The Newsletter: Issue #17

Ugh.

Around the World

The Queen died! I get it: everyone has a different relationship with the tabloid family. The memes, of course, have been amazing and on point. The British were colonizers, I think we all need to remember that. But I also can accept that a lot of people have a complex relationship with GB, and also many family that way so… if you’re sad, I’m sorry. If you’re glad, well that’s great.

For me?

Well we had a whole ass revolution to not give a literal shit who was Queen, when she died, and who followed her. I just don’t care.

What I will say, though, is that her address to the world at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic was – I believe – one of her most important addresses. It urged calm in a time when people looked to baboons like Trump and Johnson to restore calm and order. I know I appreciated it, and many others did as well.

As for the tabloid family and what is next under Man Baby Big Hands? Only time will tell…

More around the world: today, in an interview, Trump apparently argued that he could declassify documents as president “telepathically.” And, in a similarly idiotic statement, Biden – with no qualifications or data to back his claim – said the pandemic is over.

Buzz kill: neither of those bone heads was correct.

Around My World

As I started this newsletter: ugh. I am feeling like absolute garbage, physically and emotionally. Physically the hay fever is hitting me hard. I sound like I have a smoker’s cough, spend all my time trying to itch my throat with my thoughts, I’ve gone through about 50 boxes of Kleenex, and there seems to be no end in sight. Other than that, my classes in college are relatively unfulfilling – including my 600 level Public Governance course which I am starting to think is taught by AI. No one ever responds to my discussion posts, I’m receiving an A+ for a grade, and the one time I communicated with the professor she responded “I do trust you…” and that was it.

Another pretty crazy thing happened in my world that probably has set all of this off: we found out that friends of family and family friends moved in to our old house. You know, the one we were effectively evicted from with no cause? After living there and caring for it as if it were our own for years? Yeah…

The short of it is that my daughter was on a long walk with the dogs, and we live on the other side of the same subdivision so she made it almost all the way there. She said the people were outside and they were in a big screaming match; so I finally looked up who is living in the house now. A couple searches over on Facebook and I discovered: it’s the family members of my soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law’s step sister’s partner. Confused? Yeah I am too, but let’s boil it down to this: my brother in law, soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law, family friends, our former nanny, the soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law’s step sister and her entire family, also family friends, and a host of other mutual connections are “friends” on Facebook with the people and their extended family that now occupy the house.

Ouch.

Many of them believed that during my campaign I wanted to defund the police. Rather than act like civilized human beings who have known us forever and consider us family or close family friends and – oh, I don’t know – ask me about it personally, they instead decided to rip up my campaign signs, campaign for my opponent, and never talk to us again. Now, I guess I have to wonder if they were all instrumental in getting us the boot for some people not even remotely related to our former landlords moved in.

Or, at the very least, if any of them ever saw anything about these people moving in to our old house… on the Internet? In person? go to a 4th of July BBQ there and think “hey I know the people that used to live here…”? … and, what… just not say anything to us about it? Who else knows?

So. Many. Questions.

Pretty sure that’s also kind of illegal now in California, but that’s neither here nor there. Kick in the gut, and makes me feel even sicker about the tens of thousands of dollars this has cost us. Not to mention all the trauma.

In honor of that, I decided to do my podcast episode this week about Truth and Post-Truth. I didn’t really talk about my personal situation in the pod, but it’s still a fun philosophical listen. You can get it on any podcast platform, or just listen here:

You Can’t Unsee This

A literal representation of me at this time:

STFU Fridays

I was trolling the Internet the other day, looking for mom blog type posts to comment on and stir up some shit. For one, I was bored. For two, this is how I gain new followers. Every once in a while, someone clicks my profile and makes their way here, and *poof* I have made another connection in misanthropy.

Scary Mommy had posted this thing about kids budgeting for toiletries. I really don’t want to get into it, because I sense some of you will disagree with me (which is that I think that making small children budget for necessities like soap, regardless of the parameters, sets up an unhealthy relationship with money and personal care products early on… teach to budget with something else)…

ANYWHO, so I basically said that and boy did the mean mug mommies of the Internet go after me in the comments!

One thing that came up though was on the topic of small children squeezing out toothpaste, and how this budgeting technique would eliminate a small child from doing that. I remain skeptical on that, but I made the egregious mistake of saying I couldn’t relate – my kids have never done anything like that. And it’s true! We brush our teeth together, always have and always will. There’s literally no reason for anyone to go in to the drawer and get that toothpaste otherwise. Problem solved, no toothpaste wasted and squeezed out everywhere!

Well apparently, on the Internet, you are mom shaming others if you openly state a fact of your own household. The mean mug mommies then went after me for saying that my own children have never squeezed toothpaste everywhere – how could I shame them and their parenting styles and their little heathens like that?! HOW?!

You know: not everything people say about themselves is about you. I know that in this hyper-narcissistic and self-interested world we live in, it’s tempting to think that. And I certainly don’t want to turn into one of those people that comments on every single post another person makes, turning it all into an opportunity to talk about themselves. But really… sometimes when someone says something about themselves or their situation… that’s it. It’s not about you. It’s not an attack on you. It’s not meant to shame you. It’s not anything other than a simple statement that ultimately has nothing to do with you.

So you know what you can do if you take other people’s experiences personally?

Well, it’s Friday. You can just shut… the… fuck… up…

Better yet:

Anywho, happy weekend everyone! It’s not quite the weekend yet, but… close enough!

Oh Mama

My mother and I pictured right

This will neither be the first, nor the last, time that I blog about my mother.  It’s no secret:  my mother lives an interesting lifestyle (and by interesting I, of course, mean insane).  In twenty-nine years she has given me one bizarre scenario after another:  from crazy boyfriends that claim they’re going on tour with Madonna, to setting me up on a date with a bartender when I was only sixteen.  Today’s phone call did not fail to meet the bar she has set up until this point.

Around 12:30 this afternoon, as I was rushing out the door, I received a phone call from her wherein she announced that this morning her boyfriend and she went down to the courthouse near his trailer in New Mexico and got married.

There are a myriad of reasons why this is a problem.  To start, she’s known the guy for roughly nine months, although every time I have mentioned that to her she reminds me that they both grew up in the same area so “essentially have known each other all along.”  Of that nine months, my mother has spent roughly six actual weeks with him, physically (the remainder of the relationship being over the telephone).  He told me six months ago that he was going to visit his daughter at school in Texas, only for him to reveal to everyone last week that he really had not communicated with any of his four daughters in over twelve years.  But it gets worse.  Since he and my mother met, he has “intended” on selling his home in New Mexico, but one debacle after another comes up, including a scene where the real estate agent reportedly punched out the guy at the bank of a prospective buyer; right now the story is that the real estate agent is in jail for an unrelated offense.  The crowning glory of the lies this guy has told was when he announced to everyone in my mother’s family that he was diagnosed with malignant cancer.  When I questioned a few things he said (mainly that his doctor supposedly said it would be alright to continue smoking two packs of cigarettes a day), three hours later he “miraculously” received a phone call with the news that his biopsy had incorrectly shown a malignant cancer, and it was really just a bacterial infection that a five-day course of Zithromax would clear up.  The line between fact and fiction with this guy is beyond blurry, so quite obviously my response to the whole situation of them getting married earlier today can be summed up in something I said to a friend in response:  I don’t know if I should be sending her a card or staging an intervention.  

So that’s the update on my mother, now to the relevance of it all.  In previous times that I have blogged about my mother, people have given me mixed responses.  Some have said that the candid humility I share my life’s story with is humbling.  This I consider a compliment:  my experiences with my mother and the characters she involves herself with are truly dysfunctional; to hide them would be to do nothing more than contribute to that very dysfunction.  For every time my mother has done something nice for me, she has followed that up with ten steps of hurt.  From abandoning me when I was ten, to exposing me to sex way earlier than any kid should be exposed; from stealing money and things from me, to spreading lies within her family about me and my contribution to her hardships – my mother has run me and my family through the gamut.  Talking about things that have happened is by far the healthiest thing a person can do in a situation like this.  And, anyway, beyond finding solace in honesty, if my mother didn’t want people to be talking about the things she does, well faithful blog followers, then she shouldn’t have done them.

But there has been another type of response to the blogs I have written about my mother, specifically more negative ones.  Some have said that I have gone against the very essence of a family’s value; that in a family these things happen and you just deal because it’s family.  Others have said that I owe my mother life and for that she can lie, cheat, steal, scandalize, abuse, use, and abandon me and my family all she wants.  On the day of my mother’s wedding, when she has ignored the advise of others and yet still expected them to come to her aid, I think now is the time to address these more negative responses.

One person said that I “should be ashamed to spread the business” of my mother around “like she’s anyone other than the person that gave me life.”  In response to that I simply reiterate that I carry myself with the utmost level of honesty that I can, so to lie about it would be against the very fabric of who I am.  To further that, I would have to argue that financially, physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually, I have repaid my mother for the life she gave me about fifty times over.

Another person responded that “one day” I will “regret such hostility towards her,” to which I question exactly where anyone finds hostility in honesty?  Here is where the real lesson comes in:  somewhere, somehow, our society morphed into this family-values-loving culture that defines everything by what is right for the family, rather than what is right for the betterment of our souls.  There are so many dysfunctional situations out there, in so many families, that are simply glossed over or turned a blind eye to merely for the sake of preserving the family.  And while it’s true that the reason why I continue to tolerate my mother’s shenanigans, time and time again, is because she is family, at some point I most certainly will say that enough is enough.  I will not regret it, either; in fact, no one should regret making the decision to be honest and true to themselves and their happiness.  There’s an old saying:  “some of the worst people I know are members of my family.”  I think this applies to a lot of familial situations and to stand by and let it go on is one of the most morally reprehensible things a person can do.

There are a lot of things in this world that are wrong and it is only in our refusal to confront those things head-on that they continue to persevere.  It’s time for everyone to stand up to the bad mothers, the emotionally distant fathers, the dysfunctional cousins, the rumor-mongering siblings, and every other injustice that they see happening on a daily basis in their every-day lives.  Blog about it, write about it, Tweet about it – whatever it is you need to do to prevent yourself from becoming no better than them.  That is the real lesson to be learned here, faithful blog followers:  in truth and what is right, rather than in lies and what is proper, is where we find our salvation.