Spider Eyes

I just refused to accept a friend request on Facebook because the girl had spider eyes.

Like…

MAJOR spider eyes.

Do you know how bothered I am by spider eyes?

I mean… what… what business does that TARANTULA have crawling all over your eyes?!

YOUR EYES, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

GET THE SPIDER OFF OF YOUR EYES!

HOW DO YOU SEE THROUGH THE FURRY SPIDER LEGS?!

I mean, when I see this:

coming at me THROUGH YOUR GLASSES, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be your friend.

Because I’m pretty sure those spiders want to gnaw my face off.

OM-NOM-NOM.

And then I have no face, and children are crying, and the police are called, and its this whole thing and… I just don’t want to put you through that.

But if you were to remove the spiders FROM your eyes… Then we could sit down and discuss things.

And that way, you’ll be able to see better, I won’t have to worry about my face getting gnawed on… Everybody wins!

But really… can I just… you know… ask… WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!

I mean, I’m as big a fan of mascara as the next girl but… you realize those GREAT BIG BALLS of BLACK GOOP shouldn’t be there, right?

And, long luscious lashes are one thing but… you know… hair… by its very essence… should not have the thickness of a two by four.

I mean… I’m not an expert but… you know… common sense and all.

And when your glasses are 5 inches thick and still the only thing I can see are those furry spider legs and not your EYES… I’m just thinking… the mascara probably isn’t doing its job. Its doing the opposite of its job. Because its job is not to put big ass spiders on your eyeballs.

Again… not an expert… but one would assume… that is NOT the purpose of mascara.

I mean… how have your family members never said anything? And why do all your Facebook friends comment on how pretty you are? I mean… YOU ARE. You’re gorgeous. It’s just that…

SPIDERS.

ON YOUR EYES.

Seriously, girl?

Just…

No.

 

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Say something. Say… Anything.

Yesterday, I had a meeting with “the father”.  (What? I didn’t tell you about “the father”? Yeah, well… you’ll catch up.)

And as I am wont to do, rather than be my sophisticated, witty, interesting self, I ended up acting like Gomer Pyle. Because that’s how I roll.

You know Gomer Pyle, right? The simple-minded mechanic from “The Andy Griffith Show”?

Oh, you don’t? Well, this is Gomer:

Anyway, here’s a brief overview of how it all went down:

So, I had a meeting with the guy, right? We were discussing things, right? (No, it doesn’t matter what we were discussing, all that matters is that a discussion was taking place.  Stay with me.) Okay, so while we’re discussing these “things”, the guy is trying unsuccessfully to sit still. He absolutely cannot sit still. He’s like one of my 2nd graders. It’s ridiculous. Whenever we’re having a discussion he’s constantly rummaging through his books, looking things up on his phone and computer, shifting positions incessantly so he can get better blood flow to the brain…

Not entirely unlike this…

Anyway, he doesn’t do it to be rude. He’s listening the entire time, and continuing the conversation, and giving feedback. It’s just that when we’re discussing things, his brain is always going, and when his brain is going, he has to find supporting evidence for his assertions and opinions. And so he’s always looking things up. Because he’s brilliant and smart and a nerdy, researcher-thinker dude and I kind of find him weirdly… cute.

*Ahem*

ANYWAY, at one point he was looking something up on his computer… you know, to offer up supporting evidence for his assertion. This happens a lot so usually I just wait for him to find whatever he’s looking for, and read whatever he wants to share. So, he’s looking up this information, and I’m sitting there waiting…

patiently…

quietly…

And instead of sitting there staring at him (Which I would never do… because that would be ridiculously awkward…)

Ahem.

I was looking out his office window. You see, he has these large windows in his office, and he had them wide open. And it was that kind of windy, blustery, perfectly stormy, summery day, and I was just enjoying the view.

Not entirely unlike this…

I don’t know how long I was sitting there staring out the window, but I finally turn back to his desk and he’s just sitting there…

Looking at me…

Like he was waiting for me ask my next question…

And I’m like, “Oh! I’m sorry, I thought you were still looking something up…”

Not entirely unlike this…

I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG I WAS SITTING THERE STARING OUT THE WINDOW LIKE A GOMER.

It could have been 30 seconds… It could have been a minute and 30 seconds… DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG THAT IS IN REAL LIFE?!

That’s a freakin’ long-ass time!

He must have been like, “Dude. Are you just going to hang out in my office or…?”

It’s not that simple! I didn’t know we were sitting here in awkward silence!

UGH… I am so ridiculously awkward. But why didn’t he say something?! He could have been like, “So, what else is on your mind?” Or… SOMETHING! But no. He sat there in awkward silence, looking at me, waiting for me to collect my thoughts and SAY SOMETHING.

Say… ANYTHING.

It was horrifying.

Okay, not as horrifying as I made it out to be, but still pretty horrifying nonetheless. I mean… How long was I just sitting there? How long was he waiting for me? WHY DIDN’T HE SAY ANYTHING?

I’m so freakishly awkward. I’m such a Gomer.

Nowhere to sit

Remember that time in junior high when you were looking for a place to sit in the lunch room, and the people you normally sat with were all away at band camp or on a field trip or home sick or you just didn’t have any friends and you genuinely couldn’t find any place to sit because you just didn’t belong?

That actually happened to me at my Mom’s funeral.

I had just gotten my cake and coffee… (Which is truly weird that the local grocery store provided complimentary “refreshments” in the form of cake at a funeral. What is that? Cakes are usually congratulatory things. What is the take away from a cake at a funeral?

Congratulations on your achievement!

Way to go!

Best wishes!

You did it!

Weird, right?)

ANYWAY, I digress. I had just gotten my cake and coffee and I looked out over the church social hall and…

I had nowhere to sit.

I couldn’t sit with those people. They had their group.

I couldn’t sit with these people. They had a group too.

Those people… sure… but… that would just be uncomfortable.

In a sea of family members, friends and acquaintances, I genuinely had nowhere to sit.

Typically, I would have sat with my husband or my mom.

And one had taken off with a married mother of three and the other was lying in a casket upstairs so…

What now?

I remember I froze. And I almost dropped my cake and my coffee and took off running.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I awkwardly wandered over to where my eldest sister and her family were sitting. I awkwardly sat down. And I awkwardly said, “Can I sit with you guys? I don’t actually have any family here to sit with.”

And my sister grabbed my hand and said, “We’re your family and we will always be there for you.”

And as I tried to choke back the tears I remember thinking… “Sure. Until I you head back to California and I only see you once every three years.” But instead, I just said, “Thanks.”

But that cynical thought? Not so cynical anymore.

Since that funeral, I’ve seen my siblings maybe once if I’ve been lucky. Two live on opposite ends of the country. One wants to move to South America. And numbers five and six are so busy with their own families they hardly have time to feed their own children, let alone set up time to see their youngest sister.

It’s a miserable existence.

I saw no one for Easter.

I saw no one for my birthday.

Thanksgiving was a forced issue that turned into an awkward obligatory occasion that only happened because Mom had passed a mere matter of weeks prior.

A couple of people gave some half-hearted invitations for Christmas… except for the one good sister who I actually went to visit.

And now, another holiday rears its ugly head and I’m forced to answer questions from well-meaning friends and coworkers who ask, “What are you doing for the Fourth? Is your family getting together?”

And instead of being honest and telling them, “No. We don’t see each other anymore.” I just nod and smile and say, “Yep!” Because admitting the truth is just too pathetic.

How did I become the person with nowhere to sit? No one to visit? No one who cares?

I don’t mean to have a pity party, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I was thrilled when a coworker noticed a creepy stalker guy sniffing around and had a few words with him on my behalf. Seriously? I’m that overjoyed about someone caring enough about me to tell a guy to buggar off?

I need my family back. And if they’re not interested, I need a make-shift family. I need some people who actually care. I need more than my cat.

Because I genuinely have nowhere to sit.

 

 

 

Since you’ve been gone…

Since you’ve been gone…

Or rather, since I’ve been gone…

Let me get caught up with the following series of interpretive images…

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Trump? Really? Not even this is as bad as that:

8

Which pretty much leaves us with this:

clinton-funny-election-memes-2016-presidential-election

In the apolitical arena, this has been my life:

09f4b3ed6ebafe623899db8478bcd976 190e4558d61768ead801acf90576c41a 19033884582d3d45073ff7383aa94fea b98f37f89e3f35c4fbb47b3abef40249 dd85c78f4b434b9f79b91d1fd1793c91

Not to mention getting used to and indoctrinated into this:

4ec95753b7fff51c3fa49ee507e54153 mass-day via-thecatholicrealist.com-2

Which I have loved and been completely into… I find the whole thing fascinating… and occasionally… odd. But like… “good” odd. You know?

And then there was the time I almost passed out at Mass, froze to death in Urgent Care, fell in love with a priest, had a kiddo desecrate the host and fell all over myself trying to crown Mary. But those are other stories for another time.

What’s new with you?

Is this what my life has come to?

Yesterday I took a picture of things I bought at the store.

Then I took a picture of the food I was making for dinner.

Then I took a picture of Winston because he had taken my spot on the couch.

I then proceeded to send said pictures to my siblings.

Because clearly they would be interested???

Is this what my life has come to?

Taking pictures of my boring life for no reason what-so-ever?

I’m just surprised I didn’t post them to Facebook or Instagram.

Now THAT would have been pathetic.

*sigh*

Catholicism is hard, you guys.

So, being a protestant and working in a Catholic School can be a challenge. There are still a lot of things I don’t understand. Like the holy water, the genuflecting, the bowing, the transubstantiation… the list could go on. The thing is, I totally love, respect and admire all these things (Like, genuinely. I think going to Sunday mass is the coolest thing ever. It’s pretty much the highlight of my weekends. It’s the most reverent and respectful way of worshiping God and I love it.) but I’m confused by all the “How Tos”.

For instance, the tabernacle is in front of the church, so we genuflect before taking our seats. However, we also genuflect in the side aisles when the tabernacle is not in front of us… so what are we genuflecting at? The tabernacle? Because if that’s the case, why not just go up the center aisle and do it the right way?

And before stepping onto the altar, one bows. And any time one passes in front of the altar, one bows. And honestly, when one is setting up for mass, there’s a whole lot of bowing going on. But before the priests step foot on the altar they genuflect… so… why? Because of the tabernacle? I guess that would make sense. I guess I just answered my own question so… nevermind.

And the holy water font. I never use it. My kiddos do, but I’m kind of like… “But I’m a protestant. Does it still work on protestants?” I kid, I kid. But I’m so not familiar with that ritual, that I feel weird doing it. But if I don’t use it, am I not setting a good example for my kiddos? And if I do use it, and people know I’m not a Catholic, will they be all…

Man, they just let anyone use the holy water these days…

Who knows. I don’t know. Nobody knows.

And the shame… oh the SHAAAAAAAME of not being able to receive communion. I swear everyone is watching. And everyone is judging. And everyone is wondering, “What the heck kind of sin do you have to commit to be prevented from taking communion?! And why the heck are you teaching our children?!” And I’m pretty sure everyone is all…

They just let anyone into mass now…

And I’m all…

I mean, it’s basically like trying to fit in in a foreign country. I try to pretend like I know what I’m doing, but I’m pretty sure everyone is onto me.

So, you can imagine my chagrin and horror when one of my kiddos – one of my precious gifts from God – decided to do the unthinkable in mass. While she was receiving the Eucharist. Not anyone else’s kiddo. THE PROTESTANT TEACHER’S KIDDO.

She stuck out her tongue.

With the wafer on it.

Not once.

Not twice.

But THREE TIMES.

Of course, I didn’t see it, because she was behind me, but a few old ladies came hobbling up that center aisle really quick after mass to let me know of the unpardonable sin my child had committed.

So, when they told me, the part of me who is trying to learn and embrace the Catholic ways was all…

Um… WHAT.

But the Protestant part of me who still rules much of my rational mind was all…

She’s eight…

And then when they said to me, “Can you IMAGINE if it had fallen on the FLOOR?!?!” again, my protestant brain was all…

“Um… I don’t know… God’s grace would still have abounded to the silly shenanigans of an 8 year old hoodlum? OR… she would have been smote. One or the other.”

I’m not trying to downplay what she did. It was inexcusable. She KNOWS that when we receive communion we are receiving Jesus’ actual body into our own. You don’t play around with that stuff. And yet… I don’t know… could we just… you know… chill out?

So, here, both sides of my brain are duking it out and I’m not sure what to think but I know I need to put the fear of God into little Miss Sassy Pants and read her the riot act, but I no sooner get done bringing her to tears when the 3 little old ladies hobble up to BOTH priests to… I don’t know… tell on an eight year old?!

And I’m thinking, “Aw, crap. There goes the best job I’ve ever had.” And then the rest of the day I’m looking over my shoulder, fairly certain that one of the Fathers is going to jump out when I least expect it and give me the talking to of MY life. But… no.

So, when I get home, I send an e-mail apologizing profusely for the sacrilege and profanity brought about by this eight year old darling and literally… the response I get… is this:

So, I’m all…

And then they’re all, “Well, it’s a big deal, but it’s not a big deal so… we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

Which, I’m pretty sure is priest-speak for blowing someone off.

So, even though I’m relieved, I’m also so confused.

Catholicism is hard, you guys.

 

 

Dear Teacher: You don’t suck

Yesterday, I went through new teacher training for the new job.

Teacher training is teacher training is teacher training. It’s pretty much all the same thing. It usually consists of a lot of “getting to know you” activities, strange games, and collaborative list-making to show what you already know about a certain topic.

It’s basically like being back in elementary school.

But that’s usually just the first day. See, they make you feel all safe and secure the first day, then *BAM*, they lay it on thick the second and third days until you walk out of that conference room feeling so worthless and dejected that you’re fairly certain you should never be allowed to set foot in a school ever again.

It. Is. THE WORST.

It’s like being asked to come in for a routine check-up on your thumb, and being sprung with an enema, a pelvic exam and a mammogram instead.

Because the second day of teacher training consists of a whole lot of:

According to recent test results, you all suck as teachers. You’re all racist homophobes who are only here for the free summers. And if you dare to disagree, you’re going to have to prove you don’t suck. Because we all know you do.”

And then they proceed to tell you that you are the reason for all of the following:

  • Teen suicide, teen pregnancy, and teen drug use being on the rise
  • Minority kids being being killed in gang wars
  • The American economy being in the toilet
  • American students no longer being able to compete with other nations
  • The Kardashians being so popular.

You, as a teacher, suck. Therefore, all of society’s ills are your fault. Why? Because you had a subconscious bigoted agenda where you told the black kids they couldn’t read, the girls they couldn’t do math or science, and the boys that doing well in school made them look like sissies.

I KNOW! I was NOT aware of my subconscious agenda either! So, I was forever thankful the powers that be brought it to my attention so that I could be a more effective teacher!

So, along I went, skipping merrily into my classroom, determined to brighten the lives of every child I met.

Only, I was so dang depressed and ashamed of myself, skipping was out of the question, and it was all I could do to drag myself to the car before I started bawling my eyes out and questioning my existence.

Am I right, teachers? All the non-teachers think I’m totally exaggerating and I’m totally not, am I? That’s how bad it gets. Occasionally, you end up with teachers leaving the sessions crying. And everyone is so stressed out by the end of the day, it’s a miracle that no one goes postal.

SO, imagine my surprise that at my first teacher training session at a private school… there was NONE OF THAT.

Get this. These radicals actually believe the people they hired are GREAT TEACHERS. They ALSO believe that they’re there for the students. AND that they’re passionate about their jobs… and WANT to improve things for their students, school and community.

I WILL NOT. They actually BELIEVE that!

It was the first time I had left teacher training feeling halfway decent about myself.

So, to all the private school people who put together these training sessions and workshops…. thank you. Thank you for believing we’re there for the right reasons. Thank you for believing we have the skills to do our jobs. Thank you for encouraging and supporting us rather than blaming and degrading us. Your public school colleagues could learn a thing or two from you.

And to all the teachers out there kicking off a new year, I leave you with this: You do not suck. Don’t believe the hype.