Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Hate Taking Showers

Feel free to believe this is me.

I hate taking showers.  This is not because I positively love to sit around in my own stench.  Rather, I hate them because I feel that I must “abandon” my children, if only temporarily, in order to shampoo my hair and shave my legs.  I must constantly resist the temptation to run out of the shower sopping wet every single time that I hear one of my children even squawk.  I have indeed ran to them several times, and I know that I am eventually bound to slip on the bathroom tile and bruise my ass (pin it!).  In addition to this, I don’t know if I am actually benefiting my children or scarring them by running at them nude in crazed, concerned mother mode.
This morning, I felt especially terrible and selfish because I actually took the time to shave my inner thighs (you’re welcome, Sam).  Before entering the shower, I lay my two month son on the bed because then he’s near enough to hear me, and my voice is usually enough to calm him.  I left my daughter with a glass of milk and the “Octonauts.”  At twenty-two months, she is already quite independent and can be trusted to watch her cartoons and play safely while I’m showering.

Isaac, however, would not be soothed by the sound of my voice this morning no matter how many times I repeated, “It’s okay sweetheart.  It’s okay.  Mommy is right here.  Mommy loves you.  Mommy is almost done.”  I skipped saying this part aloud, but was also thinking Mommy is a hairy beast right now so you need to stop crying so daddy will touch her again.  I was determined to finally fully shave after weeks of skipping this.  Therefore, I sought the aid of my daughter.  “Emily,” I hollered out while peeping my head around the shower curtain, “Give your little brother some love. Let him know everything is okay.”

Very soon after my request, Isaac had indeed stopped his sobbing and I could now apply my shave gel guilt free.  When I exited the shower, smooth as my baby’s bare ass, what I saw made me erupt into tears as I was so completely overwhelmed with love for my two children.

Emily had crawled up on the bed and snuggled herself right up to Isaac.  She held his tiny hand in hers and gently rubbed his head with her other hand.  She beamed so brightly in a warm exhibit of her pride at being a helpful big sister. She smiled, he softly cooed, and my heart wholly melted. 

This is why forgiveness is so damn important, my friends – so that we may truly experience such moments of absolute joy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I just read a blog post that concluded “life is too short to be so fucking angry all the time.”  You can read that post at Change the Topic, a blog I discovered through yeahwrite.  I absolutely agree with this statement, but I question whether or not I have actually been following this bit of advice.  I have struggled to let go of anger all year long.  It comes and it goes.  There are good days and bad days … and there are also really bad days where I can’t even get out of bed. 

When I was teaching, I was typically the one adult in the building that students sought out to share their secrets and struggles with.  Those kids were smart; they knew a good thing when they saw one.  One bit of advice I would often offer was to use writing as a means of moving beyond it.  I would frequently suggest that a student write a letter to whoever he was holding responsible for his current pain.  The secret to that letter, however, is that it never actually gets sent … or e-mailed … or tweeted … or whatever else the kids are doing these days.  It’s the act of getting that anger out of you and onto the page that is most important. 

I wrote one of these letters a few months ago.  I wish I could say that it helped, but I guess I wasn’t truly ready to forgive (you just MIGHT be able to tell).  I shared it with my husband, who said it was too much cursing even for me.  But, if you’ve been following me, you know Sam is supposed to “suck it” this week anyway, so here that shit is:

Dear _______________,

According to Joyce Meyer, Christian author and speaker, “Usually, when a person hurts someone else, he's probably hurting himself at least as much and is suffering some fallout as a result."  When I recently read this quote, my thoughts immediately fell upon you.  In the recent year, no one has hurt me more than you have.  Although such hurt was recently imposed upon me, said hurt is some of the greatest I have felt not just in the past six or seven months – but in the whole of my existence.  I acknowledge the truth of Meyer’s statement as I have been witness to such hurt before by people who were in even greater pain than I, and really just doing the best they could at that point in their lives.  I believe you must be hurting to have proceeded as you did.  I don’t know who hurt you; I don’t know what they did to you.  I do, however, know that it wasn’t me.  I didn’t hurt you and I did not and do not deserve the hurt and pain you have imposed upon me, and thus my family.  As I reflect upon Meyer’s words, I know I must tell you two things.  First: Fuck you. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you until your ass is sore you fucking piece of shit.  Second: I forgive you.  But know this: my forgiveness is not for you.  You don’t deserve it one bit, and I will never, ever like you or approve of your actions.  I forgive you for me and for my family.  I forgive you because people that are personally hurting hurt other people and I don’t want to hurt my husband, my daughter, my son, my best friends, and my family.  I love them too much to let the pain you have unjustly and unnecessarily imposed upon me to hurt them any longer.  So, you are forgiven you asshole.  
Clearly, my catharsis is not yet complete.  But, I'm trying.  Please trust that I am trying and I want to be good for the people I love and that love me too.  If you're one of those folks (again -- you know who you are and I fucking love you): THANK YOU.  I would never be able to forgive the people who have hurt me without you guys loving me like you do.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is Alcoholism A Tradition?

Three Posts! What? So – while reading the other links on yeah write, I stumbled upon  BloggerIdol.  Here’s the rules for this week, straight from the site:

Each Monday, we will give you the same assignment that the contestants are doing, and then you can come back here and link your post so that others can read it.[The current contestants] have to write about a tradition that they participate in with their family, extended family, or friends, but at the same time, really let their new fans know who they are, since it's their first post. There are no word limitations, but you have to include at least one image in your post.

Clearly, I decided to play along. I hope there's not a no-cursing rule I am not aware of.

I was meeting my boyfriend’s family for the first time … and it was Thanksgiving.  Talk about fucking pressure. God, my boyfriend was a dick.  Why was I dating him?  As you can imagine, I was nervous as hell.  Not only was I meeting his parents, I was meeting his grandparents, his aunts, that one drunk, perverted uncle you know we all have, and his cousins. 

So, I asked my girlfriend Carrie for some advice.  She had been in a lot more committed relationships than I had.  To assist, she took me to Victoria’s Secret to buy a good bra.  I didn’t need to have attractive breasts to meet his family; I just had to cover my breasts up.  I was twenty-two, and I didn’t wear a bra.  She said my potential in-laws definitely did not want to see my nipples upon first meeting.  I didn’t know; no bra had always made me really popular at the bars. 

So, I wore a good bra to Thanksgiving and I was quite charming.  The parents did end up as the in-laws.  Yes, we did get married … and, yes, we did also get divorced.  There was far bigger issues in our marriage than the fit of my bra … believe me.  So, I went back to spending my holidays with my own  family, something I stopped doing during our marriage. 

Why go home to my family?  My cousins were all creepy little pimple-faced assholes that I had no desire to see.  My aunt suffered from psychosomatic disorder and prattled on and on about her numerous imagined illnesses.  I was like, “Yeah … your  bones aren’t too long for your arm.  You have carpal tunnel.  So do I.  Just wear a fucking brace to bed.”  She didn’t like that shit.  So, pretty soon it was just me, my siblings, and my parents -- extended family be damned.  Blood doesn’t always run that thick when you’re related to a bunch of pricks. 

My mom made one hell of a Thanksgiving turkey and the best damn green bean casserole I have ever had.  But, we ate and that was about it.  There were no special traditions in our family … unless you count Jack Daniels and Coors consumption as tradition.  Actually, I guess we would play poker then too, but we never really expressed any kind of gratitude or thanks for one another as the holiday itself suggests we should.

My sister once tried introducing a tradition to our family.  She cut out a bunch of leaves on construction paper and we were all to write down something we were thankful for.  Before eating our meal, we were to share what we had written.  I participated, and was proud to say that I was thankful for my family (as crazy as they can be) and my “hot ass.”  Damn, I used to have a nice ass.  I also said I was grateful for God.  To this, my brother said “there’s no god,” and thus began an argument on the existence of Christ.  My brother told me that I should also say hello to the unicorns and leprechauns when I get to my make believe heaven.  When it was his turn to share what was written on his leaf, he held up his blank sheet of orange paper and stated two simple words: “Fuck. This.”

And so we all just loaded our plates with potatoes and began consuming our beverage of choice.  I made good friends with a bottle of red wine that night.  And thus, I am thankful for a rich Red Zinfandel.  Welcome to my world.

And here’s my mandatory picture.  This is not a picture of my family.  This is my hot ass.  I miss you hot ass; children have changed you. Beyonce didn’t have nothing on that!
Follow my formerly hot ass at Not Appropriate Angela.

Five Minutes

The following post is my first entry into the yeah write challenge.   Faithful followers and new fans, please link back to the preceding post for an explanation of the below narrative. If you are interested in learning more about yeah write, check it out here:  There are no holds barred below, and it gets really real just as promised because this is indeed a true story. Thanks for reading and bigger thanks for following this blog!
(Introduction not to be included in word count.)

Five Minutes

Five minutes could change an individual’s life forever.

Five minutes early could mean that you find your spouse naked in your bed entangled in the limbs and grip of another woman.  Five minutes late could mean your boss spews curses and terminates you, salty tears now sliding down into your coffee.  Five more minutes could give you just enough time for the man of your dreams to stride coolly into the room and seat himself next to you.  For me, five minutes was all that was needed to save a life.  Sometimes I secretly possess the detestable wish that I had been held up at work, for I cannot be entirely certain that his was a life worth saving.

“Five more minutes, ma’am,” the EMT spoke to me,” Five more minutes and there wouldn’t have been much we could do here.  He would have been dead.” 

DEAD.  This was the last word of his suicide letter.  “You’re better off with me dead,” it read.  Maybe he’s right.  Just maybe he’s right this time.  This was my fucking awful thought as I sat alone in the emergency waiting room while my spouse was having his stomach pumped.  Between this terrible thought, the trembling, and the tears, I sat like stone and relived those few crucial minutes in my mind as though the memory had been burned onto a repeating cinema reel.   The pills.  The locked bathroom door.  The photographs all facing down.  His trembling body.  The 911 call.  The pills.  The note.  The bright lights and men arriving.  His eyes rolling slowly back in his head.  Sit up. Sit up.  Please sit up! The pills.

“The pills, ma’am,” the man questioned,” Do you know how many pills he took?  What kind?”

Three bottles. Antidepressants.  Maybe not the whole three bottles; some tablets were in the sink.  I don’t know.

“Ma’am?”  I had offered him no response.

“Three bottles of antidepressants.  Lexapro. Depakote.  Effexor.”

“His or yours?” he asked.  They belonged to each of us; we were a toxic match with our mental illnesses – each only compelling the other to further suffering rather than offering the expectant empathy that was so desperately needed.

But this shit; I couldn’t sympathize with this shit.  I didn’t even know the man who lay on that bed shaking and sobbing while complete strangers checked his vital signs.  That man on the bed was a fucking liar, a cheater, a thief; he was not the man I believed I had married.  I thought I was in love.  I fell too quickly.  I was young and my eyes weren’t wide open.  I could have blamed it on a million different little things – anything to avoid the straight truth that I was wrong.

“I don’t know if you really want this, but here,” said the EMT as he handed me a piece of paper that I quickly assumed was the suicide note.  I just wanted the man who had written this note to live then; I loved him so much.  I didn’t care what had been scribbled on that stupid fucking piece of paper.  I quickly shoved it deep into the pocket of my denim jeans.  I then removed my hand from my clothing and wrapped my fingers tightly around those of my love.

And then the lies came to light on the lines of what was intended to be his final goodbye.  Sitting in that waiting room, I had pulled the note from my pocket and read the contents in insane disbelief.  The truth had been revealed, and the truth was one ugly little fucker. 

He wasn’t really attending university.  His transcripts and admissions documents had all been completely fabricated.  He lost his job months and months ago.  His income was achieved through thievery by pawning off stolen goods.  He possessed a criminal record, outstanding financial debt, and an enormous desire to die. 

My life was a lie, and I had no damn idea until I read the hastily scribbled contents on a piece of college ruled notebook paper.  That same paper was now soaked with tears, and black mascara covered my soft cheeks that he had gently kissed so many times.  How had I not known?  Naïve little girl so desperate to be loved.  I initially blamed myself as much as I blamed him. 

What could I do?  Should I have run away from the hospital and left him alone to be transported to the ICU?  Should I have sought an annulment and played Pontius Pilate to the whole damn thing?  I stayed.  I stood by his side.  I thought I had forgiven him, and told him we could have a fresh start.  But he had fooled me once, and soon proved he could do it again.  And I stayed; I cried and cried endless nights.  I lay awake in bed with my deceitful spouse beside me and held a razor blade to my wrist just praying for the fucking courage to go through with what he had failed to successfully do.

I couldn’t be wrong; I wouldn’t be wrong.  I said “I do,” and I did; I did everything to make it work although an equal effort was never returned.  We yelled and we screamed, and the same shit I was screaming about just kept on happening.  He threatened suicide when I threatened to leave.  Then came the night he laid his hands upon me in violence.  He clenched his wretched fingers around my neck.  The next morning I left and never looked back. 

It didn’t take five minutes that time; I only needed a few seconds to put the keys in the ignition and leave that life of lies behind.  But I have wondered – would I have been better off with him dead? How would my life be different now?  What impact would that five minutes have made?  I will never know these answers, but I did learn that it’s more of a mistake to stay miserable than to admit you’re wrong and move on.  

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Finding my Tribe

After informing me that I “totally rock,” Jenny Lawson (oh yeah … you bet your ass I’m totally bragging about this again) offered me some small advice on how to grow my blog.  The key is to connect to other bloggers and comment, comment, comment like crazy.  Initially, I opposed this idea because I hate people as a sweeping generalization.  Not like I hate republicans or I hate homophobes; I just fucking hate people (unless I’ve birthed them).  But, I took her advice all the same, and am actually finding myself quite pleased with the results.  In reaching out to other like minds, I was told I would find my “tribe.”  I thought that term was bizarre, but it turns out that’s a thing too just like “butt-fucking Egypt.” I have been learning a lot more about blogging.  I don’t struggle with the stories; I can bitch like nobody’s business.  But, I don’t know much about html or java script, and am learning that these are crucial skills in building a successful blog.  Until earlier this week, I thought a “badge” was just something a police officer might be showing me for public intoxication or nudity. 

This past week, I also attended my first “link party.”  I am, however, fairly certain that my blog did not at all belong linked up to the site I found.  I was featured right behind a link on how to clean your refrigerator correctly and best slow cooker lasagna recipes.  Hmmmm … not my tribe.  Really, how do those bitches do it all?  Who has time to make their own organic baby food, sew their children’s Halloween costumes, create their own year supply of laundry detergent, hand-dip vanilla spice candles, build their own shoe organizer, decorate their home for the holidays with handmade crafts of Styrofoam, twigs, and berries … and still fucking blog about it all?  Seriously, I am asking you how because some days I don’t even shower and my daughter is running around the house wearing several pairs of my underwear around her neck (she loves to accessorize) while I attempt to fold the laundry.

So, my first link party was a total fail.  I needed to find a place where I really belonged.  Is there a place for people like me who aren’t perfect – but are somehow perfectly flawed?  After the quilting party kicked me out, I sought out a site that would actually want to feature a blog like me.  Alas! I already feel I have found this tribe.  I knew immediately – just like I knew when I had found my soul mate.  By the way, my soul mate is not my spouse, but was my queer best friend.  Sometimes life works out like that, and you start sleeping naked with a man the same night you meet him – but honestly just sleeping, no touching because tits scare him. 

I’m hoping to build my tribe in the yeah write community.  Yeah Write is essentially an online coffee house for creative types which describes itself as “1 part blogging showcase, 2 parts writing challenge, and 3 parts bathtub gin.” Fucking perfect, right?  No mention of slow cookers or cloth diapers! Each week, yeah write offers an opportunity for bloggers to have their work featured on the site and reviewed by peers.  There are a few rules for submitted work.  For example, the post must be under 1,000 words and must have a narrative.  The folks at yeah write say they want a “so what?” to the story.  This, too, is fabulous because I often wrote these two very words in the margin of student essays.  Okay, you wrote a story about losing your baseball game – so what? Why should I care?  Make me care. 

Right now, I know you may be wondering the same thing – so what?  Why are you telling us all this Angela?  Why should we fucking care?  This shit isn’t funny; be funny.  I’m telling you this so that you are aware I won’t always be funny.  I plan to start sharing my yeah write submissions on this site.  Many of them are likely to be a departure from what you have been accustomed to so far.  I want to further experiment with my writing.  And, as per the yeah write guidelines, my entries must have a narrative.  You can all admit that most of my posts thus far have been random stream of consciousness crazy ass nonsense. 

Don’t worry all six of my faithful followers (you know who you are and I fucking love you) – you’ll still be witness to my righteous vulgarity.  However, you’re also going to see a side of me that is even more exposed – and frail, and frightened, and vulnerable.  Although my tone may change in some of the upcoming writing challenges, here’s what you can also depend on me for: TRUTH.  The shit is about to really get real.  This is all a true story.  Buckle up for the ride bitches because I’m taking it to overdrive.
As always, you can follow Not Appropriate Angela on facebook.  You should probably start doing that right now.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Little Love on the Blog

Last night, I spoke with my mother-in-law over the telephone.  She commented, “Well, you certainly had some interesting stories in your last few blog posts.” 

Oh shit, I thought, but I did not say this aloud.  What I did say was, “You’re still reading the blog? You were supposed to stop somewhere around ‘The Short List.’”

And then I thought oh shit again.  Oh shit.  Please don’t start talking about the short list Terri.  I do not want to talk to you about how Jason Statham gets me a little tingly in my naughty no-no parts.

She didn’t say anything more on that.  Rather, she continued, “I just have to keep reminding myself of what you wrote about people being multidimensional.  I tell myself that the woman who writes this blog is not really the same woman who raises my grandchildren.”

It’s true.  My children are adorned with kisses and hugs and called “love bug,” “cuddle buddy,” “sweetie pie,” and the like.  I will never call my daughter a “total vagina.”  Okay --- never say never; we’re a long way from her teenage years.  But, I currently talk sweetly and appropriately to my precious babies.

I participate in many other practices of ooey-gooey sickening sweetness.  I know I risk ruining my reputation as an awesome bitch, but I thought I would put a little love on my blog today.  This is for Terri.  I could make some atrocious, cliché mother-in-law jokes, but I really do love that lady.  

So, the truth is that sometimes I take all of the pennies out of my purse, put them in the palm of my hand and walk around sporadically and secretly dropping them on the ground in the hopes that some stranger will later discover them and believe she has been blessed with luck.  The magic is in the believing.

Sometimes I purposely leave change in the vending machine.  Finding an extra nickel in the change slot always totally makes my day.  It’s so simple, yet I know that I will be making someone momentarily, but completely, blissfully happy.

I like to give cash tips to little kids who have set up lemonade stands.  You should see the smiles you receive when you tell them to keep the change of an entire five dollar bill for one fifty cent cup of god awful overly sour lemonade.

I like to let complete strangers know if they have an especially flattering haircut or great fitting pair of jeans.  This kindness to strangers will hopefully give me good karma.  I need some positive karma after yesterday’s post!

So, after reading this, promise to spread a little love to others around you too – whether they are your children, your in-laws, or complete strangers.   Tell someone you have never met that he or she is beautiful, and embrace that individual in your arms.  I’ll be hoping that you get a warm reception and avoid being punched in the throat.  Smiley face.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sinful Supermodel

Most little girls have big dreams.  When I was young, I was a highly overambitious child.  At age six, I recorded five different aspirations for my future.  I was going to be a mother, a teacher, an author, an actress, and … a supermodel.  I now have two beautiful children, so I have accomplished my first goal; this was also always the most important goal to me.  If I ever had to choose between having a career and being a mother, I would choose being a mother.  Fortunately, women today aren’t forced to make such a choice.  We can have it all; I also achieved my second and third aspirations and became a teacher and an author (although not currently earning compensation for either role). 

You see, women can have it all … almost.   It’s only almost because no one wants you to model when you’re 5’3” and over 150 pounds.  I’m not even going to tell you my actual weight here; I will just say that it was a grand accomplishment two weeks ago when the Wii said I went from “obese” to simply “overweight.”  That Wii Fit can be one mean bitch. 

I let go of my modeling aspirations long before today though.  Those probably ended around age eight or nine when I became more interested in books than beauty.  However, I did grow up in the “middle of butt-fucking nowhere” (this was a popular saying, people – not my original expression).  Therefore, I had to find ways to keep myself occupied.  Women – admit that most of you did this too as young girls; you and your girlfriends, or your sisters if you had them, would glam yourselves up and have photo shoots just for fun.

My friend Karen and I were especially notorious for this.  We also made lots of random home movies.  I remember one home movie where we were having a race down a hill with two toys.  She had a matchbox car, and I had a disconnected Barbie doll head.  We filmed it in black and white and though it was some kind of art house/film school shit.  It was really just atrocious nonsense. 

My sister and I would also participate in these photo shoots to keep ourselves occupied when we didn’t want to be playing with our brothers (because they could both be total jerk-offs).  As I was recently searching through old photo albums, I came across the gem of a photograph featured here. This was taken during one of those times when my sister and I entertained ourselves with cover girl delusions.
Here you see me doing my best “sexy librarian” pose.  The comedy to the photo is in its irony.  Take a closer look at the book I have open before me.  You guessed it; that’s the bible.  Nothing screams sexy like Leviticus or makes a man hard the way Exodus can.  Yes – there’s a slight possibility I could be going to hell.  Until then, stay tuned to Not Appropriate Angela because next week I will be wearing assless chaps to church.

 Dear Lord, please forgive me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Suck it Sam!

On our wedding day, my husband Sam had the grand idea to smoke a cigar with his father directly before our first dance.  I had to endure that awful stench for an entire three minutes and forty two seconds.  As our song was coming to a close, I softly and sweetly whispered to him, “Baby, you better find a tic-tac and some fucking Febreze if you think you’re dancing with me again tonight.”

He found some gum and sprayed on some of my sister’s Victoria’s Secret body splash.  I guess he made an effort, so I danced with him again anyhow.  He has done better since that moment, though.  To make up for his poorly timed male bonding that night, he now wakes me up every morning on our anniversary and we dance together to our song.  Long say it out loud Aaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

My husband makes me smile and laugh, and has hung in there with me through thick and thin.  If you’ve been following this blog, or know me in real life, you can imagine what he’s endured.  Only my best friend Angie (again – not me in third person) knows what he has actually endured, and she has a lot of shit she’s taking to the grave with her.

Sam and I were friends for long years before I realized he was the right one for me.  I was a silly, stupid girl (see my dating advice for my daughter).  I stumbled upon this actualization that he was meant for me about a week before he was scheduled to go on vacation with another one of his close female friends.  (He had lots of girl friends, but very few girlfriends.)  They traveled down to Mexico together and I wrote a truly terrible poem about my concerns.  I remember there being a line like “Don’t fall in love under the summer sun – you’ll get tanned, and I’ll get burned.”  Awful; just fucking awful.
Sam had never been big on poetry anyway.  I’m not entirely sure he understands the majority of my writing.  He knows it makes me happy though, so he tries to be supportive.  I say TRY because I think this takes a real concerted effort on his part.  I can imagine that he keeps repeating the word “fiction” in his head.  “Fiction! Fiction! Whey can’t she write fucking fiction?”  Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of, “Oh shit.  Please don’t write about this in your blog.”    
My husband teaches in a juvenile correctional facility, so he has a lot of patience.  The students here refer to him as a “Ned Flanders looking mother fucker.”  He shrugs it off, and keeps on trying.  As if his occupation were not challenging enough, then he has to come home to me.  Poor suffering bastard.  And now, because he was a wee bit pissy with me tonight when I told him I was writing despite his needing help with our children, I have made it my goal to prove him wrong.  All successful marriages are built on one spouse constantly needing to be right. 

For me to be right in this particular instance I need to increase my readership to over 100 likes in one week.  I need your help to make that happen, so start following Not Appropriate Angela on facebook.  I’ll be holding you all in my heart when I scream: “SUCK IT!”

Friday, September 21, 2012

Does Everyone Remember When I Shit my Pants?

My husband’s fifteen year high school reunion is coming up this next weekend.  I am still undecided as to whether or not I wish to accompany him.  I skipped my own fifteenth, despite the fact I had volunteered to help plan this event (I was drunk when I did that).  I did still offer to make buttons.  No one wanted buttons, so I stayed at home with my weird collection of craft supplies like the noted button maker and my bedazzler.

A little bedazzling, some glitter, or even some balloons might each have made my ten-year reunion better.  That event was just awful (Sorry, Tim).  There was no music, the meal was sub-par, and worst of all … we fucking ran out of beer.  I suppose our class president could claim that he attempted to entertain us.  He did put together a photo slideshow.  However, the large majority of the highlighted photos were not even of our graduating class.  There were photos from his sister’s wedding, his boastful hunting moments, and even his surgery.  I am completely serious.  This is why I later offered to create the slide show for a future reunion, sharing with our class president “… and it will feature lots of pictures of my vagina.”  Yeah, I always keep it classy folks.

Whenever a reunion or homecoming of any sort becomes the subject of conversation, I return to the question of how I may be remembered.  A former student once told me, after his mother met me at parent teacher conferences and realized we had gone to school together, “My mom said you use to do a lot of drugs – like you were a total burn-out.  I didn’t want to tell you that right away though because I really wanted to be selected for debate team captain.”

If you have been following me, however, you know this is not true.  I never touched a drug in my adolescence.  Most of my classmates, and probably my teachers, just assumed I was smoking or snorting something because I dressed like a damn weirdo, and I also once brought some imposter pot to school.  (You’ll have to check out the back catalogue of blog posts for more on that.) I used to wear dark sunglasses and lots of hats with big, bright flowers on them; I must have wanted to be like Blossom Russo (random Mayim Bialik reference). 
These days, whenever a friend begins a story like, “Do you remember Jakob from Algebra? Well, I ran into him at Wal-Mart and …,” I find myself replying with the general response of, “Oh yeah.  Isn’t that the kid who …?” and I am usually able to recall only one random and bizarre memory of that individual. You guessed it – here come a few of those random recollections.

There was a kid named Brandon in my graduating class.  As rumor would have it, one afternoon he crapped himself on the indoor track because he was afraid to ask his coach for a bathroom break.  This must have been the crowning achievement of his adolescence for once, in the middle of our psychology class without having been prompted in any way whatsoever, he announced, “Does everyone remember when I shit my pants on the track?”

In that same class, on a different day, a student named Bill erupted into maniacal laughter and became completely flushed and red-faced during a lecture that briefly mentioned cock fighting.  Our teacher calmly and simply said, “Well … I see someone just woke up and heard the word cock.” My dear friend Melissa, always so kind and considerate, patted Bill on the back and said, “Settle down there, buddy, settle down.”

I once overheard a kid named Joe (I think – maybe Kevin) bragging to his friends by the water fountain.  What was he bragging about? – you ask.  Fucking his horse.  He was honestly boasting about a claim that he fucked his horse.  So, here’s how a conversation about Joe would go:  

Melissa: Did you know Joe (or Kevin – whatever) is living in the twin cities now?

Me: Joe who?

Melissa: We graduated with him.  He was in our geography class.

Me: I think I might remember him …. (brain silently scurrying)

Melissa: Well, he has three beautiful children now and he ….

Me: Gross! I remember! That kid fucked his horse!

With individuals I don’t know as well, I frequently have to refrain from sharing my one strange memory aloud.  For example, one of my former co-workers was once talking to me about a teacher recently hired in a neighboring school district.  She said, “Actually, I think you might know him.  He probably graduated a few years after you.”  When she told me his name, I bit my tongue to avoid replying, “Oh yeah, that’s Backdoor Brian.”  Rumor with this one was that he frequently convinced his girlfriends to have anal sex.

Then, of course, one must not forget the girl who stuck a hot dog in her “biscuit”  (actual meat product, slang vagina – thank you Honey Boo Boo) and had to get it removed by a doctor after it broke in half.  For the life of me, I cannot remember that girl’s name, despite the fact that I also worked with her during high school and she once told me she wished her boyfriend cleaned his ass better because he always left shit streaks on the sheets when she was on the top during intercourse.   I promptly placed that bit of information in my shit I didn’t really need to know file.

Given such awful associations, I often wonder – what is that one random thing I am remembered for?  So, if you’re a former classmate that I probably spoke all of thirty words to in real life and am now virtual friends with, please leave your comments! You can also let us know if you recall any of these same special individuals mentioned here.  It might be best if no one lets Brandon know, all these years later, that he is still the kid who shit his pants.  Oh yes, we remember Brandon; we remember.
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(Above image circa 1994.  It's no surprise everyone thought I was high.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jesus Loves You, but We're Breaking Up

Not all my exes were total fucks.  I did have one nice boyfriend, though I think he was only able to remain kind because intimacy was never part of the equation.  (Sex probably should be reserved for procreation.)  He was well groomed and properly raised.  He loved Jesus and his mother, and always made sure I knew that Jesus loved me too.

He was my very first boyfriend (remember I was a late bloomer), and also my date to the senior prom.  Our relationship was born from our mutual involvement in the drama department.  He didn’t carry a canteen and he didn’t play Magic.  He read books for real and was polite to everyone --- honestly, he was almost sickingly sweet.

He was so considerate and gentle hearted that he tormented himself over the contents of his official break up letter.  He carefully crafted sentences and contemplated his vocabulary for long hours, having his neighbor proof read his work, and first discarding several drafts.

Although he had composed a break up letter, our end was mutual and extremely amicable.  It was the end of my senior year, and his junior year.  Before heading out to several graduation parties, my best friend Melissa, her then boyfriend Michael, and our mutual male friend Patrick, stopped in at the town’s Dairy Queen, where my boyfriend was working that afternoon.

He came out of the kitchen to greet us, and Michael and Patrick simultaneously kissed him upon the forehead.  If I remember correctly, Patrick thought this would be amusing as, according to him, this practice is one observed by mobsters before sending a brother who has betrayed them to “sleep with the fishes.”  I’ve never been in a mob, though, so don’t trust me as an authority on this.

As my boyfriend never wished to offend anyone, he acted like receiving these kisses was perfectly normal and just beamed us his brilliant smile, “Hey, what’s up guys?”  There may have been a thumbs up here too, but I can’t guarantee the truth of that statement either.

“Hi.  We should break up,” was my prompt and brief response.  There was no need on my part for flowery, sentimental speech and painstakingly selected words.  I just cut straight to the chase.

Secretly, I probably did want him to be at least a little bit heartbroken.  Instead, he kept right on smiling, and said, “Oh. Thank goodness.  I’ve been wanting to tell you.”  He continued, “here,” and handed me a neatly folded note he pulled out of his jean pocket.  The outside of that note read, “Top Secret.  J Do not read until bedtime. J

He was a big fan of smiley faces.  This remains the reason I still sometimes say “smiley face” because I had to vocalize every smiley face he had sketched on the paper when I read this note aloud repeatedly to my friends and we all enjoyed it in fits of laughter. 

I have held on to that note for all these years and it still makes me laugh every time that I read it.  I think you will be highly impressed with the vocabulary and obvious time and effort that was dedicated to the not-so-tragic demise of our six week relationship … maybe two months.  I don’t quite recall.   Along with that note, he gave me a small bookmark with a poem about friendship on it, and a yellow chocolate rose. 

For your reading pleasure, here is the exact content of that break-up letter:

Angie -- J

Hey, what’s up? J Yeah, I know – letter writing is stupid … but I’m never around at a decent time and things always come out wrong face to face.  So, first of all, I’d like to say “Congratulations” on your graduation again.  It must be nice – just think, I’ve got 365 days left of THS! J Someone like yourself will go far in life – keep working hard and success in all areas of life will be yours J (there I go, sounding like some mentor or something ….).  Anyways, best of luck in the future! J

You know that during the past week or so, I’ve really been wrestling with my emotions and thinking things over.  Thank you for all of the good times we’ve shared, and all of the talks we’ve had – I’m really glad that this year we have evolved from strangers to people who know each other fairly well. J I think and hope that what we’ve developed is a basis for what could be a wonderful, long-lasting friendship – like the one in the poem.  I guess I don’t know quite how to say this, but in my thinking I’ve come to the conclusion that this “type of friendship” is what best suits and describes us.  The yellow rose is a symbol of friendship – the “sweet” friendship we have. J

GAG!  (That wasn’t in the letter – that’s my interjection.)

So, what does this mean?  As far as I’m concerned, not much really has to change with us.  What we basically possess right now is a steady friendship – a friendship I would like to keep.  I’ll always be here for you as your friend.  Whenever you need or want to talk – or do whatever – I’d still like to be here for you – if you’ll let me.  I’m sorry for being such a jerk about all of this.  I just want you to know that there’s nothing wrong that you did nor anything wrong with you that influenced my thinking.  We’ve talked about not letting others influence the way an individual thinks – trust me, this decision was fabricated by myself.  No one’s specific opinion entered into my thinking for this; it’s just the way I feel.  I hope you understand … if you’re mad, don’t be angry with yourself or anyone else – I deserve all the blame you want to give.  I just couldn’t let myself lead you or anyone else on; I really “like” you as a close friend (if you can find it in you to still be my friend), but I “like” other people in that other way.  I didn’t want to lie to you and think I don’t like those others (and just so you know – it’s not Rachael J).

TRANSLATION: You won’t have sex with me.  I “like” sex. Or in his case, it might have just been “heavy petting”; I only allowed very light petting – like you can kiss my lips and hold my hand.  End of list. (Oops! Another interjection.)

I’m not making much sense … just remember, you ARE a wonderful, nice person – you’ll make some gorgeous college guy beyond happy (in that special sense) someday.  Thanks for everything we’ve done and shared – I hope a friendship will produce more fun times.  Just because I’ve been a jerk as your boyfriend doesn’t mean I can’t be a good friend.  Please accept my friendship conveyed in the poem and symbolized by the rose! J

I’m sorry I can be so confusing … I know my timing isn’t the greatest either. Please don’t let this affect the treasure you have achieved this weekend.  You deserve a great graduation – which means you shouldn’t have to worry about me, or anything this weekend! J I just had to let you know how I felt and what I thought; my conscience has finally quit burning.  You deserve someone way better than me, but I can understand if you’re angry.  With a touch of God’s hand, things always work out … I’ll see you later. J

A friend if you’ll let me be,

Ryan J  


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dating Rules for my Daughter

Complete strangers often approach me to tell me how absolutely adorable my children are.  I typically accept such comments with deep pride. However, on three different occasions now, I have had unknown individuals tell me that my children are so cute that they can sympathize with kidnappers.  That is not right, people.  That is just not right.

In further news about not right comments regarding my children, this morning I had to see the doctor.  I had both my son and daughter with me.  While he was sleeping in his car seat, she was sitting on my lap giving the nurse smiles.  My daughter is a blue-eyed, blonde haired little beauty with the most luscious, long eyelashes I have ever seen on an individual of any age. (No need for Latisse there.)  So, the nurse was commenting on my daughter’s beautiful eyes and followed this remark with, “She is just so beautiful; you’re going to have to buy her a chastity belt.”  My daughter is not even two years old.  Way too early for that comment. 

Is it possible for your kids to be too cute?  Maybe I should stop bathing them and brushing their hair so that people stop saying weird shit to me.  This most recent comment also created maternal concern of a different nature, so I determined it’s best if I start developing some dating rules right now.  As one might rightly assume, the following set of rules have generally been born of my own bad experience.

1.       Never, ever, date a guy who plays Magic the Gathering.  He fucking loves that game more than he loves you.  Trust me.

2.       Do not continue to be “just friends” (aka fuck buddies) with a man for more than two years.  This is not normal.  If the relationship has not progressed by this time, you clearly both suffer from emotional damage.  Move on.  There will never be a genuine connection.

3.       Unless you are camping or hiking, there is absolutely no reason your boyfriend should be carrying a canteen.  This is fucking weird and that man is so not marriage material.

4.       If he says he’s studying herbology, that dude is really on drugs. Stop dating him.

5.       If you can relate to any of Avril Lavigne’s whiny lyrics, it is also time to move on.  It’s not that “complicated”; just dump that dude.

6.       Never settle for a sloppy sandwich.  If he knows you, he will spread your peanut butter and jelly to the correct consistency.  (This isn’t a euphemism for sex; I’m really just talking about bread here.) And if he ever dares use chunky when you like it creamy, it should be over.  The point here is that you truly deserve someone who is attentive to you and your interests.

7.       If he has more than ten ex-girlfriends, it’s not because he was waiting for you to come along.  The problem is not that he just hasn’t found the right one; it’s the fact that he is a mega asshole.  You will never fix that man; use your time to read a book instead.

8.       You must RUN RIGHT NOW if he talks in his sleep and tells you he has multiple personalities, especially one whom is named Micah.  Micah hates you and is determined to make your life miserable.

9.       Homemade gifts are not sweet; they’re cheap.  If he gives you a rock tied to a piece of yarn, and calls it a necklace, do not say “thank you” and accept that shit.  This remains true even if he attempts to justify his “gift” by explaining that you resemble the rock in that you’re both unique and beautiful.  The only exception to this rule is if that rock is a diamond.  He can tie that shit to yarn, fishing line, or even dental floss.  Then you do indeed say thank you, but also know that you don’t owe him anything.

10.   He should meet your mother.  By the time you’re old enough to begin dating, there’s an extremely high probability (like 110%) that you will be embarrassed by your mother.  Suck it up and introduce me.  I have developed a fairly strong ability to detect assholes.

Having established such rules, I accept there’s also a possibility you may like women.  I think it’s probably too early to tell, just like it’s too early to mention the necessity of a chastity belt.  If this should be the case, know that I will still love you, and you just might be better off because you can probably disregard some of the aforementioned rules.  Most of the problems cited in these rules have only been attributed to people with penises. Why do think “dick” is synonymous with “jerk”?  Nobody ever claims that his boss is a “total vagina.”  But if you should ever meet the man who does, you should probably date him.  He sounds delightful.