Character Building Times....otherwise known as Times That Really Suck

You hear it a lot, when you are struggling. "This is going to be a huge character building experience for you!". "Hard times make us who we are!!!". "It's in the struggle where we find the light".....

Yes, yes, and yes. So true. I believe that to my very core.

But, enough already. Seriously.

By the time the kids and I get through this "patch of roughness" we will collectively have more character than a DisneyWorld parade.

I think we're full up on character now, thankyouverymuch.

And the sad thing is, the stuff we have gone through/are going through isn't even that awful. For every episode of "Life With Jenny" that sends me into a rocking back and forth, Rainman/Jeopardy coma (except instead of Rainman/Jeopardy it's Jenny/Real Housewives Marathon) I know that there are a plethora of worse situations to be mired in. I know that there are things I could be experiencing that would make the past 2 years of my life look like a trip through Willy Wonka's factory (the part before the acid trip boat ride). There are women out there who have faced demons who make my personal demons look like newborn babies. I've never had a Katrina, an earthquake, cancer or an Ike Turner.

And I thank God every day that MY worst isn't that bad. But I am human, and like all other humans, I can only speak of what I've dealt with. So that's what you're stuck with, sweet readers.

This particularly grueling time is once again the product of being poor. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record when I talk to the kids, and it sucks. For them, and for me. Last night I did add a new phrase into my list of "things we have to watch for the next couple of weeks". Last night I actually told the kids that we have to keep an eye on how far we drive. We, being me. Gas is freaking expensive, and it's something that I don't get to purchase more than a couple times a month. Add that to the fact that my gas-snorting truck gets approximately 10 miles per gallon (I kid you not) and you get the idea (cue the violins, please).

But here's the inspirational part of my woe is me weepfest this morning: Nothing lights a fire under my ass like desperation. My friends in the late 80's saw this, when the lights at the bar started flickering for closing time and I was the only one sans fellow. Big Daddy saw this during the Willy Loman phase of his employment...I went out to garage sales every single Saturday, bought baby/kids items as cheaply as I could and then took them into Once Upon A Child. That's how we ate for a few months. That's also how I learned to buy low and sell high, which, ironically enough, is how I keep the boat afloat now via eBay. So there's the proof in this poverty pudding: hard times really do teach you a thing or two.

I guess it's also proof that what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. And I am strong, baby. I've been pumped up to the max and as much as it bites the big one, it's my life and I'm going to make the best of it.

Sure, I have my weak moments. The sad scene yesterday when I balanced my checking account and saw the final numbers...I cried a little. But only for a minute. Because I know that it's been that awful before, hell, it's been negative numbers before and here we are, living and breathing and watching Bravo. So it's not so bad. We may not be the family you see at Costco, pushing a steroid-big cart overflowing with Z Bars and cases of Izze Sparkling Juice, but like Sister Sledge, we are family. And we are going to be ok. We have a roof over our heads, air conditioning and 89 cent slushies at Super America. We have Red Box free codes, William's All Star games (Little League is quite possibly the best free entertainment out there, by the way) and bikes.

You've heard of the Little Engine that Could?

I am the Big Mama that not only Could, but Did and Will Keep Doing.


  1. "More Character Than a DisneyWorld Parade"
    That will be the title of your first book.
    And will you send me a signed copy, if I send you a self addressed stamped mailer??

  2. Awww Beth, I wish!

    (shipping will be gratis for my homies, though)


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