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Recently,  I attended a gathering at a life-long friend’s home.  She and I have known one another since I was in kindergarten and I’ve known her family just as long. During the party,  one of the family elders had imbibed just a little too much and became very touchy-feely with many of the female party goers.  To be clear, I’ve known this man since I was very young…. he’s practically the same age as my own father and for many years I felt just as close to him as a daughter.

So it was mildly unsettling when he began groping my ass repeatedly throughout the evening. And then swooping in for REALLY extended hugs and not-fatherly smooches. Because I’ve known him for the better part of three decades, I felt ABSOLUTELY uncomfortable. But I was MORE uncomfortable asking him to refrain from doing so. Whether it was out of concern for hurting his feelings or bruising his ego, the other ladies and myself were prepared to instead completely avoid him rather than tell him he was behaving badly. My friend’s husband and brother finally explained to him, in no uncertain terms,  that he was out of line and made arrangements for him to depart. But it got me thinking….why had each of us ladies been far too timid in the moment to thwart his unwanted advances? 

Myself, and the other ladies there, were tangled in a situation of being far too polite to kindly ask him to back the fuck off. And there lies the conundrum. 

In a world where 1 in 3 young girls are subjected to unwanted sexual attention and advances and nearly every grown woman has experienced some sort sexual harassment….I began to wonder if we, as a gender, are predisposed to believe that we must simply just endure rather than refuse to allow ourselves to be subjected to that sort of behavior. 

I wonder too if, inadvertently, we are teaching young girls that it’s rude to call men on their sexually charged shananagins and are thereby creating the perfect future victims of sexual crimes. 

I would like to think I generally take not one bit of shit from anyone….but I digress. Far too often I’ve found myself in an unsavory situation and error on the side of polite disregard for my own well being. Are we systematically trading our own safety for politeness? 

Think about that the next time you see an unsavory character approaching you. Everything in your gut tells you to take yourself out of the equation. But, to cross the street or clutch your purse tighter or hustle in the other direction or refuse to engage in conversation would make you appear unnecessarily assuming. Then think of how many women regret not listening to that inner voice.

And while I know I was in a relatively safe place with someone who, though behaving badly, was completely harmless……I have to admit I don’t know that I would have reacted differently if I didn’t know the person.

More times than I care to admit, I find myself lingering longer than I’d like in truly uncomfortable (and sexual) conversations with creepy, strange men simply because I’m unsure how to appropriately convey “you are a big giant sleaze ball” and retreat to safety. I’ve been groped in public by scary men and didn’t stop them. I simply endured and walked away thinking “whew…..so glad that’s over”. I’ve generally surmised that maybe they don’t realize how truly repugnant they’re being. But the truth is…..they probably do. And they are COUNTING on you being far too uncomfortable and polite to tell them no.

I suspect it’s something inherently ingrained in our DNA to be charming and nice and friendly. We like to think we, as women, must be nurturing and kind at all times. But I would like to think we should also be empowered enough to value ourselves,  and our personal space, more than we value unrequited politeness. 

The Dick and I have always tried to be very open and honest with the penis people about the differences between boys and girls.  We encourage questions in an age appropriate manner and respond with discussions that are evenly sprinkled with correct terminology and some funny references to the slang that they might encounter. Thanks to the plethora of popular songs about bringing booty back and dropping it like its hot, there are a myriad of opportunities to adequately blow the lines of  communication wide open. And I’m perfectly OK with that. I don’t overtly censor what those nutty penis people listen to or watch. And let’s face it……in this time of overly sexed EVERYTHING its not hard to find vaguely disguised sexual references in just about everything.

Because we have always been SO open and honest…… imagine my surprise when the oldest penis person kicked off a conversation with “remember when you were a little boy…….” What the what?!?!?!  Um……dear child of mine…… momma was NEVER a boy. Exclamation point. I took a moment to wax philosophical on the fact that it would be genecticaly impossible for me to have given birth to two beautiful babies if I hadn’t ALWAYS had girly bits. He asked if I was sure I had always been a girl. Um……hold on while I contemplate that for a moment to guarantee my certainty……um…..YEP!   No penis here.

Just a short while afterwards, in an entirely different conversation on an entirely different day, I was ever so patiently reminding the wee penis person for the hundredth millionth billionth time that it is completely unacceptable to touch your own junk in public when he said “don’t you remember what it was like to have a penis??”  Desperately trying to ignore the quizzical glances and amused chuckles from nearby restaurant patrons (yes….restaurant patrons…..I bet they hadn’t anticipated such interesting dinner conversation….. you’re welcome restaurant patrons) I took a deep breath and gently tried to remind wee penis person that I’ve never had the pleasure of owning my very own penis. He seemed unconvinced. In his limited little piece of the planet, our home, everyone has a penis……apparently including momma. In his tiny little mind all the people have penises. And while it seems incomprehensible to me…..I grudgingly can understand his reasoning.

So……evidence certainly supports the idea that additional conversations need to take place regarding the differences between boys and girls. God help me….I may need several flasks of liquid happiness to find the balls to adequately explain what a vagina is. While I’m sure its a little too soon for the “how babies are made” conversation….. I can’t have the penis people walking around hopped up on false facts.

Ive been dreading this conversation for years now. I was marginally sure that the penis people knew I was a girl and that girls don’t have penises (I assumed this because I haven’t pissed alone in 9 years and counting and inevitably when I shower or get dressed its never uninterupted).

I guess the moral of this story is that its never too soon to engage your child in conversations about sex and sexuality. And ’tis not a singular, one time conversation. Its an ongoing mish mosh of uncomfortableness that is part of parenting. Not one of the fun parts of parenting and parenthood…. but one of the most important and necessary parts that you simply need to muddle through.   ((((Quietly passes the flask))))

When you’re a mom, you spend a good chunk of your life tending to the never-ending needs of your beloved fuck trophies.  Day in and day out, you’re all “make your bed…brush your teeth……wash your ass……eat your food”.  At the end of day, you plop your cranky ass down, exhausted from repeatedly barking orders, and then seeing that they are carried out, like a drill Sargent.  The very LAST thing you want to do is lob additional instructions repeatedly at your spouse.

I’ve always had several theories on the inane things that zap the bow-chicka-wow-wow outta the normal, loving marital relationship.  But I’m convinced that the TOP reason is that there is positively NOTHING hot and sexy about the need to order your husband around like a child every….single….damn…day!  Infuriating…..yes!  Exasperating……for SURE!   Conducive to toe-curling sex……NOPE!  Not even close.

While I’m nearly certain that the Dick is a fairly intelligent penis person (he DID marry ME after all), I am positively perplexed that he often cannot complete the simplest of tasks without my instructions and reminders.   Conversations often go something like this…..

ME : “Babe….I’m doing laundry.  Can you gather up the shit you need washed.”

ME : (Hours later…..) “Babe…..I’m finished with a couple loads…I couldn’t help but notice that there is nothing of yours.  Could you gather up your shit PLEASE.”

The Dick : (The next day…..)  “I’m out of clean underwear….and its all your fault”.  What he didn’t say, but is clearly understood, is that I should have reminded him AT LEAST 15 more times before he finally understood the importance of gathering up the shit he wanted washed.  Silly me to think that two clear reminders would have been adequate.

 

And its the simple shit as well…

ME : “Honey….did you brush your teeth this morning ?”

The Dick : “Nope……why?”

ME : “Because your breath smells like hot dog shit wrapped around  a used tampon that’s been left in the sun too long…..go brush your fucking teeth for Christ’s sake.”

 

I know that I MUST remind the small penis people to do the simplest of tasks.  If I don’t tell them to wash their asses or brush their teeth, they will happily walk around like tiny little homeless people, a swirl of funk permeating their surroundings.  However, I SHOULD NOT have to remind a grown Dick to do these things.  He HAS a mother.  She’s a wonderful human being who did a wonderful job single parenting an entire brood of children into responsible adults.  And I am not her.

I’m pretty sure that if most Dicks would take a real, honest look at their sex life (or lack thereof) they could find a direct correlation to their inherent need to be bumbling idiots that cannot construct a simple plan for general cleanliness, proper hygiene……or the selection of appropriate clothing.

Recently, I invited the Dick to a work function.  There were to be several local Dignitaries in attendance.  Mayors, Senators.  You get the picture.   It was kind of a big deal and I was all set proudly introduce my wonderful husband.

The Dick : “I’m NOT dressing up for this….”

ME : “Yes…..yes you are.  Simple khakis and a polo shirt would work just fine.”

The Dick : “I’m NOT dressing up….its my day off.”  (Stomps foot for good measure)

ME : “Its not as if I’m asking you to wear a suit and tie…..its fucking KHAKIS.”

The Dick : “Do I have to wear dress shoes?”

ME : “YES!!!  For fucks sake……this isn’t a flip flop event.”

The Dick : “I’m not liking this…..”

ME : “Then you are summarily un-invited.  Keep your cranky ass at home.”

He trudged off like an insolent child and then proceeded to thrust a pout in my direction every chance he got.  NOT SEXY!  I wanted to paddle his ass like the spoiled brat he was acting.  And not the kind of paddling he’d be hoping for, I can assure you.

 

There is simply no time of the night that I loathe more than 10:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.  The Dick naps (yes…NAPS….that should tell you something right there) from about 8:30 p.m. until I’m instructed to wake his princess ass up at 10:30 p.m.  Now….you would ASSUME that if a grown person asks to be awakened at 10:30 p.m. that this would indicate that they WANT to be up at 10:30 p.m.  Not the Dick.  He wants me to stop whatever it is that I’m doing (albeit, that would mostly be vegging in front of the TV) and “suggest” he wake up at 10:30…..so that he can roll over….sigh LOUDLY…..and ask me to come back at 10:45.

10:45 comes.  I drift back into his cozy little world and let him know its now 10:45.  Pause……longer pause……”I’m not ready to get up…can you come back at 10:55.”

Now the sigh is coming from ME!  Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?

Ok…..he’s a hardworking man.  I get being tired (lord KNOWS I get tired….though I DON’T get the naps).  I wander back in at 10:55.  “Babe…..babe!  Its 10:55.  Time to get up.”

“Can you come back at 11:00?”    FIVE MINUTES?!?!?!?!?   What the FUCK difference is FIVE MINUTES going to make?  Just get the fuck up and get your ass ready for work.  ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

 

I guess it goes without saying that I’m surely an enabler.  I’m a bad mom…..oooopsy…I mean wife.  I consistently let him act like a child and then get angry when he actually does.  But the fact remains that I have a hard enough time transitioning from tired mom to sexy wife on a good day.   Its proportionately more difficult when I spend my days constantly cajoling my husband into performing normal, grown up tasks.

I would suggest that more Dicks would get far more booty duty if they simply grow up and NOT act like children.  Because let’s face it…..I can be your wife…with all the wonderful wifey benefits that are included.  Or I can be your mom……..and moms DO NOT have sex with their children.  The choice here seems pretty clear.

 

There are people that live in my computer.  I cannot hear their voices (cause if I could, well…..THAT would make me kinda crazy-pants).  But I know that we are connected, in good times and bad, just the same.  Of course, I have friends in real life as well because I’m not a complete anti social misfit.  But I’ve come to know and love the people in my computer nearly as much as I do the people in my real life.  Decidedly,  I kinda detest that often-used sentiment…..friends in real life vs friends in my computer.  Because they are, essentially, one and the same.  Just as easily as I can ring up a friend on the phone, I can instant message my computer peeps and be talked out of my crazy tree with the same amount of ferocious love.

Pop a squat and let me tell you a little story…….

Once upon a time a lovely (though overly haggard mom) named Nikki started a Facebook page called Moms Who Drink And Swear.  Before she knew what the hell had happened, it morphed into something so vital that it was crossing the global plains and reaching the hearts of tens of thousands of moms (and the lucky dads we’ve come to know and love as well).  The page continued to grow to epic proportions, as did her famous blog of the same name.  So many of us across the nation and beyond finally found “our people”.  We pay homage and give thanks to Nikki often for giving us a platform to fly our collective freak flags daily.

 

We’ve commiserated with one another……we’ve been there collectively offering virtual hugs through divorces and new babies.  We laugh and we cry with one another with sweet abandon.   We have one anothers back first and foremost.

 

When I’ve tried to explain this eclectic group of kick ass moms and dads, I’m generally met with equal parts cautious curiosity and a touch of skepticism.  What if they are crazy (some of us are….but the really GOOD kind of crazy).  What if they are maniacal killers, lurking around, trolling for a new victim to add to their body count in the crawl space under that house.  These generalizations often make me chuckle.  How can you EVER make a new friend if you’re constantly waiting for them to slice open your throat.  Of course, you proceed with caution.  But you proceed.  And that’s important.

 

Mostly, I’m asked how can I possibly feel SO connected to people that I’ve mostly never met and possibly never will.  First, I feel compelled to point out that I HAVE met some of them.  We’ve worked hard to organize meet ups and gatherings that are all-inclusive. When Nikki’s book was FINALLY published, several hundreds of us converged on Chicago to offer our support and congratulate her personally.  Some, I’ve merely traded text messages with, witty banter abounding with each press of send.  Some, I’ve spoken to on the phone.  Many of these personal connections have thankfully morphed into bonafide friendships that I feel positively blessed to have.  But correctly, many will always live in my computer and I will never hear their voices or get the chance to dry hump their legs with happiness from FINALLY meeting.

 

But the fact remains that we will hold each other up and tell it like it is when necessary.  Not too long ago, when I was struggling with my feelings about the Dick and contemplating what was certain to be a messy divorce……do you know who offered me free therapy and words of wisdom plucked straight from their own experiences????  Those wonderful friends in my computer.   Messages of “I’ve been there and I’m here if you need me”……offers to move in with them until I figured things out.  Check ins to make sure I was safe and hanging on.  While I love my family and the friends that are tangibly available to me every day, there is something to be said for people who are so far removed from your personal situation that they can see things far more clearly than those who are right in the midst of it all.

 

I’ve often likened my experience to these friends in my computer with the wave of emotion that people get from on-line dating.  I actually really get the attraction to talking to people you might never meet.  You have the freedom to be you because they don’t see you when your hair is acting wanky and you haven’t painted your toenails or shaved your legs in a month.  They can’t see your messy house or hear your whiny kids.  Without all the daily distractions that generally muddle up daily life, you get to see the real them and they see the real you.

 

So….to the reason for this particular blog tonight.  Today, many of my friends in my computer and I woke up to find out one of our beloved MWDAS dads had passed away quite suddenly.  Absolute shock waves across the MWDAS community.  Immediately messages went out to one another offering love and support to our group and his family.

 

We laugh together……we bitch together…..we mourn together.  Period.  And while many of us didn’t know this man PERSONALLY……we KNEW him.  We are wrapping our arms around his family from a distance and holding onto good thoughts of him in our hearts.  When the time is right….we will be happy to take up a collection for his widow and young children.  We will, collectively across the nation, have a drink in his honor tomorrow during the Tiger’s game.  We do our very best to take care of our own.  THIS is what its about.  He meant something to each one of us.  And that something isn’t any less because it was someone who lived mostly in our computer.

 

To my friends who will likely always remain in my computer….I just needed you to know that you will also always have a home in my heart.

Angry Birds……

I have always referred to my penis people as my “little birds”. They eat tiny amounts of food that I must force down their gullet and they squawk when I insist they eat more. The Dick’s family would be considered mostly fluffy in size, as is my own Italian family. Each of the families have vehemently insisted that I should just be grateful that they will never need to diet. However, being of that same wonderful Italian descent, I am what one friend affectionately refers to as a “food pusher”. Nothing makes me happier than to cook for and feed the people that I love (and sometimes, oddly, even people that I don’t particularly like very much). Ingrained in my psyche is this idea that food, and full bellies, equates love and happiness. So it pains me to watch my young penis people reject food. They aren’t picky eaters. They would quite literally eat dirt if I allowed it. They simply don’t have huge appetites. And no cajoling them, bribing them, punishing them will change that. They are happy little birds with the few morsels I will absolutely require at each meal. I’m by no means a member of the “clean plate” club. I don’t require them to eat EVERYTHING that is placed in front of them. I simply ask that they maintain enough calories to fuel their (always in motion) little bodies.

wpid-20140618_180854.jpg My oldest penis person, full of fun/crazy energy and sprinkled generously with ADHD, takes medication that helps his ADHD immensely but greatly diminishes his appetite. Under the watchful eye of both myself and his psychologist that specializes in ADHD, he gained merely ONE POUND in ONE YEAR. At nine years old, he can still wear a size 5T. He’s worn the same shorts for the past three summers. He is thin as a rail and expels those precious calories as quickly as he takes them in. His psychologist and I monitor his weight diligently, even going so far as to encourage what some would consider unhealthy snacks of cupcakes or cookies. He’s just that tiny little bird who will always BE my tiny little bird.

wpid-20140618_180807.jpg Wee penis person has type one diabetes. Diagnosed at only 3 years old, he is managing it well. And yet, his favorite game is to drive momma crazy refusing to eat. He is small as well. Being 4 years old now, he can still wear a size 2T. He will eat well sometimes, but mostly he takes a bite or two of each item offered and claims complete fullness. Positively maddening!

It baffles my mind. Both myself and my husband are proud chunky monkeys. Not incredibly unhealthy but WE LOVE FOOD. We embrace our fluffy selves whole heartedly and have no weird hang ups about food. How did our combined genetics morph into two penis people who balk at the idea of eating. Because they are my little birds. And they become very ANGRY BIRDS when I make them eat. When I count down with them how many bites they must take before we can consider their meal complete. I try NOT to put a lot of pressure on meals. But meals are important and food sustains you.

So tonight, I made home made mac and cheese. The good shit. Not the normal shit that comes out of a box that I make when I’m too tired to give a shit. And hot dogs. What kid DOESN’T like hot dogs. The little birds had just two minutes ago begun squawking about being SO hungry. Plates of food were issued, ready to be eaten. Normal dinner chit-chat ensued. Fart noises sprinkled about. Two bites in and both penis people declare done. Nope…..nope…..and uh wait….let me check….NOPE! I tell them that people are starving in the world and would kill their own granny for a morsel of this tasty meal. I instruct them that wasting food is NOT an option. Side your little behind down….pick up that damn fork….and EAT. What they heard in their minds is “Mommy is about to lose her shit AGAIN and its easier to just do what she asks then not….so we will eat…but we don’t have to be happy about it one bit”. Angry little birds……

I’ll be the first to quite honestly say that I’m not entirely sure where I stand on the issue of more stringent gun control, and indirectly, the new trend of open carry.  My husband is a Detroit Police Officer and I’m generally very used to him carrying his department issued weapon when we are out and about with our happy little family. It’s become so ingrained in our every day life that it barely even registers on my radar any more.   I’m not entirely sure that constructing tougher gun laws will make the world a safer place.  Mostly because we all know that criminals pay not the slightest bit of attention to laws anyway, so making tougher laws will mostly impact only law abiding citizens.

 

However, as mom of two adorable little boys, I am fixated on the recent rash of shootings, shootings mostly involving children in schools. And I’m as desperate as every other parent to find a way to make sense of the senseless.  To temper the tragedy with a concrete solution to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.  Sadly, I don’t know that there truly IS a way to eliminate this threat from our lives…or the lives of our children.  I fear that many of our kids are numb from an overabundance of facts and statistics, bombarded by violence daily.  Blinded by the idea that guns can’t REALLY kill people because their lives revolve mostly around a make believe world of video games that encourage weapons of mass destruction.  

 

Yep…I went there!  I NEVER thought I would be THAT parent that immediately links desensitized children to violent video games and an disproportionate amount of senseless violence cluttering their world.  But the moment I became a mom, my views shifted dramatically. For better or worse, now I’m just a mom trying to make sense of the senseless and trying to keep my children safer in an unsafe world.

 

My husband is a police officer with 18 years on the job in a city fully shrouded in never ending violence.  I have been his “partner in crime” for every single one of those 18 years.  I sometimes suspect that I should have received an honorary badge for my own silent service.  I have listened, horrified, as he described the immeasurable heart break that comes with working a call that involved the accidental death of a child killed by either their own hand, or the hand of an equally innocent child, when an unsecured weapon was discovered.  Senseless!  There is simply no other word to describe it.  This is the ONE single situation that could EASILY be prevented if only the weapon owner had been responsible and secured that deadly weapon.

 

 I can’t even attribute their lackadaisical sense of logic with lack of intelligence.  I have seen with my own weary, nervous eyes people whom I’d assumed responsible, respectable members of society leave a loaded weapon in a place that they ASSUME is out of the reach of notoriously curious children.  The argument is ALWAYS the same…..”Well, MY kids know NOT TO TOUCH IT”.  Hmmmm…..how simply FANTASTIC for you.  But are you REALLY SURE????  Are you prepared to wager that bet, with 110% certainty, on the life of your child or a young friend of theirs?  Because, essentially, this is a gamble that doesn’t seem logical and could potentially fail with tragic consequences.  But I digress.

 

The point is, it would be far simpler to blame such tragedies on the minds of simpletons, those who are uneducated or just plain stupid.  But the reality is, it happens far too often and its always the same……the family who says “I never thought it would happen to me”.  

 

If you own a weapon, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to secure that weapon properly.  Gun locks are minimal in cost and are sometimes given to gun owners free by their local police department.  If you are a parent, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ASK EVERY HOME WHERE YOU CHILD PLAYS if there are weapons in the home and if they are properly secured.  

 

While the battles rages on as to whether gun laws should become tougher, you can bet your sweet ass that more people than you think are packing heat these days.  Grannies and Grandpas…….PTA moms……that lady with all those damn cats.  You get the point.  Far more often than not, people are scared or being proactive and are purchasing (or possibly stock piling) weapons.  While I’m still not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, it is a FACT thing.  And when they get home, they gotta pack that heat away SOMEWHERE!  Ask where…..ask how…..ASK!  If you offend someone, they probably aren’t doing the right thing anyway and you should NOT allow your child there.  I’ve talked to many of our law enforcement friends and posed the same question “would you be offended if someone asked if your weapon is properly secured in a safe manner and wanted to know specifically HOW”.  The answer has, thankfully, always been a resounding “Nope….I would not be offended AT ALL”.  Responsible gun owners would appreciate the fact that you cared enough to ask.  They would probably give you a high-five!

 

On the other end of this battle….even though its scary…..even though it breaks your heart to have to do so……even if you are absolutely not a fan of guns and would prefer to pretend that they do not exist in your world……YOU MUST educated your children on the dangers of weapons and what to do if they or a friend find a weapon.  You MUST ensure that you fill their tiny little brains with the RESPECT for the power that weapons posses.  This is NOT the time to believe that by not talking about it, you will effectively eliminate the threat.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is tons of concrete information available to support the idea that NOT talking to your children about gun safety will make them far likelier to have NOT A DAMN CLUE what to do should they ever come across a weapon.  And the consequences are DEADLY.  Prepare your children by reminding them to ALWAYS assume that a found weapon is loaded.  Instruct them to NEVER touch a weapon and ALWAYS seek out the help of an adult.  If they see a friend playing with a weapon DO NOT yell at them to stop it and drop it.  Do you know how often startling a child with a loaded weapon has deadly consequences?  Back away slowly and quietly and get help.

 

Stage safety drills.  Even if you do not allow your child to play with pretend weapons…….go to the dollar store and BUY one.  Hide it somewhere that you child can somewhat easily find it.  Then have a conversation with your child about the importance of not touching and telling an adult.  Then wait.  See if they find it.  See what they do.  You will know immediately how much more conversation you will need to have.  This is generally not a one-time conversation.  This, like talking about sex, is an on-going process.  You will need to give age appropriate information.  You will need to tailor the conversation not to your specific beliefs, but to the realities of the world.  I’m sorry, I truly am.   I wish that were not so.  But it is and the sooner you face it, the safer your child will be.

 

The reality is this…..Please don’t be that gut-wrenching, heart broken family on the news who never thought it could happen to them.  My husband has seen this reality far too often in his 18 year law enforcement career.  And I promise you this…….  He still remembers every call for a child who died of an accidental gun shot.  He still remembers their faces, their names.  He can tell you their date of birth and their date of death.  He knows each age.  He remembers the address of the home it happened in.  He lives with these tiny little ghosts every day.  They haunt him.  They whisper to him in his heart…….. “let me be the last one”.

 

In case I have never mentioned this before..(yes, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it…it was a purely rhetorical question)…..by blogging and being a member of a kick ass group of mommas in the Moms Who Drink and Swear group, I’ve been lucky enough to have joined a community of amazing women that can call each other bitches and whores (said with nothing but love), play “I have never” (a drinking game) online with each other across the nation on a Saturday night, and can have an intelligent conversations about something as controversial as immunizations without threatening violence towards one another. In a world of opinionated, self involved assholes, who lurk behind a keyboard and sling hate without a second thought, I find this recent conversation I’ve experienced so refreshing and simply AWESOME!!!

To start, I saw a similar post earlier that day about vaccinations….one that quickly morphed into an incredibly hostile and ignorant verbal slasher-fest (please note….if you’re attempting to school someone on how incredibly SMART you are, can you please PLEASE do so without major grammatical errors…consider this my PSA for today) and made EVEN ME want to gouge my eyes out with a fork just for having witnessed the immense stupidity that was on display. My God, I felt really dumb after reading that particular post.

While I was completely irritated, it also got me thinking. Irritation usually DOES get me thinking (Its like being in the bathroom and pooping and a million brilliant things just pop magically into your head). So I posed the following questions on my own Facebook page……

“Ok….sorta a half shit starting question and sorta half really wanting to know……Why are people so concerned with whether or not a parent vaccinated their children…..If MY child is vaccinated and there IS an outbreak of polio or something equally evil….won’t the vaccinations my child received protect them???? So…..I support my friends who opt to not vaccinate their kids after making informed decisions and doing research….and worry not at all about the media hysteria that tells me that people who don’t vaccinate their kids are a danger to my vaccinated ones. You can’t have it both ways….you cannot tell me I should vaccinate my kids so they don’t get diseases…..and then tell me children not vaccinated could infect my kids. That just makes you sound like a moron.”

And then I sat back and diligently waited for the shit storm to start brewing. I was poised over my keyboard, methodically reading every response, ready to pounce on the first douche bag that didn’t play nice.

Now, I KNEW that there was a possibility that it was…sorta half a shit starting question. But I thought, well, maybe there are things I’m unaware of. Maybe while I’m sitting around watching SpongeBob on a continuous loop all day, losing vital brain cells by the second, there are important facts and information that I’m missing. And as I’ve mentioned, I know some amazingly smart women. I mostly knew (and hoped) it would go well.

After the first 92 comments, I was impressed. While there were (of course) varying opinions (as well as many opposing opinions), there was also honest, intelligent, and often very hilarious discussion whizzing around. Those whores (said with love and affection) were downright respectful of one anothers differing views. The conversation went a little something like THIS :

Kyle : Oh Danielle.

** See how Kyle tried to dissuade me from continuing the conversation…..see how I kept right on going **

Kyle : Your kids may not be in danger….just all of humanity.
Wendy : I chose to vaccinate my girls. period. ——->> oh look the draft is on. ** Way to deflect there Wendy….”A” for effort **
ME : I only ask that anyone that comments must be polite….be kind. …be respectful of choices people make.
Danielle S. : You are right! It’s an Oxymoron!
ME : Yeah…but if everyone has always been vaccinated (I’m assuming that the idea to choose not to vaccinate is a relatively new one) then wouldn’t only those who opt not to vaccinate be unsafe? ?
Megan M : http://youtu.be/OJlNXjYtwgY This explained so much to me in real scientific no BS manner. Penn & Teller: Bullshit – Season 8 – Ep 89: Vaccinations

** Megan dropped an awesome Pen and Teller skit that had me cracking the fuck up. It also helped diffuse the situation (even though it really didn’t need any diffusing **

Kyle : You hear the term Gateway drug…..nonvaccination…..the gateway to everything that has been gone……coming back. whooping cough is back….Measles are back…mumps are back…..they were gone, none of our kids had them….I did……

ME : And…When I said it just makes people sound like a moron…..I was totally referring to the CDC and the government agencies that feed the mass hysteria. Not anyone here….because I love you all. ** I really did feel the need to clarify that point **

Sara R : It’s a little more complicated than that, has to do with herd immunity. And it increases the risk for babies too young to be vaccinated yet (pneumococcal is a nasty nasty thing) and kids who are immunosuppressed or otherwise unable to be vaccinated.

Carol : I vaccinated and I agree its a personal choice. The way I understand it, is that the argument goes like this,,, If only a percentage of the kids ARE vaxed, then the disease can spread and become stronger and stronger, rendering those vaccines powerless against the new, more powerful strains that spread amongst the unvaxed and weakens the vaccines given in the first place. Whether the argument is valid or not is up for debate, as well.

Sarah KG : I do not vaccinate. BUT I only advise people to do their own research. Just because it is good for some one else doesn’t mean it is good for me. Our bodies react differently. Not every one is allergic to penicillin.. but it will kill me. Same idea. St the end of the day, we can only do what we think is best for our kids.

Meghan A : Anyone who is not vaccinated is not only susceptible to communicable diseases, but they also have the ability to spread disease to other unvaccinated individuals. Some of those individuals could be infants not old enough to be vaccinated or the elderly who, for whatever health reasons, cannot be vaccinated.

Kim : I just read a big article about the hurd immunity and what advantages it provides. For me, better safe than sorry.

Hundreds of comments followed…..all were relatively similar to these. I did have one friend who posted a very simple, yet telling, statement.

Jennifer S : I’m not even going to touch on this subject….lol have fun with it though. See you tomorrow.

** Jennifer S is much like me in that she has clearly been a part of conversations that went sideways quick and the only way to escape them is generally to avoid them entirely **

I am SO proud of the moms I know. They participated actively and intelligently without pushing their owns views forcefully down one another’s throats. They made points that were thought provoking without provoking a fight. Afterwards, we moved on to additional meaningful topics such as circumcision, pro life/pro choice, and gay rights
** Not really, we just discussed the idea that we COULD discuss those topics and the environment would probably remain very chill – GO US! **

After tons of comments, the conversation DID go sideways….but it a totally fun and twisted kinda way. We moved on from the important stuff and started talking about the REALLY important stuff…..

ME : Lol…..Erin. ..you like spankings. ….get over here. I also have a van with candy inside…..and I’m looking for my lost puppy.
ME : Ignore that bottle of chloroform sitting over there.
Erin S. : I LOVE candy and puppies! As long as the van has no windows. …we have to keep the puppy safe when we find it.
ME : And I have rope……just because.
Erin S. : Well we need a leash…duh.
Sara T. : I rely on psycho, that way nobody fucks with me.
ME : Now where did I park that damn unicorn???
Erin S. : I bought my phone for that setting….do you have the go ahead I dare you to Fuck with me package too?
Paula Q. : By my rainbow…..u need directions again?
ME : Uh….yes! Or no…..but probably yes. Let’s go with yes.
Erin S. : I don’t know. My unicorn is at the hornwash. My purple elephant said she’d pick up Miriam my unicorn after she’s done shitting out the mystery van. She’s pmsing…she prefers old 70 – 80s cartoon vehicles this time of the month. Silly ellie.
Sara T. : Shit…where are we going? I need directions, too.
ME : Follow the yellow brick road Sara…..
ME : Make a sharp left at the cowardly lion….not a soft left…..a soft left will take you the third realm of hell….Unless hell was maybe your ultimate destination.
Sara T. : Dorothy’s Yellow brick Road Or Elton John’s?
Erin S. : Aaaahhhh I so love you girls.
ME : Diana Ross’s
Erin S. : Shhhh not Eltons…don’t mention anything associated with ivory when ellie is PMSing. She’s very sensitive.
ME : Or was it Michael Jackson’s yellow brick road…..
Sara T. : OMG…now I’m in the Ghetto with Elvis Presley….Thanks a lot, Danielle, your directions SUCK!!!
Erin S. : Michaels…you have to ease on down that road
ME : Tell Elli to go suck a sticky bag of donkey dicks with her pms-ing self.
Erin S. : Throw a pb banana sammich and run….
ME : Oh no……Sara…I stuck some lojack on you……wait….I’ll turn you on.
Erin S. : How low is jack?
Sara T. : You all realize that CPS is on their way with SWAT to take our children away because NSA is monitoring all of this, right?!?!?!?!?
Erin S. : I could use a nap anyway.
ME : Ok…..make a left at crack head blvd…….step softly over the sleeping hookers at the corner…..hop on one foot and then twirl three times really fast. POOF!!! Sara…..You’re home! (((((hugs you and squishes your face in closer for a loving motorboat)
ME : Jack is so low that he’s pissing on people in China.
Erin S. : China gets all the good fertilization.
ME : YAY!!!! Vacation! I’ll bring the smores!

And that my friends is how you write a blog about a controversial subject without anyone trying to kill anyone…….

As the mom of penis people and a woman married to the Dick, I’ve come to accept that my life and my home will encompass all things penis related. It will generally reek of testosterone. Things will often be messy. I’ve accepted this. There is very little that I can do but embrace it and move on.

However…….when you sit and try to soak away your day in a nice, toasty warm bath, steam swirling your troubles away and a good book transporting your brain to someplace far beyond your mundane existence…..and the smell of stale urine permeates your oasis. Well…..enough of this penis fest and all that grossness. I’ve spent the last few days bleaching and scrubbing every thing I could think of that might be holding this odor. I even bleached the very deep, dark recesses of the back of the toilet, a place so grimy that no one should ever have to go there alone and unarmed. I went through a whole container of cleaning wipes until that shitter sparkled……GLEAMED even. I thought that I’d battled hard and I’d won. I was WRONG!

That disgusting smell continued to waft around me.

Now, to be clear, I’m completely used to cleaning up after the penis people. I’ve accepted that my lot in life is to constantly trail along behind them, bucket o’ cleaning products in hand. I’ve accepted that, no matter how hard I’ve tried to correct their incorrectness, the penis people will generally piss as if they swirling around in a tornado while doing so. They will see that big giant circular waste receptacle, and promptly view it as a challenge to do whatever is required to miss it entirely. Even the Dick seems unable to resist marking his nearby territory like a fucking dog. The actual dog (also with a penis) probably pisses with far better accuracy. I’ve accepted this. I actually avoid this bathroom, opting instead to go to my happy place, the smaller girly bathroom. The only problem with the smaller girly bathroom is that there is no shower, which means I either take a whore bath in the sink or brave the penis room. And this was where I was encountering my biggest issue. There is NOTHING more disgusting that running a bathtub full of steamy watery goodness, settling in for some peace and quiet and smelling hot stale urine. I might as well have been BATHING in piss, the odor was THAT strong.

And while I’d been busy scrubbing and bleaching and cleaning, it never once occurred to me that the cloth shower curtain might be the offender. The shower curtain, easily a good five inches or more from the fucking toilet, was soaked in piss. Are you fucking SERIOUS?!?!?!!? Were they intentionally AIMING for that bitch? Because I simply cannot fathom any other way that this found itself soaked in piss. Its never even in the direct line of fire. Seriously…..WHAT……THE…..FUCK!

I’m convinced that this is one of those key reasons that justifiable homicide is justifiable. Since I have girly bits and have ALWAYS been a sitter on the shitter, I find it mildly irritating that I even have to clean these sloppy messes. Mildly irritating……but I do it because, frankly, no one else here (with a penis) will give a shit enough to do it themselves. I’m certain that the only end to this madness is to re-train the young penis people to sit when they piss, thereby avoiding the mess entirely.

I’ve done some research (because the internet is AWESOME and you can google just about ANYTHING). I’ve discovered that there is no necessary reason, medically speaking or otherwise, for people with a penis to stand while pissing. NONE! I while I have no idea who started this or why it was deemed a good idea, its completely pointless. I’m proposing a movement for all my tired momma friends. Let’s stage a mutiny……..let’s teach our sons to piss sitting down, in a effort to undo all the messy nonsense that is inherently just so wrong. No more sitting in puddles of piss…..no more cleaning and scrubbing errant sprinkles of tinkles. We, the moms of the world, CAN CHANGE THIS!

Because I, for one, am pissed about all the piss I’m dealing with.

Ode to my MWDAS friends…….

I don’t always enjoy the Dick and the penis people…….THERE…I said it. Well, actually, its NOT the first time I’ve SAID IT. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve “said” it in printed text.

I love them all, my penis people and the Dick. But evenly tempered with that crazy love, is that simple fact that I don’t always particularly LIKE them. Sometimes they absolutely exhaust and frustrate me. Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming, longingly, about my single, childless, carefree days. Sometimes I’ve grown tired and bitchy and, while its generally so very wrong to simply throttle them into absolute compliance, I can almost feel the thrill that would come from said throttling. I often look forward, very happily, to those peaceful moments when they’ve gone to sleep (and the Dick’s gone to work) and I’m finally completely ALONE with JUST myself. No one asking me for ANYTHING. No one vying for my attention. I suck up the quiet and find I REALLY need it like a crack whore NEEDS another hit.

Motherhood has long since been known as a giving of the most important parts of yourself to people that won’t even appreciate your sacrifice until they’re much older….and, in a wicked twist of irony, you will probably be dead and won’t even get to enjoy the perfunctory “I told you so” moments. No one but a mom will understand the times when you are deathly sick but your kid needs help with a science project NOW, so you suck up all that shitty-ness that you feel and you just….keep…..moving. Even when every fiber of your being is just BEGGING you to stop and rest. No one but a mom will understand that, while you MUST work hard and long to provide a roof and food, you will still be consumed with unwavering guilt about missing quality moments with those same ungrateful brats….brats that will revel in your overwhelming guilt and not only work harder to make you feel even shittier, but they will use that guilt to play on your already frayed emotions to blackmail you for things that they want.

Many, many years ago, I was lucky enough to find super smart ass extraordinaire Nikki and her blog Moms Who Drink and Swear. She’d begun a Facebook page based on her blog and those mommas were smart and funny, quick with snark and bitchy-in-a-good-way. I was HOME! Nikki’s blog morphed into a book, much to HER surprise but not very surprising at all to the rest of us, her loyal fans. If you’ve not had the chance to read Nikki’s book, you can buy it here. What Nikki blogged and status-updated about were all the things that many of us THINK but never really had the balls to say. Only…..now we had a platform AND a group of like-minded moms who understood. Moms who were happy to commiserate with one another…..all of us knew that, with Motherhood, there is little you can actually DO about any given situation, but it was nice to know you weren’t SO fucking ALONE! Yipeee motherfuckers!

What’s funny, is I’ve spent SO many AMAZING years with these equally amazing women, I sometimes forget that there are still mommas out there that can do nothing more than pretend that motherhood is NOTHIING but happiness and sunshine and unicorns that miraculously shoot magical rainbows outta their ass. It’s as if they were to let go of this bullshit façade, their entire shitty little lives would fall apart. And when I encounter one of THOSE MOMS, I find myself staring at them, while they gush endlessly about there fabulous kids and their perfect life, like they have six heads, twelve legs and eight boobs. Freaky ass bitches! They scare me more than a zombie apocalypse AND a Supervolcano combined (see Heather, I’m STILL freaking the fuck out about that).

I’ve been ever so lucky enough to have surrounded myself with a wonderful group of moms, women who’ve been part therapist, part co-conspirator in the imaginary murders that I sometimes plot. Whenever I’m having an incredibly shitty moment, I can type a quick synopsis of my grief, press enter…..and presto. MAGIC! In a moments notice, I will have suggestions and advice and offers for bail money. I have friends who will (ahem….joking?) offer up a back-hoe to dig that not-so-shallow grave (Wendy…) and implicit advice on where to hide the bodies. They offer you a place to hide when you are simply fed the fuck up (Candice). In short, I’ve found an amazing support system and have offered the same support myself when its needed.

And THAT’S what’s so important about finding the perfect balance of crazy mommas. You KNOW the sun isn’t always shining because there are many more rainy days than not. You KNOW that at the end of those stupid rainbows is a pot o’ baby vomit and you’re not sure WHAT the FUCK to do. You KNOW that those unicorns are ASSHOLES who will kick you in the ass when you’re already down. But facing these moments is easier when you have your kick ass momma friends surrounding you with love (and a perfect alibi).

So, very recently the Dick had this ABSOLUTELLY FABULOUS idea (((insert dramatic eye roll here))) that we should connect better as a family. I’m not sure what kind of mid-life psychosis he might be finding himself in the midst of, but I get the sense that he’s read something somewhere or talked to someone or SOMETHING that has caused him to become hell bent on such a notion. I can nearly guarantee he didn’t come to this conclusion all on his own (PS – Screw you WHOever or WHATever placed this idea in his head).

So there we were….a happy little family of tablets and smart phones, computers and televisions….posed with the idea of COMPLETELY unplugging for an hour EACH day. What the fuck are we….QUAKERS??? To say I was skeptical that this would be even remotely successful is an understatement. But the Dick is rarely this pumped about ANYTHING so I thought “why the hell not”. And so we sat the kids down and begin the enormous task of setting this freak-show plan in motion.

** and it was met with happiness and joy **

NOT! Both penis people IMMEDIATELY balked at the idea. Oldest penis person was convinced he’d done something that deserved such punishment and began profusely apologizing for all his real or imagine transgressions. Wee penis person simply COULD NOT wrap his wee lil brain around the notion that there would be no SpongeBob for an hour each day.

NO PHONES. Well, maybe I COULD live with that. I actually HATE using my phone. I hate calling or being called. I hate checking voice mail. I hate people who LEAVE voice mail. I’m lukewarm in my feelings about texting and returning texts. Plus, my smart phone is being a complete dumbass right now and I’m only getting about half of my messages anyway. So whatever…..I could survive without my phone for an hour….except….I use my phone to access email! CRAP! I LOVE using email. And FACEBOOK…..Wait….no Facebook for an hour a day??? Admittedly, I’m NOT on Facebook all day, every hour. But I still like having the OPTION to use it when I want. FUUUUUCK!

So, now the Dick had three cranky assholes that weren’t entirely on-board. LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!!

We decided that we would tie this time in with our regularly scheduled dinner time. We’ve always had a standing rule that dinner time is family time, but over the years its completely morphed into a mad dash to finish quickly so we could go back to the shit we REALLY enjoy…. So we would no longer rush through meals, eager to get back to TV or electronics. We would spend that time REALLY together! Talking and sharing our day…….. GAG!!! Even typing that felt a bit hokey. But it wasn’t really that bad. We really took a beat to LISTEN to the penis peoples’ stories. The Dick and I had an ACTUAL conversation. It was…..kinda nice! Ok, so not entirely what I was expecting but we were off to a good start.

Then……..what the fuck do we do with the time AFTER dinner??? Normally, 9 yr old penis person would wander off to his beloved tablet to build crap on MINECRAFT and the wee penis person would ask for a movie in his room. NOT TODAY! I instructed each penis person to select 6 books and we settled on the sofa to read. I actually LOVE to read and am THRILLED that my penis people have inherited my genuine love for printed words. And so….six books each were thoroughly enjoyed. My penis people are also kinda artsy-fartsy. So I dragged out the crayons and the paper and we all got busy coloring and drawing.

I snuck a peek at the clock, wondering how long we’d been at this and how much further we still had to go. TWENTY SIX MINUTES?!?!?!?!? REALLY?!?!?!? I could have sworn we’d have been closer to an hour. It was right about then that the penis people started fighting over the red crayon and wee penis person began to really irritate his big brother. AND WE STILL HAD TWENTY SIX MINUTES TO GO!!! Damn it!

Had the weather been warmer, or even just a bit less damp (thanks SO fucking much stupid Michigan), I would have hustled their little behinds outdoors to blow the stank off of them. But we were stuck inside and I was growing desperate for something to entertain them that didn’t require power or electricity (see….Quakers). A rousing game of hide and seek seemed JUST THE TRICK! You penis people go hide and I’ll come find you! I closed my eyes and counted to 100…..hey, I wanted to give them PLENTY of time to find a good spot! Then I made a half assed attempt to locate them, pretending NOT to hear their giggles.

All in all, we made it through the first day of unplugging for an hour….and each of the subsequent days that followed. I can’t say that I’ve loved every minute of it, but I don’t really loathe it nearly as much as I thought I would. I’m far from “granola mom”, happy sometimes to let my penis people entertain themselves with electronics and television, giving me just enough time to decompress from the day and start to relax. But this hour each day has given me ample opportunity to work towards spending more quality time with my penis people and the Dick.

So while I’m not advocating COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UNPLUGGING, I have enjoyed the chance to connect better with the people I love. It’s only a hour a day……how bad can it really be?