This is a big, big day for me y’all.
My homegirl is coming back.
Roseanne is like my mascot. I grew up idolizing her. I wasn’t raised in a family of loud women. The women in my family were quiet, and mostly well-behaved. They weren’t weak. My mom definitely ran the show, I think, but there were extenuating circumstances as to why that’s the case.
But for the most part I was not exposed to any really organically, fearlessly strong, strong women until the day I met Roseanne Conner.
And oh, my lort.
This woman. Everything I needed to know about life I learned from Roseanne. And while the actual Roseanne Barr and I are not compatible in many ways (I won’t lie, I did cry a lil’ bit inside and throw up in my mouth when I heard she was rebooting the series as a Trump fan), I have a lot of respect for what she did to represent working class women in the late 80s through 1997.
In case you’re somehow unaware of how obsessed with the 90s I am, I’m super fucking obsessed with the 90s.
I think I loved Roseanne at the time because I recognized her as authentic. She looked like me. She sounded like me. She was representative of a family and a lifestyle that I recognized in terms of socioeconomic reality. And that is one of the biggest writing lessons I ever got, before I even realized it was happening:
If your audience can see themselves in you, they will listen long enough for you to make them love you. And you’ll be able to say whatever you want once they love you. Even if it’s unattractive. Often, especially if it’s unattractive.
If I hadn’t seen my family in the Conners I wouldn’t have been around. I watched other sitcoms. But I wasn’t a Tanner or a Winslow or a Cosby or a Seaver. And so I have absolutely no emotional investment in them whatsoever.
I was all Conner.
And I appreciated feeling not just represented but celebrated. America loved Roseanne in spite of themselves, and often despite their best efforts.
She was obnoxious and loud, honest and proud. Even when being any of those things was not pretty.
And that’s why even though the Trump support makes me want to vomit in my mouth still, I’ll be parked right down in front of my TV tonight excited as I would be to be seeing an old friend after and extended absence.
And though we may not be all that alike in many ways, the woman has impeccable taste in real estate. She lives in my favorite place on Earth – the big island of Hawaii. And she even picked the best place on the entire island at that – Waimea (Kamuela).
God, aside from the bottom of the ocean outside the airport in Kona, where I saw God in the form of 30 swarming, magnificent manta rays, Waimea was by far my favorite place on the whole island.
Rolling green hills and beautiful crisp air thanks to its elevation and situation on the interior of the big island, not to mention the saturation of paniolo culture, and of course the famous Tex malasadas in Honokaa nearby, Waimea is everything I love about Hawaii and everything I love about home combined.
After I told my uncle I was a little obsessed with Roseanne, he did a little stalking and found out where her nut farm is. In my defense, we’d have driven clean past it on our way to the Waipio Valley Lookout anyway, so I had my aunt stop and let me out so I could steal two macadamias that had fallen to the ground, and give a quick wave to the camera monitoring the gated driveway that I easily recognized from the reality show that’s filmed on her nut farm.
I wear Roseanne’s nuts around my neck all the time now.
And yes. I chose the horse head necklace to string them on so that it would make you feel precisely as uncomfortable as it does.
Can’t wait for Sarah Gilbert to rock my world as Darlene again. Darlene was one of several models for my teenage years that I took from fictional universes as a feral child of the Pennsylvania backwoods with no siblings to imitate. I can’t wait to see her as a mom and compare notes.
Also, it’s Tuesday, and we’re still working our way through the major arcana aren’t we?
Today I’ve drawn the Hanged Man.
And if it looks to you as though he’s pretty well screwed, and not in the good way, well that’s because he mostly is.
Okay. So card 12 is all about that uncomfortable thing we call transition.
I know I’ve said multiple times here that I struggle with transition and it’s true. Both in the micro and in the macro sense. I struggle to move from one task to the next, mostly because I live most of every day with my brain on one thousand channels at once, constantly trying to tune in as completely as possible to one or the other. Once I’ve managed to do it, the relief and relaxation that sets in as a result of tuning all the rest out, and the comfort of settling into some degree of flow, is difficult to give up. It’s very addictive, flow state. I love it because the chaos of my brain and all of the ideas constantly running laps is exhausting and incredibly unproductive.
But in the big sense, too, I tend to react poorly to big changes. Especially those of the unexpected and unpredictable variety. It has a lot to do with an unpredictable emotional environment, growing up. And physical environment too. I could come home literally any random day, and did, too, many random days, to find my entire bedroom completely rearranged, all of the bed linens and curtains changed, all of my things moved to different drawers. Pictures moved on the walk or taken down altogether. It’s just the nature of the beast when a significant and untreated mood disorder is involved.
There could be a sense of happiness giddiness, or excitement charging the air, or it could be somber, quiet, and dark. I never quite knew what to expect.
So as an adult, now that I’ve worked out a lot of self-destructive tendencies in interaction with the world, I tend to have an understandably emotional reaction to disequillibrium. It’s not something I handle well.
Unfortunately, it’s not just what this card represents. It’s a fact of life.
The Hanged Man is suspended from a tree with his head toward the ground and his foot pointed heavenward. See that little golden aura around his nugget?
I tend to recognize it as part of the problem. This card is a warning that we may have gotten either a little too comfortable, or a little too big for our britches. Usually, one of those two begets the other, but both tend to get a bit of the credit when a major unexpected life change comes into play.
The reversal represented in this card is not usually one that feels or appears to be any good at all on the surface.
The Hanged Man does not indicate that you’re about to win any lotteries, homie.
Except maybe Shirley Jackson’s lottery. Which you don’t want to win, you guys. Not at all. (Read the short story in the link if you never have…it’s a classic, only eight pages, and quite satisfying). It’s one if my very all time favorite short stories.
The Hanged Man, for me, is most easily recognized in the event of Mike’s arrest. I stayed with Mike after things started going sour for a lot of reasons.
Not the least of which was that I’d been single for six years before dating him. I don’t want to be alone, but I’m very very good at it.
Like, scary good at it.
I’m better at being alone than I am at being with someone, but I’m no different from anyone else.
I want to be paired up. I want the same comfort of companionship that everyone else wants. Believe it or not. Prickly as I am. Trouble is, I don’t like getting to know people and that uncertain process of vetting that people call dating. I want someone to come home to, sure.
But I’m not really into what has to come first, which is having someone to go out with.
I’m not a fan.
It’s just ugh.
I dated Mike for quite a while before we got married. Close to four years if I recall correctly. And I’d known him since we were both very small children. That was one of the things that played in his favor. He had an established history. There was no awkward meeting of the family and whatnot. I knew them already.
Unfortunately all that comfort was not in my favor because it made me less vigilant in looking for red flags and, more importantly, way less likely to act on them when they presented themselves.
And I think I relied too heavily on my trust that we both had some issues and some growing up to do, but that that was marriage. I truly trusted that he was going into it with the same intention and commitment as I was, which was straight up for life.
I’ve written about my grandfather and grandmother’s marriage before. I knew, watching them, that that was how it was done. There was absolutely blatant mutual respect at the foundation of it. It was a palpable thing. It was like a third party in their marriage. He defied his family for her. He defended her entirely when they wanted nothing to do with her. And she never put up with any bullshit from him because she didn’t have to. They were a team. They had their issues and they dealt with them behind closed doors, respectfully, and their life – and I use the singular here witth a specific intent, because their life truly was shared in every sense of the word – was their mutual passion. It was just the perfect model of marriage. They grew together, and the shared drama of their existence knit them closer together with each lived moment of that shared experience. I wish I’d been older, and had a chance to really appreciate it for what it was before we lost her and then him, five years later.
Like, if there was a marriage mafia, they’d have been the Dons.
Straight up. Like no bullshit, they had the whole marriage think fuckin’ licked. For sure.
Anyhow, I was committed to that. I wanted that. I wanted to grow together just like that. I didn’t expect it to be easy. I expected it to be hard as hell. But I honestly, truly thought that we had a basis of mutual respect going in, and I thought that was what you needed to grow the rest.
I was wrong. I don’t know if you need more than honest respect and a commitment to the institution, but I know that I did not have his respect the way he had mine, and for that reason he lost mine, fast, and then it all unravelled even faster.
It still makes me really sad.
And I’ve written a lot on how Mike’s arrest was both the worst day of my life but also the best, in the long run. And while I do think we have a hell of a long way to go in making these sorts of warrant executions more trauma informed for the family members left behind, I do thank whatever was at play there every day that it happened when it did.
The girls were young. It made life harder that they were only two but they had the incredible fortune to still have a lot of plasticity left to put toward recovering from it. They never really had to adjust to him being gone because they don’t have a lot of solid memories of actual concrete events before the age of two.
A lot was in our favor.
The Hanged Man is all about perspective. I’ve never been a proponent of the reversed positions of tarot cards. I think the card is the card. What’s there is there. Whether it’s coming or going, what specifically that card’s meaning looks like in your life is all in how you interpret it. But the thing about the Hanged Man is that if you turn him upside down he looks like he’s dancing. In fact, he looks a lot like the fully integrated badass in the World card, who ends the fool’s journey of the major arcana.
Whether the big changes in our lives make or break us is all in how we choose to see them. Now, I have no tricks or tips for having a more positive outlook or being more flexible and open to change.
That’s why I’m a writer and not a therapist. Because I’m better at talking about all this shit at a theoretical level than putting it into practice.
I’m a philosopher. We’re not practical application folks. We’re thinkers. Not so much doers.
But that’s what The Hanged Man means to me. He’s just a reminder to bring my head back down out of the clouds, put my ear to the Earth for a bit, and chill. Stop fighting. My hands are tied. Accept this situation, whatever it is, and look for a way to flip it in my mind so I can dance instead of being immobilized. There is one thing that I want to mention, though, and that’s that I think Jung would have said that we all need these immobilizing, sort of gutting events in our lives because they do just that. They tie our hands. They put us in time out. They force us to deal with the often masked shit we repress and keep down and try to avoid because it makes us feel icky.
I think that Jung would say that our major transitions, especially the ones that feel icky at first, offer us opportunities to dive deep into our inner lives when the world implies that we ought to just externalize ourselves completely. And that if we engage with what we find beneath the surface in an honest and proactive way, we stand to grow in ways we never imagined.
Alright. That’s all I got.
Mineweaser texted me and let me know that no one was at the drug awareness night so I ran over to cover that in the middle of this monster post, so it’s late but at least it’s still Tuesday.
I’m taking a personal day tomorrow to get my hair did, because I deserve it, and also because my furnace shit the bed and my wall heater shit the bed, so I need to be home tomorrow to let the man who will give me heat again into my house.
It’s important for him to get inside if I want heat.
I want heat.
Here’s a picture from drug night. Imma run into work tomorrow for just a minute to write it and process the photos.
On my personal day. Because I’m a gigantic nerd faces who has no actual life. Know why I took the personal day? Because I work nights on Friday but the girls are off school so it’s not a chance to relax like most night shift Fridays are. So I was gonna take tomorrow to have a kid free, person free day of mental rest.
And then my furnace died and the universe was like, “what’s that, dumbass? You’re trying to get a break from people for the day? Bam. Furnace is shot. Show me how you fix that without people.”
I hate you, universe. Why must you hurt me thus? One day without people and it hasn’t even started yet and it’s over.
Oh well. That’s what happens when you try to engage in self care but you’re a single mom living well below the federal poverty guidelines. You wind up having something expensive break and going in for half a day anyhow.
I really don’t mind going in to work, as long as no one bothers me. Just as soon as the heat-bringer gets inside.
Because brr. Thank God for my heated matress pad.
‘Tis my favorite thing. Who needs a husband when you have a heated mattress pad and Dan Conner on TV?
Nobody at all.