Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

SHHHHHH....it's Saturday.

Except it's really Sunday because Blogger hates me.  Is it still messing with everyone else as much as it is with me?  Anyway, here's my beautiful family planting a Mother's Day gift for me:

The Nugget and The Mister plant a contorted Filbert for Mother's Day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Red Writing Hood: She Was Wrong


This week we asked you to write a post beginning with the words, "This was absolutely the last time" and ending with "She was wrong."

I wrote this post as a response to the above assignment.  I wasn't sure where it would take me, but it turns out it was a deep and painful place.  A place that has since healed, to be sure, but it surprised me.

She Was Wrong 
This was absolutely the last time I could stand to lie in my bed listening to my mother scream from the next room.  Tears rolled silently down the sides of my face as I lay frozen in terror.  Again and again, she called:
“MELONEY!!”  Her voice was hoarse with the screaming.
There was a time when the role of rescuer was reserved for my brother.  He was six years older than me and his room was closer to hers.  I never knew what happened at that end of the house.  I knew, of course, about the screams and curses that flew between my mother and stepfather, but I stayed in my room, as far away from the chaos as possible.  Kevin would go and do whatever it was he did to help resolve the situation.  
Now it was my turn.  Kevin was grown and had left the house and here I was, a fifteen year old girl who didn’t want to have to save her mother from whatever was on the other side of the door.  I was the only one here, and the fear of my mother needing me to save her paralyzed me.
I don’t know how long she called my name.  My memory of that night is sharp and unfocused all at once.  I heard my stepfather through the wall taunting, “She can’t hear you.”  Still, I lay there, unmoving.  Wishing it was just a dream.  How much time passed?  Was it five minutes?  An hour?  
Eventually, something snapped and I ran as fast as I could to their bedroom and shoved open the door.  My heart was beating frantically, not knowing what I would find inside.  But here stood my pajama-clad mother and stepfather near the dresser in their room.  “What?” he asked.  “Nothing’s wrong.”  Looking around, I could see no sign of wrong-doing (it was only years later that I would learn that sometimes he would hold a gun to her head.  He must have hidden it when he heard me coming).  My mother took the opportunity my entrance provided to escape the room.
I turned and went to the kitchen.  Shaking and crying, I poured a cup of water and drank between sobs.  Mom entered the kitchen and, lighting a cigarette, she said, “What’s wrong?”  As though she had no idea that this incident would give me post traumatic stress for years to come.  As if she didn’t think that anything out of the ordinary had even happened.  And, I suppose, in our house, it hadn’t.  I had just never needed to rescue her before.  “Nothing...”I mumbled back, heading back to my room and closing the door.
The next day, I called my father and asked if I could come to live with him.  There were no questions from him other than when could he come to get me.  My mother couldn’t understand why I wanted to leave.  I couldn’t understand how she couldn’t understand.
She had thought that I was hers forever, that if she took the abuse and protected me from him I would stay and, maybe, not be hurt.  She had thought that the yelling and name-calling and cursing would bounce off of my skin like so many rubber bullets, leaving no permanent damage.  She had thought (somehow) that her always-sensitive, ever-fragile daughter could handle it.  She had thought that I would be strong enough to rescue her when she needed it.
She was wrong.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Social Pariah

Welcome to my current neurotic breakdown:

A blogger deleted my comment.  I wish I could say I wasn't obsessing about it, but I am.  It happened like a week and a half ago and it's turned me into a middle school girl all over again.  Why?  Doesn't she like me?  What did I do wrong?  Would it seem overly crazy to email her and ask what happened?  Did it even go through in the first place?  Should I post a similar comment again just to be sure she meant to delete it?  Should I change my hair?  Should I ask my mom to buy me that pair of Z-Cavaricci's in an attempt to better fit in?


It seems at every stage of life, there is some new series of social hoops to navigate.  I usually don't even recognize this fact until I am in the middle of said social hoop.  I have never been adept at such things.  I have always been the chubby kid who is uncertain of her place in the social strata.  I have always been awkward and shy alternating with overly brash and obnoxious (read: trying too hard).

Knowing this about myself, I analyze most interactions-gone-wrong through that lens.  In this case, was I trying to be funny and relatable in the comment but instead came off as an arrogant idiot who was poking fun at the blog?  I hadn't meant to.  I was trying to commiserate with the blogger.  I am not opposed to disagreeing with a blogger, mind you, but in this case I was laughing at the post in question and just wanted to share in the joy of it.

The funny thing is, it is very rare that I would ever check on the status of one of my comments.  Hell, every blogger in the history of blogging may have deleted my comments on their posts and I would never know.  In this case, I thought the original post and several of the comments were very funny so, in an unusual move, I went back to check for more witty comments and saw that my witty comment was gone.

This whole experience is the mental equivalent of me not being able to find a place to sit down with my tray in the middle school cafeteria because I don't have a group of friends to sit with.  Not pleasant.  I thought bloggyland was a place where I was on equal footing with folks; I have always expressed myself better in written form.  There are no subtle social cues (that I am often missing) needed since I can be detached and write just what I think in a clear, concise way.  And the people who have commented on my blog have said that I am funny and pleasant to read.  I thought this was my niche.

So, to the blogger who deleted my post: I'm sorry if I said something wrong.  I am sure you are not reading this because you are big-time and I am small potatoes, but I think it is important to put the energy out there.  And to the other bloggers who delete comments, I say this:  could we reserve this action for those who are openly mean-spirited?  Is it really necessary to delete comments when maybe they just don't please you?  If the commenter leaves her or his info (which I did), you could always address them directly.  I know I am being overly sensitive here, I really do.  I just think the comments are the community of our blogs and we should be careful with how we treat that community.  Let's try and affirm one another, be inclusive and, well, I think John and Yoko said it best:  "All we are saying is give peace a chance."

To summarize:  I am a crazy, neurotic social outcast who will never go back to check on one of my comments again.  But I still love blogging and bloggers and all that stuff, so I'll see you out there!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hairy Stout...and other fun stuff my kid says

Kids.  As I believe the old saying goes, they say the darndest things.  Mine is no exception.  In general, her understanding of and ability to reproduce language is very good.  So good in fact, that it can be disturbingly clear when she has overheard mommy and daddy  someone at daycare saying a bad word.  I found her with my cell phoned the other day looking at the screen saying, "Dammit".  Those other kids are such a bad influence!  She wasn't screaming or acting out, just saying very matter of fact like of course this is what you say when you are on the phone.

She's also taken to mimicking adult conversations when she plays.  She might go into another room and then come back and cross her arms and jabber (she still does this sometimes!  Yea!) and then top all the fast talk off with an, "Any-way, see ya later" and then go back to the other room.  The "anyway" is always all drawn out and, for her, seems to be the hallmark of grown-up conversation.

Her grandparents visited a while back.  At some point she said to her grandmother, "Mimi, you're killing me!"  That's the stuff that really tickles me, when she uses something so complex in such an appropriate manner.  I know she's well over two now, but I think the whole language explosion just happens so fast that it still takes me by surprise when she does these things.

Lately, she's been describing the conditions of things very accurately.  "It's so dark in here!"  or "It's cold out there."  She's just grasping concepts and applying them to her everyday experience with no coaxing at all.

Then, of course, there's hairy stout.  It's kind of like me and bunch of songs I heard in the '80's.  I just made up words when I didn't understand the lyrics.  Who could understand what the hell Tom Petty or Stevie Nicks was saying anyway?  If I wanted to make up the lyrics, as long as the tune was right, nobody noticed.  That's what The Nugget did with hairy stout.

It goes a little something like this:

I'm a little teapot, hairy stout.
Here is my handle, here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, here me shout.
Tip me over and pour me out.

Now, for a kid with the grasp of language I describe above, I don't know how she came up with that.  Probably because she didn't know the word stout.  But hairy?  I'm not sure how she got that from "short and"!  I love it, though.  It reminds me that she can't yet say everything perfect.  So, she's still a little bit of my baby, right?  Don't answer that.  I need to think I'm right on this one.

Anyway...that's enough talking about talking for now!  I'd like to keep this hairy sweet!