Posts tagged ‘kevin rudge’

May 7, 2011

Still the Same (Bob Seger, 1978)

aCS blog: Confessions of a Trophy DadKevin Rudge


Any similarities to actual events and persons in my family are not coincidental. This story took place on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

“The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.” ~ Marcelene Cox, a woman

Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we sometimes find our heart’s desire in our own backyard — or like my wife Elizabeth, there, not even an arms length away, sitting right before our very eyes . . .

Having a bit of time before having to pick Lauren up from dance class, Elizabeth stopped in a local shop. She soon found herself at the sunglass display rack with not one, but two twenty-something sales girls attending to her every shopping need.

As she tried on sunglasses, Elizabeth received varying levels of approval from Sales Girl #1 and #2 — amazingly mirroring her every comment and facial expression.

“Those look so good,” said Sales Girl #1, referring to a pair of black oversized designer sunglasses Elizabeth had on. “I saw Angela Jolie with a pair just like them.”

Elizabeth studied the glasses in the mirror. “Don’t you think they are too wide for my face?”

“Yeah, maybe, like a little too big for your face,” said Sales Girl #1, nodding her head.

Elizabeth tried on a pair of light beige framed and brown lensed glasses. “What about these?”

“Ooooh, I like those a lot,” said Sales Girl #2.

“I don’t like the the color,” Elizabeth said.

“I was going to say, except for the color,” said Sales Girl #2.  “Yes, definitely do not like the color.”

This went on as Elizabeth tried on pair after pair.  Discarded and prospective sunglasses littered the glass countertop.  She had gone through a dozen or so before picking-up a two-toned brown lensed pair made by Izod.  Elizabeth looked in the mirror and said, “Wow, I like the black and brown two-tone.”

“Oh, those are cool! Yeah, two-tone. They look fantastic on you!” said Sales Girl #2.

“Do you think?” said Elizabeth.

“Love them!” said Sales Girl #1. “Oh yeah, like they are so you.”

Elizabeth lingered at the mirror a few seconds longer before agreeing, they did look good.  She took them off to look at the price, but there was no tag. Upon further inspection she noticed a small scratch on the frame.

She wasn’t concerned, all the sunglasses on the rack were priced generally the same and the scratch was not large enough to be a show-stopper. Elizabeth showed the scratch to the sales girls and being half-Italian, asked if they could take a percentage off the listed price because of it.

Sales Girl #2 was game, “Yeah maybe. Let me ask my manager.”

She paged her manager overhead and as quick as you can say  “Discount Designer Sunglasses, Great Choices for Under $100,” the boss woman was at the display rack.

With the backing of Sales Girl #1 and #2, Elizabeth again asked for an additional discount.  After studying the glasses the Manager announced, “These are not our glasses. We don’t sell Izod. Someone must have switched them.”

Sales Girl #2 gasped.

Sales Girl #1 stood motionless, her mouth open.  “We’ve been like so scammed,”  she whispered.

Elizabeth was also surprised. Surprised she had been brushed by an apparent crime — but also that the Manager said they didn’t carry Izod.  “You do sell Izod,” she said.  “I bought a pair here before.”

“If we did, we have not sold them for a long time,” said the Manager.

While the Sales Manager lectured Sales Girl #1 and #2 about keeping a closer eye on the store merchandise — reminding them that they were not to remove the tags on the glasses when customers are trying them on — a horrific thought entered Elizabeth’s mind.

She rummaged through her bag in search of something.  It was not there.  She looked again, double checking all pockets.  It definitely was not there — her worst fear materialized.

“Oh, you know what?” said Elizabeth, interrupting the Manager.  “Those are my sunglasses.”

“Excuse me?” said the Manager.

Smiling, Elizabeth said, “The Izod sunglasses.  They’re mine.  I bought them here awhile back.”

“They’re like yours?” said Sales Girl #1.

“Yes,” said Elizabeth, now laughing. “They are mine.”

“Oh my God,” whispered Sales Girl #2.

Elizabeth had just tried to purchase her own sunglasses. She wore them into the store on her head and must have placed them on the counter, mixing them with the store owned sunglasses.

Elizabeth failed to recognize her own glasses; the sales girls and manager failed to recognize the humor in it all.

It was time to go get Lauren.  Elizabeth left the store wearing her two-tone, brown lensed, Izod shades — her heart’s desire — all along right there before her very eyes — and she didn’t have to pay a penny for it.

“Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was . . .” ~ Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetime”

Kevin Rudge is a stay-at-home dad of three girls and practicing trophy husband.  He lives and writes from his home in suburban Chicago.  More of his humorous observations and confessions can be found at MyDadDoesNotWork.com.

Kevin’s Mother’s Day Note:  “My three daughters have an amazing mother, who lives her life with purpose, style, and grace — and an uncanny ability to lose things.  She is quick with encouragement and a side of fruit or vegetables.  Her love for them is infinite and her desire to cuddle — boundless.    She embraces their lives with happiness, and gives their days and memories newfangled reasons to smile . . . Happy Mother’s Day Elizabeth!”


May 4, 2011

Do You Really Wanna Know (Papercuts, 2011)

aSC blog: Confessions of a Trophy DadKevin Rudge

Any similarities to actual events and persons in my family are not coincidental. This story took place on Sunday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

“You fucking son-of-a-bitch.” ~ George W. Bush, yelled at a Wall Street Journal political writer in 1986

A simple rule of thumb regarding children and swearing: if you don’t want your kids to curse, don’t ask them to.

I speak from experience.

Last week, I walked in from the garage to the shrill voices of my two youngest natives; they were restless in a hopped up on Skittles kind of way.  In the few seconds it took to slip off my shoes and enter the kitchen, I gathered from their conversation with my wife Elizabeth that their excitement had something to do with Ira — my nemesis and our 5-year-old neighbor.

Lucy, my 5-year-old was the first to acknowledge my presence.

“Daddy!”

“Hey!  What’s all the excitement about?” I said.

Jessie, my 9-year-old daughter, ran toward me yelling, “Ira swore!  Ira swore!”

Ira swore? Yawn. Unfortunately, this in itself was nothing out of the ordinary; it was not the first, nor would it be the last time this cute, curly haired, year-round Croc wearing, sailor mouthed, little boy swore.

“Oh, really?  Where?”  I said, hoping the crime took place across property lines — giving me at least some jurisdiction in the matter.

“In our backyard!” Jessie said with a hint of glee in her voice.

Excellent.  Okay, then. So, what was it?  The “a” word, “s” word, “b” word? Or maybe even the queen-mother of obscenities, the “f” word; a possibility and not unprecedented.

“What did he say?”

Jessie took a deep breath and began to answer aloud, “You . . .”

Not wanting to further pique my 5-year-old’s fascination with the forbidden alphabet words, I stopped Jessie.  “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whisper it to me.”

Jessie came closer as I bent down to allow for this very sensitive exchange. Jessie’s lips were lightly touching my ear as she whispered, “He said, ‘You. Fuck-ing. Son-of-a-bitch.’ ”

Oh Nelly! I wasn’t prepared to hear the actual words coming from Jessie’s mouth.  Where was the alphabet filter?  What happened to saying the “‘f’ word” and the “‘b’ word”?  Or, the more sophisticated and learned “f-dash-dash-dash” and “b-dash-dash-dash-dash” words.  Hell, a simple rhyme would have been perfectly acceptable as well.

“Jessie, don’t say the actual words!” I said, lightly scolding her.

“I didn’t! Ira did.”

“I know, but you repeated them.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yeah, you did.  You just said exactly what Ira said.”

“But, you asked me to.”

Bucking son-of-a-stitch. The kid had a point.

“Okay, I know.  But, I expected you would have said, you know, the ‘f’ word,’ or ‘b’ word, or something, without actually saying the ‘f’ word and ‘b’ word.”

“Ohhhhhh, okay,” She said smiling.  I think realizing she had just gotten away with the kid equivalent to murder.

You would think I would have learned my lesson. Fast forward approximately 48-hours . . .

Having a twenty-minute respite from having to taxi Lauren to-and-from dance, I sat at the kitchen table eating leftover Chinese.  In the family room and out of sight, but not sound, or mind, Lucy and Jessie watched the reality dance show, “Dancing with the Stars.”

Although personally not a fan, sadly, it is one of the few family oriented shows on primetime television.  So I thought, that is until I heard a female voice — Chelsea to be exact — from the show say, too loudly and clearly, “I have to go work my ASS off.”

Whoa! Holy @#%$&! Batman!

I addressed the situation swiftly and succinctly.

What?” I said.

Now, I clearly meant this “what” as a rhetorical you-know-what-I’m-talking-about-so-we-don’t-need-to-spell-it-out what.  Unfortunately, the nuance of the rhetorical question was lost upon my five-year-old.  She felt obliged to spell it out for me.

Lucy screamed, “SHE SAID ‘I HAVE TO GO WORK MY ASS OFF!’”

Damn. Okay. Yeah, I knew that. Really.

I chuckled to myself and thanked Lucy for the clarification.  I then gathered myself and in my best stern dad voice said, “You know that’s a bad word, right?”

“What’s a bad word?” she said.

“You know, the ‘a’ word.”

Ass?

Dammit, she said it again.

“Yes, and don’t say that word.”

“Okay,” Lucy said. “But you know she said ‘ass,’ not me.”

Oh boy, there’s that hairy word again.

“I know, but you just said it.” I said.

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.”

“No. I didn’t . . .”

“Okay, I know, I know, I know. Just don’t say the word she said again. It’s not an appropriate word. Got it?”

“I know Dad.”

“Good. Thank you.”

Cheese and Rice. (Jesus Christ)

Lesson learned.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on  — [pauses] — shame on you. Fool me — [pauses] — you can’t get fooled again.” ~ President George W. Bush

Kevin Rudge is a stay-at-home dad of three girls and practicing trophy husband.  He lives and writes from his home in suburban Chicago.  More of his humorous observations and confessions can be found at MyDadDoesNotWork.com.

April 25, 2011

I Ain’t Hiding (The Black Crowes, 2009)

aCS Blog: Confessions of a Trophy DadKevin Rudge


Any similarities to actual events and persons in my family are not coincidental. This story took place on Tuesday, August 4, 2009.

“I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.” ~ Otto Van Bismarck, Prussian German Statesman (1815-1898)

Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, something changed, making my 3-year-old little girl embarrassed or at least flustered by my nakedness — or, more accurately, by the prospect of my nakedness.

It’s not like I parade around the house unclothed. My nudity is strictly confined to the bathroom and bedroom — and even there, I try to maintain a discreet level of modesty when in the presence of one of my daughters: a strategically held towel here, a slight turn of the body there. But as a parent, especially a stay-at-home parent, nudity happens.

Lucy is okay with nudity, generally speaking — actually, I think she prefers her birthday suit to any other outfit or costume, dress-up or otherwise. However, she apparently doesn’t like me wearing mine — at least not within eyeshot.

I learned this one afternoon upon returning from a run while visiting my brother and his family in Upstate New York. It was there that Lucy found herself alone in a room with me as I began to change. This was nothing out of the ordinary; I had changed in front of my youngest daughter many times without incident.

Sure, I heard the occasional “Eeeww” — come on, who hasn’t at one time or another? Or “Daaaadd,” said as if my penis was some kind of overused sight gag. Akin to how someone might for a cheap laugh put on Groucho glasses, to her it was like I had this silly little private area thingy I liked to do — pretty funny the first time, but not so much anymore.

As I readied to change out of my running shorts, speaking unusually slow and deliberate, Lucy looked me straight in the crotch and said, “Dad, are you going to change?”

“Yes,” I said.

Sensing there was more on her little mind, I temporarily suspended the removal of my shorts. Motionless and in a trance-like gaze, Lucy continued to stare at my private area. Still speaking in slow-motion she asked, “Do you want me to leave?”

“No,” I answered. Although, I must admit, her zombie-like fixation was beginning to make me a tad bit uneasy.

She stood frozen next to the bedroom door. It was as if my groin area, unbeknownst to me, had some kind of hypnotic power. Seconds passed before her need to clear her throat seemingly broke the spell. “I’m gonna leave now!” she blurted.

Lucy hastily opened the door and scurried out, slamming the door as she escaped into the hallway. I can’t be sure, but I think I heard a low pitched scream as she fled down the stairs — away from the room of naked horrors.

What the hell? My dadhood has been the recipient of my children’s indiscreet ogling before — the duration of which only a toddler or unabashed pervert could getaway with. Awkward, but easily attributable to innocent curiosity or, in the case of the pervert in the park wearing the trench coat, mental illness. But this change in attitude seemed so sudden.

With the passing of time, I’ve come to realize that Lucy’s seemingly sudden awareness is likely just an early sign of my littlest one growing up. Not so much innocence lost, but maturity gained. It’s only natural you know . . .

Anyone got a fig leaf?

“I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.” ~ Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Kevin Rudge is a stay-at-home dad of three girls and practicing trophy husband.  He lives and writes from his home in suburban Chicago.  More of his humorous observations and confessions can be found at MyDadDoesNotWork.com.

April 20, 2011

Misunderstanding (Genesis, 1980)

aCS blog: Confessions of a Trophy Dad-Kevin Rudge

make-up \ˈmāˌkəp\ – something that makes up for a previous postponement, omission, failure, or deficiency. ~ Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

Every Wednesday my three-year-old daughter went to gymnastics.

Well, most every Wednesday.

Because of my forgetfulness, and occasional bouts with lethargy, we missed a class or two, or three, or maybe . . . well, who’s counting?  Thankfully, I was able to schedule make-up classes.

The first time we missed class I informed Lucy that yes we missed gymnastics but not to be sad because “I was able to schedule a make-up class for next Monday.” To my surprise, Lucy wasn’t the least bit upset.  She appeared even excited about what she called her “new class.”

The day of the make-up class came. As I dressed Lucy in her black long-sleeved leotard, she asked me,”Dad, why do I have to wear my leotard to the make-up class?”

I answered simply, “Because it’s gymnastics. Gymnasts wear leotards.”

For a moment Lucy looked confused, before apparently making sense of my response. Running late (what else is new?), I moved past her odd question and quizzical look.

As we pulled into the gymnastics parking lot, Lucy asked, “Is the make-up class here?”

“Of course, where else would it be Silly?” I said.

Lucy sat silently, suddenly looking unsure about the situation.

I hustled Lucy inside and quickly shed all but her leotard (and Dora The Explorer underwear — stylishly visible underneath). Racing through the gym door, I directed her to a smiling instructor seated in a small circle of Lucy sized humans.

Lucy hesitated before slowly making her way to the circle and finding a spot to sit.

For the next fifty-five minutes I watched with a handful of Moms from the waiting area as the children stretched, straddled, somersaulted, jumped, ran, balanced, and lastly — what I’m told is the very “bestest” part — got ink stamps on their hands and feet. Lucy gave her instructor a high-five and came bursting through the gym door. Looking like she had something very important to tell me, she ran to where I sat.

“Daddy! There was no makeup in the class.”

Puzzled by her comment I repeated,”No makeup?”

Shaking her head from side-to-side, Lucy said, “Yes, they had no makeup! It was not the makeup class.”

I smiled, “Honey, that was not a makeup class it was . . .”

Interrupting, she said, “I know Dad, you put me in the wronged class!”

Oh okay, you mean the makeup class, as in a class about cosmetics, commonly confused by fathers with the make-up class, as in the save your ass class when he forgets to take his kid to the regularly scheduled class. Well, someone had some explaining to do — and that would be me.

The same word but with a different meaning conundrum. The peculiarity of language or the natural by-product of a forty-four-year-old man sharing his days with a three-year-old makeup crazed little girl?

I don’t know who or what is to blame. But I do know, you can’t make up this stuff.

makeup \ˈmāˌkəp\ – cosmetics used to color and beautify the face. ~ Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

Kevin Rudge is a stay-at-home dad of three girls and practicing trophy husband.  He lives and writes from his home in suburban Chicago.  More of his humorous observations and confessions can be found at MyDadDoesNotWork.com.