Someday, possibly, I will look back at the summer of 2014 as the Summer of Tranquility.
I know this because the teenagers are constantly telling me to "relax."
Also, The Summer I Worked 5 Jobs While the Teenagers Fought Over Everything, Ate Fast Food and Destroyed the House is way too long.
"Relaxation" is a dominant theme in our fractious, two-teenager household. The girl, 16, is a newly licensed driver and veteran party planner. "Relax," she tells me. "I have been driving for months." The boy, 19, is home for the summer after his first year of college, where he joined a fraternity and learned everything there is to know in the world except how to operate a single kitchen appliance. "Are you going to clean up that mess?" I ask him. "Don't worry about it," he says. "Chill."
Throw in a couple of vanilla-scented candles and it would be like a spa around here, except that the candle holders have all been broken and there are no clean towels. Plus, it smells like burritos.
The things about which I am encouraged to relax include the fact that the basement is covered in half-eaten food and Chipotle wrappers, our expenses are out of control and no one but me ever seems to know what day the garbage goes out. I wake almost every morning to find I have been left with a mess, an empty gas tank or an empty wallet. Sometimes all three.
Still, I am expected to chill-ax. Because you know, it's no big deal. And they're right, really.
In the big picture list of Things to Stress Over While Living With Teenagers, Chipotle cleanup comes in no higher than 7 or 8.
On the other hand, their list of things that qualify as Genuinely Big Deals includes:
1. We have cereal but no milk.
2. We have milk but no cereal.
3. There is nothing to eat in the house except cereal.
4. One of them suspects the other of having touched his or her stuff.
5. One of them believes the other is monopolizing the basement.
6. One of them believes the other is monopolizing the car.
7. Both of them believe I am monopolizing my own car.
8. Why don't we have more cars?
There are never enough cars around here. And our grocery stocking system is so haphazard it can barely be called a system at all. No one is keeping track of how many times the girl has overrun the basement with her too-many-girls, overnight texting-and manicure parties. There is very little enforcement of the rules, except when there is too much enforcement of the stupid rules. It's a mess really. My point is, everyone should just relax.
from the Lessons Learned archives: A day spent forcibly undergoing spa treatments at the hands of two tween girls is no day at the spa.
nam myoho renge kyo...
Posted by: Audubon Ron | June 29, 2014 at 07:19 AM
Meanwhile, back here in FL, things are truly spa-like if we just keep the milk coming and the internet flowing. We only see our nearly-19 year old college refugee when the World Cup is on. Because he needs our TV. Because his is tied up with a very complicated set of interconnected games, with people I assume are real, of MW4, GTA3, Minecraft, Skyrim and something I thought was Clash of Cans but which was actually Clash of Clans. I only go by the sounds people...like I said, sightings are rare.
Posted by: nthnglsts | June 29, 2014 at 09:02 AM
Well sure, Audubon, we should have raised them all as Buddhists, but it's a little late now. Unless there is an Xbox version?
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | June 29, 2014 at 07:55 PM
I like when I send them (17 & 19) grocery shopping with a list and say to get whatever else they want. The next day they inevitably complain there is no food. HOW CAN THAT BE???
Posted by: heidi | June 30, 2014 at 06:32 AM
I don't think it literally means no food. Which is weird, because in my house the expression is literally "There is literally no food in this house."
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | June 30, 2014 at 01:52 PM