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Dear Pranksters,

Normally, I wouldn’t bother to write out a long-winded and boring explanation for my absence from my blog (I’ve been active on The Facebook and The Twitter, but that is neither here nor there) because frankly, it could read “Been busy, cat knocked over computer, broke my toe making a sandwich,” and it would have as much impact as the words I’m typing now. But since you have been my family for as long as I can recall, I wanted to explain why I’ve been silent and moreover, how much I’ve missed the fucking shit out of you. When I started blogging, it was to feel like I wasn’t alone in the universe. What I found was so much more – I found you, my Pranksters. In the process, I found myself, too.

(insert “My Heart Will Go On” – muzak rendition, natch)

While it seemed as though I’d fallen prey to the whole “I don’t blog any longer” phenomenon that seems to happen to bloggers after a certain timetable, the reality is that you were never far from my mind. So many years I spent pouring out my brain into an empty WordPress box, it was impossible for me to not come back to it. It just had to be the right time.

The time is now. (imagine me fist-pumping in the air)

I’d stopped blogging when the whole D-Word came into the picture because a) I didn’t want to somehow get my blog into the prying eyes of a judge and 2) I felt like I didn’t have anything left to say (okay, that’s presuming I had anything of any importance to say in the first place, which is debatable). When I announced that I was getting a divorce, I know that some people – myself included – were taken aback by it. I hadn’t really shared my struggles with my marriage – or even let anyone in on the whole “I’m separated” thing – because if I said it, that would make it real. And I was SO not prepared for that. No one goes into a marriage to get divorced.

So I continued blogging from my [redacted] box, which grew smaller and smaller as time went on. I didn’t want to put it out there that we were struggling, so I stopped writing anything I cared about. When that happened, I stopped blogging. Yeah, I was busy, yeah, I burnt my tongue making toast, yeah, the cat knocked over something or another, but no, honestly, that wasn’t why. I could feel that my heart simply wasn’t in it. So I stopped, knowing that one day I’d return.

And now I can safely say that I am ready. I’m done living a [redacted] life and I’m ready to get back into blogging. Just bear with me as I get my sea legs back.

Thank you, my Pranksters, for being there for me, for being my friend when I felt alone and for picking me up, dusting me off, and reminding me that things will be okay. I’d love to thank every person who reached out to me, who sent me a sweet care package, and who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, but the list would be three pages long. I promise to do better in the future and thank you in a timely manner.

Without your support, I honestly do not know if I’d be here today, typing these silly words into this empty WordPress box. Together, we can take the world by storm.

Love always,

(your) Aunt Becky

P.S. As I’m doing some spring cleaning (early or late, depending upon how you want to look at it), please let me know if I need to add you to my blogroll. If you’ve sent me an email and I haven’t replied, go ahead and send another one to becky.harks@gmail.com

P.P.S. I’m thinking about revamping my crappy advice column – Go Ask Aunt Becky. Thoughts?

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P.P.P.S. I’m going to try something new. I’m always bragging about how I have the best readers on Teh Internets, so I’m gonna test you. Every Friday, I want to put up a guest post from one of you guys. Doesn’t matter if you blog or not. If you’ve got a great, hilarious story, I want to share it with THE WORLD. Throw me an email with GUEST POST in the subject line so I can easily tell that it’s not trying to sell me Viagra to becky.harks@gmail.com and we’ll go all EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER on this shit.

P.P.P.P.S. Since Google dumps everything that is awesome and good to develop garbage like Google Glass, I’ve lost all my RSS feeds which makes me sad in the pants. Do you have any good suggestions for feed readers?

P.P.P.P.P.S. Now is the time to throw your link into the comment box so that I can add it to my new feed reader. I gots to keep up with my Pranksters! And you know what? Everyone deserves a little self-promotion. NOW IS THAT TIME, PRANKSTERS. SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY.

Also: I realize that I left a number of unanswered questions behind when I stopped blogging. If’n you have a question, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

When my kids were little and we’d get onto an elevator, they’d get this horrified look on their face like, WHATTHEFUCKISHAPPENING? And I was all, I know EXACTLY how you feel.

See, eleventy-niner years ago (rough estimate), I worked for a much-hated insurance company. While the company was a hot pile of bullshit, my job was actually to look for loopholes in insurance plans to allow people to cheat the system. While my title wasn’t “System Cheater,” like I’d regularly petitioned, I wasn’t one of the total assholes. At work, at least. Still, that didn’t stop people from regularly coming up to me and saying, “Wow, you work for Evil Insurance Company? I’d like to take a machete and cut off your fucking head and shit down your neck hole.” Didn’t EXACTLY boost morale, so when I quit, it was kind of a relief – at least my head would stay atop my spindly neck to annoy another day.

Anyway.

While I was usually one of those bring your lunch people (read: I bought a bag of baby carrots and diet Coke and ate them at my desk), occasionally my co-workers would strong-arm me into popping down to the bottom floor to eat lunch at the semi-pathetic cafeteria there. Normally, I was into taking the stairs because sitting at a desk all day, pouring over insurance plans to find ways to cheat the system wasn’t exactly getting the old heart pumping.

But when I took lunch with my friends, one of them had a problem with her knee and couldn’t exactly take the stairs without running the risk of falling down and smashing her head open like a melon. So I’d take the elevator with them, feeling like a total lazy-ass for going down four fucking floors when I had perfectly functional legs.

One day, we all piled onto the elevator like a bunch of puppies and pressed the basement button. We chatted idly about who would win American Idol that year, how the rain was good for my garden, and what a raging cuntbag our big boss happened to be when it happened.

A screech of metal gnashing upon metal, the lights flickered, and the elevator car fell for a couple of feet before grinding to a halt. Never having been one to be fearful of elevators (despite my fears of other things such as the color orange and fish – all fish), my heart began to pound. Desperately, we pressed the “DON’T TOUCH THIS UNLESS YOU MEAN IT” emergency button – the very same button my kids ALWAYS try to press because you’re not supposed to press it – and waited, sweating and panicked for someone to respond. The tinny voice coming out of the box informed us that the fire department would be there as soon as they stopped busting teenage smokers or whatever it is fire departments do in boring towns.

We settled in for the long haul. That is, all of us but one settled in for the long haul. As I sat on the floor, bored and hungry, there was that one guy. THAT guy. There’s always THAT guy. And this time, it was a girl.

I tried to be understanding, I really did. Getting trapped in an elevator wasn’t exactly how I planned to spend my lunch break either. And shit, I was a little claustrophobic, too, but I was determined not to be all Chicken Little and Panic! In The Elevator because I knew it would make it worse.

I don’t fault her for the panic. I do, however, wish she’d managed to control her screaming “WE’RE GONNA DIIIIEEE!” replete with pulling out her hair and clawing at her face, mostly because it seemed histrionic rather than genuine fear. Luckily, the fire department got there and pried the doors open before she could begin to eat her shit, as she’d been screaming she’d do. Why? I don’t know. Apparently that’s what some people do when they’re scared.

Me? I smother myself in condiments and try to get at least ONE person to wrestle me in a vat of baked beans.

Different strokes and all that.

What do YOU do when you’re scared o! Pranksters, my Pranksters?

—————-
How have you been my Pranksters? I’ve missed you so much! C’mon over, grab a nice cup of coffee and tell Your Aunt Becky what’s been going on in YOUR world.

Despite my plans to run through the Apple store up the block screaming “Android Rulez!” (and yes, the “z” is absolutely necessary) every time Apple launches a new product, I’ve yet to do it. Why? Because that would be a hot, steaming pile of bullshit. I miss my i(can’t)Phone like I miss butter. Wait, back up. I still eat butter. No, not by the STICK or anything, but alas, I digress.

My coworkers and I had gone out for lunch on Monday because, well, FOOD, DUH, and we’re used to the whole “working lunch” thing which basically means we try not to drool on the keyboard as we work. In my case, as you may have guessed, this is more of a reality than it is for the rest of my coworkers. On the way back, my coworkers rubbed their awesome i(can’t)Phones in my face as I tried to make my Android pull up a text message*

*note, it did NOT work

by showing me how awesome Siri is.

And by “awesome,” I mean, “she sucks.” While Ryan got Siri to tell him a story, I couldn’t even get my phone to turn on. When I asked the bland Android female robot in my phone to “tell me a joke,” my phone sorta did this fizzle-out thing and turned itself off. Apparently, my Android doesn’t like awesome. Or me.

Now, I’ve been working hard to stalk one of my coworkers as it seems like a good thing to do. Not because I really have the time to wipe my ass these days, but because, well, I’VE NEVER STALKED ANYONE. I can imagine getting a telephoto lens and taking rando surveillance photos o him doing such things as “taking out the trash,” and “eating an apple,” and then developing them in the darkroom I don’t have, then pasting them above my bed. Why? IT JUST SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA.

Because I have absolutely no filter, he knows my plan to stalk him and is perfectly happy to allow me up to two minutes each work day to do so. We’ve gone to great lengths to determine what “stalking” entails – it’s not standing and having a conversation or even doing that standing uncomfortably close massaging his shoulders and creepily whispering “Hey Buddy,” in his ear. He’s immune to all that. I think it’s because he’s from New York and that’s probably how people there greet one another. Or maybe they sniff each the other’s butt. I don’t really know.

The last time we spent time discussing my stalking habits, my coworker Ryan overheard us yammering on and was all, I should do something. Thanks, Ryan. So what does he do? He whips out his cell phone and tells Siri,

“Help, Becky is stalking me.”

Siri responded by providing him local emergency contacts. I can’t take a picture on my phone and Siri is ready to make Ryan coffee, walk his dog, and protect him from the big, bad, mean girl in the office.

I guess I should be grateful that Siri didn’t actually call the police or anything, but really, I’m just pissed off that the bitch can’t even tell me where to bury a body.

Wait. What?

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