Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Old Fashioned Fiction Please, Preferably Without a Uterus

There are some people in this world who must be stopped.

Come hell or high water, there must be actions taken to prevent the travesties they continue to commit over and over again, and that we as a society are forced over and over again to sit back and watch, defenseless against such events.

Yes I'm talking you Duggar Family.

19 children?? Really? You need to have your uterus removed. And Octomom? You're just plain ridiculous. And if I hear the names Jon or Kate again I may vomit. You pop out kids like your Cuda is a Pez dispenser and I find it offensive.

We are in a recession. An economic crisis. This is not news. There are people like myself, struggling in single-motherhood. Or people like my cousins who tried and tried to get pregnant, were forced to adopt, then by some miracle got pregnant and had a tumultuously hard pregnancy and birth (luckily little man just turned a healthy 1 this past weekend).

But these women, these Reality Show people can't be stopped. They over-produce and use their children as personal gain. Parade them on national television as the "next big thing".

And pathetically too many people tune in to watch this exploitation.

Look at the likes of Danny Bonaduce and other child stars who weren't followed by camera's 24/7 and see how well they turned out, do you really think that what you are doing is going to benefit your children?!

Are you that daft?

You are selfish. You are horrible people. You Duggar's play the role of the Holy and the just. That these kids are your "Gifts from God" as it were. Then you expose them on national television and build yourself a nice huge new fancy house to put them all up in. So much for you humble appeal.

And then your drama defaces the covers of every magazine in every supermarket checkout aisle. "Jon and Kate: the new fight", "Octomom's bikini body".

Who gives a shit.

You are not celebrities, you are thieves. You have stolen valuable time and energy from the people of this country, and frankly as one of them, I would like it back.

I don't want to read about you, I don't want to see your faces on the covers of anything. I don't want to flick through my channel line-up to a marathon of your ridiculous shows on TV, or any other reality TV show that contains people like you.

I abhor most reality TV. My reality sucks enough I don't need to watch someone else's train wreck and know that they are yucking it up for the camera's, making things "look" real when it’s not.

I auditioned for American Idol once upon a time, and I know that what you see on TV is not what you get in reality. I don't regret my doing it, I met amazing people, I was complimented on my talent. I wasn't a "story". I wasn't a "freak-show". You audition in front of producers 4 at a time, weeks before you would be even called back to see Simon, (then) Paula and Randy.

I haven't been able to take it seriously since.

I watch the Biggest Loser, but only in the sense that it is real people, doing something real in losing weight and helping themselves get healthier. I am sure in that there is a boatload of bullshit off camera that we don't know about, but at least they allow camera's 24 hours a day in their gyms and you can log on to the website to watch if you want.

But the rest, are all a bunch of money grubbing losers. Jersey Shore, the Hills. Following miscellaneous families air their dirty laundry and over used reproductive organs on national television. It's sickening.

I live in reality. I'd like someone to bring back some good old fashioned fiction please, preferably without a uterus.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Take Your Happy Pills and Shove'Em Where the Sun Don't Shine

You know what sucks?

Optimists. You wide-eyed, look on the bright side, silver lining finding MoFo's that wake up on that side of the bed I can never seem to find.

You greet the day like it's a cherished friend, with a smile...and that's before you've even been caffeinated.


Granted, my bed abuts a wall, and I wake up in a haze from the gaggle of pills from the ailments that make my body mimic internally a 65 year old man, but really, who wakes up happy?

Even my 5 year old hates morning. Most kids bound out of bed in the wee hours before daylight cracks through the windows, full of piss and vinegar. Not my cherub. Nope, I have to rouse him daily, and he is a miserable little bastard until he's had his breakfast. Thank goodness for the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru or we'd both probably kill people en route to work and school.

You hear these people chatter every day, "oh things could be worse", "things will get better, have faith". BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Yes I get it, things could be worse, I know that. But that doesn't mean they're still not ridiculously shitty either, and getting deeper by the day.

One would have thought a week that had 3 wakes a funeral and an ER visit with my son would have hit the quota for shit for the time being, but that would have just made sense. I mean, even I the ever cynical thought the worst was over.

But then you remember you're getting laid off. It was supposed to be by tomorrow, but as luck (if you can call it that) would have it, you get a reprieve a couple more weeks. Sending out resume after resume with only 1 interview maybe on the horizon, and then it gets postponed. Of course it does.

Then your grandfather, the only one you have ever known so no matter if your same blood courses through your veins or not, is now in a hospital. Granted he will be 91 in March, but you know he's giving up. He's been taken away BY the biologicals to be put in some assisted living facility. He doesn't want to be a burden. He won't speak up. Taken from his home of over 60 years. Where his kids were born, his wife died, where his LIFE and friends are, to a stale and foreign place. Away from his things, his familiarity because he doesn't want to be a burden.

It sickens me that no one seems to care but me. That I am the only one bothered by this. That I am the only one who has anything to say that a man who owns his own home, flat out, should be able to die peacefully in a place he has called home for the majority of it. Not in some stale facility surrounded by strangers, but white walls and doctors. That it wouldn't be easier to get someone to the house to help him daily in HIS home, but why would anyone do what they think he would want. He just doesn't want to be a burden.

And of course, in what could be seen as a "good" thing, DSS is willing to close the case against Dylan's dad. Since I have a restraining order and he has no contact with Dylan and the case is against him and not me, they have no need to keep it open any longer. Good in the fact that there will be no more home visits by them interrupting my life, terrible in the fact that they pay for Dylan's school because of it and it comes on the heels of me losing my job.

Fucking stellar.

I scour the internet daily, sending out resume's and cover letters. Ironically getting an email saying my resume was found and I would be an ideal and perfect candidate for....MY job here for a different department. Another contract job that I cannot take though I know the ins and outs of this company due to some ridiculous corporate red tape nonsense. Which had it not been for in the first place, I would be gainfully employed for life.

I dread the mail. I dread the phone calls. Past due notices and bills I have to put off because I can barely cover the ones that are more imminent with the hours they scaled back on me in the first place. Just adding fuel to the fire.

I get to go back to court next month because of my douche bag old landlord who I owe money too apparently, even though they destroyed my belongings in a flood and treated us like crap and their mold-filled house gave us asthma, but I owe her per court document nonetheless. Can't get blood from a stone lady and you're low man on my priority list.

So alas its tax time and I still have no W-2, I will be playing catch-up with my taxes and I highly doubt my son's father will file taxes to catch up on the ridiculous amount of back child support I'm owed.

I could attempt to get a roommate I suppose, but I highly doubt people will line the street begging to live in my furnished home with my loud 5 year old son and his stomping down the hallway and roaring like a dinosaur tendencies, or his knack for not wanting to wear much for clothing and lounge on the couch in his Snuggie.

So all you bright eyed optimists with your idealistic fantasies about a brighter tomorrow, take your happy pills and shove'em where the sun don't shine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil and Grey Crayola

It's fittingly appropriate that I live in New England.

Not in the sense that I drive maniacally and have a wicked Boston accent (although both true in the worst possibly clichéd way), but in the sense that you never know what you're going to get when you live here.

New England is Bi-Polar. It's drastically in need of gargantuan doses of pharmaceuticals to even its keel. Bitter cold winters flecked with random 60 degree days, just for shits and giggles. Days upon days of endless grey with just a tease of sun. Rain that can make your bones ache in a way you never knew possible, and summer's that can rival the desert at times.

I found myself driving this morning, after a day of monsoon like rains that washed away the feet of snow that had been piled up for months, iced over and full of salt and sand. It wasn't like those pristine Saturday Evening Post covers with perfect white glistening snow. It's dirty, it's wet and it's annoyingly piled up everywhere.

So Dylan pipes up from the backseat, "Mama, is winter over yet? The snow is gone and it's warm out."

I sigh.

"No Buddy, we live in New England. This yo-yo will go on until April, maybe May."

I get my hopes up explaining to a 5 year old about how in a week a furry animal with no idea what is going on will be subjected to human ridicule, a circus. A fat man in top hat and tails in a ceremony of pomp and circumstance, all the while trying to not fear for its little life over seeing it's shadow, vowing either the end of winter or 6 more weeks of the horrific mix of snow and sleet and freezing temperatures we've been accustomed too.

Poor Punxsutawney Phil.

We are so twisted we leave the fate in our moods, in our bi-polar seasons not in the shifts in the jet stream. Not on the impending threat of global warming or changes in Ozone. Not El Nino. We blame a freaking groundhog.

Scapegoat everything. Moods attributed to weather. Seasonal depression. And in a way it’s true.

When everything around you is grey its reflective. You wear it like a tag on a Crayola label. When it's cold you're cold. Not in the sense that you shiver when the wind blows, but your standoffishness.

And even as the sky changes, turns from that slated grey to those teases of azure blue, it takes a something fierce to change the mood of a New Englander.

We are a stubborn force to be reckoned with. We live and die by our sports teams, win or lose. We are prepared for the storms that come, yet loathe them as they pass. Drive like assholes, yet bitch and moan constantly about the idiots on the road.

Like Through the Looking Glass, we live in our own twisted world of feelings and visions of how things are and should be. What we are is what we know, and even if we constantly complain about it, there is oddly comfort in that too.

Like Punxsutawney Phil and Grey Crayola.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Emotional Coroner

There's something about spending a week surrounding by death.

All ends of that spectrum covered in a short span, and every emotion fathomable reeling inside you from Sunday to Sunday, a short span if you think about it in the calendar life, but on the brink of all things mortal and immortal at the same time.

Death too soon, death by old age, death by a vicious disease. Feelings wrought from inside you garnered from past or present experiences. Obligatory appearances, hugs and condolences, and a sea of over worked tear ducts.

They say it comes in threes. I'm not sure who "they" are exactly, or what morbid count decided that this trifecta was the proper way that things were so, but so began my week.

Death came knocking last week, and loudly. Not like opportunity, which has ceased to find my door. Death on the other hand, has a fond familiarity with whatever threshold I seem to inhabit.

The first of course, though sad and tragic, you would think the least affective of me. A co-workers child. No parent should ever lose a child, this I understand, but this was to a disease I unfortunately knew well. One that not only took lives by death, but also ruined them by circumstance.

My son and I of course victims, I suffered great pain, not only in the realization of the memories conjured by what had happened, but more so the facts. The cold hard facts of what could have been. And the harsh reality that I was in for the fight of my life.

An emotional turmoil I wish on no parent, yet I fight daily.

Then of course, that skeletal hand of the Reaper once again came tapping. This time familial. My Uncle's mother. A great Aunt of sorts, if only by marriage, but one I'd known my whole life. An elderly woman yes, 87 years on age.

Sure she had lived a full life, but death never comes easily.

And so up from the sunny warmth of Florida came my family. And this wake, well it was clearly different from the first. And the differences obvious since I had to attend both in one night.

I felt like an ambulance chaser, a funeral home hopper.

I went from the wails and cries of a life taken too soon tragically at 29, to the serene family reunion of a woman who lived her life nearly a century. Drastic by comparison.

The true blow came as I left the second wake. As I pulled away that Tuesday evening, and drove steadily towards my mother's house to pick up Dylan, my phone chimed. Nothing out of the blue, I get 987 email alerts a day it seems. The wonders of modern technology.

And yet, as I approached a red light, I felt the need to glance at it quickly. And my heart started pounding, my head to spin. No this couldn't be true, not by email at least. I had to have read it wrong. But there it was in black and white. Time stamped and dated.

One of my best friends mother's had died of cancer that morning.

A woman who had been like a second mother to me. A friend who I had spent countless weekends with growing up, through high school and college. Who's family was like my family. A friend who flew home from across an ocean when my father passed away, and who's mother was there when she didn't make it in time.

And I was devastated. Cancer.

Glad she was no longer sick or suffering, but devastated nonetheless that this person who was like another mother to me was gone. Conjuring up memories of how I felt at the loss of my father. I knew how they felt, how hard it was going to be. And it sucks.

It’s funny how you realize how much things change when people die. That it's not just loss of life, its change inevitably. That a father now has to adjust to not having a son, a son adjust to not having a mother. An entire family adjust to not having their entire cornerstone.

But death comes in many forms. Not just loss of life. There is death in friendships, relationships, careers, hell even most of my cars just seem to die. All of which this past year I have come to know relatively well. I told you death knew my address well.

It’s funny when you think about it, how things end. Some extreme and some ever so slightly. Some in a hail of fire and brimstone, bringing devastation and fervor and trying to destroy all else around it as it goes. Others more subtle, they simply just fade away, drift out of your life little by little until they are nothing more than a memory.

When you find yourself surrounded by it, in every sense of the word, in every aspect of your life, when you come to just expect it; it changes who you are. Little by little, molecule by molecule.

Your entire combustible make-up is distorted and skewed. You view things not through rose colored glasses, but through the smoky haze of a terror victim, waiting on the brink of the next attack. Ever the cynic and never the optimist.

That glass is never half full, it's half gone.

You're an emotional coroner. Waiting for the next bag to fill.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reel-to-Reel Imagination and Molotav Cocktails

How do you shut off your brain? Make it stop movie-projecting thousands upon thousands of horrifying what-if scenarios that play over and over again in your head. Not even in a High-Definition or Blue-Ray advanced screening kind of way of the next big thing, but in a scratchy, raw and repetitive skipping reel-to-reel old fashioned method that makes you fear that the next scene is going to catch fire and melt and you will be forever left in limbo wondering what could happen next, left in that awful place, that place no one in that situation should ever be left alone with.

Your imagination.

Fear is a fickle thing in and of itself. Mix that with depression and reality and you have a Molotov cocktail ready to explode itself onto your life at any given moment.

Those eggshells you walk on become ever sharper that even the calloused souls (and yes I intended it the way I wrote it) you step with cease to bear the brunt and you start to feel the sharp edges protruding, even if ever so slightly.

You know rationally what is right and what is happening. What is now. But you also know what can happen, what is likely. All those endless possibilities. You've seen them. You bore witness time and time again to them. People tell you that they won't necessarily happen. That chances are your worst nightmares are as apt to come to fruition as the likelihood of Narnia being found real, or the Bush administration (either of them) admitting fault to anything.

You have seen relapse. You have witnessed the poised and calculated false promise of sobriety. That lie they tell you, tell everyone. "I am sober, I am clean, I am doing this for my child".


You said this before. I know this song. This dance. I have seen it before. Several times. The same dance that had you swaying in and out of shadows stealing from the same child you swore to change for. Rhythmic lies that just spew out of your mouth with ease, without thought. Without consequence to who they affect.

You? Of course not you.

A disease, yes a disease. I understand. But do you? Do you realize how this disease affects more than you? That it taints and tarnishes the lives of others? Rips parents from their children, makes people different from who they are?

Allows you, gives you permission to lie, cheat and steal. A cover. An excuse. One used ad nausea over and over again. "I'm sick. I can't help it. I want to be better," but do you? Do you really? All the while laughing at all you've gotten away with. I was there when you laughed. Scoffed at the Justice system. At how you knew it enough to get away with it all.

Swore you were done, you'd had enough. Listened to you lie, lie to my face as you judged other's. Others who were doing as you did. "How could they do that to their children". Who are you?

A contradiction caught in your own junkie veins.

As I comfort a friend, one who lost his son to this same disease you hide behind, he begs me to keep my son from you. To not let this life destroy mine and my child's again.

A father's pain, his loss and still he pleads to not let it happen to another innocent child.

My biggest fears are this poor man's realities.

Those ominous what-if's.

In several years of just witnessing addiction, never having known its grasp, I watched over and over its power, even from afar over another person. Watched as they became gaunt and moody, angry and out of control. They stole from their own child, they stole from total strangers, they stole from me. Emotionally and physically abused me. Watched them go through withdrawals, listen to them say they went to meetings and try to believe the lies when they said they were clean.

And then I watched my world shatter when they involved my child, MY SON, in the selling and using of heroin by his father and an undercover police bust that had a gun held to his father's head while my child bore witness in the backseat of the car. Felt my heart break when I had to learn my child, my entire LIFE was taken into State custody as he watched his father arrested and he was carted away in a police car as my son, scared so badly he was now covered in his own urine, was taken away in an ambulance. Just 10 days shy of his 4th birthday.

My fears are not irrational. My anger is not unfounded. Hell, I would think there was a problem if I wasn't petrified and furious.

A month before my father passed away, another friend of mine also died. Of an overdose. She was the mother of 5 beautiful kids, she had been doing her best to be clean, she had just gotten custody of her children back. And she was faced with temptation. One that was stronger than she was, because of this horrible demon disease. She was 29 years old.

She was found the next morning by her 9 year old, in the fetal position covered in her own vomit.

5 children, and a dear friend gone. A poor child left with the image of finding her own mother. She was a sister, a daughter a friend. And now she is a memory.

My fear is not irrational.

This past week, this wretched reminder has made me realize that I am at war. That the clichéd 80's War on Drugs may have started when I was in elementary school with the DARE program, but it is not just a thing people say. It's become my life. It's become my mission.

A war I have to fight with everything in my being to keep my son safe. I will do everything in my power to keep the enemy at bay. He will not see what my friends children have seen. He will not know that sudden loss ever again. Not have someone yo-yo in and out of his life. Especially when they are not worthy of them.

If they know anything of love, if they give a shit for well-being of their child, they will know the best they can do is take care of them...from afar. Pay their dues and walk away.

But know that I will fight you, every step of the way, tooth and nail, with every breath in my body and every ounce of dignity I have, because that is something I know you will never have.

Sometimes, sadly, the enemy has the same blood as your child running through its veins.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love and Contradiction, Haddaway...

So I've been set to task, not in any official capacity, but been plagued by a question so deep and penetrating that philosophers of yore have been debating it since the Age of Reason first emerged.

Nothing reasonable about it though if you think about it.

And though prose and poetry have been comprised of it for centuries, life and death the cause of it, war and peace both thought instigated by it's power...

Haddaway said it best "What is Love (baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me...)"
(and yes you are to head bop side to side obnoxiously in Night at the Roxbury fashion, inducing likely whiplash while saying it, so sayeth [hip-ster-krit] on Monday when she got me thinking)

And as upbeat and techno fused as that song is, the question remains poignant; not only does it question the essence of love, it begs, BEGS not to be hurt.

So in thinking of what I know of love, or more over what I believed I think I know of love, how accurate are my perceptions?

I admit, I am a closet chick-flick watcher. Now hear me out. I watch them yes, I estrogenly tear up as though on cue when I am supposed to (I blame hormones really), but do I anticipate those happy-ever-after scripted perfect endings in real life?

Fat chance.

I read things like the Notebook and Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (starting out of morbid curiosity that anyone containing testosterone could ever write such tales) and wonder how vivid someone's imagination must be. How hopeful they must really have to be to ever think any of that possible.

I, the cynic know better.

What I know of love is toxic. It is not puppy dogs and rainbows. It's not happy-ever-afters and a life of ease.

We're fed off delusions. Perceptions of what idealistic perfection is supposed to be. You should never fight, you should feel butterflies, life should be grand. Ahhhhh.

That euphoric state of happiness when all is right with the world. Yeah, those are endorphins Sweetie, you can get them from chocolate too.

Love is finicky. What I know of love I learned not even OUT of love, but out of womb. Love, REAL love found me when I least expected it, as they say in the kitschiest of ways.

I wasn't looking for it, it found me. In a make-shift relationship (ok it wasn't really one I count as a relationship, more one I sort of evolved into one once that stick I peed one told me PREGNANT in huge obnoxious letters while the voice of Nelson from the Simpsons chimed "HAHA" in the back of my head...)

Love is what a parent feels for a child (at least they should, and unfortunately I have witnessed in my life some examples of people who should have never been allowed to procreate because somehow this ability was completely devoid and lacking, but I digress). Love is that first look upon the face of this itty bitty creature and knowing unconditionally that for the rest of your life and theirs, that you are connected.

Not just by DNA, but by something more. Sure they will go through puberty and tell you that they hate you more times than you can count. But you know they don't mean it. (they are witnessing that toxic crap I mentioned earlier, and they just don't know any better)

A friend of mine from work, a dear colleague lost his son yesterday. 29 years old, only 1 year younger than me. He lost it to a disease I know well. One I both understand and despise at the same time. One I have contradictory feelings towards.

Heroin Addiction.

As a parent, I cannot even fathom what he is going through. As I sat with him today, albeit briefly, we cried together. He knew of my "history" with this drug. How it had torn apart me and my son's life. Not my addiction, his father's. And how it has kept him out of his life and mine for the past year and a half now.

But I also understand that it is a disease. And I know that no matter how much he tried to be there for his son, to support him and catch him when he fell, that vile temptress won out in the end. And I ache for him. I never want that loss for anyone, and especially my son.

THAT is love.

Not this whiney wishy washy I need to not sleep alone nonsense that people are so adamant about. Not the desire to get married and attach themselves at the hip to another person. Who gives a shit about that really.

Love is love; it's thoughtless in the sense that you don't NEED to think about it. It's easy in the way that you know no other way to be. It's all that you are and all that you will ever be. It's without a thought, without even a doubt that a person, your child, your family is before you in priority no matter what. If you even have to second guess anything, if you even have to TRY, that’s not love.

It's all been put in perspective.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hold On to Your #2's Kids, It's Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride

I have realized that I should have been a professor.

Not just any tortoise-shelled glasses wearing professor mind you, no. I am a genius. I would have prepared the masses for what they were really in for in life.

None of this algebra and diagramming sentences nonsense. No historical references, no political banter. Nope. I would have revolutionized the entire educational system I tell you.

Taken it by its stuffed shirt and ridiculously over-priced tuition and turned it on its head damnit.

I would have prepared the world for what was really out there.

My syllabi would have included such life lessons I wasn't prepared for. The things I wish I had known could happen but thought were only a reality on Jerry Springer and on cheesy Lifetime movies.

There would have been a plethora of classes offered including some of the following:

Single Parenting for Dummies
Baby Daddy Drama: It CAN Happen To You
DON'T Get a Credit Card at 18
How to Avoid Collection Calls
How Crying Can Get Your Cancellation/Disconnect Notice Extended/Reversed
It's Wine O’clock Somewhere
Relationships Suck, Just Accept It
How to Get Government Assistance (Even IF You're an American)

I'm sure if I sat here long enough I could come up with a slew of other priceless gems that I wish I knew then. I wish someone had told me about.

What good does all that tuition I spent, all those student loans (thankfully paid off now) do for me now while I am pending lay-off yet again? What good does knowledge bring you in a fight-for-you-life existence in a job market that is tooth and nail, kicking and screaming, hair pulling tough and not may the best man (well, woman) win?

Qualifications, schmalifications. Jobs are being passed over day by day by people who are over qualified, under qualified, or just who knows what other bogus reasons they give. Oh she's a single mom? That could be trouble. Does it matter that there are glowing recommendations and a resume that makes her look like a Saint? No. She comes with child? Game over.

Why weren't THOSE classes offered in college? Screw college, why weren't they offered in high school? Instead of taking SATs to prep for who could analyze which train got to which station first and who could whip out a 500 word essay in a little blue book faster and more efficiently, why weren't they doing their job? Preparing us for what was really out there?

This dog-eat-dog world that was ready to chew us up and spit us out?

As I struggle in my day to day existence, I never dreamed it could ever have been this hard. No one warned me. No one even gave me a hint that anything could ever go wrong. You grow up, go to school, go to college, you get a job, you get married, have kids, retire, you die. Done.

No one ever tells you that more often than not your life is completely derailed. That this Master Plan as it were doesn’t actually happen, or that when it does you are miserable. You grow up sure, and go to college. Example 1, a vast majority of people I know do NOTHING remotely close for work that they went to school for. Having wasted billions upon billions of dollars over the years on useless tuitions that were pretty much the equivalent of paying $40,000 to go to a party and come out of it 4 years later with a piece of paper. Hooray.

Example 2, once they are in said job, most people hate their jobs. The daily grind in which they spend 40-60 hours of their week devoted to bitching and moaning about people they can’t stand, tasks they hate to do, and usually a boss that is either incompetent or Hitler-like.

Example 3, they get married. Now granted 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce, that’s statistically proven. The ones who actually stay together, are the ones who are either in the minute percentage that are actually happy (which I believe to be a lie cooked up by being mostly drunk a majority of the time, or too busy to actually interact with each other. Avoidance makes the heart grow fonder.) or they are devoutly religious and won’t divorce no matter how much they despise their spouse. Either way doesn’t sound like a good time to me, so I believe I’m going to pass.

Example 4, now yes I put the cart before the horse. And as a matter of fact, these days, most people seem to. No one prepares you for that one in life. That once you have a kid things will be ok. Sure I love my son more than life itself. But fuck, it’s HARD. They don’t tell you that there is a possibility you’ll get NO help from the “other” parent (sperm donor as it were). They don’t tell you about court battles and custody drama. They don’t tell you about fighting for Child Support and having to struggle to keep a roof over your kids head. They don’t warn you about the Single Parent Stigma, that they might as well call you Hester Prynne and bear a Scarlet Letter on your chest.

Example 5, retire. Well, with the abundance of the Ponzi schemes and thanks to Bernie Madoff and the like, most people my age will never retire. Hell, even my 63 year old mother, even though semi forced, is not afforded ability of retirement. You live off a fixed income that doesn’t cover the cost of living. You are in limbo between which agencies consider you technically a Senior Citizen and when you can get certain benefits. It’s crap.

Life’s a bitch and then you die. They weren’t kidding.

Damnit, I'm getting myself a Mister Rogers sweater and I'm gonna teach the future generations how little they have to look forward to.

Hold on to your #2's kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Man, If I Had A Delorean...

I am in desperate need of a Delorean.

A silver, rev it up and go , "faster Doc, faster", gone in a flash, Back to the Future Delorean.

I want to make like Cher (although not ass-less on a Navy vessel....well maybe...) and Turn Back Time.

I sat in traffic this morning, dazed and on auto-pilot like I usually am and a Taylor Swift song came on. Now, I am not one that usually bows down to the campy pop/country Tween Idol, sucked into her guitary rantings about love and spite and blah blah blah, but this one was different. I hadn't been tortured ad nausea by this little ditty before.

It was simple. It was about being 15. About thinking back to that age after some time had passed and remembering what it was like to be that young and naive. Wishing you knew what you know now, THEN.

Granted, now that she is what 19, (not 30) I am sure not much in her life has changed, she's still a kid essentially, but still it hit me. So much of what I base my life on, so much of what I think I know about so many things goes back to when I was that age.

Life, love, money all of it. All of what I think I know, all of it began at 15. When I started working, when I got my first real boyfriend. The one I unfairly compared the rest of them to the rest of my adult life. Everything. The world began at 15, it started it's evolutionary path to change. To life as I know it now. Skewed off its axis and out of control, but it started then.

I long for those simplicities. Those times I thought the world was ending in my own overly dramatic emphasis when now I know what it really feels like to struggle. Back when the universe crashing down around me was because I didn't pass a test or I was grounded or a certain boy snapped my bra in class. Back when I had all the energy I envy now and wish I could have bottled up to store and save for use now, because boy do I need it more than ever.

I mean sure I had hardships as a teen, I dealt with more than a lot of teens had to deal with, but even given those extenuating circumstances I would go back in a second. Go back to the comfort of my insanely decorated bedroom in the safety of my parents house. My mom and dad BOTH there to guide me. Be mad at me, yell at me, be disappointed in me at times sure, but be there nonetheless.

I long for the days where I walked into a mall and got my first job with ease, making my minimum wage happily and knowing having my own money made me feel independent, even if I still largely depended on my family. Minimum wage back then was like $4.25 and I was excited about it. Excited. I can't even fathom being excited to make the amount of money it costs to buy a latte now, but I was.

I was a walking contradiction in high school. Cheerleader, Newspaper editor. In both chorus and band. I was in Model UN and Harvard Model Congress. I did the Environmental Club, I was on the Executive Board. I played soccer, I tried basketball. And still I worked, usually 2 jobs, I socialized. I even babysat 3 boys. I look back and have no idea how the hell I did any of it. How I pulled of the being pseudo jock/scholar/popular gal all in one. I was never pigeon-holed.

Now I have 1 job, seemingly simple in nature if you think about it. I'm not being pulled in as many directions as I was then, and yet I'm exhausted. Physically, mentally and emotionally drained after 8 hours at a desk. Sure I'm a mom now which is another full time job in and of itself, but I feel like half the time I can't even function to spite myself.


And 15 years later, I am more lost than ever. On the brink of losing my job to a lay-off in weeks, searching frantically to be re-employed. Bills piling up by the truckload it seems, and debt collectors pounding down the doors to find me. Phone calls and disconnect notices and all I want to do is crawl under my covers and hide. Cry, weep, wail, scream. Wake up and have it all be a horrible dream.

Realize that all this time, all this horrible stuff I have been going through, all the shit that hits the fan every time I seemingly get it just about cleaned off from the last time is a joke, that I have just been being Punk'd the whole time. That suddenly an Ashton Kutcher will appear out of nowhere and say “HAHA got ya!”, and in an instant all order will be restored.

I could breathe a sigh a relief.

But that's not going to happen. Doc isn't going to take me back in time to make things easier or to right what’s been wronged. Ashton isn't going to pop out and tell me it's all been part of some diabolical plan to Punk me. It hasn't been some long-standing Dramedy to watch like that Jim Carey movie where he was created just to be scrutinized, his life made to unfold just for your viewing pleasure.

There's no Delorean in my future, and there is no future in my past. It's all now or never and I have no idea what the fuck I am doing, where to go, or what the hell I'm going to do when I figure it out. If I ever do.

But man, if I had a Delorean...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Neverending Story....of My Life

There's a harsh reality in appointments. I mean sure, you can make them and break them with ease. You can blow them off, forget them if you didn't mark your calendar, or like me barrage yourself with myriads of post-its all over yourself so that you are forced to gawk at them everywhere you turn. Pink, yellow and other fluorescent colored papers screaming at you to remember a date, a time, a place.

Usually they are meaningless. I mean, sure sometimes those ominous doctor appointments make you want to put skid marks in your skivvies, but mostly it’s the ever mundane checkups or follow ups. Or appointments to have your hair cut, your nails done, your oil changed. Nothing out of the ordinary. A blip in your calendar year.

And yet sometimes you fill up those spaces with truth, with harsher realities. With things that make you hold your breath as the minutes tick down nearer to the hour. Your heart races and you are filled with anxiety that your entire life could change in an instant. That after said appointment nothing will be the same. That time and space will freeze, like Evie made happen in that show from the 80's with a touch of her finger tips and all will be frozen except you and you alone, heart beating louder than a kettle drum in your own ears as you look around at everything as it is NOW, knowing that as soon as it all starts moving again it will never be the same.

Ever since hearing the news of my impending lay-off (insert dramatic DUN DUN DUNNNNN here) I have been in a state of denial. Sure my boss and I had the "talk", but then it was business as usual. Back to the grind as it were. No more mention of the fact that in a few short weeks, days, hours, minutes I would cease to be employed. Thrown out into the Great Nothing, like the Neverending Story. Jobless, incomeless, and screwed.

Today I have my first interview elsewhere at lunchtime and the reality of it is like a kick in the face. It's nothing swanky or exciting really, and as much of an ego boost as it was that I got the call for it the first day I started pimping my resume out, I am not looking forward to it. I love my job here. I don't want to leave. I like what I do, the people I work with. I'm comfortable. It's habitual, routine.

Moreover, I loathe change.

Loathe, fear and utterly despise things going from what I know to the unknown. Could it be better? Maybe. Will it be worse? Likely. Not knowing ties my stomach in pretzel like knots I am unsure how to undo. I lay awake anxious and thinking of every possible scenario. It could be more money, yet farther away leaving me no time with my child. It could be less money leaving me to still find a second job. It could just be a useless interview and a waste of my time. The people could be stuck up Yuppie snots who encompass themselves in only themselves and want nothing to do with helping the "Newbie". It could be a ball-busting, tear-inducing, nose-to-the-grindstone type of place that when I get home all I want to do is pour myself a drink and go to bed. It could be the job of my dreams. Who knows.

But yet as the clock ticks nearer the 3 hours away until I mosey my way across the fair city of Boston to the Financial District, as I stumble through the door to meet my fate, I am going to have to face the fact that it's here. The Great Nothing. If I don't head it off at the pass and find something before it swallows me whole, I'm doomed, my son is doomed, and life as we know it will cease to exist.

It really is the Neverending Story....of my life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Won's an Award I Did

Well, thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet (and no Al Gore I STILL refuse to give you credit for making it all happen), I was given a prestigious Blogging Award.

Much like the leg lamp in a Christmas Story, this award is the sign that I too am making it. Although not quite as exciting as the thrill of electric sex glowing from a window, I am sure, well, maybe almost certain that more than just the voices in my head agree or enjoy my miscellaneous rantings.

Thanks to the ever fabulous Brenda enjoying summer over in Australia and on her hilarious blog MummyTime I have been chosen as one of the proud recipients of the Honest Scrap Award

So thus, upon receipt of this fantastic honor, I am supposed to tell you 10 random facts about me and then in turn nominate 7 other fantastic bloggers for you all to read and enjoy. Don't know which will be harder. Choosing 10 random things to divulge or choosing 7 of my favorite blogs.

Dilemma ensues.

Let's start with the facts, ma'am.

1. Jell-O creeps me out. I can go into an entire drunken soliloquy whenever Jell-O shots are around me on the disturbing nature of this substance. It is neither a liquid NOR a solid, and in my opinion any food that moves on its own without touching cannot be trusted.

2. In all of my miscellaneous ailments that compare my medical chart to that of a 65 year old man upon first glance, I have never actually broken a bone. By some strange miracle I have bruised ribs, chipped a bone in my finger, and have sprained, pulled, torn and ripped all kinds of muscles, ligaments and things that I am sure most 3rd year med students have trouble pronouncing, yet have never actually broken anything. (although with my dumb luck I am sure that when I leave today after saying it out loud I will likely change that on my way to the parking lot)

3. Up until my current residence, which I have only lived in for a couple of months and not including the year I lived in some Hippie-Type Commune in college (although if we call it Hippie-Commune and not by its actual town name it MAY count) every town I have lived in has started with an "H"

4. I was allergic to being pregnant when I had my son and no forms of lotion, Benadryl or baths could make it go away until I gave birth. Yet another reason my child will be an only child until I am dead.

5. I auditioned for American Idol, season 7. (clearly I was NOT the next American Idol since I am still broke, busted and disgusted) It is nothing like you see on TV, and no I did not see Simon, Paula or Randy...people don't actually see them until a week after the first round of auditions. However, I must say it was one of the coolest things I have ever done and though I no longer watch the show because of how not like they say it is it actually is (that so made sense in my head when I typed it...), I would do it again.

6. I don't generally drink soda. On the rare occasion I am forced due to lack of any other beverage I will force down a Diet Coke, but the only things I drink on a daily basis are Iced Coffee from Dunkin Donuts (cream, 2 Splenda) and water. Unless the weekend is here and there is alcohol involved, then it's a shit show and a free for all and who knows.

7. I am about to partake this weekend in my first Snuggie and Mustache pub crawl. Don't ask

8. Even at 30 (yes I did just admit my age) I am still petrified of spiders and thunder. I know that I am bigger than a spider and now that I am the big tough mama I normally have to do the killing in the house. This generally consists of me frozen in fear and chucking shoes at the ceiling until the thing balls up and dies, and me not sleeping in said room until I am sure the fucker is dead. The thunder thing I am pretty much ok with now, UNLESS it is sonic boom loud right over my house and then I am a skittish little girl wanting to pull the covers up over my head and hide until it’s over. And my 5 year old makes fun of my for it. Nice.

9. I can almost rival Imelda Marcos in the shoe department. When I moved, my brother complained if he saw one more box labeled "shoes" he was going to kill me. I believe there were 12 large boxes and 2 large tubs of them. And counting...

10. I pretty much say to at least one person daily "Know how I know you're gay" from the 40 Year Old Virgin. I have nothing derogatory to say about anyone gay, I love them, I just think it's one of the funniest movie lines ever, and quoting stupid comedies and comedian’s is my thing.

Phew. Now you know all about me I will be checking my bushes on the regular for the creepers. I'm not an overly complex gal really. Ok so maybe I am. I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve, well in my blog, and if you are finding me for the first time from Brenda's nom, then thanks and here are who I would like to nominate:

Ferni @
Boy does she ever

Tara @
Because she's hilarious

Kendra @
Because new motherhood is a journey

Brian @
Because a soldier's war doesn't end when he comes home

Kristine @
Because there's always humor in something

Jen @
Because she puts herself out there

Melissa @
Because she is who she is, no matter what

And just for good measure.....

Cath @
My South African Twin

SO those are my nominees people. Blogs I follow, ones I read every day. Real life people like you and me, who write because they love it, want to share what they experience and even if they do it differently or go through different journey's are all about Blogging.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Must Have Been A Real Son-of-a-Bitch

OK listen up and listen up good you vile black cloud of doom. You, that's right I'm talking to YOU, you were supposed to stay behind. Tucked in the distant memory of a year gone by not even 6 days ago. Left in the past. We were through, kaput. I was over you. But no.

You had to follow me, you had to shadow my every move into this new and sparkling year. 2010 in its infancy and you are already on the way to making your appearance very well known. How could you? After all we've been through I thought you would have at least spared me. Let me go into a new decade anew and free from your icy grasp and depths of despair.

So sure, you start mildly with your piddly annoyances here and there. Meager arguments amongst family and friends, simple really. Nothing you haven't covered before. Nothing I haven't overcome.

Then again with mild, still mild, financial annoyances. You play with my payroll, you toy with my bank account. Alas I am on to you so quick as a flash and as my fingers do the walking, I make a few calls and all is right again. Rats, foiled again!

So then you're 5th day you bring my child into the mix you dirty dog. A poor innocent 5 year old boy. An evening in the emergency room and thankfully no broken bones, but yet you try. You push and push until you just get me to the edge of what you think is my reasonable sanity. But my baby boy is ok, and you have yet again not conquered. You try as you might oh Vile one, but no, I am sworn by resolution you will not win out this time.

But this is a new low, even for you. Beginning my new year, week in and fresh with optimism and you squash it as if I were a bug under your massive shoe. Squeezing the very life out of me, oozing from all sides. A call into the office that my contract hours are almost up and Corporate America in all its glory has to fill displaced other's before they could ever put me in my job permanently, even if that's what they'd rather do.

So by Month's end, my financial stability will be gone. I am left again in jobless limbo and you in your high and mighty black cloud scoff. You've done it again. Just when I resolve to contentment, you bring me back to that place of horrid shame. Of despair and depression. Of fear and of complete defeat.

Receiving no child support for a year was one thing, because I was doing it on my own to spite you, and now you took away my independence. My legs to stand on knocked out beneath me. And now what? DCF closes the case against his father this month as well, no longer paying my child's school tuition, your "coincidental" timing I'm sure maliciously calculated. You're cunning astounds me.

My health was yet another issue, I can deal with that though, I'm used to it now. Take a pill for this, another for that. You inform me you'll take my insurance away in a year. I will use that year to get well, to prove you wrong. And then I reinjure myself. You don't quit. It's like it's all a game to you. And I your pawn, your pewter Monopoly piece, your colored Hersey Kiss shaped pawn in your twisted game of Life.

Have I not been through enough? Can I not find some Poppins like umbrella to shield me from your wrath?

I must have been a real son of a bitch in another life.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Darwinian Wisdom and Gloria Gaynor

So it came.

It didn't end in a bang, not with a flurry of emotion or excitement. Not with the ever clichéd lip-lock at midnight or champagne toast. Nope, my 2009 came to an end in my pajama's watching cheesy movies on Lifetime. Sober as all get out while my 5 year old, try as he might, tried to stay up until the New Year, yet passed out in his Snuggie on the couch about 20 minutes too soon. So I carried him off to his Transformer's covered bed, through an obstacle course of toys still strewn hither and yon from Christmas chaos and then went back to Nora Roberts on TV.


I didn't ring in the new year with friends, or with family. I wasn't invited to any parties or outings. Although the day of I got those last minute texts of "Hey what are your plans later", feeling out my options to see if they happened to be better than theirs, just waiting to see if they could tag along, but not inviting me likewise. I wasn't in the mood to deal with it all anyway. Funny the way it is.

So the entire 4 day weekend I spent in my house. Pretty much. In my bed really. My son commandeered the large TV in the living room, amongst toys and holiday paraphernalia I was not in the state of mind to deal with, and I alone in my room, watched movie after movie and napped. Because clearly asleep I don't have to deal with anything or anyone.

Not that there was anyone to deal with really. The occasional call from my mother, and by occasional I of course mean every couple of hours, because she is neurotic. But other than that and a few drunken argumentative texts from the seeming one friend left on the fringe I feel I have left, it was a weekend in solitude.

I mean I could have mustered up effort to make myself available to do something. To be my once spirited and outward self, but I'm just not in it. 2009 had drained me and the last 4 days of it had hit me hard. Like it all fell upon me at once in Sleeping Beauty-esque style and I needed to slumber until the world was right again. Until the cursed way things had been passed over and I could wake again to a new and better way of life, a new and fresher being.

I'm not going to mystically sprout off things of hope or wistful optimism, that's just not my way. But perhaps there's something. Perhaps, like the end of the Grinch, my heart has a chance of maybe thawing out, of growing from being 3 sizes too small. Perhaps like all those who ring in the New Year, I too can look forward to putting it all behind me, and that maybe spending 4 days sedated was like making it all seem like a dream. A bad dream that I can awake from, well rested and ready to start again.

And so contacts may change. Friendships will come and go. They will evolve, they will end. New people will come into my life and old ones will leave. And I will learn to adapt. I have to. Survival of the fittest, right? What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right? Isn't that what they say?

In all my Darwinian wisdom, ah screw it in all my Gloria Gaynorism, I will Survive.
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