A message from your friendly neighborhood Trump supporter

by renegademama

It confuses me that Donald Trump is getting such a bad rap. I’m voting for him.* And I’m going to explain why.

I’m voting for Trump because I’m hoping for a fascist state. At least I think I am. I just want everybody of the Muslim nationality to wear patches and get into camps. I only like Americans.

Wait. Muslim isn’t a nationality? Oh, well. Whatever. Close the mosques! This country is getting overrun by the ethnics and someday whites will be a minority! We need to protect our religious freedoms!

We should make Islam illegal though because ISIS.

Thanks, Obama. (Another Muslim!)

I hear America put people in camps once before and that makes sense to me because it was rooted in racism and irrational fear. I like racism and irrational fear because I’m white and those things have served me well for at least 200 years.

I endorse Trump because Sarah Palin endorses him and I like Alaska and its big bears. Very American. I also hate sex before marriage but I enjoy the two kids I had at 16.

Forgiveness! God is good! I also like the freedom girls. Remember them? They wore sparkles! I love sparkles. I love small white cheerleaders singing memorized songs like Hitler youth. It makes me clap.

I also like vague rhetoric about America being the best country in the world and how we’re going to take down the bad guys because brown people in the Middle East are the bad guys. Also they wear weird clothes. This is how we know they’re bad guys. Sometimes people talk about “white terrorists” but we all know they don’t exist because terrorists are brown.

It may not be immediately apparent how freedom girls, brown people, and weird clothing connect with Trump’s promise of freedom, but I assure you, they are connected and I, for one, am ready to make this country great again!

Like when we had Japanese Internment. Those were the good old days! Also, anti-immigration laws based on national origin. Yes, please! The heyday!

And get marriage back to its sacred condition of a man and woman marrying and divorcing 2-5 times, like Trump did, and women staying in the home and not having access to safe abortions and no gays marrying because when I say “freedom” I mean for white straight Christian men.

Jesus!

I know everything The Donald says is true because he reminds me of my grandpa and I always liked my grandpa.

Which reminds me, I like Trump because he’s a real American success story. He’s white, male, and rich, which means he WORKED HARD for what he has and never took handouts. He didn’t pay taxes because he’s an excellent businessman! His billions make him more valuable and more American and even though I’m poor, I believe THIS MAN has my interests in mind. At least he understands the value of not taking handouts, unlike like those darn urban youth.

I’m not racist though. That Hillary is a super race baiter. If people would just stop talking about racism, it would go away! Like AIDS! And poverty!

I don’t see color as long as people act white and aren’t terrorists and don’t talk funny or wear weird clothes or have a name like “Sanchez.”

Speaking of which, we need to close our borders and build a wall!

Freedom. Stamina. Big hands.

Yeah. That’s right. I endorse Trump because America was founded on FREEDOM, and Trump symbolizes freedom. He is everything right in our country, which he explains by talking about really important stuff and using the best words and not being a loser.

Trump is so smart his sentences don’t even make sense to the standard mind. What a guy! He doesn’t lie. The media just skews his words. What they say about Hillary, though, is true. 100%.

I know this because I hate her.

Really though, mostly I just love those cheerleaders in red-white-and blue satin who make me clap. And the rallies where he says “Make America Great Again!” So much hope. Right around the corner.

I love clapping.

Trump 2016.

fucktrump

 

*This is satire. I’d rather have my left arm eaten off by rats.

66 Comments | Posted in fucking satire | September 27, 2016

The good news is I made it to back-to-school night

by renegademama

The good news is, I made it to back-to-school night. I am happy to report that after 14 years, 10 months as a mother, I have figured out how to read school calendars and not miss important events like “paper parades” – HEY BTDUBS WHY CAN’T WE USE THE INTERNET FOR ALL THAT PAPERWORK LIKE REGULAR FUCKING HUMANS? – and, of course “back to school night.”

I even went for both elementary kids.

The questionable news, though, is that once again I said something I should have kept inside, thereby marking myself already as The Freak Mom. In front of the entire first grade classroom.

Why is that always my job, people? Why?

It was going fine until I tried to be funny.

(Story of my fucking life.)

But it wasn’t my fault. The teacher asked if we wanted her to “review the homework packets or throw them away at the end of the week” and I was like HAHAHA reviewing homework of first graders LOLLLZ! And I laughed, and then she looked at me, and I was like, “Oh for sure throw them away. Less work for you, and, I mean, they’re 6. We’ll probably all be okay if they’re not, like, graded.”

Approximately nobody in the room thought I was funny but HOMEWORK WHAT COME AGAIN?

It’s first grade. Where are my people? 

I shot a look at my mom, who was standing in for my husband because he was at our oldest kid’s back-to-school night, which was scheduled on, that’s right, the same night at the same time.  

Maybe the school district hates us and that’s why they make us choose kids by having it on the same night.

You know what? Maybe the same person who created the paper parade – AND CALLS IT “THE PAPER PARADE” MIGHT I ADD – also decided that having the elementary and junior high back-to-school nights at the exact same time is a good call.

This is why I don’t go to PTA meetings. I hate everything.

Also, I prefer complaining about the way things are done instead of actually doing anything about them.

WHAT? Isn’t that the American way?

Not that they don’t have good reason for making parents show up at the school instead of, oh, I don’t know, emailing like humans. I’m sure they have a perfectly good reason for making us all show up at 5pm on a Monday in August when it’s 375 degrees outside so we can stand in line with a bunch of flailing children to get tiny half-sheets of paper check-marked instead of, say, texting.

For example, it gives them a chance to size us up, and it gives us a chance to size each other up.

I’m fucking kidding. I mean, I definitely don’t ADORE the “paper parade” – event or nomenclature – but I know it’s probably the first and possibly only time some of those parents will make it onto campus to support their kids.

Stop being dicks and ruining it for the rest of us, parents.

 

Anywho, I quieted down after the homework comment and started sorting through the papers. There was a common core math grading sheet, a list of all the things my kid needs to know by second grade, a sample report card, and a daily schedule, which was jam-packed minute-by-minute with math and language arts and science and all kinds of important shit except playing, art, music, and/or any variation of FUN.

Being something of a nihilist, my brain immediately shot to everything I know about schools being machines to create worker-bees and mindless obedient drones and I thought about my little 6-year-old George and was like I MUST GET HER OUT OF HERE.

And then I remembered her telling us how they have to line up all day by number (She is number 14. She was 6 last year. So on her papers she has to write “Georgia 14,” which has always freaked me out) and this got me thinking of dystopian sci-fi novels where all the people become numbers, and then I started imagining millions of humans whose lives had been reduced to numbered assembly lines of obedience and that got me thinking of unschooling, and if that was possible, and whether or not I was personally ruined by public school, and how really that’s not relevant because I used to PLAY in school in 1987 and then I heard my mom say, “Janelle! Are you even listening?!”

No. No I was not, mom. I was imagining dystopian death camps, but thanks.

Also, damn. Now the teacher is talking about folders. This seems important.

But I start coloring the bookmark we’re supposed to make for our kid because LEMME TELL YA SOMETHING IF I DON’T DO IT NOW THAT SHIT AIN’T HAPPENING EVER.

I write “You are my best” and possibly cry a little, because she was two years old when she started saying that to me and now here she is in The Matrix.

When I tune back in she’s telling us about “reading packets” and I catch the last, fatal words, “Must be turned in weekly,” and I know I’m fucked.

Uh, mom did you catch that? 

Hi, I’m 37.

Then it was over. I looked around at the parents and I was like, “Wow, homework in first grade, huh?” And they were like, “Yep!” with glee.

So I nudged, “Seems a little young, don’t you think?”

They unanimously disagreed, saying “it wasn’t much” and “taught responsibility.”

In my brain, I added VOLUNTEERING TO BECOME NUMBERS as a thematic element to my dystopian fiction while I smiled  largely) to mask my utter fear of them.

A sentence formed in my head: When did they give up living? The main character would ask that at some point. I felt a wave of depression.

All of this because of first-grade back-to-school night.

Is this normal?

Where are my fellow weirdo nihilists? I NEED YOU. Can we have some sort of signal for events like this?

Like at the paper parade and back-to-school night we can have a hand gesture that means, “Yes, I too am worried about folders and numbers and lines obliterating humanity one gleeful school year at a time and together we must FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT for of brain and body!”

Later, my friend told me I could just not have her do the homework, which I thought was fucking brilliant, but when I asked George about it she was like, “I can’t wait to do homework!”

So that was a motherfucking quandary.

But she does hate lining up all day. And I can’t blame her.

I told her she should enjoy it now, because someday, when we all exist on rubber assembly line belts moving through our lives with microchip-brains, lining up in sequential order will feel like the good ol’ days.

I didn’t actually say that though. I know better.

Sometimes.

I just told her, “Lining up sucks, but keep one foot out of the line at all times to remember who you are.”

She looked at me like I am an alien and ran away, but as she left, I whispered, “They can never break you unless you let them!”

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Happy new school year, bitches! Let’s make it a great super normal one!

found this battle-axe drawing on Rocket's desk so that's promising

found this battle-axe drawing on Rocket’s desk so that’s promising

What if I asked you to rethink the “low” kids?

by renegademama

Growing up, I understood that there were two groups of students: The smart ones and the dumb ones.

The ones who couldn’t sit still, who fidgeted, who “got in trouble a lot,” who got “bad” grades, who the teachers didn’t like – they were the dumb ones.

Maybe it was their fault. Maybe not. Who cares. All that mattered was they weren’t as good as the rest of us and somewhere, somehow, I knew school was made for me.

I felt a little sorry for them because their work was never on the walls and they never got picked for anything. Their position was locked forever in the barely shrouded “ability level” groups.

Call it “Group C” all you want, teacher. We know what it means.

I shook my head in irritation and sat back in sweet superiority.

They were the low kids.

I was with the high kids.

Basically, we could never mix. School was MY ZONE. They were interlopers.

 

Hey. Hi. I have one of the “low kids” now.

It’s hard to look at your son and know that some teachers will dismiss him as just another problem to be passed on to the next year and each new school year feels like teetering over the edge of a deep chasm waiting to see if we’ll fall, or, which teacher we will have.

It feels like a fucking lottery. (Thankfully, we won it this year.)

It’s hard to see your son in all his complexity reduced, once a year, to a pdf of psychological assessments and charts and tables, the far right column stacked with numbers correlating to the “low average” and “deficient” and “at risk” section of their bell curve, over and over again like a brick across your face even though the very first line states “high intelligence.”

My boy will be the one coloring on his notebook while the teacher is talking. He’ll be drawing a battle-axe on a tiny sliver of paper. He’ll be fidgeting with a loose screw on the desk leg.

He’ll be the slowest to read. He’ll be pulled out of the room. He’ll be on question #1 when the class is already done with the worksheet. He may be told to “hurry up.” He may have a pen ripped out of his hand. He may have an aide sit next to him and say, “You’re doing great. What can we do next?”

He’ll be tongue-tied in the front of the room. He’ll be struggling for the right word. In the timed spelling tests, he’ll get 1 out of 10.

And you may see him as the low kid. You may see him as the interloper. The trouble. The bother.

 

What if I told you he memorizes directions to cities we’ve been to once?

What if I told you he fixes our vacuum by scanning the damn thing and tells me how small engines at the fair work even though nobody has taught him about engines or vacuums or maps?

What if I told you he does math word problems in his head and what if I told you when he’s sitting there flicking the end of his pencil over and over again that HE IS ACTUALLY LISTENING, that is him listening, and if you ask him a question about what you just read he will tell you all about it and even more than that he’ll tell you what he knows about it because he’s curious.

What if I told you he’s curious, wise, and trying?

He wants to be with you. He wants to succeed. He wants to be a “high kid.” Fuck these categories. He wants in anyway. We all do. That’s how this system works, you know.

He wants to speak more clearly. He wants to talk as fast as you. He wants to get his thoughts out he wants to decode he wants to read at the level his brain is capable of comprehending

but mostly he wants to not be broken.

Shamed and punished.

For being dyslexic.

(But even that he can’t say. That is what I say, and fight for, and will accept nothing less than.)

 

What if told you he has a headache at the end of each school day and falls asleep by the time we are at the freeway exit because every hour my kid works at school feels like an entire day and he gets up every morning and does it anyway. Because he wants to have his work on the wall.

What if I asked you to remember that?

What if I asked you to remember that when you’re teaching or volunteering or speaking with your “high” kids or watching that kid who’s always behind, like an irritant, an intruder, a distraction from the “smart kids” who “want to learn.”

What if I asked you to rethink the whole scenario, all the “low kids.”

Because the main difference between my kid and yours is that SCHOOL IS NOT MADE FOR MINE.

(Possibly, it’s not made for either of them, but that’s another blog post.)

So here’s to the kids in the back. And their parents.

They’re higher than we know.

It’s up to us to rise.

And meet them.

I share this photo often because it's everything I'm trying to say in one image.

I share this photo often because it’s everything I’m trying to say in one image.

21 things standing between me and “reasonable bedtimes”

by renegademama

Last week a super handy chart took its 10,000 laps around the internet and I once again realized either: a.) The whole fucking parenting world is batshit; or b.) I am worse at this than formerly thought.

You see, the chart in question outlines the times a kid should go to bed based on age and what time he or she wakes up in the morning. For example, a 6-year-old waking up at 6:30am should go to bed at 7:30pm.

Seven. Fucking. Thirty.

Mmmkay. This sounds amazing. This sounds amazing because if my little kids went to bed at 7:30 and my big kids at 8pm, my husband and I would have like two hours of KID FREE GLORY to ignore each other together on the couch while watching Netflix but actually just playing with our phones.

Truly, do we have no soul left? What is wrong with us?

I hate myself.

Anyway, my kids never go to bed at 7:30pm even if one of them has strep. Lies. They go to bed at 7:30pm when they have strep.

Why are we talking about this? I hate this conversation. Getting my kids to bed “on time” each night is somehow the hardest goddamn thing I do each day. I realize that probably means I have pretty nice days.

I try people I TRY. And every day I feel the sun kissing my face with the promise of a new day, a new chance to get my kids to bed before 9pm. Or 9:30pm.

GET OFF HERE IF YOU’RE JUST GOING TO TELL ME HOW I’M RUINING MY KIDS WITH MY LACK OF CONSISTENT BEDTIME.

Nobody likes you.

We eat together at least 75% of the time though, so there. Leave me alone.

 

It’s hard, you know. And seriously, 9:30pm is late even for us, but SEVEN FUCKING THIRTY? Come on.

Usually my evenings go like this:

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Relax…

REALIZE IT’S 9:15PM HOLY FUCK HOW DID THAT HAPPEN EVERYBODY TO BED NOOWWWWWWW

There are just so many things standing between me and reasonable bedtimes. For example:

  1. Absolutely nobody under the age of 30 is as interested in reasonable bedtimes as I am. I made an infographic to convey the complexity of the situation:

BEDTIMEsit

  1. And yet, they are the ones whose bodies need to move to their beds. And sometimes, I just don’t feel like dealing with them. Here’s a pie chart of things I’d rather do than deal with four bodies who aren’t interested in bed:

bedtimeratherdo2

  1. Also, we’re supposed to eat dinner before bedtime.
  2. And I am supposed to make that dinner.
  3. Or my husband is supposed to make dinner and he sucks at it as much as I do.
  4. Also sometimes I realize we have no food and it’s 6pm so instead I sit on the couch in denial about dinner.
  5. Or I “run to the store” but once I get there, start enjoying the alone time, so I spend an hour gazing at earth-friendly toilet cleansers, which gets me home at 7pm, and ruins everything again.
  6. After-school “enrichment” activities including but not limited to Boy Scouts, swimming, dance classes, random teen “fun” events. HOW THE HELL DO YOU GET KIDS TO BED AT 7:30pm IF OTHER KIDS NEED TO BE SOMEWHERE UNTIL 8PM?
  7. All the kids are sitting quietly somewhere and I’m enjoying the silence so much I can’t bring myself to disturb them by demanding they get up and go to bed.
  8. Fights with my husband. Look, you never know when a good clean fight needs to happen. I can’t control nature people.
  9. On the other hand there is a small possibility I can control when I fight with my husband.
  10. Forgotten homework at 7:45pm. The fucking worst.
  11. Forgotten project at 8pm. Never mind this is the worst.
  12. Trips to urgent care because I’m sure he’s got swine flu this time. I AM SURE OF IT.
  13. Baths, because there is only so long you can push it. You know?
  14. Random total parental failure.
  15. Temporary lapse in judgment.
  16. We’re at my mom’s house and I like it there because it’s clean.
  17. We’re at the farmer’s market eating lamb shawarma. Have you ever had it? One does not simply leave lamb shawarma. I don’t give a fuck who needs to go to bed.
  18. My child needs her 75th glass of water and a new sleeping arrangement or that one stuffed animal or possibly a new life entirely, but definitely the glass of water. 
  19. WE ARE ENJOYING EACH OTHER AND HANGING OUT FOR ONCE AND FRANKLY I DON’T WANT TO FUCK WITH THAT.

I get it. Sleep matters. All this parenting stuff matters. But seriously, fuck these charts.

I COUNTER YOUR CHARTS WITH RIDICULOUS INFOGRAPHICS.

You know, sometimes evenings are really the only time we all get to BE together. Just hang out. It’s the end of the day. There’s nothing to do. We can chill as people who like each other. We can sit around. We can calm down.

It can’t be all business all the time. Right?

Plus, it’s 7:30 somewhere.

It’s a reasonable bedtime somewhere. And that’ll have to do for now.

You are not your fucking minivan

by renegademama

We needed a new car. We drove a 2007 Expedition until it had 193,000 miles, a giant dent in the back, 159 smaller dents, ripped interior seats, broken visors, and an overwhelming scent of something. At this point, your guess is as good as mine.

Our decision to buy the Expedition was mostly about two things: Money and my ego. It was affordable, and it wasn’t a minivan.

But now, with four kids (we had three when we bought the Expedition), it makes about zero sense that we would attempt to shove our gaggle into anything OTHER than a minivan.

And yet, my guts retaliated. My whole self raged. I damn near bought a car that would require back-row kids to keep their knees at their chins. 

Wait. Would that have stopped them from talking? Shiiiiiit.

Seriously though, lemme just say that I am damn grateful to have the chance to buy a car, and even have a choice in which car to buy, and this is not lost on me, and there is a good chance I will sound like a whiney-ass douche while writing about OMG WHICH CAR SHOULD I BUYYYYYYY THIS IS SO HARDDDDDDD.

It’s not that hard. I’m fucking fortunate. Hashtag blessed.

 

Now let’s get back to my whining.

My intellect knew a minivan made more sense than any other car. The fucking doors open with a button. A BUTTON PEOPLE.

And there’s all kinds of space. And it gets way better gas mileage than a damn SUV. All reason and logic and decency point to minivan. And honestly, I wanted it. I wanted the comfort, but I was almost ashamed for wanting it.

Something about it felt a little like dying. Like giving up. Like surrendering to middle-aged obscurity.

I hate myself. I’m better than this! I am more than my car. I AM NOT MY FUCKING MINIVAN.

Except it kind of feels like I am.

 

But when I sat in the thing and pushed buttons to do all kinds of fancy shit and saw the backing-up camera and rear trunk space and DVD player I was like this ride is fucking sweet – fuck your fucking sexist car assumptions.

And we got it. And I love it.

But I’ve been thinking about the way I fought against it. What was it exactly?

I realized that in my head, a minivan says, “Welp you’re old and fat and unfuckable now. You’re all washed up. You wear ‘mom jeans’ and dress like it’s 1999 and your main purpose in life now is carpool-punctuality and getting those squeeze-apple things on clearance at Target.”

First of all: I fucking hate those squeezy food things. If I got that shit on my hands, I might actually throw up. No judgment though. I’m just saying.

And second: “You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

Thank you, Tyler.

I AM THE ALL-SINGING, ALL-DANCING CRAP OF THE WORLD.

Do you ever think about the sexist shit you’ve internalized and allow to inhabit space in your brain? Do you ever shake your head in awe at how many jacked-up things we believe about ourselves?

It’s a car. Not an identity. It’s a convenient-ass car that opens like a space-shuttle.

It does not open like a space-shuttle. I made that up. It does however feel a little like a rocketship with all those windows.

Meanwhile, while I’m worried about losing my sex appeal via turning into a wide-girth automobile, salespeople are assessing my value based on my gender. Meanwhile, while I’m trying to please the patriarchy, the patriarchy is giving me another “fuck you.”

While I’m internalizing sexism, sexism is leveling me and I’m still worried about pleasing it. Goooooo team!

Specifically, at the first car dealership we visited, a salesman walked up to my husband and I, shook both our hands, but when he shook my husband’s, said: “Hello, BOSS.”

Yes, he’s the boss. Boss man. Good ol’ bossy Mcbosserson.

While test-driving, the salesman asked Mac what he did for a living and asked me how many kids we have, assuming a washed-up broad with 4 kids clearly does not work. I felt erased, and yet money I earn was helping buy that fucking space-shuttle. (We did not buy it from him.)

I was erased from decisions and erased from the economics. Within 15 minutes.

I wanted to tell salesdude that he should try joining the rest of us in 2016 (come on in, the air is fine), but I only speak when my boss gives me permission. The rest of the time I try to stand there and look cute and grateful and sexy if at all possible.

I JEST I NEVER ACTUALLY STOP FUCKING TALKING AND RUNNING THINGS.

Anywho, here’s the thing: How the hell did they convince us that buying a convenient, utilitarian vehicle is somehow a diminishment of our character? And how the fuck did I buy into it?

And how come nobody looks at a dad driving a minivan and thinks, “Well he’s clearly lost his will to live.”

No, we think: HOT DEVOTED DAD OMG MAYBE HE EVEN HAS DAD BOD.

Wait. Is that his wife? Oh how sad she’s clearly let herself go.

You know what? I’m not my fucking minivan. I’m not even my “mom jeans.” What are those? Do I have those? Seriously. WHAT ARE THOSE?

I’m not yoga pants or my “mommy blog” (DIE IN A FIRE FUCKERS).

I’m a 37-year-old woman who has four kids, an intellect, interests, and a relatively smokin’ writing career if I may say so myself and even IF my whole life was carpools and squeeze-food things, capitalist patriarchy can kiss my mom ass.

Also, Tyler is hot.

Thank you, Tyler.

Tyler-durden-1

38 Comments | Posted in feminist AF | August 16, 2016