Thanks to Scott Moore at Fox 61 Chattanooga for the invitation to share my true feelings about school drop-off and pick-up. You may remember an extended version of this essay that appears here.
Our girl has been singing Dynamite all day. When she is not singing that Taio Cruz song using all the wrong lyrics except for a strong repetition of Dynamite/AY-O/Let Go, she is humming it. Or whistling it. There is only one person who enjoys whistling and it is the person whistling.
Everyone else is:
Pow-pow with that Dynamite. It was really proud-making, hauling my kids en route to Vacation Bible School this morning where they would spend the morning with throngs of children named Josiah and Jedediah and Jeremiah, all rocking their VBS camp shirts, eating little campfire-themed snacks and doing mini-campsite lantern crafts, singing around the proverbial campfire at the top of their lungs, “God’s love is like an ocean!”, while, in preparation, my kids were belting out:
We gon’ rock this club,
We gon’ go all night,
We gon’ light it up,
Like it’s dynamite!
I think it set just the right tone.
By dinner, Baby Girl was still doing her best rendering of Dynamite and, oddly, I was experiencing a similar set of explosives igniting in my frontal lobe. I usually have no problem in asking my children to cease doing the annoying thing, but the girl was just beyond. She didn’t even realize she was singing it on loop, muttering unconsciously. Finally, as I stared across the table, I was trying to piece together a diversion from her club-thumping rhythms, when Little Man had just the right words.
He said, “Sis, do you have another jam?”
I wanted to smother-hug him and cover him with thousands of kisses. How sweet and polite is he? And also, how hip, to just ask little miss pop songstress if she had another track in her rotation.
Then, I realized. He was wondering if she literally had another jam.
Meeting called to order at 7:01 p.m.
FACILITATOR: So when did we know our habit had reached the point of no return? Marvin? Did you feel like sharing?
MARVIN: Sure. I guess I knew it when I found myself hoarding essential oils, just buying large vats of eucalyptus oil, worried that the world’s supply might run out and then I wouldn’t have a remedy for a stuffy nose. And then what? You know?
FACILITATOR: Sure. Aubrey?
AUBREY: For me, my rock bottom was realizing I couldn’t cover the world in essential oils the way I wanted to. I would dream about pumping coriander onto my kids’ slip n’ slide. I seriously considered power-washing my house with dill. And after awhile, thyme was curing my husband’s sleep apnea so well that I considered getting a water bed but filling it with essential oils. I mean–who does that? Do they even make waterbeds anymore?
GABE: I hear you, Aubrey. I loved the Thanksgiving blend so much I put it in an enema, and…yeah.
JAN: Enema! Ha! That’s child’s play. By the end I was sniffing, snorting, and shooting melaleuca any way I could get it. I’d go really hard at my spin class and eventually the teacher would ask if anyone else smelled tree sap in the room. I was so embarrassed but I couldn’t stop.
SUSAN: Uh-huh, well for me it was when I just couldn’t stop commenting on every Facebook thread about how oils were the answer. I started to see every status message as a cry for help, like, Please give me some essential lavender!
[knowing laughter ensues]
FACILITATOR: And then what happened, Susan?
SUSAN: Well after accusing so many of my friends of having Munchausen syndrome by proxy for using cough syrup when their kids got sick, most of my Facebook friends blocked me. And no one would come to my oils parties anymore. So I would just spend hours on Pinterest learning more about oils and staring at other people’s oils parties. Which, I know is sad, but it’s not like I was mixing up meth in a trailer in the desert….
FACILITATOR: Remember, though, Susan, qualifying our addictions as not as bad as others’ may inhibit the healing process.
SUSAN: Oh, I know all about the healing process. Do you have any thieves oil at home? You just start with a few drops of thieves oil in a diffuser. I personally like the generic one they sell on Amazon. You diffuse that for 24 hours and rub 2 drops of lemon along with a carrier oil on your big toe and —
FACILITATOR: Um, Susan, yeah, what I’m hearing from you right now is a real attachment to your oils, which we are trying to break free from. Because for so many of us, the pursuit of essential oils has ruined our lives.
SUSAN: I’m sorry. [starts crying.]
AUBREY: Here’s a tissue, Susan.
FACILITATOR: Wait, Aubrey–
SUSAN: Aubrey? [sniffling] Is this tissue infused with eucalyptus?
MARVIN: Here, let me check. If anybody here can spot the smell of eucalyptus…
FACILITATOR: Oh no!
AUBREY: [starts crying] I’m sorry. I thought eucalyptus was like methadone and would help me with the withdrawals.
MARVIN: HAHA! Give me that tissue.
FACILITATOR: Hey, everybody, let’s go have some punch and popcorn.
AUBREY: [sobbing] I spiked the punch with peppermint.
JAN: Yeah, sorry, I sprinkled oregano on the popcorn.
FACILITATOR: This is ridiculous! None of you are actually taking steps toward your recovery! You should all be ashamed of yourselves!
SUSAN: Well I don’t know. It’s kind of like old times. It’s like you all showed up to my oils party. And just like every other time, nobody bought anything because they already had it all at home.
Meeting adjourned at 7:14 p.m.