I’ve been in a major slump this week. Like major. This time of year always gets to me because this is the time of year I lost my daughter. If you want to get up to speed on that you can read this: https://missygoodnight.com/2019/08/20/august/ or this: http://mudseasonreview.com/author/melissa-goodnight/ and you should be all caught up. But the other day when I was explaining to my husband how I’ve been feeling this week, I used the phrase “profound sadness” and I meant it. I meant it, but I am not sure it explains exactly how I feel, but it is probably pretty close. I started to wonder why this year was hitting me that much harder than other years and, I think, quite simply, that there is something else I haven’t properly dealt with that needs some attention, my decision to have a hysterectomy last year.
Now listen, I won’t go into the nuts and bolts of it. Some of you really don’t care to know all that, but if you do just ask me, I will tell you EVERYTHING, cause I’m that kinda person. But I will say that because of some issues I was having, I was a candidate for a hysterectomy. Not a “Full Hysterectomy,” just a partial, so I elected to have it done. So last May I had my uterus and Fallopian tubes removed. They left my ovaries so I wasn’t a 36-year-old going into menopause (thank you so much for that, doc) but the rest they took out and threw away in a trash can behind the Burger King. Well, maybe not. But in my mind that’s what happened.
My Burger King uterus was a Mess with a capital M, but it had served me well through two pregnancies, so it was a little bit sad. Now, have I enjoyed not having a period since then? Uh yes, absolutely. It’s a new kind of freedom that I haven’t had since I was 12 years old, and I highly recommend the procedure if any of you are considering it. Highly. Recommend. (And if you are in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend you doing it at Novant! I had THE BEST experience there!) But I digress.
The hysterectomy came as a surprise to a lot of people, because for the four years leading up to my decision, Jerimiah and I had been trying to have another baby. We struggled with infertility after we lost Lydia in 2011, and we came to be diagnosed with “Unexplained Secondary Infertility”. In fact, if you go back in this blog, like way back, you will see that my first ever post was the night before I was headed in to have a “procedure” done to start the fertility process. I did have it done. And a couple more procedures. In fact, we got to the point where we had to either go all in, like $50,000 all in, or back off and hope for a miracle. Jerimiah and I both decided at that moment that we would rather spend $50,000 on the adoption process than on trying to get pregnant, so we went with the “trying for a miracle” and well, the miracle never came.
Meanwhile, I was more and more bogged down with all the aforementioned “issues” each month, until I was finally so fed up, fed up with the issues, fed up with my body rebelling against me, fed up with the constant depression every month when I was not pregnant, that I said enough is enough and decided to make a final decision. And boy is it a final decision. In fact, I didn’t realize how final it really is, and now I’m dealing with all these feelings, for the first time, because over the last year I sort of just shoved them down. Hmpf. Way to go, Missy.
I mean, I knew what a hysterectomy was going into it. I had to sign so many papers that my hand cramped. Yes, I get it, I get it, I said to my doctor. No more babies for me. And yes, I did get it. But what I didn’t think about was all the feelings I would have after I could not have any more babies. I know I am not making myself clear here, partly because I am working it out for the first time myself (there will probably be a series of “Burger King Hysterectomy” coming at y’all) and partly because it’s a weird thing to write about, but I will get better.
What I mean to say is that I sometimes want another baby. Bleh. That is hard to admit. But I certainly didn’t want to try to do it the way we were doing it. And I certainly know it isn’t possible anymore, and I am almost certain that I don’t ACTUALLY want another baby. Like, I like this life that I have. I love that we have one. That we can take off and go whenever we want. That we get to travel and experience things, and that we have one kick-ass kid already. But sometimes, when I am already sad, I start to miss Lydia, then I start to think I sold myself short. Myself, my husband, my son. Even though, let me say, everyone was behind my decision, myself included. Gah. It must be the hormones. Maybe I can get someone down at the ‘ol BK to take out my ovaries too?
Well, I’m rambling now. I will keep thinking on this topic, you guys think on it too, and maybe we can come up with a conclusion? And no, not just a Missy is nuts conclusion. We already know this, that is taking the easy way out. Try harder, you guys. I am counting on you.
Why are there ads and commercials for toilet paper? Which adults out there do not have a favorite toilet paper? Why do people need convincing on this topic? Are there people who are still, I dunno in their thirties, and flipping between toilet paper brands? Is it the damn millienials? I can say that now, because apparently I am an Xennial (somewhere between a Gen X-er and a millennial) so I can blame them for things now. Those damn millennials!
As a grown-ass thirty-something adult, I know which brand of toilet paper I like, and I am not changing. I am not looking for coupons. I am not looking for sales or deals or BuY tHiS nOw ads! I am looking for comfort and plush 2-ply, and I have found it, and I don’t want to see bears wiping their asses anymore. Why Charmin? People are already buying you. Why bears wiping their asses?
And stop trying to come up with inventive ways to use toilet paper. Listen, it is for one thing and one thing only. It’s like how Q-tip prints all the ways you can use Q-tips on the back of their packaging. You can use it to clean your keyboard?! Really? Really, Q-tip? Yeah, I know the medical community came out and said, “Don’t stick things in your ears!” but something tells me they meant penis. Like, don’t stick penis in your ear. You know?
I’m sorry you guys.
It’s 7:30 am and I am already off the damn rails.
Maybe I should go back to bed.
Maybe I should roll out my bulk, two-ply and lay on top of it. Cover myself in it like a sleeping bag. Like a cozy, plush, sleeping bag. Until my husband comes home and finds me, takes one look at me, and mumbles something about buying Charmin.
Sometimes when I am in a bad mood I seek out my republican friends and look at stories they have posted. Mostly it’s made-up stories from unreliable sources like, “American Patriot News” and “The Party of ‘We Stand for the Flag’ News”, but every once in awhile they share something from the Post or the Times, an article they haven’t actually read, but the headline has made it appealing to them (on purpose, you’re so clever DC and NY) and then all their friends have commented, also without reading the article, and then I comment and say, “Here is what the article actually says…”
Then one of their fellow republican friends will try to “debate” me. My friend usually doesn’t get involved because they know. They’re just like, “Shiiiiiit, I forgot I was still friends with Missy…”
I put debate in quotes because 1. They are uneducated on the topic at hand (see above) and 2. They usually lead with calling me a “sheeple” or “snowflake” or “leftist nutcase” (so articulate they are) then they just say a bunch of things about Trump that usually have nothing to do with the article or the topic. They sometimes bring up Hillary or Obama. Seriously.
Then I continue to explain the article to them. How and what is actually happening. I stay sane and kind, because that’s my truth, for the most part. I don’t live in fear or hate like a lot of these people. Then they go off the deep end. I’m not sure if they don’t like nice people, or they start to realize they are being made to look like the kind of person they actually are. They start telling me that we live in a country being taken over by Communists, or Socialists, or Immigrants. Again, the article is about ohhhh, let’s say taxes. Then I remind them that this is America, and as an American citizen it is our right, nay our duty, to support all Americans and to be kind. We shouldn’t hate anyone unless they have given us a reason. We should meet all new people with open arms, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.
This is usually when other people start to chime in. Fellow Sane People start to see where I am going and coming from. They try to bring the other person back to the topic, with polite pushes like, “Missy was saying that she doesn’t think trickle down economics is helpful, and you called her an ‘Obama-loving piece of dog shit’ and yelled, “I SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!” Then sometimes, just sometimes, they will calm down and say something unsuspecting like, “I had health insurance for a little while when Obamacare came out. Was able to go to the doctor and get my shoulder worked on.” Then I will ask how they liked that and they will derail again writing in all caps, “IT WILL BE A COLD DAY IN HELL WHEN THE GOVERNMENT TAKES MY GUNS AWAY!”
Then I thank them for their “debate” and tell them they have added some sort of value to the conversation and to the world, in hopes that maybe they will feel a bit better about themselves in the end. Then they tell me something so totally off the wall, unrelated like, “Hillary Clinton owns a pizza place full of rats and underage hookers!” In hopes, I suppose, to continue the “debate” so they can add devastating blows like, “You probably like AOC, huh?!”
Listen, that’s my MO. I’m sorry if I have done it to you, and thanks for being smart enough to not get involved. I’ll try to stop doing this. It just makes your friends look like big idiots, and I shouldn’t be preying on the uneducated, I’ll continue to leave that to the republicans.
As y’all probably know I currently live in the Atlanta-metro area (just like Ludacris and Elton John) and today I was thinking since we share a border with Florida, the craziest state in the union, I wonder if weird stuff happens here too? And yeah, it does. Here is a list of shit that happened this week in Georgia. Enjoy!
The doors of an armored truck opened on The Perimeter and approx. $175,000 flew out onto the highway
I pooped seven or eight times a day, on average
A landlord evicted tenants for inviting black friends over, denies claim by saying: “Some of the best friends I got is colored folk.”
A Wendy’s was shut down when several employees tested positive for Hep B
A woman ordered a “Moana” cake, but her accent was so thick that the baker thought she said “Marijuana” so she got a cake with high My Little Ponies and a huge pot leaf
A Bibb County deputy was arrested for leading a racketeering scheme that involved gas station slot machines
The man who was accused of killing his mom for “Driving him crazy” was arrested at the ATL Airport
I filled up the hot tub with super-cold water and floated around in it while I drank spiked seltzer waters, listened to Adele, and had a very real conversation with an imaginary character in the book I am reading
A slow-moving triangular aircraft traveling under the cover of darkness was reported in Marietta
It was revealed that the highest number of military enlistees come from Georgia
A couple of teenagers staged a kidnapping at a mall for a YouTube video. People thought it was real, chaos ensued.
“Hipster Mayor” of Clarkston, Ted Terry, is running for senate (he’s the guy from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” turned mayor, actually, yeah, for real)
My neighbor Ginger, tried to give me a sheet cake that someone gave her
A homeowner shot a man who was breaking into his house carrying a machete
“The Peach Truck” is on sale on Amazon. It is a cookbook made by the guy who drives all over the country selling Georgia peaches from the back of his pick-up
A 30-year-old man tossed a 13-year-old girl out of the car window during a low-speed police chase. He met her online for sex. While this happened in South Carolina, the man was from Georgia, so it counts.
It was discovered that the Starcourt Mall in Stranger Things 3 (an actual mall in Gwinnett County) may not be around for that much longer. A sports aficionado wants to bulldoze it and turn it into a Cricket stadium with 20,000 seats.
The Georgia Poison Control Center says no on essential oils, too dangerous especially for kids under 5. But for real, did you not know that? Put the damn essential oils down, Karen and go to the doctor.
Mr. Kim’s cat ran into my backyard and tried to eat peaches from my tree, when I let the dog out to chase the cat away my damn dog didn’t see the cat and the cat froze like a statue and I thought the cat was dead, like terrified straight, then about 14 squirrels who were hiding in the tree came out at once and distracted my damn dog and the cat got away
I already have a topic on deck to discuss with my therapist this week. Is that weird? Probably so, but she has the potential to really help me with one of the two problems plaguing me right now: Trusting my intuition versus listening to my anxiety. My other problem has to do with eating too much pizza last night, and I’m positive she can’t help me with that one, but, eh, it’s worth a shot to ask.
Y’all know I suffer from a myriad of mental health conditions. I have chronic depression, generalized anxiety, a touch of OCD, and probably some personality disorder that has yet to be identified but makes it easy for me to both cry and scream in public bathrooms, then blog about it. That has to have a name. But the important thing about all of this is that I am getting help. I have been on medication for years, and I see a therapist, and a practice mindful breathing, and I write, and I order llama-shaped cookie cutters from Amazon. Which is to say that I have my ways of dealing with things. But sometimes, sometimes, my anxiety reaches a peak and I start to spiral out of control, and that’s what happened this week.
My son is going to the Midwest to spend some time with his grandmas over the next 10 days or so and I am freaking out, y’all, like Karen at a damn taping of the Oprah show in December, freaking out. Losing my mind. Unlike Karen, I am losing my mind from intrusive thoughts brought on by a flare up of anxiety. Not because I just found a ticket under my seat for an all-inclusive trip to the island that P. Diddy owns or keys to my own Chrysler Minivan. Fuck you, Karen.
I’m freaking out because he will not be with me. Plain and simple. I am freaking out because I will not know what he is eating, how he is sleeping, how much tv he will be watching. I will not be there to assess how much fun he is having at any particular outing, to remind him to change his underwear, to take his glasses off before he falls asleep. I will not be there ensure that he is doing what he wants to do, not what someone is making him do. I will not be there to control how people talk, or react, or approach him. He will meet people I do not know and so therefore do not trust. He will be with people I do know and therefore do not trust. What if someone is mean to him? What if he wonders off at the waterpark and he drowns? What is the car he is riding in is hit head-on by a semi-truck? What if this is the week the big one hits Kansas and he is swept away in a tornado? What if he can’t sleep because I am not in the next room? What if he is ignored all week? What if he has a horrible time and never wants to go back? What if he has a great time and realizes he doesn’t need me anymore?
If this all seems really dramatic, it’s because it is. This is anxiety, y’all. Welcome to it.
So last night I was tossing and turning in bed waiting for 6:00 am, when he would pile into my best friend’s car (she has been visiting and is heading back home today so he hitched a ride to his Mama’s house with her) I was thinking about all the bad things that could happen. All the fears I have started to bubble up and I started to worry. What if this is my body’s way of telling me that he shouldn’t go, I thought. What if my intuition is wrestling my anxiety, but I am brushing it all off as anxiety? I actually, for real, 100% Googled How to Tell if it is Anxiety or Intuition. I found a bunch of articles, but none of them helped. I had to talk myself off my own ledge that I created and just trust that all these people, and all these places, and all these moments (like when he threw up in my best friend’s car about two hours into the trip) are not signs that something bad will happen, rather they are ways for him to learn, and grow, and become an independent person in his own right. Even as I type this I am rolling my eyes. He’s 10 years old for crying out loud!
Christ Missy, get it together.
Okay. I do have some ways to combat this. You don’t live this way for this long without picking up a few tricks. I’ve been busy all morning. I’ve been working, and cleaning, and Googling whether or not your therapist charges per “topic” or just “hourly”, but still, there in the back of my mind is all the things. And all the things can really take it out of me. It can take it out of anyone. If I were a religious person this would probably be the time I “give it to God” or whatever. So maybe I will try that. Maybe today I will just “give it to pizza” or “Give it to Oprah” (that sounds dirty) and just see what happens.
Here’s the thing: I hate laundry. Hate. It. But somedays I am in the laundry room, folding clothes, sorting socks, and hanging up dresses, and I am all, Wow, you rock, Momma! You do all this for your family. You take care of your people. You show love with acts of service to others. They might not realize all you do, but you know, in your heart, that you will always care for them in this way. Laundry is but a window into your loving soul, and you are the best one to do this all. Then the next day when I am in the laundry room, folding clothes, sorting socks, and hanging up dresses, I am all, Fuck this shit, I’m moving to a nudest colony! You sons-a-bitches don’t deserve me! Yeah, I said it. A nudest colony. And you might think that I don’t have the courage to do that, but I do. I have already looked them up. And yeah, they are all mainly in Florida. And yeah, that means small, wrinkly, old man penis in my face all the time, but look at me! LOOK AT ME! I am a Goddess and they would LOVE to have me there, and you know what (laughs crazily), you know what, they would WORSHIP me! Worship me, you pile of dirty-sock, poop-stained underwear-wearing assholes! Those old, wrinkly men would WORSHIP me!
And then I apologize to my dog for yelling at him and I finish up the laundry.
I’m writing this post early, like three days early, because on Sunday morning (this morning, but not this this morning, you know what I mean) I am actually headed to Louisiana for two weeks and the plan is to head out early because it is a bit of a drive from Atlanta to Baton Rouge. In preparation for this trip, I have been talking to my 10-year-old son about Louisiana, because he has never been. My husband goes once a month for work. He has also been to New Orleans, as have I (if you don’t already know that get yourself up to speed on my Mardi Gras Experience in my four part series. Here is the first part: https://missygoodnight.com/2019/03/01/corner-of-bourbon-and-canal/ be aware, this is not for the faint of heart.)
Anywho, we have been discussing alligators and the show Swamp People. We have been talking about slavery and Water Moccasins. Civil War, why rebel flags are in fact hate, not heritage, LSU and Mike the Tiger, and Crawfish. I even gave him a painfully boring lecture on what it means to be Creole versus Cajun, and how pidgin languages came to be. He isn’t as into linguistics as I’d hoped.
The thing is, he is now TERRIFIED of Louisiana. But for good reason. I mean, they keep a tiger in a cage so that with every roar they can score touchdowns. It doesn’t add up. So yeah, he’s confused, and a little scared. He thinks we are going to be attacked by an alligator if we take an airboat tour. He thinks the Mike the Tiger will get out of his enclosure and chase us. He thinks he will go for a swim in the hotel pool and the bottom will open up, all Freddy-style, and suck him out into the swamp and he will be forced to live with Troy and Big Billy and make a living off of unsuspecting tourists for the rest of his life. And truth be told, it could all happen. Especially in Louisiana.
So, I guess what I am asking for here is some prayer. Or some good thoughts. Or maybe where to get gumbo that won’t burn his tongue? Cause I don’t know much about Baton Rouge and the surrounding area. And I don’t know much about much anyway. So if we get eaten by a gator, well then that is on you guys. Or the Voodoo Queens that I made mad. Just a heads up.
Yesterday my son tried to open a banana, a skill he still to this day has not mastered, by ripping at the top with his hands all willy-nilly like. When the banana split in half he got frustrated and said, “My bad juju” and laughed. I opened the banana for him and reminded him that “bad juju” is not a real thing. He smiled and said, “I know, Mommy. It’s just a way for people to not take responsibility for their actions.” Then we talked about all the ways he could have opened the banana, or asked for help, or watched a YouTube video on how to open bananas (his suggestion) and so on. So, my 10-year-old can’t open a banana by himself, but he has mastered a way of thinking that many adults are still grasping for. I’m calling this a win.
“Bad juju” is what people in our family say when things go wrong in life. Say for instance your driver’s license is expired because you “haven’t had the time to get it renewed” (read: you haven’t made it a priority), so you take a chance and drive around for a few weeks with it expired. Then you speed, and you get caught, and you get an extra ticket for having an expired license. You bitch and complain to everyone who will listen that you didn’t have time, all the work you do, your meany-mean boss won’t let you leave early, all the time you spend volunteering and helping everyone else (sidebar: playing the victim is also really popular in my family), you just couldn’t make it to the DMV. Poor you! So you chalk it up to “Bad Juju”.
Le sigh. Believe me, I have been tempted to blame “Bad Goodnight Juju” once or twice. I’m sure we all have. Whether you call it “Bad Karma” or a streak of “Bad luck” or “Down in the Dumps”. We’ve all thought it, or said it, or tried, just once, to blame our poor decisions on something else. I’ve done it a million times. Tried to rationalize with myself. It wasn’t my fault. The universe is out to get me. It was payback for that time I (insert sinful thing here). All these things run through our minds. And it is okay. And normal for that to happen. But if you spend a few minutes digging deeper, if you realize you too (gasp!) can be at fault for something, then you will discover what is really happening.
There was a period in our lives when it felt like everything was going wrong. Jerimiah had just lost his job. The company just up and folded one day, still owing him a month or two salary. Then Jackson got very sick. Like had to be life-flighted to the children’s hospital sick. That’s when we found out he had asthma. Then the house we were living in had mold, so we had to move quickly. You get my drift here. With each “thing” that happened we got deeper and deeper into the pit of despair. Finally we looked at each other one night and said, “What the actual hell?! Is this bad juju?” The answer: No. We were making sketchy decisions and paying the price. Jerimiah had taken a job with people he knew weren’t the most honest, respectable people in the biz, and he got burned. We had moved hastily to a new house because I was mad at the owner of our previous house. We refused to see how sick our child was for two days leading up to his transport to the hospital, because we were on vacation and taking him to the doctor in a different state was inconvenient at the time.
From that moment forward we decided to change the way we thought. The risks we took. The way we looked at challenges. We decided to take responsibly for our actions and decisions. We decided to take the natural consequences (Love and Logic right there!) and move forward with the new lessons that those consequences taught us. And from that day forward our lives have been infinitely better. Now, I’m not saying we haven’t had trying times in the last seven years or so, but they feel like little bumps in the road, not major, detrimental, life-changing catastrophes like before. And maybe to some they would be, but when you learn to take responsibility for your actions and decisions. When you decide to be honest and open with others. When you learn which risks are safe risks, and which are not, a million wonderful things infiltrate your life like you wouldn’t believe. And it’s sort of amazing.
This has all been on my mind lately as we gear up for our trip to Louisiana. I have spent way too much time trying to decide what to leave on Marie Laveau’s grave this time, because well, you remember what happened when I didn’t. If not, get up to speed here: https://missygoodnight.com/2019/03/08/bourbon-and-canal-the-finale/ And no, I don’t whole-heartedly believe in this dark magic. And no, I don’t think the members of our family who blame “juju” for their mistakes do either. I think they just refuse to admit when they have messed up. Refuse to openly confess fault. And I used to let them do it. I used to be okay with it. But when my child thinks maybe, just maybe, his family has a curse on them of some kind that he might fall victim to, or he learns you can try to abate judgement by blaming “bad juju” then uhh, no we done with that nonsense.
Now, can we get to the root of the real problem here: What do I leave as a sacrifice on the grave of the best damn Voodoo Queen of New Orleans?
Hiatus (n): Gap in a series, argument, etc.; break between two vowels coming together but not in the same syllable. That’s what my trusty Pocket OED says hiatus means, and I guess I’ve been on one. To be clear, a hiatus of the first sort. A blogging hiatus. A writing hiatus. An unintentional hiatus, but a hiatus nonetheless. Look it, no one is to blame here. But if I had to blame someone it would be my dog, because well, since the moment he ransacked my heart with his wiggly tail and his fluffy fluff face, I have blamed him for a million things. Things he has no way of being responsible for. Things he has no way of knowing how to rectify. My herbs didn’t get watered when I was gone last week, dog’s fault. The Wood Borers are wrecking havoc on the patio again, dog’s fault. I haven’t put pen to paper in over three weeks, that damn dog. You get what I’m slinging here, yeah? By the way, who just tooted? You guessed it…
Now in reality, I have been preoccupied. Can we call it that? Let’s call it that. In May I went to Leavenworth for a week. Then I brought my mom back to stay with us for three weeks. I should probably just do a full stop there and let you piece together what the rest of my month may have looked like, but I’m feeling rather thorough today. I spent three weeks in the full 24/7 company of my mother, taking her out, showing her the sights and sounds of our new city, shopping, exploring, making food I don’t normally make, listening to stories of people I don’t know from “back home” and getting guilted into saying things like, “No, I totally love The View” and “Yes, let’s do laundry all day today” in the hopes that she enjoy her time here with us, and I think she did. And I enjoyed her company. But, coming from someone who can spend looooong periods of time alone, it is a bit much to be with someone all day, everyday.
Then there was the work trips my husband took in May. The end of school hoopla that we endured for my now rising fifth grader, sightseeing with my mom and ’em, planning and executing a trip back to the Ozarks for Memorial Day Weekend (which came with an unexpected trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma), spending time on Table Rock Lake with friends and family and then back home, finally, to a place of calm and quiet. No tvs blaring in my ear. No one bitching about sunblock. No passive-aggressive relatives making me cringe with ye olde, “Don’t be silly, I am totally fine with what is happening at this moment,” when in fact, they are not totally fine with what is happening at this moment. Ahhh, you hear that? No, that wasn’t me, that was the dog. I mean do you hear the silence? Yeah, it’s nice.
This is a really long, sordid way to say that I am back. I am home. I am home and I am happy. Happy to be typing away at my desk. I have work to send back to editors this week. I have phone calls to make. I have emails to read. I have a whole new (and final) season of Broad City to watch, but that is okay. I am home and alone (save the kid and dog) and I am content. I have much, much to share with you all. Much that I have been thinking on over the last month, so look out blogging world. I hope you welcome me back from hiatus. And I hope you have been taking care of yourself! ❤
PS… Happy Pride Month, y’all hootenannies! (Whew, sorry been in the Ozarks too long)
My husband has been out of town this week, which means I am single-parenting it. And listen, big shoutout here to the single parents. My own mother was a single mom of four, and honestly, whew, I’m not sure how she did it, because when I have to be a single mom for a week at a time, it is rough. Of course I don’t have a support system here in Georgia, so it makes it that more difficult. But I did have some good chats and texts with friends this week that kept me going. Either way, I said and wrote some things this week I am not particularly proud of. I said and wrote them out of passive-aggressive spite, tiredness, and probably low-blood sugar. What follows is a list, to the best of my knowledge, of things I have said and written in various platforms this week. Enjoy!
The damn dog is afraid of the fake owl in the garden!
I was in the “back room” of the video store, you know, hanging out.
Vasectomies for dogs is a thing, so now we don’t have to be mean and cut off his balls, you know?
So the alien robots take over the world and everyone dies, except for us because we hide in a cabin in the woods, and when it’s time to repopulate the universe you have to do all the heavy lifting, cause well, I got nothing inside anymore, and eventually the radioactivity that allowed the aliens to beat us, seeps into our bodies and we are able to outlive all the other people on the world. Eventually we are the two oldest living “true” humans, not android hybrids, and we Thelma and Louise this bitch. You in?
WHY ARE YOU BARKING?!
We’ve all peed in a trash can once or twice, right?
The damn dog is trying to hump the fake owl!
Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh. Then what happened? Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh. That is very interesting. Go brush your teeth.
Oh, someone might die? Cool. But what time does your plane get in on Friday?
Do you want me to mail your shampoo?
I’m not paying someone to cut his balls off! That is so fucking rude.
She’s gonna be Poseidon, so I mean, I think we should go.
How many granola bars did you eat for breakfast? Did you eat breakfast?
Secular summer camps sound great, but listen, I live in Georgia now, so I have to do a lot of sitting on my sun porch drinking gin and tonics this summer. I just can’t commit. You get it.
Go get the damn fake owl from the garden before the dog kills it.
OHHH, chicken Wangz and Lil Smokes! Well then, all is forgiven.
Go clean your room. Go clean your room. Go clean your room.
Yes, but what did the school nurse say after you told her you already pooped three times and your belly still hurt? Did she tell you to go back to class? You need to go back to class.
Did we eat dinner tonight?
WHERE THE HELL IS BURGER KING?
Yeah, I know the owl is FAKE and can’t die! Go get it!
Wait, wait. Remind me again who Mad-Eye Moody is.
I swear to Baby Jesus, I will send him to his Grandma’s.
Just make popcorn, dude.
I talked to Mrs. Martin, the school nurse, and she is not happy with you. She thinks you were fibbing about your belly hurting.
No technology tonight. Yeah, go watch tv.
This is why your belly hurts! Sugar! All this sugar!
WHY am I the only one who can pick up towels off the floor?!
Well, stick my head in an oven and call me Sylvia, I’m feeling a little crazy today, y’all. I’ve been consumed lately with what I want out of my writing life. It is a difficult question to unpack because writing is my life, and I write about my life, and I write to share my life with others because I think it is important to do, but also I don’t really like to talk to people, or be the center of attention, because it makes me nervous, and when I am nervous I say whacked out things (see above) out of shear anxiety, mixed with a bit of delusion, and just a pinch of the carbon monoxide blues. But then I want to write so that people can see that it is a good thing to share about your life, even in the middle of a manic depressive episode, because maybe they will do it, and it will help them? And then I think is that the answer? Do I write to help other people look at their own lives and think they have stories worth telling and sharing, and is this all just a cathartic cycle that I want to let others know about?
I don’t fucking know. I mean surely, if I can share my stories (and trust me, they really aren’t that good) and people want to read them, then anyone can write, right? Then I think no, because not everyone is as transparent as me, or as sad as me, or as weird as me. And mainly, they just don’t have the time or the proper training, let’s call it, so they might need help. Then I spiral out of control, get into my car, drive to Food Lion and buy only one thing: A box of Oreos. Then I go home, put my pajamas on, crawl into bed, and eat said box of Oreos, while I binge-watch something on Netflix starring Toni Colette. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit.
Okay, whew. Don’t come over to check on me today, y’all. I’m really fine. No ovens are on. It’s just that I get consumed by thoughts about whether or not what I choose to do with my time, my blog, my words, my stories, is actually doing anything at all. And if it even matters whether or not it is. Why does it need to have a deeper meaning or purpose? Why can’t I just do it because it makes me happy and not worry about not contributing to society or community or making money or getting better at connecting with people? See, it’s a slippery slope. I’m gonna go get some Oreos.
As most of you know, the husband is being relocated. His company, which shall remain nameless considering they probably don’t want to be associated with me, is a domestic, Fortune 300 company, with corporate and field operations, in a business that is stable and growing. He is on track to grow with this company, which is becoming unusual in this modern world. So, cool, cool, cool. Here is the thing, he’s been working from home for three weeks now. Le sigh. Let me stop here for a second and just say: I LOVE MY HUSBAND. Like LOVE him. I’m not saying that, then going around behind his back telling people that I hate him. Nah. He cool. We cool. And after seventeen years still very much in love and what not. Sex is good, cause I know you were wondering. It took a slight nosedive when we were trying to conceive just cause, well you know the deal, it wasn’t so much fun anymore as work, but after I had my hysterectomy, whew! Through the roof fun, ya know? Discovering parts of ourselves we didn’t know existed. We have this thing…
Mardi Gras literally translates to Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is a day to indulge in all the things you intend to give up for Lent. It is called Fat Tuesday because on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday you are expected to indulge. Cakes, and breads, rich meats and sauces. Items that many will give up in preparation for Easter, which comes exactly six weeks later. Fat Tuesday is positioned right after Carnival and right before Lent. The purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial. The purpose of Carnival, is to drink as many Hand Grenades as you can, while you drunk-hobble down Bourbon Street, your boobs hanging freely, and people pelt you with strings of 25 cent beads while you scream, “Shit yeah, Mardi Gras is awesome cock-suckers!” I think.
Listen, this is Part Deux, in what is shaping up to be a four part series, of my one and only trip to Mardi Gras back in February 2011 with my Mother-in-Law, two of my best friends, and a rag tag team of weirdos who had never left southeast Kansas. To get up to speed Imma need you to check this out first: https://missygoodnight.com/2019/03/01/corner-of-bourbon-and-canal/ I think it would be best so you are aware of all the, uhh, specifics before you jump right into this one. But, if you are so inclined to start here, well, then I like you. Go for it! Bonne chance!
Now where was I? Oh, yes. Do y’all remember when we were getting out of the car in a hurry at valet because we were being rushed and also because we needed to help MIL unload Peggy’s sweet-ass van, as all the occupants of that van were staring wide-eyed into the streets unable to move? Well then, do you remember that we were quite pleased with ourselves about the speed and accuracy with which we exited our car, with the exception of one thing: Purple nail polish? Yeah, okay.
So the first night, before we got sloshed on Bourbon with a mixture of Hand Grenades and Huge-Ass Beers, we tidied up a bit. Well, Melody and Kasey tidied up a bit. I slapped some more deodorant on and called it good. The girls in the other room took showers, did their hair, the whole nine yards, so we had some time to kill waiting for them. During that time Melody was debating whether or not to ask for the car just so she could get her purple nail polish. Kasey and I were trying to convince her that it was dumb, and just to forget about painting her nails. Then MIL pops in from the bathroom is all I have purple nail polish! Yay! Crisis averted. Melody used the nail polish, then we all left to get totally obliterated.
The next morning went like you would expect. It sucked. We were all hungover, there was no way we wanted to pay for room service to bring us all the best hangover foods, and we didn’t really have a plan for the day, save buying more beads (it became apparent that we were gonna NEED a lot of beads) and getting a tattoo. Yeah, that was a goal for the weekend. Le sigh. We were all a little tired when the weirdos next to us were knocking on the door at what felt like 6:00 am, but was probably closer to 8:00 am. I rolled over to see this:
What happened next was a situation that to this day is called, The Purple Nail Polish Incident and it has varied truths. But this is how I remember it.
Cranky MIL: Melody, where is my purple nail polish?
Cranky Melody: I don’t know, dude.
Cranky MIL: Well you had it last night.
Cranky Melody (elevated tone): I gave it back to you.
Cranky MIL: No you didn’t. That’s the problem. You should have given…
Cranky Melody: OMIGOD, yes I did!
Cranky MIL: Nope. I don’t have it.
Kasey (in a whisper): Dude, get her the purple nail polish.
Me (getting up to start to look for purple nail polish): Where did you have it last?
Cranky Melody: I don’t know when I HANDED IT TO HER!
Cranky MIL: You never HANDED anything to me.
Me (getting side-tracked because I am hungry): Whose bagel is this?
Kasey (standing up to help look): It’s left over from last night.
Cranky MIL: I wish I could paint my nails this morning…
Cranky Melody (throws blankets off her): ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Cranky MIL: You are supposed to return things you borrow…
Cranky Melody: I DID RETURN IT.
Me (biting on a day old bagel): Dude, just get up and look for it.
Cranky Melody: Why don’t we just go to Walmart again today and spend three hours there looking for purple nail polish and other shit we don’t need?!
Cranky MIL: We might have to since I don’t have purple nail polish anymore.
Me (feeling something in my mouth that is not bagel): Melody, get up.
Cranky MIL: It’s fine. I just wish I had my purple nail polish.
Cranky Melody (jumping out of the bed): OH MY GOD! Don’t say PURPLE NAIL POLISH ONE MORE DAMN TIME.
Then Melody walks over to dresser and grabs the purple nail polish as MIL walks out of the bathroom and she hands it to MIL.
Cranky MIL: Thank you.
Cranky Melody: YOU’RE WELCOME.
Me: You guys, this bagel broke my tooth.
Weirdos next door knock again.
Kasey (opens curtains): It’s going to be a good day!
Deep breathes. Yeah, so. I am sure that MIL and Melody have different versions, but you know, this is my blog. And, did we just skate by the fact that I broke my tooth on a bagel? In hindsight, it was more likely the 15 or so Blow Pops I crunched on the drive down, but that hard bagel took it over the edge. So there we all were. Four women. One with a broken tooth. One with purple toes nails, one without. And Kasey. The forever optimist. What happened next can only be explained by the desire to be a united front.
MIL explained to us that the other four weirdos had never been to the beach. Or maybe one had, I can’t exactly remember. The point is, while we all have been to several beaches, in different countries, and different regions, the ladies next door needed a win, so she asked what we thought about driving the hour and a half to Gulfport, Mississippi, all eight of us in Peggy’s sweet-ass van, to show the weirdos the ocean. We all looked at each other when she used the word ocean. Well, okay, she corrected. The Gulf Coast. Melody, Kasey, and I looked at each other. Their make-up still smudged from the night before, circles under our eyes, me holding my tooth, and we nodded in agreement. Let’s give them a thrill.
You know what they say, “Girl, your brown eyes sparkle like the Gulf Coast waters!” Just a reminder that this was less than a year after the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast of Mexico. So there was literal oil to be unearthed on the beach. We know cause we found it. Only we didn’t scream OIL! and call the Clampetts. We sort of, uhh, ignored it. Then jumped in for a swim. Eek. The photo below was captured by a stranger on the random beach we stopped at in Gulfport.
Two hours later Kasey, Melody, and I sat in Peggy’s sweet-ass van with Pasty-girl (whose name I was recently reminded was April, but I can’t change it now) while the other ladies spent way too long in yet ANOTHER Walmart. At this point Melody and I were not speaking to each other because she had been texting some dude who lives in Arizona who she didn’t really know and I he was planning to come for a visit, and I was like BAD IDEA Hombre. And she was all, I know what I am doing. I mean she was 25, she obviously didn’t need me telling her how to live her life. So we had spent the ride to this random Walmart somewhere between Mississippi and Louisiana, in the way, way back of the van. Kasey was forced to sit between us, and the three of us sat silently as we listened to Titty Tina offer the body guard services of her ex-boyfriend who lived in NOLA, because he was not, quote, afraid to bitch slap anyone who deserved it. End quote. And that’s how we first learned of Bitch-Slap. And the stifled laughter between the three of us in the way, way back over what we collectively knew would be his name from now until eternity, is what mended the strained friendship.
While the “old girls” went into Walmart, Kasey, Melody, and I stayed in Peggy’s sweet-ass van with Pasty-girl. MIL had taken the keys, so we didn’t have air. Probably because, #PurpleNailPolish, and so we sat with the doors open, sweating in our slightly damp clothes, and listened to Pasty-girl recount all the men she’d slept with. One of her conquests ended up being a family member of mine, uhh, by marriage. And we all nodded our head in agreement, cause yeah, that made sense. It wasn’t MIL.
Back in NOLA things took an exciting turn. After the feud ended in the van, someone, ahem, Kasey, came up with a great idea. It was Tammie’s birthday, and she was ready to par-tay! So Kasey, presumably caught up in the excitement of being in the way, way back of Peggy’s sweet-ass van, decided that every time Tammie said, It’s my birthday! of which she said every 20 minutes or so, we were all to scream, Happy Birthday! So as you can imagine, hilarity ensued. Until the crying started at dinnertime.
We had decided to go out to dinner that night at a seafood place called Deanie’s Seafood. It was supposed to be the best seafood in the French Quarter and this was back when, well, we believed claims like that. So we all washed the oil off of us and decided to convene for the walk over to Deanie’s around 5:00 pm. At about 4:45, Tammie knocked on our door to inform us that Janie was crying.
We all walked over to find a distraught Janie. She was upset because everyone else was so fancy, and she wasn’t. She had only packed, I want to say, two pink shirts and some jeans. Sigh. MIL quickly offered up some of her clothes, an offer Janie sort of smirked at, while Melody, Kasey, and I tried to get her to just try one of MIL shirts, they were nice. Then I offered one of mine. Then so on. The girls showed her that they were all wearing jeans, but she said their shirts were fancy too. I explained that my fancy shirt was the same one that I jumped into the Gulf with. Didn’t matter. Then we offered to go look for a fancy shirt for her, but she declined. The crying eventually stopped so we all just shrugged and walked to Deanie’s. I dunno.
Listen. Dinner was a mess, y’all. I ordered shrimp, but it had all the tentacles and what not on it, so MIL had to peel them for me because I can’t with that shit. Then Janie asked her to accompany her to the bathroom at some point. If I was the Mommy of Kasey, Mel, and me, then MIL was the Mommy of the weirdos (and sometimes us) and it was starting to weigh on her. But at least every time Tammie said, It’s my birthday! We all screamed in unison, Happy Birthday! At least.
After dinner we had reservations for a walking Haunted History Tour, which was ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY the BEST part of the trip! If y’all have the opportunity to do a walking history tour in NOLA, do it! At one point Melody, Kasey, and I had to separate from the weirdos and go to the back of the tour because we were so engrossed in the history and the stories that we wanted to listen, not drink and scream Happy Birthday! We were shunned. Let’s just say that. But yeah, worth it.
Birthday girl was a little drunk after the tour, so we tried to sober her up with a trip to Cafe Du Monde.
At this point the stories diverge. We decided that we wanted to go a chill bar and listen to some of that New Orleans Jazz we heard so much about, and well, the crew was having none of that, so we went our separate ways. I can’t tell you what they did, but I think it had to do with dancing on bars (sans MIL and Janie) and karaoke, and probably shots. But Kasey, Melody, and I went for a walk along the river, then settled into a cool little jazz spot that had outdoor seating. We had the pleasure of enjoying a muffuletta while we listened to a cool, little jazz quartet for an hour or so, before we headed back to the hotel. I have no pics from that time because, well, that is how chill and relaxing and nice it was. The calm, if you will, before the storm.
If you are still reading this, bless your heart. (That is what people say to patronize others here in the south.) You are a trooper. Really, you are. But this seems like a good break spot. We have covered quite a bit of ground today, and I left quite a bit out. For your pleasure. Thanks for traveling down memory lane with me. Two parts left. And I promise they won’t be worth it. As a parting gift I have included some more pics of Day Two.
Look it, I like dudes. Some more than others, to be sure. I like my husband a super, duper lot. I like my friends who are part of the male species. I like my son. But I also don’t like a lot of dudes. I won’t name them here but let’s just say, I have grievances. It started, probably, with my deadbeat dad and it has just matured over time. Time and situations. Situations and little moments. I’m turning 38 this year, and I swear to you every year closer I am to 40, the more angry I am. Is this normal? Doesn’t matter.
Today I am angry at some dudes and have decided to write a list of things that have been said to me, by dudes, in my lifetime, in no particular order. Things said to me either in person, over the phone, over text or email, or under their breath when they thought I couldn’t hear. Some were shouted in my general direction when I was with a group of girls, some were directed at me. Some I thought was sweet when they were said because I just didn’t understand at the time, and some made my stomach turn. Some I smiled through and some I turned and said, “What the fuck did you say to me?” Some, most, I simply ignored. This is not an exhaustive list and it does not include any physical abuse or sexual assaults that I have encountered, and I have encountered some. It’s strictly times boys or men have said gross things to me, times that I can remember with some clarity.
It’s gross and demeaning, and a lot sad and I am super fucking sick of it. These are all things said to me, at me. As a child, as a teenager, as a young woman, and as a married mommy. I know some women are harassed much more than me, and for that I am sorry. I am sorry that any of us have to go through this, but here we are.
I implore you girls, and ladies, and women, make your own list and see what creeps up from all the creeps. This helped me realize how jacked up the world treats us and it made me stronger knowing I lived through all this and continue to, and still have the desire to fight and march and smash the patriarchy in their stupid faces. Maybe if you make your own list it will help you too. Much love and solidarity, sisters.
A List of Gross Things Boys or Men Have Said to Me
You are so pretty when you smile
You don’t miss a meal do’ya?
If you won’t suck my dick, I’m leaving
Girls aren’t supposed to do “that” (insert whatever the fuck “that” is)
Women aren’t funny, stop trying to be
Want to see my cock?
Girls can’t run
Someday you will find a guy who likes tubby girls
You HAVE to kiss me
You won’t understand this kind of work
You should’t wear shirts that tight
Are you jealous because you friend is so much prettier?
Girls can’t write about that
Does she have to come too?
Girl sports aren’t real sports
Do you do blowjobs?
I didn’t invite you because I didn’t think you’d fit in the car with us
What size bra do you wear?
Fat girls aren’t sexy
You two should kiss each other and I’ll watch
You’re the queen of pimples
You just don’t fit the “image” we are trying to display
I’m the best you will get
My sister has an eating disorder and she lost weight, maybe you should try that?
She’s the cock-blocker
1st guy: She’s not my type. 2nd guy: She isn’t anyone’s type.
Just because you are a little smart, doesn’t mean you know anything. You’re a girl.