christmas Eve, and it’s always the same thing: PJs for Christmas morning. On Christmas Day, Santa brings whatever he brings, and we wrap a couple of things from Mama and Daddy. Believe you me, there is no shortage of happiness, even with that little pile of presents.
It’s a good thing Santa doesn’t wrap presents at our house. It’s not easy getting enough paper to completely cover a bike. It’s only a matter of assembly, but that’s not to say assembly is the easy route. The trampoline of 2014 involved a lot of bourbon and a bonfire for warmth. Santa was in the backyard until about 6:30 on Christmas morning putting that thing together.
Aside from the true, and most important, reason for the season, Christmas is partly about the gift giving. Our kids usually get their biggest gifts of the year for Christmas, but we’ve never gone crazy. Santa had spending limits when they were tiny, usually around $100, because they got so many gifts from family members. For many years, they were the only two grandchildren. They didn’t want for much. Electronics weren’t even a thing. One year, Santa spent $150 on a Barbie house for The Girl, because she wanted it so badly. That seemed really extravagant. I still have the video of her Santa list.
As they grow, so do the price tags on their gifts. Bikes are bigger and cost more. They want new phones, laptops, and God knows what else The Boy has in my Amazon shopping cart. Never fear, One Click ordering has been disabled. Santa brings one main, big gift, and a few little things to even out the piles. Does Santa do that at all houses? Does he make sure the piles are somewhat even?
Back to the wrapping thing. If you don’t have time to wrap, are you particular about it, and therefore taking a lot of time per gift, or do you have too many things? I’m not judging. I’m curious. Can kids keep up with that many gifts? Think about it, though. Would they be just as happy with less? Here’s to hoping. And if any of it requires assembly, you can bet your sweet behind (and a bottle of bourbon) Santa hopes so, too.
- Although the cold weather is back this weekend, the late spring-like temps have made it hard to get in the Christmas sprit. Need help? Go down to Augusta on Ice. It’s on the Common. There’s a skating rink, an ice slide, hot chocolate, and pictures with Santa. Also, they have a bar. It’s hard to believe we can ice skate when it’s upwards of 70 degrees, but somehow it works.
- Columbia County has one, too. I don’t know as much about it, and I don’t think there’s ice skating, but it’s at Evans Towne Center Park, and it’s during December.
- Actually, I know they don’t have ice skating in Columbia County, because people have been all mad that Augusta on Ice moved from Evans. People, get over it. Be thankful we have multiple places to celebrate. Remember this when you complain about having nothing to do in the CSRA.
- I can’t imagine the James Brown Arena not being downtown. That doesn’t mean I don’t want development elsewhere. There’s momentum downtown. Let’s not stifle that. Why would we?
- It’s fun to watch the skyline change. We don’t have mega hotels and skyscrapers doing up, but progress is exciting.
- I watched an older man get in some sort of altercation with a younger guy. I can’t be more specific about their ages. They were at an intersection near Bobby Jones by Sam’s Club. I assumed it was a minor fender bender at first, but fortunately I got stopped at the light for prime viewing. The younger guy was in one of those cube-shaped cars. The older guy was out of his car, yelling “get out of the car,” and gesturing at the young guy. He was really mad. I’ll bet he was spitting as he yelled. The young guy had a huge smile on his face, and he wasn’t about to get out of the car. He finally slowly went around the old guy’s car and left him standing there in the street. I wish I knew what led to all that.
- I’m not nosy. I’m curious.
- It seems like everyone is ready for Christmas by now. We don’t have a tree up yet, but we’re getting close.
- I don’t care if you want to put your tree up in July. I think Thanksgiving and Halloween (or Memorial Day, depending on how you like to do things) can be celebrated just as happily with Christmas decorations. What I don’t get is how you’re not ready to get the house back to normal at some point. As much as I love all of my Christmas decor, it’s always so nice to put it away.
- I have this Apple Watch now, and it does lots of cool things, but most importantly it will ping my phone when I lose it. I use that feature at least once a day.
- I need it to ping my keys. I found them in the kitchen sink a couple of weeks ago.
- The person sitting next to me (I don’t know her) uses “like” a lot. She, like, just said it seven times in one sentence, and she like never mentioned a single simile.
- If you’ve forgotten sixth grade grammar, a simile is a comparison using “like” or “as.”
- The Augusta Players present “A Christmas Carol” again this year, and there are still tickets available for the weekend. The Girl has a sweet little solo, and we’d love to see you there. Plus, you’d be supporting the arts in Augusta and a historic theatre in its 100th year of operation.
- Hanukkah is next week, and it’s, like, almost Christmas, y’all! Happy, happy!
You know those conversations that just stick with you? The ones that wake you at 3 in the morning? I feel like the queen of those sometimes. You know, guys, like when you ask if a woman is pregnant, but she isn’t? I’ve gotten much better about it over the years, learning to bite my tongue and think before I speak.
I have a bad habit of saying, “you, too.” It’s almost a reflex, and my guess is it comes from a mostly Southern upbringing where manners matter most. “I hope your dog enjoys his new toy,” says the lady at the pet store. “You, too,” I quip back. I mean, I guess she could have a dog who just got a toy, but one shouldn’t assume.
Once, a friend was praised for making a gutsy life move to another town, and I reacted with, “So what? I did that before.” Why would I say that? I was excited for her. I knew how hard it was to pick everything up and move away, but I muttered those negative words and haven’t forgotten it. Guilty pangs, 3 a.m.
Not all memorable conversations are bad, though. One of the hardest I’ve had in my life has also become one of the most important. When my mom was very sick, weeks from dying, her doctor wasn’t quite as forthcoming as he needed to be. He was a relatively good physician, but his bedside manner left something to be desired. Although he told her they’d run out of treatment options, she didn’t understand. She desperately wanted to attend my brother’s wedding.
We had to tell her she wouldn’t. My brother and I sat at the foot of her bed and explained that her body had become too weak to tolerate the chemo needed to cure her. She cried. We cried. It was hard. It was worse than that, really. She asked about other curative measures her doctor previously mentioned, and we held her hand and quietly told her, no, not those either.
Out of that conversation came a beautiful moment. A soft light in an otherwise dark room. Mom smiled. She relaxed. She looked at me and said, “thank you.”
She was relieved to know the truth. After that, she napped, and a little later she rode in an ambulance to the hospice facility where, a week later, she’d take her last breath.
If having that as one of the most important conversations in my life sounds morbid, so be it, but it was just that. It was lovely and profound. Knowing she trusted us as much as she did, that life had come full circle, with her children taking care of her, mattered the most.
There are so many unfinished conversations, ruined without a chance to fully explain ourselves. We wonder if we should go back, or have faith that the universe will unfold as it should. The finished ones might not’ve gone how we’d hoped. I’ve shaken my head and rolled my eyes at myself more times than I care to think about. Remember, I’m trying to avoid those 3 a.m. OMG wake-ups. Others are perfectly imperfect, and the rest fall somewhere in the middle of all that, but if there’s one thing to remember from all this, y’all: never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant, unless you can see the baby coming out of her.
- We get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice this year. I’m thankful for that, because I like my family, and I like the food. I love mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing, drowned in giblet gravy. I’m also thankful that we don’t have to celebrate twice in one day. The second wouldn’t ever taste as good as the first.
- Costco, thank you. I’m a mashed potato snob, and you make the only mashed potatoes that taste as good as mine. It’s the butter, I know. I’m thankful for butter, too.
- I need reading glasses all the time. I can’t read the church bulletin anymore. My blindness rock bottom was not being able to read the menu at Abel Brown a couple of weeks ago. I’m not quite ready for readers on a chain around my neck, and I know that’s nothing but pure denial. Instead, I got progressive lenses. Yeah, I know. They’re bifocals. I’m thankful that I’ve made it to 40 without needing glasses every day.
- Big thanks to the people at Casella Eye Center downtown. They say things like “you’re not old,” and “those glasses are super cute,” and “your eyes aren’t that bad at all.” Whether they’re telling the truth or not, I believe them. I not only bought more expensive glasses, but I left there feeling at least 38.
- I’m thankful for the server at Abel Brown who brought me a couple of lobster rolls, when he thought they were out. I’d already eaten dinner, but they made a lovely breakfast. Every day should begin with lobster.
- I’m thankful for lobster.
- I’m thankful for the fact that our budget doesn’t allow me to eat lobster very often, so it’s that good every time.
- Four friends have had babies in the past month. Who isn’t thankful for new babies?
- My kids make their own breakfast on school days. They can also make grilled cheese and quesadillas. They know how to start the laundry, iron their clothes, and do the dishes. Thankfully, they aren’t useless or helpless.
- They still need me. I suppose they’ll always be my babies. I’m thankful they come to me with questions. I’m not always thankful for their jokes, but we take the good with the bad.
- I’m thankful for my husband. I’m even more thankful for his patience when I do things like lose my keys for two hours and find them in the kitchen sink.
- Even with whatever problems we may have around here, I’m thankful for my city. Augusta, you’re not so bad after all, despite my first impression of you twenty years ago.
- I’m thankful for the arts community here. Pay attention, y’all. From visual to performing arts and everything in between, Augusta is pretty damn vibrant.
- I’m thankful for everyone who reads this mess every week. At almost seven years in, you’ve put up with a lot of words, strange stories, and endless lists like these. Thank you for letting me keep rambling.
- I love my people. You know who you are. If you think you are, I’m thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
“Ma’am, your driver’s license number is invalid.”
Excuse me? I’ve had the same number since I was 16. “Uh, can you please enter it again?”
She does. She enters it again. I hear the sad little sound of denial coming from the cash register computer machine. It’s the familiar sound of failure.
As an aside, why does the chip reader on the card machines make such a terrible noise? It always makes me think something is wrong. Nevermind, I answered my own question. There’s no way to forget your card when the machine keeps screaming at you. Makes sense. It’s still a scary sound.
I ask the girl to please try again. She complies with my request. I’m starting to sweat. Why isn’t my license valid? Is there a warrant out for my arrest? Is that how they catch people? Has my license been suspended for some unknown reason? Am I about to have to call my husband to bail me out of jail? Surely they’ve seen me on camera by now, so there’s no way I can leave without handcuffs.
The line behind me is growing. A nice older man, sitting on his Rascal, doesn’t seem to be too bothered by the delay. He notices the snacks I’m buying and gives his commentary on each one. “I really like those little muffins, you know. They are delicious with my Sanka in the morning. You should go back for Cheezit Grooves, though. I could live on those.” The woman behind him tells me it’s the first time she’s stood still all day, and she’s happy for a break. The pleasantries don’t stop my perspiration. The people toward the end of the line, who are assuming it’s my fault, don’t seem as pleased. Eye rolling and sighing is in full effect.
“Do you mind suspending my order, so these people can go ahead?” I hate to make everyone wait, especially if they’ll have to sit through the reading of my Miranda rights.
“Well, I can, but I’ll have to cancel the whole order. You’ll have to talk to my manager.” I’m fine with that. I ask her to run it again, this time calling it out to her. Terrible machine noise again. What the heck? She’s getting frazzled. She seems done with me.
“What’s the error message? Does it tell you the exact problem?” It’s my last ditch effort to avoid a night in the clink.
“It says it needs to start with two letters.”
In the sweetest, least panicky way I can muster, and after taking a deep, cleansing breath, I tell her that my license number has been the same for 24 years, and it hasn’t ever started with letters. I ask if hers does. She doesn’t think so. We stare at each other for one whole second that lasted 10 minutes. The people in line are laughing, and telling me it’s okay. Wait. “Do you need to tell the cash register computer machine from which state my license comes?”
She is skeptical. She’s annoyed. She wants me gone. Her now shaky hands type “GA,” followed by the number, and the check runs through the machine. My receipt prints. I thank everyone for their patience, and I’m on my way.
A check! I know. It’s my fault. I wrote a check. Who does that? I won’t do it again. I shouldn’t expect her to know the procedure, when I’m probably the only person to write one in 2017. To be fair, it was a booster club check for school. At least I know my license number still works. They may not take checks, but liquor stores require a valid ID for the purchase of wine. Cheers!
Editor’s note: This Jenny is Wright column originally ran Nov. 14, 2013.
What’s your Thanksgiving routine? Everyone’s set in their ways. Some always eat at 3 p.m. There are people who have rice instead of mashed potatoes (they are crazy, BTW). Big families gather, and others of you sit at a table of four, enjoying the peace. However you do it, it probably includes your loved ones.
I overheard a discussion the other day regarding Thanksgiving, and a girl said, “GREAT. It’s just another excuse for Americans to get fat and celebrate a fake holiday.” I don’t mind spending one day eating good food and lazing by the fire with family. It’s tradition.
The Gap, JC Penney, Macy’s, Kohls, Sears, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and many more are open on Thanksgiving Day. I often have mixed emotions about things, always trying to see both sides of the equation, but not this time. I do not like it. Not one bit.
“But people NEED to work, Jenny.” Okay. Maybe the time and a half per hour paycheck is enticing. I hear ya. Money talks, loud and clear. We just bought a car, and for the first time in 11.5 years, we have the dreaded car payment. Not only that, but our gas bill is about to shoot through the roof. We’ve got to keep the kids warm, I suppose.
Is it fair that employers dangle a higher than usual hourly rate in the faces of their workers? Who’s going to decline such a deal, with Christmas and Hanukkah knocking at the door? The businesses need workers, and the workers need money. Capitalism at its best. I get it. However.
I’m not suggesting we make it mandatory or anything, but what if no one worked? Back in the dark ages of my childhood, if you forgot green beans or butter for the potatoes, you were out of luck. No one was open. You could call the neighbor, but that’s about it. Burn the turkey? Get on your rotary phone and call the Butterball hotline. On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll bet no one answered. They were at home eating their Butterball. With family.
Speaking of burned, we caught our turkey on fire last year. I’m sure I told y’all about it. The fire was epic. We opened the grill to find the entire bird in flames. While it was nice to know that Walmart was open, we scraped the burned part off and ate the rest. It was one of our better turkeys. You call it burned; we call it blackened. Smoked, even. We didn’t need Walmart or any other grocery store.
If there isn’t enough money, instead of working on a day that’s supposed to be a holiday, lower your budget. It’s simple. Don’t let everyone pressure you to buy more. Gift buying should be fun. I like to think it’s purposeful. There’s nothing worse than ambling through a store, hoping you find something, anything, to wrap and give to Aunt Madge. Aunt Madge doesn’t want the picture frame, candle or lotion set, so there’s zero joy in giving it to her.
“But we have bills to pay, Jenny.” Sure you do! We all do. If you have bills to pay, and Christmas or Hanukkah gift-buying is sending you into a tailspin, please, forthelove, re-evaluate. I promise your kids will survive without Under Armor this Christmas.
Look, I’m all for finding a good deal. I grocery shop like the best of them. I don’t want to go every day, though. We all need a break. We need the downtime. I don’t know about you, but I need time with my family and friends.
“But my employer told me I have to work that day. I’m in retail, Jenny.” This is the worst reason of them all. Employers are requiring everyone to be there, no excuses, during the holiday season. If you don’t want to lose your job, you’re stuck. It ain’t cool.
I live in a dream world. I wish we could go back to the day when everyone took holidays at regularly scheduled times. Unfortunately, we live in a money-driven society, where a family set of iPads might seem more important than a quiet day home with family and friends. If you can help it, stay home this Thanksgiving. If shopping for good deals is part of your tradition, save it for Friday, at least. Eat turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes. If you must, have rice.
It’s one day. Be thankful. Stay home with your people this year. It’s tradition. Cheers!
- I know you’ve been on the edge of your seats, waiting to hear about The Girl’s Halloween costume this year. What started when she was 3, as shy kitty, morphed and layered over the years, eventually becoming Sparkly Kitty, then Cowgirl Sparkly Kitty, then Cowgirl Sparkly Witch Kitty, then Cowgirl Sparkly Zombie Witch Kitty, then Cowgirl Sparkly Witch Zombie Harry Potter Kitty. She found herself considering Kitty retirement, because she wanted to be a unicorn. I suggested she dress up as both, and we are pleased to introduce the KittyCorn.
- She said I am the “best mom ever,” for coming up with such an idea.
- KittyCorn involved cat ears and a tail, a unicorn horn, and 6 different colors of hairspray.
- Did you know they have fruit punch flavored pickles at Walmart? As you’d imagine, they are bright red. I didn’t know that was a thing. How did that even become a thing? What’s wrong with pickle-flavored pickles?
- I’ll bet someone has come up with pumpkin spice pickles.
- Speaking of spice, those cinnamon brooms at the front of the grocery stores have got to go.
- The Girl is obsessed with making slime. She has no less than 20 varieties, using all of my Tupperware containers as storage. Rather than be annoyed, I’m marveling at the fact that she found lids to match every container.
- The Boy had the chance to be an extra in “Stranger Things 2.” If you blink, you’ll miss him, but he shows up a few times in the last episode of the season, in the middle school dance scene.
- No, he doesn’t have an agent, and no, he didn’t work on that show as a resume builder. He doesn’t have a resume. It was just for fun.
- It’s pretty cool to see him, albeit barely, in such a popular show.
- Being an extra on a film set is not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of sitting and waiting. Since “Stranger Things” is an ’80s show, hair and makeup gave him a feathered mullet. It was epic.
- I’m cautiously optimistic about the way the UGA football season is unfolding. I think y’all know what I mean. We’ve been disappointed way too many times to fully believe this is real. If your team is having a crappy season, we feel ya. We’re all waiting on the other shoe to drop.
- I hate to talk about it, for fear of jinxing the team. I’ve found that if I plan a party, wear a UGA shirt (or even the colors), or make a big deal of the game in any way, we will lose. I have a proven track record. It could be the easiest opponent and a guaranteed win, but as soon as I hang our big red flag, the game goes downhill.
- I plan to be the most understated fan ever. I’m acting like I don’t care. You’re welcome.
- Go Dawgs!
The Girl and I love watching that silly “Dance Moms” show. It’s nothing more than mindless drama, with some good dance competitions thrown in. She danced for a few years. Not only that, as a tween girl, the dancers on “Dance Moms” have some celebrity status. We’ve binge watched up to five episodes at a time on a rainy Saturday and seen almost all of them. While it might not be sad for her to admit watching, I’m surprising even myself by saying it out loud.
If you haven’t seen it, here goes: The show is set at the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) in Pittsburgh, when the show begins. Its cast consists of less than a dozen elite status young dancers and their mothers. As the title implies, there’s very little to do with the dancers. It’s all about the moms.
They bicker over the stupidest things, like who will be dancing with whom, who gets a solo at this week’s competition, or which girl has the cutest costume. Sometimes it’s easy to empathize with the angry mom. After all, she’s just looking out for her kid, right? In most instances, the mom is mad, and the kid’s over there minding her own business.
You read about those parents getting involved at the baseball field, yelling at the umps and whatnot. I’ve seen it, having two kids who do theater. Parents, uh, mostly moms, bickering over the silliest things. What gives, y’all?
Newsflash: Most kids aren’t out to take something from another kid. They’re doing whatever it takes to get something for themselves. Do you see the difference? It doesn’t mean they’re not in competition with the other kids; that’s the nature of the beast. Teams beat other teams. Someone gets the role, and someone does not.
I’m interrupting my own soapbox to let y’all know I’m not totally clueless. There are exceptions to every scenario. All of them. I know. Thanks.
In our experience as parents — which is limited to a brief 13 years — kids, while sad when things don’t go their way, don’t tend to hate on their peers in the meantime. That’s where the parents come in.
My kids do what they do because they want to do what they do. It’s their passion, and it brings them joy. It comes with a great deal of hard work, but they love it. What about yours? Are they doing what they want? Or are they doing what you want? When my kids’ things become my things, I quit. It’s not any fun watching them do anything that doesn’t make them happy.
OK, I lied. I love watching them empty and load the dishwasher. It doesn’t ever make them happy, but I’m satisfied as all get out when I get to watch them do chores I don’t wanna do. I have home videos, and I’m thinking of investing in uniforms and a hefty practice schedule. No trophies for participation, though. I have my limits.
My point? If you’re having to constantly step in and go to bat for them, getting mad at other little kids and moms along the way, shouldn’t you quit? Their talents, along with their effort and your support, will get them exactly where they need to be. Getting mad at all the other moms (and kids) not only embarrasses your kids, but it doesn’t look all that good on you. I don’t know about you, but there’s not much better than watching my kids succeed at something they’ve earned. Otherwise, I’d still be sitting on the soccer field, watching my boy chase his shadow, while the rest of the team ran the other way to score a goal.
I’ve been fortunate to have met really great parents on the field, at school, and in the theatre. Sure, there have been a few Dance Moms, too, but they are obvious from a mile away. And that’s where I’ll be. A mile away. I’ll have wine if you want to join me. Cheers!