My Wedding’s Quinceañera

15 years ago (tomorrow), on my then 22nd birthday; my fiancé decided it would be the right time to get married. Clearly 3 years into a relationship that had already produced a daughter, was the perfect time to tie the noose… err I mean the knot.

It’s not like either one of us didn’t want to be married. Hell, we were already living as husband and wife that entire time anyway. It’s just… there were bills to be paid and a child to feed… If you really want to know the truth, we were doing our part in saving the planet by not creating superfluous paper. Sounds funny I know but, eh, it’s the least we could do for our children’s future, right?!

But seriously though, the reason’s we both had; although looking back I’m not so sure it was a “we” thing, were our reason’s and ours alone. Nobody, no matter how important they thought their opinion was, had the right to tell us when we should get married. Of course, that didn’t stop them. 37 years later in my life and those same people still haven’t stopped trying to manipulate and control me and my life. SMH!

Anyway, back to the day at hand… July 17th, my 37th birthday/wedding’s Quinceañera . Aww, I feel like I should throw it a huge party while wearing a bright multi-colored billowing dress and be surrounded by a bunch of drunken people, that may or may not be my family, and they will be gyrating and partying like it’s 1999. Because if there is one thing my anniversary/birthday is lacking, is the extravagant publicly humiliating celebration of leaving behind the innocence of childhood and diving head first off the deep end straight into the abyss of womanhood. *SIGH*

I have yet to figure out what it was that ran through my husband’s head the day he decided to forever taint my birthday with a wedding anniversary. I’m pretty certain that it was the countless bottles of booze that he ingested on the regular, but that is just too obvious an answer to be the correct one. So it must be something more diabolical; like say…I don’t know, the satisfaction he gets from knowing that I will never have another day for the rest of my life that is totally just about me! That sounds a lot more like the evil drunk I have spent my entire adult life with.

Or it could be that he was just trying to be what every woman dreams of… Prince Charming! Oh hell… now I feel bad for calling him names and being angry every single year for the last 15 years.  Way to go Jen, you fucking Romance Nazi!!!

Copyright InJensMind DO NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE July 17, 1997 @Shalimar Wedding Chapel Las Vegas, NV

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C’mon Baby Light My Grass On Fire

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As the 4th of July rapidly approaches, I sit here and reminisce about our country’s Independence Day and the memories I have from when I was a child.

From the age of 8 years old, until I was almost 19; I lived in a very small town in the upper part of Michigan, not to be confused with the Upper Peninsula. I don’t remember doing a lot of things on the national holiday at my father’s house in that small town. Most years, crowds of people would flock to the Ausable River where they could see the little city’s puny fireworks show. As a child any and all fireworks shows look amazing and produce the signature ooh’s and ahh’s.

It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s and living in Las Vegas did I realize the true beauty of huge firework displays. Whereas most of the entire city flocked to ‘The Strip’ and ‘Fremont Street’, I had small children and it was too much of a hassle to battle overly drunken crowds of that magnitude. Fortunately, for my kids and I, there were plenty of places off the beaten path where we could catch those giant, colorful, gloriously booming stimuli in the night sky.

Still, watching those magnificent displays of our nation’s pride and joy couldn’t be trumped by one specific childhood memory I have of long ago.

It was summer, a hot and sticky, worst drought ever, Michigan heat wave. My younger sister Jessica and I were at our mom’s house in Mt. Morris for our summer vacation. Mom was always on the go, so for the most part we spent much of our vacation days at one of her friends’ houses. This particular 4th of July was no different.

She took us over to one of her good friends, Fred’s house. This had to have been maybe my second time at his house. There were many adults and some kids, three being my 2 siblings and I. Of course, the kids were anxious and restless from anticipation. I mean… Really, what kid doesn’t love lively fiery objects that go boom? But, the damn drought had rained on our parade, washing away all of our little hopes and dreams.

A  severe drought that summer had everyone in the city under advisement to not set off fireworks of any kind. The odds of starting a major uncontrollable fire were far too high of a risk warned the city officials.

However, Fred being the greatest and most genial of all the adults, tells us that if he were to strategically place one measly  firework on the picnic table it would be perfectly safe. All of the children delightfully screamed, myself included. Because even though it was technically illegal, it is what the 4th of July is all about, right?  We were free men and women. We were free of the English tyrants. We were independent, free to do as we damn well pleased… FREE TO BREAK THE F**KING RULES MAN!!! *Said in my best Janis Joplin voice* WOOOOOOOOO!!!! Way to go, stick it to the man, Fred.

First Fred placed a little green army tank on the picnic table and lit it. Eyes glued to the table, we waited for it to do something patriotic. Without disappointment, it soon started racing down that table, leaving fiery tread marks behind it. The table had been just as dry as the grass.

Still, that little incident didn’t deter Fred the Magnificent. He grabbed another miniature firework, placed it in the middle of the picnic table, and lit it.

We all stood there staring at it. Then suddenly it started spinning; faster and faster and faster and then…it shot up into the sky.

Blinded by the mid-day sun we lost sight of  it for a moment but, soon it reappeared in all its fantastical glory.

It had landed on a patch of grass in the backyard catching it on fire. Someone scurried to go get the water hose to put it out. The little hellish firework jumped up again. By this time adults and children were screaming but not from delight. In the meantime, the little firework that could, had landed and caught a second spot of the yard on fire.

By the time the hose was retrieved and the flames doused, there were 3 burnt crop circles in Fred’s back yard. Now, I’m sure that Fred and the rest of the adults weren’t happy with that Independence Day fiasco. But for me… BEST 4TH OF JULY MEMORY EVER!!!

From Riches to Rags: A Love Story

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Once upon a time in the far off land known as Las Vegas; lived a Prince, Luis and his future wife Princess Jenni.

Princess Jenni was 19 years old and Prince Luis was 26.

They were madly in love but, their families were from different backgrounds making for a forbidden love. But, just as Romeo loved his fair Juliet; Luis refused to be without his Jenni.

Google Image Excalibur Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, NV

They lived in different castles in the vast kingdom of neon lights, showgirls and Elvis impersonators. But, they were so in love and would sneak off to spend many a night together in a secret inn (apartment) where they could dream of their future together.

The Prince and Princess would drink beer and Tequila, laugh and forget all about their duties as future King and Queen. But, responsibility was lurking and their way of life was soon to be altered for better or worse.

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Then one day, their parents uncovered their secret and banished both of them from the kingdom. Prince Luis and Princess Jenni were no longer royalty; they were now lowly commoners forced to provide for themselves.

This was new to them but, their love would see them through any hardships they were to face. Luis began working in construction to build huts for the peons and Jenni stayed at home and cleaned their hovel. She was inexperienced at this job but, she tried her hardest to build a happy home for them.

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The peon formerly known as Prince Luis, needed clean clothes to wear to work; so Jenni got their clothes together, grabbed a box of soap and a pocketful of pence and down she went into the hovel’s broom closet. There she found two pieces of machinery; “Hark!” she exclaimed “What in great Merlin’s name are these?”

Jenni stared at the peculiar looking machines but, figured she’d give it a try; so she opened the lid to one of them. One good thing about growing up royalty is that Jenni could read and the machine had words written all over it; making it somewhat simpler to know what to do.

Placing the clothes in the machine labeled ‘Washing Machine’ and throwing a scoop of soap in she then turned the dials; one to hot and one to heavy-duty wash. Since there were only the two of them Jenni tossed both of their clothes in the machine together; something she would undoubtedly regret later on.

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When at long last the machine stopped, Jenni pulled the clothes out of the washing machine and placed them in the other. This machine looked similar yet different from the first, the door was not at the top but, Jenni was so excited that she had operated the first machine she knew she could use the second one. Jenni turned the dials once again, one to high heavy and one to timed drying which she set at 60.

Finally the machine was done and when Jenni took the clothes out she was taken aback; Luis’s white jeans had blue and green marks all over them. “Oh no!” she exclaimed. Looking through the clothes she found that her green shorts and her blue shorts had somehow transferred on to the white pants.

Luis came home to find Jenni weeping. She explained to him what had happened, Luis was very understanding. He knew that Jenni didn’t know how to do laundry. Needless to say, this first experience at doing laundry was not a good one but; Jenni did end up with a new pair of pants.

Luis gave Jenni a hug, kissed her forehead and inquired,” What’s for dinner?”

Looking around Jenni replied, “All we have is tortillas and ice.”

“ICE TACOS” Jenni declared and then busted out laughing, Luis began laughing with her.

Now every time there is no food to be found in their house and someone asks what’s for dinner, the answer is always Ice Tacos.

It will take a while before Jenni learns how to do laundry correctly and how to cook but, one day she will make a damn fine hovelmaker.

And they lived commonly ever after.  The End

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Lovable Labels BlogHer’ 11 Getaway Contest

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With blood soaking  my jeans and jacket; I hurriedly walked from my apartment to the nearest gas station. It was only a matter of time before they dealt the blow that would kill me. Tears and blood streamed down my face as I dialed the number that I had called collect so many times before in my young life; my mom’s. Continue reading

The Days on Gary Ct.

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Some days I sit and see the connection friends have amongst themselves and I long for the days when I was surrounded by good friends. It’s inevitable; people, move on and friendships fall apart, not because of choice but, because we all become so busy with other things that we no longer find time to visit or call. Some of us will try and find time to at least comment on a friend’s Facebook status before getting swept back up in the tediousness of our lives. Continue reading