Crabgrass or Dandelion???

J’s boundless enthusiasm and energy overnight didn’t bode well.  He sang.  He danced. He giggled.  He laughed.  He watched TV.  He didn’t, however, sleep…until about an hour before we were supposed to wake him up.  I don’t need to go into details, do I, about how he was this morning?

He was a PEST!  It didn’t help, of course, that his DVD player decided to commit seppuku in the early morning hours.  That’s when the intransigence started.  I signed, said, grunted, growled and interpretive-danced I GO STORE BUY NEW THIS ONE BROKEN.  It didn’t help that the yelp of despair over the non-functioning DVD player came before my second sip of coffee…and I never really got back to it after that.  (Which reminds me, oh CRAP!, I’ve been going all day with one sip of coffee…)

So J left for school in a really, really bad mood and -to top it off- pretty tired.  I was left behind in a really, really bad mood and with 200 things on my to-do list.  In spite of this, I turned on the cheerfulness when TGG called to say he was done with work because today is his birthday…  Surreal, yes, that he walked in to his patient’s room last night and a banner hung there reading HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  TGG said “I was wondering if YOU had somehow snuck that past me and told my co-workers to hang it, but it turns out the patient had a birthday yesterday!”

The first hour and a half of the morning was consumed in negotiating the DVD situation with J, calling the bank to order the official check for TGG’s car, and pulling myself into some semblance of order before heading out to the Department of Motor Vehicles with TGG.  When I say “semblance of order” I am simply trying to convey that I was making sure I didn’t leave the house wearing my slippers (this has happened,) or with my nightgown bunched around my waist (yes…that has happened, too.)

Once the official errands were run, the next order of business was solving the DVD situation for J.  Did you know that you can get a DVD player for $30 these days?  And they come in colors!  So I got two.  I hid one in the hallway closet to make sure that the next time J’s conks out, I don’t have to do the Isadora Duncan thing unsuccessfully.  Of course, the very disturbing trend of selling movies on DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs is making me wonder if -at one point or another- we will have to jump on the “new type of machine” bandwagon.  A year or so ago, we took J to the dentist and this place was state-of-the-art, with flat screen TVs hovering over every chair and with a HUGE TV in the waiting room.  They had blu-ray…they’d stream whatever movie the kids wanted to watch.  As kids, we were lucky if they were playing an AM radio in the background, and there we were, sitting slack-jawed watching How To Train Your Dragon.  We’re pretty sure this is to numb the parents before handing them the bill because there wasn’t one kid in that waiting room that didn’t look and act like they were about to meet their doom, but the parents were pretty relaxed and sipping coffee from the Keurig machine in the corner.

At the end of each visit, TGG, my husband and I would be discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of blu-ray movies while J glared at us with venom in his eyes.  “Really, people???  I’ve just faced a DRILL, and you’re talking about THIS???  HELLO!!!???”  We all agreed we weren’t impressed by blu-ray; in fact, the word “nauseated” floated around…and now we go to the store and buy a copy of The Princess Diaries (don’t judge, please…there isn’t a male in this house who doesn’t love Anne Hathaway, and I can’t say I blame them) and it’s a combo pack.  J looks at the discs, they appear to be identical, and then comes the frustration when it doesn’t play on his $30 machine…so we basically weed out the blu-ray version, TGG stores it in a drawer in his desk, and J only contends with the DVD.  TGG often says “what will people think if there’s a nuclear catastrophe, we are obliterated and 200 years from now they find this desk, open the drawer and there’s a bunch of BLU-RAY DISNEY MOVIES???!!!”

We ran errands, went shopping and then came home with plenty of time to have lunch, do laundry, bake a cake and set up J’s DVD player.  Which leads me to my next gripe…  Does ANYONE use all the connecting ports in the back of TVs????  There are like a dozen and they’re different colors, types of plug and shapes and…  After half an hour of struggling to figure out what went where and telling myself “maybe the new DVD player isn’t working???????,” I decided to leave the cables, the machine, the remote and my dignity behind and move on to the next task…  You will believe when I tell you that J simply walked in, took the cables, the machine, plugged everything in, got it to work and sent me on my way, right?  Yeah…he did…

I remember (fondly and with a tear in my eye) the days when I had that kind of energy.  I’d be up all night, spend a cranky hour in the morning, recharge thanks to youth, and then flout my technological supremacy over my parents.  Of course, my mother would then bring me down a peg or two by upbraiding me for a months-old imaginary transgression.  I don’t have the energy for all that.  Right now I’m glad someone…ANYONE…knows how to connect the DVD player.

As J and I walked home from the bus, I reminded him it’s TGG’s birthday today.  BIRTHDAY!  TGG!, he said.  Yes, and we’re going to sing and blow out the candles and all.  BIRTHDAY!  TGG!  Indeed.  TGG was out running an errand of his own and when he got home, J happily went to hug him.  As usual, they had their little exchange of affectionate gestures, the usual questions about “your day,” and such.

I know J will peter out soon enough.  The joyfully sleepless night weighed first on his morning-mood, and eventually it will make him want to relax and sleep, but once the birthday cake and the candles come around, Mr. Crabgrass will happily flow into his brother’s celebration, and Mama Crabgrass (who has felt her age all day, thank you) will relax…and, yes, dandelions are weeds, but they belong to the daisy family…and don’t they just look like so many flowers from a distance???



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