The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.

Spoon Man

 

Did you know that God has an amazing sense of humor?  Well, He does-and I share that with Him; however, the joke is almost always at my expense, and today?  Well today was no different.

It’s about one hundred degrees in the shade, and muggy as hell.  I detest this weather, however, the dog needs to be walked-and I am a glutton for punishment.  Been that way since I was a wee toddler, asking questions that had no answer, (Mary Lou did not take kindly to my constant questioning of everything) packing my Barbie suitcase in defiance-I would run to the Teany’s house-hey, they had one of those pianos that plays by itself, and their home was SO cozy-usually because my real mom was locked in the linen closet.

As a child, I was convinced that Marilyn Monroe was my real mother.  When mom got cranky?  I told myself that Marilyn would come and find me one day-and then she’d pay, oh yes, my mother would pay the price for causing me discomfort.  🙂

So, I’d run to the neighbor’s house, beg for cookies, unpack my suitcase (various crayons and doll heads, no body, just heads) and revel in my independence for the entire ten minutes it took for me to be retrieved-I cried every time Mrs. Teany called mom-I wouldn’t get my cookies, and needless to say?  Mom was not the happiest camper when finding herself interrupted by her freakishly brazen daughter.  I was four, for Pete’s sake.marilyn monroe

Back to our :  I drove down to the lake, thinking it would be cooler, and parked.  The fishing guy was there, of course, as he was every morning -grumbling about the lack of bites; ornery but sweet as they come.

I haven’t been down here in awhile.  Last time I saw a snake!!!”

And indeed I had.  The rat bastard hid under a bush, just waiting for some dumbass to come along-then he’s make his move.   That’s right-and I ran like a cartoon character, as fast as my legs would carry me.  I run from twigs that look like snakes as well, and, praise GOD, people don’t usually hear my screaming-a bit like a Tourette’s patient on crack- I have a really big mouth.

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Okay…I always have to pee on our hikes.  I have no problem with modesty (who hasn’t seen a naked hiny?????) but try to plan my spot strategically, avoiding any embarrassment, for the poor fool who finds me squatting.  I came to the perfect tree that would bear my weight, and got down to business.  The only problem?

The fucking mosquitoes saw that gimongous bullseye and went for it-right in between my ass cheeks, they held a bar mitzvah and talked amongst themselves.  Only I didn’t notice until I had resumed hiking.  I tried, like hell, to itch my buttocks-but my shorts were too tight.  That didn’t stop me from repeatedly pinching the area, looking for relief from the painful itch.  I tried to move faster, but it was an entire process folks.

And then it hit me.  This is a job for….SPOON MAN.  Why those words?  I have not one clue, but I can tell you that the picture in my head of some dude dressed up as a spoon, running through the trails of Middlecreek, well, that cracked my ass up-literally.

The laughter took my mind off of the direness; the problem at hand.  I had mace in my front pocket and my phone in my back, leaving not one iota of space in my jean shorts to, well, relieve myself, if you will.

By the time we returned?  The itching had ceased.

But Spoon Man?  He tickles my funny bone, this imagined super hero.

And for that I am incredibly grateful.

 

 

My Name is Michele, and I am a THUG….

In an effort to be completely transparent, I thought I would come clean about a certain aspect of my personality that rarely surfaces, but when it does? LOOK OUT. I have a zero tolerance for bullshit of any kind, I hate to be lied to, and I HATE bullies-the type that troll, tease kids on the playground or make it impossible for others to be around their toxicity. Recently, while working on my recovery, I have been known to tell folks off-if they violate my boundaries, dismiss me in general, or treat me like rubbish.

I have been this way since childhood. For a time, in Elementary School, I would attack my brother from behind, and throw him over my shoulders. This was quite effective, and I wasn’t doing it to hurt him (I thought that rather funny at the time) but the practice came to a screeching halt the day he turned it around on me, and I lay breathless in the grass…….humiliated.

Then in High School, I would jack up neighbors or “friends” for introducing my sister to booze and cigarettes. I kicked my brother’s peer down the cement stairs in front of St. Augustine’s for calling Craig an “Egghead;” Mark lost a tooth that day, and more than a little self esteem. It was my pleasure really. I was teased mercilessly in grade school and Junior High. I could handle myself, (don’t get me wrong, it hurt, it hurt so much-but I would never, ever let them see me upset)but you messed with my siblings? Oh my, I pity the fool…….

In my twenties I was as badass as badass gets. NOTHING frightened me, unless it was my health-I was a full blown hypochondriac. I remember my sister and I in a bar one evening in Conshohocken, dull evening at the local bar….when this big old dude came up and grabbed my sister’s ass. It took me five minutes in the bathroom to calm down-but I emerged a stronger woman, and I grabbed HIS ass as hard as I could and screamed DON’T TOUCH MY EFFING SISTER. Literally, five feet in stockings and I am quite certain that I intimidated quite a few people. My sister’s friends would literally hang up if I answered the phone. Part of this was due to anorexia and the fact that I was malnourished and deranged with fear; but the other part? Had to be Jesus, because as psychologically sick as I have been in the past? I had zero fear until the age of 32, when I realized I was terrified of driving on highways and bridges, but that’s another story for another day.

From early on in life I learned to pray for my family.

“Dear God, please let my family be healthy, happy and safe.” Seriously I was five when that started. I remember this conversation with my brother years ago. I was telling him about some recent problems at work, and he replied:

“Well, Michele, you can’t really blame people, it’s the way you come off. Snooty and ferociously confident.”

I spent the next hour clearing up those misnomers. I was never snooty, just hated social situations. And “ferociously confident?” And, if I am to be honest, despite my upbringing my relationship with my father is what gave me that confidence. I have always been a Daddy’s girl, and I am proud to say that neither of my parents took any proverbial crap-and everyone in the neighborhood knew it.

One year, my mother went out to collect the newspaper and as she opened the front door she emitted the most blood curdling scream you can imagine. After I changed my pants, I went to see what was going on. There was a tiny little mouse on our doorstep. My mother wasconvinced that Charlotte Demig had put the rodent on our doormat. I never truly understood why she would think that, but next thing I know? She is walking up the street with the mouse in a bag. Yes, you guessed it. Mom returned it to Charlotte, and the ensuing war was made even more hilarious when she phoned the house and my father answered:

Why Charlotte? (said in a really bad Southern accent) whatever do you mean? My parents were convinced that Charlotte’s southern accent grew worse each year, thus the accent-I remember crying-laughing.

I lived with excruciating fear for the next twenty three years. Anxiety and depression, combined with drug and alcohol addiction took its’ toll. I was a shell of the person I wanted to be, the person that I have again become.

The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.

The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.

The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.