Relatable or…

I’m thinking of changing my bio to this:

Anyway, so I had a meltdown last night that ended in me stomping up the stairs alone with a Subway rotisserie chicken sandwich to watch 15 minutes of SNL alone in my bedroom while I ate ALONE and then went to the bathroom ALONE. It helped. Apparently, I need to not be either at work or covered in children once in a while and it mellows me right out.

Image result for leslie jones groot

She makes me laugh.

Advertisements

The Womens Will Get It

I write under a pen name and keep the details of my personal life limited on my blog but I had an interaction recently that was just… oh, it was everything that’s wrong with our culture right now and I wanted to find a way to share it.

So let’s say I work at Taco Bell as an assistant manager.

Earlier this week, I was behind the counter covering for an employee on break when a man came in. I said, “Welcome to Taco Bell, can I take your order?”

He said, “Yeah, hi, I just wanted to come in and check this place out. I’m really into Mexican food.”

“Great,” I said. “What can I get you?”

“Oh, yeah, I don’t know. See… I’ve been eating Mexican food for a while now. A real long while. I started eating it in ’82 and I’ve learned a lot about it.”

“Ok…” I say, eyeing the line forming behind him.

“Actually, I’m a cook. I cook mostly Mexican food but I dabble in Guatemalan food, Cuban food. I’ve done a little Brazilian food here and there.”

“Sir,” I say, “Is there something I can get for you? Because I have other customers I need to help.”

“Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I see. So you have a lot of like… Mexican food fans here, right? Not cooks like me. Chefs, really. I’m really more like a chef. Because, I mean, I can cook tacos and burritos but what I’m really into is mole, pozole, and I’m really good at tamales. Like, REALLY good at it. I could probably teach you. Yeah, I know at least 5, maybe 6 ways to make tamales. You’d be really amazed at what I could show you.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you could. That’s awesome but we don’t… uh… we don’t do tamales here. We just have… you know, what you see on the menu. Would you like to try a Crunchwrap Supreme? It’s no tamale, but it’s pretty good.”

“Nah, I’m not really interested in eating your food. I know your food, I mean, I’ve eaten here before a long time ago and I know your entire menu. I’ve eaten all of it. I could probably tell you some things about your menu that you don’t even know. Have you ever met Glen Bell? Because I have. He’s ok at Mexican food but I… I know a little something about it that he doesn’t.”

“So you don’t want to order something. You don’t want to eat here at all?” I ask. The employee is back from his break and standing awkwardly behind me. He’s trying to ask if he should open the other register. I’m trying to tell him yes but this dude just talks over me, loudly. 

“Nah, I’m kind of just looking for a community, you know? I mean, I’ve got 37 years of experience here. I don’t want that to just go to waste. I want to, you know, be amongst my peers and really, get into the art of Mexican cooking again.”

“So, you want a job? We have an online application form. Or I could grab you the paper form. Let me just head back to my office and grab that for you.” I start walking away and the employee takes over my register. Customers waiting in line are pissy. And now there’s a problem in the kitchen I really need to take care of but this guy follows me behind the counter, still talking.

“It’s not really a job I’m looking for, per se. I mean, I have a job. Actually, I recognize your drive thru girl because she’s a customer there.” He waves at her but she clearly has no idea who he is.

I say, “Excuse me, I really need to take care of this,” and start talking to the line cook to see what’s wrong. He’s trying to explain but the guy is standing right behind me, still talking to me, absolutely oblivious to the other people in the room I’m trying to give my full attention to.

“Do you do Tacos Arabes here? Because people are really into Tacos Arabes these days. If you don’t have any experience with Tacos Arabes, I could probably teach you. I could even make them here, if you want. Just like, set up a grill for me and I could make Tacos Arabes for people and you could learn how to do it too for free, even because I mean, you don’t get this kind of Mexican food instruction for free most of the time. I mean, I’d have to charge other people for my Tacos Arabes because they’re pretty valuable but I could cut you a deal, probably.”

“Um… yeah, I don’t… think…”

“Tacos Arabes, Tacos Campechanos, Street Tacos, I mean… I can do it all.”

I grab him an application and tell him to fill it out and we can see if there’s anything we can do.

“Yeah, I’m not really into filling out applications,” he says as I turn back to the line cook to make sure his problem is resolved. “Maybe I can just stop by again and talk to you like Wednesdays or Thursdays are good for me.”

“Oh, yeah, I don’t know if I’ll be here just… just fill out the application. That’s the best way. You can just… write in all your special skills there and we’ll see if there’s anything we can do for you.”

“Yeah, yeah, maybe I mean, like I said, I’m not looking for a job. Just want to be around My People, you know. All these Mexican food lovers all cooking and eating Mexican food. I just know I have a lot I could teach them and it would be a benefit to me too just to be around other people like me and… you know, it’s just such a great culture, such a great flavor. Great flavors.”

“Ok, sure. So…  go… fill out that application and we’ll see. Thanks for stopping by. Ok, bye now!”

And I went back in my office and closed the door.

 

Image result for customer service meme

 

Now… I don’t work at Taco Bell or any kind of food service. I actually work with children in an after school type activity. There were children in the vicinity at the time. MY child was there. So when a creepy man came in listing all the things he knew about our activity, it was mildly threatening. He wasn’t overtly threatening but the implications of what he was saying could be interpreted that way.

So when my “line cook” raised his eyebrows at me after the dude left and said, “Well… that… was a little extra. Why didn’t you just kick him out?” I told him the truth:

Fear. Caution. Reality.

Someone shot up another school yesterday. I don’t know the circumstances because if I read about it, I will absolutely freak out and never let my children go anywhere ever again. When someone comes into my child-focused business when there’s a room full of other people’s children learning from my husband near by–especially when my son is playing with his friends in my office–and starts telling me that he knows better than me how to Teach These Kids Something Real, I go into preservation mode.

This isn’t Mama Bear mode, not Fight or Flight, not SPRING INTO ACTION because there was no obvious threat. Just the threat of a potential threat.

Preservation Mode: when women smile and placate a man they’re not interested in talking to because WE KNOW at any moment, they could snap and murder us.

I told the “line cook” that based on his “polite” behavior, I could tell he had absolutely no aptitude for empathy. He wasn’t there to get information about our program or services. He told me flat out that he knew more than me and could teach me a thing or two. He didn’t listen when I told him I didn’t think I could help him. He didn’t listen when I told him I wasn’t available to continue talking about this on another day. He showed no concern for the fact that I had (misbehaving) children I needed to talk to instead of him. And in fact, he continued to tell me about his skill set while I reprimanded my son and his friend.

This is a man who could snap and murder me and the children I was responsible for if I didn’t smile and pretend that there was at least a remote possibility that he could have what he wanted. That’s the reality of the world we live in right now.

It’s terrifying. And we do what we have to do to survive it, even if it’s just listening to a douche bag’s resume when we’d rather be doing ANYTHING else.

 

Now, in my dream world last night, I actually met up with this man again, slammed his face into the floor, pressed my forearm to his windpipe while I dialed 911 with my other hand and instead of defending himself or escaping, he just listed all the ways he COULD defend himself if he wanted to. Oh and how he could teach me a thing or two as well.

Based on a True Visceral Reaction

I used to date a man named Doug and he would often complain that “Doug” was the name they used for every idiot character in TV and movies.

Case in point: Doug Whitmore for 50 First Dates.

Intelligent *cough elitist* ex named Doug hated movie character Doug Whitmore because he held all the hallmarks of an unlikable, pathetic, fatally flawed character mocked for his utter lack of masculine prowess: An adult male who lives with his dad, doesn’t hold down a job, stutters, can’t get/keep a woman, is inappropriately vain, has poor fashion sense, and much too obviously “compensates for something” with the masculine traits he does exhibit (his physique).

Sure, there are a few other dopey Dougs: Doug Funnie from Doug, Doug Billings from The Hangover. But there are also some awesome Dougs like Douglas Quaid from Total Recall or… I don’t know, Douglas Adams who wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Ooh, Doug Jones who is THE monster in every awesome scifi show/movie! How about Doug E. Fresh, the human beatbox? Boots and cats, ya’ll!

Still, the argument stayed with me and every time I see a character named Doug, I automatically assume he’ll turn out to be the turd who ruins everything.

That’s why I named my new character Doug. He’s a turd. He deserves a name that makes me think, “Ugh, TURD!” every time I write about him. Also, it’s possible that he’s loosely based on a real person who may or may not–depending on who you ask–be someone sort of liiiiiiiiiike… my real boss.

“So I have a meeting with a woman named Ann at 1:30 today,” I said to my boss that morning. “You want to fill me in?”

Doug scratched his head in that annoying way that meant he was definitely about to lie to cover his own ass. “Oh yeah, I met her at the… um… so she’s working on a client management system thing for Kathy’s department and I said I could use something like that and I may have mentioned that you were trying to…”

He shrugged and pouted before turning back to the two sentence email it was taking almost twenty minutes to write. This is my boss. This is the person responsible for so much more than he can reasonably handle and his paycheck reflects it. I, on the other hand, am the person who does the work and makes the decisions that he “just can’t deal with today” and my paycheck looks like I work the counter at Dinky Donuts part-time. Mother’s hours, of course.

Ugh, Doug.

Image result for doug whitmore

DISCLAIMERS: Sean Astin = awesome. My boss’s name does not = Doug.

It’s My Potty and I’ll Cry If I Want To

In my mid-twenties when everything was a mess and I didn’t know what to do or how to get control over the rollercoaster of expectations of how my life was supposed to be, sometimes I… would just run to the restroom and have a little cry.

No one, not even in HR, wanted to confront a young woman who claimed to be pooping for 15 minutes and that’s why she wasn’t at her desk when you needed her today. Not if it was only once or twice a week at most.

The job I’ve got now, I could take a three hour lunch break and no one would even notice. So when it came time for the damn to finally break, I took a walk to the restroom. And I cried.

I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve done so since those early roller coaster days. I’ve been in the same stall, 7 months pregnant and trying to psych myself up to prick my own finger and check my glucose levels while crying hysterically because I was obviously a terrible mother for having gestational diabetes. I’ve been here at four months postpartum and suffering  from postpartum depression, trying to keep myself sane by reading Riverdale fanfic on my phone and crying because Betty and Jughead broke up again.

And I was in there today, composing a blog post in my head while freaking the eff out about money and work and childcare and healthcare and trying to explain to my White Man Privilege boss that I can’t just change my schedule on a whim because CHILDREN and SECOND JOB and PITIFULLY POOR PAY.

Not quite two decades later and despite all the progress I’ve made emotionally, financially, mentally, career-wise, lifestyle choices, everything EVERYTHING I’ve done, I’m still running to the bathroom to cry.

I’ve seen Parenthood. I know the roller coaster goes on forever. I know you can get off once in a while to puke it out and regroup before you get back on. But you have to get back on. You have to keep going. Because if you’re not in the arena with Brene Brown, well then you’re just not living your life.

Related image

She likes the ride.

I’m telling myself to revel in the bathroom cries. They are a much deserved break in the facade of keeping it together. And no one–at work at least–will interfere with your Me Time as long as they think you’re pooping.

 

Do It With a Please

As a writer and a thoroughly unqualified neologist, I understand that words can change meaning over time with enough use. But I do not–CANNOT–understand the use of the phrase, “I’ll do” when it comes to ordering food.

You will “do” a grende unicorn fart flippicino? You’ll “DO” a medium heart attack meal? Oh, you “don’t do” yellow foods or anything a fruit fly may have sneezed in? Ok, yes, I take that very seriously.

Mind you, I have food allergies too. I do not mock food allergies. I know the trauma (I know the TRAUMA!) But that’s why I say things like, “I am allergic to milk so please don’t accidentally use milk.”

Just because… you know, I use words the right way and like, went to Kindergarten where they taught me how to say please and thank you when people are doing things for me. Like servers. And baristas. Line cooks. Sous chefs. Bussers. Cashiers. People who deserve common courtesy.

You can just… ask for things. Can I have a flippicino, please? I would like to order a medium fast food meal, please.

“Do” your taxes. “Do” Pilates. “Do a Dew”, I guess? But if you’re going to order like that, could you just say please too? Could you just treat that person behind the counter like a person?

Robots are for Stop n’ Shop and look how that turned out.

 

Related image

See? There are consequences to your actions.

hashtag mom life

Last night I dreamed of the kind of dust that settles on mummy tombs after hundreds of years of neglect wrapped around my bedroom curtains and being angry that my husband microwaved a toaster waffle.

woman holding waffle inside room

This is a woman who toasts her waffles, just like god intended.  Photo by Pedro Sandrini on Pexels.com

The Book OG Ghostbuster Fans Will Hate

I started re-reading one of my books recently and realized pretty quickly that I have mislabeled that poor lady and perhaps that’s why it don’t sell for shiz.

Also, am I too glib in my book descriptions? Is it so totally obvious that I do not take myself seriously as a writer? Is that why no one else does either?

Read all the cutesy and inspiring Pinterest quotes you want about #writinglife and #authorproblems to make yourself feel better about making your DREAMS come TRUE but when it comes down to it, you have to be dedicated enough to get things done if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.

And when I say “dedicated”, it’s not “to your craft”. It’s not “a writer WRITES” and “put on your black beret and tweet about coffee”.

If you want to make money and/or be taken seriously, apparently you have to be dedicated to all the boring crap no one wants to do: social media, self-promotion, paying for ads, writing promotional copy that doesn’t come across as self-deprecating.

 

Image result for mocking spongebob meme maker

A REAL writer doesn’t write glib promotional copy that comes across as self-deprecating.

 

Ugh, book descriptions. UGH, ad copy. UGHHH, self-promotion! Why can’t we just write the stuff we want to write and then people just find it and buy it for a nominal fee?

All this is to say that I will be re-writing some of my book descriptions in the near future and I’m not happy about it.

Lay_Her_Ghosts_to_Rest_Self_Care_and_Spirit_GuidesLay Her Ghosts to Rest by Eda J Vor

This book isn’t a fun sci fi/occult adventure in ghost removal so much as a blatantly feminist critique of gender imbalances in the work place.

Sorry for the confusion, everyone! I was trying to make it fun when really, I’m just sick of not being taken seriously or paid fairly in any job I’ve ever had.

But also, there’s ghosts! (Some of those are feminist too!)

Keywords: Angry feminist ghost book, gay supporting characters, patriarchy in the workplace, corporate irresponsibility

Buy it on Amazon!

I Didn’t Even Get on the Bus

I just want ya’ll to know that I did NOT quit Camp NaNo on the first day.

I quit three days ago when I realized that any time I have not spent working or preventing my children from starting the apocalypse really needs to be spent sitting quietly and/or sleeping because Mama is So Stressed Out that she can no longer function as a human person.

Writing is a hobby that I do to de-stress. When it starts becoming another reason to tear out my eyebrow hair, I need to take a break.

Word to my bunk mates. I’m out.

Image result for stay fresh cheese bags meme

My Body is Ready

This morning my son asked me, “Mom, why do you have wrinkles?” and instead of flipping out like my mother would have done, I just said, “Skin gets wrinkly as you get older.”

This is the same child who says, “My face is always changing. I look different now than when I was a baby and when I’m a big kid, my face will look different too.”

“My face will get wrinkles when I’m old too,” he says this morning.

And I say, “Yup.”

And he nods, accepting that as a reality.

I guess that’s how I’m teaching my children not to fear aging?

 

woman wearing red hat and sunglasses

I don’t have time for wrinkle creams. I don’t need that kind of pressure in my life. Photo by Nashua Volquez on Pexels.com

 

I have looked younger than I am for most of my life. I’m a tiny lady and frequently mistaken for and/or treated as a child even by people who know better. I have never really heard “you look so much younger than that” in a way that wasn’t condescending in some way. I’m pretty tired of it.

So freaking bring it on, man. I will take the wrinkles and the gray hair and the no f*cks to give attitude. I will join the whatever-color-hat society and wear head-to-toe purple. I will fear no stereotype as I yell at the neighbor’s kids to get off my lawn and I will laugh at my fitness instructor when he asks me to do something only 22-year-old television stunt doubles actually need to know how to do and sit that one out, thanks.

I am 100% OK with looking older or seeming older or acting older or being mistaken for older.

Getting older is another story. Everything freaking hurts and I keep hearing all this stuff about perimenopause on the horizon and I gotta tell ya: It Does NOT Sound Like a Good Time.

So who cares about wrinkles. Honestly.

I Write for Fun So… Let’s Have Fun

I am STRUGGLING to finish the WIP I started for NaNoWriM0 2017 and I’m for real getting close to scrapping it altogether. I just don’t care. I don’t care what happens to this character and my mind is on this other story I’ve been itching to write.

But I have that, “If I start something new before finishing this one then I’ll never finish this one and whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.”

So I had a good chat with myself. Self, I said, who cares? And my self said, “Not me.” And I said, then stop stressing out about this story that no one cares about and write something that makes you want to write.

And my self said, “Yeah. Ok. That sounds good.”