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awards and flowers and a loving cup full of bean dip

June 8th, 2008

I was named Awesome Community Member of the Universe on Friday night. Don’t get excited — they gave awards to a whole gaggle of people from the community, not just me. Also, they mispronounced my last name. Because I’m so Cool and Important. That was a little awkward, but whatever. I was still excited anyway because I so love to get attention and free appetizers. And I was a little jealous because the students being honored received the most ginormous trophies, the kind with the huge loving cups on top. (I got a fancy paperweight. Which is cool, but not a loving cup.)

Anyway. I had a brief and delightful fantasy about receiving one of those trophies, then carrying it into our corner tavern. I would promptly demand that the barmaid fill up the loving cup with peanuts. Then I would sit there, handing out peanuts, basking in the glory of owning such an incredibly massive bright green and gold trophy! A trophy of a trophy! All mine! Engraved with my name!

Then I was like, Jesus God, calm down, ya freak. Why would you want a trophy like that?

Is that wrong, to have that kind of crazy fantasy?

That is not wrong, that is normal. I just don’t try to suppress it like most people do. For instance, when they did a little honoring ceremony at church last week for all the Sunday school teachers, and everyone stood up for us and gave us a cheer? And then they clapped and clapped for way too long? It made me feel all “aw, shucks,” but I loved it. It was sweet and genuine and I started crying because inside there is always a part of me that’s saying, “Faker. You don’t deserve this. Girl, you don’t know shit.” (My girlfriend R calls it “The Imposter Syndrome.”) Sweet, the way those few critics’ voices stay with us our entire lives (“bitch,” “imposter,” “no one wants you here”) and drown out the people who are being genuinely sweet and telling us, “You are doing a great job. We love having you here. Thanks.”

Why don’t those calm, comforting voices pop up in the quiet, desperate moments when you feel like you’re a failure? Well, they do. You just have to listen harder for them. Sometimes I feel a hand on my left shoulder, pressing down, and I know it’s my late father, telling me it’s okay. I just know it, and it comforts me. He is never a voice in my head saying, “Loser.” He’s always a voice in my head saying, “Honey, I wish I was still there.”

Death is hard enough, but when it’s death by suicide, it makes life for those of us who are still here especially painful.

In honor of my dad’s birthday, and for Father’s Day, I splurged at church and purchased flowers for the pulpit — a really gorgeous arrangement. They put a little note inside the program weekly to thank the donor, honor the memorial tribute, etc. You know — “The flowers are given by Alfreda Winthrop in honor of her late parents, Alfreda and Alfred Winthrop, Sr., who tragically died in a fiery car crash one year ago today.”

Yeah, something understated like that is what I was looking for.

So I put down the cash, went to church, lit a candle for my Dad (I alternate — one week for Dad, one week for the grandparents, my cousin, aunties and uncles, one week for the dog. Yes, I light a candle for my late dog, don’t you?) and there in the program, is a charming tribute:

“The flowers are given by Mary…”

Stop. Halt.

My name is Nancy! So not only does the MC boff up my name at the awards thingy the other night, my own church has taken to calling me “Mary.” (They did spell Dad’s name right, so that was something, at least.) I spent all of my teen years being called “Cathy.” It did not help that my boyfriend in high school, during a time when we were broken up, dated not one but two girls named Cathy. (Cathy and Kathy.) Fucking get my name right — Nancy. Not Mary, not Cathy, not Kathy, not Cathie, not Cat. Nan-cy.

Ah, well. At least the teacher tribute went well. They gave me a thank you card, and a button.

Nothing left to do but make the best bean dip in the world, and drown my sorrows.

BEAN DIP a la Nancy Wacky Mommy

1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 container Goldy’s garlic-cheese spread
1 container fresh pico de gallo from the Interstate Farmers Market (Hi, AJ!)

Stir all ingredients together in a microwave-safe container with a lid. Microwave for two and a half minutes. Serve with fresh tortilla chips from the Farmers Market and some vegetables.

Bon appetit!


  1. edj says

    congratulations, Mary Catherine! ;)

    June 8th, 2008 | #

  2. WackyMommy says

    Nice of my girlfriend Planet Nomad to stop by and heckle me. Mary Catherine will be my adopted name, when and if I ever convert to Catholicism.

    June 9th, 2008 | #

  3. Zipdodah says

    If you are going to convert my dear Wacky Mary…..you must have at LEAST 3 names….baptismal name, communion name, confirmation name etc…..keep em guessing I say….I have 4 names, and they all match my personalities quite well.
    in jebus’ name, amen.

    June 9th, 2008 | #

  4. nan says

    How did they manage to pronounce “Mommy” wrong? I can understand spelling “Wacky” wrong though. I always want to stick an “h” in there.

    And here’s a hearty YAAAY WACKY MOMMY! Love from another one of your fans!

    June 9th, 2008 | #

  5. Mary says

    I gave money to a local candidate in the recent election. My check had my name as Mary, the form i filled out had my name as Mary. The letter back to me from the candidate thanking me and declaring my cash to the IRS had my name as, get this: Nancy!
    Trust me, there are much nastier things to be called than Mary!

    June 9th, 2008 | #

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