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Friday’s have historically been the day of the week I looked forward to the very most.

First, it was because we could get drunk off our ass and crawl out of bed to get some McDonald’s (hangover food) at whatever o’clock, our hair all mussed from the party the night before. Then it was because it was the day that signaled Dave would be home for two! whopping! days! and I’d be able to pee alone again. Later still, it signified a date with my daughter to dinner and then Target.

Now, Friday simply signifies the end of the week.

And with my weeks ranging from fucking awful to moderately awful, I’m usually ready for bed by 8PM (which, coincidentally is the same time of day I like to call “The Ugly Cry Time.”) Nights are harder for me than days, and while I’m told this “crying” is supposed to be “helpful,” which is a statement, I think, made by people who write Soap Operas. Because crying usually nets me this: a migraine and puffy eyes. Not exactly the glamorous, slow-tears-falling-from-the-eyes couple with dramatic sighs I’ve seen in movies. This makes me wonder if movies ALWAYS tell the truth, like I’d thought they did.

(next you’ll tell me that everything you read on the Internet is not, in fact, the truth, which I know it is. I mean LOOK AT THOSE WACKY CATS! They’re TOTALLY not photoshopped).

photo-shopped-cats

Alas, I digress.

Dawn had insisted that I go with her to check out the Lucky Boys Confusion – an old school Chicago-based band – to “get me out of the house.” Which, in theory, awesome. In reality, I was all, “oh fuck me, college bars and that shit. I fucking hate that bullshit.” But I put on my brave pants and decided that I could do it – I mean, I used to LOVE bars and I love music, so really, it’s a total win….right?

Except, that by the time this particular Friday rolled around, I was ready to do one thing: go sleep off the week.

A little after 8PM, Dawn picked me up and we headed out to Elmhurst, the suburb of Chicago in which I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. As I was a commuter student – had a squalling baby Ben at home – I didn’t ever get into the nightlife around Elmhurst. “In fact,” I said to Dawn on the way in, “I bet there IS no nightlife – this is fucking ELMHURST.”

She laughed.

We drove past such places as “the train station where I’d spent hours waiting on Metra to pick my sorry ass up,” and “the place with Shitty Chinese we sometimes went to between classes.” I was about to point out “the garbage can in which – this one time – I’d thrown away a granola bar wrapper,” when she suddenly turned and pulled into a parking structure I’d never before seen, a wise move on her part because really, I’d imagine that more stories about, “that’s the spot I once parked my car,” may have made her homicidal. She’d already stopped talking to me once I suggested we start an internet petition to change the name of my alma mater from “Elmhurst College” to “Prestigious Elmhurst University,” because “it sounded fancier.”

old-people-in-bar

(I stared at that sign every day for three years! THREE YEARS!)

We roamed through the parking lot, looking for spaces as douchebags in cars with those fart-tip mufflers whipped around us. Carefully, we noted that the parking lot instructed that it was only to be used for “parking,” which ruined my plans of humping other cars.

Finally, we settled on a spot. As we emerged from the car, we saw this, which delighted me. I’m always a fan of people who also love i(can’t)Phones.

I-love-my-Iphone-old-people-bar

Just. *sniffs* beautiful.

Made even better by noting there was, in fact, a child seat in the car as well. Way to keep things classy, people.

We ambled around to the bar, both of us bemoaning that stupid parking lot sign – I mean, what if we wanted to do something like “have a dance party” in the parking lot? DON’T YOU BE TAKING AWAY MY DANCIN’ SHOES, MR. PARKING LOT PERSON.

The moment we walked in, I got carded, which made me feel marginally better since the place was teaming with people who appeared to be twelve. I instantly regretted that I hadn’t pushed Dawn to go play bingo with me at some church somewhere. I mean, I know you can play bingo online at places such as Galabingo.com (it’s fancy because it has pound signs rather than dollar signs) or whatever, but I wanted to sit with old people and scream “YOU’RE A FUCKING LYING HO, SLUT! FUCK YOU!” whenever anyone else feebly yelled “BINGO.”

We made a beeline for the loo, because we’re old and old people have to pee. It was there that I became confused:

stuck-in-the-middle-with-you

So…lemmie get this straight:

Bathrooms to the left.

Jokers to the right.

BUT WHERE WAS I?

(answer: stuck in the middle with you)

In the bathroom, I used the singularly best app I own to ensure that the toddlers in there, who were all “OMG DID YOU SEE HOW MY NAILS ARE CHIPPED?” and “OMG THIS WATER IS SOOOOOOO HOT,” would have something to talk about.

The iFart app. Which rips the very best ass ever. Like I could BE so lucky to make that noise emanate from my own buttocks. Dawn, who was next to me, began to giggle, which really IS the only response to fart-bombing a bathroom. I made sure to make some groaning noises as I fired off “The Fartinator,” and “Rambowels,” one after the other, just for added effect.

The toddlers who were whining about their nails, mercifully stopped talking and left us old people to discuss adult diapers (I REALLY want to be sponsored by an adult diaper company, Pranksters). I happened to notice that the flock of toddlers hadn’t gone too far – they were standing at the empty downstairs bar obviously waiting to see who (or what) emerged from the bathroom. Dawn pointed at me, and I just shrugged at them, yelling, “welcome to your future, ladies,” as I climbed the stairs in search of a drinky-poo.

Finally, we wrangled our way to the bar where we gave the stink eye t0 a couple of people who were all “Imma sit here,” while I was all, “THAT SEAT HAS MY NAME ON IT, FUCKER!”

We sat down and began to people-watch. We noted a few key people who were part of the Chicago music scene, which made me happy in the pants, because we Chicagoans take ALL things related to Chicago VERY seriously. After I’d slurped down half my beer, I realized that behind me, there was what appeared to be a drag queen trying to knock me off my seat. Her? back was turned and she was all, wearing a leather jacket and all the fuck over this dude. I was baffled – he was just a dude. I also couldn’t see him very well because of the ginormous woman? who was practically rubbing her? vagina on his leg.

Then she moved slightly. And I saw it was the singer from AM Taxi – another Chicago band.

So I says on The Twitter:

groupies scare me

Because I was very, very afraid that VD would spread my way.

My girl Alexis saved the day, though:

twitter-old-people-bar

She then sent me several packets of ciprofloxacin so that I, too, would be safe from the wily groupie VD. I’m going to track down the dude from AM Taxi to give him a few tabs, just because I like to look out for my people. And not with my vagina.

Dawn and I sat there for quite awhile, people-watching and bemoaning our oldness, while trying to figure out why people were running all willy-nilly around the Olympics with fire and shit. DON’T THEY KNOW THAT FIRE IS BAD? I do. You should see my finger.

About midnight, after the two of us had been yawning into our drinks for long enough, we left. The bar had become claustrophobically full of douchebags who I, naturally, photobombed.

old-douchebag-at-bar

Gee, I wonder if he’s single.

I’m starting Shit I Found Saturdays here on my blog, which will exist only Saturdays, (betcha couldn’t have gleaned that from the name) which is cool except that the Internet is mostly closed on Saturdays. So let’s fuck that noise and get into cool shit we’ve found around the ‘net (I sorta want to punch myself in the throat for saying “the ‘net”) and bring Saturday back.

It’s like bringing Sexy Back but awesomer.

Join in! We have donuts (lies)!

Shit I Read:

Top Ten Reasons I’m Single – She’s stalking him. Not, though, on MySpace, which would be WAY funnier.

Writing Motivation – I’m serious – I know most of you are BIG writers and using this will, I’m sure, get you onto the NYT Bestsellers List.

Living in Backward Land - she writes about living life with a son who has leukemia.

Starbuckets of Love – Who hasn’t slung coffee (or waited tables) and dealt with this person?

Shit I’d Buy if I Wasn’t Broke:

This coffee mug (I made it) – totally rad. I also need it – I don’t know WHY I haven’t gotten myself one.

shit-i-found-saturdays

Submitted by – swalumni

Shit To Make You Feel Like A Lazy-ASs Person:

How To Create Your Own Chalkboard Paint – Super cute. Also? Designed to make you feel like shit about making everything all handmade and shit.

Shit I Couldn’t Fucking Believe:

Drop A Love Bomb: Go read it. Wow.

Shit I Watched:

Shit I Listened To:


You can download Brittany McDonald’s album here.

Shit I Looked At (shut up, Pervo):

shit-I-Found-Saturdays

(I think we need a Twibbon and a full Internet campaign against BACON ABUSE!)

pretty-floral-bonnet

-Submitted by Maria.

Shit Around My Blog:

Takin’ Ads and Kicking,er NAMES? Anyway, I take ads. Email this address: ads.mommywantsvodka@gmail.com

If’n You Want On Mah Blogroll (and have me on yours) I’m still working on updating it! Go here to add yourself and scroll down the page to hit the “SUBMIT” button.

I added a paypal and a gofundme button to this post, (which made me feel ooky so pretend I did not say that) which I’m slowly dismantling for all the advice you’ve given – it’s fucking incredible. We should all be so lucky to have such wonderful people on our side. I’ll be replying to all the comments, but becasuse I’m anal, I’m taking notes. SHUT UP I AM NOT TYPE A.

——————–

Now it’s your turn. What cool shit have you found? Write it on your own blog and link up or throw it in the comments! Imma try and add them to the big list here (with credit given, natch).

Also? Send me your links throughout the week: becky.harks@gmail.com can be old shit, new shit you wrote, shit that you found, shit that’s awesome, really anyfuckingthing. Because why not?

If you’re interested in helping or have no idea what the nuts I’m talking about, here you go.

While I’ve allowed myself the opportunity to sit around during what I like to call the “crying hour,” moping, feeling sorry for myself, listening to Cat Stevens song, “Wild World,” while sobbing into my Diet Coke, and bemoaning the current series of unfortunate events, I’ve also realized that what I’m about to be doing comes with some upsides.

Going to NashTucky was when I first realized what a big fucking world we live in. Due to a number of circumstances (PTSD, needy children, and throwing myself into Band Back Together like I was actually getting paid for it – which – HAHAHAHAHAHA! YEAH RIGHT, MOTHERFUCKERS)(HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?) *sways arms around all Southside* I’d forgotten what a big, crazy, mixed-up and wild world we live in. The beautiful imperfections of others. The sunsets that seem almost magical.

wild-world

I’d spent so long, sequestered away in my home, living a very quiet life, away from the wild world. When things got rough, I gritted my teeth and bore it. When I was struggling, I tried not to let on. I mean – there are people WITHOUT motherfucking LEGS! How dare I be upset by being “lonely” or “sad” or even “broken-hearted?” Talk about First World Problems, yo.

And they are that. First World Problems – I’m entirely aware. However, they are MY First World Problems and for all the pushing them aside I’ve done, all the throwing myself into anything; everything to keep my mind off of my “stupid” problems, it led to one thing – a nervous breakdown.

I can’t do that again. No, that’s not it – I won’t do that again.

Instead, I will count my problems as blessings in disguise and remind myself that while I may (for the moment – July isn’t over yet) have two functioning legs, I am allowed my feelings – whatever they may be; that even at my darkest, I will always be able to find the light – even if it’s a light off in the distance. And if I cannot find the light myself, that’s what I have Pranksters for – there is always a solution to be found.

I’ll fill my nights doing things I’ve never before done – going to Ravinia to hear live music, visiting the local Farmer’s Market, learning that in this crazy wild world, there is so much more to be seen; done. And now I can do it all – nothing is stopping me.

I know that my new life will be rife with struggles. Struggles to find work. Struggles to pay the bills. Struggles with using the microwave. But the path I’ve chosen, I now see that I do not walk alone. I know that I will find a way – my way – and do it with grace and dignity. And when I lose my way, I know that I have the support to find my way back. For that, Pranksters, for showing me I am no longer alone, that means everything to me.

I look forward to, once I have settled, repaying the kindness that you, my Pranksters, have bestowed upon me. Someway, somehow, I will.

Because you have reminded me time and again, that I will manage, and I will, in a new life, be able to, once again, start over. I consider that, while so very hard, an incredible blessing. Not many people get an opportunity to start over.

So I will count my blessings, one by one, and remind myself that there’s an entire world out there, just waiting to be explored.

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