Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Hey friends and foes - check out my new tricked-out Reluctant Daddy site! It's just been updated and loaded with heinous stories about marriage, children, and other atrocities.
As I have little to no self esteem, don't forget to register as a follower so you can be updated on all the nonsense in my life.
Monday, December 7, 2009
(Continued from HAIR BRAINED Pt. 3)
My taste in popular culture is rather pedestrian. Like most cliched queer boys, I adore THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, MEAN GIRLS, BRING IT ON and GLEE; further you'll find Britney Spears, Leona Lewis, Lady GaGa, and Madonna seared into every playlist on my Ipod no matter the musical theme, era or genre of that particular list. As a matter of fact, whenever I go shopping at the Itunes store, I always check what Dakota Fanning or Demi Lovato is listening to and copy their play lists verbatim. I have no original thoughts or tastes of my own and figure that if Dakota and Demi likes a particular song, TV show or movie it must be cool because they're in TEEN PEOPLE. I contemplated the sad state of my immature, 14-year-old girl tastes during my morning spinning class while shrieking 'PA-PA, PAPARAZZI' at the top of my asthmatic lungs. Here I was, pathetically perched on a stationary bike, my middle aged, headed-due-south body wedged into horrifying Lycra bike shorts, sweating copiously while shouting the lyrics to a song a man my age had absolutely NO BUSINESS knowing.
If my teenage, TWILIGHT-esque tastes aren't tragic enough, I have a rather gayish affection for movies about gladiators. I know, I know - your eyes are already rolling in their sockets as you smugly recall the infamous line from AIRPLANE, where a lascivious, Captain Oveur played by Peter Graves asks a clueless young boy, "Joey, Do you like movies about gladiators?" In 1980, with my greasy, feathered hair parted down the middle and a big white comb crammed in my pocket, I had only the vaguest inkling as to what made that line funny. Today of course, I get it. Gay guys like movies with the three 'S's,' swords, sandals and sodomy. Not necessarily in that order.
Imagine my surprise and delight when Warner Brothers had the foresight to release a film that satisfied both my craving for the three 'S's' but also appealed to my rather puerile, TIGERBEAT-fueled desire for beefcake. No, not that Mandy Moore clunker LICENSE TO WED, (I'm not that gay!) but the blood-soaked, action-packed, actors-with-their-abdominal-muscles-air-brushed-on-their-tummies, 300.
To me, 300 had it all; muscles, leather, eye liner and best of all, a style of parenting I particularly admired and was thrilled to emulate the night my son Ethan locked me out of his room and called me 'Jew-boy.' According to the film 300, whose parenting insights I value more than that creepy COMPLETE GUIDE TO YOUR CHILD'S HEALTH put out by those so-called 'experts' at the AMA, the moment a young male turns 7, he must be removed from the safety and comfort of his home and plunged into a world of ruthless savagery. He must be beaten, starved and best of all-HIS HEAD MUST BE SHAVED! I figured if it was good enough for those hunky, roided-up Spartans, it was sure-as-shit good enough for my son, Adolph Eichmann.
I felt like a MOSSAD agent as I ran to my bedroom in search of my rat tail comb. Having located my improvised plastic 'key' I jimmied the lock on my son's door and burst into his room to find him hiding in the corner behind the cheesy, overpriced, Pottery Barn catalogue rocking chair. As I flushed him out from behind the chair, he tried to blow past me, but I was able to grab him and wrestle him to the floor. Unlike Eichmann, we both knew that despite his wild thrashing and emphatic protestations there would be no Nuremberg trial in his future. This 'Jew-boy' dad was more than prepared to serve as merciless judge, unforgiving jury and savage 'hair-do' executioner.
My son sat moodily in the barber's chair as his damaged locks were shorn and fell to the ground in frizzy golden clumps. Even though Ethan had apologized profusely for the 'Jew-boy' remark and pleaded for mercy, his sentence was none-the-less carried out. The barber made his final pass with the clippers leaving my son looking like the world's smallest Marine.
After it was over, Ethan rose slowly from the chair and gazed at his reflection in the mirror. A long moment passed, and quite unexpectedly, a broad smile crossed his face. He turned to me, folded his arms and suddenly morphed into Jay-Z and in his best ghetto rap bellowed at me:
"Yo Yo my name is Jay,
born and raised in LA.
Though you call me your boy Ethan,
you the Popo I be beaten.
Now fool, take me to Pinkberry,
so they're Chocolate yogurt I can be eaten'."
Despite his alarming transformation from Nazi to street thug, and my own transition from Nazi hunter to the LAPD, I gladly took Ethan to Pinkberry. The pint-sized, often adversarial Jay-Z next to me ordered deep chocolate yogurt smothered in chocolate sprinkles while I ordered plain vanilla with coconut. I chuckled wryly to myself for the symbolism of our respective choices was not lost upon me.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
(Continued from HAIR BRAINED Pt. 2)
As my son Ethan fled in terror to the safety of his room, I sat in the kitchen smiling dementedly while preparing a vodka and tonic. I knew the haircut battle was already underway, and figured that a little libation couldn't hurt. As the ice cubes clinked merrily in my glass, and as I ascended the main staircase of our house, I couldn't help but make a comparison between my current situation, and the infamous scene from THE SHINING where Jack Nicholson chases his terrified son through the snowy hedge maze with an axe. In hindsight, I think Jack's character was tragically misunderstood.
Eons ago, before I made the 'blessed' decision to have children, I would sometimes visit TARGET to pick up some stylish, wildly unnecessary Isaac Mizrahi throw pillows or sheet sets and I would see some frazzled mother freaking out and shouting at her brood of incorrigible kids. I would naively think to myself, "Goodness, why is that ghastly, dangerously unbalanced woman yelling at those darling, precious little angels?!" Like my days of visiting TARGET just for the 'fun of it,' my attitudes towards screaming mommies have certainly changed. Now, when I see a mommy losing her cookies in TARGET I think to myself "Goodness, what have those awful, disrespectful little brats done to that poor, unfortunate woman?!" As I pass her, our red rimmed, swollen, sleep deprived eyes meet and the 'I-know-EXACTLY-what-you're-going-though' look is exchanged between us. As she fights back tears, she smiles at me gratefully. We go back to the management of our dangerous, unruly children, and steal another look at each other. A shared smile crosses both of our faces as we realize that we are comrades in arms and that while we may lose the battle of TARGET, we will eventually (hopefully) win the war.
Like crazy Jack Nicholson, I stand outside my son's locked, barricaded door knocking politely.
"Ethan darling, open the door." I ask sweetly.
"Ethan, daddy just wants to talk to you...now open the door!"
"Ethan, open the door now!"
"ETHAN, IF YOU DON'T OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW, I'M GOING TO KICK IT IN AND SCALP YOU MYSELF!" I scream.
"GO AWAY JEW-BOY!" my son yells back.
Jew-boy! Jew-boy? Now, I know I should have been enraged, or at least taken some umbrage at the 'Jew-boy' remark, but by now the vodka had gotten the better of me and I became uncharacteristically reflective. I realized that in my zeal to create my eugenically perfect, blond haired, blue eyed, test tube baby son, I hadn't counted on my 'creation' scornfully looking down his aquiline, will-never-need-rhinoplasty nose at my humble (criminally insane) Jewish, Ashkenazi roots. That's fine I thought, if Adolph Eichmann in there was gonna play the Jew card, I was prepared to go Simon Wiesenthal on his ass.
(To Be Continued)
Monday, November 23, 2009
(Continued from HAIR BRAINED)
Believe it or not, even in my shit-kicker high school, we held senior superlative elections. For those who know nothing about high school, or like me have wisely repressed 99% of it, senior superlatives are those annoying 'Best Looking' or 'Most Spirited' honors that are conveyed upon a student by popular vote. That the contest existed at all came as quite a surprise to me, as at the time, my high school was embroiled in a shocking scandal that involved the grisly murder of a popular English teacher by both her lover, a fellow faculty member, as well as the school's shady, 'Person of Interest' principal. (Incidentally, the convicted teacher/murderer, William 'Wild Bill' Bradfield, simply ADORED me and without reservation, gave me an 'A+' in his Latin class. I shutter to think what that says about my lack of character.)
Despite the murder and the intoxicating presence of both the local police, FBI, and national press, our meager lives went on. The school year proceeded and votes for the superlatives were cast. As I was too busy getting stoned and trying to hide my sexuality by masquerading as 'arty', I didn't do the usual lobbying, brown-nosing or outright bullying other students undertook to boost their chances of receiving such a prestigious honor. I shrugged the whole thing off as 'bourgeoisie' and like any cliched gay high school kid, worked feverishly on the sets of 'DEATHTRAP, which in light of the current murder melodrama unfolding at our school was a wildly inappropriate choice for school play.
Imagine my surprise when I not only took home a senior superlative , but won the honor by a landslide! No, I didn't take home some paltry, two-bit 'Best Personality,' 'Most Spirited,' or even 'Most Likely To Succeed,' superlative. I took home the granddaddy of senior superlatives, the superlative that to this day I cherish with the fervor and sanctity one reserves for an Academy Award; 'BEST HAIR.'
As my seven-year-old, gay-bashing, Neo-Nazi son stood before me, his frizzy, chlorine damaged hair vaguely resembling Kate Gosselin's rabid possum hair 'don't' I became incensed. What right did my son have in impugning my fragile sense of sexual self in addition to my quasi-agnostic, had-my-Bar-Mitzvah-for-the-money Jewish identity? More importantly, who did he think he was questioning my impeccable Upper Merion Senior High School class of 1981 'Best Hair' senior-superlative winner credentials? The rage building inside me was palpable as my eyes bored into my son's beady little eyes. As I stared him down, I yanked my iphone theatrically from it's stylish Louis Vuitton case and quick dialed.
"Who are you calling?" my son asked.
"Hey Blane, it's Tod. Ethan's gone RED ALERT. How quickly can you get here?"
Despite my son's surfer boy bravado, I began to smell the fear on him, for It slowly dawned on him that unlike his dreary friends whose dads had the standard doctor, lawyer, and master-of-the-universe hedge fund friends, his gay, dark-haired, Jew-boy, 'Best Hair' senior superlative winner dad possessed a hoard of hair dresser friends happy to make a house call.
As the horror of his crew cut fate became clear, my son darted from the room screaming. I smiled to myself and stood perfectly still for I planned to savor the knock-down-drag-out confrontation yet to come.
(To Be Continued)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"Your hair looks hideous." I say to my son Ethan.
There, I've said it. I've actually made a negative, rather bitchy declarative statement, completely disregarding my son's feelings, self esteem, or future character development in hopes of advancing my own aesthetic agenda. God, it feels so good to just say what I feel as opposed to the usual conversational mediation I must resort to in hopes of getting him to perform the smallest, most inconsequential tasks such as eating his broccoli, brushing his teeth, or re grouting the upstairs bathroom. My seven year old son who is as argumentative as any trial attorney, negotiates EVERYTHING. I constantly find myself relegated to the role of determined district attorney (Think Julianne Moore or Laura Linney) to his sanctimonious public defender. Each and every request on my part is treated like a federal case, requiring ceaseless explanations, justifications, and evidence. My son rarely responds to reason. My patience begins to wear thin as the case drags on interminably. My role quickly changes from professional district attorney, to tough-as-nails judge (Think Kevin Spacy) determined to prosecute the little shit and place his lousy, entitled ass in the pokey.
My son's eyes go wide as my voice rises and the veins on my throat begin to stand out. Unfortunately, I am now completely lucid, my Grey Goose 'mommie's helper' buzz having been officially killed and my rational, district attorney demeanour now a thing of the past. I've officially entered that hideous 'things-I-promised-myself-I-would-never-say-to-my-kid' land.
"Your hair is brittle, broken, and has absolutely no style." I shriek. "I'm tired of all this bullshit negotiating. You're getting it cut whether you like it or not! Now get in the car before I grab my clippers and shave that rat's nest off myself. Now, move it!"
Unimpressed by my display of power, my son Ethan does not move. He shifts his weight to one leg, and crosses his arms. He stares at me with the curiosity (pity?) one reserves for mental patients or the homeless - a look that simultaneously conveys concern and utter revulsion.
"Well, are we going or what?" I snap.
He takes a small moment to reflect, and then all at once sneers at me "I don't want to get my haircut. I'm a surfer and surfers have long hair. You just don't understand because you're gay."
At first I am stunned. I wonder if I've heard him correctly. When I ask him to repeat himself, he again states that surfers have long blond hair and I don't understand because not only am I gay, I have dark, Jew-boy hair. I'm horrified. I'm appalled. I don't know what upsets me more, his homophobia, his implied antisemitism or FAR WORSE, his appalling assertion that I know little to nothing about current hair styles!
The infuriated tranny in me suddenly rears her ugly, M.A.C. hued head. My right hand is now moving in a perfect circle, my index finger pointing due north, and in my best ghetto accent I snarl 'OH NO YOU DI'N'T!'
(To be continued)