Category: Personal Stories


Showing off the legs in question

 

At the risk of sounding vain, I love my legs.  A few years ago, when I was complaining to my mom about the fact that I had inherited her nose, she cut me off by replying, “Yes, but you inherited my legs too so stop complaining.”  And you know what?  She was right.  I take a lot of pride in my legs and I enjoy showing them off.

At one time, of course, showing them off would probably have meant being accused of gross indecency.  Most famously, during the Victorian Era, it was considered scandalous for a woman to even show her ankles.  

Fortunately, especially for those of us who live in the Southwest where it’s usually just a little bit too hot and dry to wander around covered head-to-toe in several layers of clothing all in the name of public decency, times have changed.

Now, if you’re like me and you like to show off your legs then you probably know that there’s a lot of advice to be found online on how to wear a miniskirt without 1) looking trashy and 2) letting the entire world know what color underwear you’re wearing. 

A lot of that information is actually pretty helpful.

And then some of that information, like this video that I came across on YouTube yesterday, is from 1967…

That’s right, ladies.  The key to wearing a miniskirt is to make sure you carry your chastity board with you everywhere and try not to distract the men from getting their work done.

You’re welcome. 🙂

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I wasn’t ready to say goodbye

Even though everyone knew it was time

I can’t get my mind to accept it

Nobody asked me if I had anything to say

Nobody told me it was time

I still see it all so clear

I reach out and take your hand

Mom, are you okay?

I don’t think so you say

And you slip away

I’m told the tears will dry in time

But I don’t think so

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye

Okay, so this is what happens when I don’t get enough sleep the night before and don’t have any major “ah ha” moments during the day. I ened up taking silly random quizzes on the Internet and posting the results.


Now, to be honest, I usually have a tendency to try to find the most sordid, potentially TMI tests possible. However, tonight, I decided to keep things fairly tame by taking the following quizzes:


What age do you act? (My actual age, by the way, is 25.)


You Act Like You Are 15 Years Old


You are a teenager at heart. You don’t quite feel like a grown up yet, but you don’t feel like a kid.
You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

You’re quite rebellious, and you don’t like being told what to do. You like to do things your way.
You have your own unique style, taste in music, and outlook on life.


Do you follow your head or your heart?


You Follow Your Heart


You’re romantic, sentimental, and emotional.
You tend to fall in (and out of) love very quickly.
Some may call you fickle, but you can’t help where your emotions take you.
You’ve definitely broken a few hearts, but you’re not a heartbreaker by nature.
Your intentions are always good, even if they change with the wind


What personality disorder are you? (To be honest, a better question would probably be which personality disorder aren’t I?)


You May Be a Bit Borderline…


Your mood swings make a roller coaster look tame!
When you’re up, you’re a little bit crazy…
And when you’re down, your whole world is crashing
Scary thing is, these moods can change by the minute!


Are you a feminist?


You Are 91% Feminist


You are a total feminist. This doesn’t mean you’re a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It’s a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.


How Irish are you? (The technical answer, by the way, would be that I’m a fourth Irish. I’m also a fourth Italian, a fourth German, and a fourth Basque. Of course, most people would probably just say I’m a country girl from Texas.)


You’re 80% Irish


Congratulations, you’re a shining example of an Irish lass (or lad).
There’s hardly anyone more Irish than you!


How cluttered is your mind? (Very cluttered, I imagine.)


Your Mind is 86% Cluttered


Your mind is incredibly cluttered. You have so much going on in there, it’s hard to think straight.
Consider talking to a therapist. It’s a good idea to sort through your thoughts, if only to see which ones are worth hanging on to.


Hopefully, I’ll have an ah ha moment tomorrow because I’m not sure how many more of these quizzes I can take before I start taking them way too seriously.

It’s about 2:2o in the morning.  I got into bed 90 minutes ago and in that time, I’m not sure how many times I’ve fallen asleep and woken up.  All I know is that every time I open my eyes, I look over at the clock glowing in the darkness and I wonder how it’s possible that so little time has passed. 

I’ve resorted to turning on the TV.  Late at night, Channel 27 stops showing old episodes of Cops and starts showing infomercials.  Sometimes, if I’m lucky, it’ll be a good infomercial like the one for the shakeweight or one of those Songs By People You’ve Never Heard Of music collections.  Tonight, however, our infomercial is for Peter Popoff, a loud and shrill preacher who apparently can heal the sick by touching them.  Even more importantly, if you call him, you can get “free miracle spring water” along with what is described as being a “faith tool.”  I’m not sure what the tool is but apparently, if you get it, you can supernaturally cancel your financial debts.  That’s what the man claims.

Much of what Popoff says makes no sense, on either a logical or a theological level.  Popoff screams, “God wants you to be rich!” in between footage of some old woman jumping out of a wheelchair and dancing.  “Oh!  OH!”  Popoff screams, “she’s dancing!  SHE’S DANCING!  SHE’S GOING TO DO A LITTLE DANCE!”

Peter Popoff -- HEALER!

I hit mute because Popoff’s shrill voice is starting to give me a headache.  I watch as Popoff now silently yells and more people jump out of wheelchairs and toss crutches to the ground.  I notice that almost everyone in the audience is black yet Popoff is very, very white and I wonder why I feel guilty about spotting this.

Graphics flash on the screen.  “Cancel your debt!”  they announce.  Men and women — almost all of them black, almost all of them old — are now silently giving testimonials on the TV.  The closed captioning kicks in and I watch their words flash across the screen.  “I had lost everything…” scrolls across the bottom of the screen.

Suddenly, Peter Popoff and a woman I assume to be his wife are both on-screen.  Popoff is waving around a piece of paper.  I have to look away because I feel like I’m staring at the devil.

From what I’ve seen, Peter Popoff’s claim is that God wants you to be rich.  And who am I to say he’s wrong?  I’m a fallen sinner, after all.  I was raised Catholic.  I grew up wondering if I would ever be strong enough to take vows of silence, chastity, or poverty.  (And the answer turned out to be no for all three.)  Who am I to judge this ranting, scary-looking, lumbering creature who clams he can heal and who claims he can magically erase all of my problems?  Who am I to disagree with a man who buys airtime just so he can claim to be God?

Peter Popoff and friend

I’m nothing but a doubter and late night television infomercials have no use for the doubter or the skeptic.  No, infomercials are all about celebrating the fact that people will believe anything as long as it’s on TV.

It’s hard for me to believe that there was a time before I become a doubter.  This was when I could still look at a priest without wondering if he was going to be arrested on sex abuse charges.  This was when I still believed that men and women were capable of doing things out of their kindness of their heart and nothing more.  This was back when I still believed that mom and dad would be married forever and that neither of them would ever leave me behind.  This was back when I believed that happiness was something more than just an interval between pain.  In my heart, this feels like it was a very long time ago.

And back then, I so admired the men and women who chose to devote their lives to serving God.  I admired them because, unlike Peter Popoff, they served God with the knowledge that it would mean being poor and  that it would mean sacrificing everything that spoiled little girls like me took for granted.  I looked at them and I wondered how can they be so strong

And, today, I just look at them and I wonder if they were all just Peter Popoff in disguise. 

I look back up at Peter Popoff.  The closed captioning informs me that Peter is telling us that God wants us to be rich.  You cannot serve God and money, I think, that’s from the Gospel of Saint Luke.  Chapter 16, verse 13.

Enough of this.  Searching for my last faith isn’t going to help my insomnia.  I pick up the remote and lift it towards the TV, just in time to see that Peter Popoff is finished. 

Instead, Peter Popoff has been replaced with a new infomercial, this one for the Strap Perfect.  The closed captioning tell me that “Strap Perfect is the perfect solution for your bra strap problems.  Stop wrestling with stubborn bra straps…”

I point the remote at the TV and quickly turn the volume back up.

As Seen On TV

 

I'm using this picture because, quite frankly, I think it treats Bin Laden with all the respect he deserves.

Last night, as I watched the news reports about the death of Osama Bin Laden, I heard more than one reporter say, “Now, everyone will remember where they were when they first learned that Osama Bin Laden was dead.”

Myself, I first learned about it at 9:38 last night.  I was sitting on my couch in my beloved black Pirates shirt and underwear, watching the Celebrity Apprentice with my sister Erin and my friend Jeff.  We had already seen the announcement that President Barack Obama was planning on giving a speech at 9:30 and we were ominously informed that the subject of the speech was “unknown.”  Erin was concerned that we were about to get into another war, my (hopeful) guess was that he was going to announce his resignation, and Jeff suggested that he was just wanted to show Donald Trump who was boss.  Luckily, Erin happened to be on twitter and she was the one who first spotted the “Bin Laden’s dead!” tweets.

So, that’s how I first learned that Osama Bin Laden was dead.  I have to be honest, I wish the moment had been a bit more cinematic.  I wish I could say that the circumstances were more like being kissed by a stranger in Times Square on V-Day or something else with a similar romantic appeal.

But no, the reality of the matter is that when I first heard the news, I was lounging on my couch in my panties.  Fortunately, they were at least festive panties.

The panties I was wearing the night Bin Laden died

I do take some comfort, however, in the fact that I probably wasn’t the only person not dressed to witness history that night.  And regardless, history just happens.  It’s not something you can prepare for. 

What’s important, and  I say this as a confirmed bleeding heart pacifist who is opposed to the death penalty and who fervently believes that prisons should be more about rehabilitation than punishment, is that right now, I’ve never been prouder of our armed forces. 

And, in the future, when I’m asked what it was like to first hear that Bin Laden was dead, that’s the answer I’ll give.

Promises, Promises

Anger is the most frustrating of all emotions.

I speak from experience because, though you might not always be able to tell, I’m actually a very angry person.  To be honest, I think most people are.  Sometimes I feel like the whole concept of “personality” is just a defense mechanism that we use to try to keep others from realizing just how close we are to losing control of our emotions.  Personality is what we use to disguise the fact that we’re all essentially just the product of lost dreams, failed loves, and questions that will never be answered.

As I sit here right now, All About Eve is playing on the TV in front of me.  I love All About Eve and I was very much looking forward to seeing it but I’ve barely paid attention to it.

Instead, I’ve spent the entire film trying to deal with the anger that I feel towards one guy that I barely even know.  Without going into too many specifics, he basically made some comments regarding how I choose to express myself. 

Yeah, I know.  That’s pretty vague.

But why I’m angry with him isn’t really that important.  His comments were stupid and self-righteous and, sad to say, that same was probably true of my response.  (The difference between me and him is that I, at least, am capable of realizing this.)  What’s important is why one idiot could manage to piss me off so much as to ruin several hours out of my weekend.

Well, truthfully, he’s not the one who ruined those hours.  I am.  I’m the one who allowed his pointless comments to mean something to me.  Through my response, I gave him a prominence that he really doesn’t deserve.

Why did I do this?  This is a question that I’ve asked myself many times.  Why can’t I just let this stupid bullshit go?  Why do I insist on giving in to my irrational, immature impulses when I know that it’s just going to make things worse?

Because I’m angry.

I was angry before this idiot even knew I existed.  I was angry long before I ever had a twitter account.  I was angry before Facebook ever existed.  I’ve been angry my entire life.  25 years is a long time to be angry but I’ve managed to do it. 

My anger is not born out of hate.  My anger is fueled purely by pain.  Everyday is a struggle not to give into that pain and, with each passing year, I get a little bit better at fighting off that pain.  But far too often, I get hit in a moment of weakness and I give in.

I wish I didn’t.

I never feel good about it afterward.

Every day, I promise myself that I will no longer allow myself to be victimized by my own pain.

Some day, hopefully, I’ll actually be able to keep that promise.

Yesterday, I found myself trapped in a haze of ADD and it was all because it snowed.

Our Neighborhood on Friday morning (picture taken by Erin Nicole Bowman)

Since, of course, I live in Texas, my response to this was to say, “What’s snow?”  Well, apparently, it’s very white, it’s very cold, and it forces you to stay inside, watching Lifetime movies and old DVDs while posting too much information on twitter and generally trying to see how much you can annoy your older sister until she asks you if you’re interested in playing “the quiet game” for a little while.

(Incidentally, I don’t know about your older sister but mine turned out to be remarkably tolerant and I’m proud of her.)

It also keeps you from going to work and I know some people claim that’s a great thing but for me, it was really, really difficult.  In fact, if not for the fact that my boss specifically called me to tell me not to bother to come in because he wasn’t going to come in, I would have braved the ice and snow just so I could spend some quality time answering the phoner and saying, “I’m afraid he’s not going to be able to meet with you today.”  Scoff if you will but I would have happily done it and I regret not being able to do it because not going to work threw me off my routine and I spent most of yesterday in an ADD haze.

Like a lot of things, though, an ADD haze is only a bad thing in retrospect.  While it’s occurring, it’s actually kinda fun.  For instance, I spent a few hours reading three books at one time while an old Dracula film (Hammer’s Dracula A.D. 1972 to be precise) played on the TV and Siouxsie and the Banshees played on my laptop and the microwave zapped up one of those “super pretzels” that I love so much.  Now you could argue that by doing 20 things at once, I end up truly experiencing not a single one of them but, to be honest, it’s so exhilarating at the time.  It makes me love ADD.

Unfortunately, the exhilaration of ADD is always followed by the times when the entire world just seems overwhelming and all the thoughts in your mind start to you weigh down, making you feel like you’re trying to run through quicksand.

Things like going to my job, watching a movie, spending Friday night with a certain someone, blogging, spending a few hours a night on twitter, or watching some silly reality TV show — these are the things that I use to pull myself out of that quicksand.  These are the things that I look at and say, “As long as I keep these things consistent, than I can force some sort of rhyme and reason on the chaotic mess that is my mind.”

The snow, as much as I loved it, took away all of my rhyme and reason for the day.  Luckily, that afore-mentioned special someone was able to make his way to the house after he got off from his job and that helped to put me back on track.

But until he arrived, I found myself spending what seemed like an eternity watching the icicles outside of the den door get bigger and bigger and bigger.  Seriously, I was scared to even let our cat near the door for fear that this one icicle would come to life and try to attack us.  Here’s two pictures of it, courtesy of my sister Erin:

I mean, seriously — that thing was scary!

Well, today, the sun is out, the temperature is above freezing for the first time since last Monday, and the snow is slowly melting.  And I know I should probably be happy but I’m sad to see it go.  I’m a Texan and as much as it disrupted my routine, I know there’s a good chance I’ll never see this much snow again for the rest of my life.

But that’s life.

You’ve got the celebrate what you have when you’ve got it and be prepared to accept that everything goes away in the end.

Okay, it’s confession time!

(Who doesn’t love confession time?)

Actually, it’s even better than confession time.  It’s time for a series of confessions:

1) Like many Americans, I am addicted to twitter.

2) Like many twitter users, I claim not to care how many people follow me.

3) Like many twitter users who claim not to how many people follow me, I very much care how many people follow me.

4) That I take rejection personally shouldn’t come as a big shock because most people do.  I take no shame in that nor do I feel like I should pretend like I don’t feel that I’m worth knowing.  However, what’s odd is that I actually find myself more offended when I’m rejected online than when I’m rejected in the real world (for lack of a better term).

Why is this?

Why is it that I can usually recover from real-life rejection in a day or two yet, if someone unfollows me on twitter, I’ll can carry a grudge against them for 1 year, 6 months, and counting?

I think it’s because, in real life, we can make up excuses for the rejection.  We can say, “I bet he has a girlfriend,” or “Maybe he just got really busy at work.”  We can say, “Maybe he lost my number,” or “Maybe he’s lying in a ditch dead somewhere.”  And deep down, we know that chances are, he’s alive, single, unemployed. and highly organized.  But what’s important is that we still know he might be dead.

Whereas, if you get rejected on twitter, it’s because someone specifically went to your homepage and clicked unfollow.  It takes more than one step to reject someone on twitter. 

Morbid as it may be to acknowledge, the dead can continue to follow you on twitter without you ever realizing that there’s no longer anybody around to read what you’re writing. 

Rejection may hurt but being unfollowed — now that’s pain.

I love examining and analyzing and obsessing over blog stats.  Earlier today, I took a look to see what search terms have led people to this blog ever since I first started it last summer.

Here’s the 10 phrases, names, and search terms that have most frequently led people to this blog. 

1) Tim Gunn — 77 views

2) Lisa Marie Bowman boobs — 63 views

3) girl groped in theater — 54 views

4) Lisa Marie Bowman — 49 views

5) Katy Perry boobs — 35 views

6) Gabrielle Giffords Got What She Deserved — 29 views (Hopefully, those 29 people will never visit this site again.  Seriously, I find this to be a hundred times more disturbing than the idea of 63 people trying to look up my boobs on google.)

7) Gabrielle Giffords — 23 views

8 ) my stutter — 20 views

9) Groped in theater — 18 views

10) boobs Lisa Marie Bowman — 15 views

So, what can I gather from these results? 

Well, I’ve already previously stated my reaction to the 6th most popular search term. 

It would seem that quite a few people came here hoping to find a story about getting groped in a theater and I suspect my blog post probably wasn’t what they were looking for.

78 people came here looking for Lisa Marie Bowman’s boobs.  Now, admittedly, I share my name with a few others (including a singer in the UK) but still, I can’t help but take some pride in the possibility that my boobs are more popular than both Tim Gunn and Katy Perry.

Sad to say but very few people have come here looking for information of Victoria Woodhull.

(This is one of the couple of thousand poems I’ve written about being bipolar.   Out of those thousands, this one is probably the least TMI. This one was an attempt, on my part, to explain why I decided to stop medicating myself.)

I have no more 2 a.m. demons

pushing words through my soul

No madness to create poetry

on sheet after page of escape

No more hours of contemplation or

freedom wrapped between my thighs

Nothing to purge into metaphor

And nothing left to say

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