The Y Factor


They make us what we are. They determine what we look like, our future health, pretty much everything. This includes our ability to find things apparently.

MJ has his first behind the wheel driver’s ed session this morning. We are instructed to bring his permit – check, and his original application that posed as his permit until his official card came in the mail – unchecked.

In great mommy fashion, I like to make sure we are not running around like chickens without a head right before we leave so I tell him that he needs to find it…LAST NIGHT. And what do you think happened? Did he go look then? If he did then hell must have frozen over and I don’t see any demons coming up top to warm up in the cuddly new blanket of snow we got last night.

So…I ask him this morning.

“Did you find it?”


“Where did you look? Did you look in the cars?”

“Uh, I can’t find my wallet either.” His wallet is where his permit card is, btw.

Well, his wallet I can help with since Devil Dog gently brought it to me the other day. The yellow piece of folded up paper? Not so much.

“So, did you look in the cars?”

He goes and looks in both cars.

“Uh…I can’t find it.”

Shit, damn, shit!

We tear the recycling bin apart thinking we may have thrown it in there because we are green like that…

Still no sign of the elusive yellow paper.

So I do what any mom would do when her kid can’t find what they are looking for…I go out to the car and look myself.

Why? Because I have this compulsion habit to not believe that he really looked as well has he should have.

A) because he is notorious for not seeing things

B) because he has that Y chromosome

So I trudge through 5 inches of snow out to the garage because my dear, dear Rambo didn’t want to have an attached garage. Can we say dumbass together? DUMBASS!

Open the door, open the center console and move 1 crumpled up donut bag. And what do I see? A yellow slip of paper. Yeah. Underneath HIS crumpled donut bag. Seriously, it wasn’t mine. I hide the remnants of my secret donut runs so much better than that.

I walk back to the house to show him his missing paper permit.

“Did you move the bag?”

“Uh. Yeah, but I didn’t see it. It must have been hiding!”


I am just glad that it wasn’t me that lost it or threw it out. FYI…In Minnesota, even if you have gotten your official permit that looks like a license…do not throw away that little piece of yellow paper. You may need it to start your behind the wheel lessons. DUMB!

Now I am all paranoid about throwing away MY renewal piece of yellow paper…

Seriously though? What is it in that Y chromosome thread that just makes the male species so obliviously blind to things that are right in front of them. If there is one thing that is blocking 50% of the item they are looking for they can’t find it. Rambo is the same way. Is there just some part of their brain that doesn’t process something if it’s not in its whole form?

And they wonder when they ask the question of me…

“Have you seen XYZ?”

I just get up and find it for them…because I know in 5 minutes after being asked that question that I will be up looking for it anyway. I see it as a time saver.

How about at your house? Are you the finder in your house and is it worse with the XY species? I really want to know. Because if I am the only one, I need to kick some ass…they are playing me for a fool.

Let me know!



Shrill to Chill

Do you hear it? Listen a bit and you will.

It’s the sounds of silence.

The silence is my house. And I am going to enjoy the silence for almost 5 days. Rambo and MJ headed off to the wilderness this morning for a weekend of camping and fishing. And I mean REAL camping. In a canoe, sleeping in a tent without cots, without a cooler, no phones, no Ipods…If I know my son, he will be in DT’s by the time they reach the parking lot at the lake.

On his way out the door, Rambo got the “Wife Speech”. MJ got the “Mom Speech” last night.

Rambo’s version was:

“You are the dad. Put on your patient hat. Take off your passive-aggressive hat and leave it here. Do not yell, be sarcastic or otherwise provoking to MJ.  Watch the tone of your voice! Remember he is 14 and has never been to the Boundary Waters and doesn’t know everything. Don’t get pissed at him if he forgets to do something or does something you think is wrong. Keep in mind that you cannot just walk away and have time by yourself. Both of you are stuck together for next 5 days. Get along!”

MJ’s version:

“Don’t be sarcastic. Watch how you talk to your dad. If he asks you to do something…just do it. Be patient with your dad and if he gets pissy, IGNORE IT. Don’t make it worse. Remember, you can’t hide in your room.”

You are probably thinking that the speeches sound awfully similar. You’re right. These two are fighting worse than siblings lately. I keep blaming it on the hormones coursing through MJ’s veins and the fact that Rambo can be, well…an asshole. I swear to God that he is touchier than a hormonal teenager.

The best part of all this? I won’t have to play mediator! I am doing the happy dance over here. I won’t be getting texts or phone calls telling me that “dad is being pissy” or “MJ is being difficult”.

Well, duh! Teenage boys are difficult, you have to just lets some stuff pass. This statement, coming from me, is epic. I used to sweat the small stuff all the freakin’ time. I have learned the past 5 years to just let stuff go. Rambo has gotten worse.

So maybe,  some sense of balance here? I get chill and he gets shrill…it’s a turn of events I like. *insert evil laugh here*. I get to be the ‘cool’ one when it means the most…the teenager years! Woot!

So on my breaks, I am looking at recipes to try, figuring out which wine to drink, and planning on enjoying the sounds of silence. Now, if the weather would only cooperate.

Oh, and I have to call the furnace guy…our boiler is acting up. Wouldn’t you know it…when Rambo is gone.

Have a great day!

Secret Lives

I was watching “Secret Life of an American Teenager” last night with my teen son and it got me to thinking about the way people keep secrets from those around them.

If you have never seen this program, it started out as a program that focused on teen pregnancy and it’s effects on their life and had a good message. This past season though, it has gone downhill and all they ever do is talk about sex. Who is having sex, who isn’t, why they aren’t having sex. I think the storyline has lost its way. It doesn’t seem so secret anymore.

I watch it with my kids for a couple of reasons.

  • It seems to keep the embarrassment to a low-level and we can talk about things in a more open way.
  • I know what they are seeing and can inject my 2 cents. Or 50 cents…depends on how long the conversation is!

My kids laugh at the show because they say it isn’t reality. NOBODY talks about sex the way these kids do. They say that they think they know who is doing it but if they talk about it, that means they really aren’t. It isn’t something that they talk about. Period.

But I digress.

Secrets. Everyone has them.

Kids keep secrets. Husbands and wives keep secrets from each other. Parents keep secrets.

It’s life. Sometimes keeping a secret is to save ourselves from having to explain something and other times, it’s because the secret may hurt the other person.

The new pair of shoes I bought that I kept in my car until Rambo was gone? Secret. My Twitter account? Secret. This blog? Secret.

The shoes, I keep them hidden because it is easier on me and I don’t feel I should justify another pair of shoes to him. Really, you want to talk needless items? How many fishing lures do you really need? You only use them 3 months out of the year and you can only use one at a time.Did that sound familiar to any of you? 🙂

My Twitter account and blog? If you have read my About Me page, you already know that I censor myself in real life. I wish I didn’t have to. I love Rambo but I think he is just waaaay too prudish and he would be really appalled by what I am really thinking and writing about.

If he really knew how much I wanted to drink. Like every day. He would admit me to rehab. No really. It helps to have really strong willpower or I would be drunk 99% of the time! An alcoholic family doesn’t hurt either.

If I acted every time I wanted to look at someone and say “Just shut the fuck up.” I would have no friends. Well, except maybe on Twitter. Anything seems to go on there. I would also not be married anymore. Yes, I mutter it in my head. But it never comes out of my mouth. Just telling Rambo to be quiet grants me 3 days of silence. Can you imagine adding the rest? Hmmm. Something to think about.

I know he has a secret life, not as secret as mine is. He is boring and doesn’t do technology, hates Facebook and doesn’t spend much time with friends. He is a 90-year-old man in a 40 something body. But I love him anyway.

My kids have secret lives away from their family. We think we know them but we really don’t. Regardless of our best intentions of checking the texts, their Facebooks, they do and say things that we are never privy to.

And I am okay with this. I can’t know everything all the time. I wouldn’t want to. I know too much already.

Welcome to my secret life. Secretly, I am a 20-year-old kid in an 42-year-old body.

Do you have a secret life?