everyone needs a good vent once in awhile

There was a time not in the too distant past that I spent my Fridays flipping things off that really annoyed me.   That meme has been on hiatus, but I think it needs a comeback…even if it’s just on this one blog, this one time.  (Actually, I believe Momma Kiss is resurrecting it…so you should go check hers out too.  She is way funnier than I am.)   Anyway, here I go…it’s…

Flip the First:  I need to flip off spam. No, not the fake meat (although, heck, while I’m at it, yeah.  Flip that off too because it is gross), but the crap that comes through my email and my blog.  Today my blog spam folder had 38 spam comments that I had to go through that ran the gamut of offering me macadamia nuts (what the…?) to telling me my post was “unique and pity”.  And someone sent me an email today geared toward “sexy older woman”.  Thirty-three does not qualify as “older”.  FLIP OFF!

Flip the Second: The bunny who is eating my front hanging basket.  Yes, a BUNNY is eating from a HANGING basket.  I couldn’t figure out why in the world my front basket was looking so sad compared to EVERYTHING ELSE in my yard.  I dead-headed like a mad woman, watered and miracle-grew that thing and still it looked sad.  Then the other day, driving in, I see a fat bunny chewing yellow flowers and my basket was above his head SWINGING!  JERK!  FLIP OFF!

Flip the Third: Things costing money.  Seriously.  There is stuff I need want and it all costs money.  Money that I don’t have.  Now don’t get me wrong, we are comfortable.  I get my allowance, but it seems after I buy things and think I am good, someone mentions something else to me and I want that too.  For instance I just decided I was done spending for BlogHer and I am all set on funds (thank you!!!),  and then someone asks me if I am bringing spanx.  Well, no.  I don’t even own a pair.  Crap.  Do I need spanx?  And now I am freaking out (more on my panic attack in my next post).  FLIP OFF.

Flip the Fourth: People who shoot other people.  Seriously jerk who killed people in Grand Rapids…what in the HECK were you thinking?  It’s so sad and disgusting.  FLIP OFF.

Flip the Fifth:  The news going crazy for this guy.  Um, that is what he wants.  Cut that out.  And put Jeopardy back on…it’s Kids Week and those kids are smart and entertaining.  I don’t want to give this crazed lunatic anymore attention.  Spend more time catching him, please.

Flip the Sixth: Prescription Cat food.  Yup, you read that correctly.  My old, geezer of a cat is on prescription food.  He is 17 and has kidney failure, so they put him on this prescription soft food so that he gets tons of moisture to help process it.  It gets REALLY ugly if he hasn’t had enough moisture.  Anyway..this food?  STINKS.  Oh it is so gross.  Every evening I gag a little when Cort feeds it to him.  Like right now.  I am typing this and the cat just got fed.  Ew.  FLIP OFF.

Ok, whew.  That’s all the flipping off I can handle.

I do feel a bit better.

So tell me…what would you flip off this week?  Go ahead, spill it.  You’ll feel better having vented.

The Blackest Friday

It was important that this day be as normal as possible.  Remember that.  Normalcy was important to me.

Black Friday of 2007 started out normal and I was ever thankful for that.  My mom and I did our shopping and we had a good time.  I didn’t bring it up the entire time we were out.  Not during our first few shops.  Not over coffee.  Not while when we walked past the baby stuff.

When I got home with all my packages, I intended to decorate the house with Christmas and wrap all of my newly bought gifts.  Just like any other year.

But this is when my “normal” was shattered.

While I was out, Cort had made plans for us with our friends (who, by the way, are usually only in state once–maybe twice–a year).  This wouldn’t be a big deal to me if those plans had fallen into the customary time period after my decorating and wrapping frenzy, but the plans called for us to be ready to go in less than 2 hours and I hadn’t even showered yet.

I know.  Big deal, right?

My world fell apart.

I was immediately angry at Cortney for messing up my “tradition”.  Inconsolably so.

“Just decorate tomorrow,” he offered.

“THAT IS NOT THE POINT!” I told him. “TODAY is when I wrap and then decorate all to the sounds of Bing Crosby.  Why can you not respect this?  Why would you make PLANS for us during this?  Do you not know me at ALL?”

He was speechless.  He even offered to cancel the plans.  But I wouldn’t let him do that.

“how would that look?” I questioned him.  “what would they think?”

So I begrudgingly showered and got all ready.

And went out to eat and to have beers.

And acted normal.

But ignored Cortney. I mean, how could he be so thoughtless?

The rage built.

After dinner we all headed over to our friends’ house where we could sit around and visit and share some wine and snacks.

I continued to ignore  my husband.

It got so bad that nearing the end of the night he came to the chair that I was actively ignoring him from and asked if I would like to go home.

I said yes.

We left an awkward wake behind us.

I started crying somewhere between here and there.

Once home my memory blurs.  I think the yelling started as we got ready for bed.  I finally started telling Cortney how this entire day was a big suck for me thanks to him.

He didn’t yell back (he never does).  He just looked sad.

But he questioned me.  He questioned how in the world this small change in my “normal” Black Friday routine could be THIS awful.

I raged at him.

And then?  I collapsed into the ugliest cry I remember having and blurted out,

“We were supposed to have a baby this week.”

And proceed to cry so hard I couldn’t get my breath.

In the dark warmth of our living room, on the leather couch where I had lain recovering from the loss, Cortney sunk and wrapped his arms around me.

“Oh, honey,” he managed.

It all started to make sense.  I was grasping for routine.  For nothing to be out of the ordinary.  For everything to “proceed as normally scheduled.”

When it didn’t?  I lost my shit.

And we sat in the dark on the couch for a very long time.

He instructed me to breathe.  To take deep breaths, and to talk about it.  Neither of us had mourned that loss like this.  And I didn’t expect the due date to hit me so hard.  I thought I was over it.  That it never bothered me that much.

But it did.  I had just suppressed it.

In the winter, when we had found out my due date, it was perfect.  All of our friends would be in town.  Family would be around.  Everyone would be ready to celebrate our baby. Somehow that fact made our unexpected pregnancy ok.  It made things start to look up.

But that night while Cort’s arms held me, my arms were empty.

No baby.

And I started to cry all over again.

It still never escapes me that if the first time around had happened, we would have been throwing a 3-year old’s birthday party this week.

Sometimes I still don’t know how to feel about this.  If we were having a birthday party, Eddie maybe wouldn’t be here.  And he is…well…there are no words for how that little boy makes my heart swell.

But yet…

someone is missing.

(two little someones, actually.  but that is another post.)

The very next Thanksgiving, Eddie was baking away in my tummy and we have never had a “normal” Thanksgiving weekend again.

I am closer to Cortney.

And I have never loved this holiday more.

Back to The Flip List…

Oh hey there, friends!

Today is the day to flip-off all the stuff during the week that has been driving you crazy!  It’s a great way to let go of the weekday stress and make a smooth, happy transition into the weekend.

So I am going to get started, mm-kay?

First, I need to flip-off the wind.  It started blowing Tuesday morning and it is FINALLY dying down.  As I posted on Wednesday, those winds were so crazy and swirly that we had tornado watches and warnings all over the place!  We had to do the whole “duck and cover” with a book over our heads routine twice in school.  It was not a big day for learning.  So?  Flip-off, WIND!

Next, I am going to flip-off the little cut on the tip of my finger.  You are healing nicely, but now your little skin flap keeps getting caught on every single piece of fabric in my life.  You are annoying.  Heal over already.  Sheesh.  Flip-off!

Ok seriously…this next one is driving me absolutely farking bonkers.  I have a ZIT COLONY on the right side of my chin.  Seriously?  What is going on here?  It started as one damn pimple.  Then it spread.  I have like five and a couple stragglers on my neck.  What am I?  thirteen all over again?  Do I REALLY need to go out and buy ZIT CREAM?!?  GAH!  FLIP-OFF with BOTH fingers!!!

I am also flipping off our lack of food in the house this week.  My lunches have sort of sucked this week and it’s sort of my fault.  I was lazy with the grocery list and therefore food did not magically appear in the house.  Very sad.  Flip off to you, grocery fail!

Ok, this one might lose me friends, but I am flipping off Halloween.  I can’t really pinpoint any good reason other than it seems like a hoopla of effort for not a whole lot of fun.  I just don’t like it.  I like fall decor and everything else that comes with October, but Halloween?  No.  You get the flip off.

And lastly, I always have a special flip-off for postpartum depression.  The writing prompt for The Red Dress Club this week was to create a character sketch of a villain.  This was all I could think of:  my own mind.  So flip-off, PPD for doing this to me!

Have some stuff to flip-off?  You know you do!  Head on over to Momma Kiss’ place and link on up…or just read more vent-tastic posts flipping crap off.

Is This Thing On?

The auditorium is completely dark.
The audience sits in anticipation.
There is shuffling of feet.  A cough.  A few sniffles.
Everyone waits, unsure as to why they are even here in the first place.
And then?  A single spotlight shines on the stage illuminating what appears to be a soapbox.
From off stage, I walk slowly and climb up carefully onto the soapbox.
I tape the microphone that is set up for me…
Um.  Hi.  Is this thing on?
Um, like I said.  Hi.
I don’t usually use this platform for soapbox speeches, but I feel compelled today, so I thank you all for being here.
I need to talk about teen pregnancy today.
There is a lot of the pregnant going on in the teen world.  And I am not Ok with it.
In fact, I am all kinds of upset about it.  Remember, I am a teacher.  I am witnessing 14 year olds becoming parents.
FOURTEEN YEAR OLD CHILDREN HAVING CHILDREN.
Sorry, I had to yell that because that is what I am dealing with.  How do I respond to these students?  Huh? What do i say?
I’m sorry?
Bummer, dude?
Congratulations?
Holy ham sandwiches?
So I just give them a shocked look.  Although I don’t think that helps anyone.
And then of course they ask me tons of questions because they know I have a toddler.  I don’t mind sharing (you all know that), but really?  Why are they not asking their MOMS?
I try to let these girls know how sad it is to have to give up your childhood at 14.  I didn’t give mine up until 31 (some would say I am still holding it close).  My most crazy and fun time was my 20’s!  they won’t have that!  they will have have high schooler before they are thirty.
How did this happen?  I thought I had it figured out.  I thought it was just the girls who came from homes where no one was educating them or talking to them or monitoring what they were doing.
But then I heard of other pregnancies.  Of ones from kids whose parents I KNOW talk to them and expect college and academic success from.  Who have high standards, but not impossibly high standards.
So what is it?  Why did I not end up a teen mom, but these girls are?
I tried to think about how my parents talked to me…um, they didn’t.  I don’t remember one solitary conversation about respecting my body or to not do anything that could get me pregnant.
I vaguely remember a trip to the library when my youngest brother was “in the oven” about how babies get in and out of mommies’ tummies.
I remember my parents being skeptical of boys.
I remember purity crap they tried to feed us in school and church because they weren’t allowed to talk about any other prevention.  I also remember girls getting pregnant with that purity promise on their finger.
Why? What is the difference between the success stories and the teen moms?
Luck?
I can tell you my not getting pregnant was not luck.  I somehow had it ingrained in me that I was better than that.  That I was worth more than that.  I didn’t have a ton of self-confidence or self-esteem.  I was mocked relentlessly in middle school for acne problems, but even when the boys started noticing me in high school?  I never gave in.  I dated, but I didn’t make babies.
Why?
I don’t have an answer to that.
But I wish I did. I wish I knew what to say to those girls I teach to make them know they have so many options other than that guy.
I want to be able to teach Eddie NOT to pressure girls or to BE pressured by girls (let’s face it, they are as much to blame as the dudes.  Girls are not just innocent victims here).
I want him to respect all people’s bodies including his own.  Look but don’t touch.
How do I do this?
And then back to my current problem…how do I show these girls support without condoning what has been done?
If I help them out and get all their work together and ask them how they are feeling, I get accused of supporting what has happened to them.
If I show any sort of hint of disapproval, I am accused of being all judgey and cold.
I feel sorry for these girls.  I want better for them.  But I feel sorry for those babies too.  Is this going to be a cycle?  Are they going to grow up lacking some sort of self-awareness or self-esteem too?
Or maybe that is not even it.  I know girls who got pregnant in high school and they love their life and everything is great.  And they wouldn’t change it.
But…
I still see teen pregnancy as a problem. I do.
Does this make me bad and judgey?
But I want to help those who get pregnant succeed.
Does this make me condone teen shenanigans?
Help!
I want to fix this problem.
Because, yes.  it is a problem.  Teen pregnancy is a HUGE FLIPPING PROBLEM! And so is not knowing how to handle it!
And you know what?  I am going to flip it off for my Friday Flip-offs.
Whew.  There.
Thank you for listening to this rant.  I needed to get that out.
I nod one last time at the audience and then cautiously climb off the soapbox.
I turn one final time unsure of which way to exit.
I smile sheepishly and trot quickly off stage.
The spotlight is cut.
There is a pause.  And then?
Applause.

Kludgy Mom is the brainchild behind the flip-offs and Momma Kiss has been hosting the link up.  Go forth and read the vents.

What Happens When I Poll the Audience….

Today I didn’t know if I should tell you about all the poop that is flying around our house lately or do my flip-offs.

So i polled the audience.  And by audience, I mean twitter.  Because there is instant gratification in polling twitter.

Anyway.

You all voted and you wanted…..

That’s right…it’s been a couple weeks, but the flip-offs are back by popular demand.  The topic of poop?  It is still coming…just maybe another day.

Ok…so here we go… (cracks knuckles)…

First I am TOTALLY flipping off the moron in the red buick something or other in my neighborhood that I get stuck behind in the morning if leave the house at just the “right” (re: WRONG) time in the morning. 

Let me explain.  We live in one of those windy subdivisions that doesn’t have any stop signs (because there is SO not enough traffic to justify stop signs) until you get to the only entrance/exit which is on a main road.

Red Buick?  He feels the need to make a COMPLETE stop at each and every intersection.  He then proceeds to go no faster than 15 mph throughout entire said windy subdivision.

Now I get that it’s important to be cautious.  You don’t want to hit any kids walking to the bus stop.

But at 6:30am?  There are no kids walking to the bus stop yet.  I know this because on days when I am running late?  Like 7:00am late?  THAT is when the kids are walking to the bus stop.

So on these days when I think I am being all on time and early (re: OUT OF CHARACTER FOR ME), Red Buick ruins it for me.

FLIP OFF to you, Red Buick (in fact, I DID flip him/her off this morning…but he/she was too focused on not going over 15, that I don’t think he/she noticed.  So it didn’t count.  So I had to do it here.  So there.)

Ok secondly?  I need to flip off one of our banks.

I am not going to say WHICH bank this is because we do get good service here and the tellers are stellar (you love it.  don’t pretend you don’t).

But this bank?  Has called our house eight times since last Friday.  Our home phone is on the fritz (a WHOLE other flip off), and so we let it go to voicemail and then call our callers back with our cells.

Bur the bank?  Is not leaving messages.

Eight times.  EIGHT MOTHER LOVING TIMES.

three of those times were in ONE DAY.
 
So finally Cort called the number that came up on our caller id (after the fifth time they hung up, mind you).  and apparently this is their marketing department trying to let us know about a good mortgage rate.

Wait.  What?

We JUST refinanced last year at this time.  What the ham sandwich, batman?

So Cort tells them, “um, you need to put us on the do not call list.”

And the lady is all “well, you have to call customer service to request that, and it can take up to 30 days.”

sigh.

So after this conversation?  Three more times they call.  Three.

For a total of EIGHT TIMES.

Bank?  FLIP OFF!

And finally…

I need to go ahead and flip off the cat and his choice of pooping locations.  There will be more of this shared in the upcoming and much anticipated “Poop Post”, but let’s just say my old ass cat is getting all sorts of mean-spirited and poop crazy.  and bad, awful things have happened because of this.

So I flip off the cat poop…and the toothbrush that was thrown out because of it.

Oh…and I know I said “finally” above, but I need to add this…

PPD has a PERMANENT flip-off here in Sluiter Nation, you all know that.  But what you don’t know is that I am all guest posty over at Rocky Mountain Mama’s today for her PPD Awareness Week.  I’m talking about the differences between Baby Blues (which are normal) and PPD.  So go check me out and leave me a comment over there so I don’t feel all lonely.  I hate feeling lonely. Especially on a Friday.

So click this picture and read the post.
Rocky Mountain Mama
and then read the rest of the posts.  They are pretty amazing.
Oh, and for more flip-offs?  You can visit…um…I don’t even know.  Kludgy Mom is the brainchild of the Flip-offs, so go say hi to her.  She has been occupied as of late, so Momma Kiss had the link up.  So just go to both.  They are awesome.  Trust me.

It’s Friday…

It’s Friday.  I have some things to flip-off.  So why don’t we begin….

Oh, but I need to give a big holla to my girl, Gigi, at Kludgy Mom for being the brilliance behind this Friday fun!  So…HEY!

First, I am flipping off how tired I am.  I flipped this off last week too, but it is starting to become dangerous.  Yesterday morning, on my way into work?  I drifted onto the rumble strips.  Don’t tell my mom.  She would freak.  Oh wait…hi mom.  FLIP OFF EXHAUSTION!

Next, I want to flip off our crashed motherboard.  Thanks a lot for taking out our server.  Now I can’t back anything up and I am all sorts of nervous about losing things.  Even though I probably won’t.  But I will worry nonetheless…because that is what I do.

While we are on the subject of technologically electronic whatnots that are supposed to make my life lovely, I would like to flip off my eye-fi card that my stupid computer refuses to find and therefore I had to do flip-offs tonight instead of the funny post about how my son ate a rubber spatula.  I KNOW!  Total flip-off because now you all have to wait to get that story.  Oh, and the story about a plastic turd.  See?  You are all wishing you could read about eaten cookware and random fake poo, and you can’t all because of my eye-fi card.  FLIP OFF!

Um, there is also this nagging feeling inside me that I would like to flip-off.  I am loving my jobs.  Really.  But now that I am gone so much?  That feeling that had gone away all summer is creeping back in.  Guilt.  The mom fail feeling.  I KNOW I am not a fail.  My head KNOWS this.  But my heart…that place that now belongs to my wee little boy?  Is starting to ache.  It’s filling up with stabby, pointy, sharp things.  Guilt is sharp.  Did you know that?  So I need to flip-off that guilt.  And ask it to quit shanking my heart.  Hmmm…that sounds like an Elton John song…”don’t go shanking my heart….I won’t go shanking your heart…”

Wait.  What?  What was I doing?  Oh yeah…the flip-offs. (see?  I need SLEEP people!)

So lastly I would like to flip-off my feet.  Yes, my feet. I don’t know what else to do about them.  I exfoliate them.  I lotion them.  I scrub them.  And they are STILL so dry and cracked that I stopped wearing sandals WAY too soon because I didn’t want people to see my feet.  SERIOUSLY!  Why can’t I have baby soft toes!  Why do I look like I have hooves down there instead of lady feet?  Honestly?  FLIP OFF!!

Ok…that feels better.  Very big weight off.  Now?  I need sleep so I don’t die on my way into work in the morning.

Oh but wait!  Check out the lovely and talented Momma Kiss for her flip-offs and a list of linky linkys to clicky clicky to read more Friday Flip-offs.

Happy weekend to you all.  Get some sleep, will ya?

Friday Flip-Offs

Fridays are generally when I link up with Kludgy Mom for Friday Flip-offs.  It’s a super great way to vent about all the stuff in the past week that has added to the stress and torture of actually getting through the week.

Well, Gigi (Kludgy Mom) is still busy with her back to school blogging (which you should check out because it’s a great idea for those who have MORE time now that school is back in session…that would not be me), so to link up to the Flip-offs we are headed over to the lovely Momma Kiss’s place today….

1. I am first flipping off this new sleep schedule I am apparently on.  I have gone from getting and average of 9 hours of sleep (my bare minimum for survival during the day) to getting hardly 6 hours.  This is not good.  I spend WAY too much time on twitter (you all are addicting.  did you know this?  Quit signing on and being all entertaining at my bedtime. ahem). Something is going to have to give.  This morning I almost drove off the road on my way into work because my eyes wanted to close out of sheer exhaustion.  So a big finger-wagging flip-off to lack of sleep.

2. In connection to that I am also flipping off my crappy time management skills as of late.  I am getting stuff done, but I am tired.  And I am skipping things like breakfast.  Not good.  Flip-off.

3. As much as I love my job, my class sizes are getting ridiculous.  I have 36 desks in my classroom and my largest two classes are at 37.  I have been trying not to complain since I know there is a freshman English class with 49 students right now and they have kids sitting on the floor in between desk rows.  But these large class sizes?  Are no good for student achievement let alone classroom management.  Hopefully we get some teachers called off the lay-off list and the schedules figured out soon. Until then? Flip-off!

4. Ok, this one is a little embarrassing, but it’s been driving me nuts.  I REALLY need to get in to my stylist (my cousin) and get my hair dyed and get my eyebrows waxed.  Gray hairs are sprouting out of my 32 year-young head and dark hairs are growing where I don’t want them on my face.  I hate all the maintenance of being an adult woman!  I have shrubs growing above my eyes!  And also?  What is with the random chin hairs!?!?  So for all the care and time I have to put in to making the hair on my dome look good (or go away, depending on its location), I say FLIP OFF!

WHEW!  That felt pretty good.

Now it’s your turn.  What are you flipping off this week?

Friday Flip-offs #6 and the Giveaway Winners!

Before I start flipping stuff off from my week, I need to get down to some much awaited business.  That would be the business of the winners….so….here they are:

Tie A Little Ribbon $15 Store Credit:  Pua
JSanken Photography prints:  Tricia
Gussy $30 store credit: Ann
Bird E Studios bib, paci clip, diaper clutch bundle:  Blair
The Vintage Pearl $25 store credit: Mormishmom
Yay!!!  I am super excited for all of you!  You have 48 hours (until Sunday morning) to claim your prize by emailing me at ksluiter (at) hotmail (dot) com.  If you don’t get to me by then?  I will draw a new winner.
Oh, and come back next week!  25 Design and I are teaming up for…ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!  Woot!
And now for the less exciting stuff….the flip-offs.

First?  I need to re-flip off roseola.  Just because um, hello?  you struck my son TWICE this summer!  That is not even supposed to be able to happen!  You are mean and make him grumpy and sad. Cut it out!  and?  FLIP OFF!

Next, I am going to go ahead and flip off long, boring meetings. I realize that back to school means meetings.  I get that.  But why, oh why do they have to be so long and boring?  We hear the same thing every year (or semester depending on which of my teaching jobs we are talking about).  Either how great the school is doing and growing and how they can’t do it without us or how we are still losing students and cuts are imminent (again) and that we need to work harder on improving test scores.  I mean, can’t this be summed up better?  Or have the time be more useful?  I don’t know…it just sucks to jam it all in at once and burn everyone out right at the start..  so, um…FLIP OFF!

Also, I need to flip off rude emails.  In my experience, if you don’t know what you are talking about?  Don’t go on a rant.  You look like an idiot.  And?  I will flip off your email on my blog.  So flippity flip off.

And lastly, on a serious note, I want to flip off unemployment.  Really, unemployment?  You suck the worst.  Not because you rob our family of money for groceries, bills, and Eddie’s college fund (well for those things too), but because you make my wonderful, talented, sweet husband feel like crap from time to time. He tries so hard not to let you get to him, but sometimes?  You make him feel like less than he really is and that makes me want to go all medieval on you.  I hate you, unemployment.  Hate.  So I am flipping you off.  And if I could?  I would also kick you in your arse. And tell you to suck it.

WHEW!  Ok!  That feels better!

What is that you say?  You want even MORE flip-offs?  Well, then, head over to my girl, Kludgy Mom’s and read hers (and the eleventy billion others who have linked up)…and if you are feeling all flippity too?  Join in!