It’s better than “We Have the Same Tattoo,” or When Did I Become the Straight Guy?

Facebook is a shallow look at the reason humanity is quickly reducing itself to its lowest common denominator.  In my world that translates to many status updates about what is being eaten at the moment, what is happening on Chicago Public Transportation at the moment, what the weather is or should be doing, why it is that you never get out of Target without spending at least $100, or information about shows.  “I’m prepping for auditions!  I’m off to auditions!  Wish me a broken leg!  Ugh, I just screwed up my audition!  OMG, I got a callback!  I GOT IN!!!  Rehearsals for the show!  Sooo tired — tech week!  Come see my show!  (Yea, I’ve done it.) Facebook is ridiculous and fascinating for reasons that bloggers, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, and most sketch shows can address better than I.  And they have.  A lot.  Facebook is a go-to thing now — do not pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 without a pithy observation about the social juggernaut that is Facebook.

Occasionally, I get to “friend” someone who is just inside my comfort zone for friending on FB.  I don’t know him or her particularly well, but we’ve had more than one conversation, possibly worked together, or they’ve whistled at me at a stop light.  I meet more husbands FB friends that way.  I have one FB friend who, at the age of 25 has figured it all out.  She sighs a lot in her updates, condemning the world when it does not jive with her Howitshouldbes.  (We all do that to some extent, of course, but for the sake of using her as a gateway to my point, let’s just pretend she’s unusually gifted in this area.)  She punctuates her unctuous updates with a smiley face.  She doesn’t want to offend people, but she does want them to know exactly how she feels about everything wrong in the world and that you are probably a contributing factor. 

It takes a lot of strength not to respond to certain things.  She works at the kind of place in the city that is a hot field trip ticket, primarily doing presentations to teens.  The other day she FB’ed something to the effect of, “Everytime I see an apathetic teacher, I die a little inside.” 

Now, I don’t have an opinion one way or another about apathy on the one hand, this seems a reasonable thing to say.  Very pro-kid, pro-awesomeness, pro-pro.  On the other hand, it’s May.  May is one of the two worst months of the school year (the other being December.)  Many kids have checked out.  Standardized tests are generally done.  Half the staff has assigned “projects” that usually involve coloring, watching movies educational films, taking kids on walks, and playing softball while the rest of the staff tries fervently to work on curriculum. 

Field trips are also very hard on the organizing teacher, particularly when working with older kids.  Said teacher has to deal with permission slips, children losing permissions slips, parents losing permission slips, parents covering for the kids who lost permission slips, parents and kids who try to hand in permission slips long after the deadline, not to mention the agonizing decision whether the organizing teacher wants to create seven hours of busy work for kid-with-late-permission-slip to do in the main office or if bend and let him come because it’s one more damned battle in a long long year.  Too, organizing teacher is responsible for lunch arrangements, bagging up medications and epi pens, glucose drinks, band-aids,wipes, garbage bags, heavy duty garbage bags (in case of pukers).  They make sure kids are prepped for the trip and have been given an activity to keep them from wandering around and possibly interacting with people who aren’t there on a field trip.  Extra lunches for the kids who will forget.  Bus assignments.  Teacher assignments.  Making sure teachers won’t take their small group of kids to McDonald’s.  Finding money for the underprivileged kids who won’t be able to go in and buy Slurpees at the highly anticipated 7-11 Stop.

Once at the destination, the organizer has make sure everyone is with the group, no one is sick, no one is crying because of a bus fight, no one is trying to sneak a smoke, no one is trying to write graffiti on the façade of the building, kids are paying attention, no one leaves their bags somewhere, and…most importantly…they behave.

If you’re lucky, they learn something.

So, yeah, I’m sure I looked less than thrilled during the 15 or so field trips I coordinated as a teacher.  Perhaps apathy and exhaustion/lack of amusement at shenanigans have similar facial expressions.

But I didn’t post this as a comment about Twenty-Five’s status.  Not as easy as it sounds — I started chanting “You can be right or you can be happy” to myself.  It takes a lot of chanting because being right tends to make me happy.  Besides, Twenty-Five liked all the “likes” and kudos she was getting from her friends.  At least I think she did…she kept writing the names of the people who liked her comment and putting smiley faces next to them.

That being said, I totally hate apathetic teachers in the classroom.  I tiptoed up to the edge of apathy my last year teaching.  It’s why I left. 

The other day, Twenty-Five wrote that she thinks if you like your significant other because he/she is funny, you are an idiot.  “Funny,” she said, “is a copout.”  Because she can describe both 90% of her friends AND Dane Cook as funny and doesn’t want a romantic relationship with any of her friends or Dane Cook, it’s a “stupid” reason to love your partner.  She goes on to say that she doesn’t want her current boyfriend to “only” be with her because she’s funny. 

I won’t go into the fact that she really isn’t funny, not how I doubt that’s why her boyfriend is trapped with her.

 I will, however, disagree.  Below are actual Huzzy comments, bon mots, or just bone head things to say.  Some are his comments interspersed with my comments (the scientific term is, I believe, dialog.)   

 I defy you to read them and not understand how the act of conversing humorously adds such richness and joy to our lives and how I look forward to the most banal discussions, just to see where they will go. 

Chicken wings seem to lead to some interesting comments.   I finished one wing and was reaching for a second.  His hand clamped on mine…indicating my first drummy’s miniscule amount of meat remaining on the end:

“You need to eat it bald.”

 Same meal:

Me: I find the sauce/and spices on these really filling.

Him: I don’t.

Me: I do.  These are more filling than regular wings.

Him: Maybe that’s because you ate 20 of them.

 After learning our neighbors are spying on me keeping an eye on me and the boys every time we step outside of the house.

Me: I’m going to tell the boys soon that the neighbors are watching and therefore NO PARTIES or we’ll find out.

Him: We don’t have to worry about that for 15 years

Me: Try ten.

Him: What, are they going to ride over here on their bikes and get into trouble?  Party at the Picks, I’ll bring the Hot Wheels and my lunchbox.

 Because when men are involved, gas will eventually become a topic.

 Me (in the kitchen) Did you toot?

Him: (in the bedroom) No.  Why?

Me: It smells bad.

Him: I’m impressed that you think I can toot forcefully enough to make it all the way down to the kitchen.  Would you come here for a second to help me with the closet?

Me: Are you going to toot if I go in there?

Him: I might. 

I wear headphones and dance aggressively in front of Huzzy, who will always do his impersonation of Dr. Huxtable dancing.  If I start to sing along to whatever I’m listening to, he tends to stop dancing and walk away.   

One of my favorites that a few of you are aware of:

I made cookies the other day.  Huzzy was in some sort of reverie or having a stroke while eating them and talking to me.

 Me: By the way, these have hazelnuts in them.

Him: Do these have nuts in them?

Me: Yes, they have hazelnuts in them.

Him: What kind of nuts are these?

Me: Hazelnuts.

 I am fully prepared to admit that these conversations may not be funny to everyone, but to me they are hilarious and attractive and a key to the relationship, not the copout Twenty-Five insists they must be for me and for all mankind.

 Although, to be catty fair, she also just posted how much she wants to dye her hair a different color and how much her boyfriend would hate that.  (She added a Blech face after that one.) Maybe he just doesn’t find changing her hair color funny.  If I’m lucky, he’ll post his opinions on dye jobs and how they are or are not the swan song of every good relationship.  Ever.

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