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.

 

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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.

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Mommy’s Little Helper Ain’t You

So I’m on the floor of Trader Joe’s this morning, my cart full of groceries and my preschooler, my arms full of screaming writhing toddler in full-on tantrum mode, when some old lady comes over and touches my son’s face.

Listen, I know there’s some new trend of “helping” struggling moms in public by trying to distract them or… de-escalate or something? And admittedly, it’s a much better trend than the ole bitch about how crappy a parent she is loudly enough for her to hear you one of yesteryear. We’re working toward compassion as a society and I think that is wonderful.

However…

Woman, I had it under control. My son is at that age of obliviousness where he continues to monologue about whatever he’s thinking about even as the apocalypse hits so he was fine. He was talking about The Grinch and didn’t need a stranger touching him to make him feel better. In fact, he was like, “Mom, why did that stranger touch my face? I didn’t like it.” So thanks for making me apologize to my son for not protecting him from unwanted touching. That’s my first of all.

But after that, she tried to get in my face–actually, between my face and my daughter’s–to tell me how beautiful my daughter’s eyes are. And you know what? Yeah, yeah they are. They’re even prettier when she’s not clamping them shut and screaming with the full force of her mysterious banshee powers. But that’s not really what’s important right now, is it? (Also, she’s more than pretty eyes, bitch. She’s smart, strong, fearless and amazing and she doesn’t give a damn about your shallow compliments).

Mind you, I wasn’t also crying on the floor. I wasn’t screaming, I wasn’t losing my cool. I was very calmly balancing an angry python who could strike out and bite me with her venomous fangs at any moment. I was whispering in her ear and kissing her face and trying to soothe her, actually. I was asking her to tell me what she needs (because she can so she should), asking her if she was hungry, if she wanted hugs, if she needed naps. Eventually–you know, after I swatted away all of the “helpful” people distracting me from taking care of my children–she said Yes she wanted an apple. So I gave her an apple, sat her in the front of the cart, and she sat there calmly and ate for the rest of the shopping trip. Homeboy at the register gave me the apple for free too so I win at life all around today.

Ya’ll, I got it under control. For real. If I didn’t for some reason (because sometimes I really don’t), I’d leave the store, buckle my children into their car seats to keep them safe, and drive somewhere uncrowded to do some crying until I could get my own self under control. Then I’d take care of whatever was making my kids upset. And everything goes back to being ok again.

As for the “helpful” people in public, I mean… consider your motives AND the actual situation before you decide to insert yourself into someone else’s circumstances. Maybe ASK if they need help first and respect them if they say no.

And DON’T TOUCH OTHER PEOPLE’S BABIES without their permission! Like, I shouldn’t even have to mention that. Do you want me touching your baby? Do you want me, a total stranger, to touch your face when you’re upset? Do you want me to get in your face while you’re struggling with your life problems?

That woman is out there somewhere congratulating herself on a job well done while I’m over like, This Bitch.

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“So I said, ‘what beautiful eyes you have’ and she said, “The better to see where to aim my fury at your oppressive patriarchal values, gender traitor!'”

I’ve got enough to do without being a martyr to someone else’s hero complex. Please take that misplaced altruism over to someone who really needs it.

Don’t Mind Me, I Just Created That Life

What do you do… when you tell someone how many you kids you have and they look at your husband, wink, nudge, and exclaim, “Hey, you’ve been busy, eh?!”

Because, FIRST OF ALL, *I* been busy. ME. I have been gestating and birthing babies, ok? I have done that work. And “scoring” with your wife isn’t that big of an accomplishment.

Secondly, what kind of manly man patriarchal bullshit says it’s appropriate to congratulate a man for having sex with a woman who then bore a child IN FRONT OF THAT WOMAN?!

Now, I am a firm believer in choosing your battles and pissing off this man has some pretty significantly negative consequences so no, I did not tell him what I thought of him. But neither did I blush and look away because “tee hee, I’m an innocent in all of this. Where do babies even come from?!” No, I flushed–as one does when angry–and took a deep calming breath, reminding myself that old white men only change when they feel like it and this one, he ain’t changin’.

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To his credit, my husband did not accept the compliment. He actually got really flustered and changed the subject then apologized to me later.

And for future reference, you congratulate people on having children, not for having sex. That’s weird and intrusive.

Seriously, what’s wrong with people?

 

Wakandan Woman

I finally saw Black Panther and YES! YAAAAASS! This is the revolution I was looking for in Wonder Woman and didn’t get. This movie Is It.

I am not a person of color so I can only imagine what it meant from that perspective but from mine, from that of a woman, it was transgressive! And the most radical concept from a female perspective happened toward the end, during the civil war of sorts between the tribes of Wakanda over whether or not to accept the new king.

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W’Kabi asks his lover, Okoye if she would chose her country over him and she says yes.

She’s a patriot, yes, but not in the same way any American woman could ever be. Any American woman can love and serve and support her country–as a politician, public servant, member of the military, diplomat, public school teacher, first responder, you name it–but her country historically, demonstrably, undeniably does not love her back.

Wakanda does.

Wakanda values its women. It places them in positions of power and authority and respect and influence. Women aren’t special interest groups to be catered to when those in power want something and manipulated or oppressed or regulated when they don’t. Wakandan women are just… people.

Themyscira was a magical wonderland of woman power too, of course, but most of the Wonder Woman movie took place in Europe, amongst the men who couldn’t handle seeing Diana’s bare ankles or focus on work when she was in the room. She went to war with a group of men and yeah, she crossed No Man’s Land like a boss, but she didn’t bring any other women with her. She served as a role model to the girls and women in the audience but not the ones in the story. She was the odd woman out. The special one. One IN a million who deserves recognition and respect because she’s actually better and stronger than the men not one OF a million who deserve respect because they just freaking do.

What I saw in Wonder Woman was a woman taking the traditionally male role in the Hero’s Journey. She showed that she can do what a man can do. Um, yes, hello, some of us were already aware of that. What I wanted to see in that movie was a story of woman’s strength.

That’s what I got in Black Panther.

Okoye, Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda, the Doras. Not one special woman but a country full of them. Not one woman rising above to disprove the stereotypes but an entire culture!

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This is the crowd Wonder Woman should be chilling with. That is the peer group she deserves. Batman? Pfft. Superman? No. Give me a movie where all the female superhero characters band together and fix the damn world and I will give you ALL MY MONEY AND ALLEGIANCE.

I’m serious. I’ll buy the extended version with digital download and I won’t even use a coupon.

A Tale of Two Spiders

There is no more vivid memory in my mind than that of a nasty brown spider descending from the ceiling of my childhood bedroom. In the same way the young couple in a coming-of-age movie accidentally turns their heads toward each other at the same time, conveniently placing them lip to almost lip, I greeted that spider with an intimacy only now reserved for the closest of family members. That one experience cemented a life-long fear that no amount of therapy, cognitive or Fear Factor-style, could ever assuage. I am irrationally, screamtastically afraid of spiders.

My son, on the other hand, watched a spider descend from the ceiling of our living room just the other day, awed and transfixed at what he called the “butterfly spider.” What he witnessed was a magical creature, beautifully lit from behind by the ceiling light it was affixed to, floating down towards him and filling his world with wonder. He already loves Halloween and kid-friendly versions of spooky things, spiders included. The real thing was all the more delightful.

Our childhoods are very different, he and I. I’m almost as jealous as I am proud.

That difference in presentation of reality is what’s on my mind today, post-Riverdale. I’m still working out my obsession issues, although writing 50,000+ words about it certainly did help. I’m not nearly so upset by the breakups as I am by the act, the song, the presentation of a reality I’m familiar with and the debate I read on Twitter about the responsibility in that representation.

If there is a more existential song than Mad World, then I don’t know it and I’d prefer to keep it that way. That shit does something to you, man. Between the haunting music and the depressing lyrics… and then to show Betty’s very public exploration of her sexuality, not for her own gratification but to, well, solve a problem. It’s all a little too… real.

I’ve written about my experience with how culture shapes sexuality, specifically that of a young girl or teenager. Because, even now, even with #MeToo and #rapeculture, things haven’t really changed THAT much from when I was young. Maybe we’re ready to speak out about it now, but the experiences, for the most part, haven’t changed.

Women’s sexuality was and is defined in relation to men and I don’t mean just heterosexual women and I don’t mean just biological women. I mean we’re still part of a culture where sex is a commodity used to control others.

The purpose of Betty’s dance was to control Jughead by gaining entrance to his environment. The purpose of the serpent dance as entrance is to control the women belonging to the gang.

Was the scene exploitative? Yes. Does the show need to take responsibility for that? Yeah, probably. But was it a pretty good representation of the half the world’s experience with sexual discovery? I think so, actually, yeah.

“Children waiting for the day they feel good”

Part of that scene did feel good because DAMN BETTY. We finally got to see the buttoned up girl shed some of her layers and come into her own in a brand new way. But it also felt a little… ishy, a little uncomfortable, a little wrong because she did it for those reasons in that place in front of those people.

It is about choice–because feminism is about having and owning our choices–and that dance was Betty’s choice, but it’s also about determinism because how much of it really is our choice if we’re stuck in this culture that only reveals to us a limited set of possibilities?

“When people run in circles, it’s a very very mad world.”

I was as blown away by the power of the scene as I was horrified by what it meant for a whole new generation of women. I was as delighted at seeing Betty in a whole new way as I was sad and hopeless that things would ever change enough to get better. It was a terrifying butterfly of triggering magical spiders descending from both the darkest and lightest ceilings of our culture, both promising and threatening.

As I wrote in my journal this morning, ” I’m… shook, as the kids say. Because that song is so haunting, especially for people suffering from depression because, well, hell, it IS a mad world and nothing makes sense and maybe everything is horrible and pointless and then we all die and that’s the best part. … So that’s where I’m at, post-show. Haunted by the ghosts of Donnie Darko and Betty’s butt cheeks.”

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How ’bout We Just Get LOUDER

Why do people still think that women disappearing from public spaces will make anyone give a crap about anything? Why don’t they realize that shutting the hell up and disappearing is EXACTLY what the haters want?

So no, I will not be boycotting Twitter today to support people speaking out against rape culture and systemic sexual abuse.

You do not SUPPORT people who are speaking out by being quiet.

How is this not obvious?

Woman Shouting with Bullhorn --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Rank Me

Movin’ on down!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,370 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

 

Although I feel like maybe the folks finding my self-care with ghosts novel through the Horror > Occult category are going to be really disappointed. Hopefully, they’re not the type to leave reviews.

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Lay Her Ghosts to Rest by Eda J. Vor

Reviewer name: BooFoYou

1 out of 5 stars

The scariest part of this book was the feminism. Female ghosts who speak their minds, who call out their abusers, and who have more power than men? TERRIFYING! It’s like a challenge to the entire cultural order. I don’t like it. I’m telling Reddit*.

*I know nothing of Reddit except that people complain about stuff on there a lot.

What’s Your Workplace Inequality Rant?

I’m a short lady who doesn’t necessarily look her age (from afar, at least) and while I have very healthy self-esteem and can command a room with just the power of my saucy attitude, I still deal with a whole lotta dismissive, condescending, underestimating bullcrap. Especially in the workplace. Especially from old men who call me sweetheart or honey and treat me like a precious little princess.

And we’re not talking Elena of Avalor or Merida of the Arrow in your behind if you sass her. I mean more like those people who dress toddlers up like pageant queens. Might as well just pat my head and wax my arm hair, because Momma needs to live out her beauty queen fantasies through you, my little princess.

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Pointed… at… your butt.

It’s infuriating. And even as I get older and start to look older, graying hair and wrinkly eyes and Anne Tayloresque ensembles and, you know, seniority and all, I still get treated this way because it has nothing to do with me or who I am or how I’m qualified or what my title or place in the hierarchy may be.

Little girls get lollipops, not respect.

I have no solution at present, other than possibly to borrow Merida’s bow, but I want to feel that I’m not alone so I like to put my stories out there and provide a forum for thought or discussion, much like the main character in my new book, Lay Her Ghosts to Rest, eventually does in her own workplace*.

I’ve added a discussion question on GoodReads for this purpose. What’s your workplace bullcrap behavior story and would you care to share it in my forum?

You can find it here. 

 

*Excerpt from Lay Her Ghosts to Rest

“Catori, that’s all so wonderful and truly a remarkable breakthrough but I have to tell you–this is what I’ve been waiting to tell you–that there absolutely is a better way and you’ve already found it. You’ve already implemented it. You have already made significant, compassionate, beneficial changes to this Institution and you did it just by being your own, admittedly flawed, self.”

Catori furrowed her brow. She wasn’t in the mood to celebrate whatever had made Dr. Sunkireddy so happy to see her. She wanted to wallow in the gravity of reality for a while. She wanted it to be clear in her own mind what she was saying and thinking and feeling and connect them all in a significant way.

But she didn’t want to be rude either. “How so?” she asked with little enthusiasm.

“You’ve started what could accurately be called a grassroots revolution among the employees here. They’ve been coming to me and the other counselors in droves over the past week, talking about you and the discussion groups you’ve been having in the Lounge after hours. They’re excited and relieved and hopeful and every single one of them credits you.”

“Oh.”

All the Adventures Belong to Men

I’m looking through free stock images on this helpful resource (https://unsplash.com/) for purposes that have to do with my NEW BOOK and finding that most of the women are relaxing and throwing their hair back or taking pictures on their cell phones or wearing hip, youthful clothing whereas the men are doing… like, all sorts of things:

White river rafting, mountain climbing, checking their watches, being beautiful, being old, soldering, making music, making movies, bathing in mountain streams, jogging, biking, getting some ice cream, driving old cars, jumping in puddles, playing with kids, working in an office, and exploring the abyss.

Oh and there’s another woman relaxing and throwing her hair back while wearing a hip and youthful hat and taking pictures on her cell phone.

Totally representative of real life. Totally.

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Good hair must be an amazing adventure.

The Fate of the Furious Mom Protagonist

Yes, I am still on a writing break because yes I am still pregnant, caring for a toddler all day and packing everything in my house for an impending move.

HOWEVER…

I need to talk about this:

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Don’t worry, they don’t fight it out for Dom. The writers solve the problem for them.

My husband and I saw Fate of the Furious this weekend while my in-laws watched my son. It was the first date we’ve had that didn’t involve grocery shopping AND there was dinner involved. Magical stuff.

We also both love the Fast and Furious franchise, he for the cars and the action, me for the kickass women and the action and I guess the cars too… a little. They are nice cars.

SPOILERS WITHIN. BE FOREWARNED. YOU KNOW, BECAUSE FAST AND FURIOUS IS KNOWN FOR IT’S MIND-BLOWING, M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN TWISTS AND TOTAL LACK OF OBVIOUS FORESHADOWING. ANYWAY… SPOILERS.

So Dom has a kid, huh? Never would have guessed (from that scene in the bedroom where they talk about kids)! But it’s with another woman?! Who has been kidnapped?! But, but… he just got Letty back and SHE wanted a kid and how are they going to Three’s Company meets The Brady Bunch their way out of this?!?!

Well, kids, Dom is all about family, right? More specifically, he’s all about found family. It helps when his BFF/homoerotic man friend marries his sister but even the people with no relation to him–blood, law, or otherwise–are part of his family. So it’s possible, right? Elena and the kid, Letty and Dom, all the other car-loving freaks, all One Big Happy Adventure-Having Family? I mean, if they can accept Statham after all the crap he’s pulled, then certainly, CERTAINLY they can find a place for both Letty AND Elena, right?

No. False. And not because Letty can’t handle it. She doesn’t even get the chance. Because the writers decided on the easiest possible route to the happiest possible ending: Kill the Bio Mom. Save the nuclear family. Who needs bio moms anyway?

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*Not an exaggeration.

And do they mourn Elena when they reunite at their NYC rooftop cookout that everyone else attends? Nope. Gone and forgotten. Movin’ on without even a nod to the woman who gestated, birthed and cared for this child while Dom was off driving cars through skyscrapers in Dubai* or whatever.

Did I mention I’m pregnant? And that cartoons make me cry? So I lost my shiz a little when they killed Elena. I mean, obviously, I would have gotten up and stormed out if they had killed the child because NO! NO! YOU DON’T DO THAT! But as the mom in the audience identifying with the mom on the screen, yeah, I had a hard time with Elena’s death.

LITTLE DID I KNOW that that would not be the worst part of my evening.

When we got to my in-law’s house to pick up our toddler, I found out that my mother-in-law had taken it upon herself to start potty training my child. Naturally, I lost my damn mind and let loose a fiery tirade at my husband about overstepping boundaries and children learning things in their own time instead of competing with other children in the family for grandparent bragging rights and laziness in parenting and childhood trauma, etc., etc. And while I don’t feel like anything I said wasn’t true and I have little intention of ever apologizing, it did take me a good ole cry and reflect the next day to figure out why I had reacting So Very Strongly.

Because that kind of action kills the biomom. It assumes that a child can be taught anything by anyone and as long as said child has a mom surrogate–a grandmother or stepmother or badass stunt car driving mentor–the mom isn’t necessary.

And this isn’t to say that a child can’t learn and thrive with a surrogate! That doesn’t even mean it needs to be a woman!! I have several gentleman friends who have adopted or fostered children with their husbands and those children are indeed doing very well. I know children who were adopted by grandparents or aunts and uncles because their bioparents either weren’t fit to raise them or were no longer living. A child with loving caretakers is a child with the potential to thrive. That’s not what this is about.

This is about negating a present, loving, capable mother for the sake of someone else’s story line.

In Fate of the Furious, it was about killing off Elena so Dom could have his uncomplicated happy ending. In my life, it was about my mother-in-law being the big damn hero by potty training my reluctant son so her sister-in-law would stop bragging so damn much about her own grandchildren (here’s another spoiler: my aunt-in-law will never stop bragging about her own grandchildren and my son will never be as wonderful and amazing and brilliant as her grandkids, not ever, no way and the fact that my mother-in-law still falls for this Grandparent Games baiting nonsense has everything to do with HER sense of self and insecurities and nothing whatsoever to do with my parenting skills or my child’s well-being).

You know who else pulls this crap? Disney. Disney kills off biomoms like it was no big thing. Star Wars. Children’s cartoons. Those freaking annoying teen shows where all of the adults are stupid and inept? They kill off moms for convenience too and replace them with stepmoms and surrogates that may be somewhat capable but probably not. They may be kind and caring, but probably not. And sometimes, maybe, the loss of the biomom is some sort of catalyst for the main character’s plot, but often it’s just a convenient device.

Either way, the biomom dies to serve someone else’s story.

Well, let me tell YOU something! I HAVE MY OWN DAMN STORY! And I refuse to be killed off literally or figuratively for the convenience of anyone else.

I … am not Elena. I am not cowering in a corner with a gun to my head saying, “PLEASE, JUST SAVE OUR SON!” before dying tragically while Charlize Theron accidentally strangles my child with her ill-conceived white lady dreadlocks.

Oh no. I am Jason Freaking Statham kicking some malcontent in the throat before shooting his associate in the balls while shielding my adorable little love nugget as he listens to the Chipmunks on comically large headphones. THAT is the kind of mother I am, bitches. And I will be potty training my own child when he is GODDAMN GOOD AND READY.

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When I’m not pregnant, I can kick higher than that. For now, it’s strictly ball crunchers and knee disjointers and you better HOPE you ain’t tryin’ to hurt MY babies.

I made a joke recently to a lady friend that I would start writing children’s books as soon as my kids were old enough to give coherent feedback. Now I’m starting to think the best children’s book I could write would be “Mommy has a life, too, you had better RESPECT that.”

Look for it on Amazon.