Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Stalker

I wasn't ready to talk about it before now.  No one wants to be stalked.  Much less to talk about it.  Every move watched.  Close.  Then closer.  That's when you start to notice things out of place or missing altogether.  Wondering what they'll do next.  While trying desperately not to engage the pursuer and make the situation worse.    I know because I have a 13 year old daughter.

Oh she pretends to ignore me, especially when she's with her friends.  But, I know her dismissive attitude masks her true feelings of disdain, curiosity, judgement, wonder and ultimately embarrassment.  I know this because I was once a 13 year old girl myself and I had all these feelings towards my own mom.

I felt perfectly entitled to go through all her things, make her life difficult, take a few bucks from her wallet without asking and analyze her every move, simply because she was my mom.  Thus, not even human, but both subhuman and superhuman at the same time.

It's not our fault really.  We're females, born to over analyze and compare ourselves to every other woman on the planet.  It's what we do.  And we're damn good at it.   But, there's a whole different standard with a mother-daughter relationship.  And it's an impossible double standard.  I'll never be enough while simultaneously being too much.  If not in this way, then in that one.

It's only natural that one day the stalker becomes the stalked.  Because of the circle of life and all.  So, I'll continue to hug her when we're home if she'll allow me to and hold her at an arm's length when we're in public.  I'll let her criticize my outfit knowing it will mysteriously disappear from my closet the next day.  But most of all, I'm going to stop being so hard on myself, for her sake.  Knowing she emulates what she sees me do.

 Because of the circle of life and all.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Work Ethic

I've been more focused on work lately.  I know it's because a deadline is looming.  And that deadline is summer, when my kids are home, which makes stringing coherent thoughts (that aren't motherly, martyrish rants) together difficult.  Never mind conceiving clever,  character development and coherent plot lines.  Just kidding, I don't even have a preconceived plot, I'm just writing whatever pops into my head.  Which makes writing this book kinda like reading it.  I don't know what's going to happen next either.

I read something recently that we are happier at work than we are at rest.  (You can play Russian roulette with the books in my recent Goodreads read list to determine the source because I don't remember.)  Oh we think we're going to be happier on our own time, when we retire or if we win the lottery.  But, this is completely untrue.  And this notion feeds our inner sloth.  Too much undirected leisure time leaves us unfocused and depressed.

When I'm busy in the work zone, I'm creative and productive.  I feel alive and almost unstoppable.  Almost because work always needs to be balanced with play.  And then, kids get sick, snowpocalypses and gorgeous sunny days that shouldn't be wasted are constantly attempting to divert my attention and suck me right back into sloth-leisure mode.  Which is just plain evil.

As with anything, the hardest part of getting down to work is always getting started.  Or re-started as the case may be.  And to keep going even when the momentum of the initial buzz of euphoric creative juices has tapered off and the unglamorous and relentless work of committing to the project and seeing your vision through begins.   Simultaneously  conquering the demons in your head who whisper you're stupid for doing it, because you suck. Unless they shout.  Do it anyway.

Til one day you finish and hit...


...then,  find a new project and start all over again.


Friday, February 20, 2015

In the Driver's Seat

I'd dreaded the day for 16 years.  And yesterday was that day.  My oldest got his driver's license.  

“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” 
― Elizabeth Stone

Now, my heart is no longer walking outside me.  It's driving.  A car.  At fast speeds.  With strangers.  Who could be high, drunk, texting or taking selfies while driving.  Or just plain stupid.  Or all of the above.

I'm no longer in the driver's seat.
My son is.

Which scares the shit out of me.  It's not that he's not an incredible kid.  He is.  He has a take charge attitude, he's smart, kind, thoughtful, empathetic and hard working.  It's just that he's 16 with miles of road ahead of him with lots of potholes, caution signs and road work.  And he's not going to see all of them.  Because none of us do.  And my role as co-pilot is being phased out slowly.  I never even taught him how to drive a stick yet.  But, he knows enough.  And he'll learn the rest with experience.

Cause he's in the driver's seat now.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Phone It In

I didn't want it.  And everyone knew it.  I wanted to suffer.  To be a technomartyr.  To live in the Stone Age.  Where people only communicated with each other by grunting and pointing.  Because I think I could actually be pretty good at that.  What I'm not good at is anything that requires a manual. And patience. Time.  Organization. And tender loving care.  So essentially, I'm bad at everything.  But, especially anything with buttons, wires and a charger.

So of course that's why my husband went out and bought me the iphone 6.

My old unsmart, bimbo, barbie phone, died a slow and painful death.  And me constantly complaining about it's slow and painful death was tempting my husband's patience.  Which is really saying something.  Since he's the logical/researchy sort,  he asked someone in the technoliterate field what kind of phone would be best for me.  And when he brought up the i phone and was told "that's for old people who don't know how to navigate a phone", he knew it was 'the one'.  

All I had to do was accept that I lived in the modern world and get a protective case for it.

Which is easier said than done when you're as stubborn and Neanderthalish as I am.  My kids were way more excited about my new phone than me.  Not realizing of course that now that I had a phone with a pass code on it that they'd be locked out.  And I would have privacy from my kids reading all my texts.  Meaning now, my friends and I could now complain about our kids with f-bombs even, via text.  Which is obviously what the medium was intended for.  Venting.   

Except, I'm the world's crappiest texter, even on a world class phone.

It's totally true.  I don't check my texts often.  And even when I do,  I'm famous for mistexting and sending to the wrong recipient.  And in my haste to mistext combined with autocorrect I often look inebriated.  And I DO NOT drunk text.  Ever.  What I don't do is talk on my phone.  And I don't play games or have any apps, besides instagram.  Which I'm on way too often because my new phone has a fantastic camera.  And I LOVE to take pictures because all I need to do is point.  Grunting is optional.  And IG is addictive.  I think it's obvious who's fault this is.  Clearly it's my husband's.  I should call him on it, but that seems like too much work.  So I'm just going to phone this one in and call it a draw.

And this is my Neanderthal approved bamboo case.  Of course I instagramed this photo.
You can feed my addiction....errr...I mean follow me here.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Brain vs. Butt

I can't tell you how much it pisses me off that I could make more money with my butt than my brain. If I just swapped my occupation, writing, with my hobby, pole dance, I could actually earn a real living.  Not that I have any intention of doing that.  Not that I'm ashamed of my body, because at 45 I have to work my ass off for this ass.  It's just that, I'd rather flaunt my brains.  But there's not much interest in intellect these days.

We live in a visual world. 
Where images trump words.
Thus, tits win over wits.  

And let me be honest, I don't have breasts to speak of.  Nor am I going to go buy them.  Or photoshop them in.  Because I like to keep things real.  And as you know, there's not much interest in real these days.  Because delusion and distraction are all the rage.  

While I could cash in and sellout, that's not what drives me.  What drives me are thoughts and ideas.  Books and documentaries.  Possibilities and probabilities.  Authenticity and empathy.  That's my inspiration and motivation.  However, unpopular and under appreciated it is in today's society. 

Of course the choice of how I'm seen by others isn't mine to make.
But, I promise...
My brain is far more intriguing than my butt.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Doctor's Wife

I am a doctor's wife.  A pediatrician to be exact.  So if you tell me your child's symptoms on the playground, I've only got sympathy. No medical training at all.  And please don't assume when I tell you that my children are adopted that they are his kids from a first marriage and I'm the trophy wife.  Cause I'm the antisocial, antitrophy wife.

My husband and I were married when he went to medical school. And he came home every night smelling like his cadaver.  And talked about his cadaver, smelling like his cadaver, through dinner.  She was the other woman in our early marriage.  I thought the worst was over when he went on to residency, which was even worse.  I was completely positive we were through the worst, when the army sent him to war in Iraq for a year and a half.  Making me quite independent and capable of handling the kids and the household on my own.

Except now we're more settled.
And a bit more complacent.

So when my husband left for a weekend out of town and I was home with the kids, of course one of them gets sick.  And of course, my extensive non-triage training determines the first (and only) course of action is telling my husband.   Because as my kids will tell you sickness, math, science and anything and everything logical is the domain of my husband.  I'm more soft subjects like, language, politics, psychology, reading and reading into things.

Sore throat, slight fever, headache, I knew strep was a possibility and he'd need antibiotics if he did have it.  So, I texted my husband because obviously he's omniscient and can diagnosis from my extremely brief one line text. "Think Sky has strep."   Perhaps the next step is obvious, but it wasn't to me.  Take him to the clinic for a rapid test.  Oh, right.  Having your own doctor on call 24/7 is convenient.  Although maybe not for him.  Because a lot of times I don't even believe him.  Not because he's not a really good doctor.  Cause he is.  It's just that I'm also married to him.  Which changes everything.  

When I show up at the clinic with my oldest kid, who is officially 3 inches taller than me and looks ridiculous sitting in a pediatrician's office amidst the children's story books, on a Saturday.  And bonus, no one knows me because I'm very rarely at my husband's work.  Which means no small talk.  Except for the doctor, who oddly, I only know in a social capacity, not a professional one. Now, as I know from being a doctor's wife, a lot of doctoring, is "soft" work.  Huh...that's a weird rash, never seen one quite like it before.  Do I go fungal or bacterial here?  Though the strep test came back negative, upon examining his throat, the diagnosis was strep. So, we started him on antibiotics.

And it's ridiculous when you go to  your neighborhood Walgreens to buy antibiotics and they use their annoying corporate mandated "be well" as a salutation.  Cause I'm buying medicine.  So, obviously we're past being well.  Duhhhhhhhhh.

When my husband returned home and examined him, his diagnosis was the flu.   And now a second kid is sick.  So is it the flu?  Is it strep?   I have no clue.  Either way they're sick, they need rest and they're contagious.   And I want a hazmat suit and vats of bleach to decontaminate everything the sickos have touched.  Does it even matter what they have at this point?  Whatever it is, I don't want it.

 I DO know from a google search it's not measles or Ebola.
And that measles is unequivocally NOT capitalized and Ebola is.  
Cause I know things.
Completely useless things, but I know them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Critic

I admit it, I'm critical.  I don't want to be this way.  I wish I were open minded enough to perceive things instead of judging them.  But, as Myers-Briggs has confirmed many times over, I am a judger. An INFJ to be exact.  So, I like to finish my work and get it done before I play.  Exactly the way it should be.  Because I'm probably a far more serious minded person than one would think.

Funny thing about people who are considered funny, is that humor usually comes from a very deliberate, self deprecating and fragile place.  I'm no exception.  While I want to make you laugh, my goal is also to make you think about things in a different way.  And I can't do that without being judgemental.  Of society and the people in it.  And I hold everyone to high standard.  Which is really unrealistic and stupid.

But, not nearly as unrealistic and stupid as the standards that I set for myself.  Cause they're even higher.  While I may appear  critical, snobby and aloof to you, I  assure you, I'm a total slave driving bitch with completely unrealistic expectations to myself.  Which isn't really good for my self esteem at all.  In fact all I'm really good at doing is failing.  At least I'm a success at something.

Maybe I could just take a short cut, take the test again and maybe rig it to say "perceiver".  On paper anyway.  Except that would be cheating.  And  I 'd know it was a lie to appear more socially acceptable and politically correct in a society where it's avant garde not to judge.  On paper anyway.  But, I couldn't live with that.

So... I'm a critic.  And hypocrite.
Aren't we all?

Monday, February 2, 2015

An Inconvenient Truth

Logic doesn't work on toddlers.  That didn't stop me from trying to reason with mine though.  But now that they're teenagers and I've thrown logic out the window, a weird thing has happened.   My whole world is twisted, contorted and smells like dirty socks and cheap cologne, which is a juvenile attempt to mask the sock stench.  And now they're trying their hand at using that same logic against me.


"It would really be more convenient for you if I had my cell phone."  Unnamed child who got his/her phone taken away in a disciplinary action we refer to as "restriction".

 "It's not more convenient for me."  (You know how you're not trying to laugh in their face and shout     "BULLSHIT" at the top of your lungs and pretend like you're a real live mature adult?)

  "Making plans with my friends would really be a lot more convenient for you if I had my phone."

Wait, making plans so I can drive you and your friends across town is somehow going to be       convenient for me?  MISSION FREAKIN' IMPOSSIBLE, DUDE.  (Secret inside information, I call all my kids "dude" when I'm really annoyed.)

   "Your phone got taken away as a disciplinary measure. You know that and you know what you need to do to earn it back.  It should hurt and it should be inconvenient for you."

I hate that phone.  I hate wondering if you're snapchatting, sexting or starting the next Nigerian Prince e-mail extortion scheme.  Although, that last one is a bit ridiculous, because teenagers don't e-mail.  

  "But this isn't convenient for you."

Finally, one of my kids truly cares enough about how I feel to try to use it to manipulate me. 

  "Any and every form of discipline is inconvenient for parents."

 News flash.  Raising kids is really inconvenient.  

Raising kids is a lot of pretending you're indifferent and trying to allow them to learn the lesson by failing sometimes, but not failing horribly, just a little bit.   And biting your tongue.  At this point, I'm surprised I haven't bit mine clean off.  And that's when I can contain myself.  Cause sometimes the bullshit factor is so high and I'm so completely NOT indifferent and I just want to lecture them into the correct choice for them.  You know, the short cut to bypass this long, hard life lesson road that they've embarked on.  I know it's wrong.  And more importantly, I know it doesn't work.

Then I start this guilt mom cycle of regret.  Oh you know the one.  The one where you feel like the shittiest mom ever and that some other random person on the street would be a better mom to your kids.  And wonder if can I still legally drop a teenager off at the nearest fire station?  And would it be weird if they had their license already and drove themselves there because I'm really sick of chauffeuring them?

Cause quite honestly, each kid learning each life lesson 100 times or more is really inconvenient for me!  


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