How on Earth Did I Get So Jaded….Life’s mysteries seem so faded

My sister and I went shopping the other day for Halloween. Got a little of this and a little of that, a shopping victory for all. She was plugging the very nice gentleman I’ve been texting with because she is very happily married and thinks everyone should be. This is a picture of us when we were little.

siblings

One major difference between me and my sister is our feelings about romance. She’s a go get ‘em kind of girl, thinks that everyone has a soul mate and that happily ever after is your destination if you will just be open to it. She tried to claim that it’s because of her hubby, who is truly fabulous, but it isn’t. She has always had stars in her eyes and a basic ability (and willingness) to suspend disbelief, very necessary in all fictional endeavors. This is a picture of Mary and AJ.

mary and aj

Me…. I don’t totally believe in romantic love. I like chick flicks as much as the next girl, I’ve enjoyed every proposal I’ve ever received and I absolutely adore it when a man holds the door for me. I just don’t believe in destiny. I think there are any number of people on this very large Earth that I could be compatible with. This is the Earth.

earth

Being in a romantic relationship requires compromise. That can be wonderful…. You have experiences you might not otherwise, learn things about yourself, etc. For example, I damn near married a man who was happily decimating my life. At his insistence, I learned to shoot. I really enjoy it. Had I not been willing to give in to his desire to share a part of his life I had little to no interest in, I would never have discovered a hobby I truly enjoy. On the flip side, I spent a lot of hours trapped places I didn’t want to be with people whose company I didn’t enjoy. At the end of the day. The good has to outweigh the bad.
I truly love to see people happily in love. I always hope that they are just as happy in forty years. You have to be self-sacrificing to make that happen. I kind of don’t want to do that. I like myself when I’m single. I lose something inside of a relationship…. I call it me. But the end of the day, I find it easier to walk away than to fight for equality in a relationship.

That same sister likes to tell me that I’m a good catch and sooner or later, someone is going to catch me. I tell her to stop threatening me. I’m a butterfly… and butterflies are free to fly…. Fly away, high away…. (I believe this so strongly that I tattooed it on myself)

butterfly tttoo

So, gentleman callers, word to the wise. Trying to get my sister (who I love, who wants me to hitch myself eternally to the nearest penis because she truly believes it’ll make me happy) to champion your cause is counterproductive. It makes me run like a hellhound is on my heels. This is a hellhound.

hellhound

Credits:
digital-art-gallery.com
www.freeimages.co.uk
Soul Asylum – Runaway Train
Elton John – Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Why do I blog??? Why don’t you?

Recently, someone asked me why I am writing this blog. Apparently, my desire to share my sparkling wit and insane exchanges with the opposite sex are inadequate reasons. So, I decided to tell y’all why would do this.
Writing is cathartic. I have a voice that I commonly choose to silence. Just because no one is listening doesn’t mean I should always keep it to myself. Like the song says, “If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me, Threatening the life it belongs to.”
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I think most artists struggle internally. I am no exception. We turn to art because there is something inside of us that needs to be released. You don’t need to excel at your medium, you only need to love it. I have written whole novels that will never see the light of day, reams of poetry, etc… I will never show them to anyone. This is just a little blog post. I see it. I write it for myself, though I hope the occaisional reader is entertained.

And This is Why I Don’t Date….

It seems like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

In the spirit of change, I am deliberately flirting with men who don’t really do it for me. This is largely due to my animal magnetism…. I only attract animals. If you are likely to hit me, call me mean names and generally treat me like shit, ooohh…..come sit next to me, big boy. I like my men like my coffee…. Light, strong and not sweet at all. What can I say? Knowing is half the battle.

Being an enlightened woman, I thought I’d pick men I would not normally go for. In theory, this is a good plan because I am not a good picker. I find alcoholics, men who would as soon punch me as look at me and guys who think monogamy is conceptual. Therefore, if I do not feel a burning urge to jump in the sack with a guy, it’s a good reason to go out with him.

But you take yourself with you. Whatever it is that is broken in me calls out to what is broken in men. For illustration, I give you Seven Hand Stan…. A gentleman who seemed decent. He paid, and you know Miss Shannon likes that. On date number three, he took me to a popular pool hall. As in, I am likely to see folks I know. Once inside the pool hall, the guy turned into an octopus. I was dancing around the table, trying to keep his hand out of my tush. In the parking lot, he was trying to have foreplay. Seriously?? No, just no.

And then we have the guy who keeps talking about potty training and masturbation. That’s just weird. Not in relationship to one another, but seriously? I am exhausted. I have absolutely zero desire to deal with this. Just…ewww. Seriously, eww.

Then we have Mr. I Will Give You Instructions Because I Know How You Should Conduct Your Life. I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of these fellows over the years. This guy is so sure that he knows just what you ought to be doing, as well as when and how. Bonus points when he lives with his mother, which he almost always does.

I find these guy in innocuous places…. Nope, never in a bar. It’s not like I’m saying ooh, pick me. If you’ve seen the winners I’ve kept around for more than ten minutes, you have to ask yourself what makes me throw ‘em back. It is not pretty, people. Rule 36B in Shannon’s Handbook for Success, it clearly states that your significant other should think you are the most fabulous creature they have ever come across. Warts and all. I think I’ll hold out for that hero, after all. Or at least a man I possession of a spine of his very own.

Janie’s Got A Gun

rifle

We become different people as we age. Once upon a time, I was fairly opposed to fire arms, abortion, divorce and decaffeinated coffee. Then, you know, I experienced a little life and realized I could fill countless libraries with topics there are no right answers to. Here goes, poi by point, easy stuff first:

Decaffeinated coffee is still stupid. It doesn’t taste right, it doesn’t wake you up and is pretty much pointless. It’s right up there with nonalcoholic beer.

Divorce is a good thing for many, many people. This might not be true if humanity didn’t persist in tying the knot when we are too young to really know ourselves, let alone our lifelong intentions. Long story short, Life is too short to be miserable. Get out of bad relationships whenever possible.

Abortion is not exactly the plan for anyone. “A woman does not want an abortion like she wants an ice cream cone, a new dress, or a Porsche; she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg to escape.” (Frederica Mathewes-Green) I truly believe that only the owner of the vagina gets to decide. Guys in suits should never, ever get a vote.

Firearms. Guns. Yup, Miss Shannon bought herself a very pretty gun. (Her whole world’s come undone) I will use it for target practice and just maybe to grocery shop. I’ll get back to you.
So… I did not like guns until I was steamrolled into firing one. It’s exhilarating. Give it a shot sometime. Pun intended. I’m not going to go on a shooting spree and I’m not hunting exes, though I think that would be entertaining. I’m responsible enough to keep it locked safely away from little hands. I have the added bonus that I know I can defend myself.

Taboo!!

Suicide Awareness Walk Information

Mental illness. Shhh. Don’t talk about it. Recently, I’ve been gearing up for a Suicide Awareness walk that I’ll be participating in on October 18 at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds. One of the ways that I gain participants in events is to post and post and post because it raises awareness, attracts interest, etc. I like to grab images off the net to share because people like shiny objects.

One of the most descriptive explanations of depression I have ever seen can be found at http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com This girl gets it. Depression sucks. The whole world skews. Right down to your taste buds, nothing is what it was. If you have never experienced depression – not, “oh I’m a little bummed out because my team didn’t make the play offs” depressed, but “I really don’t care if I live or die and not even chocolate tastes good” depressed – then this might shed a little light on the experience. So, I shared her picture talking about suicide.

The reactions astound me. I get Wow. Which is supposed to convey to me that I am being inappropriate. Because, you know, it’s bad manners to talk about mental illness. Which is why people hide their symptoms, fail to seek help and ultimately commit suicide. Because that is better manners. Send me to Etiquette Hell (A most excellent blog) but I think I’ll take being considered rude over giving one second of credence to the idea that we must treat mental illness as a taboo.

Depression is certainly not the only reason people commit suicide. The reasons are as varied as the people who ultimately sacrifice their lives, not as a permanent solution to a temporary problem (which it is) but as an out in the absence of hope that the situation will ever improve. I simply believe that if those suffering were not ashamed and didn’t fear being stigmatized because they are struggling that more people would seek help. Fewer lives would be lost.

Next time you feel a little uncomfortable because a topic is emotional, I want you to stop. Just for a second. Ask yourself if you have any idea what is really happening in the minds of those around you. Nope, you aren’t a mind reader, so you don’t. Maybe, this is an opportunity to say something kind. And just maybe it’ll make a damned bit of difference. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death. Stop spreading shame. They have enough of that.

Suicide Awareness Walk Information

Should I Stay or Should I go?

Women debate things to death. We pick at it, pull on it and shred it to bits before we come close to making a decision…. And that’s if we make one at all. Now, I’m a woman that leaves relationships. It doesn’t scare me to be single… it’s actually pretty pleasant. Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about when it’s time to cut and run. Since a couple of my lady friends are questioning when to say when, I’m sharing my experiences.

First and not so obvious, believe it or not, if he hits you, pushes you, pulls your hair (in not mutually pleasant way, of course) pinches you, bites you or makes you feel as if he might, run for your life. Doesn’t matter if he was stressed, drunk or high, sick or if his dog just died. It will happen again, it will get worse, he will always be sorry. It’s a pattern that worsens with time. No guy clocks a girl on the first date.

If he steals from you. Money, meds, your self-respect, your joy. If he won’t pay bills. If he calls you names, if he is so selfish you aren’t positive he knows you’re there, if your friends are concerned. If there is ever a naked woman on your floor.

If you would rather have a fork in your eye than continue to deal with his nonsense, it’s time to go.

There are many ways to go.   You can put him out, you can move yourself, and in one memorable instance, I actually dropped the guy off at the mall and went home and packed.

If you are lying next to this man and thinking up ways that you could kill him, it’s time, sweetheart. If you are asking yourself if it’s time to cut your losses, then it’s time. If you have reached the place where you are asking friends or sharing your concerns on social media….. Stop beating a dead dog.

Some people are like fluorescent overhead lights…. They just suck the life right out of you. Stand up and teach your children with your actions what is and is not acceptable. Demand personal happiness. Get a hobby, for the love of Christ. Just don’t flush your life down the toilet for a terrible relationship. Now get out the back, Jack….and get yourself free!

The Queen Mother hexes my dishwasher

So for some inexplicable reason, the Queen Mother was haunting my sleep last night.  I have every faith that she has finally learned how to astral project so as to torment me.  That is why I am a little crabby tonight, because she kept waking me up out of a sound sleep to lecture me about things like the proper way to match socks and raise children.  The first I really couldn’t care less about and as for the second…. I really believe that if you screw up your children, there isn’t a whole lot else that matters.  I prefer to take advice from folks that I think have successfully raised children, however.  Keeping them alive into adulthood does not qualify you as a successful parent.  Raising gainfully employed, independent adults who do not require a wide variety of substances in order to get through the day comes pretty close.  I am also fairly certain that during her visit, she put a hex on my dishwasher.  Because I don’t have a cow, of course.

YouTube teaches everything and it helped me fix the dishwasher.  The most common problem when the dishwasher won’t drain is that the drain hose and/or pipe under the sink is clogged.  You have to get your hands dirty, girls.  Pull that bad boy out and take off the hose.  Bring a towel.  Unscrew the drain pipe and find whatever goodies your kids have left in there and remove them.  Remember, plumbing does NOT follow the righty tighty, lefty loosy rule.  To my knowledge, this is the only time this will ever be true in your life.

My dishwasher drains again.  I am extremely hopeful that I do not have any nightmares this evening.  Trust me, a nocturnal visit from the Queen Mother is a nightmare the size of a third world nation.  I would rather see the Goblin King or the boogey man.

 

Mr. Tenacious

Tenacious is the word of the day.  It’s both good and bad…. I am tenacious.  Like a dog with a bone, I will worry something to death until I have satisfactorily resolved it.  Or until the bottom falls out, whatever comes first.  I’m not picky.

Tenacious is bad when you are dating.  That guy studies you.  He knows all the right moves and just what to say.  He has an ulterior motive… your job is to sort out what that is.  In my most recent experience, the goal was to separate me from my money.

(Please know that I have approximately three nickels to rub together.  I cook from scratch because it’s cheaper.  I’m good at it, but it’s still cheaper.  See me next week for gluten free chicken cordon bleu.  I can make a penny whimper.  This is partly because I like to do things….like go on little day trips with my kids and buy them shoes.  I have style, however.  My thrift store finds are legendary.  Shhhh!  Face reality.  A single mother with a boatload of kids doesn’t have a lot of money. Duh.)

So, Mr. Tenacious has a line of bull shit straight out of Shangri-La.  He loves kids, he works hard, he can fix your pesky cabinet, he is Calgon and he is gonna take you away!  Add to that the fact that he wants to move fast…. This is to suck you in before your brain catches up with your libido.  He’s probably easy on the eyes and charming as can be.

We know better, girls.  We know that nothing and no one is ever as great as they make themselves out to be.  Sadly, we’re looking for the fairy tale and this grifter knows that.  The “con” in con man stands for confidence.  His job is to persuade you that the sky is purple instead of blue.  A batterer does this by smacking you in the head until you agree that the sky is purple.  This guy uses his charisma to influence your world view…. The goal is to take from you whatever he’s looking for.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have fallen for Mr. Tenacious, fear not.  You are a strong, capable woman who can rise above the filth and find the light again.

The monster in your bed

As ever, I can always be fired up about domestic violence.  Today’s episode was as follows:

Guy beats girlfriend.  And can you even believe this???  That bitch hit him back.   And she blacked pwecious’s wittle eye.  Alert the media.  So his female relative approached her and advised that she would gut her like a fish if she saw another black eye on pwecious.  Because, you know, a good woman stands there and takes it while her man kicks her ass.

Oh, my sunshine.  Let me talk to you a wee bit about being a woman.  First of all, the average woman stands with other women when it comes to wife beaters.  It is really not acceptable behavior.  Hands are for hugging, not for hitting.   I bet you don’t know that if a girl is scared to leave the bathroom in a bar because her old man is on a tear, you have a moral obligation to assist her in her plight.

Men ruled the earth for thousands of years due solely to a slightly larger skeletal frame.  Most guys have it all over us when it comes to sheer brute force.  If he wants to kick your ass, he’s probably going to succeed.  So…. We level the playing field with our smarticles.  We rely on other women to back us up.

Now I have seen some crazy shit in my life time.  I have seen the 110 lb woman with the skull fracture get the cuffs put on her when her hubby, who went 280, had a scratch.  I have seen women lose their children because their batterer will not stay away.  But it’s not usual to see a woman threaten another woman for fighting back.

When October comes, I’ll be sporting my pink and purple hair for DV and breast cancer.  I have sheltered many a woman from her batterer…. And I will do it again.    For the rest of my life, I will have a compression fracture in my spine because a man decided I needed a beating.  A woman I love is developing dementia because she had so many head injuries.  At the end of the day, women have each other and not a hell of a lot else.

The monster in your bed is powerful. He steals your soul in ways that you don’t fully appreciate at the time.  Maybe you need his financial support….maybe you’re so far gone you think you need him to survive.  By and large, most women will help you.    If you are still capable of fighting back…. For the love of all things good and holy in this world, do it. 

 

There is no dying in baseball!!

As a single mom, I can tell you there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish your basic life needs, let alone be everything to everyone. Sometimes, the things that matter slip through the cracks. The people who matter slip through the cracks.

Someone near and dear to me recently attempted suicide. I am probably one of the people on this earth best equipped to judge their mental state and I wasn’t paying attention. Thank the powers that be that it was unsuccessful. What’s especially ironic is that just last week, my kids and I played in a tournament to benefit suicide prevention.

Take the time. To look, to love, to listen…. When something gives you a wiggle, don’t let yourself be so bogged down in the minutia that you can’t see the people you love struggling.

Old friend, I know you read here. The world would not be quite as bright and shiny without you in it. You’ve got kids that love and need you. Fight for your life. You’re worth it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number

1-800-273-8255

For fuck’s sake…. Don’t die. Blessed be.