Monday, April 2, 2012

A Fuck-You List

I’ve been feeling a little scattered this last week and a half. I haven’t been able to concentrate. My libido has been zero. All I’ve really wanted to do was turn on my music and curl up with some of the books I’ve been reading, away from people, isolated. This urge to insulate myself from the world happens late in every March, and I pretend that I don’t understand it.

Then April first rolls around, and I have to confront what’s been getting me down. It’s the anniversary of my mom’s death, you see. It’s been eighteen years—Jesus. But it still creeps up on me. Every year I manage to fool myself into thinking I won’t be affected. Every year I find out that I am just kidding myself.

So if my entries haven’t been particularly sexy this last week, I’m explaining why.

My mother was a woman with a deep and perverse sense of humor, and April Fool’s day was one of her favorite holidays. Every year she used to plan her one good trick, weeks in advance; she’d conspire with me on one really good trick to play on my friends. I’m kind of convinced that during her last long illness, she held off on expiring until April first because in a very, very twisted way, she knew it’d be her last and best joke ever.

One of the things my mother used to do, particularly during my teen years, was to make what she called Fuck-You Lists. Now, I’ve known people, particularly those in recovery programs, to make lists of things for which they’re grateful, at the end of every day. These vaguely inspirational lists are always filled with things like I’m grateful for the touch of warm sunshines on my shoulders this afternoon, telling me that spring is on the way, and I’m so grateful for the love of my husband because he keeps me on my path, and other similar sentimental Hallmark sentiments.

I kid. It’s good to be grateful, and to be aware of what’s good in one’s own life. My mother’s Fuck-You Lists, though, were kind of the opposite of these; if she was having a particularly frustrating day, she’d grab a sheet paper, a pencil from one of her crossword puzzle books, and sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of black coffee and a cigarette. She’d scrawl FUCK YOU at the top of the page, and then jot down the four or five frustrations uppermost at her mind. Then she’d tuck the paper in the napkin holder, or behind the telephone, or beneath a paperweight, and go about her business.

I think the reasoning behind the exercise was that her troubles and irritations didn’t seem so ponderous when they’d been reduced to writing on a coffee-stained slip of paper. She could get them out of her system, then leave them behind and head off to work or to one of her hundred political activities. I think it astonished relatives, neighbors, and my friends when they’d come over, wander into the kitchen, and see hundreds of slips of paper in my mom’s exquisite handwriting labeled FUCK YOU! at the top, but hey. It’s what made our home the popular place to be.

All this preamble is simply in order to say that in honor of my mom and her passing, I’ve decided to come up with a Fuck-You List of my own today, so I can get a few things off my chest and hopefully move on to better things in the coming week. So. Without further ado:


1. Dear Manhunt Guy who hit me up last night begging me to drop everything and drive thirty-nine miles to fuck him: I’ve got about ten public photos on Manhunt, all unlocked. Your only visible photo was a shot roughly the size of a postage stamp of your chest, in which you’ve used some kind of graphic program to scribble out your face with black pen. Given that imbalance, it’s perfectly reasonable for me to ask you if I may see your locked photo before I commit to a drive, and frankly, I was pissed off by your response of lol you haven’t earned that honor yet. I don’t have to ‘earn’ anything from you, kiddo, especially when it was you hitting on me. And thus I say, fuck you.


2. Dear BBRT Guy who unlocked his photos for me very late last night, and who then mocked my grammar when I commented on how good his photos were: Dude, really? On a sex site? I wrote in complete sentences. How often are you getting that on BBRT? And you know what? When it’s two-thirty a.m. and I’ve got insomnia, I really don’t care if I’ve used the subjunctive correctly or not. What’re you getting out of coming at me so aggressively, anyway? I think I’m heartily justified at giving you a hearty fuck you.


3. Dear woman who runs a local artist’s league where I was investigating a teaching opportunity: I should’ve known something weird was up when I mentioned my involvement with three of the biggest professional organizations for our particular craft, and you looked at me blankly and made me explain what the acronyms were. I’ve got more teaching experience than anyone else leading workshops in your podunk little guild. I’ve had more national exposure, and have a longer track record than you or your other instructors. Why you’ve ignored my several polite emails and phone calls suggesting you let me take you out to coffee so we can discuss me perhaps teaching a couple of courses for you is beyond me, but I’m not chasing you any longer. Fuck you, babe.


4. Dear reader who collected our handful of times together like some kind of prize he could brandish before his buddies: I was astonished at by how very hard you chased me, and I am astonished at how very hard you dropped me once you had what you wanted. You know, I’m not even angry about that, in particular. I’m upset because you never bothered to read the lovely entry I wrote about you—not because you were apprehensive about what I might’ve said, but because you were ‘too busy.’ I’d tell you fuck you, but I’ve already fucked you. So I’ll just say this, though I know you’re ‘too busy’ to read it: you let me down.


5. Dear other reader who devoured my blog from start to finish and initiated a real-life friendship with me on the basis of how well you thought you knew me, afterward: Your infatuation with my life was fueled mainly by the fact you read so much of my journal so quickly, in such a short period of time. I knew that when you were attempting to convince me that you could be my new best friend. I knew that your fascination would cool a little when you reached the point that you’d have to read my entries one at a time, when I wrote them. What I didn’t expect was that the start of that friendship would freeze altogether, and that you’d simply stop speaking to me altogether when you were forced to slow down to my everyday mundanity. You don’t read me any longer because of it, so you too won’t see this, but I was hurt by the way you broke stuff off by trying to make it seem like I was the one who was after something unreasonable, just because I’d say hello and ask how you were doing. It’s with regret that I never got to fuck you, but hey, that was never on the agenda anyway.

6. Dear everybody local who feels it necessary to comment about my haircut: I'd totally forgotten how much I absolutely dreaded going to school the day after I got a haircut when I was a kid, because everyone comments on it. Everyone. To the handful of people who say something like, Hey, you got your hair cut—I like it!, I am grateful. However, to everyone who phrases their surprise in a form similar to You cut your hair! It looks SO MUCH BETTER!—and that's a lot of people who simply shouldn't be opening their mouths—I offer a hearty fuck you. You don't see me walking up to you and saying "Ohmygod you look SO MUCH BETTER now that you've lost that extra five pounds you put on eating all those Girl Scout Tagalongs a few weeks back, lard-ass!", do you? No, you don't, because it's fucking rude to tell someone they used to be ugly. Back-handed compliments aren't compliments. Learn it! I liked my hair long. I like my hair short. One way is not better than the other. They're just different. No matter how long my hair is, I still look extra-super-foxy. No matter how long your hair is, you're still an asshole.

Whew! I think that’s all the things that have been bugging me lately. Now they’re off my chest, I hope I can walk away and leave them behind for a little while, to see if it works.

Anyone else have any other Fuck You messages to add to the list? As long as they’re not to me, add ‘em in the comments below, and then we’ll tuck them behind my mom’s avocado-green Princess phone and let someone else stumble on them, down the line.

52 comments:

  1. Rob--It sounds like your mom was great. I guess your sadness is a reflection of what a wonderful mom and person she was. It makes me teary writing this and thinking how lucky you were. I aspire to be that kind of mom.

    My mom died several weeks ago after about a year of decline after a lifetime of decline (alcohol, bipolar, etc.). My sadness is the same sadness I have had for her my whole life.

    My kids think I swear too much and have instigated a swearing cup that I supposedly have to pay two bucks a curse into. So- in honor of your lovely mom and to curb my own use of my favorite work--FUCK!-- I hope you don't mind me taking up her Fuck You list.

    Steph

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    1. Steph,

      My potty mouth came directly from both my parents—but they taught me plenty of other vocabulary words as well. Too many, I sometimes think.

      Although my father now likes to pretend he's a clean-minded individual who doesn't indulge in profanity. He turned up his nose at 'Bridesmaids' because of what he called the 'potty mouths' in it. When he said that, I asked him, 'What the fuck household did I grow up in, fucker?"

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  2. A fuck-you list sounds like a good idea, Rob. I give you many, many hugs in regards your Mom. I know that if I should outlive my Mom, which I doubt I will, I will never be able to get over her passing. I know this mostly because my Grandma is still with me. Maybe not daily, but most of the time. So hugs on that too. I however have no such excuse: I've been pushing friends off for later dates of "hanging out" and cuddling with both the cats and my books - more the books than the cats. I'm currently reading Edmund White's newest, which is rather good, and a collection of poetry by Charles Simic - which given my latest case of the blues is probably not the ideal housemate.

    xxoo

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    1. I'll take all your hugs, Writer. And I think you can see from my Goodreads activity that all I've done lately is read. It's not a bad date to have at all.

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  3. Rob, a very heart felt hug from me also at this sad time of your year. This was another one of your deep thought provoking posts which I so much appreciate, I even had to share it, giant cock and all. ;) Please know that you have readers that are interested in real life and thoughtful reflexion, not just sex.

    I hope you are feeling back to normal soon.

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  4. FU #6 reminded me of the time when my grandmother had died and I flew in for the funeral. My parents picked me up at the airport and we drove to the funeral home. In the parking lot we met a woman coming out that my mother worked with for 30 years and who has known me since I was born.

    She looked at me and said "What happen, you used to be such a pretty child". I was 37 at the time.

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    1. Definitely sounds like my grandmother.

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  5. My sweet man, I'm sorry for the anniversary of your mother's passing, and I'm sorry for everything on this list. I have a few things I could toss in there, but maybe I should just make my own list instead amd shove it somewhere. You have every right to just curl up and read. I would be doing the same were it not for school and work and needing to grocery shop. So please accept my internet hugs and kisses because I am not closer and can't give them to you for real.

    -Ace

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    1. You could've made me cookies with those groceries!

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    2. If you want cookies, come up and get some fresh! ;-)

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  6. I like your mother. She must have been a memorable person.

    I am not a very talented swearer ;) but I do create similar lists-only instead of the header I draw a little cartoon of a hanged body, so essentially the same :))

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    1. Countess, is the neck snapped cleanly, or is there gore?

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  7. Great read...keep on living dude!

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  8. Love the fuck you list. I just had a week that the fu list will help out with! My dads been gone my whole adult life,and it don't truly pass we just find ways to deal with it

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    1. Butch,

      Ain't that the truth. We just deal with it—sometimes better than others.

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  9. Harry Truman, while President, used to do something to the FUCK YOU list. He would write extended letters to those who had done him wrong, telling them in explicit terms what they could do to themselves. Rather than mailing them, however, he put them in a bottom drawer of his desk. It's a pretty therapeutic exercise which I have done many times.

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    1. And therapy is something we all can use from time to time!

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  10. I may have to take up this habit myself. :)

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  11. Everyday I say fuck you out loud! Fuck you!...to the fact that I lost two jobs during the past 4 years and things haven't been the same financially ! Fuck you!....well...me for taking a job that required 140 daily mile commute (one of the jobs that i lost) Fuck you!....to my wealthy neighbors who looked at me and my partner with shame when we put our house on the market close to two years ago! Still...fuck you to those same neighbors who still look at us differently because we couldn't sell our house two years ago! Fuck me!...because I am so tired all the time from working two jobs! Fuck you!...to my best friend...the friend who set me and my partner up on a blind date 17 years ago....for cutting me out of his life for reasons to this day...I honestly don't know what I did! Fuck you!!
    I like the idea of a fuck you list. Thank you for the inspiration to not just think it...but to write it out!

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    Replies
    1. Those are some good fuck-yous, Anonymous. I have a personal tendency to remain bitter against people or institutions against which I hold a grudge, so maybe saying "fuck you" on a regular basis is a good thing.

      (On the other hand, my mother was a huge grudge-keeper, too, and the lists didn't seem to get rid of them!)

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  12. I aspire to be on a particular list of yours, all right: "Guys I Loved Fucking."

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  13. BRAVO!!! I hope you have a much better week. ((Hugs)) I think I will try your mother's idea. A fuck you list sounds fantastic.

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  14. Sounds like your mother was a wonderful person with a great sense of humor. Love the idea of the Fuck You lists. I may have to try that myself.

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    1. My mom was a firecracker. Not a bad thing when they're sparking, but firecrackers burn out quickly, too.

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  15. HUG! Rock the haircut! I bic-ed mine just because I felt like it. The stares? fuck 'em. Your hair, not theirs. My favorite thing to do with that is whenever someone complains about their hair being too long or hot or unkempt, politely point to yours and offer to assist in relieving them of the burden. They quickly shut up and you get a hearty laugh.

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    1. Glen, I keep telling people I'm foxy with all lengths of hair. Actually, I also kind of have been getting a kick, when they come up and say, "You cut your hair!", out of leaning over and scratching my head and saying, "Yeah, well, the head lice...."

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  16. This is a brilliant idea. I should do this on Facebook. hehe
    Matt Darringer

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  17. Rob,

    Hugs to you. The Fuck You List is a wonderful way to remember your Mom. This post about your Mom and the First Shame Post has my mind wondering through past memories of good and bad.

    Thank you for helping me sweep out the cob webs and remember the past whether good or bad and to accept the past and to go forward with life.

    VRPB

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    1. Going forward is always what we should be doing. If helped in any minuscule way, bless you.

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  18. About the quiet, brooding time: I hate my birthday. My Mother died on my birthday. My father was buried on my birthday. My brother was sorry but it was a "perfect" day for a funeral. My favorite aunt and uncle, yes. Then my nephew: Jesus, now it's into the next generation! My partner leaves me the hell alone and then maybe a week later the two of us go for a really special dinner. And I pack it away for another year. Martin

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    1. Martin,

      Jeez. I'm sorry to hear that. I think going to dinner and packing it away is the best thing to do in those circumstances.

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  19. First, *hug*

    Second, your mom sounds awesome (not just from this post but others I've followed [so does your dad!]) I think I shall do a fuck you list. It makes the irreducible seem reducible!

    Third! that rat bastard! you know this pussyboi would never forget about you!

    Pakistani pussyboi

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    1. PP,

      Oh shoot, when I wrote that above I honestly thought you weren't reading any more!

      (Kidding. You're too good to me!)

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  20. It happens in May for me (the week of Mother's Day and my birthday) and this year will mark 22 years. I understand how (and what) you're feeling. In many ways, it gets easier but it never gets better. Warm thoughts.

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    1. Throb,

      I think we find more ways of coping, usually, but it's never easy. Let's get a drink and talk it out sometime.

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    2. You know I'd really like that.

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  21. Love the FU list. It gets all the vitriol out and then you can just go on with your day without so much pent up aggression. Your Mom was a smart woman.

    I can identify with the need for isolation lately. I have the same thing happen to me about this time of year too. Mine is Seasonal Affect though. I have plowed through about 10 books in the last two weeks, from trashy to sublime. Currently I am reading the biography of Montgomery Clift. So far he had quite a unique childhood, but then again didn't we all!

    Warm hugs to you Rob and keep your mother in your heart. She is there forever.

    Tom

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    1. Tom,

      It sounds like you and I both bury ourselves in books when we're feeling the need to isolate ourselves. It's nice to know we have that in common.

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    2. Shucks Rob thanks. I also like to bury myself in a few other places too. Someday maybe that will be my face buried in your crotch or you buried in my hole! Well.... maybe there is a book about that out there somewhere!

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  22. Rob,
    This post gave me both a smile and a tear and I thank you for both! My father, like your mom, adored April Fool's Day and after a long illness held on until April. It was almost a trick for the doctors and a gift to us. I'll be thinking of you this month.

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    1. Zoe,

      A big virtual hug is what I'm sending you right now. Thank you for thinking of me.

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  23. Ive never commented before, but this was amazing. Ive been reading for a while now and its always stuff like this that happens to catch me on days i need it. Thank you.

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    1. Anonymous,

      Thank you for telling me. It's nice to know when I connect, once in a while.

      Delete
  24. I've just discovered your blog, and I'm really enjoying it. I was just given a (silly) award for my own blog - a "TMI" award, and, carried away by enthusiasm at your tale, and your writing, I passed it along to you. Do with it what you will. (And keep writing - I'm really enjoying what you have to say.)

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  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0i2lIU7idQ Maybe this response relates to the shame entry too?

    Cheers

    Jamie

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