Monday, March 30, 2009
On the way to Little Rock to meet an ex b/f the first leg of the flight was to Memphis. Well, part way through the flight I realized I had to go pee reallyyyyy badly. I thought I could wait and tried for a while; finally realized it was a situation of go now or not look so great when I saw the b/f hehe. Went up to the front of the very teenie tiny plane and entered the restroom. It was approximately the size of a carrier for a large dog. One had the room to unzip, sit and that was about it. Men had a definite peeing advantage here. Being tall, my knees were shoved somewhere in the vicinity of my sinuses but I managed...
Well, I got up, managed to get re-zipped with only 14 lacerations, 12 bruises from knocking into the walls, 32 very colorful words and only one foot shoved down into the funny blue water.
I went to leave just as I heard the pilot announce "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now making our descent into Memphis. Please make sure your seats and tray tables are in their upright positions and your seat belt is fastened." I was like ..."Oh SHIT, gotta get moving... if the plane is gonna crash on landing, I sure don't want it being ME that is in the headlines as "And one woman's body was found in the restroom, head stuck in the toilet; no one has been able to identify her yet as her face is an amazing shade of bright blue."
So I unlocked the door and turned the knob.... nothing happened. Thinking nothing of it except I must not have unlocked it all the way, I tried again... again nothing... by the third try, my sense of the ridiculous had gotten a hold of me and I was standing in this claustrophobic space snorting with laughter as I cussed a blue streak. I tried a few more times... unsuccessfully. I was now totally embarrassed knowing I was stuck in an airplane bathroom yet finding the whole situation totally hilarious.
Finally realizing the plane was soon to land with me still caught in the friggin loo, I knocked on the door. Nothing... Knocked again... still nothing. I had visions (which I don't think were too off actually) of the flight attendants standing on the other side, tittering and saying "why is there always ONE idiot who does this?" Finally, I banged loud enough to get a response. The door was unlocked from the other side by the 1 MALE flight attendant, who was literally biting his lip and smiling, obviously trying not to laugh. He said simply "you kept locking it back; the occupied sign kept going on and dinging." I started laughing again thinking "Oh great so the whole teenie tiny plane saw that; lovely."
I told him thank you as I laughed, aware that my face was so red as to feel flaming, and walked past him, past first class where a vast majority of the people sitting there were smiling openly. I just nodded, attempted to keep my dignity while at the same time trying to get a laugh (this IS me after all) and looked at them and saying "you might wanna stay out of the restroom; it's vicious; makes the shower scene in Psycho look like Disney and I'm pretty sure there is a hidden camera." I got my laugh.. I am quite sure that the passengers on that plane had a funny story to tell about the idiot lady and her continual re-beeping of the occupied sign on the restroom... lol. I of course have decided that any further trips I make by plane will be with a catheter....
1) This baffled me when I was a child (yes I was a strange kid who wondered strange things) and while I understand it now, simply because it stumped me for so many years I'm giving it top list space.
How, when you take medicine, does it know where to go and why it is going there? Again I understand NOW, but I always wondered... say you have a headache... how does aspirin know to go to your HEAD and not say your left pinkie toe? Or say you have a headache AND a left pinkie toe ache. Do you end up with one gosh danged confused aspirin in your system saying to itself "no I need to go THIS way.. no THAT way...ACK!" and even then why doesn't it go to say, your spleen in confused self defense?
2) Remember as I say this that I AM a white woman who many years in the past did this same thing (now I revel in my ghost white skin and utter lack of wrinkles in middle age)-
Why oh WHY is a deep dark tan considered to be the sexiest look around and considered to make a person look "healthier" when we are still, in the year 2009, surrounded by racism, i.e., prejudice against those of a darker skin color? Why is it great to voluntarily work towards the color that so many of those people out tanning themselves towards melanoma would hate to have had because of birth?? Hmmm
3) Smoking- I can't figure it out. To paraphrase how someone else has put it, what IS the thrill to make one start in the first place? You are taking a plant that has been dried, shredded and wrapped in a paper tube, then burning it and inhaling the fumes. WHY!?? What insane caveman started the trend anyway?
4) The preponderance of "pretty boys" in the movies these days- One night my ex and I talked about how neither of us understood what happened to real ACTORS. There are so few of them left... nowadays it is all about how hot you look, male or female. So many movies I can think of would have been fantastic as opposed to just mediocre if they had had stars who could act, not just smile.
5) Chewing Gum- I periodically will chew some minty gum for ye olde fresh breath reasons or try some of the weird flavors that come out just 'cause there is a large part of me that is still 12, but when I chew it, my natural inclination is to SWALLOW (shut UP, you pervs!) the gum. It just feels wrong to be chewing this wad of gluey "stuff" and not swallow it. Humans were meant to swallow what they put in their mouths. Can't figure it out.
6) Why do some people REFUSE to use their seat belts while in a moving 2 to 3 ton piece of metal and fiberglass that is subject to the whims of the person behind the wheel and other drivers on the road who have been doing God alone KNOWS what before they get behind the wheel? There are actually people who say that they don't use them because it will "mess up their clothing". Yeah buddy, and flying through that windshield is going to leave you neat and pristine huh? Wrinkles are much easier to straighten out than body parts stuck to your blouse.
7) Lazy people- I'll never understand lazy people. Case in point; my own darling children and both my exes. Please explain to me how these people, including the children that I trained to know better, could eat food, then "forget" to take the plate into the kitchen or see something on the floor but actually step OVER it rather than bend down and pick it up?? I have forced myself (and believe me for a neat freak Virgo this was hard) to test this and see if what happened. Once, I left plates on the living room coffee table that Cam and my ex had brought out there and forgotten. They sat for FIVE days untouched. I cleaned around them and they still sat there. What did they think? That I was using them for new decorative purposes? When I finally pointed this out, I got "oops" as a response. God help me. I also left something right in plain sight in the middle of the floor and got the same thing happening.
Another case in point; they will actually carry the plate or bowl or whatever back in the kitchen and then leave it on the counter; the counter that sits directly over the dishwasher. Sigh.
8) Cheap sex- Now I may be in the minority here, but I am one of the few people of my generation who has NEVER had a one night stand. Not even a two night stand or a three...well, you get my point. I have never understood having such a driving need for sheer physical release that one would go home with a stranger whose name you might not even know and engage in life's most intimate act. Now mind you, I love sex... but to me (and thank you Lord to the man I am with though I'm sure he has had his illicit moments; none of my business though) sex is NOT something that can be done CORRECTLY without intellectual and emotional closeness being involved and somehow I think it would be rather hard to achieve that with someone that one has barely exchanged names with. Subjective opinion here but hey it's MY list gol-dang it.
9) With the last two, I choose serious topics- this one here... well, I can't understand abusing someone you say you love, be it a spouse, s/o, child or the new "trend" of parental abuse (of the elderly and/or incapacitated). Having been in the situation as a child and as an adult and hearing as a kid the phrase "I'm doing this because I love you" and as an adult, "I love you but you have 'provoked' me into this". I CAN'T figure it out. How does one justify leaving bruises and welts on someone they love? Emotional abuse is part of it too. How again, can one justify what they do under the guise of "helping", i.e. calling somebody names, trying to change the make up of a persons personality, telling them they are a failure, and so on and so forth? How can ANY supposedly rational human being find a concrete logical reason for physically or emotionally scarring a person they say they LOVE just because they have been momentarily pissed off by that person? I... just... don't...get it.
10) Last but not least, and I am not trying to offend those of you who are "non- believers", but I can't understand how some people can look at the complexities of our universe and of ourselves and not see the hand of a higher power in that. How can anyone look at this Earth for example; at it's beauty and say that all happened by chance, happenstance... just a bunch of atoms or cells or molecules or what the heck ever that HAPPENED to get together and have a party in JUST the right way, at JUST the right time to form the trees you love to watch sway in that gentle summer breeze your soul embraces, or that man or woman whose body your touch savors and who makes you laugh & makes you cry or leaves you feeling at alternate times such anger or such a well of tenderness that it leaves you breathless? All of that was CHANCE?! The oceans, the tides, the birds, the way men and women fit together perfectly? All CHANCE? Just a twist of fate? I can't wrap my head around that idea and I am a logical woman.
I'm sure I could come up with more... the differing ways men think than women do is worth about ten alone lol, but I'll save it for now.
Once upon a time, when I was young and pretty, I lived in the land of Strip Club. It was an odd odd land, populated by women wearing duct tape around their breasts and necks when off stage and men who thought five dollars meant you owned a woman body and soul. Well, for a little while anyway.
But alas, that was, as I've said, when I was young and pretty before the twin demons of childbirth and middle age spread set in and my own perky friends became downcast and sad.
Back in those days, in that odd little land, I worked as a cocktail waitress at a strip club. I was one of those young women who was fully clothed though admittedly scantily so and went and sat down with the lonely looking men and got them to buy me a five dollar drink. This drink they bought me had no actual booze in it of course though the customer didn't know this. It was from one of many special bottles kept under the counter for us girls with our choice of fruit juice, cola or tea in them. Yes, we were ALLOWED to drink and many of the girls did; alcoholism is a job hazard in that environment but I didn't because I was scared of not being in control sitting with some man who hoped the drinks would lead to more.
There are many many things that those of you who may frequent those clubs don't realize and I'm here to enlighten you. So come to attention class because there will be a quiz at the end.
1) That woman dancing on your lap and gyrating as if she is right where she wants to be??? She just wants your money because nine clubs out of ten, the women receive no real wages. They are dependent on those bills you shove in their g-string. She doesn't REALLY think you have "the worlds greatest package" nor does she have any intention of doing anything with that phone number you gave her. In the majority of cases, the women feel disgust for these men who they they see as so hard up they can only get a woman's attention by paying for it.
2)The room where the private dances go on? It AIN'T private. Other than a camera recording every move, there is usually a large peephole tucked away somewhere so that if the guy gets a little too close (closer than the woman wants anyway... it's usually up to the dancers discretion) the big burly bouncer named Hal can come in and throw you out... he loves his job.
3) Ya know the drinks they bring you in that private room?? Many is the time when a customer that the girls were scared would get too frisky unknowingly scarfed a drink that was loaded with downers. The man gets woozy, the woman keeps asking for more money for increasingly LESS attention paid to the guy and he goes home much poorer but not remembering why.
4) Speed is the drug of choice. It is taken before the shift starts, a while before their twelve comes up, after they're done because they're exhausted and before they leave because they have real world tasks to attend to or are planning to go party with friends... or customers who flashed a lot of cash.
5) Technically, the girls aren't supposed to partake in paid sex. Technically because the owners and managers know the letter of the law. But I saw more than one girl get fired because she refused to set up "dates" thus lessening the cut the club made of her money. Any money the dancers make they have to "share" with the club. They pay for their dance time, their room time. It is rented out to them and if they can't make enough money one night, the cost is rolled over to the next night. It gives new meaning to owing your soul to the company store.
6) This one is humorous in a painful sort of a way. Many of the girls will duct tape their breast as high up as they can, putting the tape over their necks and partway down their backs. They do this all day when not at work and until their twelve starts. The effect of the tape is to give them more "lift". It last for a few hours.
7)Many of the girls have been known to ummm... stay clean using things such as diluted bleach or pine sol because of the many instances of a customer getting too friendly or they themselves doing a little work on the side. They didn't know where that hand had been. A lot of the girls became quite germ phobic.
8)95% to 100% of the girls had drinking problems. We waitresses weren't as prone to it because our job was easier. We just had to flirt and make the men spend money. The dancers however were encouraged to drink because it loosened them up and made them more willing to show off on stage. The management keeps full bottles of each girls favorite liquor in the dressing rooms (assuming there are any... many clubs don't want to waste the money and the girls change in the restrooms) and encourage drunkenness 1) for the less inhibited dancing and 2) so that there is more chance the girls will take dates.
EDITEDTO ADD NEXT TWO PARTS-
I am adding this next one in a little bit later. I hadn't put it in the original text because serious though this entry may be compared to some of my stuff, I didn't want to push it. But... heck with that. Strip clubs are a sordid business and what I am writing is nothing less than the truth.
9) The suicide rate amongst dancers at clubs such as these is sky high. In the four months I worked at the club, three girls killed themselves. One after a rape by a customer, one because she could no longer handle the shame of what she was doing for money. She was 17; shouldn't even have been there legally but she had been abused and had no family to back her up so fell into the life to survive and one girl killed herself in the back of the club rather than continue on the path she was on with drinking and drugs. Her suicide note still rings in my head when I think about those days.
10) The instances of abuse by the owners of and managers of (and the bouncers) towards the girls is disgusting in it's frequency. Again, the bulk of these girls/women are there because they feel they have no choice. Either they come from abusive backgrounds or poor families where there is no hope of education or from immigrant families who need the money to survive. So when they are told that they WILL perform oral sex on the owner to keep their job, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Say no and end up on the streets or say yes and lose what little shred of self esteem they have left?
All in all, what the customer sees in the front... bright lights, loud music, dancing women who seem to be having the time of their lives is beyond any falsity Hollywood can put on it. It is one step up from prostitution, sometimes not even that, populated by single mothers who have to do it to feed their kids, young women lured in by the promise of easy money and stuck now by their own drinking or drug habits, & older women who know they are the clubs "lone old fat bi***" who is kept there for laughs but who suffers that humiliation to pay the bills. Next time you go to a T&A club, look in the eyes of the woman there. Smile AT her not at the guy next to you in a comradely leer. Be that one guy in a thousand who even though he is there actually still shows the women there some respect. You'll make her day and maybe even be the reason she doesn't feel so damn UGLY and dirty at the end of the night.
God, I'm glad i'm not nineteen anymore.
Today I am going to write about words. Or words that have been deluded into thinking they are words because they have vowels and consonants but that are really just...well... vowels and consonants. Being me, there is a good chance I may branch out into a rant on other things up to and including weird names for anatomical parts, why my nose runs when I'm cold and why we haven't outgrown the juvenile love of fart noises. In other words, a perfectly typical entry from me.
I am aware that the "word" ain't is considered an accepted part of the English language now. Personally, I am thinking about running for the presidency just so that I can pass a poo-load of laws concerning proper English and the use of the death penalty for saying something like "I don't gotta because I done ain't ___________" fill in the blanks there, most likely with very colorful swear words that promise to fulfill all of Micheal Jackson's sex fantasies with one of his Llamas.
What really gets me about the word ain't though is the penchant of some to misspell this ummm... simple homey word (there that didn't sound too offensive... we all know what I REALLY meant was "this stupid string of letters that makes you look like an idiot if you use it in real conversation" but there's no need to say that.
It is spelled a-i-n'-t NOT ai'nt. What the hell is an ai'nt?? The use of the apostrophe is to signify the missing letter in the word not (though nobody has ever figured out what an ai is).
Moving on to my next non word word. How 'bout y'all??? Now I admit that after 20 years in the south (sobs in memory of big cities and Yankee accents) I use the word y'all. It is useful and has a nice quaint sound. But again... SPELLING people SPELLING!!! It is a contraction of the words you all thus meaning that it is spelled y'all not ya'll. I ask again about this one; what the hell is an ll or a ya??? The apostrophe is to signify the missing letters in the word you. Grr I say... grr grr grr.
We humans (I was going to say Americans but then remembered some rather colorful slang used in Europe) love to take anatomical parts and make up many names for them. It has gotten to the point where Vagina, Breasts and Penis sound almost obscene and rather stupid because we are so used to using the naughtier terms. But I would like someone... anyone... other than a horny twenty year old male please... explain to me how a woman's breasts came to be called Hooters??? Personally, mine have never hooted. Nor have they howled, grunted, whined or laughed. They just lie there quietly saying nary a word.
Add to the collection of breast names Honkers (mine don't honk either... did I miss a gene when I was made perchance?), knockers (mine aren't tiny... I suppose if I swung them around enough, I could knock someone out), and Bazombas (I don't know what to say to THAT one... maybe mine bazomb and I just don't know it because I don't know what it means?? *Looks down at breasts in fear).
Then we have the names for the Penis some of which I can't even print here because of decency laws and my own predilection for blushing at simple Viagra commercials. Though in passing, I WILL mention that I seriously loathe Bob from the Viagra commercials... he and his wife scare the dickens out of me.
Dickens... hmmm; leads to one of those words. Dick *blushes*. Now how did a cute little things (ok ok quit glaring at me men... a manly LARGE thing! Sheesh!) like a Penis come to be called a Dick?? Did some man named Dick name his after himself (which leads to the question of why do men names their appendages? I just call my parts...parts.) and the name stuck and now all men, whether named Frank, Stanley or Joe now have another name of Dick?
What of Pee-Pee and Wee-Wee. Isn't the latter rather offensive to men? Wouldn't they prefer we call it say.... a Huge-Huge? Also, does Pee-Pee signify that you are doing it twice?
Moving on... how did the act of relieving oneself come to be known as going Pee or Poop?? What person decided that the act which we all do or suffer dire consequences (especially after too many Spam Smoothies. Don't ask.) needed to have it's own little euphemism and how in the name of all that is holy did they end up with Pee and Poop???!!!
Then there is Tinkle (when I go, it doesn't Tinkle nor do any Angels get their wings from the act), Piss (huh??), numbers one and two (who decided which was number one??? Is this a weird chicken and egg thing here?) and Taking A Leak (if it's leaking you either need Penicillin or Depends)
I give up. I think I'm going to make up my own language....
By the way why DOES my nose run when it's cold and where did the word Boogers come from?
Monday, March 16, 2009
1) Gather up candles, glass of wine, trashy book, bath oils and bubble bath, 12 dollar shampoo and conditioner, after conditioner conditioner, razor, peach scented shaving cream, body lotion and radio.
2)Plug radio in, find appropriate station.
3) Set up candles... look again, realize you don't like the way the light shines on your face and makes you look wrinkled and yellow and rearrange the candles to be more flattering. You never know if your mate is going to need to get into the bathroom.
4) Add bubble bath to the water then look at it in disgust when it barely foams. Stick your bare feet in the water and kick furiously creating scads of foam and a mess on the wall. Feel triumphant.
5) Realize that during the course of all this, you have finished the glass of wine. Go to get another then say to hell with it and just bring in the whole bottle. Wonder why your fiance looks at you funny as you pass by with it on your way to the bathroom.
6)Undress, look in the mirror and wonder why Mother Nature has to take its toll. You used to have such NICE boobs. Contemplate for a few minutes how you'd look after uplift surgery wearing a wonder bra. When you finish laughing and snorting wine through your nose, pour more wine and climb in the tub.
7) Get back out, dripping water, because you forgot your book and the box of chocolates.
8)Get in, open the book, laugh hysterically at the sex scenes knowing there is no woman alive who wouldn't kick a man in the balls if he tried any of that "he pulled her with rough forceful arms into his chest as her bosom heaved" crap.
9) Drop book in water when reaching for the nearly empty wine bottle and giggle for a few minutes over how well it floats... until it doesn't. Pull up the sopping mass of paper and ink and toss it towards the sink, laughing hysterically when it misses and splats on the mirror. Have more wine.
10)Get razor, look at it for a minute wondering if you're still safe to wield sharp objects. Decide you are. Lather on half a can of shaving cream after using it first to draw obscene pictures on the wall of the tub and to give yourself a Santa beard.
11) Get out of tub, swearing loudly as you wrap a hand towel around your bleeding leg. Grimace and try to smile when your boyfriend knocks on the door and asks what's wrong. Put a spin on it to where it is his fault you cut yourself.
12) Get back in tub after drinking more wine, this time for medicinal purposes. Wonder if your fiance snuck in and drank some because you know you didn't empty the bottle. Burp loudly and then giggle with your hand over your mouth as you hear your boyfriend laugh.
13) Finish shaving with no further incidents. Wash your hair, again using the foam for things it was never intended for, forgetting to rinse out the soap.
14)Drip candle wax over cooling water just to see it get hard. Giggle over the word hard being in your mind.
15) Get out of tub and walk out to fiance wrapped only in a towel and a smile. Wonder vaguely why the world is spinning so quickly and when your boyfriend became twins.
16)Wake up the next morning with no memory of your bath and wondering why your leg is wrapped with bloody tissue and your mirror has shredded book pages all over it. Look in said mirror and scream when you see that your hair is as stiff as a board and covered in what resembles dried snot.
17) Glare at your fiance, who is laughing so hard he is crying and go take a shower. You never did like baths anyway.
I also can be brought to many different stages of my life by different scents.... the smell of Emeraude or Wind Song Perfume brings my mother to mind.... the smell of alcohol and cigarettes puts me with my father (it's not a bad smell...really...). The smell of Lilacs is Spring to me as well as anything that reminds me of the smell of a breeze or rain. The smell of Onions and Celery sauteeing puts me in mind of Thanksgiving (as they are used to make stuffing/dressing)
What scents have memories for you? Or have an effect on you in any way? Why? Do you wear or use in your home certain smells for certain times? What makes you smile when you smell it and what makes you grimace??
She had to have been at least 80 years old. This tiny Korean woman was as much a part of the bases family as any soldier. Nobody seemed to know if she was somebodies mama-san or housekeeper or just one of the many Koreans who had come here years before and become forgotten.
She didn't seem to understand or care that the sidewalks were for human traffic and the roads for vehicles. She walked straight down the middle of the lane of traffic that was heading in the direction she was going, pushing her heavy beat up shopping cart in front of her. When there was a stop sign, she would stand there as if she too were a car, waiting for her turn to go. If a light turned red before she could finish crossing, she would simply stand in the middle of the road and wait as traffic would carefully go around her, soldiers greeting her with "hi mama-san; how are you today?" as they passed, most handing her folded up money or a small sack of groceries they had bought for just this purpose. Periodically she would just stop and sit down in the road to rest.
Inevitably, when she would sit down, the driver stuck behind her would offer to give her a lift to wherever she was going. Her response never varied. She would stand up, brush herself off with an inate dignity few humans can match and would wave both hands disdainfully at the offer saying, "go way marykin; go way. I walk goodly."
Yet in her cart, sticking out, was a faded American Flag wrapped in plastic. If it rained, she would quickly pull it out and protect it under her clothing, hunched over to make sure no water hit her obviously precious burden.
At 5pm, every night, all traffic would come to a standstill as evening reveille was blown and the flags were taken down for the night. Soldiers all over base would get out of their cars or come to a standstill wherever they were and salute until it was done. Mama-san was no exception but her routine was known to have brought more than one soldier to tears.
Every night, as the sounds wafted through the air, she would get out her flag and lay it gently on the top of the shopping cart. She would then stand as straight as her aged body would let her and raise a trembling hand to her forehead in a salute as tears streamed down her face and the other hand softly stroked her plastic wrapped treasure. When it was over, she would tuck her flag back into place, wipe her eyes and continue her seemingly never ending walk.
She was found dead one day, flag in her arms, sitting upright in front of the Post Exchange when the staff got there in the morning. There were no identifying papers found in her cart or on her person. The soldiers of the base created a fund to give her a funeral and a proper burial. At her funeral, it was standing room only for this little old Korean lady known only as mama-san. Her dignity and her love for what was assumed was some long dead American soldier had won her a spot in the hearts of an entire military base. In a cemetery in Mannheim Germany is a tombstone that simply says "Mama-San; she was one of ours"
She has a place in my memory today, over twenty years later. Rest in peace mama san.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
About a week ago I read a journal entry by a young woman with very firm opinions which is usually something I admire. While I could admire this woman's strong views and obvious intellect, I couldn't even begin to agree with her viewpoint. She had blogged her opinion on whether people with low IQ's should even be allowed to be born. Her opinion was, in a long entry and very vehement terms, that "retards" should be culled from the gene pool as soon as we have the technology to know that they will not be "whole and a good addition to society". I remember that part verbatim because it stuck with me.
I have six children. Four of them have been blessed with above average intellect; it's too early to tell with my baby though he seems very alert and intelligent. The other, my fourteen year old son, has been blessed with other traits. He is mildly retarded with an IQ of about 70, mildly Autistic, has ADHD and is Bi-Polar and the doctor who sees him has said recently that my son has begun showing signs of Schizophrenia and Psychosis. I can see some of you there shaking your heads and feeling sorry for him (and me by extension) and saying "how can she say her son has been blessed?" While I wish with every fiber of my being that my son had been given the brains that my other children have and the possibilities that lie before them because of it, yes, I still say that Jordan has been blessed. As have I and so many others because of the birth of this boy who is not "whole and a good addition to society."
Jordans not perfect. He wears no Halo and he hasn't sprouted wings though I'm sure he'd love the havoc he could wreak with flying abilities. I am not going to paint a portrait of the sweet retarded child who makes every day Heaven by his very presence. My life probably would have been 1000 times easier had he NOT been born. He can be aggressive and physically violent. He can be sly and sneaky and has a talent for lying that a person of greater intellect and larger malice would envy. But had he not been born, I also would have missed out on some very valuable lessons. Jordan makes me think outside the box much of the time. To keep up with him, I have to.
People have asked me, with pity showing in their gazes, how I manage raising a child like Jordan. They say as they pat my arm how hard it must be to be the mother of a boy like that. I say to them what I have learned from watching Jordan I now know to be the truth. Yes, it is hard to raise him. It is a lifelong challenge that has worries that will probably follow me into the afterlife. But, I tell them, as hard as it is to RAISE Jordan, what must it be like to BE Jordan?
What must it feel like to be fourteen years old beginning to like girls and knowing that these girls look at you with disgust because even though you're good looking on the outside with a wonderful heart, you're different and fourteen isn't an age to be different? What must it be like to see your peers moving on socially and intellectually while you still struggle with second and third grade books? What must it be like to be so filled with hurt that sometimes it spills over into a physical rage? What must it be like to look at the teacher you adore, whom you have known since you were five and see the black eye she has now because you head butted her in a moment of uncontrollable anger? What must if be like to have people look at you like you are an alien when you are just a little boy who would willingly run naked through the front yard and give away every toy he owns just to hear someone say "I'm your friend, Jordan?" What must it be like to feel different, misplaced, alone in a crowd, disliked... retarded?
Yet for all of that, for all of his problems, for all of his incessant whining which sometimes leads me straight to the straw and bottle of Baileys, he has taught me so much.
Look at Jordan and say "dink" or "aboo" (his favorite "words") and he will give you a heart wrenching grin and say them back as he hugs you. Lesson- the little things can make you the happiest.
He can see road kill on the side of the road and not think "ewww". Nope, his reaction will be that that is so sad that that animal died and mommy shouldn't we stop and pick it up and bury it so it can go to God? Lesson- it may not be pretty but it's still Gods.
Let Jordan see a man with a "homeless, will work for food" sign and after it is explained to him why the man is there, he doesn't have the reaction so many of us "normal" people do. He doesn't say or think that the man is probably a druggie who deserves it or that maybe we should give him a dollar or two so we can feel good about our compassion. No, he gets right to the heart of it and says that the world needs to change so that people don't have to have signs like that and isn't it sad that that man has to do that because it must make him feel really bad when people laugh at him. Lesson- awww heck, if you can't see that one, I'm not even going to try to put into words what the lesson there is.
All in all, yep, things would be easier if Jordan hadn't been born. I would be able to get and keep a job because I wouldn't have to be going to his school a few days a week to calm him down which makes it impossible to work a normal schedule. I wouldn't be worrying constantly about what will happen to him when I die. I could sleep peacefully at night not jumping at the slightest sound worrying that it is Jordan going to pour yogurt over the cats just because.
I also might look at that homeless man and see just a bum. I would probably see road kill and never would it occur to me to be sad because one of Gods creatures had been killed. Good chance that in my nice white bread life, as liberal as I am and as tolerant as I am, I wouldn't be nearly as accepting of others faults and flaws as I am now. From him, I have learned tolerance of the most basic kind; tolerance not of that annoying person who cuts you off in traffic or your crazy sister in law who can't stop talking about her favorite soap opera but tolerance of the frailty of humanity; tolerance of the flaws that we all have, "normal" or not.
So yeah, people with low IQ's should be allowed to be born. Not because they are so angelic and so gosh darn wonderful but just because they have as many things to teach us as that History Professor you like so much or that Parish Priest whose words you quote to all. It's just a matter of whether or not you're willing to learn things from someone who may a slightly different way of teaching and whose favorite way may be with a hug and the word "dink". Personally, I like it.
Friday, March 13, 2009
LOL, ya know...those who say he is a "special" child sure are right but not for the reasons they think
My son Zach went trick or treating last year. He was a werewolf...again. He has a fascination with them. I haven't decided if I simply need to hide the cats during a full moon, wonder if he is Lon Chaney reincarnated or just get him therapy. Zach constantly bemoans the fact that he hasn't yet grown enough body hair to make a Spyhnx Cat happy much less a werewolf.
I still remember when I found him and his older brother Jordan in the bathroom cutting each others hair and trying to super glue it to their faces. After I stopped laughing and wiped my eyes, I had to figure out a way to get the hair and the glue off their faces. I was tempted to just leave it there and let them go to school looking like the bastard love children of Tiny Tim and The Bearded Lady but the mental image of myself trying to explain to the Child Protection agency why my sons were covered in glued on hair made me think better of it.
Moving on. My father, who died in April of '06, loved Halloween. Ok, so he was a diabetic who loved any excuse to eat candy but he did adore Halloween. Every year we went through the same routine. I would take him shopping and he would buy six or seven of the HUGE bags of candy. You know the kind; the ones with enough in them to feed either a small third world country or Nicole Ritchie on a binge. Most would be the mini chocolate bars with one or two bags of Smarties and Sweet-tarts. I would nag him about not needing so much because we lived in a rural area where we are lucky (or blessed depending on your viewpoint) to get ten kids coming to the door. He would say that what didn't get eaten he could give to my kids *snorts... uh huh*.
Come Halloween, an hour after trick or treating would start, I would invariably find him sitting in his lawn chair, candy wrappers around him as he dozed in the blissful dreams of a mini diabetic coma and dreamt of Kim Novak hand feeding him Nestles Crunch bars. He would be surrounded by neighborhood cats and dogs sniffing through the wrappers trying to find some crumbs of forbidden chocolate heaven. I am fairly sure he alone was responsible for quite a few animals dying a sugar induced death. The children loved him though. Where else could they go and grab handfuls of candy without the watchful eyes of an (awake) adult telling them to not take more than one or two?
Every year, the day after Halloween, he & I would go through the kids bags. Ostensibly it was to sift through it and get rid of anything iffy. In reality though it was to take all the good stuff and then when the kids asked where it went to, to point the sticky finger at each other. Last year, the popular item seemed to be Dum Dum Suckers. Lots and lots of Dum Dum suckers. I tried for months to figure out what to do with all. There are only so many times one can serve Dum Dum Roast for dinner with a side of Mashed Dum Dums before the family refuses to eat. Now I just sneak them in like most mothers do Spinach. "Here you go honey... eat your Dum Dums first then I'll get you some nice chicken... c'mon it looks sooo good doesn't it? You used to love the Cream Soda flavor".
I had to laugh when Zach got home with his goodies. He dumped the bag out, got the most disappointed look on his face, turned to me and said "dum dum suckers?! Awww man"!!! My father was surely laughing himself silly as Kim fed him Snickers bars and Three Musketeers.
Dum Dum Au Gratin anyone???? I'll share.
Ahhh dad, Halloween just wasn't the same without you this year.
Postscript- I have put this here from my old journal. I want to get things moved from there to here a bit at a time so forgive the Halloween reference in March lol.
Enter real life.
I'm now in my 40's. I have six much loved children, am working on my third marriage; finally with that man who dotes on me and am a stay at home mom. Now ask me if I mind. But really... who plans for this?
It never fails to amaze me how someone somewhere knows much better than us what we need in life.
One of my kids is my 14 year old son Jordan. He is a sweet sweet boy. He is also mentally and emotionally disabled with an IQ of about 75, high functioning Autistic, Bi-Polar, OCD, ADHD and periodically Schizophrenic with some violent tendencies . Who plans for this?
When you are young, you pick out your future children's names and can mentally picture every aspect of their personalities and lives. Jordan was going to be a doctor. He was going to be six feet tall, was going to adore his mother and was going to be my bright and shining fourth child. He was the hope for my second marriage, the reason to stay.
Well, he is well on his way to six feet tall lol. He also adores his mother to the point of not being able to have me leave his sight without a meltdown and while he will never be a doctor, he has spent plenty of time around them in his short life. Be careful what you wish for huh? Who plans for this?
I don't think any parent can ever be fully prepared for raising a special needs child. There are no classes to take to tell you how to breathe when your son pours strawberry yogurt all over the cats. There is no book to read to teach you how to handle it when your sweet tempered child gets suspended from school for the 4th time because he gets violent in an attempt to get sent home to be with mommy. There is no online class to take to help you adjust to the fears and the nights of shed tears because you worry how your child will survive should you die. You become paranoid about your own mortality. I feel like I need to live to be 135 just so that I can be there to take care of him because if I don't, what will happen to him?? Who will love him like I can? Who will make sure he takes his medicine and doesn't run out into the road and doesn't think that every stranger is a new friend? Who plans for this?
By the same token, when raising a special needs child, you learn so much from them. I am never allowed to forget how wonderful it can be to sit and watch Tom & Jerry chase each other around the TV screen. Nor will I ever take hugs for granted. For many years, my boy didn't like to touch or be touched. I am learning that every new milestone is a gift, every learned task is a blessing. When I see him cuddle his five month old brother and ask me "mommy, am I a good big brother?" I can honestly say that yes he is. He may be a little too loving at times for a baby to handle but he is never aloof, never distant, never the teen boy who wants nothing to do with the baby. Someday my baby will outgrow the brother who is 14 years older than him. But until then, my biological youngest will have a big brother who will always play hide and seek, who will always be willing to get down in the dirt with him and push around matchbox cars. Who plans for this?
From Jordan, I have learned what unconditional love is. His is the purest love I have ever received. Even on days when I am impatient and harried, he still loves me and thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread. Nobody else in the world looks at me and says "mommy, you need to relax more! You work too hard! Let me bring you a blankie and a glass of milk." Of course I don't drink milk but that's not the point lol. I have learned to GIVE love in ways I never thought possible either. When you have kids, it is with the tacit understanding that they are on loan to you, that one day they will grow up and move away and your relationship with them will change and deepen. Not with Jordan. he will always be my little boy. In that, he has taught me to be more unselfish, more giving than I ever thought I was capable of.
Really... who plans for this??
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
He gave them DVDS??? Oh. My. God. Yeah, that's classy. What will he give other allies? Spinny toothbrushes? Maybe a full set of The Brady Bunch DVDS?? Free Pizza Coupons?
Ok, I lied. My blog won't JUST be family things. I have opinions darn it!!! I do I do I do!!!
Sorry. I'm calm now