The other day I was in a writing group (OBP) bitching about writer’s block, because who else but a bunch of writers would understand my plight? See, the problem with writer’s block and being a writer… You start to second guess yourself. All those assholes from high school english class, or the creative writing classes in college, begin their slow creep into your mind just to remind you about how terrible they thought you were..
You begin to remember all the times someone told you to “Find something else to fall back on” or “Why do you waste your time on this?” because there is no way anyone would buy into me being a writer.
This time was no different, because the longer you suffer, the more you mindfuck yourself. Sure, you can try some writing exercises. You might try reading a book (or ten), and even try going for a walk to clear your mind… but sometimes, it’s as if you don’t even remember what words are used or.
Then someone –not letting us fall deeper into writers despair– pulled a doozy out of her hat. “What if we all put in a word, then pass them out anonymously. Then you write about this word”
I agreed. Then prayed to the writing gods that I could actually write something.
The word I received was Different.
For a week I threw around ideas about what I should write about using that word. I have never done well with the word different. Different has always been vulgar. It has meant not fitting in, or having a safe place.
While growing up, I was an outcast- at home and at school. I was the oldest of three girls who was never as pretty, never as skinny, never as smart as, never as…
I was just different.
So while I sit at my computer; in a chair that has been missing a leg for over a year, I have come to realize I have always allowed that word to crush me. It is my kryptonite. It is the one word that actually makes me cringe, because it has always meant: Drugs, loneliness and Sex. It screams eating disorders and sadness.
It would lead to Mohawks and Punk Music.
Different is ugly.
It is mean and angry, and full of self loathing. It is proof that I will never be accepted by my mother.
It is dark, but without it I wouldn’t be me.
Want to read more from the word swap? Follow the hashtag! #OBPwordswap
I’m not talking about the game invites we all swear we hate, but some of us actually play … I’m talking about all of those completely dreadful event invites that infest our Facebook calendars all.the.time.
My Facebook is a place full of invites I never answer, and we won’t even get started on the friend requests I never look at, nor pay attention too… Its like everyone wants me to commit to something, yet I can’t even commit to a fucking hair color.
My mind struggles with, “What if I say I am going to a Pampered chef party, and then someone says ‘Hey lets go get sushi, then go get shnockered!’
I love going to sushi and getting shnockered!
Which is my major dilemma here. I am now going to have to come up with some stupid off-the-wall excuse for not showing up. And trust me… I am a horrible liar, so it will come out something like,
“I um… yeah….So…Kelly Clarkson!”
Then I’ll hang up in a panic and text you, “Can’t go…aliens!”
Furthermore, you won’t believe anything I say because again, I suck at lying; it will get awkward, and I will have to ignore you for the rest of our Facebook relationship.. . And I hate showing up in a comment thread then having all the people I ignore show up!
In the Facebook world, I fall into this weird and strange demographic. I have those who think I am Stepford wife enough to invite me to things like
The Clever Container
But then, they believe I am cool enough to invite me to
Brown Bag Parties
See, the problem with all these parties… I hate them. I hate parties, I hate going and feeling like I have to commit to buying something I will never use. I hate the people I have to slap a smile on for; because they don’t know me and I don’t do people well. I don’t want to smile for Instagram… they always want me to smile for Instagram like they want to prove they got me to show up…like there was a super secret squirrel way of getting me there. Do I need to bring a gift for the host like I would for just a dinner party?
The first time I really knew I hated this shit was about ten or fifteen years ago. A very good friend had a jewelry party. Now because I didn’t read the damn invite, all the snooty women came dressed in cocktail dresses, or slacks with nice heels. What did I wear you ask? I came dressed in jeans and flip flops (Because again… I didn’t read the stupid part in the invite that said don’t dress like a cow, dress fancy).
Wine that cost more than $4.00 a bottle was served, as well as little dainty sandwiches and little things stabbed onto those fancy toothpick swords. There was even a chocolate fountain, and because I figured laying in it would be frowned upon, I stayed away from it.
Everyone was snobby. Which meant I did a lot of foot in mouth, and dodged a lot of eye rolling, while horrible/ smart ass comments flowed freely from my mouth.. Again…I reiterate the fact that unless we are in a bar, I do not do people well.
Anyhoo, while stuffing myself with tons of snobby food and wine, I was told to walk around and look at all the fancy jewelry. They gave me a fancy card that smelled pretty, to write down all the fancy jewelry I wanted. It was sooo not like the earring display at hot-topic.
When the ring around the jewelry thing ended, you were told to bust out your checkbook….
BOOM! You were now the proud owner of ugly ass jewelry you would never wear. And well…We all know how drunk me gets… which is why the bitch had me go.
Then the damn jewelry lady got my name of and number off the purchase card. They are like car salesman or drug pushers… “Oh you bought jewelry, Tupperware or a dildo….Now you can buy more, throw a party and push this crap on everyone you know!”
In this pushers case, it got bad…real bad… it was before everyone had a cell phone or call waiting, so basically this is how it would play out:
“Ooooh Hi SCB! This is Marry the Jewelry pusher!”
“Hello? This isn’t SCB you have the wrong number. I don’t speak english, Aliens!” and I would slam the phone down. This conversation repeated itself for three fucking year. It would have gone on longer, but I finally moved and changed my number to get away from her.
Don’t be that gal I need to move away from. I kinda dig the area I am in right now, and seriously loathe packing. Stop the Facebook invite madness! Just come hang out and watch me say stupid shit at the big biker dude at the bar, I promise it will be a lot more entertaining.
I swear I cringe every time I hear those six dreaded words. It becomes that all defining moment that reminds me of my alter ego. I want to put my head in the sand, and hide from the husband. Those words only mean one thing. It is the complete certification that drunk me was at it again, and drunk me has weird taste that I will never understand.
I have never been much of a shopper. In fact I am the least stereotypical women out there. I loathe shopping. Shopping means spending money. It means buying something that looked hot on you in the dressing room, however, it will make you looked like a stuffed package of sausage when you get home.
It means tears and people spreading germs. Who wants to go buy a new purse than suffer from Ebola because someone coughed or sprayed that purse with snot.
I will waste an abundance of money on stuff my kids will break within a month, because my kids are assholes and break everything. I will forever find those bad ass Jimmy Choos that make my ass look fucking fantastic… yet I could never afford them.
However when I get drunk… all bets are off. Maybe it was the fact that I grew up with only the bare minimums that cause me to shy away from the malls and shopping centers around the world. Or maybe it is the fact that the hubs and I have had virtually no money for the first 10-20 years of marriage. Nonetheless… When I drink to the point of drunken bliss… I shop. I shop a lot, and its all weird shit I would never buy, yet drunk me thinks we desperately need.
Heres a list of the top ten weird Amazon buys in no particular order.
1. White gothic makeup; purchased nowhere near Halloween. Maybe I planned a little role-playing as a vampire or something with the hubs? Maybe I secretly want to be goth. Next time you see drunk me, try asking her.
2. 5000 hair rubber bands for dogs. Wish it was an exaggeration! All rubber bands in different colors, and sizes. Yet, although I have a shih tzu NOW I did NOT have one at the time of that purchase, and may have only finally got a shih tzu in hopes of using the rubber bands.
3. The Burlesque CD soundtrack. I do not even own a CD player, and I secretly worry that will be the next delivery.
4. A gourmet “Spiralizer” vegetable spiral cutter for making zucchini spaghetti. In drunk girls defense, this will also make spiral fries and weird curly shaped carrots.
5. Cuisinart 2 speed handheld immersion wand for making the perfect soup. oh…and the 365 days of soup cookbook. Neither have ever been used, and the purchase was made over a year ago. I also won’t part with it. Friends have asked, but what happens if drunk me decides to make cheddar potato soup at 2 am and there is no wand?
6. Pink… like mother fucking bubble gum pink lipstick. Not only do I never wear lipstick, but pink is sooooo not in my color palate. Has anyone wore pink lipstick since 1985?? Molly Ringwald wants her lipstick back drunk me!
7. Four HUGE restaurant quality rubber mats for my tiny little kitchen that can only fit one… All in blood-red, which I suppose is a great color if I ever decide to kill someone; because I won’t have to worry about any staining. The same package held a bobble head owl soap dispenser. It was turquoise. So apparently drunk me also doesn’t know what colors go together.
8. VHS Box set of a Dave Matthews Band concert tour. Now in her defense, I LOVE DMB… But I haven’t owned a damn VHS player in….10ish years?
9. A case of dog shampoo. Not one bottle…not two…24 fucking bottles of shampoo. Sold that door to door no lie.
10. Three sets of twelve wooden spoons. Amazom must have had a great sale for Drunk me to buy three sets…Guess what everyone is getting next Christmas?
Of course that was only the top ten. I have bought other things like beard wax, boxes of different colored sharpies, and even candy bars. Do you know how freaking weird it is to get a candy bar delivered in the little smiling box? It’s like that smiling box is mocking me. I just thank the Amazon gods that they haven’t allowed you to purchase homes yet…I am sure if they did I would buy some house in Tahiti or something…
Ever buy something weird when drinking? Drop it in the comments and share those stories!
Over the last month or so, I have been told (on several occasions; online and in person) I shouldn’t cures on the internet, I should watch what I say so I don’t offend anyone, I should be careful of pictures I post because someone might be going through something; and that picture is now making them sad, I need to show more empathy… and my ALL TIME FAVORITE, “No one will ever take you seriously as a writer with the garbage you write about” That last one has been one I enjoy most often… The others…well…they just make me think you are stupid with two o’s.
Okay. Here’s the thing…Not to be a dick, well…okay that would be a lie…
I cannot worry about the world and all their feelers. That would be boring and exhausting.
I write, and use words to express what I am feeling and thinking, regardless if it may make someone upset. In fact, if it pisses you off, then the better I feel about it, because we will now discuss it like adults until you agree with me, or you will stop following me because we have nothing in common…and trust me, I’m okay with that.
This is social media dammit. It is not made for those of you with thin skin, and it sure as hell is not somewhere I need to listen to you whine about how my post did you wrong. It had NOTHING to do with you. I wrote it because maybe I thought it was funny, or because I thought others might think it’s funny. Its called entertainment, not “You just hurt Sarah and offend her because today she hates spaghetti, and you just did interpretive dance in it while drunk so now take it off the site because all the spaghetti haters and now drunks are up in arms.”
Years ago, I believe I was pregnant with 6; however it could very well have been 7 or 8, a lady at a party shuffled up to me. I had never met this lady before. We had the normal little small talk (which I can’t stand), she had asked how I was, and I told her honestly how I felt. Apparently that would be a huge mistake. I had been pregnant for the last 10 years of my life; I missed wine, and I was over it.
I had all the back pain, the swollen feet, and my damn vagina felt like it was going to fall off causing all my insides to drop to the ground because all the pressure the baby was causing. I told her I felt like shit, missed wearing shoes with laces, and I just wanted to have one night I could sleep more than an hour at a time without getting up to pee thirty times, and maybe wear a pair of pants with a zipper instead of elastic… man I missed pants with zippers.
She immediately lost her shit on me. Maybe it was a total over share on my part, I accept that…But she was ANGRY, with droplets of spittle flying from her mouth…which being pregnant, this made me want to vomit on her shoes (since I couldn’t see mine)
As I continued to try to dodge her missiles of saliva, she began her rant about trying to conceive for years, and here, people like “ME” as her arms flailed above her head, “do not even appreciate what we have, yet still get to breed like a dog!.”
I tried to cut her off, and when that didn’t work, I tried to back away. I had thoughts of smashing her in the face with my puffy hands. However, she just followed me where I went, while her face turned purple as she continued.
“How dare you complain, you heartless bitch! How dare you not thank god every waking moment for being able to have these babies.” She made things awkward, and people were staring.
So there I stood, trying to keep my vagina from falling, as some lady screamed at me at a party I didn’t even want to attend. When she finally stormed off to find another pregnant lady to yell at, a drink, or a midget to throw, I started to become enraged. I was actually surprised it took me that long.
She had me feeling sorry for her, and I fucking hated that shit. This was a party, and I was supposed to apologize for being pregnant?
I get that for some it is hard to conceive. It was hard for my sister, and she paid oodles of cash in order to have a baby. You don’t think that sometimes I thought it sucked to find out I was pregnant, because I knew I was going to have to tell my sister. I had a tremendous amount of guilt for something I had no control over. Was I supposed to stop having babies because she couldn’t?
We can’t hide life from people because it might upset someone or make someone feel bad.
It took years of feeling like shit before I could finally tell someone like her to fuck off. I’m not saying what you feel isn’t real. Nor am I making light of your situation, but for fucks sake…you can’t hate me and lash out at me just because you don’t agree. And I sure as hell shouldn’t have to sit back and allow it.
So next time you see something you don’t like, try scrolling past it…or better yet, try to find some humor in it. I guarantee you will feel better about it…and I won’t have to vomit on your shoes.
When I first started writing a million years ago, it was merely just an outlet. I had all these thoughts running through my head all the time, and I needed to put them somewhere.
I still enjoy writing even if it’s no longer hidden in a diary under my mattress… however, there’s now a lot more work and editing involved.
If I go long periods of time where I don’t write, I get frustrated and angry. I’m like a crackhead whose dealer won’t answer the door on payday. However, like any writer, I want people to LIKE what I write. We are all narcissists in some form or another who need validation. If we weren’t, we couldn’t keep doing it…at least not openly.
I like feedback, even the shitty kind that tells me I suck, I just expect them to tell me WHY they think that way. A little common courtesy and all that folks…yet most people who gripe that you are bad or suck, have no intention of being nice about it…there’s no constructive criticism. I get that sometimes what I say isn’t for everyone; it would be complete rubbish to think otherwise. Yet, the last thing I want to do is lower myself or my standards just so someone will like me, or think I now fit into their mold.
I don’t always follow grammatical standards. I have fragmented sentences and use punctuation in all the wrong spots. Hell, I’m sure that half my posts have had my high school english teacher second guessing if teaching was something she should continue.
Yet with all that being said, I at least know who I am. I know my faults. I know my voice, which as a writer is everything.
So the other night I was talking to a fellow “Word Slinger” (PunkRock Papa who you can find here) about writer submissions. This is something we all at some point in our careers strive to do. We want notoriety, and spotlights on sites like HuffPost. You can’t keep expecting to grow your audience without working harder. You need to submit to larger sites, so that you get more exposure. Yet, for someone like me, there’s not much out there; at least in my opinion.
I’m what they call a mom blogger. A mom blogger that says fuck a lot, and doesn’t like to spread bullshit. I’m a little more honest than some of the other mommy bloggers out there. I suppose, because no one was honest with me years ago when I decided to start breeding.
I didn’t start out as a “Mom blogger” so this may be my issue here.
Sure, I am a mom… I blog… so technically that makes me a “Mom blogger”, but this doesn’t mean the only thing I am good at writing is parental stuff…in fact, most of the stuff I write about parenting I absolutely loathe!
Furthermore, while we are at it,I can’t stand the word blogger. Blogger in my opinion sounds like someone who really can’t write. Its nothing to take seriously…because no one says, “I am a blogger” by trade. dammit.. when you fill out a census form there is no “Blogger” box to check. I am a fucking writer! I sling words, and people read them!
Now hold on, I get you are probably lost now. I’m kind of all over the place, with my little tirade, which is annoying as hell but just wait…I’m getting to it.
Back to the conversation I had with Punk Rock Papa. While we discussed the whole “Should you submit to…or should you just keep writing for your own page” debacle. There are so many reasons we decided, that you should take the plunge, yet there was this one thing that irked the shit out of us.
All the sites we wouldn’t submit to because they were all total bullshit.
I can’t do fake.
Sure I can write it, in fact I write fiction all the time… that doesn’t mean I am going to write why you should hug your child 10 times a day, or he will end up an axe murderer….just because that’s the kind of shit that sells.
Why is it, the only thing people want out there are posts that put the average parent down? So let’s be honest for a minute. Lets explain real parenting…
I yell at my boys. I yell all the time because frankly, they don’t always listen. I threaten to beat them, though it would work far more if followed through with the beating I threatened them with.
They may or may not end up needing therapy.
My house…god please don’t come over unannounced, unless of course you don’t mind the four loads of laundry I have folded but haven’t put away yet.
Please do not look at my floor, I need to mop it…and for fucks sake, DO NOT LOOK IN THE FRIDGE. I may not let food go bad in there, (most of the time) but I can’t tell you the last time the fridge was wiped out, because I always swear I am going to get to it, only to end up right back at the keyboard.
I don’t cook every night. The kids get carbs, gluten, and sugar… they even get some processed bullshit.
My kid’s hair sometimes looks like they just got out of bed when they go to school…because well…we woke up late and I was more worried they had both shoes on when we rushed them off to school.
I sometimes lock myself in the garage crying into a wine glass, because at that moment, I am regretting having kids in the first place. And not because I don’t love them, but because I am so god damn exhausted and just don’t want to deal with it.
I don’t do crafts…EVER, and I let them veg out in front of the TV for more hours than the child rearing gods believe I should.
And that’s okay.
And I will write about it, because real parents need to hear about it. We need support not ridicule. We need to feel like there are others just as terrible at this whole parenting gig as the next guy.
Parents need to know that its okay that your kid had to wear the same pair of pants two days in a row, because you didn’t want to do another damn load of laundry, just so the kid would throw it on the floor.
I need to write with honesty because there are enough of the bullshit writers to make others feel bad out there. And if this means I never further my career than so be it. It’s better to be true to yourself, then get caught up in the lie that makes you feel terrible.
The husband and I were at our local watering hole on Saturday night sitting (as usual) in assholes corner. Everyone in this corner is a bona-fide asshole. We all hate people, come from all different walks of life, and love giving silly names to things (like assholes corner, or Brad faced…Brad faced will soon become a t-shirt as long as we can talk Brads girlfriend into making it happen). We have all spent years bonding over tuaca bombs and bad karaoke. Furthermore, enjoying our time out with these people immensely, missing it when we have other plans for the weekend.
So anyhoo back to where I was going with this… All the assholes have been planning a huge trip to Catalina island for Saint Patrick’s day, and we were the only ones not going because of other plans we had for our anniversary…
Which somehow turned into talks about divorce.
My husband, in his “I have been married for 21 years” so I am bragging moment, brought up the fact that divorce has been on the table a couple of times over the years. However we rock, so we fixed that shit and stayed married…which makes it even more epic since everyone we know is on marriage two or three.
This news however, absolutely floored a few of the assholes. In fact, they made it very clear that we had ruined their perfect view of my marriage. We were always fun to be around…always the jokers who loved hanging out with each other. We had secret codes about people and situations…
We are a good asshole couple…one of the best.
But what they just couldn’t grasp that it took 21 years to get here.
Marriage is sometimes fucking lame. fucking exhausting…and fucking smothering…and in my experience at the beginning…. really fucking lonely.
The first year I was ready to call it quits. I was 19, had a new baby, and was totally over being an adult.
I was sick of being poor, sick of never seeing my husband, sick of working at a job I hated, sick of paying bills, sick of never having anything in the house except for hamburger helper and hot dogs.
I was sick of shitty cars, sick of never being able to go out, sick of feeling lost and alone. I was sick of trying to live with a man I didn’t really know, sick of his friends, sick of my friends, sick of his family, sick of my family, sick of the I told ya so’s, and the constant feeling of being a complete failure.
I regretted only knowing the husband for four months before we eloped. I kicked myself daily for dropping out of college to live happily ever after.
I was sick to death that I had lost myself in this whole deal. I was sick of fighting with my husband every time we saw each other… which was really only a couple of hours every Sunday.
Friends were never any help. They all said we moved too quick. I knew they were right, but it didn’t mean we should split did it? Where would that leave us? It would mean me moving back into my parents house with a baby, only to share custody of the kid and the only shitty car we had?
It would mean he could take the shitty apartment with all the shitty furniture and the cat that liked to mark his territory by spraying the husband’s leg every time I walked too close.
I was on my way to work one morning. To the job I hated. I could only get the AM news station for most of my 40 min commute. So there I was driving and smoking like a chimney, when the bitch Doctor Laura came on the radio telling me to pull my big girl pants up, and stop being such a fucking baby. Ok…maybe not in those words, but close enough.
I hated this lady. How dare she talk about me; about my marriage.
This old judgey lady who made her money by telling everyone they were losers.
She was talking about how quickly everyone is ready to divorce now, just because being married is hard. That no one wants to work for anything anymore. She claimed that unless your husband is abusive, or a cheating whore, you shouldn’t be getting divorced.
Woman should stay home. Men should work. Live with less, stop being so superficial.
Are you serious lady? What about when you can’t stand all the bullshit?
She said that most people divorce before seven years, but that you couldn’t even really know someone for at least the first five.
I was still sitting at a year.
She said that I hadn’t even given it a chance to be good or bad yet.
Now I am not going to tell you that this was my great epiphany moment. That from that day on we lived happily ever after… because that would be total bullshit.
However, what I will tell you…is that it was enough for me to rethink my thinking.
I no longer sat there sulking about how hard everything was. (at least, not as much as I had been) I decided that I would work harder on accepting the life I chose.
I still find it funny that my younger self, took everything the invisible lady from the radio said so literally. Yet, she did. I got it in my head that it would take me 5-7 years for me to actually fail. Which I know was not the message Dr Laura was giving, but it worked for me.
It took years for us to accept each others faults, and figure out how to make the other person happy.
There are still times my marriage is maddening. Sometimes I still want to smack the husband, or get away for a little while.
We are far from perfect. We fight about money, or being tired. We get frustrated when we feel like someone isn’t pulling their weight. However when the day is over, it is that man who I would rather have at my back. The only one I still get excited to see, and that’s what counts right? It’s no longer the butterflies, but the absolute feeling of being complete.
I know that if we turned back time, I would still ignore the warnings of the judge who made sure to point out the emergency exits; like a flight attendant during our wedding ceremony. That I still wouldn’t heed his warnings.I would still go through with the wedding, still spend those first years fighting like a caged animal just so that I would be where I am today, March 16th…21 years later. With absolutely no regrets… okay…maybe I would have taken a few pictures that day, but I would still fall feet first into this marriage and never look back.
Happy 21st asshole! Love ya to the moon!
Okay for three days I have said I was going to get up and clean my closet. Okay, I’m lying… I think its been a couple of months, but you get the point. I really need to clean that damn thing. Funny that I can’t bring myself to clean the closet, however I can spend a week cleaning out a garage…
I avoid the stupid closet like the plague. I send the boys in there to get me what I need, i.e.; shoes, jacket, chips… (Yes I keep chips in my closet. I also keep pudding, popcorn, or any other snack I buy. I have to because boys eat all things)
I swear, this closet is going to be the end of my marriage. It is so crammed with shit, someone is going to die trying to walk around in there…and of course it will be my fault because I hid in the garage instead of cleaning the damn thing.
“MAN DIES IN HORRIFIC ACCIDENT IN CLOSET… HE TRIPPED OVER A CASE OF JUICE BOXES AND HIT HIS HEAD ON A GORGEOUS PAIR OF VINCE CAMUTO PUMPS” See…it could happen, and how will I ever get the blood out of the pumps? So again, I will tell myself I will clean that closet today.
The closet hasn’t always been this way… In fact, at one time it was my favorite hiding space aside from the garage. Then it happened…
First, my precious shoe rack decided to come crashing down in the middle of the night, which then caused half of my shoe population to end up on the floor. (Okay, maybe more like a quarter of my shoes…) I have nowhere to put them I have the top shelf, two side shelves, and the floor all filled and displaying my shoes. The husband won’t let me use his side of the closet because he “claims” I already have most of the closet, blah blah blah. So there my poor shoes sit. In a broken hot mess on the floor just dying for a new home
It really went to shit when the boys finally figured out that the closet IS a spectacular hiding place. While they may not drink wine and read a book in there like mom, they can hide in my closet and stuff themselves with snacks and juice boxes…leaving all the wrappers displayed nicely in little piles on the floor.. (I really don’t get that logic, but that’s how they roll.)
However even those small things became bigger problems when I would ask them to hang up some work shirts for their dad, so again I could avoid the closet like Chernobyl, and they just through the shirts on the ground. Why would they do this you ask?? Because they were side tracked when they saw the shiny little ding-dong wrapper… or maybe it was the sighting of Amelia Earhart’s plane . All I know, is my boys can’t seem to do much without you watching them do it., which leads to a huge closet you can’t walk into anymore because mom can’t seem to clean it.
I can find so many other things to do… like… drink a Monster energy and read a book… surf the web for great gift ideas, pick at my nails, plan for our trip to Vegas in a few weeks… writing the worlds next big novel! All way more important than cleaning the closet.
What have you been putting off? Time to confess!
Being that I am almost 40 years young, I can remember weird things like… No cell phones, no computers, video games at the arcade, and the banana seat bike. –Mine was blue with a sparkly seat, tassels on the handlebars that also rocked a super groovy basket I could bring all-the-things in.–
Summers and weekends, I would jump out of bed as the sun came up, just so I could get all of my chores done. LOTS OF THEM –Chores my parents didn’t pay me for, because it was understood that I needed to pull my own weight–. Then I would take off (barefoot) for the whole damn day.
And I survived
We rode bikes all over the world and back (okay it was really only a few cities). I was still barefoot, no elbow or knee pads…and definitely not a helmet. The sun would lighten my hair and leave freckles across my nose.
The park was a few miles away depending on which one we flocked to (there were a few). We would walk there and play, or even hop on the bus so we could hang out at the beach for the day. –With no parents.–
And we survived.
Every one of us.
Sure, there were times someone got hurt because we thought we were invincible, and didn’t know any better. There was even a time we drug all the mattresses out of the neighbor’s house; just so we could jump off the roof. (Definitely not the most intelligent thing we have done)
And yet…We survived.
Parents knew all the kids in the neighborhood, because that’s what parents did. We were out learning how to make good decisions, and learn from the bad when we were punished.
We were taught respect, please and thank-you.
Some of my absolute best childhood memories were sneaking into concerts or the drive in movies in the trunks of my friends cars. I never said we were saints…
We lived carefree. Always ready for a new adventure.
Now… here’s the thing.
What the hell happened folks? Since when did we start calling the cops on parents because their kids were outside playing?
Since when did it become completely taboo to allow kids to hang out at the park, hang out at the mall… or better yet, just ride their damn bikes to school?
When did we decide it was okay for our kids to disrespect others, because no one would punish them if they did? Parents thinking that hurting a child’s feelings was a failure that would damage the child forever.
Did you know at my boy’s high school, there are parents who only live three blocks away, and yet… they still drive their kids to school every day? It’s absolutely preposterous.
Kids need to be kids. And that doesn’t mean you sit them at a computer or game console, because you are too afraid to let them hang out with other kids…afraid they may get skin cancer from the sun…or afraid they will fall out of a tree.
See, so many people are under this false sense that the world is somehow different now. That people are more evil than back when we were kids…but see, that’s all just bullshit. You just hear about more of it…at lightning speed… because it takes two seconds to share EVERYTHING on the World Wide Web.
Have you ever looked up the crime rates? I spent an entire day researching just that. It was boring as hell, and eye opening. I was floored. I grew up in California…which was (according to everyone and their rants about the old days) this great safe place when I was a kid…. did you know, that in 1975 (the year I was born) there were 2,209 murders… and 8, 807 forcible rapes.
Yet, in 2013 (38 yrs later) there were only 1,746 murders and 7,464 forcible rapes (I know…I just did math, scares me too)….I will let that sink in for a second….
Explain to me –because I am apparently stupid– how it is that if violent crime has gone DOWN…why we are now coddling our kids? Why are we taking the freedom of being a child away, while using shame and judgment against parents just trying to do good by them?
Isn’t it our responsibility as parents, to teach them how to be good independant humans? How are they going to learn to ride a blue bike with tassels if they haven’t left the house for anything other than school?
What happened to jumping in puddles, or spending your entire summer making lifetime memories…and not just memories about getting the highest score on Mario Kart.
Why can’t we give our children the benefit of doubt here? If you do not cut the umbilical cord, and unwrap them from the abundance of bubble wrap you have them virtually covered in, –before they run off to college– aren’t you afraid of how they might react? They will have absolutely no life skills outside of being really good at pressing A-AB—x on the Xbox, or snapping a selfie for snapchat.
Last week, I read an article about a couple of kids (brother and sister) who were walking home from the park. One was 11, the other 6. They were walking home a mile, with the parents consent. This is something the parents had gone over with the kids. They made sure the kids could handle it by starting off slow. Building trust. The parents trusted their kids to behave, and make it home safe together. The police were then called. They drove the kids’ home, and now the media and comments people are leaving are pretty much ripping the parents apart. How dare they let their kids walk home by themselves and play without supervision!
Shouldn’t we be judging those who have kids that never venture outside?
Maybe we should call the sheriff department because children no longer know how to cope without holding mom or dads hand.
My boys ALL walk to school. Granted, I prefer them to walk with a buddy. I’m not completely insane; I know there are safety in numbers, but listen…
They have all survived.
And it’s not an easy walk. Boys 3 and 4 both walk 2.5 miles… one way. While boys 5 and 6 walk 1.5 miles…One way. 7 has the easiest at only a few blocks. They know not to talk to strangers. No getting in cars. No being stupid. Furthermore, on the rare occasion when I do ask them if they want a ride, they say no. They LIKE walking.
They play outside EVERYDAY. (Even the teenagers.)
They climb trees, ride bikes, and get dirty. They walk to the park… They are happy and well adjusted kids.
The kids in the neighborhood started showing up to enjoy this new thing called “Playing outside” leaving parents confused and scared.
And they have survived.
Stop judging your fellow parents, and start looking at the big picture.
Our kids are overweight, lazy and complete shut-ins.
It’s an epidemic that people have no problem talking about, however can’t seem to put a stop to it. Why? Of course it’s easy to put the TV on and call it a day. It takes absolutely no skill to sit on the couch.
Stop the excuses. Stop fearing backlash from the kids.
Stop being that judgy-know-it-all parent, who would rather call child protective services for nothing but kids being kids, because you are too afraid to tell your own kid no. I promise they won’t break. The world will not end.
The excuse of things being boring outside will change. They will start having fun…they will start using their imaginations.
They will be happier little people.
They will survive.
Maybe then, parents like me will no longer have to live in fear that we will be harassed by children’s services because my child was playing on a jungle gym without me being up his ass.
How does it happen? Seriously.
Child comes into this world all sweet and cute…They learn to giggle and smile…Then walk…
Then one day, when you least expect it– BAM! WHIP! POW!– They morph into this thing they call a teen. It’s not fun, and completely ugly.
If we gave birth to teens first; the world population would fall pretty quick…Like to zero. I mean, who in their ever lovin mind would keep going after that?
I have been told –countless times– that this is a faze, and I should try to have some understanding… because I too was a teen at one time, but tell that to a mother whose child just told them they hated them, rolled their eyes and screamed that they couldn’t wait until they were eighteen. Try it…I bet she punches you in the throat.
If I snuck out to the garage every time one of my teens had a meltdown, my poor husband would come home to a wife in a drunken stupor, passed out in a coma more than a few nights a week, not to mention the cost of liver replacement.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some strange off the wall moments, when the hint of the child past shows it’s sweet little face. However… as soon as you tell them to put down the Xbox controller and clean something, the sweetness disappears. Followed of course by groaning and hand gestures…and thats just the parent.
One of my favorite arguments I had with a teen was with the oldest. It completely proves how unreasonable a teenager can be. He…in a stupid teen-who-is-clueless moment, wanted to go rappelling into mine shaft with his friends. (Because who doesn’t want to do that?!)
My response was simple… I told him like hell would I allow that! I tried to enlightened him to the fact that many people die every year falling into those same mine shafts, or get lost and die of dehydration before someone can find them. I explained that someone who doesn’t know how to tie a knot on his safety harness (let alone his shoes half the time), was far from getting my permission to do such a thing.
This argument transmuted into a three-day long fight over how old and uncaring I was. He claimed I was so old, I had forgot how to have fun. I suppose he had a point, because there is no way I would try to repel my old ass down a 200 fucking foot mine shaft, just to find something to do.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I have heard that I didn’t know what I was talking about, or had a child stare at me like something was growing out of my head.
Three and Four think I am the worst, because I expect them to check in and actually ask permission before they wander all over town and back with their friends. That apparently I don’t understand a text is even too damn smothering. They have no idea just how smothering I can be if I want too. I can smother the life out of them without a thought.
Then there are the food bills. What I wouldn’t do for the metabolism of a teenage boy! They are locus. I swear it doesn’t matter if I purchase $100.00 in groceries or $1000.00, the food will be gone in a day if I don’t hide it or lock it up, and if you teach them to cook… Like really cook…you will soon find full dinner meals made at snack time, yet when you ask if they could make dinner and help you out, suddenly their arms fall off and don’t understand english.
As a parent, you need to learn to breathe without a bag over your head.
I remember when I would take a kid to the grocery store when they were little I could bribe them into behaving like little angels, just by getting them a cookie from the bakery. It was perfect! However, now the only one I bribe would be the Husband and I… I have to use bar night on Saturday, just so one of us doesn’t run away before the weekend.
I actually believe teens act this way just so you look forward to an empty nest. All we have to threaten them with is the old age saying “Wait until you have kids of your own”, (at least legally) although it takes your kid well into their until their 30’s before they even understands the concept.
Therefore, until then, I will enjoy the small moments I get, and giggle at what they have to look forward to as parents.
Enjoy your weekend folks! ~Cheers
There is this dirty little secret about parenting and marriage no one ever tells you: This life is not always filled with fluffy kittens and balloons.
The other day, my husband and I were driving around doing our “buy the locusts some food, and pay the bills” thing, and, because of my attitude that we will ignore for argument’s sake as I plead the fifth, we get into the conversation about how I am just a miserable person to be around sometimes. Of course, you know, because everyone else in the world is happy as a damn clam in butter sauce. It wasn’t news that he feels that way sometimes, and it wasn’t news that he was right, for the most part. The thought of rainbows and kittens flying out my ass left me years ago.
However, what he said, at that moment, cut me, which I know was not his intention. It still cut the same.
The husband is not one of “those guys”. He never sets out to hurt anyone, especially his wife. In fact he’s quite the opposite. He hates to fight; He would leap tall buildings in a single bound in a cape and tights just to stay out of a fight with me.
I however, cannot take that high ground myself, not to mention you don’t want to see me in spandex. In reality, I can be a mean bitch and quite opinionated.
See, if he is in a bad mood, he sits and watches TV, ignoring the world around him.
When I am in a bad mood, I turn into what I imagine seems like a raging drug addict on bath salts banging on her dealer’s door. Moreover, until I work myself out of that mood, I need to hide so I don’t say something I really don’t mean. And lately, I have been hiding a lot.
See, no one ever tells you that sometimes, parenting is fucked up.
Sometimes, marriage is fucked up.
And sometimes…it’s hard not to be fucked up yourself.
Before I had kids, I was a pretty happy person all of the time, or at least I like to think so. When my parents raised me and my sisters, I think I can count on one finger how many times I had heard my parents fight, and that was only because I got up to pee in the middle of the night. I still do not know how they had the self-control to keep it to themselves until we were asleep. However, despite how they did it, I think it did us a disservice. Once I was married, I felt like such a loser if the husband and I would fight, and boy did we fight.
We fought about everything, however it was mostly money or stupid things like him never being around because he was working his ass off. I was lonely, and scared our lives were always going to suck. It just shows the immaturity level I had at 18.
If I got angry… I would voice it, and loudly. I would snap so quick it would give you whiplash. Things were thrown, things would break, and then after the smoke and dust cleared one of us would apologize (usually me) and things would go back to our newlywed bliss.
It was seriously messed up.
It took years for us to calm down and understand each other, and to not take everything someone said and turn it into the next Armageddon. All seriousness was pretty much flying out the window, which was a good thing. I am still baffled about how we got through those first years, but we did, and I am grateful for it every day, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always that blissful sky-opening-up-to-angels-singing kind of thing over here. There are no rainbows or unicorns, We still fight, and we fight loud, we just stopped breaking things when we finally realized we liked our stuff and did not want to spend the money on new stuff all the time. We also try not to say stuff that hurts the other person. (Although, it still happens from time to time)
I also genuinely like spending time with him and hanging out. He’s my best friend, and someone who can deal with my up and down neurotic attitude that still plagues me to this day. Sometimes I actually think that 18 yr old self is trying to weasel her way back into my life, and I can’t let that happen. That chick is twisted, and should probably be put on meds.
But that comment… That comment was shitty. Not because he said it, but because he was right.
I am a pretty miserable person to be around sometimes. In part, I am tired. I’m waiting for the rollercoaster to slow down and let me off for a few minutes.
The husband still works a lot and is not home all that often, and after 20 years, I am still not used to it. That’s a good thing right? From what some women say, they would rather the husbands be gone more. Yet, I want mine around. I stay at home and try to keep the boys in line, but some days, like today, the kids win and I end up in the room crying and pissed off that I have no one here to takeover, because it is, at this moment, I am losing my mind again.
At this moment, I feel defeated.
Is it rational? No, not really. Nevertheless, I still have that selfish moment where I want to get in my car and go hide from the world with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka and a box of truffles, if only for an hour or two.
No one ever tells you that sometimes you wake up and think, “Hmm… I really do not want to deal with the world today….and I REALLY do not want to deal with the argumentative teen who is way too much like his mama.”
No one tells you that sometimes being a parent can be really difficult, or that no matter how hard you try, it won’t always turn out the way you thought it would. No one tells you sometimes you will be miserable, and not know why. No one tells you there isn’t a magic pill that will fix your life when you feel like it is out of control, despite how many pills are there to fix everyone else.
No one tells you that you will feel like a failure more times than you will feel like you did it right. No one tells you that sometimes, when you fall, you would rather just stay on the ground for the day then try to get up. That sometimes you will be so angry you will shake all the way into your room before you say something you cannot take back.
That sometimes you will scream so loud you will lose your voice, yet no one will hear you.
You will feel bat shit crazy.
You will think everyone around you is bat shit crazy.
You will wonder if you can do anything right.
However, even after you start to recognize the warning signs that all of the above apply to you, they also do not tell you that it is okay that you feel this way sometimes.
That everything will pass, and you will look back and wonder why you made such a big deal about it. (I do this on a daily basis)
That sometimes you need to pop the balloons and shave the fluffy kittens to make a coat.
That as long as you have someone who is willing and understanding enough to wear the tights for you, you can get through anything, so just hang on.