I think it’s safe to say that I’m a liberal, especially by Oklahoma standards. (But don’t worry, I intend to keep the political posts to a minimum over here on Dammit Suzanne). I believe people can marry whomever they want – slippery slope be damned, I believe a woman’s body is her own and therefore she can make whatever decisions she wants with it, and I believe in equal rights for all people, period. The universe has quite the sense of humor, however, and I was somehow born into the same surname as the most conservative State Representative Oklahoma has ever seen. And that’s saying something. The crazy part is, my last name isn’t abnormal, but it’s certainly not that common.

My father’s father disappeared on his family when he was a child, and I’m not 100% sure what ever really happened to him, except that one Christmas we got a call during dinner and my Dad came back to the table and announced that his father was dead. My mother never met him, and I’m not even sure he knew that my father went on to have kids of his own. My father was one of two boys and two girls. Therefore there’s really only one other family in the state that we are directly related to, so I assume if this lady had ever been at any family reunions we would know. Anyway, she literally says things that make me ask the questions, is it opposite day? Am I on camera? Is this real life? (Fun fact: we elect her). And yet, no matter how outspoken I am about my personal beliefs and no matter how many liberal organizations I belong to, I am still repeatedly asked if she is an aunt or cousin or God forbid, my mother. This representative is constantly coming up with some new harebrained bill to pass that limits the rights of homosexuals, yet Oklahoma ranks well below the national average when it comes to school spending and academic achievement. Don’t we have better things to worry about than keeping gay couples from getting hitched and having fabulous parties? One of her more recent bills she’s pushing would allow a restaurant to refuse service to a gay individual, otherwise known as the “Business Protection Act”. Another allows parents to “seek a cure” for their gay child. Is it 2015, or did I just wake up in 1955? And how does a restaurant determine if the individual is gay? Is it his skinny jeans and mesh top? Or her short hair and flannel shirt? Or is it just a hunch that people can use to discriminate against an entire faction of the human race? Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, after the astounding amount of backlash she received, Representative Homophobe pulled the Business Protection Act, but remains fully supportive of the other two, which are no less discriminatory. And we get to share a last name. Ah, the irony. I guess the upside is, she’s been covered so much in the news it’s literally impossible to google me and find the really awkward video I did a few years ago for a date auction. Silver linings people.

Meet the kids


Jules on the left (yours not his – yes he’s a boy) and Gigi on the right.  Both technically rescues, but I usually explain that they are actually owner surrenders.  Cats are tough because people really do often have pretty severe allergies when it comes these furry guys, and sometimes you may have had a cat for 5 years and all of a sudden you have a baby and the baby’s like, no dice.  That’s what happened with both of mine.  I grew up with cats and dogs, and rabbits, and chicks, and goldfish, and grasshoppers (really tough to keep as pets, fyi) and basically anything that would let me name it, so I have been pretty lucky when it comes to allergies.  Boyfriends, not so much.  And that’s exactly how I got Jules.  I was dating a guy and things didn’t end particularly well.  And while we were doing the back and forth, “should we give it another chance” dance, one of my friends told me she was looking for a home for Jules because her daughter was allergic.  Well, my boyfriend was SEVERELY allergic, so I made the decision right then and there that getting a cat was a great idea.  In a way, making the decision to take Jules and care for something other than myself symbolizes the first time in my life I made a hard decision as an adult.  And I’ve never been happier about a single decision in my life.  Gigi came about a year later under similar circumstances (minus the boyfriend) and they fight and barely tolerate each other, but every now and then, when they think I’m not looking, I can tell they are sort of glad to have the other around.

“Dammit, SUZANNE!!!”

… Is a phrase I heard often growing up.  I was never in any real trouble, I was just a typical middle child, kind of precocious and into absolutely everything.  Like a walking accident waiting to happen.  As a smaller kid, if there was a lake, pool, or ocean anywhere near me, I would fall into it fully clothed.  My mother just got to the point where she packed an extra set of clothes for me.  I played in mud, rolled around with the dogs and one time wanted to hug a bunny so hard it scratched the living shit out of me.  I was just a lot to handle.  And then as I got older, I put a cherry on top and started talking back.   It’s almost like I became someone else when my mouth opened, and instead of the sweet little girl who was standing there moments before, I became this little monster and the snarkiest snippets of the English language would just come tumbling out. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s ingrained deep inside me.  Though I outgrew blatantly disrespecting my parents (after being grounded over and over again), I still, to this day, cannot stop myself if a good one-liner comes into my head.  So, as I was growing up, you could often hear my good Catholic mother yelling “Dammit, Suzanne!” from downstairs, or into the backyard, or sometimes even around the block, and then I knew whatever I’d done, I had really done it good. Sometimes the tone was exasperation, sometimes, especially when I was older, it was pure unadulterated anger, but it was always the same words ringing throughout our home.

I grew up in a small town in southern Oklahoma, and as such, my friends from about kindergarten on were always the same. As a result, these friends also grew up hearing the resounding chorus of “Dammit Suzanne” from my parents almost as much as I did.  Naturally, it became a nickname.  And it stuck, at least until high school when I moved to another town. So when I was trying to think of a name for this blog, one that encompassed me and all my personality traits and character flaws, I had a friend say to me, you should just go with “Dammit Suzanne,” and here we are.

My mother has since passed away, which is a story for another post, but when I think about the name of this blog, I am filled with memories of being a kid, and testing boundaries, and being lucky enough to have parents who were hard on you, but twenty seconds later reminded you how much you were loved.  And I like to think about all the little outfits I ruined having a blast, and how I still like to jump into a body of water with my clothes on, and I like to think about her, and how much I pushed and how much she stayed right there beside me through it all.  So, it’s funny, twenty years later Dammit Suzanne is starting to mean something a little different to me.  And it’s nice. Welcome to my blog.