Saturday, February 26, 2011

THE PURSUIT OF TRIVIA


On Facebook I posted:
Without looking it up, does anyone know who the last Triple Crown winner was and in what year that horse won the Triple Crown....also what races make up the Triple Crown? If you get this right, I'll challenge you to a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Mildred Ratched responded:
hmmmm I know the answer, but I'm afraid I have to disqualify myself from the challenge....I do however, have a wonderful Trivial Pursuit story, but I'm afraid I can't share it here on Facebook!


Isn't it a shame I didn't let the cat out of the bag, by letting everyone know that Mildred used to play Trivial Pursuit for sex...winner got whatever they wanted? And isn't it a shame I couldn't brag that while she played for sex, she never lost a game?

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful for the twisted flare I used to have because without it my life would have been far less colorful and much more ordinary.

All gibberish within ©2004-2011 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

THE TIGER MOM - NEW ENGLAND STYLE


My mother was definitely a tiger mother. Just ask anyone who knew her especially anyone who lived close enough to hear her tirades. She definitely wore the pants in the family and dished out the discipline in a heavy handed democratic way. If it happened to be your turn to feel her wrath anything in reach was fair game to use as a spanking implement, but primarily the discipline was never a "hit or miss" thing (pardon the pun) nor was it ever a guessing game left up to being questioned at length to find the proper culprit of particular misdeed. No, in our house if the guilty party didn't immediately confess, we all suffered the consequences. United we stand, divided we fall!

Education - I don't ever remember being encouraged to excel, although anyone who knew me claims I was always a bit on the nerdy side (I hid it well by the time I reached high school). I don't ever remember being given a pat on the back or told I was good at doing anything. The focus in my home was always directed towards my brothers who were jocks. How could I compete with that, but by becoming a juvenile delinquent? With that I truly excelled and recognition was finally mine! I became the black sheep of the family!

Religion - I remember attending church as a child, but I never felt the calling that many Christians feel. In my search for God, what I found was that I was on my own. If God touched other people's lives, he certainly overlooked mine. Perhaps he/she didn't like my clothes or the fact that I was always a "show me" type of person and wanted some proof positive before I would label myself a follower. I don't remember ever hearing my mother speak about God or the afterlife at home, so I never grew up in fear of sinning. I suppose as I sat in my lily white Congregational church soaking up the scenery, she assumed I would be touched by the hand of God and the wonders of the universe would be revealed to me by osmosis. What had the biggest impact on me was the love of stain glass I developed.

The pecking order - Being the youngest and only girl I was low man on the totem pole in so many ways. For example, the times I would try to tell my mother about one of my brothers doing physically abusive things to me like trying to drown me in the dishwater or throwing me down the stairs, she immediately took his side and believed him when he told her that I was lying. Case closed! I learned early on that my voice didn't matter. I learned where my place in the family was and I learned that the only person who was going to stand up for me was me. It probably comes as no surprise that I started to do exactly what I wanted to do at an early age although to hear my mother tell it she claims she stopped trying to tell me what to do when I was 12 because I no longer listened to her or anyone else. How convenient is it to label a child as being "obstinate" without taking the time to find out what transformed a lovely little girl into a full blown mule?

Chores - My mother went to work when I was 8. She worked from 3 to 11 at the local hospital. When I would come home from school instead of playing outside like everyone else, I cooked dinner for my brothers and my father. At first, my mother would leave detailed written instructions of what to do when and as I grew a little older and more adept in the culinary arts, the note would just indicate what to cook. Growing up, the only thing I can really remember my mother doing around the house is the laundry and cooking when she was home. Her four children were expected to do dishes and clean the house. I hated chores because they seemed to interfere with my childhood and never seemed fairly distributed.

As you notice I used the word "was" in the first sentence. That's because the feisty no frills mother who raised me no longer exists. No, she hasn't passed away, but somewhere in the aging process she has lost her fire. I tell people aliens abducted her and that would probably be almost worth a laugh if it wasn't so sad. Now, I'm the tiger mother who seems to struggle with frustration, stress and non-compliance. Oh, this whole role reversal thing is such an eye opening process that I truly wouldn't wish upon anyone. What a major bitch life can be at times!

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for being nothing like my mother and I hope when I reach her age, the aliens don't abduct me.

All gibberish within ©2004-2011 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A DOSE OF SERENITY, COURAGE & WISDOM

Today the serenity prayer keeps going through my mind as I feel the pain of someone whose path is very similar to mine. For that person, Mildred offers a therapeutic dose of serenity, courage and wisdom.
[Insert the name of the higher power of your choice here], grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Isn't there a certain peace that comes when we finally accept that some things in life are not ours to control or change? Only when we move past the turmoil and reach acceptance do we truly see and understand that ours is the only life we should attempt to change. Our circumstances are the only circumstances we should alter. Time trying to control and manipulate anything and everything else is only time wasted in the long run.

When faced with the opportunity or need to change, it requires not only stamina, but it requires courage to step into unknown, uncharted territory. We may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel initially, but as long as we remain tenacious and are guided by an open mind and heart, the outcome is always filled with great insight and new beginnings.

Having wisdom is the most difficult thing to possess during this life altering process. Often times we are stuck in a crazy war between the heart and mind. Sometimes, we have to give up what is familiar. Sometimes we have to give up what we think we want and need. Sometimes we have to give up the love we feel for another person recognizing that it isn't meant to be and that moving on no matter how difficult or painful is the right thing to do.

Gratitude statement: As hard as it is to watch someone else struggle, I'm thankful that I'm strong enough to offer that person friendship and hope.

All gibberish within ©2004-2011 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

THE LONG JOURNEY HOME

Are we not the product of all moments leading up to the present? And what is the present, but a fleeting moment which is gone at the blink of the eye? I'm all for living in the here and now, but the here and now seems so short-lived and has no real depth or character. I am who I am because of the past and not the present or the future. I do not want to run away from it. I do not want to live imprisoned in it, but I do want to remember it with the dignity it deserves. I want to embrace the pain I couldn't embrace then. I want to be the friend to people I couldn't be then. I want to make amends and atone for the wrongdoings I did along the way. I want the karma I send out in the present, this fleeting moment to be good karma. I want the people whose lives I touch know the warmth and goodness in my heart. I want this journey into the future to be filled with all the possibilities of a happy tomorrow and a past rich in adventures that make me a better more enlightened person.

Gratitude statement: As I embrace things I ran away from long ago, I'm thankful for the strength I have now. I'm thankful that I am a person on a journey that has a past, present and a future.

All gibberish within ©2004-2011 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Friday, February 04, 2011

LATE WINTER FUNK


For several weeks now I've been surveying various areas of my life that I think need to be rezoned or maybe have some demolition work or even a complete overhaul. During this process, I've had a dark cloud hovering over me. While it hasn't actually rained on my parade, it remains cold and gloomy much like the winter weather that has been sweeping most of our nation.

I rarely dream, but two nights ago each time I fell asleep, I had vivid nightmares. A menacing, lurking presence wanted to engulf me. No matter where I went, it remained with me coming closer...closer...closer and just before it would touch me, my eyes would open to a dark room. A sense of me being acutely alone surrounded me until I realized my two cats and my puppy were snuggled up on my bed sleeping soundly next to me.

Meanwhile on Facebook (yes, I'm one of those Facebook freaks), I not only have a page for Mildred, but I have my own personal page and one for my old neighborhood where I grew up. We had our first reunion last summer while I was in Maine with 59 people attending the gala affair. Our discussions on Facebook tend to be like a trip down memory lane for most. Light, humorous anecdotes and memories of various people and places frequent the page when someone isn't bitching about the horrible winter Maine and most of the upper tier states are having.

It's always nice to have a feeling of belonging and a place to go where warm feelings abound. It wasn't until the other day those warm feelings abruptly changed. Someone quite innocently mentioned a name that threw me into a whirlwind. Memories and feelings I thought had long ago been resolved came flooding back in an instant. Yes, I remembered Jimmy Stark, but no one seemed to remember how he was connected to me. As people discussed him by remembering how his foot was brutally ripped off in a freak accident at the carwash next to the elementary school we all attended, no one remembered the affair my father and Jimmy's mother had or if they did, that wasn't a topic anyone was about to start. There was no "Hey everyone, let's talk about Mildred's shitty home life!" There was no connection made between Jimmy and me except by me in me...alone!

This concludes and another episode of Mildred's late winter funk or is it the prespring blues?

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful that the misery I feel sometimes isn't like a fart in church that makes everyone want to pray for me at a distance.

All gibberish within ©2004-2011 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.