Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm Going...

I told him that it was time to leave. I told him that we had to go home.

"No," he answered.

"You want to stay with Grandma? Don't you want to go to daycare tomorrow?"

"No," was his reply.

"Don't you want to play with Jeffrey?"


"Okay, well, Momma is going to go home." I went for my coat. As I was putting my coat on he went and sat on Grandma's lap.

"Wow. Okay. Well, I am going to put the suitcase in the car and I will be right back." I started for the door.

"Momma! Momma! Momma! Wait!!" I spun around and he was running towards me with tears streaming down his face. I fell to my knees to embrace him.

"Oh my god! Momma isn't going to leave you!" I was blinking back tears. I felt terrible. He wouldn't let me out of his sight for a minute.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No, You Don't Belong Here

Have you ever seen SubUrbia? It's this great flick and one of the lines that always stands out is "No, you don't belong here." I was going to put the video up so you would no what I'm talking about but it's in the middle of a 10 minute video and I know we don't care enough.

Anyways, I have been trying to find my place. I've been trying to find people to connect with. People who know what I am going through. People who I can trust and maybe after time, have someone to pick my son up from daycare in an emergency. Or somewhere I can go and feel safe. Or maybe people who I can have some fun with.

It has been a major fail.

My ex was the one who made the friends. I did have my own friends, but they were all old friends. Granted, my friends have always been true friends and my ex's friends were always just mooching, but he could talk to people. He could become fast friends with anyone. That was, probably, his fatal flaw, but you see my point, right? He talked to people, I didn't.

So, being tossed out on my own for the first time in, well, forever, I find myself very lonely. I do have friends, but they all seem to be very far away. And when friends are far away, you can't see them all that often, and when you don't see them all that often you lose touch.

I have been on this mission impossible for quite some time now and it seems fruitless.

I should probably say now that I exclude my bloggy friends from this post. I have met some wonderful people who know what I am going through and are great listeners, but I can't come over to your house. You can't come over to mine.

First I started with, looking for mommy groups. I went on some play dates but they were all disasters. I had nothing in common with these women. I could not stand half of them and the other half didn't seem to need any new friends.

I met this woman through this support group I went to a few times. We hung out a few times, our kids played a few times, but honestly, I didn't really like her.

I don't feel like I belong at work. I am surrounded by smart, ambitious people. I am not ambitious. They all just work in my position for a couple of years then go on to graduate programs. Not me. I never really liked school in the first place. And I always feel like the bad kid. None of them ever did drugs or went home with strangers or got married on a whim or been arrested.

I tried going to a Unitarian Universalist church a couple of times. They were all perfectly nice people and they kept saying how welcoming they are, but I didn't feel particularly welcome. I chatted about the weather with a couple of people but no one took any interest in knowing me. Maybe I that was my job. I don't know.

I would try other churches but I don't "believe in God" so I just don't think a church is the place for me.

I never felt close to one side of my family but recent events made me feel even more like an outcast.

Recently I haven't even felt right in my own state. Massachusetts is supposed to be a liberal state. Why would they elect a Republican? When did everyone jump the fence? Sometimes I fear that the whole country is conservative. Then where would that put me?

I am an atheist liberal single mom of a toddler who works full time in the city. Where do I fit in?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not Likely

I got my first anonymous comment! Yay! Of all the things I write about, it was in response to a Post-It (?)

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is unfair for a poor person to have the same as me.. If they get it the same way I did by working and saving .. not by taking some of mine (money) to get it.

Which got me to thinking. My sticky was originally in response to a brief conversation that I had had with a friend of mine. But Anonymous got me to thinking about prejudices. This got me to concocting a hypothetical situation. For your perusal.


You and I go into a fancy schmancy restaurant (you are paying). We look over and see Man A at table one wearing a tux and drinking some fine wine with a beautiful woman. We look over at table two and see Man B wearing a tie with a pretty woman, who looks slightly out of place.

"Hey," you say, "didn't Man B pump your gas yesterday?" Sure enough he had. You say, "What do you think - you think he is a drug dealer or maybe welfare is paying for his dinner?"

Man A overhears this remark. He puts down his wine glass and says "Yeah, you know who is probably paying for that meal - you and me, my friend. Hard-working tax-paying citizens."


Boy A grew up in a nice suburb in a nice house with a nice family with 2.5 kids. Boy A gets good grades in school. When he turns 16, his parents buy him a car. Nothing fancy, but with a car he can get that internship over at his dad's agency.

Boy A finishes high school and goes to a nice university. He graduates and is now Man A. Because he had that internship in high school, Man A gets a cushy job at the agency. Man A works, comes home with a nice paycheck to a nice house in a nice suburb with his nice wife and 2.5 children. Man A takes his wife out for "date night" on Fridays, which is where we meet him.


Boy B grew up in an apartment in a tough neighborhood. Boy B worked hard in school, stayed away from all of the drugs he saw his friends doing, but still did not get the best grades. When Boy B turns 16 there is no money for a car, so he gets himself a job. He walks to the gas station where he pumps gas 5 nights a week.

He works more than he studies so he does not get good enough grades for the scholarships he applies for. His parents cannot take out loans for him, so college is not an option. Boy B joins the military.

After his four years, Man B is honorably discharged and goes back to his parent's house. Unfortunately, his paratrooper skills that he gained in the military are not an advantage in the local job market so Man B goes back to the gas station.

Man B works hard and saves up so that on his and his girl's anniversary he can take her to a fancy schmancy restaurant, where we see him.


I turn to you and ask "How do we know that Man B isn't a hard-working tax-paying citizen like the rest of us? Who knows, maybe he works harder than us."

Man A picks up his wine glass and chuckles, "Yeah, not likely."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time to Move to Canada?

I was a wreck yesterday. There are a couple of family stuffs. Remember Cousin in Italy? Well, apparently they are having a party for him and everyone was invited but me. My dad asked if I was invited. He said he is not going because I wasn't invited. It's nice to have someone on your team.

But the big news of the night was the shitty election. In case you don't know, Scott Brown, a republican, was voted into the senate seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. He is the 41st republican in the senate. He has said that he will vote against the health care bill. Now the democrats are short one vote. Dammit.

I spent part of my weekend calling people reminding them to vote. I called 50 people and there were somewhere around a million calls made total. I know it is crazy, but I almost felt like the election results were a personal attack. Obviously it is not, but once the snowball starts rolling, all sorts of crazy ideas come into my head.

One thing I was thinking about is my mother. She has terminal cancer and it looks as though she will spend her last years worrying about hospital bills. I do not want to live in a world where people do not have access to basic health care. Nor do I want to raise my child in that world.

I do not want to live in a world that denies people basic things, like marriage.

I understand that people have different beliefs. I understand that some people believe that homosexuality is an abomination (so is shrimp, but that is a different rant) but what I do not understand is why they must force their beliefs on the rest of us. I want to live in a world where people are equal. They don't have to like each other, or what each other does, just live and let live.

Anyways, moving on to the point of this post, I found a way to make myself calm down and take stock. I thought about Martin Luther King Jr. Once upon a time, about 50 years ago, black people were segregated from white people. They could not use the same bathrooms, go to the same schools, sit on the same bus seats. Then going a little farther back, women did not have equal rights. Once upon a time, I wouldn't have even been able to vote.

But people like Martin Luther King Jr fought against these injustices. And they did not win every battle. But eventually, things got better. God knows, there is still rampant racism, sexism, anti-semitism, but things are better. If MLKJ just threw up his hands and relocated to a more tolerant country, he'd still be alive, perhaps, but maybe blacks and whites would still have separate drinking fountains.

Change is slow. There will be set backs. I believe that people are good in their hearts even if the polls say otherwise. Things are not perfect, by any means, but at least I am able to vote. One hundred years ago I wouldn't have been able to. I can just keep fighting the good fight of equality and teaching my son to, as well.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Corn Dogs

My weekend has been like a corn dog. A perfectly good weekend surrounded by unnecessary anxiety. All morning I've been worried about whether or not the city was going to call a parking ban because of the snow. Although it's not really snow. It is accumulated freezing rain. If that makes sense. I am grateful that they haven't because I don't have to deal with taxis. I've become obsessed with the weather, though, anticipating the ban.

Being snowed freezing rained in gives me some time to make phone calls to fellow Massholes reminding them to vote tomorrow.

Yesterday we attended a Unitarian Universalist service for the first time. It is indeed different. The sermon began with a video of Micheal Jackson's Man in the Mirror. Unfortunately I didn't hear much more of it, because Ryder wanted me to play in the nursery with him. I really like that they never mentioned God or anything. They stayed general and gave moments of silence for personal prayer.

So, Ryder wanted me to play with him in the nursery. It is hard to meet adults in the nursery. Yep, it's true. Not that I can blame him alone. I don't know what to say to people. They introduce themselves to me, I introduce myself, then I am lost. Then I wander away. I suck at making friends. We're going to go back a couple more times, at least. Maybe with repetition both Ryder and I will feel more comfortable.

Then with my anxiety riding high, we went met my family at the Rainforest Cafe for my sister's birthday. Holy crap, that place is insane! I wanted the hide in the bathroom the whole time. It was fun after I calmed down. Ryder could not eat, he was so interested in everything else in the room. How do any kids eat in that place?

Aren't we a happy family?

We went to David's Bridal to try on dresses. That was fun! Since I have lost weight I went down a couple sizes, that always makes me happy.

I usually don't give you weekend synopsises but there you go. Here was Saturday:

Bird Man

Like his castle?

Showing off the FriendShip


Friday, January 15, 2010

My Mom Says the Wrong Thing..... Again

My parents are good parents. They raised four children, most all of us good people. They try to be supportive. Sometimes they say the very wrong things.

I had finally felt ahead. I had some money in the bank and enough to go out to dinner once in a while. Then, the car shit the bed. I was so upset. I worked so hard to get into this position just for it to be taken away by the damn car.

I called my dad and explained how frustrated I felt to go one step forward then pushed two steps back. "That's how life is," he shrugged. "It's been happening to me all my life." I got this sinking feeling. And the unmistakable feeling of losing hope. Why bother? If I am just going to be shot down every single time, why bother trying to get ahead? What the fuck is the point of any of it?

I told my dad later that what he said really made me lose all hope. "That is just how my life is," he said, "I am sure that yours will be different." I was not convinced.

I had bounced a check. Eventually I figured out that I had made a math error six months ago, and it wasn't a problem until now. I was freaking out. The check was paid, it was only $35 fee, I got paid the next day and everything was okay. But I was having a panic attack.

I called my mom. All I wanted was someone to say that it wasn't a big deal. That it was going to be alright. "Holy shit!" exclaimed my mom. "You need to find out why this happened and make sure it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN! Next time it could be worse. WAY WORSE!" Needless to say this did not help calm my panicking. She was telling me why all the ways I organize my finances were wrong and how they all had to be changed. Right. Now.

Later I told her that she made my panic attack worse. She did not understand. She said, "You called me with a problem and I tried to help you solve it."

Today Ryder had some evaluations at the school. They asked me all of the normal questions, but I didn't know the answers to all of them. "When was his tubes put in his ears?" Uhhh... 11 months? "How many other children are in day care?" Uhhhh... between two and seven? "He sounds congested, has he had a cold?" Uhhhh... no? "Does he know his colors?" Uhhh.... I don't know.

I felt like a shitty mom. Shouldn't I know all the answers to these questions? So I called my mom. "Well, most people do know the answers to all of those questions. Most people know what age the child achieved all his milestones." I told her right away that that doesn't help at all. "Whatever," she replied.

I don't know why I keep going to them for comfort.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2005 Raine

Here is my chosen writing assignment from Mama Kat:

2.) If you could have given yourself a snapshot five years ago of what your life is like now, what would the picture be of and how do you think you would have felt about it?

First, I think we should meet 2005 Raine. In January 2005 Raine had just moved from Denver back into her parent's house in Maine. She left behind a husband whose new bff was crystal meth and took along a little drinking problem. She thought everyday would be her last. She was certain that the infinite sadness would kill her. She felt like a miserable failure.

You wouldn't have liked her.

Zipping forward to today, I take a snapshot of my life and bring it back to her. She takes one look at it and says "What the fuck?? How the hell did this happen??"

2005 Raine sees a single mother living with her toddler and dog in Salem, MA. She sees a wonderful mother and perfect child. She sees her working at a prestigious hospital, working toward a cure for a fatal disease. She doesn't necessarily see a happy woman, but this woman she is looking at is no drunk.

"How did this happen?" she repeats.

I tell her that the next five years will be by far the most difficult in her life. I tell her that during those five years she will get back together with her husband, have a child, get a divorce, a restraining order, and file for bankruptcy.

I tell her that she survives it.

2005 Raine does not understand. She asks how it is humanly possible to survive all of that in five short years. She is scared.

But then she looks again at the snapshot. She sees that I had survived it all. She is proud of me. She is proud of herself.

The only thing I would ask of 2005 Raine is to remember that this too shall pass. I ask her to remember that she will survive. I tell her that in five years she will be better off. She will have a good life. Hopefully she listens.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Game For You

No Post-Its today.


I made this game for you instead.

You've played them before.

Look at the first picture and guess what it is.

Good luck!

A giant abacus!

You put balls into it and watch them come out the bottom.

Giant lightbrite!

How'd you do?

Monday, January 11, 2010


So, I just noticed many of your comments have been going into my spam folder! I'm sorry I never responded to you!!

Should I Defriend My Family?

I have tried hiding them, and that worked for a bit, but now they are actually talking to me.

It started out with Auntie K. She updated her status approximately every five minutes. Ninety percent of the time the status was something about how terrible life is. How her best and only friends come in bottles. How she is drunk at noon and how everyone are assholes. I was actually fairly concerned. I called my dad and told him to call her. (Damn, I didn't want to talk to her!) Apparently, she didn't actually realize that people were reading her updates. She is actually fine.

Good enough for me.

Okay, before you all send me hate mail, my dad's family are pretty much all asses, with few exceptions. My nanna hates my mom for something she said 30 years ago. She is a miserable old woman who raised miserable children. They don't call us or send Christmas cards or invite us to parties, so fuck them. (With few exceptions.)

Anyways, Auntie K. was hidden. Problem solved. Now I don't have to see her crazy shit.

Then, months later, my status was something along the lines of "Okay, MJ is dead, get over it." Something like that. She sent me an email telling me that I shouldn't put that shit on my wall. I told her "Whatever."

Recently Auntie C. friended me and I accepted because I have not spoken to Cousin in Italy for years. I was hoping that he, too, would get a facebook page and I could reconnect with him. So far, no go.

My status recently was "Fuck taxis," because I had just had a shitty time with some. Auntie C. writes to me telling me not to put that stupid stuff on my wall. I asked what she was talking about. She wrote something about me being a smart girl and shouldn't have that stuff on there, blah, blah, blah. Again my response was "Whatever."

My final point: You know how you can see when a friend of yours posts something on another friend's wall? Well, Auntie C. writes on Cousin in Florida's wall that he should come up because Cousin in Italy will be coming over.

There is no way that Cousin in Florida could come up with the money and time to take a jaunt up to New Hampshire last minute to see Cousin in Italy. Moi, on the other hand, am right here! Why hasn't anyone told me about Cousin in Italy coming??? Auntie C. only told Cousin in Florida because she knows that he couldn't make it. Bitch.

Think I should defriend them?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gifts and Such

So, I have been a total slacker. You should see my house. Or maybe it's better if you don't.

Here are a bunch of things that I had starred in my reader to do and haven't until now.

Numero Uno:

Given to me from the gorgeous blogger Ebony Haywood!

I am going to pass it on to Katie from Rooftop Melodies and Katie from Irrelevant Digressions of a Rambler because they are both gorgeous!

Numero Dos:

Given to me from the haute mess Mrs. Lovely! I have to admit that I had to look up the word haute. Does that disqualify me? I don't think so.

I am gonna pass this one on to JenJen at Jen's Voices and Frannie at Frannie Fires Back because haute totally describes them.

Numero Tres:

This one is from my frog JenJen!

I am giving this one to my frogs Jen at Yours + Mine = Ours and Steven at No Excuse, No Explanation.

Numero cuatro:

This may look like a fish, but it is not. It is the words I use the most often. Well, according to my page today. I learned about it from the haute mess Mrs. Lovely. It is from Wordle. Pretty sweet, huh? You should go get one - I wanna see it! Is anyone surprised that Ryder is the biggest? But what is with ONE?

There Was Once a Potato

Disclaimer: I bought this book on my very own. I am not being paid or asked or anything to do this review. Ebony won't even know until I hit publish :D

My good bloggy friend Ebony wrote this awesome kid's book There Was Once A Potato. It is a cute book about food in the refrigerator who learn that violence is not the answer.

When a fight breaks out in the fridge between the potato and the yam, all the foods are affected. Some join in and an innocent bystander, the egg, gets hurt. In the end, everyone comes together to help the egg and learns that friendship is more important than being the toughest.

The foods have cute names like Malickle the pickle. Ryder really enjoys naming all of the foods in the fridge. I really like reading it aloud because of the fun rhymes.

And you know what is the coolest part? Ebony wrote this when she was a kid and entered it into a poetry competition. It won in Los Angeles and she competed nationally! Check it out, I think it's amazing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Words That Don't Look Like Words But Are According to Bananagrams

Wanna play me in Bananagrams?? Find me on FaceBook. I'll kick your ass!

Of course I just gave away my winning words...

Monday, January 4, 2010

In Which Raine Doesn't Tip the Taxi Driver

I had a request to relate my taxi adventures and for you, Loyal Readers, I oblige.

I have on street parking. When it snows, the city calls a parking ban. No parking on any street. This means that I have to park in one of the two garages. One is closer, but significantly smaller, so it fills quickly and the other is farther and huge. Needless to say, I end up in the farther one nine times out of ten.

How far, you ask? Well, close enough that on a nice day it is a nice walk. Far enough that on a snowy cold day when you cannot push the stroller, it is way too fucking far.

Daycare, to make this worse, is farther away in the opposite direction. Did that walk one morning with the babe and he was nearly frostbitten. Poor parenting that day, for sure.

Anyways, I have submitted to calling a taxi when I have the child. If I am by myself, I walk. But not with the kid.

Last year it was $5.00 flat fee. Five friggin dollars to go a mile. Then a tip on top of that? Damn.

I wake up to find no cars on the road except mine. Shit! I jump up and quickly get Ryder ready so we can get my car off of the road before they tow it. I parked in the garage and called the taxi. He came and we got in. I was not paying attention, but a car pulled up alongside the taxi to let him know that he was going up a one-way the wrong way. This is a MAJOR road. He gets to my house and I hand him a ten. He hands me four back. "I thought it was $5." "Nope, $5.50." "Whatever."

This guy was sketchy so I wanted to check up on it. Their website says $4.50. I call the company and ask him. "Blah Blah Blah.... It is $5.50." Okay. Now it is $5.50 for one measly mile.

I'm not tipping. Fuck that.

The following day I need to get my car. I call a different taxi and the ass on the phone says he'll see if he can get a car here. "Do you have any idea how long??" I ask. "I don't know. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty minutes? I don't know," He thoughtfully replied.

The cab came quick enough. He drove along telling me about all these shitty people he has seen around town. Honestly, I do not care. I wish he would pay attention to the road. I gave him $5.50 when we arrived at the garage.

No tip. I don't feel bad.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Son is a Train Bully

We went to the Children's Museum today. They have one of those big train setups on a big table. Ryder spent approximately one hour playing with it. He likes trains.

There were these blue trains that were the same color as Thomas and so they were very popular with the under-four crowd. There was some swiping of the trains, but all in all the kids played with minimal adult interference.

My son was a train hog.

Since he just stayed there the whole time, when one kid left he grabbed the discarded cars. So after some time, he had most of the trains. Kids would come and take them and I'd tell him to share. Every time a kid took one he yelled "MOM!" Then was disappointed when I didn't kick the other kid's ass.

There were three cars that Ryder had at one point that I told him were enough for one time. Well, he turned his back and a little boy took two of them. Ryder was pissed! "MOM!" I told him it was fine. He could get some different ones.

He watched that little boy like a hawk. Then, like a ninja, when the boy turned, Ryder scooped the cars up. Then cheered. I couldn't help but laugh. It was like he won the lottery.

There was a drawbridge that Ryder was particularly fond of. This same little boy also liked this particular spot. When ever he came near, Ryder would pull the bridge up so he couldn't use it. Or he would put it down just so the boy could get the first car on, then he'd pull it up so the train fell off. I honestly didn't do much. I was quite entertained.

My son is the train bully.