You know how, from time to time you get that disoriented feeling upon waking? I used to get that a lot when I was younger, and for good reason: My love for spontaneous, drunken road trips made the questions, “Where am I?”, “Whose couch is this?”, “What state am I in?”, and, “Do I still have both of my kidneys?” logical and important questions to ask. Of course, as I got older and became the mature and responsible person I am today, early morning bafflement receded, rarely to be seen and usually only after traditional drinking holidays such as New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, or Friday.
Speaking of drinking and holidays, have you ever gotten really trashed on a serious holiday? I remember in 1989 getting falling-down-in-the-bushes trashed on Christmas. Some friends and I had gotten together, ostensibly to wish each other a Merry Xmas, wound up drinking in a car for hours on end (we were only 20 at the time), and when I got home I was staggering so badly that I had to dive out of the way of the Xmas tree, slamming into a shelving unit holding my mom’s ceramic animal collection, and woke up my father who came to investigate. To keep from getting caught, I rolled behind my mom’s upright piano, which was a stupid place to hide because what possible excuse do you have for being there if you get caught? “Just tuning the piano in the dark at 2:30 AM, dad!”
Anyway, back to waking up befuddled: I got out of bed this morning and before I hopped in the shower I had to wake up my 13 year old daughter. I never have to wake my boys up. They’re 7 and 4 and are “early risers”, which is to say that the very instant they gain consciousness, they immediately engage in Maximum Fun which sometimes involves chasing the dog with the blender. But my daughter is at that age where sleeping until 3:00 PM begins to be possible, and if I don’t wake her up and force her to get out of bed, no amount of alarms going off in her room will.
So I woke her up and told her to get out of bed so I could hop in the shower.
Me: Because you have to go to work today, and I need to drive you. Let’s go!
Daughter: But it’s not Thursday!
Me: Yes it is.
Daughter: No, it’s not.
Me: Yes it is, and I shouldn’t have to get out a calendar to prove it to you. I’m your dad, and I say get out of bed. Now!
This kind of shit I don’t need to deal with first thing in the morning. First of all, it starts the day on a contentious note. My daughter is a fucking grump in the morning, and that’s on a good day. I fear that by starting the day off with an argument, she’s liable to pull a muscle during one of her power-sighs, or possibly roll her eyes right out of their sockets.
The second reason I don’t like to deal with this crap is because I’m just tired enough to start doubting myself. “Shit! Is it not Thursday? What day is it? Wednesday? Fuck! Hey, maybe it’s Friday!” And of course I checked as soon as I got back to my bedroom and, yes, it was Thursday. Only a 13 year old daughter can make you doubt your ability to grasp the calendar.
I don’t hold it against her, though. I remember all too well how awesome summer vacation was when I was a kid. I specifically remember wondering what day of the week it was, and then pausing to reflect on how awesome life is when you don’t have to worry about pointless shit like what day of the week it is. The real problem is that my daughter is not accepting the fact that those days are behind her now.
Her job is working as an unpaid intern at the municipal pool. This means that after a day of running errands for older teenagers in the 110º heat, she comes home with the exhausted feeling of satisfaction that you get after a good day’s work. What she doesn’t come home with is money. And so, I guess because she doesn’t see her job as a real job, she doesn’t feel the need to care about things such as what day it is. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had this discussion.
Me: Do you work tomorrow?
Daughter: (ultra-bored teen tone) I dunno.
Me: Well can you find out?
Daughter: I guess.
Me: Seriously, do it now.
Daughter: All right, all right… Jeez!
Me: C’mon, this is important! If you work, you need me to give you a ride. And this is your job. You need to get in the habit of managing your own time.
Daughter: It’s not really a job. I don’t get paid.
Me: Well, you can get fired, so showing up is probably the right thing to do, don’t you think?
Daughter: Fired? Oh no, then I wouldn’t get not paid!
I just don’t know where she gets that smart-ass sense of humor.
Really, the only reason I encourage her to work this job at all is because it’s practice for that day when she enters the real work-force, and I find myself constantly reminding her of this. “These are skills that you need to have, and by working this job, you’re getting these skills years ahead of time. But only if you take it seriously.” And of course, I can give that speech to the wall and get exactly the same result.
The only language she speaks is money. This morning, after her grumpy Thursday-denial episode, she sat in the front seat of my Jeep ignoring any and all attempts to communicate with her. She ignored me, that is, until I pulled into the corner convenience store at which point she ordered me to get her a large Starbucks double-shot of blah, blah, blah whatever venti-spresso-stupidccino phrase they’re using for caffeine this week. I laughed. “Yeah, I’ll be right back with that.”
And when I came back without it, she was pissed. I had to explain to her that 13 year olds aren’t supposed to drink massive amounts of caffeine like that, and if she had a hard time getting up in the morning, she should try actually going to sleep when I told her to instead of fucking around in her room until 2:00 AM. “I wish I had my own money,” she said.
“No you don’t. I offer you money to do things around the house all the time, and you never take me up on it.”
“Picking up dog poo? Gross!”
“It takes a few minutes, and it pays. What more do you want?”
“Money without having to pick up dog poo.”
She has this crazy idea that I should buy her anything and everything she wants, as soon as she wants it. You know why? Skechers. This is an honest to God Skechers ad I see every time I go to my local mall:
I’d like to take this opportunity to tell all the Skechers executives out there that I hope you die in a fucking car fire, you money-grubbing assholes. Daddy’s Money? You’re not going to get Daddy’s Money, Skechers, you’re going to get Daddy’s Fist right in your fucking Adam’s apple.
I’ve had a long week, so this is my rambling post. And what better way to end a rambling post than with another wacky video? Enjoy.