Dear Good Christian Bitch

Dear GCB,

I wonder how cold it is way up there on your high horse where you sit ready to look down at anyone who crosses your holier than thou path. Does it make you feel closer to Jesus (because I don’t really think He lives in the sky)? Do you think you look good up there, pompous and arrogant, a knower of all of the things and a judge to us all? I see you. I’ve watched you for a while.

I see the way you whisper in church with your girlfriends, how you look down your nose at the single mom who comes to church in her beat up jeans with her four kids. I see the way you roll your eyes when the preacher’s wife, a tall pretty blonde, walks up to the pulpit to speak to the children. You see, I’ve been around you my entire life. I grew up with you. I know you well.

You were part of the group of girls who made fun of me at church. You announced in front of everyone that I had a (gasp) run in my stockings. You pointed to my teeth and asked loud enough so everyone could hear why they were so yellow.

In Sunday school.

You made me cry and didn’t apologize. You laughed at me when I forgot the bible verse that I knew but was too nervous to remember when I had to stand at the front of the class.

You were the girl who told the only boy who gave me any attention at church that I was a slut who slept around and that I would give him AIDS. Then you called him gay for liking me.

In junior high. At youth group.

You told the other girls that I was poor. (Perhaps compared to you, I was, but I was rich in something else. Kindness. Love. Compassion.)

I hated church because of you. I laid in my bed on Sunday mornings sick with anxiety waiting for my dad to come in and tell me to get ready. I obsessed about what to wear, how to fix my hair, shoes, fingernails, jewelry, purses, and all because I wanted to impress you, and every time you pulled me into your group and made me feel like I might belong, you dropped another mean bomb on me and exploded any hope that I had of ever fitting in.

At church. In God’s house.

And now, we’re all grown up, and I hear you on your phone with your girlfriend in the grocery store talking about what Joel Osteen says is right and true and good and just, and then after we’ve checked out and loaded our groceries, I see you behind me at the light. You’re annoyed because I’ve rolled down my window to give the man on the corner with the sign a couple of dollars. You think he’s a nuisance to society, that he’s mucking up the scenery of your cute suburban town, and God forbid, you be delayed. You might be a few minutes late to prayer group because I looked him in the eye and told him that he mattered.

You can’t wait to jump online and shame other moms about their parenting. You love to post hateful sanctimonious comments to mothers who are just like you, struggling every day to make it. You look down your haughty nose at other parents who aren’t raising their children the way you are. I hear you. And I see you. You’re quick to judge and point out other people’s faults, and often you do it publicly. I don’t know a lot of things, but I’m fairly certain this is the exact opposite of WWJD.

You use Facebook as a platform to preach God’s love. Your feed shows constant daily devotionals and scriptures to make sure the world knows what a great person you are. Yet, when you’re the center of a group of women, you’re the first to bring up what so and so wore or said or did and get the rest of the girls to join your personal tirade. Then when that same so and so posts that she’s having a hard time on Facebook, you’re quick with the prayer hands emoji and always say “praying for you, my friend,” right before you call your other friend to gossip about her problem behind her back.

You’re the reason I don’t go to church. You’re the reason Christians get a bad name. You’re the very reason I question my own faith. Because how can I be part of a group with so much judgement for people who they don’t understand? I know you’re the minority, that most Christians are inherently good and kind, but you’re louder than everyone else, so you have become the figurehead for me and for a lot of other people.

And that figurehead is the face of a hypocrite. You bathe in the glory of God’s love and forgiveness when everyone can see, but when you think nobody is looking, you’re doing the exact opposite of what you preach. You show your little girl that it’s okay to talk bad about other people. She heard you talking about how Sally is having marital problems and will probably get a divorce and that you can’t possibly be friends with Sally anymore if she’s divorced, and then your daughter hears you and your friend plot out how you’re going to snuff Sally out of your life, and then that sweet little girl goes to school the next day and creates a club and doesn’t allow a little girl to play with the other girls,  and poor little Paisley goes home to her mom and tells her that she no longer has any friends because she wore purple today and everyone else wore pink, and so nobody would play with her. And she’s in kindergarten. Do you hear this?

Let me say it louder.

Your daughter is listening.

Do you want her to see the same woman I see? The Good Christian Bitch who thinks she’s better than everyone else?

I didn’t think so. Get off of your high horse. Put down your prayer hands, and be the person you pretend to be on Facebook, at church, when everybody is looking. Because you know what? I’m always looking. Your daughter is always looking. And all of those sinner/non-Christian heathens whom you’ve spent a lifetime looking down your nose at, they’re looking too, and they’re staying as far away from you and your church as possible. Oh you think they don’t know where you go to church?

You have a sticker on the back window of your Cadillac Escalade, right next to the one with the stick figure family with a mom, a dad, two boys and a girl.  I noticed you because you just flipped me off in traffic. Must be running late for bible study.

Sincerely,

Everyone

PS: If you’re sitting there wondering if this post is about you, it isn’t, but it also probably is.

prayer-hands-emoji

I almost forgot…have a blessed day.

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Real in Dallas #RHOD

**Disclaimer: This is not my usual post. I’ve been watching Real Housewives on Bravo since the beginning. I watched the original Real Housewives of Orange County as it aired, and I’ve been addicted ever since. One time, I even stood with Vicki Dunvalson, ( and Don), and Jeanna Keough on the red carpet of the Emmy awards as they used disposable cameras while we all celebrity watched. I can’t help it. I am addicted, so when I found out the producers of Bravo were finally going to film a Real Housewives of Dallas, I vowed to watch and perhaps write about it, so here it goes.**

Real, according to Merriam Webster means “actually existing or happening. Not imaginary, not fake, false, or artificial.” So let’s see how real we can get in Dallas.

That’s right, friends, forgive me, but when it gets “real” on my turf, a girl’s gotta talk about it and see if these housewives can represent.

“That’s how we do it in Dallas.”

RHod

So let’s meet the wives.

Brandi  is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader (they make like $13 a game) but stays far from the sidelines. She’s a full time mom who can’t do math, so let’s hope she doesn’t home-school. Her last name is Redman, and she has red hair. I’m going to stop there.

Tiffany states she is a hometown girl, a former model and has a British musician for a husband (who hates Texas, I’m pretty sure.) She’s done lots of coke and wears bandanas like Brett Michaels, which I must have missed the memo on because I didn’t realize it was cool again or ever.

Cary claims to be a trophy lifetime achievement award (she’s playing on trophy wife here but clearly she’s not too clever), which clearly shows her very low opinion of herself. She assists her husband in giving boobs to Dallas socialites and former cancer patients. So far, she’s my favorite.

Stephanie is the Stepford Wife next door who lives on the third hole of the Four Season’s Golf Course (which isn’t in Dallas), but if we looked closely at the thoughts in her head, we would see the cymbals playing monkey from Homer’s mind in the Simpsons. She can also fart on cue, so at least she has that going for her.

Leanne proudly announces she is a  carnie kid  or Stephen Tyler’s long lost daughter who isn’t a millionaire or a billionaire or married to a police officer.

*****

Before we go any further, I feel like there are some things you should probably know about Dallas if you’re from out yonder before you get too involved in the Real:

1.The Dallas Cowboys are actually in Arlington and practice in Valley Ranch but are building a huge practice field in Frisco, which is north of Plano (which apparently is no Bueno according to Leanne.) Dallas is a general term, and I would be willing to bet at least one or four of these wives live outside of Dallas proper.

2. Dallas girls think we get better when we drink. (Some of us do.) Most of us call wine wine, not Jesus juice.

3. Go has two syllables. “Gowah” or “Gu-oh”

4. “Bless your heart” really means, “I’m sorry you’re an effing moron.” I want to say “Bless your heart” to Brandi, pretty much every time she speaks.

5. Dallas women have a look that we give each other. We know when we give it, and we know when we get it. It says “I hate you more than kale flavored brownies.” (I saw it more than a lot tonight. Mostly between Leanne and Brandi.)

6. We don’t all wear cowboy boots and listen to country music, but when we do, we look fabulous.

7. We do all say ya’ll, and it’s sexy when we do.

So now that we’ve gotten you hip to what is real in Dallas, let’s review whatever it was we just watched:

I have to say, this episode kind of fell flat for me. I expected something somewhat interesting. I mean, everything is bigger in Texas, right? But these girls were bland, and that is NOT the Dallas that I know and love. Dallas is full of vibrant women with big diamonds and even bigger personalities. Maybe it was because they were new and clearly not used to the cameras, but these ladies didn’t offer much, and not just because there isn’t one of them that has a brain. I mean…Where’s the Vicki Gunvalson, or the Lisa Vanderpump?

Clearly, Leanne will take the reigns as the feisty trouble making mouth of the group only to be challenged by the little ginger pistol,  but even their drama seems forced. And boring.

They’re not even funny when they’re drunk, and everybody is funny when they’re drunk, right? P.S.  Nobody thinks farting on demand is funny here. (Truth #8).

And the husbands…snore.

Honestly, where have all the cowboys gone? We have beautiful men in Dallas. Tall, dark and handsome men who are nice and chivalrous and say “yes, ma’am.” Where are all of the hot husbands? Hello, David Beador is handsome, but not Texas handsome, and these dudes aren’t even funny.  Where, for the love of Dealey Plaza, is our Terry Dubrow?

AND…what about the handbags? I didn’t see a Birkin. I didn’t see Chanel. You know what I saw? I saw the same Louis Vuitton shoulder bag that every single stay-at-home mom in all of Frisco carries. Come on, girls. Do better.

I only hope the housewives strive for perfection in more than their Botox this season. I will watch every week because I must. They had me at Dallas, after all. It will get better, even if the previews didn’t prove that. It has to. It certainly can’t get any worse.

Until then, ya’ll come back now, and tell me if you watched, what did you think about the first episode? Who’s you’r favorite? Who do you hate? What do your cowboy boots look like?

 

 

 

 

 

Stars in the Southern Sky

 

 

PicMonkey Collage (2)

“Amanda, light of my life …” I can hear his deep bass voice sing.  I close my eyes and drift back to childhood when he would pick up his guitar and start singing this song to me. I know the rest of the words aren’t very appropriate for a brother to sing to his sister, but it doesn’t matter where I am, I hear those five words, “Amanda, light of my life,” and I feel special. Loved. Continue reading

And the Wind Cries . . . Samara

It can happen unexpectedly. Every once in a while, someone stumbles into your life, and you just know there’s something there. A kind of connection. Chemistry.

When I first met her, she was a phone girl in a whore house. Immediately, I developed a full blown girl crush. I thought to myself, I don’t hardly know her, but I think I could love herInfatuated with her words, I devoured them, unable to stop. Reading post after post, I became more and more enamored with her.

Cautiously and bravely, I typed a comment and hit “post.” She responded quite quickly,  and an easy and comfortable friendship developed. We learned we had a lot of things in common like our love for boys music.

She has taught me many valuable lessons about life. I’ve viewed a tragedy from another person’s perspective. I’ve felt a mother’s love for her son. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry, and she makes me think.

I’m lucky to call her my friend, to call her my SisterWife, and today, I’m fortunate to wish her a very happy birthday.

Samara, I am so very glad you were born and so happy that fate placed me on your blog. You have welcomed me with open arms into your world, and for that, I thank you. In those moments when I’m not feeling like myself, you are always there. Everybody needs someone beside them, shining like a lighthouse from the sea.

Go celebrate your day, shine brighter than the sun, and for all of us, please continue to sing your life. (any fool can think of words that rhyme.)

(I couldn’t pick just one song. You’re more than one song to me.)

Happy birthday, Samara!

Samara pimping me at BlogHer (true friendship, people)

Samara pimping me at BlogHer (true friendship, people)

It’s Been a Long Day

People always say that you don’t get to pick your family. I disagree.

When I was six years old, a family with three little girls moved into the house next door. My mother was thrilled. Being the only girl with four older brothers, my hobbies had become making and eating mud pies, getting into fights on the playground (yes, in Kindergarten), and looking at trashy magazines with the boy across the street. My mother saw these three little girls hop out of their mom’s Vanagon and forced me (kicking and screaming) to go introduce myself.

She had no idea they would become my sisters, that I would fall so deeply in love with them, that their mother would become a second mother to me, that their father, one of my favorite people, would influence my sense of humor for the rest of my life. Nor did she ever imagine that the oldest of the three would turn out to be my soul mate, my person, my best friend of thirty years (and counting).

We were inseparable, the four girls on our block. We spent every weekend night together, staying up until ungodly hours playing dress up and rock stars and barbies when their dad would finally come in and in his deep gritty voice tell us to go the hell to bed. We learned life together. As we grew older, our friendships grew with us, and we held each other’s hands through shopping for our first bras, then first kisses, then teenage heartbreak. We applauded each other’s successes and cried together when things went wrong.

When we were seventeen, our world changed forever. On February 29, 1996, we had our first baby. As scared as we were for our sister to become a teenage mom, we had her back. We knew that together we could make this work, and we did. A little boy entered our lives and changed everything. He was all the things a first baby is. Confusing, adorable, funny, exhausting, and he was ours. He brought a new life into our world, a sense of wonder and excitement. We took turns babysitting him and watched as he grew from a chubby little brown eyed baby to a sweet little boy who at seven years old announced to us that he would one day become a paleontologist.  And we believed him.

We all grew up, went to college, moved to different towns, got married, etc. But we managed to get together as frequently as possible, and when we did/do, it was/is as if time never passed.

Then one day, our world changed again. Shattered for a minute. And an hour. And a lifetime.

Our baby was gone.

Just like that.

A car crash.

My pseudo baby sister lost her first born child a few months after he turned eighteen, just a few weeks prior to his high school graduation.

No words can help because they can’t bring him back. No flowers or cards or hugs or good thoughts make any kind of difference because he’s still gone, and my sweet friend who I love as if she shared my blood will never be the same again.

And there’s no word for her. There’s no widow or widower or orphan. She’s just a woman, a mother with a permanent hole in a heart that will never beat the same again. But she’s more than that to me. She’s my family, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her or him.

Please watch this video all the way to the end as a tribute to this amazing kid that was taken from us far too soon.

“Guys,one day we’re all gonna die, so have fun, and have fun the way YOU want to have fun. Don’t listen to anyone else. Word up.”  Thomas James Gomez-Reddish (February 29, 1996 – May 6, 2014)

Thomas

Long and Smooth

I’ve always had a healthy admiration of Latin men. It’s no secret. I love dark mysterious eyes framed in whispy black lashes, light chestnut skin, pretty pink lips. Ay Dios Mio! Tulipanes humedos!

Some of you might recall the last time Beth and I had coffee. We coined the phrase: Moist Tulips ©. Well, here’s a new phrase for you: Long and Smooth ©. I can’t explain this one, but I’ll add some content in this post that might help.

Last week, Beth received something very special in the mail: Her first ever paperback copy of her first ever novel. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, do so now here.

To celebrate, we decided to have some Mexican food, margaritas, and laughs. We had ample amounts of all three, particularly the last.

We took pictures that will only make sense to our SisterWives, but made us spew tequila all over the table. Here’s one. Use your imagination with this one.

I did not purposely take a photo of the female waitress pegging the male waiter.

I did not purposely take a photo of the female waitress pegging the male waiter.

Thanks to our very eccentric waiter who wanted to motorboat  lick ravage become a fan of Beth, the night will not soon be forgotten. Gonzavo esta muy guapo. Gonzavo loved Beth, and her book. He said to her once, and I quote in a sexy Latin accent, “I am keeping an eye for you. Or is it better for you or on you?”

To which Beth replied, “In me. (cleared throat) I mean on me. On me.” And I concurred. Like a doctor.

When we showed him her book, he got reader wood.

Reader Wood

Reader Wood

Coming soon to a book store near you. Oo7 read by Gonzavo.

Coming soon to a book store near you. Oo7 read by Gonzavo.

 

He focused on the number seven and even gave us a very confusing yet intriguing bible lesson. Again in sexy Latin accent, “Did you know of the importance of the number,” pause for dramatic effect,  “of seven?” We nodded and leaned in closer to hear more of his seductive patois compelling lecture. I have no idea what he said, but it sounded … sigh … enticing.

I never realized I was a match maker, but I think I may have helped these two create a love connection.

Es amor?

Es amor?

As we paid our check, Gonzavo said to Beth, “I think I will be watching you. That was something really special to me. You brought it.”

When Gonzavo left us, Beth looked at me and said, “I’m about to get some long and smooth.” (There’s your explanation. You’re welcome.)

At some point, I noted that Beth said, “You can’t forget ten cats. That’s a lot of pussy.” But I cannot figure out the context of this one, so there you have an added Bethism.  I promise this is true.

See? I took notes. Who does that?

See? I took notes. Who does that?

 

At any rate, when two bloggers who are real life friends get together to celebrate a book that has been the topic of more than a gazillion conversations, well, sparks fly.

Two writers in a parking lot with an iPhone = trouble

Two writers in a parking lot with an iPhone = trouble

Que le gusta hombres latinos? Have you read Beth’s book? Do you like margaritas and getting caught in the rain? Do you like reading posts about nothing? Still here? Click here to get a sneak peak at my book cover … see it wasn’t about nothing after all. (That was a purposeful double negative.)

Postcards from California … an excerpt from Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume 2

If writing is my first love, reading is my mistress.

What’s better than diving into a journey full of love and heartbreak, hope and despair, suspense and certainty? My favorite stories have all of that, and today, I’m letting you peek at another tale told by everyone’s favorite dilettante, Helena Hann-Basquait.

She wanted to share more, but I said, “No, let’s leave them with a little bit of a cliffhanger.” I know my readers love my cliffhangers, so here’s a special gift from me to you. You’re going to want to read the rest of this story because love, heartbreak, hope, despair, suspense, certainty…all of it. So make sure and click that little link below and pre-order your copy.

 

Postcards from California … an excerpt

 “Here’s one from Santa Monica Pier,” Penny said, handing me one of the many postcards that had poured out of the manila envelope. My ex-boyfriend and would-be rock star had been keeping them for me, for years it seems, and I suppose getting a postcard out of the blue a couple of weeks ago prompted him to put them all in a package and send them to me. I honestly hadn’t heard from him in years, but a phone call on my birthday brought him back into my life, if only for five minutes.

With that unwelcome re-entry came a flood of memories, not all of them pleasant.

I said that I’d been a fool, but if I was a fool, than it was only because she made me one.

 

 Maya

 I’d long ago stopped being angry with her, but seeing her handwriting, reading the messages in her delicate script sent me spiraling backward through time. Reading the text – so carefree, so oblivious to the hurt she’d caused – just made me feel the pain of being discarded all over again. She had no idea – she was so full of herself; so selfish.

 *******

I felt like a little kid again, and part of me experienced a twinge of guilt. Before I’d left for California, I’d promised little Penelope (not yet a Countess, at the age of ten she was always Penny Arcade to me, or, sometimes Penny Dammit when her mom was out of earshot) that I’d someday take her for a ride on the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica. There I was, on the Ferris Wheel, Maya laughing along with me. Robert was off at some … wherever yet again, and I had to fill my time somehow. So I called Maya.

Maya was different from the other fast-moving crowd in L.A. Sure, she attended all the same parties I did, and would stay out all night dancing – but at the same time, she always seemed peripheral – like she was there and not there at the same time. If wanderlust is a communicable disease, I’d say that I contracted a rather nasty case of it from Maya, and I’ve yet to find a cure. Sometimes I think that the death of my sister and brother-in-law and my subsequent guardianship of Penny is the only thing that slowed me down and kept me in one spot for longer than a year or two at a time. But not unlike with Morphine withdrawal, every once in a while, I still get that itch.

Maya must have constantly felt that itch, because she always looked like she was getting ready to leave. I should have noticed that earlier, but frankly, I was having too much fun.

We ate at the best restaurants, danced the night away at the swankiest clubs, went for long drives at high speeds, Maya going on and on about the places she’d been, the things she’d seen, the cars she’d owned, the men she’d dated. I was enraptured. She’d lived a life I could only dream about, been to places I’d only ever read about, had experiences I could never afford.

And yet, for all that glamour, all that luxury, all that opportunity, I just couldn’t wrap my head around one thing. She seemed so restless, and often unhappy. I wouldn’t have said that at first, but after I’d spent a few weeks with her, I began to see a sadness in her eyes that I hadn’t noticed before. In all fairness, I probably didn’t want to see it.

One night, over drinks (I had my customary vodka and grapefruit while Maya drank only Guava juice – she never drank, never smoked, never did any drugs) I asked her: “What do you do?”

I had assumed that she was either on vacation, or an actress or model or something. Someone who had an open schedule and a lot of money.

“What do I do?” she asked, with a bit of a sour smile.

“Yeah,” I said curiously. “I mean, what do you do when you’re not picking up strange girls and spoiling them rotten? Do you have a career? Hey – are you someone famous in disguise? Are you slumming it with me?”

She didn’t seem to be amused at my teasing.

“I do anything I want,” she smiled at me through pursed lips.

“Yes, but surely you want to do something – play music, write, paint, make Lego castles for underprivileged kids, I don’t know – something.

“And what do you do, Helena?” She asked me.

“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I haven’t figured it out yet. But you have so much opportunity! You could do whatever you wanted!”

“And I do,” she replied. The smile was fading from her face. “I do whatever I want. Today, I wanted to eat sushi with you and watch boys play beach volleyball. Who knows what I’ll want to do tomorrow?”

“So, this, then?” I asked, unaware that I was on very thin ice. “This is what you do?”

“Yes,” she said, picking up her keys and standing up. “And sometimes I do this. Good-bye, Helena.”

And then she left me sitting there, not quite sure what had just happened.

 *******

 

If you want to read more, BECOME A FAN at PUBSLUSH and pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two and Penelope, Countess of Arcadia

Available now! image06 JESSICA image07

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettanteThe enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

Last year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and is about to release Volume Two, along with a Shakespearean style tragi-comedy, entitled Penelope, Countess of Arcadia.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell. VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year. Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or and http://www.whoisjessica.com Connect with her via Twitter@HHBasquiat , and keep up with her ever growing body of work at GOODREADS, or visit her AMAZON PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Does NOT Happen For a Reason

I never know what to say when someone loses somebody they love. Whether it’s because of death, a breakup, or even a miscarriage, all I can usually come up with is, “I’m sorry.” And I mean it. I know how it feels to lose someone special, and I know there’s nothing anyone can say to make it better.

I can promise you one thing though. You will never hear me say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Because it doesn’t.

Click here to find out why I’m so passionate about those five simple words.

Gonna Sip Bacardi Like it’s My Birfday….

It’s my birthday! *throws confetti*

Funny, actually my birthday is never really a big deal for me. Ever. I grew up in a family where if we said “happy birthday, so and so,” that was enough. It was a BIG deal to get a card, and gifts..pfft. Who needs ’em?

But this year, wow. This year, people, a lot of people, came together and made my birthday a big deal. A really big deal, and I am floored, gobsmacked, honored, and humbled to no end at the thought. Continue reading

Of Foodgasms and Muff-Fro’s

Sometimes in life, we stumble upon a pot of gold, shiny and sparkly. Sometimes it’s a rainbow itself, fresh and clean, an abundant kaleidoscope of color. Well, I found that perfection in the lovely, snarky, witty, yoda-obsessed nerd Nikki Mathis Thompson, and I want to jump up and down and do cartwheels because today I get the opportunity to introduce her to you. Continue reading