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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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Excuse me, do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior, Memes?

I'm having a bad week, so shitposting memes seems like an EXCELLENT way to fix it.

Nevermind you, to-do list.

And finally ...

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

The rainbow sparkly dark angry emo phase

Hello, friends.

Did you realize sometime in the past 10 years EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG started a blog? But not LITERALLY an everyone and their dog blog, oh no. That would be 100% acceptable. Dogs are obviously the best thing on the internet.

Just blogs. Straight up blogs about nothing in particular.

I'm pretty sure that's part of the reason I've been avoiding this place.

Mostly though, it hurts to see the juxtaposition of Caitlin Past (RAINBOW SCARF!) and Caitlin Present (GUESS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY AFTER YOU DIE!) on this one tiny little address on the great and glorious (and not so glorious) interwebs.

Shit happened, y'all. And if you live long enough, it will happen to you, too.

Since it's difficult to categorize and sort piles of shit, here's a messy rundown of the past ten years.  think I've posted about a lot of this stuff already. And yes, I am avoiding dishes and/or any mention of impeachment proceedings. And I also feel like it's necessary to do some kinda recap before, universe willing, I dive back in here.

1. I got married at 18. Technically, this is a few months past 10 years. Our ten year anniversary was July 10. All I have to say about this: marriage is hard and fairy tales are bullshit. You have to work at it. Preferably in therapy, where someone with a lot of training can help you understand each other and tell you to knock shit off.


2. Our church life fell apart. I was recently going through draft posts and found one called "Krispy Fried Kristian." I would have posted it, but I don't identify with the "Christian" label anymore, so I chucked it. The crazy thing is I WAS ACTUALLY AFRAID TO POST IT BACK THEN!!! AND IT DIDN'T EVEN HAVE CUSS WORDS OR ANYTHING!!!


3. I had four children in 4.5 years. 0/10 do not recommend. It's like having a litter of puppies but with the stakes set to one trillion.


4. We moved. Like a bazillion times

Moving sucks. You know it, I know it. The entire box of knicknacks I'm still missing knows it.


5. I almost died.

I battled postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis and suicidal thoughts after each of my kids were born, but especially after my second child and only girl was born in August 2012. I chronicled the whole thing, cuz apparently I am the overshariest of all oversharers, right here on this blog. Two people reached out ... which sounds sarcastic ... but I'm actually over-the-moon happy that I could help ANYONE tackle the horrific monster that is PPD. I remember when I posted the series I kept thinking, "even if it helps ONE person, it will be worth busting my guts all over the internet."

And you know what? It totally was.


6. PMDD got put in a fancy book!

After struggling with postpartum depression, and after wasting A LOT of time avoiding therapy and having the symptoms get REALLY BAD (DON'T DO THIS), I was eventually told I had both endometriosis and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). I took Zoloft for a bit, which made me feel like a zombie. THEN, I found an amazing women's health provider who put me on a) birth control to manage my endo symptoms and b) progesterone. A lot of it. Two weeks out of the month. So, I can't poop ... ... ... progesterone reaaaallllly slows down your digestion if you don't get that reference ... ... ... but I also don't want to kill myself (as much), so I'm calling that a WIN. It's the little things.

I was officially diagnosed with PMDD (which *officially* got put in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013) earlier this year.

7. We bought a business. More specifically, a newspaper. In 2016. Because we are INSANE.

This business is one of the things I still care about (more on that later.) It's 135 years old, and I wake up every day hoping we aren't the ones who kill it, despite society's move to social media.

Also, if you say something idiotic about "social" being the "future" in my presence, I will throat punch you.

(Probably not, because I suck at confrontation. But you will get A VERY STRONGLY WORDED AND VERY LONG EXPLANATION OF HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS DESTROYING OUR BRAINS AND OUR SOCIETY AT LARGE. You have been warrrrrrned.)

8. My grandma died.

The best grandma, because apparently only the good ones get to go home early. Pancreatic cancer. The last words she ever said to me are, "I am so proud of you."

She went out perfectly accessorized, as always, with a fantastic mani/pedi and a black and white skull headscarf.


9. My dog died.

The best dog. I'll love him forever. Maybe it's not a big deal to other people, but it was a big deal to me.

So much so that I decided to change it up and do MORE than 10 things in 10 years. Lucky, LUCKY you, dear reader.

And lest this start to sound like a bad country song ...

10. I shaved my head.

And I dyed it pink. See #12. And now, back to the bad country song ...

11. My brother died.

It messed me up. Still working on it. Struggling terribly with the idea that nothing is permanent and there are no guarantees, no matter what you do or how well you do it.

And finally?

12. I stopped giving a fuck about things that don't matter.

The scope of things I truly care about has shrunk tremendously in the last year, and I mean TREMENDOUSLY. Like, black lipstick, often.

Batman forged the path for a quarter life goth crisis. Who am I to deny it?

The things that still matter to me? Let's see. My family. When we are all together, it feels like we're missing a limb, but we love each other and support each other and make space for each other's grief and each other's bullshit, and that is worth so much. People fake healthy relationships on a much broader spectrum than I ever realized.

It's kind of a blessing to be too tired to fake things. Probably irritating for the socially acceptable robot humans at large, but if I can be an annoying pain in the ass who reminds us that we're all 100% compostable in the end, so be it. #WWED

I still care about freedom of the press. I still care about the overwhelming issue that is fake news, or propaganda disguised as news, or people who want to be "news" but only selectively report or completely skew things in favor of a specific group.  Any organization that doesn't adhere to the journalism code of ethics, and doesn't actually give a fuck what happens after they post something as long as it gets "social media traction" are a HUUUUGE part of what's wrong with society.

Strangely, and annoyingly, I still care if my dishes get done and if everyone has clean underwear and whether or not my floor is disgusting. Having a peaceful, well-functioning environment does a lot more for my mental health than I realized.

When people die, you can't just stop living. Or doing your goddamn dishes.

There's other things, too, but I am officially out of time and words.

This rainbow sparkly blog is going through its emo phase. If you can't hack it, and you're not a fan of honesty, don't let the door hit ya.

As for the rest of you, black lipstick and gold stars all around.
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