Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chick Lit Cheerleader: Bonding time

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Recently, my older son and I have become enamored with the Broadway musical Hamilton. We hang out together to watch videos and learn the words to all the songs. It's these times when we don't worry about homework, chores, what's for dinner, bedtime routines, etc. We're just bonding over a musical we can only wish to see. 

Our Chick Lit Cheerleader, Jen Tucker, is here today to tell us how she bonds with her the most surprising of ways!


We are in the market for a new home. With one son closing in on 20 years of age, another looking at colleges, and one baby bird left in the nest, it’s time to downsize. Not tiny house downsize—that’s too much togetherness for me. It doesn’t interest me to have the opportunity to wash dishes while I shower. Sunday afternoons are spent looking at lots for sale and inspecting an ever changing inventory of homes on the market. It’s our new normal and I love every minute of it. Another new normal for me is the evolution of my sweet little Gracie blossoming into a young lady (may the Force be with me). She’s traded in television shows such as My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop for the moniker of HGTV addict.

Her favorite series? Fixer Upper. She admires Joanna’s flair for design and giggles at Chip’s antics. She wonders aloud what life on their farm would be like, how they remember all the names of their cows and goats, and if they might be trying to contact her for a play-date, because, why wouldn’t they, right? Gracie’s favorite new vocabulary word she’s picked up while watching? Shiplap! Gracie muses, “Mom, I think Joanna would rather win a house-full of shiplap than Powerball.”

From their sweet family to the farmhouse chic the couple from Waco, Texas is famous for Gracie devours each and every episode. She’s also their fiercest advocate. No other famous home improvement couple stands a chance in her eyes. I won’t mention any names, yet when my precocious one sees previews for another show, her one-liners fly:

“Mommy, that lady doesn’t even dress for the job site like Joanna does. Why would she wear heels when she knows that house has no floors?!”
“Mommy, that lady can’t even pick up a hammer. Joanna can, you know.”
“You know; Joanna picks out every single design thing in the houses she fixes. That girl can’t even pick out paint!”  
Joanna knows what looks good together—like a boss! That lady? No. Just no…”

Rest assured, there is much conversation with my daughter about how we all have different skills, talents—things we bring to the table in different situations. We can’t all be Joanna, right? Yet she is pretty adamant in her hero worship. “If you don’t want to mess up your manicure and makeup, don’t do fixer uppers, people!”
I look forward to watching each and every episode with Gracie. It’s a way to spend time with her when I’m not as cool as I once was, when I put down the discipline hammer and she isn’t speaking to me, or when I’m a “fashion don’t” in her eyes because leggings with puppy selfies splattered all over them isn’t my thing. We still have the Gaines bringing us together. I’ll take that precious time with her any day of the week.

As I attempt to quell her need to fly to Waco and stakeout the Gaines’s Magnolia gift store parking lot, waiting for Chip and Joanna to arrive so she can pounce on them, she’s noticed another home renovation power duo films a lot closer to home. Good Bones is an HGTV show featuring the mother-daughter company Two Chicks And A Hammer in Indianapolis, Indiana. “You realize, Mom, we could go find them, then take them for lunch and then they might let me help pick out tile! They would love me!”

“Yes, baby, we could and I’m sure they’d love you,” I assure her. “Yet chasing people down like that is called stalking and could lead to us ending up in the pokey.”

She considers this a moment. She replies, “Yeah, but you, Dad, and brothers did that in Georgia looking for The Walking Dead cast! You drove all over Senoia looking for them!”

I smile. “That’s different, Gracie, because Norman Reedus would totally love me.”

Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of SaltIn September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at TwitterFacebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.


susieqlaw said...

I love HGTV!

Janine said...

I have seen a few of the Fixer Upper shows and enjoyed them. It's amazing what they can do. I hope you find your new home soon. I hope to one day be able to shop for a home too. The one we live in now is too small for me. I feel half of my clothes spend half of the time in boxes. My husband already had this house when we met and he didn't need much when he was shopping for a home. His requirement was for it to have a two car garage and that was it. My requirement is a big closet. Our neighborhood has really declined too and a lot of crime the last few years. But we are pretty much stuck here without any extra income and the house value being so much lower than newer homes. Also I am conflicted about moving because one of our neighbors (a retired couple) have become very close to us. They are more of family than our real families. He has suffered some bad health issues for the year or so and though his wife is one tough lady (a retired Dallas sheriff) we feel the need to be there for them if something happens.

Hair and nails said...

That type of quality time is important