Thursday, August 28, 2008

summer's end

The Child has been disgruntled. Apparently Every Other Child On Earth has gone on a magnificent luxury vacation this summer. (The Child's Best Friend has gone on four such vacations, I hear.) We went to a local Shopping Mecca's "game room" where The Child could shoot at his frustrations.

I'm not much of a shopper, especially as an unemployed single mother with no child support payments, but this sign made my day at the Shopping Mecca. Ever since childhood, I have been panda-crazy. This ad outside of a Chinese restaurant thrilled me.

In all fairness, Shopping Mecca does go out of its way to placate even the hardest-to-please like me. This frog actually went out of his way to wave at me.

Then he went back to work.

But I can't resist inserting my opinion on Shopping Mecca, nonetheless. This is a "town square" in the center of Shopping Mecca. You see, Shopping Mecca was built to look like a town, a neighborhood. This causes my blood to boil. Why in tarnation couldn't they have built an ACTUAL neighborhood, where PEOPLE actually LIVE????????

Correct me if I'm wrong, and I hope beyond all hope that I am wrong, but is this Pottery Barn supposed to resemble an Art Deco movie theater? I'm sorry, but this turns my stomach. Heaven forbid that there should be a real movie theater in a real neighborhood anywhere in this God-forsaken city that I live in!!! Across the main street where we live, there is an old movie theater which has not shown a movie in decades. Why? Because the huge mega plexes have taken over. Get in your car and drive to the multi mega to see any movie at any time. This Shopping Mecca has, of course, one of these mega movies complexes, located inside an enormous enclosed mall, well-protected from the "neighborhood".

The Child does not understand why I am upset about this. Why? He has never lived in a real neighborhood!!!!!!!!

Doesn't it almost look as if this Cheesecake Factory restaurant is located in a neighborhood? Well, it's not. It's just off the "town square" in Shopping Mecca.

Still, we ate there after reading Loving Annie's tantalizing review. I had to try the Chipotle chicken pasta after reading her description of it. The only problem was, I was too full to try any cheesecake, after eating only half of my pasta. (Annie did warn her readers that the portions were generous.)

It seems that in my life lately a lot of chapters have been closed. These friends of mine moved to New York City this week. I will miss T's bubbly personality, ever-ready wit and extreme intelligence. I wish them well in the most exciting city I can imagine. They have found a REAL NEIGHBORHOOD there to live in!!!! HALLELUIA!!!!!!!!

This isn't exactly what The Child had in mind when he said he wanted to go on a vacation, but hey, it was a 20-minute drive and offered sights we just don't see every day.

This is a "Where's Waldo" Zoo Edition. It's not just a pile of rocks. There's a grizzly hiding in there somewhere.

But this is always my favorite part of any trip to the zoo- the soothing boat ride through the Indonesian exhibit. I would love to stay on the boat for an endless journey, but it costs $1 for each time around. It ended way too soon.

Every boat ride has its hazzards, though. Just when you start to let go of life's burdens, a snake appears out of the grass.

Back at home, the rose garden offers its sights any time we're interested, right outside our front door, with summer still going strong, probably well into October. Who needs that luxury vacation that all the other kids had?!


Loving Annie said...

Oh Betty, I ache for you and The Child. I wish I could send the winning lottery ticket your way so that you could take Child on the most special luxury vacation ever, among other things...

Not having that power (except in good wishes) yes, you live in a place where soemone else would very definitely consider it a vacation.

I among them. Your garden view / the parks alone make me drool every time you show me a picture.

And I must admit a fodness for the frog in the picture :)

How did you like the chicken chipolte pasta ?

I would rather live where you live than New York, shudder.

To me, New York - without money coming out of your pores - is a dirty, noisy, humid or freezing, dangerous and expensive city. New York, - with monry - is fun to visit.

But to live there ? i'd pick your neck of the woods, even with 'shopping mecca' :)

Not that that will mean much to The Child...

I have one of my schemes percolating in my head... Would you email me at lovingannieatgmaildotcom please, Betty ? It won't be a sleeping overnight vacation for you and The Child, but it might be a fun day away from home....

Loving Annie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laurie said...

I didn't go on any sort of
extravagant vacation when I was
younger. Well, unless you count
sitting in an airport for hours-
days because you're your father
works for an airline and you get
to fly standby....Whoopdee doo!

But I do wish I could help out.
Have you thought about going to
the childs school district and
seeing about a job with them? I
know here we can't keep good help
for anything. You may be surprised
about what you could find.


Betty said...

Dear Annie,

Yes, I think it's very important for me, especially now, to appreciate that I live in a setting that many people visit everyday.

I loved the chicken chipotle pasta, and I was very upset that when we got home, The Child fed my leftovers to The Chihuahua!!!! I should have written about that in the post, but I was still fuming.

You're right about mega money being a real necessity in NY. That is a definite drawback for most people. When I was growing up, my relatives lived there, and my mother was crazy over NYC- we lived fairly close. I have many good memories of NYC.

And I must say, you're a great schemer, Annie...

Hugs and Happy Labor Day Weekend,

Betty said...

Dear Laurie,

I had not thought of applying for work at school. The Child's school is in a huge urban district- I probably wouldn't be assigned anywhere near his school. As of now, I'm still hoping to find another job in my chosen field.

Thanks for your concern!


shankari said...

Hi Betty

I have an award for you and your lovely blog.

Click on my blog and carry the award link through. :)

Betty said...

Dear Shankari,

Thank you for the award! I'll have to see if I can figure out how to paste it onto my blog.


WaterLearner said...

Such nice pictures.

And .. I am sure you would miss those good friends of yours moving to New York!

Mary Ann said...

I love your rose garden.

I've never gone on a great vacation. Hasn't seemed to stunt my growth. :)

Betty said...

Dear Waterlearner,

It's good to see you again! Yes, it's hard to live in a city like this which is transient. So many friends have left!


Betty said...

Dear Mary Ann,

I have never gone on a great vacation. either, although I can certainly remember some awful ones (which cost as much as the great ones). Someday The Child may understand this.


Big Dave T said...

Wonder what kind of destination vacation your boy had in mind. Isn't it funny how times change. I remember when I was a kid ANY birthday party was a fun time. By the time my kids had their own parties, it had to be at a bowling alley, a Chuckie Cheese, Laser Tag arena, etc.

So has the same thing happened with vacations now too?

Monogram Queen said...

I ached for a neighborhood like you do. I live in a subdivision - on a cul-de-sac. *snort* Lah-de-dah eh?
I keep saying "someday"..... I am lucky that I can go to a real old-fashioned movie theater in Hartsville though. I enjoy that so much!

Kids just don't know what they have missed..... the Child is lucky he has you to worry about such things.

Please PLEASE tell me that snake could not get within reach of you. EEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Betty said...

Dear Big Dave,

It does seem as though vacations have gone the way of birthday parties. Certain obligations must be met each year after giving birth: at least one destination vacation (a la Disneyland), and one high dollar birthday bash per child.

No wonder parents can't pay for college!


Betty said...

Dear Patti,

You've always understood what it was that I hope for in a neighborhood. I'm glad you have one of those movie theaters, at least!

Don't worry- the snake was fake, although that was not obvious!


simply me said...

I am with favorite spot is the one with your beautiful roses. We have a small theater or two and honestly I much prefer them to the BIG IMAX - thrill by your seat giant ones.
I love a small town feel where small mom and pop shops still reside. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be the popular choice for some.
I was a single mom and still in many ways am. There are many things I can't do or give my son that he would like, but kids are forgiving and one day they do understand. There is more to life than just a big luxury vacation, and there are ways of making small adventures count in big ways. Hang in there.

Betty said...

Dear Simply Me,

Someday everyone will realize the value of the old-fashioned neighborhood. I just hope it happens during my lifetime so that I can benefit from society's inevitable re-adjustment.

The Child has never been on a luxury vacation himself- he just hears tales about them from his buddies. Come to think of it, I've never had one myself. I'd rather make my home so appealing that I don't want to leave.


Kacey said...

Sweet Betty, Perhaps you and the boy could figure out where a decent vacation destination would be for the two of you, Then, you both get jobs and start putting every extra bit of money away toward what the vacation will cost. It may take two years, but he would see the difficulty of getting the money together for such an undertaking. Sometimes, I think kids believe that they deserve all the perks, just because they are alive and don't realize how their unhappiness hurts their single moms. Happiness is within each of us and we have to dig down to find it. But, I wish I could help... we made our daughter's single motherhood a bit easier and got her through twenty years with three boys. By the way, does the bum pay any chiuld support, yet?

Betty said...

Dear Kacey,

In your comment I heard the voice of a loving parent. I know that if my mother were alive she would have been helping me, especially now. All of my co-workers who, like me, are out of work are getting help from their parents.

My father is alive. For reasons unknown to me, he has thrown himself into his wife's family and disowned his own children. His wife was happy to tell me that my father had cut me out of his will!

But my father did apparently feel sorry for me being an unemployed single mother. He sent me a check last week, for $30.00. Yes, that's thirty dollars. (He's now a millionaire, although he wasn't when I was a child.)

And no, the *&*%%#$ is not paying a dime of child support. Never has.


Anonymous said...