Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog....

Sorry to leave everyone hanging in the middle of the long awaited story behind the man who is my #1Son. I'm currently attending to my fourth born child who went into the hospital Monday night with a ruptured appendix. We are hoping to come home on Friday. She is doing well. Strong girl. Amazingly strong girl. Feel free to send prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes for us as we work to make her better!

With Love,
Zen Mama

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let Him Be - The Story of #1 Son

This is a photo of #1 Son doing what he does best, making me laugh, LOL, LMAO and all those other text speak annotations that mean the guy is funnier than shit. I dreamed him into the world but I never imagined he would be this cool.

I was 21 and had just survived what one could only describe as a prolonged stop in the deepest never regions of craaaazzzzzyyyyyy.  After marrying and shortly thereafter divorcing my high school sweetheart who was hiding a little ailment the psychiatric community likes to refer to as a classic Criminal Personality as a DSM-III-R Antisocial, Narcissistic, Borderline, and Histrionic Personality Disorder, I was spent, or was it bent? I'm really not sure.

I had moved into this ghetto really cute apartment on the north side of Oklahoma City so I could finally shed the south side trash moniker and began to set up my very first household.  At first, I had the essentials - a mattress on the floor, a TV and a few large bottles of Reunite in the fridge. White Zinfandel no less. I shudder at the thought.

I need to put this in perspective for you.  I was not the sexy, outspoken Zen Mama of today.  I had long straight hair past my waste, enormous Sally Jesse Raphael glasses and I frequently wore silk (pin on) girlie bow ties to work. I was an accountant. 

And not just any accountant, I was a bitter, washed-up, man-hating accountant who had been in the biblical sense with only one man. A man with whom she had diligently saved herself; only to get screwed on the way out as well as the way in. How could I have known he was a murderer?  Mama didn't teach me about such things.  You can bet your sweet ass MY girls will know how to properly identify a psychopath.

After a few months of spending my lousy pittance of a paycheck on used furniture from the rental-return place, I felt ready to venture out into the world.  I now had a couch, love seat and coffee table, a dining room set, some "artwork" and a bed frame.  I was feeling empowered. So I did what any inexperienced, pent-up, southern girl who had been taught to always be a lady would do.  I went a little wild. Okay, it was a subdued version of wild but certainly a change of pace for yours truly.

This was long before the age of internet dating.  Hell, we barely had PC's at the time. Our work place was still functioning with a large main frame computer that took up an entire office by itself.  Left to my own devices, I figured I had to get out there and meet people at the only decent place in town; no, not the church, too hypocritical - I went straight for the bars.

Let me break this down for you. You had your country line dancing bars with a bunch of "ladies drink free" specials.  I saw right through that one, thank God.  Otherwise, I could have ended up leaving with Booger the Red Neck in his monster truck. He would have fallen in love with me right there in his fancy double wide trailer and that would have been my life, except I would have then been forever known as Mrs. Booger and I wasn't having any of that.

My second choice for a watering hole in Oklahoma City was the remnant disco bars that had either refused to die or they simply hadn't heard that disco was dead. They were still all "I like the nightlife, I like to boogie" complete with flashy gold lame halter top wearing chicks (and dudes) and healthy doses of ecstasy. I had just begun to experiment with drinking and I had never done drugs so that was out.

My third choice was the neighborhood, friendly bar/restaurant. The kind of place where everybody knows your name, except without Sam, Diane and the gang.  I found a place that was so comfortable for me, I didn't mind stopping by a la carte, or in other words available for meeting separate from others - by myself.  Not sure where this new found confidence was coming from but I actually seemed to prefer it. It allowed me to find my spot in the corner and watch.  I was a voyeur, like Dian Fossey, studying the order of tavern-dwelling primates.

One night while I was safely ensconced and happily perusing the crowd, I noticed a tall man with dark hair, big brown eyes and the most interesting facial structure I had ever seen.  It appeared his cheek bones and chin had been chiseled by the hand of God himself.  

And through my haze of cheap White Zinfandel, I imagined he could spawn one helluva a good looking baby. You see, somewhere along the journey, I had determined I would never venture into marriage again but after having lost two babies with Mr. Personality, I desperately wanted a child.  A child of my own - for me, just me - not to share with anyone else. This was the mind of one fucked-up 21 year old girl.

I slithered out of my corner booth and made my way over to the young man, who as luck would have it, was my age and had his own share of issues.  He was graduating from a liberal arts college with a degree in drama, hated his domineering mother, didn't smoke and loved music. Perfect.  I invited him to come home with me. Somehow, he managed to see past those hideous glasses of mine, and he followed me home.

When we got there, we sat on the couch, listened to albums and made out a bit here and there.  Then he pulled out his flute.  Not a reference to his penis, his actual flute, which he played beautifully.  He serenaded me with Led Zeppelin and Supertramp and we ended up cuddling on the couch together until we fell asleep. So much for wild.

To be continued......

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Never Choose the Chipmunk with the Big A on His Shirt

A friend of mine recently took her daughter to see the chipmunk movie sequel (The Squeakquel). I can't say it any better than her so I will quote her here, "The Chipmunks Squeakquel was so awful, I found myself getting all worked up and offended by how the boy chipmunk with glasses fell in love with the girl chipmunk with glasses, the chubby boy chipmunk fell in love with the chubby girl chipmunk, etc.  As if people only fall in love with people just like themselves!  How narcississtic!  Then I realized they were a bunch of damn rats and got over it!"

I immediately sided with her.  How dare they pair off  the chipmunks according to the preordained lab rat class system mimicking and mocking life as we know it?  Alvin has already solidified his alpha-rodent status by placing an obnoxiously large A on all of his clothing.  Does he really need to take it one step further by procuring the equally self-centered, bitchy head of the female chipmunk clan, Brittany?

Then Simon, the smart chipmunk, chooses to link up with the other chipmunk who wears glasses because God knows, if you wear glasses, you must be intelligent.  Finally, Theodore is left to scoop up the dredges of the sole remaining female overweight chipmunk and by golly, doesn't that work out well because Theo seems to be carrying around a spare tire in case the chipmunk-mobile has a flat.

I laughed at her email as I always do because she is funnier than shit.  But then, as the days passed - I began to think further into the deeper meaning of chipmunk love.  You know, Chipmunk Suzie and Chipmunk Sam?  Oh damn, they were fucking muskrats doing the jitterbug on muskrat land.  Classic Captain and Tennille. Who gives a shit about muskrats anyway, this blog is about me. For the record, I would like to say I believe chipmunks should be allowed to do the jitterbug, the quick step or the lindy hop on muskrat land if they so desire.  Only God help them if Len Goodman is in the house. Though I hear he prefers hanging out with squirrels.

By the way, I used to sport a perfect Toni Tennille hairstyle.

Here she is......

 And here's me circa 1977....

My point being, I married three times and failed three times.  True, one of them didn't count but nonetheless; I am a walking, talking muskrat/chipmunk manual on how NOT to select a mate.   I married the chubby chipmunk with the good heart but not so much happening in the excitement or intelligence departments. I tried my luck with the most popular boy in school who seemed to be able to find trouble in the seemingly most unlikely of places. One could even make an argument that I married the smart one when I found a man who impressed me with his goals and visions at such a young age.

My blog is all about taking the chaos of my past, filtering it through the reflective, compassionate consideration of a well balanced yet sometimes completely insane perimenopausal woman and heaving it upon you, written in a way to make you laugh, cry, and ultimately comprehend some of the answers, okay my opinion of the answers, to the greatest mysteries of the universe.

Thus far, we have tackled addiction, racism, death and whether Bill Gates is the Anti-Christ. Now this? Can I really figure out if it's okay for all the chipmunks to link up with their custom drawn perfect likenesses? One has to ask, would it work out if Alvin teamed up with the smart one or would she be too smart to put up with his shit? And if Simon selected the chubby, yet obviously daft chippette, what would they have to talk about while gathering nuts?

I know why my girlfriend was incensed by the movie. She is the type of woman who chooses to live her life outside of the expectations of society. She adopted an African American baby using an open adoption. She keeps up with the birth mom for the sake of her daughter; though at times it can be extremely frustrating. In Oklahoma, people still stare at a Lilly white couple walking around with a beautiful little girl of color. She's an attorney who purposely stayed off the high-powered, big-bucks career path because she likes her life just the way it is. She does things people don't expect. She wins her cases because she's prepared, smart and savvy but she walks in looking cute, sweet and unassuming.  Then she pounces and before they know it, her adversaries have been handed their butts to them with a dainty little bow tied around it.
She and I both tend to cheer for the underdogs of the world.  We want to see the smart girl land the good looking guy but in reality, we both know it won't be long before the good looking guy is cheating because it happened to both of us.  This is what I know for sure. You must choose the person whom you like on the inside. You must be able to see who they are. If you look really hard you can see their essence. You must literally like the smell of them. If the dude is wearing a large A on his shirt and getting into trouble he might be an asshole.

When the day comes, and according to Maya Angelou it will come, when they show you who they really are,  BELIEVE THEM.

Then act accordingly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive

This is me. This is me and my big ass glass of wine on New Year's Eve 2009/10. I've just enjoyed the worst meal in recent memory but I am with my boyfriend at the cusp of a new decade and we are quite simply giddy.

The significance of ringing in a new decade is ironic since it's been at least a decade since I last went out to celebrate a new year, choosing long ago to avoid the drunks, me being one of them. But this year was different. We wanted to go out. This was our first new year together, having met last March.

We thought it best to stick close to home instead of driving to the trendy east side of Milwaukee.  That way, we could ostensibly enjoy a much shorter drive with the drunks. We stayed in our little suburban downtown and opted to patronize a fairly recent development, The Black Trumpet.

Rest easy, this is not a blog posing as a restaurant review. As with all things here on Stalking Sunsets, we must delve into much deeper concerns, find meaning and interpret the signs given us along the way. While there are many quaint, well developed and thriving small town main street USA's here in southeastern Wisconsin, my chosen town is not one of them. We affectionately refer to it as the "Shaw".

We were thrilled when we noticed a former crack house being restored into a boutique hotel with a high end restaurant. This is what we need.  This is going to ignite the city and provide us with that certain something that will bring other developers.  If you build it, they will come. The mayor agreed. He gave them a cool two million in TIF dollars to make it so.  With a few minor setbacks, they opened behind schedule and almost simultaneously, seemingly at the precise moment when the American economy was collapsing and the brutal Wisconsin winter was arriving.

It was like the little hotel/restaurant that could. Only this time, it couldn't.  With very few details and even less fanfare, it was reported last summer a new operator had been procured and the developer was out. The conservatives were in an uproar, as usual. "How could the mayor have wasted all of our money?"

What? They preferred the crack house?

The little development that could is still operating; albeit based on the food and service received, it would seem it may be drawing closer to its inevitable final breathe. Perhaps a change of use may be in order. It would still be better than the small town urban blight it represented before.

Being the hometown champions we are, my boyfriend and I didn't utter a word of complaint. We choked down  that over-cooked steak, laughed when I launched a carrot across the room while trying to wrestle the toughened lobster from its shell, waited patiently when we asked three times for a cup of coffee and even felt sorry enough for the young water who couldn't properly poor a glass of wine to give him the full 20% gratuity. He looked exactly like Chandler, from Friends.  Who could resist?

Then we nestled ourselves into the cozy chairs surrounding the bar, ordered a drink and began to ponder what we should do next.  We still had plenty of time to find some new digs before the ball dropped. Should we stay or should we go? Should we stay or should we go now? If we go there will be trouble.  If we get the point.  My delectable man looked deeply into my eyes and said, "Baby, tell me - what do you really want to do right now at this very moment?"

I looked over and saw a woman setting up her keyboard. She was cute in a young, hip, yet  messy kind of way. She seemed to bring in a crowd of followers. She was preparing to entertain us but we were cocooned  in our little corner at a table too low to see anything.  Further, our lovely wing back chairs prevented us from scootching close together to sickeningly cuddle in the new year.

I declared my intentions right then and there. "What I want is for the couple sitting closest to the singer to leave so we can have the best seats in the house, then I want to be blown away by this talented young woman and I want us to stay here and celebrate our first new year together in the little restaurant that maybe possibly still could right here in the heart of the Shaw."

And with that, it was done.  To my amazement, the couple got up to leave.  I jumped out of my seat, nearly knocking them down, planting myself before they could even get their coats off the chairs. I asked them why they were leaving so early. They said they weren't comfortable anymore. They didn't want to be so close to the singer. Hmmmm, you don't say? I pointed them in the direction of our cushy, wing-backed nest in the corner where more than one dream was fulfilled that night.

Of course, I immediately proceeded to proclaim 2010 to be the year in which I will receive anything and everything I ask for. I began to imagine the possibilities - out loud of course, with my boyfriend, who has grown strangely accustomed to me going off on these tangents.   

My suspicions about the singer were correct.  She had a voice like Joss Stone or Patty Griffin. She could hammer out the oldies, fly to the moon with Sinatra and rock the house with hip hop and pop while occasionally joining the crowd for a dance.  We Old Lang Syned, we kissed and we kept our hearts close to home where a new year and a new decade of possibilities unfolded at our feet.

I don't think it's too late to say, happy new year to you. Ask and you shall receive, but only if you're crazy enough, like me, to actually believe this shit.