Time Out Is Time Well Spent

, , , , , | | Related | May 21, 2019

I was a foster child before I was adopted, and before I was given up, I’d had little or ineffective discipline. As a foster child, my parents were not legally allowed to physically discipline me in any way, so they had to get creative.

The first thing my foster mom did when I was newly in the home — like within the first week or so — was sit me in the corner. The general rule is that you’re supposed to put a kid in time out for one minute per year of age. I was four, so I had to sit for four minutes. My mom made that clear. What she also made clear was that she wouldn’t start the timer until I was quiet. And boy, could I yell. I yelled and screamed and beat the tile floor and escaped and was put back and got quite colorful with my language, apparently. She sat at a table and tried — pretended — to read.

I was there for over three hours the first time.

The second time, less than three. The time after, just over an hour. I slowly started to get it. This (saint of a) woman was not going to put up with my nonsense.

I was adopted by them within the next two years.

Going Back To Knight School

, , , , , , | | Related | May 18, 2019

(When I’m in junior high school, my mother cannot, by any stretch, get my Language Arts teacher’s name right. For the sake of exemplifying how she butchers it, we’re going to say my teacher’s name is Ms. Knightly, and she always says, “Ms. Kin-ig-hit-ly.” The hyphens are just for show; she says it at a normal pace. After the first report cards and the subsequent Parent-Teacher night to discuss students’ progress, this conversation follows.)

Mom: “Ms. Kin-ig-hit-ly had nothing but praise for you.”

Me: “Knightly, Mom. Her name is Ms. Knightly.”

Mom: “Oh, okay. Yeah…” *goes on about my other teachers* “…but Ms. Kin-ig-hit-ly adores you.”

(Different versions of this story play out almost daily following this meeting, with no change ever being made. I figure the inevitable reality is she is never going to get it right, so I stop caring so much once she realizes she should never address my teacher by name if she sees her. Later that same year, my grandmother dies. We make funeral arrangements, and this happens:)

Mom: “The closest funeral home to her church and the cemetery would be Knightly Funeral Parlor.”

Me: “Where?”

Mom: “Knightly Funeral Parlor.”

Me: “What’s my teacher’s name again?”

Mom: “Ms. Kin-ig-hit-ly.”

Me: “Mom, it’s the same as the funeral parlor, down to the spelling. You just pronounced that perfectly.”

Mom: “Really? Huh.”

Me: “So, what’s my Language Arts teacher’s name?”

Mom: “Kin-ig-hit-ly.”

(No, she wasn’t screwing with me. So, some form of the first conversation continued until I transferred schools and no longer had Ms. Knightly. And it continues to this day when my mother decides to reminisce about my school life and comes to my year with Ms. Knightly.)

Making You Tongue-Tied

, , , , , , , | | Hopeless | May 17, 2019

I’ve not long turned 19 and I’m working in a fast food restaurant full time while also about to start my second year of college. For the last month, I’ve been complaining of a sore tongue, thinking I have an ulcer, but it turns out to be a cancerous tumour. I’m eventually diagnosed with stage-four oral cancer and have to give up my place in college and work, meaning that while I’m stuck in a hospital bed I have no money to pay bills back at home. When I get home before my second leg of treatment starts, I get a visit from my store manager and the owner.

They hand me one of those massive cheques that are given during presentations, and written on it is my name and a larger sum of money than I have ever seen at any one time.

My coworkers and customers had been raising money for me all the time I was in the hospital — nine and a half weeks — during my operation and recovery.

It made all the bad shifts and horrible customers that had reduced me to tears so worth it.

Christmas, Like Laundry, Comes But Once A Year

, , , | | Friendly | May 17, 2019

(I decided to make a pair of dark green boxer shorts as a gift to one of our friends for Christmas. He mentions them to me four months later.)

Friend: “I love those boxers and have been wearing them every night, but they’ve turned my sheets green.”

Me: “The dye ran? That’s odd, because I used the same fabric to make [Husband] a pair and we haven’t had a problem with them. What have you used to wash them?”

Friend: “I haven’t washed them.”

Me: “You haven’t washed them in four months? What about your sheets?”

Friend: “No, was I supposed to?”

(I worked out right there why he was single.)

Frozen In Your Stubbornness

, , , , , , | | Romantic | May 16, 2019

(I drive my partner to and from work so I can have the car all day. Our car doesn’t have a roof, so it can get pretty cold when it’s windy. This is fine in the summer. When autumn rolls around, however…)

Me: “Do you want to take a jacket?”

Partner: “Nah. It’s only a 15-minute ride. I’ll be fine.”

(My partner is shivering by the time we get there. Nine hours later…)

Me: *on the phone* “I can bring you a jacket.”

Partner: “Nope!”

Me: “It’s evening. It’s going to be much colder.”

Partner: “I’m fine!”

(My partner shivers the whole way and wraps up in a blanket when we get home. I eventually stop asking; I figured my partner will break faster if it isn’t “my” idea to bring a jacket. Two weeks later…)

Partner: “Oh, and don’t let me forget to grab a jacket!”

Me: “I thought you said it wasn’t needed for a 15-minute ride?”

Partner: *sheepish* “I… may have been a bit stubborn…”

Me: *hugs* “I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself now. I don’t nag because I hate you, you know. It’s not a contest.”

Partner: “I know…”

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