Sep 30, 2010

What kind of Parent are You?

Parenting is such a tough job. 

At least I think it is.

I want to be clever when I discipline my boys.  They should grow up to love and respect me.  They *have* to know I'm the boss and in charge.  They can't be afraid of me. 

Well, maybe just a little bit. 

I would like my boys to know when I am truly disappointed in them.  I can get over being mad, but don't you think disappointment hangs around longer?  Do you try to do things differently or do them better when you have disappointed someone?  I want my boys to understand the difference between anger and disappointment.

When I was in 7th grade I got busted.  I mean, totally big trouble. I thought my excuse was going to get me sent to my room for the night with no television. It turned out much, much worse.

The Sunday before we were to return to school from Easter break our Junior High caught on fire.  The whole Science building was pretty much destroyed.  We had to take an extra week off so the school officials could round up some  portable buildings and get the fire damage cleaned up.  We all went back to school and things were crowded but semi normal. 

A few weeks later I just didn't feel like going back to class after lunch so for the first time in my school age years I was going to ditch class.  I talked my best friend that year, Monique Jones, into ditching with me.  We were rebels now baby!  About 3 minutes after the final bell rang, Aine Forrest came out to the Lobby where we were hanging out and said that Mrs. Butler was looking for us.  Crap, what were we going to say?  Monique looked me square in the eye and told me that she was going to say that she was using the bathroom and I had better not lie on her and say anything different.  Well, I already had my excuse in my mind and thought it was a damn good one to get me out of the *tiny* trouble I was going to be in for being late to class.

I told the teacher that there had been a bomb threat called into the school and I was the one who picked up the pay phone where the caller had made his threat.

Yep! That's what I said.

I told her as I was headed to class the payphone outside the gymnasium was ringing so I answered it. The person on the other end of the line said that there was a bomb in the school.  I said I was so nervous I didn't know what to do and that was when Aine found us. I was sure this would get me out of trouble and thought she would just send me back to my seat and we'd get through the rest of the day.


Instead she started screaming and running around like a banshee.  She ran to Mr. Heinrich's class room and told him to call 911 and then started evacuating the classrooms.  All hell was breaking loose and before I knew it the entire Junior High was evacuated and standing on the football field about nine *thousand* yards away from any building that could possibly blow up.  I could hear sirens screaming and kids crying.  Oh shit, what did I just do?  It was like I had this fog around me.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't see. I couldn't talk.  I could hardly even walk.  I was escorted to the football field as well but the principal told me that I needed to stay close so that I could give the police a report when they arrived.

Give a WHAT?!?!  To the WHO?!?! Holy mother of God, how am I going to get out of this one?  Stick to your story Genny, do not break, whatever happens, DO NOT BREAK!!!  I almost threw up when I saw the police officer walking towards me with the principal.  There was a third person and when I figured out who it was I started crying hysterically.  It was MY DAD and he was heading my way.  I remember he didn't say a word.  He just stared at me the entire time I was talking to the police officer, giving him my *false* report.  All three of them just let me talk.  When I got through my lie the officer looked at me and said, "Miss Chastain, we are a little confused.  You see, we ran the recordings from that payphone and the last call that came in from that phone was yesterday after noon just after we began tapping the line." 

You said what?  I'm sorry, I thought you just said that you tapped that phone line yesterday

Yes, that's right.  We started running a wire tap on that phone yesterday due to some on-going prank phone calls the school pay phone has been receiving lately.

How the hell was I supposed to know that some pervert from across the street had been calling for the last two weeks while using his binoculars?!?!  He had been telling all the girls who answered the phone that he could see them and how pretty they were along with some other disgusting perverted stuff.  I had never answered that phone a day in my life and now this?  Not only did I just give a false report but I was to blame for the fire truck that had a collision with a car on the way up to the school!  This whole "ditching" idea was turning out to be the worst decision in my life.  I was going to be grounded forever.  Not only that but I knew I had disappointed my dad.  See, disappointment is much, much worse than anger. He wouldn't even look at me.

The next day I was scheduled to meet with the Amador County DA.  My dad was an attorney in town and had worked with the DA some, so he was going to take me to my appointment to receive my punishment.  We sat in the tiny office and I was a wreck.  I couldn't stop crying.  My dad still hadn't really looked at me in the eye and all I could hear in my head was my mom saying "your father is furious".  The DA passed along some message to me, one from each the school Principal and the Chief of Police.  The police chief wasn't going to press charges for the false statement *and* I'd have to pay for the damages outside of what insurance was going to pay for the accident between the fire truck and vehicle. He was going to let the DA take care of my punishment.  The Principal wanted me to know that I was suspended for the next three days.  The District Attorney decided that I should be on probation until I was EIGHTEEN!! Dude, that was like an eternity.  I was only 14 then!

I was grounded for the entire summer.  I became close with my parents and did a lot of house cleaning.  I even did some typing for my dad at his office.  Closer toward the end of summer they let up a little bit and I think I was allowed to go swimming a few times at the public pool.  I was basically a very well behaved teenager from then on.  Every time I went out with my friends the word PROBATION stuck with me, so I never really did anything wrong. 

When I graduated from High School my dad took me aside as we were getting ready to head to the football field and said "I just wanted you to know that you are no longer on probation.  In fact, you never were on probation at all.  We were just trying to teach you a lesson".

At first I was pissed.  A FOUR YEAR LESSON?! But the more I thought about it the more it made me laugh. I started laughing and then we both just about fell over in tears from laughing so hard.  Now that, was clever parenting!  Not one time during my fake probation did they tell me any different.  But I still obeyed and respected them the entire time.  They let me believe that I had already used up my trouble ticket and I wasn't getting any other breaks. 

I want to be that parent.

Sep 29, 2010

Being Garrulous

I love to talk. 

Really, I talk a lot.  It's just that I think I have *so much* to say and most of it is important. I think. 

If you and I are having a conversation, I'm going to dig as hard as I can into my memory bank to find something that will go along with the topic we are conversing about just so that we can talk longer. 

You know that awkward pause between two people when they're talking and then suddenly there's nothing left to talk about because it's all been said already?  Yeah, I don't either!  For as long as I can remember, since the day I have been able to talk, I don't think I've EVER had an awkward pause in a conversation.  Most people just cut me off and say "well Genny, I have to get back to work now." 

I just always have so much to say.  There really isn't a conversation that I'm not opposed to talking about and don't know just a little bit about where I can't hold my own.  Every once in a while my mouth can get me into a heap of trouble.  Not too often, but there have been a few occasions where I should have just shut up.

Well, it happened last night.

See, I'm also a very talented individual.  Not only do I love my office job and get excited when Mr. Boss man gives me a gigantic Excel Spreadsheet to create but I can do lots of other stuff.

I love to paint. Walls.  And it's weird because I'm really good at it.  There are currently 5 different colors in my house and I'm not finished yet.

I also have excellent culinary skills.  I'm not opposed to preparing anything in the kitchen.

But, one of the things I love to do most and probably should have taken up a career in is Cosmetology.  I LOVE TO CUT HAIR!!  I can color, perm, shape, thin, highlight and pretty much anything else you think you'd like to try out on that head of yours.  Um, last night I learned that I can use a pair of scissors to cut your hair so short it looks like I used buzzers!

Oh my god, I'm sorry but guess what I was doing while I was performing the hair cut last night?  Yep!  I was talking!  I told you I talk too much, didn't I?  Well, I do and, apparently I talked *way* too much during this haircut.  My guy kept saying "Wow, you've never done that method before" and, "Goodness Genny, it's taking such a long time to cut my hair this time", and then he finally said "Why do you have that funny look on your face?"  I had to calm him down after my answer was totally non shalant with a slight giggle, "Oh well, it's just hair.  It'll grow back.  See you in about 6 weeks!"

My husband even called me before I was finished.  I was shocked!  I was like, "dude, I'm doing a haircut, what is it?"  He said he was worried about me becuase I've never been gone so long just to do a cut.

Oh my....see, I think I talk too much!

Sep 28, 2010

To Do the Dance, You Have to Take the Chance

I've been saying something lately and I'm wondering if it's a little rude.  Don't get me wrong, I can be rude and I'm really not concerned if you're mad at me for it.  That's just life.  But for the most part, I'm a really positive person and like to think of myself as upbeat, funny and genuinely a sweet and caring gal.  I've been reading a lot of Caringbridge sites lately and just cannot ever imagine going through anything so heartbreaking.  I thank God for every little thing in my life because without Him I would not be the person I am today nor would I have anything worth living for.  But recently, I've heard myself on numerous occasions saying; "at least you're not dying from cancer".  I know that sounds terrible but most of the conversations I have with some folks require me to be blunt sometimes! I guess what I'm really trying to say to them is that it could be worse. Some people are just so negative and down on themselves.  They worry so much and have so much fear in their day to day lives that they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and oh Lord what will they do?! So, when I say that to them, I'm honestly not trying to be ugly. Hell, I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel most days but I make the best of most situations.  Like, "at least it's dark in that tunnel so nobody can see that I didn't put my makeup on today"! Or how about this; I know that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Eventually, I'm going to reach it.  And when I do, I want to have done the best of my ability all along the way, in the dark so that when I can see the light I'll be even better. I realize that tomorrow is not guaranteed.  We can't just sit around and wait for something to happen or feel sorry for ourselves because our day didn't go exactly as WE planned.  And another thing, quit waiting around for great things to drop in your lap.  It ain't gonna happen.  Take some initiative and help it along a bit. Take that chance.  Last night on Dancing with the Stars, Len Goodman said "You can't do the dance, if you don't take the chance".  I loved it!

So, I have a friend that is creeping into his mid 30's and remains single.  He's getting a little impatient about it.  Now by single I don't mean that he sits around watching TV at home.  He does go out. A lot. He has been known to give my husband a call a time or two.  I say make a tally mark under the responsibility category for that one! He often worries that life is going to pass him by and he will not get the opportunity to share his life with a wonderful girl. Here's the problem - HE IS NOT TAKING THE CHANCE!  I guess that means he wont be shaking his tail feather on the dance floor anytime soon!  Quit trying to find that PERFECT person, She doesn't exist - well, she does but she's taken.   Anyway, as I was saying.....this guy is the bomb dot com slash your mom!  He drives a nice car, ahem...Land Rover, lives in an very nice neighborhood, has a fantastic, well paying job and he loves his doggie.  Who in the world wouldn't want to set up housekeeping with that guy?  You know, Jump the Broom? Warning: this dog might as well be his child though so I hope the person he finds loves doggies too.  He takes her to doggie day care and sends her to special doggie day camps!  He even has pictures of her in his office where the doggie day camps have dressed her up.  One of them shows her on "Hollywood Day" wearing a beautiful feather boa.  She loved it so much she smiled in the picture!  Now, that's dedication on his part.  Heck that could even fall in the category of commitment (scary word).  So, two marks in the plus category for him.  I think the misstep he's taking is trying to find someone who doesn't want to change him.  Either that or he's worried he'll hook up with a serial killer! He is already set in his ways and worries that making a commitment will mean changing his life.  That my friends is considered stubborn.  Uh oh, one tally mark in the minus category.  So, he's two for three so far....I promise a union with him would not ever be anything less than unforgettable.  Being married is hard work and yes, it's a change.  But the change is gradual. So gradual you don't hardly notice (that's what I keep telling myself).  My husband and I are still finding out new things about each other and it's been 8 years!  If whomever my dear friend falls for likes him for who he is and not what she thinks she can make him then it's worth the work. Listen buddy your friend still thinks I'm trying to change him but he is still the same guy I met 8 years ago.  Now, I'm a determined son of a gun so if I can't change someone it really aint happening! And, as far as I know, he's not a serial killer.

This doesn't just apply to finding your soul mate.  Life in general requires a positive attitude and some guts. How will you ever know if you don't just try? Take a chance on that sweet, sweet girl or even that career move.  It may be the best decision you've ever made.  You never know how many dances you'll be a part of. If it so happens that it wasn't a good decision so what, it's not the end of the world, at least you're not dying from cancer.

Sep 27, 2010

He can't relate, but here I go!

I think it's been about two years since I've written. I want to write. I have so many ideas. I think I could write about so many things. Sad things. Funny things. Scary things. Really, SO.MANY.THINGS. I currently read 27 blogs. Yes, they are hard to keep up with and sometimes I skip a line or two, don't kill me. I have a great job where when I'm busy, I am run around like a chicken with it's head cut off busy. But I'd say there is 1 out of 5 days where I'm not busy. At all. So, I catch up on blog reading. Some of them have even allowed me to subscribe by RSS Feed and that is so cool becuase it comes straight to me and hello, if I'm reading an email in my work email box then I'm WORKING!!!!

Anywho, I have decided that I want to write a blog. I read so many blogs that just totally inspire me that I
share the very funny, inspiring and frightening ones with my friends. I really enjoy writing stories but most of all, I can't wait to get to work every day to tell my co-workers what happened at the Heller Household the previous night. Most of the stories I write and share are true and have actually happened to me or a family member, so why not put them out there? I've always said that I would love to write a book. A book about my life would be both sad (a happy kind of sad) and hilarious. Ok then, I'm gonna do it!

Here's the thing. My husband has major internet phobia. Hates it. Doesn't use it often unless I'm right there telling him which area to "click". He totally does not get the internet. He still calls it the information super-highway. Stupid. Our boys used to laugh at him when he tells them that they can find me in the computer room reading "blob's". Now, it's not even funny anymore, it's just stupid. So, he get's really frustrated at the fact that I'm at work all day long on a computer and then when I'm finished helping with housework and relaxing the method I choose most often is to get on the computer. I'm sorry but it's relaxing to me. So, my problem is that I'm having a hard time with the support that I need to continue writing and well, you know...putting everything out there. I'm a very open person. Hell, I'm a Chastain. We are WIDE.OPEN. However, my husband is not. He's private. He would not even appreciate the fact that I tell everyone how wonderful he is because he does all the laundry. Always. Yep, that's right. I can't remember the last time I did the laundry in the last 8 years. Honestly, I can't remember. But he thinks I should just stop at "my husband is wonderful" and forget about the part where I tell everyone that he even does the dishes. I think that's our only difference. We really get along well and hardly ever have arguments (omg, whatever!) but if I want to write a blog and keep it up if not daily then every other day then I'm going to need support. Don't you think?