Friday, November 12, 2010


I can honestly say, without reservation, that I am deeply ashamed of the American government. Despite my husband's relentless search for employment for this past year, despite doing everything we were told, our unemployment benefits will end on December 14. We learned this not through the government or bureaucracy but by doing our own research and then getting "confirmation" from the unemployment office.  We were "supposed" to be entitled to 99 weeks of emergency unemployment, broken up into four tiers (yes, this is about to get as confusing as filing your income taxes.) If we exhausted our current tier (which is only tier 2, by the way) prior to November 27, we'd be automatically enrolled in tier 3. But because our current tier is exhausted after November 27, we get to finish our current tier (which expires on December 14) and then we get NOTHING. So yes, people who applied for unemployment PRIOR to my husband are entitled to months and months more benefits if their cut off date was timed correctly and folks like us who, theoretically, should have received about 40 more weeks of coverage, are finished. I am completely spent, emotionally. So we are now preparing to pack our belongings, leave our home of the past 6 years and move back to my mom's in NY through NO choice of our own. We can't really afford to do this, what's left of my pathetic savings will be exhausted on moving expenses and we will, once again, be burdens on my mother. I am stripped of any pride or dignity I possessed. I am completely broken and so ashamed that this is the country I live in - one that is more than willing to try to be the "heroes" to the rest of the world (which isn't impressed, from what I've heard, nor should it be), is more than willing to bail multi-million dollar corporations out of their financial crises but has a complete and utter disregard for its middle class, the heart of this country, the ones who have always been willing to do their fair share, if not more, only asking for the opportunity to do so. I am still a bit of a deer in the headlights as these developments have literally only come to light in the past few moments. I am beaten and broken. I am, more than I have ever been in my entire life, utterly lost.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Best Laid Plans?

So yeah, I had every intention of writing this blog on a semi-regular basis and I am not unaware of the glaring gap between my previous two entries. I would love to say that the reason I haven't been keeping up with it is because my life is so full of excitement and adventures and wonderful distractions. But of course, as you'll know if you've ever met me (and even if you haven't), that is, most definitely, not the case. I've never really been one to experience excitement and adventures. Though they sound wonderful in theory, I generally don't even miss their absence in my life. I appreciate the comfort and stability of regular everyday life. But for the past year plus, that's become increasingly difficult. I am a mess, I know this. I am 37, able-bodied, reasonably intelligent and, for lack of a better word, a complete slacker. For the past several years, there really hasn't been a good reason for me not to have a job or be out in the world doing "something", other than pure laziness. That's not entirely true, I suppose. My depression has made the simple act of getting out of bed quite the challenge at times. Still, I have been taking the easy way out for too long. Avoiding responsibility has been an ongoing theme throughout my entire life. I've let pretty much everyone around me make most of the major decisions in my life and, through years of self-analysis and the observations of others, come to realize that this is, at least in part, due to the fact that if the "wrong" decisions got made, I could blame others. This was never something I did consciously but it is still, nevertheless, true. I've always lived in fear - fear of failure, disappointment, what have you. I need to STOP doing this. But, of course, now I'm 37 years old, with NO idea of what I want to do with my life, career-wise. Even if I did, I'd have chosen a helluva time to figure this all out. Unemployment is at an astronomically high level in this country. Furthering my education, should that be my choice, is financially unfeasible. As usual, my timing sucks to high heavens. I'm just so mad at myself. I should never have let myself get into this position. However, I've wasted entirely too many years already on "would of, could of, should ofs". I need to stop making excuses and start figuring some shit out. I need to be sleeping at 1:28 am for a change. I need to shut up now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Over It

Yeah, this might sound like a huge bold statement but honestly, in this instance, not so much. Basically the "it" which I am "over" is writing all in lower-case letters. It was a phase for several years because, quite simply, I liked how it looked. However, it made me lazy and God knows I'm certainly lazy enough in 109 other aspects of my life already. So yeah, writing all in lower-case, over it. ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

and baby makes three?

eh, not so much. i had kind of thought so. oh, who am i kidding, more than kind of. however, as per usual, i was sorely disappointed. let me explain. i had a very strong feeling that i became pregnant not long after my birthday. we're about to get into borderline "tmi" territory now (aw hell, a few toes may even wander across the border) so you might want to look away. my frenemy (because really, what MAN decided to call a woman's menstrual cycle a "friend" anyway?) has been quite regular since the age of 18. when it first arrived (age 12, perhaps. i recall the experience vividly but alas, the exact timing of said arrival escapes me. but i digress.) and for the subsequent 6ish years it was very irregular. it just showed up at the damndest times. so, at age 18 (before i became sexually active but again, that is another story for another day, perhaps) i was urged by my very first gynecologist (oh goody) to take birth control to regulate my period. (there, i said it.) so, ever since, i've been pretty damn regular. so, when my frenemy did not arrive as scheduled in early june i thought, "wow! could it actually be this easy?" when it still didn't arrive a week later or the week after that i "knew" - i was with child. i started focusing more than ever on baby names (something i've thought about pretty much all my life) and when i told the hubby that i was late he started believing it too. as june rolled into july (as it is wont to do) i made a plan. i would wait until july 4th to take what would be my very first pregnancy test (never did really understand the "pass/fail" thing until that very moment). i thought that independence day would be a lovely time to confirm what i was already quite sure of and eagerly awaited what would certainly be a momentous event. so the first came and the second that proverbial mack truck, it hit me. my frenemy had arrived, late but most definitely there. i cannot really explain how it made me feel. i can't quite equate it to mourning as one can't really mourn what one never had, can one? however, it was quite devastating nonetheless. i've said it before and i'll say it again, nothing comes easily to me. why i thought this, one of the biggest potential "comings" of my life would be any different, i do not know. my uncharacteristic faith and optimism was so refreshing. i am going to try, REALLY try, to capture that elusive creature once more. however i am now back to my usual state of cautious pessimism. a dear friend told me a story which i will now share with you. (she is a reader of this blog so i hope she doesn't mind me repeating it.) she has told her son all his life that babies start out high above us, each on his or her own little angel cloud, looking down and searching for the perfect parents. when the baby finds the right ones, down he or she comes and the lucky parents find themselves with child. i am not re-telling this as magically as she told it to me but hopefully you get the idea. now this friend is not religious (nor am i but again, another story for another day) but the innocence and beauty of this story has brought great comfort to her son for many years and to her as well and now, to me. i like imagining my son or daughter floating on an angel cloud, glancing down to the earth below, examining every man and woman with a discerning eye, seeking the ones that are meant for him or her. eventually that baby will find us and float on down into our lives. i want SO much to believe it. so yeah, that's where things stand as of today. pessimism is like a warm blanket for me - it just feels so damned comfortable - but i must admit, the payoff for risking optimism could be quite fantastic. i suppose i will just have to reach out for it again sometime. maybe even today.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

goodbye, rue

one of my favorite memories of time with my father was when we would watch the golden girls together. my mom would just watch in amazement as the two of us would consistently laugh out loud at the antics of blanche and her cohorts. when my father passed away, at only 53, i was wrecked. even now, 10 years later, there is still a hole in my heart. i think that is why each time one of the fabulous golden girls passes away i feel an especially strong sense of grief. it brings up memories of my daddy all over again. but the remarkable thing is, i cry, i grieve, and then, in time, i return to the golden girls and suddenly i am transported back in time. once again, i can laugh until i cry and remember why my father and i fell in love with all of them in the first place. so, i will take comfort in knowing that sweet rue is in a better place with my father and that three golden girls are making my daddy laugh all over again. goodbye, rue. sleep with the angels.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

losing it

you know those days where you really wonder why you even bother? it would be SO nice NOT to have one, for a change. that's really a generalization, not an entirely truthful one, but when one of those days hits you, isn't it amazing how everything else, all the "not bad" days, all the successes, however small, just fade away? it never ceases to amaze me. i don't suppose this is true for everyone. hell, i'm quite certain that this is NOT true for everyone, but it certainly is for me. one step forward, two steps back, all the shitty cliches exist for a reason. i just deleted a facebook friend - not a close friend, more of an acquaintance from high school - for no reason other than the fact that she is successful. she has my dream career, my dream family, my dream home - all the things that are so elusive and so seemingly impossible for me to achieve. she has done NOTHING wrong but i just can't bear to continue witnessing her successes. it is hard enough to get out of bed in the morning. i suppose this makes me a very bitter and small person. i suppose the mere fact i am recording my pettiness for posterity shows just how truly pathetic i am. i would like to think that this action on my part is a step in the right direction. the deleting thing, no, that is just childish - but the recording thing - perhaps this will be a turning point for me. perhaps when i re-read this in the coming days, weeks, months the intense feelings of failure that i'm currently experiencing will be a distant memory. this could be a revelation. maybe this shame is the swift kick in the ass i need to turn my inaction into action - my despair into hope. stranger things have happened.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

slim goodbody, i am not

"i'm not sure if you know this, but there are two kinds of fat people: there's fat people that were born to be fat, and there's fat people that were once thin but became fat... so when you look at 'em you can sorta see that thin person inside." - john bender in "the breakfast club"

if kirstie alley can do it, so can i, right?

*deep breath*

i weigh 190 pounds. i am 36 years old, 5'7" and 190 pounds. this is NOT something i'm proud of or happy to admit but until i, we, start admitting these things, to ourselves and others, we cannot begin to erase the pain, fear and shame attached to these seemingly trivial numbers.

as a child, i was not a "normal" weight - i was thin, skinny, slim. i can still clearly recall going shopping with my mother and wearing clothes labeled "slim." of course, me being me, i was unhappy about this. "slim" wasn't "normal." in fact, normal was so normal, there was no special labeling necessary. "normal" was where it was at. what child in the 70s and early 80s wanted to be anything "different"? i sure as hell didn't. it got to the point that my childhood best friend, who was admittedly "chubby," and i were offered a challenge by her mother. if said friend lost 10 pounds and i gained 10 pounds, we would get to go to a theme park. wow, what a concept. being offered a potential REWARD for GAINING weight. sadly, we never met that challenge. that elusive prize remained so forever. sure i got to that park, eventually, with my own family but it had nothing to do with weight, which is how it should be. my point is, i was "slim" and now i'm not. there is another word i can substitute. it is a cruel word that was thrust upon me in a recent nurse practitioner's order for blood work. it is a word i hate but sadly a word i will always remember. no matter how much weight i may lose or gain in the future, i know that on this day, april 24, 2010, a medical professional considers me "obese." knock me over with a feather. i can honestly say, i NEVER thought such a word would be attributed to me. sure i knew i had gained weight over the years. i haven't seen a "slim" pair of pants since my age was in single digits but i never thought i would reach the opposite extreme. labels, in general, are hurtful, demeaning, cruel and unnecessary. i honestly could have lived the rest of my life without ever being called "obese" and believe me, it wouldn't have been a hardship. alas, there it is. i am now, at least to one observer, "obese."

i started working out a few days ago, three to be exact (including today). my workouts have consisted of wii fit and wii sports, sometimes with my husband, sometimes alone. to some, this may not mean much but to me, the girl who has NEVER (at least to my recollection) enjoyed exercise, it's a *helluva lot. the last time i exerted myself voluntarily was my senior year of college, circa 1995. i had to choose some electives my final semester and was really kind of over mental exertion, so i chose "self defense" (sadly, none of which i recall save the fact that a sharp upwards blow to the nose will incapacitate most attackers, if only temporarily) and "fitness for life" (which, despite instructor pat's best intentions, left no real impact on me except the reaffirmation that i DETEST running and will only do so voluntarily at the point of a gun.) so, here we are, 15 (audible gasp) years later and i am attempting to incorporate exercise into my life. i would love to say this is simply because i want to be healthy(ier). i would love to say that it's all internally motivated. but honestly, it's not. this is motivated by the fact that someone, a random nurse practitioner, someone i will see once more (because that's the kind of health care one gets in america when they are unemployed, uninsured and financially struggling) and hopefully never again, called me "obese." maybe someday i will be grateful. perhaps i will look her up and thank her for the kick in the ass that has gotten me off my proverbial ass. but honestly, because i am NOTHING if not honest, i doubt it.

*writer's note to self: be sure to look up google blog's policy on profanity. i am nothing if not profane.

and away we go

i am a writer. i am not published and i have NEVER earned a penny for it but despite this, i am a writer. i've never been all that good "in person." i'm shy, pessimistic, clinically depressed and have really never felt comfortable in most social situations. i get tongue-tied and have perfected the art of the "smile and nod." but, god help me, i am great with the written word. paper (or, more often than not these days, the blinking cursor on a computer screen) is a silent spectator. it never scolds or judges, never condemns. it simply allows me to express myself without limits. like a muscle approaching atrophy, writing, my dear cherished friend, has been neglected for far too long. the plain and simple fact is that writing doesn't need me; it hasn't missed me while we've become estranged but i miss it. i want it. i NEED it. so, for the sake of my own precarious sanity, we are reunited at last. i can't promise that i'll write often but i will write. if anyone else chooses to read these words, fantastic. the thought that my words, my security blanket, might make someone else laugh, cry, smile, feel, fills me with terror and excitement at the same time. but, quite frankly, this blog is for me. i need some sort of routine, regiment, a reason to wake up in the morning - this is as good a reason as any. *deep breath* so, now we begin.