Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Huxtables

I think that every father from my generation wants to be Heathcliff Huxtable. For those who don't know, Cliff Huxtable was the father on TV's The Cosby Show played by none other than Bill Cosby himself. I'm no exception. I'm always looking to have a great teaching moment with my own personal Theo's, Rudy's and Vanessa's.

Tonight for example I thought that I would use the spirit of Christmas to motivate my younger daughter, who is 4 years old to do her chores. I told her, "Hey, Sweetheart. You need to come over here and pick up your books and toys or Santa might put you on the Naughty List!" She walked across the room and after standing around for about 3 seconds she started to walk away. Hmmm.... Maybe she didn't understand... "Hey Honey, I saw you walked over here but you didn't pick anything up. Now come back here and pick up or you'll wind up on the Naughty List."

... Nothing... She just kept walking....

"Baby Girl... You need to come and do this right now or you're on the Naughty List."


"That's it... I guess you're on the Naughty List now."



Without looking up she replied her most matter-of-fact tone, "Ok, I'm on the Naughty List. Thanks for the news."

So maybe that wasn't my proudest parenting moment. Later in the same night we went to church to see a large exhibit of Nativity scenes from around the world. On the way home my little Naughty-Lister (She is still on it by the way) pointed up the hill by our house and said that she wanted me to drive up to the houses so we could see the Christmas lights. Her big sister, age 5, wasted no time sharing her stance on the proposal with a nasty strain of whines. Absolutely zero interest. So I decide to reprise my roll as Dr. Huxtable. I pulled over to the side of the road.

"Alrighty then, Love. You don't have to ride with us to see the lights. I'm just going to drop you off here by the side of the road and we will come back to pick you up. OH NO! you didn't wear a coat tonight! That's too bad because it's 30 degrees and really dark out there. OK, hop out so we can go see the lights."

She unclicked her seatbelt. Hmmmm....

"Ummmm. What are you doing?"

"I'm getting out Dad."

"I said its freezing cold out there and its dark and we are driving away."

"So can I just walk home then Dad?"

"No... you just have to wait here in this really cold, dark spot by yourself, ok?"

She hopped out and shut the door. Watching her in my mirrors I started to drive away very slowly. I turned up toward the hill on the other side of the street and watched her standing there waiting patiently for us to return. I rolled down the window and was shocked at how cold it was. I beckoned her across the street. She jogged over to the car.

"Ok get in the car."

"No, I don't want to go see the lights."

"Well we can't just leave you here because you'll wind up in a foster home and Mommy & Daddy will go to prison."

"I'll walk behind the car."

"Fine then I'll just drive behind you."

She then proceeded to stroll up the steep hill past decorated houses. I saw our pediatrician's house coming up and silently hoped that she would either get in the car or break into a big of a jog. But she just kept walking. About half way up the hill a dog came running out of a yard barking and started to chase her.



She just strode casually past the dog. At the top of the hill I had to come to grips with the facts.

FACT #1) The Cosby show has been of the air for decades.
FACT #2) There is only one Heathcliff Huxtable.
FACT #3) The problem with my kids is that they are smart, confident and determined.
FACT #4) FACT #3 isn't really a problem.... it's they way I'm trying to raise my kids to be.

I guess when all is said and done my little bits of creative parenting didn't wind up making them succumb to my awesome powers of fatherhood. The toys didn't get cleaned up and we didn't all ride together to see the lights. I just take comfort in the fact that I'm raising daughters who don't take crap from anybody, including me.

Maybe next time I'll try to bribe them with some Jello Puddin' Pops... They still make those right?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Punishment of Punishments

This post is a tribute to my beautiful mother: Beverly Young.  She passed away one week ago on July 27th.  Mom did wonderful things for us kids from teaching us to make believe and dream big to making lunch for school.  Sometimes, however, she had discipline us.  This is my story.....

My parents weren't grounders.  There were no time-outs.  Those benign forms of punishment didn't really phase us.  We liked spending time at home and frankly my parents saw keeping us at home when we were being annoying as a punishment for themselves.  So they became spankers.  Say all of the bad stuff you want about spanking you tree-hugging hippy, a good whipping communicated with me in ways that your hand holding, super nanny ways never could.  See I have a hard-wired booty-brain connection that helped me to develop a moral compass.  Although my Dad is an imposing figure 6 foot plus and 220 plus, it was Mom you didn't want to spank you.  Dad would get you once or twice with the belt and you could keep your jeans or football pants or whatever on.  Take the licks, fake some tears and listen to the lecture that followed and you could go about your business.  

Mom was a different story.  We called her "Metal Arm".  It was bare-bottom hand-to-butt combat.  Mom would spank you until she got tired.  She would spank you until you got the message.  There was no after spanking lecture because you always got the message.  For all I know the woman may have spanked a few years off of my life.  You would just hold on and pray that she would hit both cheeks otherwise you might walk in a circle for about a month from being lopsided.  Once I fought with all my might to hold back the tears so that I could show her that she wasn't so tough... but you know what?  She WAS that tough.  She was across the room, easily 20 feet away.  I was at the door with my hand on the knob.  I waited until there was maximum distance between me and her to shrug my shoulders and say "That didn't hurt".  All I know is that I never made it out the door and she addressed my "concern".

I value these spankings greatly because they taught me that I could do whatever I wanted to but that there had to be consequences.  Please don't interpret any of what I have written to mean that Mom was in any way a cruel woman.  No the cruelty came when she discovered the ultimate form of punishment.  I once attempted to call the Department of Health and Human Services in hopes that they would intervene.  They just laughed at me.  That's what made this form of punishment so devastating.... nobody would or could rescue you.

When we would start to fight Mom would come into the middle of the room and command us all to get on our knees.  Once we had all knelt down she too would kneel..... and begin to pray.  The prayer would go something like this:

Father in Heaven, I kneel before you at this time to apologize for the fact that my children are poorly behaved.  Please forgive me for any part I may have had in them turning out to be so contentious.  I tried Heavenly Father.  I honestly tried.  I took vitamins while I was pregnant with them.  I tried to give them love but they just seem to want to fight and be mean.

The prayer would last for about one hour like this.  By the time she finished none of us could walk because either our knees were too numb or our legs would not unfold from under us.  This punishment would spill over into the next few prayers too.  Morning prayer, Evening prayer, even prayers over meals would be no shorter than 20 minutes.  After a while we developed a plan whereby one of us would volunteer to pray and offer a much shorter but still reasonable 1-2 minute prayer.  After "Amens" Mom would smile, thank whoever had prayed, and the say "Now it's my turn".  It wasn't fair.  It's one thing to fight with your sister.  Its another to defy Mom and her chosen form of discipline, but when you're afraid that God might strike you with lightning when you try to escape there is no escape.

So what do I do with my girls?  I mostly yell, we do some time-outs and the rare spanking.  I'm saving the punishment of punishments, the method Mom invented and perfected.  I'm just waiting until one of the girls shows up with some boy.

But in the end Mom's methods worked.  She raised 5 children and all of them have received great educations, none of us have ever done drugs, had a child out of wedlock, gone to jail or voted for Ralph Nader.  Thanks Mom.  Rest well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tahoe?? Tah-NO!

Recently in an attempt to rescue my wife from a life of being a "mini-van mom" we traded in the old Honda Odessy and purchased an almost new red Chevy Tahoe. It's beautiful. 5,200 lbs of American metal and miles and miles of wires. From the DVD player (AKA child silencer) to the seat heaters (bun toasters) we never could have imagined having a car this nice. Power trunk, automatic folding seats, wireless headphones... I can even hear the little computer inside it booting up whenever the door is opened. In all honesty I am sometimes a little bit disappointed when the car doesn't talk back to me like on Knight Rider. I never thought that we would own a vehicle where we would have to coax the girls to get out after a ride with candy and college funds.

The other day we had quite a bit of running around to do. While Mandy and the girls sat in the car and watched a movie I would run into this place for 5 minutes and that place for 2 minutes. We had to make a 20 minute stop at the home of a woman who is making some illustrations for my clinic. Afterward I jumped into the driver's seat, pushed the button to automatically adjust the seat to my comfort, and that's about where the nightmare began. I turned my key in the ignition and all of the sudden it's " click click....". It was the sound of my heart dying. MY CAR! MY BEAUTIFUL CAR! All the lights went dim. The DVD player ground to a halt, the satellite radio cut off, systems errors started to flash on the dash: "Stabilitrack Disabled," "Park Assist Disabled," "Check Battery, "HELP ME JASON I'M DYING!"

The whole family was dumb founded. "I think our battery is dead," I said. This was met with cries of disbelief, sorrow, and incredulity. "No seriously, I think that we have run down the battery." Mandy asked how that was possible. Granted, there are about a million and three electrical devices in the car and we use just about all of them. I guess it would have been more reasonable to ask how it hadn't happened sooner but given all of the other bells and whistles we thought that instead of a standard car battery that there would be a miniature nuclear reactor or something like that under the hood to meet the energy needs.

I told the family not to panic, I would go back to the house and ask if they could give us a jump start. I tried to open my door: nothing. Oh NO! The power locks were broken! WE'RE TRAPPED! I started to hyperventilate. I couldn't even roll down the power windows or open the power sunroof to crawl out. How much oxygen was in this thing and how long would it take us to run out? "EVERYBODY BREATHE SLOWLY. TRY TO CONSERVE THE AIR." Mandy, who was obviously consuming plenty of oxygen was quick to point out that the manual locks still worked. After escaping from the disabled vehicle Mandy and the girls went into the house to visit while the man of the house and I embarked on the simple task of jumping the Tahoe.

My jumper cables were in the trunk. Without thinking I hit the button on my key ring that would typically cause it to open slowly using an automated system. But of course I forgot that there was no power so that didn't work. I tried the handle but instead of a latch there is just a button that you push to activate the automatic door. Useless. Now I felt just as locked out as I had felt locked in a moment earlier. Obvious answers weren't coming to me quickly in this paniced state. It took a full 3 or 4 minutes before I realized that I could just crawl into the back of the SUV from the inside and get the jumper cables (operating completely by feel since the lights back there no longer worked).

Fortunately the manufacturers had the foresight to make the hood mechanism completely manual otherwise it would have warranted its own paragraph. Once we got under the hood the sight was amazing. Everything under the hook was emaculate, organized, and impressive. It was what you might expect to see when you pop the hood on the starship Enterprise (that's Star Trek for you non-nerds out there). We quickly found what we assumed was the battery. It was a box about the size of a battery and there were thick electrical cables coming out of it. We opened the cover on the box only to find a bunch of labeled fuses: Lights, Stereo, Mirrors, Wash/Dryer, DVD Player, Rotissere Grill, Windshiled Wipers, Time Travel, Etc. After spending 15 minutes trying to figure out how in the world to replace the cover on the "fake" battery we searched the other side of the car for the real one. When we found it I was pleased to see that it was set up special for jumping. (Apparently other people have had this problem before). There was a bright red box that when opened had a perfect spot for hooking up the positive lead of the jumper cable. This was too easy! There had to be, and there was, a catch. If you know anything about electricity you know that you need to have a positive and a negative to complete the circuit. In this case and metal part of the car would have done. Our problem? To keep the engine area so emaculate and clean just about every piece of metal in there have been coated with this plastic like substance, completely insulating it. It only took about 20 minutes in the dark to find a piece of metal that would get the job done.

The whole experience made me grateful for simple things in our lives like butter churns and manual washing machines. Now I see the wisdom of the manual can opener, potato powered shortwave radios and checkers rather than the Xbox 360. Technology has made me soft and a little bit stupid. I'm going to start doing things a little more old fashioned from now on (I vow on my electronic journal via the information super highway). Tomorrow morning, I'm not even going to press that button on my power toothbrush, I'm going to do it like the Amish instead.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

20 Questions

I bet you thought you'd never hear from me again... And given that thought this latest entry is so appropriate.

I was out to eat with my family last night at Applebee's. My two little girls, though adorable, can become like nails to a chalkboard when they get even a little bit bored. Tonight was especially bad and out of the corner of my eye I could see my wife who was wearing an expression like she was about to jump up on our table and auction the girls of to the FIRST bidder (not even necessarily the highest). For the sake of keeping our sanity and out of prision, I decided that I would teach my little darlings, Taylor (3) and Rilee (2) a fun game: 20 questions.

"Girls," I said. "We're going to play a fun game where you get to ask Daddy a lot of questions. I'm going to pick one thing on the table and then you can ask me 'yes' or 'no' questions to find out what it is. You can ask questions like, 'Is it red?'"

Taylor: "Is it red Daddy?"

Me: "Uh... Well... wait for the game to start but yes, it is red."

I continued explaining the rules and we were off to a great start. By the end of the 8th question they had established, largely through Taylor's guesses, that the object was indeed red and sitting on the table where we were seated. Then Rilee took over with a line of questioning that would rival the late Johnny Cochrane (of OJ Simpson fame... "If it don't fit you must acquit"). It went like this:

Me: Ok Girls so you know that it is red and on the table.

Rilee (pointing to a red drink on the menu): It is that drink Daddy?

Me: No

Rilee (Pointing at the brown talbe): Is it.... the table?!?!

Me: Nope, Rilee I said it is red.

Rilee (Pointing at the window): Is it that?

Me: No.

Rilee (Pointing to a painting on the wall): Is it that?

Me: No.

Rilee (pointing to the white ceiling): Is it that?

Me: No.

This continued with Rilee rattling off questions like a machine gun. Fork? Spoon? Salt Shaker? Waitress? Needless to say they lost.

We finished our meal and we were trying to coax the girls from under the table so that we could pack up and go home. When we finally got them up we noticed that there was a lady standing at our table with a newborn and smiling at us. Oh crap.... I know this lady, or I should because she is certainly looking like she recognizes us. You see, Mandy and I are easy to spot in a crowd and we tend to stick out in people's memories. She thinks its because we are a bi-racial couple. I think its because I'm so handsome and fun. Anyway. I can tell it's game on.

Lady: Hey you two! We thought that we recognized you sitting over here. How have you been?

I look at Mandy who looks at me and neither of us is registering a name at this point. Is it a social taboo to demand to see the driver's license of anybody who strikes up a conversation that you have only met once or haven't see in the past 2 years?

Mandy (Question #1): We're good how about you?

Lady: Oh we're doing just fine we just are finishing up dinner. (That's no help)

Me (Question #2): I'm surprised that you guys remember us what are the chances of that?

Lady: Well "Bob" (name change) spotted you and so I thought that I'd come over and say "hi". How have you been doing?

Mandy (Question #3): We're doing great. We just moved back to the area after being gone for a few years. Are you guys living around here?

Lady: No we're up in Independence now. Where did you guys move from?

(AHA! Obviously not friends from Portland.... Good one Mandy.)

Me (Question #4): Oh we were up in Portland for Chiropractic School and I just opened a clinic down here. What's the last 4 digits of your social?

Lady: That's right I heard that you are a chiropractor now. I was just talking with some friends about how wierd it would be to have a friend of yours as you doctor. You know because they would have to see you naked and all.

Mandy (Question #5): What kind of clinic do you think we're running?!? Who are we going to be seeing naked?

(Not a great one for the game but yeah... what kind of clinic does she think we're running?)

Lady: Oh well I just meant for massages and stuff. So are you liking it?

Me (Question #6): Yeah... loving it. Look, who are some of the old friends that we have in common like....

Lady: We see "Betty" all the time. She said she'd never come see you either. Are these your girls?

Mandy (Question #7): Yep those are our two princesses. Now how many do you have?

Lady: 4 now.

Me (Question #8): And how many did you have last time we saw you?

Lady: What?

Mandy (Question #9): Yeah good question. When we saw you last did you have a child and if so how old?

Lady: Uh.... I don't know.

Jason (Question #10): Are you bigger than a bread box?

Lady: A what?

Mandy (Question #11): A bread box. You know where you keep bread. Just answer the question are you bigger than a bread box and are you somebody we would see on a daily basis?

Lady: You're making me nervous and scaring my baby.

Jason (Question #12): Animal, Mineral or vegetable huh? COME ON! ANIMAL, MINERAL, OR VEGETABLE!!!

At this point she turned to her husband and yelled, "HONEY START THE CAR! THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE YOUNGS"

Bad news is that at this point she left with all four of her kids crying. Good news is that we ended up winning the game. If you're reading this now I want you to know that we remember you now. I'm sorry that we strung you along for a while but we remember you and your husband and now that we do it was good to see you! Technically you shouldn't feel bad that we didn't remember you right off the bat since you didn't even answer the last couple questions and we had about 8 left.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's in a Nickname?

One of the best things about me is my name. First of all Jason is not an easy name to make fun of. Aside from an occasional dorky remark (and I've heard them all) every Friday the 13th, what are you going to call me? Basin? Mason? Quason or some other nonsense? Its much better than a guy I saw on Monday night football. He's a wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts... Craphonso Thorpe. That's not a typo that's Crap-honso. Let your imagination go wild and somebody please slap his momma.

My middle name is Jamaal. I always thought that was an exceptionally cool name. In fact in highschool I tried going by Jamaal a few times. It was just interesting and a wee bit "blacker" if you know what I mean. But you know that first day of class when the teacher calls off the roll and asks what you want to be called? I would always forget that I was Jamaal and not Jason. So that's how I missed out on a career in Rap music. When you put it all together the name Jason means "Healer". Jamaal means "Handsome". So literally, my name means Young handsome doctor. Look at me now!

But I do have other names. My family calls me "JJ" short for Jason Jamaal. My dad and sisters call me "Jase-a-Face" or "Face" for short. And partially as a by-product of this blog's title, others will call me "Jay" from time to time. I still like the name Jason the best. I do have one nickname that you will NEVER hear from me. Don't ask my wife; don't ask my family. They know that they will forever be cut off from free adjustments if they utter it. Trust me... that is a price that is too high for the risk. The name will henceforth be refered to in print as Jay-!@#%*. That isn't actual profanity but to me it is. Don't try to extrapolate or read into what it possibly could be. It's a string of nonsensical words developed by my mom back when artificial sweeteners were still experimental. The bottomline is leave it alone.

Aren't nicknames a wierd phenomenon? I can understand some of them. For instance if you were Homer and Marge Simpson you would naturally call little Bartholemew, Bart because it is so much easier to yell. Others are completely understandable. A buddy of mine had a girl at his highschool who was nicknamed "Big Boobs McGee". 'Nuff said. Yet there is a whole class of nicknames that make no sense at all. Specifically, I'm talking about names that save you no time and aren't practical in the way that Miss McGee's name was.

I'm guilty as well. We call our little girl Taylor "Tay-Tay" or "T-Marie". Rilee to us is "Rizzle-Roo", "Rizzle", or "Riles". When she was a baby she had a lot of tummy troubles and I would sleep with her every night on the couch. We got to be close that way at a time in my life that I didn't have very much time for my children. So I called her "Bud" because she was my little buddy. Now I'm trying out "Rudy" because she's so spunky and I think that Rudy is a spunky name. If you don't think so please refer to Rudy Huxtable of the Cosby Show or that movie with Samwise playing football for Notre Dame.

Here is what I think its all about. Nicknames can be more descriptive of us than our real names (with the obvious exeception of Jay-$#@!%). We're not one of those crazy Hippy couples who waits until our kid is 3 years old to let them pick their own name. That's how you get people name Zippy Featherpickle or Gooby. The names we choose for our children embody the hopes we have for their future. When we have a son we will name him Lincoln because it seems like a noble and respectable name with a cool nickname - "Link". We would not name our child Chester which flows all to easily with "the Molestor". But nicknames are how we feel about some one - good or bad. If your name is Robert but you're a boring Robert your name is Bob. If you're a fun Robert you're a Bobby or Robby. If you're a cool Robert you're name is Rob. If your a doofus your name is Bobert.

I guess there's one other thing thats great about nicknames. When it's not going on a birth certificate or drivers license you don't need your spouses permission to call your child Miss Cleopatra Pickypants of the North Farcrumpia Shickleshank Clan. (A name I'm looking at trying out on Taylor in the near future.)


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Couple Dating

Whenever you get married you tend to think that this is the end of your dating career, right? I know I did. My wife Mandy is very special to me. We met playing volleyball and if you've ever played sports with me you know that my favorite part of any game is the trash talk. I am of the opinion that any sport would be greatly enhanced by adding bonus points for quick wits rather than just quick reflexes. But this was the second thing that made me fall in love with Mandy (#1 was her smile of course). While she rarely hit a ball I sent over the net she was quick to return every taunt I sent her way. So after only two years I was able to talk her into marrying me. And that should have been it right? WRONG.

Little did I know, the fun had just started. We quickly entered the world of Team Dating. If you're married you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're single this is what you have to look forward to. But Team Dating is real. I'm not talking about anything freaky. Keep reading and I'll illustrate the point.

The first couple we ever dated we'll call: "The Smiths". Nevermind the fact that this was actually their names. They lived in our apartment complex just after we got married and we got along really well. Just about every night we would have dinner or play games or something fun. If we had some extra food we'd call the Smiths and when they made some dessert they'd call us. Something good happen? Call the Smiths. Need somebody you could trust? Call the Smiths. It was a great relationship. That is until a new couple from Hawaii moved into the complex.

It all began innocently enough. They were new in town and didn't know anybody. The power had just gone out in our complex and it was snowy outside. One thing led to another and before we knew it we all ended up going to the movies together. We found that we really liked this new couple. Not that we didn't like the Smiths any more, this new couple was just different and that was exciting. Pretty soon we would have them over every other night to play board games or have dessert and talk. Each time they came by we could draw the blinds or turn off the ringer to the phone. We were having fun with our new friends but neither Mandy nor I could shake the deep feeling of shame that came with each activity. Let's call a spade a spade.... We were cheating on the Smiths. Of course they caught us eventually. But imagine our suprise when we discovered that the Smiths had been cheating on US with the Hawaiian couple. THOSE TRAMPS!

Now once you have children you can no longer just date couples anymore. You now have to date whole families. It just can't really workout between you and a couple without children. Everytime they want to go to the movies it costs you twice as much because you have to pay for a sitter. Although they claim to, they can't really appreciate the destructive force of children in the home and why there are always toys in the floor. Trust me, we've tried. Ususally it is the couple that will break up with the family. Let's face it, after a few kids it's just hard to be "sexy" anymore.

We are dating a nice family now. Our kids play great together. We exchange meals four times a week. Guess who snapped the picture of us on our family blog... That's right it's the family we're dating. Most nights after all of the kids are in bed, the couple will come over and we play Mario Party 8 on the Wii. Sure we get together with other families but that's not "going steady". It's a really good relationship and I think it will be for quite a while.... that is unless some sleazy family from another tropical island moves in.

*** Note: We love all of our friends.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bunco Debacle

Maybe you've heard of Bunco maybe you haven't. This entry isn't really about Bunco but that is the context in which my little tale will take place. Just so you know though, Bunco is a social game based on the rolling of dice to achieve certain roll values. Basically, its craps for Mormons. It's a wild good time where everybody does a lot of yelling and screaming and cursing at dice that won't do what you want them to do.

A few months back my wife was invited to join a group of stay-at-home-moms to be in a sort of Bunco "club". I just got a really great idea...I'm going to change the names of the parties involved not really to protect the innocent but because I think it will be fun. Don't read anything into the names I choose... please.... I can just see somebody freaking out thinking that I chose some name to be mean or tricky or something. I'm just chosing them because I get to. If you don't believe me then read somebody elses blog. Ok enough about the disclaimer.....

Anyway.... So "Paris Hilton" invited my wife to join this little Bunco club. I thought it was a great idea because it would give her a night away from the kids and a chance to hang out with other adults such as "Lindsay Lohan", "Britney Spears", and "Raven from 'That's So Raven'". (See how fun that is to use pretend names?) The first time a dozen of them got together, had a nice dinner, played some Bunco, gossiped, and exchanged tips for punishing kids. Mandy came home super late but had a great time. I thought this was going to be a beautiful thing. We even had it at our house once.

Well last night they played again and it was hosted by none other than "Hillary Clinton" who prepared a wonderful burrito bar for the ladies to enjoy. There was a record 18 women in attendance! At the end of the evening "Oprah" opened a can of worms. She brought up the cost of providing dinner for 18 people and wondered if instead she could provide desserts or appetizers when she hosted the next month's gathering. B I G M I S T A K E ! ! ! Suddenly the women began to do what the women do best. They created some serious drama. "The Obama Girl" said it wouldn't be fair if a full meal wasn't provided because everybody else had broken of about $100 for food when they hosted the event. Paris and Lindsey agreed. Oprah sent out an e-mail sent out an email to everybody to get their opinion. Some of the ladies like "Pink", "Jessica Simpson" and "RuPaul" didn't think that the dinner thing was such a big deal. "Cher" suggested that everybody pitch in or donate some money to the hostess. "Ally McBeal" was adamant that she wasn't going to pay somebody to cook for her. Paris insisted that everybody had agreed to take a turn and as such they women were bound and obligated to feed those original 12 and then the group could renegotiate how food was handled......

Do you see how obsurd this is? I thought the whole point was to get together, roll dice, and gossip. Food is just something you do because you're not some jerk and you know how to entertain guests. But it isn't the whole point of getting togehter. If this were guys getting together and "Denzel Washington" (Ok that one is actually me) decided that he wasn't going to serve pizza when the boys came over to play Madden '08, "Tom Cruise" wouldn't jump on the couch and start screaming about how much he loved pizza and whine about how this wasn't fair. Why? Because guys understand that the purpose of the gathering is to get away from the kids for a while, not to act like them. If the guys wanted to eat pizza that bad they would just tell "Denzel" that he sucked and then reset the game anytime he was about to score a touchdown for the rest of the night.
These ladies are acting like they are in some sort of professional Bunco league or something. What Commisioner? Are you going to fine whoever doesn't follow the league rules $250,000 and take away a Bunco draft pick next season? Will they also have to serve a 3 Bunco night suspension for not preparing cocktail weenies? If they only spend $98 on dinner instead of the $100 everybody else spent will any Bunco records they set forever have a dreaded * next to them in the history books? I'd hate to see what the WBL (Wive's Bunco League) hands down as punishment for performance enhancing drugs! (Welcome to Bunco night please pee in this cup before the opening roll).
Enough mockery. Bottom line ladies. Six-sided dice? They are easy to come by. I've even got a few of my own. Good friends? Child free moments? A good excuse to not wear sweat pants all day? SO much harder to come by. Don't you spend enough time fighting with your kids about food all day? Do you really need to do this with your friends? Life isn't fair... but you know that. Friends shouldn't run tabs with each other; it's your friend for crying out loud!
Here is the simple solution..... (I know because this is how guys would handle it).
LEAVE IT UP TO THE HOST. If she wants to provide food. Great! Otherwise.... GREAT! She's still your friend. You can still have a good time. If you're worried about your tummy rumbling bring your own snack big girl. (Not 'big' meaning fat but 'big' meaning... oh nevermind). Otherwise you can come play Madden with me and the boys. It's "Spiderman's" turn to bring the pizza this week. And he better or we'll tell his wife he's not really at the library studying.