Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Conversations with Smiths- Part 22

I've mentioned before that an alternate title to "Conversations with Smiths" could easily be "Poor Todd". Bless the man and all that he puts up with from the rest of us.

Also, for the record, and for context. Benjamin is totally better at doing make-up than I am. Not that it's a high bar or anything. In fact, a toddler could step over it. He's been doing dance and theater since Kindergarten, though, so he's a pro. Other than the occasional swipe of mascara and lip balm, I just don't wear it often enough to be good at application. My sisters who are makeup experts look at my blank face with lamentation whenever we go to visit them.

However, make-up is necessary on stage, darn it.  So a few times a year, I have to suck it up and paint my face.

Me: Benjamin, I'm going to a stage make up workshop in a couple of weeks.

B: Oh! Will they be doing age makeup??

Me: No. They're doing "looking fabulous when you dance on stage" makeup.

B: Hm. [Knowing he doesn't actually need that.]

Me: Could be useful for you.

B: Well, I guess if you won't let me be a stripper, drag could be the way to go.

Me: Drag is much classier than stripping. You have to entertain, not just titillate.

B: Good point. And to do good drag, Brendan said you need to know how to do your contour makeup correctly.

Me: True. Although, you're welcome, for those already fabulous cheekbones you have. Anyway, it's good to keep your career options open, right?

Todd: SHHHH!! Will you two behave? We're at church!

(Church hadn't started yet, btw, but we were probably not adding to the overall reverence of the pre-service ambiance.)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 21

I have a difficult time paying attention in church. Okay, I have a difficult time paying attention anywhere. Benjamin and I sitting next to one another is a particularly bad combination. Sometimes Todd separates the two of us if a speaker is particularly challenging to listen to.

It's a problem.

Adding to the problem is that our current congregation has a tradition of being pretty lousy at special programming for major holidays. Perhaps it feels worse for Todd and me because we grew up in churches with fabulous holiday programming. We've been here eleven years, you'd think we'd stop getting our hopes up by now. But, no.

This past Sunday was particularly painful because one of the few Christmas carols we were going to sing as a congregation was skipped when the undoubtedly nervous speaker rushed to the podium and began speaking before the organist made it to the organ. So the Bishopric let her talk and decided to skip the hymn altogether.

I was not pleased. And then the speaker as she told a scripture story described some of the people as "not righteous and wicked".

And Benjamin and I went into "we have the attention span of gnats and are obnoxious to boot" mode and this happened.

Benjamin: #NotRighteous #Wicked 

Me: #SameThing #Redundant

Benjamin: #SacramentMeetingTalk

Me: #NotReallyPayingAttention #ShouldBeSingingTheFirstNoel #Bitter

Todd [leaning over in between Benjamin and me]: #SHHHH!

Benjamin: #Roasted #DadBurn

Friday, December 18, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 20

'Tis the Season for White Elephant gift exchanges!

Todd and I used to attend so many of these each year, that I began keeping a box in the basement full of things to give at such a party. That way throughout the year as I was cleaning out, I could easily donate to the box and then not have to scramble to find something ridiculous the day before the party. It was already in my handy-dandy box!

We haven't really gone to as many of the type of parties where white elephant gifts are exchanged over the last few years, which means I haven't really looked in the box for a while.

Last night my boys informed me that after the play they were going to, the party was going to have a white elephant exchange and what on earth could they possibly give???

They looked amazed when I told them of "The Box". Without checking the contents, I brought it upstairs and put it on the table so they could find what they wanted, which is how the following conversation happened:

Benjamin: Are those condoms??

Me: Crap! Yes. But, you can NOT give condoms past their expiration date as a white elephant present!

Nathaniel: But, why not? That would be hysterical!

Me: You can NOT give out expired condoms to anybody, but especially teenagers.

Benjamin: Because they're not as effective. Ha! They're even "ultra-thin", so twice as likely to break!

Nathaniel: But white elephant gifts are supposed to be useless. So, why can't we give those?

Me: Nathaniel, teenagers who are in possession of a condom and also in need of a condom aren't very likely to double check the expiration date in the heat of the moment.

Nathaniel: Hm. Well, most of them are too young to be having sex anyway. 

Me: Yes, but if you take 36 condoms to a party, odds are good they aren't all going home with the same person. Also, you are a freshman. Do you really want the rest of your high school career to be colored with the memory of you as "that kid who brought 36 expired ultra-thin trojans" to a party?

[Me quickly scrambling through box to make sure there's nothing else inappropriate for them to take.]

Me: Good grief, there are so many condoms in this box!!

Nathaniel: That's honestly something I never expected to hear my mother say. 

Me: Then you haven't known your mother very long.

Benjamin: Nathaniel, you should just take the bottle of hot sauce called "Rectal Rocket Fuel".

Nathaniel: I don't know. That's kind of embarrassing. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 19

Benjamin has been doing ballet for 5 or 6 years now, but other forms of dance for far longer. His ballet teachers have been trying to convince him of "proper ballet attire" for nearly as long. Since all the other dance forms he does are far more casual, he resists. Oh, he'll don a white t-shirt, and maybe some black athletic pants if black ones happen to be clean, but black ballet tights and a dance belt? No.

Just no.

[A dance belt, btw, is a balladore's version of a jock strap. Imagine, however, that a jock strap and a thong got together and hybridized. Visual confirmation NSFW.]

I am sure I'm biased, but Benjamin is a beautiful ballet dancer. (So is Caleb, but Caleb totally doesn't care about ballet other than to torture his poor teacher.) I can't be totally biased, though, because one of Benjamin's current ballet instructors wants him to audition for a summer ballet intensive that he seems to think Benjamin will have no trouble both being accepted in to and given a big scholarship to attend.

My son is feeling very flattered at the idea of such a thing and is planning on auditioning at one of the regional auditions in a couple of months. His teacher pulled him aside last week and said, "So, you know you're going to have to wear ballet tights and a dance belt to audition, right?" While I wasn't there for this conversation, I have this teacher for a dance class also, and I can imagine the gleam in his eye as he said it. There was probably internal clapping going on, too, as he thought, "Aha! I got him! He'll HAVE to come to class properly dressed NOW!"

This was the conversation Benjamin and I had following:

B: Mr. Adam says I need dance tights and a belt for the audition.

Me: Did he cackle maniacally as he told you? Or say, "Neener neener neener?"

B: No.

Me: You know he was doing it on the inside. 

B: Yeah.

Me: The time has come, my son.

B: It is the coming of the great and dreadful day of the dance belt!

Me: You poor thing.

B: There shall rain down hellfire and brimstone and dancebelts!

Me: I'm sure it's not that bad.

B: I don't even know if everything will stay in place given my lack of bottom.

Me: Maybe it will help your bottom look better.

B: I'll be in tights

Me: Yes. Well, we'll have to make time to go shopping for dance belts and tights one of these days.

B: Hellfire and brimstone and dancebelts. [heavy sigh]

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 18

It is election season again here in Franklin County, Ohio. Voting here is a big deal. It should be a big deal everywhere, but it is particularly big here. Although, a little less so since this isn't a presidential election year. Thank goodness! We still get mailings and door signs and people knocking starting in September and oh the number of phone calls we get. I pretty much tune out everything candidate related until mid-October, then pick up the guide written up by the Ohio Women's League of Voters, do a little additional research, and THEN decide for whom I'm voting.

I do have some very definite opinions on the issues we get to vote on, though, so those I have decided well in advance. The other day I received a phone call that went like this:

Caller: Hello? Mrs. Smith? 

Me: This is she.

Caller: I was wondering if I could give you a little more information concerning issue #-.

Me: No, thanks. I'm already planning on voting for it.

Caller: Oh, that's wonderful! Would you like a yard sign to show your support?

Me: No. My husband is likely voting against it. This is usually the case, so we try to keep the yard a neutral zone.

Caller: I see. That sounds complicated.

Me: It's not bad.

Caller: Well, thanks for your vote, Mrs. Smith. 

Me: No problem. I'll try to trip my husband on the way out the door on election day.

Caller: We would certainly appreciate that, Ma'am.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Conversations with Smiths - Part 17 (Or "The Walls Have Ears")

(There is an explanation for this conversation at the bottom of the page if you're interested, but could be classified as "TMI".)

 This occurred when Todd and I were speaking on the couch in the living room while Lilyanna was playing on the floor nearby. She was being loud enough in her play that I didn't realize she was listening.

Lilyanna: Momma, what does "horny" mean?

Me: [sotto voce muttering at being heard] It means something has a lot of horns.

Lilyanna: But you don't have a lot of horns, Momma. You said you were horny. What else does it mean?

Me: The other meaning isn't really polite for little girls to talk about, but I promise we discuss it when you are older.

Lilyanna: Like when I'm six?

Me: Probably twelve.

Todd: At this rate, maybe ten...

Me: Twelve.

Lilyanna: I think when I'm seven.

Me: Twelve.


Why did nobody warn me of the crazy hormonal surge that would happen as I approached 40??? Oh my goodness, for months I've had to have this constant mantra running through my head as I go out into the world, "It is NOT OKAY to grab strange men from off the sidewalk/in the store aisle/anydarnplace and have your way with them, Emilia! It is NOT OKAY!"  My body, however, does not seem to have gotten the memo. Good grief, this is crazy! It is way worse than teenage-hood, and that is saying something. (To be clear, no strangers have been grabbed thus far. So my brain is winning.) Still, I'm walking around in a nearly chronic hormonal miasma.

I heard on the radio last week that there is a new medication for women who suffer the opposite problem at this age and later I said to Todd, "Can you imagine if I took that medicine right now??  I would never let you leave the house!!"


Anyway, as I was discussing this with a similarly aged friend on Friday night, she was so happy that it wasn't just her, and I was equally relieved for the same reason. Another friend overheard our conversation and said, "Oh, I have something that could help with that." And all I could do was blink at her as I realized that I don't really want help with it. Is it distracting to be this randy at all times? Yes. But it's also kind of fun. And my similarly affected friend agreed. I don't know what this says about either one of us, except that if we're going to have to go through these crazy hormonal changes, we might as well enjoy them.

The realization makes me suddenly more compassionate towards people who suffer from manic depression. The depression part sucks, but the highs are just so high! Who would want to give that up? (I don't advocate not taking prescribed medication if you and your doctor think it will help you be able to function best in life, but I get not wanting to take the medicine.)

I assume that this will all crash at some point. Or perhaps it will just gradually trickle down. Either way, the meantime I will continue to appreciate this little part of being alive and in reasonably good health.

However, I apparently do need to be a little more circumspect about where I relate these stories to Todd. Because Lilyanna listens a little too well sometimes....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Conversations with Smiths - Part 16

Me: So, last night before bed I brushed my hair like I typically do right before bed.

Todd: Uh-huh

Me: This morning when I woke up to teach seminary, I put my hair into a messy bun. But I discovered that there was a horrible clump in my hair.

Todd: And?

Me: There was a partially melted dark chocolate covered almond in my hair.

Todd: Really?

Me: Yes. Is there something you want to tell me about last night?