Literally it means “rotten pot” in French, but potpourri is one of my favorite Jeopardy! categories. It’s a little of everything, full of unrelated topics. Plus, I love how Canadian, and pompous ass, Alex Trebek always shows off his French with an exaggerated accent. Poh-pooooRRREEEE (with a rolled “r”). I watch Jeopardy!, one of the sure signs I’m getting old, but only when Odie’s not around. He’s like Saturday Night Live’s Celebrity Jeopardy Sean Connery, and keeps shouting “Fuck you, Trebek!” at the t.v.
So here are some of the thoughts stirring around in my rotten pot. Take that as you will.
I know that some of my readers are checking in to see if I’ll say anything about my nemesis, Kelle Hampton. I keep saying I won’t, but then I cave. I go back to her blog, skim it, and get enraged or inspired. Last week, she had this blog about a Catamaran cruise. Careful to emphasize that she and her husband NEVER DO THIS KIND OF THING. Remember, they’re regular folks, like you and me. Not rich, nanny-having-Naples-elite. She kept writing the word over and over: Catamaran. Catamaran. Catamaran. And every time I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. It was like “SHE KNOWS!”
When I was eight, my parents’ friends babysat me and my gaggle of sisters while they took a Catamaran cruise with friends on Lake Michigan. I watched the time they were expected to arrive home come and go and observed my babysitter as she tried not to show her panic to us. Eventually, I fell asleep. I mean, I really knew something big was up when the babysitter let me fall asleep in front of the t.v. This was some real, “Bambi, your mother can’t be with you anymore” shit.
Turns out, some strong winds on Lake Michigan had flipped my parents’ catamaran and they spent a while holding on to the capsized boat and waiting for the Coast Guard to rescue them. In my child’s memory, it was hours, but I know it couldn’t have been that long. Lake Michigan is “Titanic” cold, and they would have died. After the Coast Guard picked them up, they had to be treated for hypothermia and then drive all the way back to our little Chicago suburb, so I’m sure they were a couple of hours late. Felt like an eternity to child me, who already suffered from a pretty serious panic disorder at an early age. I mean somebody SHOT the PRESIDENT on t.v. that same year. The catamaran thing stands out in my memory as one of the biggest traumas of my childhood (I KNOW! Sweet childhood, huh?).
Miz Hampton’s chant of “Catamaran” felt like a taunt and a challenge, frankly.
And then there was her post about her very own “hurray for ME” spread in “Parents” magazine. She titled it: “I cried. In Walmart.” Subtext: see, I’m just like you “regular people!” I shop at Walmart!
The one-year subscription to “Parents” that came with my Boppy expired a few months ago, otherwise I’d be able to call my post, “I barfed. On my Mailbox.”
I’m surprised that a city like Naples which boasts 80 golf courses and is “the self-proclaimed golf capital of the world” according to Wikipedia (a source I NEVER let my students use for research papers) would even HAVE a Walmart. I didn’t read Miz Hampton’s entire post, but she wrote something about giving in to her daughter’s whining for Cheetos as she, Kelle, cried and sobbed over her own pictures in a magazine. Sometimes you have to throw some trans fats at your toddler so you can admire your own photo spread. Am I right, ladies? Can I get one up top?
A propos of nothing, Odie and I also entertained ourselves various times this week composing what we called “Poppa’s Grocery List.” For example: “Alabaster elixir that flows from pink nipples like mother’s love” for milk. “sumptuous spheroids stomped by our brothers in vats, comically by Lucille Ball in an unforgettable romp, whose destiny it is NOT to become a potent potable” meaning grapes. I invite you, dear reader, to join in this wicked game in the comments thread. Self-conscious alliteration, extended metaphor, and other purple prose required.
And this is not a “gay thing.” If it were, I’d refer to the “rainbow prose.” I don’t care who is gay and who isn’t, unless I’m sleeping with him. Carry on.
And speaking of the comments on my blog, one disgruntled reader pointed out to me that I am exactly like Hampton because I only publish sycophantic comments. I certainly do not publish comments that call my daughter “plain” or me a fucking asshole. Those came from two different people. I have, however, published some comments that are gently critical of my blog or that offer a different perspective. But yeah. It’s my blog and I’m going to decide what goes on it.
It’s nice to be able to control some things. I feel pretty out of control a lot of the time. I’ve been back to work for two weeks now. In many ways, it’s like I never left. Same classroom. I’m teaching the same class I’ve taught for 6 years (although not for the last 4). The students remain (sigh) stubbornly the same. 85% of them are delightfully sweet. The other 15% haunt my dreams. I’m pretty relaxed about Baby V in daycare now. It was a rough beginning. She cried almost nonstop the whole time she was there for the first few days. When I picked her up Friday, she was not only cheerfully coloring pictures in a high chair, she had NAPPED for almost an hour that day! I can’t make you understand what that means to me. Baby V has only napped for more than 20 minutes at a time if she were latched to my nipple. Until a few weeks ago, she’d taken every nap of her life in my arms. I lay awake nights for weeks before going back to work, picturing my devastated, abandoned, Attachment Parenting-parented baby in daycare, unable to eat or sleep. At first, that was exactly what happened. I felt like an ogre who had abandoned her child. A failure as a mother, in my duty to sleep train her. Like I should have put her in a crib in another room at six months old, like everybody says to, and let her “cry it out” while she was still too young to remember it. I just couldn’t do it. Happily, things are working out anyway. She had a bumpy start, but on Friday her teacher told me she’d done a complete 360. And since I know she meant 180, I’m thrilled.
Knowing my daughter is safe and happy takes the sting out of a Friday at work when you see the police coming up the hallways with the dogs, knowing from a “confidential email” that they’re looking for a weapon. They didn’t find one, and we didn’t go on another lockdown. I have only been with these students for two weeks. I’m not ready to comfort them in a life threatening situation, nor to supervise them as they take turns urinating in the classroom trashcan. True story.
In conclusion, it’s been a hell of a week. Odie went back to work, too. With our state in the toilet financially, we’re each looking at a 10% pay cut. We both have new administrations, and while mine is looking competent and judicious (see “no lockdown” story above), he has no idea what to expect of his yet. One thing is for sure.
We’re both hoping for one line on that stick.
“I barfed. On my mailbox.” Radness. Funny enough to balance out recalling this trauma in all it’s attachment disorder creepiness. Reminds me of another time, either right before or right after this, when Mom attempted to evoke empathy in you for our neighbor who had lost her mother by repeatedly asking you how YOU would feel if SHE died – which she asked repeatedly until little you burst into hysterical tears for what felt to me like an eternity. I swear I thought she had broken you for good. Great Bambi line tho. You know, on a lighter note.
Thanks! Repression and amnesia took care of the other memory. Phew!
There should be a “Bad Kelle writing contest” like there are “Bad Hemingway” contests.
“The day’s sphere of warmth and life peeked into the portal from the great vast wilderness beyond the concrete shell that plays bosom to our hearts and our lives – from which we suck the marrow, it dripping on our chins and providing the warmth with which we have been gifted.”
Translation:The morning sun shined in the window.
oh! and P.S. I hope that stick gives you the news you want it to!
Regarding your traumatic childhood, a wise person once said something about great writing coming from great suffering? sadness? I forget, but you know her, so you know what she said.
Regarding Ms. Ineedconstantvalidation, I think you should keep reading her blog because it gives you great material AND because then I don’t have to!
Regarding your stick, I just hope you don’t pee on your hand.
Cleary, I send you my regards.
*Clearly… damn rushing before class
Well, it seems anything goes here, so I’ll say it. You were around the age of eight when President Kennedy was shot? Or are we talking about some other country/incident? That must make you around 48 or something (apologies, its late and my mental arithmetic is poor enough to send me at least a decade out)…that would be a whisker thin chance surely when it comes to peeing on sticks. I don’t know the two line thingy so what you’re looking for I don’t know. If you want negative, I think you’re statistically about as likely as dammit to get it. And if you want positive, yes, well, good luck.
President Ronald Reagan was shot (not fatally) on March 31, 1981, exactly one week after my ninth birthday.
And I wouldn’t say “anything goes” here. I mean, I feel a bit bad that I’ve let some not-so-nice comments slip through. Some comments have been quite cringe-worthy, and while I don’t want to alienate my readers, I don’t want to appear that completely callous. It’s a balancing act. People have STRONG opinions. Hey, I think I’ll write a blog about it!
ah, I get it, you’re 38. I just read second baby dilemma reloaded. So I say go for it, although, was my maths worse than even I thought, I was only joking about it being a decade out you see. Eight in 1963? Were you?
38 is just not that old now to have a baby. It’s knocking on the door, but its not 48. Look at it this way, if you’re a great mum, then you should definitely have another and bless it with your parenting skills. If you’re not a great mum, then your daughter will need a sibling, at least let her have someone to comiserate with, someone to mope with now, and who years down the line will be the only one who understands why.
Either way, can’t lose.
Ah yes, I feel silly for not factoring in Reagan, I suppose we are fed so much about assassinations that I assumed you meant fatally shot. Should have remembered though!
I`ve been reading Kelle`s blog for a while now, and I can`t stand it! I go there because it`s like an accident–horrible, but I just can`t tear my eyes away. I`m so glad to finally see that there are other people like me who find her syrupy writing very difficult to read, her exploitation of her kids terrible, and her over-the-top, constant spoiling of the girls, sad. I really hate to see how those kids grow up (but I`m humble enough to realize that my own kids might turn out crappy too). What I just can`t understand is that she has all these people drooling all over her. Are we, as a culture, so much like dumb sheep, that we can`t wake up and see what`s happening here?? I`m confused. Anyway, I was glad to see I`m not the only one who is put off.
I’m not going to partake in the Poppa writing game because no-one does it better than the man himself – behold the following from Nella’s Birth Story:
“Oh my little Nella love…where are you taking us? In your precious purity you sleep in a world that needs to be reminded of the power of perfecting love–a love that perfects the broken, changes perception and opens the heart to everyone. I read these comments and weep onto my keyboard and stare in your soft smile…your expression that almost suggests you know. Oh, angel baby, take me to your light. I love you so. ”
Um…was he high?!
I don’t know how he does it.
High, definitely high!