Saturday, December 26, 2009

You don’t have to leave home to feel homesick, what presents are lacking, and Getting pissed on tends to piss me off.

When I was a kid, every Christmas was spent with my grandparents. The entire week of winter break, save for Christmas eve and Christmas morning, when I would be home so Santa could come. But Christmas day, my bags were packed, and when my family went to my Grandparents house to celebrate with the other 20+ aunts uncles and cousins… I was left there that night. Just me and my grandparents. And I would stay there until winter break was through. I loved Christmas. Seeing all of my family. My cousins and I would play cops and robbers, or hide and seek… Tell stories, play cards… We LOVED each other. That changed.

Many of you know my family is a little… “messed up”…. Yeah… who’s isn’t, right? I’ll not argue and let you claim yours is worse than mine. I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. I know better. Everyone always thinks their family is worse. So, I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with you here. I’m just trying to illustrate a fact. My family does not a friendly environment make. When I was a child with blind love…? sure… Now...? Not so much. And it’s left me “homesick”. I wish things could be the way the once were. Playing with the cousins, laughing and celebrating. Eating good food. Drinking Eggnog. Hugging my grandparents. That isn’t going to happen. It all changed. And I can pinpoint when it started to.

The day of my parent’s car accident. Christmas Eve 1995. The Christmas my parents never came home. The Christmas no one knew what to say to me, so I sat alone while the family celebrated tensely in the other room. I was one of the oldest of the cousins. They didn’t know how to handle the turn of events any better than the rest of them. So they avoided me that Christmas. It was understandable. But like I said… It was only the start.

Things became much much worse when my family decided to “quietly” disown me. For those of you that don’t know what a “quiet” disownment is… it’s when the family as a whole decides you are no longer worthy of their time. I’m no longer family, but the reason for their decision is too heinous to recognize or speak of that I simply don’t exist unless a piece of juicy gossip is needed or I show up. You become the scapegoat, and are the fall back conversation piece. Never invited to any of the gatherings, but always “welcome”……. The reason they decide to treat you this way shall never be mentioned, but they will find other ways to tip toe around it and cut into you every chance they are given. Weight, money, children…. Etc… And on occasion they will find themselves bold enough to whisper a scripture or two in your direction. But NEVER will they come right out and say that they know your secret, or know that you know it too… Never will they admit that they no longer wish to associate with you. Everything is fine, and you simply have to sit there and take their judgments silently, praying none of them finds a box of matches and kindling since you know they would secretly rather do nothing but burn you at the stake.

Yup… I love me the Holidays.

This year, it’s funny. I was actually looking forward to seeing these people. I’ve lost a lot of weight since last we met, and as my weight has always been a hot topic point… Well… It’s not just the weight. I have learned a lot in the past year, and my confidence is off the charts. (My own personal charts anyhow.) I’ve let them bully me for far too long. And this year? My friend Callan was going to be at my side lending me strength. I was going to go in with my head held high and come out the same. It was just a week or so before Christmas that I even found out about my grandmother flying in for Christmas, and the family gathering for it. My mother informed me. It wasn’t until Christmas Eve that I found out, we were not going after all. And it wasn’t until Christmas morning that I realized… I never actually received an invite, only the usual, expected to be there with my parents when/if they show… well… damn…

That’s okay. I’m sure they had a great time exchanging prescription pill bottles and talking about horrible sinners without me.

So, I didn’t go anywhere for Christmas. Hell I hardly got out of bed, save for a quick shower, a load or two of laundry, reheating some leftovers and watching a movie. Nope… didn’t even open presents. They are still sitting under my tree. I just don’t care to open them while in this mood. Especially not after opening my “early” presents.

The art of gift giving.

Anyone that knows me is sure to know I don’t give a shit about presents. I like giving them WAY more than receiving them. It’s best that way. I’m a very difficult person to please when it comes to giving gifts. It’s because I’m just not a materialistic person. I don’t care about physical objects. Once upon a time I dated a boy named Tim. (I have every right to call him a boy, we were teenagers. Just kids.) I tend to dub all of my love interests of past with little titles, so some of you may know Tim best as “present guy”. His family was well off, and every time he saw me he had this annoying habit of having a present to give me. But each gift usually had nothing to do with me, or my interests. He had a brilliant mind and an enormous heart, but if I had to accept one more piece of jewelry or flower I was going to rip my hair out. So ended the relationship. As brilliant as the boy was, he didn’t understand that I didn’t want anything, and even less that receiving things that proved he didn’t know me or the things I liked was pushing me away. Roses remind me of funerals. Not something I wish to get on Valentine’s.

By now, everyone is aware of the goddamn porcelain penguin I got last year, I’m sure. If not. Ask me directly. Or go back and sift through last year’s blogs. Particularly the one about the queen of passive aggressiveness. My mother gave it to me as a way of showing how much she disproved of my divorcing and telling me I would be receiving no help from her whatsoever. Well…. That opinion seemed to have changed. (Thank God for short attention spans I guess.) Maybe she finally remembered how much help I’ve been giving her over the last decade…. Then again… maybe with the MS and the Drugs, she just forgot she’s angry with me.

Either way. My present this year was… Not to seem ungrateful… but… It blew. I received a Cabbage Patch doll. Yup. Along with a, “I couldn’t afford to get you one when you were little, but I could get you one now.”

Well, I politely smiled, feigned enthusiasm, and tucked it back in the bag where it wouldn’t get damaged. My mind reeled putting together the train of logic. So… you can afford to give me the things I want now… but aren't going to, because you'd rather give me something I no longer have any interest in….. because, it will make YOU feel better about the past, and not me? To me, it only further proves that you don’t know anything about me, my life, my interests, or passions. One glance at my geeky apartment will tell you that I have no interest in dolls unless Star Wars themed. The only reason I ever wanted a Cabbage Patch doll when growing up was because my cousin had one and I wanted to play with him. And you need only reread the top section to know how well he and I get along now.

I despise clutter and possessing unnecessary items. I lived too many years that way. What the hell am I supposed to do with this thing other than put it in storage, where it does nothing but take up space and collect dust? It’s not about not getting what I wanted. Because I really don’t want anything. But getting things I DON’T want… She didn’t give it to me for me… She gave it to me for her. To make herself feel better about a past when she neglected and mistreated me. The same reason she recently offered to tell me who my father was. Not because she wants me to know, or even the fact that she feels I have a right to. No… She flat out told me the only reason she was offering was because she wants my forgiveness for refusing to tell me in the past. (points for honesty I suppose) Not knowing my father was something I had put behind me. I had closed that painful chapter at last, and without reflecting on how it would make me feel she reopened a cornucopia of wounds because she felt a need to be forgiven? Of all the selfish… I still haven’t made up my mind on whether or not to take her up on the offer… but hey… at least I get to sit here and think about him every waking minute again. (insert explicative of your choice here)

But I’ve come to expect this behavior from my mother. As well as others. And this next bit??? Sorry. No bars held. I’m pissed and this is going to hurt some.

Careful when marking your territory boys, I don’t take kindly to being pissed on.

Speaking of selfish motives disguised as “kind” acts… I’m an author. Not a very good one… but I like to write and plan on keeping it up. I had a very sincere problem with feeling my husband did not support me in my writing. But that is between he and I. No one else. And just as the same as too little support can be problematic, so too can be too much.

Questions come into play on whether it’s the writing that you are supporting or Me. And further questions come into play as to why. Are you actually trying to be supportive, or are you trying to earn hero points in order to win something over that cannot be won?

I have recently had two friends get into an argument on my fan sight. Maybe both were in a bad mood that day. Maybe they didn’t get each other’s jokes and took things too far. Maybe there was something more behind it. Regardless of cause reason or other:

ONE, I do not need friends fighting friends! I will not get in the middle of it!

TWO, I am so tired of this crappy drama and especially didn’t need it on Christmas! Especially if I directly asked you to NOT make jokes or warned you that it would piss people off.

THREE, banning people from fan pages because you don’t like them is not helpful to the cause. Is the fan page there for you or for the fans?

FOUR, I don’t need battles fought for me, which is what I suspect may have been happening. I am my own champion! Thank you!

Plain and simple, I just want to be given some space. Learn to be mature about it and get along without me. I do not choose between friends or sides. Never have never will. If you want to start measuring dicks, I will not be the one holding the tape measure.

Have a good rest of your year. Here’s to a hopefully better start of the next.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pessimism, Judgments, and Fads, oh my.

In recent days I stumbled across a writing contest, via friends, for micro fiction. I considered it. The objective was to tell a short short short story using 135 characters or less. My only apprehension in entering? It was to be entered using Twitter. And Twitter? Was something I did not have an account nor motive to sign up for, until now.

I was never really a fan of Twitter. I never had anything against it. I just didn’t see my own need for it. I’m not one to follow celebrities’ lives, nor do I have the desire to know every time they step onto their gold plated helicopter pads. Of course I do have friends on twitter. I suppose I could follow them on it…. But, I already have a Facebook account, and well… Doesn’t that do the same thing with status updates? So, in short, Twitter was something I viewed as excessive for myself. I never bashed anyone else for their interest, but I was not about to run off to get an account just because it was the “in” thing to do.

I debated whether or not entering this contest was worth taking the time to create an account. I wasn’t really interested in the prize after all. On the other hand, it seemed like a fun writing exercise, and who knows, maybe good publicity for my writing endeavors as well. What I found after creating the account astounded me. Not only was the contest fun, it was downright addicting. I found Twitter to be a wonderful playground of quotes, philosophy, life lessons, and good humor. No one explained or made mention of this side of Twitter to me. Instead, I have heard constant bashing and claims of how anyone who would use such a tool is in fact a tool themselves. Well, call me a tool if you must, but I think it just goes to show… Keep an open mind and your eyes are soon to follow.

I’m not going to take the time to try and track down the million and one peoples’ whose entries I enjoyed, to ask permission to share them. Instead I’ll just give a couple of examples of what I entered myself, so you have an idea of what the contest was asking for.

Johnny, often warned of the dangers in reading comics, has never tried to fly. He's just certain he can't. Words were his Kryptonite.

“And what was this witch's crime?" He studied the pile of ash. "The usual; walked on water, raised the dead, turned water to wine..."

He used to say that she was never happy unless she was miserable. He left her. She's grown a little happier each day ever since.

Now, I didn’t win with any of these, but I got quite a few compliments off of them. Which made me smile. But to be honest? I’m actually quite relieved I didn’t place in the contest. The judges were extremely harsh and when the winners were announced, it was via an article in the Times. (In the UK) If you don’t believe how harsh it was here’s a link to the article. But I can save you some time and really surmise the paragraphs upon paragraphs into something the writer could have easily said in one tweet. “Good job everyone, but you’re all a bunch of losers for using twitter anyway.” Really, the entire article was a slap in the face to those whom deserved a pat on the back. It was very back handed and belittling, and in essence the equivalent of saying, “You look great in that dress, for a fat chick.” It left the contestants wondering why someone that despised twitter, would volunteer to judge a twitter based contest. You wouldn’t expect someone with a prejudice against the obese to judge a plus size fashion show.

The article ranted and raved about fads and the authors dislike of them, which angered me. In recent days I’ve been realizing more and more that hating fads, is just that. It’s a fad in and of itself. “I don’t like Twilight, and I’m going to make fun of everyone that does.” “Twitter… pffft. What a bunch of tools.” “Britney Spears? Don’t get me started.” I cringe every time I hear such complaints.

Look. Just because you don’t like something does not mean you have to tear it down completely. Leave the poor sods that DO like things alone. Maybe they’re seeing something you don’t or failed to consider. Or maybe they just don’t care to over analyze every little detail. This attitude of, “I don’t like it and I’m smarter than you so if you do like it you must be stupid” is getting old. Yes, gee, how insanely cool you are for following a fad of hating fads. But all you are actually doing is painting yourself in a corner and alienating yourself. You hated one, and now you have to hate them all. You’re image of being smart or trendy, has overthrown your ability to just let go and enjoy, or be genuine at all.

I had posted something not too long ago, (as my status) that is a personal philosophy of mine. It’s something I truly believe and I posted it as a reminder to a handful of friends whom are going through rough times. “Love is not measured by the number of qualities we admire in another, but by the number of flaws we overlook.” Take the two seconds to think about it. How many times have we had crushes and once we wake up from that delusional admiration we’ve thought… “WTF was I thinking!?” You were in love. You didn’t see all those flaws. Love is blind and that’s all there is to it. I was horribly disappointed when one of my facebook friends seemed compelled to throw in a comment after this status update of, “or how many similar things you hate.” (I’m not sure if I got that right and don’t especially care to take the time to look it up. But that was at least the gist of it.)

Reading that comment made my eyes want to bleed. I can’t believe anyone thinks common disdain for the world around them is a proper basing for a relationship. But that aside, this comment is just a prime example of several encounters I’ve experienced with others having this outlook on life lately. What a bleak and self detrimental outlook to have. I find it disheartening that the same people whom have such pessimistic views on everything around them also complain with no understanding of why they find themselves lonely, or bored. How do you not realize you’ve alienated yourself? How have you failed to notice that your friends have become afraid that they have to validate why they like anything you may not. It’s a lot of work and soon they will just find it easier to not associate with you anymore.

Let’s make up a scenario. One friend HATES roller skating. His support to the argument is the rental skates are gross, it’s crowded, the music is cheesy, and it’s something that only immature children should want to do. WHAT is friend number two going to say back? It’s fun? Doesn’t seem like a very solid argument now does it. If friend number two admits to liking it, he’s admitting himself to be an immature child in friend number one’s eyes. Yup… Sounds like the basing for a solid friendship to me. Friend number two has already been bullied into insecurely saying, “Yeah, what loser would want to do something like roller skate.” It very much reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes. You’re alienating and doing a great injustice to yourself. People may be agreeing with and praising your beautiful robes at first… But eventually, a child is going to laugh at you, and people are not only going to be willing to follow, they are going to be damn near RELIEVED to do so.

Another friend of mine put a PERFECT hypothetical image to this attitude. I don’t think he’ll mind my borrowing it for a moment. Back in the late 90’s swing music had a short revival. (I blame chocolate chip cookies.) He equated those that seem determined to rip everything down, to people whom would sit on the sidelines at dances and make fun of those that were indulging in the fun. I must say, what a sad and miserable thing to do. God forbid you got up and tried to dance. Worst that could happen is you’re not into it and might have looked silly for a moment. No, best not to try at all and make certain that anyone within ear shot would feel self conscious about having fun themselves.

He also shared this fun little clip on Kevin Smith's Twilight Views too. :)

Yes, Twitter may be excessive for some, but that depends on what you’re reading. Yes, not everyone thinks vampires should sparkle, but it’s still got an interesting plot point. Sure, swing dancing may look a little silly, but chicks think it’s sexy as all hell. No, Britney’s music is not meant to be overly thought provoking, but it helps get the house clean when there’s a beat playing in the background. Yes, roller skating is cheesy, wasn’t that the point!? Sometimes you just have to let go. Don’t over think it. Let yourself enjoy something for once.

So whether you’re hating Twitter, or Twilight, Swing Dancing, Britney Spears, or Roller skating… I must ask, what your purpose in such a thing is? Have you actually given any of these things an honest chance? Can you even do so anymore? Or are you SOOOO caught up in acting cool, suave, intelligent, and just plain superior that you have painted yourself into a corner of missing out on something that could have made you happy. Like roller skating, some things are just fun. No need to over analyze them, or validate them. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. You don’t have to like it yourself but don’t be afraid to support your friends that do. THAT’S what friendship is about. Supporting each other. Not making them feeling stupid and inferior. In other words??? Get over yourself.

I'm working on a new blog post but in the meantime....

Yes. I am working on a new post, but it's a subject that has been grating on me for a little while and something recently pushed me over the edge concerning it. So. Last night I sat down and was working on said blog post, when I realized... I'm just too angry about the topic to form coherent points at the time. So, I stared at my computer screen thinking about how I used to write poetry as a child. I've been picking up a little poetry here and there in recent days, and I realized how HORRIBLE my poetry once had been. Yet in my adolescence, I was under the impression it was fantastically deep.

I pondered it for a few minutes. Wondering if I could still write poems, and if my problem to begin with was that I was trying to write something weighty. Why not just have some fun with it? So. I started a fresh work document file, and put fingers to keys. It's lacking atmosphere and I plan to add images to this, but for now, the rough draft, I don't think it's looking too bad. Let me know my writer friends, thumbs up or thumbs down?


Upon the first night, the moon was full, beautiful plump and round.
They saw one another by the light of it, but had yet to know what they found.

He was cold and brittle and dark, She warm and aging so fair.
Autumn the product between them, No nights of perfection compare.

They melded together so sweetly, and the steam of it rose to the skies.
It shrouded his view of the heavens, but smiled at the stars in her eyes.

By the new moon he wished her a present, something to lighten her frown.
He blew ‘cross the land, an icy cold breath, and gave her a red and gold gown.

His gift had caused her elation, she wore it with grace and a grin.
Then she returned his generous deed, dotting the land with pumpkin.

They went on like this for a while, caring not about means or the ends.
One wouldn’t have guessed, such opposite things, could make such wonderful friends.

Time slips and the moon keeps on waxing, turning everything blue as it gleams.
She said the best thing about the blue moon, is it brings such wonderful dreams.

She shall be reborn in the spring time, and then he will hibernate ‘til the fall.
Always dreaming and thinking, of pumpkins and gowns, and those most perfect nights of all.