Friday, February 24, 2012

Blogger's Index: A Numerical Explanation

Number of homes I lived in as a child: 2

Age when I first got glasses: 10

Number of times I have almost seriously drowned: 3

Number of times I have been washed off to sea: 1

Number of times I have been bitten by a horse: 3

Number of times I have had braces: 0

Age I first moved out on my own: 17

Number of places I’ve lived in the past 21 years (not inluding moving back home with the parents): 13

Number of times I moved back with my parents: 2, +/- 10

Longest number of years, as an adult, spent living in the same house without moving: 5

Percentage of time in any given day I think about moving to a different house: 36

Number of military branches I served in: 1

Number of guys I dated named Tommy: 3

Number of times I have consumed mussels: 1

Chances I’ll ever eat mussels again: 0

Number of jobs held in the telemarketing field: 1

Approximate number of days spent on that job in the telemarketing field: 6

Chances I’ll ever take a job in the telemarketing field again: 0

Number of people I’m related to who are prohibited from entering a foreign country: 1

Number of times I have successfully opened a box of rice by the “push here then pull back” instructions: 0

Number of abusive babysitters I’d like to hunt down and stab in the chest with a pitchfork: 1

Years since I completely blew off my scheduled audition with the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan: 21

Number of times I spontaneously drove to the airport and purchased a ticket for “the next flight that lands in LaGuardia”: 2

Number of times I swam in germ infested flood water: 1

Number of times I got drunk and threw up on Brendan Fahey’s shoes: 1

Number of times I found out I was completely wrong about what I thought my grandfather’s name was: 1

Number of sisters who also thought my grandfather’s name was the one I thought it was and therefore also found out she was completely wrong about what she thought our grandfather’s name was: 1

Number of hours since we found out my grandfather had a different name than we thought he had: 16

Number of moles on my face which I absolutely despise: 14

Approximate number of times I have made hard boiled eggs without looking up how to make them first: 1

Approximate number of times I have called my mother to ask her how to make hard boiled eggs: 14

Number of times I lied about who I was to get backstage access to a concert: 1

Number of times I walked out on dates without actually notifying them I was leaving thereby leaving them to sit waiting for me to return (of which I cannot forgive my appalling, selfish behavior): 2

Number of times I dove off a pier in the middle of the night wearing nothing but a lime green thong: 1

Chances I’ll ever wear anything in public again that shows more than my knee caps: 0

Average number of times in any given month I’m called by the wrong name by fellow co-workers and/or customers, thus reassuring me none of my racy past will ever catch up with me: 6

Amount of money I plan to save in a 12-month period: $10,000

Amount of money currently saved: $752.86

Months left to reach $10,000 savings goal I set for myself: 3

Probability of actually reaching the $10,000 savings goal in 3 months: 0

Percentage of my brain screaming “call the police! This scuzzy guy is about to murder you!” while sitting in the back of an ambulance with Ted Nugent: 112

Number of times I was hugged by Ted Nugent: 2

Realization of who Ted Nugent actually was: 0

Number of books I read on average each year: 30

Number of times I’ve said I wanted to get paid for writing: 687,371

Number of times I’ve actually submitted my writing for paid consideration: 0

Probability of actually getting paid to write if I never submit anything: 0

Number of times I contacted the police to report a dead body on the side of the road: 1

Likelihood I will tell you I have the best life stories ever (in percent): 100

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Doubt: A Parable. And a Mother's Love


At first we assumed she wanted to be a monkey. But, no. She insisted that what she wanted to be was a monk. She had just watched a documentary about the Dalai Lama and was infatuated with Tibetan monks. She was also infatuated with dingoes and whether or not they actually ate the baby.


My daughter announced she wanted to be a Fortune Teller when she grew up. This was a grave concern and required the immediate attention of myself, her teacher at the parochial school she attended, as well as the prinicpal of the school, because only God can know the future of one's life and we ought not to fall into Satan's trap by buying into witchcraft and false prophecy. When I turned and asked my daughter why she wanted to be a Fortune Teller she explained that she wanted to wear long flowing skirts and to hear the sounds of bracelets clinking together. She was 8.


This meant conversations were strained, riddled with angst and frustration, shadowed with distrust, and completed in tears. Mostly on my end.


It was a risk to take her to the theater. By myself. With no one to help moderate the conversation between us. With no witnesses in the car. I doubted it would end well. I imagined her rolling her eyes. The way my lips would pinch together and my eyes would narrow in direct reaction to her incredibly obvious unappreciation and lack of respect.

As we sat awkwardly side by side, waiting for the show to start, I wondered why I had even bothered. She will hate this. It's a play called Doubt: A Parable written by John Patrick Shanley. There are only four actors in the play. It is simply described as:

It's 1964 at a Catholic school in the Bronx, Sister Aloysius believes that Father Flynn may have engaged in sexual misconduct against Donald, the only black student at the school. Father Flynn angrily denies and wrongdoing.

I doubt she will enjoy this.

I doubt she will appreciate this.

I doubt everything about this night.

And yet, I am wrong.

90 minutes later the lights rise and she looks at me with a look on her face I can't describe. That's it? It just ended? That's not fair! We'll never know what happened - if he really did it or not!

I'm surprised to find out she was listening. Paying attention. Hanging on to words.

I hate cliffhangers, she mumbles as she exits the row.

We fight our way through the crowd.


Why do you need your ticket stamped? I explain how college kids can earn credit for attending shows. They must watch the show, get their ticket stamped, write a report. I'd like a class like that!

It's cold outside. She's wearing flip-flops. They're cute, but impractical. I swallow the urge to point this out. Instead I ask what she thought of the show.

I liked it. But I can't believe the mom was basically Who Cares? He's gay - just let him graduate. What kind of mother does that?

I think for a minute. She's right. What mother would just "let" their child be abused... just so he can graduate from a respected school? To better his chances at a future? But then... I am a mother. I doubt she'll understand when I say that maybe this is the only way she knows how to protect him. She said the father abuses him. Beats him because he's gay. That if word got out the boy would surely die at the father's hand.

And she thinks for a moment.


It's something. "I don't think it's right, what she did," I explain. "As a mother." And even as I say it, I doubt my conviction. I've been there. Trying to fight for my child. And finding myself surrounded by brick walls all around. I know what that woman feels like. That feeling where you hand it over and do the best you can and just pray that everyone just makes it through.

There's more silence in the car. It's so cold! she says. My feet are freezing! I laugh and point out the flip-flops. But at least they're cute she giggles. Yes, that they are.

We drive.

I really liked that play. It made me think.


Everything. It just always made you think. Like, I don't know for sure if he did it or not. He acted like he did - by leaving, but then, maybe he just left because he couldn't take it anymore and nothing happened.

I don't know what to say because she's said so much. I don't want to come across preachy. Or like a know-it-all. I doubt my words. I doubt the sureness of my voice, so I say nothing.

We're surrounded by silence.

I liked what they said about the pillow -- that gossiping is like opening up a pillow and letting all the feathers fly away in the wind. You can't ever get all those feathers back. You can't ever fix things completely.

I smile in the dark.

I don't doubt her. Who she is. I worry about her. I want the best for her. But I don't doubt who she is: my wise beyond her years child with the sensitive heart and the logical soul.

I do not doubt my love for her.

Monday, February 20, 2012

There is no Newsflash if I've already flashed you the news.

Being that yesterday I did all the laundry and folded it downstairs, in the basement, away from the children, and that I spent the last part of my evening glued to the television set watching the Downton Abbey, not blinking, and therefore became too lazy to go back down to the basement and bring up any of my clothes I might need to wear, and also because I began to read a book called The History of Love  by Nicole Krauss - which immediately lives up to its description as 'hauntingly beautiful' and made me stay up too late so then I was tired this morning and woke up late and therefore did not have the time to run downstairs to get any clean clothes, I was forced to wear the absolute last pair of clean underwear I had in my drawer; that being a mauve colored pair I wore when I was pregnant. And these suckers are HUGE. But surprisingly comfortable. And also, my sternum now has an extra layer of cotton protection which will probably cut down on my chances of contracting a chest cold. Who knew maternity underwear could stretch so high once one became unpregnant?

The fact I'm wearing underwear that could easily fit a wooly mammoth was going to be my little secret. Except then it got to be lunch time and I didn't bring any lunch, yet I wasn't actually hungry so I just kept working. But then I got hungry. Really hungry. Except the day was almost over so what's the point of leaving now to go track down lunch? Plus I can't really go through the drive-thru anymore because having Celiac Disease does that. Where's your gluten free buns, Burger King? Huh? And so I opened my drawer that houses my emergency stash. Which included exactly one small box of gluten free Cream of Rice.

Even with 5 packets of sugar stirred in it's still nasty. Trust me. Nasty enough where I just ladled up a spoonful and swallowed, praying nothing grazed a taste bud. And that worked for awhile. Up until I hit the center of the goopy glob and accidently swallowed alarge spoonful of 487-degree Cream of Nasty. And my esophogus started burning. Bad. And then my stomach. And I'm pretty sure my stomach lining suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns. And I could hardly breath. And I had nothing to drink on my desk. And I swore I was about to die.

But I couldn't die! Not while wearing these ridiculous underwear! Seriously? How utterly embarrassing would that be? Not on my watch, thankyouverymuch. I'll be passing on a day when I'm wearing an overpriced matching set from Victoria's Secret. Or else in my sleep wearing my comfy pajama pants and long sleeved t-shirt with the frayed collar. Go Badgers! Either of those scenarios will be acceptable.

Anyway. The reason I'm telling you now is because should something accidently happen to me today that is beyond my control, I don't want my granny panties to be the talk of the town. I'd rather just burst the rumor bubble before it starts.

And for the record - these are surprisingly comfy. I might have to run out of underwear more often. Sorry, Big V. Mama's getting comfortable!