pixietastic: (me2011)
At my grandmothers 99th birthday party yesterday afternoon I watched her gently lift the fork full of cake to her mouth and thought to myself, if I get to 99 I'll eat the damn cake with my fingers, fist-fulls at a time, and no one had better say a damn thing, but no, my grandmother gingerly, slowly, with the same demeanor and calm as ever, raised her dementia ridden hand, with it's perfectly poised fork, to her mouth and carefully chewed each dainty bite of her birthday cake. She doesn't speak anymore, and according to my fathers many siblings, doesn't understand a word of English these days, but she smiled and nodded at our off key "happy birthday" all the same.

I want that level of decorum, of tact in my every day approach. This woman, who having birthed 12 babies spanning 20+ years, has forgotten all of the faces, all of the names that should be familiar, she doesn't recognize any of her brood of children (all well past 50 themselves now) never mind myself or any of the other 25+ Grandchildren or Great-grandchildren (or in the case of two of the smallest; great-great-grandchildren) and yet she is still so calm, so accepting of the world and still so proper with her fork and knife, these are the skills she's held on to, even in her last few years she's clung to the social propriety and teachings that have been well engrained since childhood. She is quiet, polite, and respectful in a scenario that I can only imagine to be terrifying.

My mate is going on a trip, a vacation, with some of his buddies, they usually go several times a year, this trip will be 12 days, the last one was 8 and at the time the baby wasn't even 6 weeks old. His buddies all bring their spouses, he used to bring his girlfriend as well, and now he has me, and the invitation hasn't been extended. It's hard to not feel hurt, harder still not to express it, I know it's not personal, I know I can't go, the baby and I are a unit, I can't take her and leave the other two, I can't take all three, the big kids have school, so the invitation needn't be extended, he knows I can't go. And yet I find myself angry, bitter, I haven't had a good night sleep in... I haven't had a day off in... It's not FAAAAAAIR.

Childlike and pouting, I didn't want tiger tail ice cream I wanted bubble yum! and suddenly I'm 5 years old again screaming "it's not faaaaair" lip jutted out, arms crossed, eyes brimming with tears, "I wanna go on vacation tooooooo".

And he plays the calm, pretends not to notice my internal hissy fits, as I make the occasional pointed comment, try as I might to hold them back. And in-turn I fail to notice, the guilt, the hurt at each of my barbs, the inner struggle between being "the good mate" and taking a break so he doesn't resent us. And we dance in this unspoken limbo between trips, where nothing is said of the place he goes to unwind, and I whine about how badly I'd like to get away, and we day dream of someday, but I don't believe a word of it.

What he doesn't see, what he's yet to clue in on, is that it's not the kids holding me back, it's me, because if I left, even for a moment, I'm not sure I'd have it in me to come back.

I don't think at 99 I'll have it in me to still eat my birthday cake with a fork, I'm too impulsive, too irrational, and quick to jump in with both feet without looking for a place to land.

And what I fail to notice, is that it's possible, just maybe, at 99 she still knows enough to eat her cake with a fork, so they don't take that one bit of freedom that feeding herself affords, that one small piece of her former self, away. Maybe that kind of decorum will come for me as well, maybe that's what nearly a century of life has taught her, to observe the cultural rules.

Read it again what did you see? A sweet entry insubstantial I expected more from you Ani. Your story loops lazily like a third grade essay about how you spent your weekend. Read it again what did you not say how are they supposed to read between the lines and know all the things you didn't get a chance to type out. Read it and rewrite it in the cab on your cell phone won't be near a computer till after deadline this is your last chance, this had better be your swan song this had better be your A game you'd better step it up kid there's a thousand of em waiting to take your place, the click click click of the iPhone keys non-keys making artificial click click clicks.

You didn't observe the topic just hinted at it, now you feel compelled to explain your attempted meta with your click click cab clicking.

They're not going to see the irony of all the things that aren't said here aren't observable to people through a screen, the best meta would have been a blank screen for this topic, or a poem about fireflies and moonlight that in no way shadows the point.

They're not going to see how broken up you are about him leaving, how tempted you are to just go while he's gone. Everyone's first question when you said he totaled the car was "had he been drinking" and you haven't told a single soul that you're the one who sold him the beers.

All these unsaid unsteady things you could have should have would have written about, they're not going to see that Ani, all they're going to see is a sweet little story about how your role models biggest freedom is getting to eat her own damn birthday cake all by herself.

This is my topic for this weeks LJ Idol. Topic was "Unobservant"
pixietastic: (me2011)
I was sitting in a bath towel on her queen size bed screaming at her, hung over as sin, seething with rage I didn't know I could muster, "what the ever loving FUCK, do you want from me!". This wasn't our first fight, it wasn't our last fight but it was definitely one of our more memorable and certainly one of our most repetitive. I'd asked her to leave about six months prior but had agreed that she shouldn't leave until she'd gotten herself established with a steady job and a decent living space. In the six months she'd succeeded in doing nothing but badgering me continually to love her again, which unsurprisingly wasn't really working out too well for her.

The thing was I hadn't stopped loving her, quite the contrary I loved her dearly, I'm sure somewhere under years of resentment and heartache I still do, but I'd reached a breaking point where I couldn't handle her in my space, and in control of every fraction of my life.

It's not that it was really her fault, she came from a controlling background and I don't think intended to bully, manipulate, and control myself and by extension the children, I honestly believe her damage runs deep enough that she to this day isn't aware of how her actions impact other people, and I'd come out of a horridly abusive and controlling marriage, by comparison she was lighthearted, easygoing, supportive and every thing I thought I needed in a lover.

The problem was as I began to heal from the emotional damage I'd sustained, she no longer felt we were on a level playing field and the stronger I got the more tension there was between us. At some point I found a tequila-flavored alternative to sanity, and for awhile we "made it work" in part for the children, in part because there really was a lot of love there, but mostly because we'd woven ourselves into a terribly codependent knot and the disentanglement was going to be a slow and terribly painful process for all concerned.

That fight though, that fight stands out in my mind, as she postured over me, chest out, back straight and I cowered dripping from the shower I realized she was nothing but a bully, and I just couldn't handle one more bully in my life.

"You don't care about anything do you?" she spat at me.

I sucked in a slow and steady breath, trying to stop the rage from blinding me and saying something I'd live to regret. As she sat there waiting for a response, goading me, pushing every last button I just snapped.

"You're right, I don't care about anything," I hissed, in an almost whisper, and then it hit me, a moment of rage-turned-brilliance, maybe this will get rid of the bitch. My voice was even, almost bemused, a careful mimicry of my former husbands calm while in a manic-rage, "I couldn't care less about any of you, I've just been playing this whole time, playing at giving a damn, playing mommy, and wifey, and good little girl. I honestly feel nothing, not for you, not for them (I gestured towards the room the children shared) nothing. Go ahead and leave, go ahead and stay, I don't care one bit."

The look in her eyes changed so completely, a horror mixed with the look someone gives you when you've just kicked a puppy as if it were a football at a PETA meeting. "You're a sociopath!" she accused, "you shouldn't have children." Now she was off, spiraling into some sort of calculated misery, spiraling and circling around about all the ways I'd deceived her as the tears streamed down her face.

I pulled my jeans out of a pile of clothes on the floor, and slithered into them in my best impression of a snake, grabbed a matching bra and panty set, a mini-skirt and tank top and tossed them into a canvas bag, along with the infamous stripper heals and a make-up bag, zipped up my hoodie and bolted out of the bedroom and towards the door, with a flippant "believe what you want," thrown over my shoulder like a scarf, as I headed off to work.

This is my entry for LJ Idol Exhibit A; topic "Honey Badger Don't Care". If you like it, I am very appreciative for any votes I get this late in the game :)


Feb. 7th, 2013 06:01 pm
pixietastic: (me2011)
Dear Loki,

I see what you're doing there, god of mischief, fucking things up. My whole week you've taken and turned on it's head, my god it's only Thursday, and just like when I thought I was crazy in that moment I wrote about in Week One, I'm left sitting here in awe of your mischief.

Oh? You need clarification? You want to know what wrench you've thrown me to get hate-mail you playful little devil?

Let me start with the dramatics, the angst that is my eight year old. The infamous eight year old I wanted to trade in last week, this week she wanted a bra, because what 3rd grader with nothing to put in a bra doesn't want one? Honestly, when I was in 8th grade the school damn near had to hold an intervention to get me to agree to some support for my 32C's, it was a damn national conference, baggy sweatshirts and overalls can't save you now Ani, you need a B-R-A, chanted the pep-squad! So this weekend I made friends with Wal-Mart and bought her one (or two because come on, a young lady must have a dark one and a light one, to wear and presumably show off, in the locker room before gym class) because she doesn't want (or need) to be a social outcast like her mother, right? Peer pressure is still a thing, at least I think it is.

The baby, the wonderful perfect bless-her-heart baby went from being a perfect shining example of all baby-kind to a screaming drooling boob-monster who feels the need to demonstrate at every available opportunity, how great the 4 new teeth she's cut since Sunday, are!

And my poor middle daughter is just getting the raw end, I don't even have time to complain about her she's slipping through the cracks so badly.

And then Monday, like a fool, I went to work expecting this bad mood would linger, expecting the WORST, a day without sunshine, the day after STUIPIDBOWL Sunday in a bar, might as well be Christmas day in a shopping mall, I could have fired a cannon through the bar and not hit anyone. And yet there you were Loki, making mischief again, your whacky-jinx buggering up my bad day, you send in Al, the biggest tipper in the history of big tippers, the guy I've only met twice, but his legend permeates the strip bar, like some cheap cologne "he's the guy that tips girls $600-$1,000 on stage AND THEN takes them for private dances, he's unstoppable" everyone's heard of Al, everyone knows him on sight, everyone flatters him, he gets so much attention, but could I pick him out of a line up on post-Superbowl Monday, when everyone's hungover as sin and an asshole to boot? Hell no, I've only met him twice and neither time was he interested in me.

So what does Al do? What changes my view of every-fucking-thing, peeling back my jaded cynicism? He drops a grand in my lap, $1,200.00 for a quick flash of those chewed up milk-filled fun bags, a fucking G-note, buddy, to see that used-and-worn pair of tits, that I hoist up with a 34DD push up-bra from La Senza, you know, leopard print, the full-meal-deal. A thousand dollars because I'm the bartender, and because he's drunk and like everyone else, he's told me his whole life story over a bottle of Grey Goose, and I've listened and repeated the key parts, asking the less offensive but still crucial questions, and he's deemed me worthy of his interest for the night.

And I think to myself how unnecessary it is, how unlike years ago when I was painting pennies so they'd look like dimes, this kind of good fortune would have been life saving, it would have been everything, and now it was nice, but I didn't need it, I didn't even feel entitled to it.

So then when Tuesday rolled around, and I found myself so much richer, I decided to channel some of your mischief Loki, I decided to take myself downtown, to the place where no one has enough, where the beggars mug other beggars or fight each other for food. And I decided that the several hundred dollars I'd brought with me, would be gifted off, handed out to people who's need was greater, no it wasn't all of it, because I'm not that self-less, but it was some, it was what in years before would have tided me over for a few weeks of groceries, and there I divide it up amongst single moms friends who were struggling, between people who asked for change, and people who just needed it.

Gifts come in strange ways it seems Loki, and the games you play, restoring my faith in the balance of the universe, the perspective you give me over my petty ridiculous problems and this amazing gift from a strange man in a strange place that puts me in a position to share the wealth, to perpetuate your over the top toying with the status-quo.

She-who-painted-pennies and now gives them back.

This is my entry for week 3 of LJ Idol exhibit A, topic; Shenanigans
pixietastic: (me2011)
Is there a return policy on children? How about an exchange? I think mine are defective. I'd like a full refund. Heck I'll go for a trade, I've probably spent a small house worth of money on these kids and honestly I'm just not feeling this whole "mom" thing anymore. I don't like the jeans that come with this gig they're too high up in the waist, and they do nothing for my behind, I prefer skinny's, and I'm really not feeling the "up all night" thing when they're sick or teething or having nightmares.

I still have nightmares, I mean just the other day I had one where I was driving a minivan full of children-covered-in-McFries to soccer practice while a baby wailed in a car seat and the damn McDonalds was out of McVodka!

I mean, I didn't really make an informed decision, ya know, like babies are cute with their pudgy little Michelin-Man arms, and round glowing cheeks, their little passed out in a sea of noise, milk comas, but all told, the commercials were misleading, I thought they'd stay small like that and playful. These ones are bigger and they have their own opinions I mean I've tried all the tricks in the manual and they STILL talk back, and the oldest one borrowed my SWEATER this morning, I'm not getting old enough for this, I want a do-over.

Can I bow out of my contract early, 18 years of commitment followed by decades of probation is sounding kind of trying right now. I mean how many more rounds of the stomach flu can we have? And those damn dance recitals, did you know they don't even serve liquor at those things? Eventually they're going to want cars and have boyfriends, or girlfriends or 3 eyed monkeys or whatever the kink-du-jour will be by that point, and honestly I just don't think I'm up for that.

I'd rather be in the Bahamas, did you know my step-daughter and her girlfriends are going to the Dominican Republic to drink those drinks with the little umbrellas for 7 days? I'm still waiting on that honeymoon my ex-husband promised me, don't think I'm going to see that vacation any time soon.

So can't I just return them? I mean the little one's barely been used I just haven't really had the time what with the older ones running around. And the older ones are in excellent used condition, even if the oldest is a little mouthy, I'm sure you could do something with that, a bow or some nice shoes and no one will even notice.

What do you say? Am I really past the refund policy? I'll even take store credit!

Silence falls over the crowd. She's kidding right? I mean my god she's a MOTHER for Christssake, those are CHILDREN she's talking about a slow tentative clap starts at the back, a snort and nervous giggle comes from the front row. She's got to be KIDDING... right?

This is my entry for week two of LJ idol exhibit A; topic: Throw Back The Little Ones
pixietastic: (me2011)
I'm hungover, it's a cool morning in late September, and the floor has just fallen out from under me. At first it swells up from below, threatening to devour me like some beast. It's just the floor, the same cold hard tiled surface it's always been, but today everything is different. Today my tiny apartment, and it's cold hard tiled floor are trying to swallow me whole, and I almost wish they would.

"Mom! My sister wont share her kitty!" my younger daughter wails from their combined bedroom, but I'm not in the mood to play judge and jury over their latest war, I mumble something about being there in a minute, and they go back to wrestling over a toy neither one of them cared at all about yesterday.

I love my kids, more than everything, for years everything, every thought, every endeavor, every minute was about them, their needs, what was best. I walked out of my marriage because my husband, their father, didn't want them, and I couldn't imagine a world without them. I struck out on my own with no money and no life skills to try and build a life for us, a home, and every minute that followed for years after, was a struggle. The lights went out when I couldn't afford to pay the bills, when the job I had wasn't nearly enough to keep us all fed and clothed and cared for the way we needed to be. Finally now 4 years, 3 jobs and another failed relationship later I've found a recipe that works.

Yeah it was hard to get my head around taking my clothes off for money, how do you go from breastfeeding, baby-wearing, nerdy little secretary, to pole dancer, bar waitress? It was an adjustment, but after that first week where I made more money in 3 days than I had in the previous 3 months, it was an adjustment I learned to live with. Before I started working in one, I'd never set foot in a bar, and I was the girl who thought 3 glasses of wine was really excessive drinking.

Excessive drinking, like those tequila shots two weeks ago, what did I have? 10? Oh god that was stupid, the kids were away at a sleepover and I was out with the boyfriend, and we knew the bartender, Megan is a gem of a girl, but man, 10 free Tequila, I was looped!

I knew the next morning the sex wasn't a smart move, two weeks since my last period. But come on, I mean couples TRYING to get pregnant only have a 25% chance of conceiving on any given month right? I mean certainly the powers that be would forgive my one indiscretion.

Which brings me back to now, my life. I love my life. I have a job I'm good at, an enviable figure, I make enough to support my family without any hand outs. I have fun, and friends and a boyfriend and a life I love. I've built this house of cards on this job that I alternately love and hate, I drink too much, it's always a party when you work in a bar, but I'm not going to do this forever right? And without this job my life was crumbling. I will get out of the bar scene, when I'm ready.

I've moved up in the world, mostly out of the stripping and more into the bar-tending, Megan taught me, she was a great teacher, but you still have to dress the part, lingerie and heals, full make up, you have to watch what you eat, stay in shape.

So looking back down at this stick in my hand, with it's two pink lines, the world starts spinning again, the floor threatening to swallow me whole. I finally gather the nerve to say it aloud, just slightly more than a whisper, "I'm pregnant.".

If everything I've done for the last 4 years has been about my children, taking care of them, making the best for them, providing for them, if everything has been precariously balanced atop this job that is the antithesis of motherhood, I can't be pregnant.

But I am, and I can't honestly see myself not keeping it, I always wanted a third. Am I crazy? Probably, but I'm going to try desperately to make this work.

Edit 01/26/2013:

It's worth pointing out, that this is from the perspective of my mindset in September of 2011, baby Grace was born May 12, 2012, and has been nothing but a delight. Sometimes those moments in life wherein you feel you whole world is ending turn out to be wonderful new beginnings.
pixietastic: (me2011)
I'm Ani, and I shouldn't have tried this.

I shouldn't have bothered to sign up for this, I certainly shouldn't have spent the money, but I so wanted to believe I had the competence. Truth is I don't. It's not even the time, it's the brain blur, I have a small child. Truth be told I have several small(er than me) children, but really only one of them proves to be problematic. See I missed the Week 0 post, in fact I found it 2 hours past the submission deadline, when the Week One topic came up, because I was nursing a baby, yes, for three straight days. Sometimes that happens to me.

To be fair, on the 18th I was in a bar, somewhat drunk (and not nursing a baby) and watching someone get fired, (and lots of other people get very drunk) and on the 19th I was entertaining my lovely step-daughter and her boyfriend, and listening to them tell me about all of their issues and dramas and upcoming work and travel plans. And then yesterday, well yesterday I spent with the other step-kid, trying in vain to bond with teenagers. And here we are two hours past deadline and I suppose I'm doing this more for myself than anyone else, I worked all day, came home, pumped the milks for the next work day, cuddled and played and snuggled the baby who had broken out in hives for some still unknown reason, and finally I slipped onto LJ hoping to catch up, and there I saw it, I missed the start.

How do you fail at something you haven't even started?

I'm a mother and I place this first on the list because it above all the other things is the Who of What I am, a pole dancer, a bartender, a waitress, a bar back, a DJ, a night auditor, a day manager, a VLT service provider, a hockey game commenter, a girlfriend, a housebunny-queen-of-the-baked-goods, an amature writer, the daughter of a drug addicted novelist, and a misanthropic disenchanted salesman. I am a sister to a brilliant autistic savant-esque brother.

I'm the woman who's not afraid to wear a cat ears headband in public.

I will happily do cartwheels in the sunshine, bounce my boobs for money, argue politics over decent red wine, listen enthused about your day to day work, no matter what it is, because I fully believe we are all important.

I might be an addict, an alcoholic, a misanthropic disenchanted former lesbian, I might be tired, and thirsty and in need of a bath (and maybe another glass of wine).

I am Ani, and every day I learn more and more about what that means.


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