Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If I were any Greener I’d be a damn Leprechaun

I have some friends, well more like acquaintances since we don’t actually “hang out” (and I’d probably end up smacking a few of them if we did), who have gone all out about Earth Day and being green. Please don’t lecture me. I made it all these long years just fine without a bunch of idealist minded twenty-somethings explaining life to me.

I was raised by my grandparents, two people who were seriously scarred by the Great Depression. They recycled EVERYTHING. Nothing was ever thrown away until every last drop of its usefulness was exhausted. We lived in a modest house built by my grandparents. We grew our own fruit and vegetables. We had bees for honey. Our food scraps went to the compost heap. We tore down old houses and barns to recycle the wood. Some of my best loved treasures came from the dump. We’d haul off our garbage and end up dragging someone else’s home. Being wasteful was a serious sin.

When I was 12 I got my first glimpse into our family’s finances. My grandparents were pretty much rolling in it. Filthy Stinking Rich. Their lifestyle was choice not necessity. Our life wasn’t all frugality. We never wanted for a thing. Christmas morning at our house was a jaw dropping experience. I got a full sized rail dune buggy for my 11th birthday. And I was certainly the only 16 year old riding around town on a new Harley Davidson.

My grandparent’s frugal ways became permanently etched into my being. I look at everything and ask myself how I could use it before passing it over or tossing it out. Even at work, my boss will ask me if I want an item before he takes it to the dumpster. My dress form (homemade at that) rolls around thanks to a recycled store display. A few of my mates, Beloved included, were initially horrified by my penchant for dumpster diving. Once they learn that I can make something really cool with whatever I drag home they come around. And it was FREE! That’s the best part! I save and repurpose everything.

Since my boss creeped into this rambling tale, I have to mention something amusing. Everyone is always asking me why my boss is so unfriendly and hardly ever talks. He’s just standoffish if he doesn’t know you very well. But if he likes you, he likes you. He tripped me out a bit this last week with my friend Teresa. He bullshits with her, laughs with us. When some of my other friends come in, he asks me questions about what’s going on with them after they leave. He doesn’t speak to them directly. For some reason, Teresa is different. He talks to her. She loves our ice cream and was let down when the machine locked up on me one afternoon. As soon as he got the machine fixed, he asked me to call her and let her know it was back on. Crazy.

Sam, my former co-worker got back from Algeria last Friday and came to hang out with us yesterday. He brought me back a darling hanging incense burner. Last time he went, he brought me back an awesome Moroccan lamp. My boss looked at the incense burner and said I needed the charcoal tablets to burn the incense on. I said I had plenty. He got all happy and asked where I got them. The voodoo shop. He laughed and said “The voodoo shop! You would say that.” Yup. Got the incense there too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Immaculate Conception and Other Lunacy

I watched one of the most astounding programs on TV last night. Stories of women who gave birth without knowing they were pregnant in the first place. Some of the women had given birth before, some not. Most of the women were overweight but a couple were skinny. One of the doctors on the show kept reiterating that every pregnancy is different, even with the same woman. Yeah, I get that. Been there, done that. But still . . . it’s hard to believe that you wouldn’t know.

I understand that some babies move a lot, others not so much. We joked that my eldest would make a great soccer player since all she did was kick – visibly! My third child wouldn’t move for weeks sometimes. She was even two weeks overdue. It’s no great surprise to us that she turned out to be very lazy. I didn’t get very big with the first child until the 8th month. I wore regular clothes until I was 7 months pregnant. But still, the round little potbelly was a dead giveaway. With the second, I went from a size 4 to a size 12 by the time I was 5 months pregnant. I was huge! I waddled!

I’d heard comments most of my life about the “glowing” pregnant woman. I was never that woman. I was the miserable woman with the green face who looked like she was going to puke at any moment. I should have named my youngest daughter Mylanta because that’s all I could keep down for 5 months.

My first pregnancy was the easiest, probably due to a complete lack of stress. Labor lasted 24 hours but never became more painful than a bad case of gas. I even fell asleep. The doctor woke me up to tell me it was time to push. The second one was the exact opposite. I screamed, kicked, and bit. The pain was so intense I really started to believe I was going to die.

All of the thoughts on pregnancy and birth takes me back to Friday. That’s the day all the anti-abortion idiots descend on St. Charles Avenue. Most of the time they steer clear of us since their run in with my boss. They must have forgotten because they started coming in last Friday. I was less charitable than my boss was to them. I have one of their pamphlets around here. I need to scan it and post it. The only thing they left off was alien abduction. It’s such far-fetched conspiracy crap you just scratch your head and say “What?”

One of the protesting men tried to label me as feminist and insinuated that I was a lesbian. Feminist, maybe. Lesbian, not even a little. No, my bitch is that YOU – a MAN – have no place in the discussion. You cannot get pregnant. It’s not your CHOICE! He said something I didn’t catch all of but apparently he thought I didn’t have any kids. Whatever. I have a slew of kids. None of them were planned and I didn’t abort any of them – because it was my CHOICE! That’s the issue you retard – CHOICE!

A female police officer assigned to guard the protesters gave me a little tidbit about some of the protesters. Many of the males have recently been released from prison, two of them for RAPE! They were recruited through a “Christian” outreach program while in prison. WTF? Don’t even get me started about the Bible beating freaks in the South. Somewhere around here I have a cartoon I clipped out of an Arabic newspaper of Bin-Laden sitting in a cave reading the Holy Quran upside down. Southern fringe Christians are no different.