Tag Archives: Funny

Kicking Cartoon Ass

Eeyore being sad.

Image via Wikipedia

At the risk of sounding like a complete psychopath, I have a confession to make: I hear voices. The voices in my head sound a lot like the five o’clock news. They are all doom and gloom with the occasional side of sensationalism.  “Next at five, Candice will never find what she calls “fulfilling” work in this economy. She ought to be grateful to have any job at all! And stay tuned as we uncover breaking news of how Candice has probably taken years off her life in her many failed attempts to quit smoking! And later, watch as we bring you exclusive coverage as Candice gets her heart ripped out of her chest and stomped on again because she was misguided enough to trust another man!!!”

  If Eeyore and the teacher from Charlie Brown had a love child, it would sound exactly like one of my voices:  “Wah wah waaah. Oh . . . bother.” These voices, or my “script” as I refer to them, have been following me around for as long as I can remember.  Over the years their incessant chatter has become more like background noise, like a television on in the other room while you are trying to sleep; you eventually train your ears not to listen. Although certain situations really aggravate the script and the voices get louder. For example, say I am about to walk into a room full of people I don’t know very well. Suddenly my News Anchor Eeyore will go berserk and gets all Stephen King’s Carrie on my ass and shouts “They’re all gonna laugh at you!!” Or, say I am thinking about taking a much needed vacation to Mexico, the voice kicks in: “You don’t have any business going to Mexico! I mean all kinds of horrible things are going on over there! Besides, how are you able to afford a vacation right now? I mean, there are people practically standing in line for handouts and you want to go gallivanting off to Mexico??”

Heaven forbid that something wonderful happens! The voices will become deafening, like a keg party in your living room when you have to get up for school the next day and no amount of covering your ears or hiding under the covers will allow you to get any rest. Such was the case when I got engaged: “Oh… you’re gonna try that again. Haven’t you learned anything from the last several times you tried being in a relationship? Do you know what the divorce rate is these days? Besides, why would you think he really wants with someone like you anyway?”

Perhaps the worst was when I decided that I would give this whole writing thing another try. This time my voices didn’t even dignify their thoughts with words. They just burst in to shrill, hysterical laughter at my dream.

Sounds crazy, right? It is. But believe it or not—I am actually very lucky that my voices sound as crazy as they do because I am better able to recognize that they are not me. I mean, I actually enjoy meeting new people and I will never, ever turn down an opportunity to travel. And love; sure it’s shat all over me before, but so what? I still believe in it. And writing, well laugh all you want but I have known since I was old enough to read that one day I would make my living with words. The great news is that the crazy-Eeyore-piss- on-sunshine-fear- mongering-news-caster is not me!  That voice is not me at all and there is a lot of power in knowing that. There was a time when I thought that the script was part of me and even worse, I thought that the voices were right! (doom and gloom can sound so authoritative) I am not sure how they got there, or what purpose they could possibly serve—but I do know that everyone has ‘em.

My girlfriend Lee runs around like Chicken Little. Even though she is one of the strongest, smartest and most successful women I know, she is constantly bracing herself for the worst the case scenario. Even in the midst of all her dreams coming true she has one eye on the sky and is wondering “What the hell am I gonna do when the sky starts falling?”

If being thoughtful and caring was an Olympic sport my friend Lynn would be on the Wheaties box. She is the type of person who notices that something might be going on with you before you know it yourself. She has the uncanny ability to see the good in others and to make the best out of the worst situations. She is the type of girl who could probably make having a flat tire in the middle of the desert an absolute riot. However, she is always haunted by her voice: The Roadrunner. “Meep meep!” He screams at her constantly. Always pushing her to do more, move faster, get it right and figure it all out! Poor girl can barely sleep at night because the Roadrunner is always running her ragged.

And then there is my friend Milana, who has been blessed with one of the hugest hearts I have come across. She dreams big and has the absolute tenacity to make these dreams a reality. Yet she carries around the voice of Yosemite Sam with her everywhere she goes. This fiery, hair-trigger tempered nut job is always threatening to go off and destroy all the things she loves.   

Clearly it is not actually characters from the Warner Brother’s cartoons we watched as children or the creatures from beloved children’s books that have infiltrated our minds. We got these scripts from some pretty heavy places. Maybe it was an abusive step dad who was always screaming. Or a father we never thought we could please but we ran ourselves down trying anyway, or maybe it was being raised by people who had very dark views of themselves and the world. But facing down a personifications is much easier than facing the real thing. So, as cute as Eeyore might be, with his tacked on tail and big dopey eyes, I have decided I am tired of this donkey trying to run my life and piss on my dreams. He has to go.

So I put the little donkey in a cheap suit and I sit him at a news desk. And he starts in with that same story. About how I am not allowed to be happy when there are so many miserable people out there. About how the world is a scary, scary place and I had better watch my step. He goes on to tell me that I have no business having dreams, they won’t amount to much and he’d hate to see me disappointed. And all the while I am slowly stepping further and further away from him. His voice takes on the “Wah, waah,” quality as I continue to step away. He probably thinks that he has won again and that I am just going to retreat in the shadows as usual. That is when I get my running start. I start barreling straight toward him and as I pick up speed I think of all the things that I have missed out on, all of the things I would not risk because I was busy listening to this negative bitch tell me what the world is like. I think of all the ways that this voice has tricked me into being less of who I actually am.

I plow into my “script,”  and I knock the daylights out of Eeyore.  I scream: “Shuuuut Up!” Once that poor little donkey is on the floor I look at him and say: “You are the one with no business. No business telling me how to live my life!”

And so, that’s how  I kicked Eeyore ass. And I will continue to kick it until I am free.  All those things that seemed so desperate and real, those voices that ran me around in the same circles I hated, they started to loosen their grip. What kind of nasty script are you running from? Who personifies your “voices”?  Is it time you drug Gargamel out into the streets? Are you sick of all your callous sarcasm getting in the way? Maybe it’s time for you and Garfield to have a little go time. All those demons can be personified into a harmless character and then faced down and defeated. Unless you tell me it’s Snoppy. Then you got big problems, real big problems.

Advertisements

Crushed.

Faith (George Michael song)

Image via Wikipedia

At the age of thirteen I was temporarily psychotic. That is to say I came down with my first crush and it was the type of crush that makes you realize why they ever came up with the term crush in the first place. I was in agonizing physical pain. It was absolute mania, I cried, I swooned, I giggled, but most of all I was elated. The world was larger and more alive. It was an innocent school girl version of being on shrooms. I just seemed to feel everything. A sunny day, a barking dog, a taste of spicy mustard, or a sad song; everyday ordinary events were now attached to feelings.

We women have been going publicly psychotic over our feelings for ages. I have yet to see, and I doubt if I ever will, a mass of boys scream and swoon over any girl.  Males simply retreat to their room with some visuals and that’s about the end of the story. From Beetle Mania to the hip-swiveling induced hysteria of Elvis, we girls put our passions all out there. The widespread celebrity crushes of my generation were The New Kids on the Block and the Back Street Boys, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed them, but I was still busy pining over George Michael. I followed his career from Wham! and wanted nothing more than to wake him up before I went-went to the ass-shaking, spirit moving sounds of Faith.  Sadly, years later he dealt me and the rest of the female species a crushing blow when he announced that he preferred men. (Sniff.)

Now a days it’s Beiber Fever; tiny eight year old girls and, strangely enough, sometimes their mothers too can be found weeping and wailing over this teen age boy. I roll my eyes and shake my head, What is this crap? However, if I think back to the time of my first crush, and many subsequent crushes to follow, those emotions were so raw, so all-encompassing, so damn, well… crushing, I can completely relate to these frantic teenage girls.  Had I come of age during the time of  YouTube and stumbled upon George Michael kissing Jordan Knight, I too would have pulled my hair out in agony. (please see the poor girl below)

My own personal psychosis struck while at summer camp. The culprit’s name was Jobie Dixon. He was a few years older, tall and dark with piercing eyes. We slow danced to: “Goodnight Sweet Heart” at a fifty’s style sock hop. He guided me around the dance floor in this awkward but very gentle way.  I remember my dress that night more clearly then what I wore yesterday: Blue poodle skirt, white blouse, pink ribbon around my pony tail and a pair of black and white saddle oxfords that pinched my feet until I could no longer feel my toes. After “our song” was over he leaned way down to give me a tiny kiss on my blazing hot cheek. I just  stood there frozen. . . staring at him. . . until thankfully one of the junior counselors came and led me away by my hand.

We all returned to our cabins and I sat on my bunk barely able to move. . . just staring off into space like a complete head case. My cabin mates had to guide me to my tooth-brush and help me into my pajama’s, mind you I was twelve and sober not twenty-two and hammered. Love drunk I guess?  When I finally laid my head down to sleep I slurred: “I think I’m in love.”  I was toast.  A sickening and sappy hopeless romantic was born.

I came home at the end of the week still drunk on love potion (# 9).  It was in this state that I decided to share the news with my grandmother.  This was not something I would normally do. I was the type of girl who always seemed to be flooded with emotions; however my family was not the type to discuss feelings at all. I’m not sure what my words were, probably some giddy and girlish rant about Jobie but guarded and somehow toned down. I had learned that restraint was the proper way of expressing myself. My grandmother looked at me and said flatly: “Well, that’s nice but you just remember: boys only want one thing and after that there’s just a lot of pain and hurt. And guess what? It’s always you that ends up getting hurt.”  They say coffee won’t sober you up, but those words were like the cops in my review mirror and they have been following me ever since.

Did I mention that I was only twelve? I couldn’t quite imagine what that one thing that boys only wanted was, but I had enough of a general idea that it made me queasy. Phrases like “rain on your parade” or “burst your bubble” come to mind when trying to explain my emotions at that moment, but it was more than that.  It was a shrinking of my heart and a sinking of my spirits.  Now I was burnt toast.  I was a romantic meshed with a cynic.

This, as it turns out, is a pretty confusing predicament for all involved; including the boys. Jobie Dixon didn’t want just one thing, he wanted a few. He wanted to hold my hand, to sit next to me at church, to walk me home from school and “to go steady”.  So naturally I tortured him for years, playing games and telling him I was not sure what I wanted. What I wanted was to be loved and to love his tall sweet ass back. But, noooo. That would have been too scary and I was trying to avoid all this pain and hurt my Grandmother spoke about.

I must have had a dyslexic heart because I was always getting it backward! There were guys that showed up on time for dates, listened when I talked, gave me thoughtful little gifts and even wrote me songs, but I convinced myself that eventually these guys would reveal themselves to be the monsters my grandmother alluded to, that deep down they were maniacal assholes that just wanted to hurt me.

Unless of course they really were maniacal assholes; like some guys I have dated who have stood me up, screwed my friends and then stole my money. These guys, I was convinced, really loved me. They just had a funny way of showing it.

Oddly enough, the aim of all my antics was to protect myself, to avoid being the one left with all the pain and hurt.  And in the end everyone got hurt. Love: I have had it all screwed up so many times. The only way I ever got it right, or for that matter seen anyone get it right, is by doing the opposite of what I had spent years doing. Instead of building up walls and hardening up hearts, I had to split myself wide open. Only with this risk was there ever any real chance at reward.  Sometimes I miss the simpler times of sock hops, boy bands, and the innocence of love drunk hearts but through the years it’s been a sobering experience. A few painful lessons, the right teacher, and even my dyslexic heart learned to read the language of love. If only adults might learn that sometimes it’s wiser to keep their cynicism to themselves, maybe we could avoid crushing a few more hearts.

Love and Happiness

Love and Happiness

Bitch I am not talking about what had happened to you! Should my poor loved ones ever be misguided enough to ask for my advice I always begin with, “Well, I remember the time that…”  They roll their eyes and probably wish they had kept their problems to themselves.  But the truth is, I am listening, this is just how I relate.  Stories are how I make sense of the past, and how I navigate the present.  Perhaps you were wondering if you should go on a date with one of your co-workers and when you happen to run it by me for some reason I have to launch into the story of the time I almost quit the fourth grade talent show, but instead we rocked out some of the finest Michael Jackson lip-syncing any one clad in a pink tutu could have pulled off . . . ever.  And this relates to you how, you wonder. Because! I am trying to tell you to take a risk, to go for it; I just always have to get there through a story. Annoying, I know.

“Past is prologue,” my beloved English teacher was fond of quoting. Well, I was all over that.  When was I ever present? I was always that girl with my head in the clouds, or in books, or scribbling in notebooks. I lived in the past, recalling events and hashing and re-hashing their meaning. And like a neurotic soothsayer I was always trying to tell the future based on a story of the past.

Now a days, I seem to be living a lot more in the present than ever before. I’m not a millionaire, I have not come down with magic powers (yet), but I am just pretty damn happy right where I am.  Probably because by some miracle, the present is as good, if not better than anything that I could have imagined, and I no longer need to hide in stories or anchor myself to the past. Yet, I am still true to my first love: stories.

Somebody somewhat important once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I don’t know about all that, but the point is I have certainly examined mine.  And yours. And his and theirs.  I am girl ruled by her feelings.  The following are but a few of the stories that shaped my feelings on the big things, like love and happiness.