Mary Oliver My Idol

The poet Mary Oliver passed away yesterday. She is a great inspiration. Poetry is not my forte but this is one I wrote:

It’s as though the grove of bamboo knows my heartache

The fierce wind impersonates my troubled mind

I watch the green stalks bend low

They pop against each other like a symphony of the seven trumpets

Armageddon in the bamboo grove

Drowning out the planes and trains and my troubled mind

The wind settles down

The green stalks stand tall again

Rising in glory

Peace returns to the bamboo grove

Peace returns to me

 

You Called The Police?

Today a coworker told a story about her daughter calling the police after she took her phone away. Apparently this is a trend thing that’s happening. 

The kid calls the police to report stolen property. The police have to respond. The police respond and tell the kid they’re a minor. Their parents have the right to take their phone away. Then they leave.

I’m betting that in many cases after the police leave the volume in the house is similar to a Metallica concert.

From The Book

I’ve been writing a memoir for about three years. It’s really just a lesson in writing. It’s been great practice.

Some of my posts are from the book. This is a portion of the chapter where I discuss me being a pain in the ass teenager.

Mom makes an appointment for me to see her therapist. She’s been seeing the therapist for several months. After she starts therapy the phrase dysfunctional family is born into her language. Whenever Mom says, “my therapist says” the response from my father looks like a tsunami erupted over his eyes.

I tell Mom I think our family is rather normal (whatever that means) compared to family stories I hear from my friends.“Mom, I think our family is pretty damn vanilla.”

I’m the leading contributor to the family’s dysfunction – the headline news at the therapist – I have no room to speak about family dysfunction, other than to share with Mom that my friend John’s father was arrested for embezzling five thousand dollars from his company to spend on his wife’s brother who has become his lover.

Mom sips on a glass of the fiber powder, Metamucil mixed with water, a glaring example of my point.

Talk therapy is very beneficial if you have a good therapist. This is not one of them. The therapist starts our session by requesting that I list all of my male and female personality traits.

What the hell? Aren’t you supposed to ask me why I feel the need to self-medicate or why I am not working harder towards my future?

I’ve never given any thought to my male and female qualities. It’s like taking a test I haven’t studied for.

Then she asks me to recall a difficult childhood memory.

“Well, I wasn’t allowed to play in the woods with my neighborhood friends. My father was worried about snakes and ticks. Pretty damn ridiculous if you ask me.”

The therapist stares me down like my doctor looks down my throat with his little light.  

“I ignore my father because I think it’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. Plus, I want to play in the woods with my friends. One day I return home covered in mud ’cause I fell in the creek. I know I’m up the creek with my father. No pun intended.”

More staring.

“I sneak through the back door. The family is watching TV in the den. Dad catches sight of my muddy clothes and hauls me into the den. He’s madder than hell. He throws me over his leg and spanks the tarnation out of me. My sisters sit on the couch laughing. That happens a lot. That there is some therapy-worthy material don’t you think?”

“How did that make you feel?”

“Completely humiliated. Also, my butt hurt.”

The therapist writes notes. The session could not end soon enough.

“We’re not returning to the therapist,” my mother announces the night before an appointment.

“Good. I don’t like her. What prompted this decision?”

“She thinks that I’m a lesbian and that I’m in denial about it. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a lesbian, but I’m not.” Mom is nervous to say it.

“What? Can you please find another therapist that I can talk to about our therapist.”

Grubhub

My kids order food from Grubhub. My son is worried about the tip amount. He says, “We should give them a huge tip because they probably need it.”

I say, “That’s commendable but I cannot afford a fat tip to the Grubhub delivery person. I will tip them well.”

A guy comes to deliver the food. Charles hands him the tip. Charles says, “Is that enough tip? I mean working for Grubhub cannot be all that lucrative. I doubt you’re getting rich working at Grubhub.” Then he laughs one of the most awkward laughs I’ve encountered. He says, “Well by then.”

Stupid Things I’ve Done

I’m thinking about writing a book called Stupid Things I’ve Done. I will gather stories from friends and family and maybe Ellen and Clooney for the star power potential.

My stories for the book will include:

The time many years ago I was at my boyfriend’s house. We borrowed his mother’s Cadillac. I’m backing out of the driveway and neglect to realize there’s a car parked behind us. I slam into it. After that our relationship went on a major southward spiral.

The time in school when I was reading aloud in class and I referred to Arkansas as Ar-kansas. 

The time I was asked to leave my husband’s band gig because I got caught sneaking in liquor. The reason I was caught is because the waitress asked me if I’d like a drink and I responded, “No thanks. I brought my own.”

Tearing the house apart looking for my glasses when they are on my head.

The grand prize is the time I got pulled over for speeding 72 in a 55 zone. I thought the speed limit was 65. The officer says, “Ma’am do you know how fast you were going? Seventy-two miles per hour.”

I say, “I thought I was going much faster than that” because in my head that wasn’t speeding.

At the court hearing the judge asks the police officer if I was cooperative. The offiicer says, “Yes she was. In fact she told me she thought she was going faster than she was.”

The entire courtroom busted out laughing.

Depends For Festivals

I’m leaving work with my coworker. She says, “I have to pee so bad.”

I say, “Go. I’ll wait for you.” She says, “I have a thing about public restrooms.” She doesn’t go. 

On the crowded elevator I say to her, “You would not have survived Woodstock ’94. The port o potties were overflowing. I guess you could have worn Depends.” Everyone laughed.

If I was my current age at Woodstock ’94, well first I wouldn’t go, and if I did go I would threaten bodily harm to my husband if we didn’t leave immediately.

No amount of Greenday is worth trudging around in a foot of mud and overflowing port o potties. 

I was with my sister and brother in-law at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. We were watching The Who smack in the middle of a large audience. My brother in-law leans over and says, “I just pee’d.” Then he laughs. 

He pee’d in his pants and poured water on himself as a pee rinse. He says, “Hey man, I didn’t want to deal with the crowd and miss a song.

This brings me to my product idea. Depends for Festivals. They will come in tie-dye and yellow. The ad will say, “Do you think port o potties are shitty? You need Depends for Festivals. Either that or no fluids for twenty-four hours prior to the festival.”

Channeling Mrs. Maisel

I watch The Wonderful World of Mrs. Maisel and dream of a life like hers. Except for the two young children part. I write comedy monologues in my head. I imagine losing fifty pounds and wearing gorgeous dresses on stage. Lenny Bruce is in the audience. He laughs and raises his glass to me.

Then I go switch the laundry.