Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mom, Spelled Backward, Is Mom

Just a list.


1. On Tuesday, I took my breakfast (yogurt) to work with me. In a Hello Kitty lunch bag. With a green plastic snake spoon. And thought nothing of it.

2. Twice this week, my total meal has been whatever was left over on the kids' plates. At least an hour after they left it there. (A few spoonfuls of congealed oatmeal, and some cold, somewhat stiff, spaghetti).

3. When I undressed tonight to shower, my jeans had the following on them: dried urine (Sutt), vanilla frosting (Belly), mashed potatoes (Belly), snot (Sutt), tears (Belly), and toothpaste (Sutt). Which means they were actually cleaner than the jeans I normally take off at night.

4. Today I couldn't find a pen in my handbag, but I did find the following: granola bars, lollipops, several hair elastics with Belly's hair tangled on them, 3 army men, Obi-wan Kenobi, a My Little Pony plastic comb, a beaded bracelet that said "Momy," a pair of socks (clean) and a Barbie shoe. These were just the things of which I actually took note.

5. Yesterday, I heard the following from my son, and I didn't even bat an eye, but rather just got out the bleach and the Lysol. "Mommy! I went poop! Oh, great. It's the biggest poop I've ever seen. It's gonna be a plunger."

I need to write a blog on how easy Dads have it.

Jesus Loves Emily Post

By now, most of you have probably gotten a reasonable idea of my religious views, as weird and warped as they may be. So you know that I'm high five for God, but that my Christian tendencies pretty much end there, abruptly, and basically smack-dab into a very thick brick wall.

This has created a bit of an etiquette conundrum, which sucks, because I am nothing if not polite. No, seriously. I am. Quit laughing.

You see, apparently, there are a lot of people out there who want to pray for me. Maybe it's because they have heard one of my swearing tirades, or learned of my interest in a lesbian tryst with Salma Hayek. It COULD be my threats to have my Mom put in a "home" against her consent (the cheaper and sketchier the "home," the better) or my refusal to play anything with my children that doesn't involve Mommy having vodka as part of the game. I really don't know, and frankly, the possibilities are so endless that I'd never figure it out anyway, so it's not important. What IS important here is that, being a good, sweet, Southern Girl who was brought up with impeccable manners, I do not know how to respond when someone says, "I'm praying for you." Especially if I don't know why the hell they are praying for me in the first place.

When Dad died and people told me they were praying for me, I was like, "Oh, cool. Thanks." I "got" it, you know? If something bad has happened and someone wants to "hold me up" (to this day, I still haven't figured out why people like to phrase it that way, and the mental image actually causes me undue stress, just so you know) then, AWESOME. More power to you, yo--it's not like I think it's going to hurt anything. I mean, God might not listen to me (otherwise I would have gotten that horse I wanted to badly when I was 11), but for all I know YOU might have a direct line to His Holiness. But when someone just randomly, on a Wednesday when nobody is sick or nothing unusual seems to be going on, says, "I'm praying for you" IT FREAKS ME OUT. Yes, it does.

Which leads me to wonder how in the hell I'm supposed to respond when someone does that, because I just don't feel like "thank you" is appropriate in this case.

From various experiences over the past two years, I have learned a few ways NOT to respond when someone informs you that you are smack at the top of their Party Line With Jesus. For example, when one of the vague Mommy acquaintances I made in Suffolk told me last week that she was praying for me and I replied, "Good luck with that, " she did not take it well. (So much for that relationship, not that I'm losing any sleep over being unfriended by someone who gardens regularly while wearing a sweater vest and pearls.) Likewise, "No thanks, I'm good, " doesn't seem to be appreciated, nor does, "Well, that's great and all, but I'd rather you offered to babysit my kids."

Recently I saw on my Mom's FB page where some dude I don't know asked her how I was and told her he was praying for me. Did I mention THIS FREAKS ME OUT? Granted it actually kind of makes sense that somebody who was a friend of Mom's would say this, as Mom spends an inordinate amount of time praying for my eternal soul (rightfully so, as we are all convinced that not only am I going to Hell, I will likely take over Hell when I get there and rule it with an iron fist). Even so, what does somebody SAY to that? Being the hateful bitch I am, it feels a bit offensive. And as many people can tell you, offending me is a bad idea, as it frequently ends in assault and battery (and I'm scrappy, people).

So next time you're feeling all holy and shit and decide to pray for me, I say go for it. But I'd rather you didn't tell me. And if you do, I apologize in advance for anything unacceptable with which I may reply. It's awkward for me, and during awkward times, I tend to say very random things. On the bright side, that would give you a valid reason to pray for me. Damn straight. Amen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Is In The Air

As people around the United States revel in the loviest, smushiest, snuggliest holiday of the year, I, Haleystarr, can't help but make fun of them. Yeah, I like Valentine's Day itself just fine-- I like red and pink stuff, flowers, hearts and crossbows. (Sutt refuses to draw any heart without an arrow through it and a crossbow drawn nearby. I like to think it's because even at his tender age he realizes that love is synonymous with pain, and love-gone-wrong often results in brandishing various weaponry, particularly in the South.) I do not sit around and wonder if B is going to present to me some splendid, romantic gesture, nor do I moon around all googly-eyed waiting for the florist to arrive on my doorstep or a velvet jewelry box to turn up on my pillow. The chicks who do that shit--those bitches are crazy. I mostly just hang out and use the day as an excuse to drink pink martinis (along with every other day in February), red wine (same), and watch the kids get all excited over the bag of those tacky, perforated, character-themed valentines that they all pass out at school which they then hide in their rooms and hoard for months until one day when I sneak in and throw them away while they are at school as THEY ARE A FIRE HAZARD, PEOPLE. Plus, they often come with stickers, and we all know how I feel about stickers. Ugh.

Anyway, since I am not a Cuddly Girl, I decided to share with you some of my fondest Valentine's Day Memories, via a list. A list of Valentine's Awesomeness, if you will, entitled:


1. Bitter Is The New Bard~ A few years back, during grad school, I had the day off from student teaching on V-day, so I went into my BFF Ray's school to watch her wrangle her 10th graders into English Literature submission. Ray is the kind of teacher who always had control of the classroom, always kept everyone on task, and radiated both confidence and enthusiasm as she taught. That day's lesson, however, wasn't quite going as planned. The 10th graders were super psyched about Valentine's Day and couldn't focus worth a damn, too busy chatting about who was dating whom and who had gotten cards/gifts/flowers from whom. Ray, on the other hand, WAS NOT FEELING THE LOVE. She had recently dated a string of duds, and her love life seemed to be going nowhere fast. Which means when one little sophomore girl raised her hand, gave a deep sigh, and said, "Why do we HAVE to learn today? Why can't we just make valentines?" Ray nearly LOST HER DAMN MIND. Turning, in a mad fury, she said the now-famous, BEST VALENTINE'S DAY LINE EVER (which I also got to include in my toast as the Matron of Honor at her wedding): "NO, you can't JUST MAKE VALENTINES! You don't NEED LOVE, YOU NEED LITERATURE!."

Best. Line. Ever.

2. Eat Your Feelings~ One Valentine's Day, I settled into work without really giving much consideration to the fact that it was a holiday (pseudo, perhaps, but a holiday nonetheless) and started plowing through the pile of work on my desk, oblivious to everything around me. A co-worker wandered in shortly after, dropped her things beside her desk and collapsed into her chair. Without saying a word, or even starting with her work, she proceeded to take from her bag and eat not one, but TWO boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, cookie by cookie, one after the other, with no breaks between cookies.

As she finished, she looked up and saw me watching her, speechless, as I had never seen a being inhale Do-si-dos in such an efficient manner (it was impressive, really). Brushing off her hands, she swallowed her last bite, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Valentine's Day fucking sucks."

I didn't ask.

3. (Do Not) Love The One You're With~One year during high school, I didn't have a date for the Valentine's Dance, didn't care, and had no intention of trolling for some pimply teenaged boy, rife with hormones, that would be willing to take me to a stupid dance where nobody actually danced and everybody left early to go hook up in their cars before rushing home to meet their midnight curfews. A few days before the dance, a relatively good guy friend of mine found out that I wasn't planning on going and asked me if I'd like to go with him "JUST AS FRIENDS" as he claimed there was no one he was interested in asking for a real date. I had less than zero interest in him, had known him a long time, and was 100% certain he had less than zero interest in me as well. However, I WAS somewhat interested in another guy who I had found out was going with a group of his friends, so I agreed to go, bought a dress, and double-checked-- JUST AS FRIENDS, right? RIGHT.

That Friday at school, the day before the dance, I heard my name called to the gym to pick up a Valentine delivery. This was unexpected. My parents are not the type who send flowers and balloons. I had no boyfriend. Perhaps a stalker? Oooh, that would be fun. But when I got to the gym, they were from my "friend"-- an enormous bouquet of two dozen perfect red roses, arranged in a vase, and looking like an ad from a magazine. Hmmm. After school I caught up with him, thanked him for the beautiful flowers, and asked, "What the hell?" He said he just wanted to send me flowers to wish me a happy Valentine's Day, thank me for being his date for the dance, no big deal.

Suspicious, but okay.

That night, he picked me up for the dance, and immediately took me back to his house to spend time with his parents. Who photographed us unmercifully. And repeatedly. Very repeatedly. Kind of creepy. We went to dinner, went to the dance, and all was going okay. He was a gentleman, but he acted normal. Just my guy friend, who always opened doors and minded his manners. All was well. Until near the end of the dance when, right in the middle of one of Foreigner's Greatest Hits, he tangled a hand into my well-sprayed, hot rolled Southern curls and mouth-raped me with his lizard tongue. YES, THAT'S RIGHT. MOUTH-RAPED ME WITH HIS LIZARD TONGUE. It was cold, it was flickery. IT. WAS. AWFUL. So what did I do? I bit him. Hard. Much bleeding ensued.

It was instinctual. Oops.

I'm not sure we ever spoke again after that night. And he possibly had to have his tongue reattached, or at the very least stitched.

So much for being friends.

4. Pussy Whipped~ In college, I did something I never thought I would do. I owned a cat. Mr. Pig was a stray kitten that my aunt found and whom I adopted because he was little, he was cute, and he was the meanest fucking cat on the face of the earth, which was the selling point for me. People used to be scared to stay at my apartment at night because he would lie in wait in the dark, then when you got up to pee he would run across the room, a rabid gray blur, and sink his teeth and claws into your ankles before dashing away. All in less than 2.4 seconds, start to finish, you would be left bleeding and enraged. Mr. Pig was BADASS.

Mr. Pig hated my boyfriend. Later, when he became my husband, Pig would hate him with even more vehemence, but at that time, Pig vaguely tolerated Boyfriend with an onslaught of death stares and claw slashes. I belonged to Pig, not Boyfriend, and everybody should know it.

For Valentine's Day that year, I had made a chocolate cake for Boyfriend-- his favorite--with chocolate icing and "Happy Valentine's Day" in my best script of red frosting and sprinkles. I fixed up the dining room table to look festive-- red tablecloth, pretty dishes, and the cake, which I set right next to the dozen red roses Boyfriend had sent me for the occasion. Boyfriend was working that night, but he was coming over after work, where I planned for him to find me pretty, surprise him with cake, and spend a romantic evening. Once everything was as I wanted it, I hurried into the bathroom to shower and do my makeup, get dressed, and generally make myself as hot as possible (which, honestly, is pretty much my standard anyway).

Thirty or so minutes later, I heard the door open and I came through to greet Boyfriend. Giving him a lingering hug, I thanked him for the flowers, then grabbed his hand and led him into the kitchen to give him his cake. He had a huge sweet tooth and I had seen him eat nearly a whole cake at one sitting, so I knew he would be pleased. wasn't meant to be (the Valentine's Extravaganza, nor the marriage).

The cake was smashed. It looked like Pig had jumped into the middle of it, rolled around, then eaten as much as he could stuff into his little kitty face. The pile of chocolate goo had gray cat hairs in it, and teethmarks around the edges. The roses had been attacked, nearly every petal was off every stem, some with bite marks in them as well, next to the knocked-over vase, water still dripping off the table into a huge puddle on the floor. The "icing on the cake" (pardon the pun) was the chocolate footprints all over the table, the counters, and the kitchen floor. Apparently, after he mauled the cake and shredded the flowers, he also did a victory dance all over the damn kitchen.

Pig was sitting on the linoleum, grooming himself. I swear I saw him smile.

Pig, one. Boyfriend, zero.

Little romance took place on that evening.

So there you go, four (I HATE EVEN NUMBERS, but I'm getting a headache) little glimpses of Valentine's Days past. Just one more taste of my crazy, messed-up, sweet life.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Too Sweet

Today, I had my ass kicked by my diabetes.

Being a girl who does not like to admit defeat, this is hard for me to say. However, I am also a girl who doesn't like to lie. And if I made myself out to be the Champion In The Glucose War today, I would be lying. Big time.

When I woke up this morning, I knew my blood sugar was low. Not unusual. I often wake up hovering around the low mark, this is what my doctor wants. Apparently, even "normal" people (like I'd ever be one of THOSE anyway) wake up with low-ish blood sugars. Fine. Whatever. I get up. I eat a banana. Life goes on. Today, the 55 (normal being 70-120) didn't take well to just the banana and had to be followed by orange juice, likely because I was running around like a crazy person, making oatmeal (Sutt), waffles (Belly), coffee (me and B), croissants (whoever), feeding the dogs (self explanatory) and wondering if I would get showered in time to get to the hair stylist because DEAR GOD I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR TWO MONTHS TO GET MY HAIR CUT AND IT FINALLY, FINALLY WAS THE DAY THAT MY STYLIST HAD AN APPOINTMENT AVAILABLE SINCE SHE IS NOW ONLY WORKING ON SATURDAYS-- AND WHY? WHY! WOULD SHE DARE TO CUT BACK HER HOURS IN ORDER TO GO TO NURSING SCHOOL BECAUSE DOESN'T SHE UNDERSTAND THAT MY HAIR IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SICK PEOPLE OF THE WORLD? SWEET JESUS. SWEET JESUS!

When I arrived at the hair stylist, my blood sugar was 70. Okay. Fine. Whatever. I had lollipops in my handbag, as well as a granola bar, and God only knows what else as, being a Mommy, I have random snacks on me at all times because IT NEVER FAILS that as soon as I need to run to the grocery store a kid will inform me that he or she is STARVING HALF TO DEATH AND NEEDS A SNACK, CODE RED, CODE RED, STAT STAT. I ended up eating nothing, though, getting my hair trimmed and shaped, then dashing off to Target (with my pretty hair) to grab a couple of things. Just as I was walking through Target, post-checkout, my blood sugar bottomed THE FUCK OUT. We're talking, my tongue went numb, my vision went blurry, and those little connectors that make your brain able to make sense of out things? Well, those little connectors SHORTED THE FUCK OUT. They sizzled and died. I probably had smoke coming out of my ears.

Which means I got to go BACK through the check-out line.

A granola bar and part of a Sprite later, I was able to drive, but had the headache from hell. This sometimes happens when I get a low blood sugar that either drops perilously low or stays low for an extended period of time. Before I even made it out of the parking lot, I had to dig through my handbag for Excedrin, which I eventually found and potentially overdosed on because 1). I wasn't thinking straight and 2). I have no qualms nor fear of overdosing on any medication at any given time and have been told on at least fifteen different occasions by fifteen different people that I am going to pull a Marilyn Monroe or Heath Ledger and be found dead by my housekeeper (if I only had a housekeeper), most likely in the nude (or, in my case, really cute underwear), dead and overdosed on whatever random pills I happened to mix and take thirty-two of consecutively within a two-minute time frame.

But back to the Excedrin. I took.....well, I don't know. Several. And an Advil or two. And some white pill that, looking back, may have been a stray melatonin, which would explain my extreme desire to curl up in a ball this afternoon and sleep (despite the Excedrin jitters) despite my normal aversion to napping. Bottom line is, my headache went away. For a little while, anyway.

By the time I got home and checked my blood sugar, it was 238. Damnit. I took some insulin.

Since I felt like I was going to vomit (pill mixture? high blood sugar? Sprite? Could have been any of the above.), I made a cup of herbal tea (unsweetened) and went into the bedroom to curl up in my Thinking Chair and Think. I did. An hour later and many deep thoughts later, I was down to 130. High five. I made another cup of tea and went to read my library book. An hour later (and nothing else-- no food, no drink, no anything) I was 268. And ready to vomit again. I took some more insulin. I returned to the Thinking Chair and my book. An hour later, I was 71.

Now it's two hours later. I ate dinner (soup-- I make excellent soup). I still feel awful. I have no idea why my blood sugar has bounced around like it has today, but know that I exacerbate the damage by worrying about the effect it has on my body whenever this happens. I know it's bad for my organs, particularly my heart and kidneys. I don't particularly care if this just causes me to keel over dead one day (as long as I am wearing the aforementioned cute underwear when this happens, as no one wants to be found dead in something unattractive) as being dead doesn't concern me much, but I don't want to have to deal with being alive and having only partially functioning, weak, pathetic semi-useful organs (barring my liver-- that bitch is already a goner) because, well, that just seems like it would suck. It's one thing if I screw myself over by eating a big piece of cake when my blood sugar is already 200. But when I'm behaving and TRYING REALLY HARD it gets frustrating when I'm chasing it all day. When I have no control. I hate loss of control.

Here's hoping that tomorrow is a better (blood sugar) day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Martini Vaccine

Within the past two weeks, every single woman I see regularly has had the flu. As a matter of fact, I shared a bedroom with two of their germ-laden selves for three whole nights. They caught it from each other, and passed it along. They sneezed and coughed, chilled and ached. I ate and drank after them (particularly, from a large bottle of champagne down on the beach). Their kids also ended up with the flu. Some of them had it twice. But me? Did I get so much as a sniffle?

Hell, no.

I'm convinced it's because vodka kills flu germs. (Side note: judging from the text I just got from one of them, who happens to be at the doctor as we speak, it also kills strep germs, as that was just diagnosed as the illness of the moment. Awesome.) Between my wine consumption and my martini consumption, I have become the Bionic Woman. Either that or I'm just too damn Badass to get sick, which is also a possibility. Who knows.

One of the things I do on a semi-occasionally-regular basis is see my Witchdoctor, Frank. Frank is my go-to guy when my headaches won't go away, I'm overstressed, or just need a good dose of crazy and my Mom doesn't have imminent plans to visit. Frank is a homeopathic-blues-guitar-playing-vegan-chiropractor whom I'm pretty sure I could take down in a fight (if he wasn't such a pacifist) and whom likes to tell me that I'll never get cancer if I just eat cauliflower. (Additional side note: I do not eat white vegetables. Therefore, I'm taking my chances with the cancer rather than the cauliflower. I mean, seriously. It's WHITE. Vegetables shouldn't be WHITE. It goes against the natural order of the world.) Anyway, on Wednesday afternoon I ventured across town to see Frank and see if he could fix my screwed up, still damaged ribs.

As usual, Frank was chatty. Very, very chatty. This would be fine if I didn't have both kids in tow, was trying to get to gymnastics class on time, and was starving due to my complete failure to eat anything more filling than a warm string-cheese I found in my handbag that morning on my way to work. One of the topics about which Frank wanted to chat was my health. How was it? Had I been sick? I explained to him that nope, I was healthy as could be, despite every one around me having been stricken with a strain of the flu that apparently likened to the bubonic plague. Frank nodded knowingly and informed me that this was due to my diabetes. My diabetes kept me well. I should be grateful for my diabetes.

What the fuck?

According to Frank, illness does not come from cold weather or flu season or anything else. Illness comes from people's bodies being compromised from the intake of sugar and alcohol. Sugar and alcohol alone weaken the immune system. Therefore, because I don't eat sugar and don't drink alcohol, I don't get sick.

Yeah, you read that right.

I nearly had an aneurysm at this nonsense. I said, "Frank. Please. I eat sugar ALL THE TIME. As we speak, I have an entire bag of Lindt's truffles in my car, and two more at home. I just bought the ingredients to bake a pie, and I ate four cookies for lunch yesterday. I consume Redi-Whip for breakfast on a regular basis, straight from the can. I EAT SUGAR. This is why my diabetic self has a damn insulin pump. SO I CAN EAT WHATEVER THE FUCK (for the most part) THAT I WANT. And alcohol? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? For PETE'S SAKE, the whole damn reason I was so gung ho on Suffolk reestablishing their curbside recycling program was because I got so fucking tired of having to haul off enough wine, beer, and liquor bottles to fill a damn truck EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I don't care about the environment. I don't plan to live long enough for our murdering of the planet to impact me (obviously-- hence the chocolate and the drinking). I just don't have a trash can big enough to hold both the trash AND all the bottles. Clearly your theory is WRONG. I'm just BIONIC."

And I am. I mean, think about it. We all know something about me isn't quite right. We all know that my awesomeness surpasses any possible boundaries of even an excessively superior human. If anything, the sugar and alcohol make me MORE FUCKING AWESOME (anyone who has spent drunken time with me--especially if I'm wearing a Catholic schoolgirl skirt and a push up bra--will tell you that.) It goes hand-in-hand with the whole idea of "that which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." I've been diabetic for 23 years and the sugar and alcohol haven't killed me yet, but rather made me stronger (bionic). Clearly.

Jesus. People are ridiculous.