Category Archives: Holidays

Over November

november rain

 

I am here, finally, to report that I made it through fucking November. You probably don’t even know why this is such a big deal, and quite frankly, neither do I- all I know is, for whatever reason, November is a HARD month for me. I seem to backslide a lot in November, and if you follow my blog at all, you know what I mean. If you don’t…sigh…I’ll just say it for you, but you really should go back and read some of my other stuff. It’s pretty entertaining. Anyway, I have a tendency to suffer terribly with addiction in the month of November. Actively, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, that didn’t happen this particular month. I think, this time, I was prepared for the weird onslaught of less desirable feelings I am beset by when the days get short, and it gets cold, and everything seems so hard to deal with. I basically gave myself permission to slack off in every other area, as long as I could just get through the month okay. That was my mantra- “Just Get Through This Month”. So, knowing what to expect, and cutting myself some slack, it seemed to do the trick.

It didn’t really hurt that I spent a week of that dreaded month in beautiful Maui, where November, apparently, does not hang out. They just double up on June over there. So I had an extra week of summer, which may have sustained me. I have been trying to figure out how to get back there ever since I have been home. I am not even kidding.

But now, sitting here, safely ensconced in December, I realize that, hard as November may be for me, it has also been a learning month for me. I have finally learned that this month is hard for me, and if I don’t want to be in big trouble, I need to formulate a plan to avoid it. Not the month, the big trouble. I have learned that I need to talk about it to the people I talk to these things about, and recognize the thought processes within me that lead me to dangerous ground.

November is a teacher, and this time I aced my exams. But still, I am glad it is over.

I know it has been a long time since my last post, and I feel really bad about it- especially since writing is, like, the best thing I know how to do. But sometimes, it’s just necessary to do what you have to do for yourself. That is what I have been doing. Hopefully, I am back for a while. 🙂

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5 Good Reasons to Go to the Party

christmas party

If you are like me, (and I hate to be the one to break it to you, but, no matter what you are telling yourself, you ARE) then something funny happens to you when you are invited to a party. I am not talking about a kids birthday party, either, because no one who has reached puberty ever wants to go to those, including the parents of the child whose birthday it is. We just go because it is the right thing to do, and also because if we don’t, they can opt out of OUR children’s future parties, and that, my friend, is where society starts to break down. We go to kids parties to fill seats at our own kids parties, essentially. Not pretty, but generally true. But, shockingly, I digress. What I AM talking about is an invitation to a grown-up party, say, perhaps, a Christmas party, for example. The kind that clearly, in writing, states “No Children”.

Sort of like the one I was given, about a month ago, by, ironically, the woman who runs my daycare. I know, I know- you are thinking “Your daycare lady invited you to an adults only Christmas party? Like, she’s a DAYCARE provider…so…I mean…how does she know about adult PARTIES?”, and I totally get where you are coming from. But, I assure you, this woman is not your typical mini-van, soccer mom, daycare lady. She is actually really cool. Way cooler than me, if I’m being real. She has ten, yes TEN, children of her own, most of whom are grown and out on their own. She is chill, in a “I raised ten kids, so there is pretty much nothing that can faze me” kind of way. She has cool hair, she works out in one of those cross-fit type gyms where it is pretty normal to throw up in the course of your morning, and she has a ton of friends. This lady knows how to throw a party. So, when I got my invitation, I felt like Charlie when he got the golden ticket.

I was fine, and super excited, until about Monday of last week. That’s when that weird thing that I have been trying to write about since the first paragraph started happening. And I am pretty sure you already know what I am going to say, since pretty much every single person I have brought it up to says they feel exactly the same. So, I am all set to go to the party. I have a sitter, I know what I am bringing (everyone was told to bring appetizers instead of kids) (that was not really how it was said, of course) and I am pretty clear on what I am wearing. Except…all of the sudden, I don’t really want to go. I am tired. I won’t even know anyone there. She only invited me to be polite…she doesn’t really want me to actually show up. These are actual thoughts I had leading up to the day of the party. The day of the party, yesterday, they only intensified, and it was like there was an actual battle going on inside of me- there was the me that was going to the goddamned party, if for no other reason than I said that I would, and there was the crazy me, who was like ” But I am TIRED!” “Why are you doing this to me? This is going to SUCK!” “You are going to feel so stupid walking in there all alone!” “You are definitely going to embarrass yourself.” And on and on and on…

But you know what? Fuck that crazy voiced me! I was going to the party. And I did. And you know what? It was way, super, fun. So, here are five reasons why you should squash that asshole part of you that wants you to stay home for the rest of your life, and go to the party, even when you are nervous:

1) Go because you don’t even remember the last time you wore high heels- I mean, yes, you may be wearing them with jeans, but they are tight, moderately uncomfortable jeans, and that counts for something, right? I mean, seriously, there is more to life than yoga pants (and scrubs, if you are me, which you clearly are not, but you know what I mean), Ugg boots or tennis shoes, and bra-optional environments (If you are over 30 and an A cup, home is really the only bra optional environment, just to be clear.). Suck it up for one night, and suck it in- it won’t kill you. If you aren’t sure how to doll yourself up for an evening event, just do what I did, and put on MORE make-up- wing your eyeliner, re-apply your mascara, pick the next darkest shade of eye shadow, wear red lipstick. Curl your hair. So what if it’s raining, you will still think you look like you did when you left your house, and besides…there may just be one 29 year old girl at the party who nearly dies of shock when she learns you are ten full years older than her. I loved that girl, bless her little heart.

2) Go because you will know at least a couple of people there, even if it’s just the person who invited you, and one or two of her friends. If you live in a smaller town, like I do, you will know at least two people well, and be familiar with others, and it will be good to talk again without kids interrupting- even if all you talk about are the kids that you are finally getting a break from.

3) Go because you have probably forgotten how awesome you are! Seriously, all that stuff you were thinking, about how socially awkward and inappropriate you are? Hogwash! The vision you had in your head of sitting, alone, in a corner chair, trying not to see the pity in everyone’s eyes as they avoided you? Uh…that is not going to happen. Chances are, if you have a night like I had, you will remember how good you are at talking to people, about anything at all, and you will realize that all the mean things your teenage daughter said about your awful personality were total LIES. People love you.

4) Go because you are almost certainly going to find yourself laughing out loud, with other people, not the “LOL” we use as a response on Facebook. It feels really good to actually laugh, out loud, with other grown ups.

5) Go, because all of these things, above, will make you feel really, really, good about yourself, and we could all use a little of that, am I right? You need to break from your stifling routine sometimes, painful as the process may be, simply because you have almost certainly forgotten how much fun you can have…And more importantly, how much fun you can BE.

I am so glad I did not allow the paranoid, reclusive, side of me to talk me out of what turned out to be a really great night. I hope you take my advice and go. There may be a million lame excuses you are making to stay home, but now you have five solid reasons you should go- have fun, and happy holidays!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

ghosts

So, the seasons are changing, the nights are getting colder, perhaps fires are being lit in your living room (or if you are super lucky, your bedroom) hearths. Your front step may show evidence of the fast approaching Halloween, little pumpkins waiting to be carved into smiles and grimaces. I even have a scarecrow this year! What better time, then, to bring up a subject that almost everyone loves to chime in on- GHOSTS! If you don’t have a story of your own, you definitely have heard plenty over the years, right?

My question to you is, do you believe in ghosts? Like, REALLY believe in them? My sincere hope is that everyone reading this will share their stories in the comments below, or on my Facebook page, because, on top of the fact that I LOVE to tell my own personal ghost story, I SO love hearing other people’s personal encounters with the paranormal. Now, I am going to tell you mine, and it is 100% true! If you don’t believe me, you can totally ask my mother, as she was there and lived through it, too. Some of her memories will be different than mine- this all started when I was eight years old- but I can promise you that it was an experience neither of us will ever forget.
So, when I was 8, my mother was pregnant with my brother, and we moved into a bigger house, a pretty nondescript, standard, home at 530 W. Dayton, in Fresno. It was a hideous mustard color, at least when we got there, but it had a huge backyard. Anyway, within our first few days there, the first thing happened, and it is the one that I am the most confident of all of. I was laying on my twin bed in my little room, and my mom and grandma had just walked out a few moments before. I was reading (of course), when suddenly, the top drawer of my dresser, right next to the bed, just slid open, all the way. Quickly, as if someone had yanked it, hard. I remember being SO terrified that I couldn’t scream- I opened my mouth to yell for my mom, and nothing came out. By the time I could make a sound, I felt quite wild and deranged. The women came running back in, and I told them what had happened, but I could tell they didn’t believe me.
Pretty soon, though, my mom and my step dad, and eventually, even my little brother, were quite aware that we were not living in that house alone. There was tons of regular poltergeist activity, ranging from footsteps in the hall, to glasses and dishes rattling in the cupboard, to entire boxes of cereal flying across the room. No Shit. The rocking chair would rock with no one in it, and no breeze to explain it, things would disappear and then show up in impossible places.
If that had been all of it, I think it would have been bearable. But it seemed to escalate, and the atmosphere in that house became truly unbearable. I don’t know how to explain it to you- if you have ever lived in a house with an unhappy spirit, you will know exactly what I mean…I was eleven, and I couldn’t be alone in that house. I would walk home from school, unlock the front door, and try to sit on the couch to watch TV. Most of the time, the feeling in that place was so oppressive, so terrifying, that I would wind up sitting on the front step until my parents got home. I couldn’t even be in there. You were never alone, and whatever lived there, unseen, did not want me there.
My mother was up late one night, and she heard my brother walking ( he was a toddler, then) down the hall towards her room. She was reading, and she didn’t look up until the footsteps stopped at the foot of her bed, and a strange voice said “Mama!”. Then, her head snapped up, and no one was there. My brother was asleep in his bed. Eventually, he refused to go into his room at night, screaming in terror, and pointing into the corners, hysterical. I will let my mom finish that story, though, because I don’t really remember it well.
We later learned, from our amazing neighbors, Jack and Hazel, who had lived there since the beginning of time, that a small child had died of Leukemia or something in our very house. So that explains the little footsteps we heard often, and the voice in my mom’s room. But I have always felt like there was something much older and more negative in that place than any lost little child’s soul could ever be. I will probably never know the whole story, since we moved many years ago…but I have always wondered if the people who lived there after us had any similar experiences.
I have had other things happen in my life, but that one was definitely the longest…and for sure, the scariest. So, How about you? Do you believe in Ghosts? And if so, why? Tell me your story! I am so excited, I can’t wait!
Happy Almost Halloween!