October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence is a disease, a virus that feeds on silence and lack of education. My hope is for my poem to be one small step, one voice toward turning up the volume of the dialogue of abuse.
Thank You For Watching
Like already being late, as I’ve mentioned before: to get SIX KIDS out of the door and in the car, everything must work as a machine. If one tiny, teensy-weensy, miniscule, itty-bitty (Enough adjectives– you get the point) thing goes wrong, everything falls apart like those domino structures we used to make as kids, uhm, before the internet– when Nintendo cartridges would freeze up the NES and you’d have to clean them and wait forever.
So I’m herding everyone out the door, yes herding– I do not feel bad about using this word, and I thought it would be a nice gesture to turn the heat on in the Yukon. Until I put the key in to find that the engine wouldn’t turn over. As a matter of fact, nothing happened when I put the key in. As luck would have it, I know nothing about cars except that I want a blue Jeep someday. That aside, I didn’t have time to call for AAA who will offer a 30 minute wait and by the time they actually show up I am in dentures and my kids have grown and had children of their own. No Joke, anyone else struggle with that?
So I do the next best thing: I call my dear, patient husband and squawk at him to teach me, over the phone how to fix the problem. After spending about 10 minutes trying to pop the hood, it only took him about 20 more minutes to walk me through hooking the jump box up to the metal pieces.
Lucky for me, the Yukon started and it was just as I lifted the baby up to put her in her car seat that my nose caught a sharp whiff of undesirable odor leaking from her diaper.
Before children, I never had a reason to watch what I eat. I indulged myself in BBQ dripping with grease, fantastic cakes made of chocolate with chocolate icing, and (gasp!) deep fried delicacies: Oreos, Snickers, and even soda.
Those days long have passed and for years I have been shamefully hiding in dark closets under the black veil of the vapid night consuming everything from spicy nacho Doritos to Ghiradelli fine chocolates. Many days I find myself absentmindedly pausing at the green light outside of our local Krispy Kreme doughnut store,
— drooling. Eyes wide and staring with intensity at the glowing red light, taunting me into a caloric abyss that one might easily compare to that one guy who has absolutely NO business hanging around an all you can eat buffet.
Now for those of you who expected me to profess an unwavering commitment to counting calories in a futile attempt to burn off that muffin top, I apologize (my muffin top is way too sexy and I don’t for see it going anywhere!). The title of my article might be a bit misleading as my intent would be to literally watch what I eat: after having children, any food I leave lying around for the most minute period of time disappears.
Where did that Hershey’s dark chocolate bar with almonds really go? The answer lies in a pair of big brown eyes staring up at me. The mouth that professes that she did not eat it, lends evidence in the form of a cocoa colored ring.
Hmmm…A bit suspicious?
I will no longer leave a smoking plate of salmon sitting leisurely on the countertop. I will watch it with an unyielding eye, while unloading dishes and taking out the trash. My food will no longer disappear.
With a total of eight mouths in the household, my ability to watch what I eat means the difference between procuring bits of chewed, wet morsels of chicken nuggets off of my toddler’s high chair trey and a good, warm meal.
One night, after one of my long tulmutous days, I sat down at the laptop to browse on Facebook for a bit just to sit in shock and awe as my newsfeed was blown up about a very pretty mother who found herself convicted to no longer wear yoga pants. Has anybody else viewed this article? How could you not? It quite literally comprised the first 10-15 posts in my newsfeed. I really couldn’t care less as it is not my business what people are choosing to wear and the mother certainly was not trying to impose her views on me. I am so not judging this! It did, however, get me thinking, if these lustful men with wandering eyes are looking at her, perhaps they are also looking at me; I thought back to earlier that morning: there I was in the grocery store, wearing a hoodie and sweatpants, frazzled hair up in an untidy bun, dark circles under the eyes blazing, all six children in tow and as I thought about the scenario I became fearful that perhaps these lustful men were after me too!! Collecting myself, I asked my husband if he ever had lustful thoughts about other women. He admitted that sometimes he found himself wildly out of control, particularly when we were at Wal-Mart as women tend to dress as though Halloween could be everyday of the week. He said that some of these ladies who sport their undersized tank tops that expose voluptuous muffin tops entice him to ponder thoughts that would be better left to those who are in need of Catechistic exorcisms and the like. He also found that his arousal became increasingly notable upon the absence of dentition. As I stared in the mirror at my own muffin top, with protruding stretch-marks and all, it made me feel vulnerable: here all this time has gone by, with all of these men: tongues hanging out, drool slowly creeping to the floor, and lil’ ol’ me: completely oblivious! YIKES! It was then, that I resolved myself to wearing heavy plastic tarps and sackcloth complete with hemp sandals. I knew that even though not every woman would understand, my actions could possible raise awareness that these perverted men who cannot seem to control themselves long enough to shop at a supermarket for a simple gallon of milk could be anywhere, and they could be anyone! Imagine: your plumber, your accountant, neighbor, co-worker, or what about that creepy guy who sits in the small booth at gas stations and always seems to remember your name even though you have no clue what his is? I woke up the next morning, my resolve stronger, I eventually realized that with all of these creepers among us, I could not leave my house again. These men would then need to go out of their way to come to my home in order to lust after me. And then I finally thought, with my six screaming kids, ever increasing crows feet, and thinning hair….They Just Might! 🙂