A Liberal’s Lament

When I was growing up, Republicans were the “bad guys.”  My family was staunch Democrats and if you weren’t, you sure shut up about it at family parties.  We had no drunk uncle.  I never felt I personally knew any Republicans.  I naively thought everyone agreed that you should take care of the less fortunate, support your schools and libraries, and be accepting of those that were different than you.  They were the Richard Dreyfuss’s in An American President, they were the corrupt congressman paid off by special interests to get rich, they were the Darth Vaders of the world.  It was very black and white until I hit college and had that one college professor I respected but could not believe the conservativism coming out of his mouth.

It was then I began to realize that everyday, hard working people could be the big, bad Republicans.  Democrats were not always right and Republicans were not always wrong. Everyone had a different story, different perspective, different upbringing upon which they formed their opinions.  Some of my closest friends are and will always be Republicans.  Some are fiscally conservative, some are socially conservative, all have opinions I value and respect, based in some form of ideology that just doesn’t quite align with mine.  We’ve always agreed to disagree on the big stuff and keep our friendships close because we shared the same values: family, friends, kindness and acceptance.

I am, to say the least, shell shocked.  I have been up since 3 a.m. processing the stages of grief.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  I am wavering between the last two currently, occasionally  jumping back to one and two.  The 6th stage doesn’t seem to be listed, which is a constant state of nausea, which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

I’ve known political loss.  My first presidential election was in 2000, which was eerily replayed last night (as HRC is believed at this point to have won the popular vote, just as Gore did in 2000).   I lost again in 2004 – bigly. We lost the house and senate in 95 – no I couldn’t vote yet, but yes, I was already a policy junkie, so I noticed.

I have never ever felt the despair I felt last night as I forced myself to turn off the TV and silence my phone. In 2000,  George W Bush in every Democrats mind “stole” the election via the Supreme Court, but we sucked it up and conceded. I remember my 21 year old brain thinking, “Ah well, you win some you lose some.” I never felt genuine fear for the future or hostility towards me for my viewpoints.  We still had a sane, reasonable person in the White House – I just didn’t happen to agree with 99% of his policies.

I still lived in America, where I was free to voice my opinion as loudly as I wanted.

I remember rolling my eyes at my conservative co-workers who lamented after Obama’s election and re-election that they would be out of a job in a month and the economy would collapse.  I remember thinking, how stupid and naïve, he’s one guy for God’s sake.  If Bush didn’t blow up the world, Obama won’t either.

Now the shoe is on the other foot.  I am the one terrified about tomorrow.  I am worried about my job and my husband’s job.  Because say what you want about W, he was never the arrogant, misogynic, racist demagogue that Trump has painted himself to be in this election.  Sometimes I’ve wondered if he himself was trying to outrageous himself out of being elected.  No one could possibly still be this hateful in the 21st century right?

My hope and prayer is it was all an act, a show.  He is an expert at playing the media and the crowds and this expertise turned our election into a reality show, which America promptly ate up.  He played all of us.  The comedians got their easy late night material.  The 24 hour news cycle got their hourly shocking headlines.  Displaced, abused and unheard white Americans heard exactly what they wanted to hear and he tapped into their most basic instincts and fears and played them.

My hope is that Trump is sitting in his hotel room right now thinking, “Holy shit. What have I done?” and is beginning to realize what an awesome responsibility has just been placed on his shoulders.  People of all walks of life, races, creeds, religions, and genders expect to be heard and represented.  You got what you wanted Republicans – control of it all.  Now show us how great you’re going to make America again.  I for one thought it was pretty great to begin with.

You have my attention, now perform. Prove this liberal wrong.  Please.

 

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Missing You

Hi all.

Boy it’s been a month.  Wait, the table is sticky… Ok, that’s better.  I have been busy!  This introvert took up coaching 1st grade boys baseball!  Yes, it’s as idiotic as it sounds!  Can’t wait to tell you all about it.  I have one week left and then we can put a lid on that one.

Next, my husband and children got stalked and almost killed by a swan.  This story will tell what lengths one man will go to protect his progeny from one very pissed, very white swan.

Another one, I found some pics of my family that I want to throw out into the interverse.  I will probably be disowned.  Two notes about this post:  1.  Someone was ALWAYS pouting.  Why was this white, middle class family always pissed about something?  And 2. God we were tan.  Sunscreen was not our friend in the 1990s.

And for my last journey, I started a new diet.  My new expensive diet.  The one that has made me feel pretty awesome these last few months, but has only yielded a scale weight loss of 7 freakin pounds.  In the words of Cathy…ARRRGGHHH!

Oh, one more.  You may have seen the posts on my company’s 25th anniversary party.  This was just last week and there’s always stories when Drunk Jenny makes an appearance.  At a work function nonetheless.

Until then, I miss you.  I will be back, but I have some boys to whip into shape for 2-3 more games and a girl to get to one last dance performance before I can truly kick this summer off right.

See you soon.  You bring the wine.  I’ll bring the turkey burgers.  No cheese.  Whole grain bun only please.

Love,

Jen

Thankful

I need to do a quick thankful post before I put on my fat pants and head out to ransack my families’ (count 2) kitchens. Grandma’s stuffing has been made in bulk, and hopefully I did her justice. It’s a gamble every year, and since Grandma was from the Greatest Generation, there is no set measurements or ingredients, so each year I have to wing it, which if you’ve ever seen me cook (which is kind of like sighting Chupacabra), I need very FIRM instructions. Most of you have requested sarcasm, which is coming, but I thought I’d start off with some schmoop, so I don’t seem totally heartless and unthankful. Bear with me.

1. I am thankful for my husband. He’s like a fine wine, each year he becomes more and more tasty (and a little bit more red). We have been together so long and we get each other so well, he can tell me when my period is going to start before I can (this is mostly for self-preservation purposes).

Us.  Feel the love. and double chins

Us. Feel the love. and double chins

2. I am thankful for my children. They have become my co-conspirators, my partners in crime if you will, of life. They are each developing their own brand of sarcastic dry humor and on a daily basis crack me up. Plus, they are the best unconditional lovers I’ve ever experienced.  I am truly cherishing the fact they are still happy to see me at the end of the day and very little of what I say has yet to be met with an eye roll.

OK – Now for the sarcasm. Put on the sarcasm font, because that’s all this is.

1. I am thankful for this guy. God I love living in a mostly red state. Please note, I HATED Dubya with every fiber of my being for 8 looooong years, but why on God’s green earth would I put his mug on the back of my car? Yeah, cause that sounds smart, put the person you dislike the most on the back of your car to devalue it completely. I wonder if he has his truck nuts in the glovebox, you know, to tone down the douchiness.

We should be friends.

We should be friends.

(Side note:  Oh MY FREAKING GOD, Word Press just totally deleted everything I just typed below this line! Ga!  You cannot recreate this genius prose people.  Oh well, I will try.  So much for quick.)

2.  I am thankful that no one saw me sneak through the Chik Fil A drive thru last week.  In my defense, I needed to grab a quick bite on the way back to work after an appointment, and it was the only drive thru on the way.   I glared and judged everyone in the parking lot around me like they were Sarah Palin herself giving me a thumbs up.   It doesn’t help matters that I could not in reality “sneak” through this drive thru because I have equality stickers on the back of my van, which are a dead giveaway this restaurant and I don’t share the same ideals.   Damn those people and their delicious chicken.  I still have waffle fry evidence on the floor of my car.  I still love you my gays, and don’t worry, I didn’t share any of our “agenda” with anyone. World domination is still ours!!!

3. I am thankful for yoga pants today.  So much give, so much extra room.  And no, my yoga pants are not Lululemon because 1) they are too expensive, and 2) they aren’t designed for us fatties.

4. I am thankful I have given up organized religion.  Sleeping in on a Sunday never felt so sinful.  I love me some Jesus, but just not quite at 9 a.m. on the weekends.  Unless He loves me in a big fluffy robe playing Candy Crush.  (OK, let’s see if this happens again.  I typed this last time, saved it, and it all disappeared….Jesus??  I’m sorry man, I’m just kiddin around. If you don’t have a sense of humor I’m doomed.)

JesusThumbsUp

5. I am thankful for the Winx Club that my daughter has recently discovered on Netflix.  Should I hate this show? I mean, I do because she is obsessed and I hear the theme song in my every waking thought, but is it bad for raising my strong, independent girl?    Should I, as an adult, know what the hell is going on?  All I know is they have anatomically impossible waistlines and, much like Little Mermaid did for me, are giving my daughter an unrealistic idea of what real hair can actually do.

Aisha

Ok – have to go do family time.  Hope you and yours have a wonderful day!  Thanks for reading me.  I hope I brighten your days in some way.

Catching Up

Shenanigans

Shenanigans

I have gotten too out of the habit of posting.  I miss me, don’t you?  I need to be funny again.  Quit being so pissy.  So let’s give it a whirl.

“Mom, I like Dad better because he is super awesome and I love him.”

Eye roll.  “Thanks G.  I like him too.”

“And he’s funnier than you too.”

“Shut the front door girlfriend.  He may be cooler and funner (shut it spell check, it’s a word) and smarter, but there is no freakin way he’s funnier.”

“Yep, he is.  I love him.”

The best dad ever.  He gives me unicorns for my birthday!

The best dad ever. He gives me unicorns for my birthday!

This from the girl who at dinner prayers this evening, she thanked God for giving her unicorns for her birthday.  This is because Mark and I are having a crisis of organized religion at the moment and figure we should at least introduce our kids to the God we want them to know.  So let’s start by thanking Him for our food.  This went fairly well until Bear blurts out, “Thank you for our food…and our pee pees.”   But I guess what guy doesn’t thank God for his pee pee?  He’s starting early.

Ah, privates.  My kids are obsessed with them.  I am not sure why.  Their age?  Is that all they talk about in summer camp?  I don’t know, I feel like I should worry, but it’s hard not to get the giggles when your son is taking your homegrown yellow squash and holding it up to his pants and waving it around like it’s some sad tired version of Florida.

I try to keep the potty words to a minimum.  I do, I swear.  But if I leave them to their own devices for more than 30 seconds, the conversation always turns to pee and poop and then loud guffawing.  That’s right, my kids guffaw.   It’s the best sound in the world.  I think maybe this family does a bit too much guffawing.

School starts next week.  Ya HOO!  I say this because Bear just spent the summer with a bunch of young students serving as his day camp counselors.  Please don’t get me wrong, it’s been great, but when you have an ADHD kid, whom you’ve spent the past four years diagnosing, treating, therapying, studying, and lastly medicating, the last thing you want to hear at the end of the day is this question, “He’s kind of hyper, have you had him tested for ADHD?  I just took a class on it and he has all the classic signs.”  This from a 20 year old early education student, eyes gleaming with excitement that she has a real live crazy kid.  All ready to diagnose and treat.  Well have at it sister.  For the fourth time, yes, he’s medicated, no it’s not fool proof, and no the pill is not magic.  He’s going to have rough days.  Mondays after vacation for one.  When his schedule has been put in the blender and put on pulverize.  I don’t excuse his behavior, I just don’t know what to do with it in summer daycare.  We will tinker with the medicine again, just like we did last time.  Frankly, this isn’t the best setting for him either and I can’t fix that at the moment either.  Putting a 6 year old in an open room with a ton of other kids ranging from 1st to 6th graders, you’re going to get some hyperactivity.  Too much stimulation, not enough focusing.  It’s rough.  Combine that with a bunch of kids (them damn whipper snappers!) fresh out of college who 1) think I might be pregnant and aren’t afraid to ask, 2) only have textbook skills and not enough real life kid skills to handle my kid, and you have a big ole mess for a kid with sensory and ADHD issues.

Not sure what my alternatives are, but I’ll think of something.  He could always come to work with me, it’s nice and quiet there, but I don’t think the boss would go for it, and I think he’d be mighty disappointed to find out his mother got a college education to type other people’s 2-sentence thoughts for a living.

I don’t know, I have 9 months to figure it out.

And we can’t forget his sister, my adorable G, who merely tolerates me while her dad is away.  My baby, who’s getting her tonsils out on Wednesday and is none too happy about it.  This I don’t want to think about too hard because while it’s a routine procedure and I know more kids who’ve had it done than not, it’s still making me nauseous on a fairly constant basis because this one is MY baby.  So, I have the house stocked with ice cream, popsicles, pudding and jello in hopes it will all go smoothly, which means my diet* is taking a headfirst dive into the crapper this week.  Plus, I found some Thin Mints in my co-worker’s office fridge this week.  Stress eating?  Don’t mind if I do.

Alright, that’s about it for this round.  What have we learned?

Look how freakin happy we are.

Look how freakin happy we are. Thank God Dad’s arm is so long or else we’d have to talk to a stranger.

 

G likes Dad better.

We are finding God.  One who likes gay people and isn’t so judgy and wholesome.

My kids two favorites things right now are penises and unicorns.

School is starting! Yay! because Day Camp + Pandemonium + Young Students who think I’m pregnant = One long fat summer.

Tonsils come out Wednesday.  Pray those are where the whiny tones are stored.

Good night y’all.  See, I can say this because my husband’s in Texas.

Lastly, one fun thing I learned this week:  Buck Knuckle.  This is a dude’s version of camel toe.  Cracks me up.  Thanks Anchorman 2.  I can’t wait.    And I wonder why my kids are so weird.

*Diet:  A term I like to throw out there every now and again to make people think I am actually trying to get thinner.

My Grown Up Birthday Wish(es)

Hug-me,-I-m-34-today!

I turn 34 today.  La de frickin da.  Not a really momentus age.  I’m not really a birthday person.  Some people treat it like the whole earth should shut down on this the day of their birth.  I guess I got over it pretty quick because as a kid being a summer birthday means no one at school ever really cared because you didn’t bring cupcakes, didn’t get balloons, and got lumped together with the 5 other kids on the last day of school for an unexcited rendition of happy birthday.

Summer birthdays do however, get to throw kick ass parties.  We get to go swimming, throw water balloons, drink frosty drinks, eat ice cream and not get the shivers, and have our parties outside.  Plus, no matter where you fall in the summer, you essentially get presents every six months – once in the winter and once in the summer!  So overall, not such a bad gig.

I thought I would share with you a few things I’d like for my birthday this year.  Feel free to help out if you can.

I would like my daughter to not have to go potty at every single public place to which we travel.

I would like to not have to wear Spanx today.

I would like to be able to eat an entire cookie cake and lose weight.

I would like to spend the day with my kids in the pool without having to reapply sunscreen constantly.

I would like my husband to be able to find work within a 20 mile radius of our house.   With awesome pay and benefits.  That brings him home at 4:30 promptly each day with no weekend work.  And to which he likes going.

I would like airline pilots to tell you the exact reason and specific timeframe for their delay.  Not everyone, just me.  It’ll be our secret.  (This is more for my husband.)

I would like my kids to wake each morning cheerful, motivated and on task to be ready at 7:15 a.m.  (Monday thru Friday).

I would like same kids to sleep each Saturday and Sunday until at least 9:00 a.m.  Then wake cheerfully….

I would like to not have the pimply skin of a 13 year old and the paunch of a middle age beer sluggin man.   But, I still want to eat brownies whenever I feel like it.

I want water to taste like the most fantastic drink on earth (IDK, margies, wine, pop, anything but nothing).

I want healthy food to actually fill me up (I’m talking to you fruits and vegetables).

I want people to stop dying of cancer (woah, that got heavy).

I would like to love exercising and not get assaulted by disgusting birds whilst trying to do it.  (See my FB Confessions of an Introvert page.  Then like the page.  Come on, I need you to like me!!!)

I would like unlimited funds in my Amazon and iTunes accounts to support my porn and music habit.

And the usual, personal chef, trainer, maid, nanny, and so on.  Oh yeah, and world peace, end to hunger, cure for AIDS and cancer.  All that’d be great.

Can we all get on that purty please???

Birds vs. Monkeys!!

So last night we had a knockdown, drag out fight at the house.  Over what?  Tinkerbell sheets.

My son had a rare accident the night before so I had stripped his bed that morning, and when I went in at 7:30 to change his sheets I realized the only sheets I had available were his sister’s very awesome purple Tinkerbell sheets, since his sister had no problem using his second set of sheets on her bed (complete with race cars).

It pretty much melted down into this conversation.

Why are you putting THOSE sheets on my bed? 

 Because Bear, they’re all I have left that’s clean that will fit on your bed.

Begin face melting, pouting bottom life, and real tears forming.

BUT NOOO!!  I hate those sheets! 

 Why? What’s wrong with these?  I know technically they are your sister’s, but can’t you live with them for a few days?  What’s the harm?

I HATE THEM!  (tears streaming, feet stomping)

 They are the SAME EXACT SHEETS as the ones I usually put on except they’re purple and have fairies on them.  You love the Tinkerbell movies, what’s the big deal?

They’re girl sheets!!!! 

 Pfft.  There’s no such thing you know that.

YES THEY ARE!  

 Why, do you start to feel like a girl when you sleep on them?

No…

Do you think your penis will fall off if you sleep on them?

No…

Then what’s the big deal?  They are actually a bit softer than the ones you usually have.

NO!!!! 

He then proceeds to grab them from me while I am pulling the fitted sheet on the bed and tries to run with it.

FINE!  SLEEP WITH NO SHEETS, I DON’T CARE!  I WAS JUST TRYING TO MAKE YOU COMFORTABLE.

I’ll sleep on the couch!!! 

No, you won’t because your dad’s getting up early and I don’t want him to wake you up at the butt crack of dawn too.

This debate went on for several minutes.  Bear is getting more and more hysterical by the minute.

Seriously kid, I don’t know what the big deal is.  There is no such thing as boy and girl stuff.

So, we compromised.  I took our queen size red sheet and put it over his mattress, tucked it in, and gave him a down comforter that we use as a living room blanket to sleep with (which is purple by the way).  I topped it off with the manliness pillowcases I could find, which (thanks to Grandma Mary) were handmade brown flannels with power tools on them.

Good Lord.

What the heck did I do wrong?  I have been a fairly strict gender neutral mother since before I had kids and I took Women’s Studies 101 my senior year of college.  There I read Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and a slew of other awesome women who informed me of the way we separate our children from birth to act like “girls” or “boys” is horrible.

You will never hear me say, “That’s a girl toy,” or to G “You’re so pretty.”  OK, OK, maybe I do say this a lot, but come on…she is and, in fairness, I say this to Bear too all the time.  I just try hard not to define her by her looks and my son by how strong he is.  I try to balance it out, which usually just turns into awkward run on sentences, much like this one.  So, I end up saying to G, “You’re so pretty! Ah….errr….and smart and funny…”

I am so careful not to tell my boy to “toughen up” or that “boys don’t cry” which leads my husband to accuse me of coddling.  Well so be it.  To tell a boy he’s not allowed to have feelings is ridiculous in my eyes.  Now, I try not to encourage crying as a standard reaction (both tend towards the melodramatic when trying to get their way), however, I do allow either of them to cry if they are sad, scared or hurt in some physical way.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

I want my son to experience whatever he finds interesting, whether it be machines, trucks or ballet.  If the boy wants to put on toe shoes and kick it in tights, I would be overcome with joy.   If G takes up an interest in football, I’d be happy too.  OK, not football, that’s super dangerous.  How about karate where she could learn to kick ass and take names with ample amounts of headgear and mouthguards?  That’s better.

But no, I get two kids who are pretty standard boys and girls.  My daughter is the toughest princess you’ll ever find.  She thinks nothing of donning a pair of fairy wings and a Nerf gun and going after the boys.  My son loves Tinkerbell and has a soft spot for Benji movies, but would rather figure out a Star Wars lego set than color pretty pictures.

Nobody mess with the FAIRY!

Nobody mess with the FAIRY!

Only real men can handle a hose.

Only real men can handle a hose.

So, I guess to sum up, I am doing an OK job of it right?  I want to achieve the right balance of making them tough enough kids for this sadistic real world they will one day be entering and making them comfortable with their feelings and interests and to never be limited by their gender.  My girl plays with cars, Nerf guns and trains. My boy plays with Barbies, dress up clothes and My Little Pony.  If you don’t want yours to do that, then I wouldn’t come to my house, because here they get to play with anything they want.  Except football, because that’s just dangerous.

PS – Happy birthday to my husband, who is on Attempt #2 to get back to work tonight.  So far only an hour delay… Wish him luck, and non-trainee pilots pretty please.  I’d like to keep him for a bit longer….