Novenas and the RHOC

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— 1 —

Today I’m doing a novena to St. Cecilia, patron saint of music. The whole family said the first prayer together this morning, and I’m keeping it going hourly until Michael gets home from work. It will finish just before the end of John’s day at band camp. This week has been very stressful for him, and for us as well. I guess I’d blocked out the stress and drama of the first couple of weeks of band camp last year. At the end of the year everyone “knows their position” for the upcoming year, but as soon as band camp starts in July the scrambling begins. Maybe it’s not that way for the other sections, but drum line is chaos. Some kids have moved away over the summer and some are new to the area. There are incoming Freshmen. Some drummers may no longer be allowed to participate due to poor grades or misconduct at the end of the prior school year.

— 2 —

┬áThat would be enough right there, but then there are no-shows whom no one is able to contact – and one of them has the fifth bass drum! And there’s the same kid from last year, who wants to march with the drumline but doesn’t have the upper body strength to carry anything but the smallest bass drum. First anything is a position to be earned, not given. . . but since she was given it last year she had no motivation to do any strength training over the past year, and will probably be given it again. And no, she is not handicapped in any way – just small. I know a girl just her size (with scoliosis, mind you) who earned her drumline spot on the largest bass. She strapped it on and marched a great season. Now John has been told his position is at stake. He’s a nervous wreck. Not only because he took lessons every week during the off-season with the sole goal of earning this position, but because if he gets moved at least four other people will have to be moved, one of those being another student who’s been working hard for a year to get the position he’s currently in. I just hope John doesn’t reach the point where band is more frustration than fun.

— 3 —

I spent a say lying by my father-in-law’s pool reading while he was on vacation. I haven’t lain by a pool in years, and it was wonderful! Even worth the sunburn that’s now peeling on my upper back, which is exceptionally frustrating since I can’t reach it to peel it!

— 4 —

I’m still working on my family tree at Ancestry.com, but I have to be careful about setting a timer. I could easily sit for two hours, thinking only two minutes had passed, and then suddenly realize my back and neck are in constant spasm and I can’t move from the chair on my own. Not good!

— 5 —

I think this year’s season is the tenth for Real Housewives of Orange County. I’ve seen every episode, but the one I watched most recently really brought some things home for me. *SPOILER ALERT* Don’t read any further if you’re not caught up.

Since Vicki is an original cast member, and her behavior has been consistent for ten years, I thought that even with all the editing that goes on with “reality shows” that I pretty much knew the crazy-ass bitch. But when her mom died and she screamed directly into the camera? And twenty-four hours later was still begging her brother to “Wake her up”? Nope. As a critical care nurse I’ve seen a lot of people react to the sudden death of a family member. Some people grieve in very dramatic ways, but always in keeping with their usual personality. Vicki is in her fifties, has been married twice, helped her daughter battle cancer, and ran a very successful insurance business the whole time. If she didn’t want to share her personal grief on camera I completely understand. But don’t “act out” your grief for your mother. It’s insulting to the viewers, especially those who have lost parents.

— 6 —

There were a lot of thought-provoking scenes in that particular episode, though.I do love Heather, who was the first to do anything helpful when Vicki’s mother passed, and her husband Terry really does crack me up. When they pulled the cameras back and showed what a ham he was being when taped, and how funny his co-workers thought the whole thing was. Sadly, his little girl withholding affection from him because he’s been away from home so much is a real issue for physicians. “Working mom guilt” – physicians of both genders get that times ten. Trying to find a balance between work and family is by no means just a middle-class problem.

— 7 —

Speaking of children, the new housewife – the one married to some sports star I don’t know – she rocks. She’s not gonna put up with Shannon’s psychotic behavior, and she’s apparently doing a great job trying to raise his little bitch daughter while her mom dies of cancer. I wanted to wring her little neck when her mom was there for her winter formal and she was so hurtful to her, not even wanting her in the pictures. Yes, she’s grieving in her own way, but never should anyone intentionally hurt a parent. It was hard for me to watch because I recently saw an adult child (graduating college) humiliate and hurt her mother on social media. The same mother who’d taken care of her for years after her father ran away with his mistress, leaving said child crying and screaming in the front yard. The same mom who had recently battled cancer. Sometimes reality shows hit too close to home.

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