Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's Go Fly a Kite


I always have some feelings of trepidation when I'm headed to a family party.  By “trepidation” I mean I whine and cry and try to negotiate my way out of the event starting a good week beforehand.  When the day rolls around, my kids have to murmur calming words into my ear while peeling my fingers off the doorframe.  You’re probably thinking, oh, it can’t be that bad.  What could a bunch of sweet, little old ladies possibly do to you?  I have two words for you, psychological warfare.  These women spend their time thinking of passive-aggressive comments to use a few times a year on their unsuspecting victims.  When they hurtle one at you, you’re not sure if you’ve been insulted, complimented, or you were simply hallucinating.

I have come to realize that it’s always the biggest losers in my family who like to use the holidays to remind me of my past failures.  They love that I dropped out of college at 18 and got married at 20.  At Christmas, my aunt decided it would be a good idea to remind me of the fact that my life would have been much easier if I had just stayed in college when I was a teenager instead of having to go to school while being a working, single mom.  As far as I’m concerned, that's just kicking a girl while she’s down [perpetually exhausted].  To set the scene, imagine that a lady featured on Hoarders comes up to you and tells you that you’re a fucking loser, now you know what my family gatherings are like.

Ridiculously enough, I did think about this incident for a while because it happens way too often that someone in my family waves the decisions I made over a decade ago in my face. I realized that I need some steadfast reasons tucked away in my brain so I can laugh off all future comments forever and ever after.  I contemplated and ate some cookies and pondered and nibbled on some peppermint bark and considered and had some ice cream, and then I finally came to a few conclusions.

I have “paid” for my mistakes.  I wasn't some watery tart who ran off because she couldn't handle her own kids.  My ex-husband left us, and I've raised the kids on my own for the past decade.  They are beautiful, well-adjusted people who are worth so much more as human beings than any of my cunty relatives.

Anyone who is still bringing up the mistakes I made when I was 18 (I'm 33 now) understands absolutely nothing about child/human development and never should have been a parent to begin with.  I can't imagine pointing out a mistake one of my kids or nieces made for the next 15 years.

I went back to school and I will be graduating in March with an excellent GPA.  I did that while working full time, raising two kids, and being old and tired as shit.  That is a noteworthy accomplishment.  Any asshole can finish college when their only other daily obligation is drinking, but it takes a real asshole to...oh, wait a minute...

The relatives that tend to mention my past shortcomings haven't accomplished anything notable with their lives (except owning a remarkable number of pets) and their careers are non-existent.  Who are they to judge?  I can't let some jealous, bored looney tune ingrain in my head that decisions I made while I was young and lost in the world determine that I'm a loser.

I'll quote a silly TV comedy I saw the other day, Castle, because it was a good reminder of how our mistakes shape us as human beings.  In the scene, Castle is a father talking to his daughter, Alexis, who just got rejected from Stanford.

Castle: "Rejection isn’t a failure."
Alexis: "Sure feels like failure."
Castle: "Failure is giving up.  Everybody gets rejected.  It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up."

Everyone makes mistakes, everyone comes across someone who tells them they're not good enough, and everyone gets rejected.  If you are able to stand back up, figure out what you want, and go get it, that's what counts.  I have overcome quite a bit to get where I am, and I can't listen to the naysayers, they do nothing but hold me back with their own insecurities.

To all the crazy, self-absorbed relatives out there (mine and yours): go fly a kite.  Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas To-Do


My Facebook Status: “What does Christmas mean to me this year? Just more shit I have to do on a Wednesday. 

I can’t say that I’m in the holiday spirit this year, or any year after I turned 12 for that matter.  The holidays go from being a magical time of year that you spend counting your loot while hyped up on chocolate snowmen when you’re a kid, to a lot of fucking work when you’re an adult.  But isn’t everything a lot of fucking work when you’re an adult?  This year Christmas is on a dreaded Wednesday, which means I’ll be working on all the surrounding weekdays.  Although, I don’t have it as bad as the poor souls who have to work on Christmas or late on Christmas Eve because we can’t take a break from spending all the money we don’t have any day of the year.

On the holidays I spend my one day off of work cooking, cleaning, caring for children, staving off passive-aggressive comments from relatives, and sometimes doing homework.  I’m not sure how to find the holiday spirit in all of that.  The only magical thing that I can think of happening is finding the time for an all-day nap.  We all know my Christmas wish will never ever come true though.  Mom is everyone’s favorite workhorse. 

Christmas is my relatives’ favorite time of year to catch up with me while making sure to stomp all over my self-esteem, because that’s what Christmas is all about.  One of them will inevitably ask if I tried to do my hair and makeup after being sucked up by an EF5 tornado.  I’ll think, “I may have messy hair but at least I won’t die crazy and alone in a state run mental institution.” I won’t say that though, I’ll just nod and smile while reaching for another Christmas cookie. 

There is one upside for me; I am done with all my Christmas shopping!  That means I’m more broke than usual and I’ll be sobbing in the checkout lane the next time I go grocery shopping, but I’m done shopping!  I guess I also get pretty excited every year about setting up the tree so the cats can mutilate it, knock it over, and then track the needles everywhere so I can find them for the next 9 months.  Vacuuming every 5 minutes is absolutely my favorite hobby. 

While we’re looking on the upside of things, I have finished everything on my Christmas to-do list except for my Christmas cards.  I ordered them late, of course, and there is still a 99.783462% chance I’ll lose all my motivation and never actually send them.  Best case scenario, they will be after-Christmas-but-hopefully-before-New-Year's-but-maybe-not-and-you're-lucky-if-you-get-one-by-June cards.  If anyone judges me, I promise their elf on the shelf will suffer an unspeakable, drawn-out and all together grotesque death.

One of my kids got sick this morning so maybe I’ll get lucky and we’ll be able to spend Christmas at home, throwing up and watching my favorite bloody Christmas movies (Lethal Weapon and Die Hard, duh).  One can only dream though, one can only dream...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Balling…Bitches


My Facebook status: I'm not falling-asleep-at-my-desk-while-typing-tired, but I'm my-eyeballs-hurt-and-I-don't-want-to-live-anymore-tired. #ballinglikeasinglemom 

When you think of a single mom, I know the first thought that pops into your head is, “Man, that bitch is balling.”  We single moms, and moms in general for that matter, are certainly balling.  Hard core.  How else are we balling, besides acting like those oh, so trendy pop culture zombies?  Let me tell you...

If noise canceling headphones, or even better, a total loss of hearing, would change your entire outlook on life, you’re balling like a single mom.

If you find yourself comparing your coworkers to your kids’ developmental stages, like, “my cubemate is definitely in her tyrannical, demanding, freely-farting terrible threes, I mean thirties,” then you’re balling like a single mom.

If you leave the house without realizing you have child puke/poo or thrown/drooled food on your shirt, you’re balling like a single mom.

If you notice the puke/poo/food glob, and wipe it up with a dash of water after realizing you have no other clean clothes, then dash out the door because you're always late for everything, you’re balling like a single mom.

If you’re happy to watch anything but the Disney channel, even if it’s that weird local government channel whose only viewer in the history of time was my blind and deaf grandpa, then you’re balling like a single mom.

If you think about staying in your closet or bathroom for the rest of your life at least 85 times a day, then you’re balling like a single mom.

If the Pok√©mon theme song just came on your iPod shuffle, you’re balling like a single mom.

If your milkshake brings all the toddlers to the yard, then you’re balling like a single mom.

If your idea of a gourmet meal is making Mac n' Cheese on the stove instead of in the microwave, you're balling like a single mom.

If your last love affair was with a TV character, you're balling like a single mom.

If you're not sure where that smell is coming from and you're too tired to care, you're balling like a single mom. 

No matter what you do in life, always remember to keep on balling...bitches.

With Love (unless you’re creepy, then pretend I signed this “Kind Regards,” you creepy creepster),

Single Mommy-fied



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Misery Loves Coffee


I’m going to start with a collection of Facebook statuses I’ve posted over the last few months that capture my mood fairly well:

I just realized my vehicle registration is due this month, it's like there's a black hole where my wallet should be.

No one ever warned me when I was young that the kids would take all my money and my job would take my soul.

If you're ever feeling bad, remember, you can be rich and famous and still die decrepit and alone.  There, now you feel better.

"I've tasted freedom and I'm never going back!" -Me at lunchtime every day

I bought all the kids' school supplies today so I'm going to go cry in my closet for a week.

It would be super neat if kids didn't fight you on every single thing that's good for them. "MOM! I don't want to exercise, be clean, brush my teeth, change my underwear, be nice, eat well, go to school, not get hit by cars or break bones, sleep, or think about the consequences of anything EVER!!! GOD, I hate you!!!"

*tousles hair and falls over from exhaustion* It's hard being a sexy bitch when you're an overtired mom.

Why is happiness always fleeting, but misery likes to hang out, have coffee, kick your dog, etc.?

Lately life has been getting me down.  I am not even dealing with anything earth shattering right now.  I am simply bogged down by being an adult.  I have to go to work every day to support my family and after work I have to do hours of homework to bring my family to a better place.  I have to take my kids to their activities, which turns my 10 hour day away from home into a 12 or 13 hour day away from home.  I have to clean, I have to help out family and friends, and I have to go to social obligations.  I have to work hard at raising good kids, which means arguing with them, loving them, and disciplining them until they submit to being moral, productive non-psychopathic adults.  As Steve Martin says in the movie Parenthood, “My whole life is have to.”  I find myself living for the weekends and vacations lately. 

This is nothing everyone else on the face of the earth hasn’t gone through.  You may think I have it tougher because I am doing it by myself.  Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s not.  I can think of worse things than being a single parent, for instance, having an abusive or substance addicted spouse to emotionally and physically clean up after.  Even though generations and generations of people have gone through this, and let’s face it, they had it worse, I mean, they didn’t even have iPhones and Marvel movies and Marvel movies on their iPhones, why is it so hard sometimes?  Maybe it’s hard because no one likes to talk about the difficult aspects of life, which leaves too many people feeling alone in their human condition (what a fantastically perfect description of life on earth, a “condition”).

I usually only like to write a blog when I can come up with some lovely insight, a conclusion, or a funny idea I want to relay.  I don’t have any of those things this time, but I picked up my computer and started writing anyway.  My brain may just be avoiding doing the hours of homework I have due this weekend, but I think I’m actually writing to tell you all that you’re not alone.  Life is hard, even the everyday not-catastrophic happenings, those things are hard too.  Life is one big marathon; we all go through highs, lows, can’t-go-ons, plateaus, and about-to-wins! all the time. 

My way of dealing with it all is, quite simply, to keep on moving.  While I’m busy putting one foot in front of the other, I think about the best things in life and wait for the moments I get to enjoy them.  My “best things” are kids, music, superhero movies, books, comedy, creativity, and friends (the awesome ones, not the needy, manipulative ones, they suck and they have ugly shoes on).  Oh, and the second part of my life strategy is to keep on laughing.  Work hard, keep on moving, stick with the people who love you, control the things you can control, and laugh about the things you can’t control.  

Oh man, I think that was a (very weak) conclusion.  I’m sorry; I lied to all of you.  I never know what’s going to come out of my head when I start these things.  I’ll make it up to you by writing something funny in the near future...or I may disappear into the abyss of the internet forever and ever after buckling under the pressure of having to be funny because I’ve made a promise to my thousands of readers (25, it’s more like 25). 

p.s. My second choice for the title of this post was “Black Hole Wallet.”  It lost out because it wasn’t particularly descriptive of the content.  Can someone please use it for the name of your band/car/daughter/dog?  I think it has more life to live.