Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Library Take Two

Last week the girls came running up to me at the park and my oldest had her hands on her hips and a very sour look on her face, "Mommy" she practically shouted, "Fiona called me a fuckler!" I had to count to 10 because sitting there surrounded by 3 other Mommy friends, I didn't really know how to respond. So I said, "What?" and she repeated what she had said before to which I responded "That isn't even a word". I also mentioned something about not using words that are not words and lets use nice words and they ran off and continued playing, crisis solved.

This morning I had to return books to the library at the same time this posse of 4 or 5 adult men do. They tend to rush the movie section in search of new releases and then grab them quickly in case someone else shows up and tries to rent a new release before they do. Since you cannot reserve new releases, they are loaned out on a first come first served basis and sometimes you can go for a year without seeing a new release at our library. These men mean business. Apparently 2 men reached for the same movie at once and immediately on of these men shouted, "What the fuck dude!??!" These men were an older man and a young man. The young man had on a nice brown UCDavis sweatshirt and while we were waiting outside for the doors to open I had wondered in passing if he had graduated from UCDavis or was just trying to keep warm.

The young man starts to follow the older man and shouts, "What was THAT???" The older man turns and states very matter of factly, "We both grabbed the same movie and I ended up with it" and then walked quickly away. The young guy says, "That is bullshit dude, you asshole, douchebag, bleep bleep bleep bleep", anyway, you get the picture. By this time the older man is gone and now the young fellow is performing for the audience that is left. I am trying desperately to cover my 3 year olds ears because she is very good at picking out the word in the sentence we don't want her using. The young fellow says to no one in general and everyone in the room, "Did you see that shit? That is fucking bullshit. Faggit. (long pause) Racist. " I guess he felt good about covering all his bases and then headed out of the movie area to file a complaint with the library manager.

I collected my movies and what remained of my 3 year old's clean vocabulary and headed out myself. I did stop to file my own sort of complaint only to have the man I spoke with tell me that they will most likely have to post a security person at the movie section in the future. I wonder if he'll carry a large book to bat people over the head with when they are too grabby with the movies.

I can't wait until Fiona decides to use one of the new words she learned today thanks to sweatshirt dude. Maybe this time she'll get the word right!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So I'm at my therapist yesterday and we were talking about moving. There is something oh so American and casually decadent about starting a sentence with "So I'm at my therapist yesterday . . ." Anyway - we were talking about moving and she asked me to chronicle my moves starting from birth until the age of 18. I have to back up and tell you that this entire conversation was initiated because we are seriously considering having to move in the next 9 months and so while my husband looks for a job and interviews, I am considering medication and more extensive psychotherapy to cope with yet another moving truck, boxes and listening to the cat yowl from a box on the front seat of the car.

Let me back up, after a long 7 years of school during which only a few pair of shoes were purchased, we will be done next summer. D-O-N-E! It has been eventful, tearful, wild and annoying. I realized after moving to the South Bay that I hated moving and I hated new houses and I hated areas of the planet that were heavily populated. I also hate mini vans but I digress. So in preparation for this upcoming move, I have to do several things to get ready and one of those things is to talk to my therapist and consider taking something for the panic and anxiety that yet another move produces.

So back to my original theme, as I chronicled the moves in my life I realized that there is a reason why my husband is so sane and normal, he moved once in 18 years, O-N-C-E! What a dream. What a life opportunity. What a fortunate young man. I, on the other hand lost track of the moves by the time I was 12. It is no wonder that I cannot do this easily, gracefully or generously. But this move is it. This is the move to end all moves. And then we will stay put.

At least until the next time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is my sister's birthday. I am hoping she will call me soon so I can wish her a happy birthday and find out what kind of nice things her cellie and other inmates have done for her today. She is in prison.

When people talk about her - they usually refer to her in the past tense, "Today would be Angela's birthday" but she isn't dead. I have found however that being in prison to lots of people is like being dead. In their minds she has ceased to function as a person. I wonder what those people will do when she is released, if they will go on like nothing happened or if they will continue to not have contact with her.

I know it sounds strange but I have lost contact with people because my sister is in prison. Not because I decided to but because of the relationship I image, people associate one bad seed with the other. In the words of Donny Osmond, "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl" but I wonder what my reaction would have been had the tables been turned. Would I be as willing to maintain a connection with someone who had a bad seed or bad element in their family?

And there is also the truth that people are a little creeped out by people who commit crimes or people who have stepped outside the boundaries of societal normalcy. "You did WHAT???" Or "What Happened???" are the usual responses to a story like my sister's. I have to admit that it has taken me nearly 5 years to get my head around it and sometimes I still shake my head and find it unbelievable or unacceptable.

My sister received an outpouring of concern and support when she was first arrested, that concern and support has dwindled and now is a trickle - 2 letters a week from her sister to be exact. She does get a weekly visit from a wonderful lady in Salem as well as a monthly visit from a nice friend out in the Beaverton area.

Life goes on and people get busy. It is hard to remember someone who has been behind bars for nearly 5 years. It is hard to remember to wipe down the baseboards or dust and those things are right in front of our faces on a daily basis. I have a tendency to compulsively clean my house and I'm glad for it - because when dust or scrub the walls, I am reminded that I need to write to my sister.

Happy Birthday Angela!