Friday, October 26, 2012

I Miss You, Baby Tina!

When I was a wee lass, I had an imaginary friend who went by the handle Baby Tina. Baby Tina was a disastrous bitch from hell, let me tell you. She did awful things like the time she pushed me off the top of the flight of outdoor stairs at our apartment building (she promised me I could fly. I couldn't. It hurt). Or the time she painted the bathroom sink with hooker-red nail polish while I watched in horror, cowering from the voice of my mother shrieking at me through the locked door. Mom could smell nail polish. She got a screwdriver and took the door off the hinges. Baby Tina ran for the hills and I got a wooden spoon upside the ass, repeatedly.

Once she took my mother's brand new Avon demonstration kit, uncapped every last lipstick sample, and painted my face clown-style. It took four days of repeated scrubbing to wash off. I was blamed. But I made sure to rat the crazy bitch out, no way I was going down alone. Of course she skipped off to wreak havoc elsewhere while I was spanked, again, and grounded from watching Land of the Lost. Also, I got sent to therapy. What a scrunt.

For many years, Baby Tina got up to bad girl shenanigans and I took the fall. It was easy for her to get away with it; we looked exactly alike. Also, she vanished any time anyone else was around. So I looked liked a lying, delusional dumbass when I explained, very patiently, that it was Baby Tina who poured a bottle of dish soap into the coffee maker, cut the curtains with pinking shears and scratched the paint off the rollbars in my grandpa's Jeep, not me. My mom never bought it. There were many spankings. It did no good.

Somewhere along the line Baby Tina hitched a ride out of my life for good. Hopefully she landed herself in juvie hall and got her shit straightened out. I really could have used her in high school, though. She would have come in handy. Like, "Oh what's that? You think I made out with your boyfriend? Nah, that wasn't me homegirl, that was Baby Tina. That bitch a playa."Or "I swear to God officer, this is NOT my bottle of purple death-flavored Mad Dog 20/20. I'm just holding it for Baby Tina!"

My kids have never had a Baby Tina in their lives and I kind of can't relate. I guess they just blame each other for stuff instead (Grady), or sheepishly admit their transgression and beg forgiveness (Fletcher) or flat out deny it and call you bad names for accusing them even though all evidence points to them (Gwendolyn). Perhaps I should enlist Baby Tina's help in parenting. She could be the one who "forgets" to buy Toaster Strudel at the grocery store (as if I'm gonna get 'em that. Pssssshhht!) or ruins their favorite clothes in the washer or decides that brownies and popcorn are actually a fine dinner when served with milkshakes. Perhaps I'll summon her, dress her in my pajama pants and a grey pocket t-shirt with no bra and see if my family notices the difference. Then I could go crash some cars or fly off stairs or.... well, the possibilities are just endless, aren't they?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reticence and Redemption

When I think about the differences between 19-year-old me and 39-year-old me, it's sometimes hard to believe I'm visualizing the same person. But then there are the similarities: The young woman I was and the mature woman I hope to become are both on the brink, the precipice, the cliff, the diving platform, the edge of something so great and so huge and monumental, yet there we are, both clueless and hopeless and fragile and as messed up as a sack of cats.

Nineteen-year-old me would go on to become a mother at 20. She would make terrible decisions and take way too long to complete her college degree. She would helplessly cower in abject sadness when friends turned evil, wear her heart on her sleeve, and laugh loudly, head tilted back, with great joy and enthusiasm. Wow. It kind of seems like I'm talking about 39-year-old me. Because I am still that silly, fragile girl, but with a 20-spot of combat duty under my belt and a better understanding of how to cope with my crazy frizzy hair. Yes, that is a real issue.

On the edge of 40 (ok not for six more months, but still), I have a husband and three children (one almost 19!) and a house and cars and issues and bills and Wi-Fi and sadness and hypertension and stress and a stalled career and all the suckish stuff that adults have to deal with. I waffle between the definition of my current precipice: old age, or mid-life crisis? Real issues, or imaginary shit trying to kill me from the inside out? What to do, what to do.

I was thinking earlier today that I so wish I could go back to 19-year-old Amy and slap her around a little, tell her to grow a pair of ovaries and go kick some ass. But I know I wouldn't listen. A good indication of this is a conversation I recently had with my almost-19-year-old daughter who was bitching about her appearance. I find this truly ridiculous, as she is hot as hell yet walks with the dejected slump of an 85-year-old farmer. If I was her, I'd be out doing some damage.

"But you're my mom. You think I'm pretty but you have to," she said.

That's when it occurred to me that no matter what I said to my past self, I wouldn't have believed my future self, anyway. At that time in my life, I had the benefit of having friends that were a great deal older than I was. Friends who knew things. And I listened politely and believed what they said. I believed it was true for them, but not for me. After all, isn't that what youth is all about? The cocky confidence to do everything for yourself, yet the disabling insecurity and nagging feeling that you constantly suck at whatever you do? No? Maybe it's just me.

So what would an aged me tell 39-year-old me? Don't sweat the small stuff? Let it go? Live and let live? None of this will matter in 100 years' time? If you're an ass to people, people will be asses to you? All this I already know. But there's a huge difference between intellectually knowing something and emotionally owning it. And there's the rub. And also the reason I'd never, ever want to be 19 again for anything in the world.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Mother Fuckin' Fall, Y'all

This weekend was the first really cold snap we've had so far this fall. Or maybe it wasn't that cold and I'm just an elderly d-bag. I tell you though, the crispiness is out there. On my nightly walks this weekend? I could almost see my breath. And I wore a sweater with my shorts. I also tripped, skidded and twisted my ankle on about a billion f'ing fallen nuts. Walnuts and pecans. Yup. It's mother fuckin' fall.

Besides the icy breath, the cursed nut piles, the four batches of cookies I baked in the last two days, the furnace coming on at night and the pile of hoodies in the chair by the front door, I can tell it's fall by the needs I've been experiencing. See when the seasons change, it's like a primal alarm clock goes off in my brain, and there are things I must do or I'll not survive. 

The first thing I do in the fall, as though on autopilot (and I like seriously have no control over this): Hoard yarn. I buy yarn. Lots of yarn. Even though I have lots of yarn left over from last year. And the year before that. Because I must make hats! And mother fuckin' scarves! Usually all for my daughter Gwendolyn, who is not a hat and/or mother fuckin' scarf person. But I make them anyway! Because I must! I can't even knit. I crochet because it's the only "craft" my grandmother was ever able to pound into my block head. And if the thought of me with a crochet hook scares you, then you're probably smart. Because I'm way more likely to wield a crochet hook as an eye-gouging weapon than as a craft implement. But I digress. This year the insanity has grown to epic proportions.  My need to crochet is so big and so violent and so insane, that I have so far woven 23 skeins of really fat yarn into this epic blanket of doom. Afghan? That doesn't seem like an adequate word. This fucker weighs so much it's arduous to move on my own and it's only half finished. You could snare small children under it. Seriously, like if I tucked my little boys in under this thing? They'd not be able to lift it off themselves. Moohoohahahaha.....

Rambo helped me with this project. He's awesome like that. 
Also? The need to snuggle. This season is the reason why I have a king-sized bed. I'm freezing cold, miserable and unhappy unless I'm sleeping in a dogpile of heavy quilts, flailing children, the cat, and approximately 100 pillows. Until of course I end up at the bottom of this hot, sweaty mess of arms, legs, blankets and the cat, at which time I cuss and bitch and pry myself loose and go sleep alone on the frosty leather couch. Because seriously? Leather couches are f'ing cold in the winter.

Incredibly important: Movie marathons. Every single film Wes Anderson has ever made, including the really bad first ones (sorry Wes). And of course all six Star Wars movies. Yes, even the embarrassingly bad prequels. Including Jar Jar. Seriously. And the Goonies. And popcorn. Lots of it. And Donnie Darko. And lots of other movies, too. Movies and snuggly children. And this is the reason, I do suppose, for the need to crochet the blanket of infinite largess. I want a blanket that will cover the entire couch and every body snuggled on it.

There are other rituals. Pies to be baked, soups and stews and squash and roast beast and football and apple picking and scenic drives and shit like that. Hopefully I'll be over the insanity soon and we can move on to Christmas/Kwanza/Hanukkah/Festivus/etc. After the harvest is in, everything is canned, pickled, dehydrated and otherwise perserved for the winter season, what do you do with your free time? What, dear readers, are your autumnal rituals? I'd love to hear about them. Till then, Mahalo for listening!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Trouble With Being Earnest

Alternate title? The Problem With Amy That Keeps Her From Functioning Productively or That Thing That Lives In My Brain That Tries To Kill Me. Do you have depression? No? Lucky you. Now take your happy ass away from here, for this post at least, because you are not going to "get" this. Still here? Then hang with me for a moment as I meander into the foggy bog that is my September, which gets worse with each passing year of aged, befuddled hell. My life! Welcome to it!

The dark night of the soul. That's what I like to call it. I have a friend who calls it the dark muse. Whatever you call it, it's the "thing" that sucks out all your hopes and dreams and leaves you an empty, bloodless husk that may or may not crawl back into the light when October rolls around. Depression sucks, my chemically imbalanced friends. And it can literally kill you if you let it win. So don't. I raise my bottle of Celexa to you, fellow frumps: Let's get through this shit together.

Just this very day I feel as though I've been burped back into the damp chill of autumn after having slithered and slumped my way through the darkest, most odious valley I've ever known. You don't want details, I won't share them. This isn't group therapy and the little shit, none of it matters in this forum. Getting caught in the bog of the minutiae of your pain - that is the very definition of depression to me. And I choose not to dip my toes into that quicksand till I'm shoved in again involuntarily next time around.

The thing I hate most about depression is the way it robs my words. It takes them right out of my fingers so I can't release them. So they fester inside, infecting all my systems, till my skin is stretched so tight a pin prick will burst me and then every thing spews out in a volcano of choked-on verbiage. Or worse, the infection goes on and on and never comes to a head and my words muddle and disintegrate and form disjointed nonsense that struggles and burns and hurts without meaning. I hate that the most.

What does this mean for the people that love you and watch you struggle? Some days it means that your children are a little quieter around you, a little more docile and trepiditious, a little bit compassionate to your struggle. Some days it means they are much, much worse. A noisy chorus of need banging on attention-seeking drums. Or perhaps they sense your distraction and become furtive, plotting disaster as you lie on the floor in a heap of despair. So you must get up.

And that, in summation, is my plea, my wish, my prayer for me and you and all of us who are the afflicted. The trouble with being earnest is depression. So let's rise up and kick its ass. I am your cheerleader and you can be mine. Let's do this shit together. It's almost October. We fuckin' got this!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Heat of the Moment

Do you know what it feels like to lay down on a trampoline, warmed by the sun, on a chilly spring day? It feels like Heaven, especially if you get to cuddle quietly with someone you love.

My sunshine, my little King, my love: Grady James. What a beautiful, crisp, green day. I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as we have!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Poem, For You

Well all one of you that used to read this blog have probably long since given up due to my once-a-year posting style. And that's ok. I needed time off to follow other pursuits like, you know, raising three kids and such. I have a new blog - a real one! - over at the Moberly Monitor Index website. It certainly doesn't have as many bad words as this blog, but it's pretty entertaining.

There's a drawback to having a "real" blog though, and it is this: I have to self-edit my mouth. Like, all the time. I can't just go off and say whatever I want to say. And anyone who "knows" me knows this is the hardest thing for me to ever possibly do. Although as an adult, I've learned that self-editing is pretty much ALWAYS a good thing, but still. I really hate it.

So. That's why I am making a return to here, my OWN real Internet home, where I can say whatever the fuck I want and the only trouble I'll get in is maybe offending a reader or losing a reader - which I hope never to do - but this blog is all about honesty and I am honestly feeling like dropping some bad words today. So. Here, a poem, of the welcome back to my bad mouth variety. I've missed you all.

My Dick Is Much Bigger Than Yours

My dick is much bigger than yours,
even if I don't have one for real.
If I did have a real dick, it would thwart your tiny dick
like a conquering dick thwarting machine.

You are nothing to me now
but a bad memory.
Maybe if you'd had a bigger dick,
there would be something better to remember.
But no.
Your tiny, forgettable dick
is as lame and useless as anything about you.

You grow more flaccidly useless with age.
More useless than you even were before,
which was pretty fucking useless.
Your small, sad dick is tucked up and away.
My huge dick is beating you angrily like
A big dick beater with hydraulic mega super dick beating abilities.

The only thing bigger than my dick
is your ego
And for no God-given reason
should it be.
You are a tit-less man-lover
in Wal-Mart clothes.
A dirty low whore fucker with a protruding gut
and a gay woman's haircut.

Do you even still have a dick?
I bet you don't.
I bet if you do, it's tinier than a gherkin
and covered with dill pickle warts.
You dick.
Go brine yourself and die.

~Mahalo for listening.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well Hello There!

There's something about winter that makes me tight-lipped and furrowed-of-brow, hibernation-prone and cross at nobody in particular. The titular tidings of the holidays piss me off. The endless cold, the thousands of tea bags sacrificed for those hard-to-hold moments of fortification, the God-damned Clementines being pawned by every grocery outlet; it all leads to madness I tell you, madness!

Having grown up in the flippin' Upper Peninsula of Michigan, what with it's nine months of winter a year you'd think I'd be breezing through this easy-peasy Missouri winter with aplomb. But that wouldn't be me. I don't like to talk, I don't like to write about it, I don't like anybody or anything, particularly in January. So now that January is behind us, let us start our relationship anew. Relationships are what I'm all about these days.

The madness that is winter seems to get worse with each year passing. The older I become the more ancient and crusty I seem to get in the cold months. I am like an old bear in a cold cave. I have burrowed in and wallered around and want nothing more than to sleep off the bitter cold whilst dreaming of summer's berries and beaches, stone fruits and sunshine. Fuck the coldness of the winter soul.

Winter zeitgeist is all-powerful and all-encompassing in its annual energy-suck. It slams my head back into the pillow when I try to get up in the fucking cold morning. It makes me punch in telephone numbers so hard I hurt my fingers and burn the toast. It makes me ashamed to be seen in public and too grumpy to be nice to other people. It makes me want to swat a giant, ancient paw at my rowdy cubs, who suffer winter in a different way: they have the dreaded cabin fever. As much as I want to hole up and never venture out of my venerable quilts, the young ones are ready to make a break for it. Fuck that, I say. Stay inside where it's warm and full of quiet toys.

So back to the relationships part of this fucking winter. Thank you, friends. You may not know it, but I am here in spirit. The part of me that is too self-absorbed to speak asks for forgiveness. This is the part of me that is frozen and still, talking to dead family in my head, and I don't know when I'll be warm enough to speak out loud again.

But thanks to those of you who care enough to wonder, there is a little green sprout protruding from the center of me. I think by the time spring rolls around, I will be ready to be transplanted outside. And maybe my lips will thaw enough to talk out loud and maybe my fingers will defrost from the ice encrusted claws they are right now so that I may type freely again.

~Mahalo for listening