Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank You

I could get all philosophical today.  I could delve deeply into the reasons why I am NOT thankful this particular Thanksgiving day.  I could gush endlessly about the things that I AM thankful for.  But for once, I'm going to keep it simple.

Despite all the obstacles life throws in your way, despite the seemingly insurmountable hardships you may face, despite all the advantages or disadvantages you were born with, have acquired or lost or have yet to discover, you cannot control where you began but you can absolutely shape where you're going and where you will end.  I thank you for taking the time to read this, for allowing me to share a small piece of my heart and soul with you and for continuing to return to this place.  People matter above all else and for you, I am truly thankful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

When the World is Running Down

This post was originally written as a tweet but because I wanted it to include fb peeps as well, I'm copying and pasting it here.

Vent time! I know, you couldn't be more thrilled, right? Shaddup! If you follow my angsty ass, you should be used to this by now. Anywho, I just have to say that I have made so many meaningful connections through social media. I'm a facebooker from WAY back but still relatively new to twitter (as in, I've had one for years but never tweeted all that much prior to the past few months). Like all of you, I've encountered my share of trolls, most of whom are now, once again, safely esconsed 'neath their respective bridges (as far as I know. I generally block their asses.).  But the vast majority of souls I've encountered in this crazy electronic metropolis are genuine folks, intelligent, respectful, funny and, my favorite, snark-laden. Though I should be used to this by now, it is still a surprise each and every time I make a new fb or twitter friend.  To some extent, the internet is the great equalizer. You can meet someone, many times having no idea what they look like or where they come from, their financial status, their worst subject in high school, etc., with a completely clean slate. You can share what you want, when you want and with whom you want (or, in my case, overshare) with little fear of judgment or condemnation. Sure, for some, this is an excuse to reinvent oneself with completely bullshit personas but I suspect, for the vast majority, it is a place to reveal one's true self, warts and all, in a relatively "safe" place.  Which brings me to my main point.

Over the past few days, twitter and social media as a whole has been bombarded with the news of the demise of Hostess.  Yes, it sucks, no more Twinkies, but on a larger scale, it also means the loss of 18,500 jobs, including my husband's.  We have done the living on unemployment thing, for two miserable years, and I still cannot believe we are faced with it again. But seeing all the snide, nasty comments, the often uninformed opinions about what Hostess employees, unions, etc. "woulda, coulda, shoulda" done, with no regard for the REAL, non-union Hostess employees who's jobs were eliminated by decisions they had NO part in making, burns my ass to the extreme.  But, again, I'm getting off track.

To those of you who have been SO supportive of me, both during these past few trying days, and before, I thank you with my whole heart. Members of my own family, who I know have read my fb posts about this situation, have chosen to ignore me and many continue to make mean-spirited and heartless jokes.  This is not unusual for my family, who for generations have turned a blind eye to family situations occurring outside of their own four walls, but fuck if it doesn't still hurt like hell.  This is why I am so grateful to my "online" friends (I hate that term, a friend is a friend is a friend, but many of you I do have yet to meet "offline") for providing listening ears, wise counsel, FUNNY jokes, uplifting photos and just plain love and support at a time when I need it so badly. I love each and every one of you and am so very grateful for your kindness.  You are cherished, you are special and you...are...irreplaceable.

Friday, November 16, 2012


At the suggestion of my brilliant friend, Sandy, I have chosen to blog for you, today.  Woo to the hoo, right?

I'm going to cut to the chase.  My husband was laid off today and I am NOT fucking happy about it.  If you're a frequent (or even occasional) reader of this blog, you may be acquainted with our tumultuous past three years. If not, here's a brief recap - in September 2009, right after his 41st birthday, my hubby was laid off.  We spent the next insanely difficult and trying years living on his unemployment, my meager savings, and food stamps.  Quelle fun, I can assure you. Then, in October 2011, just when we were at our wit's end and certain that we would have to return to NY and my mother's house, tails between our legs, he got a Hostess.  For one full year (plus an extra week or two), two college-educated, bright (albeit bi-polar: him, and clinically depressed: me) individuals were "gainfully employed".  Well, that's not entirely true, HE was gainfully employed, I remained, as I do at this very moment, a useless lump on the couch, biding her time, somehow making it through each day without downing a bottle of sleeping pills.  That is, until today.  Today, we woke up to discover that his company of employment, which has been struggling financially for months, was kaput, no more, a done fucking deal.  Which leads me to this conclusion: good things do NOT happen to good people, they happen to lucky people, fortuitous folks, the ones that the hand of fate has chosen to bestow happiness upon.

I know, things could be far worse.  We are, as far as I know, physically healthy.  We, as of this moment, have a roof over our heads.  We have each other.  But you know what?  Right now, at this very second, that is not enough.  I want my husband to be gainfully employed.  Hell, I want myself to be gainfully employed.  I want to continue to have the health insurance that we so desperately need in order for me to be able to get the therapy that I've been SCREAMING for for more than a decade.  I want a break...not for a year...but for enough time that we, two good souls, can truly pay it forward.  But, alas, how can one pay it forward when they cannot even afford to pay for themselves?

Please note, I am slightly inebriated as I write this.  At this moment, I am safe in my apartment, my husband nearby, unable to harm myself but nevertheless, I am slightly drunk.  If there is ever an appropriate time for such a state, I suspect now is it.

Not sure what the point of this is except to say that to everyone posting things on facebook and twitter about "woe is me, no more twinkies", I suggest you get your heads out of your proverbial asses and realize that the end of Hostess means that 18,500 people, including my husband, are now out of work, less than a week before Thanksgiving.  I suppose unless one has been faced with the trauma of unemployment, one may not know just how devastating, in every sense of the word, this is.  Sadly, it is a situation we are all too familiar with and one I would not wish upon anyone.  Take a moment to reflect on all you have.  Even if it doesn't seem like much, it may be more than your neighbor has, or the lady you pass at the grocery store, ashamed to pay with her EBT card, or the person who unintentionally cuts you off on the highway.  Be thankful for everything you have, however little it may be.  I am.