I Require a Possum in a Top Hat and Monocle (Original Post 03/06/16)

I grew up in a middle class house in the burbs of the north eastern corner of the Midwest in the 80’s. It was pretty normal really. Well, I thought it was. I mean everyone’s dad hunted, did his own taxidermy and lined the walls of your den and living room with said stuffed animals, right? To make things even more interesting, he had a tendency to “find” animals that needed help and saving and regularly brought them home from his hunting trips along with the carcasses of the slain. Oh, and he was also on the sheriff’s call list for when a buck (a male deer for you non-countiefied readers) was hit by a car but not decimated and they wanted someone to come and take the decent body… To butcher, wall mount etc..

More than a few times I came home and opened the barn (think giant garage with room for his Kubota tractor and riding lawn mower and an upstairs) to find a giant lifeless deer strung up skinned and gutted ready for butchering.  Totes normal.

My  earliest memory was in our basement. In a nook tucked back under the stairs where he had rigged up a wood stove to our laundry shoot to help heat our little post war bungalow was his work bench. It was close proximity to the wash tub that our washer drained into. This was important for his taxidermy work. I didn’t remember the exact process and formulas for the chemicals but one of the first steps after the ducks were gutted and skinned the pelts had to be soaked clean and tanned.  I used to stand next to my dad on an overturned bucket watching him at the sink. Sometimes if I wasn’t pestering him too much he’d give me the eyeballs to play with while he cleaned the bodies. My mother was repulsed which I couldn’t understand as I rolled the little jelly balls between my fingers occasionally turning my little hand sideways lining them up between my middle and pointer finger so it looked like my hand had little eyes and my thumb, working up and down resembled a talking mouth. Like a hand puppet. What? You didn’t play with eyeballs when you were a kid?

Anyway, he’d move to his work bench eventually where he shaped foam bodies with clay molded thighs and inserted wire into legs and beaks. I would sit on a tall stool he would pull up for hours watching him hand paint special tiny glass eyes, airbrush preserved legs and feet to be the just so shades as if they still had blood pumping through them. It always amazed me how suddenly some lumpy foam oval would suddenly have a feathered pelt stretched over it and to become the body of a drake mallard or hen canvas back. Sculptures clay molded to get the shape of the head just right. Some were bound to be in perpetual flight, mounted to a post off the carefully selected piece of drift wood to be wall mounted or a wire des retry coming from a selected spot in the back to hang from the ceiling forever coming in for a landing in out little bungalow’s living room.

My favorite were the standing ones. They didn’t just stand on the table. My father created entire vinettes to accompany them. Some perched on preserved and perfectly airbrushed logs with moss, preserved leaves and all. My favorite was a hen and 2 babies. Now don’t freak out. He may have shot the hen in season but the babies he found road side a casualty of a motorist. The momma and rest of the best were beyond saving from a taxidermist perspective but two weren’t so badly damaged that he couldn’t salvage them. So the hen he already has stuffed got a new habitat that was a nest and the addition of 2 offspring.

Yes, roadkil was regularly considered “finds”. One Christmas my grandfather and young uncle were in town for the holidays. On their way to join us at my Aunt’s house then hit a giant pheasant. Smashed their windshield. But they stopped and went back to see if the damn thing needed to be put out of any misery. It in fact was dead from what appeared to be a broken neck. It must have flown directly into the big old Cadillac’s windshield. Knowing my father they scooped up the fresh kill and put it in the trunk as a Christmas gift for my father. To say he was excited by that smelly thing was an understatement. In his defense, it was a big fucking bird. It hangs in mid flight to this day in his man cave.

I think all this leads me to where I’m at today. I have always had a little penchant for strange taxidermied animals over say, glass vases or pretty pottery. I have never had the opportunity to purchase any freaky stuffed squirrels or wall mounted boars heads but, should that opportunity arose, I’d be giddy with glee. That being said, The Sailor has just agreed that I can get a stuffed opossum wearing a little vest, monocle and top hat while carrying a little cup of tea or gentleman’s cane. I know, I married well. He’s a man of good taste and infinite understanding of how to make his lady happy. So, now the search for Sir Oliver Possington begins.

That’s What You Would Do? GFYS (Original Post 02/18/16)

“That’s what I would do”. I have come to loathe this short statement. It didn’t bother me until just recently. Usually I have welcomed sage insight from my elders and sympathetic advice from my peers but, when it comes to cutting my tits off, frankly I don’t want to hear “what you would do”.

See, they aren’t your tits and you don’t have to make the choice to cut them off or not so it’s easy to say what you would do when you don’t actually have to do it. Trust me when I say, when you are staring down the reality of looking in the mirror and seeing an angry set of red scars and fake bloated implants beneath said scars and no nipples, you question every angle. It is not an easy decision. It is not a flippant choice. Hearing you tell me, even with your immense sympathy and concern, in the 90 seconds it took for me to answer your question on what surgeries were my options, that you would opt for the bilateral mastectomy for sure, makes me want to spew vitriol and rage like a pissed off silverback. I know you were just meaning to comfort me, that the decision to amputate my knockers is the right one. I get it but, your flippant answer meant for comfort hurts way more than it helps.

I would not wish this situation on my enemies (I have a handful assholes I dislike with the white hot intensity of a thousand sons which isn’t healthy and I’m working on that and I still wouldn’t wish this on those fucking douche canoes)  because, it is gut wrenching and fucking permanent. A fucking permanent reminder of a disease hell bent on trying to kill me. A visual reminder that I will, for the remainder of my life, be a cancer patient; I’ll ether be a cancer patient in remission or in treatment. A reminder that one day I could have a child that I will have to explain my scars too, that I won’t even have the option to breast feed. A visual reminder that tomorrow, I might have to do this all over again without warning. That just because I’ve come through this dark bullshit to the light, I could still end up back in this dark place again and possibly die there. An angry flag of fear waving across my fucking chest. A permanent and daily fucking reminder that cancer changed my life forever.

My choice of surgery was just a matter of what kind of shitty permanent reminder that I wanted. It was not one that I took lightly. It was not a choice made in a few minutes or even a few days. It is not a choice I will ever be happy about or even comfortable with. It’s the best decision I could make at this time based on the information I had available at the time. This was what my best friend told me when I confessed I was afraid that I would always feel the decision I made was the wrong one, no matter what option I chose. It was the best thing she could have said, and I love her for it. It helped. So, next time you’re faced with talking to someone having to make this impossible choice, and you will because Breast Cancer is a wide spread fickle, all encompassing, bitch, and you start to say, “That’s what I would do,” stop.  Don’t say it, because you have no idea and I hope you live the rest of your life never knowing.

Chemo Pros and Cons (Mostly Cons) (Original Post 02/11/16)

You wouldn’t think there were any “pros” really to having cancer. You have to search really deep. Turns out I’ve become a glass half full kind of gal since my mortality has been presented to me on a platter. Now that chemo is 2+ weeks behind me, I’ve had some time to really contemplate the process. So, here’s my pros and cons of chemo.

I’ll start with the cons. They are easier and I can’t wait to bitch about them.

  1. Fatigue is the most common side effect. It also is lamer than a bag of one legged ducks. During the first 4 rounds of chemo, I received doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide (AC). It’s known not so secretly by some patients as the Red Devil because the Adriamycin is blood red and also because it sucks donkey balls. It’s notorious for making you feel like complete dog shit. I have to say I “lucked out” because it mostly made me feel like I needed to sleep constantly. If I didn’t sleep constantly I felt like I had run a marathon the day before. Walking up the stairs to get to the bathroom or go to bed was exhausting. The last few stairs my legs protested just enough that I felt like I had, in fact, accomplished a significant work out. It was the easiest cardio I have ever done. In the last few weeks of that shit, I may or may not have cried on a few occasions with the dread of having to climb those lame ass stairs. The Sailor may or may not have offered on those occasions to just carry me up. I never accepted. Not because I’m stoic or stubborn but, because our stairs are open on one side and have no rail over halfway up. The Sailor is strong but, I could still just picture both of us taking a tumble. But the offer always heartened me. He was willing to fireman carry my sickly weak ass up a flight of stairs if needed, that was enough.
  2. Everyone knows this one. It’s the most recognized side effect. Hair loss. I had cut my medium length tresses into a pixie a month prior to prep for it. They say your hair will start to fall out about 14 days after your first round. That just happened to have been the day of my second round. And nothing happened. Day 15, 16 and 17 came and went as well without any  noted extra shedding. I thought for just a split second that my hair was freaky hulk hair that wouldn’t fall out. Maybe just stop growing for the duration of the treatment. Then Day 18 came. Granted, I was actively watching for any note worthy hair changes so, when I started running my hands through my short locks and coming back with 10 or 20 hairs at a time, I knew that was it. I took a shower that afternoon while the sailor was at work to shampoo my hair one last time. I left a hair ball the size of a 6 week old kitten in the drain of the shower. I text the Sailor and sadly delivered the news that B-Day (bald day) was upon us. He told me not to fret and that we knew it was going to happen eventually. So I tried not to sweat it. He didn’t mention the kitten he had to extract and chuck in the trash before showering. The next morning I woke and the 10-20 hairs were exponentially more. Not wanting to sit idly by and watch my blonde hair slowly die and fall all over the damn house then needing to be cleaned up, I dug out my old Wahl clippers and fucking shaved my head. I texted the Sailor to warn him he was coming up to a shaved dome. I’m guessing he thought back to the kitten/hairball and wasn’t surprised.
  3. Headaches. Sudden. Out of nowhere. Sharp. The Sailor got good at seeing the visual cues of one and had ice packs at the ready.
  4. One only really hears about puking and diarrhea from chemo. So that was what I was prepared for. FALSE. I didn’t shit normal for 4 months. Constipation is the worst. I’ll take the rhea over not being able to poop anytime.
  5. Hemorrhoids. I’ll just leave it at that. It’s bad enough I talked about pooping in the last bullet.
  6. The day after treatment I was required to get shot that helped my body to produce white blood cells since the chemo would kill off and suppress anymore getting made along with all the other cells in my body. I was lucky enough to get the option of having a little pod stuck on my hip to administer the shot the next day rather than having to drive back. Fuck that pod and fuck that shot. I know it helped me not get a common cold and having it lay me up in the hospital or kill me but, really fuck it. That shit makes you ache. I thought I had to be growing a few inches every time because it felt like my legs were in the process of stretching. Then I started Taxol and well fuck that too. Fuck that one even harder. The body aches were worst in my sternum but, radiated in my lower back, legs and hips as well. Add the fucking pod into that mix and I wanted dismember my entire body myself.
  7. Muscle Aches. Yeah, fuck these too. Fucking Taxol. I swear I thought T was way worse than AC in the ACT treatment. My achey damn bones coved in my achy damn muscles. I found walking around slowly and gingerly or even just standing and swaying helped a bit but then I’d sit down or go to bed and it would be infinitely worse then when I started. For 8 weeks I ate Motrin and stood next to the couch swaying like a weirdo from the bone and muscle aching.
  8. Numb and or tingling fingers and toes is called peripheral neuropathy. And it is the pits. No, pits isn’t good enough. It fucking blows flea infested donkey dicks. It started slowly. In my fingertips and a little in the tips of my big toes. Each round it got worse. By the time round 4, my final round, of Taxol came around I constantly felt like all my toes were falling into holes. If I sat for too long, when I stood up, from the balls of my feet to the tips of my toes prickle like I was sitting on my feet for hours cutting off circulation. Luckily my fingers didn’t progress beyond that first stage of slight numbness in the tips. Oh, and it takes 6 months to a year from the last treatment for this to wear off. Yes. Possibly a year of dead feeling sometimes painful toes. Awesome.
  9. Speaking of feet, Taxol turned both my big toenails and several of my other toe nails black. And they’re probably going to fall off. Some might hang on and grow out naturally but, my one big toe… It’s going. I’m pretty sure only the cuticle is keeping it in place at this point. It lifts up a couple centimeters when I file it. Like a muppet mouth talking to me while I file it. For a couple of weeks it actually weeped clear fluid. I had to take antibiotics for a week when I’m pretty sure it was infected because the fluid started to look cloudy and yellow. And smell. It could have been gangrene but, my doctor told me that was a bit dramatic and that it’s just an infection from being sweaty in a sneaker at work 3 days in a row then wet from the shower I took to wash the fried fish smell off my person upon coming home. Damp warm places are where bacteria like to live. The Sailor called it my zombie toe. I threatened to touch him with it at night in bed when he wouldn’t go get me juice. He got me juice. The zombie toe had a little bit of power there for a while. I still hate the zombie toe. Thank goodness it’s not summer time so the public has been saved from seeing my toes.
  10. Not being allowed to eat raw food doesn’t sound like a big problem. I can handle not having sushi for a few months… Yeah, that’s because I didn’t really think that through. No apples unless you fry them or bake them first. No guacamole. No salsa. No unpasteurized juice (bye bye fresh squeezed or cold pressed juices and Apple cider). No poached eggs or eggs over easy for that matter. And your burger? Well done. Medium Well if you like to live on the edge. And on it? No lettuce, tomato or onion unless you get grilled or fried onions. Are you starting to see how this escallated quickly once I started to try and cook or order off a menu? I never thought I’d say this but, I just wanted a fucking salad towards the end there. Like my body was begging for something green and un-fried or sautéed or steamed for once.
  11. You know when you’re talking to someone or writing an email and you can’t think of a word that you know you know and you can feel it right there in your brain just taunting you? That’s fucking what chemo brain is like but it happens several times a day everyday. My life became a series of playing catch phrase and charades throughout the day. Usually with the Sailor. And it continues, though not quite as often thank God. The Sailor has gotten good at the game. A few scenarios between The Sailor and I for your amusement. Scene 1 – Me: In my PJs putting on my Uggs and jacket. Sailor: Where ya going? Me: Out to…. um you know, the thing with the paper I mean envelopes that comes everyday… the guy in the little truck with no door…. Sailor: Are you going out to the mailbox? Me: YES! To get the mail. Scene 2 – Watching a movie. Me: The actors for the adults look a lot like the kid versions of their characters. They had a really good…. Uhhh… Person that like interviews the people, I mean actors, for the jobs in the movie and picks them. Sailor:…. Casting? Me: That doesn’t sound right… but, yeah. Casting. Casting Director! Casting Director! That is what I meant. You were right. Scene 3 – Me:  We need to go to the NEX. The cats need… uh, the stuff they shit in… Sailor: Litter. Me: Yep. Litter. And the stuff they eat. Sailor: Cat food. Me: Yeah, I didn’t forget “cat food”. I was just sticking with the theme of not knowing words to make it seem fun.

Now onto the pros. This is infinitely harder.

  1. No hair means my prep time for leaving the house has been cut down by at least 30 or 45 minutes. No blowdrying, curling or straightening. Not to mention not worrying about trims, cuts, highlights and color. It’s a welcome relief for a bit.
  2. Speaking of no hair, no shaving. Or waxing. Or tweezing. It’s glorious.
  3. Yoga for cancer patients and survivors at the hospital. I actually haven’t gone yet but, I’m positive that I will. Eventually.
  4. I have a legitimate excuse to actually live in pajamas. When you’re feeling crumby and fatigued no one expects you to put on jeans or slacks. Flannel PJs or yoga pants and an over sized tee are more than acceptable even when you have company.
  5. Its the perfect excuse for a secret introvert to have for when she wants to be alone. Even when in perfect health I rarely am in the mood for the casual hang out. It takes a momentous amount of will power to want to leave my funk hole to adventure out and be social. Or even more to invite someone into my abode to hang. I mean, that means putting things away and cleaning and that’s just all exhausting. I’d prefer to to stay in my flannel PJs on the couch surfing the web and binge watching Downton Abbey eating ice cream covered in chocolate syrup and melted peanut butter. The struggle is real. See my previous post for further details.
  6. Soft skin. So since my cells aren’t regenerating like normal, my skin is shedding like a MOFO. So I, hating flaky skin, have been exfoliating and moisturizing like a little mofo to combat it. Results, fucking fantastic looking skin.
  7. Speaking of good skin, good bye menstrual cycle. No hormonal zits! No tampons and undie liners. No cramps and  crazy time (aka PMS). I can wear any color or type of underoos I want on any given day without worry of fucking Aunt Flo coming a couple days early to ruin my cute lace top pink and grey leopard print VS cotton undies. It’s glorious.

So there you have it. Now you have an idea on my Chemo “experience”. Mostly sucky. Very sucky actually but, a few silver linings. I mean, you have to try and find the silver linings or an already sucky situation can be unbearable. Like when you want to cry when you see your bald head but, you think, “At least I don’t have to shave my legs or wax my bikini line though…”

And it could have been worse. Much worse. I was reminded of that fact every other Tuesday when I went in for my chemo and would see so many people so far worse off than me. I wouldn’t say that I am lucky but, really all things considering I have been so far.

My Not So Secret Life as an Introvert (Original Post 01/28/16)

Most people can’t imagine that I am an introvert. I have a loud voice that carries across a crowed room. I am someone that will yell “OY! EVERYONE QUIET DOWN A MINUTE,” when someone at a gathering or meeting is trying unsuccessfully to get everyone to pipe the fuck down and pay attention. I have no problems telling ridiculous jokes in mixed company and I have no shame in dropping the word fuck in every day conversation. The problem is getting me out of the house.

I am an extroverted introvert. I know that sounds like a bunch of hooey but, it’s for real. When I am home, it’s the best thing ever. Wearing comfy sweat pants and over sized tees and having access to my favorite juice at any time, it’s awesome. Laying on my couch and binge watching Downton Abbey on Amazon Video nonstop with the occasional bowl of ice cream drowned in chocolate syrup and melted peanut butter. Nothing sounds more perfect. Me, cocooned in a fuzzy blanket, watching TV in a medium grade sugar induced coma.

Most of my friends don’t understand this. They assume that I want to be surrounded with chatter and socialization; to be a social butterfly as they perceive me. But that is not me. It hasn’t been me since I was… I don’t even know, 2001? 2000? I can’t even remember honestly because I have never been that into hanging out and doing shit. I enjoy doing what I want comfortably in my own home. Alone most of the time. I could go days without social interaction other than going to the grocery store and spending 4 minutes talking to the cashier ringing my groceries.

I hit the jack pot with The Sailor. He’s calm, quiet and shares my affinity for hunkering down at home. We can sit in the living room side by side reading or watching a movie content in each other’s presence. We can drive in the car silent listening to the radio and not feel compelled to fill the time with chatter unless we have something important to talk about. He accepts both sides of me; the hermit that would rather forgo pants for a night in a dimly lit room watching movies than getting dressed up and made up to go mingle in a crowd of people 95% of which I barely know if at all as well as the loud mouth goof that likes to make people laugh.

So you see, when I decline an invite to go to a party or out for a girls night, it’s not that I don’t like you or your company, it’s just that the thought of putting on pants and doing my make up let alone getting off the couch is simply too overwhelming to me at the time. It’s me, not you. Don’t think I won’t ever accept. I will, eventually. You should also know that I’ll never lie to you when I decline. I’ll alway be honest. If I simply don’t feel like it, I’ll tell you as such. No lame excuses from me. Try not to take that personal either.

So there you have it. I rarely want to leave my funk hole of home but, when I do, I have no problem socializing and bringing laughter to the room. And when I do leave my house I promise to wear pants.

Marry a Man (Original Post 01/09/16)

Marry a man that will hold you tight when days are rough.

Marry a man that will carry you to the bathroom when your legs fail you.

Marry a man that recognizes when you are sad and asks you what is wrong.

Marry a man that doesn’t mind tears and snot on his shoulder.

Marry a man that reassures you that you’re the one no matter what.

Marry a man that can make you laugh even when you absolutely don’t want to.

Marry a man that holds your hand in the darkest hours and tells you there is a light.

Marry a man that finds entertainment in the very presence of you, even if that’s at 2 am in the ER.

Marry a man that means it when he says “For better or worse, in sickness and in health”.

Marry a man that will watch 10 hours of Downton Abbey with you and never complain.

Marry a man that wouldn’t dream of letting you face a single doctors visit alone.

Marry a man that buys you a candy bar everytime he stops for gas.

Marry a man that would drive over an hour round trip alone just to get you a food craving when there is nothing else you want to eat.

Marry a man that will get you a drink from the kitchen 20 times a day even when you’re not sick.

Marry a man that loves your pets as much as he loves you.

Marry a man that loves you enough to buy you hemroid cream.

Marry a man that will drive you at 12am to get ice cream.

Marry a man that will rub your aching legs without you having to ask.

Marry a man that tells you you’re cute even when you lose your hair.

Marry a man will clean the litter box for you.

Marry a man that wants you to be happy above all else.

Marry a man that you want to be happy above all else.

A Series of Unfortunate Toxic Titty Events (Original Post 10/05/15)

WARNING! I’M GOING TO SAY FUCK. A LOT.

5 weeks ago I got pathology results that informed me that I have breast cancer. Fucking 35 and I have fucking breast cancer. What the fuck? Really?

In the last 6 weeks I have been poked, prodded, stuck with needles and felt up by so many people with so many things, that I literally can’t even remember it all. I’m trying to keep notes on shit but, it’s fucking overwhelming. Like nonstop. I think I’m finally getting to a point that I can sit down and write about it here and there. I mean, I struggled for several weeks to even say “I have cancer” to people I care about. Literally, I told my mother that I have fucking cancer via text. I don’t care if I go to hell for that. I just could not deal with hearing her cry over the phone so fuck it. She got a text. Just like everyone else I love. In the last week or so though, I find myself getting back as close to normal as I’m going to get. Example, last night one of the kitchen managers at my job said something to me and my response was, “Huh?” and he proceeded to jokingly yell about how he hates “HUH” as a response because that’s all his kids ever say. My response was, “Sorry, I didn’t hear you. I have cancer,” and smiled and did my best Puss-In-Boots face.

So there you have it. Perhaps you’re a family member or  friend of mine and you already know all the above. Then this post is boring and old news. But, perhaps you aren’t one of those and you’re reading this news for the first time. Maybe you are one of the estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer cases expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. in 2015. Or one of the estimated 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in men. Maybe you’re one of the innumerable individuals who’s just been touched in some way by the evil shithead known as breast cancer. If you are, I just joined your fucked up fraternity/sorority so I feel you. Maybe you have questions. Ask me. I am an open book. Every person’s journey (BTW I HATE that they call diagnosis and treatment a journey but, I’ll discuss that loathing more later) is different but, we can all relate in some way.

So, y’all can look forward to rants about fertility treatments to help keep my dreams of mini-me’s alive, chemo and all the possible fucked up side effects, my irritation at everything, torturing my poor sailor and my crazy friends and their wonderful antics for me. Forgive me if the posts are infrequent at times or rapid fire others. I have fucking cancer and I do what I want when I fucking feel like it.

And if you so feel inclined (no pressure) visit my Christan’s Breast Cancer Sucks Fund Raiser and check out if you’d like to donate. Or send me a virtual hug. Or share it via social media to help me spread the word. Cancer is not only physically and emotionally exhausting but, financially too the bitch.

A Brave New Generation (Original Post 05/26/15)

My generation is weird. I can’t think of a better description; simple and straight to the point – WEIRD. We live in a strange no man’s land somewhere between Gen X’s damn the man cool grunge ways and Millennials tech savvy computer driven worlds. Some people call us Gen Y but really, let’s admit it, we made that shit up in a weak attempt to fit in. And Gen Y isn’t even that creative. We deserve a better designation though I can’t think of one that would pass as acceptable. It’s like we are the silent always ready to please middle child of the generations.

Think about it, we are the last ones to say we used a library card catalogue to find our “Choose Your Own Adventure” books but, also have navigated the computer catalogue system searching for the latest Anne Rice novel so we could imagine a dreamy vampire Brad Pitt seeking us out in the shadows.  Heck, we remember going to the library to use actual books to research papers as well as scouring the internet for legit citations. We remember the awe of the first home computers and saving digital files but we can tell you how to load a typewriter tape and make manual type corrections. We can tell you tales of committing numerous phone numbers to memory, hand dialing them in to the phone mounted to the wall of our kitchen to see if someone wanted to go ride their bike to see a movie but, we can also tell you how to program a recording on your cell phone to become a ringtone. And bless our middle child hearts, we know what life was like before social media. Back when if you took a picture, you made damn sure it was a worthwhile memory that you didn’t want to forget because each one cost you precious earned money for the film and the developing. Then again, we also know what our friend from 3rd grade, now 35 years old, had for brunch on Sunday thanks to Instagram.

Thankfully we were lucky enough to learn to navigate those shark infested waters as relative adults. I mean, I didn’t even have MySpace until I was in my 20’s and Facebook I was closer to 30 and I’ll leave it at that. We didn’t have to worry about some bullshit whiney post complaining about one thing or another coming back in 8 years to bite us in the ass and eliminating us from getting a job we applied for. Or worse, getting us fired from a job we already had. I mean, when you are 16 and you type “I’m stoned as fuck and I don’t caaaaaaarrrrrreeeeeezzzzzz” Do you really think about being 22 and applying for your first internship at a law firm? Or better yet being 38 and contemplating getting into politics? Heck no. You’re not thinking because you are 16 and dumb to begin with and now stoned on top of it.

We didn’t have to worry about super creeps trolling for young girls and boys to prey on by disguising themselves virtually as a same age love interest. Then proceeding to lure them to sneak out and hop a train or a bus to their “hometown” to meet where they are attacked or worse never heard from again. Don’t think it doesn’t happen. It does, and it’s scary. This, this chills me to my core. The internet helping predators find young people who are naive, looking for love and attention and exploiting it. My friend once worked with “To Catch A Predator” as a young 20-something posing as an underage girl. The things these pervs would type to her… It left me aghast at what she would talk about. Some things she just wanted to forget and I will never know.

We didn’t have to learn the harsh reality of cyber bullying. Once we made it through the gruelling days at school of being pushed into lockers or your head being bopped down into the drinking fountain while you stole a sip on the way to your next class, we were safe. Save for your evil older siblings and the occasional weekend run in with the trashy girl from the next block over that always seemed to be dating a boy several years older that somehow seemed to always catch you riding your bike around the block or walking to a friend’s house. Inevitably she would make her stupid grit stash boyfriend jump over your head or power lift your scrawny self over his head because you were skinny and nerdy and helpless… her name was Yvette and she was a bitch, I’ll never forget but, I digress…

Outside of school we had a relative safe haven. We got home and played our 8 bit Super Mario Brothers, climbed trees, rode bikes to the playground or just aimlessly walked/rode around the block and went about our kid lives for the most part. We didn’t log onto the internet to continue the barrage of insults and cruel jokes. Lets face it, the buffer of the internet rather than face to face has empowered a whole new league of hate filled shit mouthed brats. I have personally witnessed some of the evil and vile venom these little punk ass clowns have spewed at there peers and it’s horrifying. I walked away from my computer screen feeling like a worthless rat and I am am adult (well in theory I am at least). I couldn’t have handled it. It would have broke me in a way that is vile and sad. It practically brings me to tears thinking of the poor girls and boys as empathetic as I was at that age enduring that kind of blind hate and insults.

When you start to break it down, we are the last innocent generation. Oblivious to how hate filled and ugly the world could be on such a personal level. At the same time, we are adaptable in ways we never imagined as young’uns. We have changed with the times and rapidly at that. We know and appreciate the innocence and simplicity of our youth and can successfully deal with the in your face digital sensationalism that is our adult years.

I weep for current and the near future generations. They don’t know any better. They will never know or understand the freedom of not having a cell permanently affixed to their hand demanding immediate and constant attention. They will never know the anonymity that having a digital free life brings. They will always have information at their fingertips, immediately and in most cases whether they want it or not. Social and online news media will report world events before they happen and quietly slink away into the shadows when the fear mongering stories turn out to be less than a blip. That fear will stay with them and continue to be fed by each successive in your face breaking news story jammed down their eye sockets. The grass will always be greener in the Jones’ lawn proudly displayed all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They will always strive to keep up with the next, to post the better picture, to get more likes and to have the most viewed life so much so that they will forget to enjoy it. Or worse yet, they will over look the unhappiness that those hundreds of “happy” pictures cover.

I shudder at the thought of where their bigger faster more better I hate you because you’re different generation will lead us and the next generations to come. We could turn out like the Jettson’s with Rosie pressing buttons to 3d print our hot family meal before we get in our flying car to go to the 4d cerebral movie venue or we could become Huxley’s “A Brave New World” limited by each other to such extremes that critical thinking and emotion is frowned upon just do what you’re told but here, here are limitless amounts of material things to play with and amuse yourselves for as short as you like, then just toss them. Like Dick and Sue next door. Just don’t start thinking for yourself or feeling and we will keep giving you more stuff.