Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My (Non)Shrink

Therapist: "You still dress so cute."
Me: "Yeah, and I've gotten a little fatter."
Therapist: "Yeah, well. That happens.

Um, huh. Yeah, that's not very therapeutic.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Is it Because of My Potty Mouth?

Me: How do I say that I'm not attracted to guys old enough to be my dad, or overweight, or bearded, or guys who hunt or are general rednecks who only drink beer without sounding like a total bitch?

B: Say you're looking for "refined."

Me. Oh, good idea.

J: No, you can't do that. Refined wouldn't be attracted to you. I mean, come on.

This is why I'm still single.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


D had her senior photos done today. I tagged along for a bit. Not even 20 minutes in I decided that I couldn't handle it.

To the photographer: "Can you get just a couple of her with her nose scrunched up? Just one or two? She made that face all the time as a baby."

"Good grief, this is just like the setting of her one-year pictures. Outdoors. Denim dress. Her feet were just cuter then. Fatter. Adorable."

This is senior year. There are times I really want to kill her. Already. School only started in September. October is only half over. I think I could really strangle her.

And then, there she is. In that perfect pose, like a natural. That smile; it's always ready. Whenever I ask, as long as there's a camera in front of my own face.

This child. The one I love oh-so-much. The one that has grown before my eyes. It's a jumble of memories. The moments so full of pride that my heart could burst, the times I feel I have failed in every possible way. Strangely wrapped up in these images being captured on a beautiful fall afternoon. With that beautiful smile.

I am proud. Because she's beautiful and her own person. I'm desperately sad because my moment of influence is nearly over. We are so close to that finish line. I continue to cheer her on, pick her up when she falls, and bite my nails over those final moments.

What's the lyric? A picture paints a thousand words? It's a million more for a parent.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God and Gays and My Kid

"They" say that there comes a time when you have to let your child go and trust that you have instilled in them the proper values and ways in which to view the world. But "they" don't live with my kid and they haven't watched the Really Dumb Teenager things she has done lately. For these Dumb Reasons, I haven't been ready to let go.

D started attending church a few months ago. At first it was sort of an interesting rebellion. I think I took her to church once in her life and I believe the bible is just a very old book with some nice stories. Also some not-nice stories. She didn't choose drugs or drinking or raccoon-rings of black eye-liner. She chose Jesus. I told myself it could be worse.

And then it got a little weird. She got a little judgey and wanted to know why I wouldn't go. She begged me to attend services with her. I acquiesced only when she got baptized because it was a Really Big Deal to her. (Unlike the fancy stepped tubs I was used to seeing as a child, they used a horse trough. Huh.) Surprisingly, my non-believing self did not spontaneously combust. Maybe Jesus forgives you when you're supporting your only child for his sake.

All along I tried to temper her fervency for the holy spirit with healthy doses of reality. She denied my claims of religious hypocrisy, holding fast to her belief that these were Good People who only had her best interests at heart. Unlike her mother who went through 52 hours of labor? Huh. Again. I finally just asked her to promise that she would think about what she was told, rather than just blindly accepting whatever was spouted in her general direction. I wanted to impress upon her that she could still decide for herself what is right for her because the world just isn't black and white, as much as one might wish that it were.

She came home after her most recent youth group complaining that the members there were anti-gay and she doesn't believe it's right. She opened up a bit more a couple of days later saying that the adult male in the group gushed about how "amazing" sex with his wife is while the other adults nodded and murmured "amen." "Don't you think it's really inappropriate to tell teenagers how great sex is? Isn't that irresponsible?" I've loved her more in other moments, but as soon as she said that, I was pretty damn proud of her.

She missed church this Sunday, partly because she was really sick, but partly because she wants to make the move to a different church. She wants to "love God" while being able to accept and be accepted. She decided she can no longer be a part of or support an organization that goes against her beliefs. Or the rights of hundreds upon thousands of people across the world, if we want to get down to the real issue.

I may be able to let go just the tiniest little bit. She does get it. She's showing real maturity. In this case. I'm not going to go all crazy and just throw her out into the world, but I might let her cross the street by herself. She's earned that much.

Because I love her and am proud of her and want to support her for standing up for what is Right, I have offered to help her find another place of worship by attending with her. If you're worried about me converting as a new fanatic, don't. I suppose I will be thrown out sooner rather than later. I have this mouth, you see. It doesn't come with a filter.

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