Saturday, May 26, 2018

A happy morning

I went to the farmer's market this morning with Danny. I'm trying something new this summer where I keep my alarms on even with no plans or appointments.  I like having a day in which to do things so I hope this lasts. I also set the alarms to go off Monday through Saturday so I can hit the farmer's market every week. So far there's not a lot of farmers there, but we hit up the pie lady, bought radishes from the booth that had asparagus last week, and Danny bought a handmade wooden toy from the old couple who sell their woodwork there. The toy cost enough that we couldn't buy a muffin from the rhubarb stand, but the pie lady sells big chocolate chip cookies for a dollar so we gave her more money instead.  It was a great morning and I hope Tommy comes next week.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Don't Fear The Reaper

I think about death a lot, mostly my own. I know I'll die with regrets because I don't think it's possible not to, but my goal is to die with respect for myself. I want to be able to look myself in the eye and feel that I did the best I could, that I was a good person, and that I brought happiness to people, without explanation or rationalization or deliberate avoidance of the ways and times in which I fell short.

I know some people say not to regret anything because at one point it was the best decision you could make with the knowledge you had at the time. I don't think that will work for me because for most of the 90s I expressed zero interest in making good decisions. (Although I do remember one time I was curious about trying acid and then decided not to, even though Chris Lowery offered to give me some for free and sit with me through the trip. Looking back, that was a really good decision considering that he now has to tell the police whenever he moves and he can no longer go within 500 feet of a school. But still, I didn't make the decision out of any wise concern for my own safety, only because I didn't trust him not to say, "Oh look, spiders!" while I was out of it.)

I also know some people who say that they're not going to waste anymore time on negative people, because they don't need any more negativity in their lives. I don't get that one either, because I don't understand how time spent on a person can be wasted. I mean, you can waste time on impossible goals, on worrying when it can't prevent the thing you're worrying about, and on attempting to master things you don't really care if you succeed at or not. I'm talking about you, Words with Friends! But you can never waste your time on a person. People aren't goals or hobbies. People aren't things. If you put energy into being nice or helpful or supportive to someone who isn't grateful for it you haven't wasted your time; you've been kind, and you've gone good, and you've played a positive role in someone's life and someday they may recognize that or they may not but either way their reaction to you being a good person does not make being a good person a waste of time. Being a good person is never a waste of time.  Sitting around judging people and deciding whether or not they are worthy of you, however, is a waste of time. And I know that wasting that time, and being a judgmental jerk during it, is something that I most definitely would regret.

I regret mistakes that never taught me anything. I regret being mean or hurtful to people. I regret not buying that book that totally reminded me of a casual acquaintance because I thought it would be awkward to give it to them, and I regret throwing away a gift from an ex because I thought I was supposed to put him behind me once we broke up.  And I regret, more than anything else, all of the thousands of hours I spent trying to define myself, to fill different roles, to do things the way other people did them or thought they should be done. I regret trying to decide what to be rather than just being and then deciding what to do. I don't regret my past loves because I can't find it within me to regret loving. I don't regret ended friendships because I can't regret being a friend to someone.  And I don't regret my past journeys because they all led me to where I am today and where I am today is content. Content with my family, with my marriage, with myself, and content enough to consider myself happy with my life. In this way, I've met my life's goal.

I think about death a lot, but I don't fear it or dread it. I don't feel that I need more time than I have and if I were given a terminal diagnosis tomorrow I would feel sadness for my children because parental death is so traumatic, but not for a life cut short.  I certainly don't want to die now; I'm just saying that I'm not afraid of it when it comes.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Shapely

She is a sphere.
Sexy curves, lights and shadows. Rolling, dancing, twirling.
I am a cube. Still and squat, sharp corners and harsh lines.
Sitting, safe, still.
Her curves and her freedoms are everything I ever wished I could be but could not.
I am a cube, and to have her curves I would have to file away parts of myself and lose my edge.
She is the sphere that i can never be.
And as it turns out, some people prefer cubes after all.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

The 4 pm Bar Crowd

The four p.m. bar crowd are tired folks, mostly men, hiding in a dark tavern from wives, long-term girlfriends, and employers they've told they were sick.
They drink flat tap beer from clear plastic cups and ignore the old woman who painstakingly makes her way down the bar, leaning heavily on her thumping cane, begging money for the jukebox. I give her a dollar and am rewarded with a mix of old country twang and Dave Matthews classics.
The four p.m. bar crowd keeps to themselves, greet strangers like me with side-eye glances, and overtip the mostly bored bartender.

Monday, January 01, 2018

"Adulting"

I am over 40 years old and my friends are either my age or older. I have friends who have never owned a new vehicle. Some who've never bought a brand new piece of furniture. And some who have no idea who to call if a washing machine or fridge breaks down. I have friends who have never successfully kept a plant alive, who don't know their own blood type (or their kids), or who can't find a vagina on a gynecologist's  chart.

So could the generation after us PLEASE stop fucking whining about how they don't know how to adult and it's all our fault for not teaching them. Where the fuck did they get the idea that you're even supposed to have everything figured out at 20?! WTF!  I've been a mom for 19 years and I still turn the socks pink sometimes, and can't always read a thermometer, and forget to set the coffee maker the night before.  Every couple of weeks I have to feel to see if a kid's nose is broken and I don't know what a broken nose feels like! But I imagine it feels different that it did before so I still check, every time. Nobody ever became an adult already knowing how to be an adult. You suck it up, quit posting memes that use adult as a verb, and go out there and figure that shit out for yourself. Because as parent, we can only teach you from our own mistakes. And when you turn 18, you get to learn from your own so make them count. And after a while you should look around and realize that you are totally in over your head and that's when you learn. You learn that dirty clothes won't stink if you freeze them and that's how you stretch it til the next Friday you can buy more detergent.  You learn that if you buy the right cut of underwear the legs are the same size as the waist and you can spin them like a pinwheel and get a few more days out of them and that you can wear the same bra for days and days. And one I had to learn the hard way, that a box of powdered RIT dye is cheaper than a whole new dress.

tl/dr.  Grow the fuck up and quit blaming your folks for not doing it for you.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dances with Linda

My dad used to "date" a lady named Linda who was head over heels for him. They'd lived together but she'd been clingy and he ended it. He'd never been above the random hook-up though, so she still came around. And she was at every VFW dance, sidling up to our table in her bright red lipstick, smiling at him while he checked for other single ladies to pursue. Sometimes she'd end up at the house, other nights she wouldn't. And then I'd inherit her, and every time it was the same. She'd end up crying into her glass of Miller Lite, snorting her runny nose and chewing off the bright red lipstick, telling herself and me that she was strong. "I'm strong," she'd wail. "I've been through a lot worse than this and survived. I'm a survivor! I'm a strong woman who deserves better than him.He just can't handle me.  I won't settle. My man will treat me like a queen!" She'd spend half an hour on her little pep talk before she'd drink her now-salty beer and walk out the door.  She was a good lady, but she was desperate and needy. All she wanted was a man, really any man. She had all of her hopes pinned on love and once she found a boyfriend, THEN she'd be happy.
I see a lot of memes that sound a lot like Linda crying into her beer. Like sad desperate women giving themselves pep talks about the kind of man they'll sometimes get, about how guys are just scared of them for being strong. The thing is, once Linda actually stopped waiting for someone else to make her happy, she quit talking about how strong she was. She didn't need to anymore. She was being strong rather than just talking about it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rampant Paranoia Strikes Again


This is a HORRIBLE FACEBOOK POST.  What happened to her? Nothing. What happened to Emma? Nothing. This is a story of a woman getting scared on her way to her car. The combination of large black strangers, close proximity, and her own preconceived fears thereof caused her to knock a child's ice cream to the ground and run into a store like a crazy woman and violate the personal space, IN CLOSE PROXIMITY, of a  completely uninvolved stranger. 
"But they were following her, looking at Emma, TARGETING them!". Targeting them for what? Approximately 20 children nationwide, are kidnapped by strangers every year. Within the entirety of the U.S., less than 2 stranger abductions a month. Add to that that this was a supervised child, in a public place, and it becomes clear that that this girl was in more danger of being hurt alone in the car with her mother(?) than from this situation in the parking lot. Many more children are injured in car accidents than by personal attacks.
And what of the attack? The woman specifically said that the men were following them, one RIGHT BEHIND her and the other next to Emma. Yes she spun around and ran back into the restaurant. So she ran right past these guys, probably right between them. And NOTHING HAPPENED. They didn't grab her or Emma. They didn't panic at being caught on to and flee before she could tell the employees what had happened. They probably just walked to their car and shook their heads at how sad it is that 2 guys can't hold the door open for a white lady and her daughter (?) without being repaid with suspicion and fear. And now posted about on Facebook.  This shouldn't be a normal thing. Being tall, black, and male while walking near white people should not be seen as a threat. Certainly not in 2017.