20 as 20

To start, I am 38 years old, in case you were unaware. 

I have very little problem with aging.  In fact, I embrace it.  I felt very awkward and weird until I was about 30, and I am loving this stage of my life far more than I did the previous few decades, likely because I have found a well of confidence in myself, due to things like feeling secure in my writing.  I have grown as a person more in the past 8 years than I did in the previous 20, and I am, frankly, very proud of myself.  So, aging does not scare me.

Terrifies the crap out of my husband, though.  He threw his back out not long ago and couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that he just cant lift 150 pounds anymore.  Kevin also has an aging issue, hoping that he is long gone before he ends up in a nursing home or something.  I personally think nursing homes are going to be rocking when were older.  I mean, it’s not like you turn 65 and have to take up knitting and backgammon.  Were gone have Xbox tournaments in our nursing homes, guys.  But I digress.

So, being 38 and aware of my health and such, I am usually comfortable with my limitations.  However, this weekend, there was no time for limits.

Let me tell you briefly about Nick.  Nick and I went to school together since PreK, and he was Kevin’s other best friend when we were kids.  We grew up together through Kev, and by high school, we had become very good friends.  Nick’s greatest talent is music, specifically the drums.  He has been playing since he was a kid, and sometime around the turn of the century he started his first band, Lurid.  I was a fan, though their music was a little heavy for me, but I went to dozens of shows.  Later, they disbanded and he formed Mad Yellow Sun, a band I liked much more, so I attended most of their shows.  After a while, Nick needed to progress, so he packed up his things and moved to Hollywood.  Ever since, he has been teaching music and performing with various groups and touring the world playing his favorite instrument.  I could not be prouder of my friend.

Anyway, a few months ago, Nick sent out a Facebook invite to a show he was doing near Buffalo.  He was going on tour with one of his bands, and I was of course excited to see him.  Thing is, it fell on Friday night…the night before the suicide walk, which was at 8am.  “I can do it,” I tell myself.  “I’ve done it before!”

Yeah, at 20, you idiot.

First of all, I woke up Friday morning and immediately made myself throw up.  Why, you ask?  Think of it as a preventative measure.  I wasn’t about to have some crap sitting in my stomach all morning only to flare up and make me sick on this, the day of days.  I took some Zofran and some Xanax and drank some coffee and was fine.  It was a good sign.

Around 530pm, Kevin and Johnny came over to pregame.  I went and got ready, taking a shower and getting dressed and putting on actual makeup.  I learned who my true friends are when I applied new foundation and Mark and John said I looked great, but Kevin told me “I cannot let you leave the house like that.”  Always got my back, that one.  As I reapplied, I thought of all the nights spent on someone’s kitchen floor getting ready for a “Nick show” back in the day.  I was momentarily grateful that it no longer took me two hours to get ready, though, even with the makeup reapplication. 

Eventually I was on the road, but, as it is when you are trying to be 20, it was one damn thing after another.  First, my sister, who was supposed to come, lost her ID.  Then my cousin decided to stay home.  Then Bern found ID, but didn’t go because Erin stayed.  Then my lighter died, so I had to get a new one.  Then, I had to go to the bank.  Then, I had to drive to flippin Tonawanda, which is a good 30 minutes from my house in South Buffalo.  By the time I got there and found parking I was terrified I was late.  Alas, no.

I saw him standing there talking to a group of people I don’t know. I waited for a lull in the conversation, and then said “Hi, Nicki.”

Nick’s reactions to seeing someone he misses are intense.  He is a hugger extraordinaire, and has the ability to make you feel as though you are the most important person in the room.  Which, I suppose is a good quality for a performer, but when you’re his friend, it truly is a genuine moment.  He tells me his mother is inside the bar.  Now, let me tell you about Joanne.

As there has always been me, Kevin, and Nick, there has also always been my mother, Sharon, and Joanne.  Sharon is Kev’s mother and I have always thought of her as my aunt, and another maternal presence in my life, as she helped raise me up as much as my mother helped raise up Kev.  Then Joanne, whom I because close to during my very tumultuous teen years, and a time when I felt like I couldn’t express things to my own mother.  She stepped in and filled that role whenever I needed her to.  She always was there for me, and for Kevin as well should he need her.  She still calls us her “babies.”  A while back, Jo got sick.  She has been battling some vicious cancer for a couple years now, and I haven’t been able to see her because she lives in North Carolina.  So, to hear she was mere feet away at the bar was incredible news, just as good as seeing Nick play again.

After greeting everyone and freaking out over Joanne being there, I ordered a drink and posted up by the window to take in the scene.  I need moments like this in crowded places, so as to keep myself grounded and not panicky.  An older gentleman sidled up beside me and started chatting me up.  After a little conversation he tells me that he hopes I’m not “weirded out by the old guy hitting on you.”  I tell him I’m not, and I’m flattered, but taken.  He smiles and tells me to have a good night and is on his way, and it makes me realize that this never would have happened if I were 20.

First of all, I didn’t have the confidence then that I do now and probably wouldn’t even have registered that the guy was interested.  Secondly, he never would have spoken to me because that would mean breaking me away from the pack I traveled in once upon a time.  If I’d had half a brain back then, I would have got a drink and stood alone for five minutes.  Could have met a guy instantly!  Again, I digress…

Eventually Nick goes on and plays better than I’ve heard, because it’s been like ten years since I saw him perform last.  I started to feel woozy mid-set, however, and went out for some air.  Jo was also outside feeling icky, and I told her I had to go.  I felt bad leaving early, particularly because I would have liked to spend some more time with Nick and her, but I couldn’t risk illness.  My attempt to relive my 20s wasn’t over yet.  I drove home and took my meds and went to bed…eventually.  I was weirdly amped up and tossed and turned all night.

I don’t know how I woke up at 7am feeling well, but I did, and it was a miracle.  8am found us out the door and headed downtown, and I thought of things like how I used to go party all night and then work a shift the next day.  How crazy!  I was so tired, and a little hungover.  Two beers might not be much for most people, but I am a lightweight who barely drinks, and I was feeling those Blue Moon’s from the bar that morning.

The walk was lovely.  It was bigger than last year’s experience which was significantly downgraded due to the pandemic, but it was still fairly small.  They spaced everything out nicely, and staggered arrival times for participants, so it wasn’t too crowded.  I raised 710$ this year, and was congratulated by the registration lady.  They gave me a t-shirt, they took our picture, and we walked around and looked at the info tables and basket raffle and such.  Then, we took a little walk, not as much as I would have liked to but as previously stated I was hungover and also my leg was killing me for some unknown reasons; probably the boots I chose to wear the night before.

Then, back to the car and home again and change of clothes and pack a bag and time for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  What’s that you say?  Its’ September?  Well, that means we are halfway there, so let’s do it up right!

Except they didn’t.  I’d like to say it was fun, and I guess it was to see people out and to be out myself, but the parade itself was lame.  Usually the best one (when held on actual St. Paddy’s Day,) this was just kind of sad.  It was a handful of families, a couple of bars with floats, a single pipe and drum band, and 4 politicians (and not even the one I’m voting for.)  Add in three fire trucks and a weird procession of Jeeps, and you have the entire parade.  No real music, no dancers, nothing.  Yawn.

Speaking of yawns, by the time I got home it was around 2pm and I was exhausted, I watched a little tv and then passed out on the couch.  I spent 20 hours acting like I was 20-drinking and partying and not sleeping and overexerting. 

And it was a blast, but, as I stated in the beginning…I like my 30s.  I like the pace I’ve got going here, and I hope it continues into the next decade.  As much fun as I had in that 20 hours is also as much exhaustion as I faced.  I have to face it-I am a one event per 24-hour period person now.

Still, it is joyous to grab those little moments where you can remember yourself in your youth, and I felt that this weekend, particularly on Friday night.  For a moment while I listed to Nick play, I’m sure, that in the right light, you could have sworn I was only 20 years old.

On Food and Funds

Not long ago, and not for the first time, I was having a conversation with a nutritionist about my diet.  This is a fun little topic that comes up on a regular basis given my gastroparesis and its tendency to make digestion an issue for me.  My diet is always evolving.  And again, not for the first time, I was encouraged to go out and buy food that I can never in a million years afford.

Because you can’t eat right if you’re poor.

I knew this a long time ago, when I went to my first food pantry at Catholic Charities.  The food was canned or frozen, and what little fresh food was available was a day away from the garbage bin.  Sometimes you got lucky, though.  I remember one afternoon when Trader Joe’s dropped off a load of almost expired products, and they put them on the shelves for anyone to take.  Some women were arguing over a pack of American cheese.  I looked in the cheese bin to see what was left, if anything, and was delighted!  Gouda? Havarti?  Brie?!  I scooped all that fancy cheese while those women were fighting over Kraft slices.  Still, the fresh food at that pantry was in low supply.  I had better luck at a secular pantry run by a health organization I was linked to, but eventually I stopped going to them and lost pantry privileges.

Then there are the grocery stores.  First of all, there’s food deserts: places with no access to fresh food, like downtown (soon to change now that Braymiller’s Market is opening, though I don’t know what their prices are like.)  I shop mainly at Savealot or Aldi’s, which are discount grocery stores.  Other options in the area are Wegmans and Tops.  These stores are very different from one another-take Wegmans and Savealot.  Firstly, you walk in the door and see the produce section.  Savealot’s is about a case and a half.  Wegmans’ is the garden of flippin’ Eden.  Then you find their bakery sections…one with packaged breaks and cakes and very little choice, the other with a million fresh baked options.  The meat and dairy sections at Wegmans are endless, but only a few cases at Savealot.  But then…frozen foods!  Savealot has two aisles for frozen food.  I’m sure Wegmans has the same or more, but in comparison to the other departments there is a huge difference between the offerings.  Almost as if there’s just more cheap and easy stuff per square foot at Savealot.  So, essentially, this low-cost store is definitely saving me money, but at what cost?  At the cost of my health.  See, the strawberries might be two bucks cheaper at Savealot, but at Wegmans, I don’t have to throw half out because they are rotting or damaged.

Another thing about the stores that Mark noticed is the way they are set up.  Savealot, has you enter in one specific spot and encourages you to follow a sort of zig-zag pattern through the aisles.  In Wegmans and Tops, is just laid out for you to go wherever and get your thing.  He noticed that when we went to buy cheese yesterday, we bought a few other things as well that we saw while walking the aisles.  Had we gone to Wegmans, that wouldn’t happen.  I would have gone directly to the dairy and got the cheese and left.  But that’s not just because of the way the grocery store is arranged; that’s because of my wallet.  I can’t AFFORD to aisle-wander in Wegmans. 

Bringing me back to how poor people can’t eat right.  My doc is from Amherst, a nice suburb, and likes to suggest I shop at Whole Foods and I like to laugh and laugh until it gets uncomfortable.  I can’t buy a head of lettuce in that store.  It’s outrageous.  It’s outrageous at Wegmans, and some days, I think it’s outrageous at Savealot, too.

When we used to get food stamps, a lot of people were always talking about how folks on EBT were spending it all on steak and lobster and I would laugh and laugh until it got real uncomfortable and then I would go on a rant about how I can barely buy ground beef and tuna fish with the 125$ a month they give us to feed ourselves and maybe you should just sit down and shut up before you make yourself into a fool in front of people who actually deserve help!  But I digress.

My point is that even with help, it’s not enough to eat right.

Mom told me Bill Maher went on a tear recently about how America is obese and her response was that maybe if we all had personal chefs and his kind of money that wouldn’t be a problem, which I think sums it up right there.  I, personally, am sick of hearing how going organic or something is better for me.  Why, I’d love to.  Just make it cheaper.

There is a ridiculous amount of poverty in this country and hunger and food-insecurity are real things in our communities, and there are just not enough services in my opinion.  I don’t feel as though people should jump though a thousand hoops just for the privilege of eating.  Furthermore, I don’t think it should be a frigging privilege.

In my research, a woman led me to FullCart, an online food bank.  I filled out the questionnaire and am hoping to hear back soon to see whether I qualify for a free box of food to be shipped to my house.  I know there won’t be a fresh thing in that box, but I’m going to try it all and find out what else is available for people who are hungry.

I could really go for a fresh garden salad with chicken and strawberries and walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette for lunch, but instead I’m having a chicken patty on white bread because that only cost me 25 cents to make.

Because you can’t eat right when you’re poor.

Blog-Sick

Some mornings it’s really hard to write because I don’t feel good physically.  Other days, I don’t feel good mentally.  Today I feel ok on both fronts, but my creative flow isn’t there so much…I don’t have any ideas springing from my fingertips right now.  This weekend was hard.  The kids were here and I was sick and I hate when that happens, and everything got cancelled or delayed in some way.  Then I find myself here on a Monday, already behind scheduled, trying to peck out a blog when really, I don’t feel like it.

But I’m not sick and I’m not depressed so I have no earthly reason to put off all I’ve to do, and so I pull out one of my favorite old coping mechanisms, “the Chandler.”

As a kid, Friends was one of my favorite TV shows.  When Monica and Chandler were getting married, he had a full-on freak out and went and hid in his office.  Ross found him there, and convinced him to get on with his day one step at a time.  “All you gotta do is go home and take a shower,” he said.  So, Chandler did.  Then, “all you have to do is put on your tux,” and so on and so forth.  I pull out this trick when I am feeling especially overwhelmed.

So, this morning, I said “all you gotta do is get dressed.” And I did.  “All you gotta do is get some coffee.”  So, I did.  “All you gotta do is get to the office.”  Here I am.

But then comes the writing, and there goes the brain, fritzing out on me so that I’m staring at the ceiling and wondering where that cobweb came from.

Other things I have to do today include cleaning and showering and updating my Patreon and sending out submissions and honestly, I would rather be there than here.  My blog may feel a little neglected, but my heart just isn’t in it.

I was musing to Mark what I should write about and he said “Why don’t you write about how hard it is to blog sometimes” and I thought nah…been there, wrote that.  Alas, here I am again, with the struggle.  Of course there’s that slight fear that it’s an oncoming block, but I am confident it’s just a lazy blog day.  Anyhoo…happy Monday, folks.

Word Updates

The absolute last thing I want to write about is how I feel right now, which is crummy.  Not sick, per se, though my tummy is sad, but that’s only because the rest of me is depressed.  There’s this whole brain-body thing happening where my depression and anxiety aggravate my digestive system and also my achy back and then I feel like hot garbage all morning.  That’s where we are right now, with me typing these words by force and also trying to figure out how to get myself into the shower at some point today.

Major Depressive Disorder at it’s finest, folks.

Now, I’m not worried because this sort of thing usually only lasts a few hours to a day, and the doc upped my Xanax so I am well equipped to deal with any issues.  Alas, I feel like crap.  But, I must solider on.  Bringing me to today’s blog, where I discuss a couple of endeavors. 

It’s been a few weeks now since I stared my Patreon account, and I have two very excellent subscribers right now.  They are extremely biased however, one being my aunt and the other being my mother.  But then, they are probably also my biggest fans.

So right now, I am creating content for them but also for new subscribers, who would have access to everything I’ve done on there so far as well as something new on a weekly basis.

If you’re not familiar with Patreon, it is a platform for creators to earn a monthly income.  It’s a subscription service, so, for example, you would pay 5$ a month and I would send you subscriber-only content each week, including poetry, stories, essays, newsletters, videos, and more.  If you want to check it out, here is a link to my page.  Just sign up and click “Become a Patron!”  But don’t go crazy…it has you set up tiers so my price goes from a 5$ plan to like a 15$ plan and i strongly advise you go with the cheap one, especially if I know you personally.  As I said to my mother, don’t pay for what you get for free.

So today one of the tasks I must complete is the making of this week’s content, which will be a vlog about one of my poems, which Mark and I are going to shoot as soon as I get myself out of the aforementioned shower.

In other news, I had a poem come out this week, and I have posted it below for you, because it was just a one-day run.  Pink Plastic House, A Tiny Journal is one of my favorite lit mags and they are doing a countdown to Halloween with spooky-themed poetry.  I was day 56, with a piece called The Squirrel that’s about the change of seasons.  It’s one of my “story” poems.  I don’t do them often but when I do, I always love them a little harder.

Speaking of “story” poems…I’m on pins and needles over here.  This is me, putting out into the universe, that my editor needs to email me back, because I’m freaking out here.  Last year they accepted my piece and I didn’t hear anything for months, and when I finally did, he said we could go at my pace…well, my pace dropped edits in his inbox a month and half ago and I haven’t heard a thing.  I’ve sent follow-ups.  I tried him on Twitter.  Nothing.  NOTHING.

Impatience is my worst quality.

So that’s what’s going on, writing-wise.  Just chugging along.  Obviously, my personal life is a shambles because I can’t even get myself into the shower.  But maybe I can do something else.  Afterall, I just finished this blog.  One less task to complete, and it didn’t kill me.  Perhaps now I can take a shower?

Nah.  Probably going to take a break.

My Mental Mistresses

I got dumped last week, by my therapist. 

She got a job at the agency I’ve been badmouthing for two years, assuring me that things have changed now that said agency has changed from a zero-tolerance policy to a harm-reduction model for substance use.  That’s why I left.  They were going to put me in the drug program because I smoked a little pot.  They also yanked my Xanax out from under me and when I had a full-on panic attack in my doctor’s office, he slammed the door in my face.  No thanks, I’m out.

Anyway, I found a swell spot after that large Buffalo-based agency that may or may not have a rising sun as their logo and started seeing a woman named Jamie.  My prescribers have rotated a little over the past two years there, but that is to be expected anywhere.  You don’t need to bond with the person giving you your pills; that’s what your counselor is for. 

Jamie was fine.  She was very good at her job, and I liked her very much, but I didn’t feel the “click” I have felt with other counselors in the past.  These are the people you open your mind to, and it is important that you mesh well on every level.  Jamie did a fine job.  But she was no Carissa.

I don’t remember when I had Carissa.  I know it was at that aforementioned agency I went to for ten years, and I know it was at their Hertel branch and I think it was while I still lived in Kenmore.  The thing is, my meds weren’t right at the time, so all of that time period is a mishmash of memory.  When Carissa dumped me for a job in the Southern Tier, I was depressed.  I was devastated.  She was my favorite, and she was gone, and it was over.  It was then that I recognized a peculiar thing: these women have no last names.

My first counselor was named Sarah.  I saw her at D’Youville College because my friends dragged me there one afternoon.  I never knew her last name.  When I moved over to what I refer to as the “Fancy Suburban Drug Dealers” agency, I had three other counselors, whose first names I couldn’t even tell you.  Of course, they pumped me so full of meds based on a misdiagnosis that I was practically a zombie the whole time.  Then, The Rising Sun, where I ended up with Carissa, who left me with no last name and no forwarding information.

Alas!  One day, she found me on Myspace.  I was very happy but I still don’t know her last name.  And now, Myspace is dead and I can’t find her on Facebook without a surname.  After Carissa, came Katie.

Katie and I were together for years, and I actually got to know her last name.  However., The Rising Sun implemented their zero-tolerance policy, and one day she told me they would be tox screening everyone.  “But that’s not a problem for you…” she says.

I tell her, right away, that it is a problem, that not only will I test positive for cannabis but that I believe it is an infringement on my privacy.  She becomes shocked that I have never mentioned cannabis use before and our relationship starts to crumble.  Now, I have only good things to say about Katie, who from what I understand is running some things over there now, and I am hopeful that her experiences with me and other clients has opened her eyes to other possibilities.  The trust between us was broken, though; she felt I had kept something important from our sessions.  I felt it was none of her gotdamn business.

An impasse.  Fortunately, she was promoted up the ladder and I was thrown over to the Orchard Park location, where I met Ashley.

Ashley was great.  She totally agreed that it was nonsense, the whole bit about the cannabis, and did her best to keep me out of the drug program at The Rising Sun, always stating that I wasn’t abusing the substance.  Then she moved to Colorado and oh my heart!  But…I knew her last name.  In fact, we exchanged emails, and after she was settled she got in touch.   We still occasionally email, and yes, there are topics I am more comfortable sending in a letter to her than expressing via speech to my therapist. 

In many ways, she reminds me of the feeling I had with Carissa.

However, after her departure I was moved to a woman named Liz.  She was fine, in the way that Jamie was fine.  But she didn’t fight for me. 

When I became a number at The Rising Sun, I was furious.  They were making me into a statistic…showing me on graphs as someone with mental illness who also had a substance abuse problem.   They insisted I start drug counseling.  I told them to fuck right off.

Which brings me to now.  I found a little place that was like “oh, you smoke pot?  Well, let me put you in touch with a medical marijuana doctor,” and I was sold.  I feel like my doc actually listens to me, which is new in general, and I never feel like a number because it’s a small place.  AND, I’ve had two good counselors so far.  I mean, not great…but good.

Anyway, I’m seeing a new woman named Rachel next week, and I am hopeful.  I hope we “click.”  Jamie thinks we will.  I’m actually going into the office to meet her too, which is something I haven’t done in a year, so that’s kind of exciting.

I wonder, will I know her last name some day?  Will I be gifted that knowledge after a year or two of counseling, when the bond is formed?  Will I look back ten years from now and remember her fondly?

Or will I not remember her at all?

Blind Fury

I started writing a blog about therapy and then I had to stop because of “the feeling.”  You know, that mixture of exhaustion and rage that we’ve been dealing with for about 20 hours now?  No?  Just me?  Maybe the ladies know what I’m talking about.

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, I cried.  I sobbed on a boulder in the middle of the woods on a camping trip while my husband held me and promised it would be alright; everything would be fine.  Then, yesterday, the Supreme Court made my husband into a big fat liar.

All I can think of is how scared those women in Texas must be.  How terrified.  This has nothing to do with saving human life, and everything to do with persecuting it.  I am so grateful to live in NY where anti-choicer’s are outnumbered in state government, but that doesn’t mean I’m not scared of federal possibilities.  That doesn’t mean I’m not horrified by the Supreme Court’s violation of the constitution. 

Here is the Texas law, explained a little, with my reasonings for why it is horrendous:

  1. Abortions are banned after six weeks.  Many women do not even know they are pregnant at that point…I myself probably wouldn’t even think about it until after week 4 went by.
  2. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.  Disgusting.  You’re going to make a victim carry around their trauma for nine months?  Then what?  Where’s the pro-life bit there? (Also, can we retire “pro-life” when what they really are is “anti-choice?”  I mean…it’s not like they’re going to raise the baby, are they?)
  3. You can be sued for helping someone get an abortion.  So, whether you are a doctor performing it or a nurse assisting or a friend DRIVING you there, you can be sued.  So, if I lived in Texas, I would be sued, because I will absolutely always drive a woman to Planned Parenthood, if need be, and we will go get ice cream afterwards.
  4. The citizens who choose to sue don’t need to show any connection to the person they’re suing.  So, a random could totally decide to sue you.  Or, more likely, an angry ex.  Gross, on so many levels.

Now, I have questions.  Say someone says a woman is planning on getting an abortion. What if she isn’t pregnant?  Does she have to prove it?  Does she have to go down to the police station and pee on a stick?  What if she is?  Does she need to submit her private medical files?  At what point do we get into invasive exams?

Give me a little bit, I’m sure I will come up with even more questions.

God, I’m tired.  God, I’m angry. 

I don’t have much love for Texas to begin with.  My friend Molly’s parents lived in Texas and she told me they had scorpions in their shoes sometimes and I said “nope” and swore I’d never set foot in the state, but this really takes the cake.  I have a cousin from Texas, and he is a nice guy.  I think he leans conservative and that’s cool because I know he reads my blog (Hi, Kevin!) and knows that I lean the other way, but he’s the type of man that knows how to look at different points of view.  I think he truly just accepts people as they are.  Which is how I like my conservatives.  So, in my opinion, him and his wife and their tiny dog are the best things to come out of the state.  And were it not for them and their kin, I would be perfectly happy with Texas seceding and calling it a day.  That’s how mand I am.

God, I am so mad.

So that therapy blog will be upcoming, because I am drowning in angst right now.  Happy Thursday.  I guess.

Inking

When I was 15, my mother told me that I could dye my hair any color I wanted, but I could never get a tattoo or piercing. (PS this was pre-crazy colors.  She would later eat her words when I dyed it purple.)  Her logic at the time was sound; she had worked as an HIV counselor at the Red Cross and was understandably wary of tattoos, especially back in the day when there weren’t as many sanitary precautions in place.  Also, I recall her saying something about only sailors, soldiers, and prisoners getting tattoos.

Then one day I was watching an episode of The Nanny, and Fran was debating getting a tattoo.  Her mother forbade it because it meant she could not be buried in a Jewish cemetery, which I thought was bonkers, of course.  Still, it certified in me that tattoos were not something that I should aspire to. 

Then came 18.  Many of my friends ran out to get tattoos and piercings, but I declined. My mother’s words echoed in my head, telling me that I would have it forever, and what if I regretted it?  Still, I picked one out: drama masks. 

Cut to today, at 38.  I never got that tattoo, and I’m sort of glad I didn’t, because my stint in theater wasn’t as lifelong as I had hoped at the time.  I mean, I could have adapted the meaning.  Mark has a similar tattoo, after all.  Alas, I’m glad I never got it.  But, I am furious I never got anything.

I let all those old fears hold me back, worried about what my parents would think.  I am damn near 40 and I’m WORRIED ABOUT WHAT MY MOTHER WILL THINK OF IT??  My sister got a tattoo when she was like 19 and hid it for years.  I even knew a guy once who got a white ink tattoo so his mother wouldn’t notice it…I mean what is even the point there?

Also, now that I am older there are several tattoos that I want that I don’t think I will ever regret.  The first is a St. Brigid’s cross.  Preferably with a flame behind it, to represent the goddess as well, and I’d like it on my wrist.  The second is one I want to get with Bernie, a Celtic sisterhood symbol, which would be large and colorful and on my shoulder.  And if I mange to go though with those, then I’m going to get a crown tattoo on the back of my neck, which I surmise will hurt the most.  Alas, they all represent things about me that are never going to change.  So how could I regret them?

And why am I so held back my old stereotypes and concerns?  Almost everyone I know has a tattoo nowadays.  I recall being petrified bringing Mark home to meet my mother, because of the ink on his forearms.  In the end, she didn’t care, just like she didn’t really care when Bernie got hers.  Which is probably the same reaction I will get. 

The way I figure it, I have been poked and prodded so many times during this illness, what’s a little pinchy-scrape feeling?  I think I’ll be fine.  And I think I will love what I get, because the more I age, the less I give a crap.

Idk whose knee this is, but I love the work.

Witchy Women

I never had a bachelorette party.  Some ideas were thrown around between me and my Maid of Honor, Jaime, but we never came to rest on anything and the year surrounding my wedding was so crazy that it just didn’t seem feasible at the time.  So, I never had a night out with my girls.

Not that I really have girls.

In grade school, I had three girls I hung out with, Christina, Sabine, and Jamie (a different one.  Note the spelling.)  But my best friend remained Kevin, and I hung with him and the boys as much as I did with the girls.  In high school I was surrounded by women, and had a group of about ten that I spent my days with.  Of course, now, that group has dwindled to two that I speak with regularly, Jaime (my MOH) and Chelsea. 

Recently, Sahar’s sister posted some photos on Instagram of her and her girl group out on the town, and I felt a twinge of jealousy.  I never had anything like that, and it turns out, I want it.

So, I decided to plan a girl’s trip.  I enlisted the help of my cousin Sarah who is a travel planner (check out her page here) because I am just nonsense when it comes to hotels and reservations and tickets for things.  I picked a place, Salem, Massachusetts, and a date: Sept. 15 2022.  I compiled a list of my nearest and dearest, as well as my sister and her nearest and dearest, and I think it will make for an excellent group excursion.  I have already made a list of things to do, and am super excited to share it all with my friends.

I went to Salem as a kid and had an absolute blast, but I do recall many things I wanted to do that my age had restricted me from.  Now I can go see a psychic and the satanic temple and go in the magic shoppes!  Very exciting.

I asked Twitter if they had been on girl’s trips before and the results were mostly positive, save a poor girl who lost her wallet shortly into her excursion.  Most chicks seem to want to travel to beachy areas, and I love a good beach, but Salem in September is more my speed. 

And so, like I did when I had a year to go until the cruise I took with my sister, I will start saving my money now, because I don’t want to worry about it down the road.  I told Sarah I didn’t want anything fancy, but I definitely want fun.  I’d rather spend more money on attractions than lodging, y’know?  I mean, we’re only going to sleep there.

Alas, I have never planned a major trip before, so this should be fun.  And I am fortunate to have an awesome planner in the family, too.  I am very excited, even though it is a year away.  Something to look forward to; something to work for.

.com

Hello again, my friends.

I was terribly ill for about a week, resulting in a hospital overnight that was, in the end, exactly what I needed all along.  The combination of meds and a saline drip did wonders for my disposition.  The docs think I caught a bug that aggravated my gastroparesis that caused dehydration and exhaustion.  I thought I had Covid, and freaked out, but my test was blessedly negative.  I went home Thursday morning feeling much improved, better than I have felt in weeks, actually. 

Then came E.  She spent her week with us and we had a lovely time together as always, and she continues to amaze me and make me proud.  She is turning into this beautiful and fun young woman and I am just in awe of her.  We went out to dinner and to the beach and hiking and to the farmer’s market and the family reunion and last night we had dinner with my parents and played Nightmare, this game from the 90’s that Kevin and I loved as kids.  Kev won the game, the first time in our history that ANYONE has won the game before the clock ran out.  It was great fun.  She headed home this morning and now I am sitting here, playing catch-up.

Another thing that happened is an angel came to visit me.  They gave me something special…a sponsorship of sorts.  While I was stressing about where to get the funds to run my website another year, not to mention buy my domain for my blog, fate moved as it does and the angel came and gave me a gift. Brigidhannon.com soldiers on for another year, selling books and connecting me to the world.  And now, hamneggs716.com, my baby, my darling, my little pumpkin-faced peanut, finally!  20 years I have had a blog, and I never bought her a domain.  Now, we exist.

So, that’s what has been going on.

Now, I have to write.  I have to finish this blog and start on one of the other three I have up and coming.  I have to work on content for my Patreon account, and plan out a video poem that I am going to use to raise some funds for the AFSP.  Then, I have to pray St. John Bosco, the patron saint of publishers and editors, that my editor will email me soon.  Also, I guess I should do the laundry?