Sunday, October 23, 2011


Holy SNAP, it's Sunday, and I missed my daughter's birthday.

I mean YOU missed my daughter's birthday. I couldn't miss my daughter's birthday if I tried. Not with all these shoes in my house.

Is this not the loveliest sight you've seen in pairs since Lulu and diapers? Because where there are shoes, there are people, right!?

Lots and lots of people! Granted some of these people look like serial killers . . . well, at least one of them (in the bottom left hand corner) looks like a serial killer, but I allowed them all to cram into my basement anyway and wish my daughter a happy 17th birthday.

I'm not being rude about the serial killer thing, btw. Just giving my daughter, who thinks all of my high school friends look like serial killers, a taste of her own medicine.

She's not being rude, either. (She's never being rude.)

One of the boys in the photo does not look like a serial killer at all. He looks more like a tall Preference date with a dazzling smile. Do you want to see which boy I'm talking about?

Do you, do you, do you? Hmm? Hmm Hmmm? Do you?

Okay, hold you horses. Sheeeeesh! Here he is.

(I think the boy to his left might have serial killer potential too.)

Notice I strategically placed her Pref date's pumpkin in the background to prick his conscience about how long it took to say those three little words after my daughter asked him to the dance: Yes, Yes, Yes!

Luckily I don't hold grudges. I'm generously tolerant of people with commitment issues and/or time management issues and/or priority issues and/or date-dance-response block issues. As long as he doesn't have abandonment issues, I'm good.

So my daughter's 17th birthday was, as they say at the Moulin Rouge, spectacular, spectacular. She got a rainbow cake from her medical assisting friends, a darling sweater from my sister, and a perm from my mom.

You heard me right, a perm! As in permanent! (Yes, she listens to eight track tapes too!)

She also got asked on a date. Plus she got serenaded by a boy with a guitar and three back-up singers.

I only know this because during the party, while my hub, my twins, my dog and myself were shut up in the master bedroom, huddling together on our California King to give my daughter space, my twins decided to go outside and play football in the dark, where they witnessed the whole thing, from the boys leading her outside to them singing--get this--Baby, Baby, Baby by Justin Bieber. Apparently her Homecoming date isn't the only one who turns into Justin Bieber around my daughter.

Can you imagine having the Justin Bieber effect on so many boys? "I think you've found your gift," I told my daughter, but she shrugged and said, "Oh, mom, they sing that to all the girls on their birthdays."

Hmmmmm . . . . . . that's alls I'm saying.

I was going to give my daughter something for her birthday, but then I remembered that I gave her life, so I pulled out my favorite t-shirt instead: I gave my daughter life and alls I got was this lousy t-shirt!

I did eventually end up giving her something besides life. A modest shopping spree in Park City, with a friend of her choice, and a family of her choice--preferably our family. After day 1 I took her home because she had to work and take the ACT and go on her date. After day 2 I took my boys home because they were overdosing on the steam shower. Oh, and because they begged me to take them home.

But seriosuly, whodda thought steam could be so dangerously addicting?

Must be careful about substances that clear our pores.

"I can't wait until the boys are gone," I kept saying on day 2. But then after I took them home we were all alone. "I wish the boys were here," I kept saying, until, out of nowhere, my hub started a massive pillow fight. Then disappeared to take another steam shower.

Do you think he misunderstood me?

This retreat is actually the result of one of those time share dealios we attended two years ago. You know the ones where they call you and call you until, exasperated, you agree to take a free night, plus $100 cash, just to listen to a 30 minute seminar about the resort. Upon arrival they feed you finger foods and bring you Cokes laced with . . . coke, before they strap you into a chair for four hours and tell you you are getting sleepy . . . very . . . sleepy. Once you are in a trance-like state they ask you to fork out $16,000 for a once-a-year stay at the resort.

This breaks the trance.

"Can we think about it for a few hours? Maybe discuss it?" you say, but the answer is no. Thinking and talking are off limits. This a NOW or NEVER, once in a life-time opportunity. You choose the NEVER option, but instead of letting you go, they tighten your straps and call the manager over to smack some sense into you. He offers you a steal deal of $11,000, then $8,000, then bottoms out at $4,000. Finally he puts his final offer on the table. Three nights for $300.

You can do that. Because technically it's only $2oo when you minus the cash they are about to hand you. A small price to pay for freedom. Only you're not free at all. You are still in bondage to their constant phone calls and emails until you commit to a date.

So this is our date. UEA weekend, 2011. The very same date all the other suckers in Utah County committed to, after apparently being harassed and hypnotized into submission.

We are all victims here, sharing the pool with each others screaming children and maneuvering past each other down the narrow, dimly lit hallways on our way through the maze, a glint of recognition passing between us about where we have been and where we are going--back to our rooms, where the pots and pans are kept just out of reach in the cupboard above the fridge--the cupboard where you might store your punch bowls and flower vases at home.

Back to our rooms where the overhead light flickers and the sheets crunch and the fake plastic marble Kleenex box holds all of four tissues.

Back to our room where if you want a remote for the t.v. or shampoo for your hair, or garbage bags that don't bust open when you pull them out of the pail, all you have to do is place a call and the resort will be happy to provide you with what you need. It may take a few days, but if you hang tight, it will come. I am on a first name basis with the front desk now--an inevitable result of calling for more toilet paper at 4 a.m.

"And can you send the 2-ply this time, Julius?" I asked in all sincerity.


So last night, which was our last night, as my hub was finishing his steam shower, there was a knock on the door from someone at the V.I.P. desk. He handed me a ziploc baggie full of homemade cookies, and a welcome packet containing our internet access code, a whole bunch of coupons and discounts for local restaurants we might want to try during our stay, and a pair of handcuffs. His eyes narrowed. "You know that you will be in our custody forever and ever, throughout time and all eternity, right?"

I gulped.

"It's part of the covenant you made with us when you purchased your package, that we have to meet with you again before you leave. You know that, right?"

I gulped again. "What for? We did our time here like we promised."

"Oh, we just want to share a few . . . Cokes . . . and close out your account. How did you enjoy the steam shower, by the way?"

I gulped again and looked down at the cookies.

"When can we meet with you?" he pressed.

My mind was spinning like a hamster wheel. "How about tomorrow morning," I heard myself say. "Like say about 9 a.m?" And then he made me sign my name in blood.

Only thing is, we won't be here at 9 a.m. I've been up since 4:3o digging a tunnel to the parking lot with a spoon? After I changed our phone numbers and email addresses and identities? If you don't hear from me again, you'll know there were security guards at the exit.

As for my final wishes? I would like the words DON'T. DO. TIME SHARES. engraved on my headstone.

And if there's enough space maybe add (or steam showers) underneath.

Mahalo, peeps!



Stephen said...

Funny! Amen!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I agree with Stephen. I went to one of those presentations/kidnappings once, and once only. No one could pay me enough or entice me with anything after that one time deal.

Glad your daughter had such a fun birthday. Remember when you sent her to Hawaii for her birthday? That was so sweet.

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Lol! I love the way you write. We went to a time share presentation/stay in Park City--probably the same one--very crispy sheets! I also think I signed my name in blood. We're the ones who always end up listening for hours, because my husband won't stop asking questions. I finally have to drag him away.

Happy birthday to your gorgeous girl. :)

A Musing Mother said...

At least you had a party for your daughter. We took the family to Yellowstone and I remembered it was her birthday 3 hours into the day. Oh! Hey! Here's a camera for taking pictures! Happy Birthday!

BTW, no segue here, but do you want to buy a timeshare?

Just asking.

robin said...

What a great mom you are! I remember my family FORGETTING my 18th birthday. It all had to do with my older sister going off and doing something trivial like gettting married so they were all busy with that. I came bounding into my little sister's room where she was getting her ready for school all excited waiting for my mom to wish me a happy birthday and she said, "what are YOU so happy about." Deflated I said, "it's my birthday." "Oh," pause, "what do you want for your birthday?" "Nothing!" I said. (because I was angry) So that's what I got. Nothing. If I had been smarter I would have taken advantage of the inevitable guilt my mother MUST have felt and milked it for all it was worth. :)

I laugh about the whole thing now. But I am really impressed with moms who remember and do special things like what you did for your daughter for her birthday. Kudos!

Martha said...

Happy Late Bday T. Sorry we were here having our own 13 year party. It was supossed to be 6-9 pm, but the kids kept playing until 11 pm!