Ad Me!

Why do advertising people seem to think they know all about me? Well I have a few replies for them.

Will the Victoria’s Secret Memory Bra remember where my boobs used to be?

Does having that not so fresh feeling mean I have an expiration date?

When you wish you were an Oscar Meyer weiner, does this mean you have identity issues?

When I get Gladd why does this stop me from getting mad?

Drinking coffee that is good to the last drop does not sound too appealing. Isn’t the last drop in your cup cold and full of grounds?

If you come alive with Pepsi, does this mean that Coke drinkers are dead?

When I hear Snap, Crackle, Pop it usually means that my knees are getting bad.

Hefty! Hefty! Hefty!" "Wimpy! Wimpy! Wimpy! Sounds like a bunch of bullies are in a pissing contest in my garbage can.

How do I spell relief? Sleep.

1800 COLLECT: Save a buck or two. Oh Great another cost that my sons inflict on me..

When someone says this Bud's For You, is it rude to say you don’t really like Bud and why do I have to take him?

Don't Leave Home Without It. Oh God, what did I forget now?

Just Do It. Oh shut-up! I will do it when I feel like doing it!

"I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, we're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too Ummm??? Sounds very FLDS to me.

Beef - it's what's for dinner. Finally someone else is doing the cooking!


Life Got In The Way

A undelivered Pampered Chef order languishes in my living room. A much anticipated theater project that has to be withdrawn from. Seeing cousins for the first time in thirty years. When did life get in the way?

I prided myself in the past of being able to multi-task with the best of the best but now I find myself more and more not being able to work that extra two hours or schedule multiple appointments. I find this new life distressing.

How did I let thirty years go by and not keep up with the close contact with my cousins that I dreamed I would do. At seventeen, leaning on my cousin Brian who helped me through a devastating event, I made the promises I was so sure to keep that I would never forget and always keep in touch. That we would remain best of friends. How empty that promise seems to me now. Gazing across the dinner table at Brian, I felt such deep sadness that I did not keep that promise. I regretted that I did not remain the “best of friends” with this amazing man. How shallow I must have appeared.

How do we as adults try to keep everything afloat in our lives when so many events, problems, and issues seem to keep us from the very things we enjoy the most. How could I have moved from crisis to crisis and find that the simple moments were brushed aside? Oh sure I can justify that I needed to spend the time as a mother to my boys who took up such amazing chunks of my life or that I needed time to find the real Chooch while stumbling across my own personal roadblocks.

But it all boils down to one statement. My life got in the way. Simple. Straightforward and somewhat self-absorbed as it is, the glaring truth is that we cast away our youthful promises on loftier pursuits. We need to make our money, establish our careers, raise our children to only toss them out on the world so that they too can experience the same wrapped up moments.

I didn’t expect when I had all my cousins around me that I would travel back to my seventeen year old days. I didn’t expect that it would seem just yesterday that I was sneaking that illicit Kools while pouring my heart and soul out. But now I know that I can’t afford to let my life get in the way. I must maintain contact of a more personal nature then just the occasional Christmas greeting or uninvolved email. I need my cousins. I need them in my life more than I ever would have imagined.

So even though I didn’t share my crazy youth, subdued thirties or my early discovering forties, I can go forth knowing that I have discovered a new set of friends in my cousins and that will enrich my life, which won’t get in the way.


Snitch or Not to Snitch: That is the Question

I am riled! My bristles are up on my neck and I am ranting a BIG rant! My girl Nanetta who is not only my confidant but is my navigator through all things in the chasm that is the social divide, we were discussing the latest shootings and boy did it get my dander up!

Can someone out there please educate me as to why the Chicago School system sanctioned students to be allowed to attend a gun control rally instead of attending school? Now this is a system that has a 52% of all students NOT graduating high school and they think it is a great idea for the students to skip school. Their parents should be coming together cohesively and start to strategize how to weed out the bad element in their neighborhoods not sit passively on their backsides and not get involved.

I am really sorry that 20 students have lost their lives to shootings. I do agree that this wave of violence has to be stopped. It is vile and should not be allowed in our society ever. But it is. And why? Because the people that should be raising the biggest stink ever, don’t. And by that I mean the parents and any witnesses to a shooting claim they “didn’t see nothing”.

I am sick of seeing people on TV lamenting the latest vile shooting but when asked who did it they don’t know. They don’t know because they choose to not get involved. And that my friends, is the despicable action that needs to be addressed first before any protests, shouts to the Mayor or the inevitable "woe is me" attitude that sweeps our neighborhoods. They know who the bangers are! And you can’t tell me that no one knows who committed the Lane Bryant murders. It is their uneducated assumption that if they call the authorities they will be labeled a snitch. So what! Take that label and be proud of it! At least you are doing something!

And you cannot tell me that parents do not know who the gang members are. You also cannot inform me that I do not know what I am talking about because I do and I have been in situations where I had to open my mouth regardless of the preconceived risks I might be taking. You see I did not always live in whitebread suburbia, I spent a lot of time in downright awful areas.

I will never tell you that my sons were saints. In fact they were downright miserable teenagers that tortured me at every intersection. But I will tell you that when the big bad Chicago drug dealer set up shop in my complex, I called the cops and stood by his car so that they would have a proper identification of it. I did make a visit to his connection JoBo and warned him that I would not tolerate his BS and reported him to the authorities as well. Granted my sons were angry, embarrassed, whatever. But I let them know I was not placed on earth to be their friend.

So parents in violent neighborhoods open your mouth! Tell the authorities what you know. Tell them that so and so is causing trouble. Snoop on your kids, go through drawers and be aware always that your children know more than they claim to. Parent your children so that society does not have to in your irresponsible wake.


Opening the Door: My understanding of the 12 Steps

In my March 7th blog post Celebrity Rehab: Wrong or Healing? I opened the door to my own understanding of what I perceived to be the secret world of addicts. I have been asked since that posting to explore my feelings, gut emotions and raw observations of my world of the non-addicted. So instead of hanging out in the doorjamb of this volatile experience, I need to enter the room of walking the walk of the addicted so that I may understand their truly unique experiences by baring the soul of my own.

I started this exploration by reading parts of the Big Book; The touchstone of the addicted. I was shocked to realize in all my dealings, I never sat down and tried to understand Friends of Bill W. I thought that I had all the answers, had completed my tour through hell and considered myself the wise sage of survivors. How wrong I am. I have not completed my journey. I have only touched the tip of the white hot iceberg of understanding.

A person dear to me questioned whether I should talk about the subject of addiction and wasn’t I opening myself to condemnation by people in my life. Hell Yeah I need to talk about this. It needs to be said and I do not need to bow my head in shame. If I can gain some wisdom or open that secretive door to honest communication, then yes I will listen and learn. I need to explore my take on the 12 Steps to Recovery. I need to address my wisdom as well as my shortcomings.

By reading the 12 Steps that are a time honored help tool for the addicted, I realized that these steps could be applied to own journey as well.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable. Yes I am powerless. I am unable to heal you or fix you. I have to realize that this is so much bigger than myself.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. I have to come to the realization that because I can not fix you, I have not failed you. I need to truly let go and let God. This is the hardest thing to do because I think my love is enough.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. I need to let the addict make this journey by themselves and to be there when they want me to. But only when they ask. Instead of worrying what you are going to do, I need to work on my own reactions.

4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. What have I done to promote, enable or dissuade the addict. Change what I can with myself only. Change my behavior, not control my surroundings.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. When you do complete this step, I need to forgive you. I need to search my soul and make amends for blaming you for not doing what I think you should be doing. Blame, refusal or inability to forgive along with resentment go hand in hand. Oh boy did I have a shopping list of real and perceived wrongs. Instead of talking about them, I buried it. I spent many years resenting the hell out of Daniel when I was equally to blame because I locked my feelings away.

6. We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
I need to trust your version of higher power so that I can trust you. I need to be willing to accept every day as a new day and that you too are ready to change because you too are learning to trust.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Every morning I need to greet it with hope not despair. I need to remain positive that today is a good day. I need to stop being angry.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. I need to stop thinking that because I can say I am sorry you should too. I need to realize that this step is small part of a bigger journey that I need to let you keep private.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. I need to accept your apology. I need to stop making you pay for all the wrongs in my life. From what I understand, this is an extremely difficult step. My experience with Daniel was that I waited for my apology and gave up when I did not get it. This bred resentment in me for so many years. The days before his death, Daniel said he was sorry. I felt many years of locked away pain were released.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Can you imagine having to do this step? The daily self examination must be grueling to say the least. What may come easy to the non-addict can be intimidating to the addict.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. If we could do this every day, think of how centered you would become. This step to my is a daily lifeline that can applied to the addict as well as the non-addict.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Coming from the old school ways of “Don’t Talk – Don’t Tell” I see the most destructive point is to not share your experiences with others. Let the addict talk about their experiences. How are you going to understand if you make it impossible to listen.

We must be open to how addiction affects you as well as sharing tips to survive a relationship with an addict without turning bitter. It is because we stay silent that prevents the healing. And to me, I would rather get this out in the open instead of wallowing in my murky sea of shame.

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