Day 27: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

gin-recipe-georgian-bay-gimlet

My grandmother was a legendary alcoholic. As in… hit a train, drove the wrong way on the interstate, crossed the divider and drug the fence home… she set the tone for abusing substances without smudging her lipstick.

She’s why I don’t drink vodka. I don’t know what it is, but vodka and I are a deadly combination. I ride bulls in dresses, dance handsome strangers into agreeing to things they know they shouldn’t… you name it. Vodka removes all my filters, inhibitions and sense. Grey Goose is like napalm. Noooooo more goose. Never, ever.

I spent a few years serving and bartending, so I can make most drinks and really enjoy the art of mixology. I love a gin gimlet and make a mean margarita.

But champagne is my real favorite. My Fancy best and I have flooded the problems out with a few hundred bubbles, and this Corona Virus is seriously cramping my coping style, because I’d love to be sitting on the couch with her, mimosa in hand (and by mimosa I mean morning/afternoon champagne, please don’t junk up my prosecco with orange juice.) We toast to happy days and cry into our bubbles on the sad ones. We celebrate and grieve just the same… with a bubbly glass of it’s-going-to-be-ok.

I sat across from her a month ago, hot tears rolling down my cheeks as my whole universe imploded. She’d talked me through a million times of being jerked around by the opportunist I’d let crawl under my skin and take residence. I’ve cried about him for over a year and she’s loved me through going back when I knew I should run the opposite direction. Having cried into too many glasses of delicious bubbles, I apologized for the millionth time as the server walked up with a worried look on her face. Tears fell faster, as sympathy only rubber stamps my heart knowing it’s ok to break. She filled my glass to the top and patted my arm. My bright and beautiful best was grinning at me from across the table. I’d made the decision to leave and that included leaving her. Although months away, my heart broke at the thought that this was one of the last bubbly lunches.

F- Cheers! This is GOOD!!! It’s almost over!

J- I hate him so much.

F- That’s good too. I’ll drink to that.

Alcohol has always been celebratory until I got my soul ripped out through my heart. I learned what it meant to numb those feelings and ended up with a fat ass and a hangover. Medicating depression with a depressant is about as masochistic as you can get, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my relationship with alcohol in the past 2 years. I reach for a cup of tea and my knitting these days, where I was drinking instead of fostering hobbies that have always soothed me.

One bad man can make your social drinking turn serious. I gave up vodka… then gin… then wine… and settled in to face all those awful feelings, sober.

It’s really the only way to deal with the worst shit.

Seeing him walk in hung over most mornings, becoming accustomed to the endless parade of energy drinks and Powerade that accompanied him… I saw exactly what I didn’t want to become, in the man I wanted so much to love. It was confusing, and it took me a long time to see that I was only wasting my time, compromising my health and ending up with wrinkles and bleeding ulcers as a result.

Alcohol had never been a pacifier. I had to change how I drink, how I feel about drinking, and check in with myself about why I was pouring one. If there’s one silver lining to enduring all that bullshit with him, it’s that.

Drugs have never been a thing for me. I did cocaine once and hated it. I ended up at home alone at 3 am… running on my damn elliptical machine until I had to get ready for work. Worst. Day. Ever. I seriously thought I was going to die by the time the dinner rush was done at the restaurant I was working in. Never again.

Pills make me puke, the scary stuff doesn’t tempt me enough to roll those dice and I’m sexual enough without ecstasy.

Marijuana is my jam. I can clean the whole damn house, bake an entire 8 course meal AND sew a dozen easter bunnies. I get shit done when I’m high. I also eat. A lot. I love the light ease of breezing through a long, hard day with a little ganja…. but I’m not trying to be 400 pounds, and I could get there quick with a stoner habit. So it’s a limited love affair that I don’t regularly indulge. I have too much shit to do and although it’s pleasant to have your head in a cloud for a bit… reality doesn’t wait for the fog to clear and I like to be in control of my life at all times.

I’d try mushrooms though. I’ve heard a lot of hilarious stories about them and life is too short not to experiment a little.

Just don’t unpack and live there… nobody likes a strung out junkie.


Day 26: What are your beliefs?

  1. I believe in the goodness of people. Even when I’d distanced myself from all but one of my friends, even when I stopped answering calls or returning messages… my friends refused to go away.
  2. I believe in washing my hands. I’m a little obsessive about it so the fact that this Corona Virus pandemic is teaching everyone to wash their damn hands, is pure bliss for me. I love hand soap and foam, love gardenia scented bars of triple milled goats milk soap… I love being clean and smelling good. Wash, wash, wash.
  3. I believe that Tide washes your clothes better than hippie detergent. Sorry. It’s true. My mother buys the earth safe detergent and uses dryer balls. I love Tide detergent and Snuggle fabric softener. She tried… 🙂
  4. I believe that dirt fixes everything. Sad, worried, stressed, heartbroken… none of those bad times stand a chance when you’re planting shallots. Each one of these little treasures is going to turn into 10 more! shallots
  5. I’m learning to ask for help… because I absolutely believe the strongest thing you can do is admit you need it. I’ve dealt with major depression this year and can’t believe a little antihistamine would stop all my panic attacks. God bless you, Vistaril… I am humbly grateful.
  6. I believe in love, more than anything. The kind of love that sews your favorite childhood toys, the love that holds doors and offers the last of the ice cream to the little person who’d been craving it. Unconditional love is my superpower and I believe it can change anything.
  7. I believe in the magic of plastic surgery and can’t wait to remodel a little more. I’m having a tummy tuck and breast lift this spring and I. Can’t. Wait.
  8. I believe in apologizing when I fuck up. I accept genuine apologies just as easily as I offer them.
  9. I believe that bubbles with your best friend can solve the world’s problems better than anything else on earth.
  10. I believe in the power of thread count, and wish I could give each of you a set of my favorite sheets.
  11. I believe in the magic of intention. My darling Dick Appointment crawled out of the jungle twice in the last week to call me from a satellite phone. He can email me, so I teased him a little until he told me the sound of my laughter made his day. I’m probably not going to see him again, but he sure is making a trip to Africa sound better and better lately…
  12. I believe in dish towels, not paper towels. I don’t understand the mass hysteria for paper towels.. those are a luxury item in my house and an easily eliminated expense.
  13. I believe in the magic of mass on Sunday, even if I reject 2/3 of the beliefs held in the cathedral. I love being Catholic… even if I’m the most atheist version around.
  14. I believe in karma most of all. That karma fairy leaves scars on the most deserving and if I know one thing… it’s that there’s a cold dark hole in hell for the guy who named my puppy after his new girlfriend. I pity him for that. That’s gonna sting. I rehomed the puppy.
  15. I believe in thanking people for everything… even the bad stuff.

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Basically, I believe in myself and my ability to change the things that no longer serve me. I believe that bad days only amount to a bad time, not a bad life… and the good days are so common that I know the bad ones don’t count for much.

What do you believe in?


Day 25: List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

1. That I wasn’t complacent with the time I was given. I recently left a job I probably could have worked at, forever. As the vice president, I had a fair amount of job security. Then I hired the idiot who I was in love with, who broke my heart shortly thereafter, and that job I loved became a prison of consequences. Those folks who tell you not to shit where you eat? They aren’t kidding. Poverty is scary, for sure.. but the fact that I never have to see his lying, miserable face again, is right up there with winning the lottery. It’s worth every last penny.

2. That I’ve never been for sale. My heart and soul are hard-won treasure. I don’t always put them in the best place, but they are priceless and irreplaceable in the self-serving, calculating and disposable climate we live in.

3. That the things that I love most are free. Baby tomato plants, the smell of fresh coffee, a long Sunday without any plans, my little ones cuddling in my arms…. ahhh.

4. That I’d rather have an envelope of rare heirloom tomato seeds than just about anything else on earth. I spent a week just enjoying being home with nowhere to go… and then the temperature went up in my greenhouse and I started dreaming about freshly turned dirt and tiny green tomatoes starting to ripen. I braved the coronavirus yesterday to go get a bag of potting soil. 🙂

5. That I’d rather give than receive. In all situations, lol…

6. That anything that’s mine is yours if I love you. You can even have my last roll of toilet paper… and that’s saying a lot. I share so freely that sometimes I don’t realize I’ve given too much…. but that’s just me. I’d rather go find more, than watch someone I love go without.

7. That I’m funny as hell and will do my best to make you laugh, even on your saddest days. I’ll volunteer my stupidity AND my stupid heart if it means replacing your tears with laughter. I’ve loved a lot of morons, it won’t take long.

8. That my heart was always in the right place, even when I was actively working against my own best interests. This has been a shitty year full of loving the worst kind of man who gives the worst of my worst a run for their titles. I seem determined to love the ugliest dog at the shelter in hopes of saving his smelly life, with more thought to his potential than the flea-infested reality sitting in my lap.

9. That my faith is strong, regardless of the many situations and disappointments that have challenged it. I’m a huge believer in Karma and am eternally grateful to be a favorite of the Karma fairy. It may be easy to hurt and disappoint me, but OH my goodness… I don’t envy the karma that comes with that.

10. That I’m loving to a fault, friendly and welcoming to the least beloved, sharing and devoted to the people who love me in return. Oh and fickle… because when you move from my list of friends to that other list… I giggle just as much at your suffering as I did cheering your success.

Oh and…. Happy Corona Virus!

I don’t often post pictures or videos of myself, but I figured I’d say hello in person, since we’re all a bunch of shut-ins. Who’s ready for a knitting lesson??

 

 

 


Day 23: What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

That all little girls should grow up and get married and if you get divorced you’re a big fat failure.

I was married once. I had the big white dress, the sparkling diamond and even a fancy limousine departure. It was a fun party. I remember waking up the next day in our hotel suite overlooking the lake, seeing my veil on the chair beside the bed and being overwhelmingly sad that it was over. I wore that thing for two more days in protest.

We were WAY too young but we had a 2 year old already and it was the next step in what felt inevitable. I refused to get married until I could legally drink a glass of champagne at my wedding. I was 21 for 22 days before I said I do.

I had no idea how to be a wife? I was an excellent mother and knew my way around the kitchen well enough that his friends called me Betty Crocker. I sewed, cross-stitched and ripped out the front yard in our trailer park so that I could plant some flowers. I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to communicate my needs to my husband, and at 23 he was just as clueless as me.

We played house for 7 years and welcomed another baby a few years after that big party. Sometimes I think we were simply stubborn enough together that we refused to quit, even when we were both unhappy. We celebrated our 7th anniversary and he toasted me with a drink.

H- Just think. We were so young when we got married that we’ll be able to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary someday.

My blood ran a little cold and I felt nauseous. I looked at him and realized that I’d always imagined having my own life someday and I hadn’t considered the fact that he could outlive me and I might never know what that was like. When you’re a wife and mother, and especially one who is a homemaker and/or works from home, your life has everything to do with service and caring for the people you love, it doesn’t really have much to do with your dreams or goals. It’s all diapers and blow jobs.

I love being a mother and my son was the most incredible baby, toddler and little boy. I was hell bent that people who judged us for being too young would eat their words after five minutes with my bright and polite little creation. I taught him to read when he was 4, bought him a microscope when he turned 5, and tirelessly moulded both of my children into patient, well behaved, polite little angels.

I put on a hundred pounds and gave up thinking about what I wanted out of life or hoped to do with mine. It had ceased to be about me the day I lowered the blusher veil and let my dad lead me down the aisle. I was a wife and a mother, there wasn’t any room for Jenni.

Infidelity had been a problem in our marriage and people warned me that the threat of the 7 year itch was a very real thing. I had an affair and it destroyed me. I could no longer close my eyes to the things I wanted and needed in life. I couldn’t pretend anymore that I was what he wanted, either. Trapped in a bloated balloon animal version of myself, I contemplated suicide instead of ruining my family. I started running, mostly to get away from the problems that kept me awake at night and made the food I’d clung to for comfort all these years, taste bad. When I’d lost 50 pounds the real problems started to escalate. He’d loved me completely no matter what size my jeans were, but he was not comfortable with other men noticing and appreciating me.

One morning stands out in my mind because it was the day I decided that my life was important too. I woke up early, it was still dark out and he was asleep next to me. Bless his beautiful heart, he didn’t snore and I haven’t slept as well beside a man since then. He was silent and my heart was so heavy that tears fell quietly until the magenta sheets looked black beside me. I reached my hand out to put it on his chest and he shrugged and rolled over, turning his back to me.

I told him I wanted a divorce that day and life changed forever.

I’ve had the shitiest boyfriends, the biggest gardens and just enough joyful chaos to make me feel like it wasn’t a mistake. I’ve traveled, had different careers, fallen in love too many times to count and regularly make coffee in my panties- something that drove him nuts. He has an amazing wife that has loved my babies like her own and our lives wouldn’t be complete without her.

There are no accidents, and some of us are really quite content to sleep alone in a king sized bed, indefinitely. We got divorced in 2003 and I think people are finally starting to believe me when I say I’m never getting married again.

Because coffee tastes even better when you’re naked. 🙂

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Day 22: Describe 7 things you’re awful at.

  1. I’m awful at picking a man that won’t lie to me, cheat on me, steal from me or break my heart. I’ve elevated it to an art form and have ruled them out entirely as a result. Heterosexual men are basic creatures. Much like that lump of a human they hand you when you have a baby, you only need to feed, water and love it for things to be agreeable, right? Wrong. I have an innate ability to pick the absolute worst asshole in the room. Eyes closed, heart open… I lose every damn time.
  2. Thinning root vegetables. Seriously.. someone should take my carrot seeds away. There’s honestly no point in me even planting them because I can’t grow them for shit and who needs 4000 pencil sized baby carrots? Nobody.
  3. Kitchener stitch. It’s some sort of modern day needlework witchcraft. I avoid knitting socks for precisely this reason. I loathe not being able to do something though, so I’ll figure it out eventually or die trying.
  4. Seeing the forest for the trees. I see the potential in everyone- and never stop to consider that some people are self motivated and not looking out for me or my best interests. Some folks are just users and I work overtime to see the goodness a little too much. Some of those frogs aren’t princes. Some of those warty little things are just dirty ass reptiles.
  5. Brownies. I can’t bake brownies to save my life. I don’t know why. I’ve given up trying and just buy them. I’m bitter about it though because I’m a damn domestic goddess and hate that I can’t do something.
  6. Sleep. I am the worst insomniac. I am regularly awake between the hours of 1-5 AM and generally give up and get up by 5:30. I’m painfully tired and all things considered could probably use a week of rest, straight. I won’t get it and it won’t stop me from lying awake all night again tonight… so feel free to give me any suggestions you may have.
  7. I’m awful at shaking this Incredicock nightmare. Hearing one thing and seeing another is the worst form of torture and I was crazy to think that touching him again was a good idea. It wasn’t. You can only be casual about someone you don’t care about… just as you can’t make a ho a housewife, it’s absolutely impossible to make a fuckbuddy out of the guy you’re in love with and I should have learned that painful lesson the first time with him.

I wish I had more of my shit together, but fairy godmothers aren’t real and it involves a shit load of work and time to change these things. I’m still determined, still working hard to be better, do more, live positively and strive for happiness.

I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep… -Robert Frost