Growing up, my father used to routinely beat me and my brother with spoons.
It started while we were on vacation in Gettysburg, PA. After driving from Massachusetts and spending three days crowded into the minivan visiting battlefields and taking in the oh-so-electrifying excitement of Amish country, we had all reached our breaking points. My brother and I were at that point in our relationship in which we couldn’t breathe the same air without fighting, which was making my parents crazy. Now picture all that built up angst, tension, and bad blood squeezed into the tiniest Amish buggy you can imagine.
After that we went to a restaurant to have some lunch. Still sniping at one another even as the waitress was trying to take our order, my brother and I were building up to an inevitable slugfest (which was really just a glorified slapfight because of our mutually agreed upon decision not to hit each other in the face), until my father took action.
He grabbed a spoon, held it under the table, and smacked me with it. And then he hit my brother. We were stunned.
“Did you just…did you just hit us with a spoon?” I asked.
“Yes,” said my father in a matter-of-fact tone. “Every time you guys argue, I’m going to flick you with a spoon.”
We were so stunned at the absurdity of it all, we stopped fighting and immediately started cracking up laughing. And from that point on, whenever anyone in our family was being a dick, they got whacked with a spoon under the table — an unlikely family tradition if ever there was one.
Recently, I’ve started a new family tradition all my own with my oldest son.
***Disclaimer: I was compensated by Little Remedies for this post. However, this is one of those rare opportunities when we actually use the brand in question, and all of my opinions — as always — are my own.
The holidays are upon us, and that generally means we get more of everything.
I want more mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. If the NFL could fit in more Thanksgiving Day football games I’d be all for it. Black Friday sales have darkened Thanksgiving Day (and in some cases even the day before Thanksgiving) as more sales start earlier with more people camped out to buy door buster items. We get more family, more gatherings, more parties, more eggnog, and — for most parents — Christmas is all about more presents for the kids.
In short, the idea of “More, More More!” has become the default holiday setting for far too many people.
But one company is pushing for less.
Yes I was there. Yes I thought the Patriots were done after halftime. No I didn’t leave early.
The first half of that game was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Three possessions, three fumbles. Ridley and Blount benched. Brady strip-sacked. Defense gives up more than 100 yards rushing before halftime. Nary a spark of life to be seen among anyone wearing a Patriots jersey.
Did I boo? You bet your ass I did. And they deserved it.
However, thousands of fans left. Because it was cold (and yes, it really was freezing with a wind chill of 6 degrees). Because it was late. Because it was ugly. I didn’t think the Patriots stood a chance at winning that game, but I stayed because that’s what you do as a fan. You can bitch, whine, complain, and boo to your heart’s content — but you stay at that fucking game and you watch your team.
Especially this season, as the Patriots are no strangers to miracle finishes.
Because if you stay — if you stick it out through the cold and the misery — sometimes you’re rewarded with a memory like this one.
(FYI — there’s some swearing. I really hate Peyton Manning)
What’s one of the first things you do when your kids hit an important milestone? If you’re anything like me, you post it on social media.
One of the best parts about having kids is watching them grow, and there is no span of time that sees as much rapid progress as the first year of life. From the time they start grabbing things to rolling over to taking their first steps, kids are maturing at warp speed and social media allows us to document these milestones and celebrate them with our friends and family members on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Well, it SHOULD be a celebration, but that’s not always the case. Mainly because a lot of parents are judgmental, sanctimonious pricks.
I get a lot of PR pitches. I turn down a lot of PR pitches. But when one of them says “Would you be interested in an interview with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees,” you sit up and pay attention.
After I made sure I wasn’t being Punk’d by one of my idiot friends, I quickly and eagerly agreed. I mean, this is Drew Brees. Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. The guy who holds the single season passing record with 5,476 yards. And even though he’s not a member of my beloved New England Patriots, I like Drew on a personal level because he’s a notoriously devoted husband, father of three little boys, and genuinely nice guy by all accounts.
Heck, aside from his elite athletic prowess and the fact that he’s a millionaire star athlete, we’re practically the same person!
But seriously, I was so excited and honored to get this opportunity. Even though I worked as a journalist for a long time and interviewed some pretty big names, I still get a kick out of talking to celebrities. Especially when it’s someone like Drew, who combines my love of football and fatherhood. And with so much going on in the NFL right now (concussion issues, player safety, locker room bullying, etc) it was a perfect opportunity to get a peek behind the curtain.
This opportunity comes courtesy of Tide’s “Color Captains” program, in which 32 NFL players (one from each team) capture pictures of their team colors in celebration of fans and football throughout the season.
So without further ado, here’s my Q&A with star NFL quarterback Drew Brees (and there’s a distinct possibility I may have jabbed him about losing to the Patriots earlier this season).