Apologies to T.S. Eliot and Other Shizzle

April 19, 2013

Actually, this first part isn’t shizzle. Not by any means. I am truly excited to be guest posting here for…gulp…the wonderful writer Chris Kuhn! Her support for The Judy Blume Project has been tremendous. Women like Chris are proof that there’s power in Sisterhood of the Heart. I hope you’ll visit me over there and introduce yourselves to Chris, because you need to meet her. You really do.





And now, on to our regular programming of shizzle and general bitchiness. Yeah, Swear Jar can suck it today.


T.S. Eliot, I owe you an apology. When you began a (very long) poem with the words, “April is the cruelest month,” I called bullshit. I read The Waste Land sophomore year in college, and I called bullshit then and I’ve called bullshit ever since, because any human being on the planet knows that February wears the tiara in the cruel department.

It just does.

Or maybe not. Damn, I hate to be wrong.

I’m not going to write about the thing. Other people have done it far better than I could, and I still don’t have any ability to write a coherent sentence about the thing, so I won’t bother you.

For the last 14 years of my life, Columbine has owned April’s ass. I wake up, stumble for the coffee maker, wonder why I feel so etherized, so weirdo inside, and then I remember.

In past years, I’ve slashed through that day with a sharp, red stripe on the calendar hanging on my wall–the calendar that reminds me that there’s choir practice or late start or gymnastics or doctor visits.

How stupid of me. How self-absorbed and arrogant of me, to erase a day when I wake up on the right side of the dirt. But I did it.

Stupid girl. You cannot erase days.

Even sloppy, wrecked days where you’re stuck in the house, predatory blizzard swooping down, children who want more breakfast and some dopewad put a Kleenex in their pocket which is now ripped to shreds in the washing machine and it’s hairball circus with the cat.

Even days far worse than that. Days that draw blood, but even those days deserve recognition.

So I apologize T.S. Eliot (grudgingly, because The Waste Land has way too many footnotes and even to this day I still don’t understand it but you wrote Prufrock so I forgive you). I also apologize to the following: Chernobyl (04/86), Waco (04/93), Oklahoma City (o4/95), Virginia Tech (04/2007), Boston marathon (04/2013) and fallen Boston police officer (04/13). All of you deserve and earn a cross-off on the calendar, but I don’t think I can give you that. Somehow, it doesn’t feel like the right thing to do.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnebya April 19, 2013 at 5:43 am

I’m just here to say I’m here. I have nothing of worth to provide.


Alison April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

I’m just here to say, I echo Arnebya.


Tiffany April 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

What is up with that anyway? My birthday is in April so there’s a bright spot! :)


Debbie April 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Yep. Just here. Maybe we could have two Junes and ditch April.


Abby April 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Between everything going on right now, it’s easy to want to escape in a hole. We can try to forget whatever pain that we hold, but we know that it’s impossible to do, and in some way, we need it to heal. There are some things we never get over–just through–and it helps to have those we love to get through it. Hang in there. XO


Robin April 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Some events impact us so deeply, we can’t ever leave them behind. Although Columbine affected me, because I don’t understand such violence, I wasn’t there. I was in Northern Virginia when the sniper killings happened, and for 9/11 – when the plane crashed into the Pentagon. Every tragic event cuts me to the heart, like one hurt adding to the next. So much violence against so many innocent people. I ask why? But there is no answer that can satisfy. And as much as I’d like to, I never forget. I try to find peace. I hope it is possible.

I have family in Boston. This has been a tough week.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me April 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I can’t think of one useful thing to say about all of it except…yeah. Hub and his brothers all lived/worked/went to school in Boston over the span of the last 20 years, off and on. Sucks. Maybe Eliot was onto something.


Barbara April 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

All generations have dates they will never forget….unfortunately. I was alive but too young to remember the exact date of Pearl Harbor, but I do remember making bandages and rationing. My memories are of the days JKF, Bobby and MLK were shot. Of course, Kent State. Plus all YOUR dates. I guess I can be grateful I don’t remember them as months, but horrific events.
Some bright and proud memories: Apollo 11 and my kids’ birth dates.


Katybeth April 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

April is hard. The way Boston came down, gave me some energy to say….yep bad shit happens, but we handle it. We get it done. And we stay strong for those that can’t right now. ♥


Jamie April 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I can’t write about the *thing* either. I couldn’t write about the other, elementary school *thing* before. This makes me feel like a whimp. For the record, you’re amazing at writing about these types of things and I love your columbine pieces.


Contemporary Troubadour April 22, 2013 at 4:25 am

Both my sisters live in Boston now, and collectively, we’d logged 12 years there just as college students before that (all three at the same school). What a week, indeed. And your April list — really, the longer we live, the more we have to add to any month, but April does seem to have more than its share.

I got nothin’ of eloquence to add. Just hugs.


Jessica April 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

First: first time commenter, long time reader ;)

Second: I hate that week in April. Taxes are due then too, note to crappiness. My birthday just so happens to fall that week. This has been the worst birthday as of yet. I’m not sure if it’s the boringness of turning 33, or the first one with a baby (but she IS awesome so bright spot), but all this sadness just made it so much worse. I’d like to also note that I’m a graduate of Virginia Tech, and my French teacher was one that was killed that fateful day. Not for sympathy, but for understanding as to why I pretty much hate my birthday at this point. We lived in Centennial, CO for a little while and I tutored kids who went to Columbine (years later), and that was even hard.

That being said, I empathize. April sucks, bring on May!


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