Perfect people…

Every time I hear about a my life is better than everyone else’s person, I remember Stacey and I smile. She taught me a lot, although it likely wasn’t what she wanted to teach.

Stacey was the perfect person in the parenting forum I belonged to when Jeremy was young. She had the perfect job as an educational assistant, the perfect husband, and the perfect two children. Her house was always perfect (and spotless). Her children never misbehaved. She never disagreed with her husband. As far as I could tell, she was only on the forum to lead us lesser beings to the light by way of her superior knowledge.

Any time someone had a problem, Stacey was there to let her know that she’d faced the same problem but had succeeded because she was smart, educated, worked, and had a perfect husband who loved her dearly and took her out every single Friday night.

It was because of her perfect Friday night dates that she missed the troll. Every week a troll would show up on the forum and wreak havoc. It would mimic the names of regular posters; at one point it pretended to be me, asking if I could feed my kids dog food because I was supposedly too lazy to work full time. Why I’d feed my kids dog food while owning cats was a mystery. Another time it took a regular’s name and proceeded to tease and taunt that person’s friends. Then it discovered how to bypass post titles and write rude messages in the name section. Post after post with only a name section would flood the page in bold, stark profanity. No one could keep up. By the time a post was written, the troll had flooded the whole page with nonsense.

The next day everything would be back to normal, except for people gossiping about the worst of the troll’s messages, and Stacey would ruefully comment she’d missed all the excitement again, it was too bad the troll didn’t pick another night to hang out.

And then Stacey disappeared. It turned out she was the troll all along. There were no Friday night dates; those marvels that Stacey claimed help preserve her perfect marriage. Instead, every single Friday, she’d sit down at the computer and spend four hours bashing the same people she claimed to be friends with for the rest of the week.

No one has ever claimed I’m perfect. My house is currently a mess thanks to Jeremy taking apart a spare computer. My hair looks like I chased a kitten through brush (which I did… the kitten was leashed). I rock and hand flap in public, I’ve been known to sing in the produce department, and I almost never remember names. But I remember Stacey’s lesson. I’d rather be real than perfect.

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Changes and other positive stuff…

The new year is only four days old and it’s already brought multiple changes. Emma and her boyfriend came over for dinner on the 1st. Emma had some mild grumbles about Mark’s family New Year’s Eve party but nothing major. She’d also just told her Dad not to contact her again unless he’d grown up. I agreed with the sentiment but felt her message was too subtle for him to comprehend. It was a big step though as she’s always been worried that her Dad would abandon her and tolerated too much manipulation from him.

I woke on the 2nd to the real beginning of the changes. Two voice messages waited from Emma on my cellphone. Mark’s parents had heard an exaggerated version of her grumblings and told Mark she had a month to get out of their house. Which means she’ll be living here in three more weeks. Plus my phone hadn’t charged overnight (which is understandable considering my charger was unplugged) so listening to her messages took the last of my battery. This meant I’d been off Facebook for almost 24 hours by the time I got home, so it was a huge surprise when I discovered messages from friends asking about and apologizing for the upheaval, as well as an open chat message from “Facebook User”. One of my friends, who I’d had a pleasant chat with the night before, decided that myself and two other friends were deeply religious then went on to make nasty comments on a mutual group before deleting and blocking us (hence the Facebook User status). Calling me deeply religious is akin to admiring Patrick Stewart’s luxurious locks but I’ve never considered it an insult. I found myself wondering exactly how someone can go from having a friendly, casual conversation with a person to ranting and blocking them in under an hour but I guess I’ll never know. Having her block and delete herself saved me from a world of drama, which is a positive.

I was sent home work early on the 3rd, thanks to managers who knew a nasty winter storm was approaching. I got in just as the storm began and Emma arrived less than 5 minutes later. Her father began messaging and calling her almost immediately. She asked him not to call because she wasn’t home and he persisted, calling four or five times in the next half hour. The final straw was his last message in which he asked, in a whining tone, for her to please ask Jeremy if he* still liked his Dad and to text him the answer. Jeremy’s phone number has been in the family for seven years. Their Dad had it memorized when Emma held the number for the first three years but forgot it as soon as Jeremy took it over four years ago. He went on to tell Emma “you’ve been no fucking peach of a kid yourself. You’ve been a shitty kid yourself.” I listened to that message then helped Emma find a free program to block his number. It’s in the Google Play store under Calls Blacklist – Call Blocker (with a picture of a red shield and a crossed out white phone receiver). Blocking him will save her from a world of pain and drama, which is a huge positive.

Thankfully today has been fairly quiet. I went to our church’s fire communion, a UU ceremony which involves writing both things to hold on to and things to release and releasing them into a chalice flame.

fire communion

Afterwards Jeremy and I went shopping, both for groceries and to pick up Christmas items on clearance. Jeremy picked out a teal blue, glitter encrusted reindeer from Bouclair (a store zie sweetly mispronounces as Blue Care). Zie also asked if we could pick up more of that “soap for hair” while we were out (I still had some shampoo from my Christmas stocking so zie’s happy). Right now the biggest change here is the weather. It was below zero and snowing yesterday then plus 8C and drizzling today. Tomorrow’s going to be -8 with a windchill of -14. I’m just going to cart around a bottle of Advil because even if I don’t need any, I’m sure at least two of my coworkers will.

Emma shared this picture with me yesterday and I just had to share it…

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Someone in one of the forums I belong to shared this post titled 9 Ways to Save Your Life if You’re Young and Trans. It’s definitely worth a read and I’ll be adding it to my resources page as well.

This book came out about a decade too late for my kids but looks like a great bedtime story for anyone who has young children. Made by Raffi is a story about a shy young boy who gets teased. Then he discovers knitting and, with some ingenuity, makes things better…

Photo from Amazon

Written by Craig Pomranz and illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain

A friend of mine wrote some prose that is well worth reading. Seriously, hop on over and read this… You are beautiful just as you are.

I started crying on the bus yesterday when I read this cartoon but they were more happy tears than anything…

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by Sophie Labelle

Jeremy has a couple of songs zie listens to regularly. I shared one a few months ago but zie has another by Emma Blackery that zie would love to share. Enjoy…

* Jeremy is not out to zir father, hence the male pronouns.