Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?


The product of 3 sets of grandparents without any other grandchildren is that my house is overflowing with toys. I have so many toys that I frequently round some up and take them down to the Salvation Army and donate them rather than have a Garage Sale, something I’d rather never experience ever. I just can’t haggle with someone over a 50 cent coffee mug and still maintain my already-tenuous grasp on sanity.

But Alex has chosen, out of the piles of colorful plastic toys, this small wooden car.


That he would find this car and choose it above all other toys touches me.

This car is a time-capsule.

I’ve made mention before that Ben had chosen my mother as His Person, which (thank you Internet) you all told me is a pretty common thing for autistic kids to do. You have no idea how much that relieved me to know that it wasn’t just my son picking up on my inherent Asshole-ness.

But I probably didn’t tell you that Ben chose another person as His Person. That person, of course, was The Daver.

We met Dave in the winter of 2003-2004 and Ben, my normally silent, distant child was immediately captivated by him. They hadn’t met until I took Ben to the airport to pick Dave up from wherever he was returning from, but once I had, it was like the heavens had opened up for that child. And The Daver too.

The entire ride back home to St. Charles (sans The Daver), Ben strung together one of only a few sentences he had in the most forlorn voice I’d heard, “Oh, bye Dave.” He didn’t say “Mommy” but he immediately learned “Dave.”

Several months after that, Dave and I packed Ben up in the car and we took a road trip up nort’ dere hey to northern Wisconsin to visit a friend of his. Ben fell in love with a marble contraption thingy made by the Amish who live up there and on the way home, Dave insisted that we stop and get Ben one.

Ben was asleep in the car, so he and I stayed outside while Dave went into the Amish store and awhile later he emerged triumphant, the marble contraption thingy in his hand. After he packed it into the trunk to be given to Ben after he awoke, he got into the driver’s seat of my car and opened up his hand to me.

There, in the palm of his hand was this wooden car.

Even knowing that the child he’s always thought of as his son wouldn’t play crash-bang-boom Drive The Car Off The Couch pow-zap with it like a normal child, instead using it to make intricate lines of toys snaking around the house, he bought Ben a car. Like a normal child would like.

That car was used in elaborate designs, sometimes as a stand-in for Io, sometimes as one of many cars in a long line of toys, sometimes perched on the stairs, where Ben would carefully line toys up, row after ever-loving row.

That car moved with us, carelessly thrown into a random box of toys, to three or four places. The puppy teethed on it, Alex gnawed on it, I imagine that Amelia will also probably chomp on it too. It’s been here for our best moments and our worst.

I find it fitting that our second son, Ben’s brute of a baby brother, would take the car and use it in the way that his father once thought his brother might. That the child we hadn’t even talked about conceiving would fall in love with this toy.

It feels like some circle is now complete.

There are days like today, when my eldest gets in trouble for the third time this week for disobeying rules, where my middle child’s diaper busts a seem and leaks silica all over the carpet, where I learn that the help I’d arranged for Daver’s trip to London is going to flake on me, where the dog pees on the carpet and all of the Miracle Blankets are covered in goo. Days like this that I need a reminder of where I’ve been.

And where I’m going.


What about you?

This Is Why Teen Pregnancy Is Bad, Kids.


(doorbell rings, a pair of dogs begins to bark. A woman hoists her pregnant butt off the couch while telling her young son to get his shoes on)

Woman With Pregnant Ass opens door and invites the person standing there inside.

WWPA (obviously trying to be nice and make conversation): “Hey, how’s it going?”

Man Standing With Sour Expression in Hallway: “Fine.”

WWPA: “Ben should be down in a second, he’s getting his shoes on.”

7 year old clomps down stairs with shoes on and says, “Hi Dad.”

MSWSEH: “Where’s your sweater?”

WWPA (genuinely confused): “What sweater?”

MSWSEH: “Why can’t you dress him for the weather? It’s WINTER.”

WWPA (looking incredulously at Man, then child, who is wearing jeans and a t-shirt): “Well, Nat, he DOES dress himself now. And he never gets cold. So why complain at him?”

MSWSEH now known as Nat: “It’s just that you never dress him for the cold, Becky.”

WWPA now known as Becky: “He dresses himself, dude. And if he’s not cold, why should I fight with him on it?”

Nat: “What, do you need me to buy him clothes now?”

Becky: “You’ve never bought him clothes in your life, Nat. We send him in nice clothes, he comes back in grubby clothes that are too small for him. If you want him to wear something particular, then buy him some clothes.”

Nat (becoming more and more hostile, to the point of sneering): “Is that why you send him in that stuff?”

Becky: “It’s the stuff that he has always come back from your house in. Maybe your parents buy it. Whatever. Hey Ben? Can you go see Dave now?”


Becky (now furious as well, as he has never given her a dime in child support, nor has he bought anything Ben has ever needed): “You have a lot of nerve coming in here and demanding that I send him in ‘nicer’ clothes. This is my house, I take care of all that Ben needs INCLUDING clothes, while you pick him up to drop him at your parents house.”

Nat (now yelling): “Do you need me to buy him clothes? Because if it’s about clothes, then I can buy him some.”

Becky: “If you want him to wear something nicer than what your parents provide him with, then yes. Until you do that, you have no right to come in here and demand that I put him in the nice clothes I buy for him. I cannot possibly send him to school in the clothes you have provided.”

(A toddler has toddled up behind the pregnant woman and is indicating that he’d like to be picked up. She bends over, wincing and plucks him into her arms)

Nat: “It’s always about money, isn’t it?”

Becky (confused by his sudden change of tactic): “Whaaat?”

Nat: “You’re such a bitch. A money-grubbing, label whoring bitch.”

Becky: “You may leave now. You may not speak to me this way in my home or ever. Good-bye.”

(Nat slams door behind him, and stomps away. Becky shakes her head and sighs deeply)

Becky (softly to herself, staring at the just-slammed door): I guess this is what they warn you about when they tell you not to have sex with someone before marriage.

(End scene)

Your turn, kidlets. What asshole things have happened to YOU lately?

He’s Just Not That Into You


Now it’s been quite a long while since I’ve dated, I feel I must admit this up front, rather than try to be all lookit me, I’m An Authority On Dating, see my credentials? Sure, I’ve dated men from television, hell, I’ve even married them, but I can tell you for certain that neither Mr. Bourdain or Mr. D’Onofrio has the slightest idea that an anonymous Midwestern girl is married to them. Probably for the better.

But I was talking with a good friend of mine last night about dates and dating and all of the assorted bullshit that goes along with it. Because at least 99.9% of it IS bullshit, only you don’t realize it at the time. This friend of mine has been a friend for the last 14 or so years, so it’s safe to say that we’ve been through a lot of that maturing process together.

We’ve also spent a inordinate amount of time talking about the motivations behind why Mr. Dickfore didn’t call. Maybe he got lost in Siberia and his cell phone had no reception at his grandmother’s funeral where his dad ran over his cat. But I’m sure he’s still into you. He’ll call, I swear.

When we were younger this was sport for us. We’d grab a pack of smokes, hit up the local diner and spend literally hours deciphering Why He Acted This Way. There was a modicum of fun involved, of course, but the desperation was mighty. And we weren’t exactly Losers with a capitol ‘L.’

Yet we couldn’t believe that anything about dating was as straightforward as it actually is. If a dude likes you, he’ll find the time to call no matter WHO died. If he wants to see you, HE WILL. If dating is enough work that you find yourself rehashing ad nauseum with your friends and logicating (why YES, I made up that word, thank you for noticing!) why he didn’t call/see you/showed up with another girl, it’s probably not worth it.

What bugs me the most is not the realization a la Sex In The City that he’s just really not that into you, but that I wasted so many fucking hours of my life obsessing over men who didn’t give a flying poo about me. I can only imagine how much more I could have done if I hadn’t wasted so much time wondering if he’d like my hair straight or curled, my pink or my red shirt, or why he said that he liked that Averil Lavine song (shudder, shudder).

I wish that damn book had come out when I was younger and before I realized that relationships weren’t that hard to figure out. At least the good ones aren’t.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Songs To Break-Up To


It’s been quite a long time since I’ve broken up with someone. I’ve been with The Daver for many years (five? six? I can’t remember anymore because it seems like forever. Um, yeah. I mean that IN A GOOD WAY, of course) and before that I was with Nat, whom I dumped (and therefore didn’t feel badly about). But I’ll never forget just how full of The Awesome it is to crank up a good break-up song, cry–or scream wickedly–along with the lyrics, and generally sit and wallow in self pity.

Okay, so it wasn’t full of The Awesome back then, but looking back on how mournfully I treated some of my break-ups that were really more of a blessing than a curse. I guess that it’s a maturity/hind-sight thing.

But here, here I have compiled a list of songs so awesome to listen to while breaking up–and mourning–that they make me a bit nostalgic for long gone (thankfully) days.

1) James Blunt- Goodbye My Lover. He’s best known for that other song You’re Beautiful, a song which I also adore, but I happen to love this song. It came out after I was married, so I obviously don’t associate it with any particular break-up, but it doesn’t matter. When he sings, “Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend, you have been The One, you have been The One for me,” I get some massive chills.

2) G’n’R’s November Rain. Now, I went back and forth here between this song and Use Your Illusion I and II’s Don’t Cry (also I and II) and I think I made the right call here. I mean, think of the video! Stephanie Seymour and a wedding and a death AT a wedding! What more can you ask for? Besides, it IS hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain.

This song encompasses everything that a quintessential break-up song needs:

*Sung by a sensitive man who really cares about the chick he’s dumping
*He also really regrets the shit out of having to dump her in the first place
*But he’s “letting her go” to “be free” and when she’s ready, he’ll be waiting
*A sexy guitar rift
*An even hotter video

Internet, I know that you can love me, when there’s no one left to blame. Right? RIGHT??

Sorry, I’ll stop now.

3) Bob Dylan- Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine). Did you appreciate the segue from G’n’R to Bob Dylan? Because I totally did.

This song is from a different sort of genre of break-up songs: the ones in which someone is fucking pissed. Bob Dylan has a whole catalogue of these sorts of snarky and mean break-up songs, and it’s something I adore him for. But this has to be one of my favorites. I mean, you can’t mess with lyrics like this:

“You say you’re shakin’
And you’re always achin’,
But you know how hard you try.”

Because you totally know that person, whether or not you dated him or her, you know someone who behaves like this and you’re all “wow, that’s annoying. But shit, wouldn’t it be more annoying to DATE him/her?” And Bob Dylan DID date him/her and wrote a song about it so you could nod your head and say “Abso-fucking-lutely, I know who you’re talking about.”

Or maybe it’s just me.

4) Christina Aguilera- Walk Away/Fighter. These are actually two back to back songs on her Stripped album, but I’d be sure to guarantee that these are designed to listen to one after the other. Walk Away is the typical sad break-up song with lyrics like “Your love was like candy, artificially sweet, I was deceived by the wrapping” that remind me completely of all of the dudes I dated that weren’t exactly who they said they were. What can I say, I had bad taste in dudes.

Fighter is the song that happens after you stop marinading yourself in self-pity and loathing and are done crying over the dude that pulled the rug over your eyes. If you’re like me, anger is preferable to sitting around and moping especially about a dude, so Fighter is honestly up there in my list of Best Songs Ever. This song is an angry person’s anthem, but it’s not specifically something you have to listen to when you’ve broken up with someone, just when you’re fucking pissed because you have totally been wronged.

5) Rolling Stones- Angie. The Stones have always held a really special place in my heart, especially after my friend Stef died last January as The Stones were her favorite band. I cannot think of one without the other, so there’s no separation between the two.

But either way, this is one of the saddest, most mournful break-up songs that I can think of off the top of my head. You can tell that Mick Jagger REALLY MEANS what he says when he croons things like:

“But Angie, I still love you baby, ev’rywhere I look I see your eyes,
There ain’t a woman that comes close to you, come on baby, dry your eyes.”

And there’s a secret part of you that wishes that any one of your miserable ex’s ever thought something so sweet, poetic and romantic about you instead of something more realistic like, “Man, that chick gave some GOOD head.”

YOUR turn, Internet. Gimmie some good break-up songs that I’ve forgotten to include here. Lord knows my mind ain’t what she used to be and I’m damn certain I’ve forgotten some pretty key songs here.

Doting Boyfriends VS Uncle Pervy’s


Now about a million years ago I was in high school. And when I was in high school, there were two types of boys that were interested in me:

1.) the Doting Boyfriends


2.) Uncle Pervy’s.

Somehow, the Doting Boyfriends are a rather dull sort to discuss, so I am going to share a story of the first Uncle Pervy: Dave. Dave I later realized also was in love with one of my other best friends, Kristin.

Dave was a kid who rode my bus my freshmen year in high school. I, being the type of person that I was before I grew big balls, was admittedly a bit creeped out by his black trench-coat and Not-Quite-Cool-But-Trying-To-Be T-shirts and black stonewashed jeans, but I was nice to him. He was the sort that the Offspring later wrote a song about; he’d wear a shirt that would say Heavy Metal, but would list the ELEMENTS.

Several steps shy of cool. Significant steps, sure, but at the time I was too nice.

And because I was several steps away from having a realistic world view, I gave him my number when he asked. You’ll see this as a running problem in future Uncle Pervy stories.

He began calling me, but as a freshman I talked on the phone ALL THE TIME. Hours and hours and hours a day spent blabbering nothings into the phone. Conversation would be forced and would follow a repeatable pattern; ‘œHi’¦.(no introduction), what are you doing?’¦..(dead silence)’¦..wanna be my girlfriend?’ Because I had a bazillion friends, sooner rather than later I’d get another call, so I’d be excused from talking to Dave.

And not call him back. Ever.

So he’d diligently call, day after day, uncaring that I had a long term boyfriend and wasn’t interested in getting another, less stable one, and I’d get him off the phone with vague excuses of waxing my cat, a waiting phone call, a dead grandmother. Eventually, he realized my totally transparent plan and would refuse to say goodbye to me on the phone, which would stall me for a few more minutes, because although I was shallow as a puddle of mud, I was also raised to not hang up on people.

Pretty soon, even the rudeness of having to hang up on someone who wouldn’t say goodbye to me was worn as smoothly as a second skin. I felt no remorse, no guilt, no feelings aside from annoyance.

Dave, being desperate and lonely realized that he had to change tactics if he was to capture my attentions. So he started to threaten that if I wouldn’t date him/talk to him, he’d kill himself. KILL HIMSELF. This was the same person who, when Kurt Cobain killed himself, tried to carve Kurt on his arm, but couldn’t quite work up the balls to cut himself, so he just wrote it with a pen. Daily. So, I knew he’d never have the balls to go through with anything actually dangerous. Dave was just dramatic and maladjusted.

I drew the line with his antics when he would threaten to WALK OVER TO MY HOUSE. I had no desire to hang with him, and I had even LESS desire to have him come to my house where people might see him and think we were friends.

Dave finally went away once I started to encourage his suicidal behavior and made it painfully clear that I had no desire to date him. How did I shake such an annoying suitor? Well, it took at least 6 months of constant hanging up on him whenever he called for him to cease and desist.

I learned later he left me alone only to stalk my dear friend Kristin.

So dish. I need some good pathetic dating stories to entertain me. Because I’m all “Come on INTERNET! Dance, monkey, DANCE.”

7 Times Around


When I was 15, I had this soft spot in my heart for boys in bands, specifically, the lead singers. I guess I didn’t really care if they COULD sing, so much as if they DID sing. These boys were “sweet” and “deep,” they could feel pain and express emotion, and do sexxy things like lick the microphone while singing. It was a completely stupid school-grrl fantasy, one in which I frequently indulged and thankfully broke myself of later on.

On the rebound from another boy in a band, I met Ken, who sang in a band called 7 Times Around. The name was super deep, as it meant he had been “through the ringer” with 7 other girls. You know, because at 15 everything is very, very important and relationships happen very quickly.

Well, Your Aunt Becky because dumb ass lucky number 8.

I knew he liked me because he gave me a necklace in the shape of a smiley face with a bullet hole through it’s head. Romantic, eh? That probably should have been my sign to run away, but because I am not only stupid but a masochist too, I stuck around. Not for very long, though, because Ken was a weenie and I knew it. I mainly dated him because, you know, I was trying to get over someone else.

Out of sight, out of mind.

A couple of months later, I’d made my friend Evan pick me up and drive me around in his car, and we were gossiping like a couple of bitches when he’s all, “What happened with you and Ken?”

And I was all, “Dude, I dumped him because he was fucking lame.”

And he was all, “No way.”

I could tell by the way that he said it that he didn’t really believe me.

“Why?” I asked him. “What have you heard?”

“Well,” he said conspiratorially. “You should know that Ken’s been going around telling anyone who will listen that the reason HE dumped YOU is because you wouldn’t put out.”

“Oh?” I said, my eyebrow arched, annoyed. We hadn’t even come close to having The Sex.

“Wait,” he said. “It gets better. You wouldn’t put out, Ken tells us, because you had a yeast infection.”

Internet, I will tell you that I laughed until I cried. Whatever Ken had been smoking, I want some of that.

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