Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just Another Day


My Facebook Status: “Here’s to all the good parents out there.  Continue being the oddly-shaped-soft-in-some-spots-worn-out rock of the family.  Those kids need you.”

I have been a single mom for eight years, which naturally means that my Mother’s Days are always horrendous.  I’m not sure that the story is much different for a lot of non-single moms either.  For instance, when my dad doesn’t get my mom anything for Mother’s Day (every year), he proclaims “You’re not my mother!”, and goes golfing.  That’s nice dad. 

I usually spend my Mother’s Day trying to relax and expecting the kids to understand that they should be worshiping me on this particular day.  Of course the day always ends in crushing disappointment, whining children, and me locking myself in the bathroom in order to gain some composure.  This year I decided to do something kid-oriented and take the kids to the aquarium.  I figured at the very least there would be a little less whining and bickering to deal with than normal.  My preteen daughter threw a bit of a fit in the middle of the day, the kids didn’t say Happy Mother’s Day (until the pizza delivery guy reminded them to, thanks pizza guy), no one made me a card, and I didn’t get breakfast in bed, but it wasn’t a bad day overall. 

Yesterday, I was thinking about the day while looking at the picture below of me and my nephew outside of the aquarium.  Maybe it has to be enough to know that I give all my (imperfect) love and (definitely imperfect) energy to my kids, their friends, my nephew, and all the children I’m close to.  Maybe it has to be enough to know I’m the one they come to when they are tired, sick, or scared.  Even if they don’t appreciate me now, or ever, I’ll know that I did everything I could to shape them into the adults they will soon become.  Being a parent is a messy, exhausting, thankless job, but everyone needs someone to love them unconditionally (unless you want to raise a serial killer, which could be handy too, e.g. Dexter). 

Happy belated Mother’s Day to me and all the other moms who are caring for and loving the children around them with everything they have.  Happy early Father’s Day to all the dads who are doing the same; I’m sorry about that tie the kids are going to get you.  Take it off when you get in the car before you get fired. 

Raising kids is like running a marathon.  You have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and invest in an abundance of energy drinks.  Oh, and most importantly, WATCH OUT FOR LEGOS while you’re putting one foot in front of the other.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

S.O.S.


I hope I'm still alive by the time someone reads this letter.  I'm afraid that even if you find me physically alive the mental damage may be irreversible.  I have been held captive by two sociopathic maniacs for the last 12 years.  They grow stronger and taller by the day.  If I'm not freed soon, they may become too powerful to defeat. 

During my imprisonment I have been forced to perform unspeakable acts over and over and over again.  I do all the cooking, cleaning, driving, shopping and working for my captors.  I am also forced to care for the vicious beasts they keep as “pets”. My detainers send me to a beige and gray, cubicle-filled prison for eight hours a day, where I am constantly verbally and physically abused.  The work I do there leaves me hunched over and defeated by the end of each day.  This "job" earns them money so they can waste it all on Oreos and video games.  Those fools!  When I am freed from one prison at 5 pm each day I face my evening hell of cooking, cleaning, homework, and incessant whining and bickering meant to slowly break down my free will. 

My captors refuse to call me by my given name.  They just scream “MOM!!!!” when they need me to do their bidding.  I fear I am losing my identity.  I barely remember who I was before they imprisoned me.  The first few years of my captivity were by far the worst.  My enslavers made me wipe their filthy bottoms and spoon feed them!  I had to carry them everywhere even though they had the ability to walk!  I believe there is no end to the selfish neediness of these two monsters. 

There’s no chance I will be able to escape on my own.  They never ever leave my side, not even when I use the bathroom.  If I manage to shut the bathroom door before they get in, they peer under the door and demand constant responses to make sure I have not escaped their suffocating grasp.  If I refuse to come out, they summon their beasts to break down the doors.  Please come quickly! Bring a S.W.A.T team, a bomb squad, and the National Guard!  Call in The Avengers!  Whatever you do, don't underestimate their kind or you may find yourself in exactly my position.

OH GOD!  Here they come!  They want me to take them to meet their allies at something called soccer practice!  It’s too late for me!  Run!  Save yourself!  SAVE YOURSELF!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meth Addicts, Artificial Insemination, and Dead Spouses, Oh My!


I think that title was enough of an opener, so I’m just going to get right to it today. 

I had the following text conversation with a friend the other day:

Me: “I see you have a new girlfriend.”

Him:  “Oh, that didn’t take.  In and out of a relationship in less than a week.  Pretty sure that’s a new record?”

Me: “It’s okay, most of my relationships average 3 months and then go down in cataclysmic flames on Facebook for everyone to watch.  I seem to be un-standable after three months.”

This got me thinking about the life cycle of my normal relationship:

Time
Horrific Event
Week 1
Boyfriend finds me sexy, intelligent, funny and caring.  Wants to spend the rest of his days riding off into the sunset with me.
Week 1 Anomaly
There is an occasional anomaly to the sunset-riding new boyfriend.  This man may be unusually perceptive and realizes my neuroses are not really that cute or he hasn't seen me since high school and forgot how big my nose really is.  This man runs away screaming and deletes his entire internet social life to avoid me.
Month 1
BF realizes I am not the perfect girlfriend when I refuse to cook him dinner, do his laundry, or let him have the remote.
Month 2
BF realizes I'm an anxiety-ridden perfectionist.  Decides to stay because I'm fantastic in bed.
Month 3
BF meets the kids and never calls again.  Oops, I mean gets "lost at sea".
Month 3 Anomaly (my ex-husband)
BF accidentally knocks me up and has to stay for 5 years until the relationship ends in a dramatic soap-opera-Game-of-Thrones-type fashion.

Sorry, I forgot everything isn’t about me.  Back to the conversation:

Him: “Me too.  So a month would’ve been below average but in the range at least.  But a week?  I hope my character judging ability isn’t slipping.”

Me: “I think when you’re over 30 you have to take what you can get because the sample size is so small.  Your character judging has to change in relation to the diminished sample.”

This thought turned into a graph in my head.  I blame the statistics class I am taking:





One can see by the graph that our standards drop dramatically when we age.  Let’s examine each age group listed above.

20 years old:  At this age the female of the human species will only settle for Prince Charming, or even better Chris Hemsworth (I love you Thor!!!  AHHHHHH!!!!!)

30 years old:  The 30 year old single woman has given up on Prince Charming.  If you are a 30 year old unmarried woman your choices are slimmed down to the meth addict that hangs out in front of your building or artificial insemination.

40 years old:  At 40, single ladies have a choice between becoming the crazy cat lady on Hoarders and marrying a man who is an unemployed divorcee (12 times over). 

50 years old:  If you are still single at 50 (or divorced from your meth addict), you can choose between your closest relationship being with the pizza delivery man or dating a married man for 15 years.

60 years old: At 60, you get to choose between being single and being in charge of changing your meth addict’s colostomy bag (or even worse, their diapers).

70 years old:  At 70 you’re just happy that the neighbors haven’t noticed you’re keeping your dead spouse in your coat closet.  It’s so much easier cooking for two. 

80 years old:  Hopefully the gods were good; you’re dead and done with this dating bullshit.

Okay, back to the conversation: 

Him: “That is a very logical theory.  Not sure how I can adapt it to someone who has always refused to compromise though.  I must be a glutton for punishment…. Not to mention it still pisses me off whenever someone tells me that I’m ‘in my thirties’.”

Me:  “I think this is where you go get artificially inseminated and have a kid on your own.  That’s what Jennifer Aniston would do anyway.  Then you get to marry Jason Bateman.”

Him:  “I don’t think I can get artificially inseminated.  I thought I was an ‘inseminator’.”

Me:  “I think it’s more expensive to get an egg donor, but you do whatever you want to do Mr. Richie Rich.”

I hope we all have learned some very important lessons from this conversation.  For example, don’t ever text me when you are feeling lousy about being alone because I will make graphs instead of helping you.