Wait, Who You Calling Old?

mom jeans

Not gonna lie:  I’ve been known to be a little judgmental.  (It’s really just one of the many book titles I’m laying claim to in the innards of my brain:  “I’m Just Saying What You’re Really Thinking”)  So it’s  actually with great irony that I must report how very publicly I was personally  judged this weekend.

 

It came from a twenty-something waitress as she collected menus following my party’s drink and app order.  We asked about the live music scheduled for later in the evening.

 

She surveyed our table and suggested that we might want to leave before the band arrived.

 

Excuse me, what?

 

“Well….they’re a little……” her voice trailed off.

 

What, we pressed.  Loud?  Violent?  (I’m a big music fan but I draw the line at some of the stab-your-grandmother music that’s out there) What?

 

“Ummm,” she shrugged, “I just don’t think you’re gonna like them.”  She walked off.

 

Where’s Steve Martin when you need him:  Again,  excuuuuuse me?

 

Detecting a challenge, we scrapped our plans to move on to a different venue later on and instead got comfortable.  We claimed a pool table and kept the rounds coming.

 

When the band eventually began they opened up with a pretty awesome  Tom Petty song.  (Cue the confused looks at our table. Huh?)

 

For the next three or so hours they played great covers of everything from AC/DC to Van Morrison .  I lost track of how many times I lifted my beer to proudly declare “Ha, THIS is on my I-pod, too!” (it’s a Nano but, you know, whatever).

 

I kept thinking, that snotty waitress can kiss my Adele-sized ass.

 

Now, I’ll admit there might have been a few vibes that (maybe.  perhaps.  if you stretched) hinted we may not have been the hippest bunch.

 

Getting to the bar at 7:30 might’ve been the first red flag,  I get that.  Young people —  like vampires —  repel sunlight and bars before ten.  I know, I know, been there done that.  But I will boast that we were indeed asked to “kindly depart” after the bright fluorescent lights had been on for awhile at last call.  Not a proud mother-of-four moment (and certainly not the first fluorescents we’ve ever seen)  but hey, no one can deny our chutzpah.  It happens (so does taking the next day in its entirety to recover).

 

Also, there was one of us whose six-foot frame took out a speaker (and maybe a couple of bystanders) with a very animated fall on the dance floor (NOT ME).  Lacking the grace of Brian Boitano (funny, how these always seem to happen in slow-motion), okay, maybe that could’ve shined an aging spotlight on us.  (No one got hurt.  I think.  Maybe just their roadie?  I dunno…)

 

And (alright, alright) perhaps a mob of middle-agers hysterically fist-pumping on the dance floor was a bit telling..  Ah well.  Three fingers up to make a W:  What-ev-ah.

 

Maybe a final dead giveaway was how we interacted.  One thing that definitely set us apart from the youngsters around us as how we sat as a group and talked and laughed.  You know, TO EACH OTHER.  At one point, a group of four girls nearby all tapped away on cell phones at the same time.  Having fun, ladies?

We sure did.

Take THAT, kids.

Here’s an interesting end note.  Our waitress was arguably the worst restaurant worker in the history of food service.  Her lack of charm paled in comparison to her professional skills.  We had to hunt her down throughout the night, usually finding her sitting with friends chatting (I know, right?)  Yet we still tipped her well because we are a different generation that does the right thing.  (Not to mention that collectively we could put a sitcom into syndication with all the eyerolling actions of our own young-adult-spawn).  It makes us somewhat forgiving.

 

Yes.  That would be us:  forgiving, freakishly good dancing and not-quite-ready-for-early bird-food-specials fun mongers.      #We’llSleepWhenWe’reDead

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Home Sweet Hope

up

 

I have loved every place I have ever lived, which is a little weird because I probably really (really) shouldn’t have.

 

In college, weeks before the start of my junior year, I got word that my two-bedroom apartment – my first foray out of the juvenile dormitories and into supersonic (yet perceived)  adulthood — had burned to the ground.  Room mates scrambled to find housing and I ended up sharing a dismal studio apartment where — for an entire semester — I shared equal time on a couch or the floor.  Dormitories be damned:  it was awesome.  For real.  My friend Betsy and I bonded like sisters, mastered extremely covert one-night stands and politely replenished the communal TV Guide and pack of Parliaments that adorned the coffee table.  It was bliss.

 

After I’d gotten married I was equally excited about my newlywed apartment and why not?  I had a queen-sized mattress for the first time in my life and my beauty needs always trumped those of my newest room mate.  That tiny bathroom was mine.  The apartment was so small I don’t believe I even noticed that my shiny new toaster oven took up the only patch of counter space I had in the walk-in kitchen (not to be confused with the dimensions of a spacious walk-in closet.  A walk-in kitchen is precisely that:  once you walk in, you can’t walk out if a person has come in after you).

 

My first house was right out of the book (the book of course being entitled You Might Want to Keep Looking).  Gaudy, garish and situated between a junk yard and a train station that —  professionally enough —  had been bypassed by our savvy realtor every time we visited.  Didn’t matter; it was our little slice o’ heaven.  We embraced the avocado green appliances and did what every other first homeowner did:  filled it with cheap furniture (bought on credit, twelve months no interest), pretended to really (really) like the 80s-inspired mauve-and-sage green color scheme and painted a nursery in pastel colors.  There were slugs in the basement (to this day I cannot comprehend how they were getting in), there was paneling on the walls and we were happy.

 

When we said farewell to our families and fled to the beauty of New England, we fell under the enchantment of the (cue in heralding angels singing) New Construction.  There was no garage (not unusual in these parts), there was only one full bathroom and it was blindingly vanilla.  Cheap (white) Formica, cheap (white) linoleum, cheap (kinda white) walls and we barely even noticed the poor quality of construction.  It was our own little Cape Cod castle and we were thrilled.  We dumped a pool into the ground, threw up some outdoor speakers, invited friends up the entire summer long and partied like rock stars.  It was our fun house.  The house that found TV stardom on a makeover show.  “Don’t touch our tile floor,” we pleaded.  But they did.  And we didn’t care.  Our home was brimming with laughter and babies and milestones and debt and I thought we’d stay in it forever.

 

Alas, life beckoned.  We needed to keep paying the bills so off we went again, only this time into a whole new world.  We got a true taste of luxury when life directed us to a beautiful college town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Fate found us riding the real estate wave full-throttle into a lush golf course community and ginormous brick home.  We went from having no garage to three.  There were hardwood floors and media rooms and bathrooms for every person old enough to wield a Lysol disinfecting wipe.  There were pools and socials and Bunco and chardonnay on the deck through November and it was nice.  Really nice.  But somehow it didn’t feel like home.  Something was missing.  We jumped at the first opportunity to transfer back and were heading home within ten months; amidst all the grandeur and greenery we didn’t even last a year.

 

So back to New England we came.  And once again I love my house.  There’s no rockin’ pool and there’s no drinking wine outside after say, August, and man, oh man, we are forever with plumbing issues (because there is never going to be a septic system big enough for the things that unfathomably exit boys-to-men bodies) but I just love it.  It’s a pretty house.  And it’s big enough for our family of six and all of our out-of-state visitors and it’s felt like home ever since our first night on air mattresses.  That we’ve been here ten years still catches my breath some days.

 

I’m not the first person to realize that a house with crowds of friends beats out a house with crown moldings every time.  And I know I’m not the only daughter who decided that an airplane ride back to her own mother was entirely too much distance.  And I certainly won’t be the last homeowner to express indigestion over an albatross of a mortgage.

 

But I do know that, without question, at this particular moment in my life, I am in my favorite home.  Ever.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Why I’m Saying Fkkk That Sh*t To My Milestone Birthday

BadGrannyS

I don’t believe it’s my looming milestone birthday but for whatever reason, I’ve been in a bit of a rut.

 

It’s not that I’m concerned about being chronologically on par with Cindy Crawford or the remaining members of the Brat Pack (that’s right, Emilio, suck it: still younger than you).   I’ve just been stymied on how to keep this blog going.

 

You see, for years I’ve made a grand ol’ spectacle of using my kids as fodder.  But now that they’re older, it’s getting harder to navigate the fine line between respectful-young-person-privacy and must-tell-all-about-their-colossal-stupidity.   I spend so much time wondering, Wait, can I say that? the dueling voices in my head are in a constant smack down.  It’s certainly not cool to bring up the angst and eyerolls of budding romances, right?  And it’s downright inappropriate to reveal what’s been going on in their bathroom, no?  And, sure, as universally head-shaking as they may be, I imagine it’s not helping their future college/employment/parole endeavors to bring to light any questionable behaviors.  Gaaaaah.     Damn kids, always sucking the fun out of things, amiright?

 

So it’s gotten me a little stuck.

 

I love to write and I want to keep writing so in an effort to get the creative juices flowing again I’ve decided to bite the proverbial bullet (annnnnnnnd fine, perhaps reveal my true narcissism) and shine the spotlight on myself for a change of pace (cue in sighs of relief from spouse and spawn).

 

As I mentioned, yes, it’s a pretty big year coming up.   While I don’t feel any different than I did ten (sometimes even twenty) years ago (hellllllllllo happy hours!), I have changed some of my thinking for how this next phase of my life will go.  I’m finding I’m shrugging and saying Fkkk that sh*t to a few things I used to care about but no longer do.

 

In my mind, I was going to reach my milestone looking better than ever.  Not unrealistically — as in, allow me to reveal the height of bridal fashion circa 1991 as I spin around in my wedding gown — but rather maybe showing up for any birthday fete in a cute little dress.  I even gave up drinking alcohol for a month to kick start my transformation but if I’m being honest, that lifestyle change wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.  I sipped seltzer for thirty days and didn’t lose a single pound.  Enough said.  I may still wear a cute birthday dress when it’s time but if it’s not as tiny as say, JLo’s, so be it.  I refuse to stress about it.  To my healthier new me I say:  Fkkk that sh*t.

 

I’d also wanted to hit my Big One with long luscious hair that rivaled my glory days so I simply stopped cutting it for almost a year.  I thought, if Sandra Bullock can hold onto her tresses on the 50+ train, why not me?  Turns out, without a personal stylist and hundreds of dollars in products, it’s nearly impossible.  Still, I martyred on for months – curling and straightening my split ends into a damn near fire hazard.   When I couldn’t stand the sight of myself another minute, the hair was chopped into a medium, yet manageable mane that is – naturally — oh so age appropriate.  To my long locks of long ago I also say, Fkkk that sh*t.

 

Then there’s my car.  Good grief, I’ve spent the better portion of my adult life eschewing minivans and everything they stand for and I’ve kicked and screamed against ever driving one.   Now with learners’ permits gaining and passengers dwindling faster than I care to admit, it’s dawned on me how much I love filling up my car with lots of bodies and enjoying the conversations that go along with that.  On the eve of my milestone, I realize I don’t give a rat’s ass about the car I drive.  So I got a minivan – and a really, really basic one to boot.  Actually, it’s pretty ugly.  But it fits all the large, smelly bodies that I’ve got precious fleeting time with.  And the way lower car payment makes me happier than trendy.  So, to the unsexiest set of wheels I’ve ever known, I say, too:  Fkkk that sh*t.

What better way to hit a milestone than to do so screaming irony, eh?

 

I’m sure as I inch closer to The Date I’ll come up with more things deserving of my Fkkk that sh*t mantra.

 

But I’ll have to save them up so I’ve got some things to write about.

 

Unless of course one of my kids becomes needy for attention and I’m given permission to tell you all about his time in the principal’s office … or the girlfriend’s house … or a squad car.

 

Just kidding.

 

For now.

 

What say we get this Milestone Blog Year going?  Tune in, comment, share, repost and join me in saying Fkkk that sh*t to all the silly things that really don’t matter at all.

 

Hashtag, Bring on 50.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

It’s Just Poop.

poo

If you’ve got kids (hell, if you simply know kids) you’ve got poop stories.  We all do.

Some are better than others.  Some become legendary.

What’s amazing is how women — moms especially — are completely unfazed by them.  We don’t gag, or retch or hold up our hands in an “Oh, please stop” gesture when hearing them.  We nod, take another bite of our sandwich and pour another glass of whatever.  Face it:  many of us have chosen to share our lives (and our bathrooms) with well, men.  Odorous, smelly, aromatic, reeking men.  (I happen to find this to be an immensely fair trade-off:  in exchange, my lawn is mowed and I don’t have to string Christmas lights. Small price.)  Honestly, once women have weathered diaper duty really, there’s little to make us put down our food (even less to make us put down our glass).

I recently found out one of my sons has a pooping bathroom.  Lucky me.  It’s the one attached to my bedroom.

One day he began his business in our designated ‘kids’ bathroom when a crisis occurred:  Midway  through … he realized he was in the wrong place.  (I know.  I’m lucky he finds his classes every day. Stay with me here.)  Panicked, he shuffled  (visual: pants around ankles) down the long stretch of hallway until he reached his — er, my — sanctuary.  And thus finished.

He managed to clean himself up without issue – with an entire tub of Lysol wipes.  Captain Obvious now arrives to declare that THIS, people, is what makes a mom’s forehead veins pulse – not the actual poop going into the plumbing system (only mothers of boys truly know how disproportionate this amount is to a small body) but the entire tub of Lysol wipes.    Before my lid flipped I made a deal with the devil:  Satan, oh Satan, please spare my septic tank.

My kid didn’t even tell me about his adventure until hours later (the important message being  — of course — that he had run down the hall with his pants down.   To him, that was the story.)  Naturally.

With three sons, I have no shortage of stinky tales.

Funny thing, though — when little boys eventually grow into big men their personal attachment to bathrooms continues.  My husband and his friends often marvel at the grandeur of the men’s room at our local Home Depot.  Apparently it’s at the top of their list of public restrooms because – newsflash – men actually spend a great deal of time in them and pffft, yes, definitely have a Top Three.

More amusing than that:  when this topic comes up in mixed company (it does and you know it) there will be women who will flatly insist they’ve gone on entire vacations without ever having going once .., or have waited until weekend house guests have left their own homes … or simply have found relief only once they’ve gotten home from Home Depot.  Despite pleas from their husbands.

Men, as expected, will continue to be completely freaked out by this.

What I’m going to find beyond hilarious is just how many people will click onto this post  knowing full well  it’s about poop.  Just poop.

Who knows, maybe it was that cute little poop emoji drew everyone in?

Funny stuff.

(And my septic’s getting pumped on Friday.)

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

A Million Dollar Marriage: Apparently, Not for Everyone

moneymarriage

A little while back we had some fun with friends reading from one of those silly books about things a person would do for a million dollars.  First of all, it was eye-opening (to the point of appalling) how different the male responses were from the females.  Gain 100 pounds for a million dollars?  In a heartbeat, said the guys.  Whaaaat?  From the low-to-middle-aged (and fighting it every step of the way) group of women (all moms, I might add), a resounding:  Never.

Secondly, it was interesting how vastly conflicting my answers were from my husband’s.  “BUT IT’S A MILLION DOLLARS!” he cried, clearly seeing his dreams of a state-of-the-art-man-cave fade into dust.  “YOU COULD HIRE A TRAINER AFTERWARDS!”  I simply shook my head.  Nope; not interested.  But it continued.

Send a naked picture of yourself to everyone you know?  (Again, no shocker: most men would do this for far less money.)  Chop off a finger?  Live in a room full of mosquitoes without any repellant for 24 hours?  Never again cut your toenails?  Apparently there are few body parts my husband wouldn’t maim for the money.  I, on the other hand, held firm: nope, nope, nope.  I’m certain I saw real tears escape his eyes.

It’s not that I don’t want to bask in the decadence of buying Jimmy Choos with cash, or venturing out of Target for a new shirt, or spending carelessly, without any worries (“Come on kids, whaddya say we get you those braces AND splurge on new eyeglasses?”) but I imagine it comes down to being truly content.  I guess I am.

Sure there are things I want (shamefully, I might consider trading one of my children for an unbelievable pair of leather boots) but most of my wants aren’t very material things.  I don’t want a maid to do the laundry but – come on — who wouldn’t want someone to come in and simply put it away?  I don’t care about the newest gadgets or latest technology but I’d sure be happy with an electronic buzzer that zapped a kid’s ankle every time a towel is dropped on the floor.  I don’t even think a gourmet chef preparing my meals would be all that helpful to me – I’d be quietly thrilled if my own cooked meals were eaten without fuss or commotion.  Imagine that.

It’s a good thing my husband and I are a good match.  He keeps playing the lottery and I keep clipping coupons.  He dreams big and I find subtle elation in a great haircut or a pair of jeans feeling a wee bit looser than the previous month.  And in the spirit of a happy marriage, every once in a while we meet in the middle.  Rather, I cave just a little:  I did agree that yes, for a million dollars I would sleep in the Amityville Horror house for a week.  With wine.  But that’s it.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Daughter Strong: Four Years of Reflection

nanny

Mom doing what she loved best

My mom died four years ago today.

I no longer spontaneously cry – making beds, walking down the produce aisle, seeing commercials for cancer centers when I least expect it —

But I still catch myself absent mindedly reaching for the phone when something funny happens.   You know, the house phone.  I can’t really name too many people I still talk to on my house phone anymore.  Even now, 1460 days later, I’m not ready to get rid of it.

I’ve honored her memory every passing year by putting into words the changes that have crept into my life in the time without her and have usually marked its passage by focusing on my kids;  their size, their maturity (or, hello, teenagers: lack thereof), and their role as unknowing anchors in my unsteady journey through middle age.  It’s funny;  I often wonder how they’d take knowing the true strength of their super powers.

What’s heaviest on my mind on this anniversary, though, is the profound change of my emotional core.  My emotions – and the things that affect me — have veered tremendously from what once was.

You know what angers me most now?   When friends roll their eyes over their mothers’ forgetfulness.  Or annoying habits.  Or intrusiveness.  Or anything, really.  I find myself irritated when they complain about perfunctory – and quick – visits with their moms and I often suppress the need to scream when hearing they  dutifully “have to” go see their moms for dinner, or doctor’s appointment, or — again — anything, really.  It infuriates me that they just don’t get it.  Or understand what others would give for one more day.

Know what makes me happy now?  That my mom died so young.  And quick.   It’s actually a rather ironic personal admission I’ve made peace with.  She was only 69 when she passed and the toxins in her body were vicious and speedy, taking her within six months from start to end.  The thing is, prior to her diagnosis, she was beautiful, hipper than most her age, and stylish.  Extremely stylish.  She was envied for her magnetic humor, was incredibly charismatic and if I may be cliché, a treasured friend.  Really and truly treasured.  She was also quite the hot ticket:  In sickness, when she was too weak to get to Kohl’s, she circled items out of their circular and sent me out to buy them.  Shoes and bags she never did muster up the energy to use.  But she had to have them.

She was immeasurably vibrant and if I’m being totally honest, I find comfort in that image being my final remembrance of her.  I will never, EVER know her as a frail, feeble old lady, with white hair and stooped shoulders.  I will never feel pointed sadness helping her up a flight of stairs.  I won’t ever have to visit her in a nursing home and spoon feed her.  And I will never know the unfathomable despair of watching her recollection of me and other loved ones fade from her memory right before my eyes.  She will forever be my great-shoe-wearing, never-leave-the-house-without-makeup-wearing, always-with-awesome-accessories-wearing 69-year-old mom.  And that is my beautiful image.  And that makes me happy.  I imagine I’m not the first person who’s lost someone too early in life to cling to this shred of positivity, so I’m not sorry for it.

Know what I care about now?  Hmmmm.  Not so much.  I keep a firm grasp on my family, of course, and make sure we stay intact because it’s all we have and all we need.  It is the good stuff for sure.  But all the other stuff?  Meh.   See ya.  Grudges, weight-gain, the-sky-is-falling hysteria of every day that screams BREAKING NEWS?  I let all go.   I learned how to surround myself with drama-free friends.  I ask myself, What’s the worst thing that can happen?  And I realize it’s not the end of the world if (pick one) a kid doesn’t go to college or a spouse loses a job or a kid drops OUT of college or the bills are piling up or the kid doesn’t play Varsity or someone snubbed someone on Facebook.  Ah, what the hell, pick ‘em all.  None truly matter.

Not in the least.

So I really don’t care about all that much these days.  Just the good stuff.

I wish she could see how fantastic her grandkids are turning out.

I wish she could see the living room chairs I just spray painted.

I wish she could see how long my hair’s gotten.

I just miss her like mad.

And when my youngest, sitting in my passenger seat, innocently blurts out, “This song reminds me of Nanny…

I know we all do.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Call Security: A Cruise Diary Continues

isac

So now that it’s been some time since we returned from our cruise-that-didn’t-explode, I’m thankful I jotted down some notes during it.  This whole middle-aged forgetfulness thing is really setting in now and I kid you not, it is a complete and total horror show.

So with the help of some sturdy cocktail napkins, my stories continue.

Being the consummate bargain-hunter, my husband jumped at the chance of upgrading our family (for a (cough) nominal fee) to a higher floor.  What? One story higher than the Titanic immigrants for the price of a smaller, less exotic vacation?  Where do we sign?  Trouble is, our new cabins were – without exaggeration – located one hundred rooms apart.  He was stern (with 2 kids), and I was bow (with the other 2 kids).  Kind of an interesting concept for a family vacation but whatever.  We rolled with it.  And packed walkie-talkies.

Night One:  exhausted and (still) untan, we called it a night and parted ways – obviously at the center of our floor.  Nearing closer to our room, my daughter and I came upon a commotion between two staterooms.  It quickly escalated into shouts of “Call security!”

Yep.  STFU.

We were riveted.  Youth on her side, my daughter ran for help but I stayed put (you know, the witness).  You’d think it was a noble civic duty but rather it was more that I was TRANSFIXED TO THE POINT OF PARALYSIS when I looked into the room and saw a man with his hands gripped around a younger man’s throat.

I know, right?  NIGHT ONE!  Barely past the Statue of Liberty and we’re sailing into Crazy Town.  Epic.

So while I’m giving my best “I am not missing one detail of this domestic disturbance” glare, my daughter breathlessly arrives back – with Malcolm, our affable and comedic cruise director.

Now, I don’t know what Malcolm was doing slumming down on our particular floor (and I certainly don’t know how any guy with the words “Woo Hoo” on his name plate was going to be able to assist in anything other than Bingo) but hey, the guy had a radio.  He called for security.  I gave him my best “You can take it from here” nod and off we went, giggling off to our room far, far away.

In the days to come, there was a security guard (of sorts) stationed outside those rooms so we felt very safe there.  Malcolm, on the other hand, stayed clear.

I’m not sure how you move past that on Night One but I did see the Domestic Disturbance (“Call Security!”) Woman doing karaoke later that week so I imagine she did move on.

And there it is:   my smooth-as-a-baby’s-behind segue into karaoke.

My loyal readers already know of my affinity for karaoke.

But partaking in my favorite pastime takes on an entirely new meaning when it is offered (deep breath) with a live band.  That’s right.

Live.

Band.

(Shall we pause while we all wrap our brains around this?)

I could state the obvious and say that my life took on a more cosmic meaning after experiencing something so profoundly enjoyable.  I could even admit that yes, I did entertain the thought of maybe ditching this whole classroom thing and becoming a singer in a band (a band of course that only played to people who didn’t mind hearing the same four songs on a perpetual loop the entire night long).  And, sure, I could even brag that –especially following that nut-job from down the hall – I kinda killed it.

But I have to be completely honest.

All these things paled in comparison to the best part, hands down:  when my party-of-eleven-ridiculously-awesome-family-and-friends stormed the stage — a la the finale of “Little Miss Sunshine” —  and started dancing.  The crowd went wild (even Domestic Disturbance Lady was up on her feet) and it was a moment, I tell you.  My moment.  And while regular karaoke continued throughout the week (much to my husband’s eventual boredom – nightly), the family kick-line in the middle of a Gretchen Wilson song will remain a forever memory for me (and the reason I sign notes to my kids, “Mom the Rock Star.”  You know, lest THEY forget.)

Anyway, so yes, basically this cruise could’ve stayed in the New York harbor and it still would have been the bomb. Clearly when you vacation with fun people you can pretty much head to a campground or, I don’t know, the Poconos and have a ball AND save a ton of money but who knew?

I’ll stop here but I might even have to throw together one more installment because I haven’t even gotten to the Poolside Party Guy with the nine-and-and-a-half-fingers.  We’ll see.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.