Saturday, July 30, 2011

Laundry is a Needy Whore - Om

There is a Buddhist concept that involves making cleaning a spiritual practice. It is finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. It is about meditating and being in the miracle of the moment while doing something you find mundane or even repulsive. I have actually been able to practice this on more than one occasion. For real, for real! Don't laugh,(especially those of you that have seen the Queenpin's house).

The problem is most of the times cleaning has been a spiritual practice was when I was cleaning a space that didn't belong to me or the beasties. I have had a cleaning business on the side for a few years. I am so grateful for that job. Both of the places I clean are offices. No one messes them up as soon as I'm done. No one spills their juice while I'm moping the floor. My cleaning jobs also have provided money to supplement my income, and for that I am forever grateful. I clean, I pray for the man's intestines who always grosses up one of the toilets. I am often full of good feeling and in the moment-ness while I'm mopping the floor, or spraying out the urinal.

It is when I am home, in my own house that I struggle with the concept of cleaning as a spiritual practice. And it is the laundry that really drives me over the edge. Laundry is such a needy man-whore. Laundry is never satisfied and he has multiple needs. You have to wash him, and fold him, and put him away, and by the time you've finished there's a pair of dirty underwear thrown down the basement stairs by a damn beastie. Then you start all over again. Laundry is a fucking nymphomaniac, always wanting attention and effort. Except there's no pay off at the end. No big O moment when you get to sit back and smoke a cigarette and enjoy the pay off. That is really a bastard.

I have tried multiple times to stand at the dryer and fold and be spiritual, be grateful, be in the moment: fold arm to arm, now tuck arms in, now fold collar to hem, isn't this a miracle? Now put in basket and grab another shirt. Now just fuck it because this is worse than licking the asphalt from one end of my street to the other. Me and laundry just can't get our rhythm right, and anyway, you know what the rhythm method does? It reproduces! Just like my laundry. So that makes laundry a needy-transgendered-man-whore who can reproduce. And I don't mind those in real life, but I just can't get spiritual about one in my laundry room. Om....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Goombas Get to Weigh In

Become a part of the Queenpin organization by visiting my Facebook page and voting on which postcards you would most like to see published as cards. Don't forget to like my page while you're there!

And Then You Get Reminded that You are a Queenpin

Once there was a frog, a big ole' cute toady frog, who lived by a river. This frog was a generous soul who used to let other animals ferry across the river on his back. He had many friends in the river community and occasionally the frog would throw a rave down by the water, all night long, and giving out firefly glow sticks for free. This frog was a good amphibian, everybody said so.

One day the frog was sitting and knitting socks for the possum orphanage when along came a scorpion. The scorpion's amor shone in the sun reflecting into the frogs eyes and blinding him for a moment. Smoke from a cigarette curled around one of his pincers. "I've heard you ferry critters across the river," the scorpion said to the frog. The frog looked at the scorpion and long and hard, "Yes, I do."

"Would you be willing to take me across the river?" the scorpion asked. "My feet are so tired from my trip from the desert, and I think one claw may have tendonitis from carrying my pack. I'm just on the way to see my sick mother."

"I'm sorry, for your troubles, there's a turtle down the way who may take you. I have a strict no scorpion policy."

"Ahhh, I see," said the scorpion, in a lazy drawl. He took a deep drag off his cigarette. "Why is that?"

The frog seemed to consider this for a moment, "Well, to be honest, it's because I know you'll sting me."

"Sting you?" The scorpion looked shocked. He dropped his cigarette and the frog watched it flow down the river. "Why would I sting you? Then we both would drown. I'm a scorpion, but I'm not stupid."

The Frog was ready to get back to knitting his socks. He had an appointment with the bear acupuncturist soon and didn't want to miss it. He looked at the scorpion's tired eyes, drooping pincers, and bandaged legs. "You have a point."

The frog slowly put his knitting away, deciding that this scorpion was too tired to sting anyone. His appointment with the bear was on the other side of the river anyway. The faster he ferried the scorpion across, the frog thought to himself, the sooner he would be done with him. "Climb on my back and rest, my friend. This will only take a minute."

So the scorpion climbed on frog's back with a huge sigh of relief. They slid into the river with the scorpion resting comfortably behind the frog's bulging eyes. On the way they discussed music, art, and families. Neither had any children, both had many friends.

The frog was surprised how much he was enjoying himself. He was grateful he had given the scorpion a chance and not turned him away based on a stereo-type. They had reached the middle of the river, the deepest part. The frog was laughingly telling the scorpion about his most outlandish customers, when he felt a sting in his skull.

The shock of it took a minute to sink in, and by that time the toxins had begun to enter his brain. "Why? Why did you sting me?" he cried to the scorpion, "Now we will both drown". Water began to fill his mouth.

"Why?" the scorpion replied without a trace of wonder or remorse, "because, my friend, it is in my nature." They slid into the river. Both were found the next day by some teenage bunnies boating near the damn. The bunnies hid their beer before they reported the incident to the beaver police.

I love this parable and yesterday I was reminded of it by a very wise woman. When I am an acupuncturist (2 years!) I hope I have an ounce of the wisdom that my acupuncturist shares with me. She reminded me of the story to remind me of myself. To get me back in touch with my nature. I love the unapologetic way the scorpion says, "it is in my nature." He is not shocked at all by who he is. He doesn't try to change his ways. He is what he is, and he is a scorpion.

I have always had a battle raging in my soul between my nature and the outside world. I am strong woman, I was strong girl. I am willful and outspoken. I am sweet southern girl, with a trucker's mouth. I am sexual and sensual, but I am also furry, and curvy. I am a drama queenpin. I see things outside the box. I step outside the box and I thrive, yet, I constantly find myself trying to shove myself back in. Then I wilt, I fight, and I pop out again shaking off the constraints of society. One day I hope I pop out of that damn box and just nail that coffin lid closed, but I'm not there yet.

I am good at accepting others for who they are, unless they fuck with me or the beasties. I can see other people's nature and rejoice in it, but when it comes to me, the Queenpin, I find myself treating myself like a willful teenager. Enjoying the bursts of luscious creativity, but coming down hard on the passion that makes it possible. Socially acceptable or self-acceptance?

Don't you think Don Corleone fought constantly with his nature? Cold blooded killer and family man. Maybe not. Maybe he was born a scorpion knowing he was meant to sting. Maybe he just shoved his feelings down, drowning them in pasta and meatballs. He did have a little weight problem in the end.

There is a reason that parables stick with us, they are passed down again and again because they remind us of the truth. They help us reground ourselves and get our feet firmly planted on our paths. That's all I needed yesterday, was someone to tell me a little story and feed my soul with wisdom. Sometimes I need someone to remind me that I am beautiful and perfect, armor, pincers, stinger, Sassy Queenpin attitude, and all. Thank you SheBear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oprah Winfrey on my Porch and Italian-ish Dinners

You know those stereotypes you have in your head of the big Italian style dinners? The Don at the head of the table, rows and rows of amazing cuisine before him? I can just smell the garlic, the basil, the cream sauce. My mouth waters, I bring my fingertips to my lips and kiss. Smooch! imagination is that good.

Every Monday night I host one of those dinners too. Except my dinners involve paper plates, easy to cook food, and Single Mama Savior, & Sassy Single Mama. Last night it was pancakes, sausage, and frozen egg rolls. Mmmm-mmmm, kind of...well it's not really about the food. It's about surviving with a little pizzazz.

I love those women. We pile our 5 kids into my tiny shotgun house (that's a skinny little house that you could shoot a shotgun through the front door and the bullet would go straight out the back) and we cook and talk and drink wine and laugh. Most importantly we love each other, and we understand each other, and we don't judge each other.

Today the Queenpin went to friggin' therapy and I have to tell you I am beginning to really hate my therapist. He was confrontational with me. He was upfront. I should have walked out and sent the goombas to deal with him, but I took it. You know why? Because I need it. He and I are gonna crack this man issue come hell or high water and I'm gonna get me a nice man that likes to cook with garlic, basil, and cream. Or may be I'll just cook with my ladies and stay single. Either way. Queenpin's gonna find some PEACE. But I have to work for it.

And work I did, so I felt like I had received a giant ass kicking after therapy. After I came home I let the beasties play upstairs, and I crawled into bed. I tried to study, I tried to distract myself with Facebook and email, but I couldn't, so I slept. When I opened my eyes I could not find the gumption to get my ass out of bed. It was really that kind of ass kicking therapy. I wanted to lay in bed with covers pulled over my head and just be. My sister used to call this poddin' because you were a like a pea in a pod. I felt like a pea in a pod, but I would have actually preferred one of those body snatcher things to come replace my ass kicked little soul with a shiny new model with no issues to work through.

I thought about (gasp) canceling Monday night dinner. I just didn't want to face my ladies all fragile and bruised. I wanted to pod damn it, but I knew the ladies would not let me get by with it. They would peel me out of the pod and make me be loved (shudder) so I got my ass up for dinner. Thank the Buddhas I got up. Thank the Buddhas for my tenacious sisters.

It is always the same. We push the kids out of the kitchen and then we take turns turning on the "Me Show" (Single Mama Savior's term). We each get to share where we are in our journeys. We laugh at each other, and with each other. Last night we got real and confronted each other, actually it was me who was confronted the most, and I can take it from my ladies. They tell it like they see it and then they love and accept me when I ignore their advice.

Out on the back porch with wine and cigarrettes we talked about ex-husbands that announced their new bi-sexual preference at a 7 year olds bday party. We talked about being in a relationship and the fear of losing freedom. I told Single Mama Savior, that I was afraid that she was gonna get too sane for me now that she's in committed relationship with super-duper fabulous guy. She told me that she was worried that now that she was in "settling down" mode Sass Mama and I would kick her to the curb. We cut our fingers and made a blood oath to love each other always. Just kidding. We just agreed to let each other change.

I told them all about therapy, I mean the dirty dark shit, and somehow we still laughed. We talked about Sass Mama's dating life, (damn she's good). We talked about lesbianism and why we never did it (I'm still really disappointed I couldn't commit). We talked about friendship. At some point I stopped and said, "Holy shit, we are having the Oprah Show right here on my porch." There was truth, reality, soul exposure, and lots of lady love. I'm so glad I got out of bed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Equals That

More than once mamas have asked me, "What made you so wild when you were younger?" I was wild when I was younger. I started smoking young, I drank young, I was interested in boys young. Young being elementary school, young being 10. More than being wild, I was miserable. I was lost and lonely, angry, and really confused. I acted out, I yelled, I got in trouble, I did poorly in school.

The strange thing is my family life was really good. I mean, we were a family, which is complicated for everyone, but I was loved and cared for and appreciated. We had enough, and even a little more than enough. Both my parents were worldly and education and they taught us about the world outside of ourselves. They also taught strong values, to be moral, and be wearable. I know which fork to use at fancy restaurants. I can chat my ass off at a dinner party. And though I struggle with it sometimes, I am grounded in who I am.

By the time I was 13, I had a ton of diagnosis and I believed them, I let them shape how I viewed myself. By the time I was 30 I had had my shit together for a few years, and realized most of those diagnosis were bullshit. That's the abbreviated wildness story because my wildness isn't really the point of this post. The point of this post is This Equals That.

I've realized that the reasons why mamas ask me about my wildness is because as human beings, and especially as human beings raising human beings, we like to feel in control of life. We like to feel in control of our children's future. We constantly judge situations to make ourselves feel safer. If I feed beastie organic fruit he will not get cancer in the future and die some horrible death. Whew, dodged a bullet there. And look at that kid over there shoving that other kid. His mother must not raise him right. My darling would never do such a thing. There's also that t.v. thing. That child must watch too much t.v. look at the wildness in his eyes, see how he pretends everything is a gun? I bet he plays Halo 10 hours a day!

News stories about parents screwing up are juicy fodder to be judged and devoured. I separate myself from the parents in those stories, making up elaborate backgrounds for those poor souls. The fantasy histories I create justify their fucking up and my righteousness. They did This it equals That.

There are a million ways that we, as human beings, make it seem that This Equals That, but in reality, it doesn't. When I figured out the equation doesn't add up I lost a little peace in my soul, and a little sureness in my step, because the earth didn't seem so stable anymore. The flip side of that is I was also able to let go of some of the guilt and the responsibility that comes with being the This that makes That equal. I realized that life is just complicated. Sometimes that can be a good thing and sometimes that just plain sucks.

The first time that I had a big This DOES NOT Equal That moment is when my dad died. I was still looking at life as pieces and not seeing the whole. 62 years old, worked out everyday, didn't smoke, had been a kind, giving, life loving man and he fucking got cancer and died right when he retired. Right when he was going to travel the world with the OSQ, the love of his life. This DOES NOT Equal that. I was pissed. Angry at the Universe in a way that made me scream in my car and randomly give the finger to God. Life is not fair.

Soon after my dad died, my sister's beautiful 19 month old daughter died in her sleep. Not SIDS, not a virus, just gone. Her parents loved her and cared for her, they did everything right as parents. This DOES NOT Equal that. By that point I was just fucking confused about life. I think that the fact that I had had such a charmed life made it even more devastating. I was so naive about the crap shoot of day to day living.

This Equals That isn't only about the negative though. It is the positive too. We take credit for both. With the negative we beat ourselves down, with the positive we build ourselves up. Look at what I earned! we tell ourselves, Look at what I deserve for being so good. But really what have I really done to deserve this life? Karma knows, but me, I have no idea. My greatest sorrows are losing people that I loved so much. I do not have to fight daily for food and water. I have been safe everyday of my life, I have more love thrown my way than should be bearable. I have my beautiful beasties.

There are many more things I could list, both positive and negative, that have happened in my life They have proven to me again and again that life is not fair, and mostly it seems pretty random to me. In big pictures moments, which are rare, I can see that This DOES NOT Equal that. It has helped me forgive myself and others on many occasions, but still I obsess and fret about the damn fruit my kids eat, and the many times I say SHIT around their little ears. When I get lost in the details I am convinced I am ruining them.

The whole notion of karma seems very This Equals That, but it isn't. I think that is one of the reasons that Buddhism speaks to my soul. If you are carrying hundreds of lifetimes of This and That, there is no way to imagine the equation. There is no way to use your judgment to figure it out. It just is the way that it is. And it all seems like a mosaic. Taken as pieces it makes no sense, but put together it is beautiful and complex. The mismatched pieces make a whole, make a picture of your life.

When I step back though, and get out of the details of This and That there are such shiny moments, colorful, and bright, and then there are dark rough stones that balance out it. This DOES NOT Equal that, but these fine broken pieces of moments in my life sit perfectly side by side and create a picture of the Sassy Queenpin Mama and the roads I have traveled.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Single Mom Moments

As a Queenpin, a single mama, a woman on her own I find myself more and more trying to prove to myself and my beasties that we are complete as a family, just us three. I want them to see that I can do this. Me, a woman, on my own can do it all. Even though I am about as handy with a hammer as a gnat, and couldn't light a fire in the woods even if my own ass was lit, I am determined to show these kids that a mama is enough. Even an impatient, clumsy, cussing mama, can be enough.

Last weekend a group of us went camping and kayaking. I'm learning about this kayaking/canoeing thing. I'm doing it for my kids. I want them to love the outdoors and be competent in the woods. Teaching them is hard since I don't know shit. Thank goodness my Single Mama Savior across the street was planning a trip with her boyfriend, her beast, his beasts, some other friends & their beasts. Single Mama Savior knows how much I want to be all that I can be so she invited us to tag along. She also invited the third mama in our single mama group, Sassy Single Mama, and her two beasties. It was gonna be a lot of kids, a lot of new folks, and hopefully a lot of fun.

The Friday we were leaving I went to pick up a canoe. I took my beasts with me to show them that the Queenpin could load a damn boat on her own damn car. I had already packed up all the camping gear, why not load the boat? Well, it seems that loading a canoe on your car is not easy to do alone, especially when you don't know what you're doing. Help was called in, not one, but 2 men! Still no boat on the car. Queenpin felt so low, Queenpin felt like she had failed. Queenpin gave up. Fuck the boat. I can still take them camping, I tried to reassure myself, but my inner gangster had been shot down and I knew that I sucked and I had failed to show my kids that we could do this!

Single Mama Savior, Sassy Single Mama, and I call these moments single mom moments. When you really feel the loss of not having a partner. They are the moments when you can't get the boat on the fucking car, when you lose your temper with your beasties because you don't have someone to step in and give you a break, (and by lose your temper I mean LOSE your temper, you know, one of those pea soup and head turning Exorcists moments that you pray to Buddha no one has caught on camera). They are the moments when you feel you can't do it alone. They are ovary busting moments, kick you in the gut, and break your heart moments. Thank goodness I only have about three a year, who but Mike Tyson can handle an ass kicking like that?

On the way home from canoe failure I texted Single Mama Savior, "I just had the worst single mom moment." When I pulled up, there she sat, on her porch waiting. We sat and smoked and I told her about the damn boat. The were big fat tears. "Don't worry about it," she replied, "We'll go by in the morning and get it. We'll load it up together."

And damn if me and my 5" 1' friend did not load that boat up on my car in 10 minutes, and not once did my little man beast say, "Don't you think you should call (insert man's name)?" because he did not think his mama could do it.

The rest of the trip I DID IT! I was the last one getting my tent up, but I did it on my own with a little non-help from the beasts (that's when they offer to help, which make it take ten times longer, so you try to be patient and teach them, when what you really want to say is, "Go play in the fire while I get this done"). While there were offers to help me set up, I politely said no thanks. On the canoe trip, I was offered a man to go with us, but I said, "No thanks," again and me and the beasts made it down that river on our own. Well, that's not true, we made it on our own with the help of lots of friends and by the end of the day the single mamas actually saved a life.

The river had class 1 and 2 rapids. For a person who doesn't canoe that is the same as saying the river has blah, blah, blah, and la-di-da class rapids. I had no idea what we were getting into. The class 1 rapids were fun, bumpy and exciting but not too bad. The class 2 well, those were a little more scary. My horrible steering skills ended up to be a stroke of good luck. We hit a rock and got stuck before we hit the worst part. My friend's boyfriend held the boat as water rushed past us and we had to get out and walk. I picked up little beast and twice was swept into the water with her as I slipped on rocks. After my second attempt to get to dry land I stayed put and watched as my Single Mama Savior and another friend came to rescue us.

In our caravan of five boats and a raft three of the boats had braved the rapids and stopped to wait for everyone else to make it. Me and the beasts waited with the other folks while the remaining canoe and raft came down the rapids. Swish, our Sassy Single Mama, her two boys, and a male friend came down the rapids with the raft tethered behind on a rope. Joy and fear mixed on their faces. Eyes as big as saucers they flew down the rapids in their canoe. Then flip, splash, crash they were in the water. They were in the water and trapped. The rope of the raft had trapped my dear Sassy Single Mama (not to be confused with the Savior) friend and one her sons in the boat while the rapids crashed over the overturned canoe and held them under. Before I knew it I was in the water, and there she was, Single Mama Savior, all 5"1" of her,holding the boat up on her back, untangling one boy, holding another up out of the water and yelling for help.

As soon as I reached the boat I held it up so Sassy Mama could breath. I pulled and pulled on the rope as her body twisted against it, straining to get out. All three mamas fought the rapids and the rope until, ping, the rope was cut and Sassy Mama was free. We made it to the bank and recouped, and then all three mamas got our babies, got in our boats and we rode down the river alive and free, stronger than we had thought possible.

On the canoe ride after I repeated a quote I heard somewhere, "Courage is not not being afraid, it is being afraid but doing it anyway." I think both my beasties sat up a little straighter after that, they felt the courage run through them as we continued on the river.

The next day Single Mama Savior and I sat on her porch again and recapped the trip. We talked about the Sassy Mama's canoe flip and did a play by play of what happened each sharing our own perspective. That is when the lusciousness of what had happened seeped into my soul and took my breath away. Three women, who often feel like we are drowning in our single motherhood, were brave. We did not drown. We held each other up, we saved the beasties, and we taught them that mamas can do anything.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

51 Things Revisted

I was really bothered by how I ended the last post. I was trying to come up with one of those snappy easy endings: 1. A good boy who needs a Queenpin to worship, and who isn't afraid of the laundry. It is the word worship that bothers me. defines worship as a noun
1.reverent honor and homage paid to god or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

This Queenpin loves to be admired, I love to be loved, but I do not really want to be worshiped. I don't want to be sacred, I smoke and cuss too much for that. Plus, look at what worship did to Princess Diana, look what it has done to Jesus. I rumminated for days after that post about what I really want in a relationship and then surprisingly, a stranger showed me.

I was observing in the acupuncture clinic at my school. The woman on the treatment table was one of those plump, sweet southern ladies with makeup done to perfection and some rockin' poof to her hair. I could tell this woman was a steel magnolia as soon as I met her. She could get her point across with Southern sass and a big ole' grin. You could also tell she's was a happy woman, at peace with her life. Her easy laugh rang through the clinic.

When I was taking the woman's pulses I had to move a diamond bracelet down her arm. "That's pretty," I remarked. "Thank you," she smiled with a cat ate the canary grin, "My husband gave it to me."

The acupuncturist I was working with said excitedly, "Look at the purse! Her husband picked it out and gave it to her too." The Southern lady's face turned a little pink and her smile became shy. You could see in her expression, that she was a little embarrassed by the purse, but she loved that he bought it for her.

My eyes traveled to the other side of the room and landed on a purse that was this woman. It was nice brown leather with different textures, and across the top was a cheetah print strap to fasten it closed. I was shocked that by just by looking at this purse I could tell this husband knew his wife. Maybe better than she knew herself. The purse was a physical representation of how her husband saw her: beautiful, wild, and complex. The steel magnolia's embarrassment was in the fact that she didn't necessarily want to show the world all of these things about herself. "What a good man," I murmured, feeling my throat close up with envy.

"He is," she replied. She got this dreamy look on her face and softly said, "He is truly my best friend."

That is when my heart ached with the wants. The game show bells went off in my head, ding, ding, ding! That is the correct answer! The Queenpin wants a friend, and one with balls.

My relationships, always, from 1st grade boyfriend to my last relationship with biker man, have always had friction, contention, the extremes of yin and yang. So far apart in their qualities that there is a constant tug, not a gentle flow. That poor boy from first grade still has a Queenpin fingernail scar over his eye.

Maybe it was the books I read or the soap operas I watched growing up. I did read all of the V.C. Andrews books at a very young age. Who knows where the misconception started that there's gotta be all this DRAMA and HEARTACHE? This tortured passion. But it doesn't matter where it came from, now all that matters is that I want it to change.

I want a friend. I want a partner in crime. This mama is so tired of working so hard to make things work. I want ease. The flow of a river, the feel of being wrapped in my granny's quilt, not tornados and hurricanes that you have to pick up the pieces afterward and rebuild, rebuild, rebuild. I want the peace and contentment of that steel magnolia's smile.

Currently, I don't have time for a man, even a friendly one. I'm in massage school three nights a week, and once a month I drive to another state for 5 days to go to acupuncture school. During the days I'm raising my beasties, studying, and trying to get a Sassy Queenpin Mama business off the ground. But while I'm doing all these things I'm also trying to make room in my heart for the next man that comes my way, (and with me there's always a next one). I'm making my list of what I really want so when I see it in someone I'll be able to recognize it. I'll be able to look past the fact that he's not addicted, has a job, and is a grown up, and see a new kind of man. I'll be able to take the leap into Queenpin Mama trying to do things different.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

51 Things

While returning from our annual family beach trip, I had 9 1/2 hours in the car with the beasties and our 15 year old babysitter. 9 1/2 hours with a 15 year old is just about enough time to cover all the major topics. And one of the last topics we hit was dating. Now let me preface this with a little description. The 15 year old girl I was with has her head on straight. She isn't one of those gum popping, silly, stereo-typical teens. She's a girl who is going places. She is a girl who has goals and high expectation. She is a girl who isn't too interested in boys yet and doesn't mind being single. Maybe she's not really a girl, maybe she a robot. Anyway we started talking about dating. My sweet babysitter informed me that she has 51 things that she would like in a boyfriend. 51 things!

And that got me thinking about my list. I used to have a list of qualities I wanted in a man. Actually I've had a few lists, but after awhile I stopped seeing the point. Relationships are about compromise right? So I've always ended up compromising my list, or finding it years later and thinking isn't this list cute? While the man I was currently with lacked almost all of the qualities on it, or I realized in reality, the qualities I on the list didn't amount to shit in the real world or relationships. The other night I was talking to my friend about my last relationship and I realized in the past year my list has really shortened to 2 things: Don't be a fuck up, and Stop being an asshole. Maybe I need higher expectations. Maybe I need some expectations.

I"ve heard women swear by the list. Saying that they got a man with the exact qualities they had put down. If I didn't have my old lists to prove it, this is what I would think my past lists had on them because these are the men I've brought into my life:
1. Bad boy, rebel
2. Has lots of potential, but never realized it
3. Funny
4. Good in the sack
5. Addicted
6. Tortured and artistic
7. Semi-wearable (that means you can take 'em out), but not a conformist
8. Opinionated
9. Smart, but not schooled
10. Self-absorbed
11. Fragile ego
12. Employable, but not always employed
13. Strong personality
14. They adore me & put me on a pedestal, until I fall and then they can't recover from being with an actual human being.

In therapy I went in with two goals. The second goal was to start taking care of myself, by meditating, exercising, stop smoking, all those things I know I should do, but I can't be consistent with. The first goal was to figure out why I pick such fucked up men, and STOP PICKING THEM. It's not just me anymore that is affected by my choices. I have to think about those little beasties and the fact that who I pick is going to affect who they become. And for some reason, even though I love my beasties and worry constantly about the affect my parenting is going to have on them, I cannot give up my attraction to the bad boy.

What this means is that I end up having two separate lives. A life of mommydom and a life of dating. When your wusband hasn't taken the kids in six weeks, and you're in massage and acupuncture school, this puts a little crimp on that second life. So essentially I have no dating life, and for now that is okay. I guess I'll take this time to start compiling a new list. A list of the qualities I want a man to possess. A list that will tell the Buddhas and the Universe what to send me next time. I think I'll start with something basic, something like 1. A good boy who needs a Queenpin to worship, and who isn't afraid of the laundry.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Original Sassy Queenpin Mama or OSQ

My mama is the original Sassy Queenpin or the OSQ. She is an amazing woman who raised three kids and believes in changing the world one small step at a time. My mama was not a single mama, but she is a mama, and she did a damn good job making sure that me, my sister, & brother learned to think outside of ourselves and could manage whatever life threw at us. The following list are the things I love about the OSQ.

*The OSQ believes in God, but she is a little bit of a rebel so she has a hard time committing to a church. Queenpins have a hard time with dogma. Like the Buddha, she taught me to question things and find my own light.

*The OSQ loved my daddy. She believes in passion and she made her marriage a love story, even though sometimes it was a frustrating as Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks.

*When I told my mama that I had lost my job she said, "This is a good thing. Everything's going to be okay, honey." She is good in crisis.

*The OSQ will make the best of any situation once she has had her say. When I was 19 years old and brought home my ex-crackhead, felon, tattooed boyfriend, she said, "I miss [old boyfriend, name left out to protect the innocent]" the college going, lacrosse playing, very nice guy I was dating. But when I stayed with ex-crackhead for three 1/2 years she treated him like one of the family until I kicked him to the curb, and then she called him a jackass with me (but not too much).

*One of my favorite memories of the OSQ is getting on a bus with a bunch of other women to go to our state capital. We were there to talk to state reps about issues that were important to us. The OSQ walked into one reps' office put her feet up on his desk and told him what she wanted. The woman has got ovaries, and she knows world affairs. On top of that she could charm the pants off a Mormon.

*The OSQ loves my blog and emails it out to all her poor friend that she can make read it. The OSQ is proud of her brood.

*The OSQ can take it. When I tell her I don't like something she does, the OSQ takes it like a woman and either changes or doesn't, but she moves on. She is not a grudge holder.

*The OSQ loves to celebrate. She is a dinner party throwing, birthday celebrating, tradition bending, but tradition loving woman. She can make something mundane into something delicious and interesting.

*My mama is also very generous. She not only gives to charities, but she served on multiple boards, and volunteered places until her 8 grandchildren starting taking over her life. She gives to her children in so many ways we could not count them all and she never has strings attached.

*OSQ has traveled the world and will continue to do so. She takes chances. She wants to learn and experience life. She is an eater of life's cake, when she hits an egg shell in the moist creamy center, she just spits it out (demurely) and bites again.

*My sister, brother, and I tease the OSQ mercilessly. We never let her get away with anything. The OSQ laughs and says, "I know." she is not afraid to laugh at herself, and she'll tease you back, but she never hits below the belt or talks about you behind your back.

*I have stopped trying to live up to the OSQ intellectually. She has two masters degrees, and reads endlessly. She plays it down, but the woman is smart as a whip and I always have to get her to explain world issues to me.

*The OSQ loves to laugh. What can you not enjoy about a woman who loves fun?

I actually have stopped trying to be the amazing, vivacious woman my mother is, because she wants me to be me (except maybe dress better, and pick better men), but just by being her daughter she pushes me to be better. She is not perfect, none of us are, but she is good, and kind, and she will admit her faults. If I had one thing I'd give to the amazing Original Sassy Queenpin Mama it would be to have one day where she saw herself as others see her, but then her head might explode from all that love and admiration.

Steel Magnolias

I don't know how I would make it without women in my life. You may be sick of the Queenpin going on and on about women, but I love them, and I am so grateful for them. They make me and the beasties' lives extra juicy.

My organization is a tight knit one, and there are men involved, but I have to admit, the men are on the fringes. The Don would say that they are "associates"in this organization. Sometimes for my boy, I worry about this, but mostly I just thank the universe and the Buddhas and anyone else around for all the estrogen that boosts us up and carries us around.

I love women so much that once, in my mid-twenties I decided to be a lesbian for a few weeks, but without even experiencing woman's kiss, I realized that lesbianism was not what I was missing, and had to give it up. My dad was so disappointed, he thought finally I would bring home a nice girl with a job and a college degree. Sorry dad.

Not only do I have amazing women in my neighborhood, but I have friends outside the hood that lift me up, make me laugh, and get down and dirty with me when I need it. If one friend is too busy to call back I have a long list of others that I call leave messages with until someone picks up the damn phone. I also have an amazing mother and sister who listen, accept, and tell me the truth when I need it (but don't necessarily want to hear it).

I have a friend who is just learning about the amazingness of women. When she was going through a hard time I made sure to make time to listen to her, I sent her texts, I had she & her kids to dinner. She said thank you so many times it started to sound like nonsense, and I kept having to reassure her that this is what women do for each other. This is what women have done for me, and this is what I try to do for others.

When she was over for dinner, my new friend and I talked about the difference between how men and women handle problems. In my experience with men, they love to fix it for you and when they can't they feel powerless and sometimes that makes them move away mentally and sometimes physically. Women, sometimes they try to fix it, but mostly they listen, they sit with you, they rail with you, they laugh with you, they cook for you. They are not afraid of being around pain. They can take it, just like their mama's did, just like her mama before that.

I love the term steel magnolias. That's what the women are in my life. Strong, smart, fun and beautiful, real earth mama beauties. Soul sistah, beauties. The kind of women that when you see them at a party they draw you in because they radiate something good.

These are a few of the things that my ladies have done for me:
*For my birthday the ladies all wore fake hamsters in their hair, after I had had an especially embarrassing incident involving a grown up dinner party, my beasties, and I ZuZu pet in my hair.

*One friend helped me sort through my old house that was being foreclosed on so I could move me
and the beasties to a much smaller rental house. It was boring as hell and she just sat and sorted and chatted like my life was not in ruins around me and by doing that I felt normal for a bit.

*My soul sistahs listen and do not judge my endless break-up and make-ups with my man. They pour me wine and hear me whine. I have one friend who asks, "Do you want me to be cheerleader friend, or real friend?" Most of the time I go for the cheerleader.

*The cheerleader friend hosted a fire and water party where we burned things we wanted to let go of and floated things we wanted to keep. It was soul cleaning.

*Once the ladies put an plastic turkey in my bed when I was out of town. He was such a good listener I almost didn't let him go, but eventually, I put it back on the friend's porch with a cigarette, negligee, and bottle of liquor. I'm sure that will not be the last I see of that turkey.

*One friend leaves secret notes all over my house & in my classroom. Notes of love and support and reminders of who I am. About once a month I'll be flipping through my calendar and find something sweet she's written. I just got a new calendar, I'm going to have to leave it where she can find it.

The women in my life make my world go round. Sometimes new ones come in and old ones go out, but there is always a sea of estrogen around me. We I sink they pull me up, when I float they cheer me on. They are the life raft that gives me and my beasties enough courage to sail the open seas and set out on new adventures.