Archive for February, 2007

(During construction, pieces were cut and pasted back in and repositioned and misplaced and subsequently lost forever in the bottomless garbage bin under the delete key; so you’re right in thinking it reminds you of Frankenstein’s Monster. I got so bored of this torso with only some of its appendages just lurking around in my “unpublished” list so here it is green, lumbering, and half-formed.)
There’s some ancient bit of insight that says, “No one escapes childhood unscathed.” I don’t know who said it, but there is truth in it. That’s not to say it’s entirely true; there are those rare people who have charmed youths and who enter adulthood under a veil of naiveté and optimism. But that’s not most of us; so there is some truth to it, or at least to the idea of it.
The thing is, most people had a personal hell to endure through childhood, and most people turn out ok as adults. I mean, yes, we carry our baggage, but we’re not usually severely demented or damaged. But there are some people who even after years of being removed from it, bearing children, experiencing religious conversions, and all sorts of things that ought to change a person or heal them or at least dull the point of the childhood pain who cling to that gaping wound in innocence.
They are perpetual victims and try to claim martyrdom to their unique flavor of personality disorders and father issues. And everydbody around them has to step lightly because, “She has abandonment issues,” and “As a child, he had a bad relationship with his father,” and “She had so many problems growing up that now she projects all her baggage onto other people so they look like the basket cases instead of herself.” To which all I want to reply with is, “Oh well.” And I’m not being mean or coarse or unsypathetic. I have my own history to contend with, but I think it’s about time we stop making the bad circumstances of our lives rule who we choose to be.
The biggest problem here is not that we recognize our psychological problems (and those of others) or even why we have them, but that we make someone else accountable for how we behave as a result of them. And then we make them pay. We probably don’t have access to the originator of our problem so we slowly and daily act out our vengence on the people around us. It’s sublte yet pungent. I bet we don’t even know we do it.
I guess what irritates me about our society’s reliance on the excuse of childhood trauma is our inability to implement and fully sucumb to whatever particular coping method we’ve chosen to help chase away the nightmare of our youths.

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Not a Soccer Mom

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not and never going to be “that” mom. You know her. The one who brings the perfect snacks every time, the one with the bulging goody bag, the one with saintly patience to ooh and aah over every picture in every book. I’m not the mom that will remember to make St. Patrick’s Day treat bags for preschool, gymnastics, dance, and church friends.
I’m not the mom who can remember which of my kids’ friends goes with which parent and what are all their names and ages. I’ll never manage to exit the house on time for any event or activity unless I steam roll the kids and leave them sniffling in the dust. I will never be the one awake, showered, and dressed before the children rise from their angelic slumber. I will rarely do better than cold cereal and grunted goodmornings for their breakfasts. I will never fully appreciate minivans or playdates (except at other people’s houses).
I never have my make-up on until I’m sitting in the car parked outside church preschool bank grocery store. And then I forget that I’m not a Cyclops and only line one eye. I tend to ignore that my preschoolers have homework in which I am expected to invest hours of time and glue and magazine clippings. My clothes don’t come close to stylish; I’m lucky if they fit. Bleary-eyed I grab something from the closet and suck myself into it while I pack on the off-spring and slog through the grey slush to an ice-impacted car. My kids’ teachers must think I weekend at the circus. I know better; I know I live there. (And the littlest clown, the canon shooter guy, I think he keeps swiping the kids’ pizza money on Fridays, because Lord knows I can’t find it when we get there.)
World’s Greatest Mom can be an elusive animal, but she’s out there. You just have to know where to look. She’s the shoulder-length brunette with killer highlights in the chic cashmere behind every pee-wee football concession stand across the country. She presides at gymnastics and dance classes handing out treats and play-things for all the peripheral kiddies whose moms will never be so prepared. We second class moms have no problem relieving her of the free goodies (in fact, we count on them) – anything to pacify the crowd during interminable somersaults and shuffle ball changes.
Let me assure you, this Mom is not a Mary Poppins knock-off. She’s the real deal. I know two of her. If you’re in the right place, you can spot her through a dense fog in a crowded room with low light a full mile away. Her beaming smile precedes her even further than her sugar-coated tongue and cheery voice.
I know I sound snarky, but really I’m awed. She inspires me to wake up earlier, plan ahead, and defy the world to cross me. She deserves medals and applause and fruit baskets from all of us amateurs. I will likely never reach her status. I’m content to ride the waves of her preparation and covet the crumbs of her theme-iced cupcakes.
There is A Mom who can do all the right things and make it look natural and painless, but I am not her. And I am ok with that.

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No Pain, No Gain

The other day as I stood in line at the grocery store, I scanned the cover headlines of all the magazines. I was struck by all the titles pushing speed and ease in every day life – “30-second Hairstyles,” “Dinner in No Time,” “Eight Easy Steps to Lose Weight,” “15 seconds to Glowing Skin,” “Quick Confidence Builder,” “Fast Family Dinners,” “Put Your Career on the Fast Track.”
Have we lost the value of a Long Hard day at Work? Whatever happened to the accomplished feeling of putting effort and time and care into a job and then standing back and admiring? I don’t understand why we are so enamored with how fast we can do our hair and eat our dinners. Why are we running so fast through life? We’re going to miss the satisfaction of a job well-done. And who said a job should be easy in the first place? What makes it worth doing if it’s so easy and fast? What’s the point of it if it’s not grounded in investment?
Why are we running in the first place? Where are we going and what are we leaving behind in all these 15- and 30-second blinks of life?
I feel like starting my own magazine and emblazoning the cover with glossy headlines like, “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait,” “STOP: And Smell the Roses,” “No Pain, No Gain,” “Quit Whining and Do Your Job, You Big Pansy-Ass.”

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American Idol rocks my world. It reminds me of why I should have persued a music career.

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More Fibs

Here are some more Fibs. I did another Beer Baby one because, well, I just thought it was funny. So here it is:
Beer Baby Again
baby grabs
baby swipes a swig
drunk baby thanks to lazy mom
This is one that I entered into the flashquake contest.
you’re outside
of their wedded bliss
face it, you’re the other woman

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