Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Letter to my Beasties

I have received some interesting feedback since my last post, and I even thought about taking it down, but  I won't because....well, I think its because I'm stubborn. My mom texted me the day after to see if I about to flip over the edge and I said, "No, I'm fine, I've written about it and now I"m over it." That is the way this Queenpin is, it is the way my dad was. I feel intense pain, I spew, I move on, everyone else is left to clean the spew off themselves. It's a shitty way to be. I'm working on it.

The people most affected by this spew won't read it for years. They are my beasties, and someday they may read it, and they may wonder, like you, how could she even write that for people to read? So here it is, a letter to my little ones.

Dear Beasties,

I love you. I love having you in my life, and I am so grateful for the gift of motherhood that somedays I feel my heart could burst with it.

Beastie boy, I love your quiet way, your freckled nose, and sweet smile, I even love your dramatic bursts of anger and frustration. I love your hand in mine and the way you punch me lightly in the butt to tell me you love me. I love how your brain works, boy, how you see things differently than me. I am amazed by your ability to build and see detail. So unlike your mama it makes us laugh.  Your strong will amazes me because it is quiet and firm, I often don't see it coming until I run into it like an invisible wall and many times I end up laughing out of surprise. My quiet boy with a will of steel, you are delicious.

Beastie girl I love your sassiness, your amazing intuition, and those beautiful brown eyes full of mischief. I love the way your body curls around mine when I pick you up. I love how one eyebrow curls up and one curls down because that is so much like you, hot and cold baby girl. I love that you sing like your mama and wear spiderman capes. Little girl, you too have a will of steel, a loud, brassy, chutzpah kind of spirit, a spirit that could intimidate a lion, but a sweet soul that needs to curl up on me for sweet snuggles. My luscious, dramatic baby girl.

Boy and girl, my little beasts, I look at both of you and cannot believe that my body carried and created such beautiful, fiery creatures. It is rare that a day goes by that I do not feel so grateful for you and what you bring to my life. Last night before each of you went to bed I buried my face into your sweet hair and inhaled you like a cocaine addict. Sniffing up your essence to feed my tired mama self. So it seems I need you too. I am addicted to my love for you.

Someday you may read the post that I wrote last week about how I hate motherhood, and it may break your heart that your mama ever felt that way, but I need you to know that moments like that are fleeting and the love I feel for you is constant and real. The responsibility of raising you is daunting to me. The fact that I hold your sweet life in my hands scares the hell out of me, and sometimes I crack under the pressure.

If you ever become a parent there will be moments you look at your life and think, "Holy shit, how did I get here? And who are those small people trashing my house?" and you might think, "I hate this." It's okay, my Beasties, I promise, because then the clouds will clear and you will recognize those small people as the children you love and you will think, "Ah, I know how I got here, I chose this crazy life."  This is a good point to stop what you're doing, put on Otis Redding and dance in the kitchen with your own little beasties.

Dear Beasties, I have already screwed you up. There is no way around it. I don't mean to, but nobody leaves childhood unscathed. You can blame me for awhile for any and all suffering in your life, but then I hope you choose to move on and make your own life and to make it happy. In the end it is up to you, you'll have to learn to smile and shrug your shoulders at your crazy Queenpin Mama and be grateful when you get to home to your own house.

This letter is my apology to you for mama-ing you in such an imperfect way. You each came into this life a whole perfect person and then you got dealt cards that involved a Sassy Queenpin as your mama who can't help but make mistake after mistake. Even though motherhood kicks my ass all the time, I love you fiercely, madly, and worst of all humanly. I will always love you, but I won't always like it. You will always love me, but you won't always like it. We are a family, intertwined, yet each trying to carve out our piece of life's pie. Whether it is cherry, blueberry, or spinach, I am so grateful, little Beasts, that you are the ingredients that bring my life together and give it flavor.

Love your,
Sassy Queenpin Mama

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If You Love Being A Mother Skip This Post

I'm not sure I'm cut out for this motherhood thing. Actually at this moment I'm sure of it. I do not want to be a mother. I fucking hate it. Tonight I came home and moaned. I cried and my heart felt like it was breaking again. That red ole sack of muscle and blood was being split down the middle by my fierce love for my beasts and my fierce love of me. I'm sure that fierce love of me is called Ego. Ego is a spoiled rotten teenage girl; moody, needy and never full, always pulling at you and wanting more.

These past few weeks I have have genuine moments of me-ness, and I like it. I like working at a job that does not involve one kid thing. I love driving in my car by myself, smoking, and listening to whatever the hell I want. I love that I had time to go to a concert with friends, on a date this week, and then to a movie that didn't involve fart jokes. I have studied, I have napped. I have had time to kill. I have flirted and laughed and I have been a shitty mother. I have dreaded almost every moment spent with my children and I have counted the seconds until I am free again.

I do not want to hear that the years rush by. That their childhood will be over quicker than I can imagine. Save that spiel for some mama with no Ego to feed. Tonight I just want to hate mamahood. I want to be able act like the beasties' dad who can take parenting or leave it at his will. Don't want to parent tonight? Okay, fuck it. I'll pass that job off to someone else. How delicious would that be? Take it or leave it parenting. Tonight I would leave it. Tonight I would drink too much, smoke to much, and curl up in a man's bed. I would talk loud, cuss like a sailor, and drink wine on the porch with my ladies. Tonight I would choose to feed that black hole of my Ego. She is fun to feed, until I realize that my self-absorption is hurting others. Then the Ego screams and throws a tantrum as I try to trim a little off the top and get back to focusing on the beasties. That teenage girl of an Ego can throw a tantrum like you've never seen. She is a glass breaker a, soul shatterer. She's a fifteen year old Mike Tyson in heals and cheap makeup.

It is when I have long breaks from my beasties that I have the hardest time mothering. I get a taste of freedom from car seats and whining and neediness and I don't want to return to it. I have to force myself to return to my mothering self, to not get in the car and keep driving to a place where no one knows me as mommy.

It is now the morning after the Ego tantrum. The beasties are with my mom. I will go to work and return to them tonight and I will be a good mother. I will settle into it, I always do. It just takes a few moments/hours. I look at those little beasts and my heart slowly melts with love, and gratitude. At first mothering will seem like a chore and all I will want to do is run away, but then there will be a sneaky smile from a beast. A sweet hug. A little giggle. I will wake up from my Ego induced trance and remember my name; mommy. I will mediate the fights,  clean up the messes, and remember to soak these beasts up. I will feel in my bones that they won't be young forever. Soon they will not want to curl up in my lap, kiss my lips, put their sweet little hand in mine.

That's the thing about beasties. They are sneaky strong. They take their little dirty fingers and wipe the cheap makeup off the Ego. They use kisses to tame the beast. They hold down that disillusioned tantrum throwing Mike Tyson Ego until he taps out and snorts laughing at their sweet tickles. They take the car keys and put them away until they're sure you won't run away to Mexico with a man named Giuseppe. Then they give the keys back and beg for you to take them for ice cream.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sometimes People Suck

Believe it or not, I like to believe the best about people. I have created a surprisingly sheltered life where almost all of the time I am treated with respect and I am surrounded by giving, kind people. Maybe that's why it always amazes me when people suck. It amazes me when I find someone I cannot give the benefit of the doubt and I just have to accept that person sucks.

Married men who hook up with single mamas are in that category for me. They suck. When I was first single a man came to view my house which was slowly sinking into the ground. The house was on the way to foreclosure but he thought he might save the day and buy it. This man and I flirted, we exchanged numbers, we started talking for hours on the phone. There was a timing issue with him. He could only talk certain times, he often called from work, not at night. After a few little warning bells I was forced to ask, "Are you married?" Oh, the excuses, the sad tales of marriage woes. The evil wife who kept this poor man locked in a tower. Sheesh, don't call me again jackass. I was outraged.

Recently Sassy Single Mama dated a man for a few months. He was great; smart, similar interests, funny, in the same field of work. She was excited about the possibilities. She invested herself, and that is a big deal for a single mama. With all of that good stuff though, she noticed this timing thing. He had very specific times he was available and then he would drop out of contact for days at a time. Hmmmm. She disentangled from him and started to let him go, until one day when she was a little bored. Boredom can create curiosity and you know what curiosity did to that damn cat. (I was going to make a pussy reference here that would have been hilarious, but then I felt it was too vulgar, so I'm moving on).

Boredom creates Googlemania and the Google search she did returned very interesting results. The man she dated, (who from now on will be referred to as Rat Bastard), had his own page.

A page with a picture of Rat Bastard and his wife, a bio on his children, and a call out to Christians who wanted to come to he and his wife's marriage counseling workshops. That mother fucker. That suffering Rat Bastard. And I do have to say suffering in regard to him because I know that someone who does that is rotting from the inside out, but they still suck.

That is the thing about people who suck, they take all that suckiness and they spew it on you. They leave you with a bag of suckiness to hold. Here is Sassy Single Mama holding a bag of suck. What to do with it? Write to the wife? Have a fire and water ceremony to cleanse her soul? People who suck deserve compassion for their suffering, but they cause outrage with their carelessness.

WWtDD? What would the Don do? I think the Don would turn the other cheek and accept that this was the way of men. But the Queenpin doesn't accept this. I know many wonderful men who do not cheat. Who far from suck. Single Sassy Mama and I laughed this morning imagining ourselves as a gangster mamas who go and teach the Rat Bastard a lesson, but to what avail? In my experience with people that suck they rarely change. A baseball bat wielding, fedora wearing Queenpin and her Sassy Mama friend would not change who he is, only give him a reason to illicit sympathy, and that would make this situation all the more disgusting.

In the end, when dealing with people that suck I find what works for me is to bitch, bitch, bitch about them, and then pray. Really. I know it sounds hokey, but somehow it changes how I feel about them and in the end that's the only thing I can change. I imagine a thousand blessings raining down from the heavens and covering that suffering soul. For a moment, I will feel peace. Then I imagine taking a large kitchen knife and shoving it in their eye socket, and then I feel satisfied and smug. It is my Buddhist/ Mob Mama compromise when dealing with people that suck. And it's much safer than dealing with rat poison.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Know the Sky Is Blue, Damn It

Well, it's finally happened. Someone emailed the wusband my blog. He texted me yesterday with details about picking up the kids and ended it with "PS....I never slept with anyone when we were together" I replied, "I don't believe you, but glad you're reading my blog". I am trying to grow my readership, any new hits on my site help. The wusband also told me that for months people had been coming up to him to tell him that I was writing a blog about him.

We proceeded to text back and forth and talk about something we had never talked about before, the fact that I always assumed he cheated. He denied it, and I began to feel soothed and trusting. Maybe my gut was wrong, maybe he didn't cheat. Maybe those 96 texts messages to his newly divorced client were totally innocent, maybe those pictures of that woman on our computer were just a mistake, maybe the fact that he consistently stayed out past one a.m. toward the end of our marriage was really him just hanging out with the guys. 

And this is the way it has always been with him and me. I want to believe the best about him, plus he is a charmer. I know the sky is blue, but after talking to him I see it as red. 

When we were married we would argue and I would know that my point was valid (You actually need to earn money to spend it, honey), and I would leave the situation totally spun around on my ass (Sure the bank account says negative $200.00 but we can go on vacation, sweetie. And yes, that sky is a lovely shade of red.). That's how I felt yesterday after our text-a-thon. It was going very well for him until he said, "I didn't meet (current girlfriend) until 9 months after you and I split." And then I cracked up laughing and replied, "That's funny, you told me about her 5 months after we split." and I thought, "You moved in with her a few weeks later". Ding-ding-ding my snake-o-meter went off the charts and the sky seemed bright blue. 

In the end the wusband and I ended our conversation with an agreement that it didn't matter what happened, because it's over. And that is the truth. What we have left between us is two beautiful beasties,  two great step-kids, and one adorable step grand baby, but any love has been lost, any intimacy has been beaten to dust. Any truths from our marriage were left on the steps of our old house. We both interpret our relationship from our own experience, and believe me, that is very different. My sky is large and blue and never ending. With silver lined clouds and angels flying interference. His is....well, I don't even know because our airspaces never meet. 

I do have a message to the people that have been telling the wusband that this blog is about him: This blog is about the Sassy Queenpin Mama, and that's me. If you're gonna feed someone's ego, please make sure it's the right one. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Echoes of my Marriage

I was married to the wusband for 7 years. We were together for two before that. I have two kids with him. Neither of us moved out of town after we separated. There will always be echoes of our marriage around. Last night I went to a great farm party. New friends mixed with old friends and the beasties had a blast. However, there are always echoes of my ex.

The first echo was a woman who I see often around town. She hopped out of the car, ready to have a great time, giggling in her cute outfit and sassy swagger. She and I, though we have known each other for years, completely ignored each other. This woman had never been particularly friendly to me, but soon before the wusband left she  became downright cold. A few months after the wusband left I saw her in a restaurant. I spoke to her aunt who I have known even longer than I have known her. The daughter totally ignored me and was really downright rude. I didn't understand it. I could not remember ever doing anything to her.

It was when I sat down to enjoy my ice cream with my kids and that all the hair on the back of my neck stood up, my whole body became cold, and I knew with certainty that that woman had slept with my husband. I have not had a moment of clarity like that ever before and I haven't had one since. Now, almost four years later, I see her around town every few months. We pretend we don't know each other. Sometimes I want to ask her, "When did you sleep with him?" But then I realize it doesn't matter. He's gone now and whether he slept around will not change the fact that our marriage is over and I am free. She will always be an echo of my marriage. A memory of what was my life.

The second echo at the farm party was a friend of mine who is a writer. She has been so great about supporting my writing and promoting Sassy Queenpin Mama. She loves to tell the story of The T-Shirt, and actually, when she tells it, it makes me laugh and reminds me that yes, sometimes, I am a badass. My wusband moved out 16 days before his birthday. He used to come back in the mornings and stay with the kids during the transition between me going to work and childcare starting. The wusband and I were cordial as I rushed around making breakfast and getting kids ready. On his birthday the wusband came in and it was business as usual. I just didn't give a shit that it was his birthday. At ages 1 and 4 my kids didn't even know what day it was. That night I received an angry phone call, "I can't believe you didn't even acknowledge my birthday. I can't believe you didn't have the kids do anything for me." After I came to from my rage blackout I began to make The T-Shirt. Out came old black t-shirt and silver sharpie.

The morning after his birthday my wusband came in and it was business as usual. I may have seemed a little chipper than usual as I got things done in the kitchen, I actually think I moved a little slower just to make sure the shirt was readable.  The wusband sat at the table watching, reading, fuming. We went through our normal routine and all the while I was sporting my newly made T-Shirt which read, "Fuck you, (insert wusband's name here)" on the front, and on the back it said, "Fuck you coward." I finished making breakfast, kissed my babies (neither who could read), and walk out the door to work. My only regret is that I didn't have a Bedazzler to give that shirt more pizzaz. As my friend retold the story at the farm party it was another echo of the wusband. Another reminder of how my life used to be.

The funny thing is even though the echoes of my wusband can be painful and embarrassing, I am the one who promotes the echoes the most. I promote them because I am currently building a business based on the pain caused by being left. I am currently building a persona based on my new life as single mama Queenpin. When I think of that, I think about how grateful I am that the wusband left and how grateful I am for the echoes. Though I will always be tied to that man, my life has become so much bigger without him, and because of him. I shout out my pain, my laughter, my embarrassments and they echo back giving me new perspective on who the Queenpin is today. The echoes land at my feet and I stand on them. Building my future based on what I have learned from the past.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tai Chi and Me: A Moving Meditation of Frustration

I hate tai chi, and by hate, I mean I would really like to kick it's slow moving supreme ultimate ass (that's what tai chi means supreme ultimate, sheesh). But since tai chi is a martial art, I know the Queenpin would go down quick so I perservere. And by perservere I mean have tantums and walk out of class. If you aren't sure what tai chi is just think old people, in the park, lined up in formation, moving slow.

Got it?

Let me explain this whole tai chi connection. I am entering my third year of acupuncture school and in acupuncture school tai chi is a course, a graded course, a course with exams where you have to perform your form infront of your class and teacher. When I'm in school we go two nights a week for a grueling hour and a half of torturous tai chi. Tai chi is one of the oldest form of martial arts. It heals the body and the mind. Saying I hate it is really disrespectful and childish. It's like saying I hate Mother Teresa because she asks me to be compassionate. However, tai chi brings out the worst in me.

I was looking up information on tai chi yesterday and came across this quote on Wikipedia:
An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use tai chi as a martial art. 

That really pissed me off, and made me laugh too. I sent it to my teacher, maybe he would excuse me from class for my uncomfortableness and unhealthiness. No such luck. He just laughed and said it was an excuse. Jeez, he never gives me a break. I'm lucky I don't have one of those cane toting traditional teachers or I would be black and blue from the beatings. My teacher is very patient with me, but doesn't let me quit. 

Can you believe I am talking about that slow moving martial art form? Go watch the video again. Does it look that hard? But it is hard for me. Really hard. Until I read the quote above I blamed it on the way that I feel about my body. She and I get in a fight sometimes. But when I read that quote about "unhealthy or uncomfortable" it really sat with me and made me look at my life. 

Tai Chi is meditative movement. It is about getting grounded and slowing down. It is about letting go and just being.  Can you imagine Don Corleone doing Tai Chi? Hmmmm maybe. He was a quiet and relflective, but how introspective was he? How deep into his soul could he dive when he was a murderer and a Kingpin? I used to meditate, I used to do yoga, but once I got out of the habit I have not been able to get back into either one. 

I am unhealthy. I don't stop to make myself healthy meals, I drink a pot of coffee of day, I smoke a pack of cigarrettes a day, I don't exercise. I think my difficulty with tai chi is my unhealthiness, tied to my uncomfortability with my body. This week after acupuncture school I left thinking I needed to get my shit together. Who wants to go to a smoking acupuncturist, shaking with caffeine overload, jiggling with underused muscles, struggling to take care of herself? 

In my class there are many people that offer help. They tell me that if I fight with tai chi, I will never win. It is about letting go, breathing deep, and being. So I make a joke, because I'm embarrassed by my difficulty and my awkwardness and I try again. Sink low, shift forward, breath...ugh, now what do I do? Shit I forgot. Stamp foot, grind teeth, walk out of class...Walk back in, breath deep, try to not explode into smoker's cough, sink low, shift forward, hands up...pause because I have no idea what I'm doing. Sigh. It's gonna be a long year of tai chi, and an even longer year of me trying to figure out how to take care of myself.