Monday, October 25, 2010

We Are Over One Hundred Strong!

     I belong to a special group within the Writer’s Digest Community website created by Nathalie Bleach. We have recently become over 100 strong. Inside our group, you will find an eclectic mix of writers who share at least one thing in common, the stories we tell fall under the umbrella of the genre Young Adult/Crossover.

     Our members are extremely supportive, and most always offer constructive criticism when asked. We are all at different stages in our writing careers, varying from just dipping our toes in the water to professional writers; everyone is welcome. I have made quite a few friends within the group and have received encouragement, and advise when I needed help.

    As our numbers show, we are growing in popularity, and I am proud to be a one of the bunch.  If you are interested in checking us out, click on the badge below and visit our discussion page.

Friday, October 22, 2010

He Did WHAT On My Couch?

My love affair with my couch began in the year 2000 when I trotted out to a well-known furniture store in the area. I painstakingly looked though tome after tome of furniture pieces in search of the perfect couch for a cozy room in my house. After I found the frame, I spent two days going through fabric swatches with the hopes of bringing some color into the room, and perfectly matching my two scalloped ecru chairs. I found a multi-colored fabric I loved in a high-grade material, which I didn’t mind, it would last, right? I handed over my hard-earned dollars (a lot of them) and waited for my couch to be born.

From the moment it arrived on my doorstep, I was absolutely in love with my couch. When we moved into a larger house several years later, I vowed to make it work. No seven year itch for me, I was still madly in love with my couch. I made it fit in my new home, arranging and rearranging my whole living room around it.

One day sometime later, I arrived home from work and my husband said, “A good friend of mine, “John” from Bulgaria, is driving a truck through Charleston tonight. I’ve invited him to come over.”

“How do you know him?” I asked. I'd never heard him mention John's name before.

My husbands eyes lit up like a little child. “He lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid. He used to be a football player (soccer in American) on a professional team.”

(Being European, my husband gets goo-goo eyed over football players and views all of them with  admiration and esteem.)

I thought it was odd that a successful professional soccer player would be driving a truck in America, but I shrugged it off reminding myself people had done stranger things for a green card.

So anyway, my husband picked up John at the truck stop, and brought him to our home. He was a short, stocky guy with long curly, grey/blond hair. I guessed him to be near fifty. I remember he had an annoying looking mole on his nose that looked like it belonged to a wicked witch, but he couldn’t help that. (I'm just being spiteful.)

I didn’t speak to John much as it was getting late and I had no intention of entertaining on a week night, but I did ask him if he was married or had any kids and he told me, “No, I just haven’t met the right woman yet."

This should have been clue number two. I should have caught on that something was just not quite right, because it is extremely unusual to find a heterosexual man approaching fifty to have never found the right woman or procreated at least once. But, again, I shrugged it off, grabbed my five-year-old son, and headed off to bed, leaving my husband and his friend to have a few drinks and catch up.

The next morning at around 6:00AM my husband jostled me awake.  He told me to hurry downstairs because our son was down there alone with John.

“Why didn’t you let John sleep in the guest room? And, what are you so worried about?” I asked perplexed by his panic stricken voice.

“Just hurry up and go down stairs so I can get dressed.”

I threw on some sweatpants and a tee shirt and scooted downstairs in pursuit of my son.

John was lying on my couch, covered from head to toe by a large blue quilt. He didn’t wake up even though my son was standing two feet from him. I herded my son into the kitchen, feeling uncomfortable in my own home, around this sleeping stranger.

In the mean time, my husband gathered his work gear and rushed to get John up and out the door.

After a few shoulder shakes, John woke up and stumbled groggily to his feet, leaving the quilt on the floor as my husband hustled him out of the house.

When the two of them were gone, I went to pick up the quilt from the floor to throw it in the wash.  That was when I saw it. The couch, which I had created and loved for seven years, was desecrated with big round pee stain that had to have been eighteen inches in diameter.

Blood shot to my head and pressed against my skull so hard, I felt like my brains would blow out the top. “Noooooo!" I screamed.

My young son ran into the room to see what was wrong and then darted straight for the pee-soaked couch. Acting like a cross between a protective mother and The Incredible Hulk, I dove behind the couch and flipped it over before my son pounce on the pee. Instantaneously, I felt moisture seep into the material of my socks. Realizing I was standing in urine, a wail that sounded like a wounded animal rose from my gut and bled out of my mouth.

“What’s the matter, Mommy?” my son asked.

I want to vent for a moment. I want you to know that I partied straight through the seventies and most of the eighties like it was 1969. (Any of you who were there by my side, raise your hand in a show of solidarity) Many, many, many people crashed at my house for one reason or another. Never once, did I ever have anyone, not one single person, pee on my couch. (The person who puked on my carpet after a trash can party will remain nameless.) And, now that I am older, and in a nicer home, and only a smidgen of the partier I once was, I'm supposed to be okay with some idiot who thinks it's acceptable to pass out and pee on my couch?

My husband, and part-time nemesis, returned home and was greeted by possessed woman who had been pacing back and forth in front of the door like a caged animal. (Me.) I admit I lost it like I never had before. I was livid, to put it mildly.

“What in the hell did you put him on the couch for?” I squealed.
 My husband didn't answer.

Then my voice dropped and octave in tone, not decibel, “That jerk peed on my couch!”

My husband jumped like he’d been tazered and held his hands protectively in front of his face. "He wouldn’t quit drinking. He kept drinking and drinking until the entire bottle of whiskey was gone. I only had two glasses. When he passed out in the lawn chair, I carried him in and put him on your couch.”

A blood vessel burst in my eye. “Why, didn’t you put him in the guest room? I have a mattress protector on the bed. Why the hell did you put him on my couch?”

After this question, the truth came out.

“I didn’t want him upstairs. I barely know him. He lived in my neighborhood in Bulgaria, but he was a lot older than me. I barely know the guy, honest.”

Why my husband thought the fact that he barely knew the guy would make the situation better is beyond me. I spoke to him slowly, like he was mentally handicapped. “You brought a person you barely know into the house to spend the night with your wife and child?” My voice shot back up an octave on the word child.

“But, he was a football player from Bulgaria.”

This is when I really lost it.

“At one time the guy may have been a B rate soccer player, though I seriously doubt he was that good, but now he's a drunk. Just because someone comes from Bulgaria and plays soccer does not make them a good person. I want you to take that peed-on couch outside and put it by the curb, and then have the carpet cleaned."

I poked my six-foot tall two-hundred and ten pound husband in the chest. "You owe me a couch, asshole.”

That day, my love affair with my couch (and almost my husband) ended. However, two good things came out of this incident. Firstly, my husband swore on his life that he would not bring anymore friends  home to spend the night; And secondly, I a newer, younger love, paid for by money ( a lot of it) pulled from my husband's personal savings account.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1977 A Reno Wedding (An excerpt) 1st draft.


     We drove for an hour or so before we hit the city of Reno. Robert parked the car in front of a white brick building with a railed porch. The place looked like a church, well sort of. A small steeple with a white cross, stood right directly above a neon sign flashing WEDDINGS. To the right of the door was a stained glass window with the word LOVE etched between two pink hearts; black silhouettes heads of a man and woman facing each other, decorated the next two adjoining windows. But the most noticeable thing about the place was the big red OPEN sign on the door. Realizing what my surprise was, my jaw fell wide open.
    “Come on. Let’s do it!” Robert said.
     He looked so cute with his usual infectious grin, I could have carried him over the threshold, but I restrained myself. I was happy as a yellow smiley face icon, anticipating my very near future. Once we were married, there would be no way our parents could tear us apart. We would belong to each other forever. My heart thumped as we walked hand and hand toward the Chapel of Love.
    Robert propped the storm door open for me. “Brides first.” He bowed slightly, and grandly gestured with his arm.
    I skipped across the threshold, taking my first step toward becoming a married woman, only to stumble onto an ox-blood red carpet that covered every inch of visible floor space. My eyes popped. It was the gaudiest place I’d ever seen. My mouth watered in distaste at the clashing muli-mirrored, Pepto-Bismol colored, hearts spattered on the walls and dangling from the ceiling, sparkling, and reflecting rain showers of light around the room. But, that wasn’t all. Just when I thought the place couldn’t be tackier, I eyed a humongous fake gold heart encapsulating a white podium, where I presumed the vows of matrimony took place. For the first time, in a long time, I was rendered speechless.
    No sooner, had the door rattled shut behind us, and a short fat man in a navy blue banker’s suit appeared.
     He cleared his throat. “Hello, how may I help you?” He asked.
     He didn’t look like a minister at all to me. His fat lips puckered outward, squeezed out of position by his chubby cheeks, and he had a funniest looking comb over I’d ever seen. I glanced down at the floor, then at his nose, and then over at the wall, to curb the urge to stare directly at his head and giggle. One big gust of wind and he’d have hair down below his shoulder, at least on one side. By the shocked expression on his face, I was sure we didn’t look like the clients he expected either. Robert’s uneven hair had grown well below his shoulders and his multi-patched, faded, jeans looked ragged. I was in my dirty green down jacket and carpenter pants. I’ll admit we looked terribly out of place in this pristine pink wedding chapel. The fat man’s phony smile didn’t fool me either; I could see the fear in his eyes. He probably thought we were going to rob the joint.
     “We want to get married,” Robert said grinning from ear to ear, breaking the momentary silence.
     The fat man let out a guarded sigh, his stance relaxed somewhat, as he dabbed at his forehead with a white, silk, handkerchief. “Well son, you are in the right place,” he said.
    “How much does it cost?” Robert asked guardedly.
    He offered Robert a brochure. “We have different packages. It all depends what you want.”     
     “We just want the piece of paper, nothing special.”
      “Our most economical package, which includes the ceremony, complementary music and the marriage certificate runs only twenty-five dollars.”
      Robert’s jaw dropped open. “Twenty-five bucks! That’s expensive.”
     “Well, son it is for life. We wouldn’t want you to make a hasty decision.”
      “I guess that makes sense,” Robert said shaking his head.
       I could see he was still trying to swallow the cost of the whole thing.
        “Come on in and have a seat. Miss Swan will get your paperwork ready for you,” the man said, leading us to two chairs in front of a nearby desk. Behind the desk sat a woman with glasses, an up-do, and an air of superiority to match her hair. She eyed us up and down cautiously and then a big fake smile stretched across the thin skin of her face, creating ruts on either side of her mouth. She plopped down a contract in front of us.
     “Fill out these forms, and in the meantime, I will need to see your driver’s license.”
       “Um. I don’t drive,” I said reflexively.
      “Do you have birth certificate or some other form of identification?”
       I pulled my birth certificate out of my blue bag. Thankfully, I had been smart enough to pack it when I left.
    The woman shook her head and frowned. “I’m sorry. We cannot marry you. You’re not old enough.”
     I stared at the woman baffled. “I thought everyone could get married in Reno.”
    “Not until you are eighteen. You have to have your parent’s permission,” she informed us in firm tone.
     “That’s the problem. Our parents don’t want us to get married. Can’t you help us?” Robert pled.
    She inhaled deeply and her nostrils pinched together. “Sorry, the law requires you to be eighteen to marry without parental consent. Have you tried Tennessee or Alabama, some place like that?” She asked.
     I didn’t like the sarcasm in her voice, or the suspicious look on her face. I got the distinct feeling she might be one to call the cops.
    “Let’s go Robert. I will ask my parents tonight,” I said, attempting to cover our tracks.
     Robert looked at me funny for a moment, stiffened, then shifted his eyes toward the door when he caught on to my ruse.
     “I’m sorry we couldn’t help you,” the fat man called after us as we fled the pink house of horrors.
     Robert and I beat it to the car and not a minute too soon as far as I was concerned. I didn’t want to get married by a fat guy with a comb-over in that ridiculous pink nightmare of a place anyway.
    Robert draped his arm over my shoulder. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out, I tried,” he said regretfully. His eyes clouded over and I knew her meant it.
    “Don’t worry about it,” I snorted. “That place was so gaudy, I kept waiting for Elvis Presley to come through the door in a white sequined jumpsuit to marry us himself.”
     Robert let out a loud belly laugh. “Mary, what an imagination you have,” he said shaking his head. “Elvis. Ha! That’s a good one.”
  © 2011 Susan Antony THE IN BETWEEN ERA - All Rights Reserved


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Accident (From a childhood memory)

I hated the hair, but  like Shiloh Pitt, I loved dressing in boy clothes. 
     I am going to take you back to the year 1966, when large, steel, American muscle cars were parked in almost everyones driveway, and kids could sit in the front seat, and the only seatbelt required was your mom's arm slapped across your chest when she slammed on the breaks. (Are you there yet? If you're too young to remember you will just have to take my word for it.)

      Anyway, my three year old sister and I were driving with Mom in our chocolate brown Chevy Malibu. Being the oldest, and the fact that Mom believed in the concept of pecking order, I got to sit in the front seat. Something along the way caught my fancy, and I started cutting up and jumping around with unbridled exuberance. (I'm sure any of you who know me personally can mentally picture this.)

      "Susan, stop it, please. I can't concentrate." my mom begged.
      (Did I listen to her? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count. If you said, Hell no! Your right.)

       Encouraged by my mother's angst, I continued laughing and pointing at the contorted angry faces she was shooting at me. You see, I had a "nice Mom" it took a lot to piss her off. And, the large coils in the seats way back then made such terrific spring boards, I could almost bounce up and hit my head on the roof. In fact, I was so caught up in my self-induced hysteria that I didn't pay any attention to Mom's continual reprimands, or much else for that matter, but I do remember the light changing to red.

      There was a horrible screeching noise, as the wheels of the car locked up and slid across the pavement.  Simultaneously, an arm shot across my chest. My head flew back against the seat as the car came to an abrupt stop just before the intersection. The smell of burning rubber permeated the cab of the car, and the view from my window was a blurry haze of smoke and dust from the road.

      Flames shot out of my "nice Mom's" eyes. Her mouth trembled with anger, and then she screamed at a deafening level, louder than the screeching wheels, "DAMN IT, SUSAN! QUIT HORSING  AROUND OR YOU'RE GONNA MAKE ME HAVE AN ACCIDENT!" Her words spewed out one at a time, with a demonic inflection, that gave them even more impact.

      After Mom's head quit spinning around, the car became stingingly silent. I stiffened and sat wide eyed, afraid to make a wrong move. And then, my brave little sister popped her head up from behind.  She rested her chin on on the  the seat by Mom's ear and said, "Don't worry Mommy, if you have an accident, you can wipe it up."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When In The Hell Did I Morph From A Babe To A Ma'am?

      A few weeks ago, I was waiting in line at the ATM machine outside the bank. A good-looking man, about thirty-five with long blond hair, was heading toward me on the sidewalk. He looked me dead in the eye, smiled, and said, “Excuse me ma’am,” as he passed in front of me.
     For a minute, I was perplexed. I even turned around to see if there was an older lady standing behind me, but all too soon, I realized he was talking to me. It seemed like only yesterday I was dating men his age and younger, and now they were addressing me with a matronly title of respect. ‘When in the hell did I morph from a babe to a ma’am?’

    Shaken up, I pushed the incident into the back of my mind and tried not to think about it. But, unfortunately, it happened again all too soon.

    The day started like any other day. I was minding my own business, buying a lottery ticket when an overly kind, young convenience store clerk told me  “You know ma’am, you look like…um what’s her name? Oh, yeah, Edie on the show Desperate Housewives.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong, in hindsight I realized it was a huge complement. Who wouldn’t want to look like Nicolette Sheridan? But, at the moment, I was too busy trying to stop the word “ma’am” from reverberating between my brain and my skull. I took a deep calming breath and it worked, at least momentarily, until a proverbial bell went off in my head and I was stung by the realization that I was no longer like the “Sex in the City” single chicks that I totally related to a few years back. I was now a desperate housewife. I was my mom’s age. Yikes!

      So tell me, when in the hell did I morph from a babe to a ma’am? Was it when I became older that more than half the people on the planet? Exactly what time, did this occur? Was it at thirty-eight, forty, or forty-five? (I’ll stop here before I divulge my actual age; it’s hard to swallow.)

     I’ll admit, I’m having a tough time accepting myself in this strange new category. Like a lizard, I have shed my skin many times, but  this time the skin underneath is not new. It’s loose in some places, and lined in some from too many years of happiness, tears, heartbreak, and love.
     Sometimes I long to go back, flog myself, and redo the past, now that I am old enough to realize that I wasted too much time on stupid stuff. For example, in high school I spent so much time trying to grow up I didn’t realize how cool it was to be there. In my twenties I was raising two kids ( because of my choice to grow up fast) and dreading becoming thirty. A few years into the big 3,0,  I realized thirty wasn't old at all.  In fact, my thirties ended up being period of rebirth for me. By the end of the decade, I was comfortable in my own skin for the first time. And, forty wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be even though I acquired a few rogue aches and pains. Hell, I had my third child a few years later. But right now I am like a teenager again, unsure of myself and not quite comfortable in my aging skin. I suppose if I am lucky enough to be around twenty years from now, I’ll look back and tell myself what a young fool I was for blogging on this topic in the first place, but until then, I guess I’ll just have to get used to this matronly title of respect thingie.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jefferson Starship in Central park 1976 an excerpt 1st draft

                              A free concert in Central Park. An excerpt from my book.

     Just shy of my seventeenth birthday, I thought I was old enough to go, but I lied to my parents about where I’d be spending the day just in case. Julie and I hopped a train to New York City to catch the show. There had to have been at least a gazillion people in the park and everyone was sopping wet. It rained so much I quit caring about staying dry. The show was just getting started, and to our far right, an eighteen-foot fence buckled with the weight of the kids who had climbed it to get a better look at the stage. The dank air reeked of body odor, mixed with the earthy smell of wet dirt; a waif of urine stung my nose as we passed by the Porta-Potties.
     I nudged Julie. "Smell that?”
     She pinched her nose and gagged.
   “They're probably already overflowing. One of the hazards of free concerts—no place to go." I commented. 
     She laughed.
     For an hour the two of us slopped through the mud, and pushed our way through the pack of slimy drowned rats until we were in the forth row in front of the stage. 
  Grace Slick was dressed in a teal blue halter-top and flared, high-waist jeans. She had a small role of fat hanging over the top at her waistline, but she wasn’t self-conscious at all, like I would have been. She was joking with the audience, swigging off a bottle of whiskey in between songs, and taking hits off joints passed up to the stage by her fans.
     Some redhead dude kept yelling, "Hey Gracie, show me your tits!" right in my ear, and, our favorite song Miracles sounded like shit, but we didn't care. Hell, were a few feet away from one of our favorite bands!
    And, the band members sure were troopers. They kept on playing even though the electrical equipment was getting wet.
      "Hope they don't get fried," said the stout hippie dude wedged behind Lori and me. He and his buddy had followed us on our slow trek toward the stage, hitting on us the whole way. Both of them were shirtless, had long scraggly beards and looked at least twenty-eight. (Old men, not our type at all) But, we were packed in too tight to get away from them, and they were nice and all, so we ignored the harmless flirting and accepted the joint they offered us.
    "Hey watch it," I said as the kid on my right stomped on my foot. He was a short—about eighteen, with olive skin and shiny black hair, rather Sicilian looking, and he was totally out of it.  He was on something, and what ever it was, it wasn't for babies. And, I wasn't the only one he was stomping on.
     The muscular dude, directly in front of him turned around and screamed, "Hey, cut it out man. You're buggin' me."
    But, the kid ignored him too, continuing to dance and randomly fist punch the air—and the back of the angry dude's head. The next thing I knew the angry dude turned and socked the kid right in the nose. The kid went down. He was lying unconscious on the ground with blood oozing out one of his nostrils. People were stepping all over him. So, I bent down to see if he was okay. He looked dead, for real.
     "Are you all right?" I asked. 
     He didn't respond, so I bend down to his ear and yelled, “Hey kid, are you all right?"
     When he didn't respond again, I shook his shoulder.
      In a flash he was back on his feet, dancing like nothing had happened. He looked okay, except for the bloody nose. Not wanting to get blood on my clothes, I inched away from him, but it didn't do much good since we were packed in like sardines and all. So, I decided the best thing to do was ignore him and listen to the band.
      Jefferson Starship cranked out a rendition of "Fast Buck Freddy" which was one of my favorites, but I didn't get to enjoy the song because the bloody-nosed kid liked the song too, and started to do a striptease in honor of it. He removed one article of clothing at a time, twirling it over his head and seductively tossing it into the crowd despite the all protests of his immediate neighbors.
      "No!" I screamed, when he was down to his tighty-whities. 
     But, it was too late. He flung his underwear they disappeared into the crowd. 
    Now, I had a naked kid with a bloody nose, haphazardly gyrating and swinging his nasty stuff right next to me. But, this wasn’t the worst part.
     “Julie we gotta move.” I flicked my eyes at the kid.
       She wrinkled her nose and nodded.
       We tried to con the old hippies into swapping places, but instead swapping places, they moved on either side of us. My protector draped his arm over my shoulder giving me a major case of the creeps. 
     I was soaking wet with a dancing naked kid one human body away, and a shirtless old hippie thinking I was his chick—not cool.
     "Excuse me a moment," I said slipping out from under his hairy armpit.  I pushed my way over to Julie; the crowded rolled in response. I hooked my arm through hers and pulled. We moved in the only direction possible—away from the stage.
     "Hey where you going?" The old hippies yelled in unison.
   "We gotta get home," I yelled back over the top of the heads of the people I managed to put in between us. Julie and I made our way to the back of the crowd  as the show was winding down.
      “This concert will probably go down in history. I’m glad we went,” I commented.
      “Yeah.” Julie agreed
       “I wonder how the naked kid will get home?
        Julie shrugged.
*          *         *       

Have You Ever Eaten Goat?

     In 1999, I flew to overseas to meet my in-laws for the first time. I should have known something unthinkable was about to happen when my plane was forced to circle around Yugoslavia, because the USA just happened to be dropping a few bombs at the time. A minor snafu I didn’t think too much about. My one-track mind was zoned in on the hot guy waiting for me in the airport.
    I landed safely on Bulgarian soil a few months before Bill Clinton ever thought of being the first American President to make a conciliatory visit with our new allies. (Just for the record, I want it noted that I made nice with a Bulgarian long before  President Clinton did.)

   Once in my husband's country and company, we stumbled upon an anti-war demonstration in downtown Sofia near the University. While the Bulgarian government was an ally of the USA, the young people were mainly Yugoslavian sympathizers. The Cyrillic lettered graffiti painted over various city walls reading, “Yugoslavia is not Monica, Bill.” was a huge indicator.
Yugoslavia is not Monica, Bill!!!
     Americans were rare birds in Bulgaria at the time, and with long blond hair and blue eyes, I stuck out like a sore thumb. With the fear of inciting a riot looming in the back of my mind,  I kept my mouth shut for more than an hour for the first time in my life, and ghosted through the protesters, passing myself off as a Fräulein. 

    After a few discrete days of fun and whoopee, I entered the real war zone, my new in-laws dacha. My husband’s parents spoke no English and I spoke no Bulgarian, though, I think this turned out to be a good thing. After all, I was the bleached blond American chick, who was about to steal their only son away and bring him to America to live a life of decadence.
   Once my father-in-law got over his fainting spell, ( I found out later that he suffers from anxiety) I was invited into the kitchen to eat the celebratory meal that my husband’s parents had painstakingly prepared in anticipation of my arrival.

   My mother-in-law plopped a huge platter in the center of the table. On it was some sort of mysterious animal carcass. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, mind you, it was missing the legs and the head. My husband licked his lips, and translated to me in English that his father made a special trip to the local goat herder the day before and had the poor critter executed in my honor.

   I need to mention that while I eat meat, I am as close to a vegetarian-carnivore as you can get. I only eat a few select meats of which I hunt down bi-weekly at the Piggly Wiggly, justifying to myself that it is okay because they are raised solely for the purpose of consumption. 

   Tati, my husband’s father licked his fingers after he finished carving the meat, then dropped a huge grey-brown slab in the center of my plate. My stomach turned a cartwheel. In my mind, goat was equal to dog. They were both cute furry little creatures, meant to be kept as pets.

   In a panic, I looked around for something else to put on my plate. I figured I could push the goat meat around and no one would notice, but all I saw was a large communal bowl of salad and a pot of goat soup, head included, boiling on the wood burning stove behind me. Being OCD about germs, the salad was definitely out. So, I was stuck with the goat.

   And then came the moment of reckoning. Tati and Mamo glared at me, waiting for their new daughter-in-law, the guest of honor, to take the first bite of goat and start the feast. Beads of sweat poured off my forehead as I contemplated my next move. Now, I don’t think my husband's parents put me in this situation on purpose, after all goat was a delicacy in their minds, but I was left with only two choices. Either I could chow down on the goat, or forever insult the people who would be part of my life until death, or divorce, do us part. I chose the former.

 I held my breath, picked up my fork, and took a bite. I tried to chew fast, without tasting. And, then I swallowed.

So, what does goat meat taste like, you ask?  Why, chicken. I think. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Have To Get Rid Of My Chunky Highlights. Sigh.

The after shot, I still have red wine.
I need to find a new day job.  And, my gut is telling me that to be successful in my endeavor, I must change my hair--at least until I prove myself.

I am going to miss my Swedish blonde, mahogany, wine red, and copper layered locks. Hair says a lot about a person, and I love mine, but it is screaming, "I am an artist! I love to write! I'm a creative person, with a flare for fashion, but I'm a little bit on the wild side." My hair does not say, "applicant must be extremely organized and able to muli-task," like the description of jobs for which I am currently applying.  Shit!

The problem is that I have to pay bills to pay. So today, I am going to my funky hairdresser and tell her to tone it down a couple of notches. Although, I am going to request that she sneak in a couple of wine red tendrils somewhere. I refuse to completely conform. (Can you hear my foot stomp?)

I have a dream. That one day soon, I will find a path in life, where I can have my highlights, and unbridled individually too. It's just around the corner. I can feel it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Husband Is Coming Home

    I need to vent. My husband is coming home. He has been gone for five glorious weeks, vacationing in his native country in Eastern Europe. While you may think I should be jumping for joy, I'm not. Marriage has been tough--on both of us. 
 I was a happy, independent, single girl when we met, and had been for ten years after going through a bad divorce, or two. My husband had never been married and spent much of his life roaming the around the world living the life of Riley. He had just the right amount of machismo to attract a strong woman like myself, but what I didn't know was he had extra ounce or two of hidden in his back pocket. And, while he was initially attracted to my independence, once we married, he tried to put me on a leash. The important word here is "tried." I may have rope burns on my neck, but he is holding onto an empty leash.  His mother warned us, in a language that I didn't understand, that our relationship would never work out. "Two lame donkeys can find each other in any part of the world," she huffed, shaking her head as we disagreed with her. All I have to say about that is, "hee-haw." . 
 My married life has been a never ending power struggle. My husband and I wake up arguing, and end the night the same way. Our fights are about crazy insane stuff. For instance, one time, my husband invited a cousin from his native country to come stay with us--indefinitely. Did I mention that he neglected to inform me of his plans until a few days before the guy arrived on our doorstep even though I pay at least half of all the bills? Hmm...My husband knew how I felt about anyone staying for more than two weeks. 
 Anyway, the cousin arrived, and on his first night stated to me in broken English that he was just gonna to hang out for six months or so. A job wasn't necessary since he was just visiting and not going to pay for anything. Did I mention he was forty-five years old and intended to bring his wife and two kids two months later after school let out?
Six-weeks, thirty loud, all inclusive, temper tantrums, and 90 nerve pills later, (no, I'm not an addict, and yes, the tantrums were mine.) the cousin finally surrendered, and fled the battle zone and the country. Phew!
So, when my husband informed me of his recent extended vacation plans to visit his country of origin, I stuffed his bags in the car, drove him to the airport, and ignored open-jawed passer-bys as I did a happy dance all the way back to the car in anticipation of my forthcoming alone time. And now, after five peaceful, nerve pill-free weeks on my own, my husband is coming home and I'm suppose to be happy. I need more time!
Ask me why I tolerate the madness? To make a long story short, we have one big important thing in common. We  procreated and now we have an eight year old Aspergian son, who loves us both to death. (We fight over which one of us loves him more.) He is is the main reason I choose to remain in this relationship that has overrun its course and its cultural differences. Yes, it is sad, but I mostly stay for my son. I love him too much to make him unhappy
Some say, I should give up the struggle and bow down to my husband's demands and crazy ideas. (Mainly his other foreign friends.) But, I say no way, no how. It's more painful to say yes, when I fervently mean NO.
Anyway, if any of you feel like shedding a tear for me, or him, feel free. I don't want you to, but I won't stop you. If you think I'm a jerk, or not too bright, that's cool too.  I have my big girl panties on. I take total responsibility for all my decisions. But, my husband is coming home. I need to vent.

Thanks for listening.


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