We just returned from visiting the BossLady's folks out in Dallas. As always, we had a wonderful time. The grandparents were absolutely thrilled to hang out with the the Peanut and we all enjoyed our little inter-generational love-fest. Personally, I've always thought that 4 days is the perfect amount of time to spend with ANYONE'S parents so, despite our jolly-good time, I'm glad to be back in NYC.
Anyway, as I usually do when I'm a little jammed up in the office, I thought I'd engage in a little random chaos theory. If there's a unifying thread to all this, let me know. My shrink and I would love to hear what it is. Otherwise, I hope that you and your families all had a great Thanksgiving and that none of you burned your houses down by deep-frying a turkey.
SHE'S NOT MY BABY. I'M JUST THE MANNY!
You know that nightmare baby that you sometimes encounter while flying? The one who cries incessantly, only pausing to moan or whimper? Well, flying out to Dallas, our little Peanut was THAT BABY. She'd woken up too early that morning, was thrown off her schedule and was overtired all day. By the time, we got on the plane, she was in total meltdown. How bad did it get? At one point, I took her to the bathroom to give our fellow passengers a break. Suddenly, she stopped crying. I don't know whether it was her fascination with the blue toilet water or the fact that she unrolled about 800 feet of toilet paper in a 3 foot space but I wasn't going to disrupt the silence. We ended up hanging out inside the toilet for about 20 minutes! You should have seen the smile on her face! When people knocked on the bathroom door, I just grunted loudly like I was battling a giant turd. Unfortunately, when we came out, Peanut started wailing again. And as I handed her off to BossLady, I could have sworn I heard myself say, "Here's your daughter, lady. I'll be at the bar!"
BRIBERY, COURTESY AND "THE PRICE IS RIGHT"
We travel enough with the Peanut to know that there are good flights and there are bad flights. And usually, you don't know which one it's going to be until you get on the plane. That being said, I like to think we're pretty courteous people who respect the rights of those around us. I bring this up because we were so scarred by the flight out to Dallas that we started coming up with a game plan for the return flight. I won't go into details but the plan involved buying a large box of ear plugs, a few bags of candy and a stack of Continental drink vouchers. We didn't have to use any of them but, just out of curiosity, would that have made things better? Has anyone ever given you a sympathy bribe on a plane before? Because I'm thinking about packaging these up and marketing them to itinerant parents. What do you all think? Is this a million dollar idea (or just a 5 cent one)?
TURKEY IS A GATEWAY DRUG TO AMBIEN
We don't eat turkey on Thanksgiving. The last time BossLady and I ate turkey was 7 years ago. We were dating long-distance. She was in L.A. and I was in NYC. One weekend, she took the Friday night red-eye and arrived at my apartment around noon. We lounged around for awhile and then decided to order in some buffalo wings for lunch. And although the wings looked suspiciously large, they were mighty tasty so we indulged ourselves to our heart's content. Feeling a little full, we decided to lie down and take a nap. The next thing we remember was the sound of my phone ringing...14 hours later! Turns out the buffalo wings were Turkey wings and we'd both overdosed on Tryptophan. BossLady had to leave a few hours later so it turns out that she'd flown a total of 10 hours just so we could have a meal and a long nap together. We swore on a jumbo wing that we'd never eat turkey again.
IS THERE A SWEETER PHRASE THAN "JACK-IN-THE-BOX DRIVE-THRU (OPEN 24 HOURS)"?
Last time I wrote one of these chaotic posts, I ended up discussing my love of Jack-in-the-Box. Well, it turns out that they opened a 24-hour establishment less than 5 minutes away from my In-Laws' house! (For those of you who are vegetarians, please proceed to the next post. Otherwise, NSFW.) Not only did I go there every day to get my beloved Sourdough Jack with cheese and extra bacon, BossLady was reunited with her Spicy Chicken Club. And the Peanut? Her new best friend is the Oreo milkshake. God bless America. God bless fast-food. And God bless Dallas (where, judging by the increasing girth of its denizens, I think a baby's first words are, "Hey, dude. Can I get fries with that?")
BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THAN TO HAVE NEVER LOVED AT ALL
The in-laws don't have cable TV, TiVo, DVR, high-speed internet or Wifi. Sometimes, I felt like I was on a bad episode of "Survivor: Plano."
I WAS ONLY GONE FOR 4 DAYS BUT IN BLOGGINGBABY.COM TERMS, THAT'S LIKE 275 POSTS!
Ahhh...God bless Blogging Baby! Without them, how else would I have kept up on Jennifer Garner's pregnancy, Rod Stewart's newborn and the state of lesbian cloth diapering in Western Mongolia? Just kidding. I can give them a little shit because all my favorite bloggers are now working for them. And if you want to play a little game, here's a pretty fun link that allows you to try and match up the bloggers with their baby photos. I'm guessing my buddy Dutch is the one dressed like a street urchin, Jay is the weird kid with a goatee and Stefania is the cute one. In a similar vein, we'll be running a similar contest over at DadCentric next month (except there, you're going to have to match the blogger with a drunken photo of his ass!)
THE SUBTLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WEIRD, DYSFUNCTIONAL & JUST PLAIN CRAZY!
During the past four days, I've watched BossLady's father unconsciously rip a flurry of belches at the dinner table that would have made Belushi proud. Another night, I watched as he decided to start repairing the motor of his edge trimmer...on the kitchen table...at midnight. I also got to witness BossLady's mom and her cooking OCD. Watching her in the kitchen is like watching Iron Chef on amphetamines (and by this I don't mean me doing some smack and watching TV. I mean it's as if the Iron Chefs took some meth and started cooking.) I love watching my MIL. She'll cook until she's absolutely wiped out and collapes from exhaustion. When she wakes up? It's right back to the kitchen. If the results weren't so gastronomically amazing, it would be almost frightening to watch.
It's funny because these idiosyncrasies of her parents are sometimes embarrassing for the BossLady but, on the other hand, I think they're absolutely endearing and totally charming. These weird habits of her parents only make me love the BossLady more. But of course, after thinking about it for awhile, I can see where she's coming from. I know there are PLENTY of times when my parents will do something that not only drives me to the brink of insanity but also absolutely embarrasses the hell out of me. Witness...
Whenever we’re in a restaurant and my father wants something, he snaps his fingers and yells, “Senor!” It doesn't matter whether the waiter is Chinese or Italian, my father somehow believes that Spanish is the universal language for the food-services industry. Similarly, he also doesn’t believe it’s necessary to have an empty mouth when having a conversation. These are basically two of the many reasons I don't invite friends out to dinner with my folks anymore.
I was once playing golf with my mother and some of my buddies when we looked up the fairway and saw her sitting in the middle of a giant orange tree. After climbing down, she then ran over to us yelling “Here, boys! Eat, eat! Oranges! Vitamin C! It’s good for you!” Not only was I completely embarrassed but she then went on to birdie the fucking hole.
I'm not even going to bring up my father's ability to clear out a room with his farts or his tendency to cut his nails in public. The list literally goes on and on. But as I sit and think about it, I wonder whether it's all some sort of manifest destiny. In a way, I think parents are supposed to embarrass their kids. It's all part of some cosmic circle involving payback and penance. And knowing this? I can only begin to think of the numerous ways that I'm going to embarrass the Peanut in front of all her friends as she gets older.
But want to know the truth?
I can't wait!