I Regret Nothing

November 17, 2017

Last night I was making the traditional “just sat through a movie in the theater” restroom stop when I walked into a bit of situation.  I don’t know the full story, but I’m guessing the kid at the far urinal was having some sort of “shy bladder” issue, and his father was trying to talk him through the etiquette of how to focus.

“Always leave a space between urinals if you can, look forward and just pretend that nobody else is even there,” he was saying.

I tried to resist, I really did, but the setup was just too perfect, so I deadpanned, “And never talk.”

“That as well,” he chuckled, but then the silence got awkward as I maintained my deadpan for the sake of the joke until I had completed my own business and left the restroom.

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What Went Right (Part Four)

November 16, 2017

Staff member:  Happy Birthday!

L:  Thank you!

(This happened too many times to detail individually.)

*****

(And finally, the incident that was the most amusing.)

Me:  Okay, I’m heading back to the room.

L’s Mother:  Sounds good.  L. and I are going to stay a little longer.  (aside to me)  But only so long as he’s still having fun and not griping, so we probably won’t be that long.

– eight or so hours later –

L’s Mother:  What just happened?

What Went Right (Part Three)

November 15, 2017

Me: (hesitantly)  Are you sure you want to ride Expedition Everest?

L:  Uh-huh!

Me:  Well . . . you’re tall enough, if only just, so okaaay . . .

-one ride later-

Me:  So what did you think of your first real roller coaster ride?

L:  I liked it!  I’m not sure I would have gone if  I’d realized it was a real roller coaster, but I liked it!

*****

Me:  (thinking to myself)  I wonder if that’s on purpose?  *Thought while contemplating the fact that two painfully cute girls were working the “single rider” entrance to Expedition Everest*

Girl #1:  Single rider line, no waiting!

Girl #2:  That’s right, no waiting, so step over here if you’re single . .

Both in chorus:  Riders!

Me:  Yeah, that’s on purpose.

What Went Right (Part Two)

November 14, 2017

Host from the Haunted Mansion (deadpan, using a spooky voice):  Leave while you still can.

L’s Mother:  Hi!  I found these sunglasses in the car.  Somebody must have dropped them.

Host from the Haunted Mansion (now in the cheeriest voice possible and smiling like she just found a golden puppy holding a basket of chocolate):  Thank you so much!

*****

L:  There’s nothing here that I want to eat.

Me:  Suit yourself.  I, for one, am planning to have to have one of those humungous soft serve cones over there, and I was hoping you’d have one with me, but if you don’t want one . . . 

L:  Wait . . . are you serious?

Me:  I never joke about ice cream.

What Went Right (Part One)

November 13, 2017

So picking up from last week, I’d said that the good moments outnumbered the bad on our second attempt to take our son to Disney.  Here are some of those moments (not all of these will be related to my son, by the way):

*****

Me: (checking the receipt)  Yeah . . . they got the order wrong, but at least we didn’t get charged for what we didn’t get.  Oh, well.

Server:  What’s missing? *Promptly vanishes, only to reappear again in approximately one minute*  Here you go!

Me:  What just happened?

*****

Me:  (to my son after disembarking from the Star Tours ride)  You were the rebel spy and you didn’t tell me?!  Young man that is really the sort of thing I expect you tell me about, you know, so no more working for the rebellion without telling me first!

Him:  *Says nothing, is possibly rolling his eyes, but is definitely smiling*

Me:  (to my son after disembarking from the Star Tours ride again since it was late and the line was practically non-existent and, sure enough, once again he was picked as the spy)  What did I just say?!

You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

November 10, 2017

I think I’ll talk about what went right next week, because otherwise I’ll end up giving more time to what went wrong just to wrap everything up today, and I don’t want to do that.  So as a filler for today, here’s a thought I’ve had a lot lately:

Dear headline writers,

You can plummet off a cliff . . . or a skyscraper . . . or even a modest rooftop if you’re feeling generous, but eventually the distance just becomes too short for you to really “plummet” anymore, so please stop telling me that someone’s already dismal approval ratings continue to “plummet.”   Beyond a certain point it’s no more “plummeting” than it would be if I tripped over my own shoelaces.

What Went Wrong (Part Two)

November 9, 2017

The other mistake was all mine (Sorry, kiddo.), and I’m hoping by mentioning it here that I’ll actually learn from it this time.  (For the record, son, I’ve tried to learn from this mistake before, even thought I had learned from it on more than one occasion, but despite the ideal of “never make the same mistake twice,” some lessons we all end up coming back to more than once.)

The mistake was deceptively simple:  By trying to make things better, I ended up making them worse; more specifically, by trying to head off my son before he got himself into serious trouble with me, I ended up guaranteeing he got into serious trouble with me.  The basic idea is sound, and works up to a point, but once we both pass a certain mutual frustration level, well . . . to say “it doesn’t work so well anymore” is a bit like saying a car “doesn’t work so well anymore” after its gas tank explodes.

I think I’ll spare myself the public chastisement of the details how this became abundantly clear to me, but it was . . . humbling, to say the least.

So after that realization, while I’ll still give warnings to my son to give him a chance to self-correct, beyond a certain point I’m doing my best to remember that he has been warned, and it’s actually less frustrating for all of us in the long run if I just skip the “Are you sure this is how you want to do this?” step.  This is something I’ve long known . . . when calm.

Here’s hoping this time the lesson continues to stick during the times when I’m . . . less calm.

What Went Wrong (Part One)

November 8, 2017

With that out of the way, I’m going to get serious for a bit.

“Was it really that bad?” isn’t just a rhetorical question in this case, it’s a question I’m still asking myself.  The honest answer to that is “No . . . and yes, in that order.”  (That’s been a theme in my life lately.)

There were good moments, there really were, and I’d say they outnumbered the bad, but we’re talking around a 60-40 split overall.  While that might be a typical or even a good percentage from what I observed, it just doesn’t feel like a victory of fun to me.

To borrow a phrase, “mistakes were made,” and one of those mistakes was that a schedule that appeared easy and fun in theory turned out to be brutal in practice. I even suspected this would be the case, but didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t want to be the downer dad, and that was the biggest mistake made both in general and by me personally.  Just about every bad experience that followed (except for a truly abysmal guide on the Jungle Cruise; bad jokes can be good, but not bad delivery) stemmed from that one mistake.

That . . . and one other . . .

Don’t Mind Me. I Just Have An Odd Way Of Saying “Thank You”

November 7, 2017

Before I launch into our Disney 2.0 story though, let me just say that we almost certainly wouldn’t have gone again so soon if during our first visit my Mom hadn’t insisted on buying us season passes for reasons I can only assume are somehow related to me having been a terrible child.  Rest assured, mother, that my revenge shall be a masterstroke to rival your own.

What made it such a Machiavellian masterpiece, you see, was that because we had passes and we’re going to be in the Orlando area anyway, was the one who actually said, “Since we’re going to be near there, why don’t we try going again?”  Some might say that means that I only have myself to blame, but I do not, I say!  I blame you, mother!

I blame you!

Explaining The Tone

November 6, 2017

I’m presuming that people noticed that around Thursday of last week my entries here started to take on a certain . . . tone in the sense that At the Mountains of Madness has a “tone.”

Remember when I said the plan was to go back to Disney sometime?  Well . . . it happened . . .