After I share stories about mother or express how obnoxiously crazy she is I normally get the reactions of-

You only get one mother – yes, so? OR She’s very loving – yeah, so is my dog.

So, if you’re thinking of all the good things to say about my mother (to defend her) take a second and think about if you are defending my mother, or your mother, or all mothers.



Mother is one of the most disgustingly naturally thin people I know. Though somehow when she walks, with her outrageously large flipper feet, one would think she was Honey Boo Boo’s aunt. She is a bird woman. She even squawks like a chicken. When her, grandma, and Aunt Pam are together all that is heard is, “cluck, cluck, cluck, kaackle, kackle, kackle, cluuuuccckkk!”

I outgrew her at age 15. She made sure I knew this. I remember her saying at grandma’s kitchen table one day, as we enjoyed bologna sandwiches and potato salad, “I didn’t break a hundred pounds until she was 17. It was awful. Can you imagine, Emerald? I was constantly made fun of and called scrawny!” I though, yeah, how terrible it must have been, you were so thin, how awful! I remember the countless retellings of how grandma would buy candy bars and try to entice her to put on some pounds. Years later the truth came out that the plump neighbor girl, Neeva Charleen, was getting all the candy bars in exchange for riding bikes with mom.

Mom liked to shelter me. Not like your mom might have with you, like full blown building an armor of steel around me. I was a delicate little flower with petals that instantly bruised from a side eye, mean comment, or even the most miniscule injury. Once, while playing softball in a small, teeny tiny, rainstorm my mother paraded herself behind home plate while shouting and waving her umbrella, “I see lightening! I see lightening! Did you see that? Call it! Call the game!” My friends all snickered as they pointed her obnoxious actions out to me as if I didn’t notice. All I could think at the time was, if you see lightening then why are you holding that umbrella like a lightening rod?

I had a cold in fourth grade that lasted quite awhile. I had the mom that brought in an air purifier into the classroom. She didn’t bring it in before school and discretely ask Mrs. Fultz if she could place it in the room because of the many benefits to my health. She didn’t bring it in after school to ask Mrs. Fultz. In fact she didn’t ask Mrs. Fultz at all. She stomped her feet up the stairs to my classroom at 10:30 one morning, walked right in the door, started looking for an outlet, found one, and plugged in the air purifier. Every eye in the room was on her then immediately on me. I turned a rosy red shade of mortification, and quickly tried to disappear under my desk.

Mom left the room, but not before rushing over to Mrs. Fultz with a bottle of cough suppressant with a handwritten note securely tapped to the bottle of specific instructions of how, when, and why I should have my disgusting cherry flavored cough medicine.

As a little girl I was a tomboy. Growing up with a big brother and mostly boy cousins all older than me made me very adventurous and competitive. This lead to many cuts, bruises, and frantic shouts from my mom as she came running toward me after an injury yelling, “Is it her face?! Please, not our precious face!”

Over the years I grew to resent this word – our. When I tore my second ACL and MCL my mother’s first words to the doctor reading my MRI was, “No, we cannot handle another tear of our ACL and MCL!” I thought in my head, our, we??! That thought was directly followed by how badly I wanted my mom to tear her knees all to hell so she knew what I was going through. I mean I did tear my knees up because of the Q angle (the angle from a person’s hip bone to knee), and I get my Q angle directly from my mother’s chicken legs.

Gma’s Got Beer in the Back

Sundays remind me of church with Gma, lunch after, and driving her car. Gma always has a cool car. Cool like this: in seventh grade she picked me up after school one day. She was in her brand new, shiny, money green two-door mustang. I still remember the wave of voices whispering the same question- that’s her grandma? It’s great to feel like a badass in seventh grade, Gma sure upped my badassness.

Side note: when I totaled my first car and was told by the cop I had to get the car towed somewhere IMMEDIATELY! Gma was the only person to answer my desperate phone calls, and was there to get me within ten minutes. The first thing she said to me was, “Well you look okay, Em Bem. I think you’ll need a new car. Why don’t you drive it back?” tossing me the keys to her mustang. I know everyone is thinking this is the nicest Gma ever! Note our conversation to her house as I drive:

Gma: I’ve been thinking it’s time for a new car. I can’t drive this one with the key scratches all over it. I think I’ll get a camaro.

Me: Key scratches?

Gma: Oh, yeah didn’t I tell you? I started going with a new guy at the dances. His old steady doesn’t like it much and keyed my car last week in the parking lot at the dance. I can’t drive this thing anymore!

I instantly got the vision of an elderly lady using a walker, the kind with tennis balls on the end pegs. She has blueish purple hair. It looks like cotton candy. She’s sneakily shuffling as fast as her four walker pegs can take her to the mustang. The mustang belonging to the new floozy, which stole her man! She takes out the key to her Lincoln Towne Car, and lays one long shaky deep line down each side of the once pristinely money green Mustang.

I grin at the ridiculous sight in my head.

Gma: So I was going to get a new car, they won’t give me much for this scratched up thing. So you can just have it, Emmie.

Me: Some old lady keyed your car? (I’m still trying to process this information).

Gma: Ethel’s not old she’s a younger one. Hope she doesn’t key my new one. I’ll get a camaro next. Do you like camaros?

Me: Yeah, I guess. How old is Ethel?

Gma: Oh, good! Let’s go look at some today! Ethel? Hmm, 72, I think.


Back to the other story:


It’s after lunch one Sunday and I’m driving Gma and I back to her house. I’m driving her new camaro. I hate the car. It’s way too small, my head pretty much touches the top (and I’m not that tall), and somehow even with like seven windows I can’t see out of any clearly.

This hesitation of sight while driving brings out the accelerator in my soul. I feel like each turn I make has to be super fast, quick, and then I must smash my foot through the gas pedal as hard as I can. You know, just so, in case I pulled out in front of someone I couldn’t see – at least I would be fast about it. The acceleration in my soul has nothing to do with the fact I am driving a new camaro, with my 88 year old Gma in it, nothing to do with it.

Each time I make a turn I hear this weird thud, clank, and tumbling going on in the trunk. At first I just ignore it and go on with my soulful driving. Finally, I get too curious, the speed enthusiasm has worn off, and I ask Grandma what the noise is.

Me: Hey, what’s in the trunk?

Gma: Hmmm? You drive like me, not like those pokey drivers. I hate getting behind those Jack Rabbits!

Me: The trunk. Every time I turn there’s something moving around back there and it sounds like it’s heavy. What’s in there?

Gma: Ohhh, hahhaaha! It’s beer.

Me: Beer?! Grandma, why do you have beer in your trunk?

Gma: Well, I buy the big one. Then the little guys at Wal-Mart take it to my trunk. It’s too heavy for me to get it out and in the house.

Me: Oh, okay. I’ll just take it in for you.

Gma: No, it’s all loose in there now. When I want a beer I just pop my trunk and get one.



When we finally get home I look. In the trunk was a half drunk 30 pack of Keystone Ice.

Wet Sock Spiral of Doom

The only thing I really like about winter is Christmas, and snow. In my opinion, Christmas comes way too early in winter- leaving much of the horrid coldness with little to look forward to. Snow is the only positive.

Snow makes my world stand still. It’s so quiet, and wraps everything in a brilliant blanket of sleek shimmering wonder. Yet, there is a terrible part to snow.

Here’s how a typical wet sock spiral of doom plays out:

It is winter. You are cold. Toes get especially cold. The best remedy is a big pair of the fluffiest socks available, the kind with the absorbency of a sponge.

Place super-fluffy socks on your feets. YES! Feets are warm!

Continue your day as planned.

Now, this is where it gets tricky.

You walk around without a care in the world. You walk on those super-fluffy, sponge like socks with utter-fucking joy. Your feets are so fucking warm, you might even start to skip. Yes, skip!

You are now skipping across the house like an idiot with glee bouncing off your face, and your feet. You start to think of how much more efficient you could be if you skipped everywhere you go. You start to think of others that would join your skipping revolution. THIS IS REVOLUTIONARY!

Until, it happens. Mid beast-mode skipping (you really got your momentum going) you hit it; that one small speck of hell. It’s the devil of winter, the Hitler of feet comfort, the ultimate feeling of failure. You bound into a seemingly small melted puddle of hate.

Since you were high on comfort and skipping around the house like a dumbass (on the tile floor), you were going really fast. You hit the melted death trap and send yourself spiraling into the air landing on the floor of failure.

As you lay there you remember you are not a failure, and this one stumble will not impede your success! You access the moisture on your fluffy socks and determine, you can deal with this.

You get up and go about your day. You have less joy now, and one wet big toe.

You discover this was not one melted pile of the devil incarnated snow- it is actually a landmine! With every step you are impaled with horrid icy puddles of doom. By the time you reach your destination you are slopping around five extra pounds all on your stupid, fluffy, sponge like socks.

You now hate snow, you hate socks, and hell you may even hate your feet.

When All That Glitters Turns to Dirty Fingernails

On very rare occasions I go to the mall. I hate the mall. This morning I was there with specific business, but somehow got lured to a makeup kiosk.


It went something like this:


Sales Lady: Here you go, hun (hands me some flyer, which is still in my purse, which I still haven’t looked at).


Me: Oh, thanks (stops to put flyer in purse and starts looking at shiny things in kiosk).


Sales Lady: (Notices I look at shiny things) Do you wear eye shadow? These colors would be perfect for you. (Takes out a Q-tip, grabs my hand, and starts rubbing eye shadows all over the back of my hand).


Before I know it there are six different circles of tans on my hand. She even demonstrated the three different ways each could be applied, with all six. So, what is that…18. Yes, 18 different marks on my hand which hasn’t grown since I was 11.


I want to leave right then, and just spread all the sparkles around. But I can’t help it, I am over powered by the sparkle. The 18 glorious different colors of sparkles all gleaming off my hand.


Sales Lady: Today we have a special- just today is buy two get two free! What-do-ya think about that? What colors do ya like?


She then trailed off about having a headache.


What colors do I like?! What are you talking about?? My entire hand is covered in wonderful glitter! I can’t focus! I LIKE ALL DE COLORS!




Me: Um, I normally like tans.


Sales Lady: Okay, pick two.


I pick two spectacularly tan tans.


Sales Lady: Alright now yer two free ones.


At this point I start to realize I am spending way too much money on eye shadow that I really don’t need, but I am in too deep. I must proceed. And the sparkles! Ah!


I pick two colors which I already own, but these are different I tell myself. These are more like coffee and the others are more like mocha.


Sales Lady: Come over here, hun, and I’ll check you out.


I reluctantly hand my credit card over to this girl who had no makeup on at all, dirty fingernails, and is still muttering about having a headache.


I start to feel good about my four eye shadow purchases. Like I just donated to charity or something. Yes, that’s right, charity. I bet this girl gets commission and will get money from this and will have a great Christmas, and will buy all her family lots of presents…and will clean her nails!


I started to feel awesome! I am doing great things!


She hands me my card back.


Sales Lady: I noticed you have eyeliner on. I really like it (starts walking over to the display).


Me: I slept in it…


Sales Lady: Oh, I see. Well, how about foundation? We have this product that is light, an’ airy…


Then, somehow dirty fingernails has me in the chair. She was going on and on about how this product is perfect for my freckled skin tone and how it is the perfect everyday product.


She is rubbing lotion on my face. I am getting lotioned by a girl with dirty fingernails at a mall kiosk.


Dirty Fingernails: You use foundation?


Me: Uh, not really. I have some but…


Dirty Fingernails: Just think of all dat bacterial you got in that dirty old foundation that you’ve had fur years.


Dirty Fingernails mentioning bacterial has me thinking of when she last washed her hands that are touching my face. I start to panic.


Me: I think you should stop touching me with your bacterial ridden hands!


I fling her dirty lotiony hands away, and free myself from Dirty Fingernails. I run away as fast as I can yelling- “go wash your fingernails!”


The previous sentences are not what happened.


Here’s what really happened:


Dirty Fingernails: Just think of all dat bacterial you got in that dirty old foundation that you’ve had fur years.


Me: Yeah, that’s pretty gross huh… (I can’t concentrate on anything but the dirt in her fingernails and how they are touching my face, and how they have probably touched so many faces…but then I start to think about how I am lucky that it’s morning and I’m the first of all customers today. I’d hate to be Dirty Fingernails’ last face lotion victim).


Dirty Fingernails is trying to place a mirror in front of my face to show me her masterpiece. She had snuck in some sort of foundation powder crap in the lotion she slathered on my face.


“Isn’t that smooth, and just so…” She trails off looking at all the mall walker-byers.


Me: (Looking at only my top right eye, she’s not paying attention to where she points the mirror). Yes, it’s really nice.


Dirty Fingernails: I want you to use this every day. It’s just so much better than dat bacteria yer usin’ now.


Now I’m like strangely defensive. I don’t put bacteria on my face, and so what if I did, Dirty Fingers??? It’s my face. I can do what I want.


I don’t know how such a sparky event turned so horrid but I knew I had to get out. I kind of inchworm-squirmed out of my chair and left with my bag containing $42.89 in eye shadow.

Beat an Opossum 2 Death

Beat an Opossum 2 Death

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in a world all of my own, where I saw and remembered things the way I wanted to, giving no thought to actual reality. Then, I remember that my mother had this mythical land of her own. And I lived in it.


I imagine it looks something like this:


blog 4 patty land

Sometimes I received texts from Patty Land. I’m not sure who the cell carrier is, probably uses a unicorn’s horn for signal…so I’m surprised I received the texts at all.

Here is a somewhat recent one:


“I just beat an opossum 2 death n barn w a pipe.”


Meaning Options:


1.) She killed an opossum. It was pregnant with one baby opossum. When she killed the momma opossum, she killed the baby, equaling two deaths.


2.) She walked into the barn and was accosted by an opossum. In the struggle, opossum grabbed a pipe to defend itself against mother’s mighty strength. The poor, poor, opossum lost his life but he will forever be known as the opossum who but up one helluva fight. Rest in peace fallen barn warrior.


3.) She walked into the barn, saw an opossum eating Pud Pud’s food (the barn cat). She was enraged at the utter disregard for Pud Pud’s property, carefully selected the perfect pipe from a nearby pile, and bashed the opossum to death.


4.) She beat an opossum to death with her own bare hands, nails, and teeth. The location of this occurrence was in the barn, the barn that has a pipe, “n barn w a pipe.”


I’m leaning towards option two. photo

Where is Meet Place?

Where is Meet Place?

“Where is meet place?”

            It was at SOAR. That ridiculous program that all freshmen are required to take prior to the first semester of college at MSU. I had to come with my mom (for some reason it was required for parents to show up one of the days). My mom is directionally challenged and is also frugal so this turned into us carpooling (as in mom and myself riding in the car, together, for one-hundred and eleven minutes total) from Fair Play to campus. The parents weren’t required to be there until latter on in the day. This left mom with the opportunity to go shopping and drive my car around Springfield. Great, maybe she’ll leave the emergency break on all day, again.

When the time came for parents to meet and greet each other (like they were best friends and would actually develop meaningful relationships all because of the common ground of having a freshmen college student), my mom was nowhere to be found. She was well aware of where to go and what time to be there, but not only is she directionally challenged, but she is also highly allergic to being on time.

I looked around and saw all the smiling faces of parents- the pride beaming like light. I scanned the room for mother, finding no mother of mine. So, I checked my phone. Ten missed calls from mom and one text reading, “Where is meet place?”

blog 3 where is meet place

I called her. Mom answered with, “Emerald where the hell are you? You know I can’t get anywhere!” with annoyance dripping from her voice. I wasn’t sure if she was annoyed at herself or me, probably me.

I told her I was in Plaster Student Union and reminded her that she had a map and had been told where to meet and what time to meet there prior to her shopping trip. “The map doesn’t make sense! I don’t see any of these buildings! Just come find me.” She then hung up without telling me where she was.

blog3 map

I put the phone back in my bag and looked around at all the parents again. There was this shrimp of a girl who had been in my small group all day, I quickly found her and her shrimp of a father. As I walked over to the two tiny people I thought, well, this is happening. I am the girl with no parents. Though the thought was kind of sad and depressing it liberated me.

I greeted Stacie and Steve with, “eh hey guys, my mom is lost on campus can I just hang out with you all?” Steve never gave his response of, “sure” a second thought. It was settled…I was exiting Patty Land.

Two Blind Cats

Two Blind Cats

coal kitty and spiffy

I have two blind cats

Two blind cats

See how they don’t run

Spiffy the first blind cat resembles a ferret

She is not fluffy

She does not purr

She is not happy when I come home

Every day I attempt to leave the house she runs and hides under my bed

I then come home to cat turds in the exact middle of my bed

I really hate this cat

Coal Kitty the second blind cat (daughter of Spiffy) is scrawny

She likes me, but as soon as I pet her she drops drool from all areas of her feline mouthblog 2 gif

She’s more scroungy than fluffy

She is five. Her once black coat is now silver tipped

Two blind cats

Coal Kitty once caught a bird

I told my friends

None believed me

Spiffy once caught a mouse

but it was on a trap

so I don’t think this really counts


Ginger Problems

Ginger Problems

I just like to be creative and draw. I wish I could do that for a living. Maybe live on a beach.

Walk my dog in the pleasant salty waters every morning. Then, set up my little hut and sell seashells to tourists. I think I’d give them funny faces and hot glue little googly eyes to them. Maybe some sparkles, everything can use some bedazzling. Then, I could draw charactertures of people for five dollars a drawing. I’d be sure to accentuate their most prominent feature, which if they are like me- it’s probably one of the least favorite features they have. Maybe go to lunch and eat some fresh seafood.

I guess, if this were my life, I’d have to have copious amounts of sunscreen. Being a ginger really is tough. South Park episodes about me, misconceptions of not having a soul, and the worst absolute worst – having to dip myself in a vat of sunscreen every time I even think of going outside. Oh, and the envy I have when I see sun-kissed, golden tanned skin that seems to glisten even in the dark.



I suppose there are perks to being a ginger

1.)  Freckles instantly make you 12. Forever. You will be carded forever.

2.)  You get to hear people say creepy things like, “I love your skin” as they pet your arm slowly with a look saying- I don’t love your skin, I WANT your skin.

wants my skinThis was particularly creepy because A- it was dark, and B- I had just met this girl.

3.)  You get a really great tan, for maybe a day. Then somehow this tan all moves to one spot, creating a glorious new freckle.

4.) Little kids compare your skin to a giraffe.

Like a Giraffe? 1

giraffe - blog one giffI figure a giraffe tongue is always a good closing.