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Archive for May, 2020

Today is Sunday. I usually post something innocuous about teenagers or Coronacation or whatnot.

But today I don’t wanna.

It would be tone deaf to whine about Dominic using every pan in the house to make an egg sandwich when a man has died from a cop kneeling on his neck.

Yet another black man.

Yet another cop.

How terrible is that?

When will it end?

I’m mad that a black CNN reporter covering protests was arrested before the white Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd was.

I’m mad at people saying protests should be peaceful when they absolutely crucified Colin Kaepernick.

I’m mad at police shooting rubber bullets into crowds of peaceful protestors, using tear gas, escalating violence.

I’m mad at a white male high school “friend” who wants to mansplain everything to everyone all the time, even about race.

I’m mad at another high school “friend” telling people how the mainstream media operates when she has never spent a day in a newsroom.

I’m mad at the white lady in Publix who told Eddie she doesn’t understand the protesting: “I mean, these people! Didn’t we just have a black president?”

I’m mad that systemic racism clearly exists, but there are still people who deny its existence.

I’m mad at Trump. Perpetually. I want him to STFU and anyone who supports him/agrees with him to GTFO.

There’s plenty going on in my life. Fun stuff to write about. But maybe later.

Right now, there are bigger things going on, even just down the road in Atlanta.

I’m phenotypically white. I can’t change that. I have no idea what it is like to be a person of color in this country. So at the very least, I can STFU and listen to what people who do have to say.

America is broken, and I don’t know what to do about it except:

1. Listen to other people’s stories, believe them and learn.
2. Call out people on their bullshit.
3. Harass Contact elected officials about important issues.
4. Research candidates and vote in EVERY SINGLE ELECTION.
5. Be an ally every day.

Black lives matter.

And I’m sorry that things are STILL not remotely equal. In 2020.

Love,
Angry Beth

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Dear Vogel State Park Employees:

My son and I needed to get some fresh air, so we booked one of your efficiency cabins for two nights.

The reservation process was easy.

Getting into the actual cabin was not.

We stopped at the visitors center to check in. It was locked, but there were two signs on the door.

I called both numbers and had to leave messages. Messages!

I opened the app. Checked my reservation. Yep: Everything was in order.

We went to the cabin. Saw this:

Great idea, if only the code came with the confirmation email.

It did not.

Me to Gideon: Well, it’s 3:30, and check in is at 4. Maybe I’ll get the code when I check in on the app then.
Gideon (skeptically): Maybe.

We went to the store to buy supplies. At 4, I checked in on the app.

Checked in — great! No door code — not great.

The beleaguered old man at the front gate when we returned was no help.

Just keep calling! You’re not the only one trying to check in.

We went back to the visitors center. Called the numbers. Left two more messages.

I was about to go FULL KAREN.

Suddenly, I see a Georgia State Parks official truck whizz by.

Gideon: Mama! Look!
Me: I see it!

I take off in hot pursuit. And by “hot pursuit,” I mean 20 mph. The speed limit is 15.

The truck stops at the boathouse. A harassed woman gets out. Looks at me in surprise as I pull up behind her.

Me: We’re trying to get into our cottage and have been calling the numbers.
Her: No one has time to answer the phone.
Me: So how do we get in?
Her: Knock on the back door of the visitors center.
Me (gaping in shock): Ok. Thanks.
Her: And slow down!

Back at the visitors center, we go around back. It’s clear that members of the public are not supposed to be back there.

Gideon knocks. We hear scuffling. The door opens a crack. A youngish blonde woman peers out like this is a damn speakeasy!

Center dweller: Yes?
Me: We would like to check into our cabin.
Her: One moment. (Shuts door.)

In a couple of minutes, she returns with a code written on a sticky note.

Me: Thank you. We’ve been trying to call.
Her: Yeah, we’re not answering the phone. We’re doing inventory.

Inventory! WHY? When people are trying to check in?!

FFS.

Anyway.

The code works. The cottage is great. All is well.

The lake and grounds are beautiful. But your check-in process sucks.

Please get it together.

Thank you,
Beth, a Georgia resident and state park consumer

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Hey Y’all!

I’m inspired by Jeff Foxworthy’s bit about rednecks. Here’s my take on hypocrites.

If you think private businesses can make their own rules (i.e., not making a cake for a gay couple) but then get angry that a business wants you to wear a mask, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think crossing the border illegally to provide for your family is wrong, but refusing government orders to close your business because you need to provide for your family is ok, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body should be subject to government regulations, but you protest government regulations regarding your right to choose where you can go (i.e., shop), you might be a hypocrite.

If you are staunchly pro-life and want to see abortions criminalized but are ok with some elderly people dying as a consequence of jumpstarting the economy, you might be a hypocrite.

If you think Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in protest is inappropriate, but you protest government shelter-in-place orders, you might be a hypocrite.

If you wear a mask while protesting, you might be a hypocrite.

If you rail against government handouts but now are desperate to get your stimulus check and/or unemployment, you might be a hypocrite.

If it’s ok with you to have the government mail you a stimulus check (and passports and IDs) but not a ballot, you might be a hypocrite.

If you are trusting scientists about prescription drugs but not climate change, you might be a hypocrite.

If you love Trump calling people names but don’t like it when Pelosi does, you might be a hypocrite.

If you mourned nearly 3,000 people dying on 9/11 but not the 3,000+ dying every day from COVID-19, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t think it was ok to allow the president to have a Supreme Court pick in an election year in 2016, but it’s ok in 2020, you might be a hypocrite.

If you didn’t believe Christine Blasey Ford but believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite.

Similarly, if you believe Christine Blasey Ford but don’t believe Tara Reade, you might be a hypocrite (or maybe not).

If you made it to the end, great! Thanks for reading.

I’m really not trying to pick a fight. I’m just asking everyone to really consider actions/reactions — especially right now.

Kthxbyeeee,
Beth

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Dear People in a Certain Facebook Group,

Thank you for bringing me joy during the Coronapocalypse. I am not a fan of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. It’s not his politics as much as it is that I think he might be a beer short of a six pack. He’s also shady as hell. (My blog = my opinion; you disagree = stop reading, or we can have a rational debate.)

I’m also not a fan of our president. He was fine on “Celebrity Apprentice.” He’s not fine as leader of the United States. It’s like a pervy drunk uncle is running the country. (Spoiler: I didn’t vote for him. You know, because of silly reasons, really: racism, misogyny, narcissism, etc.)

So imagine my surprise and GLEE when my two dislikes collided on this page, thanks to a new member. In his first HOUR of joining, he made his first post.

I HOWLED. And as I started scrolling through the comments, I started doing that smoker’s laugh I do when I’m really amused. That led to cry-laughing.



Yes, it is completely disrespectful (not like the target of these names has any respect for the office, but I get it).

Yes, I know that I objected when people on the right did this to Obama (seriously: no better name than “Obummer?”).

Yes, we should all behave more like responsible adults.

But DAMN if this isn’t funny to me.

So thank you for your existence.

Yours in shared contempt,
Beth

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Dear Judging Community:

My son (15) has few responsibilities around the place he shares with me, his father and brother (13):

  1. Keep up with schoolwork.
  2. Take out the trash and recycling.
  3. Keep his room clean.

In return, we don’t harass him, and we give him an allowance.

As he is a 15-year-old boy, you can imagine he is not holding up his end of the bargain.

It’s No. 3 that’s really bothering me at the moment.

Y’all, look:

Those are clean clothes that have been on the floor for more than two weeks.

Well, they aren’t clean anymore, of course.

I know they WERE clean because I dried and folded them.

Lest you thing I regularly do his laundry, let me explain: He put his clothes in the wash, then “forgot” about them. I needed to do laundry, so I finished them up.

I see now I should have just put them in the trash.

We’ve had numerous arguments about this.

He says it’s his room, and he will clean it up when he’s ready.

I say it’s slovenly behavior, and he never should have let it get like this. But as he did, he should clean it up. Now.

So Community, AITA for expecting him to keep his room clean?

Before you answer, one more thing I need to tell you.

He asked for a few of my Oreos, then ate the entire package without a word to me. I found the empty package in the trash.

So. AITA?

Thanks for weighing in,
Beth

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Hey Everybody!

Some days, the only thing keeping me going, joy-wise, is AITA on Reddit via Twitter.

Lingo to know:
AITA=Am I the Asshole?
OP=Original Poster
NTA=Not the Asshole
YTA=You’re the Asshole
TA=The Asshole (duh!)
ESH=Everyone Sucks Here
NAH=No Assholes Here
INFO=Not Enough Information

I go for the posts and stay for the comments. (Hats off to @WholeManDispose EVERY TIME!)

Anyway, let’s play a Coronacation game.

Here’s a multiple-choice quiz based on recent submissions. One rule: Make your guesses before checking out the feed. Answers below.

1. An OP complained about his wife sticking her hands down her pants at the dinner table. What was she doing?
A. Fixing her underwear.
B. Trying to be sexy.
C. Checking to see if it was her time of the month.

2. Are any of these appropriate at the dinner table?
A. Yes, OP is TA.
B. No, OP is NTA.

3. In a post just two days later, a different OP complained about his girlfriend bleeding all over their sheets during her time of the month. Why did this happen?
A. She didn’t realize she could still have periods.
B. He refused to buy her sanitary products at the store.
C. She didn’t feel like getting up to get a pad.

4. An OP complained about her husband refusing to name their soon-to-be-born son a family name (first-born son tradition for more than 100 years) so she wouldn’t be disinherited. What was the name?
A. Adolph
B. Gaylord
C. Stacey

5. In No. 4, the community determined what?
A. OP is TA and will scar her child for life.
B. OP is NTA and family traditions are important. Also, money.
C. ESH.

6. There is a follow-up post to No. 4 from the OP regarding the impending divorce.*
A. True
B. False

7. An OP, a nurse who leaves the house to work, complained that her husband, a lawyer who works from home, didn’t help her 8-year-old son find his dog while she was at work. What was he doing?
A. Cheating on her.
B. Taking care of their six-month-old daughter.
C. Playing Xbox.

8. An OP is mad that his girlfriend didn’t do what during the pandemic?
A. Organize her bedroom just like his.
B. Text him back after he texted her 31 times.
C. Come live with him instead of her parents.

9. An OP asked if he is TA for secretly getting a paternity test on his son. Why?
A. OP is white and his wife is black. His son is darker than his daughter.
B. OP thinks his wife cheated on him.
C. OP had a vasectomy, so therefore knows B.

10. An OP wants to know if she is TA for telling her stepdaughter not to switch out the food for OP’s cat, Mango, for what?
A. Human food.
B. Generic dry cat food.
C. A vegan diet.

Bonus point!
11. An OP is bewildered that the community determined that he is TA for what behavior?
A. Trashing his son and daughter-in-law on Facebook for lying about going to the in-laws’ house for Mother’s Day.
B. Being such a jerk that his son felt he had to lie about his whereabouts.
C. Doubling down on his actions in the post after the community weighed in.
D. All of the above

 

Answers:
1-C
2-B
3-C
4-B
5-A
6-A
7-C
8-A
9-A
10-C
11-D

* An update to the update: OP now claims it was all made up. Eh. Who cares? We’re all bored.
 

 

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Dear Boys of Mine (all three),

Thank you for making this Mother’s Day the best ever. For real.

You know last year I wasn’t happy at all. It was not because you didn’t do the “right” thing. It was because you didn’t do anything on the day at all.

But this year, you made it right, and then some.

First, breakfast in bed with a side of “Hoarders” on the TV (you know how I feel about that show).

Then a treasure hunt with gifts, including my new food obsession: Flamin’ hot popcorn. (No surprise there, I’m sure.)

The hunt culminated in a homemade movie that made me cry. Twice.

Finally? Lunch based on a tomato soup commercial I saw yesterday. (You know the one: It features grilled cheese.)

So thank you for making me feel loved.

I love you too.
Mama

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Dear Royal Caribbean,

The travel industry has been hit hard. I don’t have to tell you that, as cruise companies such as yourself have experienced catastrophic losses.

So I would think you would be upping your customer service game.

I’d be wrong. Clearly.

You still suck.

After the first time we traveled with you, I vowed it would be the last.

But sometimes you have to go along with the group, and my group decided to give you another go.

We were supposed to go in June, but PANDEMIC. So we got a credit toward a future cruise.

On Tuesday, the group bat signal went up that it was TIME TO BOOK said cruise.

It is fairly easy to book a cruise (i.e., spend money) on your site.

You know what is not easy to do? ANYTHING ELSE.

  • Link reservations with the others in the group? No. I have to call.
  • See my credit? Nope. Call.
  • Use my credit? Hell no. Call.

Sigh.

So I called, and got the very snippy Miguel. Here’s how part of the conversation went down:

Me: I’d like to use the credit from my cancelled cruise.
Miguel: I see that you spoke to a representative March 9 and were promised a credit.
Me: Yes.
Miguel: You want to use that credit toward the cruise you just booked.
Me: Yes.
Miguel: That credit has not been processed yet.
Me: Not processed? It’s been two months.
Miguel: Yes. I see that you called March 9. May I put you on a brief hold?
(Brief hold commences. Miguel returns.)
Miguel: You will receive an email next week with a confirmation code for the credit. You will then need to call back to ask to have the credit applied.
Me: So let me get this straight: I had to call to cancel to get a credit. Then call to get the credit processed. Then I have to CALL once I receive an EMAIL that my credit is ready so that I can have my credit applied.
Miguel: Yes.
Me: You know that’s insane, right?
Miguel (at his snippy summit): This is our process.

The next step is to link reservations so that we can all sit together at dinner. Miguel is aghast that I would want something else from him. He informs me that both Sophia and Petra have to put in their reservation notes that they want to link with me, and I have to do the same.

MY GOD.

I text both Sophia and Petra about this situation. We are the ones in our families who HANDLE THINGS. So we are handling things like the Tracy Flicks we are. All three of us are on the phone independently with you, Royal Caribbean. It is NO WONDER the wait time to speak to a representative is so long.

Sophia goes FULL KAREN and asks to speak to a manager. I’m so glad she did.

Sophia’s method was so effective that I actually got a confirmation from her, Sophia, via text. Not from you, RC.

Ignore my dark humor. It’s how I cope.

Unbelievable.

So. We will see you in December, COVID willing. But I know I’ll be on the phone with you sooner.

And you know how much I love talking on the phone (sarcasm alert).

Hoping you see my point,
Beth

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Dear Gov. Kemp:

Can I call you Brian? What about Ronald ’cause YOU’RE A CLOWN.

Right. I’m not a comedian. Got it.

Look, I understand that I’m not running the state (not that you really are either, with any success, in my opinion). I understand that you are trying to balance pressure from a variety of sources. I understand that you can’t please everyone.

But dude, the CDC is — as we say in the South — just down the road a piece.

I’m not a scientist (in this case, being a communications researcher doesn’t count), so I will believe those who are. And you can’t swing a cat without hitting one at the CDC. So I’m guessing NO ONE was surprised at this headline after you “reopened” Georgia last week.

Even Trump criticized you. Trump! That’s a surprise.

And you’re doubling down. That’s not a surprise.

In my mind, your actions led to this:

That’s from last weekend, Gov. That’s a flock of people who don’t care about social distancing. Many of them were out to watch the Blue Angels’ tribute to health workers.

Um.

  1. If you don’t want people to gather, don’t stage this event!
  2. That flyover cost taxpayer money that I — a taxpayer — would prefer benefit small businesses.

I’m not blaming you for the Saturday event. I am blaming you for letting people think the fight against Coronavirus is over. It’s clearly not.

I mean, I guess I should be happy that I’m in Atlanta, instead of cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Lansing and Raleigh where people are protesting stay-at-home orders, claiming it is an overreaction. Of course, they are doing this WHILE WEARING MASKS.

 🙄

Listen, I’ve been trying really hard not to write about politics here. (In fact, it has been more than three years.) In these polarized times, any criticism of a Republican brings on name calling of the “libtard” and “snowflake” variety (among other names not suitable for a family blog). I’m technically an independent voter. I do, in fact, think for myself when I vote, instead of voting along party lines. But, full disclosure, I didn’t vote for you because I think you are kinda dumb, just like the masked protesters.

Sorry. Not sorry.

You know what Forrest Gump’s mama always said.

You can fix that by listening to people who know more about a subject than you do.

I know you want Georgia to be No. 1 in something.

Can it just not be cases of COVID-19 and deaths?

Thanks for your consideration,
Beth, a registered voter who has a valid ID and votes in every election

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Dear Readers,
Julia and I have been friends since we were kids. We had a shared interest in harassing our other friends. (Like the time we wore togas down a busy road to bother visit Taft, Cindy and Carleton.) Our mothers’ curses came true: We ended up with children just like us. Here are some stories about her middle child, Ainsley.
Enjoy!
Beth

Happy times for Julia and Ainsley

Dear Beth,
As one of your oldest and dearest friends, I have thoroughly enjoyed your stories about parenting your two amazing and handsome boys. But having two boys myself, I would like to introduce you to the unique joys of parenting a girl – particularly my girl – Ainsley Nora.
After coming into the world with severe colic (which I had no idea could fully re-emerge from age 11 -17!), she has kept us on our toes. I am not half the writer you are (sorry, Mrs. Reagan and Mrs. Wise) so I’ve decided to offer you the best Ainsley Nora stories in Top 10 format.
  1. The time she insulted a friend. When Ainsley was 2 or 3, my dear friend Diane came to visit from San Diego. While Diane and I were enjoying a glass of wine and a chat, Ainsley came over and in her best stage (aka “Irish”) whisper announced, “I don’t like that girl!” She then proceeded to fly upstairs and rifle through Diane’s luggage. Diane subsequently discovered that her book was missing. We went into Ainsley’s room and discovered her lounging in bed, legs crossed, immersed in “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” even though it was upside down.
  2. The second time she insulted a friend. When Ainsley was 3 or 4, I invited over Jennifer, my new friend from work. Ainsley had recently received a large makeup case as a gift. She proceeded to wander by Jennifer multiple times with her makeup case as if she were a “Price is Right” model showcasing her wares. At the point Jennifer expressed interest, Ainsley snapped the case shut practically amputating Jennifer’s hand in the process and then stormed off in a huff.
  3. The third time she insulted a friend. When Ainsley was 5 or 6, my friend brought her daughter Mia over. Mia, who was around 2, was playing on the front porch, while Ann and I enjoyed a cocktail (seeing a theme here) while watching her from the front window. Ainsley came in the house from playing with friends, and, nodding her head toward the front porch, said “Hello! Stolen???” as if we were the most inept adults in the world.
  4. ONE of the times she insulted her brothers. The first time I let my youngest son Elias (our favorite per Ainsley) take a shower, I was downstairs and heard a huge clu-clunk and crying. I rushed upstairs to find him lying face down on the shower floor with Ainsley (and Cullen, my oldest) observing, “Look how hairy his back is – so gross.” Note that she also had a history of yelling, “Bring it on freckle face!” when she is the most freckled of the three.
  5. The time she got in a fight with her cousin. Ainsley and her cousin Mairead are the same age. One day after preschool, I had them at a little play table eating lunch. I don’t know what Mairead said to Ains, but I see Ainsley get up, walk around the play table and say, “You don’t want to be my best friend, Mairead? You don’t want to be my best cousin? YOU’RE GOING DOWN, MAIREAD!”
  6. The time she insulted a civic group. This is partly my husband’s fault as his family’s motto is “Nobody standing still is up to any good.” My kids are not allowed to loiter anywhere. On the way home from school, Ainsley sees a gang of no-gooders and screams, “Look at that bunch of vagrants!” It was a group of Boy Scouts standing on the church lawn.
  7. The time she insulted the elderly. OK, this one is actually funny. One time we were driving past an old-folks home, and Ainsley announced to her friends, “Look, that’s where they keep all the grandmas!”
  8. The time Ainsley threw me under the bus. As a working mom, I never felt like I did my share but I always tried to volunteer for at least one or two events a year to keep the guilt at bay. After several sucky assignments, they were looking for yoga teachers for fitness day. Sign me up! Unfortunately all the other moms had signed up for yoga, so I was asked to do the neighborhood walk with Ainsley’s class, a bunch of dads and the teacher, Mrs. Marshalka. Unfortunately the walk went right by our house, so Mrs. Marshalka paused and said, “And this is Ainsley Nora’s house!” With the entire crowd looking at her, Ainsley decided to deflect with, “My mom cries when she doesn’t get her way.” Those who know me know I DO NOT CRY!
  9. The time she “accidentally” swallowed a quarter. The school nurse called to tell me that Ainsley swallowed a quarter during class. “Mom, I really had to cough, and I was trying to be polite and cover my mouth and forgot I had a quarter in my hand,” she told me. After my husband took her to the ER, our babysitter, Danielle, told us that Ainsley had been asking her for weeks what would happen if she swallowed a quarter and would she get an X-ray (she did). (She and Mairead were also known to crank call 911. Why Danielle stayed with us all those years is beyond me!)
  10. The time she said she would rather have Coronavirus than be stuck “in this house with you people!” Also, “Mom, can I take a gap year if I get on ‘Survivor?'” Yes, yes you can, Ainsley.

She reminds me of you in all the best ways.
Julia

 

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