Rabid Squirrels!!!!

Rabid squirrels attacked Miss Shannon.  Ok, chased Miss Shannon.  Oh, all right, a single, solitary squirrel chased me around the patio, into the driveway at Dozer’s house and I narrowly escaped death.  Probably the squirrel wouldn’t have killed me, but a heart attack was definitely imminent.  I happened to be on the phone with my sister, who found it hilarious.  I managed to get past the little bugger and back into the house, then it sat outside the door and waited for me to come out.  I’m afraid I don’t consider this to be normal squirrel behavior, and I would like Dozer to make every effort to eradicate what is clearly a threat to body and soul.  Dozer would like to train it to eat out of his hand.

Squirrels are rats with a fuzzy tail and a good shake from society.  Because they’re “cute.”  And they really are, in statue form, in Beatrix Potter books and way the fuck over there.  They are not at all cute when they chase my happy ass through the yard and back into the house.  Not at all cute while they sit patiently on the porch, waiting for me to exit the building.  I had to escape the house through the back door.  I am not kidding.  My well-founded terror of rodents (which includes rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs with white fur and red eyes) was developed in a very unpleasant tale that happens to be one of those things I will never fully disclose to another human being.  So there I was, living the dream, and suddenly I found myself being chased by a rabid beast that can only want to cause my demise.

I’m so very grateful that squirrel was my biggest problem all day.  Lately, my other shoes have been dropping… they always do.  They don’t go missing, like Red October…  because Miss Shannon puts her shoes away.  I enjoyed a bike run today with Blue Friday… a couple of hundred bikers came together to pay homage to our fallen boys in blue.  It’s been a George Straight kind of month, for me.  Largely because I’m always expecting the worst at the back of my mind… Experience has taught me that you always prepare for the worst, because it’s usually what you’re going to get.  Right now, today, I am blessed with five beautiful children, a man who sincerely loves me and a whole lot of good friends… even if you’re laughing because I ran from the little squirrel.

Red October… Where are you????

I’m nursing ouchy fingers from hot gluing rocks to the mirrors in my bathroom.  They were really ugly, so I’m gluing a rock frame to them because, somehow, that will make them less ugly.  My world is a very special place, friends.  I cannot show you pictures yet, because that shit is still not done.  We’re probably 150 glue sticks in, fyi.  Easily 73 million rocks.  Initially, these seemed like a quick easy project… short attention span, remember??  Yeah… this is a pain in the tushkabob.  I would probably do it again, because I really am enjoying the finished bits.  So, I’ll hit it again tonight, but I need more rocks.  I’m not sure how that’s even possible, but here we are.

This afternoon, I enjoyed the hunt for Red October, which makes you think I am watching old movies, but in fact that’s what I call Tug’s baseball cleats, which are red and always missing.  People, put your shoes together, in the same spot.  You will be able to find them.  It’s that easy.  We’re currently interrupting my life to bring you another five years of little league, and I have a bat bag.  It’s supposed to hold all the baseball things, (including Red October) but it’s very difficult to finagle for some reason.  In a lot of ways, it was easier to have a whole mess of little kids at once.  All of those kids were healthy and I didn’t feel a compulsion to baby them.  This kid… I once had an infectious disease doctor say to me… I want to see that… can you bring him in right now????  Want prompt medical attention from busy specialists??  Be weird: they want to find zebras, not horses.  My little boy is almost always the zebra.  It’s a claim to medical fame, but I could totally go for a little boredom.

Another little tidbit about my desire for boredom… I’m talking stress free time I can fill with my many, many hobbies and activities.  (I probably don’t really know how to be bored.  It seems like a positive thing to me.)  I find it difficult to empty my mind.  One of the things that does this for me is a motorcycle ride… Dozer brought me on a little run with his friends last evening.  He was probably tired of me glaring at him because (much like my boy children) the mechanics of the garbage can stymie him.  Please know, no man has ever been murdered by his significant other while washing the dishes.  This is a verifiable fact, kids.  Anyway… as usual, I was the only woman along for the ride.  This makes me the chief picture taker and they are all kinda hoping I don’t feel chatty…. And that maybe I have cookies or something somewhere on my person.

Sometimes… you have to just do the thing that gives you peace.  I know that I will spend the next weeks and months hanging out at Albany Medical Center, the region’s premier medical facility, confirming my little boy’s diagnosis of Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome… EDS.  It goes along with his JIA… Juvenile Idiosyncratic Arthritis.  Which basically means… no clue why this kid swells up like a balloon for no particular reason and has difficulty walking some days.  So far, he escapes Celiac disease…which my Luke did not.  There isn’t a sauce I can’t make from scratch on account of that boy… Meanwhile… for Tug… if you pray, do that.  Light a candle, cast a spell, bow to the East.  Do whatever it is you do to send positive energy, because my little boy needs it.  EDS is a given, ask for the best possible outcome.  Then feed your soul, whatever your currency is.   Light ’em up!!

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

I’m going to give a little shout out to moms today, seeing as it’s Mother’s Day.  I’m not downing fathers, I just don’t have loads of experience with them, so I’m not really sure what they do.  Most moms would cut off a limb for their child.  We lose sleep, work multiple jobs, stand on our heads and whistle dixie for our tiny humans… Guess what?  You’ll be doing that when they’re grown as much as when they’re toddlers.  Sometimes, our little people do not do what we wish they would.  This is true at every stage of their lives.  It does not mean that you are a bad parent.  I hate to break it to you, supermom, but you are not actually capable of controlling who another human being is, even if they call you mom.  Are you significant?  Absolutely. You are also the world’s leading expert on your child and no one knows them or loves them better.  What you lack is omnipotence.

Tiny humans spring forth with temperaments.  They are literally born individuals.  They have wants, needs, and guess what?  Whether you breast or bottle feed, whether you gave birth vaginally or by a C-section, whether you adopted or fostered…. your kids are going to be who they are.  Some kids are anxious, some kids have no concern for their personal safety, some are stubborn and some are wishy washy.  Tiny humans are a lot like big humans in that they have their own styles.  As moms, our job is to guide them through this world with as much grace as possible.  You teach them what you believe to be right, give them a moral foundation and take them to the doctor.  Still, they will be who they are.

You feel guilty for supporting your kids, but how are they going to survive if you don’t?  Or maybe you’re a stay at home mom, so you feel guilty because you’re showing your kids traditional gender roles.  Quite commonly, you’re a single mom and you feel guilty for everything under the sun.  It doesn’t help when you see all the nasty on social media about how to parent, what superfood (whichever one your kid will not eat) you MUST feed little Susie, or the hot new toy you really can’t afford.  As a single mom, my personal favorite usually relates to getting a babysitter… How dare I ever want grown up time or to have adult relationships.  Rosie O’Donnell said, “They put them in dumpsters and they live.  Your kids will be fine.”

Bottom line:  You do the best you can.  Miss Shannon loves to cook so most everything is homemade… if you’re feeding your kids McDonald’s four nights a week, guess what???  You’re getting the job done.  Forgive yourself, in short, for being human.  Love them, give them the very best you can, love them, read to them and love them some more.  Then let them see you take care of you…. You are teaching them how to take care of themselves and the women in their lives.  My final thought for the day… learned hard over many years… if you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of them.  Be good to yourself, for some short people, you’re the whole world…

And it burns, burns, burns

I was shopping with my older daughter and she bought her boyfriend a black dress shirt, So I said, “You know there’s something about a man in black.”  She looked at me blankly, and I realized she had no idea whatsoever what I was talking about.  How that little girl grew up with me as her momma and doesn’t know who Johnny Cash is, is completely beyond me.  I was like, really?  I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die?? Nothing.  Ring of Fire?  Nada.  Proof positive that I failed as a parent.  Maybe they just weren’t paying attention.  Every single one of my kids know Queen and Charlie Daniels, which I suppose is better than nothing.  I started taking a poll and found that my boy children are way more familiar with good music than my girls.  Likely, that’s because I raised them alone.  I am sure I play music louder and longer without interference.  I also dance in the kitchen and that is invaluable.

               

You may or may not have noticed, but my creative well has been running a little dry.  I’m chalking it up to ill health, stress, yada yada.  Mostly it’s just that I haven’t had a rhythm.   You gotta have a rhythm, at least if you are riding a crazy train anything like mine.  My crazy train is usually a fairly pleasant place to while away the time.  We usually have good snacks, coffee and a project to keep you entertained.  Next up for me is sewing, as my younger daughter is preparing to present me with my first grandson this summer.  His name is Aiden Michael.  He is perfect, if there was any question.  Perfect.  He is in need of a leather jacket, a crib set and work booties and cowboy booties.  The shopping part is about me, kids.  Grammy’s got this.  Aiden will be joining the lovely Raelynn in my next generation…Being a Grammy is the best gig ever… you get to love them and squish them and shop for them and then send them home.

I did a really cool, quick project today. I usually need it to be fast, because I have a short attention span.  Basically, I hot-glued fabric to cardboard and nailed it to the wall.  I’m doing this because you don’t have to live like a refugee.  Your surroundings should make you feel beautiful and beloved… like you belong in this space.  Dozer, that’s why I decorate.  Everything should be beautiful, sparkle or have some special something that makes you feel good.  Life is hard.  You should always take your joy where you can find it… In my world, that often means a wall decoration, Johnny Cash tunes, baby shopping, you get the idea.  Unlike decorating, there are many, many things Miss Shannon can’t really control.  Her adult children, her nearly adult children, the weather and apparently, her waistline.  Certainly, Dozer and all the important people in her life make that list.  And that brings us to:  Projects.  Because, dammit, the fabric does what I tell it to, as does the paint or the wood.  People?  Well… Because you’re mine, I (try to) walk the line.  Or glue it into submission.

Ahhhh… politics: Or get your head out of your butt.

I went to a second hand store today and someone should give me a cookie for not stabbing anyone in the eye.  There was a loud and proud beater there, and Miss Shannon did not engage.  This little man was just slovenly… generally unkempt and his very being gave me a little squick.  Then he opened his mouth.  He actually began berating his female companion by stating that if she were from the country, she’d know she ought to be grateful because he only breaks stuff.  A country woman knows she needs to follow instructions because if she don’t, there’ll be consequences.  ‘Cause, he voted for Trump, and he whoops his kids and dammit, when he was in the military you did what you were told or there were consequences.  Nope, not a cookie.  I need a cookie cake, people.  This guy is the poster child for why the left hates the right.


I remain a moderate, which basically means I have friends on both sides of the great divide.  For my liberal friends… you know I agree with you on almost all social issues.  For the most part, folks should just mind their own damn business and let people be who they are.  But guess what??  We, as a nation are going broke.  Like, welfare Christmas broke.  I know you don’t like it, but we can’t actually just print more money and call it a day.  We really do have to cut out some programs.  It sucks, but it’s like the budget at your house.  You can’t have all the things.  You have to choose the stuff that matters most… rent, electricity, food… then you use what’s left for the other things.  I am so wound up about some of these cuts that I literally cried on a Republican biker.  For me, hunger is always my deal breaker… I will personally march on Washington if they actually cut school lunch.  What I’m not going to do is blow up anything at all, because (REALITY BASED THOUGHT ALERT!!) Miss Shannon is concerned about humanity, like the average liberal, and that precludes bombings.

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of liberal rage that concerns me deeply.  Y’all embarrassed me when you were wearing stuffed vaginas on your heads, but this is getting out of hand.  It’s like a dick pic… no one wants to see it.  No one.  Ever.  That said, what in the sweet fuck are you thinking, talking about a revolution???  Beloveds, you have spent a lifetime fighting against the right to bear arms.  Most of you have never discharged a firearm.  And you want to have a war with the right?  Are you aware that these folks are commonly card carrying members of gun clubs and own multiple weapons they know how to use.  Maybe rethink the viability of this plan, hmm?  It can’t end well, surely you can see that?

Onto military action… boys and girls, the United States is at real and serious risk from the terrorist group, ISIS.  It continues to irk me that this awful group of misogynistic bastards have usurped my favorite goddess’s name.  Anyway, why are you possibly bitching and moaning if a bunch of terrorists who want to kill us all and/or force women worldwide to wear a burqa, get bombed?  Are you stupid?  ISIS is not the same as Islam… I am 100% opposed to the persecution of anyone based on their religion.  That is not what is happening.  These are folks who want us dead, as painfully and publicly as possible.  They are chopping off the heads of journalists and pilots.  This is the USA.  We do not negotiate with terrorists.  I don’t know about you, but I would prefer that our nation gets to write the history books because we won.  Thus, ISIS will remain a terrorist group, as opposed to Jihad warriors or fighters for Allah.

I implore you to pick your battles with a little common sense.  Yes: war bad, feeding hungry people good.  But it isn’t ever that simple, that black and white.  Take Syria… now you can be pissy that we bombed them because you hate Trump and nothing he does will ever satisfy you or you can recognize that as a nation we really must take a stand against what Assad is doing.  Yes, Spicer is a total douche-nozzle who should never ever have made the comments he made about Hitler.  That doesn’t negate the fact that Assad is shooting nerve gas into civilian populations filled with women and kids.

Moving on to my Conservative beloveds…knock off your silly bullshit.  You don’t actually want the little poor kids to go without food, nor do you want the elderly eating cat food.  Instead of reveling in being in  power, for the first time in a long time, why not try to unite our country?  Unknot your panties long enough to admit you have no business dictating toilets or putting your hands inside of vaginas you haven’t been invited into.  Worry about yourself.  The thing that kills Miss Shannon about the toilet thing is that it never occurred to you to worry about her safety before you thought someone different from you might tinkle next to your chick.  Of the very large number of LGBTQ folks I know… I am in far, far more danger from a heterosexual man.  Screw statistics… not one drag queen has ever touched me in a way I did not like.  Miss Shannon wishes she could say the same for the straight guys she’s known.  So, maybe don’t worry so much because a politician tells you ya ought to.  Maybe trust me to tell you if I think I’m not safe… I’ve had a lifetime of practice to know when I’m not and I’m right 99% of the time.  Try to trust women to know what they need.  If I ask you to help me, please do.  If I feel safe, please respect that.

My Country ‘Tis Of Thee

We had hair day at daycare, today.  Hair day is a good time for all… Sometimes kids get their hair done, sometimes it’s just us grown ups.  Stylists are special people.  They have to make tactful suggestions while praying to the gods of fashion that you aren’t going to insist on some sort of crazy, godawful thing and then tell people they did it.  They’re like hostage negotiators for follicles, and I know Miss Nikki has talked me off the ledge a few times lately.  That’s kind of a chick thing, at least in my family… oh, things are unpleasant or stressful in your world, get some dye and pop your head into a weedwhacker.  Go ahead, honey, it’ll help.

Nikki:  Stylist/Hostage Negotiator

It was a lot of fun to chitchat with people whose company I enjoy and not focus on the stress of the week.  Sometimes, we get pretty lofty in our discussions.  We naturally had to hit on Mick Mulvaney’s comments that there’s no proof that providing poor children with a free lunch is beneficial.  I’m not going to blow this fellow up because I think he’s a soulless fiend, which I certainly do.  But let’s call a spade a spade… This fellow and any other person who wants to discontinue free lunches for children living in poverty knows perfectly well that the program benefits those children’s education.  It’s not a matter of getting enough bang for your buck, if you aren’t sporting the IQ of a turnip, you know they need food if there’s ever to be hope they can overcome the circumstances of their birth.  What you are saying is that these particular American children don’t matter.  Stay classy.

Americans are supposed to be the good guys, although I am starting to think that’s gone the way of the buffalo.  I have no complaint about trying to curb spending and make a dent in the national debt.  It’s the thought process of where that I can’t understand, like the recent shift in child care subsidies… there’s no money for that because we suddenly need to provide free Narcan to heroin users.  That’s where money previously enabling people to access child care was redirected.  Somehow, somewhere that made sense to somebody with a whole lot more power than I will ever have.  It comes down to world views… I think America cannot be great if we turn a blind eye to hungry little kids, to the elderly and that is precisely what we are doing.  Granted, this is currently just talk about free lunch and instead they are cutting before and after school programs.  They cut a whole lot of funding to Meals on Wheels, because not starving the elderly doesn’t show results.  Call me a wackadoo, but I really thought the not starving was the desired result.

If Miss Shannon were in charge, she’d be looking to fund effective programing that levels the playing field for children.  I’d be cutting things like corporate welfare, capping the salaries of elected officials at a reasonable (less than they’re getting) amount and evaluating health care with the intent that all people should be able to access care.  This isn’t us against them, we need to work towards the collective good of the American people.  I don’t have all the answers, I only know what I think is important.  For example, it’s more important to me that old ladies not eat cat food than to build a wall bordering Mexico, even though I agree that illegal immigration is a problem.   You’ll notice I said not one peep about travel bans… that’s because I agree that terrorist activity is a real and present danger.  I don’t know if the ban was the right thing, but I also don’t have a better idea.

I like money and I wish I had more of it, I’m not going to make any bones about other people’s desire for a comfortable life.  You don’t get rich teaching preschool, which is why I burned myself 26 times yesterday while hot gluing rocks to a seriously ugly mirror.  I don’t necessarily have money for extras, and that’s ok.  I dedicated my life to improving the lives of little kids.  In my world, you feed them because they’re hungry little kids.  Full stop.  I was a hungry little kid and when my own kids were little there were a whole lot of times I didn’t eat so they could.  I know hunger intimately.  I promise, there was never a spelling test I did well on that happened before free lunch.  I have a kid in my program whose teacher sends him a book bag filled with food for the weekend every Friday, and I am ashamed I didn’t think of it myself.

I had to work on this post for a few days because my conservative republican beloveds get a little pissed off at me when I write about politics.  I love this country.  Should the need ever arise, I will take up arms to defend her.  (You should probably lose sleep over that, it can’t end well.)  Please, please consider what’s happening here.  It is no more acceptable to starve poor people than it is to have homeless veterans sleeping on benches.  PBS… I love you, but you can fund raise.  And please… don’t say the words survival of the fittest.  This isn’t the Darwin awards, it’s not the Hunger Games.  I want our country strong, too.  I just believe we make that happen by investing in the future of our children.

Unanswered Prayers

It’s just possible that I am a stubborn woman.  This can be a hindrance to my life goals, but often it serves me well.  Lately, I have dealt with a lot of stress and personal difficulties that I am not going to bore you with and here is what I have learned:  Miss Shannon is not God.  She really wants to be, but omnipotent power just escapes her.  As ever, I will do what I can… and it’s never enough.  I always tell my kids that you’ve gotta take your joy where you can find it.  Life is hard, there isn’t an instruction manual and therefore, you should totally refinish the cabinet, paint the rocks and generally do the things that make you happy.  You don’t have to paint the rocks, that’s probably just me.

Meanwhile, a bit back Dozer and I went to an estate sale… at which he told me I was not allowed to look at a couple of cabinets.  I then became the proud owner of two awful, badly painted peeling veneer, very green cabinets.  Mother of God.  I have refinished the china cabinet and I want to tell you all about that totally suckish process.  These puppies had peeling veneer, which in laymen’s terms is a pain right in the ass.  Peeling veneer can only be removed… which involves scrapers, blow dryers, irons and sanders.  Based on my own experience, it also requires the blood of a forty year old mother.  Gracious Lord, I am still forty.  WHY is this happening?  Oh, ‘cause I haven’t died.  Gotcha.  This is what we started with:

Here’s what I’ve learned, for your edification:  Boil the hardware with baking soda and then clean it with a toothbrush.  Spray paint the hardware in light coats so it’s pretty.  Chalk paint is amazing and it solves an awful lot of problems.  I passionately love refinishing furniture, it fed my soul and I am super likely to do it again.  And periwinkle is my favorite color… it’s sort of a light bluish purple.  I used Glidden periwinkle petal in a flat paint with additives to make it have a chalk finish and Glidden Siberian Blue for the exterior.  I used flat paint because I was making chalk paint, which is not really a glossy thing.  I have no idea whatsoever why I need this cabinet, but it stays with me until I die.  This is where we ended up:

Here’s what I have learned from the entire process, start to finish:  Miss Shannon is 100% ready, willing and able to make purchases based on the fact that she has been told NO.   While researching the process, another blogger commented that the refinishing process was eradicating her will to live.  I feel ya, sister.  Now that I have one cabinet complete, my gypsy soul is feeling pretty darned satisfied.  I’m going to put some of my china in there, because I think it will be pretty.  Plus, I spent a lot of money on the dishes no one is allowed to use and they should at least be decorative.  Just to even things out, I’m also going to get a new tattoo… I’m thinking a phoenix, because I keep rising from the ashes upon demand.

Next project is the bathroom my kids use.  Dear gracious lord does it need love.  It’s going to involve painted rocks.  Again I say:  take your joy where you can find it. Last night, I told my poor mother, (who grocery shopped with me for three hours last night and lost me in Home Depot and had me paged, even though I was standing right next to her) the best thing that ever happened to me was getting divorced while my house was falling down around my ears.  I learned so much (YouTube teaches everything) and I now know where everything is in Home Depot and what a whole lot of it is for.  I’m absolutely digging up bones… Tonight I’m proud of myself.  I can do all the things.  And some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

Just funny :-)

There are so many things in this wide world that Miss Shannon does not understand.  Certainly, difficult things like astrophysics or how to program the remote, but I’m talking about my children this evening.  For example, there is this rectangular vessel that lives in my kitchen.  I use it to store rubbish until it reaches capacity, then I put it in larger rectangular vessels outdoors.  I am relatively certain I taught them the function of these items when they were small and yet… only I see it.  Everyone who requires glasses (Me.  Just me.) possesses them.  And here we are.

I recently had a conversation with my two teenaged sons about refuse removal.  I said, really, if you just put the garbage in the garbage can, the house will stay clean.  My oldest boy said, that can’t be all it is.  It can baby, it really really can.  This is not rocket science.  Can you even believe that it is possible for humans other than mothers to place a toilet paper roll on the holder?  Brothers and sisters, I declare that this is a real and possible thing.  Just not at my house.

I’m scheduling a family meeting, which my kids detest like I detest headlice.  In this meeting I will prattle on about how I work a minimum of sixty hours every week and how M is for Mom, not for Maid.  I will say that there is only one little kid in this house and that people need to pull their weight.  We have enjoyed this game of charades many times.  Someday, my little humans will have spouses who want to kill them like I do.    I want to apologize to these fine people in advance.  I have obviously failed as a parent and as a human being.

Meanwhile… Kohls has Wonderbras.  If you are unfamiliar:  These are foundation garments that make the girls look like they did before you used them as udders for the short people who do not understand the magic of the fucking garbage can.  All hail a good bra and putting the garbage where it goes.  Dozer said we should go on vacation… just the two of us… for a week.  And we totally should… someplace with a nice spa that gives hot stone massage to go with my drinks with little umbrellas.

Miss Shannon can be an awful person

Sometimes I don’t like myself very much.  Lately a series of things have made me feel angry, mean and generally unkind.  I know I’m not the only person who can’t always shelve the stressors, but I’m not very proud of myself right now.  I also know that this means I need to regroup, and figure out what I have to do to make myself stop being an evil bitch who’s releasing the flying monkeys every five minutes.

 

For one thing, I need to finish the papers to complete my degree.  This is a lot of work, I’m super stressed about it and I need it done.  The sad part is, this is extremely important for my future plans and it feels like extraneous bullshit.  It’s anything but… Next I need to have a little personal space.  Finally, I need to take a hard look at my habits and resolve them satisfactorily.  I’m not entirely certain what that looks like… but I am not ok right now, I feel very undone and I need to find my bearings before I destroy anything else in my life.

Miss Shannon is not always a very nice person.  I strive to be better… and sometimes I fail.  This is one of those times for me.  Sometimes things that sound funny in my head are just mean spirited.  Sometimes I just get carried away… and sometimes I’ve burned the candle at both ends for longer than is sustainable without breaking the wick.  I can only hope that the loved ones I have harmed in my crazy festival will understand that I am currently pushed beyond my limits.  And remember, I generally choose not to burden you with my problems.  Which are prolific at the moment.  I’ve got an unhealthy little boy, a couple of teenaged boys who clearly want me to have grey hair and two young adult daughters who are making very big life choices that worry me.

Financial issues abound, I am working towards opening a second business, and I’ve gained fourteen pounds.  Now it’s time for blessings:  I love the five completely nutty monkeys that make up my circus.  I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.  My boyfriend is fabulous, my mom survived breast cancer and I have a project refinishing furniture.  I also have several very good friends, a grandchild on the way and the ability to solve most of my problems.  Even though I feel completely out of control, life is good today.  So…. Adios and vaya con dios!

Precipice

When my whole world is going to hell in a handbasket and I don’t know what my next move should be, I call JC.  Oddly enough, this generally relates to my love life.  If I don’t know if I’m making a good choice, and when I find myself hesitating, he’s the guy I call.  He’s also the guy I call when I want to choose new weaponry, but that’s neither here nor there.  When I introduced him to Dozer, he said… this is a good one, Shan, but you are not an old lady.  Don’t fall into that…. And he’s right.  Dozer is a good man, and I am not an old lady.  I’m also nobody’s bitch.

You can call me a bitch… I’ll own it.  I spent the last twenty years coating myself with a light veneer of classy behavior, but I know where I come from.  Miss Shannon can make a quilt, frost pretty cupcakes and clean your house like nobody’s business.  I will cook you dinner and even plate your food.  I enjoy the kitchen and you’re probably going to make a mess anyway.  While this is traditionally ‘women’s work’ it doesn’t lessen me, because it’s work I enjoy.  When Dozer called me his bitch, (in public, no less)…well, fact is, I was fairly ready to fuck up his day… I ended up just beating him with his own hat.

When you call a woman your bitch, you’re saying she’s less than you.  You place yourself in a position of ownership and her in one of servitude.  If I liked being treated that way, I’d still be married.  In defense of Dozer, he erroneously thinks he’s funny and that he’s somehow paying me a compliment.  He forgets that I walked through the bowels of hell to get where I am, he has no idea what an insult it is to imply ownership of my person.  Miss Shannon has a college degree, runs a successful business, and has thus far raised two tiny humans to adulthood without breeding a serial killer.  It’s also looking pretty good for the boy children, although the little one is still in his violent urchin stage, so I’ll get back to you in a few years.  So yes, darlin’, I ride bitch.  Gladly and with pleasure… but I am not now, nor will I ever be your bitch.

My friend Amy, and I are planning to take a motorcycle safety course in May.  I’m pretty stoked about it and I look forward to being licensed.  Like every other part of my life, I’ve got two hands and I can do it myself.  Amy is the perfect person to do this with, because she’s my friend most likely to tell me to woman up.  You’ve got this, sister.  Sometimes, it’s what I need to hear.  I also need the impetus to put my money where my mouth is… Though I freely admit that it’s tiresome to always have to prove yourself.  I am woman, hear me roar…. Just once, I wish I wasn’t still roaring over the same stupid bullshit I was bitching about in high school.

Couple little details about Amy… she’s an amazing woman.  All by herself, she has more grit, more heart and more plain sense than any three women need.  She’s gorgeous and funny and always, always has your back.  Amy is someone I am glad to have in my life.  Thank you for being my friend.

In the immortal words of Virginia Slims, we’ve come a long way, baby.  And we have.  Yet, here I am, forty years old, and I have to have a conversation with the man I love about why he can’t publicly denigrate me and why what he is saying is, in fact, denigrating.  And Dozer is one of the good ones.  I’ve had enough bad ones to know for certain… I always say…once a beater, always a beater.  Once a cheater, always a cheater…. I’m not wrong and I know this from bitter experience.  People don’t change who they fundamentally are, I really can’t speak to whether it’s even possible.  As ever, Miss Shannon can only really tell you what NOT to do.  In this instance, the thing to not do is to accept and tolerate.  This is a hill worth dying on.  I fought hard for my me… It was the fight of my life, and while I’ll censor myself and sometimes shrink myself to fit into this particular borg…. The Whore of Babylon finds she cannot give this part of herself away.  Miss Shannon has never really liked a precipice.