Heartbreak Virgin

(This is a reprint of a post I wrote in Spring 2012)

I love Spring!  It is my favorite season!

Birds chirping, trees budding,  flowers blooming,warm days and nights with the windows open.  What is not to love?  Well, if you ask Joe Cool there is NOTHING to love right now.

I recently talked about Joe Cool and the quips he comes up with.  However, right now he has no quips.  He is mopey, and moody and downright droopy.  Why you ask?  How is it possible to be droopy during this fabulous beautiful season?
After all, this is the season of LOVE?  Spring fever, when everyone comes out of their little boxes called houses and starts to enjoy the warm weather.  Humans, animals, everyone gets in on the  emergence.  Bears hibernate in caves, and I think sometimes humans hibernate in our houses during the winter. When the weather gets cold we hunker down and sit tight.  Until Spring, then we come out of our caves blinking our eyes and shedding our layers.

But that is not this story.  This story is about Joe Cool and why he is so mopey. He is mopey because he has recently suffered his first heartbreak.

Yes, my own sweet son is just plain heartbroken.  Sad, mopey, droopy and just plain moody.  In a word, he is just toefog.

He and his girlfriend (I will call her Ginger) of 16 months broke up the weekend after Valentine’s day. Although it was a mutual decision (according to Joe Cool), he still has feelings for Ginger and he just can’t seem to shake them. On a good note, I have raised a kid who is NOT a player and is true blue.  On a downward note, this means he has a hard time letting go.

This is my first time dealing with teenaged heartbreak that isn’t my own. I have two biological children.  Joe Cool who is almost 15 and The Genius who is almost 13.  Lovely Bluebell has two biological children, The Girl, who is almost 20 and The Hunter who is 17.

Neither The Girl, nor The Hunter have had relationships while living with us (The Girl moved out on her own last summer after graduation).  The Hunter is shy and hasn’t had a girlfriend yet.  So we have not yet had to deal with our kids having a broken heart and the angst it brings.

I have tried to be supportive and explain to Joe Cool that yes it sucks, but in time he will feel better.  I have encouraged him to invite friends over to play video games and have promised to feed them pizza and brownies.  I have tried to keep him busy to keep his mind off of his broken heart, all to no avail.  Yesterday when he came home from school he was particularly mopey.  On the drive to guitar lessons I was able to pull out of him what was bothering him.  He is very upset because Ginger apparently is interested in a new dude.  Joe Cool has been “hanging around” her hoping that she will give him the time of day, but apparently she has moved on more quickly than he has…..

I remember being a teenager and all of the drama, angst and difficulty it brought.  I remember having my heart broken.  I remember being in love.  I am one of those adults who believes teens can love each other and be in love.  Granted it may not be a mature love, but I believe it is love nonetheless.  Think about it those of you who are naysayers….your teen knows how to love you, and family members. So they know how to love.  Why can’t they have those same deep feelings for a boyfriend or girlfriend their own age?????

I shared with him the story of my “first love” and how that boy had broken my heart and dumped me for a girl named Jill.  (Those of you who went to school with me get three guesses who I am talking about).  I told him how I had my “revenge” when after I graduated I ran into First Love boy and he wanted to date me again.  I had the karmic joy of telling him, “dream on buddy.”  That felt good.  (He liked that story, he even had a little gleam in his eye.)  His response was, “Yeah, when I am an Aerospace Engineer making the big bucks, she will be sorry.”  I did NOT dissuade him, who am I to steal his dream?????  (Ummmm, if she even remembers you dude, but okaaayy)…..

Using my most encouraging tone I talked to him about “giving Ginger her space”, and “hanging out with his bro’s instead”, and even “give it some time and it will get better.”  He did seem to perk up.  Especially when I pointed out all of Joe’s cool points and reminded him that “karma is a bitch”, and one day he would be on top of the world and Ginger might not.  However, in my Glenda the Good Fairy way, I reminded him that if he truly is Ginger’s friend when she is down he will be there for her in a “friend” sort of way.  He liked that.  I think he liked the part where in his mind he had one up on Ginger, and she received her “comeuppance”, but whatever works…..he is only almost 15.

Cross your fingers this awesome weather and the sheer joy of Spring brings him out of his blues……..  I will let you know how it goes…….

Pudding shots!! YUM!

One of the things I am most thankful for is sugar free pudding.  I am thankful for sugar free pudding because if you have a bad day you can knock back two or three of those bad boys and not feel guilty.

So one day when I had just finished consuming my second 60 calorie sugar free pudding and was about to reach for a third, Bluebell said to me…..”you know, you could drink them like shots”

…..to which my brain said

…. “PUDDING SHOTS……….YEAH!!”

Now I am very fortunate because I have some awesome ladies that live in my neighborhood who I have become BFF’s with over the past few years. Sooooo, a couple of days after Bluebell mentioned pudding shots to me, three of my BFF’s and I decided to drive together to go shopping at Trader Joes……ummmmm isn’t that what suburban housewives do???

Hey, none of us had to work or go to school that day….don’t be haters……
So as we were driving we were discussing life and I was telling the ladies what Bluebell had said about the pudding shooters.  As we were talking we realized we were all getting together (there are 7 families in this little BFF family group) to celebrate The Hunter’s birthday on the following Saturday So we decided we needed to try to make pudding shots so I could blog about it. (Yeah, nothing in it for them either huh…..snort….)    So Friday I went shopping for puddings and made sure we had some tasty liquor and liqueurs to mix with the pudding.

On Saturday night the families arrive and we decide to have a judging of different pudding flavors with different alcohols.  The two pudding flavors we used during the experimentation were dark chocolate and vanilla.  I think the Jello sugar free dark chocolate is the creamiest of the chocolates, so that is what I bought, and plain vanilla for a different flavor palate…..(I may have been watching too much Food Network….)

We used our resident fabulous mixologist M. to mix the alcohol and the pudding to make sure we had the right consistency and taste. He poured and whisked and tasted and poured and whisked and tasted to make sure all was right.  The first batch we made was chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream and Kahlua.
Then we had some tasters.  And the results were…………….. (insert drum roll)

Chocolate pudding with Kahlua and Irish Cream

and

Big N loved them!

and

Our mixologist thought they were yummy!

Now we didn’t leave out the others, but I was so busy tasting that I forgot to take pictures…..must have been the chocolate alcohol haze I was starting to go into……..


Round number two was dark chocolate pudding and Godiva chocolate liquer….and the results were:

S loved them!!

I have to say that one was my personal FAVE!!!


Then we tried:
vanilla pudding and Buttershots liqueuer

Buttershots and vanilla.

Results:

The NewYorRican loved them!

and

A. was slurping them back!

and 
THEN we got even more creative……do I need to mention that we had all had about 5 or 6 shots by this point……so, we got creative (wait I already said that), and mixed the chocolate and vanilla together:

Chocolate and vanilla in same shot glass….why not?
Tinkerbell had a huge shot glass. She didn’t let it out of her sight!

That was Tinkerbell’s shot glass, it was huge, and she DID NOT let it out of her hands……

Steelers fan loved them too!

Then we tried mixing choc and vanilla in the same glass: (does anyone hear an echo here?)
Then I decided to beatTinkerbell at her own game and pulled out a 9 oz cup……. I  just chucked the whole shot glass idea at that point.

My solo cup is bigger than your shot glass Tink.

But the Steelers fan had the best idea of all!

Who needs a glass anyway????

And the best part is if you get pulled over on the way home and the police officer asks if you have been drinking, you can say, “Why no Officer, just had some pudding with some friends.”

Just kidding, I don’t condone slurping and driving!!!  The good news is all of my friends could just walk home!

It is hard to be a stepparent of a troubled teen.

So I am having a VERY hard time thinking of something funny to write about. I have wracked my brain. I just can’t come up with anything even remotely funny going on in my life right now. Maybe if I tell you all that is going on you could help me…..

Let’s see, actually, if I do that, it will just depress you all as much as it depresses me. I have come to the conclusion after much drama, that apparently I am a minority. I have done research on the internet looking for people like me. Looking for help, looking for support groups. I have not been successful so far. It is hard to describe. I believe there are thousands of people like me, but I don’t think anyone is willing to admit it. We will be ostracized. We will make people angry. Don’t rock the boat……just suffer in silence to keep the peace……
I kid you not, when I do research looking for my people, I come up empty handed.  I mean come on, seriously people???  Even people looking for their African ancestors will have more databases to peruse than people like me.  So have piqued your curiosity yet?  Are you wondering what in the heck kind of minority I am?  You may be wondering if I am really in such a small group of people?

Ok, so I will tell you…..drumroll please………

I am the Step Parent of a Troubled Teen.  Also known as a SPOTT.  And yes, I did make up that acronym….do you like it???  I have an amazing partner who I love without reservation who is the biological parent to a difficult, troubled teen. We have worked with her, we have taken her to see a therapist, (she was fired by the therapist), we have stopped yelling and started talking.  All to no avail.  And to be totally honest, as the step parent and not the biological parent, I have little or no control over the situation anyway.  As a matter of fact, the websites I did find gave me the following advice:

“Communication and teamwork are essential in a step-parenting situation.”
Yessirree folks,  that is abut all there is to being a good stepparent.  Communication……..right?  They have got to be fucking kidding me….
When you are the step parent of a troubled teen you are pretty much the same as a muchroom sitting in a dark corner.  You have absolutely NO say in what happens.  If your partner is a strong parent and uses tough love and firm parenting, things might get better for you.  However, if your partner is a parent who would rather NOT deal with confrontation and the “messy” stuff, all I can say is boy howdy you better hold on for a rough ride.  I know because I am a partner to a wonderful, amazing, beautiful woman who is a parent of the second kind.  She would rather just NOT deal with anything that is difficult.  In teenage language this really means “it’s okay honey, just do whatever you want”.  Then when there are concerns about drinking and unprotected sex and smoking, it is too late to put the brakes on and try and fix what is broken.  And as the stepparent, I can only hold on, close my eyes tight and whimper in the corner.  Sometimes I click my heels three times and say “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” When I am done, I am still standing in the same fucking spot dealing with the same bullshit I was dealing with before.

WHERE ARE YOU GLENDA?????
So, my real question is……is there anyone else out there who walks my walk?  Anyone who finds themself whimpering in the corner because they are powerless and their house is being run by an unruly, ungrateful, teenager who thinks they can do whatever they want???? And the one adult who should have the power does nothing because it is easier to walk away???  PLEASE for the love of all that is good, there MUST be someone else out there like me??? I don’t mind being a minority, but I don’t want to be the only one………

Just knowing there is one other person like me would help………anyone?????

I am going to go eat something chocolate now……