I was a waitress for close to ten years. And by “waitress,” I mean that I worked anywhere from the hostess stand, to the busboy station, to slinging drinks behind the bar. And for most of those years, I loved it. I love people, I love meeting people, and I’m one of the better bullshitters I know. It’s an art form, really.

During my stint as a waitress, I learned how to deal with people. I think every teenager should be forced to spend a year working in a restaurant in order to properly prepare them for the real world, where some people are assholes for no fucking reason, and rather than pee in their drink you simply smile and nod. It’s a good life lesson – being able to stare someone in the face that you hate, while not letting on that you’d rather be curb-checking them somewhere.

I realized, during my final stint as a server, that I was done. Just DONE. I couldn’t do it any more. Why? Someone had the audacity to ask me for a refill on their soda WHILE I was on the way to get them a refill.

HOW DARE THEY?

(I kid, I kid, I drink Diet Coke like it’s going to be extinct)

If I’d continued working there, I’d have ground my teeth into nubs by the end of each shift.  I could no longer smile and make nice while I served up pizza, pulling in $30 for a 5-10 shift. It just was…it was over.

I’d begun to feel that way about blogging.

Gone were the days that I could pull up a blank WordPress screen and pour my heart out through my fingertips. Gone were the days when stories flowed. It’d become so much harder. I’d hurt too many, I had to censor myself, I didn’t always have a hilarious spin on shit, because, well, shit isn’t always funny.

I worried I’d become boring – I wasn’t doing much new. I didn’t want to become one of those bloggers who’d been around so long she had nothing else left to say.

And the in the New Blogging World, well, I still don’t fit in. In a space where Tumblr and Pinterest can capture the attention because oooh! shiny! who wanted to read WORDS? LOTS of words! BORING words? Was blogging worth it?

I couldn’t answer that.

I’ve been around long enough to have been able to see the metamorphosis of blogging – people had gone from using blogging as a means to tell stories and keep up with family and begun buying into the business of blogging. While I *do* run a non-profit now, it’s not like sponsors are piling up at my door, knocking themselves over trying to sponsor me. And frankly, I don’t know that I’d want them to, anyway. I like blogging on my terms. I’m beholden to no one but myself and my Pranksters.

But in a world where blogs are now businesses, and the “Word Of Mom,” has become king, where does that leave someone like me? Sure, I sell ads – I have to support the cost of running a non-profit, but I’m still waiting on my yacht or my all-expense paid trip to Detroit or Delaware.

I’ll be waiting a long damn time.

I considered shutting my blog down – I mean, it’s only a matter of time before I reach the end of the Internet – which, I imagine, will look a lot like a ball of hair – and why not quit while the quittin’s good?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about that.

And it came back around to this: I started writing because I needed a place to fit in; a place I could tell my stories, and a place I could make friends and connect with other people. I never expected I’d find a family in my Pranksters. I’d never expected to have a soul read my blog, unless it was some spambot named Robert trying to sell me some quick and easy pay-day loans or enlarge the size of my non-existent penis.

When I began Mommy Wants Vodka, I fit in on the fringes. My very first friends were my baby loss mamas and the infertile community – these two groups understood how it felt to be on the outside looking in. And today, my greatest friends are still from the IF/Loss community. They’ve been the sort of friends who have dusted me off, wiped the vomit off my proverbial chin, and reminded me that sometimes life is a hot bag of dicks.

These two communities are what lead to the embryonic idea behind Band Back Together: it would be a space for the IF/Loss/Special Needs community to get together and share stories – libraries of stories of people who had been through the same problems. In that way, we could be none of us alone.

In turn, I’d use my nursing background to create valuable resources for those who are struggling; to be used as a sort of reference, to learn more.

But being exclusive hurts my vagina, so I opted to invite anyone to share their stories: stories of IF and loss, stories of mental illness and triumph, stories of natural disasters and recovery. YOUR stories. We ALL have a story – it’s up to us to tell it. To reach someone in some far corner of the universe who may find your words and take some comfort that he or she is not, in fact, alone.

The shelves in my online library of stories at Band Back Together have grown and outpaced anything I could dream of. I couldn’t be more proud of The Band and all that we do.

All are, as always, welcome to submit their stories. Even you. Your story is just as important as the next person’s.

Here’s the link to submit to Band Back Together and here is the link to read stories.

But it was thinking back on where I’d come from and where I’d go from here that I was reminded of my roots. How I do have the capacity to simply open up my blog and pour my stories out, whether or not I win fancy awards or get sponsored to visit Texas. How all of that bullshit about ranks and numbers and followers, it’s just that: bullshit.

I still have my words. I’m going to continue to write like no one’s reading.

And as I do that, I’d like to remind you, the Infertile/Loss community, that I’ve never forgotten my roots. June is National Infertility Month, and each month on Band Back Together, we choose to shine the spotlight on a condition (or conditions) that do not receive enough time in the sun.

This month, we’re shining the spotlight directly onto IF/Loss so that we can turn what was once hidden in the dark, back into the light.

I invite you, my Pranksters, to join us in getting the Band Back Together. For infertility. For loss. For ALL of you.

(yes YOU)

So get your leather pants strapped on, and start your storytelling. You never do know who will be touched by your words and be reminded of our mission: we are none of us alone; we are all connected.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

39 Responses to ‘Dem Roots

  • You had me at, “hot bag of dicks”.

  • leanne says:

    Love you. Hard.

  • becauseobviously says:

    Most of those places, you could just drive to. Just make sure your vehicle has a good tune -up, then go where you want to.

  • heydave says:

    Mind you, if you do decide to grow a penis, I can get you some great stiffy pills for it.

  • EchoTango says:

    Having only recently reached the “official” mark where the docs say (politely) that you are having trouble getting/staying pregnant, I wrote a piece for BBT last week, not realizing it was IF month. Was published earlier this week. Totally cathartic. Thank you for creating that outlet with first your blogging then with BBT.

  • Jessica says:

    I just wanted to say THANKS! I just found your blog recently and have spent the last week and a half here at work (oops! lol) reading your life in reverse. I’m not a Mom, but I like reading your writing. I have actually laughed out lound quite a few times (which I’m sure has scared people walking by the front desk just a bit :)) So thanks for being all awesomesauce and stuff and please never ever ever ever stop writing!!!

  • Vinny C says:

    Been feeling the same of late. Needed to read this.

  • Io says:

    Man, you have some good timing, just as I am coming back to blogging! It is good to see you friend.

  • Eva G says:

    I just recently started reading your Blog that my friend Dear Buddha was following, not knowing anything about you. I was not expecting this blog and I gotta say that it made me cry.

    I’ve been attempting to get pregnant for the last two years with a second child and I think you are the most wonderful person to give this support to everyone who needs it.

    Thank you, truely from the bottom of my heart.

    And you’re pretty fucking funny.

  • Very Rusty Brown says:

    AB, I was just in your (almost) neighborhood. Took my kids to the Glencoe GP bicycle race on Saturday, then visited my cousin in Glenview on Sunday. She’s only got a few days left, so I’m sure I’ll be headed back that way soon. As always, your blog delights and entertains – and I think of you everytime I see a Giordano’s :)

    Huge hugs to ya
    Rusty

  • Becca says:

    Yours was one of the first blogs I actually read. You are right up there on my list with all my gay blogs because you have kids with issues, and I have kids with issues. Continue to write like no one is reading, and I will continue to look forward to your new words with excitement, from the outskirts. Tight hugs!!

  • Kickback says:

    Hey Beckers, I’m glad you decided to stick with it. You make my day funner <— that's a word) I'd hate to have to amass a posse with our pockets and purses stuffed with lil debbie's and diet coke to come to your house and pull an "Annie Wilkes" on your ass, Paul Sheldon!

  • Cindy DuBois says:

    I have never dealt with infertility or child loss. I am child-less by choice. It freed me up to help so many other people raise their kids. But in the last 10 years I have experienced almost every other kind of loss you can name. A fall getting out of my shower changed me from a high powered, up and coming college professor/consultant to someone who has worked for three years to put my life back together. You, Aunt Becky, had a direct hand in my recent battle for sanity. I was in the hospital a few weeks ago having my second hip replacement. An incompetent nurse let my arm IV site get infected. When I was well enough to do something about it, I put on my “EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER” suit and let the right people have it, KA-POW. Your bravery and awesomeness gave me the grit to stand up for myself and others who get dismissed because we are late middle aged women and what the fuck do we know? Some days “You keep me hanging on.” Thank you.

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    #bandaid? #thisiswhyiloveyou. also? #pantsarestillbullshit! #thatisall.

  • katrina says:

    i found your blog by accident…..(destiny?) I don’t read any other blogs. You are a gifted writer….who else could work in “a hot bag of dicks”? You make me cry….you make me laugh…you give me hope for life on this spinning ball of dust.

  • Grace says:

    Geez! Don’t scare me like that! I thought you were going to tell us that you were retiring this blog! I can’t live without my daily Aunt Becky fill!! Glad you’re still with us.

    {waving hand frantically in the air} Eight and a half years of infertility here. I can tell you it sucks rocks! I am so insanely grateful to you for creating the Band. There are things I need to say that I can’t put on my blog and I have very few people I can say them to. The Band gives me the chance to get those things out in a supportive environment where I can stay anonymous.

  • Hi, my friend. In a virtual world where blogs are abandoned like old, chewed gum, you and I are the Yodas. We’re still standing. I think it’s exactly what you said. We write because we love the process of touching others and connecting. Come back to Santa Barbara soon, my friend.

  • ADW says:

    Listen Becky — I’ve been reading awhile now, and I can tell you’ve been reaching this point. You’ve really run the course of recycling old stories….seriously, when I pull up a post about when you were in nursing school, I immediately close out. Because I feel like I’ve heard them all before.

    You’re a great writer and you have really good stories to tell. But you hide them in such layers of self-deprecation that its hard to take you seriously because it feels like you are constantly having a great thought and then cutting yourself down for it and it’s just a vicious cycle. I feel like I’m wading through things like “but wait, I’m obviously a dumbass” to get to what you want to say and by that point, it loses its zing.

    All this is to say that when you say things like you’re going to write like nobody’s reading…damn girl, I hope you DO. I think you could say a LOT. But your self-deprecation has GOT to stop, I dont care if it’s in jest… it detracts from you writing and I think you

  • ADW says:

    Ack – clearly having posting issues above. Anyway — I think you’re a good writer. Keep on keeping on.

  • John's Mom says:

    Dearesr Aunt Becky… thank you, thank you, thank you for your words! I used to be a daily reader, but life sometimes gets in the way. 6 months ago I moved my mom 1500 miles south into an assisted living facility because she has dementia/alzheimer’s. She is less than 5 miles from my home and I see her almost every day. It is a chore, I was never her biggest fan and she certainly has never been mine… but I have The Guilt,,, and she doesn’t yet realize this is not a vacation. I also have a 12 year old boy with The ttitude who failed math and didn’t do well in school because I lacked the time to force him to focus on school this year… and an insignificant other who complains that I don’t get the laundry done, or cooking, or whatever… and then there’s the full time job…. Anyway, enough with the whining — I have no time to find a ‘support group’ for Alzheimer’s care groups — but you, Aunt Becky, and your band of pranksters, have become my support system. Some nights when The Insomnia and The Paranoia take control of my brains and I fear I can’t do any of this for another minute… I stay up all night catching up with you, laughing, crying and eventually realizing I CAN! I am not doing it well, but you give me hope and I love that! Thank you for not giving up because you have determined that this is not a lucrative career. Your blogs are the only ones I read… BTW The Pinterest makes me feel inferior – gourmet recipes, crafty home projects, and matching designer clothes are beyond my scope at this stage of my life. Love you and love your kids, too (and the Daver) Sadly, I have never met you outside of The Internets, but you are one of my most valued friends <3 Just sayin'

  • Abigail says:

    I’m so glad you write. And I’m so glad you started the band. Because when I thought I was going to explode I could turn there and the words inside me weren’t eating me alive anymore.

    Thank you so very much.

  • Kathleen says:

    You skeered me, AB! It looked like you were prepping us to miss you. Thank the gods and goddesses you’re sticking around. You and The Band help keep what little sanity I have intact!

  • Mitzi says:

    I”m so glad this wasn’t a ‘goodbye’ blog entry – you scared me there at first! I so enjoy reading your blog each day. I am the adoptive mother of 2 beautiful girls; my husband and I were not able to conceive (after 8 years of trying and surgeries, etc.), and the doctor’s were never able to determine a reason. We are grateful that we were able to create our family through adoption. One of my children is diagnosed with ADHD and major impulsivity issues; your stories help me make it through the day sometimes. Thank you for sharing your stories, for bringing humor into our lives (and sometimes sadness), and for making my life a little brighter by being able to pretend I have a friend named “Aunt Becky”.

  • I’d MUCH rather read a well-written blog post that look at a picture of a cool moat on a crazy house ( / the best looking person I’ve ever seen / my future child / myself as a baby that some creep has dug up, and I’m a Leo so THAT’S saying a LOT) any day of the week. Keep on keepin’ on. I read your blog. Every last post. I just creep from the shadows. *pokes out a toe into the light* Helllloooooo.

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    I’ve never been paid to go to Delaware either. Or to eat some cereal and write about it. And sometimes I barely get two comments, and rarely do I get more than 150 hits in one day. But I never wrote for that reason. I wrote for me, and if someone read it even better. And yes when someone “important” should happen to read my blog and comment I squeal with odd joy and glee but every comment means the world to me no matter who they are from. I have yet to establish “regulars” but one day I hopefully will. As a regular of yours, I can’t imagine not having this space to read about hot bags of dicks.

  • Maria says:

    When are you going to drag your ass and your totally awesome family over here, and camp out on my living room floor, over here in faraway Sweden?

    Maria

  • chrisinphx says:

    Aunt Becky, did I ever tell you that the original Mushroom Printing is when I started reading you? I don’t remember how I came across you, but you were my first blog I ever started following. I read all the archives in about a month and then switched over to the current site. I have laughed my ass off and may have leaked out a few tears (shut your whore mouth, its DUSTY in PHX)
    Keep up the amazing work!!!

  • gorillabuns says:

    I wish I would have written this. I totally get it. I too wonder when is the end?

  • I just found your blog and this post and how timely. I’m relatively new to blogging and come from years of pursuing a career in music. Today I wrote a post that draws parallels to the two. Thank you for your honesty and openness in sharing your blogging experience. The part about writing like no one is reading – I love that. You are a wonderful writer and you can bet your bag of dicks I’ll be back again and again.

  • Elizabeth says:

    So,. so glad you didn’t stop writing!!! I’ve just found you. And I don’t think its too early in our relationship to say “I love you.” I’ve been diligently reading all of your posts from day one. Does that make me sound like I have no life? Don’t answer. Just keep writing.

  • Rachel says:

    I just started reading your blog a few months ago and I would be sad if you shut it down. :)

  • Dora says:

    Okay, Becks. Ya got me. Here I am, trying to catch up, and feeling guilty about it. (Although, I just got a possible diagnosis for some pain issues (just, as in yesterday), so I’m blaming the pain for being a bad blogger/commenter/friend.) I’ve told you that you were one of us. You are, my dear sister. I have a Band Back Together post I started ages ago about infertility. I am hereby committing to finishing it by the end of June. Save me a spot? Love you so much!

    Oh, yeah. And like you could stop writing. Sure. (smirk) You know we’ll follow you to the end of the internet.

  • Melina says:

    AB,
    I can’t PAY you to come to Delaware, but I CAN offer you a free couch to sleep on while you’re there.

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