Don’t Be Koi

A few months ago, I met up with my friend and we ate at a local sushi restaurant. We decided to dine outside and we were sat at a table near a fountain that contained some Koi fish. The sound of the fountain, the the red flashes from the swimming fish seemed nice enough. Throughout dinner kids would walk up to take a look at the fish, so I decided to take a gander after I finished eating.

As I walked over, I thought about how relaxed I was after sitting in ear shot of the trickling water, and pondered the long term effects of having a fountain with fish might be something I would like to incorporate into my lifestyle. I made it to the fountain and looked in. As I  leaned over the edge, I saw about 12 fish staring up at me. The Koi were wide eyed and looking at me. All were opening their jaws wide like a yawn and then closing their mouths in a manner that seemed nervous or anxious. Every fish was looking in my direction with this intense need or want in their eyes. I couldn’t tell which, as I often get want and need confused on a regular basis.

The fish held my stare for longer than I wanted and for every second that passed I became ridden with the weight of their expectations.  I felt immediately guilty I would never be able to live up to the standard they were setting fourth with their pleading gazes. I am certain they were only wanting food, but the intense look in their eyes made it appear like they wanted something more.  As I walked away, I realized that I needed to, or is it wanted to… go back to therapy.

I replayed their incessant gazes throughout the evening after leaving the restaurant, much like the replays during a football game. It was similar to the plays that are reviewed over and over, either horrific or amazing, depending on the circumstances. I am not sure what spurred my mind to do so, but in several of the replays if I concentrated enough, I swear, with my limited fish lip reading skills,  one fish actually mouthed, “I need school clothes!” I never considered that a Koi pond would be the measurement for me to understand the state of my mental health, but it seems so.

I haven’t returned to this restaurant yet, but plan to as I used to frequent this place a bunch. I can only surmise I have been waiting for it to get cold enough that there is no chance that I would have the choice to sit outside. Knowing myself the way I do, I would most likely choose to have a second encounter with the fish, if only, to gain some type of understanding about the current state of my mind. However, I am not certain my mental fortitude is in a place where I can withstand the weight of the agonizing gazes that wait for me in the bubbling water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Not Going to Eat Your Face!

I recently cleaned out my pantry and came across several uneaten chocolate Easter bunnies. It appears that they were a collection of my daughter’s and my past leftover Easter goodies, and this family of bunnies seemed to multiply with as much ease as the  real ones. I had about 5 in total and I didn’t feel comfortable with all those eyes staring  back in my general direction, but I could not bring myself to eat them or throw them away.

Since I can remember, I have always had a problem with eating candy that were made in the image of any particular animal. I felt horrible chomping off a leg, ear or arm. Every time it made me over think the joy of the simple sugar rush. This issue was brought up yearly for me when commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Easter bunnies and Jesus. Perhaps I have issues with eating chocolate Easter bunnies  due to guilt over my general religious apathy.

However, tying this to religion would most likely make it more complex of an issue than it really is for me. I have tried in the past to ignore the intense pain of sadness as I rip the bunny’s ears off, leaving the rabbit looking like it is a severally injured with a head wound that proves fatal for both of us. I get weepy, and somewhat despondent every time. It ruins my day and I spiral for a few hours, feeling like a murdered the real animal.

I don’t believe in most of my attempts to fully enjoy this holiday, I have made it past the ears. I have tried to go at it in the other direction, starting with the feet, but this leaves me feeling no better. I get sad and the more I look at what I did, the more I self loathe about my decision to wound this poor animal. I strive to belong to the group of people who can rip off the bunny’s head and chew it to pieces without a second thought. I hope to get there someday.

The most conflicting part of this for me is how much I love those candy eyeballs some bunnies come decorated with, and I can’t resist. I have made the mistake of picking one or both of those eyes off and eating the candy, leaving my bunny winking or blind. And it torments me.

This really does not make a lot of sense, since I have no problem eating any type of meat, poultry, or fish. However, I have sobbed at a restaurant when I mistakenly ordered quail, after it was delivered to my table looking like the tiny bird that it is most certainly.  I also realize I can’t eat a whole baked fish when the head is still on, as it gives me a shaming stare from my plate. No thank you, lesson learned.

Those happy expressions staring back from these candy animals, and the fact that they has no anticipation of fear at all for what is coming their way. It gets me. Next Easter, I might leave the bunny on the store shelf and find other things that  will fill my daughter’s basket, but I don’t want to deprive my daughter of this yearly soul crushing joy. For me, I will pretend not to notice when the bunny goes missing, and I’ll believe that it happily hopped away.

 

 

 

 

 

Like a Dog

I often fantasized about what it would be like to be a dog. Especially, on any given Monday morning. I would much rather stand guard over my house, and never leave it, ever.  To have someone feed me every meal, tell me how good I am, and invite me into bed every night to cuddle. Well, that sounds almost like heaven.

I imagined I’d be a lady of leisure, only pretending to watch the house. Letting my person dress me up in dresses, overalls or tutu’s. Wearing wigs, of my person’s choosing, and giving permission to paint my nails without any fight. No shame here. In my mind, I would have even greeted him or her at the door and quite possibly peed a little.

Days full of naps and nights full of mindless sleep, without one damn little care in the world. My only wish would have been for a doggie door. I don’t think I want to be escorted to a bathroom. Dogs always look so pathetically vulnerable squatting in front of others.

I surmise I would have derived some pleasure while watching my person pick up my hot turd, with a flimsy piece of plastic. Especially, if I was forced to poop in public. Conceivably, wishing for a small, unnoticed hole in that bag.  I am certain I would have been a little, bitchy dog that growled and wagged my tail when someone petted me.

What could be better than being a dog I thought? I might have even been okay with the spaying and neutering. The thought of  getting a bone now and then without any worries seems pretty nice, and I can’t count how many times a day I find my dogs “grooming” themselves. I thought I’d be just fine in the canine form.

However, this past weekend I took both my dogs to the vet for a check up and all this fantasizing about being a dog came to a halt. The visit was normal enough at the start. The doctor was thorough. I actually never encountered a vet who attempted to build rapport with a dog. He inspected teeth, fur, joints, and eyes. I even felt the urge to run around the room with my dogs, so he could watch their gaits, hoping to win a ribbon or two.

After finishing with most of the checkup, the vet then disclosed that he would end the appointment with the needed vaccines and a anal examination. In my years of owning dogs and the countless check ups attended,  I don’t recall this ever happening.  I was immediately anxious for my dogs. If I went to my doc for a physical, I would be a bit concerned with an announcement  of an anal probing.  This would be something that would have to be discussed many, many days prior to the appointment, and I still might cancel anyway.

For some unknown reason, I decided to pay serious attention to my dogs during this part of the exam. I stared intently in to my dog, Rainy’s face (before, during and post anal exam), and then did the same with my second dog, Jazzy, locking eyes with her. I am not certain what I initially was looking for in faces of my dogs. Fear? Protest? Maybe a raised eyebrow? I don’t know. However,  I realized after this procedure I most likely have changed my mind about wanting to be a dog.

If I didn’t know it was happening at the time, I would have never been able to guess. Both of my dogs did not react at all. Nothing. Not a whimper, a yelp, or even a growl. There was absolutely zero recognition they had experienced a finger up their bums.  I believe I need to be of a species that is capable of acknowledging when their posterior has been breached, good or bad.

As I reflect on this past appointment, I am still not 100% percent certain I have changed my mind. There are variables I need to consider. The vet could have had a gentle touch. I am sure he must conduct these sort of examines daily, and might be an expert.  I mean, he did not wine or dine them or bring them flowers, but the dogs didn’t seem to mind in spite of it.

Perhaps, my dogs are just used to having their butts be the center of attention, especially seeing how dogs greet each other. Maybe they have friends with poor boundaries and  are frequently  subjected to an overly inquisitive nose.  Or my dogs could be two dirty bitches, outliers from the norm. I will never know. But I didn’t feel right about being a spectator, despite my intrusive attention to both of my dogs in the moments of this event.

On the way home from the vet appointment, I kept looking at both my dogs in the rear view mirror while driving them back to our house. They both were innocently sitting in the back seat glancing out the window with tongues a wagging, not a care in the world. I felt the need to process with them, but they seemed perfectly unaffected.  I realized I was the one who was not the same.

I was then reminded of an old friend of mine who dropped acid a bunch of times and told me that after he came down from his high, he never felt the same. He told me that his whole reality shifted after each drug induced trip. I finally understood what he meant now.  Who knew that dropping and acid and watching my pets anal examinations would produce the same affect. I believe that next time I will use the “just say no” slogan to being a spectator and my trip will include walking from the examination room to the waiting room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Root Lessons

My job has been a point of contention for the past several months. Prior to this I loved my job. I never dreaded Monday, ever. However, presently I dread Monday through Friday. I recently took a vacation to get a much needed break and then added a sick day to further contemplate my work situation. On the way to drop off Ella at school on my last day off, I asked my seventh grader if she would rather switch jobs completely or go for a supervisory role in a job that has been causing strife. Ella stated neither, ” I don’t ever want to do what you do.” Touche, Ella. I don’t either, but here I am.

With the whole day ahead of me I had so much optimism. I decided that since I had all this extra time that I would dye my own roots instead of going to the salon. In the midst of this adventure, I remembered an incident in 2nd grade where the teacher asked me to correct some papers. I never was asked to be a helper, mainly because this teacher didn’t particularly like me. I wore glasses and I would sometimes forget them in the morning and would come to school without. This teacher would yell at me for forgetting. I remember being anxious on the bus when I would realize I didn’t have my glasses on days I forgot.

When I would arrive at school the teacher would zero in on my naked face and yell, “Where are your glasses!?” with more emotion and contempt then necessary to be honest. I would try to tell her that I didn’t need them to see, but to correct a condition that is called a strabismus. This is when an eye turns in due to a muscle weakness issue and the glasses are supposed to help. Unfortunately, as a 2nd grader I don’t believe I knew the term or was good at communicating my health issues to this teacher, because she was always super pissed about my lack of glasses. On one particular day, she asked me to hand out papers, but then grabbed them out of my hands stating loudly ” Oh, forget about it, you can’t see!” Oh, Miss Horn, I could see. I could see that you were a wretched bitch, but I am getting off subject.

The day she asked me to grade some papers I was over the moon. I remember the grading utensil was this awesome wax red pen that needed to be peeled instead of sharpened. I felt pretty important. However, I realized when I was grading the other papers, I had the right answers misaligned when I was comparing them to the students’ answers and marked several papers with LOTS of red before I realized my mistake. There was no way to correct all the red. I felt the same panic today while I was attempting to dye my roots. I was so far in that there was no turning back before I realized I was in way over my head. I just had to keep going in spite of myself.

If my teacher would have seen the disaster that occurred in my bathroom today, she would have confirmed, not just by the forgetting of the glasses and wrongly marked papers, she was right. That little shit couldn’t see! No glasses would have helped me today. My lesson is no matter how bad your work is going don’t dye your own roots.

2018

I sit here today in this coffee shop assessing the carnage that 2018 has left in its wake. I try to start each year out with the best intentions, and I rarely think that a entire year is just bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few bright spots in this one and I can count them. I am thankful for them. Otherwise, I might be playing my ukulele on a street corner, in a aggressive, agitated manner singing lyrics to off color themes that somehow suit only me. Just like a true musician.

My New Year’s resolution have typically been to lower my standards. I don’t believe it is possible to lower my standards to depths that have never been attempted in order to ring in 2019. My standards are presently at rock bottom, and to get any lower I will need to dig a hole. Seems too optimistic for me to pick up a shovel to start digging today, but I think I will keep the shovel close by, just in case.

2018 has hurt my feelings, my spirit, and I think it even called me fat. 2018 has been that toxic friend that came to my house hungry, ate my cooking and then told me that my food gave them explosive diarrhea all over my bathroom. The aftermath to be cleaned by me. I am still scrubbing, but I just cannot get ride of the stench of 2018. Not yet.

As grateful and thankful as I want to be, I feel I need to send 2018 off in a manner that is fitting, at least to me. 2018 has left me with a bad attitude and a unrelenting right eye twitch. I am presently seeking a level of Botox that has never been tried in order to quiet my twitch and any or all emotional responses that 2018 tends to evoke. I am hoping that if I happen to shed a tear in public again, all witnesses would think that it is just due to my inability to blink in a manner that seems consistent. I would like the Botox to give the impression to others that I am relaxed, calm, composed, happy or dead. Whatever works.

With my Botox doing its job, I will be there tonight counting down the end of 2018, maybe a little too loudly. I will not try to dwell in the events of 2018 that shaped this year. I am not sure 2018 taught me any good lessons. Actually, 2018 reminds of a grade school gym teacher that liked playing dodge ball a little too much with the kids and I was the slow one with the welts. However,I’ll be there tonight anxious watching your demise. I will be the one with a drink in one hand and a shovel in the other, just in case.

A Ghost Story

I stayed in a old hotel in wine country that is said to be haunted by a man named John. Once I stayed here with my sister and she refuses to ever stay here again. She had an encounter in the bathroom of this establishment and for the rest of her stay, I had to go everywhere with her, including the bathroom. I never doubted my sister’s experience, I was actually over the moon about it. During my recent stay at this hotel, some interesting things happened that make me want to stay here more often.  The incidents were small and could be easily explained away by any skeptic. However, if I could get Josh Gates from Expedition Unknown to join me there for a weekend. It would be a dream come true.

I have been watching Josh Gates for years. For those who do not know of him and his TV shows, he investigates popular unsolved events. I started watching Destination Truth years ago.  Josh and his crew would investigate places that were said to be haunted and he would also hunt for evidence regarding mythical creatures like Big Foot and the Chupacabra. I found his show to be fascinating. I was addicted to Josh for a bit.

The other night while I was sleeping, I was awoken by unfamiliar sounds that I couldn’t figure out. At first it sounded as if maybe Ella left some magazines sitting on her bed and kicked them off in her sleep. I got up to inspect, but I found nothing that could explain the sound. This shuffling sound brought me to almost every room of my house, but I could not find the cause of the noise. By the time morning arrived, I was tired but excited about the possibilities of the cause of the sounds, until I wasn’t. I guess I was a bit slow, reluctant or just in complete denial to realize that the noises could have been caused by a mouse.

I’m a reasonable person, mostly. The prospect of my house being haunted was the less terrifying option to perhaps having a mouse. At least with a ghost you don’t really “have” to do anything, as long as it is not the dramatic “GET OUT” kind of phantom.  It could be a roommate of sorts that doesn’t need a bed. On hot days, you can request that it walks by at a regular pace, contingent your location, so you get the cold air conditioning effect that some tend to get when a spirit brushes past.

I could see us becoming close and forming some type of relationship where he/she will agree to be the big spoon at least 50% of the time, cause I like to be the big spoon too. Perhaps, that is a bit much, but if it wants to set my alarm clock off at weird times and throw things randomly across my room that’s just fine too. I doubt I would notice much, considering that I have 7 different active alarms set on my phone that go off weekly at odd times that I fail to inactivate, and my housekeeping skills are atrocious. A ghost would not change the dynamics of my household much.

However, the thought of having a mouse in my house is terrifying! Coming face to face with a mouse makes me weak. I might have to move or just burn my house to the ground. To set out on a mouse expedition seems too daunting. I mean, why would I cover the entire square footage of my home (it’s only 750 square feet, but this is beside the point) to find something I am not interesting in knowing I have, and then what? Do I put a collar on it, name it Carl and teach it to use the toilet?

I was sharing this concern with the man I am presently dating. I let him know that I was still hoping that my home was haunted and not adopted by a needy vermin. I was informed that he would break up with me if my house was haunted. I didn’t share that I most likely would be spooning with my ghost, so his decision seemed almost fair. I have been ghosted, but never dumped because of a ghost. Dating after this would be interesting, I wonder if I would put “must like ghosts” on my  online profile. Things to ponder.

He did offer to help me to get to the bottom of this mystery, and  he did not seem to be put off at all with the possibility of a wayward mouse. That’s something. If it was the other way around and he asked me to help him, I most likely would say, fuck this! You are on your own! It seems I feel the same way about mice as he feels about ghosts.

Do I really want to get to the bottom of the noises?  In my mind it was a mouse or a ghost. Either way, I lose. After the investigation, I will most likely have a new pet or have to update my dating profile. Both prospects are equally horrific in my mind.

As I said previously, I am a reasonable person. Most reasonable people would think that the likelihood of my house being haunted is slim to none, but most don’t know my luck.  When I see a bird sitting on a wire that I have to walk under. I have a small, but short internal battle with myself every time, because I want to force myself to walk directly under the bird with the hope of get crapped on, because I hear that it is good luck.  I believe that I am getting off on a tangent, but it’s important to point out that I am desperate enough to get shit on if it would make my luck go in a positive direction.

To be clear and to get back to the subject at hand, I don’t feel that having a ghost is unlucky, but going through the whole rigmarole of online dating is epitome of bad luck. I hope to change all this bad luck with either not having a ghost or a mouse. For now, I will just buy a Mega Millions  lottery ticket and take a walk. I’ll be on the look out for birds who look as if they have full stomachs, perched above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Made A Friend

Over 12 years ago I developed horrible stomach issues. I visited the doctor and had several endoscopy tests. I had so many of these tests that I actually looked forward to them, because I can’t express to you how much I LOVE the medication that is used for sedation. The medication used is Midozolam, it’s also called Versed.   This drug induces drowsiness, relieves anxiety and prevents one from remembering the events. How I love thee.

Every time I have a unfortunate lifetime event, I think about how if I were psychic and if I had endless access to this medication, well, life would be WONDERFUL. Every time I woke up after one of these procedures I felt as if my mind just had a vacation. I would leave from this outpatient incident feeling like a woke up from a month long vacation where I was not required to use my brain once. The reality was that I just didn’t remember any brain use. I find this equally blissful.

However,  once my mind recovered from its vacation after the procedure, my stomach would return quickly to its crappy state, and the test never told me what was the matter.  I tried eliminations diets, not allowing myself to eat or drink anything that made life worth living. Nothing really worked, and the only thing I regretted was the food, wine, and coffee that I restricted for as long as I did. I drank straight aloe vera juice, popped expensive probiotic pills like Tic Tac mints . Still nothing seemed to stop my stomach from churning in its sick like way. Imagine having a nauseous, upset stomach from sun up to sun down regardless of what was eaten. Even plain water upset my stomach.

I am not sure if I searched the internet or if a friend told me to try kombucha. For those who may not know what kombucha is, it is a drink made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. I started by buying a few bottles from my local grocery store. It became evident that after a few weeks that my stomach was acting less bitchy, so I bought more. However, at almost 4 dollars a bottle I thought deeply about making it by myself, and a friend eventually gifted me with a starter kit to make my own.

The kit is simple. It comes with a big glass jar, sugar, tea, and a SCOBY. A SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This is the one of the most necessary ingredients for making kombucha, aside from the glass, tea and sugar. The SCOBY comes in a small shape that looks like a round, tan frisbee. When all of these ingredients are put together, after a few easy steps, the fun starts.

I have been brewing kombucha for 10 months. The small SCOBY has grown, big. Actually, it’s massively terrifying.  I have two batches of kombucha brewing at the same time. I used the original SCOBY to make a brother or sister to keep the other one company.  They both sit in my living room, because it tends to be the warmest place in my home, next to my fireplace. Their placement also ensures that my guests don’t stay too long.

These fermenting vats look like a holding tank for the blob. If you ever saw the movie, you know what I am referring to. The movie frightened me as a child. The remarkable difference between the blob and the SCOBY is that the SCOBY looks more like flesh. Every week, I need to remove it from its home in order to harvest its hard work. I can’t help but get full body chills when I have to touch it. It seems to want to hold my hand when I grab it out of the jar.  I pretend not to mind. I don’t want to make it feel bad.  I’m sure it has grown some feelings over the last 10 months.

I also think it might have grown some sort of brain over the past several months, because it seems confident. I often tell Ella to seek math advice from SCOBY when she has homework.  At the least, I think SCOBY likes the conversation and simple math seems to be something that it might be able to manage.  SCOBY seems engaged during the conversations I tend to have with it. I wholeheartedly believe that it listens to everything that is said, kind of like Alexa or the Echo devices that people have in their homes. I can only assume at some point SCOBY will begin to answer my questions about what the daily weather forecast will be or maybe play my favorite song.  I have high hopes.

I believe that SCOBY will be my best companion as long as the temperature remains between 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer will be tough, I hope that our bond is strong enough to get through it without air conditioning as Portland summers keeps getting hotter and hotter. Once it grows arms, I have all these knitting patterns that we can try and I have an endless amount of weeds that it can assist me removing.  Now that my gut is cooperating, the options will be endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget To Bring a Towel

I cried at work yesterday. I cried while in the process of interviewing a person during an abuse investigation. I had to stop, because I, like some, do not have the ability to 7 not cry, ever. I am not saying I pride myself on this, but I have put some work in on deadening any and all emotions, over the past twenty some years, that my work can bring up. I consider yesterday a system’s failure of some sort or maybe it was a plumbing failure. I don’t know what happened, but I do know THAT cannot happen EVER again.

When I do not have total control over things that I typically have control over, I tend to lean to extreme measures on gain back the lost power. I am not unlike the dedicated religious folks that prove their love of HIM by self-flagellating or mortification practices. However, instead of attaching a razor to string and attacking my backside or deciding not to eat, speak or sleep on a floor without pillow, mattress or blanket. I just want to dig a hole and bury myself for an undisclosed amount of time. It was pointed out that burying myself might prove to be too difficult, and I typically never ask for help. Therefore, I have decided that I will just lay in my hole, face down, after a hard rain. This process probably will have to be repeated.

In addition to the time in my hole, I have also decided to institute another practice that will employ my friends, co-workers, and everybody that has to deal with me for more than 5 minutes. Recently, I was treated to the best massage I ever had. However, during the massage the masseur decided I was looking around “too much”, so he just threw a towel over my face. No words were spoken between us, just a towel thrown over my face without warning. It was fabulous.

I realize how wonderful this could be if I could repeat this towel over the face thing in other day-to-day life situations. I would provide friends with cold towels infused with herbal scents or warm towels, based on the circumstances. For example, while waiting in those long checkout lines at the grocery store, just throw a warm towel over my face. I’m always so cold in supermarkets anyway. I would calmly pass the time. Perhaps, this could also work during staff meetings, when told I need to add some ridiculous process to my already overloaded work responsibilities, just throw a cold towel infused with jasmine and chamomile directly over my face without hesitation. I would peacefully acquiesce. The scenarios are endless. I could bring towels everywhere. Under the towel would become my happy place.

There is something absolutely freeing about having a towel covering my face. It reminds me of the time in child’s development called object permanence when a child feels that they cannot been seen when they are covering their eyes. Having a towel over my face is interesting similar for me. Of course, I know that people can see me, but I like people not having the option of looking at or seeing my face. I do not like people giving the opportunity to see or read my emotions. If I could only wear a paper bag. In the meantime, I believe I will just train all who know and interact with me to throw a towel over my face at the onset of any emotion, mostly negative fervor. However, I will let the decision up to the towel holder until I spend enough time in my hole deadening all my emotional responses.

All For Love

I recently took a little weekend trip, spending a bunch of money to go to a place I never wanted to go, to see a bunch of things that I didn’t wanted to see, and now cannot un-see. It felt as if I was taken by rocket to another heavenly body and landed on planet Kentucky, and spent time in a small out of this world place named Breyerfest. I was the alien and Ella was no longer my daughter, but she was a tour guide that spoke the local people’s language.

Breyerfest is a celebration of horses through the use of plastics. On the face of it is seems pure, and for the kids I think it is. However, the adults made it creepy, particularly the adult females who are zealous Breyer horse lovers. I spent most of my time observing these specimens.

Many of these ladies came to this event without kids in tow. Most were wearing hats stuck with pins decorated from past years of this fest, and dressed in tacky Breyerfest T-shirts. These ladies were easy to spot, because they were carrying bags and bags of plastic horses that they might have been waiting all year to buy, muttering to themselves about how excited they were about the certificate of authenticity that came with their purchased toy horses. Grown ass women. Some actually had their faces painted, like the kids. My weekend at Breyerfest was a practice of tolerance and non-judgement, similar to when subjected to awful performance arts, like mimes or bad porn. For the record, I would much rather watch lousy porn over having any interaction with a mime. Mimes are passive aggressive introverts, with an addiction to face paint.

I have to admit I felt dirty during my time at Breyerfest. Viewing most of the seven deadly sins playing out in real time tends to make me feel real filthy, real fast. I wrote on the suggestions cards for next year to put portable showers scattered throughout the park. They would have been most helpful. I am not sure if it was the feeling of being in constant need of a shower, remorse for agreeing to embark on this journey, or my general failing to understand anything that was happening, but Breyerfest gave me a raging case of Breyer bitchy. I wonder if Breyer will use this name for their next horse model? If this model horse has a slightly crooked nose and comes with a mane that reacts to humidity, I would feel flattered.

Going into this event I thought that I knew my daughter, but I am completely questioning this at the present. Ella loved this event so much, she was in heaven. Ella would say things to me (while we were looking at plastic horse models she wanted to buy) like, “Mom, we met this actual horse today when we were at the barn!” She would say this like we met a celebrity. I would say, ” Oh, yes, I remember, such a nice horse. Was this one who is signing autographs from 3 to 3:30? We should go back and have him sign your T-shirt.” Ella would remind me that it was not the horse signing autographs, but the owner of the horse. Well, the sign on the outside of the horse stall did not specify it would be the owner’s autograph, and I must say I was deeply disappointed to learn that Breyer horses weren’t special enough to know how to sign their own names.

I always thought that my daughter wasn’t entitled, but I believe I was fooled just because her temper tantrums ended years ago when things didn’t go her way. I realize that she is just silent, probably quietly screaming on the inside. But let’s not be mistaken, my daughter is spoiled with a capital “FUCK ME”! However, to put things in perspective from a Breyer lover’s stand point, why would you travel the entire way to the mecca of Breyer and not pick up a few horses, regardless of who picks up the tab. I realize in retrospect, I should have had a few conversations with Ella regarding expectations.

Ella was dead set on going to a thing called the “Special Run” to gather a few more Breyers to add to her collection with my wallet. I had no idea what was happening of course, so I had to have Ella explain to me why we were standing in this particular line to buy horses when these little horses were literally on sale everywhere in the park. When Ella was finished explaining, I still failed to appreciate her explanation. I asked her to start over and summarize in terms I could comprehend by comparing the horses on sale in this line to something I could understand. Ella started by saying, “pretend you are at winery event”. Really, this is all she had to say to get me to start listening. She said, “imagine that there was an event and the wine maker made a special bottle of wine just to be released to sell at the event for the members who attended”. Well, the comparison made sense, but there was a flaw. I would NEVER spend $85.00 for one, let alone two bottles of wine! Ella insisted on two specially made plastic horses.

Interestingly, there was even more places to buy Breyer wares outside of the Kentucky Horse Park. There was a a hotel that was a noted destination. Over 200 room rented by Breyer lovers who opened up their rooms each day and night (until mid-night), so all who were interested could stroll in and shop out of their rooms, while even members of their own families slept in the beds. In some rooms, the renters moved all the furniture out so there would be more space available for merchandise. I am not certain where these people slept.

There was a definite creep factor associated with this Breyer destination, but it was lessened by the fact that this hotel had a bar. Perusing people’s hotel rooms with a glass of wine in hand, took the edge off of my Breyer bitchy. I want to say that I didn’t need alcohol on this trip, but I did, bad. The unfortunate tidbit is that there was little to no alcohol available at the Breyerfest venue. In my mind, I thought that perhaps bourbon or whiskey would be on sale and as plentiful as those little fucking toy horses, but hell no. I suggested putting the bourbon stands next to the shower stalls in the years to come, for convenience of course. I want to feel drunk when I am being violated financially and spiritually, and like to shower up rights afterwards.

I did not get to experience the live auctions this year, because I could not wrap my mind around this concept. I heard many, many people talking about this, but could not mentally grasp that people would gather and bid on toy horses, saddles, gear, and other Breyer bullshit, spending thousands and thousands of dollars. I overheard that one TOY horse model actually sold for $14,000 dollars. I. DON’T. GET. IT.

I was chatting up a vendor and he told me that two years ago, a GROWN ASS WOMAN showed him a TOY saddle she bought at auction for $2,000 dollars. He explained that as she was showing him this rhinestone crusted saddle, another GROWN ASS WOMAN tried to steal it and these ladies fought and wrestled on the floor of the arena. I was telling this story to Ella a bit later and Ella piped up and said she totally understood why someone would spend $2000 dollars for a collectible. Maybe it was the third day of Breyerfest that had me weary, or lack of alcohol to take the edge off, or maybe it was just feeling overwhelmingly dirty for far too long, but I actually teared up and had to walk away. How could two people of the same blood come to the same event and have two completely different experiences? One being in complete and utter bliss and the other left empty, despondent and hopeless in and of mankind.

The trip brought on many mini panic attacks envisioning Ella 20 to 30 years older walking through Breyerfest with her accessorized hat, T-shirt, and bags and bags of toy plastic horses. I did some rumination on how I could in a hurry buy Ella a real horse so she might leave all this nonsense in her childhood, where it should most definitely stay. But then I realized what does it matter anyway? I will be here to support Ella with my heart, but maybe less with my wallet in the following years.

In 20 years if I was lucky enough to still be here and be with Ella at Breyerfest, I would be honored to hold Ella’s pin infested hat while she tussles with the gal who was silly enough to think that she could get away with stealing Ella’s well earned collectible. To be clear, I would be reminding her, maybe rather loudly, during the ordeal that she could have bought a real horse with all the money she has blown on plastic horses and other prized Breyer treasures. However, I would most certainly be assisting her in fighting as dirty as possible, as Breyerfest brings out the best in me.

Dear Tinder

I had a bunch of reservations when I made the leap and signed up and actually paid for a membership. I understand that many people don’t actually pay for you, and I still do not understand the difference between the paid and unpaid membership that you offer, except that I paid. I told myself that I was done with you and other sites like you. I would much rather just pick up a homeless person and take him home, treat him to a shower and see what I am working with. I felt that it wasn’t going to be much different from what you present me with on your site. However, I figured that by signing up with you, I wouldn’t have to clean my shower as often.

I have to say that I was not sure what I was doing or what was lurking behind the swipes right. I would be lying if I did not mention there was a bunch of people I did not expect to see on your site. I do not want to appear judgmental, but there were many married men looking for a good time on your site. Are you aware of this? I am sure you must be.

Others were on your site with their partner looking for a third, and I found this fascinating for several reasons. I wondered which partner was the one to bring this up in their relationship and which of the two made the Tinder profile. Did they compromise on what information they put out there? Did they sit and swipe right together? I always wondered which one swiped right on me? I don’t think they knew that I have zero ability to multi-task, that’s okay I don’t think I noted this in my profile anyway. I didn’t think it was important. However, I do think it’s important to mention that nowhere in my profile did I EVER say that I was interested in being a third. I can barely managed being a half.

I gave these couples very little serious consideration, but I did ponder the awkwardness of the first date, if I would have chosen them, like my forever couple. Would we have gone bowling? Would I have gotten a Pedicure with the wife, while the husband watched? Could this have been considered foreplay? I honestly, have no idea how it would have worked. Would we have all gone out to dinner to discuss our likes and dislikes, and powered through all the long, uneasy breaks in conversations while thinking that I am failing to impress not one, but two people. No, I did not pick a couple. I would have never picked a couple to date. I’d rather just disappoint one person at a time.

My time with you was short, sweet, and I was barely corrupted. Because of this, I write this tangential “thank you” letter to you, Tinder. Thank you for being the creepy little “go to” dating site that gave me the push needed to see that there are other semi-normal people out there, like me. I will always remember you, like that leering relative who sits in the corner at a family function and asks (maybe too politely) for you to come sit on his lap while he sings “Happy Birthday” in your ear. But it’s not your birthday, and after you never want your birthday to come again.