If you’ve been following me on Facebook lately, you’ll know that I’ve been
whining complaining gnashing my teeth in an angry rage expounding on the issues surrounding a certain wedding that we had to not only attend, but actively participate in it. I once had photographic evidence of this fiasco in my phone, but then I was forbidden to share the photos so I deleted them to make room for a video of a wombat who appears to be dancing to Gangnam Style. And as odd as it seems–considering my whole world is usually all about me–I wasn’t the one who suffered the most at this wedding.
You might actually be thinking of my autistic child who suffered greatly at this event, but even then, you’d be partly incorrect. Oh she suffered, but I’m pleasantly repulsed to say that she really wasn’t aware of too much happening around her at the event. She had a full-size bag of kettle chips in hand, her headphones with her playlist going, and flip flops on her feet for most of it, so she did pretty well, considering.
The real victim in the whole thing was my older child, and by older I mean the one who will legally be allowed to drive a car in our state within the next three months. She somehow got lumped into a category of wedding party participant known affectionately as “junior bridesmaid.” For those uninitiated in the world of completely stupid and over-the-top celebrations, a junior bridesmaid is someone who can’t yet rock the strapless taffeta nightmare you inflicted on all your best friends from college and someone you can’t legally invite to the bachelorette party, but who is way too old and too tall to be your flower girl. My daughter was the oldest of the junior bridesmaids… they went down to six years old.
Yes, she got to wear the “little girl” dress. It was not only hideous, it was highly inappropriate for her advanced age. There is brief photographic evidence HERE. Before you comment, please know that I’m the one who took the picture and the one who zipped her up, so I’m 100% certain it’s not on backwards or inside out. It’s just…that…ugly.
And I have to say I’m tremendously proud of my kid. She looked stupid and she was humiliated, but she did it. She also did it while being a bigger grownup than I would have been about it. Hell, she was a bigger grownup than I was about it and I didn’t have to wear it! I kept photos of it in my phone for a while to show random strangers in elevators how horrible it looked. My kid shed a tear or two, then sucked it up and got the job done. Notice how I stopped just short of using the phrase, “Close your eyes and think of England.”
My husband and I decided that Kiddo the Elder deserved some kind of reward for her stellar putting-up-with-it-ness, so we offered her a kind of crappy second-hand gift. Since as a full-time writer I’m technically my own company, I could get myself a new tax-deductible iPhone for work and give her my two-year-old model, which would be leaps and bounds better than the six-year-old hand-me-down semi-smartphone she’s been using. And I have to say, she was mildly pleased by the suggestion, which wasn’t quite the reaction I was expecting from someone who’d just been told she could have an outdated piece of technology with a crack in the corner of the screen as her reward for spending ten hours of her life dressed as a sister wife in front of a thousand people.
Then I get this email from her (which was amazing because I didn’t think her crappy phone would make phone calls anymore, let alone send an email):
“Dear Mommy, I really do want a new phone, but I was thinking that I could just keep my old phone and you could keep yours, and we could use that money to get a tiny monkey instead. It would wear diapers and not go to the bathroom in the house, and it could help you get stuff off of tall shelves while I’m at school (unless the principal says I can bring it to school). It can also legally make you a drink and bring it to you, which I am not allowed to do. By law.”
She raised several hostage negotiator-level great points, but I still felt compelled to reply:
“No, a monkey will eat our faces while we sleep.”
Six hours later (it took her that long to type this), she replied:
“No, it won’t. We’ll leave meat out on the counter for it so that it will go for the meat instead.”
Sound logic, but I didn’t love the thought of raw meat sitting on my counter top while a lesser primate hunched over it, feasting on it in the dead of the night. I had to answer:
“What if YOU were the one to get the new iPhone and I kept my old one?”
She’d planned this well, like a little behind-the-scenes Lannister cousin:
“Monkeys are cheaper than iPhones.”
ME: “Only from black market monkey dealers, and the quality on those is for crap. And speaking of crap, guess what else monkeys like to do?”
HER: “They don’t fling their poo, you saw that on Madagascar.” (Italics mine, her phone won’t do that.)
ME: “The answer is NO! You’re getting an iPHONE!”
So yes, that’s how we had to put our collective foot down and force our teenager to take a piece of technology that retails for slightly more than double the price of my first car. Luckily, the first thing she did was drop it while trying to turn it on, thereby soothing my guilt over giving her a used phone as compensation for a pretty wretched day. No monkeys were acquired or harmed in the development of this blog post, and now new smartphones were smashed on the kitchen tile. In other news, I’m having the best time with Siri.