Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Method To The Madness

I'm off to a hockey game tonight with some friends. We'll have a nice slab of barely cooked cow beforehand, maybe a martini or two to feel like big shots, then head over to the arena.

The least surprising outcome of this plan is my children's rage. One would think I was using their college funds to pay for this. I am, I suppose, although it's not as though there's much set aside for that purpose. I'll frankly be satisfied if the three of them make it to their mid-twenties without doing hard time. Anyway, it's not the adverse effect on their intellectual growth that has them upset, it's the fact that I'm doing something fun and they're not included.

As I've been frequently reminded over the last week, I've never taken them to a professional hockey game. College, yes, but not the pros. I've replied that I've never taken myself to a professional hockey game. When I've gone it's always been because someone else had tickets. The boys aren't interested in logic, however, they're interested in vengeance.

And vengeance they shall have. If unslakeable's not a word, it would be if our Anglo-Saxon forebears had met these kids. I have been treated to everything from shunning to veiled threats that the new TV's remote will be hidden when I get home tonight. My responses have ranged from "Oh no, please, not that," to "I will kill you."

Eventually this will pass, if not forgotten at least tucked away with all the other slights and hurts I have allegedly inflicted over the years. Those are kept somewhere they like to visit often, a place of endless aggrievement and faulty justice. It's a place I know well, for I visit it too, when I deal with the phone company or the cable provider or people who cut me off in traffic and are not arrested or killed for their insolence.

There's something peculiarly comforting about old complaints. They're like agates, polished from being turned over and over. I give names to mine: "Idiot Clerk;" "Professor Jerkface;" "Ungrateful Client." I compare them to current offenses and slights, try to decide if life is still hosing me as much as it used to. So far the answer appears to be "yes."

With that, I'm off to the game. My children will stew about it and tomorrow I will surely hear more complaints. I will use that as a teachable moment, an opportunity to talk with them about the importance of nursing grudges and developing a soul-crushing bitterness. They will look at me in wonder for a few moments, and then walk away confused and unsure what to say, leaving me finally, blessedly, alone.


Anonymous said...

People do their children a disservice by giving them what they want. It doesn't prepare them for real life, wherein you never get what you want, or when you do, it comes with some horrible ironic twist like a venereal disease or a higher tax bracket. It's better to steep them in bitter disappointment now, just to get it over with. Have fun at the game!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Ahhh, Ungrateful Client. Sweet old, well worn grievance, how often do I add to you?

Why, just today, it seems like; even this morning.

every other complaint seems so small, so unfamiliar compared to you....

My Ungrateful Clients; let me show you them.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Res. Now tell them they suck and kick 'em off the team along with Slorn.

Righteous Bubba said...

Get another remote anyway. There's a lot of fun in surreptitious channel-switching.

Anonymous said...

you know they make remote control applications for a lot of phones(well, ones with an IR port)?

just search for 'your phone make/model' + 'remote software'

then sit at the desk and make your loved ones ponder an exorcism while you're seriously attending to some bizness on ur l33t ph0n3

Brando said...

Make sure to say, often and loudly, that it was the most amazing hockey game you've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

C'mon. Did you call 'em little hockey pucks? Did you? You had to of.

I would've in a heartbeat.

And then I would've gotten the major sneer.

Snag said...

I like this extra remote idea. A lot. My youngest still doesn't know about poltergeists, but I suspect he's about to.

Unfortunately I got something bad at the restaurant and felt like crap all day. That prevented me from properly gloating, but it also tamped down the hostilities around here.