Mother Caught Not Cleaning Poop, Pigs Everywhere Sprout Wings

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Hi.  I’ve missed you guys.

I’m approaching the last chapter of my sequel, and so I’m engrossed in, and bedeviled by, Lou and Sarah’s otherworldly tribulations.  I’ve no time for therapeutic trials and thusly: you, my magnanimous psychologist.  I’d hoped that by this point in our relationship you’d have completed the extra schooling and would be certified to distribute mood stabilizers…alas, we’re both disappointed and must proceed in love with unconditional forgiveness.

What have you been up to?  Any new tragedies?  Happinesses?  Family members?  My condolences and congratulations.  I’m here for you if you need anything.

I’ve been writing writing writing, with the occasional baby-Jack tickle romp and duo-daughter zombie game.  Rich was called, somewhat unexpectedly, to New York/Philly for a few trips, so I was left to tackle my demons by my narcissistic self.  I can’t say that I was entirely successful–I left more than one subversively nasty text message–but I made it through without spontaneously combusting, so I consider it a win.

In between trips, Rich ordered me a night out with old friends.  Before you send him an edible arrangement, understand this: if he doesn’t do these spontaneous generosities, he’ll one day come home to find that I’ve been asphyxiated by a pile of laundry, my children gripping my rigor mortised extremities, pleading for one more handful of twizzlers before bed.  And who would be left to care for three sticky hyenas?  So put down your pom pons.  It’s self preservation.

So at midnight I put on something I hoped was sexy, got in the car and hightailed it to the nearest latin club with my friends Samantha and Chris.  It was a glorious reunion, made golden by the appreciative flirtations of my most affected audience: latinos.  If only Ohio State Greek row had been populated by the same matrix, I might have had a chance.  White boy noa speaka mya language.

So I danced my vodka off and had a blast.  It was a huge sacrifice on the part of my Samantha, who had to work early the next morning.  Everyone stop what you’re doing and shout THANK YOU, SAM!! for me.  She’ll love it.

Anyway, wish me luck with the book.  I channel reciprocation to anything for which you need good thoughts.  Talk to you guys soon.

I Met Fred Krueger

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Imagemisfitthemonkey:  Do you believe in magic?

I believe that–when I have a horrific daymare about the kids–when I close my eyes and focus every ounce of myself on their safety, something is happening.  

During a particularly anxious year in my early twenties I came across an Oprah’s list-type self-help book.  I don’t promote or warn against self-help lit, but I’ll just say this: a lot of these people are just trying to make a buck, so be careful what you take to heart.

Anyway, I remember one passage in which the author detailed an anti-stress technique.  I’m sure it’s in a family of a hundred identical siblings, so this may not be new to many of you.  But it’s the one I read and so the one that I picked.

I isolate body parts, starting with my toes.  I imagine particles of anxiety shapeshifting into a gold-flecked orb that gets bigger and bigger as it passes–first through my toes, to my calves, my thighs, my belly, and so on.  And then up and out the top of my head (or my eyes).  It floats there for a second, an undulating, glittery disco ball, then flashes away into a billion sparkling lights.  

Weird?  Ok, maybe.  But I promise that I feel that orb make its rounds through my body.  It doesn’t take me long–I don’t meditate, or anything–but when it’s out above my head my eyes are tingling, the top of my head is tingling, and I swear that my room is bathed in contented shimmer.  

I think that’s magic.  

bellas0_0: Why don’t you like vampires?

Hold the phone.  I LOVE vampires.  

I took an Intro to Slavic class (you’ll find that in the H’s, under ‘How to Waste Your Parents’ Money’) my freshman year.  During orientation, I was stumped on what to choose for my last three credits.  The student guide literally said, ‘Well, do you like vampires?’

I was like, ‘Are you high?  Who doesn’t like vampires?’

And so he introduced to me my final choice.  

This was in 1998, well before Stephanie Meyer wrote an effeminate, pedophiliac prototype fit for the clutches of today’s One Direction obsessorship.   

I adore the vampire archetype, and I am forever changed by the vehemence with which that professor detailed its permeation into all aspects of consumerism.  The way we bleed and feed from fame, subliminal influence, promises of wealth.  We get bitten by those that count, and live our lives sucking on the bloody teat of reality tv, gossip mags, frenemies, etc.  

Too much?  I’m sorry, yes: I like vampires.  I really really liked the vampires of L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries, back in 199something.  I haven’t watched the show for the simple reason that Elena is supposed to be blonde.  

Betsy from Bedford: You had a lot of nightmares growing up.  Why?

Simple.  Fred Krueger.  He was my boogeyman.

mojojojo24:  Who’s your favorite villain?

I swear on everything that is holy, I am not blowing smoke.

Mojojojo.  

 

I’m sorry to those inconvenienced by my email delay.  Questions should be sent to : raylitt@raylitt.com.

 

Suck My Toe And Write Me Poetry

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I watched Girls today on DVR (is there any other way to watch anything?) and I loved it.  Particularly the last scene, in which Adam and Hannah are taking a bubble bath together.  I can’t think of a better way to close out the day.

I’m in love with Adam, of course.  For the same reason I was in love with Jordan Catalano, Pacey Witter and Dylan McKay: because I’m easy.

I know these people don’t really exist.  But I see Adam and Hannah and I’m like, ‘you see?  That’s Rich’s problem.  He’d never recite broadway lines while sucking on my big toe like that.  Because he’s a terrible human being.’

So, ok.  Eff the entertainment industry for plastering photoshopped anorexics on magazines and showing us how to best dress a ‘curvy’ figure.  Or Satan’s porthole stillshots of Mila Kunis without makeup.  Yes, it’s awful.  We have a lot of work to do for our children to navigate these silicon waters and make it to shore without an eating disorder.  Ok.

But what about the guys?  How on earth can they match up to Adam tearing out of his tortured soul apartment, FaceTime sprinting through the city and scooping Hannah to safety?  They just can’t.  At best my man can surprise me with a Dunkin Donuts coffee in the morning, and already by then I’m cursing his name for not leaving on my bedside table a charcoal portrait of me sleeping.  Maybe adorned with a burgundy tulip and a note that reads: left early to hit the gym before catching a few waves.  Don’t be alarmed if I don’t answer the phone on the first ring, I have to stop at the studio after my meeting with the executive team at my law firm.  Also, I have another brain surgery scheduled this afternoon.  I’ll be home in time for dinner, but don’t worry about cooking: I’ll pick up some chinese and then we’ll make love in the room that overlooks the ocean.  I’ll pull your hair like you like, then we’ll read together by the fireplace while it snows outside and then maybe a midnight dip in our rooftop infinity pool.  I love you, my love.  

P.S.:  I know that you’re capable of supreme professional success, but that you stay at home with the children because we both agree it’s best for the family.  I admire everything that you do, and I know that you could do everything better than me if you had the time.

P.P.S.: There are warm cookies in the oven.

So fine, Rich.  I’m sorry.  But here’s a general note to men everywhere: those of us who can peruse the latest IN TOUCH without a pair of sweatpants and a bucket of chocolate chip cookie dough are strong women indeed.  Let’s make a deal: we’ll stop needing to have sex in the dark because we know you don’t give a sh*t about our thigh cellulite…IF you don’t labor around the house like an extra on the Walking Dead.  Voice to us those original thoughts you keep hidden in that barbarian lockbox.  Tell us what you think about the movie you saw last week.  Ask us where we want to go on that family trip we’re never going to take.  Answer the stupid questions we ask you all day, just to keep the conversation going.

We both have perfect versions of ourselves we’ll never realize.  Will you ever be as strangely sexy as Adam?  No.  But you’ve got your own magic in there we’re dying to see.

I Hate My Kids Sometimes, Too

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ImageYesterday we had the family over to celebrate Jack’s first birthday.  This is not what my post is about, but not mentioning his chubby thighs or the way he annihilated his Publix cupcake is like not succumbing to gravity.  Here forward I will persevere, because I am a strong woman and I’m dedicated to making your time with me a little more thought-provoking.  

I had a conversation yesterday about spanking.  I have ‘spanked’ my kids, if by ‘spanking’ you mean tapping your daughter on the thigh and then apologizing profusely and clutching her through the night like the devil will pluck her away at any moment.  

What I do instead is the momiversally understood one man show of ‘good cop, bad cop’.  I’ll explain.

I am usually VERY patient.  I have a decent tolerance of youthful rascality, and I’m not overly razzled when they make a mess.  But SOMETIMES.  Sometimes I go bad cop.

I warn my kids well before it happens.  I say calmly, ‘Do you want Mommy to go crazy?’, and it works nearly every time.

Because what Crazy Mommy has is a banshee shriek that can conjure the spirits of a hundred mass graves of cruelly tortured incubi.  

I throw things and sometimes break them.  I do this hit-the-bed thing during which I throw my entire body weight into my forearms and pummel the comforter repeatedly, screaming.  I catch between-undulation glimpses of my children in a corner, palms out to fend off a debris twister of linen and demon spittle.

This doesn’t translate well as a moment of clarity and restriction.  But the day I don’t tantrum is the day that I sell my children on Ebay.

Because let’s be honest.  Sometimes I hate my kids.

Some people hit their kids.  I’ve yet to understand what the benefit is.  I know it’s not black and white, that there are levels of spanking, so I’m not ready to say that a little spanking isn’t maybe okay.  But I suffer a serious deal if I think my kid is sad or hurt.  I don’t know how people do it. 

This goes both ways.  I can’t help but be annoyed by the other kind of mom.  I watched a parent say something like this when her daughter put a toy in the wrong indoor playground bin:

‘You need to understand that there are consequences for your actions.  Do you see that you have done the wrong thing?’

I don’t think this is bad, of course.  It’s effective–I’ve used it myself.  But for putting the toy away incorrectly?  I’d be saying that line all day.  I think my issue was with her in general–she was never really comfortable with the kid.  Like, ‘I think we should go in the other room, okay? No? Baby do you want to go in the other room now, sweetie? I think we’re done in here, yes? Mommy wants to leave this room.  Ok, apple of my eye, when you’re done with this puzzle.  You take your time, second coming of Christ.’

Every italicized word was an octave higher than the rest.  It was so insincere.  What’s wrong with grabbing an arm and a leg and throwing the kid in the other room?  Who has the time to compromise on everything?

Anyway, the other mom in my conversation was a spanker.  So it was an interesting conversation for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is What I’m Wearing Right Now

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pink8pink: Would you ever feature a gay protagonist?  

I wouldn’t not feature a gay protagonist.  I’d have to do a whole lot of research and life-intruding if I did.  You’re supposed to ‘write what you know’, right?  I think that to be gay is a complicated thing.  I can’t just jump into a gay person’s head.  I can say that I’ve battled with different social stigmas, and maybe that I have a pinprick of understanding when it comes to depression or body image struggles, but not being gay.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying that being gay is a disorder.  Nor do I think that we love differently.  I just think that to be openly gay is to face a sometimes very cruel world, and I don’t know that specific cruelty.

I just watched Ellen Page coming out at HRCF’s Time to Thrive Conference.  She is a delicate, eloquent, funny little thing.  I cried like a baby when she finally said it.  With all of her success, her beauty, her steadfast offthegrid-ness, it’s incredible to think that she was suffocating.  I can’t at all imagine having to pretend to be someone I’m not, in such a deep deep way.

We all hide.  There is a yacht-load of stuff I’d never tell my parents, some things I’ve tucked away from even myself.  But think about all those little moments in life: pencil-borrowing, brushing up-againsts, hall-following…they all lead to that one gloriously horrendous first kiss.  First hand hold.  First date.  All of the in-between stuff–aside from being fodder for future literary pursuits–come to head after head.

We (straight people) have outlets through which to burn off all that steam.  In the open, where friends can laugh at and/or celebrate us and then move on. Can you imagine not having that outlet?  To be guarding a catacomb of confusion, pride, bravery, anger?  I can’t at all pretend to understand and communicate that.  For me it’d be like having a ululating werewolf very near my surface.  I’d act out in so so many ways. I can’t begin to touch the courage it takes to come out, even today.

Hooray for people like Ellen Page, who make it clear that even with a safety net of fame and image consultants it’s a damn hard thing to do.

abbracadabrianna: Do Talula and Jake get married?  Is Jake like your husband?

I love that you call her Talula.  Sometimes I forget that she’s not just ‘Lou.’

I’m not going to spoil anything, but things in Water’s Edge are not hunky-dory.  I hope that their relationship can withstand everything.  Let’s just say that I’m head over heels in love with Jake, so if they do get married I’d better be the maid of honor.

Jake isn’t exactly like my ‘husband’.  What they do share is loyalty to honesty and family, as well as my eternal thanks and devotion.

Ronnie from Dublin: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

Everyone I write is either what I like or don’t like about myself.  I like to think of it as therapeutic narcissism.

A lot of their actions and physical descriptions come from people I see out and about.  I met a guy at a gas station yesterday who’s now a ghost in a short story.  The Publix guy who asked me if I saw KISS in concert (because I was wearing a band tee because I’m that kind of person)?  He’s going in today.  Come by the Boca Starbucks in about an hour–I’ll throw you in, too.

kokomopelli: What are you wearing?

The same dress that was the catalyst for my last post.  Because even with a closetful of new items I still can’t figure out what the hell to wear.

Acid-Washed Delight

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I’m having the hardest time writing today.

My brain is trying to escape through my eyeballs, all of my children are coughing up mini lungs, Rich has blown his nose so many times and too closely to me that I think I’m going to start looking for a new boyfriend.

So I’m angry at the world.

Three seconds ago I decided screw you guys, I’m not blogging today.  In defiant downcast mode, my eyes met the neckline of my new dress, and Voila!  Blogpost.

You don’t care about my new dress?  That’s fair.  But it’s the only thing keeping me afloat today.

I want to tell the five of you who don’t already know this: the 80s are back.   I know, it’s nuts.

I’ve seen it here and there–acid washed jean shorts, high-waisted pleat pants, flower print–but I thought those were the weird cool kids.  Little did I know: EVERYONE is dressing like this now.

A few days ago I made a stand.  Fist to the heavens and shorts of a kid ago lodged in a fat roll, I vowed never to spend another moment crying in my wardrobe.  I ridded it–maniacally–of its atrocities, donned one of my mom’s handmedowns (about which I get the most compliments) and headed out mission: Restock.  I started at, where else?  Forever21.

Now, I don’t know if Forever21 is different in Boca.  It is at a mall at which half of the patrons are genetically effed-up pedigrees in strollers and whose parking lot has its own detailing service, so whatever.  This Forever21 is packed TWO FLOORS deep in 80s regalia.

I’m very much digging this punky 80s redo.  Bodysuits, tie dye, mismatched neons?  I’m for it.

In high school and college I wore strange things under the guise of not giving a sh*t.  Really I just hated my thighs, so I wore things to detract attention.  Who knew that a ladybug backpack and pleather trench coat attracted attention?  Hm.

Now that I’ve embraced my fertility-goddessness (some might call it my ‘Iletmyselfgo-ness’) I have a lot more fun with trends-of-the-minute.  I still don’t know why stores don’t pay top dollar for proper fitting-room lighting, but I can laugh at myself.  And I really think that curvy is in these days, so I’m not at a loss for spending money.

So I did just that.  I got a drapey, glorified sweatshirt, two graphic tees (I’d love to make fun of them with you, but I have Target band tees so I’m a tool) and the same dress I probably threw away twenty years ago.  I can wear boots with all of them and no one will look at me funny.  Because it’s the…um…00s?  The double Ohs? the oooohs?  the 2000s?  Whatever, it’s the 80s again.

A few throwbacks, both circa 1992.

My Miami going-away party:

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Me getting ready for a bar mitzvah.  AFTER I did my hair:

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Hot, right?

Pooping On the Table (and Other Such Love Stories)

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Yes, I’m moving aside my gargantuan breast to give him some air.  Stop laughing and focus: it was a year ago on the twentieth that Jack tore open my body and came into this world.

So many people said, ‘Ooooh, I bet he’ll be a Valentine’s baby!’ that I started carrying a shiv.  I wanted to hear nothing of it.

About midpregancy a coworker–having developed a twitch from being shackled to her cubicle and forced to listen to me complain every day–said to me, ‘I think this will all go away.  All pregnant girls hate one person.  You’re just projecting.’

After fitting the shiv into her jugular, I figured she might have a point.

As I’ve mentioned (via self-deprecation and selfie documentation), I was desperate for Rich before he knew I existed.  Sure, factor in my failed marriage and tricenarianism and it’s no surprise that I latched on to the first person I came into casual contact with.  Regardless, I fell hard.

And then POOF, it was gone.  Everything from having acne in 5th grade to not wooing a lit agent was Rich’s fault.  And the poor dear kept coming back for more.

I told him I wouldn’t allow him in the delivery room.  I said that to see me, a behemoth, spread-eagled in florescent lighting was an intimate adventure.  And we were not intimate.  He was DEVASTATED.

But after a few gyno visits and sanity checks (and tsk tsk-ing from my mother) I changed my mind.  So in the car we together went, that morning that Jack f*cked me over and didn’t wait for our scheduled C-Section.

Rich was a complete doll.  He held my thigh gently against my cheek, turned away when I pooped on the table, and quietly supported me when I was out of my gourd over the thought of using forceps.  His perfection didn’t stop there.

He wasn’t scared to hold a newborn, he nurtured me through the miserable 4th-degree-tear recovery, and paraded my fat ass around town like I was a trophy wife.  His pride was unconditional.  Luckily, because I couldn’t get one thigh in front of the other without donning anti-chafing equipment.  It was ludicrous.

So here I am today, making his life miserable one nag-filled day at a time.  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.  And Happy Early Birthday, Jack Attack.

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Also, please check out Jack’s bday invitation.  Rich doesn’t like it.  I think it’s genius.

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