Does Size Really Matter?

bert-first-day-of-school-2016

Get your mind out of the bedroom.  This isn’t about what you’re thinking.

It’s the second day of school and my youngest is already shooting off his mouth…

Argh…

Two emails in one day.  Really?  Can’t we go a whole week without your mouth getting you in trouble?  Shocking.  I know.  A child of mine who has a mouth that could get him in trouble.  He is the fourth, after all.  His preschool teacher told me that she was worried about his delayed development.  He rarely uttered a word back then.  She advised that perhaps I should hold him back to give him another year to catch up.

Oh, how his verbal skills have dramatically improved!

You remember lining up by size.  Tallest to shortest.  I remember it well.  I was ALWAYS in the front.  But I’m a girl and it didn’t really bother me.  I was and am still short (for my age, anyhow…wink, wink).  Clearly, I’m not surprised that my son is tiny.  He barely weighs 60 pounds and that’s when he is dripping wet.  And 5 of those pounds is his hair.  He does have great hair.  He’s got that going for him.  So, as they line up tallest to shortest, guess who’s in the front.  Yep.  My little Robert.  He felt sure there was a girl shorter than him and made sure his feelings were known.  As the teacher puts him in the front, his indignant response (aka his mouth) got him in trouble.  Apparently, “that’s bullcrap” is not acceptable language to say to your teacher in 5th grade.  At least that’s what his teacher emailed me.  And on day two.    According to him, he said it to himself.   That would mean his teacher read his mind.

It’s going to be a long year.

I just don’t get it.  Why is it we even have to point this out?  Next time, let’s line them up by color?  Can you imagine the backlash that would get?

As the school days would progress, so would the comments about how short he is.  Middle school can be so challenging.  Kids are brutally honest.  I get that.  And, I’m okay with that.  Most of the time.   After being called a midget for the umpteenth time, I asked him how that made him feel.  His response, “Mom, that’s her problem.  Not mine.  I’m okay with who I am.”  Epic win, buddy!  Proud of you.

I always thought being short was different for a girl. I was worried about my youngest being the smallest.  Turns out, I didn’t need to be.

He is confident with who he is.  Sometimes, the best gift we can give our children is confidence.  Material gifts come and go.  But not self confidence.  I think about the 9 year old boy who killed himself last week in West Virginia because he couldn’t take the bullying anymore.  Yes, I said 9 years old.  Robert is 10 years old.  Let me repeat. Robert is barely a year older than the little boy in West Virginia.  He is constantly teased (or bullied or whatever you want to call it) about his height.  His strength and self confidence impress me.  I can’t imagine what that mother is feeling, especially with September being Suicide Awareness Month.

Middle school teasing and bullying and simply being mean probably won’t cease.  I can only hope his confidence will sustain him through these middle school years.  Wish it had for the little boy in West Virginia.

I suppose size does matter to some.  But not my little guy.

 

 

I’ll Take a Mimosa with that Mammogram, Please…

IMG_0043

O.

M.

F.

G.

If only I could start and end the blog with OMFG.  Enough said, right?  My friends out there who have had one know exactly what I’m talking about.  As a 46 year old woman, I should have just completed my 7th mammogram.  Had I started at 40 when I was told to start.

But, I’m not exactly a rule follower.  When I was pregnant with my third, I skipped the glucose test.  Gestational diabetes?  Please.  I’m not drinking that syrup again.  Ever.  My OB almost disowned me.  So many rules to be broken!

I digress…

Back to the mammogram…

As you check in, there is a cardboard stock piece of marketing material that shows 20 different languages which they can converse with you.  As I look at all the languages that can be translated, my eye hits Hmong.  Hmong?  Have you ever even heard of this language?  Me either.  Apparently,   any language can be translated by calling a service.  I think this is a great service to the many women out there getting a breast exam done who don’t speak English.  It’s tough to understand all this in plain English.  Imagine not understanding a word they tell you.  Talk about overbearing.

After promising to donate my entire net worth to the 20 language speaking desk clerk, I am escorted by a woman with the personality of a drone into a quiet room with faux maple lockers and pink gowns that barely cover my rear end.  Luckily, I am wearing my cut off jean shorts because that’s what women in their 40’s wear.  And, no, she did not offer me a mimosa.  That would be a nice touch, though!

After only a 15 minute wait, I’m escorted passed the male/female handicapped restroom in the all women waiting room.  Huh?  Could be a gender neutral thing in the all women waiting room but what do I know?

As I enter the examining room, I think to myself, “You want me to put my breast in that?”

IMG_0041

Are you serious?

So…I suck it up.  Actually, I flatten it.  There is no sucking it up.  (Imagine a guy having to put his testicles in the compress.  Now, that is a visual I would pay to see!)  Technically, the machine flattens it.  It’s like a cold compress with the same crushing power as Jaws.  Notice the -45 degrees in top left of the screen.  Ummm?  What does that mean?  I may get vertigo.  The technologist, as she is called,  (not technician–clearly there is a difference–don’t ask me as I don’t know the difference) looks at me like I’m crazy when  ask her if I can take a picture of this process.  I told her it was for a blog.  She says, “That’s one I’ve never heard before.”  She has heard it all I suppose.  Things people say when they get uncomfortable.

Let’s face it.  This is as awkward a moment as they come.

Before any breasts are placed in the cold compress, she has to do her due diligence and ask me serious questions.  The obvious, “Are you pregnant?  Any breast cancer in your family?”  The not so obvious, have you been in contact with MERS-CoV?  What the fuck?  It’s apparently some middle eastern virus that affects you, the cold compress or the middle east.  I’m not sure which.   Again, I don’t speak Hmong so I probably don’t have it.  Again, where is Hmong?

As she places each breast in the cold compress, I tell her this is clearly a 2 person job.  I don’t know how she does this?  But she is good and obviously knows what she is doing.  I’m impressed.  She stands behind some sort of protective barrier and starts punching buttons.  Each breast is squeezed so tightly that I start to cringe.  My butt cheeks start to tighten up.  Not sure how my ass is related to my breast but it was an automatic reaction.   She informs me that she must flatten it where the tissue is evenly distributed.  I’m just praying she hits the right button and it stops before my breasts become real pancakes.

All that and it’s only the first breast.  I have two.  I think to myself, “Shampoo.  Rinse.  Repeat.”  ARGH…

I asked her if she had ever visibly seen lumps in a patient.  She had, in fact, seen some in a few patients.  Those are immediately escalated up to the radiologist.  Imagine the anxiety those women must feel.

Luckily, I will have to wait the full two weeks to get my results.

I am fully aware that I use humor as a defense mechanism for when I am clearly out of my comfort zone.   Trust me when I say I was completely out of my comfort zone today.  Because I was.  But breast cancer is real.  Very real.  And very deadly.  Over a quarter of a million women get breast cancer each year and over 40,000 will die from it.  And men aren’t immune from it either.

Get your mammogram.  Don’t wait.   Do it yearly starting  at 40.

It’s one hour of your time and could save a life.  Yours or someone you love.  Not that you know anyone who speaks Hmong.  But you never know.

IMG_0040

 

 

 

 

 

I love you, Lil Rich…however…

lil rich and me football

If you ever put your pecker where it’s not welcome, you can bet your sweet entitled ass, I will NOT be writing any letter to any judge telling him or her all the wonderful things I love about you.  Let me be very clear about this.  Do NOT put your penis, your hand, your finger, your tongue or anything permanently or temporarily attached to your body into any orifice of another woman WITHOUT her consent.

Just to be clear.  Here is the definition of rape.  Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent.

Why won’t I write that letter to that judge?

Because I’m angry.  I’m angry that another parent refuses to own up to their child’s (errr…adult child) behavior.  I’m angry that an unconscious woman was raped and he is seemingly “getting away” with it.

Your father and I are raising you to be a kind, gentle man who respects others.   Not take advantage of another human.  Never mind taking advantage of another person completely unconscious.

I will NOT be lamenting about the fact that you would be devastated about choices you made over an “event” YOU caused to happen.  Let’s be real.  Rape is NOT an event.  An event is something like the 5K Turkey Trot we have run many times.  Rape is…well…rape.  See definition above.  Let’s not sugarcoat it.  It’s rape.  Plain and simple.

And, if you so choose to spend 20 minutes of your life putting your pecker where it isn’t welcome, then those 20 minutes of YOUR doing is something that will alter the course of your life.  Not to mention our lives, as well.  Forever.  So, for the love of God or whomever you turn to in your moment of crisis, DO NOT DO IT.  I’m not even hinting at the thought that you would EVER even think about this, I’m simply letting you know where I stand should this ever happen.

Whereas, I was never raped in college, I was raped over and over by my stepfather as a child.  The long term effects this has on a woman are ever lasting.

You will go off to college in just over a year.  You will drink.  You will do stupid things.  You will make questionable decisions.  You will be on your own for the first time in your life.  You will most likely succumb to peer pressure.  It’s okay.  We all do.  We all make poor choices.  We all make mistakes.  BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF ANOTHER PERSON’S HUMAN DIGNITY.

Brock Turner royally fucked up.  Don’t make that same choice.  I don’t care how drunk you get.  Get a blow up doll.  I know most mothers wouldn’t give that advice to their sons, but, then again, I am not most mothers.  I was the one who taught you how to throw a football.  Taught you how to play hockey.  Sat in the water for hours on end holding the ski tips up so you could get up and ski.  And, when you finally got up, I was a sitting duck in that water.  But that’s what parents do.  We are there to teach you.  To educate you.  To raise you.  To love you.  To have your back.  I will always have your back, but if you take away something from a woman that she will never get back, I won’t have your back.  You will be on your own with your own hell to pay.

I know this is extreme but I simply can’t take one more parent excusing their child’s behavior.  Minimizing it.  And not owning up to it.

You know I love you.  You are my first born child.  I am extremely proud of you.  I am proud of the man you are becoming.  So, I am begging you to make good choices.  We’ve been saying that since you were in Ms. Joanne’s class in pre-k when you were 3 years old.  I will continue to say this whether you are 3 or 18 or 40.

I realize this is a very UNCOMFORTABLE subject.  I also realize I am crass and crude.  But I’d MUCH RATHER have this conversation with you than one that starts with, “WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?”

You are an amazing young man and I couldn’t be prouder of you.  But don’t EVER let 20 minutes of a royal fuck up ruin your life.  And what a life you have ahead of you.

lil rich and parents

Dunkin Donuts won’t make it with these two working…

jenna and police pic

 

 

 

 

 

Have you really opened your eyes?  I mean really opened them.  I guess I haven’t until yesterday on my first police ride along.  In order to do this, you have to fill out a lot of paperwork.  A lot.  Then, a background check is done.  All of this is escalated up the hierarchy chain and the chief of police has to sign off to let you do this.  Damn.  Lots of signatures to approve this.  Luckily, they didn’t do a background check on my mouth, and I passed all of that and was given the green light to go on this adventure.  Yes, an adventure.  My first ride along with two of Dallas’ finest police officers who happen to be women was an adventure for me.  But, for them?  It was just another exhausting day on the job.  Or should I say a war zone.

Wait?

Is there a war going on in Dallas?  Just three exits north of my house in my very safe bubble of  a neighborhood?  Indeed, there is.  Oh…what a lesson I learned yesterday.

I’m not a police officer.  I’m just a mom raising four kids.  In a very comfortable and, at times, entitled world.

It’s our job as parents to protect (or is it shelter?) our children from all the horrifying hell (I mean life) out there.

What I experienced should be on everyone’s must do list.  Or perhaps bucket list.   Well…maybe not bucket list…eating my way through Italy is probably a more common item on a bucket list.

Without a doubt, the police get a bad rap.  They are micro watched.  One tiny fuck up, and it’s all over the news.   No thanks.  I couldn’t handle the scrutiny.

As I’m sitting in the back of the squad car (a Dodge something or another with some sort of pleather seats with a 2′ wide streak on the ceiling that is best described as some sort of bodily excretion.  I didn’t touch it so I’ll have to let my imagination run wild for the rest of my life.)  I move on.  No other choice.

First stop…Dunkin Donuts…ok… Not really.  We head to the station to upload all the data as the recorder is full.  As the female police officers give me a tour, I am not impressed at all by the blandness of the facilities.  The building couldn’t be more vanilla.  Except the locker rooms.   Picture after picture of the women and their babies.  Their children.  Their very real lives.  You can’t get more personal than this.  I am in awe.  These women are mothers.  Like me.  They have children to raise.  I’d love to say our lives are very similar but they aren’t.

What I did yesterday in no way compares to any of my days.   My life is monotonous.  Bordering on boring sometimes when my kids are at school.

After leaving the station, we head to a third world country.  Yep.  Just a few exits north of my home.  Since this is a blog and not a book, I’ll keep it short.

mattress

How the hell do people live like this?  Not sure about you, but no way in hell would I live like this.  This door has clearly been beaten.  And don’t get me started on the mattress.  Not the first thing I want to see when I walk out the door everyday.  The building is dilapidated.  The walkways are filled in with rotted wood.  Trash is everywhere.

The two police officers I’m with  are on a special unit that is covering an area of Dallas that is heavily into drugs.  Selling.  Buying.  Using.  I’m quite sure it isn’t a little pot smoking.  It’s the heavy stuff.  Heroin.  Crack.  Meth.  None of which I’ve ever tried.  (Pot, yes.)  I’ve seen what meth does to your face.  And, let’s face it, I’m too vain to mess with my face like that so I abstain from any drugs that would eat my face.  Have you seen those time lapse videos of people on meth?  Liquid Drano belongs in your toilet.  Not your body.

As they pat down the known criminals, they can feel a wad of cash in one of the pockets.  They cannot legally go in the pocket without a warrant.  I’m guessing the cash is not his pension he just cashed in.  But, what do I know?  I’m just observing all of this.  It’s nearly 100 degrees and I’m wearing a black jacket that has Police written all over it.  Just in case something happens, they will know I’m with the police.  My heart is racing.  And, I’m sweating profusely.  This was not a good day to wear open toed shoes.  Clearly, I’m unprepared.  I’m standing there wondering if one of them has a gun and will pull it out.  One of the officers, points to the wall I’m leaning against (trying to find shade in this hell), and says to me, “Stay right there where I can see you.”  Last time anyone said that to me was my mother when I was 5 years old.  I happily oblige.  For obvious reasons.  She is not fucking around.  And I am forever grateful for her stern words.

Is it lunchtime yet?  Worrying about my life has somehow made me hungry.  They all drink tea.  I’m having a Bloody Mary.  The pressure of this day has caused me to drink.

After lunch, we are off to arrest a rather large man (400 lbs) for some warrant.  Backup is needed.  Ummm…is he going to sit in the back with me?  Not sure I’m comfortable with that strategy…

As we head to yet another sad and in much need of a bulldozer apartment complex, we are rerouted.  “Put your seatbelt on Wanda.”  Huh?  We are just going a few blocks, no?  Sirens go on.  Guess, we aren’t.  “There’s a cutting.”  A cutting?  You mean a stabbing?  “Yes.  Hold on.”

We head to a Motel 6 in East Dallas.  My first trip there.  As we walk into the lobby, there is a guy in a pool of blood who was just stabbed by his girlfriends ex boyfriend (or lover or pimp…who the hell knows?).  This is now a crime scene.  Don’t touch anything.  Especially, the drops of blood everywhere.  More crack and heroin addicts.  As they haul him off to the hospital, he keeps saying, “Am I going to die?”  I won’t forget his face nor his eyes with dark circles around his eyes.  Tats and blood all over him.  Not sure if he made it after his surgery.  Surviving multiple stab wounds would be a miracle.

The emaciated girlfriend.  The long haired Hispanic alleged assailant.  The black witness who couldn’t form a proper sentence if he tried.  He kept saying he had to get to work so he could pay for his room.  The victim who was stabbed.  All too much for me.

Since this is now a crime scene, I’m hauled off in a police car to my home.  My very safe home.  No rotted wood.  No mattresses by the door.  No holes in my front door.  No needles anywhere near my home.

I sit on my couch unable to move.  I’m exhausted from this day.  But for my police friends?  They must get up each day and do this again.  And again.  They choose courage over comfort each day.

Next time you see a police officer, buy them lunch.  Or simply thank them.  They shield us from an everyday life that we never have to see.

Thank you, J and T.  An adventure I will never forget.  A day we should all experience and then give thanks for the safe lives we live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does cunt rhyme with blunt?

new logo

Hmmm…

Makes me wonder why I’m so blunt?  Am I a just another Cee U Next Tuesday?  Ummm.  Yes.  I said cunt.  For the record, in ancient times, it was a title of respect for women.  It used to be an honor.  Now, it’s merely an expletive.  Read Inga Muscio’s book, “Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.”

Clearly, I’m both.  Or is it one in the same?  Or is it because I’m a woman.  At what point did cunt go from a noble honor to the worst word in the English language for which women are referred to in a derogatory manner?

I wonder.  What would be the rhyming word for a guy who is a dick?  Prick?  Slick?  Lick?  Forget asshole.  I can’t think of any words that rhyme with it.

It’s one of the few words in the English language that is referred to by its first initial.  As in the C-word.  Like the F-word.  Or the N-word.  We all know what that one letter means.  Used in the proper context, of course.

I’ve been told I’m blunt since pretty much day one.  Now, I have a podcast, One Blunt Woman, just to exacerbate it.  Or simply put it out there.  For others to judge, criticize, and sometimes (rarely) give me a thumbs up.  I’ve been told to “Just Stop.”  I’ve been told, “keep it up.”

Can’t please everyone.  Obviously.

So, I’m crude.  I’m vulgar.  I’m an asshole.  I’m blunt.  I’m raw.  I’m a fighter.   And, I’m vulnerable.

As survivor and an advocate for abused children, I support their cause financially.  After hearing Brene Brown last week, I was in awe.  I immediately went out and purchased her latest book, “Daring Greatly”.

Two words.  Read it.

We have a choice each day.  We can choose to be comfortable.  Or we can choose to be courageous.  In order to be courageous, we have to be VULNERABLE.  Yes.  Vulnerable.  But only the weak are vulnerable, right?

Wrong.

The author, Brene, told us otherwise.  She explains to us that vulnerability is at the very core of our fears, our griefs, AND our disappointments.  BUT, it’s also where we have the opportunity or, as she calls it, the birthplace of love, joy, empathy, and creativity.

Sold!  I’ll take two, please.

We have to be willing to step in that arena and fight the fight.  With millions of eyes watching you.  Just waiting to take you down.  Are you willing to take that risk?  I am.  Nothing is more pitiful as standing on the outside looking in.  You do want to live your life?  The way you want to live it.  I do.  I won’t live the same year 70 times.

What does that arena mean, anyway?  What are we putting it out there for anyway?  A new relationship?  A new city to live in?  A new adventure?  A new skill?  Taking on ice hockey at the age of 34?  Or simply having a difficult conversation with your children about sex?   Not sex.  TABOO.  Child molesters.  TABOO.   Ummm.  They exist and, thus, NEED to be talked about.  Yes, you will be criticized.  Shunned.  Avoided.  HOWEVER, these difficult conversations HAVE to be had with your children.  You want them getting all their information from their peers?  How much does a 15 year old know about emotional fulfillment of a positive sexual encounter?  Ummm.  None.  Do they know the anatomy of the human body?  Most likely, yes.  Do they know how intercourse works?  Most likely, yes.

But does she really know her own body?  How it really works?

Here we go again with sex.  Seems to be a hot topic.  A dangerous topic.  A forbidden topic.

Talk about being uncomfortable and being vulnerable?  It’s one thing for me to talk to my children about child molesters.  How I would adamantly castrate him should he EVER touch one of my children.  But talking sex with my daughter is a STRETCH.  Even for me.

I need help with this.  I know I’m blunt and I’ve been called the C-word on many occasions but, all that aside, I need serious liquid courage for this talk.

Girls & Sex written by Peggy Orenstein is an excellent read.  Again.  Read it.  She interviewed dozens of girls between the age of 15-20 about sex.  Real sex.   Yes.  They are having sex.  With or without you knowing, approving, guiding and most importantly, supporting.  Yes.  I said supporting.  She is going to have sex.  We can preach abstinence all day long.  They will just do it behind your back.  Imagine the choices she is making.  And, you’re in the dark.  Because you are too UNCOMFORTABLE talking to her about sex.  And, I’m not talking about geography of her sex organs.  And his.  Nope.  I’m talking about orgasms.  Masturbation.  Enjoyment of the act.  Emotional implications of having sex before she is ready.

But Peggy pegs it perfectly.  Americans shove the abstinence plea down their daughter’s throats.  (Don’t get me started on things shoved down your throat.)  Dutch girls, on the other hand, reported more comfort with their own bodies and their desires and more in touch with their own pleasure.  Oh.  And, their pregnancy and abortion rate are FAR LOWER than over here in the U.S.

Their parents, teachers and doctors talked openly and candidly with them about sex, pleasure and the importance of a loving relationship.  About the joys and responsibilities of intimacy.  What?  Come again?  Over here, we focus on the risks and dangers of sex.  Not pleasure.  That’s just TABOO and uncomfortable.

It’s my job as her mother to be open, frank, and uncomfortable.  I don’t want her giving her first blow job in 9th grade.  Especially, for the wrong reasons.  To please him for absolutely no reason.  I want her to understand the implications of all this.  I want her to know I’m here to support her.  To help her understand sex, her body, her ability to understand how her body works.

I’m going to step in that arena.   Risk being both vulnerable and uncomfortable.  Risk being criticized.  Oh well.  Just another day at the office for me.

Will you?

Blunt or not.  This is a must conversation.