Coming home for the Holidays…

Why does everyone always talk about hating coming home for the holidays? I’ve struggled with this question for years and never really discovered my personal reasons for it until now. Before I go into a complete family history let me clarify what I mean by home. I definitely don’t mean my parents’ house, because that is something I absolutely adore.  Sleeping in my old bed, playing with my dog, having my mom cook all my favorite foods. Home for me means Alachua, Florida. It means coming down to spend time with all my extended family, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins baby mommas and all. That is something I dread.

Do I get the typical “why are you still single questions?” of course I do – and as someone who was recently fucked over by the fuckboi supreme of all fuckboys trust me I’m constantly dodging certain family members just so I can avoid all man discussions. For me it’s not what’s said but what’s unsaid that bothers me. My family is one of those “we were raised going to church 4 out of the 7 days of the week families, and not just normal church but that deep south type of church families” and two generations later it still shows. Sex before marriage, drinking, dancing, cursing, drug use of any kind, gay marriage, abortions you name it it’s off topic. But the one thing my family likes to do that particularly bothers me is the a la carte approach they like to take on when it comes to these religious beliefs and values.

Let me explain – As someone who is a single lady of the New York streets, I enjoy a good time and I can with 100% certainty say that my family would not approve of over 90% of the things that I do in my free time – drinking, men, my dress, my language, it would all be frowned upon and is not to be discussed or bought up around these family members. However deplorable they might think my behavior might be it has nothing on what some of my cousins do. Multiple children out of wedlock, absentee fathers and mothers, abuse, neglect (I can go on) these are things that are not only running rampant in my family but dare I say accepted?

 

Drinking around my family? – a huge no

Bringing around your 3 kids and multiple baby mommas? – yes of course!

Wearing a skirt above my knees – I would never hear the end of my grandmothers ranting

Two children living with her that have basically been abandoned by their mother – Not a single eyelash is batted.

 

The fact that I can be openly shamed for drinking and cursing around my family while there is a myriad of abuse and neglect victims sitting around the table that we won’t dare speak about is absurd to me because on holds no flame to the other. Me having a glass of wine with my Thanksgiving dinner vs. my cousin sitting next to me who doesn’t acknowledge or take care of his 3 kids out of wedlock are not even comparable.

The fact that we hold one so highly above the other is something that drives me crazy. Granted not everyone wants to discuss their abuse in front of their family members and is a personal choice, but don’t you dare shake your finger at me when I decide to throw back a few shots of whiskey before dinner because it hurts my hurt to sit around the dinner table looking at my family which contains 3 generations of sexual abuse victims that we have never to this day have spoken about. It physically angers me that we treat our men and our women so different, watching all the men sit around as their wives fix their plates, or the way my uncles grill the girls in my family about their love life while their sons are chasing after their multiple children whose mothers are nowhere to be found. Don’t you dare ask me about what I can and can’t cook while you’re sitting there with your grandson who hasn’t seen his mom in years because she’s hopped up on drugs. How about instead of focusing on my is or isn’t in my cup you focus on the real issues at hand. For some prayer is the answer, for other it’s alcohol and for me it just happens to be both.

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Review: Surgery

These are my thoughts on surgery – don’t have it.

I had my first surgical procedure about 3.5 weeks ago and I am still at home recovering, and by recovering I mean struggling. Here’s a few things they don’t tell you before you go under the knife

 

1. Anesthesia fucks with you

Did you enjoy sleeping through the night? Feeling rested in the morning? Rolling out of bed at 10:30 or 11 to start your day? That’s nice, because I did too until I was put under for 3 hours. Granted the first few days I was completely out of it but one thing I do remember is the creeping insomnia. I feel so blessed that I am able to experience literally every hour of the 24 hour day. It’s a real hoot. For example did you know that 4 am darkness is darker than 3am darkness and that at 6am it’s the darkest of all right before the sun begins to rise at 6:30 am!

2. Get ready to rumble!

Did you once eat whatever you wanted with no consequence? could you sleep in any position you wanted? tossing and turning the night away? You can kiss that goodbye. Who knew the human body was so active. You want to sleep on your side? nope. Feeling like a second helping of ice cream? try again. Pizza for breakfast like old times? prepare for the worst heartburn of your life!! Oh and remember when you could eat whatever you wanted because your body ran like a well oiled machine? I’m sure you do, I’m sure you also remember the week and a half you spent in the hospital eating nothing but ice chips, well lets just say your body is going to hang on to every single calorie you put in your mouth as payback. You’re going to feel like you swallowed 5 lbs of cement and you are not going to like it.

3. Legs? What legs?

I miss walking to the kitchen to fix a snack, I miss skipping down the sidewalk, and running to a sale in the mall. Unfortunately my legs don’t to work like that anymore. They will deteriorate, become little, twigs, you’ll lose all your muscle tone and you won’t be able to wear pants…

4. Redbull gives you wiiiings!

Remember when you get sit down on the sofa for a nice TV marathon, get up, fix yourself a snack, get in your car and drive to meet friends for drinks? Yea, that was fun. Do you know how it feels to be out of breath after brushing your teeth? To need a nap after showering? It’s not fun and it makes me feel old.

 

Review: Watching TV

So I’ll be moving in a few weeks and I’m trying to explain to my parents the importance of having a TV in my room.

Watching TV for me is like therapy. For two hours a day, six when I was unemployed, I was transported to another land. A land of Kardashians, Mob Wives and Duck Dynasty. I forgot my troubles of being a 22 year old unemployed college graduate who was in $30,000 worth of debt and no way to pay it back (thanks so mom and dad it’s now down to $27,000, yay!). When you’re watching TV time stands still and it moves forward, your mind is still but it’s also running at 1,000 miles an hour. There’s nothing like snuggling up in bed, fixing yourself a delicious snack, settling into a neck pillow and having a four hour Law and Order: SVU marathon for an entire afternoon.

Review: Sleep

“I really value my sleep”.

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A motto I live my life by. In high school I would hit the hay at the tender hour of 9:30 p.m. in order to get my necessary nine hours. Four years later my life has come full circle and my bedtime has once again been moved to 9 p.m. After seeing what 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and sometimes 2 a.m. had to offer (during my unemployed days), I really do prefer to go down with the sun. For some of us, who live at home, it might be a shock to see that although your parents like to get in bed before the sun sets, they also like to get up before it rises. Really, what is going on at 5 a.m. that involves pots and pans that cannot be done at 7a.m? Is it really necessary to yell at the dog at 4:30 a.m? perhaps you could write him a nice quiet letter instead, and who knew my father had taken up marching? an activity that begins at 6 a.m.

 

Review: Living at home

When you’re in high school, living at home is “nbd” (that’s no big deal for those of you over age 50). It’s normal, it’s expected, and everybody does it. But once you move out and go to college, your eyes are opened to a whole new world. Everything is at your fingertips, your dorm room, your friends, the cafeteria, restaurants, bars, everything. It’s beautiful, liberating and sometimes (always) hazardous to your health. Sadly, like all good things it comes to an end and if you’re lucky ie. you graduated before 2007 you had a job and an apartment right out of college. Unfortunately for me, I graduated in 2012 and I neither had a job nor an apartment, just two parents and a dog. For those of you contemplating moving back home, here’s a word of advice, don’t. Every pro you can think of has an even bigger con. You don’t pay rent? That’s all find and dandy but it means you literally own nothing. You can’t come and go as you please, you can’t change the furniture, throw a party, or paint the walls. You can’t buy those cute pink appliances from Bloomingdales or altuzarra cups for your cocktails. That beautiful headboard you saw in Restoration Hardware? Forget it. Every single piece from the Zara home collection? No way. It doesn’t go with the your baby blue walls that were painted when you were in 7th grade. And forget trying to have an at-home happy hour: trust me, parents do not respond well when you start drinking at 5:15 on a Wednesday afternoon. They just don’t get it.  You don’t have to go grocery shopping? Fantastic, bye bye ramen hello baked chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. But wait! It seems as if while you’ve been gone your parents have adjusted to being empty nesters and forgotten how to work the stove. So it’s back to ramen for me.