I ain’t the same

“Well I’ve been goin’ through the motions
Wonder if anyone can see
That I been lookin’ for somethin’
Have you been lookin’ for me”

– Alabama Shakes

No. Seriously. A PTO day here would be totally fine.
No. Seriously. A PTO day here would be totally fine.

I gather no moss. Whether the sun is shining out of my ass or the world is falling around my ears, I won’t miss a beat. My habit is to stay low and keep firing. Arms fell off? Keep firing. Read more

Why Mommy’s Day Drinking

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The Misadventures of BB the Great and The Champ

BB the Great and The Champ are the next best thing since sliced bread, and I’d battle to the death anyone who asserts otherwise. They’re the boom to my bap. They’re sicker than yo’ average. I love those guys. And sometimes that terrifies me.Not in the “I’d die if something happens to them” way. That’s a factor, just not the one I am discussing here. I’m terrified in the, “This is super embarrassing, but if I leave now, maybe they won’t know these are my kids” way. This requires an explanation.

Picture it, Washington DC, 2009. My desk phone rings, and I immediately know it’s going some foolishness is on the horizon, because it’s my kids’ school. Either someone’s arm is broken, or there was a fight…or both. *swirly flashback imagery*

“Hey, Melanie.” At this point in time, between Champs fists and BB’s mouth (and occasional fists) I was on a first name basis with the principal.

“Hi, Ms. [Lady]. Is everyone safe? Did anyone break anything?”

There’s a brief pause, “Y-yes. And also no, nothing’s broken.”

“Okay, which one?”

The principal laughs, a bit nervously for my liking. “That’s the thing. I have a sort of unusual situation. Both kids were involved in a lunchroom incident.”

At this point, my mind is racing. Did they start a food fight? Did someone swipe a brownie? Lord please tell me my kids didn’t ban together and jump on a student.

“It seems, there was a disagreement in your home last night, and one of your kids thought it was over, but the other seems to disagree. They…revisited the issue at lunch.”

“I’m sorry. It sounds like you’re telling me that my two children were fighting one another in front of a bunch of strangers.”

“Well fight would require…apparently Tyson was flipping around and Jade was kicked by accident. He apologized, but she apparently wasn’t over it. He said something to her, and as soon as she heard him, she ran from her table and just…charged him. She’s very small, but there was apparently a lot of anger there because we had a hard time ending it. We had them in the office and he is still apologizing, but she doesn’t want to hear it. He’s actually crying. Maybe you can talk to her.”

*zoom in on me* It’s at times like this when I stop and ask myself, “Am I shrooming? Am I actually having a conversation with a school official, and she’s telling me that there was a fight at the school and the only people involved were the two people I brought into this world? Did my 64 pound daughter really throw her tray down to shiv her brother like some tween remake of Oz? Or am I in some sort of fugue state? How would I know if I’m submerged in some sort of weird space jelly with a probe in my brain? WHERE IS JA?” *zoom out*

A heavy sigh indicates that my daughter is near the phone, and I say, “Honey? Are you near the phone?”

She mumbled, “Yes.”

“Is mommy on speaker?”

“Yes.”

“Good. YOU HAVE LOST YOUR RABID ASS MIND IF YOU THINK I MOVED TO THE MOST EXPENSIVE COUNTY IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND TO HAVE ANYONE I’VE GIVEN BIRTH TO BEHAVE LIKE THEY’RE ON THE PRISON YARD. YOU APOLOGIZE TO YOUR PRINCIPAL, YOUR LUNCH LADIES, YOUR TEACHER, YOUR BROTHER AND TO ME! AND TYSON I TOLD YOU ABOUT JUMPIN ON THE BED LIKE A DOGGONE FOOL, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU TOLD HER, BUT I KNOW IT WAS MESSY AND I’D BE LAUGHING IF IT WASN’T SO EMBARRASSING! I BETTER NOT EVER HEAR ABOUT A SITUATION LIKE THIS AGAIN IN MY LIFE, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” (My coworkers loved sitting in close proximity to me during this phase of my kids’ lives.)

In pathetic unison, they said, “Yes, ma’am.”

I apologized to their principal and asked if I needed to come in for a conference, and she said “Oh, now. We’ve seen you enough this year to know that we’re on the same page with these types of things. Talk to you soon.” I detected a bit of shade in her saying this, but I honestly try to look at the sunny side of life, so I responded, “Okay now! Take care!”

As a mother, nothing hurts my heart more than my children fighting. Everyone knows that kids fight, but every child who’s parents thumped the Bible knows the story of Cain and Abel, and Lord knows I had no intention of having a Cain in my midst. My mama didn’t tolerate it, and neither did I. Lessons were learned that day.

But what does that have to do with my feelings today? Why am I day drinking?

BB just got a new job at the same restaurant Champ works. And this is their first time being on the schedule at the same time. He teased her yesterday and bumped into her this morning without saying “excuse me,” and now they’re going to be in public together. In a place with knives. I’m not saying that there will be an incident. What I am saying is that now they’re old enough to take care of themselves, and just in case there’s an incident, I’ve packed a small bag.

Happier times in the cafeteria
Happier times in the cafeteria

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

 

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*shrug* That’s what you get.

On an average day, I don’t punch people. I left fighting behind in my youth (for the most part). Yet the art of face-punching has continued without me. Nazi talking head Richard Spencer was its most visible target last Friday, shortly after the presidential inauguration. Read more

My Big Blue Monster

Usually today is the day I’d post my “Seven Songs to Save Your Life” post of the week. Unfortunately, this week, my Big Blue Monster is in town, so I haven’t felt saved. He sits on my chest whispering that it’s time to quit. He’s big, chubby, and quiet. He’s not even mean, and I don’t think he wants me to stay in bed. He just gives me all the reasons I can and should. He ultimately moves, but not without a lot of pushing and prodding from me. Then he chains himself to my arms and legs, because he doesn’t like being lonely. He walks slowly, so when he’s in town, I walk down my steps one at a time and getting to the corner feels like an eternity.

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Herry Monster, whyyyyyyyyyy?

I deal not only with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but difficult memories that come with autumn. Add the stress of back-to-school time, and I’m typically a wreck from October until my birthday. I know the drill. That doesn’t make the road easier. I just know I can live through it, like I have for two decades of autumns.

For me, meds have not been particularly successful. Earlier this year, I took one drug that came with suicidal ideation. That was fun. Not reacting to the things that you think will help is an added stressor. I’m also fat, and doctors are less inclined to help fat people. (I wrote about learning that the hard way during a depressive episode here.)

It is not easy and it’s admittedly more difficult with age. So I’ve slowed everything down (or stopped in spots). I’m being an ungracious host to get myself well. I can’t stop my Big Blue Monster from showing up, but I sure can make conditions unfavorable so that he can get his ass up out of here.