Posts Filed Under Things I shouldn’t say out loud let alone Publish on the Internet…

My husband and I went to Chicago and remembered we don’t hate each other.

by renegademama

How the fuck is somebody supposed to stay married and happy while raising children? Is that even a thing?

Oh, whatever. Fine.

Mac and I are “happy,” sure. In the bigger picture, if you zoom way out and look at us from, say, Saturn, we’re the happiest motherfuckers who ever lived.

But on a daily basis, we more resemble two individuals who low-key hate each other. I’m something of an irritable, impatient asshole, and he eats chips too loudly.

See?

No for real though, I don’t get to shred my husband online because I’m not that big of an asshole, but he has idiosyncrasies that often make me want to stab myself in the eyeballs with small sharp sticks, and I have those too, and we’re just fucking over our lives a good portion of the time.

Maybe we’re defective. We’re definitely defective.

We bicker a lot, lash out at each other regularly, but the big shit is gone. Separation is not on the table. We haven’t been a question in at least 9 years. And yes, if you do the math, we’ve been together 17. IT HAS BEEN A LONG ROAD, OKAY?

It isn’t that we don’t like each other, it’s that our daily lives don’t offer many opportunities to remember how much we like each other.

We are overwrought in general, and he’s the closest person to me, and I’m the closest person to him, and thus, we take that shit out on one another. We aren’t having BIG problems: cheating, abuse, total and complete emotional distance.

We have more of what I’d call: I’m tired and you’re irritating me.

Those Instagram couples traveling around the world with their legs entwined and chakras aligned, enjoying deeply spiritual sex next to a lake and strategically placed canoe, are living a slightly different life than we are.

We work. We drive. We take care of kids. We clean the house. We cook. We try to pay off student loans. We plan.

And in between, we try to be a married couple.

 

It’s a lovely idea that we “put marriage first,” but in my experience, this is easier to say than do. Kid needs are more immediate. It’s easy to set marriage aside when being pummeled by ninety different kid issues.

And yet, we’ve done okay at it.

Sort of.

If you lower the bar significantly.

I’m not sure if it’s self-centeredness or a mature devotion to Keeping Our Marriage Alive, but Mac and I have always insisted on going out together, alone. Let’s say it’s the second one, although really, does it matter? We are vaguely old and definitely tired, and it’s often a huge pain in the ass, but fairly regularly, we go hear bands or see plays or go to dinner, alone, or with friends” sans small people.

We didn’t fucking disappear when we had kids. We’re adults, goddamnit. We like things. We like things that don’t involve children.

We are primarily able to do this because we have grandparents nearby. Lots of them. That was part coincidence and part choice. One of the reasons we’ve never left our area is, um, to have grandparents nearby, lots of them.

But the truth is, even with our little “dates,” which often leave us doubly exhausted the next day, we sometimes spend our time together rehashing bullshit in our family – talk the whole time about some kid, or some situation, or a fight we had five years ago but must address again just for funsies.

And sometimes, if we go on long enough like this, I can forget what we are, what we were, what we’ve always been.

Friends.

For the first time in fifteen years, Mac and I went on a trip together, alone, for more than a weekend. We spent five nights away together, in San Francisco for a night, then Chicago.

And we remembered we like each other.

It was a celebration for the publication of my book. I wanted to make sure he came on tour with me at some point, and since neither of us had really been to Chicago, and it’s quite far from our lives (and thus feels pretty special), I rented us a fucking 39th floor condo (with a rooftop hot tub) in downtown Chicago and we went to Hamilton and ate the best food in the world (for real, wtf, Chicago? How is your food so good?), and we strolled around the Art Institute and slept in and had a lot of sex (sorry for saying that, Dad), and held hands walking down the street at 1am and at one point, I looked over at him and realized I was remembering that he’s the best friend I’ve ever fucking had.

And still the hottest man I’ve ever seen.

And maybe the kindest, and warmest, and with everything stripped away, with a few days of “just us,” I saw our 17 years together, with all the distraction and mayhem and separation and beauty and pain, as nothing much beyond “just us.”

At its core, it’s always been “just us.”

We went to Chicago, and remembered we don’t just love each other. We really fucking like each other.

I’m not telling you to do that. We were lucky as hell and it was a great privilege (as I say, once in 15 years), but I guess what I’m saying is that such things are possible, and I wonder if we really tried, if I could pull from those moments a little more often, to look at him and see my friend – my friend, apart from the rest, always, just a touch – and trust he’ll see me the same.

Or that we can, at least, head back to Chicago, if not in body, in a little bit of soul.

 

I took a selfie but caught him looking at me instead of the camera which kind of gives me feelings.

***

Hey friends, you’ll notice that there’s a little slide-in pop-up with my dog’s face asking you to subscribe to my newsletter. I have written this blog for seven fucking years and never engaged in such behavior (the pop-up. dog face is irrelevant).

In short, I’m doing it now because Facebook is a fucking dick who shows my posts to virtually nobody, and I don’t have $2k per post (not kidding) to throw into ads, so IN OTHER WORDS, I have been forced by The Man to invent ways to get my work to you to feed my family and sell my book to keep writing and you know what?

I hate this. It’s weird.

But the facts remain. Here we are, and I’m immensely grateful for every single one of you.

Also, your messages and emails and comments about said book. I am overwhelmed, but more on that later. I think I need to talk to you in a Facebook live video (and…back to that bastard). I can’t explain it all right now.

Also, when you sign up for this shit (my newsletter), you will get an ebook I wrote called “To the Mom who Thinks She’s Disappeared.”

No answers, of course, but I definitely see you.

GET ME IN YOUR INBOX

31 things we all do while thinking we’re the only ones

by renegademama

I’ve been a mother for 16.5 years, and I still do things that shock me, experience things I never thought would happen, and every time they do, I think, “Am I the only one? I bet I’m the only one.”

I know intellectually I’m not. My brain is like, “Obviously, Janelle, you are not the only one. Don’t be silly.”

But my heart seems to ache a little, as if I could avoid mistakes or missteps or outright bad behavior were I a better person. A better mother. A low-grade saint of some sort, perhaps.

So, let’s just clear the damn air here.

And look, maybe you won’t do all these things – although I have because I’m something of an overachiever (don’t be jealous) – but there will come a time when you wonder am I the only one struggling so royally here? And the answer, my friend, is NO, and that is my fucking point here.

Okay fine here we go.

31 things you’ll do as a mother while vaguely suspecting you’re the only one 

  1. You’ll have some bulletproof theory or plan to which you are staunchly devoted. And then you will abandon it. This may be conscious, or you may just forget it one day and be like OH RIGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO THAT.
  2. You will sometimes feed your kids super unhealthy food even though you know better, and when asked, you may low-key lie.
  3. You will swear you won’t co-sleep. And then you will. You will swear you’ll co-sleep and then not. You will swear that devil dust formula shall never touch your baby’s golden tummy, and then you’ll try pumping at work and be like: “Oh fuck this all the way to Christmas” and that formula will transform into manna from heaven.
  4. YOU WILL ADHERE TO A PARENTING PHILOSOPHY WITH ALL YOUR HEART THEN ABANDON THAT SHIT BECAUSE, well, a variety or reasons, really.
  5. You will forget birthday parties and realize your child has to go to school the next day and get reminded of how she missed it. You will make a solemn oath to put that shit in your calendar.
  6. You will put that shit in your calendar and forget anyway.
  7. Your kids will say things so fucked up and disgusting relating to hygiene that you’ll wonder where, truly, you went wrong in their rearing. For example, you may realize your kid doesn’t wipe “because it takes too long.”
  8. You’ll wonder if perhaps you aren’t even raising humans, but instead some weird version of formerly unknown mammal.
  9. You will go to the beach and not bathe the kids for three days and therefore the sand will stay in their hair and they will go through life like that.
  10. You will hook your kids up to television so you can clean the house or have them contained or simply can’t parent today.
  11. You will walk into a room fully intending to clean it, look around, and walk out.
  12. Same with laundry.
  13. You’ll wash the same load 4 times because it keeps mildewing in the washer.
  14. You will make vague, impossible threats.
  15. You will make legitimate threats.
  16. You will fail to follow through on both.
  17. You will cave after establishing legitimate punishments because you fuckin feel bad for some reason.
  18. After doing that a few times, you’ll be like, I really need to follow through on these punishments or my kid will grow up to be an asshole and I’ll lose all credibility and MAYBE THEY ARE ALREADY RUINED.
  19. You will sometimes cave to tantrums even though you know this is a horrid way of parenting. You will do this because the end of the tantrum in that moment is worth more than your child’s overall character.
  20. You will let your toddler scream in Target and not give a shit because you’re too old and tired.
  21. You will probably not tell the truth about how often you feed your kid shit food, cave to tantrums, release yourself from the bonds of parental standards, and/or not follow through on STEADFAST PUNISHMENTS.
  22. You’ll ruin a vacation by fighting with your partner.
  23. You’ll ruin some high-stakes event by yelling or being a nondescript asshole.
  24. You’ll know you are the asshole but find yourself unable to stop.
  25. You’ll say you’re sorry.
  26. You’ll try to be better.
  27. You’ll do it again.
  28. You’ll forget something super major that no way normal mothers forget. For example, the school enrollment deadline. Wait. Is that just me? Seriously. It might be.
  29. You’ll try to make it to two events at once, for a friend and your child, and you will not make it the child’s event, and that event will be your son singing in a school play, and you will walk in the door just as he says his last line, and then you will walk back outside, and cry until you can’t cry anymore, because you let him down and fucked up and knew better.
  30. You will wonder if you’re the only one who could possibly screw up like that.
  31. You will hope you aren’t, and rely on honest friends, and ignore the ones who say I WOULD NEVER.

And I think, at some point, that will almost be enough to convince us.

I forgot one: YOU WILL THREATEN TO ANNIHILATE YOUR KIDS IF THEY DON’T SMILE FOR THE FUCKING GROUP PHOTO, which will totally ruin the holiday moment.

 

***

You know what comes out in 21 days? 
MY MOTHERFUCKING BOOK.

Check it out, and preorder now to have it in your mailbox on May 1:

 

 

 

And don’t forget to email me a copy of your confirmation (to fatcorrectly@gmail.com), or a screenshot, so I can send you the chapter I had to cut called “I Can’t Even Be Fat Correctly.” It was very sad to cut, for obvious reasons.

***

14 most spectacularly uncool moments of my pregnancies, summarized for women waiting for a baby who will never come.

by renegademama

My friend is 38 weeks pregnant and I sense she feels a little guilty about not enjoying these final weeks of pregnancy at all.  

And so, for her and all the other mothers out there in their last few weeks of pregnancy wondering if it actually sucks as bad as you think it does, I offer this compilation of the 14 biggest bullshit moments of my four pregnancies, all of which occurred in the last few weeks of said gestational periods.

Now, before I continue, I need to warn you: This is for sure beyond “too-much-information” and possibly falls into the Do-You-Have-No-Dignity-Left-At-All category, but I’m posting it anyway because, you know what? The last month of pregnancy is TMI.

The whole fucking thing is too much information.

Women go through some shit – often literally – to have these babies. We endure a physical discomfort and bodily weirdness that defies all reason and decency, and yet we continue. We go on. We go on to birth these babies and mother them through it all, because we are badasses. Period. So I’m going to talk about the real things because they are the, um, real things.

Plus, I love you all more than I love my dignity.

So, here we go:

  1. The time with my first kid when my entire family showed up a week before my due date waiting for the baby and every day I got to waddle downstairs – having gained 70 pounds due to donuts and preeclampsia, resulting in ankles my husband used to indent two inches with his finger and roar in laughter, and though I wanted to tell the family gathered round to FUCK OFF AND DIE BECAUSE NO THERE AREN’T CONTRACTIONS,” I couldn’t say that because I was still trying to be “nice.” (I was only 22. Cut me some slack.)
  2. The day before that same first kid was born and I stomped downstairs like an irate penguin and my husband Mac looked at me and said, “Well, good morning, gentle feather.” And I couldn’t stab him.
  3. That time I was vacuuming and slightly lost control of my bowels, which nobody tells you is even a thing or could be a thing, but, apparently, IS, and then later that day had to stand on a scale while a male OBGYN looked at me and said, “We should probably talk about your weight gain.” And I couldn’t stab him either.
  4. Or perhaps it was the endless attempts at using sex to “induce labor” which really just meant my husband got to enjoy life even more while I prayed to baby Jesus mine would end if I couldn’t have this baby today.
  5. Or how about that time I had my first homebirth and had some bullshit bacteria in my vagina, so the midwives told me to take a clove of garlic, needle a string through it, and insert into my vag as a special device they lovingly called a “garlic tampon.”
  6. Followed by an injection of yogurt into the vagina. You haven’t known “low point” until you’ve inserted yogurt into an orifice you can’t even see.
  7. Waitwaitwait no. Fuck that. None of us have known “low-point” until you have hemorrhoids so bad you can barely walk and no medicine works so your midwife suggests “a potato suppository” and you find yourself at 2am cutting a potato into a thin strip to shove up your ass because life is no longer worth living.
  8. And then both dumbass hippie remedies work, meaning everything you knew about the world is wrong, and you’re still pregnant, so feel no joy. Because I want my baby. All I want is my baby, who is never coming. This is a fact. Never coming.
  9. Speaking of baby, my favorite is when the baby “drops” and everyone says “any day now” and “Aren’t you more comfortable now?” and you’re like NO MOTHERFUCKER NOW THE BABY IS ON MY BLADDER AND HALF OUT MY VAGINA INSTEAD OF WEDGED IN MY RIBS. How the hell do you define ‘comfort?’”
  10. With my last pregnancy, I taught college until five days before my due date and the only car we had for me was this tiny maroon Toyota scion with a stick shift and every single time I got in it, I was sure I could never get out, and I’d have to basically throw my upper body out the car and hope for the best, all in front of a bunch of perky ass teenagers with incredible optimism and zest for life while I attempted to launch myself out of a small, rusty vehicle. Who am I and how did I get here. I woke up every day for three weeks thinking, I cannot do this. I would give anything to not get dressed.
  11. My other favorite is the two weeks with Arlo when every time I laid down, contractions would begin – every night for two weeks – and when I got up, they’d stop. They would stop. So I couldn’t sleep, ever. They just kept me awake. That’s all they did. They didn’t dilate shit. THEY JUST KEPT ME AWAKE FOR TWO WEEKS.
  12. I peed 345,000 times a night, and every time I did, I’d gaze at the toilet paper hoping for a spot of blood, or the famed “mucus plug” which literally nobody has ever seen, only to go back to bed and have fake contractions for funsies.
  13. How about that time I decided, in a fit of unbridled desperation, to drink castor oil to induce labor and all I did was shit for nine hours? That was cool.
  14. There is no dignity left. I walk like a penguin. Nothing fits me and I don’t even care any more. If one more person texts me to ask if I’m still pregnant, I will in fact kill you. And then, the woman due two weeks after me, has her baby before me, and I am in a heap on the ground telling my husband we need to “try sex again.”

So yeah. Check it out. The last month of pregnancy is complete and total BULLSHIT and you get to be pissed about it no matter how grateful you are to be pregnant and nobody gets to tell you to be grateful because your entire body is hijacked and surely god or nature or whatever the hell made the last portion of pregnancy a total nightmare so we’re willing to go through labor, which is rad, because baby, newborn breath, and a vague remembrance of what it’s like to not be MISERABLE PRETTY MUCH ALL THE TIME.

Take it easy. Take it real easy. One moment at a time. Eat what you want, wear what you want, tell the world to fuck off and just be, however you can. And next time you’re thinking you’re the only one this miserable, think about potato suppositories.

I’m with you, sister.

You know what’s awful? When I see this, I MISS IT. Somebody help me.

 

***

You know what REALLY helps authors? When you preorder their book.

Also, real talk: I do not put anything in my ass in this whole book. 

We can all take comfort in that little factoid.

I want to be the man in the BBC video.

by renegademama

So, we need to talk about that viral video with the dude whose kids barged in while he was being interviewed. You remember. The yellow-shirted child who walked in owning the place, and then the baby in the walker who charged in after? Yeah, them.

I found it cute. Of course, the Super Concerned Citizens Brigade had some concerns about the way he gently pushed his kid away. Of course they did. Because one should always be excited about having their children around. They are precious gifts from god, even while working. Obviously.

(Nope.)

And of course the people wondering why we are “congratulating a man for doing what women do all the time.”

Hmmm. Okay.

I thought it was an amusing glimpse into the shared experience of trying to work from home with children who don’t give a fuck that you’re trying to work from home.

And then there was a parody video: “How a woman would have handled it.” And it was a woman picking up the toddler and giving her a bottle instead of trying to get rid of her, and then roasting chicken and ironing and putting out a bomb and helping her husband find a sock, etc. It was funny.

I mean, sort of, until I realized the video wasn’t really critiquing the process, and in fact, the woman joyfully states at the end: “Alright let’s find this sock then!”

The point of course was to highlight women as master multi-taskers who would have DONE IT ALL while being interviewed about international politics, and I fear I may be the only person on the planet who thinks this is utter bullshit.

Look, I love humor. And I’m only uptight on Sundays. I’m the funniest person I know (this is not true). But I felt a wave of repulsion when I saw that video.

I know the point was to “revere” women and point out our incredible ability to take care of all the things all the time and hold down careers. I get that. And yay us.

But truly, fuck that shit.

I want to be the man in that video.

No, I AM the man in that video. When I work, I don’t want my kids around. I don’t want them barging in. I don’t want to feed them a bottle while I do my job. And frankly, fuck you for expecting me to do so.

I don’t want to be the one grilling shrimp and changing a diaper while writing a book. Yes, I 100% EXPECT MY HUSBAND TO GET THE FUCKING TODDLER OUT OF MY FUCKING ROOM SO I CAN WORK.

Sorry for yelling, but come on.

Roasting chicken, doing taxes, buying coconut oil, and planning parent-teacher conferences while working is to some extent the reality of my life, but mostly I accomplish “motherhood and career balance” by failing in rotating areas and lowering my motherfucking standards. I put out fires and focus on that which must be done right now.

Glorification of this “do it all” mode of being makes my stomach turn. I do a lot of things in a lot of areas, but I sure as hell don’t do them perfectly, joyfully, or with an attitude of “no problem. I got this honey.”

Why is it that women have accepted “juggle all the things” as our job? Why and how and when did we get it through our heads that we are even CAPABLE of such a thing (::whispers:: it’s the patriarchy)? We all know it’s impossible, and yet we celebrate it.

It has become a mark of accomplishment for “women,” an intrinsic aspect of our identities, a badge we wear with apparent honor.

I’m a writer. I have a major deadline coming up in five weeks. For the past three weeks, one of my children or I have been sick in rotating cycles of hell that have reduced my already scant 20-hours a week of office time to 4-5 hours a week. To make up for it, I have worked evenings and entire weekends, which means I leave my family for two days at a time, missing activities and evening events and their faces. I have all but ceased grocery shopping and cooking. I missed a parent-teacher conference because I had the date wrong. I may or may not be returning phone calls.

Ultimately, I have to REMOVE myself from my family to pursue my career. It’s hard, and it stings. But is it worth it? Yes. That’s why I do it.

You know who picks up the slack? My husband.

Because that is what we do for each other because we are not superheroes we are humans. 

So please stop implying that my family can literally or figuratively join me in my workspace, or that if I were a better woman, I would bring the kid onto my lap rather than kick her the hell out of my office.

 

And the truly unfortunate thing here is that I have the “ideal” career for “balancing” motherhood and work. I work for myself, so I have “flexibility.” My husband works two hours away as an ironworker. He is not available during the days. If he doesn’t show up for work, he doesn’t get paid. I am grateful I can be here.

But even though I enjoy “ideal” conditions, this shit is still impossible. I cannot do it all. Ever. And I’m growing mighty tired of the idea that I can.

I know people will read this and say, “Hey genius if you wanted a career, why’d you have so many kids?”

And to you I say: That is an excellent question.

And I will answer it as soon as we start regularly asking men the same question: “Hey man, why did you have so many kids if you wanted a career?”

Most of us are working – men and women – BECAUSE WE NEED TO EAT. But only one of the genders is being asked why the fuck they aren’t getting the ironing done.

I’m kidding. Obviously nobody actually irons.

 

When I excel in one area, it is at the cost of another.

When I focus on one area, I have less focus to offer other areas.

This is logic. Excellent stuff.

I cannot do it all. I cannot balance it all. I cannot perform at stellar levels in every damn area of existence. And that’s cool.

I will pass on the incessant multi-tasking, thanks.

So yeah, get the fuck out of my room while I work, kids.

Mama loves you.

Bye.

 

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