The Best Laid Plans — It’s good to be flexible

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  I remember doing the proof.  Euclid lived in the theoretical world.  He might have had point A and point B all locked up, but he didn’t know diddly about planning.

My son and his friends went to see the movie 21 Jump Street.  Don’t get me started on remakes whose originals aired during my adulthood.

For the record, the movie is rated R.  My son is not 16.  I was fully aware of both facts before he set out for the evening.  I did check the content.  It’s nothing he doesn’t already know.  I did, however, assume that the parent who was driving them would buy the tickets.  I was wrong.  Their plan was to buy tickets to a PG-13 movie and sneak into the movie they really wanted to see.  Not my preferred method of entry.

Ethics aside, there were a limited set of options that evening within the time frame they wanted.  The first was John Carter, lame but believable, or the more socially acceptable Hunger Gameson opening day.  My son is no idiot, I’ll give him that.  He gets it from me.  He knows that if they buy tickets to Hunger Games, they will be corralled into a waiting area with all of the other teens that actually want to see Hunger Games, and won’t be able to sneak into another theater.  My son read the book, but had zero interest in seeing the movie.  He explained why they needed to buy tickets to John Carter, but given the possibility of peer scrutiny, his friends insisted they buy tickets to Hunger Games instead.  Image won out over reason.

We started getting texts from our son as soon as the probably became reality.

i said  john carter but NOOOOOOO  what an idiot. hes reading this  ur a IDIOT

I knew he meant it.  He used capital letters.

I thought you were seeing 21 Jump Street?

I’m a writer. I spell out words and punctuate correctly, even when texting.  Do I have to mention that I hate autocorrect?  Didn’t think so.

hunger games

because hes an IDIOT  hes still reading this

He’s screwed and we both know it.  This is when you have to look at the bright side.  Really, how awful could this be?

It’s supposed to be good.  Just enjoy it.

Not a chance.

I refuse

He was committed to being miserable.  Rather than watching the movie, he sat in the back row, on a Friday night with his friends, TEXTING HIS PARENTS.

This sucks

Still sucks

if ur wondering still sucks

Of course, we were just as stupid texting back.


Oh.  Got it.  He didn’t get his wish.  He stayed until the end.

Sometimes he’s so like me, it’s scary. If I set my mind on something, I’m hard to move.  But what would happen if I could not only accept, but embrace Plan B?  To treat it as the Plan A I just hadn’t thought to consider?

Take this blog, for instance.  I’m a novelist, I don’t write about myself.  We’ll, okay, I do, but I change the names to protect the guilty.  I joined a platform challenge which required me to start a blog, so like the dutiful student that I am, I started a blog.  Blogging was not the plan.  I didn’t want to write about writing, or about books, so I wrote about me.  I was feeling introspective at the time.  Next thing I knew, I’d put my personal thoughts out into the ether.  I shared details about my life that I’d kept private for a long time.

I now blog every day.  I launched a second blog for my haiku three weeks ago.  I’ve guest blogged, and interviewed people, and  it’s been an incredible experience. I love exchanging ideas and thoughts with readers.  I could grouse that this takes time from my writing, but it is my writing, and every word I write makes the next word richer, and every exchange builds the story.

Plan A, meet Plan A, the addendum. But trust me, that novel is still coming someday.

How well do you deal with changes in the plan?  Tell me–let’s talk about it.

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by Steve Jurvetson

14 comments on “The Best Laid Plans — It’s good to be flexible

  1. hiyacynthia says:

    You and I sure have a lot in common. I laughed out loud at this post and relate to so much of it. I normally do not mind changes in plan. I also hate autocorrect (never use it) and spell everything correctly when I text. I had to force myself to start using u instead of you for the sake of space because if I wrote too long of a text, it splits it into two texts and I am on a limited plan. Your is now ur. It pains me to do that. LOL!

    I also started my blog out of a process rather than a desire. It was only to test the waters as a writer. Now I see the divine appointments it’s allowing me to be a part of and I am so enriched by the experience!

    Keep writing, Jeannine. You’re already famous in my book. I enjoy your work.

  2. susan craig says:

    Jeannine, Your guest post on MNINB was great, and this one is also. What you say about changing plans resonates with me. I am in the midst of leaving a house I planned to retire in (and a small town I love) to go to a new job in Austin, TX. I had so much to say about that I was forced to start a second blog! We like to be in control, but there is a time to embrace change–even if we didn’t choose it!

  3. TheOthers1 says:

    First, I liked both the Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street (the latter I didn’t think I would, but it turned out to be really funny). Second, I like to think I roll with changes fairly well. I gripe about it for a bit then move on (mostly). And lol to your texting. If I’m feeling playful, I’ll shortcut my talk via text, but usually I’m a full sentence/word type of person. I’m starting to feel like I’m too old to be talking like a 13 year old so too much text speak it out.

    • I was trying to be funny once and texted “holla” back to my son, and autocorrect changed it to “hills”. So now when he gives me a high five that’s what we say. My husband just looks at us while we crack up. “Hills? I don’t get it.”

  4. I am of the frame of mind life is all about plan a, b, c, and combo of both. If the forces of nature step in I will consider the options and rewrite my plan. As for texting..As I’ve been instant messaging before texting became the new medium, I long ago modified my protocol for abbreviated text talking, but not when I am writing. I confess I have not scene those two movies. I did see The Avengers..

  5. Julie Farrar says:

    Raising two adopted children with several issues made my husband and me masters of plan B’s. And now we travel a lot in other countries. Plan B has really become the default Plan A.

  6. Phyllis Diller Stewart says:

    Oh my … you could be me. My kids tell me (in the nicest sort of way) that I like to be in control. Wrong. I like to have things organized and if no one else will do it, what choice do I have?

    It’s so interesting to see ourselves in our children, isn’t it? Interesting and a bit frightening. I love that you added your texts. I can just see your son hunched in the back row over his phone.

    And yes, I text in grammatically correct, complete sentences. It would be a lot easier the other way though.

    P.S. I wasn’t sure how to send you the whole post, but did you see your acknowledgement in my Liebster awards. I sure hope so!

  7. Veronica Roth says:

    Oh nooo…ha, ha, ha. So good I couldn’t stop reading and then passed it to my 20yr old daughter who said, “been there, watched the movie”. I said, “oh yeah? Which movie was this?” She said, “Hanna Montana… It was Izzie’s fault.”

  8. muddykinzer says:

    I enjoyed this post! I did see 21 Jump Street because I was feeling nostalgic for my days watching the original on TV and I’ll watch anything promising a cameo of Johnny Depp! I have to say…oh boy! 16 is too young for that movie! I’m too young for that movie! : ) But did I laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe? Multiple times! Very funny movie.

    I love that your son was texting you during his night out with his friends. You must be doing something right!

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