Friday, October 30, 2009

I was born is a small town....

Yup, I live in a small town. I was born in another small town. In between I have lived in several larger towns and a few more small towns. After sharing a fair amount of years on this earth sharing stories with family, friends, lovers, customers and co-workers, I feel vaguely qualified to write about the subject. This blog is my attempt to do exactly that. To chronicle the daily adventures and tales from the buckle of the bible belt. Maybe the only person that will ever read this is me. Or maybe one day it will be chronicle of my life for my children. Maybe my friends will read this and wonder what I've been smoking. But for now I'm typing...and remembering...and occasionally cringing.

I'm currently compiling a list of things that I never thought I would haved to say out loud. Here's what I have so far.

Do not lick the seatbelt.
You cannot go to Sunday School with purple teeth.
You may not wear two bras at once.
Please do not bring your sister to work with you simply because she is lonely.
No, you cannot marry the neighbor boy until after he has had his nap.
I have to leave work early becuase my child has a Tic-Tac stuck in her nose.
Do you need help putting ice on your llama?
Please don't encourage my child to cuss at the rooster.
You are not allowed to push the cash register down the street in a shopping cart at 3:00am.
No, I'm not pregnant. I left my uterus at the hospital.
You cannot rent panties.

On a related note, the single best red-neck sentence I have ever heard: (said to me after I had passed a friend in his car earlier in the day)

If'n I'da knowed it was you, I'duv retched out and wove.

So, imaginary readers, what's your best? Or the thing you never thought you'd say?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

They served wine at the Last Supper, right?

I work at the liquor store. Stores actually. I manage a small chain of liquor stores that are owned by members of my family. It is a good job and I enjoy it 95% of the time. But oh, that 5% can make you want to drain a shelf or two.

On the surface it seems like it would be a fun job. Bag a little beer, push a little wine, recommend a quality scotch. The reality doesn’t go down quite so smoothly. In this state it is illegal to sell alcohol between 3:00 am and 7:00am. So naturally we have a store that opens at 7:00. And every morning there will be customers standing outside at 7:00. In the morning. Before sun-up. Yikes.

Now a few of these souls will be night-shift workers looking to relax at their version of 5 o’clock happy hour. I get that. But others, trembling, shuffling, twitchy others will be looking for something to make the bad go away. My heart goes out to them and their struggle.

The next few hours will be filled with the unemployed, the retirees, the wives shopping for the weekend, the construction guys rained out for the day. They are familiar faces and some have become friends. I moved to this small town for this job after my divorce. I was the stranger that was in charge of their beer. It took awhile but I earned their trust and learned their favorite jokes.

It’s been over three years now, and a few times I have been confronted by outraged people for my career choice. I’ve been accused of poisoning the community, and instigating the downfall of others. One woman publicly accused me of being the reason her uncle died, despite the fact that I have never poured a drink down another person’s throat. (The exception would be that one time in college when we invented a drinking game that involved shot glasses and nudity, but that’s a whole different story. And I was drunk. And possibly nude. And no persons or animals were harmed in the playing of that game.)

I see my regulars at Wal-Mart, the gas station, sitting on the bleachers at the local middle school basketball game. Rarely am I greeted in these situations. Why? Because no one wants to admit that they are in the liquor store often enough that the employees know them or their lives. They won’t admit to their friends or their preacher that I know the names of their kids, that their boss is on vacation or that their wife just had her bunions removed. I get it. I hate it, but I get it.

To the few that greet me warmly and ask about my family, thank you. To the self righteous soccer moms that sneer through the windows of their SUVs as I pick my kids up from practice wearing a shirt with a beer logo on the front – fuck you, Barbie.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All the boys think she's a spy...

My firstborn. The big girl. The first to call me mama. If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know that I refer to this child as Bette since we are quite sure that she is Bette Davis re-incarnated. She was a perfect infant, what with the sleeping through the night and what-not. She cooed and cuddled like she was auditioning for a Gerber commercial.

In the time between 9 months and 5 minutes ago, her manager decided she should work on some method acting and choose the drama and horror genres. My sweet baby morphed into Bette Davis. Think “What Ever happened to Baby Jane” dramatics in a onesie. Or bad Shakespearian community acting. To the unknowing public, she was the epitome of innocent cuteness.

See this?

And this.

Those pictures are full of smooshy goodness and sweet enough to slap between two pieces of white bread and gobble up. Don’t let that face fool you. It quickly turns to this without provocation.

This face is accompanied with wailing, flailing, and lamenting.

This is actually quite entertaining. Until it’s not. My Bette has always worn her heart on her sleeve and spoke her mind regardless of the situation. I admire this about my child. It really makes me quite proud. She will never cower to adversity. She will never let someone infringe upon her rights. She will stand up for what she believes. She will drive me and others nuts. Good for her.

(Note to the first-born…if you ever read this, I love you more than words can say. Now please be quiet.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So there I was...10,000 feet and no parachute

Some know. Some don’t. I generally don’t run around screaming that I have been diagnosed with clinical depression. (Although, it would explain a lot of things in some people’s minds.) Many don’t understand, others do not want to know. Of those who know and are aware that I have taken prescribed medication for this, they do not understand that the pill doesn’t cure anything. It simply makes it more manageable.

With that said, I am one of the millions of Americans suffering from another complication – no insurance. Now, I work at a job I love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Love my bosses, and care about 82.5% of the employees that work under me. My schedule allows me to be with the people that I love when they are out of school and off-work (most of the time). But, it’s a small business folks. The insurance companies make it tough for small businesses to afford health care.

As a result, I’m going it alone, without professional medical attention or a parachute. Light therapy, aromatherapy, bourbon-therapy….tried them all. Add in some skin issues and a large dose of life and Mama needs a new approach. But I'm still looking and trying what I know helps.

This time of year is particularly hard for those suffering from depression. If you know someone that is tunneling through this darkness, please repress the urge to “fix” or “help” them. Unless they are new to this completely un-fun game, they are aware of the triggers, symptoms, the side-effects. If you tell them to “snap out of it” or “look at the bright side” then you are setting yourself up to get a big ol’ helping of snapped up-side your head. Depression masks the bright side.

After years of fighting the good fight, I can now enter one of these phases and still catch glimpses of the other side. I know what works for me (medication or lack-there-of aside) and what doesn’t. It all takes time. So lend your ears and your patience to someone you know that is struggling. They will appreciate it as soon as they are able.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm a deer widow, ya'll

Now while I realize that those of you who are not afflicted with living in certain tracking, hunting and fishing meccas may not realize what this means, rest assured that I feel completely qualified in filling you in on the nuances of what it means to live with a hunter. No need to thank me, it's a public service, really.

Everything has a season. White shoes, new cars, football, and in this part of the country and many others…camouflage. The sheer volume of camouflage items in my house is overwhelming. It's a wonder I can even find the damned things, what with them being camoflage and all. But then again, why would I want to?

The man hunts deer. Now before you send PETA to string me up by my fake nails and throw Halloween blood at me, let me assure you that the deer population in this state is high enough that several are dying of a wasting disease that is caused by this over-population. With few natural predators (not counting SUV’s and night shift workers driving home) the deer in this area are bountiful to the point of self-destruction.

With that being said, one would think that it would be easy to take down one of these elusive creatures. Without much hoopla and such. Nay, nay.

Did you know that they make soap that smells like dirt? Body soap, shampoo, laundry detergent and dryer sheets. And they are all in my house. Now why pray tell would we pay good money for such items when there are cute shoes just begging to be bought? So the deer can’t smell the Great White Hunter lurking in the forest. Honest Injun, the man showers and clothes himself in “Fresh Earth”. In his attempt to enter the woods not reeking of cigarettes, Axe® and buffalo wings, he showers with dirt. Color me flabbergasted. It’s a good thing he’s cute. (I’m just saying.)

After emerging from the bathroom smelling like a freshly tilled garden, the packing begins. Oh my, the packing. Folks, I have run away from home with less stuff than this man takes for a day of hunting. After donning many layers of camouflage clothing, packing his camouflage bag with his camouflage equipment, and grabbing his camouflage bow and arrows, he will proceed outdoors to load all of this onto his camouflage four-wheeler. I’m sensing a pattern here.

All of this will continue every weekend until mid-January. There is bow season, gun season, muzzleloader season, throw a bowling ball at them season and probably others that I have no interest in. It’s a long haul folks, for a deer widow. Feel free to stop by with your condolences. And a casserole.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, coming now to the stage...

After much editing, here's my first post. In order to start at the beginning, I will take the time to describe myself and my life. The Reader's Digest version of a backstory, if you will.

Childhood – not typical and not always good, but no Lifetime movie tragedy. Sure, my family not only has skeletons in the closet, but is often prone to dragging them out and dancing around the living room with them. There’s the typical American version of success, failure, alcoholism, and drama. There was the struggling 60’s, the cautiously optomistic 70’s, the 80’s of excess and the reality check of the 90’s. And that was just my childhood. Adulthood has just been an extension of all of the previous ages, with more technology.

Family: Bette and Blondie – the teenagers (I know, don’t you feel sorry for me now? I’ll take the Pinot Grigio.) And The Man. You know…the one I’m living with. As in NOT MARRIED. Shameless hussy that I am. Divorced a few years back from the Hilljack currently referred to as Milkdud. Not because he’s full of sweet chocolate-y goodness and caramel, but because his head is shaped like one.

Occupation: Failing household enginneer. Needs put out to pasture. Or a disability check. Also works as a General Manager over a chain of liquor stores. Finds this extremely convenient.
Religion: Yes. On my terms. Which may or may not defeat the purpose of religion.

Friends: I am fortunate. I have old friends, recent friends, family that I would count as friends even if we weren’t related. I live with a man that I love that is also one of the best friends that a person could hope to have. I have far-away friends that I can count on for great catching-up stories and tales of what life is like way over there. I have near by friends that will bring you a pack of smokes when you can’t get out of the house. I am friend wealthy.

Love: Yup, got that too. The man and I have a all-around, everyday love. The kind that you can always be sure that it’s around. The kind that will surround and encompass the bad and smother it away. The kind that still makes my heart flutter just a little every day. Sappy, gushy, schmoopy kind of love. My favorite.

So, that's me in a nutshell. If anyone from the Nennernet stumbles upon this , welcome. Have a seat and let me pour you a drink. We're both gonna need it.