The Kool-Aid Questions – How Low Can You Go?

I started thinking. Every time I say that, I hear “Danger. Danger Will Robinson.” I also see in my head the the robot flailing dryer hoses as arms – my mind is a fun place to be. I tried to find a clip on YouTube with waving arms – no luck.

Parenthood is a series of decisions. Some good, some not so good. I frequently wonder (because I am insane, probably) if this is the decision that will send my kid to ruin. If I let her color her hair with Kool-Aid, will she hang out with the wrong kids, do drugs, go to jail and break my heart? If I take away his pacifier too soon, will I cause him to look for oral gratification in other ways, hang out with the wrong kids, do drugs, go to jail and break my heart.  If I let him have a pacifier, am I teaching him to do drugs, smoke, or drink? If I let her go out with that boy I don’t like, will she run away and get pregnant before she graduates high school? If I don’t let her go out with a boy I don’t like….it never ends – I told you my head is a fun place to be.

Seriously, though – I have let go of my expectations of most things, making me more peaceful and content. But, have I let go of too much?

I woke up this morning in a great mood. It is Easter. My kids are with their dad; I have no plans for any holiday celebration as I have to work. But, that got me to thinking and thanking. I am thankful for all the money I saved on a traditional Easter meal, since I do not have to prepare one. I am thankful for not having to spend time when any assholes (yes, there are assholes at work, but I get paid for that shit) that are not related to me (link prior blog). I am thankful I no longer am sad when I wake up on a holiday with no plans. I didn’t have to clean my house or plan or shop. It was about here where I wondered if I should be sad?

Leaving all of the religious, faithful arguments out of it – am I ruining my children as well as contributing to the continual tearing of the fabric of american families? I have let go of the significance of the date and celebrate these events when it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I also have let go of traditions, because some traditions don’t translate when there are only 3 of you. Why would I create an entire traditional holiday meal for 3 when 2 will complain and not want to eat most of that meal? We don’t eat that way (heavy comfort foods) the rest of the time. The meals cost a ton, too many leftovers for me to eat alone, etc. Plus, no cooking, cleaning, etc. When there is a holiday, we talk about options and then we pick one.

At first I worried, that I wasn’t giving my kids enough traditions, but to be honest – I’m a single mom who owns a home, and works 3 jobs. My life is easier because I don’t have to do: X (or my X – ha)  I save hours and $$$ every time we go out to eat when a holiday calls for a traditional meal.

Because this is too much to think about on a Sunday, i called my sister on the way to work – she’s like – well, families are broken, things change. We talked about our childhood. Mom was a “there is always room” kinda mom. You could bring anyone home without a pre-plan. You would only get in trouble if there wasn’t enough food. And, there was always enough food. Some families stick to family on holidays. Not my mom – everyone is welcome. We invited anyone who may be a holiday orphan. I thought that is what everyone did. Yeah – not so much. I’ve spent a lot of lonely holidays (see – it wasn’t always like this). Some of our favorite memories from living at home were spending our holidays with whatever family was around and whatever friends were orphaned – at my moms best friend’s house. We reminisced about that and I had a realization.

All of those holidays as a family with friends – began when my moms bestie got divorced – she was the first in their group. About the same time, my grandparents had stopped coming at holidays and older siblings had married and moved. It was simple, if we had out of towners coming, we stayed home and invited anyone. If we didn’t, we hung out with moms best friend and whomever was orphaned at her house.  From that broken family, joyous and love filled holidays ensued.

One of the hardest things about my divorce was breaking up with my holidays and all of my traditions. Some I redesigned. Some are ever changing. One of my closest friends grew up with no family she says (we disagree, but I digress). It was definitely broken. She has done everything she can to instill traditions into her daughter’s life. She is a great mom. Makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing. 

I personally feel freer, happier, and more content. I don’t have a check list of things we must do in order to have a happy holiday. I take it as it comes. Its been a crazy month or so. My kids and I haven’t even discussed an alternate plan for Easter. I am going to go shop the sales for candy tomorrow and they will get their “basket.” And, that may be all. And this is okay.  It wasn’t easy getting here. I just hope I’m not fucking everything up for my kids.

 

 

What a Drag it is Getting Old

My dad had emergency surgery a few weeks ago. He is on the mend now, but it was a hairy few days. I had to fly out of town. I haven’t wanted to write about it because everything is resolved, and because it wasn’t very funny.

I can’t even think of how to make it funny.  I thought my dad was going to die. Truly he has been dying in pieces for years. He no longer sounds like my dad. He is an older, frailer, less dynamic dad than I know. That’s okay, I love him and and thankful for the time he is here. While I am getting used to the idea that he won’t always be here, I don’t really like it. The memory loss and confusion make it more difficult to resolve things or even bring things up – which takes a toll on what has been a very open relationship. While I was getting through my days at the hospital, I had other hurdles I didn’t see coming.

He and his lovely 80 year old wife wanted to whisk him out of the hospital to their lovely home as soon as he got out of surgery. Which I understood, but he needed to spend a week in the hospital and then some time in a rehab facility – not that kind…but, one for occupational and physical therapy. But, no. They thought it would be best to go home and rehab. So, you see the dilemma. Without getting into specifics, lets just say…this is another thing about growing up that sucks.

I had to tell his wife that  if they went home and he went down and took her with him, 2 broken hips and they would never see each other again. That made her cry again. Me too. But, c’mon these people are stubborn. And, I get it. You spend your whole life growing up, doing and not doing things because you have parents, then kids. When you finally get to let loose….well, you may not be able to be on your own anymore. This couldn’t sit well with anyone of any age. I earned my wisdom and the ability to make my decisions. And, because I am not married, I no longer need to get anyone’s approval to do anyfucking thing. (That is delightful, I tell you. I try not to laugh out loud with glee when my married friends say, “I have to check…”)

I would be terribly resentful and angry at anyone who was trying to take that away from me.  And, what makes me think I know anything about it? Well, I don’t. But, I know what it feels like to need to be in control to get through your day. And, when you can’t be in control – major suckage.

And, then in the middle of all of that, while you think you are coping, your parent says something like, “This isn’t worth it.” I get that too. When you have spent most of the last few years in doctor’s offices, with no end or relief in sight, you get tired. And, when you are upwards of 40, you are already always tired. They have lost several friends and family members in the last few years. My dad is the only remaining sibling or spouse in his family of 14. It sucks.

As if this wasn’t difficult enough, all of this reminds me how old I am. How if I sit too long, my hips get stiff. How I don’t really sleep through the night. How I can’t get comfortable and can’t sit, stand, or lay for too long.  I can’t see. I can’t hear – I think it is actually time to go get a hearing aid or two. But, WTF? How did I get here? Hearing aids? Okay, sure, some of the hearing loss is organic and some can be blamed on my propensity to listen to my music very loud. But, I am still going to shows. I laughed when I read about Brian Johnson turning the mic over to Axl because he didn’t want to damage his hearing further. Not very rock-n-roll. But, I get it now.

So, it gets me thinking. My writing career and all that encompasses is the brain exercise I am doing to keep that part working. I get some exercise, but really should hit the yoga mat a few times a week and walk a ton more. A renewed commitment to keeping busy. Less TV, more reading, working, writing. A renewed plan for physical health. I have already upped my diet to be more vegetable/fruit less crap.

The last few years I have been downsizing my things. I have also been downsizing my wasted energy. I don’t want to waste any precious time on dumb stuff. Funk the dumb stuff. And, almost everything is dumb stuff. I left my large pile of shit to do and took my kids to the coast. My heart and soul are renewed.

Suddenly, some things don’t seem to matter anymore. Excellent – more time for the things that do.

 

Divorce: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I’ve decided that Divorce is the gift that keeps on giving, instead of the thing that cut me off at the knees, leaving a barrage of scars. But getting here was a long haul.

And, I’m not saying that in a snarky or sarcastic tone, really.

Since my divorce, I have learned so many new things and am energized and excited in ways I never thought possible, especially at the beginning.  I have updated my resume (this seems easy until you consider my college roommate. She found her most recent resume on a floppy disc), interviewed for many jobs and am on job three post-divorce. I have made new friends, met new people, and learned new things. During my eight days at job number one, I found my lip gloss soulmate (it’s a thing) and learned how to use two monitors. During job number two,  I found new restaurants, stores, and deeper appreciation for cultural differences. Job number three led to my illustrious writing career and without it, you wouldn’t be reading this.

I used to want to stay home every night and watch tv. I still like doing that (way more than I should) but, looking back on my marriage (dinner, watch favorite shows, costco on saturday) that now feels like waiting for my turn to die. Now, I am writing, hanging with friends, finding new things to do. I used to want us to agree on all of our kid-related decisions. We didn’t. Still don’t. But, now I know that we won’t always agree and there is nothing I can do about it. So, I do my thing and he can do his. I have peace.

We had a lot of money. A lot of money. Now, I don’t have a lot of money. I learned how to do more with less, building better relationships with my kids in the process. And, teaching them you don’t need money to enjoy things and you don’t have to be in the front row to enjoy the show.  I’m not arguing that money doesn’t make things more fun, but fun can be had without. I am not necessarily materialistic, but I loved my home and my really nice car. Now, I am free as a bird, not defined by what I drive or where I live. Plus, I’ve learned to find joy and calm even when things are tight.

Before, I wanted my friends and their husbands to like us and want to hang out with us. We had some like that. But, now I have found that I can choose (and choose, I do) who I hang out with and what I do. Much easier and no stress. What can suck about only spending time with the people you choose?

What used to be a loss of all of my holidays has given me the permission to do different things, to make or break traditions. I spent one Thanksgiving or Christmas at the movies. Not crowded. Especially the chick flicks. The theater was filled with men and kids. Which only served to remind me; you don’t have to do all that work, spend all that money, while the ingrates go to the movies. And, you don’t have to spend time with his relatives, especially the assholey ones. Traditions are important, but we have made it our tradition to be flexible and try new things. Instead of making all of the decisions, we make decisions together. While that is more “friendy” than “parenty,” we all enjoy doing the things that we choose to do together.

While I was married, I was worried about my future for a variety of reasons. Now I have a plan for my future that excites me so, I cannot wait to retire. This divorce has given me the opportunity to live a second chapter, or start a whole new book. It has given me strength I never knew I had. It has given me new friends. It has given me new traditions and happier holidays. It has taught me I am creative and flexible and smart. It has given me freedom and joy. It has taught me a lot about parenting. I don’t know if I am a better parent, but I am a different one. I have always been open minded, but now I am not just open, I am receptive to new things.

The most surprising thing, though, is how this experience has enriched my children’s relationships with their parents. In my home, we spend almost all of our time together. If we watch television, we do it together. If we go to the movies, shopping, out to eat, we do it together. We take short road trips and go on local “adventures.” I try not to make other plans, waste time online, or talk on the phone when my kids are home and we are together. While divorce may make it easier to “play” us, it also makes it more difficult to have a favorite parent. I am not sure if this better, but I know if we were married, the relationship would be primary.

While all of these things are true, they are not reasons to divorce. I think it is way better for families to stay together. When that isn’t possible, you need to go through it. It sucks a lot of the time, but some moments of joy seep through. Everyday, I find reasons why divorce keeps giving me presents. And, I am thankful. It wasn’t easy and I had to choose happiness – something that is more difficult than it sounds.

The best thing…divorce has turned me into a perfect girlfriend; I don’t ever want to get married again and I don’t care about money.

I am totally free.

My Childhood is a Liar

My childhood was a lie. A big fat lie. Like a lot of kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to get away from my parents. I couldn’t wait to make all of my own decisions. What happened to the “doing what I want when I want how I want and where I want” adulthood I couldn’t wait to get to?  What happened to that? My childhood was a big fat liar.

I’ve gone on and on about a lot of things that are surprising as we age. Well, I was surprised, anyway.  If last year was the year of children related horrors, this year is shaping up to have a completely different focus.

One of my best friends and favorite people lost her mom last week. She held her hand and loved her until she slowly slipped away. I kept her company with daily texts and support as she was there for me when my mom died. She also remembers the tiny shit show that happened after. We were going to get together at my favorite wine bar a few days ago and raise a glass to our parents and share memories. She had to bail as she had funeral arrangements to handle. I called another friend. When she arrived, she announced she had just come from her Stepdad’s funeral. We spent the evening discussing her trials. Then this morning, another close friend has lost a parent.

This is another ugly chapter in adulthood. While I can usually find the silver lining, it kind of sucks. You spend all this time growing up, getting a job, getting married, building a family, getting a divorce, building a new life and you are just about to enjoy your adulthood, when all hell breaks loose.  I was making plans for a fun retirement, and I may be caught up in a few things that will impede that fun. And, chances are, by the time I am done with all of that…I will be ready to attend the funeral I have already picked the music for. Yes, I have really chosen the music for my memorial/party, whatever. Have you heard some of the crap that plays at funerals?  If I hear Bette sing about being a bird again, I might lose it. And, while some of the other traditional songs are beautiful, they are just not my style. Besides, why on earth would I want the same songs from everybody else’s funeral?

My dad’s health is failing and his memory is going, going, almost gone. He has lost his will, I think and that is the hardest thing for me. Who can blame him, he has no siblings left and most of his friends are gone? His closest relative is his cousin and both are in such poor health, it is unlikely they will see each other again. He is in constant pain and spends many hours “doctoring.” He no longer resembles that Dad I had, physically or mentally. I’ve been grieving him a little bit for a long time. I’m completely okay with his decisions and plans. And, if he is ready to go, I must let him. He has taught me so many things in life, I guess now he is teaching me to die. Even though some of the best lessons he taught me are how to live.

I know this is a normal occurrence. I do. Your parents should die first. I am lucky to have had my dad for so long. But, now is the ugly stuff: dying, death, funerals, wills, estate settling, and a long (hopefully) future without any parents. I have never been “Daddy’s little girl.” I wasn’t spoiled like that. But, we have spent most of my adulthood very close. Who will I call when I don’t know what to do? The tears just started…so, done with this line of thought.

So many things have turned out be be lies. Next, I suppose, you will tell me that my face won’t freeze that way and I can get sick from not wearing a coat. 

I have started 20 blogs about the last few weeks. But, I can’t seem to get everything organised. So, I’m just going to throw out there where I am. And, oh yeah, I need an assistant.

One Gigantic Dick

I’m way behind on my blogs and most other things in my life. But, I’m so exhausted….I’m almost ready to have those fantasies of being put into the hospital for exhaustion…..almost….but, not quite. And some people find time for that creepy little elf on a shelf.

So, you know, I gotta be motivated. I have tens of blogs waiting to be finished for publication, but I really am going to need to be motivated to rise above all of my exhaustion and whining. Plus, the teenage pit viper my son and I live with, doesn’t like me again. This time I’m a “liar”. Is that a step up or a step down from “lazy”? I can’t keep up with all the teenager slang. So, I could have written teenagers are assholes #2….but, that isn’t much fun.

And then….my friend, and fellow author, Terri George posted this: see big painted dick here .

I immediately replied to her…that this is how my blogs write themselves. “Enormous Penis Pops up” in New York. I mean, how fun is that already?  From the headline, I can see that an artist has painted this 4-story pink love gun on a building in New York.  So, I look. Wow! It is pretty big. Is it art? I don’t know and I am not sure I even care. Because already, these thoughts “pop up” in my head:

  1. Without balls, just looks weird.
  2. Way too much pink…I haven’t seen that much since the pit viper was 5
  3. Talk about penis envy.
  4. Why does it appear hard instead of limp?
  5. I need better photos.
  6. They painted over it already?
  7. Is this a joke? Is this a dick joke? Is this a limp dick joke?
  8. Do you need one, have one, or are you one?
  9. Really….why don’t you have any balls?
  10. This artist normally paints vaginas but, thought she would mix it up..
  11. The article calls the artist “cocky.” (You will also see: erect, member, etc.)

Seriously….I could just sit here and write the blogs that write themselves all day. I don’t even have to go looking for material. It is fucking everywhere. An enormous penis painted on a wall in New York. I meant what the fuck? Are you fucking kidding me? Why? Not “why not?”, WHY? What is the point? To shock? C’mon….Madonna already wears the crown of “shock by cock.”  This seems original but, it really isn’t. I wouldn’t call it art. We call them private parts for a reason.

I personally don’t care. But, I think it is unnecessary. I’m frequently called on the carpet for my frequent and constant use of profanity. I’m called “lazy” (oh, maybe pit viper is on to something:)) and lacking in class, and many other fun and judgy things. These are fair, though not really legitimate, opinions. I think a penis that needs an elevator is lazy as far as art goes. It is easy. Next? Tits? Ass? Pussy?  Then what?  And, really why?  We are just steps away from porn. And, while I write erotica, I still think it has a time and a place.

Article claims that in addition to being art, it will “continue sexual harassment conversations”. I would argue, strongly, that this big dick is just a continuation of same. She did do a fantastic job, though. She did it quickly, but it looks remarkably lifelike – minus the balls.

I can’t decide what I want to be today: political, bitchy, hormonal, sympathetic, soap-boxy, funny. Oh man, do the holidays wreak havoc on everything.

Parenting is Fucking Hard

So……I am in this ongoing battle to rid the 13 year old boy of video games and his addiction to glowing boxes.  His dad and I kept him away from game boys and home video systems (except wii – that will probably put him in counseling later) for a long time…..5th Grade…..so, I thought we wouldn’t have any of these issues…after all….the girl likes her phone..but, she is not addicted.  I am going to skip to the good stuff……really.

The boy is supposed to park his phone on the kitchen counter when he goes to bed. When I notice it is not there….I go in search of it…..for a while it was easy to catch my son on his phone in his room.  He usually closed the door. Then he got good at listening for me to come down the hall and better at predicting when I would “surprise” him with an open door.  I let him win very, very occasionally…cuz, the game is a little fun.  Plus…confidence makes kids stupid.  Last night….I was going to win. And I did. Boy, did I “win!” I took the phone away last night and went downstairs. I didn’t actually “win” until the next morning.

Irritated, I decided to not charge it and to take it away for a week or so. But, a few minutes later boy comes down stairs and reminds me how difficult it is to locate him when he doesn’t have a phone. Whatevs. I went to bed.

Next morning, I am racing out to work and realize the girl didn’t have school. I decide to set the alarm on my sons phone and put it in his room so he wasn’t late for school and also so I could locate him at his game later in the day.  As I used his password (it might seem like I hardly parent my children….not so…I have passwords and full access to their electronics.) to unlock the phone….something catches my eyes. They got really big and I immediately turned the phone to dark.

Then I thought….”Wait a minute….I’m an adult….I can look at porn.” —– I know…believe me, the behavior and the irony are not at all lost on me.  So….I open it back up and sure enough….my innocent 13 year old boy is looking at porn on his phone.

Newsbreak:  OF COURSE HE IS!!!!!! So….I decide to investigate a little….15 minute video? WOW!!!!!!  I skipped around through it….and discovered….just normal upper middle class white vanilla stuff…..no tatts.  No fake tits.  Just Girl on top, Girl giving blow job. Normal. Normal Stuff.  

So….While I was not devastated or immediately concerned or freaked out…..It was still a surprise. This is normal stuff. Normal behavior for anyone….especially for a 13 year old boy. I could blog about this morning for hours…but, I’m getting to the next part.  I called a friend…who has boys….for support and advice.  I wanted to ask her about a friend she had recently mentioned whose son was addicted to the internet and what they were doing to help him.  And, she dropped this…….her friend….her son is 13.  He is not just addicted to his phone and the internet…he is addicted to porn. He is depressed, on medication, in counseling and it has really effed his young life up.

And, just like that….sirens go off in my head.  How many of my friends have sons who are/were “addicted to video games.” Okay…before I call all of my friends lying bitches…..I am sure that most of my friends whose sons “were addicted to video games” were.  But, among all the people I know….someone just had to have a kid who was addicted to video porn…not video games.  You know. I get it.  Who wants to admit this stuff about their kid? Who wants to admit that they have failed as a parent?

Well…..news flash scaredy cats……share your stories…we could learn.  Maybe the world would be a more forgiving place. And…maybe you could help another parent avoid some of the pitfalls of parenthood.  Or…maybe, just maybe….you might find out you are not the only one. You might make a friend. Learn a new coping skill.  Hear a new idea. And…by the way……you have not failed. Parenting is a marathon event. Make a mistake. Fix it. Move on.  Love your kid.

I do not think my kid is addicted to porn…..but, I am definitely going to have to put the kibbosh on this.  I cannot wait to hear the “truth” as I share my story with my friends.  I am sure you will be reading about it.  

2 final random thoughts…..I am going to stop bitching about my friends not supporting my passion…..because if they don’t read my blog, they can’t get angry when I write about them. And….it occurs to me….I never have had a problem sharing my story (okay…took me awhile to get comfortable telling people I write erotica….) and that may stem from my habit of seeking people out and finding out what we have in common so we can interact.  Maybe others are more aware of their differences…than the things they have in common.