Quit Whining, Your Commute Isn’t That Bad

I’m listening to a conversation between to business people in KC complain about how “long” (45 min) it takes to get to parts of the city for chamber meetings. I’m afraid my perspective (DC traffic) makes me think of you as whiney & spoiled. In 45 min, you were literally able to drive from one side of town to the other. In DC, you might only get 5 miles in dead stop traffic. Get out & see the world people. This small town attitude is why people call us a “cow town.”

Kids

This afternoon, my roommate arrived from the east coast with his two small children, ages 5 & 6. Two adorable babies poured out of the car and were immediately my new champions.

How can you resist this? A small child gives a hug only when they want to. They haven’t developed all the social niceties full of false kindness. They hug because they want to hug. And damn it feels good.

It’s very strange to have never had children. It wasn’t my plan. My earliest memories were of wanting 8-12 kids. That of course was before I had any concept of all the things that went into both birthing and raising 12 children. My initial conclusion was simple, the most interesting kids came from great big families, and from my perspective, they all liked each other. I wanted to be like them.

As I became an adult and married and the fear of child birth and raising children became a reality, I literally became terrified at the thought of becoming a parent. It was going to stop me, but I was very aware of having a recurring dream in which I as pregnant and due the next day, but nothing was ready. Not me, not the child’s room. Nothing. I’d wake up in a panic each time I had the dream.

One day, I met a couple who had one child. I’d never considered having only one child. But seeing them and how happy they all were, I came to the easy conclusion that I could do that. One child. If I handle it well, then I can have one more. And so on until I reach my limit.

But I’d never have the chance to implement my plan. My early marriage didn’t work and subsequent relationships were too short to consider children. Ultimately, I realized that age would now likely prevent it. I wasn’t one of those go down in flames, jump through hoops kind of women trying to get pregnant. I decided that I would accept and make the best of whatever my life brought me. Sometimes life has been kind, sometimes not so much. But I never made a judgement about whether being childless was good or bad. It just was.

But it is weird to be a 50 year old woman with no children…and thus no grandchildren. People don’t realize things that mom’s take for granted come very hard to me. Like how to be creative 24/7. And worrying about them getting hurt. My roommate, their father, lovingly refers to them as little monkeys because of the way they like to climb. I keep hearing a scream in my head as I imagine one of them falling from getting cookies etc.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted as they were, but it was them, not my full day of painting that wore me out. This isn’t a complaint, it’s just a statement of fact. I’m WORE out!!!! How do moms do this? And as one of them lay in my lap at the restaurant because she was tired, I felt nothing but love.

But my ass is worn out. And I have another 10 days or so of this. What’s scaring the shit out of me is my roommate is telling me he’s got to go back to work instead of staying home with the kids. He “needs me to babysit.” I haven’t baby sat since I was 12. And then I only did it once. Well, I did watch my nephew once. I was crying by the time my sister in law came home. I was beyond frustrated in trying to come up with things to keep him interested.

On top of that, I work from home. I’m kicking my business back into gear and need to give it my full attention. I didn’t give up my high maintenance puppy to my ex to replace him with kids.

This week will be a struggle.

You see, I have to make money again. Savings is dwindled. But I look at the kids and wonder? Is it my job? If not me, who? There’s no one without putting his job in jeopardy. That’s the hard part about working from home. People think you aren’t working and can take on all these other things. But then…there are those two adorable beings that think every 30 minutes is “cuddle time” with me.

I think I’m officially talking in circles. Ugh…it’s 10:45…I’m headed to bed. Two wonderful little beings have just worn me out. Parents…I gotta hand it do you…I have NO idea how you do it.

Coochie Galore

I ran into a friend of mine while out at bike nite last week.  He’d missed my birthday party for a family get together, so we were catching up on my fun and his family.  Most of us have or will go through this.  His mom is elderly, she’s now in assisted living and the kids need to make decisions over her belongings.  I don’t remotely envy his situation as he has 10 other siblings to deal with.

As many of us do now, we shared our very different stories via photos on our smart phones.  Mine of my party and 50 people having a lot of fun.  He of his 10 siblings & mom going over various collectibles she’d saved over the years.  At one point, he just handed me his phone and instructed me to skim through the pictures myself with him looking over my should and explaining situations & describing family members.  As pictures of a Nebraska farm family slid across my view, I was completely unprepared for the close-up full-on frontal coochie galore.  The iPhone was airborne and I’m sure it’s because I threw it.

It landed safely, but I wish it has systematically started taking pictures of my friend’s shocked face as he grabbed for the phone to clear the picture while trying to apologize and explain the photo of the coochie.

Keep in mind, I was shocked, not offended.  What was really shocking was what he told me about the picture.  It was sent to him by a girl he’d met on an on-line dating site.  He hadn’t been out with her yet.  This pic was part of their “flirting.”  Really?  How about a pic of you in a hot outfit out with your friends for the night instead of coochie galore.  Moreover, this wasn’t the only girl that had sent coochie galore pics.  He had coochie galore pics from dozens of women.  Let’s take it one step further…he’s not the only man to have told me this.

Most of my male friends have many coochie shots in their phones.  Sometimes I wonder if they all have the same women.  I have so many questions around this.  How many women do this?  Do men expect it?  Is this a midwest thing or is this going on all over the country?  Is it international? What do they think of the women who do it?  What do they think of the women who don’t?

One of the things that I know for sure in my life is that I won’t be participating in this.  Why? Because every one of my guy friends has showed me their coochie pics.  I have no intention of letting that happen to me.  So girls, you think they’ve “promised” it’s just for them?  Smarten up, they are sharing those pictures.

I would love to hear about other people’s experiences or thoughts on this.

My Period

I can’t believe I actually struggled with the title.  For 39 years, I’ve had “my period.”  I’ve never had a pseudonym for it, yet I realize that many women do because even with the plethora of commercials about “periods,” actually saying the word and referencing your own in writing is still a bit awkward.

So if you are doing any adding, you may wonder if I have a typo above with my number.  It is correct.  I’ve had my period for 39 years.  I started when I was 11, and I’m now 50.  My older friends pity me. Many of my younger friends have had hysterectomies or uterine ablation and are grateful they no longer have to deal with their “monthly curse,” “Aunt Dot,” or “cycle.”

I’m actually grateful I still have my period.  She has stuck with me longer than any friend or family member.  She’s reminded me of the promise of life (though it wasn’t to be for me, the promise always made me smile).  She’s relieved me that I wasn’t as careless as I thought last month.  And for 39 years, she has let me know that I’m alive as my period is the only thing that ever slowed me down enough to pay attention to me.  The cramping, though a pain in the ass, has always put me in tune with my body reminding me that I need to listen to her.  I haven’t had measurable bloating in years, I think this is a privilege of the very thin…I’m not one of them.  I fought for her when it was discovered I had fibroids and doctors wanted to give me a hysterectomy.  I found a little known option called a myomectomy and traveled 2000 miles to have the surgery so I could keep my period.  After the surgery, I waited patiently to see if she would come back to me, and she did.  And now, she let’s me know each month that we’re holding off hormone replacement and the worries of osteoporosis just a little bit longer.

As usual, my period is inconvenient.  I’m moving today (thus why I’ve been scarce with my writing this past week).  But with a little preparation, and a little ibuprofen, I will make it through the day. Menopause will have to wait for another day. Period!

Thank You for Unfriending Me

I got unfriended today.  Well, I got unfriended recently.  I’m not sure exactly what day it was.  I searched a friend on Facebook so I could see what she was up to and she couldn’t be found.  Wow…not only did she unfriend me, but she blocked me too!

Though the initial shock stung (I’m not one to throw away friends), I’m realizing now that I’m quite grateful.  You see, I’d mistaken her for an adult.  Now that I know she’s really an immature chid, I’m acutely aware of how inappropriate it would be for a woman of 50 to be friends with a pre-teen. Yes, unfriending me was the best thing for her to do.

I’m even more grateful that 2 of the friends I had made while hanging out with her have also unfriended me.  I mistook them for adults too.  Phew…the reputation they saved me from!!!

Admittedly, the shock of it threw me a bit.  It’s a slap in the face no matter how you look a it.  But when I dissect my shock, it’s because I didn’t believe this “friend” was the type to treat me this way.  In retrospect, I realize she is this type.  She’s known for being passive aggressive with other friends, and more than once in the past 12 months, I caught her being passive aggressive with me.  Add to that she bragged to me about how if she no longer wanted to talk to a person, she just ignored their texts & calls “it’s easy” she said.

Thank you for unfriending me, now I have time to find more cool people to hang out with.  BTW…fuck you!

 

Is it Ignorance, Stupidity, or Plain Idiocy?

Have you ever seen the movie Idiocracy?  See it.  It was a low promotion (if not “no” promotion) movie.  The acting is not necessarily stellar, but the premise is frightening.  In short, the stupid & ignorant multiply prolifically and the intelligent refrain from multiplying.  The end result is a ridiculously stupid world.  I think the reason that I found it so haunting is that I see real life examples of idiocy all around me.

I spoke to a woman this morning, Becky, who relayed a story that just makes you shake your head.

Becky woke this morning to stray kittens in her yard.  She contacted animal control to tell them there were several stray cats and likely as many as 3 stray kittens in her yard.  In her conversation, she mentioned that one of the kittens was found dead.  The animal control employee stopped the conversation and demanded “What did you do with the dead kitten?”  Becky replied “I wrapped it up and put it in my dumpster.  I didn’t want my kids to see it.”

Within an hour, animal control and police cars had arrived at her home.  I would like to believe it was to pick up all those stray cats & kittens.  Instead, 100% of their focus was on the dead kitten that she’d placed in the dumpster.

Both the police officer and the animal control officer acted horrified at how she’d “inhumanely” treated a dead animal.

Now let’s get one thing straight…I am an animal lover.  Having had my dog 5 years now, I can’t drive by a carcass on the side of the road without feeling a little queazy for the life that no longer exists.  But that’s just it, the life is gone from it.  It’s dead.  If you believe animals have souls, that soul is long gone!

After 30 minutes of “photographing the scene,” this young woman was cited a ticket for “inappropriate animal disposal”.  It’s 100 degrees outside.  I don’t blame her for not wanting her kids to see a dead animal (they have big hearts too), and certainly wouldn’t want them to see what 100 degrees in the sun was going to to do it.  What the hell was she supposed to do with a dead kitten?  Put it in the fridge?

Now here’s my favorite part…wait for it…

You see it’s inhumane to throw out a dead animal in a dumpster (just using their logic here), but because the city “doesn’t have an ordinance about stray cats”, nothing was done to retrieve these “live” animals.  So I guess it is perfectly humane to have them starve in 100 degree heat in a wood pile.

Holy shit, how can people be so wackadoodle? (Sorry, but that’s my new favorite word).  And both officers were quite proud of their work! They’d saved the world from a dead kitten.  They made sure that a really bad person got a ticket.

Here’s the deal, it may be insensitive to throw a dead kitten in the dumpster.  It certainly is politically incorrect.  Granted, it’s not hygienic and there’s probably some issues beyond the fact that it will stink to high heaven in 100 degree heat.  But you can’t justify putting all that energy into ticketing a woman who called you about the problem any way and then doing NOTHING about the stray cats that have no shots (shall be talk about that hygiene?), no flea/tick control (more spread of disease), and ability to continue to reproduce for generations (more disease & even bigger pestilence problem), and of course the irresponsibility of leaving an animal to die a long slow death in 100 degree heat with no food & water.

When are people going to start using their brains again?  This is not the end of this topic…it’s one of my favorite things to bitch about.  Stay tuned for more examples of idiocy and wackadoodlery.

 

Koolaid’s Here…

At lunch today, I passed a guy wearing a “Koolaid’s Here” smiley face T-Shirt.  He was a bigger guy, wearing a bright blue, smiley face, Koolaid shirt.  You couldn’t miss him.  All I could think was that he actually opened his closet this morning, grabbed that shirt and thought: “Yeah! This is it!!!”

July 4

It’s July 4, 2013. This is one of my favorite holidays. I had breakfast at a local diner and smiled as each kid draped in red, white & blue walked by. Someday, pictures of today will once again bring smiles as a family recalls todays celebrations.

I’m looking for my own red, white & blue t-shirt to wear with jeans as I will be riding my Harley up to a local car show being held in the town park. They don’t have a “class” for motorcycles, but it’s a way of starting conversations with strangers…and someday one of those strangers could become a friend.

I’m hopeful that once there, I can do a quick dash into a ladies room & change into a sundress or shorts. I love the bike, but it’s too hot to sit around all day in jeans & boots.

All this really leads up to the fireworks. I never tire of them, and have only missed them once in my life when I was living in Canada. I’ll have to write about that story some time…it’s a good one. Today, I want to be brief so I can get to the festivities.

The residents of the town I’m living in have been exploding fireworks all week…day and night. I guess it’s one of those rare places that still let’s you blow things up. Hopefully no one will get hurt and no one’s house will catch fire. A little home safety should take care of most of that.

What all this is about is celebrating the independence of our nation. Those of us that find ourselves a bit patriotic can be overcome by emotion with the festivities. I’m one of those folks. Not long ago, there was a video meme going around from the TV show “Newsroom”. In it, the character blasted a young woman for calling the US “The Best Country in the World.” He went on to cite all the reasons we are “not” the best country in the world any longer.

It angered me on a gut level, but I couldn’t put to words what bothered me so. But as I type this morning, it comes back to mind.

You see, I’ve lived in other countries: Thailand as a child and Canada as an adult. Living someplace else taught me what a great country this is…even with it’s faults.

When someone has a great job, you do not cite the things wrong with the job to prove your case that the assessment is incorrect. When someone has a great marriage, you do not cite the things wrong with their marriage to prove otherwise. Likewise, we do not cite all the things wrong in the US to counter someone who already believes this is a great country. Like the person with a great job or a great marriage, he or she is the one that decides the greatness. As such, each one of us decides the greatness of our country.

The US is a living dynamic thing. That means it has its good points and its bad. How long would the lists be of “good” things vs. “bad” things? Our own individual value systems will translate those lists anyway and decide in the end its greatness.

I for one believe that the greatness of the US is as much what it has already accomplished as what it still can accomplish. I believe in all the possibilities.

Happy 4th everyone. Enjoy the day.