Saturday, April 18, 2015

It Was Just Two Stores

I have been waiting for today for a few months. It is Record Store Day and there is a limited edition Metallica cassette tape that I have been wanting to snag for my husband. I called around and most places were sold out, except for one about 20 minutes from my house. My husband works Saturdays and I work graveyard Friday night so I am normally pretty exhausted when I get home and have the house and kids to myself. I have pretty much sworn off venturing out with my children alone because most of the time when we enter public they turn into monsters. Since it was a special day, and I wanted to do something special for my husband I gave it another shot. What a great idea it was.

It took 10 minutes to get out the door, kind of a record. Great start I thought. Everyone got in their seats, got buckled up and away we went. The car ride was pleasant, uneventful, and surprisingly calm. No "he's looking at me!" "I didn't bring the right pal (stuffed animal)!" Or even a "I have to peeeeee nooooow!"  

We get to the record store that has a parking lot full of merchandise. Records, collectibles, and toys. Oh great, old collectible valuable toys. The kids didn't see them so we walked into the record store to get the cassette. The store was about the size of a bedroom MAYBE 10'x10' and FULL of people. Everyone was walking all over each other and the kids decided to start playing hide and go seek, hiding being crates or records and oh you know people. In my nice voice I tried to laugh it off "oh come on guys don't do that". Nothing, just giggling and hiding. "Guuuuuys come on, get over here."  Still nothing, at this point Brody had his face about 6 inches away from some poor guys butt (a fart would have taught him a lesson). Now it was time to increase the tone, using what I call the warning tone. The warning tone is a tone slightly louder than your normal tone but with a little more clenched teeth. "GUYS, that's ENOUGH." My kids know the warning tone. They stopped and we started walking back to the car. Almost made it to the car when my 9
Year old yells to my 5 and 3 year olds "HEYYY TOYS!! LOOK GUYS! TOYS!!" Ugh thanks. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to keep them from touching everything, taking off with something (one might call it stealing) or stepping on stuff. "What can we get?" They ask. "Nothing" I reply. The two youngest start crying in unison and my oldest starts huffing and puffing "how come youuu always get something?" "I never get anything" "this is boring" "why can't I get anything?"  I didn't respond because I was trying to keep from launching into a "why can't you appreciate the things you have" speech. 
We get in the car and I spot a store I had been wanting to stop in. At a red light I turn around and look at my kids. All calm now, sitting quietly again. "Ok I can do this", I say to myself. "You got this Brittany". I pull into a parking spot, take a deep breath and get out. The kids were good all the way to the front of the store where the carts were lined up. I put my 3 year old in the front of the cart and my 5 year old on the big part of the cart. Instantly the crying started. "I wanna sit in the big kid paaaaaart WAAAAAHHHH". I should have just walked back to the car and left, but I put her in the big part of the cart and went inside.
It took about three minutes before the whining started. Being a Saturday it was packed. People were rude and blocking every aisle and it was hard to move around, because of this I had to maneuver close to the clothing racks. That of course was when the grabbing started, like my kids were playing Supermarket Sweep. It didn't matter why it was they were grabbing it and putting it in the cart. "STOP" I said between my very clenched teeth. Nothing. They didn't even take me seriously enough to stop laughing. 
I don't know if you ever stop and listen to children's conversations but I guarantee you that if they are ever going to make something up that is mortifying about you, it will be in public. While looking at the underwear and bras my 5 year old says "ooooo, I bet mommy is looking at that for her booooyfriend" as I'm wearing my wedding ring. Then in unison my 3 and 5 year old start chanting "mommy has a boyfriend, mommy has a boyfriend!"  I look up to an older woman staring at me, "ha ha kids" I say to her. She looks away. "Guys stop, I don't have a boyfriend I'm married to daddy!" I say with a nervous OMG tone. "Then who was the guy that came over while daddy was at work?" Brody (5) says in a teasing tone. "That was the guy to fix the refrigerator silly, you know that." "Noooo mommy has a boyfriend, mommy has a boyfriend!" They start chanting again  The woman looks up again this time with a judgemental look and a raised eyebrow. "It was the repair guy, heh, kids." It really was the friggen repair guy. I'm not sure why I felt the need to explain myself to the stranger but she walked away and probably called me a Hussy under her breath. 
My final straw was when my oldest grabbed a huge pair of granny pantie underwear and asked "is this too small, or just right?" "Seriously?" I asked, "I've had enough lets go."  That of course started the unison crying, "whyyyyyyy, nooooo!"  Now people all around the store were starting to look. I get in line about the same time everyone else in the world also decided to get in line and we start waiting. Like most young potty trained kids when they see a sign for a bathroom in a store they must use it. It's like kids have a secret list of all the bathrooms in the world and need to visit and use them all, no matter what. In the middle of the 18 person line (no joke I counted) Brody spots the bathroom sign. "Umm mommy? I have to use the bathroom." "No you don't Brody." "Yes I dooooo, I really really dooooo" "well you're going to have to hold it, we are too deep in line to get out." But *insert crying and loud wailing* I HA-HAVE TO GOOOOO WAAAAHHHHH I HAVE TO GOOOOOO". "Ok just a sec." "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" 
I knew I needed a distraction and luckily there were some sand toys right in front of me. I grabbed them "oooooh looooook! You guys needed these! Here you go!" Magically Brody didn't have to pee anymore (told you) and it was quiet again. Those sand toys could have been $100 and I would have bought them at that point. 
We make it to the front and while I'm unloading the cart the little ones start fighting (again). Elle ends up slamming Brody's fingers in the part of the cart where the metal collapses on itself. He of course screams bloody murder, everyone is looking at us, whispering to each other, or both. "THAT WASNT NICE ELLE! SHIT!" I say. "Yeah shit!" Brody says "shit" says Elle. 
Mom of the year right here. Have a great weekend everyone!
Pretty much how I felt when I got home

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thank You No Doubt

When I first heard No Doubt I was riding the bus to school, I was 10 years old, and the song was "Don't Speak".  I remember trying my hardest to hear the song over the other kids conversations, laughing, screaming, and yelling.  Though I may not have been able to hear the entire song in complete silence, I was able to catch their name at the end of the song.  When I got home I begged my mom to buy me the cassette, after a few "mom" questions (is there swearing, who are they, I don't know them) she agreed to order it for me.

About a week later my little Tragic Kingdom cassette came, and an official fan was born.  I listened to that tape every chance I could.  OK I'll be honest, I was 10 and therefore did not fully understand or appreciate an entire album.  I listened to "Don't Speak" so much that I had actually worn down the tape.  The song sounded great until it got to the chorus, and that was when Gwen's awesome voice started sounding like a slowed down demon, which thankfully forced me to listen to the other 13 songs.

As much as I loved Tragic Kingdom, at 10 there was just no way for me to understand how emotional of an album it was.  I hadn't felt true heartbreak yet, I wasn't sixteen, I was a girl but hadn't experienced any of those restrictions, and while my mom worked at Disneyland during my childhood, I had no idea Tragic Kingdom literally meant Magic Kingdom.

The older I got the more I understood the songs, and appreciated them more.  Then in 2000 Return of Saturn came out, and that would be the album that would get me through my hardest, darkest days.  When it came out my mom took me to Sam Goody and we listened to it all the way home, from there it went straight into my CD player and only came out occasionally for my *NSYNC CD (don't judge RIP *NSYNC).  I loved ROS more than I thought I would, especially because it was so different from the band most of us were used to.  It was mostly slowed down, and not as angry hurt sounding, but just more sad.

The came 2001.  Even as I am writing this 2001 has to be one of (if not) the hardest year of my life.  I had my heart broken for the first time, and went through many things that left me broken.  There was a point in that year that I thought I was never going to recover.   I thought that I was never going to be able to be the fun loving, happy person that always made people laugh, again.  It was at that point I found Return Of Saturn again.  In addition to my family and some friends, I credit that album for changing my life and bringing me back to life.  Its hard to explain how a band, or an album, can spark something in you, but in some cases it just does.  Return of Saturn made me realize that I was going to be OK, that bad things happen to everyone, and made me realize what everyone had been trying to tell me, that I would get through it.  And I did.

Later that year Rock Steady came out, and I had a car.  It was the ONLY CD in my car, and I think all of my friends at the time know that CD by heart because of me.

I have been to many concerts, always one of the few that would brave the elements outside for hours to be up front.  Then in August of 2009 No Doubt played at the Palms in Vegas and that too would be a highlight of my No Doubt fandom.  When my friends and I pulled into the parking garage I noticed all of the tour buses were parked out front instead of being hidden somewhere.  I told everyone in the car "we are so going down there after the show."  Sure enough after the show my friend Janel and I made our way down to the curb next to the buses (poor Sarah hadn't felt good and went home). We waited for over an hour and no sign of the band.  One of the drivers had been keeping an eye on us, probably to make sure we weren't some nut cases, and finally offered us some food and water because of how late and hot it was.  After another 30 minutes or so I spot Tom walking (rather quickly) towards one of the buses. "oh my god, Janel, its Tom". I was frozen, and super starstruck, I mean here was a guy I had just seen on stage, and not to mention 1/4 of the band I credited with changing my outlook on my life.  Janel said "Well GO, go say hi!".  I felt so bad, he looked so tired, he really looked like he just wanted to go to sleep and be left alone, BUT I knew I would regret it forever if I didn't try to get his attention.  I yelled "TOM!" and he stopped.  I think I said something like "Can I get a picture, please?" poor guy looked even more exhausted than I had originally thought.  "Sure" he said with a smile.  Then he said "you know Tony, Adrian and I were all over there for a while signing stuff and taking pictures don't you?" Yeah they had been on the other side of the big ass bus almost the entire time we were waiting to pounce.  I could have died.  He took some pictures with us, and even took more than a few to make sure we got the perfect one.  As much as I wanted to ask for an autograph I felt like he had done more than enough for me, and I didn't have the heart to ask for one.

Right around that time I found out I was pregnant with my second baby, that turned out to be a boy, and in case you are wondering no  didn't name him Tom haha.  Since then I have had some back and forths on Twitter with Tom and even one from Tony (a happy birthday!).

Over the years I have continued to be a big fan, and support them all.  Whether it be Gwen's solo and fashion stuff (L.A.M.B., Harajuku Lovers, and GX oh my!), one of the first in line for a new album, or scrounging money up to catch a show, I'll be a lifetime fan and forever thankful to them.  To this day when I am having a hard time, or anxiety their music helps me through it all.

Even if they don't actually see this I'm glad its out there, but I hop they do  They should know what their music can do for people.  Everyone should have a No Doubt.  Thanks guys