That Target Lady

On the eve of my son’s 11th birthday I can’t stop thinking about what a woman said to me in Target when he was about nine months old. We were walking along the bread aisle, one of my favorites because as you know my first true love is Carbs. Anyway, we were walking along and I was singing the alphabet song and he was laughing and giggling and pretending to sing along. I stopped to contemplate kaiser rolls vs. pretzels rolls—this was when I could still tolerate white bread, oh those were the days—and a cart came screeching around the corner of our aisle and a very fast-paced, older woman was walking toward us with a smile. I was nervous at first because older women scare me, generally, because they usually say whacked-out things to me like, Why don’t you wear make-up more often? and Ladies shouldn’t use the F-word. I thought, Oh for fuck’s sake, what is this about? She sped up to a stop right next to me and grabbed my naive, fat arm, and exclaimed, This baby! Oh my goodness! He’s a doll! Look at this hair! (He had those blond, wispy baby curls then.) And his laughter! I heard him laughing two aisles over and just had to come and find him! I was a little taken aback. I mean women are usually drawn to babies like Jackson, this wasn’t the first time that I had experienced this, but this woman, she had more to say and she was talking to so fast trying to get it out before the fear in my eyes made me smile politely and wander away.

Listen to me, she started, gripping my arm tighter, this goes so fast. So fast! And I know you’ve heard this. I know you get sick of hearing it, but you hear it because damn it is true. It feels like one day you put them down for a nap and the next you are taking pictures of them at their high school homecoming. Between the practices, the long school days, the arguments over money and taking the car out at night, the piano recitals and the sleepovers, somewhere along the line it speeds up and you don’t want it to, but there is nothing you can do. Nothing! But to enjoy every, single moment. Even the hard ones. Even all the years of puberty. Be grateful. Promise me?

I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just nodded blindly. I may have mumbled a I promise, but honestly I was thinking who is this woman and what is her deal? Is she mentally unstable? Is she trying to steal my baby?

Then she looked down at him once more, gave him a little tickle. He smiled and gave her another adorable laugh. She laughed too, with tears in her eyes, and she told me to have a good day and she walked away.

I’ve never forgotten that lady. She’s made appearances in my writing over the last nine years. She’s appreared in my head when I’m trying desperately to be grateful, but it just isn’t coming easily. She’s come to me in dreams and nightmares. She’s always been there. I wish I would have asked her name, or how many children she had, or grandchildren. How many she had lost, or gained. How to keep them close, even if I can’t keep them little. But I didn’t ask her any of that. I just watched her walk away, grabbed my kaiser rolls, and smiled down at this nine-month-old sweet, monster who had wrecked havoc on my body and was currently wrecking havoc on my home, my life, and my heart.

Last night I laid in Jackson’s bed with him and recounted his birth story. We do this every year. We all do right? Even well after they don’t want to hear anymore. He amuses me. He asks me questions, he laughs when it is appropriate. He knows by now that I need to share the story with him once a year, just as much as he needs to hear it. But this time the Target woman was with us too. Because Christ, she was right.

She was so right.

Hold those babies tight. Rock them to sleep while they still let you. Let them linger in your arms even after your arms are prickly and pained. Let them watch that second episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Watch it with them. Laugh and yell: Mimmie Musse, Mimmie Musse! Cause damn it, one day that will all be gone, and you will wish for just one more time.

And one day, when we are those old ladies in the Target aisle, don’t be ashamed to grab the arm of a naive mommy and tell her to enjoy it, because honestly, honestly, she has no idea.


The Gang’s All Here

Today my therapist told me it was okay to be angry. She said everyone is angry from time to time. Everyone. Even the most cheerful people get fed up sometimes, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of. I know this, of course, but it is nice to hear someone else say it. She told me this because I told her that I have felt angry lately, and that this feeling is sort of new. I’ve been sad, sure. Frustrated, uh huh. Scared, you bet. But angry, like really angry, this is new. And it’s making me uncomfortable. It’s making me wonder if I am slowly becoming that old woman who hits people with her cane when they walk past her, or maybe the one who screams at the kids in the neighborhood to get off my damn lawn! I’m scared of being that old lady. I’m sure I won’t be, I’m sure I’m just overreacting, but somedays I feel like that little man from Inside Out, you know the “I like to honk my way through the traffic jams of life” guy. His name is Anger. His photo is above. (Side note: If you haven’t seen this movie, run don’t walk. Sure, it’s a “kid movie,” but it’s a “kid movie” like Toy Story is a “kid movie.” So there’s that.)

So why am I angry? That’s what my therapist wanted to know. She wanted to drill down, of course. And the thing is, I’m not quite sure. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I became angry, and honestly, I can’t dismiss the idea that this anger might be from weaning off my Lexapro and transitioning to the new pill. It might also be from the sadness and stress that follows me around all day long and sort of hangs over my head, kinda like the little blue gal. This girl gets me.

Of course I want to be Joy, oh wouldn’t we all love to be Joy! Joy is amazing, Joy is Amy Poehler, so duh. Joy is… joy.

Buuuuuut, today I’m Anger. And a little bit of Fear and you know what, a little bit of Disgust too, because I’m kinda, sorta fed up with my own self.

Well, yeah. So I guess the gang’s all here with me. And sometimes maybe I think it is anger, when really it is all of these things, and it manifests itself as anger? Hmpf. My therapist thinks I need to let myself be angry sometimes, but it still feels hard. It feels hard to allow myself to do anything. Lately, because the gang’s all here, I’ve also lost my motivation. I know what I need to do to feel better. I know what you’re gonna say, I told her. Meditation, exercise, deep breathing, artsy stuff, something to take my mind off what it’s gnawing away at. I know what I am supposed to do, I just can’t find the motivation to do it. Which, as of late, has been making me angry. See the cycle?

I’ll tell you what I need. Want me to tell you what I need? I need an exuberant cat/elephant/dolphin made out of cotton candy, wrapped up around a nugget center that cries candy when he is upset and sings his way to the moon in his rocket-powered wagon. Is that too much to ask for?!

Listen, I know I am not making sense right now, and this nonsensical Missy is making me angry, so I’m going to go to bed and hope for a shiny, happy day tomorrow. But before I go, two things. 1. Watch Inside Out for the first time or again, doesn’t matter. 2. Let yourself be from time to time. Be sad. Be afraid. Be angry. Be disgusted. And for the love of all the core memories in the world, be joyful when you can, with your whole damn heart. Do it for me. Do it for Bing Bong. Do it for your therapist, who really, really wants you to stop crying so damn much.


Limit Ten

I’ve been thinking a lot about the library of my youth. I’ve been remembering all the time I spent there, on the long, blue sectional couch that wrapped all the way around the front lobby of the library, from the children’s section to the foyer. I’ve been remembering the glass blocks that encircled the Check-Out desk, where I’d tell the librarian that I forgot my card again, or when I had to call my mom for a ride home when I didn’t have a quarter, or when there was a book I needed help getting off the high shelf. I spent a lot of time at the Leavenworth Public Library as a kid. My middle school was a block from the library, so sometimes I’d be able to talk my mom into walking to the library after school and hanging for a few hours. The library was the first place I discovered internet. It was where I did my volunteer time for student council, it was the place I found the New York Times, and the Kansas Room, and the pleasure of curling up with a book—that was way too advanced for me—on one of the pink sofas in the back of the library, where adults read the newspapers, and plants and statues stood watch over the weird, curved windows overlooking 4th Street.

When I was a kid there was a ten book limit when you checked out books from the library. This was always hard for me, both because I am an avid reader, and because I suffer from FOMO. What if the ten books I decided on were not as good as I had hoped? What if my mom won’t bring me back for another week? What if I read them all in one day? I was anxious as a kid. The reference section was a good place for me. It had small shelves, easily accessible, and I never had to worry about which book to check out because you couldn’t take any of them home with you. Same with the periodicals. So I spent most of my time thumbing through those sections, with my stack of ten books waiting for me at checkout.

I’m not sure the architecture of the building, but I can see it clearly, it’s black overhang shielding me just enough from the rain on a wet and cold Saturday morning when my mom would swing her 1972 Dodge Cornett into the lot for me to race up and shove my books into the return. There were always plants planted just outside the door, and just inside was a water fountain that I stopped at a number times for a gulp after I had walked the block from East Middle School.

The original public library in Leavenworth, like many other small towns, was built in 1900 from funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. It was a two-story brick and limestone building, originally named the Carnegie Library, and it was, and still is, designated on the state and national registry of historic places. The library of my youth was built in 1987, and when it was brand new it was one of the most unique buildings in our small town.

Not much had changed in the library the last time I visited, but that was maybe ten years ago. There were still the same old blue chairs on the small desks for studying. The same glass blocks around the offices behind the check-out desk, and the same pink chairs in the back. The same plants. The same statues. The same weird, curved windows. And of course, the same smell. That old, musty library smell. I’ve come to love that smell, and as of late, miss it a little.

The library is actually two stories, but most people didn’t know that because most people didn’t venture upstairs. Upstairs was mainly just administrative offices, but once or twice as a kid I’d meander to the elevator, wait for the beep, then head upstairs. It was always quiet up there, always neat as a pin. Always a little dark. It wouldn’t take long for me to become afraid that someone would catch me and I would race back down the stairs on the north side. It always felt like a close call.

The year I spent volunteering at the library, seventh grade I believe, was spent mostly shelving books, living and dying by Dewey Decimal. I also got to spend a bit of time in the kid’s room, where I would sometimes cut out shapes for children to glue together, or help little ones find the book they were looking for. I usually got suckered into a corner by a kids’ book myself, and would lounge on the giant bean bag chairs with a Sesame Street reader until the cart was full of books to be shelved again. Volunteer of the year right there!

It’s a little funny, but I don’t know why I am telling you all this today. I don’t know why over the last few months I have been drawn to old buildings. The ones I knew growing up. Why the places we spent time in as a child, end up being so important to us as adults. And maybe they aren’t. Maybe I’m weird. Either way, sometimes, when I can’t find a comfy spot to read my borrowed book of essays, or I walk into a fancy, new library around my new town, I can’t help but wish I was back in Leavenworth. On one of those musty, pink couches. A secret bag of Doritos in my book bag, and the current copy of the Kansas City Star on my lap. Trying to figure a ride home. An escape from that town. A way out of that life. Maybe that is exactly what the library is for.


Crying in Bed

I’ve been in a funk. Maybe a “I got to see my friends and now I’m sad cause I miss them” funk. Or maybe a “I have no idea what is happening in our house over the next six months and I’m stressed” funk. Or, it could be just a classic case of the “I started new medicine and my old medicine is leaving my body and the new one is kicking in and it’s making me crazy” funk. I’m betting on a combo funk this time around, either way, I’m lying in my bed, a half hour before I’m due to get Jackson from school, crying a little, and trying to brighten other people’s days with funny memes and pics of me being a fool. I think it’s working for them. I hope it works for me.

I tend to do this. I tend to “reach out” by actually reaching out and dropping a funny note or a ridiculous picture. Then of course if they want to talk I close up shop, like nah, I’m good. I’m starting to understand this about me. Starting to discover why I do the little things I do. I figure if I’m having a down day, one of my friends is bound to be having one too, so I check on them, ignoring the fact that I’m in bed at 1:30 pm. That I haven’t been able to write in five days. That I’m taking offense to the most bizarre shit and crying because why won’t someone #ImpeachThatMotherFucker already?!

I guess this is my check in with you guys. I’m alive. I’m eating, of course I’m eating. I’m still walking (I just usually forget my Apple Watch so I don’t know how much), and I’m working on things. Always working on things. Tomorrow is therapy. Tomorrow will be better.

Stay happy and safe out there, y’all. And take a day if you need to.


This is Not a Fetus

I know a very lovely woman who is sweet and compassionate and well-educated. She loves her children and she loves Jesus, and although her and I do not agree on some things politically, we can still be sociable. She is wonderful to talk to. Her kids are sweet, and she has a knack for always saying something nice, just the thing you need to hear, when you see her. She is still accepting of my f-bombs on social media, meaning she still hasn’t blocked me or hidden me like some of my “friends” and family members (I see y’all. I see you. Please just delete me!) But there is one thing that we are very, very far apart on, and that is the topic of abortion.

To be fair, I have never had a conversation on the topic with her. I just know, from social media, that she is anti-abortion. She knows, I assume, that I am pro-choice. And both of us just take the higher road, which is something I wish I could say for a lot more people. But alas, life isn’t so much about open discussions anymore, as much as it is about “being right,” and that is sad and a bit scary.

Having said all of this, I have to share a picture that I came across the other day from her newsfeed. She was explaining that her church, or a local church maybe not hers, made a mobile clinic to go to the rural areas in the counties near them and do ultrasounds, and pregnancy tests, and discuss options with women. And honestly, I support that. I know there are a ton of woman, a lot of them young, a lot of them scared. A lot of them in need of some kind of support, and this might be the key to helping them. Some might just stop in to get a free pregnancy test and a hug, some might just to see their baby on the screen. Some might still go to a local abortion clinic, some might choose “the word of God” like they promise. Either way, it seems it is one more thing that is helping women who might need it. It is a group taking action. And there is an awful lot of talk and no action these days. But they have done something that angers me so much when it comes to anti-abortion propaganda. They have misrepresented a fetus.

Now am I more offended by this because I had a baby who was not anatomically correct? Probably. My daughter was born with half a heart, half a brain, a severe cleft palate rendering her unable to eat, and her intestines formed outside of her body. So yeah, this is a touchy subject for me. But, this is something that anti-abortion people do to make women feel bad for even considering abortion. And they wonder why people react like I do when I talk to them. Let me share the picture.

These are not actual representations of a fetus, and we have to stop pretending like they are. You see that 12-week embryo/fetus there? That is not what your 12-week-old gestational baby looks like, because there is no such thing as a 12-week-old gestational baby. See that 16-week-old “baby,” that is not an accurate depiction of a 16-week-old gestational “baby.” That is not what your 22-week-old baby looks like. Ask me how I know what a 22-week-old fetus looks like…

I understand wanting to get women thinking about embryos and fetuses like babies, but give us some credit here, y’all. Give us some damn credit. And we will try to give y’all a little bit of grace. I know you think you’re doing God’s work here. But so do we. The difference is, we aren’t being deceptive.

I don’t know what I am suggesting, other than to get rid of these damn dolls and speak truth. Real medical science. Listen to the women. Don’t just push your agenda. And remember, remember above all else, no one is keeping score here. You don’t get extra points for “saving a baby,” but imagine how satisfying it could be to save the life of a teen girl who got herself into a really bad situation and you are her only hope out.

Think. Love. Act. But most importantly love, regardless of anything.


Representation Matters

I had a necessary and slightly concerning conversation with some other parents at Jackson’s school the other day that revolved around a picture that is on a website from the fundraiser that we are doing right now. This is the picture:

It’s cute, right? What sparked the conversation was one of the other mommies telling me she wished we would have made it to Midvale sooner because we have been such a blessing to them and Jackson is such a great kid. I thanked her and agreed. I told her this was the best elementary school we have ever been in, and that we have been in three of them.

The first one, I told them, was also great, on paper. It was not a Title One school, which is very important to some people. Like, very important. Like one of my old friends, upon asking why her daughter went to our kid’s school (at the time) when she lived just as close to another one, rolled her eyes at me and she said (in a voice just above a whisper, even though no one was around,) “That’s a Title One school,” and gave me a knowing smile. I didn’t have the heart, or maybe the nerve, to tell my “sweet” friend that I was raised in a Title One school. That I am a product of poverty. That I got free lunch. Of course, this is the same woman who said she wouldn’t send her dog to the Charter school that was in our town, even though she knows people who work there, kids who go to school there. And I’m guessing I know some of her reasoning. PS… She’s a teacher. #EekFace

Our kids at that time, my son and her daughter, were in kindergarten together in a school that was, in the state of North Carolina, an A-rated school, sometimes an A+. The problem wasn’t so much that it had a 3% free or reduced lunch population (which we were a part of, unbeknownst to my friend I’m sure), it wasn’t even that I could count the number of “diverse kids” as she referred to them, it was that the school itself didn’t reflect real life. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the school. I met some amazing people there. Of course I also met some people who turned out to be some real assholes, but most of them were pretty cool. And I’m still friends with some of them. And I still think they are doing what is best for their kids, given where they live.

Let me quickly address the free lunch thing, since I sorta just snuck that in on you. We were on the free or reduced lunch program in kindergarten because at the time that school started we had just moved to NC, and Jerimiah didn’t have a job yet. We were still living off our savings while he looked for work, so the school district automatically qualified us for the program, and we took advantage of it for a few months, until Jerimiah found a great job, and Jackson started to bring his own lunch to school. But still, it impacted the “numbers” for the school, and still the people who were privy to this probably looked at us differently. Most likely. This may be shocking to some of you who knew us back then, especially because people always assumed that we moved to NC because of work. But no. We moved to NC to find better work. We knew we couldn’t stay in Southern Missouri. We also didn’t know that the town we were moving into was basically more of the same, just with more money. I never told people that because I was ashamed of it. But truth be told, we were kinda bad-ass for doing it. For selling off most of our things, for taking a BIG chance. And we have been reaping the rewards ever since. But, again, that sorta behavior scares people. And you can’t make friends easily with that origin story.

Again the school we were at for kindergarten through half of third grade was great. The real problem was just that 90% of the kids were little white kids with the same socio-economic status. And as some of you might know, some of you who have left your bubble, moved away from the places you were born and raised (unlike my sweet friend mentioned above) this is not reflective of real life. As I told this story to my new friends one of them actually gasped, a white woman, and said that was her worst nightmare for her kid. To go to school with people who looked just like her. I agreed. Explained that it was a driving force for us to move into “the city” and enroll Jackson into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, even with its many problems, it was much more reflective of real life. Then I brought up this picture.

Again, it’s cute. But, after what I just said, can you see the problem? You might hear a lot of people talk about representation nowadays. And if you are white, you may not pay much mind to that talk, well because, you are represented. Everywhere. But this pic concerned me in a lot of ways.

First off, this is the pic that all the kids and parents see when they first log into the site. So if you are a little Black girl (which we have a lot of at our school) then you see a scene that is not reflective of your life. If you are an Asian boy (which we have a lot of at our school) you are not seeing yourself represented very well either. And so on and so forth.

This might be a good time to add that the county that we live in, DeKalb County, Georgia, is the second most affluent county IN THE COUNTRY, with a predominantly Black population. Let me break that down for you. Most of the money, coming in and out of our county, is from affluent Black families. We are minorities here. Jackson is a minority in his school. Both in sex and race. This is our life. Our community. And it is good. Really good.

Back to the picture. Did you notice all the white kids are on one side, while all the “other” kids are on the other side. See that? See the token Black girl? And the Asian boy? See the two kids that could “pass” for Latino? It’s a bit odd. And maybe I’m reading too far into it, one tends to do that when they have been enlightened to white privilege, but I don’t think so. I also don’t think, or want to believe, that the company did this on purpose. I think it was more of an, Oh shit, we need some “diverse” kids in this pic too! And then they hurried up and made sure they had “one of each.” That’s how I think it went down. Either way. Bleh.

I think I’m just noticing things like this more because I am more aware of the world that we live in. The world advertisers create. The world the white-males make for us, and I’m starting to call a spade a spade, if you will. Like my sweet old friend, who still has others fooled, but I’ve seen her true side. Her “Christian” side, and it ain’t pretty. But more about her in another post.

So that’s what’s been kicking around in my noggin today. Representation. The importance of being around people who do not act like or look like or live like you. The importance of cutting through bullshit and getting down to the nuts and bolts of what needs to be said. So here I am, saying it. Like always.

This weekend, try to step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Eat at a new place, try a new store on the “other” side of town. Start a conversation with that one Black man that lives in your town. I dunno. Try something. Be present. Show up for others. You won’t regret it.


Classic Country

We were talking with friends the other day—who shall remain nameless in an attempt to protect the guilty—and they didn’t know who Charley Pride is. Ahem. One of them is a music professor. Damn it, it was Accordion Dave. Sorry Accordion Dave, but they all already knew it was you! So I was APPALLED. As one should be, to learn that people you like very, very, much, have no idea who Charley Pride is. Jerimiah and I almost ended the Google Hangout, instead we made it a teachable moment, you know we like those, so we started to sing…

“Kiss an angel good morning, and let her know you think about her when you’re gone. Kiss an angel good morning, and love her like the devil when you get back home…”

It was beautiful and magical and we were totally in sync and everyone loved it. Ahem.

Then we gave them a list of other country music rockstars to learn about before we meet next, including David Allen Coe, which came with apologies for his racism and a, But remember, he did live in a cave for a long time. Not that the excuses the racism. #EekFace

This all got me thinking. Not all people were raised on old, classic, country music like Jerimiah and I were. Which is sorta weird to us, but also good for those people cause they don’t wake up singing: “When whole lot of Decembers are showing in your face, your auburn hair has faded and silver takes its place…”

Or my personal favorite, “See the marketplace in Old Algiers, send me photographs and souvenirs, just remember when a dream appears, you belong to me…”

I can’t speak for Jerimiah, but I was raised with an 8-track player, a record player, a cassette player, and an AM/FM radio. And a mother who would sometimes drink beer and cry to Patsy, and Loretta, and Merle. You know, the greats. Her biggest dream was to see them all on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Isn’t that everyone’s dream?!

Breathe, Missy.

So not everyone was raised like me. Some people were raised on classical music. Some on Motown. Some on Elvis or classic rock. And I like and appreciate all of those genres, more so as an adult than ever before. But sometimes, when I am feeling sad, hopeless, or drinking a beer all alone I pull out one of my old records, and I spin for a while, and think about my childhood and the people who made it so memorable. Loretta, and Tammy, and Patsy, and Conway, and Merle, and Charley. Here’s to the greats!


The Year of the Trumpet

“Dear Heavenly Music Goddesses, 
Please guide Jerimiah and me on this next journey of our lives. Lead us to ears that are not as tender as my bowels. Grant us serenity at 8:00 am on Saturday mornings. Provide for us a music instructor that is not super into home practice. In Dizzy Gillespie’s name we pray. Amen.” This is the way I begin my day now, with this simple prayer. If your child is also beginning music lessons for the first time, feel free to use this prayer. So far, it has not worked. But I believe that prayer is something you have to work at, like your marriage or the extensive, yet doable, plot to kill your neighbor’s snarky cat. It takes time, friends.

I joke about this trumpet thing with Jackson, but I am secretly pumped that he is doing it. In fact, I was so pumped and optimistic that he would “get” it and love it, that I decided to BUY him his own trumpet! Then I found out that trumpets cost thousands of dollars, so we are renting one instead. BUT, it is new. And if he does love it, we can buy. Sort of a rent-to-own deal. Which I’m usually not big on, but in this case, it’s cool. I have threatened him within an inch of his life to keep this trumpet nice in the event that we do return it. But I also bought insurance on the expensive bitch, cause this ain’t my first rodeo.

He originally wanted tp play the tuba.

The tuba.

And I was all, Hmmm, let’s think about this. Tubas are large.

And he was all, Sure, but they sound awwwesome. (I’m envisioning Kevin from “The Office” saying this right now, but it was in fact Jackson.)

And I was all, Sure, but they are large.

And he was all, But…

And I was all, THE ANSWER IS NO! Love you.

This is to say the trumpet was a compromise.

His method book came first and he wasn’t super impressed. Meanwhile, I was singing “Banana Boat” to him to get him pumped for his year with the trumpet, and that’s when he asked me to stop singing and said, I don’t care for jazz. And right then the floor opened up and the ghost of Fats Domino rose from the below and slapped him hard in the face with one of his big rings on and then disappeared. Jackson looked at me in shock and I said,

“I’m gonna be standing on the corner
12th Street and Vine
I’m gonna be standing on the corner
12th Street and Vine
With my Kansas City baby and boy she’s really fine…”


Check Ya MTHFR Genes, Y’all

A couple of weeks ago I did this weird thing in my Psychiatrist’s office. I know, I know, I do weird shit all the time, but this wasn’t my idea, this was hers. First, let me say that I know I talk about therapy a lot with you guys, but I think it is so important to have an open and honest conversation about mental health, and for me, regular therapy and medication are just what the doctor ordered. So thanks for reading and talking about it with me. It really helps. But I also know that regular therapy and medication are not the best case scenario for everyone. So as always, you do your thang, and I’ll do mine. Cool? Cool.

Alright, let’s get back on track. I have a therapist (y’all know about her, I told you about her here:, but I also have a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. This is because the particular place that I first found here in Georgia was not accepting adult patients for the psychiatrist at the time I started. She is now, but I’m like six months in with my therapist, and I LOVE her, buuuuut she’s a therapist so she can’t dispense drugs. That’s where the Psychiatric NP comes in. All caught now? Yes, good.

A couple of weeks ago my NP, ohhh, let’s call her Susie Q, Susie Q was going over my charts and we were discussing new medication. She had already switched my anti-anxiety meds a few months back and of course I blogged about that here: Duh. But then she wanted to move on to updating my anti-depression medication. I suffer from a small host of mental illnesses, but most prominently: Generalized Anxiety and Chronic Depression. I was game because I have been on Lexapro for years and it is starting to not work so well, besides the more obvious things like inability to lose weight and a dwindling libido. Both common side effects of most antidepressants. This new class of antidepressants coming out now are supposed to be much better, with less side effects because science. #TheMoreYouKnow #Rainbows

Normally the process of finding the right medication for you is trial and error, and boy have I done some of that. In fact, I’ve done a decade worth of it at this point, so Susie Q was all, “Ohh, let’s swab you!” Then she jumped out of her chair, literally, and ran back a few minutes later with two long swabs (the kind they check for strep throat with) and a FedEx envelope.

Let me stop there. Susie Q is a very nice person, but she real cray. Like I think this is one of those instances where she studied a field she was familiar with because she too suffers from a host of mental illnesses, one of which has got to be ADD. Has. To. Be. Anyhoo, she got herself composed again and explained the swab test.

“Apparently” (and I am using quotes here to show my pure suspicion about this whole thing) “apparently” by swabbing the inside of my mouth with these two giant Q-tips and sending the samples to a lab somewhere in a corn field in Iowa, Susie Q could tell me a whole bunch about my mental health that I did not know. Yeah. She said this to me. And she was very excited about it too. Like, bouncing in her seat excited. She said this would make it so much easier to get me a drug that actually worked for me. I asked if my insurance would pay for it, she shrugged a “probably” and that was good enough for me.

Listen, I have tried A LOT of drugs. Been through many years of self-medication, and have yet to find the “magic” one. Do I think the “magic” one exists? No. But at this point I just want to have one that does more good than bad, so I was game, albeit suspicious.

So I waited a couple of weeks and went back. My insurance did in fact pay for it, which is great because these Iowa people billed my insurance like $5,000 for the two swabs. I swear to the Lord Baby Jesus our healthcare system is straight jacked up and… no. That is another post. Anyway, when I sat down in front of Susie Q again she was bouncing out of her damn seat talking bout, “I think this will work! Ohhh, I think this new medicine will work!” Christ on an antidepressant cross, I sure hope it does, cause she really has to stop bouncing so much in my presence.

So that’s that. I’m on a new medication, one that has significantly less side effects than my old one, and one that “apparently” works with my genomic DNA and my T allele of the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene (which I can only assume is short for Motherfucker), not to mention my “significantly reduced” folic acid conversion (I have to take LMethyl Folate everyday now too because Susie Q was “astounded” at my lack of folic acid conversion.) I wish she had done a better job of explaining all this so I could tell you all, but… crickets. Bouncing crickets.

Get your motherfucker genes swabbed you guys. Get your motherfucker genes swabbed sooner rather than later…


Just the Boys

Jackson is headed to his first fifth grade field trip today. Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but this is the first field trip that I have not been invited to chaperone, like, uhh, ever. In fact, there were no parents invited to chaperone this one because this one is to the Fernbank Science Center. And this one is Just for Boys. And this one is chaperoned by Mr. Budd, and Mr. Board, and Mr. Hammonds. And this one came with an accompanying vocabulary list, words like:





Yeah. That is this field trip. And I gotta say, I am glad I am not there.

It’s not that Jackson doesn’t already know these words. We are always a little ahead of the game. You don’t get a kindergartner with a third grade reading level if you aren’t. Likewise, we didn’t want the kid that says “balls” for “scrotum” and giggles a little. We want a kid that knows to never use the word “pussy” in any context. Like any of them. Yeah, even cats. Cats are called cats. That is to say we are raising a man with a respectable mouth. Sure he might yell, “What the hell?!” when a car cuts me off, but that’s learned behavior and I’m okay with that. But if my son ever referred to his penis as his “dong,” I’d probably lose my shit.

Our son is, naturally, a bit nervous about today’s trip. He said, and I quote, “I’m just gonna keep my head down and my mouth quiet.” And I believe him. Though I encouraged him to listen attentively, to not giggle when the other boys do, and to try to keep his head up. This is all valuable information. Then I warned him that I want to know EVERYTHING that happened, so he should try to take copious amounts of notes. He rolled his eyes.

I have a fifth grade boy on the brink of puberty. That is amazing. And scary as hell. I have this smart, funny, honest child who is just a bit shy about saying the word “vagina,” but will say it when it is appropriate, because he knows better. He also knows the term, “Sexual Intercourse,” probably much to his grandma’s chagrin. He knows about “consent,” and he knows about birth control. His birth control. His responsibilities. It seems a bit early to bog him down with the wonders of “the pill,” though I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I hope there is a male version before he is of age.

I guess I am telling you all this today because I am nervous. I hope he behaves. I hope he represents. I hope he learns. I hope he lets his guard down just a bit. I secretly hope he does giggle a little bit to himself. Or turns red in the face. Or makes eye contact with his best bud Lucus, and they both make that face. I hope this is just another step in teaching my child to be the best version of himself he can be. And I hope one day he will know how much I worry, but push through anyway.

Teach those babies right, y’all. Have the tough conversations. Because if you don’t they will have them with people they shouldn’t. It is inevitable.


They’re Just Babies!

Yesterday morning as I watched my full-grown adult husband throw the trimmer to the ground and run up the driveway toward me with a wild, reckless glare in his eyes and strip his shirt off, I thought Really, Jerimiah, sex outside? In our driveway? In the morning? I mean don’t get wrong, I was game, but it was just out of character for him. I’m usually the one to suggest this sort of raunchy stuff. But I shrugged and stripped my shirt off as well. Then he yelled something like Bees! But not bees! Everywhere! All over me! And just as I was about to pull a boob out I was like Wait, what? Turns out he did not want to take me in the carport as Mrs. Kim peeked out of her garage window. Turns out, he was attacked by what we later realized were baby yellow jackets. About 15 of them. At one time. And then I felt kinda dumb and put my shirt back on.

Apparently, being stung by 15 baby yellow jackets isn’t ideal. Not at all. Apparently though, it could have been a lot worse. Jerimiah is not allergic to bees, or wasps, or yellow jackets, but if you are allergic and get stung 10-15 times you should seek medical assistance. Jerimiah did not. He went inside and took a shower and put some triple-antibiotic on his welts and said he wasn’t working in the yard anymore that day. But still, maybe he should have sought medical attention. I dunno. This was after he tried to go back and get the trimmer, but the baby yellow jackets had descended on that bitch like the trimmer was Meatloaf and they were fans of mild 1970s rock. I stood on the street and screamed at him, at them, at whomever was listening, But they are just babies! Why?! Why?! They LOVED that trimmer. And they would do anything for love…

Anyway, my husband woke up this morning a little swollen on his eye lid, and his cheek, and his thigh (they climbed inside his shorts), and his shoulders and ankles, then he went to the dentist, and loaded up in an Uber to head to Baton Rouge for the week. Because my husband is a fucking rockstar, like Meatloaf, but not really.

But I never got my driveway sex. Which is sad. Maybe I’ll track old Mr. Charlie down later, but for now I’m here to tell y’all to have a safe day. And a really happy, baby-yellow-jacket-free week. If you can.


To the Taffy-pulling Room!

Sonofabitch you guys, I haven’t been watching television enough. Not nearly as much as Mike Teevee, anyway, which is secretly my dream. I’ve been too busy and it shows. Football is apparently back? It’s almost the fall and new shows come out in the fall and I don’t know what any of the new shows are and I’m stressing out because when I do watch television I watch sad Netflix documentaries like that one where that lady with a mental illness lived in an abandoned house for a year and existed solely on apples and then someone found her dead body. Or, hey, what about that one where that lady with a mental illness started collecting ducks, then ten years later the SPCA had to step in and take 96 ducks, geese, chickens, roosters, and turkeys from her house because her husband called them on her and then they got divorced, but not really, then he died from diabetes, so he never got to see how she cleaned up the chicken shed and got a new house but she was only able to do that because he died and she inherited money he was saving for her. Or what about that one where the lady with the mental illness kills her… wait, is there a theme here?

Anyway, I need to branch out and I know it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I watch the jail shows too. Like that one where the teenage girls are given a second chance before being tried as adults and are sent to this like, little girl prison, where they have to go to school and stuff. I’m all caught up on that. Or that one that is filmed in Gwinnett County, Georgia in one of the biggest, most bad-ass jails in the country. I watch that one because Gwinnett County is right next to us. Like my husband works in Gwinnett County. So I mean, we’re like family, the convicts and me.

Speaking of convicted family members, I have several. But that’s another post.

Ohhh, I also watch those home remodeling shows. Not the ones that are on like cable television (we don’t have cable, have I mentioned this?) I watch the ones on Netflix. Like “Tiny House Nation” and that one where that mom and daughter team up in Indianapolis and are like remodeling old homes one-by-one in their own neighborhood. I mean it’s pure gentrification, but their dynamic is funny.

I tried to watch MTV Teen Mom Season 3 the other day but it said I needed an account that supported MTV. Uh… Anyone have a log in for me?

So I guess what I am saying is, hmm, maybe I do watch a lot of t.v.?

Here are the names of the really good documentaries on Netflix now, in case you are so inclined to sit alone and cry one afternoon like me:

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane


Brother’s Keeper

Audrie and Daisy

Evil Genius

Abducted in Plain Sight

Amanda Knox

Period. End of Sentence.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Have You Seen Andy?

God Knows Where

For the Birds

Happy (or mainly sad) watching!


Bump, Bump, Bump

I fell down my stairs on my birthday. Let me back up and first say, I am not a “clumsy” person. I don’t fall down, or drop things, or run into walls, or whatever it is people do in infomercials when they are trying to open a tight jar lid and they accidentally throw it through their kitchen window. I am pretty steady on my feet, my wide, long, feet. (Unless I am on ice skates, but we shan’t talk about that today.) I have never in my life fallen down stairs or steps (unless for comedic effect or because I had skates on my feet and wanted to “try it”). Then, on the morning of my 38th birthday I fell. And it hurt like hell.

Our house is one of these mid-century split levels that have been booming in the renovation market lately. It’s been renovated, but the foundation of the house hasn’t changed. So we have two stair cases. One goes down from the main level to the family room and guest area, and one goes up to the bedrooms in the house. I tell you this so you know that I only fell down six steps. Six. That’s it. But that was more than enough steps to wreck havoc on my body. Christ Missy, what happened?

I have no idea. I keep replaying it over and over in my head, both because I am in awe that it happened, and because I don’t know what happened. I had just come inside from riding my bike to drop Jackson off at school. When I walked inside I told Sir Duke Barkington that I would take him for a walk. Then I remembered that I left his lead upstairs by my bed, because I had taken it off when he was up there the night before. Then when it wasn’t on my bedside table I remembered that I had taken it back downstairs the day before. So I headed downstairs.

I wasn’t in a hurry. I wasn’t mad or frustrated, it was my birthday! I had just come home from a bike ride. I was feeling nice. I had on my “good” shoes, which are my trusty Salomon XR Mission’s (that I recommend to anyone who suffers from plantar fasciitis). Jesus. I feel old just typing that. Anyhoo, I got to the top of the step and kind of just, fell. I fell directly on my left side, first my butt hit, then my back, then I half-heartedly reached for the handrail. Why didn’t I reach again? Why did I only sort of stick my hand out? Maybe I thought I wasn’t really going to slide all the way down the stairs, but I did. Bump. Bump, Bump. At least three times, hardwood stairs to butt, hardwood to back. Ouch.

I sat, in shock, for a minute then decided I was done for the day. Like my immediate reaction was, That’s it, Missy. Today sucks, this is how it will be. But then I remembered it was my birthday and I was like, No Missy, we can’t take this lying down. Even though I really wanted to lay down. So I got up and took the damn dog on his walk. Then I got home and worked and wrote some things. Made some calls, fielded way more birthday wishes than I deserve, and even rode my bike back to school to get Jackson that afternoon. Then, about 4:00 pm, after I had done all I needed to absolutely do that day I sat down and the pain came. And the swelling. And the reminder that I fell down my stairs that day. And that I am another year older. And that old people fall sometimes. Then I laughed at myself like I normally do, and enjoyed my evening with my boys.

The thing is, when I really think about it, my 38th year can only go up from here. It can only go up from the bottom of my stairs. So I think I have a lot to look forward to. 🙂

Stay safe out there, y’all. Use handrails.


I Want to Ride it Where I Like

Jackson and I have been riding bikes to school and back home the past few days. Prior to this Jerimiah was dropping him off every morning, and I was walking to get him every afternoon. That meant that Jackson was walking one mile a day, and I was walking two. But this week Jackson wanted to ride his bike to school. But a mile is far, and you have to cross a five lane road to get to his school, and let’s be real—I am too anxious to let him ride alone—which means I have to ride with him. So how is that going?! Great. Fine. Awesome. No, but really.

It would seem weird for someone like me to go from no activity to bike riding two miles a day, but really, it wasn’t a bad transition from the walking. I already had the bike, I bought us all new bikes last year after we rented beach cruisers at the beach and I was all, Oh my gosh, this is awesome, why did we ever stop biking when we grew up?! Quick answer: It’s hard. And people judge you.

People really do judge you. I mean, the people in the cars don’t want you on the road, and the people on the sidewalks don’t want you on the sidewalk. People don’t want you going past their driveway, they give looks, and people don’t want you riding on the shoulder of the road or in a lane like a car. In the state of Georgia, if you are over the age of 16 and on a bike, you are supposed to treat it like a “vehicle.” They understand it is not a “motor vehicle,” but they still consider it a “vehicle,” which means you are supposed to ride it on the street. Why do I know this? I Googled it, after I realized that I only see real bike riders (you know who I mean the people on teams who compete and have racing bikes with those funny little suits and make motions with their hands) I see them on the streets all the time, not the sidewalks, because well, sidewalks are for walking. I get that. But, if you are under 16, you are supposed to ride your bike on the sidewalk. This is all new information to me because I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was a kid!

So do you see my dilemma? Probably not, because I haven’t laid it out very well. I want to make sure I am on the sidewalk with my son when he rides his bike, but riding my bike on the sidewalk is technically “illegal.” So I ride behind him on the sidewalk, we get off our bikes at the crosswalk and walk them across, and when I am riding alone on the way home after I drop him off, I ride in the street like I am supposed to. Well, I did. Once.

The cars were not nice. Like, not nice at all. Most of them just zipped past me like I wasn’t even there, with no thought to how close they were to me or how fast they were going. They split lanes, they didn’t get over when they clearly could have. I don’t know what the rules are, but when I see a bike rider on the street I get over if I can, and/or give them plenty of room and slow down. Not these people. I am seriously surprised I didn’t cause an accident, and the whole time I just kept thinking, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do! Maybe it’s because this is Atlanta, but riding my bike on the road did not feel safe.

So I ride on the sidewalk now, but I get mad looks from people in the cars and on the sidewalk, even though I know I am not supposed to be on the sidewalk with wheels, so I stop when a walker or runner is coming and I get off my bike and wait for them to pass. Do I want to do that? No, I lose my momentum and believe me, my fat-ass needs my momentum, but I think it is the right thing to do. Ahhhhh! I just want to ride my bicycle where I want. Thanks, Queen.

Anyway, I have no real reason to be writing this but to complain. Maybe you have suggestions. I’m just going to keep on keeping on as long as Jackson wants to ride, and I guess the cops can pull me over on my bike. Lord knows they can catch me.

As a reward for reading my rant here are some pics of a new pair of bikers. I asked him if we could get leather vests made with our nicknames on them, and he said, “We aren’t those kind of bikers, Mommy.” And I told him we were, in our souls we were… #SonsOfAnarchy4Lyfe


It’s My Birthday!

As you probably know by now, today is my 38th birthday. And listen, this is the first year that I have not kept a running count somewhere of the days until my birthday. It’s exhausting. It is also the first year I haven’t really celebrated a “Birthday Week” for myself. Jerimiah was in Baton Rouge for most of it, and while he sent me little Amazon packages everyday, it wasn’t the same as him being here to celebrate, so by Sunday I was feeling a little blue. Then a friend said, “Birthday Smirthday” and I was all, maybe she’s right. Maybe it isn’t so much the celebration of getting things, or doing things, as much as like, I dunno, appreciating how far you have come as a person. If you read my blog yesterday you know how far I think I have come. If you didn’t read it, check it out. I only use the F-word once. See, I’m growing up. Haha, just kidding. #ForFucksSake

Anyway, that’s not the thing I am here to talk to you about today. Today I am here to not talk, if that is possible, rather just share some pics. So, please enjoy some “Missy in various stages” pics for my birthday. It’s like my gift to you. Now where are my gifts, assholes?

Kidding. Kind of.


Above: Toucan Sam and me, My sister’s broken leg and my butt, Belinda and me at “The Bears” at the Leavenworth Plaza.

Above: Christmas 1980-something, Carrying a totally 80s chair, sitting on the floor in front of the tv with my baby doll, duh.

Above: My mom’s creepy boyfriend, Bill on the birthday he bought me a bike, Breakfast in bed on your birthday was a tradition in our house (also, check that shirt out #RaisedRoyal), With Barbie and my favorite Popples.

Polaroids were a big hit in our house in the 80s. Though I couldn’t tell you who it was that owned a fancy camera like that. Probably whomever owned that fancy truck. Cause that wasn’t ours. We didn’t have a car. That was our front yard though! Right next to BK. A BK with a funhouse! (Processed Food is the best!)

Above: I’m trying to half-heartedly feed a prairie dog at Prairie Dog Park in Lawton, Oklahoma. If he would have gotten any closer, though, I would have shit my denim skirt. Also, there is me in a sweater with a “D” on it. This one has stumped me for years. There is no “D” in any of my names, so…garage sale find maybe? The last pic is with my sisters, the Christmas, I believe, before Khristi moved to Germany.

My frist camera! I remember how cool this was and how bad-ass I thought I was going to be with it hanging around my neck.

Above: Is that a boy in the bathtub? No, just me in like third grade. One time my mom nailed a wooden basketball hoop to a tree at just the right height for me to always do a slam dunk. Last pic: Peace, love, and Tweety Bird.

Middle school dance, anyone? I’m pretty sure I didn’t dance with anyone. High school graduation with my BFF, Lee Anne, and posing on a stack of hay in my sister’s front yard right after high school. I was WAY into khakis and button-ups.