I Could Tell Ya, but I'd have to Bore Ya - Inane Anecdotes


#141

So we got a new vehicle and I ordered seat covers for it back on May 5th. The website assured me they would arrive on May 20th. On May 13th I got a barely intelligible voicemail from New Jersey saying they needed to confirm my order for some seat covers and to call back 800 83 9199. You might notice (if you’re American) that this is one number short of a real phone number. I called back the direct line and left a voicemail at his extension but he did not return my call. So I called the customer service line for the company, their hold music was a four second electric guitar blues riff on repeat. Cringingly Dirty Jobs aesthetic.

I spoke to a sales rep who was able to provide the complete number after I told him they left and incomplete number, provided the number, and had him remark “wait, what did you say the number was, this isn’t a full number…”

I called the number, it was from the manufacturer themselves. I spoke to this guy, he asked me if I had ordered the front bucket seats with the headrest and inside armrest. I said yes. He asked if it was in tan canvas. I said yes. He had no more questions and said I was good to go. Wait, what? These are for custom seat covers, I thought he was calling to ask about a detail to my specific vehicle, not to read my generic order description back to me. Weird waste of time, but whatever.

Then this morning I get the most Dirty Jobs aesthetic email ever blaming COVID for the fact that they will not be shipping my seat covers until June 13th. Who do they think they are kidding, May 20th was obviously never on the table and it has thing 0 to do with COVID. Do people actually become disarmed by this overtly boomer confessional communication style? How embarrassing.


#142

I hate boomers too.


#143

You should have killed me.

These dumb fucks….too late to get your money back?


#144

Yesterday we were out doing the five mile loop with the boys and we passed someone having a cigarette in their yard next to their dog behind a fence.

Predictably the little dog started losing its mind and predictably the person sitting there started shouting at the dog to knock it off, which also predictably had no appreciable result for the barking.

I was thinking about how this is probably one of the more accessible analogies for parenting styles and how they need to change. Our dog owner here is anxious thinking about how their “poorly behaved” dog is reflecting on them as a dog owner and in their anxiety to not be perceived as a dead beat dog owner, they spring to action with negativity and a goal of control. The dog is doing what he is supposed to do and what feels intuitive to him, he is letting her know there is a threat and trying to drive the threat away. Instead of soothing him and validating that he has done his job and she will take it from here, she is sending an unstable and confusing message that makes no sense in context, so he ignores it and the behavior becomes worse.

I am trying really, really hard to not parent my daughter the way I was parented. But it feels almost impossible. I’m anxious, I am introverted, I like quiet, I don’t like it when things are out of control. But that is about me. My daughter is extroverted, she loves groups and chaos and drama and five things going on at once. That she is fundamentally different from me is not some crime she is committing to make my life miserable, but that is exactly how I was treated and perceived growing up. An unstable and incomprehensible unreasonable daughter who at any moment could mortify my mother with what I was wearing, interested in, how I communicated. I remember my mother picking my clothes out for me at 16 before a family reunion, the truth being more bizarre than the narrative in her head, who on earth would be thinking she picked out my outfit at such a late age? Every time I reach for a phrase from my role model to help me parent it’s stuff that I absolutely cannot say. I cannot ask my baby if she wants me to pull something to drink out of my ass. I can’t tell her that normal people don’t think like she does. I can’t ask her what that has to do with the price of salt or make fun of her to her face or make comments about her body. But it’s all right there, it’s all my immediate instinct. It’s the familiar mother voice in my head.

I am thankful that I was given two sons at a time when I was able to do so much heavy lifting in trying to forgive and understand my mother. But I am filled with fear and regret that it might have come too late for my daughter and that for her, it probably mattered more that I wasn’t able to give her something other than anxiety and a feeling that she will never live up to my expectations. I am trying to be better. I am trying to unlearn communicating need with criticism. I am trying not to snap at her for what she feels is intuitive, to not sacrifice her joy and identity for the sake of a world full of selfish adults who feel entitled to children who are seen and not heard. The idea that kids should be perfectly behaved is really that they be perfectly stifled and edited and silenced. And the bitterness of that experience turns into selfish indignation and takes us from “how can I get a better life for you than I had” to “well no one helped me so why do you deserve anything else?” Things are such a mess because what we were doing before didn’t work. How do you teach compassion and consent if you treat your children like property? They are little people, someday they’ll be adults. I’m trying to give my kids only things that translate to adulthood, but is has been very difficult.

It’s been hard not to feel resentment about what happened to me and my sisters. About how the dysfunction is continuing to play out. You want your parent to be all seeing, to love you and support you unconditionally, the expectation is unrealistic. My mom was 21 when she had me. My dad was an abusive addict. Her own mother killed herself when my mother was four years old. She was shunted from house to house and she was sexually molested by more than one relative and family friend. She got out of town the day she graduated in a semi truck with some loser more than twice her age. I have known these things for most of my life. For anyone else, my heart would break with the idea of 1/10 of what my mother went through, but she is my mother. My expectations have been just as sky-high as her expectations for me, mine for myself, hers for herself. I am trying to cultivate compassion for myself so that I can understand that there is nothing wrong with me. So that I can feel the gravity of the history that informed my mother’s choices. To cut through the result and instead see the spirit or intent in which it was attempted. I hope that if I can do that, I will be able to make sure that my daughter turns out better than I did. That she feels no matter what she does the important thing is that she does what feels right to her. That she has perspective and lightness. Sometimes I see her doing the things I taught her and get so scared that it’s just too late.


#145

Parenting is an enormous challenge even without all the historical baggage. The fact that you are thinking this all through puts you in better position, I believe.

Kids are all different and need to be dealt with in a way that they respond to… which is bound to be a bit different than their siblings. but at the same time they need to be treated equally and fairly - because they never forget those perceived “preferences”.


#146

wow. just wow. keep fighting for that balance and remember you’re gonna fail and then don’t be so hard on yourself cause sounds like you got this


#147

If you are conscious of your own flaws, damage, and upbringing…Parenting is probably the hardest thing you can do. Just being conscious of those 3 things gives you a huge leg-up.

I’ve been thinking for a long time about relating to my sons as people, not children. For example, being able to apologize to them and explain my feelings if I got unnecessarily angry at them is HELPFUL. It models communication to them and I hope it helps them explain themselves if they are in a similar situation. I also think it makes them more likely to share their feelings with me and know how to communicate them. My goal is to give them an awareness of their feelings, so they feel less out of control, which I hope gives them a serenity they carry with them for the rest of their lives.


#148

exactly ely!!! messing up is okay…owning it and taking the time to talk to your children like real people is huge.

i said some bonehead comment last weekend to my youngest and it upset her, made her cry…i took the time to understand why i was the idiot

we talked and i apologized and we are better for it.


#149

I’m not a parent, but I appreciate everything you said.

I feel I benefited from having parents who had a mindset more like your own. My grandmother was very nervous and protective over my mother and wouldn’t let her do all the things she wanted to do as a kid. She had to listen to what her parents said, and do what they expected and she didn’t get to have a lot of fun when she was young.

My mother swore she wouldn’t be like that as a mother. When I was kid I wanted to go everywhere and do everything and my parents let me. Because of this I didn’t feel the need to rebel as a teenager. I had all the fun I wanted and my parents trusted me to make the right decisions. My father’s famous line as I would walk out the door was “Use your best judgment!”

Some of my friends had to sneak out and then just go wild when they got out. These are the girls who do things they know will piss their parents off. This is something I never felt the need to do.

I feel like this is a good example for raising responsible daughters. :heartpulse:


#150

We always said “Make good choices” to my kids when they went out… now they mockingly say that back to us when we are leaving their houses.


#151

I thought of this while reading the My Obsessions thread. I thought I would put it here since this obsession isn’t my obsession. It’s still my favorite obsession though…it’s just not my obsession.

Come to think of it…I might have mentioned this on a previous iteration of this board.

This was probably 15-17 years ago. My oldest brother had just bought a new house. They had outgrown their old house when they had their fourth kiddo. They bought a house that had a detached garage. Initially the garage would be used to work on projects for inside the house and to store things they hadn’t unpacked.
The very first week they lived there a neighbor came over and introduced himself to my brother’s family. The neighbor kind of gave them the lay of the land. He’d explain which neighbors were mean, which neighbors had terrifying dogs, etc. Then he asks my brother if he had met Peter yet. My brother said he had not. Peter, was a late teen or early 20-year old neighbor with some intellectual disabilities. He loved The Backstreet Boys and playing basketball at the houses of neighbors that weren’t home. He also liked telling people about his dad’s Corvette. “That’s his baby!”

Peter also loved garage doors. He fucking loved garage doors. My brother would meet Peter, or Garage Door Peter (or GDP) as he was known, the very day he was made aware of him. The neighbor told my brother that Peter had an obsession with garage doors. Unbeknownst to you, Peter would show up and just raise and lower your garage doors. He’d go in the garage, hit the button, then come out and watch it go up or down. He would even do it when you were home and talk about the garage door. Peter would ask you to push the button so he could watch, which I guess is like garage door cuckolding. Peter had an interesting voice. He kind of sounded like a mixture of Columbo and Judge Reinhold. The fact that my brother and his wife weren’t parking inside the garage was very concerning to GDP. He complained about it a lot. “Who don’t you park the cars in the garage? That’s what you are supposed to do, you big dummy!” Oh, Peter also lacked a filter…and I guess used Fred Sanford’s catchphrases. He would come across as very mean at times despite not really being mean. My brother would eventually have to end up locking the access door to the garage after waking up and noticing that GDP had come over to enjoy his garage doors. Peter took notice and asked why that door was locked. He would later find a key.

Peter would also constantly come over any time my brother would be doing a project outside. He loved my brother. He always thought he was helping, which is cute. One time my brother had a busted pipe and he had a huge hole in the backyard. My youngest niece came out to tell her dad that lunch was ready. Peter was annoyed. He yells at my niece, “Get out of here you spoiled little brat! Can’t you see we are doing some work?” I love that for so many reasons, but mostly because he said it in front her dad.

Peter and his dad’s Corvette would move away a few years later. No one has seen them or heard from them since. My brother’s garage is now being properly utilized, but the garage doors aren’t getting the action they used to. I think about GDP often. I wonder where he is and whose buttons he’s pushing.

PS…
That last paragraph sounds like it should be read in Daniel Stern’s Wonder Years voiceover voice.


#152

love everything about this and i love peter too


#153

Thanks, Balv!


#154

This last weekend we had a family reunion at my house. My mom and my cousin were both needing this gathering of family so I decided to make it happen. My grandson is learning how to pee in the toilet by himself and went in to take care of business on his own. A few minutes later he comes out of the bathroom without his pants on… My mom decided to tell this story (which is out of character for her). She said my aunt was at about the same stage with my cousin (who passed away several years ago) and he told his mom he wanted to go outside to pee without his pants on. My aunt told him you “you better not go out there like that the dog will bite your wiener”. He went outside anyway. A few minutes later he came back in the house and my aunt asked “did he bite you there?” My 4-year-old cousin answered “no, he licked it and I liked it”!


#155

Haha. That’s great!