“When they got together they were doing crystal meth, which I didn’t know at the time,” said Wifesy. “And then they bought a house together,” she added.
“Whhhaaaattttttt?!!!!!!” I exclaimed.
“Huh?” said Wifesy.
“That is not fair. I can NOT afford a house and I don’t do crystal meth, nor would I ever do crystal meth. What the feck??!!”
“Are you doing a comedy bit for me right now?” asked Wifesy.
“No, but you can see how that is unfair, right? Why can the crystal meth heads afford a house and the strongest thing I do is a martini and, yet, I can’t afford a house. That irritates me to no end.”
I’ve always felt like this. I’ve always felt a strong aversion to unfairness. I’ve always had a finely tuned, easily rubbed, injustice chord. I remember when I was just a kid, the school went on some kind of field trip to an animal farm. On the way back, the teacher asked, “Who has a pet dog at home?” The kids who did raised their hands and received cute, picture books on dogs. Then she asked, “Who has cats?” And the kids who did raised their hands and received cat books. Then she said, “Who has a dog and a cat?” I raised my hand and received both books. I sat back down and grinned a satisfying smile that went from one end of my face, back past my ears, and finished around the back of my head.
Why was I so happy? Because…I DIDN’T HAVE A DOG OR A CAT! I had gamed the system. I learned right then and there that it’s alright to game the system when the system is blindingly unfair. You see there was one group the teacher was missing. There was one group she had left out. The kids with no pets at all. We were supposed to go home – bookless with no freebies because clearly we came from loveless, animal-less homes. Not me, no way, no sir. If it’s not fair, I’ll make it fair, by lying if I have to.
My mother tells that story to other people sometimes. It’s half the reason I know it so well. Now, I don’t think my mother liked the fact that I was a lying 7 year old. But, I do think she was proud that I made something unfair, as fair as I could in my own way. In her eyes, in that moment, I was a mini-Erin Brockovich.
But, as I cruise through adulthood, I’ve realized you can’t always right things the way they should be. You can’t lie and get the house, especially now that the whole: here’s-a-mortgage-don’t-worry-if-you-can’t-pay-it-back banking attitude is a thing of the past.
Sometimes the meth heads get a house, while the hard working get an apartment or worse yet a mobile home or worse yet, a tent. Sometimes the sh*tty guidos with no talent on the beaches of the Jersey Shore get endorsement deals.
It’s hard to stomach. It’s enough to give one ulcers. And then there’s that whole Hollywood, “You’re how old?” sort of thing that happens. There’s the idea that you’re washed up at a certain age in this town, which is why everyone, here, lies and says they’re younger. You see, they just want their Hollywood version of pet books.
I have become much better at not focusing on the ‘other’. It doesn’t matter what the meth heads have. It’s only important to be happy with my life and what I have. I DO realize that in the most important ways, I am blessed. But, I’m human and when I see the meth heads lighting up a crack pipe in front of their heated jacuzzi that overflows into their in-ground pool, my insides shake.
I want to scream, “Not Fair!”
You can’t, however. You are not allowed. Screaming, “Not fair,” is only allowed with children and with adults, only in a court of law. So, I have to smile at the meth heads while thinking, “I’ll get mine. Mine is coming.”
Many days I believe it is. Some days I don’t. And while it’s hard not to be a continuous, never ending, fountain of self confidence, I suppose it helps me relate. I really relate to everyone who has worked really hard. I really relate to those still reaching. I relate to those who have to work, everyday, in an effort not to judge the rich, talentless, meth heads around them. I relate to those who have to practice at not envying the toy pile of their neighbor. I understand your struggle. If I could, I’d give you BOTH pet books.
I suppose it’s good to know that we are not alone.
End note: I’d like to thank the horn dogs who read Sweet Mother for giving me very high numbers yesterday. Straight ladies, I believe I have you to thank. (And a couple of my lezzie sisters too. My straight dudes were doing something else. Playing Tomb Raider, maybe?) Who knew all that hot, gay, male bun-age would lead to such a stats increase? For a moment, I understood why porn makes so much money. So, sadly, I did not achieve my 10 out of 13 goal. Mainly, because I wanted to make sure I was paying adequate attention to Wifesy. I didn’t think shoving my face into my phone the whole parade and yelling, “Why won’t you work, evil technology!” was conducive to having a good time. As a result, I stole the pics that I could, when I could. I think I ended up with a semi-decent collection. Now, Sweet Mother always keeps her word. We will achieve that year of prosperity. I’ll just have to come up with another contest to help us reach it. A bunch of you played yesterday with a fine attention to the ‘rules’ and in keeping with that, you win a Reggie Profile. Those winners are: Weebles, Radium Rollercoaster, Chrystal, Michelle Gillies, Christine Kiefer. I’ll have to figure out what we’ll do for pictures. The rest of you were supremely awesome commenters, as per usual. You made momma smile and I am forever grateful for it. Much love, SM
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