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Thursday, May 28, 2015

MWDAC MOVED!




Hey! Devoted three readers! 
I moved.
Start visiting me here: 



It's much more visually pleasing there. 
Thanks!




Friday, December 19, 2014

Why Tha Fuck Didn't I Write That?

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I’ve been writing a lot about age lately. Thinking about it. Putting effort into staying healthy and young and vibrant. After all I live in a country in which age is a plague that we try to inject away and fight tooth and nail. Where the mere existence of old people makes younger people uncomfortable and angry, simply because we know it’s our future too. If we’re lucky enough not to get struck down early by a heart attack or cancer or maybe an overdose that happened because we were trying to numb ourselves to the fact that we, too will get OLD.

I just read this essay (that a lovely, intelligent, non-crazy friend/colleague shared on Facebook) on being over 40 that, like this other piece that inspired my previous post, on cutting ties that may or may not be written by Meryl Streep (see below). I was superpissed I didn’t write myself. Sometimes another writer just nails it like you only wish you could.

I fucking love this:
 “I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” – Maybe or maybe not by Meryl Streep
             
It’s about how, once you hit this god-forsaken age, shit really does change. It’s not about bad shit like gray hairs and joint pain, but other, actually relevant shit. About how your mind changes about yourself and about people around you and you don’t have time or make time to put up with bullshit anymore and it’s so goddamn liberating. Of course, as is my point, they say it a lot more eloquently than I do.

Here it is (and no I’m not pissed at all that the bitch writes for the New York Times):


I don’t think it happens to everyone; just the lucky ones. Some are damned to a life of bitterness, insecurity and insanity but for some of us, getting older is actually kinda cool. We actually do take our shitty decisions, bad ideas and dramatic problems and see a flip side. We ditch bad relationships (why do you think there are so many divorces at around 40?). Learn from em. Y’know, we kinda grow up. But not all the way. Just enough to play nice with the parents at PTO meetings and to behave through a school Christmas play in which our child didn’t but should have gotten a speaking role. To sit at parent teacher meetings and pretend to know what the fuck the Benchmark is. To goto fund raisers and not be incredulous that someone bid $10k on a wine dinner for 4, just so their kids get shooed into the private school. To sit with “colleagues” and use words like “productivity.” To use restraint at weddings with an open bar...

Maybe we’ve been trying to pretend this kindof stuff since our 20s but now that we’re older and wiser, people actually buy it.  Sometimes it’s just plain funny that they do. We’re so old now that we can fool just about anyone, so there’s the upside, if you’re into that kinda thing.

But the honest truth is, everyone else is just winging it too.

RR

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thoughts on the Vino

It's no secret that I love the wine and I refuse to even attempt to make it one. I'm the person on whose Facebook page that random people - ones from high school, friends' moms, people I hardly know in the real world - post stuff on my page about booze. Teardrop campers-turned wet bars, bathtub wine glass holders, ironic sippy cups, they post them saying "This made me think of you, XXX-Maiden name Hyphenated Last Name. " Quotes about drinking wine. Links to articles on how drinking makes you live longer... they all make them think of me. Friends text me pictures of their glass, they ask me if it's wine-thirty, they give me wine for gifts (almost exclusively).

And I think it's cool. At least they think of me right? I wouldn't call myself a proponent of alcohol, per se, but I would call myself a .. supporter. A supporter of adults who can handle their shit and balance their lives enough that having a drink whenever the hell they want is something that they or no one else questions. Why do we feel the need to apologize for having a drink before the clock strikes 5, or at 1 PM on a weekday at lunch, for that matter? We apologize to the waitress, we text one of our friends saying, "Is it too early to have a glass?!?" Of course I tell them hellz no it's not too early. I'm glad I can serve some kind of purpose.

But it doesn't work for everyone, the drinking. My schtick is that, well I don't take any anti-depressants, Xanax, or smoke anything somuch, so I figure I get to have my one little vice. (still making excuses though arent I?) But it's not just a vice. Wine is a tasty one. It's one that goes well with and even dictates what I have for dinner at night. But it's also one that I, too battle. I do have to talk to myself some nights and say, do you really need it? It may be about the empty calories, it may be about my budget, or it may be that I think I'm getting into a habit that doesn't really need to be daily. It may be that I'm worried it could affect my health if I don't question it. It's not a really hard battle; if I can get over that 6 PM hump I'm usually good. It's just that I am concerned sometimes that I have to think about it at all, and I know many of my friends, also mothers who work and multi-task all day everyday and just want a goddamn drink, have the same thoughts. We all have our own reasons and we all have to find our own balance. Because if we don't then we may just have to give it up altogether.

For me, I work hard for balance, with work and fun, with exercise and healthy (mostly) eating, and with the wine. Sometimes a nice dark beer. I don't know that this balance is something that can just come totally naturally and without thought. After all, what good things in life really can? We have to be conscious right?

So yeah maybe we do think about it alot, or think about controlling it or losing control of it. That just means we're paying attention.

Cheers, my women.
RhoRho

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I Still Drink and I Still Cuss and All is Right in the World.

I came up with the name momwhodrinksandcusses back in 2008 when I realized I needed a platform on which to BITCH and moan. I wasn't miserable, but I was a stay-home mother of a an adorable 4 year-old and a toddler and although they were and are THE BEST KIDS EVER I'm not gonna lie, it was not easy. I don't mean to get all Gwyneth Paltrow-ish (or opposite thereof)  up in here, but I do believe, when children are under school age, it is easier, yes easier, for a woman to get up, get dressed, drop the kids off at daycare, and go to nice office with all the grownups and drinks coffee and talk around the water cooler all day. Pick the kids up at 5:30. Pick up pre-made food and then it's bedtime. I mean lets face it, maybe it's more emotional stress for those mothers who experience guilt from missing their kids all day, but it's certainly (probably) less physical stress. Someone else is changing all those diapers and getting spit up on and you are in your high heels all smelling good and having your Starbucks and chit-chatting your co-workers.  The stay-home mother is ratty-haired, no-makeupped, spit-up covered, bare-footed, kids screaming like its One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (read that post here).  IF she gets a shower, it is after the spouse returns at dinner  time.

I used to get seriously offended when people accused SAHM's of doing nothing all day. That's such total bullshit. Only, the stuff we did, no one could really see it. It wasn't really tangible. We didn't have time to clean ourselves or houses what with the cooky kids creating tornadoes in their wake. It was pointless to clean. Yet we were busy all. damn. day. I mean, let's be real, which one sounds like more fun? (And by fun I mean, sane.) I'm NOT saying ya'll don't ROCK for bringing home the bacon, I'm just saying I think we all may not admit it, but we'd rather have been in your high heels than barefoot in the kitchen (no pedicure) sometimes...just sometimes.

On one hand I know some of these women hate to leave their kids (and some DON'T!)  but it's a necessity and how it has to be. On the other hand, maybe it can help take the yucky stuff out of parenting and leave a woman more, well, appreciative of being a mother. Maybe? I don't know - maybe I'm pissing a lot of people off here. Wait what's my point?

Let me say this - I am FOREVER grateful that I had the opportunity to stay home with my kids - save a 2 day a week mothers day out here and there. I mean I can see it in them, that they are the awesome people they are because they were given my full on attention all those years (well, pretty much).  And my of course, awesomely perfect role model behavior. ( HA HA HA HA HA.)

I say I had the opportunity but that is not to say I didn't STRUGGLE beyond imagination. We were so broke, living on one income and  maybe a drop or two of freelance work for me here and there.
It was HARD. I would map out my route everyday within a certain radius at home so my 1997 Landcrusier wouldn't be sucked of all its gas. I did not (could not) shop for clothes, I spent under $100 a week on groceries and I wore a velour sweatsuit all day everyday.  I had barely any friends with kids. Life was pretty small and pretty boring but by Gawd, I raised those kids, somehow, to be pretty kickass.

So this blog, it helped me through those years. It was what connected me to women like myself - ones who did not, by any stretch, claim to be perfect. Ones who needed a connection to the outside world and relied on a glass of wine or vodka, or whatever to relax them enough to sleep every night, to wash the day off. To feel "normal" whatever the hell that is. It's raw and gritty and brutally honest. It took me almost 4 decades to be that way. Its kindof nice to know and be known for something you really are instead of a big ass facade. It's kindof nice not to lie. It's kindof like freedom.

My life is really different now (and for 7 hours a day, SO QUIET!). I have a couple gigs (with MUCH FREEDOM) that keep me busy,  but there's still a place for the blogging and I intend to get back on the horse. It may be making fun of people at Starbucks, bitching about assholes, or venting about being a woman who has reached 40 and suddenly discovered hairs growing from the oddest places..... there's just not enough space or attention spans to do this on Facebook right?

Cheers,
Rhorho






Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A (my) Short Story from Grokking the Fullness



All this recent how to have a 1970's summer talk made me realize I haven't shared a short story I just wrote that was published on a compilation called Grokking the Fullness by my brother's company Tiger Eye Publications. I am even on the cover (my brother is obviously biased). But the book is a compilation of some really cool stories by 11 different authors. Go here for a copy.



If a picture's worth a thousand words… and no that's not my beer.

Beware; my story is a bit sentimental, and I can't seem to fix the formatting…here 'tis:


I Thought I Was a Child

When you’re a child, the older people in your life seem worldly and wise. They have it totally pulled together and they know exactly what they’re doing. Don’t they? They are adults, after all.  Your parents, teachers, older brother, they all have the right to act as irrationally as they please - they are adults. You hate them, but you love them just the same. But then you become an adult, unwillingly, inevitably, and your eyes open to a frightening new reality. Nothing is as it seemed in childhood. Holidays suck, your parents’ house is no longer a mansion, and your grandma’s back yard is no longer an enchanted forest. In hindsight, your Aunt Geneva was just plain crazy, not eccentric; your teachers were average, and your big brother wasn’t as brilliant or tough as you thought he was. And all these people that you once held upon a pedestal, now they all make mistakes. And you are disappointed because you’re smart enough to realize it. It really pisses you off. 
They say “The family that drinks together sinks together,” but I’m not so sure about that. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we could never be accused of being mundane, or a failure as a family. I have been fascinated by my family since I was old enough to sing along to the James Taylor songs my brother Rick strummed as everyone sat around, drinks in hand and smiles on their faces…sometimes I can still feel the energy, the presence of all those people, just as they were back then. I love that feeling. It is at the very core of my being, that feeling.
It was 1975, and Rick and Becky’s house was reminiscent of a hippie commune. It was hidden under the trees on a gravel road in a small southern town. Under a big Magnolia tree was a pond with frogs and lily pads. Music poured out from the windows. Inside, there was red shag carpet and a room named “The Doom Room” after a friend whose spooky painted portrait hung on the door. I slept in that room when we spent weekends there, and I was certain it was haunted. In the den next to it, where all the living took place, were a built-in bar, an old piano, and a slot machine - the kind that rang up lemons and oranges and cherries. Downstairs was dungeon-like, with a small bed built into the wall, curtained with hanging beads, where I also liked to sleep when none of their friends had passed out drunk there.
The house was full of music and laughter, and though I was the only child in the family, I felt a part of it, and I gazed admiringly at my family as if they were the coolest and most interesting people in the world. I thought Rick and his wife, Becky were Sonny and Cher, as Jenny harmonized to the cover songs he sang. One of my favorites was Jackson Browne:
Let the music keep their spirits high. Let the buildings keep their children dry. Let creation reveal its secrets, by and by. By and by. ~ from “Before the Deluge” 

It all started to change when they had a baby and moved to Springdale, where our parents and I moved when Dad was relocated as an insurance adjuster. It was time for Rick to surrender his dream of being a musician and join the family business.  He was a father now, after all. Time to face reality.
When everyone met at home on weekends, it was all about playing cards and dominos, music, and drinking. Late in the evening, we sat around on the living room couches and floor, with Steve playing and singing for hours. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were nothing less than perfect. And I was the center of it all. The baby. I could do no wrong. I loved it when all of them were there, sleeping on mattresses and couches. They drank lime-green daiquiris, and made virgin ones for me. They stayed up until early in the morning at the kitchen table, while I lay nearby on the floor, wrapped in my little blue quilt, struggling to not fall asleep for fear that I may miss some fascinating piece of their conversation. Eventually, someone lifted me up and unsteadily carried me off to my Holly Hobbie white canopy bed.
I worshipped them all. I didn’t know all of the heartache, and fighting, and change to come. As time went by, Rick became reluctant to play, but he could be persuaded with persistent begging and a few drinks. Even when the only music played was Kris Kristofferson records, those times were still magical. That world could and never will be replicated, but it’s there, in my mind, in the 1970s.

Soon, more children came, and I was an aunt at eight years old. I was no longer the baby. I resented it deeply at first, and then began to love them, and feel as if I was finally the Big Sister. But each year, the holidays became more and more about gifts, and who couldn’t afford this and who didn’t do that, who had to go to the in-laws, and all of that grown-up married shit. The spirit we once had was fading away. There was anger and hostility.  The end that I now know was fuzzily taking shape.

            Thankfully, I still have my parents and all my siblings, but the family I knew back then, that one is almost gone. On our dad’s 76th  birthday, Rick  played guitar and we all sang like old times, only my kids are the babies now.  I know that in the future, those times will be few, but through divorces and bankruptcies and near-deaths, somehow, we’ve made it this far.  But our family home on Ridgeview Drive, it was our rock, and it seems like we lost more than just a brick house when we lost it.
            Now after wandering around, I live only twenty minutes south from that house on Ridgeview Drive, and my parents moved thirty miles north to a retirement village - a condominium with no yard for horseshoes, no five o’clock happy hours, no nights of dancing to Willie Nelson. Not much life at all. It’s set on a golf course but my dad, he’s never played golf.
            No one is really sure why they did it. The move. At one point, it was that my mother was sick and tired of the happy hours and the drop-ins and the constant flow of drunk people. After 25 years, maybe she just wanted some goddamn peace and quiet. My dad used the excuse of his gimp leg and that he couldn’t take care of the lawn any more, but the funny thing was, he had a riding lawnmower.  I lived out of town when they made the move, and it didn’t really affect me until I settled down and had kids of my own, and realized the value and wonder of my childhood, right there in that subdivision.
            Sometimes, I get the urge to drive over there, and I just circle the block in my car, and see who is still there, and what houses have not been kept up and mostly, how our old house looks. My neighbors Michell and Michael’s dad died last year, and their mom is still there right next door. A couple of other neighbors are still there, too. I can tell because they drive the same cars that they always did or they have the same silly yard ornaments or whatever it was that made the house their own. I look at my best friend Amy’s old house, which is now some sort of retirement home, and I think of the years I spent running down that long hallway inside. I see the yellow fire hydrant on the corner of our old yard, and the spot on the sidewalk where all of the kids made our imprints in the wet concrete, and I cry.
            I heard that a younger boy, now 32, who grew up down the street from us, actually bought our house, after a couple of people before him.  So one day I was nearby, and I went there. I had my two year-old with me, and I walked right up that steep driveway and pulled open the same stained and peeling white wooden door with the same torn screen, and I knocked. I looked up and saw the rigged garage door-opener button my father had made. The fingerprints, our fingerprints,are still beside it. I looked down at the same copper and speckled black doorknob with the push-button lock as it opened. Behind me, the screen door made the same noise it always had. The girl and her husband had bought the house a year or so ago, and not much had changed. Nothing but my mother’s touch. Our house was always furnished beautifully and I loved the many weekends when my mom got the urge to rearrange the furniture and paintings all by herself. Now, there was a poster on the wall and a small square table pushed up against the window where our round table and all of those afternoon Happy Hours had taken place. The wallpaper we left, the carpet and the vertical blinds on the sliding glass door were still there. The same 70s green kitchen appliances, cabinets with copper hardware, and the same tile floor was there. Even out back, my dad had hung white Christmas lights on a trellis covering the patio, and they were still there too. In the bathrooms, the same sink faucets with diamond-shaped knobs that said “Whirlpool” in the middle were there, and the marbled countertop, and the shower rod. In the foyer, the very same faux-brick floor and fogged glass windows on each side of the door, they were there too. And the same copper doorknob that never locked right, along with the deadbolt that my father finally installed sometime in the nineties, were still there.
            From there, I thanked the girl who lived in my house and I exited, crying, looking down at that same crack on the concrete porch, and at what remained of my mother’s planted tulips around the light post. I walked down the front slope and stopped at the end where the two steps were near the street, where I had spent hundreds of hours just sitting, being a child. I looked at the street where I learned to ride my bike and where I burned a Bee Gees record and where I later bent over into cars to talk to boys. I looked at the lady’s house across the street, the one with the one silver spot on her large head of dark afro hair, the one that hated my friends and I as teenagers and who still lived there. I wondered if she was happy now that we were gone. But really, we were still there; we’ll always be there.
            I carried my two-year old down the sidewalk and to the corner where the yellow fire hydrant was. Is. I let him down and took his picture standing next to it, and I can see my beloved red brick house in the background. I’ll cherish that picture. It may be as close as he or my daughter ever gets to a childhood like I was lucky enough to have. My wonderful, angst-less, subdivision 1970s childhood.
My BFF/Sis Amy and I at the good ole lake.
Me. Amy is the shadow.




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Supermoms Make Me Barf. What?


"Mad Housewife"
photo by Noel Mowrey
Let's just face it; I make it no secret that I'm no Supermom; after all, I cuss and I drink. I can barely remember when it's my turn for baseball snacks or when games are or parent-teacher conferences or dance recital protocol and I don't sign up to be homeroom mom any more (class parties are ridiculously lame). The mountains of papers that come home Every Friggin' Day I can hardly sift through. I miss that it's picture day or that there's a school assembly or field trips due to this fact. I don't slack on purpose; I can just barely keep up but I do manage to pull things off usually, last minute. Sometimes I think I disappoint the kids by not going to PTO meetings just because they got a sticker on their shirts about it but y'know what, they'll be okay. My mom never entered that school; she drove the car up and picked me up and she never was homeroom mom and I turned out okay. Kindof.

I try, that's all I can say. And honestly, when I see my fellow mothers flaunting their uber-mom and wifely skills on Facebook or Pinterest - making gourmet morning cupcakes on birthdays and fancy-ass school party snacks and intricate crafts and dressing their kids like they're in a Zulilly ad every day, I barf a little bit in my mouth. Call me jealous, call me what you want. But I do.

So now, it's summer. And guess what? I have no plan. Zilch. The fact is this is going to bite me in the ass because although I do contract work and set my own schedule, I do have to work outside the house. So I'm scrambling to set up pool dates and Grandma days and classes and not have to spend too much money doing it. I'm sitting here looking at this pile of crap on my kitchen counter top and can't even decide what to tackle first, and Beck wants me to come outside to watch him bike in the street, where the college kids haul-ass down the hill. To top all this off we're moving by the end of July and I'm supposed to be packing. So in addition to all this, I feel GUILT for not having a kickass activity to accompany and entertain the kids everyday. Last week, the first week of summer, I wrote off as kid week. We did a museum, fancy lunches, biking, swimming and the library.  I think that was pretty good but now, I've set a precedent and I realize I still have shit to do. A shitton of shit. They complain that they're BORED And I checked myself. I realized I was NEVER ever entertained back in the 70s and I walked my block and looked at rocks and made quick sand and mud pies for the mean girl on the block and played in the turtle pool because hardly anyone had an in-ground and drank from the water hose. I rode my bike repeatedly, no-hands, around and around that circle drive. My friends and I wrote our names in wet concrete. We were normal kids. We barely ever went on a family summer vacation. We invented the Staycation and just did what we did and summers seemed to last forever. It wasn't so bad. It was perfect, actually.

The kids are alright.


So I came across this awesome blog post on Facebook.. and it was perfect. Check it out, and stop feeling bad about not being Summer Supermom and realize that your kids, too will survive. I'll bet you had one of these childhoods too.

Superawesome job,  http://4boysmother.blogspot.com/!

http://www.scarymommy.com/10-ways-to-give-your-kid-a-1970s-kind-of-summer/

Cheers!
Rhorho


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Ten Years in the Blink of an Eye" there's a reason it's a saying.

Although it's been a 10 year gig now, sometimes I wonder if I know shit about parenting but I do know one thing: you can't love them too much. You can't kiss and hug and say I love you and call them beautiful too much. For all the fucked up things you do as a parent, unconditional love, and expressing it, can truly conquer all.

I started out with lofty goals when I had Izzy. I was determined to breastfeed as long as humanly possible and make all of her food in ice cube trays and provide only organic dairy and teach her about T.S. Eliot and the French Impressionists and Spanish and Global Warming by the age of 3. And I certainly gave it my best shot. Adorable accident #2 came along, and like they say, you lighten up a little. This isn't to say that I trust conventional farming much or I don't think it's important for a child to grow up well-rounded, but we do what we can do. I let go of some things but I still sprinkle some flax seed on their packaged oatmeal and buy an organic milk one out of four times and expose them to as much art and music as I possibly can. But I'm not perfect. I don't even wanna be. Because some "perfect" mother is probably someone that I wouldn't like. I see these mothers in Walmart giving their kids the perfectly appropriate reprimanding and being overly polite and I think, it's just for show, I don't even wanna know what ya'll do behind closed doors. But yeah, I do like to think it's better than the other end of the spectrum - those parents that wail on their kids in the middle of a store, those who I've coined the term for "Walmart Mommy." I've come real close to calling SCAN on those assholes who think it's a sport to degrade their kids in public. (read that post here)

Me, I'm somewhere in the middle now. I don't buy all organic. Sometimes I let my kids eat a Happy Meal. On weekends Beckham gets to drink his weight in Sprite. I let them express themselves in their cooky ways without telling them it's "inappropriate" and I probably sometimes appear to have no control over them in the Natural Foods store and people look at me funny. Sometimes I crack and I drop the GD bomb and I use curse words if I see fit in a situation and I tell them, "I'm over 18, when you're 18 you can do it too." We drink when we want without hiding it and we openly discuss that alcohol will come up when they're teens and that adults can drink too much and that's when there's a problem with it. We live beyond our means. We take them to cool places and buy them IPads and let them have dessert every night. Sometimes we bicker about stupid things in front of them. We also make them save money and buy certain things themselves. We've taught them tell them "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all" about other people and we never degrade other people in front of them. I don't think I've ever heard my children put down another human being and they don't see race. We hug them and kiss them even when we've just been furious with them and we tell them how talented and beautiful they are and that they'll probably one day change the world. Because we think they really might.

So - despite any of our shortcomings as parents, they have turned out to be amazing, non-judgmental, compassionate, confident, loving people that are excited about life and people tell us all the time and we're like, "How in the hell did we do this?" These are 2 kids coming from two financially unstable people who weren't married with zero planning. Our adorable little accidents. And here we are, 10 years later, with these remarkable kids; a tight little unit. What do we credit ourselves with for this? Love. That's it and thats all.

In light of all this school shooting bullshit parents start thinking more about their relationships with their kids and how it all goes by so fast. My advice? Kiss them, hug them and tell them you love them 20 times a day and that they are the most beautiful people in the world and that they can accomplish anything they desire and that's all they need to be adults you'll one day admire.

At least, that's my take on it.

Rhorho

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why maybe life does begin at 40...

Ever heard the term "Life Begins at 40," and called Bullshit? I have. In my late 20's - early 30's I heard numerous women, some famous some not, say it, and I thought, shoot me now. They were completely full of shit. Life ENDs at 40, right. I honestly felt that way. It was this gloomy number with this horrid stigma attached to it and I did NOT wanna go there; in fact it was so far away, it would be an eternity before I'd even have to deal with it. And then there it was.

After having my first baby, I lost myself. I went from a wild, spunky, skinny (!) post-grad school + divorced party girl to a frumpy velour sweatsuit-wearing mom who needed to lose 30 pounds. I didn't know it then and only one friend ever suggested it, but I'm pretty sure I had postpartum depression. For about two years. To add to that I had middle-aged female family members on my ass about all sorts of things they should have never had their noses into (AKA: my life!), and I was too weak to fight it, or refuse it. Then I got sick. It was weird. I was trying to work for a magazine again part time and started seeing weird spots in my eyes and was tired as hell all the time. So I stopped the outside work and tried to freelance write for some extra money. I spent most of my days only venturing out occasionally to a nearby coffee shop or taking Izzy to the library because I literally couldn't afford the gas to go anywhere else. I remember two-year-old Izzy wandering around the living room aimlessly while I struggled to stay awake on the couch around 5 PM.  It was pretty miserable.  So I found out I had high pressure in my eyes as if I had glaucoma. I was 32 fucking years old. Really? Even my brother, a doctor, said "You have glaucoma." To hell with that shit! The opthamologist put me on prednisone drops (it was hilarious being 32 at this office - everyone was a 75 year old man besides me) and I personally saw a homeopathic Dr. and got my body straightened out eating vegetarian and taking supplements for my nutrient deficiency. After about 6 months the pressure had finally gone down and stayed there. But still, I had a struggling marriage and only a couple friends to talk to; only one of which had a child. I didn't have much of a "lifeline." But no matter what, I've always had to have a creative outlet. During this time, at one point I had decided I was a painter and I could not paint worth a shit. I would demand my time to paint from my husband as if it were going to be the next big Mommy masterpiece. I would work on my memoirs I started back at 30. I had to let out my creativity somehow. That was typically during the day.  And when I wasn't on a cleanse, I drank wine at night and watched Sex and the City re-runs. That was my life.

Then I started blogging. I found other SAHMs (let's call it Stuck at Home Moms!) out there who liked to drink like me and who didn't portray themselves as some SuperWoman crunchy Teva sandal mom and who admittedly struggled, especially as stay-home mothers. They weren't perfect disciplinarians or perfect baby food-makers or perfect wives. I was glad to know I wasn't alone and decided to name my blog momwhodrinksandcusses and that in itself was liberating. I began to spend my nights after the kids' bedtime in my bed, on computer, glass of wine in hand. Husband in the other room watching Orange County Choppers. I got kindof absorbed in the whole blogging thing but then I remember wishing I was more "popular." Good god! Does high school mentality ever end???  I did connect with some like-minded mothers out there, some I maintain contact with now through Facebook, and had hopes for my "mommy blog" to go big. Then Facebook came along and my blogging started to dwindle.  I was short on material but sometimes I sat at Starbucks and got inspired by things like bitchy baristas and Jesus freaks. Starbucks is really an interesting people-watching joint.

Facebook stifled my creativity for a while but it did help me connect to people more. And after having my second baby, I finally started getting out and connecting with more women like myself, in the flesh. Most I met through the pre-school both my kids went to part-time. The time during which I would hit a coffee shop and pretend I was working but really I didn't work much, I was just planting some seeds maybe for something really cool to happen in the future… I would also hit the gym and pick them up and that was my day. Then I started getting out of the house on a regular basis, religiously almost...

A few moms and I started to make it a once a week mandatory date that we had "Happy Hour." This "Hour" sometimes went until midnight, but we were women unleashed from our cages and we were just finding ourselves again. That's when  I started writing a screenplay - about a bunch of women on the verge of a mid-life crisis. That's finished now and has even been looked at by some Hollywood peeps. So far to no avail…. ANYway, having this time, this "GirlTime" no matter how many marital problems it may have caused and even possibly divorces, was imperative for us. We had lost ourselves in a sea of nursing bras and diapers and chicken fucking nuggets and unlike previous generations, we were determined and we thought we deserved, to have OURSELVES back. We still performed our duties and maintained our roles but Girls Night, it was sacred. It dwindled down, and the group changed, but for nearly 5 years now, my girlfriends have been my lifeline. Like my friend Susan once said to me, my Rock. They helped me get myself back. No matter crazy and messy and sometimes incorrigible the real me is, they helped me get me back and I'm forever grateful. Thats the whole reason I'm rambling here - to emphasize that we women, we need each other, and sometimes I don't know how I would have gotten through without my Girls. It is important to maintain your own sense of identity in wife and motherhood, and women need to remember that. I'm hoping my doing so will prevent me from becoming an angry, judgy, pent-up 50-ish woman like I see so often, someday. One that resents that she didn't do this or that or that everyone else is doing it. That won't be me.

When Beckham, my youngest went to school I got busy. Like a my friend Barbie once said, "Man, once Becks went too school you were on fire!" And I guess she was kinda right. I started a cookbook project with a good friend and completed it and now we are selling the books and donating some proceeds to hunger charities. I kept steady freelance writing gigs that weren't much money but they kept my creativity flowing and paid for my wine. And then I got a contract job, like I had had before, with a magazine selling advertising. I had hated it before, but this was a food magazine and close to my heart. It was also non-profit. I helped start up the magazine and I'm still there after over a year. I love having an open schedule and working at the coffee shop when I'm not meeting with clients. I love FREEDOM. I don't give a good goddamn who in my family or wherever thinks I don't have a "real job" because to me, this is the only way to live. I love the magazine,  I love the cookbook we created and the feedback we've gotten from people and local press, and I look forward to doing another one.  And all that seemingly pointless blogging? It just might pay off. Years later it turns out to have led me to possibly one of the coolest projects of my life that will remain unrevealed until I have something tangible to share. If I told you, you wouldn't believe it anyway.

But know this -besides my little budding "career," I love the kids' activities like piano and dance and baseball and theater and soccer and all the taxiing it requires... I love that I was there to raise them and help foster their kind, giving and creative souls. I love that my husband comes home happy every day because he is doing what he loves. Not to sound braggadocios because I HATE that shit (I'm soooooo blessed) I can't even keep up with all the good shit I have going on sometimes and wonder how in the hell I went from bedraggled in sweats on the couch at 5 o'clock to where I am now.  Whatever had gotten me down, it's gone now. I KICKED ITS ASS and my girlfriends were there to help and kick their own demons' asses too.

So I'll stop the rambling and get down to where I started. Now, at 40 (ISH) , it's seriously like life's just beginning. Or maybe just my second life. Not that I hadn't lived a shit-ton already before I had kids because man, do I have some stories…  But for those of you who feel like me, I think this is why: we stopped giving a shit what other people think. We stopped letting people tell us what to do. We figured out how to deal with our own emotions (thank you menstrual calendar app) and bodies (slow metabolism kiss my yoga butt), and we actually, FINALLY, LIKE OURSELVES. Guess what that means? More people like us. People actually listen to us. For whatever reason, for some of us, it just takes 4 decades to get there.  So, 40s, BRANG IT ON. I'll meet you equipped with my kickass family, my bitches, my health and my wine. And I will go down fightin'.

Rhorho


Friday, June 25, 2010

I am Sylvia Plath

I'm pretty sure the manager at Chick Fil A thinks I'm a mother on the edge. About to pull a Sylvia Plath, as I have mentioned it enough times that if I did it now, everyone would just think I'm crying wolf.

"What? He walked in and her head was literally in the oven and the kids' bedroom doors were duct-taped shut? So he laughed, decided they must be safely quarantined from harm and decided to jump on his dirtbike and ride it at top speed around the neighborhood, since he never gets to do that without the kids wanting a ride. He came back an hour later and her head was still there. So sad. I heard she was obsessed with Sylvia Plath long before she even had kids; she read The Bell Jar like five times."

As I'm sure you know, I refer to Sylvia Plath in good fun, in jest. My life isn't that bad.

Anyway, the first time this manager identified my Plath-ness, I was taking Becks to lunch there while Izzy was at school. Just the two of us, mommy-toddler date. So cute. Right. It was just one of those days. He was totally defiant, wouldn't eat, only wanted to play on the outside playground and decided, once out there, that he was going to the car for something. We had a few minutes of arguing about it and hand gestures that I'm sure all the people inside could deduce there was an argumentative toddler. "I'm going!" he yelled, and I was all, "yeah sure you are," thinking I would just jump up if he got inside, and went back to my iphone to play my turn on words with friends. Next thing I know he's pulling open the glass door open that weighs a ton, and it's almost slamming back on him when 3 employees run to his rescue, and glare straight at me, Shitty Mom. "This is really heavy and could slam his little fingers!" "Oh I know! I'm sorry I didn't think of that! Sorry." The pleasant-faced blonde manager comes up to me and and pats me on the back in an I Pity You sortof way. "I know it's hard. I had two. But enjoy it, it doesn't last long." Thank you, words of wisdom from wise woman. She kept standing there and talking and I seriously thought she was casing me out to decide whether or not I was a candidate for S.C.A.N. I thank her and we leave. I get to the car and without thinking, back up. Straight into the Dodge Charger that I had watched, earlier, park nearly diagonally in the parking space behind me. But I couldn't go forward because of the line of 20 cars dyin for some Chik fil a. I had already forgotten, that's how brain-dead I am. I bash into the Charger.

EFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!! Let's just bleep what I really said. I picture a horrid dent that Chris is going to demand we get fixed immediately and spend God knows how much because he is so obsessed with aesthetics and I get out, crying. To my surprise, I have no dent and the Charger only has a little scuff, and possibly a cracked side headlight.

I'm frantic about what to do, can't hit and run, so I leave Becks in the carseat, lock the car and run inside, right into Nice Lady manager. She finds the people and brings them out to see the damage. My perfectly good karma helped me out here, because the Government Agent said it was the govt's car anyway, and the other light was already cracked. I was like, "soooo, what should I do?" and wondered if I should offer her cash, which I didn't have...or to write a check? for what? bribery? We stood there long enough and she sensed my poor sweet frantic momness enough to say "Don't worry about it." I wanted to hug her but I didn't. And the Nice Lady manager was visibly relieved for me, thankful I wouldn't go home and wail on my toddler's poor little white booty or even worse, stick my head in the oven.

We see her again at a benefit for a girl from Izzy's school. She sees me with the whole family, and we seem stable and happy enough. Maybe she lost her concern.

Then a few weeks later, yesterday, I take both kids to the crowded Chick Fil A. Becks is sliding off my hip because he refuses to walk, and both of them look like rugrats with their crazy curly red unbrushed hair. She comes up to me just as Becks turns over his napkin with ketchup all over it and spills a drink. "How are you?" she asks in a seriously concerned tone. "Let me get you another one. I'll get them another fruit cup too. Are you not eating mom?" as she looks down at my wasit to see if I'm starving myself. "Anything to drink?" Umm do you have wine at Chick fil A? I mean the woman thinks I'm seriously on the brink I guess. She's so sincerely concerned for me I wonder if I should ask her if she'll take me in a couple days a week so I can have time off or maybe score me a year's worth of free nuggets and chocolate milks..?

~R

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get with the program people!

There are certain people out there, in my life and yours, who are boycotting texting. And I think this is downright ridiculous. In this time of unbelievable technology, who wouldn't want to take advantage of it? And as a mother with 2 kids typically yelling in the background, texting works out for me just fine. I need to tell you something, and I need to tell you now before my fetal-brain-drained mind forgets, and I'm going to text you. DO NOT call me back.  Text me back. Whenever you can is fine. Don't say you don't have time for texting because when you think about it, it takes a lot less time to get across a point and be done with it. Save the long chats for Saturday mornings or something, we all have shit to do. And, it's NOT impersonal, it's just friggin' convenient. SO, if I text you and you make some character judgement on me and out of spite don't reply or just call me back eventually, whatever. I'm NOT giving up my texting.
Wait, footnote: if you are still using a Razr or some other kind of non-texting phone, I get it it. Pushing every button ten times sucks. But get yourself a friggin' Smart phone, you won't be sorry.
Word?
~R