marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I'd said in an earlier post (maybe last week; I don't keep track of such things too well, anymore) that I was never posting publicly again, and I'm never posting publicly again, but I forgot about this stupid post I write every year for Thanksgiving, so I guess I'll write it, but unless my worldview changes considerably - mostly for the better - there won't be much more public posting - except maybe some activist/political this and/or !signalboost that because I'm just...I could say a lot more, but in short, nope.

Girlfriend's got other places to go.

It's not that I'll never write again; I'll still have my usual free-for-alls under lock, if I so choose, and I'll still write publicly, I just don't know where, or why, or how often, or anything else.

And so, on with my normal (if you can call it that!) post...


Today I'm thankful, as always, for not having turkey. Bad enough to live in a country bursting with them, you know? So many turkeys, it's enough to make me cluck with apprehension.

I'm also thankful this Thanksgiving was much better than all but one of the last four were, simply because I spent it in our own home, set up and cleaned to my liking, listening to music I wanted and watching TV with shows I liked on it, with just the people around me whom I chose and of course my cats, and ate exactly what I damn well felt like after preparing the food to my liking, myself. I apologize for sounding a bit like Ayn Rand here, but a girl's got her reasons.

You can't take these seemingly small things for granted. If you do, you don't know how lucky you are, nor how thankful you should truly be for it.

Because this year !I cooked or !I made most of the comestibles, I can tell you there was no turkey in sight. There was delicious cured ham, fresh baked sweet potatoes and organic butter from a new whole-foods store that opened up recently, and OP, who's finally made peace with both his haircut and my feelings about how I get to decide who I am, not anyone else, contributed a divine fresh Brussels sprouts au gratin topped with Gruyere cheese and chopped bacon.

I took a small break on pre-dinner apps this year...there were many, as usual when I do the Thanksgiving spread, but I went mostly for jars, cans and containers this time because *ahem* I has !lazy, which caused a quick, easy spread of smoked oysters, pickled artichoke hearts, fresh kalamata olives, pickled onions and crackers to unfold before our eyes, while I only made the chicken liver pate and deviled eggs from scratch this time. The pate was a first for me; I actually made it ahead, then let it set up in the fridge overnight. It was...aaaahhh, so good.

I think the only thing missing, besides family, cats and a few celebrities I miss and wish were still with us, was someone else to feed. I wanted someone who'd truly appreciate the food and maybe even the company, but though I checked around, I couldn't find the right person.

There's always Christmas, though. I really want to have someone I don't know over for dinner.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

It was a better Thanksgiving than last year's. But without my mom maybe it will never be as good again. Any holiday has lost its magic yet retains a glint of hope at its edges that is the magic, now that I think I have someone I want to spend them with again. Those glint-y edges led me to play my mom's favorite Barbra Streisand Christmas album while my fiance was at the store this morning getting everything I didn't want to buy three days ago, and to cry while it played because it made me think how much she'd love to hear it - except for how she no longer can.

I also played it as a test of my resolve to go on without her, which has always been/still is in question. I knew I couldn't know how strong my resolve was unless I did, and as much as I felt waver-y and unsure about it, another part of me said yep, just please pass Go already. So much for resolve; mine was gone before the first song was over. I cried throughout the second and third song as well. But I was surviving it, somehow, without sinking to my knees and sobbing like I did last year. That's...progress.

I have survivor's guilt. I want to tell you what I cooked because some small part of my soul is once again surging with joy over such things, so I want to tell you about it, tell you how good it was - but I feel like a monster because my mom couldn't be there so I how dare I enjoy it, discuss it, or even give it any value as a thing. When I weigh "turkey dinner" over "someone I love is dead who I'd normally eat it with" it sucks the life out of me; I stare at the screen shrouded in guilt over having any joy, much less living, on a day that my mom couldn't. Talk about dinner? Turkey? Dressing? Eating? It's the one thing she couldn't do properly for her last two years on Earth, until she couldn't eat at all - thanks to stomach cancer. Seriously? How could I?

Mom?

As soon as I was about to write her name - and I was - something told me, "Yes, you should." And, "It has no significance". Alrighty, then: I started off by making homemade stuffing this morning after my fiance came back from the store. Stale Arnold's Health Nut bread torn into itsy bits, then mixed with chopped celery, onions and green peppers, moistened with chicken broth and seasoned with thyme, poultry seasoning and onion powder. Put that aside and did my my mom's pre-turkey appetizer platter from memory: homemade deviled eggs, green and black olives, and normally it has small white cocktail onions and maybe melon but I forgot to buy those.

After warming up leftovers for my fiance (because I was tasting as I was making so there was no need to get overfull making a 'real lunch' for both of us) and snacking on appetizers with him, I cut up fresh yellow squash to boil later with chopped onions. I already had sweet potatoes, carrots, and some onion quarters wrapped in foil ready to bake, so I got busy seasoning the turkey chicken (I don't do turkey) the same way I seasoned the stuffing, then popped all the bake-ables into the oven to cook for about two hours.

Towards the end of bake time I popped a foil-wrapped hunk of French bread on top of the oven to flash-warm it, took the baked food out, put the buttered pecan pie in, boiled the squash and onions and within a half an hour or so we were eating.

My fiance was clueless as to the significance of the appetizer platter and the huge meal but I could tell he loved it. For me it was necessary to have those things simply because it was exactly what I'd have on any Thanksgiving I ever spent with my mom (well, with just a few starch and veggie variations). Which got me thinking: traditions start when someone dies and someone else close to them says, "This is what the dearly departed one used to do so let's do that thing now." That person, like me, has to start the tradition or else they'll go batshit insane.

It was satisfying in a way that made me feel like my feet were on the ground again and I was so grateful to have him to share it with, that...I don't even know how to put that in words.

I tried to, but I could swear he thought I was just bullshitting him.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

It's been working on me lately so with Thanksgiving coming up I have to say it: while I am thankful for the fact that I can write my own CSS, control and change my own and other's website designs (even Google's), create my own userscripts, and put my post images between properly formatted HTML div tags, I have a troll from my more intensely Anti-AOL days to thank for all of that.

No, he never taught me to do a damn thing. He simply made fun of me for not being able to. Along with calling me a bitch, a slut, a whore, and several other unsavory slurs; he was a sexist, a monster, a troll, an AOL employee, a complete PITA, and would not go away for so long I actually contacted the president of AOL in my one weak attempt to get him fired, but his IP was of course untraceable, just leading back to one of AOL's many server farms, and his name was totally unknown. He worked in unison with a lesser troll, whom I eventually shook down for a name - to no avail.

I finally starved him to death - at least emotionally - by screening his comments and refusing to reply no matter what...I mean, once in a while, once I got over the initial shock of it, I might've actually throw in with, "Go on, go on, I'm all ears" and just let him go, but other than that I simply ignored him. It took less than a week for his vitriol to finally die off, or for him to grow bored with talking to himself about me - I'll never know which one for sure - and I've almost never left comments unscreened on any blog of mine since then (if I do I make sure to watch carefully lest he or anyone like that ever intrude again).

His abusiveness, while deeply shocking at the time, is something I've since come to terms with. I think, at times, many of us run off at the mouth and say things we later regret, or, if we don't regret our mean spirit in itself, we regret that we bothered expressing it, that we wasted our time...this is part of the human condition, and a facet of it I can cop to more than I'd like to admit. Not to say that I sympathize with my troll, but frustration can unbelievably warp a personality, and I believe that the fact my blog existed in and of itself frustrated him exceptionally. My blog was the outward sign of everything wrong within his industry, and I wound up bearing the brunt of his hatred for that.

Like almost anyone, even my troll had a personality and chose to express it in some occasionally LOL-funny ways (you had to be there but trust me, outside of one guy named Mike - whom I copied all his hate speech to so we could cluck over it each night - you weren't). He picked on me for using centered paragraph tags instead of centered divs. He picked on me for using pre-rolled LJ designs....and bad ones at that, in his almighty opinion. He picked on me for not knowing how to write my own CSS. He picked on me for being too good at SEO while not knowing how to write at all, and while that is a valid criticism, I still can't do anything about it.

When all the hullabaloo finally died down and I was left, blissfully, with nothing but my thoughts to mull over, I realized that as vitriol-packed and dismissible as most of his criticisms were (sticks and stones, really) the part about not knowing how to properly format my posts and design my own blog had stung me to my core. So, long story short? I started learning, though I'm nowhere near done.

So if you've ever liked anything I've put together online from a design perspective, thank me if you want - but this Thanksgiving, you can also thank a troll.

Wait....

Nov. 26th, 2013 08:20 pm
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I thought Thanksgiving always fell on a Thursday...

Thanksgiving doesn't always fall on a Thursday; who knew?

Huh, how 'bout...wait...it does fall on a Thursday - each and every time? How 'bout that?

Whew, close one. Started thinking it was always celebrated on a Tuesday or something...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Last night's post? Because humanity is one big giant collection of gutless turdballs. It takes a huge turdball collection like ours to find maybe six posts on my Reading Page titled, "Happy Thanksgiving" and "Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!" that detail, my god, what you ate, and possibly even inquire as to what we ate. Of course, I wrote the same sort of dreck in relatively happier times but this time around I'm not so happy. Which is the part where humanity falls off a cliff like the big round turdball it is on holidays especially: I can't be the only one who wants to take life itself and just shove it up someone's ass sometimes, but if I AM the only one willing to say so, then so be it.

To be the only one to say that this time around, this holiday sucked, it blew, it disgusted me, I'd rather never have another one again then go through the one like I had this year and here's why? No one else does that. Not ever. And why not?

They either take the coward's way out and write nothing at all - either because they *are* miserable and it *is* too much to bear - but fuck all if they're about to let anyone else know it and get our derision in return - or else they take the other coward's way out and keep it bland: 'I ate turkey, uh, how 'bout you?' Put a fork in me, I'm done, because you know what I really had for dinner? One big giant gutless turdball. That's what I had. And choked on it just hard enough to write this.

Also, for those of you PMing me that uh, you mentioned wanting to jump off a bridge just last month if Mitt Romney won, and now this, thanks for pointing out what I already know since hey, I wrote it, but Mitt Romney lost. And no, I didn't hope he'd win so I could off myself. That's just - crazy. I can find plenty of excuses for that (humanity being my number one excuse: giant gutless turdball that I can't stop choking on) even without Romney as president.

Seriously, most people familiar with my writing and personality (and especially those who've been reading for a long time, and even more so those who've met me in person who also read this thing) know I'm a depressive. I might cover and smother just about everything in sarcasm and humor and drollness but on the inside I am and have always been, to some degree, a bit hopeless. I think it's biological so it's wrong for me to say, as I have before, that bad things happening in my life (or even the idea of Mitt Romney winning the election) can "trigger" an even darker side for me. Those things simply intensify the already withering disgust for life that I can't help but feel.

At best I'm ambivalent about living. I've always thought I might be happier if I was no longer here because of certain afterlife beliefs I have. I'm often jealous of those who die before me - actually *jealous*. I've always felt I'm just wasting my time. I started feeling that way when I was 14 and have simply never, not for one day or one week, been able to stop. I think it's hampered my potential in more ways than I'll ever know, but it seems as much a part of me as the color of my eyes or the way I hold a pen so I don't know how to undo what seems, after 27 years of it, like a basic personality trait.

So I live around it, through it, and beyond it as much as I can. I can't help it if sometimes I just want to say so. If I want to step away from all the shiny happy bullshit of humanity once in a while and say, you know what, it's not as shiny and happy as some of us would have the rest of us believe, and I'm tired of pretending it is, so I'm not going to follow the crowd this time, I'm going to sit down now and just say so. If I can't do that without some of you freaking out on me about OMG now I'm gonna do "it", whatever "it" is (oh, and been there, done that, got the t-shirt; it's just too much fucking trouble) then I've lost the only real (and really therapeutic) creative outlet that I have.

Which is all my long way way of saying thanks for your concern, I guess, but you can put your pants back on now.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

First Thanksgiving I've ever spent alone. And therefore so perfectly weird.

Baked myself a ham and biscuits, boiled corn, and put aside a huge sweet potato that was undercooked and inedible as a result. Finished still hungry yet unable or unwilling to go on eating.

Cried on and off thinking about my mom and The Ex, how it was when we were still together, when mom was healthy and happy, when life was everything I thought I could want. As we'd often say, mimicking Richard Pryor right down to his sloping posture and outstretched arms, "We cool, we cool."

And I thought about James. After dinner I went and re-read some of his stuff and some stuff about him (not from FG, another site).

This was the only Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate that 1) my mom didn't cook that 2) I cooked but shared with no one else, because no one else alive is close enough with me to eat it.

The last T-dinner I cooked was in 2002, shortly after my mom threw me out and I had to go live with my Ex, who, miserably enough, was also my Ex at the time. I bought the food and cooked and fed him and his son and his daughter and it was pretty nice in between all my sobbing sessions because I thought I would die unless my mother spoke to me again. Fortunately my Ex turned violent not long after - not very violent - just violent enough that my mother relented and let me know through a mutual friend of ours that I could come back home.

I think 2002-2007 were the happiest years of my life because because she took me back; my erroneous ways were forgiven and eventually both me and mom found it within ourselves to forgive most of the harm my Ex had done after he spent a few years campaigning to win my heart back.

By 2005 I had a good job, the only man I'd thought I really loved, my mother, the best and craziest cat(s) on Earth, and we had our home.

Then the House of Cards fell: it was 2008 and my Ex and I were on the fritz - again - then I either quit or lost my job (probably both; I had to quit because they would not keep me because wow, I was completely falling apart), then we got our house of eight years stolen by someone we trusted and wound up both living with my Ex, which predictably enough was a disaster, and mom got sick that winter with the (still-undiagnosed) cancer that eventually killed her.

Funny thing - not as in ha-ha funny, but as in horrifyingly awful - is you'd probably say, "OK, bad year, but I'd bet the next one gets better." But the next one didn't get better. Neither did the one after. Nor the one after that. Nor this year. It just got worse. A quick rundown:.

2009: mom clearly has cancer but won't admit it, I can't hold any job so I hold many because I'm so fucked in the head over the state of my Ex and my mother that my Anger Issues are clearly destroying me, so we bounce between my Ex and other places I can only barely afford until I need another job, which is fairly often compared to Normal People.

2010: Rinse and repeat, only now mom admits she has - and is finally admitted to the hospital for - cancer. More bouncing back and forth between my Ex and any home I can afford. Then the Ex takes me in as an emotional hostage after my mom goes to the hospital for surgery, in another edition of While the Cat is Away the Mouse Will Play starring my mom as Cat and my Ex as Mouse. Winnie - our favorite cat, a sweet Persian we had for over five years - loses his home as a result, and I almost lose my fucking mind. I wind up taking out most of my anger at this hideous state of affairs on - James. Yeah, I know. But at the time I'm pretty sure he'd put a pox on me that ruined my fucking life.

2011: Mom says she feels better, and for once I can hold a job for more than a few weeks without spazzing out or losing it, even get promoted. In hindsight, probably the best most uneventful year since 2008, because my income and place of work remain steady and/or growing until that August (when I get into a fight with a cashier who I supervise after she tells me she wants my job and I have to leave over it - and she gets my job!) but the Ex remains rather blissfully MIA and I meet Ray that November - and without him my life would have fallen apart about six months later - but this year ends on a horrible note because mom tells me she's sick again with cancer and has only two months left to live.

2012: Mom says she feels better - again - and I can hold a job for more than a few weeks - again. Of course none of this will last. My mom's health rapidly declines in mid-March so I start skipping out on work to the point that I earn a bad rep for leaving early every single shift and/or giving away shifts like I'll catch the Black Plague if I work too much. I was spending every last minute with my mom before she died, and I didn't care how they got on me for it or what it cost as long as the rent got paid (and I was again a waitress, so it cost little; I could work less than 30 hours a week and still pay the rent).

Then mom died. I couldn't afford to bury her ashes or even have her cremated right away so it just tore me up. A few months later I quit the job I held through her death (despite an extended leave of absence in order to partially die along with her at Hospice) because my boss had picked on me - again - over nothing one fine afternoon, and life was too short to keep letting her. I think quitting was the only way I could express how much I also wanted to die.

Summer 2012: Had to leave the house mom and I spent the last two years of her life in after I blew through the last of our savings and still couldn't find another job. Moved in with Ray at his repeated behest, only to have him decide the same day that he was no longer in love with me. Some part of me will always hate him for that. Got another job but hated it and therefore lost it a few months later.

Fall 2012: Left Ray and got another place. Got another job but lost the place (though I'm still in it, but probably not for long) because I can't stand the landlord and being me, I can't hide that fact. Cooked and ate Thanksgiving dinner alone for the first time in my life, cleaned up and sat down to write this.


I've spoken before about having a fake Facebook account to look at my Ex's profile. I only check it maybe once every one or two months because he doesn't post much (he told me this summer he's recovering from a prescription pill addiction he acquired in the last year or two, which may or may not be one reason). But in the last three or four pictures he or his family's posted of him, he looks thin, drawn, haunted, and the light in his eyes - the spark - is gone.

Sometimes...just sometimes...I wonder if it's because of me. I wonder if that pool of sadness in his eyes is where he still remembers us; if he, like me, looks back on those few years when none of us could complain because we really did seem to have it all.

Together.

I wonder if he wishes for it now, like I do.

And I wonder - a lot - about my mom. A few minutes after she died I was sitting in a chair across from her bed staring at her, feeling shocked, empty and betrayed at her leaving me, which is an irrational, stupid and perfectly understandable thing to feel, when I heard a voice. Not just any voice, but one that boomed out, "Your mom has a message for you."

I just kept staring. "She says: "There is a god! And I love you. And..." and you know, for days, even months after she died, I could clearly remember the third thing she said. But I can't remember now, and I don't know that it matters anymore.

But this morning, when I woke in a slurry of tears and screaming in my head as I sometimes do, when all I could reduce my pain down to was one word: "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom" she answered. Directly. For the first time that I can clearly say so since the day she died.

It was a little calmer and clearer than her real-life voice, but it was her. She said, "I am here...I am here." After thinking that over for a while I calmed down, ever so slightly.

But the thing is I don't want to be "here", where I can't touch her, talk to her, feel her presence and look into her eyes. I want to be there because she can't really ever be "here" again.

Sometimes I think it's OK to decide, after looking life over, that it's not the same at some point and can't ever be again. I think it's OK in the face of that to not want to go on. It's not selfish, it's not an illness, it's not a problem to be solved, it's not an attitude to be changed. It's simply an acknowledgement of reality, a reflection of your spirit that comes from knowing what you want is exactly what you won't ever have again.