Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Day of the Do-Over: What If Your Teenage Son Wanted To Work At A Bank As A Donor?

DL Hammons, Nicole Ducleroir, Lydia Kang, and Katie Mills are hosting the Deja Vu Blogfest
where writers are asked to "re-post their favorite blog offering, or one that never received the exposure it should have." Be sure to check out  the list of entertaining entries who are getting into the holiday spirit by highlighting their favorite repeats.

My story was written last February, a little over a month after Empty Nest Insider began. Thanks to DL, Nicole, Lydia, and Katie, for inspiring me to dust it off.

What If  Your Teenage Son Wanted To Work At A Bank As A Donor?

Over the weekend we were trying to find a good movie, and came across a review for The Kids Are All Right; a story about a lesbian couple's teenage children who decide to find their biological father. Though one of the leads, Annette Bening is up for an Oscar for best actress, the movie wasn't playing in any theaters, but a slightly different version started playing in my imagination. My story takes place before the children in the movie were conceived. Think of it as a prequel to The Kids Are All Right from a mother's perspective.

The story begins when 19 year old  Paul arrives home from college for spring break. He is filled with angst as he is dreading spending his vacation with his family instead of being crammed in a crummy hotel room with 8 of his buddies at a rundown beach resort. Though he is incredibly angry, he is blessed with thick, wavy brown hair and looks like a young Mark Ruffalo (the biological father in the movie). Then his mother, brilliantly portrayed by Susan Sarandon (only because she must be kicking herself for not getting the award winning role of the mother in The Fighter) walks into his room and tells him to stop sulking and start looking for a summer job before all the good ones are snatched up. After a series of failed interviews at various establishments around town, he decides to embark on another career.

The next day young Paul sees an ad that offers a way to earn easy money while still being able to stay out all night and sleep until the middle of the afternoon. After filling out a detailed family history, going on an extensive interview, and submitting samples of his work, he would find out if he was a candidate for the job.  His mother was quite excited that her lazy son was suddenly so enthusiastic about finding employment until she comes across one of his work samples in the refrigerator.

When she asks him about what's in the container, he explains that the bank does drug tests on all of their employees. Then she smiles at the thought of her son working at a bank, but realizes that he has no experience and wouldn't be working bankers' hours. When she questions him, he tells her that he is applying for a special internship where he would be working from home and would just drop off deposits every once in a while. After he leaves for his interview, she starts rummaging through his things when she sees the ad for the sperm bank buried under a huge pile of dirty laundry.

The next scene is Black Swan meets Diary of a Mad Housewife when the mother is screaming madly, yet dancing divinely around the house looking for clues to why her son would do this to her. She is dancing on her tippy toes to avoid stepping in any remnants of work samples. Flashbacks of Paul's innocent childhood appear on the screen. All the years she spent yelling at him for forgetting his homework and spilling food all over the kitchen floor; reminding him to wash his hands after he went to the bathroom, a week before he graduated from high school. His mother remembers that even as a little boy, Paul loved to take over the house scattering little pieces everywhere he went. Suddenly, she springs up on the table like a cat, wondering if there was any safe surface in the house that wasn't turned into a science lab.

Later when Paul returns home from his physical/interview, his mom takes another swig of cooking sherry and calmly asks him to sit down. She unties her apron, gently wipes the kitchen chair off with a rag before she tosses it into the fireplace and joins him for a meaningful discussion. Careful to mind her tone, she inquires if they mentioned anything about providing a company car as her chassis is prone to bumps. She also tells him that she found out that several of the bank employees were coming down with carpal tunnel syndrome and it would behoove him to find something less debilitating that he could put on his resume.

Then he smiles and says that they told him to apply again after he graduates from college. Tears of joy stream down his mother's face as she asks, "Why don't you seem disappointed?"  Then he replies, "I decided I wasn't interested after they told me I'd have to give up alcohol." With that his mother puts her dishwashing gloves back on, and gives her boy a big, warm hug.  Fade to black.


  1. Gosh that was there's a day job!

    I just love the part where Paul's mother brings up "carpal tunnel syndrome" - next time a client of mine mentions having this I will not be able to keep a straight face.

    Great Do-Over selection!


  2. A good post to start my day, had a good laugh.

    Have a good day.

  3. Jenny - At least it was for a good cause! Thanks for your enthusiastic comments, and I really enjoyed your Deja Vu post! You even knew how to add the accent marks!

    Yvonne - You chose an excellent poem for the blogfest! This has been such a busy week for you with your new book coming out, being featured on 2 blogs, and you still made time to visit me again! Thanks Yvonne, and I know your book will be a success! Julie

  4. HA! I LOVED it! There are soooo many clever lines in here. You're re-running a real winner. Good choice.

  5. Oh, man. I have that movie in my Netflix queue. I'm going to have this backstory running in my head the whole time I watch it. Very funny. :)

  6. LOL! This sounds like a pretty scary horror film to me. I have a 22-year-old son.

    I think this was an awesome choice for Deja Vu. I'm glad you re-posted this and I had the chance to read it.

  7. LOL, too funny! I especially loved tip-toe dance to avoid stepping in work samples LOL. And the son's reason for giving up his job, such a typical 19 year old! Great choice for the do-over, Julie! :)

  8. As LG said, this sounds like a great flick to add to the queue. Nice to meet you through the fest! (I'm #158).

  9. Susan - Isn't it funny how we both touched on the same subject this week? Thanks so much Susan!

    L.G.- We eventually saw the movie which happens to be very good. Hope you enjoy it too. Thanks L.G.!

    Juliann - Just make sure there isn't a bank in his neighborhood that only accepts personal donations! Thanks for visiting me, and I'll head over to your site soon!

    Julie - The tip-toe dance is something I could only write about, as I'm not graceful enough to ever attempt it! It was fun seeing your post again too! Thanks Julie!

    Laurel - Nice to meet you too, and thanks for being my 150th follower! I'll be right over! Julie

  10. I didn't see this movie but I really want to. After this post, now I want to see it tonight, LOL.

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  11. Love it! And I think your version is better than the movie :)

  12. Haven't see the movie, but love your version.

  13. He'd have to give up drinking - funny! And probably true for most men that age.

  14. Oh, this sounds like a movie I must rent, now. I have two little boys. I think I would have a heart attack at the thought of them donating their mini-men. Thank goodness I have a few years before I need to discuss that aspect of life with them.

  15. The wine I was drinking reading this post came out my nose I laughed so hard!

    Carpal tunnel syndrome - *snort*

  16. You should definitely be writing screen plays! :)

  17. Great story with lots of twists and turns. I especially like the Black Swan meeting with Diary of a Mad Housewife...and the ending.
    Well done, Julie.

    Happy Chanukah.

  18. This is hysterically funny! OMG, I'm so naive, just like the mother. Just the title of this post is a riot. First, I picture a bank, just like the character. Then the word "donor" threw me off. Hmm, wonder why a teen would want to work at a blood bank? And what's the big deal if he did? Then, surprise, as I read the post. Then laughing all the way through it. I think you're a genius! I'm so glad you reposted this. Nice to meet you, fellow empty nester/writer!

  19. Lydia - Thanks for co-hosting the Blogfest, and I do recommend the movie!

    Thanks Susanna and Mary!

    Alex - Sadly, it would be a huge sacrifice!

    Julie - "Donating their mini-men," sounds like a great idea for a children's book!

    Julie H. - I hope it was white wine! Thanks Julie!

    DL Hammons - I would love to write screenplays! Thanks so much for hosting this amazing Blogfest, and for following me!

    Robyn: Thanks, I really had fun with this one!
    Wishing you a Happy Chanukah too!

    LynNerdKelley - Boy am I glad to meet you! Thanks for your enthusiastic reenactment! I really appreciate your kind words! Now I have a sudden urge to go shoe shopping! Thanks for following me, and I hope to see lots more of you! Julie

  20. Seems like everyone is doing this. :( Wish my blog was old enough to properly join in.

  21. That was frickin' hilarious, Julie! You should write dark comedy!! BTW - I just watched that movie last weekend and I loved it.

  22. HA! Great story! I echo Nancy - you have a gift for dark comedy. So enjoyed this :)

  23. I haven't seen that movie done yet so why not? Just think of all the deposits that are wasted daily--might as well get paid for it.

    Journaling Woman at my memoir blog
    starting Saturday 12/17/2011 with a special giveaway!
    Wrote By Rote

  24. Dwei - There's always next year; in the meantime you can join A to Z in April.

    Nancy - Thanks, I love dark comedy! Glad you also enjoyed the movie!

    Jennifer - Thanks for the kind words, and congrats on your award!

    Al - You do have all of the qualifications!

    Lee - "Want not, waste not," or something like that!

  25. Must see this movie and you've given me a lot to think about. I have a while until my son is of age to donate, but hmmm.

  26. You need to sell this idea. It would make an interesting prequel.


  27. LOL! Never separate a college man from his beer :)

  28. Hilarious, Julie. I especially like donating their mini-men. do I approach this subject with my son......

  29. WOW. Okay. That was pretty funny. :)

    I'm a new follower visiting from the DejaVu blogfest. Nice to meet you.

  30. Alison - Try not to worry now, when you should be saving up for later! Thanks for following me, and I'll stop by your blog!

    Thanks Joyce, if only it were that easy!

    Carol - Wars were started over less!

    Barb - The credit goes to Julie Fedderson. Send him back to Two Pan!

    Margo - Glad to meet you too! Thanks for following me, and I'll do the same! Julie

  31. I'm doing that ROFL thing. Excellent. Get the backing and do the movie!

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Lee - Is there a backer bar, or someplace else that I should be hanging out at? If you're serious, I would appreciate any advice on the subject. Thanks Lee!

    Misha - It's good to see you again, and I'll be right over!

  34. Just me again, here to wish you a happy holiday, Julie!

  35. Nancy, Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for making the special trip! Julie

  36. Merry Christmas and Happy, happy New Year to you and your family, Julie!

  37. Lynn, Hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year! Thanks for the good wishes, and I look forward to getting to know you in 2012! Julie