Meet Mark Zuckerberg:
He’s dating The Bloggesses Beyonce.
He’s also the culmination of approximately 291,727 years of work on my house.
Some people, they get stressed and eat a cake. Others drink a bottle of wine. Still others go on mad shopping sprees until they’ve amassed a houseful of garbage and appear on Hoarders so that I may watch and then go clean my house obsessively.
When my kids were little and I got stressed, I’d vacuum. My formerly white carpets were spotless* whenever I had a particularly bad week (read: year). They were too small for me to bundle up and take out back so I could do what I really wanted: to get into my garden.
I know there are babies out there (reportedly) who sit in things like “strollers” and “hang out calmly,” but I’m telling you Pranksters, THOSE BABIES WERE NOT MINE. I got more snide comments from people – “well, I didn’t GIVE my child the option to NOT ride in the stroller,” during those years. I never responded with – but should’ve – “wanna give it a shot with them? How far can you take ‘em before DCFS gets called due to reports of child abuse?”
I’ve owned three strollers. One was a shitty Graco stroller that made an uncanny clicking noise when we walked. Ben – as a baby – screamed whenever he got near it**. The second was an umbrella stroller I could occasionally coax my then-five year old son Ben into. The third was the Cadillac of Strollers (some overpriced Bumbleride), which I bought for Alex. That fucker is still sitting in my garage like an albatross, reminding me that I could’ve WAITED to see if my child would actually allow me to put him down.
(answer: no. Not ever)
Anyway, when they were small, gardening went like this:
Aunt Becky: “I’m going outside to garden.”
Daver: “Can you take the kids?”
Aunt Becky: “No, I’m working in thorny roses.”
Then the kids would stand sadly at the window, like a pile of weeping puppies, pointing at me until I let them outside.
I got nothing done unless it was naptime or bedtime (for babies).
That’s a fucking shame: the previous occupants of my home had let the landscaping done by the previous PREVIOUS occupants go to shit – the house was shrouded in bushes. My house, overgrown with bushes, looked remarkably like a serial killer lived here.
This was AFTER I’d removed a couple of bushes.
Turns out the seventies bush wasn’t just for pubic hair.
I was super embarrassed. Like, you can only claim, “it’s from the previous occupants” for so long before people start rolling their eyes.
So my front yard was full of bushes. My backyard was full of patchy grass and fake flowers.
Yes. Those are fake flowers. In the middle of February. It took a long fucking time to get rid of all that shit.
Luckily, I have. My house, while still a horrifying shade of yellow (the insurance quote only noted hail damage on TWO of the four sides = fuckers), is finally becoming something I’m not entirely horrified to show off.
I planted a rose garden. The gutter guy totally knocked one over and I am thinking about paying him a “visit” with my “shovel.”
I planted more roses. And gardened in a swim suit.
(don’t judge – I had the stomach flu)
So thank YOU, to the stress of the last few months, for allowing me to whip my yard into shape.
I think it’s time for a Prankster-Only Encased Meat Festival. Who wants in?
*yet still dingy – I need new carpeting. Terribly.
**He also, I should report, screamed when the sun shifted to a forty-five degree angle, any time anyone said the word, “the” and from 4-10PM on every day that ended in “day.”
ALL of them.
Okay back? Good. Here goes:
I owe you a bit of an explanation, Pranksters. Without warning I stopped writing my Go Ask Aunt Becky column, which, as someone with a high degree of anal retentiveness (*waves*), drove me crazy.
I’d started my lame advice column as a joke, intended to write up dumb answers to such things as “why do I have so much sausage in the fridge?” and “where are my pants?”
Instead, you guys sent me real questions with real problems and I? Well, I got…overwhelmed? I guess that’s the word. My life has been a roller coaster of weird lately and I, well, I wouldn’t take any of my own advice. Ever. You don’t want to be like me.
The other non-serious questions had to do with blogging, mostly of the “how do I get famous?” variety. And while I’ve written my Blogging for Dummies Guide, I’m not sure how to answer that sort of question without getting all, “with fame comes great responsibility,” or whatever.
My own blog grew organically because I hit the right segment of the population at the right time, not because I had an excessively awesome theme or anything. Like anything else, blogging is a hit-or-miss kinda thing and some people make it and you’ll totally get why while others (*waves*) confound you – how could someone be so dumb?
I’ll get back into my advice column. Feel free to submit questions up at the top of my screen – and, as always, feel free to give your advice in the comments.
Dear Aunt Becky,
Why should I ask your advice if you’re not a real professional?
You get what you pay for.
Hey Aunt Becky,
Recently I found out a friend I had lost contact with had been a victim of, carjacking, kidnapping, and sexual assault. She is almost a year survived from the attack, but having terrible ptsd, Keeping her from working and enjoying her young life. I no longer live near hear and wanted to send a care package to her to show her my love. Any ideas for this package? I thought spa, but really think that might not be the best idea, with the physical contact. Any ideas would be wonderful. (btw man was caught and charged for all these awful things he has done to her)
Love your niece,
Hello my darling Kay!
What happened to your friend is fucking hideous and you? Are full of the awesome for wanting to help her.
I’d suggest sending her a package of random stuff to make her smile – I agree that the spa thing is probably a bad idea. I’d fill a box with random things – some chocolate, some goofy craft stuff, a tiara, whatever – cute stuff she can go through and giggle at. And write her a nice letter telling her you’re thinking of her.
Send your friend all my love. And you too, for being such a kickass friend. We could all be so lucky.
Dear Aunt Becky,
I feel really awkward calling you that but hey it’s whatever. One simple question I’m a mom and I want to start a mommy blog but I don’t want it to be traditional like the ones you read while you’re bored surfing the internet and the first sentence is … kat took her first poop in the big girl toilet.
haha big FUCKING woop.
Do you have any advice not to be that mom and where do I start?
I love the awkward – assumed familiarity is beyond hilarious. And you don’t want to write about your kid taking a shit? THANK YOU, on behalf of the Internet, THANK YOU.
I wrote up this Blogging for Dummies Guide – let me know if it helps.
“They look like white elephants,” she said.
“I’ve never seen one,” the man drank his beer.
“No, you wouldn’t have.”
“I might have,” the man said. “Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything.”
- Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway
It starts with the nightmares.
Night after night, I’m stranded in airports I’ve never visited – some exotic, some rural – malls I’ve never seen, always looking for someone who, in a dream-like way, I know is looking for me, too. A particular someone – someone who I’ve never met, but someone who, I chase night after night. I have a feeling I’d know him if I saw him, but really, that could be a lie.
It feels silly, to admit that I spend my dream time, not eating Marshmallow Fluff, but looking for a particular person. I’d much rather be saving the world while I sleep than sorting through the faceless masses at fictional airports.
Once the dreams begin, sleeping becomes fitful, if not impossible.
I’ve not won any sleeping awards since I got my thyroid regulated (I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM), but during these patches, it becomes nearly impossible. When I sleep, I run, I chase, I wake myself weeping into my pillow or moaning in sadness. By 9AM, all hope of rest gone, I slog my soggy ass out of bed and pretend that I remember what it’s like to sleep.
I’m functional for a few weeks like this, groggy, with slowed reflexes, but, with my rate of unintentional self-injury, no one notices.
It’s only after a few weeks, months, I don’t know how long, that I start to crack. The anxiety becomes too much. Things I would’ve normally found hilarious – my neighbors tree, for example, which looks like it’s growing a full set of knockers – don’t even elicit the barest of smiles.
I want so desperately to reach out, to connect with someone; anyone, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t bring myself to admit that it’s okay to be weak – that I’m allowed to not understand my feelings. It’s then that the voices of those who I have once loved echo through my head and I begin to doubt. Everything. Myself. My ability to function in every day society.
The echos of things once-said flit through my mind. “I can’t handle your problems right now,” my ghost-husband says. “You’re a liar,” my ghost-brother says. “Take down that story about the rape or I’ll take action,” my ghost ex threatens.
My world becomes smaller, ever smaller, as the PTSD rears it’s head. And this time, like the others, it leaves me gasping for air, for straws, for any reason as to why there’s a 9,827 pound white elephant on my chest when the rest of the world seems to be breathing air like it’s no big deal.
I wonder what is so fundamentally fucked inside my head that I can’t manage to beat this PTSD: my daughter lived. I have countless friends who’d gnaw off a couple of legs to say the same thing. So why am I so fucked? Why does rubbing my hand along the plastic implant inside her skull make me break out in a cold sweat? She squeals and laughs runs and plays and kicks her brothers with wild abandon, while I am trapped on the couch, my windpipe unable to properly move air into my lungs.
And those words, those words like white elephants, trapped in my lungs, they remain unspoken.