I fucking love Michael K. In a DListed post the other day, he said this:
…“And now for my GET OFF MY LAWN moment. All these stories about hos spending hours texting each other got me thinking about the old days. I remember when we didn’t have the luxury of texting at our leisure for hours on end. We had to work for our conversations. Kids today just don’t know how hard we had it. I nearly burned my ear off from talking for hours about nothing to my friend while my sister screamed at me for the phone and my mom used the operator to interrupt my call. Oh shit, remember the classic emergency operator interruption? You knew your ass was in trouble when your mom pulled that shit.
I wish I remember the last emergency interruption my mom made so that I could put it in my memory box. I’d put it right next to the memory of me calling my mom collect from a payphone and telling the operator that my name was “Michael Sears.” That way my mom knew to pick me up in front of the Sears at the mall.
The spoiled brats of today need to know that if it wasn’t for us wasting the operator’s time with our stupid tricks, cell phones and call waiting would never exist!”
Werd. I don’t know much about the emergency operator interruption (I have never been one to call anyone “just to talk”), but I definitely pulled the “Erin Houlihans” trick when I needed my mom to get me from the mall. I also remember being furious with my parents when they wouldn’t buy me a pager. Looking back, of course I didn’t need a pager. The places I could possibly be in 6th grade were limited to school, home, soccer practice, or Katie’s house. Considering all these places were within a solid 2-mile radius, I wasn’t hard to find. Usually my dad just stood out on the front porch and whistled. Which is exactly as white trash as it sounds, and I’m sure the neighbors were thrilled.
Speaking of my dad, I re-wrote his resume and did a cover letter for him on Thursday. Then we talked about his recent breakup, which was really bizarre. It’s one thing to hear your friends talk about heartbreak, but when it’s your 56-year-old father who just got dumped for the first time in 30 years, it’s a surreal experience.
What I told him holds up: If someone broke up with me via Dear John letter and included a 9-page printout of a description of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder with a Post-It note on it saying that it sounds like me, I would consider that person to be the shittiest asshole I ever dated and then go slash their tires. Who fucking does that? What stupid bitch without any sort of a degree in anything, let alone something legitimate like psychology, does that? Especially when she knows my father’s slightly hypochondriacal tendencies and should have anticipated a fragile mental state? Awful. That’s an awful thing to do. And she can’t cook. If I had to eat those terrible “party potatoes” at some other family gathering, I was going to freak out. Attention, everyone: casserole made out of frozen hashbrowns and cornflakes is prison food. It is not fit for Christmas, Easter, or birthdays.
All of this reminds me of when I didn’t want to be married anymore. When I got up the guts to say that I wanted a divorce, my now ex-husband said “You know that no one’s ever going to be able to love you the way I do.”
At the time I said, “Hmmm,” although I really meant “Well, I fucking hope not.” But I was also thinking that I didn’t care about whether or not I found someone else. Finding someone else was the farthest thing from my mind (the closest thing was how I’d get back the six grand that asshat stole from me). At the time, I attributed this to my parents, who were still married but completely independent and secure people who had raised me to be the same.
Then I moved back home, and my parents divorced after a long and messy process involving my dad having an affair (with the woman who only just recently dumped him, btw). And my mom started drinking, and my dad had a midlife crisis, and my mom is still mostly drunk and my dad’s life outside of a relationship now requires mental health professionals.
The person I married is still a shithead and I still don’t regret leaving, it’s just…man. Really, parents? Must I always be the lone sane person in this family?