Wednesday, November 23, 2016

You have to PROCESS before you heal





Okay, so I have been wanting to post for a long time about the election and whatnot, but NOW I have just posted on every social media I know a rather political statement, even though I am not in the least bit committed to either of the previous candidates.

I got a bunch of LIKES, boo.  It's AAIIGHT.



B made me take it down on Facebook because he has "clients" and the like.  He said I could do INSTA and TWITTER, so I did.  That's a lie.  I just UNTAGGED him for like 6 hours, and then deleted.  RUUUSPECT!  To the middle class, y'all.  Am I RIGHT?

My friend, we'll just call her, Jen, and I were going over the election last week and we send each other GIF's and twitter memes all the time and shit and she sent me one that was as follows:

I can't wait to see the finale of America

Isn't that TRUE?  Our fucking president became FAMOUS by hosting a reality show.  He is an amazing businessman, I mean, that's what EVARAYBODY says.  But, ultimately we have now become a bonafide product of our fucked up society.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not mad about Trump and I do not stand with Hillary.  I'm NOT with her.  You know why?  Because I don't RELATE to her. But I sure as hell am not with HIM either.

My only hope is that Donald Trump realized a long time ago that the Kanye West promotion plan was the one that would elect him president and that underneath it all he has a "publicity side" and a practical side.  We will just have to see, I guess.  My glass is half full.  You have to go forward with what you have, and what you have been given, or you will drown.  

Okay, let's review.  Here are the things that peaked my interest during the election, especially right down to the end.  And so bare with me here because what I focus on, and what the media and most other people concentrate on, are entirely different.  I basically view the World through a SNL filter, and am constantly scripting skits I want them to do on the following week's episode.  My focal points were as follows:

The people in California and the celebrities that represent them have NO IDEA what is going on in the rest of the country.  

They may TOUR, or have Twitter followers from other states, but in general, and I just LOVES to generalize, they REALLY have NO IDEA that the REST of the country are all thinking, feeling human beings with various circumstances, opportunities and hardships that may affect our views on politics and human nature.

I mean, I would be MESMERIZED by incessant Instagram Posts and Netflix shows (Chelsea) that just made the ASSUMPTION that America was going to elect Hillary.

They underestimated the amount of rednecks that would crush their Budlight tallboy, throw it into the fire with the ball of asbestos they just found, to you know, "boost the engine" and peel out in their American made pick up with a mess of their friends and VOTE GAWDDDAMMMIT!

I can say this.  I was raised in Kentucky.  I just KNEW, like all of us rednecks know, that there was a shift in the air, and that Trump was gonna pull this off. Only,  I feel like I was just dropped into the middle of Ricky Bobby's dinner, only THIS IS REALITY, y"all!  





But, it was not just THIS group that came out in droves.  It is the silent Trump voter (many of them close friends and family) that also helped Trump surge in the election.  Thoughtful, FEELING human beings that I respect and value their opinions, that voted for Trump.  They just will never admit it in a public forum.  

They just whisper and nudge each other, trying to feel each other out at parties and games, and then they are either rebuked and slink away or they are bonded to those people, well, at least for the next four years.  I've seen it happen time after time, with my OWN friends even.  Silent Trump voters hated Hillary so much and were so sick of her bullshit that they were willing to roll the dice and see what happens.  Two terms of Obama have just sucked the life out of them and they are looking for a good time.  

It's kind of like the parties you have after finals week, where you made bad decision after bad decision, but you don't care because you are ready for a change and everyone else is doing it.  You are about to break up for the summer and everyone will forget how wasted you were the night before you went home from college.  

What I am saying is that the Silent Trumpers' reasoning was not that Trump was the OBVIOUS choice, he was the ONLY choice in their minds.  And I get that.  I do. She is a career criminal, like all politicians are, and that is why we elected Trump.  We are sick of the status quo.  We want to shake things up!  We are intrigued.  We want to be entertained.  And we are gamblers.

This is who we are.

I feel bad for Hillary, I do, because she's dedicated her life to becoming President and politics and public service and she is DONE. I would say for GOOD, this time.

Just don't forget that she has been in the public eye for a reason.  She has been not only in politics, but in Government, her entire adult life.  

I keep waiting for my kids to learn in school about Bill Clinton and the impeachment and the red dress and the cigar and Kenneth Starr.

That is when everything turned in America and paved the way for a voice over of Trump, our President Elect, to profess to a very nerdy, desperate Billy Bush, that he liked to "grab that pussy".

The cigar in the oval office paved the way for the media to report the bus conversation, in regard to politics. 

My point is that the media is to blame for how disgusting and nasty everything has become.  The media is the reason why we KNOW about Monica's dress and Trump's pussy comment, because they CHOSE to report it as NEWS.  And if they were doing it to inform everyone about the nature of a candidate's integrity, then I understand. But was it really that?  Or was it sensationalism.  Sex sells.  

It's no longer, if it BLEEDS, it leads.  It is a matter of if it tantalizes, it boosts ratings. Kennedy was a womanizer.  Our beloved Reagan had Alzeimers his last term.  These are FACTS.  But, they are immortalized and heralded.  

You wanna know why?  Because of their policies.  That is why.  

Sooooo, at this point, moving forward, how does America keep it KLASSY?

Any ideas?

I'm at a loss.


That reminds me.  Sully is a great movie.


Oh, WAIT, we have Melania, who is a dead ringer for Svetlana on Shameless.  (And if you don't watch it, you should.  It's on Netflix for Gawd's sake.  No excuses.)  


She, and her character are amazing.  I follow her on INSTA, natch.


Ol' gurl gonna GLAM that White House UP!  Apparently, Cyberbullying is her platform.  She is the silver lining on this whole thing. 


So funny.  I have a picture similar to that with each of my babies.  I just couldn't WAIT to put my heels back on.  I used to breastfeed in heels, with EACH one of them, I assure you.


I might just dedicate an entire four years of blogging about Svetlana, I mean, Melania.  Can you imagine Michelle Obama's garden next Spring?  Svetlana ain't gonna plow.  I hope she excavates it and creates a pond for exotic fish for her weirdo Droid-like son who wears monochromatic suits.  That's mean.  It's not HIS fault.  He wasn't BORN into this life.  Oh, yes he was.

AIIGHT.  She didn't choose this life.  She just thought the Don was a meal ticket out of Slovenia, not the President of the United States, Ruler of the Free World.  She just wanted jets and gold and clothes and a warm bath.

Now, Miss Slovenia will be hosting State Dinners and decorating the White House.  It's ON.  She no speaka da Engleeeas.


She's fat.


Here's ANOTHER point of interest, what about Alec Baldwin?  He was Trump on SNL for the last, like eight weeks.  He HAS to continue.  WE NEED IT.

Oh, Oh, here's another thing...Trump has had THREE baby mommas!  Remember when you could assassinate someone's political character because they weren't married or were getting a divorce?  Hilarious.  For some reason Trump is exempt from all of that scrutiny that his supporters and voters (they are two separate groups, see above) have previously subjected all other candidates in history to. 

Remember Howard Dean's red faced rebel yell that had him lose the election?


Remember Palin and how uninformed she was?  She would've been LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD, y'all, if something happened to Cain. 






What about Cain and his creepy Hersheys Syrup or catsup airess wife or whatever who seemed to me had not had a real conversation with each other in a decade, let alone a real marriage.  

Wait, I'm not done. Mitt Romney basically lost the last election because he was caught on video telling rich voters that the rest of the country isn't like THEM - the THEM being the rich and powerful.  Well, the rednecks HEARD that loud and clear and now the new THEM is the Trump supporter.  





CHANGE.  This is what Obama promised.  And this is what TRUMP promised.  And we crave it.  Everyone does.  It is the American way.  We get bored and tired and we need to change it up, beeaches.  

It's just the Redneck's turn.  Truly.  They have fist pumped their way to the White House and they are enjoying their moment.  Let them.  They are fucking OPRESSED, y'all.  And they have a voice, a voice that demands attention...and it did.  


Baldwin has put a few things up on his Twitter about moving forward and shit.  I'm pretty sure New York City didn't have a clue about the unrest in this country, either.

At any rate, whether you were Pro Hillary, Anti-Hillary, Anti-Trump or Gawd forbid Pro-Trump, we are at an impasse.

We just have to adjust.  Daddy and Momma are splittin' up and Daddy got a new FIIINNNEEE FIANCE and they moving' into a NEW HOUSE, y'all.

I have heard from people that I respect that the Trump you see on TV and the private Trump are two different people.  Pence is one of those who professes this, for whom I have tremendous respect.  JK.

I don't know.  I am in AWE of Joan Rivers and she and the DON were TIGHT, right?  She won one of his seasons.  

My advice today is to learn to PROCESS, before you heal.  No matter WHO you are, but I guess if I am being honest, I mean hard core LIBERALS and hard core HILLARY supporters.

Obama shook EVARAYTHANG up, and the country is not ready for a woman president.  Not her, anyway.  If that were the case, then she would have WON because we women would have come out in DROVES to support her.  We currently represent FIFTY-FIVE percent of the total vote in this piece.  

She wasn't RIGHT.  Obama WAS right for the black vote.  It was the perfect match of intelligence and behavior.  And he was a STELLAR representation of what KLASS looks like in the White House, no matter how you slice it.  

Oh well...let's just hope for the best.  We're 'Merica y'all!






Monday, August 29, 2016

The Night of...and Feeling Uncomfortable

He is such a BABE.  Big, BIG career after this.  Amazing performance.


I've recently just diagnosed myself with GSAD.  Otherwise known as Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder.

I'm not sure if this is specific to myself, but I would be willing to bet, that it's not just me.  Again, you are WELCOME.

I am going to divulge something that you all feel at one time or another, but you can secretly read this and relate in the privacy of your own bathroom.

Anyway, with GSAD, there are definitely TRIGGERS.  Situations, people, some say outfits...whatever, PRIOR EXPERIENCES shape your consciousness and then BOOM, something is THRUST upon you and you just DEAL the best way you know how.  MYYYYY coping mechanism is inappropriate ANYTHING.  You name it, from  giggling to falling asleep... there are a plethora of reactions that I am not proud of when coping with GSAD.

Look, I am FINE, when I am with my people, but when I am subjected to being in a crowd of people I don't know very well, and don't know me-I have a hard time.

I tell my girls all the time that the most attractive thing about someone is confidence.  If you can achieve that, then you are golden.  But then again, if you have an insecurity, come sit by me, because I will instantly make you feel better.



How do you instill that?  Better yet, how do you achieve that?  Is anyone familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy?  If you studied Psychology, you do.  You see, basically he invented a PYRAMID in which you try and "climb the ladder" to self-actualization in order to be the best version of yourself.  The problem with all of this is that it is a universal model and we are all so different, aren't we?  Or are we?


When you live in a suburb, it feels like EVARYONE has the same set of circumstances, No?  But, we don't.  We couldn't possibly.

I still want EXPERIENCES, don't you?  Or do you?

HBO has a new series that makes me uncomfortable.  It is called "The Night Of".  I have actually read articles about it, it is so powerful.  It is a social commentary, at the very least, and at it's best, it is a work of art.

I know what you are thinking.  Seriously?  I have Netflix to get back to.  But, this is different.  And disappointing.  And UNCOMFORTABLE.

Now, look, I feel like a get a free pass, here, because I was a social worker in Denver for a year.  This was the TRENCHES, yo. My clients were literally the people that hold signs up on the exits of inner city belts.  I know this because they TOLD me that if they stood on the corners of inner belt exits to neighborhoods they could make the most money - more than I made, they would laugh.  They were mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, and grandparents, and children. None of which, and consequently, ALL of which, has influenced the way at which I view EVERYTHING and NOTHING.

I was there when the penal and justice system were at it's BEST, and also when it was at it's WORST.

It's just a great experience to have, though, because it gives you perspective.  Being a server at four Mexican restaurants impacted me about the same, I'll be honest, but I digress.

I quit when a sixteen-year-old heroin addict inadvertently killed herself.  That was the end.  I could take no more.  The telephone call with her father following the funeral was too much for me to bear.

I didn't go to the funeral.  I found out after the fact.  She had gone off of my radar and my caseload was immense.

They had struggled with her for years.  She was what they call a "Dual Diagnosis" which means that she self-medicated because she struggled with mental illness.

When I met her at intake, she was in the Psych Ward at a local hospital because she had tried to commit suicide with a pair of dull scissors.

She didn't stand a chance.

But what if this was YOUR child? Hallie is about to turn 15 next month.

Her father was remarried and a surgeon.  They had had subsequent children.  She was unsafe, volatile.

It seems a world away now.  But, I bet it isn't for him.

She made him and his family UNCOMFORTABLE.  And so was I.  You never knew what she was going to do.

Given this social psychology experiment in my mid-twenties,  it gave me great empathy with a healthy dose of skepticism.  Almost ALL of my clients were on the take, but then there would be that ONE or TWO that made your job worth it. I am not judging the ones on the take.  It was learned.  And they were SURVIVING.

While I was a social worker, my boss's teenage daughter was in a car accident with some friends in the mountains when she thought her daughter was staying at a friend's house.  In her defense, not that she needs one, she had just been fired because apparently she was "inappropriate  at the office."  (We were social workers.  No less than 10 inappropriate things happened or were said on my watch.)  She was also a recovering addict - 15 years sober - and was probably "looking the other way" during her termination when her daughter asked to stay the night at a friend's house.

I'll never forget HER former boss expressing concern about her sobriety during calling hours.  She'd just "been through so much" the asshole lamented.  She looks "medicated".  This coming from a woman with zero children and zero addiction experience, with the exception of text books and seminars.

When I think back upon it all, it makes me sick.  But it also makes me STRONG.

Because that is what adverse experiences do to you.  They make you stronger.

That is, if you choose to internalize them.  And if you don't, then I can't relate.

So, if you have the chance to watch "The Night Of" on HBO.  Do it.  It will make you uncomfortable.  And not in the way that Parent Night does at the middle school, where I can't figure out if I should do a clasping wave or a prom queen wave in the hall to the other parents, but in a way that life can turn on a dime, and people change, and adapt, no matter what their upbringing or specific set of life skills.

It is a WhoDunIt with a message, so don't miss it.  You just never know when life will take a turn and the repercussions reverberate outward, and then each person with their own special set of circumstances are then affected, and it is up to them how they will cope.

This set of coping mechanisms defines us, and thus, creates a trajectory upon which we internalize and then project our feelings about a specific situation.

To dumb it down, and it is what I am always telling my children when they approach me with some bullshit (again, THREE GURLS, here), I ask them to consider the source and where the person is coming from.

We are all very complicated beings.  With all of the hoopla and the posturing that goes on society today, it is difficult to discern what is real.

"The Night Of" is not only an exploration of the judicial system, but an exploration of Mankind, and how we are so quick to label people based on the situation they are in.  There is a big bad World out there that is absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. I would rather explore it and examine it for all of it's horrors and ecstasy.

Looking back, I wish I had been a better social worker, better equipped to deal with what was thrown my way, but at the same time, I am so grateful for the experience.  Not a "through the looking glass" type of experience, but a REAL one, where I got to have a real understanding of people and what makes them tick.

No matter how different we all are, we are the sum of our experiences.  You may embrace them or reject them.  That is your choice.  It basically is about what you are willing to let in, and what you need to protect yourself from.  Everyone's thresholds are different. And that doesn't make anyone better or worse for the battle.

I try not to throw stones when I live in a glass house, and I prefer that you do the same.  That is, if you are being honest with yourself.

Insert MIC DROP here.

Coincidentally, posthumous, Gandolfini produced the series.  I hope
Turturro isn't up against Nas for a Globe, because Nas will lose.





Thursday, May 12, 2016

Writer MOM


Brad and I took her to Cleveland, just the three of us to see 1D.  Super fun.  Did y"all know that Harry cut his hair and gave it to charity for children with cancer?  Brad does.
SOOOO. I know this is going to sound uber GAY, but I am going to post something that SEEEEMMMMS like I'm bragging...and I AM.  So, full disclosure, assholes.

I'm gonna tell you a little more about Hallie, my eighth grader.  She is like soooooo NOT athletic.  She danced for years and years and years and we were almost about to pull the trigger on Dance Team, or whatever and I just couldn't DO IT.  I persuaded her to try out for team sports her 7th grade year, instead.  It was so cathartic for her.  She was not the BEST at the shot put, or field hockey, but she learned so much about herself and met friends that she would never have been introduced to otherwise. She morphed into a confident 8th grader, who is completely competent in EVARY aspect of her life, with the exception of her hygiene and her room.  The girl friendship thang is fluid and as a great neighbor of mine once advised me, "Those girls will fall in and out of love with each other for the next ten years.  You better get USED to it now, or you will drive yourself insane with three girls."  (PREACH, Bev!)  Regardless, I CANNOT get that girl's hair clean and she resides in filth and chaos.

But, I love her MADLY, and she is the only Schell descendant to graduate middle school, so I am just  "over the moon" as my Mom would say, filled to the brim with a contradiction of emotions this last month, to say the least.  Nowadays when I need to give her advice, I try to be thoughtful before I approach her with an idea about her future, because I just found out that she is a better writer than I am.

When I finally got over my seething jealousy, I came to the realization that I need to embrace her talent - not squash it. I said to myself, "Self, you need to not only nurture her gift, but You need to CAPITALIZE on it."  I have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor, y"all.  What do you call a "Momager" in the literary World? A "Meditor", a "Magent", if you will.

Anyway, I want to have a guest blog on here today, my daughter, Hallie.  She wrote this for school.  The assignment was to pick an identity card from the Holocaust Museum (This is a card with the description of a Holocaust victim, in about a hundred words or so.)  You then were to journal as if you WERE that person and describe what your life was like during that time.

Hallie THINKS this is a gift for her, but REALLY it is a gift for me.  Now I don't have to buy her an ACTUAL 8th grade graduation present and I can just show her her STATS on blogger and tell her that THAT should satisfy her more than some stupid Urban Outfitters peasant dress with cutouts.  Am I right?

Anyway, thanks for reading us both.






THE YELLOW SUITCASE

August 12, 1925
Every morning, Benny Budny is the first to get the paper. He skips through the door and bends down to meet my eyes with his. He’ll hold his breath for a moment and then he’ll shout, “Cendorf! Get your nose out of that book!” His shouts are but a contribution to the men arguing about religion and politics and impersonating the cantankerous Mrs. Schurwan that works at the bar down the street where the older men go out after work.
Benny tosses me a nickel and gets a fresh newspaper off the printer. And the boisterous young man who seems he could never keep his mouth shut sits beside me for hours reading every word of the paper while I find my place in my book and study the tales my own imagination could never fathom.
Benny asked me this morning why I sometimes found myself falling asleep by the printing press. My parents convinced themselves that their boy who had always been interested in literature and writing would become a rabbi, but I rebelled and found myself applying for my current job. I have told the Lord that our lives are short.
Father,” I began, “A bird with its necessities given on a silver platter longs to be freed not because it is never satisfied but because it fears it will spend eternity looking for purpose trapped in a cage.” I can not trap myself in my religion when religion is meant for one’s strength and happiness. I find my strength and happiness through Him, through my family and Benny Budny, through the peonies that come up in the Spring and through my collection of torn pages and broken spines.
I will pick up a pen and never put it down if it meant I was working toward a young man opening a book with my name written down the spine and reading tales his own imagination cannot fathom. The caged bird has been working tirelessly, but the caged bird has been working tirelessly in the direction of interest.
I have begun to comprehend a novel is never a tale. Every word was chosen by an author for a reason, and every writer’s work comes from a brain attached to a human being that lives and loves and faces problems. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but it has to come from somewhere. I am beginning to understand the writer’s struggle, for my best poem tells of a young printer in hopes of writing good poetry.

February 28, 1933
I had spent my last two weeks in Poland trying to fit my last eighteen years into the small, yellow suitcase at my feet. It was announced Adolf Hitler was the chancellor of Germany and his intentions for the Jewish were cruel and frighteningly achievable in power. I hadn’t seen my father cry until January 30th, when he told me it wasn’t safe to be in Lodz anymore.
My mother had met the suitcase at a flea market when I was only eight years old. The suitcase had a personality of its own. It was the only bright suitcase at the stand and grew flowers of pinks and violets that spilled over the side onto the old, brown suitcases it consorted, which made it impossible for it not to catch my mother’s eye. The suitcase-selling-women wore bonnets on their heads, and had big, wrinkled noses and friendly smiles. My mother paid the women and carried the yellow suitcase home. On a rainy day like that, the yellow suitcase was the sun and my mother and I held the sun in our hands, singing and giggling as jumped in puddles on the way home.
I had felt like the Baltic Sea. A deep blue storm reaches the mainland in the dead of night carrying waves the size of skyscrapers that disintegrate against the shore. Seagulls frantically fly across the sable skies, and lightning and thunder join to warn the fishermen of the ocean’s ugly temper.
I had spent my last two weeks in Poland watching my mother cry on my father’s shoulder while my father goes mad trying to sell a shoelace factory to a community trying to sell to him. A raincloud found its place above me and has rivalled me these last two weeks, and my whole world had turned blue.
The Bundy household was red and made of brick, and towered above its neighbors. I knocked on the door and waited for someone to excuse themselves from the breakfast table to greet me one last time. I had said goodbye to the old men at the printing press and bought one last paper. Small, black print told stories of Lodz; stories I would hope to return and read. Perhaps Benny would read the paper with his father that afternoon, yelling at the men in the photos for the audacity of their political decisions as a newspaper should be read. My heart fluttered as footsteps filled the house. I had grown up with the Bundys, the loud and opinionated bunch, but in my last two weeks I hadn’t even stopped to bid them hello. In fact, I grew more anxious every day I didn’t see Benny, and I wouldn’t want anything more than to sit on the bench by the printing press and read with Benny for hours. I had never thought I would have to leave my best friend. The door swung open and Benny’s blue eyes met mine in seconds. His father yelled from inside the house, and Benny stared at me with pity. He slammed the door. I was blue.
The train was jet black. The monster grew louder as it came closer to the train station where my father, mother and I stood in a straight line with our suitcases held tightly in our hands. I could not comprehend how we had the money to buy these train tickets. I didn’t ask my parents, for I knew they were just as pensive as I. My parents sat across from me in their own red velvet seats, my father’s arm around my mother in attempt to keep her warm from the morning’s rain. I opened my book and felt the wheels had begun to turn.
“May the men at the printing press sell a million copies today,” I prayed, “May Benny Budny find the paper I left at his doorstep and spend the entire afternoon reading it with his father, may my torn pages and broken spines become the favorites of the children at the orphanage in which I donated and Lord, may my yellow suitcase, my mother, my father and I travel to Paris safely.”

August 15, 1940
Marthe’s house was small and well-decorated. Her mother painted every wall a new shade of green, and I was surprised that the large family with two cats kept white furniture clean. The house had dim lights, and every room had a piece of artwork that told a different story. In fact, when I met the artist her hair was tied back and a thin, splattered paint brush tucked behind her ear. Marthe was older than I was, but not much older. She was taller than I was, but only when she wore high heels. Her dark hair fell onto her shoulders in loose curls, and her eyes were a unique shade of green; a forest of everlasting pine. She kneeled over a canvas and was painting a room of heartbroken people. I sat down beside her and admired the painting. “Why do they grieve?” I asked.
“I can only paint frowns these days,” she sighed. “My father left for work one morning weeks ago and hasn’t returned.”
The meetings were held in the basement. They were very quiet, but I could not get the thought out of my mind that inside every person sitting around me wanted to scream at the world and break into tears. Smart people argued of the idea of a fascist government system and everyone contributed to possible solutions. Everyone but Marthe, who silently wept. I asked her to dinner. (dictionary.com)
But Marthe told me not to worry, so I didn’t. I took her to a troupe with marble floors and high ceilings. A grand piano sat elegantly on a stage that carried no entertainment for the wealthy crowd it accompanied. I hadn’t played piano since I was ten years old and hated to practice, but when Marthe lay in a long, satin dress and the cluttered and vigorous theatre fell silent in amazement of the sounds of the grand instrument, I wanted to write her a symphony. She smiled at me with crinkled eyes and told me for the first time she loved me as she took my hand to take a bow. She embodied Paris so perfectly; beautiful, creative, so full of excitement and energy. Marthe had spent two years making me feel like life was a photograph and she and I would spend eternity at the grand piano.
She sat at a mirror in the dressing room smoking a cigarette while I struggled to fully understand a good book written in French. “Les loups sont ici.” I looked up from my book and stared at her profoundly until she clarified. “Les Allemands occupĂ© Paris ce matin. As tu entendu?” “The wolves are here.” She said. “The germans occupied Paris this morning. Have you not heard?”
I remained in denial, waking every morning to peddle wood and support my family. I had become more involved in the Writer’s Union, reading my poems to all who would listen and making friends with those who shared my interest. My mother certainly didn’t seem to be bothered by the company of the Nazis either, as she walked the streets of Paris confidently alongside petite women she had befriended when we moved here. The women here wear big, colorful hats and have intelligent minds and my mother has finally found herself. Although I had to work harder for my mother’s happiness, it brought me joy seeing her giggle alongside her girlfriends.
But with time, the energy of Paris depreciated. Jewish men, women and children were being taken, and everyone was being affected in one way or another. Maybe it was their mother, maybe it was the milkman with the handlebar mustache that waved to everyone he passed on his route. But everyone was affected and everyone could only wait to see what would come to renew their faith in humanity. I had stayed out of trouble and kept Marthe in my heart.
With a German man’s hand on my shoulder as he led me into prison, I kept Marthe in my heart. Preparing for my own imprisonment, I had begun to associate my yellow suitcase with terrible sorrow. I packed lightly and carelessly, for what was most important to me couldn’t be packed into a suitcase at all. I could not pack memories at the grand piano or at the bench by the printing press. I could not pack the million torn pages and broken spines I have not yet read. I could not pack Marthe’s beautiful paintings, and I could not pack the Baltic sea.

March 12, 1942
Two thousand winter coats that remained in the closet, and four thousand shoes that remained at the back door. Maybe two hundred pairs of reading glasses that remained on the nightstand beside two thousand books with a bookmark holding place in the middle of a story that will never be finished. Two thousand families that will sit around a candle or two and two thousand prayers will be said for two thousand different people. Two thousand families will try to ignore the empty chairs at the dinner table and two thousand plates will stay untouched in the cupboard. There were two thousand men, women and children beside me. They held two thousand suitcases. There were two thousand very different lives and two thousand minds with the exact same thoughts of fear and confusion, but there were not two thousand screams and cries. There was not a sound.
There were not two thousand cells. The cells were aligned down a long, dark hallway. There were not two thousand beds. The bastilles were small and uncomfortable. A family was shown to my cell shortly after I was. The father, a cobbler from Austria smiled at me pitifully behind large, round glasses. His wife followed close behind him, a newborn child resting peacefully in her arms. Another child tugged on the end of her skirt, asking her an abundance of questions. “Regine!” The woman whispered, irritated. Were the families that were imprisoned together the lucky ones? My mother was probably walking the streets of Paris now, perhaps on her way to a cafe with her friends. My father put a pencil to his temple in the earliest hours of the day, doing finances under a dim, reading lamp. But were they lucky?
I had not tried to sleep the first night in the prison. A German guard came in to check on us.. It was odd to think he too had family and friends and thoughts and ideas. He groaned and the door slammed behind him.
Three days imprisoned and I had learned the names of many prisoners of those around me. Avi was a tall, skinny fellow that loved to read even more than I. He was placed in the cell across from me, and made me laugh daily as he badgered the women in which he shared the cell with. Long, monotonous days I spent swapping literature with Avi, and taking inspiration from Avi’s broken spines and torn pages and the men, women and children. As the prisoners finished every novel they had and every novel their neighbor had, my poems became well known in my locality. I began to spend my afternoons going from shack to shack, introducing men, women and children young and old, poor and rich, to poetry. It is times like these that bring me the most joy.

April 25, 1942 (final)
I still have hope for Benny Budny. I hope that as he is welcomed into the world of business he still remains the same goofy, young lass I grew up with. I hope he doesn’t find himself in the earliest hours of the night doing finances under a reading lamp. I hope he will still have the time to sit down with his father and argue about the politics in the newspapers, as the papers should be read.
I still have hope for the suitcase-selling-women, the Polish men who print the newspapers. Suitcases are still made in great detail at the market and every morning a different story is printed despite the circumstances of the pale, skinny men, women and children that deteriorate behind these closed doors, the living secrets that Germany has kept. I still have hope for the Baltic sea as there will never come a morning when the fishermen discover the sea is still and the waves no longer crash against the shore.
I still have hope for Regine. I still have hope for the children that will crawl into bed with their mothers not because of the monsters under their bed but the yells of German soldiers that will be memorialized their whole lives. I still have hope each child will be able to draw a line on their kitchen door frame and see that they have grown. I still have hope that Jewish children will be able to have children of their own. I have to. For without hope, there is no strength.
I still have hope for the milkman. I still have hope that one day he will knock on his front door and when his wife answers the door she will jump into his arms. I hope that she still has hope; I hope that she knows that he still says hello to everyone he greets.
I still have hope for Marthe. I still have hope that the subjects her portraits will one day reveal a smile, and Marthe will stop using all of her blue paint. I hope that I can once again meet her to play another scale, and once again all will be still but the grand piano. I hope I can hire the most skilled musicians with gold instruments and velvet suits to play her symphony, and I hope that she will accept when I ask her to dance.
I still have hope for my mother and father. I assume they are in hiding, and I refuse to imagine them anywhere but somewhere safe. I hope they do not lose hope. I hope that my mother does not weep into my father’s arms each night and I hope my father doesn’t go mad in a confined, cluttered space. I hope my mother could bring her hats with her and I hope she wears them even if she is not on the streets of Paris. I hope my father does not think that he is a failure. I hope they do not worry too much of me. I hope that I can see them again, perhaps when we are older and wiser, and I hope I can buy them a house on a beach that displays a sunset of a million colors.
I still have hope for my yellow suitcase. I watched as the soldiers scour my things, saucily stuffing my gold watch into their pocket and throwing my yellow suitcase onto my bed before shuffling to the next captive’s belongings. I still have hope that I will never pack my yellow suitcase in fear, and I will never associate yellow with sorrow. I hope my yellow suitcase will take me on a trip to the Rocky Mountains, to a sandy beach, to a successful job interview, to the Baltic sea. I still have hope I will never pack my yellow suitcase for a destination that will keep me from returning home.
I still have hope for society. I hope that these disastrous events are but a commencement of a resolution to humanity’s complication of diversity in religion and race. I hope that mankind will never have a peculiarity, that children in schoolyards will swing on swing sets next to children of different ethnicities and different faiths. I hope I never see a blonde-haired, blue-eyed world. I still have hope for Germany, that someone under Hitler’s rule is silently rooting in our favor. I like to believe our Lord is receiving prayers for us from all over the world. An African woman remembers to include everyone outside Hitler’s malevolent mold in her evening prayer. In France, a man steps out of church with tears in his eyes as the minister had mentioned his friend who was taken by the Nazis earlier in the week. An American Jew writes for a newspaper; he publishes an article on the crisis and donates to a soup kitchen later that night. He still has hope.
I still have hope for the future. I believe that once again I will rely on the sun to awaken me. I still have hope that there will be a book with my surname down the spine. My efforts are limited, but I still stay awake with my pen on paper. I have picked up a pen and will never put it down, for my achievements have been recognized by those who need it most. The caged bird hears the other caged birds sing his song. The caged bird would rather every other confined bird freed then released alone.
There was a book on a shelf in Poland with a broken spine and torn pages. There was a boy who worked late so he could spend his mornings reading this book, admiring the author’s brilliant perspective. The book was a series of poems written in Paris, a place that would soon become far too familiar to the boy. The man who sat on the park bench was not much different than the boy, but the boy would not realize until he saw a canvas colored every shade of blue. The boy would quote the man with the mustache on the park bench when the boy kissed the girl who painted blue for the last time. “No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger.” The boy watched the girl walk away, the first time he did not walk her home since they met. Rainer Rilke sat on a park bench. I sat under a dim lit lamp and finally noted my apprehension of my given circumstance, embarrassed to have cried for the first time since I left my shelf in Poland. I had written a work of “I still have hope” and slipped it through the space in Avi’s cavity. He wakes the next morning and grins in my direction. I still have hope for Avi. I still have hope that one day he will have enough room for a desk and he will be able to spend his days writing and not worrying. I hear him recite my words to the women in his cell, who had grown unhopeful and inattentive. Avi did not nag them anymore. “Our courage is not broken, our courage is not shackled.” He paused. “Life is marvelously beautiful.” My words begin to echo through the shack’s long, dark hallway, and through illness and discomfort, through madness and sorrow, my words bring the caged birds together. The caged birds began to sing. Jewish men, women and children sing my words down the long hallway, now a scintillating beam of light. And with a sigh of considerable relief I relax, for at last, in very bold, imperative letters, I have seen my name printed down a long, dark broken spine that holds together two thousand torn, withered pages.

GUIDANCE: When your daughter asks you if you will read something, and you sigh and pause your stories and put down your laundry, while you feel around for your readers, DO IT, because you might just be surprised to learn something new you didn't know about someone you live with.

Oh, and this is my previous post about Hal. She was a sixth grader then. If you care to read up on my first born. http://gratuitousguidance.blogspot.com/2014/09/hals-my-teen-bae.html

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The CASH experiment



Doesn't she look GOOOOOD?


"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." - Bo Derek

So recently, when I was purchasing my riggs for the upcoming weekend on a beautiful Friday afternoon at Whole Foods (which included wine, beer and popsicles) I was informed by my favorite check out gurl that my card was stolen.

I swiped again.  STOLEN.  I started looking in my wallet for cash and take the two five dollar a pop popsicle boxes out of the bag (they each contain FIVE, which makes for a dollar per) and I realize that I only have enough for Brad's beer and not my wine and I decide to abort mission.

I do not possess any other credit cards that are not store specific.  I consider paying with my Nordy's card and am lifting it out of it's slot, only to look up and spy the check out gal slowly shaking her head and pursing her lips.  UGH!

Luckily, next door is my bank.  Whole Foods is kind enough to "suspend my transaction" so that I may figure my financial shit out and I longingly look at the melting popsicles amongst my favorite bottle of wine and warming craft six packs and slink away.

"I'm coming back," I announce.

"Of coouuurrrsse,"  they say a little to loudly because a little posssee has now gathered at the register and they need to figure out how to suspend a transaction and where to put my bag.

UGH!

I fly into my bank.  My card was suspended on March 7th due to "suspicious activity" in Siesta Key, Florida.  I was on a girls' trip at the time. I flash back to my weekend there and imagine that the screen they are looking at is video of me on said weekend and I look down at my feet for the second time in 5 minutes.

It is a slow day and the teller next to mine examines MY teller's screen and nods her head, like "we are SOOO gonna talk about this later, but keep your banker's game face on until we can hit the smoking area. "

"We sent out a new card," she continues, "and you should have received it by now."

"But," I stuttered, "I did not receive ANY notifications, let alone the card or I wouldn't BE in this situation right now."

I am now talking to a female version of David Spade and she's all, "Yeeeeaaaahhhhh, that's not our POLICY, because of hackers and identity theft and the like.  SO we like to just SURPRISE and HUMILIATE you by closing your account and sending a message to all of the retailers in the world that your card has been STOLEN, so that YOU look like you stole your own card.  Ya' dig?  After the bailout, banks need to get their kicks somewhere."

"Um, Okay, Now WHAT??  I am at their mercy because I do not want my video to go viral and because I need enough money to cover my melting suspended transaction so I have something to swallow all of this down with.

"Weeelllll, we are going to issue you a TEMPORARY debit card, but you won't be able to PURCHASE anything with it, you can just get cash out HERE, if you want."

She has to explain this and demonstrate this using interpretive dance and emojis with her friend, three times before I am able to comprehend.

I HAVE NO BUYING POWER ON THE INTRAWEB and I MUST CALCULATE EACH AND EVERAY ONE OF MY PURCHASES FOR THE NEXT 7 - 10 BUSINESS DAYS, BEFORE I PURCHASE ANYTHING.

I take out $200.  It is gone within 24 hours.

Wow.  That was fast.

In my defense I bought groceries sans liquor for the first time since I turned 21.  I have never sweated out a transaction so much in my life, with the exception of my wedding night.  Giant Eagle APPARENTLY takes their deductions at the end, and I was counting my twenties like a 7-11 cashier at the end of her shift.  Just PRAYING it would be RIGHT.

After several days of getting used to my new plight, I began to think of it as a game or an "experiment" as you will.  A CHALLENGE.

I became obsessed with what we spent money on, and looked down on people with credit, because they are a cog in the machine and they never know their WORTH like me.  Poor bastards.  If only they possessed the bank-imposed ENLIGHTENMENT I had, they would be such better PEOPLE!

Let's talk about the PSYCHOLOGY of what happens when you are LITERALLY "strapped for cash".  It is a slow process, at first, and then it catches fire like any other movement one is forced into.

At first, you experience DENIAL, and then before long, you reach SELF- ACTUALIZATION, until your new Debit card comes in the mail, that is. Whenever that happens.

Here is how my transition shook out.  In the beginning, it was all business as usual, because you are USED to a certain way of life, and then when you are slapped in the face with the realization that you have to check your wallet before each and every purchase you make everyday, you begin to RETHINK each of those purchases IN ADVANCE, and then a beautiful or ugly thing begins to happen (depending on your attitude) and you eventually, dare I say it, you BUDGET.

Is the hair standing up on the back of your neck, yet?  Well, it should be, because the struggle is REAL, y'all.

Here are the OTHER eye-opening everyday purchases, you never think about, that will simply DRAIN your pocketbook, yo.  Gas, yes, gas. You cannot use a card at the pump.  You must estimate how much gas you need and you start to notice the signs posted outside gas pumps to evaluate which is the most cost effective for your week, like your father-in-law does.

My father-in-law, (we'll just call him Kennie, because that is his name) can tell you the gas prices at any given intersection in the city, and those of any nearby cities he visits.

I can't imagine WHY I had problems with this computer.


I was watching videos on our old computer and was getting all nostalgic and it literally internally combusted before my very eyes.  In it's defense, it seemed to be bulging at the time, as if a gremlin was inside, which I ignored as I was welling up, and a big "pop" and the smell of burning computer innards, snapped me back into the present.  Thinking through the scenario that I need to contact the Apple store and take it in, I came to the conclusion that I need a credit card to make an appointment with the Genius Bar, and therefore, I cannot retrieve all of my lost pictures and videos of moments big and small from the past.

I am reminded of each Saturday morning when my Mom would sit at the kitchen table smoking and staring down at her yellow, ruled ledger pad, as she asked for my Dad's pay check, and filled out a deposit slip minus the cash they would need for the week.  There was no DIRECT DEPOSIT, and their wallets were always filled with cash until the following Friday, when the well would need to be filled, again.

If my Dad asked for cash from my Mother BEFORE the next Saturday, he had to state EXACTLY where his money had gone in the last four days, which he almost NEVER could do.  That is why I would always ask my DAD for cash and not my MOM, because she kept a running tally in her head as to how she spent and WOULD SPEND her money for the week.  You did NOT fuck with her system or she would CUT, and you had BETTA ask her WAY in advance for cash for say A BOOK FAIR or some such nonsense and even THEN she would exhale a big blue cloud of "We don't have the money," before you could even get the word "FAIR" out.

"Pat! " She would yell to my Dad sprawled out on our itchy plaid loveseat, "Take Johnna to the library!  Apparently, she wants to READ this week!"

My Dad and I would end up buying Gatorade gum and a tallboy (hers and his) and driving around, because we both KNEW Jody had called my bluff.  Good times.

ANNNYWAY, I went from sweating out purchases at Target, to not even going to Target anymore, and instead saving up for things that I wanted or needed in the upcoming days, determined to stretch out my kitty.  I made dinner EVARY night with the groceries I had, and was forced to make lunches, as well because I am unable to fill any of my kids' accounts at school, even though I have a steady stream of "alerts" in my Inbox directing me to replenish their accounts.

Dinner. All Klassy and shit. That's a mango under there, yo.  I don't PLAY.  They were on special.


And, speaking of Inbox requests, the links that I used to click on with abandon that advertise "Friends and Family" sales and "25% Off THIS WEEKEND only" no longer hold my interest and are quickly deleted, because what's the point, right?

We are down to ONE charger again, and I refuse to buy more and encourage my kids to "look under their beds" and "in the couch crevases for lost energy.

My experiment is simultaneously liberating and limiting, all at the same time.
Ol' Gurl walk on water at her concerts.  


On the one hand, I cannot download Queen Bey's new album, but then again, I have discovered that the Christmas Ale located in the back of the garage fridge, keeps WELL past it's expiration date!





I have delighted in telling my children at every turn that "we do not have the money" because they are CONSTANTLY asking for shit, and then in turn, I find that they basically leave me alone, because if I cannot provide for them, then they lose interest in me altogether.  It is a beautiful THANG, y'all.

I took a hit the night of Justin Beiber, though, cause I had to give Hallie a BUNCH of cash to get a t-shirt for her and her friend, who invited her to the concert.  When she got home and declared that the girl's mother REFUSED her offer, I greedily SNATCHED up her crossbody wallet, and extracted the cash from it.


Mills was with the credit card fairy that is her father for the night, so I did not have to pony up on her end, and Eva needed something off of the intraweb that I ALSO could not produce.  Well played, Underwood.  Well played.

I treated two of my daughters to dinner at The Ol' Bag on Friday night, where I insisted that they both order off of the Kid's menu (Hallie is 14 and taller than I) which include a free drank and apple sticks, while I ordered the soup and their best glass of Cabernet.  (I don't have an eating disorder, I had just filled up on queso at home).  I also asked to use their outlet to charge Hallie's phone with our ONE charger.  Again, no SHAME in the face of adversity.

And just today, I was wiping off the kitchen counter for the one billionth time in the last twenty-four hours and considered wringing out the paper towel I was using, like they do on the commercials to save, save, save.

I have begun USING people with credit, namely my husband.  I promised to pack him a cooler so he could go and watch tennis, if he would buy me some wine, just to save my cash.  I labeled his and hers cups for he and Andrew and fist pumped as he drove out of the driveway.

I am on a mission, y'all.  I am going to the Oaks next weekend where CASH is KING.  I am bumming a ride and I just need enough cash to get my dry cleaning out, (I inadvertently took my Oaks dress there before The Enlightenment) bet the ponies, DRANK and eat. - in that order.
How do I look? Dee's is the BEST.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have discussed ad nauseam, with anyone who will listen, my debit card plight, and they become infuriated and disgusted (all women), as I was that first day, as I stood across the long bank counter that I realized no longer has bullet proof glass with a semi-circle cut out at the bottom, and that awkward speaker thang you used to have to speak through. Or maybe that is a check cashing place.  IIII don't know.

A week after my debit card was revoked I was back at the bank, staring a beautiful Asian girl in the face, who regurgitated the same sentence she had uttered when we first met.

"Seven to ten business days...." she trailed off, as I began to stare at her beauty spot while I backed away.  My plight was not new to her and she clearly had rehearsed this many many times on other people.  Or maybe she was expecting me, and spied me coming in HOT, again, on another beautiful Friday.

"That was FAST," Hallie observed, with her bare feet up on the dash, as she listened to tunes streaming from the speakers attached to her phone, with the car on. Gurlfriend goes EVERYWHERE with me, even though she no longer gets anything out of it...unless material for her future therapist counts.

"Turn that OFF!" I snapped, as I slammed the car into reverse, and jolted the dog back against the back seat.  "You are not only using GAS, but you are using WIFI, and WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY!"

"I guess this is a bad time to show you this jumper I found at Urban," she smiled, as she turned her phone around to reveal a picture of an emaciated teen in a printed frock. "I'll just send it in a wishlist I've been compiling for you. Check your inbox when we get home."

Guidance: Go on a CASH diet for a week.  See what happens.  Oh, and can I borrow some money? I'll pay you back as soon as my debit card comes.  SWEAR.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Rumination on Hipsters...or maybe it's just ME

This is what I am talking about.  The way it looks is EVERAYTHANG!




I've been paying a lot of attention to HIPSTERS, as of late, and they fascinate and intimidate and infuriate me all at the same time.

I guess when I first heard the term, I interpreted the root word HIP to mean what it has always meant...LAID BACK, and I was wrong.  WAYYY wrong.  Hipsters are the antithesis of the soul searching, experimental HIPpies of yesteryear and their subsequent posers, they are downright UPTIGHT.

They are so FUCKING smug, right? I guess I am going to lead with infuriate.  Who knew?  I did, and if you've ever read this blog, shame on you, if you didn't anticipate my intentions.  Ha!  "JAYYYY KAYYY," as Mills would say, after pretending that she lost my coat I let her borrow. File that under "INFURIATE" too, but I digress.



He's so boss.
 I don't know if it is the handlebar mustache or the craft beer flights, or the tweed vests, but I have a PRECONCEIVED NOTION about a hipster, long before they open their mouth to me, because they don't have to.

And they have a stereotype of me.  I'm right.  I have done CASE STUDY after CASE STUDY and I am ready to yield my results.  I see this as entirely random sampling, according to the shoes you are wearing and whether or not you know where OYO and Watershed are distilled.

Perhaps, my findings are skewed, based on the fact that the majority of my subjects were unaware of the study, and that most of them either reside or are employed in the Short North.  No worries.  I have been paying attention in San Francisco and Portland.

I encountered my first hipster several years ago in Oregon.  I went to an Inn, where I had seen NOTHING like it, and everyone was all IRONIC and they coveted draft craft beer and whiskey and I was intrigued.  It was about 2010, and Brad talked me into going on this work trip with him to Oregon, which was as foreign to me as Colorado, when Brad invited me to live with him and his roommate in Boulder, after college.

Outside of the incredible cliffs and natural wonders, Oregon boasts wineries specializing in Pinot Noir.  Apparently, the landscape and temperatures were perfect for importing grapes from France and then it just TOOK OFF, Yo!

I'm not gonna lie, y'all, I LOATHE Pinot, but it was my first foray into "wine country" and it was completely awe inspiring.

This is how it USED to be done, y"all.
Embarrassing enough, at one point, a vineyard owner tapped on our rental car window, as he stood in the rain with his French investors, and I was too afraid to roll down my window all the way.

True story.  He had to ask me questions through the  semi-closed window of our rented Hyundai about which vineyards and tasting rooms we had been to that day.  I thoroughly humiliated him in hindsight.  I must have looked like a total buffoon, because I was, and continue to be.

This summer, I was in Europe with my friend Jen, and her brother gave us the most glorious advice while we were in Paris.

"If someone approaches you, no matter what they want or need, say 'No.'  But, if YOU need something, it is OKAY to approach other people.  That is the way it works here.  You are on the Champs De Elsyess.  There are opportunists EVERAYWHERE."

PREACH! Now, I'm not saying that this is not completely out of bounds, it is just AMERICAN, you know? Point Blank Period.  (And he was RIGHT. But, that is a different study I am conducting.)

(Writer's Note:  I wrote this two weeks before the terrorist attack on Paris. I don't believe that anyone who experienced their tragedy was given any notice, but in ANY congested area, especially one you are unfamiliar with, I think it is wise to stay on your guard. Unfortunately, that is the World we are living in today.)

And by AMERICAN, I mean, statewide, or at least regional prejudice will suffice.  And therefore, I was leery of my "farn" Oregonian wine merchant.  As well I should have been.  What could be more threatening than a wealthy landowner and his Fraunch investor friends standing in the rain, expounding on the history of Pinot Vineyards in Oregon?

Ummm. Those are from Forever 21.  Your eyes are fine.
ANNYWAY, back to annoying Hipsters.  So, I was at this Brewery or rather,  DRAUGHT HAUS one weekend, and my bartender was all "hipstered out" with his thick barbershop quartet moustache, while he delightedly procured flights of alcohol enhanced "craft drafts" served in midget cognac glasses on a specially made wooden "flight board".  And by "specially made" I mean driftwood from the SAME ship that was in the movie "Twelve Years a Slave."  Authenticity is EVERAYTHANG.

This would not have been a surprise if it had not been a reenactment of the scene I was privy to in San Francisco, only you substitute BOURBON for beer.  This place had an entire WALL dedicated to bourbon, with a stainless steel ladder/wheeley thing that scooted across the glass shelves.

Welllllll, the seats around the bar had "RESERVED" signs on them and the gargantuan "HOST/BOURBON BOUNCER" would literally put one of those signs on your spot when you got up to go to the bathroom, even though he had just directed you to said bathroom, which was located outside of the bar.
See him on his ladder?  Absolutely DELIGHTED that someone ordered a shot, I mean flight of rare bourbon from the top shelf.  It was from Kentucky, natch.


Upon your return, the Bourbon Host would then feign amnesia, hold his arm out to demonstrate his condition, and then you had to state your business and he would yank the RESERVED sign off of your purse and half consumed drank marker, and then march back to his podium.

This happened to me TWICE with him.  I shit you not.

He was a Jolly Green Giant sort of hipster, though, and his vest was clearly from some vintage big and tall warehouse.  His hipster vibe came from within, though, as though he had been repressed in some way, and it was all my fault.

I hate to be all Carrie Bradshaw but, "Are hipsters the new gay?"

If that is the case, then I oppose hipster marriages. FO' SHO'.

But, then again, I don't have to worry about that, because hipsters' sexuality is FLUID, and they only interact via Tinder, which does not include intimacy or procreation , just instant gratification.  Or maybe that's the IGeneration or the Millennials, or anyone who has a cellphone now, really.

But, let's just explore that you ARE a hipster woman and you would like to date, even casually.  Then why are you wearing a Mu Mu over a catsuit and sensible shoes to a craft draft bar?

I am told Hipsters are into being IRONIC.  Girls' Hannah (Lena Dunham) is apparently the Gloria Steinham of that movement.
Sooo flattering. She doesn't care.  She's being ironic...um and asexual.


Hipster women like to dress as if they are going to either a Witch Trial or a 40's baby shower (you are the guest of honor, natch) or a combo of that.  It's as if sexually is the last thing on their mind when they get dressed for the evening.  I wonder if they are feminists or lesbians, but even lesbians don't wear their grandmother's bra, or designer horn rimmed glasses.

I know that I am Southern, and that, as such, we are taught to color our roots and hide our fat at an early age, but What. The. Fuck.  What is wrong with at least showing that with decent posture, you possess the female silhouette?

It's all about making an effort when it counts, in my eyes.  This obviously excludes the leopard three piece suit that is my pajamas and robe as I shuttle my children to school or kick the ball with my dog in the front yard.  I wish I were joking.  Ask my neighbors.  No shame.

There is no STATEMENT behind my ensemble, though, unless that statement is "poor hygiene mixed with a healthy dollop of dontgiveashititis".

I guess the existential question is, "Are hipsters just embracing a style, or do they know EXACTLY who they are, and they want to shout it to the World?"

I'm not delusional, I have embraced every style from the all black, cowboy boot sorority girl who is shedding her Laura Ashley skin, to the Jennifer Anniston do',  winter mini skirt wearin' temptress who says, "Could you BE anymore ...fill in the blank" too much.  But, I was just embracing a style, or so I thought, or was I encompassing a "character' if you will - a lifestyle.

Not from what I remember. This seems different.  There is a thought process behind the hipster persona.  You are anti-establishment in a way that is less establishment and more social backlash.

You see, the establishment is the work out obsessed, botox laden, silicone implanted, spray tanned two decades before them, who clearly values YOUTH and beauty before intellect and self-discovery.

Just recently, TWICE I was rejected at a hipster bar.  Maybe it's not so much the bar or restaurant I was at, but the SERVICE which was provided by hipsters.  I could not get served.  They saw something in me that I obviously am not privy to, and deemed me "unfit to serve".  In all fairness, I was wearing sweatpants both times.  But, who cares, right?  I don't have a fucking fanny pack.  Now, THAT is something to rally against.

Sooo practical. Need to raid my girls' American Girl wardrobe for innovations like this.


Scenario One:  I am at a hipster bar in Franklinton.  They are having something called FLEA.  It is amazaballs.  We are sitting at the bar, and I sit next to a man eating voraciously that could have just emerged from the amazon, but his waxed beard is giving him away, and he is annihilating his  brunch.  The bar is fucking packed. He is throwing elbows and I am clearly uncomfortable on my backless metal stool and NO ONE WILL SERVE ME AT THE BAR.

I wait 10 minutes, and I wave the THREE bartenders down, twice.  NOTHING.  I force my friend to leave.

I long for the womb that is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.

I just want an overpriced beer Gawddammit. Its a beautiful day and I have a wad of cash to spend on ALLLL of your hipster bullshit.

Except your grandmother's wool sweaters that you like to sport over Mumus.  It's very simple... I would not be judging you if you would just stop polishing your brandy snifters that you now serve IPA's in, and hand me a fucking Pale Ale without that smirk.

Oh, and that's another thing, if you order a pale ale, you might as well have a swastika tattooed on your cheek - apparently, pale ale is the new white zinfandel.

A sociological phenomenon happens when someone assumes that YOU, based on people LIKE you, represent a certain THANG.

Just as I am GENERALIZING hipsters, THEY are generalizing ME, and I don't like it.  SO I decided to make it my mission to get one to like me.

Which brings us to scenario TWO, last weekend, with my husband.  We decided to do a Date Night at a random foodie restaurant in Clintonville.    You know what I am talking about.  They run out of shit and their three piece suit wearing hipster bartender acts like you are invisible.  Good times.  Who wouldn't want to waste an uber ride on that shit?  We would.  Because WE are the UNDERWOODS.

This first drank took no shorter than 15 minutes.  We watched the manager polish 1500 glasses before the bartender finally took our drank request.  I shit you not.

It took another 7 minutes to get said drank.

We watched the hipster bartender serve homeless people old olives before he paid any attention to us.  It was an obvious attempt to snub.

My first experience might have been an oversight, but this CANNOT be ignored.  There is a PATTERN.  I  was both intrigued and infuriated - which can be a very complex juxtaposition of emotions, that I'm realizing is kind of specific to me, because I am perimenopausal.

OK, So I decide right then and there, to make the bartender like me.  It is a battle of wills.  This happened right after I literally snapped my husband back by his Vineyard Vines button-down, as he lunged toward the manager who was cleaning the wine glasses like, it was, well, it was his JOB.

Brad is never a dick at restaurants.  He knows my feelings about serving.  I WAS one for years in college and many years AFTER. I make sure my kids are on their A Game when they are ordering and exhibit the utmost respect for anyone who is serving us at a restaurant.  It borderlines on the obnoxious at times, but I KNOW what it is like to get your period right before a shift, so ALLL my servers get grace, no matter what.

What I am saying is that I am not overly sensitive or have unrealistic expectations, no matter WHAT restaurant I am at, and if anything I err on the side of the ridiculous when explaining away why a server might be having a "bad day".

This is different.  Its an attitude that is being thrown at me and I cannot for the life of me understand WHY.

Sooo, finally after we watch the bartender and Manager shine glasses until we can't stand it anymore, and serve everyone else in the restaurant, we get our dranks.  We order immediately.  I know what our future holds, but at the same time I compliment Hipster Bartender about his tie, that is skinny and ironic against his poly-blend ring around the collar shirt beneath his Grandpa's vest.

"Oh, you like this?" he perks up.

"I LITERALLY got this from a thrift store down the street." he boasts, unaware of the game I am running on him.

"EWWWWWW.  That's Amaaaaazzzzing!" I say, as Brad bores a hot hole into my cheek with those laser eyes of his.

"It's ACTUALLY French Silk!" he exclaims, so pleased with the appreciation.

"That is SOOOO cool!" I counter,  "Lemme see!" I reach for his tie and flip it over, which takes some stretching because it is buried deep within his ridiculous vest.

Ok.  The tag on the back reads BONJOUR.

The ASSUMPTION in his conclusion is lost only on him.  Brad is smiling now.  Our appetizers are arriving.

We got along swimmingly after that, and had an incredible meal AND service.  I OVERCAME,  y'all.  For REAAAALLLLL.

This is how Brad and I got home.  It's a hipster uber.


So, what is the lesson?  Know your audience?  Kiss ass when you are hungry and out of your wheelhouse?  I choose to look at Hipsters as worthy opponents.  They are EXACTLY like I was after college.  Full of bravado and stereotypes and bills.

I believe that the pendulum is swinging in the other direction with hipsters, and I am on the edge of my seat to see what the iGeneration does.

This is the label that has been given to our children. I am not sure who coined it, but I just discovered it in Vanity Fair.  Truly intriguing.  Look it up.

 I just recently took Hallie, my 14-year-old and her friend to see the movie "Steve Jobs", because as I explained in the car on the way home, as they checked their Insta accounts that "I wanted them to understand the HISTORY behind the social world that they have been thrust into, without their knowledge."

The movie "Steve Jobs" is not NEAR as informative as it's documentary counterpart by the same person who brought to you The Lance Armstrong Story.

Whether it is a backlash, or a trend, or a fad or whatever, I believe that Hipsters are fascinating. I have embraced many fashion and cultural phases, but I am not aware of ever having disdain for any of my predecessors, based on their inability to feel the way that I do, unless you count bigots, but that doesn't really apply here.

I APPRESH that they are making their own path, I just am trying to dissect it, if you will.  I did not have a thought process or a movement behind being me at any point in my life, but I feel that hipsters do.  Like Hippies, HIPsters have an agenda, only it's not Vietnam, it's...it's...it's...what?  a war against Miller Lite, I guess and cheese fries with bacon bits and fashion.  Hell, I don't know.

It's just a FEELING I get, when I am ordering my flight of malt liquor and they wince or nod in appreciation, depending on their mood.

And let's be REAL, y'all, flights are just shots...for hipsters.

Guidance Guidance:  Catch the Steve Jobs documentary and the Lance Armstrong one, if you are so inclined.  I was awestruck by both.

Oh, and if you are a hipster and some aging Cougar sidles up to your Bourbon bar and orders a Cabernet.  Don't tell her you only have Pinot, because you are full of horseshit.  And that's just mean.