Have you ever felt like there was some sort of curse upon
I have for years in the love department, and I really wish I
could make peace with the person who keeps sticking pins in the Jane voo-doo
Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I do have a theory that
is entirely plausible as to what has gone wrong for me in the romance
You see, I have been the victim of many a sort of love. The
only thing they all really have in common (other than me) is the fact that they
all end rather briefly under circumstances that I mainly do not comprehend.
The other night, I was methodically contemplating every
romantic motion both recent, and long ago. (By methodically contemplating, I
mean getting tipsy on wine and listening to sappy music.) Suddenly, it occurred
to me where it went wrong, and why it has since.
I was a tender fifteen years old when I dated my first
boyfriend. It was one of those all-encompassing passions that involved steamy
nights holding hands; and hours of tying up the phone lines after school, much
to my parents’ consternation. (Coincidence that I ended up getting my own phone
line in my bedroom for my sixteenth birthday, I think not.)
For our very significant one month anniversary, he gave me a
promise ring. (That my mother ended up making me return to him. Whatever. I was
fifteen and in love. I knew exactly what I was doing.) I gave him a key
necklace to my heart necklace.
It ended two months later, and it was one of those breakups
that is just so devastating when you have a case of puppy love. It was the sort
of breakup that left me crying on my bedroom pale blue carpet, with the
cordless phone beside me. My mother came in with a mug of chamomile tea, and
rubbed my back. She actually pretended to understand my hysterical sob speak in
between sips of chamomile tea. I swore I would never love again. I am one who
tends to get caught up in the moment.
Flash forward to three years later, I was an 18 year old,
dating a 24 year old. I thought that made me pretty cool. It was my first year
in college, and I was the chubby lamb ripe for the slaughter. For years I had
no freedom, so when I turned 18 and left home, I was drunk on it, and
overdosed. I ended up having to end our relationship, as I was moving back
home. (Apparently professors like you to attend class physically while you’re
in college. Whatever. I was 18, I knew exactly what I was doing.) It was a very
powerful moment when I handed him my journal and tearfully told him that I
wanted him to have it to remember me by.
Did I mention I am one who tends to get caught up in the moment?
A month after that moment, I begged him for my journal back.
It was a collection of my interpretations of the world as I discovered it.
Everything was so new and bright to me, and I had created some of my best stuff
during those times. Plus, the journal it’s self was really bitchin’ as the cover
was tie dyed with my favorite colors. Naturally, he refused to give it back to
me, as he declared that I was a manipulative heartbreaker or something, because
I had left. I begged and begged him for it, even offering to pay for the
shipping, but it was a no-go. He eventually successfully ignored me into
Realizing my journal was most likely in ashes, that marked the exact moment I
learned not to give away things at the drop of a dime, or at the beat of my
heart.) (Oooh, doesn’t that sounds like a great 80s crappy love song?)
Journal aside, I feel like the main damage was done at
fifteen. I gave my very first boyfriend the key to my heart, and never got it
back. He and I are actually still friends, I certainly could ask for it back,
and he’d probably give it to me. However, that was fifteen years ago. In my
romantic mind, the key necklace is most likely in the bottom of the ocean
Titanic style. (Nevermind that we lived in a landlocked state, with the nearest
ocean several thousands of miles away.) In my practical mind, the key necklace
is at the bottom of a landfill, where some grimy kid will discover it in the
year 2065 when keys are obsolete, wonder what the hell it is, and then melt it
down for scrap metal.
No, I don’t know why a grimy kid would be melting down
metal, just shut up. It’s my practical mind space, not yours. Get your own.
Anyways, what do I do? I gave the key to my heart away, and
now I’ll never have it back! It’s a teenage stupidity juju curse that will
haunt me until my lonely death with 35 cats, 32 of which will start gnawing on
my corpse even before I’m cold! (Sorry, that was probably a bit graphic. You
know what, so is love.)
I’m going to be
proactive and design my tombstone now. I want it to have a key on it, and say “Jane
gave the key to her heart away to a soldier, who died in the war loving her.
She loved him and no other until the day she died.”
Although it’s technically not really the truth, it makes a
much better tombstone than “Jane died under a juju curse with a dumb necklace,
she didn’t accomplish much, but she had lots of cats!”
Maybe I’ll just try to replicate the key to my heart at a
Walmart kiosk with a Dale Earnhardt memorial key. Nothing says romantic curse
breaker like Nascar.
You know what’s great about being a single mom? Not much!
But my motto has always been when life hands you lemons, throw them on the
ground and stomp them into a slimy, pulpy mess. Will it accomplish anything?
No. But you’ll feel a hell of a lot better.
Even before I had Eliza, I knew that I wanted any future
children I had to attend a parochial school. (I think part of being a woman
means planning your child’s entire life span even before he/she is a zygote,
and then spending a lifetime disapproving of your eventual child as they
deviate entirely from your plan just to spite you.) I have certain prejudices
about public schools in this state that I will keep to myself, because I want
to still have friends. Really, it’s a choice everyone must make, and there are pros
and cons no matter what you do.
Con has been the name of the game the last year, as Eliza is
edging towards the end of her preschool career, and preparing for her big
transition into full time schooling. I’ve found myself faced with the task of
conforming to the Catholic code of well, everything.
Last week, I had to attend a mandatory class on child
molestation for any adult who intended to participate in any activity that a
child would. Yes, you read that right. The idea was to learn what to watch out
for when it came to child predators, so that we can all be more diligent in
protecting our kids. It’s my personal belief that the class is more or less an
attempt at damage control after the media frenzy related to the priest/altar boy scandals.
The class it’s self wasn’t a terrible concept, but frankly I could think about
eight million other things I’d rather be doing on a Thursday evening than
sitting around watching a movie about kiddie touchers.
I found myself in a conference room with about seventy other
adults, and the leader explained to us that we would be watching not one, but
TWO movies on the subject! (and to think, me there with no popcorn) I was
beyond thrilled to learn that this would be eating up at least two hours of my
evening. As the leader droned on, in my
head I began to teach the subject. I deduced that I could teach the class in
about ten minutes flat, and I would hold up a picture of a white, windowless
vanwith an ‘X’ across it. Then I would hold up a sign of a creeper offering
free candy and/or a puppy, with an ‘X’ drawn across him. Class dismissed.
As the movie began, I tried to watch it with an open mind.
The first interview was with a preteen boy, and he looked really familiar to
me. As the boy went out about how he went to camp, and then his counselor took
him aside and horrors ensued, I kept trying to figure out where I knew him from.
I watched the other children recount their tales of awfulness, and I couldn’t
help but think that despite the documentary style of the movie, it seemed like
they were acting. They went back to the camp kid, and suddenly, I knew where I
had seen his face before. He was on the show Weeds! It was Silas, the sexy dumb
character! However, Silas wasn’t being Sexy Silas, he was being traumatized
victim kid. Watching him portray a traumatized victim kid pretty much ruined my
crush on the Sexy Silas character.
The only useful part of the two hours came in the form of
the two actual incarcerated child molesters, who shared their methods of
entrapment. Although I sort of wanted to behead them as they spoke, I did pick
up a few things I hadn’t thought of to watch for. After the movies were over,
we were expected to participate in a class discussion on the movie. I was
hoping for not many questions or comments from my fellow hostages/classmates.
However, I had forgotten how stupid and naïve people can really be. A woman in
front of me raised her hand, and said, “It just really shocked me how the molesters
look just like everybody else!” I felt my eyes roll towards the ceiling. She
was the type of person who probably would think all perverts had white
windowless vans and trench coats.
I somehow made it through the class, and earned the right to
attend Eliza’s school activities, the first of which will be on Friday, Moms
and Muffins! Truth be told, I sort of dread Moms and Muffins. I see it being
more like Perfect Stepford Catholic Wives and Deviant Sin-tastic Jane sharing
the same space, while the Stepfords ask if there are any low-fat gluten free
muffins simultaneously as Jane attempts to demurely cover her mouth crammed
full with chocolate chip double chocolate muffin. They will preen their perfect
one-length practical Stepford bobs, and smile stiffly when they are caught
staring at my teal hair streak. Their S.U.Vs, wedding rings, and bank accounts
will all be of matching gigantic proportions. “She’s divorced and has no
husband!” I hear one whisper to the other in my head, and then they will both shake
their heads in awe of the scandal of it all, gazing at Eliza with pity.
I first learned that the Catholic church has a certain disdain
towards divorcees about four years ago. I had to attend a class on baptism, as
I was preparing for Eliza’s. It was already sort of embarrassing to be there,
as I was the only solo parent. All the other parents were in pairs. It reminded
me way too much of childbirth preparation classes the previous year, where I
was the only solo attendee. I’d like to say it didn’t hurt looking at all the
other cute pregnant mommies and anxious daddies together, but it stung as I was
simultaneously lonely, and wondering what they were all thinking of me. In my
own mind, I was wearing a scarlet letter of whoredom, even though that was far
from the truth. I ended up dropping out of the class because I couldn’t handle
the terrible feeling. Still, I stuck the baptism class out. At the end, the
deacon met with each of us individually. When he asked about my marital status,
I explained what had happened.
After I explained, he looked at me with a troubled
expression. “I would never deny a child the holy sacrament of baptism, but if
it were my child, I would get your marriage annulled with the church, so that
you are right with god.” I stared at him incredulously. “But we didn’t get
married in the Catholic church! It was in a non-denominational minister!” He
shook his head. “You still need to get it annulled in the church.” I felt my
face flush with embarrassment. I left the class with a feeling of shame, and
dread. I knew how hard an annulment can be to attain, and moreover, I was aware
of all the embarrassing details I would have to share in writing. Although I
didn’t feel like I had much to be ashamed of, I still didn’t care to share my
sexual exploits with anyone else but a bar full of eager listeners during two
dollar pitcher ladies’ nights.
As I drove home, I decided that I would not have the marriage
annulled. I had not been married in the church, so in the church’s eyes, I was
not married. How in the world can I void something that never was? Moreover, I
would not annul my marriage because I had married Eliza’s father out of love.
Eliza was created in love. I did not feel as though this was an accident, or
something that I should feel shame and/or repent for. I had married out of
love, and did not regret the reasoning behind my choice to wed, even though I
had sorrow over the outcome of divorce. I
felt a pang, knowing that I would never technically be ‘okay’ with my church again,
but I chose to be more okay with myself.
I backed out of the baptism entirely. However, I knew Eliza
could not go to Catholic school without a baptism. Four years later, she and I
had moved and were in a different parish. Again, I met with a deacon. But this
one was different. He barely asked me about the marriage, and focused more on
Eliza’s baptism. I breathed a deep sigh of relief that it was a non-issue to
You must wonder why I baptized Eliza in the Catholic
religion, and why I am sending her to Catholic school. The answer is both
simple, and complex. My family is Catholic going back for many generations on
my father’s side. I consider continuing the tradition of a Catholic upbringing
as a tribute to my dead homies. I agree with most of Christian morals, and
values. Although this part is going to sound odd, I want to give Eliza a strong
foundation in something, even if I don’t believe in all of it. With that strong
foundation, she can build herself up, and then eventually rebel from it to find
her own truths. But a firm ground is essential before you grow.
I think humans mar the beauty of religion with their own
interpretations and impressions that they try to force upon others. Although I
have opposition to so much, I undoubtedly still adore parts of my birth
religion: the saints, the stained glass, the holy water, the mysticism, the
repetition, the rituals. I collect rosaries, and I still say Hail Marys and Our
Fathers when I’m nervous or scared. I guess the girl can remove herself from
the religion, but the religion never really entirely removes it’s self from the
In the meantime, I smiled as the priest baptized Eliza with the holy water, and felt joy when I held her in my arms as he anointed her with oil. “And with this holy baptism of Eliza today, all of you renew your baptism promise, and are cleansed once again from sin.”
I grinned mischievously. Well, maybe not entirely cleansed of sin. Possibly a short break from it. There are far too many lemons on the ground just waiting to be stomped on.
Bless me, father, for I have sinned.Sooo, can we talk about last night? And, uh, the night before that? I hope you packed a lunch.
Have you ever wanted to see humanity in its lowest form?
(Don’t lie, I know you have.) Go to a concert. Live music takes the best parts
of the auditory experience, and injects people into it. For some reason, the
combination brings out primal instincts that are feral, at best. Crowds end up
raping me of my joy, almost every time. The derelicts I encounter are often on
the cusp of throwing their own fecal matter, and that’s giving them credit
they’re probably not due.
I damn near had my Lady Gaga concert ruined by such a
primate, and it surprisingly brought out my own inner beast.
Gaga is sort of my own personal muse/goddess/icon. Yes, I
know how fangirl and lame that makes me sound. But baby, I was born this way.
(sorry, couldn’t help it.)
I digress, but by some miracle I won pit tickets to her Born
This Way ball last month. My sister-in-law and brother were my guests of honor.
Robb was as thrilled as a lumber jack at a tea party to be there, but he put up
with it for Jamie and I. We were down in the middle of the pit, eagerly
awaiting Gaga’s performance when the shenanigans began.
Naturally, we were all packed in the pit with little elbow
room to ourselves. It was bearable, but poor Robb ended up behind a redneck
with the social graces of a dodo bird on steroids. The guy, let’s call him
Uncle Wasted, was practically in my brother’s lap. It seemed pretty certain
that he was high and drunk, and completely oblivious to himself or anything
else. Uncle Wasted was obnoxious, and already getting on my nerves about ten
minutes into the pre-concert wait. I am a firm believer in a time and place for
everything. Uncle Wasted was violating my rules by being high at a Gaga
concert. Seriously, we were not seeing the Greatful Dead. At one point, Uncle
Wasted leaned way back, and in doing so was close enough to Robb where, as Robb
put it, “If I would have stuck my tongue out, it would have been in the
Robb, to his credit, waited a moment for Uncle Wasted to
realize his proximity. But Uncle Wasted was on a mission, and he had a
one-track mind. Finally, Robb spoke up. “Hey, dude, you’re in my personal
Uncle Wasted did not offer an apology, merely straightened
up slowly on wobbly legs, and turned around at my brother, and pointed at his
“I gotta get the cherry out of da bottom!” he slurred. I
couldn’t help but think that Uncle Wasted’s drunken logic sounded sort of like
something I would say. But Robb was not amused. “I don’t care that you have to
get the cherry out of the bottom, you’re in my face…”
The exchange was about to get more heated, but thankfully
the lights went down, and out came Gaga riding a horse, with some sort of cage
apparatus on her face.
She began to sing her first song Highway Unicorn Road To
Love, (my favorite!) and I was thrilled to hear that she sounded even better
live than she did on record. I glanced over excitedly at Jamie and Robb, but
much to my horror, I discovered that Uncle Wasted had not learned his lesson,
and was leaning heavily into Robb again.
Jamie caught my eye, and we exchanged a womanly knowing
glance that said, “We need to get Robb away from this guy, before Robb beats
the shit out of him, and we get kicked out of here.” So I after some creative
movement, we ushered Robb over to where I had been standing, and I took Jamie’s
spot, and Jamie ended up behind Uncle Wasted.
Much to my chagrin, I was now standing behind a man who was no shorter than
6’10. I kept dodging around him, but due to the sea of people, I couldn’t view
a damn thing. I sighed deeply, and wondered if I could be content just hearing
the concert instead of seeing my Gaga.
I looked over at Jamie, and promptly lost my temper. Uncle
Wasted was back to his old tricks, but now he was almost lying on Jamie. To
make matters worse, Uncle Wasted was on the shorter side, and Jamie is rather
tall, so he was essentially reverse face planting her boobs. Jamie stood there,
trying to be patient, with a look of mild irritation on her face.
My anger was as white hot as an exploding star. Here I was
at my dream concert, and Uncle Wasted was being Uncle Wasted, and not
respecting the music, nor anyone else around him. Even worse, Gaga had begun to
sing Bad Romance, (my favorite!) and I was not enjoying it because I was too
busy worrying about Uncle Wasted being all up in my family’s Kool-Aid.
I looked Uncle Wasted up and down, and decided that if it
came to it, I probably could take a punch from him, for what I was about to do.
I somehow managed to wedge myself between Jamie and Uncle
Wasted. I motioned Jamie over to my old spot behind the World’s Tallest Man.
I waited for a moment, to see if Uncle Wasted would have
some manners and stay off. Of course he didn’t, and soon I found the weight of
him pushing into me. He was so close, I could see the individual hair follicles
in his scalp.
I took a deep breath from my diaphragm, and began to scream.
“YEAAAAAH WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! GAGA! I LOVE YOU!
Uncle Wasted’s ear was right next to my mouth, and he leapt
about ten feet in the air. In my periphery, I saw him turn around with an
expression shock and annoyance.
I made sure my widened eyes were glued to the stage, as if
Gaga was the second coming of Christ, and I couldn’t wait to repent. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Gaga! Lady Gaga! Loook at meeeeeeeeee!”
Uncle Wasted, most likely with a punctured ear drum,
actually leaned somewhat forward away from me. However, I could still feel his
back touching my breasts. That was a no-no.
Remember how Roseanne Arnold screamed the national anthem
during a football game in the early 90s? I used her as my inspiration for my
Again filling my lungs with air, I began to scream-sing my
heart out. “I WANT YOUR LOVE, AND I WANT YOUR REVENGE, I WANT YOUR LOVE, I DON’T
WANNA BE FRIENDSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Two random girls in front of us that I had befriended before
the concert, turned and both stared at me, and their facial expressions clearly
said, “Where did that calm chick go that we spoke to before the concert, and
who is this total freak?” Uncle Wasted turned around again with a full on glare
in my direction. I still acted oblivious, and smiled at the stage like Gaga was
an ice cream sundae in the middle of a dessert.
Finally, Uncle Wasted was completely off of me, although he
was still in front of me. I decided to relent, and enjoy the concert quietly
because my own screaming was giving me a headache from hell.
A few songs later, though, the reprieve was ended. Uncle
Wasted was back laying on me again. I stood there and took it for a few
minutes, formulating my new plan.
Lady Gaga was singing Judas, (my favorite!) and I decided it
was the perfect soundtrack for Act Three. I moved slightly to the right of Uncle
Wasted, so that he was lying mostly on my left side. I began to dance wildly,
as if I was having a seizure in time with the music.
Surprisingly, Uncle Wasted bounced right along with my body
without separating from me. It was almost downright sexual, so I then began to
add more choreography to my routine. Throwing my arms up to mid abdomen, I
turned my elbows out as if I was preparing to do the Funky Chicken.
But instead, I jabbed my elbow right into his kidney. When
he still didn’t move, I jabbed my elbow repeatedly into him keeping time with
the beat. Uncle Wasted finally leaned back forward, but I kept dancing. He was
still too damn close to me.
At that point, I played my last card. First I started with
the charming scream-sing, “OH HO HO HO HO , I’M IN LOVE WITH JUDA-AS, JUDA-AS,
OHHHHHHHHHHH, I’M IN LOVE WITH JUDA-AS, JUDA-AS!!”
Next, I threw in some
elbow jab dancing, and for my final plan, I began to jump up and down while
simultaneously shaking my hips, so that the purse that I had slung across my
chest bounced off my left him and banged into Uncle Wasted over and over again.
As I continued bouncing like I was on my own invisible
trampoline, I turned to Jamie and screamed, “I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF…….I LOVE
GAGA SOOO MUCH!”
Jamie smiled at me, as if I was a child with a lollypop, “I
know you do.”
My Vera Wang purse wasn’t exactly light, so it didn’t take
long before Uncle Wasted was a good fifteen inches away from me, which was all
any of us wanted in the first place.
My surprise knew no limits when he turned, and walked to the
back of the crowd.
I grinned at Robb and Jamie, and felt like I had just won
The rest of the concert went swimmingly, until the encore.
Gaga came back out, and began to sing a beautiful acoustic version of Edge of
Glory (my favorite!). A lot of the crowd had dispersed, so I decided to get
closer to the stage.
As Gaga began to dance, the guitars kicked in, and the crowd
began to dance with Gaga.
I found myself behind two pairs of very enthusiastic gay
men, and I smiled at them, as their joy was contagious.
“PUT YOUR PAWS UP,” ordered Gaga, and we all did so. But
while my arms were in the air, I soon found elbows slamming into my rack, as
the adorable gays broke out in disco mode and flailed their limbs into me.
“Yeowch!” I shouted involuntarily, but the boys were
somewhere over the rainbow, and they didn’t hear me.
I spent the rest of the Edge of Glory song on the Edge of An
Injury, as the two couples danced furiously, and my dodging skills were only so
good. It was as though Karma was using them as her instrument to teach me a
If you take nothing from this blog about nothing today, I
would like to make these three points:
One, do not mess with Jane’s family.
Two, do not come to thy holy martyr Gaga’s concert crunked
up and ignorant.
And three, if you ever find yourself behind gay guys at a Lady Gaga concert, wear a full suit of armor. It will be your only chance of survival in the wild.
Me, in all my morning glory, complete with imitation JBF hairstyle, and a Lady Gaga toothbrush.Yes, I own a Lady Gaga toothbrush that sings Bad Romance to me every day.