Traversing Female Friendship


It’s fall of 1982. The grass hasn’t started to crunch yet, but you can feel that Cheyenne Winter is sitting on his suitcase full of snow in a vain attempt to secure the latches. His flight is booked. His car is waiting to take him to the airport. I’m wearing ginormous brown glasses with a butterfly decal in the corner, but I can’t see anything because I’m crying tears that won’t stop. There’s a moving van, semi more-like, out front, and I’m in my bedroom that’s been stripped of all its Holly Hobbie decor. The cheery yellow walls look like rancid butter. My best friend Monica is there with me. She’s crying too. Our parents think we’re being melodramatic. They think we’ll forget each other. Make new friends. Get over it.

I don’t. Not really. Not for a long time.

Our moving van drops us off on Rodeo Drive, and I start 7th grade. Gillette Winter hefts a steamer trunk and five suitcases. He uses a valet. I sport a Dorothy Hamill haircut, a gaping overbite, and freckles too numerous to count. I’ve replaced the ginormous brown glasses with even bigger blue ones. I make friends with the most popular girl in school. Being with her feels like bright sunshine and extra sprinkles. We have countless sleepovers. We take trips in her folk’s RV to watch motocross. We write pale pencil letters to each other with hearts and BFF4Ever sign-offs. I love her more than Ms. Pacman and the fistful of spare change I’ve collected to go hog wild on sour candy at the gas station. Our friendship lasts just over a year until a new girl moves to our school. Jane…

Jane sweeps in as Gillette Winter is bidding us adieu. She’s full of energy and gumption, but must know intuitively to ease in between us slow—like a worm wiggling to the surface after the thaw. She includes me in plans and adventures, but it isn’t long before I’m eating greasy, lukewarm tator tots alone at a lunch table. The BFF4Ever notes fade, but the school yearbooks come and I write in my own copy the things I wish they’d say, and then I sign their names. I attempt to write them all differently so they’ll look real. I even use different colored pencils. Some I sign in cursive, others in print. I write things like: You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. BFF4Ever is penned in dark blue ink under the ones I longed to be friends with the most.

I looked at it the other day. Most of the autographs are variations of my juvenile handwriting. The BFF4Ever hasn’t faded all that much though.

We move to our next spot at the start of 9th. I don’t care about Denver Winter—whether it has suitcases or trunks. How much snow it packs. My glasses have been replaced with contact lenses, which I babysat a whole year to earn the money for. Mostly the kid slept while I watched Porky’s over and over and over. Yep. The beginning of my sexual revolution included Beulah Balbricker. I digress. Pimples sprout up, but I deftly cover them with orange foundation that I’ve stolen from the corner store. My face looks like an Oompa Loompa, but the makeup ends sharply under my chin, so from the neck down I am a nice, normal color. I make a lot of friends. A LOT. We start out the school year snorting crushed up Smarties in the bathroom. But then we graduate to smoking pot in the parking lot during Home Economics. Every day. I have a source that buys me bottles of Bacardi 151, which I pass around at the football games. I carry it in a crinkled brown paper bag. At the time, I don’t see the irony. I’m popular. The multitude of yearbook signatures are all real. I want nothing more than that $100 sweater, so I get a job sweeping up hair at a salon and I buy it. I get fired for doing cocaine with my boss in the backroom. I’m fourteen. My mom sees my decline, and we hightail it out of there. I’m so devastated over leaving my tribe that I forget to pick up my beloved cat of ten years at a friend’s house. We’re a few hundred miles out of town, when I lift my snot-covered face and remember her. My mom won’t go back.

We arrive in Utah. I start 10th grade at my new school because I was held back in Denver for missing 64 days in one semester. My gangliness is abating, but my face is still orange. I sew the legs of my Levi’s so tight that they leave ruts like the Oregon Trail down the sides of my thighs and calves. I have to stand on the cuffs to pull out of them. One leg at a time. Homemade skinny jeans. It’s a small town, and I feel worldly. I can drink my new friends under the table. I still smoke a bit of pot. I’m popular once more. It’s not hard. I learned a lot from Jane.

I had become the worm.

Salt Lake, West Valley, Taylorsville, Mt. Pleasant, Fairview, 2,000 miles to Cleveland, other places I don’t recall due to the brevity of my stay…

Twenty, twenty-five, thirty-two, forty years old…

Sweet friends, loyal friends, fucked-up friends, mean friends, friends for a time, not really my friends…

My guy told me recently that as we get older we realize we really only have a few friends. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought about it for days. I had gotten used to having a whole lot of friends because I thought it would make up for the one I’d had to leave. It didn’t. I thought it would give me a cushion for the ones I’d lost from move to move. It didn’t.

I’m no longer the worm.

I’m 45 and content. Back in the place I was born. Utah Winter is bipolar. Sometimes it packs a steamer trunk. Sometimes just a duffel. My glasses are much, much smaller. Stylish, really. And they’re red. I spend 99% of my time in my pajamas with no makeup on at all, while doing work I adore. I’m a perfectly normal color. I no longer steal, or do drugs, or drink. The wild ways of my first, (and my second,) childhoods are gone. But Monica isn’t. Our parents were wrong. We’re meeting up in Atlanta this year. I’ve visited her in Germany, Colorado, Austin… she became a nomad like me, though she didn’t imbibe all the substance and strife that I did. These days when we talk on the phone, I can see her beautiful 12-year old face. Her freckles were lighter than mine, but she too sported glasses. I don’t remember what kind of decal she had. She’s holding up a dollar, luring me to go play Ms. Pacman. Her smile is wide.

Countless friendships. An abundance of amazing people, but only three or four have stuck like beautiful burs that latched on to me and dug in their spiny spurs.

I’m okay with that now.

It’s Okay to Be Big, Bitches


I’m having an anxiety attack. Palms sweaty. Breathing in gulps. Dark glob in my solar plexus. Checking Facebook like a freak. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

Refresh. Refresh.


Full Disclaimer: I’ve been drinking coffee for the past eight hours. But still, what’s with all the angst?

Well… I just posted something on FB.

It all started during a coaching call while I was taking notes on my giant Post-It pad as I’m wont to do. My client said something about getting too big for her britches and I erred and wrote “getting too big for her bitches.”

I was in love. What a novel idea. Getting too big for our bitches. I hung up the phone and went and made the meme below—snorting and guffawing the whole time. I thought it was, perhaps, the most brilliant Freudian slip of all time.

As soon as I clicked submit though, I started to feel anxious. What was it? Why was I so worried about a meme? My inner “good girl” went crazy…

…what if one of my dear friends thinks I’m calling her a bitch?

… bitch is such a negative word. It’s so derogatory toward women. Hey, subconscious, why don’t you make it okay by choosing actual bitches for the photo? Yeah, that’ll make it better.

… how dare I put something up about supposedly surpassing another woman? What’s that about? I don’t want to trigger that energy—that I would somehow surpass one of my kind. There are so many problems with that… “Bitches” gotta stand together. What is this? A competition? Ick. I would never want any woman to think I thought I was better than they are. I wouldn’t want them to be upset over any amount of success I might have.

Ah… and there it is, folks.

The crux.

That black, crusty wad in my stomach.

Somehow, if I dare to be big, my “bitches” (cringe) can’t be big. They’ll hate me. I’ll lose them. Gotta stay small. Gotta conform. Gotta be nice. Gotta be liked. Be a good girl. Kind. Gentle. Humble. Supportive. Nurturing. Fair.

Oh, dear Melanie, (and dear sisters), there’s enough. Enough for both you and I to be big. There’s truly enough: Love. Success. Joy. Money. Friends. Men. Or women. We can all have the perfect pair of jeans. We can all sparkle and shine. Indeed we can all be supernovas. In fact, when I shine my light it can only reflect onto others and cause them to shine brighter. That’s how light works, you see.

Postscript: Thank Goddess for punctuation, no? Otherwise the title of this article would read “It’s okay to be big bitches.” And, hey… no shame or blame if that’s your thing. Own that too.

For my visual peeps out there (Gulp):


Petition to End the Phrase “Honey-Do”


I stumbled to the coffee pot, poured myself a steaming cup, and put it in the microwave. Just like I do every day. I like my mornings to burn my tongue.

My guy was on the phone with his bestie making plans to watch the soccer game. Said friend was on speaker:

My guy: Whatcha doin’? You gonna watch the game?

Bestie: “I’ve got some honey-dos, but you can come over.”

My guy: “Better check in first to see if I have any honey-dos.”

Me: *Hair stands on end*

My guy: *Hangs up.* Anything you need me to do before I go?

The phrase “honey-do” drives me bat shit crazy. There, I said it. I mean… c’mon. Isn’t there just shit that needs to get done when you share a home? Don’t meals need to be cooked, dishes done, floors cleaned, gadgets put back together? Honey-do implies something special. But it’s not. It’s just every-day-stuff-to-do.


You may be asking why I’m bitching that my guy is offering to do some chores? Shouldn’t I just be satisfied? Aren’t I perpetuating the stereo-type of a nag mare nipping at his balls?

Nah. I’m grateful he’ll jump in and go to the grocery store. I’m happy that he’ll wipe down the stove a few days after he destroys it. He cleans the floors like a boss. I’m pretty lucky, truth be told.

I just don’t want to have to plan the awards ceremony when he does any of this. I don’t want to prepare the banquet meal. I don’t want to have to gather the plywood, hammer and nails to build the podium upon which he’ll stand to garner his sixty-foot award featuring a guy with a blue scrubbie.

I’ve decided to start a petition and I hope that you’ll sign it and send it to Obama, or your local congressMAN, or Cap’n Crunch. I don’t care who, really. Just sign and send it. Let your voice be heard.

Dear Obama,

Currently when a man does an odd job for his significant other a huge party must be planned which includes a twenty-tier cake with manly royal blue fondit, streamers in the color of his favorite sports team, a blow job, and various carnival rides, including the Tilt-o-Whirl. His favored dishes of some type of beast and tuber must be lovingly prepared while wearing a clingy shirt that reveals cleavage.

NO more, we say.

We, the undersigned, call on you to make immediate change to this policy. We ask that you urge our men to clean the piss-stained rim of the toilet of their own accord. Simply because it’s part of keeping a house and they’re the ones that peed on it to begin with. No more honey-do lists shall be made. No more questions shall be posed. One will simply look upon what needs tending and tend to it. No more awards banquets will be held. Let the phrase honey-do be banished forever. 


Honeys Everywhere

Next up: Petition to Obliterate the Genre “Women’s Fiction.” I can’t even go there today. Stay tuned.

Dear Women, Enough with the “I’m Sorry”


I went to the grocery store a few weeks ago. I needed a package of Almond Joy pieces and some celery. (Don’t judge.)

I had taken one of those little mini carts, just in case I got a hankering in the chocolate aisle. Upon returning it, I was met by a lovely woman unloading her groceries from her own itty bitty cart.  As I approached, she looked down and muttered, “I’m sorry.”

I uttered my cheerfully automated, “No worries,” pushed my cart to the side of hers, and pulled my bag of bliss from the cart.

And then I stopped.

Why was she sorry? She wasn’t in my way. She wasn’t even near to being in my way. And… even if she had been in my way, I would need to wait. She was there first. I’m not one of those creepy apes on 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was in that moment when I realized that she was apologizing for her very existence.

Maybe you think I’m exaggerating.

I don’t think so. It seems to me that women are constantly apologizing for just BEing. My rote “No Worries” made me realize that I’m so completely oversaturated by these occurrences that it doesn’t even phase me and I’m constantly responding with, “No worries” (a.k.a. = “It’s okay that you exist.”) To a dozen. women. a. day.

Holy shitballs!

Since I’ve had this epiphany, I’ve been hearing “I’m sorry” for weeks. It’s been like a symphony – from the woman at Target browsing for a new book as I stood next to her; from the gal at 7-11 searching for a sugar fix as I searched for more Almond Joy pieces; from another woman just trying to get out of the bakery that I was about to walk in to.

And… I just don’t commonly hear this phrase from men. Not that it NEVER happens, but in my experience it only happens about 1% of the time. In fact, just yesterday as I walked into the grocery store, a burly dude in Crossfit paraphernalia with three carts full of what I can only imagine were protein powder and bananas took his ever-lovin’ sweet time blocking six of us from being able to grab a cart and not a peep came out of him. Ten minutes later a line of twelve rushed for the carts as he strode past with forty plus bags on each arm.

Typically, I only hear men tell me they’re sorry when they actually have something to be sorry about.

So what is this, dear women? Aside from an apology for our very existence? Are we all hanging on to the adages of our childhood, “Be nice,” “Apologize,” “Say you’re sorry, Melanie, that’s not how little girls act.”  I don’t have a definitive answer, but I’ve caught myself apologizing all over town these past few weeks, despite myself. How many apologies have I uttered in my lifetime? I bet I can’t count that high.

And… don’t get me wrong, I’m all for good manners. Saying “thank you” and “please” and not being that creepy ape I mentioned earlier, but apologizing for book browsing or sugar fixes should just never happen. Ever.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, why do you think women are so quick to say “I’m sorry” when it’s clearly not necessary? Any theories? Any experience of this yourselves?

Aside from helping me to figure this one out, I challenge each and every one of you to stop saying you’re sorry. Unless you accidentally punch someone wearing Crossfit gear in the groin, then an “I’m Sorry” might be in order.


We’re ALL Crazy


I have a lot of theories floating around inside this noggin of mine. None of them are backed up by scientific evidence, at least to my knowledge, but they’re hypotheses that I ponder over when I’m plucking my eyebrows or scrubbing last night’s lasagna pan. Some are about how Mat Foley was the best  motivational speaker in history and others are about the percentage of probability of my ever being able to log on to the Obamacare website, despite how much I want to. I also have this one that has been brewing for a good fifteen years.

Hyphothesis: I think we all suffer from a mental illness to varying degrees. 

Wait. Hear me out.

I posit that we all have dabs, sprinkles or dashes of numerous mental illnesses. Remember when Gary Larson of The Far Side fame drew the cartoon wherein God sprinkled “Jerks” into the big ol’ soup pot of humanity? I believe there was also a canister of cray-cray added to said pot. And, if you know anything about making soup, you know that the longer it cooks the more each ingredient takes on the flavor of the spices. So… therefore, we’re all a bit whack.

Hypothesis proven? Here’s more:

The DSM-5000, or whatever number they’re up to nowadays, classifies mental disorders and has a whole slew of explanations on the signs and symptoms of mental illness. The key, however, lies in figuring out how much a condition affects your life. For example, let’s say you have a dab of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, which I do.  Does my OCD not allow me to function in society, does it, say, affect me to such a degree that I’m unable to perform daily tasks, or work, or live? If it did affect me with a certain degree of severity each day, and I was unable to function in my day-to-day life, I would be smacked on the forehead with a black stamp of OCD.

But, I just told you I suffer from a smidge of OCD, right? It’s not a huge disruption to my life, rather I’m like that dude in Sleeping with the Enemy in that all my soup labels face the same direction and are stored according to their contents. By no means would I place the Cream of Celery in the vicinity of the Vegetable Beef.  Are you fucking kidding me?  I also check my stove burners every night before I go to sleep. Three or four times. And I count while I’m doing it, “1 Off, 2 Off, 3 Off, 4 Off.” Yep, I said it. I count my damned stove burners as I attempt to turn them off (even more tightly than they’re already off – bending the plastic knobs almost to the breaking point) and I repeat this sequence a number of times.  If I get distracted by thinking “You crazy fuck, just go to bed” I have to start over.  And that’s it. That’s the extent of my OCD (well, except that I also use a straight-edge and level when placing things on my work space.)  See what I mean by a dab of a mental illness? A sprinkle of “crazy?” Like I simmered in the soup pot of humanity for too long?

I’ve also suffered from depression during a bout of undiagnosed physical illness. I had been feeling sick for years and I had gone from doctor to doctor to doctor and had test after test after test, but they just couldn’t figure out why my stomach was producing enough acid to clean the seaweed off the remains of the Titanic. I was sleeping for hours, showering once every four or five days when the smell was more than even I could take, and was just generally lethargic. My last visit to an M.D. resulted in a prescription for anti-depressants and I went home so angry I couldn’t see straight. Not because I didn’t agree that I was depressed, if you’re sick for two fucking years it tends to happen, but because that was the last ditch effort to cover my symptoms, ignore the root cause and leave me with no answers as to what was wrong.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I also have a dash of Body Dysmorphic Disorder or maybe Anorexia Nervosa, in that, when I weighed 107 I looked in the mirror and saw 130 and now that I weigh 130 I look in the mirror and see 170. To boot, when I hold my medium-sized Victoria Secret panties up they look Extra-Large to me. This doesn’t affect me to any severe degree as I still eat a bag of Almond Joy pieces every night before bed and have never been into purging, except after copious amounts of Stoli O, Goldschlagger, Beam and Jäger.

And… anxiety – forget about it. There was one point in my life where I couldn’t walk into the crowded bar I worked at and manage all the energy without six mind eraser shots.  Oh, and the blessed insomnia… every few years I spend a couple nights staring at the clock as I mind-fuck some situation that’s been vexing me.

It’s not just women…

And we all have these dabs and sprinkles of one thing or another. This renewed interest sprung up when I read Harris O’Malley’s article in the Huffington Post “On Labeling Women ‘Crazy’.” Women have been labeled hysterical for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, but I posit that we ALL suffer from crazy, here or there. Men too. I haven’t dated a single guy who doesn’t have his own infused bit o’ nuts – and not the ones dangling between his thighs, either. Being human is so complex and life is so full of experiences that are tough to handle. I always wondered, when someone I’ve known has lost someone they love, why they’re prescribed anti-depressants or sleeping pills. Someone they loved just fucking died. Are we not allowed to feel it, to move through that range of emotions that comes with loss? But, that’s a blog for another time.

Why do we view our morsels of “crazy” in such a negative light? Why is it called “crazy” in the first place and why the negative connotation? Define normal for me. Really, I’m serious. Define normal. I’m not particularly satisfied with Merriam Webster’s definition of “conforming to a type…”  Conforming? Ick.  My tinge of OCD has brought great benefits to my life, I’m super organized and able to bring order to loads of chaos (and I’ve never had a fire in my home, even though the boyfriend has left the stove burners on three or four times since we’ve started dating.) When I worked at a mental health agency for seven years I thought about this a lot. Sometimes, in fact, I thought that the mentally ill people I worked with might just be more “normal” than “we” are, as if the veil was thinner for  them.  On my very first day on that job I met with a schizophrenic woman, we’ll call her Pam, who sat down at the gray-specked Formica table in front of me, her Marlboro Reds pack dangling out of her front jacket pocket, and told me she was Pocahontas, only to insist, twelve minutes later, that I call her Bill.  While it scared the shit out of me at the time because I didn’t know how to react, I drove home later that day thinking… Hmmm, I wonder if she’s remembering past lives or if she’s in touch with the collective consciousness of all of us, like she’s all those people at once in a place where time in an illusion.

I’m not here to discount the severe suffering that many people experience due to mental illness. Rather, I’m here to own and appreciate every emotional and crazy part of me. I adore that I cry at the end of Love Actually. Every. Single. Time. I’d rather have five minutes of feeling every range of emotion, than to walk through a lifetime without that sensitivity to the beauty of life. I LOVE my ability to bring order to chaos. I appreciate that my bouts of depression allowed me to hunker down and hibernate and get clear about an area of my life that was supremely dissatisfying.  I could do without the dysmorphia, but perhaps I just haven’t looked hard enough for its gift and I need to buy different panties. Plus, my desk looks fabulous.

The Other Women…


I’ve just returned from an eight day trip wherein I was wholly surrounded by women.

Hence the blog silence and the anemia.

Mind you, I did have the briefest of contact with men – there was the barista who sprinkled nutmeg on the foam of my morning chai and the fiancé of one of my new clients who supported the two of us in lifting the heavy boxes and the two “handy” men who unclogged toilets at our venue, but that was it really.

This complete female immersion has found me thinking about women very deeply – my relationship to them, my angst around them, how I show up in the world as a woman and how I see other women show up. I’m pondering vulnerability, strength and transparency. I’m wondering why I’ve been bleeding for 16 days and if it’s because I feel the need to cycle with every. single. woman around me until the end of time.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop as I write this and watching two female friends embrace and say their goodbyes – they’re not back patting, they’re actually breathing, heart to heart, into the hug. Another group of women sit at a table nearby bouncing little man infants on their knees while they frantically attempt to connect – to say just a few words over the baby babble, to feel the feminine. I imagine they don’t see it that way. They may just be talking about sore nipples and the removal of skid marks from their husband’s skivvies, but it’s connecting with the feminine that they’re doing, whether they realize it or not.

Four days of this eight day dive into the feminine were spent at Mayacamas Ranch where we rented a mountain near Calistoga to take 35 women on a Vision Quest.  As the “handy” men steered quite clear, I was forced to sit amongst this sisterhood and deal with my fears, my past hurts where women were concerned, my jealousy and my comparison tendencies. I don’t know about every other woman’s experience, I only know mine, and I won’t share any of the details of this sacred time because I feel called to hold the container tight. But I will share what’s come up for me and tell you that my perception has been forever changed.

I have uttered these words in my life.

“Most of my friends are men.”

“Women are mean and catty.”

“I don’t trust ‘her’ around my boyfriend.”

And… you know what? Some of these things have been true for me at different times in my life. I have had girlfriends try to hook up with my boyfriends. I have been hurt more deeply in relationship to women than I have to men. I have experienced women who are mean, catty, and jealous and who didn’t particularly wish me well. And… admittedly, I’ve been guilty of those things as well.

I have spent many a decade comparing myself to other women, as well. “Oh, look at her, she’s amazing.” “See that girl? What a great ass, I wish mine looked like that.” “Wow, my cheekbones aren’t nearly as defined as hers.” “Look at her… she doesn’t look like a boy when she turns sideways.” “And her… she’s published her novel.” “What about that one, she’s beautiful, inside and out, how can my boyfriend not notice that?” Look at her… she’s (fill in the blank).” No where on earth has this been more egregious than on beaches everywhere during swimsuit season.

None of this is to say that I don’t appreciate women and what they bring to the world. I have actually prided myself on my wont to lift the women around me up. I compliment girls and women, to their faces and to others. I call out their beauty, inside or out. I really do want other women to succeed. I want equal pay. I steer clear of another woman’s man.

However, I think most of my life has been spent in comparison with them – in thinking that I’m somehow lacking because of their brilliance; that my core is diminished when I stand beside them.

Sadly, my story is that most of my relationships with women have consisted of my giving until depleted and not feeling particularly supported and replenished.  I think you know of what I speak – the friends who call to talk about their dysfunctional relationship for three hours. Again. And at the end of the conversation, right before they need to hang up, say, “Oh, and how are you?” And then there are the women in my life who haven’t wished me well, who didn’t want me to get the promotion, who got me fired because I was climbing the corporate ladder too quickly, or who tried to hook up with “my” guy.

We women have every reason to be wary of each other, but, oh, how I long for that not to be the case. I see a world where we lift each other up, where we refuse to engage inappropriately with each other’s partners, where we support, honor and nurture each other and meet up in red tents, and where our allegiance lies with each other – friends, sisters, maidens, mothers and crones.

I had that experience during those four days in Calistoga with forty-one beautiful women from all over the world so I do know it’s possible. The brighter the woman next to me shined, the more I wanted her to shine and was able to access the shine within myself. The more deeply vulnerable the woman sitting in circle was, the more I loved her and the more I allowed myself to be vulnerable. The more authentically a female spoke her truth, the more connected I felt with her and the more courage I received to tell my own.

And when a woman bled, I bled beside her. In more ways than one.

Politics, Schmolitics


I’m about to admit something very un-American.

I hate politics.

I suck at politics.

I don’t understand politics.

I think this began when I was five and I stood in the hallway of our single wide trailer, clutching my Baby Alive with the wet bum (the Baby Alive, not me), and had severe angst as I looked from my father in his recliner to my mom on the sofa. Which one should I kiss goodnight first? It pained me greatly. If I kissed my mom first, I was positive my dad’s feelings would be hurt. If I kissed my dad first, my mom would surely be devastated. I would stand there, vacillating, until one of them would get upset with my stalling. Little did they know the utter discomfort I was feeling as I strangled my plastic doll.

Get Your Fresh, Hot Peanuts

My next experience in politics came when Jimmy Carter was elected. I was seven and I liked Jimmy Carter. Plus, he liked peanuts and so did I. My sister even had a poster of him picking his nose with a caption that said, “Pick a Winner” on her fake wood paneled wall. What I didn’t understand and, frankly, still can’t fathom to this day, was how his State of the Union was wholly picked apart. Talk about sore losers. Dude won, get behind him. He’s there for the next four years. No sense nitpicking every word he says or every thing he tries to do.  But that’s exactly what happened and still happens to this day.

I didn’t understand it then and I certainly don’t get it now. Every positive step a president tries to make is “vetoed” by partisan politics. How does a president get anything done? How is any positive change made at all? Then folks bitch about how awful a president is doing, how they didn’t do shit during their terms, but it feels to me as if their hands are tied to the “skin of dead elephants.” (George R.R. Martin)

Perhaps I’m naïve.

When I was the ripe age of 24 I had climbed quite high on the corporate ladder and traveled to an acquisition in NoWhere, Nevada. I wore tailored khakis, pale pink Izods and maroon loafers because that’s what my sixty year old counterparts wore.  I was a hell of a go-getter but no more well-versed in politics than when I was five.

“Lovely Room of Death”

We had purchased a large outfit in Nowhere, Nevada and my colleagues and I met up at the previous owner’s home for cocktail hour before we headed to a steakhouse to dine and swallow bullshit.  I walked into this man’s home and felt exactly like Jim Carrey of Ace Ventura fame when he strolled into that “lovely room of death”. There were dead, mounted animals. Every. Where. There were swans, and zebras, and cougars, and tigers, and bears, Oh, fucking, my. There were delicate white and brown cranes propped up on their spindly legs. There were tiny black squirrels sitting on their haunches, their tiny paws reaching mid-air for salvation. It didn’t help matters that, at the time, I was chin deep in the study of Native American spirituality and immersed in the qualities of different animals and what they might teach me given their characteristics. I couldn’t say a word. I stood there; disgusted; flabbergasted; wanting to hurl and curl up in a ball of crying mass.

When I got the call that I was fired a few days later I was told that I just didn’t know how to behave properly in situations such as that social hour. I argued that I hadn’t said a word. “Melanie, you didn’t have to say anything. Everyone knew exactly what you were thinking. It was offensive.”  Personally, I thought the taxidermied mammals, rodents, and birds with their black marbles for eyes were way more offensive. But, yeah, at age 24 I didn’t have the ovaries to say what I wanted to say. Something along the lines of, “You sick fuck” and “Get me the hell out of this ginormous room o’ death”, but today, as evidenced by my blog, I’ll pretty much say anything. (Ironic considering I only have one dilapidated ovary left.)

I don’t really know any politicians, though I was among those who saw President Obama at a political rally at Cleveland State. (Swoon.) And… I got to see the chock full of amazeballs Barney Frank, whom I promptly fell in love with as he shared his views on same sex marriage at the hand-in-script series 8.

So… yeah, I may be clueless when it comes to politics and our republic.

But here’s what I do know.

When asshats say things like this, “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” (Rep. Todd Akin) I could lose my ever-loving mind.

Or this… perhaps you missed it, as so many have: “Last week, Paul Ryan gave an interview in which, defending his position that there should be no excuses for abortion, he referred to rape as a ‘method of conception.’”  ‘Cause we women prefer rape over condoms.  What?!

Wait, there’s more.  Rep. Tom Smith compared “pregnancy caused by rape to ‘having a baby out of wedlock.’” Yeah, ‘cause that’s just what that’s like.

I may be slow on the political uptake. I may be naïve. I may even be clueless, but I’m not gonna vote for asshats and I certainly don’t want Republicans up in or around my vagina.

While George R.R. Martin was speaking to a different issue there’s no better summation of how I’m feeling than his words, “The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.”  These recent ribald and offensive statements around rape fit Martin’s words to a tee. The only thing Martin left out of his statement was “the women.”

Protecting my vagina,


The Royal Wedding: Fairy Tale or Fucking Fromage?


I was driving to school yesterday listening to what BBC coined their “Royal Wedding Disco” when the DJ pulled out Journey’s classic “Don’t Stop Believing.”

I almost ran my little Beetle right off the road.

How apropos. You see, I myself stopped believing in fairy tales when I was fourteen. My mom had recently married a man who would wake me each morn by yelling, “Wake up and piss, the world’s on fire,” through the railing of my bedroom loft. I would roll over and wonder what my mother saw in this vile man whom, with bitter irony, would get so plastered drinking Milwaukee’s Best that he’d forget where the bathroom was and piss next to the coal burning stove. That pretty much put the royal kibosh on any romantic idyllicism that I had up to that point. Read more