don’t be a dick

My daughter got a package in the mail from Amazon yesterday.

Of course, I buy her things online all the time, but I send it via my name since that’s the name on the debit card.

If it’s addressed directly to her, chances are, it’s from her dad.

I always feel a bit of a twinge when I get these packages, because my ex-husband is not above being passive aggressive through the postal service.


For example, my daughter (we will call her Mimi) needs a new bathrobe. Used to be, I could buy her anything pink and sturdy and call it good.  Now she wants something cooler that’s red or purple or black.  I tell her that it still needs to be able to soak up water, because… well, duh.  She rolls her eyes because I don’t use exactly the right words to describe things like colors and labels and fabric. We go back and forth.

This is my fucking life right now. Arguing with a teenager who knows everything.

Anyway, we were visiting her dad a couple weeks back, and the topic came up again because she really needs two robes: one for that house and one for this one.

Then, after we came home, she got a package from Amazon addressed to her.  I opened it up without thinking too much about it and it was a brown bathrobe.

Okay, I thought.  Makes her looks like she could play Joseph in a Christmas play, but okay.

homemade nativity

All teenaged girls go through phases (teenaged boys too, probably, but not my speciality) and right now, Mimi is wearing a lot of khaki and red plaid plus suspenders. “Lumberjill” is the thoroughly accurate but slightly inflammatory label that applies here.

Just don’t tell my daughter I said that.

This lead me to wonder if Mimi had spoken with her dad about the kinds of things she speaks to me about. You know, love and heartbreak and dreams and fears.

That’s when I read the note he included.

“Mimi, I bought you two robes.  I sent one to you there and the other one is here with me. Let your mom know she doesn’t need to pay me back. She doesn’t always remember what you need.”

If I were a younger or more hair-triggered woman, he would have gotten a phone call.

Instead, I breathed in and out for a couple minutes, managed to get my eye to stop twitching, and tried to read through the words to see the meaning.

eye twitch.gif

I am willing to consider the possibility that he was saying, “Let’s be nice to your mom because she really cares about you, and she has a lot on her plate.”

But then why the fuck not just say that?

It isn’t just this one incident, of course not.  It’s decades of enduring deeper and deeper layers of sarcasm while trying my best to believe that it’s an adult way to communicate.

That’s one of the best things about being on my own.  I can refuse to deal with sarcasm.


And, just for the record, my daughter is outspoken but she is not sarcastic or rude.  If you can’t bring a child to good behavior with just a raised eyebrow by the time they are potty-trained, then you have already lost your best chance to raise a worthwhile adult.

Sorry, let me get off my soapbox and/or high horse. Because I like a sarcastic zinger as much as the the next girl.  It’s just that we all need to be more aware of how we make other people feel, because we are all in this together…


See, I can be funny too. Moms can make jokes too. After all, they made you.

Alright, that was mean. I apologize that you had to read it.

Back to the package that is sitting on my table unopened, I called my ex first before opening it.

“Hey, did you send Mimi another package?”
“Yeah, it’s a gift card so that she can take you out to eat for Mother’s Day without you having to pay for it.”
“I would have sent you flowers but I didn’t think you wanted them from me.”
“That’s all you got?”
“No, thank you. For both the gift and the absence of one. I’m a grown girl, I can buy my own flowers.”
“But I think we can come up there next weekend to help you with a yard sale. I know you want to clean out the backroom of your house.”

See, we can all be nicer to each other if we try to be. Even me. I am not exempt from being a dick.  But we should all listen to Wil Wheaton when he says:

Don't Be a Dick Wil Wheaton

And if someone is a dick to you, you have the right to complain about it.  Just be aware that A) they may not give a flying fuck, B) barring horrendous tragedy, which a broken heart simply is not, you can’t expect to grouse about your hurt for the rest of your life.

Which leads me to the following poem.  The stages of grief are not linear. I was hanging out in the Anger Quadrant when I wrote this.   But it is only a poem, not a campaign.

Also, I blame Game of Thrones.


you rode a fine high horse.
the sword you held, pure gold.
a seventeen-year quest
to drive me from my hold.

I spied you from my tower;
I felt the archer’s sting.
my heart became a crow
and flew to you on wing

you had no use for it;
it galled your sense of right.
my pride, the first victim
of your ancestral spite.

slammed the gates, pulled the bridge
and turned your steed to dust;
smote my hand to my breast
and cursed my wanton lust.

the hope that you struck down
now bleeds upon the stone.
its feathers all are strewn;
its flesh is pierced with bone.

I weep to see it dead.
I weep to feel the pain.
I weep to know the wrath
from which I won’t refrain.

there is another flyer
that nestles in this land.
a roost of dire dragons
fly out at my command.

so bow down to my throne;
bend knees upon the floor.
if losing you can’t stand,
you shouldn’t bring the war.

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