Talking on the phone – now vs. when I was 15


In 1993, I had a best-friend.

I’d rush home from the bus stop (Yes, I rode the bus home in high school – that’s because we had busing back then and my parents worked.) and immediately run toward her.

I held her in my hand, sitting at the kitchen table and pure magic happened right there.

I’d punch in the phone number of my other best-friends, and from 3 until 4 p.m., I’d just sit there and talk, talk, talk.

I’d talk my life away – literally – seconds and minutes would tick by and I didn’t care. That was the one hour of ME time. My parents were still at work and my brother, still at school. I was the ONLY one home.

And then, oh, and then, when three-way calling was invented – Oh Lord – that was the best thing since Rave Hairspray at the time. No, of course, I didn’t have three-way calling (I didn’t even have a phone in my room, despite my constant begging and pleading) – but my friends did.

The kicker was … I had just seen my friends all day at high school, but there was something extraordinary about talking on the phone.

And I loved it.

I loved it so much that eventually even though I never had a phone in my room, my dad did buy a 10-foot phone cord that I stretched all the way into my room – choking anyone who walked in the hallway.

That three-way calling came in handy when my one friend called the boy I liked and had him on the other line, and I was there too – secretly listening in their conversation.

“So, would you go out with Melissa if she asked …?” “Do you LIKE anyone in your English class?” “What about a dance … would you dance with her IF she asked you?”

Girls these days have no flippin’ idea what it was like growing up in the 1990s. We didn’t have texting, or email for that matter. We were forced to talk to people either in person, on the phone or by way of a folded-up piece of paper that looked like a triangle.

And now, the world of communication is wide open.

Cell phones that text or even voice-text; email; and social media messages.

Gone are the days of me having to use a phone to actually converse with another human being.

Now that I am adult … when I can go into any room in my house and carry my phone with me to chat, I refuse to do it. The thrill of talking on the phone is gone. The excitement of “having the phone call be for ME” has vanished. I’d rather NOT have the phone call be for me.

Am I the only one who is openly admitting that “I hope you can’t hear me now?”


Life – Could there be something more?

Do you ever ask yourself – what’s it all mean?

Could there really be something more?

Maybe not necessarily referring to the way we live our lives, but rather the choices we make that mold us into the people we are today.

For about three months, my blog has remained untouched. Sure, I still get the daily notices that someone has “enrolled” onto my blog page, other times I get Twitter notifications that someone has agreed to follow me. And, then my Facebook page has gradually been receiving more and more views, and a few more “likes” here and there.

But those are just numbers adding up to virtually nothing.

For me, blogging has been my way of venting. Yet while I consider it “venting” others call it bitching. Either way, they are my words based on the way I am feeling as a woman, wife and mother at any given moment in my life.

One aspect of life my followers know is that I am bold and do not bow down to adversity.

But at what point does that translate into “she doesn’t like being a mom” or “she doesn’t love her kids.”

It doesn’t. It never has.

Not every day is full of rainbows and unicorns. Not every day is wonderful.

But I am blessed that I get to live every day.

I have been trolling sites for blog jobs, but more and more often, those sites are aiming to hire bloggers with a passion for something.

Well, I hate cooking – so those gigs are out.

I craft, but it’s not my passion to explore every faucet of Pinterest in the hopes of creating something more amazing than the hand-painted wine bottles decorating various parts of my house. (If you want one, by the way, let me know – I have six currently sitting on shelves collecting dust.)

I do, however, enjoy gardening and planting flowers. Do people really want to know what I plant in my garden year after year? Do people really want to know that for the life of me, the soil in my garden produces rotten tomatoes every single year since I began gardening in 2007?

Maybe they do; maybe they don’t.

Yet the reason why I blog isn’t too tell others how to live their life, or to even complain about my own life.

The reason I blog is to let other parents around the world know they are not alone.

Parents in Oregon are dealing with the same teenage drama that storms through my house at 4:35 p.m. every day.

Parents in England are dealing with preparing meals that their second-graders deem “poison” as they dissect every single piece of food that touches their plate.

Mothers are overworked. Fathers are underappreciated. And somewhere in the mix, are trying to find the reason they fell in love and got married in the first place in between carting their children to every single extra-curricular activity known to mankind.

That is why I blog.

I guess I just needed to remind myself why too.







Middle school sports – a tough road

“Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today …”

Today’s youth take it all in. Wherever they go, whatever they do, they understand what is happening in the world around them. Don’t think for a second they are oblivious.

And, for those of us who are parents to middle school-aged children, we have our work cut out for us.

We tell our children to be patient, kind and understanding. We tell them to do their best, never give up and shake off the negativity that comes over them like a dark cloud on a sunny day.

But what happens when what we tell them as parents isn’t what is presented to them in school or in extra-curricular activities?

Do we intervene and pull teachers/coaches aside, expressing our concerns in private? Do we demand that our children be “put on a team” because it’s “unfair” that he/she tried their best for two years in a row, but in the end, didn’t make the cut? Do we tell our children to speak up for themselves knowing they may not want to hear the truth?

Being a parent of a student athlete is tough.

We encourage our children to “go out for the team” and cringe if they are cut, knowing we will have to put a band-aid on their emotions. But, what if they aren’t cut, but instead make the team to only “suit up” and never play?

Which is worse?

At the middle school level, it’s the experience of being on a team that is the life lesson. No one cares how many wins or loses a team had – because no one is being scouted or recruited by colleges or pro-sports teams.

My dad coached basketball for 25 years. He allowed every player “play time.” And, when his team was ahead, instead of running up the score, he allowed for his “second string” to hit the court. It was his way of allowing them to show him what they had learned at practice.

It isn’t like that anymore.

Middle school students are still trying to figure out where they belong, but when coaches, who should otherwise be role models, cater to only a select few, what is that accomplishing?

Nothing. It accomplishes nothing except creating a mindset that that player is unworthy.

And those select few players will never forget that feeling. And parents are left picking up the pieces.




Pink eye sucks

“Hello Stan …” I yelled from the kitchen, down the hall to my son going to the bathroom. “How did you sleep?”

“Well, I think I have some pink eye …” he said from the crapper.


That is my new phrase – “Everything is AWESOME,” followed by, “Fuck me.”

I get that of all the shit the kids can bring home from school, pink eye is the “best of the bunch” – at least it’s not lice, the flu or some other funky communicable disease. (However, my 40-year-old HUSBAND “caught” pink eye LAST WEEK, so this HAS to be his fault, right?)

But pink eye is just enough of a disease to warrant staying home from school.

He’s watching TV now, or what he can see through his crusted-over eyes … and I am here being a good mom, blogging about his crusty eyes.

We are both winners.

Back when I was younger, my parents had to deal with chicken pox. I was a good girl though … I didn’t get that childhood illness till I was 15. BOOM … I saved them a lot of stress – no one had to stay home with me. They just gave me a tub of ice cream and left me at home with the TV and my homework.

Wait, there’s a good story behind the chicken pox …

After I reached third grade and didn’t get them, my parents would purposely send me over to homes where kids actually had chicken pox in the hope I would get them. It never happened until my younger brother got them.

The first pox I noticed was on my stomach … oh, wait, I wasn’t even in the same state at the time as my parents. No, this is my “That one time, AT BAND …” story. I was with the band, in Florida … at Disney – the most MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH (my ass) …

The 24-hour BUS ride BACK to Ohio was the worst time of my life.

They quarantined me on the bus where everyone had already had the virus. There I sat, right by the bus driver … and clipped my nails off (snip, snip, snip) and I rubbed calamine lotion all over my body.

I was every 15-year-old boys’ DREAMGIRL.

And then I missed a week of school … only to go back with scabbed-over pox all over my face. I was working that shit. The dates just rolled in after that, I couldn’t even keep up!

Anyways, back to my kid … since he’s a twin, there’s a 99 percent chance that when his sister wakes up tomorrow morning, she too will have “some pink eye.” I wonder if I could bribe the pediatrician into giving me two scripts for the same meds … he has to see this coming …

About the author:

Melissa Linebrink is a reporter/bi-monthly columnist for “The Mommy Wars” printed in The Chronicle-Telegram. She has been featured as a blogger on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop site, She also writes, edits and manages her blog, She can be reached at

Music fills our memories

Growing up in the 1980s with a dad who loved music molded me into the woman I am today.

There is picture of me when I was around 2 with a set of headphones on, belting out a song.

As I grew up, I would spend hours in my bedroom channeling my inner Madonna, Whitney Houston, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.

Usually when my mom knocked on my bedroom door (to tell me to “Turn DOWN the radio!”), she was never sure who would answer as I would transform myself into my favorite artist (for that day).

As a child, listening to music was a way to pass the time; yet it was also a way for me to bond with my dad.

I still remember our old record player and the records he bought – Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Diamond, Men at Work, Tears for Fears, Bob Segar (and the Silver Bullet Band). The albums filled the bottom part of the early 1980’s entertainment center.

As the evening hours passed, he would play the “air guitar” dancing around the living room, or the saxophone.

And he would play the records at ear-piercing volumes.

One of our favorite songs is “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Segar.

Every wedding we ever attended together, that was our song.

If we were in different areas of the reception, we would meet on the dance floor. At one wedding, I remember him throwing me under his legs, as I slid on the dance floor.

In fact, when I got married in 2000, my mom picked the song for the father/daughter dance because honestly, at the time, I didn’t like anything that was being played on the radio. She ended up selecting something like “Daddy’s Little Girl.”  As we danced together on the floor, in front the guests, he whispered into my ear, “What song is this that your mom picked?” And we just laughed.

We knew what our song was … and a mere three minutes later, “Old Time Rock and Roll” came blaring through the speakers.

Even now, when we attend family weddings, I always know who my dancing partner will be when “Old Time Rock and Roll” starts to play – my dad, because I will always be his little girl.