Category Archives: Stories From the Past

To you.

Depressing post, as promised:

I can’t believe it has been almost nine years since you died.

I was just a kid then, barely even twenty. Sure, I had a kid of my own, but I was still a baby in many ways.

The only experience I’d ever had with death previously had been my Great-Grandparents, and my Grandmother. And it’s not the same. Sad sure, but they were old, and sick. They were supposed to die.

You weren’t. You were only seventeen.

And it changed me, it  impacted my life, in ways that are still becoming apparent.

When it happened, I was so caught up in everything that was going on with your brother and I. He had just cheated on me. And that last week, I saw you, I was too busy fighting with him to really spend any time with you. Sure there was that time you guys came over so he could beg me for money, and you entertained yourself while we argued by making all of the electronic baby toy sounds into one song. It was particularly obnoxious, but also, kind of funny to hear Elmo and Big Bird’s hot rap mix.

So when your mother called me a week later and said that you were dead, for no reason that they could find, when she said that you had gone home and died, (in my shirt, that you had somehow taken home with you, no less) I was completely blindsided. Destroyed.

That night, when all the toys started playing themselves, making their own toy rap, singing their homage to you, I was freaked out, yes, but also strangely comforted.

I got back together with your brother then. Because he needed me, because your mother begged me to,  and because he felt like you would have wanted it that way. You were so mad at him for cheating on me. So angry at him for not thinking of his child.

I tried to help them, in their incredible, unbearable pain, but I didn’t really know how. And I had to hide my own sorrow, because no matter what I was feeling, he had it worse. Your mother had it worse. Your girlfriend had it worse. My grief wasn’t as valid as theirs.

So, I pushed it down, and down, (until it started coming out on its own, in the form of panic attacks.) I ignored it, and focused on helping your brother as best I could.

Who, I’m sorry to say, was changed, destroyed. Beyond repair. Whatever semblance of good he had left in him, was taken by this. And even though he stopped talking about it, this never left him. He simply stopped caring. He went back to smoking pot, full-time. He stopped giving a shit about himself, about me, and the kids and everything else. He did exactly what you wouldn’t have wanted him to do. He stayed with me, because he thought that was what you’d have wanted, but he stopped caring.

This was the beginning of the end. Really, we never should have gotten back together, but strange things happen to people during crisis. We faked our way through another child’s birth, (a child we named after you, incidentally) And we faked our way through a wedding. But the man I loved, well, he was already flawed to begin with, and you took what was left of him with you when you died.

Now, I’m not sure if that’s why he clings so unreasonably to the children he has told me numerous times he did not want. Because you cared about her, would have cared about them both, had you been able to meet the other.  He wanted his life back, he wanted to be single and free of children, and it might have, might have helped him to find himself and become a good person again. Instead, he clings to a life he does not want, while doing something you would absolutely hate him for. He clings and is so bitter and angry and hateful for it.

I don’t pray, and I’m not religious in a traditional way, but I know, know that you are out there somewhere, with your toys and pinwheels. I just wish you were here, so you could talk to him. To them.

Hell, even if you took their side, I still wish you were here, sweet boy. I miss you. No matter how I feel about your family, I will always love you.

And,  though it took awhile,  your passing managed to change my life in a good way too. Because now, I realize just how precious every second is. How important it is to be with the ones you love, to be happy, and in the moment. To live as you did.

There is no tomorrow, there is only today. Live it, Love it. Be in it.

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An Addendum to the Klutz Post

After I wrote this, someone was kind enough to point out that I had forgotten  several choice incidents. So, in the interest of full disclosure here, and because I don’t think I can possibly lower your opinions of my balance and walking prowess, here you go:

When I was a kid, I stepped on a stick. The stick swung up, hit me in the leg and lodged 2 inches into my calf. It took my mom (and various doctors) months to get the splinters all out. It was old bamboo, if you need to know.

On the way out of a friends house, I tried to jot out the door quickly so as not to let her cat out and ended up missing a step, and landing on the inside of my ankle, twisting it outward. I was on crutches for weeks after that one.

One day, I stepped on a piece of glass. Thinking it a small splinter, I pulled it straight out, not realizing it was curved like a hook. Blood everywhere, and several stitches that time.

I dropped a can of green beans on my foot.

I hit myself in the head with part of the metal Kirby vacuum cleaner, and bruised my face.

I’m told I closed a car door on my head once, but I don’t actually remember this, perhaps due to the concussion.

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Filed under Rants, Rambling, and Musing., Snark, Stories From the Past, Things That Suck

I’m a Klutz, Okay?

I hear people all the time, well, O.K, not hear, exactly, since I don’t actually talk to people in real life, but I see people all the time, talking about how clumsy they are.

You are not clumsy.

No. You are not clumsy. You may bump into things occasionally, or whatever. Fine. I grant you that. But, in a contest of who is the biggest klutz? I win.

What’s that you say? You would like me to elaborate? You would like me to share with you all those embarrassing stories of things I have done to myself over the years that prove just how accident prone I am? Why, sure! Anything for my readers.

First: I broke my ass.

Yes. I.  Broke. My.  Ass. And not doing any kind of cool extreme gymnastics or anything. I broke my ass taking out the trash.  Granted, I was drunk, and I was wearing boots with four inch heels, but still. I broke my ass. When I finally got over the embarrassment,  and went to get an x-ray, two days later, the doctor showed my, right on the big light box, how broken my ass really was.

As a side note, this was a few days before my wedding.  Wearing a wedding gown and sitting on a ‘roid pillow. Hot.

Oh, well, you think,  anyone can break their tailbone. Give us more.

I closed my hand in the garage door. Flattened three fingers.

Then about a week later, I dropped a five gallon bucket of paint on one toe.

When I only walk into, stub my toe on, and bruise my hips bumping into things,  I consider it a good day.

Just this week alone, I grated my thumb in a cheese grater and spilled boiling water on myself.

I win!

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Blast from the past

Was going through my hard drive today and I found this-written years ago.
I work in a bookstore. Last week a woman came up to me and asked me for help finding a book. She said she didn’t know the title, or author, however she had heard it featured on a television show recently, and it was about “How to make your husband happy, keep your house clean, and be a good woman.” One of the other things she remembered about it was that the book offered three different versions of the cover so that you could get the one that represented you best. I guess Happy Housewives is definitely getting a lot of publicity.

On a similar note, a few days ago a gentleman came up to me looking for a book that talks about why feminism is dangerous and bad for society.
Hmmn. We didn’t find the book he was searching for, but I wonder what that was…

Honestly, I have never really had the time to learn much about feminism or the issues, because I had children young. I married my high school sweetheart and was 19 when I had my first baby. And, I couldn’t work, because his job was far more important, and we couldn’t afford daycare. I couldn’t finish college because he decided we needed to move constantly. My job was to clean, cook and be a mother. I was not allowed to have a social life, or friends, but he could do whatever he wanted because he worked. It took many years of my life for me to realize that I deserved better. I deserved to be respected and valued for what I did. I deserve to be a person, not just a mother-wife.

But leaving a situation like that is not easy. I ended up alone while pregnant, and without a clue how to get along in the real world. Eventually I figured it out, but in the process I lost custody of my older children because I couldn’t afford to fight for them, or care for them alone, not to mention, losing my house and 90% of my belongings. And then I got to see first-hand what it is like to be a single mother in America.

I stayed with a relative, paying rent, and sleeping in her hallway with a playpen next to me. I worked 3rd shift with a newborn at home, for as long as I could manage. (Read: until she stopped sleeping during the day.)Then, I received assistance to put her in daycare just so I could work to make barely enough to eat with. I couldn’t save enough to get a place of our own; I couldn’t save enough to get a car. My income tax returns each year still go to paying off the student loan I took out for the education I wasn’t allowed to get. And the more I made, the more I had to pay towards daycare myself, so I never really got anywhere.

I did eventually meet someone who values me as an equal, and am currently sharing living space with him. That has allowed me to work in the evenings, when he is home, so that I am home during the day with my daughter, who is not yet in school. The vain part of me, would like to say I do this because I don’t want to have her in daycare all day long, but the fact is, I can’t afford daycare. What I make would pay for daycare and leave…nothing. So what is the point of it?

So I stay home during the day now. I clean (with Flylady), I cook, and I spend time with my daughter. (I don’t, however, vacuum curtains on any kind of regular basis.)
At night, I leave for work, working from 6pm to 12pm, generally. On these nights, I don’t get to see the person I have a relationship with. He gets home at 5:30, and I leave for work then. When I get home, he is asleep. On weekends, I work. I still don’t have a car, and haven’t for years. So I am trapped in my home, with a small child, every weekday.

Even though my life is significantly better now, I will never forget how everything was for me and the lessons I learned throughout this.

We should all be working together to make things better for all women. If they stay at home full time or work full time or have to do some thing in between to make ends meet, they need help. We all need help. The system here at least, I know from experience, sucks. Being a mother here is hard, and we have no support. Being a single mother here is nothing short of impossible. Yes, it can be done, and yes it helps to start off with an education, and skills. But, it’s damn hard. And it shouldn’t be this way.

I would like to help others. I would like to see more help for women who are stuck in situations like I was, or worse. I would like to see more support for those women who can’t leave their relationships because they can’t afford to live without them, even if their husbands/boyfriends are physically or mentally abusive. I know several women currently who would leave unhappy relationships, but cannot, because they cannot face the challenges of doing it alone, because they don’t have enough financial or emotional support. They stay for children’s sake or because they feel they’re supposed to, because society or their religion dictates.

You must be a good mother-wife, ever happy and uncomplaining. No matter if you chose to/have to work or not. There is this pressure to be Martha Stewart at all times. Pressure to have vacuumed drapes and perfect meals and well mannered spotless children. Pressure to have the perfect relationship, or to at least pretend to have the perfect relationship. Pressure to breastfeed exclusively and feed your children only organic health food that the average person can’t afford to even buy exclusively because it’s so much more expensive. It isn’t fair, or right that society and the media just add to that pressure constantly while still not offering support for moms and women in so many areas.

Who do we talk to when staying at home with three children under the age of 4 is starting to drive us insane? What kind of homemade cookie shape is appropriate for children with autistic sensory disabilities and gluten allergies? Where do we go when we can’t afford to stay home anymore, but can’t afford childcare? Who listens when we have those days where we feel like all we did was clean up poop and prepare meals? Are we not even allowed to vent because then it’s taken as us not loving our children enough to enjoy every second we have with them?

I suspect there’s more to happiness than just embracing the dusting. The problems run deeper than this. We need to feel like we have value to society and in order for us to do so we need to be treated like we have value. More value than just a trophy wives, soccer moms, second-rate employees, or maids. Value as human beings. And it needs to be easier for us to “choose” the paths we want to take in life, whether it is staying at home or working or some combination of both.

And frankly, its not just society, or men that make us feel undervalued, it’s other women, all the Martha’s and Happy Housewives out there make us feel like crap because we can’t all be perfect, but we feel like we should.

I have resisted the urge to edit this at all, despite the fact that my fingers are just dying to. This was posted at the old blog. I wrote it about three years ago, back before the sick, when I was still able to work. Things have changed a bit in my world, but it’s still not any easier for moms out there. The one thing I am thankful for is the ParentBlogger community. It’s nice to know you are not alone.

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Filed under Rants, Rambling, and Musing., Stories From the Past, Things That Suck

The Monte Carlo

When I was sixteen, I didn’t learn to drive. My dad told me I could get my license if I went to driving school, but never actually paid for driving school. I didn’t suffer much for it though. My boyfriend at the time, (who later became husband and then ex-husband) could drive,  and he lived with us, so my father gave him the use of the car. It was a 1985 blue Monte Carlo. The thing  was at least 10 years old, even back then,  and not only was it missing the passenger side window, the drivers side door was bolted on with two latches welded to the outside of the door. Yeah, we were those assholes.

Looks aside, it got us from point A to point B, which in those days was probably not a good thing, considering. And, as my father had the use of a company car, we really had far too much freedom than teenagers really should. And, based on what we were doing most of the time, I suppose that we should be thankful the following was the worst that happened with that car.

The car also sported a dent on the passenger side of the hood, a dent that was caused by the impact of a body. Because we hit someone with that car. Yes, a person. A thirteen year old boy, to be exact.

Yeah. I will let that sink in.

To this day, if I think about it, I can still see images in startling detail.  Him standing on the corner, looking right at me. Him stepping off the curb in front of us. Hitting the front of the car and going over the top inches from my face. My then-boyfriend screaming at me to get out of the car, so he could get out. Me trying to disengage the cat we had with us who had crawled up my leg on impact.

( No, I have no idea why we had the cat with us, I really don’t)

When we finally got out, it was chaos. There was blood and people screaming all around us. The boy was lying prone in the road behind our car. He had a gash in his head and his leg was very obviously broken. And scalp wounds tend to bleed profusely, so there was a pool of blood in the street around him.

People were screaming at us, accusing my boyfriend of running a red light, (he didn’t, but it was yellow) Accusing him of being drunk or on drugs. (Neither, but he very well could have been in those days, or any day, for that matter)

There is a newspaper clipping somewhere with a picture of him that sums up the way we felt that day. In it, he is sitting on the curb rocking back and forth. They caught him mid rock, with his head in his hands. I’m turned away, on some strangers cellphone, talking to my dad. Who, needless to say, is not happy. You can see the side of my face, streaked with tears.

Later on, we found out that the boy had been trying to kill himself. And decided to use us as the weapon. My fathers insurance paid for his medical bills and some psych bills but we were never sued.  Or prosecuted. It really wasn’t our fault. But I can’t help remembering it now and then, and wondering what ever became of that kid. Or what drove him to step out in front of our car that day.

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It’s not new if its old.

If you are looking for the story, its gone. Not gone forever, it may reappear someplace else eventually. But it is gone from here. Part of trying to reinvent myself involves letting it go. So, I wrote it, and now I am letting it go. If you really need to know how it ends feel free to ask.  If you already know how it ends, then you know why I really need to let it go.

Also, I don’t want to come off as that whiny bitch who spends her time online crying about how her life sucks. My life doesn’t actually suck all that badly. My point was not about that. My point was more along the lines of, everyone has a story. And even if you think you know them, chances are you don’t.

(I’d love to do a whole series on the person you don’t know the random stranger or famous guy you assume you know because you’ve written a paper about him that one time in middle school. Anonymous stories from the lives of the people you think you know. If you are going to judge someone, judge them by the fucktarded signs they choose to put in front of their houses, like I do. Or by the “news” networks they quote. )

OK, so. No more whining. Well, about my own life anyway. I will always whine about The Stupid.

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