taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Saturday, July 30, 2005

There ought to be separate highways for people who have all the time in the world, 'cause the rest of us have places to be and we want to get there soon. I'm serious--there seems to be a whole contingent of people out there who are in no fucking hurry to go anywhere at all, be it work or home or on vacation or wherever. I've been driving on major highways a lot lately, and there are these these people in the left lane, yammering on cell phones and doing 45mph, who won't move and consistently cause major traffic backups. They need to go away.

I've also noticed a remarkable consistency in the types of people who drive incredibly slowly and in inappropriate lanes, or who block traffic by driving the exact same speed as the person next to them, thereby creating a phalanx of slow-moving vehicles blocking everyone's way. As a public service announcement, I am publishing the types of cars you should stay far, far away from. (And, if you are the driver of one of these cars--or someone who finds themselves saying "Whaaaat! I'm GOING the SPEED LIMIT!"--please,please move to the right lane. That lane is for you. That is where you belong.)

1. Minivans. I dunno what it is about minivans that make their owners turn into thorazine-addled, inattentive, slow-ass drivers (maybe they're watching theiir DVD players?), but it's a fact. Minivans almost always merge slowly and hesitantly, drive slow in the fast lane, and meander down city streets like tourists-- "Madge, looka that!" (Todd, man, I'm sorry--I don't mean you, okay? It's the other minivan drivers, I swear.)
2. Cars with "Support the Troops" and breast cancer ribbons on the back. First of all, what is with the fucking ribbons? OK, troops good, breast cancer bad, WE GET IT. Now could you PLEASE speed up and get the fuck in the other lane?
3. Anyone with a "specialty" license plate, you know, one that declares their allegiance to some organization or another, be it a masonic lodge, an alumni association, or some pro-life group. Also, anyone with "cute" vanity plates. The other day on 97, I was behind a minivan with the plate "BEARS4U". It was so cute! So, so cute. And so, so slow.
3. Anyone with a sign on their car that says "CAUTION! SHOW DOGS ON BOARD!" 'Nuff said. (That was a minivan too, come to think of it.)
4. People in caravans. The very nature of a caravan, folks, is its slowness. Caravans need to get into the right lane. There's a reason that wagon trains moved so incredibly slowly--they're following each other! For the love of god.
5. People having long involved cell phone conversations. Look, I've done it too--I admit it. But I did it in the RIGHT LANE. When you're on the phone, you're not paying attention, let's face it. The drive doesn't seem as long and you drive twice as slowly.
6. Fat, smug men in giant SUVs. For some reason, a while back, these guys ditched their giant magnetic American flags (they replaced them with ribbons, BTW), but you can still tell them a mile off. They're more than likely off to a golf game or something and wearing a yellow polo shirt, and usually have maintained their proud Bush-Cheney stickers (or, in MD, Ehrlich stickers). They always drive slow in the left lane and I suspect they're thinking "Bitch, get off my ass, I know you want me." These are the guys who, thirty years ago, smashed beer cans against their heads and took advantage of drunk freshmen. Nowadays they drive slow just 'cause they can.

There are more, but I've pissed myself off so much thinking about it that I need to go have a cig. I think the bottom line is that people who overdecorate their cars, vote republican, purchase their car based more on its semiotic value than its utility, and overall believe that their interests trump everyone else's--those are the people that need their own highway. Perhaps Halliburton could take some time off from Iraq and build them one--at taxpayer expense, of course.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Some years ago my husband bought an ant farm for our daughter, who was a toddler. It was an odd choice of gift, I thought--at the time, we'd sold our house, thinking we'd be able to find something right away, and we couldn't. So we ended up in this apartment over by Wyman Park, living in a quarter of the space we'd had before. My father died right around this time, and I was working this incredibly demanding job, and we were totally displaced and had this two-year-old who was understandably upset by the moving and uncertainty. I used to come home every night, eat a bowl of pasta and read one of the John LeCarre novels that my father had left behind, drink some beers and pass out in my business suit, unable really to do much more than that. That, and cry. I was twenty-five years old and I didn't know what to do at all. I'd no idea that when people said "life is hard" they meant this--a father you missed, a child you didn't know what to do with, no home to call home, working fifteen hours a day--a whole set of devastating events that meant yes, I was an adult, and yes, I needed to pick myself back up and deal with it.

So anyway, one day the husband comes home with an ant farm that had arrived in the mail. A little green ant farm, just like I remembered from childhood, with a packet of sleeping ants (I can't remember now if they were drugged or there was some natural reason for them to sleep while going through the U.S. Postal Service). And a note that said, more or less (I can't quote it verbatim now) "It is illegal to ship queen ants through the mail. Therefore, all of the ants will eventually die. If you want to keep your ant farm alive, you will need to find a queen ant in your yard and put her in the ant farm."

Well, we didn't have a yard. And I was most certainly not going out into the courtyard digging for queen ants, and neither, it seemed, was my husband. So the ant farm became essentially an exercise in work and death: the drones built sand hills and carried their dead to the bottom of the farm, working little paths through the white hills beneath the fake green plastic barn. Over the course of a few months, in between giving my child baths in the rusty tub, weeping over spaghetti and George Smiley, I watched the ants die one by one, carried to their graves by their comrades, who worked without purpose in the flat, two-dimensional farm. I remember often thinking, "What will happen when the last one dies? Who will carry her to her grave?"

And it would have been a her--the helpful notes with the ant farm, besides extolling the virtues of ants ("Ants are the hardest workers on earth! They work all day and most of the night!") told me that all the worker ants were female. All of them. The only males in the bunch would appear, spontaneously, in the presence of a queen--yes, the female ants sprung wings from their backs and became males for half a day to fertilize the lolling queen, and then die--spent. But without a queen, they were doomed to work ceaselessly, never to sprout wings, never to do anything at all but carry the dead around.

I fed them their sugar water, they lived a while, and I don't remember now whether I got to see the last one carrying the second-to-last one onto the now-huge pile of dead. I did notice that they never ate their own, and the burial ritual seemed quite elaborate. And yes, they were hard workers; and indeed, they worked all together--the ant farm was like some Soviet propaganda for the collective. Their movements seemed somehow coordinated, and yet how could they communicate, these tiny insects with their tiny segmented bodies and tiny little brains? Was I missing something--some connection with my fellow humans, that I couldn't understand how it was possible?

I came back to life--slowly, it's true, and with great difficulty. And realized that we all live in the ant farm to some degree, but it's not the horrible thing I'd imagined back then. That we all affect each other--that our decisions matter far beyond their immediate consequence, that the walking back and forth and going here to there and the work that seems like drudgery has an underlying purpose--if it does. If you have a queen, it matters. And if you don't, it's work and death.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Bee has developed this little beauty queen wave (side to side, you know?) and this little mellifluous way of saying "Hi!" that's somehow breathy and baby-like at the same time. She marches around everywhere saying "Hi!" to strangers, who are ALL charmed, for obvious reasons--I mean, who can resist a little blue-eyed smiling baby grinning at you, giving the beauty-queen wave, and saying "Hi!" as though you're absolutely the most important person in the whole world?

And this is why I know that the Bee is going to be the queen of all flirts. All anyone really wants (and men especially, 'cause men are simpleminded) is to feel really important and loved all the time. Bee's got that down. She makes everyone feel like the center of the universe. For the love of God, that child is charming.

Sure, in her spare time, for fun, she's trying to grab knives and lighters, and mostly biting older children and stealing their binkies. But this funny thing happens--she'll be TOTALLY insufferable for a while, but then decides to turn on the charm--"Hi! Hi!" with the batting eyelashes and all--and everyone falls for it.

I've seen it happen. Adults and children alike will say "That is an insane monkey! Make her stop!" and then she turns on the charm and BOOM. Suddenly they melt. "She's so wonderful!" I'm hoping I manage to quell her more feral urges, but I don't have a lot of hope. I actually think her middle name might actually be "Comeuppance."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Get your Scrapple apparel today!

And yeah, what xlt said... why is sausage any less gross than scrapple? Hell, they even have gourmet sausage now. It's the same old ground-up scraps, after all!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Just returned from the ocean for a couple of days, which of course always requires a trip through Bridgeville, Delaware, home of Rapa Scrapple.

Now, let's be clear here. I love Scrapple. I love RAPA brand Scrapple, actually. My dream job is to be marketing director for RAPA Scrapple. If possible, I would eat Scrapple every day--but Scrapple is a rare treat, a delicacy. It requires patience to cook well, and I'm not patient. It requires time. It requires love. And so you just can't eat Scrapple every day, even if you wanted to. Few people truly understand Scrapple, but those that do are fanatical in their devotion, and for good reason.

And so we come to the event that will make my autumn complete: the Apple-Scrapple Festival, during which thousands and thousands of pounds of scrapple are cooked and served to 30,000 loyal Scrapple-eaters. I can't believe I didn't know about this until now, but you can bet that I'm going this year. I hope to buy a RAPA scrapple T-shirt but I don't think they make them, so I may have to create my own and wear it to the festival. Maybe I'll even make a bunch of them and try and sell them at the festival--kind of being an *amateur* marketing director for Rapa Scrapple!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I smoke on the fire escape of my building, forty feet above the beautiful vista of downtown Hampden. It's fascinating to watch the homely 'hos talking to their pimps and the cops lackadaisically driving along the Avenue, never busting anyone. The other day I was standing out there, watching the corner in front of the convenience store where one particular pimp runs his stable of beauties (mostly addlepated women who appear to be in their forties but who are probably much younger). Two 'hos, two guys, and a cop. One ho--in a tube top with fat rolls over the top of her jeans--didn't seem to know what to do, and wandered in and out of the parking lot, while her skinnier friend negotiated something with the cop, who drove away with a laugh and a wave, not caring at all that the whole time, guys kept coming up and handing the women money or taking money from them. It was like watching a game of Go--cells just moving from here to there, apparently at random but with some underlying structure.

Two weeks ago I was trying to cross the road in Hampden and almost got run over by some maniac who was driving on the wrong side of the street at eighty miles an hour. A week later, I was crossing the same street and some redneck kid rolled down his window and spat on me. Luckily it was more of a fine spray than a loogie, but a biological hazard nonetheless. At that point I'd had enough--I chased their red Pontiac and thought about throwing my San Pellegrino bottle at them, but I wanted my San Pellegrino. So I put my cig out on their car instead.

Walking by the Cafe Hon, with its ironic tribute to redneckery, makes me sick every time I have to go to the bank. Right across the street, the real "hons" ply their trade--ten dollar blowjobs, teeth and stroller optional. There's two schools of thought on this. On the one hand, it's the bourgeouisie exploiting the working class for their own amusement. On the other, it's glorifying the worst kind of stupid meanness possible. There's a definite Amos and Andy quality about the whole thing, only it's okay because everyone involved is white. At the same time, a lot of these Hampden rednecks are truly awful and mean.

I'll never forget the time I went into Zissimo's in the late nineties and this woman in a powder-blue sweatsuit got a hardon for me and tried to whack me over the head with her pool cue. I hadn't done anything but enter her bar, and it pissed her off. But she would have beaten me to within an inch of my life, if she hadn't been hammered and her friends hadn't held her back. I honestly don't see what's so ironic or amusing about any of it. It's desperation and fear and the constantly encroaching outside world, it's $300K rowhouses and the people who live on dirty porches next door, it's whores with a chip on their shoulder and pimps with upside-down cross tattoos beneath their eyes.

Walk down the street and meet the empty stares, hand a cigarette to a fifteen-year-old prostitute, watch the shopkeepers watching everything--Guitar Man who says "Where's your boyfriend?" or the Cigarette Smoking Lady at the Sev, who's taken a shine to me for some reason, or the lady at the consignment store who knew my name the first time I walked in the door. The entire neighborhood lives in uneasy tension, waiting for the other shoe to drop, only it never does. The pimps hang warily on the corner and the hookers don't bother to make eyes at anyone. The weather gets so hot that everyone goes to Roosevelt Pool and hangs out at the shallow end. They knock things down and they build new things and everyone has great hopes except, you know, not everyone does have great hopes. Some people just hope to die.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm going to turn comments back on and post later on today if anyone's still reading this. I think the worst of the bullshit is pretty much over... let's hope... and if it's not, I have some ass to kick and some lawyers to cal...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Comments off for now.

I really don't have time for low-rent redneck name calling, so I'm taking a break til I feel all this has all died down. Til then, send me an email if you want to talk to me.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I wanted to promote this comment from my ex, because I want to make sure that anyone who's reading this blog simply to pass judgement will see that actually, things have been done quite nicely here at the Home of Dismay. Thank you, Mr. Valve, you are a true friend.

"Hi--Special Guest Poster, here... Yes, it's the STOBEX (soon to be ex) hubby!

While that (now deleted) comment was stupid and insensitive, it was more wrongheaded and agenda-laden than it was evil.

As another star in this soap opera, I can honestly say that things are working out better than they would be on "parallel universe Bastille Day" where Claire and I are still together. Things happened in a way that were painful and hard to understand--from my earlier perspective. I am now a man to be envied--yes *envied*. I still have two sweet, wonderful daughters (who are NOT going to be ruined by any of this, I mean--come on), I have Claire as a friend, I have a new SO who is magnificent and sweet who makes me happy, and I have room and time to grow in ways that weren't possible before.

The girls have whole future adult lives where they will play out their own unfolding dramas. The way it's playing out (in the positive fashion it is) will make this nothing more than an historical footnote for the girls. For me and Claire, this is it--these are our lives, and we are living them. So nannny-nanny boo-boo."

I just did something I've never done before: removed a comment. My theory was always that if I was going to allow people to comment, I should leave them all there whether I disagreed with them or not, because it was part of the beauty of this whole exercise: creating a sort of dialogue or open connection with the world. But this (anonymous) comment was so wrong-headed and stupid and unfair and slanderous that I felt I would either have to respond in some way, or it needed to go away. And since responding seemed idiotic, since nothing I could say would convince this poster of anything, I decided to make it go away. Hooray!

Oh--and no more anonymous comments here. You wanna talk to me, show your face.

ANYWAY. I went over to the ex's last night to sit on the patio and chat. We had a lovely time talking about the kids, his new girlfriend, and life in general. He appears to be much happier without me, which I knew would happen, and he actually thanked me for being the one who had the guts to leave. I really like that man. My therapist says (here I go again) that my aim should be to create a businesslike relationship with him, but the fact is, we've been friends for fifteen years and I just genuinely like him. As a friend, mind you. And I'm glad he's happy. I even like his new girlfriend. I hope she's good to him, better than I was.

Onward and upward. More slaving away at work for the rest of the week, then a joyful Saturday by the pool and a Sunday filled with far-flung barbecues. I will try and remind myself not to eat so many hot dogs this time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's entirely possible all my posts from now on will start out "My therapist says...." Which will be annoying, but seriously.... my therapist says that when you go through a divorce you find out who's really your friend. I've been thinking a lot about my friendships lately because it's surprising who's been supportive and who hasn't.

I haven't been acting in the most considerate manner to all my friends, it's true. Sometimes that happens when you move out of your house, work 10 hour days and then come home to work for 5 more hours getting the house ready to sell, have Verizon and Sprint problems and so end up without a phone for two weeks, attempt to get used to being a single mom, sleep maybe 4 hours a night, and spend an entire month crying. Yeah, times like that make it hard to think about other people's needs. Maybe I'm just inconsiderate, as I've been reminded repeatedly over the last month.

Or maybe there's an air of failure around me, you know? This divorce thing, it might be contagious. And the moral judgements abound, because obviously everyone else has a lock on the Truth and the Right Way To Do Things and I'm obviously the Whore of Babylon, who left a perfectly fine marriage and ruined my children's lives so I could run around and sip cocktails and eat bonbons all day. Never mind that my ex and I are having perhaps the world's most civil separation (not that it's not difficult, mind you, but we're grownups about it). Never mind that I'm finally happy, despite the stess and hard work. Never mind that it's nobody's business whether I'm right or wrong in the eyes of myself, my children, my ex, or my God. Every day that goes by, I am more convinced of the rightness of my decision. And every day that goes by I feel more and more in control of my life, responsible at long last.

It would have been nice if my closest friends had said "Let's cut Claire a little slack, she's going through a really hard time right now." But that isn't how it went down, and I have to take my lumps. If everyone thinks I've made a horrible mistake, so be it--time will tell. If they want to avoid me and talk shit, fine. I got a lecture the other day from a girlfriend who said "It's proof of how good a friend you are if you can be there for people when they're going through a hard time. That's friendship," because I had bailed out of another friend's baby's birthday party.

It hit me then--either no one knows how soul-crushingly, gut-wrenchingly horrible this has been for me, or they don't care. They didn't see me all those months--since December, at least--lying on my studio floor weeping for hours. They didn't see me hauling boxes by myself up three flights of stairs. They didn't see me as the moving van drove down the street, hysterical and unable to drive. They haven't seen me up at 5am every day making lunches for the girls, or up til midnight cleaning and trying to make it nice around here for them.

For that matter, I guess they don't understand what the last five years of my life have been like--the sheer lonlieness and abandonment I felt, the agony of watching my marriage disintegrate before my eyes, my heart breaking as the man I loved retreated and what we once had fell utterly apart. The thought, at six months pregnant, sitting in my living room and unable to stop crying, that I'd be much, much better off dead.

And now--now that I'm finally coming back to life, now that I've finally woken from the nightmare, now that I'm pulling myself back together--now they've decided that I'm wrong. Because I guess I don't deserve to be happy. And I don't deserve any patience or consideration myself, I don't deserve to be cut some breaks. And I don't know what's in my best interest, and I don't know what I'm doing.

So. My therapist says this is all normal and some of them will come back and some of them won't, and there's nothing I can do about it but wait and see. So we'll see.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

It's already shaping up to be a great weekend, and well-deserved. Spent the week working super-hard at work and fielding all manner of phone calls, since both my bosses are out of town. I appear to be third in the line of succession, like the Speaker of the House, so I get to answer any and all questions about everything. Mostly I don't have answers, but I fake it pretty well.

Our house goes on the market this weekend so I'm going to spend part of the weekend scrubbing, and part of the weekend at the pool with many adorable children and one of my favorite friends, a girl whose nerdiness and beauty so far exceeds mine that I consider myself lucky to be in her presence. Last night we went out with another lovely woman that I've recently become friends with and who seems to take all my jobs when I leave them. I'm feeling a little bad about recommending her for the last job I left, at the advertising agency, because the place is far more like a frat party than an actual company. But she seems to find it amusing, for now.

Also last night, we put the BEST PIECE OF ART EVER on layaway. It's a Princess Di bottle opener with little 3-D arms and legs and pieces of windshield glass and this portrait of Princess Di. And did I mention it's a bottle opener? Go down to Molly's and check it out. It's got a red sticker on it 'cause we put down the deposit on it, so don't try to buy it. I think they might actually sell it twice, or to the highest bidder, and that thing is mine. We might even pay it off by Christmas!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Haunting update:

Last night after I finished posting about the haunting, the Panda came down on the patio for a chat. I hadn't mentioned anything about my suspicions to her, or discussed them when she might overhear. Anyway, so she says to me, "A weird thing happened last night. I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and the toilet paper was all clawed up, like a cat had clawed it. I took that piece off the roll and threw it out, and looked down at the floor, and there were three red claw marks in the floor." She paused. "It really reminds me of that movie... you know, 'They moved the headstones BUT THEY DIDN'T MOVE THE GRAVES!'"

She actually seemed to find it kind of amusing but it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I checked the bathroom and didn't see any marks on the floor, so maybe she was dreaming.

I also forgot to mention that the other day, I had a friend over for cocktails. He made some ina the shaker, poured them out, and left the shaker lid on the counter. We sat on the patio for a while; I asked him to make another, and when he went upstairs to make them, he couldn't find the shaker lid on the counter. He looked and looked and finally found it sitting on the floor next to the trash can. He hadn't used the trash can before, so there was no reason for him to have put it there. He told me later, when I voiced my suspicions about the washer lid, and told me he hadn't wanted to scare me but it had given him the creeps.

So there you have it. Is it legal in Maryland to break a lease due to haunting?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Townhome of Dismay is HAUNTED!

Yes, it's true. Tell me this isn't weird:

1. I usually do all my laundry in a single night. I put the laundry in, go about my business, and when I go down to change it.... the washer lid is open. Not every single time, but enough times to make me doubt my sanity. I won't have even been in the laundry room, and so why would it be open?

2. I keep a statue of St. Francis out back. There's no reason for me to move old Francis--I put him in one place when I moved in, and I know exactly where he is because I'm back here smoking all the time. Well, last night I come out and Francis has moved 45 degrees counter clockwise. I would also doubt my sanity on this, but visitors to the T. of H. confirm that yes, Francis moved. My back patio isn't entirely inccessible, but it's pretty private, and if anyone was back here why would they move Francis but not touch anything else?

3. While brushing my teeth in the bathroom, I often see someone standing to my left outside the bathroom door. I turn and the figure is gone. It's eerie and quite unlike anything I've experienced before.

4. Neighbors report that "no one stays in that house very long." It's a comfortable house so it's hard to imagine why.

I don't feel too creeped out by the whole thing--I don't sense an evil force in the house or anything. I mean, what kind of ghost fusses with washer lids and statues? And who's ever heard of a ghost haunting a 30-year-old townhouse? Still, it's odd. Perhaps my daughter is getting to that Poltergeist age, you know, where here massive energies are causing objects to move around. Given her temper, I wouldn't be surprised. I'll post here if I have any more sightings.

20,000 Shriners were in town this weekend for their annual convention, so of course I had to go down and see them parade across Pratt Street. There's something compelling about Shriners, and it's not just the multitude of vehicles they drive: at the parade we saw mini tractor-trailers, flying carpets, ATVs, customized motorcycles (including a recumbent motorcycle!), miniature antique cars, the "sidewinder" (a Jeep that drives sideways), a calliope, a giant fez, and many many more. No, there's something more to it, a kind of mystery about the whole thing that's simultaneously fascinating and amusing. They're like mini-Masons, only with a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Twenty or thirty years ago, the Boumis (Baltimore's version of Shriners) were on the verge of dying out. My dad told me once that they actually came to his company to see what they could do, marketing-wise, to prop up the organization. My dad wrote a proposal but they didn't want to spend the money, and then in the eighties they had to give up their elaborate temple on Charles Street, which was subsequently razed for a gym for Loyola. Somehow I think that the swimming and ab-toning that happens on the site now is far less interesting than whatever the Boumis used to do there. I do wonder where they moved, where they keep their fleet of parade vehicles, how any of it manages to make money for children's hospitals. I was heartened to see younger faces among the parading Shriners, though, and kind of hope for a resurgence of the whole thing. Hell, I'd join if they'd let me. I'd learn to play the calliope.

Baltimore has always been a hotbed of weird secret societies like this. The Masons have a gigantic temple in Guilford. And the first North American Oddfellows hall was here in Baltimore. The building I work in, as it turns out, was an Oddfellows hall, which might explain why the downstairs hallway gives me the creeps. At any rate, I've always thought there was something in the water here that led men to don fezzes and learn to do wheelies, risking hip-replacement surgery in the process. I hope that the Shriners never, ever go away.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day! How fitting. I am now independent! Hooray!

Spent the weekend going to barbecues--seems like everyone was having grilled meat and beer, which suits me just fine. Played some pool and lost, went over to the ex's house and attempted to powerwash the deck (quite fun, you should try it sometime), and lit off some Target firecrackers in the parking lot.

I think my neighbors officially think I'm insane. I can imagine it now--"That woman's planning to live next door to her ex-husband? And she's lighting off firecrackers and it appears from the contents of her trash that she lives on nothing but bacon and coronas!" (My next door neighbors, who argue loudly in Hebrew, may not be pleased by the amount of pork products consumed in this house. I'm hoping the smell of scrapple isn't permeating their walls.)

Which brings me to my main point about independence day. For me, being independent isn't just about living on my own and supporting myself and my children. It isn't about taking care of my business and having a responsible job. It's all those things, of course, but it's more than that--it's going my own way, living my own life, and not giving a rat's ass if anyone thinks I'm doing it wrong. I strive to be considerate of other people, I'm a good mother, and I want to try and be a good friend and co-worker and ex-wife and all of that. But as far as anyone's opinion about the way I live my life, fuck 'em.

This is a new position for me. I used to care deeply what people thought. I even bought a navy blue Polo tankini one year because I thought it was sufficiently "momlike". That tankini haunts me to this day, sitting in the drawer. I looked at it before we went to the pool the other day, pushed it to the back of the drawer, and got out my tiny little string bikini instead. Who says I have to wear a navy blue tankini? Where is it written down that to be a good mother you must put on khaki pants and a t-shirt? People who know me will probably say that they always believed this about me, that I didn't care what people thought, but I did. Sometimes I acted how I wanted to anyway, but that doesn't mean I didn't care. But now--with my highly unconventional living situation and my string bikini and my bacon--now I really don't care. I'm determined to make my life work in the best way I know how, and no one can tell me what that is. And that, my friends, is what it means to be independent.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Long discussion with Sweetney last night over beers about the public/private problem of blogging. She and I feel similarly uncomfortable, due to a variety of weird/unpleasant experiences with our blogs and the attitude of some of the people now reading them. Her manifesto is a good thing and I hope it solves her problem. For me, I just want people who either a) don't like me, or b) are here to try and get some kind of gossip, to stop reading this and go away so I can write freely again.