Back off, PTO Whore!

October 14, 2014 — 115 Comments



PTO moms are the real Mean Girls at school.

They’re Martha Stewart on steroids, this impenetrable clique of powerhouses who raise volunteering to an art form. They are the only women you know who own Kwanza-themed salt and pepper shakers, believe all parents enjoy forced crafts participation, and think nothing of bullying the principal into putting their kids in the “right” class.

Don’t let their fake laser-whitened smiles fool you. At Little Dude’s school, the PTO is like Orange is the New Black, rife with vicious power struggles, desperate alliances and forced socialization with horrible people – without any of the lesby girl-on-girl shower action.

They’re relentless and unwavering in a never-ending quest to raise money for EVERYTHING. These bitches will shake you DOWN. Back to School Night is like an open air market in Jakarta.


I’ve been volunteering at Little Dude’s school for the entire time he’s been there – and he’s now in the FIFTH grade. And these women still barely acknowledge me.

It’s not as if I run a crack den or a phone sex room. They just only care to interact with whomever has been granted the exalted status of PTO “Inner Circle” – a dubious distinction at best.

How these women manage to be so perfectly coiffed at 9 am is a mystery to me. Even more so is why. And they always look so vibrant, to match their strained and obligatory cheerfulness. Never mind that they’re so medicated they wouldn’t flinch if they were fucked up the ass with a pointy dildo.

But even if I didn’t resemble a pale Goth hobo, I would still have been denied access to their Inner Circle. Because I’m the mom who breaks the rules.

Yep. If Little Dude forgets his lunch and I have to run back to the school, I’ve been known to actually park in the fire lane right in front of the school – cause I’m gangsta like that.


OF course, I should add that I don’t attend PTO meetings. They’re painful in a menstrual cramp sort of way; a long, slow, dull ache that lasts hours. A brood of hens clacking over inane minutiae. You could fill an entire ROOM with the fucks I don’t give about whether or not they should offer gluten-free tampons in the lady’s room.

With the Ex out of the picture, he who functioned as a stay-at-home dad, I’m doing two full-time jobs running my business and my home. I’m so busy the last time I actually took a leisurely crap I had to stretch afterwards.

But my kid likes me to participate in school activities, so I continue to do so.


One day last summer, when I was really hungover from drinking at a club all night tired, I accidentally agreed to oversee Little Dude’s biggest school event.

Trunk or Treat.

A zillion parents decorate their cars for Halloween and park them in the school parking lot. All the kiddos go from car to car, collecting candy.

There’s also a bake sale, a dance party, carnival games, pumpkin carving, a costume parade and contest, etc etc etc ad infinitum.


Every year, I run the Trunk or Treat bake sale. Despite my best efforts, It’s a giant cluster of fuck to the point of being comical. Last year, we actually ran out of baked goods halfway through the night. At a bake sale.

My sterling moment that evening? When I burst out, “Little BITCH!” at an angelic kindergartener dressed as Cinderella who dropped an entire plate of the precious few cupcakes we had – on the floor. I thought I only said it in my mind, but apparently, I said it out loud.

Last year was the most disorganized year ever. Little Dude and his friends came around 7:30 for an event that was supposed to go from 6-9.

Nothing was left. Nary a cupcake. No candy to be distributed. All the crafts had been used up. It was a catastrophe, as far as he and his buds were concerned.


This summer, while talking about Halloween (yes, we talk about Halloween in the summer. We talk about it ALL YEAR LONG because it is my kid’s favorite holiday) he said, “Mama, do you think you could run Trunk or Treat? I know it would get done right if YOU did it.”

And, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to run the entire event. I knew I was signing my own death warrant.

It’s been an anathema dealing with these women. Trunk or Treat is next Friday, and I have been slaving tirelessly for a month. My emails get ignored; the head honchos pretend I don’t exist or at best, give me a half-hearted wave when they see me at school. No one seems the slightest bit grateful that I’m running myself ragged to execute the biggest event of the year.

The final straw came when one of the inner circle moms, a succubus In clogs, gave me the stinkeye after I mentioned that I plan to decorate the tops of my cupcakes with little knives sticking out of the top, dripping blood.

“Really?” she asked, her voice thick with skepticism.

“Yes. They’re awesome,” I answered. Perhaps a tad defensively.

“Are you sure that’s age appropriate for some of the younger kids?” she challenged.

“I make them every year. They sell out immediately.”

She went off on a tangent about the younger kids, in a brutally nasal whine, and I *think* I actually heard her complaining about high fructose corn syrup in the icing. She just continued her tirade against my innocent bloody cupcakes until I SNAPPED.


I grabbed her by the bleached blonde hair on her head and the little tuft of hair on her pussy and flung her RIGHT THROUGH A PLATE GLASS WINDOW.


Okay. I really didn’t. But I SO wanted to. It was a delightful fantasy.


Why are these women so imperious, self righteous and dictatorial?

My theory is that when people donate this much of their time to an organization and aren’t getting paid, they feel entitled to high-handedly order the rest of us peons around.

Also, judging from their tendencies to be micromanaging, back stabbing and drunk on imaginary power, they probably gave up corporate careers to be stay-at-home moms. Now that they’ve put permanent muzzles on their ambitions, being overbearing PTA moms is their only outlet.

Bottom line? I’m only too glad to let these women have at it. I’m not about to devote my entire waking existence to running school events.

I’m just there to sell some inappropriately decorated cupcakes


My cupcakes bring all the boys to the yard.

My cupcakes bring all the boys to the yard.



Have you ever been tortured by the PTO moms? Does it make you not want to volunteer?
What do you think of these cupcakes?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

I WISH I could say that this was the title of my blog post, but in fact, it is the THIRD chapter in Helena Hann-Basquiat’s latest story.

WHAT? You’ve missed the first two? Well, this story is SO good you can just pick it up here. Or, if you want to be technical about the whole thing, I suppose you could start here, at Lizzi’s corner of the world, with Chaper One. Then, head over to Gretchen’s place for Chapter Two. And because this story is so captivating, you’ll want to visit Mandi’s blog for the next installment.

Like Gretchen (sorry, gurl, I had to copy you) I believe Helena is the kind of guest one pours the good wine for. Light the candles. Put on some great music (she has discerning taste, our Darling Dilettante) to set the proper mood for this most distinguished lady.

Thank goodness. Someone to finally class up the joint…



He asked me to dance.

It was like something out of a dream, and I’m not trying to over-romanticize it, darlings, but it was like we were the only two people in the club.

He asked me to dance, even though no one else was dancing.

He didn’t care about that, he said, when I mentioned it. He just wanted to dance with me.

I’m not talking about the Charleston or the Foxtrot, darlings. I’m talking about the type of dance where he could hold me close and tell me all the things that he’d been wanting to say, and where I could ask him exactly what he was thinking, and was he crazy, and what did he expect from me. You know, all that romantic stuff.

The band, Duckie’s Pompadour, was not bad, actually. They were a gimmick band, and their entire repertoire consisted of the soundtrack of John Hughes films – not the later ones like Home Alone or Flubber – I’m talking about the only ones that really matter. The Brat Pack films – Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I don’t know if Penny had told Spenser about my obsession with these films, or about my love for The Smiths, and Morrissey in particular, but as Duckie’s Pompadour launched into The Smiths song Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, he decided to ask me to dance.

It was hot in the club – it was mid July, and there was no way around the heat. I was wearing a light cotton sundress that I hoped would keep me cool, but when Spenser put his arm around me, I was suddenly very self-conscious about how much I was sweating, and would he notice, and and and…

“I’m done,” he said suddenly, without any explanation, gazing into my face, looking drunk.

I started to pull away, thinking that he meant he was done with the dance, but he pulled me close and whispered something in my ear.

“I’ve been looking for you for so long, I just didn’t know your name.”

I’d been with romantic guys before, darlings, and so I was leery of smooth-talking Casanovas.

I had no time for bullshit, and game playing. I won’t lie to you – there was a chill – that good chill, more like a shudder or a shiver. There was attraction, and god, the dance, the timing, it was perfect, and either he had plied Penny for information and was trying to manipulate me, in which case I’d have to put an end to this right quick, or… The alternative – that he was actually sweet, romantic, and smitten with me – my crushed self-esteem was having a hard time accepting that.

“What exactly do you want from me?” I whispered back into his ear, and that closeness – that intimacy – felt right, and it frightened me.

“You,” he said plainly. He looked me in the eyes, and I couldn’t turn away. “I want you. I want to get to know you. I want to know if you are everything I’ve dreamed you are. I’ve wanted that from the moment I laid eyes on you.”

For him, it seemed – and he would later tell me this was true – it had been love at first sight. He’d gone home that night and told his roommate that he’d met the woman he was going to marry. You think these things only happen in the movies, darling, but I’m telling you, this is what happened.

His straightforwardness and earnest honesty might have come off as slightly presumptuous and creepy from anyone else, but there was nothing aggressive or crazy about the way he was talking or looking at me.


“Would you settle for coffee?” I asked. “Call me sometime this week and we can get coffee, and you can get what you want – to get to know me.”

He smiled, and it was a look of pure bliss. His eyes were enormous! Not in a freakish way, in an adorable kitten way. When he smiled, his eyes opened wide and practically sparkled. God, it melted me. If he was going to smile around me like that all the time I was going to have to carry a towel around with me.

“I’ll call you,” he promised, and not in the way of a man who’s just crawled out of your bed without even knowing your last name and sneaking out in the middle of the night.

“I’ll answer the phone,” I said, with a grin of my own, which I’ve been told has the ability to stop heartbeats, and it appeared to be true that night, because Spenser reeled and turned away, wearing a grin so big it threatened to crack his face in two.

We were a couple of fools.

The band announced that they were taking a break, and I saw Spenser talking to the singer, and I began to feel suspicious. Did he know them? Did he put them up to playing that Smiths song just so he could ask me to dance? Later I would find out this wasn’t the case, but it didn’t matter – my suspicious anger would only last for a few seconds. I didn’t know very much about Spenser at that point. I knew his name, his age, I knew he was not a bartender by trade, but had gone back to school and was working so as to minimize the amount of student loans he took. All this I got from the Countess Arcade. What I didn’t know – what Penny had neglected to mention, was that Spenser was a musician.

He got up on the stage and sat at the piano. He didn’t look at me – not at first – but I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He put his fingers to the keys, and played the first few bars of a song I knew immediately, and loved more than I know how to put into words. I first heard it on an Elvis Costello record, but of course, it’s been recorded by just about everyone, from Frank Sinatra to Miles Davis, Etta James to Chet Baker, right up to Sarah Vaughn or Rufus Wainwright.

He began to sing the introduction to the famous song that is rarely heard. Then he looked at me – looked right at me and launched into the song.

My funny valentine… Sweet comic valentine… You make me smile with my heart…”

Suddenly I knew what he meant earlier. I swallowed my heart, which had risen into my throat, and whispered, under my breath.

“I’m done. Oh, god, I’m done.”





The enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has. She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound herself in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming. She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populous or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them. Some people attribute her with inventing the Ampersand, but she has never made that claim herself.

Earlier this year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and has finished Volume Two and is in the editing process. 

Volume One is available HERE in e-book for Kindle or HERE in paperback.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell Find more of her writing at or connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat



Moist Panties

October 7, 2014 — 151 Comments

wet underwear

I live in a world of words. My job immerses me in words; I write, I talk a lot and I have a kid who speaks non stop. There are words, however, that just make me want to hork.

I’m talking about words that actually make me feel queasy if I speak or even hear them. This is an actual phenomenon known as “word aversion.”

It’s not the same as “word rage,” which is anger you feel towards a word, because of what it represents. Like “webinar.” Don’t EVEN.

Or because it’s trendy and pretentious, like “multimedia-ist,” which apparently is the occupation of several people on Ello. If I was out and someone trying to pick me up told me he was a “multimedia-ist,” I’d be forced to punch him in the dick.

Word aversion occurs because the act of actually uttering the word makes you sick. It has to do with the connection of emotion, memory, sound and “mouthfeel” (mouthfeel – that’s a word I get word annoyance from. Not rage; just enough irritation to want to slap someone with a phone book.)

Evidently, the word most people feel aversion to is “moist,” which doesn’t bother me. Another word found universally revolting is “panties.”  Here’s where it gets complex.  Although I don’t find these words objectionable individually, combine them, and I’m repulsed. “Moist panties?” Gross. it sounds like a chick with a yeast infection.


Here are some of the words that make me want to throw up in your mouth:

1. Goiter

Definition: an enlargement of the thyroid gland on the front and sides of the neck.

This word has that horrible “oi” diphthong that makes you sound like you’re coughing up phlegm. It’s uglier than watching an elderly man keel over and die while eating deep fried bacon at a Cracker Barrel. Not only does it sound disgusting, it IS disgusting. It’s something your 100-year-old grandmother gets.

neck goiters

She looks like she’s pregnant with triplets and they’re climbing their way out through her throat. The upside to this mess is that she would be virtually impossible to strangle. So there’s that.

Sentence: Dude, my grandma’s goiter can kick your grandma’s goiter’s ASS!

2. Globose

Definition: Shaped like a globe

This is another one with a phlegmy diphthong; the “gl” sound is just nauseating. I thought it was a Pokémon character. When I googled “Globose+ Pokémon” I saw so many anime penises it actually put me into a cartoon phallic trance. I had to punch myself in the face to stop googling it.

It sounds like it would have something to do with male genitalia, doesn’t it? If it’s shaped like a globe, for the love of anal warts, just say “shaped like a globe!” No one uses this word unless you need to sound like an overly educated douchepuppet who scored a whopping 580 on the English portion of his SAT a hundred years ago.

And the images that come up when you google it:


Amorphophallus paeoniifolius. A tropical tuber plant. But it looks like a dick.


Sentence: Dude, your grandma’s goiter is completely globose!


3. Cumquat

Does this really NEED an explanation?

This word is repugnant. Saying it makes my love taco get Sahara dry and my cervix go all crunchy.

It sounds like sad porno, like someone with a speech impediment tried to say “cum” and “twat” in a shitty Ampland video.

I didn’t google it, because I have learned, while innocently searching for birthday cake recipes on Tumblr in the wee hours of the night, that there are things on the Interwebz that my eyes CANNOT UNSEE.

THAT'S why you don't google it. You're welcome.

THAT’S why you don’t google it. You’re welcome.


Definition: a small, round or oblong citrus fruit having a sweet rind and acid pulp, used chiefly for preserves.
(And some really nasty ones if you look in Urban Dictionary.)

WHO would name a fruit this? If watermelons are full of water, what are cumquats full of?

Sentence: The sour, unappetizing globuse cumquats resembled your grandmother’s goiters.


4. Squelch

This is a tricky little bastard, this word. Because it has several meanings, thus raising the probability that this word cancer actually gets spoken. It rhymes with all manner of gross things, like belch, and felch.


1. The nastified sound your shoes make when you walk through something nastified, like a puddle of dog pee.

2. The act of suppressing something or stopping something.


Let’s squelch all this pumpkin food everyone eats. It’s a GOURD.


Sentence: I had to squelch the urge to touch my grandmother’s goiters.

Let me state, for the record, that I am in total disagreement with my normally exalted reference source, Urban Dictionary. Squelch is NOT the sound a cherry chocha makes during intercourse. That is a queef.

5. Blog

This is a HORRIBLE word. It sounds like someone took a crap and it landed in your mouth and it DIED there.

In a study done in 2010 at Harvard which I made up, a team of researchers interviewed 1000 people regarding the word blog.  94%  thought it was a synonymous with “word vomit.” The other 6% were busy blogging about topics such as their love for Bruno Mars music and cosplay as Garfield the Cat.


Oh, I have so many DEEP THOUGHTS, I should write a blog!


Definition: The thing you’re now reading.

Just saying it makes my nipples invert. It’s a good thing we’re voiceless, faceless dots on a screen.  If I had to actually hear this word as often as I have to read it, I’d hang a tire filled with gasoline around my neck and set my head on fire.

Sentence: He wrote a great blog post about an anime grandmother who was still able to suck Globosuar’s dick, despite the presence of her triple neck goiter.


Do you have word aversion, or is this just the late night word vomit of an insomniac?
What words make you want to hurl?
Talk to me.  I’m listening (as long as you don’t say “moist panties.”)

Can’t Find My Way Home

October 2, 2014

24 years ago, my brother died. I’ve never spoken of his death.

I wanted to pretend it all never happened.

I can’t anymore.

I had a brother. He meant everything to me. Today, I tell MY side of his story.

I finally break 24 years of silence on the Sisterwives blog. Without these women, I would never be able to tell this story. Alone we are enough, but together, we are STRONGER.

I have a lot of online support to come forward with a story like this. I have my other blog family, Stories That Must Not Die.

I have the support of bloggers like Laurie Works and Kim Sisto Robinson who understand.

I have friends like REDdog who look out for me, always.

And Gretchen Weber Kelly. She was the first person I reached out to about my brother. She lost her brother. And she preserves his memory with such beauty and grace on her blog, she inspired me to do the same.

Comments are closed here. Please join me over on the Sisterwives blog.

It’s Time.





I may incite the rage of many a blogger here, in this day of sexual harassment, objectification of women and rape culture. But I’m going to say it.


Jarring? That’s all right. The blogosphere is a think tank.


Is it bad to be a slutty whore? Really? When did that happen?

I thought that whole stifled sexuality thing went out in the 50’s. By 1969, wanton Woodstock nymphos were taking on bushy haired bohemians two at a time in the mud at Yasgur’s farm, urged on by Country Joe and the Fish.

He spelled out F-U-C-K to the crowd. They did it.

They just don't make rock festivals like they used to

They just don’t make rock festivals like they used to


They were slutty whores.

I love being a slutty whore.  Not being labeled one by others.


The words “slut” and “whore” are aggressive. But I will not let society control me with the use of these words.

Being labeled “slutty whore” by others is abhorrent. In a patriarchal society, there is an inherent danger in these words. Because these words support Rape Culture. Blaming the victim is the dark side of the American Way.

There are compelling reasons to support sensitivity around the use of these words; why feminists fight against the use of these words.

Sexual harassment is UGLY. Objectifying women is UGLY.



And simultaneously, a card carrying feminist.

I’m wholly independent, and always have been. I’ve supported myself since I was 16 years old, and support a child as well. On my own.

If that’s not female empowerment, in a world where not only are women competing against men for jobs, but where we are all competing in a global environment for gainful employment, than nothing is.


I’m not always a slutty whore. In this moment, I’m in a thick fluffy purple bathrobe and matching slippers.

I’ve just fed Little Dude homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk, and he’s doing his homework while I blog. I’m in full-on Mom Mode.

bathrobe-cocktails 2

Homework really fucks with Mama’s cocktail hour


But later on, tonight maybe? Will I be a slutty whore?

i’m a single mom. I should be so lucky.


There are many situations in which being a slutty whore, is, in my opinion, a positive thing.

1. In Bed with Your Man (or Woman)

Here is where you should be the sluttiest whore you can. Why not? This is a key component to sheet ripping sex.

If you love the person, all the better. Extra credit if you’re married. Triple extra credit if you’ve been married 10 years or more.

Can you imagine couples married for 20 years with enough fire in the relationship for the wife to want to be a slutty whore in bed? That’s extraordinary. It’s not just long-term companionship, which can be wonderful. It’s a 2-decade hot and heavy romance, and that, in my book, is PURE GOLD.


2. Going Out/Escaping Real Life

When I was in my 20’s, I went out clubbing in New York all the time, and yes, I frequently dressed like a slutty whore. That’s what your 20’s are for.

These days, I’m a working mom. I’m in total denial about my age, which is somewhere between 30 and none of your business. I rarely go out, and when I do, Saturday nights at Applebee’s is not the forum for a slutty outfit.

BUT – don’t we all, even just once in a great while, need to put on a costume and play at being something we’re not? Or a reminder of what we were? Don’t we all occasionally need that brief respite from being a Parent and a Grown Up and a Super Responsible Human Being?

Last December, I saw Patti Smith perform at a club in New York. I was meeting up with college friends I hadn’t seen in 22 years.  And it was Patti Smith’s birthday concert.

I damn sure went all out and dressed pretty goddamned slutty to pay homage to my High Priestess of Rock.

I wore black, skin-tight, low-cut clothing and high-heeled, over the knee black boots.


These boots were NOT made for walking


Little Dude actually blocked the door.

“MOM! You can’t leave here LOOKING like that!”

It was the first time he’d ever seen Mama look like a rap video ho, and he did not like it one bit. He’s fine, now that I’m back in the fuzzy bathrobe. Hopefully, he hasn’t been scarred for life.


3. Shopping For Lingerie.

My girlfriend was recently divorced after being married 15 years. Her husband simply tired of her, and right about now her self esteem resembles my house after Hurricane Sandy.

She’s a no-nonsense gal who bought her underwear at the supermarket in a Hanes 3-pack labeled “Designed to Make a Man Go Limp.”

I marched her off to Victoria Secret, and we bought some smokin’ hot lingerie sets. Because she wants to date, and feel hot and sexy and good about herself again. And it will make her feel like a goddess to have that kind of lingerie on under her clothing when she’s out on a date – lingerie designed to be ripped off your body later.


My college BFF fought a brutal battle against breast cancer. An entire year of pure torture. But she fought like an amazon warrior. She recently had her reconstruction done, and we went online and ordered a cornucopia of bras. Some were pretty, some demure. But some were super charged, high octane slutty bras that say,


Because if ever a woman needs to feel that way, it’s her after what she endured this past year.

Her boobs will damn sure be saying "Hello!"

Her boobs will damn sure be saying “Hello!”


4. Blogging.

I’m not talking about writing a sex blog (although by all means, do. Whatever tickles your pickle.) I’m talking about using those words when you write.

“Slutty whore” is an incredibly evocative phrase. When you write, “I was such a slutty whore when I was in high school,” we know JUST the girl you were.

Words inform the mind. They thrill and excite, kindle the flame, affect as powerfully as physical actions. Wordplay is life. Handle with care, but USE them.


5. Out With the Girls

It’s like African Americans using the N-word. Outside the community, it’s a racial slur. Inside the community, it’s an expression of solidarity. My girlfriends and I have reclaimed those words, and if we want to banter with them, by God, we will.

They’re multiple meaning words. We can use them to express appreciation or dismay. For example:

“Ooh! Where did you get those, you whore?” might be said to my girlfriend who has on the perfect pair of stiletto ankle boots.

“Ugh! You tragic whore,” I might say to the same girlfriend, when she shows up 30 minutes late for coffee.

Any excuse to use a Regina George reference.


Hopefully, you understand me. To use these terms pejoratively is one thing.

But to describe yourself that way in a celebration of your own uninhibited freedom;

to rejoice in the escape from your everyday world of work/mom/PTO drudgery;

to bond with friends in an exclusive language that allow you to metaphorically take back the night;

to be evocative with words; words – the lifeline that connects this cherished community of comrades;

Right now, I’m not a slutty whore.


I’m a blogger.  And I want to know how you feel about those words. 
Talk to me. I’m listening.