Monday, November 25, 2013

Asserting your dominance - The Thanksgiving Edition

This is what Eva's face looks like right before she strikes.  She has NOOOOO problem asserting her dominance over her sisters.

So, I've been giving a lot of thought to asserting your dominance.  It is just one of those things that once you see it, you can't UNSEE it.  The concept occurred to me one Saturday night when Brad made some excuse to go out, after we went to see a movie with the kids. (And by this, I mean, that Brad and I went to see a movie and the girls went to see a movie and we were at the same theater, but not IN the same theater, ya' dig?)  For some reason I can no longer STOMACH anything animated unless it is by Pixar, or if it is directed by Tim Burton.  Just sayin'.  Dirty little secret #236.....revealed.  Look, I cried when I saw Frankenwennie - that shit is ART.  But, put me in a movie with a thousand other kids and their overly enthusiastic-acting/pretending Moms while we watch a weak plotted, sub-standard cartoon for two hours, and I might as well be in a Turkish prison.  Sorry Eva, my dance card is all punched out from your two older siblings...again.

WWHHYYYY just the other day, the kids had the day off school and I was all "Hey, you guys wanna go see movie?"  and they were all "Are YOU gonna go with us?"  and then I was all, "You don't wanna go see MY movie, so why don't YOU guys go see whatever the shit (sic) with Hallie and I will bring and buy a BUNCH of snacks."

WE HAVE NOW OPENED UP THE NEGOTIATIONS.  The United Nations has less discussion than my kids and I have, when presented with an opportunity where they can manipulate me.  These situations, my friends, is where the term MIND GAMES originated.

"Can we get slushies?"  Mills is gonna shoot first.

"Yeahhhhh" Eves chimes in, because girlfriend is already calculating the box of candy:slushy sugar rush ratio.  Gawd love her.

"You can get ONE slushy," I retort, "but you have to split it, so you need to agree on what flavor you want BEFORE we get to the theater."

"Can I have a Diet Coke?"  Hallie innocently asks.

"Sure. Consider this babysitting.  Pay it forward, Hal, and good things are in your future."

" A Laaaarrrrrgggee?"  she is craning her neck and batting her eyelashes.  She's got me right where she wants me, and she knows it.

I need to assert my dominance, here, because if I don't, it is the equivalent of the your first water boarding. You can't completely cave, but you need to give them a little something so they'll stop, and maybe give you a cigarette.

"NO, a SMALL, " I say, as I prepare to mentally square off with Hallie, "but you can also get a large popcorn and share.  We'll bring our own candy from Halloween.  You may buy ONE box candy to split.  Agree on it now.  Done.  End of negotiations.  Let's draw up an agreement."

"Wait....Mom....Wait"  Here comes Mills again.  "What movie are you going to see?"

"It's highly inappropriate and cerebral. (Here they all ask what "cerebral" means and I ignore them.)  You guys would hate it.  I think people my age or even older, actually kiss in it."

"EEwwwwwwww" they all say in unison.

"No THANK YOU," says Eva as she smacks her lips thinking about all the sugar she is about to consume.  She is one that TOTALLY goes to movies to wreck herself.  She always leaves a film with Skittles in between her blue teeth eclipsed by a chocolate halo surrounding her mouth.  She could've just walked out of a subtitled, black and white, boutique French film and she could care less.  MOVIE equals SUGAR HIGH.  Point. Blank. Period.

This Eva with an icing covered Minion Twinkie cupcake at her soccer game.  It was a teammate's birthday.  "Which teammate?" I ask.  "I don't know," Eva garbles as she washes down the last of it with a Capri Sun, and then proceeds to lick each finger.  NIIICCCCEEE.

"So, it's settled.  I've already researched and our movies are 5 minutes apart.  Get ready RIGHT NOW and I'll Fandango it.  Ewwww, maybe this will help me get to my limit so I might even get CREDITS!!!!"

I am giddy.  I pulled it off.  I am INCHES from the finish line when Mills interrupts AGAIN.

"Wait...Mom...are any other people gonna be in the theater?"

We all have a flashback to the time when Hallie and Mills tried to see a movie by themselves that Hallie really wanted to see, and Mills freaked out because they were the only two people in the theater. Mills made Hallie leave, and caused a big scene and I had to come pick them up, leaving my appetizer and fresh cocktail on the table. 

I'm not gonna relive that shit again.  "Roll the dice, Johnna, you really wanna see this movie.  Pull it together."  the little devil on my left shoulder whispers in my ear, behind the back of his hand.

"Of cooouuuurrrssse other people will be in the theater.  Everybody has the day off."

And somehow, the stars aligned and their stupid movie was packed with young kids and eager Moms.

Well, I sat them all down, repeated my theater number to them all several times (they asked, I wouldn't have given out that information readily), went through the whole "I would NEVER send ANYONE to get you if I were hurt, but someone I KNOW" speech which they finished for me, handed out their candy, went back to concessions (don't forget to use your Stubs on those too, ohhhh and the bar - THEY TAKE STUBS AT THE BAR, YO') got all the previously negotiated loot, dropped that off, hugged and kissed each one of them and thanked them, tossed a glance up at the Moms that were all staring me down, winked, and bounded down the crimson and gold, glorious bottomlit stairs.  That's how it's DOOONNNEEE, beaaacccheeess.  Boom!

This was my view.  So happy I took a photo of it.

Okkaaayy, so that's ONE form of asserting your dominance, be it a little passive-aggressive.  Yet, ANOTHER way, is the way a MAN asserts his dominance.

So, back to that night, where I left off, where Brad was trying to wiggle out of the house after we saw a NIGHT movie.  I had discussed my successful diabolical movie plan to him that happened earlier in the week, and he was TOTALLY game for reenacting it on a Friday night.  We saw Gravity, and they saw whatever the shit.

So we're home now, and I was two gigantic beers in, that I drank at the movie theater, and I was standing at my kitchen sink pondering a Facebook post that read, "Today I am thankful for the new bar that they installed at the Lennox Movie theater."   which I, then, planned on doing a SERIES of Thanksgiving posts that would be a PARODY of the popular "Thankful" series, and then Andrew Lorms showed up.

Friends, I know I have been posting about him a lot, and he's probably going to start asking for royalties (and by ROYALTIES, I mean free bourbon, which he is already getting, and a TON of shit from his friends and acquaintances.).
OMG.  I googled Andy, and this is his work photo.  LOVE.

Okay, and when I say SHOW UP, I mean he knocked, then WALKED through my front door and proceeded to go down in the basement carrying three expensive IPA beers.  I was in the kitchen, cleaning up, and thinking about what I was going to do with my night BY MYSELF, and then there he was.

"What are you doing?" I say, as he rounds the corner to the basement.

"I'm goin' down in your basement.  Oh, Hi Johnna,"  a wave and a giggle.  I get this more than I am willing to admit.  Only the characters change.

"Brad's gone.  They went to Meisters."

"What?" Andrew hesitates. "They said they were staying here."

"They changed their minds.  I don't know what to tell you."  I was putting a smorgasbord of frozen fried food in the oven for the kids, as I put on another movie for them.

"Meister's sucks," Andrew declares, "They have shitty bourbons.  Why are they going THERE?"  He considers, "Well, then, I'll just stay here with YOU." And without hesitation, "Do you have any bourbon?  What kind do you have?"

"All the same brands as Meisters," I reply. "I actually ORDER mine from them." I deadpan.

So, we have a blast and we talk and drink wine and I show him my new aerator and I give him a taste test between aerated and non-aerated wine, and he chooses the non-aerated one, I think, but I am not sure because when I was doing the "roulette" part of switching around the two glasses, I got confused at one point. Then, we moved it down to the basement where I put on my Christina Perri Pandora radio station I have been honing for several months.

It became awkward at times because Mills kept asking me if Daddy knew that Mr. Lorms was here, but then the girls started coming down and stealing his scarf and that golfer-beenie cap thingy he always wears, and it stopped being weird.  I guess if you consider THAT scenario more normal.  Which you shouldn't.

Thhhheeeennn, I hear a bounding down the basement stairs and low and behold, Mike Jano, my neighbor is before me.  He tells me he knocked on the back door and unfazed, Eva let him in, and told him we were downstairs.  Hilarious.

Got this off Facebook.  #Definitelyafilteryo

Immediately, upon impact, Mike is turning off my "GNO playlist", putting a football game on, and placing it on mute, and then proceeds to entertain me with his OWN playlist from his phone.

Within seconds, Lorms changes his tune, and he is talking about the score of the game and bitching about the music, and denouncing his aerated wine for an IPA. "Get me a beer, Jano.  What IS this shit I am drinking?"

"How did this happen?"  I think to myself.  One minute, I am debating whether or not to watch Million Dollar Shoppers or enjoy my GNO playlist as I surf social media or maybe write a blog, while I drink a glass of wine in the basement by myself, and then the next minute, I am surrounded by two men that are NOT the husband that I got rid of, and I am watching SPORTS and listening to the Avett Brothers.  What. The. Fuck.  How did I get here?

Anyway, I began to start noticing how men assert their dominance all the time.  It is a well-known fact that in almost every species of animal, and culture, the male asserts his dominance as soon as he enters new surroundings.  Mike Janowicz may as well have circled my basement, lifted his leg and peed on top of my rust-colored ottoman. Okay, full disclosure.  I had a blast with the both of them, and we told stories and laughed our asses off.

It WAS funny, though, they both left right before Brad got home.  I guess I should go ahead and stack rocks in my yard, because in MY NEIGHBORHOOD, that constitutes SWINGIN'!  Let the rumors fly.  I WELCOME them.  I will imitate the side hump (a la Will Ferrill in Wedding Crashers: see below) on every unsuspecting male in my vicinity, at school pick up, just to drive the point home.

Anyway, I've started noticing how Brad will arrive from Medina, and he will drop his bag with a loud bang and then stretch/fart/burp/yawn/bellow loudly to announce his arrival. ( I mean, the man obviously watched too much Leave it to Beaver growing up.)  He will then unload all of his work shit on the family room table in the epicenter of our home - no really, our house is literally laid out with the dining room in the heart of the house and the rest of the rooms are around it's periphery.

He sets up his computer, turns on his Grateful Dead Pandora station, and proceeds to bang away on his laptop, as he intermittently broadcasts each of his voice mails on speaker.

I mean, why don't you just get a voice over for your fucking emails so we can hear them, too?  See if you can get a Siri for that shit.  Brad, IT IS QUIET IN HERE.  ANNOUNCE YOUR ARRIVAL, BITCH!

Seriously, I have a few pieces of advice for y'all today,

(1) See Enough Said.  That is the movie I saw "with" the kids on their day off.  Not only do I LOVE James Gandolfini, and secretly mourned his death by watching back to back episodes of The Sopranos the week that he passed, but I cried during this movie like a baby, not only because of the content, but because he was so eloquent in this role.  In my eyes, I saw it as a real breakthrough for him, in terms of shattering the mold of that gangster stereotype he is famous for.  I would love to see a posthumous Oscar, here, or at the very least, a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.  I tend to crave movies that I can identify with, those slice of life indie films - and this certainly delivers.  All the players are here, too.  It is the perfect storm, as far as I'm concerned....Tony Collette, Catherine Keener, and the fabulous Julia Louis-Dreyfuss.  Even Melissa McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone, is awesome in it. He played the "Sky Cop" in Bridesmaids. He's one to watch, peeps.

(2) Stubs is awesome.  Get the app and put it in your passport area.  Brad simply LOOOVVVEESS it when I have to bring it up on my phone, when we are paying for drinks at the Theater bar.  (He says I look as if I should have a fanny pack, when I do stuff like that.) If nothing else, do it for that bug the shit out of everyone around you.  You get $10 credits for every $100 you spend, so why not, right? (Disclaimer:There is an annual fee, but if you see movies like I do, and have a big family, it more than pays for itself.)

(3) Fandago is another guilty techno pleasure of mine.  It's an app that enables you to purchase tix online.  If you have an accompanying Stubs account, there is no processing fee.  Genius, pure genius.  You can just pull the tix up on your phone for that, too.  Enjoy the line that forms behind you while fidget with that, as well.  I LOVE IT.

(4) I love the new show Million Dollar Shoppers. My best friend, Alissa, turned us onto it.   It is on Lifetime, and the premise is that there are three personal shoppers who service New York City and surrounding areas.  There are tons of B list celebrity wives, ballers' spouses and Jersey divas as clients. And the shoppers, themselves, well,  THEY could be characters out of a Hunger Games - the rich districts.   I'm not gonna spoil it for y'all, just watch it.  It's free.

(5) Start a Christina Perri Pandora station. They have the BEST accompanying artists with her.  Be vigilant, though.  THAT is the key to every REALLY GREAT Pandora station....EDITING.

And finally, if you have heard nothing else, (6) ASSERT YOUR DOMINANCE, this Holiday season.  Walk into that Thanksgiving dinner like you OWN it.  Go ahead, take the last hor dourves on the tray....EVERY TIME.  Be first in line at the buffet line.  Take the best seat next to the side table, between the fridge and the T.V.  Cut a big slice out of the turkey, better yet, RIP it off with your bare hands, while it's still on the kitchen island, awaiting placement. Drink too much.  Break some Thanksgiving knick knack that has been in the family for years, as you trip on the way to the cooler.  Hell, BRING a cooler and set it next to you on the edge of the couch, or put your feet up on it. Who cares?  Start a fight with your in-laws, a fist fight, just you girls.  Or wrestle your nephews, and take it too far - where they get kinda hurt and go tell their Mom.  Walk in that room and show EVERARYBODY who is the pack leader.

Assert. Your. Dominance. this Holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving.

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