Saturday, December 21, 2019

Everybody makes mistakes.

Everybody makes mistakes.

But everybody doesn't have to print 1,500 copies of them 52 times a year, only to be repeatedly eviscerated by people who seem to really enjoy forgetting that we are fallible humans ... you know, just like EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS PLANET.

The upside: we discovered we can beat the fuck out of ourselves emotionally wayyyyy better than shitty meme comments ever will.

But enough about that. It's the nature of the beast, and I'm going to be okay with it or I'm going to turn into a shriveled shell of a human.

This post is supposed to be about a coping mechanism/thought pattern I've developed over the past year that is maybe healthy, maybe not.

It goes something like this:
You made a mistake? Oh well, it won't matter cuz YOU'RE GONNA TO DIE! MAYBE TOMORROW! MAYBE IN THREE SECONDS!

Someone is pissed at you? Oh well! You'll die eventually, and so will they! *throws confetti*

You made the wrong choice? Don't worry! You're nothing but a compostable meat sack with a super computer in your skull and eventually it will all be meaningless!

I'm on a constant mental merry-go-round of "Does this matter? Really?"

There are things that do, absolutely. But most of the time? The answer is a great big NOPE.

Maybe it's a macabre expression of the perspective you gain when someone you love drops dead.

Maybe it's a side effect of trying to deal with the first holiday season after the shock has worn off. (People say shock is bad. I disagree. Shock is a wonderful insulator during the first few months.)

Maybe people are just the fucking worst.

Or maybe I'm turning into a nihilist. (Not necessarily a bad thing. They have a lot of great points.)

From this excellent excerpt:

All I know is, at the end of the day, this current stupidity will soon be swept up in bigger, newer, shinier stupidity.

Maybe ours, maybe someone else's.

And will any of it matter in the end? Absofuckinglutely not.

(Somebody please tell this to my feelings, who apparently still think that if you try to be kind and do good, people *won't* treat you like garbage, gossip about you behind your back, or straight up stab you in the eye. Hypothesis WILDLY incorrect, y'all.)

It's maybe not happiest perspective, but I'm pretty sure it's keeping me trekking. So, cheers to that.
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Sunday, December 1, 2019

You don't have to die on the hill of motherhood.

Brought to you by this meme from my newsfeed this morning (are we still calling it a newsfeed, Facebook, or have we all just agreed to start calling it the brainwashing station?)

Now the comments on the original post, as you can imagine, are fulllllll of mom shaming.


"My Christmas would have been so much better if my mother would have wanted to share that experience with us *insert sad violins*."

I feel like this is a symptom of the whole idea that when you become a mother, it is *supposed* to eclipse the rest of your identity. And that's certainly what it feels like when you've got a newborn attached to your boob 24/7, or a toddler (or three toddlers, like we did because we're nuts) whose sole mission in life is to swallow as much sand as possible and jump off things that are entirely too high.

But I don't think that's healthy. Like, at all. It's created an entire generation of self-entitled brats whose helicopter/lawnmower/tiger/whatever other descriptor mommies hover over their high school (YES, HIGH SCHOOL) teachers and coaches and bosses and step right in when they feel their precious snowflakes are not being properly cared for.

What the actual fuck, society.

(Obvious disclaimer, it's not the *entire* generation, lest I go reverse #okboomer status.)

So if you don't give a rat's ass about your tree arrangement, good for you. And if you need to have separate trees for everyone in the house so you can hold on to some small semblance of sanity in a world that is 99.99999% uncontrollable, go for it.

You are a mother. It's beautiful and wonderful. And it's not all you are.
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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Superesse hodie.

Tis the season for pretending everything is practically perfect in every way. 

Tis the season to act like Pagan traditions are the result of Christian genius.

Tis the season to post thirty things we're thankful for, and then claw the eyes out of a stranger so you can get a 50% off a flat screen TV. Yay, materialism.

Tis the season to decide which set of relatives you prefer to piss off this year, and for unspoken expectations and manipulations from people you *should* be able to trust.

Tis the season for baked-from-scratch pies that somehow turn out perfectly and *never* overflow all over the bottom of your oven, adding another blackened layer to the masses of burned filling from yesteryear.

Tis the season for putting on uncomfortable clothes and making sure your hair is done and your makeup is done and your children are squeaky clean and hair is cut and nails are trimmed and shirts are the fancy kind that button up. And everyone is of course wearing white with absolutely no stains to be seen. Majestic.

Tis the season for smushing yourself and your children and seventeen side dishes no one is going to eat into a car, braving slippery roads and icy cold (at least in our neck of the woods) only to be faced with slippery-er conversation topics and icier looks from your __insert whichever relative is accurate here___.

Tis the season to sit in a too-clean-to-be-real living room and listen to other people's opinions of how you should be living your life while you smile and laugh and complement their shiny baseboards.

Tis the season to be terrified your particularly energetic child with break great-great-great Grandma Ethel's prized china.

Tis the season for beating yourself up about that extra five or ten or twenty pounds and swearing to yourself you'll only have *one* piece of pie, only to find yourself seven slices deep after a particularly sweary conversation with a relative who has political views from the Dark Ages. #shesawiiiiiiitch!

Tis the season, and I am not here for it. I am so fucking over society's expectations of who we *should* be, whom we *should* care about, what we *should* do. I mean, I'm over it YEAR 'ROUND lately, but especially during this season.

Could I be jaded? Abso-fucking-lutely. Thanksgiving was a special holiday when I was a kid. My family was always together, and we'd end up at my Grandma Kookie's house every year or two. Kookie was not like a regular grandma, she was a COOL grandma. And not in any sort of particularly rebellious way, it was just that she loved us all unconditionally regardless of our flaws. If there *is* something I'm thankful for this season, it's that.

MINOR RABBIT TRAIL TO A SOAPBOX: If your family isn't willing to love you for who YOU are and for who YOU need to be, they're not family. They're the people the universe unfortunately stuck you with, because sometimes, the universe is a real dick.

Kookie died September 12, 2016, and Thanksgiving has been hard ever since. Partially because no one can figure out how to make her fucking amazing gravy, and partially because it feels like the unconditional love "glue" that held us all together has disappeared. I haven't been able to make myself go back to her house since she died. I don't feel like I can handle seeing her space without her in it. Maybe someday.

And then, of course, the universe upped the difficulty, as it does, when E died last October. I don't remember much from last year's Thanksgiving. I went for a run, which made me feel like I was going to die, and I ate a lot, and I got very drunk. I think I fell asleep on the couch watching Monty Python.

This second one, it's still incredibly painful, like cry-into-the-gravy painful. But there's a new dimension this year. I feel more "free" than I have in a long time, and I think it's courtesy of getting the fuck over pretending things are sunshine and roses.

Because, well, they're not. Not for me, not for you, and not for your annoying AF relative who keeps posting #blessed selfies, making you fantasize about smothering them in a bowl of mashed potatoes.

I'm tired of pretending. I'm tired of our whole society's obsession with how things look from the exterior. Unbearably broken people can still smile pretty around a perfectly set table. Incredibly fucked up families can tiptoe around their traumas for a day in an attempt to project a "WE'RE OKAY, SEE!?" bat signal to the rest of the world.

For a lot of us, I would even venture to say for MOST of us, today is fucking hard. And that's okay. For us, the remedy is a Stars Wars marathon and pajamas and pie. Simple, and real.

So whether you're mourning today, or dealing with stupid family shit, or are in a dark place, or even if you just hate turkey with a burning passion, I just want to tell you: you are not alone.

You don't have to seize the day. All you have to do is survive it.

~ Caiti

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