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  1. for shame, give a guy a break

    October 7, 2013 by kim

    Let’s start with a disclaimer, shall we? Let’s shall!

    I am about to grotesquely generalize. Specifically I will be generalizing men, but I’ll probably lump a few of us xx-chromosomes in there for good measure. If you are an exception to my blatant laziness and refusal to do any form of fact-based reporting to support my opinions, you are actually welcome to leave a message. I’d like it to be kind, that makes it easier to learn from, but please note I am aware and saying right up front that when I say, “guys,” I mean, “The guys to whom this applies.” If it does not apply to you, well then good on ya. Also, let me go on record as stating my intention is not to label or judge men. My intention is to impart a little lesson that made MY life easier when dealing with men, so hopefully it might do the same for my sisters.

    There. Hope the lawyers amongst you are satisfied.

    DID YOU KNOW GUYS HAVE ISSUES TOO????!

    This is astounding to me. I really thought we cornered the market on “issues”. I mean, come on. We have PMS, for fuck’s sake! It’s, like, practically sanctioned to be irrationally moody and hyper-emotional at least once a month. We are the sensitive sex. The emotional ones. We are the soft, squishy sponges who soak up feelings like grape juice on the counter and leak them out all over the porcelain sink of life. Dudes? If you can’t eat it or fuck it, why do they care?

    Uh… yeah. Apparently that’s an inappropriate assumption. They have feelings!!!!!

    My “thing” is abandonment. It paralyzes me. Aside from harming my child, the worst thing you can do to me is walk away during a fight. When I feel abandoned I cease being able to function in a rational manner and become a three-year old child lost in the woods, watching the sun go down and waiting for the wolves to come get me. I KNOW it doesn’t make sense. I am, by all accounts, perfectly capable of keeping myself sustained and breathing. Chances are I probably won’t die because my boyfriend won’t pick up the phone for three days. But it sure as hell feels like it.

    A lot of women have abandonment as a “thing”. It’s pretty common, actually. And, because dudes don’t seem to, we neglect to realize that there might be another thing that’s their “thing”.

    A dear friend of mine who identified as a lesbian for her whole life found herself in love with a man. (YOU ARE NOT WELCOME TO COMMENT ON THIS. Your own personal reaction to that statement is of no interest to me whatsoever. I support this individual, I love this individual, and I will not see her life used to further an agenda on either side of the fence.) They were experiencing some difficulty at one point, and we talked about it.

    “I don’t know why he’s so angry,” she said. “It’s my problem.”
    I answered, “Yeah, but he can’t fix it.”
    “So? He doesn’t have to fix it. But he told me I shouldn’t even be upset about it.”
    “Because he can’t fix it.”
    “…..?”
    “He’s mad because he can’t DO anything,” I explained.
    “Well, he could listen,” she offered.
    “Honey, he’s a man. This is what they do. If their woman has a problem, it’s their job to fix it. If they can’t, then the fucking problem should not exist any more.”
    “Wow. Lesbians just ‘process’ everything. Not much gets done, but at least somebody listens to me.”

    So, obviously, the person having the experience here is the woman. She has needs for validation and affirmation that simply listening would provide. He’s just being a neanderthal.

    Or… Or…. OR… he’s experiencing something too!

    One of my two best friends on this planet is married to a man who is wise and wonderful and works as a facilitator for men’s group therapy. I was talking, (ie “venting”) about someone once and he said, “Oh. He has shame issues.” That stopped me dead in my tracks.

    “What?”
    “Shame. It’s very common for men. It’s paralyzing for a lot of us.”

    I’ve always assumed guys who become idiots when they are mocked or make mistakes or can’t find a solution to a problem are just not trying to keep their big-boy pants on hard enough. I mean, I get shamed a dozen times a day. I have various reactions to it, but none of them constitute a radioactive meltdown. My friend’s husband continued.

    “Men react to shame the same way a lot of women react to abandonment.”

    Oh well fuck.

    I remember discussing with one of my favorite male recovering alcoholics about men’s fear of women. His hypothesis was that male aggression stemmed from fear. I couldn’t imagine what they had to fear from us, but he said, “Failure.” That’s shame right there, that is.

    The same way we, as little girls, (and often older girls), believe that if he REALLY loves us, he’d just know…. guess what? They think so too! Imagine how fucking frustrating that could be, knowing that it’s actually your JOB to have a solution but you’re a day late and you’ve misplaced the manual that was written in Mandarin anyway and oh by the way it calls for AAA batteries and you only have C. Is someone you love sad? That means one thing and one thing only: YOU ARE A GIANT FUCK UP OF A FAILURE AND NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE YOU!

    Wow. That sucks.

    So, ladies, just for today, let’s give our guys some breaks. Instead of seeing an insensitive boor or an angry behemoth, (assuming you are safe. This is talking about just fiddly day-to-day details here, not spousal abuse. That demands help. Get it.) see a little boy standing on the school yard with a stain on his pants trying not to cry as everyone points and laughs at him. Tell him he’s doing a good job. Tell him you appreciate and admire his strength and that, if there WAS a solution, you know he’d be able to find it in a heartbeat. And, for God’s sake, don’t chastise him for not being someone else if you want him to function. Especially if you love him.

    Because, see, when I try that…. the guy who needed to walk away from me always comes back.


  2. i typed this in my trailer. jus’ sayin’.

    October 3, 2013 by kim

    Okay, I’m gonna kinda talk about what I do and how I feel about it here for a little bit. I have to get it out of my system, feel free to skip this and spend your allotted Rhodeside time looking at Emergencykittens.com or something. I would if I had the choice, but this crap is gnawing at my brain. So… consider yourself warned that actor whining is about to engage. Some actor good stuff will be included. But it’s actor, which is meh. And it’s me. Meh. (Get me, I’m an ambulance! Me meh me meh me meh.)

    My heart broke a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it’s probably my ego, but it sure felt like my heart at the time. And still does. Here’s what happened…

    My manager received a phone call from an Important Studio about me. They said they were making a Big Movie and I was perfect for one of the roles and would I come do a table read for it? (For those not so in the know, a table read is where you READ the script around a TABLE. Hollywood: land of subtlety and insinuation.) I crapped myself. This was a Big Deal. I assumed it was a tiny little role, because that’s how life works. I don’t go from middle-aged-sort-of-employed-who-is-she-I-think-I saw-her-in-something-no-that-was-that-other-gal actress to BLOCKBUSTER STAR because somebody likes my reel. Nobody does, let me tell you, no matter what the stories would have you think. So I thought I’d get to read, like, Optimistic Teacher or maybe PTA Mom, which would have been, truly, fucking awesome right there. This was a Big Deal.

    However, I got the script… it was a huge role. I mean a BIG BIG FUCKING HOLY SHIT DEAL. And they were right. I was PERFECT for it. It was my style of humor, in my sweet spot of quirky cheerfulness meets deadly rage, and age-appropriate. I crapped myself again, then tried to rein it in. I tried not to attach too much to it. I tried to keep it in perspective. I tried to tell myself that nothing is guaranteed and no promises were made so that I would be prepared if nothing came of it.

    I was not prepared for what actually happened.

    They never even introduced us. I was in a room full of people, we read the script and when we had finished, an executive said, “That’s a lot tighter. I think the actors are really gonna like it now.” As I optimistically stood there hoping there was a Round Two or something, I was told I could have a piece of pizza. I left and sobbed in my car. Then I went to an audition for Best Buy, because clearly a Big Star was already cast in the role and actors of my caliber and status would just be silly to think they were there for any purpose besides not sounding like the writer’s assistants reading the dialogue for the eightieth time.

    My manager said, when I relayed the story to him, that he was told I’d be “considered” for the role and anyway it was okay because I got in a room with those Important Studio People. I said, “Why? They have no clue who I am!” To prove it, I phoned in an anonymous tip that Kim Rhodes had planted a bomb in their lobby and they said, “Oh my God!!! Who is Kim Rhodes and how did she get in?” (No, I didn’t really, because that would be criminally negligent. And, technically, saying, “Do we want some unknown or Kristin Wig?” IS considering me.) But my point was, I believe, sound and logical. It was not a Great Opportunity even if they HAD loved me, because nobody ever said my name out loud.

    My career is in the toilet. In fact, let’s type that honestly, shall we? My “career” is in the toilet. And it breaks my heart.

    I had another audition recently where the casting person did not feel I was young enough for a role, but was bullied into seeing me anyway. I was somehow, during the course of our meeting, personally held liable for the fact that the ASPCA was doing nothing about the neighborhood cats shitting on this person’s roses. Yes, I cried in my car again.

    It’s not personal. Right? Well, I’ve said before that it’s not personal TO THEM. My fucking job is to MAKE it personal. I take words on paper and make them human. So that other humans can hear and feel and identify. To do that, I have to open myself up to getting kicked in the teeth and there has been a lot of dental soccer going on recently.

    My initial response was to look at houses in Portland, because, when it comes right down to it, I’d just like to have four hours every day to write fairy tales for grown-ups. I really do. The material that I get in L.A. is so hard to get into and so hard to get hired for and, once I have been hired against all odds, it’s miserable to work on because it usually sucks. “Make it funny, Kim!” “Make it emotional, Kim!” “Make it exciting, Kim!” NO, MOTHERFUCKERS, YOU MAKE IT GOOD! (For the record, the Big Movie was really really good. I’d probably be willing to see it in theaters if it didn’t make me want to heave-cry and rend my hair over my popcorn.)

    After my initial phase of screaming, “Run awaaaaaaaay!” like I was reenacting scenes from “The Holy Grail”, I moved on to, “Fine. I’m taking my ball and going home.” I’ll just quit. A decree went down from Caesar that all the Christians were being fed to the lions. Thumbs down to everything, henceforth. Yay, sirrah!

    Then I came to Vancouver to work on “Supernatural”.

    Many people on Twitter wonder why they never see selfies of me with the guys. Why I don’t share more anecdotes or tell amusing tales about what goes on here? I would like to tell you why.

    Did you know that there are people who still believe a photograph steals a part of a human’s soul. It kinda does when you’re an actor. No, not when we are at conventions and it’s why we are there, or even if we are in the mall and I offer to take one with your kid. That’s a wonderful and easy thing that gives me joy to bring you joy.

    But when I work, I am naked. I don the clothing of my character through the trial and error of rehearsal. Sometimes I bend over and seams rip loose in risque places. Sometimes I get it on backward. It takes a lot of people to render the product finished, and when I am on set, I am vulnerable because, yes, I take this personally. I assume others do too. Sure, by now I’m betting no one would begrudge me a quick snapshot, but that’s not the point.

    We are not immune to judgement. And every time an anonymous voice sprays vitriol in our direction, it leaves a little tiny spot of burn. Usually that heals in seconds, but those are still a few seconds of ouchie. So I don’t offer targets and the feeling of being vulnerable and safe immediately disappears when a camera comes out. It just inherently represents, “You suck!” or, “That reminds me, you really make me feel like crap when you say the word ‘suffering’ all the damn time!” A camera takes a private moment and hands it over to the world for scrutiny. And while the world might love it, the moment changes and I feel that all too… personally.

    What little tiny thing I can do to keep this a comfortable place for them up here means the world to me. Because to me, this feels like home. I am safe here. I am valued and appreciated and challenged and stretched and asked to make a contribution that is unique and vital. In return, I take my time here as an invitation to stay with a dear friend. I would never walk into a friend’s house, change their music, and start throwing pictures of their bedroom up on Facebook.

    Others may, and I swear I do not judge them. It is only because of my unique and personal damage from, uh, relationship with the business that makes me feel this way. But I wanted to explain why I don’t share more of my beloved little oasis up here. And thank it publicly for being the reason I haven’t put a down payment on a charming two-bedroom in the Alberta district.

    I’m still determined to be more selective in what I put my effort, energy and self into. I have still resolved to say no when I mean no. But my heart has recovered enough so I can acknowledge that is it at least FEASIBLE that I can still be happy being an actor. And thank you for understanding why I do what I do to help these other amazing actors stay happy in their space.


  3. in which kim uses the word “sucks” too much

    September 13, 2013 by kim

    You know, I feel I’ve addressed this subject before. I know I have, in fact. But I have a new and exciting obsession with an aspect of it and I’m currently stuck in an airplane and all my lines are memorized and I can’t recline my seat because I’m in the very last row and the trip is too short to take an ambien and I’ve eaten an imprudent amount of tomatoes in the last two days anyway so I’m gonna talk about pain.

    But not PAIN pain. More like our reaction to it. And I’m not planning on bitching, so shut your trap. No, actually I am. I totes take that back. Sorry.

    Here’s the script: (I’m too lazy to give everyone names. Assume they are standing in a line.)

    Person 1: I’m really in a rush and traffic sucks. I’m just so mad. Grrr.
    Person 2: I have PMS and my kids are sick. Cuh-rayzeee.
    Person 3: My friend is having open heart surgery. I’m really shaken up about it.
    Person 4: My mom just died. I can’t function.
    Person 5: My divorce is final today. I think I’m going to die.
    Person 6: The cancer has spread to my butt. It may fall off.
    Person 7: I want to flip you all off but a shark just bit off my hands. I have nubs!
    Person 8: *vomits razor blades and passes out*

    You know what’s missing from that conversation? Nobody said, “Wow, that sucks.” Not a single goddamn person. And ya know what? All that shit sucks. The only way that conversation could be worse, is if each person was answered by something like this:

    Answer 1: Just breathe.
    Answer 2: Kids are a blessing, though, aren’t they?
    Answer 3: My dad had that! It was horrific. The doctor didn’t know what he was doing and the hospital screwed up his chart so he almost had his corneas removed instead!
    Answer 4: Well she’s at peace now.
    Answer 5: You won’t get a date if you’re thinking about the past.
    Answer 6: Trust God’s will.
    Answer 7: Well you shouldn’t have been playing with them.
    Answer 8: Don’t be so dramatic.

    Oh. Helpful words. Nothing spreads healing like people who want so badly for pain to go away for THEIR sake that they do what they can to eradicate it like cockroaches. Still nobody said, “Wow, that sucks.” Nobody is okay just being in a moment, knowing it hurts, and knowing it will pass.

    “Wow, that sucks,” could conceivably save the world. For two reasons, that I illustrated vaguely above but I got so amused by managing to work the word “nubs” into a post, they may need some clarification.

    The first is people’s tendency to treat their pain like a competition. Where do we learn we have to EARN the right to hurt? Being in a rush and traffic sucking sucks! It doesn’t suck any less because somebody has cancer! You don’t lose the game if you acknowledge someone else has some sucky stuff too. I promise you that. Just because I have a paper cut and you have a visible femur doesn’t mean my paper cut doesn’t hurt. It means you get the fucking ambulance, yes, but I still get a goddamn bandaid, which is what a paper cut calls for. I think if everybody just let their pain be painful instead of needing it stamped with approval, we’d have a lot more ability to let others’ pain be painful too. And respond with, “Wow, that sucks,” rather than, “ACES! I’M HOLDING ACES! READ ‘EM AND WEEP, BABY! Actually, don’t weep, I’m the one who gets to cry, fuck off.”

    Then, once we are okay with people hurting, we can stop trying to fix it. “Kim! What a bitch! Who can stand by and watch someone they love be in pain! You cold, callused, cunt!” Come on. I’m talking about pain you can’t actually DO anything about. I’m talking about that feeling of watching helplessly because you ARE helpless and so you become invested in making the person STOP HURTING ANY WAY POSSIBLE. Generally in a way that means they don’t actually have their experience. Except they are. So…. no help. Stop telling people to stop feeling what they are feeling. And don’t couch it in A Teachable Moment or Staying Positive or Keeping Perspective or Eyes on the Prize or whatever. Stop and try this: “Wow, that sucks.” Then go from there. Their reactions are theirs. Let them have ‘em.

    You know who’s really good at this? People who are in the middle of some seriously sucky shit. I sat in chemotherapy with my friend, Kevin, who was outraged I was unemployed. HE WAS DYING! But he knew the power of a good, “Wow. That well and truly sucks.” One of the most beautiful women on the planet has a three month old baby she has not been able to pick up yet because of suckiness that almost killed her. I told her in detail about my dad, (she asked). Near tears, she said… sing along with me, “Wow, that sucks.” People who have the winning lottery tickets of agony seem to be the ones who share kindness and acceptance.

    Maybe that’s why, on a daily basis, perfectly normal people, people who, if asked if they have a cruel or sadistic streak would have to get a dictionary, these people attempt to cause pain. Not pain like kicking a puppy or beating a child. Those aren’t the normal people and their needs are deep and broken. I’m talking people who send me emails about eight-year old children being raped to death with comments like, “Have you seen this?” Or, ya know, his friends who point out an ex-girlfriend is talking about him in her blog, never accounting for literary license or the fact that OF COURSE she’s going to bitch, it’s a blog, and what do you think she’s going to comment on the fact that they spent nearly a quarter of their lives together and she slammed so many rough edges into him they blunted to smooth the way she moves through life now? Maybe they’re all causing a little pain because THEY actually are craving a, “Wow, that sucks.”

    So. That’s my pitch. We all try it. And if you actually think this is full of shit and it offends you and you want to throw a pineapple at my head but you can’t because I’m on an airplane, I fully support you sharing that with me. I will nod and say, “Wow. That sucks.”


  4. Bunny Anger Management

    September 11, 2013 by kim

    My brain is clearly cleaning house. It does so often and without my permission, or even awareness. My only clue is that all of a sudden I will be overwhelmed with intense and urgent emotions that have nothing to do with, well, with reality. It’s like my brain does this:

    THIS GOES AND THIS GOES AND THIS GOES AND WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS DOING IN HERE AND THIS GOES…

    Usually I get scared. I have crippling attacks that everything is not okay and I will die a slow, agonizing death after watching the hideous suffering of everyone I love because of some dumb shit move I made. Or didn’t make. Now… that is definitely an element of my experience these days, but it’s not what I want to talk about. I got it covered. It sucks, I usually identify what’s going on, I make it right-sized, and go on with my life. If nothing else, I put off making life-changing decisions for at least a month, especially when the decision I’m pretty sold on making involves giving everything I own to charity and moving to Namibia to fight poachers and let my kid be naked as much as she fuckin’ wants.

    THIS time there’s a new somthin’ somethin’ that’s being unearthed. Now, because this is open to the public and I’m not pursuing revenge, but rather clarity, I am going to change most of facts that I mention. But hopefully you can follow.

    The other day I got pissed about something that happened six years ago. I mean, I JUST got pissed. See, I used to work on a television show, (that part is true), and I have an interest in woodworking, let’s say, (not true). The guy who made furniture on the show, let’s say, (this part is really a lie, there is no such person on a set who just makes furniture), had some trouble with one of the other actors and nearly lost his job. I stepped up and said, “Fine, let him only make furniture for ME then, but let him keep his job.” He kept his job and was very grateful. Then he gave that very same actor a big, expensive miter saw. The actor not only didn’t use the miter saw, but didn’t even WANT the miter saw. I, however, adored it and finally could afford to buy my very own miter saw just the other day when I got mad. I was overwhelmed with rage that I never got one for free years ago when I saved this dude’s fucking job and he KNEW I considered woodworking a very passionate hobby and potential alternative career. But noooooo, the actor with the publicist got the miter saw.

    What the fuck am I supposed to do with that? And it’s not the only one. I’m having creepy little tantrums sneak out all over the place and I don’t have boxes for them!

    Clearly I am supposed to throw them out. I mean, even the bunny knows that. But before I can do that, I have to squeeze every last ounce of grumpy goodness out of them. Like my mother going through everything in the vacuum cleaner collection bin before she dumped it, in case there was a diamond or a key or a penny or something. Juuuuuust to make sure it can really get dumped, I guess.

    Because I sure as fuck can’t act on it! I mean, I imagine this conversation:

    JIM: Hello?
    ME: Is this Jim?
    JIM: Yes.
    ME: Hi, it’s Kim.
    silence
    ME: Kim Rhodes.
    JIM: (loooooong pause) Oh! Uh… hi. It’s been, what, fifteen years? What’s, uh…. what’s up?
    ME: I know you cheated on me. Two of your friends told me. Separately.
    JIM: Uh…
    ME: Just stop lying, okay?
    JIM: Uh… okay? Sorry? What exactly do you want?
    ME: Nothing, I just got angry yesterday. And you still owe me four thousand dollars for that television I bought you after yours got stolen and you insisted you were going to pay me back.
    JIM: I don’t understand. You want money? Is this being recorded? Am I on someone’s television show? What’s going on?
    ME: I’M PISSED!
    JIM: I just remembered something my wife wanted me to do today. Not talk to crazy people. I don’t even know how this phone still had a charge, it was shoved in my sock drawer. Take care and good luck finding a therapist.

    That would not do anyone any good. Except maybe you, dear readers, because it would be a hilarious reminder that I am, indeed, crazier than you are.

    These are what My People call “Resentments”. Apparently the fact that they are coming up is GOOD. It means I’m healing and ready to look at them. Some resentments aren’t buried too deeply. Doesn’t take an archeologist to discover that I’m still pretty pissy about my Dad mishandling my Mom’s medication because he was too drunk to understand English and accidentally killing her. Oooopsie. (For those who don’t know the story, she was dying anyway. Probably within days. And he suffered her loss more than any of us so ha ha, joke was on him.) And, as that little interlude pointed out, resentments are poison and make a person feel, say, and do some really ugly shit. So it’s a good idea to pull them out, put them in the sun, and let them shrivel like tomatoes, turning from acidic and slimy to sweet and wrinkled.

    However, My People advocate looking at, not just the incident, but what MY part was in it. I don’t know if that sounds groovy right now. Sometimes the only part I had was, honestly, just being there. But sometimes my part is a lot fucking bigger. Like retaining a sense that I am owed something. Or hanging on to a score card because it gives me some weird sense of power. Or like not ASKING for help because I’m too damn proud so what’s the deal with all the frowny faces around not getting help?

    So…. yeah. My brain is doing some good work these days. I just think there are ways it could let me know besides dumping a paw full of pee-scented sand on my head. A memo would be nice.


  5. Perfect in Theory

    August 27, 2013 by kim

    Okay, yeah, kid was out for summer we got a kitten I was gone blah blah blah blah now I’m back and seriously… WHAT THE FUCK?

    A lot happened over the summer. I shall expound gradually throughout the ensuing posts, but right now I’d like to talk about the fact that I am finally willing to embrace the term “feminist”. I am a feminist. I am passionate about our strength, our issues, our traumas, our education, and our ability to change the world. I resisted the term because I also have a sense of humor and believe that, theoretically, it is possible for a funny rape joke to exist. I don’t think I have to take myself seriously in order to take feminism seriously. This insults a lot of people, but fuck it. I view it the same way I view admitting my age. As long as I don’t, the image will never change and it will be even harder to recruit others who don’t identify with the narrow parameters defined by “society”, whoever the fuck that is.

    Ladies, gals, bitches, womyn, females… ya killin’ me.

    I’d like to share with you a few hyperbolical versions of conversations I have overheard over the past few months.

    SHARLA: I’m putting together a panel of women who have experienced sexual harassment at professional events.
    GINA: Well, talk to Candace. She had some shit go down the other day.
    SHARLA: You mean, Candy? The same Candy who was wearing shorts so short you could see a third of her butt cheek and thinks bras “harsh her vibe”? That Candy?
    GINA: Uh… yeah.
    SHARLA: I think not.

    ——–

    PAULINE: Come on, we are marching for our reproductive rights!
    LATIQUA: Yeah!
    PAULINE: Ooooh. Uh, Latiqua, you have five kids and are on welfare. Shouldn’t you be looking for a job?

    ———-

    CONNIE: I’d never slut-shame anyone, but what she did was just inappropriate.

    ———

    BONNIE: This meeting of the Lester Thomas Matthew Alterville Fan Club will now come to order. Any new sightings?
    NINA: Actually, I ran into him when he had a little too much to drink and he was kinda sexually aggressive. It scared me, to be honest.

    a pause

    BONNIE: Dead. To. Us. Dead. To. Us.
    ALL: DEAD TO US! DEAD TO US!
    NINA: He is? Oh, thanks, guys, I was so worried-

    Bonnie glares at Nina.

    BONNIE: DEAD TO US! DEAD TO US!
    NINA: Oh. Oh… Okay… I’ll just… I’ll just go then.
    BONNIE: DEAD TO US! LEAVE THE COOKIES! DEAD TO US!

    Seriously. Ya killin’ me.

    Let’s start with the elephant in the room, shall we? Yes, I think Miley Cyrus was appalling at the VMA’s. I looked at this reaction of mine very honestly. And I can very honestly say I was appalled because the girl has CLEARLY still not had any dance training. You think you can just throw your arms and jiggle your butt and look like the pros? No. No you can not. She is not a lesser human for not having had the training, I just think it showed a level of self-absorption and arrogance that I found offensive. And would have enjoyed it a lot more had she not seemed to have limbs made of wood. So there.

    But the other stuff… what is it with being feminists in theory but not being willing to change or even look at our own behavior? How does someone who becomes incensed at the idea of a college student being drugged and raped also feel so free to point out a pair of booty shorts and roll her eyes? Isn’t the point that a woman should be able to do with her body what she chooses? What SHE chooses. Not what WE choose.

    Oh, I ain’t throwing stones, my house is glass. I engaged in one of the conversations above. I had no problems thinking that maybe how a woman decided to dress meant it was open season for me to dole out points on whether or not she “earned” the right to complain about harassment. And when I caught myself, I started this blog post. I pissed me off.

    There was recently a Twitter hashtag making rounds that read #solidarityisforwhitewomen. Some amazing things were brought up and I shan’t go into them. Look them up. It expanded my mind. I raise the issue because of the number of women who were OFFENDED by it. They said it created racial divisiveness.

    So, lemme get this straight. If WE accuse men of sexism and THEY don’t want to talk about it, it’s because THEY are sexists. But if THEY, (different “THEY”), accuse US racism and WE don’t want to talk about it, it’s because THEY are racists. See why I’m a little perturbed? It’s almost as if we are passionate about the theory, but not its application. I mean, if the application means WE turn into THEY and have to do some self-examination.

    Or, worse, God forbid we have to possibly risk losing the affection of a dude because he behaved horribly to a chick that WASN’T EVEN ONE OF US! Or, I mean, she sure as fuck ain’t now. Since she had the audacity to call into question his awesomeness. If he’s always been awesome to us, clearly she was the problem. She was drunk. And not wearing underwear. Bitch. We hate her.

    In theory, WE are all WE. But as soon as someone is different, let’s face it, they become THEY. And, ladies, we are letting sexism and a patriarchal mindset define what “different” is. We are forgetting that the whole point is to allow a woman the right to choose what she does with her body and her life, not just if it agrees with what you deem “appropriate”. If we are qualifying whether or not a woman can or cannot be seen equally based on her choices, how are we furthering our cause? Yes, there are ramifications to actions. But it’s not our “job” to see to it! (Nobody will like you if you act like that. See? Here’s me not liking you right now. Told ya so.)

    In fact, in theory, equality is good for everyone, not just the people experiencing the inequality. So, what if WE expanded even more? What if we were just people? Doing shit. And sometimes people do shit I don’t like. Generally it’s because they want something, and it’s everyone’s right to want something. Maybe if somebody wants something and does some shit I don’t like, I can relate to what they want and STILL find a way to stick up for myself. Maybe help them find a way of getting what they want without doing shit that pisses me off. Or not. It’s their right to piss me off, I guess. It ain’t gonna be perfect. I don’t know what that looks like.

    But do know I have to stop practicing theory and start practicing reality, which is a fuckload lot harder. But, oddly, much more accessible and probably more effective.


  6. being okay

    June 7, 2013 by kim

    For one child who is considering suicide:

    Sweetheart, I am so sorry you hurt. I would so like to hold you and rock you and kiss the top of your head and tell you there are voices so much stronger than theirs that you can choose to hear. That the world is so much bigger than their tiny minds. That you will be okay. Don’t go.

    I am forty-four years old today. I am a rape victim, a sufferer of bullying, the adult child of an alcoholic, an orphan thanks to one parent who blew his brains out last year and one who died due to his drunken idiocy, a chronic pain sufferer, an addict as a result, the mother of an autistic child, unemployed with zero opportunities on the horizon, I’ve lost my home, my waistline and my ego. And ya know what? I am happy as hell.

    I was playing cards with one of my best friends on the planet the other night. We have held each other’s hands through life and death, laughing through tears and making inopportune masturbation or Tarot card references for over twenty-five years. We were both not okay last year, as we walk remarkably similar paths. The other night we were discussing how actually okay we were, in light of everything we had gone through. We weren’t sure how we GOT to “okay”, but we were there and could appreciate it.

    In the past, I have not been able to take care of myself. I either waited for someone to do it for me, or I waited until I was so damaged and enraged that I could explode in a ball of fury, annihilating everything in my path, so that I would feel safe again. This, for the record, was not okay. I didn’t really get that, in any moment, I had the power to affect my own life and, well, not to quote at you, but to “change what I can.” I was a victim, a martyr, a rager, a stoic, an actor…. any one of which I thought could make people do what I thought I needed them to do to make me feel okay. Unfortunately, this meant that any cruelty, intended or not, cut me to the core. If someone didn’t react the way I thought I needed, I was destroyed. I was pretty fucking miserable.

    My people walk twelve steps, over and over. The first one is admitting I am powerless over alcohol. The work of this step expands and teaches me I’m actually powerless over pretty much everything, which is shocking when you’ve been raised to believe you are God. (If everything is my fault, it must all be my doing. If only God does everything, I must be God. That’s some solid logic, I tell ya!) When I confronted the fact that I might not be the Highest Power, it felt like I was giving something up. My machinations and manipulations I believed made the world dance on strings were hard to cut, as imaginary as they were. I lost my identity. Who was I if not the person trying desperately to make the reflection in your eyes something I could stand?

    However the transition into being Me… I have no clue how it happened. I just know I quit worrying about who I was to everyone else. I quit trying to read your mind to find out who you wanted me to be and then molding myself into that shape to receive the approval that would make me feel loved but somehow never really did, since it wasn’t really me being loved. My friend and I agreed that a year ago even, we were sitting in the tunnel, PRAYING for a train so at least we could see some light. Now we’re breathing air and wishing on stars.

    The only thing we knew for sure is that we didn’t quit. Now we are here.

    It’s not the perfect I thought perfect was. But it’s perfect and I’m IN it. And because I came out of that place, I know it and I know I can come out again. So….

    Whatever your pain, whatever you see in the mirror, whatever heartache you know, whatever name you’ve been called, whatever anger is eating you, I’m telling you, you can take power away from it and give it back to yourself again. It will happen if you don’t quit. There is no other option.

    I wish my father hadn’t killed himself. I am so grateful I did not make the same choice.

    Please stay here. It’s worth it. YOU are worth it.


  7. Busting balls.

    May 20, 2013 by kim

    Yay, London! I’ve never been to London. I arrived here approximately 11:30 last evening, or 22:30 if you’re over here, (goddammit, really? I went into acting because I can’t do math and now I have to. I cry shenanigans!) and it is now 4:18 in the following afternoon or… wait a second, I need my fingers… 16:18. And I’m sitting in my room typing. The sum total of the city I’ve seen was a lovely little Indian restaurant last evening that gave me something scrumptious accompanied by a paste of nuclear fire. Had I known how delicious it was going to be, I probably would have blown the dude who left the establishment open for me to order. But I digress.

    Right NOW I am in my room. Why? Well, it’s like this. I woke up about six hours ago, still pretty damn tired, fucked around a bit, put on a shirt, and a screaming, searing, ripping pain shot through my shoulder. It’s been on the edge of something bad for a week or so, it got a little crabby after lifting things I’d signed all weekend, and for some reason that shirt was the final straw. I had two options: take the pain killers I brought for my guts, which I have rationed carefully and if I do so, then I’m going to be shit out of luck in a few days, or go back to bed.

    So here I am, freshly awake AGAIN, trying to do something as non-strenuous for my body until the pain killers kick in and I can move without screaming, “JESUS CHRIST, FUCK ME ANALLY!” which, I’m guessing, will not get me introduced to the parts of London I really want to see.

    Usually after a “Supernatural” convention, I write long love letters to the fans because I’m so incredibly moved. This weekend I fucking cried on stage at them, (Yes, saying thank you. I was tired and my smart ass demeanor cracked, okay?) and I do thank them and love them and will wax poetic later. But a lot of people said they were discovering this blog for the first time, (Hi! Welcome!), so I read some old stuff to see what they would find. I forget a lot of what I write. I noticed after clicking the “naughty bits” category that I was missing some really important information so I am gonna hurt a few egos, I fear. I’m gonna dash a few spirits. I’m gonna invite alternate views, because I think this is vital information and needs to come, so to speak, from as many parties as possible….

    HOW CAN A DUDE KNOW IF HE’S GOOD IN BED? (As always, not to be exclusionary but only because I’m writing from my viewpoint, this is for straight dudes. I really wish I had something to offer my gay friends, but I just don’t. Cuz I’m a chick and they’re already awesome.)

    A normal man cannot FATHOM the amount of bragging a girl hears about his prowess. They say we are more evolved than the rest of the animal kingdom, but men are pretty much birds without the power of flight. So… penguins. No, bad example. Penguins don’t complain about wearing a tux. But those sunrise tweet tweet tweets and peacock fans and collections of shiny objects are only a millimeter away from the guy who grins and, without a trace of irony, says, “Well that’s because she had my cock last night.”

    I was once asked by a guy I’d slept with how he could know if he was good or not. Unfortunately, this was before I knew how to have an orgasm myself, (not his job to find if I don’t have the map), so I had no idea what to say. This is to make up for that. Tim, I think of you fondly, I used you terribly, I’m sorry and I wish I wasn’t the person I was when we fucked. This is for you. I hope I’m not about to break your heart again. Because, this means exposing some traditional ways men have judged themselves that, quite frankly, are full of hooey.

    First of all, I’ve noticed a lot of guys simply rely on the fact that putting a penis in a girl counts as sex. If something happens to her, it was good sex. No. Putting your penis in a vagina, is not SEX. It is “intercourse”. And nobody in the world wants to brag that they had “intercourse” no matter how good. Nobody. Sex means something else must have happened. If you didn’t multi-task, you weren’t good. My husband, (AUTHOR’S NOTE: I NEVER EVER EVER WRITE ABOUT MY HUSBAND BECAUSE I RESPECT HIM. IF ANY OF THIS EMBARRASSES HIM, THEN HE SHOULDN’T BE SO GODDAMN GOOD IN BED.), I swear must be able to dislocate his spine from the places he manages to cover simultaneously. You have to have done something besides insert, pull it out, repeat. Even if it’s just getting your tongue in her mouth or allowing your butt to acquire fresh nail marks. To be a good fuck, you need to cover some ground. And bad news: finger-banging does not qualify as doing something else. Just because you put your finger up there doesn’t mean you can plant a flag. Multi-tasking means expand your focus, not the implement.

    I’d also like to say, your endowment has nothing, NOTHING to do with your ability. Any guy who brags that he has a big dick really should be met with nothing more than, “So?” no matter what your locker room competitions would have you believe. I literally don’t give a fuck how big your dick is if you’ve got mischief in your eyes. Saying it’s eleven inches only REALLY tells me either you’re a liar or you’re insecure. Size might matter to some women, but it is not the only thing that matters and if you’ve been relying on it, you better up your game, dude. I mean, if you give a shit. If not, that’s fine, your dick’s a foot long and that must make you pleased as punch. I’m underwhelmed, though.

    Next, do not confuse how badly a girl WANTS to have sex with you with how good you were at it. I’ve been so lustful my eyes haven’t been able to focus and fifteen minutes later found myself faking a second orgasm with the hopes that he will just stop already. Yes, she may have literally torn the clothing off of your body, but that does not mean you were good at anything that happened from that point forward. If she refuses to let you put them back on again, or takes then from the floor and tears them more fully so you CAN’T put them back on, you may assume her ardor was justified and take it as a reflection of your performance.

    OH! This is one I’m baffled by. Your sustainability is not in any way shape or form an indication of your prowess. You can bang a hammer on a pice of wood for six hours straight, but if you never hit the nail, you just look challenged. Please please please stop talking about “going all night”. A real, live study I actually read and didn’t conduct myself by asking my drunk male friends stated the average time spent during sex after initial penetration was seven minutes. Seven…. minutes. And ya know what? I…. well no, I’m honest in this blog, but I don’t think it’s necessary to tell you how many orgasms I have had in seven minutes because it would be bragging on my husband. But seven minutes is sufficient in a pinch with somebody who has been in that rodeo before and starts you a couple runs ahead before teeing off. (I mix metaphors when I’m randy. Leave me alone. It’s been a few days and I’m realizing this may have not been a good topic for a girl alone in a hotel room.)

    And speaking of, if you have a penis and put it in women, at some point you have been lied to about an orgasm. The more willing you are to accept this, the better chance you have of being a rock star now. This is just me, mind you, but I think I speak for a lot of women that if you THINK you are an amazing fuck and a gift to any body lying beneath you, you probably have a thing to learn. Women are different. You are not a good fuck if you have preset choreography. Or, well, you’re not as good as you COULD be. How about that? If you are curious and wondrous, if you are respectful and enthusiastic, if you are willing to take risks and direction… you’re probably better than you think you are. But if you have the audacity to tell me you have a foolproof way of finding my g-spot when you’ve never even touched my neck, call me judgmental, but I bet you’re a lousy lay and I’d rather have an orgasm alone.

    Orgasms. Ah, orgasms. Listen, mother fucker… you don’t GIVE a woman an orgasm. We HAVE them. If I have used different phrasing in the past, allow this paragraph to clarify. Orgasms are not points. They are experiences. Yes, it is generally true that a guy who “experiences” a woman having many orgasms when he is involved is probably better in bed than a guy who says, “You can finish up alone, right? Ima get a sammie.” But if a woman has an orgasm, even if she has ten and they accompany a torrent of body fluids, THIS IS NOT A GUARANTEE THAT YOU ARE GOOD IN BED! For my money, ten orgasms are not as good a testimony to your abilities as one bout of breathless, hysterical, post-coital giggling followed by an, “Oh my God. Wow.”

    My pills have kicked in and I don’t want to waste them, so I’m gonna encapsulate some simple things. If a woman is fucking like a porn star, she’s probably not having fun. If I have enough presence of mind to worry about how I look, then you don’t have my full attention. True, this is as much my fault as yours, but please don’t think that makes you Rocco Siffred. If your partner eloquently says, “Oh, honey, I see stars, you’re so close and yes, I’m coming right now at this exact moment, it’s glorious, you’ve never been this good!” sorry. You’re probably not. However, if your partner is speaking Bajoran, that’s a good indication you’re doing fine.

    If all of her makeup is still on, her hair looks great, and she’s not sweating, you were not a good fuck.

    As with marathon sessions, acrobatic prowess does not guarantee your efficacy. If you’re picking positions to show off your strength, vast knowledge, (“Bet she hasn’t done THIS before!” Yes. And there’s a REASON!), or to tick something off of your bucket list, you’re not a good lay. On the other hand, if you find a good spot and then throw one of our legs over your shoulder so you can get at it even better… good on ya, mate! That’s the way to do it.

    In fact, that’s the short version. If you’re thinking of yourself, anything from stroking your ego to earning points you can use later on, you’re not living up to your potential. But if you honestly want to know if you’re a good lay because you’re too distracted to think of being a good lay while you’ve got your face buried between her legs, I’m guessing you don’t have to worry. If you really get lost in the weeds, ask for direction and we will be happy and impressed. If a gal says otherwise, that’s her own damn fault.

    I’m gonna go explore. And then I’m gonna go out and explore London. Ta!


  8. where am i?

    May 17, 2013 by kim

    Oh look. Five hours left in a big tin can in the sky. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. I already took my ambien when I first got on and that shit scares me so I’m not taking more than one. Nothing but time to write and I’ve got jack shit to say. I could rhapsodize on the questions you’ve sent in to my friend Super Answer Lady Person, except I have no wifi and she’s still asleep. (Bitch is back in LA time zone where it’s still three in the morning and she is craaaaaaby when you wake her without coffee.)

    I fear this may just be a meandering illumination of the mind that is me in this particular time and place. That time is actually 3:45 AM and place is somewhere vague. Cloudy and white, up in the sky. I doubt it’s heaven although there”s a cute dude with a British accent sitting next to me also awake, so…. maybe. But my bet is more somewhere over the beginnings of the ocean.

    My one and only true goal at the moment is to keep typing long enough so Cute Dude thinks I’m doing something important enough to have warranted the tectonic plate shifting it took to get my laptop out in the first place. I’m window. He’s aisle. We are bulkhead, so everything had to go overhead. That alone should tell you how familiar he had to get with my ass, (what is the etiquette there? Which part of my anatomy should face my fellow traveller when crossing in front of him? I always think my butt, so he can grimace at will. Unless I’m running any risk of gassiness, then it’s face to face with an apologetic expression. Anyone else have tips on dealing with this?)

    ANYWHOOOOO, yeah. I had the great idea to use the power source at my seat to plug in my computer so I could also charge my phone which is down to eight per cent of its battery. I was feeding my ego last night by watching people get outraged over my character’s demise on “Supernatural”. Now I realize I MIGHT need to communicate when I land in a foreign country and my husband is scanning the news for bomb threats. (“I thought you were dead!” “Honey, that’s in Yemen!” “HOW DO I KNOW YOU WERE’NT HIJACKED AND LANDED IN YEMEN?!” He has a point. He really does.) Unfortunately, I needed help. Because the world’s power sources are not set up to make life easy for me. So I got up to contact a flight attendant, not wanting to disturb my at that point still pretending to sleep neighbor.

    I flipped the little curtain aside and stepped into the galley. I think I may have destroyed a potential love connection. And it was a shame. These were two of the most beautiful boys I’d ever seen and they were looking at each other not like, “It’s actually the four mile high club if you’re with me,” but more like, “You’ve adopted children? I’ve always wanted to do that!” But then I come barging in, scaring the pants back on them, asking for a power source. *

    This can’t be uncommon. This is a feature they actually ADVERTISE about their aircraft. So it shouldn’t have taken a team of engineers to figure out that we did not have the available adapters. We had the cables. We got the plug covering between the seats where the cables go finally taken out, (which is when my poor seat mate couldn’t fake unconsciousness any more, with everything short of soldering happening perilously close to his crotch). We learned that my own personal cable comes apart and exposes a little nubby thingie that is NOT the prong thingies, but still wouldn’t fit in the available holes of the cables.

    The sweet flight attendant offered to charge up my laptop up in the crew’s space, which was incredible since I destroyed his chance at true love, but I decided I’d just open this shit up and work till it died. It hasn’t yet. I don’t have a blog yet. The Cute Dude next to me has given up all hope of rest and is watching…. it looks like “Fringe” if I had to guess. I tried charging my phone off of my laptop, but that apparently only works if my laptop is plugged in. Plus, there’s no wifi, so I can’t publish this, so you can’t even get a message to my husband that I was safe last time you heard from me somewhere over the Atlantic.

    That was all just fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of trying to distract myself from the discomfort in my shoulder blades from sleeping the last five hours and the discomfort in my heart from watching my daughter cry as I left.

    For Mother’s Day, the kids all made necklaces for their mothers. It is a white-ish blob of what looks like silly-putty, with her finger indent in the center and a hole at the top for a string to go through. The substance hardened and voila! Jewelry! I have been wearing it constantly.

    I recently discovered that it turns a ghostly neon in the dark. This has provided my daughter and I with endless moments of amusement, but for some reason right now it makes me indescribably sad. I sit on a dark plane, musing over the most trivial of matters, and on my chest is the glowing reminder of the most amazing achievement my heart has ever known.

    I guess that’s called missing someone. So yeah. That’s a lot of words to tell you where I am right now. Right now I am sweetly sad because I am so grateful to have a daughter I wish I were near.

    Oh, and no, it’s not “Fringe” he’s watching, which is somewhat of a relief. I’m pretty sure I just saw either Matt Damon on his screen or, no, I think it was that boy who used to sell underwear who’s brother was a Backstreet Boy. New Kid on the Block. Whatever. Get me! I’m so Hollywood!

    *There was absolutely NO impropriety going on at all, I would like to state for the sake of the flight crew and passengers of this plane. Two hot guys were talking. That’s all. But that lacks a certain something I look for when writing, so I expanded on the situation for the purpose of your amusement. Creative license. I just wanted to be clear so nobody freaks out and notifies Virgin that their workers are decidedly not.


  9. sing it!

    May 10, 2013 by kim

    I believe I’ve mentioned that I was a tantrum thrower. I will not go into details again, but I grew up hearing the phrase, “Children should be seen and not heard,” as a regular mantra. I did my best to disprove it. I failed miserably.

    As I became older, I discovered that there were outlets available that afforded me the opportunity to be heard within socially acceptable parameters i.e. that wouldn’t make Dad crack me upside the head. I could join the church choir, for instance. Or a performance of my middle school’s production of “Teen! The Musical!” (which later was a bonding moment when I learned my soul mate, Laura, was performing the same thing at the same time, half a continent away. “On the telephone! Tell me what’s on your mind, on the telephone! I’ll be waiting for a message from youuuuuuuuuu.” Ah. Good times.) I sang like a little lark. I wasn’t the desirable feminine soprano, so I made up for it by learning to harmonize like a motherfucker. Yep. I found my voice and let it fly.

    I sang in every camp talent show. I performed a stirring and mesmerizing rendition of “By My Side” from GODSPELL at my high school graduation. I would not be silenced and I had a gift I was gonna share! So it was a bit of a blow when, in my first college vocal performance class, I heard the following words: You can tell she’s an actor, she LOOKED like she sounded great!

    I’m sorry, what?

    By the time I got to graduate school, a mere four years later, I was so terrified to sing that I couldn’t even get a single note out. So the teacher, in her infinite wisdom, had me lie on the floor while four of my male classmates pulled on my limbs, ostensibly to open up my diaphragm. I’m sorry, have I mentioned I’m a RAPE VICTIM? Yeah. Needless to say, I barely made it to the bathroom in time and to this day, the beginning of, “Starting Here, Starting Now” is a joke amongst old friends. (“Starting he-he-ehhhhhh ulp!”)

    I had been silenced. At least for that outlet. I didn’t deserve to sing.

    I eventually sang again. I booked a role as a singer for a children’s show and I made it a personal mission not to lie to the kids watching it. I wanted to overcome this fear, if only to tell them I did it. But I never regained that full-throated warbling that managed to drown out any doubts or insecurities about my reception.

    What is it about the idea that we have to somehow earn the right to be heard? Recently a girlfriend, a wise, smart, industry-savvy girlfriend, suggested I do a one-woman show. I recoiled at the idea. Who am I to stand on stage and assume I’m interesting enough to have people watch me? Let alone pay money for the privilege? That’s audacious! I despise people with that kind of arrogance. The very idea that they are important enough to command other people’s attention is ludicrous, even if they’re Charlie Sheen! And I’m not! Yuck! I don’t deserve to have a blog, let alone a show!

    Says who?

    I would like to remind you, dear reader, of how nice it feels when you read a bumper sticker you agree with. When you hear someone on television espousing a secret you thought only you knew. When you are forced, against all reason, to loudly scream, “OH MY GOD, ME TOO!” And I would like to remind you that no one on the planet can ever have that experience if somebody doesn’t believe they deserve to be heard in the first place. I remind you, because I need to remind myself.

    The CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch has recently admitted to exclusionary tactics. (Well, the quote is six years old, but it’s just NOW making news.) The stores won’t sell clothing in sizes they feel would be worn by unattractive aka fat people. They only want skinny, hot folks wearing their brand, and so they don’t supply anything in women’s clothing above a size ten. It goes a bit larger for men, but only to accommodate the “athletic build” that comes with the high school football jock. They doesn’t see anything wrong with tailoring their inventory to only include the folks who fit their image. Their tall, skinny, good looking, “cool kid” image. Fatties don’t deserve to be seen in their clothing. And by that, they mean fatties don’t deserve to be seen. Or heard, I would assume.

    We might go into a store because it will MAKE us into one of the “cool kids”, but very few of us waltz in believing we are already there. We are the awkward and the timid. We are the cellulite-laden and the gravity-challenged. Or we are the odd and the quirky. The maladjusted and the weird. We are the lovers of science fiction and memorizers of Klingon. We are the awkward and the inopportune. The often sad and alone. We are those who don’t deserve to be seen or heard.

    THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN THERE ARE OF THEM. WHY ARE WE BEING SILENT?

    How the fuck are the cool kids managing to dominate us? How the hell are the bullies convincing the nerds that they are stronger? This is what’s ludicrous, not the idea that I would have something to say.

    Open your mouth. Say what you want to be heard. There will be somebody who agrees and somebody who needs to hear it. The only person who can silence you is you, so goddamit, let that freak flag fly! (And don’t give Abercrombie and Fitch your money, please?)

    My daughter sings the way I used to. It’s hard not to judge, for reasons that will become apparent when you listen to her. Don’t try to tell me this is easy on the ears. And don’t try to tell me it’s not AWESOME to hear. Click it. It will be worth it.

    IMG_2975


  10. i did it all for the cookie

    May 2, 2013 by kim

    I think refined sugar has saved my relationship with my daughter.

    When I was growing up, my father was not a warm and fuzzy man. But he was very quirky and very loving, so he found his own special brand of expressing affection and pride in his children. He got us desserts. “Help your mom with the dishes, I’ll go get some ice cream!” “It’s Christmas, I know you love chocolate!” “When Willy Wonka is on, we celebrate!”

    However, the accompanying treats were, in order, an entire three-gallon TUB of Baskin Robbin’s Pralines and Cream, a ten pound bar of chocolate, and a mixing bowl full of MnM’s and bridge mix. When I went to college, he sent me off with an eight pound can of Hershey’s syrup. One birthday I got a television box full of different kinds of Nabisco and Hostess products. Because, dammit, if he was going to express his love through sugar, we were gonna fucking develop some diabetes! That’s how much he loved us!

    I’ll admit I enjoyed it. There’s something about a bar of candy you need to break up with a hammer and ice pick that is deliriously satisfying. Having enough baked goods to swim in? Come onnnnnnn. It was pretty damn cool. And I understood. He couldn’t tell us what he wanted to tell us. He didn’t have the tools to say, “Child of mine, I look at you and I see the part of me I forgot I love. I cherish your presence on this planet because I found my heart again when you arrived. The simplest act you do affirms that God has a place in my world. You are good and smart and beyond what I would wish for and I am astounded that I am so blessed to know you.” I know, without a doubt, that is what he meant. But he had a cunning, baffling disease that broke the connection between his ability to feel that and his ability to act on it. So we got sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.

    I am now a grow woman with a disease and a child of my own. I commented earlier that I had reached a weight goal I had been pursuing since the birth of said child. Well, I didn’t hop on that celebratory blog post fast enough and I’m back up again. Don’t worry, I’m not going to whine and bemoan my body. I am happy and reasonably healthy with my self-image, I can wear clothes I like and my husband thinks my butt is awesome. That’s not the point. The point is, the scale is visible evidence that I am not taking as good of care of myself as I know I can. Something is askew.

    I spoke with an ancient soul in a hot young man’s body recently about my relationship with sugar. He asked when I ate it and I answered, “When I’m bored.” We addressed that and I felt pretty good about the results. So this morning at eight o’clock, when I found myself in the kitchen eating the remaining half of a Whatchamacallit candy bar, I was a bit perplexed. “I’m not bored right now. I’m spinning five different plates already and I’ve only been awake for an hour and a half! Is it stress? Could that be it? Why am I eating this, albeit DELICIOUS, disgusting mix of wax, preservatives and corn syrup before I’ve gotten out of my pajamas?”

    Then my daughter came in and threw a fork at my face. I retreated to the bathroom to finish my remaining bites. She followed me, pounding on the door, then doing something that made the sick and dying dog yelp in pain when she couldn’t get me to open up.

    We have talked about how much I love that child. But she is autistic. The stereotypical image of the autistic child is that they are incapable of communicating. In my child, it manifests as an inability to distinguish when she has communicated effectively and react accordingly. She will spew a torrent of stream-of-consciousness dialogue, beginning with not wanting to eat her breakfast and ending with a parallel universe episode of “Go, Diego, Go,” in which he rescues Chris Wildcratt from a rampaging robot, then explode if I don’t understand that means she wants to wear her purple socks instead. Then try to bite me. Or…. throw a fork at my face.

    Then I go swallow a spoonful of Nutella.

    Holy fuck.

    My subconscious thinks she’s an alcoholic! And it is consoling itself exactly the way it learned early on – by eating some cake.

    I am really grateful for this response on my part, or might have never figured out what was going on. I’ve shared in some of my meetings that she has become my “littlest qualifier”, (that’s super secret code speak, by the way), but I didn’t quite understand how deep this went. And thank the God of My Understanding I did, because this could go horribly awry. I can’t learn her language when I am plugging my emotional ears with marshmallows. I can’t help her with her needs if I’m expecting her or baklava to fill mine. She’s five and has poor motor coordination. She can’t fill a glass of milk.

    No wonder she gets so pissed at me! Here she is, doing her best to get her brain to weave bits of dandelion fluff into a rope sturdy enough for me to pull her up, and I’m looking at it like it’s a licorice rope that bites. Scary!!!!! I mean, yes, it’s also scary to have a tiny being that has zero regard for anyone’s physical well-being aiming projectiles at my eyes. But it has to be even more scary to her, looking to Mom for some guidance and order to the chaos in her mind, and be met with a half-eaten Oreo.

    Fortunately, she’s a warrior. None of this seems to have dampened her spirit or will. I ask her if mommy loves her and she nods and says, “Yep.” So now it’s up to me to separate the tangle in my heart. This piece goes here, this piece goes in the trash. It’s covered in crumbs. This one should go on the bookshelf for further study; it may be art or a slightly melted mint.

    And yes. I am still gonna damn well treat myself to some Trader Joe’s French Vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce, caramel sauce and some candied pecans. (It’s called a Dirty Turtle. Add graham cracker crumbs and it’s a Dirty Tortoise because they live in the sand. I get REALLY into my desserts.) But if I get that urge at eight in the morning, maybe I’m gonna stop, remind myself that Daddy loved me as best he could, and try a little harder to listen to my kid. If it means ducking a little faster, I can do that. Because, not for nothing, I got married to this song and I choose to apply to both my husband and, now, my little girl.