Tuesday, July 20, 2010


You hear stories in the news about unsavory characters knocking on innocent homeowners’ doors with crime on the brain. In my neighborhood, not too long ago there were three teenaged boys who would knock on doors and (1) if someone answered, pretend to be fundraising for a local high school, or (2) if they did not, break in and burglarize the shit out of the house.

Last night, as I was trying to get dinner on the table for the sprouts, our doorbell rang. Walking toward the door, I could see a weaselly, young blond guy standing there with a binder in his hand. The binder had an ADT sticker on it. I faced him through the glass security door, but didn’t unlock it. “Hi,” I said. The blond guy squinted and said, “Hi, I see you have an ADT sign in your yard.” “Yes,” I said. “I’m sure you’re happy with that,” he said, and as I said “Yes,” he suddenly tightened every muscle in his face, like he was trying to explode his skull inside his skin. “WILL YOU PLLLEEEEEEASE LET ME IN TO USE YOUR BATHROOM!!” he spat at me. “No,” I said, scared somewhat shitless. “AARRH…” he replied, and turned away and clomped down the front steps. I watched him as he continued down the sidewalk to my neighbor’s house, clutching and unclutching his fists, red-faced and muttering to himself furiously. I hoped my neighbor was smart enough to keep her door closed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chemically yours.

I’ve been screwing around with the dosage of my happy for a few days, thinking of trying to get off the stuff. The only reason I care to go off it is that I want to know if it’s contributing to the way my body continues to hold onto the last 15 pounds of Haagen-Dazs/baby fat. But after 4 days on a reduced dose, I’ve decided that going chemical-free just isn’t for me, at least not at this point in my miserable existence. In the last 4 days I’ve snapped at my kids, yelled at my kids, gritted my teeth, sobbed, fought viciously with my husband and STILL eaten more than my share of cookies and ice cream. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find any of that desirable or productive - au contraire - and so today it’s back up to full bore happy.

It’s actually pretty amazing to see just how well Lexapro works for me. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I don’t always feel that my mental acuity is quite what it used to be, but the tradeoff is that I am reasonably even-keeled, I rarely get so frustrated with my children that I think I’m doing serious psychological damage, and basically most things just wash over me like water off the proverbial dead Gulf Coast duck’s back (except politics – I can still work myself into a muddy-minded froth over that). I can even be somewhat philosophical about the gut-wrenching toll that having two toddlers can take on a marriage. Even a few days of revisiting the old me was enough to let me know that I don’t want to be that stressed, pointy woman who has an incessant hamster wheel turning in her head anymore. Ever, really. And if that means I will have this doughy midsection forever, so be it.

Hey, I know it’s the cookies and ice cream, OK? And the wine, too. But ain’t no way Mama’s giving up wine with a one year old and a two year old at home, you know?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sorry, my 2 Republican readers.

I feel unsettled and testy today. Listening to NPR this morning didn’t help; a story about conservatives in Kansas had my blood boiling, then left me feeling helpless and at a loss about what to do. Not that I try particularly hard, but I simply can’t identify with conservatives. I hear the shit that comes out of some of their mouths, and I’m baffled. Some congressional candidate was motivating the crowd with the statement that when Obama says “Yes, we can,” “We’ll be there to say ‘No, you won’t.” THIS is ideas? THIS is progress for our country? But progress isn’t what’s wanted by these Americans. It’s the opposite; it’s the “return to the America we know we can be.”

What America is that? I have a vague sense of dread about what it would be. My sense is it’s an America where there are no rules for fat, old white men and plenty of rules for everyone else. Enforced “morality” – mine, not yours. Yeah, the good old days. I suppose the difference from 1955 is that now we have the new “feminist” conservative women, who believe that they won’t be stuck back in the kitchen. And maybe they won’t, unless of course they find themselves pregnant at 17 and severely challenged to fulfill any personal dreams they might have had.

I know I’m rambling, but I just hate the situation so much and don’t know what to do about it. Sure, I vote, but that doesn’t count for much these days when there are more stupid mother fuckers with the right to vote than I can shake a stick at. I’d volunteer for a candidate if I thought there was anything I’d be asked to do besides pass out fliers – not high on my list of fun or useful activities.

One bright spark: when I visited my dad this summer, that old Republican told me he, too, was disgusted by what passes for being a Republican these days. He delivered this golden nugget to me by telling me how unpleasant he finds it to be around his siblings these days, because they are the worst kind of knee-jerk, Fox news-loving drones who do no more than spew the latest anti-Obama crap. “They don’t think,” he said. “Sometimes I actually agree with the Democrats.” This from a man who told me when I was 15 that when I “grew up, [I’d] be a Republican, too.” I’ll cling to that.