Week from Hell

This has been one of the worst weeks of my life (I’m still working on the post about it). For Beana’s sake I’m trying to remain positive and not wallow in a mixture of self-pity and failure. To keep perspective I like to visit fmylife. An entire blog of shitty days and while some of them don’t ring quite true: Today, I was playing with my pet hamster and I decided to put it down my pants for fun. It started running around and I actually got aroused. My mom then proceeded to walk into my room to see me with an erection and my pet hamster poke his head out of the hole in my boxers. FML I still pee my pants laughing.

Here are a few recent ones:

Today, I was going to have sex with my Hispanic boyfriend. I wanted to turn him on, so I asked my friend how to say “fuck me” in Spanish. She claimed it was “pollo frito”. I then proceeded to have sex, constantly screaming pollo frito for an hour. I later realized I was screaming “fried chicken.” FML

Today, while teaching my kindergarten class, I had a feeling I was starting my period again. A boy in the class asked me what a period was. Stressing over my own, I briefly told him it’s a woman’s time of the month when they have mood swings. He was asking about the dot at the end of a sentence. FML

Today, I came home to find a sock I previously used to whack off on my bed with googly eyes and a mouth drawn on it with a note that read “because you can’t find a real girl I made your current one prettier, Love Mom.” FML

So as I pick up pieces, I have to stop and find the funny. The funny helps me be there for Beana. Hopefully she sees that I’m still able to laugh and understands that it’s okay for her to laugh, also. That it’s okay for her to find joy even though there are sad things going on.

Motivated by my favorite blog, Oh Hell Nawl, I’ve decided to write my own letter to Mother Nature.

Dear Momma Nay,

I appreciate the concentration it must take to make flowers bloom, make the wind blow, and the seasons change. I’m sure it must be quite the challenge trying to please everyone, but isn’t that your job? See despite the fact my calendar says it’s Spring and the forecast for this weekend is a high of 70 degrees both days, it’s supposed to snow Monday. I don’t know if you know this or not but it’s Spring Break and I’m taking some vacation time to enjoy not having to get up at the ass crack of dawn to get Beana ready for school. So what I really need from you is for you to get your ass in gear, make it and keep it Spring. If you would just do that, I’d be willing to forget about the Hurricane Force Winds we had last fall (although I would like to remind you that I don’t in a Hurricane zone), and the worst ice storm in the History of my state you sent in January.

Sincerely,

Married


Titles

Everybody has them. You start out as child/student, then on to adult and end as the deceased; currently one of my titles is Receptionist. I never really planned to take on the title of wife & mom. As I’ve said before I was raised by my mom & grandmother and neither of them placed a high importance on having to have a man in their lives. Grandma was widowed at a fairly young age and my mom’s never been married. Anyway, the husband and kid thing wasn’t part of my future goals. Plus, after a harrowing summer babysitting a younger relative (I wish someone had warned me in advance that my cousin had matted with Satan) and unlimited free birth control called working in a retail store shoe department, I swore I would never have any children. What I did have were career goals and even though I was a pretty good student, I didn’t make a great college student. So despite our best efforts, time moves forward and here I am; married for 11 yrs and a mom to an 8, almost 9 year old.

I need to add a different title. I know that my current job won’t be around much longer; it’s going to move to another place and I’ll have to figure out what it is I really want to do next. The catch is, I don’t know what that is anymore. However, I do know that if I want to make use of my passions, I will have to go back to college. I’m ready for that; I’m ready to be a college student again. It’s the steps needed to get there that’s fuzzy. Since becoming a wife/mother, I’ve stopped making myself a priority. Recently, I was called a martyr due to the fact that I almost automatically put everyone’s needs before my own. It’s not like I do it I can have someone pat me on the head and tell me what a nice girl I am; It’s just I don’t know how to give to myself anymore. Relearning to carve some me-time out will be interesting. Re-adjusting my vision of what titles I see for myself will be thought provoking. I just want to enjoy/love going to work. Hell, I’ll just be happy to know what that is.

In a former life, I used to be Al Bundy

During my youth I used to work in the shoe department of a well-known chain department store. Everyone (yes everyone, no I’m not being overly dramatic. EVERYONE) that knew me could not believe I worked in shoes, near feet. “Married” they would say, “you hate feet. The thought of feet makes you break out into a cold sweat. Ack the horror!” I would smile and say, “OMG, INO!” (well maybe be not, this was before text messaging ruined the English Language). Actually for the most part, people don’t mind putting their own shoes on. I would usually help with baby shoes. I love little chubby baby feet. They go great with celery & blue cheese dressing. I also didn’t mind helping out my elderly customers because that’s how I would want someone to treat my Grandmother. Incidentally, I did have a Grampa like gentleman once tell me he had a really big penis. Can I just make note that although I was sitting on one of those shoe stools at crotch level, I DID NOT LOOK.

Straightens by halo & flicks dust off my shoulder.

Anyhoooo, there was a rite of passage for newbies. Her name was “Jane”*. Everyone that worked in the store knew who she was. Jane would walk through one of the many entrances and the phone chain would begin. The Jr. Dept. would call Misses & Mens. Mens would call Accessories & Shoes; Misses would call Childrens and Lingerie. Shoes would call the Home Dept. and they would call Customer Service. This scenario would play out many different ways depending on which door she walked into. I started sometime in the Fall and managed to survive my first Black Friday, Christmas and the day after, the dreaded day of returns, before I had the pleasure of meeting and waiting on Jane. It was slow; I was working with two long timers “Sarah” & “Ted” when the phone rang. Sarah answered the phone, swore and made a phone call. I noticed Sarah & Ted huddled near the stockroom door, but didn’t think anything about it as I finished waiting on the only person in the department. It was then I heard her; she was screaming at her grandkids to hurry up and get to the Shoe Department. With fear clogging my throat, I looked around for my coworkers; the people that had trained me and helped me get through Christmas by coming to my rescue whenever I needed help. They had disappeared like they were in a David Copperfield act; I was left to fend for myself.

Jane had ass length long black hair and never ever ever used her “indoor voice”. She had come to get her 3 grandkids shoes for Christmas. I probably spent 1 1/2 hours waiting on Jane and the grandkids, bringing out at least 25 pairs of shoes. As we were finishing up she’s yelling at the kids to sit down, be quite, shut up. The ironic thing was the kids weren’t really doing anything bad and I told her that. Unfortunately for me the conversation went something like this:

Jane: I’m so very sorry these kids are being bad.
Me: No apologies necessary; they’re fine.
J: I really do apologize for this, I know you’re not used to this kind of behavior.
M: Really, they’re fine.
J: I know little black kids never misbehave when they’re in a store……
M: (chuckling) I bet my mom would disagree. I’ve heard quite a few stories about my behavior.
J: ….. no, I doubt that. I know that little black kids know there’s not much money so they’re always on their best behavior so they can get anything at all.
M: ::blink::

After checking Jane and the gang out, I found Sarah & Ted hiding in the very back of the stockroom. We all had a good laugh about how those BASTARDS, lovely people threw me to the crazy ass wolves. Later, Sarah asked me why I wasn’t angry or offended. I explained that sometimes the ignorance is so pathetic that anger is not your first reaction. It was something more like amazement that she thought she was complementing me**. Plus, I was now officially part of the team and I couldn’t wait to INFLICT share Jane with the next new person hired (which I did).

I had other run ins with Jane (including one at a grocery stores years after I left the shoe department), but I’ll save those for another day.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent (and by innocent I mean me. The bitch is PSYCHO).

** Don’t get it twisted, if she had ever crossed the line, I would have schooled her, real quick.

Yes, we can

Yes, we can
Yesterday, I hopped online to check out what some of my favorite reads had to say about the election results. It was inspiring to see so many people celebrating this historical moment. The funny thing is I couldn’t come here and put into words just what I was feeling. I have commented before an Obama Presidency will mean to me that despite all the campaign negativity & racially motivated ugliness most Americans can see the truth through all the lies. This country has made great strides towards racial harmony, but the road ahead is long and treacherous. Barrack Obama is a courageous jumping off point for the next leg of this journey. That America is finally sick & tired of being sick, tired & BROKE. We are ready to do away with what’s been in control for the last eight years. We see someone that is compassionate enough, intelligent enough & willing to get the job done. We have someone that is not blowing hot smoke up our asses and promising to do the impossible but someone that promises to everything in his power to make it better for as many people as he can. That our children (Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and even White) have someone to look up to that started in a single parent home, worked damn hard through school to become lawyer and community organizer. Maybe our children will stop looking to athletes, rappers, and actors as their main source of role models. All of that is true but when I try to vocalize what I feel deep in my gut, it becomes a lot harder.

The first time I was called “nigger” I think I was in the first grade and someone I considered a friend called me that for some reason. Even at the tender age of 6 (maybe 7) I knew that word was meant to hurt and degrade. I remember going to the librarian crying and telling her what Pa.cer (yeah, he wanted everyone to call him Pa.cer like the car and he was calling me names) had said. Of course he was disciplined and I believe there might have been a classroom talk about words you shouldn’t use. The details are fuzzy, but the feeling I had from that word will probably stay with me forever. There are two other times I can remember being called that and one time where someone wrote nigger go home on a wall by the school cafeteria but each of those time I was stronger (although one time I did cry because I was so angry). Its easier to stand up for yourself when you’re 12 than when you’re 6, and it was easier at 15 & 17 than it had been at 12. Overall, despite the fact that I went to a semi-rural school my brushes with racism were infrequent. I didn’t have to fight for my right to go to school there; I was not left out of school activities because I was black and I didn’t have to fear for my life because of my skin color. Even as an adult I’ve experienced prejudice. I’ve been told that “you’re not like most blacks” or the famous “you don’t talk like you’re black.” Now I’m able to react not just out of anger but rationally (but if I’m truthful my comebacks are usually made to make the offending person feel small, heh so sue me).

It’s been 25+ years since that first time and the world has changed for the better. Beana now goes to the same school I went to and has made it all the way to the 3rd grade without being cut to the quick because of that word. I’ve wondered when I will have to have that conversation with her about why some think they are better than others because of skin. It came up a little bit during the election but the “buzz word” was Muslim not black. To me it’s a half dollar of one 6 of the other. So Tuesday night as I was crying during Obama’s acceptance speech I realized that although I’m only in my early 30’s I didn’t think I would ever see this in my lifetime. So as I celebrate the achievements of President-elect Barack Obama, I also celebrate the achievements of those that came before us and now when I tell my daughter (and any future children we might have) that with hard work, perseverance, and a thick skin anything is possible; I can & do actually believe it.

Overheard in My Marriage

In the car after work heading home

Him: I’ve got something to ask you, but promise you won’t get mad first.

Me: Mmmm

Him: You promise??

Me: I guess so

Him: How come you don’t g.o dow.n on me like you did before we got married?

Me: ………………..

The Next Day at Work

Me: (at my desk, on the phone) Baby, do you remember what you said to me right before you asked me about a certain activity you enjoy?

Him: Yes??

Me: Do you??

Him: Yes, I promise.

Me: As, I was backing into my parking space; I caught the side post and knocked the sideview mirror on your car out of alignment. I’m sorry.

Him: ……………………………

The beautifull thing is neither one of us got mad.

Relief

I feel like I’m floating in a large body of water that comes right below my bottom lip. I can still breath; I don’t feel that I’m in danger but (hmm there’s always a but isn’t there) I know I’m not happy. I know this is not how I want to live my life. Some days finances, marriage, & motherhood make me feel trapped. I’m tired of treading water just to stay afloat. The feelings of being a bad wife & mother overwhelm me. All I want is some relief. Preferably long lasting relief. I recently commented here.

“Usually I’m a lurker, but I had to delurk to tell you this post & that video is amazing. I can see how someone could get taken in by these sub prime mortgages. For 8 years I have dreamed of owning my own home. The dude I married & I could have been one of the people trapped in this foreclosure mess. We were tempted, so tempted, to just go for it but I was terrified thinking about what could happen if we couldn’t’t afford to pay the mortgage. So we stayed in our apartment & watched people we know achieving our dream. So while I feel less sympathy for those buying way outside their means, I can understand how someone like me just wanted something (reasonable)of their own. I also need to thank you for this reminder that although we are struggling right now just to pay the bills. That even though we’ve got utilities that are disconnected until we can afford to get them back on we are still better off the some. That even though the dude works 2 jobs despite back pain so bad that some days he can’t even stand up straight and his leg will go numb we are still better off then some. That even though I’m working as many hours as I can and still be there to help with homework in the evenings, we’re still better off than some. That even though we have medical insurance (that we really can’t afford)through my job, I still have to decided if whether or not we really need to go to the doctor because of the $5,000 deductible, we have it better than some. The fact the I can still see hope on the horizon in someone who gets it, who understands that a middle class doesn’t have a million dollars and that a $5,000 tax credit (which will cause my insurance to be taxed) will not help me keep my insurance & still be able to pay my bills. So thank you for reminding me that hope & change is possible. Sorry this is so long, but your post really struck a cord with me.”

Even when I’m not focusing on the daily bullshit, its still like an invisible weight on my chest. Now more then ever I find myself being a worrier, trying to figure out how we’re going to rob this Peter to pay this Paul. I also find myself feeling guilty for not having extra money to do fun things like taking Beana to the pumpkin patch or to see Hi.gh Scho.ol Mu.sical III (although if there was anything positive about being broke, it’s that. God, how I dislike those Dis.ney spawns). Luckily for me, she’s a bright kid that understands that even though we can’t always do things right away we will get to eventually.

Anyhooo, while I start learning to live in the now and let go of the guilt, please enjoy this video.

I think I’ll sit here and watch this video until my mood gets better.