Monday, November 17, 2008

a hot mess

OK, forgive me for my previous maudlin and idealistic posts about the election. I'm happy with the outcome and thrilled that the whole circus is over. I do feel sorry for our new president because he is going to have to clean up a shitload of a mess, and it won't be finished in four years. At least he's brilliant. He'll make good decisions and I can't wait to see intelligent press conferences again.

Being obsessed with the election was a nice diversion from my own messy life. I guess I've stopped thinking that life calms down and is ordinary and manageable. Of course the crappy economy has hit all of us hard, but it's the personal things that are really making my life hell right now.

My ex-husband, the millionaire, is still going forward with his decision to modify his child support obligation because he claims his income is "terrible." The $25,000 he spent on his 50th birthday present to himself - a scuba trip to Indonesia for him and his girlfriend - was, apparently, not evidence of any actual material wealth.

My current husband, Mr. 2.0, is borderline manic-depressive and is on a rollercoaster dealing with his 18-year-old daughter's unplanned pregnancy. To say that he does not deal well with emotional upheaval is to say that a thousand fire ants biting your genitals is a little irritating. He's a wreck and is impossible to live with.

My 14-year-old daughter is a temperamental hormonal mess trying to figure out her place in the world. She and my husband do not get along (see fire ants, genitals, irritation above.) They fight daily, and I am caught in the crossfire. There are nights when I dream that I have moved to another city, changed my name, and started my life over, and I am beginning to look forward to those dreams. Maybe even to the point of making them reality.

Is everyone's life this messy? Is life just a series of problems to be endured? Is marriage impossible? I don't know, and I've stopped trying to figure it out. All I do know is there are things in this life that I still want to accomplish, but the list is getting shorter. I want to raise my children and be the best mother I can be, and I want to make art, and I want to see a bit more of the world before I check out. I want to love people and be loved. Why are the details so hard?

Monday, November 3, 2008


I can't think about anything else but the election. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. This is the most historic election in American history and I am twitchy and nervous and happy and scared and about to burst with hope.

GO VOTE. It matters. I am voting at my son's school tomorrow and he is going into the booth with me because he is excited by the possibility of making history. It is his future I am voting for, and my daughter's, and all of the people I love who need to feel that love matters more than hate; that hope matters more than fear; that one person can inspire the best in all of us to come together as human beings.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shores,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"