The other day I got to thinking (dangerous).
I had just returned from a function where I was introduced to many new people.
The standard rules of etiquette applied: Smile, Shake hands, inquire as to…
“What do you do?”
As much as I accept the reality that this is a way to get to know someone, it’s mostly a way to size someone up.
What if I had said, “Garbage collection”?
Or, “Pole Dancer”?
Maybe, “Nothing. I don’t have a job.”
What about women who are home raising their children? Should they say “Nothing” or should they say “I’m a stay-at-home Mom.” (Like that’s the only kind?).
What if you are a Mom but you exit the house to go to a place of employment? Should you answer that question by stating where you receive a pay check? Or should you say that you work all over the God damn place? (Because you do).
What if you’re a woman in MidLife that’s no longer ‘employed’? What if you’re retired?
Do you answer, “I’m a retired blahblahblah…”?
What if you do whatever the hell you want to do?
And as long as we’re on the subject, here is a list of other ‘questions’ and ‘responses’ we need to change-up:
“How long have you been married?” Answer: “What’s the number you would be most impressed with?”
“Do you have children?” Answer:”Yes. And they’re all monsters.
“What’s it like living in New Orleans?” Answer: “Great. We’re drunk all the time.”
“Where are you from?” Answer: “I’m not sure.”
“Where did you go to school?” Answer: “What grade?”
“How did you and your husband meet?” Answer: “He picked me up in a bar. I don’t remember much past that.”
“Are your children still at home?” Answer: “Hell no. We kicked the little bastards out long ago.”
“Are your parents still alive?” Answer: “Were they ever?”
“Do you have any hobbies?” Answer: “Not a one.”
So maybe the next time I’m asked, “What do you do?” I’ll just answer…
“Whatever the hell I want to do.”
Yes- I think that’s it.
Thanks for asking.
As some of you may have realized, I’ve been absent from the blog for the past few months. My mother had a major stroke and the SHIT hit the fan-pronto, as SHIT is apt to do, because if you’re not getting enough fiber (or your scared SHITless and receiving poor council) your SHIT is likely to be unarguably runny or dense as bricks.
SHIT is an interesting ‘thing'; always a byproduct. Sometimes it’s expected and other times it just creeps up on you and you have to let ‘er blow.
Is there a plumber for that?
When babies come into the world they do three things: eat, cry and SHIT. We happily attend to their needs. But what do you do if your baby gets all grown-up and still SHITs their pants? (Because, it turns out, SHIT is also the foundation for more SHIT. I know people who live in SHIT houses with SHIT for brains. Some of them aren’t even in diapers).
Of course, there are a few places one should SHIT in if one is to consider themselves part of polite society: toilets (alone) or maybe maybe a hole in the ground if your camping and have wondered off the beaten path. There’s a lot of SHIT in holes. Holes, like SHIT, sneak up on you. Holes are often masked by pretty leaves in the most beautiful of our Parks. Keep your sniffer in good order. Breath deeply. Observe other animals. If your dog starts digging- or is frothing at the mouth- walk the other way.
SHIT is not democratic. No one gets to vote on wether to SHIT or not, or how many times a day to SHIT, or even if they can pay higher taxes to have someone else SHIT for them. Sometimes you’re just stuck with the SHIT you
I know people who love their SHIT. If it hasn’t been a SHITty day they don’t know what to do with themselves. They bathe in it. They court it. They make love to it. They even use it as an excuse to SHIT on everyone else. SHIT loves company. SHIT will love you if you let it.
SHIT can be well-formed (even familiar) and make no sound and tell you everything you want to hear as it plugs your plumbing, but your plumbing will be plugged no less.
SHIT can be difficult to evacuate and need a push and make you wish you had pushed harder, sooner.
SHIT can misinform your wellbeing. People who SHIT explosively often find a certain sense of power from filling the crapper because they haven’t filled anything else nearly as expertly.
There are even SHIT artists– you know, the kind that travel the classic ‘three miles of bad road’ because they only know one way from Point A to Point B, and that stretch of asphalt is off the counties list of ‘Roads Worth Repairing’ but they didn’t get the memo? They paint with their SHIT and then try to convince you it’s revolutionary and you should appreciate it. They put a very high price on their SHIT, but it is, in fact, their only resource, and will be lucky to sell even one.
SHIT happens, it just a matter of degree- it’s just a matter of fluid intake and reason and fiber and steadfastness.
We’ve all heard the diddy, “Don’t SHIT where you eat’.
Sadly, sometimes, people go crazbo in the kitch cookin’ up’ SHIT pancakes serving them with sweet sauce to mask the flavor.
But it’s still SHIT and they still have to lay in it.
I’ll order out.
Be careful where you SHIT.
Recently I was asked to participate in an initiative to spread Compassion, which is roundly defined as: A sympathetic response to the concerns of others that motivates a desire to help.
I can think of a hell of a lot of other things that get spread around on a daily basis that have the opposite effect, so I agreed.
#1000speak of bloggers, from around the world are participating on February 20.
I am honored to be among them…
Compassion would seem, on the surface, to be an easily enough emotion to conjure.
A child sees a wounded bird and wants to fix it’s wing.
A teenager consoles a friend who’s parents are divorcing.
A young adult provides a quiet ear for the broken heart of a peer.
A mother and father provide a safe place for their children to mend against the bruises of life.
The adult child of an aging parent must authorize Do Not Resuscitate medical orders.
Ummmmm. Not so much.
Not so Natural.
A situation that requires on odd response to Compassion, to committing to doing exactly what seems the opposite of ‘help’- Giving permission, orders even, to not go to extraordinary measures to save a loved ones life if the resulting ‘quality’ of life will be massively diminished.
And yet, there it is- the discussion between parent and child, the agreement, the commitment to signing directives that will allow your parent to die, when siblings are less sure, and grandchildren, with space ahead of them, don’t understand the finality of anything, when it is entirely possible that their life could be saved, but at what cost? What quality?
This is a kind of Compassion too.
Least you think I do not possess an opinion, I give you…
Some of my pet peeves:
Being ‘late’. I have a girlfriend who couldn’t be on time if her tits were on fire.
Coming up with an idea in a ‘volunteer’ situation and then pawning it’s execution off on others. Maybe that works at church but we are a long way from martyrdom in my Kingdom.
Showing-up at the last minute and making changes to the game plan. Ben used to come home from a week out of town and tell me how he wanted the kids disciplined. What a comedian.
Asking for assistance and not being prepared. Tyler recently asked me for a lift to his abandoned car, and forgot the keys. Yesterday, he asked me for a lift to go see another car he was thinking of purchasing, and forgot the plates off of the car that he had forgotten the keys to. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Making everything about ‘you’. Like the people at a flight gate that berate the airline associate at the counter for a plane delay because it affords them the opportunity to affirm their belief that the world revolves around them, and only them. Bathing in the ‘oneness’ of personal persecution can be so affirming. I agree. You are an ass.
Small-minded neighbors. Last year I wanted to construct a glass greenhouse on our property. Our neighbors said ‘no’. They thought it would interfere with their view (Of the side of another neighbor’s house?). Recently they asked for my permission to enlarge their second floor deck. Pay backs are a bitch. My bitch wants a greenhouse.
Being schooled in the error of my ways- period, but especially from strangers because I didn’t know that cigarettes are bad for you. I need to be reminded, so that’s why I’m lighting up another okay?
And in closing…
Using the word ‘Correct’ after being asked for an opinion. Really?
Like I need your affirmation.
Once upon a time (1978) in a sleepy little fiefdom (Kent) in the land of Ohio, lived a fair maiden (me) who toiled at mastering her craft (Graphic Design) amongst the jolly boys (gays) and evil sheriffs (nasty gay professors) who attempted to thwart her every contribution (portfolio reviews) and banish her from their castle (department).
They (two professors in particular) felt their domain was not a place for a GIRL. I kid you not.
The maiden, however, felt differently, and went and won a national art contest in spite of them.
‘So THERE, ya big assholes’, could be heard around the world.
is looking for
in it’s annual competition for
Guest Editorships in NYC.
Yes, she was chosen as one of 14 (out of thousands) to come hither out of the bailiwick of mediocrity and receive senior year credit as a contributor to the (then) modern-day bible of fashion, not as a copy editor, not as the fiction & poetry editor, not as the career editor, no no nooooooo…but as the associate FASHION editor- in a FASHION magazine.
Score one for the girls.
When the evil sheriffs received the news they were s-t-u-n-n-e-d.
‘What have you done? And how could you do this without our help?’, they spit through thousands of dollars of orthodontic intervention and faces that reddened under a tub of bronzer.
‘Help? What help? Ever?’, was her reply, as she ran a perfectly manicured red lacquered fingernail over the certified Congratulations letter.
‘This can’t be possible’.
‘Oh, it’s w-a-y past possible. It’s done. And the University President is just thrilled, though a bit confused as to why your department hasn’t signed-off on my portfolio yet when Conde Naste Publishing has such confidence in my work. ‘Ya may have to do that soon’.
So off she went in her carriage (airplane) to live in a castle (apartment in the Barbizon Hotel), eat Big Apples (Le Cirque), scale the towers of Gotham (Madison Ave.), dance the night away (Studio 54), make a few new friends (Perry Ellis), and even do a little work, all with her magic bag (black velvet) under her wing (vintage Chanel coat) and the wind at her back- for exactly two months- before the fairy dust cleared and she realized that all of the things she had been reading, and believing in, and charting her course by between the pages of a ‘glossy’ were just made-up, willy-nilly, around a big table by a slew of unhappy poorly paid people that had access to really good tickets but couldn’t pay the rent.
It was time to go home.
Sometimes you just have to write your own ending.
Modeling in the September 1979 issue of Mademoiselle Magazine.
My Before & After published in August 1979 Mademoiselle Magazine.