The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Christmas 2016, or The One with The Racist Grandparents and The Addict Brother

The last time I saw my brother at Christmas it was 2012. We unwrapped presents with dad and posed for pics in funny hats. His second son was born three months later.

Christmas 2013: my brother on the run, but a family of parents and step-parents, kids and grandkids united. A day tinged by sadness, but manageable.

Christmas 2014: my brother on the run again, presumably holed-up in a shack yakked out on meth. Again, parents and step-parents united. Brother was arrested two months later after a standoff with police. I found out via Facebook whilst on vacation.

Christmas 2015: my brother in jail, Cottonwood actually, getting clean. Parents and step-parents united, along with sis-in-law, her new husband and kids. One big happy family. My brother would be released two months later, only to fall off the wagon, steal a car, and alienate us all within a week. He returned to prison to serve a 7 month term.

Christmas 2016: my brother was released December 14, just in time for the holidays! He is not welcome at our dad's, he is not allowed to see his children, so our Christmas was fractured. He attended NA after dinner.

I have grown used to pretending I'm an only child, so a day with my dad, stepmom, and grandparents could have been lovely. And then grandpa had to go and start talking about the ni**ers. And the sand ni**ers. And his admiration of the KKK.

I hit my limit with Christmas this year, you guys.

I try really really hard to make happiness between Halloween and New Years. I cook, I bake, I craft. I listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies and craft Christmas cocktails. I donate money and gifts to those in need. I spend quality time with the people I love. I TRY.

But is it so wrong that I just want to spend this day alone, avoiding humanity, hoping the day passes without incident so that I can forget it for another 364?


February 9, 2016

UPDATE. I also hate being *potentially* homeless.


February 8, 2016

I hate everything about today. I hate coming home to an eerily empty house. I hate finding mom's cell phone absentmindedly left behind. I hate scrolling through text after text begging my brother to come home, to man up, to stay clean for the kids. I hate that burdensome feeling of guilt when I think it would be easier if he were dead. I hate that I think that. I hate even more that it's true. I hate hurting for my parents, people so good they were willing to believe this time would be different. I hate the "what if" game and the "what the fuck is he thinking?" game and the "how could he play me?" game. I hate that he is a sinker, not a swimmer. I hate that his son shares this trait. I hate talking to his ex-wife because she is trying so valiantly to move on. I hate watching my mother question EVERY. FUCKING. ACT. OF. LOVE. she offered. I hate knowing that my brother has robbed my dad of a son, a companion, a friend. I hate that locks and garage door codes had to be changed, that guns had to be retrieved. I hate that Facebook facilitates friendship and drug deals. I hate the cumbersome nature of the criminal justice system. I hate that in a fucking cruel twist of fate what has torn our family apart has also brought us together.

I hate meth.

I hate always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I hate being right.


All the Single Girls are Lesbians

I don't really have time for pleasantries y'all, so let's just dive right in.


Why? So many reasons, but this one thang in particular is stuck in my craw - has been since the beginning of summer. Two months ago I went on a camping trip to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday. I like camping - food's good, day drinking is one of my favorite activities, and peeing in the great outdoors is one of life's forgotten pleasures. But I had no idea what was in store for me.

It started with the car ride. I carpooled with an old friend, he of the married type. Seeing as how he was unattached for the weekend, he graciously took our two hour sojourn as the ideal opportunity to tell me ALL ABOUT the cracks in his marriage. No worries. We've known one another over a decade and I am a good friend. Lending a sympathetic ear is definitely in my wheelhouse, so I listened. And listened. And listened. Clearly homeboy needed to talk some shit out. By the time we reached camp, we both were ready for some beers. All was well.

Until Homeboy Number Two showed up. Let's call him The Wrench. The Wrench was shirtless, with shaggy hair inexplicably topped by a trucker cap - early aughts camping chic. And The Wrench was singularly focused on me. As soon as I cracked a beer and found a comfortable spot around the campfire, The Wrench sidled up to me.

"I remember you," he said pointedly.

I smiled politely, but apparently my look of confusion was clear. "You don't remember me? I'm hurt!" he exclaimed.

You guys, I panicked just a little. I have been single for a minute. And in the lull between worthy suitors I have slept with some dudes. Was The Wrench a drunken hookup?! A mistaken makeout?! A Tinder Roulette sexting slimeball?! FUUUUUUCCKKKK.

And then, BINGO! He was none of the above, thankfully, but some rando friend of a friend who crashed a drunken toga pool party I'd thrown for myself in 2009. (Yes, I am very good at being childless and single, don't be too jealous.)

I've helpfully circled The Wrench. Also, how cute was I?!

The Wrench was harmless. Or so I thought. For the next 10 hours I fended off his advances. He drunkenly crooned at me during campfire sing-along; he offered a massage when I jammed my finger at the swimming hole; and in a particularly egregious act of bravery, he reached out and tweaked my nipple whilst mid-conversation. Can't say he wasn't committed to the cause.

Thankfully Homeboy Number Three caught the nipple tweak and attempted a rescue of sorts. Let's call him The Hot One. I have known The Hot One for 10+ years. The Hot One had a girlfriend for many of those years. I was living abroad for some of those other years. But now The Hot One and I are living in the same city, unattached for the first time, and all I wanted was a good old-fashioned fireside makeout sesh. I was a damsel in distress, it was the least he could do. Unfortunately, The Hot One had something else in mind entirely. As soon as he swooped in and rescued me from the nipple-tweaking toga 'tard, he spilled his guts. And I do mean SPILLED. The Hot One proceeded to tell me some really heavy shit from his childhood that, frankly, I probably won't ever repeat, both because it was so fucked up, but also because I would never want to embarrass this dude. See, I *DO* have a heart.

Needless to say, The Hot One killed my vibe, and any buzz that was left over from eight hours of day drinking. Seeing as how I was apparently surrounded by emotional retards, I found a spot by the fire and attempted to tune out the noise.

Enter Homeboy Number Four.

Again, I have known Homeboy Number Four for a minute, probably close to 10 years. We've never been close, but in group social situations we always find something to chat about. Homeboy Number Four is harmless, so let's call him Dad. Dad showed up at camp fairly late in the day, as his car broke down on the drive and he hitched a ride with some other campers. Sometime late in the evening, after much drinking and smoking, Dad told me he left his tent in his car. I was already sharing a rather large tent with my carpool friend, so I offered him a spot in our tent - no harm, no foul. The night wore on, and everyone was pleasantly drunk and/or stoned. Around midnight I retired to my tent. Just as I was drifting off, I heard Dad unzip the door and throw in his sleeping bag.

"You awake?" he asked.

I mumbled something, probably about the possible wicked hangover that surely awaited me. He carried on quietly, and just as I was on the edge of sleep, I heard him roll over, sigh deeply, and ask, "Mindy, why don't you have a boyfriend?"


He went on, "You're so cute and smart. I mean, like intellectual. You're strong and smart and why don't you ever have a boyfriend?"

I just laid there.

He went on, "You remind me a lot of my ex-girlfriend. She was strong and smart like you. You're just really intellectual." He said that word, INTELLECTUAL, like a dozen times.

I let this shit go on for a minute, hoping he'd get the hint, but he just kept rambling. I finally snapped.

"I don' know dude, why don't you tell me?! You're a guy. Why don't I have a boyfriend? It's probably because I am emotionally unavailable and overly critical. Or maybe it's because I'm not helpless and needy. Guys seem to really like needy girls. Needy girls always have boyfriends!"

Not my finest moment.

He soldiered on, "Some people have thought that maybe you're a lesbian."

You guys, I just laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. I didn't even know how to respond to such idiocy. Maybe it's because I'm soooo intellectual. At this point I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, plus the spins had set in. I rolled over and attempted to sleep. I don't know how long I was asleep or what time it was when I heard my name.

"Mindy! Mindy, is this your tent?!" The Wrench was drunkenly circling my tent, calling out my name. "It's cold out here. Can I come sleep with you?"

Are you fucking kidding me?! This guy just did not give up. I unzipped my tent, told him there was no room at the inn, and tossed him my car keys. "It's the blue Hyundai. Sleep there!" I shouted.

I slept fitfully the rest of the night, getting up just once to puke up a belly full of PBRs and half a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. By morning, I was feeling horrible and ready to never see any of these dudes again. My carpool friend and I quickly broke down camp, downed a cup of coffee each, and headed home.

And here I am, two months later, still salty about L'Affair. First, why did all four of these dudes see fit to use me as an emotional dumping ground? Admittedly I was the only single woman at camp, but is that really all dudes need? If I had come attached to some guy NONE of them would have been this emotionally inappropriate, guaranteed.

Secondjust because I don't announce every hookup/date/relationship via social media doesn't mean they aren't happening. Remember when I said Homeboy Number Four and I have known each other nearly a decade BUT WE AREN'T CLOSE? Apparently he thinks he knows all there is to know about me and if he isn't privy to my personal relationships then they must not exist.

Third, and this is the big one, why the fuck did he make the jump to lesbian? Is it because I cut all my hair off? Is it because I use social media platforms to proclaim my support for women's rights? Is it because I wear really cool Vans?

See? Cool, right?!

No. It's none of those. I could continue doing all of those things, so long as I had a boyfriend to call my own. It really truly is my lack of boyfriend that made him question my sexual preference. And that's the point that's stuck in my craw, not only because it's so shallow, but because it represents a cruel double standard. See, Homeboys One, Three, Four and I have a mutual friend, we'll call him The Boss. The Boss has been single as long as I've known him, something like 12 years. In that time he's had hookups and dates and flings, but nothing long term or meaningful (that I know of). Does that mean he's gay? Absolutely not. It might mean a whole host of *other* things, but to think he's gay simply because he does not have a girlfriend is ludicrous - SO NO ONE THINKS THIS. Literally no one questions The Boss's sexuality, even though he's been single FOR-EV-ER.

And that's why I'm salty.

Side note: I ran into The Hot One a couple weeks ago at the bar. He told me he and my carpool friend had had a bet going.

"Oh?" I questioned.

"Yeah. But we were both betting you'd sleep with [The Wrench]."

Guys are such idiots.



Holy hell how did two full weeks pass me by? Seems every year this Thanksgiving post gets less and less timely. Oh well, blame it on the universe. See, the current state of the world finds me struggling to conjure up feelings of joy and peace and, well, THANKFULNESS.

But even in this time of tumult I suppose there are a few things for which to be thankful, so let's get this bitch started.

Of course I'm thankful for my family. They are my rock. They are my support system, my cheerleading section, and sometimes my ATM. I really don't know where I'd be without them and I'm so thankful for their love, humor, and support.

I'm thankful for a car that works, and job that pays, a house that's warm, and a body that rarely fails me. This year (oh hell, ALL YEARS) found me reflecting on all the adult mile posts I have yet to reach -- marriage, house, kids -- you know, all that stuff we're *supposed* to want at 34? Taking inventory of all the things you don't have really has a deleterious effect on one's psyche. Like, "What the fuck was I doing in my twenties?!" kinda shit. But I'm slow. I take the long route, almost exclusively. If life's a journey, then I'm on the goddamn Mississippi Riverboat, meandering through muddy waters unsure of what the end will hold, but not entirely unhappy with the the twists and turns. This year was really a reminder to re-evaluate what I WANT, not what I'm supposed to want. And you know, there's a certain amount of freedom that comes with nonconformity, so I'm thankful for that.

In that same vein, I'm thankful for my freedom. I don't mean the so-called American variety of freedom, but specifically the kind that comes when you're unencumbered  - by children, by spouses, by finances. That freedom allowed me to fly across the world to visit my favorite Soko friendo, Jamie, for two fantastic weeks. That freedom allowed me to sip Vietnamese yogurt coffee, snorkel in the crystal blue pacific, and bitch and moan about shitty wifi whilst trekking through sweaty Vietnam on a 24 hour bus ride. Oh yeah, and that little trip to NYC. That's some shit to be thankful for, y'all.

I'm thankful for for my girlfriends. You guys, I have the BEST girlfriends. Collectively, they are the smartest, smarmiest, silliest, hardest-working, most loyal group of women any girl could ask for. My SLP girls are resilient (AMIRIGHT?!). My craft night ladies are often my oasis in a sea of weekly bullshit. And my Soko girls? Those women just GET me. They know the struggle is real and I'm so thankful I get to be their friend. And let's be honest, any woman willing to make dick jokes for 36 hours is a friend of mine.

So yeah, I'm thankful for some big stuff. But I'm also thankful some trivial shit, too. The devil's in the details, and sometimes it's the little things that make me laugh, or cry, or both.

This blogpost has been brought to you by Spotify's Throwback Thursday playlist, and I'm thankful for that, both because I love early aughts rap AND I was reminded this gem exists:

*Wasn't that some misogynistic fun?!

I'm thankful that I (mostly) learn from my mistakes.

I'm thankful for red lipstick, because even in my most disheveled state, a swipe fools everyone into thinking I put in some effort.

I'm thankful that I've still got it. As an educated, self-assured, adult woman I know I'm not supposed to hang my self-worth on what men think of me, but goddamnit that one hook-up did more for my self-esteem than any of that Stuart Smalley bullshit ever could.

I'm thankful for 63 degrees in mid-December.

I'm thankful for Dawson Taylor and The Flying M, without which I might never get any studying done.

I'm thankful for my two beautiful nephews. They are light and love and laughter.

I'm thankful for brunch and informative podcasts and Trader Joe's insanely cheap face serum. I'm thankful for John Oliver and Jessica Williams and Lena Dunham. I'm thankful Roxane Gay exists, and writes, and speaks out for women and minorities, AND gives me a free pass to date terrible men. I'm thankful that a retreat into nature, REAL nature, is just a quick road trip away.

I'm thankful to have surrounded myself with thoughtful, educated, empathetic people who show integrity, because goddamnit the world is seriously fucked up. Sometimes it's nice to know you're not the only one. I'm thankful for that.



Cool Girl


"Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

"Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)" - Gillian Fucking Flynn


Halloween Hook-Up

Dipping my toe into the wonderful world of online sex stories. Guess which one is mine!