Brain Damage: Whose Fault Is It? (Hint: Not Mine)

“Yes, Jim. The Queen of Europe. It was one really giant oligarchy…”

I submit to you more proof, if you need it, that it is the children in my life who have caused me brain damage and the inability to function like a contributing member of society. (Actually, shoot… since I came first, maybe I’ve caused them brain damage.) This conversation took place between Lizzie and my son’s friend, Jim, as I drove Liz to an evening event at school. (Note: Jim’s name has been changed to protect the “innocent,” youth. But Jim, you know who you are. You are not blameless in this situation, even though you often empty the dishwasher for me.)

Jim: If you could live in any time in the past, when would it be?

Liz: I like the dresses from the Renaissance.

Jim: What’s that? Like the forties? Fifties?

Liz: Um, no.

Me: So you’d go back to the Renaissance because you like the outfits?

Liz: Yep.

Me: When was the Renaissance period, anyway? Around the 1400’s?

Jim: 1412. That’s when Columbus came to America.

Liz: No.

Jim: Yes.

Liz and me: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”

Jim: I like the colors of these houses. That one’s pink.

Liz: Or was it 1592?

Jim: Columbus was sponsored by the queen.

Liz: Or 1482?

Jim: My aunt and uncle live near here.

Me: 1492.

Liz: 1432?

Jim: “In 1432, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”

Me: No.

Jim: “In 1452, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”

Me: I guess the poem doesn’t help if you can’t remember the decade.

Liz: So, Jim, tell me: which queen paid for Columbus’s trip?

Jim: Queen Elizabeth!

Liz: Not even close.

Jim: The Queen of England.

Liz: No.

Jim: Europe! The Queen of Europe.

Liz: Yes, Jim. The Queen of Europe. It was one really giant oligarchy.

Jim: Are you in the choir at Racky?

Me: Racky?

Jim: Racky Mountain High School.

Liz: You mean Rocky Mountain High School.

Jim: That’s what I said: Racky.

Liz: It was the Queen of Spain.

Jim: I learned that today.

Me: You mean just now?

Jim: No, I already knew it.

Me: I have a headache.

Liz: Are you going to be in the choir at Rocky next year?

Jim: You mean Racky?

Liz: Ugh!

Jim: Why are you going to school right now, anyway?

Liz: To sing the National Anthem at the volleyball game.

Jim: That’s a thing?

Liz: What’s a thing?

Jim: Volleyball.

Me: Yes. Volleyball is a thing.

Jim: But, I mean, volleyball is a thing at Racky?

Liz: Yes, Jim.

Jim: You know what?

Me: What?

Jim: Uh… [long silence]

Liz: What? [More silence] What?!

Jim: WHAT? Why are you yelling?

Liz: Have you ever been officially diagnosed with ADD?

Jim: Who sings the National Anthem at a volleyball game, anyway?

Liz: Apparently we do.

Jim: That’s not a thing.

Liz: Ugh!

Jim: What’s wrong? Do you feel okay?

Liz: I won’t be long, Mom. We’re just singing and leaving. It’s optional, but you get medallion points. And I really want a medallion.

Jim: What’s a medallion?

Liz: They’re round. And pretty.

Me: Obviously.

Jim: But what IS it?

Liz: I have to go. I don’t want to cross at the crosswalk. If I got hit by a car, would I have to go to school?

Jim: It depends how hard you got hit.

Liz: Just hard enough to not have to go to school.

Me: Good Lord…

Liz: Bye.

Jim: “In 1862, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”

Me: Ugh!

Just writing this out exhausted me, so I’m going to take a nap. Have fun ‘til next time.



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