February 28, 2012

Shut up and live.


Does anyone know what a nervous breakdown is?  I remember hearing the word periodically when I was growing up, hushed tones on the phone about some poor mutha, I’m sure.  I never really knew what it was.  I still don’t.  Is it a medical term or just something a mutha screams about?  I’m declaring right now that I think I had a few nervous breakdowns yesterday, and possibly have been having them for a few days.  Yesterday I declared an end to my blogging.  Told several people I was quitting, I had said everything I needed to say, and didn’t think I would share anymore.  I read my earlier post “I Miss Me” and it was so whiney and sad that I was embarrassed.  I just wanted to turn away…and God…it’s my own life and my own words!!!!  Pitiful.  I’m sick of sad shit.  I hate a sniveling, whining, moaning, sad ass person, and so for the last few days I have hated me.  It turns out my own sneaky mom read the blog yesterday.  Woops.  Sorry mom.  Sorry I told 1,700 strangers what I should have just told you.  I hope you are not mad.  And so everyone will say I’m a Drama Queen, like I want to wear this elaborate death tiara.  Perhaps if my own life weren’t so surreal all of my feelings wouldn’t have to be so dramatic to match.  I hope you forgive me.  I love you.   I feel like everyone thinks everything is over.  But it’s not over for me.  In some ways I fear it’s only beginning.  Because I’m really good in a crisis.  I’m always picked first for that team.  I’m like a lion on the savannah.  I’m a crises whore.  However, after things settle down a bit, I quietly hide in my beautiful home and do what you all have been doing all along.  Only I try to do it on the sly.  I think I’m doing that now.  I think it might be called a nervous breakdown.  Or maybe this is just what normal people do.  Except that I’m starting to figure out that normal people are just big fakers, so I’m not sure I even care what they do.  What I should have done yesterday was sit my ass in the moon lodge.  And not say a word!  But darn it, it is so grey and gloomy here right now.  I can’t even find a place I could pretend is a lodge.  I can’t remember the last time I saw the Sun.  I see why ancient civilizations worshipped the sun and thought God was indeed the Sun.  I see why people go to the light when they die.  I need the sun.  I don’t do well in February.  Have always hated this time of year and have always been sort of depressed this time of year.  I’m having a banner February, in case you haven’t noticed. Yesterday I thought about driving to Mexico, immediately, like not even packing and just driving.  But I don’t know how to get there and my friend said we would all be kidnapped at the border especially since we’re all blondes.

I’m not going to say much more, because I’m going to acupuncture today and I’m going to hypnotize myself into a moon lodge.  I have not been praying enough, and so now I’m not just praying, I’m begging.  As the Indians say, ‘the veil is thin now’.  So when I return I hope to have some insight from the Master.  I have a feeling He is going to say “Just shut the fuck up and live.”

February 26, 2012

I miss me


 I woke up this morning to find that 783 people have viewed by blog.  Since I went to bed last night at 10:30.  They LIKE ME.  A man from Nigeria likes me.  Christ, do they even speak English there?  It turns out there are all these big cliques of bloggers out there.  Who knew?  I’ve spent a good part of the morning browsing a lot of very funny blogs.   I so wish I would have started this on the sly, without my photo sitting up in the corner of the page.  It’s just that it happened so innocently.  My friends kept texting and emailing and calling, asking how I was doing.  What did they want me to say?  Fine?  I was so sick of lying because maybe they didn’t really want to know.  But the truth is that I want people to know.  I want people to know just how much this sucks.  I want jerks out there who have thought about killing themselves to read my blog and feel like slime.  To be ashamed of themselves.  And to tell somebody or get help.  And I want spouses and friends of people who seem depressed and withdrawn to do something that I didn’t do.  Drive that mutha to the hospital and drop them off!! 

After Dave died, I uploaded all his photos to shutterfly.  Every photo ever taken of him.  Shutterfly automatically puts your photos in chronological order.  Let me tell you something.  Looking at those photos in chronological order was a true awakening for me.  What the heck was I thinking?  What a fool I was.  It was my fault!  I pressed the slideshow button and I watched him die.  Over and over and over again.  I watched him die quickly on my screen.  I had a conversation with my dad about this.  He assured me it wasn’t my fault, because it happened in real life time, not 2 minutes of slideshow time.  If Dave had taken a trip for a month and come home like he was in the end, detached, withdrawn, silent, sad, skinny, etc., I would have driven him to the hospital.  I would have.  But that’s not how it happened. 

Unfortunately, it was just our real life.  Day in and day out.   Me, noticing he just wasn’t himself.  Him, denying repeatedly anything was wrong.  Me, asking if he was taking drugs or drinking.  Him, with his best lie face, perfected over the years, calmly saying no and fooling even me.  Who the fack fools me?  No one.  That’s who.  I knew something was wrong.  But an army of psychic seers could not have convinced me he would DO THIS. 

He renewed his driver’s license that morning.  We were texting from the eye doctor’s office where I sat complaining about the wait.  We talked about dinner and about how much longer we would be.  And then, he just quit answering.  Because he was standing in our garage with a loaded .38 caliber touching his chest.  So accurately did he blow his heart away that he surely must have felt for the beautiful vibration of his beating heart to place the gun just so.  My 16 year old stepdaughter was standing at the top of the outside stair landing holding my 18 mos old son and also holding hands with my 4 year old.  They were coming to ask him if they could go swimming. They saw him walk into the garage.  They heard a noise.  Didn’t know what it was.  Cause surely it wasn’t him killing himself.  But it was.  Because this world is not at all what we think it is.  Because we don’t control anything.  Because in an instant….BOOM.  Your ass is handed to you. 

The other part of this that I hope resonates with people is just how ridiculously, insanely, horribly HARD this is.  This single parent stuff.  Good Lord Almighty.  If you know a person who is a single parent, please go to their house today.  And make them leave the house, alone, or, take their kids away from them if only for enough time that they can take a crap and wipe without reaching over or under a kid.  I realize what’s different about my situation is that most single parents have an ex.  The ex takes the kids at least every other weekend.  Maybe a couple nights during the week.  Maybe extra if you’re super frazzled, because you can lie and say, “Oh yeah, I forgot, I have that appointment.”  HEAVEN.  That’s what that is.  Heaven. 

I worry sometimes that people will think I don’t love my kids or that I’m not good to them.  I don’t really care.  It’s precisely because I love them so much that I am brutally honest about how I feel.  Because I think other parents feel like this sometimes too and they feel it even though they are getting a $%#@ing break and don’t have their spouse’s suicide note in their drawer!  I never ever ever wanted to be a single parent precisely because I was quite sure I couldn’t do it.  Wouldn’t pass muster.  I was right. Don’t get me wrong. I am doing it.  One day I might even be good at it.  But I doubt it.  I’m too selfish.  I need breaks.  I happen to love myself.  A lot.  But I never get to.  And I miss me.  Profusely.  

Tomorrow I swear I will write about just how much I love my kids.  About how they rip my heart open, so full of love it becomes when I just even look at them.  I wish this wasn’t their life.  I know deep down it’s not the best it can be because I remember another life.  And I think that’s what I hate so much.  I know what a better life it could be…how having a daddy would be like a soothing balm just being massaged all over them.  But I’m just a mommy.  I don’t have that daddy balm.  No matter how much I do, say, overcompensate….I can’t be a daddy.  Just yesterday I passed a woman in the grocery who beamed at my darlings and said, “Oh your husband must be so proud.”  I hope so is what I mumbled.

February 25, 2012

Repairing the spin


I had a bout of insomnia last night.  I never have that.  I am blessed with the gift of sleep.  If I put my head down, no matter where, I sleep, almost immediately.  Last night I didn’t sleep.  For two hours I tossed and turned and thought and thought until my head felt like it was exploding.  Sleep was elusive, because I was very busy inside.  I was very busy thinking about what a failure of a mother I have become. 

Today marks the 11th day of not having so much as a 2 second break from my kids.  At various times I may not have had all 3 kids, but I have had at least one of them.  We’ve had some pretty good days during our Mardi Gras break.  We had fun at parades, had some really fun days doing other things, had a blast at Global Wildlife, etc.  But yesterday was not fun.  It was rainy and cold and super windy and we were all cooped up inside.  Fighting.  And screaming.  And being negative.  And mean.  When my sister got here last night for crab cakes, we ate and then I asked her to drive me to an insane asylum.  I told her I wasn’t cut out for motherhood, let alone single parent motherhood, and that I was sure I had a psychological problem.  I declared that summer would indeed be horrible, and that I was having visions of deserting my family.  I thought last night about what I’m teaching my kids.  How I’m teaching them to be frustrated and aggravated.  I was so focused on everything I’d done wrong not just yesterday but every day.  I should know better than to go there.  Because I’m really, just naturally an eternal optimist.  I am the Queen of Spin. I’m the Queen of other things too, but none more than SPIN.  I couldn’t spin it last night.  Just couldn’t.
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about a conversation I’d had with a good friend at a parade during the week.  This friend of mine is unfortunately in a less than desirable life situation, similar to my family.  Her husband is not dead, he’s disabled.  But their lives are not what they used to be.  Her children have had to mourn the loss of the father they knew.  She has had to mourn the loss of the husband she had.  He, bless his heart, has had to mourn the loss of his own life, when he could walk and talk and converse with people with ease.  I can barely see my keyboard right now, through the tears.  It was the life they had.  The way it used to be.  Just like us….before ‘the incident’.  Lives are changed forever.  And there’s nothing you can do, but move on.  She is one of the strongest people I know.  She’s one of those people that you can count on.  No matter what.  My astrology loving friends will not be surprised one bit that we share a birthday as well.  And our husbands share a first name.  She has 2 boys.  I have 3.  Many parallels.  I so wish that our parallels were that we both had won the lottery, or both had beautiful vacation homes in Aspen or Napa.  But we discussed something that night that is possibly better than the lottery and a second home.  We discussed our boys.  And what this hellish life is teaching them.  How, accidentally, in the midst of chaos, these gentlemen are emerging.  Despite our mistakes.  Despite our frustration.  Despite our tears.  They are learning things that many parents won’t be able to teach their kids.  The School of Hard Knocks has begun early for our boys.  It’s a tough curriculum for preschoolers and elementary children.  I wish they didn’t have to attend.  I wish I could protect them and be perfect for them and just give it all to them.  Or do I?
This morning another great friend sent me this piece by Glennon Melton.  I love her!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/a-little-advice_b_1299782.html  The entire piece is about teaching your children to be HUMAN.  And that being human means forgiving yourself and moving on when you’ve messed up.
In this new life, I don’t believe in coincidences.  When you are hanging on by a thread, and someone tosses one your way, you grab it and hold on for dear life.  That’s no accident.  It’s no coincidence.  It’s God, reminding us that we are all connected for a reason.   One of the last things I thought of last night was a rose bush I planted in the alley a few years ago.  It is neglected and weedy and I want to move it into the yard, where I can care for it and make it beautiful like it deserves to be.  I kept thinking about how just before Dave died, he cut a rose from it and brought it to me.  I just peered out into the alley at the sad bush.  It's still covered in weeds, and looking neglected, except for this:

Today, the darlings and I will have a better day.  I will forgive myself and let go of my parenting mistakes.  I won’t try to be perfect.  Because I don’t want to fail.  Because life isn’t perfect.  It’s messy and sad and full of frustration and angst.  But it’s also beautiful and wondrous and awesome and full of blessings.

February 23, 2012

You can't change the tides


I had an epiphany last night.  You man readers, gentlemen, gentle men, you are so not going to like this.  But in time, I feel sure you will buy in.  I believe in the end the results will prove me right.  You see, it’s not even really me that will be proven correct.  It is generation after generation of our ancestors.  If you know a woman, don’t turn away.

I posted about PMS this week and then last night I went to a very dark and dreary place.  I was miserable.  Beyond miserable.  Teeter-tottering on the edge and just begging to be pushed over.  Put out of my misery.  PMS can be a dark place for a girl in the throes of grief.  This is something I was not warned about; it’s not in any of the books.  But it’s one of the first things I discovered, just a couple months in.  If you read my earlier post, I questioned just what in the heck cave women did during their menses.  Just how did our ancestors handle this horrendous issue of PMS?  Why did God make us this way?  I also surmised that we are possibly just too giving during the other 3 weeks of the month, and during that PMS week, we just can’t give any more.  And we blow.  Turns out, I don’t think that’s way off base.

Prior to modern times, many cultures held a much different perspective on PMS.  PMS was not a curse.  The menstrual cycle was not dreaded.  These women were not being told they were losing their minds, nor were they being diagnosed with PMS, and now even the hell of all hells, PMDD.  They weren’t being offered Prozac and anti-anxiety medications to deal with their symptoms.  Because they weren’t considered unwell.  In fact, quite the opposite was true.  The menses were referred to as “Moon time”.  And the women were held in high regard during this period.  In some cultures the blood from the menses was mixed with the earth or the sea and it was used in rituals, so sacred was it considered.  It was said that “In the dark of the moon, when bleeding, the veil between you and the Great Mystery is the thinnest.”  The women knew to be receptive to their visions, insights, intuitions.  They weren’t sorry for having the urge to speak out.  No.  Instead, everyone was patiently awaiting what they had to say.  There was a special place called the Moon Lodge.  A moon lodge.  Yeah.  I’m so getting one of those.  It was where the women went to quietly reflect.  To have down time.  To receive their visions.  Calmly.  The other women took care of their families.  Can you imagine?  I got this, sista.  Carry your li’l pretty self down to the Lodge, by the sea, surrounded by wildflowers, and just sit.  Quietly.  Without your kids.  Without your husband.  Here’s a pretty little basket I’ve woven just for you.  All your favorite food and drink is right there.  And I can’t wait to talk with you, like sisters, when you return.

Think about yourself as an adolescent girl.  Who first instructed you about periods?  Were you told it was a curse?  That the intuition and the insight that seems to burst from you like a volcano was indeed called PMS and yes, in fact, it was to be loathed and cursed?  Yeah, because no one wants to hear that stuff.  You are mean, and full of yourself.  You’re miserable because of your period.  Just go to your room and wait for it to go away.  And try not to open your mouth.  No one wants to hear all that negative BS.

I found this story last night.  I emailed the guy and asked his permission to share it.

A long time ago, women did as they do now—they held the family, they held the power (life-force) for the family, they held the happiness and joy, they held the sorrow and disappointments. After time, the negative emotions and heartache that the women took upon themselves on behalf of their families would begin to weigh them down. The women would become sick and finally, could no longer take on the burdens of the family. Yet the nature to do so had been imbued into them by Creator.

One day, a woman was out in the forest, crying because the burden had become so great, when Raven heard her and asked, "Mother, why do you cry?"

The woman responded, "I love my family so very much. I hold my family in my heart and soul, but the pains of life have filled me up. I can no longer help my family. I can no longer take their burdens from them. I just don't know what to do."

Raven responded, "I understand the pain you feel, as I feel it also. I will go and ask Grandmother Ocean if she knows what to do." So Raven flew to the ocean and shared with Grandmother the plight of the women.

Grandmother Ocean responded, "If the women will come to me, I will wash their pain from them, but this won't help the ones who are far away. Let me ask my sister, Grandmother Moon, if she can help."

So Grandmother Ocean spoke to her sister of the women's plight. Grandmother Moon responded, "I am the power of the feminine. I will send into the women, my sisters, your waters carrying my power. Once every moon cycle, you shall come into the women through me and purify them." And, she did this. So ever since then, every woman has a time each moon cycle when she embodies the power of the moon and flows the cleansing of the ocean. We call this the woman's time of the moon, or moon-time.  (originally published in Sacred Hoop magazine, Winter 2000/2001) copyright by Nicholas Noble Wolf.  Please visit nicholasnoblewolf.com.  He is a shaman.  I love that word.)

February 22, 2012

Lent


I’m giving up cursing for Lent.  I always pick the same thing for Lent…stop cursing.  I never can do it.   I’m a loser.  I can’t even stop cursing for God.  Maybe I do at least curse less.  Hopefully.  I’m excited that I can at least give up cursing on the blog and be successful.  It’s easy as there is this convenient ‘backspace’ button, which I don’t have in real life, but need.  Once my dad told me I cursed way too much and honestly I did stop cursing a lot in front of my kids.  And at them, too.  Before I decided to share the blog, I had some conversations with girlfriends about the cursing.  I was worried about who might read it and be offended.  Because people I may not curse in front of might read it, then they will know I’m a trashy potty mouth.  They confirmed what I already thought….that it is just not my writing style, it’s not at all as good, without the cursing.  Sad but true.  I curse to place emphasis.  I do.  I’m going to figure something else out instead though, for the next 40 days.  And maybe more. 

I’m glad Mardi Gras is over.  I’m exhausted and I’m sick of smelling plastic beads around my neck.  I’m sick of bathing my kids and then they are disgusting and dirty in 5 minutes because they adorn their squeaky clean baby scent bodies with beads that may have been vomited on this week.  I’ve already made the quick but necessary check to make sure all the stuffed animals they caught are spankin’ new.  Anything that looks even slightly not brand new is in the trash.  I have a fear of bed bugs.  Never had them…but you have to burn your house down if you do get them.

Last night I went to bed with a bandana ice pack on my head because I’ve had 3 days of headaches.  At first I thought it was because I was over serving myself at the parades.  In fact, I cursed out Dave when I woke up hungover the other morning, because he knew how to measure when pouring a drink better than I did so of course it’s his fault.  Everything is.  But I didn’t even drink yesterday and I still have the dreadful headache.  It must be the curse.  PMS.  Why do we get this?  Why?  It’s so horrendous.  The last few months I’ve been thinking about why women get PMS.  I think about cave women…what did they do?  Kill people?  Why do we have to get this?  What is the meaning, the true reason as God made us, that we must walk around for a week hating people??  Is it some kind of test?  Is it because the other 3 weeks out of the month we just give too much?  Allow people to take too much from us?  And so we have to get all….crazy on them…to keep them in check? I know that some months are not as bad as others, and I know that eating right and taking the right vitamins helps.  The acupuncture has helped….but seriously, sometimes I think it just doesn’t matter what you do.  Your patience is zero.  Your frustration levels are off the charts.  The first 6 months or so after Dave died I loathed my PMS week….because I just couldn’t stop crying.  Just couldn’t stop.  Is there a woman over 40 who does not relate to this?  Because if there is we all need to know right now what the secret is.  I think about the menstrual cycle itself…and how mysterious it can be.  If you become close to other women, hang around them enough and especially if you live with them, your cycles become in sync with one another.  Why?  So you can band together like thieves and chase all the men away from your cave with your flaming torches?  Why does that happen?  My step daughter for the last few months only has a period when she enters my home.  When she gets to the grieving place.  Explain that, you scientists.  And God forbid if it’s a full moon.  Heaven help us.  That’s when you can put yourself in a meditative trance, wear a rosary around your neck, eat nothing but vegetables and vitamins and you still have wicked PMS.

My face looks like a very nerdy, unpopular teenager’s face right now.  How unfair is it to have both wrinkles and pimples?  I mean really.  I’ve been through enough.  I feel I deserve a break in this category.  I tried to console myself with several thousand pieces of chocolate during Valentine’s week, and the result is this zit face.  Again, Dave’s fault.

I miss him a lot right now.  He wasn’t there to put our kids on his shoulders.  He wasn’t there to cart the ladder around.  Carry the ice chest.  It doesn’t even matter because we managed.  I’m sad that he wasn’t there to stand next to me.  Put his arms around me.  Talk to me, joke with me.  Be my husband.  It’s been 7 ½ months since I’ve seen him.  Smelled him.  Touched him.  Slept with him.  That’s so long.  An eternity.  And it still doesn’t seem real.  I still can’t believe this is my life.  When, when will my life start feeling like my life?  I fear never.  I didn’t go to get Ashes today.  I don’t need a reminder that one day I shall return to dust.  A pile of ashes.  7 months ago I held a most beautiful black granite box full of ashes.  I won’t forget any time soon.  Certainly didn’t need the reminder today.

February 20, 2012

Trying to love the messy life

This is just one of the many disgusting things on my kitchen floor right now.  It's a dirty spoon.  In a fuzzy croc.  I think it's been there since last night, actually.  I so wish I didn't care.  So wish it didn't hurt me so. 

Exactly what is it going to take for me to stop caring about whether my house is filthy everywhere?  Tell me right now, you messy house people.  ‘Cause I fear I’m going crazy over it.  Often I feel this way.  See, here is the problem.  And it’s huge.  I can’t be happy if my house is messy.  I just can’t.  I don’t know if I’m miserable BECAUSE my house is messy, or because I’m miserable, my house is messy.  Does it even matter??  I know I will be much happier when it's clean.  But goddamnit I'm sick of cleaning!!!!!  I know I talk about auras and acupuncture and now I’m about to get all ranty about feng shui…but I swear maybe I was a Chinese person in another life.  Because I hate shit.  I hate when it’s all over.  I hate plastic stuff.  I hate how it smells.  I hate Mardi Gras beads.  I hate how they make you slide and almost fall when you step on them on a wooden floor.  I hate toys all over.  Toys in my bed.  Toys in the shower and bath tub.  Legos.  Legos imbedded in the shaggy zebra rug in the playroom.  Do you understand that a small lego can take you down….make you wonder if you’ve been shot, if you step on it barefoot while walking briskly?  Have I mentioned my all time biggest pet peeve…..stepping on cheerios with my flip flops?  In fact, if you were to ask me what is my least favorite thing in the world, I might not even say famines or war.  Sadly, I might say the sound and the feeling of stepping on a cheerio beneath my shoe on my kitchen floor, especially if I’m already in a bad mood and my kitchen is messy and the counters are sticky.  I realize this is something small.  I do.  But it bothers me.  When I was little, there were 4 kids in our house, and it was sort of…messy.  I was the neat one.  My bedroom was so neat.  Family and friends love to poke fun at this…love to joke about how neat I was.  I remember how I used to wish, even as a small child, that I had a refrigerator in my room and then I wouldn’t even have to leave my room and go into the messy part of the house.

Most people think my house is neat all the time.  This cracks me up, because it is mostly disgusting and sticky.  The truth is only that I am the fastest cleaner upper you ever saw.  I wish there was a race I could join.  Because I would so win.  If things are really messy, I can become like this super-freak maid kind of a person.  When I declare that “everyone needs to move because I’m about to swirl around this place like a tornado!”....they know what this means.  People ask me how I keep it neat.  When it is neat, the trick, which I have perfected over the years, is that everything, and I mean every.single.thing, must have a place.  When something comes into this house, I immediately plot its home.  Things may have to be rearranged.  Whole rooms may have to be reorganized.  Walls may need to be torn down.  I don’t care.  The super-freak maid must grab armloads of things all at once.  As I’m picking up the things, I’m thinking of where they go, so not a second is wasted.  The other thing is that I don't keep alot of crap.  I rarely keep things we don’t wear, use, need.  I just don’t.  Because I don’t want to be on hoarders.  All that stuff….collecting dust, not being used, just taking up space….YUCK.  Bad air.  And here is where the Feng Shui thing comes in.  People think Feng Shui is this mysterious, weird science…and true there are all these rules and even feng shui masters and the whole lot.  I don’t know about all that.  I don’t exactly walk around my house with a compass and fuss over whether each room has certain elements or not.  I don’t need to.  You don’t need to be a feng shui master to know that if each time you walk into a room you cringe and feel negative energy dragging you down, then you need to make some changes.  I remember my dad pointing out a rather extreme example a few months after Dave died.  I had pictures all over the fridge of him.  I was scared the kids would forget him.  But what was really happening was that every time I passed the photos, was in the room with the photos, or opened the fridge, I felt like a knife was going right into my gut.  It was a horrifying feeling, occurring about 6500 times a day.  If by some stroke of luck I had managed to not think about it for a mere 5 seconds, no fear, his mocking photo would be in my face soon enough, reminding me that my life was indeed ruined.  I’m pretty sure I never leave this room, so I took them all down. 

Toys can rob me of my precious energy too.  The evil, smelly plastic breeds.  Sometimes I can’t even go into the little kids’ room.  My rule is that if I can’t clean the room in 10 minutes, then things have to go!  All my kids are born in the Fall and Christmas immediately follows their birthdays.  People have decided that ‘things’ will make my kids feel better.  Poor babies, have no daddy, buy this for them.  Better yet, buy two…no, buy them each one so they don’t have to fight.  Are you facking kidding me?  We are overflowing with toys, toys that have millions of pieces, toys that do all sorts of stupid things, toys that are so cheap they break while I take them out of the package.  I hate this stuff!  Last week I brought 4 bags of toys to Goodwill.   My kids did not even notice!  Because you know what my kids really play with?  The same thing your kids play with.  They build forts from furniture and blankets, they like cardboard boxes, they play with balls and occasionally with electronics, blocks or legos.  I think people place way too much value on their ‘things’. 

February 18, 2012

Seeking good air


Last night my mom and I packed up the 3 darlings and took them for a steak dinner.  We don’t do restaurants very often.  It’s too chaotic, the 2 year old doesn’t stay in his seat, they don’t like much food other than cereal, and it’s just…too….stressful.  I was determined to have a good time though, and so was my mom.  I’m thinking about auras today…and last night we spun ours on the grumpy boys with good results.  It was a nice dinner, good food, good conversation, everyone behaved, mom and I had a few drinks, and until baby darling started tugging at his pants and saying “I got poo” over and over at the end, it was perfect.  Score for us.

At dinner we were discussing the things we can do next week to stay busy and avoid being home fighting and sulking and screaming F words.  (For the record, I’m the only one who does the F word part.)  I said maybe a visit to Global Wildlife where you can feed the animals, as some of us have never been, maybe a full day at the park with a picnic lunch and visits to the museum and sculpture garden and Storyland.  Maybe a short stay in the Quarter after it’s all cleaned up with lemon soap, where we can enjoy a heated pool, some good restaurants and play tourists for a day.  All that sounds great.  My mom suggested I should take “Mimi” with us.  Mimi is my 92 year old grandmother who looks and acts 70.  She has never sinned in her life.  You think I’m kidding, but I’m so not.  She is a saint.  Only she’s alive and living and breathing and we get to enjoy this right here and now on earth.  She loves getting out of the house, and truthfully she can wear me out, and I have some stamina, let me tell you.  This is a woman who will visit the zoo with 5 kids and stop at the Mall on the way home to buy pants. I kid you not.  I laughed and said, yes, what a great idea, because I know I can’t be screaming and dropping F bombs if Mimi is there.  A quick vote revealed that even the waiter was in favor.  Consider it done then!  I now have a chaperone for some of the week and my kids are thrilled.

The middle darling told me this morning he shouldn’t have worn that bead to dinner last night.  I asked him why, what bead?  He said the ‘mucus’ bead, because he has mucus and now he’s nervous about it.  The truth is he does have mucus and croup, but it was a Krewe of Muses bead he wore.  Good thing he’s so cute!  Because his behavior with me is nothing short of horrendous.  He whines constantly, is very negative and is just so NOT a joy to be around, mostly.  He does this only at home, they think he’s precious at school.  I’m seriously at my wit’s end with him, because the negativity is reaching epic levels.  And so, this morning, he and I played a little game about ‘auras’.  Only I didn’t use the word aura.  I used the word air instead.  It went something like this:

Me:  If you can’t get your shoe on and you start flailing around and freaking out and making monster noises and rolling around on the floor, would that make good air swirl around you, or bad?

HIm: Bad

Me:  If you can’t get your shoe on and you just say, “Mommy, I need help with my shoe” would that make bad air swirl around you and land on me.

Him: No

Me:  Good. Let’s try another one.  If I say we are having chicken for dinner, but you want pizza, and you start crying really loud and screaming that you hate chicken, would that make bad air swirl around the room and land on everyone?

Him: Yes

Me:  Ok, how about this.  You know how sometimes me and you, we just look at one another and smile, and I say I love you Loo Loo, and we both feel happy and feel a lot of love in our hearts and we feel so much love we have to hug tightly right away?  Does that make good air or bad air swirl around the room and land on everyone?

Him: (laughing and smiling) Good Air!

And so, the new rule in our house is that we only want good air swirling around.  We don’t want bad air landing on us.  If someone acts mean or ugly or negative, we have to run quickly out of the room, because we only want the good air on us, not the bad air.  My Evergreen friends may notice this is similar to a game we used to play called “Fot germs”.   For everyone else from far away who hasn’t a clue what a ‘fot’ is…it’s a coonass way of saying “fart”…only we say it wrong because we speak improperly.  On purpose.

 Seek the good air people!

February 17, 2012

High Heeled Muses


We went to Muses last night because it’s my favorite parade.  What’s not to love about a parade that is led by giant neon butterflies and high heeled shoes?!  The satirical marching clubs like the Camel Toes and the Bearded Oysters are some of my favorites.  And of course they throw BLING.  Light up diamond rings, flashing plastic martini glasses, and shoes!  Come on!  We go to the same place each year, and I hope I don’t jinx it by declaring that it is indeed an Asshole Free Zone. 

Damn you, Dave.  Damn you that we never miss Muses, and this year you are not here.  And you never will be here again.  I hate you for that.  I hate that so often we hurdle another ‘first’.  I secretly panic that it won’t just be the ‘firsts’ that slice me open each time like a knife.  What if it’s the seconds and thirds too?  What if it never goes away?  Today I feel proud that my little family is marching on, albeit sadly.  Not sure what we should call our little satirical marching club….but I may amuse myself today by trying to think of a name in between changing diapers and holding the bucket while middle darling vomits.

The kids are off next week for the entire week.  All my smart friends are going on vacation.  We are not.  I will be staying home with 3 kids all week and trying not to go crazy.  Is it horrible of me to say I’d rather poke my eyes out with scissors?  I love these kids.  So much.  Crazy love.  I am alive because of these kids.  But damn, they wear me out.  I won’t get a break next week, and, in fact, I am never getting a break again.  Ever.  

I imagine myself as the Muse Melpomene, with three kids on my back, in birth order, wearing a pair of 4 inch heels and trying to climb a mountain of pea gravel.  Exhausting?   Impossible?  Absurd?  All those things.  I pray I can be in a good mood.  I pray we can find some fun things to do.  I feel like this is my test for summer.  Seriously…how will I survive summer?  I don’t even remember last summer.  It was a fog of…death.  So horrible and so black and so hideous.  I’ve always loved summer, and now summer scares me.  We need things to do for the anniversary of ‘the incident’.  I want to go to Disney.  Yes, I’m posting on the blog that I’m taking a vacation to Disney.  Rob me blind you fuck heads.  I don’t give a shit.  Believe me, this is the least of my worries.  I wasn’t even phased to be robbed at gunpoint while I was home, you think I care about being robbed when I’m gone? 

And speaking of Muses and 4 inch heels, who the fuck is designing shoes lately?  I mean seriously.  I am a vertically challenged woman.  I’m 5’2” and that’s stretching it.  I live in heels or platform shoes of some kind.  I don’t own a flat shoe, except for a tennis shoe.  But why? Why? Why must every cute shoe have a 5 inch heel now?  You see, the problem with this is that if I’m wearing such a shoe, I’ll be drinking, at least a little.  When do you, in this city, leave your home in a heel and not drink?  Never.  That’s when.  Are these designers trying to harm us?  Mock us?  These shoes are dangerous.  I’m scared of these shoes and I’m a professional high heel shoe wearer.  I can do a cartwheel in a high heel shoe.  But when I shop, I pick up these shoes, and I say “Who wears this?”  No one standing around me does. That’s what they say.

A person close to me vented about her relationship with her husband this morning, and I am so glad that she did.  She complained that she’s been waking up for work at 4:45 every morning since 2003 and husband does not know this.  He said, “You wake up at 4:45?”  “Yes....yes I’ve been waking up at this time since 2003!”  He sleeps on the couch.  He is apathetic about the relationship.  You know what?  Dave was like that too.  It helps for me to remember that, because we do have a tendency to glorify people in death.  Sometimes I find myself missing a part of him that really wasn't his essence anyway.  I have been accustomed over the years to miss the aspects of the relationship I wanted and desired, and even in death I continue to do it.  The real hard core truth is that in the end, there wasn't this great, fantastic relationship.  We loved deeply.  But the relationship itself was lacking.  I really miss his presence, but I swear I do feel his presence around me.  I don’t think of him as being dead = nonexistent.  I believe, I know, he exists somewhere.   I believe in eternal life.  And even though our relationship wasn’t perfect and sometimes wasn’t even all that good…I still love him.  And I know he loves me.  And I believe it is a love of the purest form, now.  That is something, right?  Some positive little sliver.

The Nine Muses were Greek goddesses who ruled over the arts and sciences and offered inspiration in those subjects. They were the daughters of Zeus, lord of all gods, and Mnemosyne, who represented memory. Memory was important for the Muses because in ancient times, when there were no books, poets had to carry their work in their memories.
Calliope was the muse of epic poetry.
Clio was the muse of history.
Erato was the muse of love poetry.
Euterpe was the muse of music.
Melpomene was the muse of tragedy.
Polyhymnia was the muse of sacred poetry.
Terpsichore was the muse of dance.
Thalia was the muse of comedy.
Urania was the muse of astronomy.

February 16, 2012

Your Pooch

There’s been a dog theme in my life for the past few days, so I’m going with it as I’m sick of my other nonsense about how my life as a single parent sucks.  Plus I’m drinking the rest of the champagne from Valentine’s Day and I need a distraction to avoid a low-down crying debacle.

Yesterday, I saw a lady walking down the street that I haven’t seen in 11 years.  Floppy hat, stone washed mom jeans, big bag.  I can’t believe she still lives in this neighborhood and that it’s taken me 11 years to either notice her or see her again.  The sight of this bag lady brought back a FLOOD of memories.  Just….wow.  Almost exactly 11 years ago, I was attacked, and so was this lady, by a pack of dogs.  It was a beautiful Friday, and I had decided I didn’t feel like working because the sun was shining.  So I was playing around in the yard, probably pulling weeds or planting flowers, when I noticed I hadn’t seen my cat in a while.  This was before I had kids, so I actually knew I had a cat, even.  When I stood up to look around, I noticed three dogs standing in a yard across the street, a few doors down from mine.  I realized they belonged to a neighbor two houses down from me.  As I walked down the sidewalk, I clapped my hands and called out to them.  I had never prior to this moment been scared of any animal in my life.  I figured they would run to me, I would put them back inside their fence, and I would forget about the whole event in five seconds.  A weird thing happened though.  When I clapped for them and got their attention, they noticed me.  And in that moment, I noticed that something was terribly wrong.  Because in that moment, I was scared to death of them.  It’s hard to describe what made me afraid.  I could see the hair standing up on their backs…could see it from clear across the street.  I could see the very way they stood, the way they looked at me, the way they held their tails….something was wrong.  WTF?  I simply turned around and started walking back to my house.  I put forth effort to just act super cool.  I didn’t run, I just walked like I hadn’t noticed anything.  And that’s when I heard them.  It was a pit bull, a German shepherd and a Chow.  I could hear them running towards me.  I didn’t even have time to think.  Almost as soon as I heard them come up behind me, I felt the first bite on my calf.  It felt like a razor blade going into my skin.  Son-of-a-bitch it hurt.  I wasted no time.  I screamed bloody murder and ran like hell.  It was ON.  I was two doors down from my house, and they just started biting me all over, wherever they could get me.  I will never ever forget the sound. The growling was so fucking ferocious; I’ve never heard anything like it since.  Loud snapping sounds….the sounds of their gnashing teeth….all you could see was teeth, and saliva, like their mouths were foaming.  I was running as fast as I could, screaming HELP! HELP! at the top of my lungs, just hysterically screaming and just praying that any neighbor would run outside and get these fucking animals off of me.  As I neared my front yard, I started to get tripped up.  There were so many of them, and they were circling me.  That’s when the pit bull got right in front of me.  I thought I might fall, but I knew I couldn’t.  I knew if I did, I would die.  The word MAUL flashed through my mind.  It’s weird that I’m so literal.  I knew he would get my neck, I knew that’s what he wanted. I could not fall.  Dear God don’t let me fall.  I don’t want to die. Especially not like this.  In that split second, of my almost tripping and him sensing it, he bit the only horizontal part of my body.  My crotch.  Again, a razor blade.  Dear God I’m so close to my front door.  I never stopped moving, I never stopped screaming.  I was wearing jeans and I ran up 7 stairs to my front door with this dog attached to the side of my jeans.  He had locked his jaws up, and I carried him right to the front door.  In a split second, I opened the door only a sliver, and squeezed just my body through, not his.  His jaws stayed locked, it was my jeans that tore and allowed me to close his face in the door.  I was shaking so badly, I had to convince myself not to faint.  Never ever have I been so scared in my life.  Not even when Dave died.  It was a different feeling then.  When he died I wasn’t scared for my own life.  I wasn’t dying or in danger of death.  I ran straight to the bathroom and started tearing off my jeans.  I was horrified at what I might see.  I had no idea if I would see just bite marks or my skin literally falling off of me.  I couldn’t feel a thing.  I’ve never been so completely overtaken by pure adrenaline.  There were puncture wounds and wounds that looked almost like brush burns, and the bruising and swelling was already present.  Once I realized I wasn’t going to die, I called 911, then called Dave.  I went to the front door.  It was about 2:15 and the bus would be dropping off kids on my street.  Oh my God.  No kid would survive this.  About then the mailman drove up.  I could see the dogs still down the street.  He yelled to me from his truck that he had called 911.  They had also attacked him.  He had pepper sprayed them, and they’d torn up his leather mailbag.  When the police arrived and I lost sight of the dogs, I didn’t know it, but they were attacking the bag lady.  Days later, the pit bull attacked another man who was pulling up into his driveway from the hospital.  He had just been released from having open heart surgery, and they bit him on the leg where he’d had a vein removed and relocated to his heart.  The sad thing about this is that you all expect me to say all the dogs were euthanized.  Immediately.  But it wasn’t so.  The bag lady and the open heart surgery guy didn’t report their incidents right away, and the mailman wasn’t bitten on his body…he had the pepper spray and they only got his bag.  I learned there was a law on the books.  You had to bite twice to be put to sleep.  Are you fucking kidding me? I was LIVID.  I started calling people incessantly.  I knew everyone at the SPCA by name.  They thought I was crazy.  I was relentless.  I called the news.  They interviewed me.  I was on the news.  I told the story over and over.  I sat in my council person’s office.  I asked him if I leapt across the desk and bit his fucking cheek off if I’d have to do that just once, or twice, to be thrown in jail.  His face turned red.  You would think the owners would willingly euthanize the dog.  Not so.  We were dealing with freaks.  Stupid freaks.  I kept screaming….I am a person! These animals…they weren’t like pets.  You don’t understand.  Finally the pit bull did attack again, he attacked the heart guy who did report it, and about the same time the bag lady saw the piece on the news.  The pit bull was put down.  The German shepherd and the Chow were just put back into the yard two doors down from me. My neighbor promised to feed them poison hot dogs.  The funny thing is that I don’t even remember what happened to them.  Because a few months later I found out I was pregnant for Bret.  But my life was changed.  I was scared of dogs now.  I’ve been scared of dogs since then.  Over the years it has lessened.  Little dogs don’t frighten me as much.  Big dogs I don’t trust at all.  Ever.  I never forget that they are animals.  They aren’t people.  And I see so many people, it gets worse and worse with every passing year, people treat their animals as human.  This is a huge mistake.  If you would have seen those animals that day…if you would have heard those animals that day…you would never think of your pet in the same way again.


February 15, 2012

PTSD


Not much to say today, except that our dinner was fabulous last night, and I’m so tired.  Ya hurd me?  I’m.so.damned.tired.  Don’t even try to say you are tired too…because you’ve never been this tired.  This is ridiculous.  It's not a lack of sleep tired.  I slept in spite of the fact that middle darling barked like a seal most of the night from croup.  No...this is more of a........a lack-of-a-normal-life tired.  This morning I’m thinking about how I think we all have PTSD, as in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I first noticed a few months ago that my kids were overly freaking out about loud noises.  They don’t like anything loud (except for their own screaming voices, which unfortunately don’t bother them.)  It was suggested they may have PTSD.  Whatever. I’m sure we could be diagnosed with all sorts of things right now.  We just ain’t right.  No surprise there.  Then the other day at a basketball game the buzzer sounded to end the quarter, and I’m not kidding, I think I may have had a mini-stroke.  I had to peel myself off the ceiling tiles, I jumped so high.  It was sort of embarrassing.  My sister made a weird face at me, a face like ‘I’m sort of embarrassed of you, weirdo, WTF are you doing?’  What?  I got scared.  I guess that is pretty weird to be that scared of a buzzer.  Last week a few people asked me if I lightened my hair.  I don't color my hair, so this alarmed me.  It alarmed me because I remember reading that Barbara Bush's hair turned white due to the death of her daughter.  I keep checking it.  This morning, while I was standing with platform sparkly flip flops on a high bar stool putting away champagne glasses from last night, I heard a really loud THUD, followed by a high pitched-I’m-not-kidding-I’m-very-hurt CRY.  My heart stopped, I ran to the playroom so fast, and found the baby pinned under the TV.  He had quietly climbed onto the cabinet and somehow pulled the TV down onto his leg. Middle darling played some part in this because he kept saying “He was holding my hand.” OMG.  The biggest bruise ever on his little baby leg.  Thinking about how much worse that could have been just makes my head spin.  Someone already told me they know a kid who was in a coma for 2 days because of a TV falling on them.  Really?  Because when I tell you I can’t take another fucking thing, I am so not kidding.  I am just done.   Kaput.  I have never had such an overwhelming intolerance to stress in my life. 

February 14, 2012

The heart has been stabbed with arrows. And this is good?

I feel like I’m not a good mother because the baby is not happy this week unless he’s watching Caillou. Which he watches entirely too much. And I’m about to pull the plug on the whole shebang. Why? Because fucking Caillou and his family are way too happy. That’s why. And Caillou’s daddy is always around, right there by him, being such a good daddy. Doesn’t he have a job to go to? We have a lot of Caillou books too, and I swear they are more about the daddy than the mommy! Sometimes I try to say “Mommy” instead of “Daddy” but they catch me. Sometimes I start crying when I read them, like when Caillou’s perfect daddy teaches him to ride a bike and I realize just who in the hell is going to teach them how to ride a bike. I think about Dave running down the street behind the big darling, holding on to his bike, being so patient and gentle with him. They don’t make me read it a lot after I cry about it. I haven’t cried over Caillou books lately, so now I’m having to read them again. And I am seriously annoyed by it. They all speak like they’re on way too much Prozac or something. Entirely too chipper for me. No one fights. They all get along. It’s just so stupid and fake. Yesterday I was grumpy and I walked into the room to put clothes away and I started saying, really loud, “You know Caillou isn’t real, and neither is his mom or dad. Yeah, because no one is that nice. When they are not on TV, they probably fight and Caillou probably gets in trouble. Everyone’s mother yells sometime, ok?!” I’m saying this to a 2 year old, who is talking back to me saying, “No! Caillou is weal! You don’t say dat, bad mommy”. Too bad. I’m convinced the reason the baby is semi-miserable (other than the fact that he’s two and he’s learning life kinda sucks) is because he thinks all the world should be like Caillou. His mommy should speak like Caillou’s mommy, always exclaiming “weeeee” every time she picks him up or swings him. Yes, that BS is coming to a screeching halt. He needs to start watching some cartoons where the dad has deserted the family, and the mom drinks and curses a lot.


This morning, all my boys were super sweet, telling me Happy Valentine’s Day and dishing out the extra love. I love that. Everyone woke up in a good mood for a change.  The baby didn’t fight with me to get dressed or change his diaper or even brush his teeth. Thank God. It’s the small things, I swear. While I was putting away breakfast dishes he was standing in the kitchen with his shopping cart, just quietly talking to himself. “yeah, bedause Daddy died. Daddy had to go to Heaven. And the baby died too.”  The big darling and I were somewhat alarmed. When this kind of talking ensues, a hush comes over the whole house. “What baby?” we asked. When he realized we were both crouched down next to him looking very curious, he got sort of quiet and just said, “The baby outside.” I have no idea what that was about, maybe nothing. This is how he processes things, though, and ‘they’ tell me this is good that he is actually processing it. I wish it wasn’t out loud on Valentine’s Day.


Tonight, we will dine on steak and lobster and chocolate dipped strawberries. We will listen to Mardi Gras music, loud, and throw beads while cooking. My cousin, who is too good for men, is coming over, because she wants to be with an awesome chick who is also too good for men. So there. We are too good for you and our party will be funner without you.
I got the blues, the red and the pinks.....all I know is.......LOVE STINKS............J Geils Band

February 12, 2012

We almost had it all too

I just don’t get it, I never will get it, and frankly the topic’s been swirling around in my brain for 7 months and I’m freakishly tired of trying to get it. How can some people ‘almost have it all’ and just throw it all away? It’s such a tired cliché but damn, girl, why would you give up being a diva? A real life, true, rock star diva? From having it all to drowning in the bathtub after taking off your dirty black designer dress with champagne stains all over the front, blood dripping down your leg, your hair looking all ratty and sweaty. We almost had it all too…well....minus the millions and the diva status. But it was certainly good enough for me. All I ever wanted was for us to be happy. And now we have this…this…life? But I’m still not running out and getting addicted. I don’t think I CAN be addicted. I’ve never been addicted to anything in my life. Why? I can’t even answer that. I assume it’s because I CHOOSE not to. Why didn’t Dave choose this as well? Why didn’t Whitney choose it too? Why can I choose it, but they can’t?

A long time ago I was madly in love with a guy who had a coke habit. He didn’t look like a crack head, didn’t act like a crack head, didn’t dress like a crack head, didn’t drive a crack-mobile. How did I not know this? Back then people hinted to me that he was using drugs. I didn’t believe them. Why? For one he looked like a Greek Adonis, had skin the color of caramel candy, and he just seemed fun loving and adventurous to me. I’m a logical thinker and it didn’t fit squarely into the little box I wanted to put this guy in. In my mind, who would choose to do this? Maybe I just didn’t want it to be true.

Later I was in a relationship with a guy who was very obviously cheating on me. Why didn’t I know this? Why did I believe the lies? Because I turned up the heat and he told the lies and thus a little story was molded together until it fit squarely into the box. 20 years later he confided he was a cheater and I was stunned. Genuinely stunned! Who would cheat on me?! Why?!

Now, I look at my 14 years with Dave and I know how many lies he told me. And I know how insanely stupid I was for believing the lies. AGAIN. I mean seriously, I am a complete IDIOT. It's quite possible that my addiction is to ASSHOLES! The thing that is so damn ironic about all this is that I always thought I was such a good reader of people. I still believe this. I get a vibe from a person and I will not let them near me if it’s funky in any way. I can read them from across a room. But once a person is close to me, once they are in, they are in, baby. And this is my downfall. Loving too hard. Just throw down, out the box, all my might, don’t-care-what anybody-thinks loving. I see the people I love for their potential…not for what they are at the moment. And now I see this is terrible, really, terrible, and I fear I may have some sort of disorder. It has even been suggested that the ‘disorder’ may be codependency. Someone gave me a book called “CoDependent No More” a long time ago and suggested I may be co-dependent. I read the book, thought all the people in the book sounded absolutely dreadful, like wimpy door mats, yes-I-love-you-because-you-beat-me-kind-of-people and I knew that couldn't possibly be me. After all, I don’t let people walk all over me. This part is true. They may become addicted, they may be liars, they may be cheaters, but I am kicking their ass the whole way through. Each step of the way, I am turning up the heat. So much so, that in my presence, they are melted down and fitting perfectly into the box. Truly I should never let another person near me because of this.

Every single person, everyone, if they have spoken 10 words to me since Dave has died has said the exact same thing to me. You are young, you have so much going for you, you will love again. People, are you nuts? Has everyone lost their minds? I don’t want to love again. Love stinks. I am bad at love. I have a love disorder. I’m a train wreck. Not to mention, does not a one of you see what a tough sell this would be? Oh yes, Hi. I have a love disorder. It will be very hot and you would have to live in a box. My last husband was so happy in the box that he killed himself in the garage while I was at the eye doctor. Oh...who are they you ask? These three little darlings who are covered in snot and grass are my young boys. How good of you to notice that I have peanut butter smeared all over my shoulder and a red sucker in my hair. Now, don’t you mind the frazzled, crazy look in my eyes. I have a pill for that. And I’m a wonderful judge of character.

“The life with you was worth the fall my friend
Loving you makes life worth living
Didn't we almost have it all"............Whitney