There is a lock on the door for a reason

As I lay here watching ESPN’s analysis of today’s NFL games, I pay specific attention as to why they say Jay Cutler is struggling this year.  They say he has “no protection” and his line is awful.  I feel like sending a tweet to @JayCutler and letting him know that I have the four best “blockers” on the planet living in my house.  They may not be able to pick up a blitz assignment but they have made sure there is no action going on in my wife’s backfield for years.

Anyone who is married with children knows that getting “alone time” with your spouse is like getting the President to meet you at Five Guys for a burger.  That’s why we as parents have come up with concepts like date night, play dates and a neighborhood-wide game of hide-and-seek.  But in unique circumstances, you come across a group of children with a special power to overcome any parental plan for extra curricular activities.

Allergy Boy – My oldest son has the uncanny ability to develop puffy red eyes, runny nose and a sore throat at the most inopportune time. Of course, when the time is right, he becomes the poster child for Sudafed and that knock comes at the door followed by, “Do we have any Visine”?  What the heck!?  Are you going outside and doing face plants in the grass as soon as your mom and I disappear from site?  Are you on WebMD typing in fastest ways to make eczema flare up?  I am wondering this kids affliction is he allergic to dad getting some action.

 

Homework Girl –  Sure, why ask for homework when everyone is out in the living room talking or eating dinner?  Everyone knows that is when you do all of the easy problems. You save the difficult stuff for after your parents go in the room and shut the door.

[knock knock]

What?!

Do we have a ruler?

If we do, it’s not in here!  I stopped doing that in 6th grade!

[knock knock]

How many pints are in a gallon?

I don’t know!  Maybe you can measure my tears in 20 minutes and see.  Didn’t I just buy you a $300 phone for your birthday.

Yeah.  Who should I call?

No one!  Look it up!  When I was your age, we had to look stuff up in a $1000 set of encyclopedias and it still wasn’t there so we just had to go around looking stupid.  You guys have information at your fingertips yet you still keep asking the people who grew up stupid.  AND HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LOOK UP HOW TO SPELL A WORD IN THE DICTIONARY!?

What?

Never mind, I was yelling at your Nana in California for something that happened 24 years ago.

[knock knock]

Yes

What is outline format?

It is what the police will use to surround the body of the next person who knocks on this door.

Are you kidding me boy – If you have one in your family, you know just who I am talking about.  This kid is the reason you actually consider messing around with the door open.  Because as soon as that door closes, something breaks, burns or disappears.  He is always at the center of that heart-piercing scream that makes you jump up butt naked and almost run out of the room.  He is the one that doesn’t knock, he just screams “Mom!” from wherever he is in the house.  His special power is the super tattle.  Even though he is usually the worst behaved in the bunch, he things tattling on everyone else will make you forget answering the door and seeing a patrolman holding him by the collar.

MOM!

WHAT?!

MOM!

WHAT?!!!

MOM!

[I get up and go to where they are]

They said I have hairy nipples!

Who cares! Do you have hairy nipples?

No!

Then ignore them and stop calling your mother, she is busy!

What are nipples?

They are the things that both of us USED to spend a lot of time with until you started walking, talking and disrupting my life energy.

 

Mastermind – This is the child who possesses all of the super powers of the other members.  He can come to you with an imaginary injury like allergy boy.  He can ask you for help with his homework which at his age is COLORING.  He can tattle with the best of them.  But along with the talents he sucked from his siblings like Rogue of the X-men, he has his own skills.  He can pick locks.  The truth is, they all can but he is the only one who does it because the others know they will get hit in the face with a shoe when they open the door.  He not only picks the lock but then stands in the doorway and asks questions.

Can I have some cereal?

Yes!

Can I have some chips?

No, I just said you can have some cereal.

Who is going to give it to me?

Any of the other 5 people in the house besides the two your are looking at and making uncomfortable right now! Aren’t you the same kid who stacked a barstool, an Xbox 360 and a case of Ramen Noodles in my closet to get a giant Oatmeal cookie from the top shelf?  I don’t care if you stab a hole in the milk with an ice pick and let it pour into your bowl, go away!

Ok……..Hey, mom and dad are kissing and they are wrestling butt naked.  I think mom is winning, she had him pinned.

This is in no way meant to discourage having children.  They are a beautiful addition to your lives and will make your family complete.  This is just a warning that they all have secret powers bestowed upon them by the society of “blockers” and you need to know that having someone to mow the lawn and take out the trash comes with its own issues.

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I’m not trying to be racist but….

I wish people understood that prefacing what they say with, “I’m not trying to be racist but…” is the most racist thing you could possibly say.  I recently had a conversation with a guy who made me appreciate people who really say what they mean.  He obviously needed to work on his filter but I appreciated knowing where he stood.

So, what do you do?

I’m a teacher.

Wow, what do you teach, gym?

Actually, I teach foreign language in high school.  Spanish and Japanese to be specific.

[Shocked] Really, that’s an odd combination.

Not really, my mom was in the military so I got to travel a lot.

No, I meant you being a foreign language teacher. [pause]  So do you coach too?

Yeah.

Football or basketball?

[At this point, I am looking around for hidden cameras because there is no way this is real]

Actually, I am a softball coach.

Seriously? Get the f*&^ out of here!

I wish I could.

Wow, it was fantastic meeting you.  

Yeah, you too.

 

The fact of the matter is, as much as I wanted to punch this guy in the face, I appreciated the fact that he embraced stereotypes.  Stereotypes make the world go round.  As much as we don’t want to accept it, stereotypes make the world go around.  You need to know that if you are showing up to an event AFTER the Black people, you are extremely late.  You expect your Latino friends to have a relative or know someone who does landscaping or concrete work.  You turn to your Asian friends when you can’t get your computer or camera working right.  If given the choice of riding in a car with a male driver or a female driver, you know what common sense dictates.

There are definitely times when this backfires.  Like when you choose THE Black guy on the side of the court for a game of pick up basketball at 24HR Fitness and he ends up being atrocious.  You spend the whole game looking at him like HE deceived you.  You mumble stuff under your breath like “You probably can’t even dance” or “I bet you were listening to Carley Rae Jepsen on your way here”.  Or when you go to your favorite Chinese restaurant and the Asian girl at the front turns around and yells into the kitchen”Un lo mein y dos egg rolls, por favor”.  Or going to a hip-hop concert and realizing that minorities really are the minority.

Stereotypes are a way of life.  Stereotypes allowed my 6th grade teacher to cast me as Santa Clause in the Night Before Christmas and make me break dance instead of laughing like a bowl full of jelly.  Stereotypes are what made the farm girls flock my roommate Tony and I at the club in college and ask if we were football recruits even though we barely weighed 300 pounds combined and reached 6’5 sitting on each others’ shoulders.  Stereotypes are what make me understand why I am the only black person walking the aisles of whole foods.  Stereotypes are what keep me from decking random white guys who end their statements to me with “bro” or “homey”.  Stereotypes are what allow me to giggle in the store when I see a non-minority shoplifter because I know security and the cameras are probably following me.  Stereotypes are why there are 1000’s of memes on the internet of our Black President with ebonic captions.  He has probably never spoken like that but that’s beside the point to most.  

Believing stereotypes doesn’t make you racist.  Believing that everyone of a particular race adheres to a stereotype does.  There are many exceptions to the rule.  You feel me, homeboy.