42 Ways to Write a 309-Word Freudian Slip

Every day in my social media streams I see a handful of 15 reasons to ____ or 7 way to ____ and it is driving me crazy because I'm in marketing, I see what you're doing there, but also because I have been doing this for nine years which means I am an overbearing preachy know it all who had to code her own sidebar content boxes that weren't even called widgets yet uphill both ways in blogspot and do you even know what FTP is? Get off my CSS. 

But thankfully, my dear friend Denise Tanton reminded me - with her signature graceful eloquence - that there are multitudes of opinions about how we write blog posts, which work together to create a vast and diverse blogosphere, and each viewpoint is as valuable and important as the others.  

And she even went so far as to demonstrate her point for me. Read it here.  And that got me thinking about all the great (read: not pseudo-marketing formulaic SEO click bait pointlessly numbered) list-posts I've read over the years, and the few I'd even written myself (there are a few here, here, and here) before I decided no one should write them anymore, and that somehow turned into a group of us co-chairing The Sigmund and Freud Cross-Dressing Six Flags Sexy Sexy Safari Tours, or something like that. 

I'm not entirely sure.

The internet moves fast.

Keeping up is hard. 

Awesomely enough, this random post I was writing so I could keep avoiding the giant herd of elephants in this here room on the internet has somehow brought me around to that giant herd of elephants in this here room of the internet, comprised of everything I haven't found a way to publish yet, for one reason or another.

The human psyche is a dick.

Bygones. I needed a segue into the rest of my life, because really, two months of dodging elephants is exhausting. Also, not as good for the glutes as you'd guess. 

And so partly to let Denise know that I heard her, and hopefully avoid getting thrown into the lesbian tiger pit (though if it's the lesbian cougar pit, SIGN MY SHIT UP) and more-partly because I now have more posts in draft than I do published, I thought I would write a list post of my own, wherein I gloss over a whole lot of pretty important information* that really should go into a series of long, deep, meaningful posts, or, you know, MY BOOK, but you know. 

Things ain't nobody got time for:

  1. That.

HOLY DIGRESSION. I think it's time to just list out everything I'm not writing, and then maybe start publishing all the posts I have in draft line item number by line item number.

Color by numbers blogging. And I bitch about the list-makers. 

So. 

  1. I moved.
  2. To Northern California.
  3. And to Busy Dad.
  4. Over the first week of July, which was in-between BlogHer Food and BlogHer 13. Which is the perfect time to move. 
  5. If you hate yourself.  
  6. But I hate Arizona, and love Busy Dad, more.  So I moved.  
  7. And here is where I have to give my kids' father massive props for letting us go, because really, he totally could have said no and then we would have been stuck in that god-awful place for like ever and really, i would rather not-quite-die but you know what I mean than stay there one more day.  
  8. Of course, he has been nothing short of a  
  9. Chump ass
  10. Crying in his beer
  11. Breast-feeding
  12. Motherfucker
  13. To me ever since we moved, but he let me move. There am I happy. 
  14. And I know he's reading this, which is a lot of why I can't write anything anymore, because try having your ex of 20 years read your diary as you write it, but I found and read some of his journals, too, so quid pro quo, bitches. 
  15. And of course my daughter started having massive panic attacks the day before I left for BlogHer '13. 
  16. And her fish died the morning I left. 
  17. Because GAH. 
  18. But my teenage son stopped talking about killing himself. 
  19. No, I am not telling you which one. That's his business. 
  20. But you should watch this video from VOTY or read the post here on Adrienne Jones' blog No Points for Style, because we have to be talking more about our kids' mental health as a community and I for one have no idea how or where to start, so I am eternally grateful that she started for us.  
  21. Also, I got to spend, like, quality time with
  22. Queen
  23. Motherfucking
  24. Latifah
  25. at VOTY.
  26. There isn't one single picture of us together. 
  27. But man does she say Mistah Laydee just riiiiiight. 
  28. And now BlogHer is over and I am at the doctor kind of a lot with my daughter, who seemed to turn a really large corner a few weeks ago and is even putting herself to sleep at night again. 
  29. Baby steps on the bus.  
  30. And then I learned exactly how fun it feels to have your child tell you he hates you
  31. And mean it
  32. And have reasoning and facts backing up why
  33. And not being able to do a thing about it, because being the sober parent means you get to take the punches and keep wobbling back up and being the consistent, even, rational, not-emotionally-outbursty one and just hope he remembers it on the other side.  
  34. Which I think/hope he will, because holy SHIT do I love him
  35. Even if I never even wrote a post for him on his 15th birthday which was 4 1/2 months ago
  36. Best. Blogger. Ever.  
  37. But I'm getting much better at Facebook
  38. Which really isn't something I ever wanted to brag about, but here I am, checking Facebook alone in the dark and getting busted by my step-son who makes really funny faces at you when you get busted checking Facebook alone in the dark
  39. But not as funny as this face 
  40. Nothing is as funny as that face
  41. Except maybe watching BusyDad load up a grocery belt
  42. But that is a story for another day. 

And hopefully now I can start writing it. 

 

*For me. It's possible that maybe it isn't as important for you. 

Scarring Your Children - the Wax Edition

My mother is Irish and Ukrainian by decent, and has gorgeously deep olive skin, huge hazel eyes, and shockingly jet black hair that doesn't grow back after it falls out, which has most likely rendered her bald in the 21 years since I last saw her.  

My father is Scotch-Irish by decent, and has skin the color of fluorescent lighting, salt-water blue eyes, and red hair (now white with age) that covers his entire body, and I do mean entire, excepting three spots: One club-shaped spot on his lower back, one circular area in the middle of his right forearm, and the entirely of his head. Every other spot on his body is a plush matte of man-fur. I learned to french braid down my father's back, not kidding.  

Ask me how happy I am that I took after my father when it comes to my coloring and body-to-hair ratio. ASK ME.  I'm really not sure what's worse: having to tell me kids I'm going to get my beard waxed off, or having their reply be simply, "oh, okay."

My 13 year old used to be my Official Waxer because he's better at it than anyone I've ever met because (I'm guessing) I went and had that other kid and bumped him out of the baby-spot in the family and ripping hot wax and tiny hairs off my eyelids apparently gives him a nice, sanctioned opportunity to pay me back for ruining his life. 

But then I found a woman who was just as good at shaping my eyebrows but wasn't so hell-bent on making me paypaypay and I started sneaking out to her table in the middle of the afternoon when 2of3 was at a friend's house, or in school, or at his dad's for the weekend. When he found out what was going on, I watched the therapy bills piling up behind his big, doey, puppy dog eyes.

I'm not really sure what's worse: needing therapy because you used to wax your mother's jawline for her, or needing therapy because she found someone else to do it. 

Summer Vacation, Day Six

Maaaa-wwwm, my brother just threatened to kill me with my favorite snaaaa-aack.

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Author's note: Help me?

Wordless Whatever the Hell Day It Is

Offered without comment, mostly because I can't even, but partly because I thought today was Wednesday. That, my friends, is calling winning.

txu_and_gfriend.jpg

My 13 year old. And his *girlfriend*

::hums tunes from Fiddler on the Roof, pretends this isn't happening::

Me More Than You

I started working from home about six years ago, after I moved to Canada and got everything I ever asked for. Everything I ever asked for was, of course, to be able to stay home full time with my kids (and not totally suffer for it - I did in fact stay home full time with my sons and we ate sogoddamnmuch Kraft dinner and it was worth every bite). IN Canada, I actually wasn't allowed to work. Visas are weird. So is being a full time stay at home mom in a new country where you literally don't know a single person except the people directly to either side of your condo and you only really know them because that one night that you left the country in the middle of the night with your kids in tow, they'd offered to hold you while the cops beat your door in with sledgehammers to retrieve your children from their deee-runk! father. 

Can you tell I haven't been writing in a while? All of that should have been seven words. Man, when the levee breaks, I tell you WHAT.

So there I was, after a year of being a single mother with three very small kids and a potentially-ex husband in an entirely different country while living off of my two nights a week at the bar tips and a pathetic amount of assistance from the kids' dad in an 800 sq ft apartment, standing in the middle of the most gorgeous place on Earth in a quaint townhome and nothing at all do to but take care of it, and those kids.

I hated it, of course.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, the right someone was able to find that post, and he offered me a small little side gig that paid out of America, so Canada could shove it in my house-shoes and smoke it, and my days of working from home commenced. 

They quickly expanded beyond the confines of that small little side gig into a real live big girl job with a title and a teency bit of supreme executive power and a'ight stock options and a lunch hour and everything

Before all of that I waited tables. I loved waiting tables. I was really good at waiting tables. I gave waiting tables a lot of shit, but you know what? Waiting tables was something I couldn't do at home, and my kids never once asked me to stop serving that Côtes du Rhône and help them fold a duct tape wallet RIGHT NOW OR EVERYTHING WILL END.

My family has never really figured out what working from home means. They get mad if I won't let them play games or get on the computer after school because GAH, YOU ARE ON THE COMPUTER. The kids' dad used to expect to come home to dinner and a clean house, and I was like ARE YOU GOING TO COOK AND CLEAN? and he was like I AM WORKING and that my friends is THE POINT. I don't leave, so they don't think of it as work. One of the kids once said that their dad deserved to sit on the couch and watch TV instead of helping me with the dishes because he worked all day every day. 

Brains sure are hard to scrub off of popcorn ceilings. 

They think I type all day, and that is not an exaggeration  I took my two sons to Mom 2.013 Summit with me this year because I wanted, no, I needed them to see exactly what it is I do all day. They were like YOU GET FREE STUFF FROM PRETTY GIRLS IN SUPERHERO COSTUMES ALL DAY?

arm & hammer heros.jpg

My plan clearly needs some rethinking.

They did get a bit of a glimpse, or at least some context, into what I do at the computer all day, and I think it may have helped some. Of course, that didn't stop TXU from calling me yesterday to tell me, not ask me, to bring his homework to him that he'd left in his overnight bag from his dad's. This is where you point at the monitor and judge me, because you know that if I bring him the homework, I'm the problem, right? Well, I am, and I did, but only because A) I could and B) he'd worked all weekend on that homework and I have divorce-guilt.

Had he left it on the computer, that may have been another issue entirely. Which is exactly what he did this morning. 

So it's 7:38 am and he is ringing my damn phone of it's non-existent hook, and I just keep ignoring his call because he wants SOMETHING and I am not in any state to deliver ANYTHING except coffee to my face at 7:38 am, and he gets the point eventually and hangs up. And then he calls me from the school. And then he starts texting me.

wfh.jpg

Can you get it to me by 8:03 am?  My boss would be hard-pressed to say that to me.

But the thing is, he worked SO HARD on that music. I should know, I listened to him play and replay and note and re-note and play and play and zomgmakeitstop until he had all the music written out perfectly. He's so squirrel! with everything in his life that when he really focuses, when he sits down and does something all the way start to finish, I just want to hold onto it because I know that he must really truly madly deeply love the hell out of it. I knew what would happen if I said no, I wouldn't bring it - he'd panic, then he'd get angry, then he'd get upset, and then he'd have a shitty day. I don't want to be the cause of his shitty days. I also don't want to have to drag my seven year old daughter out of her morning routine to go rescue her brother who could finish his work (bravo!) but couldn't get it from the desk to his backpack (boo!).  

So I told him no.

And I heard it. I heard him run through panic, then anger, then sadness. And it broke my heart, but I had to do it. At some point, these kids all have to be let to fall on their own, of their own, and they have to figure out how to get back up on their own, by their own. Their mother isn't going to be there with their homework and a cape all of their lives, and if I keep letting them think I will, then I am the problem.

Turns out, he explained what happened to his teacher and she is giving him until tomorrow am to turn in his assignment. I had nothing to do with this conversation. I'd be willing to bet, however, that he learned a way more valuable life-lesson during that negotiation than the reiteration of my unboundaried love for him would have reaped. And it only hurt us both a little.