What’s next?

After my last post, I got up, walked to the kitchen, made soup and came right back here.

What’s next?

If I didn’t give birth to it or marry it, then it has got to get out of my house.  The situation with African nephew is driving me nuts.  He stays out of the way but even that gets on my nerves.  I really even fail to be able to explain this adequately, but spending all of this effort on someone who will not even talk to you, is focused on video games and other nonsense, and does zero to help with anything is at its end.

I will no longer be involved with people or places that are so politically intolerant that rational discussions cannot even take place, my mother excepted.  Though, I may just sneak over there and set the parental controls on her DirecTV to block Fox News and all of their fearmongering.

I am tired of hearing things that are universally true (preschool is good for three year olds) turned into some nonsensical political argument (it will make them dependent on government and they will grow up to vote for Obama!  It’s part of his master plan.)  They are welcome to their opinion, but I will no longer be silent in the face of ignorance, wrong facts, and bullshit.

I will continue to strive to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I think that everyone does the best they can with what they have.  I’m tired of hearing blanket condemnations of whole groups of people: Muslims, Homosexuals, Boy Scouts, etc.

I know that a lot of tolerance can go a long way.  And where tolerance leaves off, mind your own business. Concentrate on living your own life up to your own high standards and leave other people alone with your opinions of what they should be doing.  They are struggling, just like you.  Give them a hand instead.

Moving on, moving up, moving over. Moving.

By last Thursday, I was a shell of myself.  Tired, cranky, and nearly constant heart flutters that the doctor is totally unconcerned about, unless I start having other BIG BAD SYMPTOMS. The four day weekend couldn’t come soon enough.  I dropped my son off at preschool on Friday, came home, sunk into my chair and contemplated my to do list.

I moved, “go to sleep” to the top and did just that for 3 1/2 hours.  I remembered that sometimes low magnesium can cause heart palpitations and popped a supplement, which I haven’t even remembered to take for months now.  A few days of rest, supplements, and things are getting clearer to me now.

There is too much noise in my life.  The noise inside my head with its constant litany of what I have to do for school which is a never ending list that should not reasonably be expected of one person. The noise of others political opinions when my mother tells me in the middle of the McDonald’s playland “When you wake up and realize what HE (Obama) is doing, you let me know,” or when an unemployed relative posts nonsense about the (nonexistent) 28th Amendment and I can’t quite walk away from Facebook fast enough.  The noise of teaching in a politically intolerant atmosphere where “I voted for Obama” has to be as closely a guarded secret as something that is shameful and criminal.  The noise of trying to refind my spiritual center in the middle of a life that is structured in such a way that for me, it is simply impossible.

Changes need to be made.

I asked a dear priest friend once, “how do you know when it is time to move on?”  He told me, “If you listen carefully, you really will know.”

It’s time to move on.  I need to find my peace again.  I need my future to look different than my present, and I hope it’s a wonderful ride.

If not, I’ll have to send my mother a postcard from the new communist state and tell her “you were right.”

Why I am a Democrat

Frankly, I cannot wait for the election to be over and for President Obama to win re-election and allow the Repubs to go lick their wounds and dream of future domination.

My African husband can’t seem to get enough news.  It is a steady stream of MSNBC over here.  If I could hook him up to an IV of straight Democratic news, I would.  Then I wouldn’t have to listen to Ed Shultz any more.

When I visit my uber Republican mother, she shakes her head in my general direction, declares that nothing can be done with me, and expresses her sheer terror at the possibility of an Obama re-election.  Questioning her on this gets me no where…why?  What is so different about America now than four years ago?  From my perspective, I have great health insurance through the full time job my husband has had for the past 18 months.  Life seems better.  She remains horrified.

And mostly, I want to take her by the shoulders and give her a good shake the next time she says, “I do not understand how someone as smart as you are could be a Democrat.”

Why am I Democrat?  Because my religious faith says that I have to give a shit about others, that’s why.  I think everyone has a right to live a dignified life and have access to health care.  I’ve worked with immigrants. I’ve worked with the poor. I understand how our current system closes them off from the opportunity that the Repubs love to tout as a way to “pull yourself up.”  I know that the gap between the haves and have nots is ever widening and most importantly I understand how the “haves” who hold power are ensuring that it remains so forever.

I do not want true socialism.  I do not want communism.

I want everyone to have a chance.

___________________________________________

After I wrote this, I went and took a shower.  Something about hot water + scalp massage gets a girl thinking.  I  considered the incredibly humanitarian work that our former Democratic Presidents Clinton and Carter have embarked upon.  Incredible work.  The former Republican Presidents Bush? Reagan? Ford?  What did they do after they left office, other than build libraries in their memory?

Gee I look tired? You do not say.

We had parent teacher conferences yesterday.  I left school starving and exhausted.  I made a bad nutrition drive through choice on the way home, stumbled through the bedtime routine with Wunderkind and discovered that he had somehow ripped out the toe of his new cheap shoes.  Daddy W. kindly headed to the store to buy some new cheap shoes.  I kindly headed to bed at 8:20 to spare anyone my continued cranky presence.

8:25 PM:  I pulled the covers over my head and pondered the beautiful mystery of a cold room and a warm quilt.

8:35 PM:  Watch DVR’d New Girl.  Continue to huddle under covers.

9:00 PM:  Turn off lights.  Attempt to sleep.

9:30 PM:  Daddy W. comes home from store. Makes a shit ton of noise unloading whatever he had purchased.

9:45 PM:  I can hear him in there messing with the stove.

10:00 PM:  Smoke detector starts going off and won’t quit.  He finally pulls the battery to shut the fucker up.  I know that he is cooking the Daddy W special:  frozen pizza cooked at 500 degrees until the smoke detector goes off or the fire department shows up

10:20 PM:  Burning smell gets worse in the bedroom. I  have to drag my stupid, tired, sorry ass out of bed to the kitchen to turn on the fan, open the window, save my kingdom from destruction, and ask “JUST WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN HERE? MY GOD!  CAN YOU NOT JUST COOK ONE THING WITHOUT BURNING ALL TO FUCK?  JESUS.”  because seriously.

10:21 PM:  Daddy W. smiles, sails past me to the bathroom, and then heads to bed.  I stand there pissed. And smelling like charcoal.  I open the window, hope the burglars can’t get in, and go to bed.  Nothing is actually in flames.  Hope for the best.

10:21 1/2 PM: I feel a hand on my hip, patting, to which I reply, “I have been trying to go to sleep for two hours.  I KNOW that is just to apologize for stinking up my entire house and not for any other reason, RIGHT?”

Right.

I think I have it all figured out

I’ve spent a significant amount of time in medical care facilities in the past few months.  First, my mother had a heart attack this summer, went into cardiac arrest (twice!) and spent two weeks in a specialty hospital, followed by four weeks in a rehab facility.  She was quickly followed by my father who needed two heart stents himself.  The next day he was back in the hospital with a tear in his bowel.  They managed to stay upright and mobile for a few weeks before her chest pains returned.  She went to our county hospital for a heart cath and they placed a stent.  That went beautifully.  When they removed the sheaths from her leg artery she wouldn’t quit bleeding and earned herself a second helicopter ride and ended up at the specialty hospital all over again for a week long stay.  She should come home tomorrow.

Dayum.  I’m just saying.

Through all of this, I’ve been subjected to more FOX News and Bill O’Reilly than is good for a person.  I’m pretty sure that if the nurse took my blood for a change it would come back with the blood type F-O-X.  I would hope that they would at least offer me a narcotic painkiller if that were the case.

My mother laments the idea that Obamacare might limit her Medicare (which I don’t think it would) while explaining without a trace of malice, that Medicare will not pay for her current hospital stay past next week.

I listen to her in rehab relish the idea of “choice” in Medicare as advocated by Mr. Ryan while her hallmates wandered up and down the hall looking for their purses and wondering why they left home without their money.  Yes, every dementia patient should have “choice.”

She looks at me, often, and expresses disdain.  “I don’t know how someone as smart as you can be a Democrat.”  I recognize all the fervant religious belief she has loaded into that statement and simply change the subject rather than reply with the truth: “Because our religion tells us that we have to give a crap about the poor mom, though we seem to have conveniently forgotten that.”

In all of this, I’ve figured out what is wrong with America and why someone like Mitt Romney is a viable political choice.  I understand why we would choose someone who has never known a day of struggle to shape economic policy for the middle class. I understand why we no longer understand logical arguments. I understand why people embrace the Republican party so fanatically.

We have, as a group, clearly lost our fucking minds.

 

 

I am one of the 47 percent

For the past few years, after we have completed all of our paperwork, we have not owed any income taxes.

We don’t receive government benefits, housing, or insurance.  I do not expect for the government to pay for the private school I wish I could send my son to, the one I probably will send him to, or the day care that he currently attends.

We work our asses off.  I have a master’s degree, but chose a rather low income profession.  My African immigrant husband is currently in school, working full time, and hoping for a better job in the future.  We forego the pleasures of going out to eat frequently, meeting friends for drinks and the last vacation we went on was our honeymoon 6 years ago.  We spent one night in a different city and that was that.  We forego these things to pay our legitimate bills.

We are not quite poor. I guess we are lower middle class.

I am one of the 47 percent and Lord Romney can kiss my ass.

So much to say, so little time. Let me start by saying Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is my sixth anniversary.

Yay, us.  We win in the perseverence category. I feel like our marriage has faced so many struggles aside from the always feeling broke (I mean who doesn’t, other than the Romney’s?)… Let’s add an amazing child with two chronic medical conditions that need constant managing and my father who disowned me when he found out I married an African.

Let me let you soak all that in.

My father wasn’t invited to my wedding and neither was my mother.  I basically went and eloped, but never left town. I had only my best friend at my wedding and we were married in Daddy W’s mosque.  It was the simplest of ceremonies.  The Imam was so respectful of the fact that I am not Muslim nor was a I expected to become one.  He explained the Islam view of marriage was that as the wife, I was not expected to work.  I could choose to work if I wanted to and anything I contributed financially was regarded as charity.  Daddy W’s responsibility was to support me and as a good faith example of that, Daddy W paid a $350 dowry to me at the ceremony and bought my wedding dress.

Of course, he asked me for the money back the next morning and I straight up laughed in his face.  Once money hits my palm, it is mine forever.

I held on to the newness and beauty of my marriage for two weeks before teling my parents.  I wrote a letter to my father, explained that I had been dating Ismael and that we got married.  I put it in the mail and then called my mother to tell her before shit hit the fan. Writing a letter is admittedly a chicken shit move, but given my long volatile history with the man I figured it was the best way to hold on to any joy I could.

I knew that my father would disown me, that his bigotry would outweigh any love he had for me.  Not to disappoint, he went off the deep end and banned me from his house.  He didn’t speak to me for most of the past six years.

I saw him last June at my uncle’s funeral.  He didn’t even acknowledge my presence or the fact that he was laying his eyes on Wunderkind, at the age of 3 1/2, for the first time.  He kept his distance and behaved as if I didn’t exist.

Then mom had a heart attack and he was forced to acknowledge me.  We spent hours in mom’s hospital room together as she lay in a forced sedation for a week.  Over the next five weeks, in th hospital and then rehab center, we visited and I saw first hand how poor his health was.  Extremely overweight he can barely walk and falls often.  His joints are giving out and he clearly has something wrong with his heart.

On Monday, my sister, mother and I will all gather again at the Heart Center where mom was hospitalized and wait while he undergoes at heart cath and who knows what kind of medical procedures after that.

I don’t know what the immediate future will bring, but for now, I know that today is my sixth anniversary.  I’m going to go to dinner with my husband, enjoy his company, and try very hard to simply enjoy tonight.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.