Teenagers are worse than cats…

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Minicandy, Mancandy’s 16-year-old son, is in AP Chemistry. As someone who absolutely hated chemistry and fought like a banshee to get through it and never look at it again, that seemed like poor decision making. But no one asked me. He is also afflicted with the disease known as teenager. The once sweet child has turned into a demon spawn of sarcasm and snark. I’d like to point out I did not have children because:

1. I’ve seen how that happens and ew.

2. I didn’t like teenagers when I was a teenager, and I sure as heck don’t like them now.

3. My patience level has decreased as I age.

Teens

One thing I’m mildly insane about is education. I know how much I struggled in college and it cost me tremendously. I never developed much in the way of study skills in high school. So I was extremely offended to realize once I got to college I couldn’t get through just skating by on my memory anymore. It hurt my pride, hurt my feelings, and in my idiocy, it took me much too long to learn how to study. Take someone struggling to figure out how to study under pressure and dump some catastrophic stuff on them, and they break. Or close enough to it. So yeah, I’m a big fan of teaching kids discipline and study skills before the lack of them causes them dearly.

Teenagers think I’m full of shit and should shut up. Which is also rude.

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This weekend the Minicandy decided he was going to make me go insane and also homicidal. A large chemistry test was about to happen, half on Friday and half the following Monday. On Thursday he tells me he doesn’t need to study. He feels confident. He’s fine. When I suggest he study to be sure he’s fine, I was given the brush off. When I pointed out that the decisions we’d been talking about, and how to decide between good and bad and that in this case he was making a bad decision, he shrugged flippantly and walked out.

A slow burn started.

Once Mancandy tuned in and realized there were zero plans to study on Friday (after the first half of the test has been taken on his good flipping feeling), he insists a book and notes are produced.

“I didn’t bring my book home.”

We blinked at him. Several times. And my sassy side blurted out “Oh, that’s because you had no plans to study, right?” (I was still butthurt from the night before and was not about to let that go any time soon).

Missing my sarcasm completely he happily nods and grins at me. Like I’m the stupid one who just caught on.

The slow burn is now accelerating. Innerds are catching fire.

He then asks if he can go to a concert. At some random kids house. For an unknown length of time with unknown people.

We do not acquiesce to his desire.

He was displeased.

He continued to bring up the concert, his lack of socializing, how unreasonable we are, blah blah blah. I told him, with no small amount of restraining my own snark, that he had decided to make a poor choice. He’d even been given a reminder it was a poor choice. Then, when he could have corrected that choice, he decided to flash us the middle finger and gallivant on while blaming everyone but himself for his grades and their impact on his social schedule.

Then he had the audacity to invite one of the random individuals (of the female variety) to come swing by and “talk”.

Sidenote: One of the things that I don’t understand about teenagers is what in the holy hell do you have to talk about? You literally do NOTHING. You have zero experience with anything. You can maybe talk about video games and how much food you can cram into your face at one time. That’s it. Now, I realize that’s unfair. I remember being quite opinionated as a teenager (and that hasn’t abated). I waxed poetic about all sorts of topics I knew nothing about. So sure I was right and I could solve all the worlds problems. But seriously, I have zero patience with that crap. My point on this was the fact it circumvented the fact Minicandy was being minipunished. He got his way. He got to hang out, not studying and trying to impress another teenager of the opposite gender.

My gizzard was ablaze.

Mancandy and I have this fun thing where I get angry, he ignores me hoping I’ll stop, I don’t stop, and he tries to win me over with ice cream. I realize it is not a compliment to be so easily won over, but I freaking love ice cream. Don’t judge me.

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Mancandy is not really worried about the social interactions and shunning of discipline but he also doesn’t want to listen to me bitch about it anymore. So he recommends ice cream. I agree, tell him to grab his on-my-poo-list kid and get rid of the other one and I’ll throw a bra on and we’ll take our classy selves to the DQ.

Sidenote: I had tried doing all the hair curling things my coworker with the most amazing yummy hair ever recommended. It sort of worked. Kind of. But my hair is not yummy and wonderful like hers and that did not help my mood. I want to be yummy. Instead, I will give you indigestion.

I stomp out of the house, ready to be soothed with ice cream and candy.

A tiny creature in a white lace dress and black converse is standing in the driveway.

I do my usual slow blink.

It does not help me comprehend.

Mancandy is awkwardly inviting tiny waif child to get ice cream with us. She awkwardly agrees. Minicandy awkwardly lurches to the car. I stand blinking while my liver and spine catch fire with my gizzard.

Sidenote: there is a hiking trail named Fiery Gizzard in Tennessee and that makes me so happy.

So. I’m sitting in a vehicle with Mancandy who was going to owe me SO much ice cream after this. A little waif of a kid. And Minicandy. Who I sincerely wanted to throttle. Who was also smashed up against tiny Thumbelina in the middle rather than sitting on the other side of the car like a normal damn person. I don’t know why that fired my already fiery innerds, but it did. I held my tongue and glared daggers at Mancandy.

Mancandy was studiously avoiding looking at me. Hardcore avoidance. We get out of our subdivision, not even to the main road, and Mancandy asks Thumbalina why she seems so nervous.

She started crying.

Mancandy Man-panics and screeches to a halt on the side of the road. His eyes were wide, really white, and doing that “horse about to panic” thing. He asked her if her parents knew where she was.

She cries harder, makes whimpering sounds, and stutters out “n-n-n-n-n-n-noooooo” in a wail.

I don’t know how I wasn’t charred to death internally at this point. I turned around and mentioned in a calm voice that if I were her mom and she called to tell me she was someplace she wasn’t supposed to be I’d be upset. However, if I found out after the fact, like looking at her GPS on her phone which she was apparently already doing, I would be so much more upset.

This does not calm Thumbelina. She starts awkwardly telling us a story through her tears. Now, to be fair, she was tiny and crying and I understand why the guys were stupid. She looks like a baby bunny. A crying, lace clad baby bunny. However, she was telling the age-old teenage story of how her parents treat her like a child and she just wanted to be able to do something. It was a selfish, bratty, typical teenager statement told in the most endearing, pitiful manner possible.

Mancandy then asks her if we should take her back to her car so she could go home. Showing more teenage stupidity her response is no, she’ll go home later. She’s supposed to be at the concert so if she goes home early they’ll know something is up. And then she and Minicandy had a whispered conversation that I guess they thought we couldn’t hear because….we were facing the other way….about turning off the phone so GPS wouldn’t track her.

I was livid. To the point, I didn’t even want ice cream. I rarely get that angry. Ice cream is the most important thing ever.

I was ready to light everyone on fire with my eyes.

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Then Minicandy starts getting an attitude about being punished and us being overprotective and how teenagers don’t deserve to be treated the way they are. And while I wanted to do bodily harm, I restrained myself and tried to respond calmly. Mancandy redeemed himself by making a few solid points that seemed to get through to Thumbelina. Minicandy, however, was firmly in showing off for the little lady mode and kept throwing out sarcasm and snark.

Mancandy has quite a temper, but for some reason when Minicandy hits below the belt there’s no immediate response. It makes me crazy. So I swung around in the seat and tore into him. If teenagers were really mature they wouldn’t be lying to their parents and then blaming their parents for getting caught in the lie. If teenagers were really mature they would be honoring the promises they made instead of blaming everyone else. If teenagers were really mature they would have discussions instead of being sarcastic twits. If teenagers were really mature they would take care of business, act responsibly, and be given trust. That being punished is supposed to be punishment, not hanging out in the driveway full of angst and hostility and then getting a freaking ice cream treat. But if teenagers are caught lying and acting like idiots constantly, they don’t deserve trust and since they were ruining my lovely ice cream excursion with their stupid teenage whining they really need to JUST SHUT UP. That all went from a quiet, intense voice to something akin to a screech. I don’t think they could even hear the words, just the tone.

He came back with “You made me come get ice cream! I’d much rather be at home with Thumbelina! I don’t want to be with you! I had no choice!”

I don’t think what came out were even words. I just launched into demon tongue and had to physically restrain my own self from injuring him. His eyes got big, but I knew he wasn’t going to back down in front of his little lady. I looked him in the eyes and told him as calmly as I could manage (which was not as calmly as I’d have liked), that I was having a really hard time not ripping his face off of his skull right at that moment so he really did need to shut up. Right flipping then.

We got to the DQ drive up around this time and I was trying to decide if I even wanted any. I don’t think I’ve ever been sitting outside of a DQ and wondered if I wanted any. I then wondered if I was having a heart attack or stroke or something.

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Distracted by ice cream and whispered conversations with Thumbelina, Minicandy actually stopped talking to me. Thank God.

Mancandy and I start discussing Nirvana (it came on the radio) and the conspiracy theories around Cobain’s death. Thumbelina, showing some actual personality outside of her teenage parasitic selfish annoyingness, got excited talking about the various theories. That’s the thing that kills me. If teenagers were just useless little vapid things all the time they wouldn’t get under my skin. But occasionally the human beings way down deep in that murk of annoyingness float to the surface and I find myself liking them. A little. Not a lot, but still. And within 3 seconds she floated back down into the murk and she and Minicandy struck up the conversation about how restrictive and stupid parents are. And me. I’m not a parent. But I’m super stupid too. Just so you didn’t think I’d been spared.

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And, to top off my annoyance, they are both slurping and slopping ice cream around in their mouths while they talked and breathed and annoyed me. It sounded like someone in flip flops running through mud. Mancandy was asking questions of Thumbelina who was happily answering around mouthfuls of ice cream and brownie. Minicandy was chiming in while slurping and sloshing. I tried to just sit there and be quiet.

I managed two miles, tops.

It shouldn’t be that hard to just be quiet and eat ice cream. That is kind of my idea of heaven. But I couldn’t. We got almost back to our subdivision before I lost my mind. There was some combination of snarky comment, rolling eyes, sighing dramatically, and extra loud sloppy slurpy sounds, and I snapped. I don’t even know what I said. I just started at a normal tone and escalated until I was yelling about disgusting mouth sounds that made me nauseous and were so freaking rude and dear Lord close your freaking mouths when you chew you disgusting creatures!!!! I was also turned in my seat on my knees hovering over their stupid slurpy faces before I even realized I’d moved.

Everything got very quiet. I sat back down in my seat and tried to count to 10 and pace my breathing.

When we pulled into our driveway the kids basically tucked and rolled out as fast as possible. I did the same, as I’d seen our neighbor and was so excited about an actual adult that I basically tackled him and forced him to talk to me. Thankfully, he’s old fashioned and tries to always be super polite. So I forced that poor man to stand out in the heat and talk to me about their weekend plans while we sweated and I slowly burned from the inside out.

He watched Mancandy walking over to the teenagers standing beside Thumbelina’s car. I’m sure my face was doing weird things. He looked back at me and grinned.

“They’re the worst, aren’t they? Teenagers?” he happily asked.

I responded that I needed a night of adulting, where we talked about our latest medication routines and cholesterol levels and went to bed early and no one gave me attitude for TRYING TO HELP THEM. Ungrateful little turds.

He promised we would do so.

I went inside furious with everyone and everything and didn’t enjoy my ice cream. Mancandy came in first and I only had a few minutes to quietly but intensely rip into him about allowing a teenager to ride with us whom we KNEW was lying to her parents. We were essentially kidnapping!

Minicandy came in just then so I hushed, grabbed my phone and my pup, and started to walk upstairs. I could not believe I was the only one who thought that the entire situation was a mess. I wasn’t sure who I was angrier with. And suddenly the deceptively quiet sounds of a dangerous Mancandy came to my ears. He was calmly asking Minicandy if he’d encouraged Thumbelina to lie to her parents. The response in the negative was barely audible. Then the wrath of an extremely unhappy Mancandy roared into being. In the scariest, ugliest tone, he ripped Minicandy a new one. In a much more cohesive, well thought out manner than I would have given him credit for. And while Minicandy doesn’t like when I’m upset with him, when Mancandy is genuinely angry, everyone hunkers down and gets nervous. Even teenage boys who mistakenly think they’re big and bad.

I was SO proud of Mancandy! He’d controlled his temper much better than I had. And that is not the usual around here. Minicandy left the room tail tucked and miserable looking. My gizzard finally stopped burning.

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For those concerned: No children were harmed in the making of this blog. And they weren’t in real life either. Despite wanting to harm them more than I wanted ice cream. Which, for the new folks, is a hell of a lot.

I am going home for about a week in a couple days. I’m ready for a break from the teenage manchild. For those of you considering the miracle of bringing another life into the world, take this as a warning. They are hideous little selfish goblins. That’s it. I’ll let you know if it gets better. But I’m guessing it will just be more of the same as the twins are hitting the teenage stage of life and the youngest isn’t far behind.

Just typing that made me want to move back to the mountains and hide.

Here’s to hoping they eventually get past this stage. Because they will definitely not survive me if they stay in it forever.

Upright Mayhem

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I am failing at girling. I started a new job in an office where people dress like adults (hence why I’ve been MIA for a bit – job plus company in town equals exhausted, hassled me). I can’t wear jeans, an oversized t-shirt, and my hair in a floof. The only part of that I was able to salvage was an “artfully tousled bun”, aka a floof with a bit of extra work. I did a small bit of panicked adult girl shopping (a few bras that weren’t 10+ years old, dress pants (there’s not enough booze in the world to get me in a skirt), and a few tops that were in the “blouse” section of the website (which I haven’t visited in 6+ years).

Trying to shop for clothes is a good way to make me drink anyway, everything is either too small, too revealing, too grandma, too trendy, too horrible to allow me to exit the experience with the tatters of my self-esteem still in my possession. I hate shopping and I especially hate shopping for uncomfortable adult shit. But, it had to be done. I won’t get paid until the end of the first month so my poor credit card is moaning from the extra weight because not only is “business casual” clothing uncomfortable and generally unflattering, it’s also expensive as hell.

Then I realized after walking in the one pair of girl shoes I possess, female specific shoes are not actually meant to walk in! No….no silly girl! You can stand in them fairly easily, but if you walk more than…say….3 feet you will BLEED. I dripped blood into my stupid girl shoes all day and by the end of it I was angry. Very very angry. So I ordered some girl crap specifically recommended for comfort. The ONLY pair I could find on clearance had heels, but it was a pair of boots and the heels were clunky, so I felt fairly confident I could handle it. I’m an idiot.

Why you may ask?

Here’s what happened before I even got the stupid heels.

I felt pretty okay with life. I had on some relatively girly crap and was wearing dress-ish cowboy boot looking things. Minimal heel, broken in, no issues. I figured this would work until my girl shoes arrived in the mail. Nashville traffic is a beast so I get to my parking garage to catch the shuttle early. So do a lot of other people. There’s a small set of stairs leading to the shuttle area. Lots of folks stand there waiting in a line to get on the shuttle. I started down the TINY number of stairs (seriously, like three) and for NO reason at all my foot goes out from under me.

Sidenote: I’d rather eat a turd than fall down. It’s a phobia of sorts. It’s not rational, but I will fight like a champion of awkward to stay upright.

I did that awkward windmill arm rubber legged dance thing you do when you try to catch up to yourself to avoid falling. I also made a loud monkey bellow “ooooooohhhhhheeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhh” kind of deal to go along with my impromptu performance. I caught up to myself and burst out laughing because you just KNOW when you look like an idiot AND I was amazed I was upright. Primo idiot material had just happened. I burst out laughing, turned bright red (even my ears were burning), and couldn’t quit giggling as all of the other commuters stood there not even smiling and staring at me. We boarded the shuttle. I’m snorting and gagging trying to get myself under control. I think it was the adrenaline from a near death experience that had me in its grips.

I then tripped over nothing and smashed my face into the storage bump thing over the seat I was trying to get into. It made a very loud clunk. Everyone is now staring at me in horror.

I have one hand smashed against my forehead that was quickly beginning to throb and pulse and one over my mouth to try and stem the tide of awkward laughter. I plop down to try and get my shit together, but I can’t stop laughing. I’m shaking and making weird snorty noises and then because God hates me I laugh/snort/belch this loud dying moose sound.  Which made me cackle like a witch. No one else was laughing. Just me.

So that was my first commuter shuttle ride.

Since then I’ve worn heels. I’ve had a “not quite a fight but a something” with Mancandy. I’ve had a Candy Invasion where most of the Mancandy crew was here. There’s a lot going on, plenty of stories to tell. I’m going to have to work at getting them all down, but for now, this one should suffice. If you ever feel awkward, just read this and realize you’re coordinated awesomeness in comparison.

You’re welcome.

My head doesn’t hurt anymore but my feet are still torn to bits 3 weeks later. Being a girl is complete horse patoot.