Things I Give a Fuck About on My 44th Revolution Around the Sun

For fuck’s sake.

This is what flew out of my mouth as I flew out of bed at 6:30AM this morning, the dawn of my 44th year, as I hear the unmistakable sound of a cat preparing to wet vomit. The sound of a cat dry vomiting (like, chunky stuff) and wet vomiting is vastly different. Any cat owner will confirm this.

And before I could launch the requisite amount of distance to ensure the cat was properly situated on the hardwood floors, the retch came. I arrived to wet vomit-covered gym shoes, with strategically placed bits of kibble strewn across them. Oddly enough, each kibble bit seemed to come with its own teeny, tiny middle finger.

Clark Kent lies sick in bed, obviously disturbed by my bedside light being switched to blast at 6:30AM.

I make my way into the kitchen to grab the spray bottle and paper towels…and I hear it again.

Now, this is where I know the cat is in HIS ROOM. The Man’s office. Clark Kent’s man cave. You know, the one with a nice woven sisal rug on the floor that’s been brutalized by cat vomit since he moved in late June.

I immediately go into some sort of Tarantino-esue slow motion martial arts sequence, leaping over the pet gate dividing Church and State (it happened — I’m fairly sure it hurt — ask me later or check my Instagram for pictures from the ER), and arriving at yet again the moment I shall dub TOO FUCKING LATE. Here, Cat has decided to wet vomit pure bile in a roughly 8″ long by 2″ wide section.

It’s at this point I decide FUCK BOTH PILES and I get coffee going. Because it’s obviously going to be that kind of day.

And even as I write this, The Vomit Comet sits behind me in the chair at my desk, perhaps craving a bit of human closeness. And yeah, there’s a part of me that thinks he’s just being smug about the fact that for eighteen years, he’s been able to make me leap pet gates at a single bound, and all by making THAT. ONE. NOISE.

So, this is how I started my 44th year.

This also isn’t the post I thought I’d be writing today. But hey, I never thought I’d make it to 44. So there’s that, too.

But today, for my 44th birthday, I want to give you a list of things that are worth my fucks as I kick-off this 44th revolution around the sun. Maybe you’ll find something on this list deserving of one of yours.

Because fucks — oh, man. Aren’t they in limited supply? We nearly always seem to be out of them, the people we wish would give them seem to be perpetually fresh-out as well, and they’re never on a buy-one, get-one deal at Target. This means we have to spend the ones we have wisely. And sure, this could have been a list about all of the things that aren’t deserving of my fucks.

But there’s way too much hate in this world right now. Too much dark. So if I can give you one thing today, I want it to be part of the light. Something we can file under Shit That’s Worth It.

So, here we go.

A Very Short List of Things That Are Worth My Fucks (in no particular order than the order in which I think of them)

  • Climate change. Because this shit is for real real. Science is not a liberal conspiracy and you were there the day we all made the papier mache volcano. Quit being a dick about this and make sure other people don’t try to be dicks about it, too.
  • People of color. From indigenous to every shade other than white, I can no longer deny my privilege and my responsibility to use it to lift others up and fight along side them. This means I have to read and listen. Get uncomfortable. Unlearn. Relearn. And do it all over again. Sometimes daily. Moment to moment. If you’re down to do those things, I’ve very much enjoyed the colloquial, gutsy, hard-hitting writings from Luvvie Ajayi, Very Smart Brothas, and the not-to-be-fucked-with Shaun King (also a writer for the NY Daily News). I also fully support the Injustice Boycott, going on now, with simple, powerful, and meaningful daily actions you can take to affect change.
  • Women. There is not a day that goes by that the world beyond my front door doesn’t remind me that I am a woman and in the most hurtful way. Women are not the enemy and it’s high time we started lifting other women up instead of doing that catty bullshit about kicking them down because of some petty bullshit on the tip of our tongue that’s all we can think of because we’re too lazy to realize that, sister — I know you get cat called, too. And we need to stand up for one another.
  • Investigative Journalism. Just because something is on the internet doesn’t make it news. And it sure as shit doesn’t make it real. I give a ton of fucks for the people out there who dig into a story and spend the thankless time and energy to find the truth behind a question. Not to mention their person safety. Jesus. Because the fact of the matter is that some stories are more true than others. And you can’t change something’s verity simply because you don’t agree with it. Remember in school when you were told to cite your fucking sources? Ask that of everything you read: Is this motherfucker right here citing his/her sources? And then, ask about the sources. News is news. Gossip is gossip. And bullshit disguised as news is a huge fucking problem. Want to be part of the solution? Read this. Yes, I know that’s a link to Buzzfeed. It’s smart.
  • Shopping Small. If we want to chance the economy, that begins at home. That means less from Amazon and Jet and more from the market in my neighborhood. It means paying a bit more for clothes that last from actual humans and brands that make them, more shopping at second hand stores, and less patronization of those who perpetuate clothing waste, like mass retailers that have $2 tank tops and $5 shirts when all of that is available at a new-to-you purveyor just around the corner. It means actively seeking out how to support your local small business owners so they can become medium-sized business owners and employ more people from your local community with meaningful, living wage jobs. And if I have to order something from Amazon, I make sure I use the Amazon Smile program, so I can benefit a nonprofit of my choice while participating in the big box. Our daily conveniences have real economic impact, and generally, we act on the side of convenience, not the benefit of our local communities.
  • Being Politically and Socially Active. We fucked up, y’all. Most of us really fucked up. Because voting every 4 years does jack. Social and political change begins within miles, sometimes mere city blocks, of the place we each call home. We should each know the names of our city, state, and federal representatives. We should be subscribed to their newsletters. Attend their town halls. Have their email addresses in our favorite mail programs and their office numbers programmed into our phones. We should follow their voting records and hold them accountable. We should know what it going on in our local areas with regards to police reform, social justice, and criminal justice reform. We’re out of time for apathy and it’s high time we started giving a fuck about the lives of people other than ourselves — as political and social participation is about ALL of us. And change doesn’t begin with a President. It begins with your Alderman. City Council. Mayor. Representative. Senators. And your voice. Goddammit to hell for many of us having to learn this the hard way.
  • You. I give a fuck about YOU. We may not always agree, but you stick around. You disagree with class and above all, you do it with respect. You never (and I never) let the comments section devolve into the lowest common denominator. You look for facts. You stay humble. You stand strong. You listen and share. You won’t accept bullshit and call it out. You laugh and love with every ounce of your ballginas. You don’t stoop. You go high when others go low. You are gun owners and advocates for gun ownership reform. You are Christian, pagan, Muslim, Hindi, Jewish, agnostic, Buddhist, Taoist, Satanist, atheist, and every theological and philosophical iteration in between. You come to my page and when someone is wounded, you ask how you can help. You see a world beyond your front door. You TRY. You love. You fail and you get back up. You lose and weep and know there are 30,000+ people ready to lend a dry shoulder when the one you’ve been crying on is soaked through. Your notes to me are the best part of my day and I read every one. You’ve been with me from angry blogger to columnist and author, devastated and suicidal to a woman reinvented who’s discovered love and life and why they’re so fucking important. You send me hedgehogs and things that say “fuck” and have been my light on the darkest of days. You give me reason for being — as without you to read what I write, watch my performances, and share what I do…I can never become what I know I can be. Oh, and that’s why we’re here for you, too — so you can become what you know you can be.

And now, I’m going to go crawl back into bed with Clark Kent (who’s real name is Philip). He holds a permanent place in my fucks because for all I am and am not, he loves me and in this life where I never thought I’d love again — he’s made me glad I hung around. I tell him each day he’s my favorite.

Because he is.

And I have to tell you, 44 looks pretty fucking good. I’m grateful and excited for this next spin around the sun.

And I’m super fucking glad you are here. Now, watch this girl dance. Because I’m comin’ at 44 LIKE THIS.

If you’re reading this over email, click here to watch.

OR

Love it? Get more (digital) Erika.

or subscribe the
old fashioned way

1 comments
Elly M
Elly M

Thank you so much for this. I don't know when, where or why the hell I stopped reading your articles a while back (I blame Yahoo losing them), but you've been the sassy sunshine in the dark days I have. I could go on for eons but I really just want to say thank you for being you. And thank you for being the little ray of fuckin' sunshine when I need it. Happy Birthday you beautiful redhead. <3 

-Mucho love from another redhead.