May 31, 2012

Good Bones are Hard to Find

This isn't particularly interesting or funny, but I have to set the stage for the Hurricane Katrina blogs, which are coming, at some point. 

I’m feeling all nostalgic today because Dave’s brother is here working downstairs.  He’s worked for Dave for years, and he helped Dave to be as successful as he was as a contractor, because he’s a jack of all trades and a fine carpenter, too.  Dave was in the business of renovating old houses.  Since almost every house in this city is old, it was a good business to be in.  Dave was really good great at what he did, because he was a perfectionist.  It used to drive me a little crazy.  I used to tell him, “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘that’s good’ and be done.”  He wouldn’t hear of it.  I once made him house shop with me before we undertook another addition/remodel here.  Most of these older homes have additions on them.  He wouldn’t even consider anything that had been remodeled already, for fear that anyone would think *he* had done that kind of shitty work.  Some weren’t that bad.  Mostly they were shit.  People are stupid.  I bought this house we live in now in the 90s.  It was a 1200 square foot 1920s bungalow, on a tree lined with 100 year old oaks.  I remember what I loved about it when I first got out of the car that day.  I could hear the city, hear the cars, hear the hustling and bustling off in the distance, but I could also hear nature immediately surrounding me.  The humongous canopy of trees was home to hundreds of birds, squirrels, cats, possum, raccoon…..just life.  There were even parakeets in the trees.  (Still are.)  Right outside the door was incredibly peaceful, but the comforting sounds of the city were just far enough away.  I love knowing that I’m 10 minutes away from some of the finest dining establishments in the world.  Not the country.  The world.  I’m not sure how you survive away from the culture that is this city.  I lived in Florida for 10 years when I was in my 20s, and it’s the reason I left.  I couldn’t handle the small city a second more.  A certain feeling came over me every time I returned to Nola.  I once had that feeling in another place.  It was fleeting.  I was in Paris.  I’m convinced there are many more ancient cities that would allow me to have that feeling.  I can’t wait to visit them when the darlings can allow it.  In the 1990s, people were paying $225,000 for small post-war brick cottages on city-sized lots in our neighborhood, and tearing them down to build their dream homes.  Some neighbors were freaking out about it; they were nostalgic for the old Lakeview.  There’s not much you can do to give a post-war box house swag.  If there was, I would have figured it out and bought and sold a hundred of them back then.  It ended up not mattering a whole lot anyway, because in 2005 Katrina smacked us, hard, and our whole city went under water.  Around here Katrina is a way of life.  She’s a person.  Not a hurricane.  We loathe the bitch.   But as with anything, there can always be a silver lining.  While many homes did get torn down and rebuilt from scratch, many of the 1930s and older homes got what they needed anyway.  Aggressive makeovers.  Some people were complete idiots, throwing their old double hung cypress windows, solid cypress doors, and historic woodwork on the curb.  Now they live in old houses that really aren’t old.  We didn’t remodel that way, ever.  There is a reason living in an old house is kind of neat.  The reason is that it’s old.  You can’t buy that stuff anymore.  You can have it replicated for a small fortune.  It smells old, it looks old, and it feels old.   The lady I bought this house from lived here for 70 years.  She moved in when she was 19 and died here when she was 90.  We’re only the second people to ever live here.  The 1200 square foot cypress bungalow is now a 4000 square foot raised basement style house.  After Katrina, my next door neighbors decided not to move back into their house, because it was too small and the lot wasn’t big enough for an addition.  So we bought a 1919 bungalow across the street, put an addition on it that looks 100 years old, and sold it to those neighbors, so we could have their house next door.  We dismantled whatever was valuable on it, and tore the rest down.  We raised our house up a story, then used their windows and doors, which matched the ones on my house, for the first floor basement part.  I effectively made my house a two story house then, and my kids now have a much bigger yard to play.  I remember when we were landscaping their new house across the street; a friend of mine was helping me.  My neighbor asked her if she was a landscaper.  She said, “No, I just do what the madwoman tells me.”  My neighbor laughed and said, “Me too, she told me to sell her my house and buy this one, so I did.”

May 30, 2012


I’m dressed in real clothes and not a bathing suit for the first time in five days.  It’s been a hella fun few days being on the go with the darlings.  Little darling needs a break though.  His fit throwing is reaching epic proportions and I don’t want to have to give him away if he collapses to the floor like a wet noodle and calls us all ‘butt asses’ one more time. 

For those of you having body issues, might I suggest a day at a water park?  These places are full of Walmart shoppers, only here they are in their bathing suits.  You’ll feel like a supermodel.  I should probably make another public service announcement:  Ladies, if your boobs can touch your belly button, I’m pretty sure you’ll benefit from a bathing suit that has some type of underwire support.  Steer clear of the plunging neckline type suits.  These are for supermodels ONLY, and should not be sold in any store.  I’m tired of getting a little bit of vomit near my throat when I look at horrendously saggy boobs in improper swim wear.

Mother Nature is now challenging my assertion that I don’t need a man, because there is currently a ‘rodent’ behind the panel of my whirlpool tub.  The only problem is that no one can figure out how he got there, or how to get him out.  Shit will now have to be taken apart, because I hear this ‘thing’ chewing something right on the other side of the panel at night.  We may even have to burn the house down.  I don’t even care.  I’m not scared of gangstas, but I can’t deal with a mouse running all over my shit.  I’m convinced it’s not even a mouse, but possibly a rat.  Even worse, I imagine teeth the size of nutria just chomping away at whatever the fuck rodents eat under bathtubs.

In addition to the mouse, I had not one but a pair of giant cockroaches in my kitchen earlier in the week.  I sprayed them with Windex, along with my toaster, butter and coffee pot.  I handled it like the stealth ninja chick that I am.  But I don’t do mice.  Ya hurd me?  Chardonnay does not cohabitate with mice.  I am itching and tickling and creeped out 24/7 right now.  I knew this shit was coming too.  The giant la cucaracha have been crashing into my windows at night when I’m cleaning the kitchen.  We still have termites swarming periodically at night, and also a mama raccoon and five babies living in the vacant house next door to us.  (Thanks Hurricane Katrina!  It’s been 7 years; there are still a few vacant houses on every block.)

A few nights ago I swore I heard footsteps in my house.  So vivid.  So loud.  I was sure one of the kids was up.  Nope, everyone was in bed.  I whispered out loud to Dave, “You don’t need to be up in here scaring me.”  When I realized I was having a conversation with a ghost, I threw in for good measure, “You better figure out how to help your son, you fucked him all up and I don’t know what to do about it.”  Middle darling had gone to bed that night telling me that he hates bedtime because getting in bed at night and closing his eyes makes him think sad things about daddy.  Did I mention how much I hate you motherfucker?  Come into this house, you piece of shit, and I will go Ghostbusters on your ass.  No part of you is welcome here, evil bastard.  What kind of narcissist kills himself in the garage and leaves his own children to find him, while the mother is away?  Why didn’t he get into his vehicle and drive the fuck away?  Drive to your fucking drug dealer’s house, you fucking loser, and let him lie awake at night and think of your dead body.  I swear I could explode with hatred.  The baby won’t remember, he was too little.  But my little mini me, I swear if it’s the last thing I do, I will make it alright for this child. 

May 25, 2012

Just bathe in the light of the universe instead....

A few observations about summer:  I have about 20 beach towels.  I need about 692 more.  We each have a couple of bathing suits.  We each need about 468 more.  Summer is expensive.  I’m driving all over to mad parties with rambunctious crazy kids, but who cares, because I’m sitting in a lounger with a cocktail and a bunch of rambunctious crazy muthas.  Just as I was thinking my kids might be festering some sort of disease from, uh, not bathing every night, I read a facebook post from a friend who said her kids were in 3 different pools yesterday, so she’s not bathing them.  Ya hurd me?   Good.  We’re not bathing either, then.  I haven’t packed a lunch in days.  In fact, I threw away all the lunchboxes because they were getting stinky.  Fuck washing them.  I tossed them.   I have declared a ‘no sock’ rule.  You know how much I hate matching socks.  I loathe it.  I hate it as much as painting and cleaning toilets.  If I catch you with socks on, well, I don’t know what’s gonna happen.  I’ll probably just flip you over and pull them off and throw them away instead of washing them.  Flip flops are for summer.  Little darling acts all like he can’t maneuver them.  Tough shit.  Learn to move those feet in a flip flop.  Can’t run in them?  Kick them off and run barefoot.  It’s good for your feet.  My house is mostly staying clean, which makes me tingly, because we are not here, and if we are, we are outside.  Keeping the patio clean is much easier.  I just blast the shit with the hose.  I love it!  I so wish I could do that to my kitchen floor.  Yesterday I caught myself saying, “Don’t eat that in the kitchen, go on the patio!”  This is funny, because usually I’m saying, “Don’t eat that in the living room, go to the kitchen!”  The beach is calling me, ya hurd me?  I need my feet in the sand, I need to be dancing on a boat with the muthas, I need to let little darling swim with the dolphin, and I need a grouper sammich.  Soon.  Very soon.

I’m realizing something that first occurred to me shortly after Dave died, but it’s occurring to an even greater degree now, because more time has passed and we’re moving further away from the trauma and shock of ‘the incident’.  When a person in your home, a caregiver, a spouse, anyone is suffering from depression, your whole house is bathed in black, dreary light.  For as much as I was ‘normal’ and did my job as the overcompensating mother, for as much happiness as the darlings spun each day, there was still a black cloud above us.  It was Dave.  It was his addiction, his lies, his depression.  He did a bang up job of disguising it, but you really can’t fool the universe.  It was all still there.  And we all felt it.  When he died, I immediately sensed that it left us.  Mind you, what was left in its place was horrible, and definitely not better.  But I sensed that his black cloud was gone.  We had our own black clouds then.  But we’ve been determined to blow them away for almost a year now.  Sometimes it still rains, but mostly there is sun.  I suspect most of the world lives this way as well.   I’ve been getting loads of messages on the blog from people saying they are living with a Dave, or that they are a Dave.  One even said I saved his life.  I don’t take this lightly, of course.  I’m not a professional.  Clearly, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.  I’m just a girl, actually a ninja, superwoman, goddess of everything.  I don’t want people to live under black clouds.  It’s not necessary.  It’s sad.  It’s damp.  It’s cold.  Happiness is free.  Declare it.  Seek it.  Be determined to find it.  It’s warm.  It’s beautiful.  It’s an ocean of love.  I get that some people have physical issues that may cause the warm glow to be elusive.  Don’t let that stop you.  I didn’t even realize we were living under the black cloud.  All I knew was that things were way harder than they needed to be.  I’m the goddess of everything, and I still couldn’t figure it out.  That blows me away.  But I have it figured out now.  Seek God.  If you don’t ‘get that’, then seek the light, the good, the warm glow of the universe.  It’s all the same thing.  Call it what you want.  But don’t stop until you’re bathed in it, until it washes all over you and heals you, because it can.  Declare it now.  It’s yours for the taking.  A free gift from the universe.  You just have to want it.  Seek it.  Spin it!

May 22, 2012

The Queen Protects the King

Middle darling was enjoying his peanut butter and jelly sandwich outside today when he casually mentioned that ‘red things remind him of daddy.’  I flew to the table and sat down and said, “What do you mean, buddy?”  I knew what he was going to say.  Blood.  The color of the jelly reminded him of Dave’s fucking blood.   How is this my life?  How is it his?  How can I protect my children when a fucking pb&j makes him think of Dave being covered in blood on the garage floor? 

I hate Dave so much.  Hate.   I realize more and more that the blow is softened because I don’t love him anymore.  I can’t love a motherfucker who did this to my kids.  I don’t care if he was sick, crazy, any of it.  I hate his ass.  I forgave him a long time ago, because I needed to do it for me.  But we are divorced. 

I sat in my bedroom one day and spoke out loud to him.  I told him the act was unforgivable, and because of it I could no longer love him or be married to him.  Everything changed for me that day.  It was that day, I leapt forward and said fuck it.  I’m done being tortured by this man.  The game is over, and I’m running this motherfucker now. 

My kids don’t have the pleasure of hating him, or allowing themselves to fall out of love with him.   He is their daddy.  No matter what your parents do to you, you always love them.  When I cry, when I’m sad, when I say, ‘I miss him’…it’s not “him” that I miss.  I miss being a family.  I miss having a husband.  I miss my kids having a daddy. 

I can hardly remember him being truly happy and healthy.  It all happened so gradually…he took a step back each day for years.  I try to remember the things I loved about him.  I remember so much of what was wrong, instead.  I don’t want to be a hater.  The best I can do is remember that he had many good qualities, as a person.  He truly did.  It's really sad to think just how long it’s been since I’ve been truly loved, and content.  Way too long.  Because it was over for us way before ‘it was over.’  I beat my head against the brick wall until I had no fight left.  Apathy is the end for me.   That’s why he did this.  Because I finally said fuck you…I’m out.  And he called my bluff.  And said no…fuck you.  I’M OUT!  For once, he was more powerful than me.  And he proved it.  I wasn’t going to be there to hold him up anymore.  And he couldn’t live without my fight.  My love is not regular.  When I love, I love with fierce abandon.  Until I can’t anymore.   Imagine the fight I fought.  I am powerful.  Passionate.  My heart is mostly on fire.  It’s good to be loved by me.  It’s good to be defended by me.  I know this.  Because I love me, too.

May 20, 2012

Ridiculous shit

I swear to you people, I do not make any of this shit up.  I keep waiting for the day that there is just nothing to say.  The day does not come.  Again I must rant about shit.  Literal shit.  It seems no matter how diligently I declare myself the Director of Awesomeness, the gods insist on reminding me that I am indeed their shit magnet.

We were all in the backyard yesterday.  Swimming, playing, and enjoying the afternoon.  Suddenly middle darling is standing before me, with his pants around his ankles.  I thought maybe he was peeing by a tree.  He looks me squarely in the eyes and says, “My pants fell down and poo slipped out of my butt.”  Come again, you strange creature?  I repeat it back to him, because surely I’ve heard it wrong.  My five year old did not just say to me that his pants ‘fell down’ and ‘poo slipped out of his butt.’  The terrified look on his face told me that he already knew he’d made a terrible decision.  There is a bathroom 20 steps away. 

I stood there for a moment, trying to collect myself.  My first thought, thanks to the Diary, was ‘blog fodder’.  I approached the tree and there it was, already covered in flies.  My God, what kind of animals am I raising?  Who does this?  What kind of people shit in yards?  I have a flash back to my own childhood, when my dad once caught a neighbor girl pooping by one of our trees.  This makes me feel slightly better.  Other kids have done this. 

I may die if I get near this pile of human waste, so his punishment is that he has to pick up the pile of vileness.  It has leaves on it, and the heat has multiplied the smell exponentially.  He performs the task with his usual brand of serious drama, making a smeary mess and causing my blood to boil and my stomach to retch.  I told him he was punished, because people do not shit in yards, but mostly because he has lied to me.  God, please don’t let him have the liar gene too.  I softened up a bit.  Maybe he is not an animal.  I hugged him and apologized for the bat shit crazy screaming, which was probably too mean. 

Unfortunately, I forgot about the punishment of not swimming today, because I was hung over and needed the pool to keep them occupied.  I had a fun night with the muthas last night.  A cute waiter over-served me some sneaky margaritas.  I was cocky and didn’t perform the proper ceremonial rituals in order to avoid a hangover.  I definitely drank too much because the latter part of the night is somewhat sketchy, but I definitely remember calling a certain ‘big daddy’ a pussy, repeatedly. 

I’ve been trying to think of a name for the husbands of the muthas.  I think I’m stealing ‘big daddies’ as the new name for the husbands.  The muthas are blessed with these men, and I love them just like the muthas.  The big daddies love me because I tell their wives to give them blow jobs and sleep with them, because that is what I miss about having a husband.  (Ok, maybe not the blowjob part.)  I know husbands can be assholes.  Men are a strange lot.   I still can’t figure them out, and I’m pretty smart.  But I demand that you all love each other for me.  I can’t stop preaching it.

Many people have emailed and commented in the last few days saying, “Please don’t quit writing.”  I did reveal the other day that I resist the urge to take the blog down every day.  I waffle because I know I’m pushing the envelope.  I read what I’ve written through the eyes of another person, and I feel so exposed.  I’m impulsive and raw and real and people love it, but I’m also exposing so much of myself.  Even I am not always comfortable with it.  I get notes everyday from people saying the most beautiful things to me.  I’m starting to realize that besides being wildly therapeutic for me, and amusing and healing and interesting for other people, there is another element as well.  People root for me, they egg me on, and they encourage me.  It’s awesome and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that before, to be honest.  Suddenly, I’m not all alone, with the darlings, trying to find my way out of the darkness.  People from across the globe are holding their hands out to me.  It’s incredibly humbling and comforting that people care about us.  So now I can’t quit.  Because I need you all.

May 18, 2012

Nectar of the gods

I keep hoping that my boring life will get even more boring and I will run out of material.  Unfortunately, it does indeed seem the gods enjoy taunting me.  They keep thinking I will just lie down and give up.  But I just won’t.  I can’t.  I never will.  Truthfully, I’m a bit amused by the sport.  I’m competitive by nature.

Yesterday was the last day of school for the two small darlings.  As we walked out yesterday, a flood of emotions grabbed me by the throat.  Middle darling will not walk back through these doors again.  Next year he’ll be in kindergarten, wearing his little uniform and being a big boy.  My babies are growing up.  God, help me to enjoy these days, because I know I will blink my eyes and they will be gone.  It’s so hard to enjoy them sometimes, because I’m so overwhelmed by them.  I’m so afraid that it’ll be the one thing I’m truly sorry about, in the future.  That I was just too overwhelmed to extract every bit of the sweet littleness from them while I still could.

We all went to watch their adorable end of year program last night.  My boy is such a clown.  I’ve tried to warn the elementary school, this child is nothing like his quiet older brother.  He is silly.  He is relentless.  He is selfish.  He doesn’t take no for an answer.  He talks back.  Constantly.  Questions authority.   He wants more, demands more, and can never be satisfied with what he has.  He is me, only little.  I know these qualities will serve him well as an adult, when the gods hand him his ass, over and over.  But right now, these qualities stress me.  They cause me to do that thing, where you squeeze their little arm, lean in real close, grit your teeth and hiss some mean mommy words.  We need to find our way, me and this little guy.  He is the sunshine in my life, and the shit on the bottom of my shoe.  I worship him and cringe simultaneously.

He chose our dinner last night (pizza) and then we went for ice cream after the program.  We really had a nice night, and he was comical with the excitement.  It was past bedtime when we got home, little darling had begun running fever, and the termites were swarming everywhere around the bright lights on our front porch.  In this city, the spring months are woeful for termites.  They swarm like there’s no tomorrow around every light source, and they are fueled by the fact that every house in our neighborhood is nearing a century old.  We spend the nights in darkness, because they’re attracted to the lights.  I put my key in the door while simultaneously batting away the disgusting creatures that were landing in my hair and beginning to crawl on my arms and face.  I pressed the clicker to open the door, and BAM.  The gods began to laugh.  And I began to panic.  We were locked out.  No key could gain us entry.  Because someone pressed the little locking button on the inside of the ancient mortise lock.  And it means the door can’t be opened.  Not even with a key.  I guess it’s what people used to use a million years ago, to lock their doors at night?  Why would anyone ever think this is a good idea?  Ordinarily, we could just walk to the back door and let ourselves in through the back.  Only when I got robbed last year and the loser thug left with my keys and my vehicle, Dave’s brother changed the deadbolts on both my doors.  Because he is just like Dave, I was left with a slight problem.  I couldn’t unlock the back door from outside.  The key wouldn’t turn.  Something was wrong.  And it never got fixed.   I stood there, on my front porch, with my chest heaving.  My heart pounding.  With termites swarming and crawling all over us.  The darlings are tired, one is sick, and there is no way in.  I had no choice but to break glass.  A part of me wanted to break every pane, go insane, rip my hair and then set it ablaze.  Of course I didn’t.  The darlings were already frightened.  So we broke into our own house, quickly turned off the alarm and began sweeping up broken chards of glass.  I get the pleasure of forking out grocery money for someone to fix it, and change the lock on the back door to one that actually facking works. 

I am fodder to the gods.  I get that.  I imagine myself as this little puppet, on a string, and they play with me.  I laugh and spit in their faces. The universe delights in my resilience.  Today, I start directing awesomeness my way.  I demand it.  It will come to me. Gods be damned.

May 16, 2012

Lords of Acid

I’ve been freaking out the past few days because I’m gradually running out of money.  The little pot of money we have managed to survive on for the last ten months will dwindle down to nothing by the end of the summer.  And then, life as we know it will change drastically once again.  I will have to go back to work.  This freaks me out.  I already feel overburdened and that I do the jobs of at least two people.  Now I will have to learn to do it minus 40 hours a week.  I’ve said many times in the past that we are not only surviving, but, indeed, thriving, because it’s my sole focus.  I’m focused on the four of us, and nothing else.  None of my precious energy is directed outside of this home.  How will I manage?  Who will do all these things that I do?  Right now the baby goes to school three days a week.  During those three days, I do the things that I would rather not do with three kids.  I get time to myself during these days, too.  On Mondays, after I drop them all off, I swear sometimes I just wander around here in an almost catatonic state.  It’s times like this, right now, that I hate Dave so much.  I hate that he was so sick and twisted that he actually believed killing himself was going to be good for us.  What kind of sick fuck can honestly believe that?  Everyone keeps saying they feel certain good things will come to us.  I believe in my heart that is true.  I really do see wild success.  But I’m not sure it’s going to come without some hard work.  I need to find a way to work without being too stressed out and overburdened.  Or I need a suga daddy.  I really just need to win the lottery, and since I feel extremely deserving I think I will start buying more tickets.

I had my pool water tested today and they told me to add muriatic acid to the pool.  They said to keep it away from the kids, because it’s hazardous.  So I put on a pair of gloves and carefully poured what I needed into a glass container and poured it into the pool.  They didn’t tell me when this shit hits the water it makes a big deadly plume of lethal gas!  Oh my fack!  I breathed in the deadly plume and thought I was dying.   Why do they sell this dangerous stuff at a store?  Holy crap!  This stuff is outrageously dangerous.  I don’t even want this in my house.  People think guns are dangerous?  No, people.  This shit, this shit is dangerous.  I ran inside and started googling that I breathed too much, to make sure I wasn’t going to die in the yard.  I guess I am exaggerating the toxic effects, because you would have to breathe more of it to kill you.  But I’m extremely sensitive to chemicals.  My throat burns right now and so does my chest.  I already loathe chemicals and hate smells.  I can’t even clean my own toilets.  I despise bathroom cleaners.  My kids cause me all kinds of pain because they bring me smelly things, like homemade potpourri and scented things they made in school.  What is all that shit?  Why is every commercial for some air freshener that is intended to mask the smell of something stinky?  Why do your houses stink, people?  You want some air freshener?  Open your windows.  Fresh air is free.  Why does everyone think they need all this strong smelly-ness.  I use unscented everything.  My soap has maybe a little lavender in it.  I smell good.  I’m clean and girly.  I don’t smell like apples or peaches or rain water or tropical breeze.  We are supposed to smell like people.  Stop covering up the pheromones, humans.  The smell of a real person is a good thing.  Dave’s arm pit smell used to turn me on.  Don’t even try to lie and act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’m not talking about being stinky.  It’s not a gross smell I’m talking about.  I’m talking about being clean with natural, body scents.  So quit febreezing everything.  I think when you stop using all that scented stuff, your nose becomes more sensitive.  When someone else washes my kids’ clothes my kids ask me to wash the shirts again, because the smell of their detergent is too strong.   If you see no further posts from me, please call the EMTs and tell them I breathed too much muriatic acid.  God, I hope it didn’t affect my champion smeller!

May 13, 2012


Happy Muthas Day my friends!  I hope everyone had a good day.  I will be honest and just say that I’m glad the day is almost over.  I didn’t do my usual ‘pre holiday panic’ and that ended up biting me in the ass, just a little.   

My mother in law had my kids Friday night, and she took them to buy gifts for me.  I bought myself a charm for my bracelet.  The Chinese symbol for Eternity.  Fitting, right? 

This blog has made it possible for me to ‘meet’ some special muthas, some of whom are very unfortunately in the same boat as I am, as it relates to being spousal suicide survivors with kids.  I got emails from a few of them last night, and everyone had the holiday jitters.  That was my first indication that I wasn’t prepared emotionally. 

My kids were super excited about Mother’s Day this year, which was just incredibly cute.  Middle darling especially.   I woke up to them standing next to me with big grins.  Big darling brought my coffee, and we opened gifts then cuddled like a litter of kittens.  Awesomeness.  Then I said, “Let’s all kiss.”  Innocent enough, right?  But here is the thing.  This phrase has special meaning in our house.  When big darling was big enough to know what was going on, he and Dave and I used to do this constantly.  We’d be standing in the kitchen, having a moment, and someone would say, “Let’s all kiss” and we would all 3 put our lips together, so we were each touching everyone else, and we would smooch it up.  When middle darling came along, it was harder to still reach everyone’s lips, but we still did it.  By the time little darling was born, we weren’t having a whole lot of those ‘moments’, but we managed to make it happen at least a couple times.  So, I said it this morning, and they all jumped on me and kissed me, but a very specific pair of lips were missing, and that was it.  Attack of the grief ninja.  The tears just flowed.  I tried hard not to let the little darlings see them, because they really wanted me to have a happy day. 

They were insistent on beignets for breakfast, so we ran quickly to CafĂ© du Monde.  My house was a complete disaster because I was slightly hungover on Saturday from Friday night, so I stayed busy this morning trying to clean up before we left for my grandmother’s house.  My 93 year old grandmother cooks crawfish bisque every Mother’s Day, without fail.  This is bar none the best food in the world and everyone knows it.  Dave looked forward to this meal all year.  People don’t cook this anymore.  It’s a huge pain in the ass, but so worth it.  Even thinking of the bisque made me sad. 

When we were ready to leave, I called out for all the darlings to go and stand by the front door.  Big darling ran back and asked for a squirt of Dave’s cologne.  (Oddly enough, “Eternity”)  I said, “Oh geez honey you’re going to smell like daddy all day and make me cry.”  He’s 10, he just smiled.  He grabbed the bottle and squirted it, then skipped happily out of the room.  And when the smell hit my nose I had to grab hold of the closet door to keep from falling down.  The grief ninja had just kicked me square in the gut.  I couldn’t breathe.  The wind was knocked right out of me.  I knew they were all by the front door, so I just sobbed, so hard.  I knew I had to let it out.  Keeping it in was physically hurting me. 

I recovered as quickly as I could, rushed them into the car, and then just let the tears fall all the way to Mimi’s house.  By the time we got there, I felt better, and that was that.  The kids had a great day playing with cousins and we came home to a clean house and had a quick swim.  

I scored big time for supper too, because I nonchalantly rummaged through the basement freezer after handing little darling a popsicle this evening and found a container of crab and corn soup.

My lesson for today is that I am not this badass superwoman that I pretend to be most of the time.  This shit comes out of nowhere, even when I’m thinking, “I got this.”  Now I’m really scared for our anniversary, really scared for Father’s Day, really scared for his birthday, really scared for D-Day.  I need to be smart.  I need to have rock solid plans.  I need to lay down and cry and kick and scream and let this beast out before then.  Pre panic.  I think it’s my small way of attempting slight control over the grief.  Because I hate the uncontrollable grief.  I need to go stealth on the grief ninja.  I have all these dates barreling towards me, and the thought of being incredibly sad again is just painful.  I need to make beach plans.  We need father’s day plans.  I need to make the Disney plans.  We need to be far away from here.  In a magical place.  Because it’s going to take some serious fucking magic to get me through this.  Plans.  Pink elephants.  The beach.  Disney.  Ya hurd me?

May 11, 2012

360 mirrors are not for pussies!

It’s officially summer.  The pool is up.  Yay me!  The patch over the bullet hole was re-patched.  Yay me! The rafts are floating.  Yay me!  I bought another bathing suit today.  Yay for chicks who are 29 and who look hot in bikinis.  Let me just pause for a moment, and make myself feel awesome by saying that I’m pretty hot with clothes on, ya hurd me?  I can fool most people most of the time into truly believing that I am indeed one hot mama.  However, the level of hotness falls quickly off the chart when I am nearly naked, standing under bright lights, in a dressing room, with mirrors surrounding me.  That’s when you just say out loud, “What the fucking fuck is this?”  I always wanted a 360 mirror, because I used to watch Stacey and Clinton a lot, and I think it’s good to know what you really look like from all angles.  But I don’t really want to stand naked in one very often.  Every flaw is visible.  There should be mandatory soft lighting in dressing rooms that sell bathing suits.  Victoria’s Secret, if you have noticed, has some kind of special mirrors and lighting that make you think you are just a couple notches under a supermodel.  Other stores do not have this gentle lighting.  These Victoria’s Secret people, they are smart. That’s why they sell shit-tons of lingerie.

 Fun flirting today with a cute guy at a wine store.  I am nothing if not a flirt.  Cute guy had an Adonis body and incredible green eyes, but also a white tan line on his ring finger, like he just took it off a few days ago, or maybe worse it was still in his pocket?  I was having fun until I saw that…then I bolted.  The newly divorced are a scary lot.  Call me when you no longer remember your old address.  My girlfriends have already fussed at me since everyone my age will be divorced.  Duh.  I’m just not dealing with divorced five minutes ago, or in this case, ‘thinking about getting divorced so I’ll just slip this ring in my pocket.”  I should have just called out “I’m not as hot as you think!” as I hustled little darling out the door.

I had ‘THE talk’ with big darling last night, accidentally.  He was watching “That 70’s Show” and I could hear them talking about sex repeatedly.   Putting great emphasis on the word.  Apparently the skinny guy on the show was trying to cover up the fact that he’d just had sex with the cute red head.  I had no choice but to walk in there and ask if he knew what sex was.  He giggled shyly, and responded that he did know what sex was, it was kissing.  So I sat down and told him that it wasn’t just kissing, it was more than kissing.  I told him that when a man puts his penis inside of a woman’s vagina, that is sex.  He sat straight up and said, “Mommy, why are saying that to me. Oh My God!!”   It was pretty cute.  Then he cries out, ‘why would anyone do that?!’  I almost blurted out, “Because it feels really awesome!” but I decided that wasn’t a good answer at all.  So I said, “You do that to make a baby.  That’s how a baby gets in the mommy’s belly.  So you must never do it until you’re ready to have a baby.”

So, Mother’s Day is Sunday.  Slight panic.  But it’s a ‘me’ day, not a ‘him’ day, so I think I’m ok.  More panic that our anniversary is June 2 or 3rd, and Dave is probably laughing at me right now because after all these years, I still don’t know which day it is.  All hell breaks loose between that day and July 5th.  It’s our anniversary, then father’s day, then his birthday, then D DAY.  Fuck.  It’s coming.  Just breathe.  That’s all I have to do.  Breathe.  Keep doing what I’m doing.  Keep focusing on other things.  Find distractions.  Pink elephants.  Christ, I should have spun it on that guy at the wine store.  My friends are right.  I am an idiot!!

May 9, 2012

Fences Make Good Neighbors

I was going to write another ‘Mean Shit’ post, but now I don’t have to, because this is some really mean shit right here, ya hurd me?  I felt the shit brewing yesterday.  I was feeling slightly sorry for myself, and I really don’t like that emotion.  I never allow it for long.  I’m hesitant to tell on myself, because then you all will know I’m a lunatic.  But here’s the deal:  My next door neighbors are assholes.  Not just regular, run of the mill assholes, but cray, cray, crazy assholes.  Their own grown kids don’t speak to them.  They fight with all the other neighbors, they hate everyone; they are just persnickety old miserable assholes.  They have never even acknowledged Dave’s death. The guy once cut a tree down in my backyard, on my side of the fence!  I should have kicked his ass a long time ago.  It’s awkward because we don’t speak.  I see that as negative and it bothers me every single time I see them.  It’s just weird to not be friendly.  About twice a year, one of them will acknowledge me, and I’ll respond nicely.  But then a few days after you’ve spoken and you think you might be ‘friends’, they will throw it in reverse and ignore you completely or even roll their eyes if you tell them hello.  So I quit trying to be nice years ago because you can’t deal with psychos like they’re normal human beings.  I don’t have time to make these fuckers like me.  Every time I go on vacation they ‘do something.’  This usually involves annihilating bushes on my property.   They have no grass, no plants, no trees, no landscaping whatsoever, in their yard. Their yard is mud.  Truth.  We have 100 year old oak trees lining both sides of our street.  It’s a truly magnificent sight and the reason most of us live here.  The man once inquired about having his oak tree cut down.  It was too expensive.  Their house is crooked and sinking, with peeling paint everywhere, broken basement windows, and birds and squirrels making nests where a vent cover is missing.  You all know I don’t like ugly shit.  I cannot stand this ugliness, so I have a line of trees/shrubs that divides our property.  This offends them.  The fact that it offends them makes me slightly tingly.  So today, I notice they’ve hired a new lawn guy.  They go through lawn guys every couple months and end up in a fight with each one.  After lawn guy leaves, I go to pick up big darling to get new glasses, and I notice that there are about 6 or 8 inches of leaves covering everything in my yard that separates our driveways.  Please understand I’m not talking about an accidental blow job of miscellaneous lawn debris.  I’m talking 3 months of leaves.  In the last 3 months, I’ve probably filled up my 55 gallon garbage can 6 times.  So we are talking enormous volume here.  I am stunned.  Here I am, a single mom to 3 kids, a fucking widow at that, and this person has just been paid to be a lazy ass piece of shit and blow 6 garbage cans of leaves into my yard, for me to pick up, by myself, with 3 kids underfoot.  So I walked over, and knocked on the door.  You all know where the fuck this is going.  I asked politely, because I know the bitch is whacked, if she would please ask her new lawn guy not to blow the leaves into my yard.  What does she respond?  That she told him to do it!  She said they were my leaves, not hers!  I stood there for a long while.  What could I be missing?  Then I calmly said, “You just PAID a person to blow leaves into my yard?”  Yes, is the answer.  Yes.  She motherfucking said YES.  I’m not even certain that I have the words to describe how apeshit I went.  Ballistic does not suffice.  I was an animal.  A rabid one.  I popped the top and cut loose with my words on this bitch in a way I haven’t done…possibly ever.  Midway through, I almost started to laugh. Because I knew just what I was doing.  I made a decision right then to have a free therapy session.  On an asshole.  I love a well deserved ass whipping.   I said unbelievable shit.  Every time she opened her mouth, the minute I heard the slightest sound, I cut loose.  I was out the box.  Then I got a rake and flung every leaf back into her yard.  Like a maniac.  Now here is the part where I’m all conflicted and confused.  Usually if you have an altercation with another person, the normal reaction would be anxiety or nervousness.  You would be shaken up.  But I wasn’t.  I was so calm.  I felt so at peace.  Even happy.  I was as cool as a cucumber.  I was singing in my car, I picked up big darling, we laughed and giggled and enjoyed an early afternoon off school.  I can only surmise that the universe is not displeased with this altercation.  And neither am I. 

May 8, 2012

Dog Eat Dog World

Don't even read this.  I'm a sniveling, whining, complaining, sorry asshole today.  Have I mentioned that my 10 year old wears glasses?  Probably not, because it’s no big deal.  Lots of people wear glasses.  I bet when you lose your glasses, you usually find them.  Like, under the bed or some shit like that.  Not big darling.  Big darling went to a paint ball party this weekend and did all sorts of fun stuff.  Sometime during the day Saturday he and a pack of 10 year olds walked from House A to House B to play football.  Big darling took off his glasses.  Who the fuck knows where he put said glasses.  Big darling came home and wasn’t wearing his glasses.  I didn’t really say anything; I was immersed in the ten tons of shit I normally have going on around here.  About 6 pm my sister notices big darling has no glasses.  He then pretends (liar gene) to search for them.  He can’t find them.  We all laugh nervously.  When was big darling going to tell us he lost his glasses?  We call the house where he attended the party.  They say they will look for the glasses.  By yesterday, the glasses are still missing.  So, I pick him up from school and he acts like he could not possibly care less about the whereabouts of the $235 glasses.  This causes me to yell at him and curse.  We then decide to try to find the house where they played football.  We locate the house, and I go knock on the door.  The dad answers and says, oh yes, I found some glasses today.  Only when he hands them to me, they are covered in mud.  And they are eaten up.  Like chewed the fuck up.  By a dog.  So a dog ate big darling’s glasses, and then buried them in the yard.  Would we expect anything else?  Hells no.

The reason he wears glasses is because he developed cataracts when he was 9 months old.  I was bouncing him on my knee one day and I noticed his pupils were not clear.  There were small white dots in them.  Off we flew to the pediatrician, who freaked out and sent us straight to Children’s Hospital.   Over the next few days he actually went blind because the cataracts were extremely rapid-onset.  By the time he had the surgery a few days later, his pupils were completely white…it progressed that fast.  The worst part of this, for me, was that the night before I discovered the cataracts, I had attempted my first cry-it-out at bedtime session with him.  I have never been a cry-it-out sort of mom.  I’m a wuss.  The sound of a baby crying makes me insane.  Insane.  So I’ve never been comfortable with it.  But I did it to him that night before.  And then the next day, I discovered that he was going blind, and probably couldn’t see anything at all in the dark.  So basically, I put my newly blind baby in a dark room by himself to sleep for the first time ever and just left him there for 45 minutes while he was hysterical.  I was beside myself with guilt, shame and horror.  The next few days I noticed that when we walked into the room, he would look up in your general direction, but he could not make eye contact.  We would hand him little light-up toys and he would hold them right up to his eyes, so close they were touching his face, and he would smile.  We ran out and bought any toy we could find with flashing lights and noises.  He couldn’t see anything in the end.  They told me all he could see was light.  He was mocking every sound he heard.  Even the creaking of the pantry door.  I had to explain everything we were doing, talking to him constantly, in a soft, happy voice, to keep him from freaking out. The lens implants were not immediately successful, either.  They were both dislocated, so he had the surgery twice in each eye.  That was loads of fun, as anyone who has ever handed an infant over for surgery can attest.  I remember being a basket case during the first surgery, and meeting a young mom in the waiting room who was waiting on her son to get finished with his heart surgery.  Umm, yeah.  I realized real quick to count my blessings.  My boy wasn’t dying.  A few years ago after we started thinking we were in the clear with eye problems, we discovered his vision was plummeting in one eye because he had a detached retina.   I think he was 7.  When you have retina surgery, they put a gas bubble in your eye, that slowly disintegrates, and the pressure of the bubble holds the retina flap down.  So you have to lay completely still for 2 solid weeks in a certain position, in order to keep the bubble over the retina.  A 7 year old.  Had to lay still.  For two weeks.  I also had a 3 year old at the time, and I was pregnant.  Oh, and we did that surgery while Dave and I were separated.  I had kicked him out 12 times that summer because he was drinking heavily and being a fucking pig-headed, alcoholic, abusive piece of shit.  During that time middle darling got a virus which caused him to vomit and have diarrhea every 10 minutes.  I was laying towels over the vomit and just stepping over them with my enormous pregnant belly.  I think that was one of the lowest points in my life, ever, and a lot of it was the realization that Dave was incredibly sick and that things would probably never be ok again. 

You know, the more of this I belt out, the more I think the book will have to be fiction, because so many people who have lead even remotely charmed lives would never believe that the universe can challenge a person so consistently.  In many ways, I believe that Dave just finally succumbed to it.  I never will.  I stay focused on the fact that someone always has it worse.  I cringe when people say, “Don’t worry girl, it HAS to get better.”  Oh no, motherfucker, it actually doesn’t HAVE TO get better, at all.  And please don’t say, “It can’t get any worse.”  Because it can always get worse.  Don’t tempt the fucking universe on my behalf with that clichĂ© bullshit.  Just don’t.

May 4, 2012

By the Light of the Moon

The little darling is moving in for the kill.  And I’m quite frightened of him.  I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I walked into the kitchen and found him sitting on a big pack of paper towels; he had scribbled all over the wall with a permanent marker.  About a week after that, I painted some doors in the playroom, and left the gallon of paint right near his artwork, so that I could touch up the baseboard, since he had scribbled on that too.  The can of paint has been sitting there at least two weeks.  Undisturbed.  Until today.  I walked out of the room for a mere 10 seconds to pee, and suddenly I heard a noise, and had an ominous feeling.  I called out, “Buddy, what are you doing?” and the little baby voice answered, “Just painting the wall.”  I may or may not have wiped.  I definitely rounded the corner with my ass still hanging out of my shorts.  He then threw a hellacious fit, because he ‘wasn’t finished’.  I had already wiped ¼ gallon of paint off the wood floors when I took this pic.  Indeed he is a fast painter.

Going through the terrible two’s with him, even though I’ve already done this a few times, is rough.  Dave would really be cracking up at him right now.  He is an absolute manipulator.  I’m secretly very proud of his skills.  His favorite word right now is “butt ass”.  Don’t ask me.  I don’t say that shit.  The biggest darling has tried to explain to him that butt-ass is redundant.  The middle darling thinks the word ‘buttocks’ is insanely hilarious, so I keep trying to encourage him to just say ‘buttocks’, since it at least elicits some laughter.  But no.  He won’t.  He is happy with butt ass, and he won’t stop.

He casually mentioned to me today that he “doesn’t like daddy.”  I’m not sure why, and when I asked him why he mumbled, “bedause (mumble mumble) digger (mumble mumble) big truck.” He also told me he doesn’t see daddy in the sky anymore.  A couple weeks ago one of the muthas was here and he pulled a photo album from my closet, and started looking through it.  He was busy naming people but went through a slew of photos with Dave in them and did not once say, “Daddy”.  So, it’s done.  That quick for him.  A mere 10 months.  And his memories of daddy are all but gone.  Daddy is now just a word.  Not even a person.  The man who held him, sang to him, rocked him to sleep, bathed him, loved him, and even created him, is not even a memory now.  And it’s unbearable.

For all my hardness, all my tricks, all my pink elephants…it’s that, that, which destroys me.  I laid down with big darling tonight to say prayers, and the moon is so bright that it doesn’t even look dark outside.  We held each other tightly in the moonlight pouring through the blinds, and prayed. The full moon Saturday actually is a super moon, and the calendar says the moon will be in the sign of Scorpio.  (The moon moves through the signs, just like the Sun does. I have this great calendar that tells me this, courtesy of some muthas I love in Kentucky who fuel my curiosity for the sky!)  When the moon is in Scorpio it is said that our feelings and emotions are heightened.  We feel everything to the nth degree.  So buckle up people.  That concludes your brief astrology lesson.  Tonight, when I prayed for Dave to be strong and bright and close to God, and basking in his Infinite Light, full of peace and love and happiness, all those things he couldn’t feel here, I really meant it.  I was overcome with a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time.  Love.  I imagined his bright light, shining down on us like the moonlight.  I hope he hears my prayers, and I hope he sends his own back down to me.  I remind the boys often that it is one way we can truly stay connected to him.  Through prayer.  I believe in eternal life.  I believe he is alive somewhere.  I believe he can receive those prayers.  And I believe we can receive his.  Connected.  Eternally.  I’m not sure I can receive anything if I’m filled with hatred.  So I’m trying hard once again to open my heart to feel love.