Maybe I Should Start Taking Applications

We were talking at lunch and I was saying how, when I was younger, I always just thought that, if I wasn’t married by the time I was 35, I’d just go ahead and have a kid anyway.

That seems like a reasonable thing to say when you’re 25.  After all, who sits at twenty-five and assumes that you will still be as crappy at love a decade later?

No, we all assume, I think, that, in the future, we’ll have our acts together.

Alas, I’m now just two short years away from turning thirty five and the idea of being a single mother doesn’t seem so much a possibility as utterly ridiculous.

But, I was joking, maybe I should just go ahead and start taking applications for potential Baby b fathers now.

I had intended on thinking up a whole application and putting it online, just for the funny, but then, I thought, what if I hit thirty five and it’s just like thirty three, which is, in so many ways, so similar to twenty five, which was a great deal like twenty three.

Like God and Popeye say, I am what I am, I guess.

So, I decided that it would be too potentially depressing in the future.

My parents are coming, twice in June and twice in July.  I’m stressed out about it, to say the least.  Nothing specific, just the stress I always feel when they come to town.

I was again thinking about ethical pleasure as a guiding force in a woman’s life–the idea that we should only do things that will bring us happiness, and do them in ways that don’t hurt others.  It helps to talk it over out loud, I guess, because what I realized is that it’s not just the “will bring us happiness” part or the “don’t hurt others” part.  It’s the “do things” part that I often struggle with.

What will I do, what do I feel I have the right to do, that feels good to me?

I don’t know, frankly.

I’m sure that most folks get that who I am here at Tiny Cat Pants and who I am offline are not exactly the same.  I don’t feel like I’m lying to you about who I am here; sometimes I feel like I’m practicing being the woman I hope I can be.

This is disjointed because I feel vulnerable and exposed to the world in a way I don’t like.  I do all my heart-felt revelations online here so that I can be guarded and reserved in real life.  Lately, though, I feel like I’ve been called to be more myself in real life, in a way that doesn’t leave me much guarded and reserved space to hide behind.

It scares the shit out of me.

I do keep thinking that there’s going to be some revelation that causes you to finally turn your backs on me.  I know that’s stupid and I know that’s something everyone feels and so, for the most part, I can talk myself out of it.

But when my parents are around, it’s harder for me.  It’s like, this will be the moment when you hear something about me that completely alters your ability to think of me as anything other than that weird girl you know online.

And I don’t know how I think that’s going to happen.  It’s not like they’re going to take over the blog and start spilling my deep dark secrets.  I don’t really have any deep dark secrets.

I was supposed to go to the grocery store today.  I never went.  I was supposed to do dishes.  I spent the afternoon reading about Teresa of Avila instead.

I feel like I don’t deserve what I have and I certainly don’t deserve anything else.

That’s a crappy way to bring people up.  Why do we do that?

Why Do People Leave Their Children With Me?!

Y’all, I am continually amazed that people still let me watch over their children unsupervised.  I tell stories like about the farting contest that had to turn into an emergency trip to the bathtub or about how I made my nephew pee his pants by not bothering to stop when I suspected he needed to go because we were only twenty minutes from home or about how, after that, on the next trip, I stopped every time he or his brother made like they had to go to the bathroom and bought them Reese’s peanut butter cups each time we stopped until they were a sugared up grouchy mess that finally, mercifully, fell asleep in my back seat.

Don’t get me wrong, clearly, kids find me good fun and, if there’s anything I’ve learned about children, it’s that they will deceived folks so that they can do fun things.  So, I’m sure that, when asked, kids are all like “Oh, god, yeah, that B.  She sucks.  She makes us eat broccoli and do math problems.” and so the parents are all “Hey, B., I’m going to learn about some hippie shit, could you make sure my kids don’t die in some freak accident?” assuming, of course, that I’m capable of that.

Yesterday, I let SuperMousey and Nogg eat their fill of funnel cake, cotton candy, Mountain Dew, and, yes, I even introduced Nogg to Sun Drop.

Sadly, for me, at least, they were all running around like their tails were on fire–up and down the playground equipment, over and under slides, around and around jungle gyms that might have been new in my dad’s day–and I was the one who ended up a grouchy mess reduced to writing plaintive pleas for help in chalk on the sidewalk.

The kids also got to meet Mrs. Wigglebottom and the Butcher, which was good fun.  Later, the Butcher and I were talking about why kids like us.  Partially, I’m sure, it’s because I’m letting them eat a bunch of junk food, but also, watching the Butcher with them, I think it’s because we treat them like normal human beings.

I was watching other folks with their kids and there’s just a lot of weird talking down to kids that folks do that I don’t think we do a lot of.  At least, I hope not.

Still, I think that gives me a blind spot when it comes to them.  I assume they know what they’re talking about and, if they think they can do something, they probably can.

Clearly, parents must be able to walk that line between what their kids want to do, think they’re capable of doing, and what they can and should be doing.

I’m not sure I could do that.

Fred the Pig

Jon, I just want to say up front that you should not read this post.

I want to say two things before I get to the heart of my post.  One is that this Alabama monster pig has caused more calls to fly between my house and the recalcitrant brother’s than anything in recent memory.  The other is that I eat meat and am not about to stop.

However, I just have to say that this pig story grosses me right the fuck out.  In my world, hunters hunt for food.  If it takes you more than a couple of shots to kill your prey, that’s a failure.  The point of hunting is to make a clean kill of something you’re going to eat or wear or otherwise use for sustinence, not to inflict as much pain on a suffering animal as possible before it mercifly dies.

Sometimes, you have to hunt for self-protection–coyotes often have to be removed from property, raccoons sometimes have to be killed.  Even beloved farm animals and pets sometimes have to be put down as quickly as possible.

Sometimes, you hunt because we’ve removed the top of the food chain and so it’s up to us to control certain animal populations.

Again, though, in every case, the hunter’s goal is to make a clean kill–to put the animal down with as few a shots as necessary.

Sometimes, you might have to shoot at an animal that wishes you harm–like a bear or even a feral pig.  And in that case, I can understand why you’d come back and say to your friends, “Holy shit, it took me six shots to kill it!”

But let’s think of another scenario.  Say that my neighbors decided that Mrs. Wigglebottom deserved to be shot (and, sadly, there are times when dogs have to be shot).  What if they put her in a pen and shot at her six times over the course of three hours before she finally, mercifully, died?

Do you think there’d be a news outlet in the nation calling those fuckers up to ask them in awed tones to talk about how big she was?  What it was he did to be rewarded by his father with being able to shoot my dog six times?

I hope not.

And yet, when the Lost Plantation purchased Fred, a gentle farm raised pig who liked to be hand-fed sweet potatoes, four days before Jamison Stone made his now infamous kill, and put him in an enclosure, that’s the death they intended for him.

I’m going to say, I feel bad for Jamison Stone, because he’s eleven, but everybody else involved in this story needs to be slapped upside the head.