I Kid You Not

Kids fascinate me. Their cuteness; their grossness; their individuality. I love watching nature—not nurture—in all its glory.

Recently, I imagined what it would be like if little ones never outgrew their weirdo ways—namely in the work place.

Scene 1: Reese, our man-child, getting his boss’s attention.

“Lauren! … Lauren! … Lauren! … Lauren! … Lauren! … Lauren!”

“LAUREN!”

Lauren rushes to wrap up her conversation with Chad and says, “Yes, Reese?”

Reese then balances on one leg and pretends to blow a horn using his thumb.

Lauren stares at him, unamused, and walks away.

Scene 2: A human playground.

Reece runs full speed towards an unsuspecting Tina and jumps on her back—sending them both face-first onto the floor.

Scene 3: Morning needs.

Reece barges into work and declares, “I’m hungry! Lauren, I’m thirsty! Lauren! Hungry! Juice! LAURENNNNN!”

Scene 4: Who’s the boss.

Reese gallops into a meeting on a broomstick—uninvited—and unplugs the projector, disconnects the conference call, and gallops out.

suckas

Scene 5: Clothes are for punks.

Lauren calls Reese in for a meeting.

Lauren: Reese, you have to wear pants. You also have to wear underwear. You have to wear both. This is not up for discussion.
Reece: But whyyy?
Lauren: Because you have to. You can’t run around the office naked from the waist down. Do you see anyone else doing that? We’re not debating this. Clear?

Reece’s chin hits his chest and he crosses his arms as hard as he can while pushing his lips out.

Later, during an afternoon meeting, Reece seems to have complied with Lauren’s orders, though not without over-dramatized pouting. But when the meeting wraps and everyone pushes away from the conference table, Reece emerges with no pants or underwear—and a creepy grin as he runs away from Lauren.

Scene 6: Color commentating.

Reece walks around the office, seemingly normal, then assumes a snow ski stance, lets one fly and yells, “Silent but violent!”

Scene 7: Such a melodious sound.

Reece, as a means to expel energy—and generally annoy everyone—unhinges his jaw and unleashes a long, ear-splitting scream.

Lauren tells him, “NO. NO SIR.” Reece complies for just under two minutes, then does it again. Lauren tells him, in no uncertain terms, that screaming is neither appropriate nor acceptable. Reece manages to keep the next blood-curdling scream in for about 10 minutes.

britbigeyes

Scene 8: Sudden, unexplained shyness.

Reese is talking, making noises and doing anything he can to get attention, so Lauren says, “Reese? Did you want to elaborate on the new process?” Reese then dips his chin and pretends to talk, but all you see is his shifty eyes and moving lips—but absolutely no sound coming out.

Scene 9: What’s yours is mine.

While sitting at the lunch table, Reece grabs the glasses off of Alice’s face and shoves them onto Nathan’s—poking him in the eye.

Scene 10: An answer for everything.

Lauren: Reece, were you able to run that report?
Reece: Blaaaaaaaah, poop!
Lauren: What? Reece, come on. Yes or no? We need it for the 2:00 meeting. Will you please get it done so we can inform the team?
Reece: Poop! Booger poop! You eat poop boogers!

Scene 11: Reece the boomerang.

Lauren and Reece wrap up their weekly meeting and Reece leaves. He comes back into Lauren’s office 15 minutes later.

Lauren: What’s up?
Reece: I’m thirsty.
Lauren: Okay, go get a drink—but then I need you back at your desk.

Ten minutes later, Reece slinks back into Lauren’s office, with an insecure, semi-creepy walk.

Lauren: Reece. What is it?
Reece: I can’t work.
Lauren: WHY NOT.
Reece: I’m scared.
Lauren: Scared? Scared of what?
Reece: I’m scared Sara is hiding under my desk.
Lauren: Sara? Sara Lawrence? Why would she be under your desk? Why don’t you just look under and see that she’s not there?
Reece: No, you.

Lauren gets up, exasperated, and leads Reece back to his desk. She makes a big production out of looking under the desk and proclaiming, “Nope. No Sara.”

Fifteen minutes later, Reece is back in Lauren’s office. Lauren just stares, defeated.

Reece: My chair is uncomfortable. It feels funny.

not_amused

Scene 12: Working lunch.

Lauren: Thanks everyone for tolerating another lunch meeting. Hopefully these sandwiches make up for having to stay in. Let’s go ahead and get started. As you all know, we …

Cut to Reece purposefully dropping his sandwich on the floor, staring right at Lauren and saying, “Uh-oh.”

Lauren gathers her patience, hands Reece another triangle of sandwich and returns to her intro. Reece holds his hand high outside his body and drops his can of Coke, “Uh-oh.”

Scene 13: The highest form of flattery.

Lauren: Hey Reece, stop by when you get a sec.
Reece: Hey Reece, stop by when you get a sec.
Lauren: What? Really, I need another set of eyes on the graph I’m showing Will next week.
Reece: What? Really, I need another set of eyes on the graph I’m showing Will next week.

grrr

Scene 14: The heart wants what it wants.

Sara: Hi-ya, Reece. Here’s your copy of the report for the meeting.
Reece: But I wanted my copy on blue paper.
Sara: Um, blue paper? We don’t make copies on blue paper.
Reece: But I wanted it on blue!
Sara: Look, it has the information you need—that’s what’s important.
Reece: BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scene 15: Adventurous palate.

Lauren: I’m so happy we could all get away from the office and celebrate an amazing quarter. Here’s to eating, drinking and being merry!
Waiter: What could I get you, Ma’am?
Sara: Hi. I’ll have the filet, medium rare, asparagus and the Dijon mashed potatoes.
Waiter: And you, Ma’am?
Lauren: I’ll have the Portobello gnocchi, and a salad with the house dressing.
Waiter: Nice. Sir, what’ll you have?
Nathan: Let me get the pork shank, risotto and the bacon jam Brussels sprouts, please.
Waiter: Great choice. And you, Sir?
Reece: Chicken strips and a large chocolate milk.

Scene 16: Say Cheese!

In every picture taken, Reece’s fake smile looks like someone told him to show all 32 teeth and look as surprised as he would if an 18-wheeler was heading directly at him.

Sweet Sam. This phase will last a full year.

Scene 17: Let’s GO.

Nathan: Say, Reece, you ready to go down to the presentation?
Reece: Yeah. I mean no. I’m a helicopter.
Nathan (5 minutes later): Reece, come on man, we need to head down or we’re gonna be late.
Reece: Yeah, ‘k. (continues being a helicopter)
Nathan: (2 minutes later): We have to go. Now. I’m leaving, so come on if you’re coming. And get your notebook.
Reece: (stands there, slumped over, with his arms hanging all the way to his feet) I’m cominggggg, ugh! (continues to stand)
Nathan: That’s it, I’m leaving. Do what you want. (walks off)
Reece: WAAAIIITTT!! NATHAN WAIT! NATHAAAAAAAAAAAAN! (runs for Nathan and lunges, throwing his arms around Nathan’s mid-stride leg)

Scene 18: Storytelling.

Lauren: Hey gang, good meeting. Before we head back to our desks, I wondered if Reece and Claire wanted to tell us about their experience at the conference this week. Guys?

Reece: Yeah, so, so, so, so when, when, when we, we like – like it was yesterday and we, we had, we went, when we went to …
Claire: Yeah, we headed into Stratton Hall and …
Reece: ME! I’m telling it! I’m telling the story!
Claire: Fine, tell it.
Reece: So like we, we, we went and when we went, we … Stop Nathan! Nathan’s making faces at me! Stop it! Stop making faces!”

Scene 19: Name calling.

Lauren: Thanks for coming in guys. I understand the two of you are having some difficulties relating to one another and I thought we’d see if we can come to an agreement today. Nathan, why don’t you tell me a little about the circumstances that led to yesterday’s confrontation.
Nathan: Sure. I approached Reece about the email he sent to …
Reece: You’re stupid. You’re a dumb stupid-head.
Nathan (hands in the air): See? This is what I’m dealing with—and he’s done this in front of clients.
Reece: Because you’re an idiot dumb-dumb poopy diaper face.

Yeah, so the next time you want to throttle a co-worker for making your work life twice as hard as it should be, just be thankful they wear pants and don’t ask you to nurse them during a meeting.

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Dream On

I have ridiculous dreams.

They’re vivid and memorable, but mostly insane. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very active dream life, recalling details with spectacular clarity.

I know people who don’t remember their dreams and don’t really understand how profoundly certain ones can affect you. They’ll listen to me describe a dream, making “Are you speaking English?” faces and reply, “You have weird dreams.” Guess what? That offers exactly NO comfort to me when I just told you I dreamed my nephew grew a vestigial tail an hour before his prom, leaving his mom scrambling to find a tailor specializing in those types of alterations.

I’ve learned the hard way not to go into great detail about a crazy dream until I first ask if they’re a dreamer. If they say, “No, I never remember my dreams” I say, “So, do you have any good kale recipes?” If they say, “Oh yeah, my dreams are insane” then I know I’m safely in the company of a like-minded dreamer who can appreciate hearing how I met the inventor of Pretzel Crisps at a pool party, where the pool had no water, but instead had Bill Clinton skate boarding through the deep end, wearing nothing but headphones and a toe ring.

I know people who want to learn how to master lucid dreaming for the sole purpose of hooking up with celebrities as they catch some zzz’s. But it was always more important to me to figure out how to wake myself up from bad dreams. I was forever falling off roller coasters, being chased by extremely bad guys and actually dying in a variety of ways. I’m not sure how, but finally I began to recognize a terrible dream when it was happening, and wake myself up. Not every time—I still ran into lots of knife-wielding hoodlums with ill-intent—but it got better.

To the experts who say we dream in black and white and die in real life if we die in a dream, I say NAY. I’ve been shot several times, seen the red blood and faded clear to my death … and here I am. Holla!

One particular dream I’ve never forgotten: I hailed a cab, he pulled over, I slid in. As soon as I did, the guy who was already in the backseat pulled out a silencer, put it to my temple and shot. It made this soft pphhffww sound. I felt no pain, but thought, “Uh-oh” as my head fell softly to the window. I fully knew I was a goner … but not before I prayed to God to bring comfort and peace to my loved ones.

For those of you feeling a little down right about now, you need to know something. I am blessed with the ability to dunk in my dreams. And I dunk HARD. It brings the crowd to its feet in unified jubilation to see this bad ass 5’6″ chick snagging alley oops out of thin air and throwing them down like I’m the spawn of Lebron (and with that unintentional rhyme, a spawn of Jay-Z, too—man this life is good).

I’ve also flown in my dreams. I’m one of the more fortunate ones who only have to flap a few times per mile, enabling me to enjoy the journey rather than feel like I’ve been to an all-day crossfit class. I rock a few big sweeping flaps and off I soar, high above the ground, wind in my birdlike face (my eyes are the same, but I have a beak—fortunately it’s a pretty spring salmon color, making me more special than a finch or sparrow).

I distinctly remember the first time I flew, my predominant thought was, “Oh my gosh, I’ll never pay for another flight in my life!” But on the flip side, if I never flew commercial again, I’d never have the joy hilarious horror of a gloved security guard frantically rubbing me down until he found the dangerous offender—my Fitbit pedometer—clipped to my bra.

So yeah, I get murdered sometimes, but I also get airborne a lot.

The market is flooded with studies, articles and websites dedicated to dream interpretation. But my dreams are often less “meaningful” and more just like my brain wanting to do “Mad Libs” based on my recent thoughts and experiences.

madlibs

Let me explain.

In a recent dream, I walked down a boardwalk.
I walked on a beautiful boardwalk on our latest vacation.

I saw my mom squatting in a cove of sand.
My mom was the last person I text before I fell asleep that night … and I, myself, was squatting by a cove of sand we saw while on vacation, watching a little crab moving around.

She pulled a baby seal out and his face was a real baby’s face.
I was watching and loving the baby seals around the coves on this trip … and actually just dream about babies a lot. (although usually I’m in the hospital for what I believe to be terminal stomach cancer, only to find out I’m actually pregnant, dilated to a 10 and confused as to how babies are made.)

She handed him to me and I cradled him but realized when she scooped him up, he got sand caked in his little throat, causing him to become still and start to die.
Recently, my mom had asked me if I’d heard about all the baby seals shoring up dead or malnourished in California and I’d also read a tweet from Anderson Cooper about the same phenomenon before I went to sleep.

The people walking next to me started telling me he was mine now and I needed to care for him and love him back to life.
I’d just had dinner with a friend who was talking about their journey with IVF, embryo transfer and embryo donation/adoption … and I told her I would never have a problem accepting and loving a baby I hadn’t created myself.

I started cradling and snuggling the baby seal boy—kissing his smooth head and giving him all the warmth and love I could transfer to his little body.
The day before, I’d come across a picture of my mom cuddling up her grandbaby who was wrapped like a burrito in one of those little towel robes.

He started coming back to life and stretching in my arms. He then opened his eyes, grinned and reached his little pointer finger up to touch my cheek but accidentally poked my eye.
Kellie Rasberry, from Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, recently told the story of their puppy trying to show her love and inadvertently scratching her eye.

Then I came to a gate at the pier and they wouldn’t let me by until I presented my credentials.
We’d been at the Indian Wells tennis tournament on vacation and I tried to get into a certain part of the stadium to take a picture and the guard asked for my credentials.

Someone said they’d take the baby from me while I pilfered through my bag, but they actually took him and put him back in the water where they thought he belonged.
A similar thought that crossed my mind as I heard about embryo adoption.

I finally got to the cove and spotted him happily swimming with colorful koi.
A brewery we visited on vacation had a bunch of koi in their fountain.

See? Mental, subconscious, dreamland Mad Libs. My mind piecing together a story from random activities and thoughts of the day.

Side Note: This doesn’t explain why my next dream consisted of me on a big yacht, watching my sister jet ski in our wake—doing tricks and flips and eventually sticking a perfect landing on the deck of the ship—as we all cheered uproariously, helped her out of her wetsuit and fed her fresh mango.

And of course I still have these typical anxiety dreams:

  • Realizing I’m at the end of semester and I have never been back to my math class since the first day.
  • Trying to text someone something important and my phone is either dead or changing each letter I type to an unwanted emoji.
  • Being back on my college basketball team—but every time I receive a pass and turn to shoot, the ball turns into a throw pillow or a book and I can’t set my hands right or get the proper rotation.
  • Not being able to find what I’m looking for—a loved one, a place, my phone, my camera, my clothes or my high school locker.

Hmm, reading through this has made me realize a couple of (now) apparent things.
1. I need to spend more time figuring out how to hook up with celebrities in my dreams.
2. I need a baby seal boy embryo … preferably from Stephen Curry and Alicia Keys.

dreambaby

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