Respect My Authority (Yeah, Right) and Power to the Control Freaks



I always wondered why Steve-o’s friends were afraid of me.  I really am not a violent person, no matter how much I watch cop shows and episodes of Dr. G.  In fact from my earliest conscious memories until I was about 14, I got the hell beat out of me pretty much daily.  At one beating a day from ages 2-14, that would be  4382 beatings (assuming there would be two leap years in that time range)  logged in- years before I could legally down a fifth of vodka or so to forget it all.

Granted, some days I probably avoided a beating and other days I know I got multiple beatings, so it all works out.  I know how to assume the position of least resistance to better protect the more vulnerable areas while I’m being pummeled.  The only time I ever fought back was when I was  17 and beat the living hell out of my sister (who had probably inflicted at least 3,000 of the beatings previously mentioned) and that only because she took my car without permission and ran it low on oil.  Taking my car without permission and with impunity (she assumed she had a “right” to just take anything that was mine) as well as almost blowing it up was simply the tipping point that crossed me over the line from fearful and resentful deference into seething rage.  My rational mind wasn’t even engaged. This beating was given on seething, festering anger and adrenaline alone. To this day I wonder how I did it and it scares me to think that I did. I just saw  red.  I will concede that even the meekest and most unassuming soul can be pushed to the point of doing damage.  I truly believe any person, if pushed long and hard enough, or given the right circumstance such as self-defense or defense of a child, can be driven to kill.  My sister got off easy with a busted lip and a few bruises.  Even after Dad had to almost carry me off to keep me from continuing to kick her in the face, he even admitted she got less than she deserved, and that she had been asking for it for years.

This was 17 years’ worth of retribution for as many years of bullying and beatings.  It takes a lot to provoke me to physical violence. I don’t like getting physical with anyone, mostly because in a battle of brawn I will most certainly lose.   Anonymous passive-aggressive revenge is my preferred mode of vindication.  It takes more intelligence and keeps me from potential bodily harm.  I would be the one who would put catfood in your meatloaf, or put on the Souza march CD at full blast when it’s early, and you’re hungover.  I prefer to watch from afar with concealed glee as you shovel in mouthfuls of meat by-products intended for feline digestion, and snicker in secret delight from a different room as you almost hit the ceiling and pee your bed to the tune of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”   That’s usually about as far as I would go with trying to get even.

Anyone who would be afraid of me must have their wires crossed or something.  I am neither large nor strong.  I am so uncoordinated that walking without falling is somewhat of a challenge, let alone coordinating the efforts required to smack someone down and deliver an effective pounding.  So just what is so intimidating?  The dogs know I’m harmless, but then I believe dogs are more intuitive than most people.  Dogs just know certain things. 

I do have a loud voice and a broad vocabulary, but that and $5 will get you the footlong sub of your choice at Subway.

I have to admit that I can be a control freak about a number of things.  I don’t like my schedule disrupted unless I am the one doing the disrupting.  It does disturb me when I use a particular brand or product and then can’t get it for whatever reason.  Toothpaste (Colgate Total Whitening- Gel) is one I am very picky about as well as shampoo and conditioner.  I use the Pantene Restoratives.  Target was down to one tube of conditioner the last time I ran out, and I ended up having to climb up on the shelving to reach it as (of course) it was on the top shelf behind everything.  It’s sad but I think I would have had a major meltdown had I not spotted the last lone conditioner tube. 

I am surprised that such trivial inconveniences have the power to get me so riled up.  Perhaps there is something to the theory that learned helplessness (knowing that life is going to kick your ass so you roll over accordingly) leads to all sorts of autoimmune disease and high blood pressure (I could be the poster child for that.)  There are very few things that I can control but when even those few things don’t work right then even more anger gets turned inward.  I let it burn and seethe and simmer which is exactly the wrong thing to do- and then I have the potential to explode over something stupid like not being able to find conditioner at Target. 

On a lighter note, I found a rather delightful blast from the past.  It’s been a long time since I watched Pee Wee’s Big Adventure – admittedly the Pee Wee films are not paragons of the motion picture art, but the guy is funny.  He’s so insipid and annoying that it makes him funny.  I don’t know why but the Mr. T Cereal caught my attention- after watching the Rube Goldberg breakfast clip from the Pee Wee movie  I was reminded that Mr. T Cereal was an actual food item that could be purchased in the mid-80’s.  Perhaps we have moved forward after all, although I know that there are still kids’ cereals out there that are based on cartoon characters or fake time wrestling or whatever.  I know kids hate being forced to eat breakfast.  Mom would never bow down to the latest sugar coated delights of the 70’s (and there were many!) so we were stuck eating either Honey Combs (why she thought these to be healthy I’ll never know) or Cracklin’ Bran which looked, smelled and most likely tasted exactly like dog food.   Sure, you get a week’s worth of fiber in one bowl, but face it- kids just don’t need that much fiber to be able to plop out a good one.  I can see someone my age needing a cereal like Cracklin’ Bran or Super Fiber Colon Sweep, but not kids.  They haven’t had the opportunity to accumulate all that colon drudge that we old people have hanging about.  

Steve-o never really liked cereal regardless of the cartoon character on the box or the prize, but he would eat chocolate Pop Tarts by the box.  He probably still would if he could afford them.  It seems that funky food preferences are easier to maintain if they are maintained on someone else’s dime.  By now he has probably learned how to make a pack of ramen noodles and a bottle of Texas Pete’s last for three meals.  It’s a valuable skill.

More Medical Fun, Poverty Sucks, and Trying Not to Freak Out

I’ve never been much to enjoy exercise.  In fact, I hate it- but unfortunately it’s a necessary evil.  30 minutes on the health rider machine every day, so I at least get some cardiovascular activity.  I’ve been doing the six minutes a day thing with the “shake weight” too, although I think all it’s doing for my meaty arms is replacing the pendulous skin under my arms with bulky biceps some dudes would kill for.  It is not giving me shapely feminine arms, rather, I think it’s making my upper body and shoulders even more formidable and off proportion, as if I were lifting weights or something.   I’ve always had huge arms- which is why I refuse to wear sleeveless shirts or dresses alone.  The sleeves of my wedding dress had to be cut off and re-done so my meaty arms would fit in them.  I might wear a sleeveless shirt under something or over something with sleeves- but never alone.  I don’t want to encourage those guys who have speculated that I used to be a male.  I know for a fact I am a biological female (even had a kid in the somewhat normal biological fashion too) but I have bizarre proportions.  I even looked bizarre the summer after my senior year when out of stress, chain smoking and probably a little too much mail order speed, (I admit I had a weakness for psuedoephedrine back when you could buy it by the 1,000 white crosses at a time) I’d unintentionally starved myself down to 115#.  I did not look sexy.  I looked like a top heavy scarecrow, a fact that even my Dr. pointed out when Mom dragged me in to see him because she thought I was anorexic or something.  Mom always used to be on my ass about  being too heavy (pot calling the kettle black, but I digress) but at that point even she thought I looked skinny and sick.  My Dr. at the time informed me that I needed to weigh somewhere between 130# and 150#, and that, “You might as well forget about looking like a model or something because that’s just not the way you’re made.”    I had to agree with him on that one.  At 115#  I looked like an emaciated dwarf.  The sad fact is, that even at a healthy weight I have bizarre proportions.  I know beauty is fleeting and I never had it anyway, but I still don’t want to be an ill-proportioned land whale.

This being said I am still on the quest to get down to 140#.  I have about thirty# or so to go, but I figure that with enough portion control (aka starvation…but it saves money on food too) and exercise that I will get there.  Eventually.  That’s one of the motivating factors behind getting through daily exercise and enduring all that hotness and sweating.  I think the sweating is the worst part about exercise.  I hate being hot and stinky.  I can be very disciplined about eating even though I don’t particularly like it.  The other reason for the whole fitness regime is I’m trying to keep my blood sugar down.  Diabetes sucks.  But if I could get down to 140# that would put me back to where I was for most of high school, and at least assuage my fears of becoming a 300# behemoth slob like so many of the girls I went to school with.


It really doesn’t seem fair- I know I could use to lose 20-30# and am actively working on it, but what about all the really, really fat people you see who never get diabetes?  I know there’s a heredity factor there also (Grandpa and Dad) but neither of my sisters have it either.  I don’t wish diabetes on anyone but it just sucks.  I think sometimes people look at you like it’s all self-inflicted and it’s not necessarily so.  Admittedly in my youth I lived on caffeine, nicotine, sugar and grease- but I changed that tune long before I was ever diagnosed with diabetes. 

Now I have to go back for yet even more lab work- it seems my liver is doing funky things which may be nothing or may be something (good question) and an ultrasound test on my liver too which is freaking me out.  It’s bad enough I already scheduled my paper nightie visit- apparently I still have to go get the nether area checked once a year even though I haven’t gotten lucky since Clinton was president, and I had a hysterectomy so there couldn’t be a whole lot left to have to check- but now I have to get more freaking blood tests too.  I’m sorry but that shit freaks me out.  I don’t know which is worse, the paper nightie visit, or the ominous specter of more blood work and the possibility of having even more shit wrong with me. 

Not having any money and worrying about how I’m going to pay for the bare necessities is a whole other issue I’m dealing with now.  Steve-o is costing me a small fortune not to mention scripts and all these Dr. visits that I really can’t afford.  Jerry is whining all the way about paying for anything which doesn’t help.  I am trying to trust that God will provide- and He does- but I really wish I didn’t have to go through the cliff-hanger version.  I can only pray for neither poverty nor riches- I just want to have the resources I need to get by.  Sometimes I have  a really hard time.  I know other people may have it harder so I really shouldn’t complain, but it scares me having to scramble and shift and scrape.  It never seems as if there is enough money to cover all the endless bills and needs and all that, and frankly the stress of it all drains me.   I’m trying not to freak out about money or the lack thereof, but I need some real help in that area.  I know God answers prayer and right now that’s where I’m at with it.  Trying to trust…I believe, help my unbelief.

Sometimes It’s Not Worth Getting Out of Bed, I’m Already Pissed Off- Don’t Piss Me Off More!



I wish I’d been able to find both of these crude bumper stickers back in the day.  I saw this ancient (late 80’s?) distressed Grand Marquis in the Kroger parking lot last week.  It is probably some young kid’s inheritance from Grandma, who abandoned the old Grand Marquis for either a newer Grand Marquis or other large old people’s car (Buick Century, etc.) -or who died.  Since none of my relatives were into big cars except one of my grandfathers, and he always traded his cars because they were low mileage and impeccably maintained, I never inherited a big car. I never really wanted to.  I remember the 72 Plymouth Fury Grandpa had that he traded in on the 92 Buick Roadmaster, that he traded in on the 2002 Grand Marquis.  When he traded it off the Fury still smelled like a new car. The Roadmaster probably did too when he traded it off.  The 2002 Grand Marquis was sold in the estate sale or something when he died, and it had less than five thousand miles on it- in 2006.  Fine with me.  The biggest vehicle I have ever owned was my 94 Toyota truck, with its legendary 22RE engine (a 2.4 4 cylinder for those who may not know.)  I don’t do big cars.  My idea of a large car is a Corolla.  A Grand Marquis is a land yacht. 

I think Dad preferred me to drive small cars primarily because let’s face it- doing the horizontal mambo in a 79 Subaru DL or in a 70’s versionVW Rabbit is an exercise in contortionism.   Possible, yes, but a physical challenge, and I am not the best at any kind of physical challenge.  Dad was probably a lot more optimistic about me getting lucky than I ever really was.  I wasn’t voted “least likely to get laid” in the Senior Will for nothing.  Before I got my first car I tried without success to convince Dad that I should get a 75 Camaro to drive so I would look more cool (hell, I could have had a new Mercedes and I still would have been a geeky awkward nerd with thick glasses and no social aptitude, but it was worth a try.)  Dad put the nix on anything with more than four cylinders.  I’m glad he nixed the Camaro because they are the absolute worst car to try to drive in the snow, and I can’t see out of them worth squat because the seat sits too low.  Gasoline and maintenance also cost less on the small 4-cylinder cars, which was and still is a plus for me.

I don’t think I would dare to sport such edgy bumper stickers on a newer car (though I do make some conservative political statements on the Hello Kitty Yaris) but back when I drove real piece of shit cars, who would care?  As much as I really hated driving nasty cars due to mechanical failures, poor performance and bizarre quirks that are inherent to cars pieced together with Bondo, duct tape and pop rivets, I never had to worry much about cosmetic damage. Who gave a rat’s ass that the headlight buckets on the Subaru were fabricated out of sheet metal and as a result the headlights were aimed as if I were perpetually attempting to tree coon with them?  I remember reattaching the Subaru’s exhaust from the cat back with a coat hanger- in the rain- with Dawne and Jamie both in the back seat laughing their asses off.  If some wise-ass decided it was fun to walk on the hood and roof of the car and dent the hell out of it, oh, well. That was then and this is now.  Now that I drive a late model car, I am thoroughly pissed about a less than 1″ dent in the left quarter panel of the HK Yaris caused by two guys trying to wrangle a used Saturn crossmember in and and out of the trunk.   Most people would never notice it, but I see it- and therefore it pisses me off.

Some days it seems like just the act of drawing breath seems like too much.  I really don’t like being in that frame of mind.  I’ve never been a patient individual but for me high fatigue=really bad attitude.  Especially if someone expects me to do something above and beyond the ordinary daily chores that are necessary.  Today I would have been quite fine with watching Science Channel and TruTV with the dogs all day, but such is not to be. 

I really wasn’t up that late doing my nails last night either- Jerry decided to spend the evening at the hell hole (I don’t even want to know how much money he pissed away there because that would be even worse for my fragile morale) and he staggered in around 10:30.  I crashed around 11:30, when I was confident to some degree that my nails had dried.  Jerry was flopped over the bed and snoring loudly so therefore I could be confident that he was both a.) asleep and b.) still breathing.  In some sort of drunken intuition he must have known not to say anything to me when he came in because I would have ripped him a new one.  Either that or he was plastered beyond having the power of speech.  That doesn’t happen too often.  If anything when he’s plastered he chases me around and runs at the mouth until he passes out. Usually when he comes in quietly that means he actually won money, (if he loses money I usually get an hour’s worth of tirade on how he is so broke, ad nauseam) but I won’t hold my breath.   I hate gambling.  I know sometimes he wins but it’s never enough to make up for what he loses.  In gambling establishments the odds are always such that the house consistently wins, otherwise why would they bother?  Over the long term you’re generally better off to keep your money rather than piss it away gambling with the far-off hope that you might beat the odds and win big.  Most people simply lose.   But you can’t tell a gambler that.

I am not quite that addicted to caffeine.  In recent years I’ve cut back on it quite a bit, but I am all too familiar with that “I’m too damned tired and burned out to deal with you,” feeling.  When I’m stressed the last thing I want is to deal with people, especially when all they want is for me to give them something or do something for them.  Sometimes just conversation is too much.  I think I might take a silent sanity day Saturday- don’t talk to anyone for any reason.  That could be good for my mental health if I can pull it off.


Of course conversation is a relative thing.  I don’t particularly want to discuss the same old tired topics. As far as politics go I know pretty much who and what I’m voting for and against, so there’s not much further discussion for me on that topic.  I certainly don’t want to be reminded of my perpetual state of relative poverty, how bad my health is, or how dysfunctional my home life is.  That doesn’t leave a whole lot open for Jerry, other than bitching at me for sins of omission, commission, real or imagined, and stuff that is high on his priority bitch list that I’ve either never thought of or just plain forgot about.  All of the above are things I really don’t feel like talking about.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Guess Where Big Brother Is Now? In the Name of Science, and Defeat Communism 2010


My question, and I think it a valid one, is why would anyone need to conduct any sort of  “research” involving toilet cameras?  Maintaining toilet cams sounds like more of a fetishist project to me.  “Oooh, look at that big loaf!”  Why not just check out the “Rate My Poo” site if you are so into that?  I’ve never been a big fan of Freudian psychology, but isn’t peering over toilet cams a sign that one is getting way too obsessed with matters of the eliminatory kind?

As far as public surveillance goes, it has gotten really out of hand.  Part of the reason I really despise public fitting rooms is because back in the day- say for instance at Penney’s or TwinFair or any other department store where they sold clothes- there were two-way mirrors through which some aspiring voyeur got paid to watch you try on clothes.  Ostensibly this was to prevent shoplifting, and I’m sure it did, but I really don’t like the idea of some perv (male or worse, female) getting their paycheck and their jollies by glaring at my trollish body in varying stages of undress.   Today the surveillance factor is multiplied in that mini-cameras can fit anywhere.   The camera can be transmitting pictures anywhere with Internet access, so the perv(s) monitoring it can be in Tanzania or Fiji for all I know. It’s no longer about one perv amusing him/her self in private glee at my expense, but pervs around the world with the potential to share the fun online.  One can only imagine that any public fitting room has dozens of spy cameras in strategic places where any lecher in the store’s employ can gaze, clip, save and post pics of any unfortunate in the try-on booth on their Facebook page for posterity should they so choose.  George Orwell himself couldn’t have imagined this.  I don’t need some deviant posting pics of me attempting to find a bra that actually fits, or pics of me trying on pants that either fit fine except they are six inches too short (when I try to wear “petite” sizes) or pants that fit fine except they are six inches too long (when I try to wear “regular” sizes.)   I don’t try on clothes in public.  Period.  Mom made us do that far too much when we were kids.

Mom had a philosophy about buying clothes for us.  Usually I ended up with my sisters’ old threadbare clothes- being the youngest sucks in more ways than one- but occasionally I did get something new.  I did get new socks and underwear (thankfully I didn’t have to wear their old ones) and occasionally a shirt or pair of pants now and then.  Mom’s thing was she didn’t want to waste money (or in my case usually, Grandma’s money) on clothes that didn’t fit.  So we would have to try on all the stuff that she thought would look good on us, and if it wasn’t at least five sizes too big, and available in fugly shades of green and/or brown it went back on the rack.  Mom likes to shop so this ritual was sheer torture.  Not only did you have to try on 50 different items, but you usually ended up with the three items you hated the most.  Granted, it was the 70’s and I don’t think there were that many good clothing choices then.  Even so, I hated undressing in public even more than some of her clothing choices.  To this day I do not a.) use public fitting rooms, ever, or b.) wear scratchy knit pants in hideous colors.  I tend to gravitate toward the “cool” colors, given that my skin tone was named after a Toyota paint color: “Super White.”   I have some dignity left even if I do have to occasionally hem my pant legs- or just sigh and wear capris.

All I can say is I hope Obama keeps on campaigning for Strickland.  Everyone who Obama’s supported politically since he was elected has gone down in a blaze of glory.  May the trend continue. 

I hope people are waking up.

The Trains, Lacquered Sentimentality, and The Way Things Never Were but Should Have Been

My grandfather was never a man given to travel, at least not when I knew him.  Then again I never knew him before his hair had turned completely white, and his supposedly legendary volatile and capricious temper had cooled to a point where you would almost deem him incapable of expressing anger save for very infrequent (yet most memorable and ferocious when they did occur) outbursts.   When a lion is forced to roar, one better take heed, even if it’s a very old lion.  Mom always had to learn this the hard way, because she was often the one to light the match and fan the flames when Grandpa did have an angry tirade.    I can’t for the life of me understand why Mom wanted to harass Grandpa over his love of chicken necks or his passion for Nacho Cheese Doritos- but bugging him about what kind and how much food he ate was never a very good idea.  Once someone has made it to eighty years old, controlling their diet is pretty much pointless and almost sadistic by then.   It’s one thing for a forty-something to count carbs and fat grams and worry about caloric intake, but quite another to impose the High-Fiber, Low-Calorie, Low-Carb, Low Sodium Diet on someone who has already cheated the Reaper for 80 years.   I do have to wonder how he managed to eat chicken necks with dentures, but there were very few things that Grandpa wouldn’t eat- save for tapioca and sauerkraut.  He lived through both the Depression and WWII and had to deal with more than anyone’s fair share of food shortages, so the way I always saw it is why not let the man eat whatever he likes, even if it means he will snarf a large bag of Doritos and half a pound of Velveeta cheese just for starters.  He lived to be 91 so he must have done something right.  I think it did him a world of good that he spent the last thirty years or so of his life doing what he wanted- watching the world go around, enjoying TV Westerns probably hundreds of times with the volume cranked way up, cooking and eating, and pretty much sailing along without rocking the boat.  I do believe he could have recited all the old Eastwood and John Wayne Westerns by memory but he watched them all over and over just the same.

The quiet ones are the ones you have to watch.  They tend to have the most colorful stories.

I don’t know a whole lot about Grandpa’s tour in WWII other than he spent some time in France and he would gladly volunteer that he “didn’t leave anything in Europe and there is no way in hell I’d go back there.”  He had a general disdain both for the French and the British after serving over there but oddly enough not much hostility toward Germans.  I don’t know if that is because he didn’t encounter too many of them or if he was just not terribly impressed by our allies.   Most of his tour (after he’d had to have all his teeth pulled- sans anesthesia and by a British Dr.-due to pyorrhea) was spent in the States on the troop trains.  He belonged to the engineering corps in the Army- the guys who built roads and bridges and such- and as a machinist he could fabricate parts for and repair heavy equipment.  Typically the older guys and those with skilled trades did not see combat.  Being both older than the typical recruit and a skilled tradesman, he spent most of the war “in the rear with the gear” from what I can tell given the sparse records I could find.  He also served as a cook.   It was no wonder with the quality and scarcity of rations available in WWII that Grandpa had a talent for making even the most simple and crude food taste good.  I have to believe that his love of food came from spending many years of his life not knowing where his next meal would be coming from.   A chicken neck would be a feast indeed if that’s the only meat you’ve had in months.

Grandpa had an almost vehement dislike of travel in all of its forms, especially air travel.  He had been on one airplane when he was in the Army, and as far as he was concerned that was more than enough flying time for him.  He didn’t care for travel by sea either.  According to him it took two weeks for a ship to cross the Atlantic- two weeks of being crammed into close quarters presumably without access to shower facilities (yikes!) and being surrounded by people puking their guts out from sea sickness.    I’d never heard him say much against train travel except that he had been in all of the lower 48 states and had no desire to travel them again.

I would have to think the most disturbing aspect of riding the troop trains would be observing the constant influx of young men being sent to divers places, many of whom you know will not return alive.  Even worse, the coffins containing the dead were shipped back their hometowns on the same trains that had whisked them away.  While Grandpa never mentioned this, he had not only had to have known it but would likely have observed or even assisted in the loading and unloading of the dead.  He quite possibly could have observed or even actively loaded and unloaded the corpses of those he had seen in passing, alive, only days or weeks before.  

I wonder what had to be going through his mind- keeping the behemoth machines rolling- being a part of the higher machinations of war- feeding the machine that feeds the machine so to say.

I understand that WWII is probably the last instance that the US has seen of what could truly be called just war.  Nobody, at least publicly and out loud, challenged the necessity of bloodshed and martyrdom to defend our freedom and that of our allies.  Unlike subsequent hot and cold wars in the 20th and now 21st centuries, in WWII the enemy was clearly defined as were the goals to be accomplished.   Even though I am sure that Grandpa as well as those who he served with understood the necessity of what they were doing, I have to believe that there was an underlying grief at the carnage, the senselessness and the sheer monstrosity of war.  I have to believe that there was despair in the constant rhythm of the trains, a swan song in the mournful sound of the steam whistle.  

I also find it intriguing that even so close to the “Day That Will Live in Infamy” (Dec. 7, 1941) the utopian dream of better life through technology was alive and well.  To look at the exhibits featured in the 1938 World’s Fair there is little to suggest that in the coming decade the world will undergo such horrors and fundamental changes as have never been seen before or since.  It’s curious to imagine the little art-deco microcosms depicted in the exhibits as they would have evolved apart from the influence of war- if they would have evolved into anything at all.   To say the picture drawn by the World’s Fair was optimistic is an understatement. 

There is supposed to be a time capsule buried in NYC from the 1938 World’s Fair- here is the book listing what the capsule contains– and some of it makes me wonder what in the flip they were thinking.  I could really care less about such trite statistics as the school enrollment of the NYC public schools in 1938, but it must have seemed important to include that at the time.  Then again it would be interesting to experience a world untainted by the specter of Global Thermonuclear War, a world free of Islamic extremism terrorism, a world that in comparison seems innocent and naive when compared to today. 

One could speculate  ad infinitum how the world would have been dramatically different if somehow WWII would have been avoided- if Hitler had been assassinated early on, (plenty of folks tried!) or if the attack on Pearl Harbor had been thwarted or re-thought.   Would the technological advances brought on by wartime necessity have ever materialized- especially the advances in medicine and in the manufacturing sciences?  Would there still be life-saving antibiotics and surgical techniques that were developed and perfected during that war? 

Who would be alive (or who would have lived longer) and who would never have came to be if not for the circumstances of that war?

I don’t have the answers for those questions, except that maybe somewhere there is a parallel universe in which a decision or two was made differently, and as a consequence it is a different world where the long-dead walk alive and the never-born are as flesh and blood as I am today. 

Freaky things to be contemplating on a Friday afternoon for sure.

Say it Isn’t So, Peculiarities, and a Cougar’s Eye View

One of the interesting perks of cougardom is the ability to give young, hot guys the eyeball without attracting much scrutiny.  I would think it more creepy to be getting the lecherous eye from someone old enough to be one’s mother than for a guy to be eyeballed by a female of the same age, but maybe they just write off old bats like me as harmless and assume I’m not looking.  I am looking.   I can’t help it. My great-grandmother was checking them out and looking at the beefcake well into her 90’s.  Some things never change, and I guess it’s not too terrible to be caught admiring the scenery.

Speaking of young, hot guys- maybe this is crude of me to point out being that I was at the hospital with a friend- but one of the ER Dr.s was rather easy on the eyes.  Easy on the eyes and half my age…well maybe late 20’s-early 30’s.  Leave it to me to notice, and it was probably a good thing Jerry was out trying to find Bob while I was reeling in my tongue.  I never used to give younger dudes a second look, but since guys my age and older generally are missing hair and/or teeth, and tend to be slovenly and paunchy, I guess I can’t help but to notice the hot young things.   I can hide behind relative obscurity knowing that deep down I remind them of their mothers.

Shame on me, although I still find it unnerving when I observe that some of Steve-o’s friends are rather hot.  These guys are half my age.  Twenty years ago…I would have been afraid to talk to them.  Today I make cougar jokes with them.  Hopefully this means I am harmless after all.

I give Jerry a lot of critique- some deserved, and some not so deserved.  Since I tend to be very harsh on myself, I can also be harsh to the point of cruelty with others.  I have to really watch that in both my attitude and my conversation with Jerry.  In spite of all his idiosyncracies and rough exterior I know he is only trying to shield a heart that is far more sensitive than mine.  He lives in the nebulous world of emotions that I can barely acknowledge, let alone navigate.  I’ve been emotionally stunted ever since I can remember, so it’s exceedingly hard for me to put myself in someone else’s place.  Empathy is not my strong point!  I know that biting sarcasm isn’t the most constructive form of feedback , and there are times when I should certainly hold my tongue more than I do.  I have my own trainloads of baggage and enough dysfunction in my own family to write my own twisted sit-com that would give the drivel on network TV a run for its money.  I can see it now-check it out- the chronically depressed, forty-something, menopausal, PTSD-suffering, pathologically anti-social mutant troll chick tries live with both a painfully “normal” family and  superdysfunctional in-laws!  I’m on Prozac for a reason.  Better yet, send me on a road trip- or like last night, leave me to while away hours waiting with friends at the hospital by making shallow conversation and trying to see the humor in my surroundings.  Hospitals can be filled with hilarity (and even hot young residents…) if you know where to look.  I still think it was funny- the last time my mother-in-law was in the ER Porky grabbed a few plastic bracelets that said “FALL RISK” and stashed them in my purse so I could put them on Jerry when he’s wasted.  The difference there is when Jerry falls while drunk he just sort of rolls around.    Then he spends the next day complaining that the beer shits gave him a wicked case of the hemorrhoids.  At least I don’t suffer from hemorrhoidal itch. Yet.

I try to save the most biting sarcasm for my own personal ruminations- a case of find the humor in it, or cry my guts out.  Maybe this is why I enjoy British humor so much- it tends to be dark and sarcastic.   Some people don’t get the humor behind the scene in Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail when the guy with the cart was coming around to collect the dead.  I get it.  Humor is where you find it.  Life on this earth is a limited time offer.  Might as well laugh when you can.

On the bright side: The above distressed 1985 Camry Wagon is not my car.

Nostalgia is Overrated, Objects in the Rear View, and Ghost of a Lover Past

I am not one of those people who cultivates emotional involvement with people easily.   This is why I generally save my emotional angst for this blog rather than to live out the drama on the big screen.  I have no problem with casual conversation- I can talk cars or crack off color jokes all day long with just about anyone willing to listen to me ramble at the mouth, but as far as having true friends and confidants I have to wonder sometimes.  I believe I’ve only really had two true friends I could confide anything to, apart from God Himself, and I’ve not talked to either of them in years.  God, I try to talk with daily (and I can certainly attest to the power and the merit of prayer) but sometimes I miss the spontaneity and feedback one can only get when talking to another live body.  Ironically one of the above human friends claims to be an atheist and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around talking with God and then confiding to a person who claims God doesn’t exist.   Strange indeed.

This being said perhaps I am actually getting lonely- me, the quintessential loner introverted freakazoid- who generally craves solitude like a junkie craves a fix, might actually be craving a little meaningful human contact for a change.  I would so love an evening of intelligent conversation, perhaps a drink or two, and who knows, maybe even a roll in the hay.

The sad irony is that it has literally been years since I’ve experienced any of the above with the exception of the drink or two- I decided to throw caution to the wind for a change and drink the last of the Sutterhome that’s been in the fridge since New Year’s.

Intelligent conversation (face to face with a live human)- I think the last one I had was maybe 1998?   I don’t even want to try to figure out the last time I actually had conjugal relations although I do know I have “done the nasty” a few times after my son (aged 19) was born- late 1990’s or maybe early 2000’s?  I think Clinton was still President at the time.

Jerry can’t help the fact that he has ED as well as a whole trainload of psychological baggage that would negate any chance of us having any kind of sex life again  (as if we ever did, even when his johnson actually worked.)  I married him and in my mind that means I have to stay chaste no matter how much I don’t like it.  Sex once in awhile would make the dearth of meaningful conversation a bit easier to take, but as it stands, I have a 53 year old toddler to babysit and clean up after most of the time. I blame his dysfunctional family as well as his inability to overcome a lifetime of dependency and alcoholism for a lot of that.  I also blame my misplaced sense of pity and naive desire to be needed.   Hindsight is 20/20 although I believe there is a purpose in such a difficult placement.  I just wish that every once in awhile I could talk with someone on my own level and occasionally get some action.

I do obviously have a moral dilemma.  I want to remain chaste for a number of reasons.  I want to live as God would have me live, which means I shouldn’t be ruminating on how much I would like some paradise by the dashboard lights, especially with someone I’m not married to. I don’t want any communicable diseases. I don’t want to live with the guilt of cheating, and I really don’t want at my age to try to forge any kind of emotional connection with anyone new.  I don’t even maintain the very few I have very well.   I’m not one of those people who gets into the concept of  “friends with benefits” either.  I don’t just land in bed with any random dude.

The only one I would even seriously want a physical relationship with is not available to me for a number of reasons. If I were him I wouldn’t want to even speak to me because for years I’ve been ambivalent and elusive and downright defensive.  Even if he did want to talk to me a big part of me would want more than conversation but then the rational side of me (the side that usually wins) wouldn’t- all the old demons and guilt would be right back there to haunt me.  The very friend I wish more than anything I could talk to, I am scared to death to get in touch with.  I am terrified to meet up with him in person because I know full where it would lead.   Sin, disappointment and all sorts of chaos for a few stolen moments.  Lord, help me.

I can’t justify any of that.  I can’t make excuses.  God willing I have to take the high road and not use my loneliness as a springboard to jump into trouble.

I just wish that the objects in the rear view weren’t so vivid and that memory wasn’t so compelling.