Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scratch and Barf

I completely get that the schools are short on funds.  I understand the need to fundraise.  But quit telling my little child that she HAS to peddle your crap and that she MUST sell a whole bunch of it, and for the love of GOD don't get her all excited about a prize she has a snowball's chance of winning and then ensuring that she feels bad about for the rest of her life!

We are still shell-shocked from last year's chocolate sale fiasco, when the "winners" were given a limo ride, and she has just come home with the Yankee Candle sales kit.  The catalog, which starts out with completely ridiculous $23 candles that smell like shit and have a smarmy Christmas theme -  is Scratch 'n Sniff! - and ends with Santa in beach gear candles, that also smell like shit.  The "motivational" fold out presentation of the prizes the kids can "win" for relentlessly peddling the stinky shit candles is completely atrocious.  For only - ONLY - two hundred and seventy five dollars worth of shamelessly guilting your friends and family, you can get the Science kit that your mother can buy on Amazon for under twelve dollars. (ooo! guess what we're going to do?)  The lowest amount of sales that will get a kid a prize nets the poor child a glowing puff ball that retails for five dollars. 

We have friends in dire financial straits.  We know people that are out of work.  I have only been back to work since the first of May.  I am not at all happy about trying to foist incredibly superfluous and meaningless garbage on the people in our lives because the people at school are so uncreative and desperate that they are willing to put us all through this.  I am not going to ask our friends and neighbors to buy a twenty three dollar candle because my daughter asked them to because she's six and she's been brainwashed.  Especially one that makes me recoil from the catalog after my daughter showed me how each picture can be smelled!   I wonder how much that catalog cost to produce? 

At least you could eat the chocolate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Buster Rant

For about a minute and a half, Buster had a job in Florida. Then, apparently, there was a pesky problem about a license, and the job disappeared. The next thing I was told was that he was (again) looking for work in Colorado, but wouldn’t say what or where. Since his earlier attempt a few months ago to find teaching work had been unsuccessful, I was surprised to be told recently that he found a job in a town I’d never heard of, somewhere around Durango. (Six hours away)

As an aside, I’d like to know what part of being SIX HOURS AWAY is “helping” me. Because the whole point of being in Colorado was to be a participant in his daughter’s life, and now it will take him longer to drive here than it would to fly from Massachusetts. I am sorely tempted to go all “Sergeant Hartman” on him… you know, rip off his head, and – well, you get the idea. And he has a piece of shit vehicle and he can’t drive in the snow. And winter is coming. He can’t help with homework, he can’t take her for a night, and I’d sure as hell would like to know where he thinks he’s going to stay if he does come up for a weekend, because it sure as HELL isn’t here.

He called the other night to ask if she had insurance. Because he finally, after 5 years, has a job that offers insurance, and he had a form in front of him that required him to check a box. Let’s be clear – he hasn’t asked me one time in the last five years whether she had insurance or not. It’s not like we EVER have a “let’s coordinate our efforts” chat. The last time and only time he ever had her on his insurance was for a few months when she was an infant. Since then, he’s not only assumed I had everything covered, he’s never asked. He’s never dropped me an email and wanted to know anything: whether she’d been sick or not, whether she had all the clothes she needed or anything else.

But he has no problem causing trouble at her school and asking for direct access to things he should be going through me for. Last February was a nightmare. And now he’s down in bumfuck nowhere, feeling like he’s some kind of prince because he’s made some kind of pyrrhic sacrifice.

Fuck him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So, school is back in session, and my daughter is in First Grade. The curriculum has been giving her some challenges – not academically, but behaviorally. She doesn’t like to focus on a task for very long, and the writing assignments in particular are causing her some trouble. I find it highly ironic to hear my daughter say “I HATE writing!”

Books were my refuge from a very young age, and I was always reading far ahead of my grade level. By Fourth Grade I was reading at a Twelfth Grade reading level. But I was also a deeply unhappy child with a great need to escape, so you could say I was motivated. My girl, on the other hand, has been read to since she was born, and loves to have me read to her. We just finished the Little House series. She doesn’t see the need to read herself. She is not motivated.

Homework is as hard on me as it is on her. I kind of hate having my every night scripted by one more obligation. There is already dinner, bathtime, and bedtime that eats up most of the time after work. Add homework into it (and this isn’t stuff she can do alone) and my night is shot. Every single weeknight. I find myself counting how many years until she’s old enough to do some of these things herself. It’s not that I don’t think it is important for her to get the most out of her education – I do. It’s just that I have so very little time to myself as it is. And now I watch most of it slipping away.

I find myself thinking about my secret crush. He and I send each other emails throughout the day, and last week he asked me for my personal email address. Today he asked me to go get lunch with him. The truth is that he is my friend, and is acting like a friend. I am the one who, lying awake in the dark, lets his voice wash over me. I know there is too much time and distance between us; we’re at different places in our lives. He’s just so much the guy I should have been with if I hadn’t spent my twenties with the drug addict or my thirties in therapy. If those lost years could somehow magically condense into a smaller chunk of the space-time continuum, I could actually take the leap and try to have something with this man. This man who thinks I’m smart and funny and interesting, but thinks of me as his friend. This man who shares my taste in music and humor and is good at his job and is ambitious and talented. And who is nice looking and loves his son. I’m just sad because he represents my lost youth. It’s not a youth I ever had, and am nostalgic about, either. It is a youth I that was robbed from me, but see slipping away every time I look in the mirror. In the most self indulgent and pitying way, I feel sorry for myself because every day I am confronted with the realization that I am mortal and I have only a limited time left, and I have to adjust my expectations.

So there we are. I spend most of my time working and taking care of my daughter, and in the still quiet moments alone, I wish I could do over a couple of decades. I used to feel pretty impulsive and spontaneous sometimes. Not so much these days. I have a schedule and a reputation, both of which are worthwhile to maintain. Not Joan Jett any more.