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Nothing is Easy for Us or Why My Son Will End Up Homeless and Alone or How Much Does it Cost to Get Out?

January 7, 2011

Let me preface this by saying, we’re the happiest dysfunctional family that I know.

Our main dysfunction is how unorganized we are.  We are a laid back bunch.  We follow all of the important rules and some of the not so important ones.  I drive safely.  Don’t ever litter.  We are polite to everyone.  We don’t run with scissors. When we go a penny over at the gas pump, we always run it in, even if it’s pouring rain.  We say the blessing, eat at the table, don’t put our elbows on the table, put our napkins in our lap, don’t watch TV during meals.  We  say “Yes ma’am” and “No Ma’am,”  “Please” and  “Thank you.”  We always wear seat belts.  We read together(if I can find my glasses).   We don’t make fun of anyone but ourselves.  We, in most ways, are doing okay.  In the ways that matter to us, I guess.

Now, when leave the confines of our little family and it’s a little different.  And we usually do pretty good, I wouldn’t say we’re always “thriving,” but we do okay.

AAA is a call I often make.  My keys have been locked in my car more times than I’d care to count.  At any given time, we may only be able to locate one debit card between us, though, we bank at a couple of banks and have several different accounts.  One or both of the adults is missing a cell phone 80% of the time.  If my kids make it to school in two shoes that match on the right feet, with book bags, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

And paperwork of ALL types, forget about it,  my eyes just glaze over.  It is too much for me!  I’m just getting Christmas cards this week, because I haven’t looked at the mail.   I always thought it was weird that my dad didn’t open half of his, but I’ve grown up and I’m the same way.  I go for the interesting stuff.

Sorry for all that info, you just kind of need to know who you’re dealing with for this story to make sense.

Adam had a strings concert tonight.  He’s playing the cello and really, really loves it.  It’s his first crack at an instrument and he’s doing great.  His teacher is great! He looks forward to the days he has her class.  It’s truly the highlight of his week!

He had to be there tonight at 6:15, the concert started at 6:30.  For once, we were right on time.  As we were pulling in, Adam remembers that admission is $3.  And the school is several miles from town.  And of course, we have no cash.  And the 6th grade strings group was slated to play first.  And it’s 6:15.  Yikes!  I think Adam picked up on my irritation.  I’m not even sure what I said,  but it wasn’t really hearts and flowers. (Why I was irritated, I couldn’t tell you, he’s learning this stuff from me!) He felt terrible and kept apologizing.  His dad kept telling him that it was no big deal and not to worry about it.  But, I kind of carped at him about being more responsible.  Because….I’m a hypocrite.

So, we shoved him out and hurried to the nearest store.  The whole way, the other two kids are giving me down the country for hurting Adam’s feelings.  Mind you, I didn’t say anything mean, but the boys didn’t like seeing him feeling bad and I was getting the blame.  Sensitive crowd I’ve got here.  I’m the toughest among us and that’s not saying much.

This fussy little drive took about 5 minutes.

During that time, I explained that I just wanted him to be more responsible so that one day he could hold down a job and that his wife wouldn’t pack up their four kids and leave him for not being able to support them,  and that he’d probably  lose his home, cause he couldn’t find gainful employment  and being irresponsible would end in disaster.   He could end up old and alone eating the wild onions that grow, in the median of the interstate, near the overpass where he lives.  Divorce! Homelessness! Poorly written, run on string of consciousness type sentences.  And grandchildren who panhandled for crack money all because I didn’t have $12 for the strings concert.

And these two boogers in the back seat don’t even care about his upcoming homelessness. They just keep saying that it isn’t nice to hurt people’s feelings.


I only had the bad debit card.  (I know a divorce is inevitable, but I’m scared to kick it to the curb until I get a new one.)   I’d  left it in the car after it let me down, so we might be able to get money.  Since we were just going to a middle school strings concert, we didn’t think we’d need money.  And we’re not organized people that carry things with us, you know, like pocketbooks and wallets.

I wish I could say why, but alas, I cannot.

So, Wayne runs in the store with the faulty debit and it proves itself faulty once again.

Won’t work at the ATM.  Shoot!


This isn’t looking good. The clock is ticking away.

We make it to our bank, get the money.

Cheer loudly.

I drive like a very careful mad woman and get back just in time.

Relief! But, I have no pictures, because I had to sit at the very back and could barely see Adam, much less get a decent picture.  And his cello had to stay at school last night, so I don’t even have a picture of him with it.  I’ll post some soon, because, the cello kind of makes people look smart and responsible.  Truly, it does.

And the kids did great!  I’m amazed at how much they’ve learned in such a short time.  And they played so well together.  They plucked a couple of songs, I’d heard the plucking at home, I couldn’t imagine what it would sound like, but as a group, it was really cool.  And they even got to use their bows on one song.  And that’s supposed to be a big deal for first semester.

We didn’t miss a thing, it was fine.

Thank goodness.  I guess, maybe, he won’t end up sleeping on a park bench after all.

Whew! Crisis avoided.

After his wonderful performance,  the kids all had to go back to the classroom and pack their instruments.  They were going to be coming back to the cafeteria afterwards.  Though others were walking out,  I didn’t get up right away.

Sam inched over to me with a concerned expression and asked, “How much is it going to cost to get out of here?”  God love him!  I guess he thought his loser family wasn’t going to be able to leave.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 12:28 pm

    I was on the edge of my seat reading this, LL! Because it’s this living-by-the-seat-of-our-pants stuff that just gets crazy at times! And of course, this time (as it does most times) it worked out OK.

    I would never have imagined that it would cost money to attend the Middle School Strings Concert! And I rarely carry cash. So I’m right there with you!

    Classic kid thinking that the family might actually have to stay, since obviously they can’t afford to get in in the first place! So cute….great post!

  2. January 7, 2011 12:29 pm

    Oh, and those “this will affect the rest of your life and you’ll be working at McDonalds as a 40 year-old” rants?

    I have those all the time. And in hindsight? They never make any sense. But I feel better at the time I say it, like I’m imparting wisdom and all that.

  3. January 7, 2011 2:17 pm

    Here’s my suggestion- Forget the debit cards. Take all your cash and tuck it in random places. It will be like winning the lottery!

  4. January 7, 2011 4:58 pm

    I never carry cash and have been in that boat several times, thanks to kiddies “forgetting” details like that!

  5. January 7, 2011 6:52 pm

    We never, ever, ever, EVER carry cash. Ever.

    I just laughed out loud so many times reading this that my husband came to read over my shoulder. That could totally have been me is what I’m saying!

  6. Monica permalink
    January 7, 2011 8:48 pm

    Here’s my question…Why on earth was the school charging $3 admission to a band concert? Didn’t you already pay a fortune for the cello? What would happen if you were a divorced, homeless person who didn’t have $3 to see your only living kin play the cello? Huh? What then? 😉

  7. January 8, 2011 5:31 am

    Ha! Now, to be honest, the moral I am reading here is that even amidst all this “dysfunction” – it all works out in the end. So really, no harm, no foul.

    I think the kids are learning some very valuable lessons my friend! 🙂

  8. January 9, 2011 11:00 am

    I hate those frenetic moments that always seem to pop up when a child needs to be somewhere. It’s when my lecture personality comes out and watch out to anyone who crosses my path, because they will be lectured on the merits of being timely and organized. It doesn’t help that my oldest girl is a whirling hurricane of disorganization and mess. But she’s in college now, so she has to pick her way out of her own messes. Helps with my blood pressure a lot.

  9. January 11, 2011 1:39 pm

    Haha. “A cello kind of makes a person look smart and responsible.”

    I love it. Makes me want to buy Fiance a cello. But he wants a violin. That just makes a person look pompous and elitist. Or something.

    Your family is fun.

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