Adoption and Adaption

First off, tweet for adoptee rights and a free Mary Gauthier “The Foundling” CD today with Claudia and The Adoptee Rights Coalition.  Good cause, free stuff, why wouldn’t you?

Second, get to work on your submissions for  Pieces Of Reunion.  A chance to tell your story, and get published, why wouldn’t you?

Now, what have I been up to?

I don’t even know where to begin.  Let’s just say that the next few months are going to bring a lot of changes for me.  Good changes, I hope.

But one thing is never going to change, I’ll always be adopted.  I can change my shirt, my hair color, my religious affiliation, my status on Facebook, but I can’t change that.

Some folks seem to think that they can deal with all the adoption shit and move on.  The thing is dealing with it doesn’t change it, it just gives you a different perspective.

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately.  Events beyond my control have forced me to to.  By no decision of my own, my life is going through a major rearrangement. I wouldn’t have chosen this right now.  I would have been just as happy to continue as I was, for at least a while.

I knew things would have to change eventually.  It just never seemed like a good time.  But changes  never seem to happen in good times, and because times are bad, I’m out of a job that I’ve held for over 20 years.

I never meant to stay there this long, when I started I thought I’d be out of there in less than 6 months.  It’s complicated, and it involves my adoptive family, and I couldn’t explain it in less than 100,000 words.  Let’s just say the whole situation of late has left me feeling very adopted.

But, I’m OK with it.  I’m unsure, nervous, but not devastated or paralyzed.  I’ve no choice but to roll with it.  I wonder if some of this feeling of acceptance has something to do with being adopted.

My life has been subject to change from the very beginning.  I was born into one family, and through circumstances beyond my control I was given to another.  That’s as big a change as I can imagine.  I don’t think that being too young to remember this kept me from learning from it.  What are adoptee issues but the universe telling you that some adaption is in order?

As adoptees we are hyper vigilant, always looking out for something that’s different, something that’s changed.  But just because we are aware of changes doesn’t me we have problems reacting to those changes.

I’ve seen adoptees handle life changing experiences almost as if their plans for lunch had been canceled.  I suppose once you take away someone’s identity, they figure they can handle just about anything. Not to say any of these changes are easy for us, I just wonder if many of us have developed mechanisms for dealing with change, through our experiences.

Maybe I’ll get through this alright, maybe I won’t.  But I know it will be the circumstances the event brings on, not the event itself, that cause any future breakdowns. That may seem like a slim distinction, but it’s not. I don’t fear change.  I’m OK with uncertainty.  I expect it.

So I’m off to adapting again.  I’ll figure it out.  I’ll probably subject you to a lot of my figuring it.  I have learned that I’m not alone.  That’s been a lot of my adaption of the last few years.

I have over 20 years experience in retail, and over 40 as a bastard. The job market should be my oyster, huh?

Stay tuned, this could get interesting.

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I Saw Your Name In the Paper..

In my neck of the woods folks used to say, “I saw your name in the paper..” when you had got in trouble for something.  A speeding ticket, owing back property taxes, receiving an honor from a church or organization of which they weren’t a member, etc.  All that changed in the 1980’s when we finally got cable TV.  From then on it was, “I saw your name on the cable.”

It was a wondrous thing when my town finally got cable, it changed everything.  Up until that time there was only one channel that would come in reliably.  You might be able to get 2 or 3 more if you had the giant tower with the giant antennae with a rotor, sometimes, but not always.  At best recetion was snowy and went in and out.

Oh course we lived a few miles from town so we didn’t get cable.  We would eventually have a giant sattilite dish, but that was years away.  I loved going to my friends houses and watching TV.  I could finally tell what the cast of Saturday Night Live really looked like, and they had 8 channels, all perfectly clear.  That’s right, 8 channels, including HBO.  One was the public access channel where you could see funeral notices, the weather, community events, and who owed back taxes.

My town’s cable system has not changed much over the years.  I think they are up to 13 or 14 channels. They did eventually run the cable out by my folks house, and they have it.   It doesn’t much matter because almost everybody here has 100’s of channels on their  satellite TV anyway.

The access channel is still there, unchanged.  You can still see the same things there.  Yesterday my dad told me that he had seen my name on there.  My first thought was, “Oh what the fuck now?’  Oh course he couldn’t remember what my name was on there for.

Ever since my town has  decided to give failed sheriff’s candidates gainful employment as “code enforcement officers” my only contact with city government has been with the never ending line of blowhards who occupy this position, before they are fired for carrying a sidearm and threatening someone with it, knocking on my door and telling me I have to move a junky car or mow my yard.  I had a feeling my name on the cable channel wasn’t good news.

So I called city hall and explained that my dad (I didn’t have to tell him who he was, surprise, surprise) had seen my name on the cable and I wondered what it was about.  The clerk said, “Well we don’t have any code violators or anybody owing back taxes on there now, I’m not sure.”  (she knew who I was too).  “It’s on here, let me see what it is when it comes around. There is funeral notices on there now, that wouldn’t be you.”  Obviously.

I wait, try to make small talk, “How’s that new code enforcement officer working out? You know he ran for sheriff in the next county over last election?”  She knew that.

Then she says, “Here it is….you were the Project Pride house of the week.”

I ask, “What is Project Pride?”

“It’s were we recognize people who have really nice yards.”

“Oh..Ok, well thank you.”

Maybe I’m moving up in the world.

Some days…..

..I don’t feel adopted at all.

I do have a life.  All of my days aren’t spent in front of the computer fulfilling the role of adoptee angst referee.  For instance, right now I have over 300 heirloom tomato seedlings on my sunporch just waiting for the soil to warm enough to be planted.  Mortgage Lifter, Pantano Romanesco, Pineapple, Principe Borghese, Cour Di Bue, etc.

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with 300 tomato plants.  I have enough room in my garden for maybe 100 of them.  I may have to set up with a sign at my town’s only stop light and sell them.  Let’s see, if I can get a dollar a piece for them that makes how many Bloody Marys?  I’ve always figured my garage sale profits in Margaritas, so I’m using Bloody Marys in this situation.

Oh course my gardening may not be as enjoyable as I had anticipated, my neighbor has obtained a pack of foxhouds.  Baying, cat chasing, foxhounds.  My neighbor seems to as unaware of leash laws as his dogs are the subtle differences between a cat and a fox.  The scene in my yard over the last week has consisted of hearing a disturbance, seeing the cat run by, followed by the pack of fox hounds, followed by every other stray dog in the county. This display followed by my husband, whatever he may be up to,  doing a fairly good impression of The Old Man in A Christmas Story.  “Damn Bumpes’ dogs!”  It begs a yakkity sax soundtrack.

Efforts to contain the dogs are underway.  In an ideal scenario they would decide it would be much more fun to chase my neat freak neighbor around (you know the one who powerwashes his roof and vacuums his yard) but I’m doubting this pack of hounds is trainable.  Pity.

And then there’s the whole pepper situation…..but that’s another post.

A Day For Adoptee Fights

I suppose I should say something about the whole Bastard Nation living up to there name concerning the New Orleans Protest, but truth be told, I never much gave a shit for them anyway. It’s all been said. I think it’s safe to say, after this latest display of incompetence with a twist of arrogance, nobody else that matters gives a shit for Bastard Nation either.

You’d rather hear about what my adoptive folks have been up to anyway.

A-mom and pop stopped by the store as they were headed to visit some family graves last weekend. Mom was in her perennial pink pant suit, looking very much like the big pink peonies that bloom this time of year. Dad was wearing one of his “better sport shirts”, so I was pretty sure they were planing to make a day of it.

They were in full “lively discussion” mode.

Mom: (minus her pine scented air freshener spray, spring is in the air, after all) We need to get some flowers for your folks graves.

Pop: (looking desperately for a place to hide out and keep a Marlboro company) We don’t need any damn flowers. They just steal them anyway.

Mom: Who would steal flowers off your folks grave? Who are they? Nobody disliked your folks.

Pop: They all steal flowers.

Mom: Who are they, Bob? And why are they targeting your parents grave?

Pop: They steal from everybody’s graves and put them on their own graves.

Mom: How do they put them on their own graves? You’re just a clown, Bob.

At this point they spot me, the magazine rack did not provide sufficient cover.

Mom: We’re going to decorate your father’s folks graves and he thinks someone will steal the flowers.

Me: Oh, (as if their previous conversation couldn’t be heard all over the store) I don’t think they’ll steal the flowers.

Pop: Yes, they will, they just wait for you to leave and they take them.

Me: Why would they be targeting your folks graves? Everybody liked Nanny and Grandpa. (Sometimes I just can’t help myself).

Mom: Your father thinks they put them on their own graves.

Me: How could they do that?

Mom: They are apparently ghosts.

Pop: No they put them on their relatives graves.

Me: Ghosts put them on their relatives graves?

Pop: No! Other people do.

Mom: Well, that makes more sense. Ghosts put them on their relatives graves.

I give a knowing nod.

Pop: No people steal them and put them on their dead relatives graves.

Me: Well that does makes more sense. I have a ton of memorial flowers, pick out a couple.

Pop: No, someone will just steal them.

Me: What’s it matter, you put them there for yourself anyway. It’s not like you are going to come back and pick them up anyway. The cemetery just throws them away after Memorial Day anyway.

Mom: Yeah why does it matter? Just pick something out.

About this time Pop heads to the bathroom for a cigarette and Mom gets interested in the new flavors of diet soda in the case. I get distracted by a customer and the next thing I know I see Pop’s truck pulling out of the lot. About five minutes later the truck pulls back in, and here they come.

Mom: You were just trying not to get any flowers, weren’t you Bob?

Pop: They’ll just steal them anyway.

I grab a couple of memorial arrangements and head out and put them in truck. Mom and Pop continue around the store, discussing the rate of flower theft. I went to the back.

A few minutes later, I get a call. It’s Mom on the cell phone. “You did put a couple of flower arrangemnts in the back of the truck, didn’t you?”, she screams (she still thinks you have to scream into the cell phone).

“Yes mom I did.”

Non-adoption related rant.

Exactly how stupid can people be?

I am constantly fucking amazed at the level of just plain dumbness one person can posses.  I run a grocery store, we ran out of grapes yesterday.  I told my checkers that we were out of grapes yesterday.  I told one of my checkers we were out of grapes AGAIN not an hour ago.  She just called on the PA system and asked me to bring a bag of grapes to the front.

I had to walk all the way to the front to tell this moron that we were still out of grapes.

Does she think I’m running a vineyard in the backroom of the store?

Does she think that I have a red phone under a cake dish on my desk connected to the California Grape Growers Association for these kinds of emergencies?

Does she think I have a spotlight back here that shines the Grape Signal to the California Grape Growers Association?

Is she under the belief that I’m just like Batman, but with grapes?

Does she think that I’m living a double life as both a grocer and some type of grape procuring super hero?

I wonder who my sidekick is suppose to be?  The potato chip delivery guy?

Is she convinced that I have a tricked out 1965 Bonneville hidden  the  store called the Grapemobile?  Is it green, red, or black?  Possibly a combination of these colors?  Is it seedless?

Oh, fuck me.