Sunday, March 28, 2010


Baby Bro,

Tomorrow you turn twenty two. Or you would anyway.
We're going out to the dunes where we scattered your ashes. Mom and Sarah have planned a whole thing that involves releasing balloons and other ridiculous things. Mom is making all of your favorites for dinner. She baked a cake.
I don't want to go. I'm not into it.I don't think its what you would have wanted. You weren't into big displays. They're stupid. And I don't have the heart to watch Mom and Sarah cry anymore.
I just want to get completely blind drunk. I want to have a lot of whiskey and miss you in my own way.
Why did you leave us, Baby Bro?
I don't know how to do this without you.
I love you.

Love, Me

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Crumbs In Bed and Other Things My Mother Hates

I am under the covers in my bedroom.

I love this room.
When I moved in it was a small gray-lavender cave.
Its amazing what a little bit of paint can do. TheBean and I painted it a sunny yellow color in the space of an afternoon. We discovered that I'm a terrible painter, but TheBean kept accidentally painting the ceiling, so she didn't have much room to criticize.

Anyway, I'm in my bed, on my laptop.
I love my laptop.
I named it. I only name the things that I truly love.

And I'm eating. Some people (my mother in particular) will tell you that eating in bed is bad. Well I am here to tell you that just isn't so.

She says that a bedroom should be a sanctuary, away from the stress of the day. No food, no animals, no street clothes in the bed, etc.
I get that.

But this bed is my sanctuary, and tonight there are Girl Scout Cookies in my sanctuary.

Mommo has always been funny about little rules like No Eating In The Car! and Absolutely No Shoes On The Carpet! It was the big things like the curfew I never had, and the alcohol I drank in high school that seemed to just... slip past her. We were like two strangers living closely intersecting lives.

Its bizarre to watch her helicopter TheFish. TheFish and I talked about it recently; we have completely different parents, yet they're the same two people. My mother was vague and disconnected, hers is neurotic and overprotective.
I don't really know which is worse.

Don't get me wrong. Mommo is lovely and intelligent and stronger than she knows. We're just incredibly different people.

Over the past two years, Mommo and I have stumbled into a strange sort of relationship. Its not quite mother-daughter, but its not just a friendship. Maybe its because I'm already an adult? Or because we emotionally abandoned each other during my formative years?

I guess it doesn't really matter.
Either way, I'm going to eat cookies in my bed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Home... Sweet?... Home

I make no secret of the fact that I hate living in this place.
I went to high school here, my family broke here, my heart broke here.
Almost nothing that I associate with this place is good.

I didn't really want to go out last night. It is, I suppose, technically the holiday of my people. My mother's family, anyway. They're all loud and Irish and love their whiskey. If you were to refer to us as a herd of willful gingers, well, you wouldn't be wrong.

I volunteered to drive. The idea of being drunk in a group that had indulged in too much Guinness and not enough corned beef and potatoes felt like the wrong kind of dangerous.

TheBean and I party hopped a little, and eventually ended up at a co-worker's house.

I was genuinely glad to see the people that I found there. I laughed all night. Not at anyone or because I felt obligated, but because I found something funny. I wasn't bored or irritated, even though I was one of the few sober people in the whole house. I danced. I cooked. I was hugged with such enthusiasm that I was propelled out of my chair and swung into the air.

It was a truly excellent night.

At some point, I looked around and made a startling discovery.

I've made a life here. Against my will.
And I like it.

Posted via email from Rather Be Social

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Show Me Yours And I'll Show You Mine

"Next week is my cousin's birthday. She's dead." He exhaled and the smoke curled upward.

I'd been having a rough morning at work. I was edgy and restless; by the time my lunch break showed up I wanted to be absolutely anywhere but there. I wasn't hungry, but I headed for my car anyway. I just wanted to be away.

Three quarters of the way to my car, I spotted him on the bench that had been shoved against the building between the storage sheds. I did an about-face and went over to say hello. I perched myself on the concrete base of the column across from the bench and stretched out my arm. Without speaking, he passed me his lighter and I reached into my bag for a cigarette.

Smoking is an old habit, one I've gone back to over the last few months. Its a nasty crutch, but some days that Camel is the only thing holding me together. So, for now, I allow myself this vice.

He regaled me with a ridiculous story about his roommate the night before, and then we fell silent. I was halfway through my second cigarette when he spoke again.

I took another drag and exhaled slowly before responding. "My brother's birthday is this month, too. The 29th. He would be 22"

He exhaled again "She died ten years ago. I got my first tattoo for her." He rolled up his sleeve to show me.

And then it followed: a bizarre version of Show Me Yours And I'll Show You Mine.
Our tales of memorial tattoos, fatal car accidents, emotional scars intertwined with the smoke from our cigarettes. We shared the memorial services, grief, shock and numbness as if they were war stories. There is a weariness to such talk- survival without triumph.

I wanted to cry, but he managed to make me laugh. Really laugh for the first time in too long.

Before I knew it, I was crushing out my fourth cigarette and my lunch break was over.
I hadn't eaten, but I felt more full than any food could have made me.

Maybe, just maybe, it will be okay.
I can hope anyway, huh?

Posted via email from Rather Be Social

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today a very close friend of mine called me a prude.
I was offended.
I don't think that choosing to filter the information that I share with others makes me a prude.
I lay my life open on the internet. I share my private thoughts and feelings here for people to read, analyze and occasionally criticize. But you, my online friends, my anonymous support group, know far more about my personal life than many of my friends.
I tell you about my guilt and my grief and my father. I tell you about my boy drama and my ExpirationDating. You know about the nights I cry, the nights I smoke too much, and when I become twitter-pated. I don't share a lot of this with my "real" life friends. Sure, most of them know that I blog, that I record all of the silly little detail of my life here, but none of them has ever been invited to read my blog. This is my place to be me, without judgment or fear. This is where I don't apologize for being selfish or shallow or ridiculous. My sanctuary, if you will.
If keeping my feelings and my naked business sheltered from the prying eyes of coworkers and friends makes me a prude, then fine. Maybe I am a prude. Fine. But that is my choice. And you know what? Anyone who doesn't like it can just fuck off.
The fact is, I am uncomfortable talking about sex. Actually, that isn't quite accurate. I am not uncomfortable with the subject of sex. I am uncomfortable talking about my own sex life. I read Cosmo, I watch Sex and the City, I see my gynecologist regularly. I've had a Brazilian wax. I've watched porn. I've seen babies be born and held a friend's hand through the toughest choice of her life.
Am I a virgin? No.
Am I ashamed of that? No.
Am I going to share my sex life with the group? Absolutely not.
When it comes to discussing my own personal sex life, forget it. I get squeamish and awkward. Maybe its leftover Catholic guilt, orr maybe its from living in a house with 80 girls and craving privacy of any kind for extended periods of time. I'm not sure. But its likely that I won't ever
In fact, I wish more people had filters.
It may titillate others to hear and share dirty stories, fine. But please leave me out of it.
I don't care if you had sex with your girlfriend in the bathroom at a classy restaurant or what you used for lube when you ran out of KY. I do not need to know that your girlfriend now refuses to pick you up at closing time because by then you've had too many drinks to maintain an erection.
I am just not interested in hearing your naked business.
And I am certainly not interested in sharing mine.