Look Around.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Any time, hard time, no time, my time.

I don't want this to be one of those bitchy pity blogs where the writer only discusses her problems and expects people to fawn. I don't even expect people to care. So I'm trying really hard not to complain, but damn. Damn this day.

This day sucked.

This day was trying really hard to make itself into a culmination of everything that's been going wrong lately, and I had a really hard time with it. And I want to write, I need to write, but I don't know what to write about. It all circles the drain, it all winds up as me talking around something I'm trying not to talk about instead of talking about something worth the time to talk about.

My mother died a few years ago. I guess I could write about how that influenced my day today. Watching my mom die was horrific. There isn't a strong enough word to describe what it does to a person, the act of watching the one person they've centered their entire life around succumb to pain and sickness and eventually stop breathing. Watching her die left me with an abiding anger about a lot of things, an anger I'm not proud of that knits itself through most parts of me. In particular, it left me with the inability to waste. Specifically, to waste time.

You don't have a lot of time, you know. You think you do, so you waste it, because you don't really understand that someday there won't be any more. We all do. We waste minutes and hours and days, we ignore things we shouldn't. We don't live the lives we would be most proud of when we look back from the place we'll be when there's no more time left.

I understand this because I watched my mother die. I observed, from farther away, my father die. My dad's brother, the man that helped him raise my sister and me, died, too. (So did two of my uncles and my grandma, all within about 4 years of each other. It was a bad four years.)

So I cannot goddamn STAND when my time is wasted. I can't stand it when people waste my time; when my time is wasted by the obligation to do things I do not want or need to be doing; when I waste my own time. I can't stand it because I don't have that much time. I don't have enough time, so I'd rather not be doing anything with it that's not something I want to be doing.

For this reason, I'm having a pretty damn hard go of it these days. My time is being wasted by people, by things, by myself. And examples of all of those things decided to rear their heads at one point or another today. So I wound up pretty angry.

And being angry is a worse waste than any of the others. So I'm going to go do something about it right now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Things I would say if I wasn't afraid of being shot and didn't live in a state where most people have guns in their pickups. Also, if I was rude.

I should note, for the record, that I don't like strangers. At all. They make me nervous and stabby and I do not like them, Sam I Am. I especially don't like them when they're near me. Or looking at me. Or if I can see them... Or ever.

Because of this, you could say I'm socially awkward. I've been known to say mean things to strangers (If you're a stranger I've been curt to, you're probably that salesgirl from the mall that wanted me to buy facial scrub made from salt and mud from the Dead Sea, and while I admit I shouldn't have yelled, "NO!" while speed-walking by you and avoiding eye contact, I also think you shouldn't hang out in a mall trying to convince people to buy crap. The mall is a place one might visit in order to buy things, yes, but not to be aggressively SOLD things. Don't chase me down the midway trying to sprinkle your briny water on me. It resembles an exorcism, and I don't need that kind of reputation. Also, people have been shot for less. I'm just saying,) because they make me feel like a caged animal that's being poked with sticks that are also lit on fire and maybe covered with acid.

So this has obviously been something of a problem my entire life, but it has intensified since I had my son. I've often said that the quickest way to get attention is to buy a puppy or have a baby, as people are equally space-invading with both of them, and no one minds telling you exactly what they think about either. This isn't specific to strangers, and it is always rude. And so there have been things I'd like to say to people, but can't because I was raised better than that. (Is that a line from the Wizard of Oz?) Here's a small, incomplete list of those things:

1. Don't touch my baby's face. I wouldn't walk up to you at the pharmacy (GERMS! GERMS!) and pet your face, please show my son the same courtesy before I have to cut you.

2. No, I don't think he needs to wear shoes. He can't walk, it's 113 degrees outside, and we're at Wal-Mart. Why should I put shoes on his feet? They're already sweaty enough. Go ahead, smell them.

3. Do not get that damn candy/chip/cookie anywhere near my child. No, it probably wouldn't hurt him, but it isn't up to you what he eats, so back away.

4. Seriously, stranger. STOP TOUCHING HIS FACE. (It is shocking how often this happens. Who does that?! Who touches a stranger's FACE?)

5. Don't talk to him when you're really talking to me. He can't tell you why we don't visit you more often, or if he had a good lunch, or if he's cranky because he's teething or just a brat. If you have a question for me, ask me. It's passive aggressive otherwise. and I respond very, very poorly to that.

5. A) My baby isn't a brat. He's not a jerk, or a beast, or a pain in the ass. I don't know why people think it's OK or even cute to call babies names, but I don't call you a crazy asshole because you'd get your nose all out of joint about it, so lets pretend he understands what you're saying and just not say it. It's always rude to call people names, no matter who that person is. ("Aren't you just a little beast?" ... Really? REALLY, large, wheezing woman at the grocery store? Did you hear yourself saying that in your head before it came out of your mouth and think, yes, this will go over beautifully, it's completely acceptable to call a random baby - who's behaving well, by the way- a name?)

6. No, he's not walking yet. I know it's hard to believe, but we do actually put him down. Obviously, being held too much is the only reason a 9.5 month-old might not be walking. It couldn't have anything to do with him being totally normal for his age. He's clearly delayed. Thank you for suggesting such a thing to someone you don't usually speak to.

6. A) We don't hold our son too much, because we don't believe that's possible. We also don't talk to him too much, play with him too much, feed him too much, or give in to him too much.

7. I know it hurts your feelings when he doesn't want you to hold him, but he doesn't KNOW you. He knows me, his father, and his daycare family. There are other people he's familiar with, but if he doesn't see you pretty damn regularly, you're going to make him nervous. He's at the age where he's learning who he knows and who he doesn't, and developing separation and stranger anxiety. Which is BEAUTIFULLY NORMAL. Don't call him spoiled because he's scared of people he doesn't know.

7. A) OF COURSE I'm going to take my child away from you when he clearly shows that he does not want to be near you. You're freaking him out, and I'm not going to teach him to ignore his instincts. The solution to this problem is not for me to leave my baby with you so that he can be scared, and cry, and you can call him names. The solution is that you either come around more, or stop being offended by a BABY.

That's not the end of the list, but it is the end of my time. This is probably something I'm going to revisit because, as Whoopi Goldberg said, "I don't have pet peeves. I have entire kennels of irritation."

Word, Whoopi. Word.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I try to remember to be consciously grateful every day. It's hard, sometimes, because I tend to be a negative person if I don't watch it.

It's like if you're walking a little, yappy-type dog, and you get complacent because the dog's so tiny and harmless and wee, what could it possibly do? So you're staring at the flowers or the sky, or watching a butterfly flit by, and next thing you know the yappy-type dog is chewing on someone's ankle and you're getting your pants sued off by the walking puppy biscuit because your poodle ruined his favorite argyle socks. Except my negativity is more like a Rottweiler than a poodle. With distemper. And maybe it used to be a fighting dog.

Or, okay, look. This analogy went off the rails. What I'm saying is, my negativity is something I have to keep an eye on. It seems harmless enough most of the time, but it isn't. It snowballs, and it poisons, and it's not something I'm proud of, but there it is.

So I try to be grateful. I try to really look at the things and be thankful and absorb them. So. Five things I'm grateful for today:

1. Coming home after a long day to my boys dancing in the living room to Peter Griffin from Family Guy's rendition of The Bird Is The Word.

2. Having an enormous selection of fresh veggies from our CSA share to make dinner with.

3. Shitty reality TV. Jersey Shore, season 2, you're KILLING MY BRAIN. But I just can't quit you.

4. My sweet, wonderful, amazing boyfriend, and his willingness to help with dinner and everything else.

5. Our son's big, open-mouth baby kisses.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shark Week.

My sister and I agree that winning the lottery pretty much means you're destined to be eaten by sharks. Here's why:

-People who win the lottery buy yachts. If you buy a yacht, you have to hire people to sail it for you. When you hire people, they'll observe that you have a Big Ass Yacht, and they'll use quick math and probably their pirate psychic powers to deduce that you have a lot of money. And as soon as you get far enough from land they'll whack you over the head with a pipe and toss you overboard. Then you'll get eaten by sharks.

-If you don't buy a yacht, you'll probably buy a plane. You'll (again) have to hire people to pilot the plane for you, which as we observed above, can only end in tears. Obviously, the people piloting the plane will see you're rolling in DOLLA DOLLA BILLS, Y'ALL, whack you over the head with a pipe, and toss you out the door,* probably over the ocean so that your body will never be found. Because you'll be eaten by sharks.

I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'm pretty sure the above two examples of shark eatery are why no one ever sees the winners again after they make off with their giant cardboard checks.

And that's why I don't play the lottery.

(*The airline industry wants you to believe that it's impossible to open an airplane door while at cruising altitude. That's obviously so you won't see them sneaking up behind you with the pipe they're going to use to club you over the head before they feed you to Jaws and steal your money.)