Who Will Live?! Who Will Die?! Tune In Tonight!

The doctor tells me not to do so much. My mom the RN nags me every day to do more.

It’s like a contest.


My thinking is… complete every task early in the day, then relax for the rest of the day and not strain myself.

In reality not only don’t I finish every task early, I don’t finish them until it’s dark. By then I’m exhausted, cranky (oh fuckit I’m bitchy), and in discomfort and pain. I should be healed and feelin’ fine by now.


I start out in the morning with small goals because I honestly believe that on this day my own flesh and blood will be of help.

Stop laughing at me right now. Stop it you’re cruel.

How does one compel a 13 year old to do their own chores nevermind help with others? Damned if I know and I’m out of brilliant ideas on this one.

None of the old tricks work; threats, guilt, time-outs, threats of guilt and time-outs. No matter what it’s a whiny attitude and snide remarks. From her I mean.

If I were not still hurting I’d let it slide. It’s part of ‘the deal’.


Between the ages of 13 and 17 it is her civic duty (nay her responsibility!) to be an Avatar of Satan. As a gifted student she is exceptional in this subject as in all others.


Here’s a typical day. We’ll call it, for lack of a better title, TODAY.

The morning started quite well. Doesn’t it always.

I lay in bed with Cate after she woke up. On the ceiling above her bed is a very large map of the world that she had taped there. We talked about different countries; which we’d visit, which would be dangerous, which would be strange, funny or amazing. We discussed why she had scrawled an Anarchy symbol across the North Atlantic.


After a quick breakfast of cold pizza (vegetarian) and coffee (with soy milk) we took a walk together. We were each wearing an iPod, which was idiotic because we then spent the entire walk saying “What? Huh? Did you just say something? Whah? Say it again I had the music up.”

Then life took a dangerous turn.

When we returned home it was time to do laundry. A substantial portion of said laundry was in Cate’s room.

Now I gave up on even LOOKING in that pit of Hades more than a year ago. In the mornings I calmly close the door and pretend that this is only a one bedroom apartment.

Today however it was in a state that precluded even getting the door shut. Suddenly from my soft lips sprang the dreaded words:

We. Have. To. Clean. Your. Room.

There was Panic! in the streets. Panic! in the Disco. Screaming. Insanity. The Heavens Opened and I heard Don Pardo’s voice break from the skies

And here are only a few of the Spectacular Prizes that could be yours on today’s special edition of

“What the Hell is This?!”


-Yes! It’s Halloween Candy Wrappers! It’s been well over a month since Halloween but you can never have too many pieces of sticky paper adhering to your personal belongings! Sorry RAID not included.

-Enough out-grown articles of clothing (stuffed under the bed) to outfit another entire child!

-Clean Clothes! Which I’d previously washed, folded carefully and placed in that room to be put away but who’s bitter?

-Dirty Clothes! Yeah babe and lots of them; artfully co-mingled with candy wrappers and clean clothes!


And don’t miss out on these

Super Special Prize Items:

Old school papers, bits of ribbon, an overflowing WolfPack trash can, two pairs of scissors (no running), three tubes of my Lancome lipstick which I’d believed lost forever, a spoon covered with petrified chocolate icing stuck to a paper plate under some laundry, at least 9 earrings which do not match one another, half a dozen books, a used hypodermic (just kidding it was new), two rolls of Scotch tape, construction paper remnants, random piles of a powdery substance ground into the carpet and later identified as Smarties, my copy of  Nirvana’s In Utero and our Grand Prize: Unidentifiable pieces of, well, they’re unidentifiable. You’ll love ’em though!

Official Rules: No Purchase Necessary. One entry per day per teenage child. No pre-adolescents qualify. Your brain damage may vary. Offer void in Tennessee because your teenager is probably your brother. Prizes awarded at Discretion of Judges and boy can we judge you. Odds of Winning based on number of entries or my distraught mood at the time. Employees and Friends of Rachael C. Black are not eligible unless they take me out for coffee or dinner. Rachael assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to contents of her child’s room. That’s your problem. Void where prohibited by law because mom you’re so mean and I can’t believe my friends think you’re cool. God.

Good Luck!  


~Miss R


3 thoughts on “Who Will Live?! Who Will Die?! Tune In Tonight!

  1. “How does one compel a 13 year old to do their own chores nevermind help with others?”

    here are some random thoughts on the subject based on personal experience:
    positive reinforcement seems more effective than punishment or threats.
    asking someone to do something that you are not willing to do yourself will eventually cause them to lose respect for you.

    seems like I had a couple more while I was reading, but now they’ve gone. maybe later.


  2. aye there’s the rub. i do everything as it is. she is only being asked to pick up after herself and not me. had a complicated hysterectomy and needed her help with vacuuming and laundry for a few weeks. sadly this has not happened.


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