MY NEW LEAF IS STILL A LITTLE BROWN

water-drops-leaf

Even though I don’t make resolutions per se, I always try to start off the year with a new and improved clean slate. After all, who doesn’t need some form of self-improvement?

I’m trying to adopt a more positive attitude in my life. Some people have this crazy notion that I’m a pessimist. I correct them by saying I’m a realist; there’s a difference. But once they start showing me all the ways I’m negative, I naturally become defensive and tell them if they were a fellow New Yorker, they’d “get” me in a way that only sarcastic, pragmatic New Yorkers can, then we end up arguing, and I eventually tell them to go fuck themselves if they think I’m such a horrible person, to which they exclaim, “See?! Negativity right there!”

So for all you fellow pess-, I mean, realists out there who want to improve your outlook a little (but only to get the people in your life off your back, NOT because you need an attitude adjustment), I’ll show you how I’m doing so far.

Today was Sunday—the perfect opportunity to sleep in. Only the dogs, the cats, and the birds didn’t see it that way. So every half hour starting at 7am, either the dog would lick my face or the cat would sit on my face while the birds loudly squawked in the background.

Finally, at 11 I hauled my butt out of bed. I hate mornings. So my first thought was, Ugh, I feel like crap. Mornings suck. Damn these animals.

But then I concentrated on how much I love my pets, even though they insist on puking all over the only 3-inch square of carpet that remains in our home, rather than on the 1300-square foot of floor. Or that every year the cats feel the need to mark the Christmas tree, leaving the delightful seasonal aroma of pine and piss throughout the house. Bodily fluid infractions aside, they bring me joy 98% of the time and that’s enough to be grateful for.

Already, I was happier. Until I remembered I had to walk the dog before my morning coffee. Going outside before I’ve had my first cup of coffee is akin to getting a tooth filled without Novocain. Annoyingly painful. But I’ve been written up so many times by management for letting the diva run loose to pee that we’re now at the “You have 7 days to get rid of your dog or we’ll evict you” stage.

However, my new and improved 2016 attitude realizes they’re just doing their job, and I needed to let go of the plan to make voodoo dolls in their likeness.

So I snapped the leash on the damn dog, er, my beloved dog, and we went for a walk. First person I saw was the man who filed a false complaint with management a few months ago over my dog. He claimed my dog pooped on his lawn, he told me to pick it up, and I refused. Even I’m not enough of an asshat to do something like that. The real story was my dog did in fact, unexpectedly take a dump on his lawn, his wife yelled at me through the window, I apologized profusely, ran to my house to get a bag, then returned to pick it up.

A few weeks ago, I may or may not have confronted him on the issue, peppering my verbal assault with some choice F-bombs, but that was still no reason for him to call the cops on me (3 of them! Who thankfully didn’t charge me with anything, but let me off with a warning to stay away from him).

In any case, this lovely morning the old me would have confronted him yet again to tell him that his damn cat has been on my property every day, eating my cat food, prompting fights with my cats, and taking numerous huge dumps on my property, and did he “know the definition of IRONY? Because that’s what this fucking situation is—Ironic!”

But alas, the brand spanking new me doesn’t want to get arrested no matter how much the experience may enhance my writing, so I calmly turned and strolled in the opposite direction, thank you very much.  See that? A positive, non-confrontational response to a potentially explosive and negative situation.

And that’s about all the grateful, optimistic energy I could muster up this morning, because after looking around at all the crap I needed to do, I realized if I weren’t a single mother I’d have some help with this never-ending mountain of crap, which then made me curse my loser of an ex for leaving and ruining my life, even though it was my own pathetic fault for choosing the deadbeat in the first place, and if I weren’t such an idiot my life would be so much better…

…but I digress.

Baby steps.

FOR ALL THE HOLIDAY MISFITS

krampus

For the past 5 years I have fallen into a holiday funk. Being single, coupled with not having any family to spend the holidays with during a season where ads for love and family and togetherness and diamond rings to “show her you care” are pounded into one’s psyche ad nauseam are enough to make anyone want to go off the deep end.

Then there’s my beloved Facebook, my social media of choice and social life all rolled up in one. Only this time of year, my preferred memes containing cats or offensive snarkiness fall along the wayside to ho hum pics of newly engaged couples in front of their tree and family gatherings with everyone dressed in their holiday finest—including my own, mind you, without me.

Here’s how it’s gone down for the last 5 years. Every Christmas eve, my entire family goes to an annual Xmas play. I drop my son off in front of my father’s house (because he and I are still not speaking to one another), wish my brother and sister a Merry Christmas, and off I go on my solitary way to feel sorry for myself at home while I view their happy group photos on Facebook that I’ve been tagged in so I can, you know, feel included as part of the family.

This year, I burst into tears as I was driving away, but only because my brother had just returned from Thailand and it would have been nice to be able to spend some time drinking with him that day and getting him to admit he solicited a she-male hooker by mistake. It would have been lovely to hang with my sister, who had finally fallen into a serious relationship with her best friend, even though he had fought their love for a year. I would have loved to tell her “I told you so,” because I did. Exactly a year ago.

They’re the family I miss. Not my asshat of a father who we all have to walk on eggshells around so as not to upset him. The asshat of a father who drinks too much and picks a fight with someone, anyone just to hear himself yell. No, I don’t miss that dysfunction at all.

With the world stressing how important family is, where does that leave you when you don’t have any to spend the holidays with? It sucks, but I vowed this year I wouldn’t fall into a deep, dark depression, and so far I haven’t. Maybe it was due to the power of intention. Perhaps my hormones are balanced this week. Or maybe for the first time, another single mother was at my friend’s Xmas dinner and for once, I didn’t feel so fucking alone in the sea of coupledom.

This woman’s husband committed suicide 2 years ago. Blew his brains out on a wilderness trail, leaving behind a wife and 11-year-old son. She’s very open about the whole ordeal, which is why I have enormous respect for her. Her family is spread out all over the world, and her mother is exactly like my father, so she’s essentially alone like I am. She has no interest in going out and trying to land another husband because she can’t hack being alone, and for that, along with her honesty and bluntness, she and I get along great.

We made plans to get together next week. She’s going to teach me how to make Spanish rice, authentic beans, and chicken Verde. Any other year I’d have shied away from making plans and doing anything that required me to smile, but this year is different. This year I consciously acknowledge there are other women out there who have just as craptastic a life as me. I simply have to find them. This woman whose husband blindsided her with death. Another woman I met on Thanksgiving has 2 kids, and is separated from her cross-dressing husband (although she’s OCD and a bit of a hoarder, so who the hell knows what the story is there). She’s asked me to get together with her as well.

These are the women I need to seek out in the years to come. Not the ones with their picture-perfect Norman Rockwell lives. I don’t have anything in common with them. I’ll seek out the misfits and the wounded and the shunned. The divorced and the widowed and the transgendered. Really anyone who doesn’t live a cookie-cutter life.

For all those who are going through a tough time this holiday season, take heart. It’s almost over. Try to seek out others in the same sinking boat. You may find they help keep you afloat.

HO HO HAH

Not finished with your Christmas shopping yet? Need some ideas for that impossible-to-buy-for person in your life? Thankfully, you have me to help you decide on a gift that will undoubtedly wind up being truly memorable. Ready?

Scrapbooking is so last year. We’re in an age now when we’re realizing our resources are precious and nothing, I mean NOTHING, should go to waste. Including cat hair. Have a friend who’s constantly taking out that lint brush to remove cat fur from their black clothing? Waste not, want not. Give them this book so they can get with the times.

cat hair

If you know someone with a young daughter, it’s imperative you give that girl this doll so she can learn early on how vile body hair truly is. How else will she ever attract a man? Or aspire to porn or stripper status? Give her a head start on knowing what’s important in life, because it’s certainly not education or being a humanitarian. I mean, please! Who is ever going to take you seriously with hairy legs? (This gift not appropriate for European babies.)

shavethebaby

Has there ever been a time when you’re horny AND hungry at the same time? And you’re going back and forth in your mind like, “I could eat a sandwich first, and then have sex, but I’ll probably just want to nap instead, OR, I can have sex first, but I’ll need to hurry because my stomach is growling like an angry dog…” Yeah, tell me about it. It’s a real dilemma. But not anymore! This is perfect for the man or woman in your life as it cuts out a huge amount of wasted time thinking, when you could be, um, eating? (wink wink)

brief jerkyWhat if your partner has trouble getting in the mood in the first place? You need to combine sex with a positive association. Rub some of this baby on whatever, and he or she will come running. Probably along with the dog and cat, but still…(Not appropriate for vegetarians, although a hummus-scented lube may be in the production stage as we speak.)

bacon lube

Now, me personally, I don’t need this book. I could have written this book.  But everyone has that one smug friend who thinks their kid’s shit doesn’t stink. Give her this book so she can see all the ways she is, in fact, unknowingly traumatizing her child. Then watch her scramble to catch up to all the money you’ve already saved in the jar labeled, “My Kid’s Therapy Fund.”

kid book

This probably isn’t in the Kid Trauma book, but here’s a surefire way to traumatize a kid. Wear these socks in their presence. Around their friends. Extra points scored for wearing them out in public. Like to the mall or the movies. This is a perfect gift for the husband of the uptight wife you buy the Kid Trauma book for!

sandal-socks

What if you’re completely broke this year? It’s cool, you don’t need to spend any money. People LOVE homemade gifts. Try this one and make sure to remind the recipient it’s the thought that counts.

CHRISTMAS-sanitary-napkin-slippers

Hope this helps!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

HALLOWEEN COSUMES FOR KIDS AND PETS THAT MAKE YOU GO OOH & HAH

It’s my most favorite time of the year–Halloween! I start planning for it November 1. And to celebrate, I thought I’d share some photos of animals and kids in costumes that are full of WIN. Are you ready?

This dog costume is one of my favorites this year because it literally transforms the cone of shame into something to be proud of–a martini. Because if you can drink more than, say, 3 martinis, that’s a feat to boast about. Of course, you may not remember what you do under the influence of 3 martinis, thus needing your own personal cone of shame the day after, but that’s for another post entitled “I wish I hadn’t gone home with ugly troll guy and other humiliating drunk stories”.

martini dog

How freaking adorable are these M&M pugs? Don’t you just want to take a bite out of them? Just the tail, or maybe the head. Mmmm, chocolate…no, wait, they’re dogs…or are they? Mmmm, chocolate…

Pug M&Ms

Any time you can actually put a costume onto a cat without getting your eyes scratched out , you’ve won. They look adorable in them, right? Of course there will be a price to pay for such cuteness. Never think for a moment cats won’t seek revenge by killing you in your sleep. You’ve been warned. Hey, and if you happen to only own a guinea pig, don’t despair. You can include him in the festivities, too. Just be careful if you own a guinea pig AND a cat. Or a guinea pig AND a snake (but that’s for another post entitled, “The time I left the lid off my boa constrictor’s cage by mistake and other mishaps by snake owners.”)

Sushi-Cat-Halloween-Costume2.jpg2_sushi guina pig

Okay, now this costume is a bit easier to manage with a cat because, well, it’s closer to their true nature so I’d like to think they’d secretly find it amusing, although they won’t show it. They may still kill you in your sleep, but that would only be because they’re secretly planning to take over the world. (You didn’t hear it from me.)

Oscar the Grouch

Need a costume for your baby in a pinch? Hungry for dinner? Solve both problems by getting takeout from Chipotle and wrapping the fruit of your loins in some gold wrapping paper. Make sure you take a picture of the cuteness immediately because my guess is that worm will squirm right outta that wrapping in the time it takes to say Boo.

baby burrito

For less than the cost of one of these drinks you can make this costume. In fact, I’ll bet having one of these ridiculously expensive drinks every day adds up to be more than the amount it costs to raise a child. Yes, I’m kicking myself for not buying Starbucks stock in the 90s, too.

Starbucks drink

What could be cuter than baby AND pet together in costumes? Besides the fact that baby looks like he can’t move his arms, which will royally piss him off in about 3.5 seconds, and dog looks like he’s planning to pee on your favorite shoes as soon as you turn your back on him, I’d say this is a raging success and will yield a buttload of trick or treating candy.

baby and dog fast food

I’m sensing an overall theme in this post, which alerts me to the fact that I must be hungry and thirsty. How about you? Have you ever dressed your kid and/or pet up for Halloween?

WATER IS THICKER THAN BLOOD

father and daughter

It’s been five years since I’ve seen or spoken to my father. Five years since he flew into a rage because I looked at him wrong and he threw me out of his home. Five years since I decided I’d had enough of being his verbal punching bag.

Occasionally, I’ll get news of him through my stepmother—how he’s ailing, and not handling ageing well. I often wonder how I’ll feel when he dies. Will I regret not letting bygones be bygones? Glorify the good and forget the bad? Long for closure? He was my father, after all. The only thing that comes to mind if I were asked to describe him in one sentence is: He was the nastiest man I’ve ever known.

That’s it in a nutshell. My male role model, first male figure in my life upon which I model all men and relationships (which probably explains why I’m single). The experts say that a girl who doesn’t grow up with unconditional love and support from her father suffers from poor self-esteem and an inability to form healthy relationships with men. Go into any strip club and ask a stripper how her relationship was with her dad growing up and nine times out of ten I’ll bet you they’ll say, “He was distant, or emotionally unavailable, or abusive, or had unrealistic expectations, or…”

Some women can channel the burning desire to win Daddy’s elusive love and make him proud by turning into an overachiever, a workaholic, an anorexic even (if he’s overbearing and critical, and it’s the only thing they can control about themselves). Or they can go the other route like I did—assume the victim role and become depressed. I internalized all his anger and verbal abuse.

If my parent, who’s supposed to love me like no other, claims I’m no good, then it must be so. If my parent thinks I’m a failure, I’ll never succeed at anything. If my parent doesn’t love me, it must mean I’m unlovable.

Well-meaning people think you can just shrug this stuff off. “You’re an adult. Get over it.” But you can’t. Not without years of intensive therapy anyway. Your formative years mold your entire state of being. They influence your psyche in a more pervasive way than even genetics do. So if you’ve been screamed at your whole life and made to feel worthless, it’s going to impact you negatively no matter how many positive affirmations you recite. And when you’ve been forced to deal with a parent who’s unstable and explosive, you learn you can’t trust anyone, because you’re expecting to be ripped to shreds at a moment’s notice.

I remember one time being in the car with my dad and half-brother, who was around two years old. We were stopped in front of my father’s office and my brother was climbing all over me. “You’re such a little monkey,” I told him, laughing. And my father stopped what he was doing, and began screaming at me. “Don’t you ever call my son a monkey again. Howard Cosell was fired for calling a player a monkey. Did you know that? How would you like it if I called you a cow?”

Wait, wha-?

Instead of telling him what an asshole he was like I should have, I always took the passive approach just to try to make the screaming stop. I held back the tears and clammed up. My entire childhood and young adulthood was spent holding back the tears and clamming up whenever I was around him. So when I look back and try to remember something, anything nice, like him telling me he loved me (never) or giving me a compliment (only one in my lifetime and it was about my nails looking nice), or being proud of me (He once told me a monkey (that word again) could do my retail job), I can’t seem to find a thing.

So will I have any regrets when he dies? Yes. I’ll always regret he wasn’t a better father.

BAD BOYS ARE LIKE TOO MUCH MEXICAN FOOD

BADBOY

I have this male friend who always dates crazy women. And then ends up complaining about them, claiming they’re “emotional fucktards.” I get it—the crazy ones are uninhibited, fun and unpredictable, like a fast ride on a mechanical bull. Problem is no one can stay on a bull for very long. It’s exhausting, and you often wind up face down on a dirty, sawdust-covered bar floor, wishing you were home in your recliner, watching TV and drinking a longneck.

Bad boys are the equivalent of emotional fucktard women. I’m constantly asked by men what women see in bad boys, why they never go for the nice guys. I’m a former bad boy lover. Nothing got me going more than a tall, dark, emotionally-retarded guy with tattoos who could kick some ass if someone looked at him wrong. It stemmed from my teenage years when I hung out with the neighborhood guys—high school dropouts with absent fathers, tough guys who got tattooed at age 15 and watched their older brothers succumb to heroin addiction.

Not exactly marriage material. But when you’re a nut as I was you’re not thinking long-term. If you’re a girl who likes to take a walk on the wild side and is used to getting what she wants, you’re going to be attracted to a man who can “handle” you. A man who makes you work for the relationship, for the thrill, for the challenge. Nutty women don’t like easy. Or smooth. Or drama-free. Every day needs to feel like they’re on a movie set or else they get bored. And if you’re loca, boredom is a fate worse than death.

A bad boy keeps you guessing, longing, gives you the continual sensation of sprinting barefoot across scorching hot pavement. And this can be very exciting. For a while. Until you suffer a mild concussion from being slammed up against the wall. Until you’re forced to work two jobs because he can’t hold down one. Until he goes out drinking with his buddies even though you just found out your father died. Until you realize he brings his cell to the bathroom while he showers.

“I still don’t understand why girls go for bad boys,” nice guys cry.

Women go for men who are confident, exciting, adventurous, challenging, masculine, and in-control. So if you’re all this as well as a nice guy, and your face doesn’t look like it’s been run over by a rototiller, you shouldn’t be having any problems getting the ladies.

“But why do women stay with guys who treat them like crap?”

Because they’re emotional fucktards. It’s as simple as that. Like attracts like. Dysfunction attracts dysfunction. Men need to stop trying to analyze bad boys and instead, analyze the woman they’re attracted to who’s going for the bad boys. No self-respecting woman puts up with a bad boy’s crap. The ones who are attracted to the bad boys are insecure, have low self-esteem, and/or have Daddy issues. Do you really want to be with a woman like that?

I was an emotional fucktard with Daddy issues and a Florence Nightingale complex. But recently I’ve experienced a modicum of emotional growth as a human being; therefore the bad boys have lost their appeal. Now I can smell their cologne a mile away. Now when they give me that head nod and say “Hey” (not “Hi,” mind you. Only nice guys say “Hi.”) I keep my head down and continue walking. I’ve learned that getting involved with bad boys is like eating too much Mexican food. It may taste good going in, but you’re gassy and bloated for days and your ass burns when it comes out.

So for all you nice guys out there, let the bad boys have their relationshits with the emotional fucktards of the world and go find yourselves a nice girl you can bring home to Mom.

PENISES, PORN, & MOTHERHOOD (AN UNSEXY THREESOME)

Weiner

It’s been a while since I’ve talked penises. Raising a 12-year-old boy ensures they’re never very far from my reality. My son loves to talk about his penis and the fact that almost everything gives him an erection nowadays. Sometimes in the middle of the Victoria’s Secret commercial he’ll say, “See? I’m getting hard right now.” “Well, stop it,” I tell him.

He hasn’t gone through puberty yet, nor has he masturbated. How do I know this? Because he’s thrown out comments like, “I don’t think I ever want to masturbate,” to which I inwardly smirk and think, “Honey, as soon as you discover that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow I’ll hardly see you anymore.” Which is fine. I actually can’t wait for him to start masturbating because when he’s tired of playing Xbox he drives me nuts.

“I’m bored,” is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me. “Read a book, clean your room, go outside…” None of these hold any appeal for him, but when the day comes when I can say, “Go masturbate then,” I’m certain the suggestion will be met with approval and glee.

I’ll admit there’s a precarious balance between being a “progressive” mother and a “prude.” It may sound like my son and I live a clothing-optional lifestyle and still shower together because we’re so open with each other, but trust me when I say half the time I’m crying, “I’m your mother! You shouldn’t be telling me these things!” But who else can he talk to about male bodily functions? “Go ask your father,” doesn’t apply here, and friends aren’t always a reliable (or healthy or realistic) option.

For as sexually open as I am, sometimes I am rendered speechless. Like when my son asked me how to masturbate. “Um, you’ll figure it out when the time comes,” I mumbled, praying he’d just drop it. He didn’t. “But like what do you do?” I stopped what I was doing and looked up. “You just kinda…you know…move your hand up and down and stuff.” Are you uncomfortable reading this? If yes, then imagine my discomfort in person. Yikes.

If I don’t answer his questions I’m terrified he’ll turn to the internet for information. A few months ago he wanted to impress a girl at school so he Googled “How to get a 12-year-old girl excited.” You can imagine what came up. So then we had to have the Porn talk. I gave him my best spiel about how porn creates unrealistic expectations about women and if he watched too much of it, eventually he wouldn’t be able to have sex with a real woman. Short of resorting to “Your penis will fall off if you watch too much porn,” I think he got the message, but come on—porn at your fingertips? A mere click away? What teenage boy is going to be able to resist the temptation? And it’s sad. It literally makes me want to cry, because I didn’t watch my first porn until I was 18, and it was a joke at that. I was living in Italy at the time, and my gay friend and girlfriend decided it would be a hoot to go to a porno theater to see a movie in Italian. Except that it ended up being in English with Italian subtitles, the floors were icky sticky, and a man sat down next to my girlfriend and began to masturbate, so we fled, laughing hysterically while wanting to throw up at the same time.

My next porn experience was in my early 20s right after the Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee video came out. My gay friend (a pattern I seem to have with porn) came over and said, “We gotta watch this. I hear Tommy Lee’s cock is huge!” And it was. But we spent the whole time snickering and counting how many times Pammy gushed, “I love you, baby.”

Porn just wasn’t a reality while I was growing up like it is today. Now it’s an obsession. So I made my son promise he wouldn’t watch any until he was 15, the compromise being that I would buy him a nude magazine when he was ready. When he asked me for one, all these thoughts went through my head before I agreed. Thoughts like: “I guess Playboy wouldn’t be so bad, right? After all, I started looking at my dad’s collection when I was 8. Although that’s the reason I have such a fucked-up body image.” And, “As long as it’s not Penthouse or Oui (is Oui even still around?), both of which horrified the crap out of me when I was younger due to its extreme graphicness. Remember the Vanessa Williams scandal? How could one forget? And Madonna with the hairy armpits and pussy…cat.”

And then I had this thought: “Too bad there isn’t a magazine I can buy filled with pictures of teenage girls with various body types specifically for teenage boys to masturbate to,” which was immediately replaced by: “There are undoubtedly tons of them out there, but it’s freaking illegal to use underage girls in porn and Holy Hell, what was I thinking?”

Clearly I’m not, as my brain seems to be clouded with penises and porn.

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