Mike and I were flipping the channels the other night (no, that is not code for anything…we are just flipping the channels) when he came across something with crazy aliens and explosions.
Mike: “Oh, YES. Have you ever seen Starship Troopers?”
Me: “THIS? No. I have not seen it.”
Mike: “What? With Denise Richards as the…uh…she plays the uh…”
Me: “I can start giving you suggestions if you need them.”
Mike: “Oh! She plays a pilot!”
Me: “A what now? That was not going to be one of my suggestions.”
This got me started thinking about how there are some celebrities who just don’t work in certain roles. Call it “typecasting,” call it “nature’s way,” but check out these examples and tell me you disagree with me.
It helps if you get the movie announcer voice in your head. So, something like: “Starring Channing Tatum as duplicitous monk Harvey Inkwater…”
Read each option and pick the best fit for each celebrity. Aaaaaaaaaaand GO!
I don’t understand the games my kids have been playing lately. They involve a lot of life and/or limb-threatening physical contact, plus side-splitting laughter. I was never a physical play kind of kid — I mean, my sisters and I beat the shit out of each other sometimes, but nothing about that was for fun. It’s like when guys start punching each other and then when it’s over they’re buying each other drinks and laughing?
I. Don’t. Get it.
If you punch me in the face, 1) it’s on and 2) we’re done. Actually, probably just 2) because first I would run away crying. But THEN, we’re done.
Here are a couple of games my kids have played just in the past week:
1. We went to the park and found these great climbing trees right next to each other. One kid climbed one tree, and the other climbed the second tree. This was fun. But not enough fun. What was more fun was climbing back down the tree, picking up as many pine cones and sticks as possible, climbing back up the tree, and hurling them at each other as hard they could. Mike and I watched from below.
Me: “So…what’s this game called?”
Mike: “I don’t know. But this is exactly like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
“I am the dragon from the desert! Who comes from nowhere and leaves no trace!”
2. Last night, during a break in my Fiction Writing class (did I mention that I’m trying to write a book? Holy cow you guys, it is going to suck so bad. Available in 2023 wherever ‘print your shit book on the internet’ is sold) I saw a Facebook update from my husband which contained this picture and this description:
“Player 1 places a yard waste bag over their head and advances toward player 2, who is seated on a rope swing. When in range, player 2 knocks player 1 down and everyone rolls around in the grass laughing and screaming. Now it’s your turn to be in the bag!”
The kids and I had just landed in Raleigh-Durham on Monday afternoon when I got the CNN text alert on my phone: “Bombing at Boston Marathon.” As is typical with me, at first I was completely confused. What do they mean, someone bombed a marathon?! How do you even do that? Why would you do that?
My mother picked us up from the airport. She is a newshound (she regularly falls asleep to the dulcet tones of Rachel Maddow,) so I wasn’t surprised when she whispered in my ear at the baggage claim, “Did you hear about Boston?” I nodded yes and went back to keeping the kids off the luggage carousel. I started to get that feeling that this was not a case of the media making a mountain out of a molehill; I was starting to think that Shit Mountain had indeed plopped down right in the middle of Boston.
When we got back to the house, I went to the TV and turned on CNN. I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing, because the kids were right there, asking for snacks and wondering why I wasn’t watching Spongebob. I don’t usually watch any kind of adult television in front of them, and certainly not the news, which is the worst of all. But I needed to know what was happening. So I sat there and watched replay after replay of the bomb going off near the finish line. People screaming, running, crying.
Eventually, my daughter wandered over and looked at the screen. She said, “Mommy, what is that?”
And here’s where I made a choice: my twins are five-year-old. They have had an extremely fortunate life so far, in that they have not been exposed to any violence, death, or cruelty. They didn’t know what evil was until last week, when they asked me to define it for the first time. At some point, every child needs to learn that there are shit people who do crap things. I was lucky enough to get to choose a time to tell my kids about that, rather than having it thrust upon them. I thought this was as good a time as any, with an event that was removed enough from their world that it wouldn’t terrify them — a marathon in Boston is not a first grade classroom in Newtown.
Here’s what I wanted to say:
“Well, kids, there are some arrogant sons of bitches in this world who think that their point of view is more important than the lives of others. They decide to speak for an entire group of people, and think that the best way to get their point across and raise awareness for their cause is to blow up an eight-year-old. They are fucking assholes and I will do everything in my power to protect you from them.”
But here is what I actually said:
“Well, sweetie, someone went to this marathon and set off a bomb, and they hurt a lot of people.”
Megan was shocked. “But that is NOT. NICE.”
“No, honey, you’re right. It is not nice. There are some people in this world who try to hurt other people and scare them. There are some people who are not good people.”
Megan thought that over for a minute, and then got the happily sneaky look kids get before they say a bad word.
“You know what else I think?” she said, and came over to whisper in my ear. “I think they are stupid people.”
“You are absolutely right, Megan. They are stupid people.”
So Boston is the event that taught my children that there are bad people. That there are people who hurt others intentionally. That evil exists and that the world is not always the safe place they think it is.
But it also showed them how truly brave and good people can be. That while evil takes plotting and planning, and is committed by a few people who are heartless and cruel, good rises up at a moment’s notice and can be found in anyone: the visitor from out of town, the doctor on her day off, the family member with a cardboard sign, and the runner exhausted after 26 miles. Not just anyone is capable of that kind of evil, but awe-inspiring goodness can be found all around us.
On Monday I flew with the kids to North Carolina. This involved a total of 7 hours of flying, with a short layover on Chicago. We have done this trip twice before, with no problems whatsoever. I was all, “my kids are great travelers!” And, “as long as they’ve got movies and snacks it’s pretty easy!” Well, I am an asshole. Because Monday suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.
Here’s what’s interesting: the actual flying part was awesome. Once we were in the air with our snacks and movies, the kids were absolute dreams. It was every single other minute of the trip that was a disaster.
–Waiting in line at security in Seattle
–Waiting at the gate in Seattle
–Waiting to get off the plane in Chicago
–Waiting at the gate in Chicago
–Waiting to get off the plane in Raleigh-Durham
Apparently, my children no likey to waitey.
There were groans, moans, tears, whining, yelling, flopping to the ground is dismay…people moved AWAY from us at the gate in Chicago. I’m guessing it was because they didn’t want to hear my son continue to ask when we were going to board the plane. The answers to that question were, by the way, “twenty minutes, here eat some popcorn, ten minutes, still ten minutes, nine minutes, eight minutes, seven minutes, six minutes, five minutes, four minutes, three minutes, two minutes, one more minute, zero minutes, any second now, I don’t know, any second now, I am going to go jump in front of a plane.”
Dudes, it was brutal. There was such an intense amount of whining, I thought I was going to start crying. I also considered writing up an addendum to my “no spanking” policy that left room for exceptions in cases of flood, fire, or other acts of god like screaming in an airport.
Oh, AND the day started with my daughter sneezing out one of those booger trails that you usually only see on two-year-olds on a cold day at the park. You know, the kind that reaches from nostril to chin and is approximately one inch across? Well, she sent one out for air while we were in the middle of a very long line at security in Seattle. I, of course, had no tissues. I had nothing…except my sleeve. I scooped that thing up, and then wiped my sleeve off in my pocket. Because I still had my dignity, damnit.
And ps, the day ended with my son going backwards down an escalator because he decided he wanted to go on the elevator instead, and me pushing my way down the escalator past a very nice old couple (daughter in tow), yelling my son’s name. Because by this point I no longer gave two shits about my dignity.
Wish me luck on Saturday, when we get to do this whole thing again.
“Good call on the meds, baby.”“We are so high-fiving later.” image via macleans.ca