Well, there it is, out in the open. I’m Not Funny. Ergo, therefore, I don’t write much. I wish I was witty with panache and shebang, but I really I’m quite shebang-less at the moment. However, my dear Planet Teenage Boy citizen did write in a construction paper card that not only am I the best mom in the world, I am also magical. Pause for appropriate effect….. So how many of you moms out there are jealous, eh? Not many of them PTB’ers are capable of using such adjectives, much less appropriating them toward the One Who Gave Them Birth.
So I’m not funny, just a little bit magical.
Image by j.gurian via Flickr
I get to be the center of a much sleazier reality show as mom of the Planet Teenage Girl citizen who apparently fell out of bed and hit herself on the head with a sledgehammer…. or whatever is necessary to make a person capable of INSANE behavior. Ahem… After yesterday’s edge-of-your-seat episode with the Planet Teenage Boy citizen and the Old Guy with the road rage problem to mask the Equality Of Immaturity Demonstrated Across Generations problem, I thought perhaps, I might have earned a milder day as a mom juggling the ricocheting Planet Teenager inhabitants. I think God laughed. Instead, things get more epic by the minute, as I am electronically informed that my PTG citizen received an office referral for “Profanity with hand signs” and no, this did not involve any standard form of manual obscenity, but rather the creativity channeled by a child who has a Deaf mom and therefore has taken it upon herself to invent some new, previously unheard of sign language (being the expert with the Deaf mom and all) to express vulgar-ness towards her friend she was mad at.
I was requested to write some “Parental Comments” on the detention form. Best I can come up with so far is “Epic Fail,” although I’m not sure if that pertains to my parenting ability or my Planet Teenage Girl citizen’s ability to attain civilization. Her Life Is Over, by the way. She protested, “But, I still have a life, right?” (big hopeful puppy dog eyes.) I informed her that I Have Canceled Her Life, as she surrendered her rights to said life when she crossed the boundaries to insanity and behaved in a manner unbecoming of someone whom I Physically Gave Birth To.
Planet Teenage Boy citizen jumped in with a well-timed comment about how he felt so “trusted” that I let him drive the car alone, without the hassle of having to bring me along….. oh, wait, he meant without having to hassle me with riding along in the car….. Anybody want some teenagers cheap?
Moms of teenagers do not like being in the passenger seat when our beloved Planet Teenage Boy (PTB) citizen is driving and decides that he “has” to cut someone off. If you are a mom with a PTB/PTG citizen and feel I am taking liberties with this statement, please feel free to express your willingness to get yourself killed by teenage offspring in the comments. I will update this post as necessary. I am still unsettled about my helpless position during my brush with death this morning on the way to school. Helpless beyond the screaming and yelling at the top of my lungs, that is, but I remain confident my input was somewhat effective if only to equally scare the bejeebers out of my Newly-Licensed Teenage Boy in the moment.
Of course, my PTB Citizen found the nastiest old guy (yeah, I know, who’s talkin) with the shortest temper on Earth to cut off. Thus we had war between the Old Guys and the Teenage Boys occur on our normally peaceful roads this morning, with me and all of my Mom-ness literally a captive audience. Let’s see, first OG flipped off TB, which TB found shocking, then OG chased us down, cut us off and tried the I’ll-teach-you-a-lesson-by-suddenly-slamming-on-my-brakes-in-front-of-you thing twice, allowing TB to show off his “skills” by swerving and testing the limits of our Minivan’s Antilock Braking System. Fittingly, OG’s license plate proudly states he is a “Dad,” and I must say the maturity level verified it. While I’m exceedingly grateful that OG’s wife didn’t let him pack the gun this morning, the whole flipping/chasing/lesson-teaching thing was not an effective example of mature conflict resolution skills for my citizen of Planet Teenage Boy. “Whoa, that guy has a temper!” was foremost in our debriefing.
Choosing not to go with either of the moral puppy dilemmas presented in today’s Post A Day question, I have been re-energized in my crusade to save the Earth, one teenager at a time. I came across Bridget Baker’s post where she mentioned a saying of her’s, a revolutionary one in my opinion, that “Responsibility is sexy.” While this has motivational pull for my own life, I immediately thought “Well, duh!” How did I miss this beguiling approach with my dear citizens of Planet Teenage Boy and Planet Teenage Girl? (PTB/PTG) Advertisers know the key term to motivating their gold mine 18 to 24 yr old male segment of the population is via the word and or concept sex. While they use this to get young guys to eat more hamburgers, I am wondering why no one has turned this little gem on it’s head for the Betterment Of Mankind In General? No one, that is, until Bridget Baker.
Teenage boys care about 3 things: girls, food, and sports. Not necessarily in that order. Moms of teenagers everywhere want one thing to occur on Planet Teenage Boy: maturity, civilization (ok, so that’s more than one thing, but it’s closely connected.) Why not create a win-win situation by marketing responsibility as a Sexually Desirable Trait? “Chicks think responsible guys are totally hot.” Can we get one of those video game makers to have those type of statements subliminally flashed across the screen when someone plays their game? I’m in. If I actually had any capital to venture, I would quickly sink it into a product which could simultaneously satisfy both teenagers and their parents. Forget the “Carl’s Jr. Burger Break” at halftime, replace it with a scantily-clad, flirtatious hottie lamenting the serious lack of responsible and mature guys to satisfy her needs. Can anybody say “Superbowl ad”??
Creatively productive. There’s the holy grail. To express the fullness of my potential as a unique individual and somehow do it well enough and often enough to get paid for it. Which is more important? Caitlin Kelly blogs about this and points out some of the beloved irony of us creative types — she won a Canadian National Magazine Award for humor for an essay about her divorce. Humor and divorce really don’t seem to go together, but that’s probably what made it work. I will spare you all the make lemonade with the lemons of life metaphor (whoops, that didn’t work.) In Real Life we must be productive, but do we put the cart in front of the horse with our focus on quantity? I am fascinated by Austin Kleon’s advice not to wait around until you know yourself to make things. Just make things, which leads to knowing yourself and thus the well of human creativity.
People tend to be amused by my eccentric creativity, but where is it’s value? That’s the big question. What makes a painting created by random slinging and splattering worth thousands of dollars, or not? I’ve got some pretty amazing metaphors and word plays up my sleeve, but what makes it marketable? Austin Kleon’s work, Newspaper Blackout, is a smash hit, but does the monetary value lie in the use of markers on newspaper? Would people value the same poetry if it were just typed out on regular ole paper? People are funny like that. Some things are perceived as wickedly cool, while others are relegated to lame gimmicks. I happen to think Austin’s work is Wickedly Cool, by the way. Does anyone care about the monetary value of Mom-ness? Is my in-depth research on the citizens of Planet Teenage Boy and Planet Teenage Girl significantly marketable? I have lots of creativity, but creating productively is the heaven to which I aspire.
Image via Galerieopweg
This is where all your fancy claymation came from, people. Gumby started it all. If we didn’t have somebody making a zillion Gumby’s in each Slightly Different Pose to create motion, we wouldn’t have had 3D animation at all. If I could have any fictional character come to life for a day, Gumby would be it. I don’t know if it’s allowed, but I’d like his pony pal Pokey too. What would we do? I know I’d love to do that walking into books thing, for sure. Stretching out and then flattening…. Hey, maybe Gumby started shape shifters too! All I know is Gumby is awesome but simple and doesn’t involve any Weapons Of Mass Destruction in his storyline. If only we could have such characters for today’s kids. I’m kinda scared to see what’s on Saturday morning cartoons. It sure ain’t Tweety Bird. Gumby is my buddy. I have him on my CD holder at my desk to remind me that We Can Be Anything we want to be…. I think I’ll take the stretched out taller-and-skinner thing.
He was once a little green slab of clay. Gumby!
You should see what Gumby can do today. Gumby!
He can walk into any book, with his pony pal Pokey, too.
If you’ve got a heart then Gumby’s a part of you.
That’s probably my favorite slang phrase, although upon reflection I came up with several. Hey, I’m freaked out about the lame waaahmbulance wanna go blog about it, or is it too lame? Yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah…. I think my favorite phrase, “Well, duh!” is a direct result of having teenagers. Brilliant scholars that they are, all of a sudden lose the Common Sense Gene by saying things like “I didn’t know you wanted me to turn the dishwasher on after I filled it up.” Well, duh! I also like using Obscure Quotes From Movies/TV programs which only my husband and I actually understand and find amusing. “If you blow a guy to bits, there’s gotta be bits of guy.” (Bruce Willis to Cybil Shepherd in “Moonlighting,” circa 1987) “I don’t think so, Tim” (“Home Improvement” Richard Karn.) Isn’t that the fun of being an adult? We say weird things that make kids roll their eyes. Parents Are Soooo Embarassing.
Somehow, having a job with responsibilities changes the perspective of certain citizens of Planet Teenager. Major rant about how the people last night didn’t clean up when they closed the store and actually left *GASP* dishes in the sink!! Fire them all, they know better and they know that “everybody depends on everybody else to do their job correctly.” How inconsiderate those night people were, didn’t even bother to Wipe Off The Syrup Pumps! “Why do they even have a job if they are going to be irresponsible?”
Suddenly the camera changes focus from the PTG citizen and the mother to the bathroom where there is makeup all over the place, some dirty, some “status undetermined” clothes are on the counter, and there’s toothpaste globs in the sink….. And yet, of course, our very miffed PTG citizen Sees Not The Irony Here…..
Can’t think of anything very exciting, like the ability to tie cherry stems with my tongue. Now That Would Be Real Talent. Let’s see, Deaf karaoke singer? Nah… I’m extremely good at embarrassing teenagers, but I consider that a ninja skill, not a talent. I’m pretty good at making random weird things at 10pm the night before it’s due…. ahem, that would be the teenager thing again. I am very creative…. in spurts. That would be Unplanned, Unscheduled Spurts. I have no idea when it will hit, but it just does and I come up with some really creative idea or solution. I wish I could harness that talent, and use it to do my bidding. But, alas, it will not respond to my commands. If I was a teenager, I would roll my eyes about now…. More than anything, I am definitely Not Funny. I can’t even buy a Courtesy Laugh most of the time, and yet I amuse myself…. ahem, that would be the teenager thing too….
What is the smallest thing around me right now? My buddy, the blue plastic lizard. He came from a silly awkward boy a few years ago, who thought it would scare Mom if it was hanging out on her computer. But I liked it, so I kept blue lizard, and he watches over my monitor or one of my external hard drives for me. My son was astonished that I kept blue lizard– poor kid didn’t know what to do with the whole Mom-didn’t-scream-and-freak-out thing. Oh well, me and blue lizard are cool….