Oreo-less Existence

Dear Little Brother:

While I’m touched you tried to surprise me by leaving a package of S’mores Flavored Oreos in my mailbox, you must understand that I have two live-in adult teenagers that check the mail before I get home from work and generally survive on any free or low-cost super-unhealthy convenience foods they find within a 10 mile radius of the house.

Those poor Oreos never stood a chance, man.

Love, Your Oreo-less Older Sister

It’s Wedding Season

Today the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in favor of ‘gay’ marriage, from here on out referred to simply as the institution of marriage. Justices Kennedy, Bader Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan carried the ruling through; each of the remaining four dissenters wrote a separate, scathing opinion on the issue. Kennedy declared marriage a fundamental right while Justice Scalia decried the ruling as a “threat to American democracy” (Barnes, 2015).

Not possessing the experience and wisdom that Justice Scalia does, I’m at a loss to see how this ruling threatens democracy, so I opted to celebrate the historic decision with my dear friend/Other Half this evening. He interrupted my ramblings about marriage at one point to exclaim, “It’s not just about marriage. This ruling acknowledges that I exist!”

His statement surprised and saddened me. I know so many wonderful people in the local LGBT community. They’ve suffered discrimination and outright persecution, but I’ve only ever seen them as strong, passionate people facing an ignorant majority. It never occurred to me that they’d feel invisible or as if they didn’t matter. I’m grateful that my Other Half took the time to educate me or I may have continued oversimplifying the importance of this ruling.

We are one nation. Free to speak our minds, free to worship as we like, free to marry without prejudice, free to exist.

Thank you, SCOTUS.

Barnes, R. (2015, June 26). Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gay-marriage-and-other-major-rulings-at-the-supreme-court/2015/06/25/ef75a120-1b6d-11e5-bd7f-4611a60dd8e5_story.html

sing it with me

twenty one pilots was an easy pick for Wednesday Earworm. They just released Blurryface and I’ve been listening to their stuff all week. Narrowing it down to one song was tricky, but I decided to go with

Not Today | twenty one pilots

Then I thought, “Do I have to stick with one song?”  Heard you say not today… so here’s the other new track that’s blowing my mind

HeavyDirtySoul | twenty one pilots

Power to the local dreamer, yo.

How You’re Supposed to Live

I’m a stubbornly independent person, but I have a handful of best friends who make up my inner circle. I rely on them for support, honesty, and encouragement. In essence, they’re the family I chose for myself.

In fact, one of them just stopped by to pick up some donations for the gospel mission as part of an effort to recognize and help the local homeless population. Her consistently kind efforts make me think of this cool Bill Murray quote:

I think if you can take care of yourself, and then maybe try to take care of someone else, that’s sort of how you’re supposed to live.

That’s kind of what best friends do… take care of themselves and others. In the last month or so I’ve had five different people tell me they consider me a best friend. Is it strange that I’ve never thought of myself as anyone’s best friend? It’s pretty humbling. I hope I’m up to the task. Everyone deserves to feel cared for.

Even people who end sentences with prepositions.

Sticking to the Original Plan

When I was a teenager, I made a clear plan for my future as a parent: I’d have one child – a boy – and that was it. My step-mom told me surely I’d want more than one, but I never questioned my decision because it felt perfectly right.

My son’s birth was a transformative and terrifying experience. If I hadn’t already made up my mind about raising an only child, my pregnancy, labor, and delivery would have done it for me. Despite taking precautions, I lived in fear of getting pregnant again, and that fear still hangs out inside my head, 18 years later.

Having an only child has been great! He’s had my attention from Day 1. Surrounded mostly by adults, he quickly developed language, social, and problem-solving skills. I can’t remember him ever asking or wishing for a sibling, even though he would’ve made a terrific big brother. We’ve been through a lot of good and bad times together.

Still, after suffering through two divorces and a seriously messed up live-in relationship with me, I think growing up was lonely for my kiddo. He compensated with friends. As he got older, some of those friends became regulars. Time spent with other people’s children opened my eyes to a lot of things. I never imagined my little broken home would become a place of respite for kids who were struggling with their home lives. Since my son’s girlfriend moved in with us last fall, the friend traffic has noticeably increased. We’ve seen a lot of tears and frustration, but we’ve also shared a lot of meals, happy celebrations, and plans for the future.

For the most part, I’m happy to host friends as long they eventually go home. There’ve been times when I’ve felt like I was raising more than one kid and I’ve had to put my foot down about reasonable visitation, after all, my home is my sanctuary and I still prefer having an only child (although his +1 has a place in my heart too).

But my son and his girlfriend plan to move out soon, and I may have said something about listing our extra rooms on Airbnb. May as well make some money on the ol’ empty nest, right? Well, my son – bless his practical mind and compassionate heart – thought this meant I was ready to open a boarding house for the friends he’s leaving behind. Though I’m touched that my son considers me a decent housemate and our home a safe haven for his friends, I don’t want to fill his vacancy with more kids.

I’m sticking to my original plan. It still feels perfectly right.