Advice my mother gives me

No beverage: just frustration

Hi friends! So I know you haven’t heard from me in awhile, and honestly, I had a post mostly written and ready to roll out for my big return (stay tuned for that one) but today I feel like I just need to get something off my chest. And this just happens to be my outlet of choice

For those of you who’ve been loyal readers (thank ya kindly) you know that as a runner, and as a woman, I’m no stranger to creepy men doing creepy things. Just as a recap, I’ve been catcalled, followed, spit at, had someone pretend to jerk off at me…the list goes on. I once had someone tell me repeatedly to kill myself and that he hopes I die because I ran into the street while his dog was chasing me.

These experiences don’t make me special, I know. It happens to most, if not all, women. It also happens to men and individuals in general. But let’s not pretend that it’s an equal distribution.

For those of you who follow me on social media, you know that I’ve also been intermittently vocal about my issues with creepy men doing creepy things, in addition to the occasional irresponsible dog owner. But here’s the thing about using a Facebook status as an outlet for a complaint. People don’t always want to hear it. It’s old news. It’s dramatic. It’s just words.

A couple of years ago, I didn’t say good morning to someone on a run. They didn’t say good morning to me either, so I wasn’t aware I had missed the conversation. But anyway, the person proceeded to scream terrible things at me. But when I took issue with this, I was accused of being dramatic, of putting more severity into something that wasn’t that severe.

To that person I say, how do you know? How do you know the intention was just words? How do you know I’m mistaken? Because I don’t. And I was there.

This all brings me to my title and to my rant. Leaving a workout yesterday, I saw a man notice me and cross the street to my side. The man made me uncomfortable before he even crossed. I could see he was having a conversation with someone, and I could see that he was watching me. As he crossed the street he approached me saying, “I am homeless. I need help. Give me money.”

Ok, so if I can interject for a second: any John Mulaney fans get some New In Town vibes from this?? Anyone? Just me?

“Excuse me”
“I am homeless”
“I am gay”
“I have aids”
“I’m new in town”

Just saying.

Anyway, I didn’t answer the man. I was alone. I felt uncomfortable, and I wanted to get to my car. I also don’t carry cash, but that’s not really here nor there. What matters here is that when I failed to answer, he continued to follow me, demanding an answer, calling me a fat bitch, and saying he was going to punch me in the face.

He didn’t. I’m fine. I got in my car, and I drove home. I called my parents. I immediately tried to minimize it. Was I being rude for not answering? Did I manifest the situation by being uncomfortable before he even started speaking? Am I really fat?

He didn’t actually hit me, so was there really a problem?

Like I said, I’m fine.

And yet, none of this is ok.

That brings us to today, and my motivation for this post.

Today I went for a run. One mile in, some guys in a work truck drove by, and one yelled at me and told me to take my shirt off. A half mile further down the road, a car full of teens said something similar. And like I said earlier, none of this is new. And I know the odds that anyone is going to stop is pretty small. But at the same time, I have been followed before.

And it brings me to what my mom said on the phone last night.

“As a woman, you can never just assume you’re safe.”

You see, when I saw the guy yesterday, I immediately got a weird feeling. But no one wants to be that girl who assumes everyone is out to get them. And again, the guy never touched me. But he also didn’t get close enough. So when it comes down to it, who knows?

And are you noticing that even here, in a space that I own, I’m taking care to make a space for this man? Are you seeing how much I feel like I need to clarify that I wasn’t hurt? Can you read into it the insecurity I feel around the possibility that someone may think I’m exaggerating or being dramatic? Can you tell that even now I’m questioning whether I overreacted to the situation.

In the case of the two cars today, I didn’t think that they were going to pull over or anything. Like I said, that type of behavior is pretty common. But it’s all just so exhausting. It’s demoralizing. I’m trying to accomplish something, and instead I’m reduced to an object that is not deemed worthy of even the slightest respect. It makes you question why you’re doing all of this shit in the first place. The repetitive decision making process of determining what’s a threat and what’s just “guys being guys” makes the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the run seem pointless.

Which is why I’m sitting on my porch right now instead of finishing the last two miles of my run.

So I guess that’s really all I have to say on the matter. There’s nothing really to do about it, and I’m sure I’ll be back out for a run tomorrow. But sometimes it feels nice to just remind people that this is the shit that women get to deal with.

Thanks friends, and I promise you’ll get a new post this week! A fun one!

New(ish) year, new shit, same me.

Today’s beverage: still working on my iced coffee from 5am…but at least it’s still cold!

So have ya missed me?! Been a minute, I know. But now that I’ll be in the car for the next 7 hours, what else am I gonna do? Fortunately for everyone involved I don’t get car sick.

2021 is turning out to be my year I think. I got my vaccine so the lower half of my face is now visible to the world again. I just closed on my house. I got engaged. I have a wedding date and a venue. I started a new job!

DO ALL THE THINGS!

Did you know that big changes, even when they’re good, are still stressful? Because I did. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t still get to me. It’s like how my fiancé’s friends threw him a surprise birthday party for three years in a row. He knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it boring. That example is kind of a stretch but Brigid is tired.

So yeah, I thought about naming this “New Year, New Me,” but the “me” is still the same. That’s the thing I don’t get about New Years resolutions. Like unless you’re a real dumpster fire, the goal shouldn’t be to become a new person. It’s more like you want to make some tweaks to the current model. Like you don’t need to get a new car, but maybe it’s time to get it detailed.

Also, the drunk version of you should not be allowed to make life decisions for the sober version, unless that decision is to buy a bulk quantity of dunkaroos and lunchables.

I was just telling someone how I only ever think to paint my nails when I’ve been drinking. And they inevitably look like crap, which I think is a suitable metaphor for setting self-improvement goals while you’re running around in a sparkly dress with your own bottle of champagne. It’s all fun and games until you’re sitting at the table locating any paper cut you’ve ever had with a bottle of acetone.

Also, it’s July. We are clearly not in a new year, unless you live by the timeline of an academic planner…which I just bought…for my new job!!!

And on the topic of that new job…

Those of you who have bought houses are probably remembering that the time to start new employment is not at the same time as when you’re starting a new job. The powers that be were not exactly thrilled with my timing. But guess what?! This was something I needed to do for me.

So we made it work.

Homemade butter is ideal, but if you don’t have your own butter churner and cow, store bought is fine.

Anyway, here I sit. Stuck in a car on the way to North Carolina, and taking the first breather in over a month it feels like. The fiancé and I get a week of relaxation and then it’s moving time! It’s painting time! It’s fixing things in the house we didn’t know were broken time! And most importantly, it will be time to put a wall around the freestanding toilet in our basement. I’m not much for peeing in front of people unless I’m three sheets to the wind, so yeah we think that will be step one.

The one nice thing is that we are opting to not make any big changes to most of the house because we figure that should be done after the puppy we are getting in the fall will be housebroken. No sense buying new carpet only to get it peed on.

DO ALL THE THINGS ALL AT ONCE!

Oof. Let me tell you, that IUD is staying firmly in place. There is a limit to doing all the things. This will not be a Jeebus Take The Wheel scenario.

I do want to share some of the highlights from all the big changes.

Let’s start with the getting engaged thing.

Have you ever pictured in your head how you’ll react when you propose or get proposed to? Does that picture resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings? Yeah, me neither but here we are. I didn’t even realize until hours later that I never actually said yes. I just ripped the ring from the box and put it on. My manners are impeccable.

Let’s move on to the house.

I will say this one time for everyone who will ever buy a house. CLOSING IS ANTI-CLIMACTIC. At the end I felt like I had to ask and verify that we had actually just closed. It doesn’t help that we are “renting” the house back to the owners for a month for free so we didn’t even get the keys yet. It’s a seller’s market babyyyyyyy.

Now the job.

LOVE IT. I mean it’s the first week so it’s not like I have a real grasp on things but do you ever get somewhere and just think, “this is where I’m meant to be.” It’s the same feeling I get whenever I see an ice cream stand.

On to the future.

Within a week of being engaged, my fiancé and I have a wedding venue and a date. We thought we also had a guest list (or number of people list) but gosh dang were we naive. Either way, we are officially planning a wedding. Enter Bridezilla! No, just kidding. Honestly, and I know so many people say this, but as long as I can eat my own snacks and drink my own drinks, I’ll be happy. I feel like the only thing on my list right now is to start sweatin for the weddin. And I know, I know, that’s somewhat problematic, and my fiancé loves me just how I am. It’s not like he’s the one who told me to hire a personal trainer. He is paying for it, but that’s just due to my poor money management skills.

This was a solid way to kill an hour. I know it’s been an hour because my fiancé was counting down the minutes until noon so he could eat his sandwich. I feel like one of us used the time more productively, but I’ll let you decide who that was.

That’s all I’ve go for you, and maybe I’ll check back in on the return drive.

So until next time… I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.

Ugh I really need to start incorporating booze back into these…

I don’t need a man just pockets

As promised, I’m lightening up the subject matter this week!

Today’s beverage: coffeeeeee

Update: no beverage. Sorry folks, I started this over a week ago, but so much has happened that this here little post got set on the back burner.

Things have been cray cray to say the least

Tough Mudder…check

Housing offer accepted…check

GOT FRIGGIN ENGAGED!!…check

But I promised you all a post about pockets, and that’s what you’re gonna get.

So, back to the task at hand…

Alright ladies, say it with me… “It haaaasssss pockets!”

We’ve all said it, followed by immediately placing hands in said pockets and twirling. Do men do this? No, men are just like oh hey… pants.

Don’t even get me started on the absolute heartbreak that is fake pockets. And before you ask, no I don’t mean the pockets in fancy clothes where you need a seam ripper to open them. I’m talking 100% fake, aesthetic pockets. All the exterior stitch work with none of the interior practicality. Beauty truly is only skin deep y’all.

Now before I dive in here, I am aware that no one is making me buy the clothes I buy. No one is forcing me to wear make-up and attempt to do things with my hair. But here we are.

Side note, I recently learned how to do French braid pigtails and I am flying high right now.

Now, I like to consider myself independent, but in a highly inconsistent and unpredictable way. So I guess actually I’m just stubborn. It’s real cute. Ask anyone. And I try to live by the rule my dad implemented when we were wee children: you stay home until you can carry your own snacks. If I’m going to make the effort to leave the house and venture out into the world, I’m going to be responsible for my own shit. Everything I need for the venture will be carried on my person. I do not enjoy asking people to carry my things for me. They’re mine.

This would be so much easier if any of my clothes served any sort of functional purpose whatsoever! Women’s clothing is a scam, it’s a racket I tell ya. Unless all I have is an old-timey pocket watch, I’m not going to carry all my belongings in my jeans. And the number of times I’ve been bamboozled by a fake jacket pocket has given me severe trust issues. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY HANDS?!

This brings me to my next point. To those of you at home saying to yourself, “why do women carry so much in their purses,” well first of all it’s none of your damn business . But if we are pretending that your opinion on my personal belongings matters, here’s the scoop. If I have to carry a whole ass bag with me, I might as well fill it!

Ever seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall and his coworker show up to their first day of work with briefcases full of candy bars? Hi, I’m Brigid. Present and accounted for!

Besides, have you ever seen a guy in cargo pants? I mean do you neeeeed to carry that Swiss Army knife with you or your all-purpose tool? No probably not. Most of us rarely find ourselves in unexpected MacGuyver situations, but since you have 1,009 pockets, why not? Actually, while you’re at it, carry some tampons in there and help a girl out.

Next up let’s have a chat about running shorts. My fiancé (WHAT WHAT) goes for the occasional jaunt around the neighborhood, and his running shorts have pockets that could for sure fit a phone. My shorts on the other hand could for sure fit a quarter, which is useful if I also have a time machine to take me back to the early 2000s so I could find a pay phone. It’s ironic because everyone says that women should be carrying mace and weapons so we don’t get murdered, but we have to buy more accessories to accommodate them. Honestly, if we just make everywhere a safe space, that would be ideal, but I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts, so we know that’s not the case. Also, I don’t run with mace or pepper spray or whatever the legal version of it is because I would likely just spray myself in the face, doing the criminal’s job for them.

Basically this whole post is a pointless rant about form over function. Pointless, because I will not be changing really any of my buying habits. But sometimes it feels nice to just yell for a few minutes. If you’ve ever used the HBO app on a PlayStation, you may understand what I’m saying. You can yell at the app all you want when it inevitable crashes, but there’s still a lot of episodes of the Wire left, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to see where McNulty’s questionable parenting tactics take him.

In conclusion, stayed tuned for next weekend’s newest installment of Brigid’s Stream of Consciousness.

Instead of my usual closing statement, I’ll leave you with this…

HAPPY PRIDE Y’ALL

🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

Ok Boomer, you win this time

Today’s beverage: coffee on an airplane

Leavinggggggg on an airplane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Just kidding, I have a return ticket for Sunday.

I hate flying, so I figured maybe I’ll write to pass the time and see what I come up with. Ladies and gentlemen, buckle those seatbelts, secure those tray tables, and hold on to your butts. We are headed to North Carolina for a girls’ weekend!!!

This is actually my first of three trips to North Carolina scheduled for this summer. If you know me (hi mom) you know that I have a brother in North Carolina, so you’d think this would be a great schedule to see my biggest brother, right? Nah. He is literally not in the state of NC for any of this trips!

Of course this would happen, because one of my friends on the trip has been saying for about 6 years that I made him up because she’s never met him. So I’m sure she’s “shocked” that he’s conveniently out of town this weekend. But he’s real, I swear! He’s just way too smart and successful and in demand at his job.

But anywayyysss, I’m sure you noticed that none of that has anything to do with the title of this entry.

Another thing that has nothing to do with the title? I have press on nails currently, and typing is so. fucking. hard. Like this is going to take me forever. But as I said, irrelevant.

No, this post is going to be about realizing that living like you’re in your early twenties would kill you now. I remember being in college and my dad told me that in his thirties he had a dream that he missed all of his finals and woke up in a panic. He said it was a real nightmare. And I just sat there like ok boomer, I have night terrors but go off.

But then it happened. I had the dream. The first one was a few years ago. I got lost on campus and missed my finals. Another time I realized halfway through the semester that I skipped two whole courses. Last night it was that I never handed anything in and flunked out.

And folks, the boomer was right! It’s awful!!! Sometimes I wake up from these dreams and almost need to go track down my diplomas to remind myself I finished all the things. I give so much respek to adult learners. I would not be able to hack it.

And it’s here that I ask myself, when did I get so old? There were definitely signs along the way. I had a MySpace. I have a Facebook. I have no fucking clue how to TikTok. I did not own a crop top or high waisted jeans in college. That last one is a real bummer because it sure would have been nice to discover that trend when I still had a six-pack. I was sub-tweeted when I didn’t even have a Twitter since I didn’t have a smart phone. Here’s looking at you, girl who wanted to fight me because I politely asked for my jacket back after you stole it.

It wasn’t until I was confronted with the idea of having to go back to school because my dreams told me that I never finished that I looked into the mirror and said, “I’m too old for this shit.”

I could not do college again. Or at the very least, I couldn’t do college how I did it the first time. I remember one Sunday, after beach party, rolling into the locker room for the long run. I was 5 minutes late, I was not coming from my own home, which it’s not what you think (not that it matters if I was coming from a night of getting railed), but I used to sleep at one of the other track houses all the time. Anyway, I roll in with nothing but a granola bar and probably beer in my stomach, and nothing but a bikini and a sweatshirt on my body. And then I ran 16 miles and went to brunch. Now I can’t have a beer within 72 hours of a long run, or I’m pretty sure I’d die.

Even beyond the party aspect of college, which I know was pretty minimal compared to the average college experience since I was an athlete, I don’t think I could handle it in general. I mean, all nighters to write a paper? My bedtime is firmly set at 10pm. I’d fail everything. And to think I didn’t discover coffee until grad school! My college roommate gifted me with a pretty solid caffeine habit.

I feel like in general I’m just not suited for college life anymore. I was much more resilient back then. The world and life hadn’t quite knocked me down yet. I lived in a “garden apartment,” which we all know is just a nice way to say I lived in a basement, and we had ants. Because it was a basement. One day in class I pull out my laptop, and I’m typing away, when all of the sudden, ANTS START CRAWLING OUT FROM THE KEYBOARD! At the time I just put the laptop in my backpack before we had a locusts descending on Egypt situation. If that happened now I’d need to set up an emergency appointment with my therapist, and I’d have to set the thing on fire.

Speaking of things that would cause absolute trauma now, I once blew the circuit in our apartment. The breaker was in the landlord’s basement, which shared a door with our apartment (proof we lived in a basement). As a result, the door to the basement is supposed to be unlocked, at least on their side, at all times. Our side was a different story. While our landlord was very nice, my roommate and I had some feelings about the guy living with her, who we didn’t discover until years later was her nephew. So the door stayed locked.

Why were we not on Team Random Man? Let me paint you a word picture. Don’t worry, it all circles back around to my original point. Bear with me.

It’s not rare for college athletic teams to have items that are passed down from class to class. For us, it was a mannequin leg. All the seniors would sign it when they graduated and it would go to a younger house. My junior year it found its home in my apartment. After Christmas break I respond to a knock on the door from the landlord’s mystery boy. When I open the door, he’s standing there with a mannequin leg. Questions pop into mind. Where did you get that? Why do you have it? How did you know we had one? WHY DA FUCK WERE YOU IN OUR APARTMENT?

So now that you have that background, let’s go back to the power outage. I unlock the door from our side to the basement, but it won’t open. We are supposed to have access, so I’m sitting there like, imma get this door open. After pushing with all the might in my little runner body, it opens. So you may be asking, was it locked by accident? Nope. ‘‘Twas not. It was blocked shut….BY A PILE OF MANNEQUIN PARTS.

Now as an adult, this would be the point where I pack my shit and move home for the rest of my life. But because college students have zero living standards, I just flipped the breaker and went about my day.

Thirty year old me and twenty year old me have very different guidelines for fuckupedness. That’s a word; don’t worry about it.

Update: adding an airport beer to the works

Back to business.

The moral of the story here is that I never thought something so innocent as dreaming about missing a college class would cause me such distress, especially compared to the fact that I routinely wake up convinced that someone is standing over my face, but here we are. The boomer was right. You win this time. Also, I know my dad reads this, so don’t worry dad I love you! Except for the first day of your retirement when you were on the roof at 7am doing construction work. It may have been 11 years ago but I remember being so rudely awakened by someone who was supposed to be RELAXING!

What these dreams taught me is that despite the fact that I hate that my joints are crackly and my resilience in the face of nonsense scenarios has gone down the toilet, I’m not sure I’d trade it for going back to college. Because I’m tired. And I know, almost-30 is not old. I’m still a spring chicken. I’m in my prime (To my boyfriend, you can still put a ring on it any day now). It’s just a slower prime than it once was.

And since all this reminiscing is bringing me back to my college days, I want to leave you on a fun story. It’s my cousin’s favorite, and it really is a classic example of college kids being hella dumb.

To set the scene: winter after Christmas break my senior year. It’s cold. It’s the middle of the night.

All of the sudden, the carbon monoxide detector goes off. It does its job and wakes up me and my roommate. Now at this point we had already had a gas leak just a few months prior, so this should have been especially concerning.

So I crawl out of bed and check the detector, and as you likely know, there’s usually a guide on the back with different beep patterns and corresponding instructions. This particular pattern said “move to fresh air.” Ok, that’s easy. So I take the detector, PUT IT OUTSIDE, and go back to bed.

Fortunately, I realized that this didn’t seem right. In reality, it was fortunate that it ended up just being a malfunction, but we didn’t know this at that point. So I call the fire department, not 9-1-1, because it’s still not occurring to us that this is a real problem. I went to college in a rural area. We got the fire department’s voicemail! This led to a very casual 9-1-1 call, which led to a somewhat less casual argument with the operator as to whether or not we could just stand near a window as opposed to going outside because “we feel fine, and it’s cold!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I currently possess a masters degree.

So until next time… I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.

Look Ma, nice words!

Today’s beverage: I mean I did have a mimosa after my workout this morning. That counts, right?

It’s Mother’s Day, y’all! So why not write some nice things about the lady who made me!

I’ve been wildly fortunate to have the mom that I have. She’s more than just a mom to me; she’s also my best friend. It’s a real Hallmark movie up in here, minus the part of the movie where someone gets murdered.

To be cliche as fuck, it’s impossible to pinpoint the specific reasons that my mom is the amazing human that she is. She’s just always been there to be supportive, to set an example, to be a shoulder to cry on (literally- she’s pretty short), and to be a source of inappropriate humor.

When my brothers and I were little, my mom was a NICU nurse, and my dad was a police officer. This meant alternating day and night shifts, getting home from a long day of work and seeing that we were all taken care of for the next parental shift. It is here that I learned that if I want to be a working mom, I can make it work.

When my mom had to leave her job for medical reasons, she jumped into the role as room mother at school. She was there year after year, helping with projects. It’s here I learned that a working mom is not necessarily someone with a paycheck. Being a mom is a job in so many ways. It is also here that I learned that I did not inherit my mom’s skill for arts and crafts.

In these years, my mom showed me that her capacity for being a mom was far-reaching beyond just her DNA. She was able to find the kids that needed support, kids that lacked the stable home life that I was fortunate to have, and she brought them right into our family. While at times I was not on board with sharing, I know now that her example is something I will always strive to live up to.

Ok, this paragraph shows I was hella spoiled, so buckle up. I’d like to think I wasn’t a brat, but it probably depends who you ask. Every morning I woke up, and part of my breakfast would be made for me. And it’s not like she wasn’t busy! I left for school every day with a packed lunch and snack money (I was an athlete, get at me). I never even spent the snack money. At the end of each month I’d dump out a backpack full of dollar bills like some sort of unsuccessful stripper. I mean $60 a month? Clearly I wouldn’t have been doing something right.

As I aged into the years where popular television told me I was supposed to be angsty and rebel, my mom and I stayed inseparable. We didn’t fight. Ironically, this made the times when we did have disagreements more difficult because we didn’t know how to handle it. I can’t remember a time when I ever felt embarrassed of her, of a time when I didn’t want her around. I mean, she’s a badass, why wouldn’t I want her around? Her humor and sarcasm is rivaled by none, though her ability to cuss like a sailor is a trait that I think my dad wishes I hadn’t inherited.

She taught me to be a strong woman, to push back against the concept of conceding just to be ladylike. She taught me to fight for the things I want. She taught me that as a woman, there is no shame in taking pride in your work and capabilities. She taught me that I have a voice, and that voice can be used to challenge others. She taught me to stand up for myself, to be an advocate for myself and those who can’t advocate for themselves.

My mom was (and is) unstoppable. She hand-made Halloween costumes, she attended concerts, she was at track meets and soccer games. She curled my hair for dance competitions. Neither of us did my makeup because we had no idea what to do.

Once I hit college, our relationship remained strong, despite the distance. She is the mom I want to be for my kids. I was able to seek her advice on drinking, on boys, on sex; there were no limits. And her advice was never “don’t do it.” Instead, she was able to teach me how to take risks safely. She was the safety net for when I tested my limits. She was my sounding board when I was unsure of what I wanted in life.

My mom took me to get my first two tattoos. When I got my second one, she even got one with me! If I remember correctly, she actually paid for my first one.

I’m so grateful for our relationship because I know many people don’t have that. Sometimes I take that for granted.

Case and point: my first foray into birth control when I was in college.

I remember going to the college health center for birth control. I guess they’re used to students paying out of pocket so their parents don’t find out. But my mom already knew. I told the staff I could just go through my insurance. Well, I’m not sure if they didn’t believe me or if they thought I was out of my mind, but the nurse handed me a piece of paper and told me if I filled it out, I get my prescription for free. College students are hard-wired to accept free things. It’s science. So anyway, I fill out the form and off I go. Fast forward to my next trip home when I discover that I’m now receiving food stamps. The school signed me up for welfare! They did me a bamboozle! And my parents are sitting there like, you know we don’t care, right?!

Side note: it was very difficult to remedy this mistake. Not wanting to use resources I didn’t need, I tried to remove myself from the program. No one on the phone seemed to understand why I’d want out. I eventually just gave up and mailed the card back to them with a note that said “no thanks.”

One of the best things about my mom is that her unending support is paired with a non-judgmental wit and sarcasm that makes life fun. I remember pointing out a wedding dress I liked on TV one day while she was cleaning, and without breaking stride she just said, “too bad you can’t wear white anymore.” Some of you may think that’s inappropriate. And to that I say, calm da fuck down. Because remember, this is the same woman who helped me to be safe when navigating the world of dating and boys. The only reason she could even make that joke is because we had already built the foundation in our relationship that allowed us to share those details.

A few years ago, when my mental health truly bottomed out, she dropped everything and drove 2.5 hours to pick me up from CPEP (psychiatric ER). When I laughed at the fact that a visitor asked me if I worked there despite the fact that I was wearing running clothes and a blanket and my shoes had been confiscated, she laughed along with me while others responded with concerned stares. When I referred (privately and never to another patient) to the partial inpatient program that was a condition of my release as “The Island of Misfit Toys,” she accepted the name.

While some people may have treated me like glass in this situation, she understood that I needed to find humor in my situation to cope, because it’s a strategy I learned from her. I mean, when my mom had cancer, she renamed the oncologist “the cancer palace.”

She taught me that when life gives you lemons, you don’t have to make lemonade. You can actually tell those lemons to fuck right off.

Looking back at all of our years together, I can only think of one time that we struggled to see eye to eye. After living on my own through grad school, I moved home. I had just gotten out of a very controlling relationship, and I was trying to make up for lost time. At this point in time, my parents were living at our camp, and I had my childhood home to myself. When they were home, I’d stay out all night and not say anything. This is super fun for parents that spent their lives as first responders. I was working three jobs, one of which was at a bar, and I lived my life like I was some sort of alcoholic raccoon. I was never home unless I was sleeping and to scrounge through the house for whatever food I could eat, and then I’d leave to repeat the process. Dark under eye circles included, I probably even looked like a trash panda at times.

And we fought. And it was totally my fault. I barely took care of myself, so that’s a good indication of what I did to their house. At that time, I lived selfishly, and I will always feel bad about that.

But I eventually pulled my head out of my butt, and now we are back better than ever. It’s a good thing too, because being friends with your mom as a kid is great, but being friends with your mom as an adult? That’s the dream.

So in summary, Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. You are my best friend, my hero, my compass, my momma bear.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

To the biological moms, the adoptive moms, the foster moms, the women taking care of siblings/grandchildren/nieces&nephews, to the guardians, to the dads pulling double duty as dad and mom, to the moms who’ve lost their children and the moms who’ve lost their babies before they even got to meet them, to the women who’ve had to move heaven and earth to become mothers, to the women seen as mother figures by people in their lives, to the stepmoms, and to any other mothers I’ve missed, Happy Mother’s Day.

And instead of my usual catchphrase, I will end on this:

To people who think it’s funny to say they’re pregnant as a prank…be better.