Milquetoast with Preserves

(or listen here – my voice is weirdo as meirdo)

I slept fitfully last night, as on many previous nights. How about you?

Personal and national economic anxiety? check

COVID repercussions and it’s developing variants? check

Blatant inhumanity of neighbors? check

Perseverance of grossly misaligned boomer white supremacist privileged gaslighting legacy? check

Raising my sweet SonHerisme to face craptastic consequences of all of this shit for which he has zero responsibility in the creation? checkMATE

As one of my totally teenager niece’s says, “UGA.” (not a shout out to them dawgs, obvs)

I am proud that one of my representatives presented the impeachment articles. I wish there were more decisive and firm actions being taken or pursued – it seems like milquetoast consequences to this yogaball chair non expert (of course I am sitting on a yoga ball chair and now you know something more about how to frame your perception of me which is most likely accurate af – apologies and you’re welcome). Unfortunately I have very limited knowledge of how the legislative procedures work and even less super federal law knowledge. I have to count on my communication to my representatives as my means for fighting for our democracy. Or random texts to a former High School government teacher who has the *eye roll ‘n sigh* perfected.

These situations are all hard lessons with coping skills I honed during my challenging divorce. It seems so familiar to me to note we have entered a time where we must find our trusted people and count on them (see previous post). We have to do our own hard work of finding our peace and centering in it so that we can use our oxygenated replenished strength and rebuild the same of others around us. As we all saw in real time last week, emotions spread quickly, especially when they are passionate and unfortunately exacerbated when they are righteously negative in a mob frenzy encouraged by a charismatic narcissistic inhumane leader. Nazi much? People died, people were hurt, property was damaged, bioterrorism was used by the deeply disturbed mask/COVID deniers – ahhhh! It’s all too much really.

My separation and divorce were too much. We almost all got killed through the process (spoiler alert – we did not get killed… sometimes I wonder if this still ends with a ‘yet’).

In order to preserve myself and function, especially as I was an immediate single parent in a lethal situation, I had to recognize the truth, or rely on my trusted people to tell me what truth was/is. I was forced to define my boundaries while recognizing there are boundaries which are out of my control. Advocate for swift firm consequences when boundaries were inevitably breached. Center back into my peace. Repeat day after day after month after year.

For all of us, our children are watching and learning from us. Our parents who have been staunch systematically deliberately programmed Republicans their entire adult lives, are watching us. Which is ironic as GenX on down were raised to share, be inclusive, fight for justice for the underdog, and community oriented. Our trumpian and progressive neighbors are all watching and waiting to see what happens next. We can center and preserve our peace so that our children learn how to recognize the critical importance of self care especially in supremely trying times. This practice will allow us who are able to, take up space and advocate for democracy and truth in ways that we can control: with our resources (grab-your-wallet style), our time (writing letters to representatives, attending civic meetings, keeping informed from vetted quality sources), and our own personal commitment to things we are passionate about with firm boundaries in place.

Not everyone who commits or supports atrocities is held accountable or reaps consequences. See every divorce from a narcissist and the grossly disparate prison population statistics for example. Life is not fair, we already know this hard lesson. Our world is flawed, but we can love it anyway. This isn’t pollyanna milquetoast love, this is set boundaries with consistent consequences and preserve your own wellness, love. I see these pursuits as consequences for those who behave badly – consequences we can absolutely control. Maybe we have a duty to ourselves, our children, our community, our nation and our global community to preserve our personal boundaries and wellness. (article link)

At 12, SonHerisme balks now every time I mention love outside of my love for him which must never ever ever ever be mentioned in public – EVER never. “Mom,” in his newly deepening indignant boy-man voice, “why are you always thinking everyone is going around spreading love?!? Mando is NOT going to fall in love with any of the people on the show and move to the beach!” My response, “love is the thing that makes everything exist – everyone is looking for its signs.”

Below is an exercise prescribed to me during my most difficult and terrifying days. Most of the time I would come to a space where I would channel Oprah (I do not use her anymore, but thank you, Oprah!). She is what would get my car to park in a safe space, get my breathing under control and my body moving so that I could make that walk through the metal detectors into the basement of the courthouse. Maybe this will be useful to you too and you can harness your own inspiration if needed (like maybe Drew Barrymore or Rep. Katie Porter and sorry L, but I don’t think that Greg Davies will work here UNLESS he is literally walking next to you with a menacing face to keep interruptions away or to hand you occasional libation, an OB one might say – overgrown butler and now I’ve made a nonsense segue which has ruined the moment apologies and you’re welcome).

Look around you and see something very specific, anything, and make a mental note of it. Listen for 5 seconds and make a mental note of what you hear. Can you smell anything or taste anything? Make note of that. Find something you can touch and make note of that. Close your eyes and relax the inside corners of both eyes. Lift your shoulders up to your ears then gently release them down through your shoulder blades. Relax your jaw and release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Take a deep in-breath on a 5 count. Hold for a 5 count. Release that breath on a 7 count. In this moment you are safe. In this moment SonHerisme is safe. In this moment you can breathe in love and breathe out love.

If you can, as you can, go do the things even if the things are preservative rest.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. according to Chase’s Calendar of Events, yesterday was hot tea with a poem day and I liked that bit – the rest of yesterday, though… anywho #carryonpeacewarriors

Letter to Government Representatives

(or listen here and catch my mother & niece yell conversationing
with each other through facetime on the OTHER SIDE of my house with doors shut wth)

Feel free to copy/edit my letter for your use.

Go to The United States House of Representatives to easily search and contact your representatives.

I modified it a bit and also sent it to my state Governor whom I frequently disagree with but have much respect for. He might think that I think that we are besties now because I have been frequently writing to him over this past year. Maybe we are secret bff’s and will enjoy a post-COVID post-sedition scotch on the porch whilst watching dusk settle over the Potomac… I mean, anything is fucking possible at this point, right? Maybe Greg Davies will join us (for you, Liz!).

Also, just say, “NO!” to treason and murder please and thank you.

Letter:

Dear (person who represents me at the Federal Government level),

            I am writing to request that you do your duty as an elected public official for our country by officially and publicly denouncing the actions, words and role by current President Trump by impeaching him, immediately removing him from office, and once out of office, formally charging him with the applicable criminal laws immediately.

            In addition, I am requesting that you continue with your duties as an elected public official by impeaching and criminally charging all members of Congress and support staff who aided and abetted President Trump’s treasonous actions, through their actions, words, or supportive roles.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.” 14th Amendment, US Constitution

With President Trump and his entire staff leading the charge, these Representatives have

  1. Incited deadly insurrection at our Capitol
  2. Exhibited erratic terrifying behaviors
  3. Caused multiple deaths and harm to people and property
  4. Have lied repeatedly about the election, inciting violence

This is clearly and plainly seditious and treasonous behavior.

I do not envy your position and I applaud your courage in standing for truth and appropriate justice for the essence of our democracy.  This is not a short-term problem.  However, the initial steps to ensuring that we come together as a country is that we speak and honor the truth with very clear boundaries which have full and immediate consequences (divorce from abusers 101). 

I know that you can do hard things.  I know that you can do this.  We are all counting on you.  I believe in you and so does my 12 year-old and all of his classmates who are watching and waiting to see who the helpers really are and how they step up to these unprecedented challenges.

Sincerely, Ms. Herisme and SonHerisme who is 12

*******There are run-ons, grammatical errors and such- I am aware. Take it and make it better and send it to your representative too******* (two, three, four, who can knock it out the door? YOU can!)

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Hue Amour

(perhaps too soon, too much. mostly a bunch of us are idiots)
(or listen here)

Today I thought of a color which does not exist… it was just a pigment of my imagination.

Not mine, but funny in a sweet mommy joke kind of way. At least in my house it is classified thusly. Mommarificous Sweetiness Funniceums Totalis Occulus Reparo and all that jazz.

Often the things I am writing about are uncomfortable and may lead you to believe that I am full of gloomy doomy heaviness. Which, of course, I am because I am an adult human lady single parent who has had life experiences outside of the plastic Disney picture we like to sell y’all not in the know irl. Instagram much?

I do wonder sometimes how I missed the boat with falling into massive amounts of self destructive behaviors. It seems like it might be cathartic to throw oneself down into those depths of experience IF there is an opportunity to climb out triumphantly and continue walking on a NewPath of generally satisfying life experiences. That’s how it works – right? Was it the time I almost got us murdered? Perhaps I am doing self destruction and I am unaware. But, I have seen those movies: wife dies, husband goes on drinking/sex binge until he accepts grief and moves forward; husband abandons wife, wife goes glam/workaholic ignoring kids until she accepts grief and moves forward getting her groove back etc. Or my favorite (generous eye roll) the new blended family struggles of love and acceptance while the absent parent(s) possibly self destruct. We watched a family movie with the blended family element last night at the request of SonHerisme. It turned out to be a chest gut punch for me. I just cannot seem to move into a realm of possibility as far as establishing any movement with personal relationship. Maybe that is my self destruction, maybe it’s COVID. Well, anyway, who knows… I cry, mentally beat myself up while cleaning/obsessive list making, refocus on what needs doing (single parents doing the things), and, when I have the energy to, find something funny for comfort.

There is a lot of funny out there. A lot more accessible funny since we have been globally COVIDed.

David Sedaris, Mindy Kaling, Ken Jeong, Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, Burns and Allen, Wanda Sykes, Ricky Gervais, Amy Schumer, Ali Wong, Patton Oswalt, Katherine Ryan, David Letterman, Tina Fey, Tig Notaro, Stephen Fry… and so many more… added the next day: Greg Davies and Kristen Wig and Kristen Bell and all the Gregs and all the Kristens!

My go-to atm are Graham Norton clips with comedic guests – quick giggles, done. I recently stumbled on Man Down on Netflix. FUNny stuffs. Some of the comedies are hard for me because they’re all, “oh my silly adorable husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend did this silly adorable thing! Love makes the world go ’round! Smoochy smoochy!” (uh-oh, beast boy AGAIN) Yes, Teen Titans Go! is a very hilARious show, and does not pretend to be Spanish or Spanish adjacent for all of you hopped up on that ridiculous non-news news. The power of Teen Titans is great (for me, at this time in my wacky life).

I’m also up for funny podcasts. There is a British podcast where the comedians have people on to describe their ideal meal components. I cannot remember anyone’s name (host or guests) because my brain is broken and I am too lazy to look them up. You can google it if you’re into the ridiculousness of choosing appetizers, main course, drinks, desserts etc. There was one guest who refused to choose an appetizer because they thought appetizers were unnecessary. I am in complete agreement with this UNLESS you are a parent with a young child just trying to survive a meal you did not have to think about, prepare or clean up. Then, it’s appetizer order as you’re seated to keep that sweet baby satisfied and engaged while mommy gets a damn solid minute – maybe. Children going to restaurants is a whole other discussion. Appetizers in general – not for me unless it’s ordered as my meal. Didn’t you all see that South Park with the appetizers years and years and years ago? It really drove home the ridiculousness (as humor often does with hard subjects) of appetizers. You can google that too if you are interested, Kenny.

I love funny things. I love to laugh. I think we all do. I think we could all do with a good laugh right about now. What is your favorite funny person/show/podcast? Do not bother saying Talladega Nights because that is everyone’s funny already.

The illustration at the top is from a book gifted to me which I have carried from move-to-move-to-move-to-move for over 25 years. Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book, by Shel Silverstein (Light in the Attic, The Giving Tree etc). Every so often I pull it down, read it through, and laugh out loud because it is so very stupidly middle school humor funny. On the last page of the book he writes, “P.S. The paper in this book is not really paper… It is made from candy. The End.”

Perhaps this is my appeal to funny people to please make more funny if you can muster up the energy to do so. I subscribe to Netflix, Amazon and Hulu – so please let them pay you bazillions for your work. I will watch it and then send you a lovely thank-you note!

Sincerely, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps Substitute your device instead of TV as a fitter ending for this missive and possibly much more dignified than my selfish plea for funny content to distract me with moments of giggle fits from my reality…

T is for TV.

See the nice TV.

The TV is warm

The TV is funny

The TV is sad

The TV loves you

Did you know there are little elves who live inside the TV

The Elves can dance

The Elves can sing

The Elves can tell jokes

If you take Daddy’s hammer and break open the TV you will see the funny little Elves.

What will you name them?

-Uncle Shelby

pps my favorite (favourite) color (colour) is green (verdant)

ppps please, please, please wear a damn mask in public

HASHTAGing it (BOITT)

IMG_1857

I have everything and nothing to say at the moment.

Please check on your family and neighbors.

Please be kind.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps.  If you need a break from the heaviness, since you cannot snuggle and hang out with my sweet little SonHerisme, google “Greg Davies.” I know I’m woefully over-late to that party (BIOTT), but holy heck he is full-on funny! Sweet baby BeeGeeZus, I hope he isn’t a misogynist/racist/bigoted douche.  If so, apologies!!!  If not, you’re welcome! And if by some totally bizarre COVID induced Thanos-esque universe twist, you ARE Greg Davies: apologies and thank you for making me laugh and take good care of yourself – healthy wishes to you and yours!

pps.  Be kind and spread your love – we are all hurting and our family, neighbors and friends of color, extra systemically so. {{{Hugs}}} and courage humans #listentothem #startwithIjeomaOluo #thenreadStamped #thenreadandlistenmore

ppss.  BIOTT = Blame It On The Trauma  Admittedly a victimy copout, but there it is nonetheless.  I can take your judgement, don’t worry.  I happen to be an expert on that bc BIOTT!

I like you xoxo