30 November 2015

How Can Anything Be Your Everything?

I see this thing happening. Even though we’re all aware and bold, we keep making these declarations about ourselves. When I see this on social media, hear this when I’m talking with my sister-friends, or read this in magazines, I wonder how we’re still thinking this way.

My mister’s not my whole world. He’s my love, my soul mate. He goes above and beyond. Hell, the guy should be nominated for sainthood. How do I nominate him for that? Do I contact the Pope directly for that shit? But listen. Saint or no, he’s not my whole world. When other women say that about their husbands, I wonder what the hell kinda romance novel marriage they have. I wonder if the sex they’re having is pushing their marriage into some kind of cosmic realm of delight and donuts.

Continue reading

26 November 2015

Are You Happy?

I stand in the nearly empty ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire. The GLSEN awards ceremony is over. The Klonopin I took in the bathroom’s worn off. I think I can make it back to my hotel. I only put one in my purse. I have no Xanax. What was I thinking? The crowd’s not nearly as thick, though I know I’m still looking at least another two hours of hand shaking, hugs, fancy people, taxi rides, and smiling. I’ve done well so far. The busboys are clearing the tables where, just thirty minutes ago, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, and Justin Timberlake sat and watched my baby deliver a powerful speech.

Continue reading

26 November 2015

Thanksgiving

Many of us are expected to spend the day with people who may not love and cherish us in ways we deserve. The undercurrent of stress and the strain of polite conversation may be a little too much to bear between bites of pie. I understand how it’s become a culturally abnormal event to have an enjoyable gathering for many extended families, but here’s the thing, friends.

Continue reading

25 November 2015

The Mind of God

I’m on point when my Mister drops us off at the first big box store. We’re shopping for pants for the little-Little. I’m just as surprised as you are to find myself here. I don’t know how it’s come to this, but it has. We head to the clearance rack in the juniors’ section. The little-Little, who’s been enthusiastic about this venture all weekend, is now completely indifferent.

By the time I’ve combed the clearance rack with absolutely no help from the little-Little, I’m starting to fritz. It’s not the prices. I’m getting all panicky and that sucks so bad I can’t stand it. I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t have come to this big store to shop for pants with my kid. I shouldn’t have done something completely normal that normal moms do on a normal Monday during Thanksgiving break. Normal. Ugh. I loathe that word. It’s a myth, a cop out, a fallacy.

Continue reading

20 November 2015

Five Dollar Turkey, My Ass

Tonight, I worked hard for a frozen turkey. I didn’t punch anybody in the trachea. The turkey wasn’t free. Don’t get crazy. Just lemme ‘splain.

My mister calls me this morning. I need to get myself on over to the Harveys on accounta they got this deal going on where you buy $30 worth of groceries and you get yourself any size Honeysuckle frozen turkey for five bucks. Any size, y’all. For five bucks.

Continue reading

19 November 2015

Be of Service

This week has been a rough one for my family and me. My head space has been all foggy with stress and strain of being the adult in charge. I not only maintained, I kept us all alive while working side by side with my mister. I don’t think I get a special award for this behavior. I think that’s just called being a grown up. I employed some healthy strategies (redirection, positive self talk) and unhealthy strategies (binge eating and smoking). As I meditate this morning, a true blessing came upon me with the sun. I remember another strategy I learned in group therapy. Be of service.

Doing for others is a mighty fine way to help pull yourself out of a depressive episode. Now, I’m not suggesting you throw yourself at someone else’s problems in order to avoid your own. Nope. I’m saying look around and be a helper, ’cause there’s a self satisfying soul level goodness to helping somebody else that’ll pull you up and out of yourself like nothing else.

Be of service. The magic of being helped and helping others is upon me this morning, friends. My old code is back. I can taste it like the strong coffee in my cup. It warms my belly. I feel it as I fold the clothes headed out to Colorado to the little kids there who need them, clothes which came to the little-Little from a friend. The hand-me-down chain’s back in action. I see it in the collaboration of writers who lend their talents and to one another, ’cause seeing one another succeed is a joy for all of us. I smell it in the cookies baking in the oven, headed out to a friend who’s feeling mighty lonely right about now. Cookies and a visit might help make that better.

Doing for others. Being of service. Paying attention on a global scale to our neighbors, to babies who may have escaped terrorists, but can’t escape the waters which now rot their feet. Not looking away even when it hurts. Speaking up when it’s easier to stay silent. Not living in fear when the monsters want us to just that. Being of service. Praying. Finding our collective voice. Saving millions of lives in the process.

Just doing what we can. I couldn’t clear my head space. The only way to clean up was to get out of there a while. I still have work, piled from here to Sunday. Seriously, I’d pay one of you heifers 95 million dollars to hang the lights on my Christmas tree. You’ll have to take a post dated check, of course. I have all that to do and a whole lot more, just like all y’all do.

Finding little ways to do for others over the past few days has turned all my stress and unhealthy strategies into happiness. I’ve been on the receiving end of love and that swirls around in me and right on out into the world. The little-Little’s teacher gave me a jolt of kindness. I’m gonna save some for myself. The rest, I’mma spread about in abundance. Every smile from a friend, every lovely act big or small , just keeps fueling my happiness, my desire to connect with others. Receive light. Give light. Be of service.

16 November 2015

And Whatnot

Saturday’s filled with a jumble of blissful hours. I’m recovering from the bronchial plague and it’s the first time I’ve left my house in a while. I do a little Christmas shopping with a soul sister. I spend the afternoon looking at all the neat stuff in her house as she unpacks. We collect many of the same treasures- Pyrex, teacups, cookbooks, and knickknacks no one else would claim. Her little boy’s imagination is a wonder to behold as he turns a measuring tape into a counting snake. I learn to make a burlap wreath.
 
Underneath all the goodness grows this little tizzy of confusion, my personal slip n’ slide into an episode. First, I explain to my friend I haven’t eaten all day. Maybe I should have something, so I have a slice of pecan pie. I can’t really eat it though. Then, the dizziness sets in. I’m getting all discombobulated. I think about how I’m coming off this here plague, but I know what’s what. My friend’s pretty sensitive to the Crazies, so I can tell her I’ve got a case of ’em about to hit me. I don’t. I ask to go along home.

Continue reading

12 November 2015

Is That Tabasco in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

When my mister and I moved into our first apartment, we had that one drawer in the kitchen where we kept our stash of ketchup packets. When we had enough money for cheap Chinese take-out, we’d add duck, sweet & sour, and hot sauce to the mix. I coveted Arby sauce. I wasn’t above going into an Arby’s just to grab a handful of the sauce packets. That’s crossing the condiment gathering line, I know, but I really loved Arby’s back then. Sometimes, you just can’t reconcile the slight of hand behind grabbing extra condiments, y’all.

Continue reading

5 November 2015

Parent Night

{Spoiler alert. I die.}

Last night, I’m standing outside the cafeteria at the little-Little’s school. The chamber singers are in the middle of their first number. We’re gonna wait for them to finish up before we go on in there to find a seat. I’m not saying our knowledge of concert etiquette makes us better than anybody else. I’m saying we’re all a little better for knowing some concert etiquette.

It’s Parent Night. That means we’re gonna get herded from one place to the next. The school runs a tight schedule for these things. I appreciate the whole experience, ’cause they’re well executed. In one hour, we get a concert, a book fair, an art walk, games, a “snack” (McDonald’s cheeseburgers, chips, Coca-Colas, and cupcakes), and time with our kids’ teachers. There are door prizes. It’s a rocking good time.

Continue reading