One Of Those “J” Months (Plus A Big Announcement!)

Go ahead and swallow whatever you have in your mouth before reading this (yes, especially that) or risk spewing your keyboard/phone with harmful liquids.  You’ve been warned.

I’m adding a monthly (or more often) segment to my blog.  It’s an advice column.

See?  Aren’t you glad you spit that (fill in the blank) out?  Why are you even reading my blog with that in your mouth, anyway?  You know what?  Never mind.

You may think I’ll suck at giving advice.  That’s your prerogative and you may be right.

I mean, I’ve gotten the months of June and July mixed up for the last few weeks.  I went in search of tickets for the new Amy Schumer movie, “Trainwreck”, and became extremely frustrated that I couldn’t find any local theaters that were showing it a few weeks ago.  I complained to my good friend Fantasia, who is also looking forward to the movie.  Fantasia just looked at me like women normally look at men and said “Yeah, but that doesn’t come out till JULY.  Right?”

I told E back in June that the Sloss Music Festival was a dick because they only gave people 24 hour notice of the schedule and put one day tickets on sale.  He then told a music junkie dude at work this information.  Music Junkie Dude looked at E like women normally look at men.  The festival wasn’t in June.  It’s in July.

I wanted to take Gracie to the Alabama Theatre to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail but I thought it was in July.  Guess what?  Yeah, y’all are quick.  Monty Python looked at me like women normally look at men.  The movie was in fucking JUNE and we missed it.

Damn you, months that start with the letter J!  You bitches are making me look bad.  Fine, you’re making me look even worse.  Stop parsing my words, J months.

Admittedly, I may be losing it.  I just followed a taco yesterday on Twitter.  Granted, it’s a really cool taco and is my favorite food mascot at the Birmingham Baron’s baseball games but still.  Let the words sink in:  I followed a taco yesterday on Twitter.

One final piece of evidence that I’m not completely reliable is that I’m writing this in a sweatshirt that has “SUNDAY FUNDAY” in huge lettering on the front.  It is obviously not Sunday Funday but I apparently have no fucks to give.  Maybe that’s why I’m such a good listener and adviser.  Dare I say, life coach.

I was drunk with E on vacation last month (I wish I had $1 for every single time I have used those words) and we were having a deep life discussion that always seems like a good idea to have when you’re good and drunk and sitting by the pool at a hotel in the wee morning hours.

E had been with me all week so he actually got to witness two separate instances of friends coming to me for advice via my Facebook private messages.  I’ve told E that I seem to be a safe beacon for advice to a lot of my friends but I don’t think he really believed me.  He does now.

One message was about the tragic, sudden loss of life and having a few questions for God.  The other was marital issues.  One male, one female.  And that was just over the course of a few days.

I told E that night by the hotel pool that I’d been thinking about what I want to do now that our kids are growing up.  They don’t need me as much as they used to.  My days as a stay at home Mom are coming to an end.  Before we started our family, I had been working on a teaching degree.  Now that I’m older and have discovered that I don’t even like most kids, I keep thinking about some kind of career in counseling.  That was a joke about not liking most kids.  Mostly.

Last week, I was chatting via Facebook Messenger with my good friend Lulu (not her real name, obviously).  She’s been traveling this summer and keeps me abreast of her journeys.  It’s been hilarious and eventful.  She’s back home now but has an upcoming trip that has her worried. She asked me for advice and then, not knowing of the deep life discussion I had with E, told me I should start an advice column.

God works in mysterious ways.  Or maybe Jack Daniels does.  Maybe they work together.  Who knows?  But here we are.  I’m starting an advice column to test the waters of real life counseling.  At least, as real life as a “humor” blog can get, and I use the term “humor” lightly.  Hell, I’ll also use the term “blog” lightly.  Satisfied?

So, give me your questions.  Don’t be shy.  You would not believe what has ended up in my Facebook Messenger inbox, my phone text messages, emails, phone calls, carrier pigeons, messages in a bottle, etc.  You will not faze me.  I promise.  Don’t send me questions about mad love with the neighbor’s donkey or anything like that.  Send me real questions.  If your real question really is about mad love with the neighbor’s donkey, please unfollow this blog and unfriend me on Facebook.  Because holy shit.

Topics I’ve been asked for advice on include but are not limited to:

  • Marital issues, asked by both chicks and dudes.  No, neither were hitting on me.
  • Sex tips, asked only by chicks.  No, they weren’t hitting on me.  Dudes can ask for the blog.  I’m fine with that.
  • Your husband has left you, you’re drunk at 2 a.m.  You just want someone to answer the question of why he left you, come up with a few one liners for the “other woman” for when you eventually see her fat ass at your kid’s Parent/Teacher Night, totally validate you and make you feel like a million bucks because you once again fit into the jeans you wore in high school not due to rigorous exercise and diet but due to severe depression and a diet of only clear liquor because clear liquor has “no carbs” and fuck him anyway?  Message me instead of calling or texting that bastard.
  • Book suggestions.  Mainly “romance” books that are really porn, though.
  • Straight up porn suggestions.
  • Questions about God, life, and death, sometimes all that combined.
  • Still living in your hometown and mostly pretty happy about it but you completely lose your shit one night and need to vent about the local hillbillies and ask for advice without having to move the next day?  I’m the go to on that one, apparently.  You’d be surprised how often this happens.
  • Concert advice because I know more about music than anyone you know and your Little Johnny wants to see a band named Twisted Painful Prolonged Death live at the local community college but you don’t know who the hell they are, you’ve never heard them on your Top 40 radio station and you’re worried they’ll convert Little Johnny to Satanism – or worse – to Episcopalian.  Yep, I’m the go to on that one also.  And that was a joke, Episcopalians.
  • Hair advice because I’ve dyed my hair magenta/red for the last 3-4 years so I must know how well green will look and work on yours?  No.  I don’t.
  • Advice on how to handle panic attacks?  I’m on meds for that so I seem like the logical person to ask but that’s still kind of like asking an alcoholic how to stay out of the bar.  But I’ll try.
  • Your bestie is being a total cunt but you don’t want to confront her on it yet, you just want to hash it over with a somewhat unbiased friend who isn’t a total cunt and won’t run to the other cunt to tell all?  That’s me.
  • Any question you would like answered, to the best of my ability, maybe with a little humor, then sealed in a human vault?  Because I am very trustworthy.  I have been asked all the above questions and more.  The identity of those people will never be revealed.  I’m grateful for the fact that they obviously trust me enough to come to me with their dilemmas.

If you send me advice using your real name, you can give me an alias to use here on the blog.  Pick a good one.  Pick the name you’d use if you ever fulfilled your lifelong dream of becoming a super classy stripper.  I’m not sure they exist but let’s just pretend.  One of my good friends picked Fantasia as her alias.  Now that’s a super classy stripper name!

I look forward to your questions.  I’ll probably answer them at least once a month, more often depending on how pressing your advice situation may be.  I’m nothing if not timely.  Okay, fine, I’ll try to be timely-er on this.  This is serious shit.

I hope y’all are having a great week.  I have to go change shirts now and check on what the taco is doing over on Twitter.

Go Get Daddy!

I was a tomboy when I was young.  Every day started as early as possible and ended as late as possible.  In between those curfews, I played kickball and baseball games and rode bikes with the neighborhood boys and my younger brother.  We all got along really well together and I can’t remember another neighborhood girl who ever stuck around too long with our bunch, which was just fine with me.

But as all relationships go, there was an argument one late afternoon.  It basically boiled down to me and the boy who lived across the street, Ricky.  I eventually ran out of words and threw Ricky’s scrawny ass on the ground WWE style and then held him down.  I looked up at the only other witness, my brother, and his eyes were huge and his mouth was hanging open.  I had Ricky well under control but I shouted at him “Go get Daddy!”.  To his credit, my brother asked no questions and ran as fast as he could into the house to retrieve Dad.

Dad had probably just gotten home from work and settled into his favorite chair when my brother burst through the door.  I know the time of the throw down was right before “supper”.  I don’t remember what transpired between me and Ricky during my short wait but I’ll never forget what I saw when I heard the front door squeak open.

I looked up and saw my Dad standing in the doorway, frozen mid-step, mouth open exactly like my brother’s, completely bereft of words.  I then looked down at Ricky and saw slight relief in his beady little eyes as he anticipated adult intervention and freedom from his clumsy, freckled girl captor.  Ricky’s relief changed to panic as soon as I yelled “Daddy, I got him down, come get him!”  If Ricky could have spoken (I seem to recall I may have had one hand over his mouth as a gag.  Maybe.), he would have yelled “You crazy, bitch!”

Dad just stood in the doorway, still immobilized by shock.  I don’t think I’ve ever, to this day, seen as many emotions flit across another person’s face in the span of three seconds.  Panic, confusion, comprehension, maybe a little bit of pride, and finally a full on war with himself not to laugh out loud.  He finally settled on an adult response and bellowed “Steph, get off that boy!” (Y’all just shut the fuck up right now, this is a Father’s Day post, damn it!)

There are many things I recall about the man who raised me.  He loved my mother most of his life and finally got the courage to ask her to marry him a week before he left to fight for his country in the Vietnam war.  He was a badass paratrooper who did things I can never even imagine so he could return home.  He was a quick learner and never forced me to go fishing with him again after I irretrievably threw his tackle box, fishing poles and the cooler which contained our bait and lunches into the river (I was five years old, gimme a break).  He worked so hard for his family, always.  He was the little league umpire who called me out during a softball game when it was very obviously a BALL.  He was also the same little league umpire who almost had me thrown out of the game when I argued with him at home plate that day.  He was a Pentecostal preacher.  He served as my protector and solely reserved gun cleaning time for the precise time my dates were to pick me up.  He cried right before he walked me down the aisle at my wedding and I had to tell him to stop or I’d cry my makeup off.  He was there for the birth of my son. He has laid hands on me and prayed (if you’re Pentecostal and/or Southern, you know what that means) so many times, I can’t even count.  He talks to my autistic son several times a day on the phone and if he doesn’t know the answer to Landon’s two hundredth question about Godzilla and Mothra, he will hang up the phone, find the answer and call Landon back later.  He always has time to talk to me, no matter how much pain he’s in or what he’s doing.  He still leads the prayer before every family meal and he still consistently prays for the widows, the veterans, the brave men and women currently serving our nation, our country (no matter who is President), his family and our safety, and Israel.

I don’t know what I was thinking that day, holding Ricky captive with my lanky body but I knew I’d gotten into a real pickle.  Ricky and I were good friends.  I didn’t really want to hurt him and of course I knew Dad would never help me “get him”, whatever my ten year old self thought that meant.  But I knew Dad would make things right so I yelled what we all yell at one time or another, or at least want to:  “Go get Daddy!”

Happy Father’s Day, y’all!