The Dress is White and Gold, and By the Way It’s Also the End Of the World As We Know It

If I live a long life, I imagine myself to be like one of those old people in the movies – the narrators, the storytellers. You know, they always have one, final story to tell. The movie begins and ends with them. It’s always about the defining moment in their lives, invariably unloaded onto some unsuspecting sap who will sit there and listen to the story no one has ever heard.

Like in Edward Scissorhands – it’s snowing and the lady tells her granddaughter the story about the creepy man-made boy with scissors and sheers for hands. Or in Fried Green Tomatoes, when an elderly Idgie Threadgoode gives Kathy Bates’ character the story personal liberation through her friend Ruth and the Whistestop Cafe.

I would sit there, old as fuck. Rocking in my rocking chair, covered in blankets as the old ladies in those movies always are. Someone would bring me my tea and tell me I need to rest. I would cough and weakly wave my hand – no, no. I have to tell my story. My period story; the story of my time. And most importantly: a story about something outlandish. Life-changing. Defying everything we thought we knew about the world.

If I’m lucky, my unsuspecting victim will pass my story on. Maybe they’ll make a movie out of it in which I am depicted rocking in my chair by a future generation’s Angela Lansbury.

As years have gone on, though, my dream has been shattered by a dearth of material to concoct my noteworthy tale. Will I have a story about a creepy man-made boy with scissors and sheers for hands to tell? Or about my own Whistestop Cafe? No. I won’t. Will I have a tale about the boy who aged backwards, like in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Or one like Forrest Gump had to tell – that was a whopper.

Nope. I won’t have anything quite as good as any of those, and all the other, movies. And while I am sure I will have plenty more opportunities to find a story, I suspect we have reached our height as a generation and a people. It is evident that it is all downhill from here.

What I’m saying is that as a society we have reached our apex, so my story will have to be the one about the day the Internet, and subsequently the world, lost their fucking minds over the color of a dress.

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You would have thought something really crazy happened, judging by how people responded to that photograph.

As for me, I saw one person post about it in the mid afternoon, then went about my day. Read a book for several hours, made dinner, and went to my library book club.

When I got home, everyone had gone completely insane. Videos of families fighting over the color of that dress had gone viral. Parody comics were posted. Then the scientific analysis began. “The science behind the dress.” Some people are color blind. Some people have their screens adjusted differently. It’s an optical illusion.

Legitimate news sites were posting serious articles debating theories about that goddamned article of clothing. All within the span of about 12 hours.

It carried on into today, and I have sat in utter disbelief over how an ugly dress has caused such an uproar for several hours. Like, literally, just sitting here – perplexed. In my bathrobe, hair still slightly damp from the shower I took several hours ago. Completely shocked.

How are people so up in arms about this thing?

I only kind-of-sort-of get it when things go viral. The dancing babies and the screaming goats – they’re funny. Glozell’s Cinnamon Challenge and her cereal in the bathtub thing. I understand the heartwarming things that trail their way around the Internet too. The husband with the pink tutu campaign; the kid with cancer that wanted photos of dogs to cheer him up.

I get it, these videos, photos, stories – they are entertaining or heartwarming, or we relate to them. Maybe not so much eating cereal out of our bathtub, but there is still an appeal there. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s there. It’s funny or it means something to us in some strange way.

But the color of a dress? What. the. SHIT?

What’s next? What color is this towel?

We have a set of dark pink bath towels, that are pretty old. I’m fairly certain they came from my father’s home when he moved in with us; nonetheless they are – somehow – still a part of the regular rotation when the towels are changed in all the bathrooms.

Every once in a while, I’ll hear my dad call for someone to get him his brown bath towel. Maybe he’s spilled something and forgotten we have paper towels and cleaning rags too, or he doesn’t realize I’ve changed the towels in the bathrooms and that he is actually – gasp – allowed to use whatever bath towel in the house he likes. He is not limited to his brown bath towel.

But wait a second, I said it was pink. And it is pink, a dark pink – almost like a magenta. And I know this for a fact, because it says “dark pink” on the worn tag.

And yet my dad calls it brown, and on several occasions we have asked the opinions of others, taken and texted photographs for opinions, and gotten mixed responses. Brown, pink, magenta, red…one time my dad said it was dark green, and that is when I seriously started to question his sanity because he had been defending the towel’s brown-ness for years prior to then.

So if I post a photo of this towel, will it go viral too? I mean, yesterday was a huge day for Net Neutrality. Leonard Nimoy died today. But surely the color of a dress or a towel is what’s really important. Right?

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Credit: The Oatmeal

So – regrettably – this is the defining moment of our lives, people. The dress. This is the story I will tell when I am an old lady, rocking in my chair. Surely they will make a feature-length film about it as the recipient of my story will pass the tale on and find meaning in it.

What meaning could there possibly be, you ask? Well when you’ve reached rock bottom, you can only go up from there. Arguably, we are there. The. Color. Of. A. Dress.

So I can see it all now.

The movie will be about the end of an era for humanity. The dress will be symbolic for the crumbling of society as we know it, which it clearly is a sign of. Hopefully someone like Michael Fassbender or Bradley Cooper will be cast as the savior of humanity. Who will rebuild society from its crumbled, intellectual ruins. As the future Angela Lansbury plays me, rocking in my chair, refusing my rest; determined to tell the story of the dress that destroyed everyone’s minds once and for all.

We will rebuild, people. And by the way, the dress is white and gold.

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What You Should Do The Next Time Someone Calls You A Bad Mom

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The last twenty-four hours have been a little bit surreal for me. I’m not sure why – as my husband said just this evening, weird events mixed with our usual day-to-day at-home nonsense is the norm. We did our homeschooling work. I do folders for each six-day period – yesterday was Day 2 (worksheet day), today was Day 3 (learning project and TAG pen time). As usual, we took our long walk around my father’s neighborhood, in the middle of the day when there aren’t a bunch of people and cars around. Breakfast-lunch-dinner-cleaning the house, working on redoing the kiddie bedroom …it was all pretty much the usual, with miscellaneous hilarity mixed in.

But the weird events were not as fun as they usually are.

First, yesterday afternoon my mother told me that I am a bad mother. She had called to give me the “big news” that another family member is having a baby, and rather than just express excitement she had to use it as another opportunity to cut me down. “…and I’m thrilled because now your grandmother will have another baby in the family, because God knows no one wants you to have any more kids. You aren’t very good at even handling what you have now.”

What the fuck? That’s what you should be thinking. I did too, then I remembered who I was talking to.

Par for the course.

In spite of that being par for the course, this morning I woke up feeling like I had been socked in the gut. And it only got worse as the morning drudged on.

As I was getting out of the shower – around 8:30 – I heard some noise outside and saw that a car was parked in the walkway between the parking lot and the walkway. It had a California Exempt license plate and two business-y-looking people were escorting two, young children from the townhome of one of our neighbors. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that someone had called Child Protective Services, and those children were being taken away from their parents.

It didn’t go as I always thought a visit like that would go. There were no dramatics. No one was screaming or crying. Even the kids seemed a little calm, vaguely as though they expected it. Immediately the neighbors began to congregate in the walkway, as they always do. The gossip began and the term “bad mother” was said so many times, I almost walked out and told them all to shut their filthy, judgmental mouths.

It was in these events of the last twenty-four hours – these unusual, weird, painful events – that I started to think about just who has a right to call someone a bad mom. And the answer I came to is simple:

Not a single goddamned person.

Every time I start to question the parenting of another person, I stop myself right in my tracks. Who am I to judge? Who am I to say what other people should do, in their time with their kids in their situation? What do I know? Nothing.

Sure, there are things that I would love to comment on. Like when friends let their infants watch TV. Or when iPads become the main focus of a child’s education. I have feelings about public school, just like a lot of people have feelings about the fact that we homeschool. And of breastfeeding. And of diet and exercise. And of a lot of things – we all have ideas on what we think is best for our families, as well as everyone (in some instances).

Do any of us have a right to call each other a bad anything for any of it, though?

Even the child support service people don’t call the parents they have the misfortune of interacting with “bad.” At least I don’t think so. Today I heard them give the mother of those two, poor children her card and said she hoped this would be resolved soon. Beyond that, it isn’t their judgment call to make – they are simply enforcing rules and doing their jobs.

But when I turned to Facebook to ask my blog followers if they have ever been called bad parents, or told how to be a parent, I got a resounding YES – to my utter shock and horror.

I don’t have kids. However. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I shouldn’t because I would be awful at it.

Well, my SIL tells everyone BUT me, LOL!

My son’s donor tells me that all the time.

Oh hell yes I’ve been told I suck as a mom, by my stepmother.

Both directly and indirectly.  People will use your insecurities as a parent against you and to make themselves feel better about their short comings in their own situations.

My MIL said I was a bad mom and I neglected my child- because I didn’t bathe him 24/7 and I let him out of the house with unbrushed hair. He was 3.

I was a bad mother for homeschooling my son, for allowing him to roam the neighborhood without watching him every second of the day (or even knowing which of 3 possible streets he was actually on at any given time), for not allowing him to get a job while in school so he could focus on his grades, for refusing to medicate him as a kindergartner so he could stay in school…

Someone who was supposed to be my best friend sat and told me my son needed to talk to a psychologist because he was displaying behavior any typical 7-8 year old boy would display.

What the fuck? That’s what you should be thinking. I still am.

Now if Child Protective Services comes knocking on your door, that’s one thing. Maybe then it’s time to start evaluating – with your partner, if you have one; or any close and trusted people – how you are running the show. It still doesn’t mean you are a bad mother, though. It just means you may need more guidance or support, or to change some habits that are not in the best interest of your children.

But if anyone else – mom, dad, grandma, mother in law, sister in law, friends, cousins, strangers – tries to tell you how to be a parent, what you are doing wrong as a parent, or – God help them – that you are a bad parent, there is one thing and one thing only that you should do:

Tell them to shove it up their ass. Sideways. With a pitchfork to get it in their real good.

No seriously. No one has a right to say anything to you about your parenting, just as no one has a right to say anything to me. We are all in this together, whether anyone realizes it or not. But that doesn’t mean we are in this together, like we can tell each other what to do.

It means we are supposed to be supportive of each other. That’s it.

We are all entitled to our opinions, but opinions are like assholes. Just like I don’t want your asshole wide open in my presence, your mouth and the opinions that fly out of it should stay shut too.

To my mother and anyone else that thinks I’m a bad mom: shove it up your ass. Sideways. With a pitchfork to get it in their real good. To the rest of you: you are good mothers. You are good parents. No matter what happens, I know that your intentions are only in the best interest of your children. We may disagree on this or that aspect of parenting, but that we love our kids is the foundation we must look to in reminding ourselves that we are doing at least something right.

Funeral Fails

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So I mentioned almost two weeks ago (the last time I blogged, actually): my grandpa passed away on February 6th. It’s been very difficult to get through it – my grandparents and I have had a very special relationship from Day One.

Fortunately, the funeral events are finally over with. Between my husband’s uncle dying last month and my grandfather passing away on the 6th, we had a total of four funeral days this past week to attend. Are you with me on the overwhelmingness faithful blog followers? The schedule went like this:

Sunday, February 10th 

Scattering of Uncle Stevie’s ashes, breakfast with the family, and memorial luncheon

Tuesday, February 12th

Grandpa’s wake near our home and birthday dinner for my mom

Friday, February 15th

Grandpa’s wake near his retirement home – 250 miles away outside Yosemite area, followed by a military burial, followed by a memorial church service, followed by a reception in the church, followed by photos and flowers by the graveside, followed by scattering bird seed around near their old home (like my grandpa used to do), followed by a family dinner at the casino.

… followed by my husband and I driving home just 24 hours after we had made the trek up

Sunday, February 17th

Grandpa’s memorial and celebration of life locally (they lived around where we live for the majority of their careers, then moved back for the last two years of Grandpa’s life), followed by a reception, followed by another party at our house

To say I am tired of all this shit doesn’t really even cover it.

But in the last week, I have spent an unprecedented number of hours and days with my mom, and quite frankly a lot of people – something that is typically considered a nightmare to misanthropes such as myself. I was talking to my Uncle John yesterday, and said that this is the most time I think I have ever spent with my mother; and his response was that he knew I was ready for some space. That’s putting it nicely, though. It was a fucking nightmare. My worst nightmare, wrapped into a huge ball of anxiety and sadness and missing my grandpa.

And there were a number of funeral fails, or death-related pet peeves that came out of it all.

Funeral Fail #1:

Expecting Everyone To Grieve The Same Way

179783_659293169593_1073053114_nSure, I was sad about the fact that my husband’s uncle died. He was hit by a truck while walking across the street – a tragedy in itself; and his life was very tumultuous as well.

But I also didn’t know him too well, so expecting me to break down crying while we scattered the ashes was a little weird. And still, I was asked by one of my husband’s cousins if I never cry at a funeral, or if it was just them. I understand, people are sensitive with their pain, but my God. I said “I just am glad Stevie is finally at peace in the ocean with the other surfers” and I got a cold shoulder.

I’m sure it didn’t make things any better that I proceeded to then walk back from the edge of the pier to wait for them. I just couldn’t be expected to start sobbing, or be interrogated for not doing so – especially when I was trying to keep myself under control after my grandfather had just passed away a few days beforehand. Nonetheless, it made me think about how many people out there truly do expect people to all grieve the same, exact way.

Funeral Fail #2:

Scheduling Funerals On People’s Birthdays

48119_659676985423_1001985731_nI understand the already-sensitive nature of scheduling a funeral, wake, memorial service, and so on, between the schedules of the churches, parties involved, and funeral homes. But I also think there is something inherently wrong with scheduling funeral events on someone’s birthday.

Two of the dates of my grandfather’s funeral events were scheduled on people’s birthdays. What was particularly frustrating about this was that everyone expected to be able to leave the wake and just chipper up for the birthday celebrations immediately afterwards. To make matters worse, the first was my mom’s. Even in a time of grief and sadness, she still managed to try and micromanage and drama up the entire thing.

First she yelled at me for suggesting that we have a potluck-type thing at my house, since my grandma would no doubt be too exhausted after the wake to go out into a restaurant for dinner. Then she yelled at me for saying it should be potluck, and then told most of the people coming over just to not really bring anything. And in my mother’s typical fashion, when everyone sang her “Happy Birthday,” she just had to call her Hillbilly Husband out in New Mexico, put him on speaker, and involve him in the festivities. She always does that – puts him on speaker, as if this will rectify the fact that the family has either never met him, or only met him for a brief time years ago. This is as if to make OK the lies this guy has told, the fact that they eloped and never really included the family in any kind of celebration afterwards, and all the other egregious offenses that have occurred since this Trailer Park King entered into our lives … but I digress.

None of it would have been necessary had we just been able to schedule the wake the day before.

Funeral Fail #3:

“Do You Remember Me?”

Let me start this final rant off with something nice: I very much appreciated all of the people that came to visit and mourn and pay their respects to my grandfather. He was an amazing guy, who made a lot of friends and treated everyone he knew like family.

To their credit, most of the people that came to any of the three of my grandfather’s funeral days were very understanding of the fact that I might not recognize them. “Of course you wouldn’t recognize me – the last time I saw you, I held you as a little baby!” and so on. Those people were fine.

But then there were those motherfuckers that had to just expect me to know every faceted detail about them, in spite of the fact that I haven’t seen them since I was five. And then there was the lady whose pants fell off while she was looking into my grandfather’s casket (I shouldn’t joke about it, I’m sure it was embarrassing) who kept saying “well, I would expect you to remember me, but I just can’t remember you…”

By contrast were the vast number of people who said the words “oh, I didn’t know your mother had a daughter …” – a statement which speaks volumes, but we will gloss over for the moment.

Yesterday’s was the final straw for me. A woman walked up to me and said “Heather, do you remember me? You used to be my pharmacy technician! Are you still there?” I said that I was not. That I haven’t worked in the goddamned pharmacy since I graduated from college almost six years ago (I left out the expletives). I thanked her for coming to “my grandfather’s memorial,” which is when she said that my grandpa had hired her to work at the church we were in. But then, right as she started to walk away, she turned around again and said “I can’t believe you don’t remember me – I mean, I got a lot of medicine at that pharmacy while you were there…I thought you would have at least taken the time to remember me…”

Really bitch? My grandfather – who, you just explained to me, you wouldn’t have a job here if it weren’t for – just died and you are giving me shit about the fact that I couldn’t necessarily recognize you from a two-bit, part time job I had just to give me some extra cash while I was in college – over half a decade ago? REALLY?!

The moral of the story is that people should really just stop dying. Since that is not going to happen, I suppose the other moral is that when you have multiple funeral events to attend, and are in a position of extreme sadness and grief, you should probably just fix yourself up daily Valium-Wine cocktails. That’s essentially what I did (well, the wine part) this last week. God only knows what I would have done had I not…

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By the way, doesn’t my grandma look amazing for a woman who just lost her husband of 63 years? I think so. While I am absolutely devastated at the loss of my grandfather, I think I can speak for both myself and my grandma when I say that this next phase of life in his honor is pretty exciting. I’m starting it with making a quilt out of his shirts for my grandma, having her come over more to teach me to cook her most famous dishes, and letting my grandpa wrap his arms around me every day as I wear his oldest and most cozy cardigan sweater. I love you, Grandpa.

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

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There he is. Poor Nick. My husband. Smelling the inside of a maxi-pad.

This was during one of our many talks about my period. My husband – like many – is a little bit of a misogynist. He has never taken the time to consider the nuances of the fairer sex and always thought that women were just like him. Cold. Sterile. Emotionless.

Recently I decided that the best way to make him understand that women have different experiences, emotions, and needs than men was to talk at length about my period. Who am I kidding, though? A man understand women? That’s about as likely to happen as Kim Kardashian closing her legs and losing that huge ass of hers. So at the very least, talking to my husband about my period is a good form of punishment.

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

Cramps

My husband rarely experiences bad bodily feelings. But when he does, it’s like the end of the world. I have noticed lately that he’s starting to feel the effects of age. His elbow hurts all the time when he uses it a certain way too much. I have aches and pains all the time, but you don’t see me rubbing them, blathering on about them, and putting icepacks on before lifting something. His stomach can no longer handle him eating three week old leftovers either. The endless conversations about how he had lost his appetite the last time he did that were enough to make me take an Ambien-Vodka cocktail.

What my husband has absolutely no concept of still, though, is being compassionate towards other people’s pain. When I had a really bad asthma attack years ago he told me I was acting like a princess. I had back surgery when I was 13 years old and still have stainless steel rods screwed onto my spine. And he still doesn’t understand that I have limitations. One time we moved my husband actually insisted I help carry heavy boxes and furniture up a staircase. By myself while he was at work.

Cramps are a really good way to help him get the point that people have their limits. Usually when I have cramps they progressively get worse and worse and worse. There is never a let off until I either (a) take some Tylenol, or (b) pass out and sleep them off. It’s always been this way, but it was only recently that I realized I should be sharing with my husband the nuances of it all.

“Nick, I can’t make dinner tonight, will you pick something up? … oh, there are about a million men trying to push their way out of my uterus. It feels like World War II in there.”

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

Stomach Upset

I remember when I was in health class in high school, they always acted like a period was no big deal. You just bleed for three days and that is the end of it. And for swimming class, they’d only give you the pass on it for three days too; then still make you do super-strenuous stuff as a replacement activity, in spite of how shitty you felt. Now I realize that this was just a part of the cultural male agenda to try and minimize the plight of women, but let’s not get socio-philosophical here.

To begin, I’ve never actually bled for only three days. Maybe just four or five, but never three. It isn’t just a little blood for those days though, either. It’s cramping. It’s hurting boobs. It’s headaches and anxiety. It’s mood swings. It’s insomnia. And it’s stomach upset.

All of those are normal for a woman to have on her period. Normal. But if you are my husband, you have no concept of what is normal for a woman, so it’s all crazy and unreasonable and it’s like being in high school with the health class and the swimming pass all over again.

So a few weeks ago my husband ate leftover Mexican food that was over two weeks old. We were laying in bed, watching some shitty movie, and he said he had a stomach ache. Then for about thirty minutes he tap danced around just telling me that he had the shits from eating old Mexican food. It was the most awkward conversation I think I have ever had.

To me, if you are married you are there to experience everything. Why be skiddish? We’re married. This is why I have absolutely no problem at all telling my husband every little thing that’s wrong with me when I’m on my period (really, ever). My boobs hurt. I have a migraine. My sinuses are drizzling gooey snot down the back of my throat. I could continue, but the real gems are when my stomach is upset.

“I just lost forty pounds in water weight, thanks to my glorious period and too much dairy. I think I’ll skip dinner and take some Imodium.”

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

The Scent of a Woman

Let’s not beat around the bush (no pun intended): periods can smell a little weird. I don’t mean like fish weird (that’s gross). I mean like dead blood cells weird. I mean like feminine products weird. That’s why they make scented tampons and maxi pads.

I don’t usually use scented stuff, simply because I don’t see much of a point. If you are clean and take care of yourself, there really isn’t much of an issue. And it’s only about a week anyway. But sometimes in the box there is a free sample for whatever their newest product is, and nine times out of ten they have some new scent technology.

Last night I opened this box of sample scent technology maxi pads and opened the package to smell a waft of lemon scent fly at my nostrils. Weird, I know. I started laughing and my husband asked what was so funny, so I figured I would show him. By having him sniff the pad himself.

But he didn’t understand, so I explained. First I squatted so he had a visual aid. Then I explained it to him.

“Sometimes a woman’s vagina smells rotten during her period.”

He interrupted “you don’t smell rotten on your period.”

“Right, that’s because I bathe a lot. Some women do not, so their vag smells foul when Aunt Flo is in town. So Always has taken it upon themselves to add lemon scent to the mix in hopes that it will cover up whatever foulness the period has to offer.”

And then I illustrated with the movement of my hands how the smell wafts out.

Horrifying, I know.

So the only question that remains here is if this is effective. So far it seems not. Poor Nick is not more compassionate, or understanding. Now he just blames everything that goes wrong on my period. But I do feel that this is just retribution for being a misogynist.

I also think that women should not be so ashamed of these things. Why? Why be ashamed? It’s who we are. Cramp-wielding, hormone-fusing, foul-smelling blood baths. Embrace it, ladies.

Last Week Sucked Harder Than Your Mom Every Time She Goes To Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is coming up, which means one thing and one thing only: time to lock up your mothers. Grandmothers? Oh, I guess I’m the only one whose mother has appeared on Grannies Gone Wild. Moving along…

So last week sucked. It sucked hard. Harder than … well, I think you’ve gotten the point. Not to be crude or bitchy or – as the more childish refer to – negative, but it did. Did you faithful blog followers have a hard week? Here was mine:

My Car Broke Down

480832_654152611313_271389699_nWe talked about this earlier in the week, but it’s worth reiterating. My car broke down which sucked because it was new and, while – yes – it was a new used car, it was still a major frustration nonetheless. We finally got an “offer” from the private dealer that sold us the car on repairs last night. He said he could refer us to the guy he knows that does transmissions.

No talk of money. Gee … thanks. I’ll just grow more money out of my asshole to pay for that whopping $2500 repair that should not be needed only three weeks after the car was purchased.

Achilles Died

And in a tragic twist of fate, Achilles the fish met the same, exact fate as Achilles the Homeric hero. Well, I assume as much, although we did not inspect to see if there was an arrow in whatever would be equivalent to the fish’s “heel.”

So Achilles died and to make matters worse, the other fish started eating him and then the body was rapidly disintegrating into the water – the thing couldn’t have been dead longer than a day. We honestly just couldn’t find him.

There are now three options. (1) Replace the fish again. (2) Call it a loss and finally accept that we can barely take care of ourselves, let alone animals. (3) Stop naming our pets after characters in The Iliad. Fortunately Menelaus (the fish) and Agamemnon (the guinea pig) are still alive.

For now.

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My Crazy Mom Flew the Coop

We already talked about this earlier last week as well, but the update is that the Hillbilly actually did cry wolf, yet again. The Hillbilly Husband is fine and alive and his heart is beating quite well. Sadly, the rumor has now developed that my Trailer Trash Mom just can’t deal with the responsibility of being near my grandparents as they rapidly decline, and that she was using her most recent tale to run away as that happens.

That and she wanted to get some. Gross, I know. Grannies Gone Wild is an understatement.

I should probably consider it a blessing that she is not around. I mean, she isn’t stealing things from my apartment anymore. There is no more eating of all my groceries. And stories about her teeth being lost or misplaced or falling out during conversation are minimized since we rarely speak while she is out of the area. But it still doesn’t change the hurt it’s caused to her family, her parents, and – most importantly – my Pookies.

Poor Nick’s Uncle Passed Away

And in the coup de grace of crap-slinging that life threw at us last week, my husband’s uncle passed away, after a very unsettled life battling many personal issues. He was hit by a truck after stepping out into traffic Friday evening.

We learned of this last night and today I woke up feeling like garbage. When does life give anyone a break? Is it always hard? Always a struggle? A series of one thing after another that has to be dealt with? Loser family. Car problems. People with their hands in your pocket, just taking all of your money. Death.

One of my favorite writers and philosophers of all time, Bertrand Russell, said

“The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instill faith in times of despair.”

MjAxMy1iOWQ5MGMzNWIxNzczYzNlNotice, it doesn’t say anything about giving people a hard time for having feelings or being down. It doesn’t say “it is our duty to judge them for posting on Facebook that they are having a rough patch” – something I see people do constantly. I know that I surround myself with those that are lights in a time of darkness. And I hope that one day I too can shed sunshine on the paths of others that have had a hard week, a week like I just did. To lighten their sorrows and to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection.

No matter what the world throws at you, it seems all OK at the thought of that.

MWF Seeking New TTF

I wanted to do SWF, because that would sound more like that creepy Single White Female-movie with Jodie Foster correction: Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh (you are so right, Jeremy … I have no clue about movies). But then my husband would get upset and/or confused; and my mother in law would call. We would have massive levels of family drama and the gossip train would continue on down the rail line.

You know the drill.

So I stuck with MWF – Married White Female. I always look for MWF in the personal ads to see if anyone ever actually puts an ad in the personals when they are married. What would they look for? Friends? That’s sort of sad if you put out a personal ad for friends. I’m sorry if I just offended any of you faithful blog followers, I just think there would be better places to find friends – Meetup.com for example. I always thought that if anyone that was an MWF or an MWM or even an MBF, MBM, or any other designation starting with the Married, chose to put out a personal ad, they were looking for something kinky.

Kinky. Dirty. And nothing we want anything to do with.

So now that I’ve digressed for way more than I should have, let’s get to the point. I’m an MWF Seeking a New TTF. What’s a TTF you ask?

Trailer. Trash. Family.

Reason #1

My mom is the trailer park queen. She never used to be this way. No, she used to be normal. Pinafores and frocks and cookies at Christmas and shit. Then something snapped in her brain and she started digging at the bottom of the barrel for love, and other assorted frills.

We’ve discussed all of this before.

As a result of her being a trailer park queen, she inserts as much bullshit drama into every single moment of life as she can possibly manage. The most recent was that her hillbilly husband had skin cancer then he didn’t then he did then he didn’t then he was going to start chemo, now he doesn’t again. What’s the fucking truth?

Now she says she has some spinal problem that is going to require surgery before the end of the year. It all sort of came out of nowhere, and I’ll see her walking normally until she sees someone is watching her, then the acting and dramatics come out. She told me recently too that I haven’t a clue what back pain is like.

Have I mentioned I had spinal fusion for scoliosis when I was only 13? That was a 14 hour operation.

Reason #2

Over the years, my mom has poisoned her family members’ minds to believe that I am some awful person that lies all the time. It’s almost as if she is projecting her own issues onto me to them to create some weird, fucked up family drama.

When I was living with my boyfriend and he beat the shit out of me (and you faithful blog followers know I do not exaggerate – he beat the living shit out of me), my mom got upset because she loved him so much. So she told her whole family that I made the whole thing up and that he was just such a nice guy.

A couple years ago, we had a birthday party for Pookie and no one from my mom’s family came to it. She didn’t either, which was kind of messed up; but it was only later that I learned that the reason for this is that she hadn’t communicated it to anyone as she said she would. They hosted their own party – hours away, near my aunt’s house – and didn’t invite me or my husband. When we didn’t show (obviously, because we thought it was just a grandma day playdate), she told everyone that we were bad parents and just didn’t have the time to be bothered.

Sadly, those dumbasses are just as bad as her; so they buy into all of it. When I’ve talked to them about it, they’ve told me they have “allegiance” to my trailer trash mom. Nonetheless, I have continued to attempt to extend the olive branch. It’s hard living here and having no family of my own except my dad.

Well the olive branch can extend no more, after I got this comment this morning from my cousin, whose wife had already RSVP’d a simple “no” to my kid’s birthday party. (I should mention we have driven down to every one of their little bastard kid’s parties for as many years as I can remember):

“Maybe if you would show up once in a while for family events, we’d show up for yours.”

You don’t say? I seem to remember I just went to your ugly ass kid’s birthday party over two hours away just last month.

In Conclusion

Hillbillies are way overrated. For some reason they’re really into fightin’ and shootin’ and gossipin’ and lyin’ and trailer parkin’ and I’m just not really into that shit. If you are, cool. If you like to four-by, post videos of yourself on the toilet on YouTube, screw your sister, and other assorted things only the most hillbilly of all mountain williams do, far be it for me to stop your fun.

I really wanted to try and nurture this stupid relationship for the sake of being able to continue to see my grandparents, but then sometimes they act just as bad and nasty. I’m not sure what I’ll do about them, but in the meantime it seems that my trailer trash mom and her fucked up family have complete control over grandma and grandpa anyway at this point.

So I guess really it isn’t MWF seeking new TTF. Because the trailer trash part of that is a little much at this point. It’s MWF seeking new F. The F is for Family. Or maybe, because I do have a family, just thousands of miles away, it’s really MWF says FTTTS. The FT is for Fuck That Trailer Trash Shit.

I Think I Have An Obsession With Balls

Balls on a stick, covered in frosting and sprinkles. Balls mixed with egg and simmered in cranberry sauce for a few hours. Balls made out of cheese and chutney, rolled in a variety of nuts and miscellaneous hanging fruit. Balls drizzled in caramel and covered in – big surprise – nuts.

These will be the centerpieces of the party that we’re throwing this weekend in honor of Thanksgiving. The last minute cancelations on the old RSVPs have really started to roll in, which I don’t know if I’m upset about or happy for.

If I’m upset, it’s because I’m a little offended that we can always go to other people’s parties, but they never seem to be able to come to ours. What’s worse about it is that some of my Trailer Trash Mom’s hillbilly family actually had the balls (no pun intended) to say “something better came up.” Something better came up motherfucker? How about my fist up your rude asshole next time you give me shit because I can’t make it to your kid’s birthday party? But I digress…

If I’m happy, though, it’s because I’ll have all of those balls to myself.

This isn’t the first time something I’ve done has been ball-focused, though. And in fact, I’m starting to wonder if I have a little obsession with them.

Exhibit A

Food In Ball Form

This party will be the third one in which a lot of the food I’ve made for it is in ball-form. I do it all the time; in fact, I just made some balls for dinner the other night.

Is it the calm I get when rolling them out that entices me to do it so often? Is it the ease with which they cook evenly? Whatever the case may be, I roll so much of our food into balls these days, it’d probably be easier to make a list of the food I haven’t made squishy and sphere-like.

Exhibit B

“Suck on my hairy balls”

So I don’t actually have testicles. I know many of you have been wondering for a very, very long time. But I don’t.

And yet the words “suck on my hairy balls,” and it’s equally as effective variant “lick my sticky nuts,” come out of my mouth on average ten times a day. I say it under my breath when someone cuts me off. I say it to my uber-religious father when he annoys me. I yell it at my husband when I clean up his nut hair clippings off the floor.

OK, I totally just took that one too far, and to be clear my husband doesn’t actually clip his pubic hair. I don’t think.

But that brings me to the next point.

Exhibit C

Jokes Involving Testicles

I make a lot of jokes involving testicles. I’m pretty sure it’s because I hear them a lot, but then there are other times when it fits with just about anything.

This Friday I’ll be roasting a few of my favorite bloggers on my STFU Fridays post; all of which started out of an awful joke I made into something of a comic/picture, which (of course) involves a crack about balls. And not a night goes by that I don’t make fun of my husband for that one time he laid in bed scratching himself. Not a single night.

So what’s the verdict? Do I have an obsession with balls?

 

This evening I made some pumpkin bread and had a lot of leftover batter. So the only natural thing for me to do was to break out the cake pop pan and make some balls. Pumpkin balls, covered in nuts. Covered in nuts and drizzled in ball molasses.

Now my mouth is watering to squeeze as many of those squishy sacks into my mouth. See? I can’t even stop myself, even when I’ve taken it to a point even I am grossed out by. I’m totally obsessed. Are you?