Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Rantings of an Angry Mother

snowy treesToday's post is brought to you from the comfort of my couch with a heating pad set to 'low' hopefully soothing the various and assorted aches and pains that I incurred while trying to get the car shoveled out this morning so that I could get Amanda down to the train station in New London so that she could start on her Christmas journey to Puerto Rico.

It was not a good start ...

As most people know, we here in New England and other parts of the Northeast got slammed with a pretty good snowstorm yesterday - Winter Storm Austin they named it as apparently storms all need names these days or they get jealous of the hurricanes or some such other reason. Anyhow, Austin managed to dump about 9 to 10 inches of snow on us here in the Norwich region and even though the snow was of the light & fluffy variety, it still needed to be shoveled out of the way - a task that was supposed to fall to the teenagers in the house.

You'll notice that said "was supposed to" ... yeah ... the one teenager who was supposed to be really concerned about being able to get the car out was spending most of her time whining about the fact that she "always has to shovel and why can't Jamie do it?" Well, gee, Amanda you always have to do it because you live here ... perhaps you'd like to move down to Florida with your father and then you wouldn't have to ever shovel snow again!! Besides, the only reason I was even attempting to get the car out at this point was so that I could haul her to the train station. Do you think that occurred to her, though? Do you think she had finished her packing yesterday when I squeaked at her twenty times to do it? I've had no voice for the past couple of days so squeaking is the best I can do but I'm pretty sure it was an audible squeak that she chose to ignore.

So, at any rate, to try to make a long rant short ... I put on my back brace, grabbed the shovel, and did my best to clear snow without throwing my back out after I told Amanda to finish her @*%#ing packing and then print out her Amtrak reservation so that we could just go to the kiosk in the station and get it that way rather than get it from the clerk. I figured it would save some time just in case we were running late - which we were.

Finally I got her into the car with her luggage and we started down the first hill at my house but before we got to the bottom she said "I forgot my cell phone!". Good grief ... I backed up the hill (a miracle unto itself as the road is in really bad condition) and she went back in to to get her phone. In the meantime, Jamie had layered on some clothes and found a pair of boots and was working on shoveling out the parking area in front of the house, etc. so that when I got back home there would be someplace for me to put the car other than in a snowdrift.

Once Amanda got back into the car, we headed back down the road, made it down the first hill okay, and then spun out 180 degrees on the second hill so that I was facing up the hill rather than down it like I was initially. Oh good Lord ... I hate driving in this stuff! I managed to get turned around and pointed back in the right direction without hitting anything or getting stuck only to get down to the main road to find out that despite it being a State-maintained road - it's total crap and it doesn't look like a plow has been by in a very long time. Sigh ...

Getting to the train station on time was beginning to look like even more of an impossibility as I got in a line of traffic behind some yutz in a red Neon who was crawling along at about 20 mph. There were about eight cars between myself and the leader of the parade and no place to even think about passing so there was nothing for it but to crawl along behind everyone else and curse under my breath with every passing moment. As the parade behind me grew longer and longer, the minutes continued to tick by on the clock closer and closer to the time of the train's departure. I should point out that at this point in time, my mood had reached subterraneanly low levels and I was not the best person to be around.

Finally we got to the train station and there was road construction all over the place (what the hell? are they digging up the entirety of downtown New London?) and there was barely a place to pull over to unload Amanda and her luggage. I told her to get into the station, get her ticket, hope the train is late, and that I'd be in as soon as I could find a place to park. Luckily I found a spot big enough to squeeze into next to a dumpster and then stepped out into a snow bank up to the tops of my boots. Swell ...

Meanwhile, in the train station, Amanda had not printed out the barcode for her reservation like I told her to and had to stand in line and wait for the world's s-l-o-w-e-s-t clerk to wait on the two people in front of her in order to get her ticket. That bad mood that I was in got worse ... much worse.

As Amanda stood there waiting and waiting and waiting the train that she was supposed to be on pulled into the station, loaded up its passengers, and pulled back out of the station without her on it because she was still standing in the $#&^ing line!! Of course, all I can think is that had she printed out the barcode like I told her to, she would have had her ticket and be on the train but oh no ... she couldn't do that, could she?!?

At long last, the world's slowest ticket clerk finally finished up with the guy in front of Amanda who simply wanted to go on a later train to New Haven and she gave him her train reservation number that she WROTE ON HER HAND!!! The next train out was only about 45 minutes later but because she missed her first train there was a price change and I had to shell out an extra $30 for the ticket. My temper at that point had reached the boiling-over point and I was ready to scream - except for the fact that I had no voice and could only squeak out how angry I was at Amanda. I'm pretty sure I haven't squeaked out that many expletives in a very long time.

Once she got her ticket, I left Amanda sitting in the lobby at the train station with instructions to get herself on the train when it came as I knew that if I stayed I would have done nothing but squeak at her and that wasn't going to help anything. It was best to remove myself from the situation and head home, provided I could get the car out of the snowbank I had pulled it into. I know that leaving her there on her own wasn't very motherly of me but I really thought it was best as I honestly cannot remember being that angry in a very long time. Angry at Amanda ... angry at the condition of the roads ... angry at random drivers who have no clue how to drive in snow and should stay off the roads ... angry at the ridiculously slow Amtrak clerk ... just angry in general.

As I started to drive out of New London it dawned on me that I had forgotten to give Amanda any money for food or drink on the train so even though I was mad at her, I turned around and went back to the train station where I called her on her cell phone and had her come out and get some money before I headed home again wondering whether I was going to be able to get back up the hills at my house or not. Oh, and just to add insult to injury, the jets for the windshield washer fluid in the car decided to act up and I could barely see through my filthy windshield on the way home! But of course!

Fortunately, the plow had come by in my absence and I was able to get back up the hills and to the house where Jamie had done a very good job of shoveling out the snow while I was gone. The only problem is, it's still coming down lightly and recoating everything and, like it or not, I have to venture back out again early tomorrow morning to go into work for my Sunday double and await the next storm that is supposed to come through leaving more snow in its wake. No doubt I'm going to have to try to do some more shoveling and my back already aches. Its times like this when I wonder why I moved back to Connecticut from California ...

Anyhow, after downing a cup of coffee and some toast, I am feeling marginally better. I sent Amanda a text apologizing for being so angry and she actually sent back that it was okay and she deserved it (wow!). I hope she has a great time in Puerto Rico while Jamie and I deal with some lousy New England weather and I'm sure that by the time she comes home in two weeks, I will have forgotten about today. At least that's the plan!

Whew! I hope that everyone else is having a better Saturday than I am!


  1. Anonymous1:39 PM EST

    this is why we have no children ( and never want any) and a dog instead. dogs never want to go to Puerto Rico. we feel so sorry for your back pain Linda. you had every right to be cranky with the world and slow ticket agent. with that kind of start who wouldn't be. make the kid move out when the 2 weeks are up. get a dog.

  2. I'd still be sitting at home waiting for her to shovel the snow. I would not have done it. Just saying. She's the one that needed the car moved.

    My son was the spitting image of this story. I just let him sit in his own mess. Saved me a lot of trouble and money.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  3. Oh, I've been there with kids and husband. She's going to Puerto Ric and she had no money for food? your a mother to the end even under pain and stress. sometimes I think we are all stupid. can't wait till they become mothers that is the only true payback. may your aches and pains feel better.

  4. Anonymous3:13 PM EST

    So what if the red neon is going 20 mph. I am sure they were worried about safety. Maybe it was the only way for them to get food, was to take their little red neon, which is not good in the snow...and travel along safely. Better than having someone yelling at her daughter because it snowed and is having a bad day. Those drivers sometimes tend to be the worst. We all have bad days. Live with it.

  5. Wow - I think you need to set your comments setting to "no anonymous bitches"

    As for Amanda, I'm with Sandee on this one. She's got to take the reins of responsibility sometime. SHE should have been the one to shovel out the car. And not having printed the barcode is inexcusable. SHE should have paid the $30 for the extra ticket (assuming she ever got her ass that far without your help!).
    I don't blame you for being angry one bit, and SHE should have been the one to apologize, not you! What a brat she was.
    Thank goodness for Jamie!
    I say you keep Jamie and staple a brown wig on Amanda's head and send HER back to Florida!!!!
    (Now you'll probably want to banish me along with those anonymousjerks, but you know... Amanda needs to GROW UP!)

  6. LOL @ Mo...I was thinking the same thing about comments!

    I'm sorry you had a lousy morning Linda. One of those events is enough to frustrate anyone, let alone the big string of them you had.


    As for the hills-I'm super impressed that you managed to turn back around. As someone who's driven up and down those things sans snow, I can say for a fact that they are hairy bitches.

  7. Dear Anonymous Commenter #2 -

    Perhaps if the person in the red neon had REALLY been all that concerned, he or she would have pulled over and let the wagon train of 30 other cars go around him/her before he/she caused a major accident because he/she was going entirely too slow for the road conditions.

    I have no problems with people going slower than the speed limit as I tend to drive slower myself when the road conditions are bad but if I see a pile of people behind me, I will pull over and allow others to pass me. I flunked my first driver's test because I was TOO cautious and the driving inspector told me that being too cautious will cause just as many accidents as someone not being cautious enough.

    Besides that, the red neon got on the road near the casino and turned off at the Submarine Base (where there is a perfectly good commissary if one needs groceries) so I don't think that going to the grocery store to feed his/her starving family was on the agenda.

    Yes, I was having a bad day and I freely admitted that here on MY blog where I tend to write about the things that are going on in MY life. And if that included yelling at MY daughter then so be it.

    Feel free to write your own blog and I will be more than happy to come over and leave you comments about how YOU should live YOUR life.

    Other than that - thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  8. There is nothing like a teenager to make ones blood boil. You are a good mother, and Amanda knows that. Eventually, she will assume more responsibility and take the consequences of her actions.

    I hope you have a great holiday with Jamie and that Amanda has a lovely time in Puerto Rico. When she returns a mother/daughter conference might be in order. Until then, take long deep breaths, and think gentle thoughts of daffodils and butterflies. :-)

  9. wow what a jerk that anonymous commenter seems to be. wonder if they are having a bad day too???

    i am trying to catch up, you've been a busy girl!

    smiles, bee

  10. I cannot believe ANYONE could have left that type of comment. And anomynous, of course. What a freakin' jerk. I had to work today. It was not easy!

  11. One thing for sure Linda there always seems to be a Jack ass in every crowd... Wow, You know me My post wouldn't have been near as nice as you were... I would have flipped a lid over my kid being dorky... Geesh.. Anonymous Peoples always hide... geesh geesh geesh...

  12. Anonymous5:55 PM EST

    Linda, you're handling it all with more grace than I would have... Now rest taht back and snuggle up...You deserve a break.


  13. Oh my, Duchess Linnie, what a horrid Saturday you had.

    I hope you can relax this evening, rest your back and de-stress a bit.

    And I thought dealing with a bitchy person this morning as we were handing out the Angel Food Ministry boxes was bad. I really wanted to hit this 20-something jerk.

  14. Anonymous6:14 PM EST

    The one constant with teenagers is that they will always attempt to do the exact opposite of what parents ask them to do...if they acknowledge the request at all. I'm with a couple of others. If necessary items were not taken care packing and helping get the car dug out...the trip would have been canceled. At least that's what my head say. My heart may have something else to say.

    I'm a lot like you in that when the frustrations start piling up I boil over and it's hard to control my tongue. I give you a lot of credit for apologizing, but I think it might have been a little misplaced. She was right, she did deserve it.

    Hope your back gets better soon. And do yourself a favor and turn of the anonymous comment option. If someone is going to leave that kind of rant they need to be adult enough to take credit for it.

  15. Anonymous8:21 PM EST

    Bad weather has the tendency to bring out the worst in people...the important thing is that Amanda made it to NJ in one piece and that you were able to get to the train station and back safely.

  16. I agree with Mo and Sandee, big time.
    You are such a special mom, in more ways than one. She is not a little girl anymore and she needs to wake up and realize that you bear a lot of burdens so she can have $30 for snacks, etc. Plus, I'm assuming you had to pay for her trip!
    We had six teenagers between us and I'm telling you, there wasn't a time that I didn't want to strangle all of them! I think they should be freeze dried until 30 and then thawed out....
    Don't feel guilty - not for a moment! And tell Jamie I think she's super cool for being so much help!!! And a lump of coal in Amanda's stocking...
    p.s. Maybe "anonymous" was driving the little red neon! What a puke-head.

  17. I would have had a stroke! ;)

    You better be resting right now.

    Be safe and warm tomorrow. If the storm is really bad can't they send someone in a big shiny official vehicle to get you?

  18. Big... Huge... hugs coming from the Left Coast. How well I remember those years (of mine and of my 3 sons). I would rather go through the teens with boys than girls. Hope you are feeling really better, really soon!!

  19. Well I am never leaving anonymous comment again.....

    Hahah what a knobhead.

    Teenagers are in fact sociopaths, they grow out of it eventually (most of the time).

  20. Now there's a rant that is proof positive that Murphy and his freaking old law do exist! Teenagers! I tell you, they can be a royal, really, really royal PIA, can't they? But then, so can certain 5-year-olds and even little 2-year-olds and my daughter would say so are 64-year-olds too. (So are 32-year-olds for that matter!)
    But on the really bright side, I loved you picture on this post and the ones on the most recent post too. Great job.
    And, glad you got out and back safely. Now, give the back and body a good rest with the heating pad. Peace!

  21. As soon as you mentioned the NLN train station, I thought of all the construction going on there. I saw on WFSB Channel 3 news a few weeks ago, Kevin Hogan talking about how they're moving the Nathan Hale school house over a few hundred feet so that they can make the "square" more managable traffic wise... And shame, shame on the kiddos for letting you shovel!! Especially with what you've been through with your back! Damnit Linda, crack that whip! You don't need to go through that again... LOL

  22. I am exhausted just reading this!

  23. Amanda deserved to go exactly nowhere, but I think it was beneficial to both you and Jamie to ship her off to a tropical isle. Keep Jamie and send HRH down to Goober. Amanda needs a wake-up call and a bit of familiarity with consequences. By the by, I have your list of working hours stored on my phone, but I CANT USE my freaking phone because MY long-past-teenage daughter has been yakking to her boyfriend for HOURS--and if I were to ask her to pause and call back later it would reignite the day's conflicts. Sigh--kids do have innate personalities and sometimes these clash with OUR personality...THAT part doesn't change as they grow older. Maybe by tomorrow I'll be able to call. Smile girl


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