Saving wasted

Ever had a birthday meltdown?

I used to have them EVERY birthday.  The big day would come around and I’d just want to stay in bed all day and think bad thoughts, like ‘How come nobody likes me? and ‘Why do some of my family members act like I’m speaking in ancient Yiddish?’.

Anyway the other day, Ms M turned sixteen, and SHE had a birthday meltdown.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY M darling!!!”

“…Mmmm, yeah, guess so..”   CLICK. That’s the sound of Ms M hanging up on me – she was at her dad’s at the time.

So I wasn’t that surprised when I picked her up from the movies and she began to cry in the car, because, she said,

“I’ve wasted everything! I’m so stupid!”

Hmm, I thought, that sounds like a bit of an overstatement.  I know you’ve missed a few deadlines at school.  You probably don’t walk the dog as often as you should.  But everything, wasted?   I mean, at fifty, that could make sense.  At 16, there’s plenty of time to turn the boat around.

So we bought some Turkish takeaway (sniff, sob, wipe) and headed home on Birthday Night, in full crisis mode.  But then things started to go better.

The cure?  Take one electrically warmed bed, one mother & daughter, 2 slices of baklava, 2 half-empty miniature bottles of liqueur (doesn’t matter much what sort), a bowlful of hugs, a lot of listening and a sprinkle of bad jokes – combine, and voila!

Turned out it wasn’t Life that had been wasted – merely Dad’s birthday present money.  On Essence of Female, which I have really GOT to try, and a few other odd things Ms M and her best friend picked up at the herbalist for – well, about all the cash she had on her.

There really aren’t many things in life that can’t be fixed by an electric blanket, a small amount of alcohol, and cuddles.

Today’s Indie Review

It’s hard to know what to expect of the afterlife. Even, whether there IS one.  I tend to think not.  But, suppose there is.  And suppose,when you get there, that whatever problems you had in life are still waiting to be confronted? This is the theme of Karen Wyle’s Wander Home.  It’s about a multi-generational family who find themselves in ‘heaven’ but still have to work through some of their family issues – the abandoned daughter, the moody, restless single mother who walks out on her, the peripatetic parents and the crazy-in-love grandparents.  It’s actually quite a cohesive picture of how an afterlife might work, in practice, and well-written, without the stylistic issues you find (sadly) in a lot of e-books.


  1. I wish my kids’ problems were so easily resolved. Be grateful she still wants to cuddle with you when she’s troubled.
    Feel free to post on theselfpublisher about any self-published books you enjoyed. That’s what the promo efforts should be about. Just make sure they are worthy. 🙂

    1. I am grateful, actually. Adult kids can be the hardest, I agree. I will feel free – and I’m waiting to read a book that IS worth it.


  2. My worst birthday was when I was at Uni and I thought nobody would remember it, so took the day off, went cycling, collided with a turtle so fell on the crossbar & scraped legs on pedals, but when help arrived it had gone so was thought to have imagined it. Next day everyone had hangovers celebrating my birthday. They didn’t believe the turtle story either. Grrr

    1. That’s really rotten! Birthdays are full of expectations, that’s the trouble. You expect to be different, or better, or more popular, or to get presents, or something…and then it’s just another day. Bet it was the turtle’s birthday too – imagine ITS story!


    1. I vary. Sometimes I get impatient – as I’ve said before, I’m not great dealing with persistent misery (and even worse when it’s just whingeing). But we have a good relationship and I’m happy about that.

      1. Hello, my dear! I think you’re learning to be a good and proper neurotic thinker! LOL. Or would that be a good and proper mother of a teenager! OR, you might be reading too much iamnotshe. I had to chuckle when you jumped to the “OMG” conclusion with your 15-year-old beauty said she’ed wasted everything. I think you’re right! I know you can turn things around; there are many of us who are living proof. AKA, anyone over, well, I guess a few people never really have a trauma. Never mind.

        The key is We are the ones who think We have turned ourselves around. I know lots of people who are living in a private hell of an ED that, actually, will never go away. It gets so much better, but there are probably only a handful of people who lose all the bad patterns, and turn all the bad voices away. BUT, if you are young (esp 15) there’s a much higher chance to turn EVERYTHING around … and maybe just have that [sneaking suspicion] anything was wrong: EVER.

        OH THE TEENAGE MIND! Oh, and love the itty bitty bottle remedy with a blanket and hugs and laughs! Perfection. Whereas you can have too much booze, you can NEVER have too much laughter and hugs.

      2. Yes well I did immediately think ‘so what’ve you wasted it on????’. But my sweetie is admirably uninterested in drugs, alcohol and free love, so that doesn’t leave much – except Essence de Woman! I have a date on Monday and I might borrow some of it from her and try it out :) She’s going to see a psych in a couple of weeks. But I kinda hope getting with the crush of her dreams might help. She likes this boy..he’s intelligent, funny, kind (so she says)..she’s just trying to work out how to get him to ask her out. If he does, maybe he can give her the reassurance that her mum can’t.


      3. Funny you mention that. Boys can bring a certain magic to a girl (course heterosexually speaking) ;-).

        Somehow there’s reinforcement there. I know that’s sort of unfortunate that a girl needs confirmation or reassurance from a man/boy … but i think it’s more that teenace girls are not much for REASSURING one another …. even my best girlfriends back in the day were competitive and a bit bitchy. Me included. I can get my passive-aggressive ACT on just as well as the other girls.

        As for AMORE … there is that special quality of true LIKING (aka, what is seen and felt is FABUOUS). Lots of love and lots of luck at the shrink. It will be helpful. Oh, you’re such a good mom … sometimes the teens tend to KNOW that you like them especially … so they give you a hard time for being nice!!! Right? Oh life … teenagers. xoxo

      4. YEah I can get passive aggressive too! and you’re right, teenage girls aren’t the most supportive, at times. But this boy seems, from what she says, to be really nice. I want her to be cherished. We had a lovely haircut today – her and me. I’m going to post a picture of me flouncing about with my new haircut, it’s SO nice – I wish it could stay like that for ever and ever – instead of just till later this afternoon! I’m really not a good mum, but I bet you would be (are?) a great aunt. Not a great-aunt, a great aunt. You could advise teenagers on all the difficult things about being a teenager, which I sort of have forgotten, due to having read a book all through my teenage years.


      5. Reading is a good way to get through life. Fiction especially. It’s much less strange than reality. I wanted (and still do, to some degree) to be a “teen adviser” regarding “testing” for abilities and interests INSTEAD of letting the “ignored kids” find a group of friends who insist they learn to drink beer. My other idea (with no background) is to help college students (or hs students who aren’t going to college) to ease into adulthood. Counsel them on investing money, finding housing they can afford; how to look for jobs that provide some satisfaction and HEALTH insurance. I have a load of love to give the wayward teen.

        My brother didn’t adopt, and he does not want children ever. I’m a dog mama (in the future). Hopefully in a few years, and in the Great Northwest United States. Wosh.

      6. you’d be good with wayward teens. I’m not, I never was one. Maybe you should look into becoming some sort of helper/counsellor to teens. You know, here, you can make money fostering them too. But your partner really has to be on board. Btw, I’m meeting lots of men at the moment who don’t have kids at all.


      7. Really? Where did you meet these “men without kids”? I’m not sure I’m cut out to “like Don’s kids better”. The wedding email list, has be Dead Last, in the list of mom’s, dads, etc.

        On the other hand, i’d probably find things i didn’t like about other men, even if they didn’t have kids.

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