Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
On Friday my friend, who moved away a few months back, called me and told me she was coming through town and could she sleep on my couch. I was so excited, and not only because I wouldn't have to mail her her shawl that I borrowed and my shoes that I never wear (they are high-heeled) that she loves.
My to-do list is stuck at filing papers. I don't want to do this much needed task, and so I ignore all tasks below it on the list as well. The papers are over a year's worth and are stacked neatly in my closet, well they were neat until my cat decided to make a nest of them. But, her things were a victim of my ignoring the fact that I had anything to-do, as I didn't want to do the next thing on the list. Now, though, now she could just pick them up! Thereby completing a task without having to surface from my denial of having anything to do.
She was driving into town from a few states over on her way to pick up her son from his father's house, which was still a state away. He goes there three times a year for 2.5 weeks. When she arrived she used my internet to check her bank account, as she needed to ensure that her child support payments came in. Guess what? They didn't. Her babydaddy is such a scum face, that any time he knows that she has large expenses he decides to not pay, or pay late. The last time this happened was when he served her with papers, during her finals, which necessitated that she drop out of school to spend her financial aid on lawyers. Yes! She eventually had to move back home (to live in a family members vacant house) because she could not afford both lawyers and rent.
He eventually didn't really get much from the process, but probably spent over $10,000, so he is upset. He decides to take this out on her by withholding money, and fucking with his kids mind. What a dad!
Anyway, she had to make it to there the next day, or be in contempt of court, but had no money for gas. I have no money, none, let alone the couple hundred dollars in gas money she would need. Do you know, internet, the hopelessness, the powerlessness that comes along with being so broke and so desperate? Powerlessness is part of what makes me so angry, internet. It's the injustice that wants to burst from my body and make some impact, but can't.
She decided to hitchhike there, leaving at night without a cell phone, without a weapon, alone. I was trying to get her stay and figure something out, but she only had a 17 hours to make a 10 hour trip to use some bus tickets she had. She knew the longer she waited the less likely that she made it, and she knew that I couldn’t really raise the funds.
I was bicycling home from a fundraiser I was helping with, with the TT in tow in her trailer, thinking that I had to trust the world. I had to trust that the world would be safe for this small, determined, beautiful, desperate woman, and I really couldn't. I was hoping, and wishing, but not trusting.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This is by no means new territory, but damn I hate it here. But why the credit line? Granted it's less than $300, but I hate, hate, hate "credit cards" (indentured servitude). I needed it to float a couple items.
First item, two new bras. Did you know, world wide web, that I have a bra size that necessitates I buy bras in specialty stores? Did you know that this is expensive. Sad, but true. After creating the Tiny Tyrant with my body, my breasts grew disproportionally to the rest of my body (except my enormous abdomen , which has mostly, though not entirely, gone down). This is not something I desired, as men tend to sexualize breasts, and I don't like that kind of slimy attention. Also! I am an action/adventure person, and wish that I had small action/adventure breasts to compliment my lifestyle, but I take what I got. And what I got demands expensive/expansive bras.
Second item, food. It is a fact that when you make less money than you pay in bills any savings from tax refunds and old financial aid is eaten through very quickly. I hate this fact. If I were a middle-class person, instead of an impoverished one, I would have savings bonds, a money market account, and conservative investments. This is because I am cautious with money. I would love to have a healthy savings for lean times, but the times have always been lean.
Do not say, why dear poor woman do you choose to bicycle across the state, and go on camping excursions with your loved ones? Do not continue, if you scrimped and ate beans and rice you would not be in such a bad shape. Furthermore never say, it's because your irresponsible that you're poor; if you would be responsible like me, you would have money like me. You don't want to say these things to me, because I will throw things at you. I will be forced to do this because I have been poor my entire life. And, when I was a preschooler and went without dinner it was not due to my own (or even my mother's) fault. It was due to an uncaring society that thinks that poor people should pull themselves up from their bootstraps (even if they don't own any boots).
Furthermore, poor people do deserve some nice experiences in life. We deserve to go on vacations, to eat well, and even to have choices in child care. Some of us choose to have internet, some of us choose to have pets, and some of us choose to eat organic foods. This is beacause without some of these things, life is dreary and dull. Probably some of you do too; our society thinks that you deserve it, though, for all of your hard work. This, of course, ignores the fact that many poor people work hard (any poor mother), and that scrambling for rent is more than a full-time job.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Then, I would camp out with the friend, and the lover, and two other friends would come meet up with us. The lover would hop a train (because he loves to), into the beach town, and the TT would go back with the other two friends to her dad. The train never came, so the lover hitch-hiked back and rode in the van with us.
Camping was nice; the TT loves the beach. She was pretty much constant motion, and wore herself out heartily. There was also a lot of music for the TT to listen to and play along with. There was a little stream for her to play in and children to play in it with.
The bike ride was about 80 miles and over a mountain range. We went about 55 miles the first day, which included the mountain range. It was exhausting, and took about 5 hours (maybe 6). At one point during an especially steep point I was starting to lose it. I felt defeated, and very sad. I pulled over and almost started crying. The lover gave me a power bar and an orange, and I felt happy and ready to start back up. I guess I was just burning through sugar too quickly.
When we reached the summit, I felt euphoric and triumphant. Then I just sped down the mountain, towards the lodge we were staying at. There were a couple more hills, which normally would feel small, but my body was fatigued and the last few miles were very difficult.
Finally we made it into the town, we ate, bathed, and then slept. The next day we rode on a highway by ugly car lots and fast food restaurants. In the final leg, coming into my city, there are large hills to climb. As we were climbing them some guy rode up and was talking to the lover for awhile. The lover said that the guy knew of a different route that was less steep, and did I want to go that way? Well, yes. So we went that way, but then the trail left off at this very busy highway, that we did not want to go down. We were somewhat confused how to get home. We then had to go back up some of the hills we had just come down. I was frustrated, frustrated with the lover for not finding out how to get home, frustrated with some random guy for telling us how to go a way that he didn't know, frustrated with the patriarchy for socializing men to give advise regardless of knowledge, and mostly frustrated that I had to go back up the goddamned hill I just came down. I expressed this frustration to the lover, which led into an argument.
Anyway, we finally caught up again with each other (separated by me telling him to just go), and coasted down a hill through a beautiful park. We stopped downtown for lunch from a food cart, and then I went to my home and he to his. We met up at a spa (!) and got massages. Then we went to Chi Kung and afterwards to sushi.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
My new boss lady called me on my way to the beach and offered me the job. I'm replacing a woman who hasn't left yet, so I won't be a permanent worker for a couple of months. In the meantime, they'll pay me like $5 more an hour to make up for my benefits not starting yet!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I know it's not your fault. Nobody taught you how to be caring in med school (this is a guess from how all the male doctors I have had have been). Based on my experiences today I shall take it upon myself to educate you in performing your profession on my most sensitive of body parts. First of all, listen to me. Yes, yes, I know you've spent a term, or whatever, learning about vaginas and the female reproductive system, but chances are I have been in an extensive field study of my vagina since I was born (27 years). When I say my perineum and labia majora are itchy, I probably know what I am talking about. Especially if I am using your science words.
So listen. Next, look at the areas I am complaining about. I don't know why, male doctor, you would assume a woman has a yeast infection in her vagina if she says 1) what she is experiencing feels nothing like a yeast infection (and she has had several, in fact if she thought it was a yeast infection she'd wrap some garlic in cotton and shove it up there) and 2) she says her vagina feels normal.
Next up, for the love of god, if you are using a speculum use lube. Use lot of lube. Warm up the speculum. Now, when you feel my vagina tense while you are cranking the torture device open, pause for a moment. It will only take a moment, but don't keep cranking. Also, if you ask me to tell you if it hurts (and you should) and I speak up, don't dismiss me. Seriously, there's an art to pap smears. Midwives have mastered it, see if one will teach you how. Are you taking a pain survey? Do you just want to know when the torture has begun? I hope not, so ask how you can help.
After swabbing, before finishing the slide and slide cover. Take the god forsaken thing out of my vagina; do not leave it in as you talk to the nurse. And thank god for nurses! My nurse today said, uh I think you can take that out. I didn't know it was time, because unlike every woman doctor I've had, he didn't give me a rundown of what he was doing while he was doing it. Jerk! I'm so glad I don't have to date this asshole.
Also when you ask me if I am having sex with someone new, and I say no the first time, quit asking. Shit I was asked 4 times. I know I'm a single mom (floozy), but guess what, I care about my cooter and will tell you any important cooter information. That's why I'm goddamned there. Also, when you ask where the itching is and I say perineum a number of times, that's probably what I mean. Don't ask, "the area between your vagina and anus?" This makes you look like an idiot. Yes, idiot, my perineum. Surely this was covered in anatomy class.
Finally, when after you tell me that her vagina looks fine, that there's no sign of yeast infection or bacterial infection, and she asks about her perineum. Please, please don't say that you didn't really look at it. Somebody should take you license, because you are an idiot. It was right there. You had a light shining at it.
Can you imagine having sex with this man? It's like you'd be all rub my clit, my clit, my clit. RUB MY CLIT! And there he'd be confused about why pressing your g-spot isn't doing anything. Truly, this was a horrible experience.
My diagnoses? Bubblebath.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
So I'm just waiting, and I'm not the most patient person.
Afterwards I felt like I wanted to smoke a cigarette. I haven't smoked for a long time, and so I decided not to pick it up again. Then I thought about getting a drink, but decided that drinking to relieve stress isn't healthy. I then wanted a donut, but recently gave up sugar for a couple of months. Now, I think I'm going to go swimming. See, prospective employer, I'm responsible.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Here's what I got:
|1.||to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another's property.|
|2.||to wish for, esp. eagerly: He won the prize they all coveted.|
|3.||to have an inordinate or wrongful desire.|
I guess I do number 2 sometimes. Who decides if the desire is wrong, though? God, I guess. As for the seven deadly sins, I'm not quite sure that I know them all, but am fairly certain that I am guilty of them all at some time or another. Fortunately, my view of god is much different from this view, which leads me not feeling sinful most of the time, except when I drink or drive somewhere I should've ridden my bike.
I have gotten completely off point, though. My point was feminism. My friend and I got into a lengthy argument about an issue that affects an organization that we both belong to. We agreed with the larger issue, being prochoice. We strongly disagreed with the way the organization handled a man's (and here I use man, when really boy would work better, but he is physically an adult) listserve outburst about being antichoice. We censured him in a meeting. Not censor, okay? but censure:
|1.||strong or vehement expression of disapproval: The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the tax proposal.|
|2.||an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.|
|3.||to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner: She is more to be pitied than censured.|
|4.||to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.|
I think she thought that we were doing number 4, when I felt we were doing number 1. So she was empathizing with this guy, who said a pretty fucked up thing, because he came to the meeting to take his chops and he apologized. Later he acted like an asshole, and basically said that the method of what he said was incorrect, but not the nature.
We ended up having a long, drunken conversation which touched upon why people are indoctrinated to empathize with men, and not women, even when the man is the person who is in the wrong. This morning I realized, with some depression, that the patriarchy has very effectively counterorganized against feminists. Radical, liberal, and progressive people still have these male eyes to filter the world through, even if they're women. Yes, he made a mistake, some thought, but we can see ourselves there: saying misogynistic things. My reaction to his outburst was very upset. When people are antichoice, I feel like they are dismissing my whole existence, my reality. It is so difficult to be a poor, single parent. It is exhausting to the point of pain, and there is little social support. There is scorn and constant judgment. Forcing someone to live this life discounts my struggle, my choice. The people who were empathizing with this manbaby, did not show signs of empathizing with me. Nobody even acknowledged what I was saying. Some actually sighed, rolled their eyes, and brought up controversial, radical feminists for comparison.
This was the second feat of counterorganization: to discount any anger that a feminist has, and other her. As a feminist, I feel like I have to check my anger, or I will be put in the box, and put away. People won't listen to my arguments, because they think that they understand what's in the box, which is hatred of men (this isn't even close to my analysis). Which pissed me off. I should be able to be angry!
My friend thought that at an all women meeting, the feminists were going to basically bully all the women into a decision she didn't agree with. Which is the third point for patriarchy, to paint feminists as bullies who push their already made up agenda on all women.
Which isn't true. We wanted a meeting to give voice to all the women, to know their experiences in the organization.
Finally, my friend said that she was intimidated by women, and didn't really have many close women friends, because she didn't really like most of them. She hates female competition. Fair enough. There is no prize we're competing for. But, what a misogynistic society we have when radical women in it say things like they don't really like women (with a few exceptions). Which was the final blow to leave me stumbling home defeated.
N, if you are reading this, I'm sorry I pushed you and I would like to have another sober conversation because I love you and I love women and the organization.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The rest of it went well. I actually have experience in a lot of the things they're looking for. I was hoping that they would just go ahead and hire me, but they called me back for a second interview. So, I don't know what to expect. I also don't know what to say to my current boss. I told her I'd tell her next week what I'm going to do. Maybe I can hold her off until the end of the week; my interview is on Tuesday.
Job interviews leave me so anxious. I ended up getting a headache from the stress that night.
The pressure is intense now. It's probably down to one other person and me. I found out that they'll pay for most of my bachelor's degree. So if I fuck this up, I lose my chance to climb out of poverty.
I'm still thinking about soldiers, but mostly fantasizing about having enough money to pay all my bills.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
If I do get it, the TT's dad may work less, with me kicking him down some money. This was the plan when the TT's dad and I were together: that after I finished with schooling he would work less and be with her more while I got a good job.
On the other hand, I really like the job I have. The atmosphere is so relaxed. I can walk in 15 minutes late and all anyone says is, "How was your weekend?" or something similar. I do my job well and have a lot of autonomy. I like the people I work with. I especially like the boss I'm the assistant for. She's smart, funny, and can tell the Executive Director what's up. She's a great role model for me. This job has offered me more hours and more pay. This job is without all the rad benefits, as I would only work 30 hours a week. I also would bring home less money, but would get to spend more time with the TT.
I don't know which job I would rather have. Do I leave a good thing for something that is unsure, but could really improve my finances? Right now I'm open to whatever works out. Tomorrow I will decide whether this job would be a good fit for me, and hopefully if it is, they'll like me too.
I've also been thinking about soldiers lately, but will take that on another day.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Personally, I am proud to do my part. Citibank owns my soul, err brain. My brain, it turns out is worth over $20,000 plus interest.
After paying my student loan, my electric bill, my final medical bill, and my phone bill I have $100 left for food for two weeks. Thanks Citigroup! Although Citigroup shouldn't get all the credit. A big shout out to Sprint, the electric company and my doctor.
That sixth grade teacher was right; capitalism really is the best economic system. Just think of the efficiency!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Here's one of her "tattoos"
These stickers, of course, ended up all over the floor. Do you see her punk rock tank top? I cut it myself from a long sleeve shirt. I've been doing this with a lot of her clothes, as it's hot and we're pretty broke.
I sent TTT to her room after she kept unfolding and hopping on laundry I was folding. Buddhists with sand paintings have nothing on me and laundry. Here's a picture of her yelling to the construction workers out of the window:
She yelled, "Hey, help me! My mommy put me in my room, and I can't get out without falling." Which is hilarious, although since I'm poor, I sometimes worry about people's perceptions of my parenting, as the reality of children being taken by the state is so much nearer. Middle-class parents can joke about their drinking, and rich people can be photographed with their children riding outside of their car seats, but a poor, single mother doing either of these things is another example of ignorant trash breeding. :sigh, why can't we just educate them about condoms?
Another funny quote is, "Guess what's in my cooter?"
Me, "Hopefully nothing, but if there is something in there you'd better take it out right now."
Her, "Ha ha here it is."
Me, "Oh a seed, gross. Hand it to me."
Finally, spoken to my friend, "Don't you give that to my fucking mommy."
Yes, first F-Bomb. Truly a red letter day.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I feel better now.
The shower itself was in a room with shower heads lined up against parallel walls. While there were other naked ladies showering after their lap swim, it was still the most private shower I've had in recent memory.
It was absent a tiny person throwing toys at me with which to play. Nobody tried to join me, and absolutely nobody was yelling at me because they needed rice milk, their ass wiped, a snack (no not that snack), and nobody was fake-crying at the neglect of not having her immediate needs met by me for the last five minutes.
The shower was hot, and silent. The missing shower curtain, the strangers, the fear of contracting plantar warts didn't detract from my tranquility. The lap swim was worth the small sum of money charged, but the shower was invaluable.