Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Challenge Day 15: Life’s Lessons

Wow! It’s day fifteen of my challenge to write a blog everyday in fifteen minutes. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. The hard part was paring it down to fifty words. I’m a wordy person even in conversation.

But, that’s not the point of this blog. Hopefully, this one won’t be lengthy I’ve got other writing to attend to and a phone conference with my editor some time today. It’s one of those be ready when she calls deals, drop-what-you’re-doing-at-that moment-kind-of-thing.

Okay. Enough of that.

This morning I woke up at eight A.M. Its not like me to sleep this late, I’m usually up by five A.M. But it’s freezing in the Sunshine State today. Tomorrow could be a different story. Even Sir-Poops-A-Lot stayed in bed all night. No warm welcomes from him, thank the potty-gods.

About the time I meandered down the stairs to the kitchen, my phone rang. Right away I’m thinking its work calling me to come in on my day off (happens a lot since I’m a shift manager). But no, its Tinkerbelle slash Esmeralda, daughter number four. She’s got two personalities. I swear. Good and Evil.

“Mom,”  she said, after mumbles something. She’s known for this. Ghetto language. I know, I raised her to speak proper.

“Yeah, what’s up?” I ask.

“Do you think you can slip me a twenty every week?” she asks loud and clear. No mumbling here. “You know, dad won’t.” Yup. That’s true dad won’t because she’s used us like a yo-yo ever since she turned thirteen, shuffling from my house to his, looking to do things her way. He’s fet-up and makes no bones about it.

I hold my breath for a few seconds, rolled my eyes, and said, “You need to get a job.”  You see, she left her dad’s house about three weeks ago and left mine this past summer. She’s not one to follow the rules, only hers, no other. In February, she’ll be eighteen. Thank God and the Universe. Party, party everywhere. There’s no way this mom will be suffering from empty-nest syndrome.

“How am I going to do that and finish high school and beauty school? I’m in school from 8 am to 6 pm.” Yup. This is true. She made the decision to do things the adult way without having her ducks in a row. No driver’s license. No car. No job. Living like a gypsy from friend’s house to friend’s house. What a life. Huh?

“Find a place that will hire you for the weekends,” I said.

The phone goes silent at her end for about thirty seconds. She catches her breath, and mutters something. Who knows what she’s saying. Sometimes I think I need a dictionary to figure out the incoherent babbles of this child. Seriously, the child didn’t pick up good diction or articulation from me. Annoying.

“Mom,” she said, articulating the name I will sometimes answer to. “Do you think you can throw me a twenty. The people I’m staying with are having money problems.” The people she stays with can afford the luxury of smoking and drinking. Hmmm. Wonder what else they put their monies toward. Maybe they should stop smoking and drinking.

“Seriously, get a job,” I said.

“Mom!” Wow. She said that word with no problem. She articulates ‘MOM’ well.

“What?” I ask, hoping she’ll terminate the call.

“Will you?”

“Look. Let’s say this. I won’t let you starve to death. Okay.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Her tone heated up.

“Just that. I’ll send you a gift card to Publix.”

“Mom.” She rambles a string of something my ears can’t pick up and then….


Another lesson to be learned in the life of a young adult. Life’s a BE-OTCH. Get used to it. And God, help them learn what they need to learn.

Yup. Another drama filled-day in the life of Shelly Arkon, a novice writer. Like my hubby says, “It’s all fodder for your upcoming novels.”

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!



  1. Been there, done that. They kind of grow up after a little while and then their kids start wanting stuff and babbling just like them.

  2. Well done. Good points all around, but that doesn't mean it's easy to say no to your flesh and blood. Ira.

  3. OMG! I really enjoyed your blog. It's witty, complete with sharp needles to self and daughter. I have a 22 year old daughter, (son 24), who both STILL sound like your daughter a times. I'm signing up for your blog. I like your style.


  4. Eve:

    Can't wait for the grandchildren to start babbling. One in the oven and one already here.

  5. Ira:

    I'll never let them starve. You know that.

  6. Ah, so nice to know we are not the only ones experiencing this. One of my sons just reached 22 and finally....FINALLY got a job after 6 months sitting on his butt. But I can say, some of it seems to be clicking. Each tiny piece at a time. Was I really like that do you think?

  7. That was hilarious! Okay, not funny that it happened to you, but funny because that is like what my kid does to me kind of thing. I have heard the same conversation...sort of. Mine's 17. She has just wrecked her truck twice since Christmas because she can't drive in the snow.

    I told her just because it's called an Explorer doesn't mean to go off road and explore when she slid off twice. She didn't think I was funny. She has a job and still hits me up for money.

    As your posts. Best wishes.

  8. Erin:

    When I was a kid, my parents married me off. I had my first daughter at nineteen. When I left, I left. I never asked my parents for a dime. I knew better.

    Not to mention, every year after I turned thirteen, I was told they weren't responsible for supplying me with clothes. The next year it was toiletries. The next year it was if I wanted a phone in my room and a new stereo I had to come up with the dough. I bought my own car and drove like an old woman. Kept it clean and park in BFE far away from other cars.

  9. Regina:

    Todays' kids scare me. When we're old, are they going to leave us in our wet diapers unattended?

  10. Mine is only 15 and I can clearly hear her whiny voice when she asks the same thing 5 times in the row because she doesn't get the answer she wants the first 4 times.

    You did a great job in your reply!

  11. It's tough being a parent today. They were right when they said "Parenting isn't for sissies."

  12. Shelly, your daughter's friends sound like my ex-sister's ex-boyfriend's family. They used to go around their neighborhood trying to sell their food stamps to get cash to buy beer.

  13. Oh God!!! I've got friends who have daughters like this...I have a daughter...and, God help her, if she turns out like this...

    Good luck to you!!!

  14. @ Norma: Five daughters equals lots of drama for this mama.

    @Beth: Be afraid. Very afraid. Girls are nothing like they used to be. Believe me.


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