When I grow up

Sawyer told me what he wants to be when he grows up this morning, and it’s obvious he will make terrible decisions for himself.  After he told me and we fought about whether or not he can be what he named, I wondered what I wanted to be when I was two and a half.

In fifth grade, I wanted to be President, mostly because I actually ran for class president and won, in a weird twist of events where I feel like I must have strong armed or tricked people into voting for me.  Also, I spent a lot of time that year sitting in a closet writing letters to President Bush to discuss how I thought we could change the world while submitting my yearly donation of $1 to contribute to the reduction of the national debt.

In Junior High, I wanted to be an AIDs activist, and to this day, I’m still not sure what that role plays in society.  I’m hardly capable of relating to or taking care of anyone with AIDs but I blame this on one of my school counselors, bringing in a bunch of hippies working in Portsmouth, do-gooders of the world.  I even recall some sort of visit I made to an outpatient facility which scared the living fuck out of me.  I was going to stick to not making the world a better place.

I also wanted to be a lawyer, after prosecuting the Wizard of Oz case, taking down the witch and winning, because my debating and argumentative skills are unmatched.  I’ve recently picked this hobby of mine back up, offering my legal skills to a friend that got fired without cause and going Erin Brokovich on the system.  I was reminded recently that very little in life energizes me a like a good fight and taking down the man when he fucking deserves it.

In high school I wanted to be a doctor but I don’t actually like blood or the thought of saving people and Grey’s Anatomy didn’t exist yet so I’m not sure where this one came from but it was short lived.  I wanted to be an English teacher, mostly because I was in love with my English teacher, but I heard they make no money and I don’t like mouthy high school students.

In college, my first major was journalism because I wanted to be a sports broadcaster but then I realized I could only talk about football and I had never played and maybe I just wanted to sleep with football players, not talk about them as a profession.  Then I was going to be an Arabic translator, which I’ll have you all know was before anyone was fighting terror so yay for being ahead of the game but boo for never fucking doing anything with it.  Then I was going to work for the State Department, a very vague ambition.  Then I lucked myself into a Senate internship and the rest is history.

Sawyer, though?  He is going to save me a huge amount of money on university.  That kid is adorable, athletic as fuck, funny, charming and 100% blue collar.

There is nothing that motivates that child more in life than a garbage truck, an excavator, a tool box and a vacuum.  A life in sanitation is right up his alley and so I’m hoping my thoughtful Sully will find his way in something more artistic, but I pulled a rock, a cherry pit and a piece of dog food out of his mouth in the same handful the other day and so I’m guessing these kids aren’t going to make me refinance my house down the road for their education.

This morning, though, Sawyer, chatty Kathy himself, was blabbering on and announcing to the air my every move while eating jelly toast topless.

“Wanna watch Handy Manny?” I asked, knowing it would buy me 20 minutes of coffee drinking time.  I couldn’t find that channel, though, but the show with the zoo animals, ZOU, popped up and Sawyer shouted, STOP STOP STOP.  He was clapping like a seal.  I was confused why this zoo show was causing such an excitable response.

He sighed and tilted his head to the side, thinking really hard.

“What’s wrong, Soy?”  He obviously was resting up to announce something really important.

“Mommy?  I want to be a Zebra when I grow up.  A big one.”  Then he slammed his hand on the coffee to show me how serious he was in his career choices.

“You cannot be a Zebra, Sawyer.  You are a person.”

“Zebra.”

“You need to wear clothes.  You need to sleep in a bed.  Zebras don’t do those things.”

“Zebra.”  He shouted, picked up the rabbit stuffed animal in arm’s reach, tried ripping the head off with his teeth and then threw it on the floor.  He then gave me a very stern look, pointed to the rabbit on the ground and shouted one more time for good measure, fist raise high above his head,

“Zebraaaaaa!”

I deserve this.

 

Sex Ed and other advice for our Youth

This is a very different version of some rant I went on the other night on FB.  I’ve updated it with a few personal stories, as I’ve had time to think of what I would have added after I posted, so here’s some extended advice for anyone between 7-18 years of age who would ever need sex ed advice from a grown ass woman.

First, I wouldn’t say 7 year olds need sex ed advice but then again, I think if there are kids getting knocked up at 12, someone should hit those poorly parented children up early and do the world a favor and either, 1. educate them or 2. bleach their insides so they are incapable of breeding more millennial type non-contributors to society.

Also, what the fuck is happening to the world when 12 year olds don’t have enough shit to do that they’re out and about whoring around with each other?  You want to know what the fuck I was doing when I was twelve?  I was deciding what rainbow colored elastics to decorate my metal braces with.  I was attending sleepovers where I wore metal head gear that wrapped around my fucking head while I slept in a sleeping bag, the highlight of the night was eating chips and ice cream and cookies AND brownies, and drinking mountain dew, and called boys using a see-through phone, yet never talking to boys because the minute one would answer, we’d hang up the phone and scream. I was wearing three pairs of socks scrunched down and carrying around a backpack and writing book reports about Hiroshima and I was convincing my parents to let us get a new cat because the old cat, Sprinkles or Surprise or Bailey was hit by a car again we lived on a road that killed so many damned cats.  Also, a strawberry shortcake pop from the ice cream truck, not sucking dick, was the highlight of my day, so I find today’s kids fucking bizarre.

I was not letting any grimy handed, skuzzed headed, dirty, mouthy, snorting, drooling, non-bathing, eating like a pig, dressing like a moron, 12 year old boy stick anything in me, and certainly not up my vagina, which I thought not only dumped urine straight out it but anything went up it went right to my stomach and then if blasted hard enough, into the empty cavity above my stomach, which somehow contained my heart and lungs.

I have an overwhelming insane comprehension of the human body.

So why are we in the middle of this conversation that seems like me just yelling exactly how my brain thinks? (That is exactly how I write, by the way)

Well, someone asked me how I’d phrase sex ed/womanly advice to their daughter, which is honestly the first mistake.   No one has ever asked me to give their child advice on Shark Week, like I’m some sort of motivational speaker for anyone who bleeds out of their legs once a month. I have no idea why anyone in the world would ever consult me about this, and this is the PERFECT reason why I was not given girls. I am unqualified because I barely girl good enough to keep me alive. But, if I was going to give advice, I got to thinking….

Once upon a time, we were all sitting in a circle in Health Class, and in waltzed an additional teacher with a big box of something, set it on the table and then  separated the boys and the girls.  The boys were taken outside to the football field where they could spend the hour beating the shit out of each other and the girls were presented with this box of gifts—an individual purple pack of fun that included pads and pamphlets on how to deal with your lady bits, some of the language tip toeing around men and women spending time with each other, inserts with terribly drawn diagrams and literally no information of value that was approvable by any authority of health.

Yet this was the school system’s attempt at providing some sort of sex ed, preparing us to start A Lifetime of Bleeding, why this should be considered a gift, a gift of blood shooting from your flower, all commemorated with this tiny bag of heavy, purple covered pads, a bizarre drawing of a girl with no face that modeled a simple diagram of the inside of your body (seriously, I literally could not tell you to this day the insides of my body, and yes, I have two children), but surely no advice on what would happen if you liked some boy enough to get it on with and have The Sex and have The Baby?

That was sex ed.

Lucky for me, my mother had already done a better job at explaining sex to me the day I was ten when she made me come sit in her room, look at a different pamphlet that contained faceless people hugging naked, and told me that, and I quote, “When two people love each other so much and want to show each other with more than hugging, they hug each other on the inside, too.  Do you have any questions?”

No, I did not.  I did not because I had heard her having sex before and it did not sound like two people doing any outside or inside hugging.  It sounded like a moving company trying to move the bed from one room to the next one by jamming the headboard through the wall, the kind of sex where you forget you don’t have kids or fucking volume control and I was not interested in knowing more about that.

I’m not scarred, though.  We had sex once with Sawyer sitting on the couch  in a hotel room and in fairness I had distracted him with TV and a snack but then in a moment of distraction, I missed the fact that he had gotten off the other bed and walked over and there he was, slapping my thigh, asking me what I’m doing, and you can’t just answer that, so I told him to go back to the other side of the room to watch Handy Manny because Mommy was just sitting on Daddy’s lap backwards and would be right over.

Anyway.

If we could just adjust the teaching methods a bit, I’d love for this education to include a really detailed class on tampon use, perhaps a class on the use of vibrators and dildos, so no one has to screw any boys, we can all just screw ourselves until college.

I’m sure we know how to prevent liquid from shooting out of us.  How about we tell young women that one disadvantage of having children if you have unprotected sex is that your vagina no longer works for fun things like sex because it is too busy leaking out a liter of Elmer’s glue each day, causing you to sit on the toilet for a half hour at a time, staring at your oversized and dirty underwear, smelling the crotch part by bringing IT TO YOUR NOSE AND SMELLING INTENTLY, rubbing your finger around in the glue mess because you’re trying to figure out if you have a disease more like the clap and not just side effects of breeding kids.

Or you could do women a solid and bring a whole bunch of realistic dildos in and have them all inspect them, get used to different sizes and textures and colors, yes COLORS BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE BROWN AND PINK PARTS and if you are from White America, brown parts will surprise you because you surely think all penises are pink.  Also, let us put our mouths on them so we know what the fuck we’re working with.  Give some of them hoods, for those women one day that get with guys who have dicks that look like anteaters.  Give some massive bushes so you figure out how to press forward and end up with no pubes in your teeth.

Do us a favor, and teach us the lesson I learned from my best friend, while we sat around eating the salad bar during lunch.  She had gone to the school dance on Friday like the rest of us.  She had also done more than dancing and on Monday sat down at lunch and promptly, and quietly announced to all of us, whisperingly knowingly,

“You guys will NOT believe this. You will not. THE SKIN MOVES WITH YOUR HAND.”

And to this day, that is the most important lesson I have ever learned, that when you give a hand job, the SKIN MOVES WITH YOUR HAND.  Do you know how many fucking heart attacks we all could have avoided having if only someone told us that BEFORE we touched a penis?

So yeah, if you’re going to ask me for advice for your child, this is going to be the conversation, with the highlight, THE SKIN MOVES WITH YOUR HAND.

**School nurses feel free to email me and provide me an update.

The World According to Sawyer

No one ever tells you before you have kids what a great source of entertainment they’ll be.  They focus on the really terrifying and awful stuff and never really spend time detailing the amount of full blown belly laughs you’ll have, compliments of your children, and how truly hysterical the innocence of childhood is.  Well, this is when they’re not being assholes.

Sawyer’s favorite teacher is a gal named Miss Lauryn.  I am guessing she is the favorite by the way he responds to her, loves being around her, and talks about her after school.  That’s the thing with Sawyer.  There are only three people he wants to talk about outside of his brother Sultan, and those people are his male best friend Garrison, his three year old girlfriend Addison and Miss Lauryn.  Every day it’s the same.

How was school, Sawyer?  Did you have fun today?

Garrison, Addison, Lauryn!  Garrison, Addison, Lauryn!  We play.  Toys. Noodles. Trucks.

You saw Garrison, Addison and Lauryn?  Wow. Great!

And then he ignores me and stares out the window silently until he decides he doesn’t like which way I’m taking home and  then instructs me, NO MOMMY, NO NO NO! THAT WAY! and the ridiculous part about it is that he fucking knows how to get home and he actually has an opinion about which way he prefers.  I apparently had no idea what two years old was.

One thing Sawyer HAS NOT mastered yet in life, though, is anything having to do with race, ethnicity or culture.  It was ok until now, but now all he does is talk, and so I asked Miss Lauryn the other day,

Hey, when do you think we can start some sort of race relations lesson going in the classroom?

She looked at me like what happened now and laughed and said, Well, they are reading books about slavery down the hall.  What happened now?  

We probably don’t need to talk about slavery quite yet, but I continued with my story to make a point.

So you know how I told you a few weeks ago that he thinks every black women around the world is Miss Lauryn? 

This is a true story.  Everywhere we go, doesn’t matter the country or city, if there is a black women in eye sight, Sawyer starts pointing, then shouting, then shrieking, MISS LAURYN!  HELLLOOOOO! MISS LAURYN!  MISS LAURYN! And if we’re close to this poor, unsuspecting person, he actually tries to break free to go run and see “Miss Lauryn” which results in my dragging him away by the arm giving some sort of life lesson sit down like,

No, Soy, remember we said not everyone that looks like Miss Lauryn IS Miss Lauryn, remember?

And no, he doesn’t quite understand and so every black woman remains Miss Lauryn, which is actually probably flattering.  Or not. It’s probably the start of terrible racism later in life.  I don’t know but somehow I feel like I’m failing at this shit.  I continue with my story.

“So we have a new twist to the story.  So I’m pulling up to daycare and I have both boys alone so I have Sawyer waiting on the sidewalk while I try to get Sully out of his side and all of a sudden I hear Sawyer shouting,

“LAURYN’S DADDY! LAURYN’S DADDY!  HIIIIIII. LAURYN’S DADDY!” 

and I look up and am horrified because we all know I’ve never met the daycare worker’s Daddy and it’s actually some guy I work with in my office, and he’s trying to get his daughter out of the car and take her to school.  So now I’m like JESUS STOP WITH THE YOU CAN’T TELL THEM APART SHIT SAWYER because seriously, he can’t really be that white kid that is running around acting like this and I have no idea what to do and so I walk really fast over to Soy and grab his hand and wave to the guy and smile, knowing he probably wasn’t listening anyway, and said,
Soy, we’ve never met Lauryn’s Daddy.  That’s that little girl’s Daddy.”  And then it occurred to me that he meant Daddy as in  like, he’s my Daddy, in the he gives it to me, sense, not that Sawyer would think of it that way because that’s perverted, but I suppose I refer to HIS Daddy like, hey Daddy, want to come watch TV or hey Daddy, can you grab me a drink, instead of Hey Chris, so then I’m like OHMYGOD he thinks that man is Lauryn’s boyfriend and he has chosen Daddy to be the way he refers to boyfriends or husbands which is an issue itself and fuck, I have no idea how I’m going to fix all this.

I finish the story to Lauryn with, “So I think he thinks now every black man is your husband.  I’m just guessing.” She shakes her head, says GOOD LORD, and picks him up and takes him to the breakfast table.  He waves.  At least he’s cute.

So because not much else is going on in my life this week, I tell my friends, who find this funny.  I tell Chris, who is horrified and tells me to stop telling people this stupid shit because we don’t need people thinking we are raising a racist child.  Anyway, I obviously ignored him because I continued telling the story for the whole week.

Yesterday, the guy Sawyer mistook to be the lover of his favorite teacher happened to be at his desk when I walked by and so I stopped and said to him, and no, I don’t know his real name so I just kind of jumped in with the details and kept talking.

“Hey. So you know how we drop off our kids around the same time at daycare?”  He just looks at me and says yea and like, why are you talking to me for the first time in a year for no reason?  I just carry on.

“Well, here’s a somewhat inappropriate but kind of funny story for you.”

The six guys that sit behind him, who love a good story, perk up, stop typing and push their chairs back away from their desk.

“So the other day? Did you hear my son shouting at you?  You know which one he is, right? Sawyer, the blonde one?” 

“No, I didn’t hear him but I know who he is.”  His daughter is in Sawyer’s class so I was hoping this story would be received well.

“Well, so, Sawyer may or may not think all black women in the world are Miss Lauryn.”  All of the guys looked at me with big eyes and humored.

“I mean, he’s not racist or anything, he’s only two, but apparently he thinks every black women is Lauryn from school and whenever he sees someone, he yells and waves and causes a goddamned scene and the worst part is that when they don’t respond, he is actually fucking defeated and I can’t really fix that because I have to spend a few minutes talking to him about how that woman is actually nothing like Miss Lauryn but he’s more upset that she didn’t say hi back and so the whole thing is sad and weird and awkward. “ I pause to take a breathe and the guys are laughing, including the one I’m about to get to in my story personally, so I’m assuming everyone agrees that this is a nice afternoon story to tell.

“So back to you.  So the other day, when he was yelling at you, he was shouting LAURYN’S DADDY! LAURYN’S DADDY! LAURYN’S DADDY! and I was horrified like OHMYGODSTOP because now apparently all black men are dating Lauryn because I think he means it like Baby Daddy, not like Father Daddy, I mean, I’m just guessing because sometimes I call his father Daddy instead of Chris and his grandfather is Poppy or Papa so if he thought you were her actual Daddy, he would have shouted Papa so the point of this is really that you, because black, are now Lauryn’s boyfriend and so if this continues, let’s just ignore it and have a good laugh and I’m sorry.”

He laughed and the rest of the office laughed and then I had a good laugh and was like phew, good. We’re all laughing at the tiny racist.  I start to walk away and the guy stops me.

“Hey Heather.”  I stopped.

“Yeah?” I turned back.

“My daughter is Lauren.” I looked annoyed and like, har har, shut up and when he kept staring at me with raised eyebrows like ? and then I was confused and just shrugged my shoulders.

“Lauren, my daughter? The one in Sawyer’s class?  Her name is Lauren.  I AM Lauren’s Daddy.”

And so again, the moral of this story is that I am the fucking idiot.

 

 

 

Surviving a week with kids

My kids. I survived another week with children who behave just like me. This week, though, was a fucking train wreck. 

First of all, I blame home. It all started with one kid sick, who got another kid sick, who got a third kid sick. They all got me sick and between that and jet lag, fuck trips across the pond. That shit is not happening again until 2017. Yes, that means the double baptism is cancelled, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that my kids don’t go to hell. 

Now. They’re back, they still don’t sleep and Sawyer has been a gem all week. In fairness, he was outrageously sick. In my head at the end of a 9 hour day being bossed around by him, he’s a been a needy dick with a super attitude problem and control issues. Like he can’t fucking control himself to not launch a glass of nicely poured juice on my lap while he looks me in the eye, or to behave like a sane person when I tell him no shoes on the bed, under my covers, on my side, and instead decides to use stomach to practice kicking on, all while screaming for his father. Begging for his father like I’ve done something other than take off that stupid pair of sneakers that he insists on wearing 24 hours a day. 

Oh, your father can come home and take you to a place where I can’t hear your ungrateful cries, you, child who painted my couch with yogurt and then ran and hid when I asked you if you thought it was funny. Hid and laughed extra loud, which made me want to sit in a corner and try acid. 

The day he vomited on himself like an adult three times, I felt terrible for him, even though he refused to be picked up and wanted to sit in the awful smelling pile of sour milk smelling bile. I didn’t even get  mad at him when he stopped sobbing long enough to shout, Go Mommy Go!, something he usually shouts while I vacuum in a condescending tone, but this time while I dry heaved on my rug at the smell of the insides of his foul stomach. I forgave him, though, and we both got naked and sat in the tub, playing with his ducks until he poked my nipple, smiled and said, nice boobie, Mommy. I was proud, then slightly uncomfortable and then decided maybe only naked bath time with Daddy from here on out. 

The worst of the days, though, was the second day I was stuck home with the sick kids, when both were home, because the tiny one can crawl now and he is also usually hangry and while tending to the big sicko, #2 spent most of his time trying to eat something that would cause him to choke to death.  Seriously, I went to the bathroom for 4 seconds, half peeing down my leg in an attempt to pull my pants up so fast, and STILL came out to hear him choking. Jamming my finger and sweeping his throat I pulled out a banana sticker. No idea when the last time I bought bananas, but sure as fuck, a sticker found its way in the choke zone of Big Red. 

That’s it, I sighed, everyone is getting a diaper change and then Elmo is babysitting for the rest of the day. I put Sully on the couch and asked Saywer to kindly hand me the wipes as he stood next to me. I could smell a poo and upon opening the diaper, I saw what resembled bouncy balls and deer pellets of assorted sizes and colors. Real food was making this child shit like a man. I turned my head to find his new outfit, then back to Sully, who has a passion for grabbing himself aggressively each diaper change. “Sully, PLEASE stop yanking your walnut like that.” He giggled as I removed his super strong fingers from his walnut. I was considering how much earlier Sully took an interest in his bits than his brother  when i heard Sawyer shriek, “I got it. I got it. I got the egg.”

“You already ate. We are not having eggs,” I stated firmly. Sawyer loves eggs like I love ice. It’s a sickness and I hate eggs. I will not make eggs. 

“Here, mommy. Sultan’s egg.” He calls Sully that, and it is sometimes cute and sometimes annoying. I looked at him. “Sully does not…”

He had shit in his hand. He had a medium sized ball of shit in his hand proudly and I could tell he was one second away from squeezing it out of excitement. 

“Oh! Nice,” the fucking fake games we play. “Give mommy the egg!” I was smiling so big my fucking face was going to break and I stuck out my hand flatly to receive the egg. 

It’s our fault he thinks to call it an egg. From a year on, we’d change his diaper proudly and squeal, who laid a dinosaur egg? And now I was fucking paying for it. 

I wanted to toss him out on the porch and hose him down with hospital grade bleach. Instead,  I used an entire bottle of baby wash on his upper body, washed all the laundry in the living room, put them down for bed and ate an entire pint of pistachio B&Js because I am a grown ass woman who emotionally eats in sweatpants and doesn’t feel an ounce guilty about it. 

And today? Today, tonight actually, the bloodshot eye that the doctor told me is due to dehydration two days ago looks suspiciously like that anthrax pink eye and I swear to God if his eye is crusted over tomorrow morning, we are bleaching him, the house, lighting the place on fire and starting over by living in a tent. 

Otherwise, though, it was a pretty standard week. 

About sabbaticals and bullies

I’ve taken a few weeks off from writing for a few reasons and I thought I shouldn’t share, was advised I shouldn’t share why, but then I thought again and have decided, FUCK IT.  There is no censorship on this page.  There is no censorship in my life and there is certainly no censorship in my writing.  And so, I’m going to give a recap with a little side of NO FUCKS TO GIVE and we’ll pick up from there.

I’m going to keep the details brief.

First, I started supporting a refugee replacement effort in Germany in November, in my town, because I think it’s an important time in the history of the world, in the place I raise my children in, and I want to be part of the solution and not the problem.  That is the bottom line.

The way I chose to do this is to volunteer myself as the American liaison to my village, offering to provide them with clothing, shoes, school supplies, toiletry items, money for community outreach support and other assorted items that come up as these 150 people assimilate into our tiny part of Germany.

The way I chose to support this was through FB and email groups, reaching as many people as my big mouth could reach, and hope for the best, and really, I received the best support and the most humbling amount of love, donations, support offers and kind notes and new friendships.

Unfortunately, what I also received was a whole lot of fear and hate fueled bullshit.  I received emails, texts, phone calls and FB messages, some private and some not so private that declared me a bitch, a cunt, a terrorist sympathizer, a threat to American society, an uneducated housewife, a bored liberal and a downright terrible human being.

I’ve already called myself most of those things so again, very little fucks to give on that.

However, some of the messages and interactions did end up becoming more than I wanted, some threatening, some naming they knew where my house was, some mentioning I should be careful what I do in the future, and you know, I can stand for a lot of things in life, but I won’t stand for being bullied.

It got to the point where a fun individual decided to try to inform my community here about the last 7 years of my public writings, choosing only to show selective screenshots that were less than desirable upon first look, those that pegged me as someone who hated Germans, children, old people, and pretty much everyone with two legs.  There were screenshots of things I said: I hate Germans, I hate Germany, I hate children, old people are awful, blabbity fucking blah.  And these were posted on as many community FB sites as I could count.  I sat one day and watched my name get smeared all across this charming little high school world we live in over here and I have to say, it threw me for a fucking loop.

I said those things, while out of context, but I said them in a public forum.  And during that time frame, there were chat groups of grown ass adults, most that I know, that were commenting on them, judging openly about who I was as a person (God! Can you believe this bitch is the same person claiming to want to help people!), and it was humiliating and humbling and infuriating.

I wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out and I wanted to flip a table, light something on fire and punch 23 people in the throat.  But instead, I remained silent, which I promise you, was the test of all tests in my life.

And I went off FB for four days.  (ohmygod FOUR DAYS!) And I put my blog on private.  And I didn’t talk to anyone about anything for a bit.  And I got a bit depressed.

But then, after the fog cleared, I snapped back into my reality, and so here’s what I’m going to say about my sabbatical, what I think about people who intimidate others, and what I think about people who judge me without knowing me.

Fuck it.  Fuck it and fuck them.  And I’m perfectly happy if that’s not received well.  I write a satirical blog.  I live my life with the hope that I can change people by making them laugh or cry or just making them feel something.  I do not care who agrees with me.  I do not care who dislikes me.  I do not care who I offend, because LOOK.  I offend everyone, all the time.  It’s my thing.  I don’t mean to always, but I do.  And to be honest, I’m an equal opportunist.  I’m not after Germans, I’m after EVERYONE.  So if you don’t like it, don’t act fucking stupid.  Don’t highlight yourself in a way that makes it easy for me to mock you and give everyone a good laugh.

As a writer, I assure you, there can be a difference in someone being an entertainer and also being a good person. I’m not even going to defend this notion, but I will defend the fact that I’m not a racist or elitist. I’m human and I make observations, funny ones at that. I’m not here to write publications on human nature. I’m here to entertain and I’m here now, in my village, to support people that no one else cares about. I’m here to give people hope and give children clothing and to give those unaccompanied men that everyone treats as predators footballs, so they have something to do in their spare time. This is a revolution, the world accepting refugees of displaced people who have walked and crossed oceans of hundreds of miles to escape realities that none of us reading this blog will ever, EVER, have to realize yourself.

But back to the hate. Back to the issues I’ve faced. Most importantly to me lately, I want to be clear after the shit I’ve experienced in the past two weeks. In approaching me from here on out, this is a disclaimer: DON’T YOU DARE, ANYONE, try to intimidate me, scare me, or deter me from living my life the way I want to.  I will not be bullied.  I will not let people I care about be bullied.  I will not apologize for my opinions and I will not waste my time or the time of my friends forming defenses to a public that lately is nothing but judgmental, hateful and downright against any humanist movement I’ve ever witnessed.

I’m ashamed to have to tell you the ways people have treated me in the past three months because I am attempting to help people we have been taught to hate. Look. I’m a grown adult with a degree and a career background in diplomacy and engagements. I do not need permission to feel empathy and kindness and love towards strangers. I do not choose to pick fear and hate as my first reaction to a people different from that of my family. I am well aware of the risks. I am playing by the rules. I am serving merely as a POC that is trying to bring a broken community together to do better for each other, for the lives of new friends, for the lives of existing people here. And while doing that, there are a few things I won’t stand for.

I won’t stand for the stirring of fear and hate and propaganda against people who don’t deserve it. White, brown, German, European, American, Persian, or otherwise.

I won’t stand for excuses. I don’t want to hear why you hate these people you’ve never actually met. I don’t want to hear why you CANNOT help. I don’t want to hear why you’re not allowed. Kindness is a gift that is found within everyone. You literally do not have to ask permission from ANYONE to utilize it.

I won’t, I WILL NOT, stand for bullying. Bring your best game, and I assure you, posting my address, my name, my anything, it will not stop me from practicing in my life what I believe is right. It will not make me quieter. It will not make me ask for less of my community. It will not weaken my efforts. If nothing else, it will fuel me to accomplish when I have set out to do in less time, in a fashion I could have never imagined from the very beginning. Do not challenge me. I promise you, you will lose.

And do not EVER, EVER, EVER FUCKING EVER, think you will get an apology from me.
This is my life.
This is my blog.
These are my causes.
This is my new, small but supportive and very powerful, little community. And we are doing great things. And no one, not one small minded, hateful, prejudiced, testosterone driven asshole, will get in my way.

And so yeah, I’m fucking back. Take a screenshot, blast me in public, talk all the shit you want or just send me an email (heathershopkins@gmail.com). I’ve got little fucks to give but I have a whole lot of opinions waiting.

Sabbatical IS OVER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican gangsta

Today my friend Erika, a fiesty, mouthy Puerto Rican, comes down to my office to grace me with her presence and to ask me about an email. Halfway through our conversation, I notice that she has tattoos on her arm, some of those Asian characters next to a cherry blossom. I ask her what they stand for and get the standard, courage, strength, happiness, response everyone gives and just to fuck with her I say, Do your people get offended that you have Asian markings on your arm? And no, I didn’t know they were Chinese because I’m not a fucking linguist and I have no idea how to differentiate when it comes to hieroglyphics of the Asian nature.

So she says no and smirks and follows with, I have a Spanish tattoo on my back, as though having one tattoo in her native tongue gave her permission to have another in someone else’s language.

Obviously I’m going to get up and look at it because I also have a Spanish tattoo so I pull down her shirt and she has this large spiral of words in Spanish and blabbity blah I have no idea what it means because I used Google translate the last two years of my college Spanish to do my homework but it looked pretty. What looked even prettier was the tattoo she had on her shoulder for her kids and so I told her so and then listened as she went on and on about her guy in Orlando who is a tattoo magician and he’s a miracle worker and he can create, draw freehand and fix any tattoo in the world.

“I need to go to Orlando then, to see your guy. I have this tattoo I need made into something else because I hate it.” The tattoo on my lower back, my third one, was the result of a long night of gin drinking.

She asks what it is.

“Well, first, I have a tramp stamp I got when I was 18 when I was in Panama City beach.” She makes a face like I was probably being a drunk slut and I’m not going to bother arguing that because you just can’t when you have a tramp stamp, can you?

“No, the tramp stamp isn’t my issue. That’s only about an inch long and is of a Libra symbol. I don’t care about that tat. It’s the one I got in Amsterdam when I was hammered that is stupid.” I need to stop getting tattoos when I’m drunk.

“You’re not supposed to get a tattoo when you’re drunk,” she offers, like me getting a terrible tattoo was life’s way of punishing me for breaking the sobriety rule about tattoos. I ignored her.

“Ok, so anyway, I was drunk and I told the guy I wanted to tattoo this word on the inside of my arm but then Chris said I can’t go walking around with a tattoo on my forearm because of my job and also because I’m basically not bad ass enough which is just bullshit. But, to avoid long term marital issues, I said FINE, but I will have my arm tattoo one day but until then, I will put this tattoo on my back.” I keep going.

“So I tell the guy I want to write the word in my handwriting and he’s like no, I don’t do that, which in retrospect basically means he’s a fucking shitty tattoo artist. But, because I’m drunk and this particular evening very agreeable, I say fine, put it in the writing you do and put it up by my shoulder. He says, no, it won’t look good there. So I say fine, put it on my side. He says no again so you’d think I’d stop right there and be like, look. I’m paying you to write on my body, why do you even have an opinion but I didn’t say any of that and he says something like, I will put it where it looks good and because I’m a fucking idiot, I lay on my stomach and let him tattoo my back where he pleases.” She looks at me like I’m an idiot.

“What’s the word?” she asks.

“Vacilando,” I say and smile proudly, thinking I am so fucking worldy and smart and clever.

Her eyes almost fall out of her head and she bites her lip.

“I’m sorry, what? Did you say VACILANDO?” and I realize she’s trying not to laugh.

“UH YEAH, vacilando, as in it’s not the destination, but the experience? the journey? Like I’m a wanderer?” I said it like it was obvious.

She makes the most intense, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, face and bursts out laughing and says, “Write it down for me. Maybe you said bailando,” which isn’t even close to vacilando and I’m not going to tattoo something in Spanish about dancing on my back.

I write it on paper and when she bends over to read it, she laughs so hard she can’t stand up.

“That is not what vacilando means,” she is laughing so hard she’s almost crying and now I’m getting defensive.

“Yes it does. The internet says it does and I’ll show you.” I google it and sure enough, the goddamned internet says the following:

“Vacilando. It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere but doesn’t greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction.” —John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

So I’m pretty proud of myself at this point and also if Steinbeck says it, it’s true and I am clever for having it tattooed on my back.

She is laughing so hard that she claims she’s getting an ab workout and I am not impressed.

“That is not what it means. You cannot google a Spanish word on English websites,” as though she thinks I spend a lot of time frequenting Spanish sites.

“What does it mean then?” I demand and now my other coworker is listening but not like she could avoid it because I am shouting.

“It means to hang out, to chill with friends, get drunk, relax, you know…” Then she did this thing where she leaned back and put her hands out to the side like she was the fucking Fonz or something.
fonz_012608_big

“No, I obviously DO NOT KNOW IF THAT IS WHAT IS TATTOOED ON MY FUCKING BACK.”

She could not have found this funnier and my other coworker who already thinks I’m insane was now positive that I was also a moron.

“Don’t you have any Hispanic friends?”

NO I OBVIOUSLY DO NOT HAVE ANY HISPANIC FUCKING FRIENDS. I am the fucking whitest girl from Maine and I DO NOT HAVE HISPANIC FRIENDS.” Now I realized it would have been fucking useful to have one or two.

“Well,” she carried on, “it actually means to walk crooked, like not in a straight line, like stumbling around.”

“Fuck you it doesn’t.” This could not be happening to me.

“It does, look it up on a Spanish site. Google Definicion de vacilando.” Sure enough, all Spanish sites popped up and I’ll be damned if we didn’t go through every one of them. Not one, and I mean NOT ONE FUCKING SITE, had my definition of the word. Here is the list of what this stupid word apparently does mean:

Hesitating

Joking

Stumbling

Moving from one side to another with the impression you’re going to fall

Tripping

Moving without being firm

Being unstable

The more she read them out loud and translated, the harder she laughed.

“Don’t you think you would have been positive about a word you put on your back in another language?”

I put my face on my desk. Fuck this day.


“Let me see it again,”
she said as she pulled up my shirt. I just let her. I deserved the torment.

“Nice Mexican cartel script,” she laughed so hard she choked.

I cried out in pain, pain of my fucking ego shattering in a million pieces. “IT IS NOT MEXICAN CARTEL SCRIPT.” It 100% was and I already hated it but I never had a name for it. Ugh. It was so Mexican that it killed me.
tat

“You’re right. It’s more chola. Mexican gangsta.” and then she puffed out her chest and threw her hands up at me like she wanted to fight.

“Seriously? Isn’t chola like those Mexican women that shave their eyebrows off and draw in brown pencil eyebrows? You just called me chola? Fuck off. I need to fly to Orlando this weekend to see your tattoo guy.”

My god. I had a Mexican tattoo of a word that meant to stumble like a drunk on my back. For four years. In a location you can see in a bathing suit.

“Do your people get offended that you have Mexican markings on your body?”

I deserved that.