Thursday, June 28, 2012

Job Review for Bullied School Bus Monitor - Fail

Fasten your seatbelts because I'm gonna' be the douchebag today.  All buckled in?  I've got my helmet, Kevlar vest, and athletic cup on.  Ok, here we go...

I live in Rochester, NY, which is home to the suburb of Greece which spawned the viral video sensation of Karen Klein the bus monitor and the four foul mouthed moppets "bullying" her.  I thought the children were disgusting.  But it was obviously a game amongst them of "can you top this" with the most shocking and disgusting insult to Karen.  It was inexcusable, deplorable and those kids should be kicked off the bus permanently and made to deal with their angry parents who will have to take time out of work to cart their asses around.  As a parent I know that would be the most effective punishment for my kids.  Hell hath no fury like a parent who has to take time off of work for something that could be avoided.

(Working parents, tell me if you haven't asked the school nurse when they call you at work, "Is the temperature really that bad?"  "Well you stopped the bleeding already didn't you?" Because you all know time off work is money or co-workers or boss bitching about "Madge is always shirking her responsibilities because of her constant sick kids"  BS.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  I digress.)

Here comes the douchebag part...  How the hell does this warrant over $600,000 (last I checked) in reward to her for not doing her job?!!!!!  Yes, yes those kids were awful but she's the adult!  Isn't it a bus monitors job to keep order, not just ignore kids and sit in the seat and attempting to ignore them?  It was reported that this wasn't the first time this happened and she had never reported any of the bad behavior, which according to my research is part of her job duties.  Also, when I was a kid we couldn't even talk loud on the bus!  If there was a group of us getting a little rowdy, the bus driver would stop the bus and split us up.  Why the hell did this woman not tell them to stop talking and recording or she would report them?  Why did she not send them to four different seats far apart and tell them to behave? 

I'm not saying she asked for the money or is at fault for any of the money part, I'm saying it's kind of silly for people to donate to that cause.  I'm sure she's very nice, but this whole thing got blown waaaaay out of proportion.  As is everything that goes viral nowadays.  Hell we make celebrities out of little kids on anesthesia!  Give me a break.

I'm just saying, it takes two to Tango.  I understand a kid being bullied, they don't have the maturity to defend themselves.  But an adult?  Ok, so she's "old".  Last I checked 68 wasn't that old.  I have sisters in their 60s that are still running 10K road races and I'm sure would kick my ass if I got out of line.  And it's her God damn job to supposedly keep these kids in line or at the very least report them if they don't stay in line!  Hike up your polyester pants Karen, and lay down the law!

And where was the bus driver?!!!  I know he's busy driving the bus, but he could have pulled over the bus, I'm sure he heard the ruckus.  Or she could have at least told him to pull over and told the little cretins that the bus wasn't moving again until they cut it out.  They'd be pissed if she cut into their Xbox time!

I'm so tired of adults blaming the kids for the downfall of society.  Be the damn adult!  You have the control! 

I've read everyday in the news here locally that they have had rallies and receptions like she's some kind of freakin' hero!  I'm just kind of dumbfounded by the whole thing. 

So if we follow that logic, could you all start a fund for me because I had my ex-husband verbally and physically abuse me?  He was 6' tall and 220lbs of solid muscle, ex-hockey player (a defenseman goon to boot).  At least I had an excuse, I couldn't undo his monster death grips on my arm.  But I soon said enough and made him leave.  I took responsibility.  I understand some women get the crap beat out of them when they try to break it off, so it's easier to stay (in their mind).  I was really lucky the physical stuff didn't get to that level.  But I don't feel like anybody owes me squat.

I've had grown men in bars call me foul names because I rebuffed their advances.  Like really nasty stuff that I can't repeat.  If I didn't just leave, I'd tell the bouncer, that this guy was harrassing women and they'd escort him out.  Nipped in the bud.  Took control.

So yea, I'm a jerk.  I just don't see where that unfortunate incident garners a trip to the community chest for this woman.  It just goes to show you, America loves a good victim story.  Why do you think there have been so many stories in the news lately of people getting busted for faking cancer to get a financial windfall or free wedding?  Or why we hear of so many people getting scammed on the internet by those poor helpless millionaires in Nigeria that can't access their money?  Because they know we are suckers.  Which blows for the people that really are in need.

And I'll even take the douchebag one further... America loves a nice WHITE victim.  Poor nice white lady gets harrassed... America to the rescue!  Pretty suburban white girl goes missing... America to the rescue!  Black or hispanic child goes missing... America is too busy to pay attention.  Elderly non-white woman gets harrassed on the public bus everyday by young hoodlums... America could give a crap.

I know these are two separate issues, but seriously America, pay attention to the real injustices and let Karen Klein learn how to do her job figure out how to pay for her own damn vacation.  Be the adult.  Take control.

Let the hate mail begin...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yes I Suck But Parenting is Not a Competitive Sport

I started following an account on Twitter this week that I really like, Sh*tty Mom.   Check it out.   It's a book coming out that I believe is written by two women, and oh how I relate to these women.  (if you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @MadgeMadigan)

I must confess something...  I produced my first college scholarship winning child by being a crappy mom.  Also my two daughters are still in high school and middle school and are A students, and this is another result of my crappiness.

I frankly have no idea how this happened.  My son is going to NYU in an honors program in the Fall.  He's a wonderfully down to Earth, kind, polite, good athlete, funny as hell, talented in singing and acting, and very insightful.  I have two daughters (I hate to lump them together but they are very similar, see evidence of crappy momness) who are A students, good athletes, kind, polite, funny as hell, talented in singing, acting and art, and are very insightful (when not being hormonal). 

And what did I do?  Pretty much nothing.  The question should be more of what didn't I do?  Shall I list?  Yes, let me count my apathetic ways...

- I never once "made" any sort of foodstuffs for a birthday party, or school party, or Girl Scout shindig, or end of the season soccer party, or some such other convoluted self-esteem building event for children.  I tried to avoid having to do anything all together, but if I was forced to I opted to bring the paper products, ya' know plates, napkins, etc. 

- I never bought my kids anything that cost more than $40 for a present. 

- I never kept my house immaculate.  I'm usually apologizing for the mess when people come over.  I didn't get the housekeeping gene.  I mean, it's not like I'm a hoarder with 6 inches of animal feces and fast food wrappers on the floor.  But there's always stuff around, backpacks, books, magazines, some dust, evidence that we are living.  After a while I become oblivious to it.  I guess I wish an unkempt house bothered me a little more but it just doesn't.  *hangs head*

- I never thoroughly enjoyed playing with my kids outside.  Sometimes I did, but a lot of times I sat in a chair while they ran around.  I'm sad I didn't have the energy to frolic through a meadow with them as if we were in a detergent commercial, but at least I was there.  Albeit sometimes I was texting or talking on the phone but hey, I was supervising.

- I didn't go to every single one of my kid's sporting events.  I almost did!  But sometimes there were three at once and it was just impossible.  Other times I couldn't get out of work.  Other times I was just too drunk.  NO!  I'm kidding.  Just seeing if you were paying attention...

- I've never caught up on laundry.  Almost everyday my kids are pulling the clothes they want to wear out of the laundry basket of clean clothes I just brought up from the basement but haven't bothered had time to fold.

So yea, I suck.  But the truth is a lot of us Moms suck.  And ya' know what?  It's ok.

Sure we all suck compared to June Cleaver, Donna Reed, or Carol Brady.  Hmmm, are those references too dated?  Have there even been any "perfect moms" on TV in the last 25 years?  I don't know, wasn't the mom on Home Improvement kind of perfect-y?  Anyway.  The point is, it's a different world but women still have the "Super Woman" complex.  We feel we need to be all things to all people.  Let's face it, women can be a wicked competitive lot.  And then sometimes women make stupid choices because of what they feel are the more important successes that should be noticed.

Why was I a slacker in all of those areas?  Because I was a divorced Mother of 3 children for 10 years, with an ex who I couldn't depend on, and I had to work to support the four of us.  And any job I've ever had has never paid more than $36k/year.  I couldn't afford much of anything that's why I tried not to volunteer to bring stuff.  Crappy I know, but I wasn't going to spend money I didn't have just so I looked good to the other Moms.  I didn't blow my money on expensive things for the kids just to look good either.  I did my share when we all had to pitch in, but I was always praying that we were done with soccer games before they got to my name on the snack list.  What the hell do kids need a snack for?  They won't starve before they get home.  I played plenty of sports and I never collapsed from malnourishment in the time it took to leave the school and arrive at home.

I didn't enjoy playing with the kids all the time because I was damn tired from working and being both parents.  I didn't clean like a motherhucker because I was tired and I thought my time would be better spent sitting down and talking to my kids and helping them with their homework and feeding and cleaning them.

Basically I had to pick and choose how my time and money were best spent.  I would have loved to bring fabulous baked goods to all their gatherings but I resolved myself to the fact that I'd rather people know me for my awesome kids than my awesome cookies.  Don't get me wrong, I do know women who have great kids and great cookies... and I envy them.  But I do know they might be lacking in other areas, say maybe they ignore their spouse in order to make good cookies.  Look ladies, we just can't be all things to all people so don't beat yourself up over it.  Do the best you can do but try to put the kids first.  It used to bother me that I couldn't be perfect but now I freely admit that I'm... craptastic!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Date With a Serial Killer

It's probably not a wise idea to determine that you want to go forward with something just because you don't want to do the alternative ever again.  Like deciding to quit high school because you never want to take a test again.  That's stupid in the long run, know what I mean?  Besides, you'll be "tested" all your life, dumbass.  Pull up your skirt, Sally and get back to work.

So should someone decide to get married just because they never want to date again?  I've actually heard that decision announced before.  Now having been married before and had a long period of dating post divorce, I'm tempted to go hide in the confines of marriage after what I've encountered.

What got me thinking was going out for my birthday this week to a restaurant that's hot with the middle age single crowd.  I soon noticed it was all the exact same lame-os  people that were there three years ago the last time I was single.  Then I started to stroll down memory lane, taking inventory of all my dating exploits as an adult.  I'm surprised none of my dates has shown up on America's Most Wanted as a psychotic serial killer.  I can think of one in particular...

It was probably 8, 9, 10 years ago (I forget, I've blocked it out) I was living in Denver and regularly doing the thing.  This isn't an "all people online are crazy" thing, I met a few rather nice fellows, this one  just happened to be a shit show.  I started exchanging emails with a decent looking, charming, stylish gentleman a few years older than me.  Now, once I start to tell you his details you will probably think, "Madge how could you possibly believe this asshat?!"  Now mind you details were leaked slowly as if he was a natural gas leak.

Some details escape me like if he had been married or had kids, but I do remember he said he didn't live around Denver, he only visited occasionally for business.  Then there was something about owning a vineyard somewhere and had a wine label.  Now that is not entirely impossible as there are thousands of small wineries in this country.  Eventually he tells me he was orphaned as a child as both of his parents died in a car accident when he was a baby.  It could happen.  Then something about being taken in by an Italian couple... I'm also remembering something about sending a baby up a river in a basket with a Hebrew slave cloth, but I might just be confused, it was a while ago.  He said he spoke Italian but I soon realized he only ever seemed to throw out the same 4 or 5 Italian words.

The lies got more elaborate, as the couple turned into wealthy Italians who lived part-time in Europe and he had or would be inheriting all this stuff.  Anyway, the more suspicious lies were coming out after I agreed to meet.  I think I just met him in person just to see what would happen with the stories.

So we meet at a local hotspot.  He walks up to me and he looks somewhat like his pics but you could tell they were from several years earlier.  For those that know, he looked just like  Rich Wakile from Real Housewives of New Jersey:

He wasn't terrible looking and he had some expensive-looking European clothes.  So we sit down and he orders a Maker's Marker for himself and me a Bombay Sapphire and tonic.  He keeps stressing how he's not from around these parts.  He slams his drink and quickly orders another one for himself and me.  Um, I had barely taken a sip of the first one you ordered me. 

As conversation goes on, I start to question his stories.  It seems I'm calling him out a little.  He appears a little agitated and takes me out on the dance floor.  As we are out amongst the crowd, all these folks keep saying hi to him and giving big hugs and kisses.  Um, thought you didn't know anyone?  He said he met them on his trips here.  Then I'm starting to eavesdrop, because everytime a person would come by he would turn away to have a conversation.  This is when I started to hear things like "Have you found a job yet?", "Everybody back where you work at blah blah down the street misses you", "Hey, how's your brother?".  I was furious, yet humiliated I fell for it.  However, I didn't really "fall" for anything, I kinda' knew, but it was like a car wreck, I wanted to go look to see if there were any survivors.

We go back to the table he immediately orders another drink, as I have two unfinished.  When the drink came, I said, "We'll have the check", because I knew the "date" would be ending after I said my peace.  I had a big smile and said, "Ya' know I heard all of your conversations, I know everything you told me was a lie".  I didn't even get mad, I tried to let him off the hook.  But do you know what the m*****f***er does?  He starts yelling at me about.. what, I don't remember because I was busy picking my jaw off the floor.  Something about me being a bitch and negative and thinking I'm too good... then he slams his drink down his throat, throws the bill at me and stomps out.

Yes, scumbag leaves me with a 40 something dollar bill and a bag of bullsh*t.  I was mad about him inhaling drinks and stiffing me.  No not that, I meant sticking me with the bill.  But I could do nothing but laugh and shake my head and wonder what he was thinking.  Maybe he was so depressed about his life he wanted to pretend to be someone else for a while.  That seems to happen a lot on the interwebz.  How long did he think he could ride these stories?  It's like people showing up to a date 100 lbs heavier than their online pics, do they think you'd be blinded by their stellar charm?  But I take responsibility for getting duped, well not duped because I was skeptical to begin with.  Let's just say curious.  However for the future, I don't recommend going out with someone if you think they're lying, it could be dangerous.  Obviously he had a temper, it could have ended worse.

But should I take a dive into the security of marriage just because I don't want to deal with the prospect of that happening again?  Probably not a wise idea.  Yea, lots of widows back in the day used to just marry a guy to get health insurance again even though she knew he beat her kids.  Eh, what are ya' gonna' do?  What you should do is weigh all sides equally, good and bad and make a sound decision.  And have the balls to face stuff you don't really want, don't go hide under your security blanket as an alternative.  You're gonna' have a few thorns amongst the roses.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A "Meeting in the Ladies Room" I Will Never Forget

Well, I survived the last couple of weeks with my 2 daughter's surgeries and my son's high school graduation.  Piece of cake.  Well, actually I think it's like child birth, there is some magic chemical in our bodies that makes us forget what hell we went through.

And I got some interesting stories out of it.  From my youngest daughter's 10 minute oral surgery that took her two days to recover from  anesthesia sickness to the baby that was my other daughter's roommate after her surgery whom no one ever came to visit :( to my son being stranded 20 miles from home at a prom after party that he went to as a last minute favor the night before graduation.  (he thought they were only staying an hour, he got stuck there til next morning) Ah, memories...

One in particular that happened to me sticks out though as a foreshadowing of my future... that I'll try to avoid.

My son went to an all boys Catholic prep school.  So as part of any good Catholic high school graduation, they have a baccalaureate mass earlier in the day before graduation.  My son had to get there early because he was singing at the mass with the school choir... and so we could get a seat, you know with us Catholics and our large families, seating was limited.

So, yea the mass... We had plenty of time to mill about and at one point my youngest daughter and I decide to go to the ladies room.  (oh great now I have Klymaxx's "Meeting in the Ladies Room" stuck in my head)  This particular ladies room had a long narrow, oh what would you call it, ya' know "lounge" with a sink and vanity and long counter for doing prissy lady things.  I lovingly refer to it as the "pre-toilet" room.  Then there is a one seater toilet room beyond this room.  My daughter and I are in line behind one other woman.  This "lounge" room is long and narrow, so you all have to stand in line for the loo up against the wall like a police line-up. 

The toilet room door opens and a cheery older woman comes out who is about in her 70s.  The woman ahead of us goes in the toilet room.  Older woman is chatting away "Oh sorry to hold everyone up!".  This woman was probably one of the boy's Grandmas.  She was wearing one of those "skirt suits" that old ladies wear with a skirt, an elaborately embroidered long jacket and rayon shell underneath, with a nice pair of sensible dress shoes and lots of diamond jewelry.  As she's walking out she's tugging at her skirt and chatting away.  I chatted back to be friendly as I always do.  My kids actually said they like that I can make friendly conversation with anyone from a cashier to a nasty DMV clerk.  Which is surprising because my parents did it when I was a kid and it used to embarrass the crap out of me.  "Jesus Mary and Joseph, Mom!  Do you have to talk to everyone, can't we just go?"

Right, so anyway, old lady comes out tugging and chatting, and then stops at the end of the counter space and is still chatting at me.  Due to the specs of the room, there was nowhere to look but directly at her.  She starts telling us that she got out quickly so as to let us all get in there and thought she would just adjust herself out in this particular area.  Well thanks for explaining lady, I thought perhaps you had crazed weazels up your skirt or something.  She chats more (for the life of me I can't remember the subject, maybe the weather, the school, I don't know) and she starts tugging at the ankles of her hose.  Then she moves up to tug at the knees.  Then the thighs.  Then she pulls up her skirt to her high thigh and goes up under her skirt and is pulling up there and doing the "adjusting the pantyhose dance" a bit.  I thought that was a little ummmm.. unlady-like, but ignored it. 

But then as she is still happily chatting away to me, she hikes her skirt up over her waist, which turns it inside out and now she can pull it up to her armpits and hold it there by closing her arms.  With her skirt all up in her armpits, she grabs the waistband of her pantyhose and starts pulling them up to her bossoms (as old ladies say) as she starts doing deep knee bends to scooch them up.  Ladies, we all know we've done this, but watching someone's Grandma do it in a public restroom is like walking in on your parents having sex, kinda' creepy.  Mind you she's still chatting away while doing the deep knee bends and yanking her hose over her gigantic dark colored granny (literally) panties.  I should win an award, I kept a straight face the whole time.  My 13 year old daughter made believe she was fixing her sandles so her eyes didn't burn from the spectacle.

Grandma soon finishes up and wishes us well and exits.  My daughter and I immediately turned to each other with the wide-eyed "what the hell was that?!" look and burst out laughing.  After we get done in the bathroom and are walking back into the church, my daughter says "Oh Mom, that's so you in 25 years".  And every time I told that story to my other 2 kids or my "Manfriend", they all responded with that same sentence!  Hey!  I know I'm a little quirky, and don't care what people think, and just make a joke out of everything but I'd like to think I had enough decorum not to yank my skirt over my head in a public restroom while I do calisthenics to adjust the crotch of my pantyhose!  Well, as I turn 47 this Monday (6/11), and my girls have had to stop me from walking into Wegmans with a giant ass-sweat stain on my khaki shorts on a scorching day... I guess only time will tell.

Have you ever had any odd public bathroom encounters?  Do leave a comment and tell...