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Harried, Hurried and Hapless. That's how it goes.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

This week should be fun.
Yes, I still LOVE my job, but IN my job I am responsible for writing stories, taking assignments, writing obituaries, births and a few other weekly newspaper housekeeping articles that keep me plenty busy.
I am supervised by wonder woman herself, an editor that manages the religion section, the food section, the health section and what used to be called "social pages" but we now call the "accent" section of the paper.
She does more work in a week, for less than thirty grand a year than most six-figure people do in 6 months.
I'm very thankful she's there to guide me, and save me from those who might want me to take over some of what she does. An editor, I'll never be.

I can do some limited layout of newspages, pages that are generally riddled with red ink when I get them back from the powers that be after they've reviewed my attempts. My accomplishment in this, is that I've taught myself how to do it (with help) but never been asked to do it.
I do the same with my now-standard photography assignments. I wanted to learn, and they taught me. Now I can hold my own with the big boys. I consider myself an asset to the team, and always willing to be the "go to" girl.

However- this week will rattle my small little world, as my wonder woman is on her week-long honeymoon vacation. Another editor will join her in the absence, and our full-time day photographer has also called Memorial Day week a good time to take off work.

I'm imagining that I will be thrust into more work this week than I've ever imagined, being pulled from my desk, to the photo desk, to her desk to try and figure things out. I hope I'm able to manage without killing innocent bystanders.
Let's pray I have no elementary school photos. Small, annoying children mixed with my last nerve could spell danger, Will Robinson.

In regards to last night's wedding situation, my husband and I had a sit down about our strategic plan to attend both. MY wedding began at 5:30. I knew it would be short and sweet, but we HAD made reservations for dinner at the other one at 6 p.m. Travel time between the two would be 45 minutes, so there's no way we could make it to MY wedding and not look like shitheels at the other, for missing dinner.

We arrive at HIS wedding at 6 p.m., AND THEN, we find out no one eats until 7 p.m.

MY wedding bride, was none other than wonder woman herself. She was kind and understanding, but I'm sure there will be a rash of shit to come in the future.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Science of Dupery
April 20, 2005

I’m fairly certain that both of my daughters will have extensive therapy bills in the future because they were born to obviously immature parents.
Speaking for myself, I could be deemed immature because I possess the uncanny ability to offload a funny gag or string along a straight-faced set of false truths (in the name of humor) ad nauseum.

Drolly, I will set up an unsuspecting victim and draw them into my web of gullibility. In the 18 years my husband and I have been married, I have been slowly dragging him, one step after the other, to the dark side with me. His brand of humor used to lie with the Martin and Lewis variety. Physical comedy sets him off.

It is particularly disturbing to sit next to the man while watching anything that includes Martin Lawrence. His ear-piercing squeal is not what you might expect from a man of his stature. It has taken a while to finely tune him to the benefits of a well- thought out, straight-faced practical joke.

At first, I had to execute all the gags.

Once, several years ago, I was positive the girls were not walking their 4-H lambs like they’d been instructed to while we were at work. I simply placed all the lamb walking paraphernalia in my truck one morning and proceeded to call home after lunch.
“Walked the lambs yet?” I asked one unsuspecting victim.
“Oh sure mom, they did a nice job,” she said, quite smug with her lying self.
“Even that black one who has to be dragged?” I asked, feigning surprise.
“Him too!” she replied, more smug than ever.

Oh, if you could have only seen the chins hit the floor when I returned home and asked the girls to get the “bags” out of the back of the truck, which of course contained the lamb halters. They knew they’d been had.

Another time, I arrived home unexpectedly early. The girls were in their rooms listening to the latest teen version of “C”rap music and the bass drowned out my appearance.

Obviously they didn’t expect my arrival as the house was a complete wreck.

I snuck into my bedroom and dialed our home line...
“Hello?” she said.
“It’s mom. Are the house chores done yet?” I asked.
“We’re finishing them up right now,” she lied.
“You must have got an early start on them,” I said accusingly.
“Yeah, we’ve been busy,” the semi-pro liar admitted.

When I asked her to go into my bedroom to find my glasses and she spied me, I wondered if I might have to return her to toilet training.

Once we determined how easy to dupe they were, we proceeded to our tag-team approach. While discussing mushroom hunting one year with my husband’s father, our daughter was only paying half attention to the topic. My husband and his dad moved on to talk about an injury one of them had received, which caught her attention again.
“You were hurt by a mushroom?” she asked astonishingly.
“Yep. They’ll bite you if you don’t kill them first,” I said.
“Nuh uh,” she said, slightly puzzled.
“Look at this scar on my thumb right here, I got that from a mushroom,” my husband said. “This one on my palm too,” his father added.
“Why do you think people take sticks with them to hunt mushrooms?” I said.
“Wow. I didn’t know that,” she said acceptingly.

What we didn’t know, was that she recounted the entire tale about the man-eating mushrooms, i.e.: fungi carnivore, to fellow students in her class later on.

Chalk one up for professional therapy.

The latest in dupery arrived just this past weekend.
During supper, my husband was decrying the fact that he had been “attacked” by some briars on his last golfing excursion. When our daughter asked “What are briars?” we didn’t for one second concern ourselves that she hasn’t become well-acquainted with the out-of-doors, we immediately leapt on to the opportunity for our own entertainment.
“Honey, are briars bigger or smaller than squirrels?” I asked earnestly.
“They’re between a squirrel and a chipmunk and once they have you, they don’t let go,” he said.
“Wow, they gave you all those scratches?” I added, pointing to his angry, torn up shin.
“Yeah, I was lucky to get it off me,” he said, “Mike had to take a golf club and pry it off.”

At that point, I couldn’t breathe. I don’t know if the Lord was punishing me for being so evil, or if it was the peals of laughter I was withholding. Our daughter’s eyes were big as saucers.
“We don’t have briars near us, do we?” she asked fearfully.

Like an dam breaking, tears poured from my eyes and my husband erupted into his famous high pitched squeal. It took several minutes before decorum was restored to the scene of the crime. “I didn’t really believe you anyway,” she protested loudly, sensing our hijinks.

I truly believe she’ll never venture into even a slightly wooded area now. At least without the protection of a semi-automatic weapon and shin guards.

I suppose I should apologize. She will choose my nursing home someday.

Stephanie DeBolt is a staff writer with The Goshen News and her column “What Have I Done” appears every other Wednesday in Accent for Living. She promises to work on her maturity skills, right after fungi carnivore season and the running of the briars that is.

Was it nearly two months ago I posted?
Catching Up:
My brother and I are speaking to each other - we have been for quite some time. It wasn't a tiff, just too much time together after 16 years of exile. All is well, and I learned that in December, I will be an auntie again!

The estate....churns on and on. We received an initial dispersment of the estate funds and I had no idea how quickly you can think of things that need repaired, replaced or remodeled when you have cash in hand.
(Not millions, but lets just say that our bank account isn't accustomed to being in the black.)
In my compulsive way, instead of investing it in the above named necessities, I've allotted 1/8 to our "mad" money stash and banked the rest. I can't get over the fear of REALLY needing it and wishing I hadn't bought that pair of Manolo Blahniks.

The state of children keeps me contstantly perplexed. My youngest is on the third week of a six-week grounding that includes no phone, no driving and no activities,
(why is grounding a punishment for the kid? Keeping her here is a punishment for ME, listening to her less- frequent-than-before rants and whines)
because I discovered, thanks to another Nazi-mom that she and a friend had sipped a beer and taste-tested vodka while they were unsupervised.
While I believe she's sorry that she's grounded, time will only tell if she's willing to repent.

Did I do that at her age? HELL YEA!
Did I get caught? NO.
Would it have changed me if I would have been busted? Probably.
I wouldn't have been brave enough to pull it again. I was a really paranoid kid about stuff like that. I figured if I did anything serious ie: drugs, I would be the first kid to have ever died from rancid pot, or a bad line of coke.
So..........here I go again...the militant mother.
The other kid got a slap on the wrist.

My oldest, is still serious with her boyfriend, and I believe, actually absorbs a few of the pearls of wisdom I share with her.
There was quite a ruckus between them when the topic of college came up. Both have declared an interest in attending Purdue University, an in-state college not more than 3 hours from here. (or where ever she was asked to play basketball (should the asking ever happen) He backpedaled and suddenly felt pretty insecure about losing her to another campus. For a day or so they thought they better just break up now and avoid a long-distance relationship.

I tried not to chuckle at their vague understanding of love. I've NEVER encouraged her to pursue a boyfriend until she is nearing 30. "Too much trouble," I tried to warn her. But at this intersection in her fledgling love life we had a sit down.

Firstly, I told her not to worry ahead of time. Enjoy being 17 and all that comes with it. The tough choices are ahead of you.
I also shared that real love lasts. The old "If it is meant to be, then it will," speech. Should Tennesee University call and want her to play post, she'd better go play post or regret it when she's old like me, and resent him for denying her that.

I cautioned her that she quite possibly have another 20 or 30 boyfriends before she's found the right one, but the is steadfast that he's her man.

My heart breaks as I worry ahead of time.

Tomorrow, our family has two weddings to attend. Of course they are within a half an hour of each other timewise, and located an hour apart. My husband contends that we should go to the one with old family friends. I'd agree any other time, but the other wedding is of a good friend of mine, that I work with every day.
Our camps are angrily divided at this point, and my contention that "his" wedding is the second one we've attended for the same bride, does not change his arguement.

"Fine, you go there, I'll go to mine," I said.
Should a married couple part to attend separate weddings? That can't be good.

I'm going to be steadfast. TO HELL WITH IT.
I volunteered attending one wedding, and the other reception. He wants all or nothing.

This reminds me of another wedding escapade. He got off work late, didn't bother to get dressed and come, so I attended by myself. Sounds to me like it's his turn.
Tomorrow should be interesting.

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