I really CAN quit you, Facebook!

Come sit next to me, little ones, while I regale you with the tale of Facebook.

Oh! The days of yore when it was a seemingly benign place for people to gather. We tended our make-believe farms, posted lengthy "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me" notes, friended that guy we drank chocolate milk with in kindergarten and answered promptly when Facebook asked us what's on your mind? even if what was on our mind was something as banal as how tired/hungry we were or "watching CSI".

My babies, it was FUN. It was bonding and millions of us reconnected with long-ago friends, shared pics and updates with Aunts and Uncles and followed our favorite celebs. Personally, it helped me through the dark post-divorce times. As cringey as my vintage status updates are, reading them now is a not-so-gentle reminder of the hell that my life was for a long time and how much love friends gave. 

Facebook grew. And like a baby who once elicited gentle oohs and ahhs, it became a tantrum-prone toddler: still cute but my gosh super annoying at times. The toddler stage came and went, and we hung on for the ride. It became less about staying in touch with everyone and more about taking stances, advertising and living that Fakebook life. We joked and collectively yiked when our conversations off of the internet spurred suggestions and ads about the very things we had mentioned in supposed-privacy. 

Facebook became less fun and more stressful. At least, that's how it was for me. 

It was also addicting. It was often the very first app I checked in the mornings, and it wasn't uncommon for scarily large chunks of time to slip away while I scrolled, commented and liked. It was almost ritualistic, the initial check of notifications, answering (or sometimes not answering, lol) the messages, checking up on people we were worried about or crushing on or disagreeing with. I found myself turning to Facebook when I was feeling cagey or ragey or bitchy. 

Do you remember the first time someone you thought you knew, someone you thought you liked unconditionally, posted something that shocked you? I'm not talking about someone who admitted they loved Hallmark Christmas movies or preferred black licorice over red. I mean something that at the time seemed uncharacteristic, like another personality had taken over their profile.

I'm trying to recall the first time I did one of those cartoon gasps, when a "friend" publicized something that took me by surprise. I can't think of the original OMG moment but whoa- there were many more to follow. 

Politics. It started with the politics, naturally. It was one thing when someone declared their hatred for the Green Bay Packers, something entirely different when that ire was directed at a group of people based on their political leanings. And when it turned towards race/religion? Ugh. 

We learned how to unfollow, how to mute chats, how to block and sometimes, how to unfriend. I have always prided myself on being Little Miss Sunshine, the uniter, the glass-half-full person. Switzerland! Why can't we all just get along? But it became increasingly harder to be that person. I found myself fighting with friends and strangers, pretending to be a hardass when inside I'm the softest ass you'll ever meet. 

I was judged, and I judged right back. Facebook became a boxing ring instead of the inviting front porch it had always been. 

There was still fun to be had, though. I started a private group, The Porch, which quickly filled up with fellow divorce survivors and supporters (hey porchers!!! I miss you all!!). The public Happy Hausfrau page was a little oasis from the pettish din. I started a weekly Meme Roundup and Friday mornings quickly became my favorites as I posted meme after meme. People commented and liked and shared and we LOLOLOLed together and it was a blast. 

But even the meme roundup became stained with acrimony. And when the meme roundup became more of a chore than anything else, I realized it was time to step back.

When clicking on that innocent little blue and white icon filled me with trepidation over what I'd find in the notifications rather than that old timey excitement, I knew a choice had to be made. And it wasn't because I wanted to bury my head in the sand and pretend that life is a gd walk in the park. It was self-protection. 

Some of us are able to scroll past the stinky stuff. To ignore the baiting and the lying and the downright awfulness. I'm not one of those people. I'm a sponge, you guys. Whatever I'm around gets soaked up, absorbed. Both good and bad. It's not the worst trait but it's a doozy. Especially when our world is such a raging cluster of vein-popping scream-fests and hills that are so NOT worth dying on. 

And so, a day after my birthday, I removed the app from my phone. Yes I'm laughing about how dumb that sounds but it was harder than you might think. The worst of it was my writing stuff. Even though writing has become more of "used to" thing with me, it was good to be in touch with fellow bloggers and editors and fans. I've been threatening to write a book for what feels like centuries now, and it sucks that unless you have a preformed fan-base, an influential platform, you are almost certainly doomed to fail. For that reason I didn't delete my pages. (okay also because it's a hell of a time capsule, right?)

Breaking up with Facebook was easier than I thought it would be. Also harder in ways I hadn't anticipated. I worry that people who only knew me through that particular realm would think I just fell off the face of the earth or worse, cut ties. The temptation to log back in has been real. But I've resisted. My rebounds have been twitter and Instagram. Twitter for the bitchy days and Instagram for the warm fuzzy ones. 

Some days, I miss it. But in this case, absence isn't making the heart grow fonder. It's making my heart happier. 

Maybe, juuuust maybe, after the election and if we get a handle on the 'rona, I'll check back in. I'm sure my beloved aunt has tagged me in countless wine memes, Scary Mommy comment sections are still rife with combat and high school friends are still posting scary/hilarious conspiracy theories. That FOMO feeling is fading with each passing day, though. It's refreshing to not have that weird compulsion to check in on the Facebook and see what's happening. 

I miss it, but I don't. 

It's also really nice to be back here again ❤


Hospice Post Follow Up: yeah there was some wine involved


You know how it goes, after a night of grief-wining, you check to make sure you didn't leave any messes...physical and/or otherwise. 

Texts: all good, no regrets there!

Social media: phew. One twitter post that thankfully didn't get past the draft stage.

Kitchen: as clean as it gets, LOL. 

Dog: still alive and flatulent.

Ooh but wait...

Blog: Ahh. There it is. My first post in eons and it was the love child of chilled rose and the always-fun Saturday night sobs.

I mean, I've posted worse completely sober so I'll let it stay but I do have to offer apologies for several things: my redundant use of the phrase "here we are", for one. And a huge apology for any visuals you may have had when I mentioned a sex dream about Tucker Carlson. I'm not proud of that one.

I guess I should explain the politics thing a little better, now that I am upright, fed and able to string a few words together coherently.

Obviously I am still your favorite bleeding heart liberal divorced mommy blogger. I hope so, anyway. If anything about me has stayed the same, it's that I am unashamed to express my support for all things left-leaning. We've discussed it here before, I think, and we've all remained buddies (again, I hope so). 

It's been argued that we, as liberals, should cut out any and all relationships with people who are trump supporters. I'm no longer on Facebook but it wasn't uncommon to read that someone had disowned family members because of who they voted for. I don't remember it being that way prior to 2016, at least in the bubble I live in currently. Friends and family didn't like Obama but aside from one particularly loathsome high school acquaintance I don't recall a whole lot of animosity. And from the racist assholes but those types are always around no matter who is running the country. They just had a much bigger target with Obama. 

Trump has changed all of that. I'm not gonna get into the pointing of fingers over who has been the loudest and most divisive, but I will say that it still blows my mind that we're here in 2020. I find him to be a bad person and in general I don't like bad people. For me it was all the cheating he did on all of his wives. That was bad enough for me, let's not even start with allll the other stuff. 

So it turns out my dad is not in the same political boat as me. I've spent days and nights at my dad's house and he watches Fox News. At first I was afraid. I was petrified. Oh wait that was Gloria Gaynor. Anyway. I really was uncomfortable hearing that in the background 24/7 but guess what: my dad is literally on his deathbed. If you think I'm going to try and get him all woke before he goes, nope. I disagree with all of it, every last bit of this current administration and their policies and all of the garbage they spew out by the second but I will not go down that road with my dad. I can and I will love him, love my new/old family and hope that they love me back despite our differing beliefs. 

I will say this: holy propaganda. It's not a stretch to see how people have been brainwashed by this "news" outlet. Every single issue is BREAKING NEWS and ALERT!!! and nothing but high praise for 45 and his cronies. It's easy to see how people get sucked into it and start believing it. Raise your hand if you've ever considered buying something simply based on an advertisement...let's be real you most likely haven't pondered purchasing a Klan hat or a story about a wealthy guy in California dropping off not one but three macbook pros to a monocle-wearing computer repair guy in Delaware but still. It's marketing, baby, and sometimes it works. 

Trump has destroyed so much. I can't let him destroy what's left of my time with dad.

Some clarification re: Tucker Carlson. So one night, we were all gathered in the living room where dad's hospital bed is set up. Fox News was on, and it happened to be Tucker's turn on the mic. Because I am me I said, "You know, he's not super awful looking. I mean, if you're into that kind of thing." And a Tucker conversation began. Henry, my 23 year old, mentioned that one of his friends went to school in DC and would see Tucker out and about sometimes. "He's short and round, ma. Not your type." (gosh I love my kids 😂). This led to an intense Google search to find out more about this thin-lipped talking head. We found out he is a trust fund baby, married to a walking J Crew ad and the father to four astoundingly good looking children. 

My taste in men is legendarily awful. Not every time, but the majority of it for sure. I like 'em tall and funny and for some reason, Republican. It's not like that's what I seek, because if you know me I'm not out there seeking. It's what falls into my lap on occasion. I pictured Tucker Carlson, with floppy hair and a bow tie, on a taller, more athletic frame and I guess one of the exhausted neurons in my brain sent it down to the dream factory because there I was a few hours later, engaged in lustful acts with him. Hey, it's been a doozy of a few weeks, friends. I'm not myself. Or am I? 

There ya go. Some explanation for a sloppy return to blogging. Thank you for being here. I promise to do more writing and less tippling in the future ❤


Hospice Notes: Chapter 1

Wow. Hello, friends.

Quick update to keep everyone up to speed.

I've quit Facebook. My dad is dying. I promised to write more so here we are.

Hospice, man. It's a trip. Especially when the dying person is your dad with whom you've had a very estranged, very strange, relationship. 

My dad is a good man. He really is. Our estrangement was over something so stupid and so petty that I'm uncomfortable discussing it but here we are. I've come to find out that the silent treatment is nothing new for this branch of my family tree. My grandpa didn't speak to his brother for years following the death of their mom (my great-grandma Ruth). My dad and his brothers didn't speak for years following the death of their mom (my grandma Grace). This newfound knowledge made me both sad and happy. Sad because what a fucking legacy, ya know? Silent treatment. Grudges. A legacy that is a bit different from freckles or stubbornness. Happy because it's good to know you're not an anomaly. Happy because I know this is not some weird out-of-the-blue characteristic that landed on my lap.

The history with my dad is like this: we had a great, normal, healthy thing happening for a long time. He was my hero. He was the quintessential daddy, the man we hope to have in our lives. The strong silent type who did the yardwork and who had a shop in the basement. The man who comforted my pathetic ass as I cried on the shag carpet over gazelles getting eaten on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. The man who came down to my bedroom, sat on that pilly blue and white flowered blanket and held me while I wept after hearing that mom and dad were getting a divorce. That was the first time I saw my dad cry.

After the divorce things got weird and they got ugly. My mom had left him for her first cousin. Yep. Here we go, friends, curtains are being pulled back. I'm dragging out skeletons that haven't seen the light of day or internet. My mom had an affair with her cousin and she decided to leave my dad for him. In a perfect world, my brother and I would have ended up with my dad. In a perfect world, an abusive young man who had no business raising children wouldn't have ended up with two impressionable, sad kids who needed a dad. 

In a perfect world, none of this would have happened. But we live in a beautifully imperfect world. 

My mom raised us, my brother and I. And so did that monster. My dad tried, he tried really hard, to get custody of us but it was the 70's and back then unless the mother had been caught eating babies or whatever she got custody. My dad gave up and settled for whatever he could get. Which wasn't much, considering that my brother and I were being told over and over again what a horrible person our dad was. This is why, despite all I've been through, I will always give the dads the benefit of the doubt when hearing stories from women about divorce and exes and acrimonious relationships. I give them the benefit of the doubt until I hear all of the facts. I know that in most cases, these dads are truly shits and they don't want to be part of their children's lives but there is always the chance that they want to be there but they can't. 

I know this is not always the case. I know that there are men who don't want to be there, who believe that kids are like razor blades or diapers and are truly disposable. Ask me how I know (LOL). But my dad did try. 

Anyhoo. Here we are, dad and me. It's 2020. The world is a fiery dumpster shitshow and I got a call a couple months ago that he wasn't doing great and it would mean the world to him if my kids and I showed up to offer him support and love. We did. And he was happy.

Then I got a call, on my birthday of all days, that dad was dying. It was my stepsister and we sobbed together on the phone. Sobbed to the point of not being able to breathe. We took the first shaky steps to repair a lifetime of grudges and silent treatments and withholding of love and attention and just being there. 

It was then that I decided to drop all of the shackles that had been constant companions for so many years. It was then that I cast my pride and my anxiety and my grudges aside and decided to be a daughter. 

Nothing more. Nothing less. Just a daughter. A daughter whose dad was dying.

In the days since then, I've tried my hardest to be there for him. I've held his hand. I've slept on a loveseat just inches from his head, waking up when I hear a hiccup or a weird breath or anything that sounds like a distress call. I've helped him drink water. I've rubbed his back. I've talked with him in a dark quiet house and I've laid my head on his chest and begged for forgiveness and I've listened while he cried about our tattered relationship and how happy it's made him to have me there. 

These minutes, these moments, they are priceless. They are gorgeous slivers of seconds in a timeline that is dotted with silence and blank spaces. We have joined forces, my dad and I. Together we have taken broken strands and rewoven them into a new and improved quilt of life and love. "You and me- we're back together and it makes me so happy" is what he said one night, tiny tears rolling down his gaunt cheeks while I gripped his hand, sobbing. Dad. My dad. Daddy.

I'm trying my best to reconnect with the family that was always there but also, never there. I'm hearing stories of what a good dad he has been, the memories of him being THAT GUY. The crusty dude who rarely cracked a smile but who was there nonetheless, the one who answered the phone late at night and who taught life lessons and who was always, always there. I didn't have that guy and it's hard for me to sit there and hear these stories. It's hard but I do it and love them for loving him. I love them for being lucky enough to be the recipients of this man's special brand of caring. Of his love. 

It's hard. Oh shit you guys, it's SO HARD. My stepmom keeps telling me, "God put him in our lives for a reason" and it's so fucking hard to not cry out, "WHAT DID GOD HAVE AGAINST ME", ya know? Why would a good and loving God take him from us and give him to someone else? Does this mean my stepmom and her kids were more deserving of him? My brother and I were somehow not good enough, not special enough, not deserving? This is a long, crooked, winding road you guys. The thoughts in my head are so convoluted under the best of circumstances...this has been like a massive data dump and trying to process everything has been challenging. To say the least. 

*disclaimer: I adore my stepmom and my stepsister/stepbrother. ADORE. They have welcomed me back without a second's hesitation and have been nothing but supportive. I am grateful to them for accepting the black sheep back into the fold ❤ I just have a lot of baggage to unpack and put away, ya know?

But I am not someone who takes shit. I'm not someone who rolls over, who turns the other cheek. I am me. I am that woman who has been through some tough stuff and who wants to make things right. 

I. Am. Me. 

I am his daughter. He is my dad. We have been given this awful opportunity, this rare gift of time. 

Time to repair. Time to forgive. 

Time to love.

I'm heartbroken. I'm grieving. I'm the saddest I've been in a long time.

But I'm grateful. And I'm appreciating every second I get with my dad. Every laugh we have. Every tear shed. Every hand squeeze, every eye contact. Every word. I'm appreciating it and loving it and embracing it.

We've lost years. We've lost countless memories, pictures, snippets of time together. We'll never get those back, for sure, but oh my gosh. We've gained so much in the past few weeks. It's not the same as the filmstrip of memories my stepsister and stepbrother and all of the grandchildren have, not even close.

It's what we have. It's golden chunks of time. It's a chance to make things right. 

It's a gift. And I'm unwrapping this gift slowly, trying to encapsulate every single second of it. I know that this will not end perfectly. It will not end happily. But I am determined to make the best of it. 

It's also been a learning experience, my friends. I'm learning as this experience unfolds. Learning about differences and tolerance and understanding.

I've watched Fox News for the first time. I've had a sex dream about Tucker Carlson. 

Shit has gotten weird, friends. 

Stay tuned. Promise there's more to come.

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