Category Archives: Taking It Personally (Ms. Bitch's Rants)

Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriends Were Hot Like Mine

A brief snapshot from my 40th birthday party.  And oh yeah, my friends are hot and my man (who threw me the party) rocks.

Best time of my life. Thanks everyone ūüôā

Money Changes Everything

Wouldn’t it be grand if we were all born with trust funds stuffed to the gills with cash?¬† Or that once you got married, the government issued you a big ol’ whopper of a check with a note saying, “Hey, we know marriage is hard enough and since us here in Congress are all so pro-family, here’s a few million to keep you breeding and happy.”

Hey, a girl can wish, right?

I bring out my ridiculously unrealistic fantasies because Mr. Mix and I are just getting over one heck-of-a-brawl over money.¬† I cannot express enough what a killjoy the subject of money is for me.¬† I think I can speak for ALL women that nothing squashes our love lava faster than hearing our man squawk, “you’re spending too much money!”

For the record, I really don’t spend too much money.¬† The issue was more about extra expenses occurring that weren’t expected (they never are), and frankly, me needing to feel like an equal partner in our financial decisions in spite of the fact that I’m far from the breadwinner.¬† Did I mention Mr. Mix can be a bit (what’s the word, what’s the word) CONTROLLING when it comes to money?

Always a turn on, let me tell ya.

I know my dilemma is nothing new.¬† While I work part-time, I’m basically a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom).¬† There was a time in our lives when I did work full-time, and by the time I was done paying for daycare, transportation, meals, and clothes, we ended up actually more in the red than the black.¬† So we decided I should go back to school and get my MSW, so that someday – when the kids are both in school full-time – I can actually earn enough to really help our family.¬† On nights and weekends, I tutor, but that pays for a few extras and nothing more.¬†

Frankly, I consider ourselves VERY lucky that we even have the luxury of being able to living on one salary, that we own a house, and are able to live in a fairly comfortable manner. Nothing extravagant, mind you, but comfy nonetheless.¬† And yeah, we still have some debt we’re paying off (I consider that lil’ chunk the piece of my soul living in expensive San Francisco stole from us).¬† But that’s where we’re wired differently.¬† While of course I don’t like having debt, I’m not going to let it ruin my happy family vibe buzz I’ve got going.¬† We’re paying it off….we live within our means…we’ll get there.

Not so for Mr. Mix & Bitch.¬† That debt haunts him like a Dickens’ ghost. ¬†It’s a cancer which infiltrates seemingly innocuous moments, and it pisses me off that he lets it override all the good we have.¬† When he gets like that, he turns to me and says things like, “well, what else¬†can you do to help?”¬† To which I respond, “Well, I’m going to start off by eating bon-bons all day, then take the gardener, Pepe, as a lover, and THEN I’m going on QVC and buy lots and lots of animal-shaped figurines.¬† What the hell do you think I do all day?”

Here’s a list of what I do, in – uh – case you were wondering:

Short Order Cook

Housekeeper

Laundry Attendant

Chauffeur

Personal Shopper

24-hour Babysitter

Gardener

If you were to total all these jobs up, I’d be earning around $80,000 – $110,000 roughly.¬† But because this is all unpaid work, somehow society – and occasionally my husband – will deem these contributions as less than.

Well, shame on him and the rest of you who buy into that.

Do you realize that approximately 70% of the work done in the world is unpaid labor, and the majority of that work is done by women?¬† I KNEW that Gender History degree would come in handy someday.¬† Although I must say that at the end of the day, I don’t think this should be a gender issue because I’ve known some stay-at-home-dads who have suffered through the same issues.¬† Regardless, I can’t tell you how heart-breaking it is to not feel fully valued by your partner.¬† And so, I told him that…and then I moved myself¬† into my office for about 24-40 hours.¬† Don’t worry, I have a cozy day-bed in there.

Because I think of men like dogs sometimes, and being pack animals, the best way to discipline is through isolation.  Needless to say, he eventually came over and I could tell by the look in his eyes and by what he said that he finally understood where I was coming from.  And in return, we spent the rest of the night trying to figure out ways to kick up our payment efforts.  As much as we all may hate to admit it, marriage is just as much of a business partnership as it is a meeting of Kismet souls.

Am I still a little ticked off that he had the attitude he had? Sure.¬† But do I also understand there’s a LOT of pressure being the breadwinner for your entire family? Yep, I get it.¬† So, he’ll cut me some slack, and I’ll cut him some too.¬† Trust me, we’re far from done with this issue – it’s one of our permanent ones – but as long as we can keep talking about it – and remember we’re in this TOGETHER, this too shall pass.

10.¬† “Nag,” (Joan Jett¬†and the Blackhearts) I Love Rock-n-Roll.

09.¬† “I Got Shit,” (Pearl Jam) Rearview Mirror.

08. “The Good Life,” (Weezer) Pinkerton.

07. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” (The Rolling Stones) It’s Only Rock-n-Roll.

06.¬†“Skills to Pay the Bills,” (Beastie¬†Boys) Beastie Boy Anthology.

05.¬† “Pay to Play,” (Nirvana) DGC Rarities, Volume One.

04.¬† “I Get Money,” (50 Cent)¬†Curtis.

03.¬† “I’m So Paid,” (Akon, Lil’ Wayne, and Young Jeezy)¬† Freedom.

02.¬† “Money Ain’t a Thang,” (Jay-Z and JD) Def Jam 25.

01.¬† “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” (Jay-Z) Volume 2.

Happy Birthday to Me?

Even though it’s three months away, I am already pondering my next birthday, because yep, you guessed it – I’m turning 40.

Forty.

Forty years old.

When the hell did THAT happen?¬† I swear, inside my head I vacillate between twenty-eight to thirty-two.¬† Don’t get me wrong.¬† I think my forties are going to be great, and my attitude about my thirties¬†is ‘don’t let the door hit ya where the dog bit ya.”¬† I guess I am just feeling pressure to do something…great. Beyond ordinary, normal and healthy living.

Write and publish a book.

Start a charity.

Adopt an orphan.

By the way, I realize there’s a big part of this that’s ridiculous.¬† I get that having a healthy and happy family and marriage is something to celebrate.¬†Really.¬† I also believe, however, that each and every one of us must contribute something beyond our own personal happiness – something that’s uniquely ours to give.¬†

There’s a part of me that feels like I’m running out of time to do this.

Anyway, so that’s what I’m thinking about these days.

A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to Be Free

This is a post I’ve been wanting¬†to write for a while now.¬† I have been trying to take a phrase here, a thought there, and compile it together in some sort of coherent piece.¬† Needless to say, I’ve got next to nothing.¬† So, I’m just going to rattle on here a bit, so stay with me, ok?

I don’t know why this is, but I think most relationships rest on the edge of a knife.¬† They are inherently fragile entities, based much more on conditional circumstances than we would care to admit.¬† I bring this up because I now know about five couples going through various stages of divorce.¬† Some of them weren’t a surprise, others were a shock.¬†

They all prove a central point: no one knows what really goes on with a couple not just behind closed doors, but in the hearts and minds of each involved.¬† You could live with someone everyday of your life, eat meals together, bump uglies, clean up after one another, and not know what’s really going on with your partner.¬† That’s a scary thought in and of itself.¬† Just as frightening is to think that during a low point of your life – diagnosed with cancer, losing your job, having your business go under, or your child is in some sort of trouble – that’s when your husband or wife completely bails on you.¬†

Although for some people I know, the reasons are not so dramatic.¬† It’s a slow, creeping cold which grows over too many years of not being heard, of not being seen…so even when your significant other finally gets a clue, oftentimes it’s too late to crawl back from the abyss.¬† The chasm has grown too great in distance.

I know something about this not just as an armchair spectator.¬†¬†Mr. Mix and I went through our own crisis back in 2005.¬†¬†It was a confluence of influences for us, both financial stress and the internal combustion of two people growing apart at vastly different rates.¬† Wow, that makes it sound simple, doesn’t it? It wasn’t, of course.¬† So, how did we survive through that hell, while others around us are falling to pieces?¬†

I’ve thought a lot about that over the last few months, and whatever I’ve got, it’s probably speculative at best.¬† While, yes, I run an advice site, I’ve never pretended to have all the answers.¬† Those who believe in their own hype fall the hardest.

I wish I could say I had this steely determination to save our marriage, but at that point, I was out.¬† And the only reason why¬†I went to counseling in the first place was to be¬†able to look my girls in the eyes and say yeah, mommy tried everything to make her marriage to their daddy work.¬† We didn’t find some therapist in the phone book or go for the first shmoe¬†on our insurance plan either.¬† I asked my friend who I knew also went through a hard time – and was thriving now – and got the name of the therapist they went to.¬† Of course, he didn’t take insurance and he wasn’t cheap.¬† My mom and her husband offered to pay for the sessions, as long as we went in with an open mind.¬† I know how lucky we were to be able to accept such a gift.¬† It probably was one of the deciding factors which saved us.

It also didn’t hurt that all around us were devoted¬†couples – not all of them happy, mind you, but all of them hell-bent on staying together.¬† Our children went to the same school, we had monthly pot luck dinners at each others’ homes…we were ensconced¬†in one another’s lives.¬† And as much as I like to think of myself as a non-conformist, I was not immuned to the effects of social psychology in the form of latent peer pressure.

Lastly, but a point which probably should’ve been mentioned at the top of the list, Mr. Mix was willing to do anything and everything to get our marriage back on track.¬† Like being awoken from a long-suffering coma, he finally heard what I had to say.¬† Not every time, or for every session, but enough.¬† Likewise, I realized over time how hurtful my communication style could be…so much so that after a while he couldn’t hear so much of what I was saying, but rather how I was saying it.¬† Trust me, it takes training to take one’s raw anger and frustration, calm down enough to get to the root of the issue, and convey such info with love and respect.¬†

In the end, however, that’s the only way any of us are going to make it.¬† To give the ones you love the benefit of the doubt…to show the same kindness, decorum, and compassion you would to your best friend….to remember it’s more inportant¬†to be loved than to always be right.¬†

I think back on how bad off we were…how even now – with all the work we’ve done and how far we’ve come – that all it takes is a few weeks of not connecting to feel the cold creep in some.¬† I guess the difference now is we try to nip that crap in the bud before it has a chance to kill all we’ve worked towards.¬† There are, and will always be, what psychologists call ‘permanent issues’ – specific conflicts which may wax and wane, but never fully go away.¬† Sometimes, they feel like a light nuisance, like a gnat buzzing in your ear…other times, it’s like a jack hammer in your gut.¬† But I suppose some maturity comes when you realize that someone else isn’t the ‘cure all’ answer…that they have a litany of baggage which may make your current issues look like nothing in comparison.¬†

That all said, I’d say that most of the friends and family in various stages of divorce right now are probably better off splitting up….not because their¬†outside circumstances¬†are so dire, but because one or both partners lack the character or conviction to do the work needed.¬† Some have been outright abusive with their actions.¬† I don’t believe you stay married at all costs.¬† That said, it’s a death for all of us when someone you know splits.¬†

It never stops being a big deal.¬† It may be necessary, but it doesn’t make it any less tragic.

The Envelope Please…And the Winner is…

Relationships  Relationships  Relationships

Yep, it’s me…I won! I really can’t believe it – especially since many, many of the nominated sites (at least in other categories) were a bunch of Jesus-lovin, coupon clippin’, SAHM (stay-at-home-moms)…and while there’s nothing wrong with any three of those categories, experience has taught me that most of them are not so in love with my Jewish-Buddhist, Christmas-celebrating, porn-loving self.¬† I know, I don’t get it either ūüėČ

Anyhoo…the best part about this is that I get a $250 gift card. I’m thinking a gym membership or new fluffy bedding.¬†¬† Like I need to lay around anymore than I do, yeah I heard that.¬†

I probably should use it to upgrade this site like I’ve been wanting to do, right?

I want to thank you all for taking time out of your day to vote for Mix Tape Therapy.¬† I know Divine Caroline made you all register on their site in order to vote – and for some of you, that’s a persnickey thing because of your desire for privacy. I get it.¬†¬† So, thanks ūüôā

Okay, I’ll shut up now…

Where Ya BEEN?

So where I’ve been – it’s what you’re wondering – right?

Well, right after I wrote about my Guilty Pleasures of 2009, I got sick. Really sick. Like I should’ve been in a hospital because I was hacking up stuff not from this earth.¬† And it sucked because my husband really couldn’t get off of work and my mother lives too far to just get in a car and come over (funny how we regress to wanting our mommys once we’re not so fucking invincible, eh?).¬† So I leaned on my amazing friends – like Rhonda, Shani, and Anne – to help get my kids to and from school, and Sweet Pea and even Drama Queen pitched in and cleaned up some of their own shit for a change and got me ginger ale and tissues and kept themselves entertained.

Let me tell you something, it meant a lot. Really.  Because you know it was bad if I was too far gone to shoot my mouth off via my blog.

So, what’s been going on since then?¬† Well, I finally took my stubborn ass down to urgent care and got myself some antibiotics. Funny how someone like me who luvs her pills will procrastinate going to the doctor when it comes to medicine she actually needs.

Once you go Vicodin, you never go back. And Augmentin ain’t the same. But it eventually cut through the goobly goblins and had me well enough to schlep down to Carolina for Christmas. Because this Jew just loves her some Red and Green merriment. And while I was still not really right, I have been getting better everyday.

Expect me to have some catching up to do.¬† There have been lots of questions coming in, and I will get to them. So don’t jump off a bridge or anything ’til then, ok?

Thanks ūüôā

Ms. Mix & Bitch’s Confession #24: I Got You, Babe.

I know it’s not my man’s birthday or Valentine’s Day. It’s just the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but I’m having a particularly un-Mix & Bitch moment…meaning, I’m feeling the love. The sentimental.¬† In other words, the stuff that makes most of you roll your eyes. Too fucking bad, because I think it’s, like, tr√©s important to express the love you have for people.

So in that spirit, I’m going to, like, totally rip off something another blogger friend of mine did for the love of his life.¬† Enjoy the schmaltz…

The Reasons Why I Love You…

I love that you bring me coffee in bed every morning…even though I dig the cologne you wear (I picked it out) I actually prefer the smell of your skin – there’s nothing else in the world like it…the way you smile with your eyes more than your mouth…your strong hands…how the best traits in our kids are thanks to you…your blue eyes…the bunny fuzz on your ears…I dig the gray hair, even though you hate it…how you used to put on a new piece of Miami Dolphins clothing everytime they started playing badly because you thought it would give the team good mojo (I miss that you don’t believe in that magic anymore)…I am unduly amused by your slightly overprotective nature…your love for bad 80s movies…the fact you were born in the wrong century…your geeky sword collection…how you love Southern rock…the way you wrestle with the girls…your ever-growing verbal talents and social skills…your dislike of people in general, but your kindness with people you know…how you taught me the benefit of the doubt and the beauty of optimism…your need for symmetry…your mad mad math skills…your ability to fix anything…your ass in jeans…the look of love in your eyes when I’ve fed you…how you make me feel like the hottest woman in the room even when I’m not…your irrational affection for all things carbohydrate in nature…the way you shake your head when you sing…your Al Gore-style of dancing…that you try so hard…the way your mind works…that you’re more of a snuggler than I am…how you taught me the value of action over words…that you honestly don’t give a shit if people like you or not…the fact that you always put the seat down…your salmon recipe…how you always keep your promises…the pride you have in your metal sculpture “art”…your trusting nature and patience…showing me what unconditional love looks like in the everyday…I love you.¬† Always.