Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” - Abigail Adams
Two days ago, while at a nighttime hotel bar gathering at a Conference I was attending for work, I was talking to a small group of men (it’s an insurance conference, the ratio of women to men was like 27:1) something happened.
Before we go there, let me give you some context. For more than 20 years, being a woman building her career in various male dominated industries - Financial, Automotive, Med Device, Commercial Real-Estate - I have endured an unspeakable amount of harassment, disguised as “lighthearted, all in good fun” banter. The “BITCH jokes”, the “Tiger Lady” remarks and even the off-color comments about being “hot" or "attractive" and a "hit-on target"- have grown to be the everyday norm. In order to survive and thrive, I have needed to grow the thickest of skins, showing them that women can have the corner office, and their jokes don’t kill us, they make us stronger.
But here’s the thing - after 26 years in the workforce - you'd think I would be desensitized to it all - but I'm not. In fact, I think I am more hurt, demoralized and just downright angry about it than I ever was before - all stemming from the sheer disappointment that we as women haven’t made it further.
That night in the bar, after I had been talking about a huge client and staff dinner event I was thrown into organizing , an older gentleman in our group, who had at one point bragged about his grown daughters and grand-daughters- pulled a dollar out of his wallet to “tip” me for my efforts. The dollar bill - handed to me as if I was someone’s property or at someone's service - actually threw me off guard. I said to the man, “Um, NO - you don’t throw money at women in bars - it's an insult”, and yet, he kept doing it. All. Night. At one point, I actually said to him, “would you want someone talking to your daughters like this”? To which he ddn't even comment. On other occasions, after I had walked away, he would go stand by others I work with (all men), and pull out his dollar and wave it in the air - making a complete spectacle as he did it. Everyone laughed, since I guess that would be what you might do if you had no idea how to react, and perhaps they saw that or my angry reaction as funny. He wanted everyone to be involved in his “paying me off”.
As I always do when these demeaning things happen, on the outside, I played it off - threw my hands up, gave dirty looks, put up my hand to signal “No”, yelled at him saying “NO” and acted like it didn’t bother me - the minion that he was, naturally inferior to me. On the inside - I was disgusted. And sadly, as usual, I blamed the mixture of stupid testosterone and alcohol and retired for the night. It would all be over tomorrow.
The next evening, at our dinner, I was running around, organizing, making announcements, moving people, taking charge - basically doing what I do - GETTING SHIT DONE. Side note, I am actually a Marketing Exec, so this was already pretty demeaning, and by NO MEANS the highest and best use of my time, but whatever, you gotta get it done. Suddenly, in front of a room full of people, the same man pulled out his wallet, opened it up and tried to hand me that same, ridiculous dollar. And everyone laughed. This continued to the end of the night, when I was trying to get a bunch of drunks off a boat and into a bus that he happened again, this time gaining a laugh from one of our younger male executives. That was it, I turned my back and walked away.
A few minutes later, a female coworker came over to me and said “Are you okay, did you hear what he said”? I replied that this had been going on for two nights, and she was appalled. I said I wasn’t going to acknowledge it with him anymore, I had told him many times to stop, he was an idiot and when you give idiots more attention, they just keep going. She was disgusted no one did anything to curb the behavior - including me - I didn't ever formally report it to someone either. SHE was the ONLY one to even ask if I was okay. But I wasn’t okay and I did nothing about it. I had to hold it together to get through the night, but I wasn’t okay. And at the end of the night, when the last guest had gotten off the charter bus, I went back to my hotel room and cried for 28 minutes straight.
Here's the thing -I have worked very very hard to get to where I am in my career. I wake-up, kick-ass and rock every role at every company I have ever worked, EARNING the high position and subsequent esteem, that I currently hold. But when one man, one stupid, silly, petty man treats you like you are dirt - you lose face. You lose ground. You lose what you have worked so hard for your whole life - respect. That one stupid dollar symbolized so much more than just an insult. It showed me in that moment that no matter how high you get, no matter how hard you work, as a woman, they still want to push you down and push you back and put out your flame. And it is NOT okay, I am not okay.
Now, you may be reading this and saying - “You’re just being oversensitive. Surely he didn’t mean it that way” or “You are overreacting, I don’t find the dollar bill demeaning at all” or “Great, another one, men just can’t look or speak to a woman at all” - and that is fine. Think what you want. It may not insult you as it did me. But that’s not the point. The point is that mindless, senseless, useless “joking harassment” isn't funny. We’re not laughing. And like sexual assault, or physical advances, we've been accepting it so long, we're essentially giving men permission to treat us this way. We have been so desperate to earn a seat at the table, that we have let men walk all over us - both physically and mentally. Hey idiots, if you wouldn't say it to your mom, sister, daughter or wife, don't say it to someone else. It's not okay.
I guess the hardest part of all this is that it’s the year 2020. Women have been fighting for their rights, for their dignity, for respect since the freaking Garden of Eden. Isn’t it time we just stopped brushing it off, making it okay, and letting it slide? There is a reason that these industries lack female workers - we just don’t want to deal with that shit. It’s easier sometimes to forgo our dreams of being a CEO of an Aerospace Company (totes not me, but some woman out there I am sure), just to avoid the struggles that it takes to get there. That is just so so sad.
I am hard on my daughter - I will admit that. What she doesn’t know now, but I hope she thanks me for someday, is that the world is hard on us girls and I am building her to be strong. Despite 244 years of Women’s Rights movements - we are still belittled and demeaned into submission. I want her to be ready. I want her to be better than I have been with just saying “FUCK YOU” to all the male chauvinists that she will encounter. I want her to take us further.
All this to say, the gloves are off Ladies and Gentleman - I am done just “laughing it off”. I have worked far too hard, for far to long, to let a simple, trivial, futile little man take away the respect I have earned from others or instilled in myself. If I see him again, I might just kick him in the balls. The sting might make him think that maybe, just maybe, his words hurt just as bad. Take me to jail for assault, I’ll gladly go peacefully - it'd be worth it.
It will symbolize my declaration of rebellion, my battle cry, my mantra; we’re not laughing anymore F&%$$, and we aren’t going to brush it off any longer. You belittle us, and try to push us back, because beauty, brains, strength and confidence, scare the hell out of you. We’re just as good if not better at everything and you know it.
We’re not going to vacate our seats, we are going to replace yours. Keep it up a-holes, we’re no longer silent, and pushing forward with a vengeance.
We're done. We’re not laughing. It’s On.
So...we're moving tomorrow. Well, sort of. The "Packers" are coming tomorrow, which basically means that I need to get off my ass and pack up anything I don't want some random person touching, putting in 14 pieces of paper and precariously throwing into a large cardboard box most likely accompanied by the trash from my bathroom. This is not a joke - that literally happened to me the last time... bathroom trash, still inside the can, inside a box next to my unused toilet tissue. Needless to say, that Charmin for sure became trash itself on the other end.
Here's the thing - Packers are both a blessing and a curse. Knowing someone is going to pack your house simply means that you do absolutely NOTHING until they show up. We have known we were moving for 8 weeks - I have packed two boxes. Two. And they are Spanx/underwear and a boatload of lingerie that I cannot understand how I ever friggen fit in, because I swear all the pieces would be more useful to me as dental floss and mirror cleaners than anything at this point. Regardless, these are two sets of items that only two people are allowed to handle - myself and Hubs - and let's be honest - he's only really getting his hands on my Spanx if doing laundry - because lord knows it takes 5 minutes to get out of those fuckers, so you gotta plan ahead.
Ok, I lied. I have packed four boxes. I also packed all the stuff in my nightstand, and the crap under my sink. I can only imagine how many tampons and feminine products these people have seen, but they don't need to see mine.
But here's why it is a curse - what isn't happening is me going through my stuff and throwing it away because that is a better alternative than putting it in a box. So now, once again, a stranger is going to load all my crap into a box, and ship it back across the country where I first accumulated it in the first place. It's the curse of my own shit!
This being said, my friend OnPoint moves houses and cities like I move jobs - every couple of years - and I am pretty sure she doesn't have packers every time - but she stills has a bunch of shit, so maybe it's just the emotional connection we have with our shit that keeps it moving back and forth. I
Well folks, the title says it all. I will set forth a warning now - this post contains several references to excrement, poop, doodie, shit, #2, poopies - whatever you call it...the entire passage is about shit and the shit we go through when dealing with shit. There are no pictures, to protect the innocent and the weak stomachs out there. If you choose to read on, it is at your own risk.
I would like to start out by reiterating the fact that the majority of my mommy life is grounded in the mantra that if I don't laugh, I will cry. So I try to take a humorous approach, as much as is soberly possible, to all things that hit me. Now, sometimes, the laugh resembles the scene from Tom Hanks' Money Pit, where the bathtub falls through the floor after he has taken buckets of water up to put in it. He just starts laughing, because if he doesn't, he will break down in utter defeat and cry like a baby. The laugh is hearty, and boisterous, and painstakingly fake - but if you are going to go crazy, you might as well do it with a smile, no matter how manufactured.
Next caveat- we are potty training my son right now, and he is to be forgiven for all things he does as he learns his body. I get that. However, it was the process of potty training my first kid that caused me to swear off having any more children, because I NEVER wanted to go through that shit again (excusing the pun). Alas, I was blessed with another child, and subsequently cursed with another round of potty training.
For those of you that haven't been through the process, it SUCKS. I would compare it to maybe the Epilady razor back in the 80's - just as painful as electronically picking out all your individual pubic hairs in a circular motion slowly - and just as tedious as having to shave regularly. At least when you wax it is fast - but the Epilady - the Epliady took time...a slow torture. Potty training is no different. As a recovering germaphobe, it might possibly be the single hardest thing I have ever done as a parent, and the reason I refuse to buy one of those mini potties - fuck that - I am not picking up your peep and poop and pouring it anywhere...go in the fucking toilet and flush it down. Now, I know that if this is the hardest thing I have had to deal with, then I am much luckier than some, and I thank God daily for that. But seriously, for me...this is The Gauntlet.
Which leads me to the incident we had the other night. Picture this - bath time, all is well. Both kids are playing nicely, enjoying the magical healing waters that transform your nasty little petri dishes into clean and harmonious angels. Your son stands up in the bath, and says - "I go pee pee in the bath" while simultaneously releasing a faint spot of gas from the other side. Seeing no evidence of urine at the moment, you respond quickly and say, "No pee-pee in the bath" and you pull him out and place him on the toilet to sit there and pee. You see no evidence of anything in the water. Crisis averted!
Moments later, you turn around to see your daughter still sitting in the bath..when suddenly, you see something floating in the water, making its way around her. You think, "Oh please lord, no". Yep, you have suddenly re-found religion. But, clearly God was on the other line, because what do you see floating toward you, but a big ole' human log. YUP. A huge piece of shit, perfectly shaped like Mr. Hankey and making its rounds in the calming bath waters. Your first reaction? Well, you scream out like Spalding in Caddyshack of course - "DOODIE!"
Soon you realize your daughter has been sitting in this water for at least 2 minutes. So you immediately pull her out, call for your husband to shower her and scrub her with a bar of soap that will be thrown out immediately, while you find something, anything, to fish a fucking human waste snicker bar out of the bathtub. Thank god for that ziplock that happens to be sitting in the hall that your daughter kept LOL dolls in, but of course, never picks them up, so, awesome Girl - for once your disobedience has done me a solid - excuse the pun again, please.
From there, you empty the tub, and painstakingly spray literally EVERYTHING in the bathroom with Clorox, regardless of its proximity to the tub, considering for a moment if you should spray the kid still sitting on the potty. Meanwhile, he stands up and proudly proclaims - "I DID IT!". Yes, Son...yes you did. Strangely, you are somewhat proud that a little poop made it into the toilet - and for a split second, you are transported to a happy place - until you remember that the entire bathtub, including the toys must be sanitized immediately...and you are brought back to your own personal hell.
I don't know why "Parent" was never a job showcased on the Discovery Channel show, "Dirty Jobs". Between the poo, the puke, the spit, the spoiled food the colds and the germs, it is quite possibly the single most disgusting job on the planet - and you don't even make minimum wage. What kind of crock is that?!? Sure, sure, seeing your child grow up and become an amazing member of society - yes, that's fantastic. But come on...there has to be at least some recognition for what it takes to get them there. Ya feel me?
At the end of the day, we survived LogGate2019 - and are now all the wiser. The moral of the story is - and I think this is a great life lesson in general - never trust a fart. Period.
Soooo...I am thinking that I may have a bunch of un-diagnosed psychoses (is that event the word??) going on in this head of mine. I mean, I have always admitted to being bat shit crazy, there's no denying that, but I think it is really starting to effect my everyday way of life.
Let's put aside that I think I am for sure ADHD - my assistant with vouch for that. Or that all those years of excessive partying have, without a doubt, depleted all my dopamine reserves, making me a variable ass hat to just about everyone that crosses me. Let's put all that in a box and unpack it at a later date. For today's discussion, we can simply focus on my ability to obsess over seemingly stupid, pointless and uncontrollable things. I can't let them go. I sit there, over-analyze them, reanalyze them, then over-analyze them again. Any attempts of utilizing any sort of "Letting Go" method is truly futile. I keep trying, and it keeps coming back.
Interestingly, some of my obsessions are at least somewhat productive. Take hotel rooms for example - I am a complete and utter hotel snob. Much to my husband's chagrin, I am pretty much 100% guaranteed to get into any hotel room and immediately call the front desk to change. Don't ask me why, but I am never satisfied with the first one. Now, I will tell you, that nine times out of ten, after huffing and puffing and getting all bitter that I can't just take the effing hotel room and be happy, Hubs is usually thanking me, because we have gotten a bigger room, a better view, a more premium spot or whatever. The way I look at it, these types of obsessions are for the greater good, so, you're welcome.
However, the majority of my obsessions come in the form of me not letting go of some idea that I have in my head, a story if you will, of whomever or whatever I feel is important at the time. A quick search on the National Institute of Mental Health website defines Obsessive Compulsive Distorder as "... a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over." Welp, that pretty much sums up my day. Awesome. I might as well be locking and unlocking my door 17 times and never stepping on cracks on the street - wait...I already do that.
What I want to be able to do is blame this disorder on all the assholes out there that make me think and feel this way. Ya ya, I get it, nobody can "make you feel any way but you". And I agree with that - but I don't imagine this shit to begin with - the stories or people come from somewhere. So to all those bosses who I end up obsessing over because you hate me - and then I ultimately sabotage my own career trying to get the hell away from you, to the mental escapes that consume my day deeming me patently unproductive, to the ego inside my own head constantly telling me I am worthless - FUCK ALL Y'ALL. This shit has got to end.
Two of my favorite books of all time are by David R. Hawking, Ph.D -"Power versus Force" and "Letting Go - The Pathway of Surrender". In both these books, Dr. Hawking talks about the variable energy field that we and all beings omit. Depending on your mental state, you omit certain frequencies, and then those frequencies in turn attract similar energy into your life. Law of Attraction type stuff. Like attracts like. In "Letting Go" he explains how one needs to just be one with a feeling, in order to take away its energy. Then you can simply release and let it go. I do this, probably 187 million times a day. No joke, I am pretty sure I am trying to let go of at least 187 things at any given moment. It's exhausting. What I wish, was that I never obsessed in the first place. That before it actually became something I needed to let go, I would just not let it be a thing at all.
But the truth is, I don't know if there is any human on the planet that doesn't obsess over SOMETHING. Most narcissists obsess over themselves. Most pessimists obsess over the negative. Optimist obsess over the positive. Bird people on birds, cat people on cats. Everyone has a little bit of crazy in them. Heck, even Mother Theresa was insistent to make the world a better place. So really, maybe I just need to use all this crazy for good.
That's it! That's the game plan. I gotta get out of my own head, and put all this back into giving back to the world around me. I gotta get out of myself, and back into the greater good. Put the "all" back in altruism. Maybe we all should do that. Taking a moment to act beyond ourselves is the best thing we can do.
Now...where is that damn Junior League group I keep paying dues to and never do anything...Mamas - I'm coming home.
There are moments in a parent's life when they wonder how bat shit crazy that stork must have been to think they were capable of being a viable parent. You know the scenes - incidents when you hate yourself for screaming at your helpless potty training kid, for having had a poo accident in a department store and literally contaminating everything between the crime scene and the bathroom, forcing you to buy $200 worth of shit you don't need out of guilt, disgust and embarrassment - all the while, wondering why the hell you had kids to begin with. Or the nights, after a long and exhausting day, where you plop your kid in front of the TV, just so you can have a moment of veg and peace. Or the times when you immediately hand your kid your phone in a restaurant, already running the NickJR app, just so you can enjoy a conversation with grown ups for like 20 minutes. Or...in my case...the day the school asked my 6 year old to tell them "All About Mommy".
Ladies and Gentleman, what you see to the right and below is real - it is unedited, and only the names have been crossed out to avoid CPS detection. Please note, my daughter is 5, so she did not write these answers, she dictated them to someone else, who wrote them for her. So yes, there is at least one adult witness to these.
The day I found this in my daughter's backpack, I laughed and cried simultaneously. On the one hand, I was proud that my daughter was so accurate with some of her answers. On the other hand, did I mention CPS?
Let's break this little gem down piece by piece, shall we?
Question 1: Name - good job Sweetie, so glad you actually knew my name - and didn't just put "Hey Mom" in the blank space.
Question 2: Age - 18 - thanks Baby Girl - if only. At 18, I might have actually had energy to handle two kids. OH, and if that were true, then your ass would be in college now, and I would have my life back - with a little time left to enjoy it.
Questions 3,4 and 5: I do love to snuggle - that is super cute, I do tell her not to interrupt - that she interrupts me while saying it and best of all, I know she knows I love her. Bravo. #MomWIN
Question 6 - harmless, I pretty much love me some protein and veggies - but I was both thoroughly impressed and slightly disturbed by that fact that she speaks in descriptive dietary terms. She is either going to be the healthiest kid on the planet, or well on her way to a lifetime full of yo-yo dieting and negative body image like the rest of us crazy women.
That was the easy part - if only she'd stay in that vein. But noooo.
Question 7 - Yup, my 5 year old told her recorder that her Mommy "likes to drink VODKA". First of all, what kind of fucked up teacher asks a kid what their Mommy likes to drink? A teacher that knows the answer is going to be something to call CPS about for sure!! I feel violated and set up. If 75% of the class didn't have "Wine", "Mommy's Juice" or "Cocktails" then those fucking kids aren't paying attention - and shame on their parents for lying to them. On the flip-side, clearly I am too honest with my kid, because she flat out said "Vodka" - quite specific, but also, extremely accurate. YES teacher, my Mommy drinks Vodka. And to the teacher that was passing judgment - fuck you - if you don't smoke weed every night when you get home after dealing with like 70 Kindergartners, then you are the fucking crazy one.
Question 8- My mom's job is to "GET MONEY". Well, again, factually accurate, but also not very elegant. I feel like I may need to stop talking about vodka, and start explaining to her what I do for a living. I mean, technically I am in sales, so GET MONEY is 100% the goal, but she comes from a long line of Marketers - we gotta work on her creativity.
Question 9 - and hands down, the most fucked up of them all - "When my Mommy is alone she likes to"...wait for it.." go out and drink at a bar". YUP. That was her answer. My kid thinks that when I am alone, I go out and drink at a bar. Now, first of all - aside from work travel where it is a common occurrence to eat alone and have a cocktail with dinner- I don't think I have ever, in my life, gone out alone to drink at a bar. I feel like that is breaking every cardinal chick rule of common sense. Girls don't drink at bars alone - you are asking to be Ruffied. That's just nonsense. And also, when I am alone, I am usually going to Costco, or in a miracle moment, getting my hair done, or going to workout to attempt to hide my hideous post 2 babies belly, or any number of other errands that work far better alone. Would I like to go out and drink at a bar - SURE! Alone, no, but go out for sure! Seriously, where in fuck's name did she get that crap from? Best part? Ya, the teacher now thinks I drink vodka at home, then go out to a bar alone to drink more. #MomOfTheYear.
And finally - Question 10 - she closes strong with "I love my mom because..." to which my kid replied, "because she gives me everything". Bravo kiddo - your teenage, drunk Mom spoils you rotten - awesome.
All and all, I have to say, in some ways, the kid has me pinned. Someday, when she is a teenager, and I am checked into Passages Malibu, because she has officially driven me to drink - she will look back on this Kinder treasure and laugh. But I can't help but wonder - have I been too honest with my kid? Should I have been lying and embellishing and giving her the June Cleaver treatment? Cuz truthfully, I think that is bullshit.
My answer to myself is no. At the end of the day, we are all only doing the best we can, and if the best I can do is be wildly transparent with my kid, and treat her like the mature little kid she is, then that is what she is going to get.
That being said, as of this moment, I put a Sicilian Blessing (aka curse) on my girl that she will have a daughter just like her someday. Watch out Baby Girl - your Nani pulled that shit on me when I was 16 - and here you are - and I couldn't be more blessed. Feel free to come visit me in the Old Folks Home in Florida when your daughter dictates your Biography. God Willing I will be there to see it.
Have you ever stopped and just wondered, "When the fuck did I become an adult"? I feel like I do this far more often than I should at age 41. For some reason, my body tells me I am an adult, my age reminds me I am an adult, but my brain still wonders why I taking out the garbage cans like "a mom would do"...which I am, but still can't wrap my head around it.
For instance - I sometimes think about how grown up it would be to own a house, and cart around kids, and juggle work and personal life - you know - like old people do - and how far away from that I am. And then I stop, look around, and realize that is my life. I have totally turned into my mother! WTF?!? When did that happen? I mean, I remember when my Mom turned 40 - I am pretty sure I was 15 and living in Florida ( a place my whole family moved to because my dumb ass got into so much trouble they had to move me 3,000 miles away) and I just remember thinking - "40! That is so old! I will never be that old!" And yet, here I am. That old plus 1.
So why is that I wonder? Why do I still feel like that "old person" is so far away from me? Why do I still feel like I should be able to drop everything and just take shots and dance on tables? For those of you that know me well, it is most likely because you know I would still be the first to drop everything, take a shot, and dance on the nearest table - but that's not the point. The point is, I can't seem to grasp the fact that I am an adult. It baffles me that as an adult, I still have the same damn insecurities I did when I was 20, but now, they seem even more annoying because I feel like I should have grown out of them by now. Like, why the hell have I spent 20 years thinking it would be 20 years till I got a clue - when in fact, I pretty much never would have clue! It's a vicious, sick and twisted circle of life.
Here are some additional things I think about when I am in denial that I am an adult:
1) I need a vacation. I can just book a last minute ticket for the man and I and be sitting on a beach with a cocktail by tomorrow at noon. (oh wait, I have 2 kids and a dog to deal with).
2) I hate this job - surely since I have no responsibilities, I could just quit and deal with it later. (Wake up bitch - the alarm is going off - it's 5:00 am- stop dreaming)
3) Disciplining a kid? Nah - I will be the cool mom, my kid's best friend, they will be so awesome that I won't ever have to be a bad guy. (Nice try, TigerMom)
4) Hey old man driver, move over, young gun passing you on the left. (wait, so I have been driving for way way more than half my life? My husband would argue that I am still the shittiest driver he knows - but fuck him - he is an AutoElitest.)
5) Oh, I'll just binge watch that show for 24 hours straight with no interruptions. (Tell that to your two-year old that wants Team UmiZumi morning, noon and night)
6) And while on the topic of binge-ing - sure I can eat pizza and Oreo Cakesters and ice cream with a side of wings and a shit ton of vodka and not gain a pound. (Fuck you brain, that isn't even funny to dream about. I eat a piece of lettuce and I gain 5lbs - #hormonessuck)
7) That little pee I did when I laughed, ya, that's just cuz I hadn't gone for a while. (Ya, that my friend, is incontinence and it is a result of two kids, a shit-ton of exercise that is aging you and a failing pelvic floor.)
8) No problem, I will just go to the gym after work. (Sorry - the MomLyft is on shift today and everyday).
These and many other things flood my brain daily. I guess the idea of adulting is easier to think as a distance. Denial is bliss. As my mother always told me - you can't help growing old, but you can choose not to grow up. Bravo Mom, Bravo. I guess it's not so bad that I have turned into you. LOVE.
Ah, Valentine's Day. Once, a holiday reserved for red roses, red wine and red lingerie, those memories seem like distant dreams, fading rapidly with each passing Mommy year. These days, instead of the excitement of companion surprises, drunken dinners, and even drunker sex, I now look forward to just another excuse for endless Mom self-shaming and compounding guilt.
This year, the first of what will be, like, another 12 years of elementary school Valentines (God-Willing), I totally effed up and didn't properly read the 6 paragraph note that told me I needed 29 total Valentines for my daughters Kindergarten class. Please note that my kid's actual class as "Later Gator" has only 11 kids, but apparently we have to buy for both the morning and late classes, and that all those Valentines were due on the Monday BEFORE Valentine's Day, which this year, falls on a Thursday. Of course, I only realized this the Tuesday AFTER the Monday deadline, having ordered these super cool Sunglasses Valentines that were scheduled to be delivered on the 13th. Best part? I thought I was being all hip by buying Valentines for all the kids in the After School Care program too. But of course, since I didn't buy enough of the expensive Snoopy ones for the whole 29 kid group, I now have to use the shitty After School Care set for the classroom, re-purposing the cool Snoopy ones for my 2 year old Son's class, resulting in a ridiculous surplus of shitty emogi glasses, since I won't have enough for the fucking After School Care kids, because there are like 40 of those bastards.
Yep, as is so signature Me, I am too little, too late on the Valentine's task. Of course my Mom Besties (who I adore by the way), OverAchiever and Pinterest Queen have not only completed their Valentines, but turned them in by the 4 day ahead deadline. So while I want to hate them for having it all put together, I also can't, because had I not texted them panicked about the date deadline I had just read, secretly praying that they had fucked up like me, but not being even remotely surprised when, of course, they had been done for days, I would have sent too few. I basically have to thank them for causing me Mom Shame. Ya ya, I get it, nobody can make me feel that way but me, but right now, fuck that, I am already feeling guilty, I at least need to deflect some of this shame by saying my amazing friends are FuckTards when they are on point. To hell with ownership, for the moment, I will be weak and petty and shame them for being too perfect.
Side note, Mom self-shaming is a bitch. Why do we feel we need to compare ourselves to other moms, and why the fuck can't we just be proud of the fact that we are keeping these small humans alive? Why is it that the minute I see that I missed one of the 76 ongoing kid deadlines, I go straight to: "Oh shit! My kid is going to be the only kid without Valentines and she will be humiliated, and she is already having trouble bonding with kids in her class, this is going to make it worse, and she is going to be the only depressed Kindergartner, which will lead to her being a depressed adolescent that will most likely be prescribed Lithium, which will result in excessive drug use in Middle School that will then, of course, lead to her hanging out with all the wrong kids going into High School. And once in High School she will somehow end up fatally attracted to the Christian Slater from "Heathers" type kids and her lack of self-control due to all the drugs and depression will make her vulnerable and manipulable to enter into suicide pacts with other misunderstood youths and then I will need to 5150 her ass and check her into some posh rehab like Brittany Spears where she will shave off all her hair and try to marry her long lost pre-school friend whom she happened to see in group therapy because they just can't believe that fate would bring them together. All because I fucked up her Kindergarten Valentines."
WHAT THE FUCK??! So basically I just said my future daughter will essentially be DESTROYED because I was late on her Valentines in Kindergarten?!?! And let's be clear...they will still be there in time for actual Valentine's Day. And take a look above, those things are fucking awesome. Since you can't actually give candy anymore because the world seems to be alleregic to fucking oxygen these days, the next best thing, in my opinion, is a pair of sunglasses. But somehow, for some sick and twisted reason, I still fully shame myself for not having them in by the Monday deadline. That spiraled "futurecast" is some fucked up shit - and not even remotely true. Possible, sure. Probable, not really. More likely, my constant nagging on my daughter, trying to make her a well poised, strong, independent women ready to fight this ugly world, will fuck her up more than any totally unnoticed valentine deadline. But nonetheless, here I am, tearing myself apart over something that may not even remotely be a problem. Actually, I just IM'd the teacher, it for sure won't be a problem, so I need to let it go...suicide pact crisis averted for another day.
All this to say that we as a MomGen need to lighten up on ourselves a bit. The fact is, we are all just doing the best we can. Whether we work full-time office jobs, or full-time Mom jobs, being a parent is tough shit. We need to stop shaming, and blaming and griping and triping (ya, I know, not a word, but just pretend it is and then make it mean the same as trippin') and just move forward. God willing, as long as we just love them, support them as best we can, and provide them with the tools they to make good choices, all will come out fine, and we will keep them off the pole. All we can do is pray - and cut ourselves a little slack sometimes. Lord knows I need to!
It's official...Amazon may be worse for your cupboards than Costco, and the addiction to buy from it runs deep.
You see, I am a recovering Costcoholic. Once upon a time, I used to think that buying 17 toothbrush heads, or 9 jars of peanut butter for the low low price of $15 was a steal - a bargain - a no-brainer. And then I realized how much pantry space is actually required to house that shit. To this day, I can't help but buy 179 packs of fruit snacks along with a 6 pack of brownie mix. But I have admitted the problem, which is the first step, so there is light at the end of my tunnel. Or so I'd like to believe.
I have come to recognize that Amazon may be much more of the sketchy pusher. Have you ever noticed that the "Amazon's Choice" products often times are in bulk? And although you don't have the need for 4 white t-shirts, you buy them anyway, because, well, if it's good enough for Amazon, the world's authority on retail, then it is good enough for me.
That being said, let's get real here; my entire life is bought on Amazon. There are packages on my doorstep every day. Every. Single. Day. This is in no way an exaggeration. I literally placed an order for a pack of 2 pens once - and got it delivered 2 days later. I could have driven to Office Depot and just bought the effing things and been done. But that would mean walking into a store, and who the hell has time for that anymore. Instead UPS gets to visit my doorstep daily and get barked at by my dog. Every. Single. Day. But this frequency makes me feel like I should be far more savvy than I am when it comes to falling into the Prime trap. Apparently not.
My most recent endeavor was to buy all the supplies for my daughter's 100 day T-Shirt. Now, this is about the most basic concept in the universe - decorate a T-Shirt with 100 items, and wear them on the 100th day. Cool! I can get on board with that (famous last words - chances are there will be a blog post about that experience after this weekend when we do it). But nonetheless, we're on it.
Thanks to the creative jump from Pinterest, my daughter decided she wanted to make a rainbow out of jewels and buttons. Sweet. So let's go find some jewels and buttons. Now, you must remember, this shirt needs only 100 items on it. Here is what I ended up with:
For those of you that may be math challenged, I have now purchased 1,470 pieces of glueable flare to complete a 100 piece t-shirt. OH, and I needed a few more glue sticks, so I will now have 200 - which should last me until I am 117 years old. Why!!! WHY?!? Why? Because how can you say no to 870 rainbow buttons for $8.99? And to top it off, I can now bedazzle every single pillow, cushion, brush, frame, jacket, shoe and gym bag in my house - with some to spare for the even lower price of $7.79. Shipped for free to my home, just in time for us to host the t-shirt creation gathering with our friends. Isn't that AWESOME?!?
No. That shit is stupid. I will never bedazzle anything, ever. WTF am I going to do with 800 fucking buttons? I don't sew. And what about 500 plastic jewels? 500 chocking hazards that will most likely be consumed by my fucking retarded dog, resulting in my need to pick up pink bedazzled shit in a couple weeks. The rest of the pieces I am going to stuff in a closet and they will clutter my house with all the other crap I buy in bulk.
Fuck rehab for drugs - I was the tidiest MO-FO on the planet when I was on drugs. I need rehab for Bulk Shopping. If anyone knows of a nice beach side facility for that, save me a spot...I'll bedazzle your shower kit for free.
aThis blog has always been a sort of amalgamation of comical non-fiction and a super-sized scoop of self-help therapy ..for me. Whether posting the first entry dedicated to ranting about my reorg on Mat Leave, to exploring the suicidal world of my dog, to my son eating and subsequently shitting dirt. In all cases, this blog has become part diary of my insanity, and part pathway to the journey forward.
Tonight we explore my ongoing battle with workplace politics. Let me start out by saying how much I HATE office politics. I think all of it is a stupid waste of time and energy. There is NEVER a healthy amount, nothing good ever comes of it, and quite frankly, being in a workplace culture driven by it, is a damn shame. And yet, there it is, in my life, all the time.
I may have the deep rooted hatred regarding politics for the simple reason that I am not very good at playing them. In fact, I suck at it. I just want to walk in, kick ass and repeat. I don't want to have to worry about choosing sides, or stroking egos, or playing games...I just want to be efficient, effective and productive...and then go home to my family. No bullshit in between. It's a pipe dream, clearly. Every time I think I found a place that embraces me...I get let down...and am left to fail miserably at a game that I never learned to master.
Now, I could dwell on that shit for days. And honestly, when I do, it is a multi-day process. Day 1 is basically crying all day - hysterically - like a fucking toddler. Day 2 finds progressive acceptance, with a sprinkling of mild hatred. And Day 3 begins the moving forward phase, where I find a bit of Courage. Courage to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to be me and accept me for who I am, living and existing with no apologies. Courage to believe that God and the Universe have a master plan for me...and that it is their sick joke to never fucking tell me what that plan is.
And hey, if these Ass Pans decide that my amazing results are worth nothing because I am stuck in the middle of an executive political feud, then so be it. At least I remained true to my self - because I am perfect and whole exactly as the universe created me. Please note the affirmational tone in that last sentence. I have resorted to YouTube affirmations on the drive to work to maintain only throat levels of puking as I fear for my future.
If you are like me and cannot avoid the incessant sound of the Disney Channel in the background of your life, then you know that I am reminded daily to "DREAM ON PRINCESS". Well, you marketing nightmare trying to get my kids to buy more overpriced Princess shit, that is what I am going to do. I am going to dream of a world without workplace BS. Of a time when I can stop worrying about all the losers that get threatened by smart and ambitious people. The day when I can figure out how to work for myself and give EVERYONE a big ole' flying bird as I walk out the door.
From that dream will come action. Action to move forward and find that thing I need to do in the future. Action to stop apologizing for being a rock star. Action to help all my girls that have the same issues. Action to simply just sit and be proud of all I have accomplished. Because guess what, I have and that credit I deserve starts today.
There are times in your life that the Universe decides to throw you into situations that leave you asking the “What Ifs”; What if I hadn’t moved to that city? What if I hadn’t said “Yes” or “No”. What if I just ignored the rules or broke them, or, better yet, rewrote them? In each of these scenarios, one enters a sort of dream (or nightmare) state, picturing what life would be like - followed immediately by a stiff-ass drink because you know your shit would be up some creek, and whether or not you had a paddle would be debatable.
Being a staunch realist, only fraudulently living with a rose-colored optimist mindset, my brain thinks consequence first. I naturally contemplate the worst possible outcome, assume it will be, and then act presently surprised when it doesn’t happen. One might call that a pessimist…but in all truth, it seems to be to be as real as it gets. What is the worse that could happen, and then dial it back about 73% and that is what you get. “So”, I ask myself applying a semi-neurotic sense of logic to the equation, “if only 27% of the worst will happen, why not just revive the rebel within me and break the rules”?
Those of you that know me, know I push limits, boundaries, filters and every other possible proverbial line in the sand that presents itself, to its outer most limits…but I never violate the really important shit. And why not? Why don’t I act on impulse, explore the taboo, walk on the wild side? Simple – plain, unadulterated guilt. Sadly, thanks to the dominerring efforts of the Roman Catholic Church, guilt has overpowered my thoughts for the better part of my life.
Side note, I can't tell you how much that pisses me off to no end. Those lunatics have committed all kinds of fucked-up for centuries with little or no remorse and nobody seems to do damn thing about it, so why should I sit in judgement? But that’s another rant for another time.
It’s kind of pathetic really - the guilt I would feel for breaking the rules would eat me up so much, it would outweigh any temporary pleasure I might get out of breaking said rule in the first place. Which again, just irritates the fuck out of me because sometimes I REALLY REALLY want to bust out. But seeing as I am such a terrible lair, I can’t even succeed at lying to myself, let alone the rest of the world, so why bother?
All actions have a subsequent reaction – a consequence for their actuality. Good or bad, everything has a consequence. Some far greater than others, but all shape your life and existence as you know it.
That being said, this rule following June Cleaver shit is a whole new concept for me. If you would have asked me 10 years ago to stop whatever I was doing to drop a bunch of acid and run naked through the neighborhoods of Black Rock City, I wouldn’t have hesitated. Unprotected sex, reckless driving, cheating on boyfriends, jumping out of planes, bar fights (I am more of a screamer than a puncher, just so you know) how I survived some of my youthful mistakes is beyond me. My Guardian Angels deserve a hell of a pension for keeping me alive.
Do I sometimes miss those days? Sure, I do. Do I occasionally wish that I could just step out of Mommy/Wife mode, run away and reenact a scene out of Scarface – absolutely. But would I? Probably not. Why? Because even though that party girl will always be inside me, what’s at stake on the outside isn’t worth the risk anymore. I am so blessed in my life, I have so much to be grateful for - I would be a fucking IDIOT to jeopardize it. And honestly, I wouldn’t ever want to be the person that jeopardizes it for anyone else I care about either.
So, when the Universe decides to play its sick ass little games - testing you, tempting you, challenging your will, you have two choices – succumb or succeed. You can choose your own adventure on this one, but do so wisely after heavily weighing all that you have to gain or lose. For me, as damaging and disappointing and heartbreaking as it is sometimes, I am just too Type A to succumb. At the end of the day, the winner takes it all – and I refuse to be a loser.
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.