Parenting, Prompt Fiction

Fiction: Severing the Friendship Ties

Thursday Thread
Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.

I will just tell you, right off the bat, that this story is based on real life. Stick around, I need your input at the end.

_______________________________

Severing the Friendship Ties

Matt clutched his paper lunch bag tighter between his fingers. He hated lunch, mainly because he never knew where to sit.

And it was the only time period in the day when he had to endure Lance.

Matt stepped behind a group of teenage girls and kept a few paces back from them as they entered the lunchroom. Maybe Lance wouldn’t find him today. Maybe he wouldn’t have to listen to Lance’s loud voice or put up with this immature attitude.

He lifted his head a bit to look over the girl’s shoulder in front of him. So far, so good. The girl, sensing him behind him, glanced back and gave him a disinterested once over.

Matt flashed a lop-sided grin and moved past the girls and toward a table at the edge of the lunchroom.

The noise was deafening. But even though it was loud in the lunchroom, it was nothing compared to Lance’s boisterous antics.

He gingerly sat down and opened his bag. He smiled. He loved the lunches his mom packed for him. They were always full of good stuff. He pulled out a crust-less peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Cheez-Its, a can of root beer and a baggie stuffed with mult-colored Twizzlers.

His favorite candy.

He popped the tab on his can and looked around. He didn’t really mind eating lunch by himself. It was a welcome relief from his day – it gave him a chance to unwind and de-stress a bit before he tackled his afternoon classes.

He released a long, soft sigh and ripped open his sandwich. His fingers dug into the spongy bread and his smile grew. He loved the frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, especially when they were soft and gooey. He lifted the circular sandwich to his lips when he heard it.

Lance’s voice, calling out his name.

In the middle of the lunchroom.

People began to twitter in amusement and turned their heads trying to locate him.

Many found him. And to Matt’s utter horror, so did Sarah. The girl he had been in love with since 4th grade.

He sighed and slowly lowered his sandwich, his appetite dissipating into wispy smoke.

“Matt! Dude! I’ve been looking all over for you.”

Matt didn’t answer.

“So, what’s up?”

Matt very calmly, and with precise movements, pulled out his book with one hand, and lifted his sandwich with the other.

He took a generous bite and was chewing quietly when it happened.

The temper tantrum.

“What the heck? Why are you ignoring me? What, I’m not GOOD enough for you?”

Matt tried to ignore the stares from his peers, but he knew they were looking – and laughing.

At him, most likely.

“I DON’T LIKE BEING IGNORED, MATT.” Lance crossed his arms and openly pouted.

Matt took a breath. He kept his eyes trained on his book and though he appeared outwardly calm, his heart was hammering so hard in his chest he felt light headed.

“You’re embarrassing me, Lance. I’ve already told you. I don’t want to hang out with you if you don’t learn to control yourself. I’m right here,” he glanced quickly at the boy, “you don’t have to yell.”

“WHO SAYS I’M YELLING?”

Matt just looked at him with raised eyebrows. He shook his head and went back to reading. The words wavered before his eyes and he had no idea what he was reading.

He never thought he would ever think this, let alone mean it, but he was actually looking forward to going back to class.

And away from Lance.

_______________________________

Matt? Is MK. Lance? Is MK’s “friend.” We’ll continue to call him Lance.

Let me explain …

We are now into the fourth day of the school year and MK is miserable. Not because of his teachers, his classes, or even his peers, but rather because of one lone boy – a boy he’s known since second grade.

This boy has always been loud (and in my opinion, obnoxious). And MK has always rolled with that loudness and seemed to like this boy and liked to hang out with him.

Until this year. Apparently, MK has done a bit of maturing over the summer and he no longer finds this boy quite so amusing. In fact, this boy is still stuck in grade school, apparently, because MK tells me that a lot of kids are now making fun of this boy and his loud voice and overly-dramatic gestures and attitude.

In fact, MK sort of thinks the boy acts feminine – if you catch my drift.

But that’s not even the real issue (though that makes him uncomfortable). The real issue is he’s not sure how to handle this. He’s tried talking to the boy, “Dude, you’re embarrassing me. Cut it out.” And the boy gets all bent out of shape, raises his voice and just causes a scene so that it’s just better to endure his behavior than try and confront him about it. (And yes, MK has tried to talk to him privately, but it still escalates into a problem, from what MK tells me).

MK’s other friends are too freaked out to be around Lance, so they avoid him, leaving MK holding the embarrassment. MK doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t want to hurt this boy’s feelings, he’s tried talking to him but Lance doesn’t seem to get the message.

MK is now thinking about emailing the boy – maybe Lance will actually LISTEN to what he has to say instead of making a scene and getting all defensive.

What would you advise your son to do if you were in my shoes?

EDIT: MK and his friend talked on the phone last night. He told the friend that he’s under a lot of stress this year with all of his music activities and he doesn’t have time to stress about his freinds’ behaviors. I was very impressed with how he handled himself – he was very mature and understanding, “I know you’re like that … I understand … but this is how I feel.”

I don’t know if anything was resolved but it was a very proud momma moment – we are really raising this kid right. It’ll be interesting to see how this kid handles the “truth.” Hey, if you don’t have honesty, then what do you have.

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen – Question and Answers #1

I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some questions from my Monday Morning Meme. Don’t forget to check back Sunday afternoon for fresh questions!

null

1. Have you ever played hooky (from school or work)? If so, what excuse did you use to get out of school/work? What did you do instead of going to school/work? How often do you play hooky? If you’ve never played hooky, why not? What one thing HAS to happen before you would consider playing hooky (again)? Has your significant other every played hooky? If so, tell us about it. If not, why not? Has anyone you known ever gotten caught playing hooky?

When I had jobs outside of the home, I showed up everyday I was supposed to. I think there might have been ONE time (possibly two) when I was a manager at Wendy’s that I called in sick and really wasn’t. However, when I found out how much of an inconvenience it had turned out to be for my replacment, I felt so guilty that I never did it again.

When I worked at Wal-Mart, I was trapped inside the cash office – which was a windowless office with video cameras for eight hours. And when I was working by myself, there wasn’t anyone to take my place – I was it, baby. I remember one time being so sick that I threw up in a Wal-Mart bag, walked the bag to the restroom, threw it away and worked the rest of my shift. I felt better after throwing up but … well, I couldn’t help but be mortified by the fact that my being sick was most likely caught on camera.

I can’t decide which is worse – throwing up in a Wal-Mart bag or doing it on tape.

Now the husband? Will most likely be one of those people who drop dead at work because he goes to work REGARDLESS of how he feels – always. I admire his determination and loyalty but geez, sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and stay home and rest, you know?

2. If you could be guaranteed an honest answer to three questions, what questions would you ask, and who would you ask them of?

A. I’d ask a presidential candidate – Do you REALLY think you can change our country for the better? (And of course, I’d have someone taping the encounter so we could all over-analyze his/her answer).

B. I’d ask God – Will I ever win the lottery? (Mainly because if I was ever talking to God, I would be so flustered because it’s GOD we’re talking about here, that I would totally screw it up and ask something lame like this. *grin*)

C. I’d ask my husband – Why do you love me? (Because I seriously want to know why he puts up with me).

3. If you could give a single piece of advice to the film industry in Hollywood, what would you say? If you were a powerful film producer, what sorts of films would you produce? Why?

Dude, seriously, choose your scripts more carefully. Most movies nowadays are so LAME. I’d produce movies that actually had PLOTS and decent CHARACTERS and then I’d make sure that the actors chosen for the job could, you know, actually DO the job.

4. What is your blog about? How long have you been blogging? Why did you begin blogging? Is it the same reason that you continue to blog today? How has your blog changed over the time you’ve had it? In six words, sum up your blog.

My blog is about my life. Wow, what a boring answer. But it’s true. I blog to journal my life, my thoughts and what I had for breakfast every day – oh wait, I don’t eat breakfast. I blog mainly because I have a terrible memory and it helps me to recall my past (that’s such a sad excuse, but its true). I can honestly say that my blogging has changed in that I no longer blog to try and gain readers/hits. I mean readers and hits are great, wonderful in fact, but I think when you start blogging largely to gain readers, you lose a bit of yourself in the process. And I don’t want to do that. So now, I’m only trying to post substantial and interesting (though that’s debatable) things about me and my thoughts.

I’ve been blogging since January 1st, 2005. I started on Blogger, discovered WordPress, moved to my own self-hosted site in the summer of 2005 and only recently (May of this year), moved my blog to wordpress.com because I was tired of dealing with all of the bugs and CPU drainage on my web host.

I do not plan on moving again – ever. I LOVE wordpress.com. Booyah!

5. When you go for a haircut, do you do something drastic? Or are you more of a ‘just a trim’ sort of person? Do you color your hair? If so, how often? Tell us about your best, and worst, hairstyle. What sort of hairstyle do you think looks good on you now?

A trim, mainly. My hair is pretty long now, just past my shoulder blades and though I like it long, and I think I look better with long hair, it drives me crazy because I keep finding long hairs stuck to my shirt and I HATE that. I plan on going in the day after Labor Day and having it colored, when I do, I think I’m going to have about two inches cut off simply because it’s driving me nuts.

I color my hair about every three months. I go in for a bang trim about every six weeks. I’m pretty low maintenance. 😉

6. If you only had enough time each day to read one section of the newspaper, which section would you read? Why this particular section?

I don’t read the paper – I mean why? When the same information PLUS some is on the Internet. But if I did, then it would definitely be the funnies. Why? Because life’s too short not to laugh, that’s why. Laugh every day. That’s an order.

7. What does the hand-soap in your bathroom smell of? What color are your bathroom walls? What color are your guest towels? What sort of decor, or theme, do you have in your bathroom? (Post a picture if you dare!)

We don’t have hand soap in our bathroom (unless we have guests over). I know, that sounds gross, doesn’t it. We usually walk to the kitchen and wash our hands. Our bathroom walls are a mushroom color. My mom HATES it, my mother-in-law loves it (they have very different tastes). Me? Eh, I’m not too crazy about it but I can live with it until we paint again. Our overall theme is tropical. We have palm tree pictures, a huge basket with palm fronds and other crap (can you tell I’m not big into home decor?) and our towels are a tannish/brown and tan colors. Oh, we also have a bamboo vase with bamboo in one corner of the bathroom. Here’s a picture if you’re interested.

8. What is the last thing you bought from a vending machine? Where were you? How much did you spend? Do you use vending machines very often?

Oh wow, I have no idea. It was probably at Wal-Mart to buy GD some soda. There’s this new “hot” thing going around with the kids here where they think they have some magic code they can punch into a soda machine and it supposedly by-passes the whole put your coins here thing and they can get free soda. Though the code definitely does something (judging by the weird message that comes up), he’s yet to get a free soda.

When I worked at Wal-Mart, the break room had several vending machines and I would stuff my face with chips and pastries. Hence the reason I was about twenty pounds heavier when I worked at Wal-Mart – it was too tempting NOT to.

9. What are your children doing right now? If you don’t have children, what is your significant other/roommate/friend, etc. doing right now?

Well, right now it’s 7:02 a.m. and the boys are dressed and ready for school and are killing time – MK is on his computer, GD is playing Mario Kart Racing. The husband just stepped into the shower and I’m thinking I need to stop this meme and make the boys lunch or we’re going to be late.

Back in a few …

10. Have you ever counted up all the pills and/or vitamin capsules that you take every day? How many are there? What do you take on a daily basis? Do you give your children vitamins? If so, what kind?

I do not take any prescription pills, nor do I ever intend to take prescription pills (unless it’s temporary, like antibiotics) ever. EVER. I will remain healthy throughout my old age and I will retain my mental capabilities – period. I believe it to be so and I trust God to help me make it so.

Now over the counter drugs? I take Aleve once in a while for sinuses. Excedrin migraine once in a while for, well, migraines. I also use nose spray (those pesky sinuses again). But other than that? I rarely even take Tylenol.

I do give the kids vitamins once in a while – especially when I see they are feeling run down and need a boost. I still give MK a children’s vitamin because he’s just so freaking skinny and underweight for regular vitamins. But GD, he gets a “man” vitamin – one of those daily vitamins designed for men.

The husband doesn’t pop pills, either. He does have to take Tylenol PM sometimes though to help him sleep.

11. Do you think that gift cards are suitable gifts to give? Do you find them to be impersonal? Do you like receiving gift cards? If so, from where and do you cash them in right away, or do you wait for the right item/price to come along?

I love, love, LOVE gift cards (hint hint!). ESPECIALLY to Barnes & Noble. In fact, I still have the gift card to B&N my parents gave me for my last birthday. It’s not that I haven’t found anything I want to spend it on, but rather, I prefer to hoard it, take it out and gaze upon its plastic goodness once in a while and think “I have a backup plan for that book I really, really want.” I love that.

I think they can be impersonal if the giver hasn’t given it much thought. For example, if I ever got a Lowe’s gift card I would be hard pressed not to look the giver in the eye and say, “Why?” But to get a gift certificate to your favorite store? Ahh, heaven.

12. Who have you needed to say thank you to lately? Who is this person and what did he/she do to prompt a thank you?

This is going to sound cliché but I can’t help it – my husband. I hate to brag on the man, but I quite possibly have the best husband in the world. He’s thoughtful, he pulls (more than!) his weight around the house, he is incredibly smart and is an amazing problem solver. And he puts up with me.

That, my dear husband, deserves a HUGE, HUGE thank you in and of itself. I’ve been really busy these past two weeks and he’s been fantastic – understanding and patient. Thank you honey, I love you more than I tell you.

13. How many candles will be on your birthday cake this next birthday? What do you think about the age you are now? Are you comfortable with what you’ve accomplished in life so far? Or do you wish you could have achieved more? You’re being granted one birthday wish – what is it?

Gads, I can’t believe I’m telling you guys this, but I’ll be 38 in November.

…………..

Oh alright! 39.

………….

Fine, 43. Happy now? 😦

Have I accomplished everything I’ve set out to? Not quite. I have just three major life goals:

1. To see my kids grow up and be responsible and successful adults.
2. To graduate from college.
3. To be published.

One, I’m still working on but I think we have a pretty good start.

Two, I graduated from college in 2003 and it was an AMAZING experience (I miss college!!).

Three, well, that’s the one I need to work on. I have a feeling 2009 might be the year it happens. (Of course, I said that last year too, but … whatever).

My birthday wish? To continue living a happy and fulfilling life. God has blessed me, he truly has.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!
______________________________

null
It’s fun!