I recently got a comment on an article I wrote called “So You Have a Penis…Then I don’t Care About Your Abortion”. It was from a man named Al and he made a comment that I think is extremely valid and bears further looking into. To start off, he agreed with me on my stance. Then he said this;
“A woman controls her body, but she doesn’t control the consequences of that choice for other people.”
I could not have agreed with him more.
Here’s the thing. When it comes to parental responsibilities in this country, men get kind of fucked over. If a man accidentally gets a woman pregnant, they generally take a back seat. If the woman decides to have an abortion, even if the man doesn’t want her to, he has almost no legal recourse to prevent that.
I’m completely ok with that, by the way. No woman should be forced to act as a incubator when she doesn’t want to have a baby.
If a woman decides to give the baby up for adoption, he can generally dispute it. The process takes months, sometimes even years if the woman doesn’t want to participate. Regardless, if he fights hard enough, he might get custody of the baby.
But what if he doesn’t want the baby?
I’m going to delve into a subject that I rarely delve into tonight. The subject of my babies daddy.
My son’s father is a handsome man. He’s relatively smart, though I do frequently wonder if he was born without the common sense gene. He is irresponsible and self absorbed. He is also funny and charming. Those were the reasons that I fell half in love with him.
But those are also the reasons he’s no good at being a dad.
Me and J used to be a lot alike. We liked to party. We liked to spend money we didn’t have. We liked to buy stupid things like clothes and shoes. We were a match made in heaven. He didn’t mind that I was almost constantly cheating on him, and I didn’t mind that he was probably doing the same thing. He was the ‘pass the time’ guy. He was not the guy you bring home to mom.
Then I got pregnant. The events of the conception are blurry. I was irresponsible and he was irresponsible. We both held a 50/50 share of the accident that followed. I’m not going to sit here and act like some virgin saint who got tricked into getting knocked up by some evil man.
To be fair, if I was going to name my son after the man responsible for his birth, I wouldn’t name him J. I’d name him Captain Morgan. J was just as messed up as I was that night, so it’s not fair at all to blame him alone. It was both of us.
But then I made the decision to have the baby.
Here’s where it gets unfair. J didn’t want to be a dad. He had no interest in being a dad. He couldn’t afford kids and he didn’t want a baby. He wanted to keep being wild and crazy.
When I got pregnant, I adjusted my priorities. I stopped taking x and going to raves in empty warehouses (hey, it was the 90’s). I gave up my cigar habit and started doing crosswords instead.
But J didn’t change. Why would he? He wasn’t pregnant. As far as he was concerned, he was still a hot young guy on the make. And he didn’t want to be anyone’s father.
But he never had the choice to opt out.
Once I got pregnant and decided to have the baby, all J’s decisions were gone. He had to do whatever I decided to do. He was forced into the roll of father when he never wanted to be one.
Because the military told us to, we got a child support order issued. J couldn’t afford it but he signed it anyway.
He met my son once, when he was six weeks old. He wasn’t interested. I could tell, just by the way he held him. Even on meeting his son, he still had no interest in him.
It’s been about three years since I heard from him. The last time I spoke to J, he asked me for money. I told him to fuck off and spent the night fuming over what a shitty father he was.
Then, one day, clarity struck. Who the fuck was I to tell him he needed to be a father? Maybe being a parent just wasn’t something built into his DNA. As Al so eloquently put it “a woman controls her body, but she doesn’t control the consequences of that choice for other people”.
I chose to be a mother, but J never chose to be a father. Fatherhood was something that he had thrust upon him.
And maybe, just maybe, he should have had the option of opting out.
Deciding to have my son was the best decision I ever made. My little boy makes every day worth it and every time he flips off a bus driver or stays up late hacking an internet server so he can get a new release of GTA early, I beam with pride.
But J doesn’t feel that way. And to be 100% honest, he’s not required to feel that way. Fatherhood isn’t his bag. It doesn’t mean he’s a terrible person. It just means that he’s not responsible enough to take care of another person.
I used to be bitter. I used to fume with fury and try to think of ways to torture him at night. Then, one day, that blessed clarity came. You can’t force someone to love you and you can’t force someone to love something else. It wasn’t fair that he should have fatherhood thrust upon him when he didn’t want it. You can’t make someone want to be a parent. Either they have it in them or they don’t.
It bothers me that if I die in a car accident or something, J will immediately get custody. It bothers me because my son doesn’t know him. He doesn’t know his family. If anything were to happen to me, I’d want my mom to have custody, because my mom is who my boy knows and loves.
And I wish J had the opportunity to opt out.
Do I wish anything good for J? Fuck no. Would I give him a red god damn cent if he was starving in the streets? Not a chance. Do I think that he had some kind of legal obligation to support me because he got me pregnant? Absolutely not.
Because you can’t control the way someone acts. You can only control the way that you react to those reactions. I chose to be a mother, but J didn’t choose to be a father.
I think I get child support. I wouldn’t really know. It goes into a separate account that I lost the card to years ago. The balance might be 5 cents. The balance might be $20,000. Who the fuck cares? As far as I’m concerned, my boy came from me. His disinterested father was incidental to the process.
Some people don’t care about leaving a legacy. They don’t want to have kids. When those people are men, they aren’t really given a choice. That’s not fair. If a man doesn’t want to be a father, he should be able to opt out with no legal or financial repercussions.
Maybe, if men were giving the opportunity to opt out, we’d have less idiot chicks out there trying to get pregnant to keep their man. We’d have less idiots jumping on NBA stars with the hope of riding their illegitimate child to fortune. We’d have less women like me, panicked about the idea of leaving my son to be cared for by someone who doesn’t love him.
I don’t think opting out would make men more promiscuous. Instead, I think it would make them more analytical about whether they were ready to be parents. Regardless of that fact, it would probably stop a hell of a lot of trashy moms from getting knocked up for the monthly check.
Regardless, if men could opt out, J would have opted out. Then, I wouldn’t stay awake at night wondering what would happen to my kid if I died.
To start this off, let me share a response I was forced to leave on a comment the other day. If you guys want to see the entire fight, then you can check out my abortion article. It’s not really necessary, because I think the screen capture summarizes it nicely.
Let me explain the evolution of a ‘I didn’t come here to argue” message.
Step #1; Moron winds up on my page. I’m not entirely sure how, as half the time, I’m surprised these morons can even work the internet. My guess would be they accidentally landed here after repeatedly slamming their face into the keyboard.
Step #2; Moron pulls up one of my more offensive posts (or a completely innocuous one, like my bully article), reads it and gets upset.
Step #3; Moron types out an argumentative response that fully demonstrates their level of brain damage.
Step #4; I return from a night of vigilante crime fighting and check out my comments. Seeing that moron’s comment is not an outright hate comment, I allow it past moderation.
Step #5; As moron decided to argue, I respond with an argument of my own. I do not change my tone when arguing and I hold nothing back.
Step #6; Moron comes back, usually the following day after crying themselves to sleep over my response. They leave a weepy hurt feeling message and somehow slip in the statement “I didn’t come here to argue”.
My response is always, ‘yes you did.”
Here’s the thing. When someone argues with my opinion on my page, I respond. Why do I respond? BECAUSE IT’S MY FUCKING PAGE!!!! Of course I’m going to respond. Chances are, if I wrote an article about something, its because I feel passionately about it. I’m not going to suddenly turn around and change my opinion, after spending two god damn hours writing about it, because someone else comes to my page and tells me I’m wrong.
And when you post something, telling me I’m wrong, that’s starting an argument. Let me give you the definition, just in case its unclear.
- An exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one: “I’ve had an argument with my father”.
- A reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.
If you don’t want an argument, here’s an idea. Don’t start one. However, if you do start one, don’t suddenly deny that you were trying to start an argument when you realize that I’m a hell of a lot smarter than you and also, incredibly mean.
If you’re disagreeing with me, chances are I already think you’re an idiot. But when you disagree with me, then try to take it back by saying ‘you don’t want to argue’ you look like an idiot and a pussy.
Don’t be that guy. If you’re going to make yourself look like a moron on my page, at least stand by your moronic opinion. I can guarantee you I’ll still win. I’ve never lost an argument on my page and I never will.
But If you don’t want to argue, then don’t post an argumentative comment. Just go look at some stupid fucking inspirational internet memes instead.
I’ve tried online dating in the past. I’ve never had any success and I blame that on the fact that I’m a writer…as well as a judgmental bitch. I am fully aware that there are many smart people out there who can’t write a coherent sentence to save their lives. At the same time, as soon as I read an incoherent sentence from a half assed email, I write a dude off entirely.
When the guy can write in full sentences, I head on over to their profile page to seek if it was a fluke. Whenever it’s not, and I read everything their looking for, I shut it down because I know that I’m nothing close to what they are looking for. Let me give you a few tidbits from some of the guy’s who have messaged me;
I’m looking for a girl who’s interested in getting into the outdoors a bit, camping, canoeing, rock climbing
I love anything outdoors, I call it my church.
I love the outdoors. … I don’t want a gym rat but you at least have to like hiking trail riding, some kind of outdoors activities
As an accomplished outdoors-man, I can literally survive in the wild with very few items
You should contact me if you love the outdoors
Yeah, because my idea of fun is traipsing through a Florida swamp in 105 degree weather, praying that the kinds of mosquitoes biting me aren’t the kind that carry malaria. With all these outdoorsy guys out there, I would assume that the Everglades are just plain filled with men living off the land, hiking, fishing, canoeing and participating in hand to hand combat with alligators.
They’re not, by the way. They’re filled with Ukrainian dudes in linen suits dumping bodies in the dead of the night.
I only know a very small group of people who are really into the outdoors. In fact, they’re so fucking outdoorsy, they spend all their time outdoors. They’re called homeless people and I pay rent every month to avoid being like them.
When I go to a man’s profile, and I see 11 paragraphs about how a guy is looking for a girl who loves the great outdoors, hiking, fishing, camping, etc., all I can think is “doesn’t sound to me like you’re looking for a girlfriend. Actually, it sounds to me like you’re looking for a lumberjack.”
I also love the fact that very few of these great outdoors lovers see any irony in the fact that they’re online dating. If they’re so damn outdoorsy, shouldn’t they be outside, living off the land and looking for their ideal mate squatting in a bush after she finishes off a hefty dinner of raw squirrel?
Half the time, I think these outdoorsy profiles are just a smoke screen to throw off gold diggers and high maintenance chicks. Regardless, I’m not answering because I believe in brutal honesty. And when a guy asks me if I enjoy camping, I’m forced to respond that sleeping outside on the ground is my idea of hell.
And I don’t really care if that makes me high maintenance. I guess I just wasn’t the lumberjack they were looking for.
Hey everyone. This week, I’m super busy. I have snowbirds to drop off, laundry to do, beer to drink and naps to take. As such, I’m not able to keep up with my regular posting schedule. Luckily for me, Mr. Tom Nardone was more than happy to take over for the day. He is doing a guest blog so he can provide you with the same cynical amusement I always do, at half the alcohol per volume. So as I trek across the country, getting into fights with gas station cashiers and food truck vendors, I leave you to appreciate the awesomeness that is Tom Nardone.
The Bodily Function Police, Would You Please…Just go Straight to Hell?
By; Tom Nardone, of I am Tom Nardone
People tell me that I sometimes look unhappy or angry about something. They think that I’m not happy. There seems to be no shortage of people in this world that feel the need to alter my mood and/or my actions
I don’t mind if one of my friends say “Hey Tom what’s wrong?”, or “Hey Tom are you alright?” I understand that they love me, and they want to see me happy. What I do mind is when people, friend or otherwise, simply tell me; “Smile!”, “cheer up!”, “it’s not that bad.”, or “how come you never smile?” That is what really gives me the red ass
This girl started at work a while back. She is a complete ditz that has been trading on her looks all her life. All of the guys at work are all (gaga) for her. I, on the other hand, am not. I do not give a shit what she looks like. I have nothing but contempt for such people. For days every time I would walk by her, she would tell me to smile, and for days I just let it go.
She made the mistake of saying, in her ditzy sweet voice, of telling me to smile one time too many. I felt it was time for this bullshit conversation to come to a conclusion.
Officer Ditz; Hey, why don’t you ever smile?”
Tom Nardone; This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I looked out the window, and watched my son, who was waiting for the school bus, pick up a stray puppy by it’s neck and stare into its’ eyes as he squeezed the life from it. So is it OK with you if I don’t smile today?”
Would you like to know what she said? She said the same thing you would say. NOTHING!! That is the only thing anyone says when told a story like that. This was beautiful. She looked at me and nodded her head almost violently, as if she hoped I was finished talking to her. She did not smile herself for the rest of the day.
I was pleased to see that the message got to her. My son did not really do this, but that doesn’t matter. I solved both of our problems. I don’t have to listen to any more of her bullshit, and she will definitely think twice before ever telling me to alter my facial expressions for the rest of our time together. I will be surprised if I ever have to listen to her speak to me again about anything.
I used to have a job where I went in at 4am. One thing that everyone does who gets up that early in the morning is yawn. I don’t know why we yawn. It is just what we do. It is in no way offensive it is not rude. A yawn is one of the few bodily functions that have absolutely no enemies. Everybody loves a good yawn. That is, everyone except this one particular asshole. Just about every damned, morning this redneck, inbred, hillbilly, son of a bitch, would catch me in the act of one of my early morning yawns. He would always say “It’s too early to start that shit”
What the fuck does that even mean? I knew that I would have to help this man too. I was convinced that it was not ever going to end, and I knew that I was unwilling to stop yawning. I felt it was my duty as a caring coworker to help him to stop this douchebaggery that he was hopelessly a prisoner to. This was my solution.
Officer Hillbilly; It’s too early to start that shit”
Tom Nardone; Hey listen I am sorry about the random yawns every morning. It is obvious that you care about me, and you want to be involved with my bodily functions. I would like to extend you an invitation to join me this afternoon for one that I think you will really enjoy. I really think today is the best day for you to see this one, since I ate at El Sombreros last night and ordered the sampler platter. If you are free after lunch, please meet me in the men’s room I usually prefer stall #4. I think this is something you won’t want to miss.
He wasn’t pleased and he did decline my invitation. He never really spoke much to me after that, which to my mind was a huge win win. I wasn’t quite satisfied though. I would come in early and if I did not feel a yawn coming, then I would fake one. You should have seen the confusion on that dumb son of a bitches face.
I don’t think it is too much to ask that I be allowed to smile when I am happy, or yawn when I am tired. I will not tolerate assholes who wish to fuck with this. Just so we are clear if you tell me to smile, then yes, that alone, makes you an asshole.
You owe these people shit. Don’t waste your time explaining yourself to them. As fun as it might be, you don’t have to give them an elaborate explanation, like I did. There are other ways to help them. Sometimes just a short “Fuck You” is all it takes to get them on the proper path.
My body is my playground. All the toys and their functions are owned and operated by me, and any other person I grant access to. I decide what the rules are and I decide what toys are available to what person. I share them when, and if I feel like it. If you have a problem with this then you can to your playground.
If, while watching Spartacus, or Game of Thrones, there should be a sex scene and I feel the need to pause the show to take care of a sudden need, then I will do so. Only one person votes and that is me. I always win.
When I conclude my bathroom business, and it is time to do the paper work; I and I alone will make the decision to wipe from front to back or from back to front. It is my ass. It is my choice.
If while I am working outside on a hot July Day, and my ass begins to itch, then fell free to turn your head if you don’t want to watch the show, but this itch is going away right now.
I think that is enough examples
It is as if their lives are so empty inside that they must see me smile to fill some void. I am sorry if they have some hidden desire to live vicariously through me. They should go and live an abundant life where all they can seem to do is walk around and smile at every one they see, and when they get that figured out, maybe they will be in a better frame of mind to counsel the rest of the world with our facial expression problems.
These people have a sickness. They have an ailment and I have the cure. It is the only thing that I am aware of that will cures this disease every time it is administered. That is a dose of Tom Nardone. It’s the only thing I carry in my bag.
If I am not smiling, then maybe I am upset. If you are a friend of mine, then I don’t mind you trying to help me or inquire as to what you can do for me. I appreciate that kind of interaction. Sometimes knowing that someone cares is enough. Knowing that you have a friend who is there for you; can make the problem seem like a more fixable circumstance.
No one that gives a shit about you will tell you to be happy. People who do this, are every bit as much an asshole as someone who would fart in a parked car with the windows up.
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.
As you all know, I work from home. I rarely, if ever, leave the house. I don’t like the outside. Aside from my beer runs, my trips away from home are few and far between.
So, obviously, I started wondering why I continued making a $300 monthly car payment.
I’m a practical girl, most of the time. What I know of being a practical girl is that paying the equivalent of $30 to drive to the store a few times a month is an idiotic idea. While I enjoy the freedom of owning a car, it isn’t really the most practical option for me. So I decided to sell my old car, take the equity built in and buy a new one.
The first half started out easy. I took my car to Carmax (after I got the Kelly Blackbook value and ran NADA). They offered me $400 more than the value I got, so I accepted. After they paid off my lien holder, I had 3K in my pocket.
3k to go and find a piece of shit beater designed to drive me less than one mile per week. It didn’t need to be pretty. It didn’t need to be a gas saver. It just needed to be able to get me from point A to point B. So I headed out the door to go used car shopping.
I’m almost sure my first mistake was going shopping without a penis.
I showed up at the lot of ‘Joseph’s Autos’. There, he had at least 5 different vehicles that were still running and all were under my budgeted price. I spotted a Dodge Stratus with minimal cosmetic damage and asked to take it for a test drive. The douche then proceeded to jump start the fucking thing in front of me before handing me the keys.
Look, I know I’m blonde and I know the stereotypes, but let me explain something to you all. I guarantee my IQ is at least 70 points higher than the IQ of an idiot frat boy who ever told a dumb blond joke. Just because I don’t look smarter than you doesn’t mean I’m not a hell of a lot smarter than you.
And I would have to be stone cold retarded to purchase the title to a vehicle that had just been jump started in front of me.
So I moved on. The next car was a Dodge Neon. Don’t even get me started on Dodge Neons. You ever look under the hood of one of those things? It looks like a fucking Tiddlywinks factory. Everything is made of plastic. Against my better judgment, I tried it anyway.
I did what I always do on a test drive. I cranked the air conditioner and stepped on the gas. Let me explain why.
There’s a common little trick you can do that will get the ‘check engine’ light to turn off in almost any vehicle. Flood the engine with oil. This will muddy up the waters enough to make the electrical system think everything is kosher. In decent weather, you can get around 5 hours of perfectly smooth driving.
Then the pressure starts to build.
Once the car gets the pressure test…i.e. running on an engine overloaded with oil, on a 90 degree day in Orlando, in stop and go traffic…it will overheat. It will start to smoke and the car will turn off entirely. This is exactly what the piece of shit neon did to me.
Luckily, I was smart enough to take my car on a test drive past my apartment complex. So when the piece of shit broke down, it broke down in my parking lot.
We took a cab back to the dealership. I tossed the keys in his face with a helpful “your piece of shit broke down on the test drive. Here’s the address where I left it.”
The douche then proceeded to blame me for overtaxing the engine on his 125k mile + piece of shit Dodge. His exact words were ‘well, I can’t blame you for breaking the engine. You didn’t know what to do when it overheated.”
At that point, I was too angry and sputtering for words. Luckily, I brought my mom. Mama Alroc immediately responded; “so you’re not supposed to roll down the windows, crank the heater, put the car in neutral and take your foot off the gas?”
Before you Google it, that is fucking textbook of what you’re suppose to do when your car overheats. And that is exactly what I did before I left that jimmy rigged piece of shit in a Lake Mary parking lot.
Of course, that wasn’t enough. As I was walking out off the lot, waving a double middle finger goodbye, one of the douche salesmen offered to let me test drive the previously shitty Dodge Stratus again. In his words ‘a spark plug was loose’.
FYI; Once a spark plug comes loose, it never stops being loose. Guarantee, within six months, you will need a new engine.
I told him I didn’t need a car anymore. I’d rather fucking walk. Mama Alroc was just as helpful, informing the salesman that being born women didn’t render us retarded.
Used car salesmen out there, yes, I am a girl. Yes, I am blond. But when I come to your fucking dealership I don’t need you to point me in the direction of ‘the red cars’ or ‘the blue cars’.
I’m smarter than that. I was a car insurance adjuster for ten years. I could tell you what a car is worth just by looking at it. I know what a carburetor is. I know what an engine is supposed to look like. I can spot the difference between frame damage and cosmetic damage from a mile away.
If you’re looking to screw me, then leave your number. If you’re cute enough I might consider. But the only kind of getting screwed I don’t accept is the getting screwed out of money part.
I know you think you’re smarter than me because you spent twelve hours getting your mechanics certification. The fact that you think that makes me laugh my ass off. I’m not giving you 3k on something that is nothing more than $750 worth of scrap metal. I’m not financing a ten year old car at a 20% interest rate and giving you $1000 down.
If you’re lucky, all I’ll give you is a hefty kick in the groin.
Being born pretty didn’t render me retarded. I know what shit is worth. Unfortunately, I can’t get a douche car salesman to take me seriously because of that. As that’s the case, Essa quits driving. To be 100% honest, I never liked driving much to being with
Oh, and Joseph’s Auto on 17-92 in Longwood Florida, welcome to your first SEO hit. In case you didn’t know, search engine optimization is how people who use the internet gain information about your company. You didn’t have a webpage, so I figured I’d help you out. Now, whenever you Google the name of your dealership in my zip code, my review will be the first thing to come up. I’m sorry if that fucked things up for you.
But what would I know? I’m just a dumb blond who doesn’t know shit about technology.
I am a smoker. As stated before, I am not a social smoker or occasional smoker. I am a ‘waiting for the cancerous nodules to form’ fully addicted, completely hopeless smoker. I’d like to quit. I’ve tried just about everything, but to date, no luck.
But today’s post isn’t about my inability to quit smoking. Today’s post instead, is about the over the top, anti-smoking movement. Cashiers who feel like they have the right to tell me to quit every time I go to the store. The disgusting, judgmental, anti-smoking commercials. Some of my more obnoxious friends who send me pictures of blacked lungs and urge me to quit.
Simply stated, when someone does that, it just makes me want to smoke more out of spite.
The other night, I was at the gas station. I was buying my standard pack of 305 menthols and it was my unfortunate luck that my favorite gas station, aka Gas Station, was closed and I had to go to a Kangaroo instead. I hate the Kangaroo because they have one of those judgmental cashiers who feels the need to lecture me every time I come into the store.
He does this without any irony whatsoever; despite the fact that he is a 60+ cashier working for minimum wage at a gas station in the ghetto part of Sanford. I mean really, if anyone lacks the qualifications to give out life advice, it’s this guy.
Last night was the final straw. As he was winding up for his cancer statistic lecture, I cut him off.
“Can I ask you a question?”
Vacant look. He seemed surprised that I was speaking.
“Those chicken wings over there, the ones that you fry in sausage grease and serve with a side of mayo, who do you sell them to?”
“Uh,” apparently, the guy couldn’t form a coherent sentence without spewing anti-smoking rhetoric, “everyone, I guess.”
“People with bad skin?”
“People with potential heart problems?”
“I guess so.”
“Hmph,” now for the home run. “Now, do they all get a lecture about the dangers of cholesterol, acne and heart disease when they order them?”
‘Uhhh,” I could literally see the gears turning in this guys head as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on.
“Or do you just serve them what they fucking ordered and shut up?” He is stunned. “I come here for cigarettes, coffee that tastes like dirt and the occasional 40 ounces of malt liquor when I feel like going 90’s ghetto style. What I don’t come here for is medical advice from a 60 year old cashier.”
“Uhhh,” Uh oh, I think I broke him.
“My family can’t convince me to quit smoking. My doctor can’t convince me to quit smoking. Hell, even the Surgeon Fucking General can’t convince me to quit smoking. Why the hell do you think you’re going to have more luck? I mean, do you really think I’m going to walk out of this store after one of your half assed lectures and be like ‘wow, that random dude that I don’t give a shit about made some great points. I shall immediately quit a highly addictive habit that I have had for the past 20 years because he told me about lung cancer statistics.’”
I stomped out of the store, cigarettes in hand, leaving a stunned cashier and more than a few flabbergasted customers watching me.
I do enjoy a dramatic scene.
But it got me to thinking, what is it about smoking that makes people think they are justified in lecturing perfect strangers? Really? Do you see me running around, slapping donuts out of fat people’s hands? No you don’t, because what they want to put into their body is their business. But when it comes to smoking, the same social niceties don’t seem to apply.
I am an unfailingly polite smoker. I don’t light up in enclosed spaces. I always put at least 10 feet between myself and a group when I’m smoking in public. I don’t toss my butts on the ground. I actually put them out with my finger and shove them in my pocket. It’s an old Army habit.
But regardless of how polite I am about my smoking, I’m guaranteed to get at least one anti-smoking avenger dropping down in front of me with a “you know those things are bad for you, right?”
Really? Nah, you’re putting me on.
Look, I know they’re bad for me. I’m not a friggen idiot. I’m an addict. But I’m sure everyone out there has a bad habit or two they’d like to get rid of as well. The difference between them and me is that I don’t call them out on it.
So here’s what’s going to happen from now on world, because I’m sick of your bullshit. If you decide to accost me while I’m innocently smoking a cigarette, to offer me some helpful advice, I’m going to offer some helpful advice of my own.
I’m going to point out how you could stand to lose a few pounds to avoid heart disease or how the regular use of sun screen could really get rid of those crow’s feet. I’m going to point out how you could probably avoid STD’s by not dressing like a whore and how when you chew your fingernails, you might as well be tossing someone’s salad in a maximum security prison.
Then, I will stand back, smugly smoking my cigarette and wait for you to thank me for my helpful, helpful advice.
What can I say? I’m a giver. You’re welcome world.
***Also, douche who went to the trouble of emailing me to tell me you hate my site but read it every day, go fuck yourself. It’s a little weird that your read something you hate every fucking day and I’m sure this shout out will be the highlight of your week. I hope you fucking choke on it, stalker. ***
Today, I got a message. It was from one of my regular followers and one of my favorite bloggers. He asked me a question, and I’ll admit, it was a completely fair question at the time. He wanted to know why I don’t comment regularly. He wanted to know why I don’t follow other people’s pages. When I read other pages, he wanted to know why I don’t comment.
My short answer was easy. Technical issues. If you work from a proxy like me, then you know what a bitch commenting and liking can be. WordPress needs me to sign in? Ok. WordPress needs me to verify my security questions? What fucking questions? What’s my mother’s middle name? How the fuck should I know? I was drunk when I set this account up. Eh, fuck it. I give up.
Then I got to thinking about it and I got paranoid…and a little annoyed. I came to WordPress to write, not to read. While I admit, I do enjoy the other bloggers anecdotes out there, I rarely comment. I don’t feel like I should be required to. I’d rather just read the stories and laugh quietly to myself. Is it completely necessary that I come up with a comment about their stories? Does my page view only matter when I interact?”
Then paranoia kicked in. Is my page just being followed by a bunch of people who don’t give a shit about what I write? Is anyone even reading this? Or am I just getting comments and likes from people who expect quid pro quo?
Quid pro quo. This for that. I.e. “I’ll read your blog if you read mine”. I.e. “I’ll buy your book if you buy mine”. Really? Is this what my page is? Because, I’ll be honest with you. I worked really hard on this page. All my blogs come out of a genuine place. They come from genuine stories that I lived though. I was hoping to entertain. .
But apparently, I was just playing part in a pyramid scheme.
Guys, I have to tell you, if you are just coming to my page and interacting to get me to come to yours, it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to leave comments on your blogs and half the time, I don’t read your blogs.
Why? Because I’m fucking writing. Let me make this clear. I’m not here to review swap. If you’re a self published author looking for reviews, you’re not getting them from me. If we work in the same genre, then chances are, any review I write is getting deleted anyway. Amazon is cracking down on that shit. If you want to buy and review my books, good for you. If you expect a review in return, you’re fishing in the wrong hole.
I don’t work that way.
My favorite writer in the whole wide world is a man by the name of Maddox the Pirate. You do not understand how much this dude rocks out loud until you read his stuff.
Now guess how many times I interacted on his page. If your response is 0, then you’re in the ballpark.
I don’t go to Maddox’s page to get something from him. I go to his page to be entertained. I don’t go with the expectation that he is going to read my blog and follow me back. I go there because he genuinely makes me laugh my ass off. It doesn’t matter to me if Maddox know I exist. I’m not expecting a kickback or a follow. When I go to his page, I expect one thing.
To laugh. He never disappoints.
I want my page to be like Maddox’s page. I want you to come here to laugh. I want you here to be amused. I want you to say “she says what I was thinking in my head and couldn’t say out loud.”
I do not want you coming here expecting Quid Pro Quo. If you’re just expecting Quid Pro Quo, you’re in the wrong place. That’s not how I roll. Maybe I’ll read your blog post. Maybe I won’t. Regardless, you’ll never be able to tell whether I did at all.
So if you’re expecting some kind of pyramid scheme, where I read your posts and you read mine, then you’re in the wrong place. I was hoping for fans. I was hoping for people who actually enjoyed the way I write.
Maybe I would have been better off peddling Acia Berries.
If you’re a lurker and you’re just here to read, then you’re awesome. I love my lurkers. If you’re a regular commenter who comments because they have something to say, then continue on. If you’re just some random person, claiming to like me, but only trying to see what you can get from me, then go fuck yourself.
You aren’t getting shit. I’m better than that. My writing stands on its own merits. Take your likes and shove them.
I’m here to write. Not to play Quid Pro Quo.
My phone bleats out a few bars from ‘Sexual Healing’, and I check the display.
It’s a local call from the 407 area code so I answer it even though I don’t recognize the number. I take a chance on answering it, just in case it’s an emergency, like my dealer calling me to let me know he got his hands on some red, white and blue…the most patriotic of all marijuana strains.
“Hey Essa, it’s Nelson?”
“Who?” I’m lost. The only Nelson I can think of is the one on The Simpsons. I doubt it’s him calling me, on account of him being a cartoon and all.
“Nelson Lastnameredacted? Kristen’s friend?”
Still lost, even though I do know a Kristen. “I think you have the wrong number.”
“But this is Essa, right?”
“Fine, you have the wrong Essa.” I am quickly tiring of this conversation and am preparing to hang up the phone.
The mysterious Nelson is starting to sound a little annoyed. “I’m pretty sure I have the right one. How many Essa’s are there?”
It’s a decent question so I give it some thought. “Um, there’s me and there’s an Essa University in England. Maybe you’re thinking of that one.” My finger hovers over the disconnect button.
“I doubt that’s the case, considering I never dated an Essa University.”
Damn this fucker is persistent. I start to think back, my mind going through many blurry faces. “Sorry Nelson, you’re not ringing a bell.”
A frustrated sigh, followed by an uncomfortable throat clearing. “You sure? We did sleep together.”
I roll my eyes. “Yeah, that’ll narrow it down.” I run though many still blurry faces in my head, when suddenly a thought occurs to me. “Wait, you’re not calling to tell me you have Chlamydia or something, right?”
Nelson sputters, “What? No, I was calling you to ask if you want to go out on my boat this weekend.”
I screwed a dude with a boat? Nice. I give myself a mental high-five. “Depends, describe yourself.”
“You really don’t remember me?”
“What can I say, I’m incredibly promiscuous. Don’t act like you didn’t know, that’s probably half the reason you’re calling me.”
He says nothing, so I know I’m right.
“Still waiting on that description.”
“Um, yeah.” He clears his throat again and I realize I’m making him uncomfortable. I can’t say I care. I mean, apparently I slept with this dude and he never called me. Now he wants to pop back out of the woodwork and he has the balls to be annoyed with me for not remembering him? “I’m 5’9”, brown hair, brown eyes. Thin.”
“You’ve just described ever dude I’ve ever dated.” I decide to go Law and Order style. “Any distinguishing characteristics.”
“Moles, tattoos, birthmarks. Anything that I could use to pick you out in a line up?”
“Oh,” he pauses, “I have a tattoo. It’s an American flag.”
“On my lower back.”
“Fuck,” I blurt out, “tell me I didn’t know about that when I slept with you!” I mentally take back the high five I just gave to myself. ‘Dude with tramp stamp’ immediately cancels out ‘dude with boat’. Any girl knows that.
“No, but you did make fun of it for most of the next day.” He’s sounding annoyed again and I decide to shut it down.
“As well I should have.” I sigh, “Listen, chances are, if I’m having this much of a hard time remembering you, we didn’t click or you were terrible in bed. Either way, it’s been at least 6 months since I last had sex. That tells me that you waited a minimum of 6 months to call me. My guess would be much, much longer, because if I screwed a dude with a tattoo on his lower back six months ago, I would still be making fun of him today.”
“Wow,” Nelson sounds less annoyed and instead a little chagrined by my outburst. “Listen, I meant to call. I’ve been busy…”
The fact that he’s giving me some half-assed apology like I’m a pathetic clingy ex sets me off. “Yeah, I know what its like to be busy. I plan to be very busy for the foreseeable future, including this weekend.”
“Busy doing what?” He is annoyed again. Jesus, this guy is moody.
“Sinking a boat down at the marina.”
I hang up the phone, shaking my head and wondering what’s wrong with some guys. My phone rings again and I let it go to voicemail.
I’ve noticed something in my 33 years on this planet. It’s probably going to seem like a bit of a stereotype, but I can’t help it if sometimes stereotypes hold true.
The more weight I gain, the darker the average skin color of the man who hits on me gets. After getting a wink from a midnight black Haitian man at the mailbox, it occurred to me that it was time to start hitting the gym again.
Luckily, my apartment complex comes with one. I pack my water bottle, iPod and gym key for the trip. It’s only as short walk from my apartment.
The gym is oddly packed this morning. It’s filled with slightly zaftig blond women and I wonder exactly how many women that Haitian man hit on the day before.
Wow, exercise equipment sure has changed since the last time I went to the gym…in the late 90’s. I look around desperately for a Stairmaster. It is the only piece of equipment that I am 100% certain how to use. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. I heave out a sigh and head over to the elliptical trainer instead. There are three and two are in use. It looks simple enough and the ladies on them already don’t seem that athletic. I can do it!
I jump on and am immediately confused. I shove my right foot down and feel like I am running backwards. My left knee jerks up at an almost painful angle. I bounce around on the machine for another uncomfortable three seconds before I decide I would need to be an octopus to work this thing right.
I look around trying to decide which hostile, medieval torture device to use next. My gaze lands on the treadmill. Usually, I don’t use treadmills simply out of principal. I mean, I just friggen walked to the gym. It seems kind of stupid to walk to the gym so I can walk on a treadmill. But right now, the treadmill is the most non-threatening.
There’s an older man next to me. He had his treadmill set to a 15% incline and is walking at a speed of about 7 out of 14. No way am I getting beaten by a dude twice my age. I crank that thing up to a 40% incline and set the speed for fourteen.
I start to run. This isn’t so bad. In fact, I could do this all day. Suddenly, the treadmill shoots up until it is almost completely vertical and the belt starts moving at approximately 7000 MPH. I’m gasping to keep up and my goal is no longer fitness. It is to hit the emergency stop on the fucking machine before it flings me across the room.
I’m too late. One minute I’m stumbling on a demon possessed treadmill. The next, I’m flying through the air and landing on my back next to a yoga ball. I lay on my back, staring at the ceiling for awhile. I check my watch and realize I’ve been at the gym for about 10 minutes.
In my opinion, that’s ten minutes too fucking long. I sit up and gather my water bottle, iPod and gym key.
Hopefully, I can still find fen phen on the internet.
In April of 2001, I tried to kill myself.
Did you just shit yourself over that sentence? I know it shocked you, because I wrote it and deleted it 5 times before I just decided to roll with it.
To be entirely honest, I’ve written and deleted this post about 500 times over the past year. But today, on my blogs one year anniversary, I have finally decided I can do it. I can find a way to make my first and only suicide attempt funny.
I was 20. It doesn’t entirely surprise me that this incident occurred several months before my 21st birthday. If I’d had alcohol available to me, I probably would have just gone on a ‘coping mechanism’ bender and moved on.
But I didn’t, so I decided to kill myself instead.
My early twenties weren’t an easy time for me. During this particular period, I was seeing a real shit head of a man. For continuity purposes, we’ll call him Shithead. I also might have been clinically depressed. I wouldn’t know because I was never diagnosed. All I remember was waking up one day and realizing that everything was terrible, nothing was going to get better, the world was going to shit and it was pointless to try to fix it because I was going to die anyway. So I decided, after a few weeks of feeling that way, to speed up the process by offing myself.
Of course, I had to consider a method and I was ridiculously practical about it. My first idea was to slit my wrists. I, like any other girl who’s seen “The Craft”, knew how to do it right.
Seriously, what the fuck were the producers of that movie thinking, giving a bunch of angst filled teenage girls that kind of information? It’s amazing that any girl made it out of my generation alive.
Anyway, the thing that stopped me from using the razor was the rug. I was living in military barracks at the time and was fully convinced that if I got blood on the rug during my suicide, my barracks captain would send my parents a bill for the damage. It just seemed wrong to make my parents suffer from both my death, and from my failure to maintain a tidy living quarters as well. So the razor was out.
I also considered hanging. You know what stopped me from that? George Carlin. He had a stand up routine about suicide and one of the things he mentioned was that hanging was for weirdoes. I didn’t want people to think I was weird. So that was out.
I finally decided on pills. However, I didn’t really have a lot of pill options available to me. Like I said, I was in the military at the time. If you can believe it, military doctors can be kind of stingy when it comes to handing out anything stronger than a Tylenol.
So I went to Google instead. After extensive research, I decided that there was only one over the counter medication that could get the job done. Niacin. I’d known the dangers of Niacin overdose before and I knew for a fact they included death.
See, Niacin is rumored to remove THC from your system so you can pass a drug test. FYI anyone looking for info on passing a drug test with Niacin; it doesn’t do a fucking thing (but stay tuned for a future blog where I teach you how to really pass a drug test). At the time, I was always looking for ways around drug tests so I knew that about Niacin. I also knew that in certain doses, Niacin could be lethal.
But I was about to learn a hell of a lot more.
I decided to say fuck convention and commit suicide on a Friday afternoon after work. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of Niacin tablets. I took both while I listened to the song “Riding with the King’ by Eric Clapton and BB King.
If I was going out, I was doing it while listening to a decent song. There would be no ‘N Sync or Christina Aguilera singing the soundtrack to my death. I wanted the kind of soul only a true musician could provide. So I went with Clapton and King. For that, I regret nothing.
I remember counting the pills as I took them. It was a process. One red tablet, one little sip from a black label bottle.
If I was going out, I was going out drinking black label. King and Clapton should always be paired with black label. Always.
Around tablet 25, I started to get dizzy. For reasons I will never fully understand, I decided to lock myself in my closet while I waited for the pills to do their work. I lay down on that incredibly uncomfortable, nappy blue rug. It was the very rug I was previously so worried about damaging. I waited.
Then the pain started.
I wasn’t expecting pain. I was expecting to fall asleep and never wake up. Unfortunately, there are certain things that Google didn’t tell me about Niacin overdose. Like the burning. It felt like every single fucking sunburn I’d ever had, times four hundred, and it lasted for hours. I was shaking and burning and itching. But I was afraid to scratch my skin. I was certain if I scratched myself, the skin would just melt off in my hand in a pile of fleshy goo and blood.
Then I would stain the rug.
So I laid there and I clenched my teeth to keep from vomiting. I shook and I sweated. My temperature was approximately 400 thousand degrees and I was certain that Niacin was going to kill me by burning me from the outside in.
And while I was burning, my only thought was that I was going to die without ever seeing a volcano up close. Ever since I saw “Joe Versus the Volcano”, I’d always wanted to see the inside of a volcano from the top of one. But as I laid there burning on that nappy blue rug, I realized that I was never going to do that.
I got really mad at Tom Hanks. Then, I got mad at myself for not being brave like Tom Hanks and finding a more honorable way to die. (See Joe Versus the Volcano on IMDB if you have no idea what I’m talking about). After that, I think I had a seizure and passed out. When I woke up again, I wasn’t burning anymore.
Instead, I was blind.
At first, I thought it was just because I was locked in the closet and there were no lights. I fumbled and I found my lighter in my back pocket. I flicked it a few times before I realized that if I was really blind, I would have no way of knowing if it was working. I pushed myself up to a halfway squat and reached around for the string that attached to my light. After what felt like hours, I finally found it and I pulled the cord.
You ever have the light on but have your eyes closed? All you can see is that reddish color, light trying to pass through the black, but not quite making it? That’s what I saw, but my eyes were open. Then, another thought occurred to me as I squatted there with my wrist wrapped around the cord. I thought about how much easier my life would be if I wasn’t so obsessed with aesthetics. If I was blind, I could listen to the man I was dating, rather than be distracted by his looks. If I was blind, I could listen to things for what they were, rather than see them for what I wanted them to be.
Right before I passed out again, it occurred to me that’s what I should have been doing all along.
When I woke up again, sunlight was peeking under the crack in my door and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. My closet smelled like vomit and even the shine on my shoes made me a little dizzy and nauseas. But the nausea and the vomit didn’t bother me because they meant I was alive. I wanted to be alive again.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I reached up, I pulled open the closet door and I stumbled out. It was 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, nearly 48 hours after I’d locked myself in. I heard a knock on my door.
My roommate was going to drop off her dry cleaning and she wanted to know if I had anything I wanted her to drop off for me. For some reason, that offer was the most beautiful, selfless offer in the world to me. It bumped my faith in humanity up a little bit, which was exactly what I needed.
I gave her a garbage bag full of vomit covered battle dress uniforms. She smiled and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with her and her boyfriend that afternoon. I said yes, even though I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat a bite. I knew it was time to start living again.
Until today, no one ever knew what I tried to do to myself that weekend. My Niacin soaked suicide attempt was something that I’ve kept concealed. It was something that I was planning on taking to the grave. I was ashamed of it.
But I learned something in that closet that weekend. I learned that I wanted to live. I learned that there were still things left I needed to do. I learned that I was responsible for my own happiness.
That Monday, I ditched Mr. Shithead via text message. He deserved no better.
That Wednesday, I picked my roommate and I’s dry-cleaning and I gladly covered the tab without asking her for reimbursement. .
That Friday, I received another bill for $60 from my barracks captain for rug cleaning. To be fair, there was a significant amount of vomit.
And that spring, I saw a volcano up close. I checked it off and I added a new goal to the list. FYI: it was just as cool as it sounded.
I don’t regret what I did, because I lived through it. I was lucky that weekend. I made it through to the other side and I realized that life isn’t about the end. It’s about what you do while you’re waiting for the end. This realm is the boot camp. You struggle, you strive. You learn sometimes that you suck at things. You learn sometimes that you need to adapt and accept the way things are. You learn sometimes that the dreams you thought you wanted weren’t the dreams that were meant for you.
That weekend, while I laid on that nappy blue rug, I realized something. Maybe I would never get married. Maybe I would never fall in love. Maybe, I would never meet that Harlequin based man of my dreams.
But maybe, just maybe, that wasn’t all there was to life.
Maybe my life was just about living. Not living for someone else. Not waiting for some man to accept me or love me. Nope, it was just about living and I would need to learn to accept that. Because life wasn’t about me becoming part of a couple, as much as I thought it should have been. It was about me living. It was about me doing stupid things. It was about me adapting to the world around me.
It was about getting into a slap fight with a Native American during Burning Man because we argued about kite proportions.
It was about dancing on top of a float dedicated to the history of dildos during the love parade in Berlin.
It was popping a champagne cork in Times Square.
It was confetti raining down on me outside the Eiffel Tower on New Years, when I elbowed that dude in the chest because he wouldn’t stop pushing me.
It was dressing up in drag in Turkey and pretending to be a boy, just to see if I could get away with it.
It was playing spades with the people I met in quarantine just outside of Eddigan and losing every damn time.
It was life and it was beautiful.
It was beautiful in the way that sunlight peaked under that door on an ordinary Sunday morning. It was beautiful in the way my roommate was beautiful when she asked if I needed her to drop off my dry cleaning. It was just plain beautiful and there was no way I was walking away from that.
Since the day I tried to die, ever second of my life has been precious to me. From the mundane to the extraordinary, I have never turned off my internal camera. The memories are what matter.
I didn’t mean for my one year anniversary post to be so heavy, but in a way, its not. Because it’s not about if you were important. It’s not about whether anyone ever loved you. When you go to the grave, you go the alone and the only thing that you have to comfort you is your memories.
Tonight, I end you off with a quote that’s not mine, but feels like it should be mine, because it truly has made all the difference.
|I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.|
I know poetry isn’t usually my bag, but on this one year anniversary, I decided to be different. I saw the volcano and for a second, I reached my hand inside. That’s all I need to go happy. Thank you, Mr. Frost. Thank you, world, Thank you, life. Thank you for making me too inept and too bumbly to pull off a suicide.
Because that made all the difference. Happy Anniversary, my follower friends. I promise to be around for many, many more.
But I can’t guarantee I’ll pay for any damage I do to the rug.