Sunday, February 8, 2015

progeny

First off, why haven't any of you mentioned how terrific Liane Moriarty is? I'm almost done with Big Little Lies and I want to read everything she's written now.
Big Little Lies
Read this right now.  Skip reading the rest of this post and go read this funny, brilliant book!
Still reading this post?  I'll try not to disappoint.  I'll share a heartwarming tale of a mother and son.  I've been spending a lot of time with Mr. T lately.  He's not wrestling or playing basketball, basically he goes to school and then comes home.  He's not terribly interested in a social life after the last bell of the day, and he's okay with that.  (I've asked around, this is apparently pretty normal for boys his age.)  I take him out to practice his driving.  He goes grocery shopping with me. Sometimes he gets on my very last nerve (mostly because I need my alone time and lately I haven't had hardly any), but generally we get along well.  We talk about school, politics, Dr. Who, gadgets, music, books, and nothing in particular.

This weekend he tagged along when I brought Mr. B to his basketball tournament. We spent a mind-numbing evening bored out of our wits together watching really bad basketball.  I love my kid, but it was one of those painful days as a  mom in the bleachers. Plus I was a little crabby.

Anyway, Mr. T and I sniped a bit back and forth, sometimes the very reason he gets on my last nerve is because he is exactly like me. Argumentative, quick to argue, a bit of a know-it-all.

Between games we sat at a table in the high school cafeteria chewing on walking tacos and this woman walked past with frosted eighties hair that looked like this, except without the mullet back and with even MORE Aqua Net holding it vertical:


Her hair was this big.  Even bigger. 
Actually this is more like it. Only frosted blonde.

We simultaneously gawked and snickered.

It's a splendid thing to realize your kid carries your traits.

Today he accompanied me on a mission to the mall.  I never, ever go to the mall.  It couldn't be helped, however.  I had to purchase a birthday gift certificate, a pot of age-defying moisturizer only sold at Sephora (damn you, Sephora, you and your irresistible promises of beauty and smooth, line-free skin) and the monthly necessities from Target.  The only way to do this efficiently was to shop at mall. Ugh. Once a year. Ugh.

As we parked and entered, Mr. T remarked that this was only his second trip to the mall.  No, you've been here before as a baby, I reminded him.  I waited to see how he'd react to it.  The previous trip he remembered was over Christmas, shopping with his dad.  Would he be impressed?  Want to shop at The Buckle for new jeans? Ask to venture further in, past Sephora, into wings of the mall he'd never explored? I had a vision of him asking me to drive him back to the mall next weekend, to hang out with other teenaged friends wearing skinny jeans and apathetic stares.  Maybe he'd be smitten by the glamor of working at Brookstone, surrounded by gadgets (he never met a gadget or gizmo he didn't love).  The kid does have a knack for sales.  I really, really hoped he didn't like the mall very much, but I determined to keep that opinion to myself.

We walked past the stores, our eyes assaulted by light and color.  I made a single snide remark about my senses being overstimulated. He was silent as we were suddenly assaulted by the cloud of perfume wafting out of Hollister. Gasping for fresh air, we advanced another hundred feet, only to be hit by the fruity-flowery attack of Bath & Body Works.  By the time we reached Sephora, Mr. T expressed concern that he might suffocate.  Are we ready to leave yet, he asked.

I hurriedly purchased the vital anti-aging face cream and we beat our retreat towards Target.  Are you sure you don't want to stop anywhere and get anything? No, I do not like the mall, my son said decisively.  My heart swelled with pride.  I hate that there's no windows.  I could never work here, I confided. It's worse than at school, he agreed.  I'm in one room all day that has windows.  But the smells.  Yes, the smells.  And the people. It's all so wasteful and pointless. There's nothing you even need here.

Anti-aging moisturizer.  For old skin, I pointed out, holding up the box in my right hand.  Well, yes, he agreed, and your skin is old. But besides that, there's like no reason to be here.

Ah, my son. You're turning out wonderful.  You're turning out to be just like me.

13 comments:

  1. Oh, I understand, the crush of people in a big box like a mall is suffocating indeed. Fun to read this, a great look at parent and child!

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  2. I'm glad you're getting some one-on-one time with Mr. T, even if it is a bit too much sometimes. The chances for such time is fleeting, as I know you know.

    My visits to the mall are rare. I don't usually mind going, except when my daughter wants to go hang out with her friend and I just have to stay and kill time. I really don't like going then. Fortunately, that happens very, very rarely. Thank heavens for soccer! She just doesn't have that much time to go.

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  3. I've had a very similar experience with Edie at the mall - right down to the "you were here as a baby".
    I know all too well the need for just a little bit of space from velcro kid. We definitely have those phases. I do miss them when they are gone.

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  4. This sounds a lot lot my older girl and me. So much alike that we definitely fray each other's nerves at times.

    Also, both of my girls are like T socially -- eager to get home after school and just be alone in their heads for a while.

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  5. You will love all of her other books. I did the same once I read one, I immediately found and read all the others. Start with What Alice Forgot.

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  6. I very much like Mr. T. You've raised him right, no doubt :-) The Mall stores, especially the ones for young people, like Hot Topic, just scare the bejeezus out of me. And the Bath and Body Works stores! OMG, talk about gagging on smell. Someone once gifted me some little soaps from there --even a ziploc baggy couldn't keep the smell from permeating the whole house.

    I love Liane Moriarty. I've read everything she's written --I love that the books are set in Australia too, just because they are places I've heard of but never really explored. I think Big Little Lies is her best so far, and it tackles a more serious subject than any of her previous books. However, they are all fantastic reads. I wish I still had them all ahead of me!

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  7. You took a male teen to Sephora? You are brave.

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  8. Love love love Moriarty! Discovered her books last winter. I just mailed a few of them to a good friend for her 40th birthday present :-)

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  9. What? I have mentioned her many times and recommended her books too. I have done two reviews of her books on my blog. One of them was Little Big Lies just a week or so ago. The other was What Alice Forgot. Liane Moriarty has quickly become one of my favs. She really doesn't disappoint. The Husband's Secret is one of her biggest successes, and it is GREAT, but my fav is probably What Alice Forgot. You have to read it. So glad you are in the LM fanclub too. :)

    Ha! I love the glimpse into you and your son. One on one time like that, even while being assaulted and overstimulated by sights and smells at the mall, are priceless.

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  10. Walking tacos are new to me too.

    https://www.pinterest.com/explore/walking-tacos/

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  11. I'm with you and Mr. T. I am not a mall person. I'd rather browse the racks at a thrift store. Much cheaper, too!

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  12. I love him and you!
    What is a walking taco?

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Spill it, reader.