Plenty of Teen Angst, Damn It

Ms. Mini-Demonic thinks she is 17 going on 25. There are some days when I can see that in her; however, there are far more days when I see her as 17 going on 12. She is very comely; nice hourglass shape (which I’ve never had), long thick hair and long legs (also accoutrements that I don’t possess). We resemble each other in the face, but don’t tell that to her, or she will run off screaming hysterically.

Ms. Mini-Demonic has a two-part dream. It’s a dream that reaches far beyond what I would wish for her. The first part of the dream is that she wants to become a psychiatrist. Not a psychologist, but a bona fide head-shrinking doctor. Ms. Mini-D suffers from dyslexia and ADD and her grades in high school haven’t exactly been stellar as a result. She’s having a difficult time getting into college, but did get the nod from three schools so far, two in our state and one in California. There are three other schools in California that she hasn’t heard from yet. Oh, that’s the second part of the dream. Mini-D wants to live in California, SoCal, to be exact.

Mini-D has been dating a very nice boy for almost a year. He seemed like such a nice boy that I hired him to work for us. I paid him $2 an hour more than what he was getting at the grocery store he was working at, and thought he could use the office/customer service experience on his resume. I thought he was a very nice boy until just recently. While I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago, I learned they had broken up. Both were very hush-mouthed about the entire thing.

My first thought was that Mini-D was responsible for the break-up. Sure, she can be happy, upbeat and personable, but she can also be caustic, moody and mean. (I think she takes after me.) The day I came home from the Left Coast, they were in negotiations in our upstairs spare bedroom. I tried to pump her for information, but she didn’t want to divulge. The next day was his birthday, and she treated him to dinner. This was a surprise to us after all the crying that was going on the night before. Mini-D explained that it was a mini-break up, in preparation for her leaving for California this summer.

All has been hunky-dory until a few days ago, when her school had their winter break which doesn’t coincide with his school’s winter break. She spent time with her girlfriends, who she had sadly been neglecting, and her flute, which she had also been sadly neglecting.

The Boyfriend called into work on Wednesday, which wasn’t a big deal. Except my daughter, Ms. Mini-D, came home from her flute lesson begging me to fire him for leaving us in the lurch. I couldn’t understand her vitriol, but stayed out of it. The next day, I received our company cell phone bill. Her number was 866 text messages over her limit, but considering that the time in question was during that break up weekend and 679 of them were from him, I told her I would split the difference. Later that day, she and her friend informed me that the night before he texted her 30 times in an hour, with the same five letter derogatory word. It appears that he flipped out over her winter break re-association with her high school chums.

Thursday, he showed up to work but feigned sickness and left.

This scenario leaves me with many problems.

1. I liked the kid, but I certainly can’t stay on his side if he’s texting my daughter the five-letter derogatory word.

2. I need the kid to work here, to show up daily. Sure, he’s just a part time high school kid, but Mr. Demonic impressed upon him during the interview process that we expected him to do a good job no matter what the relationship was between the two of them. I also had big plans for him, maybe kicking him up to a more full-time position once he entered the local college.

3. This puts an incredible strain on me, because if he doesn’t show up, I must. If he quits, that’s even worse. It will mean training someone else, and that takes time. This also may put a damper on our spring break plans, which was to go back to the Left Coast to check out the potential colleges.

4. On the other hand, I don’t like the stalker-immature-weirdo-flakiness of the entire situation.

Damn. I’m going to have to take an aspirin or two now. Or maybe a margarita.

A Case of Very Mistaken Identity

My tiny little kitten, the one we rescued from the animal shelter, has grown into a sleek but large kittycat. While we love darling little tuxedoed Kitty, all of us in the family have grown weary of being the scratching post for the animal’s long claws. Since Kitty is going to be an exclusively indoor cat, it was time to take her in for some declawing and spay.

I have two cardboard carrying cases with which to transport my little beast. Kitty must have sensed something was going to happen, because instead of climbing up my leg yesterday morning, as is her normal agenda, she was hiding. I went through the house calling her name, trying to get her to show herself. After ten unsuccessful minutes, I thought I might have to reschedule my vet appointment. Kitty, meanwhile, was stalking me as I was looking for her. She jumped out at me from behind a chair, and I almost fell over on her.

Soon enough, I captured poor Kitty and wrestled her into the larger cardboard carrier. Then I went to put my coat and boots on (it had only snowed six inches the night before). In that brief time, Kitty managed to chew a hole into the side of the box and made her escape. This led to another cat-and-mouse game where I looked for her (again) all over the house, unsuccessfully, I might add. After climbing two flights of stairs several times (with my coat on),  I was whipped. I sank into the chair again, and waited for Kitty to come out. She did, and with gusto. She tried to bite my foot. This time I lassoed her and put her into the smaller cardboard box. Although the box left little room for her to turn around, that aspect of it was a good thing in my eyes.

The vet is only a few blocks away, but Kitty managed to howl the entire time, even though I was trying to comfort her with my words. “There, there, Kitty… It’s not so bad! Please stop crying…” When I stopped the car, she stopped. Since there was a massive snowfall and it was a snow day, only one person was there at the vet’s office to open up. I bounded through the drifts of the unplowed lot, Kitty bouncing right along with me in her little shoebox of a crate.

Another patient, a big black Lab, entered at the same time, full of fun and loud barking. I freed the top of the box so Kitty could look out, but she stayed inside. Soon we were in an examining room, where I let Kitty out. Her back hair was sticking straight up and her tail was as big around as a corn dog. She was scared. I bid goodbye after going through the list of things they were going to do to her: blood tests, fecal swab, shots, and finally declaw and spay. Kitty was to be picked up on Saturday, and they would call after the surgery to let me know how it went.

Yesterday afternoon, the vet’s office called with good news and bad news. The good news was that Kitty had made it through the surgery just fine. The bad news is that Kitty is not a “she” but a “he.”

How this terrible mistake could have been made is beyond me. True, we didn’t know Kitty’s gender when we sprang him from animal control back in November, but Kitty has had not one but two visits to the vet since then. The doctor looked at him both times. Why didn’t she notice that Kitty was a boycat?

This leads to a big problem. We’ve been referring to Kitty with a girl’s name. Now we’re going to have to figure out a more masculine name for our little tuxedoed dude.

I hope he doesn’t suffer long term from this case of gender confusion.