Suicide Prevention (Or How Not To Push Someone Over The Edge)

Suicide is a touchy subject. We all know someone who has taken their own life. If we are really lucky (or blessed), it will never be someone close to us. To lose a loved one to disease, accidents, and old age is one thing. The death is still painful, but you are left with the knowledge that there was nothing you could do. It wasn’t in your hands. We mourn the loss of these loved ones, but eventually we find a certain peace. Eventually, though bittersweet, we can be thankful for the time we had with them.

My mom died when I was ten. It was tough. But I know she fought hard to live. She gave it her all. I was there. I saw her struggle. I know she did everything she could to stay as long as she could. She died anyway. Forty-three years later the ten year old in me is still pissed off. The ten year old thinks mom should have fought harder still. The fifty-three year old thanks her for staying as long as she could. Now had mom taken the suicide route, I might not be so forgiving. When a loved one commits suicide we are filled with feelings of loss, but also with feelings of anger. It’s pretty near impossible to reminisce about the time we had with them, when those memories are haunted by the knowledge that they left you by choice.

A sad fact is that often people will reach out to those around them. Often they will ask for help. Unfortunately, often the very people they turn to are not sympathetic. They are ridiculed for being weak and pathetic. I’ve actually heard people laugh and say what they would do to the body afterwards! (Yeah, because that helps.) I think people do not want to believe that someone they know will go through with it. They think that the person is just trying to get attention. Well here’s a news flash, buddy! If it is only a cry for attention – give them the bloody attention! Give them the love! Show them you care! Ask what you can do to help? Hiding your head under a rock, or ridiculing them is only enforcing their belief that they are truly alone – that no one cares. Then when the person accomplishes what they set out to do, people ask why?

When I was younger I would be filled with anger when I heard someone had committed suicide. I would judge these suicide victims (and they are victims) as weak and pathetic. I would tell people that if someone I cared about committed suicide that I would never forgive them! I said I would spit on their grave! Well, things have changed over the years. Whether you believe in God, the universe, or simply a higher power – someone wants me to learn some hefty lessons. (That’s another blog!) One thing I have learned is that when I judge people so harshly, I am given a lesson I’m not likely to forget.

I have come to the conclusion that when someone commits suicide, we need to hold their memory close. We need to send out all the love we feel in our hearts. We need to understand that just as the disease or accident was not by choice, neither was the suicide. The person who takes their own life has truly come as far as they can in this life. By the time they end their life – by their own hand – they are in no position mentally or emotionally to be responsible for what they are doing. The can think of nothing but ending the struggle. They cannot see passed the next five minutes. They cannot bare the next five minutes. They cannot think that a week, a month, or a year from now things will be better. All they can see is the release in front of them.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is love each other. Be there for each other. Cherish each other. You never know when you will be the one who will make the difference between life and death

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Population Control

Throughout my schooling, specifically in sociology and anthropology classes, the topic of population control has come up in many different forms. Generally, the idea is that there are too many damn people on the planet and something should be done. The consensus is, however, that you cannot really do much of anything without infringing on the rights of individuals to decide what they do with their own reproductive parts.
I have developed a solution. It doesn’t involve sterilizing men (though, honestly, I don’t see why countries with population control policies don’t do that simple snip rather than put women through a major surgery that takes up more time and money… just thinking out loud here…) and it doesn’t involve forced birth control, sterilization of women, scare tactics, or anything else. 
My proposal is this. Instead of trying to figure out how to control sex and sex organs, which has proven to be damn near impossible, control the BRAIN. I am not talking about brainwashing, or some hokey crap like that. But if researchers could come up with a way to make women remember how sick, tired, and absolutely disgusting the first few months of pregnancy were, along with how painful delivery was (speaking from the experience of not having an epidural… of course, I don’t remember how painful it was but I just watched a friend go through it and it brought back a feeling of dread because I know it must have been unpleasant at least) many women, I dare to say most, wouldn’t have more than one child.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I have my second one on the way… but I will be honest, I completely forgot this entire being sick bit… I hate it. I am never doing this to myself again. There. Population control solved. Next worldly problem please?

Hating The Man

You know what the hippies were right about? I’ll tell you. They were right about The Man. It’s true. The man is out to get you. No I am not paranoid. No I have not been smoking anything. I’m just telling a universal truth. The old saying – you can’t fight city hall – it’s true. Now I know there are bigger issues in the world. I know children are starving. (Don’t even get me started on that one!) I know there are wars and atrocities that we cannot even begin to fathom. Trust me. I know. I try to keep up. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden will be granted asylum at my house forever. (The Man is behind these as well.)
Shit. Well, that kind of took the wind out of my sails. I was ready to REALLY swear and everything! Now, I’m feeling a bit silly for my coming rant. But the hell with it, I’m ranting anyway.
Today I went a little crazy. Pretty sure they’ve posted my picture at city hall and have tightened up security. (They can afford to. How do you spell a**holes?) (Poor dad must be rolling over in his… jar?) Sorry. I digress. I do that… A lot.
So let me take you back. It was a cold and blustery winter day on the prairies. (Everyone who lives here thinks I’m an idiot. It’s always cold and blustery in the winter, on the prairies.) Sorry… digressing again! So I’m sitting at my computer (in my jammies) when I noticed this… (What should we call him? Commissionaire? I think I’ll go with d**kwad), so I notice this d**kwad (This was before I knew him. At which point he graduated to full-fledged-a**hole!), so this d**kwad is putting a ticket on my car. I jump up and run outside in my jammies. (I’m sure he thinks I’m on crack as I basically rolled out of bed and stumbled to my computer. I also live in a ‘questionable’ part of town.) I’m not stupid. (Some might argue that. Sit down in the back! This is my f-ing rant!) So, not stupid me meanders up to the d**kwad and asks in a very calm and nice voice, “Excuse me, sir, may I ask why you are giving me a ticket?
Before I go any further I must explain that in our lovely part of the world we get snow. Not the ‘oh look it’s snowing. Isn’t it lovely?” kind of snow. We get REAL snow. So the city likes to plow the snow into large snowbanks so that it becomes impossible to park our cars. They like to do this so they can ticket us for parking ‘more than 300 mm from the curb’. Of course we are parked more than 300 mm from the curb you d**kwads! There is NO WHERE else to park!
And now back to the story. We begin where the heroine (Me) first greets the d**kwad (d**kwad). “Excuse me, sir, may I ask why you are giving me a ticket?”
I would be here all day and you guys would be long gone if I told the entire story of what happened next. (Assuming you are still here?) So here is the gist of it: D**kwad explains that I am more than 300mm from curb. I explain I have no choice, said curb cannot be found. By now elderly neighbor lady is outside trying to nicely tell d**kwad that he should not be giving me a ticket. This is the point when d**kwad man turns into full-fledged-a**hole. (It was quite impressive really. Kind of like watching Mark Ruffalo’s character Dr Banner turn into the Hulk, except that I am not envisioning d**kwad man with no clothes.) Full-Fledged-A**hole tells elderly neighbor that had we been nice he would have kindly ripped up the ticket. If we had been nice?! How much f-ing nicer could we be? We were polite. We approached with caution. We did not, however, offer money or chocolate cake. Maybe we should have offered cake. Maybe my elderly neighbor should have stripped down right there and offered herself to d**kwad! Our mistake? At this point I asked full-fledged-a**hole why mine was the only car on the street he was ticketing? He told me that was none of my concern. I think full-fledged-asshole was afraid to ticket anyone else. He’d already dealt with delusional jammie woman and elderly neighbor. He was getting out while he could. It was at this point, he was getting in his car, that I told him I would be taking pictures of all the cars on the street. Then and only then did I call him by his first name: A**hole.
Court day came and I was armed with my pictures. It was then that the prosecutor told me to leave the pictures at home as they would do me no good. (I kind of felt like Bradley Manning. None of my evidence was going to be admissible in court.) So, long story short – Full-Fledged-A**hole blatantly lied in court. He drew a diagram of how I was parked and said that I was eight feet away from the curb! He also claimed that I had come out of my house screaming and swearing at him. When I finally had my turn to speak I explained to the judge (who, frankly, was about 80 years old and more than a little confused) that full-fledged-a**hole was lying. I also explained that every car on the street had been parked like me as we had no choice because of the snowbanks. Full-fledged-a**hole spoke up and said that I was the only car parked eight feet away. The other cars were only four feet away. I again explained that full-fledged-asshole was lying. It was then the judge told me he would have excused the ticket had I only been four feet away like the other cars. It was then he said I should have brought pictures. Unfortunately, you cannot tell The Man that the prosecutor and full-fledged-a**hole have conspired against you. Who is the judge going to believe – the prosecutor and full-fledged-a**hole, or the villenous parker? For a moment I saw the judge begin to sway my way, but the prosecutor quickly stepped in and explained that even if everyone on the block was parked eight feet away from said curb, that did not give me the right to break the law! She went on to explain that if he let me go, what was to stop me from say… parking in school zones or bus stops! OMG! I would have found me guilty as well! Her arguments were so strong and filled with raw emotion! I knew I was doomed. The judge had no recourse. He found in favor of The Man. Full-fledged-a**hole had won. The judge found me guilty. I would have to pay the ticket.
It’s been several weeks since that fateful day in court. I had stood against The Man and lost. Still, I held my head high as I went to city hall this morning to pay the ticket. I guess The Man wanted to twist the knife a little deeper – as I handed the ticket to the teller she informed me that they would be adding an additional $40 to the fine. Apparently, they like to add on these extra dollars just so they can squeeze every last bit of blood out of us citizens. I explained to the woman behind the counter that I was not upset with her. I was upset with The Man. So if anyone is looking to start a new/old movement sign me up! I’ll even make the cake.

Chicken Dance Day?!

Haven’t you always wanted to say Happy Chicken Dance? How much fun is that? I think we need to start an online petition to get this declared a national holiday! Are ya wit me er aginst me? Can’t you see it now… Buses with signs that declare HAPPY CHICKEN DAY! Now who could possibly be offended by that? Doesn’t everyone love chickens? Colonel Sanders could be our Santy! We could say cool things like, “Oh that Colonel Sanders is such a good egg! How often do you get to say that?
Okay, fine. We’ll stick with Christmas… for now, but only because my daughter just asked me if there was something wrong with me.
So it turns out Chicken dance day isn’t as exciting as I was hoping. I was picturing all these crazy headhunters eating chicken one day a year. You know, kind of like lent, but for headhunters and only one day instead of forty. (Because honestly, 40 days is a long time to only eat chicken, unless you happen to love chicken, which I do) I figured they’d all be dressed like chickens and peck at each other as they ate. Whoa, that would be a disaster in the making. Can’t you just see it? The headhunters (deprived of their usual human fare) start pecking at each other as part of the whole ritualistic chicken dance begins… Suddenly, little Tommy Headhunter (who is new to the dance and frankly has no self-control) loses his shit! The dance turns into an all you can eat headhunter feeding frenzy! The next thing you know, the whole tribe is wiped out! At this point I have to ask who thought of this stupid holiday in the first place?! Who wants to celebrate a holiday that is responsible for the lives of 43 and a half (Tommy’s dad lost all his limbs at last year’s festivities) headhunters anyway?! Sheesh. But, I digress. I do that… a lot.
So there I was all excited about the Chicken Dance Holiday, (I’d even signed up for classes) when it turns out that the Holiday is just some lame Holiday in Ohio where everyone gets together and, you guessed it, does the chicken dance. Lame as it may be, the Crown Prince of Bavaria visited Cincinnati and participated in an Oktoberfest Zinzinnati celebration that included the world’s largest chicken dance. With 40,000 people joining in the activity, the event was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. If I were a Crown Prince I think I would look for something cooler to do, like maybe slay a dragon, or a damsel in distress. Personally, I’d rather celebrate with Tommy.

The Haunted Man

He lay on his back staring at the yellowed ceiling above his bed. The smoke from his cigarette spiraled in soft gray wisps into the early morning light. Dark circles colored the skin around his deep brown eyes and three days of stubble had become irritating and itchy. He hadn’t slept all night. Hadn’t slept in days actually. Sleep deprivation had become the norm.
He remembered seeing a poster once that read: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Life. What life? Fuck. What if you didn’t have a life? What if you were so haunted by the demons that you ceased living? Oh, sure, maybe the blood still rushed through your veins, and your heart still beat in your chest, but was that life?
He knew he should drag his lazy ass out of bed, but for what? To face another day existing? That’s what his life had become. Existing. He rolled over and sat on the edge of his bed, his feet touching the cold floor. Why couldn’t anything ever be easy? He squeezed his hands together, wincing at the pain. More than ten years of building road in minus fifty degree weather had taken its toll. Fuck.
He was coming to despise, even hate what he’d once loved, needed. Why wouldn’t it leave him alone? Why did it eat at him? Why couldn’t he shut out the words? Running his hands through his long dark hair, he screamed at the demons that haunted him, to shut-up, to leave him alone!
He longed for a normal life. To get up every morning and go to work like every other stiff. To get a pay-cheque twice a month and buy a car, but the words, the words!
He wasn’t going to do it. Fuck it. He was stronger than them. He wouldn’t let them win. Not this time. He picked up the newspaper that lay on the floor by his bed. He needed a job and they weren’t going to stop him this time. He ran his finger down the help wanted column. He felt better already.

The scene threatened to make him vomit, so The captain guided his own mount away from the make-shift abattoir with the slightest shift of his knees.

Stop it, he screamed silently in his head at the demons!

The Captain could feel the 9mm Marshal in its holster, pressing against his chest, the last seven rounds known to exist for the weapon resting in the gun’s clip.

“Shut-up,” he screamed again, dropping the paper as he covered his ears with his hands.

Men that had asked for The Honor, taking their own lives when they felt they had become a burden to The Captain and The Company.

Jumping up, he grabbed a duffel bag out of his closet and began stuffing clothes into it. He’d show them. He’d leave. Run away and leave the words behind.

The need to vomit was back again, but much stronger now and he had to fight to control his anger.

He fell to his knees, “Please,” he whispered. “Please.”

Captain John McQuaid…

Standing on weak legs he walked over to his typewriter. Thousands of words released onto paper lay scattered across the desk. He touched the words gently, caressing them, wanting them. Like a lover betrayed, longing to love again, but afraid to try, to trust. The dream was still there, he knew. The dream to write, to let the words out. He remembered a quote he’d once read, and use to believe- There are the poor damaged souls who must write, who haven’t any more choice in the matter than whether or not they breathe.
He pulled out his chair and sat down.

Instinctively, The Captain reached over his right shoulder to the bound hilt of his broad sword which poked through the slit cut into his long riding coat.

His hands stopped shaking, much like an alcoholic after he’s been given his first shot of whiskey. A writer writes.

The Woman In The Mirror

abused-womanWith eyes closed she ran the comb through her long thick hair, unable to find the courage she needed to face the woman in the mirror. Her reflection would not lie and she’d had enough truth in her life. Truth was a bad thing. Truth was not her friend. As long as she kept her eyes closed she could dream. She needed to dream – to escape.
The woman in the mirror taunted her – dared her to open her eyes. She dropped the comb and shook her head in answer to the woman in the mirror. Why did she torture her so? She knew what she’d been through. Why wouldn’t she leave her alone? I won’t let her get to me, she thought. I’ll show her, I’m stronger than she thinks.
Opening her eyes slightly, she reached, with shaking hands, for the comb, making certain to keep her eyes averted from the woman in the mirror, lest she see the fear she invoked.
It was too late. The woman in the mirror saw her chance and took it. “Do you think he’ll come to you tonight?”
“No,” she whispered.
“I think he will.”
“No,” she whispered again. “Not tonight.”
“It’s been a while. He’ll come.”
She looked at the woman in the mirror. “I said no. He won’t come. He knows I’m tired. He won’t come.”
Closing her eyes again she thought about the last time he’d used her. She could still feel his hands on her skin- touching her. She could feel his hot breath against her neck. How could he be so close and not hear her crying? Not feel her tears? Her shaking?
The knock on the bathroom door was barely audible. She opened her eyes and stared at the woman in the mirror. She looked smug. “He wants you.”
“I can’t.”
“You will.”
“I can’t.”
“Hon, are you coming to bed?” he called through the door.
“I can’t,” she whispered.
“You must.”
The bathroom door swung open and her husband walked in. “Who were you talking to?” he asked, noting the empty room.
“No one,” she lied.
“Good. Then come to bed.”
She followed him down the hall to their room. He wasn’t a bad man. In many ways he’d been a good husband. So why was it that she couldn’t bear the thought of him touching her? She watched as he pulled back the covers and removed his robe. Why was it that she now found his body so repulsive? She knew the woman in the mirror was right. Her reprieve was over. He lay on his side patting the bed, inviting her to join him. She climbed into bed beside him, thankful for the lack of light. At least he wouldn’t see her cringe when he reached for her. Not that he’d notice.
She turned on her side giving him her back in hope that he might leave her be, but he reached for her in the blackness of their room and pulled her against him. Rubbing his penis against her thighs he roughly pulled her nightgown above her hips. Her breath caught in her throat and she bit her lip to stop herself from crying out as he entered her. One hand crept up cupping her breast and she turned her face into the pillow to hide her humiliation from the night. Hot tears of shame burned the back of her eyes, then cautiously began their journey down her face. Holding back the sobs that were building in her chest, she prayed for him to finish quickly.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, but in reality had only been a few minutes, she felt his body tremble as he emptied his seed into her. He never moved from the position, but she knew he’d fallen asleep when a short time later he began to snore quietly.
Lifting his hand from her slim hips, she extricated herself from his grasp and stole down the hall to the bathroom. After closing the door and locking it, she placed the plug in the sink and filled it with water.
“Well?”
“Please.”
“Did you like it?”
“I can’t.”
“Apparently, you can.”
“I’m tired. I can’t do this,” she said, picking up a clean face-cloth and soaking it with soapy water before rubbing it vigorously between her legs.
“There’s more where that came from.”
Immersing the cloth again and again, she scrubbed until long after the pain began. She scrubbed until she was numb. Exhaustion finally claimed her and she slept, curled in a ball, her arms wrapped about her knees in an effort to stop the shaking.
“Honey, why do you have the door locked?”
She stood on trembling legs, her hand over her mouth. How had she fallen asleep?
“Unlock the door.”
“Ah… yeah… just a minute.”
Years of control had worn away at her. She didn’t know who she was anymore, who she wanted to be, but she longed to find out. How had she let it happen? When had she relinquished her rights? It wasn’t as though he beat her. He hadn’t hit her in years. She didn’t think he would either, yet somehow he continued to control her. Somehow she always felt on the defensive. He had a way of making her feel… not quite good enough. Never quite pretty enough, never quite smart enough, never quite anything.
The woman in the mirror laughed at her, “God, look at you. You’re pathetic. You have the power.”
“No.”
“Yes you do. You’ve always had it,”
“Please. I can’t.”
“Yes you can.”
“No.”
“Hon, open the door.”
She could tell from his tone that he was irritated that she had dared to lock him out. She pulled it open and let her husband in.
“Why was the door locked?”
“I had to go to the bathroom.”
“So? There’s no one here but me. You weren’t trying to keep me out were you?”
“No. I guess I wasn’t thinking.”
Satisfied with her answer he pressed her against the wall, his hands pulling up her nightgown. She flinched when he stuck his hand between her legs, his fingers digging their way inside. She thought she was going to be sick. How could this be happening? He had already used her once tonight. She could feel his erection as he leaned into her, forcing penetration. She tried to push him away, but he laughed, enjoying his control of her.
“Pretend you don’t want it.”
“Don’t.” She hated when he played his rape fantasy with her. It was too close to the truth.
“Come on, our sex life has become boring, mechanical.”
“I’m tired.”
“You’ve always got some excuse. You never want sex anymore, ever since you got your tubes tied. Maybe we should see about getting them untied.” He tried once more digging his fingers between her legs- hurting her- but she grabbed his hand, stopping him. He shook his head in disgust. Shoving her away as though suddenly repulsed, he turned and stalked down the hall to their bedroom.
Closing the door behind him, she leaned against the wall and closed her eyes.
“Pathetic.”
She opened her eyes to find the woman in the mirror staring at her. “Leave me alone.”
“You call yourself a woman? How?”
She closed her eyes again. She had to escape, but where? How? She couldn’t let him touch her again. She couldn’t face the woman in the mirror anymore. She was beginning to think she was crazy. She reached for the door, opening it quickly, avoiding the woman in the mirror.
She crept quietly into the kitchen and took the car keys from the hook on the wall. She hesitated- where was she going to go? She didn’t have any money. She wasn’t even dressed. She didn’t care. She was going, and for now that was all that mattered.
Inside the safety of the car a thrill shot through her. She was really leaving. The adrenalin began rushing through her veins. She turned on the radio. They couldn’t hurt her anymore! Backing out of the driveway, she checked the rear-view mirror. Her heart leapt into her throat. The woman in the mirror had followed her. Stepping on the accelerator she sped down the road trying to block out the accusing stare of the woman in the mirror.
“Coward.”
“I’m done listening to you.”
“You didn’t even bring your purse.”
She hadn’t even thought about it. How could she be so stupid?
The woman in the mirror saw the panic in her eyes and knew that she’d gotten to her. “Fuck. You can’t even leave right.”
“Shut-up.” She fumbled with the radio, turning it up as loud as it would go.
“You’ll have to go back.”
“I can’t hear you.”
Then the car began to sputter and choke. She pumped the gas pedal, but nothing happened. The steering wheel froze and the car stalled in the middle of the road.
“You’re not going anywhere, sweetheart.”
She tried the key but nothing happened.
“What an idiot. You’re out of gas.”
She tried the key again, but the fuel gauge told her that the woman in the mirror was right.
“What are you going to do now?”
“Shut-up!” She rested her head against the steering wheel.
The woman in the mirror continued to mock her.”You’re not crying again are you?”
“I said shut-up!”
The cry of a train wailed in the distance. What was she going to do now? She couldn’t go back. The train whistle blew again and she realized with horror that she had stalled on the tracks. She turned the key again and again. Nothing happened.
“Get out of the car, stupid.”
She tried the ignition once more, but it was futile.
“Go!”
The train was approaching fast. She could feel the ground beneath her begin to tremble. What was she going to tell her husband? She grabbed the door-handle. It was now or never. She had just enough time to escape before the train hit.
“Get out of the fuckin’ car!”
Her eyes locked with the woman in the mirror. For the first time she didn’t look quite so smart, quite so smug. In fact, she looked terrified. Her eyes were big and full of tears that had begun to pour down her face.
“Please.”
“You’re not crying are you?” She felt her lips turn up at the corners of her mouth and she began to laugh.
“Please.”
Letting go of the handle, she placed her hands back on the steering wheel, never breaking eye contact with the woman in the mirror.
She barely heard the impact of steel against steel – so intent was she on the death of the woman in the mirror; the woman who had robbed her of her sanity; the woman who had taken her life years before. She felt the train cut through her car. She welcomed the searing pain – welcomed death – welcomed peace from the woman in the mirror.

Don The Wings People!

I recently had the pleasure of attending my thirteen year old son’s grade eight graduation. Everyone was of course dressed nicely for the occasion; the girls in their new dresses, and the latest hair styles; the boys dressed mostly in their best jeans, and am I ever trying to be cool look. The highlight of the evening for me was one young woman from my son’s class who had added her own creative flare to her ensemble. True to form, she had the prerequisite new dress and shoes, but much to my delight, she had also chosen to don a tiara, a wand, and a small pair of fairy wings. My first thoughts on seeing this young woman in this resplendent array was, “Wow, here was a girl who was going places!” So, it was a great disappointment when I found out the following day that not all had looked so kindly on this girl and her wings. I am not exactly what one would refer to as soft spoken, nor do I hold my tongue when I believe that an injustice has been done; perhaps it is that very reason that the fates decided to keep me blissfully ignorant for the evening of the graduation. I am not someone who would be exactly thrilled if one of my children were to dye their hair purple and wear sticks in their nose, however, a small pair of gossamer wings, a lovely tiara, and a magic wand were not ‘ridiculous’, nor ‘inappropriate’ for a grade eight graduation. Correct me if I am wrong, but are we as parents not supposed to support and encourage our children in their creative endeavors? Here was a young woman with a mind of her own; a young woman who was not afraid to be a little different; a young woman who wanted to say good bye to a childhood and innocence that she will soon be forced to leave behind and instead of applauding her uniqueness, her refusal to be a sheep, she was laughed at, ridiculed and told she was a joke! Now here’s the kicker; the problem did not come from her peers, but from their parents. It seems that some forget that many of the greatest talents we have in this world today were just as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘inappropriate’ as this shining example of today’s youth. One parent even went so far as to try and have their child moved in the class picture so as not to be associated with the winged one in future years. Personally, I think we should cherish these kids who dare to be different. Who are we to clip their wings? Had this young woman been my daughter I would have been proud; had she been my daughter I would have been humbled had she allowed me to join her in the donning of the wings.

I wish that I was Elizabeth Gilbert

109MalaBeadsEatPrayLoveI wish that I was Elizabeth Gilbert. I would spring from my bed each morning and do ten sun salutations before my feet even hit the floor. I would mediate (levitating) for exactly one hour. After which, I would make my way to the kitchen, where I would enjoy a repast of pizza and cheesecake for breakfast. My morning coffee would be sipped in joyful, silent bliss amongst the fragrant wildflowers in my meadow.

In truth it must be difficult at times to keep up the persona of one who has it all together. (For the record, I’m pretty sure she does!) Unfortunately, even if I had it all together, I’d leave it someplace. I’d be checking under beds. I’d be emptying cupboards. I’d bring in the hounds! In the end I would realize I’d likely thrown it in the trash and have to start all over again. But, I digress. I do that… a lot. So, Elizabeth Gilbert, must have her days when she pulls the covers over her head and just yells at the world to back the F off and let her have some f-ing space! It has to be very tiring being so together. Now I realize that some people will think I’m picking on the lovely Elizabeth. Think again. I’ve read her books. I think she is wonderful. Why else would I want to be her? I’ve even ‘liked’ her on facebook for crying out loud!

Oh why can’t be I be Elizabeth Gilbert? Why must I fall out of bed every morning, scrape myself off the floor, and stumble blindly down the stairs in search of coffee.. but wait, first I must let out the dogs, feed the cat, let the dogs back in and feed them. Then, and only then can I have my turn to pee! Romantic isn’t it? Oh sure, I’ll eat the pizza and cheesecake for breakfast ( it is, after all, the breakfast of champions), but where are my wildflowers? Where is my silent bliss? Where is my passionate, romantic, Brazilian husband?! Okay, let’s not get carried away. I’m sure Felipe is a wonderful husband, but that is the one part of her life I’m okay doing without. No Felipe, no husband for me, thank you very much. The rest of her life, I’m down for.

 

 

Babies or Booze? That is the question…

Is it just me, or is anyone else afraid for our kids? I am not sure what it is, if it is that kids are having kids, or maybe because nobody has enough money anymore so everyones children are raised by ten or twenty daycares who maybe aren’t giving kids the attention they need or teaching kids values. Maybe it is that the media makes things like drugs and alcohol, shopping, and debt seem normal, and even o.k.

I am so sad for the kids who are born today, whose parents have, for whatever reason, learned that if you want something it has to be yours NOW, that you must take care of your wants and needs above everyone elses (including your children). But let’s face it, most of the parents now-a-days weren’t ready or planning to be parents. Sex sounds like a great idea, especially when it is everywhere you look.. but wait.. no condom? Who cares now-a-days. You didn’t get pregnant last time you had unprotected sex, and you don’t *think* you have anything.. and I mean, he said he is clean, and why would he lie to you?

Then all of a sudden, oops, now what? Oh hey, let’s keep it. Looks easy. You didn’t really want to stay in highschool anyway, cause school sucks, and why get an education? You can make ten dollars an hour at McDonalds while your girlfriend stays home with the baby. Then you realize babies cost money, a lot of money. Ok, you can make it work..right?

You work an extra job, she gets child tax for the baby, and you both make sacrifices. But somewhere between birth and 18, you realize that baby needs a lot more than your minimum wage job can offer. Then it gets real, and it gets real hard… doesn’t it? Your friends are out partying, buying cars, houses, playstations, clothes… whatever they want. You are buying baby stuff.

This is where we seperate the men and women from the boys and girls.. do you decide your child doesn’t need a savings account or a house to live in and go partying? Do you buy the playstation or the new stereo for the new car you always wanted, and you will buy the crib next paycheck.. the baby is fine in a laundry basket anyway? OR do you put away money for that baby, buy that crib, step up, and put some money aside so that in 12 months you can buy that car, and in another 12 months you can buy the stereo?

I am writing this note only because these issues pop up everywhere, and I am tired of seeing it. At the doctors office the other day, a young mom and dad and their gorgeous baby boy walked in. Yay! Young parents keeping up on their child’s doctors appointments! They obviously loved him, and cared about him a lot.. and then they sat down near me. This is when the whole waiting room realized the dad, at least, was drunk and reeked of alcohol. Now I am hoping he wasn’t driving…

Moral of the story? You want to have a baby, go ahead, bless the world with the presence of a wonderful bundle of joy. But realize, once you decide to have a baby, it isn’t about you or what you want anymore. Your immediate job is to do what that baby needs, to save for that baby, get somewhere warm for that baby to live, and if you want something, save up for it.

You want to go to a party every once in a while, get a babysitter and plan to go. You want to buy some new stuff, put money away for it. But don’t put the baby on the back shelf to your fun, your friends, your teenage lifestyle.

Grow up. Take care of your responsibilities.

The Bride

crazybrideShe stood silently outside the grand, ornate doors, waiting for the music to begin. Her long white gown billowed to the floor, in row upon row of Italian lace. The intricate bead work, of thousands of tiny pearls, had been hand sewn by her ancestors, some two hundred years before. Her long black hair was pulled back from her face, to best display her high cheek bones, yet, cascaded freely down her back in heavy, satin ringlets. Her full lips, which seldom wore lipstick, had been painted dark red for the occasion. Her midnight blue eyes, with thick black lashes, were hidden from view by the full lace veil which imprisoned her.
She held the bouquet of fresh cut red roses in her trembling hands, twisting the lace and ribbons that held the stems together, feverishly around her fingers. Her carefully manicured nails dug into her palms, drawing blood. What was she doing here? With college behind her- having finished at the top of her class- her dream of becoming a lawyer had materialized. At the age of twenty-eight, she’d opened her own law practice – success beckoned at every turn.
Traveling had become her passion. She found the fine restaurants, luxurious hotel rooms and quiet wanderings through fascinating museums exhilarating. She had many friends, some single, others not. Although her married friends were happy, many seemed to have lost their identity. What if the same fate awaited her? Was she to lose her freedom? Her independence over her own future?
She could feel panic coursing through her veins. Her heart began beating faster. She was having difficulty breathing. It was as though a pair of invisible hands were slowly, relentlessly tightening around her throat. On the other side of the doors was her fiancé, the man she had promised to marry. The man she believed she loved. Yet, somehow, she felt as though she were teetering on the edge of a cliff, the ground breaking away beneath her feet.
Her life flashed before her – just as she had heard happened to those about to die. Dreams and goals, all of her yesterdays and all of her tomorrows, came together in an instant, then disappeared like wisps of smoke swallowed by the night. Why was everyone so happy for her? Why had she been coaxed, encouraged, cultivated, to give up everything she had worked so hard for? Suddenly she felt betrayed. After all her hard work, what would become of her? She had been mislead into believing her life was her own, only to have each of her ambitions dashed with the speaking of two little words: ‘I do.’
It occurred to her that she had been brainwashed. They had been preparing her for this her entire life. Television, newspaper articles, movies, magazines, her own family, and friends, expected, anticipated, and patiently counted on this very moment of surrender! God, there were even magazines aimed at woman like her, teetering on the threshold of marriage, magazines called Bride and Your Special Day. It was rather puzzling, that there weren’t any glossy-paged publications, bearing glassy-eyed models, called Groom!
Music began to float through the closed doors. She knew at any moment, the doors would be pulled open for her grand entrance; so why did she feel as though she was standing on a gallows, the noose drawn taut around her neck, waiting for the tripping of the gate beneath her feet? She had only known her fiancé for two years, what did she really know of him? She bit her bottom lip. This must be how a condemned man feels before he dies, she thought. She could feel the bile rise up in her throat, choking her. The blood was pounding in her head. This was not the way it was supposed to be! She felt as though she was at her own funeral. She could almost hear the hollow thud of the first shovel of dirt being thrown upon her casket. She clawed at the veil, which suffocated her, trying to dig her way out.
The doors swung open, everyone in the church turned to watch the bride come down the aisle in all her glory. The petal-strewn aisle remained empty. The music stopped, then, started again, in hope that the blushing bride had simply missed her cue. Family and friends began to whisper and mumble in their designated places in the pews.
Finally, on watery legs, the groom walked hesitantly, fearfully down the aisle and through the open doorway. The crowd’s questioning murmurs seemed to tighten his tie-laced collar. The hall was empty, save for a hand-written note lying in the middle of the floor. Unfolding the note and reading it, the groom could feel the bile rise up in his throat, choking him. Simply stated, the note read:
I’m too young to die!