Rosie Has Two Mommies
(and so do I)
Saturday night my little sister Rosie slept over. She is five years old, and sometimes I’m hesitant to explain our relationship. Technically, she is my mother’s lesbian lover’s daughter. So…no, we’re not related by blood. But what does that even matter? I don’t call Beth my mother’s lover, anyway. I just call her Beth, and I refer to her as my step-mom. Which…well, admittedly that confuses people.
Though, interestingly enough, living in Utah means that I can be a 26-year-old with a 5-year-old sister, and most people don’t bat a lash. We’re professional reproducers here, folks.
But…living in Utah also means that I’ve never been too jazzed to reveal my personal family information to strangers. Because not only am I a non-Mormon (born and raised), I’m a non-Mormon raised by a lesbian and a Jew. Try telling THAT to your friend’s mom while she’s carpooling you to soccer practice!
But I do believe in honesty, Friends. It’s just that I also believe in, you know, protecting what’s mine. So sometimes there’s internal conflict.
But…honestly? Mostly there is little conflict. Mostly there is watching Tangled and eating home-made popcorn with little Rose, who decides that she DOES like my special seasoning (Earth Balance butter + salt/nutritional yeast/Mrs. Dash) and also that she should probably just tell me the entire plot of the movie before-hand. Just in case I might get scared.
Then there is giggling in bed, and going to sleep at 9:30, and then waking up at 7:30. There is trying to play Simpsons Clue at a coffee shop, where we both drink hot chocolate and eat bagels. By then it is only 10 or so, so we decide to go bowling. Because Rosie’s never been, and because…why not?
Because that’s what sisters do–they hang out, watch movies, have sleepovers, go to cafes, and try new things together.
And that’s the honest truth.
…Love the One You’re With
I have a very rainbow-centric job…
…and I kinda dig it.
And, really, I was pretty all over the place with most things. Emotionally. Some days my jobs were okay, some days I liked my friends, some days I felt like MAYBE I’d made the right choice…but other days I was just hanging in there. Like a cat on a tree branch.
But…then I decided not to make any more plans. Because making plans was stressing me out. See, making plans meant making A DECISION, which naturally involved re-assessing all past decisions, in an effort not to eff everything up again. But it also meant trying to figure out the future, and what I might want a month or a year from now.
And I just don’t know that, Friends. I just don’t know.
* * *
So. No more plans. Just here. Just this. Some other quote from Rent…
Seriously, though, letting go of the past AND the future has done wonders. Guess what? My jobs are awesome. I love kids. Even when they’re little shits. Okay, especially when they’re little shits. They’re just so bad ass. Look at what my kiddos did for the storytime craft last night:
You know how some times everything sucks and your friends are flaky and your family doesn’t understand you and your job is killing your soul and you don’t want to do anything and nothing is ever going to get better? But then really it turns out you just needed to eat?
I guess I just “needed to eat.”
Please Let Me Remember Tomorrow That I Dropped Picked-Off Nail Polish Into a Water Glass and Not Just Re-Fill It and Start A-Drinking
Tonight my mom asked me why I’d decided to become a vegan.
Then she listened carefully to the answer. And later she seriously considered my suggestion that she eat more whole grains.
It was pretty bad-ass.
* * *
Yesterday I went to brunch at Vertical Diner with Nicole friend. We had both been pretty shit-faced in public the night before. She’d rambled on to an acquaintance at a bar, and I’d negotiated with a high school-aged Jamba Juice employee. Milestones.
I am not yet too old to be publicly intoxicated. I have not yet reached Patsy and Eddy status. But someday, when I do reach that point, I will be okay with it.
* * *
Anyways, the point is that Nicole and I have decided to regress to high school levels of debauchery. And I’m okay with that as well, Friends. I’m okay with staying out late and having sleepovers and making bad choices and giggling and hanging out with my friends as though they were my very life-blood.
No parents, no rules.
(Which at this age means not only that my folks aren’t around, but also that I, myself, am not a parent).
Except my mom IS around. And we drink two gin and tonics (each) on a Monday night. And shoot the shit.
Then I come home and blog.
* * *
National Pi(e) Day!
…was last Tuesday. How did I not know about this in advance? Anyways, now I know, because it will be every year, March 14th (3.14…). This day, however, is not to be confused with National Pie Day, which is January 23rd. I celebrated that one last year.
Which gets me to thinking about how much has changed for me in just over a year. Last year, I baked that pie at my moms’ house, where I was living in the basement, next to the coal shoot. I baked the pie by myself, because baking is one of my many coping mechanisms, and I had much to cope with–lack of friends, lack of personal space, lack of direction in life, etc. I was taking everything personally, you see, feeling that I didn’t have decent friends or quarters or plans because I didn’t deserve them.
Now, I do have those things:
AND a much-improved sense of self-worth. And guess what, Friends? It was the self-worth that came first. I had to trust that my shitty circumstances were just that–circumstances. That they did not reflect who I was or what I was capable of or what I merited. I had to trust that I could and would have a better apartment, better friends, and better, more-suitable goals. That I was not inherently flawed, but just going through a bit of a rough patch.
And now? Well, now when I bake a pie, I have many lovely ladies to share it with, friendships that continue to grow and develop and deepen all the time. Now I don’t have to use my moms’ kitchen (unless I’m house-sitting), because I have my very own. It’s small, and imperfect, but it’s all mine.
Now I don’t have to feel guilty about dropping out of school, or quitting my band, or looking for a new job, because I know that it’s okay to want better for myself, and that I deserve it. I know that my thoughts and ideas and dreams and aspirations, no matter how radical or half-baked or uncertain, are all mine. I can do what I want, like eating leftover pie for lunch.
Not that there was much left over.
It’s not every day in the First World that you wake up knowing for certain that you’re going to see a dead body. And I was thinking about that, last Friday, in the shower. While I got ready for your mother’s funeral.
I know we joked about it, made light of the situation, maybe even more than most would. It’s just that she wasn’t that type of lady, you know? Not the type for us to go into hysterics over, not a warm and compassionate person. And I didn’t know her as much more than just…your mom.
But you loved her. You love her so much, of course you do. And I should have known that. I should have said something better.
Instead I said I was really sorry, and you said “Thank you.” And you said “It’s okay.”
Anyways, I didn’t even get a good look at the body, so busy was I trying to find a place to warm up, but it’s probably for the best. See, I don’t believe in embalming. I prefer my deceased to look, well, dead. Gone, expired. But you don’t know that, because that’s not the type of thing you say to a 26-year-old planning her only parent’s funeral. You just say “Of course I’ll come, of course I’ll play the violin.” And try not to cry when you see the oldest sister’s broken, wet face.
I should have said something, when I got up to play, but instead I made some comment about…wearing heels, was it? Some silly little thing. Then, later, I thought of all the things I could have said. And what I wanted to say was:
“I didn’t know Linda very well, I only knew her as my best friend’s mom, and to tell the truth I was always a little scared of her. I think we all were. But really I was scared of most people’s parents, because they saw me as a bad influence. And I don’t think Linda ever saw me that way. She always welcomed me without much fuss, if I wanted to stay for dinner, or if I wanted to have a sleepover. I never felt out of place in her home. I’m sorry that life was so hard for Linda, especially these last few painful years, and I know that now she’s not in any pain. I dedicate this song to her.”
But I didn’t say that. I just played my violin, and nobody clapped at the end, because I guess that’s how it’s done at a funeral.
And you said so much, and so well. You made everyone laugh, and you made me bawl silently, and you told stories that I never heard, and you gave so much life and depth to your mother with your honest words. It was a side of you I’d never seen before, and all I could think of was how amazing you are, and how strong, and how lucky I am to have you as a friend.
You know, when I came back from Spain, I was plagued with anxiety and regret. I thought I’d made the wrong choice, yet again, and I almost couldn’t live with it. I kept searching for a sign, a reason that would justify my decision, where I could look and point and say “See? There. That’s why I had to come back. It was meant to happen this way.”
But instead I grew, and grew up, and I don’t think like that anymore. I don’t think that things happen for a reason, that they’re meant to be one way or another. I just try to do my best, to accept the decisions I make and deal with the way things are.
So I can’t comfort you the way the others did, can’t tell you that your mother is in heaven, because I don’t believe that. I have no Celestial Kingdom to offer you, no promises, no answers. I do not think that I was meant to come home from Spain so that I could be there for your mother’s funeral.
But for the first time since coming home, I’m glad I did.
A Sarah Custen Guilt Trip
Let me just start off by saying that I don’t even understand why people pass up the chance to gather, eat, drink, and be merry. I do not accept excuses of upcoming tests, family obligations, or illness. I demand that good times be had by all, whenever the opportunity presents itself.
I am a highly-biased reporter, is what I’m trying to say.
So for those of you who simply could not make it to the wonderful and magical and cooperative LEO Holiday Party, here’s what went down.
There was food. Delicious food. I personally enjoyed two different types of ham, some sort of marinated tofu magic, corn-n-veggie salad, and roasted cauliflower. Also rice. But that was so much more! So many epicurean delights! I ask you: why would anyone pass that up?
There were desserts, plural. Myriad, really. Maybe you feel like this doesn’t apply to you, because you are lactose intolerant, or celiac, but did you count on…
…dairy-free, gluten-free strawberry-coconut cupcakes?!?!? Because those were there. I know, because I brought them. And did we enjoy these treats in isolation? Did we stuff our faces and then run home to our DVRs? No we did not!
We socialized! Oh, man, we socialized so hard…it was CRAZY.
Also Whitney Houston played. RIP, Whitney.
Also there was booze, and afterwards, there was more booze, at the Red Door. That’s what we call an after-party.
Then after that I left to go out dancing. Lately I have a need to dance bordering on clinical.
ALMOST AS GREAT AS MY NEED TO SEE ALL MY COWORKERS’ LOVELY, SHINING FACES AT THE LEO PARTY. And you wouldn’t want to deprive a girl of camaraderie, would you? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.
See you next year!
Some nights it is all about beer, brats, spuds and ladies. While watching Newsies. Did you think those things were not compatible? Did you think that ladies’ nights had to be about wine and finger foods and girl talk and rom-coms? Well think again:
This is real life, Friends. This plus, you know, complaining about things (work, life, boys, etc.), looking up hot boys’ pictures on the internet, giggling over silly and/or perverted jokes, and just…enjoying each others’ company. Mutual love. And Boozies.
That’s when you turn Newsies into a drinking game, Friends.