Easier to Wrangle a Vampire at a Blood Bank than a Kid at a Grocery Store

Isn't It Easier to Wrangle a Vampire at a Blood Bank than a Kid at the Grocery Store? #funny @sothenstories

So then…I try to navigate the brightly-lit food aisles with my daughter, who’s enthusiastically belting out constant demands:

“I want ice cream!”
“Let’s get cookies!”
“Fruit roll-ups!”
“I want ALL these cereals!!”
“Please? Pleeeeeeeeease!? MOM!! PLEASE!!!!!”

Perfectly understandable toddler behavior.

But she’s not 4.

She’s 15.

Why are kids such sugar-fiends, no matter how old they are?

We’re in Costco, so I’m pushing the cart in between 8 million shoppers as I try to grab a few quick things.

But every time we pass something sweet, Chloe starts yammering about how much she NEEDS to have it.

“Mom! Look! I love this ice cream! We have to get it!”

She runs over to the freezer door, pointing and making sweet puppy dog eyes.

“Chloe, that’s COSTCO-sized ice cream! Those containers are huge! That’ll last us 3 months!”

“No, it won’t! I promise I’ll eat it before 3 months.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of!” I retort.

Now believe me, my daughter gets plenty of sugary treats in her life. She also eats pretty healthy meals and she’s in good shape.

When it comes to dessert, I’m not too strict – and I’m not too lax. But she’s driving me batty with all her plaintive pleas today.

In fact, she’s relishing the role, practically swooning when we pass the cereal aisle.

“Omigod, Mom, look at all the cereals you won’t let me have!”

“Cereal? You mean ‘Sugar in a Bowl?’”

“Mommmmmmmmmmm!” she says, dragging out the syllable and rolling her eyes.

We’re laughing as I push the cart to a different section to distract her.

“Forget about all the sugary food, Chloe! Let’s go over here. Do you need underwear?”

“No, just sugar.”

“How about this section — do you need school supplies?”

“Are they made of sugar?”

“Oh, look! Books! You love reading! Let’s look in the book section!” I say, wheeling the cart over to the display.

“I hate books,” she says, mock petulantly.

“What? You do not! You love books!” I roll the cart down the book aisle, looking at the covers.

“I do not!”

“You used to! Don’t you remember?” I ask.  “You used to get in trouble a couple years ago for reading too late at night!”

Chloe follows me as I push the cart along.  I say wistfully, “Don’t you remember? I’d have to come in and pry the book out of your hands! That girl LOVED to read! I really liked that girl! She was so nice and sweet. Whatever happened to that girl?”

“I a—” Bwahahaha!

Chloe’s laughing so hard, she can’t finish her sentence.

“I a—” Bwahahaha!

Now I’M laughing because I realize she’s trying to say “I ATE her!”

We both stop in the middle of the aisle, laughing so hard, tears are running down our cheeks. I’m literally crossing my legs so I don’t pee my pants.

And the two of us just keep saying “I a—” over and over, dissolving into fits of laughter.

Shoppers weave around us, giving us a curious glance, wondering what the hell is so damn funny over by the book section.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Do your kids drive you batty with their pleas for sugary treats when you shop with them? When do they grow out of that? DO they grow out of that? Or are you smart enough to shop WITHOUT them? And let’s be honest, do some sugary treats find their way into your cart even when you ARE shopping alone? What’s your weakness? Mine is anything produced by those dastardly devilishly delectable boys, Ben & Jerry!)

Being a Grown-Up is So EASY!!

Being a grown up is so EASY!  Hahahahaha!  #funny @sothenstories

So then…my sister Dawn shows me around her tiny college apartment and I’m so excited!

I’m still in high school, so it’s a really big deal that my parents let me come visit her for the weekend.  I feel so grown-up!

We come from a big family, so usually there are 7 people crammed into our house, doing homework, eating dinner, doing chores – all with Mom and Dad confidently leading the team.

But now here we are, on our own!

I’d been a bit apprehensive about moving out and going to college, but look how well my sister’s doing!  Living on your own is easy!

Dawn announces she’s going to make us hamburgers, which I think is somewhat ironic since she was rejected by McDonald’s for a summer job grilling burgers.

(During the interview, the male manager had asked her, “Can you type?”

This did not sit well with my sister.  She was there to flip burgers and fry fries, so what did typing have to do with anything?  She figured it was just a sexist question female applicants had to answer, so she retorted, “No. Can you?

Turns out, he could not — and furthermore, did not appreciate her feminist vibe and declined to hire that feisty little wench. Ha!)

As my sister starts prepping the burgers, I ask if I can help.

She says, “Sure, you can make the mashed potatoes.”

Excellent!  I LOVE mashed potatoes!  I am quite skilled at both making them and eating them.

In fact, we have potatoes almost every night at home and I’m usually in charge of them.  I don’t wanna brag, but I’m rather adept at peeling them, boiling them in salted water, then mixing them with butter and milk, for delicious, creamy mashed potatoes!

My mouth is practically watering!

I move to the kitchen and say, “Great!  I’ll start peeling right now.  Where are the potatoes?”

She heats up the burger pan, nods her head to the right, and says, “In the box over there.”

The box?

Why are potatoes in a box?

Oh, I see.  This is a box of powdered potatoes.

Oh mah gah.  I practically gag.

I’m no Cordon Bleu world-renowned chef – but I am a connoisseur of potatoes.

And these are not potatoes by any stretch of the imagination.

My parents have to be pretty frugal to keep 5 kids fed, clothed, and educated — but we nevah resort to powdered potatoes.

Now please don’t think I’m a spoiled teen.  I’m really not.  But damnnnnn, don’t get between me and mah spuds!

Naturally, I don’t want to appear ungrateful to  my sister, so I don’t mention my horror.  I just read the back of the box to see how to “approximate” a real potato dish with this box of powdery flakes.

The instructions say, “Add 2 cups milk.”

I open the fridge but I can’t find it, so I ask, “Where’s the milk?”

My sister nods her head to the left and says, “In the box over there.”

????

OH MAH GAH!

I’m supposed to make POWDERED potatoes with POWDERED milk?

So basically I’m just mixing water with a bunch of powder?

And we’re going to EAT that?

And yes, I know our soldiers often eat this type of food – and many impoverished people would be happy to have some powdered ANYTHING!

But I’ll admit that at this moment in time, my little 16-year-old brain can only think about the big luscious genuine potatoes slathered in melting butter back home in my Louisiana house with my big boisterous family.

And I get a little homesick.

And I decide I’m never gonna leave my family home to go to college or live on my own because…damn, being a grown-up is hard.  Clearly my sister’s tuition and part-time job has forced her into making this drastic financial decision.

I’m not certain I could make the same sacrifice.

She makes the burgers – which are, candidly, not so terrific – (maybe there IS some typing involved in crafting a tasty burger.)

And I make the powdered-milk-powdered-potatoes — and hey, you know what?  They taste even worse than I imagined.

BUT…we laugh & talk & eat & clean up & laugh some more.  We have an awesome weekend.  And I’m so proud of my sister for her amazing academics, her incredible work ethic, and her wise budgeting that makes her obtaining her college degree possible.

I return home with renewed excitement about finishing high school and striking out on my own just like my sister.

I just make a mental note to work extra hours over the summers to finance my tuition AND genuine potatoes!

P.S. Of course I’ve made PLENTY of budgetary sacrifices since then – I’ve eaten things, worn clothes, slept places that have been less than ideal over the years.  I worked my way through college – even selling my blood when I was especially low on cash.  But I’ve never again eaten powdered potatoes.  Potatoes are my sacred food, y’all!  Put some in my casket – I’m takin’ ‘em with me!

— Darcy Perdu

(Any favorite sacred food you just can’t skimp on?  What were some of your budgetary sacrifices early on?  Ramen noodles, anyone?  Ever work at a fast food joint?  Did you have to type?)

My Daughter’s So Frikkin’ EMBARRASSING! (But It’s POSSIBLE She Inherited That Trait!)

So then…just as we exit the Stephen Hawking bio-pic, “The Theory of Everything,” I overhear this exchange between my teen kids:

Chloe:  He only wrote one book?  I thought he wrote TONS of books!

Tucker (facepalm):  That’s Stephen King.  This movie’s about Stephen HAWking.

Me (distancing myself from them, hoping no one thinks I’m related)

Much later, after the laughter subsides, I say to Chloe:

Me:  Did you really think the movie was going to be about Stephen King, the horror writer?

Chloe:  Yes!

Me:  Didn’t you think it was strange when the Stephen in the movie got so sick?

Chloe:  I thought maybe his illness is why his books are so dark!

Me:  What about all the physics stuff?

Chloe:  Yeah, that was confusing.

Me:  Chloe!  The movie said Stephen Hawking could only write 4 words a minute!  Stephen King has written a GAZILLION BOOKS!  Do you know how long that would take???

Chloe:  (pause)  Well, he seemed really determined.

I swear — for such a bright, clever, academically-gifted child, she’s an incredible knucklehead –

ALTHOUGH TO BE HONEST….

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

For many years – I’m talkin’ YEARS – I thought that the Warren Buffet guy who made all the brilliant investments was the same guy who sang “Margaritaville.”

Yep, I thought THIS guy –

Buffet Warren Fold Arms 300

Was the same as THIS guy!

Buffet with Hands Up 429

NOW HEAR ME OUT.

First of all, Buffet’s not a common name.  So first I heard about Jimmy Buffet, a singer-songwriter who sold millions of records and scored tons of cult fans who call themselves, “Parrotheads.”

Then I heard he opened chains of restaurants called “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” – AND hotels – AND casinos!  Years ago I read an article that he wrote books, flew his own plane, owned minor league teams, created internet games, and opened a record label – making over $100 million a year from all these business ventures!

I heard that he invested his money so well, and was so super-rich, that he lived on an island – or bought an island – or some shit about an island.

So I’m thinking – cool, this guy’s a musician AND he happens to have a head for business.  That’s pretty frikkin’ awesome.

So when I started seeing clever quotes about investing and finances attributed to some Buffet guy, I just figured — it’s the same guy.

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Those Buffet quotes are so succinct and clever, they sound like a songwriter DID write them!

“Price is what you pay.  Value is what you get.”

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

Yo, dog, these could be song lyrics!

And you gotta admit – those balding old white dudes tend to look alike.

Buffet Lookalikes 360

Jimmy Buffet                       Warren Buffet

So EVERY TIME I heard something about one of those Buffet guys, I assumed it was the same person.

Until the party.

Yep, the party where my error was exposed in excruciating detail for all the world to see.

Picture the scene: Crowded party, noisy – several of us are chatting by the dessert table.

1st Man:  Warren Buffet said the best way to invest is (blah blah financial stuff).

2nd Man:  And he said next year, the interest rate is going to (blah blah financial stuff).

(I don’t really understand all the financial references, but I want to participate in the conversation.)

Me:  Yeah, that guy’s amazing.  SUPER talented.

Both men look at me quizzically.

Me:  You know – the singing.

Both men look confused.

Me (somewhat condescendingly):   Hello – Margaritaville?

Both men are stunned.

Time stops.  The air’s sucked out of the room.

All 5 of the men and women stare at me in utter disbelief.

1st Man:  Do you mean…

2nd Man:  …JIMMY Buffet?

Me:  Yeah, Jimmy Buffet.

1st Man:  But that’s not the same as WARREN Buffet.

Me:  Who’s Warren Buffet?

Time stands still again.  Everyone stares in horror.

My friend Megan quickly jumps in and says, “Ha!  Oh Darcy!  You and your sense of humor!  You’re pretending Warren Buffet is Jimmy Buffet!  Ha, ha, ha!”

I quickly join the cover-up and laugh weakly:  “Oh, yeah, heh heh heh.  Just jokin’ around with you guys.”

1st Man and 2nd Man do not look convinced.

I excuse myself to the bar, grab a glass of wine, and head into the bathroom with my Iphone.

“What the FUCK?” I mutter as I quickly Google those wily bastards, Jimmy and Warren.   “Sonofabitch!  They ARE two different guys!”

Here all this time, I thought the boozy, happy-go-lucky Margaritaville singer was giving financial advice to Presidents and Kings.

Don’t judge me.

It could happen.

(Saturday Night Live alum Al Franken of self-help guru “Stuart Smalley” fame is a U.S. SENATOR, for God’s sake!!)

So there you have it — 

It’s no wonder my daughter watched an entire movie about world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, thinking it was a bio-pic on horror writer Stephen King ——- because her own mother thought the billionaire investment magnate Warren Buffet was also the singing Parrothead guy Jimmy Buffet.

Buffet Warren Head Jimmy Body 429

The knuckleheaded apple does not fall far from the knuckleheaded tree!

So today, I ask you, what embarrassing misconception can YOU admit to?

It can be small, like my childhood assumption that people on TV could see me since I could see them, hence I always changed clothes BEHIND the couch.

It can be odd, like my childhood belief that everyone’s given a maximum number of words in a lifetime, so I was very quiet in my youth so I could save up my words for adulthood.

It can be embarrassing, like my voracious reading habit that made me attempt to use words I had no idea how to pronounce so I’d say things like, “Well, that’s the very ‘epi-TOME’ of greed!’ instead of the correct ‘i-ˈpi-tə-mē’ — thereby creating gales of laughter for those in the know.

So ‘fess up, friends!

What’s YOUR equivalent to my Buffet Blunder?

— Darcy Perdu

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(Let’s hear it! You must have SOMETHING to confess – a misconception, an assumption, a flat-out blunder! Share your hilarious humiliations!)

Argh!  My kid's SO embarrassing!  (but then again -- that apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)  Do you think it might be hereditary?  #funny SoThenStories.com