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Dear Women* Who Date My Sons,

Ladies, I’ve tried my best to ensure they understand our anatomy. Once, I even pulled out a diagram of our bits at the dinner table.

(Look. Listen. Education has no boundaries.)

I never ever want them to be like these idiots:

I’ve told them porn isn’t realistic. I mean, I’ve never once gotten off by someone slapping my parts. I don’t know any woman who has an instant orgasm from penetration. There are no naked pizza delivery drivers in my neighborhood.

If you have and can, and there are, good for you! No shade.

I should share this with them and really make it weird:

It’s a good explanation.

Of course, there are plenty of other … uh … aspects of and tactics for gratification.

Just know that I have told them they need to make sure you get yours. And to listen to what you say about how to do that.

Also, we’ve discussed various methods of birth control and THEIR responsibility.

Not that I’m advocating for sex willy nilly, but I am realistic.

They are still teenagers, so they have plenty to learn. Just know I’ve done my best.

Looking forward to getting to know you!

Sincerely,
Your boyfriend’s mom

*Before anyone gets hot and bothered, let me say that I used to start off sentences with, “When you date someone, and he, she or they …” I just wanted to leave the door open. But every time I said that, they informed me they like girls. The door is still open; I don’t care.

Dear Halloween,

I love you so much. Still. As I’ve said. And this year, I feel like I’ve taken advantage of the opportunities you provide.

Decorating the house? Check.

Haunted Mine? Check.

Costumed cat? Check.

Six Flags Fright Fest? Check. With the boys, even, who had a bit they did for the occasion.

Carving pumpkins? Check.

The Darkness haunted house? Check. Although that wasn’t without risk.

I wasn’t moving fast enough, so Dominic moved me into a doorframe. On accident. So he says. 😉

Scary movies and fire pit? Check.

I’ve even seen “Halloween Ends.” (I would not say it was worth the time and money. Maybe I’m just a hipster when it comes to franchises.)

I’m looking forward to seeing if I get trick or treaters this year — my first year in my house.

Anyway, thanks for being you. I’m a fan.

Love,
Beth

*Alice, of course.

Dear Beauty (and those with similar viewpoints),

I read your blog, posts, etc., because your beliefs are so different from mine. I’m really trying to understand. To find some common ground. It’s really hard, though.

And you clearly aren’t seeking dissenting voices. (I’ve mentioned before how you won’t approve comments that disagree with you. That’s your prerogative, of course.)

In your latest post, “The War For Young Minds” (no hyperbole there 🙄), you lament a part of “Hocus Pocus 2.”

Unpopular opinion: Your mistake was watching “Hocus Pocus 2” and not because of any drag queens. The original “Hocus Pocus” is unbearable.

But I digress.

Here’s the thing (and what I wrote in a comment that you deleted):

This doesn’t affect you. Drag queens do not impact your quality of life. A trans person living his/her/their life does not harm you in any way.

Let’s talk about the pejorative “woke.” Why is it so wrong to show people who are different from ourselves on TV and in movies? Why is representation threatening to you? Why does it bother you that a person wants you to use preferred pronouns in reference to him/her/them?

I know you are super religious, so let’s talk about a quality of God you’ve mentioned: never making mistakes.

You know what does affect children? The fear of being killed in school. There was a shooting Monday at a school three miles away from my house. That’s 40 school shootings this year, in case you are keeping track.

For someone who is so devoutly pro life, I would think you would care about that.

I have never once worried that a drag queen was going to kill me or children. In fact, drag queens have improved my life with meat prizes.

You know what else affects children? Predatory behavior.

I would think that Christian Republicans like yourself would care about that too. But no, that concern is selective, political, engineered and manifested for personal gain.

I have never once worried that a drag queen was going to molest my children.

So spare me your outrage. All I see is hypocrisy.

If you profess to care about children, you need to care about the children going to school worried about their safety. And children being preyed upon by grown men. And the ones who are LBGTQIA.

Some children may even grow up to be drag queens. If they are lucky. 😉

How do you explain to a kid why men are dressed as women? You say, “Because they want to.”

It’s as easy as that.

I mean, who cares?

Right. You do. Too much.

“Woke agenda.” Sigh. Drag is “harmful.”

Look. Listen.

Raise your children the way you want. Have the experiences you want to have. Surround yourself with likeminded people. Believe in and celebrate God. That’s your privilege. But know that it is YOUR responsibility to watch over your children, not Disney’s.

Someday, I hope your view of what’s appropriate, acceptable, “normal” and worth attention will change.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Thanks, Aerosmith!

Dear Victoria,

Thanks for going with me to the Haunted Mine at our university (aka place of business).

I know we are coworkers who barely know each other, but you came through. People I knew better begged off (because haunted, because mine, because both).

Even though I’m an Explosives Technology student, I had not yet been to the experimental mine. I read all about the prep, though.

“Scaring starts at 6.”

Too bad I live 1.5 hours away and couldn’t get in some hours.

I’m glad we met up at the Tater Patch. I don’t know what any of that means.
Sporting saucy hard hats!

We got the safety briefing (“It’s a mine. The walls are made of rock. If you hurt yourself, let a scarer know immediately.”). Then it was time.

It was genuinely terrifying, especially the bit with the clown with the chainsaw.

This is the photo that one accidentally takes when running from a clown wielding a chainsaw.

NO, THANK YOU.

I had to remind myself that the scarers were not allowed to touch me. (And I was not allowed to touch them either. Consent goes both ways.)

Huddled together, we screamed/laughed our way through it.

Well, the screaming/laughing was me. You were mostly laughing. At me. For good reason.

Anyway, it was great, and I appreciate you going with me. Thanks again!

Happy Halloween!
Beth

*A great Duran Duran song and a terrible pun for this post

Dear Fellow Travelers:

Some of y’all need a refresher in how to behave in airports and on planes.

Auntie Beth is here to help.

DO move to the side of the terminal walkway if you want to text, eat your food or walk slowly.
DON’T eat your chicken wings in the middle of the walkway between gates with your suitcase two feet away from you (and also in the middle of the walkway).

DO give up the armrest to the person in the middle.
DON’T be the person in the middle who also manspreads and elbows the people on the aisle and window.

DO remember that people around you have ears.
DON’T talk to your seatmate at the top of your voice, take phone calls, FaceTime or watch videos without headphones. (I can’t believe I have to remind you.)

DO be aware of personal space.
DON’T run over people with your suitcase, whack someone with your backpack or sling your Doritos bag around with crumbs flying everywhere.

DO follow instructions.
DON’T be a complete idiot.

Folks, there’s an image. How hard is it to follow directions?

DO have manners in general.
DON’T act like the plane is your personal living room.

This man was a complete boor. So loud. Stopped in the doorway to keep talking to his seatmate. I mean, just look at his foot on the seat. That tells you everything you need to know.

It’s very simple: BE CONSIDERATE. We will all thank you.

Let’s make traveling as irritant-free as possible.

With love,
Auntie Beth

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for the vote of confidence last night. I’m looking forward to serving as member-at-large for the next two years.

I ran for the position because I want to give back to the neighborhood I love so much. And get to know more of you.

Here’s a snippet of my neighborhood activities Tuesday:

• Took a jacket to the drycleaner.

• Changed a haircut appointment.

• Greeted wine bar owner Jessica, who has a fantastic new hairdo.

• Enjoyed wine tasting at the wine bar.

• Saw new friends Crystal and Ty. Met Ty’s girlfriend Jen.

My “gamer girls” and I didn’t get together for board games as usual after the wine tasting, but that was OK. I still had a good time. And all this happened within two blocks of my house.

Now, the neighborhood is not without issues. The Kia Boyz love this place too.

And my next-door neighbor sent this email yesterday:

Nothing in the body of the email. (This is typical Kate. Also, Kate doesn’t have a cell phone.)

Of course, my response was:

As it turns out, a deceased person was found in a car on a street that borders the park.

What’s funny is that Kate is out of town, yet knew more about what was happening nearby than I did.

That’s why she’s Block Captain. I will have to step up my game in my new role.

Soon, I’ll be in the know also.

As I’m always curious (read: a bit nosy), I’m excited.

Thanks again!

Your neighbor and board rep,
Beth

*Thanks, Mr. Rogers.

Dear Kara,

Thanks for inviting me to Drag Queen Meat Bingo yesterday. It was one of many commitments I had for the day, but it was BY FAR the most fun.

I will be honest: I thought the “meat” part of the event was going to be the eye candy that one typically finds at drag events. Like Ru Paul’s Pit Crew.

But no, it was meat as in bacon, ribs, three chickens in a sack, etc.

Though it was slow to get going, the roof deck at Sasha’s Wine Bar was lovely. We were supposed to be able to see contestants in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.

We saw two.

You don’t see one? Let me help.
Yes, it was underwhelming.

Bingo seemed to really pick up after Dieta Pepsi saw her old boss from the mortgage company where she used to work.

Odd for him, great for us.

Then you won a prize drawing.

The prizes? Hostess cupcakes and a Fireball shot.

As we were both committed to being sober, you had to get a designated chugger.

Look at this absolute legend.

The very next round was your round. Criss-cross applesauce = five pounds of pork steak.

Thank you for donating it to the cause: The family gathering at my house coming up in three weeks.

This platter of piggy barely fit in my freezer!

Add this run of yours to us winning Pajama Pawty trivia last week, and I’d say we are lucky together.

So thanks for inviting me. Looking forward to next time!

Love,
Your sister

*So does Arby’s.

Dear Dr. P:

It’s been a dozen years since I’ve been in a for-credit course. I really don’t know what I’m doing in your Explosives in Industry course. Or what I’m doing in the Explosives Technology graduate certificate program in general.

My background is journalism/mass communications and performing arts.

So why am I here?

I genuinely don’t know.

I guess it just seemed cool to learn about explosives.

And I guess I wanted to do something completely different.

Even though this certificate program is billed as being for non-engineers, there’s still a steep learning curve.

I mean. What is going on there? Those acronyms mean nothing to me!

However, I did enjoy your video tour of the experimental mine.

Also, EXPERIMENTAL MINE?! That’s DOPE!

Anyway, I’m Tracy Flick, so I will figure out what I don’t know. I plan to get an A in the class.

I’m on the right track.

Looking forward to learning more.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Always time for a Monty Python reference.

Our town #SundayStories

Dear Kate and Kathy,

We appear to have a symbiotic relationship. I force you to get out and “people” occasionally. You tell me about all the good stuff going on in the neighborhood.

I had no idea when I moved in that our neighborhood is such a happening place!

Naked bike rides, concerts in the park, Friday evening socials, garden tours, antiques fairs, the Moonlight Ramble, and now the Tour de Lafayette.

It’s such a big deal that it even warranted beer tents.

Not that I could partake. Beer and a 5:44 a.m. flight don’t mix.

Still, it was cool to see the racers whipping around the park.

So thanks for the intel. See you Tuesday for game night!

Your new neighbor/friend,
Beth

Dear Lacey,

At least I think that’s your name. Hard to remember when lightheaded from blood loss.

I hope you remember me. I was strapped to your machine for a hour Friday.

When you originally asked if I wanted to donate two pints of blood, I said, “Sure.”

You said it would take no longer than 30 minutes.

But then the machine started “acting up.”

Not something anyone in my position wants to hear.

Finally, I was free to go.

Maybe a few more minutes with you would have been good, though. Maybe with my donation arm up over my head. Maybe with a little more pressure applied to my new wound.

I got to my car, and suddenly I looked like I had been in a knife fight.

You’ve heard of a shy colon? Apparently, I have an extroverted vein.

Back in the blood mobile, you and everyone else sprung into action.

I kept saying I was ok, though.

No one believed me. I got loads of attention, some apple juice and a snack.

I even got an offer of drycleaning.

You should see the other guy!

No need. Hydrogen peroxide worked wonders.

And today I’m barely bruised.

You know what else I am? Happy I successfully donated blood when the need is critical.

Maybe I’ll see you again in two months.

Your patient,
Bloody Mary Beth