Monthly Archives: April 2012

Checking In

Hi, everyone. I feel really bad that my blog production has slowed waaay down, recently, and I wanted to at least put something out there so that I’m not forgotten, or assumed to have fallen off the face of the earth. Nope. I’m still here, doing my thing. Which is to say, the bare necessities of life are being accomplished while I am turned inward, searching for some solutions.

When you have lived life for a while with some consistency, you may begin to notice patterns in your behavior. I am at such a place, now, where I am seeing clearly how I respond to certain things. When I am unhappy and there just don’t seem to be any easy answers, when I really am struggling for the next right thing to do, I disconnect. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want advice, I don’t want to be distracted. The simplest phone conversation can feel like torture to me, because it’s such a struggle to listen to someone else when I am drowning in my own dilemma. So I am short, and I am brusque, and I am basically rude and totally self absorbed. I apologize. I won’t stay like this forever.

Unfortunately, I let all of the good and happy things in my life fall to the side when I am like this. It does not benefit me in any way to do this, I know, but it is really hard for me to break this dumb cycle. I had hoped that this blog would be the exception, but I have tried to write something every day, and ended up half way through, abandoning all of it. I think part of the reason is that old saying-“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I can’t, so I’m not. The other thing is, when I do write about how shitty I feel, my phone starts ringing with people who love me and want to know what is up. And I don’t want to say, so this is no good.

Whatever the case may be, just know that what I am dealing with right now is NOTHING compared to some of the crap I’ve handled in the not-so-distant past, and that I really have my mind made up already. The hard part is finding a gracious and non-devastating way to execute my plan. It’s going to take time and patience and some maturity. None of which I have in great amounts, but I need to dig deep.  I will be back to my fun, funny, sarcastic, crazy self in no time, I’m sure.

Just probably not tomorrow.

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Politically Correct is Pure Crap and Common Sense is Dead, 1.

I was emailing a friend of mine today and I briefly touched on how Southerners are portrayed as well-mannered and discreet, while over here on the west coast, we are fake and politically correct. This is a sore subject for me, and I think it ties right into my observation that common sense is dead and gone, and the whole world is turning into a bunch of retarded pussies. If I haven’t offended you yet, you’ll probably be okay…

So, when I was a little girl starting kindergarten, it was 1980. I grew up in Fresno, CA. (shut up, I don’t live there now and I had no choice, I was FIVE.) which is not only NOT the friendliest town on earth, but has now evolved into, like, the murder capital of the world or some shit. But I digress- it was and probably is a city that seems to be filled primarily with people that are working, middle class of all varieties, a lot of people barely scraping by, and a lot who are just downright poverty stricken. We vacillated through most of those statuses while I was a kid there. The thing is, though, there was a rhythm to our lives- not just mine, but pretty much everyone in general. We all sat down for dinner together every night, at the table. We didn’t get up to gab on the phone mid-bite, unless we wanted to get our asses kicked. There were no cell phones, but if there had been, you wouldn’t have had one for long if you tried texting under the table. There were RULES. If we didn’t follow them, there were CONSEQUENCES.  After dinner, I did the dishes. If my mom told me to clean my room, I didn’t have the option of saying “NO.” Well, I had the option- and she had the option of slapping the shit out of me. I would not have DREAMED of calling the cops on my mom for it, either! Not unless I planned on leaving the state before she got back home, anyway.

Somewhere between 1980 and today, which isn’t all that long, really, shit has changed. And even though the changes are supposed to level the playing field and promote kindness and offend people less, as usual, it’s just completely gotten out of hand. Kids have always been bad in their way, but now they are seriously like little wild animals that no one is brave enough to train. There are no consequences for acting up anymore- unless you count the teachers who get their asses reamed for “singling out and humiliating” a child who NEEDS to be disciplined. If they have a mood, they take a pill. If they can’t or won’t pay attention or sit still, they take another pill. When they go out for sports, they all make the team, even if they suck. When they lose, they still get trophies. They won’t even really hold children back a grade when they are failing miserably in school. So what the fuck is the point of any of this stuff, then, anymore? How are these kids supposed to be prepared in any way, shape, or form for what is quite probably going to be waiting for them when they finally make it out of their parent’s home and into the real world? Easy. They never leave…OR, they get a job in Corporate America where there is just about nothing you can do to be fired, no matter how obvious it is that you ought to be.

Before I get into that, though, I want to mention one thing- I really, really believe that parents need to be able to beat their kids’ asses when necessary. I think it depends on the kid and it depends on the reason, and it depends, also, on your ability to not kill someone. Also, the age of the kid is a factor. I am not promoting abuse, not at all- but there is a difference between letting your child know that if they fuck up, they will have a welted ass before the day is through and taking out your own frustrations on an innocent kid. There is nothing wrong with your child being a little afraid of you, for the right reasons. There is something wrong if your kid flinches every time you move your arms- maybe ease up a little, mama! But if your kid would rather look like a sissy in front of his friends and NOT do something stupid, illegal or dangerous because he knows if he does and he gets caught, you will slap his face off his head, how is that BAD? That is your sole purpose as a parent- to try to turn out a human being who might possibly contribute to society someday. Trust me, you are NOT your child’s friend. Your kid does NOT tell you everything. Your kid is blowing so much smoke up your ass if you believe that, that I feel bad for you. You have to trust me on this, as I am learning the hard way- your kid is an asshole, just like you were at that age. You should stop what you are doing and go slap them right now, even if they are sleeping, just to get a feel for it. Okay, don’t do that. But look around you at the kids running around that are just spoiled brats who think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter (because it has been, duh.) and tell me honestly that the way we are doing things is working out. I have one of those kids, I know what I’m saying, man.  I did not do my job and now I’m suffering and she will probably be, too, in the years ahead.

Man, I didn’t even get to the main thing I wanted to talk about and this is already LONG. I’m going to have to make it a two parter, Sorry guys. I need to hit the sack!

Dear God

Dear God-

Hi! It’s me again. I’ll tell you up front that I don’t have anything really urgent to talk to you about, so if you are busy, you may want to get back to this later. Not that I doubt your multitasking skills for a minute, I’m sure you’re way better at it than your average human being, but…you know what I mean. I just wanted to check in, let you know I am still here, I haven’t checked out on you. I hope you don’t mind that I am putting you in my blog. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone, you know?

I’ve been a little down lately. Seems like no matter how hard I try, things around here stay about the same, if not worse. I know I don’t do everything right, not by a long shot, and I don’t pretend that I have a clue about how to create the family and the results I long to see. I can see the end result in my head, but I don’t know how to get there. Maybe I just don’t have the right personality for domestic stuff. Maybe I just don’t have enough help…it would be nice if all of us around here could pull it together and work as a unit for once. It seems like we all just live together and have totally separate lives. This just isn’t the way I thought it would be.

I know I should be grateful, and I AM! I know how lucky I am to have two healthy, beautiful daughters, a fantastic and well paying job that I like, and coworkers who are like an extension of my family. I know how lucky I am to have a house at all, let alone in a safe, pretty town half a mile from the beach. I’m SO lucky to be healthy, to be safe, to be loved. I’m not trying to downplay any of that stuff. I let you know all the time how thankful I am to be where I am in life…I think I know better than some how much worse it could have turned out for me. And I know I will NEVER know as well as others do what it means to really be without. Even at the worst times in my life, I could always count on a roof over my head, food when I was hungry. All in all, I’ve lived a pretty blessed life.

So you’ll have to forgive me for being so selfish and telling you that, still, I want more. Can we talk for a minute about this relationship I’m in, God? I know, I know- I can FEEL you rolling your eyes at me, up there. I know you have much more concerning issues on your hands, like global warming, the middle east in general, and the end of times right around the corner. I get that, in the big scheme of things, my love life is really a non-issue, but humor me. You, he, and I know the whole story of us…you know how hard I have tried, how many things I’ve worked through, looked past, compromised on. You know the doubts I’ve struggled with since the very start. All of that, to wind up here-ambivalent, stuck, distanced. My heart is just out of forgiveness, God, and I don’t know how to move forward from this place. I don’t even want to forgive anymore, and that has been the one thing I had that assured me there was still really love between us. Without it, it’s like my heart is completely closed. I know he feels it, my disconnect, and I don’t want to make it hard on him, but I can’t help it. I’ve got nothing left, and there’s no way I can pretend differently. I start to feel bad about it, then it occurs to me that he absolutely brought this on himself.

Obviously, I can’t go on like this for very long. So the big question is, what now? I know it’s really up to me, that I didn’t seem to ask for a lot of advice when I was making all the decisions that led me to here. I don’t expect a giant arrow in the clouds pointing me to my dream life, or an email with a power point slide show detailing my options and all possible outcomes. Although, come to think of it, I wouldn’t turn that down, either. I guess I would just like to ask for some clarity, soon. If you could please help me pay attention, so I don’t miss possible answers. If I could just have a head that is quiet enough to really think this through.  If you could maybe help me feel certain when I hit on the right idea, instead of doubting myself into inaction like I’ve done so often. God, if you could please  just help me not be afraid. I’m choosing to hold onto unhappiness because I am so afraid of messing everything up.

It seems so wasteful to work so hard for something you thought was possible, only to find that it could never have become that thing, no matter what you did to help it along. I want to be happy, God, and not because everything is perfect and I am so accomplished and polished and wonderful-I want to be happy the way you are when your heart is peaceful, and you aren’t constantly on your guard. I want to relax, God. I don’t care if that means I have to be alone…I will miss the familiarity and companionship, for sure. I will miss having someone that is pulling their share of the weight of this life. But I will not miss hunting for the true story underneath his words. I will not miss the loneliness that comes with loving a man you cannot risk trusting. I will not miss the fear of all of the things I don’t know yet. Every day of our life together, I have felt their presence, a constant undercurrent.

Please help me be strong, sure and kind- help me not let my mean nature complicate things. Help me to remember that he is a good father, a hard worker, that he probably did the best he could, too. He’s just working with a different set of tools than me. If there is a way to mend this, God, I am all ears- I’d like to tell you that I don’t see how, but you’re the big miracle guy, here, so it’s your call. I don’t want to hurt the baby, and she loves us both so much. I don’t want to complicate my life by changing everything, AGAIN, but I believe I am of no real use to anyone like this.

Other than that, God, I think all is well. I am always glad, at the end of a day like this, that things tend to look less impossible in the light of day. Thanks for this beautiful life.

Love,

Courtney

Motherhood (Raw and Uncut)

Well, hello, you good people of blogger-land, Facebook, Twitter and various other internet locations. I hope you haven ‘t forgotten about me. I know it’s been a few days. I did not turn my computer on once this past weekend (I never sat my phone down once, though)- I needed a break from the constant stat-checking I’d been doing. So on the sixth AND seventh day, I rested. And also the first day of the next week, and then it just started to become a bad habit. I figured I better sit my ass down and dredge up something clever to say quick before you guys didn’t like me anymore. I have no idea if I will be able to achieve that or not, seeing as how I have a headache, Nick Jr. is blaring out of the TV, and my toddler is periodically climbing up behind me and doing something to my hair. I’m pretty sure she is checking me for lice. I hope she doesn’t find any.

So, while I was rushing around trying to cook dinner, keep the baby occupied,  and not accidentally step on the dog (simultaneously)this evening, it occurred to me that this was not exactly what I’d envisioned being the mother-person in a family would be like. I don’t really know where I got my weird idea that it would be this easy and totally gratifying experience…perhaps it came from every woman with a child I know saying, at one time or another, that their children were the greatest blessing of their lives. Not that they are NOT, don’t get me wrong. I’m a subscriber to that particular belief, myself. I think it’s a chemical imbalance you develop at the moment of conception that keeps you from throwing your infant out the window after the third sleepless night in a row.

Now, girls, if you really think about it- how many times have you conversed about motherhood with a childless person, and contributed blatant honesty in your statements? Because when I think about it, I realize that I have been guilty of a whole lot of glossing-over-of-the-truth, myself. Which is weird, because I am normally a really, brutally honest kind of girl. I can’t help but wonder if maybe this is another instinctual glitch deep in our animal brains meant to encourage the human race to be fruitful and multiply. Or maybe it’s just what we’ve been conditioned to say, as mothers-“She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” “I can’t remember what it’s like to NOT be a mom.” “It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”. All of those things are true, and maybe we are scared to tell the WHOLE truth…but here, again, is one of those things that no one really talks about so everyone feels bad about it. Thinking that they are the only freakish, soulless female in the world who ever thought about how nice it would be to have a nervous breakdown just so she could stuck in a mental ward for a week or two, and rest, kid free.

Well, if you are thinking those thoughts, love, rest assured- you are not alone. Here are some other things you either already know or, if you don’t, you really ought to be told:

-Pregnancy may or may not suck for you, but I encourage you to enjoy being the object of such affection and attention while you can. The minute you pop that baby out, it’s like you barely exist anymore. Of  course, that isn’t really true, but after months of people doting on you and treating you so sweetly, it’s a bit harsh when it all gets yanked away overnight. You may find yourself  spouting the words “I just had a baby” an unreasonable amount of times in all sorts of inappropriate conversations. I know I did! I wanted people to know I wasn’t just dumpy, I had leased my body out to a smallish human for almost a year. It got a little too small for her and she had to move out, but she left the place a mess!

-People will give you so much advice that you will not know what the hell to do. Everyone sounds very sure of themselves. When you tell them, timidly, that you plan on going back to work when the baby is four months old, they will look at you like you just added “and I was going to just leave the baby out in the yard with the dog.”  to the end of your sentence. These well meaning folks will find fault with anything you say that does not mirror what they believe to be right. Don’t worry about it.

-After the first two days of being a mom, you will probably have to be alone with the baby. It’s okay if you don’t really feel all that excited about this stranger you just gave birth to. I was shocked by how ambivalent I felt towards both my kids for the first little while after they were born. I mean, I LOVED them and thought they were amazing, but it wasn’t how I thought it would be. It took a little bit of interacting to get to that adoration phase.

-IMPORTANT! The first three months of being a mom is sort of nightmarish. I mean, it is freaking hard. You are fat, tired, sleep deprived, soggy and  isolated from the real world. Your whole life suddenly revolves around this fragile little person that you can’t even leave alone while they are sleeping (I checked my infants constantly for signs of life  while they slept, even poking them when necessary) . It is really a thing you have to go through on your own, no matter how great the dad may be. He isn’t the one dealing with the hormones, the body changes, the life altering craziness of it all. But it will get better. It really does. And I’m not just saying that to encourage you to breed, I promise.

Wow! That was really long, really quick. I think I will have to do this in segments-Yay! A plan! So I’ll meet you back here really soon, and we will talk about the truth about toddlers, ok? Now I’m outta here. I have jury duty tomorrow. Oh! And feel free to add your thoughts about how much infants suck, sometimes. And how much we love them, anyway.

What The Hell HAPPENED To Me?


I was just reading a great blog by Heather Christena Schmidt, who I enjoy immensely, and who’s blog you should definitely check out. Not NOW! I mean after you finish reading this little masterpiece, silly. Anyway, she is super duper funny, very smart, and she has the kind of sarcastic wit you probably don’t want to get on the wrong side of. She is very opinionated, and makes some really valid points in her posts. She also happens to be one of those chicks that has it SO together that even reading her stuff, I feel like a giant pile of lazy shit. I am going to encourage you to read the post about her being a 1950’s housewife– and I want you to read it, then report back to me your feeling of self-worth.

She was blogging about how she is annoyed with herself for spending over an hour getting ready every day, even when she’s got nowhere to go. All I could think was- ‘I don’t even have an hours worth of stuff I know how to do to myself!’ Seriously, I don’t. I still haven’t even figured out how to use a blow dryer correctly, I don’t, nor have I ever had an actual “hair style”, and it takes me about seven minutes to put on my make-up. I know, because I’ve timed myself before. While she wishes not to be the way she is, I am here wishing I at least knew how to fix myself all up. Maybe then I wouldn’t look in the mirror and think “Hmm…that’s IT? That’s as good as it gets?” Which is pretty much how I feel every single day now.

I didn’t used to feel this way at all. I used to do my little routine, shake out my hair, catch my reflection and think “Awesome!”. I know exactly how conceited that sounds, but it’s true. I hardly ever felt unattractive, to the point that I took for granted I would ALWAYS feel that way. I forgot to factor the whole aging thing into it. Aging sucks balls, and I’m sorry, doing it gracefully must require a lot less vanity than I possess in my clearly superficial little heart. I try not to be all dramatic about it ( there is a certain someone I know who gives Oscar worthy performances of despair and gloom while looking into the mirror and pulling her face so that it is taut and, honestly, frighteningly mask-like) because I don’t want to freak my older daughter out and give her the idea that this stuff matters more than it’s supposed to. Although, frankly, it does. At least to me.

Anyway, my 30’s have been the BEST time for me, as far as internal stuff- spirituality, maturity, financially, and just who I am altogether. So good, in fact, that it was shocking to find myself quickly sliding down  hill in the looks department. I just never considered it before. I guess I knew that someday, I would start losing my sex-appeal, my freshness, my head turning abilities. I never thought about when that would be, though. I thought I had a lot more time, for sure.

Now, don’t give me any shit, you guys. I know that 36 is not really old- there are LOT’S of hot ass women who are well into their 40’s. I know that. But those women probably work their asses off to stay that way, or have those freak genes that a small portion of the population (unfairly) have. I know that if I worked out, tried hard, lost weight, ate right, had a skin care routine and, possibly, a hair stylist, I could do much better. But that requires a bunch of effort on my part that I just don’t know if I have the energy for.

There are two cold, hard facts that I am dealing with here- 1.) There is no beauty quite like youth’s beauty, end of story. I see scads and scads of young people every day, and even the most awkward among them have that fresh and gorgeous, young beauty working for them. ‘Course, they can’t see it, which makes it a total waste, but oh well. 2.) There really is no substitute for having lived well. What I mean by this is simple- take a girl my age who has never smoked, used drugs or indulged excessively in alcohol, someone who slept regularly, drank water more than once a week, and who maybe exercised here and there. She is probably going to look a little better and/or younger than me. I have treated my body like a rental car almost all of my life, and it pains me to say this, but it’s starting to show. Let me take a break, I need to have a little cry. Okay, thanks. I’m back. Also, girls without children seem to age a LOT more slowly than those with. This is no longer shocking to me, now that I have endured 14 years with one of the most difficult children on Earth.

There’s more- a lot more. I never really learned how to take care of myself, or my stuff, or my house thanks to all those years in la-la land, so I struggle more than the average person with normal stuff. If my house is clean, my hairs a wreck. If I look great, my house is totaled. If my house and I look great, my kids are starving and my job has fallen to the wayside. I feel like my life is a giant, unending game of Whack-A-Mole, and the minute I bludgeon one thing into submission, two more pop up. No wonder I’m stressed out. I don’t know how to DO any of this stuff. I really don’t have a lot of regrets about how I’ve lived my life, because I think that is so pointless…but it would be nice if I felt a little bit more on the ball. I don’t expect to be gorgeous and slender AND have clean towels in the house all on the same day, but one or two in the same week would be spectacular.

Well. I really didn’t know I had all that rolling around this little, overused head of mine. Thank Heather Christena Schmidt for this one. And don’t forget to check out her blog! Also, it would be really great to hear what you think about this whole thing. Do you feel the way I do, that you live your life as a series of near disasters? Do you do a lot of frantic sprinting to keep yourself from slipping off the edge and hurtling into space? Or have YOU actually figured out how to keep on top of it, together? Calm, cool and collected? Let me know. I promise I won’t hate you for having a better life than me. Pinky swear.

Hitting Walls

I should be in the other room with the baby right now, but I wanted to check in real quick…yeah, so the yelling thing was going okay, until this evening when I had to call POISON CONTROL. My dad had been here to visit and left one of his lidoderm patches on the side of my bathtub, well within the reach of the baby when I bathed her this evening. I had no idea what the thing was, I picked it up and it was all gross and slimy. I guess it had been there since Monday morning (it was the same color as the tub and looked like a washrag). I didn’t know if it had gotten in the water, if it had any potency left in it- I wasn’t even sure if it was what I thought it was until I called my dad. Scared the HELL out of me.

Had the baby chewed on it or gotten it stuck to her, there would have been a risk of cardiac issues and seizures. I don’t know about you, but this whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I feel upset and angry that I have to worry about this shit. Sorry, dad, if you are reading- I love you, but every time you are here, I feel like I need to follow you around in case a stray pill or something falls out. This was wonderful when I was a teenager, but not so great now that I HAVE teenagers to contend with. Definitely not so great in a household with toddlers and puppies- although, God forgive me, if I had to choose, it would be the puppy eating the Lidoderm patch and not the baby.

So I did a little yelling tonight. Mostly at Devon, who had no idea what the hell I was talking about and wasn’t even here. Also, a little at the dog, who did not seem to understand that this was not a “fun” type of commotion.  So I guess I kind of hit a wall in the not yelling area. I suppose I can accept that there will be times when yelling is about all I can do…not that it helps.

Man, I’m still upset and just feeling dreadful. I don’t even know what to do right now. I’m glad everything is okay, but I guess I need to be even more vigilant when I have people over, and I need to set up some rules about what can and cannot come into this house- maybe it would be safer to have my dad stay in a hotel when he visits. Sigh.

Why You Gotta Be A Dick?

I’m really, really sorry I had to begin this post with such a grammatically reprehensible title. In all fairness, though, it is the only expression that sums up exactly what this blog (today) is about.

The world is full of Assholes. There. I said it. You know it’s true, too, right? I mean, how many times a day (assuming you leave your house much) do you find yourself saying, albeit quietly (as people carry guns these days) , “What an Asshole that asshole is!” Maybe sometimes you even say to yourself “My GOD, I am such an Asshole.” And shake your head in despair. It’s okay. I do it, too.

We all have the potential to be warm and wonderful human beings. Wait- you know what, that may not be true. I definitely have the potential to be a warm and wonderful human being most of the time, as do most of the people I know. There are a couple of freakshows out there that are just taking up space, let’s be honest. On the flip side of that coin, though, we all have the potential to be totally self absorbed, black- holes of misery covered in skin.  Sometimes I am both on the same day. But you know what? I try really hard NOT to be a dick. I try to remember to hold doors for people, to smile and be thoughtful, to not completely lose my shit when someone in front of me in traffic has no business being on the road. I try. I mean, maybe they are having a bad day and their nerves are shot. Maybe they are tourists and they are lost…in which case they really should pull the hell over and then try to figure out where the hell they are, but you know, maybe they just haven’t thought of that yet.

I’m certainly not trying to pretend I am some moral and spiritual little ray of sunshine. I mean, if you read this blog, you know that I was a raging drug addict for a long time- I broke the law every single day, many times, for like ten years. I wasn’t exactly a great chick. Even then, though, I really did try to at least be polite. I guess perhaps it was just one of the ways that I manipulated people- they do tend to respond more favorably to someone who is polite, even if that someone is a sucked up little tweaker- but WHATEVER. At least I tried.

There are so many degrees of Assholishness, I don’t even know where to begin. People that refuse to see that their kids are assholes are even bigger assholes than the kids. People that are late all the time. People that refuse to have a sense of humor about anything. People that are just mean for no reason at all. People who think they are better than other people (I have been guilty of this a time or two, I confess.) People who are racist and ignorant and closed-minded. Teenagers. All teenagers are hormone-induced ASSHOLES. This, however, is forgivable as it can be outgrown.

I want to talk about two run-ins I have had with dickish people in the last couple of days. One hurt my feelings and the other just pissed me off, and they are both a big part of what is wrong with this world we live in.

First: Saturday, I took my older daughter with me to Target to pick up Easter stuff (Yes, I realize that Saturday was the very day before Easter- my organizational skills suck. Badly.) and then afterwards, we stopped and picked up a bagel and some Starbucks. We drove over by the beach, parked on a dead end road, at the bottom of the hill, at the very front of a long line of cars. Most of the cars were empty behind me, and I figured someone had just left, creating this little, lucky empty spot for me to park. There were no signs telling me NOT to park there. So I did, and me and my kid just munched on our bagels and watched the surfers. Then a car came along and had a bit of a problem turning around at the bottom of the hill, where I happened to be parked. He had to back up and turn his wheel ONE extra time to clear my bumper. As he went by, I CLEARLY saw his mouth form the world ASSHOLE at me , as he glared. His wife fired off some insult or another as they passed, and I was like “What the F*** did I do?”  It really upset me- I was just sitting there, with my kid, enjoying the freaking day, and I got called an asshole because this jack-hole couldn’t turn his big ass truck around!

Second: (And this one is really lame.) Yesterday, I had a few extra minutes for once in my life, and I thought I would go spy on my daughter. She wasn’t where she was supposed to be, so I cruised slowly through the parking lot near that area, looking for her. As I cruised, a guy pulled out of a parking space directly in front of me, never even glancing behind him. I did not say a word, just looked at him. I watched as he backed right into the bumper of a gold Lexus. He looked at me. I looked at him. He started to inch forward, so his window was near my window. I could see his mind working, I really could. I rolled my window down and said to him “Don’t drive off. You just hit that car, handle your shit, man.” Those were my exact words. He nodded, his girlfriend nodded. He got out, walked to the car he hit, looked at it, looked at me…then he jumped in his car and BAILED.

I got his license plate number, I went in the store, told the manager what happened, blah blah blah. But I felt so deflated and bummed out by the whole encounter. I mean, for GOD’s sake, man! I get it- maybe he didn’t have insurance, he was scared, whatever. That is NO EXCUSE for being a lame ass, busting up someones car and then not doing the right thing. I bet, if he would have just explained to the Lexus owner what had happened, they would have worked it out with him. People are pretty reasonable, if you give them a chance and have a little common courtesy. I don’t know. I just wanted to expound on that a little.

People- please try not to be a dick today. As a representative of the world at large, I am thanking you in advance.

Write Like No One Is Reading…

Yesterday, my mother was upset with me. She said that I make her look “Like a monster.” in my blog posts…Although I tend to disagree, for the record, I would like it to be known that my mom is anything BUT a monster. She’s my mom- she’s tried her hardest to be there for me, she’s suffered a lot watching me suffer, she’s loved me no matter what. The last thing I want is to give the impression that she’s been a bad mom.

That being said, I did not have a perfect childhood (who has?). I did not have perfect parents (who did?). There was a lot of ugly stuff that went down, and I can’t pretend it didn’t. When I feel like I need to write about it, I’m going to. Let this serve as a blanket disclaimer, then- I don’t blame anyone for anything. I’m sorry if I write about you and it makes you feel bad- if I’m bothering to take the time to write about you, I must care for you an awful lot. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time.

One of the things I think people appreciate about me is that I am an honest girl. I think the best way I can honor myself  and the people that read the stuff I write is to continue to be myself, which means to be REAL. I like to talk about the things that I don’t always hear people talking about, because I’ve learned that people really, REALLY want to talk about it. They just don’t always know how. So I’m going to write like no one is reading, the way they tell us to “dance, like no one is watching.” I’m not trying to upset anyone. I’m trying to have a conversation with whoever wants to chime in.

In the last three months, I’ve told you that I feel middle aged and fat. I’ve told you that I smoke. I’ve shared with you that I am a recovering drug addict. I told you how much I yell, how much I eat, how much my teenage daughter hates me. I shared with you that I had a miscarriage three years ago, and that I wasn’t that thrilled (at first) to find myself pregnant at the age of 35. Looking at it THAT way, I’d say I’m not exactly painting myself in the grandest of lights, eh? But you guys told me you relate to that! That is reality for a lot of folks (hopefully not ALL of it, for your sake) and it’s the stuff we keep inside of ourselves…it’s the stuff that makes us feel different and shamed and apart from other people. My suspicion is that we ALL are just alike, we all have that stuff- and if we don’t, we just don’t YET.  No one goes through life unscathed.

The point is, I want to connect with people. I have always been this way- I never leave a grocery store without making a new friend. I’m the girl in the  office that you can talk to about ANYTHING, who will share right back with you. Nothing makes me feel better than connecting with another human being on a deeper level. When I write this blog, I want to connect with whoever is reading it. I may not be able to look you in the eye, but I do get to read your comments, here, and on Facebook, and I know that I am doing that.

If it means that I do it because we both had shitty parts of our childhoods, so be it. We made it anyway. If you relate to me because you have struggled with addiction, too- great! We are surviving, right? If you have a brother who is an alcoholic, a daughter that is a nightmare, a puppy who only eats your most expensive shoes, or a boyfriend who cheated on you, broke your heart, and you loved him anyway- guess what? If you read my blog, you will know you are not alone. I am proof positive that ALL of those things can happen in one – not -even-that-long-of-a-life, and happiness is still within your reach.

That is what I want you to take away from my blog. So I’m going to keep writing it, exactly this way. Sorry mom.

For My Baby Brother

Right now, you are high above the clouds, in an airplane. Maybe you are sleeping…maybe you are waking up and wondering how, exactly, your life wound up where it is right now. I’m sure that is a thought that has been coming up a lot in the months, the weeks, the hours that came before this flight. I know when I was in the dark place you have been in, that thought plagued me- how did I get here? And it’s twin-how will I ever get back? They wouldn’t leave me alone.

We have spent years and years in this half-relationship. Some of it because of my addiction, some of it because of yours, and some of it just due to time and distance apart. But that doesn’t erase the fact that I have this great and tender love for you, this burdensome thing-you are one of the only people I have a hard time expressing myself to, and one of the only ones I can’t ever seem to find the right words for. This love for you I carry around, it scares me, if you have to know. It seems like you are one of those people always two steps away from being lost to me forever- first, because of our crazy parents, then to your crazy lifestyle…loving someone like you is a study in vulnerability, and that is one role I don’t play too well.

When mom brought you home from the hospital and leaned down to show you to me for the first time, she said “Isn’t he beautiful?” and I thought, ‘My God, NO, he is hideous.” I guess I thought you would be a little older or something, but you were just this wrinkled up little poo-sack with a rotten stump where your belly button should have been. Totally gross.  Then, months passed, and I remember watching you in the back seat of the car- you looked me right in the eye, and my stomach did little flips, and I started to love you.

I loved you, demonic as you were, with your cowboy boots and your white blonde hair. I loved your big green eyes, and your tough attitude, because I knew it would save you. I loved you because you were in it with me, but I wished that you weren’t. The stuff we had to go through, no kid should ever have to see.

I can’t help but wonder how much of that stuff made you into the person you are today. I know it’s useless and pointless to blame anyone for the way we turn out, but it’s an awful shame when the people who are supposed to protect you fall short of the mark. Grown ups don’t see the way that little kids do…I know I was scared all the time, and you were born into a home full of anger and fear. I wish it had been different. For both of us.

I have watched you falling apart for such a long time now. I have heard all of the excuses mom has made, all of thehope she had and then lost, again and again, and I said nothing to you. Every time you called me, you were three sheets to the wind, anyway. Some of those times, I was okay, and some of them, I was in no position to offer advice, if you catch my drift. But every time I hung up the phone, I knew what you were, and I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it or change it or fix it. All I could do was let you go and hope you wound up somewhere safe.

It looks like maybe you will. I am so proud of you for getting on that plane today. While you are gone, you are going to learn a lot of great stuff about why you are the way you are, and what you can do to be someone else, a better, more well version of you. You are going to get stronger. When you come home, you are going to have some tools to keep you out of those dark places. You don’t ever have to feel the way you’ve felt for so long now, ever again- if you don’t want to.

You will be in my prayers every single day, and in the meant time, I will write your name on this date, on my calendar. Happy Birthday, brother. I love you with all of my heart.

Quick Update

So, I am a far more frequent yeller than I had ever suspected! Try as I might, I have yelled on at least five occasions since the beginning of this little endeavor. I am acutely aware of it now, though, so it should get easier.

My touchiest points seem to be while I am sleeping ( I kicked both the boyfriend and the baby out of “my” bed last night, as the baby seems to think it is loads of fun to head butt me while I snooze- NOT COOL. They were sent on their way with a few choice words) and in the mornings when I have very little control of my temper OR time. Both seem to get away from me with frightening ease.

So, I’m just checking in, letting you know where I am at. I know you are just sitting at your computer, waiting for me to write this, right? So here it is. You can go on with your day now. 🙂