My Name is Theresa and I’m an Addict…

Hi.  my name is Theresa and i’m an addict.

(in droning monotous voice) “hi theresa”.

it has been three days….  three days since-

“go ahead, theresa, you can say it.”

it has been three days since.. *deep sigh*  i watched a Christmas movie.

that’s right.  i’m a Christmas movie addict.  i’m not proud of it.  i guess it all started with Rudolph.  back in the days before dvds or even vcrs, you relied on TV GUIDE to tell you what shows were on and when.  a few weeks before Christmas my mother would read us the listings for all of the classic holiday favorites- Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown; and we would nearly pee our jammies in anticipation.  Christmas movies were so precious and special because you got ONE and only ONE CHANCE to see them a year.  that’s pretty serious shit.  even after most families got cable, you still only had a limited amount of time to get your fix of stop/start animation filled with freaky jittery characters cavorting and singing terrible yet catchy tunes.  mmmmmm…..  Heatmiser, Snowmiser, the Burgermeister…  we grew up with them.  we hated them for trying to hold back Christmas, but we loved them for what they stood for.  they became a part of our traditions as much as overeating and our dad’s drunken capers.  we fired up as much of that Rankin-Bass goodness as we could in the short time we had.  we were hooked.   our hearts hurt when the credits rolled and you knew it would be an entire year before we would get another holiday high.  january left you empty.

the years moved on and Christmases came and went.  new movies were created and added to quiet our inner Grinches.  pretty soon, anyone in America with cable, a VCR and/or a DVD player could spend an entire afternoon speedballing everything from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas to A Year WIthout a Santa Clause.  it became a part of our culture, of who we were; we became addicts.  it was nothing to mainline Frosty, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland and Frosty Returns in one bump.  you could even slam Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July, you know, if you were into that kind of thing.

every year was the same, i would get blazed and overdose on these beloved holiday movies and then spend an entire year in withdrawal- jonesing for more festive frivolity.  from the Muppets to Kris Kringle, we needed more and more and more AND MORE doses of yuletide cheer.  eventually TBS did something never done before- they decided to run Christmas Story for twenty-four hours in a row and became the ultimate enabler for holiday movie junkies like myself.  many a Christmas i spent locked in my bedroom, for hours on end, fixing on the antics of Master Ralph Parker and his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

now here i am, forty years old, with a 19 year old son, and there are more holiday movies than ever, so i can blaze up hours of sweet, pure Christmas joy as soon as Thanksgiving is over.

my boyfriend said that i had a problem.  he said that it’s time to put the dvds away for the year.  but maybe i’m not the one with the problem, maybe HE’S the one with the problem.  its just a movie, is all.  so what that it’s been a month since Christmas?  i’m just going to spark up National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, just one more time.  who doesn’t love Aunt Bethany?  she’s hilarious!  so what if i had Muppets’ Christmas Carol on repeat four times in a row?  it doesn’t mean anything.   i’m not hurting anyone.  it takes the edge off, man.  i need it, i need it to relax.  just one more.    just one more.  i’m just going slip in Santa Clause is Coming to Town-

i don’t have a problem.  i can quit anytime i want.  DON’T YOU DARE JUDGE ME.  i chose this life, i don’t want your pity.

i need it.


Parenting Fail

i’m an awful parent.  there i said it.  ok, maybe not worthy of a visit from Children’s Youth Services, but still, i’m shameful.  ok.  maybe not THAT bad, but my awesome parenting has slipped substantially within the past year.

(“maybe because your son is now nineteen?” a little voice inside my head asks.)

ok. so. there’s that.  but the fact that he’s an adult now shouldn’t affect how i parent. i always said i’d be that mom that never fed her kid canned spaghetti, and wouldn’t use nap time as a threat.  i always said i’d wrap his birthday present in NON-CHRISTMAS PAPER (as his birthday is december 30).  i always vowed to make sure his birthdays were super special- especially since mine sucked so hard throughout my adolescence and older years.

we were away for christmas and his birthday for my partner’s father’s funeral, so we had to put holidays on hold.  money was super extra tight this year so we tried to celebrate THRIFTSMAS.  today was supposed to be his birthday party.  and i had the best intentions in the world- a lot of handmade gifts, a homemade burnt almond torte (his favorite) and a multi course HOBBIT-inspired dinner.  but here i am, in my pajamas at 11 am and i haven’t done ANYTHING.  i wanted to make hobbit-y signs and have elaborate decorations.  i wanted to make meat pies and lembas bread.  but instead, it looks like it’s going to be cheese, cut up apples, broccoli cheese soup and EL FUDGE.  i suck.  i plan to make some loaves of bread and a quiche, but time is growing short and i still have yet to shower.  as far as decorations and presents?  i still haven’t taken down our amusing snowflakes, and it looks like i’ll be throwing The Fellowship of the Rings on the dvd player and calling it a day.  what a fail.  i know he’ll appreciate it just the same, but i am disappointed in myself.  it’s not even as if i had that much else going on in life.  i’ve just been in hibernation mode and feeling less like making monumental efforts like i used to.  (i once made him a Golden Snitch cake for an AMAZING Harry Potter birthday party.  and don’t even get me started about the amount of Star Wars parties i had- including the year i made a Jabba’s Palace cake COMPLETE WITH SARLAC PIT, thankyouverymuch.  #momisageektoo

but recently, i can’t get the motivation to do it, and it is sad.  sure, most kids grow up with few parties, the most epic being at Chuck E Cheese or something equally as lame, but i wanted it to be different for my son; better.  i wanted him to look back on all of the fun we had and never once doubt how much i loved him.  does he know that i love him?  of course.  he appreciates my efforts and attempts, failed though they may be sometimes, but he understands.  he’s a great kid young adult and i wish i could do so much more for him and that’s why the parties were always so important.  i’ve never been able to get him “nice” clothes or new electronic devices, or whatever all of the other kids have.  hell, i can’t even afford car insurance for him.  so, if nothing else, i always had time for cutting out decorations and making super awesome cakes.  but that hasn’t been the case for awhile now.

what breaks my heart further is that just last year, he came to me all melancholy because he was sad that he figured he was too “grown up” for all of the fun things i used to do; like spiderweb nachos and mummy dogs and make-your-own-holiday themed pizza nights.  i stopped doing those things because i thought he didn’t care about all of it; that i was just doing valentine boxes and coconut-fur Easter bunny cakes for my own shits and giggles.  turns out he appreciated that stuff more than i ever knew and really mourned their loss. to which i made up for by creating a totally spectacular halloween feast for him and his girlfriend this past year.

i figure i only can do what i can do and as long as i try, he’ll appreciate it, no matter how much i put into it.  for that, i know he’s a truly amazing kid.  thank god.  and not for nothing, but at least i know he’ll get a kick out of the EL FUDGE cookies and think it was intentional and not just a lame ass afterthought.  thank god.

Throw It Back! Throw It Back! For the Love of God Throw It Back!


popped collar and everything.
awwwww, yeah!

My Throwback Thursday picture kicks all of your pictures RIGHT IN THE ASS.
deal with it!
the saddest part of this picture was that i really thought i looked A-MAZING here— and now, i see OLD LADIES with that hairdo, and it makes me feel sad.
i doubt it.
you don’t know who you are dealin’ with here.

My Name is Theresa- And I’m a Realist

I realized something the other day when people were still throwing new year’s resolutions about, and i was steadfast in my resolution to not make any resolutions.  i was sitting quietly in the car as we drove around Atlantic City listening to Christmas music. we were trying to get the last of the holiday spirit before it disappeared into the chaos of another three hundred-and-some days.  i watched the blazing marquees blink and flash and i wondered what was in abandoned and broken down buildings.  i watched the groups of casino-goers scuttle about and i saw lonely people trudging home from their late night jobs.  i felt so small, like you do when you are disconnected from rushing crowds and noisy happenings.  i wondered, as you do, what those people were celebrating, and felt lonely for not being a part of their fun.  i was quiet and introspective, like you are when you miss your friends and wondering if they were  missing you too.

there was talk about what we would do if we were to inherit a lot of money.  my boyfriend and i were dreaming of owning a campground or a bed and breakfast, and building the house of our dreams and traveling.  realistically unrealistic, but with the right circumstances, possibly attainable miles and miles in the future.  we talked about the past, and things he used to do in his old neighborhood, and like i do, i listened, wondering what my childhood would have been like if i was in his shoes.  talk of ‘the way it used to be’ was brief, if only because it’s just talk, and there’s no potential in dwelling on the past, so the conversation went back to buying a boat and a camper, specific kinds of dogs, special vacations, all excited with possibility.  my life being what it is, however, full of so much missed opportunity, so much disappointment, i didn’t give myself the chance to get filled with dreams. or even hope.  i’m a realist.  and we realists no better.  we live in the now.  we only allow ourselves realistic thoughts.  we don’t dream or make WISH BOOKS or say things like “someday i’d like to…”.  we just can’t.  we can talk about the future in the short term, on practical attainable goals like- “in six months after we pay off our credit cards-…”, or “after i lose ten pounds, i’d like to-…”, or “next week after i finish work for the week-…”.  attainable. practical. realistic.  i am a realist after all.

i wasted a lot of my life wondering about the ‘what if’s’, and crying over my problematic past.  neglectful parents, correctable mistakes, broken promises.  these are things i know. but these are also things that i can no longer do anything about.  they are done. they are in the past. they are the past.  thankfully.

the future?  i want to believe, and dream and hope and wish.  but i can’t allow that.  i don’t want to say, “after i lose 100 pounds i’ll buy that bikini to wear on our caribbean cruise”– there is just SO MUCH WRONG with that.  it’s almost laughable.  i won’t say things like, “i would like to go back to school if-…” because, well, i just won’t.

i can however, let myself say, “after my car is paid off next summer, i’ll feel more relaxed” and “by next year, our credit cards will be paid off, and we’ll finally be able to breathe a little easier”.  these are things i can say.  these are things that will happen.  these are things that i know (*knocks on wood*, barring some unforeseen disaster- that is NEVER out of the possibility).  but MOSTLY, for the most part, BASICALLY, (probably) those are things i know.

now, having said all of that, i still WANT things to happen.  like, winning the lottery, or getting a huge burst of creative energy and also a miracle publisher and get my books onto shelves. or losing 25 pounds.  i can hope for a dream job for my boyfriend.  i can dream that my son will find his way through life easier than i did. but will i wait for it?  will i dream about these things?  will i allow myself the luxury of HOPING for them?  absolutely not.  i’m a realist.  and realists don’t do that.


gorillawhen i was a child, i had one of these. to kids that grew up in the 70’s, and retro movie buffs, they would recognize this as KING KONG. to mostly everyone else, they just see that this is one ugly mutha-effing thing. want to know what else? that sucker was A BANK! and not just a regular bank, oh no, it was twenty inches of hard sturdy thick plastic with NO WAY of getting money out once it was deposited.

so what is the importance of a messed up scary-looking, hard plastic impregnable KING KONG bank? welp. that nasty gorilla bank was my friend. Not only that, that there snarly beast was my ONLY friend and i loved him very very much. i had a terribly weird fascination for gorillas as a child, and i cant honestly say where it came from but i do know that it bordered on obsession. now, growing up in the 70’s it wasn’t as easy to overload kids on themes. we didn’t have Targets or entire lines of licensed kiddie stuff- it was you, your mom and whatever you could throw together from Hills or Kmart. so needless to say, i didn’t have much in the way of gorilla-themed bedding, but i did have that bank.
and a tshirt. and pictures cut out from books. yes, i said “books” and not “magazines.” (i sort of got into some trouble with the library and spent a few hours one weekend on punishment for a little problem i had with scissors.) i slept with this gorilla bank, carried him everywhere and played and fed him very much the way most girls did dollys, only, mine was a gorilla, and a bank.

the neighbors thought me odd. my friends teased me. my brother tormented me by hiding “Gorilla” in various places around the house and yard. my grandmother, however, made Gorilla a dress. it was sunshiney yellow and had ruffled sleeves. the fact that Gorilla was King Kong and a boy was unimportant. my gorilla had a beautiful dress. my grandma thankfully understood and eventually Gorilla had a fine crocheted hat, a watering can and a mini wheelbarrow that i randomly found in the trash (and by “found in the trash” i mean “stole from the neighbor kid’s sandbox.”)

Gorilla knew all of my secrets. he talked to me. we washed and ironed his dress (my mother was big on teaching domestic chores as play, so i learned ironing, sewing and even used a washboard early on in life.) Gorilla was my security, and even moved to three different houses with me. this hard plastic King Kong bank went everywhere, and even slept in bed with me. occasionally to annoy me, my brother would stick pennies in him, and i would spend hours shaking Gorilla upside down to try and get the change out of the narrow slot in the back of his head. it would NOT DO, to have him constantly rattling, so coins HAD to come out.

there is of course, no happy ending for Gorilla and Little Tee. during yet another move, to yet another house, Gorilla somehow got packed in with all of my stuffed animals; whether accidentally or on purpose due to my mother’s suspicion of my creepy love for him, is unclear. but he was packed. and packed away for a long time due to a very complicated move to a smaller house and in with my grandmother.

after so much time passing, Gorilla obviously felt abandoned and when finally located and unpacked clearly no longer loved me. this led to my brother filling him with pennies, and ultimately performing minor surgery on the bottom of his feet to remove the money he put in there. to my surprise, Gorilla contained about $3.14 worth of change by that time, including a dollar bill, which my brother promptly claimed as his own. after the removal of Gorilla’s feet (with a serrated bread knife from the kitchen,) he now had a very scratchy and poky scar at his base and now scraped the crap out of my arms, leaving him yet again abandoned on the side of my bed. eventually my mother tried to sell him for a quarter at a yard sale, but with no takers, Gorilla, dress and all was pitched into the trash and is probably under one billion layers of garbage in the land fill for the rest of eternity (i mean, he was made of REALLY THICK black plastic.)

he was a good gorilla, and a fine friend. i will always have to live with the guilt of abandoning him, and not even getting to keep the $3.14 in him that was rightfully mine. i’d like to believe that some child saw him in the trash, in his very fine dress, and rescued him from a garbagey grave. but i know better, he was King Kong for god sake. King Kong in a yellow dress and dreadfully ugly, not to mention SCARY AS HELL, all snarly fangs and blood-red mouth.

i can only hope that maybe, just maybe, he is near that leaky old coffee pot or plastic canvas tissue box my mom threw out too and he feels a little more like home, and a little less lonely. dearest Gorilla, i really am sorry that it’s thirty-some years later and you will be packed solid with crud forevermore, i never meant for it to end this way. R.I.P. Gorilla, you will be forever missed.