Thursday, June 26, 2014

Humiliation In Bubble Gum Pink Ink

The other day, my daughter made an announcement, and I felt icy cold fear grip my spine like a frozen vice with a vengeance. She informed me that she was going to begin growing her bangs out. Because, she said with a sweet smile and admiring eyes, "I want to be just like you." 

Well, shit.

It may sound strange, but when you're busy taking care of another person, you tend to forget they're closely, but subtly, watching you. It doesn't occur to you as you're wiping noses, driving them to practice, fighting traffic, and kissing boo-boos that you are now a role model; and the template from which your child will duplicate themselves is housed in you.

Terrifying.

I don't feel as though I'm Dudley Do-Right of this episode, I'm more of the Goofus quality. It is by no means a confession of self-loathing, more of an observation of the way I trip my way along until I figure things out. The good news is I eventually do figure it out, the bad news is I do so with the grace of a drunkard walking home after two dollar pitcher night at the pub.

I don't like the idea that she's watching me, and will someday use my behavior for justification for her actions, good or bad. I feel like Rhianna with her boobs and butt hanging out smoking a joint and complaining, "Role model is not a position or title that I have ever campaigned for."

Well, sister, it goes with the territory. As it does for me, obviously on a lesser scale. My parents were always fond of telling me, "Do as I say, not as I do," when I would cheerfully remind them of obscenities they would yodel when pissed, or when they would do anything else that I believed I was unfairly told not to do.


But this goes on a deeper level. I was reading my old journals, and I got downright nervous as to what kind of human being I was/am, and what kind of person my daughter might end up thinking is the ideal female.

I have had a journal since I was five years old. Obviously in the early years, it was my mother transcribing my thoughts for me into a little red diary I named "Precious."


Precious was often the confessional for all my exciting pre-school activities, such as "Today I watched Pink Panther on t.v., and took a nap." Riveting.

After Precious, (thank you to the movie Precious for negatively changing my interpretation of the word) came Lacy. Lacy was a name that really showed off the depth of my wild imagination, and clever mind, because the diary was covered in pseudo-lace. 

Lacy and I began our confessor and confessee relationship in March 2nd, of 1990. I was eight years old, and had slightly more interesting content than Precious ever saw.

June 1st, 1991.
Dear Lacy,
Today is sunny & warm. School's out. Ricky dumped me, but I think Joey has a crush on me. I like him again. I got a B+ in math.
Love,
Jane


That part about Ricky dumping me? I was in third grade. I'm sure that meant Ricky didn't sit next to me during story time, so obviously our relationship of sitting next to each other on the round woven storytime rug was over. Tragic.

Oh, but there's more. It gets worse. (Suddenly, I understand why some people only want to have only male children.)

November 18th, 1991

Dear Lacy, 
Remember I told you about the goldfish Crystal Light I got for my birthday? Well, he died today. I cried and cried. Dad and I sent his body off down the river. Crystal Light taught me a lesson. When you have time, hold it, love it, don't waste it like I did.
Love Sad,

Jane

Wow. Where to start? Well, first there's how I spoke to the journal like we were having a conversation. Nothing says lonely child like making bound pieces of paper your friend. Second, I appreciate how my father indulged my drama, and allowed me to give the fish a river funeral, rather than the typical flush down the old toilet. Finally, that last sentence. It's like I felt as though I was starring in my own very special episode of the Jane Show, where one of the main characters dies off, and through my sitcom I teach the viewers how to deal with love, and loss. Given my reaction to a dead goldfish, I'm sure my parents were very excited for me to later enter the dating pool. (You think she's bad now? Wait til she gets her heart broken by her first boyfriend at the age of fifteen. She cries through two double rolls of Charmin. You start to wonder if you're going to have to use paper towels for toilet paper if she doesn't cheer up.)

May 11th, 1994
Dear Lacy,
Today we went on a tour to the junior high. It was cool. Mom grounded me from t.v. and reading, just because I talked back. So all I have to do is write an entry. Lately I've been swearing a lot. It helps me feel better when I'm mad. I love Sam's eyes, even though Eve is going with him, I don't think he likes her. I think Eve is a stupid bitch. She told me to lose some weight today. Well fuck the bitch! I hate her. She thinks she's so hot and pretty. Well, she's an ugly stuck-up dog.
Jane


Can you smell the hormones wafting off of the page? I was twelve, and oh so rebellious. I was the type of badass who wrote dirty words in my journal, and then scratched through them in case anyone would see. (Take notes, Justin Bieber. Cuz that's real gangsta.) As for the Eve chick who felt the need to critique my blossoming pasty puff body, I know exactly where she is today. She lives on the "poor" side of town, and has eight kids. She's pregnant with the ninth. She's not sure who the father is. It's probably her cousin. Eve has two teeth that have not rotted out of her face, because she has a meth habit. Strangely enough, though, instead of sporting the skinny meth body, she's really quite plump. Eve still insists on wearing belly shirts, because she's sexy, and she knows it. Her cousin lover always calls her his little Butterball Turkey, after he comes home from his job at the prison, where he's cheating on her with an inmate named Bubba. Late at night, Eve thinks back on May 11th, 1994, and wishes she'd been a bit nicer to that dramatic chunky kid named Jane. Because her life really took a turn for the worse after that, as it is a known law of nature that the types of kids that are mean little assholes go on to have miserable lives. 

Not long after that entry, I graduated from Lacy, into several other journals. Over the years, instead of improving, my condition became worse. Let's take a peek.

November 10th, 2003
Upon first touch

She submits
All that is hers
To him.
And then wonders 
Why he vanishes
Like a breath of air
In the winter wind.
Tears flow now
Although no stranger
To her face-
These tears have
A bitter taste.
Trembling hands
Now pick up a knife
She draws a line on her skin
To see if she is real
And so she bleeds
For him.

Oh, hells no, girl. I just want to hop in a time machine, go back to 2003, take the journal out of emo-Jane's hand, and slap her upside the head with it. "Get your ass back in school, and stay there! Quit focusing on this ridiculous shit! Do you know that in eleven years, you won't even remember who this poem is about? And also, I'm embarrassed to even call it a poem! It sucks! Take a few writing classes while you're at it! And lay off the men. The type you like right now toxic, and you're too young and dumb to handle them."

Ultimately, the dilemma is this. I've got my mini-me thinking I'm pretty great, and all these journals lying around that could take my kid into Bad Exampleville, USA. Although she's already exhibited signs of being just as dramatic about things as I was, so it might just be genetic. I've kept the journals so long because relics from the past are neat. I've always wanted to have journals from great-grandparents that I could have read to see how life was for them. But I really don't like the idea of leaving a legacy for my great-grandchildren where they see that Grandmother Jane was a bit of a head case, calling other girls bitches, and writing bad poetry that half ass rhymes. I'd much rather picture my great-grandchildren reading about me in a window seat with a quill pen, staring outside and dreamily composing great works of literature about the wonders of nature.

I truly am starting to believe that these journals need a one-way date with a bonfire, before it's too late and my daughter begins to do as I say, and do as I do.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Dental Damn!

It's been a little while since I've felt bloggy. (It's an actual verb. Look it up.) You see, I have been planning to create an epic website that I fully intend to break barriers, revitalize the world, and teach us all to sing in perfect harmony.

The only problem is I happen to be dating my web designer, and he happens to be creating it for me for a low, low price. And by low, low price, I mean for free. (Unless he's planning on later collecting, through demanding a life time of servitude, prostitution, and obedience: also known as marriage.)

I suppose I could be a bit more encouraging for him to work on my desired project that he's not getting compensated for, but then I go over to his house, and there's Netflix.....and there's take-out...he has this very plushy couch....and, well, no.

So here I am, all contrite and stuff, with my tail between my legs. Taking full responsibility, by directing the blame at my special man-friend.

Where was I?

Ah, yes. Dental damn. Have you ever heard of Elizabeth Kubler Ross's 5 Stages Of Grief? You most likely haven't, because you slept through that part of high school sociology. I remember it, because I had made fun of the concept that someone who was grieving would have the organization to do it in orderly stages. Little did I know at the time, EKR knew what the hell she was talking about. I was really pissed off when I was grieving just as she predicted after the death of my father. I hate being predictable, especially by someone who doesn't know me, even if she did die on my 22nd birthday. (RIP, EKR. Pouring one out for my dead homie.)

I digress, it occurred to me that ol' Beth was probably inspired to create her 5 Stages Of Grief by dental issues. Allow me to elaborate.

Stage 1: Denial


Denial is a river in Egypt, (ha ha ha...corny pun time) and it is also a state of mind that I enter anytime I have dental problems. You see, I believe having someone all up in my mouth is a rather intimate thing. I have given birth, and I have had dental work. I would dare to say that my dentist has been more intimate with me than my ob-gyn. I loathe the vulnerability of sitting there with my mouth wide open, as I can see the Medieval instruments of torture that are waiting to poke and prod me.

(Example: When they stick that sharp, metal pointy stick of torture into a tooth, to test how porous it is. "Does that hurt?" they ask, as black mascara tears are streaming down my face. "Fno, itsh fine!" I gasp, trying to look like the badass I'm not.)

So when I'm starting to notice something going wrong in Oral Land, I try to pretend like it's not happening. "Funny," I think while eating a taco. "I don't recall Taco Bell putting shards of glass into their taco meat." And then later on while eating ice cream, "Funny....I don't recall Prairie Farms putting shards of glass into their ice cream. It must have been the same faulty glass cow that screwed up my taco meat."

Stage 2: Anger

"What the fuck is this shit? Seriously! Really, mouth? You had to pick now to do this? Who do you think you are? I don't give a damn that my last dentist visit was 6 years ago! I don't care that I eat taffy, Milk Duds, and Oreos right before bed, and that I wash it down with Dr. Pepper! I don't give a damn! What kind of faulty-ass body do I have, anyways? I've got the mouth of a meth-addict, but without the fun of the meth!"

Stage 3: Bargaining

"Okay, okay. I realize I was a bit harsh. You didn't deserve that. You do all kinds of great things for me like, chew, and hold my face up. That's appreciated. Tell you what. If you manage to re-absorb this cavity, I'll actually brush you three times a day, like I'm supposed to! That's right, no more once a day for you, sir! And I know I normally only floss on car rides in traffic, every so often. If you naturally dispose of the cavity....I'll floss after every meal! You heard me! I'll even buy the swank floss. I'll get you some mint-flavored Plaquers, or shit. How about some new mouthwash? You like it when I swish, right?"

Stage 4: Depression
This part normally takes place when I'm checking my dental benefits, or as I call it, my dental discount program. Who are we kidding, that's all it is. Little to nothing is covered, and when it is, they knock off a few dollars, and call it insurance. And don't forget to pay your neighborhood friendly dentist all up front! They eat your desperation for dinner. I usually celebrate my depression by doing a ritualistic dance, which takes form by me repeatedly banging my head on the computer screen while staring at my dental insurance website, and wondering if I can just convert myself to liquid food. Because how important is chewing, anyways?

Stage 5: Acceptance

The acceptance portion occurs when I usually have developed some sort of tooth infection from avoiding the dentist, and my doctor is doling out antibiotics to clear it up before I can have my dental work. I love the part where I get to choose the substance of my potential filling, or just opt to have the damn tooth ripped out of my head once and for all. "Hmm, porcelain, platinum, or extraction?! I'll extraction for two 
hundred, Alex."  

Sadly, I no longer have either of my back molars. When I was sperminated with Mara, I could not brush my back teeth without gagging. I tried my hardest, but they both went to the tooth fairy (aka, a medical waste disposal bag at the dentist's office) after I went through the 5 Stages Of Dental Damn. There was only so much I could do, thanks to heredity.

Back in the day, my parents and I had the same dentist. I remember him looking into my mouth, and saying "Hmmm. You have your father's large teeth, but your mother's small mouth." (That's the first and last time anyone has called me small mouthed) After he gave me that visual, I developed a complex, and mentally began calling myself "Horsey-Teeth McNamara" and was just waiting until the other kids noticed it on the playground, and began to pelt me with sugar cubes and carrots.

Then again, I probably would have eaten sugar cubes. Maybe I should have encouraged it. 

(I am quite proud of this picture. I snuck up to the board and took it a couple of years ago, when the oral surgeon left the room. What makes it awesome is the nose ring.)

I do believe for my latest cavity, I'm going to do a little research. And by that I don't mean quality of the dentist, I mean that I want one located by an organ harvesting facility. It would be great to do a little one-stop shopping, and sell a kidney so I can afford to get my cavity drilled/poked/pulled/prodded right next door. I am not nothing, if practical.

Or maybe I should just accept the fact that my dentist is my masochistic prostitute, because I'm paying him to hurt me so good.

No matter what, the next time you have a cavity, and you find yourself in the 5 Stages Of Dental Damn, think of me and our dead homie Elizbeth Kubler Ross. We feel your pain.