Her Bad Mother

Friday, August 15, 2008

Balls And Porn

I can't remember how it went, exactly, because at the time I'd been drinking, but when I first met Heather B. - writing below - in person I was all like "I LOVE YOU" and she was all "DO YOU?" and I was all "DOOD! SHUT UP! I LOVE YOU!" and then I hugged her and slobbered on her and then - after a brief intermission to put a McDonald's bag on my head (not this year, though; last year. This year I forewent the hat, the better to avoid security) - proceeded to talk her ear off about no end of fascinatingly banal things. And I would do it all over again, a million times. Because I love her that much. You got that, Heather? I LOVE YOU. And now that you've written 'balls' all over my blog, I love you even more.


“In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw. ~ Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

I am a Scorpio in most every sense of the word. I am brooding, intense, tenacious, obsessive and if you piss me off; may God have mercy on your soul. The way that I am able to tick off each of these things and say, yes, that is what I am and I have no problems with it is an acceptance of self that has taken 24 years to realize and embrace. No one likes the girl who is over the top and extreme but I am also a loyal person and I will defend my beliefs and the people I love until I am blue in the face. I like being that person.

Then there’s the sex part of being a Scorpio: The belief that we, being the passionate sign, are inherently interested in sexual matters or that we use sex as an expression of love. It explains why through college I was referred to as ‘asexual’ or ‘prudish’ because I was physically unable to allow my brain to move to a point where I could go forth and get laid every single night. It was incomprehensible. And to think that I had friends who thought that I did not want to get laid? Are you fucking kidding me? I remember sitting with a group of girlfriends and I suddenly said out loud “Holy shit, I need to have sex”. My friend Pam looked as if the wind had been knocked out of her because “my God, YOU need to have SEX?! YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT SEX!” Yes, well just because I don’t feel the need to discuss it as I’m casually brushing my teeth or opening a bottle of Chenin-Blanc does not mean that I am not a human being who would like to get some ass.

But still it’s hard for me to just come out and use the word sex without my face feeling like its on fire. Why yes, I can play it cool, calm and collected but on the inside I cannot believe I just used that word and I said it OUT LOUD and in front of people. Meanwhile the conversation continues and I’m dying a slow and painful death in my head because I am an adult who just said ‘sex’. Even writing it just now I had to look around in my office, where the door is closed because it could be read on the screen because all of my coworkers have x-ray vision.

When guest posting was mentioned I casually emailed Catherine back to say “Ok! But it will be about balls and porn” and then I hid under my desk because I said balls and porn and perhaps I should use far gentler language for a person who has a Frankenvulva. And that was a big step for me because then I tweeted about the balls and the porn and each time I said balls and porn I raised my hands in the air and said, “Yeah I said it! BALLS AND PORN, MOTHERFUCKER! HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?!” While feeling all drunk with power with my new found sexual freedom and ability to say porn in front of a few hundred people, I was feeling good. I was grinning. I went home and said ‘cock’ in front of my lesbian roommate because good lord, I can do it. And then I talked about my boobs with my male best friend and you guys, it felt AWESOME.

Then I went to work all prepared to write an essay about balls and porn and how much good balls and porn can bring to one’s life. The freedom that comes with the release of using both words casually. So I sat in my office in my comfy chair and started typing away because I was going to write about sex and it would win me a Pulitzer. And then I got a knock on the door. It was my mother. She sat down and asked what I was doing and about a trip we’re taking to Manhattan on Sunday and then she peeked over and asked what I was writing about. I could feel the sweat dripping off my forehead and down my back. My heart started to beat faster and yet I was prepared to say “Mom, I am writing about balls and porn and I may have just said cock”. I could feel the words coming off my tongue. I’m an adult. I can use these words, right? Right. And then I looked back at my gorgeous and lovely mother. My mother who summers on Martha’s Vineyard and abstains from alcohol and wears David Yurman. I couldn’t do it. “I’m writing about personal finance. About blogs and advertising and my mutual love and fear of Suze Orman”. She shrugged. “Oh…ok. Well bye”. And like that she was gone.

She closed the door behind her and I let out a sigh and whispered, “Balls and motherfucking porn”. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.



I've had a girl crush on Kyran Pittman - who guest posts below - for a long while now. When I finally got to meet her in San Francisco last month, it took all of my talent for self-composure (an admittedly limited talent, in my case) to not squeal at her. I'm glad that I made the effort, though, because otherwise she might not have wanted to be anywhere near my squealing self, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to pester her with questions about being a Canadian living in the US of A and what it's like to raise politically aware children when your own political identity straddles two nations. I'm so pleased to have gotten to know her. She makes me proud to be Canadian. Because even though she calls herself Canadianish here, she's the real deal. Nothing's more Canadian than being Canadianish.

PS And she's totally right. We really can, as a nation, be a prissy little bitch. I want that on a t-shirt, overlaying a giant maple leaf.


I noticed a few weeks ago that my Canadian passport had recently expired. Momentarily panicked, I checked my U.S. permanent resident's i.d., the fabled green card. Issued in 2000, after I'd been in America three years. Good until the spring of twenty-ten.

It has been thirteen years since I voted in a democratic election, because unlike foreign nationals of other countries, I cannot apply for U.S. citizenship without revoking my legal rights as a Canadian. I am raising three American citizens and am married to a fourth. My husband is a political junkie. His office is like a 24 hour newsroom. At any given moment, he is tuned into Kos, HuffPo and MSNBC simultaneously. "Someone's got to keep an eye on those bastards," I tease him about his vigilance. But I'm proud of how engaged he is in his democracy. It's how I should be.

It's time for me to shit or get off the pot.

And the thought gets no further than that, because I get all tangled up wondering if "shit or get off the pot" is a Canadian idiom, or something Americans use too, or if it's a Newfoundland expression that would cause noses on both sides of the 49th parallel to wrinkle at me.

I never know anymore. I don't know where I came from, and I don't know where I belong.

Remember the movie The Terminal? Tom Hanks plays an Eastern European traveller whose citizenship ceases to exist when his native republic collapses while he is abroad, and he spends the rest of the movie in the literal and metaphoric limbo of an airport..

Being from Newfoundland is like that. That country ceased to exist politically in 1949, the year my father was nine, the result of a bitter referendum. He and I were both brought up as Canadian citizens. And in many ways, I guess we assimilated. My childhood heros were Canadian Broadcasting Company personalities (Canadian celebrity was an oxymoron in the Canada of my youth) Peter Gzowski and David Suzuki. I was baptized into a family religion that revered the Expos and Canadiens and despised the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs. I speak the same wretched, broken french that countless Canadian children from west to east learned to speak from anglophone teachers who spent one college semester in Quebec and were deemed fluent. I can read both sides of the cereal box.

But I wore my Canadian identity awkwardly, like an ill-fitting outfit a stranger picked for me from a charity box. It sagged here, came up short there. I felt less self-conscious about it as a kid in the 70s and a a teen in the 80s, when it could almost be said that ambivalence toward Canada was the defining characteristic of Canadians. But as the Confederation passed its centennial, it began to show signs of a nascent patriotism. I was already living in the U.S. when Molson came out with its paradigm-shifting "I. Am. Canadian." campaign in the early nineties. I know it was for beer, but I found it oddly stirring. And a little enviable. I didn't. Feel. Canadian.

What I felt was Canadian-ish.

In fact, I felt more Canadian-ish living in America than I'd ever felt in Newfoundland or Canada. Looking across from the other side of the border, I found there were things about Canada I clearly identified with: core values, like believing that government is necessarily intrinsic to society, not an evil imposition over it. Where even the most liberal American possesses a fundamental mistrust of authority, Canadians have a fundamental faith in government. It makes sense if you think about how each country was founded: one in revolution, the other by consensus.

I feel Canadian-ish whenever I get a medical bill, and I feel the moral rage that healthcare, a basic human right, should be run as a profiteering profit-making endeavour. I feel Canadian-ish when I type "endeavor" and decide it doesn't look right without a "u". I feel Canadian-ish whenever someone crops up in American popular culture whom I can nod toward, and say to my husband, "Canadian.."

"How in the hell do you know?" he always marvels. "Is there a secret mark?"

"I just know," I say with a shrug. I. Am. Canadian. Ish.

Of course, I have become American-ish too. I never used to know what the joke was about "oot and aboot." But when I had breakfast with your lovely host Catherine and other Canadian bloggers in San Franscisco recently, it was all I could do to keep from giggling out loud. Seriously, y'all. It's funnier than Biggus Dickus.

I get truly angry with anti-Americanism when I go back and hear it. I'm not talking about intelligent, critical observation. You know what I'm talking about, Canada. You can be a prissy little bitch sometimes. Canadian media is obsessed with comparing Canada to America, and that drives me crazy, like listening to an otherwise very cool friend go on and on about her nemesis from grade nine. And I confess a little libertarianism has crept into the soul of this child of Trudeau-era socialism. A little mistrust of your own government is not a bad thing, Canada. Someone's got to keep an eye on those bastards.

And when you say things like, "Oh, a Newfie! I knew a Newfie once!" and then proceed to tell me a joke that you would crucify an American for telling with any other ethnic group as its object, well, you don't want to take your eye off your Molson then, Canada.

But none of those things have made me eager to give up that little leather book that says, however I may feel about it, I am Canadian. Nor has it made me want to forfeit that option for my sons. They can claim their citizenship there as young adults if they choose, and I think I would be happy for them to do so; proud if they turned out to be Canadian-ish, like me.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Freak Of A Different Kind

Lara - the guest-poster you will meet below - is, simply, one of the loveliest young women that it has been my pleasure to meet. Which is saying something, because I used to teach university students and so I've met a lot of young women - which is to say, women who are younger than me (OH GOD I am now at an age where I think of anyone under the age of 27 as a 'youngster') (*having a moment*) in my time. Many of them were spoiled Beemer-driving trust-fund girls who played with their hair and sent text messages while I lectured about Machiavelli, but still. Some were nice and funny and wise beyond their years. None of them, however, would have - as Lara did in San Francisco last month - graciously offered to take my squalling infant and pace back and forth across the back of a conference room with him while I prattled on about some such or the other. And none of them could match her warmth and friendliness. Not by a long shot.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re going, “Is she back yet?” Because you all love Her Bad Mother and you thrive on her words of wisdom about shredded nethers and bloody nips, so you’re all eagerly awaiting her return. I know. I sympathize. I really, really do.

That said? No, she’s not back. You’re stuck with me.

Who am I? I’m Lara David, and normally I’m writing way over yonder. But today, I’m keeping Catherine’s place nice and cozy until she returns, and you’ll all sit there and you’ll like it DAMMIT!

Sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Today, I’m going to tell you a little story that I like to call, “What the hell kind of freak do my coworkers think I am?!” (Descriptive title, eh?) It starts with a staff retreat and a get-to-know-you game. For those of you who don’t know, I’m going into my first year as a high school teacher – English and French, because I know you were gonna be all, “Oh, what do you teach?” So, one week before the start of school, we all got together for a “retreat” day. I feel compelled to put the word in quotes because a) I didn’t feel like we actually “retreated” from anything in our six hours of sitting and listening to people talk at us, and b) because I feel like retreats are good things and this was, uh, not good.

So we’re on this “retreat,” and we start the day with a brief keynote speech from the principal and then a GAME! Because who doesn’t love to play GAMES? This game was a “Fun Fact” game, where all the new staff got up in front of the room and the old staff had to try to match up “Fun Facts” with the folks they belonged to. And let me just tell you – we have some WEIRD staff at this school if these facts were any measure. The worst part, though, was seeing what people guessed my fact was before they managed to get it right. First guess was:

I have swallowed a camera.

Great. Either I’m fat, or I look like I could deep throat your point-and-shoot. I’m genuinely unsure which one is better. In any case, this was not my fun fact, so they had to guess again. Second guess?

I sucked my thumb until I was eight.

Now, I’m not going to go trashing thumb-suckers, because many of you parents out there probably have one or two of them around, and that’s fine. In fact, even the fact that a kid struggles until age eight is okay. What bothered me was the absolute certainty with which they decided, “LARA’S THE THUMBSUCKER!” Have people been closely examining my hands? Do they look pruney? Or do I just look like the kind of gal who enjoys putting things in her mouth and sucking relentlessly? Because, again, not sure that’s a great vibe to be giving off to my colleagues. So we move on to guess number three:

I once peeled a banana with my toes.

Okay, I guess I can’t complain too much here, because my toes are freakishly long. They’re even fairly dextrous – I’ve been known to pick up pens and spare change from the floor with my toes on occasion. But touching food? Food that I might want to EAT? Um, no. I draw the line somewhere. Guess number four:

I was a child actor/actress.

Finally, they got it right. Yes, from age 4 to age 10 or so, I acted in commercials, minor educational and student films, etc. I was actually an extra in Terminator 2, which is an awesome fact to toss around, but embarrassing if you watch the film, since my scene involves me riding a bike and I couldn’t ride very well. So if you’re ever watching that movie and you see a little girl in pigtails weaving on a bicycle like a frat boy on a pub crawl, that’s me.

All in all, it could have been worse, I guess. Sure, my colleagues think I have the esophagus of a porn star, the nervous habit of a small child, and the toes of an ape, but I’ll focus on the things they didn’t think about me. Like that I went to China in 1980. (I was born in 1982.) Or that I ran over my own leg with my car. (Not a total idiot, thank you.) Or that I scarred my calf in San Quentin. (Uh, yeah. Excited to work with you, Bob!)

It’s going to be a good year, I can tell.


I See Dead People

I would say that I want to be Jenny The Bloggess - this afternoon's purveyor of guest-post awesomeness - when I grow up, except that the thing that I love most about her is that she's not really a grown-up, she just plays one on the Internet. She's actually - under the facade of lovely adult woman and mother with mad writing skillz - a thirteen year-old girl who loves to play dress-up and make sheet-forts and tell stories and I like totally want to be her best friend so that I can hang out in her fort on Saturday afternoons and drink grape juice and borrow her sparkly dresses. Although maybe we'd want to put vodka in that grape juice, in which case she should probably hang on to her grown-up driver's license. Because I don't have one, because I actually am 13.


Every time I walk into a public bathroom I do it really slowly and tentatively because I’m just sure there will be a dead body in there. Every. Single. Time.

People think this is a weird phobia but it’s actually not a phobia at all because you are supposed to be afraid of dead bodies. It’s what keeps you from hanging out with them and getting cholera. Then people point out that fear of dead people isn’t really the weird part but fear of finding them on toilets is, but a DJ friend of mine once went to her radio station because no music was playing and she found her boss dead on the soundboard thingy. She had to DJ over his dead body while waiting for the police to arrive, which the people at the radio station found brave and professional but which I found bizarre and unsettling. Just put on a long record and go hide in a non-corpsey room, Andrea. If anything, she’s the weird one. Not me.

Anyway I thought that maybe if I wrote about it I’d be less freaked out because the chances of me walking in on a dead body on the potty are slim but it seems like it would be even more unlikely for someone who actually wrote about walking in on dead bodies to actually walk in on dead bodies. So effectively, this post is lowering my chances of that happening. And raising the chances of it happening to you. I’m sorry but that’s how it works. It’s not like this is going to keep people from dying on the toilet. I’m not Jesus. I can’t bring bathroom corpses back from the dead. They’re still out there and someone has to find them and odds are it will most likely it will be you rather than me since I just wrote this. Except, what are the odds that you (who just read about the minute chances of finding bathroom corpses) would actually find a bathroom corpse now? Getting slimmer by the sentence I’d say. If anything I’m helping you.

You’re welcome.

In fact, you should send all your friends and family over here to read this to lower their chances of finding a bathroom corpse too. Because that’s what we do for people we love. I suggest the email subject line of “I’m sending this to keep you from finding a bathroom corpse because I love you” because that way they’ll know you mean business.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Confession Of A Medicated Mother

Julie of Mothergoosemouse - who graces this space today - is one of those amazing, formidable women who ooze strength and confidence and grownupness from every pore. If I didn't adore her so completely, I might be a little bit afraid of her. Which would be silly, really, because I happen to know that she was as geeky as me in her youth (we bonded early over really obscure industrial goth bands) and that she remains as geeky as me in her adulthood (HELLO? we ar on teh intarwebs!!1!!) Also, that underneath that poise and searing intelligence she's a big marshmallow. Like me. LOVE HER.


I do many things to take care of myself. I exercise frequently. I get regular medical and dental check-ups. I eat my fruits and veggies.

And I take 50 mg of Zoloft every day.

I've been taking Zoloft since Tacy was about ten weeks old. She's in first grade now.

Long before I ever had children, I suspected that I might need outside assistance in managing my inner anxieties. I learned early on to carefully filter the questions I asked, the thoughts I voiced, the worries I admitted.

I tried talking with a few adults, but I never felt comfortable with any of them. I left all such conversations feeling as if I'd been melodramatic. I told myself that when I got older - out on my own, living independently - I would feel better.

And I did feel better. I felt much better.

Even so, I still felt a little off-balance.

But because I was in the Air Force, assigned to the Pentagon, working on nuclear command and control program, and had a security clearance above Top Secret, seeking any sort of psychological help meant risking the possibility that I might be forced to give up that job which I loved. My anxieties didn't affect my job performance in the least - in fact, I was selected for positions typically held by officers with much more experience, and I was named Company Grade Officer of the Year - and I refused to risk those professional achievements simply for time spent in a therapist's chair.

After leaving the Air Force and moving to New York with Kyle, I felt more and more off-balance. I did and said things that were irrational. But unlike before, I didn't feel as if I might need help. On the contrary, I felt invincible.

I had to hit bottom after Tacy was born before I ever sought help.

After all the stressors that occurred during the pregnancy (including 9/11 - which struck the city where I lived and the building where I used to work - and unexpected job changes for both Kyle and me), plus a long and unproductive labor that resulted in an unexpected c-section, I was worn out.

Then I came home to a husband who worked twelve hour days with an hour commute on either end, an apartment that needed to be packed up within a few weeks, and a baby who cried if she wasn't nursing or sleeping on top of someone.

I felt awful. I was snappish and controlling with Kyle. I cared for my baby, but I didn't enjoy her. I went back to work and hid in my office. I grew more and more resentful until one day I realized that unless Kyle divorced me and my baby was taken away from me, my life couldn't get much worse.

I've been on Zoloft ever since, except for about six months while pregnant with CJ.

I've managed with the help of my obstetricians, my primary care physicians, and a psychiatrist at a women's clinic in New York.

It was with her that I first voiced my long-held objections to seeking therapy and considering medication. I was even comfortable enough to fully describe my anxieties - the irrational thoughts and worries that were perpetuated by my runaway imagination, which I felt powerless to control. The same anxieties that are muted considerably by even a low dose of Zoloft.

It was she who asserted that I truly didn't have a need for ongoing therapy, that the medication provided the corrective action my mind required. It did exactly what it was supposed to. She did caution me that I needed to keep in close touch with my primary care physician regarding my dosage and how it was working.

And I have. My primary care physician here in Denver knows my history and takes time to question me each time I see her - at my appointments and when she sees the kids. Likewise, when I got pregnant with Oliver, both she and my obstetrician monitored me closely.

Kyle once asked, "What would I feel if I took one of your pills?" Not a damn thing, I told him.

My dosage is low. It doesn't do anything more than tip the scales back into balance. My anxieties are still present, but they are muted. They are manageable.

I don't talk much about my mental health or my medication. When I do, I keep it light. I joke about it a bit. It's how I stay honest without making a mountain out of a molehill in other people's minds. It's also how I head off any well-meaning but unsolicited advice that might be offered.

But I'm glad other people talk about it, whether they joke or speak earnestly of their struggles. Little by little, it helps destigmatize the topic of mental health.

I don't know other people's back stories. I don't pass judgment on their courses of treatment. I've given a brief snapshot here of my own back story, and I hope that no judgment will be passed against me.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


At BlogHer, someone said to me - referring to the fellow who is guest-posting here - oh, your husband is so sweet, taking such good care of your baby. I was all, him? He's just my internet husband. My real husband is taller. Which is to say that I think very highly of Mr. Backpacking Dad, and, also, that my real husband is really very tall.

Catherine is a philosopher. I hope to be one someday. She has also been quite heroic in her defense of mommy-blogging recently, and I want my heroes to like me. So when she asked me to write a guest post for her I immediately agreed. And I thought "I'll be all philosophical on her blog so I don't have to do it on mine."

So, Catherine, this is what you get when you ask another philosopher to guest post for you. You get all of my crazy. You're welcome.

There is a fantastic expression tossed around in philosophy of science: Carving the world at its joints. Imagine a roasted turkey, awaiting the blade. There are places on the turkey, edges, joints, where a minimum effort with a knife will result in the separation of a largely homogeneous piece from the bird; carving anywhere else results in tearing, or smaller pieces. There are natural edges, lying there, waiting to be found.

I used to have a t-shirt, one of those No Fear t-shirts, that read: "If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space."

Put my daughter down in the middle of a huge, green, playing field, and she will make a bee-line for the nearest gate. It doesn't matter where the gate leads, or how far away from her starting point it is, she wants to find out what exists over there, beyond the edge of the green. Every room she wanders into her first game is one of opening and closing the door, walking through it over and over again.

She lives there in the edge spaces, at the joints of the world.

I live over here, taking up space, keeping her safe. "No, Erin, stay in the middle of the field, where it is homogeneous, known, predictable, same, safe." She lives to find the edge, to find the door, because there is always a door, always a gate leading somewhere else, somewhere new.

She is a fearless Lewis or Clark; no, she is more than an explorer, she is the guide. She is Sacagawea. I am a reluctant Lewis, my wife a hesitant Clark. She leads us to the edges and we discover anew this world, this gift, this unappreciated territory that has always been there.

We are there to make sure that nothing other puts out that fiery inquisitiveness; she is there to fan the embers of our smothered curiosity. Smothered by years of predictions proven right, of safety sought and found, of contemptuous familiarity.

This thing we do, we parent-bloggers this writing about our children, this parental punditry: What is it? It is finding the edges, inspired by our great teachers to have frank and open conversations about whether or not that gate should be passed through. Discussing with each other where the edge is, where we will and will not permit them to go.

Do you know why mommy-blogging is a radical act? Because it says, as a movement, that more important in our daily life than the technology we use, the businesses that support us, or the politics that influence our society, is parenting, and the family. It says put away your childish things and let us discuss, now, how we are to live our lives every day, and teach our daughters and sons to find the edges, the gates in the fence, and understand which ones they ought and ought not pass through. Marginalizing mommy-blogging is marginalizing the most important conversation that there is. There is no point in discussing the leadership of the nation if there are no members of society worth serving. There is no point in talking about the cell phones our children will use to call their Senators to discuss nuclear proliferation if those children are wolves or sheep instead of people. The wolf finds the edge because the sheep has fled toward it; the sheep finds the edge if chased. A person finds the edge out of fearless curiosity, and then teaches others where it is out of generosity of self.

Hey, look at that. I turned a nice piece about grass and turkey into a rant.

Again, Catherine, you're welcome.


Write Like A Woman

Today's guest post is brought to you by Black Hockey Jesus. No relation to that other guy named Jesus. I think. Maybe be nice to him in the comments, just in case.

I get a lot of email that says stuff like “You’re an arrogant jerk. Who do you think you are?”.

I also get a lot of email that says stuff like “You’re insane. How do you think up all the crazy shit you write about?” or “You’re stoned. How do you think up all the crazy shit you write about?”. Well guess what? I’m not insane or stoned. I just write like a woman.

I said I’m not insane. Or stoned.

You probably think I’ve written myself into a corner, that there’s no way out of this mess without saying something stupid and pissing off every woman on the internet. You’re probably right. And why the hell did I pick my guest post for Her Badness Catherine Connors to start making brash generalizations about the way women write? I don’t know.

I swear these ideas they just come to me.

Seriously. They do. And when I say I write like a woman, I’m signifying the archetypal sexual experience of the woman. What? I’m talking about the fundamental fact of the way the vagina receives the penis. She is the vessel. She is that soulful place that receives the man. Now I want to use this purely biological model of sex as a means to explore the way I write (Read: Let’s bypass the part where you attack me because I’m trying to perpetuate the oppression of women via passive representations of those wondrously curvy beings. It’s a blog. Not a scholarly journal. A little slack?).

A lot of books and blogs are by people who think too much. All cock & no pussy. They just tell us straight out what they think like a guy skipping foreplay. Then they actually tell us what we’re supposed to think like a drunken stepdad. Hey. Back off the prose, macho man. You can’t just rushity rush right into it. You gotta chill out. Slow down. Spread your legs. And let it come.

Your job isn’t to think up a bunch of cool things with your brilliant mind that you write down to make people laugh and/or think. Residues of the Patriarchy, tough guy. No. Your job is to stare at the moon, let yourself empty out and drop away—prepare the ground for what will come.

And then let it come.

Your best ideas are your craziest ideas that the Man in you thinks are dumb or stupid. He tries to throw them out and write things that are clear and reasonable. Fuck that guy. Write like a woman! Let’s do it now. I’m going sit here at my desk until something comes along that I don’t consciously think of…



Look. It’s a little girl in a green dress with a bunch of droopy yellow flowers.

BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: What do you want little girl?


BHJ: Well where is your Mommy little girl?

LGIAGDWABODF: She is saying a prayer to the dark through a mist of dust and regret.

BHJ: Well you’re a trippy little girl aren’t you? You remind me of Arthur Rimbaud. Run along now.

You see? I had nothing to do with creating that little girl. I didn’t invent her or make her up or think of her. I was merely the passive receiver wherein she arose and said some trippy shit. She was kinda spooky too. I didn’t choose her dress color or the flowers. They just appeared to me. You see how easy it is? You were just trying too hard. It has nothing to do with you. You are surrounded, right now, by more things than you could ever dream of writing. Let them in. Write like a woman. And if you’re a guy, other guys will probably call you a pussy. Because you are! You are a pussy. But this is the 21st Century. It’s OK to be a pussy.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Catherine the Queen

Hello everybody: meet Redneck Mommy. Oh, right - you already know her. You don't? You should. Because she is six trillion kinds of awesome. I love her.

I don't guest post for other bloggers very often. The very task of guest posting intimidates me and causes any creativity I can muster to shrivel up and dry like the plant sitting on my window sill. There is something so overwhelming about having the keys to another's inner sanctum that I panic with the responsibility of entertaining another's readers.

I mean, you all came here to read Catherine, yet here I am, punking up her space and coloring on her walls. Tis a bit of a disappointment, I know to get a redneck when you're expecting a bad mutha philosopher lady.

Still, when Catherine asks, I acquiesce. Because there isn't much I wouldn't do for that lady. I even let her grab my boobs as often as she feels the need, because that's how perverted giving I am.

I'm charitable like that. Heh.

Catherine is one of my real life best friends. I love her with the heat and intensity of a thousand burning suns. I fell in love, at first with her words, then with her platinum bob and finally with her graciousness and open heart.

It didn't hurt that she's got a nice rack to ogle either. *Wink*

We became fast friends, understanding one another immediately, in that special way that only happens a few times in a person's life time. If I were a man, I'd have challenged her husband for a duel, after first slapping his face with a white glove, in the hopes of winning her love.

Lucky for me I don't have testicles and I didn't need to smack anyone with a white glove and then run for cover as her husband walked his ten paces. I mean, I talk tough but when push comes to shove, I'm nothing but a big weenie.

We bonded over pop culture, literature and human rights. We bonded over the inevitable exhaustion and depression that creeps slowly in when your days are devoted to wiping the asses of small children while struggling to retain your identity and not slip under the waves of motherhood.

We've shared tears over heartbreak and loss and I've done my best to show her that when or if the worst ever happens and a loved one is lost, she will survive and find joy.

But what really cemented my love for Catherine was her Frankenvulva.

That's right. Her tattered twat. Listening to her complaints of torn vaginas and battered bottoms touched me in a way no daddy blogger ever could.

Because it takes squeezing out a child through our delicate pink parts only to find your lovely lotus of love shredded like cheese through a grater to really bond with another human being.

I thought I was alone in my hoo-ha horror. I still recall, with vivid clarity, finding a small semblance of peace while sitting in a sitz bath and wondering if I'd ever be able to, or want to, have sex again.

I still recall sticking frozen ice pads in my nether regions to cool the fiery burning and wondering why in the hell I ever wanted children in the first place.

I can still feel the itch of the stitches and the sting of the scar when my husband waggles his eyebrows at me and asks if I'd like to pay homage to his one-eyed snake of passion.

I thought I was alone in mommy blogland, trying to deny the vicious war my cooter waged, when along came Catherine.

The Vagina Whisperer**.

She who talks openly and freely of damaged pink parts and va-jayjay violence.

She is and always will be my Cooter Queen.

For all of you women out there, who have suffered the trials and injuries of bringing life into this world, Catherine is here for you all, shining a light with her words upon broken pussies everywhere.

For the women out there reading her words who have never experienced the trauma of the twat, she is out there, like a light house beacon, showing the world that you can rise above being ripped in half and thrive as a woman and not just a lactating cow.

And for the men out there who will never know what it feels like to carry around a watermelon in your abdomen only to have to push that boulder out of a hole that can only stretch so far; never feel the pain or indignity of having to waddle about and relearn how to walk because some screaming cherub wanted to cling to your insides instead of crawling out like a good baby; Catherine is here to enlighten you.

Her Bad Mother, Catherine, the Vagina Whisperer**.

The true reason I will always love her.

And why I am currently sewing her a pillow with the words "Sisters of the Frankenvulva Unite."

It is the least I can do for my Queen, the woman who whispers womanly truths no man dare think about.

*this post brought to you (with absolutely no shame) by your local Redneck.*

**This post inspired entirely by the witty and delightful Karen Sugarpants, who originally christened Catherine as the Vagina Whisperer. If you haven't wandered over to Ms. Sugarpant's site, please do so. She is currently fundraising to help out another mommy in need, Clusterfook . Besides which, Karen ROCKS.***