One Month Ago..


Exactly one month ago, I woke up with a hangover. 35 years old, caring for my one-year old son, and not even feeling like I had a buzz while at the wedding the night before. One month ago, I peeled myself out of bed when I heard my son start to cry himself awake. I wished I could sleep longer, but relinquishing the chore to my husband would mean that I would have to admit, at least to myself, that I couldn’t handle my relationship with alcohol, and that was not a notion I was going to concede to.

One month ago, I dragged myself and my son to the grocery store to shop for the upcoming week. I picked up 3 bottles of bloody mary mix, but probably forgot some key grocery item, like bread. Upon returning home, I knew I didn’t have anywhere else to drive, so I fixed myself a bloody mary while I did my “chores”: unpacking the groceries, making lunches for the week, doing laundry. I poured a 2nd and 3rd bloody mary to help make the chores and the thought of work the next day more bearable.

So that I could call myself a good mother, I brought the baby outside to pick some apples in the cool, crisp, fall air. One month ago, I poured myself a pint of craft beer from our kegerator, something I was very proud to own. I lifted the baby to the tree and let him snap off his apple of choice, and as he settled his little teeth into the skin, his face beamed with pure delight. From an apple.

One month ago, I finished two or three more beers and then switched to wine because the beer was starting to fill me up. The thought of work the next day was filling me with dread. A feeling that more alcohol could surely numb. My husband and I ate dinner and watched Netflix. The next morning, 30 days ago, I woke up to an alarm at 5:15am, and like most mornings, I ran through my head all the excuses I could think of to call in to work. I always dragged myself out of bed anyway because calling in would mean I have an alcohol problem. I grabbed a Pedialyte, which I only kept stocked in the pantry for my hangovers, not because I had a child who may need them during an illness…

30 days ago, I grabbed my phone from the charger and saw that my husband had sent me a video. I hit play and saw my lifeless body laying across the couch. My husband’s hand was pulling up my arm and letting it fall, over and over again. He kept calling my name and saying it was time to go to bed, but it was clear I was not waking up. I didn’t remember any of this. In fact, I didn’t remember going to bed at all. I didn’t remember if I had brushed my teeth, taken my medication, or checked on the baby. After watching the video, I contritely walked into the kitchen where my husband was eating his breakfast. I said thanks for the video, and he replied with, “That wasn’t the best part. All of a sudden, you flew up off the couch, ran into the nursery and started yelling that it was time for the beach, we had to get to the beach! I had to pull you out of his room.” Again, something I did not remember.

30 days ago, I arrived at work and purchased a greasy bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich to absorb some of the previous day’s alcohol. I hadn’t even felt drunk the day before. Why. Why was I doing this. Why was I doing this? If I don’t feel drunk when I drink, and I feel like complete crap after I drink, why do I keep drinking? And why am I even trying to get drunk? And then, 30 days ago, I stumbled upon Annie Grace’s, This Naked Mind. This book answered those questions for me. Why? Because when we drink, the pleasure center in our brain, the nucleus accumbens, is artificially stimulated- giving us that 20 or so minute high. Stimulation of dopamine, the “craving” molecule, makes us feel good, telling our brain to “keep doing what you’re doing!!” However, to maintain homeostasis, our brain then releases dynorphin, a chemical downer. When the alcohol wears off, we are left feeling more down than when we started drinking. So, we beat ourselves up for partaking in the drinks… OR, we grab another drink to numb our feelings of disgust and give in to that itch that dopamine has created.

Knowing that there was nothing wrong with me, and that alcohol was just doing what alcohol was supposed to be doing made my desire for alcohol completely shift.

30 days ago was Day 1 of an alcohol-free life for me.

In the past 30 days, I’ve learned that chores aren’t chores if you think about them as planning a healthy week for you and your loved ones. Completing tasks that your family depends on you for can actually feel good, a natural release of dopamine. In the past 30 days, I’ve realized that work doesn’t have to be dreaded if you aren’t showing up with a hangover. In fact, it’s adult time where you can have conversations with coworkers, drink your coffee while it’s hot and go to the bathroom in private without worrying that your toddler is licking an electrical socket. Weekends can be spent enjoying activities with your family and friends, not consumed with thoughts of where your next drink will come from. I now don’t have to worry about needing to drive somewhere in the evening and not being able to because I’ve been drinking. I can just go- it’s so freeing. And I notice little things that I have never noticed before, like how happy an apple makes my son, and that apple doesn’t have a lick of alcohol in it. I can now see, with a clear mind, the difference between pure joy and artificial stimulation.

My Advice to the Pregnant Woman: in my Non-Expert Opinion

pregnant woman white tanktop_0I have only been pregnant once, and only have a 6 month old.. so you may very well know more than me, and probably do! But a friend asked me to jot down some tips she might need to know for her pregnancy.. and then this happened..

*Disclaimer- I am NO EXPERT, these are my opinions. Professionals may see differently. Don’t sue me if any of these things go south.
**I have not received any royalties or endorsements to promote any of these products, however, if the makers would like to send me free stuff and/or money, I will gladly accept!


1. I used Palmer’s stretch mark lotion twice a day- but the most important thing is to stay hydrated (around 100 oz of water a day)

2. Pregnancy pillow- I still use mine to this day, it’s amazing! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

3. Do not, I repeat, do not worry about weight gain. You are growing a human being. If the doctor isn’t worried, then you shouldn’t be. If you are unhappy with your weight a year after you have your baby, then join Weight Watchers. Now is the time to concentrate on growing human life, that is your only real concern, mom! The petty stuff can wait til later

4. For morning sickness- Diclegis is a prescription, but most insurance companies won’t cover it because a man is clearly in charge of these decisions. It’s approximately $500 for 30 pills and 2 pills are needed per day. If this is the case for you, you can take (talk to your doctor first, blah blah blah.. ) Vitamin B6 (25mg) and Unisom (25mg)- NOT EXTRA STRENGTH, that’s a different ingredient. Before bed, take half of a Unisom, and 25mg of Vitamin B6. If that doesn’t help, increase Vitamin B6 to 2X per day. If that doesn’t work, increase Vitamin B6 to 3X per day. Anything more would need a doctor’s consult

5. Apps- What To Expect When Expecting community page was so helpful because all the moms were going through the same thing as me- I still use it now. You can ask questions or just read through other people’s Q&As

6. Books- the two books I liked best were Expecting Better and Bringing Up Bebe

7. Belly Support Band- I used the F.A.D. maternity belt, it was so helpful with back pain. I started using it just during Zumba, but in the last month, I used it all the time

8. Get pre-natal massages! You will never be able to treat yourself without feeling guilty again!

9. After your baby shower, don’t take off tags and wash everything, including bottles… you will get way more than you ever need and can exchange things you don’t use. Just wash enough to get you through a week or two

10. When you’re ready to get that baby out, jet skiing and 4 wheeling rides will help  and sex (anything that can soften the cervix)


1. Take the drugs. The best rationalization for this that I’ve heard was, “Would you go hiking barefoot, thirsty, and cold when you could bring boots, water and a coat? Then why suffer through labor when it could be way more comfortable?!” I know everyone has their reasons, and I respect that, but if you don’t have a solid reason for no drugs, for goodness sake, don’t be a hero, take the drugs! I did. It still hurt. But it didn’t slow down my progression at all and I had a natural birth. I know someone who didn’t take the drugs but still had to have “intervention”, i.e. a cesarean or other method to help the baby out rather than just by pushing. Labor isn’t the same for anybody, but if you can make it more comfortable, don’t feel bad about doing so!

2. If they want to send you home and you don’t want to go, be vocal about it.

3. We did not tell anyone… ANYONE… that we were in labor until after the baby was here. It was wonderful having my husband to myself during this time. He wasn’t going back and forth to the waiting room to update family, I didn’t feel like I had to rush labor because people had been waiting on me for hours to get this boulder out, and I didn’t have people in my room staring at me while I felt my worst. I watched a Friends marathon, exactly as I hoped to, and I had my husband stay at my head with a wet washcloth for all of the gruesomeness.

4. If you shit on the table while pushing, it’s okay. The doctors and nurses have seen it all. And I’d rather shit on a table while giving birth than try to shit in a toilet and a baby falls out. The nurse said I didn’t shit, but I’m not entirely sure I believe her. I think it’s Nursing 101 to tell mothers they didn’t shit while pushing their baby out. And you know what? I will gladly believe their bullshit.

5. Pushing- push like you are taking a shit and also flexing your stomach muscles like you would if you were doing a proper crunch.

6. Don’t be surprised if the only professionals in the room while you are pushing are the doctor and nurse. It’s not like TV! Also, don’t be surprised if the doctor gets up and leaves the room and tells you to keep pushing. Apparently they can gauge the timing of these things better than we can.. I was told to push while in a full bed for a while, which I thought was odd because they always talk about the doctor “catching” the baby.. but when it came time for him to actually come out, they collapsed the bottom half of my bed and got into receiver position.

7. I did the delayed cord-clamping and immediate skin to skin contact. My friends made fun of me, but here’s why I did it.

a. The delayed cord-clamping lets all the “good stuff” (google what it is exactly, I can’t do everything for you!) that goes from you to baby to you to baby to get back to the baby before the umbilical cord is cut.

b. The immediate skin to skin contact, meaning, no bath before baby is laid on momma, allows you to bond immediately and helps the milk to come in. Baby has been through SO MUCH at this point, being taken to a table and wiped down is pretty traumatic for the baby in this sensitive time. Placing baby immediately on momma’s bare chest will soothe the baby and create an awesome bonding experience.


1. If you plan to breastfeed, keep the baby in the room with you all night while in the hospital, don’t send them to the nursery. This is when the baby cluster feeds and when your body discovers it needs to produce colostrum and milk. I know you need sleep, but power through, it will help you establish your milk

2. Have “pad-cicles” prepared at home- take long maxipads and put aloe vera and witch hazel all over them and freeze them.. this will be very comforting the first few days after labor. They give you a squirt bottle and some ice stuff at the hospital, but these were helpful when the ice ran out, and were less bulky

3. Tucks hemorrhoid pads- the witch hazel in these helps the soreness/stitches. I used warm water in the squirt bottle and then placed 3 or 4 tucks pads on the maxi pad.. you will bleed for about 6 weeks post-delivery (which totally counters the pleasantry of not having a period for 9 months… not that you don’t leak some sort of crap for 9 months anyway and still need a light-day pad.. but I digress.) The soreness lasted for about a week or two.. I used my pad-cicles a couple times a day, then the Tucks in-between that

5. Take stool softeners. Imagine those stitches stretching out.. not fun. Take them in the hospital and after you get home for about a week or two.

4. You will wake up drenched in sweat, you will have crazy thoughts, maybe anxiety, maybe depression, it’s all normal!!! Talk with your doctor if it gets in the way of taking care of your baby or your enjoyment of motherhood. I had a traumatic experience during my maternity leave because my dog bit a child in the face. I decided to put the dog down, but the grief was unbearable. I was not being the best mom for my baby while dealing with this and I decided to go on an antidepressant to help get me through. There is no shame in needing help. This is a very emotional, hormonal, life changing time for you, mom, and you need to make sure you’re at 100% in order to be there for baby 100%

5. Our baby cried all night the first night home and once we realized he was just cold (they are used to 98.6 degrees!) he slept soooo much better! If baby is a terrible sleeper and you really need rest, put the baby on you in the baby bjorn and lay in a couch/chair. Just make sure you can’t roll and suffocate baby.

I breastfed for 3 weeks, then developed mastitis with a fever and clogged ducts. Some women fight through this and that is wonderful. My mindset going into breastfeeding was, “do it until you stop enjoying motherhood.” I was so sore and would cry when baby went to nurse. I dreaded it. Baby wants a happy mom! If breastfeeding makes you happy, do it, if it doesn’t, don’t feel guilty about it! There’s so many other ways to screw up your children, formula won’t be the reason they turn into assholes!

More on breastfeeding- apparently, your breast is like an orange with multiple ducts, like wedges, and if you use the same position to feed all the time and that position doesn’t get milk from all the ducts, you could get a clog. If you get clogged ducts, put a hot washcloth or heating pad over the area and lean over the sink. Then milk yourself. Yes, like a cow, milk yourself like a cow. No one told you about this part, huh?? You’re welcome. You can also do this in the hot shower. You may have to do this for a few days.

Drying up your milk

Had enough??? Here’s what to do:
• Take Sudafed (non-drowsy)
• Wear multiple, tight sports bras
• Put cabbage leaves in sports bra a few times a day for an hour or so
• Wrap sports bra tightly in ace bandage or use the belly support band (you can use this band for so much, holding heating pad or ice in place on your back, etc.) Keep yourself tightly wrapped
• Avoid hot showers for a few days/a week

Baby Stuff

1. It’s never too early to start a registry, you will change things a million times after you do research, but you have to start somewhere. You can do everything online, but I suggest going to the store to look at the big stuff, like cribs, car seats, bassinet, jumper, stroller, etc.

2. Don’t buy a breast pump, they are most likely covered by your insurance. I got the Spectra S2, which I really liked. It’s more hospital-grade than the Medela- meaning, it sucks the shit out of your boob

3. My Brest Friend is great for breastfeeding- it helps with back support and allows you to breastfeed with one hand and eat/use your phone with the other!

4. Lansinoh storage bags

5. Lanolin for nipples (I hear coconut oil also works well)

6. Lansinoh disposable nursing pads

7. Bottles- you will have to see what works best for your baby. I’ve used Dr. Brown’s, ComoTomo and MAM anti-colic bottles. I like ComoTomo best but use MAM because the baby had gas and the anti-colic seemed to help. Who knows if the MAM actually helped or it was just timing. I also switched from tap water to distilled water around this time. Dr. Brown’s has a lot of pieces to wash and the opening was very small to drop formula in. MAM has a lot of pieces also (5). ComoTomo only has 3 pieces and is most breast-like, however, the texture of ComoTomo does make things like dog hair stick to it. I have 9 MAM bottles and throw them in the dishwasher, after taking all the pieces apart, to wash. I boiled them before initial use and every 3 months after that.

*There is no way to boil every single thing your baby puts in his/her mouth, so do the best you can but don’t go crazy. You can do everything right and they will still find a way to lick the handle of your shopping cart.

8. The formula I use is Lebenswert from However, it’s not approved by the FDA because it’s from Europe, but they have stricter standards for organic products in Europe (i.e. no hormones were fed to the cow, no pesticides on the grass the cow ate.. and there’s more but you can google that). We really like this formula and if you buy in bulk, it’s the same price as any other formula.

9. Drying rack- I have the Boon Grass but it’s too small, I’ve seen better ones. Thumbs down

10. You’re going to feel like there are a million things on your registry to put your baby “in”- and there are.. but I used all of it!

A. crib

B. pack ‘n play- I have the Graco Playard Snuggle Suite and give it a thumbs up

C. Snuggle Me Organic (expensive, but I liked this better than the doc-a-tot, try to borrow one from a friend or buy used)

D. bassinet- they make sooo many, you need to see what works best for you. We have the Graco Dream Suite. He would only sleep in this with the Snuggle Me Organic, BUT we used it all the time with the bouncer

E. bouncer- I have the Fisher Price Luminosity- thumbs up. We actually put the bouncer in the bassinet and wheeled him around the house with us in the beginning- this is not recommended by doctors, but use your judgement.. not much IS recommended by doctors

F. ROCK ‘N PLAY- this was and still IS a godsend!! Get the one that plugs in and rocks itself. Our baby slept in this next to our bed for the first 2 and a half months and uses it now when he’s congested because it keeps him inclined. Doctors don’t recommend this for sleep, but I sure do

G. Froggy sit-me-up chair or bumbo chair

H. Jumper- I have the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo; he likes it, no complains, thumbs up. I’m sure there are other great ones, too

I. Swing- I have the Graco Simple Sway LX Multi-direction Swing. I like it, you can go front/back or side to side. It plays music, you plug it in for swinging and use batteries to make the chair part vibrate

J. Play mat- I recommend the Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends one with the star. The star is detachable and lights up and plays music, you can bring it everywhere with you. I attach it in the car, on his swing, put it in the diaper bag when people babysit

K. Baby Bjorn- I use the Infantino Flip 4 in 1 convertible carrier and really like it. We use it a lot, especially when baby just wants to be held and mom has stuff to do

L. Walker- I have the chicco walky talky walker- thumbs up. I’m sure there’s other good ones out there, too

M. Exersaucer- I don’t have one but it’s an option

11. Swaddle Me velcro swaddles- regular blankets can go over their face and suffocate them, swaddle me velcros keep them safe. We use a long sleeve sleeper underneath, too

12. Sleep Sacks- for sleeping when they get a little older

13. Carseat- I have the Chicco (pronounced Keeko- so you don’t look like a fool at Buy Buy Baby) Keyfit 2. I like it but it’s heavy, so I don’t think I’d recommend this one

14. Car seat cover- you’re not supposed to use the kind that goes in-between baby and carseat (even though I did, I had the JJ Cole Bundle Me) but the safest one for baby is something like Cozy Cover Premium Infant Car Seat Cover

15. Stroller- we have the BOB Rambler, the all-terrain jogger! I had to buy an attachment so my Chicco carseat could latch into it, but it’s great for walks, hikes, the fair, etc. Very smooth and can even get through mud/rockiness. Remember to add a tray for baby and cup holder for mom if not already included in stroller. I also have the Baby Trend- Snap ‘n Go stroller, which is smaller. It fits any car seat inside. I keep that one in my car and use for running in and out of places.

16. Diapers- you will have to see what you and your baby like. I registered for Pampers but like Huggies and their fit a lot better. I’ve heard Huggies for boys and Pampers for girls (???) You can return unopened diapers to Walmart and exchange them for the brand you want once you decide what works (warning- Walmart will cap you at like 10 exchanges in 6 months without a receipt, so have hubby with you if you need more exchanges than that!! They can use his license instead of yours)

17. Wipes- I like Kirkland wipes. I get them from amazon

18. Diaper bag- I use and like the bag nation diaper bag backpack. It’s unisex so my husband can wear it too

19. Diaper changing- I put the changing pad on the dresser and attached that to the wall. (I have 2 covers and some cover pads) PLEASE remember to strap them in if you walk away! They can roll off!

20. Triple Paste for diaper rash. I use Aquaphor to prevent it and Triple Paste to treat it. Also, I use a little fan or blow on the area and buttocks to dry it off before putting a diaper on. I try not to put a diaper on wet skin, it really makes a difference. You can also use Aquaphor under their neck because that gets real funky and chafed

21. Diaper Genie- this is what I have but I would actually not recommend this kind. It doesn’t fit many diapers (maybe a day and a half worth) and the refills are expensive and it stinks when you open the lid.. I don’t know what brand to recommend, but know this is what you’re getting with this one

22. Burp cloths- I like Burt’s Bees. When burping, my baby does best when I hit his back a few times and then rub his back upwards. I just keep repeating that. They will still spit up.. just hope it’s not when you lift them over your face

23. For baby gas- bicycle legs, push knees to chest (you can press pretty hard) then straighten legs

24. Little Remedies gas drops

25. Nose Frida (Fridababy) for congestion/stuffy nose- it’s not as gross as it looks and it really really helps!! If you love your baby, you will suck out their boogers

26. Thermometer- I have the nice, expensive one that checks the ear, but I find that sticking the cheap one in his ass is more accurate and helps his bowel movements anyway… so a 2 for 1!

27. Nail clippers with a light- easiest to clip nails when baby is asleep!!

28. Highchair- I use the Graco Blossom, 6 in 1 and like it

29. Ciao baby portable high chair- there are a few kinds of portable highchairs, these are nice for eating out, in the backyard, or at a family/friend’s house

30. I love the Burt’s Bees bibs. We go through about 10 a day because he drools so much!! They go over the head, I don’t like the velcro bibs because they leave scratch marks on the back of his neck and baby can rip them off

31. Waterproof silicone bibs are great when baby starts baby food

32. Bathtub stuff- I use (and like) the Fisher Price 4 in 1 sling ‘n seat tub. I got a million and one washcloths for my shower and wish I kept some in packages, I would have exchanged some. I use Aveeno bath stuff and like it (pretty much because Jennifer Aniston said to)

33. Nightlight- something that plugs in and lights up when it’s dark will be helpful

34. Mobile for crib

35. White noise machine- I use Big Red Rooster on the ocean setting (reminds baby of mommy’s womb) and it’s been wonderful

36. Fan with vibrate/white noise function

37. Crib sheets- 3 is plenty

38. Pack ‘n play sheets- 2 was plenty for us

39. Towels- 4 is plenty

40. Monitor- I use Infant Optics DXR-8 video and love it. I can talk to him through it, set it up to shut off in 3 or 5 minutes, or remain on. I can move the camera in the room using the monitor, zoom in/out, and it has a pretty good distance on it

41. Car seat mirror

42. Camilia teething drops- I LOVE these. I also have Baby orajel, but that’s not recommended by doctors, either. The camilia drops calm the baby and help with teething. The active ingredients are all-natural, but they’re not approved by the FDA for some reason. You can get them on Amazon. Whiskey also works! And for goodness sake, if all else fails, sing Baby Shark!

43. Pacifier- my little one will ONLY use a wubbanub

44. Baby banana toothbrush is easy to hold for teething

45. Sophie the giraffe teething toy- easy to hold

46. Links- the little links that connect toys to anything or just become toys themselves are great! I connect them to his bib, to toys and attach to the walker, hang from the swing, use on the play mats, etc.

47. VTech sit to stand walker- it’s nice because the fun part comes off and you can sit with baby and play

48. My Pal Scout- super cute and you record baby’s name and likes for Scout to sing

49. JJ Cole outdoor blanket- great for spreading on ground. We use this at the beach/park/backyard

50. Bottles of wine. Girl- you made a PERSON! You literally grew a person. Go have a drink!

Making the Heartbreaking Decision to Put Down an Aggressive Dog

DSC00339A memorial to our boy, Jameson.

There will be some who hate me for my decision, there will be some who feel bad, and will offer condolences, which I will greatly appreciate. But I’m not writing this for any of those reasons, I’m writing this for those who have been in my position and felt alone, like a terrible person, and who felt they had no one to talk to. And also, I’m writing this for me.

Two years ago, I talked my husband into getting a second dog. We had adopted the most perfect pure bred black lab puppy 2 years prior, but I had always felt guilty for not getting a rescue, as my family dog growing up had been.

After searching on pet adoption websites for months, a coworker put me in touch with a rescue group she worked with. I found the dog I wanted; a spitting image of my best friend’s dog. Just a skinnier, smellier, hairless version that itched a lot. I remember dragging my best friend out into a snow storm to go to the Pet Smart where he would be shown, and claiming him for my own, and we were naming him Jameson.

My then-hyper black lab quickly learned he was no longer the dominant dog. Jameson ran the show from here on out, despite all of our training efforts. Poor Jameson itched like craaaazy, it was heartbreaking. He also smelled horrific. I took him to the vet time and time again to try and get his discomfort under control. With Prednisone, baths, Benadryl and Zyrtec, we started helping Jameson get comfortable, and the hair on his legs started to grow back.

We got Jameson just before Christmas, so he was able to make it to our New Year’s Eve party. Leashed, he came down for a bit to say hello to all of the guests and eat every last morsel that was dropped on the garage floor, which was good because his ribs were showing through his skin. He was having a grand ol’ time until two children came out of the bathroom- he growled and barked like they were some sort of threat. We thought that was odd, so we called a trainer to come to our house. She informed us that he had never seen children before and just needed to be acquainted with them. We knew we wanted kids someday so we made sure to acquaint him with our nieces and nephews and even my Little from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Once he was more familiar, he never had a problem with aggression and kids, so all of my efforts went into helping his allergy problem.

Apoquel, Cytopoint, prescription diets, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Prednisone, fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, saffllower oil, some oil for horses, topical creams, body sprays, eggs, no chicken, no duck, thunder jackets, allergy testing, allergy injections .. We searched and searched for something to soothe my poor baby’s itching.

That remedy has still never been found. The only small relief was Prednisone (which is a steroid and would eventually ruin his kidneys, the pills would also decrease their effectiveness over time.) We had him allergy tested and were giving him immunotherapy shots; we were 8 months into the allergy shots with no positive results so far.

Eventually I got pregnant and one day I was throwing the ball for the dogs in my yard. A salesman walked onto my property and both dogs went running towards him. My lab barked at him, but Jameson barked and bit him in the rear end. Being pregnant and alone at my house with a man on my property, I told the salesman it was his fault- he was trespassing, and I thought my pup was just protecting me.

After the baby was born, our friend, a local sheriff, wanted to stop in and meet the baby. My husband called ahead so I gated the dogs into my sunroom. He walked in and went to say hi to the dogs, reaching over the sunroom gate, and Jameson bit him. I apologized and said that Jameson must not like men in uniforms, that’s why he was gated up. We didn’t think much of the incident, thinking Jameson was probably still trying to protect me.. but in the back of my mind, I did wonder why I never had these occurrences with our lab.

One day I invited my high school friend and her two kids over. The 3 year old girl, who has a dog herself, gave Jameson treats while I had a handle on his collar- not tight, but just in case he felt threatened. He gently took the treats and was a happy boy. I let go of the collar and he seemed happy and calm. I let my other dog in, held both of their collars and she gave them treats. Both dogs seemed calm and non-threatened. But then I heard a quick growl and as I turned, I witnessed my Jameson bite the 3 year old in the face. I jumped forward, pushing him back and her up, saw blood and prayed there was not an eyeball hanging off of her face. Thankfully, there was just a cut to her lip, swelling on her upper and lower lips, and bruising to her chin and forehead. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever witnessed and I believe it would have been much worse if I wasn’t right there.

I know I missed signs that the people of the dog world could have identified, and they have told me on social media again and again all the things I’ve done wrong. But as much as I love dogs, I have a job- a civic duty- to protect my son, my family, my friends, and the public. Could I have trained him better? Yes. But we did bring in a trainer twice, and I didn’t know my dog had an aggression problem until I was pregnant, and by then, his bites were so close together that there wasn’t even time to get him trained. Having a newborn consumes a lot of time.

In the past 2 weeks, I’ve been told many times that, “every dog can be trained”. While that is a very hopeful statement, it’s not one I am willing to bet my son’s life on. Dog training is really training for the whole family and how they need to treat, act and react to the dog. I find that near impossible when a baby or a toddler are involved. I’m sure it’s been done, but I don’t believe it’s within my limits.. as awful as that may sound. This month alone there was a toddler in Rocky Mount, NC- mauled to death by her family dog, there was a toddler in York County, PA- mauled to death by their family dog, and there was the toddler in Texas who was also mauled to death by her family dog.

So for these reasons, in addition to my anxiety, mixed with my brother-in-law’s cop stories of repeated dog attacks on their owners, and topped with the cut up and bruised face of the little girl my Jameson attacked, I knew I could not keep Jameson in our home. We had wonderful people who created facebook posts and shared them all over trying to rehome him. I know they had the best intentions in their heart, but I had a bad feeling about rehoming him. I consulted with two vets, the rescue I got Jameson from, and another local rescue, that all agreed that a dog with 3 bites on his record, in addition to the allergy issues he had, was unlikely to be rehomed. One vet said, “you have a loaded gun, rehoming would just be passing it to someone else”. I had briefly posted my dilemma on facebook, and received numerous private messages about people who rehomed dogs that bit, only to find out that they bit again…

Rehoming Jameson would mean that someone would have to want a dog with 3 bites on his record and they would want to take care of his allergies, in addition to working with him to help his aggression.. Jameson came to us at 10 months old, he spent 7 months before that in a shelter, obviously itching himself to death, and malnourished. The 3 months before that could have been on the streets for all I know, which is why he sees small children as a threat, maybe they trigger something in him, something he once had to fight? After being in the shelter, he was then brought by transport to upstate NY, which means being in a crate in a car with a stranger through a certain stretch, then getting in another car, then another.. then he was placed in a foster home and then with me. The thought of my already anxious boy going to some facility or strange home, most likely with other dogs, to get trained to not bite seemed scary. And then once that training is done, getting placed with a new home with new people, because- again, I just can’t bet my son’s life that all training works for all dogs. My Jameson would sit there wondering, “where is that silly lady that calls herself mommy, and where was that guy who I ran after when his van came home and started beeping in reverse.. where’s my brother and when can we play again? And where was that new funny thing that made loud noises sometimes…? And why do I still itch and mommy’s not here to give me anything to help it..?

So, in the end, we decided to put our beloved Jameson down. I know there were a lot of good hearted people who wanted to “save” him, but I think we did save him. From where he came from and the issues he had, his life could have been a lot worse. I know it doesn’t look like it in years, but do dogs understand years the way we do? They don’t record time like humans. They only know the here and now. And I can say with confidence, we gave him an awesome time while he was here. He came to Maine with us in September, and short of charging at every passer-by and barking for the one day he was crated, which the whole block informed us of, he got to take walks every day, he got to run in the ocean and swim in sea-water- which is amazing because the first summer we had him, he was afraid of our pool. This summer, we got him to go on the first step. He’d throw the ball in and bark at it, trying to paw it out and sometimes he’d fall in and we’d have to save him … or he’d realize he could ACTUALLY swim, so he made it out, and then threw his ball back in again. He and my lab helped me tell Chris that we were going to be having a baby last Thanksgiving, by wearing a chalk board sign around each of their necks. Jameson also helped tell the world on facebook about the new baby by sitting in front of our Christmas tree and staring at baby shoes.

No deer, squirrel, chipmunk, mouse, mole or snake could cross the property without him knowing and trying to hunt it down. Sometimes through our windows! And sometimes swallowing it whole. Without fail, at 5am every morning, he’d burst up with a face lick to tell you it’s time for breakfast. He’d steal every bone or toy my lab put in his mouth, he’d only retrieve the ball down the hallway- because outside had too many other things going on. But every time I sat on the toilet seat, he’d get a ball and drop it into my pants for me to throw down the hallway. He would play soccer with himself and kick his toys and bones under the TV stand every time.. and sometimes at random, he’d stand by the bed or couch or tv stand and bark, and sure enough, there would be a long lost toy under there. He had acres of property to roam, once he escaped and tried to get a baby deer, the momma deer was not happy.. he’d hunt for chipmunks in the rock wall and he’d lay out in the sun on our driveway, usually staring at our neighbors.

If there was a person willing to adopt a dog that’s bitten 3 times, with serious allergies that still weren’t under control, I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable even sending him off. This is what he knows. We are his family. He’s been through so much- how am I guaranteed that his allergies will be under control? How will I know he’s not kept in a crate all day and night or muzzled because of the aggression or itching? How will I live not knowing if he’s bitten again and someone else is doing the job of putting him down when it was supposed to be me and his daddy at his side, petting him and telling him he’s a good boy, after having a steak breakfast? When is quality of life better than quantity?

In a perfect world, he never would have bitten a child. Maybe it’s my fault and I should have seen signs, but in this life, I did the best I could. I am now faced with: keeping a dog I don’t trust around my newborn, soon to be crawling and grabbing at things; rehoming to god knows where- where he could bite again or they may not take care of his allergies; or putting him down peacefully so he doesn’t hurt anyone else, and relieving him of that constant itch that has been described to me as “always having poison ivy”.. so this is what we chose. I hope I have helped anyone else who has or may have to go through this awful, awful choice. No one prepared me for this when getting a dog.. the physical hurt of your heart aching over the sadness, the sleepless nights, the chest pain, the guilt, the would haves and should haves, the stomach trouble, the anxiety, the obsessive thinking over it, the crying.. ohhh the crying… but this is life. And my personal belief, because of science and such, is that we are all energy, and when we die, our energy goes elsewhere. Maybe another creature, maybe it hangs out a while and does funny stuff to the lights, but the energy moves on.. so Jameson, I hope your energy stays as vibrant as you are, with no itching, and no need to bite anyone. And I hope you know, that while you were in our lives for far shorter of a time than we had hoped, you were part of this family, you made an impact, you will remain in this family forever through our hearts and our stories and our memories of you and we love love love you soooooo much.

“Goodnight, Sleep tight

God bless you, I love you

I will see you in the morning”, except now I will see you in a different way, in my heart

When a City Girl goes Country…


When a city girl moves to the country, there are a few things that she is going to need to know. For instance, the smell of manure in the air does not mean that a sewer pipe has burst. You can hang up the phone- there is no “city” to call to come fix the problem. This is simply how your neighbors make their living.

Walking outside after 3PM, after a rainfall, or really any time at all, requires the application of nearly a full can of bug spray. Tiki torches, Bounce dryer sheets, and organic sprays made with eucalyptus and lavender are some alternatives that the hippies will try to impose on you, but they all get a big middle finger from me. If the smell of it doesn’t burn your eyes, it’s not going to work. In the city, pollution keeps the mosquitos at bay, but when a city girl moves to the country, all bets are off. Only a can of OFF Deep Woods will keep you from looking like a chicken pox victim by the end of the night.

When you drive in the city, you are fearful of speeding because there are cops. If a cop sees you speeding, you will be pulled over and forced to donate part of your paycheck to the city, only after standing in line for a full day in the local court office, which is actually enough torture on its own. When you drive in the country, you are fearful of speeding because a giant deer can come out of nowhere at any time and shove it’s hoof through your windshield. Depending on the size of the deer and the rate at which you were speeding, this may result in worse consequences than a day in traffic court. Thousands of dollars in damages to the car and a relocated nose are good enough reasons to keep anyone from driving over the speed limit AND off the cell phone!

National Grid gas heat and Time Warner Cable’s wireless internet have no place in your life anymore. You can take these two phone numbers off of your speed dial, they won’t even answer your calls when they see your address pop up on their automated system. Heat is now from a source they call… wood. And internet has to be used on your cell phone (should you be lucky enough to have cell service) or at the “local” (20 miles out) Starbucks.

The objects you find in the bottom of your pool are not left over from an alien invasion that happened while you were sleeping. These are actual bugs and rodents that roam about the earth. Some of them look strikingly similar to the creatures from Men in Black, but I assure you, if you have the stomach to Google them, without fear of nightmares later on, you will be able to confirm that these are living organisms hiding right in the backyard.

You will find that you are more comfortable with a crackhead walking by you in the middle of the night in the city, than you are standing alone, in the dark, in the country. If a crackhead comes at you in the city, you have three things on your side. One- When you yell, people will hear you. Two- The crackhead probably has enough contraband lingering in his system that a swift kick to the groin will take him right out. And three- He most likely is not looking to kill you; he’s been to jail and doesn’t want to go back. He just wants a couple of bucks to pay off the pimp he did business with last night. In the country, you can have any number of wild animals waiting behind a tree or in the brush ready to pounce on you. No one will hear you scream. The animals are not worried about going to jail. And they don’t want a couple of bucks either, they want dinner.

Living in the country can be a big change to someone who is used to noise, congestion, and a fast-paced way of life. However, once you stop and appreciate all that the country has to offer, you will see that the lurking wildlife and lack of efficient heat is all worth it. I hope this serves as a helpful guide to those city girls thinking of putting their Tony Lamas to use. The country is truly a beautiful place to live. It’s filled with peace, nature, fresh air, and it’s never frowned upon to crack open a beer before noon! Yeehaw!

How Watching the Bachelorette Holds the Key to Happiness


Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve only seen the show once. But I’m no stranger to reality television. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dance Moms, and even Street Outlaws (you gotta let your man have his show, too) make frequent appearances on my DVR list. These shows are cheesy, shallow, depthless, and hold the key to your happiness.

Reality television has become an American phenomenon. It has actually been around for quite a while, with the 1948 series Candid Camera often being accredited as reality TV’s pioneer. And we all remember MTV’s The Real World, which debuted in 1992. From there, shows like Big Brother and Survivor made their way into our television sets, and our lives.

Now, I have been guilty of making claims like, “Geez, people! Why do you care about these stupid shows when there are documentaries on the Discovery channel analyzing the depths of the galaxy???” Not that I spent much time watching those documentaries, but when you see people purposely picking the narcissistic reality shows OVER the informational stuff, you start to wonder about the human race and where it’s going. However, what I began to realize is that when you spend all of your time reading and watching scholarly programs, it is almost certain that one thing will happen, you will get very depressed.

The ozone layer is thinning, the ice caps are melting, there are storms happening around the world that have never happened before, North Korea is plotting a nuclear attack on us, ISIS is recruiting mentally unstable youth, the sun is getting closer and closer to the Earth, and cancer is at an all-time high. Who wouldn’t get depressed hearing about all this in their leisure time?!

That is why happiness lies in watching shows like the Bachelorette. Monday morning comes, you hear your alarm go off, and you hit snooze so you can close your eyes for five more minutes… And WAIT! It’s Monday! Who is she going to give the rose to tonight?!?! And just like that, the Bachelorette makes Monday not seem so bad anymore. You wait all day in anticipation of the show. Who is going to reveal a dark secret about themselves? Are the other men going to find out she slept with Nick? Let’s see if the workout trainer actually cries this week. How is she going to wear her makeup? I need to start wearing makeup…

It is complete mind-dumbing, totally consuming, absolutely frivolous… joy. And this leads to Tuesday becoming more tolerable because you have something to talk about with all of your coworkers, other than the audit you have been complaining about for three weeks.

Reality TV takes our mind off the big picture… our eminent deaths. And it allows our thoughts to be consumed by shallow, egotistical drama. Isn’t it great?! Sure, we will never be the people to revolutionize biomedical research with our theories on stem cell genes, and we probably won’t be the ones they cryogenically freeze so that we can live on in the future to share our invaluable knowledge, but hey, WE will be the happy ones!!! We get to see who the bachelorette decides to marry after six weeks of dating 26 men! What could be better than that?

Of course, I am not proposing that all one should watch is reality TV. That’d be silly. Pick up a book once in a while! However, if all you do it try to gain knowledge and insight about what is going on around us, you might also want to call your doctor to get a script for anxiety and depression, and keep the kitchen knives locked up, okay? Because if there is one thing I can pass along to you, it is that ignorance truly is bliss.

Why Women Are So Angry


I am an angry person. You wouldn’t know it by talking to me, having me as a Facebook friend, or sitting next to me at work. But I am angry inside. Mostly, all of the time. And I can bet that many of you reading this right now are angry too, because at least half of you- are women.

It’s much deeper than the cliché, “women are bitchy”, or “she’s PMS-ing”. It’s about a seed that has been planted deep inside of us. Most women will never let you know that they feel this way, for fear of sounding weak or being called a whiner, so they put on a smile and go about their business. The actual bitchy women- the ones that just don’t care- I envy them. Their sheer bitchiness probably saves them from a lot of anguish on a day to day basis. But the average woman, the one who can’t rest until she has everything on her plate accomplished, well, she’s screwed.

A friend once said to me, “Marriage is exactly like a wedding. The bride has to plan for months, she has her hair and makeup done so that she looks like she’s put together, she has to squeeze into a corset to be smaller, and a pushup bra to be bigger. She has to walk down the aisle, all while people are judging her, and all the groom has to do is stand at the altar with a flask in his pocket.” And you know what? She’s right. There is nowhere to fit a flask in a wedding dress.

It’s no secret that women are busy, especially this day and age. To the women who burned their bras while protesting equal opportunity- I thank you for the sacrifices you made and the scrutiny you underwent.  But I have to be honest, there are some mornings when I’m up at five, sitting in traffic, just to make it on time to my mind-numbing job that I think, “Damn, was this worth it?” The thing is, the Women’s Rights Movement wasn’t just about equality; it was about choice. And when women gained the right to vote, work, and have casual sex, no one took the other duties off the table. We were made to believe from a young age that we should take advantage of the fact that we can manage an office, earn equal pay, and run for President. But no one told us that it’s also okay to choose not to do any of that.

Women in America in 2015 are generally expected to have an education, but preferably not a higher education than her partner. She should have some debt so she has established credit, but not too much debt that she can’t pay her own bills. She is usually expected to work a 40 hour work week, but not let that impede on her household responsibilities. She should keep her home clean, but not too clean because then she is considered neurotic. And time-out, can I just mention- cleaning is one word, but encompasses so much. It’s like when someone says, “Did you hear about the dumb thing Kanye West said?” Umm, can you be more specific, please?? At the very minimum, cleaning entails vacuuming, dusting, wiping down the kitchen counters, bathroom counters, toilets, showers, windows, mirrors, washing the floors.. Never. Ending. Laundry. Weeding, skimming, dog crap… HOLY CRAP, the list goes on and on.

Women are usually expected to cook, followed by the cleaning of the pots and pans and special knives and whatever else that can’t go in the dishwasher. Women tend to be the ones who grocery shop, which requires planning daily meals a week ahead of time, seeing what inventory is already stocked in the home, and finding which store has what on sale so she can run around town like Jon Lovitz in Rat Race. Women are expected to dress nice, but not too nice or she might look arrogant and snobby. She should be sexy, but not too sexy, or she’ll look like a slut. And she should also be casual, like the cool girl, but not too casual, because then she’ll look sloppy. It is a constant juggling act.

Oh wait, there’s more. Women are ALSO expected to have hobbies and friends and look pretty and be skinny… but not too skinny, because no one likes a boney ass.

Society leads you to believe that women should have hobbies, because men have sports and video games and cars. So, most women drive themselves nuts, feeling inadequate if they don’t have anything other than their old DVDs of Sex and the City to keep them occupied during their downtime.  But oh yeah, that’s right, women don’t have any down time! Not without feeling like they should be cleaning, cooking, working out, or curing cancer.

We are supposed to have friends, because women that don’t have friends, well, they must have problems. People look at a girl who has no friends as someone who is either stuck up, or steals her friend’s men. Maybe she just never had any time to make friends between her hours on the elliptical and trying to find the cheapest place to buy bulk toilet paper!

The pressure to be attractive in America could actually make you want to run head first into a brick wall. Which in turn, would make you a lot less attractive, so that’s why no one does it. But every woman, at one time or another has been so frustrated by her looks that she wanted to run into that wall, and she wanted to hit it hard. No matter what a girl looks like, she has, on more than one occasion, thought she was hideous looking. Someone else will always have something you don’t, and you will always think that what they have is better. I don’t ever remember any of my Disney movies or fairy tale books telling me that lots of people have lots of different and wonderful qualities, and those qualities are all special and beautiful. Bull shit. Ariel was special because she had red hair and fins and everyone else, besides the bird, sucked. Cinderella didn’t have any competition. They made her sisters look like brutes, and once she told them off, there was no one else in the picture. Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin… All of these movies taught us there could only be one special and breath-taking heroine of the story, and she was the only one that turned out happy in the end. And that’s how we were raised. Only one of us can be happy, and I want to be the happiest of them all. We never saw movies where girls stuck together and supported one another. Well, not until Now and Then was released anyway.

The addition of the biological clock does not help the anxiety levels for women over 25 either. Society thinks you’ve missed the boat if you haven’t yet had kids but can remember standing in line to purchase Duck Hunt. This predicament leaves childless women feeling like they have missed out, will never know true happiness or fulfillment, and have no right to ever complain about being busy, especially to a mother. Which, is actually pretty understandable. Mothers are the ones who endure pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding. Mothers generally get stuck with the brunt of the diaper changings, getting up throughout the night, packing meals for her children, dropping them at daycare or watching them all day at home. Mom is usually called when her child is sick, and is expected to be the one to leave work when her child is sent home.

Now, I know that there are many wonderful fathers out there that take on a lot of these tasks. What I am saying is that even if your helpful partner is assisting you with these duties: you, as a woman, feel guilty about not handling it all yourself.

There is so much pressure on women today to run a household, maintain a career, be a great mother, be a laid back wife, lead a healthy lifestyle, be kind to others, FEEL HAPPY, and not get addicted to antidepressants! All this pressure to get things done leaves you falling short of living. We live in a world where we feel guilty because we don’t have time to enjoy ourselves, but when we get the opportunity to do something fun, we feel guilty for doing it. When we live each day just to “get things done”, we are not living, we are prepping. And carrying on like this can definitely make one feel angry from time to time.

This is not meant to put blame on anyone for why many women feel this way. It is society as a whole that puts unrealistic pressure on women. It is Facebook and other social media sites that only show you what others want you to see. And it’s us. It is ourselves. We are our own toughest critic and we put this weight on our own shoulders. We get mad if we’re not able to juggle all the pins while riding the unicycle across the tightrope. We need to be okay with ourselves if one of the pins drops. We need to be okay with ourselves if we decide, “today, I’m only using one pin, and I’m going to throw it over the tightrope and then go book a massage.” We have to stop being angry, and the only way to do that, is to let go of some of the expectations we put on ourselves.

Cheers to the Catalysts in Our Lives

We all have them… that person in your life whom, without, you would be on an entirely different path than you are. For some of us, it’s a parent or teacher or spouse… but for others, it’s someone who came completely out of left field, changed the course of the game, and then disappeared before you could even blink.

My catalyst is a dear friend, but a friend I cannot keep. It’s someone I’ve loved, someone I’ve hated; someone who has shown me that crazy passionate love still exists- when I thought it ended with our high school boyfriends leaving for college, and taking our hearts with them. This person also taught me what true pain, longing, and heartbreak feels like. From this person, I’ve learned that people don’t always hold up their end of the bargain, and that’s okay, because feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all, and you will make it through, and be stronger for it. This person has taught me to forgive, and that friendship can sometimes be the best apology. This person is also someone who has shown me that courage and strength are all you need to change what’s wrong in your life, and if you don’t take that chance, then you’re not really living. This person has been the catalyst I needed to make my life what it is today, and for that, I have never ending gratitude.

It seems silly not to ask the question, ‘Why aren’t you together then?”. There was obviously love, respect, friendship, so- what more do you need? Maybe the answer is that you need nothing more, in fact, you need less.

I am a better “me” for knowing that passion and love exist so that I don’t settle for anything less. I am better for knowing what pain feels like so I can be more sensitive in how I treat others; especially those I love. And I am better for knowing that I have the strength to make courageous changes in order to live a more fulfilling life. But, it’s like letting all the air out of a giant helium-filled balloon. Once it’s done floating, and all the air has been drawn out, it’s left depleted. And even if you tried to refill with more helium, the balloon never looks or feels the same; it’s overstrained and distorted.

And why can’t we be friends? Because to give a new love a true chance, you have to let the old loves go. You may not feel anything for them anymore, but it doesn’t matter, you have to clear out all the space in your heart possible and give it to someone who can fill it up completely. You can take the experiences with you, but not the conditions.

There will always be a place inside me for this person; not in my heart, but in my head. And if I had never known him, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today, nor would I be where I am today. And I do have to say, I’m pretty happy about where I am right now. The amount this person has changed my life is incredible, and I don’t think he realizes it at all. It raises the question, “Could I have altered someone else’s life completely and I don’t even know about it?” I’d like to think so… it gives hope that we are all here for a reason, even if it’s unbeknownst to us.

So, to my catalyst, thank you. And cheers!

Next Stop, 30.

Why do we fear thirty so? Were the twenties that great that we can’t bear to leave it behind? Is thirty that old that we think it’s all downhill from there? Or is it that we built these expectations for ourselves as to where we’d be at thirty, and we’re not exactly there yet…

I know plenty of beautiful women in their thirties, that don’t “look” thirty. But what’s “looking thirty” these days anyway? What these women possess is confidence, passion, contentment, wisdom, and all this is with the absence of the freshman fifteen that we all welcomed our twenties with. Whether they are married, have kids, have careers, have a house; these women live their lives with a better understanding of themselves and what they have to offer the world. And that is something that is developed through the trial and errors of our twenties.

As my friends and I approach the thirty mark, some of the trial and errors we stumbled upon in our twenties left us just shy of where we expected to be at thirty. As a child, you assume you’ll be married with kids, a career, and a home by the big 3-0, and of course- you’ll be super happy about it all. As a kid, you didn’t think about having a low paying career that you hate, which has absolutely nothing to do with what you went to college for. And if you love your career, and it also happens to pay well, you probably didn’t think as a child that you might marry the wrong person in your twenties, and because life is too short to be unhappy, you’ll have to go through a divorce before ever reaching thirty. And if your marriage is going well, you probably didn’t ever think that you might have issues getting pregnant. And we won’t even get into the housing market…

The point is, is thirty that scary? Or are we the ones that make it scary because our expectations haven’t been met, and that makes us feel like we failed…

Maybe we could try a different approach. If we go into our thirties thinking; I hate my job, but I now have the experience to go out and get a new job, even if it means going back to school first. My friends that went back to school in their thirties got more out of it because they were learning what they knew they wanted to learn and appreciated it more. And if you went through a divorce, think of it as a learning experience. Say to yourself; I know now what I am looking for in a partner, so I will make a better decision about who I choose to be with. And if having kids is something you didn’t get to experience in your twenties, you still have lots of time to try in your thirties, with probably a lot more wisdom, knowledge, and appreciation for it than you had in your twenties.

We shouldn’t be on a time clock for careers, spouses, and kids. We have to put a little more faith in “what is supposed to be, will be”. Of course, we should make changes to better ourselves, but we shouldn’t force something because that’s what we expected to have at a certain age. Happiness and love are the most important things in life, and they come to us in all different ways at all different times of our lives. If you’re too worried about where you’re not at all of the time, you’ll miss out on observing all of the amazing things your life is supposed to be experiencing at that moment. So welcome thirty with open arms… and if you’re lucky; forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, and eighty as well…

You Know You’re Old When:


–          You bring a bagged lunch to work… that you prepared the night before

–          You always know the weather report, even when you have no outdoor plans

–          You remember in the morning to defrost the chicken

–          You have plans to hang out with your friends Friday night and you suggest making reservations

–          You’ve given Botox serious consideration

–          You trade in your 2 door sports car for a 4 door because it’s easier getting the groceries in and out of the backseat

–          You start a sentence with “Remember back when…”

–          You finish a sentence with, “dammit, I sound like my mother.”

–          You shop around for auto insurance… oh yes, there was a time you’d be happy with any company willing to insure you

Am I a Magnet to Crazy??


In middle school and high school, I was always the one in the long term relationships. And they were good relationships, with really good guys. Sure, there were some arguments, but nothing to write to Jerry Springer about. Then I started college, and that is when the polar ice caps must have shifted, because my happy go lucky relationships started taking a turn for the worst.

My college boyfriend was somewhat of a gambler. He would stay up all night playing online poker. One night, I woke around 3AM to find him hyperventilating and running around the room shouting that, “we’re all going to die!” and “how can you lay there sleeping, knowing that eventually we’ll all be six feet under?”.. I quickly looked around the room for sharp objects. None. Phew. Now, I’m no stranger to mental illness, but I made a deal with God years ago that I experienced enough crazy in my childhood, and my adult life should be a little less One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s Nest, and a little more Brady Bunch- minus the maid. I like to clean. So, I walked Crazy Pants outside and calmed him down, returned him to his room, and prayed that the voices in his head would keep quiet for the rest of the night.

The thing with this relationship was that I stayed with him long after I should have, only because I felt needed. I thought he needed to be with someone who had my mental illness expertise and understanding. I thought “wow, I must be in his life for a reason”. Well, I thought wrong. Apparently, I was only needed as his therapist, because I soon found out that he was sleeping with a few of the waitresses and mostly all of the hostesses at the restaurant where he worked…  And that is when I switched my major from Psychology… to Accounting.

Crazy #2 was a gentleman who owned pugs. Enough said. Well, not only did he own two pugs, but they were un-potty trained pugs. Oh wait… there’s more. These two mongrels, which to me, looked like a mix between a pig and an uncircumcised penis, would run around the house, going to the bathroom everywhere; on my new furniture, on the radiators (that was a lovely smell when you turned the heat on), in the kitchen (would you like a side of urine with your meal?) … and do you know what eligible bachelor number 2 would say??? “I’m pretty sure it’s not pee, they probably just spilled their water.” Yes, folks. These pugs must have been able to carry their water dishes into the living room, pour it on the couch and radiator, and deceptively add an artificial urine smell. Call Guinness!! This sounds like one for the books! I should have known Pug Lover was crazy after I saw his collection of WWE action figures. Never, I repeat never, stay with a man who owns more dolls than you ever did.

And that brings us to Crazy #3. Fun. Outgoing. Charismatic. Handsome. And, oh yeah, a klepto. I don’t know if you’re aware, but kleptomaniacs come in many forms, depending on their needs. My klepto was addicted to prescription drugs (since it’s legal in a few states, I’m adding marijuana to that category, too). This brought up a slew of other issues though because since he was always high on xanex, hydrocodone, or the gonge, he never felt like going to work. He eventually lost his job, and felt that this entitled him to what was in my wallet. I found $30, my credit card, and about 18 pills missing (Yes, I needed prescription drugs at one time… did you read the first half of this article???). In addition to stealing from me, he also took 30 hydrocodone pills (yes, there’s only 30 in a bottle) from my family member, who by-the-way is a cop. So now I don’t only have a klepto on my hands, but he’s a really dumb one. It was icing on the cake when I was in the living room one day and yelled down to the basement, “What are you doing down there?” His reply: “laundry.” My reply: “Well, the marijuana smell is coming through the vent, so you should do your laundry outside next time.” And then I sent him packing to his mom’s house.

Crazy #4 was a different breed. Disguised as a sensitive, caring, sweet guy, this whack was actually in need of some serious mental help. Abandonment issues didn’t even crack the surface of his problems. It started out with him getting mad at me for making a comment or two that he didn’t like, and he’d stay mad all day. It was like- Okay, tell me why you’re mad, I’ll apologize, and we’ll get on with our day. Don’t be a girl about it!

Then there was the time he went away for the weekend on a fishing trip. I offered to dog sit for him, and said if he didn’t mind, I’d do some decorating for him. His last girlfriend took every last picture off the wall when she moved out, so it looked like he was living in a recently burglarized home- although it had been that way for about two years. I bought over $200 of decorations, brought over a floor lamp I had at my place, and rearranged the furniture to look aesthetically pleasing. Needing a flashlight to do some arranging of cable wires, I sent him a text asking where his flashlight was. He responded with, “It’s in the cabinet by the sink. It’s small and purple, just like my D”… Come again??  I looked around for the hidden cameras in case this was a taping for a bloopers show, but I didn’t see any. I asked him if he was serious, or maybe drunk? He said no, he wasn’t drunk, but yes he was serious and I should just fess up and tell him how small his.. parts.. were. Thinking back over the last month, I realized I hadn’t gotten many chances to see his parts, which was odd. But from what I recalled, I didn’t have any issues with them. I should have realized then that this drought had no end in sight. He continued to rant about his size, his inability to please women, and his lack of self-worth for hours. Mostly, I questioned why he thought his “D” was purple… was it losing circulation?? I think in this case, the circulation to his brain was really the problem.

These accusatory rages continued over the next few months, it was like walking on eggshells all the time. He would accuse me of cheating, accuse me of being shallow, accuse me of being an alcoholic… but only one of those things was true… and I wasn’t giving up my wine for him. I did however, re-home my two cats because he was so allergic to the dander on me that it would give him trouble breathing. Even that gesture wasn’t enough to make him stop with the foolish accusations. Note to self; when someone’s literally allergic to you, it is God’s way of saying, “BREAK UP!”

So, the ending was inevitable, but the finale is truly the best part. I e-mailed him months after the breakup asking for my floor lamp, my cooler, and my camping chairs back. I asked if he could leave them on his porch before work the next day. His reply was, “I’ll leave them by the trash.” Well, as thoughtful as that would be, I responded with, “Just leave them on your front porch, thank you.” He basically wrote back that I would be waiting a very long time, as he planned on using the chairs and cooler that summer.

There are other stories, but I tried to pick out the cream of the crop. My new theory is; having these experiences with the Crazies will only force me to appreciate the Non-Crazies even more. And if my stories here make you appreciate your Non-Crazy man or woman more than you did, then I made a difference today. And… if you can relate to these stories with the person you’re with today… run. Run far. And don’t leave a forwarding address.