Monday, November 30, 2009

Ever Forward, Ever Faithful

You're so glad you missed it, if in fact you did miss it. I'll be brief. We broke up. I lost it, like LOST. IT. I've parted ways with so many things in the past two months that I finally hit rock bottom with a thunderous thump. It was nasty. Flu-like symptoms, felt like my body was being ripped from the inside out into several thousands of pieces, status updates that all but screamed suicide. It was just dark and gloomy. And I'm not dark and gloomy, not even close. That sort of intense emotion has to come out somehow, somewhere. And girl, did it! Thinking of new ways to say I'm sad, I'm hurt, I'm lonely and I have no fucking clue what to do next is my way of coping sometimes. I didn't expect comment, in fact the attitude of inconsolable prohibited it, but the comments came anyway. Not ignored but not exactly taken for gospel either. Just knowing that somewhere out there someone else cared for my life was enough to keep me from googling my demise. So, here I am. All cried out. Finally. Sometimes asking the question aloud can give an answer you weren't expecting. "What am I going to do?" in a desperate plea will often awaken a part of the mind that can't hear your inner shouting, it simply doesn't have ears. The hour struck defeat and the resilient feline in my soul landed on her feet. Life brought me another closed door, the fourth (or 247th) in 2 months. And then God handed me an ax. A beautiful, weighty hot pink ax. And He said, "Ok. Now chop. And start with the door of opportunity, that door will provide the keys to open these other doors."

He's so smart, God. After application maybe and application fail, application no response and application doom, I'm abandoning a path that was taking me nowhere but from one small salary to the next. I'm going back to school. To learn some new skills and to hone some others. My declared major is English Literature and will include another when God tells me what that is.

He's got a plan and I woke up this morning knowing in my bones that somewhere between falling apart and my 7 hours of peaceful (success!) sleep last night, God had employed me with this task. As mom says, "Baby steps." Starting with my new job as a caregiver for the elderly and with the application to a really great community college, declaring a major and leaving the details to God. Chicago is still in my future. Cafe Kallay is not a realization gone to steam and dust. But they are on hold until I am fully equipped to take them on. The new path gives me a better opportunity to make money to save for those dreams. Hardest realization yet? You can bet your life on that. But I also understand now that God is trying to fill my boxes again. My confidence, my self worth, my knowledge, my faith, my, dare I say it, hope, and my love, which will come last, and I'm ok with that right now. God does not want me to end up an empty shell of a person who only needs money and possessions to make them happy. He knows this has never been in my spirit. He knows my priorities and my goals, my passions and my needs and none of these list money at the top.

He has provided me with a position to help people in their greatest hours of need which will not only cure my thirst for charitable contribution but also my bank account's recession. (insert clicked "LIKE" button here) He brought me into a family that supports, loves and nurtures one another even though we are all very different people. He has given me the ability to forgive, but also to forget. He has given me the ability to laugh at myself, my situations and at yours too! He has made me resilient, kind, friendly, talented and faithful. He has also made me humble, defeated and with absolutely no choice but to need help. A lesson in humility is a lesson in gratitude. I'm talking about the simple, unexpected acts of kindness given purely and without expectation which happen very rarely but are the ones to be most thankful for. A gift given with a selfish heart is not a gift at all. (And to be clear, I am not talking about monetary loans.) He has given me friends on which to rely and to nurture and to grow with. Amazing people with great talent and perseverance and intelligence; with laughter in their souls and others on their minds. Truly unselfish people. For all of these things I am thankful and humbled beyond measure.

So, we move forward, with lots of questions unanswered and many baby steps to go. A new map to explore and old boxes to fill. I know this to be true, God has a plan and His plan is better than my own, to seek God is to seek Greatness and I'd rather be armed with His Great Plan than my own uncertain one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How To: Pie Crust (I'm no Martha June buuuut I make a nice pie!)

It's the day before Thanksgiving and people all over America are stocking up on Turkeys, potatoes, and Xanax. Worrying whether their 140 pound turkey will fit into their Easy Bake sized oven and if they bought enough wine to forget to care. Planning out place settings, family football pools and Me? I'm all set. I'm ready to cook and eat and wear large pants. Just one last thing to do... the pie. Traditionally, we make Pumpkin Pie which is just about the easiest pie to make. No worrying about sugar bubbling over the side of the plate onto the oven's coils granting a much needed phone call to the nearest fire department and perhaps even a grocery store blueberry pie. Because face it, if you haven't bought your pie and you're a buyer of pie, you're left with Sara Lee or Blueberry, which is just gross, so perhaps a nice box of Ho-Hos? I say that Pumpkin Pie is the easiest to make because the filling is mostly slop, plop and pour. The hardest part of any pie is the crust which you can buy but I'm a little egotistical for that hulla-baloo. Also, Sallie Mae is still collecting funds from my Culinary School days so buying a pie crust is sort of in the same category as using pre-chopped garlic, mostly it's a crime. So homemade pie crust it is.

First of all, I'm supposedly a professional, so I can wear a black shirt with confidence. You, however, should not.

So, properly attired, you may now begin the gathering of ingredients. This is what your counter will look like:

This is what mine looks like:

I embrace my inner OCD when baking/cooking. One of the first things we learned in school was mise en place, literally translated: everything in its place. Ingredients in order from recipe's start to finish is where my disorder begins. Yes, the pastry blender is an ingredient. Not a utensil. At least it should be. Everyone knows that cutting in butter (or lard in my case) is near impossible with anything else. It's the sex toy for pies. Nothing can get the pie off... just... never mind. Use the pastry blender, you'll thank me later. Now, utensils...

Nothing special here, just a big ass bowl. I will say this, wider mouth bowls make this process a tiny bit easier since you're cutting the butter into flour. Having a surface that's mostly flat ensures equal distribution of the fat into the flour in a reasonable amount of time and if you use the pastry blender, you won't end up using your hands. Joy!

I'm not going to hand out my great grandmother's pie crust recipe because I'm not sure if this is family secret material. Hercules knows better too so don't ask him, he's no Duke. Just know I measured precisely and you should too. Baking is not a willy-nilly game of horseshoes folks, close doesn't count. It's a science. Not that your pie crust will turn purple and explode if you add too much of the wrong ingredient but it won't turn out, you can count on that. Leave the recipe tweaking to the professionals until you understand what a little of this and little of that will do to your precious baked goods.

Now we cut-in. Use your pastry blender to cut the fat into the flour. Using a slight twisting motion as you go around the bowl making sure the flour and fat are combined. You will end up with something with the visual texture of cornmeal with small pea sized fat bits. I didn't take a picture with my phone, you can't see the texture. My regular camera works fine but getting the pictures off requires a cord. My cord is buried in the massive pile of my life in the garage so, camera phone it is! When your cornmeal texture is achieved, add liquid. The method of pie making is always the same, the ingredients are going to be different so just follow your recipe. If it says to add 1/4 c. of ice cold water and add 2 T. of water after that until the desired texture is reached, then do that. I'm lucky enough to have a recipe where I can just dump my liquids in and go. (God Bless you Great Grandma Kallay) Use the pastry blender to mix in the liquid and then use your hands to press dough together into a clump of obese flour. Don't forget to remove your rings. Flour and fat do not a pretty diamond make.

Pie crust achieved! Now, just slap some flour on the counter and shape that pretty piece of dough into a disk like this:

Ah, we meet at a crossroad. As this point you may either a) begin rolling out your dough or b) chill it and use it later. Most pie crust recipes allow for a top and bottom crust, if you only need the bottom crust you can freeze the other half or make two pies, I'm making two pies. Either way, before you begin rolling out the crust, cut the disk in half. I prefer to chill my dough and let it rest before I handle it anymore. I don't want gluten to form. I'm not making Pumpkin Pizza, I'm making Pumpkin Pie. So I put it in the fridge until it's set up and hard, like butter. I wrap it twice in the equivalent of a food condom aka Saran Wrap aka Clear Plastic Wrap (for those of us on a budget) so it doesn't take on the odors or flavors of the other food in the fridge or freezer, the STDs of the baking world.

You can see why double bagging is important in this refrigerator. I'm a big fan of the leftovers but when you make a pork roast on Sunday and order pizza on Monday, that leaves exactly 2 days to eat about a week's worth of food. This was not my genius idea. This was another sticker on the coffee pot moment.

So there you are internets, your step by step guide to a great pie crust. If nothing else goes right for you on Thanksgiving, I guarantee this will. Here's hoping you have a special someone and a great family to spend your holiday with. I have the pleasure of my family this year for the first time in a couple of years. You can be sure I will be enjoying more than just the food.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah, Good Idea...comparing my life to an airport.

Your Daily Horoscope: November 24, 2009
Feb. 19 - Mar 20 (Wrong Sign?)
Some series of events has come to an end Pisces, because the signs are clear that a new path is opening for you. Right now, all you need to change your life for the better is the courage to take the first step, and as the Quarter Moon is in your sign, you are likely to find that courage. It's like a moving sidewalk at the airport, just step on - you have everything you need to succeed. Don't let your fear of the unknown spoil the opportunity that is to come. This week could be very important as far as the lunar month is concerned.

Oh Daily Horoscope, you don't even know the half of it. I have been told that I have contrails, which is really nothing more than a plane fart, but ok, we'll go with it. Yes, I move a lot. I grew up in the Midwest, moved West(ish), then all the way West, then back to the Midwest, then South, then North, then South again and now we're back here in the Great Mitten. So... fair statement. In 10 years I have moved (hold on to your flotation device) 24 times. Twenty Four. I guess I never really liked the "third time's a charm" mentality. So, that said, your prediction of a new path is not all that far off. However, this is me and you just compared my life to a moving sidewalk and that's just a mental picture that's too funny to pass up.

Thing is, the sidewalk ends. Then you have to hoof it to the next sidewalk, or just get off and go to your gate. Most people can handle the inevitable, albeit abrupt, end of the sidewalk. Me? I fall ass over shoulders onto the carpet. So, my question is, how long is this ride on the moving sidewalk going to be? Yay me for having the tools to succeed and yay you for predicting my Piscean over analysis of the situation by throwing in the "Have No Fear! Opportunity is Here!" But survey says, I'm going to need a little more information. Lunar location and signs being what they may, I'm still skeptical. Don't get me wrong, this has been one hell of a carpeted walk to the moving sidewalk. I've got a heavy suitcase, penniless purse and 2 crazy furballs I'm dragging along beside me and for this analogy I'm wearing heels so, bless the moving sidewalk for even existing. I'm sweating and struggling and more than ready for the break.

It's just that I'm that girl. The girl who gets up and showers, applies makeup, finds a suitable outfit and leaves the house looking pretty with it. An hour later I want my pajamas and a nap. Not because I'm tired but because I've probably stepped in dog doo without realizing it until someone points out the smell, I might have forgotten to set the parking break and apparently coffee looks good on me. Did I mention my shirt's on inside out and backwards? I'm not a pessimist, I'm just really that unlucky. So, I step on this moving sidewalk only to find I've placed my hand on the only part of the rail including someone's chewed up grape Bubbilicious.

While your fairy tale is sweet, life is never that simple for me. Let's, for the sake of all things shiny and gay, look at the positives for the week. First of all, it's Thanksgiving and I have loads to be thankful for. One of which, and always most importantly, is my family. My grandmother told me about a position to care for the elderly and no one loves old people like this girl. So, the second thing I am thankful for is possible gainful employment. Tomorrow I will learn my assignment and I am overly excited about that. If for no other reasons than to a) be able to share the comedy that is to ensue and (of course) b) receive a paycheck.

Here's where the sidewalk may end... I'm still not making any progress on my career path, which in case you haven't heard, is to own my own cafe and be the best coffee snob there ever was. I'm still stepping on the belt. I need this job. If not for my sanity, for the money. I'll take it, believe me. I would feel much better if I could find the correlation between coffee and wrinkles though. Plus, I'm dying to unpack my boxes which are, for now, sprawled about willy-nilly in the garage labeled with reckless abandon (thank you Oliver and John) and wouldn't you know it? I can't find a damned thing. It took me a month to figure out which box my hair dryer was in! With over 50 boxes to sift through, I have given up on finding anything else. Unpacking and repacking an entire garage of a lifetime of my stuff is not on the top of my list. So what I'm saying is, I hope there's a Chicago apartment somewhere on this moving sidewalk of yours, Daily Horoscope, because a girl needs her straightener and her shoes.

Also, don't read your horoscope at 3am.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not In My Double Helix!

My mom called me one day.

Mom: "Hi Honey!"

Me:"Hiiii. How are you?" (Knowing that this amount of enthusiasm is always a sign that I should have just let it go to voice mail.)

Mom: "Good! I'm going to do my kitchen RED!"

(She's very excited and I'm just frightened. My mom has a thing for wallpaper so my mind is immediately overcome with thoughts of red wallpaper with some sort of animal print and her white counter appliances. Oh yes, this is going to be epic. The woman has great taste, let's be honest, but I was worried I was going to go home to a bad episode of Trading Spaces where the wife leaves the room in tears and the husband inquires about the location of his tv. It could happen. Mom wears Betsy Johnson!)

Me: "That'll be cooooo-uhl!" (Well, what would YOU say!? It's her house!)

Mom: "I know! I'm going to get all red appliances and utensils. I'm going to redo the cabinets..." (oh God!) "...and finally get rid of this wallpaper!" (HM! New leaf! Way to go Mom!)

Me: "Are you planning on painting the walls or are you going to leave those alone?" (Please let it be (B), please let it be (B)!!)

Mom: "Oh! No! I'm not painting it, that would look ridiculous with the rest of the house. It's all one room." (Aaaaand... now I'm breathing normally again.)

Me: "Well, that sounds great! Let me know how it turns out! Can't wait to see it!"

A few months later I come home and I get to see the kitchen. I'm over excited. I want to see the wall paper gone. I want to see modern sleek looking cabinets. I want to see something other than that damned white coffee pot!

And I did. The kitchen finally made it into the 2000s and it looked great! The microwave, toaster, Kitchen Aid Mixer (*cat call* Hey baby! Sorry, I have a thing for mixers.), and food processor are all red and shiny and new. And then the heavens shine down upon the most beautiful red and black coffee maker. Oh, praise you Jesus for this wonderful appliance. The white, stained, way past its retirement plan coffee maker is gone and here sits Miss Thang! It's late, but I want to make some coffee. I want to get my mom's money worth! I want to use this bitch!

Me: "Mom! I *love* your mixer! And look at that sexy coffee pot! Do you love it?"

Mom: "Oh, you mean that piece of shit!?"

(Um... what? That's a hot piece of brew machine. It sparkles! It has a self timer yo! And a strength setting. I mean, this is like a mansion compared to that trailer park of a piece of crap she used to have. So, what's with the hostility? I want to cover the poor thing's ears and give it a hug. Damn!)

Me: "What's wrong with it? It's brand new! And it was made in this century mom!"

Mom: "The clock doesn't work."

(I look around... I spy with my little eye... 9 clocks. Microwave, oven, wall clock, plate made into a clock, cable box, mantle, home phone, cell phone, Hey, look at your wrist! Wow, Rolex! All I have is a "Guess?" and it tells time backwards! If you can't figure out the time, we need to have a different conversation!)

Me: (confused silence, inquisitive look)

Mom: "The first one I bought had a broken clock too so I exchanged it and then that clock didn't work either so then I exchanged that one and got this one but I don't want to fuck with it so I'll just keep it they don't have any other red coffee makers anyway." (breath)

Me: "You could get a black one!"

Mom: "No, I want the red one!"

Me: "So you'd rather pay full price for a broken one that's the right color?"

Mom: "Yeah!"

(Well, ok!)

So I'm messing around with the coffee maker. The third coffeemaker... thinking about this and sort of worrying. What if there's a short in it and that's why it's not working? I hope the store took them off the shelves! What if they're trying to charge people full price for a coffee maker with a broken clock that could burn down their homes? I'm starting to get frantic when I run my hand over the front of it and feel something... funny. Is that...? What is...?

Me: "MOM!?"

Mom: "Yeah?"

Me: "It's the STICKER!!!" (Mad and LAUGHING. Hard!)

Mom: "Whaaaat?"

Me: "You didn't take the sticker off the front of the clock. The clock works, you don't."

She dissolves into a fit of laughter and probably extreme embarrassment. My mother had returned and probably made the store damage out two perfectly great (and expensive) coffee makers because she missed... a sticker.

Is this hereditary? She does this a lot. She knows the name of every muscle, meridian and bone in the body but couldn't figure out a sticker. She's not stupid. She's just, blonde?

Tonight we're watching tv and this commercial comes on with these giant metal spheres plunging out of the sky. I'm freaked out. What the hell kind of commercial is this?

Mom says: "I can't wait until this show comes out!"

Me: "What is it? It looks freaky!" (There are things falling from the sky, slamming into Earth, leaving giant holes and people are following them and looking at the destruction in awe. Scary music is playing. Sorry. Not my kind of show.)

Mom: "It's Droid!"


Me: "Mom?"

Mom: "Yeah!?"

Me: "It's "the" Droid Ma. The Droid is a cell phone."

Please God, let it be the bleach. Please tell me that this is not in my genetic instructions.

And excuse me Verizon? I actually *want* the Droid. But if you keep making it look all freaky transformer cell phone... I'm going to change my mind! I don't want my cellular device to grow legs in the night and strangle me for accidentally dropping it. K? Think techno and pink and flowers... I will feel much safer with a phone that doesn't have an ulterior motive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lost: Give me an L!


Here's the thing, I really badly want a library card. I need freebies in my life. I probably (let's face it, I do) qualify for food stamps but I'm unsure if I want to journey across that bridge after what I endured today.

When I moved back to Michigan I changed my address because I wanted to get mail here, but mostly because I wanted proof that I was a resident. I imagined waltzing, yes, ballroom dancing, into the library with my change of address confirmation, pressing it into the hands of a bespectacled wise old woman and retrieving what I think is the best escape of life's downward spirals... books. My reading rampages usually begin and end in crises. And I'm revving my engine for a good old fashioned read-a-thon. Except, today... I foxtrotted my too-in-love thighs into the library and apparently my mom lives in the wrong township. At least for this particular library.

Let's play a little game I like to call "said" and (thought).

First of all, when I arrived, I parked on the street. Or tried. A large SUV was sitting in their spot with their rear lights on. (Hm... self. What shall we do?) So, I parked sort of far away from them officially taking up two spots, waited a full minute and got out. Figured they would be there and I would be ok to run in really fast, get my card, get my book, and get out. They didn't move. (Awesome.) Until I got to the sidewalk. Arf. So I get BACK in the car, pull forward so I don't look like the asshole taking up all the street parking and Paso Doble into the public library.

No bespectacled wise old women here! Darn it! My fantasy is already losing steam. First, retard Lexus lady and now this. Ugh. I march up to the counter with a big fat smile on my face and the following ensues...

Cute library girl with the awesome sweater I wanted but couldn't afford: Hi!

Me: Hello! I would like a library card please! (YAY!!! Library! Give me an L!...)

*hand her my driver's license and my freshly opened change of address confirmation*

Cutie Patootie: Ok, great.

*types in the address and makes a funny face*
(uh oh)
*types in the address again*

Becoming Uncute: Well, that's what I thought.


Me: Is there a problem? (Of course there is. This is your life we're talking about here. Loser. Give me an L!)

Librarian with MY sweater: Well, unfortunately, you have to go to L Township to get your library card because that's the township you pay taxes in. But (!!!) you can bring your card back here and we'll put a little sticker on it and you are more than welcome to check books out from our library as well. (Doh.)

Me: Oh, that's ok. (No it is NOT. You have a 1/8 tank of gas.)

My sweater: Do you know where the L Township Library is? Down on C Avenue?

Me: Oh, yeah! (NUH UH!! NO YOU DON'T! LIAR! Give me an L!)

My beautiful gray sweater: So, you know to go down to G Road and take a right? (no) Then follow that until you get to the C Avenue intersection where Walgreens is. (Oh! Yes, I know this one!) You turn left and it's a half a mile down the road... maybe.

Me: Sure, yes! Great! Ok! Thanks! (You should have written that down.)

So I waddle back to the car, defeated. Knowing I'm a) about to be lost in a small town and b) may not make it home with the amount of gas I have. I know. You're thinking.. "So put gas in your car!" and to you I say "With what? My great rack and good charm?"

Peanut has a few select quirks that should be pointed out about now.
1. Her oil light is always on. Always.
2. Her engine light is always on. Always.
3. When the gas light goes on, your four letter words become four letter paragraphs.

So I need milk too before I go home. Earlier in the day my grandmother took pity on me and bestowed upon me some delicious home made bread, Red & Rover cartoons (she's been sending me these for years... Hercules is my Rover) and meat. Chicken tenderloins, beef stew meat, and shrimp. Yums. (By the way, I made Beef Stroganof for dinner from scratch. Success! Divine!) So I have meat, I have bread, I need milk. Luckily, the store is on my way to the L Township library across town. So I stop in, debate over milk prices and pay $1.25 for 1/2 gallon of milk. Not telling you where, because I'm going to win the lottery and go back and buy it all. Major Score. Sorry! Poor girls keep secrets.

And from there it's sort of blurry. I drove to G Road. Turned right. I drove to the Walgreens and Peanut's gas gauge said "1/16 yo!" but I kept driving. I turned right. I was supposed to turn left. I know this now. But I did not know this then. I drove down C Avenue and ended up practically on the front steps of the public library. Again.

I realize I just drove in a giant circle and am now panicking about getting home. I turn down a side street and drive gas tank friendly slow to the stop signs, being extra sure to be extra light on the gas pedal so as not to disturb the 1/4 c. of gas that now resides in my gas hole. Peanut alerts me that we are about done with this circus side show and that I better get her back to a driveway or I'm going to look like a dumb ass.

"Yes. Hi! Roadside Assistance? I ran out of gas trying to find the library."

An intelligent person doesn't say these things. I pull into my mom's driveway with the fear of God in my stomach and lots of meat on my passenger seat. I decide I will try this another day. Reading is supposed to be relaxing. I'm kind of stressed out.

Lesson learned. Don't get lost with a 1/8 tank of gas. Give me an L! (For Liquor!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unemployment: The Mental Health Professional's Wet Dream

This whole unemployment gig is much like the dating scene, I whine everyday about wanting someone to call me back. Sometimes I don't even like the job, I just want them to like me. Sounds pitiful but come to my world and you will quickly realize the full potential of your insecurities. Looking for a job and looking for love are very much the same. Not only are you presenting your best self to the world, but you are Sofa King scared you won't find it.

Unemployment should be a medical condition. Trust me. It's not the inconvenience of not having a job that's killing me, although that is in fact what brought me to this particular mecca of hell. It's the combination of bad situations blending together to make this one giant smoothie of a mental health professional's wet dream.

Bad Situation #1: I Miss My Job (not the Horrid Company)

I actually enjoy what I do. Love it, in fact. So, waking up every single day not being able to do what I love is a slap in the face in and of itself. I *love* my customers. I *love* the smell of freshly ground coffee, the sound of the timers chirping letting me know it's time for a dining room check up or a new batch of coffee, the smiles of the babies and children we get to watch grow older in front of our eyes, the inventory and the finances telling me that I am doing a bang up job... I just *love* my job. So my joy in life has been stripped from me, now what?

Bad Situation #2: Communication with the Outside World

When I lost my job, my mom knew I had gone and lost my mind. I cried to her over the phone about not wanting to leave my customers, about loving the cafe so much that even though I deeply wanted to make the company suffer and figure out the inventory themselves, I couldn't do that to my cafe. Also, I don't know what revenge looks like, I've always chosen to forgive, no matter the crime. I couldn't just let the cafe fall apart because of me. I just couldn't. Mom told me I needed to come home. I needed to get out of the toxic situation that I was in. She said she would gladly help me with bills and that was that. So I got up on that Sunday, September 27th and I did the damn inventory with the new supervisor, I did it gritting my teeth, but I did it. Two days later, I was driving my truck with my car on a dolly back to freezing cold Small Town, Michigan. At the time, I had what we all thought was an offer from a great coffee company to become their next Store Manager. The move would be temporary and I would have a job in no time. I was actually optimistic for the first time in a long time. I would not lose my sanity living with my mother because it was only going to be for a couple of weeks, then on to Chicago. Right? Needless to say, the offer disappeared. I have been here for over a month now and my sanity slowly slips away each and every day. This city is one I grew up in but I went to a private school about 15-20 minutes from here. My friends have all gone off to college or have traveled across the US just like I had. So that leaves me with no communication with the outside world except for phone calls to friends who are actually living their lives rather than wasting away in a town with no jobs to procure and not a whole lot of friendly people.

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of this town. The words "I HATE this place." have been uttered across my lips more times than I can count. And unfortunately, hate is the correct word. The people are mostly stuck up and judgmental, caught up in ridiculous racial and status issues of years and years gone by and are, for the most part, rude and unfriendly. Not an ideal place for someone who has lived in cities where people are gracious and friendly and accepting and open minded. (And I don't mean Democratic, I mean truly open minded.) Communicating over the phone and through Facebook are wonderful things, but sometimes you just want a hug. Sometimes you just want to see the same funny as someone else, give them a look and laugh! Living in a friendless town is one thing, but living unemployed in a friendless town is worse.

There is *no* communication with real, alive, non-digital people except for nervous interviews, grocery stores, and gas stations. Everywhere else is a luxury and if you're like me, if you're there, someone else is paying. So instead of enjoying the time out of the house, you are dwelling on the fact that you can't pay for it yourself. Sure, there is a time to be humble and to put your insecurities away, but stripping away the basic needs for a person to be healthy and then expecting them to humble themselves even more is sort of a ridiculous request.

Bad Situation #3: The Long Distance Relationship

Enough said? Probably. But I'll go deeper. I'm not the most trusting person. For obvious reasons, but honestly, I don't trust most people. So the long distance relationship for me is harder than for most other people. My insecurity runs through my veins about as thick as the very blood keeping me alive. I'm grown up enough to admit that. So God bless my boyfriend for being so patient with me. Granted, he's a dude and does stupid things. And I'm a girl with over emotional Pisces tendencies. Combine this with Bad Situations #1 and #2 plus loss of everything else and the poor guy is battling quite the case of female blues in order to get this lady to smile. He manages. On a daily basis.

But on the days we fight or disagree or just plain don't communicate with each other, I'm a basket case. When you're standing on the intersection of Nothing and Everything to Lose, and you begin to lose... again... I'm not sure I can explain the chemical imbalance that occurs to make you cry more tears than you thought the human body could expel. I can't explain the mental or physical pain, at least not more than to say if I was working, it would be a sick day. On these wonderfully special days, I literally can't see straight. The world is a blur to me. I will remember nothing you tell me. I will not be able to recount what I did. I will walk slower and be lost in thought when you try and converse with me. I will cry at the dumbest and most inane events. Forgot the paper towel to clean the bathroom mirror? 5 minute sob. Dog dreaming loudly on the floor? A smile, and then a tear. Coffee creamer empty before the last cup? Raging cry.

I often thank God that there aren't video cameras around to record this insanity. Because on these fantastic days, my emotions are so close to the surface, anything can set them off, I look very similar to a person who should be medicated and straight jacketed. If not for the safety of myself, for the safety of that gorgeous lamp.

Sometimes I pace thinking I can outrun the pain, and then when I sit the pain floods me and I do what Oprah calls the "ugly cry". Where your face bunches up and immediately turns red. Your tears aren't even tears so much as an emotional catastrophe leaking from your eyes and nose. It's so nasty too, you'll wipe your nose on anything. Because really, at this point, are you leaving the house? Definitely not. And using your sleeve is easier than walking hunched over in pain to the bathroom for a tissue that will only fall apart. You already tried that and ended up using your sleeve anyway. When doing the ugly cry, do not, I repeat, do not, look in that mirror. The feeling of being pathetic and looking so, will only make you cry harder. Plus, you don't want to see what your sleeve looks like. Eventually you're going to snap out of it and you'll have to wash that shirt. You'll never look at it the same again if you remember it this way. When you have finally taken the plunge and let yourself accept an emotion that you have been warding off like a thief, you can't stop the thing. You'll stop crying when you have nothing left to cry about. When you've run through your head all of the things worthy of a tear. Then you'll get the hiccups, which just furthers my belief in God's sense of humor.

(And just so we're clear... we weren't fighting about musical taste and fast food preferences. Taco Bell will never make me cry.)

Bad Situation #4: It's Not That I Want to Eat Everything in Sight....

When I arrived with my overstuffed Uhaul complete with furry brood, dragging Peanut along on the trailer, my thighs were kissing. Smooching if you will. Now? They're fucking in love. I mean, infatuation station down there. Makin' out! Of course it's my fault but you know, Grilled Chicken Salad doesn't have the same calming effect as say... Fully Loaded Nachos? To say that I eat my feelings is to say that I have a small crush on fast food to go cup buttons, complete understatements. When I'm depressed and want nothing to do with positive thinking mumbo jumbo blahblahblah, I eat. A lot. Some people drink good wine (or boxed, whatever), some people smoke (I used to!), and others just say fuck it and jump. The good thing about eating is that eventually my jeans will write a letter and be like "Hi, we know you're going through a rough time since we've been on your floor for a week and you've been wearing those ugly ass pajama pants. You know, the ones with the stripes that make your ass look big? Yes, those. Buuh. Well, we were just wondering if, before you try to pry us up your thighs again, you could maybe do like, a sit up or something? We're your stretch jeans not your fishnets and while those are also not one size fits all, they will allow for movement. Love ya, Denim" and I'll go for a walk. (And YES, my jeans are gay boys. Who compliments your ass more than your gay boyfriend? Hello. Miss my Oliver...)

No letter yet, so eat I shall. Cheese, ice cream, chocolate, chips, cheetos, comfort. While I'm unhappy about the relationship status of my thighs, my job situation screams Half Baked Ben & Jerry's. I've been trying to ward this off by drinking coffee until 4 pm. The problem is, then I'm starving and all I want is a chocolate shake and a stick of butter. So, clearly that strategy is not a working one. Eating is on the healthier side of the "things to do instead of crying and talking about your problems" because weight can be lost. You can't just run off an infected liver or a black lung. Fat rolls? They love a good jog. Cellulite too. So, judge me if you will, but I'm feeling pretty darn good about this.

Bad Situation #5: Hope Does What?

Listen, I like romantic comedies and chick flicks as much as the next girl, but we all know it's bullshit. Really. Since when did your dead beat ex-boyfriend become rich because he discovered he had a talent and actually pursued a dream? And when were you ever standing in the aisle choosing between said ex-boyfriend and Mr. Took You To Tiffany's To Choose Your "Skating Rink"? Come the fuck on. And friendly neighbor guy? Where the hell's HE at? Hope Floats, my ass. I'm not trying to be negative here, it's good writing, warm and fuzzy like a grandma's hug, but seriously... Hope doesn't float. Hope gets her ass kicked. Hope looks over her shoulder for the next tragedy. Hope is realistic. Unlike Faith, little miss everything is going to be ok. Hope knows that despite all of the bad situations, there might me a silver living or a lesson to be learned. But there might not. Hope does not equal Happy. Hope knows she might not be employed. Hope knows that she is just a want, and we don't get everything that we want. What's really sick is that sometimes we don't even want what we want. Because once we get it, it's not what we thought it was. Poor Hope. She's just not for me. Too much uncertainty lies in her bones. I need sure things. Solid things. A job. Not a floatie.

Bad Situation #6: The Inevitable

Unemployment is just a fancy way to say that you are no longer rubbing pennies together, because "Haha! Sucker! You don't have any!" It's an indescribable feeling of doom when you've Coinstarred your purse and you've delegated your car payment to someone else, and your ATM just exclaimed "You're broke darlin'!" I don't want to talk about this much. I'm unemployed, I obviously don't have money, and everyone needs money. I really could be worse off. I could be houseless which is not the same as homeless, and I am technically homeless. I could be deathly ill, but I'm just mental not dying. At any rate, gig's up. I need a job. I need money. And if not just for me, for my mom. Additionally, beyond bills, I have plans. One of my best friends is getting married in Oregon. Guess who's in the wedding and making her cake? Guess who can't wait? Also on the list: Christmas, moving, and paying off debt. Plus, I'm sure my mom would much rather be spending her expendable income on something other than Peanut. I mean, even I want to be spending my money on something other than stupid Peanut, but... all hail the necessary evils or something like that. Anyway, the point, the inevitable, I believe my time of Green & Black has risen again. I agree with my friend C when she said about me "You'd rather be serving G&B coffee than none at all." Hear, hear. (But still... Fuck.)

Bad Situation #7: Pity, party of one?

Worst. Party. Ever. For one thing, the music is depressing. A person can only listen to so many unpopular sad musicians before they cease musical libation at all. Also, when you're down, you're down, sort of like learning to water ski. This party is invite only and the guest list employs one name: yours. So while you drown yourself in slow songs, eat yourself chubby, and cry about the latest disappointment... the whole world is still spinning. No one knows, no one cares. They weren't invited anyway. So even if they *did* try to come to brighten the party, they'd be D listed. Sorry. So, when I'm done here, I'll let you know.

Bad Situations or not, it's ok to laugh. I have to keep reminding myself of this. That even though I'm sad and I need things I can't have right now, it's ok to laugh. It's ok to have a good time and relax. It's ok to feel sorry for myself every once in a while too. I will allow myself this indulgence. What's not ok, what is absolutely not in my plans, is giving up. I might cry and eat and swear and get angry but I won't give up. I might sacrifice and sway from the career plan, I might work somewhere I don't want to and bitch about those things. But I won't give up.

No, for now, I'm going to steer clear of books like The Knitting Circle and reach for the funny or inspiring. I have cried more than necessary reading this book because I can identify so much with this character and how it just seems like she keeps losing things/people. I am really tired of getting snot on my new shirts though. I'd really like to blow my nose into a Kleenex again. It just seems so much more lady like and civilized, not that I will ever fully be either of those things. It's worth a shot though. So I believe I shall be hitting up the library for some Jen Lancaster or possibly reread a David Sedaris story. Or maybe I'll keep Stumbling Upon humorous things like The Bloggess and keep reading wonderful blogs like Magnolias and Mimosas and laughing my ass off at the ludicrous crafters on Regretsy. And just like that, there went ladylike and civilized.

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Old Inspiration

It's relevant. I love it. But I need a change on this page. So out with the old and awesome, and in with the new and more(!)awesome.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice,
Hesitate in the presence of procrastination,
Negotiate at the table of fear,
Ponder at the pool of popularity,
Or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, Shut up, Let up,
Until I've Stayed up, Stored up, Prayed up, and Paid up,
And become the person God intended me to be.

(note: I have no idea where I got this. I had it written down from a conference I went to for Mary Kay. I found something similar that was from the Latter Day Saints, but it didn't list an author. Anyway, still profound.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unemployment: Stay at Home Daughter

(Disclaimer: I love my mother. That is all.)

I recently changed my employment status on Facebook to say this:

Stay At Home Daughter

cooking, baking, cleaning, trash girl, bartender, applying for real jobs, applying for crappy jobs, lawn chick (does not rake), designated driver, laundering, entertaining, knitting, reading, writing, eating all the good food (snacks, ice cream, etc.), drinking all the beer, warming up the couch, making sure the tv works (specifically on sundays and thursdays), taking up space in the driveway with ugly car named Peanut, Facebooking incessantly while filling out online applications and writing articles (multitasking), vacuuming with cool uniform (see pictures), etc.

Since skipping out the door of my last job or rather being kicked out quietly, I have moved in with my mother. Love her as I do, living with her is much like Chinese torture. I am thankful that she is allowing me to take up space in her home and in her garage. And she is thankful that those pesky high light bulbs are being changed! My mom is short, I am tall. (read: likely adopted) So all of these high reaching tasks have been delegated to me. Light bulbs, reaching for vases, vacuuming the ceilings for house showings, yes, I do them all. I am employed with the never ending to do lists to keep my mind from exploding because my mother knows that a girl that is zoned for the city, like myself, does not survive well in the country. I'm walking around the house wondering things like "Can I get a sidewalk? Maybe a cafe that doesn't serve coffee that tastes like BBQ? Hell, I'll take a horn honking!" while everyone else is enjoying the peaceful and serene view of the now hibernating trees. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous here but it fades. Stare at the same Thomas Kincade painting for a month and tell me you don't want a change of scenery. Between job applications you might find me scrubbing a toilet or vacuuming the baseboards. In the city you would find me casing out the newest wi-fi cafe or running to catch the El. I've taken to knitting and cleaning as hobbies because cafes and trains don't exist here. Call me June Cleaver and I will scream.

After about a month in the country I am ready for a Thanksgiving dinner sized helping of Chicago. The wind blows the crazy out of me, and my friends are thankful for this. In the country, I have to *think* of things to do keep my mind off my insanity ridden life. In the city, I have to decide which thing to do first! Walking to get coffee is a welcomed task in the city. Here, it is impossible. Maybe I should walk around the house three times before I come in and start my pot in the morning. Who cares if the neighbors think I have a serious case of OCD? I'm going mental anyway, might as well come out of the closet with it right?

To say that this past month has been awful would still probably be a gross understatement. Adjectives have not been invented to describe the kind of mental instability that unemployment has created for me. I'm a strong girl. I've been through more than a person my age should. And I'm still standing. But not working and living in the country at the same time is enough to make me Google "high bridges near SW Michigan". I'm applying for plenty of positions. I even had an interview with a staffing agency in Chicago. They loved me, and I loved them. It's a terrific fit. But patience and waiting have never been close friends of mine. I wrote a blog not too long ago about the relationship between my patience and waiting. I officially don't have any. I'm waiting because I have to, but my patience packed its bags and told me to fuck off a long time ago. So here we sit, me and my new frienemy, Waiting, and have these conversations about length of stay. Waiting is always complaining about Patience leaving and I am always complaining about why Waiting is taking so long. It's like...Dude, shit or get off the pot already. This is ridiculous. The fact is that there are 15.1 million of us out of a job AND that when you apply for a job, if you don't have a degree, you're sort of fucked. I do not have a degree so I'm not in the top ten competition, I am thanking my lucky stars though that I have management experience and that I did at least attend some college classes. I might not have graduated, but if I want to go back I can. It would require one really good waitressing job in the city (or two) or one craptastic job in the country (because it's rent free) to pull off the school *and* work thing. I'm not sure I'm ready to make that decision yet, mostly because in the end, I would be doomed to stay in the country with my mom. It's on the wheel of (mis)fortune though, I can't deny it. This is my luck we're talking about here and I don't remember any of my friends wishing they could have a piece of it. And so, Waiting is quickly becoming my least attractive friend. In fact, she's an ugly bitch who is driving me mad.

Beyond missing the city, beyond waiting, there's a bigger issue. I'm a 27 year old living with her mother. While this is probably socially acceptable, it is not mentally acceptable. For a few reasons...

1) She eats really loudly. I can imagine that if I was ever brave enough to get close to a cow again to listen to her eat, she would sound much like my mother. (I say again because I had a bad run in with a cow once. It chased me out of a field. Remind me to tell you that one later.) Cheese eaten with a smack is gross. So are crackers and chips because then the crunch factor is introduced and it's enough to make food poisoning sound like the more attractive option. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.... all disgusting with your mouth open.

2) She (allegedly) has two livers and exercises them daily. Either that or she just has an overachiever in there. Did I mention she's 5'2"? And can drink me under the table? Just sayin'! More evidence that I was adopted or that I'm just a lightweight.

3) She can not tell a joke to save her life. (Which is actually something I inherited from her and that's annoying.) She tries though. The good news is that I always know the punchlines to jokes, sometimes she collapses into laughter before she can tell me the rest of the joke though so the conversation usually ends up something like this...

Mom: Hahahahaha! Funny joke! Hahahahaha!

Me: What ma? (annoyed because I already know it's going to suck)

Mom: Orange you going to let me in? Hahahahaha! Wait, wait... I forgot the first part... ok... Knock, Knock... Hahahahahahaha! (and then nothing, but more uncontrolled laughter)

And so it goes.

4) Asking for money might be #1 on the list of my least favorite things to do. And since I am jobless and now penniless after this awesome year of bad luck and bullshit, my mom has taken pity on me. This is all well and good when I need things, but when it's something I don't necessarily need but want... I feel like a 5 year old, which is wonderful(!!) because I have always hoped to go back and relive the hell that was elementary school. (e.g. Grocery shopping: "What do you want from the store?" I should say "Broccoli, carrots, chicken, and low fat yogurt!", but what I want to say is "Family Sized Bag of Cheetos and 5 Gallons of ice cream please!" Are you catching my pathetic drift?)

5) Every time my mom walks in the door from work I'm on the computer. Mostly because she gets home at 7 pm and by that time I have already completed my "chores" for the day. So even though I have done all of these things I still feel like a momentus loser jackass sitting here all typity type when she walks in the door every. single. day. So I've taken to leaving one little task to do when she walks in so it looks like I'm a busy little bee. Even though dinner is made, baked goods are on the counter and the house smells like cleaning products, I still feel the need to look busy. So what do I do when she gets home? I wait until she walks in the door and I put a dish in the dishwasher and act like I had been working on this for hours. I'm pathetic. I know. But it makes me feel better to see her face of gratitude rather than the face of "Jesus Kallay, get a job!" when she walks in the door.

If I were to be unemployed with a small nest egg of savings to live off of, this situation of insanity would probably be cut nearly in half. My ideal unemployment situation would be to live alone and live off of my small savings. It would prevent me from having to live with an annoying person, ask said annoying person for money and from having to look up from behind a computer screen to the annoying person's annoyed face. If I were alone I would at the very least be able to be unemployed without feeling guilty about it. But alas, I am here. Living in the fishbowl, begging for food nuggets and doing cute fishie tricks to try and earn a new job. Isn't unemployment adorable?

Unemployment: The Beginning


That's my state's unemployment rate. Granted, I became unemployed when I was forced to quit my job in Tennessee so really it's their problem. But I live in Michigan now and I can honestly say that there are no jobs in the town I am living in. If I want a job (not even a decent one) I have to drive an hour to get there. For $8 an hour, I would be paying for gas. Luckily I am not trying to procure employment in this nonsense state. Chicago is the target city. Beyond this I have nothing serious to say about unemployment. Nothing, whatsoever.

I have recently posted some things about unemployment on my Facebook that went something like this:

"Unemployment makes me bipolar."

"Unemployment is nothing more than perpetual PMS. I apologize in advance."

"i can haz interview? dis neat."

"is it my new glasses or is the world upside down? maybe ice cream will help."

"it seems that when my sky falls so does the rest of scenery."

"never say that things can't get any worse... because they can... and then they will. and then you use big words, with 4 letters. it's no fun. trust me."

I have been unemployed before but never quite to this degree. When I was interviewing in Chicago and when I gave notice to my former employer, the understanding was that I would leave when I found a position. And since I found my own replacement, this should not have been an issue. Especially since my replacement was cool with being on the waiting list for my job. He was happy where he was and had that whole confusing patience thing going for him that I lack in gallons. So you can imagine my surprise when I was told on September 24th that my last day was September 27th. Wait, I thought I was quitting. How am I being fired? Or "fired"? I'm baffled. I was still waiting to hear good news from a company that was considering me for Store Management. My General Manager had flown the coop the week before and when she did, she set a few mines for a few of us leftover. My flesh eating bomb shell was that she told our District Manager to set my last day for September 27th. "Funny,", I thought, "That's the first day of a new week. Why would she make my last day..." and then... I went all superhero crazy bitch. September 27th was, in fact, an inventory day. They weren't respecting me, they were humoring me. They were fine with me looking for another job, especially because they couldn't give me a raise and knew I needed more money. What they didn't say, until three days before I was to leave, was "you have until the end of the month." Well throw me off a cliff why don't you?

In order to illustrate the slap in the face I received, I must back track on our story a wee bitsy. A short but sweet explanation. When I have said that I gave up everything for this job. I truly mean everything. The GM told me when I started that after I took over the supervisor position that I could receive a significant raise. She said this because I almost refused the position due to the $9/hr price tag. So, with the promise of a promotion in a few months' time and a raise on the horizon, I began the march of doom. I worked like a mad woman. I received my promotion, 2 months after I was supposed to. I received my raise, which was not significant. I did not sign up for part time benefits because I was told I would be eligible for full time benefits, which also turned out to be a bold faced lie. I found this out too late. So, I had another run in with pneumonia, insurance free, which meant that I waited until I couldn't breathe to go to the doctor. I ended up in the ER on my birthday, also insurance free. I lost my brand new car. I lost my lifestyle which wasn't that extravagant but it did allow me to go on the occasional shopping trip and out to dinner and movies with friends, I could also afford gifts and groceries.

I was now homebound, penniless, unhealthy and driving a wreck of a car. The car was affectionately named Peanut because of the amount of pissed I was for having to buy it. (note: Jeff Dunham has a purple puppet named Peanut who pisses him off... my car is purpley...) I was getting food from a food bank and using my tip money for gas and cigarettes. (You try to quit smoking when your life is falling apart in front of your eyes and tell me how successful you are... don't judge me!) Through all of this, I still worked my nails to the bone. I supervised without the title. I cleaned, I trained myself on other parts of the store, I led without being told to do so. I took initiative where it was needed. I was a "team player". It used to be that hard work paid off. Now, it's expected that you suffer whether you work hard or not. By the time I received my promotion I was ready to leave. I had been played like a fiddle. My life looked like the after effects of Santa's cookie rampage. You can't just put that shit back together again. You have to start from scratch. Time marched on and my patience wore thin. The cafe won contests and excelled in the district. We became a family. We all worked hard. But none of this was recognized. Finally, in August, I approached my GM and told her my story. Told her about the amounts of money I was borrowing, the food I was eating, the car I was driving and the effect on my health that this job was taking. I cried to a woman I loathed hoping that somewhere in her body there was a human being. One month later I gave my notice. My notice that we agreed would be ongoing until I found another job. Since I had found my replacement who did not need training, the transition would be simple and worry free.

And then 3 weeks later I looked in the mirror and found the bloody knife sticking out of my back. She had betrayed me. When I was approached with the news, it was not in the office. We were in a common area and I was told that my last day was September 27th. When the shock wore off, the anger exploded. How could she do this to me? How could the COMPANY do this to me? How could this be ok? Isn't it illegal to fire someone who is already quitting? (Not in the fucked up state of TN it's not!) The assistant manager came up with this brainless plan that I should stay on as a manager since I already had keys and knew how to do most things in the store, including parts of her job that I had done the holiday season before. My replacement would come in and I would work as a manager a couple of days per week in the cafe, and then work on the floor the rest of the week as a manager "picking up the slack" for the other managers. In other words, taking on more responsibility, with no raise, and letting someone else take my job when I was still going to be in the store. Excuse me, but if I am going to be the general manager of a store, I damn well better receive the title and raise to go along with it. I'm not going to "pick up the slack" or in other words, do the parts of the jobs that the other managers didn't WANT to do (dirty work) and not get paid for it. This new glamorous job would have included: merchandising, operations, cafe operations, receiving duties, corporate sales duties, etc. Ninja. Please. Fingers to ya! I'm leaving. How can you do so much for a company only to have them turn around and slap you in the face like this? Yes, they have replaced (or rather I found and was going to replace) me with a new cafe supervisor. But the term replacement isn't exactly accurate here.

My responsibilities ended up reaching far beyond that of the cafe. Far beyond the scope of $10.50 an hour. Far, FAR beyond being pushed out of the store because clearly they thought it would be easier to just get it over with. So I can only say good luck to the new supervisor and God speed to whoever is left in the store. The stories I have heard since leaving the cafe have broken my heart. (From former customers, friends and former coworkers alike.) They made a bad decision, and now they get to stew in it. So, as bad off as I am right now, there is a small part of me that gets to say "I told you so." At least my inner 5 year old is happy. The rest of me is just giggling with insanity at my current situation. I went from angry to straight jacket crazy in the period of about a month. And boy do I have some stories to tell...

"the gays"

apparently i'm a lesbian. or at least that's what a mysterious, yet to be discovered, person i used to work with thought. if you've read anything in this blog, you know this to be false. but ba-scuuuuuse me for being affectionate with my friends in public. girls do weird stuff with each other all the time, kiss in bars (have not done this), hold hands in public (all the time), link arms, etc. without being gay. we just love our friends and don't care who knows it. you kiss your sister, hug your girl cousin, and link arms with your mom. you love your relatives and sometimes your friends become your family. that said, even if i was gay, in this century, why does it matter?

my gay friends are brilliant, fantastically creative, gifted, happy people.

as revolting as bumping uglies with parts that are like mine sounds, my gay friends find my sexual activities just as vile. what's more... who really gives a shit anyway? i mean i could walk around telling everyone "i'm heterosexual which means i like to boink boys." no one would bat a lash, even if i used the four letter eff word. but if two guys/girls hold hands in public... omg. sound the alarm. it's so backwards... what we find offensive. gay or straight... unless you're in porn, you're not having sex 24/7.

it just irritates me that some of my most amazing friends are criticized because they happen to be attracted to people of the same gender. and when i say amazing, i really mean amazing in the WOW! sense not in the cliche-overused-word sense. they trump most people i know in smarts, creativity, beauty, style and fashion (which are the same and very different), compassion, generosity, grace, perseverance, work ethic, and hope. did i mention they are HILARIOUS?

the gay marriage debate has sparked this fire under my butt today. i recently read an article about gay marriage that really got under my skin. my heart just breaks for these people. my comment was this:

i would much rather see a great homosexual marriage rather than some of these awful heterosexual ones. (hello, jon & kate) i am openly christian, but i refuse to judge someone based on their sexuality. would i vote for gay marriage? absolutely. i think it’s ridiculous that we allow some members of our military to have “contract marriages” so they can have more money or allow people who just met to get married in vegas and treat it like a joke. i don’t believe that gay marriage is as offensive as either of those things. in fact, i believe if the relationship is based on trust and love, no matter what their gender, they should be allowed to get married. gay or straight. period. true love does not offend me. getting married by elvis does.

don't flame me for the military comment, it exists. i lived it. (at least my ex-husband did... i was in love, he just wanted money, or at least that's all i can gather from his lack of respect for me and his need for other women. that's another post.) the point is, people i love are being hurt because our society says: "kill a baby? don't mind if you do! marry someone you love? just a minute there, pal." and damn it, that just sucks. don't bother pardoning the bluntness either, because it's truth all stripped of the politically correct blahfuckblah, and i'm not sorry for that. i'm tired of my friends having to feel like they don't matter in a country where they pay taxes, volunteer their time and spend their money on our economy just like any other legal citizen. it's not just about the marriage certificate. hell, according to grey's anatomy you can be married on a post-it note and it's still a contract. it's about the basic right of a human, the basic right of a legal u.s. citizen. we allow "the gays" to vote, pay taxes and make other decisions that effect our lives but refuse to allow them to marry someone they love because... ? here are some reasons i have heard that make my eyes roll into the back of my head.

1) "our children will see it." yes, they sure will. and like i said before, i would much rather see and have my children see a loving happy relationship than an abusive unhappy one, gay or straight. this point has no validity. our children see and hear all kinds of things. sex on tv, swearing on the radio, violence in their own neighborhoods, teen pregnancy... and yet gay marriage is what some parents are worried about.

2) "it goes against the very foundation of what our country was built upon." excuse me, but make up your damned minds. are we a christian nation or are we still trying to separate church and state? it seems to me that when it's convenient we pull out the Jesus cards. give me a break. i'm a christian. i believe in God and sin and prayer and the bible and all of those things. i do not believe it's my right to judge.

3) "people will abuse the system." hello? can we please take a step back and worry about things that need to be worried about? things like taking advantage of: welfare, food stamps, HETEROSEXUAL marriage for money and tax benefits, illegal non-citizens, tax write offs, unemployment benefits, school districts being shut down due to "school of choice" programs, bankruptcy, etc. Those things cost me money. My two good friends getting married? Not a dime, except for a great wedding gift, which they deserve.

maybe someday i'll get to buy that gift, for now i'll just keep voting.