Happy April, everyone! As the warm weather continues to gain momentum, I am reminded of how impossible it is to do any kind of spring cleaning in a house full of doggen. Just the other night, it was unseasonably balmy (read: in the forties,) so I decided to open the windows in Wrath’s and my rooms and let some fresh air in. L.W. and Wrath were in the playroom down on the second floor, and finding myself in the rare situation of being alone, I decided to vacuum, dust, rearrange things... maybe move some of the clothes that I wear in the summer out of storage.
Okay, it was wishful thinking on that last part, but after living in turtlenecks and fleeces and thick socks since last November, a girl sometimes wants her short sleeves, you know what I mean?
Anywho, in a house this big, there are cleaning closets on every floor- and in some cases, there are two or three of them on a given level. We have our own up here, and it’s full of Fritz’s supplies: Dyson Animal (because George’s fur is kryptonite for vacuums and this is the only kind that will last more than a month with his blondie locks,) Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, and every brush, glove, rag, and paper towel you can imagine.
BTW, you really know you’re a mom and a grownup when you get excited about cleaning something- because for once, you won’t have to worry about your baby putting something that will make him glow in the dark in his mouth. L.W. is crawling now which is both exciting, and daunting, because when he was immobile, I didn’t have to wonder where he was. Now? He’s Scent-o’-death: if there is something that can kill him, poison him or maim him, that kid is on it like the whatever-it-is stole something.
What was the question? Oh, right. Spring cleaning.
So I crack that closet open, I facedown all those elbow-greasing-it supplies and I was so ready to go. I started with the vacuum because that is what I love best. God... I love to vacuum. That sound as things get taken up, those fresh, tidy lines in the nap, the sense of accomplishment! Catnip, I tell you. And somehow, the fancy-a** carpet we have up here takes that kind of suction like a pro-
Okay, that sounds dirty. Moving on.
I plugged that Dyson in, got ready to start in the corner by the door, and fired that bad boy’s engine up.
No more than thirty seconds later, Fritz came in looking like someone had tried to abduct L.W.
My friends, you have never known what it is like to crush someone else’s spirit until you have seen Fritz Perlmutter stand in front of you, heart on his sleeve, looking at your hand on a whirling vacuum cleaner.
I turned the unit off. I stammered that I was just doing a little spring cleaning. I pointed to the wide open window across the way, as if that explained everything.
At this point, his chin started to tremble. And I glanced back over at the window, and considered throwing myself out of it just to get away from the pain I had caused.
I tried to explain that this was something humans did every spring. A rite of passage from one season to another. A liberation from the winter’s cold lockdown and an embrace of summer’s warm freedom.
Fritz took it as a condemnation of his honor, his attention to detail, his very existence on the planet.
“Did you find a dog hair?” he stammered. “You could have just called upon me if you found a dog hair.”
I quickly realized that I was going to get nowhere with all my context-framing. For one thing, George’s hair is all over my clothes, my hellren, my kid, and everything we own or live around- and I wouldn’t have it any other way. More importantly, I have never been the type of person to inconvenience someone else if I can take care of a problem on my own- so if I had found “a” dog hair, I would have picked “a” dog hair up and thrown it away. (Secretly, though, so no doggen knew, of course.)
Fritz and I were at an impasse.
The reason I bring all this up is the Ask A Brother section of this month’s newsletter. Rhage and Blay really go at it. Rhage, as you can imagine, is very old school. Blay is from a different generation and the two do not see eye to eye on the whole “Who Is Allowed To Date My Daughter Debate.” Or “Daughter-gate” as we have started to call it. You can read the section yourself and come down on whatever side you do, but my thing is, when two people who really care about each other have a clash, it’s hard on everyone. With Rhage and Blay, each has a point, and one of them handles things a little better than the other, in my opinion (and his name rhymes with “clay”, okay?) But at the end of the day, they manage to table the discussion and eat tacos.
Which is pretty much Rhage’s solution for all conflict. Unless you’re a lesser. In which case... well, we all know how that ends.
As for Fritz and me? Well, my rooms got cleaned. By an entire army of doggen. Apparently, Fritz has a red bat phone that can summon every single one of them in the house. I had to leave my room, and I admit that I was kind of frustrated.
Down in the kitchen, I was in a bad mood, just sitting at the table, when I saw that the staff had been in the process of preparing dough for bread making before The Call had gone out. Stepping over to the counter, I took over from where they had left off.
In the four hours they were up in my suite of rooms, I got twenty-seven loaves of bread mixed, risen, beaten and risen again. Ten loaves were baking in the ovens when Fritz came back down- I heard him on the back stairs so I beat feet out of there.
At Last Meal, as Fritz offered me the freshly bake bread I had worked on, he inclined his head, and said, “I rather think the kitchen staff did a particularly good job with the loaves this evening.”
I smiled at my old dear friend and took two pieces. “You know, Fritz, I do believe you’re right,” I said to the butler.
Sometimes, not everything needs to be said for love and respect to be perfectly understood. Have a terrific April, everyone! Until next month, I am signing off with hugs,
Hi all and happy April! This month, I’m dealing cards from the Moonlighting deck! This show is one of my very favorites and not just because it started the career of Bruce Willis, one of the greatest American actors of all time. The writing is spectacular and the wall breaks are epic. Maddie and David are also on the short list of Star Crossed Lovers that never fail to suck me into their drama and love. I like to believe that somewhere, in an alternate universe, the two of them are living, loving and solving crime together, forever.
Love you! xxx Your Favorite Fallen Angel**
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Aries, sometimes we get out ahead of ourselves and make snap decisions in the heat of the moment that, upon further reflection, we regret. The good news, especially this month? We can effect re-do’s. I want you to watch “Atlas Belched” (S. 2, epi. 9.) The subplot is about Maddie selling the agency to a more powerful rival. There are good reasons to do this, but it is a mistake- and she’s able to rectify it. Be Maddie, this month, and rethink some of your impulsive choices that maybe aren’t working out as well as you’d like.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Taurus, you are the focus sign. The determined one. The plodder who’s always on the ground floor, keeping the trains running. This month, use this core characteristic of yours to get where you want to go. I want you to watch “And the Flesh Was Made Word” (S. 4, epi. 14.) Maddie and David’s relationship is in turmoil by the end of the fourth season, but David knows what he wants. They resolve to schedule dinner, Lamaze class and a talk every Tuesday at 9 p.m. (looooooove this breaking the wall again lololol.) David is being like a Taurus here. Setting a focal point to make sure that a goal is achieved (sure, it doesn’t ultimately work out, but sometimes, all you can do is your best.) This month, get things done by keeping your eye on that prize and taking concrete steps to achieve your goals!
Gemini (May 21- June 20)
Your dual nature can be hard for even yourself to handle this month. The good news about your sign is that you are always able to see a situation from every side; the challenge is that you don’t always know where you stand. I think you should watch “The Color of Maddie” (S. 4, epi. 3.) The subplot has to do with Maddie insisting she and David are just friends. David knows the truth, however, which is that they have always been, and will always be, so much more. Sometimes what we tell ourselves is the truth is just a ruse, Gemini. Listen to what you’re keeping buried or trying to convince yourself doesn’t exist!
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Loneliness is something we all go through. It’s unavoidable. But sometimes I think you, Cancer, struggle with this more than others because you can retreat into your shell and linger there when things aren’t going your way or when you feel overwhelmed. The key is to process those feelings, to think deeply and clearly, yet kindly, about yourself. I suggest you watch “The Next Murder You Hear,” (S. 1, epi. 4.) Maddie goes hard into her own loneliness. It can be tough to go there, but that is where the growth is. What do they say, “strength only exists if it is tested,” right? Free yourself by processing your feelings and then get back out into the world, Cancer.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Leos are probably my favorite sign because you guys are so much fun to be around! It’s always a party with a Leo. The one thing that is not fun with you guys is giving you all criticism. You hate that- and this month, you really don’t like to be pushed. I think you need to watch “Maddie Hayes Got Married” (S4, epi. 12.) Maddie’s gone off and gotten married on the fly. At first, David doesn’t believe it, but when he does, he makes it clear she needs to wear her ring and prove that things aren’t like old times for the two of them. Leo, you hate when someone f*cks with your sh*t, but sometimes they’re right and you’re wrong. It can be hard to admit someone else might know a situation, or God forbid, you, better than you know (it) yourself. Don’t fight this month if someone gives you a critique. Just listen and take it in without getting defensive. You could learn something important for a future endeavor of yours or serious relationship!
Virgo (August 23- September 22)
Virgo, I love your precision. You are always determined to do everything properly and in an orderly fashion. This can get on people’s nerves, but that’s just because they lack your discipline. Own your wonderful control this month and spring clean the f*ck out of your life (and I’m not just talking about your living space, but how about people or situations that don’t work for you, too?) Watch “Atomic Shakespeare” (S. 3 Epi, 7.) A kid is not allowed to watch Moonlighting because he has to do his Shakespeare homework so he imagines Taming of the Shrew as an epi of Moonlighting. The whole damn hour is in iambic pentameter! This is something only a Virgo would do- or could do!
Libra (September 23- October 22)
Speak your mind this month, Libra, to someone who counts! Partnership is very important to you, and part of that is telling the other person what you need from them. I know you’re not a big fan of confrontation or laying things on the line when it comes to yourself, but you have to ask for what you want this month! I want you to watch “Take a Left at the Altar” (S. 4 epi. 3.) Maddie is at her parents’ house in Chicago, and David misses her. He writes her a letter that concludes with him telling her that the separation is for crap and he wants her to come home. If David can do it, you can, too!
Scorpio (October 23- November 21)
What I like about you, Scorpio, is that you tell it like it is. You’re not afraid of taking the heat for laying reality on the table and shining a bright light on it. You should watch “The Straight Poop” (S3, epi 9.) Moonlighting was a hot mess behind the scenes from the infighting among the actors and this whole hour is about David and Maddie’s relationship and why they don’t get along. I think it took courage to do this for the writers of the show, plus who doesn’t love a great wall break? Be this episode. Speak the truth this month as only you can!
Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)
Sagittarius, you are the relentless optimist! No matter what happens, you are able to remain up beat and sure that things will work out. It is in this vein that I urge you to watch “I Am Curious... Maddie” (S. 3, epi. 14.) The reason is not because it will teach you anything you don’t already know about the nature of destiny and the fact that things always work out as they should- because you already know this! It’s because this is one of the most famous episodes in American Television, when Maddie and David finally get together (in a Biblical sense, but it’s so much more than that!) For all the people who doubted it could happen, for the ones who worried it wouldn’t, IT DOES! You, though, always knew things would work out for them, and everyone needs to take a page out of your book this month!
Capricorn (December 22- January 19)
Capricorns are the ladder climbers of the Zodiac, always looking for something better- and this is not a bad thing! Sometimes, though, it is important to take your foot off the gas and appreciate what you have. Watch “North by North DiPesto” (S. 2, epi. 12.) Agnes fells like she needs some sizzle in her boring life so Maddie and David give her tickets to a fancy banquet. When she ends up being kidnapped and interrogated about an espionage operation, she escapes and finds the stolen plans. At the end of all her drama, she decides that she is happier than she thought with her “boring” life. The grass is not always greener where things glitter!
Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
I worry about you all this month. You are always surrounded by people, but an island unto yourself- and this is problem when you get hurt or disappointed (which can happen even to standoff-ish Aquarians.) Watch “Blonde on Blonde” (S. 3, epi. 11.) Maddie is considering a one night stand, and when she goes to a club, David follows her- and ends up tracking the wrong blonde. Classic identity confusion occurs, and he ends up in police custody... where he decides he loves Maddie. When he’s released, he goes to her house to tell her, only to have her door answered by another man. Aquarius, hurt happens, and when it does, we need our friends. Please reach out and share what’s bothering you with somebody this month. It will feel weird, but ultimately, it will help you process your disappointment with someone or in something that is important to you.
Pisces (February 19- March 20)
What I love about you, Pisces, is that your fluid nature and capacity for fantasy means that life can take you anywhere! Watch “Symphony in Knocked Flat” (S. 3, epi. 3,) and see David end up in a boxing match promoted by Don King! This is the month to follow your whims and explore everything that is open to you. New horizons await for you, Pisces. Get ready for surprises and changes, all of which add up to exciting new opportunities!
**Although really, how many of us do you know? And PS, this is just for sh*ts and giggles, entertainment, blah, blah, blah.
I’m a twenty-seven year old guy who works in IT. Before you ask, I like PCs. Not Apple products. I mention this to you in the hopes of you going easy on me.
There’s a woman who works in my department. I’ll call her Gamora. She’s smart and funny, she can do anything on a computer, and she’s Marvel not DC, like me. We talk during the day and hang out every once in a while at company functions. She’s everything I want in a girlfriend, maybe a wife, but I’ve never seen her outside of work.
Last Friday, a bunch of us went out for a beer to celebrate hitting our performance targets. I was surprised when she came with us, and she and I ended up hanging out for almost two hours. We talked about all kinds of stuff, including that she was thinking about changing jobs and had submitted her resume online.
I’ve wanted to ask her out for a while, but I don’t know how- and now I’m worried she’s going to leave before I find the chance. Do you have any suggestions? What do I do if she says no?
Getting Up the Nerve
Vishous: Getting Up, you’re getting on my nerve with the Marvel sh*t. Superman started it all. He’s so tough they needed to GIVE him a weakness. He was the first to have super strength, the first to-
Mary: Okay, let’s table the discussion about comics-
Vishous: But that’s exactly my point. He’s just caught up in the movies. He’s ignoring the comic reality. He’s not a true superhero fan, which is about the comics-
Vishous: What. Is it cigarette time again?
Mary: And to think I was worried about BBQ sauce.
V: Hey, I gave him a pass for the no-fruit thing, what do you want from me. As for his sitch with the woman, I have to Wilson this.
V: B*lls. He needs to grow some, or go to Dick’s and buy some. Look, life is not a dress rehearsal. If she likes you, great. If she doesn’t like you, then maybe she was lying about the Marvel thing, I don’t f*cking know. But either way, you should find out, and what do you care if she’s not into you. This is a stranger you’re attracted to. You don’t know enough about her or how you’ll relate to her to think she’s the one- what? Why are you looking at me like that?
Mary: Well, it’s because you’re, um- that is actually very good advice. Getting Up, Vishous is right on both accounts. Hurt is inevitable in life. If you’d like to explore a relationship with this woman, you cannot lose by extending yourself a little and asking her on a date. You didn’t mention whether she’s single; I’m assuming she is. If she isn’t and hasn’t mentioned a partner, then you’ll find out when you ask her. But a larger issue is your assumption she’s a good match for you. This is something you can only know over time. If she does say no, or if she wants to just be friends, please don’t feel like you’ve lost your one and only shot with a suitable partner.
V: Yeah, maybe instead of Gamore, you find out you’d rather be with Wonder Woman-
Mary: We wish you the best of luck! Let us know how it goes.
V: Just Google “Dick’s Sporting Goods” to find your nearest store. And then take a chance. You may be rewarded, and even if you aren’t, it’s better than not knowing or losing your shot ‘cuz she leaves.
Mary: Until next month, we wish everyone a wonderful April!
Death Becomes Her
Starring Bruce Willis, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn
I give this two fangs up and a dagger toss! This is a phenomenal film with a worthwhile message- in addition to a dance number, Isabella Rossellini wearing a necklouse, and the best shotgun blast in American Cinema. I chose it not only because it’s a classic, but because of Lassiter’s Moonlighting theme for the horoscopes (although don’t tell him that. I won’t hear the last of it.)
Madeline Ashton (Streep), a beautiful actress on the fade, and Helen Sharp (Hawn), her childhood friend, have a long history of doing the nasty to each other. When Helen introduces Madeline to her man as a test of his loyalty, Dr. Ernest Menville (Willis), a renown plastic surgeon, votes with his feet and marries Madeline. Seven years later, everyone’s had a downfall. Helen is driven insane by her obsession with Madeline stealing her love. Madeline’s career is washed up and she’s obsessed with her aging face and body. And Ernest is an alcoholic who is now painting corpses instead of operating on living patients.
Questions of the value of eternal life, and the consequences of vanity and jealousy, are explored with the kind of tongue and cheek vibe that I like in a movie. Plus frosting out of a can, Hell!/Mad!, plenty of dagger close-ups, and that see through torso- I can’t recommend this enough. A total classic!
Caveat: Do NOT watch this with Lassiter. He gets too excited about the dance number opening, I think he has a crush on Isabella Rossellini (which I can understand, but I’m not sure whether he was into her as a fellow demi-god or whether the pool shot threw him over the edge,) and afterward, he will go around your house saying, “Flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacid” in peoples’ ears for like three days.
Watch Along (with V and Lassiter- not a good combination, btw, if you’re looking to concentrate on the movie.)
1:57 You know, I like a good flashback. This takes us back to 1978 (from 1992, that was 13 years. Now, it’s forty-one years.) 2:37 Dance number. Lassiter is insisting on us playing it back again so he can sing along. At this point, I am wishing I am Hell getting blasted backwards into that fountain later in the movie.
2:50 V is saying her dress is the color of my eyes. Lassiter is telling him he has a crush on me. And... yup, V is suggesting the fallen angel would like to be bitch slapped with 700,000 volts of electrical shock courtesy of his cursed hand. Great. So glad these two are here watching with me. 3:59 Bruce Willis fugly. LOVE it. 4:11 Lass is loving the jazzy disco vibe at this point. I am considering the idea of begging V to bitch slap the angel with his lightshow. 9:05 Seven years after the wedding, Helen has turned into a cat lady. V says that the ass shot in sweatpants is making him feel like he should go to the gym. 9:25 Okay, this is my dream cupboard. Can after can of frosting. Lassiter has been triggered so he’s just gone to the candy counter for more Milk Duds. 9:37 I would have chosen the chocolate, not the vanilla, but respect, Hell. 10:15 See how Hell is watching Mad get strangled, over and over again? V is offering to reenact this with Lass. Anytime. If it wouldn’t slow down the watch along, I would pay V in Grey Goose to do this. 10:51 When the police come and take, Hell, I’m worried about the cats. I hope someone takes care of them. I always worry about animals. 11:41 Hell is in group at the mental health ward. See how everyone screams when she brings up Mad? That’s how we all feel when Lass suggests we watch an A.L.F. marathon. 17:05 Ernst is going in to work on a dead guy’s face. You see that smile? I had it last week when I had Fritz’s tiramisu. Holy f*ck is that sh*t legit. 18:30 I’d just like to point out that makeup is pointless. I love my Mary just as she is. 22:52 We’re at the book event. Hell is in a spectacular red dress, and I’m happy for her getting the one up on Mad. I like the underdog. 24:56 Is anyone else seeing the Fredo/Michael Corleone kiss comparison with this? 26:34 THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING FROM NEWARK. 28:56 Fritz drives like this except without the crying and the car accident. 30:04 We’re at Hell’s, and I gotta say, the anti-Mad shrine is a little Single White Female for me. I’m also thinking V is about to set one up in the crib because Lassiter is throwing Milk Duds at the back of his head. 31:08 When Mad goes to the demi-god’s crib, I gotta say, the butler guy’s gold belt and spandex body suit is right up Lass’s alley. FYI, he’s agreeing with me. This is particularly disturbing as I mean that as an insult to his sense of style. 32:40 Lass is drooling over Isabella Rossellini here. I offered to put a bib on him. When he said he dared me, I followed through. Now, he’s wearing one of L.W.’s Thomas the Train ones and seems quite pleased with himself. I’m not sure whether Lass is nuts, or laudably self-confident, considering the thing is the size of a postage stamp on him.
36:21 Dagger shot! 39:00 Dagger time! 44:38 Okay, this whole plan to get rid of Mad? It reminds me of how complicated it is to be human. For us? We don’t want someone around? They wake up dead. 46:26 You know, Mad and Hell are so impossible, I’m thinking they deserve each other. And given the way V and Lassiter are arguing about Cheetos vs. Cheese Puffs, I’m thinking they deserve each other in the same way. Besides, the answer: Both are awesome. It’s not an either or. The snack foods, that is. 49:30 FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACID (as Mad says this to Ernest, it was awesome, but man, it gets old when you’re living with someone who says it over and over again. Little did I know how I would come to regret watching this movie as the week wears on.) 51:51 Am I the only person who LOVES good thunder and lightning in a movie? 52:20 Okay, so Mad is the background supposedly dead- and she starts moving! Classic horror movie sh*t. 54:20 At this time, I’d like to point out that the dead body back to life stuff is so much more fun in the movies. Not so great in RL. 54:20 “You’re in the sh*thouse now pal!” -Mad. BEST LINE EVER. 56:44 I’m not a doctor, but you should not be able to do that to a wrist. Just sayin’. 00:45 What’s with the three Scribe Virgins floating down the corridor by the morgue? 07:09 Hell tells Mad she’s a bad actress. Those are fightin’ words! 07:41 It’s aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive. 08:15 Mad double-barrels Hell right into the fountain! Great blood stain in the pool! High point for me! Low point for Lassiter, given that V is suggesting the two of them reenact the scene. Guess who’s doing the shooting by the way? It’s usually pissed off, has a goatee, and gets his leathers in a wad if you fuck with his Google Chrome settings.
08:39 “These are the moments that make life living.” Yes, Mad, it’s true. We feel this way every time Lassiter's heads out of the house. 10:37 LOVE the hole! That you can see through her to the fountain lolololol 14:45 Okay, so Mary likes this part. Where they unpack the past and admit that Hell thought Mad was cheap, and Mad hurt her on purpose. I like the part where Hell goes over to sit on the sofa, and the shovel’s handle sticks right out through her hole! Wait...that sounds dirty. 17:06 I’ll be honest, Hell’s eyes are freakin’ me out here. They’re like V’s when you suggest iPhones have the better camera. I do this to him not because I have an opinion one way or the other, but because he needs the exercise. Hello, sweatpants much? 20:40 The demi-god’s pool room’s a little cramped, but what can you do. 24:38 Does everyone else love that the demi-god’s attendants are Tom, Dick and Harry? 24:50 I would like to point out that the virtuous character is the one who contemplates the implications of eternal life: What if everyone I know dies? What if I get bored? What if Lassiter hides the remote in his spandex pants and won’t let us change the channel away from Fuller House? 27:59 These shots of the castle’s exterior roofline remind me of the mansion. 30:55 Saved by the pool! 33:30 Love all this! Especially the part where friends are eternal youth and children are eternal life! I’m so happy for Ernst at this point. He’s had a wonderful life being mortal. 35:15 Mad and Hell deserve an unhappy, bitchy eternity together. And how perfect that it’s a can of spray paint Hell trips on at the stairs, and then when Mad doesn’t help her, it’s great that she grabs on and takes Mad with her. But I have to wonder- who cleaned up the mess of body parts???
This month, Jessica Evink asks: What are the fathers’ thoughts on dating their daughters... I mean, Z, Rhage, Qhuinn and Blay gotta have some advice, right?
In response to Jessica’s question, I’ve asked those gentlemales to gather here in the second story sitting room (this is Beth moderating, btw.) I’ve also added Xcor in on this one as stepfathers count. Take it away, boys!
Rhage: I’m going to start this off by saving there will be no dating so this will NOT be a problem for us with Bitty.
Qhuinn: *high fives Rhage* Roger, that.
Rhage: Great! We’re done and I’m hungry. Who’s in for some tacos. *gets up*
Blay: You guys, seriously.
Rhage: You want enchiladas? We got those, too-
Blay: You’re supposed to answer this question for real.
*everyone stares at the redhead*
Rhage: We did answer it. *glances around* Didn’t we? *chorus of yeses*
Blay: No, you didn’t. You mean to tell me that when Bitty comes to you and says, “Dad, I really like this guy and I’d like you to meet him,” that you’re going to tell her she not only can’t bring him into this house, but she can’t go out to dinner with him?
Rhage: *sits down slowly* Well, when you put it like that... yup, that’s exactly what I’m going to say. And then I’m going to put a cap in one of his knees. Maybe both. Probably depends on how peckish I’m feeling. I get trigger happy when I’m hypoglycemic.
Qhuinn: *nodding* Males are totally overrated. I mean, look at us lot. And males only want one thing.
Blay: To love your daughters. To care for them. To honor them-
Xcor: To take them to bed.
*loud sounds of growling**click of a safety being taken off a gun*
Blay: *throws up hands* Oh, come on. You all have good intentions with your own females. You are all in healthy relationships. Why wouldn’t you want that for your daughters?
Rhage: We’re the exceptions that prove the rule.
Blay: But look how you changed. You met your Mary and bonded with her, and now you’re a different person.
Rhage: Yeah, and what were the chances of that. And do you know how much chaos and pain I caused some of the females I was with? I don’t want my daughter going through that. I was a man whore and I did a lot of collateral damage.
Qhuinn: Preach. *fist bumps Rhage*
Blay: You cannot avoid pain in this life. And sometimes you have to go through a lot of it before destiny gives you want you want *glances at Qhuinn.* The bottomline is, you can’t protect them from getting their hearts broken or from experiencing sex.
*blank stares all around*
Blay: *leaning forward* Um, you guys realized that Nalla, Lyric and Bitty are going to have s-
Rhage: *plugs ears* Lalalalalalalalalalala not hearing that-
Xcor: No, they will not-
Qhuinn: Never in my lifetime-
Z: *shaking head like he’s having a seizure*
Blay: *sitting back* Wow. This is really going to get interesting after their transitions.
Rhage: You want my bottomline? You want me to answer the question for real? Fine, here’s my very non-PC answer. If some male wants to date my daughter, he is going to have to come to me and ask me and her mahmen properly. Then he’s going to meet my brothers and my bros and Ruhn. And finally, I’m going to introduce him to nice ol’ Uncle Wrath who has such a great way with people. Then, if the miserable f*cker hasn’t shat himself after all of that, and he’s still in for it? Maybe- just maybe- I will allow him to take my Bitty into the kitchen downstairs and have a cup of hot cocoa with her. Maybe.
Qhuinn: *nodding* Sounds about right. V can do the security monitoring.
Rhage: Exactly. And I’ll be under the table. With the b*stard’s ankle in my mouth.
Blay: Are you saying your daughters are not smart enough to see through the douches? That you aren’t going to raise them so they have self-confidence, self-esteem and plenty of self worth? That you have so little respect and regard for their autonomy and ability to run their own lives that you are going to stand behind them like warlords protecting them from a weakness that only you perceive they have? For their entire lives?
Rhage: *leans forward* No, I’m saying that Bitty is my beating heart outside of my f*cking body and the world is full of F*ckboys and freaks who do not value her like I do. I watch over me and mine and I am not going to ever apologize for that or pretend that violence against females is not a reality in this world. I love my daughter and I trust her with herself- what I do not trust, what I will never trust, is a stranger who enters her life with a cock in his pants and a bright idea in his head. Right now, everyone and their uncle is all about empowerment and that is great. I fully support it. But if you f*ck around with my daughter, you are taking your life into your hands, and no amount of society’s “self-actualization” is going to change the fact that if you hurt her, I’m going to put you in a MOTHERF*CKING COFFIN.
Blay: *leans forward* I’m telling you this right here and now, and I mean it with all due respect, please know that- there is going to come a moment when you are going to have to step off and let Bitty live her own life. Or you are going to lose her. I get the protection thing. But you need to ask yourself, are you protecting her... or are you trying to save yourself from acknowledging that she is not just your daughter, but a mature female who has a right to make her own choices. You can’t keep her a little girl forever, Rhage. And she can’t be yours exclusively, just like Mary is. She is not something that you can lock in a basement just because you can’t handle seeing her grow up and mature-
Rhage: *jumps to his feet**bares fangs* F*ck you-
Xcor: *gets in between them and holds back Rhage* Easy there-
Qhuinn: *protects Blay* Rhage, you gotta chill-
Rhage: *jabs finger at Blay**voice booms* You try that sh*t out with your daughter, okay? You try to imagine her raped and dumped at the side of the road because she went out with a male she thought was a good guy and you relied on the “she can take care of herself” sh*t and he f*cked her up! I’m telling you this right here and now, there is going to come a moment when someone does something shitty to Lyric and you’re going to want to f*ck him up until he bleeds from the ass and needs a goddamn liver transplant ‘cuz you went after him with a crowbar! Clothe yourself in self-esteem rhetoric all you want, but just wait for when Lyric’s out alone all night and see how you f*cking feel then-
Beth: Enough! This has gone way too far! *as Rhage goes quiet, lowers voice* I think we need to just relax here. Boy, do we... wow. Okay, so that happened.
*silence**heavy breathing all around*
Blay: Oh, my God.
Rhage: What. *eyes flash* Just say it. Just f*cking say-
Rhage: *dumbfounded**steps back from Xcor* Excuse me? For...????
Blay: *embraces Rhage* You are the best.
Rhage: *looks over at Qhuinn**motions with hands, all WTF?* Um... I was just about to stab you right now? Do you want to be stabbed? Is there something you need to talk to Mary about, like are you suicidal or-
Blay: *closes eyes* For calling Lyric my daughter. For letting me be in on this like a true father.
Rhage: *one brows it* What are you talking about? You are a real father? Just like me? I don’t get it. What am I missing?
Blay: *pulls back a little**eyes gleam with tears* You and I are on different ends of this discussion, but I really... I was waiting for you to tell me my opinion doesn’t count because I’m just a stepparent.
Rhage: Oh, God no. *pishaws with dagger hand* Look, you’re wrong about the dating deal. And we’re going to fight a whole lot more about all this. But one thing I never doubt is that you’re her dad- just like Xcor is. Just like Qhuinn is. Birth is only part of it. I’ve learned that from adopting Bitty. The real nuts and bolts is more about showing up every night and loving them to the best of our abilities. The conception and birth in some ways is the easiest bit.
Blay: *rubs eyes* Thank you. It means so much to me. Thank you.
*big hug between them**someone sniffles, but no one will admit who**Qhuinn rubs his mate’s back*
Z: *from the couch* It’s all just a hypothetical anyway.
*everyone looks at Z*
Rhage: Why? *turns away and sniffles**turns back around* Because we’re going to kill all males of dating age?
Xcor: That would require some effort, but I’m up for it.
Qhuinn: There are three of us, though. Share the load.
Xcor: We can do this-
Z: *shrugs* We’re pretending the worst is going to happen. That a mouth breathing, knuckle dragger will show up on our daughter’s doorstep with a hard on, a black book full of other females’ names and a switchblade hidden in their a** pocket. We’re getting aggressive now because we’re really just looking our own fears in the face, not meeting the eyes of an actual living, breathing male who truly does care about our daughters. It’s easy to pound the chest and be all thought up in theory. But when they bring someone home, who knows... maybe we actually like the f*cking asshole.
Rhage: *puts hands on hips* Listen, Z, if you’re going to continue to make sense like this, I’m going to have to stop hanging out with you.
Z: *getting to his feet* I’m never going to like it. But maybe I can learn to live with it if it makes Nalla happy. I think that’s Blay’s point. Or at least part of it. I don’t know. My head hurts.
Beth: *from the corner* You know, I wasn’t going to put my two cents in- except to keep you two from killing each other. But, just so you guys are aware, I plan on raising my son to be the kind of male I’d like be with if I were a female of his age.
Rhage: So back before you met Wrath, you wanted to date a sociopath with a hair trigger, the vocabulary of a New Yorker, and a voice that makes the testicles of grown males borough into their pelvic girdle like they’ve been threatened with the business end of a cattle prod?
Beth: Well, when you put it like that- *shakes herself back to focus* I mean, I agree with what Z is saying. I just want L.W. to be the kind of male that parents would like. That’s all.
Rhage: *curses* Guess we’ll all just have to muddle through.
Blay: Amen to that. At least we have each other.
Rhage: And tacos. Who’s in? *consensus is a hard yes* Let’s go eat.
(Edited to add: As the group left together, Rhage threw his arm around Blay and Blay did the same. It’s a good reminder that even if you don’t agree, family still sticks- and chows down- together! But man, it’s going to be a long haul before this gets resolved, I’m telling you...)