Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"...and all your hammy glory!"

If you open the dictionary, one of those hip type dictionaries that add crap like "refudiate", and look up "Attention Whore" you don't find any words. You find this:

I used to kind of like Donald Trump. Oh, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have voted for him if he were running for recording secretary of the PTA. And he has the 2nd worse taste of anyone I know. I once saw an episode of "The Apprentice" in which he brought the winning team to his home for dinner. I never saw so much gold leaf in my life.  Tacky, really tacky.  Although I know someone who thinks the combination of lime green, orange and turquoise blue is the classiest thing she ever saw. Oh, and there's that acquaintance who spent so much time and money painting her interior a dusty purple and a eucalyptus green. She did this on alternating walls of the same rooms, so the place resembled a very large bruise.

Okay, so Trumps taste is the 3rd worst I know. Maybe.

Anyway, here's what I think. They guy made a lot of money. He GOT a lot of money and he made it more and then he went bankrupt and then he made a lot more money and he's got very likeable kids who went to Wharton and seem to be rational. Yeah, I sometimes watch "The Apprentice." I don't LIKE the guy but I don't really object to him like I object to, oh, say Dick Cheney.

It doesn't take a brain trust to notice though, that every time the spotlight shifts to someone, or something else, Donald Trump starts looking like the above picture (which is public domain, least according to Google) and screaming that the President isn't a citizen. This is bullshit, btw. The guy has been in office for FOUR years...and that's just the office he has now.  Considering how hated this man is, doesn't Trump think that, if there was a way to disqualify him from holding office they would have done it by now?

Apparently not.

Trump has decided that the long form birth certificate, which Obama released a year ago because Trump wouldn't shut the hell up, is a forgery because the State of Hawaii has nothing better to do than forge people's birth certificates. Personally, I was hoping that Obama would personally bring the document to Trump, neatly folded five times to make it easier to deliver.

This was because Trump said that the abstract was proof that the certificate didn't exist because if it was real, Hawaii would have issued the long form. This makes me question why, every time I need to replace a lost birth certificate for one of my kids, the State of California asks for about 20 bucks and gives me an abstract, not a "long form." They don't issue long forms, they issue abstracts. But Trump says that's not how it works, which has me wondering why I don't remember being in Kenya when my kids were born, this being the only possible explanation for my possession of the shorter (and cheaper) abstract. Those drugs must have been better than I remember.

So yesterday Wolf Blitzer did six rounds with Trump, apparently Blitzer thought he could do what no man has done before - make Trump think rationally. Trump, from what I can see, now thinks that back in 1961 baby Barack made known his socialist wishes to be President and make young Donald Trump pay taxes. Five day old Barack managed to hatch a conspiracy with his Kenyan grandmother by which Obama's family placed TWO birth notices in two different Hawaiian newspapers, delivered, I guess, by carrier pigeon. 

When my kids were born there were announcements in the newspapers too. I didn't place them, the hubster didn't place them and none of my non-existent African relatives placed them. The newspaper gets a list from the local hospitals and prints it. Trump is way to busy finding more stuff to gold plate to know that. He is absolutely, positively, 100% sure that parents place these announcements personally. Not only that, it's common knowledge that parents of foreign born children do this in order to guarantee those children citizenship because, as we all know, anyone can legally enter the United States, live a public life and serve in a high profile government job without being caught and deported because someone put their name in a newspaper somewhere. Happens every day.

The press is all over Trump, btw, he makes for good copy. Okay, he makes for readers and watchers. This is the air that Trump breathes - hasn't anyone noticed that he's always fairly quiet while "Celebrity Apprentice" is running and this shit always hits the fan after the live finale?  And why doesn't the press ask him the question that's sitting there like an elephant..."Did you ask to see John McCain and Sarah Palin's birth certificates?" McCain, after all, was born in the Panama Canal Zone, Sarah Palin in LaLa land. Why didn't Trump give a rat's ass about THAT?

Why IS it that Trump and the other six birthers left in the country (all of them in Arizona, I think) only want to see the black guy's proof of natural born citizenship?

And just WHY is it that every "birther" starts every freaking declarative sentence with "I'm not a "birther" but..."   Come on, but upfront about it, we all know "birther" is a euphamism for "bigot" and I'd probably have more respect for those who at least owned UP to it. Not much, but more. Just say you're afraid the black guy is, at any minute, going to don colorful robes and a dramatic headdress, hold one of the girls up in the air while we all gather round and sing "The Circle of Life,"  make you eat chick peas and yams and be done with it.

I also don't know why Obama wants to even BE on the ballot in Arizona, he's not going to win the state and its 11 electoral votes and no one gives a shit about Arizona anyway, it's the Australia of the U.S. It's a lot like a penal colony and every crackpot who's ever believed Rush Limbaugh owns property there. The place is run by Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio, who the hell wants to be on THAT ballot?

Want to know what to do about Donald Trump? DON'T COVER HIM.  The guy can't live without a spotlight. Every time Wolf Blitzer tries to reason with him Trump flourishes even more. Don't send cameras. Don't send reporters. If you're stuck at a Romney fundraiser (like he needs to raise funds) and Trump is there, edit him out of the pictures, jeez, even I can use Photoshop. Four weeks without publicity and Trump's head will explode. With luck - in Arizona.

Can't wait to see what the comb over looks like after THAT.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Taking care of business

Yesterday, for Memorial Day, we made the slightly over an hour long trek to Riverside National Cemetery or Memorial Park or National Park and Public Restroom or whatever the hell they call it now to make it seem like there really aren't a lot of deceased people residing there.

It's actually a rather cool and interesting place. Very pretty. Lakes, fountains, and this fascinating area with the names of every Congressional Medal of Honor winner ever on the walls and a sort of pool in the middle and lots of pretty marble. It's fascinating, you should look it up on line.

I don't know if it's supposed to look like an oasis in the middle of the god forsaken inland empire but it does. They also do a LOT out there on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, programs, bands, things like that.  We went yesterday for several reasons. A) I still had a full tank of gas. B) There are upwards of 7000 motorcyclists who ride from a Harley Davidson store in Riverside to the cemetery on Memorial Day and the hubster was a bit askance at the thought of sharing a Memorial Day visit to his father who resides at Riverside with 7000 men and women on hogs. I don't care so much about the choppers as the noise I imagine 7000 of them make. There must be a reason they call this "West Coast Thunder" and C) it's supposed to be hot today. Hot here is dreadful, hot in the inland empire defies description.

The last time we visited, my FILs headstone had been set but the area he was in was still a dirt plot. I railed about the stone, it was plain (of course), but contained nothing about the man. Now, granted, there's a lot better left unsaid, but, well, frankly, I think that, if one is going the extra mile to actually inter someone (as opposed to dropping the ashes off the side of a party boat) one might actually say something like "put a cross on it" or "it should say "Joe Blow, Beloved husband and father" or something like that. It doesn't HAVE to require a lot of thought, even a little makes it less utilitarian.

Well, a) the sod is in. The area has been filled and is now grass, which looks nice. I could opine at the rather disturbing and methodical rate at which Veteran's cemeteries fill up, at least this one, but if you don't know that my telling you won't change anything. But...the marker has been replaced with a more personalized one.

Rule #1. If you're going to actually ORDER a marker, make sure it has the right name on it. Granted, the error was minor, but it changed his middle name. If ones name is John, for example, make sure John's headstone doesn't say "Juan".  It's just common courtesy for Crissake!  This is something my mother taught me, btw. She didn't teach me much, but what she did has been invaluable. I watched her bury a few people. She would visit the cemetery frequently afterwards, some of it part of the grieving process but some of it was the acknowledgement that cemeteries are a business and, as such, one needs to make sure that the business you have entered in to with them is done correctly. Sod was checked, maintenance was checked and, when set, the headstone was checked. Let's face've PAID for this, and it's up to YOU to make sure it's been done the way you wanted it. The person you buried or interred or entombed sure can't do anything about it (yes, I used to work for a cemetery, I know all the proper terms, like "entombed").  Gird your loins, fill your tank and make sure it's RIGHT.

Rule #2. NEVER write "He was never better" on a grave marker.

I really shouldn't have to tell you that. I suppose, if these people could stand me, I could have told them that, but, as they're way to too good to speak to people like me that's not gonna happen. Aw, hell, even if they DID speak me me with any kindness or courtesy they wouldn't have paid attention anyway. My MIL and SIL think they're fucking Hemingway. That's being used as an adjective, btw, NOT a verb. Although, in my SILs case, maybe not, she has always been friendly in her own way.

Apparently, my FIL was known for answering "Never better" when asked how he was. Neither the hubster nor myself remember this, although perhaps, we never said "how are you?" and just said "Hi", it's hard to remember. I have no problems with some sort of catch phrase or another on a headstone, I've actually seen more than one that said "I told you I was sick." My own mother's says "Beloved mother and Granmere" because that's what my kids called her. No, not the "beloved mother" part, even I didn't call her that but it seemed better than putting "crazy bitch" on it. Not that I didn't love her, I did, but she was nuts. Personally, I have already requested that, under the usual hearts and flowers on MY marker, it say "Yahtzee!" but I digress...

If you're going to write "never better" as some sort of tribute, or memory, for GOD'S SAKE...put in in quotes. It's a phrase, not a declarative sentence.

I take no issue with the second half, although frankly, I think my MIL (and yes, this has her fingerprints all over it) was simply finding a way to fill in all the space. He did touch a lot of lives. Not all of them for the better (just ask his sisters), but it's a sentiment and I'm fine with that.  I doubt anyone touches EVERY life they cross for the better but that's for another day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 you want to know a secret?

The cliche in marriage, one of the many, is that men complain that women nag.

I never really thought much about this, it's something that's been around for, probably centuries, I know Dagwood complained that Blondie nagged him. Nia Vardalos made a joke about wifely nagging in "My Big, Fat Greek Wedding" but then Nia Vardalos isn't exactly the most original of writers. But it makes my point.

My husband thinks I nag him. My husband thinks that every single thing I do, 24/7 is directed at him anyway. I am not allowed to have any emotions negative OR positive when he's around, because he has, for the last 30 years, been convinced that if I'm frustrated because I got shortchanged at the market I am NOT really mad at the market, I am "yelling at him." Because there's not ONE action I indulge in, including breathing, that doesn't revolve around HIM.

I'm not gonna lie, as the years have gone 'round and 'round I have become more and more miserable, more and more unhappy and it's all gone to my hips because eating is about the only thing I can do that he DOESN'T think revolves around HIM. I am a person of emotion, happy, sad, sometimes frustrated, sometimes angry. Sometimes I grieve. Sometimes I panic. The hubster thinks that each and every one of these is because of HIM, any sound, any movement revolves around him and thus offends him and gives him the right to tell me to stop being happy, or sad, or angry, or frustrated or scared because I'm happy, sad, angry or frustrated at HIM and it's harshing his zen. The other day we were telling my son about something we had seen, we were together at the time and, as the hubster was going on, I interjected something. He stopped speaking and glared at me in stony silence. One doesn't DARE add to the sacred storey teller. He's done this for YEARS, btw, he's done it in public, he did it on Easter Sunday when we were talking with my parents at the breakfast table. When the hubster has the floor, which is 100% of the time, one must NEVER attempt to join in. It's HIS floor. IF the conversation HAPPENS to wander off to something he wasn't present for, like, oh, say, ME, he then stops speaking and stares out into space, thus prompting my father to attempt to bring him back into the conversation and, when the ultimate argument ensues after my parents have left, the hubster will claim that he has nothing to offer because we weren't talking about HIM. I have spent 30 years pointing out that this is rude and 30 years pointing out that I have spent 30 years listening to HIS family's same old boring travel stories and asking questions and laughing at the same out freaking story about them squirting whipped cream at each other around the pool because if I stared out into space in sheer, agonized boredom he would mop the floor up with me, not to mention the same, tired old "you hate, loathe and despise my family" comment he's used for the last 30 years too. We differ on the rude thing too. His mother, who had many  wonderful qualities along with a few iffy ones, raised her four children with table manners. His father felt the same way. There's not one of them who doesn't eat with their left hands placed lovingly in their laps. They don't put their elbows on the table. That, however, is what their parents defined as good manners. They all interrupt when others are speaking. None of them think before they speak, they all manipulate, they lie and not one of them knows how to pronounce "I'm sorry." And they ALL are convinced they have good manners because they use the correct fork for their salad.

But I digress.

Back to the nagging:. I realized last night that the reason men think they're being nagged is because none of them LISTEN.  On Monday, I gave the hubster TWO and only TWO things that he needed to do this week. To this end I actually set out the requirements to accomplish one of the tasks. He needed to put a padlock on a storage door. I left the padlock with the key on the end table. And he needed to go to the bank and get some information. That's it. TWO things.

The padlock still sits on the end table and he went to the bank, took some money out of the ATM and came home.

Last night I pointed this out and he says I never told him any of this and I'm just a horrible human being who spends every waking minute figuring out ways to make HIM miserable. Seriously? Does he really think I spend every waking minute thinking about HIM? I can't even comprehend an ego like that.

The other night I borrowed his ATM card, because, well, quite frankly, I there's wasn't any money in left in MY bank. This paycheck to paycheck thing sucks. Anyway, when I got back from the store I said "Here's the card back," waved it at him and set it down on the end table. Next to the padlock. Last night, I asked him for the card. He had no idea where it was. I said "I left it right here on the end table, where the cat is now sleeping. Did you pick it up?" His response was to get my older son out of bed and ask him for the card. My son said "it's on the end table."  Well, THAT deteriorated rapidly and, right before I left I said "The cat probably knocked it off, I'll check the floor when I get back" and got a 90 second tirade on how I'm just a horrible, miserable person who, apparently, gave him his card back in a deliberate attempt to spew hatred and bile. When I got back, I checked the brown carpet around the table for the brown card and, well DAMN! There is was, right where the cat must have knocked it off. THAT news was met with "oh, did you say something?"

And WHY did we go thought this? BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LISTEN!   Why am I nagging him to death? Because I have to keep asking him to do the two errands and every time I ask him if they're done he says crap like "what padlock?" and "you never said I was supposed to go to the bank, you said YOU were going to do it."

Now, I have had a somewhat emotionally disturbing month. In the big picture, there's nothing that couldn't be worse. But, well, sometimes it gets to me. While I know it's not as bad as it might be and I'm grateful my problems aren't any bigger, it still has made me very, very sad about something, some plans I had have gone all awry, I couldn't get the answers I needed to make a decision, I made the wrong one and it resulted in my losing something I wanted very much. Not to mention the neighbor and my fat ass. Well, last night I came home from work, looked at the hubster stretched out on the love seat and walked directly to the kitchen to make the King's supper. I then ate dinner, put the dishes to soak and went to the bedroom where I watched "Jane Eyre" and saw no need to turn the light on.

The hubster has NO clue why I did this and has decided it's because I enjoy being mean to him. Why? Because when I told him what was going on, which MIGHT explain why I'm somewhat depressed, .HE DIDN'T LISTEN.  Not only that, he can not wrap his head around the fact that maybe, just MAYBE, I'm reacting to something that DOESN'T REVOLVE AROUND HIM.


And yes, that word means what I think it means.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day...

Yeah, I said it. Happy Mother's Day. I avoided adding the popular clarifier from the 90s...NOT! Instead, I made up the work "clarifier." Think that dictionary that put that stupid made up word of Sarah Palin in it's latest edition is going to pick up "clarified"? Yeah, think again. At least I MEAN something, I know what I made up and why, I didn't say "refudiate" because I'm too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time,

So yeah, Mother's Day. Here. Again. Somewhere here is yet another 1/4 pound box of See's Molasses Chips. Every freaking Mother's Day, Birthday, Christmas and Arbor Day, there they are. Now, it's not that I don't LIKE See's Molasses Chips, I DO. Very much. It's the decided lack of imagination involved. Know how I know they're here, somewhere, btw? Because the hubster and older son weren't home yesterday when I got back from taking my younger son to work and stopping at two different stores to get the best buys on stuff I needed for dinner because the hubster requested gnocchi with pancetta and asparagus, which was okay because I HAD the asparagus and I did offer that as on option. Well, they weren't home, fine, no big. Except that, as we're running on the razor's edge of overdrawn this week (rent due) I checked the bank account to see where we stood after I had spent 20 bucks and saw the charge from See's Candies.


I cut my calorie intake to 1400 after that lame ass neighbor accosted me for being a fat ass on a public street and they buy CANDY? 

However, I have to say how much I LOVE the candy because it's the thought that counts. Not that they put any thought INTO it, but, as a mother, one has to do stuff like this.

Know what I want for Mother's Day?   TREAT ME NICE. That's all, that'll do just fine. I remember, many, many years ago, when the boys were no more than 6. I was spending a lot of time with my mother, who had a condo in San Diego. Well, we went down there for Mother's Day week-end with her. I was out in back, by the car early that Sunday afternoon, not sure why, maybe getting ready to leave for home or run an errand for my mom or something. Well, a young man who lived in the building next door called over to me "I just wanted to wish you a very happy Mother's Day!"

That was SO AWESOME! They guy took a scarce 2 seconds out of his day to say something nice to the woman he saw wrangling little boys off and on. Damn...I never forgot him. The hubster has spent the last 23 years announcing "You're not MY mother." Well, I wasn't THAT guys mother either. However, his mother raised him right.

So anyway, here we are. Again. I've had a lousy week and it's finally over. A word to the year? DON'T buy me candy. Be nice to me instead. Give me ONE freaking day when you don't argue with each other. Put your dinner on a plate instead of piling the entree in a soup bowl and horking it down. Tell me it was terrific, even if it was just okay, don't give me a dismissive "fine" when I ask if you liked it. Take more that 50 seconds to eat it...try TASTING it for once -- it was GOOD last night.

Clean the toilet for me. Change the roach traps instead of me. Take a walk to the local mini mart and pick up some cat food instead of looking at me at 11pm and saying "we're out of cat food" as you're on your way to bed. Let me sit in the damn love seat for a change instead of flopping down on it at noon and staying there until bedtime. Stop blaming ME for the broken side mirror on the car...the one that I came out of a market and found broken THREE years ago.  I DIDN'T BREAK IT!

When you see me going through papers looking for something and ask what I'm looking for and I say "my ticket" stop asking "What ticket?" You've been asking that for the last four days, IT'S THE SAME DAMN TICKET!

Switch to an Internet provider that actually gives Internet. you think I can't figure out why you keep your laptop 18 inches from the wireless router? Do a load of laundry. Pick up your shoes.  When the dishes are all done and put away don't make a peanut butter sandwich and throw the knife in the sink for ME to tend to...wash the damn thing yourself! Just ONCE I would like to get up in the morning and not find your drinking glass full of dried milk sitting on the floor next to your chair.
Ride along with me while I go to Santa Barbara and pretend you like it. Remember my favorite color is yellow. This stuff is all FREE, guys. 

In short...give me ONE day when you don't annoy me. That's what you get to do on Father's Day. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Someone...please save me from my neighbor.

We live in the front of an older, run down building in the urban village. I've often thought that I would like to move, preferably to a place where, when the heater goes out it gets fixed instead of getting a cheery "well, lucky it hasn't been a cold winter" from the landlord, which is his subtle way of saying "yeah, so what?"

There are two buildings that mirror one another with a smallish courtyard between the two. We have little patches of lawn and some lawn chairs and sometimes people wheel their grills outside and cook when it gets hot. In theory it's a nice place. The street is full of such buildings, duplexes, triplexes and such, all built in the 40s and 50s, with big, airy rooms. There aren't any security codes, no glass doors which require one to be buzzed in.

I kind of long for a glass door with a security code sometimes. Those places are newer, the windows work, they have dishwashers. But then I think, okay, when my father stops by he won't remember the security code and if he punches the buzzer and whoever happens to be  home also  happens to be in the can, well, he'll just leave and that wound make me sad.

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when a very large tree across the street finally gave way with a crack that sounded like a canon shot. It was raining and there we all were, hanging out our windows to see what the HELL had just happened.  I called the City who transferred me to the police department who showed up about 5 minutes later and, having ascertained that the tree was blocking the sidewalk, called the City Arborist. Yes, we have an arborist here in the urban village. The tree was cut up enough to clear the sidewalk, the owner of the building tried to get them to remove the entire thing for free and, an hour later, it was all over.  About an hour after that I wandered over to look at the damage...the tree had snapped right off it's roots, which remained in the lawn. There was a small group of us over there, chatting and wondering how long it would take the owner to remove the tree, or what was left of it.

This kind of thing occurs in neighborhoods, not in large condos, no matter how new and clean they are. So it's a trade off, definitely.

Well, the other day I was on my way home for lunch, carrying a full basket of organic produce. My neighbor, one I know only as the owner of the cute white dog threw herself in front of me and announced "I want to help you."

Uh, help me what?

"I'm going to take you out and teach you exercises and fix you."

DANDY.   Lady doesn't even know my name. I don't know hers. I do know her dog's name though, maybe that counts for something. So, after 15 minutes of heartfelt "I'm going to fix you" and I'm standing there going "uh huh" and juggling the basket of wilting greens I finally extricated myself from her tearful entreaties and beat it home.

Is it me, or was that seriously over the line? Sure, I'm out of shape, I KNOW that. I need to lose about 80 pounds, does she think I haven't NOTICED? Not only that, I have no CLUE who the hell she IS! Well, she sent me into a bona fide funk that's taken over a month to get rid of. My son and a bottle of Captain Morgan helped.

I have NO idea what was in her head. I doubt her intentions were malicious but come ON. I doubt she has any clue what kind of damage she did to me with that, my casual relationship with the neighborhood hasn't been the same. I think she got the message that I do NOT want to spend my week-ends exercising with her, it's not the exercise,'s the company. Not only that but the fact that I have stuff I need to DO on the week-ends, I'm glad she's able to afford that nice 2 bedroom in the back for herself and her dog on her dog and people trainers salary but I have a job I have to go to and, frankly, it's not especially rewarding which is why this woman's casual 15 minute plea during my lunch hour served to add to my resentment.

Well, now I'm finding that, when I come home for lunch, the courtyard between the buildings is not closed off with some sort of temporary gates so she can train her dog off leash. Because, apparently, she's the only person who comes and goes during the day. This would be less annoying if every one's front door didn't open off of the courtyard. I have a back door and am able to go around, but it's annoying nonetheless. It means I have to go in my kitchen and that depresses me, the last thing I need is to see how many dishes I didn't wash last night.

After three incidents, she cornered me this morning. I was on my way home to grab my car and do a work errand, I did NOT have time to stop and chat. Well, she accosted me about the gate, if I didn't like it she would not use it. "Frankly, I don't really care" I told her. It's a lie, I sort of DO care, but then, in my mind it's just another nail in her coffin, another indicator that she doesn't stop to think about anything but what she wants.  To her, I'm sure it's just another sincere effort at being nice. I didn't slow and she continued to walk with me until I got in my car door and put my keys in the ignition.

I stopped short of telling her to just leave me the HELL alone. I would like to but we didn't do stuff like that when I was growing up and I have a hard time doing stuff like that now. For some reason, I feel better giving a cold shoulder than an out and out "go away", don't ask me why because I have no clue. Now that I think about it, the body language is probably nastier than an up front Garbo but, for some weird reason I feel I've been more polite if I don't say "go away" outright.

So, for now, I guess I'll just keep using my kitchen door. I don't like it much, but, on the other hand, it will inspire me to keep my little back porch swept, put the snowman with the red Christmas bulb for a nose away, recycle the bags of empty plastic bottles that are littering the 4 x 5 foot landing that serves as my back porch and maybe do the dishes once in a while. So, I suppose, all things come to a righteous end. Maybe she did help me after all. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It takes courage to raise children...

As it's now May, I've been thinking about Mother's Day, which, as most of us know, is coming up in a couple of weeks. Most years, I pick my own day. My family, well meaning thought 2/3rds of them may be, are busy, and broke, and then, of course, there's the annual "you're not MY mother" from the hubster. Yeah, whatever, dude...

My older son, who struggles with learning disabilities and a mother who should be doing more for him, is sweet and kind and well meaning and has lots of ideas, but no money. My younger does not struggle with autism but the rest of it is pretty much the same. I keep telling them..."hey...know what I really want for Mother's Day? I want someone else to do the laundry. Or maybe I can get up and find my kitchen looks like something out of House Beautiful. Clean the toilet for me. I really don't need the corsage and the prix fixe meal thing."

Now I've planned a couple of nice Mother's Days for myself, but it seems weird to plan one's own party. A few years ago I decided I wanted to go to Hearst Castle and tour the gardens. It was pretty awesome, I've got to say. Now, granted, I'm one of those people who has no qualms about driving four hours up and four hours back, which helps. I dunno, gardens seemed a sort of Mother's Dayish thing to do and it was lovely. I also used to stomp my little foot and demand a trip to Vegas. That used to be hella fun because Mother's Day wasn't a big "let's go to Vegas day" and the rates were cheap. Alas, that is no more...seems there are a lot of mother's who want three hours unmolested in front of a nickle slot machine.

Mother's Day falls smack in the middle of a six week funk for me. It starts with my mother's birthday at the end of April, chugs along to Mother's Day, meanders through my birthday and eventually comes to a halt on the 4th of July which is, unfortunately, the anniversary of my mother's death. She would, you know. She totally would do that.

We had a rather contentious relationship, which may have something to so with my still mixed up feelings. Well, anyway, I've been wondering what to do on Mother's Day this year and figured that I'll probably end up doing what we've been doing for the last few years, which is nothing. The boys will say "Happy Mother's Day" and "I'm really sorry I'm broke and can't get you anything" and the hubster won't even do that much. Sort of like my birthday, wedding anniversary and Christmas, but I digress...

It's with this looming large that I found myself thinking about someone I used to know and, as it turns out, wasted my time on. But this woman is now (I'm sure of it, I see no reason she might have changed) planning a large Mother's Day bash, as her house, in honor of her. Her husband and three sons will be given their marching orders, as will her mother and mother-in-law. I'll give her this, she's pretty up front with her "HEY! YOU! It's all about ME" attitude. If her mother wishes to have any sort of Mother's Day from her daughter, well, she can just hie her skinny ass to over there. Because this woman is firm in her belief that everything is all about her. She posts this regularly, btw. Someone over there on the message board from hell will ask about Mother's Day plans and she will, in an oh so perky manner, post several paragraphs saying how she used to get stuck doing things for her mother and mother in law until she finally pulled up her perky big girl panties and slammed her perky flat foot down and announced "NO. It's all for ME! You want me, you come here!" Here being somewhere just east of nowhere and slightly south of "who the hell would want to live HERE?"

I mentioned to her, once upon a time, that I used to feel kind of used and pulled apart and I would wonder when it would be MY turn. Well, 12 years ago my mother died and 8 years ago my mother in law died and it WAS my turn. And I said she should suck it up and act like a decent human being because one of these days she would find herself with no one to order to her little tract house.

She informed me none of that mattered, because it's her turn now.

Really?   Look up "selfish cow" in the dictionary, you'll find her picture.

I'd like to say I'll be thinking of her on Mother's Day, and feeling sorry for her. Because one of these days she's going to be as alone as it gets. While she's screaming at people demanding they come and honor HER and marching her unwilling kids into some backwoods desert department store choosing just the right sort of bath salts for them to give her, I'll be sleeping in. We're stone broke, there's wont be much of anything except the normal greetings and apologies for being broke. But it's okay.

Because my kids aren't under indictment. They're well liked, MORE than well liked. A few weeks ago when I woke up at 4am with a fever and chills they regularly came in with tea and water and aspirin and meatball subs and hugs. My older cheerfully walked down to the local mini mart when I said I really wanted some 7 UP.

They say "Please" and "Thank You." They're not in therapy and they have no behavioral problems. They're hard workers and are kind to strangers. They help their grandfather. They're funny and interesting and sometimes, when they decided to do something like go to an early, cheap movie they invite me along.

So maybe Mother's Day will sort of slide by. And I won't demand that I be treated like a Queen because, well, a) that's not the way I was raised, I'm not comfortable demanding. I prefer whining. ;)

I told my former friend once that I always resented taking the requisite flowers to the requisite mothers homes and I used to hope some day I would be the one sitting around, waiting for someone to remember me. Now, I still take the requisite flowers to the requisite mothers - except it's not as time consuming. A couple of calls to a couple of flower shops at the couple of cemeteries and I'm done. She didn't get it. She never will. More's the pity.

I dunno...maybe Mother's Day is overrated. On the whole, my kids treat me pretty well. They're forgetful and broke and too busy for words. But they make me proud of them. And that is probably the best Mother's Day gift I could ever hope for. Sure beats a command performance brunch anyway.