Attacked by Foot Soldiers

Watching the video of the motorcycle “gang” for lack of a better word, not only makes me question humanity for the umpteenth time, it brings me way back. Like 20 years ago – even though like most else it seems like yesterday.

I need not think what I might do if a large group intimidated me or my family. I’d plow through the crowd and think about the consequences later. At a therapist years ago (not physical, a shrink. And there is no shame in going for help. Got it?) – where was I? Oh right, the good doctor who told me I had a survivor mentality. I will take care of myself no matter what. Product of deadbeat dad? Perhaps. But if you get in the way of me living my life I will turn into one of those undersea creatures that blend into a coral reef, and pounce on you with venomous precision. And this is what happened way back when.

Brooklyn College, 1995. After being thrown out of SUNY Oneonta for not doing the work. The campus was leafy green and an oasis from the blight just around the corner.

Literally around the corner.

Where I parallel parked my mother’s Plymouth Sundance coupe in a tight space. I walked vigilantly, with my car key between index and middle finger, ready to stab at will. When I arrived at the car, there were 5-6 teenaged boys on the sidewalk talking. Backwards hats, pants low enough to see their drawers, I wasn’t afraid. I’d lived with diversity in Coney Island and was a product of a Jewish ghetto of sorts. I gave them a head bow, that silent hello, and got in the car.

Something didn’t feel right.

I manually locked the door. And backed up, slightly touching the bumper on the car behind me.

The “kids” began to surround the car and yell obscenities at me. That I’d ruined the car. But it wasn’t any of their cars. Banging on my window, jumping on the hood, I did what I had to do.

I put the car in reverse, banging up the car a bit more. Then in drive. And I quickly weaseled out of the very tight spot, praying I would not hurt anyone. But even if I did…I had to survive.

As I got out of the spot, one of them threw a can of soda, splashing the back window. I couldn’t see and I never looked back.

Until now.

I don’t know what happened on the West Side Highway. But I know what happened on a side street outside a haven of green and books and sororities and science.

I survived.

Hitting the Bottle…Again.

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I’m not gonna lie: maybe it’s being on the edge of 40 glory, or my son’s kindergarten anxiety, or my husband’s total hatred of autumn’s undeniably magnificent splendor…

But I have more grey hair than usual.

Coupled with the sun’s dastardly effect on my dull, well-watered strands (seriously, why the F did I buy a house with its own gigantic water jugs in basement), I am looking wretched.

I have either mismanaged my time, lost track of it or taken on too much. I’m typing this with one hand and eating Panera Mac and cheese with the other.

So instead of going to the salon, since there’s no time for that – I’ve hit the bottle again.

For a year I massacred my own bathroom with spewed hair color hitting walls and sink. Cheap? Yes. Effective?

“Why is your hair 3 colors?”

What, no good?

Here’s the top of my head today:

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It didn’t come out too bad. The grey is nearly gone.

But I don’t think I got to the “root” of the problem.

And now it’s time to go. What else is new.

Manic Momday

I wish it were a Sunday.

Cause that’s my fun day.

Or something like that.

Mondays means business. My son wakes knowing fully well that the weekend is over, as daddy has already left for work by the time his weary eyes open.

This is usually the day to “get shit done.” Supermarket, target, bills, bank, dry cleaner, prescriptions…

But not today.

For today I embarked on my first ever class trip. As a parent.

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve my mother going on field trips, and I wasn’t going to let this first in my child’s life just whizz by.

There’s also a trip to Washington I took in 5th grade that my uncle Martin chaperoned, but dear God that’s it’s own story.

So off I went to an apple orchard today. Before my son even exited school he was so excited I was there walked straight into a metal pole and got a black eye.

“I want to go home!”

Oh no you don’t. Unless blood is pooling into your cranium we are getting on this bus and we – I – am going.

Nurse gives the ok. Sorry kid.

With ice pack pressed firmly on face, we drive 30 minutes to pick 10 apples.

I tried to be the fun mom. A cry of “I’m bored” and I made the kids do jumping jacks.

For the kid allergic to apples, he was the manager of Apple picking.

After an hour of fall fun, back we went.

And the inevitable tears of my son, leaving him at school for the rest of the day.

But I had to go.

The cable guy was coming.

The dog didn’t poop that morning.

There were bills I needed to dispute.

This is Monday.

What I Do All Day

Tis the season for all that harvesty fall crap we love in the northeast: cable knit sweaters (not wearing), knee-high boots (not wearing), and pumpkin overload (gourd and bacon flavored dog chews? check.)

The seasons have changed over five times since the birth of my son. I have had five autumns to think about that next phase of life. And the question that I knew would be asked – over and over.

“Is kindergarten all day where you live?”

Answer: YES.

Proceed to question two.

“Now that your son is in Kindergarten all day, what do you plan on doing?”

I thought for sure the answer would be “duh, copywriting.”

But I’m not. I’m sitting here, right now, writing this “thing” in my jammies drinking a pumpkin spice coffee brewed in my Keurig. Oh God, the clichés.

I can’t go back to work. I just…can’t. At least not full time. Ill continue to take on projects that may or may not be soul destroying as long as they pay $50+ an hour. Write insert for Franklin Mint Doll of the Month club? She’s a real beauty this month. 100% Porcelain face with delicate blue eyes and proudly wearing her country’s dirndl.

My son is sensitive. Like, for realz. Cries over sad songs, pictures of himself as a baby, ascribes meaning to things that don’t deserve meaning “that paper bag with a yellow crayon line had memories and you threw it away?” Uh, yeah.

I have the “guilt.” I guess it’s like the vapors. Or the condition. I don’t want to hurt his feelings anymore than they are already hurt. But then I resent. Oh, you vicious cycle. You “condition!”

But then I think about all I do DO. And I don’t see how I’d have the time for a full day of work. And to every mom who does it including my own who did it without a baby daddy around: I salute you. But don’t think I’m watching The View everyday, fitting in gym time and mah Jong (oh, chef don’t judge.)

Here’s what YOU may think I do all day. (All day being 8:52-2:45 in case of confusion.)

YOU are either:

Husband
Yuppie
DINK
WOHM
Shoe salesman at Nordstrom
Barista
Landscaper
Fed-ex guy that requires a signature for a package and sees I’m home to add my scribe to your screen.

All have looked upon me with disdain. Although if you ask número uno on this list, hell say its my insecurity that leads me to believe I’m looked down upon.

This is HIGHLY likely as I am slightly paranoid.

Here’s my day according to aforementioned list.

Take to school bus.
Come home.
Pick up from bus.
Drive to activity.
Good night.

Ta da!

Unfortunately, I can’t write anymore and say what I do all day. Because somewhere between “take to school bus” and “come home” is a life of endless errands and demands and I’ve already “wasted” 30 minutes writing this thing that I’m sure my mother will read and maybe a spammer who found this blog and wants to sell me low-cost Cialis.

Whether you work full time or not, carve out time in your day for YOU. To write, to reflect, to drink in fall’s pleasures – even if it’s from a K cup bought at the A&P.

Til tomorrow. Back to work.