Texas politicans? I can’t even.

Instead of writing a Seth & Amy-esque Really?! Really  post, I think I'm going to write an I CAN'T EVEN post. Because y'all. I can't even.

Rick Perry calls a new second special session because, "We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do."

I can't even.

You know why? Because I didn't hire you to send all your snakey cronies into my underpants to set up shop and make up rules. I didn't hire you to trample my rights as a woman. I didn't hire you to slice funding to women's health clinics. I DIDN'T EFFING HIRE YOU to thumb your nose at billions of dollars of health care money that could help the state not be ranked dead last in the delivery of health care to its population. I didn't hire you AT ALL. But you know what? You're still supposed to support me. I live in your state. I am not to be ignored. I vote. I have lady parts. That does not make me a "special interest group." That makes me a VOTER. And just because I DIDN'T VOTE FOR YOU, doesn't mean I don't matter. I matter. Everyone matters. So don't sit there and play your candy crush and laugh and joke and ignore people when they bring up a topic you don't agree with. You know why you don't do that? Because it's rude. No… it's not just rude. It's patronizing. It's dismissive. It's arrogant. 

I CAN'T EVEN.

Don't tell me that the people of Texas want another special session. YOU want another special session. Your cronies and pandering philistines want a special session. I think it's pretty clear what a lot of other people want. I mean, come on, dude. This shit you're trying to pull? It didn't get through the regular session because it's BAD POLICY. It's bad for Texas. It's bad for women. So trying to cheat your way through a special session to push this legislation through? That doesn't make it better policy. That makes you and Dewhurst look like you're trying to be the Emperor and Vice Emperor of Texas. 

I CAN'T EVEN.

I mean, really. I know that as Emperor and Vice Emperor of Texas you think you can make up the rules as you go along, but actually, that's not the way to do it. Actually, it's against the law to alter timestamps. Actually, it's sickening and so effing patronizing to say that talking about Roe vs. Wade isn't "germane" to a filibuster about, wait for it, abortion rights. If the republicans in the Texas legislature are working for "the people of Texas" and "standing up… in the pursuit of freedom" then why do you have to cheat to do that?

I CAN'T EVEN.

And, yes, I know a people's filibuster is not how politics is played. A people's filibuster can't be voted out of office because of gerrymandered districts. A people's filibuster can't be antagonized and pestered as it speaks for twelve hours. A people's filibuster is spontaneous and raucus and shows just how much Texans care about women's rights. You think last night's group of angry, passionate, heart sore women and the people who support them are a "special interest group"? You think they're a "breakdown of decency"? A fringe group? You know who made up the majority of last night's "angry mob"? THE WHOLE WORLD. Because it wasn't just the brave people in the Capitol clapping and singing and shouting and struggling to have their voices heard, it was also millions of people from all around the world monitoring the situation from live feeds and social media. It seems to me, when the whole world is watching and cheering on the people in the rotunda, and the people on the floor of the Senate chamber are the ones scurrying around trying to figure out which rules to break, one might want to reconsider who one calls a fringe group.

I CAN'T EVEN.

And don't go on and on and on about how you're trying to protect women and their safety, and how you're trying to protect the lives of babies. If you were trying to protect women and babies you wouldn't be slashing funding for health care. You wouldn't be waging a crusade against Planned Parenthood. You would be working to stop poverty not increase it. So don't get all high and mighty on me and pretend like you're some kind of benevolent father figure who just wants to put his big ol' protective arm around my shoulders to save me from my own frailties. You are the one creating the frailties, Governor Perry. You and your cronies.

I CAN'T EVEN. 

So, yeah. Let's have this second special session. Let's watch you and your cronies push through legislation that causes even more harm to Texas than the harm you've already wrought upon us. And then let's watch as a tidal wave of blue comes crashing over this great state. If this battle is ultimately lost, you better saddle up for the war. Because when Leticia Van de Putte said  "Did the President hear me or did the President hear me and refuse to recognize me?" and then followed later with "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” she wasn't just talking about a moment in a heated special session. She was talking about the state as a whole.

We will not be ignored. We will not be maligned. We will not be patronized.

We are not a special interest group. We are not fringe. We are not hooligans.

We are constituents. We are equal. We want to be heard.

When we go to all this trouble and we can't even get your attention… then maybe that's a sign. Heck, maybe it's even a sign from God (I mean, it does rain every time Obama visits Austin). Maybe it's a sign that you and your cronies are playing too much solitaire and not paying enough attention to what's happening around you.

Or, you know, keep ignoring us. Because I can't even tell you how excited I'm going to be when this state turns blue.

Truly.

I can't even.

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Crisis AVERTED!

I thought you'd all like to know that I was not murdered by wasps today.

Can I paint the scene for you? I want to paint to scene.

OK. Wide shot on the living room. There is no place to walk. The floor is covered with the detritus of a fort gone bad – sleeping bags strewn about, an upside down kitchen chair, an angrily discarded fitted sheet. There is also a random firefighter helmet, lots of crumbs from illicitly eaten snacks, a bent light saber, so.many.sandals, a half-empty laundry basket, a giant box that looks like a car if you squint your eyes, a baby doll with one arm, a dog, one million books, my crushed soul.

Now, zoom in to the wildly blurred scrum in the center of the mess. Freeze frame. Please meet the girl child and the youngest boy child. They are wailing on each other, as you do when it's summer and your fort has not worked out the way you planned.

End freeze frame.

The camera now does that shaky-style walk through the living room, bypassing the catastrophe that one might have called a "kitchen" in the days before it was filled with sugar ants and fruit flies and a bowl of chocolate syrup someone secretly filled and then tried to hide under an old Entertainment Weekly magazine proclaiming something about Bruno Mars and his awesome house. 

Through this wasteland formerly known as "kitchen" we see a pale, almost amorphous figure hunched in front of the glow of a screen. The camera hastily goes in and out of focus until we observe that this figure is in his boxer shorts. (Character note: he is always in his boxer shorts unless people are coming to the house, in which case, he puts on pajama bottoms.) The amorphous figure is currently banging keys and talking to himself. We can call him Rip Van Minecraft.

For a moment, I try to make the best of the situation. The camera catches a ray of sunshine filtering through the dirty windows. The sun lights up my face in a beatific housefrau kind of way. I put my hands firmly on my hips. I smile.

"OK, gang!" I say with a hopeful lilt to my voice. "Let's clean this place up!"

Rip Van Minecraft says, "But I have a suit of armor made of DIAMONDS!"

The girl child and the youngest boy child look up briefly from their violent scrum to scream, "NOOOOOO!" in unison, and then continue with their pummeling.

I take a breath. I think of my options. The camera focuses on my eyes as they glance to the ceiling with rapt decision-making concentration. I can ask nicely again, throw out some half-hearted threats, clean everything up by myself, OR….

The camera pans to the pantry, then pulls some CSI special effects so we can see through the door. Just like it would show a bullet piercing a clogged artery, it winds its way through the Costco packages of pasta and granola bars to find my hidden, beating heart: a stash of salted dark chocolate bars. Yes. I could go hide in the pantry and eat chocolate and just let the children Lord of Flies themselves toward either an early bedtime or an early demise.

But no. The camera reverses out of the pantry and shows me standing in the wasteland. The ray of sunshine is filled with fruit flies and despair. We can hear the screams emanating from the ball o' children on the living room floor. We can hear the grunts of Rip Van Minecraft as he patters away at the keyboard.

No. What Mama needs is a place to let out this growing rage. Because it's there. And like a shabby, hungover barista, I have only half-tamped this rage into a degenerating crumbly mess. We all know that half-tamped degenerating crumbling messes can only fill the rest of your day with bitter grit… and regret.

I need an outlet. I need to escape this place.

The camera slowly pans to the back door, peeking between the dusty blinds. There it is. EVERLAST is stamped across its side in faded, beckoning gray. "Please come hit me," it whispers. "Please come punch me in my face." EVERLAST smiles at me. "I love it when you pummel me. Just let it all out, sister. Let. It. All. Out."

My hand goes to the knob. I open the door with a twist and a yank because it sticks and the doorknob seems to purposely try to be an asshole. The camera catches the roiling heat as it blasts into me. But I just close my eyes and absorb the hit. I can be EVERLAST, too.

I find one sparring glove at the base of the punching bag. The camera scans the backyard and discovers the other glove planted in the vegetable garden. I crunch through the poorly manicured yard in my equally poorly manicured bare feet, and I fetch the glove.

The Rocky music begins to play softly in my head. The camera goes lo-fi, the colors of my hair and clothes deepening, spreading, seeming to become one with the heat. I strap on the gloves, anticipation building.

The camera's over my shoulder now, bouncing as I jog back to my friend EVERLAST. Then the camera pulls back, showing my sweating neck, my tanned arms. The lo-fi color de-emphasizes my blotchy coloring and suspicious moles.

I haul my right arm back, ready to let loose with a day's frustration; ready to wail on EVERLAST like the youngest boy child is currently wailing on his sister. But then I see it. I see them. The camera zooms in and focuses on two devils sent straight from Nature's blackened womb. No, not my sparring children… but wasps. Actual, flying, stinging wasps. They land on the base of EVERLAST. They climb inside EVERLAST. And they don't come back out.

The camera catches my arm fall to my side in slow motion.

Bitch slappus interruptus.

Because I know. I know. Where there are two wasps, there are more. And when wasps go inside a thing but don't come back out? It means they've gone home. Apparently, I am not the only thing who retreats to the confines of EVERLAST when the going gets tough. And just as I will freely and unabashedly run from my children when I'm terrified of them, I also run from wasps. 

The camera soft focuses on my sweating face. I take a couple of deep breaths. I unstrap the gloves, letting them fall to my feet. The camera moves to the garden. No, camera. I will not replant the glove.

I roll my shoulders, stretch my neck, feel a trickle of sweat zoom down the Banzai Pipeline of my meager cleavage. And then the camera follows me back inside.

The rolling tumbleweed of fighting children has come to a rest in front of the television. Rip Van Minecraft has stumbled off to find non-8-bit sustenance. I make myself an iced coffee and sit down at the table that, like a beacon of sticky hope, rests in the wasteland of the kitchen.

The camera settles across from me at the table. It knows what I know. My children might be loud. They might not listen to me. But at least they don't gang up on me and pierce me with stingers that then inject me with poison until I die.

And thank God for that.

Crisis effing averted.

Cut to commercial.

Remember the good old days?

We used to have these neighbors next door. There were so many of them crammed into that house I never could tell exactly who lived there. Long-Haired Guy, Shirtless Guy, Mustache Guy, Skinny Girl, Other Girl, etc. So many. They had a band and played Nirvana songs during the day. In the mornings I enjoyed watching a variety of Walk Of Shames parading past my front door. I would stand on the porch and drink tea, and a line of girls and boys would tromp by, wearing their ironic Linda Ronstadt headbands, and I would sigh deeply and remember what it was like to be 22.

At night, they'd leave the blinds open upstairs and as I drove up the driveway from a late night grocery store visit, or a trip to my critique group, I could see into the master bedroom which was furnished with a mattress on the floor, a GIANT Bob Dylan poster, and one listing green plant.

They were careful to never play their music too late at night, they always stopped to chat with the kids when we were playing outside… I was entertained and eventually charmed by the house full of hipsters. And then they all moved away.

The replacement neighbors seemed exciting enough. There were a couple kids close enough in age to a couple of my kids that I had daydreams of everyone playing kickball and eating popsicles and… yeah, no. The dad was a screamer, the mom never said a word. They moved away before I could snoop enough to know if there was something really wrong over there. 

Then other people moved in. A huge family, which again, made my hopes soar. But no. They never came outside. Ever. Well, no… they came into the backyard to scream at their pitbull whenever she barked. And once we talked to the dad because the pitbull knocked part of our fence down when she decided to try to eat our dog. (Not that I blame her. He *is* very annoying.)

Now those neighbors have moved and a new set of folks has moved in. They moved in under cover of darkness (from like 9 pm to 2 am the other night) so I'm not sure who they are or how many of them are in there. I almost ran over a young 20-something dude as he stood in my driveway, smoked a cigarette and talked to himself with frantic hand gestures. So, that's encouraging. This morning I awoke to find a string of half-full Diet Dr. Pepper bottles lining the sidewalk. This means they're health conscious, yes? Better than a string of half-full Four Loco cans, right?

You know, when we bought this house in this neighborhood, we bought it because the houses were sort of big and we're fairly close to downtown. Prime real estate for growing families, right? Or… not. Maybe we just live next to the one cursed house. Maybe WE'RE the nutball neighbors no one wants to live near!

I guess I better go make Mr. Talks To Himself In Other People's Driveways some cookies or something, but honestly, I'm a little scared to go over there.

To be fair, he's probably a little scared to come over here, too. Maybe he was in the driveway trying to work up his nerve to come say hi to the three tornadic children and the lady with the accidental bouffant hairdo. I mean, I could see how that would be disconcerting enough to require a cigarette and a pep talk.

Anyway, I love my house. I love that we overlook a small pond and that the wildflowers are gorgeous. I love that we can hear the train go by, but not so loud we have to shout. I love watching storms roll in over the trees. I love that we're fairly close to the city, and close to parks and taco shops and all the necessities of life. But I really do wish someone else with kids would move next door. Or that the hipsters would move back. 

I miss you Long-Haired Guy, Shirtless Guy, Mustache Guy, Skinny Girl, Other Girl and the rest of you. Please come back! You were so tidy and nice. I will buy you a Linda Ronstadt poster. I promise.