Dress Coding-Behind the Scenes

Let me start by saying that it has been a hectic past two days and this is going to be a long read. This time of year can always be especially at the first of the month. I even forgot something SUPER important but when my husband gets up he’ll get what’s needed. Now, I’m one of those moms that will only step in when the problem is for a parent to intervene and take the wheel OR it stresses my children out to the point of them losing themselves. I have raised my daughters to be proud of themselves and that just because they are beautiful young women that don’t make them a ‘slut’. It’s not an invitation for anyone to harm them. Understand the situation that unfolded my daughter owned her part in it but she is NOT responsible for the way it was addressed.

Yesterday imagine you’re walking into the lunch room with your friend by your side. You’re talking about the upcoming weekend and the band concert next week. You’re not thinking about the shirt that you have one and have worn 1000 times before, right? No one really is until a teacher yells across the lunchroom, ‘pull your sleeves up! No one was paying attention to what you were wearing until now. The room goes quiet and everyone turns. You look at your friend nervously and pull your shoulders up only to get yelled at again, ‘PULL THEM UP MORE’. You frantically pull them up until the blouse front starts drooping and you panic. Everyone is watching and the teacher is staring you down. You give up, with a red face you put on your hoodie. You feel like your taking the walk of shame as you walk up to get your lunch believing everyone thinks you’re ‘that’ girl. The teacher NEVER formally dress-codes you. It was a huge embarrassment. You walk through the rest of the day, with your head down, in a hoodie because of the situation that happened.

This is what happened to my daughter yesterday. She got to the car and just started spilling EVERYTHING before she was fully seated. I listened in horror. My first instinct-truth-was to hunt through the halls for this teacher and humiliate her like she did my daughter and worse. Instead, I took her home and went for a drive because I didn’t want her to hear the phone call I was about to make to the principal. Unfortunately for me, fortunate for her, she was in a meeting. So I set out to write an email:

Good Evening-
My Name is NAME, DAUGHTER NAME mother. Jo is fine. I tried calling after school today but was informed that you were in a meeting. I understand wanting to go home after a trying day and not return an angry mother’s call. I’m having a trying evening too as my daughter is upset about what occurred during commons (lunch). My daughter was walking into the lunch room when Mrs. TEACHER NAME (probably butchered that spelling) yelled out for my daughter to pull up her shirt. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. I cannot STRESS that enough. My daughter admitted that she was breaking dress but wore this shirt many times before with a wide strap halter top underneath and no one EVER said anything. Now, she wants everyone to know that she isn’t ‘that’ girl. She wants everyone to know that she isn’t a ‘slut’. Thank you for allowing my daughter to be humiliated in front of TONS of people, some of whom were wearing code violations but were not humiliated and shamed. When my daughter pulled her sleeves up it wasn’t enough and she YELLED AGAIN in front of everyone to pull them up some more. HUGE problem! Not once but TWICE! She SHOULD HAVE walked over to my daughter and asked her to step away from everyone and said something. Instead, she thought it was best to yell, in front of other students? This is unacceptable. The shirt is now in the garbage. EVERYONE watched as my daughter, red-faced, put her hoodie on. She wanted you to know that she isn’t ‘THAT’ girl and doesn’t get into trouble. But your staff has labeled her as such, verbally, in front of everyone that was sitting in that room.
What the teacher obviously didn’t think about (through the whole ordeal of humiliation and shaming of my daughter) is this could’ve caused backlash and ridicule from other students. You of all people should understand how some children are with taunting and bullying. My daughter hasn’t had much of an issue with this and I hope after today’s episode it STAYS that way. If not, I will hold Mrs. TEACHER NAME and yourself accountable. How do I explain to my daughter that I know she isn’t ‘that’ girl? How do I explain that Mrs. TEACHER NAME wasn’t singling her out because she thought she was a slut?
My daughter deserves an apology but she doesn’t want one. She feels like it’s all her fault. In partial, yes it is for wearing the shirt but she IS NOT responsible for how you allow your staff to address situations. A teacher can yell at my daughter, humiliating her, but can’t say a word to the kid that is cussing a teacher out? That makes so much sense. And to top EVERYTHING off, DAUGHTER NAME did not receive an official dress code violation! What was the point?
My daughter wants you and everyone else to know that she isn’t ‘that’ girl. I will work on building her confidence back up about her body and not to be embarrassed about it. That she is a beautiful young woman and being so doesn’t make her ‘that’ girl. I’m furious beyond what you can imagine. I am ‘that’ mom and will say that this is UNACCEPTABLE. This needs to be addressed! DO NOT HUMILIATE OR SHAME DAUGHTER NAME ANYMORE! My daughter also knows that she has been instructed to call me and put me on speaker during any meeting that is about this matter if she is included.
You can either reply to this email about this matter or call MY CONTACT NUMBER
Thank you,
Jo
This is an example of the shirt she was wearing:

I also included an image of the shirt that was identical to the one she had on. What the picture doesn’t show is that my daughter wore a tank underneath this style shirt. I did get a call from the teacher but it went to voicemail because my mom had to stop by with my birthday present and even though I don’t get along with my mom all that well it’s still disrespectful to answer the phone during her visit. There will be a meeting today and I have to work but according to the voicemail that the principal had left is that I will be placed on speaker during the meeting. Probably a good thing because I am ‘that’ mom that mom that has a temper.

I don’t know when it became an issue. When did clothing afford the right for humiliation? When did society say it was ok to break a young woman down for the clothes she is wearing but not punish the kids that cuss out teachers? When did my daughter’s bare fucking shoulders become the reason that boys can’t study or wait, eat lunch? She NEVER has been catcalled or anything while wearing this shirt and wasn’t in that room when that teacher yelled at her. My daughter doesn’t want an apology because she is embarrassed and I want this woman’s head on a stick. But for now, I’ll wait until the meeting and have my say.

What are your thoughts on dress code violations and how they should be handled?

6 Word Story: 6/4

I think exploring the unknown is one of the most exciting things to do. It could be writing, painting, cooking, etc…It’s not something to fear. Knowing a subject can be but if you continue to seek out new areas of something it will stay new which makes it exciting.


Prompt: Unknown

 

Transitioning Wings

I haven’t done a 99-word story prompt for Carrot Ranch in what seems like months. It was a great distraction for me. I always looked at bats differently. Ever since I was a little girl my father would tell me folklore about these little creatures then showed me that throwing something in the air when they were out hunting would entice them to swoop down. He would cut up fruit and get earth rooms for me to toss.


Every night the winged beast hung from the trim outside my window. One night he flew into my room instead. I screamed, ‘DADDY!’ and topped that off ear-piercing whaling. My dad comes storming into the room and finds me crying under the blankets.
‘Honey, what’s wrong?’
‘Dad, the bat flew into my room. He’s going to give me rabies!’
‘Shh, no baby. They are actually a symbol of transition and rebirth. It doesn’t mean death or demon nights. Wait, something will change for the better in your life.’ Two weeks later I received my scholarship to the art academy.

Warning Quartet

I should have known or at least picked up on the warnings quicker. I guess that’s why I’m now hiding in my basement. It was a breezy summer night. The kind that you open the windows of the house and sit on the porch so the air kisses everything with freshness. I was sitting on the porch when the cicadas stopped singing in the trees. Unfortunately, I was so enthralled with my book to notice. But that would be the first warning if I had to guess.

Then the crickets stopped chirping but remembering back, it wasn’t in one area, it was all over. As if the whole county of crickets was spooked at once. This I noticed but didn’t think anything of it. I excused it away thinking that there may be a storm coming in. I went into the kitchen to fix myself a glass of Dr. Pepper and back to my rocking chair and book. I reckon any observant person would have at least turned on the news but not me. That’s why I’m now in hiding in the basement with the doors locked.

The lightning bugs were gone when I looked up. As a child, we would smear their glowing substance on us as children and play tag. Not seeing them echo light signals to each other made me stand up and walk off the porch. There weren’t any clouds in the sky or nature sounds anywhere. That’s when I couldn’t feel the breeze anymore. Not around my feet or through my hair. The darkness of the night even seemed to be more dangerous. That’s why I’m hiding in my basement with the doors locked and listening to the news through headphones of my radio.

I left my book and my drink on the porch and headed inside allowing the screen door to bang behind me. That’s when I felt a rumble through the floor. I peeked out the window and didn’t see anything but a cloud of dust getting closer and closer. How could a cloud of dust be moving without wind? Then I heard the screams. It was the screaming from neighbors and people that were trying to escape the dust cloud. There was the sound of crunching metal and wood in the cloud but something else. Was it bones crushing or trees? Or both? That’s why I searched for matches and candles to light in the darkness.

All I could remember seeing was the dust slowly blowing in my yard. After seeing body limbs and parts raining down from the cloud of dust, I took off in a terror to the safest place I could think of while carrying my dog. The news said not to go near the dust cloud and to hide from the darkness. If I had paid attention, could I have helped my neighbors? Could I have had time to drive away from whatever the danger is? I regret the quartet of warnings I missed. Now, I’m hiding in my locked basement listening to the news with my dog by my side, and sitting in a circle of candles and oil lanterns.


I’m already having a horrible day at work and decided that writing a short story might help. I had to try something with Discover’s prompt. It seemed boring until I was inspired by something that happened at work. It involved a young kid that was hired to do the custodial duties. He wasn’t good at it and barely showed up to work. I had to dust my computer area and clean the floors. It can be something so weird that gives you an idea. Would this be considered horror genre or thriller? I don’t know but I think this has potential but not on my top 5 list. Still had fun writing and feeling a little less anxious.

February 22, 2018

Sometimes I feel like I set unrealistic goals or I want to try and tackle so many things but never follow through to the end. Then there are times that I think about starting something and how great I would be at it or how great it would be for me to attempt and NEVER even try. How do I find a happy medium? Do I stop reaching for the stars? Do I try everything and anything I think of? So, I think all my hairbrained ideas are worth attempting and it’s ok to fail. It’s ok to fail as long as I try again and again. With my anxiety shutting so much of my aspirations down, it’s time to try and stick up for what I want to do and achieve.

Progress

My reading log is going great. I met my goal of 2 books for the month of February. I know I caved when I got Jane Eyre in audiobook format. I realized with my attention span and my spastic brain tap outs, it would be best. Jane Eyre was inspiring to say the least. To be able to recognize bad situations and knowing your worth is something to be desired, well for me at least. In the end, she got was she wanted and knew she deserved. Feeling accomplished I created my March month pages in my journal and will try for three books but will be excited with two.

I still haven’t had a cigarette so that’s going great. The smell of smoke on other people is sickening and I freak out thinking that’s how I use to smell to non-smokers. My diet, let’s just say I try and slip, try and fail, but I am still trying.

Being creative is something that I am trying to do every day and unfortunately, I haven’t painted since that last loose watercolor. I have, however, made origami Hawaiian shirts for the Hawaiian day. Today at work it was Hawaiian day and I thought that it would be nice to do something for the people I work with and hopefully bring a smile to their face. It felt good to hear them get giddy over something as simple as folded paper.

I also wanted to do a daily doodle book. I don’t let my inner child out enough and I don’t allow myself to fail. I know that sounds weird but I need to fail to learn to get better. I also need to find my own style and artistic voice.

Then I thought about NaNo (National Novel) Writing Month. Then I thought, “What the hell?! I’m not a writer and I have no business participating.” I talked to my husband and he said is that my insecurities and my head thinking for me or is that something I really believe. I have been writing and even submitting a piece to another blog (it hasn’t been chosen and probably won’t be). I got over that fear so why not this? I took the first steps and signed up for my NaNo account through the NaNo site. I know it may not seem like much but that is a huge step for me.

Yes, my husband is still fighting the flu and the doctor hasn’t cleared him to work yet. Today is our anniversary but I was happy with ordering pizza and working on things I have been putting off such as my reading log and writing a journal entry. This weekend I have project plans. Creating my daily doodle log, try to create something with my Indian Ink, and generate ideas for my NaNo project (which I am scared to death and don’t have the slightest clue to what I am doing). I know I can’t start writing until November but that doesn’t mean that I can’t plan.

Did I bite off more than I can chew, you bet your ass! Am I going to fail? Probably. Will I quit? No. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of goals. Don’t be afraid of accomplishments.

6 Word Story: 2/2

I do find gratitude in little and simple things, especially when the darkness can only be chased by the light. Sometimes the only relief from my flashback, bad dreams, even bad days is the sunrise.


Prompt Word: Sunrise

Horrible nights comforted by breaking light.

January 21st, 2018

I woke up this morning with a purpose and ended up being more thoughtful and organized than I thought I could be. The kids were sleeping, husband snoring in the next room and silence. How precious is silence? For me, it’s worth more than gold. I’m currently sitting here with a cup of coffee (still hot and no interruptions) and my hair still up in a towel (yes I did, I showered and if you have depression, anxiety, C-PTSD, or even just being a mom-that’s a huge accomplishment).

Yesterday was also productive. I cooked, sketched some ideas, wrote, did the grocery shopping, forbade my son to play with a boy that fashioned his own sledge hammer out of metal and wood (yeah that was not fun for everyone involved), and started a new series. But as I was going to shut down my computer I checked the news which I haven’t done since last week sometime. It made me think. All the women that are coming forward with the #metoo and all I can think is how brave they are but some of us silently suffered and still suffering.

We don’t have popularity, we aren’t actresses and singers, we are the ‘nobody’ woman that you passed in the grocery store silently battling something inside. Our voices don’t count but I’m glad that theirs do. They are bringing awareness about sexual assault but it doesn’t just happen in the work place. Unfortunately, it happens by our husbands, family, friends and people we trust. I hope that no one ever has to experience what I did. The humiliation, embarrassment, pain and all the pleading I did with no justice. “I’m sorry ma’am, he’s your husband. You two work this out.” then being waved off as a nuisance. Now here I am, yes away from him, but still trapped in my own cell. C-PTSD sucks. I have a therapist, medications, and STILL trying to figure out how to get my service dog. But no one is around to help with any of that. So yes, #metoo but I don’t want my ex to find out. You’re probably thinking, “WTF?” but the truth is I’m still terrified. I don’t want him to be near me, know what I think, know what I say, or even know what I am wearing. Yes, we have kids together but he refuses to interact with him. Even when I tell my children to call him (feeling of nausea the whole time) they don’t want to because they remember. Something I wish they didn’t.) Those women are strong and have made name for themselves. Then there is me. I’m going to get ready to go to the grocery store then to work, all the while carrying my own secrets heavily inside me.

Here is my thought, “I’m going to have a good day.”

 

Fear

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. My fear…My ex-husband, people showing up unannounced and something going terribly wrong (told it was general anxiety). My fears can cause panic attacks, vertigo, loss of sleep and just plain freezing up. It could be something as small as seeing a name on a caller ID or a knock on the door. I still find humor in my fear when I can and so does my oldest daughter. My husband has Pediophobia (fear of dolls) but he doesn’t find humor in it but he will find a sledge hammer and get rid of the doll.

Ornithophobia is the fear of birds. And my daughter watched Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ a couple of years ago. And she loved the movie but doesn’t trust birds. In her words, ‘They’re suspect. Sketchy. I don’t trust them.’

My husband was tackling the backyard weeding and mowing when I seen in the baseball field behind us has got seagulls everywhere and more wanting to land. I asked my daughter to grab her phone and take a picture for me. When she seen a picture of what you would’ve thought her soul left her body. She didn’t leave the house for the rest of the night.

What are your fears? Do you try to find humor? Tell me your story.

May 22nd, 2017 PART 4

Meat and Matters and Questionable Acts-part 4

This brings me to today, Monday, May 22. I was so exhausted from the busy weekend and even managed to twist my knee. I showed up to work with to thermos cups. One with some really strong coffee and the other with my Dublin breakfast tea (that I will no longer be able to purchase more than likely). Right when I walked in I was immediately greeted with a sample of a very old concept for a product that hasn’t been made in about 5 years. It was more than likely a first version and someone wanted to recreate it. UGH! I so didn’t want to deal with that this morning. I sat down and began recreating this hideous art spec and was met by the CSR that was on a trip handing over an art spec request. I put it in my tray without even glancing at it. After I completed the hideous art, I looked at the request and seen that I had completed it for the older CSR (the one set in her ways and can do no wrong). I quickly forwarded it to her and walked out there to return the product sample to the older woman and the paper that the returning CSR brought. It was quickly snatched out of my hands and thrown in the recycling box for paper. I later received an apology from her stating that she wasn’t informed upon her return that the work had been done or informed of anything else for that matter.

I was having an OK day trying to draw a complicated black lab and duck logo for a jacket when I received a text from my husband (black lab and duck will be digitized for embroidery). I didn’t read it right away because it was normally and ‘I love you’ or ‘Miss you’. I wish I had read it when I was on my morning break. He had been walked off his job site Saturday by this guy that has been gunning for his dismissal since my husband started. I panicked. Panic is a fucking understatement! I went numb, a thousand horrible scenarios running through my head, questions that were now a serious concern. ‘How will I feed my family? How will we pay the car payment? Can we get by with the bare minimum? How and where do I find a 3rd job and time for it? How am I going to be able to continue to see my therapist or receive the medications I need? I don’t want to go back to the woman I was. The woman that caused her husband to leave and feel like he was walking on egg shells. The woman who couldn’t do anything because I couldn’t get out of bed. The woman that was easily triggered and couldn’t stand to hear my children laughing because the noise was to much. The woman that wasn’t the woman she knew she could and had to be. I cried in the bathroom, shaking, and couldn’t seem to catch my breath. My husband knew he couldn’t calm me.

The thing is, he kept this from me so it wouldn’t upset me during the meat raffle. He said that he seen that I was already under stress and wanted to make sure that I focused on the important matter at hand. I am entirely grateful for that. I’m pretty sire I would have lost my shit.

Now my question is: Can a spouse file a grievance through the union about this man having my husband fired? How do I pay for my doctors and medications?

I’m so scared. My husband helped cooking dinner and helping me find this time to write.

Scrambled Eggs and Scrambled Thoughts

With money now being tight (whole scenario of why in Journal Entry May 22nd – Part 4 which isn’t going to be published just yet but keep an eye out) and my husband offered to cook dinner to help keep my anxiety at bay. He’s really good at eggs and bacon. He was going to be adventurous and cook potatoes. I quickly took over because he wasn’t cutting them small enough for them to cook quickly and I was horrified at his knife skills.

Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner. My family loves it and it’s quick and satisfying. I would have to admit that this was a go to meal for our family because there are time when we are just to busy or I forget to pull meat out of the freezer. He paired the potatoes with pepper bacon and the eggs were smooth and had tons of flavor. The meal was courtesy of the meat raffle. I spent more than I should have but I won the T-Bone dinner and the Breakfast dinner. It was kind of like having Blue Apron delivered (which my family and I are desperately going to miss since we have to cut back) because the eggs that I purchased were farm fresh eggs from a customer. I like the idea of supporting the local farms. The eggs were amazing. The bacon was thick cut and the taters tender.

I just have to try and keep my thoughts at bay. All the worries, what ifs, and negativity. He did amazing and even though we have tough times ahead we’ll be OK.

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