Funny, God

7 02 2011

My mother is amazing.  Really.

She is incredibly smart, humble, gorgeous and totally naive about the world.  That makes her adorable.

The scene in my head that plays when I think of describing Mom is from Leverage Season 1 where Parker meets Nate’s ex-wife.  Parker says she’s adorable, pats her on the head, then sniffs her and somehow it’s not overly creepy.   And yes, Mom and I did discuss me writing this post so it’s not like I’m blabbing family secrets or anything.  We collaborated on this and decided you should be a part of our phone call.

I don’t know how Mom made it to me being 30 years old and not realizing that apocalyptic stories and prophecies scare me.  I shit my pants at severe thunderstorms and the apocalypse.  I’ve ALWAYS been this way.

It’s no surprise (to me, anyways) that I subscribe heavily to the Joss Whedon and Terry Goodkind school of thought when it comes to prophecy vs. free will.  I figure we’re all going to die anyways so I should CHOOSE to act in a humane and intelligent way because it helps me and those around me RIGHT NOW.  I don’t act right because of the fear of demons from hell shooting through volcano cracks to eat my brains.

My brain can’t comprehend or accept mass destruction so I live in a way I can wrap my thoughts around.  I also believe that so much emphasis is put on how the world ends that we’re busy bringing the very thing we fear to actuality.  If we hadn’t been working so hard trying to outwit it, it may not need to be outwitted.  And if it is true and inescapable then my part is to live my right here and now life decently.  If it all ends in chaos and despair, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live for joy right now.

Mom really leans towards the end of the world stuff and obviously the 2nd seal has broken and we’re all going to die in a blaze of glory or something here soon.  She also really likes to call and tell me about why and how this is coming about.  I want to know how prophets picked out accurate words when they described their vision because they don’t have a lot of room to write down details.  It’s like making life and death decisions based on a Twitter feed.  If a picture is worth 1,000 words and the prophet is so flooded with imagery that they clutch their heads and fall over, then it’s going to take a hell of a lot of paper and ink to write it out.

My eventual response, after fighting down the panic attack, is “Mom, the world’s been ending for a long damn time.”

I told her I’d write this thesis she’s assigned me when she reads The Sword of Truth novels.  If we both did our part, we’d come away knowing quite a bit about how the other one’s brain works.  At that point of the conversation, we just agreed to think about it and talk to God and see how it went.

We also talked about current events, the state of my brain and all the drama that makes up life.  IRL hasn’t been so steady lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing about how this good ship Dollins Family should make enough money to stay afloat for another year.  The whole his job/my job/my health/health insurance/education requirements dilemma.  When a day to day routine exists, there is comfort and safety.  When there’s no routine, there’s anxiety and insecurity.  I’m not so secure or carefree at the moment so a lot of our conversation was tinged with my IRL worries.

This is where God gets funny.

I laid down in bed that night and thought really hard “God, I just need a single direction.  Just a feeling that one way or the other is right.  I feel like I need a compass.”

Then I couldn’t sleep and decided to start on the next book in my reading list.

The Psychology of Joss Whedon: An Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly

Huh, this entire book is about the characters in the Whedonverse who are contemplating this very issue.

First, I laughed at myself for finding theological truths in science fiction and fantasy novels (but then again – have you ever actually READ the Bible as a work of literature?  It’s as good a sci-fi primer as anything.)  Then I laughed some more because just this year I’ve found and become a total Firefly geek.  Before, I didn’t want anything to do with it – I’d never seen the TV show or the movie, I didn’t have any conversations about it.  I really just thought it was a weird Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica ripoff.  I had no idea.  Now it’s strangely relevant to life.

I read more today and I learned that I’m more like Mal than Buffy.  I tend towards antisocial behavior but its only after I’ve used up the more mainstream ideas.  If things had gone in a more mainstream manner in my life, I’d be a more mainstream type of person.  I’m not only shaped by events, but I live with a more individualized moral code because of those events.  If mainstream included me and people like me, then I wouldn’t have to be something other than normal and a more generalized world view would be relevant.

(Does anyone else think that the creators of “there’s only one way to God” people are just the theologians with a really good marketing campaign?  I mean, it would be a shitty campaign to say “our product rocks but so does everyone else’s product.” I mean, what would you advertise?  The fact that your god was cross-platform and multi-app compatible?  That’s just a quick way to become irrelevant.  It’s all about branding, people!)

Why don’t I just adapt?  Lots of people who go through weird shit adapt.  Why don’t you?  I ask myself that a lot and the only answer I can come up with is “it’s my personality type.”

I’m not that abnormal in reality.  Most of the people I know and willingly socialize with are unconventional.  They live in unconventional manners and with unconventional world views inside of cultural boundaries.  I speak for myself (which is why there’s a heavy I emphasis in this blog – I don’t like speaking for other people) when I say that I have a well formed, rationalized, and stable morality.  I would make a good space cowboy.  I would not make a good elementary school teacher.  I accept these things about myself and move on.

I think my message was pretty clear: learn about and accept yourself, then move forward.  The only wrong thing to do is nothing.

Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about any of this.

Advertisements




frustration

3 09 2010

The youngest told me “my old mommy made me cookies and cake and let me eat candy.  You need to fight her for ‘world’s best mommy.’  When I grow up I’m going to make candy and feed it to all the kids with mean mommies.”  Then he told me that I should let him go to a sleepover because he was good ONE day this week.  (Never mind that no one had a sleepover planned…  I should still come up with one because he was good 20% of the time.)

The middle child gets in the car and throws a tantrum because she got in trouble at school.  An hour later the teacher called to explain the “disturbing behavior” she’d been seeing: being rude, talking back, being mean to other kids.  I told the teacher that yeah, we’d seen it at home too and yeah, I’d bring it up with her therapist and in-school help at our next meeting.  She’s also binging on food and self-harming again.  It’s been ramping up for about a month and I’m OUT of ideas.

The oldest is becoming increasingly afraid of the dark and is having crazy nightmares about people setting our pets on fire.  He’s slipping back into a fantasy world but at least can still tell the difference between real and fake when I ask.  He hates a girl at school that acts similarly to the middle child.  He says “I HATE her.  She’s SO mean!”

The extended family has more nuts than a brownie and is about as dark from all the bullshit.  They’ve always said we were going to need waders… but damn.

I grit my teeth so hard that I chipped a tooth.  I told the youngest that I’d  never be so mean as to stuff my loved ones full of poison that made them fat and sad.  I told the middle that she was grounded, not that she listened.  I told my oldest that the odds of a plane dropping out of the sky and landing on him were very, very low.  I made sympathetic noises to the extended family.

Then I distracted them with music videos on my phone.

I see the amazing things in all of them.  My brain hardly recognizes it because of the spasming going on in my neurons.  I have nice things to say but the words on my tongue start with “WHAT IN THE WORLD???”

This dude says he wants to be a billionaire so fucking bad so he can adopt a bunch of kids who ain’t ever had shit.  I hope he has some money left for nannies because DAMN.  Even kids who ain’t ever had shit aren’t grateful for what they get.  (The oldest was really upset to hear we weren’t rich even though Grandmommy has a good job at Wal-Mart. At least his expectations are low…)

I want to be upset but I remember being as big of a punk-nugget to my parents.

So I get frustrated.  I can’t stay mad because they’re just doing what comes naturally for kids.  I can’t laugh because they might keep doing it!

Nola tried to eat my new exercise stuff and has been digging under the bed but she’s fuzzy and doesn’t mind when I yell at her.  She loves me whether I’m fuming or laughing then tackles me and tries to eat my head.  Ernie bit me on the ass the other day because I wasn’t paying attention to him.  He still gets stoned on catnip and drools on my feet.  Cali chases  me around the yard while I bring in groceries and Abbie thinks “Barrel-butt” is a great nickname.  Spooks won’t let me sleep by myself.

Why aren’t people as easy?

Anyways, this song is stuck in my head:





the magic show

10 06 2010

Yesterday, as part of the summer reading program at the library they had a dude come in and do a magic show.  It was great and the kids really loved it.  I came away with different thoughts about each of my babies from watching them.  It’s a sense of pride to see them interact with the mass public and know that I had a lot of influence on how they interact.

Today is the 1 year point of our kids’ adoption.  For one year, they have been forever OURS.  I love that watching them interact and respond to things, I see Shaun and myself.  They’re listening and growing and they are part of us.  Our little family of 5 – we’re US.

LJ sat in between Chickpea and E.  He smiled when something was cool and he would lean forward and plug his ears with his fingers when the little kids would laugh and scream.  He doesn’t like large groups of people and I don’t blame him!  Afterward, he sat in a chair, expressionless until all the people cleared out.  When only a small group was left, he got up and started playing with the other kids.  He didn’t freak out or cry, he didn’t show that he was scared, he just pulled into himself until he was comfortable.  I was so proud!

Chickpea was totally immersed in the program.  She would sit up on her knees and stare at the magician without blinking.  She was looking to see if he was doing it “right.”  When he did something funny, she roared with laughter right along with the other kids.  At one point she raised her hand like she wanted to ask a question.  She noticed EVERYTHING and studied everyone and everything around her.  A couple of times, she turned around and searched the sea of grown ups for me and smiled when she found me.  God, I love that little girl!

After the performance she asked if she could go talk to the magician.  It worried me but I said she could and asked what she was going to say.  She said “he said his baby magic wand didn’t have any magic – but IT DOES.  He shouldn’t underestimate the baby just because it hasn’t finished magic wand school yet.”

I wanted to laugh so badly but she was so serious!  She went up and scolded the poor man while I’m having flash backs to my childhood where I was just like that.  It made me smile when I realized the magician was picking obvious pre-school students for his volunteers.  They’re less likely to be like my kid.

E is the world’s biggest pre-schooler.  He’s starting Kindergarten in the fall.  He’s 4 foot tall and almost 70 lbs.  He still moves like a very young kid – all awkward and sort of floppy.  He doesn’t have that grace that comes with growing older.  He has such a charm about him – he collects grandmothers like its a hobby.  He’s all big eyes and toothy smiles with that little kid innocence and it’s almost impossible to not squeeze him.

He’d rather charm the people around him than watch the show, but yesterday he got into it and laughed and pointed with the rest of the children.  After the show, he was jazzed up.  He didn’t calm down until right before bed time.  He didn’t care about telling Daddy every line of the show – Chickpea does that part with input from LJ – he cared that he figured out how to make his markers “splat” if he smacked them on the paper really hard.

Before dinner, he was laughing at something he thought was funny and just rolled in the floor and laughed.  None of us knew what he was laughing at but it’s impossible not to laugh at him.  Pretty soon we were all cracking up laughing at absolutely nothing.

E is the maker of chaos and disaster where order and peace were.  If everyone is quietly reading or playing a game, he’s the one throwing couch cushions with deadly accuracy.  If no one is playing with their food at the table he whispers to Chickpea “throw a chicken nugget at me, it’s funny.” He knows all his letters and numbers and can read and write, but he won’t do it if he knows he’s being watched.  How do I know?  Later, I find a picture of a fish with teeth drawn in his minimalist fashion and underneath it says “pirana etes met.”  I can hear him count to 50 through the wall but if I ask him to count to 10 for me, he leaves out half of the numbers.

I can’t be mad at him because it’s funny!  He’s going to be a hellion in school but I know he’s absorbing the information somehow.  He just doesn’t feel the need to show anyone.  He’d rather be funny.

Then I have to tell him that if he’s going to be BAD, he needs to do a better job at it!  There’s this pesky thing that’s called evidence that shows me the truth of who has been doing science experiments in the bathroom.  If he’s the only one soaking wet and smelling like Purell, then I know who did it.

I have to say that I’ve been wondering lately if it was a wise decision to adopt them with as sick as I’ve turned out to be.  I didn’t know it was going to be like this when we started but again, hindsight and good vision and all that.

I was afraid yesterday that I wouldn’t be able to get off the floor where we all were sitting to watch the magician.  I had taken my meds before we left the house but still, my body was screaming at me 10 minutes into it.  I was trying my best not to cry.  I was trying my hardest to enjoy the show and ignore the pain and the people bumping into me and squeezing in closer.  I was trying to breathe through the raising temperature of the room.

But I watch their faces – their body language – and I know that Shaun and I did this.  We made their lives fulfilling and opened doors and opportunities that weren’t possible.  This is worth it.  Even if they have a sick mom and a mom who can’t do certain things, they have a mom who is PROUD of them and who wants the best for them.  They’re strong enough to work through the rest.





this is my MSMMJOABH face

24 05 2010

This is my “My Sister Made Me Jump On A Bouncy House” face.  I look pretty damn good, actually!

My siblings are disturbingly crazy.  They do shit like run miles and ride bicycles and do flips in bouncy houses.  Crazy!

Needless to say, I’m not the athletic sibling.  I’m the adorable sibling who reads books and is a quiet nerd girl.  These genetically similar idiots were chasing each other through the Jump Zone play place at the mall and throwing each other off the big slide.  THEN they started doing barrel rolls down the giant slide attached to the blow up pirate ship. Even my MOTHER was jumping around in the Super Mario themed house and rolling down the slides.

My sister finally talked me into going down the super-slide which shoots you down like a greased pig at the redneck games.  We did that a couple of times with various kids (mine and my nephews) in different chain combinations.  Then, THEN, she got me in the big bouncy house.

The first difficulty of bouncy houses is standing up for any length of time.

The second is that when a 60 lb child is bouncing towards your prone form, the only thing to do is duck and cover.  I took a heel to my ear and then I was done playing.

I wasn’t upset or anything, I just have this overwhelming sense of self-preservation. It said “if you don’t stop now, you’re gonna end up needing a stiff drink and a doctor.”

In our ridiculously mixed-race genetics, a few particular ones pop out at times.  My brother got the hipster/nerd gene.  He wears shorts, flip flops and a long sleeve shirt and his vehicle of choice is a kayak.  He drives a Honda Civic.  He builds nerf sniper rifles for fun.

My sister got the built for speed gene.  She’s an athletic girl through and through.  She’s strong as hell and smart as a whip.  The girl once did so many sit-ups that she sprained her diaphragm.  Yes, my sister once sprained her lung muscle. She doesn’t prefer a vehicle because she’d rather run or jump or do cartwheels.

I got the homegirl gene.  I’ve got a big bootie, a nice rack and an overwhelming sense of “no, that shit sounds stupid.” I like clean clothes, soft sheets, baths and not being in pain.  I don’t like heights and I don’t like bugs or wild animals.  I’ve got to be in or near a city because no one should live more than 15 minutes away from a grocery store.

My “nuh-uh” list includes:

  • climbing trees
  • going over a waterfall
  • anything to do with wild animals
  • camping anywhere without air conditioning or a coffee pot or where one could meet a wild animal
  • riding a mountain bike
  • bungee jumping
  • sky diving
  • most roller-coasters
  • hiking somewhere that isn’t paved
  • running for no damn reason, especially if cars are around
  • sleeping on the ground
  • exploring caves

It did include jumping in bouncy houses but I was peer-pressured into it!  I have pictures of my relatives acting like little kids, but I need to download them and photoshop them first.

Anyways, I look cute, don’t I?  I need a haircut – that’s for sure – because it took an hour just to tame the volume.  I look like a dirty q-tip if I let it go.  My sister bought me that top and suggested my eye make-up when we talked earlier that day.  It held up really well, too!  This whole “try not to look like an exhausted mom of 3 project” is going fairly well!





concentric circles

25 01 2010

With everything that’s been going on, lately I’ve been feeling like my world is getting smaller.  I know January is a tough month on a lot of people – it’s too cold, no one has their tax return yet, it’s post-holiday stress, etc…

Basically, it sucks balls.

For a while, I’ve felt like these 4 walls in my bedroom were not only my comfort but my prison.  I really only leave the house to drop off or pick up the kids and sometimes on Saturdays I go to the store.  Emerging into the chaos that is outside this room and outside this house is terrifying.

But lately, there’s been chaos in here too.

I’ve never been one to be able to sit in the house all day even if I did have stuff to do in the house.  It’s only been the past year that I’ve even considered myself a homebody.  It used to be that staying in one place too long made me crazy – that even sitting in a restaurant after dinner was finished made me antsy.

Now I go for days with coming out of the bedroom for a few minutes at a time.  This is so unlike me and I don’t like this new “sits down all day” person at all.

I know how it happened – within 6 months, we adopted our children then I had surgery then the pain still wasn’t gone and this winter has been crazy with sickness, weather changes, terrible migraines and body pain, and basically trying to relearn how to be a family under the “new rules.”

What happened is that my tree got too top heavy and fell over in the storm.  Now, I’ve had to prune it quite a bit so that it’s basically sticks and replant it and give it time to form new roots.

I probably won’t bloom this year and that’s ok.  No loving gardener would expect me to.  I’ll grow some leaves but I probably won’t flower or fruit.  I’ve got to get myself stable so that I can stand up.

Here’s my plan to stability:

1.  Stop expecting myself to make fruit right away.  Sure, I’ve born fruit in the past but this has been a hell of a storm.  If I pop right out like TA-DA! and try and be the person I was before everything happened, I’m just going to fall over again.

2.  Keep reminding myself that weakness is not a sin.  Sure, it’s inconvenient and maybe shit won’t get done but that’s ok.  Nothing serious is going to happen because I’ve got to be propped up for a while.

3.  Start with my inner circle – the room I spend most of my time in.  It’s not a prison, it’s my sanctuary.  Besides, it’s little so even if I can’t conquer the world right now, I can conquer my own little room.

4.  Next, the family home.  Once my sanctuary is right, I can start rebuilding the way the home functions.  I’m an organizer – it’s what I do naturally.  Not just material things, but personal things too.  This will be fixing my relationships with my family and relearning how to make it work.  This is going to be the hardest step.

5.  Start reforming the sphere of influence – basically, re-bond with the people who influence the lives of my family.  Friends, teachers, therapists, doctors, the internet, etc…

6.  ?????

7.  PROFIT!

I’m not going to do anything drastic like leave the internet or stop with my hobbies because that would just make the steps harder.  I’ve got to do this gradually – the little bits that add up to a whole lot.  I’ve got to make sure version 2.9 is stable before 3.0 is released with much fanfare.  Right?

Anyways, this will probably take just around a year.  I turned 29 13 days ago so my goal is to have green roots at least extended into the ground by the time I’m 30.

What do you think?





going to Kindergarten

21 01 2010

So, remember the whole purple handprint on Chickpea’s face thing I talked about last week?

Well, all week we’ve been “following up” on that. It turns out it was the kid who sits across from her in class (who all sit right next to alleged broken computer) was the one that slapped her.  Now, did she start the fight or get in her own hits?  Probably.  I know my child and she’s a ninja.

I’ve talked to the vice principal, emailed back and forth with the teacher, cc’d the entire crew (teachers, vp, principal, Shaun) and finally the teacher said that maybe I should come visit the classroom.  The time she picked was the EXACT time that the bell rings at LJ’s school to let out and wouldn’t I like to help with the pinata party?

Let’s take a time out right here.

1.  Ms. Teacher Lady knows I have 3 kids in 2 different schools because the school A goes to can’t support LJ’s special needs.

2.  Even though A does not need the same therapeutic needs as LJ, she’s still classified as handicapped and we have a dietary order in place as well as a safety plan just in case she has a flashback.

3.  Dietary needs = very low sugar because something in the sugar seems to trigger the part of her brain that thinks she’s starving.  Seriously, 1 bite of cake triggers hoarding and stealing so we have to be sure that if she gets sweets, she’s supervised and monitored very, very closely.  Since snack time is literally 10 minutes before they get out of school, I asked that I just be allowed to feed her at home and that they give her computer time or library time.

4.  The teacher and I do respect each other but we have a few problems with communication.  I don’t speak a lot of Spanish and she doesn’t speak a lot of English.  Secondary to that, we have cultural and generational… challenges.

5.  I’m special needs myself.  I pretty much can’t plan when I’m either going to have a bad pain day or a bad OCD day.

OK, time back in.

I have QUESTIONS.

1.  What’s in that pinata?  I know how this works – kids smack something with a stick and candy rains down on them.

2.  How does this sound like a good idea?  Let’s put 30 kindergartners in a small room with a paper mache animal, a stick, and tons of candy.  Then, let’s put my daughter in the middle of it.  I know how this story ends – the pinata breaks, kids rush in, my daughter grabs the stick and starts smacking kids to stuff the pockets of her uniform full of candy.

3.  How are we going to talk while all this is going on?

It turned out not to matter because I ended up hitting a 10 on the pain scale that day and I laid in the bed and tried to breathe very slowly.  So, Shaun went.

He said it went well – that the teacher had apple slices for Chickpea laid out next to the snacks and that the pinata had toys in it as well so he was able to confiscate the sugar.  Afterwards, they talked and when I was finally able to understand what they had talked about, I decided I probably did need to go in and talk to her myself because I had questions and apparently she doesn’t like email.  (That’s fine, I don’t like people so we’re even.)

The first thing I caught upon was that I wonder if they really think parents LOOK at their children’s report cards.  I know that when I sat behind a desk for a living that we pretty much assumed no one read their email, so I’m guessing they were really surprised that Chickpea HAD gotten in trouble over her report card.

The main point I wanted to address was not so much that she had gotten into a fight but that her response was to automatically accuse me of it.  We’ve been thinking for a while that there’s some sort of attachment disorder going on and she has been bringing up lately that I’m her 8th Mommy.  So, while I understand kids scuffle at school and really don’t care – I do need to know if she’s saying stuff like this so we can address it with her psychiatrist and therapist.

I still haven’t recovered from sitting in the lobby of a “mental health hospital” with a suicidal 4 year old after a very under-trained caseworker set off a series of flashbacks which ended up in her being sedated (because the hospital was full) and an investigation into our home.  It finally ended when I broke the chain of command within the system and wrote to the Governor himself.

You want to talk about the worst few weeks of my life?  I’d rather have an epic migraine.  So when I talk to the school about needing to report stuff like this, I’m not over-reacting.  I’m taking preventative measures. Besides, they say they’re very well versed in how to deal with children from foster care (such as incident reports, etc…) so not reporting this kind of bruise to me or Shaun is startling.  We’re finalized, so while we don’t need the form filled out, a phone call would be nice.  Ya know?

Anyways, back on track – yesterday was a fairly good day as far as my pain level goes so I figure I’ll drop in and help out with snack time and talk to the teacher.  I take time to look semi-grown up – I have on jeans and a t-shirt that has a cute cartoon on it.  I’m wearing make-up and jewelry and my hair is up in barrettes.  I give the boys both a sucker so their hands and mouths will be occupied.

The teacher is out sick, lo and behold, gone for her pre-op appt and the class have a very young substitute and a male volunteer, also very young.  Chickpea has a bag of animal crackers and is stuffing them in her face so fast the first glimpse I see of her she looks like a chipmunk.

I force the smiles even though the back of my head is going WTFWTFWTFWTF like a choo choo train and we sat in the back of the classroom while they wrapped up their day.

I sat in the back of the classroom and had an epiphany.

My child is not the problem child in her classroom.  There are about 8 other kids in there who were actively being bad as fuck while the rest of the kids were somewhere between doing what they were supposed to do and wandering aimlessly.

One of the kids is at the whiteboard pounding on it yelling “I want to watch the pirate video!”  One says to another “holy shit, that lady has tattoos and that means she’s dangerous.”  The other says “nuh uh, stupid.”  Three are spazzing out like crackheads in the middle of the room.

Then the bell rang and everyone started lining up in the hallways to go to the buses, after school, or car rider lanes and the scene is exactly like the fire drill scene in Kindergarten Cop.

Actually, it was a lot like Kindergarten Cop.

This may explain our communication differences quite well.  I tend to not like movies where kids act like little shits (Parenthood, Home Alone, That Rotten Little Fuck that Vomitted on the Carnival Ride) so I’m totally expecting too much from my personal little shits.

In comparison, mine are qualifying for sainthood.





pressing all the buttons at once never works

17 12 2009

Have you ever said that to someone?

You know what I mean – you’re watching someone get frustrated with a computer and they slam their hand down on the keyboard or randomly start pressing keys.  You know they aren’t going to magically make it better and THEY know they aren’t going to somehow fix things, but dammit, they’re putting the smack-down on it anyways.

If anything, it’s going to make the computer problem worse and it’s going to make things harder and now there’s a bruised hand in the deal.

People are much the same way as computers.  They have buttons.  When pressed correctly, functions that are useful but may take a bit of processing to run but the outcome is favorable.  Certain buttons cause a self-check.   Some let you look closer at the files and drivers, and some show you programming that’s running in the background.

Profound, isn’t it?

It’s also very true that if you push a person’s buttons all at once (or overplay your hand, if you like poker terminology) then not only are you going to end up with the same ole malfunction, but you’re going to have a bruised hand… and if you hit it too hard, it’s not going to work anymore.

I have a few buttons.  Quite a few.  I don’t react well to having someone slam my buttons because they’re frustrated.  For example…

1.  Call me a drug addict

This one will create instant and intense feedback.  You can accuse me of damn near anything and I’ll laugh it off.  Truth is, I’ve never done an illegal drug in my life and neither has Shaun.  Ever.  I don’t mix meds, I don’t get high, and I absolutely don’t put anything in my body that will endanger the people around me.

Now, I don’t care if you smoke dope or do whatever.  I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone.  However, I do have children who were exposed to meth production and I’ve counseled many teens with drug problems.  I’ve seen some really shitty stuff while growing up.  One of my friends who lived near me had a step-dad who smoked and grew a lot of dope.  One day she comes home from school to find the front of his face blown off – I heard the scream from my house.  He was still alive, even after wedging a deer rifle up under his chin. I don’t feel too sorry for him – I feel really bad for HER.

This is not to say if you say “bitch, you must be high” in jest that I’m going to knock you down.  I won’t.  However, if you honestly accuse me of doing drugs, I will have some feedback for you.

2.  Tell me I make things up or that it’s all in my head

I can tell the difference between fiction and reality.  Promise.

I once had an entire set of people believing I was a boy, even though I had my gender in my profile and photos of myself online.  I can tell stories but they’re mostly see-through and hardly ever serious.

In my other life (my not a fiction author persona) I’m a good analyst and give you the data without any massaging or glossing.  Do you need a graph?  OK.  A diagram?  Got it.  Those facts aren’t changing just because they’re prettier.

And you better believe that if I’m paying YOU anything, I’m not telling you a lie.  It just makes the job harder and makes it take longer.  When I’M the client, I’m not looking for attention, for money, for fodder for my comedy act, or for whatever deal that we have to last any longer than it absolutely has to.  I want it fixed, I want it over.  I come prepared and I expect service and quality.

3.  Assume that I’m an idiot and/or assume I assume you’re an idiot

Most of the terribly smart people I know could pass as hare-brained, stupid-ass derelicts.  They do this on purpose so people won’t fuck with them like “quick, what’s 182 x 397?”  Bitch, I don’t know.  Go the fuck away – I’m trying to drink this latte and pretend I’m not trying to figure it out in my head.

This just means that I assume every random idiot I meet may just be the second coming of Albert Einstein.  That dude looked a little crazy, too.  If you’re an average, all-American stereotypical person, then good for you.  I’m going to assume you do a good job at your chosen profession because you CHOOSE to.  Doing a good job has not much to do with your IQ.  It has a lot to do with your attitude and your dedication.

In return, I like for people to assume that I’m good at what I do and that I’m not an idiot (even if they can’t tell by looking.)  I believe that I can know a little something about someone else’s profession and still not show disrespect to their skill or judgment.  It’s like I can tell when the wheel on my car is a little wobbly and I can tell you “it seems like a problem with the front driver-side wheel.”

That doesn’t mean I’m saying “I know everything about front driver-side wheel problems and I think you should take a look at the bearings, because this doesn’t sound like a brake problem.”  It also doesn’t mean that I expect you to just take my word for it and just disassemble it without driving it first.  I’m not saying “I just need a grunt to do the dirty work.”  I’m giving you my experience that I think is relevant, now it’s your turn to ask questions to discover information that you KNOW is relevant.

It furthermore doesn’t mean that because my profession line of your profile says “web related stuff” that I went to some Chevy-hater website and learned all I could about common fuck-ups.  I didn’t just look this up on the internet – if I did research its so I can get a feel for what information to present to you from MY experience in a less than idiotic manner.

Why?  Because I heard my dad say all the time I was growing up “and then she said it sounds like GRRRrrrrrRrrrSCRREEEEEAAAACH and then it felt like when the carnival ride is about to time out – you know how it gets real slow and exaggerated before it stops… then later it turned out she had a windshield wiper that didn’t work and a blown taillight.”  I don’t want to be dinner-time conversation and I don’t need everyone in the general area to look at me like I’ve grown a green spike out of my ass.

4.  Tell me that my facial expression is somehow disrespectful

Ok, you self-absorbed little shit, who are you to think my face has anything to do with YOU?  Most of the time this happens, I’ve got a migraine and I’m making the “do you smell that?  I think one of our kids just shat themselves” face.  I don’t know it because my face feels like it’s full of sand and I’m attempting to be part of normal society.

I’m not wrinkling my nose up because you walked by and I hate people who <insert characteristic you’re overly sensitive about.>  I don’t think you smell funny or that you have on stupid looking clothes or that you should rub some conditioner on your kids’ head.  Actually, I would probably think those things if I had it in me to NOTICE you. If you were walking by and you happened to be 700 lbs in hot pink spandex, I may notice you out of the group of people in the area.  I absolutely did not notice your ass who was 15 feet away from the 700 lb hot pink person but in the general line of site.  I don’t care if you were dressed in head to toe Coach patterned anything and had bright yellow cabbage patch hair done up in pig-tails – I swear I didn’t see you.

When in pain, here’s the way things are noticed:

1.  Anything in the epicenter of the pain.  If I have pain in between my shoulders, I’m not wearing a bra because it would damn near kill me.

2.  Anything that aggravates the pain.  If I have a migraine and you walk by smelling like you just bathed in a vat of peach candle scent, then I will notice you and I will vacate the area and leave you to clean up the vomit.

3.  Anything that is shoved into my face so that I’ll notice it.  That’s because people who know me know that when I get the “do you smell that?” face on know that they need to dress up in bright orange and do the chicken dance to get me to pay attention to them.

… and they have to be yelling “CYNDI, did you see that cabbage-patch headed bitch back there?”  Um, no, I didn’t.  What?  You want to take Alyssa to Babyland?  Ok.  Sounds good.  “No, I don’t mean I want to drive to Clermont – I mean did you see that girl with the yellow pig-tails?”  No… what?  Someone did that?

So, for your holiday season, just remember to be nice to your keyboard.  It doesn’t need your frustrated ass banging on it like cops on a screen door.