Tripping Down Wisteria Lane (et. all)

It appears to me that people in the 1970’s had a proclivity towards bushes* and assorted foliage, if prefab neighborhood is any indication. Because EVERYONE I’ve talked to has said precisely the same thing. FUCK THE BUSHES. We’ve all had to yank out miles of ’em to give our houses that “no, a serial killer doesn’t live here” or “no, this house is NOT abandoned” look.

As I showed you before, my own house is no different.

That was before I started.

Eventually, I made it to the Serial Killer Section of my hardware store and bought some very frightening implements of mass destruction which I promptly buried in my very own leg. Because I am not to be trusted with anything with a blade. Even a butter knife.

After much work, I got rid of…

Those motherfucking evergreen bushes, man. THE ROOTS ARE LIKE 8 MILES LONG.

In fact, this is precisely how I feel when I think about evergreen bushes. Sadness, mixed with anger, mixed with resentment. Also, is it bizarre that the kid’s hat is too big for me? DO I HAVE A PINHEAD?

The rest of those bushes in the front are dead to me, too (not the lilac or the rhododendron). They just don’t know it.

Before, Shot 2:

And the AFTER shot part number B (which also, isn’t done)(consider this the INTERLUDE, not to be confused with the QUAALUDE):

The rest of THAT ugly evergreen ground cover is going to be dug up (hopefully this week) so that I may perhaps not ever have to see an evergreen in my house so long as I live Jesus Christ AMEN.

And lastly, before any of you die of boredom, here is the only thing that looks marginally better, which you’d only see if you followed my Tweet stream and clicked over to see what I called “as boring as cat pictures.”

Before:

Butt-ass ugly, right? Like you just barfed on your monitor and now want to bill me for your keyboard? Well SORRY, Pranksters, but I can’t afford new keyboards for all of you. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Anyway, I didn’t plant that butt-ugliness, I just looked at it and shook my head for years. Then I got sick of it, got angry and took my rage out on it.

This is what happened:

I grow roses, Pranksters, which is probably making those of you who didn’t know that scratch your head quizzically because it seems like a contradictory thing for me to do. But I do. Mostly rambling roses, but this is a miniature rose. It also WASN’T the sign I was referring to, but I thought it was lovely, no?

—————

I’ll explain more about signs in another post because I was going to do it here, but I realized that it was going to be all LONG and shit and I know from my SEO tips that you cannot possibly read anything longer than 400 words.

—————-

I’m obsessing over Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. If you don’t know that song, GET THEE TO AN iTUNES AND DOWNLOAD IT. Also, Amy, please get sober and make amazing music again.

—————-

Today is now Toy With Me day and I’m tackling cheating. It’s a tough, personal subject for me to talk about and I’d love to hear your thoughts, if you’d like to share.

*If my viewage of 70’s porn is any indication, there is a direct correlation between bush planting and rockin’ the full bush down below, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

While I Was Out

It’s entirely likely that I’m the most annoying person on the planet to live with, not only because I belt out Rod Stewart songs while The Daver is in a bad mood for the sole purpose of annoying him, or because I kept forgetting that the toothbrush in the downstairs medicine cabinet was NOT, in fact, MINE, but actually NOT mine, and I used it over and over anyway, but because I borrow guilt.

(also, I use run-on sentences because I think they are whimsical and fun and WHEE!)

I’ve mentioned it here before, and it’s true, I’m the person cowering in the tampon aisle as the Very Important Security Guard hunts down an underage smoker wondering if I’ve accidentally started smoking again and also become 12. Or maybe I’ve stolen a Baby Jesus from a manger display or the diamond from the old lady in Titanic or I don’t know what.

Guilt issues, I’m guilty until proven innocent.

I work really hard on not self-flagellating too much when I can help it, but I’m a master of biting off more than I can chew and not only doing it all, but being all Super Becky Overachiever about it.

But lately, I’ve just sort of given up on being able to do it all and I’ve let a lot more slip than I noticed and it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally took a look around and saw all that I had turned a deaf eye to.

What I saw made me really, really sad.

Sad for myself because I’ve created these impossible standards and while I like to be all “shit, bitch I’ve got this motherfucker covered,” I don’t and I can’t and I’ve tapped out all the possible help that I can.

And really I’m sad because I don’t really like to imagine that anything that I have under my care is getting less than what it deserves.

I know that a good deal of my problems are that the medicine I’ve been taking for my headaches make me feel like a glistening plate of buttholes and the narcotics knock me out and leave me swimming through my day.

I seem to be emerging from the other side of the fog, which gives me hope that I’ll be able to be all “shit, bitch I’ve got this motherfucker covered,” and mean it.

This weekend, I rolled up my sleeves and got all down in it and got a lot of what needed to get taken care of done and I know that I’ll get a handle on the rest and will be back to scrubbing the toilet the cat’s butt my own pearly chompers with Dave’s toothbrush by accident again.

I’m trying desperately not to punch myself in the face for allowing things to get so bad because I really have been feeling like a steaming load of ass and really, a face beating doesn’t really accomplish much besides give me some rockin’ black eyes, and just learn from my mistakes: I cannot possibly be everything to everyone.

I must find some balance.

I must also find some new storage bins and perhaps some clothes that fit.

But don’t worry. My run-on sentences and over-active guilt complex are going nowhere.

How do you find balance? Do you find balance? Is that impossible? Can I BUY balance? Not like, balance bars, because those are really kind of not my thing.

The Hamptons Are Pretentious Unless You Invite Me Along.

“This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest, a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and your gonna have fun. We’re gonna have so much fucking fun they’re gonna need plastic surgeons to remove the smiles from our fucking faces. We’ll be whistling zippity-doo-dah out of our ass holes!”

–National Lampoon’s Vacation.

So here it is. The moment you’ve all been patiently waiting for. Or not. The entries for Aunt Becky’s Travels The World And Does Stuff are below, and numbered. Vote for your favorite, tell nay beg your readers, your Twitter people, your family and friends, whomever you can con into voting for you to vote for you so that you can win a gigantic bag of BlogHer swag!

Voting will last for one week, and on September 15, at 11:59 PM, will dramatically cease. If all goes well (read: I can figure out the results without a Gideon’s Bible, a stack of tequila and a bottle of uppers), and it should, the winner, along with several runners-up shall be announced on September 16.

The entries are numbered in (presumably, but one can never be sure) the correct order and a poll is nicely embedded at the bottom. Choose your favorite and vote for their number. Please, don’t vote more than once per person because that would be cheating and no one likes a cheater. Unless the cheater SHARES.

Good night and good luck.

1) First, I tackled Florida, because I was in dire need of some R and R. Too many Sausages, not enough sleep. Sadly, my pasty white butt did NOT tan.

2) Then, because I am a highly skilled nurse, I examined and cared for a wee puppy. I might have gotten a little misty at the cute overload.

3) Then I traveled to Canada, land of hockey and, hm, nice people? where a small girl named Munchkin played a game with me. And Aunt Becky smiled when she realized the small girl could not read. Aunt Becky is not, of course, intended for small children. Or people with heart conditions. Please consult a doctor if you have an erection lasting longer than 4 hours.

4) As further evidence of my R-rating, I offer you proof of my debauchery with my girl Beautiful Mess. Aww YEAH!

5) Aunt Becky returned to her PG roots with a couple of dinosaurs and some Storm Troopers. And of course, some cuddly kittahs. DO NOT EAT THE KITTAHS.

6) After nearly being eaten by dinosaurs and ATTACK KITTAHS, Aunt Becky traveled to a land of bobble-headed kids–not unlike her own–and rednecks.

7) Having been a Damn Yankee (a word, I should tell you, that online Scrabble does NOT recognize because it is an assbag), for most of her life, Aunt Becky had never been to The Dirty South to meet Cardboard Brad. Until, of course, NOW.

8 ) And then, Aunt Becky needed to work through the injuries sustained on Amy’s watch, so she went up North and went Skidoo-ing.

Which, of course, we all know is good for healing. Because, obviously.

9) Then off to Canada for some soccer balls, condoms and tampons, Aunt Becky traveled.

10) Knowing that Her Aunt Becky adores Dolly Parton, Aunt Becky was taken to Dollywood. Squee!!

11) Then, it was time for some vodka and ribbons. And it was goood.

12) In a stunning fit of Awesomeness, I took my favorite food group, besides butter, and turned myself into it: Stuff on Sticks.

13) And nothing screams “Aunt Becky” like road- tripping it to Iowa. I turned into The Other White Meat.

Mmmm, porky.

14) After all that fried food, I figured a good fight might help me digest the food. My ass, it was kicked.

15) In a stunning fit of the utmost drunkenness, I was seduced and had a foursome with an old friend. We invited Ben AND Jerry. And maybe some ice cream and romance novels. And fish food.

In Part Number B I wondered: why do waste management centers always smell like poo and farts?

16) Then she learned to play the ukulele (also: need to learn to spell that properly), cuddled a fussy baby, and then was placed in mortal peril. OH NOES!

Aunt Becky was cornholed before hitching a ride on a monkey’s ass, and eventually hoofed it back to safety on a moose’s toe.

It. Was. Rad.

17) After being so violated, Aunt Becky decided that the best course of action was to go back and get re-socialized at preschool.

Start at the beginning, right?

18) It worked, for awhile. Then, she was part of an encased meats sculpture. We all know that “Aunt Becky” is synonymous with “encased meats.” And maybe “Lipator.”

19) Other things that Aunt Becky both loves and requires include toilets and boobie beer steins.

Welcome to Germany! Aww, YEAH! Pass the beer. AND the boobies!

20) Then, in a supreme effort of defiance, screamed “NOBODY PUTS AUNT BECKY IN A CORNER!” But after that, she held a friend’s hand as she went into her PET scan. HELLS YEAH TO REMISSION, BABY!

And I SWEAR your husband and I were just talking!

21) After that, I went to hang with my East Coast bitches, where I flung poo at small children (wouldn’t you?) and drank copious amounts of tequila. I’m starting to think I’m going to have a hell of a time detoxing after this is all over.

22) Where else would a wanna-be microbiologist go but to a lab to grow some bacteria. Oh, and play with some wicked cool weapons. Rock. Music. Fucking scientists are awesome.

23) Down to the land of Florida, my business card traveled to Take Aunt Becky To Work Day RJ Flamingo. Watch as I get rowdy, Xerox my own ass, drink some mighty fine coffee and wish like hell I lived down there.

24) Swallowing my hatred for DMB groupies, I went with Mrs. and Mr. Soup to a Dave Matthews Band concert. While I groaned and complained about it, we had a freaking BLAST. Cool Ranch Doritos and hot groupies are Where It’s At.

25) After a quick bath in bleach to rid myself of the Pachulli from those damn hippies, I drown my sorrows in tequila. LOTS of tequila. Which we all know gets us all fucked up. I’d tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you.

26) Then, I pimped a friend’s Escalade by being in the car with her after we baked *wink, wink* cupcakes. It was hot. She tried to make me go to rehab and I said, no, no, no.

27) I annoy babies. Obviously.

28) We can only hope that I make people–especially awesome babies— poo rainbows. Because that would RULE.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Good luck. And good night. Yo.

Pretty Sure She’s Going To Regret Inviting Me Into Her Dorm Room

I’ve been friends with Pashmina for, shit, what 10, maybe 12 years now, she was my coblogger for the pre-Aunt Becky days and she’s the only reason that I met The Daver. We’ve managed to stay friends for all of this time, and she wanted to show her appreciation for all that I’ve done for her (read: flaming case of The Clap) by asking me, nay, INVITING me gently to read at her wedding.

Thrilled that I didn’t have to stuff myself into a bridesmaid dress like a shimmery encased sausage, I readily agreed. I didn’t so much care WHAT I read, just that it didn’t involve dyable shoes.

Weeks before the wedding, she–like the Type-A freak-a-leak she is–called to regretfully inform me that I wouldn’t be getting a copy of my reading stuff until the night before. Because the priest was writing them.

Not being Catholic myself, this didn’t send off any warning bells like it would have with other, more normal people.

After huffing it to the rehearsal on Friday, I was shocked to learn that I would be reading the “Lord Hear Our Prayer” part of the service. When I told this to Daver, who knows the church much better than I, his jaw dropped open like a sea bass and he started laughing. When he finally stopped, after seeing the quizzical look on my face, he sputtered,

“You’re…” *snort, snort* “You’re leading THE PRAYERS!” Then he erupted into another gale of laughter as the realization seeped into my brain.

Now, I’m a fan of organized religion, despite not knowing much about it, and I love the rituals and the kneeling and the singing, but this, this was Pashmina’s way of getting back at me for making her wear a strapless dress to my wedding.

I’m probably the least qualified person on the planet to lead prayers in a Catholic wedding. No, seriously.

The wedding, though, was lovely, and I found myself misting up when she walked down the aisle. Here was my FRIEND, the one that was busted by the Jesuits with me, and she, well, she was in the puffy white dress and aww….

And the leading of the prayers even went fine. I did not erupt into a fireball of flame and ash at the altar. I did not wear my own wedding dress, as previously threatened. I simply read the lines, prayed, and then sat back down before bounding off to drink with some old friends.

Because I dropped out of Girl Scouts after realizing that even at age 8, I had no aptitude or interest whatsoever for crafts or cooking, I am never prepared. So during the three hour break between wedding and reception, I sent The Daver off to find appropriate cards. He did, although I don’t remember what they said, only that I wrote “Happy Birthday, Steve!” on the outside after I was chastised for not properly addressing it.

(my point was: who the hell ELSE would I be getting a card for or giving a card to AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME?)

(answer: apparently, Steve)

The reception was a total blast. We got to hang with old friends and drink, eat delicious meat twinkies (tiny, mini meat sandwiches) and watch other people get drunk. With the exception of the woman who came up to me mid-bite, while she waited in line at the buffet, and demanded to know what I was eating in a fairly unkind way, it was fucking awesome.

And that lady? Just weird.

I hadn’t spoken to Pashmina until today because I was giving her time to both consummate the marriage and enjoy her honeymoon (bitch), and I figured she was kind of people-d out.

She called me today to discuss, sandwiched in between her bragging about her tan (bitch), the card that I’d gotten her.

Specifically, the check I had written her.

My initial thought was, “SHIT, did it bounce? I had money in the account!” immediately followed by “shit! Did I make it out to the right person?”

But no. My check didn’t bounce, and I absolutely did spell her name properly (after 10 years, even my dumb ass has learned to spell some things). Let’s just say that I pulled off the ULTIMATE Feat Of Awesomeness.

See, now, when I’d written out the check, I engaged in a revolting and juvenile past time of mine. Whenever I write out a personal check to a friend, I make sure to include something special in the MEMO box.

My favorite, and easily most common is “Funky Butt-Lovin'” but that night, I’d had a migraine (same as I do now, WHEE!) and couldn’t quite remember.

So instead, I wrote in the MEMO box: “Butt Sex” figuring she’d get a chuckle out of that among the “CONGRADULATIONS (sic)” and “Wedding” (which I saw on many of my checks from my own wedding). I hadn’t thought about it since.

But no, Pashmina hadn’t forgotten it. Not at all.

Turns out that as they’d deposited their checks, Pashmina had made some sort of addition error (I will blame her English degree (s) on this one)(somewhere, she is flicking off the computer as she reads this) and the bank had An Issue.

An Issue, of course, that had to be corrected IN PERSON at the bank. So, like the adult she is, Pashmina marched into the bank to figure out what the hell was going on.

The clerk couldn’t figure it out, save that one check had not been accounted for, so he signaled his manager over. His manager, who took one look at the Problem Check and said to Pashmina, “You got a check for BUTT SEX?”

The bank stopped. The bank stopped and the bank listened and then the bank burst out laughing. Tellers doubled over in their lanes laughing, tears rolling down their faces as they had to explain and apologize to customers for their inappropriate behavior.

Like a rock in a stream, Pashmina stood there, probably cursing my mother for birthing me, and certainly cursing herself for inviting me into her dorm room to hang out. She alternated between laughing herself and trying to appear unfazed and unflappable, and the matter was, at long last, after several calls to corporate, settled.

Pashmina, payback’s a BITCH, eh?

acâ‹…ceptâ‹…ance

I watched SherryBaby last night with The Daver and I hated it. Even the often-seen shots of Maggie What’s-Her-Last-Name-Was-In-Donny-Darko boobies (which were, I need to tell you, fantastic hooters) couldn’t save it for me. It was one of those dreadful character sketch type movies that always make me want to claw my eyes out. Like Napoleon Dynamite, which was only good because he did a wicked dance at the end.

I’m not a movie person, I’m not a theatre person, and I’m certainly not an shoot-yourself-in-the-face-boring art-house movie I’m sorry film aficionado. Given the choice between punching myself in the head and watching a movie, I’ll often choose punching myself.

Put down your pitchforks and your Blu-Ray copies of City of the Lost Children in it’s original French and hear me out.

I didn’t hate SherryBaby because nothing fucking happened besides seeing her boobs a lot, admiring the 80’s French Impressionistic crappy art they dug up for the set, and watching her have sex with everything that walked near her. No, I hated it because her attitude; her story; her ‘I’m obviously uncomfortable in her own skin’ behavior, they all hit too close to home for me.

They reminded me of the last couple of times I saw my friend Steph.

Steph died a year ago this past February. The official cause of death was “natural causes” and at age 27 they only put that stuff on there when you’ve abused your body so badly that it can no longer function. It gave out one night as she slept, a week or so out of rehab for the second or third time. She left behind two young sons.

The person that she died as was not the person that she was. Steph, MY friend Steph was one of the few people who stood up for me when I needed someone to. She was self-assured enough to chew a couple of people who had hurt me a brand new butt hole, something that not many people can do. Steph and I would play “Summer Car” and crank up the heat in my old del Sol in the dead of winter, strip down to our tank tops and pretend it was summer. She co-threw me my first baby shower.

She was one of those people who seemed to have a permanent light shining on them, maybe from within, and she was my hero for many years.When I think of Steph, I smile, because that’s what she would have wanted me to. Not a single day passes where I don’t think of her, my heart clenching up when I remember that she’s gone.

And she is gone. She’s dead.

I went to her funeral with all of my her our friends in tow, all of us red-eyed and sniffling and nervous, wishing we were anywhere else. I cried so loudly during her funeral that I was afraid people were going to stare. When her eldest son said “Look at my mom, she’s all dead and hard,” I nearly lost my cookies on the lilly-scented carpet. The only thing that saved me is that I was in front of her mother, talking to her mother. When her youngest cried after being taken away from viewing his mother’s body, screaming (just as mine does for me) “Go see MOMMY!” I felt like I’d been slapped.

But I didn’t connect it in my head. It was like my brain couldn’t accept the two events as related.

1) I had a friend Steph.

and

2) I went to a funeral.

Two mutually exclusive events.

The cold waxy person that was laid out in that coffin wasn’t the same person who taught me how to take a Camel Wide Light, empty the tobacco and pack it carefully with The Ganj. She wasn’t the person who smelled like a garden with me. She didn’t prefer “Waiting for my Ruca” over “Scarlet Begonias.”

But it was.

She was two different people, and in the end, it’s what killed her.

It’s taken nearly a year and a half, but I have accepted it. My friend, one of my oldest and best friends, she’s dead. She’s gone forever. There will always be a hole where she was, like a lost tooth. I don’t have to like it, but I do accept it.

Gone but never forgotten.

————-

Angels beating all their wings in time
With smiles on their faces
And a gleam right in their eyes
Thought I heard one sigh for you
Come on up, come on up, now

–Shine A Light, Rolling Stones

Where I Beg You, Oh Wise Internet, For Help

My good friend, k@lakly over at this is now what I had planned–and also Cason and Caleb’s momma–sent me an email this morning asking me to ask my readers if they’d ever heard of this.

She took Cason into his 4 month well-baby visit and part of that visit is the ever-dreaded shots (Amelia got hers this week and it about broke my cold, shriveled heart). Today, he got diphtheria/tetanus/(and)pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio, and prevnar.

Today, he also ended up in anaphylaxis and stopped breathing. His momma (thank GOD) got him to the hospital in time and he’s stable now (thank GOD).

But this has stumped the doctors who have never seen anything like this before so his poor momma, k@lakly, asked me to post to the Internet to ask if anyone had seen this before.

So, wise Internet, rather than ask you to evaluate the size of my ever-widening ass, I beg your help. Has anyone, ANYONE heard of anything like this? Send me an email at becky (at) dwink (dot) net or leave a comment here. Repost this, whatever it is that we can do to get this around.

And can everyone, EVERYONE send poor Cason and his momma some prayers and love today? Leave her some love here and she’ll be able to read it (she doesn’t have a post up about this as of yet).

Aunt Becky Meets The Emo Glasses

Some time in 2004 right before nursing school started for me again, I went to the eye doctor, with, among other things (like the ever-popular glaucoma test), the intent of getting a new pair of glasses. While in 3rd grade, getting new glasses was totally Full Of The Awesome, much like my spatter paint scruntchie* (complete with matching oversized shirt!!), it kind of loses it’s luster after 20 odd years.

I went alone because, well, it’s boring and dull and I can totally drive after they dilate your eyes because I’ve been doing it since Jesus was my classmate and I rode a dinosaur to school while wearing my hyper-color t-shirt.

Given the choice to come back at a more suitable time, let’s say, oh I don’t know, maybe when I could have actually read something that wasn’t on the floor or twenty plus feet away from me, I opted for the Wrong Way.

Two paths lay before me and I chose the one WRONG TRAVELED.

Door Number WRONG.

Oh yes. I decided to pick out a pair of glasses while my eyes were dilated. Alone.

They looked pretty cute on, I was completely convinced, my hazy recollection being one of looking extra-specially adorable, with the slightest touch of studiousness. I marched up to the surly cashier lady, ordered them happily, pink tint to the lens, per usual (cue rose colored glasses jokes now) and went back a week later to collect them.

I walked jauntily into the store, sat down at the counter and gave them my last name.

I waited a couple of minutes, marveling all of the ugly glasses that the store carried. We had the Iranian Taxi Driver Glasses, made so popular by white men with handlebar mustaches in the late 70’s/early 80’s (my father himself favored them).

Then there was the rack of the HUGE late 80’s/early 90’s school marm hexagonal pink glasses made famous by Sally Jesse Rafael and worn by women and children for long enough to be immortalized in many a class picture. I mused about how fortunate I’d been to escape that trend somehow.

I laughed to myself, chuckling about how my taste was eversomuch better than other patrons, congratulating myself HEARTILY for my awesome choices in glasses.

The smiling clerk returned after digging through a large bin of new glasses and handed me my prize. I greedily opened the package, hardly glancing at the frames before shoving them onto my face.

I looked eagerly into the strategically placed mirror and my happy, expectant look was quickly replaced by one of horror. The big black plastic frames, the angular edges, the thick frames all winked merrily, reflecting the sodium lights above me.

They carefully, thoughtfully, emotionally reflected one gigantic loser.

I had accidentally bought EMO GLASSES! How, oh HOW did I buy EMO GLASSES? These were popular among the whiny college rock bands who sing deep and meaningful songs about deep and meaningful feelings and EMOtions. These were things that I not only openly mocked, but things I openly mocked OFTEN.

“Oh no,” I whispered to no one in particular. “How did I do this?”

Now I had to WEAR EMO GLASSES! IN PUBLIC!

I shuffled away, tail between my legs back to show my (now) husband/then-boyfriend who was happily scarfing down a couple of bagels at Panera.

His eyes widened like saucers as I approached, whether is was my dirge-like march or the glasses now adorning my face and I slid into the booth across from him. Being the terrible liar that he is when I asked what he thought, he said diplomatically, “They’re…nice.” But his eyes told me the truth.

I looked like Lisa Loeb.

Possibly Waldo.

Well, I told myself as I bit off a chunk of his bagel and chewed bitterly, at least they finally fucking found Waldo.

——————-

*If spattter paint shirts come back into fashion please, PLEASE put me out of my misery. PLEASE, Internet?

Aunt Becky vs. The Hippies

First off, let me say a big thank you to anyone who thought enough of me to email me or send me some good vibrations. The Internet is a strange and wonderful place, and I am honestly tickled pink that you guys would care enough to think of me. I’d elaborate further and beg for support since I was born lacking a filter (it’s genetic, I’m assured), but it’s not my issue and it’s not for me to discuss.

*air smootches to you all*

————

It may come as a shock to absolutely no one that my parents were hippies. Well, considering how I turned out, it may come as a shock to everyone, but I digress. I was born into a family who grew their own veggies, churned their own butter (yes, seriously), made their own maple syrup and shopped at real health food stores before shopping at Whole Foods became trendy.

We were organic before it was hip and trendy.

I cut my teeth on Free to Be You And Me and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and could probably sing any number of anti-war songs to you, songs you’ve probably never heard of, even after years of Britney Spears and bubble gum pop have melted my brain.

Of course, I am nothing like this. My favorite food is McDonald’s (I am also apparently trashy), I genuinely like music that has no deeper meaning than the same repetitive beats, and am over-archingly as shallow as pond scum (or is pond scum deep?). The more processed, pasteurized food-like substitutes, the better.

Now, 5 years ago, Ben was embroiled in many times weekly therapy for his autistic issues (hate of the term “problem”) and I was meeting fairly often with the Early Intervention coordinators. During one of those meetings it was brought up that Ben should be immediately enrolled in preschool. For Special Needs kids. It was through the state, and I considered it for awhile.

Daver and I came to the conclusion that we were going to look into preschools, but probably something more private than that. We ended up at a Montessori school in a nearby town built on several acres, and after we were accepted he enrolled at age three.

Turned out to be one of the smartest decisions we’ve ever made (save for the deep fryer we never bought. That was smarter. Can you imagine the mess?) and Ben thrived. Some of the issues we had with him were subdued to the point that it was barely perceptible to those not in the know about his diagnosis, and others were eliminated altogether.

(For anyone who didn’t know, I am now telling you the issues with food and more explicitly his peanut butter sandwich are directly related to his autism. NOT just being an asshole picky kid (that would have been me). So, sucking it up and dealing with it is not the same as taking a binkie away from a 4 year old.)

Ben stayed at that school for years, and until he reached the elementary years, we were thrilled by it. Suddenly, last year however, when we had to begin to pack his own lunch, it became glaringly apparent just how unlike the rest of the school our family was. We were now bubble gum pop versus the folk singers. Turns out my years of being raised as a hippie didn’t do much except for show me how little of my upbringing I’d retained.

Without so much as a note home to parents, it was expected that we were to psychically know what was Forbidden To Pack and what was not. I’d never have packed a Twinkie or a Ding Dong, a Kool Aid or a bag of Fritos, but THAT WASN’T ENOUGH. I mistakenly bought him some Milano cookies for his first day as a big old first grader, and he came home to inform me that he was told that he couldn’t eat them. By his teacher. In front of the class.

Which was MY fault, not Ben’s, yet he was literally cowering from the cookies (he has a high regard for authority, something his mother could stand to learn from). But the other parents were as crunchy granola people as my parent’s had been, so the issues were squarely my own to deal with. We just didn’t fit in there, not anymore.

Over and over, these situations happened, I’d pack something dumb, he’d pay for it. I’d try to contact the school only to be ignored. There is, of course, more to the story than I’m telling you, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll choose to be, well, briefer than normal.

The Nut Ban! was just the icing on the cake for us. It was just over. Time to move on.

Ben started his first day of public school today, complete with hot lunch program and peanut free TABLES at school, and while I’m thrilled that this will be such a good opportunity for him, I’m equally nervous. I hope we made the right decision.

(They totally had Capri-Sun on the hot lunch menu. I’m pumped.)

Beware The Nonae Of March?

(Niobe may be the only one who gets the title. Google it if you must. Or don’t. It’s cool.)

So Hey, Universe, what’s up?

I just had this simple request, okay? It’s not too hard, I promise.

But could you make sure it’s at least a month between funerals? I’m not so big on attending them and stuff, so, maybe you could just cool it on the deaths for a bit.

Respectfully (and please don’t strike me down. I’m a nice person, I swear.),

Your Aunt Becky

And Night After Night, We Pretend It’s All Right

I tried to be her friend, really I did. At least this is what I told myself to assuage my own massive guilt. But the truth of the matter was is that when the going got tough, I bolted. I cut my own losses and chalked her up as a “lost cause.” I’ve felt guilty for years about this, as I know how badly I really fucked up.

In truth, I’d reached that pivotal point in my life where I realized that I had been heading down the wrong street (hell, I was in the wrong state) and I promptly bought myself a map and changed directions. She had not. Her bad decisions seemed to top each other in a frightening pattern of self destruction.

And I know self destruction.

Maybe it was self-preservation on my own part. Having dealt with pill-popping alcoholics for parents, I knew what a tricky situation that could be. I happen to be the only one in my family who confronts these situations and tries to make them right. Mainly because I have this vision of being at the funeral of someone that I loved very dearly and remarking that “I wish that I’d done something to help them.” But as you cannot help the dead save from letting them be, I was stuck wishing and wondering what could have been. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

I ran into her mother today (again), and recieved some devestating news. She was back in the hospital after another gruesome suicide attempt. And I realized that now it was my time to help. I’m done with excusing my inaction to my fears, I’m done with hiding behind my children and my (not really so) busy life, and now I must act. She had once been a good friend of mine, and now I will try like hell to be one to her.

This is where those of you who know her must help me. Get over the fact that you don’t know her as well as I do and buy a card. I’ll give you her address. Hell, if you send it to me, I will address it and stamp it and send it myself. She needs to know that people who knew her (however well it may or may not be) care about her. Period.

No one should ever, ever, ever feel as alone as she does now. No one.

(Is there anything else you can think of that I can do for her?)