Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Turns Out I DID Ruin Summer!


My kids are home this week. After I realized what a job Band Back Together was going to be (and how freaking BORED they are with me), I enrolled the two smallest ones in preschool. Plus, that gives me ample time to sit on my ass and watch cactus videos. Those cacti are a laugh a minute!

Anyhow, for some strange reason, my preschool teacher decides once every six months or so to go on vacation. (I call bullshit) Then, the crotch parasites are home with everyone’s favorite Aunt Becky. Everyone, of course, but my small crotch parasites who are bored after two minutes of looking at my face. It sorta goes like this:

9:17 (AB): “Hey guys, let’s COLOR a PICTURE!”

9:18 (Alex and Amelia): “WE’RE DONE MAMA.”

9:20 (AB): “Let’s play a game called, “Make Mama a Martini!”

9:20 (Alex and Amelia): “NO.”

9:21 (AB): “How about, “let’s take a nap!” that’s a GREAT game!”

9:22 (Alex and Amelia): “That’s bullshit!”

9:22 (AB): *headdesk*

See, I’m just not cut out for playing games with toddlers for more than twelve seconds. And it’s approximately eleventy-billion degrees out now, which means I can’t boot them out the door to “play” and lock it behind them. Which is, I’m pretty sure, how my parents handled ages 2-18.

(come to think of it, perhaps I shouldn’t follow my parents lead)

So now I have two days left of “entertaining the children” and am about ready to sell them to the Hare Krishna’s because, well, I think they take kids and shave them and put them into wee orange robes. If not, they should.

When my preschool teacher gets back on Monday, I’m planning on tongue-kissing her. Or perhaps not. Anything to make her want to watch my children again. Because I think they’re sharpening their Play-Doh knives into shivs to attack me for ruining summer. I only hope that it takes them until Tuesday.

Until then, I’ll be counting down the minutes. And praying each one isn’t the one that brings me to my dramatic death-by-Play-Doh-knife.


I wrote this on The Stir. It’s about Tattooed Moms. Because obviously.

What Happens In Vegas


Me (hobbling out of the bathroom 5-weeks post-abdominal surgery): “Oh my God.”

(flops on bed)

Me: “I shouldn’t have showered.”

Mandi: “Yeah.”

Me: “What are we watching?”

Mandi: “A documentary on hot dogs.”

Me: “Oooh! I’ve seen this before.”

(crawls under covers)

(silence ensues)

(time passes)

Me: “What the hell time is that party tonight?”

Mandi: “I dunno. Six? Seven?”

Me: “But we need to finish this show.”

Mandi: “Yeah. But you’ve seen it before.”

Me: “It was that fucking good.”

Mandi: “Oh fuck yeah.”

Me: “Parties are bullshit. Let’s fucking stay here and watch this show.”

Mandi: “We have go.”

Me: “Yeah. YEAH. Fuck. I’m so comfy.”

Mandi: “We need to finish this documentary. Period.”

Me: “I wonder what’s up next?”

Mandi: “Ooooooh! A documentary on Amelia Earhart.”

Me: “Let’s order room service, yo.”

Mandi: “Okay.”

Me: “We know how to PARTY.”

Mandi: (makes sign of the horns) “FUCK YEAH.”

Things You Probably Don’t Want To Do With Your Kids This Summer


So you popped out a couple of crotch parasites, eh? And now you’re all, dubya-tee-eff? You mean I have to PARENT these things? That’s bullshit.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Things You Probably Don’t Want To Do With Your Kids This Summer:

1) Hand them a bag of glass and say, “sshhhh, Mama’s playing Angry Birds.” Why? Because the glass could scratch the surface of your iPhone and that is so not cool.

2) Tell them to fry up some Kool-Aid for lunch. Why? Fried Kool-Aid is DINNER FOOD.

3) Make them cut the lawn with their teeth. Because, trust me, it’ll be SO uneven that way.

4) Introduce them to telenovelas. Now, I love me a good telenovela, but the very last thing my children need is to learn to be MORE DRAMATIC. Seriously, they could out-drama any Mommy Blogger out there.

5) Introduce them to Barney. Because if you end up listening to that motherfucking purple dinosaur sing about love for twelve hours a day, you might go homicidal.

6) Make them BBQ things. Because who knows, they’ll probably just use the BBQ to cook squirrels. Unless your Cletus, the Slack-Jawed Yokel, you don’t want that shit. Plus, I hear squirrels are high in calories.

7) Make them build you a deck. Because while the free manual labor is nice, you do need those boards to go together justso and frankly, kids are sloppy creatures.

8 ) Teach them to drive. Because we all know two-year olds can’t properly signal.

9) Teach them to Tweet for you. Because all they’d have to say is, “My butt smells like poop.”

10) On second thought, perhaps you SHOULD teach them to tweet for you. It sounds miraculously like something I’d say. Except I’d add a “PLZ RT” to it.

Things You SHOULD Do With Your Kids This Summer:

1) Teach them to make a mean martini. There’s always room for vodka, right? And learning to make a decent martini is a valuable Life Skill.

2) Use them as foot-rests while you’re playing Angry Birds or watching a telenovela. They’re just the right size for it. Just say, “We’re playing a game. You’re a rock! And rocks don’t move unless they’re smashed. YOU don’t want to be smashed, do you?”

3) Make them clean out the spiders in the garage. Because they’ve got to get over their fear of spiders SOMEHOW. May as well be now.

4) Teach them to ride their scooters to the liquor store to pick up “Mama’s Medicine.”

5) Outsource them to a third-world country to learn how to properly stitch clothes together. That way, they can make their OWN clothes AND they’ll see what it’s like to live in a third-world country! It’s a WIN!

There you go, Parents! It’s Aunt Becky’s Guide To Summer Activities With Yer Crotch Parasites!

Happy Summer!

Time To Find My Overachievin’ Pants


On Friday, I was sitting around, wearing ass-grooves into my chair while chatting on IM with Jana and Crystal, when it dawned on me: we needed a theme for May’s World Tour. And not one of us had any good idears as to what it should be.

I went off to vacuum, which is what I do when I’m Deeply Thinking (okay, sometimes I eat tater tots)(potatoey goodness seems to make my mind all free and shit.) It dawned on me, mid-vacuum-session that this month, it was time to confront our fears.

Shit, I thought. Now it’s time for me to figure out what I am afraid of.


Sure, I’m afraid of earwigs, the color orange and the Facts of Life Theme Song, but really, without some extensive CBT therapy, I’m not sure I could fix any of those. At least, not in a month.

However, I do have something I am terrified of. Something I didn’t admit to myself. Something I had to both confront and let go.

(no not Little Debbie Treats, you assholes)

For the rest… BB2G World Tour: May Edition

And Now You Are Four.


Dear Alex,

I took a pregnancy test – the only positive one I’d seen since getting knocked up with your biggest brother – while drinking vodka and smoking a cigarette. I was so certain I was doomed to another month of negative tests, and the test was simply a way of dashing any lingering hopes for that cycle.

When the digital test read the elusive, “PREGNANT,” I’d been chasing, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “No fucking way.” I simply couldn’t believe that I’d actually managed it. I was finally knocked up.

After getting knocked up while on the pill, I figured another pregnancy was a Sure Thing, and frankly, from the moment I met your brother, I decided that he needed siblings (although not by his father).

When your father proposed to me I said, “Can’t we have some more babies instead?”

(I’m not much of a romantic)

Your dad insisted that no, in fact, we could not just pop out more kids, so he dragged me down that aisle in a while dress, slung a ring on my finger and made me an “honest woman.” I kept my eyes on the prize (more babies!) while month-after-month of negative pregnancy tests taunted me.

By the time I took that one positive test, I’d given up hope of conceiving without outside help. But there you were.

I quickly snuffed out my cigarette and dumped out the vodka I’d been drinking. I was a PREGNANT LADY now.

The nine months that followed were some of the most excruciating I’d had. I barfed until I had nothing left to barf and still I got fat. My ribs spread. I looked like Grimace (but less purple).

By the time March 30, 2007 rolled around, I was four centimeters dialed, and beyond ready to remove you from my body cavity. By force, if necessary. I’d told my doctor that I was going to induce labor in the back of a car – (and I would have) so that I could get you the hell out.

I waddled in to the hospital and a couple of hours later – and a mere three pushes – there you were.

You promptly whizzed all over your father, something I considered appropriate since he’d “had a headache” and slept through your entire labor. The nurse said that you looked like an angel. I thought you looked like a cross between a garden gnome and Elmer Fudd.


I didn’t care.

(I think I yelled “NORD-BERG” after you were born, as a joke.)

What I’d wanted, prayed for my entire pregnancy was to have a child that liked me. Years of being rejected by your older brother had left me feeling pretty shitty about myself, and this time; this time I wanted a baby who loved me.

You know the saying, “be careful what you wish for?” Because that’s exactly what I got. A child that liked me best. A child that liked me so much, in fact, that I couldn’t put him down. Ever.


For a full year, you only had eyes for me. I nursed you while walking through Target, I nursed you to sleep, I got up with you every two hours to nurse you more. You nursed 18 hours a day. Sleep-deprivation took on a whole new meaning.


God forbid anyone attempt to give me respite. It was Alex’s way or the highway. And all roads lead to Mama.

Mama got you back.


At four now, you’re still a Mama’s Boy, under duress you’ve learned to like others as well.

I’ve never met anyone quite like you before, Alex. You bring a whole new meaning to the word, “intense,” because you are so very intense. But that intensity has a streak of sweetness a mile wide, which is how we find your severely passionate quirks charming rather than difficult.

Child of mine, you march to the beat of your own drummer, the kind of drummer who doesn’t give a flying fuck what other people think of them. You wear your cupcake shirt with joyful pride, fluttering around in your Flutter-Bye costume (which is always worn, of course, for all holidays), and I’m certain if anyone questioned it, you’d just give them the hairy eyeball.


You like it, therefore everyone else should, too. If they don’t? Fuck ’em.

That’s an admirable quality, Alex. Don’t lose that.


Sometimes, I wish I’d been blessed with an imagination as vivid as yours. Your Playmobil Guys go on many adventures, sliding down slides, robbing banks, and other assorted escapades while the rest of us simply watch, stunned. I’ve never been creative like that.


Like your brother before you, The Planets are everything. You mapped out your next Halloween Costume (Saturn) immediately upon returning home from Trick-or-Treating. I’m forever tripping over mini-solar systems you’ve set up around the house, only to be scolded, “Mom, you RUINED NEPTUNE.”

Sorry, kidlet.


Your sweet streak, well, it knows no bounds. Your preschool teacher is forever praising your behavior with your sister. You treat her with kindness, dignity and respect. You look out for her, gently leading her around and taking care of her. As well you should. Your teacher has never seen anything like it.


I know it won’t always be this way between you three, but I do know this: you three have each other, and someday that will matter. Never stop caring about your siblings. They’re your best allies and someday, I know they’ll repay the favor. Your sister, especially, will kick anyone’s ass for you if need be. I know this because she is like me.


We’ve had a rocky couple of years, you and me, but in the end, we’re better for it.

Remember when things go to shit – even when they’re at their worst – you’ll find inner strength that otherwise, you’d never know you had. In the end (and there is always an end), it’ll all be worth it. Somehow. You may not know precisely why you had to walk through bullshit until much later. When you do, it’ll all make sense.

I’m honored to know you and I’m honored to call you my son. You’ve given me redemption and love at a time when I needed it most. I cannot repay that debt to you. But I will try. You deserve that and so, so much more.


Love Always,


P.S. A Saturn Costume? You sure you don’t want to be a pirate or something?




In the 7 years since I began Mushroom Printing, I’ve watched blogging evolve.

As blogging became well-known, there have been plenty of good changes; online friendships and online communities were formed among people who’d had little experience with The Internet, the unique opportunity for self-publishing has launched careers and the popularity of microblogs like The Twitter and The Tumblr soared.

There are, of course, plenty of downsides, too. Companies began to take note of these “blogs” and started their “The Word Of Mom” advertising campaigns, sending out freebies (rather than the actual dollars they’d pay a marketing firm) to bloggers in exchange for a review. Personal blogs began to feel a bit less, well, personal. The blogging community became a saturated market and it was hard for new bloggers to get their names out there.

What hasn’t changed is that I still love blogging. If I had an “I (HEART) BLOGGING*” shirt, I’d wear it, because that’s how much I love being a blogger. I also (HEART) all the “I (HEART) XXX” shirts. Writing here on Mommy Wants Vodka, being Your Aunt Becky, has been a constant in my life. I’ve pecked out over a thousand posts since I began my illustrious blogging “career.” Some good, some great, and a hell of a lot more mediocre.

In that time, I’ve pulled down exactly two posts. The first post was a Go Ask Aunt Becky question about a child recently diagnosed with autism. The post I’d written; the way I’d written it; it fueled a comment war that was more scary and hurtful than helpful to the person who had reached out for help. That was unfair to her.

Astute Pranksters may note that I pulled down the post I’d written yesterday. Not because it was bullshit, or because I hated it, or because I didn’t feel as though I could share it. I’d written my experiences as they happened to me while I paid tribute my cousin. I wanted to explain that those small acts of kindness can stick with you forever.

In the process of giving the back story; the reasons those kindnesses resonated so much, I upset a family member. The damage is probably irrevocable.

When I write, I write with an audience in mind, knowing anyone can read my words. For every post I do write, there are ten others that remain unwritten. I keep my written words and experiences as honest and true as I am able without hurting others. Sometimes, I gloss over bits especially when they make someone else look bad, sometimes I don’t.

Well before I pulled this post, I’d started writing for my friend’s site, which led me to think of all of the words I’ve never written. All of the words I’d wanted to string together but for one reason or another, didn’t. Sometimes, those words remained unwritten because they cut too close to home; because sometimes words, feelings, pain, reactions cannot be explained away by logic. The kind of criticism it would open up would pour salt into an already-festering wound. Others remained unwritten because I didn’t want to cause drama or pain.

Being told that my about my feelings; my experiences, written as I’d felt them as a child, were mostly fiction, I pulled the post; ashamed. I felt cowardly. I feel cowardly. Admitting all of those words; those feelings, to you took a lot for me. Living in denial as I did for many years, well, that is much harder.

I can’t give you a *fistpump* and tell you “I did the right thing” by pulling the post, nor can I say that “I did the wrong thing” by writing it.

There are so many nebulous areas in life, the kind that don’t have clear answers, no villain or victim; and all of my unwritten words, I realized, fall into that realm. Sometimes things just are.

I’m so sorry that my relationship, one I’ve desperately wanted for as long as I can remember, will (likely) forever be altered by those 700 carefully chosen words. They weren’t written in anger, never intended to hurt or accuse. I string words together as I remember them. As I experienced them.

And if that’s going too far, well, so fucking be it.


*Hm, I’d prefer an “I (HEART) PRANKSTERS” shirt, now that I think of it.


The Way We Were


The Realtor described my basement as an “in-law arrangement.” It baffled me when I saw it because it was two finished rooms, a wet bar, and a bathroom complete with whirlpool bathtub.

It wasn’t until I saw the room with the washing machine and dryer (no carpeting or prettying up here, folks) that I got what she meant: a Dungeon. I could totally chain up rogue parents who wanted to move in against the walls, throw leftover chicken bones down the laundry chute and hell, there was even a (laundry) sink for water!

I crossed off “in-law arrangement” and wrote in “Awesome Dungeon” on the glossy brochure.

We made an offer the next day.

For quite awhile, The Dungeon was empty. We’d moved from a three-bedroom condo with no storage to a three-floor house with all kinds of storage, and at the time, there were only three of us. The amount of space felt gratuitous.

Eventually, I bought shelving and Rubbermaid bins, carefully sorted our stuff (I am, after all, my father’s daughter), labeled them with a Sharpie (I heart Sharpies) and stowed them on the shelves.

Then, well, life exploded.

The Dungeon turned into The Room Where We Shove Crap We Don’t Know What Else To Do With (Bonus! Sorted Shelved Stuffs).

My coveted fiber-optic Christmas tree? Plop it there. Alex’s Halloweenier Costume? Eh, put it in The Dungeon. That Ugly Mirror I Bought But Never Hung Because It’s So Fug? Put ‘er down there. Deal later. The picture of the majestic jaguar that appeared out of nowhere and is too bizarre for even me to hang? Leave there; give to Dave’s Mom.

Cleaning The Dungeon is something I’ve wanted to take care of for a long time, and this weekend, after a long, anguished fight with The Daver, I saw no better time to begin. Some people eat their emotions, some drink them, others escape through television and movies. Me? I strap on my Super Becky Overachiever cape. I purge, I organize, and I clean. It helps organize my brain and process these weird things that you people call ‘feelings.’

(feelings are bullshit)

I started in the middle of the room; tossing what we didn’t need, storing what we did, and donating anything salvageable. Within a couple of hours, I’d cleared a path to the shelves. Even with my careful labels, I no longer knew what they really contained.

I hauled out a large unlabeled blue bin and popped it open.


The box was full of craft supplies.

We all know that I’m as crafty as a blind woodchuck, but those supplies hadn’t been for me. Shit, I’d sooner gnaw off my fingers than craft something.

Standing in that basement, it was as though time had been frozen inside that box.

I’d birthed a baby boy, Benjamin, in August of 2001. In November, I’d gone back to work slinging pizza and beer. I enrolled in nursing school full-time in December. I worked weekends, cramming organic chemistry compounds into my brain between tables. Weekdays were spent in school, weeknights I studied. 7 days a week, no summers off, no rest for the wickedly weary.

My three-year old son watched me march across that stage as I graduated at the top of my nursing school class. I’d so wanted to do right by him. Benjamin, son of my right side, named that, hoping he’d pick up the very best bits of me. My right sides.

Ben and I moved into the condo in Oak Park post-graduation. I’d taken time off before the national nursing board exams, anxiously excited about being a Mom – a real one – for the first time.

I’d neglected to remember one thing. One very important thing.

All of those years I frantically ran around, trying to do right by him, I’d ignored it; reassured myself it would be okay, “when we were a real family.”

My son, Benjamin is autistic. Autistic kids are like Siamese Cats. They choose Their Person (or people) and That’s It. The rest of the world can rot in fucking hell so long as Their Person is near.

I was not his person.

Never have been. Not at birth, not after birth, not ever. We mostly got along but I was most assuredly Not His Person.

His Person was my mother, who now lived 45 minutes away. Dave was Another Person, but Dave also worked long hours, frequently not home until bedtime. Even when home, there was always more work.

Just me and my son. All those years I’d spent longing to be a real family, to feel like a mother, to be with my son…he hated it.

Rejection seeped in.

I went to bed alone each night. Dave working in the office; Ben fast asleep under the mural of The Planets we’d painstakingly painted, emptiness creeping inside me. “Tomorrow, it will get better,” I’d try and reassure myself, denying the sadness sitting on my chest, making it hard to breathe. “This is what you wanted. How can you be sad?”

Each night, the emptiness looming, I reassured myself with something else; another bright side.

When my friends complained about my son’s eating habits, my inability to “go out and party,” and how obnoxious my kid could be, I wrote it off. They were single and had no kids. I never allowed myself to feel hurt by that…or anything else.

When it was clear that Dave’s job was his wife, well, “he was doing what he had to to support his family. Look at the economy! This is what you wanted!”

My son watched a documentary about the Planets and my husband worked constantly. I’d gone from feeling purposeful to puttering about the condo; a shell of my former self, in a few short weeks.

I tried to fill my days. I swept the floors twice daily, washed them at least once. I washed and rewashed dishes. I scrubbed the bathroom tile with a toothbrush. Anything to stave off the loneliness.

Halloween-time, I thought maybe Ben and I could find some common ground: crafts! Off to the craft store, we went, where I bought a fuckton of crafty shit: paper, glue, crayons, scissors, glitter, stuff I’d have gone apeshit for as a kid. Ben was too busy organizing the shelf to notice. Oh well.

Panting and sweaty, I lugged our booty up to the third floor and spread it out on the dining room table. We were going to make MOTHERFUCKING PUMPKINS.

Except Ben had turned his Planets movie and was entirely uninterested in making MOTHERFUCKING PUMPKINS with me. I paused the movie. He wept for Grandma. That rejection finally opened a deep chasm of emptiness inside me.

Halfheartedly, I led him to our Craft Project.

Big, fake, cheerful smile on my face, I painted my MOTHERFUCKING PUMPKIN orange. Ben sat there, weeping for my mother. Smiling so hard that it hurt, I painted his pumpkin, too. He sobbed. I sent him back to the movie.

Then, I sat back down in front of the stupid pile of art supplies, buried my head in my hands, and I started to cry, too. Not the delicate kind of Soap Opera Cry, but the desperate, hurt, miserable cry that emanates from your bones.

I shoved the craft crap into that blue bin where it sat untouched for many years.

A perfectly captured freeze-frame of the way things were.

I held the tube of orange paint and overhead, I heard my three children thundering about, their footfalls booming as they happily chased each other. Their laughter echoing around the house; overcome with joy. I smiled as I repacked the paint, saving it for a cooped-up “I’m BOOOORED” day.

As I closed the lid, I marveled at the way we once were.

And the way we now are.


The way we were.


The way we are.

Reminders Of What Never Was.


In order for me to Get Less Anxious, I’ve been doing a lot of purging. Getting rid of what’s not important. There’s a lot of noise and crap (literal and figurative) out there and if you’re not careful, it can take over your life.

This week, I braved the Salvation Army drop center, where I swear to you, Pranksters, they judge my stuff before begrudgingly giving me a tax receipt. I did end up holding onto a few things. Maybe I will hold an Internet Garage Sale to raise some money to try and turn Band Back Together into a Non-Profit (I’m guessing it takes more than just batting my eyelashes and swinging the word “bullshit” around).

I came across something in my garage, buried under the piles of stuff to be donated; something I’ve never quite known what to do with.


Let me back up a second.

In 2002, a freshly single mother living at home with my parents, I’d realized that I needed to figure out What Next. Since toddlerhood, I’d planned to be a diamond-encrusted, world-saving doctor. Newborn on my hip, I realized this was probably going to have to be put on hold until said infant got a little, well, bigger.

Half a degree in bio/chem meant that I could handily enroll in nursing school, which was, at the very least on a similar plan, and wouldn’t make med school too far a distant chipmunk on the horizon.

So I did.

The first year, I spent doing the typical freshman pre-reqs, falling in with a motley crew as I commuted by train to the closest school that I could get my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I earned the nickname Super Becky Overachiever, acing all the exams (a degree in bio/chem is far more rigorous), becoming a TA for inorganic, organic and biochem as well as picking up some tutoring gigs for Anatomy and Physiology I and II.

Sweet ASS, I thought, as I patted myself on the back. I loved being busy, feeling useful, and doing something with myself back then just as I do now.

The first year of nursing school dawned and I parted ways with my homies from my pre-req days. They had another year before nursing school, so I’d be meeting a whole new set of people. No bother, I figured. I tended to get along with just about everyone.

When I walked in that first day, thirty pairs of eyes glared at me. To this day, I don’t know why I was met with so much hostility, but there it was, and there I was. I slurped my coffee, smiled a big ole fake smile, walked to the back of the class and took a seat.

The instructors bounded in applauding, “AREN’T YOU JUST SO HAPPY TO BE HERE?”

No, no I was not. In fact, this was not at all where I wanted to be, but I grinned uneasily as I looked around at my classmates; the ones I’d be stuck with for the next two years of my life.

Everyone else beamed, nodded, and started applauding back.

Okay then.

I tried to make nice. Really, I did. As a (former) waitress, I can bullshit with the best of them, but man, these people, I couldn’t crack ’em. For the next four (four!) hours, I sat there, alone in the back row, listening to a discussion about wiping butts, properly changing sheets, and bedpans. Each point the instructor made, punctuated by a question or comment from my classmate about something inane.

“One time, my grandma had the bed made wrong at the hospital.”

“I like cheese.”

“Our bedpans at the hospital I work at look different.”

Four hours a week of this, four days a week.

I walked back to the train, alone, and I wept. Not the kind of cry that leaves tears dribbling out of the corners of your eyes, oh no. I sobbed. I sobbed so hard that cars passing by stopped and asked if I was okay. No. But I would be.

My heart was broken.

I did what I always do: I made the best of it. I befriended the other outcasts. I zoomed to the top of my class, got invited into the prestigious nursing honor society, while slouching in the back, playing Bejeweled on my phone. Every time I got discouraged, I reminded myself that this was temporary.

I developed an incredible respect for nurses. Still have it.

Nurses = awesome.

I wouldn’t be where I am without where I’ve been or what I learned.

A couple of weeks before graduation, there’s a big thing for nurses called a “Pinning Ceremony.” It has nothing, I learned, to do with wrestling or sex. First, you get your picture taken, something I didn’t want to have done (I’m a rebel like that, and really, who the hell wants a snapshot of a twenty-five year old?), but my friends all insisted.


I love the surly face.

Anyway, there’s a big ceremony, a bunch of yapping, and we get pins.


That’s a nursing school pin. (also, like my retouching job?)

The night of the pinning ceremony, it was unveiled that some of the class had made each of us a gift from money leftover from something or another.

I don’t remember precisely what the ceremony involved, only that I spent most of it thinking about a) how hungry I was and b) listing the periodic table of elements (Hydrogen, Helium...) in my head. I probably played Bejeweled on my phone. Afterward, I went to the alter to collect my gift, the flowerpot I still own.

As I was looking for my name-flower pot (what the fuck was I going to do with that?) two nearly identical very short, very round woman with matching tight perms and haircuts so short they like tattoos waddled angrily up to me.

One of them shook their finger accusingly in my face: “WHERE IS NADIA’S?”

“Huh?” I replied. Nadia was a classmate who, well past the normal age of the graduating class, spent most of her time bitterly gossiping with her friend Melissa about everyone else. She especially hated me because, knowing I didn’t want to be a nurse – her life’s ambition – and beating her test scores seemed to mean that I was an asshole. (I am an asshole, but not for that)

“EVERYONE ELSE HAS A FLOWERPOT. WHERE IS NADIA’S?” the woman spat at me. Clearly, sparkling personality ran in the family.

I shrugged. I hadn’t been in charge of the flowerpots. Didn’t care about Nadia or her flowerpot. She could have mine if it meant so much to her.

The two woman stood there, on the alter of a church, no less, firing insults and complaints at me. I walked away.

It was a perfect end, really.


I graduated some variation of cum laude and ended my illustrious career as a hospice case manager (nurse) at the age of twenty-six. I’d been a nurse for under a year. Longer than I’d expected.


And now I have this completely useless flowerpot in my garage. Generally, I hate useless things. But I feel as though I should want to keep it. Or smash the shit out of it. Or something. Yet, I don’t. Which is why I’ve held onto it for so long. I just don’t quite know what to do with it, so I do nothing. It sits there, quietly haunting me, reminding me gently of where I’ve come from.

Maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing.

Forever Yours, Randomly


I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read my post yesterday about anxiety and commented and emailed and stuff. It’s a weird thing for me to be dealing with, and I’m not sure how exactly to handle it. Anxiety, that is, not blogging, because, hell, I’ve been blogging so long that dust comes out of my fingers when I type.

I’m fortunate enough to have a doctor who is quite possibly the World’s Greatest Person. Like, I know I’m constantly giving the Nobel Prize for Awesome out to random things, like the guy who invented the bacon cheeseburger, and the person who made this picture:


If you don’t think that’s the greatest picture ever, I will fight you.

My doctor deserves the medal for Awesomest Doctor Ever.

Getting help made me I realize how long I’ve been pretending that everything was okay when it was not. Problems are bullshit. Denial is a bigger pile of bullshit.

The first order of business is to start thinking like an editor. I’m cutting out any excess [words] noise. Getting rid of everything I no longer require (I wrote about that on Curvy Girls). Literally and figuratively (when in doubt, throw around big words and hope you’re using them properly).

Then? Organization, Pranksters. After, of course, many hours of snow cone eating and dancing cactus videos.



I realized I’d forgotten to announce The Winner for the Shut Your Whore Mouth Shirt Contest yesterday, but by the time I realized it, I’d already put up my post about being all anxious. It seemed so vastly incongruent to be all After School Special, “Pranksters, I’m struggling and anxious,” then, OHMYGOD, WINNER! #UNICORNBLOOD trumps #TIGERBLOOD!


But today, in a completely random post, I can announce it.

QCMAMA, come on down! You just won a Shut Your Whore Mouth Shirt! (soon to be available in PURPLE)



This seems like an excellent time to tell you about Robert, the Worst Date of My Life.

Remember when coffee shops were like the new black and suddenly, they sprung up every-fucking-where? This was after that. One of my good friends worked at a coffee shop attached to a small, local video store, in one of those combinations that seemed like a good idea, but really wasn’t. One of his coworkers was a guy named Robert, and I should have known by his foppy haircut that he was Bad News for someone Like Me.

But, I was between boyfriends and when he asked me on an actual date, (I had boyfriends, not actual “dates,”) I accepted. What’s the worst that could possibly happen? I reasoned, even after uncomfortably noting his extremely well-manicured fingernails and soft palms.

Robert, it seemed, was the worst that could happen.

The night of Our Date, I met him at the coffee shop and he chivalrously offered to drive to the multi-theater complex located a good 45 minutes away. Okay, I thought, anyone with hands like that was probably not a rapist or axe-murderer.

And he wasn’t.

Robert was of a completely different ilk.

Robert was Mr. Sensitive Pony-Tail Man, sans pony-tail.

Now, I’m all for a guy who likes to talk about His Feelings without the use of hand-puppets and other props, but Robert took things to a whole new level. A whole new level that made me so uncomfortable that, had we not been in a car on the highway, I might have had him pull over so that I could show my own feelings. Vomity-type feelings.

In that 45 minutes, I learned this: Robert was 22 (I was 18) and lived at home with his mother. He’d had a long-term girlfriend who he’d recently broken up with because she’d moved away to be a part of some traveling Renaissance Faire and he couldn’t handle the distance. They’d tried, he informed me, and his mom was pretty mad at him because they’d racked up massive phone bills.

Apparently, Robert’s answer to being so far apart was to spend each night on the phone, sleeping together.


You read that right.

They “slept” together. On the phone. Listening to each other snore.

I’ll wait while you vomit.





I appreciate romance as much as the next person, but that’s just plain old creepy.

He waxed on and on about his ex for the entire car ride. Clearly, he was not only co-dependent, but also still not over her. Ugh. By the time we arrived at the movie theater, I was ready to go see a movie – any movie – by myself. But, no. Cell phones were still relatively new, weighed about 6 pounds, and cost hundreds of dollars to own. I had a snazzy gold beeper instead.

Snazzy wasn’t about to get me away from Creepy Robert.

Oh well.

So, before we went into the movie of his choosing, I insisted he buy me the biggest vat of popcorn they had and a bucket of Diet Coke and some Junior Mints, because, well, then the date wasn’t a total loss. I wasn’t normally the kind of girl who did such things, but I’d just spent 45 minutes listening to the virtues of Megan, The Most Wonderful Renaissance Princess Ever Who Also Played Dungeons and Dragons And blah, blah, fucking BLAH.

I considered this my tasty and delicious therapist’s fee.

I’d been too busy craning my neck around to see if I knew anyone who I could bum a ride home from to notice what movie Robert had chosen for us to see, but it was no surprise that he’d chosen the lamest movie ever: Ever After: A Cinderella Story.

I dry-heaved.

Instead of focusing on the riveting plot (I’d have chosen a movie like Die Hard), I listed the Periodic Table of Elements in order my head: “Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon…” Then, claiming “bathroom break,” I went into the lobby and played air-hockey with a couple of twelve-year olds.

When I came back, Robert was openly weeping.

Not at my absence or anything, but at the movie. Apparently, it was very touching and I had missed it! O! the humanity! O! the emoting! O! the beauty!

O! the vomitus!

I took my seat next to him and he sobbed so loudly that people began to turn around in their seats to stare at him. Not a single other person in the theater was tearful, so I guess it hadn’t been that emotional.

I was mortified. I was with That Guy. I had no idea how to handle it.

So I patted his leg reassuringly and said, “There, There.”

He wept louder.

The ushers came.

They asked us to leave.

The entire ride home, he babbled about how “beautiful” and “true” that movie was. I just stared out the window, willing the ride to go by faster, wishing I’d worn a mask.

When we got back to my car, he professed his love to me. I suggested that he “rescue” his “true love” from the Ren Faire.

He agreed.

Then he called me so often that I had to block his number.

The Moral of This Story: Never, ever date a guy with soft palms.

Pre-Partum Depression


As anyone who really knows me knows, I’m not really one to talk about “My Feelings.” Hell, typing that simple word there, the one any 3-year-old sings about, makes me squeamish. I’d prefer that I don’t have them at all, truth be told, let alone mentioning to people–some complete strangers no less–that I might have feelings other than “happy,” “sad,” “sleepy,” or “I want a fucking cheeseburger.” Potentially a side of “I need a damn nap” as well somewhere in there.

So when I struggle with something, I tend to downplay it. I don’t often get into the nitty-gritty of what’s goin’ on to even my best friends, I don’t have long and detailed discussions with Daver about whatever issues there may be floating around in my head, and I certainly don’t want to admit it to myself. It’s like I somehow imagine that if I don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. Besides, who wants to listen to someone whine about their life?

This was how I got through months and months of living in a weepy, postpartum depression world after Alex was born (and never went to sleep again) before seeking treatment. And after I started my Vitamin W (Wellbutrin), I was seriously pissed at myself for not admitting my problem sooner. I gained nothing by staying silent, and the person who paid the highest price was me.

Before Alex was born, however, I struggled mightily with something even less talked about than postpartum depression: PRE-partum depression.

I spent most of the months I was pregnant with Alex after struggling to get pregnant with him in the first place, completely and utterly miserable. I worried and I fretted about each and every twinge, each and everyTHING I could think of. Most of those 9 long months were spent with me sitting on the couch feeling downright despondent, disturbed, depressed; certain that I wouldn’t get my happy ending after all. That my feelings of panic and dread were something MORE than a symptom of depression in my addled brain.

So when I got pregnant this time, I stayed on my Vitamin W until I was rudely informed by one of the OB’s in my practice that I’d be seeing the HIGH RISK OB if I continued on it. Not-so-shockingly, I decided to rough it out on my own until I couldn’t any longer.

Most of this time, I’ve been okay. Truthfully okay.

It wasn’t until Daver had a bit of a nervous breakdown at the end of August that I realized how thinly the string holding me together had become. It’s been a really, really hard year for me. No, that’s not quite true, let me rephrase that: it’s been a year that’s tested me. It’s been non-stop: my dad’s heart attack, my post-partum depression, Steph’s death, the two miscarriages, then this pregnancy that I never accepted would make it, then Dave’s breakdown.

I guess I only have so much to give anyone, and it’s all been taken. And I’m left sitting here and struggling, much like I did with Alex. I absolutely have my hackles raised, I’m going to see how long I can tough it out with this wee one still inside before I consider going back on my meds.

I’m thrilled by this baby, so very thrilled. I love my life, I love my husband (most of the time), and I’m tickled constantly (literally AND figuratively) by my two children. And I was so afraid to mention how I’ve been struggling BECAUSE I know that someone will misinterpret what I’m saying and twist it around to remind me of how lucky I really am.

Which is something that I already know: I have most everything in the world I’ve ever wanted. How many people do you know that honestly feel that way?

And I went back and forth with talking about this here. It’s a public forum, and while I don’t often worry about what I would say–people who I haven’t exactly peed roses about here may not understand WHY I feel like I do about them, but I tell The Truth According to Aunt Becky and I stick by it–I know this isn’t the same type of posts you normally get from me. Which will piss some people off.

But I’m telling The Truth because someone has to. Since those women went nuts and killed their kids, there’s been a huge push to get the word out about PPD (postpartum depression), which is good. People SHOULD know about it.

Pre-partum depression is rarely discussed, tho. Women don’t talk about it openly, lest they be branded as “ungrateful” or my personal favorite “unfit to be a mother.” Instead, those who suffer from pre-partum depression suffer alone and in silence about it. Because if you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist, right?

Don’t believe me? Do a google search for the term “prepartum depression.” Most of what comes up are other blog posts about it. It’s out there, it’s just swept under the rug.

So this is me, your Aunt Becky, telling you, that this exists. And it hurts. And it’s hard. And I’m struggling right now. I’ll make it through, of course I will, it’s what I do, but for now, for right now, I’m hurting.

And now I’m encouraging you, my faithful readers, to share YOUR Truth without hiding from it. The Truth can be ugly; it can be not-fun to admit; but sharing it is a Very Good Thing. Besides the uncle pervy’s out there who find my site looking for “cheeseburger crotch” and “excess skin balls,” I’m damn certain that someone will find this post, someone also struggling during what is supposed to be the happiest time of your life.

And to you, I tell you definitively that you are not alone.

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