Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate Jesus and The Mommy Track

Spring is unfolding differently this year than in the past, for me anyway.  I'm happy to say that I got to experience two spring times due to visiting Texas for bluebonnet season, and now the trees are finally starting to bloom here in the city.  Something inside me feels distinctly different.  A shift in the personal paradigm, perhaps, that goes along with maturity.

There's no escaping the fact that I've matured.  I can see it in the creases around my mouth.

It's come to my attention that I've reached the end of the Mommy Track.  Years ago, when Velvet was little - I have to stop here because in truth, the boy just doesn't seem like Velvet anymore.  He seems like Buster again.  I wrote a children's book once as an assignment for grad school at Bank Street about my son and his invisible friend, and in that book I called him Buster.  They're calling him "Bill" out there in the Wilderness because his first name in real life is William.  Buzz Kill's father's name was William, and it was clear to me a few weeks before the baby was born, Vagina Dentata and Buzz Kill wished the baby's name could be William.  So his first name is William.  I have never once called the child William, but Buzz Kill often does.  It was never an issue until he went up to Tree Hugger because Buzz Kill made a big deal about using William on all the correspondence.

The thing is that Buzz Kill goes by his middle name, and so does my dad and so does my sister.  My brother also used his middle name until he went to court when he was 12 and changed his name to Smiley.  True Story.  Although there are times when a form requires you to fill in the blanks a certain way, mostly all you have to do is put the initial as the first name and spell out the middle name and everyone figures it out.  Whatever.  I'm chalking the whole thing up to general adolescent identity confusion for Velvet since he clearly didn't know his ass from his elbow once he got to college. He'll figure it out sooner or later.

I'm having to sort out my own name issues at that moment.  Right after the divorce, I sent papers to the Social Security Administration so I could go back to using my maiden name.  They sent a letter asking for one more piece of documentation which I never got around to providing.  That was nearly five years ago.  The last name has been problematic this school year because the HR office at work can't handle the concept of paperwork and paychecks going out to a name that doesn't match the social security card, so all this stuff has been in my married name again.  It's a drag because I've been going to doctors on account of my shoulder, and they're all calling me Mrs. Buzz Kill.

We should be signing the contract selling the apartment this week, and I don't mind being Mrs. Buzz Kill on that bit of paper - but honestly, I'm fucking done being Mrs. Buzz Kill.  I still need to be PENolan for internet purposes for personal and professional reasons, but I'm thinking that I'll trot over to the Social Security office on Monday and get my own name back once and for all.  The Drivers License too.

But I was talking about The Mommy Track, which following the stream of consciousness we've just experienced, is clearly linked to my Identity.   When I decided that I felt like getting pregnant, which was right after I decided that I would rather have a baby than get divorced - I quit my full time job in public relations and went to work in the Afterschool program at the local YMCA.  With the exception of the job at Firestarter Academy, I haven't worked full time since because I wanted to be home with my own dang kid.  I'll save the whole rationale for that decision for The Menopausal Stoners Guide to Parenting - which I am committed to writing this year - but the point is that now that the kid is twenty years old, my days on the Mommy Track are at an end.  Coincidentally, my contract with Buzz Kill is also at an end since we're selling the marital residence and dividing the marital assets once and for all.  My alimony runs out in August, and the child support runs out when the child turns 21.  The End.

The last thing I want at this juncture is a bunch of doctors calling me Mrs. Buzz Kill - especially if I wind up having to have surgery on this shoulder again.  I don't want mail coming to Tricia BuzzKill either, which brings us back to the HR office because of my retirement account and stuff.  Mrs Buzz Kill can be packed away forever with miscellaneous documents, and I'll be free to grow again as my own self.

I guess that means that this Easter weekend, me and Jesus are resurrected
Alleluia  - bring on the chocolate bunnies
Here's "My Sweet Lord" by Cosimo Cavallaro, too, just because I love the Chocolate Jesus.


Vancouver Voyeur said...

That chocolate Jesus is creepy looking. That aside, I remember getting called Mrs. Spin Doctor, long after I'd resumed my maiden name and hearing my son explain to his friends that I was no longer Mrs. Spin Doctor and what my name actually was, which was much longer and harder to say and remember than Mrs. Spin Doctor. I had to get my identity back asap, so I didn't delay. As for the mommy track, I too stayed home with mine for about 6 years, until I could no longer take it and went back to school myself. That seemed to be a happy compromise for me, while the kids were in school, mommy was in school. After school we'd all do our homework. I'm happy to be off the mommy track if only it were that easy, but the kids still need mommy, I still have to provide for them when they can't provide for themselves because Spin Doctor won't. So, I consider myself on the mommy side-track for a few more years.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, definitely time to get your maiden name back. It will help you make the shift to the next phase of your life which clearly is imminent.

Gail said...


wow, Jesus's penis in chocolate, fascinating. And also, "Smiley", really? fascinating too.
But or and, most of all, you are so fascinating, how you think and process and mature (your word).....I get it, yup, I do.
Love you Texas

Susan Tiner said...

So much power in a name. I wish you the best reclaiming yours and the new life that goes with it.

Chocolate or no, that Jesus looks like he's suffering.

The bunny just looks edible.

Happy Spring!

mac said...

I have never been called by my first name. I have no issues with the name, but it sounds foreign when I hear it spoken.

I like Smiley. It sounds like a wonderfully odd name.

Maybe it was a failing on my fathers part, but I never really gave my name much signifigance. I believe what we do with the name is a lot more important than what it is or was. If my ex wants the name, or not, I don't give a shit.

I can, however, understand wanting to get away from it. It can signify a new trend, a shedding of old skin so that you may begin, again.

Mr. Charleston said...

Why not just make up a whole new persona? This is a great time to totally reinvent yourself. Maybe one of those old hippie names. Something like Sunshine, or Petal, or Panama Red. Something like that.

If I was you, I'd take down that chocolate Jesus. There can be no good come from something that creepy.

PENolan said...

Re: Chocolate Jesus
He may be creepy, but he's provocative. He adds another layer to the whole "this is my body" thing about Communion.

V.V. - Mommy sidetrack may be exactly the right description.

Debra - exactly. Now for the follow through.

Gail - yes, he's really Smiley. He chose it when he was about six. We thought he was naming himself after Guy Smiley the gameshow host on Sesame Street, but it a Twilight Zone twist, it turned out that Smiley was our paternal grandmother's grandfather's name.

Thanks, Susan. The way things are going with Buzz Kill right now, it looks like I'm going to have to find a friendly, sliding scale lawyer. I'm hoping that the church where I work has some kind of referral service for the Riverside Community

Mr. C, I always looked on PENolan as that new persona. Maybe the P can stand for Petal. I always thought the E should stand for Everything ;)

intelliwench said...

Hi there ... I'm finally catching up on your literary and other adventures!

I never changed my name, but TMFKAH and I gave intellikid his last name. Since he has removed himself from our lives, however, she hates having that last name. And I'm not so attached to my own as I once was. So intellikid and I have thought about finding us both a new last name, but haven't come up with any good ideas yet. Maybe it's best to wait now until she finishes college, so's not to totally confuse the financial aid people.

Anyway, enjoy your NYC Springtime! My last several trips to the city were in the winter, but I can imagine the parks greening up now, and the warm sun taking the chill off all that concrete and stone.

okjimm said...

ha.... my nephew is william son of william son of william son of william

... we all called him Adam, his middle name.... and he moves to San Diego... and everyone there calls him... Will.

Chocolate Jesus.... I would rather opt of for Jelly Bean Christ, if I had my druthers. Sounds more bluesy

Liberality said...

My youngest left home about two months ago and I kind of freaked the fuck out--empty nest for sure--and midlife crisisville as well. I thought I'd be relieved, and I was for sure, but I was also very bummed out because I had spent most of my adult identity being other people's mom and now I had to figure out what I was gonna be. Sure I work full time and go to school, still I kinda went to pieces there for awhile. Maybe I still am. good luck with everything! :)

PENolan said...

Jelly Bean Christ? I love it, okjimm

Libs, we can fall apart together . . .

Jennifer said...

Sheesh, and I always feel guilty eating the ears off the bunny.

Changing one's name back is a major pain the ass, but I needed to do it too. In fact I really think it's an important phase of divorce. How can you call a thing over when you're still in it by name? Mommy track or otherwise.

Cali said...

I'm way late to the party here, but...

I kept my ex-husband's name after the divorce not because it is his name, but because it's my son's name. When I was a kid I was eternally the only kid in my class whose mother had a different last name than me. And it REALLY bothered me.) Now that my son is grown I'm still keeping it because, well, it's my name! It may be forever mispronounced due to an illiterate immigrant changing his name and not knowing how to spell the new name, but it still beats my maiden name-- by leaps and bounds.

Cali said...

Oh yeah, one more thing. Chocolate Jesus dick? Super creepy!

PENolan said...

Cali, it's very cool of you to catch up on things back here in the archives - and that dick is absolutely creepy.

Blog Archive