Run!

Run, run as fast as you can!

You’ll never catch me…

That’s a lie. An 82 year old mall walker chain smoking a pack of Virgina Slims could catch me.

I’m not fast. I’m not majestic.

I. Am. Not. A. Gazelle.

Two years ago I put on a pair of running shoes and never took them off (figuratively). In the literal sense, my 98 cent flippys are my bff.

I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate doing it. I hate thinking about it. I hate myself while I’m slowly dying on the inside attempting to make it up a hill without screaming “Why God, why?”.

I love telling people “oh yah, I do like 4 to 6 miles a day.”  It’s just my subtle way of telling complete strangers, “Hey, I’m a douche!”

I was content to do my treadmill run  everyday,  while watching crappy music videos and pretending like I was a real athlete.

Then, BAM! Sheena happened.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Sheena.. picture a tall, tanned, blonde goddess with a perfect body.. Nicest person you’ll ever meet. I die a little inside every time we stand next to each other.

Sheena RUNS! Sheena says “We need another runner for our marathon relay team!”

Now picture Emily (Me). Not as tall, a complexion as pale and Irish as they come, a little ‘compact’ and a bit persnickety.

“Sure! I…. Run?… Kinda…”

With those four words I had entered a race. I wrote the date on my chalkboard as a reminder. I would set out on my nightly workouts, look at that date and laugh. It was a long time in the future, unreal, just an idea…

Months passed and the date drew closer.

May 13, 2017.

I knew all but two of the ladies on my relay team. Sheena, Tiff – a tall, stunning, brunette with an amazing hippie vibe. Sarah – sister to Sheena, equally stunning but brown hair. Much to my dismay the other two women arrived- Amy and Morgan… Both stinkin hott! (My next blog post will be about my life as the DUFF!)

I brought my bearded baby daddy along for moral support, and also because I’m not sure I could actually function as a human being without him by my side. Sheena brought Jason along to chauffeur us around the worlds worst parade.

Six of us broke up the 26.2 mile race. I had the fifth leg – miles 17 through 20. Look up ‘horrible idea’ in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of me… Running.

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According to my watch (a large freckle on my left wrist) I did my portion in roughly 28 mins. Sheena was our anchor, easily mowing down 6.2 miles in about 5 seconds. I shit you not, bitch didn’t even break a sweat.

What did I learn during my first race?

First of all, yah, I know I can do it… I just don’t want to. Stop trying to cheer me on. I just ended up flipping well meaning spectators off.

2. Why, why, why Gatorade? Music blaring, sun blinding me and spectators to flip off.. I can’t discern between water and warm, yellow Gatorade.. Which is how at mile 19 I ended up with sports piss dripping down my chin.

3. 70’s soft rock is not great running music.

4. Lastly, it’s okay if a 60 year old man in velour stretch pants passes you… Twice.

Would I do it all again?

In a freakin heartbeat! In fact, look for me in September at the Sioux Falls half marathon.

13.1 will be my death, but surly, my tombstone will read –

“Here lies a douche, she died doing what she hated, to prove she was better than you… Sucka.”

BaBaammmmm

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But, How Bout No..

If you stop and really think about it, there is a lot of scary shit in this creepy little world.

Clowns. Mascots. Spiders. Red doors. Pop music. Vegans. Democrats. Anti Vaxers..

Just really terrifying  crap.

How do you expect me to go about my day  when somewhere out there is an adult man or woman that has CHOSEN to paint their face in ridiculous colors and a perma-smile. That has got to be on the level of serial killer crazy.

I do not laugh at clowns. Slappy is not funny or entertaining. All I can see is me knocking him in the head with the butt of a deer rifle.

Can we also take a moment of silence for the Stampede mascot that I once shoved down the stairs of the arena..

I was crying, shaking and just trying to get to point B from A when this blue ass, fake bull tried to hug me.

Umm… HOW ABOUT NO.

With all the paint colors in this world, why red?

Blood freakin’ red.  Do you wander down to Ace thinking… “Hmm, my kitchen doesn’t feel murderous enough… What would Jeffery Dahmer pick?”

Easily one of the most menacing colors, next to baby pink of course.

Im not a vegan. Obviously. I’m not delusional. A cows purpose is to feed humans. Our purpose is NOT to be the cows best friend, dress them in flower crowns and worship at their shit covered hooves.

My sister will argue the above statement. I stand by it.. It’s murder… Delicious, tasty murder.

Finally, what the hell happened to music?

When did any song by the ‘Black Eyed Peas’ or Beyoncé ever out sell the talents of Elvis Costello or John Prine?

What happened to lyrics that were about social justice and could spur change? Now we dance along to songs about big butts and doing drugs.

I’m literally terrified for my children’s future.

My Problem..

I have a serious problem.

I’m talking bad… A bad, bad problem.

 

Drugs? No.

Alcohol? Don’t even drink.

Shopping? Yep, but let me explain.

 

I LOVE to shop. Not just shop, but bargain shop. I can’t walk away from a deal. I was at our local Shopko many moons ago, I look up to see a clearance shelf of 13 Christmas candles, all discounted to $1.29.

The smell was disgusting. It was hard to even breathe the strentch in.

Did I buy one? You bet.

Did I buy all 13? Affirmative.

I personally did not know that a “Dollar Tree” existed until I was 30.

EVERYTHING is a dollar, like, EVERYTHING??! I roll into that store like a boss just throwing around $1’s like a stripper after a bachelor party.

Do I really need 24 mini garbage cans? Nope, but I bought em’ anyway.

I once purchased $30 worth of expired mini doughnuts, just because. I mean really, it was a slammin deal. We ate like royalty for a like a day and a half!

I also swing to the other side..

Extreme spending.

I’ll find myself on the Internet in the middle of the night attempting to find the perfect gold and diamond encrusted birdcage to house my pet flamingo.. Or shopping 4 million dollar homes as if I could just walk about and drop a buck or two like it’s no big friggen deal.

I always find a reason NOT to pull the trigger on the house.

“Ugh, there is no way that concert hall in the basement of that mansion could host a  Justin Bieber dance party… Gag.. Pass”

So yep, I’m delusional. Don’t tell JJ about the flamingo, I have him convinced it’s another cat..  #Life

 

 

Grilled Cheese 2016

Austyn walked into the kitchen a few days ago and saw me chopping up an onion.

“Wahhh, NOOO. You know I hate onions. WHY? Why?! Why are you doing this to me…?” (Instantly bursts into tears)

This is a daily occurrence. It could be steak, tuna and noodles or even spaghetti. The kid hates IT ALL.

I gave up. I threw in the towel. I looked at her and told her I was done. Moms kitchen was closed to her until further notice. It was time for Austyn to make her own damn meal. Also, she was going to need to raid her piggy bank to pay J & I for the groceries that she would use to make said meal. Horror. Pure sheer terror on her face. She threw herself to the ground.

Jon, Huntley and I sat down at the table to enjoy the homemade pizza that Austyn declared to be “disgusting” and “icky” whilst lamenting that Morgans mama would NEVER do such a thing to her. Opps. I guess if she could, she would be calling social services on me now.. (Do you remember being littles and threatening our parents with that? “I’m gonna call social services on you!” As a parent I now think, “Please do! I need a BREAK!”)

Our spunky 7 year old has never shown much interest in learning how to cook or put together a meal, so this task was challenging to say the least. I laid down the ground rules. She can only make something simple so as to not burn down my house, No, there would be no ordering of food.. ie.. DQ or Godfathers and she must do it all herself.

Princess Sassy Pants set out to make a grilled cheese.

WOW.

I never knew what a production buttering a slice of white bread could be. Also, have you ever seen a child attempt to use a cheese slicer for the first time. MIND. BLOWN.  Jon is and will always be the better parent, more nurturing, more comforting and less willing to let our kids fail in an attempt to have them learn a lesson.  He stepped in a few times to give helpful hints that would illicit inappropriate hushed threats from me.

She buttered only one slice of bread and tried to put her slice of cheese upon the buttered side of said bread. One slice of Velveeta was apparently enough to make her sandwich divine. Also, she cooked that thing for 20 mins on low… it was ridiculous. BUT, lo and behold, she made her own meal and chocked it down…

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I was very proud and only a little annoyed. You see my plan had been that she would fail at her first ever endeavor into cooking and realize that it would just be easier to eat what is served. NOPE, she has asked every night since to make her own damn grilled cheese…

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Also, please ignore the messiness of my kitchen, you see… I just don’t care…

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Anxiety and Me

What is “normal”?

Are you “normal”?

I don’t think I have ever been “normal”.  Even as a small child I remember being scared and wrecked with worry about the littlest of things. Every glance from a teacher meant I was in trouble or that I was going to repeat the 2nd grade. Of course, none of those things happened, but it didn’t stop me from constantly re imagining the scenario over and over again at different stages of my life.

I spent all of my teen years and early twenties with anxiety. Not a lot of anxiety, but enough to keep me on my toes. I hit 26, married to a fantastic man, we had a beautiful red headed toddler. I went to bed one night, totally “normal” and I woke up the next morning a different person. Anxiety had jumped up and grabbed hold of me in a way I never had thought possible. Suddenly a headache meant sure death, a body ache meant an incurable debilitating disease. All the things that could go wrong suddenly were pushed to the front of my brain. I couldn’t dismiss them like I used to do. My every thought was consumed with what would happen to my daughter when I died or how much of a burden I would be to my husband when I could no longer care for myself.

I sank into a deep deep depression. I could no longer get out of bed. I was scared to be left alone. JJ was my saving grace. He stayed home with me, working from his lap top while sitting beside me in bed. I stopped sleeping. I went days and weeks without sleeping more than an hour or so a night. My chest hurt. My jaw hurt. Surely I had an un-diagnosed heart defect, I thought I would drop dead at any moment. I was lying in bed night after night with my heart beating so hard, I could feel it in my eyes, in my fingertips, in my toes. I was shaking all the time. I couldn’t even hold a glass of water. I went to the doctor, looking for relief, only to be dismissed. I felt like no one believed me. “Get more sun, drink more water, exercise more.. There is nothing physically wrong with you..” – several doctors said.

I WAS crazy. I had to be. I had medical professionals telling me I was basically a headcase. I sunk so much deeper into my own head and worries. I cried everyday. I stopped eating. I didn’t take care of my daughter. I ignored my husband. I stopped talking to my friends.  JJ removed the guns from our home when I told him one night that If this is what everyday of my life was going to feel like, I no longer had the will to fight through it. He sat on the floor and held me as I rocked back and forth screaming at the top of my lungs.

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I tried CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). It did not work, not even a little bit. I don’t visualize. I can not picture myself in a forest near a babbling brook. I can’t meditate, or chant or any other self healing, feel good mantra. After several sessions of me repeatedly telling her that “THIS IS NOT WORKING!!” she finally said “Well, I don’t think this is working…”

REALLY?!?!!?!? YOU DON’T SAY?

I gave up. I was a lost cause, I had lost hope. I was crazy. I was also pregnant.

My sweet, sweet new reason to keep fighting on. The second baby I had wanted for so long had come into my life at the perfect time. Huntley gave me hope. But she also gave me a whole new set of worries and traumas. I had good days and bad days. Mostly bad. I wanted my baby to be healthy. I refused to take any type of anti anxiety or depression medication. If I could get through a year and a half of pure hell without a doctor caring or believing that I needed help, surly I could make it through 40 more weeks. IT WAS HORRIBLE. I had constant panic attacks, feeling certain that my baby had died, or was about to die. I spent more time in the doctors office than any one person should care to admit. I was placed on bed rest after they worried that my placenta was detaching.

The night Huntley was born, I finally began taking Zoloft. It worked for awhile, but I didn’t want to be on it. I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem. I felt like I should be a stronger person, a better mother. Through all of this time, Jon and I kept our battle private. We didn’t talk about it to our families. I didn’t want to hear that if I prayed more, or tithed, or put more of my faith into Jesus Christ that I would be healed. I had done all that. I also didn’t want to hear that it was all in my head and I should just try harder to get over it and not think about it. I had told myself that enough, I didn’t want to hear it from my conservative family. Being on the Zoloft, to me, was proof that I wasn’t strong enough, that I didn’t believe enough, that I wasn’t a good enough person.

My world was collapsing in on me again. I went back on the Zoloft at JJs request. It didn’t work this time. We tried other meds, no dice. At best, I was a zombie walking through my life, not really engaging with my husband or my children. At my worst, I was a horrible person, screaming at random strangers for bumping into me in the store, breaking down in tears if Hy Vee didn’t have my oatmeal. Effexor was the worst. I had never been such a spiteful angry bitch than when I was on it. It may have curbed my anxiety, but it turned me into a horrible human being. I stopped taking it.

I stopped taking anything at all. I started working out – running, lifting weights, eating better. I looked better on the outside, but I was still a wreck on the inside. My doctor had told me that it would help, that a healthier lifestyle would all but cure my anxiety. It did not. What a joke!  I was running mile after mile as fast as I could, trying to outrun something that was living in my own head.

I have finally landed on a medication that, when combined with working out and eating right, has kept my anxiety at bay for several months. I’m happy now. Happier than I have been since the morning my anxiety won over.

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I still worry everyday that the darkness will creep back up and find me again. That the anxiety will pull me under and push me back down into a tidal wave of fear.

Anxiety is so very real. It is not made up. It’s not just in your head (or mine). There is no shame in it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Know that it is nothing that you have done. You are not being punished for not being a good enough person. Anxiety is an illness, just like any other illness. Just because people can’t see it, doesn’t make it any less real or scary. It has taken me a very long time to come to terms with my illness. I often feel alone and isolated, wondering if anyone else in the world is feeling this way.

Why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we admit that we are not perfect? Why is there so much shame placed on being a person living with a mental illness? As a society, we need to talk about this. We need to help the men and women suffering everyday, we need to let them know that they are “normal” and that asking for help is okay and not a shameful or embarrassing action.

I am lucky. I have JJ, my unwavering lighthouse in all of the fog and darkness. A lot of people don’t have that. They suffer alone and in silence, feeling like an outcast. Feeling like they don’t belong, wondering how much longer they can just go through the motions. Seek out those people – help them, love them, share my story with them. Let them know it gets better. Tell them God has more in store for them than just suffering through their life. Be the voice they feel like they no longer have. Hold them tight and don’t let go.

Believe them. Listen to them. LET THEM KNOW THEY’RE NOT ALONE. Give them my name, direct them to my blog. If you don’t know how to relate to them or what to say, I do. I have been there. I have struggled through it.

I ask God everyday to show me his purpose for me. To tell me what his plan is for my life.

Maybe this is it? Maybe I’m meant to share my story so others can find the light again also…

Life can be good again.

 

http://nami.org/#

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress

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Divorce – A Four Letter Word

My marriage is not perfect. Not even close, but we are happy as hell.

J & I have been married for over 8 years, having tied the knot after only knowing each other for 1 year. I was 22 and J was 24. We were babies, really.

My parents have been married for over 30 years and Jon’s have been together even longer. So when I brag on my 8 year union, it doesn’t sound so monumental, but believe me, it is.

I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram feeds and see pictures of friends or even friends of friends who are celebrating divorces or planning second weddings already. I see the jokes posted about the “first marriages” or “starter husbands” and I cringe.

What?! When did marriage become a joke or a punchline? At what point in our vows did we add the line “Tell death do us part, or we change our minds”? Why don’t we fight like hell to keep our unions sacred? Marriage is not two perfect people together being perfect, living a great life and never fighting or yelling at each other. Marriage is messy. It’s hard. It is two imperfect people fighting, disagreeing, yelling, laughing, joking and eating ramen noodles together.

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I don’t know what makes most marriages “work”. I do know that Jon and I have agreed that divorce isn’t an option, death yes, but divorce no. I suppose it helps that we are both Catholic and brought up in homes with two parents. Or maybe it is because we are both really weird, either way, I can’t imagine just not wanting to be married to my husband.. ever.

I can tell you what makes  OUR  marriage work;

We laugh… A LOT–  We make each other laugh everyday. We try to find the humor in every situation, no matter how unfunny. Most husbands wouldn’t be able to find the humor in their wife getting drunk and amazon prime-ing a butt load of swearword coloring books, but Jon can. And has.

We agree on Sports– Somewhat. We both hate Nascar (with a passion) and both think that golf is better with a cart and a stiff drink in our hands. Football is king in our household, though we disagree on the teams. I LOVE my Packers while J cheers on the perpetual underdogs, The MN Vikings. Basketball does nothing for us, but Baseball and the MN Twins are Love.

I’m a basket case, he is not– I have severe anxiety and panic attacks. J is cool as a cucumber. He never panics, never yells, never worries. He is my safe place and my voice of reason. He balances out my crazy. Sometimes I try and goat him on, just to see if he will fight back. He won’t.

MONEY – Now this is going against every other marriage article you have ever read, but we don’t agree on money. I don’t deal with the money. I don’t handle it. I can’t. Jon is in charge of the accounts. Only he knows what goes in and what comes out. It is easier this way. If I need/want  a pair of jeans, I ask J. If it fits in the budget, I buy them. If not, I wine and cry about it and eventually move on. But, I give Jon the power to control the money. We rarely talk about it. I don’t ask and it keeps my anxiety at bay.

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Parenting – I’m the hard ass, the yeller and the one to enforce the rules. I like silence. Jon is the good cop. He is an amazing dad. He encourages the girls, gets down on their level to play with them. He watches all the Disney and Pixar movies that I don’t have the attention span to sit through. He is always the pretty princess while I am usually the wicked witch or villain. He is caring and nurturing when they fall or skin their knees. If they come to me with “owies” I usually will say something deep like, “Rub some dirt in it.” or “There’s no crying in Baseball.”

We care about the same things– We both hunt. We both eat meat. A lot of meat. We both love the movie ‘Tommy Boy‘. We are Republicans (this one is important, because I’m loud and outspoken). We surround ourselves with amazing people. Agreeing, that we have the best and most supportive circle of friends and family. If you ever want to see the mark of a great friend, travel to another country with them, get attacked by fire ants and share crazy funny details of your life. If they still want to hang out with you after they have seen you hyperventilate in the Atlanta airport for 3 hours, KEEP THEM AROUND! Oh, and If you treat their children like your own and vice versa. We love the Page Family, FYI.

We still date– Our dates are probably not like yours.We rarely go out to eat or to the movies, but we still make time for each other. Sometimes it is as simple as putting the kids to bed and watching Sons Of Anarchy together, or discussing (and laughing about) our “lists”. You know, the celebrity you are allowed to sleep with if given the 0ppertunity.. Mine would be – Zac Brown, Opie from SOA and Tom Hardy (notice a trend here?).. Jon has Carrie Underwood and Sophia Bush on his short list. Both very hot, respectable choices. Sometimes our dates are child free, sometimes they are are simple and quick like taking a few minutes to make out in front of our kids and grossing them out. Often its more mundane, like me running on the treadmill while J lifts weights.

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No matter what, we always put each other first. We talk about everything, sometimes we talk it to death, but we make sure we are on the same page with every decision. We know and acknowledge the sacrifices that the other person makes and we make sure to thank them for that. Jon works so hard so that I can stay at home with our kids, but he appreciates that most of my conversations are with children and that makes me crabby come 5:30 and he gives me time to be without the kids.

I can’t predict the future. I can’t see that far down from my high horse, but I can tell you that if it ever comes down to it, we will both fight like hell to keep our marriage intact. Marriage is sacred and important. If we want our children to grow to be in healthy, happy and successful marriages, we must model what that looks like to them, icky make out sessions and all.

 

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Today We Rant

Imma gonna rant.

If you hate reading through random ramblings of a thirty year old adult toddler, you’re going to hate this.

First of all, I get angry crabby when I’m hot. If the temperature inside my home exceeds 70 degrees, the shit will hit the fan. As in, I’m threatening J with a butter knife and screaming at the goldfish just for being alive. When I have reached this state of annoyance, the worst thing another human being could say to me is “Oh, I don’t think it’s that bad” or “It’s not hot in here”… REALLY? REALLY? REALLY?

Why didn’t you say that hours ago? If only you would have told me that earlier? Well now that you have told me that you think it feels fine in here, I feel SO MUCH BETTER! I have instantly cooled down. Suddenly it’s as if I have my own personal AC blowing just on me!  AMAZING! Your opinion of the temperature that I am feeling has changed my entire life… Or not. But now, I like you a little less.

You lost 30 pounds in 30 days?! I can do the same?!! Simply amazing! Please, please, please continue to inundate me with your get thin quick, don’t eat, don’t breathe, wrap yourself in tin foil and climb into your oven at 350 degrees diet pills, Thrive patches and cellulite reducing flesh colored waist trainers. I’m SOLD! If only I had received your countless messages months ago I could have just skipped right to the thin part of life and not wasted all my time on working out, eating well, and just generally trying to be healthy. GAH! To think of the things I could have been doing while I was busy, ya know, trying to be healthy.

You’re kidding me? You sell Rodan & Fields? I would have never guessed from the EVERY SINGLE STATUS THAT YOU POST ABOUT IT. Thank you so much for sending me an email to let me know that the wrinkles under my eyes, and the smile lines on my face could be easily removed with a few hundred dollars worth of  night cream, day cream, eye patches, cheek patches and never having an actual facial expression again. The fact that you send personal messages directed just to me is not helping your case. If you want to sell me something pointless, don’t start your sales pitch by pointing out my flaws.. I will cut you. If you are selling something that I want, I’ll find you.

I have earned those wrinkles and I am damn proud of them. You can see my life story in my face. I love to laugh and make silly faces. I enjoy camping and sitting outside with my friends,  my kids and their friends. Why would I want to erase the freckles that say so much about myself?  You don’t like my stretch marks?! So sorry I’m a human being and that I carried two amazing children. Let me know the fastest and easiest way to remove them so that you don’t have to EVER SEE THEM AGAIN. For your sake, I swear to never wear a tank top or shorts again.

You’re a vegan? You don’t say! Amazing how I had NO IDEA! I applaud you for constantly posting pictures of slaughtered cows, pigs and chickens. It’s murder, delicious tasty murder.

I live in South Dakota. I eat meat, I hunt, I support our local farmers by consuming the meat and crops that they break their backs for every damn day. I love all animals, I really do. I also dislike seeing the horrible pictures of the slaughter houses and the chickens that live in tiny cages. It sucks. If I could change it, I would. All animals have a right to a humane  life, but c’mon guys!

Do you know what I find funny? Hard core vegans who are pro choice. Clearly this pig has a purpose in life besides being a pig and helping to feed the population after its death but THIS HUMAN BEING WITH A BEATING HEART IS JUST A CLUMP OF CELLS WITH NO PURPOSE AND NO RIGHT TO LIVE. Please continue to argue with me. Word to the wise, I’m going to win.

Please imagine if you will, that your living or dying depended completely on how another person felt about you. I will never apologize for being pro life. I will however apologize for the 99 cat pictures I post daily, that is a little out of control.

You don’t like my husbands beard? You constantly tell him to shave it or call him a caveman or a hobo every time you see him. Good for you. Guess what? I think it’s hot. I dig it and love the way it looks on him. But please, tell him how you would love to see him clean shaven and that it would be much cooler for the summer. He really wants to impress you, random person in the grocery store. I’m sorry that you or your husband can’t handle a beard. The weight of manhood is too much for a lot of men.

My house isn’t clean enough for you?  Perfect, don’t come over.

My cooking isn’t as good as so and so’s?  I don’t give a flying monkey fart.

Your 1 year old is already potty trained?  Well, my 2 year old is not. I refuse to force her. Don’t lecture me on it.

I should really get rid of some of my pets?  Okay, I’ll get right on that.

You think I’m too loud and blunt?  Well, in that case, get bent. My poor heart is just so broken now.

There you have it. Of course, everything I have bitched about above is to be taken with a grain of salt. These are MY OPINIONS and MY FEELINGS. If you have found yourself offended, don’t be. Don’t take it personally. I don’t take your posts personally. I’m not referring to anyone specifically . These are the thoughts and feelings I have developed over years of being professionally annoyed. If I contacted you first regarding a fitness group or a make up product, I like you. You don’t annoy me!

Also, I have been guilty of some of the infractions listed above in some form or another. Life is funny that way, rub some dirt in it and move on.

FYI, I love JESUS and I LOVE TO SWEAR. If you can’t handle a person who does both, you can’t handle me. We lead by our actions, not our words.

And right now, I could use a fuckin’ drink.