Like Frankie said…

So, it’s my birthday.  Woohoo… I am forty years old.  I look better than I did when I was thirty, so I can’t really complain, right?  I can feel myself wobbling over this… I could go one of two ways… weeping and gnashing my teeth (the night is still young) or I can be grateful to be in the place where I’m at.  This is the part where you choose whether to be happy, people.  Which way to go??  Waffle, waffle…

For the first time in my life, I rode a bicycle on this, the day of my fortieth birthday.  Apparently, you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks.  My children helped me.  Now this all started with a stubborn old man who decided to buy his midget eight-year-old a ten speed.  This went about as well as could be expected considering I couldn’t reach the pedals on my best day, in my wildest dreams.  After a week of falling every. Single. Time. I said… nope, not today.  After a couple of years, it was just too embarrassing to admit I had never learned and that continued to be true for the next thirty years.  Here’s very poor quality photographic evidence:

At the surprise party that Dozer very nicely put together for me over the weekend, my sister, Mary gave me a very nice bicycle.  This is because she knows what I really want is to have my own motorcycle and it seems a logical first step to understand the basic balancing involved with traveling on two wheels rather than four.  My poor mother lost her shit when she heard this, largely because she was pretty much oblivious to my misspent youth which included a whole lot of riding bitch with some fairly unsavory gentlemen.  I’m using the term loosely.   (My little Tugga just came and gave me bike riding tips.  Aww.) Anyway, she actually pleaded with Dozer not to allow me to do this.  First of all, Dozer does not make decisions for me.  Miss Shannon is at least a thousand times more likely to engage in an activity if she has been denied permission, especially since I’m not asking for it.  The more you disapprove, the more I will enjoy that activity… that’s a mathematical certainty.  I do appreciate the fact that she wants me to outlive her, so here’s my concession:  I will take the motorcycle safety course offered locally in the spring.  I was doing that anyway, because I’m not reckless.  I’m not angry with my mother for thinking my boyfriend has the right to grant or deny permission for anything at all in my life.  She really thinks he ought to have that kind of power, because that’s the way she was raised and how she lived her life.   As I said at the time, when your number is up, it’s up.  Do with that whatever you will, but I intend to live while I’m alive.  Yes, I can hear Bon Jovi, too.

This brings me to the many women’s rights marches taking place across the nation as people lose their ever-loving minds over the inauguration.  I’m trying to put things into perspective.  I’m not overwhelmed with joy either… but stay classy.  That would not include wearing stuffed lady parts on your head nor does it include ripping up a ten-year-old kid on social media.  Which also reminds me of the degenerate who held up a sign outside of that same little boy’s home calling for the rape of his mother.  Personally, I support women’s rights – the right to choose, not just your reproductive rights, but your own destiny.  I include things like the fact that rape is the only crime for which temptation is a viable defense.  I was recently advised that it makes me selfish that this is a priority issue for me.  Change comes about because people come together and fight for it.  That is how we won the right to vote.  I guess I’ll keep being selfish while I think there’s a need.  In the current political climate, there’s a need.

OK…back to my happiness and joy.  Riding a bike was on my bucket list.  I may have turned forty, but I’ve got a whole lot left to do.  I’m working to finally finish that god forsaken degree, which I will have before I’m a year older.  My kids are doing well and I’ve got a grandchild on the way.  I’m going to get that motorcycle and make my poor mother crazy.  I’m also going to lay in a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils so I stop feeling like I got run over by a truck.  Hell, I may even make it a detox bath and throw in some baking soda.  This works, kids, don’t knock it until you try it.  Baking soda is also the best skin exfoliant going, 89 cents.

My final thoughts today are this:  life is a bowl of cherries.  You have to learn to live with the pits.  True story… There are many crass and fairly trashy people who take away from today’s women’s movement.  I think the meme that annoyed me most was the one suggesting that these ladies ought to be focusing on Veterans.  I’m not wearing a burqa, for which I thank a vet.  I want you to be well and I actually do work on the behalf of vets.  My desire for their well-being has nothing, nothing to do with my desire to decide my own fate.  If Miss Shannon had her own way, there would be no homeless, no abused children and no women raped and beaten.  No one would suffer from hunger and the world would be at peace.  In the meantime, we’ll have to fight the good fight.

And I ain’t looked back

I got a new stereo for Christmas from my fabulous younger daughter, Samantha… sometimes known as Aphrodite.  I’m sure the kids are sorry about that and the fact that my son, Hunter taught me how to use the Bluetooth function.  It’s way louder than my phone, which sports You Tube.  Lucky for them, it’s not a Disney night.  Then again, I’ve been having post mortem love affairs with Chris LeDoux and Johnny Cash that I’m not sure they’re overjoyed with.  I tell them it’s culture… and certainly better than the ka-ka rap shit they play for me!  No joke, there was a song about a boy raping his own mother.  This was a lady who had been working double shifts to buy that kid’s cheerios for twenty fucking years.

 

When you’re a single mom, life’s about choices.  You can be on welfare and never, ever have enough.  Or you can work yourself half to death.  I chose the latter… I work at least sixty hours every single week and that’s a good week.  For this, I get a decent house and adequate food for my babies, who are raising themselves.  I hope they do as well at raising themselves as I did.  They’ve got a leg up… there’s always food.  Betcha five dollars they would rather have had milk and cookies at the end of the day.

Most of my tiny humans are grown adults now… I have a married girl, a girl expecting a baby, two boys who are physically larger than me and one who is still little enough to want me to sing the muffin boy song to him.  When they are little… you’re their best friend.  They love you so much they want to watch you pee and then they hit puberty.  Somehow your serious awesomeness turns into embarrassment and requests to drop them off a block away.  All bets are off if it’s raining, because they will fucking melt.

Meanwhile, I’m already not loving 2017.  Dozer and I took the Star Wars loving kids to see Rogue One Monday afternoon and got rear ended at a light.  The important thing was that all the people involved in the accident were OK.  The lady wasn’t paying attention, she freely accepted blame and apologized profusely.  Shit happens.  She was ok, we were ok and everybody had insurance.  This should really be where it ends, but it isn’t.  I now have the dubious pleasure of figuring out where I’d like to take my car, find time to get an estimate and get the darned thing fixed.  Oh joy, oh rapture.

In a few short weeks, I’m turning forty.  Still don’t have my bachelor’s, still not independently wealthy and kind of alone.  See, I’ve let go of a lot of things in my life because I’m not who I was twenty years ago.  Thirty nine was a changing year for me… My circle was already small, now it’s minuscule.  I spend more time with Dozer’s friends than my own… and they are nice people, I quite like almost all of them.  When you’re being assimilated into a Borg, you have to remember it’s not your Borg.  So you shouldn’t get too comfy, they aren’t your people.  This is true for Miss Shannon, as well as anyone else who is developing relationships later in life.  Don’t kid yourself, hold a little bit back and hang onto your basic self.  You’ll thank me later.

Miss Shannon sucks at not getting vested.  I’m working on it.  I have heart… I know how to hurt for you and work towards resolution of your problems…. I might have been born plain white trash… and I was… but all that separates us from the beasts is our ability to feel empathy.  A hundred times, I will tell you that when you are raised by wolves, you either mire on down in the muck or rise above it.  When you don’t know how, I won’t judge you.  That shit is hard… I still have moments, myself.  There is someone just now, who finds me and mine lacking.   It hurts me… particularly because that person isn’t wrong.  So many times, I made life choices because I didn’t know better or I didn’t have a superior idea.  Hind sight is 20/20 and I cannot go back and do it over.  Neither can my siblings, my momma or anyone else affiliated with me.  All you can do is change what’s next.