The fashionable 2020 March look is the fucking same in 2021.
If you had told me 365 days ago that I’d be having a second birthday during a worldwide pandemic tomorrow, I would have cock/cunt punched you.
But here we are STILL in the throes of a global pandemic due to many “you can’t tell me what to do with my body” mask refusing ass hats, accompanied with politicians who act like they know more than the Center for Disease Control (go fucking figure) closely accompanied by the folks that follow said non-doctors blindly. I digress. My VIP Rona ticket happened to include my first ever birthday in quarantine. And now my second.
Oh hi! You feel like celebrating with people now? Too bad.
Little naive me thought I’d be hosting a half birthday party on September 25, 2020. Joke was on me! Well, really all of us. These were thoughts on my day of birth last year…
Poor, poor late March babies.
My birthday took place the first full week of lockdown in Nashville (when every business finally complied – lockdown actually started earlier). But still, I think everyone was hopeful/under the impression/couldn’t comprehend how this could last longer than a month, tops.
Due to Rapegate, I would have been down to par-tay in isolation on any of my past five birthdays. But in 2020, I was ready for shenanigans and celebrations all about me, as I would have typically been pre-Rapegate. CELEBRATE EVERYTHING!
But not 2020. Oh no. This was the first year where this badass bitch was baaaack to finding all things joyful and ready to celebrate the entire month. So I did just that in spite of a fucking global pandemic.
I still celebrated my face off.
I partied and Prissy force loved it.
While the circumstances were not the most epically fabulous, my peeps far and wide celebrated with me. Boston Barbie canceled a trip she had planned to Nashville to celebrate with me in person due to the germy Rona shit. So she did the next best thing – had a bottle of champs with me via FaceTime and sent a pizza for supper.
Presents and hot toddy’s were delivered to the Mini Manse door.
First Mate tapped on my window and brought her own airplane sized bottle (is that what they are really called?) of fancy vino over and poured it into her own glass. Rona shit was still so new, masks weren’t a required accessory yet (ATTENTION NASHVILLE RESIDENTS AND THOSE COWBOY BOOT PUKING TOURISTS – AS OF THIS DAY IN 2021 MASKS ARE STILL MANDATED IN DAVIDSON COUNTY).
Text messages dinging my phone all day kept me smiling from ear to ear.
The world literally stopped turning on March 25, 2020. Yes. I am that.fucking.special.
Even my boyfriend T-Rac wished me a happy birthday and I pretty much died and went to Rona heaven (which would be the Mini Manse bed).
I almost burnt down the Mini Manse drunk baking my own gluten-free birthday cake.
Booze, boobs and baking.
While it was not on the top ten (or top 100) sweets I’ve ever tasted, it went down the hatch like a dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, dry charm (I think it was because of all the sprinkles). Yes, I still ate the damn thing.
Look the fuck out Martha Stewart.
This year’s pandemic birthday cake is gonna look different and be waaaaaay easier since I’m not gonna do fuck all with an oven.
Just need a candle.
Last year I wrote – and I quote, “What I want for my birthday wish is for you and your loved ones to be alive, healthy and ready to celebrate your faces off with me on my half birthday bash on September 25, 2020. Until then, stay the fuck home. Let’s make my half birthday party go viral for reasons other than a worldwide pandemic.”
So naive. So innocent.
This year my still-in-a-worldwide-pandemic-but-there-is-a-light-at-the-end-of-the tunnel plans are as follows:
An evening at the Mini Manse theater with a birthday themed film, accompanied with pizza and copious amounts of champs. And a side of extremely cold Diet Coke.
Should I just get a case?
And because dreams do sometimes come true, I’m still alive and kicking after last year (and Rona free!). Typically, I’d head to my treasured watering hole, Dalts (they survived Rona too, woohoo!) to see my fave bartender ever to have eight a Skinny Pirate(s).
Marja + Skinny Pirates = Purrfection
Last year was the first time since I’ve lived in Nashville I didn’t celebrate my arrival into the world with Skinny Pirates and loved ons at Dalts.
Maybe a more crowded party in 2022?!
It may not be post Rona normal yet but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna commemorate my day of birth all weekend and then some. Remember, there are six more days in my birthday month and I intend to celebrate the fuck outta each and every one. Shocker.
See ya in 2022!
Last year celebrating my birthday couldn’t help but feel full of doom and gloom. This year’s vibe is a MOOD called gratitude. Now every one of you start saving your pennies to come par-tay at Dalts with me in 2022.
Today marks the five year anniversary of being raped – my rapeversary if you will. Last year was the first time since January 29, 2016 that I felt even a sliver of my “old” self on this day. I declared the 29th day of this month the official International Day of the Badass, making all things related to rape and the aftermath of trauma my bitches. No apologies. Sorry not sorry.
Always and forfuckingever nasty.
I was feeling really fucking fabulous. Seeing the world through my pre-Rapegate rose colored glasses again and ready to celebrate any and everything but most specifically, honor all things ME. This motherfucking badass bitch was back.
And then, that cunt Rona showed her ugly face a little more than a month later and my entire world (along with the rest of the global population) went to shit a matter of days.
Who the fuck invited you here?
My trauma ticks (as I call them) that I worked so fucking hard to kick in four years of therapy cropped up whenever the fuck they felt it inconvenient. Stuttering, leg and foot bouncing, incessant itching at imaginary hot spots on my skin, stress induced cortisol dumping into my system, insomnia, the severity of my anxiety was back at its skyscraper height and my stomach hurt 24/7 with a deep side of sciatica (a new place my stress manifests itself in my bod).
Fun self inflicted times on my wrist, inner arm and ankle.
Feeling these regressions bubbling up sent me on a downward spiral so fucking fast, I was constantly treading water that was circling the drain. For me, it’s been the hardest part of Rona because I was JUST feeling foxy again, ready to strut my stilettos and resurfaced sassiness all over the pace. I hate the feeling of going backward (but who loves it unless we’re talking about aging?) and the grief attached to my trauma ticks, along with being isolated when I was ready to mingle with the world again about did me in.
Thank fuck for emotional support animals.
I had a four year out-of-body experience where I had to mourn the loss of my pre-rape life, the death of myself as I knew me – as well as construct my resurrection. I’d trudged my way through an avalanche of the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But Rona took me straight back from a happier place of acceptance to the prior four stages any time she felt like fucking with me.
I think I chose my closet as my panic attack recovery space in 2016 because it’s small and sparkly for comfort.
Then, I was reminded that grief (and all of the shit that comes along with it) isn’t linear.
Queen of the pivot turn.
I gave myself grace (or at least tried – still trying) and remembered Superhero Sheila’s sound advice. If you wouldn’t say it to one of the twins (that woman goes right for the dagger when she needs it), don’t say it to yourself.
It’s like Superhero Sheila is good at her job or something.
So I got my self talk back on some semblance of a cordial track and proceeded to make my way through the additional perils that 20fucking20 threw at every single citizen of the world in its own unique, shitty way.
I choose to wear sunglasses and fancy headpieces to cope.
But even as I try to forge ahead on this International Day of the Badass, my body and mind are constant companions leading up to this dreaded fucking day, kicking my PTSD into the highest of all gears. I wish there was a WD-40 for the bones because the worst is being in your body, not able to control it.
All because one thousand, eight hundred and twenty five days ago, I was raped by my best friend’s boyfriend while I slept on her couch, in her 600 square foot apartment after a wine and cryfest, grieving the sudden death of a young friend. I woke up to her boyfriend of five weeks on top of me, pajama pants at my knees, arms at my sides, his face in my neck. That was the moment the me as I knew her, died.
Later that day, I sat with my ass cheeks on thin paper, protecting me from any other prior ass cheeks that unfortunately found themselves sitting on the same exam table in the rape kit performance room. The overwhelming fumes of bleach almost resurrected me from the protective shock in which my body had retreated.
“Do you want a rape advocate?” Detective Stupka (soon-to-be renamed Cuntka) questioned me after she recorded my statement of the illegal, intrusive sexual assault that took place several hours earlier. I couldn’t recall Shane the Rapist’s last name (that was listed in my phone, which was dead from being at the hospital waiting for eight hours on a rape kit), how was I able to know if I needed an advocate? What was an advocate? Did I need one? Detective Cuntka said she could not advise me and I somehow communicated that I did, in fact, want an advocate.
I still can’t wrap my brain around my bff not believing me nine hours after being raped, do I look like I can make a goddamned decision about anything?!
I believe rape victims should be assisted with an advocate, period. No questions asked. Just have one show up and let them do the talking because it was a good three years before my typically decisive as fuck ass could make any decision about ANYTHING.
I will just have one of everything on the menu because what do I want?
When Barbie the advocate tenderly walked into the room, careful not to touch me (when I just wanted her to sweep me up in her arms and tell me everything was gonna be OK – although that would have been a disservice on her part because nothing about being raped is ever OK, so, therefore, no hug took place). She spoke with the same amount of tenderness she used when she was inching toward me.
Where was one of my goddamn pussies when I needed them?!
Barbie resembled more of a Skipper than the actual Barbie doll with a petite frame, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag (that naturally, I admired and wondered if she had a phone charger tucked inside I could use) and was such a pleasant sight after the day kept spewing like uncontrollable bowels. After a few minutes of fill-in-what-horrible-thing happened to you, she looked at me straight in the eye and said, “Honey, there is going to be a before rape and an after rape moving forward in your life.”
It was one of those moments that you just know what’s being said is true, no matter how much you want it to be a lie.
My immediate thoughts of life after rape.
Barbie left the room to sit with Dada CBXB who was most likely wondering how in the fuck his Friday turned out so inexplicable. I sat waiting for the rape kit exam to commence after yet again being hazy on decision making when asked, “Do you want the Plan B pill? Did he wear a condom? Do you want to take the HIV preventative even though it will rob you of 30 days of your life since its effects are so brutal? Do you want to be tested for every STD in which science is aware? Have you eaten anything today? Here are crackers to take with the handful of pills we are giving you.”
I seriously can’t compute.
Upon completion of my rape kit and consumption of no less than 51 pills, I was handed a folder of information with numbers to national hotlines I could call, pamphlets of what to expect in the coming days, and instructions of when to take the next round of pills to rid my body of any other foreign substance left behind when Shane the Rapist raped me. It was like onboarding at a new job or getting every class syllabus on the first day of college. It was literature on what my life after rape was going entail.
I had no inkling of what the fuck I was up against.
Open ended ticket for one, please. @deepfriedfreckles
Nobody wants to be in this club. Nobody wants to be an expert on matters in which we never want to be associated. But rape happens. And there I was and here I am.
All too familiar when I wish I had no clue.
I miss my pre-rape life in the way your heart breaks when someone your world revolved around dies. The me I’d always known, died on January 29, 2016, and I had no idea how to bring myself back to life. Thing is, I was still breathing. I wasn’t dead. I just had no feeling left inside, which made me feel like a shell. Hollow, empty and alone.
You don’t have to cry for me because my eyes leaked enough fluid for nine lifetimes.
I found out who could withstand the shell of myself and who needed an exit. I immediately realized I was going to become a walking, talking rape victim stereotype (the victims that report, anyway) when interacting with Detective Cuntka when she told me 37 days after being raped over the phone that I was “one of 29 other cases she was working on. This was a he said/she said case so not much will come of it.” Oh sorry, this is my first time being raped and dealing with anything that accompanies. Please excuse my incessant questions about how this shit works. Chasing my case and any details became a second full time job.
Daily routines ceased existing and the depression bombarded its way in. Brushing teeth, washing my hair, applying make up (I was Ronafied ahead of the times), no polish on my claws because they became unbearable chores.
This is my version of silent screams for help.
No more hot yoga. No more running. No activities where I was alone with my own thoughts. I couldn’t get off of the couch and into my bed for six months to sleep, further exacerbating the endless cycle of depression, anxiety, nerves, self-loathing, shame, blame, fatigue and stress leaving me empty. Literally dead inside.
I gave zero shits.
Therapy has given me life-saving coping mechanisms. Medicines have made my daily life manageable. The kindness of human beings has been astounding and reinstated the belief that simple acts and words of love can do some serious healing. The outpouring of support once I was able to openly talk about my rape case after the grand jury found insufficient evidence to take Shane the Rapist to trial was astonishing.
After all of that recovery, after all of the therapy, after the shit show of 2020, now more than ever I understand that we all carry invisible wounds. And Rona brought all of my luggage back but this time around the baggage felt excruciatingly heavier.
Others can’t see the shame I carry. Others can’t see the guilt I hold (did I somehow ask for it?). Others can’t see the blame I assign myself every single second, minute, hour, day, month.
The year 2020 made it achingly obvious that people I love haven’t been listening to me and can’t – or worse yet – DON’T WANT to see mental anguish caused by society and the normalcy of rape culture.
Judgment is a fucking beast and after rape, it becomes an unwanted daily acquaintance at your breakfast, lunch, and supper table. I started eating at this fucking buffet again last year.
One thing I know to be true is that people who love you – really love you for you, don’t waiver. It’s been my family, my rock-solid friends, the folks who have come to my rescue via virtual friendships (silver lining of 2020!), the people who have re-entered my life to lift me up when I was sure I was going to drown…that all exists.
Here I stand five years later, my heart beating the last 1,825 days, feeling like a motherfucking badass once again. I now understand that grief is an emotion that exists even when life still is within. I died but I lived.
When I think about the people I love and the fur babies I’ve lost, I choose to celebrate them. Drink their favorite drinks, watch a favorite movie, look at photos, read old cards, love on my current Pussy Posse, share fucking funny stories with others that loved them, too. After forfuckingever five years, I am back to celebrating ALL THINGS ME again.
Sorry not sorry.
Join me in celebrating the International Day of the Badass.
This pussy grabs back.
“I won’t back down. I will stand my ground.” – Tom Petty
What are you celebrating on this International Day of the Badass? Because if you’re reading this, you’re one too.
You used to be my hidden gem of a city. I’d lure people to visit because if someone didn’t like country music, they weren’t interested in coming. Nashville was never just country music and cowboys but only true peeps who lived here knew that. Now, the secret’s out. It’s been out for quite some fucking time since the overly dramatic television show Nashville hit TV screens and the last few years, one hundred people have been moving here per day, taking up precious space on my interstates (yes, the interstates here are mine and mine only) and causing housing prices to sky rocket (seriously stop moving here or I’m going to be unable to afford to live in my Mini Manse that is a 42-year-old, popcorn ceilinged, ratchety carpeted, brass hardwared apartment that has gone up in rent almost $100 per year the last three years).
After this weekend, it’s suffice to say that Nashville is a legit city. Music City hosted the NFL Draft (downtown), the Country Music Marathon (downtown), Jimmy Buffett threw a parrot head party (downtown), and Taylor Swift decided to make a surprise appearance in the city with an impromptu meet and greet at the same time regular tourists and bachelor/bachelorette parties invaded the city while regular events went on per usual.
In 2017, Nashville’s population was 691,243.
This weekend, 600,000 morepeople invaded the city.
A projected 340,000 people for the weekend. That number nearly doubled for the three day shenanigans in Music City.
Most folks that live here took heed from the warning below…
The traffic lights literally spelled NFL. Photo credit: Pedro Esteban Tellez.
Just because my city was inundated with NFL fans didn’t mean I wasn’t in the mood for the draft. Two Iowa tight ends were projected to be selected Round One. So naturally, I gussied up at work in support.
Tight End University, Baby!
Lucky for me, First Mate is a sports head too and she hosted a draft partay at her castle.
Do gators eat hawks or do the birds peck gators to death?
Nothing says football party like a little two boxes of rosé.
True to the projections, my Iowa Hawkeyes tight ends, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were selections eight and 20 overall in the first round. The University of Iowa is the first ever to have two tight ends drafted in the first round, which is why we’re now known as Tight End University.
I’m a size medium if anyone is at Raygun in the near future.
Detroit for Hockenson. Broncos for Fant.
Might as well have been downtown.
Or maybe we were glad we were in air conditioning.
Either way, we had such a ball that we accidentally killed two boxes of rosé.
R.I.P. Bota Boxes.
Did I mention it was Thursday night? I woke up with such confusion at First Mate’s Friday morning (because I usually stay over on a weekend), I almost lollygagged too long to make it to work on time.
As if draft day one wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift decided to grace Nashville with her presence the day she dropped her first single off of the upcoming album. Hint after hint was dropped by Swift’s camp and Swifties from all over the planet somehow figured the fuck out where she was going to be at 11am on Friday morning.
If you want to stand where Taylor is standing, this mural is in the Gulch area of Nashville.
For those of you Swifties out here, below is a video (it’s grainy but you’ll get the gist) captured by a dude who misses nothing in Nashville and is hip to every.single.thing happening in town. Taylor apparently stayed and signed autographs and graciously took selfies for hours.
One thing most Nashvillians can unite on is our disdain for the “woohoo” girls who come down for bachelorette parties. Now of course they pay good money and stay downtown but are, quite possibly, the most annoying of all tourists. So this was an especially funny site to see.
Speaking of bachelorette parties, check out the best sign from the marathon on Saturday.
A big congrats to the 30,000+ runners who completed the half and full marathon. I’ve done both and they are hard as fuuuuuuuuuuck.
Run for the tacos. @rosepepper
Even though neither First Mate nor myself did any kind of running, we still decided we needed tacos.
So we ran to eat Mexican.
While Nashville was abuzz with all kinds of shit happening, my Iowa twins were all primped up for a wedding. It’s too bad they don’t enjoy each other’s company.
Nothing but love.
J. Crew model in the making.
Hair model in the making.
I mean fucking COME ON.
When Sunday rolled around, I was ready for some mauling by The Pussy Posse.
Rocky and Fabio have snuggling down to a science.
The newest addition Scooch, is another story.
After watching everyone stand on their feet for three days downtown, my tootsies ached for them. Of course I remedied that the best way I know.
To all those that came in for a few days, thanks for coming!
But mostly, thanks for getting the fuck out of town.