Monthly Archives: March 2010

Your Chariot Awaits, M’lady

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my first car

I have been driving since before I was allowed to be driving. I have fond memories of sitting on my dad’s lap and steering the Lincoln up Hazel St, turning into our driveway. There is a picture somewhere around here of me at 2 years old with my legs stuck through the steering wheel of my grandpa’s Impala. And my mom was letting me back in and out of our driveway(which was the size of a small parking lot) by the age of 10. I couldn’t wait to drive because driving meant freedom. Biking everywhere was fine, except when it rained or in the winter. And alot of the places I liked to go were too far to bike. I have an independent spirit.  Having a car is the ultimate in independence in my opinion.

My independent spirit does get me into trouble. Please don’t confuse my independent spirit with a “can-do” spirit. I don’t have a “can-do” spirit. I have a “if I have to I will” spirit but I would rather not.

 My first car was a Chevy Citation. It was my mom’s. She got a talking town car, something she had wanted for years and gave me the Citation. As soon as I got the Citation, my friends and I were taking road trips. We went to NYC to see the closing night of A Chorus Line. We went to Rhode Island to bet on Jai-Alai and the Greyhounds, although, not one of us was old enough to be gambling…I moved to Texas.

That citation died and my boyfriend at the time bought me a new Citation. Ofcourse, it was a falling apart Citation, but luckily he was a wanna be mechanic. The floor was rusted out completely. I could Flintstone if I wanted to and everyone in the back seat got wet every time it rained. So, my boyfriend got steel bed rails and welded them to the bottom of the car to hold the frame together and told me to drive carefully cause if I got into an accident the rails would impale the other car. Oh and we never did get the dead body smell out of the car.

I went to university in Philadelphia and I didn’t take my car. I was irritated every day that I had to walk the 8 blocks to the grocery or had to wait for the subway. When I came home, I got yet another Citation. This one didn’t have heat. So, I had to hang my head out of the window in the winter to see where I was going. That was really cold. It also didn’t have 3rd or 4th gear and it was an automatic. So, I was stylin with my windshield frozen on the inside doing top speeds of 30 mph. Look out world, here I come!!!! Again, this is my “if I have to I will” spirit.

I don’t remember all the other crap cars I had…there was the car that my drunk uncle sold me and my friends (we all chipped in on the 75 dollars). It was some huge boat like car from the 1970’s and we didn’t know it didn’t have brakes until we were up on S.U. campus and headed down hill…lucky for us that beautiful stone building was in the right spot!! Then, there was the Subaru with a backdoor that didn’t close and a rear tire that was falling off. That just meant that we all had to sit on one side of the car and hold the rope that was tied to the door to keep it shut. We got mugged while IN that car….pathetic. I had a car that didn’t have reverse, that took alot of “think ahead” when parking. I had a car that the two front tires were held together with chain. Driving that car was alot like yachting, there were no sharp turns happening in that car, more like drifting from one direction to another. I had a car that didn’t have power steering or brakes. That took two of us to drive.  I could go straight, but if I had to turn, I had to stop and ask someone off the street to help me with the steering wheel. I met alot of nice people when I drove that car.

I had cars that had gas leaks, oil leaks and transmission leaks. I had tires fall off (as I was doing 50 mph on 690), I had windows that never closed and doors that never opened. I had a cars that the speedometer didn’t work (FYI: if you sing NIN “Head Like A Hole” on the highway to the speed that the yellow dashes are going by that is about 55 mph…) and I had one car that the gas gauge didn’t work. I was always running out of gas at the most inopportune moments. My first “real” car, a car I bought from a dealer and had a car payment for, was an adorable Subaru 5 speed stick. Now I was really hot stuff!! Until it accelerated unexpectedly as I was driving up James St during rush hour. That was scary!! Then it came down with a mice infestation….that stunk…literally. Everytime I turned the heat on I was cooking mice. Sad and smelly.

Then I had a beautiful Chrysler Town and Country mini van. It had all the bells and whistles. Seat warmers, 6 disc CD, climate control, leather interior, remote control doors, all sorts of holders for all sorts of things. It was beautiful. The transmission fell out 3 times and then the radio died. Just because something is pretty doesn’t mean it is nice.

I am now driving a Honda CRV. I love it. But when I got it, it only seated 5. I have 3 kids who generally always have a friend along. So, I went on the net and bought a thrid row seat. Brilliant!!! Now I could seat 8!!! With seatbelts and all!! And Honda’s last forever, right?! Right?! Apparently I have the only Honda that has an internal engine issue. I’m at 147,000 miles on a 2005, bought new, off the lot and its eating oil like an American made….

I love my cars. I’ve cried every time I have ever had to have one towed. I love to drive, although I am looking forward to my oldest driving next year so I can be the passenger. I love to take road trips (as long as they don’t involve bridges over water). We used to just take a drive on a Sunday afternoon and wind up in the most beautiful places Upstate has to offer. I have never been too concerned about getting lost, every road leads somewhere and somewhere there is a person who can point me in the right direction. And it is true that where ever I go, there I am!!!

Calgon…take me away!

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classin up the neighborhood

I was reading my best friend’s blog (http://astayathomeworkingmomstale.blogspot.com/) about her laundry habits. This made me laugh. She does the laundry, folds it and puts it away!! I know this is how most of America does their laundry, but for me, and the thousands of bachelors in this country, this is how we do laundry (minus the bachelors from Jersey Shore).

 I separate my laundry into two piles. One darks,one lights. I do it all in cold water. I dry it on the highest temperature setting and when it is done I pull it out, wait three days, and then (unlike a bachelor) sort out the clothes into the four rooms they belong in. Mine or my three daughters. Now here’s where my laundry habits have changed in the past few years. I used to stuff, not fold, my daughter’s clothes into their drawers.That’s not to say I don’t have a system… I have a system…jeeze I’m not a total domestic idiot! We have drawers! One drawer for tops, one for pants, one for pj’s, and one for socks and undies, oh and one for dance clothes. We all dance. But in the last 2 years I have taken to throwing my oldest and center child’s clothes on their bed or floor (if their bed is crowded with too many clothes) and let them put it away. I still put away my youngest’s clothes.

But I still just stuff the clothes into whatever drawer they belong. I think this laundry habit came from being yelled at about my clothes keeping habits as a kid…or maybe it is because I am lazy. Whatever. I don’t have time for these petty little irritations. I feel accomplished when I actually get it stuffed in the correct drawers. Lately, I”m really proud when I get the right clothes into the right rooms. Between my two oldest girls, I am always screwing up jeans and undies. To take the time to fold the clothes and put them away just to pull them all out and throw them on the floor when I am trying to find something to wear seems like a gigantic waste of time. Imagine how late I would be if I had to fold, then toss, then RE-fold all of my drawers every time I get dressed. It makes no sense to me.

I remember one time my best friend wasn’t allowed to go out until she organized all her drawers. Her mom came into her room and dumped all of her drawers and made her fold all the clothes and put them away nicely. Underwear too!!!Maybe that is what scarred me? This girl folded her undies!!! Now, I have attempted to be this organized. I do get this organized like 4 times a year. I will dump all the clothes in everyone’s rooms and go through them to see what is shot and what is outgrown and what I do not approve of them wearing and I get rid of it and THEN I fold all the clothes and put them back nicely. That whole scenario takes me at least 3 days. And another 3 days of admiring my work and then it’s back to the wash and stuff.

I got a new washer dryer this past summer and I thought then, this may be where I turn over a new leaf! Nope. It is just to time consuming. I can’t do it. I tried, but I can’t. And ironing seems like a march to the chopping block. Ironing takes alot more mental preparation than one would think. I have tried to make ironing as easy as possible. I keep the board, the iron and the squirt bottle behind my bedroom door there by eliminating the excuse of “it’s all the way downstairs…whine whine whine…” I will examine my clothes in fifty different ways in fifty different lights, put them on take them off and put them on again before I actually decide that they really need to be ironed. And then I just iron to get the wrinkles out or put creases  in. I have no particular system to ironing like some people do.

About 10 years ago my dad, who was meticulous about his clothes and always, ALWAYS looked like a million bucks, shared a laundry secret with me. He told me to wash the towels separately and not use fabric softener because fabric softener makes towels less absorbent. I just put this trick into my repertoire last month. He was right. Now I have three piles. Darks, lights and towels. It’s kind of messing with my head, but everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone sometimes.

This bad habit of mine has not a thing to do with the way I was raised. My mother is still the queen of getting out stains. She can get a stain out of any fabric no matter if it has already gone through the washer and dryer. My grandma line dried clothes and they were always folded and SOFT in the drawers. I have line dried for years and my clothes are as stiff as cardboard when I bring them in. Try stuffing cardboard into a jam-packed drawer of clothes. I actually cut myself on a pair of line dried capri pants last summer.

Anyway, I love my best friend and I learn so much from her about how abnormal I really am. I am far from the domestic divas I admire so. But I am also very content with my choices. This is me. Doing laundry like a frat boy with a car full of trash, single mom who can only laugh at the fact that my life is far from average. Awareness, acceptance action….at least now we are getting dry when we towel off!!!

Move it Grandma!!!

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Only someone over 70 and under 10 would do this and find it hystericaly funny

I love old people. And I say that with total honesty and with the hope that I am not offending anyone over the age of 75. Because of all the old people I grew up with, I don’t think old happens till after 75ish. And even then, it really is just a frame of reference. Old people (speaking generally here, you may know some old people who are jerks, I don’t) have gotten past the looks, the money, the judgements that younger people tend to value above all else. And that is part of what makes old people so fun to be around.

I spent alot of time with old people. My parents taught me the value of my elders before any other value. Makes sense because elders have all the rest of the values pretty much wrapped up. Winning the love and friendship of an older person was a very special thing. We had lots of older people in my neighborhood and in my church and in my family. They never judged me on my outside appearance, even when they probably should have. It seems that if we are lucky, as we age, our eyesight becomes more refined and we are able to see people as they are on the inside. An acceptance of a human being rather than a human doing.

But that is not to say that the old people let me get away with anything. Like I said, their values are solid and they are not scared to offend. Why should they be? They have been there, done that and they are not shy about telling you. It is us younger people, without patience, without understanding, with terminal uniqueness who can’t be bothered with listening. It is us who judge, who laugh at and who don’t care the way we should.When I was 14, I was sneaking a smoke in my garage. My Aunt Rose walked in and I rolled the cigarette over to a friend. I was totally busted. She came right over to me and gave me a hug and said “If you think that just because you make a mistake that I’m not going to love you, you’re wrong. I love you even when you do stupid stuff. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Do you think I haven’t done many stupid things in my life?” and with that she went in to visit with my mother. I felt more love than was my right as a 14 year old (cause I was a pretty big ass when I was 14…)

 My parents took care of the generations before them. Not just when they could no longer care for themselves. But they actually visited and helped when they weren’t asked. They did so because they knew that these old people were priceless. And once they were gone, they were gone. One of the best gifts my parents ever gave me was a true appreciation for my elders.

Today, I would rather sit in quiet contemplation with someone from a generation gone by than try to keep up with the gossip on who is wearing what or going where with whom and how much they made last year. I actually enjoy talking with older people. They have far more interesting things to say than younger people. I wonder exactly when we stopped valuing old people. When did we get so self involved that nursing homes became the norm? I know many times a nursing home is the best option, but many other times it is the easiest solution. When I got married, I made sure my then husband understood that we would be the ones to take care of my parents when the time came and that unless circumstances became dire, they would not go into a nursing home. And he agreed. And I did take care of my father as he died, not from old age, but from cancer. The loss I feel is both that of my father and that of a connection to a generation.

Old people have time to give. They know that the rush doesn’t matter in the end. They know that the only thing that matters is the right here and now. They understand the value of friendship, the importance of family and how to put those two ideas into practice. They know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they do not have all the answers and therein lies the wisdom. They have witnessed not only their own life but the lives of history. There is a reason that old people and young children get along so well. Neither one of them judges the other on their outward appearance. They see with their hearts.Wouldn’t it be  lovely to not to have to judge others. It is exhausting keeping up with the Joneses not to mention the Kardashians. Really takes a toll.

Elders are not disposable or to be laughed at or stuck away only to be brought out on special occasions. They are to be held, and spoken to, and learned from. When I was 16 and my grandma died, I was sad to lose her, but I was more upset that I never got to ask her the questions I didn’t even know I had. I wanted to ask her the secret to a long marriage, and to raising kids, and what she would have done differently if anything. She was 84 and even then I felt it was too soon, there was so much more I needed to learn from her. But as is the way of life, other older people have come into my life. None with the specific answers but all with a way to live that I can admire.

Old people are just way more fun. They no longer have the hang ups, they are ready and willing to be who they are, no excuses. They know how to forgive. They get what the important things in life are. It is a shame that we younger people don’t see what they have to offer as invaluable. Time runs out so quickly and then another generation is gone. What have we learned? I tell you what, we are all headed in the same direction. We are all actively dying and there is no escape from the end. And if we are very, very lucky, we will be that little old person pissing off the young person behind us as we drive to Wegmans to get ingredients to make cookies for our grandkids….but only if we are lucky.

I Was A Village People

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village people 4 I grew up in the village that my mother grew up in and her parents grew up in and her father’s parents grew up in. My mother’s mother moved to the village from another state when she was 8 months old…a fact that she was never allowed to forget. Seriously. When the village honored lifetime residents, my grandpa and his mother were honored in a big ceremony right in the middle of the village. The mayor gave them both plaques and said a few kind words. My grandma was pissed!!! I mean, she had lived there since she was a baby….but it didn’t count.She wasn’t BORN there ya see….

Growing up, I knew everyone in the village. And I was related to more than half somehow or another. I knew every “family” home in the village. There was at least one on every street. The house my grandma grew up in always got the “comment” every time we drove by. She would make my grandpa or mom (she didn’t drive, her legs were too short) slow down to a crawl so she could inspect and comment. “I like what they’ve done with the shutters” or “Why would they take out that shrub? It was a perfectly good shurb…I remember when Charlie planted it”. Mom would commiserate, grandpa would mutter under his breath “Jesus Christ Irene”…one of his all time favorite expressions.

village people I lived in a 6 block radius from my grandparents and my great grandma lived right across our back yard (in her own home…she wasn’t homeless  or anything). I used to wander over there a few times a day. She was in her 90’s and didn’t do much except sit on the porch rocking during the day or watch Lawrence Welk at night. She had a pear tree in the back yard and grandpa grew grapes for wine, and kept a garden for her. She was almost totally deaf so I had to yell to get her to hear me. I was like 7, so yelling was no big deal for me. Mostly we sat in silence unless she was telling me about who else came to visit her that day. “Frieda stopped by with some canned tomatoes.” “Mabel and Gene were here yesterday.” “Freddy Sindenfoof came over to check on me because I hadn’t opened my shades yet today.” It was nice to just sit and watch the occasional car drive by.

village people 5Between my grandparents and my parents, they had the entire village covered. Who belonged to who’s family, who were cousins, who got married, who had babies, who the babies were named after and who in the village was new. There were so many names of families…but the one name that would always send grandma through the roof was Schmitt. Grandpa would go every day to have lunch with his mother (great grandma) AFTER he had lunch with us. Yup, two lunches a day just to keep the two women in his life happy cause when they had to be together, they were not happy. And then he would go up to Schmitt’s house to sit on lawn chairs on the front porch and shoot the breeze. Schmitt was blind,but they would tinker around with small engines and whatever all else old men putter around with. It would drive my grandma wild! She would say “where are you headed to now Wig?” with that tone in her voice (I bet you can hear the tone…that we’ve-been-married-almost-50-years-tone) and he’d say “Schmitt’s” and she would say “Schmitt Schmitt Schmitt it’s always Schmitt!!!” and off he would go. And grandma would vent about how much time grandpa spent with Schmitt.

I liked Schmitt. I wasn’t allowed up to his house much. And he very rarely came down to grandma and grandpa’s. But he was a good guy as far as I could tell. Arlene, grandma’s across the street neighbor, was pretty strict about us roller skating in her driveway. And if grandma left the porch light on past 10pm, Arlene would call to remind her. She had 3 grown kids who would come by every so often. Bobby drove a huge pick up and was always loud and funny, Jimmy was much younger and kinda cute, drove a trans-am like The Dukes of Hazard, and her daughter only came around when she was in need. No one really talked about her daughter.

Uncle Norm, my grandpa’s brother and my grandpa would take bikes that kids threw out to the curb for the garbage man and rebuild them and give them away to kids who needed them. They were always souping up my bike with banana seats, and horns and baskets. I always had the coolest bike around. The neighborhood kids always brought their bikes over for Gramp to fix the chain or pump up the tire or switch out a seat. Famous Bike Repair.

The old families started dying out. Many moving to nursing homes. Not my family. Great grandma died in her home, grandpa died snow blowing Arlene’s driveway and grandma fell and broke her hip and would have died at home if given the chance. Uncle Gene lived to be 101 in his own home, then went to the hospital nursing home wing where my mother could visit every day. Aunt Jesse was the only one I knew to go to a nursing home. It was her choice.

village people 2 I had my own list of families I knew. The Mussi’s, The Kirts’s, The Michelski’s, The Bollenbacher’s, The Herrgessel’s, The Gammon’s, The Bonus’s, The Benthin’s, The Merrit’s. Those were the kids I played with. All of us village kids. Most of us 2nd if not 3rd generation village kids. The times they were a-changin…but it was still a small village. We would have parades and put on circuses, and explore the spaces in-between our houses. It was fun. But the village did begin to change.

It began to grow, they developed the parks that were the center of the village, traffic began to increase greatly as the developments beyond the village began to grow. People were now living in Syracuse but working in Radisson or Clay and went through my little village. The greyhound bus station opened about a mile away. I thought then that is the end of this little village as I knew it. And it was. Now it is me who slows down when I drive through the village. I see what they have done with my house, with my grandma’s house, my great grandma’s house, my first sunday school teacher’s house, Jane Franklin’s house (spent many a sunny Saturdays at her kitchen table with her sister Nelly who was the woman the character Blanche Deveroe from Golden Girls is based on) They were always slightly drunk on cocktails and funny as hell. I check out Tammy’s house and Becca’s house and Maria’s house and Suzie’s house.

And I say to my kids “That’s where your grandma grew up, and that’s where your great grandma grew up and that’s where your great great grandma lived.” And I know they don’t give a flying fig about any of it. They are just people in pictures and stories I tell about a time they can’t imagine.I show them Maria’s house and tell them how she was the youngest of 10 kids. I show them Lee Anne’s house, her parents were real, true hippies, I show them Tammy’s house and how she lived above a business just like I did. They don’t care much. But someday, if I stay the course, they will have their own stories about the families here in this little village where we live now.   A village my father’s family helped to found on the other side of the city. And when I would drive around with my dad, he would point out which cousin or aunt or uncle lived where. And who else of the old families lived where. So, I pass that on to my kids. I actually live 3 houses down from my second cousin. I know which house my grandma grew up in, and the 3 houses her sisters lived in. Aunt Pearl’s house is my favorite memory. I could walk through it today blindfolded if they haven’t changed the interior.

I cannot escape my family tree as long as I live here, and I don’t want to anyway. I think it is a good gift to give to my kids, to make them feel the connection between their life and the place we live. Our roots are here. And I used to hate that about my family. I wanted to be able to pack up and move. I wanted to travel when I was a child. But that is not what my family did. We did not move. We bought a home and lived in till death do us part. We lived near to our elderly family members so that we can take care of them when they need us. That is what I was raised to do.

I had Pauly and Becca and Tammy and Brookey and Leeanna…my kids have Orson, and Michael, and Rae and Logan and The Other Maeve. I had Old Rose. They have Miss Dot who is herself a great great grandma already. I had Arlene they have Mrs. Duval who will also call to tell me to turn out my lights and that she likes my flowers. For me, looking back it was a wonderful way to be a child. With all those people around who loved me. And now that pattern is repeating for my kids. Every kid my child mentions, I ask what their last name is and where they live. And they know and I generally know the parents. For me, the good outweighs the bad when it comes to living in a small village. My daughters will graduate with the same kids they went to nursery school with.

We are the Village People..so give a wave when you see me in my full head dress…it’s all good they know me around here…..village people 3

We’re going down!!!!

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life lessons are everywhere....

I’m sure you have all heard the flight attendant say “In the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask with drop from overhead. Put the mask on yourself first and THEN assist your seat mate.” And what mother doesn’t think “yeah, right.” I guess I won’t limit this to just mothers. Co-dependents would also die trying to get the mask on their seat mate first. Cause many of us think the “right” thing to do, the “proper” thing to do would be to help another before ourselves. And then we die as a saint….right? No? We screw up the other guy’s mask and he dies AND we die? Jeeze, that sounds really kinda awful….

Before I became a mother, I probably would have had no issue with putting my own mask on first.  But as soon as I popped out baby number one, my priorities changed. No way would I even think of saving myself first. How dare that flight attendant be so ignorant!! And so I began to put myself last and my kids first. That works on some levels. Until I got burned out. Not taking care of myself made me resentful and not a very good mom. And it made my kids a little entitled. That’s not a pretty picture is it?

I fought the wisdom of the flight attendant though. I tested the theory many times in many different ways. After all, putting myself first is just another way to be selfish and well, an asshole. And with kids, it is near impossible. They take up our time and attention. It is in their nature. We need to raise them. We need to protect them. We need to feed them and nurse them through illnesses and make sure their socks match and that they are having a reasonable amount of playdates and that they have a ride to and from the dance and that they are sleeping normally and that they are not surfing porn on the internet. It is a full time job! How was I supposed to put myself first? And really, the consequences couldn’t be THAT bad….

I would argue every single time I heard that direction…”put your own mask on first.” It would literally piss me off. These are my children, they are helpless. I have to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. That is what being a good mother means! I wasn’t getting the concept that I needed to be healthy and whole to be able to take care of them. It carried over to other relationships also, as did the resentment.

 I remember the last time we flew, I had the longest, most severe panic attack I have ever had. I was sitting with two of my kids next to me and my oldest a seat behind me. I had my arm flung across my middle child so that I could hold my youngest’s hand. Squeeze the hell out of my youngest’s hand I mean and I kept my eyes on my oldest. Except when the flight attendant would walk by and I would stare her down to see if I could read her mind and see if she knew something I didn’t…like if we were going to crash. I was probably the talk of the flight attendant station “watch when I walk by seat 234…she gets the crazy eyes and almost burns a hole through me…hahahaha!!!” It finally did occur to me that if something happened to the pilot, no one was going to expect me to take over and fly the plane. This was a great revelation!! It took some pressure off of me. Then I could concentrate all of my energy on keeping the plane in the air. Because obviously I was the only one taking this whole flying thing seriously.

Being a parent means being a teacher. I had to teach my kids to do for themselves. Because I wasn’t always going to be there to put their mask on. And I only have two hands. And if I can teach them to take care of themselves, then I have done my job. It’s a process. Letting go, raising kids, trusting that I have given them the skills they need to make it in life. And if I haven’t, I’ve taught them how to ask someone who does know. I’m not a helicopter mom. I’m an airplane mom. I don’t hover around my kids, doing for them what they should do for themselves. I explain to them how to put on their own mask first and then help those around them. I get it now oh wise flight attendant. I put my own mask on first and then I have the energy and ability to help all those who need me. Taking care of myself first benefits everyone else. Not taking care of myself could very well be deadly.

Now, let’s talk about the magic that keeps 187,700 pounds of steel in the air. I assume it has something to do with my awesome concentration skills and powerful positive thinking…but what do y’all do when I am not on the plane?

Can You Imagine Being Me?

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just imagine...better yet...imagine being them....

I have worked for the same small (3-7 employees) company for 15 years now. There is no health insurance offered, never has been. I have many other perks for being an employee. When I was married, and my then husband had a job with health insurance (a rare occurence) we took advantage of it. It was like being normal when we had health coverage. It was a special treat. And when we didn’t it was like being sick and poor.

Now, poor is a state of mind. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the state of my bank account. For me being poor means being spiritually bankrupt, feeling and acting on depression, treating others without regard. I have been poor many, many times in my life. I grew up in a solidly middle class home, financially speaking. But my parents generation was raised by my grandparents generation which was the generation that lived thru the depression. So, as the trickle down effect hit me, I believed that there was never enough money to survive. This was a ridiculous idea. Both of my parents were professionals, both of my grandparents had retired from thriving companies and had the benefit of Medicare. They owned their own homes and had for their entire lives. I come from the typical American Dream (ok, stop laughing! At least on paper….)

And then there’s me. I do ok. I have three kids and I am now a single parent. I am not offered insurance thru my job. I have no way to get health insurance. I cannot afford private insurance. I have used the public health insurance option on and off during my adult life. And for those of you who haven’t, please shut the hell up. Don’t speak to me of your higher taxes…cause I will be paying them also. Don’t tell me that it’s the first sign of socialism, cause I would guess that public schools and mandated car insurance were the first signs.

Please do not assume I am some welfare mom who just doesn’t FEEL like working. I have worked and paid taxes all of my life. Consistently. I have never been unemployed. I have just never been employed by a company that offers health insurance. I own my own home, I pay my taxes which are higher than most because of the area I choose to live in. So, I contribute to this country. Why shouldn’t healthcare be my right? What makes the woman who works for a factory or the guy who is a state worker or a teacher for a school district better than me? Am I less than because I cannot afford 1257 dollars a month? It is the biggest stressor in my life.

If I don’t feel well, if I find a lump, then I get to die. Oh sure, I could go to the ER and say “I don’t feel well” or “I think I found a lump in my breast” and the ER will say “Ok, follow up with your physician” and charge me 1500.00 dollars. And when I call the Dr to say ” I don’t feel well” or ” I found a lump in my breast” they say “Who is your insurance carrier?” and when I say ” I don’t have one”  they say ” Then we can’t help you” (because most Dr’s no longer accept self pay patients at all, unless you have been a patient ongoing and even then you have to pay upfront which is always between 70 and 140 dollars PLUS any tests). How come that is ok? I am a citizen, I pay my taxes, I vote, I love my kids, I work, and I can’t afford health insurance. That makes me eligible to die?

I didn’t ask for the circumstance I am in today. I did not purposely have three kids as a single mother. I am not asking to be taken care of by the government. I am saying that me, as well as hundreds of thousands of other citizens of America, who work and vote deserve health coverage. I have never said that people who cannot have children should not have them. They should just get over it and die childless. Just because I had no problem having kids does not mean that I think others who haven’t been as fertile don’t deserve to have kids. I do not subscribe to the idea of survival of the fittest. It doesn’t work in the world of the 21st century…so think up a new argument Glenn Beck.

Let’s review: I work, always have, I am not rich or even comfortable as far as money,I do own my own home, I have always paid all of my taxes, I make my life work on the income I do have, I am a single parent, If I get sick, I have no recourse, at all and if I die, there will be three children who are orphans, I did not ask for these circumstances, and I believe healthcare is a right not a privilege. And I am grateful for all that I do have. What argument can there be against ME? Because those of you who have debated this universal health care issue are simply saying that you do not believe that I deserve to live. Because you believe it will interfere with your tax status. How about Grandma? You pay for her healthcare without issue.

I am not looking for pity or a handout. I WORK, I PAY, I ALWAYS HAVE. I AM YOU minus the health coverage. And I PAY for Grandma’s health coverage…..not MY grandma, YOUR grandma. And I am fine with that. I will gladly pay an increase in my taxes, I am more than willing to pay for an affordable healthcare plan for myself and my children. But most of all, I am ready for a change. Even if this is not the perfect solution, it is on the way to being a solution. Remember Medicare Reform? Welfare Reform? Public School Reform? We have a long history of reforming our system to make it work. So get your panties out of a wad before you get hemorrhoids and have to go to the Dr…and Thank your God that you are not me.

It’s All Trash

Standard

Ok, that is just nasty...

I am what you would call a grown up, educated slob. I have a hard time keeping things clean and orderly on a daily basis. I am not as bad as some. Not like I have a mental disorder or anything (when it comes to cleaning anyway). I just have a hard time with tossing garbage. I feel like I shouldn’t. Like putting my garbage in someone else’s garbage can is an imposition. Like I am totally taking advantage of them. Ok, maybe it is a metal disorder….

When I was a kid I was supposed to keep my room clean, just like every other kid in the world. So, I learned to toss everything either in my closet or in the dirty laundry. Great solution, right? Except then, eventually, all of my clothes would either be in the dirty laundry or piled high in my closet and I had “nothing to wear”.Slob-ola. It carried over into my car. When I lived in Texas, I would get Arby’s everyday for lunch. They had the French Dip with the container of au jus….ok, that sounds really gross now….anyway, I would wrap the au jus container up in the tin foil from the sandwich and toss it in the back seat. My friends who road in the back seat LOVED it. Especially as my car had no AC and it was Texas in the middle of the summer. At one point  it was filled with miscellaneous garbage from the floor up to the seat.

I am not proud of this fact. I work hard on changing it. Today, I spend at least 3 hours a day in my car, generally with 3 or more kids and mostly around dinner time. So, food happens. And it is a process to actually collect it all up and toss it. Maybe more in my head than in reality, but still. Not too long ago my best friend got in the car and almost threw up because there was half a pizza on the floor. She cleaned out my car and tossed all of my garbage. Yes, I felt slight shame in the nastiness of my car. When I get in other people’s cars and they are clean and don’t smell, I marvel. I actually stare at the floor mats and wonder how, how can this be? And I resolve to not be a slob anymore. But I have far too many excuses…

I travel, I have kids, it’s cold, I don’t have time, I am sore, there is no trash can close by,it’s only Tuesday,I have to sort it, it is just such a hassle….I think using public garbage cans may actually be illegal. Really. When at a gas station and I am emptying my garbage in the can, I seriously believe the lady behind the counter is going to come out and yell at me or call the police because I am dumping my garbage in their can. I have no idea where this garbage phobia came from. I don’t recall ever being yelled at by anyone, ever for using their garbage can.

Although, at the car wash I used to go to a sign did go up that said I couldn’t dump my garbage unless I was getting a car wash. Maybe they put the sign there for someone else, cause I always felt so guilty that I did get a car wash every single time I went there, before I dumped my garbage.

So, I am not a slob by choice, you see. I am simply SAVING you from having more than your anticipated garbage in your can. I am actually being thoughtful. What a shame that my thoughtfulness leads to my slobiness…I wonder if I will ever grow to a point where I am unafraid of the car wash authority, or the gas station lady and just dump my trash with no remorse. Maybe. I have no issue with other people dumping their garbage in my can….that statement is true on many levels…

Ok, I’m working on it. Unless TLC comes out with a show on people with car garbage phobias and then I can be on it and make a million dollars and get a whole car make over!! Like new floor mats and some filtration system that gets rid of the sour milk smell….and a Super Car Maid who will live in my car and tell me what I am doing wrong and how to correct myself…Come on, who doesn’t want to see another reality show? And I didn’t even tell you about the car I had with the mice that lived in the heating vents…..