Of Sickness

Jim Gaffigan

I couldn’t find a fitting photo so I picked this amusing image instead (Click image to view source).

Being sick makes me feel powerless and weak. Like I’m only five-years-old. I’m now the victim preyed upon by a heartless virus. My glands swell. The fine hairs on my body stand up. Every touch uncomfortable. Every sniffle a reminder. I may try to power through the impending doom. Convinced I’ll be fine. I shiver. I shudder. I’m not fine.

I need my mom to bring me tea and popsicles, to sit on the couch and watch so many hours of television that the rectangular screen becomes a blur, to whimper at the sight of food, to groan when I see a loved one has texted me, to whine, to bitch, to sleep till I feel this intolerable suffering chassé into the next poor soul who happened to cross it’s path.

I need my strength back.

Of the Battle on Mother’s Day

Traffic

Click image to view source

On Mother’s Day I had to open at work. My family rather than waiting to schedule their party at 4PM, when I could actually be there, decided start without me at 2PM. I was late – nothing unusual there.

Before going to Brother’s house I went to pick up Sister, whose blood-family was in Arizona. Partially for her to help keep me sane and because my family loves her. She’s been around since we were eight-years-old, even the fam calls her Sister as if that was her real name. We were giddy and dancing to pop music as I was driving, normally I head to Brother’s house going south but today I was going north, so I missed the exit.

“It’s cool, we can get to Highway 99 from the next exit can’t we?” I asked.

Sister shrugged, “We can try.”

Within a minute I saw the cars in front of me slam on their breaks sending an unwanted abundance of red lights my direction, great, I thought. We weren’t moving, no one was, after about ten minutes of sitting behind a Canadian semi-truck I realized that we weren’t going anywhere soon.

Hey I’m stuck in traffic on the freeway I don’t think I’ll be able to move for a while, I texted Brother.

Sister and I kept seeing the occasional jerk pull out of the lane and drive along the shoulder. Those cars then aggressively forced their way into the front of the line and take the exit that I was also wanting – in fact, it was roughly 100 feet from where I was sitting in the traffic jam.

“No! That’s no how it works!” Sister was pissed, she hates obnoxious drivers. She began flipping off all the people who drove along the shoulder as if that wasn’t against the law, more importantly to her, it was flat-out rude and thus intolerable behavior.

“Really?” I said talking as if the drivers could hear me, “What made you think that that’s okay?”

In my rear view mirror I saw a car about four people behind me start to slip out onto the shoulder, “Oh Hell no,” I said, “bitch I want the same exit you do.” And with that statement I let out my passive aggressive side and pulled my car half onto the shoulder and half in my lane. I looked behind me and saw at least one other car doing exactly what I did to someone else, this made me happy. The little black car was forced to stop. I stared in my mirror at the rude driver, I’m going to guess she was somewhere between 50-60 with graying hair and a poorly fitted black tank top. Her passenger, a man, seemed to not care at all about the traffic. She was clearly annoyed.

She began pointing, which is quite possibly the weakest threat I’ve ever seen. Soon we began to inch forward, I kept forcing her to go with the speed of traffic. Whenever she tried to move around me I just got more over, but I still stayed in my lane. She had the options of waiting in line or driving into a ditch off the side of the freeway.

One time she tried honking, Sister got even more angry and blatantly flipped her off, “I swear, honking is way worse than flipping someone off. Wait your turn bitch!” she yelled.

“If she honks again you’re getting out and telling her we want the same exit and she has to wait her fucking turn.” I said, Sister nodded in agreement.

For the next ten minutes we were talking about as gangster as we can get, Sister changed the music from pop to rap as her passive aggressive bad ass side got more and more bitter. I don’t think I’ve (or rather we’ve) ever said, “What, what, fucking wait your turn, bitch, what, you got a problem, rude, really? what makes you think this is okay, what?” so many times in my (our) life.

As we got closer to the exit we saw flares on the road, a couple firetrucks, and a policeman passed by on opposite shoulder that I was annoying the lady in the little black car on.

“Damn, I wonder what happened?” I said.

“I don’t know,” Sister replied, “but there’s flares involved. That’s crazy.”

Finally we reached the exit. The black car followed us along the exit as we traveled at a normal speed.

“See?” I said, once again as if she could hear me, “I told you. You had to wait you turn, bitch!”

“That was fucking ridiculous,” Sister said.

At the end of the off ramp we turned right and to our surprise the little black car got BACK ON THE FREEWAY. Why’d they even bother trying to get off so forcefully if they were going to hop straight back into traffic in the first place? We couldn’t figure it out.

“Maybe she thinks the traffic will not exist on the other end of the exit?” Sister asked.

Of course that wasn’t true. I don’t know what the accident was, but I do know that there was not a magical change in traffic between the off and on ramps. That woman was just a rude and dumb driver. Granted, I wasn’t the nicest driver either – but I was a gangster with a justified reason.

Of One Two Many Babies

Babies

Click image to view source

ATTENTION SEXUALLY ACTIVE YOUNG ADULTS!!!

BIRTH CONTROL AND CONDOMS ARE NOT HARD TO USE.

IF YOU’RE POOR THERE IS FREE STUFF AROUND.

PROTECT YOURSELVES DAMN IT! NO EXCUSES.

Seriously people what’s the deal? Why are there so many babies around lately?

I graduated highschool in 2007 and I can think of several people that I went to school with who have already started a family. Some of those people are younger than me. I keep on seeing prego pictures on Facebook. Wedding announcements for people who can’t even legally drink at their OWN reception. And I’ve heard tale of pregnancy scams amongst the townies.

I’m going to be twenty-two next month and I could not imagine having a kid right now. Not only am I not in a relationship but I can barely afford my rent let alone the expenses of having a child. They are expensive! I have zero desire to take care of another human being who is completely dependent on me. Plus telling my family a kid was on the way would be like saying, “Hark hark! The world is ending!”

It’s one thing to be careful and accidentally get pregnant, as there is always a possibility of having a baby unless one remains abstinent. It’s a whole different thing when people are not careful and get pregnant. A friend of mine told me the odds of getting pregnancy when not protected is something like one in six.

What skeeves me most is that the hefty majority of the baby announcements come from those who are not in a stable relationship. By this I mean they’ve been dating for four months … maybe. And now they are going to be parents?! This is not only unfair to the unborn spawn, but it forces the couple into relationship territory that they shouldn’t be approaching for at least a year. A level of commitment that lasts for … well, as Kanye West said, “Eighteen years, eighteen years, she got one of yo’ kids, got you for eighteen years.”

Recently in my hometown there were crazy rumors. I was never tight with the people involved but I had a few friends with direct access to what was going on. A group of girls scammed a group of guys and all got “accidentally” pregnant at the exact same time. There is no way to confirm the intentions of the pregnant girls, but we’ve all made assumptions. The girls told the guys that they were on birth control, trusted the pull out method, they will get Plan B, and so on. Granted the guys were also stupid to completely trust them, but they wanted sex, so I’m guessing that’s why they didn’t more actively monitor their birth control. As far as I’m concerned planning a pregnancy and not telling the father especially when you’re not married or been together for years, is the shittiest thing a person could do. It’s selfish and cruel to both the man involved and the child who will someday discover that they were conceived out of manipulation and scheming. Heartless bitches.

I swear some people should have to pass a test before they are allowed to reproduce.

Of Tardiness

Pocketwatch

Click image to view source

I never learned how to be on time. On average I’m twenty minutes late everywhere I go. However for work and school I’m better, only around five minutes late. For this I blame my upbringing. Of course my mom will deny that it’s my upbringings fault until she either dies or Jesus comes back and beams her up to heaven. But considering the amount of time I waited to be picked up from school or a friends house in my life – yeah, it’s my upbringings fault, at least partially. For instance she was always late picking me and my brothers up from Elementary school. Once long ago on a Wednesday, when (I’m guessing) I was in  third grade I was forgotten at the school after play rehearsal until dark. I remember trying to dial what I thought was the churches number in the principles office completely freaked out. I was dialing 9899 instead of 8988. I’m told that my dad was leading children in Sunday School songs when he abruptly stopped, ran away, and came to get me. But you see? Totally partially upbringings fault.

I believe that tardiness is more than a choice, or something learned, it’s inherited. To quote a cliché like mother like daughter. Once embedded into you it takes sincere focus to try to learn to be on time. If you can.

The lack of punctuality is in fact a disadvantage – but not for the reasons I assume most people think. Those reasons being: missed part of lecture/meeting/sermon, appearing uninterested/unprepared, lack of respect. Rather, when a person is late they are not enjoying it or using their tardiness as part of a wordless statement. That person was RUSHING to get to there. Their heart racing, hands grip the wheel (or whatever they’re holding), moving as fast has humanly possible, and watching their clock/watch/phone as the numbers inched dangerously close to the agreed upon time. For those who are chronically late have, what I refer to as, time dyslexia. They perceive time differently than others. Their brain understands that they have 5 minutes. Their body doesn’t understand what 5 minutes feels like. Those damn limbs think that 5 means 10, 10 means 20, and 20 means 35. And because they’re late, that rare day when they show up on time the event will drag on what feels like forever.

I find it peculiar that punctuality is not contagious (not in my experience), however chronic tardiness is contagious. I have had many friends blame me for their switch from on time to late. And once they start being late, they get worse, or consistent, just like me. Sorry buddies!

Of Being a Liar

Liar Word/Face

Click image to view source

For years I’ve been a liar. Not to everybody, just those of authority (bosses, teachers, etc.)  and my family. To the figures of authority I’ll make up why I’m late or not showing up to work, I’ll exaggerate details or even make some up to strengthen my side of a story, I’ll deny petty things that I think don’t matter. To my family I put on a new face. A good face. The face that I think they want me to have – a Christian face.

Being raised a pastors kid certain choices and beliefs were made for me before I was born: live for Jesus, don’t swear, maintain purity and innocence, marry a Christian man, be a witness, the list goes on. The majority of my life I’ve lived in a naive ignorant bubble – unaware of much of the world outside Christianity until I was nearly an adult. Once that bubble popped I quickly realized that I cannot and don’t want to be the girl my family desires. I also knew that informing them of my revelation would be the same as saying “Hey Mom and Dad, your only daughter is going to Hell.” So I did what any rebellious child would do, I lied.

I got very comfortable when lying, and I was good at it. To be a good liar is simple: don’t over complicate your tale, use bits of the truth for credibility, don’t ever admit to fibbing, and if possible temporarily convince yourself that you’re either telling the truth or are correct.

I lied until I was nearing the point of insanity. Frustration towards my family, organized religion, and the Bible brewed inside of me. I feared what they would think if I let them see the version of me that I liked best.  My friends got used to the occasional religion rant, often they chimed in agreement. My boyfriend at the time got used to me complaining about how religion fucked with me. He encouraged me to tell the truth – my friends did not.

Even with superb lying skills I reached my breaking point … this evening actually. Note: not because of my ex-boyfriend, though I am curious how me being honest with my family would have influenced our relationship.

So now my mom knows that I believe in God but have no desire to become involved in the church. She told me she was devastated, that I was throwing away everything, that the devil was devouring me, that she had sensed the lack of spirituality in me, and several stories about her God experiences. But she’s going to think of me with mercy. Eventually I had to stop her preaching. For I have heard it all before and was aware that if I were to say how I feel or think about most things she would listen with an ear of disappointment, there was no chance that she would even consider that I was right. And that’s what I hate about those type of conversations, the preacher never considers adjusting their beliefs. Never.

People say that the truth will set you free. Well, the truth also sucks. The truth in my situation gave me a 70% chance of sermon when in the presence of family. Which I consider rude and disrespectful of me and my valid opinions. Still, I’m glad I finally told the truth, at least I’ve opened the door towards a real, even if uncomfortable, relationship with my family.