When Too Much Information is a Bad Thing

In my last post, RN commented that do we really want to know everything our grown, college-aged children are doing?

After the past couple of days, I would have to say “no.”

Late Friday, my daughter’s last Boy Du Jour – now her EX-BDJ – messaged me on Facebook to tell me the news. If you know me, you know my relationship with my daughter is going through a phase of sorts. (Honestly, at one time she and I were best buds, but now her personality is rather split on whether she wants to be my friend or completely disregard me. I think that’s normal teenage rebellion, that might work its way around in, oh, say maybe ten years or so?) I had just enjoyed a lengthy conversation with her the night before, and so felt the universe was back on an even rotation.

Well, I might be wrong.

After writing of his teenage angst over being dumped, Ex-BDJ then informed me that he believed she was partying (wildly) and hooking up with guys. How he would know this from 2,400 miles away, I’m not sure. I witnessed myself a gradual cooling of their relationship over the last three weeks just by reading their Facebook posts. In some ways, I was not unhappy about it. They had gotten a bit too close to each other for my tastes, and it’s not because I didn’t like the kid. I liked him plenty, it’s just that both are too young to pledge undying and eternal love. I know this as a parent (and someone who has lived this exact scenario before), but try saying that to a headstrong couple of 18-year-olds.

My initial reaction was to lose whatever breath I had in my lungs. Then I thought about it. He has to be pretty pissed off over the dumpage, so coming up with an elaborate “gotcha” for mom would be in order. No one takes rejection so well that they forgive and forget, not within the first 24 hours anyway. My daughter’s campus and her dorm area are DRY, and if she gets caught with alcohol on premises, she is likely to be tossed out (of the dorms anyway) on her cute little behind. Being 18 and on her own, I know she is wanting to drink, even though it’s not quite legal for her to do so. We’ve given both kids a little alcohol in advance of college, so that they would not want to get totally plastered once two thousand miles away.

This approach has had mixed results. My son, normally a level-headed person of extraordinary means, pretty much got tanked every weekend during his first six months in San Francisco. After his violinist girlfriend dumped him and that late night Golden Gate Bridge fiasco (which was captured on his piano teacher’s voice mail-which is how we learned about it), he settled into a rhythm of partying, which was to rarely do it during the semester and go nuts after finals. (I think he inherited that method of operation from me.)

So I wrote Ex-BDJ back telling him to stay strong, and back off for awhile. Then I called my son to see if he could shed some insight. My son and daughter are 500 miles apart, which is a long way, but it’s much closer than the parental units are to either one of them.

My son, who is painfully truthful about anything in his life (please don’t make me come up with an example… you will not want to hear it) told me his sister text-messaged him (coincidentally, right after she talked to me) about how big that bottle of Jaegermeister was that he had brought home this summer (he’s 21 now, so it’s legal for him), and that hers was just as big!

Well, it was hard for me not to make that scathing bitch-mom phone call to LA, but I managed not to do it. I waited until yesterday to call, but of course, now that she has a bit of cash in her bank account, she is not picking up her phone or answering voicemail.

There are some days where I would like to subject myself to the Vulcan mind-meld and erase the memory of having children. Hmm, add their friends to that, and while you’re at it, include the stupid first husband and all the bad boyfriends.

There are many more days when I say a prayer and keep my fingers crossed.


I returned home from work yesterday afternoon, and found that someone, something ROBBED MY PEAR TREE!

No crap. Check it out.

There were at least two dozen pears on it yesterday morning, all about the size of ping pong balls. When I pulled in next to the tree last night, there was ONE. That’s the one on the right. For all I know, that one might be gone by today when I get home.

I wish I could say that pear guts were all over the yard, but there wasn’t anything for debris.

I’m so depressed, I don’t know what to do. No canned pears this year. No poached pears. No pears flambe.

I need a drink. Make mine a pear flavored cosmo, and make it a double.

The Forks in the Road Part I

Thursday night, I did something a little crazy. It’s not something I am particularly proud of, or something I do on a regular basis. This situation did, however, end up illustrating the fact that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It made me think hard about the fleeting results of our choices. It also shows that choosing the wrong fork in the road could have disastrous consequences.

Thursday was my dad’s 75th birthday, and all the siblings decided to surprise him by showing up at his door for an impromptu party. The six of us live in various locations in the country, far from the childhood home. I dragged my daughter with me; my son is in the process of trying to find a new place to live as well as dealing with college. In my daughter’s case, I say “dragged” because she was an unwilling participant. The previous Sunday, she hurt my feelings by announcing that in no uncertain terms, and also let me know my family was a bunch of kooks. (Okay, so we are, but heck, we’re family!)

On the plane ride and subsequent car trip to my hometown, we had a discussion on why when you’re an adult, you must do things for other people even if the actions or the persons are distasteful. For example, I don’t get along with one of my sisters and haven’t spoken more than a half dozen words to her in five years. If you must know why, it’s because of my father’s 70th birthday. (I should write this stuff down!) However, my mantra is to be pleasant and cheerful and act stupid. Fighting is the thing I’d least like to do.

At this point, my daughter asked me if she could drink during the party. At first, I told her “no” because she’s only 17, and added there would only be lite beer and wine, not what she likes to drink. She then brought up the fact that she was a captive, and a drink or two would make her mood more amenable to dealing with a family situation. I thought about it, and agreed. After all, she wasn’t driving, and we wouldn’t be there long. On the way to my dad’s, I stopped and bought a small flask of vodka and orange juice.

Before you think “what a horrible mom!” and report me to the local Department of Human Services, I must say this: I have allowed my children to drink under certain controlled circumstances. Both of them spent extended periods in Europe at 16 and drank. I’m sure both have been to parties and drank. I’ve told both, if you are stuck somewhere and drunk and can’t get a ride, CALL ME. I would rather come and pick them up than have them drive home under the influence.

The amount of alcohol I purchased for her wasn’t enough to get her drunk as a skunk. No. But then her 21 year old cousin decided to slip her some extra alcohol without my knowledge. When I went to leave to stay with one of my sisters, I found my daughter on the bed downstairs lying in a large pool of her own vomit. It wasn’t pretty. Some of my sibs were staying there with my dad. I tried to get her up, and couldn’t, so I tried to my best to clean up the mess before anyone came downstairs. Then I moved her to the couch.

All night, I was upset. I didn’t think I had given her enough to get that wasted, and then I felt bad. What if she had alcohol poisoning? I couldn’t exactly call my dad and say, hey, could you look at your granddaughter and tell me she’s still breathing? Because, heh, heh, she was drunk last night. And what if she did have alcohol poisoning? How could I ever live that one down?

At four a.m., I woke up in a start. I heard my daughter call my name, but she was three miles from me. Then I rubbed my eyes and went to the bathroom. I came back to bed, my skin burning as if I were on fire. “I’m going to hell,” I thought. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I went online and wrote my previous post.

At a decent hour, I called my daughter and she amazingly answered her cell phone. The level of relief felt was indescribable. I collected her a few minutes later, and we went to breakfast. This is where she confessed that her cousin had given her even more to drink.

The weird thing is that as she was describing her night, she said she awoke right at 4 a.m. and went to the bathroom. After that, she went back to the couch, where she felt so hot, she thought she was on fire.

The rest of the story later.