This morning, I went outside, started the car, and drove my two daughters to their schools. The shop yesterday said something in the door panel is drawing off the battery when the car isn’t on, an electrical malfunction I cannot afford to have them repair, but one I can live with–for now. I just have to drive the car every day to keep the battery charged, or disconnect the battery at night, or plug the battery into my battery charger when I know I won’t be driving for a while. I guess I suddenly have a hybrid car! 🙂
I was in a hurry to get the girls to school (as usual, of course), and so my son and I dressed comfortably but warmly. It is autumn and rainy. Warmly for me meant tossing on my thin blazer–my only jacket–over the shirt and pants I’d slept in.
The blazer was purchased with a gift card to Lane Bryant back in the spring, meant for me to wear to when interviewing for and working at college teaching jobs. It was part of a whole outfit that would cover my tattoos so I’d fit into the box society prefers.
The shirt is nice, bought for me from Burlington Coat Factory by my pseudo-stepmother at the beginning of this year. It was meant to be versatile, both church and work attire, but lately I neither attend church nor work, having lost the drive for the former and the full ability for the latter.
I wore no bra, for I despise them and wear them only when absolutely necessary (i.e. when actually at a job where someone would notice and insist I wear one).
The pants are pajama pants, but are a Seville grey cotton. They’re one of multiple pairs I bought when gainfully employed. I wanted at-home lounge wear, but have since resorted to simply wearing them all the time. If people realize they’re pajama pants, no one says a thing. They’re not in wacky, distracting colors or patterns.
I wore dress shoes, but only because my flip flops broke for the second time since Gorilla Glue can’t apparently stand up to my weight. I misplaced one of my sneakers. I still have another pair of shoes, nonskid work boots, but the wedge heals I wore today are surprisingly more comfortable.
I wore no socks.
Dressed as I was, I assumed I would appear slovenly when I walked into my younger daughter’s preschool to sign her in, but as I was leaving one teacher asked if I was headed to work. She said I was “dressed nice.” I can only assume a blazer makes anything nice.
Perhaps I should try wearing blazers at all times, regardless of the rest of the ensemble.
Blazer and footed pajamas to Walmart, suddenly I’m classy!
Blazer, tube top, and micro mini to go clubbing, suddenly I’m upper crust!
I doubt the theory holds out. It’s more likely she was too busy doing her job of caring for small children to notice the details.
I told her I was just cold and it was my only jacket. I should not have said anything at all and just accepted the compliment, but I never know how to just accept a compliment.
After returning to the house I’ve been staying at, the one I desperately need to vacate, I spent entirely too much time on the computer playing games, reading others’ blogs, joining some forums, and doing all kinds of other nonproductive to my situation things.
Part of the blogs and forums I was looking at, though, involved consensual communal living situations. It seems that the few “intentional living” or “commune” setups in Arkansas have been run out of the area, left of their own volition, are secretive of location and contact information, closed down completely, or are exclusive to members of a set religious sect. One actually requires members to be totally debt free.
I was curious if there were such a place where the sweat of my brow (or more preferably flexing my intellectual muscles in the form of teaching and tutoring) would be able to provide my children and I with a safe, sanitary, shelter, with no untoward strings attached. So far, I’ve found none, but I was told that these kinds of communities tend to be more word-of-mouth than internet-based.
In my current reality, though, there are messes to clean, phone calls to make, and other things to accomplish, but it’s a cold, rainy day. I also started yesterday, which makes everything
so much more lovely HELL ON EARTH.
I’ve got to pick up my younger daughter by two, but then not the older one til before six. At this point, I think I should wait until younger daughter is home to work on the messes I need to clean. She can help, in her own way, perhaps. Son is snoring, and I fear waking him until necessary.
The quest for communal living blossomed from a conversation with my brother, a drifter of sorts. He’s a veteran, two tours of duty. He’s worked hard in his time, but has sought out a simpler life. He’s keeping himself alive these days without a steady source of income. His way of life cannot necessarily be mine–society shuns homelessness whether intentional or not, and will send social workers to remove my children from my care if we do not have what appears to be permanent shelter.
I actually find this concept laughable. I know personally of someone who used an outhouse growing up who is my age. I know people still alive today, who are not geriatrics, who grew up with occasional, sporadic, or no utilities. People I know didn’t always grow up with home phones, certainly not cell phones, rarely internet connections. In the not too distant past, one could get away with moving into a place and not turning on utilities until one could afford the deposits. These days, cries of child abuse abound. How has a way of life which sustained our species since the dawn of existence become grounds for forcible removal of children from the only family they’ve known and loved in the great dreamland of USA?
One friend had considered the possibility of putting a cabin on her land for my children and I to live in until we could find better options. That is no longer on the table for various reasons which are totally understandable, but part of what would not have made it doable was cost effectiveness. In order to have a place that the police state would agree was habitable to my minor children, there would have had to have been electricity wire to the place prior to moving in to set up electric heaters, but insulation in conjunction with that would’ve been preferable. I would’ve had to have kept a cold food storage and dry food storage in the cabin, would have had to had 24 hour access to her indoor plumbing, and would have had to put actual beds for each of the children in the cabin.
I know there are societies where everyone, children included, are clothed in little to nothing when the weather is warm, where shoes are nonexistent or at least optional, where mothers suckle their young in plain sight without being shunned. I know there are places where whole families sleep on the floor in one single room. I know there are places where winter warmth means a fire and layers of clothing. I know there are places where electricity just doesn’t exist. These people live and die relying on the old ways, the ways our ancestors knew. Medicine, building materials, clothing, etc. can all come from nature, and we can care for nature in the process.
I would love to be a self-sustaining, “green living,” community. I would love to be able to feed myself and my children off of what could be farmed, hunted, or gathered. I would love to go back to an old way of life, but keep my progressive, modern ideals. I would love to home school my children in a manner I see fit.
Why is it that only the rich in America have the right to raise their children their own way? Why are our poor forced to jump through red-tape coated flaming hoops to get any kind of government help, with or without which people are constantly reporting them for “abuse” which, upon further investigation, is simply being poor in America. Why is it considered “abuse” if I treat an ailment holistically rather than let another doctor visit be billed to the state, if the ailment is being treated and isn’t getting worse? Why is it considered “neglect” if my children are sometimes wearing ill-fitting hand-me-downs and mismatched socks? Why is it that if the only dwelling I could both feasibly afford and get into easily considering my rental history and unpaid utility bill once my childcare situation is resolved and I can work again would be a room at a cheap motel I would be considered to be not providing enough for my children? Why is it that I sometimes write in run-on sentences and ask too many rhetorical questions? Why do people look at me as a failure for not being able fit into society’s bubble?
Perhaps I should always wear a blazer.
Restless Heart–Why does it have to be?