Friday, August 31, 2012

The History of My Stretchmarks And Other Important Crap



When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Abby, it was at 2 o'clock in the morning on March 6, 2006.
 I was sitting on the toilet in my tiny bathroom, wearing my VW bug houseshoes and holding three pregnancy tests.
 
All of them were positive.

Now, I knew a little bit about being pregnant at that point. I knew nothing about actually bringing a child into the world via my vagina, but I knew about pregnancy. (At least, I thought I did.)  The fact is, folks, there isn't a book, sage motherly advice, documentary or "Idiot's Guide To Anything" that can prepare you for what is going to happen to you over the next nine months, and then the subsequent year of your life with a baby.
 
Thus, I've compiled a list of "The Top 12 Things I wish I would have known about pregnancy, labor and delivery".
The dirty truth.
The cold hard facts.
The things that people tend to forget happen after they've birthed their children.
 
(Thank  you, Kim, for suggesting this topic! Let's see if we can't gross out some men-folk, and terrify some women who have yet to pop out a baby!)

 
 
12.) Morning Sickness That Lasts All Day, or what I like to call: "Wow, this fucking sucks...I'm pregnant and I can eat nothing."So this one is interesting. Most women will experience a bit of morning sickness during their pregnancies, and it is often a key identifier among symptoms when women suspect they are pregnant. Now, most women that have a bit of morning sickness can: lay in the bed in their natal-glow, eat crackers, drink ginger ale and just be ready to take on the day.
 Then, there is a smaller portion of pregnant women that we sometimes hear about. The pregnant women who can't get out of bed because everytime their horizontal bodies become vertical ones...they puke. These are severe cases, but they happen. I once saw a pregnant woman whose "morning sickness" lasted so long, and she puked so frequently that she busted the blood vessels in her eyes. It was really fuckin' scary. Things like this can also lead to dehydration, low blood sugar and malnutrition for the mother and the baby. Most women think morning sickness only last 9-12 weeks, but Au Contraire!
 
Sometimes, that shit stays with you until the end.                                                   




 
 
 
11.) Your belly button will never be the same. -
Before I had my children, I had the most beautiful belly button. It was of average depth, width and had a nice "innie" appearance. At around the 20th week of gestation, your growing baby will begin to transform anything that was once flat or concave on your abdomen: this includes your belly button.
 I hate to break it to you, but...your belly button will look gross. It will look gross, and after you have your baby...It will never be cute again. Unless you're one of those women that has magic belly button syndrome, and in that case...90% of the women reading this post that have birthed children, and have weird looking belly buttons because of it... secretly hate you.
 
 Just so you know.
 
 



 
10.) Let's talk about discharge! - Okay, so the female reproductive system is a miraculous thing. Basically, your uterine health and general vaginal happiness can be gauged by what kind of discharge you have.
 
Yes, I said discharge...ewwwwww...gross!
What are we, two years old?
Grow up.
 
  • Clear discharge- Normal vagina
  • Thick, clear discharge - Ovulating (this is also a signal of a high sex drive...woot!woot!)
  • Yellow discharge - Ermm...get that bidniss checked out.
  • Greenish yellow discharge- Whoa! GO SEE YOUR LADY DOCTOR!!
  • Grey Discharge- Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!! (I was unaware that grey discharge was even an option until I looked it up)
 When a woman is pregnant they develop something called a "mucous plug". This is basically something your body creates to help stop up the cervix until it's time for your unborn child to make their exit. Now, I'd heard all about the  "mucous plug":

"A mucousy substance, sometimes tinged red with blood; otherwise known as, bloody show"

Okie dokie...I could do that.

You guys, it's like snot. If a pregnant woman's vagina had a runny nose: that's what the "mucous plug" is like.
It's not horrifying, but you should know...it's a helluva lot more disgusting than they make it out to be.

 Gah-ross.







 
9.) Hey, I'm pregnant...I should enjoy relaxin'. - During your entire pregnancy, your body is changing. It is readying itself for the single most painful and exhausting thing a human body can endure. Thus, in order for a woman's pubic area to accomodate something the size of a medium-sized melon passing through it, our bodies produce a protein horomone called "Relaxin".
 
Relaxin works by giving the pubic bones the ability to move and accomodate your bundle of joy through the birth canal without breaking your hips. It also keeps your uterus from involuntarily contracting while your fetus is developing, thereby preventing your body from naturally aborting the baby. (Thanks for looking out, Autonomic Functions of My Body!)
 
 Now, all of this is great and really functional and everything, BUT...what they don't tell you is while the bones in your pelvis are able to expand because of relaxed ligaments...so are the bones in your feet.
 
I used to wear a size 6 shoe. Mother Nature is a big ole giant bitch, sometimes.
 







 

8.) Lots of sex...sometimes....and then never. - Great news! Sometime after the morning sickness subsides, and before you feel like an enormous sea cow in a muumuu...you will, for about a month or two, feel extremely sexy.
The pressure to get pregnant is off.
The nausea is gone.
Your breasts are bigger.
You're glowing and you will want sex...ALL OF THE TIME.
This is normally something that is eagerly recieved by the partner to the pregnant woman, but it should also be viewed as this:

It will be the last time you will have complete access to as much sex as you can stand for around...5 months.
After this eight week window passes...sex will no longer be something that is at the forefront of the pregnant lady's mind. Plus, positioning becomes tricky.
My advice? Jump on the sex train while it's there, people, because before you know it...the station will close down.








 
7.) Glossy, shiny, beautiful hair...on my nipples? - One benefit of pregnancy is...the hair. The glorious, bouncy, shiny hair that we all hear about. Pregnant women have the most beautiful hair. This is due to the excess of nutrients flowing through our bodies during this time. While women hear tale of the lustrous manes of their mothers and grandmothers...those mothers and grandmothers always forget to leave one bit of hair-growth story telling out: A pregnant woman's hair becomes glorious, bouncy and extra shiny...EVERYWHERE.

Every woman who has carried another human being in her uterus...will have hair on her nipples. It happens.
 I have hair on my nipples.
The woman sitting next to me at the beauty shop probably has hair on her's.
 We pluck them, we Nair them...we schedule some laser hair removal, but it doesn't change the fact that they were there.


Gone, but not forgotten!
 








6.) Every other pregnant woman is better at everything than you are. -
There will come a time during pregnancy when you can no longer shave your Possible. You have no clothes that fit. Your nose has expanded, and you look down to see that your ankles have been replaced by two tree trunks.
It is at this moment, you will see pregnant women everywhere who seem to have it all together. They are barely showing, they don't have stretch marks...they're still wearing clothes that aren't sweatpants or muumuus.

It is okay to hate these women, because it just is. Applaud their good fortune on lack of stretch marks while they are boasting to your face, and then flip them a stiff-middle finger the moment they walk away.

 It is perfectly normal and okay to hate them.
 








 
 
5.) Contractions hurt... a lot...almost like if you stabbed yourself in the vagina with an ice pick. -
We've all scene cinematic presentations of childbirth. The water breaks in the most inconvenient of locations (an elevator, in the car),the women are screaming and the men are fainting.
It's not like that.
 Anymore, the doctors are scheduling births because it is more convenient. Don't get me wrong, women go into labor all of the time on their own, but as a general rule of thumb...doctors are trying to take the inconvenience out of labor and delivery.

The one thing that doctors can't change, and the movies did have correct are: the contractions.

They really, really, really fucking hurt.

The pain wraps around your body, and you're trying to breathe but you can't and someone is telling you, "Breathe, honey."....and you just want to poke their eyeballs out.

It's a nightmare.

 No feeling is as wonderful as those first few moments right after your epidural kicks in.
Also, if you're one of those women that battled through the pain and didn't need an epidural:


1.) Props to you and your ability to tolerate pain comparable to having your body being torn into two separate pieces, at the crotch... by a Decepticon.

2.) There are women who secretly hate you, and your high pain tolerance.







 
4.) Sometimes...EPIDURALS DON'T WORK. -

 Women operate under this grand illusion of, "No big deal...I will only contract for a little bit, but then...I will get my epidural!" Yeah, well...here's some really shitty news:
Sometimes, even though you really want them to, epidurals don't work. I found this out during my second experience with labor and delivery. My beautiful son ,Sammy, was brought into this world only to be greeted by my torturous screams because...my epidural didn't work. I wish they did. Trust me, being on the shitty end of that whole "sometimes-they-work-sometimes-they-don't" stick...I want them to work all of the time more than anyone.

But KNOW....sometimes....they...don't.
 





 
 
3.) Everybody poops. - This is all very self explanatory. There is a very real possibility that while you are pushing, with all of your might, to get your sweet little baby into this world...you might poop. Right on the delivery room table.

No worries, though.

 This isn't the first time you've pooped and this isn't the first time these nurses have seen it. I was prepared for the possibility of defecation during delivery because I read about it in "What To Expect".

What I wasn't prepared for was the tar-like poop that my new, tiny baby would produce.
You wanna talk about something gross?! Let's talk about those first baby poops.
Imagine the La Brea tar pits. Think about enormous dinosaurs getting trapped in the sludge, unable to escape, and that's what your baby's first poop is like. The more you wipe, the more there is. Scary, dinosaur trapping, tar poopies.

The joys of Motherhood. 
 





 
2.) Boobs are now a functional item and breastfeeding hurts.Before having children, my breasts were a recreational item. It isn't until the first time you nurse your child you realize, "Ohhh...they do have a purpose!" Breastfeeding is also the fastest way to completely eviscerate cinematic views on those first few moments of trying to nurse your child. If it's your first time to nurse a baby, and it's your baby's first time to breastfeed...it can be the most frustrating and painful thing you've experienced. The first feeding isn't the bad part...it's the second and third...

Imagine the worst case of chapped lips you've ever had.

Now...imagine someone touching them. Repeatedly. On purpose.
The first few days of breastfeeding was like a red-hot poker through my soul. I don't think I need to repeat it, but I will...If you were one of those women that had a glorious and easy breastfeeding experience, and never shed a tear through the entire process:


There are women who secretly hate you.
 



 
1.) Episiotomies and...beyond. - If you have a vaginal birth, you can almost expect one of two things to happen:

1.) Episiotomies and Stitches
2.) Tearing and Stitches

 
 While the vagina is remarkably elastic...sometimes, it just isn't elastic enough. Fortunately, for women who recieve an epidural...they don't feel any of the cutting/tearing and stitching of their most delicate areas. However, epidurals don't last forever and when the feeling slowly begins to come back to you... it comes back in a whole new kind of pain you have yet to experience in your life.

The stitches go away, but it does take quite a while before you can even wipe your butt and not cringe.



 
  • In closing, I would like to say, everything I've said is true. It happens. It isn't all that happens, but it's the stuff you don't often hear about. This is the point where I feel obligated to tell you that having my children is the best decision I have ever made in my life, and nothing I can do...ever...will top that accomplishment. They are beautiful, hysterical, amazing human-beings, BUT... none of that changes the fact that I have stretch marks on my ankles. 
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happiness

   Like most people, there are things that will never cease to bring me great joy. It doesn't matter what is happening in my life, what kind of catastrophe has been brought upon my perfectly shaped head or just how damn bad my day is going; there are just some things that make me happy. Below, is an abbreviated list of things that ,without fail, make me happy:



1.) My childrens - (This one is a bit Catch 22. Mostly because my children can simultaneously make me spew joy and make me want to strangle myself with my shoelaces.)

2.) New socks

3.) Momma Fig's Rainbow Cupcakes (these are a specialized item...and will bring joy to anyone lucky enough to be presented with one)

4.) Days of perfect weather (In Oklahoma, these are few and far between)

5.) Towels and sheets right after they come out of the dryer

6.) A really good cup of coffee

7.) Finding shapes, people and objects in clouds...examples: Winston Churchill, bras, phallic shapes and Falkor from The Neverending Story

8.) When I hear George Micheal's voice sing, "Well, I guess it would be nice...If I could touch your body..."


  After thinking about my list of "Things That Make Me Happy", I realized something:

Happiness is something you choose.

Sure, you can feel happy, but the real test comes down to deciding one thing:

"Am I going to control my life situation, or am I going to let it control me?"

Today, I had a really nice visit with two remarkable ladies. We laughed, we plotted and I regaled them with tales from my childhood.  As we were parting ways, one of the ladies mentioned, "You are always so energetic, happy and seem so...down to earth and adjusted."
She's two-thirds right.

I'm not always happy. I normally wake up with the disposition of a Bridge Troll on her period, and it takes a few cups of coffee and some snuggles with my childrens, to reach the point where I can be turned loose to mingle with the general population.



That's when it dawned on me... It's not a difficult concept, there is no secret recipe and it just comes down to one little thing:

You can make a conscious decision to overcome whatever shit life is throwing at you, or you can succumb to the shit.

Frankly, I waded through plenty of shit growing up.
I'm tired of shit.
I want days filled with new socks, rainbow cupcakes and warm sheets that smell like Snuggle.


I am not, by any means, dellusional enough to think that there are some situations that don't warrant succumbing to the shit.

Losing a loved one.
Not being able to button your "fat" jeans.
Finding out your kid has a growth on his brain. (Been there, done that...got the shitty day T-shirt)


However, not all days bear that type of life altering consequence.
Most days are just sort of...blah.
Most days, are days where nothing remarkable happens. Days where we meander through and ,at some point, we make a decision to either be happy, or to wade through a big, wide river of doo-doo and gripe about it the entire time.


Today, I went for a run. I was listening to my "Early 90's Feminist Forward Lilith Fair-esque" station, when I heard George Micheal's lovely little voice singing in my ears.

Of course, this caused me to first; question why in the hell Pandora Radio thought George Micheal belonged on that station...and secondly, it put an extra-happy bounce in my step.

It was about this time that I looked up, and I happened to see (very clearly) the shape of Falkor- the luckdragon from The Neverending Story- in the clouds.

I was taking great delight in my sudden, happy moment when I noticed the cloud right next to Falkor: It was an enormous, scary newborn baby cloud.
It was super creepy.
It was entirely too large, had a scary, baby face, and was three times bigger than Falkor.
In addition to being a big, scary newborn baby cloud with a deformed head... it's mouth was wide open. I could see Falkor's shape begin to dissapate, and before I could blink my eyes, Scary Newborn Baby Cloud had eaten Falkor.

Devoured him. Poof.

A few seconds later, Scary Baby Cloud was gone, and all that was left was a big cloud of nothingness. No defining shape. No bumps or ridges. Just...desolate and boring.

It was at this moment I realized: our lives, are not so different from the clouds above us.

If we allow the winds of adversity to change us, and if we succumb our moods and minds to our shitty days; our shitty days will consume us.
We lose the ability to find joy in the smallest of things, and we get lost in a big cloud of...nothing.

Like anything, there is a flip-side to this coin of wisdom.

Just as your bad days can consume you, your good days can too. If you let them.
Sometimes the smallest of things can bring a smile to your face, and put a skip in your step.
If you choose to surround yourself with your list of things or people who make you happy... you can shut out the shit that life throws at you. (Man, that's almost poetic.)

You only have to accept that you deserve to be happy, and then...choose it.

(If you are having a bad day, bad month or a bad life...I strongly suggest trying any or all of the things on my list. They've always worked for me.)

Also...George Micheal. http://youtu.be/lu3VTngm1F0

You're welcome. :-)





Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Top Five Badass Women Of The World


I'm just going to preface this by saying one thing:

I have never been one of those, "I can't be friends with girls...all of my friends are guys." kind of girls. The people in my life that I admire the most. The ones I look up to. The ones I spill all of my weird and crazy ideas and thoughts on...all of them are women.

 I think it's important for women to develop relationships with one another.
There is a such a support system that can be formed between women, and I think this realization was the inspiration for this list.

Actually, the main reason I decided to write this list is because I'm tired of seeing "inspirational" Marilyn Monroe quotes plastered all over the place. Don't get me wrong, Marilyn was an icon. She was gorgeous. She was......lucky in her acting endeavors (because let's face it...she was a terrible actress), but she was beautiful and she was famous and she was mysterious and now... we have a generation of ill informed young women who are looking to her as a role model. Gag me with a fucking spoon.
Ladies, young ladies, who are reading this...Marilyn Monroe is a Hollywood icon, but the persona, and all that "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" bullshit.

I hate to break it to you girls, but it was all an act.

My challenge to the young women of our world is this:

Look for women who changed the world through their actions. Actions that were guided by nothing except their love for humanity. Look at our vast history, research women of our past and for the love of everything good in the world...Find inspiration. In case you don't know where to begin. I will enlighten you with my Top Five Badass Women Of The World list.

Also, if you like Marilyn Monroe and you have all of her movies and you dress up as her for Halloween and you are just offended and aghast that I've said what I've said.

You probably need this list more than anyone, and I'm sorry for your poor decisions you've made in the past regarding female role-models/icons...but I'm not wrong about this. Trust me.


#5 - Anne Frank

When I think of iconic women...women I look to for inspiration...I think of this young lady:

 Anne Frank.

Not going into her rather boring back history...I will cut to the chase.


Anne and her family were forced into hiding when the Nazi's overtook Holland in 1940.
To escape being arrested by the Nazi's, Anne Frank, her family and another family (The Van Pels) hid in an attic in the middle of Amsterdam in 1942. 

Obviously, there was very little for her to do, thus, she wrote. She documented her time spent in the attic with her family. Although, things were difficult (Shit...she was hiding in a fucking attic with eight other people for 2 years) she wrote about how thankful she felt to be alive. She wrote about keeping a positive attitude in such weary times:

"I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I'm free, and yet I can't let it show. Just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us?"
                                                          (December 24, 1943) - Anne Frank


If that doesn't make you look at your life, and be content with all of the good fortune you have...then you need a lobotomy, or to live locked up in an attic for a few years and then sent to a concentration camp.

Anyway, eventually the Nazi's recieved a tip that helped them find the two families. Anne, her family and her friends were put on the last train to Auschwitz. Anne died in the concentration camp.


Damn you, Nazi assholes!

Anne contracted Typhoid fever, and died one month before the camps were liberated. Her father was the only one to survive the camps.
He returned to the attic where they spent two years of their lives, and found his lovely daughter's journal.

Because of Anne's eternal sunshine in a dimly lit world...she is badass woman number 5.

#4 - Katharine Hepburn



Now...Ms. Hepburn makes this list because she was a lot like me. She had her own opinions, she said them and she really didn't give a rat's ass what other people thought about her.

 Katharine's mother was a suffragette, instilling virtues of independence and helped to cultivate Katharine's free spirit.

As a young girl, Katharine delighted in sports. She embraced her beauty and femininity, but also helped pave the wave for young women of her time. The thing I like most about Katharine Hepburn is, while she was a very succesful movie star...her career began on stage. 

Ms. Hepburn had a lowly beginning and (without the help of green room couches) carved a name for herself in the film world and our history.

 Now, I'm not going to sit here and blow smoke up your ass and say that every, single film she did was wonderful...because it wasn't.


However, she is a four time Oscar winning actress, and she didn't preen and pout for the press. She kept her two lives very separate.

For not being a sell-out.
For being a true pursuer of women's rights.
For reminding me that it's okay to say things and do things that not everyone will agree with, but being more enriched for doing them.
For saying things like this:




"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself."
                                                                                             - Katharine Hepburn

Ms. Hepburn earns the position of Badass Woman number 4.




#3 - Mother Teresa

To me, there is nothing more beautiful in this world than a woman who will give up all selfish endeavors for the sole purpose of enriching the lives of others.

Now, I don't know much about Mother Teresa's early life, but it's a shining example that you don't have to know about, or understand where people come from for them to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she was 18, she felt the calling to serve her life as a Nun. She packed up her shit, moved to Ireland and recieved Nun-training. (I'm sure there is a formal word for this process, but that is a minor detail)


After a few months in Ireland, she traveled to India and took the sacred vows of Nun-hood. In her early years, Mother Teresa was a teacher, which is another reason she made the badass list. Not only was she a teacher, she was a teacher in the ghettos of India. That's some scary ass shit. Surviving that is enough to put her on my list of badass women.

As her life continued, "Momma T" felt a great need to help the less fortunate. Not just in her immediate area, but all around the world. She started a new order called, "The Missionaries of Charity". The goal of this charity was to help the people that the world overlooked, or were too afraid to help. Mother Teresa strolled into indigenous villages in Africa that were crippled with AIDS outbreaks like a boss. Images that we see on the internet, television and magazines of children who haven't a hope in the world; Images that make us cringe, feel empathy and then look away as quickly as possible... Mother Teresa lived that shit. She made it her life's work; to help those people.

It was all she knew, and it was all she did. I leave you with this beautiful quote:

"It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving."
                                                                         - Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, a living saint and a total badass woman.




#2 - Marie Curie

               A list like this wouldn't be complete without Marie Curie. Marie Curie was born into a poor family in Poland. Despite the fact that her family was poor, she and her siblings were all well spoken and well educated. In a time when women were supposed to yield an interest in domestic subjects, music and literature; Marie Curie said, "F that! I want to learn science things!" 


Well, she probably didn't say it like that, but she might have...you never know.

Marie packed up her shit, (what is it about these amazing women and their willingness to just pick up and move?) moved to Paris and worked as a governess. Given her families poor finances, she had to work her way through college. Not only was she playing nurse-maid and educator to priviledged snot nose children, and working her way through school...SHE HAD TO LEARN HOW TO SPEAK FRENCH. People, this was before the day of Rosetta Stone.

Anyway, since she was pretty busy with school, and being an all around badass woman...she didn't have time to date. She threw herself into her studies, and after recieving a Physics degree and graduating at the top of her class. Guess what?! This woman decides to go for another degree in Mathematics. Now, today...that sounds like small potatoes, but you have to remember, this was back in the 1880's. Women were practically condemned to lead the lives handed to them by the Patriarchal arrangement of things. Polish women were pretty much given zero opportunity to do anything with their lives...unless you're a badass, like Marie Curie.

Anyway, after getting her second degree she went to work in a laboratory where, after all of her years of abstaining from love in lieu of her education, a chemist, named Pierre, fell hopelessly in love with her. Now, like most heroic "I don't need a man to better my own life" women, she refused his advances. Apparently, Pierre took on the whole "No means, yes" way of thinking, and like Pepe Le Pew and the feral cat he chased all over the place... he eventually won her over.

They lived their lives working together, and would become inseperable until poor Pierre's untimely death.

Marie, now in the glow of love, delved into physics and discovered two new elements: Polonium (which she named after her home country...awww, how nostalgic) and Radium.

Marie pioneered the use of radium to eridicate diseased cells inside of bodies. She was, in fact, such a badass that she didn't even patent her discovery to make money on it!

Claiming that it was too valuable to not be available to those who needed it. 

So, here she is, going along wonderfully; discovering new elements, falling in love, popping out babies...just having a grand time. Like most cases, when things are going swimmingly well, catastrophe strikes.; her husband was killed in a road accident, leaving her to man the laboratory by herself and raise her children alone.

Of course, like any other woman in a male dominated society she suffered ridicule and spite. In a way to give her male counterparts the proverbial stiff middle finger, she began dedicating her time at the beginning of the first World War to ensure that X-ray machines were installed in hospitals. By the end of the war, over a million male soldiers had been examined and helped by her x-ray machines.

At the end of her life, Marie died of cancer caused by a side effect of her life's work. Not only did she discover elements, bust through the door of education for women in her home country, set educational standards for women of her time, raise two children alone and publish a book... she died at the hands of her life's work, and it's because of this (and so many other reasons), that Marie Curie is my badass woman number 2.


Now, I know what you're wondering, "Who could possibly be more badass than Marie Curie?!"





#1 - Joan of Arc

Now, this is a badass woman.

This was a woman who was led by her religious convictions until she was burned at the stake at the age of 19. It is documented that Joan began hearing the voice of God at an early age. (12, I think.)

During Joan's childhood, her country was a divided one. King Henry V seized this opportunity, rode in, invaded the shit out of France and deafeated the Royal Army.

When Joan was 17 years old, she approached the French leader, Charles de Ponthieu, who frankly, didn't quite have his shit all together.

He was overwhelmed by her conviction, her eloquence and her bravery. So he did what any logical thinking national leader would do...he gave Joan her own fucking army!

Not only did she get some of France's shit back...she did it in a year. The French gave her Royal status...and boom! Viva La France! The French had an insurgence of national pride.

Joan was a badass woman, but as it was in those days, anytime a woman was good at something the men hymhawed and harrumphed until it was declared that she must be practicing witchcraft.
What a bunch of assholes! 

Before Joan of Arc was the leader of her badass,victorious army, she was a village peasant...thus, the clergy members leading her trial were dumb enough to make it open to the public. She was asked:

"Do you know if you are in the grace of God?"

Answer: "If I am not, may God place me there; if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest in all the world if I knew that I were not in the grace of God. But if I were in a state of sin, do you think the Voice would come to me? " - Joan of Arc

Thus, the clergy realized she was smarter than the average bear, and closed her trial to the public. Her trial was continued behind closed doors, and as expected, she was declared a witch and burned at the stake. With her heroic hands tied, her bold body bound and her righteous mouth gagged...this woman, who spoke with such conviction and changed the fate of her country, was lit on fire by a bunch of chauvinistic, asshole clergy men. Welcome to the history of womanhood! (and you think you've got it bad.)
It is documented that somewhere in the range of 10,000 people were present at her execution in support of the life she lived and the changes she made for her country. Her ashes were scattered in The Siene river. Had Joan been less sure of her convictions, and lied at her trial, she would have lived to see the day (26 years later) when an inquest was held, she was declared innocent and Joan of Arc was presented with martyr status. (Isn't it always the way of it when you put a man in charge of things...too little, too late)

She is still the patron Saint of France.

 Joan of Arc...now that, was a badass woman.

The most Badass of all.












 



 



Friday, August 24, 2012

I Teach: A Free Verse Poem By Lucinda Hicks



We send our children to school with the school supplies requested on "The List"

(3) 24 count Crayola crayons- No Roseart brand
1 package of #2 pencils
1 wide ruled spiral notebook
Kleenex

We stuff these supplies into their backpacks
Kiss their foreheads
Brush their hair into place
And send them into a classroom
A classroom where every student writes in the same wide ruled spiral notebook
With the same #2 pencil
Dutifully scrawling the same set of notes, that are written on an aged blackboard by a teacher
When people ask me what I do
My stance widens,
I lift my chin,
And I declare,

"I teach!"  
    I teach.
           I teach.

I teach the art of expression through writing and speech
I teach my students there are no stupid questions,
And bad ideas are good ideas until proven otherwise
I teach the lost arts of, compassion and empathy

I teach.
I teach things that aren't on the ACT

There is no curriculum
There is no standardized testing
There are no IEP's
There are no Honor's classes
There are no textbooks with indexes, and solvents to the odd numbered problems in the back.
There is no separation of ages and genders
There is no supply list.
There is no chalkdust on my hands.

I teach things that societal norms are forcing our children to give up:
Individuality
The power of speech
The art of communicating a difference of opinion

I teach my students there are no thoughts that should be left alone
They should explore each and every one of them
Race to the edge of it, double back, and then sift through the layers to find the answers

I teach them how to bring words on paper, to life
To make words leap from the two-dimensional plane they reside on, and take flight
Like a bird, through the air

I teach my students how precious words are
The way we say them;The inflection we use

Words are our most powerful resource
I teach them to use their words wisely, because retractions aren't always an option

I teach my students that while life is fleeting, their impression on this world is a permanent one,
And because of that; they should make it count

I teach young women something I learned from Staceyann Chin:
"The most radical thing a young woman can do...is own her body."

I teach my students that their individuality is a priceless gift
I teach them the power that their voices can have on their own
And the additional power they recieve when other voices join them
A chorus of discord; speaking in harmonized parts
Changing the world with their beautiful, yet cacophonous melody
I teach them the squeaky wheel gets the oil
I teach them that regardless of their life situation, great possibilities are hiding around every corner
Just waiting for the right kid to come along, and seize them


When asked what "I do",
I suppose I should respond in a more timid manner
I should duck my head
Remove the tape from my mouth and rope from my hands
And whisper in the smallest voice possible,
 "I teach..."

But...I've never been a big fan of actually doing things the way others think I should.


It is because of this that my chin is lifted, and my stance is wide
It is because of this that I declare,
"I teach!"











Momma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Bigots!


I am a Liberal. The word liberal is defined as: 

 a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

I have never had an unexpressed thought in my life, and I don't intend to.
 
I believe our society has been greatly inhibited by people feeling too oppressed to say what they feel, or to voice what they believe.
 
I believe that using religious beliefs to belittle or hurt a specific group of people is wrong.
 
I believe that using a specific religious belief (that caters to one religion), in a country that was founded on religious freedoms, to make laws against a specific group of people is wrong.
 
I believe in free expression.
 
I believe that Gandhi was right when he said, "An eye for an eye will only leave the whole world blind."
 
I believe there is no normal; no status quo.
 
I believe that the Earth is over four and a half billion years old.
 
I believe in having Faith in things you can't see, but things you can feel, in your heart.
 
I believe in helping people when they need it because it's the right thing to do.
 
I believe there is not a single person on this Earth that should be valued over another.
 
 I believe that people worry too much about preventing abortions, and not enough about the children that are dying from lack of food, water and medicine; even as I type these words.
 
 I believe in the power of hope, and the fruit of generosity.
 
 I believe the world is a vast and varied place, made of all different types of people.

 I believe those differences are what make heroes out of everyday people.
 
 Above everything, I believe that the most powerful civil right we have is our right to free speech.

I will not stop expressing myself, or begin to censor my ideas. If you don't like what I have to say, fine.
 
That's like...your opinion, man.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Years Almost Resolved



       Here we are, folks! Nearly three-quarters of the way through the 2012 year. As many of you will remember, at the beginning of the year I made a New Year's resolution that had many scratching their heads. In case you need to be reminded...
http://thefunnygirlsblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-new-year-resolved.html

Back in January, I resolved to "love myself the way it is". My mission was to learn to love the way I looked without constantly thinking of ways to improve or change the way I look. Now...8 months into my resolution...I am happy to report three things:

1.) I have gone the majority of the year without makeup. Out of the past 237 days, I have worn make-up about 40 times.( Give or take a special occassion or two.) If I did wear make up, I did so simply because I wanted to go through the whole girl process of "getting gussied up."

For the first time in my life,  I wore make up to enhance my features, as opposed to hiding my flaws.
Ladies, if you have an enormous pimple on the end of your nose...you will still have an enormous pimple on the end of your nose if you pile concealer and foundation on top of it.

 It doesn't go away, and it doesn't make it invisible. Hell, half the time it just makes it look....angry.

Thus, it is with great pride that I announce... I DON'T NEED MAKE-UP.
I have never needed it.
I look back on my days of habitual make-up the way an ex-smoker does; often saying, "Why did I even start?"
One thing I find most humorous is how many women say, "Well...you can get away with no make-up....you just don't need it."


I have a secret for all of you...are you ready?

You don't need it either.

It's just what you are used to. It's what our mothers and grandmothers did. Even though it's traditional for women, especially southern women, to put their make-up on with a garden trowel... I promise you....

You. Don't. Need. Make-up. To. Look. And. Feel. Beautiful. 

You don't.
I've been there, done that and got the self-depreciating T-shirt. You're talking to the queen of self-depreciation, and she's telling you, "You don't need it."


2.) My natural hair color. I haven't had my hair colored since last September. I never thought I would ever have anything nice to say about my natural hair color.

To me, it's always been boring.

So...I forced myself to really look at it one day.
I was shocked to realize that my natural hair color is almost the exact shade of my eyes. (Kind of a golden brown.) I have found, when the sun shines through it, it isn't just dishwater blonde; I see browns, reds and golds....and this reminds me of Fall. My favorite time of year. This alone makes me happy with my decision to leave it be.
My hair isn't just hair anymore...it's a Season!

3.) There was one big problem with my resolution: I was silly to think I could go an entire year, and just accept myself the way I was.

While it does force me to look at the way things are, and accept them;
While it forces me to love them the way they are...it leaves no room for growth.

 I was blindly optimistic in thinking that I could go through an entire year, not change anything about myself, learn to love myself the way I am, and not be changed by it.
 Being 3/4 of the way through my resolution, I look back to where I was in January, and I just have to laugh at myself.

There I was, bare-faced, bare-souled and arms opened wide... with my feet planted in a pair of concrete shoes.
 Desperate for change, but hell bent on achieving it by not changing anything.

Thus...I am revising that part of my resolution: For the last quarter of the year...I am open to change. I am running toward the doors that are opening in my life much in the way I run toward free cupcakes; With excitement, big eyes and arms gesturing in a "give me that before I explode" motion.

Give me change.
 
 It only took me 237 days, but I think I'm finally ready for it.

On December 29th, 2011, I sat in my living room floor, typing as fast as my little fingers could and I stated:
"I apologize in advance to anyone that I unintentionally terrify by going into public without cosmetics. Self discovery isn't always pretty, folks. "
I would like to retract that. I'm not sorry. I look fine without make up.
Also...self discovery isn't always pretty... It's scary, eye-opening, hard to accept, and above all... beautiful.

                                           Before                            After


This song is so fitting. In my life, and hopefully yours.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keep The Change?

When I was a little girl, I used to go on the mail route with my grandpa. This was something that I enjoyed immensely. There was something nice about riding around in the truck with my grandfather, singing along with the radio, and hanging my bony, little elbow out the window as the wind rushed over my face. There were days when I rode with my papa to deliver mail that I wished would never end...and then, there were days when I wanted to poke my eyeballs out with a spork. There is one particular day that stands out in my mind.

My grandpa and I would always stop at The Karry Out Korner gas station, and load up on strawberry soda and corndogs halfway through the trip. This particular day we made our stop as usual, delivered the rest of the mail, and then headed home. I noticed my grandpa had been unusually quiet during the rest of the trip, but chalked it up to fatigue.

Delivering mail and eating corndogs was hard work, folks!


We pulled into my grandparent's driveway, and my papa began pulling money and a reciept out of his front, shirt pocket. He stared at the reciept, counted the change and said, "Shit! I knew it. I knew that wasn't right...Alright, Lucinda, we have to go back to The Karry Out...do you want to go?"


Of course I did. What kind of a question was this?  Even at eight, I was nosey, and any opportunity to go somewhere without my brother wasn't one I was willing to pass up.
When we arrived back at the store, my papa went in..and talked...and talked....and talked...(this was back before they had all of those laws about leaving small children in hot, unattended vehicles. Otherwise known as, "the good old days")
When my grandpa finally got back into the truck, he was laughing.

At this point, my curiosity had turned to general grumpiness.

"So...what was this about?" I asked, trying to sound as grown up as possible.

My papa shurgged, laughed and said, "She gave me too much change."

"Oooooh...like too many dollars?" I asked. I got it...she gave him way too much money back.

My grandpa shook his head and said, "Nope. I was supposed to only get thirty-seven cents back, and she gave me seventy-seven."I stared at him blankly. I was only eight, but I knew that change was change.

Change was not a big deal.
Change was the stuff that found its way to the bottom of purses, and into those little dishes on dressers and bedside tables.
Change was small potatoes.

Change was not worth being left in a hot car for.

I assume my grandpa knew I was a little pissy because he said, "Listen, she gave me too much change. You know...sometimes...that happens. You get too much change."

And that, was that.

**************

I haven't thought about that day in years. Today, while I was running, I began thinking about that time of my life. A time when I thought frequently about things, but knew very little beyond what the adults in my life told me. I also realized that while things can mean very little to you at the time, they can often come back and kick you right in the side of the head twenty years later. Not only will they kick you in the head, but moments that meant nothing then... make perfect sense now.


Today, while I was running I kept thinking about how much change I have experienced over the last two years.

Changes in appearance.
Priority changes.
Career changes.
Lifestyle changes.
Changes in friendships.
Changes in my world views.


When I think of the word "change" I think of it as its verb form. The act of becoming physically different. I think of the action that leads to the end result.

My grandfather was referring to the noun form of the word.

Meaning: the product of the act. For instance, the coins you recieve from exchanging a dollar for a Twinkie at the store is now... change.Part of speech aside, my grandfather was right about one thing:

"Sometimes...that happens. You get too much change."
Just as it is with everything in life, change should be experienced in moderation.

Whether these life changes are something you instigate, or are brought on by things that are out of your control; sometimes, change is just annoying bullshit that you have to deal with that makes you question everything that you once knew to be fact.
Changes can be so subtle that you barely notice they've happened until after they have already passed.

Other times, change is needed, but it is met with resistance normally reserved for small children who have been presented with gifts of brocolli and naps.

We know it's what's best for us, but blatantly refuse it to come into being simply because...we don't
like it.

Resist all you want...
The fact is:

We are all changing.

All of the time.
Life changes us.
Love changes us.
Riding in a hot truck, delivering mail, and drinking strawberry soda pop with your grandpa can change you.


It's just a matter of letting the change happen, or digging your heels into the ground in an effort to delay it.
Beyond accepting change when it's needed, it is equally important to recognize when change becomes excessive.

Everything in moderation.

I'm a firm believer in "too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing" even, self discovery.


Change is fine...but sometimes, you get too much.


I had no intention to get quite so philosophical on this Sunday afternoon. I was minding my own business, just jogging down the road, when I heard Tracy Chapman's soulful voice begin to sing this:

http://youtu.be/FodfkqfJrhQ

My mind is a weird maze of "how can I connect my life to this song in the strangest, most indirect way possible"... Thus, I was reminded of my papa.

I thought about the first time I heard that a person could have too much change.
I thought about the great strides he took to give a little change back.

Change is more than the stuff that falls into the bottom of purses.
It's more than coins.
It's more than a process.
It's more than an overwhelming feeling of too much life happening at once.
It's more than a noun.
It's more than a verb.

It's us. The girl typing these words is a product of change.

Change is...who we become.






Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Loudest Voice



I haven't always been loud. My laugh, at one time in my life, was reserved and not likened to the sound of a mentally handicapped donkey.

When I was a little girl, I was insanely shy. I hid behind my mother's legs when strangers tried to talk to me. I would sit pristinely; my eyes wide, my lips pursed and my hands fidgeting nervously in my lap. I saw the world play before me like a movie, and I soaked in every detail. I learned from watching.

I am not sure when I turned into a loud, hysterical woman.
One who cannot seem to engage in casual conversation without flailing my hands about wildly. Talking about my trip to the grocery store, but making crazy gesticulations that mimic John Travolta's in Saturday Night Fever.As I got older, I began to thrive on my need to communicate to the world. Be it through my raucous laughter or loud voice...I had things rattling around inside of my head, I needed people to know!

Unfortunately, these things were almost always wildly inappropriate, and they landed me in trouble more times than I can count. However, for someone who spent a large part of her formidable years hiding behind her mother's legs, it was almost like an uncontrollable impulse.

I learned in high school that I could not only express my ideas by speaking them, I could write them.

There was something nice about having thoughts that were no longer beating on my brain like a hammer, but permanently inked on a sheet of wide ruled notebook paper.
I would write things down as I thought them, and like magic; it stays.

 Before I could forget what I was thinking, or scold myself for having strange thoughts, I would force myself to write them on paper and there they would be. Forever.

There was something nice about letting pieces of me loose, but still having them quiet. I learned that expressing myself didn't always have to be done in such a loud way.

I learned a lot:

I learned that it was possible to have an unexpressed thought. (Who knew?)
I learned that internal filters between the brain and mouth aren't necessarily something that you are provided with at birth...it's more of a learned skill. (Again...who knew?)
Above all else, I learned that others cannot learn from you if your voice trumps theirs. In order to teach others you must hear them. Not just speak at them, or listen to them...but hear them.
You can't do that if your voice is louder than theirs.




When I began teaching, I felt myself become softer. I still projected my voice, but it didn't come out with such an urgency or a crudeness. It was still loud, but it was knowing. This is probably one of the most valuable life skills I have learned. It has also caused me to gravitate toward students who have an internal struggle.
Youths who have problems communicating their ideas and feeling.
 People who can't seem to find their niche.


I am drawn to them with curiosity and an impulsive need to help them. Mostly it's because, while I cannot remember when I became so loud...I remember the days of being quiet. I remember the days of not vocalizing my feelings because of fear, or potential outcomes.
I remember what it was like, and I want to help them. Simple as that.


I have been teaching Speech and Theatre for the last six years. Every year there is one student that speaks to the five year old version of myself that I still carry around.

This year, I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful young lady. A young lady who holds, within her, an immense talent to make things out of nothing. This girl is not one of my students, but I have almost viewed her as such. For the sake of anonymity, I will call her Jane.

Jane has problems expresses herself vocally. She is a beautiful girl, with a smile that can light up any room that she graces it with. Of course, the first time I met her... I terrified her.
I am loud, even when I'm being quiet.

The first time I met this girl, I was having a wild day at work because the air conditioner wasn't working. I'm fairly certain that I mentioned something about having a fan under my desk, so it could blow up my dress...explaining very matter of factly, "You gotta do, what you gotta do."In short:

See, Jane.
See, Lucy give entirely too much information to a complete stranger.
See, Jane's eyes get wide.
See, Jane breathe an audible sigh of relief when she gets to escape Lucy's uncomfortable conversation topics.


Over the weeks to follow, I made a point to communicate with Jane. It was my goal to communicate with her by telling weird jokes or making crazy faces in order to ease her very obvious discomfort.

I am not exaggerating when I say, it was like hitting my head against a brick wall.

For heaven's sakes! I helped a girl with a terrible, terrible speech impediment make it to State competition in a speaking competition!! Why was this so different?

I was beginning to doubt my abilities as an educator, and a helper to those with social, communication problems. It was my forte, after all.


I continued to stay in touch with Jane. Keeping her busy with projects.

I would like to say it was all to help her, but it was 90% selfish.
I needed a good painter, and her mother had expressed to me that she was very artistic.
Thus...I called her.


Her painting was amazing. It is very, very difficult to rob me of words, and this girl did.

Which, is kind of ironic because... the girl who never talks, left me speechless.

That's when this sudden moment of clarity fell upon my perfectly shaped head like an Acme safe:

A person does not have to verbally communicate to express who they are inside.
Their ideas.
Their passion.
They don't have to write eloquent prose or poetry.
They don't have to stand in front of a large crowd of people and give an oration. 
If I wanted Jane to express herself and her ideas... I was going about helping her the wrong way.Sometimes, the most beautiful ideas, dreams and thoughts are made with nothing more than a few colored pencils and a sheet of paper.


 Over the last few weeks, I have learned a lot:


I learned you are never too old to learn something new.
I learned the most valuable lessons are the ones we least expect, and they are never the ones we actively search for.

Above all, I learned the loudest voice is also sometimes the voice that never speaks.




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oh, Menses...My, Menses: How I loathe thee...

When I recieved nature's golden gift to women, I was twelve. The night before I began my menses, I cleaned my grandmother's kitchen like I was preparing for the return of The Messiah. I was twelve years old, and found myself scrubbing the kitchen counters with a toothbrush.
I moved canisters, and cleaned the coffee pot.
I scrubbed the oven until it squeaked with a cleanliness that even Mommy Dearest could appreciate.
I scalded my twelve year old, pre-menstrual hands in boiling hot bleach water, and cussed like a sailor.(Unbeknownst to me, this was a habit that I would carry with me into my adult years...Yay.)

I distinctly remember cleaning my grandmother's kitchen for two hours, and then turning around only to discover my uncle and brother making a terrible mess on the kitchen table. I turned red, threw my dish towel, and screamed at the top of my lungs, "That's fine. That's just fine. You ddd--oonn't a-ppr-ecciate (I was crying now) a-a-a-anything that -ww-wwee women do around here!" I then ran to my bed and flopped myself down in a style that is normally reserved for Tenessee Williams plays.

Who was this person?! A few breadcrumbs on the kitchen table, and I was now referring to myself as an entire disenfranchised minority?! "We Women"?Wow...a little bit of PMS and I had developed a psychological disorder.

The next morning, I stumbled into the bathroom and discovered that Aunt Flo had made her first, univited visit into my life.

 This was the beginning of the end of my sanity.

What happens to us during our menstrual cycle?

I'll tell  you what happens:

The world turns on us.
Suddenly pants that fit perfectly yesterday, now must be left unbuttoned and looped with a hair tie.
Our complexion can be likened to that of a teenaged boy, going through puberty.
There are few things that we won't eat...WE WILL EAT EVEN WHEN WE AREN'T HUNGRY.
(Folks, I'm not even embarassed to admit that I once caught myself eating paper while on my menstrual cycle.)
It always seems like the Universe knows when I am at my crazy emotional period peak because every sad movie, every PETA commercial and every song about a boy with a perfect girl that he loves will come into my life in a big, shitty wave of, "Let's See If We Can't Make Lucy Lose Her Shit About Fifty Five Times In One Day."


Periods...make women crazy.

What's crazier, to me, is the total bullshit way that Mother Nature, in all of her infinite Saddistic-Crazy Lady wisdom, makes it possible for women who spend a lot of time around one another...to have cycles that are synched. I have one thing to say to Mother Nature on this whole deal:

Fuck you.
Fuck your mom.
Fuck your couch.
I hope you die in a fire, Mother Nature.
I. Hope. You. Die. In. A. Fire.
A big tampon and maxi pad bonfire.

Now, for all the guys who are reading this and are thinking, "Women gripe about their periods so frequently...get over it."Two things:

1.) Shut the hell up. You're a man....and while it is adorable that you think your opinion about anything that happens within the confines of my uterine walls matters... IT DOESN'T.

2.) If your sperm caused you to shed testicular tissue, and once a month, for three to seven days...you had blood coming from your penis.....AND YOU CAUGHT YOURSELF EATING PAPER WHILE WEARING SWEATPANTS WITH ENOUGH ZITS TO MAKE A 13 YEAR-OLD-BOY LOOK MATURE.... You would probably check yourself into the emergency room.
Look, I'm not saying women handle periods any better than a man would, but...we certainly have a better understanding of the process, don't we?

In case you couldn't tell by my prolific use of the all caps, and my excessive cursing...I am on my period.
Just so you know.

And now...my favorite song about Menstruation.

Oh, you didn't know this was a real thing?
Songs about menstrual cycles?


In that case, you're welcome.

http://youtu.be/lC13XTZy1VY


Friday, August 10, 2012

He Said "Titty" At The Dinner Table!

 

              The fact is... I am inappropriate at times. It is something I have come to terms with over the last twenty years of suffering through awkward gatherings and social faux pas.

Before ellaborating further on this topic, I must first define the world, inappropriate.

Inappropriate, as defined by Merriam-Webster is:



in·ap·pro·pri·ate/ˌinəˈprōprē-it/

Adjective:
Not suitable or proper in the circumstances: "inappropriate behavior".
Synonyms:
improper - unsuitable - inapt - unbecoming - inept
 
 
 
 
 
My first experience with social gaffes came at the age of six. My grandmother and I used to listen to records frequently, and one of my favorite songs was, "Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band.

(In case you haven't heard this song, I have included the link to the video, and an excerpt from their catchy chorus!  http://youtu.be/tpGRdX5sUAs )

"Thinkin of you's working up my appetite
Lookin' forward to a little Afternoon Delight
Rubbin' sticks and stones together make the sparks ignite
And the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting

Skyrockets in flight!
Afternoon Delight!
Afternoon Delight!
Afternoon Delight! "
So, with all of the wisdom I had at the ripe age of six,  I decided (during show and tell) I would sing this lovely little classic. I made it about five lines in and my teacher shrieked, with all the grace of a frantic, tea kettle, "THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! THANK YOU, LUCINDA! YOU MAY SIT DOWN NOW!!!!"
Later, when I told my Granny what happened at school she laughed and said, "Well, I'm glad you liked the song and that is really all that matters, but...it's not really school appropriate. Not in mixed company, dumpling butt."
This was the first time I had ever heard the word, "appropriate".
 
 What did it mean?!
What were these new restrictions on things I could only do sometimes, but not others?
What in the fuck was "mixed company"?!
 
 
Of course, I learned the basic social graces as I got older:
  • Don't speak unless spoken to.
  • Please and Thank You.
  • No burping in public, even if you can say "Supercallafragalisticexspialidocious" while you're doing it.
  • Pooping is done at home. Period.
  • Napkin in the lap.
  • Elbows off the table.

You know, the basics. Here's the thing:

I wasn't a complete neanderthal, but I didn't hold out any hopes to be invited to the Emily Post House for etiquette anytime soon, either.

As I have gotten older, I have realized; my manners aren't terrible.
 My timing is.

Also, it isn't that I have a complete disregard for unwritten social rules, I just think that the world would be a better place if a large majority of the population would pull the proverbial sticks out of their butts, and just enjoy a good fart joke every now and again.

I have also learned, as time has passed, the reason I am viewed as inappropriate isn't necessarily because of the things I do, but because of the things I believe, and the things I enjoy.
 Mostly because they are things that go against societal norms.

Six-year-old-Lucinda (while shockingly intelligent) had no idea that the song she was singing in front of her first grade class was about having sexual relations with your beloved in the broad light of day.
Six-year-old-me didn't know the words "afternoon" and "delight" weren't simply just adjectives used to describe a particular time of day and an emotion synonomous with "happy".
When these two words are coupled together, they are practically an action verb! (Who knew?)

Hind-sight is 20/20, I suppose.

I just knew it was pretty, and I liked it. Looking back on it now, I still think it's a lovely song. A song inspired by something beautiful.

Love.
Many people say, "Well, you have children. Would you want your children to behave that way?"
As I am always ready to disappoint people, the answer to that question is a resounding, "Yes!"
Yes, I would.
Frankly, they already do.
I don't think I have ever been prouder of my daughter than the first time I heard her sing, in perfect pitch, at the age of four (she might be a musical genius, it's yet to be confirmed):
"It's just a little ol' bitty, pissant, country place
Nothin' much to see
No drinkin' allowed
We get a nice quiet crowd
Plain as it can be..."  http://youtu.be/1JbiKAIognI

 (If you don't tap your foot along with this...go to the doctor because you might be dead!!)
I guess the point to all of this is:

I have spent a lot of time trying to think a certain way, act a certain way and mold my life a certain way...and for what?

To be accepted by people who are so absorbed in an alternate reality that they don't have a freaking clue about anything beyond the facade that is masking the kind of people they really are? (That's rhetorical, no need for real answers...)

 When you adapt to these "norms" you lose yourself. When you inhibit your expressive thought, and your humor because "jokes like that shouldn't be told in mixed company"... you hinder opportunity to bring a little reality back to a world that is becoming pre-packaged and disposable.

Tonight, I sat around a table with three of my closest friends and laughed about all sorts of things. Mundane things, silly things and off-color things. The weight of my day lifted from my shoulders, and I looked around the table at the smiling, jovial faces and realized... this is the world where I belong.

The world that I have created, and the people I surround myself with...this is my place.
The people who do not scold me for speaking my mind.
The friends who care very little about social etiquette, but care a lot about the condition of my life.
The people that embrace every fart joke or funny story like it's sage, life-altering advice;

They are the reason I have embraced my ability to be wildly inappropriate.

We sat and talked for an hour after our dinner was gone. Laughing, telling stories...embellishing tales long forgotten. When we were leaving, we heard a man at the table behind us say in a shocked voice, "He just said "Titty" at the dinner table!"
We might have said "Titty" at the dinner table, but by golly...we had our napkins in our laps and our elbows off the table while we did it.