Posted in Explaining the Strange Behavior

How Rupert Everett Set me on a Crime Spree

I’ve been talking to Robyn and Irene about The Feels today.  You know The Feels. 

The Feels is what happens when you are somewhere between the ages of 8 and 17, and you lay eyes on someone (usually a celebrity of some sort) whose innate charisma sparks something on the inside of you that wakes up a desire you are too young to name, and that your tiny brain is incapable of understanding.  The Feels is a sudden rush of desperate, aching, unrequited love, trembling somewhere on the balance between agony and ecstasy, threatening to tip to either side at any moment.

The Feels is accompanied by the need to laugh, cry, curl up in the fetal position, wail, giggle, gag, and lie catatonic for want of the object of your affection.

You might be surprised to learn that I did not have a true case of The Feels for Duran Duran.  No.  My first case of The Feels happened when I was walking through a Blockbuster Video store in 1986.

I was somewhere in my fifteenth year, having managed to avoid most pitfalls of The Feels because my deep-desire tastes ran to Hamlet and Heathcliff, rather than Jake Ryan and Ferris Bueller.  You don’t get a lot of Hamlet in Grand Prairie, Texas.  You don’t even get a lot of Ferris Bueller.

I had tremors of The Feels for members of Duran Duran, Matt Dillon, and Judd Nelson, but never anything that shook me out of my shoes.  Then, one day I was walking through Blockbuster and stopped cold.  On the far right hand side of the shelf closest to the door, facing inward of the store, on the third shelf down was a video.


I don’t know.  I don’t know.  But everything changed.  I saw this video jacket and something happened.

That boy.  His tie.  His shirt.  His sweater.  The way his sweater was so… His tie was so… His hair was so…  His lips were so…

I had already hit puberty, but when I saw that video jacket, puberty hit me back.

It was like a sucker punch.  I can remember feeling like all the air had gone out of me.  I felt too hot.  I felt sick.  I felt like I wanted to throw up.  And I felt…good.  Oh my word–I had never felt so good.  I had The Feels.

I would not allow myself to rent the video because I was so stunned by The Feels I got just looking at the picture of the boy on the cover, that I was (rightly) afraid that if I watched the video, something inside me would break.  I would be wrecked.  Ruined.  Altered.

So, for TWO YEARS, I walked past that video.  I would stop and gaze and Feel Things, and now and then I would let myself touch the video jacket, read the back of it, and look at the pictures there.  I would fantasize about meeting The Boy on the Cover, who was either Rupert Everett, or Collin Firth (I had hoped The Boy on the Cover was called Collin because Rupert is an awful name, but alas) and telling him how I had abstained from–what?  From looking at him doing his job in a movie?

Finally, when I was 17, I gave in and rented the video.

I was wrecked.  I was ruined.  I was altered.  And not just because the premise of the movie centers around The Boy on the Cover being gay for The Dread Pirate Roberts.  You’d think that would have dampened The Feels, but it did not.  It just made The Feels more complicated, and the only thing a teenage girl loves more than the telephone is FEELING COMPLICATED*.  GOD!  NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME!  YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE, MOM!  GET OUT OF MY ROOM!  *SOBBING*

I watched the movie over and over again. Then, I took it back to Blockbuster and asked to buy it.  Begged to buy it.  I had to beg because they told me no, it was their only copy.  I tried to explain how I needed the movie.

I have never told anyone this before:  I started crying.


She sympathized, but still said no.

So, I did the only thing I knew to do.  I stole it.

That is, I rented it again from a different employee, because Blockbuster lady knew what was up and wouldn’t rent it to me again–she made up some rule about Teenagers with The Feels–and I walked out with it under my shirt and never took it back.  I also never rented anything else from that Blockbuster because…THE FEELS robbed me of my ability to do so.  (You can’t rent new movies until you have returned all the movies you have outstanding, and I was never going to return that movie.  I gave up my right to watch Weekend at Bernie’s, 16 Candles, and Mannequin for the love of Rupert Everett.)

I still have that video.  I keep it in a special place.  You don’t believe me, do you?  Believe.

I had The Feels for Rupert Everett into my late 20s.  Then, I bought a computer and access to the internet.  Rupert Everett kind of ruined Rupert Everett for me.  Too much access is bad for The Feels.

But I’ve still got a baaad thing for tall, skinny, smart, slept-in, English boys.  And an embarrassing case of The Feels for Tom Hiddleston.  Shh. Don’t tell anyone.  I am purposefully not rewatching Thor 2 because there was this one scene that wrecked, ruined, altered me, and I am way too old (and married) to be laughing/crying/curling up in the fetal position/wailing/giggling/gagging/lying around catatonic.  I have things to do**.

*I thank God I had a boy child.  I don’t know what I would do a female carbon copy of myself at 15.  My poor parents.

**Like google pictures of Tom Hiddleston in Loki garb.***

***Not really. ****

****Maybe just a little bit*****

*****Okay, but just once and I promise never to do it again.

Posted in Uncategorized

Newton, CT School Shooting

News reports are coming out about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut.  As I type, there are 27 believed dead, and 10 of those are believed to be children.  I know it is half a country away, but what I want to do right now is go get my child and duct tape him to my back.  Then, anyone would literally have to come through me to get to him.

My heart goes out to the families of all involved in this tragedy.  My heart goes out to the students, the teachers, and the staff.  To the law enforcement agents who will have to deal with the scene and aftermath.  To the personnel who will be working with those little bodies.  To the community at large.

Columbine was horrific.  This is an elementary school, so the tragedy seems heightened.

No matter how appealing it sounds to me right now, I won’t cut holes in a duffle bag and wear Thor like a backpack for the rest of his childhood because you can neither understand, nor prepare for crazy.  All you can do is squeeze the best out of every day, tell your kids EVERY DAY how much you love them, how proud of them you are, and how privileged you are to know them, and back it up with your actions.  Then, no matter what happens to whom, their little hearts are sure and solid.

There is a peace that passes understanding, and I pray that for everyone involved.

Posted in A Day in the Life, Thor

Baby Names and Poor Babies

I had a funny conversation with a lady yesterday.  She had written down her daughter’s name, which was very long and spelled creatively, and I asked how it was pronounced.  It was really a pretty name, and I said so.  She rolled her eyes and said, “I hate it.  I didn’t give it to her.”  So I asked who had. 

She said, “My mother, my sister, and my aunt.  I was knocked out, and when I came to, they had named my baby.  They gave her that first name and four more.  She got five names, and I was so mad!”

Maybe that’s what happened to Uma Thurman’s most recent baby.

I’d have been mad, too!  You do all that work to grow that baby, and then you do all that work to get that baby out, and you don’t even get a say in what to name it?  No thank you.

But, I think I’ve hit upon why second time parents (and third, and fourth, and more) are more lenient with all the children after the first. 


That’s Sandra Bullock taking her son home from a playdate.  He clearly doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t look (from the other photos, at which I stared for way too long making myself a horrible hypocrite about the paparazzi because that baby is just the most darling thing ever) like he’s throwing a fit.  He’s just sad to be leaving. 

I looked at that little face and it reminded me so much of Thor, and it reminded me so much of how sad he used to be when we would leave the park.  All chub and sweetness, suddenly so sad because he had no concept of time, and leaving the playground meant leaving!the!playground!forever! in his vernacular.  He was never horrible about it, but he would be so sad.

In that instant, earlier today, I wanted to go back in time and let Thor play for just a little longer.  And I wanted to squeeze his fat, little legs, and I wanted to kiss his little pink cheeks and love on his squishy little baby body, and I was telling my past self, “You let that baby stay out there and play!  It isn’t going to kill you to let that baby play ten more minutes!”

I imagine if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would know more of what to sweat, and what to swat aside.  That’s why only children and first children have it the hardest.  Because their parents have no idea how anything works, and they err to the side of caution.  At least, that is true of me.

But my goodness, I can’t wait to get home to my boy tonight, and tickle his long, skinny legs, and kiss his sweaty face, and hug his bony body.

Posted in parenting


Happy Father’s Day to the best father I know.

Thor is a very, very fortunate boy.  Very fortunate.  Right now, he knows he loves his daddy, and he knows his daddy loves him.  One day, he will fully comprehend just what a great father he has.  For the time being, I know it, and everyone else who knows him, knows it.

Happy Father’s Day to the best father I know.


Posted in parenting, Thor

Swimming in the Deep End

Today I decided on the word that best characterizes my son.  Bonhomie.  He is a genuine bonhomme, possessed of a truly pleasant and affable disposition.  I like him a lot.

I like him even more as he grows.  I know the teen years are coming, and I know that all the chemicals washing through his brain are going to bring changes that can only result in him becoming a TEENAGER, but the glimpses of the future I get in his more mature moments–like when he stops himself mid-action and says he needs to start over properly, or corrects himself when he’s being rude, or congratulates an opponent on a great play and tells the player how proud he is of them, or when he turns his efforts to self-enforced politeness–feed my optimism that no matter how badly he might smell, how loudly he might play his music, how much he might argue about the unfairness of the rules, he will still lovingly, and playfully pat me on the head from his new vantage of height and try to do the right thing.  My moments of greatest pride are when I realize that B and I are raising someone we both would have sought out for friendship, were he our peer.  And my moments of greatest relief are when I realize that Thor is going to attract the kind of friends that B and I have today.

Every day, I tell Thor these things:

  1. I love you more than anything in the world.
  2. I like you, and I like being around you.
  3. I am proud of you.
  4. You are a good person.
  5. You have a great mind.
  6. You are the best part of my day.
  7. I will always love you.

I strive to back up those words with actions.  Spending time with him, having real conversations with him, really listening to him, reading to him, drawing with him, sharing my thoughts with him, answering his questions, and letting him poke his fingers into what I am doing–you know, until I have to go lock the bathroom door and beg for five minutes alone.  It isn’t enough to say the words.  The words without the back-up are just empty, and he’ll start looking for what he thinks fills them.

The idea is for him to be confident enough in having a foundation of love and support at home, that his metaphorical legs will be strong enough to leap over any cracks he finds in the foundations everywhere else.  The idea is for him to be confident enough in his value and self-worth (which we back up by feeding his mind) that he doesn’t even notice peer pressure, save to see that it exists and he doesn’t need to take part in it.  The idea is to give him the childhood it takes to face the teenage years without falling into the deep end.  Actually, the idea is to give him enough of a push out of the kiddie pool, that he can swim to the deep end on his own power, get out, and start doing cannon balls off the diving board.  Because we all know that the deep end is where the fun is.  It’s just a matter of knowing how to swim in it without drowning.

I am incredibly thankful for his grandparents, who give him confidence in ways parents cannot.  I am thankful for the teachers he’s had, who have understood him and loved him.  And I am thankful for our friends, who have always treated him with adult-like respect, and who have modeled great behavior to him.