Monthly Archives: November 2011

I heart Linus.

I’m generally uneasy in social situations. It’s not that I don’t like people; it’s that to feign normalcy I have to muster up conversation and some of it has to be about me.

It makes me feel like this guy:

Linus

Sharing opinions or personal information like whether I like crunchy or smooth peanut butter is lost on me. I mean, who cares?

Healer Lady would probably suggest that I fear intimacy. She’s never actually said this, but she recommended a therapy group that focuses on communication and intimacy. I can take a hint.

Still, I have solid proof that…

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Black Widow

Inspired by one of her pals who recently liberated herself from the diaper, Nugget made the request to put on underwear.

Allelujah!

She’s adorably delicious, but I can’t wait to get as far away from her bodily waste as possible.

I yearn for the day she does this. (Pic from weebooktada)

We granted her wish to wear underwear and she proudly pranced (As a feminist, I don’t use that word lightly to describe my daughter) around our house, frequently asking, “Wanna see my underwear?” A pause would invoke a more aggressive sales pitch: “They’re purple,” she would add.

As she pointed out the details of the design on her underwear, her innocence and vulnerability almost hurt to witness. My mind wandered again to Penn State and to my own history.

In a lot of ways, there’s nothing shocking about how the perpetrator was able to do what he did. It’s classic. Charming perpetrator places himself in a position to gain access to children. He impresses the community, the families, and, most sadistically, the children who looked up to him.

The person who sexually abused me for 2 years was my teacher. In my case, the perpetrator was a woman.

She was the most popular teacher. She was hip, cute, and fun. She was married to a handsome guy and she knew the words to the most popular songs, which endeared her to the students.

Healer Lady described her as “shiny,” and that is a spot-on description. She was shiny and everybody wanted to be next to her.

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Penn State of Mind

I’ll ‘fess up that when I see Nugget skillfully kick a soccer ball I think that she maybe the next Mia Hamm. Or when she places the “tethescope” on my belly and provides the diagnosis that I have squirrels in my stomach I conclude that she will be a brilliant doctor. Or when she attempts to negotiate every term of her dinner it’s clear to me that she’ll be a damn good lawyer. Or when she jams on her guitar like Ani Difranco it’s just a matter of time before she’s a total rock star, but only after she gains a good sense of herself so that she doesn’t Lindsay Lohan her life.

Rockstar

Regardless, we’re one of the few lucky American families that have just enough disposable income to sock away a little each month for college, so we do it diligently in the hopes that we can send her to a good, well-respected college or university.

Then something like Penn State happens and I’m left wondering what exactly is a “good” or “well-respected” college or university in this country?

Since I began therapy, I’m generally unable to read the news because the rampant salacious headlines are triggers. Instead, I go straight for any other section that’s not likely to cover the latest murder, sexual assault, etc.  I can’t hack that shit.

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Sleepless in Vermont: Night Terrors and The Exorcist

Nugget has had night terrors for the past several nights.  If you’re one of the lucky ones whose child has not had night terrors, think Linda Blair.  The fact that my daughter looks like she’s possessed while having night terrors is not inconsequential; I absolutely hate anything having to do with the subject of being possessed, and its entertainment value is completely lost on me.

When I was around 10 years old, I was minding my own business, watching TV with my parents one evening.  There was a trailer (we called them commercials back then) for The Exorcist.  I nearly shat my pants. Before me was a crazy-eyed kid, about my age, crawling on the wall, making sounds like a cat in heat.

Note: In an attempt to post a photo of the possessed child of The Exorcist,  I Googled “Linda Blair” and the images of her in costume from the movie gave me a minor heart attack. Seriously.  But I discovered that she saves animals through her organization Linda Blair World Heart and her make-up is much better in real life, which is sort of a corrective experience.

I was surprised when mom and dad expressed excitement about it.  They called it a classic flick. That 15-second trailer revealed a new fact of life: the devil or one of his minions was lurking around my bedroom, waiting to pounce on me.  I was absolutely terrified.

My parents’ excitement for the movie indicated that they would be useless in my defense, so in anticipation of it being on TV, I hatched a game plan that involved being at the far end of the house while they watched it.  Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.

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Lessons from Animal Kingdom

It was a beautiful Saturday morning when Sweetie came up with the great idea [insert sarcasm here] to get a couple of goldfish for Nugget. I’m uncertain what inspired this sudden affection for the cold-blooded vertebrate, but she was fixated and Nugget was beside herself with excitement, so we decided to add to our little version of Animal Kingdom.

We hit the pet store first thing because we wanted to beat the mad rush to the fish tanks. This is when Sweetie gained my total buy-in and respect, because for just $.39 a fish we could buy our daughter’s love and affection.

Driving home with the plastic bag that housed the two freaked out goldfish, I began to feel for the little guys/gals. I thought about their life experiences, and how much it would suck for someone to pluck me from my home, toss me in a Glad zip-lock bag, and take me to an unknown destination. It was then that I determined we would make them a happy home/tank.

At home, the tank decorating commenced. We dumped in Nugget’s choice of fluorescent pink pebbles, poured in distilled water, jammed a couple of plants into the pebbles and placed a fake cave-like rock in the center. What fish wouldn’t be thrilled with this?

Apparently one of them didn’t like it, because he/she offed him/herself overnight and we had a floater on our hands the next morning. In hindsight, I’m not sure why Sweetie and I hadn’t thought about this.

Going into emergency responder mode, I plopped Nugget in front of Elmo so I could take care of business. I was unclear about how to dispose of the fish. Nothing seemed dignified. Trash? Toilet? So, I fed it to the Feline. Joking. I chose the toilet option and watched him/her swirl down the hole, all the while thinking what a dark place that must be.

For days after this, I couldn’t shake the memory of my childhood dog, Doogan. Doogan was a mix between a Terrier and a Dachshund. Some might say he was really a mix of a rat and bat.  A scrappy little guy, he was 12 pounds of pure muscle, resembled a gremlin, was known to chase cars, and had humongous ears.  Check him out.

Doogan

Although he was the family dog (Note the professional photo.), he was really my dog. Doogan slept with me, followed me everywhere and was loyal to me through and through.

For example, one afternoon I was pulled from my algebra class because he had walked the couple of blocks from our home into my high school, looking for me. He must have gotten sidetracked by the screech of our choir as he was found in the choir room, howling. I was asked to escort him home.

You may be asking yourself, “Why wasn’t your dog fenced?” Well, I’m not sure why. When we got him, we always let him out the front door and he would scratch on the door when he returned, usually after making his rounds with the neighbors. Everyone loved him.

But, the honeymoon was over when the dog catcher told us to lock him up, or else. As you can imagine, Doogan didn’t go for being fenced in the backyard, so like the prisoner that we made him, he dug escape routes under the fence.

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