Monday, December 31, 2012

Just About Done

About a week and a half ago, someone I know sent me a message asking me why I don't write my blog anymore. I responded by saying that it's not that I don't actively write my blog, I've just been super busy and haven't really had time. I then posted Story of a Stupid Kel the next day...and haven't posted since. Over the next few days, I realized something. My response about not having time to blog was sort of true...but also sort of not. The problem wasn't lack of time as much as surplus of audience, and in the days following my response to that reader, I realized that over and over again.

Of course I'm not complaining about too many people reading my blog. What does a writer want more than readers? Nor am I complaining about the people who read my blog...except that I sort of am. See, despite the fact that one measly person follows my blog, it's been read almost 6,000 times. I know in the world of the Internet that's a fraction of a blip, but in the world of me, it's a ton, and exactly what it's a ton of is people I see and talk to all the time.

What does that mean?

Censorship, people. Censorship is what it means.

('Cause when you find out that your students are putting links to your blog up on their facebook pages, you don't have much choice but to censor.)

(And when you say to your mom, I'm not sure when I wrote my last blog, and her immediate response is, November 22, it's pretty obvious that censorship is the only option.)

And I hate being censored.

I started this blog because I love to say what I want when I want however I want.

But now I can't.

I constantly find myself in situations I want to write about, but I can't. I can't complain about the bitchy pair of __, who I absolutely can't stand, who absolutely turn my stomach every time I see them, because I know they read my blog.

I can't write about the time that __sat there and __while I __because I know __ reads my blog.

I can't write about my opinion on __ because I know some people who read my blog are actually in that situation, and now that I know those people read my blog, it would be cruel and insensitive to exercise my usual judgment on the matter.

(It's like Mad Libs without the funny. Hardy fuckin' har.)

And so, it's without further ado that to this blog, and also to you, I say my goodbyes.


I'll never stop writing.

I just don't want to know that you're reading.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Story of a Stupid Kel

Stop, think, and ask, so Kelly will be safe.

This catchy little saying comes from a Montessori summer camp my parents sent me to when I was somewhere between three and five. I don't remember exactly what it is that I used to do wrong at that particular summer camp, but I remember plenty of other wrongdoings. To give you an idea of what kind of kid I was and the type of thing that may have prompted those words, here's a little history: in nursery school I huffed and puffed and moaned and groaned and pulled a doll out from between my legs; in preschool, I got caught playing with my friend Timothy's penis in the bathroom; in elementary school, I got in trouble for peeing on the floor in the girls' bathroom; when I was seven or eight, I got chased around a Hari Krishna temple for making sex sounds on the intercom; and at four, when I used to get sent to the second-grade reading class and the third-grade math class, I got up and kissed all the boys often enough that my time in those classes was short lived. So even though I don't remember just what I did to make my counselor say those words so much that they're embedded in my and my mother's brains and to write them in my summer-camp photo album, I can definitely say that they weren't unwarranted. Really, it doesn't matter what I did anyway; what matters is that my impulsive actions were getting me in trouble then and that they still, in some way or another, get me in trouble now.

I don't know why I do some of the things that I do or say some of the things that I say. I only know that when I do them or say them, they seem like perfectly acceptable things at the time. From telling personal stories I shouldn't tell to giving people essays they shouldn't read to making inappropriate comments I shouldn't make, and even, yes, to writing blogs I shouldn't write, I've got impulsive action written all over me. Over the past few years, I've done more impulsive things than most people do over an entire lifetime, and for the life of me, I don't understand why.

The thing is, at the time I do whatever it is that I do, my actions seem perfectly rational. Even for a while after the fact, they continue to seem so (at least some of them) until one day--bam!--I realize that I did something stupid--something dangerous--something potentially damaging--something that could lead to destruction. And at that moment, just for a second, I lambast myself for my stupidity and swear I'll never make that same type of mistake again.

But then I do.

You'd think over the last thirty plus years I'd have learned a thing or two.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Holiday, You Bastard!

Over the last month, some of my friends have been posting daily "I am thankful for" statuses. Inspired by their gratefulness, I've decided to write a month's worth of things that I'm thankful for here on my blog.

I, Kelly Ann McIntyre, on this 22nd day of November, am thankful for the following things:

1.Music. Music boggles my mind. I mean, what? People were just sitting around one day, bored, and were like, let me say these words in the form of a song? And then someone else was like, Sounds good, Hank. I'm going to beat a rhythm on this rock while you do it? And then another person was like, All right guys. While you two are doing that, I'm going to construct something out of wood and strings and then I'll join you? Seriously--how did music even start?

2. Sushi

3.  Having cute kids. I know I'd love Griffin and Keifer just as much if they weren't cute, but if they were ugly, I might not be so quick to admit they were mine.

4. JK Rowling and the magical world she's created and Universal Studios for constructing a place that allows me, however briefly, to be part of that magic.

5. Margaritas

6. Meat alternatives, particularly Morningstar Farms veggie bacon and sausage and Gardein Chipotle Lime Cripsy Fingers.

7. My writing ability. I must've brought it with me from a past life because there's never been a time that I didn't have it. So thanks previous version of me.

8. Deodorant. About this, I'd be even more thankful if more of my students used it.

9. Dogs. I honestly can't say if anything has consistently made me happier than my dogs.

10. Orthotics. Without them, I couldn't even walk, let alone run.

11. Being smart. Using the Internet and being a teacher has allowed me to see how ignorant some people really are and the dangers of it. I'm thankful not only that I'm educated but that I have the ability to understand the education I've received/continually receive.

12. Joss Whedon. Life without the Buffyverse? What an empty, sad life that would be.

13. Books. Oh, the places you can go.

14. Air conditioning. How did people even exist before its invention? I would have lived in Canada for sure.

15. Makeup. This may seem like a silly thing to be thankful for, but I can't express how magical I think makeup is. Women are so lucky to be able to transform themselves into anything they feel like transforming themselves into on any whim they might have.

16.Cake. This one is like music to me. Where did cake even come from? How is it that one day someone just decided to mix flour and eggs and butter and whatever else goes into a cake? How, how, how, did that first cake come to be?

17. My butt

18. Modern medicine. Even though I refuse to take medicine of any kind, I'm thankful that it exists. I have no idea how many lives have been saved thanks to modern medicine, but I'm pretty sure it's pretty high.

19. Having a healthy, reasonably happy family. There's so much tragedy in the world. I'm so thankful that very little of it has affected me.

20. Getting along with my mother right now. I don't know how long it'll last, but at least for now, things are good.

21. My bed. There is nothing--nothing--I like doing more than getting in bed.

22. Running water and electricity. This is something I always take for granted, but after the hurricane that hit a few years ago (was it Katrina? I'm really not sure), I didn't have either for long enough to know I wouldn't want to live without them.

23. The washing machine. Without it, I'd have to buy new clothes all the time.

24. Chris. Not many people are lucky enough to have had such a close friend for such a long time. Not only am I lucky enough to have had one, I'm lucky enough that she's Chris.

25. Bras. How much must women's backs have hurt before the bra (or precursor to the bra, the corset) was invented? And let's not even talk about under-the-boob sweat.

26. Stephen King. Yes, I already said books, but SK falls into an entirely different category. If I'd never read Stephen King, my imagination, my writing, and as a result, probably my life, would be remarkably different.

27. Hudson's tongue. Oh, the happiness I feel when Hudson kisses me. You wouldn't understand.

28. Toothpaste/toothbrushes/dental hygiene in general. If you know me, you probably know I have a slight obsession with brushing my teeth. What can I say? I like a clean mouth.

29. Q-tips Ahhh.

30. Glenn. There's way too much for me to say about this one, so I won't go into it. I'll just say that no matter what happens with us, I'm thankful for him having taken care of me for the last almost-fifteen years and for the family he's given me, and that includes Griffin, Keifer, Hudson, Jazzy, and my angel, Christopher.

I could do this all day! But don't worry--I won't.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Have a thanks-filled day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Pain

November 1987: Chris, Hope, and Mary decide to hate me. Mary passes pictures of me kissing my dog around school prompting every student who attends Perry Middle to bark at me in the halls. For months school sounds more like a dog pound than a learning facility.

November 1991: Louie calls me Diane during sex, so I end our year-and-a-half relationship. He apologizes like a lunatic for all of about three days at which point he starts seeing Cricket behind my back but is soon caught due to my superhuman sense of smell.

November 1992: Pregnancy. Not planned. Not remotely.

November 1998: Pregnancy. Not planned. (But I knew who the father was.)

November 2010: Glenn and I separate. Torrential downpour of drama ensues.
November 2012: Duh.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Life's Waiting to Begin: Conversations with Dumb People

Life's Waiting to Begin: Conversations with Dumb People: It all started because I wanted to see My Bodyguard . Actually, that's not true. If you want to get technical about it, it all started becau...

Conversations with Dumb People

It all started because I wanted to see My Bodyguard. Actually, that's not true. If you want to get technical about it, it all started because in my "godlesss" household, the closest thing to God is Joss Whedon (followed closely by the holy trinity of Blink-182, Angels and Airwaves, and +44/Boxcar Racer), the man who lived in a land of stereotypical female characters and said, "Let there be Buffy." If you want to get technical about it, this whole ordeal really started because of Him.

I place the blame on He who giveth and taketh (you know, because He doesn't give the people what they want; He gives the people what they need) for one reason and for one reason only: if it weren't for His creation of the Buffyverse, I never would have been watching Firefly, and if I hadn't been watching Firefly, I never would have had the urge to watch My Bodyguard; if I never had the urge to watch My Bodyguard, I never would have looked for Adam Baldwin on Twitter; if I never looked for Adam Baldwin on Twitter, I never would have known he was an overly-zealous right-wing lunatic; if I hadn't known Adam Baldwin was an overly-zealous right-wing lunatic, I never would have tweeted him saying that I was disillusioned by his lunacy; and if I hadn't tweeted Adam Baldwin, he never would have tweeted me back and retweeted my tweets to his cronies, invoking the ire of nutcases far and wide. If it hadn't been for my love of Joss, none of this ever would have happened at all. So, you see, in a roundabout way, it's really his fault.

But it did happen. I did tweet Adam Baldwin, he did tweet  me back, we did have a political dispute, he did tweet back and forth with me for multiple hours, he did accuse me more than once of "Educational Malpractice" because I'm an English teacher who didn't come equipped with the names of three moderates who don't loathe our president, he did look on my Twitter page and tweet that my "anti-Christianity is noted," he did make Twitter pics of my tweets and retweet them to his fans, and then he did kind of try to get me fired by tweeting a Twitter picture with the quote "I think Christianity is nonsense," attributing it to me, and stating that I was a Broward County teacher (is it ironic that he's about as likeable as his character on Firefly? Because to me, that's ironic).

Adam Baldwin, being part of Joss Whedon's world, has quite a few followers (though I must say 108,284 sounds downright paltry compared to Nathan Fillion's 1,416,815), so of course once the brouhaha started with Baldwin, I started getting bombarded with tweets right and right, first political and then religious. And you know what I learned?

A whole lot of nothing.

I was going to say I learned that people are crazy, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't known that already. It was reinforced, though. Strongly.

It was reinforced when people who don't know me from Adam (well, that worked surprisingly well) started sending me tweets attacking me and not only my ability to do my job, but my right to do it.

It was reinforced when some creepster named Kent (@kentmontgomery1) who I fully expect to see on the news for going on a crazed gun rampage one day tweeted, "Broward County should b so proud! I bet ur students ❤having an athiest tchr! I bet u were @ DNC saying NO to God" and "What a joke that people like this can become teachers!" and "My opinion is an athiest teaching children is NONSENSEđź‘Ž" and some frumpster named Lisa Scherr (@BBUMH) wrote, about my saying that I do my job exactly as I should, "Based on what criteria? The parents of your Christian students? BCSB ethics?" implying that I, in fact, do not do my job exactly as I should.

Those tweets are a fraction of the ones I received that night, but I think they convey the general tone pretty well. I think they do a good job of getting across Baldwin's Twitter followers' shared notion that belief in God is somehow necessary criteria for a teacher in a public school.

And how backwards is that?

Separation of church and state aside, fact that religion does not belong in a public school classroom at all also aside, my beliefs having absolutely nothing to do with my teaching kids how to analyze rhetoric aside too, how backwards is it that in a country where Christianity is not the "official" religion (and in a magnet program where Christianity is likely not the majority religion), the only thing they care about is that I'm not Christian? Nobody expressed outrage that I'm not Muslim; likewise, I didn't get any tweets suggesting I be banned from the classroom for lack of Jewish faith.

All of the
came from Christians outraged that I, unlike them, do not follow the teachings of Christ.

And I'm not fit to be in a classroom.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Don't Care What You Think Even if It's Not about Me

I was on my way to work this morning when the Night Ranger song "When You Close Your Eyes" played on my iPod. That song has always made me super sad. Whether it was my high school boyfriend, my after-high-school, kinda-sorta-steady guy, or someone with whom I've had a relationship in the more recent past, that song has always made me wistful; in fact, when I heard it about a year ago, the blog post "I Don't Care What You Think as Long as It's About Me" was written. (You can go back and the read the post if you want to, but I'm going to give you the gist of it, so it's not really something you've got to do.)

In that previous blog post, I pretty much went on and on about how sad I felt by the thought of being forgotten. I talked about how one of my biggest fears is insignificance and the notion that once I'm no longer in somebody's life, s/he never will never think about me again. I also talked about the importance of memories and how if memories are lost, it's like whatever happened didn't happen at all. In the end, the main idea was that if people stopped thinking about me, if memories were lost, if I were to be forgotten, then what that ultimately meant was that I didn't ever matter at all.

But today when I heard that Night Ranger song, things were different. For the first time in probably my entire life, I didn't feel even a twinge of sadness while it blasted through my speakers. For the first time in my entire life, I listened to the song, and it was exactly that: a song. It wasn't a message about the sadness that is life, nor was it a harbinger of a melancholy mood. It was a song that I liked, and that is absolutely all.

Except that that's not exactly true.

(If it were, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this blog--would I?)

Because I tend to analyze every single thing in my entire world, as soon as I heard that song and wasn't sad, I got right to trying to figure out why. I thought about the way it used to make me feel, and I thought about the way that it currently made me feel (or not feel), and what I realized is that, although I can't say when it happened, each and every one of those people has ceased to mean a damn thing.

For the first time ever, I really, truly don't care if people from my past think about me.

But I'll bet they do.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Easy Target?

Oh, my legs.

I got a free personal training session today. Yesterday when I got to the gym, some guy offered, and since I'm bad under pressure and couldn't think of an excuse to say no, I said yes.

Let me tell you about it.

But first let me tell you about another personal training session I had, oh, about seven years ago. I was at the gym working out, and I somehow ended up making an appointment for a free session. I say somehow because a lot of the time when things happen to me, I really don't have any idea how they do. I never really have any intention of getting involved in most of the things I get involved in, but I somehow get involved in them nevertheless.

Anyway...about that training session.

Years ago I went to this personal training session with some cunt of a trainer. While I was there, she led me through an hour-long workout, and after it was over, she brought me into a little office and tried to sell me personal training sessions. When I expressed reservations about buying them, she looked at me sympathetically and told me that I had a really good-looking, young-looking husband who girls were always looking at when he was at the gym, and that if I didn't do something about the way I looked, I was going to be in trouble. It's been seven years, so those weren't her exact words, of course--actually, up until the part where girls were always looking at him at the gym, they are (I committed that part to memory)--but believe it or not, her exact words were just as bad. I think they were something like that if I wanted to keep him, I'd better get serious about working out. I don't know, but I do know that whatever they were, they were awful.

I wanted to slit my wrists after that training session. It was all I could do not to cry right then and there, and anything she said from that time on may as well have been in Swahili because I could focus on nothing but the humiliation I felt.

I did not buy the training sessions.

Well, it's been a long time since that incident. I still go to the same gym and so does my husband. He's still hot and young looking, and I'm still...well, I'm still whatever it is that I am.

Except that I'm not.

What I am now is the girl who went to a personal training session and, while it was done more subtly than last time, was once again tried to be made to feel bad about the way that she's made. I'm the girl who was put on a scale that's calibrated almost ten pounds above actual weight and given a body fat measurement that was taken by a body fat measuring doodad calibrated to three to four percent above actual body fat. I'm the girl who was told that her body fat goal should be no more than 20 percent and who was met with surprise when she said she wanted to weigh 138 (three pounds less than her actual weight but in the personal trainer's world, 10). I'm the girl who was asked why she wanted to get in shape.

Why do I want to get in shape?

Let's see. In the past five years I've run a half-marathon; in the past few years, despite injury after injury, I've taken more than two minutes off my mile and never given up trying to go further and faster; in the past few years I've run however many 5ks, getting faster every time; in the past year and a half I've ridden hundreds and hundreds of miles on a bike--actually, I've ridden hundreds and hundreds of miles on a bike this summer alone. I've also made it through the month of hell that's known as fitness boot camp, my resting heart rate is 50 bpm, and when I wash my butt in the shower, it feels way harder than the butt I always knew and rarely loved.

Mr. Trainer, I am in shape.

When I said that I'm not the same as whatever I was the first time around, I meant it.

Sitting there with that cunt of a trainer seven years ago, I wanted to kill myself. Sitting there with the trainer I sat with today, I wanted to laugh.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blink-182's Like Chicago

Griffin and Glenn are at the Warped Tour right now, and a couple of hours ago, Glenn posted that he and Griffin were two feet away from the barrier during Tonight Alive, which is one of Griffin's favorite bands. All I could initially think about when I read that post was how thrilled Griffin must be and how crazy he must be going inside and out, and I was so happy for him. After a few minutes, though, that happiness wore off, and jealousy settled in. I wistfully remembered my younger days and the excitement I used to feel, not only when experiencing things for the first time, but when experiencing certain things no matter how many times I'd experienced them before, things that, for a desensitized, jaded 37-year-old who's seen it all either in person, on the computer, or on TV, have become so old hat, they barely elicit a response from me at all.

Like flying--when I was young and living in Chicago, I used to fly to Florida with my mother every year, and everything about the trip excited me. I remember staring out the window, rapt, on the ride to O'Hare at the billboards along the expressway advertising various airlines, the excited feeling in my stomach I had when walking through the airport, and the even more excited feeling I got when boarding the plane. When I moved to Florida at eight and started flying in the other direction, to Chicago, the feeling was exactly the same. Come to think of it, that feeling didn't just accompany plane trips, it accompanied road trips, too. I used to feel it when my family would drive to Disney World and we got to Kissimmee. I'd see the billboards for places like Arabian Knights and Ripley's Believe It or Not, and my stomach would flutter. Nowadays I go to Disney World, and my stomach is like a rock. There's almost no excitement at all.

Besides the more-than-once things that used to give me the happies, there were the experience-them-for-the-first-time things, too. Things like finally seeing the Ramones in concert when I was 18 and traveling to Europe at 23. Those are things I can never do for the first time again (and in the case of seeing the Ramones, well--you know), ergo, the feelings they brought forth are also in the past.

I was thinking about these things and the plight I now face as a been-there-done-that middle-aged woman when I realized something: I was wrong. As right as I usually am (hahahahaha), this time I one-hundred percent wasn't.

Yes, those times of sheer, unadulterated excitement are fewer and further between, but they aren't actually gone. In the past few years, I've experienced them several times: my first time at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is the most magical place on earth; at the Angels and Airwaves concert; watching Griffin play bass; seeing Keifer kiss a girl in The Diary of Anne Frank; seeing Grindhouse at the movies; stepping foot on Chicago ground for the first time since I was about 29, a place that, no matter how old I am, always makes me feel a sense of excitement and possibility; seeing Blink-182 not once, but twice--heck, almost every time I just listen to Blink-182, I'm feeling this (I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist); getting a PR in my last 5k; the first time I received an email that said one of my essays had been accepted for publication; the first (and so far only) time my writing was actually solicited. (And these are only the things I can think of off the top of my head.)

So my point?

I like to grumble. I like to complain. I like to get all nostalgic for the past while grumbling and complaining. I like to lament my lost youth and envy the endless possibilities awaiting my children, my students, and anybody "lucky" enough to be ten, twenty, or thirty years younger than I. But despite all the grumbling, complaining, and lamenting I do--in spite of the kvetch that I am--being 37 really isn't so bad.

Would I rather be 16 without a single line on my face or dark spot on my hand? Seriously, who wouldn't? But, still--I think (gasp!) I actually kind of like the place--and even the age--where I am.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Guess This Is Growing Up

I think it's his shoulders.

A few nights ago when I was saying goodnight to him, it struck me for about the fiftieth time this week that Griffin is an almost-man. I can't tell you exactly what it is that makes me say that, what makes me think that, but the change in him, the change that's occurred over just a few weeks, possibly less time than that, is astounding. His little boyness (and, no, I do not mean boyishness; that's something else entirely)--little boy look, little boy aura, little boy frame--is gone. In its place is a strange kind of mannishness, a mannishness that's whisked the little boy away.

I don't really have very much to say about this except that I don't understand how people can stand it. I don't understand how parents can stand having a little boy one day, a little boy with little boy bones and little boy limbs and little boy lips and a little boy nose and a voice like a slightly softened scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and an almost-man who resides in his own almost-man world with his broadening shoulders and his darkening lip and his thickening brows and his lengthening legs the next. I don't understand what parents do with themselves when their once-little boys become almost-men who disappear from their living rooms, retreating to an almost-man world with walls of tumblr and facebook and youtube and skype, a world filled with sit ups and push ups, blared music, played bass, a world where almost-men live almost-man lives on their own. I don't understand how this has gone on since the beginning of time and nobody has complained.

I don't understand how these parents' hearts are okay.

I don't think I've ever heard the song the whole way through, but the lyric Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys has been looping in my head for days. The guys who wrote it, though, they had it all wrong. They should have stopped singing after up.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Roller Coaster

I went to bed last night thinking about my life. For an instant, I wished I could go back in time to when I was 18 and start over again completely. I thought about all of the things I would do differently if I had the opportunity: go away for college after finishing BCC instead of staying here (I wasn't hoping to go all the way back to 16, but if I were to redo life that far back, I'd have not done early admissions so that I'd never have gone to BCC in the first place), move away from Florida before starting a career, have a different career completely. I wondered what my life would be like now if I had done those things, and I wished that there were some way that I could.

And then I panicked.

I panicked because I started thinking about movies. I thought about movies like Peggy Sue Got Married and the one with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leone--I think it's called Family Man. In both cases, the main characters somehow find themselves in alternate realities either reliving their lives or living their current lives in different ways. Besides those two specific movies, I thought of how many other movies have the same type of premise, and then I thought to myself: What if there were really some way that this sort of thing could happen?

And that's when the panic set in.

Of course I knew that it was completely illogical, but it was late at night, and I was lying in the dark alone in bed after having been lying down alone for a couple of hours, and I thought to myself, If all of these movies share a similar premise, they must be based on something, right? And strange, unexplainable things do happen in this world all the time. What if I wake up tomorrow and I really am young?

And panic ensued.

Starting over again is something I've imagined so many times, as I'm sure others have, so you'd think I'd be excited about the prospect--at least I'd think I would--but when, for just a few seconds I thought it could actually happen, excitement was the furthest thing I felt. All I could think of was Griffin and Keifer and how much I love them and how devastated I'd be if they weren't in my life. I tried telling  myself that if I went back to 18 there was a chance that I wouldn't remember any of my future, and in that case, I wouldn't even know that they had ever existed, and, in turn, wouldn't miss them at all, but that logic failed to calm me down. Even with the possibility of ignorance coupled with the possibility of a brand new life lived the way I've often wished I had lived it, I felt panic at the thought of a life without Griffin and Keifer in it.

Even though we don't always get along--or in the case of Keifer and me, almost never get along--I have to say, my love for my kids is incomparable to anything else I've felt in my life, so much so, that for them, I wouldn't change a thing. Until last night, in the skewed reality that darkness brings (okay, with the addition of part of a novella by Stephen King), that's something I didn't really understand.

Today, I do.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's My Age Again?

A few months ago, a coworker admonished me for allowing students to follow me on Instagram. Taking me aside, she told me that she honestly didn't know what I was thinking and said something akin to, Kelly, these kids are not your audience, and they are not your friends. She then repeated that she didn't know what I was thinking and acted gravely enough about the "situation" that I panicked, removed any student followers from my Instagram account, and made it private. Then I sat around feeling bad about myself for doing something that my coworker deemed so reprehensible, questioned my judgment, and felt almost dirty. Why did I make such stupid choices and do things that other people thought to be so abhorrent? What was wrong with me?

Well, like I said, that was months ago, and since that conversation, I've had a lot of time to think. The first thing I have to say is that I think my coworker dramatized the situation. I truly don't think I did anything horrible, and I think I had absolutely no reason to feel ashamed. The second thing I have to say is that she was wrong: right or wrong, my students are my friends.

"Friend" is a pretty common word, and we all know what it means. For the very occasion of this blog, though, I looked it up in a few dictionaries, and this is what I found:

From the Free Online Dictionary--

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
From Google--
A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
While I understand that these definitions are denotative and not connotative and one could argue that these definitions don't define the word the way my coworker used it, I have to say that even if I were to apply the connotative definition, my students would still be that. Not all of them, of course, but some of them definitely.
I DO like and trust some of my students;
some of them and I  DO have (at least from my point of view) a bond of platonic mutual affection; and I AM attached to some of them, too.
Why  is that so wrong?
Isn't it natural for me to care about people who I spend almost as much time with as I spend with my family? Isn't caring what I'm supposed to do?
Whether you think I'm supposed to or not, all I have to say is that if I didn't care, I couldn't do my job, at least not well. If I didn't like my kids and have some kind of reciprocal relationship with at least some of them, I would have had to quit teaching years ago because, as bad as this may sound, the fulfillment I get out of my job--and, yes, as brutal and thankless a job as teaching may be, I do get fulfillment out of it--is tied to the relationships I have with my kids. I know I don't reach all of them, but I also know that I do reach some. 

They also reach me.

There are times that I go to work in the worst mood possible, hating the world, and after an hour or two spent with my kids, my bad mood not only dissipates, but I'm actually in a good one. There are also times when I go to work sad and they make me happy. There are times when I'm not at work and I see something that I know one of my students would love or be interested in, and that student instantly comes to my mind and I make a mental note to discuss said thing with that kid. Just like the kids that actually came from me, my student-kids are always on my mind.
No matter how much my coworker looks down on it, some of my students are friends. 
Are they the types of friends I would hang out with and share the things I share with my adult friends? Of course not, but they're friends nevertheless.
And I'm not ashamed to admit it. 


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Every Tongue Got to Confess

About fifteen years ago, I read in an interview with Drew Barrymore that she despised the phrase "kicking a dead horse." She said something about how she didn't want any part of anything that had to do with a dead animal or the kicking of one. I don't know why I remember that statement, but I do know why I bring it up, and that's because I'm about to do that very thing. Before I do, though, I just want to say two things:

First, you know that don't shoot the messenger quote? Well, consider the messenger me. I know this may sound implausible to you, but I don't pick the Stories I tell--the Stories pick me. Sometimes--like with this one--I even try to resist them, but the Stories, they just won't leave me alone. They accumulate inside of me, getting bigger and heavier until I have no choice but to let them out. And second, unless something absolutely insane occurs, which I absolutely don't foresee happening, this is the last I have to say on this subject. Cross my heart.

Last week I was talking to a woman I'll call Melanie and  mentioned that Glenn and I were staying together. She was, of course, happy for me and even happier for the kids (you know, because that's the normal reaction for a person to have), and in the discussion that followed, she told me the story of a man and woman she knew who had gotten divorced. The man, who was cheating on his wife, was out to dinner with said wife in a restaurant in which the other woman coincidentally was also eating. She spotted them there, came over to the table, and told the wife about the affair. The husband and wife divorced soon after, and the wife felt devastated for years, but, according to Melanie, after a lengthy period of time, she moved on, got remarried, and was eventually able to have a civil relationship with her ex. Melanie then compared divorce to abortion. She said, "It's like if you've ever had an abortion. The memory will always be there, and it will always hurt you, but you'll get over it."

At the time of our conversation, I didn't exactly pause to reflect on that statement, and in the week or so since, I didn't consciously do so, either, but over the past couple of days, that statement has crept into my mind several times.

It just so happens I did have an abortion. Unlike Melanie's assertion that once a person has had one it will always haunt her in some kind of way, though, it hasn't haunted me for one single second. Not only has it not haunted me, but it also didn't haunt me, and what I mean by that is that my decision to have an abortion was not a decision that caused me a great deal of anguish and pain, nor was the impending abortion once I'd decided. I don't mean that I took it lightly in an oh, it's-just-an-abortion, what's-for-dinner? kind of way. I mean only what I said.  It did not cause me anguish and pain. And that's one of the things I've thought about a lot in my last few days' thinking: the lack of anguish and pain my choice to abort/my impending abortion gave me in comparison to the enormous amount of anguish and pain I felt over my once-impending divorce.

Why? I asked myself. Why did my abortion not cause me anguish and pain? Why did the extraction of a potential human being--a potential human being that I made--from my body not cause me anguish and pain? Well, for one, I was only 17 when I got pregnant, which is hardly the age when one should have a child. Two, I had potential. I know this is going to sound bad, but one of the things that went into my decision was the fact that I was in my second year of college and highly intelligent--hardly the kind of person who should throw her life away on a baby. Too much would be wasted. Three, I wasn't in any semblance of a relationship with the father; in fact, I wasn't even entirely sure which of two guys the father was. I know worse situations than mine exist, but mine was pretty damn bad. Too bad to bring a baby into, that's for sure.

That's when I realized--my decision to have an abortion didn't cause me anguish and pain because it was indubitably the right one to make. It was a life-altering, momentous decision, but for me, somebody who can barely make a decision to save her life, it was a fairly easy one. It doesn't take a braniac to see that if somebody isn't ready to have a baby and can't give a baby the type of love and care that s/he needs, that baby should not be brought into this world. And that realization--the realization that little pain comes with the certainty that the right thing is being done-- led me to the next one--the reason my decision to get divorced was so painful was because it was wrong. Whereas my abortion felt right, has always felt right, my divorce just felt wrong. It felt like this stupid cliche my dad sent me in an email once that read "When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane." At least I think that's what it said. Or maybe it was about a fish? Something about swimming against the current maybe? I don't know, but either way, the message was the same:

Signs. Heed the signs. I personally try to ignore them, but it never works out. I just can't make my way through the oncoming traffic. Or all the damn fish.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Only Hope for Me Is Me

It's been almost two weeks since Glenn and I decided to stay together, and I have to say, things are going swimmingly. Yes, I understand the brevity of two weeks, but believe me...things have gone wrong in my life in much shorter periods than that.

I suppose I'm probably going to be giving you the idea that I'm a flake when I say this, but in two weeks' time I've been known to completely lose interest in something that consumed me, wholeheartedly change my point of view of something about which I felt strongly, and completely forget about something that plagued me. You know what? If you think I'm a flake, you're probably not wrong.

But my flakiness is not the point. The point is that it's been almost two weeks since Glenn and I became Glenn and Kelly again, and I'm not tired of him. I'm also not at all sorry about my decision, nor do I remotely feel like I made my choice due to feeling that I lacked other choices or that the other choices before me were less than exciting. What I do feel like is that I found my way back to the life where I belong, back to the path that my feet need to travel. I feel comfortable, but not in a "settling" kind of way; I feel comfortable in a "this is my life" kind of way. One of the worst things about my two months adrift was the feeling of disquiet that I constantly felt, a feeling that's been quelled since I turned my feet around.

Okay, maybe my flakiness is the point. Or at least one of them. I'm a flaky person. I get tired of things easily. I change my hair color more often than some people eat green veggies (and I'm willing to bet that's an actual fact); I shave my head when I'm bored; I throw away anything the kids or Glenn weren't fortuitous enough to hide when I'm on a purge-the-house-of-clutter bender; I decide to start specific eating plans, spend hours planning a trip to the grocery store, and lose interest in the idea by the time I get to the pasta aisle; I spend hours-days-weeks researching vacation destinations and then decide I've learned so much about the place there's no reason left for a visit;  I decide my marriage isn't what I want it to be and look for reasons to end it...

Well, no more. What I think I've learned from this experience is that, yes, I get bored, and yes, I get unhappy, and yes--it will pass. And when it does, my feet will still face forward, and I'll be right where I belong.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What Else Should I Be? No Apologies.

In "The Gilded Six-Bits," one of my favorite short stories ever, the main character, Missie May, sets out to leave her husband, Joe, for reasons that I won't go into because they're not important to this blog (but if you're curious as to why--or even if you're not--I highly recommend you read the story. It's just so good!). As she's leaving him, she runs into his mother, who never liked Missie May at all, and because she doesn't want to give her what she's always wanted, she turns around and goes home, thinking that even if she doesn't have the substance of marriage, she'll at least have the outward show. It  may seem like a silly reason to stay with a spouse--out of spite and because of what outside parties think--but Missie May's decision to stay with Joe based on the opinion of someone outside of her marriage ends up being a good thing (for reasons I won't disclose just in case you decide to take my advice and read the story).

Well, Missie May and I couldn't be any less alike. I don't care one iota what people think I should do nor am I interested in any unsolicited advice they have to offer me (unsolicited is the key word here--if I've asked you for advice, this comment does not apply to you); after all, I'm the one who has to live my life, not them, which is why I need to do not what bystanders think is best for me, but what makes me happy. And you know what makes me happy, readers? Glenn.

Yes, that's right, I said Glenn. Glenn makes me happy. It took me a lot of time, a lot of thinking, and a lot of pain to realize it, but I finally did.

Glenn. Makes. Me. Happy.

He might not make me happy every second of every day or even every day of every week, but neither life nor love is a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where one is drunk on butterbeer, surrounded by magic, and can't help but be happy all the time--life is life--and love--well, to quote the Pink Spiders, "It's heavy, and it hurts, and it's love."

(In case I didn't give you two and two to put together, Operation Glenn and Kelly? We're all systems a-go.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

If He'd Just Realize What I've Just Realized

I didn't tell you everything yesterday when I posted about how much I missed Glenn; I left something out.

I left out the part where I told him last week that I changed my mind and didn't want to get divorced anymore because I was miserable without him and only felt happy when I was talking to him and the part where he told me that was what he ultimately wanted but that he wasn't sure whether to say yes to me or not because he was afraid I'd change my mind again and he'd get hurt and the part where he met with his therapist to discuss it on Monday and came home and asked me all these questions and told me I had to do certain things and I got defensive and upset because two weeks prior he'd been saying something completely different and I ended up leaving the house and the part where we got in a fight again on Monday night because he told me I needed to let go of the past and I told him I didn't think I could because our past isn't past because it keeps happening and the part where we got in a fight because we're incapable of having a civil conversation. I left all of those things out of my blog, and I'm telling you now because the same thing happened today, over and over and over--we talked and we fought and we talked and we fought and we talked and we fought and I threw a bottle of water at the floor from up on the stairs and I threw a garbage can--a little pink bathroom garbage can, but a garbage can nevertheless--from up on the stairs and I screamed and I yelled and I acted like a lunatic and I realized that no matter how I feel and no matter how Glenn says he feels there's something inside each of us that just won't back down and no matter how intelligent we both are we don't understand one thing that the other says and no matter how well we hear we don't hear one thing the other says and no matter how much we say we love each other it just isn't enough to save us.

After I finished crying for at least the seventh time tonight and listening to my "songs that make me want to kill myself" playlist over and over and over again, I also realized that this is pain, it's real pain, it's visceral pain, it's the kind of pain that gets inside your stomach and wraps around your guts and emanates up to your heart and squeezes your lungs and makes you feel like you have to vomit and can't breathe and I realized all at once that this ridiculous notion about loving C I've been carrying around for the past three years and the lovelorn feeling I've maintained at varying levels over the years is just that...ridiculous. It was a ridiculous notion based on silly schoolgirl feelings and silly schoolgirl pain and the juxtaposition of those feelings and that pain and these feelings and this pain makes me realize how significant he wasn't and how significant Glenn is.

I also realize that, at this point, my realizations don't really mean a thing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Canon in Kel

I regret to inform you that I'm no longer able to satisfy your voyeuristic curiosity and my exhibitionist tendencies with the click of the "PUBLISH POST" button. My blog's not going away or anything, but the days of open, minimally censored communication are over--for the time being, at least.

I'm sure it's no surprise to any of you, just like it's no surprise to me, that Glenn reads my blogs--because, hello, who wouldn't read a blog that chronicled every aspect of one part of his or her life?--but I never really thought about exactly what that meant before--I'm guessing because before the (very) immediate past, I didn't really care. But that's kinda sorta different now in a way that I apparently can't explain even when I try, so I won't even bother.

What I can explain is that about a week and a half or two weeks ago, I started feeling bad--really bad. I started getting super mopey, and I started thinking that maybe I was making a mistake--I wasn't sure, though, and not being sure was making me feel even worse. I wasn't sure if I was mopey and thought I was making a mistake because I'd been with Glenn for so long or if I was mopey and thought I was making a mistake because I really, truly was making a mistake. The one thing I knew for sure was that I loved him, but like Patty Smyth and Don Henley told everybody who tuned into easy listening stations back in 1992, Baby, sometimes love just ain't enough.

And that, readers, brings us to the next question that made me miserable. If love isn't enough, then what is? A family that consists of the two of us and a Griffin and a Keifer and a Hudson and a Jazzy? Having somebody who will sit next to me on the couch and eat dinner with me and walk the dog with me and go grocery shopping with me and hold my hand for the next forty eight years (you know, because I'm going to die at 85)? Having somebody to talk to about my day and his day and the kids' days? Family discussions about Harry Potter and Star Wars and the evolution of Blink-182 and Tom DeLonge getting fat and Mark Hoppus looking old and running and '80s movies and Joss Whedon being a sadistic bastard? Watching the kids' plays and dance competitions and recitals together? Ten years' worth of holiday French toast on ten consecutive Christmas mornings? The fact that Glenn was the only person I wanted around when Sandy, the dog I grew up with, got hit by a car and was killed right in front of me? Road trips to Chicago and New Orleans and Charlotte and Colonial Williamsburg and some place so small in North Carolina that the "city" might not have an actual name? An 18 year investment with a combined 36 birthdays between the two of us, 18 Christmases, 17 anniversaries of the day Glenn first told me he loved me, 13--14 tomorrow--wedding anniversaries, and 22 kids' birthdays? The fact that Glenn is cuter than almost anyone I've ever met in my life and for the past two days I've wanted nothing more than for him to be on top of me and experienced more inner conflict than a character in an after school special about whether or not to get into figurative bed with him on his sadly-not-so-figurative couch?

Can somebody please tell me what constitutes "enough"?
Because right now, I feel like I've had it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Run Like the Devil 'Cause They're Never Gonna Leave Me Alone

I have a bum right hip. It aches constantly, but it's a bearable ache for the most part except when it's not, like when I wake up in the morning and it's so stiff I could barely walk or when I've just finished running or when I try to lie down on my right side and all one-hundred-and-thirty-five pounds of me seems to be concentrated in the exact spot where my leg and torso meet. Ironically, my hip hurts from running, but the only time it doesn't hurt me is when I run.


For my entire life, I've been a little bit too round--a little bit too chubby--a little bit too soft--a little bit too much. When I went to summer camp in Chicago, the camp counselors carried me more than I walked; when I was in fifth grade, my friend Jessica had to pull me when we ran during PE because I couldn't finish the runs on my own; when I was in middle school, I couldn't complete the mile run; and when I was in high school, the only thing I got sweaty for was sex.

The truth is, I've always considered myself pretty much incapable of even doing anything physical, let alone doing it well. Once I decided to get into something resembling shape at 27 and started running, my fitness level got a little better, but I certainly didn't send any letters about my running life home to my mother, something that I can blame on a half-assed effort and an inclination to hang up my running shoes the second I felt any discomfort from the waist down.

But things are different now.

While I won't go so far as to say I've rediscovered running since I never really stopped, what I will say is that I've kinda sorta reinvented my running self. For the first time in my running life, I run consistently, I run at a pace that actually qualifies as running, and I run because I actually want to. For the first time in my running life, I run because I love it.

I love that these legs that used to get tired when walking around the mall can now run miles at a time and that these formerly teeny tiny little lungs can now hold however much air I need. I love that feeling of falling into a rhythm that I get five to ten minutes in and the euphoria that temporarily takes away everything wrong in my world. I love the idea that my body--my too round, too chubby, too soft body that could never do anything--could do what it does now, could go farther and faster with every run.

When I'm bouncing down that sidewalk at night, passing the cars stopped at lights, racing across parking lots and streets, I feel like I have the strength and the power to do anything, and when Tom sings in my ear that he knows that everything, knows that everything, knows that everything, everything's gonna be fine, I actually believe.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Days of My Life

"I'd rather be working to earn a paycheck than waiting to win the lottery."
                                                                                           -Bright Eyes

If you have a stable job, a paycheck is pretty much guaranteed. Is it an easy route to monetary stability? Eh. It depends what you do. Is it a fun route to monetary stability? I'm going to have to go with my aforementioned eh and again say that it depends what you do.

Let's investigate:

No matter what job I've had--and I've had a lot of jobs--should we count them? In order? Oh, let's. I love lists!

CircusPlayhouseFoxmoorQRecordsandTapesRally'sAfterthoughts InternationalPromotionsTacoBellDenny'sAustin'sBennigan'sDenny's
ShuckumsPlanetHollywoodShuckumsCheesecakeFactoryPiperHigh MiramarHigh

--I've had good days, and I've had bad. Since waitressing and teaching are the two things I did/have done the longest, those are the two that I'll talk about.

When I was a waitress, I waited on some super nice, super friendly people, and I waited on some real cretins (I worked at Denny's in the middle of the night; you seriously can't even imagine). I got awesome tips, and I got stiffed. I worked entire shifts that seemed like mere minutes, and I worked mere minutes that felt like days. I can't say I was at all sorry to take the perma-knot out of my tie, relegate my iron to the laundry room, and put my DT pin in a drawer, but I can paradoxically say that waitressing is a part of my life that I really miss.

Teaching is pretty much the same. My first year of teaching was probably the worst year of my professional life. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing, but they stuck me with a bunch of behaviorally-challenged kids who couldn't read, and as if that weren't bad enough, I was pregnant and hormonal. I remember a whole lot of devastating days, a whole lot of crying on my desk after school, and a whole lot of calling in sick. As bad as it was, though, I remember a whole lot of happy every other Friday when I'd get that $981.00 paycheck, which was a considerable improvement over the meager amount I'd been making at Cheesecake giving away as many shifts as I could to whoever wanted to shark them (that's in-the-biz lingo, yo--context clue it). As much as I hated teaching year one at Piper, once I came to Miramar, things totally changed. I can't say that all my days have been filled with truffles and pansies, but I've had some of the most fulfilling days I can remember here along with the disappointing ones. And, again, when I get my paycheck every two weeks (which, thankfully, is considerably more than that $981 that used to knock my socks off), the paycheck that enables me to send my kids to private school, go to The Melting Pot when I feel like I just can't live another day without a green-goddess-stuffed mushroom, and stock up on all the Benefit, Clinique, and various brands of mascara my vanity can accommodate, I'm pretty grateful that I have it. I'm not saying I wouldn't trade it for my very own column in a newspaper or magazine (ahem) or an advance to write a book (ahem ahem), but as much as I complain, it's not really so bad.

It's definitely better than sitting around unemployed, buying lottery tickets every week and hoping for the best.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

I started watching General Hospital when I was about five or six and watched it until some time after high school. When I started middle school and didn't get home until mid-episode, my Aunt Carla, who was much more adept at programming a VCR than we were in my house, would mail me tapes with a whole week's worth of episodes on them from Chicago. Once I was in high school, I would rush home from the bus stop, sometimes missing the first two minutes or so, to watch it. If something happened and I missed an episode, I just felt wrong.

There were other soap operas throughout my life: My sister got me watching Days of Our Lives one summer while I was in middle school because she thought some guy with an eye patch (Am I remembering that right? Did some guy really have an eye patch on a soap opera? Maybe a guy named Steve?) was cute, when I spent the summer between sixth and seventh grade with my Aunt Carla in Chicago, I got semi-hooked on Loving and Ryan's Hope, and for a few years in high school, I watched both All My Children and One Life to Live. Even though all the other soap operas were filled with suspense and intrigue--would that lady whose name I don't remember ever get out of the well where her evil twin sister, Janet From Another Planet, was hiding her? Would anybody ever find out that Vicki had an evil alternate ego who was holding Dorian hostage in some crazy glass cage? Seriously, the shows had me rapt--I eventually lost interest and just stopped turning them on. General Hospital was the only one that endured.

(You know, this blog was supposed to be about one thing, but I'm starting to think it might actually be about something else. Or at least another layer may be at work.)

I don't know what it was about GH that I loved so much, but God, did I love it. The people on the show were as real to me as people that were, well, real. I wasn't planning to revisit the storylines, but now that they're on my mind, I'm so excited, I can't help myself. There was Luke and Laura, of course, and Luke and Holly, and Robert Scorpio and Holly, and Anna Devane and Duke, and Felicia and Frisco, and the girl who pretended to be a nice girl but was really a stripper and Jagger, and Brenda and Jagger, and Brenda and Sonny, and Grant who was really a Russian spy, and Sean Donnelly who was an agent for the WSB but may have been a double agent, and Lucy Coe, and Scotty, and Blacky, and my God, I'm totally losing focus here. Even after all these years, the thought of General Hospital and all its storylines has me in a tizzy.

Once I was done with high school, or more likely it was after my first few years of college, I decided that I could no longer be tethered to the TV from 3 to 4 every day and that I had to give up my habit. And I did. I stopped watching it, really for no good reason other than that I felt like it was time.

(And once again, the something else appears.)

I missed it, of course. How could I not? For almost fifteen years, that show was a part of my daily routine, its characters a part of my life. But what I realized bothered me more than not watching the show anymore was not seeing what was happening in the lives of the people I loved.

Allow me to explain.

I was no longer watching General Hospital, but it was still on TV. Despite the fact that the characters no longer appeared on my TV, they still appeared on other people's TVs, and all sorts of crazy shenanigans still occurred in Port Charles. The only difference was that I no longer knew about the goings-on. I didn't know what any of the characters I had grown to know and love and sometimes hate were doing, but that didn't stop them from doing it. They were living their lives, with me or without me.

And that same thing is happening right here.

Now that Glenn and I have separated, he's, of course, still living his life. He comes and he goes, and he interacts with people, and his life moves forward just as it always has, only now, I don't know anything about it. Last week I found out that the previous week he got a huge promotion at work, and it happened completely without any knowledge from me. A few days ago I found out that he went to a tattoo shop with a couple of friends and is planning on getting his first tattoo, and that's something that, again, happened/is happening completely devoid of the presence of me.

It wouldn't give me that General Hospital feeling if it weren't for the fact that the same thing is happening with the kids--all right, that's totally a lie. It'd give me that feeling no matter what. But let's pretend that wasn't said--but it is. The Glenn part of the kids' lives is still moving forward, and I'm totally uninvolved.

I know I can't explain what I mean very well, but I'll try.

Last night Griffin performed in this awesome acoustic show that Glenn helped put together. It turns out there are all these pictures of the band on Glenn's Facebook page that I haven't seen since I'm not his friend. The only reason I know is I overheard Griffin saying something about not being able to see the pictures on his page. Besides the picture thing, which I guess isn't the hugest thing, really, the whole thing is something that Glenn's a part of that I'm not. Like The Hunger Games. All three of them read the books in the past few weeks and saw the movie together, and it's a thing that's exclusive to them.

This Friday they're seeing The Avengers. And me? I'll be standing in line at the grocery store wondering just what exactly is going on with Sonny that prompted Soap Opera Digest to put him on the cover.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Long Time Ago, We Used to Be Friends

I was sitting here playing words with friends when I got an email notification regarding a comment on my blog. I've since deleted the comment, but I feel compelled to post it here (please try to bear with the grammatical errors--it's going to be difficult, I know) and reply to its different parts. For the purpose of clarity, my replies will be prettily posted in pink.

y'know I wasn't going to reply to this, as I HATE to be involved with this aspect of your life (your shameless exibitionism), but since you are not answering your phone I will reply here. 
For somebody who doesn't want to be involved in this aspect of my life--you know, the shameless exhibitionism--this is an awfully odd choice of place to initiate correspondence. I wasn't answering my phone (because I don't have the stomach to talk to you?)? Is my email or Facebook message box broken? The claim as to your reason for posting here is obviously untrue.
If you have noticed that in recent years we have not hung out quite as much as we used to, well there is a reason for that.
You mean it's not because I loaned you twenty bucks and you never wanted to pay me back? Really, though, I don't know your reasoning, but if you'd like to ask Erin, Glenn, my mother, Griffin, my sister, and Lisa, it's because I don't like hanging out with you very much anymore. You're mean-spirited and insult me endlessly. Every chance you get, you find something bad to say. Hanging out with you is not fun. It's why I don't call you very much. To be honest, our friendship had become an obligation, which is something that I've felt bad about for a long time.
Your life is an endlessly repeating self made shitstorm and its hard not to get sucked in. How many times have you been on the outs with G now? I can no longer count them. You find some guy to get fascinated with and go off the rails on a crazy train.
I  have been interested in exactly one guy in the last five years. Count him. One.
How many nights has the conversation gone this way "Am I hot? would you have sex with me?"
It's actually gone like that never. I would never even ask if someone thinks I'm "hot" because I've never in my life considered myself to remotely be so. I'm well aware that cuteness is my virtue. I have no hot delusions. Our conversations have been a lot more like this--
Kelly: Do you think there's something wrong with me? I don't understand why Glenn never wants to have sex.
Guy Friend: No, there's nothing wrong with you. I'd hump the shit out of you. 
"I want to have sex all the time do you think I'm a nymphomaniac" Never in all of my life have I asked if anybody thought I was a nymphomaniac. Never. Is that even a real thing? Yes, I want to have sex all the time. I've never, ever thought anything was wrong with that.
You text whatever dude basicaly begging for sex.
I've wanted to have sex with one person other than Glenn in the past five years; in the past three, he's the only one I've ever text in a sexual nature (and before the last three years, I text no guy in that manner ever). And I haven't begged him for sex. Been more forward than I should be? Yes. Begged him to have sex with me? Hardly. Um, I'm not a crack whore.
Its pretty much an all night I'm unhappy/I wwish I could have sex-a-thon.It sucks. I'm sorry but it does. It gets so tiring sometimes. And I sympathize with you I truly do, but so much of it is your own fault that its hard sometimes.
I'm trying to fathom what the hell you're even talking about. I don't even remember the last time we hung out alone before Saturday night. This is so ridiculous, I don't even know how to reply.
As to the other night, I think what yoou said, at least concerning my motives, would be accurate about 10 years ago. I don't think you really know me anymore, and thats my fault. I would notin a million years expect you to have sex with me, which is pretty much why I did what I did. because nothings gonna happen.
What did I even say your motives were?I never said you had a specific motive. You said to me, more than once, that I should come to your house and have sex with you. You also took some things that you know about me and my likes/dislikes and threw those in, I guess to try to entice me. So, asked me to go to your house over and over so I wouldn't have sex with you? Yes, that makes perfect sense. Well played, sir.
You may be claiming now that you wanted sympathy, but when do you ever really want anything more than attention? It was something that had happened a dozen times before.
But that was like 10 years ago? Well, whats the difference between then and now? Same shit going on.
Um...what? I don't even know how to reply to this one. It's a bit unfocused, but I'll try. What happened a dozen times before? You tried to have sex with me? Sympathy and attention are pretty much the same thing. You can't show somebody sympathy without paying attention.
So I guess I'm pissed that you're pissed and decided to drag it out here.
I contemplated how you'd feel about it, but then I decided if you cared as little as you did about me on Saturday night, I shouldn't care how you felt about me telling people. I hardly think I was the one dragging it out. But I am now.
Are we still friends?
What do you think?
I don't know. I have to think about that, perhaps you've already made you're decision.
Most definitely. 
I just want to say this; you live your life like its some kind of play, and alot of times you treat the people in your life like they are actors, or worse stagehands.
Again, I'm not sure how to reply to this one. I don't even know what it means. I treat them like they're actors or stagehands because there's a lot of drama in my life and they're in it? I seriously don't get this one.
 I've tried to help you in the past. Whenever you have asked my advice I have always given the best i could, but you don't want to take it. You just want to keep the merry-go-round spinning and I'm getting dizzy.
When you finally get your first girlfriend, you can criticize me for not taking your advice. You have no idea what it's like to be in a relationship, so pardon me if I don't leave Glenn as you've told me to do so many times. When you decide to do something with your life other than sit around smoking pot all day--yeah, right. I'll just stop right there.
Call me if you want to talk, I won't be arguing further on the interwebs.
Okay, then. You wait for that phone call.

Kelly again, about to sign off--bear with me while I say one last thing:
19 years.

Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts

I didn't want to write about this, I told myself I wouldn't, but I can't not do it. It's just bothering me too much for me to keep mum. This story has to come out.

On Sunday I wrote about having a pretty wretched Saturday night, and I was pretty vague with the details. That's not really going to change. What's going to change is that I'm going to share a small part of my night with you--a small part that had a big effect.

I've got this friend. A close friend. A guy friend. A guy friend who's been my friend for 19 years. A guy friend who's been my friend for 19 years who knows just about everything there is to know about me. A guy friend who comes to my house on holidays and kids' birthdays and special occasions and is a little bit more than friendly acquaintances with Glenn. A guy friend who used to like me. A guy friend who should know better.

On Saturday night Guy Friend and I went out and had two margaritas each and dinner. Since I've been running a ton and eating a little and drinking alcohol not at all since the beginning of March, the margaritas obliterated me. I seriously cannot believe how drunk I got. Not only was I crazily drunk, but I was also crazily vulnerable and needy, two things that Guy Friend, who knows everything there is to know about me, knew. Something else that Guy Friend indubitably knew, considering our long, convoluted history together, is that when I start talking about what would happen if the two of us kissed, something is seriously wrong. Something Guy Friend (who, yes, had two margaritas, too, but is well over 200 pounds and drinks and, therefore, could not have been drunk beyond sense), having been one of the closest friends I've had in my life, should have known is that in the condition I was in, any action on his part would have been too reprehensible to speak of, but that didn't stop Guy Friend from kissing me, putting his hand in a place I can't bring myself to repeat, and repeatedly trying to convince me to go to his house so we could have sex. It didn't even come close.

As I said in the beginning of this blog, I didn't plan to write about this incident, but it's been bothering me so much that I had to. Is this what I have in store for me now that Glenn and I are going our separate ways? Guys who are going to try to take advantage of me, guys who act like petulant little brats when they don't get their way (another story), and guys who are such pussies--forgive me, but there's just no other word for this one--they don't even have the nerve to have a conversation with me when a conversation is most definitely in order (and, yes, that's yet another story--I've got a lot going on)? Is this the life I've chosen?

Because I've got to say, right about now, it's not looking like the wisest choice that's ever been made.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Harsh Light of Day

I'm taking a break from writing about me today to write about somebody especially near and dear to my heart: Buffy Summers. Specifically, I'm writing about a particularly sad episode from season 4 called "The Harsh Light of Day."

For those of you who don't have a background in Buffy (sacrilege!), let me give you a quick history.

(Begin Quick History)

Buffy Summers is the vampire slayer. Her job is to kill vampires (pretty black and white, right? Yeah, not so much). Ironically, she falls in love with Angel, who used to be the most evil vampire of all until he was cursed with a soul by angry gypsies for killing the favorite daughter of their clan. Once cursed with his brand new soul, Angel became different from all the other vampires: sad--tragic--loveable. And as previously stated, Buffy loved him. For over two years, they faced unimaginable obstacles to their love, from monsters to demons to lost souls, but because their love was pure and deep and strong, they overcame. In the end, though (to be specific, of season 3), after some particularly harsh words from Buffy's mother about Angel holding Buffy back from having a normal life, Angel did what he believed to be right and moved to LA to start his own show (or something akin to that).

Fast forward a summer to season 4. Buffy, having just said goodbye to the only man she ever loved, the only man she ever had sex with, the only man she loved enough to be with and not have sex with, the only man she could trust with her life, was understandably upset. (Before I move on, I want to make sure not only that you understand how upset Buffy was--decimated, really--but also what kind of a relationship Buffy and Angel had. Aside from those few months when he was actively trying to drive Buffy over the edge by torturing and killing her family and friends, he was the ideal boyfriend. There was nothing Angel wouldn't do for Buffy. Nothing.) Forget upset. She was lost. Life with Angel was the only life she knew.

(End Quick History. Move on to episode.)

When we first see Buffy in "The Harsh Light of Day," we see her at The Bronze making eyes at Parker, the new guy who's caught her attention. He seems awesome. He's super cute, he's intelligent, he's sensitive, he's attentive. Perfect guy, really. And he's interested--not too interested, though. Well, when I say not too interested, what I mean is not pushy. He listens to what she has to say, and instead of acting the aggressor, he Psych 101s her into thinking that she's the one coming onto him.

Sex is had. And Buffy is too.

The morning after the sex, the first sex that Buffy has had with anybody other than Angel, the first time she entrusts somebody with something so intimate, Parker makes up some excuse about why he has to go and says that he'll call her. I shouldn't even have to tell you that he never does. Or that Buffy, used to somebody who truly loves and cares about her, never even considers that he might not.

She goes back to her dorm, where she tells her best friend, Willow, what happened. She gets excited about the excitement of a new relationship, looks forward to the courtship phase. She waits for him to call. She waits and she waits and she waits some more. She checks her messages, and she checks her phone for a dial tone. And then when she gets tired of waiting, she goes and she looks for him, only to overhear him giving the same exact spiel to some other girl that he gave to her. She goes over to him, and once they're alone, she puts her hand in his. He squeezes it and lets go. He tells her he'll call her when he can. Heartbreakingly, she asks him a question:

Did I do something wrong?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Inside

Now that I'm almost two days removed from my stupid Saturday-night actions, I realize that I totally overreacted yesterday and made them seem much worse than they really were. That being said, please don't make the mistake of thinking that everything (read: anything) is even close to fine because it's not; things are far from fine; in fact, if I had to say how far from fine they are, I'd have to go with saying that they're hell-and-gone from Cartagena fine. And as far as fine goes, that's not fine at all.

It's just that I'm so sad. So unbelievably, devastatingly, sad. So put-my-head-down-on-my-desk-and-sob, want-to-crawl-into-bed-and-never-get-out sad.

And you know what I want to cover myself with when I get into that bed that I never want to get out of? My afghan. My extra-warm, six-foot long, one-hundred-and-sixty pound afghan knit with brown and white and pink and hazel yarn imported from both Scotland and Germany. But that afghan...well that's an afghan I can't use. Do you know why?

You don't have to answer. I know you know. You know I know you know. We all know. We all know that the afghan of which I speak isn't an afghan that's an option. We know that I can't use that brown and white and pink and hazel afghan for comfort or to keep out the cold, no matter how badly I want to wrap myself with its warmth. We know that I'm so badly in need of a blanket right now that I'd wrap myself in almost any afghan I happened to come across and that if I were to use that particular afghan, that brown and white and pink and hazel afghan, I'd eventually get so warm and weighed down beneath its heaviness that I'd start to suffocate and be unable to breathe until I eventually pulled it off and hurled it to the floor, where it would sit, untouched, until I felt uncomfortably cold once again.

And afghans, we know, have feelings, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

All Screwed Up

I've never been the most rational person in the world, but believe me when I say that lately I've been making the worst decisions a person could possibly make. The first time Glenn and I separated, the principal of my school called me into her office and told me that when she got divorced she did some crazy things and made some horrible choices, so maybe bad-decision making is just something that goes along with the crumbling of a marriage. I honestly don't know. What I do know, though, is that as idiotic as I've been in my life, I've rarely been as idiotic as I have recently.

Shockingly, I'm not going to go into detail here. That's how stupid and embarrassing the decisions I've made have been. Despite the stupid things I've been doing, though, I still have some sense of self-preservation and, therefore, know enough not to list my idiocies of late.

What I will say is that I don't understand why I do the things I do. It's not like I don't know the difference between right and wrong. It's not like I don't tell myself that I'm not absolutely, positively, under no circumstances going to do something and then do that very thing five, four, even three minutes later. It's not like as I'm doing the things I do I don't realize how dumb or demeaning they are,  chastise myself, and cringe both mentally and physically at my behavior. I know all of these things, and I do all of these things, and yet I do the stupid things anyway. I seriously feel powerless to stop the stupidity that overcomes me, and powerlessness, well...that's not a good feeling at all.

A week ago before I sobbed on her shoulder lamenting some of the particularly stupid things I'd recently done (in what was probably one of the most awkward situations of both of our lives), a woman I work with told me that what I need to do is work on listening to my inner voice. I know she's right. I just wish I knew how.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I Don't Want to Know

All these well-meaning people have been giving me unsolicited advice--well, I assume they're well-meaning; in actuality, they could be malicious, underhanded people scheming to ruin my life--and I have to say that I don't appreciate it, not one little bit. None of these people really has any idea what it has been like to be in my marriage. They weren't with me when I spent I don't even know how many nights sitting in front of the mirror in my parents' house crying; they weren't with me when I cried myself to sleep for practically the entire eight months I was pregnant with Griffin; they weren't with me when I was twenty-seven years old and wrote in my diary that I couldn't believe I'd spent almost ten years feeling lonely and rejected and that I had to get out of my marriage as soon as possible because I was dying inside; they weren't with me when I got a ticket the day after my ten-year anniversary because I was so busy being distracted and miserable about Glenn wanting nothing to do with me the night before that I didn't notice the speed trap on the side of the road; they weren't with me any of the times that I told Glenn that I felt completely unloved and he didn't utter a word in return; they weren't with me when I came home excited to see Glenn after a four-day trip to Chicago last October, only to walk out of the airport to find him telling an old man he'd kick his ass and then being ignored for the next three days for getting annoyed about it; nor were they with me on New Year's Eve this year when Glenn decided to be mad at me, leaving me and the kids to spend the night on our own and not even bothering to acknowledge the change from 2011 to 2012. On these occasions and on countless others, none of these people were with me; therefore, I'd say that the amount of qualification they possess to give me advice is exactly none.

Not only are these people not qualified to give me advice, but they also have no idea what kind of struggle I've gone through to get to this point. They really don't know me at all, which means they have absolutely no idea how much the idea of change terrifies me. They don't know that even though I've dreamed of living in Chicago since I was dragged here at eight years old, I never went back because I've always been too afraid; that I cancelled my plans to move to Gainesville after high school because I was terrified; that I cried myself to sleep the night before my wedding but didn't want to change my plans because Glenn was all I knew; that every year I imagine working in a new school but lack the nerve to go to one. They don't know that the idea of change paralyzes me, that if it didn't, I would have gotten divorced a long, long time ago and that it's taken so much strength and courage for me to do what I'm doing and that their unsolicited advice is doing nothing but making me second-guess a decision that I don't want to change.

Another thing these people don't know is that Glenn is trying with everything he has to get me to stay in this marriage. They don't know that he assaults me with sad face every day, sends me emotional emails, and confronts me with conversations that I don't want to have on a continual basis. They don't know that he's offering me things that I don't believe he can give me but that even if he could, they're things I no longer want. They don't know that he's playing the "kid card." They don't know that I feel as if reconciling with Glenn will take every bit of joy, every bit of drive, every bit of me that I have left.

They don't know that it will decimate me.

Now they do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Beat Goes On

Either a little more than two years ago or a little more than one year ago (the fact that I don't know which one shows just how stagnantly repetitive my life is), one of the times when I was mourning the loss of C and resenting the entrapment I felt after agreeing to remain in my marriage (if you read my old blog or know me, you know exactly what I'm talking about), an old student of mine, Ronald, visited me after school, and we hung out for a little while talking. During our talk, he mentioned that had recently broken up with his girlfriend. Concerned, I asked him how he was doing, and he answered that he was doing pretty well. He said that he'd been upset for a while but soon realized that life is going to go on no matter what, and that we can either be miserable, or we can be happy. He chose to be happy.

I know what he said isn't exactly revelatory, but let me tell you something: when he said that to me, I had a revelation. I literally stopped walking (we were en route to the parking lot), grabbed his arm, and said, "Wait...what? Will you say that again?" I made him repeat it not only once, but twice, and then I repeated it to him to make sure I got it right, and then I repeated it to myself on the way home in my car. I repeated it, and I repeated it, and I repeated it again until I felt sure that I wouldn't forget it.

And then I chose.

It worked, too. I felt like a new person. I don't know why Ronald's words affected me so much; it wasn't like he'd said anything I hadn't already heard in one way or another. Maybe I was just ready for a change and his words came at the right time. Maybe I was just desperate for something to believe in.  Maybe, maybe, maybe--the truth is, I'll never know why they affected me so strongly. All I know is that they did affect me, and they affected me big.

After that talk, I did what I had previously been unable to do. I stopped moping over C. I committed to my marriage. I embraced my life. I realized that the thought of living the way I had been living for so long was unthinkable and I could no longer live it. I did exactly what Ronald told me to do. I chose to be happy.

Well, if you're reading this blog entry, you've most likely read the entries leading up to this one, so you know that Happiness isn't exactly where I am. If you know that, though--if you think that--if you feel you've gathered enough information to safely say that this is what's so, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong.

Once again, I'm making a choice.

(Just in case you don't remember what it is, let me say it to you one more time.)

Life is going to go on. We can either be miserable, or we can be happy.

Ronald chose to be happy.
And so do I.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Melankelly and the Infinite Sadness

There's this old TV show called Alice that I used to watch with my mom when I was super young. For those of you who don't know it--and that would probably be anybody under 35--it's about a widow named Alice who moves to Phoenix with her son to start a new life and ends up working at Mel's Diner with a total dingbat named Vera and an older woman named Flo who can't stop telling people to kiss her grits (even if you don't know the show, you must at least know that line. I mean, come on).

Anyway, the TV show really has nothing to do with this post. The lyrics to its theme song do. And they go like this:

I used to be sad, I used to be shy
Funniest thing, the saddest part is I never knew why...
Kickin' myself for nothin' was my favorite sport.
I had to take off, start enjoyin' 'cause life's too short.

There's a new girl in town, 'cause I'm feelin good.
Get a smile, get a song, for the neighborhood.
Things are great when you stand on your own two feet,
and this girl's here to say with some luck and love,
life's gonna be so sweeeeeeeeeet!

Well, for the past few weeks, I've felt like that song, especially the second verse. I've had this omnipresent feeling of excitement and unboundedness, as if there's nothing I won't be able to achieve now that my life is mine. But since Friday, that feeling has been dissipating, and it's been dissipating fast. In its place is a whole lot of empty, the opposite of fulfillment, and about twenty-two gazillion gallons of sadness.

I'm not sure what happened--okay, maybe I am, but maybe I'm not in the mood to write about it (ironic since I'm writing a blog right now, huh?)--but it doesn't really matter. All that's just a story anyway; what really matters is how I feel, and how I feel right now at this very moment is like poo. I feel like nothing is real. I feel like all of my relationships, whether with males or females, platonic or not, revolve around technology rather than true human interaction, and therefore, don't really mean a whole lot in the tangible world. I feel like other than my kids and my sister, I don't really have anybody else, and I feel like for a woman who's been on this earth for thirty-seven years, that's an awfully sad thing to say.

Before I offend anybody, I have to acknowledge that I have plenty of Facebook friends and a few people I text back and forth with; there have also been several people who have offered to listen to me if I need to talk, and I appreciate them all, and I know that in their own way, in a newfangled twenty-first century kind of way, they're really friends, but that's new school, and I'm not. I'm of the school of the old. I need real-live interaction with real-live human beings. I need to inhale the scent of someone's shampoo or perfume or fabric softener, to sit across from or next to people in a bar or restaurant and see them smile about something I said or hear them laugh at the ridiculous things we see people do. I need to accidentally bump into somebody while we're sitting down, take a french fry off of somebody's plate, or sit close to somebody while we watch a scary movie. I need to see that somebody real is right there in front of me, and I don't.

What I see is no one.
And what I feel is


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caught in a Mosh

*We interrupt this regularly scheduled divorce to bring you the following message: Glenn has refused to sign the divorce papers. This is not a test. I repeat, this is not a test. Glenn has, in fact, refused to sign the divorce papers.*

So, uh...yeah. You read that right. When I got home from work yesterday, I emailed Glenn about the child sharing plan, and he responded with a refusal and the news that he would not, as previously discussed, be granting me a divorce. Apparently, he talked to a complete ass who convinced him that he should fight for us and not just let me go. Thanks to the advice of this moron, I now have to have a contested divorce instead of an uncontested one, which essentially means that I'll be spending way more time and money to end up at the exact same place I would have ended up anyway. I look at it like this: it's like driving to work. If I leave my house at 6:50 in the morning, turn left on Nova Drive, right on University, right on Miramar Parkway, and left on Douglas Road, I end up at Miramar High right around 7:15. If I wanted to, though, I could leave at the same time, turn left on Nova, go to 441, turn right, stop at the Hard Rock, lose a couple hundred dollars, continue down 441, turn right on Pembroke Road and then left on 68th Avenue, stop in front of my old house, get out, knock on the door, tell the new owners I'm feeling nostalgic and ask if I can take a look around, pay them for their time, get back in my car, continue toward Miramar Parkway, turn right but then decide I want to see my other old house, turn left when I pass Publix, drive around Woodscape for a while, go down to County Line Road, turn right, go to University, turn right again, get back to Miramar Parkway, turn left, get to Douglas Road, turn left, and finally end up at work, a lot poorer and a lot later than I should be. Either way I go about it, I'm going to end up in the same place, so why take the more expensive, stress-inducing route? It just doesn't make sense.

Whether it makes sense or not, I know why he's doing it. He thinks there's a chance I'll change my mind, and I'm not really surprised that he thinks that since it's happened twice in the past. He thinks we can work things out and make our relationship right again. The problem with that notion, though, is that our relationship wasn't right in the beginning. I won't deny that we've had happy times, but as far as "right" goes? I can't think of a time that it's ever been that way, and if it was, it's been such a long time that I can't remember.

I know I probably sound selfish, but I just want it all to be over. I absolutely, positively, under no circumstances whatsoever, want to work things out. We've tried that too many times before, and it's something I'm just no longer willing to do. As sad as this whole thing makes me (and, yes, I realize I don't sound all that sad right about now), I just want it to end.

This is Kelly's Year of Yes. The overarching question? I don't know what it is just yet, but I most definitely know what it's not.