Late Night Thrills

Be decadent for once, they said. Take your shower at 11:30 at night they said. It’ll be relaxing they said. Yeah, well, I wasn’t expecting an eight-legged shower mate who just so happened to lose his footing (I mean, really??) in the sudden onslaught of water or thought to himself, “Hey, you know what would be really funny!? If I jump on this naked human’s shoulder and freak her the hell out.”

Who’s relaxed now!? Not me. And I’m pretty sure not the spider.

Just for clarification … I did not, in fact, wash the spider down the drain. He remains in my bathroom, somewhere, probably muttering to himself and anyone who will listen about “that crazy woman” he just encountered and warning others of my existence.

Getting Ghosted Every Day … and Loving It

Well, everyone, she’s back.

As you may recall, Amethyst Realm, a reported spiritual counselor, has been in a super intense relationship with a ghost she met in Australia.  They have been dating six months.

I will give you a minute to go back and read that again so you’re up to speed.  Done?  Ok, let’s move on.

Amethyst can’t see her boyfriend, obviously, cause he’s…well, you know, a ghost.  But hey, she knows he’s there.

Now, as you can imagine, I have a few questions.  As a spiritual guidance counselor, is she counseling her boyfriend?  If so, isn’t that an ethics violation?  At the least, I would think it would be a conflict of interest. But, I digress.

In 2017, Amethyst was even slut-shamed for having sex with twenty ghosts.  One ghost, however, really tickled her fancy, among other things he reportedly tickles.

Amethyst explains in a recent follow-up interview that she and her ghostly boyfriend are going to be married and raise a ghostly family.  I personally haven’t received my invisible wedding invitation; still waiting on that one.

As for the ghostly family? Well, she has decided, in a wisdom far beyond most cantaloupes, that “phantom” pregnancies are fathered by ghosts.  Phantom pregnancies are, of course, a heartbreaking syndrome where a woman’s body begins to simulate a pregnancy that isn’t real, showing all the symptoms of a true pregnancy. There could be any number of reasons why this might happen, none of them good. Amethyst believes that phantom pregnancies are exactly what they sound like, phantom induced.  Amethyst has been avoiding her ghostly birth control, hoping to get knocked up by her ghost boyfriend.

Why would her imaginary boyfriend want to be tied down by an imaginary baby?  It’s a sure bet he’ll just disappear when the baby is born, leaving her with imaginary diapers to change all by herself.  She’d better get that imaginary ring, and fast!

On a sobering note, Amethyst really believes her story with all her heart.  She came clean after being dumped by a boyfriend, so one must think the break-up affected her deeply.  She has sworn off real men for life, preferring her invisible men to human companionship.  I feel her pain, but she has taken this just a step too far.

You know, I’m not even necessarily saying that ghosts aren’t real; perhaps they are.  What I am calling total BS on is that they would be capable of impregnating anyone (okay, so yeah, that might be an obvious deduction).

For argument’s sake, let’s just say that she’s right, and she does get pregnant by her ghostly boyfriend.  What an odd scene at the hospital on the day of delivery!

Nurse:  Here he is, he’s beautiful.  (pretending to be holding a baby)

Amethyst:  Are you stupid!?  He’s over there!  (points at the chair next to the nurse)

Nurse:  Can you have the father sign the birth certificate, please?  (holds pen towards the corner of the room)

Amethyst:  Are you blind, woman!?  He’s right here sitting on the bed!

Nurse:  Your total bill will be $50,000.  How would you like to pay that?

Amethyst:  My imaginary insurance should cover this, but if not, here’s an invisible credit card.

Nurse:  I can’t see the father’s signature on the certificate.

Amethyst:  Of course not, he used invisible ink.

The fun would continue through the child’s first year of school, where he was repeatedly marked “absent,” all the way to his prom, where his date cried because she thought he stood her up even though he was waiting inside the invisible limo.

Graduation would be tricky; the video cameras would only show a small orb flitting across the stage to get his invisible diploma.

Perhaps one day, he would meet someone, too.   He’ll introduce her to the joys of ghost sex, and the cycle will continue.

Frankly, Amethyst, I am intrigued and more than a little jealous.  Getting ghosted doesn’t mean the same thing for you as it does for the rest of us, you can sneak him into movies for free, and you don’t have to worry about washing his clothes.

Not to mention, your life is planned out perfectly with your ghost, and I can’t even get a date for Friday night.

Selfish or Self-Care?

It’s Monday yet again. It comes with infuriating regularity. Although Monday and I will never be friends – except perhaps after I win the mega-millions lottery – recently, Mondays, for me, haven’t been so bad.

In life, we have two choices.  We can devote our time to activities we love, surrounding ourselves with, if not exactly low-stress endeavors, at least endeavors that do not prompt the need for an impromptu intervention … or we can devote our time to fighting against things we hate.  Which is better?

Until very recently, I devoted my time, energy, and whole heart into a cause I am passionate about: animal advocacy.  What I’ve learned is that the nightmares never end, figuratively and literally.

I loved what I did, and I’m still active in the animal advocacy world, but I found out that devoting myself to it exclusively led to high stress levels that affected me physically and emotionally.  I stayed with the job, subjecting myself day in and day out to nightmare scenes I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and for a lot less money than I realistically needed to survive.  I was tirelessly devoted to my job out of loyalty and dedication to the cause, letting myself suffer financially and mentally for far longer than I should have.  At last, I had no choice but to change jobs.

Now, I work with food.  Yummy foods.  I work for a food broker, managing a variety of vegetarian and vegan lines.  I find my sleep is a little better; the worst thing in my nightmares about my new job is the rumored Great Carrot Revolt coming in the fall of this year.  My job is interesting, and I am surrounded by what I love, food.  And did I mention, I work with food?

It’s only been a couple of months since I left my animal advocacy job, and while I can sleep a little better now, there are situations and images seared into my brain that I will likely carry with me for the rest of my life; thank the Gods that be that my mental library of horror is no longer being replenished daily. I have no regrets about leaving the job behind, but I do struggle with a little bit of guilt for leaving the cause.

It’s a much better situation that I am in now, of course, and I find myself looking forward to going to work instead of wondering what fresh level of Hell I will be walking into every day.  Discussions about food are, hands down, much more satisfying than discussions about defenseless animals trapped in unthinkable situations.  Still, the guilt is there, an itchy spot in my brain that I can’t quite scratch.

I’m very busy every day, with a different set of jer … ummm, associates to deal with. But the worst abuse I face now is someone trying to launch a new line of snack packs with no understanding whatsoever of their target audience.  No longer do I face veiled, and not-so-veiled, threats from low-lifes who regularly exhibit sociopath and psychopath tendencies. No longer must I explain to a well-meaning donor that the world does not, in fact, rest on my shoulders and no, I cannot control everything and everyone. No longer am I faced with images that could very well be in a Clive Barker film … and not in a good way. 

Oh, the work is challenging, and I am in a management position meaning I have a lot of responsibility and must be on top of my game … BUT our meetings at my new job revolve around food, and who doesn’t love food?  We are all enthusiastic about our jobs, and our days are filled with delicious excitement, not horrible dread.  And still, there it is again; a twinge of guilt.

I no longer argue with the belligerently ignorant in our midst over why leaving an egregiously crippled animal to starve is animal cruelty, and I don’t have to explain, with pictures, video, and tales from the field, for the umpteenth time why horse slaughter is a horrific fate for any horse and should be permanently abolished.  I can go home from work and just “be,” like a normal person, without collapsing into tears on my bathroom floor over what I’ve seen that day.

I will deal with my slight twangs of guilt in favor of a life I can enjoy.  I am proud of my past work in the advocacy group, and I know they will continue to succeed in the fight to protect the helpless … they are an amazing organization doing amazing work.  I still follow news, with a heavy heart, and get involved in ways that do not consume my life and scar my soul.

I know that some would say I abandoned the animal advocacy group, but I look at it as self-preservation.  Sometimes, you need to accept your past accomplishments and opt for taking care of yourself.  It doesn’t mean you stopped caring; if you ask me, it means you care too much.

But, I Hope …

I saw this article today. It made me sad in so many ways … I could fill my blog for years discussing this topic. The writer, a special-ed teacher, explained, in no uncertain terms, that should there be a shooter at her school, she would not die for the children in her class as she did not want to die herself. She wants to go home to her own kids. She wants to be there for her family, her parents, her siblings. She wants to live. I mean, really, who doesn’t? She discussed at length how much she puts herself out for the kids in her care, how she worries over them, guides them, helps them … basically everything any good teacher does, that, to her, seems award worthy (okay, she didn’t say that, it was just my take on her tone).

However, when it comes down to it – when called upon to protect her charges, she would be hiding in the supply closet (her class’ go-to place in an active shooter event). Oh, not to keep the children who were lucky enough to make it in there with her safe, but to keep herself safe. She ended the article with a curt “I won’t save your child.” I have no doubt whatsoever that she means it.

I’m not a teacher. I don’t have to participate in active shooter drills or instruct a room full of kids on what to do in a life-threatening emergency. Ex-husbands and creepers aside, I’ve never experienced anything more threatening than a crowd-filled fight and being trapped in the perimeter … squashed in like cattle – no guns involved.

But.

I hope … I would sincerely hope … that if I were thrown into a sadly-not-so-unthinkable scenario, that I would do what I could to protect the children around me. Yes, I want to come home to my kids and my family … hell, I just want to come home to my dog. I have people who love me and count on me and I think, need me. Not counting those in my familial circle who would like to see me stick around, in a purely selfish sense, I do not want to die.

But.

I hope my ever-present compassion would come to the fore. I can’t imagine being in a situation where children are at risk of dying and not helping in any way that I could. I’m only human. Maybe if the time came, I would choke. I don’t know. I’ve never been called upon to do anything at all of greatness.

But.

I hope I could make a difference in this world. In my heart of hearts, I have faith that I would rise to the occasion and save a child whose life hasn’t even yet begun, whether they are mine or not, whether I know them or not.

Personally, the idea of slamming a door shut in the face of a child to save myself, not to mention a child that I see every freakin’ day … a child that I taught to read, a child whose shoes I tied, a child whose future I helped mold, is abhorrent to me. Oh, I can’t say as I completely blame this teacher for her way of thinking (I mean, I do, but still …). After all, she is living with the very real prospect of death every day, given our current climate of school shootings. So, it’s easy for me to say what I would and wouldn’t do as I go back and forth to my relatively safe job.

But.

I hope I would do the right thing. My intentions are there. Of course, we all know what road the best of intentions pave. It’s easy to say that I would jump out in front of a bus – or a bullet – to save anyone, let alone a child. However, when it came right down to it … would I make that leap? It goes without saying that if it were MY kids, that leap of faith would be as natural as breathing.

But.

I hope that when faced with an impossible decision in a horrific situation where kids were in danger, that I would make my own children proud … that I could face my death – or life – with the knowledge that I not just aspired to greatness, but truly achieved some small semblance of it through the life of a child.

I just know that when push came to shove, if I were the one coming out the other side … at the cost of a young life I, myself, could have saved and deliberately chose not to … well, I’m not sure there would ever be light or joy in my own life again. It’s certainly not a life I would want to live.

A Dog’s Love

Rufus’ only job is to love me. He thinks he has to protect the house from the mail carrier, the cat across the street, the leaf blowing down the sidewalk, and anyone who happens to walk past our door… those who have the audacity to knock must die of course, and if it weren’t for me foiling his plans, goodness knows how many notches he would have on his belt by now. But in reality, his only job is to love me, and he does it very well. The below is evidence of this.

I’m not sure whether I should feel guilty for leaving him out in the cold, as it were, impressed with his staying power (he apparently stayed this way for 30 minutes), or comforted at the idea that someone loves me so unconditionally that they would willingly stand guard awaiting my return from the bath.

Rufus the Invincible